E. J. Biggers was brought in as a free agent to play nickel or dime cornerback. But when Brandon Meriweather ended up on the inactive list with a groin injury on Monday night Biggers found himself starting at safety and playing 76 of the team’s 83 defensive snaps.
“You do whatever the team needs,” he said today.
He had never played safety in the NFL. Had he ever done it in college?
“Not even then,” said Biggers, who attended Western Michigan. “High school is probably the last time I played there.”
He evidently got some speed training at the position. “I had some practice reps during the week,” said Biggers.
However, it’s not like things are completely new to him. “Playing a nickel position at corner you pretty much know where everybody is on the defense, in the secondary I should say, your gaps, your responsibilities, and things like that,” he said. “When you get back there you know your responsibilities, you play your keys. Everything works itself out and you have to go make plays when the opportunity presents itself.”
Biggers may have felt somewhat comfortable there but he did struggle. According to Pro Football Focus he missed four tackles, the most on a team that missed a slew of them against Philly. Michael Vick threw at Biggers six times and completed five for 89 yards.
It remains to be seen if Biggers’ time as a safety lasts longer than one game. When asked he started against Philly Mike Shanahan said, “We thought with what they did offensively we could take advantage of his speed out there.” That doesn’t sound like a long-term plan.