All-22 Film Study: New York Jets Defense


Sept 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) is tackled by New York Jets inside linebacker Bart Scott (57) during The second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Jets won 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Time to go to the film room, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks to the NFL this year, we get a chance to take a look at the All-22 Coaches Film, to see what the players and coaches get a chance to look at inside team headquarters. It gives us a unique look at the games, to see what is going right, and what is going wrong. Today, we are going to take a look at the Jets defense, and some specific elements. First:


Or maybe it should say, the lack of pass rush. We all have heard chapter and verse about how the Jets are going to be able to get to the quarterback, how they are “one step faster”. Well, for the most part, the pass rush doesn’t look one step faster. Frankly, it looks like every other Jets pass rush, non-existence. The Jets front seven is not getting to the quarterback with enough consistency to make an impact on anything. In taking a look at last week’s game film, there are some reasons for that.

First of all, there really hasn’t been much creativity in the play calling. Remember all of those overload blitzes that Rex used to call? The ones that would dominate one side of the opponent’s offensive line? Well, those seem to be a thing of the past. At least last week they were. I counted maybe two blitzes during the game, and certainly no overload blitzes. Two times I counted, did they get a free rusher at the quarterback, and in those situations, Ryan Tannehill got the ball out far too quickly for the Jets to get there. Let’s look at a couple of examples. First of the lack of blitzing:

Take a look at a third and five with Tannenhill in the shotgun:

Here is a situation when a blitz would be just what the doctor ordered from Rex. Third and five, near midfield. Ryan Tannenhill is in the gun. There are four down linemen (in the box). If you take a look at the linebacker (in the circle), they seem to be creeping up towards the line, as if they are blitzing. As we go forward, you see, however, that the Jets stick with a four man rush. Take a look.

It turns out that it’s just a four man rush after all. The linebackers are going to the flats on either side, as shown by the diagonal arrows. The only guys trying to make their way up field to the quarterback are the four down linemen, illustrated with the straight arrows. The offensive line picks them all up, and the result is a gaine of 23 yards downfield to Davonne Bess. Ryan wants to get to the QB more with just a four man rush, but if it isn’t working, he and Pettine need to go back to dialing up blitzes, and they aren’t.

In the few instances where the Jets dialed it up, and got a free rusher, Ryan Tannenhill was ready for it. Turn the page and see.

Here is a third and three play from the second quarter. Tannehill is again in the shotgun. The Jets, for a change in this game, have an overload to the right side of the offensive line. I have highlighted Maybin(in the box), and Landry (in the circle), because they are the two guys that come free.

See the pre-snap move from Landry? He follows the arrow right to a spot behind Maybin, and it appears he taps Maybin, to indicate that that he will be rushing from behind him, which he does. Take a look at the line as well. There is a guy head up on the center, leaving three Jets to go up against two Dolphins on the right side of the offense. The Jets have the numbers, and the results are good:

Sure enough, there are not enough guys to block Maybin and Landry, who come free with a open shot on Tannenhill. Ryan is ready for it, however, as you see he is locked in on his receiver….

Tannehill is in the right call, as he gets the ball out to Reggie Bush to the outside and short, long before Maybin and/or Landry can get there. This happened a few times during the game. When the Jets finally got an overload to one side, Tannehill was ready for it and got the ball out.

Another major issue for the pass rush last week was LT Jake Long. He clearly, flying under the radar, is one of the top tackles out there.  Time after time during this game, Long took away any hope that the Jets had of a pass rush.  Aaron Maybin on several occasions came up against Long, one on one, with a full head of steam.  Notice that we didn’t see Tannehill taking any hits from the blind side.  Long took care of it all by himself.

And finally, the front seven of the Jets is not winning any matchups, plain and simple. Wilkerson, Coples, Maybin, and everybody else are not winning one on one matchups against linemen. If you are going to rush three and four guys, they have to get their by beating their man. Right now, they are making offensive lines look like they are made up completely of All-Pros. Not the way to become an elite defense.

For the most part, the pass defense did OK after Revis left the ball game, but it has to be more consistent. Here’s an example of a play where Ellis Lankster got faked out of his shoes.

Davonne Bess is in the box, Lankster is in the circle. Bess is going to come out from the slot position, following the arrow, and Lankster will be one on one against him.

Bess is stopping his route, as if he is going to look for a short pass. Lanskter, in turn, makes his move to close on the route that he thinks is coming. However, Bess makes a double move by planting, and making a move to the outside around Lankster.

Lankster waves at Bess as he makes his move around(in the circle).

Lankster falls, and Bess is wide open for a down the field completion. This is on Lankster for his basic route recognition. He is inexperienced, so he has to watch a lot of film to look at these double moves. WR’s are going to look to run these on him all day, and with his playing time obviously increasing, he will have to step it up.


It’s not even worth spending time on, so a brief mention will go to the t word, tackling. The Jets clearly have forgotten how to do it. Guys like Reggie Bush and Lamar Miller like to make people miss. Unless you wrap up these guys, they are going to break off big chunks of yardage, which guys continue to do against the Jets.

Remember during the week, we talked about Reggie Bush running a lot of mis-direction plays? Well, the Jets got beaten, and it wasn’t by mis-direction plays. The Jets got simply blown off the ball, and this is by the Dolphins. It’s a little scary. To illustrate, here is a second down play from the 12 yard line.

Here is the play. Nothing fancy, just straight ahead smash-mouth football. For this play, the Dolphins are set up in an offset I formation, Reggie Bush is straight back behind Tannenhill, in the circle. No mis-direction, Bush is going to take the handoff and run off the left guard, as shown by the arrow.

Turn the page, and the play will unfold.

As the play unfolds, look at the work that the offensive line does on the Jets. They have absolutely blown the Jets off the ball. Take a look at the circle, as it is revealing the hole that Bush has to run through. It’s huge!! I think anyone reading this article could gain yardage running through that hole. There is no hope at stopping this play for a minimal gain, simply because there are no Jets there to lay a finger on Bush.

From here, we have a tackling problem, where we get a rare arm tackle attempt by linebacker David Harris. He swings, and misses.

12 yards down the field, the Jets finally make the tackle, and a first down for the Miami Dolphins is had.

This is what makes you nervous. An elite defense is not going to get beaten this badly on straight forward plays. This was far from the only play it happened on, this is just an example. You all saw it, the Jets had no answer for Reggie Bush. The Jets have to stop the run, this is the bread and butter of the New York Jets defense. They have to wrap up when they tackle, and win the battle at the line of scrimmage.

Yes, the Jets are 2-1. But, the defense has had a lot of holes, and that was BEFORE their best player was lost for the year. The defense is going to have to step it up in all of these areas in order to continue on the winning track. The defense has to get better, now.