New York Jets: Brodney Pool
It's a regular, low-key Friday as the Jets prepare for the Detroit Lions on Sunday at 1. The Jets practiced indoors and played some loud Eminem to simulate the crowd noise. Which made sense, since Eminem is from Detroit.
S Brodney Pool, who was taken out of practice as a precaution after a head-on collision with CB Darrelle Revis on Thursday, was back in today. He stretched and participated in team drills during the time media was allowed at practice. We'll find out later if he was at all limited. Other injury report players, LB David Harris, LB Calvin Pace and Revis, all looked fine as well.
It also can give opposing defenses, even ones as stingy as the Jets, fits all game long.
Stopping the Wildcat formation will be a key defensive theme for the Jets Sunday, and the players maintain as long as they stay within their positions and their defensive schemes, they will be well equipped to handle it.
“Every time we play it they’re going to throw in something new or something different. The biggest thing is to not get affected by it, to attack and play your technique,” defensive end Vernon Gholston said. “Seeing it before, you know how to adjust to it. You come in with certain defenses or certain adjustments to it, but at the end of the day, it’s all about getting to the football.”
The first time the two teams met last season, the Dolphins used the Wildcat formation to great success. Miami ran the formation 16 times in its 151-yard rushing performance in Miami’s 31-27 win on Oct. 12, 2009. When the teams played again On Nov. 1, 2009, at Giants Stadium, the Jets shut down the Wildcat, as Miami used it just seven times for six yards in its 30-25 win.
As Gholston described, the biggest problem with the Wildcat is it becomes a numbers game for the opposing defense. When the Wildcat formation is called, an extra blocker or runner is brought in, forcing the defense to adjust by usually bringing in an extra guy into the box. This leaves the team a little thin in the secondary, and there is always the option of the running back throwing a pass out of the formation.
In the secondary, as explained by Jets safety Brodney Pool, the key is to be disciplined. If a player expects them to run the ball every time, a defense can get beat by a pass. The secondary personnel can’t be out of place, and has to watch the play develop in front of it.
“They can give you formations that spread the field a little bit more that you have to lighten up,” Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. “Now that the running back’s taking the direct snap, you’re basically getting two-back runs against defenses that are only geared to defend one-back runs. That’s the advantage of it. You really have to look at the math of each formation and try to make sure that the math is right in your favor defensively.”
While Miami upgraded its passing game with the addition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the offseason, the Dolphins are still a run-oriented team. Their running back tandem of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams is one of the best in the game, and runs the Wildcat arguably as good as any team in football.
The Jets know what to expect Sunday night. Now, it’s time to go out and stop it.
“I think if we do a good job of stopping their offense we can get our offense a chance to stay on the field and make plays,” Pool said. “You saw what they did last week when we got them on the field. We’re just going to have to come out and play good and stop Miami.”
When Brandon Marshall addressed the Miami media today, the wide receiver was asked about Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. The newest Dolphin played a little coy when he was asked about the Bermuda Triangle of the backfield where wides get stranded, a place called Revis Island.
"I’m not sure where that is,” Marshall said at his press conference. “Revis is a friend of mine. Where is Revis Island? Hopefully I visit there soon."
The Jets will now face Marshall and the Dolphins twice this season. Jets linebacker Bart Scott described the matchup between Revis and Marshall as Magic-Bird, seeing two great players in their prime and one that would interest NFL fans, not just those in the AFC East.
“I think you’re talking about arguably one of the best receivers against the best corner and a guy that had 10 picks the year before,” Scott said.
Revis was much more lowkey about the matchup. He also described Marshall as a friend, and texted the wide receiver on Wednesday to congratulate him on the contract.
“It’s good for them,” Revis said of getting Marshall. “They get a big time receiver and I get to go up against him twice.”
Last time Revis had a public war of words with a receiver, it was Chad OchoCinco. If Revis had held him to his promise, OchoCinco would be Chad Johnson again after Revis shut him down.
“Ya’ll know me, I love competition,” Revis said. “I compete that’s what I do.”
Clearly, Revis lets his play do the talking and last season that was loud enough. The Jets defensive backs as a unit seemed pleased to see the AFC East get another high caliber skill player.
Revis and Antonio Cromartie might have the high-profile assignments, but Eric Smith said that receivers like Marshall will change the way the backfield is set up.
“A guy like that they kind of command safety help,” Smith said. “You put a corner on them, a lot of times you put a safety over the top (to) give them some kind of help but that’s something we’ll have to see, how they’re using them as the season goes on.”
The moves throughout the AFC East will make the division a bigger draw. When the schedule is released next Tuesday at 7 p.m., it will be interesting to see how many matchups the NFL puts in prime spots. But certainly a division game could command a national audience given names like Marshall and Santonio Holmes.
“You see teams out there making moves and all going for one thing and that’s the Super Bowl,” Jets safety Brodney Pool said.
Mike Tannenbaum said you could never have too many corners, and said the Jets might even look or one in the NFL Draft starting next Thursday. He said Jets coach Rex Ryan demands it.
“That’s just who Rex (Ryan) is, he can not have enough corners, it’s crazy,” Tannenbaum said. “So yeah, we’re going to add more corners. And they’re all going to play.”
Those corners know what’s expected of them. Dwight Lowery was drafted two years ago and likes all the offseason moves, but knows whose responsibility it becomes when the clock starts.
“All this stuff is great for offseason headlines but ultimately it comes down to us as players,” Lowery said.