Dee Milliner has a lot expected of him, being chosen in the top half of the first round. Despite missing significant time during the preseason with an injury, he has been thrust into the starting lineup, opposite Antonio Cromartie.
He has had his problems, looking like the rookie that he is. Coach Rex Ryan finally took a stand on it, holding a player accountable for the good of the team. Last week, against the Patriots, Ryan benched Milliner, going with the veteran Kyle Wilson. Could this go on for the near future?
I don’t know. We’ll see. The young man, like I said before, it’s unfortunate that he missed so much work. As you guys have pointed out before, all the minicamp rehabbing the shoulder injury, the surgery, and then he missed a lot of training camp as well so we kind of just threw him into the fire. He’s an excellent player. He’s going to be an excellent player. I just thought that, at that time, I just thought it was best to sit him down, let him watch it and we’ll go with more experience out there and that’s really what we did. But that’s what this kid’s lacking, is just the NFL experience. He played on about as big of a stage as you can play on. He did play on the biggest stage in college football. I think it’s just a matter of time before he adapts and makes the adjustments to the NFL game. But there are times where it’s like, hey, it happens quick and we’ve got to get him back in and really channel him back in and really know how the opponent’s trying to attack you. But I have all the confidence in the world that Dee’s going to be a tremendous player for us. We’ll see. We’ll come back and we’ll have another good look at it this week through practice.
As good as Milliner is going to be, and I believe he will be quite good, it is time to let him sit a while. I said this at the beginning of the year and I stand by it, he has missed too much time. Let him ease his way into the game as a nickel, and as the game slows down for him, let him play more and more snaps.
It will be the best thing for Dee Milliner, and the New York Jets.