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Eagles’ Jason Avant: There are no shutdown corners in the NFL

Jason Avant AP

Eagles receiver Jason Avant says he’ll see a good cornerback on the field Sunday when Arizona’s Patrick Peterson comes to town. But not a shutdown cornerback.

That’s because, Avant says, shutdown cornerbacks in the NFL are extinct. Avant says NFL passing offenses are so advanced — and NFL rules are so favorable to those offenses — that there’s really no cornerback in football who can be relied upon to consistently shut down the other team’s top receiver.

There’s no shutdown corners in this league,” Avant told CSNPhilly.com. “That’s just the honest truth. There are very, very, very good players and [Peterson is] a very, very good player and that’s just what you have. But in this league, with all of the rules and all of the things that that can transpire when the quarterback is accurate, there is no one that can literally be lock down. He’s in the top two or three best, but there’s still no lock down.”

Avant is fourth on the Eagles in catches and receiving yards, so he’s not the guy Peterson will be covering. But when Peterson lines up against the Eagles’ top receiver, DeSean Jackson, he’ll be trying to prove Avant wrong.

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83 Responses to “Eagles’ Jason Avant: There are no shutdown corners in the NFL”
  1. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 30, 2013 12:20 PM

    Avant is right.

    There are only corners who prevent defenses being exploited on each play less than others.

  2. maxl49 says: Nov 30, 2013 12:21 PM

    Peterson a.k.a. Crabtree’s b**** !

  3. dragonlee29 says: Nov 30, 2013 12:23 PM

    Any CB facing Jason Avant is a shutdown corner back judging by Jason’s receiving stats.

  4. xjippyx says: Nov 30, 2013 12:25 PM

    Sherman’s head just perked up like a deer in a field. “What he just say?”

  5. kwjsb says: Nov 30, 2013 12:26 PM

    Ask …. Mike Wallace, AJ Green, Tory Smith, Cordella Patterson, Calvin Johnson, Dwayne Bowe.
    Joe knows receivers …..

  6. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 30, 2013 12:28 PM

    He would say that, as a slot guy — and naturally not playing the one who IS a shutdown corner — this season.

  7. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 30, 2013 12:28 PM

    And if you want to say there aren’t, it is because the slightest thing (or nothing at all) is defensive holding, illegal contact or “pass interference.”

  8. tincansailor981 says: Nov 30, 2013 12:31 PM

    Smartest thing any wide out has said in years.

  9. greej1938l says: Nov 30, 2013 12:34 PM

    He is right!!

  10. thekiller678 says: Nov 30, 2013 12:36 PM

    That’s because the rules don’t allow them to be. Receivers can get away with murder but defenders can hardly breathe on them.

  11. twreck13 says: Nov 30, 2013 12:37 PM

    Yah but don’t ask joe about Antonio brown right?….

  12. canjura says: Nov 30, 2013 12:40 PM

    Joe Haden is the a shutdown corner and the best CB in football.

    P.S. I’m a Rams fan, not a Browns fan.

  13. ninersareyesterdaysnews says: Nov 30, 2013 12:40 PM

    It’s just that your division is SO BAD Jason. Let’s see what you do against AZ. I’m not a huge fan of Peterson’s, but the honeybadger has been looking like the real deal this season…the steal of the draft. IMO

  14. proBirdie says: Nov 30, 2013 12:43 PM

    kwjsb says: Nov 30, 2013 12:26 PM

    Ask …. Mike Wallace, AJ Green, Tory Smith, Cordella Patterson, Calvin Johnson, Dwayne Bowe.
    Joe knows receivers …..

    ——————————–

    Convenient you left Antonio off of that list.

  15. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 30, 2013 12:44 PM

    There are only 5 SHUT UP wide receivers in the league.

  16. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Nov 30, 2013 12:46 PM

    Then why don’t you ever get open ?

  17. badmoonrison says: Nov 30, 2013 12:48 PM

    So Avant (whoever he is, Ive never heard of him personally) just insulted every CB on the NFL.

  18. tootsie103 says: Nov 30, 2013 12:50 PM

    Joe Haden isn’t a shut down cornerback. Ask Antonio Brown

  19. dontouchmyjunk says: Nov 30, 2013 12:53 PM

    Is Peterson very, very, very good or just very, very good? And who is very good? Worse yet, who is good?

  20. chawk12thman says: Nov 30, 2013 12:54 PM

    I have DeSean Jackson on my Fantasy Team and now this………If he gets shut down by Peterson, I will be very upset with Avant for giving all this motivation…….

