The Cleveland Browns added
Wade worked as the team’s nickel cornerback during Sunday’s practice, the first session for the Browns since Friday night’s 19-17 victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Wade was filling in the spot normally taken up by
“It’s just a really big role to fill and some big shoes to fill, but I’m up to the challenge and that’s why I like the NFL,” Wade said following Sunday’s practice. “It’s a big challenge and I’m just ready to do my part and do all I can.
“I’m just going with the flow right now, wherever the coaches put me and I’m just trying to pick up on the game faster, so if I do get thrown into the fire, I’ll be fine. I’m just trying to show the coaches and prove to the team that they can put their faith in me and I’m just going to go out there and give my all and try to make plays for us.”
Wade made three solo tackles, which tied him with two other players -- defensive backs
“It was pretty crazy at first,” Wade said. “My first snap, it was really fast, but after that first series, I got adjusted, started to feel more comfortable and tried to get some pass breakups and some tackles.”
Browns coach Pat Shurmur noticed Wade’s ability to make plays during the game and his style of play showed itself again when the coaches broke down the game film.
“I thought he did a good job,” Shurmur said. “They tried a double-move on him; he was right there. They tried to throw a deep ball on him; he was right there. From what I could tell, he played pretty well. When I went back and watched the film in detail, it held up that way. He’s making good progress. He has a very, very good feel for the game and I think it showed up the other night.”
Wade played as a nickel cornerback during his time at the University of Arizona. He was a four-year letterman for the Wildcats and registered 180 total tackles in 50 career games. He also intercepted 12 passes and 28 passes defended -- the eighth-highest total in school history.
Of those 12 interceptions, Wade returned two for touchdowns.
“My junior year, I mostly guarded the slots in a nickel package, so I was pretty comfortable with it,” Wade said. “Coming here, it’s a different level, so it’s just a little faster and I just have to adjust better and play with better technique and have some fun.”
Having gained experience as a defender in the slot, both in college and the professional ranks, Wade said being successful as a nickel cornerback is about “being smart and playing with good technique and anticipate what’s coming.”
“I feel like I’m picking it up really fast and I think it shows,” Wade said. “It’s starting to show out here in practice. I’m starting to read things better, know what’s coming and anticipate better things.
“It’s pretty hard if you’re not playing with technique because you’re in the middle of the field guarding a little, quick guy. You’ve just got to be patient, believe what coach is telling you, play with technique and you’ll be fine.”