Rex Ryan has been experimenting with the secondary due to injuries and the perceived weakness the Jets have at cornerback. He’s moved Antonio Allen from safety to corner and has given Ellis Lankster and Darrin Walls more reps with the ones. I think its time to end the “Allen Experiment” and this is why.
First, Antonio Allen is a safety and has never played corner back in the NFL or college. Allen likely has the talent to make the conversion, but it will take time to make the adjustment. Time is not a luxury the Jets have at the moment, as the opening game is looming just around the corner. To ask Allen to make the conversion with just three weeks to prepare seems like a high order, and then ask him to cover some very talented NFL receivers in this year’s schedule is just unfair.
Second, Antonio Allen was developing nicely at the safety position. Last season he showed he was the guy that could finally step up for the Jets and cover tight ends. He had a great 2013 season doing just that. Allen is a hard-hitting safety, who was being looked to as a leader at safety this season, he was showing he was ready to take on those responsibilities earlier this preseason.
Third, a combination of Calvin Pryor and Antonio Allen will make opposing offensive players take notice when they try to come across the middle. These guys are hard-hitting in both the run and passing game. Opposing QB’s will notice as well, both of these guys have coverage skills and the combination promises to create some turnovers, which is something we lacked last year in the secondary.
Finally, Ellis Lankster has played exceptionally well this off-season, he’s made a solid case for himself to break into the starting ranks. Darrin Walls has also stepped up his game and is making some noise in camp. Both Walls and Lankster have three yrs under Rex Ryan, they know the defense. Walls has had time as a starter under Rex Ryan and played quite well in doing so. Lankster threw a shut out against the Bengals last week.
It’s time to end the “Allen Experiment” in my opinion. Allow Allen to return to his natural position alongside Pryor. Let Lankster and Walls prove their worth. Evaluate the pair until Milliner returns, and if it doesn’t work out, then find a corner to fill the position via the wire or a trade. What do you guys think? I want to hear what you think. Should the “Allen Experiment” continue? Let’s discuss this one!