Top 5 moves to improve defensive secondary of Jets
By Samuel Sutton
Oct 2, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) New York Jets strong safety Calvin Pryor (25) New York Jets free safety Marcus Gilchrist (21) huddle during pregame with the rest of the secondary at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
It was rough to watch the New York Jets secondary last season. If this team wants to have success on defense in the coming years, things need to change for next season.
Blown coverages, missed tackles, injuries, and poor performance from a veteran. These were just some of the many issues the New York Jets faced with their defensive secondary last season. If nothing changes in the coming years, Jets fans can expect a lot more of these issues, which will ultimately lead to an awful win-loss record.
While the aforementioned problems were key, the number one problem was a lack of motivation. The players didn’t seem like they wanted to play. When watching the defense, it was clear that these players were not giving 100 percent. This, as well as other problems that will be assessed, has to change.
The Jets have had some solid secondary play in previous years. Back when they had a productive Darrelle Revis, a prime time Antonio Cromartie, and an experienced leader in Dwight Lowery. With these players and a defensive-minded head coach, New York’s secondary was almost unbeatable. This team can get back to that greatness, but it will take some work.
Now, there are players on this team who they need to keep. They are primetime players, and if they are used correctly, this team will be unstoppable. This list will show you who the Jets need to keep, who they need to groom, who they need to get in the offseason, and who they need to get rid of. Now, without further ado, let’s get to the list.
Next: 5. Keep Darrelle Revis
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) hands his gloves to a fan as he runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
5. Keep Darrelle Revis
While he didn’t have the best season this year, he has proven to be reliable in previous years, and he should be a key player to keep in 2017. However, he shouldn’t be playing the cornerback position anymore.
He has slowed down due to age, and a slow corner is just asking for poor play. Instead, they should move him to the free safety position. He still knows how to read an offense, and if he has more time to get to the football, which he’ll get at that position, he should start looking like the Revis Island everyone knows and loves again.
Also, they have to motivate him. After a few lackluster performances, he looked fed up. If a team has a veteran who doesn’t want to play, there will definitely be problems. They have to give him something to make him feel like he’s still an important asset, and that they still need him to play hard.
While he should still start, they need to make him a mentor as well. He needs to be the guy that guides the young talent. If he is mature enough to take on that roll, and if he can teach his skill, this team could possibly have future versions of him on their roster.
Next: 4. Coach up young talent
Dec 24, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets cornerback Juston Burris (32) reacts after being called for holding against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Jets 41-3. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
4. Coach up young talent
There are a few young guys on this roster that the Jets need to coach up this offseason: Marcus Williams, and Juston Burris. Burris, the rookie cornerback, showed potential in his first season. He was able to read a defense, and he was good enough to get five deflections and an interception.
Burris looked solid for a fourth round pick, and if he gets more attention in the offseason, he should be ten times better next season. Williams, the three-year cornerback, has been solid ever since he started with New York in 2014. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury that set him back this year.
Before this injury, he was a stellar cornerback. In three years, he’s gotten nine interceptions, 73 tackles, two-and-a-half sacks, and a fumble recovery. These stats are pretty good for someone who really doesn’t get enough chances.
He’s done well since being here, and if the team gives him more attention on the field, as well as more time in the weight room, he should have no problem becoming a star corner for this team.
Next: 3. Move Buster Skrine to inside corner
3. Move Buster Skrine to inside corner
There are some fans who don’t like how this guy plays for some reason. Buster Skrine is actually a pretty good defensive back, but he needs to be put in the right position.
If they put him on the inside, and let him cover the flat, he’ll do wonders for the Jets’ defense. Skrine is a great tackler, he’s fast, and he’s got an alright pair of hands. Unfortunately, he doesn’t always read the offense well.
If they put him in the flat, he’ll only have to focus on one area of the field, which will let him use his skills effectively. Since he’s fast, they could send him on a few blitzes at that position. Since he’s a good tackler, he may have no problem sacking the quarterback.
Overall, he’s a good corner. If they use him this way, they could possibly get an effective player out of him. Don’t give up on him just yet.
Next: 2. Players to get rid of
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets strong safety Calvin Pryor (25) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
2. Players to get rid of
This is always tough to decide, especially as a coach or general manager, but it has to be done. Safeties Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist are two players the Jets need to get rid of.
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Pryor has not been productive since being drafted in 2014. He’s missed tackles, let receivers by him, and he’s just not good – for the Jets that is. If a team needs a safety, and are willing to take him for the right offer, then trade him. It’s always better to get something in return, rather than just cutting a player.
Now on to Gilchrist. This seemed like a great pickup in 2015, and while he hasn’t been horrible with New York, he hasn’t been what they need either. However, he does have five interceptions with the Jets.
With these sub-par stats, the Jets could possibly trade him as well. He may be able to shine with another team, but he hasn’t been that star safety as envisioned. If the Jets can get something good from another team, then they should trade the guy.
Next: 1. Draft Desmond King
Jan 2, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Desmond King (14) points against the Florida Gators during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
1. Draft Desmond King
The New York Jets have the 39th pick in the second round. This puts them in a great spot to get a solid cornerback. A solid one like Desmond King out of Iowa.
With 14 interceptions in three years, this kid has been a ball hawk for the Hawkeyes. He knows how to read a defense, and he does it very well. If he sees that he can get the football, he will, and he’ll be aggressive in doing it. He also knows how to get to the end zone, scoring twice in the last two years.
This would be a great addition to the cornerback depth chart. He could battle for a starting spot in the offseason, and if he doesn’t win, he’ll be able to learn from the depth New York has for a year or so.
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Bottom line is that they need to make some changes in the secondary. If they don’t, then they can expect more lackluster defensive performances, which will lead to high scoring offenses, which ultimately, will lead to more losses. Come on Jets, let’s make some aggressive changes this offseason so that we can get some success in 2017!