  21. birdbrainsnj says: Nov 30, 2013 12:57 PM

    Foles is gonna shred this defense for big yards. Quick accurate release with fakes to McCoy make this fast pace offense hard to stop. They’ll hold them to some fg’s and keep it close but avants right. You just can’t lock guys up with getting flagged. Birds 27-24

  22. csilojohnson says: Nov 30, 2013 12:57 PM

    Ask #84 if Haden is a shutdown cb.
    No such thing anymore. thanks goodell

  23. ketch20too says: Nov 30, 2013 1:04 PM

    Ask Boldin about Richard Sherman..he might disagree

  24. mikelitoris1 says: Nov 30, 2013 1:10 PM

    ninersareyesterdaysnews says:
    Nov 30, 2013 12:40 PM
    It’s just that your division is SO BAD Jason. Let’s see what you do against AZ. I’m not a huge fan of Peterson’s, but the honeybadger has been looking like the real deal this season…the steal of the draft. IMO
    ————————————————————————————————–

    Who remembers how relevant the Cardinals were when they were in the NFC East?

    Anyone?

    Gee, I wonder why they were chosen to leave such a bad division…

  25. seabrawk12 says: Nov 30, 2013 1:11 PM

    Another fun fact: There are no fantasy teams starting Jason Avant.

  26. olyhawk says: Nov 30, 2013 1:14 PM

    Qbs will not throw to the right side of the field when Sherman’s out there. That is the definition of shut down.
    Who is Jason Avant anyways?

  27. islandgechee says: Nov 30, 2013 1:18 PM

    Not a Brownie …..but Joe Hadden shuts them down….I think Richard Sherman is a loud mouth but he backs it up….and Patrick Peterson simply gets the job done…I count three…whatever his name is should just be quiet, he can’t even start over a 5’7 170 pd WR on his own team…stay in your lane dude you don’t qualify to make such an claim

  28. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 30, 2013 1:19 PM

    He’s right. The NFL attorneys have so weakened what defensive players can do because of the concussion lawsuit that the game has undergone a significant shift to how its played.

    If you get a set of refs on any given game that’s willing to let the players play, yes defensive backs can still be very effective.

    But if you get what are now the majority of the ref teams if you breathe on or look at a receiver with a nasty look on your face you get a flag. If you hit properly in the chest with no contact to the receivers head, but hit hard enough that his head snaps back a little bit the flag comes out. If the receiver just snaps his own head back you’ll probably get a flag.

  29. thesteelskirt says: Nov 30, 2013 1:24 PM

    Avant is dead on, the rules have changed so much since the days of Deion that receivers can get open very easily nowadays once they get past that five yards. I remember the days where only the toughest SOB’s went over the middle for fear of getting drilled, now teams like Denver lives over the middle and off of screens. Just add some flags already!

  30. upperdecker19 says: Nov 30, 2013 1:26 PM

    And you wonder why Nnamdi ate his lunch in the car

  31. flavordave says: Nov 30, 2013 1:26 PM

    Jason is 100 percent correct. Within the context of Chip Kellys 11 headed offensive monster Machine Tour 2013 there is nothing a cornerback can do to stop it. They try to contain it, and if they don’t then Foles drops 7 TD’s on you. Stop Foles, Shady drops 170 and 3 TDs on you. And theres simply nothing anyone can do about it

  32. thesteelskirt says: Nov 30, 2013 1:26 PM

    canjura Haden got torched by BIG BEN, he is a good db but not a shutdown guy.

  33. bleedgreen says: Nov 30, 2013 1:28 PM

    thekiller678 says:
    Nov 30, 2013 12:36 PM
    That’s because the rules don’t allow them to be. Receivers can get away with murder but defenders can hardly breathe on them.

    ———————

    Thats his point. With the way passing offenses are structured, coupled with the rules in place today, there CAN’T be a shutdown corner, or they’d get flagged all game.

  34. redrew says: Nov 30, 2013 1:28 PM

    NE’s Talib is shutting down all big name WRs/TEs that he’s matched up against. His only issue is health.
    If the guy could stay on the field…a pro-bowl lock.

  35. ninersareyesterdaysnews says: Nov 30, 2013 1:34 PM

    @mikelitoris1

    Not a fan of either team. But AZ definitely plays in a tougher division. They might actually win yours if they were still in it.

  36. danpatrickisatool says: Nov 30, 2013 1:41 PM

    The Cardinals defense will have a field day with Foles and his underthrown balls he constantly throws.

  37. eaglesnd18 says: Nov 30, 2013 1:41 PM

    I’m sure all of you have heard of Jason Avant or you don’t watch sportscenter. Tampa Bay catch of the year last year? One handed catches on top ten all the time? Sorry if the NFC West teams, who have finally become relevant after 2o years, are offended.

