Desmond Trufant made a mistake, and his teammates will benefit from it.
The Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl cornerback, who was rarely targeted by opposing quarterbacks last season, was beat deep last Thursday night when Cleveland Browns quarterback-turned-receiver Terrelle Pryor got a couple of steps behind him on a 50-yard touchdown reception from Robert Griffin III. Trufant relaxed for a second, and that second proved costly.
The Falcons signed him to a four-year deal worth $8.16 million. Trufant received a signing bonus of $4.31 million. He finished his rookie season with 70 tackles (55 solo 15 assist), 17 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries. He exceeded expectations, being ranked number 8 out of all cornerbacks in the league by Pro Football Focus.
In the 2015 season, Trufant recorded his first career sack when he sacked Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. That season, Trufant received his first Pro Bowl selection when was named an alternate to the 2016 Pro Bowl.
“There’s always a standard,” Trufant said. “I have a standard. We have standard. I didn’t meet that on that play. I know I’m better than that. At the same time, I’ve got to move on. That’s just part of being a corner. Sometimes, you get got sometimes. I just bounce back and, yeah, I’m ready for this week.”
Yes, Trufant has moved on to this week, but the play won’t be forgotten. Not by Trufant. Not by fellow starting cornerback Robert Alford. Not by any of the defensive backs in the meeting room.