New York Jets: Kyle Wilson

Training camp preview: Secondary

July, 21, 2014
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Breaking down the New York Jets' roster, unit by unit, in preparation for training camp, July 23:

Position: Secondary

Patterson
Projected starters: Dee Milliner (CB), Dimitri Patterson (CB), Kyle Wilson (slot), Dawan Landry (S), Calvin Pryor (S).

Projected reserves: Antonio Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Dexter McDougle, Darrin Walls, Ellis Lankster.

Notables on the bubble: Josh Bush, Ras-I Dowling, Rontez Miles, Brandon Dixon (sixth-round pick).

Player to watch: Pryor. He was drafted 18th overall for a reason, and the reason is because the Jets believe he can be a great safety. Rex Ryan calls him an enforcer, comparing him to the late Jack Tatum. Ryan meant well, but he may have put a target on Pryor's back by putting him in the same sentence as one of the most notorious hitters in NFL history. He'll bring a physical, tough-guy element to the secondary, but what the secondary really needs is big plays -- interceptions, forced fumbles, anything. The secondary frightened no one last season.

Milliner
Top storyline: Did general manager John Idzik leave Ryan short at cornerback? It was one of the greatest cornerback classes in free-agent history and the Jets ended up with ... Patterson, a journeyman. Patterson, 31, with his sixth team, has natural ball skills, but he's never on the field long enough to use them. He has missed 33 of his last 48 games due to injuries. Ryan needs corners for his defense the way humans need water to survive. Milliner holds the key. If he becomes a legitimate No. 1 corner -- dare we say shutdown corner? -- it changes the face of the secondary. For the first time since 2006, the Jets don't have someone named Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie at corner. They need Milliner to ascend to that status.

Training camp will be a success if ... : Pryor is in the Week 1 lineup. The coaches say he's a smart cookie, but we'll see how he adapts when the pads go on and the playbook installation intensifies. It would be a major disappointment if he's not an immediate starter, considering his draft position and the relatively tame competition at safety.

Wild card: Landry's role. He played 98 percent of the defensive snaps last season, but he could lose his starting job if the Pryor-Allen tandem flourishes. Landry, known as "The Mentor," has value because of his smarts. But at what point does intelligence get trumped by youth and speed? It'll be a delicate balancing act in camp. The coaches have to get Landry ready while giving the Pryor-Allen duo a chance to develop chemistry.

By the numbers: The Jets' pass defense wasn't bad last season against three- and four-receiver groupings -- a 77.1 passer rating, according to ESPN Stats & Information. They struggled when it was only two receivers -- 103.9 rating.

Twitter mailbag: Was Coples trade bait?

June, 7, 2014
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Five players to watch in OTA's

May, 28, 2014
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Players not named Geno Smith with the most on the line in the New York Jets' OTA's, which continue Wednesday (open to the media):

1. Stephen Hill, wide receiver: If his balky knee cooperates, Hill needs to reinvent himself this spring and summer, validating the first-round grade he received from the Jets as a talented but unpolished wideout who came out of Georgia Tech in 2012. If all goes well, he could start opposite Eric Decker. If he remains an enigma, he could jeopardize his roster spot.

2. Jacoby Ford, wide receiver: Overshadowed by Decker and the three rookies at receiver, Ford has quietly impressed the coaching staff. People forget he was an ascending player for the Oakland Raiders in 2010 -- until injuries hit. If healthy, Ford could be a factor at receiver, not to mention a scary kickoff returner -- or just a tease.

3. Kyle Wilson, cornerback: After four years, the Jets know what the former first-round pick can do, but it'll be interesting to see if they can find anyone to do it better. They imported competition in the slot. If a newcomer jumps out (perhaps Johnny Patrick or rookie Dexter McDougle), Wilson -- always a notch below expectations -- could be expendable in the preseason.

4. Zach Sudfeld, tight end: A late arrival last season after being dropped by the New England Patriots, Sudfeld flashed potential as a receiver in limited action. The coaches like his upside, but they still drafted Jace Amaro in the second round. It's time to turn upside into production.

5. Quinton Coples, outside linebacker: These next few weeks aren't make or break for the former first-round pick, but Coples can establish a positive tone for the season by making big strides. This is his third season, and he acknowledged recently it's time to be more productive and assertive. We already know how Joe Klecko feels about him.

