I will start this article off with the statement “ Karl Dunbar is the man”. Coming from the Minnesota Vikings, Dunbar helped in a massive turnaround for, what was, the most under-performing unit in a top tier defense. The Jets, before Dunbar, struggled with getting pressure on the quarterback, our secondary was the saving grace. Dunbar came to the Jets in 2012, and since then the Jets defensive line has been one of the best units of this team. I don’t know if anyone expected results as fast as they came, but since Dunbar’s hiring we have seen Muhammad Wilkerson elevate and turn into one of the top tier defensive linemen in the league, Sheldon Richardson come in and become the associated press’s defensive player of the year, and some random guy come in and become a monstrous nose tackle (Damon Harrison).
I call this group the “Sons of Anarchy” (as per the fact that they all have ‘son’ in their last names). The Jets still have a very good defense, although not the best, and have added to Rex Ryan’s legacy of being a very good defensive minded coach. However, now it is the defensive line doing so much of the heavy lifting with the secondary being the weak point. It was the ever-presence of our defensive linemen in opposing offenses backfields this season that made the Jets a competitive team. Arguably they were so good that they contributed to our linebackers as well as they did. Calvin Pace in particular had a very good statistical year because of the opportunities as a pass rusher the defensive line provided for him. With the plethora of first round draft talent the Jets have acquired over the past years in Wilkerson, Richardson and Coples (who is still developing into his new role as outside linebacker but still shares the roots of the monsters in front) it can be said that Dunbar was dealt a good hand. However, one needs only look at the example of Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison to see that with, even if the stats are not that appealing considering he plays the nose tackle position, to see that he is a very effective nose tackle. As far as stopping the run and eating two assignments this guy delivers and he was an undrafted free agent.
Karl Dunbar came in and helped guys like Wilkerson and Richardson realize their potential on the professional level, while also having the ability to take raw prospects, like Damon Harrison, and develop them into highly effective players. Dunbar is bringing about the second coming of the once highly touted New York Sack exchange with the help of the great players he coaches. With the ‘sons of anarchy’ guided by Dunbar, as Jet fans we can feel good about this unit for a while. The Jets made an excellent decision when they hired Dunbar (It might have been one of the best things the Tannenbaum led front office regime ever did), and as a result the Jets might have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL for years to come. I personally can not wait to see these guys in action again or until I get my Mohammad Wilkerson Jersey.