Darius Curry’s Move to Safety Proves Fluidity in Secondary

[PFB]
Written by Hayden Barber

With only two definitive starters in a secondary of four, Darius Curry has moved to safety “full-time,” defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer told GoPokes.com.

That (likely) means this:

Safety 1 Safety 2 Cornerback 1 Cornerback 2
Tre Flowers Ramon Richards Adrian Baker AJ Green (or)
Darius Curry Jerel Morrow Rodarius Williams Lamarcus Morton
Za’Carrius Green Philip Redwine-Bryant Madre Harper Malik Kearse

Which isn’t great but also means Spencer and cornerbacks coach Tim Duffie think at least one of the young corners is ready to start. Curry isn’t a show-stopper. During spring practice, Ramon Richards classified Curry as a “technical” player who focuses on his craft. That sounded nice, particularly at a position with excess athleticism and not enough experience.

This also shows that almost every player in the secondary can be moved.

The pros of that:

  • Easy replacements in case of injuries
  • Better coverage options
  • More versatile packages

The cons:

  • Might seem like scrambling
  • Can look foolish if the talent doesn’t translate
  • Increasingly impossible to master either position

The last one was Spencer’s explanation for moving Curry.

“I pulled him in a couple weeks ago, and I said, ‘Darius, this isn’t fair to anybody,” he said. “You’ll never get better at one position if we have you playing two.”

But the Cowboy defense has done an outstanding amount of “playing two” since this time last year. Richards went from corner to safety. Kenneth Edison-McGruder went from safety to linebacker. Trey Carter went from defensive end to tackle. And now Curry.

The good news is they can always go back. All of the spring moves can be reverted, which would make the secondary look like this:

Safety 1 Safety 2 Cornerback 1 Cornerback 2
Tre Flowers Kenneth Edison-McGruder Ramon Richards Adrian Baker
Jerel Morrow Za’Carrius Green Darius Curry AJ Green

It’s also a huge plus that the front seven is fairly solid, and it starts with the defensive line. Mike Gundy noted that before spring practice.

“We have nine guys on the defensive line that power clean more than 315 pounds,” said Gundy. “We have nine guys that bench press more than 350 pounds, and five of them are over 400. … We have nine guys that all squat more than 450 pounds.”

That’s great, and it will have to be to shrink the window in the secondary. Because no one is doubting the ability of these young corners to cover, just to cover for long enough. That’s why moving Curry to safety is significant. It only makes the corner situation riskier when it already felt like a Mason Rudolph keeper up the middle.