Brady expects Finnegan-Welker battle


FOXBORO - Annoying as a gnat, nasty as a hornet, Cortland Finnegan is the kind of opponent every wide receiver detests.
An agitator without peer, the Rams cornerback is one of the NFL's most effective players when it comes to burrowing under a wideout's skin.
Despite the reputation which precedes Finnegan, Tom Brady -- who plays with a bit of an edge himself -- appreciates Finnegan's game.
"He competes his butt off and he's smart, catches the ball well," said Brady. "He's a seventh-round pick, so you just are always fighting for your life out there. Even though he's had a lot of success, you see he wants to continue to get better and improve and he's still a young player."
The 28-year-old Finnegan was a career-long Tennessee Titan before signing with the Rams to rejoin his old Titans coach Jeff Fisher. Finnegan has already helped the Rams by injecting his personality into their defense.
In Week 2 against Washington, Finnegan goaded Redskins receiver Josh Morgan into a personal foul penalty at the end of the game when Morgan whipped a ball at Finnegan. The penalty turned a 47-yard field goal attempt to tie into a 62-yarder. It missed and the Titans won.
The Rams use Finnegan in a variety of spots, said Brady.
"I think wherever they want him to assert himself in the coverage in order to have the most opportunities to make plays, thats where he's going to be," said Brady. "In regular defense, their base defense, he's outside. They dont match a ton (meaning Finnegan on a specific receiver), although they do flip sides on occasion, but for the most part against us hell probably be inside all day."
Which means Finnegan will be lined up against an equally hard-nosed (though less vilified) player in Wes Welker.
"I have a lot of respect for (Finnegan)," said Brady. "He plays really hard. Wes Welker is very much the same way. Wes plays his butt off too, so its kind of our strength against one of their strengths."

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