  38. mancave001 says: Nov 30, 2013 1:42 PM

    Totally agree. The rules favor the offense and that’s how the NFL likes it.

  39. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 30, 2013 1:42 PM

    Sherman is the best CB in the NFL. People who keep throwing Haden in there are obviously not watching every Browns game, or just hate Sherman.

  40. ravenswhat says: Nov 30, 2013 1:45 PM

    Desean will just give up as soon as Peterson applies a tiny bit of pressure. Tape don’t lie.

  41. rushmatic says: Nov 30, 2013 1:48 PM

    What about scheme? Are these top 3 corners everyone’s listing playing man to man with no help, a la Revis during his Jets tenure? Guy can still play, but he’s primarily playing zone. What about someone like Talib? Looks at the completions pct against him (and the caliber of player he’s covering each week) and he plays a lot of man to man. It’s kind of dumb to ignore the scheme and claim someone’s better than someone else.

  42. whatschappingmyass says: Nov 30, 2013 1:50 PM

    @Redrew “NE’s Talib is shutting down all big name WRs/TEs that he’s matched up against. His only issue is health.
    If the guy could stay on the field…a pro-bowl lock.”

    Would that be the same Talib that Steve Smith told to “Ice Up, Son!” after punking him all night?

  43. bigsmarty says: Nov 30, 2013 1:54 PM

    NE’s Talib is shutting down all big name WRs/TEs that he’s matched up against. His only issue is health.
    If the guy could stay on the field…a pro-bowl lock.

    —————————————————————

    You must have missed the beating that Steve Smith put on him.

  44. dodohead418 says: Nov 30, 2013 1:58 PM

    Jason Avant just became a target for CBs’! Congrats.

  45. thatwasntsological says: Nov 30, 2013 2:11 PM

    Damn I’m an eagles fan and I totally disagree with what Avant said. I agree with the no shut down corner thing but it’s awfully stupid to give more motivation to an already excellent corner. Especially because Peterson is a lot bigger and stronger than Jackson.
    Man I hope Peterson doesn’t see Avants comments until after the game.or I hope Peterson is unable to read haha.

  46. JSpicoli says: Nov 30, 2013 2:24 PM

    Gotta love when the WR, with the rule book hitting him and every other offensive player squarely between the eyes, pops off.

  47. s0merand0mguy says: Nov 30, 2013 2:31 PM

    Jason Avant is one of the better slot receivers in the NFL… Granted hes getting older but he’s one of the better football minds and WR’s with a higher level of intelligence. He will be fine… Plus none of those superstars will ever cover him so what does it matter?

  48. truths4all says: Nov 30, 2013 2:32 PM

    There may be a few shutdown corners in the NFL, but Peterson is definitely not one of them. Everyone he has defensed against has caught passes and some for huge gains. It seems Peterson has already lost a step and it shows in his coverage and punt returns as he no longer has that extra gear to speed away from other players. Peterson is looking to get a big contract as his draft class is eligible for one next season, but it is clear he has already lost a step and no longer can shut anyone down, especially Crabtree who owns him lock, stock, and barrel.

  49. TheDPR says: Nov 30, 2013 2:36 PM

    Smith only won the mouth battle with Talib.
    4 catches for 62 yards and 0 TDs. One catch was for 42, meaning he had 3 little underneath catches plus one significant play all night. Not quite a shutdown, but about as close as you can get in today’s NFL.

    Steve Smith wasn’t the most productive or even second most productive receiver on his team that game. Why? Talib *almost* shut him down.

    Panthers won because they’re a good team, not because Steve Smith outplayed Aqib Talib (cuz he didn’t).

    Then again, he’s not the Steve Smith he used to be, even though he still talks the game with the best of them.

  50. skins8888 says: Nov 30, 2013 2:37 PM

    I love these ” ASK __” comments let me get right on my phone and ask these players because it’s simply that easy.

  51. whatschappingmyass says: Nov 30, 2013 2:38 PM

    “Jason Avant, he’s the man. Jason Avant, he’s got great hands!” MAY now become “Jason Avant, he’s got a big mouth. Jason Avant, he just got shutout!”

  52. greej1938l says: Nov 30, 2013 2:40 PM

    Boldin is not fast…he’s a red zone wideout. So yeah. He’s going to get shutdown from time to time

  53. jc327 says: Nov 30, 2013 2:46 PM

    Avant is correct.