Twitter mailbag: Trade up for cornerback?

April, 12, 2014
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Your questions, my answers:

Sunday notes: The need for speed

April, 6, 2014
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A few thoughts and observations on the New York Jets:

1. With the 18th pick ...: The Jets still need receivers and there should be a few good ones available with their first-round pick. The three most commonly mentioned possibilities are LSU's Odell Beckham Jr., Oregon State's Brandin Cooks and USC's Marqise Lee. I asked ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. to give his take on which one would be the best fit for the Jets, and he said Beckham and Cooks.

"[Beckham], as a pure receiver, with his hands, his character, his attitude, his approach -- he’s outstanding," Kiper said. "Lee, you roll the dice a little. I don’t know if he’s as fast as they would want. ... In terms of just explosiveness, it would be Beckham or Cooks. Both can really fly. Beckham can be a No. 1, Cooks could be a great slot receiver. I see Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandin Cooks as ideal fits for the Jets."

I think speed is really important to the Jets because ... well, there's a lack of it on offense. Also, after signing the big-bodied Eric Decker, they need a burner to complement him, allowing the shifty and elusive Jeremy Kerley to play the slot. They've done a lot of homework on Lee and Cooks. In fact, they dispatched offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to their pro days on the West Coast. Cooks is scheduled to take a pre-draft visit, as is Beckham. They have plenty of intel on Beckham, as new special-teams coach Thomas McGaughey spent the past three years on the LSU staff.

2. Mel's lucky seven: From Kiper's vantage point (and many scouts agree), there are seven elite players in the draft. "The Super Seven," Kiper said. In no particular order, they are: Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, linebacker Khalil Mack, offensive linemen Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan, and wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans. If I were the Houston Texans, holding the No. 1 pick, I'd take Clowney and never look back.

3. How the mighty are falling: In 15 months as general manager, John Idzik has parted ways with three of Mike Tannenbaum's nine first-round draft picks -- Darrelle Revis (trade), Dustin Keller (free agent) and Mark Sanchez (cut). Next on the hot seat is Kyle Wilson, who is entering the final year of his contract. They've already sent a message to Wilson, acquiring two slot corners -- Dimitri Patterson and Johnny Patrick. (They also lost one, Isaiah Trufant.) The activity has fueled speculation in league circles that Wilson is on the way out. That's premature -- the Jets aren't thinking that way -- but it'll be interesting to see how it shakes out if they draft a cornerback in the first or second round, a definite possibility.

"[Wilson] makes no plays," an AFC scout said.

In four seasons, mostly in the slot, Wilson has played in 2,195 defensive snaps and has made only six impact plays, according to ESPN Stats & Information -- three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. He's a durable, hard-working player, but it's all about making plays. Clearly, the organization has added competition, so Wilson will have to raise his game if he wants to play out his contract in New York.

4. Raising the Barr: I think one of the most talked about players in the Jets' draft room will be UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr, who has the physical traits to be an outstanding speed-rusher -- and the Jets need one of those. Barr is projected to be picked in the 15 to 20 range, according to Kiper. The downside is that Barr was an H-Back until 2012, and the lack of experience on defense shows up despite impressive stats (10 sacks last season).

"He's a very intriguing guy," Kiper said. "There's a lot of polarization, a lot of mixed opinion. You can see the inexperience. You can see he doesn't always look like he understands how to play on the defensive side. He has a lot to learn, but he has a lot of talent."

My hunch: The Jets will pick a receiver or a corner at 18, maybe a tight end if North Carolina's Eric Ebron slips.

5. Ancient history: For what it's worth (probably not much at this point), the Jets really loved Chris Johnson in the 2008 draft. He ended up going 24th, 18 spots after Vernon Gholston and six spots ahead of where they traded up to pick Dustin Keller. Sorry about the Gholston reference; I know it causes agita among fans.

6. Potential Johnson fallout: If the Jets sign Johnson -- knowing Idzik's style, I'll believe it when I see it -- they'd have five veteran running backs. The most expendable player would be Mike Goodson, recovering from ACL surgery and still entangled in his legal issues. He's counting $1.3 million on the cap, and they could save $720,000 by releasing him. He also has a $650,000 roster bonus written into the contract, but it was restructured in such a way that he doesn't get the money unless he's on the roster, injured reserve or PUP for 16 games. Bottom line: They can cut him without much fuss or muss.

