When the Falcons drafted
This year, the plan seems pretty clear: start your two second-year corners and let them turn into two of the better young duos in the league. It's not necessarily something they've thought long and hard about, but a little recognition as a top duo isn't something they'd mind.
Alford started the final four games of last year and played well, improving with each game and ending with one of his better games in coverage of the year in the season-ender vs. Carolina. That experience of putting the playbook into action on the field helped Alford learn the scheme and this offseason has been spent improving his technique and picking up the nuances of the defense.
"Everything's been going smooth," Alford said earlier this week. "Being my second year, I learned the playbook my first year. Now it's just going through things and just refreshing everything from last year and learning the new tweaks in our defense."
"Tru went first round and I went second round," Alford said. "That's the first thing they told us when they drafted us, nothing would be handed to us. We've got to come in and earn our position. Me and Tru are competitive guys and that's why they drafted us. Coming into this second year, even though we went first and second round, even though we started last year, we are still coming in competiting like we're free agents. We're going to compete no matter what, no matter if they promise us a starting job or not."
The Alford/Trufant vs.
Talk in the offseason about a changing Falcons defense doesn't affect Alford. Whether it's an even- or odd-man front, a cornerback still has one job and that's how Alford is approaching any changes that take place on the defense.
"Pretty much it's just about going out there doing your job no matter what it is," Alford said. "If it's cover-3 or man, just go out there and shut your side down and do what you have to do to help the team win."