3. How much will the NY Jets defense improve from what we saw last season?
The Jets' defense finished dead last in the league in 2021. Unless they plan to remain at the bottom of the barrel on the defensive side of the ball, they will improve.
However, incremental improvement will not be good enough due to the number of necessary resources that Joe Douglas put toward the defense.
Additions to the secondary include free agents D.J. Reed and Jordan Whitehead, while in the draft, the team added more firepower by selecting Sauce Gardner with the fourth overall pick.
The defensive line will feature new faces such as Carl Lawson, Jacob Martin, Jermaine Johnson, Micheal Clemons, and more. Add veteran linebacker Kwon Alexander to the mix and the team basically rebuilt the majority of their defense.
On paper, there are very exciting upgrades, but the team needs to see talent turn into production. This starts with getting after the quarterback. The Jets have the second-highest salary cap in the league dedicated to the defensive line.
Saleh and Ulbrich have the type of players that they want to fit their scheme, if the defense is still struggling it could be time to start questioning the scheme or the coaches leading it.
The matchup is a tough one against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. This week, Saleh and Ulbrich both spoke of playing "rules football" indicating the need to be disciplined, this will be the ultimate test of the ability to actually put words to action.
While Jackson is a nightmare matchup, the offensive weapons that the Ravens have should be able to be somewhat managed. With Mark Andrews as the central focus, taking him out of the game as much as possible will be key.
Aside from Andrews, injuries to J.K. Dobbins look likely to keep him out and should be a boon for the Jets' game planning.