7. Pre-draft visits: Each team is allowed to conduct 30 visits with non-local prospects. We in the media tend to overplay these visits, looking for a quick headline. They don't always mean the team is interested. In some cases, the team could be looking for a specific piece of information on a player they didn't get a chance to interview on the scouting circuit. Teams also have been known to use pre-draft visits to feign interest in players, hoping to disguise their draft intentions. In most cases, though, the objective is to learn more about the players. The Jets learned a lot a few years ago, when a highly regarded prospect (sorry, can't use his name) fell asleep while waiting outside Tannenbaum's office. Obviously, that was a major turn-off. The player ended up being a first-round pick by an AFC East team, and he still plays for that team.

7.a. Speaking of visits ...: Some of the bigger names on the Jets' visit list are Beckham, Cooks, Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans, Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro, Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby.

8. Hanging with the cool kids: The Jets are the 16th-most popular team among the major sports, according to Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight.com blog -- now part of ESPN. How does he arrive at that conclusion? His definition of popularity is based on the number of Google searches. The New York Yankees (5.83 million) and Boston Red Sox (5.69 million) lead the way. The top NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys (4.45 million), followed by the Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings and Jets.

Dimitri Patterson signing raises questions

April, 1, 2014
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A few thoughts on cornerback Dimitri Patterson signing a one-year, $3 million contract with the New York Jets:

Patterson
1. A head scratcher: In the end, general manager John Idzik preferred a $3 million cornerback with major durability issues over a $3.5 million corner (Antonio Cromartie) who never has missed a game in his career due to injury and already is comfortable in Rex Ryan's system. On the surface, this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Idzik is gambling that Patterson can beat the injury bug that cost him 24 games over the last two seasons. Granted, Cromartie didn't play well last season, but he's a scheme fit and his troublesome hip is said to be doing better. He's getting $3.5 million from the Arizona Cardinals, who think he'll be fine.

2. Mr. Inside: Patterson started four games for the Miami Dolphins last season, but his best position is the nickel -- specifically, covering the slot receiver. The Dolphins were thin at corner, so they had to start him. A review of Dolphins tape shows that, early in the season, Patterson started at right corner and slid inside on nickel downs. Said one AFC personnel scout: "He's a borderline starter, but you really want him as your 3. I bet you they draft a guy because he's not a press (coverage) guy in the way Rex likes to press."

3. Projected role: The size of Patterson's contract suggests he will be on the field a lot, starting opposite Dee Milliner or playing in the nickel. Right now, he's the leading candidate to replace Cromartie in the lineup. This won't preclude the Jets from drafting a corner, perhaps in the first two rounds. Remember, Patterson is just a stop-gap. Scouts, Inc. has 15 corners rated in their top 100, so they should be able to find a potential starter in the first three rounds. If they pick a corner early, it could jeopardize Kyle Wilson's roster spot.

4. Nice productivity: Limited to only six games because of a groin injury that hampered him the entire season, Patterson finished with four interceptions (in 228 defensive snaps) -- one more pick than anybody on the Jets. Patterson recorded two interceptions in the opener, although the first was a gift deflection. His best play came against the New England Patriots in the seventh game, when he dropped into a zone from the slot, made a nice read on Tom Brady and stepped in front of Rob Gronkowski to make the interception. Patterson shows nice instincts and ball skills, but he lacks catch-up speed. And, of course, he can't stay healthy.

NFL meetings: Takeaways on the Jets

March, 27, 2014
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After two days at the NFL owners' meetings at a swanky resort hotel in Orlando (picture a lot of palm trees, giant fountains and stretch limos), I offer a few thoughts and observations:

1. Woody likes DeSean: Even though the New York Jets tried to downplay Woody Johnson's surprisingly candid remarks about the team's interest in DeSean Jackson, I came away with the sense that the owner is very intrigued by the Philadelphia Eagles' wide receiver. Behind the scenes, Johnson spoke highly of Jackson, who reportedly is on the trading block. Could this be Johnson's new Tebow crush?

