Rex Ryan Talks About Muhammad Wilkerson

By Alan Schechter

Sep 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end

Muhammad Wilkerson

(96) reacts after the Detroit Lions scored a touchdown at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

In a 1-6 season, you look for bright spots to hang onto. For the New York Jets, the biggest positive, consistently all season long, has been the defensive front. The biggest star of that group is Muhammad Wilkerson. Despite being often double-teamed, Wilkerson is having another huge season, with 34 tackles to go along with four sacks and three pass breakups.

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While meeting with the media, coach Rex Ryan talked about his fourth year lineman. He was asked how Wilkerson has improved from last season to this one:

It’s hard to say. The guy’s always played with effort. I think his technique, clearly he’s got one of the best teachers in the game. I think Karl Dunbar does a great job with our D-Line. So, I think Mo is, from a technical standpoint, from a technique standpoint, he’s probably better than he’s ever been. I think he’s taken on a little bit more of the leadership role and sometimes that happens when your play dictates that. For some reason, the best players sometimes are looked at as the leaders and I think he’s accepted that.

How has Wilkerson been able to get to the quarterback, despite consistent double teams?

That’s really tough, but he still finds a way. We did. When you look at our game against Denver in particular, I mean it was like, ‘Well guys, our best shot is to rush three and that’s what we did.’ And he is seeing a lot of double teams. There’s no surprises. Everybody knows him. They all know Muhammad Wilkerson. Maybe this time, they’ll vote him to a Pro Bowl, which he should’ve been All-Pro last year.

Hopefully the Jets will take care of Muhammad Wilkerson. It would be terrible to see him in a different uniform in the future.