Despite the fact that the Jets’ offense gets a lot of attention, the defense deserves attention as well, and not just simply because of the loss of Darrelle Revis. Rex Ryan talks a lot about the potential of this defense to be an elite defense. To be so, however, they are going to have to figure out how to stop a speed running back like Reggie Bush. Coach Ryan talked earlier this week about why the Jets have had a tough time against the run:
It’s simple, you have to be gap sound. Sometimes, we get out of a gap, and they make you pay for it. And we have to tackle. It comes down to as simple as that. That’s how you play run defense. I know it’s a frustrating thing because two things are happening right now to our defense that I don’t think I’ve ever gone through a stage like this, where we’re struggling to stop the run and struggling to get off the field on third down. Those are two areas that are generally a strength, and right now, we haven’t done a good enough job of that.
Rex takes the issues of the defense personally:
Sure, absolutely. It’s a personal challenge to me, (a) personal challenge to Mike Pettine, Bob Sutton. Every coach, any coach worth his salt, always takes things personally. You find ways of trying to help your guys. It takes a total commitment from the players and the coaches.
It’s good to hear someone talk about the tackling issue. Players in recent days and weeks have commented that the tackling has not been so bad, which is crazy. They have to tackle better. Period. What he means by being “gap sound”, is to be keeping your assignments, and filling the holes. The offense is getting the Jets out of their gaps, and thus, the big holes. Hopefully Rex can take his personal challenge to heart and fix it, and fast.