Cornerback Zack Bowman has mostly been flying under the radar since the spring, but he’s quickly showing that he’s going to be an indispensable player both on defense and special teams.
In this supersized “four downs” question-and-answer, Bowman offers what he thinks he can bring to the table.
Be sure to check back later for my story on the special relationship between Bowman and Prince Amukamara. It’s a story you will not want to miss.
Q: You were said to have drawn interest from a few teams during free agency. What did you find so appealing about the Giants?
Obviously just talking to coach Fewell, Coach Merritt and Coach Giunta about having tan opportunity to come out here and help this team win a Super Bowl. Whether it’s on defense or special teams or stuff like that, it’s just an opportunity that presented itself that I like, and let me see how far I can take it.
Q: What do you bring to the defense?
A: I have good flexibility to where if I need to go in the back end and play a little bit of safety I can do that because of the knowledge of the game. Obviously I can play corner. Even though we have depth at corner, you can never have too much depth obviously because of injuries. It’s good to be able to have a veteran that you can plug in and still not miss a beat and go. That’s what I hope to be able to do here and what I did at Chicago.
Q: Did you play safety while with the Bears?
A: No, but there were a few packages – I played nickel and dime there and we had certain packages a few years ago that gave us a little bit of flexibility to be able to do that.
Q: Have you done some nickel and dime work here?
A: Not yet, but it’s been talked about. The more that you can do is good for you.
Q: Most guys realize they have to contribute on special teams but after a couple of years of doing it, they tend to want to move on. Why is special teams still appealing to you?
A: It started in Chicago. Having Devin Hester as the punt returner and kickoff returner, we took great pride in getting him touchdowns and making plays on special teams. One of my really good friends who I watched and took his mentality is Corey Graham, who’s now in Buffalo. I was watching him make his niche on special teams and then everything else fell in place for him on defense. He was in Baltimore one year, when they won a championship. He played corner, safety, nickel—a little bit of everything. So just watching him and taking his mindset and watching it pay off for him was something I wanted to do.
Q: In your opinion, is special teams a better fit for a defensive player or an offensive player?
A: It’s more of a fit for a defensive player because we have an aggressive mentality and mindset. That’s why I always tell the young guys, especially those on defense, ‘Hey, if you can, try to get on as many teams as you can.’”
Q: How is the chemistry in what’s a very crowded cornerbacks room?
A: It’s going great. It’s more building a relationship with them as a group. On the field, we’re going to mesh together. Outside of football, that’s where we’re really going to develop our relationships. I was able to play with Trumaine (McBride) in Chicago; me and DRC (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) came out in the same draft class where we kind of knew each other. I played with Prince (Amukamara) in college, and Walter was with Seattle last year.
We all know what we can do, we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We all help each other on the practice field. It’s just outside of football, us gelling together and becoming a tighter unit.