Older AFCE
Luciano 11

Older AFCE

Jets Flight Weekly …

Jets Flight Weekly …
Luciano 11
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By Luciano F. Rapa

Featured writer for Sideline Report covering the Jets

A closer look at the New York Jets Roster …… Defense Part 1 of 2

Last two weeks we looked at the offense, and the mess it was. This week we focus on the defense. This too will be a two-part article, getting to know all the pieces of Rex’s puzzle. You can make a case that this unit won 8 games last season, if not, then at the very least they accounted for 6 of them.

Antonio Cromartie Kyle Wilson Dee Milliner

1. Cornerbacks Aaron Berry, Antonio Cromartie, Ras-I Dowling, Ellis Lankster, Dee Milliner, Lowell Rose, Isaiah Trufant, Darrin Walls, Kyle Wilson, Nick Taylor

a. Berry was a good sign, but he his injuries have destroyed a once promising career. I have to say gone!

b. Cromartie is an interesting decision. He was hurt for most of 2013, and his play clearly dropped. He loves Rex and the Jets and my guess is Cro gets cut and resigned at a much more favorable deal. He has been very valuable as a return man as well. His lanky but speedy body fools a lot of people. Cro still has gas in his tank, and I hope he burns it in NY.

c. Dowling was a brilliant move. One that many “jealous” Bostonians have already knocked. He is signed as a reserve/future’s contract, meaning little CAP issues. If he comes back, he would be a huge nickel/dime addition. This ain’t the Pats, he will not need to star to succeed.

d. Lankster is one of those guys you never talk about, but his value is huge. He is called upon every time Cro, Milliner or Wilson go down, and he has filled in very well.

e. Milliner was the Jets #1 pick a year ago, He started very slow and hurt the team a few times. I like the fact that Rex had no problem teaching the kid a lesson, and benched him. It seemed to have worked, because in the end he was very valuable. I expect Milliner to contribute and become one of the cornerstones at CB.

f. Wilson has never been able to become a full time CB. Rex has found his value, and that is at the slot CB position. His instincts are very good, and he is able to cover the faster slot receivers. I like Wilson in this spot.

g. Trufant & Walls are both basically your Lanksters. Good role players, valuable in a D that relies on lots of corners.

h. Rose is a project from little Tulsa, and Taylor was signed in the same manner as Dowling. I can see one of them emerging as a an important role player.

Let’s face it, CBs are like the spoon that feeds Rex’s defense. His style requires numerous of them, why? Because he can throw 8 at you at times, depending on what he has up his sleeves. The Jets will exploit a free agent to add to the equation, or possibly a draftee. Either way, no question, that as long as Rex is in charge, this defense will have plenty of corners.

 Darrin Walls Ellis Lankster Isaiah Trufant 

Nick Taylor Ras-I Dowling Lowell Rose

# Player

Age

Height

Weight

Year exp.

College
22 Aaron Berry

CB

25

5-11

180

5

Pittsburgh
31 Antonio Cromartie

CB

29

6-2

210

9

Florida State
Ras-I Dowling

CB

25

6-1

210

3

Virginia
21 Ellis Lankster

CB

26

5-9

190

5

West Virginia
27 Dee Milliner

CB

22

6-0

201

2

Alabama
Lowell Rose

CB

23

6-0

192

1

Tulsa
35 Isaiah Trufant

CB

31

5-8

170

4

E. Washington
30 Darrin Walls

CB

25

6-0

190

4

Notre Dame
20 Kyle Wilson

CB

26

5-10

190

5

Boise State
Nick Taylor

DB

25

5-10

165

2

Florida Int.
Average

23.4

6′

173

3.6

 

 Antonio Allen Dawan Landry Ed Reed

2. Safeties Antonio Allen, Josh Bush, Brandon Hardin, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Dawan Landry, Rontez Miles, Ed Reed

a. Allen is a very interesting young man. Drafted 7th in 2012 as the second of two similar safeties, he was actually projected by the team as the better one of the two. Since then Bush has taken a back seat to this talented little truck. Allen started the year and played in every game until they decided to bring in Reed. I was not happy about getting Reed exactly for this reason. Although, I believe Allen benefitted from playing behind the HoFer, he should have been on the field. Allen is very physical, and you will often see him leapfrogging over DLs and LBs to stop the runner in the backfield. I like him, and he will be one of two starters at safety.

b. Bush is a bigger hitter than Allen, but he is not as quick, and doesn’t have the ability to cover as well. However, Bush is a good 3rd option, and still very young with much to learn.

c. Landry was a very good sign, and cheap. He followed in his brother’s footsteps to regain his value, yet he is not a FA at this time. Landry was extremely good against the run, not so much against the pass. His open field tackling abilities are superb, and unlike his brother, he stais on the field. Landry should start again along youngster Allen, but this unit could use another option. Both Allen and Landry are really SS, the Jets need a pure FS; one that can support and close the gap between WR and CB in a hurry. At 800K annually, Landry is an excellent player.

d. Ed Reed, it was a short stint with 3 INTs, his trademark. His age, his diminished skills and no contract, make this an easy decision. We need a young FS, even a seasoned one would be good, but not Reed. There are plenty of replacements available in Free Agency, and I expect the Jets to sign one.

e. Hardin was signed to reserve/future contract. He is coming back from shoulder injury. Was a Jets target in the 2012 draft, but chosen in the third by the Bears. Only time will tell if he is the answer or just a back up at FS.

f. Jarrett played in every game last season, in one capacity or another. He is a FS, but not starter material. He fits the Rex mold of do it all DBs, and I would be shocked if he is not on the roster as depth.

g. Miles is a project, but already in his mid 20s with no NFL experience. Will have to fight competition to stay on the team, he excels on STs.

This is the weakest group of this excellent defense. Most people blame the CBs for the “against the pass” stats. Although Cromartie did have a down year, and it took Milliner ¾ of the season to realize that the NFL is not the SEC, I still think much of the blame has to go to a lack of a true FS. These guys were all good at stopping the run, and supporting the front 7, but not so much against the pass. This defense had an unusual low number of INTs, and mostly it was do to the fact the CBs had little to no help from the middle. It was very irritating to watch games were long passes were completed and the Safety was 10 yards away. It took Reed the last 3 games to actually begin to gel, and even as slow as he now is, he changed the dynamics, and this defense looked more complete. Reed is not the answer, however his presence proved that a FS is a must!

Jaiquawn Jarrett Josh Bush

Rontez Miles Brandon Hardin

#

Player

Age

Height

Weight

Years Exp.

College

39

Antonio Allen

S

25

6-1

210

3

South Carolina

32

Josh Bush

S

24

5-11

205

3

Wake Forest

Brandon Hardin

S

24

6-3

217

3

Oregon State

37

Jaiquawn Jarrett

S

24

6-0

196

3

Temple

26

Dawan Landry

S

31.00

6-1

212.00

9

Georgia Tech

45

Rontez Miles

S

25

6-0

202

1

California (PA)

22

Ed Reed

S

35

5-11

205

13

Miami (Fla.)
Average

23.5

5’11”

181

4.4

 

………..next week we will take a closer look at LBs and DL

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