While the Jets offense has struggled mightily the last few seasons, the defense has actually been pretty solid. Last season, the defense certainly took a step back in the run department last season though. I believe this was due to the fact that the linebackers were simply just to slow to keep up with the quick backs. This season the defense is younger and faster, which can only be a good thing. While Wilkerson, Coples, Richardson and Cromartie all deservedly get all the headlines, in this article I am looking at some players who are flying a bit under the radar, but are still very crucial to the Jets success.
Dee Milliner- It is odd for a top 10 pick to be flying under the radar, but that seems to be the case when talking about Milliner. Milliner was unable to take part in OTA’s and mini camp since he was recovering from some minor surgeries he had during the offseason. Expect Milliner to be out on the field when the team heads up to SUNY Cortland for training camp. Although unfair, Milliner will have to deal with the constant comparisons between himself and Darrelle Revis. While Milliner may never be Revis, he is still an impressive cornerback. Just by watching him play at Alabama, Milliner is a physical corner with great use of his hands and his footwork. Just ask Notre Dame about how good Milliner can be. Expect Dee to line up opposite Antonio Cromartie this season, and years to come for the Jets.
Aaron Berry- Berry is an interesting player. At one point in his career, Berry was the number one cornerback for the Detroit Lions. Coming into 2013, Berry finds himself stuck in a crowded New York Jets secondary. Talent has never been the issue for Berry. Berry has had some off field incidents that ultimately led to his release from the Lions last season. When he came to the Jets later in the year, he unfortunately was dealing with a hamstring injury that never really healed. Coming into this season, Berry is healthy and has already received praise from teammate Muhammad Wilkerson. Expect Berry to get his chance to make an impact this year.
Ricky Sapp- Earlier this year, I was able to catch up with Sapp who said his goal for this year was to be named the Jets starting OLB. While that is still up in the air, I think it is safe to say Sapp will get his shot at getting to the QB. Talent has never been the issue for Sapp, but instead injuries have really slowed down his young career. So far this offseason, Sapp is healthy, and it is certainly showing. All throughout practices, it has been noted that Sapp is all over the field and is constantly getting to the QB. If Sapp can stay Healthy, and Antwan Barnes can get back to the way he played two seasons ago, the Jets may have a solid group of pass rushing linebackers.
While it is still unknown how the Jets offense will fair this season, the Jets defense has a chance to be very good. With he guys I just mentioned, to go along with the regulars, the Jets defense is something to be excited about if you are a fan of the Jets.