Friday, August 30, 2013
Jets have big questions at cornerback
By Rich Cimini
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Interesting night for a couple of Jets cornerbacks.
Rookie Dee Milliner, who didn't play in the Jets' 27-20 victory over the Eagles, was seen leaving MetLife Stadium in a walking boot. The top pick has been dealing with a calf injury for a couple of weeks, but this was the first time he was seen in a boot -- hardly the picture you want to see 10 days before the season opener.
Another interesting scene: Nickel CB Kyle Wilson, working with the starters in Milliner's place, started and played much of the first half. Rex Ryan rested nearly every starter and key reserve, so it was a surprise to see Wilson so involved in the final preseason game.
Teams often have a hidden agenda when giving a veteran significant playing time in the finale, perhaps showcasing him for a trade.
"We want to get Kyle some returns," Rex Ryan said. "That was the main thing because he's our backup kickoff returner and punt returner. You don't want to throw him out there just to do that specifically, so we put him out there on the corner and let him have at it."
Wilson didn't return any kickoffs; he had one punt return for six yards. The Jets' top cornerback, Antonio Cromartie, got the night off.
Jason's horror show: The Jets' pass protection in the first half was brutal, to use one of Ryan's favorite words, largely because veteran LT Jason Smith was a human turnstile. Unofficially, Smith allowed three of the seven sacks. The Jets, looking for a backup swing tackle, re-signed him last week, thinking he'd be a veteran presence. Now they may have to look elsewhere.
Afterward, Smith "respectfully" declined to comment.
With the starters resting, the Jets' line, from left to right, was Smith, rookie Brian Winters, Caleb Schlauderaff, Vladimir Ducasse and Oday Aboushi. Smith didn't play the second half and the Jets didn't allow a sack. Coincidence?
One and done: Newly signed QB Graham Harrell, who arrived Wednesday, played a grand total of one snap -- a kneel-down at the end of the game. The Jets have five quarterbacks on the roster. Ryan didn't rule out the possibility of keeping four. Greg McElroy, who aggravated a knee injury in practice, didn't play.