The New York Jets defense will come out this upcoming season with a chip on their shoulder and easily prove doubters wrong.
For the past few seasons, the New York Jets defense has been amongst the worst defenses in the NFL. They couldn’t really stop the run game and in the passing game, they could not do anything correctly. With these poor performances, Jets fans were calling for coach Todd Bowles. Certain areas on the defensive side of the football needed to be addressed and this past offseason it was done.
The Jets defense ranked overall 8th in the league with passing being 12th by giving up too many yards after catch at 7.5 per yards. The running game was ranked 9th by giving up 4 yards per carry which was unacceptable.
This offseason with plenty of money to spend, general manager Mike Maccagnan went out and bolstered a big area of need in the defensive secondary. To help the secondary out, Maccagnan signed the best cornerback in free agency in Trumaine Johnson. Johnson left the Los Angeles Rams and came to Gang Green. With him and Morris Claiborne and a few others, the secondary will easily have a better year.
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Another good signing was linebacker Avery Williamson coming from the Tennessee Titans who will have an immediate impact. He was a very excellent run stopper while with the Titans and that is someone who can be a leader for the younger players. He can also be a mentor for Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, and Darron Lee who are young hungry players thanks to all the experience he has being in the league heading into his fifth season.
So far during organized team activities and mandatory minicamp, the Jets have a lot more focus and attitude in regards to their defense. They want their presence to be known every time they step on that field and make some serious noise around the league. As Jets fans, we should be excited because they haven’t really had this attitude since the Rex Ryan era and that was quite a long time ago.
This year in the NFL Draft, they drafted two excellent players in defensive end Nathan Shepherd and cornerback Parry Nickerson, both of which will add quality depth. This can help make the Jets even faster and more dominant if both players find their roles on the Jets defense. Shepherd has great size coming in at 6 foot 5 weighing in at 315 pounds as he is known to be dominant off the line with solid burst speed. Nickerson is coming in at 6 feet weighing in at 180 with quick hands and feet.
Maye and Adams will be the best safety tandem in the league with them having multiple interceptions. Especially Adams who is undoubtedly upset that he has yet to get his first NFL interception as last year, he had several footballs slip right out of his hands. Maye is all about quiet consistency as even though he won’t make a lot of headlines, he’s so good that teams will think twice throwing anywhere in his vicinity. These two made a name for themselves during their rookie year and this season, both players could very well have even an even bigger impact.
It is time for Jets fans to get excited because of how young and hungry this defense will be for this upcoming season. It has a lot of speed and power that the team hasn’t had in a very long time and will show up consistently this year. The run and passing coverage will improve and continue to get better each and every week. Once the Jets offense takes care of business, the team will continue to slowly come together in the process of making this team a contender again.