Milliner to start for the Jets this weekend

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Last week, Jets cornerback Dee Milliner was benched by Rex Ryan after missing a tackle of Dolphins WR Mike Wallace resulted in a touchdown, sinking the Jets deeper into their 23-3 loss.

With Milliner’s performance sending him to the bench, reporters asked defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman this week whether or not the rookie would start this week against the Raiders. Thurman told the press that “yep” Milliner would be back in the starting lineup, but as to whether or not Milliner would be back to the bench by game’s end?

“We’ll see … you take away that one play in the game, and he actually played a really good game. But you can’t take that one play away,” Thurman explained. “It affects his overall performance. And it affects the overall perception of him. But really, he was playing well. He had pass breakups, he actually was tackling pretty well and he misses that one tackle and it goes for a touchdown.”

Thurman explained to reporters that by gauging Milliner’s reaction it would be best to sit him the rest of the game.

“At that point, you’re looking for the reaction of the player,” Thurman recalled of the Milliner benching. “And there’s times where you look at him, you look in his eyes, you say, ‘You know what this is not a good look.’ And you say ‘Let’s make the move.’”

Brian Bassett,

This has been a whole year of Milliner being behind the eight ball.  From his pre-draft surgery impacting his offseason training schedule, to his late arrival at training camp, to his play this season the Jets ninth overall pick has had a  bumpy season.

So far this season Milliner has missed three games due to injury and he’s also been benched three times.  Other players like Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster deserve the opportunity to play  more snaps before the season ends, but maybe Thurman is onto something.

For some it might sound outlandish to think that Milliner ‘played a good game’ despite the benching.  Milliner tallied his highest total of passes defensed (two) on the season and maybe more importantly he seemed in better position to defend passes.

While it wasn’t always successful for Milliner at least he was in place and looking at the pass more regularly for what seemed like the first time this season.  Milliner’s season might be a wash, but I am going to isolate these last four games for Milliner against the rest of the season because I think we’re going to see some better improvement in December than we’ve seen all season.

Mike Milea
Mike Milea

You know, I was at that game on Sunday and I specifically watched Milliner on the Dolphins passing plays and believe me when I say that the passes completed on his side WERE NOT HIS FAULT. I mean, this seems to be the Jets Achilles heal, the short and easy routes that the Jets give up. I dont care who your asking to defend these passes, (Okay MAYBE Revis and Sherman) but when a receiver runs a short simple route like a button hook or an out route which was all I was seeing ALL DAY from the Dolphins, and its 1 on 1 coverage like it was most of the day, its extraordinarily difficult to defend. ESPECIALLY if the QB and the WR are on the same page, the short simple routes can make any defenders day a LONG day. As it was for Milliner, the poor kid was getting picked on with those routes all day, it was a shame to see because the plays are so God damn simple, and I cant watch my own team execute them on offense. I feel like they're cheap... the button hook, so simple and its usually an easy first down, and the out route, if the CB is in the wrong position its almost a guaranteed completion. I think Milliner will become a solid DB for the Jets, just give him time, let him play and INSTILL CONFIDENCE. He's got all the right attributes to be a good DB, just let him play out a little and you'll see.

Jerry C
Jerry C

I'll be watching, but I have little optimism that Milliner will play well. His coverage to date has been timid, tentative and lunging at receivers after a big gain. I would like to say he will turn it around...I just don't see it happening.