Brandon Flowers has been an interesting situation for the Chargers since he landed in San Diego. Shortly before the start of the 2014 season, the Kansas City Chiefs surprisingly released the longtime starting cornerback after he was constantly forced to play in the slot in 2013 instead of normally playing on the outside.
General manager Tom Telesco jumped on the phone, called Flowers and landed him on a one-year deal to play for the Chargers. In his first year as a starter in a Bolts’ uniform, Flowers was playing like the guy we would be used to seeing in those Chargers-Chiefs rivalry games. Finally, we had a good corner playing for the team after suffering with Derek Cox the year before. Flowers went on to record three interceptions and 52 tackles in 14 games that year.
The coaching staff and even the fans had high hopes for the veteran corner to play just as well in 2015, which unfortunately didn’t go as planned. Flowers had his worst season last year in his second year as a Bolt after signing a big multi-year contract to stay in San Diego. He finished the season with just a little over 30 tackles and did not intercept a pass.
On the other hand, Steve Williams didn’t see as much play time and finished with 19 tackles and two interceptions. Flowers was constantly targeted by opposing quarterbacks and was just always left in the dust when it came to one-on-one matchups against opposing receivers as well. He was just not playing good at all. Has Flowers hit that point in his career where he will start to decline in performance?
We have seen great cornerbacks in this league decline in play performance as they get older. A great example is Charles Woodson. Woodson started off his career as a cornerback but eventually showed age later in his career as a Packer. The coaching staff’s solution to this was to transition Woodson to safety, and the guy blossomed when he moved. He continued to be one of the best safeties in the league for so many years.
The Chargers should definitely consider moving Flowers to safety. Now, he doesn’t necessarily have to be an every-down player in that role since he would share snaps with either Jahleel Addae or Dwight Lowery.
It would be wise for the Chargers to use him as a hybrid-style player by employing him as a safety as well as a slot corner in order to keep his presence on the field for as long as possible. They have a very lopsided secondary, so it would help to balance out the talent. Our cornerback corps is strong with Jason Verrett, Casey Hayward, Craig Mager and Williams. I’m sure this part of this roster won’t be bad at all, even if we were to move Flowers to safety.
Many would argue that Flowers is not tall enough to handle that position, but I think he will be fine. The guy can jump, so it doesn’t matter. Plus, Addae is only an inch taller than Flowers, and Flowers is the same height as Jairus Byrd. Height shouldn’t play a huge factor here.
Could it have been that Flowers just had a bad year? Will he bounce back in 2016 if we keep him as a cornerback? If it were up to me, I would most definitely consider moving him. We don’t really have the best depth or even the best starters when it comes to the safety position, so it would be a win-win situation if everything goes as planned.
Also, Flowers is locked in with San Diego for multiple years. Cutting him will really hurt, so it won’t be as bad if he were to move to safety and actually play better than he currently does.
Who knows? What if this becomes our little version of Charles Woodson’s Cinderella story?