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Tony Jefferson focusing on coverage skills in offseason

Anything extra he can do will help earn him playing time.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson has to know he will have to work extra hard to get playing time in 2015. The safety position is full of talented players. Rashad Johnson was one of the team's most important defensive players in 2014. Tyrann Mathieu is returning to form. The team drafted Deone Bucannon in the first round last year. Jefferson played an important role last season and was the league's leading tackler a few weeks into the season.

However, as Mathieu got healthier, Jefferson saw his role reduced.

So to combat that, he is focusing on an area of weakness for the team -- covering tight ends.

As noted in an ESPN story by Josh Weinfuss, "Jefferson spent his offseason focused on how to better cover tight ends, which will become a higher priority in the division now that Seattle has Jimmy Graham."

"A lot of it's technique," Jefferson said. "You got to keep your technique. A lot of times watching film, I got out of my technique. I had bad eyes. I was looking at the quarterback. I wasn't staying squared. I was just opening up and giving the guy a lane to run.

"I'm going to work on getting my hands on the tight ends and playing together."

Jefferson was a very good player playing in the box. He and others on the team were not as good at the tight end mismatches. If he can show he can consistently cover them, he will certainly find time on the field this season.