After taking a pretty big step back in his second season at nickel back, we hear Sam Shields is far from being assured of a roster spot this coming season. The way we hear it, unless Shields greatly improves his tackling skills, which were feeble for the most part last season, and sheds his knack for peeking into the backfield, he could be in trouble with a host of challengers, led by newly re-signed Jarrett Bush, breathing down his neck at the nickel spot. In addition, both second-round rookie Casey Hayward and second-year pro Davon House, who has gotten noticeably bigger and stronger, could put added pressure on Shields, who has excellent natural tools and displayed the potential to be a solid starter two seasons ago on the road to the Super Bowl. We hear one factor in Shields’ favor is the likelihood that the defense will be featuring a lot more CB-heavy dime formations.
- Sam Shields