Cory's Corner: Just who is Herb Waters?

All of a sudden the guy who’s making the biggest buzz around Lambeau Field is none other than Herb Waters.

If you didn’t know who that was a few weeks ago, don’t worry.

He was an undrafted rookie receiver out of Miami in 2016. Sounds promising right? The stable of Hurricanes’ receivers has guys like Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Santana Moss.

Then Waters got cut and Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. had to sway him to learn a new position while being on an NFL practice squad. Waters said yes and Whitt is pretty happy he did.

“When I saw him in rookie camp I asked for him then,” Whitt said with a smile. “When he was at receiver. I didn’t get him then, but I asked for him then. He has the skill set that I like to coach. He has long arms, he can bend, he can get out his hips. He can see and he can get the ball.”

The praise for Waters didn’t stop there. Whitt even has compared Waters to the lockdown corner Tramon Williams. Obviously that’s a lot to say, because Waters hasn’t even covered a true opponent yet. But even uttering Waters’ name in the same breath as a nine-year pro is pretty high praise.

“The way he was covering before he got hurt, it didn’t matter who he was covering, he was covering them, all of the receivers,” Whitt said.

And there’s one small detail that still has to be unearthed about the switch from offense to defense.

“Now, will he tackle?” Whitt said. “I don’t know. I don’t know if he will tackle.”

That is the eternal question. Because if you can cover but can’t tackle worth a lick, how is that going to improve a defense that was ranked 31st vs. the pass and 32nd in yards per pass attempt last year?

Not to mention, the ugly 44-21 NFC Championship loss at Atlanta, which fell at the hands of the secondary — namely the corners that got torched all game long.

And even after all of that dreadfulness, Whitt still sees diamonds, even if the rest of us can only recall a big lump of coal.

“I’m not going to get ahead of myself, but if we play to our potential, we have a chance with this group to be as good any group that we might have had here,” he said.

Davon House and Quinten Rollins have been having the best camp. And even though Waters’ right arm was in a sling after injuring it on Tuesday, it has been described as minor.

I still don’t think the Packers’ pass rush is good enough to force the issue, which is why the back end must nail it down with excellent coverage. If that means playing overly physical and forcing the refs to make a call, so be it. The Packers cannot allow so many big plays to opposing wide receivers this season and expect to get another shot at a Super Bowl.

If Whitt’s hunch is right about this unit, this team could be very good. Mainly because the front seven won’t be under a ton of pressure to make something happen on just about every passing down.

 

 

 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (17)

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The TKstinator's picture

June 17, 2017 at 08:06 am

GB has lots of prospects at CB, but
Still Waters runs deep.

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Bert's picture

June 17, 2017 at 08:19 am

Bingo!!!

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Since'61's picture

June 17, 2017 at 08:31 am

The Packers converted another Herb (Adderley) from RB to CB during the Lombardi era and that worked out pretty well. Who knows? He's got to better than Goodson and Gunther. Thanks, Since '61

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

June 17, 2017 at 02:08 pm

And they both wore 26!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 17, 2017 at 02:01 pm

Bully for you.

I did know pretty much all of this, but then I read several sources, including the tweets of the writers at practice. [I didn't know that some think Rollins is having a fine camp so far - it has all been Randall, Randall and more Randall.] Still, it was a nice, concise story on Waters. Lots of folks just read their local newspaper and Cheesehead, so I as sure that it had lots of value for many of Cheesehead's readers.

Thumbs up on a nice article, Cory.

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marpag1's picture

June 18, 2017 at 11:44 am

Well, his last title boldly announced that the NFL's decision to allow liquor ads was "blackmail" (???) so this title is probably an improvement.

Now if we could just get everything written in complete sentences, we'd be getting somewhere.

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TJ Coon's picture

June 17, 2017 at 11:05 am

Okay.. I'm still not sure who Herb Waters is. I was really excited coming into the article but all it did was pique my interest and left me like baby in the corner wanting more.

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The TKstinator's picture

June 17, 2017 at 11:08 am

Nobody puts baby in the corner.

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MITM's picture

June 17, 2017 at 11:30 am

Sam Shields was also converted to cornerback from receiver, also out of Miami. Just sayin'. Shields had elite speed though.

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Doug Baker's picture

June 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Tj coon. Google him. Lots there.

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TJ Coon's picture

June 18, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Strange. Let's just clear up a little issue. I'm not the TJ Coon who is reportedly the biggest man who're ever. Lol. That was pretty creepy to say the least.

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tm_inter's picture

June 17, 2017 at 02:41 pm

Herb Waters is 6 ft 2 in, 195 lbs. Waters was recorded as having a 4.50-second 40-yard dash and a 38.5-inch vertical jump.

Measurement-wise Waters is similar to Kevin King. We'll probably have to wait until training camp in 5 weeks and pre-season games to see how well Waters does in actual plays.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

June 17, 2017 at 08:00 pm

"I still don’t think the Packers’ pass rush is good enough to force the issue,"

Not a good statement for a team with 22 million dedcated to it's 2 starting pass rushers.

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Handsback's picture

June 17, 2017 at 10:46 pm

A friend who's also a pretty good judge of talent bets me every year on which player from the udfa group makes the 53 man roster. Last year he bet on Waters. He saw him play and said if a pro team was patient enough...he will reward them with All-Pro honors. It didn't work last year, so our bet is off. This year he's sure he will be on the roster and by the eoy be a guy who sees a lot of playing time. He calls him the Aaron Rodgers for the defense.

Pretty bold talk and looking forward to see how it pans out. I guess the bottom line is that Waters has some serious athletic ability and coaches are going to find a place for him.

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aaronqb's picture

June 17, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Two comments. First, your cornerback coach doesn't make comments like that unless they plan on putting him on the active roster. Forget the practice squad. Second, one of the Packer beat writers (Mike Clemens) said Rollins looked like a deer in headlights. Not good.

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Packer_Fan's picture

June 18, 2017 at 05:02 pm

The Pack needs another corner like House or King to man the edges. Someone will get hurt. Waters could be the guy. If Randall is best at the slot position, then Waters may be very important this year. Let's hope so.

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lou's picture

June 19, 2017 at 01:27 pm

Bob McGinn will be missed, here is what he said about Waters when he graded the 2016 defensive players, looks like he and Joe Whitt Jr are on the same page;

HERB WATERS: A four-year WR at Miami, Waters did an adequate job as a rookie free agent before being cut Sept. 3. The Packers signed him to the practice squad and immediately moved him to CB. Waters has the size (5-11 ½, 192), speed (4.50), athleticism (38 ½-inch vertical jump) and arm length (32 5/8) to play the position. Regarded as a rugged blocker and good special-teams player in college, he might have the toughness for defense, too. At this point, his future might be as promising if not more so than any of the other CBs. Grade: Incomplete.

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