2. Broken record: I think "sustainable success" has replaced "competition" as John Idzik's new mantra. Heard it more than a few times during interviews and casual conversations. My impression is that fans already are tired of it.

3. Geno vs. Mike: I find it interesting that, unlike a year ago, team officials were reluctant to use the phrase "open competition" to describe the current quarterback situation with Geno Smith and Michael Vick. You heard a lot of, "Geno will be hard to beat out" and "Mike will help Geno." Two fascinating dynamics here: The organization (mainly Idzik) wants Smith to be the opening-day starter. Most football people would agree that Vick, if healthy, is a better quarterback than Smith. It should make for a compelling summer.

4. The Idzik 12: The organization was holding out hope for a third-round compensatory pick, but it was delighted to receive a fourth rounder and three sixth-round choices. With 12 draft choices, the Jets were downright giddy, imagining the possibilities on May 8-10.

5. Corner concern: Rex Ryan downplayed his concern with the current state of the cornerback position, insisting he can make it work. Give the man an Oscar; you bet he's worried about the position. I found it interesting that, amid all the damage control, Kyle Wilson's name rarely came up. That may not be a good omen for Wilson, a former first-round pick.

6. Bargain shopping: Now that the first wave of free agency is over, look for the Jets to jump into the secondary market -- meaning short-term contracts for second- and third-tier players.

7. Goodbye, Sanchize: Ryan seemed genuinely disappointed that things didn't work out with Mark Sanchez. Sanchez was Ryan's first draft pick, back in 2009, and there was a time when it seemed like a no-brainer that he'd be the starting quarterback for at least a decade.

8. Loss of an icon: Owners and league officials often give scripted answers to questions from the media, but there was a genuine outpouring of emotion when it was announced that Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson had died at the age of 95. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, in an interview with the Buffalo News, teared up as he spoke about Wilson.

Cornerback crisis puts Rex on edge

March, 17, 2014
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The New York Jets' current cornerback crisis reminds me of an anecdote shared by former general manager Mike Tannenbaum. This was back in April 2010, when they had just used their first-round pick on cornerback Kyle Wilson. They already had Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, so there was some question about the wisdom of adding another corner.
Ryan
Tannenbaum recalled a conversation with Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. When he hired Rex Ryan from the Ravens' staff in 2009, Tannenbaum asked Newsome what to expect.

"(Newsome) said, 'I'm shipping him up I-95, and he has a little sign around his neck that says, 'I need corners,'" Tannenbaum said at the time. "That's just who Rex is. He cannot have enough corners."

So it doesn't take a lot of imagination to understand how Ryan is feeling these days: He's freaking out.

The Jets cut Cromartie (an expected move), showed no interest in Revis when he became a free agent and haven't added any veteran corners. (Sorry, we're not counting San Diego Chargers castoff Johnny Patrick.) Their top corners, as we speak, are Dee Milliner, Wilson, Patrick and Darrin Walls.

Oh, boy.

Free agent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie visited Saturday before heading over to the New York Giants for a sitdown. He's the best available corner in a thinned-out market. He's far from perfect (he was awful for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012), but he's 28 years old, can play man-to-man and is coming off a good season with the Denver Broncos. He might not be a 10, but when an 8 hangs out with a bunch of 5s and 6s, he looks like a super hero. (Kind of reminds me of that funny nightclub scene in "Hall Pass," a very under-rated movie, if I must say.)

The ESPN free-agent tracker rates Rodgers-Cromartie, Dimitri Patterson (cut by the Miami Dolphins) and Carlos Rogers (cut by the San Francisco 49ers) as the best available corners. I'd add Cromartie to that list.

The tracker scouting reports:

Rodgers-Cromartie: "One of the best corners on the market, Rodgers-Cromartie was a solid starter on a unit that struggled in 2013. He has good size, and his length and ball skills allow him the chance to make a lot of plays. On film it looks like his pedal and turn are not always consistent, which is why he gets beaten deep too often, but he will show some good flashes in man coverage and can be effective in sub packages. He can be susceptible to double moves."

Patterson: "Patterson has very good ball skills and the route recognition to play man-to-man defense as a perimeter cornerback. Was productive when he played in 2013 but a groin injury limited him and eventually led to him being placed on injured reserve. Does not have great size or length but can be a short-term starting option for a defensive back-needy team."

