In case you didn’t see it yesterday. Rex Ryan used the start of his press conference to break down some of the tape to the media to share what the Jets are looking for from a preseason game. If you can, go watch it now … fascinating stuff for the wonky football nerd in all of us. In it, Ryan praised Jeff Cumberland for his work in the passing game, but maybe more compelling was his praise of Cumberland as a blocker.
“(Jeff Cumberland) does a great job here … squaring this guy up and he’s pressing to step up the field when Powell breaks this tackle or makes this guy miss,” Ryan demonstrated by video yesterday for reporters. ”(Cumberland’s) in a position to finish that block off. So this is something that we look for.”
After sharing a few more plays, Ryan said he liked what he saw out of Jeff Cumberland in Detroit. ”Our situation right now, we need him to be a complete tight end and that’s really what he’s becoming … (I am) really proud of the way he’s progressed, especially through the years, making that conversion from a receiver.”
Ryan also singled out Sheldon Richardson for his immediate acclimation to the defense, but maybe the most salient film breakdown came when Ryan showed the outstanding run by Lions running back Reggie Bush. In the play, Bush hurdled Jets defensive back Kyle Wilson to get a first down. While Ryan noted that there were two missed tackles, the Jets coach still felt that the Jets defense still adhered to a central tenet of their defense: intelligent pursuit.
“You’re being aggressive. You’re going to make the guy do something and that’s going to allow that pursuit to get there,” Ryan told the media. When we talk about pursuit, it’s not just about running to the ball. If you just said to run to the ball, you’d have all 11 guys running [directly at the ballcarrier] … when you see us do that drill at the start of practice where we fan the field, that’s exactly what it looks like … that prevents big plays.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comSo while it is easy to look at the play and simply hate on Kyle Wilson for missing a tackle, there’s more to it. With 10 other guys on the football field, Wilson knows that his lunge at Bush might not bring the running back down, but that he’s buying the rest his teammates time to line Bush up to prevent something far worse.
We love that rather wait around for the press to ask why Wilson missed the tackle or (maybe even more predictably) whether or not it is Rex Ryan or John Idzik who controls the fifty first percent of the vote in a quarterback battle, Rex Ryan demonstrated examples of sound football by the team.
It’s the preseason and it’s easier for a head coach do this and not give up much of a competitive advantage, but deep down we would love if Rex Ryan did more of this throughout the season. It seems unlikely, but sign us up for the coach’s clinics any day over yellow journalism (and poor yellow journalism at that) about “The Turmoil Within.”