Jets to Rely on Defensive Line

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Dec 18, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE

Approximately 18 months ago, Mike Pettine and the Jets defense dressed 11 defensive backs, yes 11, in the 28-21 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional playoff game.

Now, with the personnel changes made, Pettine has discussed how the Jets will be much more of a 4-3 base team in 2012. So much so, that the Jets, although will still use some 3-4, may not use any 3-4 at all during AFC east matchups. The idea is that the 4-3 will generate more of a pass rush, for a team that has struggled in that area of late.

It’s a simple process, the Jets have brought in many young defensive linemen over the last couple of years. Young defensive lineman equals more use of the 4-3 scheme.

Ideally, here’s what the four-man front would look like: Wilkerson will play “80+ percent of the snaps,” according to Pettine. Pace and Coples will be the primary edge rushers with a rotation among Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito and Kenrick Ellis for the fourth spot. Marcus Dixon will bounce between the interior and edge. The defensive line, Pettine said, is the “foundation and strength of the defense.”

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