Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Rookie Wilson off to rocky start
By Ian Begley
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Just think, Jets fans. If Darrelle Revis were still holding out, Kyle Wilson would be your starting cornerback.
And after his performance on Monday night, that's a scary thought.
The highly touted rookie struggled mightily in his NFL debut, committing a costly pass-interference penalty late in the first half and getting torched by Anquan Boldin all night in the Jets' 10-9 loss to the Ravens.
Of course, you can't put the blame for the Jets' ugly loss entirely on Wilson. Fellow corner Antonio Cromartie committed four penalties and overall, the Jets were flagged 14 times for a back-breaking 125 yards. But it was Wilson's miscues that seemed to come at the most inopportune times for the Jets.
"Today was a joke," Rex Ryan said of the penalties from his defensive backs. "[The Ravens] just threw it up there -- shoot, I don't blame them. Hope for a completion or a penalty."
Against Wilson, the Ravens got both.
Wilson committed a defensive holding penalty after David Harris stopped Ray Rice for no gain on a third-and-28 from the Jets 47. The penalty gave Baltimore a first down on a drive that ultimately ended with a Willis McGahee fumble, but it was only the beginning of a long night for Wilson.
With Baltimore facing a third and 10 from the Jets 23 with 56 seconds o go in the first half, Wilson was flagged for a pass interference call in the end zone, giving the Ravens the ball at the Jets' 1 yard-line. McGahee punched it in three plays later to give the Ravens a 7-6 lead at the half.
And it didn't get much better for Wilson after halftime.
With the Ravens facing a third and 7 from their own 11, Flacco hit Boldin for a 38-yard gain after he snuck behind Wilson on single coverage. Three plays later, Flacco found Boldin -- again covered by Wilson -- for a 27-yard gain, putting the Ravens at the Jets' 15 and setting up their final field goal of the game.
So forget "Hard Knocks." It was a hard-knock life for Wilson in his first game as a pro.
"Obviously I just have to go back and work on my technique," Wilson said after the game. "I just have to adjust to the way the game's being played."
And quickly. Wilson has only three practices to get things sorted out this week before Wes Welker, Randy Moss and the Patriots invade the New Meadowlands Arena on Sunday.
Wilson, drafted 29th overall by the Jets in April, worked as the starting corner opposite Cromartie during Revis' 36-day holdout. After Revis came back, the Jets felt comfortable putting Wilson in as the nickel corner.
"I thought the young man played well,” Ryan said of his rookie's maiden performance on Monday night.
It's a statement coach may rethink that after he watches the game tape on Tuesday.