Monday, August 9, 2010
Rookie report: Kyle Wilson, starter?
By Rich Cimini
Rex Ryan suggested Monday that rookie CB Kyle Wilson will start the pre-season opener Monday night against the New York Giants. Wilson, the New York Jets' No. 1 pick, was elevated to the first team for last Saturday night's Green and White scrimmage. On Monday morning, he once again worked with the starters.
One of the cornerback spots is unsettled because, in case you haven't heard, All-Pro Darrelle Revis is holding out of camp, demaning a new contract. Initially, the Jets put Dwight Lowery in the lineup, but -- in a weird twist -- Lowery told secondary coach Dennis Thurman that it would be better for Wilson (and the team) if the rookie received the starter's share of the reps.
Hence, Wilson and Antonio Cromartie are the cornerback tandem.
"Some people, when they're with the 2s, play like a 2," Thurman said. "When they're with the 3s, they play like a 3. We wanted to give (Wilson) the opportunity to play with the 1s and see what would happen. He held his own, and that's what we expected. In reality, we expect he's going to play well. He's surrounded by other excellent players."
Wilson (29th overall) has "rare ability," according to Rex Ryan. His burst to the ball is obvious. He also has a smooth hip-turn, vital for a cornerback, and tremendous footwork. At times, he seems a little indecisive, especially in zone. But that's going to happen with rookies.
Initially, Wilson was projected as the starting nickel back, covering the slot receiver. That's a difficult position to master, especially for someone unfamiliar with the role. Now he's trying to learn a different spot in the defense, which means there's a lot on his plate. Too much? Thurman doesn't think so.
"Hey, there's peer pressure," Thurman said. "He's got to step into that huddle and get the job done. Our anticipation is that he'll be where he needs to be when it's time to play."