An early look at expectations for Morris Claiborne
By Carson Hathaway
The New York Jets will field a new-look defensive secondary with hopes of addressing one of their biggest weaknesses of last season. Cornerback Morris Claiborne has some big expectations in 2017.
The New York Jets secondary was terrible this past season, they allowed thirty-five 25-yard pass plays, only three other teams allowed more. Only five other teams allowed more passing touchdowns than the Jets this past season. Why did things go so poorly for the Jets secondary this past season?
The obvious decline of Darrelle Revis, inconsistent play out of Buster Skrine and Marcus Williams and a handful of big plays allowed by Calvin Pryor all were reasons why things went wrong.
The secondary will look very different for this upcoming season, as three starters from this past year, Revis, Pryor, and Marcus Gilchrist are no longer on the team. One of the new starters in the Jets secondary will be the former Dallas Cowboy Morris Claiborne, who signed a one-year deal worth $5 million dollars with the team in March.
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Claiborne would have been the best corner on last year’s team, and he is without a doubt the best corner on the current roster.
He was only able to play in seven regular season games this past season because of a groin injury. Before the injury, Claiborne was playing like one of the best corners in the NFL.
He allowed a measly 64.1 passer rating on footballs thrown his way, which is an excellent mark. Claiborne also allowed just 0.81 yards per coverage snap. If he can stay healthy, the Jets may have found a legit No. 1 corner. However, that is a big “if” due to being so injury prone.
Over the past three regular seasons, Claiborne has played in just 22 out of a possible 48 games. If he plays like how he did last season, the Jets might have very well found a diamond in the rough. Again, it all comes down to if he can be healthy and play all season long. If he can, expect to see him be a true shutdown corner for the Jets and ensure that this season won’t be a repeat of how easy opposing teams were able to pass against their secondary like in 2016. Claiborne’s expectations are high as the potential is clearly there to deliver consistent results provided he’s able to be on the field more than off it.
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