DAVIE — There isn’t a cornerback in the NFL who has played more than 53 snaps and is worse this season than Xavien Howard, according to Pro Football Focus.
Howard is rated as the worst cornerback in the NFL, ranked 115th, with a rating of 33.3.
In pass coverage, Howard is ranked 115th; in run support, 79th.
Howard had a particularly rough game on Monday night in Carolina. According to Pro Football Focus, Howard was targeted seven times, allowing five receptions for 87 yards and three touchdowns.
According to a review in this weeks’ “The Tape Don’t Lie” Howard was directly responsible for two touchdowns, one by tight end Ed Dickson and one by receiver Devin Funchess.
Howard was also called for a pass interference in the end zone.
“‘X’s’ next step for me has to be locating the ball and getting the ball out, because if you actually pause the film, it’s not like you look at what ‘X’ is doing and saying ‘Man, he’s just getting roasted all over the place.'” Howard said. “He’s in good coverage, he’s just having trouble locating and getting balls out. I think that’s sort of his next step.”
Burke added that he has left Howard and rookie Cordrea Tankersley in tough spots at time this season. Howard has 16 career regular-season games, with 72 tackles, 9 passes defended and 0 interceptions.
“A little bit schematically, I put a lot on those guys,” Burke said of his corners. “We put them in some spots to play coverage and some of the challenges last week of the multifaceted run game, we kind of left those guys isolated a little bit. Part of that is schematic that I can help those guys a little bit more and just take some of the straight burden off those guys of just being isolated as much. I don’t think it’s been better or worse in terms of specifically to (Tankersley and Howard) in terms of the last week or two. I think it’s just every week we’re aware there are challenges that every guy has to face and those guys are going to have their ups and downs and we’ll keep working through them.”
Burke was insistent that nobody played well last game.
“I don’t want to blame specific players,” Burke said.