Free Agent Safety: Corey Lynch

| January 31, 2013 | 13 Comments

8954-lynch-corey_large  # 41 S , 6’0′ 210 Lbs

Birth Date: 5/01/85 (27)

Birth Place: Cape Coral, FL

Experience: 5 Years

College: Appalachian State



  • 2008- Cincinnati Bengals
  • 2009- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2010- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2011- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2012- San Diego Chargers


Everyone knows the Redskins Free Safety issues will be  addressed this off-season , the only remaining questions are how and with whom? Every team would love to fill an opening on their roster with a pro bowl talent but that is easier said than done. Washington does not exactly have the best track record signing pro bowlers at position of need anyway. Do I really have to run through the names?

Since Mike Shanahan’s arrival to Washington the Redskins have targeted players on the upswing of their career vs coming of career seasons, players like Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield, Pierre Garcon,  and Josh Wilson come to mind. The plan to  target & pay  free agents ( 25-27) based on what production they expect for the next 3-4 years vs  paying a player off his past glory. This way of doing business lets you shop in free agency, but saves you money in the long run since you’re not setting the market with the #1 player on the market. How often have we seen the coveted can’t miss free agent bomb out in his new home, Nnamdi Asomugha, Albert Haynesworth, and Mario Williams come to mind.

Corey Lynch is a player that fits the Redskins profile and he would be an immediate upgrade to the safety position in Washington. He is a young versatile player who is looked at more as a special team player, but when given a chance played very well in the Chargers 3-4 defense.  He is coming off a one year $700,000 dollar contract, so he will be cheap and affordable.

Even though Lynch is a Strong Safety, the San Diego Chargers they used him a lot as their single deep safety in cover 1 and 3 defenses. They must trust his pass coverage if they are going to move one of the best free safeties in football out of deep coverage . These screen shots are only a few examples but Lynch plays the deep middle very well. He gave up no big plays and was consistent in defending his area.

I think a safety who is disciplined and fundamentally sound is already a huge upgrade over Maideu Williams. Too many times in 2012 he left Cornerbacks out to dry with undisciplined play. Lynch also played in 45/48 games for the Raheem Morris coached Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A few shots that show Lynch being used in single safety alignment.







Corey Lynch demonstrates his coverage discipline on his play vs the Bengals. Cincinnati is in a bunch formation and will run a post/ go route combination to take advantage of the single high safety.


This Route combination is designed to put Lynch in a conflict. TE is crossing in his face and will be open, but if Lynch gets too aggressive he opens up the go route to AJ Green.  Lynch maintains coverage discipline by staying in position to make a play on both routes instead of taking the bait on the post. I like how he chooses the smart play vs the gamble.

Madieu Williams struggled to make the smart play and instead left his CBs vulnerable to big plays by gambling on underneath routes and pump fakes.


When you trust your defense and play your role good things happen for you on the field. In this case The TE can’t handle the pass and tips the ball into the air.


Lynch makes a athletic play to tip the ball back to himself.


Then secures the Interception.

Does Corey Lynch have the range and ball skills to play Free Safety? From what I’ve seen on film, yes. Check out his coverage discipline and range on this play vs the Carolina Panthers. San Diego is showing cover 2 pre-snap but post-snap will rotate into cover3 with Lynch playing the deep middle.


3rd and 18 .. The CB will carry the WR until the first down marker then turn him loose for the safety, In an ideal situation the QB won’t have the time to attack the post corner, this is not a ideal situation. Cam Newton will step up and have time to test the range and ball instincts of Corey Lynch.


At this point it is all about taking the right angle, tracking the ball, making a play on the ball without interfering with the WR.



Lynch could not have played this ball any better. Good angle, nice timing on the jump, body lean without interfering, and most importantly causes an incomplete pass with the tip.

Range and Ball tracking, I like it.. So many plays identical to this that Madieu Williams was late getting to in the 2012 season.


It’s not all good with Lynch, this play in cover 1 run support bothered me a little. The law firm isn’t known for his speed , you have to take a better angle in run support.


Lynch compounds the mistake with a bear hug attempt at a tackle.. The RB breaks this tackle and turns what should have been a 7 yard gain into 19.


Lynch again as the single high safety on a run play.


This time he takes a better angle and makes the stop on the RB.


Lynch is strong in Cover 2 & Tampa 2 coverages as you would expect with him coming from Tampa Bay.

Here is a similar concept to one mentioned earlier, In/go route combo.


The safety needs to stay disciplined by playing his zone while not leaving his CB out to dry. The TE will cross the safeties face  like before so lets see how Lynch responds.