  54. birdfancardinalshawkeyes says: Nov 30, 2013 3:32 PM

    Of course there are no shut down CB’s in this league. The rules are geared toward the offense so bad that the defensive back doesn’t really stand a chance.

  55. raiderrob21 says: Nov 30, 2013 3:54 PM

    I agree

  56. southpaw79 says: Nov 30, 2013 4:25 PM

    ketch20too says:
    Nov 30, 2013 1:04 PM
    Ask Boldin about Richard Sherman..he might disagree
    *****************
    The only reason Sherman covered Boldin so well was because that was as close as Sherman will ever get to a superbowl ring.

  57. mooberry123 says: Nov 30, 2013 4:35 PM

    National FLAG League

  58. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Nov 30, 2013 4:59 PM

    Can’t disagree.

    The rules favor the offense in many ways and I would add that WRs are bigger, stronger and faster than ever too. The QBs are very good and with back shoulder throws etc. not easy to shutdown.

  59. elliottcovert says: Nov 30, 2013 5:09 PM

    He’s right, the last time a corner really had a shutdown season was probably back in ’09 when Revis Island was at his peak. Now, there are certainly elite corners in the league but if you want to put the squeeze on an opposing passing game it’s really about the secondary as a whole and finding the right scheme.

  60. mimitaroo says: Nov 30, 2013 5:24 PM

    Well, as an Eagles fan, even I benched DJax in my must win final fantasy round. Despite him being 6th among fantasy WRs

  61. MostlyRight says: Nov 30, 2013 5:56 PM

    Cardinal’s D is #1 vs. opposing teams WR#1, and that is due to the aforementioned Patrick Peterson. If you define shutdown as not allowing any catches ever, there are none. If you define it as consistently beating the opposition’s best WR to the point of forcing QBs to look elsewhere, PP21 is as close as you get.

    Peterson has the nickname PP21 in the NFL, but locally some of the die hard fan base have nicknamed him BlackJack. This is from his #21 paired with the fact that when you gamble (throw his way), we have BlackJack and you lose.

  62. oriolesvsravens says: Nov 30, 2013 6:03 PM

    The rules won’t allow a shutdown corner to exist. WR’s have a much easier job than any CB. Motion offsets contact at the line of scrimmage. Illegal contact, defenseless receivers, and they’re getting bigger and faster too. Big corners have trouble with fast receivers, small corners have trouble with big receivers. It the hardest position in ALL of football! Having a zone or a man to cover in a 100×50 yard field in this league is close to impossible.

  63. steves11 says: Nov 30, 2013 6:10 PM

    Well, I hope DeSean Jackson burns Peterson for about 7 catches, 150 yards and 2 TD’s. You’ve got to remember that none other than Nnamdi Asomugha was considered a “shutdown corner” a few years ago, and where is he today? In the unemployment line (not that he needs the spare change). Peterson can be exploited just like any other corner if the Eagles execute their plays the right way.

  64. smcgaels1997 says: Nov 30, 2013 6:48 PM

    There’s no shutdown corners because the rules heavily lean towards the offense

  65. lionsdraftguy says: Nov 30, 2013 7:34 PM

    Don’t tell 49ers fans that. They think they got a superstar when they signed Nnamdi.

  66. hawkforlife says: Nov 30, 2013 8:04 PM

    So I assume he expects a shutdown corner to go 16 games without allowing a catch. Is that his definition because no matter what you think of his mouth here are up-to-date stats and BTW, he rarely has any help playing mostly man-to-man;

    Quarterbacks are completing only 58.1 percent of their passes when throwing towards him and have a 67.0 quarterback rating, according to Pro Football Focus.

    Not saying he’s the best (he is) or the only lockdown corner but what does Avant know about covering? Does he never drop a pass or never screw up a route?

  67. hawkforlife says: Nov 30, 2013 8:05 PM

    Sorry, forgot to say Richard Sherman.

  68. natepalmer1 says: Nov 30, 2013 8:49 PM

    Funny when players say stuff like this…The Eagles will barely make it in to the playoffs, and then crash and burn the first weekend…be nice to see them travel to Seattle, though…lol

  69. seaeagle707 says: Nov 30, 2013 9:15 PM

    Ten quarterbacks in the NFL, might want to disagree with Mr. Avant. Luck is the only one we’ve faced this year that had consistent success throwing to Sherman’s side. Ask Colin K. what he thinks about Sherman. Ask Matt Schaub. Ryan in Atlanta had limited success throwing to Sherman’s side.

    Perhaps in the past, CB’s got away with more than they do now. Certainly pass rushers did. But as the rules change, the definitions must, as well. So I will say, that Richard Sherman is as close to a shutdown corner as you will find in the NFL.

