Sterling Moore gets first shot at slot corner

OXNARD, Calif. -- Jason Garrett likes to say injury provides opportunity. So does a suspension.

Garrett is viewing Orlando Scandrick's four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy the way he would an injury.

Sterling Moore will get the first chance to capitalize on the opportunity provided by Scandrick's suspension as the slot corner.

"Obviously it's a big opportunity for me, but I think the biggest thing is letting there be no drop off," Moore said. "Right now I'm just looking to Orlando for advice, any tips he has. He has played the inside corner for six years no, so he's going to have a lot of insight there for me."

Scandrick has developed into a reliable nickel cornerback. He has the flexibility to stay with speedy receivers and the strength to stay with bigger receivers. He's also a dependable blitzer off the slot. Scandrick has an instinct for the position, and Garrett said Moore has a similar feel just not the same experience

"I think (instincts) matter everywhere, but you could make an argument the nickel position is a very instinctive position," Garrett said. "Oftentimes that guy will be a blitzer off the slot or he's covering in man and covering in zone. It's a little bit different from outside in that you're playing inside and you've got guys inside of you and guys outside of you. It's different from being out there on an island as a corner. You're in a little bit more of the traffic, so just a feel and an instinct matters. But he demonstrates, really when he plays inside and outside, he's just a good football player."

At Tuesday's walkthrough Scandrick spent time talking about different ways to read route combinations from the slot with Moore.

"He's just more heads up about what's come since he's seen so much on the inside," Moore said. "The thing about slot corner is there's so much room to work with. Your mind has to be saying, ‘What happens in this situation? What happens in this situation?' That's the thing right now he's telling me, look for this, look for that. He's been there done that so his mind is light years ahead of me as a slot corner."

B.W. Webb has also logged time in the slot, and Garrett mentioned rookie Terrance Mitchell as a possibility. But the initial hope is Moore.

"He's got a good feel for playing," Garrett said. "He's got good vision, good instincts. He's a bigger and stronger guy than you think. He's pretty good in press coverage. He gets on those guys and it's hard for them to get away from him. Versatility, both playing outside and inside. But as much as anything else, it's just his feel for the game. You can tell he's played a lot, and he's been an asset to our team because of his versatility and because of that feel. He's kind of got a playmaking knack, as well."