Rogers: "A soon-to-be 33-year old who is now best suited to handle slot duties after several productive seasons with both Washington and then San Francisco. Rogers' injury issues have been concerning in recent seasons, and after a standout 2011, he's regressed in overall play. He has strong ball skills but lacks the burst to stick with wideouts on the perimeter."

Game recap: What we learned

August, 25, 2013
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Ten takeaways from the Jets' costly win over the Giants:

1. Geno Smith isn't ready: He made a lot of rookie mistakes in his first extended action, but guess what? He's a rookie. Smith saw a lot of things for the first time -- a six-man rush on his second interception and a defensive lineman in coverage on the third pick. The safety was inexcusable, just a mental lapse by a young player lost in the moment. Two things I noticed: He stared down receivers and held the ball too long. On the positive side, he completed his last six passes (five against the Giants' backups), showing the ability to drive the ball on intermediate routes.

2. Rex Ryan didn't trust his instincts: Yes, Ryan announced Thursday that Mark Sanchez would play in the game, but he should've altered the plan on the fly once he saw how the game unfolded. Because of Smith's struggles, it was clear that Sanchez would be the opening-day starter. Ryan shouldn't have played him unless it was behind the first-team line, not behind the likes of Caleb Schlauderaff and J.B. Shugarts. You have to wonder if Ryan was following orders from GM John Idzik.

3. Stephen Hill needs to grow up: He has a lot of talent inside that big body, but he tends to lose his cool. He took a swing at LB Jacquian Williams, resulting in a personal foul, and he lost a fumble a couple of plays later, failing to secure the ball. That he was in the game was another mistake by Ryan, who should've taught him a lesson by benching him after the dumb penalty.

4. They need Santonio Holmes more than ever: Aside from Hill's shenanigans, the Jets dropped three passes, shades of the daily drop-fests in minicamp. The best receiver was rookie free agent Ryan Spadola, who caught three passes for 110 yards. On the positive side, newly signed Mohamed Massaquoi got into the game and made two nice catches. If I'm Braylon Edwards, I'm worried about my roster spot. By the way, Holmes looked fine in pre-game warmups. You have to think he'll be ready for Week 1.

5. Perimeter run defense is still a concern: This was an issue last season, and it didn't look any better in this game -- see David Wilson's 84-yard TD run. Interestingly, the defense came out in a 4-3 look, with three linebackers stacked behind the line. It resembled the old Tampa-2 defense. The Jets seemed a bit confused by the Giants' twin-fullback look. LB Demario Davis got caught in traffic, S Antonio Allen blew his gap assignment, and CB Antonio Cromartie and LB Garrett McIntyre couldn't get off their blocks. In a heartbeat, Wilson was gone, too fast for anyone on the Jets' D.

6. The defense got mad: To its credit, the defense responded nicely after the Wilson TD. Despite bad field position, courtesy of Smith's three interceptions, the Jets held the Giants to three points on the next eight possessions, including a goal-line stand. They dominated the Giants' patchwork line, with DT Sheldon Richardson (one sack, two QB hits) and NT Damon Harrison (seven solo tackles) generating inside pressure. Richardson lined up in several different spots before leaving with an undisclosed injury. They have to be encouraged by their young linemen.

7. They miss Darrelle Revis: Kyle Wilson is entering his fourth year, yet he still makes the same mistakes he did as a rookie. He still lacks awareness when the ball is in the air. In this game, the result was three pass-interference penalties. This is why he was moved back to his nickel-back role as soon as rookie Dee Milliner reported to camp. Milliner didn't play because of an injury, but he hasn't lit it up. The Jets will be vulnerable against opponents with good No. 2 receivers.

8. Brian Winters really exists: The third-round guard, hampered by an ankle injury throughout camp, made his preseason debut. Winters replaced LG Vladimir Ducasse (leg injury) early in the game and ended up making a nice pulling block on Bilal Powell's two-yard TD run in the third quarter. Winters is the future at left guard. For now, it'll be Ducasse or Stephen Peterson, who played center with the second unit and allowed a sack.

9. Nick Folk keeps it interesting: Now we know why they keep importing competition for Folk. In overtime, he was wide right on a 39-yard FG attempt. A few minutes later, challenger Billy Cundiff won it with a 32-yarder. It looks like the kicking battle will last a little longer.

