Sunday was a brutal day of training camp for the New York Jets as the team lost rookie cornerback Dexter McDougle for the season with an ACL injury while Dee Milliner will be out for an unspecified amount of time with a high ankle injury. Add in the fact that veteran defensive back Dimitri Patterson has been battling leg injuries and the Jets secondary has quickly become a concern for head coach Rex Ryan.
As of now Gang Green will look for players like Darrin Walls, Ellis Lankster, Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Wilson, and Brandon Dixon to step up while general manager John Idzik explores other options (team has been in contact with Asante Samuel). In an ideal world, a young player will emerge for the Jets, but there is a good chance Idzik will have to make a roster move.
So now the million dollar question is how will Rex Ryan handle the uncertainty in the secondary? To me the answer is quite simple: with a very strong pass rush. The New York Jets defensive line is arguably one of the best units in the National Football League. This group must dominate the line of scrimmage and apply consistent pressure on the quarterback. The Jets defensive front cannot allow opposing quarterbacks to get comfortable in the pocket and pick apart the secondary. The less Rex Ryan has to blitz to generate pressure, the better off the defense will be.
The New York Jets defensive line has talked the talk, now it is time for Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Quinton Coples, Damon Harrison, Leger Douzable, and Jason Babin to walk the walk. The success of the New York Jets defense will be contingent on it.
Notes from Jets vs Colts
It is hard to scrutinize preseason action when neither team puts together a game plan. Dimitri Patterson's performance was disappointing while T.J. Barnes turned some heads on the defensive line. I was hoping to see more out of players like Jalen Saunders and Stephen Hill, but unfortunately that did not come to fruition.
This week's game against Cincinnati should be a more telling match-up as the Bengals are a physical and talented bunch. The Jets starters should play well into the second quarter and the playbook will be opened up more on both sides of the ball. This should be the week where players start to emerge in the crucial position battles at corner, safety, and wide receiver.