Throughout the 2017 season, the Louisville Cardinals primarily used cornerback Jaire Alexander in man coverage. Man coverage can be described as a cornerback following his assignment all around the field for the majority of the game. When Alexander is in man coverage, he usually switches back and forth between two different techniques. For instance, Jaire will line up one to two yards away from the line of scrimmage in press coverage. However, moments before the play begins he will take a step back and to the side to open his hips towards the middle of the field. Once the play starts, Jaire Alexander will move laterally down the field until he figures out where the receiver is headed. If the assignment is told to run a route to the middle of the field, Alexander just has to run forward because his hips are positioned in that direction. On the other hand, If the assignment is told to run a route to the outside, Jaire Alexander has to take a forward and up to get his hips in position to run up the field. Not only is Alexander comfortable playing press coverage, but he is also comfortable giving the assignment a large cushion. For example, Jaire will line up eight to ten yards away from the line of scrimmage in off coverage. However, moments before the play begins he will restart the process of opening his hips towards the middle of the field.
As a result of this, the NFL team who selects Jaire Alexander should primarily use him as a man coverage cornerback. This is because Alexander has played man coverage for so long that it is the fastest way for him to be successful. On the other hand, if the NFL team wants him to transition into playing zone coverage, they would need to give him anywhere between a couple of games to a full season. Since he would need to gain a feel for when is the right time to pass off the receiver to a teammate, focus on reading the quarterback’s eyes or retreat to his area.