News: Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller & Bryan Thomas Ruled Out for Week Two
Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com
Bad news for the Jets today. Not only will their star cornerback Darrelle Revis not be cleared to play, starting outside linebacker Bryan Thomas and starting tight end won’t make the trip to Pittsburgh as well. Let’s address all three separately.
CB Darrelle Revis
Impact: Revis is the straw that stirs the defense’s drink. His ability to effectively lock down one side of the field allows Rex to deploy a safety into other uses – be it run support, pass rush, man coverage on another receiver or to make zone play that much easier. Because of his lingering concussion issues, he’s not going to be ready to play this weekend and that’s a huge blow to the Jets. Facing The Young Money Crew the Jets are going to be hard pressed to keep up with their receivers and a QB who can extend plays. Unfortunately, the rest of the cornerbacks aren’t fully healthy as Isaiah Trufant (now the 4th corner) is still recovering from an injury as well.
Remedy: There’s no perfect remedy here. The Jets would be wise to take their chances with Cromartie on Wallace. Cromartie is fast and tall enough to keep with Wallace much of the time and that will leave Wilson on a mix of players, be it Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders and even some Cotchery. Ellis Lankster and Josh Bush better be ready to play a lot of snaps as a potential nickel/dime players for this team and be solid in coverage. The Jets defensive line also better have the game of their life, limiting Roethlisberger’s time to throw with their base four and to drop as many bodies into coverage as possible.
LB Bryan Thomas
Impact: Thomas is a fantastic edge-setter, a versatile player fully capable of playing three downs, but who is best at this point in his career as a run stopper. The Jets will miss Thomas, but it’s not as if they haven’t had to deal with his absence of late – he missed most of 2011 with an injury.
Remedy: Maybin better bulk up some this week to prepare to try and take down Big Ben and Garrett McIntyre needs to be ready to see some time on passing downs setting the edge. Thomas might not be the flashiest player, but he doesn’t often make mistakes, something McIntyre did at least a play or two last season.
TE Dustin Keller
Impact: Keller is Mark Sanchez’s most reliable target last year and Sanchez has felt very comfortable throwing to his security blanket in his first three years. Keller’s absence means that the Jets won’t have a vertical threat from the tight end position and a sure target in traffic across the middle of the field.
Remedy: Cumberland filled in nicely for three catches as Keller tried to get healthy and saw some limitation to the number of snaps he could take during the game. The Jets don’t necessarily have a 1:1 replacement for Keller, but his absence can be distributed across other potential targets like Cumberland, Kerley and Greene/Powell/McKnight. Also, don’t underestimate Stephen Hill. Last year Plaxico Burress averaged a putrid 47% catch rate. Hill is already off to a screaming 83% start.