10. Mayday Malone responds: With his job in jeopardy, incumbent P Robert Malone had a fantastic game, putting all three punts inside the 20. Challenger Ryan Quigley, who had been having a solid camp, suffered a poor game. This could be over.

Cromartie talks about life after Revis

May, 16, 2013
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Antonio Cromartie wasn't happy when he first learned that fellow cornerback Darrelle Revis was going to be traded.

"It sucks," Cromartie told the New York Daily News, just before the deal officially went down.

On Thursday, addressing a full contingent of reporters for the first time since the April 21 trade, Cromartie sounded more resigned to the move.

[+] EnlargeAntonio Cromartie
AP Photo/Rich SchultzAntonio Cromartie was in good humor Thursday.
"You just gotta move forward. You can't pout about it," Cromartie said. "It's a business. I think my job here is just to make sure, for one, that I'm ready to go out and play and make sure that the younger guys are ready to come out and play. That's the kind of role I'm trying to take on, and make sure guys are doing what they're supposed to do."

The Jets felt comfortable dealing Revis in part because Cromartie performed so well as the team's No. 1 corner after Revis was hurt early last season.

"I just go out and play football," Cromartie said. "If that's how they felt, that's how they felt."

Cromartie had 10 interceptions in 2007 as a member of the San Diego Chargers. But he said he felt last season was even better, because of his consistency.

"I think I can maintain the consistency," Cromartie said. "That's the goal."

As for who will be playing opposite him, the leading candidate is rookie Dee Milliner, drafted with the ninth overall pick last month out of Alabama.

"He's a smart kid," Cromartie said. "I think Dee is gonna come in and help us out a lot. Just from watching the film on him, he's a physical-type guy to come up and will support the run. That's something that's gonna help out big for us. We're not looking for him to fill anybody's shoes. He's Dee Millner and he's gotta be himself."

Cromartie also talked up Kyle Wilson, the team's first-round draft pick in 2010, who started 15 games last season.

"I think he's gonna take a big step this year. I honestly believe that," Cromartie said. "He's been working hard this offseason, both of us have. I think by us pushing each other, going out and making sure we're competing, it's gonna bring the more competitive side out of him once we're on the football field. ... I think it's gonna be his best year."

Positional analysis: Secondary

February, 13, 2013
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This is Part 8 in a nine-part analysis of the Jets -- a position-by-position breakdown as we head toward the scouting combine and free agency:

SECONDARY

2012 depth chart: Antonio Cromartie (starter), Kyle Wilson (starter), LaRon Landry (starter), Yeremiah Bell (starter), Ellis Lankster, Eric Smith, Antonio Allen, Josh Bush, Aaron Berry, Darrin Walls, Donnie Fletcher, Darrelle Revis (injured/starter), Isaiah Trufant (injured).

[+] EnlargeDarrelle Revis
Doug Murray/Icon SMIWould the Chiefs trade the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft to acquire star Jets CB Darrelle Revis?
Overview: The Jets finished No. 2 in pass defense, but that rank is deceiving because they weren't tested that often. Only 494 passes were attempted against the Jets, the third-lowest total in the league. Their opponents didn't have to play a lot of catch-up, so there was no reason to air it out. That said, the Jets' secondary still was solid across the board, highlighted by the performances of Cromartie and Landry. It would've been a special group if Revis had remained healthy, but Rex Ryan & Co. were forced to change on the fly when Revis went down in Week 3. Overall, this was the best unit on the team, although it came up short in the big-play categories.

Free agents: Landry, Bell.

2013 personnel preview: In a perfect world, Revis would return healthy and they'd re-sign Landry and Bell, forming one of the best defensive backfields in the league. But that won't happen because of the economic realities of the sport. Concerned about their ability to re-sign Revis, the Jets might trade their best player -- a controversial move that would be debated for years. They probably will lose Landry, who is believed to be seeking at least $6 million a year. They'd have to rebuild around Cromartie and Wilson, which won't sit well with an impatient fan base. Allen and Bush aren't ready to take over at safety, so they might have to retain Smith ($3 million cap charge) and keep Bell on the backburner unless a better option comes along.

