Dre Bly was never considered a shutdown corner. Even if he were, it wouldn't matter. There never was or will be a corner in the NFL who can cover a receiver playing behind Denver's pass-rush-less front 7. If the QB is comfortable enough in the pocket, eventually he will find a window. Nate Clements -- who, IMO, has been living off his reputation since his breakout year, anyway -- also suffers from playing on a team without a good rush. Ed Reed isn't a corner and has never been described as "shutdown" in coverage. I don't know if I'd call Samuel a "shutdown" corner, this year or last, but I think you're crazy to suggest he got off to any "slow start" this year, or that he hasn't been every bit the corner he was last year. From what I've seen, he's been even better in coverage this year, to the point that opposing QBs aren't testing him as much. My hesitation to call him "shutdown" has more to do with the Pats not playing a lot of strict man, but he's been working the Pats' schemes to perfection, and playing with impeccable technique. I understand why the FO wasn't ready to make an investment in him this offseason, but I wish we had, because there's no way he's not getting top dollar after this year.