    But PP, is a comer as well.

  70. rodh32340 says: Nov 30, 2013 9:20 PM

    Any CB who is included in the game plan to avoid IS by definition a Shut-Down Corner.

  71. eagleswin says: Nov 30, 2013 9:31 PM

    natepalmer1 says:
    Nov 30, 2013 8:49 PM
    Funny when players say stuff like this…The Eagles will barely make it in to the playoffs, and then crash and burn the first weekend…be nice to see them travel to Seattle, though…lol

    ——————————

    Calm down. Avant isn’t saying that he is the greatest receiver in the league. He’s saying the rules have changed to favor the offense so much that it’s that much harder for corner backs to shut down receivers.

    There was nothing in his statement regarding the Eagles or eagles players.

    If you disagree with his statement, attack the statement. Don’t spout off about how much you hate the eagles just because an eagles player said it.

  72. jerseyshoregiant says: Nov 30, 2013 9:31 PM

    ninersareyesterdaysnews says: Nov 30, 2013 1:34 PM

    @mikelitoris1

    Not a fan of either team. But AZ definitely plays in a tougher division. They might actually win yours if they were still in it.

    ————————————————–
    @ninersareyesterdaysnews

    Not a chance AZ is in a tougher division year in and year out. Funny thing is the NFC east was supposed to be sick this year but that’s football. Injuries, injuries, injuries.

  73. thereyougo2 says: Nov 30, 2013 9:47 PM

    Shut down corner is a made up phrase by sports writers 99% who never played any sport at any level.

    Once in a while an NFL receiver gets shut out. Don’t happen often.

  74. detlions80 says: Nov 30, 2013 10:07 PM

    Hayden didn’t stop CJ. CJ was out there just to draw his coverage while dealing with a bad knee. Notice he sat the week before. CJ can show that there is no single shutdown corner. Play any single cb vs CJ and you will see. Man cover, you choose the QB and as long as he can throw the ball 10′+ in the air Hayden, nor any cb, has a chance.

  75. badmoonrison says: Nov 30, 2013 10:34 PM

    Mr. Avant, please allow me to retort: Besides Jackson and Cooper, there are no decent WRs in Philly. You’ve got a measly 28 catches and its week 13. The Eagles could sign that washed up bum Owens and get more production than what you’ve mustered. I would stop trying to pull a Mike Mitchell and keep your unknown mouth shut.

  76. soaringeagle13 says: Nov 30, 2013 10:59 PM

    Let’s just say that Lester Hayes wouldn’t be able to play in todays NFL

  77. jbeagles23 says: Dec 1, 2013 12:04 AM

    Lol at Richard Sherman.

  78. cweizer91 says: Dec 1, 2013 2:11 AM

    This isn’t about how good or not good Jason Avant is. He isn’t saying, “I’m the greatest WR and no CB can shut me down”. All he is saying is that in today’s league with the rules favoring the offensive passing game that no CB can shutdown any WR for an entire game consistently. This is true if Calvin says it, if Avant says it, or anybody else in the league for that matter.

  79. icdogg says: Dec 1, 2013 6:52 AM

    Avant is not trying to insult anyone, and he is correct in what he says. Shutdown corners to the extent that they ever existed became extinct with the 5 yard chuck rule and corners lost more of their effectiveness still with the defenseless receiver rule.

    Avant, though, really won’t be up against the corners very often, as he mostly plays inside.

  80. wagthedog44 says: Dec 1, 2013 8:47 AM

    If you rely only on stats, you cannot fully appreciate Jason Avant’s service to the Eagles. He is a third down guy. He is not the premier receiver. He is like the offensive lineman of the receiver corps. When call upon to make a play, he is ready. He brings in 90% of the balls thrown to him. When he is on the field, Foles knows the attention is on Jackson, Cooper, or Celek. But he serves his purpose without complaint and does it well. He’ll take the hits for the hard catch across the middle and fight for an extra yard or two every time. Stats mean nothing to Jason. Winning does mean everything for him.

  81. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 1, 2013 4:08 PM

    Haden BURNED AGAIN for the game winner by Cecil Shorts.

    And you have people saying he’s better than Sherman ha?

  82. usdcoyotesfan says: Dec 2, 2013 1:59 AM

    Sam Shields of the Packers was a shutdown CB until he repeatedly got flagged for being interfered with last year. Or at best, a blatant push-off was a no call.

    ESPN reporter: Did you push off?
    Golden Tate: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    What a joke.

  83. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 2, 2013 1:43 PM

    We burn Shields every time we play Green Bay. He has never been anywhere near that discussion.

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