Salary-cap situation: The Jets need to make a decision soon on Revis. He's due a $1 million roster bonus in mid-March, and Cromartie is scheduled for a $2.3 million roster bonus a few days earlier. It's the first of three $1 million bonuses for Revis, who will make a total of $6 million in 2013 -- $3.5 million less than Cromartie. And you can bet that isn't sitting well with the Revis camp.

Quarterly report: Playing time for D

October, 8, 2012
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A playing-time breakdown for every player on defense through the first four games (284 snaps):

DEFENSIVE LINE

Muhammad Wilkerson -- 238 snaps, 84 percent

Mike DeVito -- 164 snaps, 58 percent

Sione Po'uha -- 128 snaps, 45 percent

Kenrick Ellis -- 110 snaps, 39 percent

Quinton Coples -- 104 snaps, 37 percent

Marcus Dixon -- 57 snaps, 20 percent

LINEBACKER

David Harris -- 284 snaps, 100 percent

Calvin Pace -- 274 snaps, 96 percent

Bart Scott -- 234 snaps, 82 percent

Garrett McIntyre -- 128 snaps, 45 percent

Aaron Maybin -- 48 snaps, 17 percent

Bryan Thomas -- 42 snaps, 15 percent

Josh Mauga -- 39 snaps, 14 percent

Demario Davis -- 16 snaps, 6 percent

SECONDARY

Yeremiah Bell -- 284 snaps, 100 percent

LaRon Landry -- 272 snaps, 96 percent

Antonio Cromartie -- 266 snaps, 94 percent

Kyle Wilson -- 226 snaps, 80 percent

Darrelle Revis -- 93 snaps, 33 percent

Ellis Lankster -- 61 snaps, 21 percent

Eric Smith -- 55 snaps, 19 percent

Isaiah Trufant -- 9 snaps, 3 percent

Joe McKnight -- 2 snaps, 0.7 percent

Analysis: The biggest story here is Maybin's lack of playing time. You knew he'd fall short of his goal of becoming a full-time player, but 12 snaps per game is on the low side. DC Mike Pettine said Maybin will see more time Monday night, which means they could have a special package for him ... Look for Ellis and Coples to see increased playing time ... Davis is a surprise. He figured to be more involved in sub packages. They could use his speed on the field ... Tremendous durability by Bell and Harris.

Coach's big decision: Blitz Schaub?

October, 6, 2012
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It's a statistical fact: Texans QB Matt Schaub is significantly less effective when facing added pressure. Against five or more pass rushers, he has completed only 50 percent of his passes, ranking 27th in the league in that category, according to ESPN Stats & Information. As a comparison, his completion rate is nearly 74 percent when facing four or fewer rushers.

The Jets are one of the most aggressive defenses in the league, so this should be a no-brainer, right? Not necessarily. The loss of CB Darrelle Revis could force them to alter their approach Monday night at MetLife Stadium.

If Rex Ryan and coordinator Mike Pettine dial up the blitz, it'll put their Revis-less secondary in a bind. It would leave new starting CB Kyle Wilson in a lot of single coverage. They got away with it last week -- they used a safety in the box to help the porous run defense -- but the 49ers' passing offense isn't nearly as dangerous as that of the Texans.

Wilson wouldn't get much safety help with WR Kevin Walter, whom he's likely to cover in man-to-man situations. Ditto, CB Antonio Cromartie, who will have his hands full with WR Andre Johnson. Revis always used to cover Johnson, essentially taking him out of the game, but now the chore falls to Cromartie, who will try to be aggressive with the physical Johnson.

The Jets would be playing with fire if they blitz Schaub. Then again, can they afford not to?

Playing time: Invisible Mayhem

October, 2, 2012
10/02/12
6:00
AM ET
A breakdown of the defensive snaps from Sunday's game (based on a total of 72):