The CB has passed the WR to the safety, TE is flashing on the square in. Lynch maintains his role and trusts his MLB to handle the TE.


Flacco ended up taking the sack.


Lynch also has some game coming forward as a SS.. I like the instincts, play diagnosis, and tracking ability of Lynch on this play.


New Orléans will run a simple screen to one of the most elusive backs in the game, Darren Sproles.

Lynch has Sproles in man coverage. Look how quickly he picks up his assignment and gets into position to make a play.


Lynch has closed the gap on Sproles and is in position to stop this play before it gets going.


Comes in a little high for me but Spoles is a very short RB..


Sproles was a little surprised Lynch made the play.


Lynch at Strong Safety in man coverage vs D.Pitta..


Lynch plays this route so well that Flacco has to adjust the throw in mid-motion to avoid a possible interception.


Lynch was almost in position to make a play on that ball as well. Good coverage


Here are some more plays in run support. I will let these plays speak for themselves.











Here is another bad angle that lead to a missed tackle..




Smith catches the crossing route and should be taken down at 14 yards. Lynch misjudges Smiths speed.


Missed tackle turns into a 54 yard play.


Lynch is cover 2  vs double outs.


The QB is in his throwing motion  with Lynch lurking. Bad decision by the QB.

Doesn’t jump the out to early, just in case the outside Wr is on a double move.

He sees the throw and drives on the pass for an easy interception.



He can catch.. Redskins fans know that is a HUGE plus for a DB.


Time for one of my favorite plays I saw on film from Lynch.

Lynch is in run contain on the end of the LOS. Bengals will run heavy play action with AJ Green on the backside crosser. Bengals are trying to get hard run pursuit play side, which will clear out space for Green to run into with DBs trailing.

Lets see what happens..


Lynch attacks the run fake but quickly diagnosis it’s a pass play, look at his eyes looking for the backside crosser. That is awareness that comes from knowing your opponent through film study. A lot of players would get caught up in the wash or keep pursuing the QB.


Lynch drops back into coverage while watching Andy Dalton.


Back in position to be a factor in pass coverage. He doesn’t allow a free WR and he causes Dalton to hold the ball longer than he wants.


I like the ability to flip his hips and get even with Green coming across the field. Not an easy task.


All that work means nothing if he can’t seal the deal and deny the TD…

Nice body position and ball skills to knock the ball away and deny a TD. The Bengals kick a FG the next play.

Very Impressive play imo.



I think Corey Lynch has 3 of the 4 tools you look for in a safety and will get better with more experience. I think this kid is an under the radar player that could make a big difference in the Redskins secondary and he will come for cheap compared to the J.Byrd, K.Phillips, and Ed Reeds of the world. Sign this kid for a 3 year $7 million dollar deal and pair him with Brandon Meriweather, then draft a Safety in mid to late rounds to groom behind him.

Worse case scenario is you have a versatile player who plays teams and can swing between FS and SS if called upon.

*Check out my Redskins Safety Review to understand what im looking for in the safeties and the 4 tools.



Great evaluation on a player who is without a doubt one of the highest character guys in the NFL. Having followed his career at App State I can assure you whichever team picks him up will be thrilled at what he brings on and off the field.

john purcell
john purcell

very impressed by this post, as a charger fan I wish every argument/debate was thought out like this. excellant work,


You may of found a hidden gem at the price of a cubic zerconia. Lynch could eventually cause a controversial release of another safety, Reed Doughty, a reliable backup pushed into starting much of last 3 seasons. It's a mix of love or hate his play. Only reason is Skins may draft heavy with DB's. I have come to admire Reed for his toughness and flexibility. He just can't play FS, but could again be retained as a SS backup. But, there again the numbers ...


excellent read... thanks... it'd be great to get him


Amazing work when I read the title, my immediate thought was NO! I don't want him, I was Dashon Goldson or someone else but this article certainly convinced me. Tremendous read brother. Also, as you said he fits what we've been doing. Signing affordable FAs who are just entering their primes and we get the best out of them in their primes. I love it! Oh and I agree with Admin about Hall, he isn't a good fit at FS because he gambles too much and he's an inconsistent tackler.


Excellent read - helps ease some of the anxiety associated with the tight cap space and multiple needs by showing a value signing with upside. Nice work LL - Hail!


Why not just mover D.Hall to FS? He'd be better there than at CB


Hall is too much of a gambler IMO. Play him at FS in certain packages but not a fan of doing it full time.


Anything over Madodo and I mean anything.


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