The battle for the starting cornerback spot opposite Jason McCourty is one that could last for the entire training camp and preseason.
Brice McCain, who signed after being a salary cap cut of the Miami Dolphins got the first work with the first team on Saturday. But Perrish Cox, the starter from last season, also rotated in with the first group in the secondary.
Coach Mike Mularkey indicated that it could take a while to sort out the situation.
“I’d like to see who can be the most consistent, and I’ve been saying that really from early on. Making the plays, being where they’re supposed to be,” Mularkey said. “When we get into these games, who’s going to force the runs like we want. If you play corner for our team, you have to tackle. That’s important, we going to see who wants to tackle.”
The way McCain sees it, the competition is a win-win as long as all the players are bonding together and pulling for each other to make the team better.
“Me and P Cox, we’re just coming out and making plays together. Honestly, I think B-Dub (B.W. Webb) and Blidi (Wreh-Wilson), all of us are making each other better,” McCain said. “It’s good for our team, it’s good for the organization. We push each other and make each other better. We can’t still one day, because the next guy will pass us up.”
Cox, too, is open to competing for the spot and both guys working to earn the role.
“I like it because it makes both of us work. But as far as competing, I’ve got much respect for him and he does for me too,” Cox said. “As far as (competing) goes, I’ve been doing that my whole career, since I came into the league. Every year, I’ve been having to battle somebody. I’ve had to battle to make the team and battle to do this. I just have to keep my head down and to what I have to do.”
McCain, who suffered a minor ankle injury on Sunday breaking up a pass for Delanie Walker, doesn’t look at it like a battle for the starting role, as much as it is a chance for all involve to improve.
“We’re not looking at it like a battle. We’re looking at it like he’s going to make a play, and I’m going to make a play. Blidi’s going to make a play and B-Dub is going to make a play. It’s all of us together. We’re a family of one,” McCain said. “If we look at it that way, we all get better. If we come out each day and try to say, ‘OK, he made a play, don’t get excited for a brother,’ then you’re wrong. I think that’s big for us right now, coming together and it’s going to be key to our success.”