The New York Jets just traded their best Defensive Player who happens to be the best at his position in the entire League. The Jets are replacing 7 starters on Defense as well. There are going to be a lot of new and young players expected to step up for Gang Green on that side of the ball. As far as the Defense goes, that might not be such a bad thing and I believe the Jets will top their '09 play on Defense.
Revis is gone and some think that the hopes of the Jets having an elite Defense went with him. He only played 2 full games last year before he was lost for the year and the Jets Secondary still managed to finish 2nd in Pass Defense. Well some say that is a trick cause most teams played with a lead and were able to run on the Jets. Unfortunately for those making that arguement, the Jets Defense as a whole ranked 8th overall. This was done with Revis home and the team scrambling with the players they had. Those players are still here, but the Jets added CB Dee Milliner with the 9th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to help ease the loss of Revis on a more permanent level.
Milliner is just some of the new, young blood brought in by the Jets this year. He was also highly regarded by most to be the best CB coming out of College this year. Some even said that he could be the next Revis. One thing that is for sure is that he adds good talent to the CB position than the Jets had last year after the Revis injury. Four picks after Milliner was selected the Jets Drafted DT Sheldon Richardson. At the time most people liked the player, but not the landing spot. The Jets, though, have an athletic 290lbs Defensive Lineman who can play multiple positions in multiple fronts, and are very excited that they were able to land him. His selection brought up questions about what to do with DE Quinton Coples, who as a Rookie last year lead the Jets in Sacks with 5. Rex Ryan has an answer.
Quinton Coples leads the group of young Defensive Players that are expected to step up and do more this year. Coples will be asked at times to be an OLB, and DE, but in this new Hybrid Position he will have one main job and that is to pressure the QB. The Jets are hoping that a bigger role for Coples will add up to more production. If He is able to make a similar jump as Muhammad Wilkerson made in his 2nd year then expect Quinton Coples to have double digit sacks. Coples was considered better than Wilkerson when he was Drafted so the sky is the limit.
The Jets did bring back Calvin Pace at a reduced Salary, but what people don't talk about is the addition of OLB Antwan Barnes and DT Antonio Garay. Both Players add speed to the Front Seven that the Jets haven't had in a very long time and Barnes is one year removed from an 11 Sack Season. The Jets may have lost players, but most of those Players were cut or not persued for a reason. The Jets got younger and faster and now the Jets have weapons that they can unleash all over the field.
Not every young Player is believed to be on the verge of a breakout year like Coples is. Some are stepping into big shoes and the Jets are taking a chance and hoping they can fill them. ILB Demario Davis is expected to start in place of Bart Scott alongside David Harris. Davis was Drafted for this exact reason last year and there is a lot of pressure on this young man, but even more so for two Safeties Drafted that same year. The Jets said goodbye to their top three Safeties this Off-Season
DaWan Landry was brought in during Free Agency to man one of the Safety spots, but either Josh Bush or Antonio Allen is going to have to step up and battle for the other Safety slot. With the Front Seven and Corner Back position looking very strong for the Jets this year the Safety Position will have the spotlight on them as the possible ruin to an amazing Defense. Interesting to this dilemma is undrafted Rookie Rontez Miles who is very physical quick and dropped down in the Draft due to character concerns and not talent. All the Jets need is for one of these three Players to step up and you can expect another run at the#1 Defense in the League.
The most important reason why anyone would say that the Jets will have a great Defense this year is that Head Coach Rex Ryan is taking complete control of the Defense like He did his first year with the team. Gone is Mike Pettine and here is a make or season for the outspoken Coach. Rex knows Defense and he will get the best out of his Players. He is also surrounded by a strong staff including Karl Dunbar and Dennis Thurman, among others. Rex has already taken a hands on approach during Minicamp and OTA's. Expect this to continue during Training Camp and expect for the Jets to be dominant on Defense.
Where do you think the Jets will finish in the Defensive Ranking this year? Which will be the strongest and weakest unit on Defense? Which players are you lost excited to see on the field this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below on what your expecting from the Jets 2013 Defense.