Jets State of the Defense Address


Dec 18, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE

This morning, with the offseason moving along with OTAs in full swing, I thought it was time for the “State of the Defense” address. Talk about where we are, where we are going, that type of thing. So here it is.

Mike Pettine has a lot to be excited about coming into 2012. The Jets have taken steps to become a lot faster than they were in 2011. Anyone who watched the Jets defense last year, knows how slow they were. The mantra “One Step Faster”, is clearly coming into the picture. The draft picks of Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen will be great assets in bringing that mantra to the forefront.

Bart Scott is ready to play like the Bart Scott of old as well. He has buried his problems with the Jets, and specifically coach Rex Ryan, and seems more motivated than he has in a long time to perform well. He has lost some weight, and is looking to be on the field for all three downs like when he was younger. If Scott is up for the task, no news could be better for the Jets. He will also have the opportunity to mentor Demario Davis, who is committed to helping this team win.

Get them teamed up with David Harris, a returning Bryan Thomas, and Aaron Maybin who is also working hard to get into three down playing shape, and you have one heck of a group at linebacker.

There are some unknowns however.

The first will be how Quinton Coples will perform off the edge. All signs, at least in my opinion, are positive. Everything on video, everything I have read, makes him a perfect fit in the Rex Ryan/Mike Pettine system. The questions still are out there as far as his motor. Will it run all the time? If it is, Coples, and the edge pass rush, will be just fine. It will have some issues if the motor questions are legit.

Now, the bigger question?

Can they defend against the tight end?

This is one we really don’t know yet, and we won’t know until the season begins.

We all saw the problems last year. Eric Smith looked very slow and very small back there. He, among other safeties in the league, made the Gronk look like an all world tight end last year. Not that he isn’t, but Eric Smith’s play didn’t do a lot to dispel the notion.

They addressed the need in the draft, with the likes of Antonio Allen and Josh Bush. They are unknowns, however, and they will be important pieces to the 2012 Jets defensive puzzle.

They also addressed the safety position through free agency, with the acquisitions of Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell. They aren’t known as pass defenders, though, more as run defenders. Yeremiah’s Bells are pretty good against the pass despite his rep, so I believe he will help in pass defense. Landry is the question, both in pass defense, and durability. If he can be a cog in pass defense, the Jets will improve leaps and bounds.

In short, the state of the defense is, in a word, faster. It is better too. How much? We won’t have to wait too much longer to find out