Now that the issue of 2014 and Rex Ryan has been settled, it is time to move on to the issue of Rex’s staff.
It is known across the fan base that several of Rex’s assistants are in limbo, unclear as to their job status for 2014. We don’t know all of the names, but we know that one is defensive line coach, Karl Dunbar. He’s a fan favorite, and with good reason. The Jets need to retain him as the defensive line coach, it would be a big mistake not to.
First, look at how the defense performed as a whole. The defense allowed 88.2 yards per game on the ground in 2013. This was far and away the top number that the Jets have posted in the Rex Ryan regime. Yes, some of that credit has to go to Rex Ryan taking the playcalling back over. But, Karl Dunbar is not without credit as well. In two years, the defensive line has become one of the most dominant in the league.
Karl Dunbar is a major reason for that development.
Now, take a look at the development of the players along that line. How often can you say that one defensive line could have three Pro Bowlers? In 2013, the Jets could realistically have had Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Damon Harrison all along the Pro Bowl defensive line.
After the way the “Williams Wall” developed in Minnesota, it is no shock that the Jets’ line made this kind of development.
Muhammad Wilkerson made huge strides in 2013. He more than doubled his sack total from five to 10.5. Big Mo also posted nine quarterback hits, and 32 hurries. He went from a decent pass rusher to a near-dominant pass rusher, and Dunbar had a big hand in it.
Damon Harrison came out of nowhere in 2013 to show the world he is a top-flight nose tackle. He went from a guy that hardly ever dressed for games in 2012, to a guy ranked at or near the top of the sport as a run stopper in 2013. He posted 39 stuffs, per “Pro Football Focus”. His PFF grade against the run was 37.6, topping the league by a wide margin. His 34.8 overall grade left him fifth in the league overall amongst 3-4 defensive tackles or nose tackles.
Sheldon Richardson was an odd draft choice if you asked many Jets’ fans last spring. With players such as Jarvis Jones available, the thinking was that the Jets would draft a guy that is more of a trained asset in the edge passing game, rather than a guy on the interior.
Well, they took Missouri’s own Sheldon Richardson. The word was that he was pro-ready, but who thought he would be in the running for defensive rookie of the year. Well, that’s what happened. He posted 78 tackles and 3.5 sacks. It seems that Karl Dunbar is building a “Williams Wall East”. I guess it would be the “Wall of Sons(Richardson, Wilkerson, Harrison).
Whatever you want to call it, it states the obvious. We need Karl Dunbar back. The Jets need to do what is right by the team here.