The NY Jets took a strong, hard look at their defensive personnel this offseason. The Jets made it a priority to revamp their secondary with an infusion of both young talent and veteran leadership.
The team seems to feel great about the formation they've put together on the back-end. The key moving forward hedges on the defensive line, and how an overhauled secondary should give this unit more time to get into opponents' backfields to disrupt the play.
Defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers has become accustomed to getting to the quarterback. In 2021, Franklin-Myers recorded six sacks, which was tied for the team-high alongside Quinnen Williams, and 43 QB pressures, per Pro Football Focus. Franklin-Myers was rewarded with a sizeable contract extension back in October of last year.
The Jets see significant potential in Franklin-Myers, which was one of the reasons why they granted him the extension when they did. New York hasn't had the luxury of handing out second contracts to players that sign a few years prior. It's one of the many reasons why this team hasn't sniffed a playoff berth since 2010.
But things seem to be changing for the better, and Franklin-Myers is looking to contribute a large sum of what he does best to help Gang Green's defense reach new heights in 2022.
The NY Jets expect John Franklin-Myers to take on a different role in 2022
Franklin-Myers was a significant part of the Jets' defensive line rotation in 2021. With Carl Lawson lost for the season, Franklin-Myers had to step up as the team's swiss army knife throughout many contests.
This won't change in 2022. Though, the Jets plan to deploy Franklin-Myers in a much more traditional sense come Week 1.
Last season, Franklin-Myers was tasked to play the majority of his snaps on the outside due to the lack of depth the Jets had on the edge. This season, the plan is for Franklin-Myers to shift back inside to play a more conventional 3-technique role in Jeff Ulbrich's variation of a 4-3 defensive scheme, at least on passing downs.
Franklin-Myers revealed that he's been training with Los Angeles Rams' All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Donald, for much of his career, has thrived while playing in the same role that Franklin-Myers will look to attack this coming season.
This isn't to say Franklin-Myers will immediately turn into one of the most dominant defensive linemen the game has ever seen, it's more of a tribute to Donald's dominance over the past couple of years, and his willingness to help a player in Franklin-Myers who is on the up-tick heading into his third season in New York.