Skrine: ‘I Just Want to Compete’

Posted Aug 14, 2016

Versatile CB Has Been Taking First-Team Reps Both on the Outside and at Nickelback

Buster Skrine has his eyes on one stat.

“I want to be one of the top pass defending corners in the league,” he said. “Last time I played corner, I feel like I was top four two-years in a row.”

In the 2013-14 seasons combined, Skrine was unofficially third in the NFL in passes defensed with 36. His aggressive style of play originally attracted head coach Todd Bowles, whose defensive scheme relies heavily on man coverage. The sixth-year veteran was the starting nickelback for the Jets last season, tallying eight PDs and 65 total tackles. This season, he has an opportunity to start opposite Pro Bowler Darrelle Revis.

As for a preference? Skrine said, “Either one. I just want to compete.”

In Thursday’s preseason opener, the Tennessee-Chattanooga product split time inside and outside, mirroring what he’s been doing throughout training camp. Against Jacksonville, he was a part of two drives, racking up one tackle and in yesterday’s practice, the 5’9” 185-pounder nearly came away with an interception in zone coverage. Skrine isn’t thinking about where he’ll be playing, he’s making sure he’s prepared for the regular season.

“Being mentally sharp and getting in the best shape for Week 1 of the regular season,” Skrine said regarding the next step in camp. “Everything we’re doing right now is to get ready for Cincinnati so we want to build day by day to get one step faster, one step better.”

Because of the limited amount of snaps in the preseason, the former fifth-round pick says the main goal is to zone in on every rep, not the result.   

“The way you practice technique wise, you want to bring that same stuff to the game,” he said. “You have a lot of players that practice certain ways and then once they get into the game, they start new things. So really going into the game and doing everything coach has been telling us and critiquing our craft.”