LINEMEN

Muhammad Wilkerson -- 64

Mike DeVito -- 45

Sione Po'uha -- 45

Quinton Coples -- 41

Kenrick Ellis -- 39

LINEBACKERS

David Harris -- 72

Calvin Pace -- 71

Bart Scott -- 61

Bryan Thomas -- 33

Demario Davis -- 10

Garrett McIntyre -- 7

Josh Mauga -- 2

Aaron Maybin -- 2

SECONDARY

Yeremiah Bell -- 72

LaRon Landry -- 70

Antonio Cromartie -- 65

Kyle Wilson -- 63

Eric Smith -- 16

Ellis Lankster -- 12

Joe McKnight -- 2

Analysis: As expected, the Jets played more 4-3 than usual, resulting in higher play counts for the defensive linemen. No. 1 pick Coples played a season-high in terms of snap percentage ... Maybin played a season-low two snaps, in part, because he's not used in run-oriented packages -- and the 49ers spent most of the game running the ball ... McKnight made his 2012 debut, a cameo as a blitzing slot corner ... McIntyre's PT dropped way down with the return of Thomas ... No. 3 pick Davis played a season high ...

Report card: Close to a Blutarsky

October, 1, 2012
10/01/12
10:37
AM ET


F

RUSHING OFFENSE

Let's be honest: Ground & Pound is a myth. The Jets managed only 45 yards, tied for the second-lowest total in the Rex Ryan era. It was the third straight game under 100. The offensive line got no push whatsoever, facing a talented defensive front that didn't have one of its top run stuffers -- NT Isaac Sopoaga. When there was a crease, RB Shonn Greene failed to capitalize. The Jets didn't have a run longer than five yards, which is mind boggling. The loss of FB John Conner (hamstring) forced them to adjust. Obviously, they didn't adjust well.

F

PASSING OFFENSE

This is about as bad as it gets: Mark Sanchez averaged only 3.0 yards per attempt, barely hitting the 100-yard mark (103). He missed open receivers, even on short passes -- 8-for-17 on throws within five yards of the line of scrimmage, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That includes a screen pass that was tipped and intercepted. The passing game is completely out of sync; they continue to make mistakes that should've been corrected in the first week of training camp. The pass protection (three sacks) was shaky, as RT Austin Howard and LG Matt Slauson got beat for sacks. Memo to Sanchez and Tony Sparano: You're allowed to throw to running backs.

F

RUSHING DEFENSE

Sorry to be a broken record here, but this is about as bad as it gets: The Jets allowed 245 yards, the largest total in 52 games under Ryan. Hold your nose, because these guys stunk. The 49ers staged a clinic, exposing every weakness in the Jets' defense. They attacked the perimeter (who doesn't?) with remarkable success. In fact, 149 of the 245 yards came outside the tackles, per ESPN Stats. The Jets knew it was coming and loaded up with their big people, playing a lot of 4-3. No matter. The defensive line played another poor game. The 49ers schooled the Jets with their version of the Tebow package, as QB Colin Kaepernick burned them with two big runs. Stat of the day: Kaepernick rushed for more yards (50) than the entire Jets team.

C

PASSING DEFENSE

Alex Smith passed for only 143 yards and had no TDs, but we're not tossing out an 'A' here. The Jets were lucky because it could've been a lot worse. Smith, not known for his deep passing, overthrew two open receivers -- both of whom beat CB Kyle Wilson. That won't happen against the better downfield passing teams. Wilson was mediocre in his first start for Darrelle Revis. He was flagged for pass interference on the first play of the game, and he made only a token effort to tackle Kaepernick on his 7-yard TD run. The good news is, the Jets contained TE Vernon Davis and they held the 49ers to 4-for-12 on third down. Hey, it's something.

D

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Jets had a punt blocked for the first time since 2008, setting up the 49ers' final TD. Ryan was furious because he said it came on "a one-man rush." Otherwise, the Jets went toe-to-toe with one of the better special-teams units in the league. They managed to contain old nemesis Ted Ginn on punt returns, and they've developed a knack for making opponents miss field goals -- two misses for the second week in a row. Is it a knack or is it just luck? A question for another day.

F

COACHING

The Jets got beat by a better team, but it's how they got beat that was alarming. They were pushovers, beat up physically and mentally. That's on Ryan, who failed to rouse his team from its post-Revis hangover. The Jets played as if they've lost all hope for the season. They had no answers for the 49ers' inside-outside rushing attack, suffering one of the worst defensive days in the history of the Ryan family. Offensively, they continued to regress, resembling the unit that stunk up the preseason. They should've moved the pocket more often and they should've tried more quick screens to the wide receivers, a 49ers weakness exposed last week by the Vikings. This was a lowpoint for Ryan and his staff.



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