The defensive secondary of the New York Jets is ready to build off of last year’s success. Heading into training camp, it looks like a totally new defense headed into 2016.
Last season, the phrase became synonymous with the New York Jets, “No Fly Zone”. It was derived from the fact that the Jets brought the band back together and the talent they had accumulated.
Cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie rejoined forces for Gang Green in 2015 and it yielded mixed results. Heading towards training camp, the secondary doesn’t have all the same pieces from last season, but arguably has an even higher ceiling.
— ANTONIO CROMARTIE (@CRO31) May 19, 2015
Cromartie was released, some of the depth was lost from Antonio Allen to Darrin Walls, but there are several players looking to make the next step in their development. Specifically, former top-10 pick Dee Milliner, who is now finally healthy for the Jets.
Undrafted free agent, Marcus WIlliams, took a huge leap in his development last season leading the team in interceptions with six picks. He now has an opportunity to start for the Jets in 2016.
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Also the new addition of Buster Skrine to the secondary was a huge addition and now he will be counted on to step up to the plate.
Head coach Todd Bowles addressed some of these questions about the Jets’ secondary through organized team activities/mini-camp as here is what he had to say, courtesy to the Media Relations Department:
On if the secondary is performing better with a year under their belt…
The guys have played in it, yes. Buster (Skrine) has to get used to playing outside a little bit more and the young guys have to get used to it, but they’re getting used to each other. They’re a lot more accustomed to each other that way, yes.
On if he will consider utilizing Dee Milliner in the slot…
He’s not strictly an outside guy, but right now he’s working on the outside. As we get going in training camp and we see some more things from him, it’s a consideration.
On Buster Skrine’s play today and what he’s seen from him on the outside so far…
I mean he’s played on the outside when he was in Cleveland. This is normal for him obviously. The game plays a little slower out there meaning. But him being outside has been a plus but again, shorts and t-shirt, his quickness is going to show up and everything. But there’s a lot more physicality that goes into once we put the pads on.
Revis is still recovering from wrist surgery and reports are suggesting he will be out till the very least training camp, if not beyond. Which again opens up even more opportunities for the younger guys on the bottom of the roster to get precious training camp reps.
One of the guys that no one has talked about so far through the offseason programs is rookie Juston Burris. Burris was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Jets and will be counted on early to make an impact.
Burris has nice size for the position (6’1, 212 pounds), and one of his best qualities throughout his collegiate career has been his consistency. Another feather in his cap is his scheme versatility and despite the depth at the safety position for the Jets, they can always use an insurance policy.
One of which that was a major benefit to having Allen on the roster in years past, where he could lineup at safety or corner. All of these young corners on the roster are getting tested on a daily basis by the best one-two wide receiver combination in the league in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.