Because the quarterback usually has no more than three to four seconds in which to get his pass away, most fakes come in the first 10 to 12 yards of a receiver's route.
"You hang back and let them come," Brookshier says. "You figure they'll get their point across by the time they've run 12 yards, and the next move will be the right one and you can go with it. You always give them a hard time. You let them know you're playing them tough. I'd take one interference penalty a game to get that point across."
Aside from all the other difficulties of playing the position, the corner back often suffers unjust condemnation from the spectators, since his mistakes—and sometimes good plays which are misjudged as mistakes—occur in the open, where they are easily seen.
"You get beat, you get it right out in front of God and everybody," Tom says. "I don't care how good you are, you'll get beat. You have to. You have to hope you don't get beat too bad. Often a coach takes a calculated risk letting you have a real good receiver all afternoon, figuring you'll get beat some. Like Lindon Crow in the Baltimore-Giant game in 1959 in Baltimore. Landry put him on Lenny Moore all by himself, and Crow did a bang-up job. Moore got one touchdown and set one up, but Landry had figured that if Crow could hold him to two touchdowns the rest of the Giant defense could shut off the rest of the Colt defense. The only thing he didn't figure was that the Colt defense would score—which it did. But Crow caught the devil from the fans when actually he had played one of the best games anyone could want."
With faster receivers and stronger passers coming up all the time, the modern corner back has to be faster and cagier to compensate. "Used to be the depth of a pass depended on the speed of the receiver," another corner back said last year. "Now it depends on how strong the passer's arm is. Receivers like Frank Budd of the Redskins can run farther than most passers can throw in the five or six seconds between the snap of the ball and the time the ball reaches the receiver's hands. Budd can make about 55 yards. It takes quite a man to keep up with someone like him, much less keep ahead."