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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
A look at the Jets' passive-aggressive D


With help from co-host Jenny Dell and some insightful data from ESPN's Stats & Information crew, analyst Tim Hasselbeck explained how the New York Jets' defense has evolved into a unit that gave Peyton Manning and Tom Brady fits.

Now they'll try to confuse Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the AFC Championship Game.

The Jets have dialed back their blitzes. They've flooded the field with defensive backs and rushed four or fewer defensive linemen the past couple of weeks.

"The Jets were so aggressive [early in the season], bringing all kinds of blitz pressure," Hasselbeck said. "They were really leaving their corners out there on an island. Everybody talks about Revis Island, but you're asking other guys -- safety players, linebackers -- to cover with no help. It's hard to do that consistently.

"What you've seen from the Jets now is a change in their philosophy. They're still aggressive. They'll still come after you. At the same time, they've backed off a little bit.

"So it's not so predictable. Teams can't game plan and know when that pressure is coming."

Hasselbeck speculated, after two weeks of not blitzing Manning or Brady, the Jets would crank up their pass rush against the Steelers.

Hasselbeck also broke down the importance of a healthy Troy Polamalu to the Steelers' defense.