Concerns on the corner

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

While quarterback is the position that gets the most attention (and headlines) the eye has turned to the secondary and the problems

Brian Costello of the New York Post wrote about the secondary and how the Colts took advantage of it on Thursday night.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck picked apart the Jets secondary in his one drive, throwing for 53 yards. He picked on cornerback Dimitri Patterson, but also found soft spots in the middle of the Jets defense. Now, Rex Ryan and Co. did not game plan and were not throwing their entire defensive playbook — or even half of it — at the Colts.

[…]

“Teams will find him,” one executive from another team said of Patterson.

Patterson gave up three receptions for more than 50 yards, including two receptions that came on third down.  Patterson told the Bergen Record after the game that “I had a couple plays that I wish I could have back.”

It is true that Patterson did look lost in his first game as a Jet and was picked on by both Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselback, but it wasn’t as if Ryan didn’t set up the situation.  Ryan set up a very basic scheme in the first preseason game with little if any coverage help for his corners.  According to Rex the Colts “knew both of our corners were hanging out to dry … they were taking some one-on-one shots out there.”

As Rex does when he wants to protect a player, he jumped on the funeral pyre.

“I’ll take the responsibility for how the defense played in the first half” Rex said after the game.   “We only played a couple coverages and I kind of left our guys out there … I wasn’t sharp,”

Dimitri Patterson’s play wasn’t great, but is it something that some better coverages and the teams rookie safety couldn’t fix?  It’s too soon to hit the panic button, but Patterson’s on Thursday night wasn’t confined to a vacuum.  Reports out of Portland have been that he has struggled with his one-on-one matchups and had some issues with injuries.

There’s no use now worrying about the players they could have gotten in March or May, so what can the Jets do now?

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes about Rex’s defense and what it requires to work effectively.

Ryan’s defense is predicated on physical, press-man cover cornerbacks who excel in a single-high safety design. He uses exotic pressure schemes thanks, in part, to devoting only one safety to the deep part of the field.

Revis and Antonio Cromartie gave Ryan flexibility and freedom, but poor cornerback play last season forced him to tinker with those aggressive schemes. He altered the plan to mitigate shortcomings on the back end.

This is true, but there are tweaks on this for 2014.  The cornerback spot is getting scaled back some in favor of the other area of the secondary.  The team is obviously putting more faith in their safeties this season and will have a rangy athletic big-hitting safety in Calvin Pryor and might run them more in different looks than just that one-high system we’re so used to seeing from Rex.  Also, while many will say it’s premature, it will be Dee Milliner, not Dimitri Patterson filling the Island cornerback  role when required.  For much of Milliner’s rookie season, it didn’t look possible, but if you re-watch his games from December it seems more and more likely.

Beyond the personnel changes around the CB2, there’s also the notion that Patterson might not be the guy for this team at that spot all season long.  Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster and primed to take over if required while the team keeps Kyle Wilson inside at the slot.  If Dexter McDougle continues to get better, he might make a push for playing time.  The point?  There’s plenty of other talent that could step up.

“You mix a trap or two in over there and we’ll see what happens,” Rex said after the game on what he’ll do to hide the second corner, whether that’s Patterson or someone else.

Patterson in the NY Daily News.

“They got to throw somewhere,” Patterson said of the possibility of being picked on by opposing quarterbacks this season. “If you’re asking me if I’m going to be targeted more than anybody else, I don’t know. We’ll see. … And that’s fine. I’m an undrafted guy, so I’ve been targeted my whole career. It’s about — when the season comes — showing up. If they choose to target me, those are opportunities for me to make. That’s really what it comes down to.”

Dimitri Patterson or the CB2 might be the Jets wounded gazelle on the edge of the herd, but the difference is that the pack is not going to leave him on his own all season.  Sometimes the predator will get the best of that spot, but the simple fact is that the safeties and the coaching staff will do whatever they can to protect that

Once upon a time, the Jets had Lito Sheppard and a young buck named Darrelle Revis … and that secondary rode their way to the best defense in the NFL in Rex Ryan’s first year.  With a better group of pass-rushers and safeties than they had in 2009, a rising star in Dee Milliner and a Lito Sheppard-esque #2, I think the Jets will be fine.

 




153 comments
bob
bob

Should we have to use stunt blitzes with that tallented defensive line much. Will it be ok to give Sanders help over the top. The real season hasn't started yet so Rex will test the defense see what it can and cant do in preseason I guess.

rstysanchz
rstysanchz

dosent rexs defenses always look suspect in preseason games...i remember victor cruz torching us one game before he was a household name and i think the same for julian edelman also 

SackDance99
SackDance99

I thought Costello's piece was terribly premature.  Here's what we know about the Jets D.  It's very hard to run on.  Teams don't like constantly being 2nd at 8 or worse.  So, teams will have a quick strike passing game.  Teams will pass a lot more on the Jets they they will run.  We also know that Rex wants to generate more of a pass rush.  How that will be done is less certain.  The hope is that Sheldon, Snacks and Ellis pick up the pass rush (we know Mo will be solid and, perhaps, spectacular), while Coples, Babin and Pace wreak havoc from the outside.


My guess is that Rex is hoping that he will be able to funnel the opposing team to either short passes (with the hope that Pryor and others put the hammer down) or to Milliner.  That unnnamed exec says the teams will find Patterson.  As Bassett notes, in 2009, teams tried to find Lito Sheppard, too.

What will also help the defense is playing with leads.  If Rex knows the other team has to pass, he can scheme better and have Babin and Coples in together.  Rex's D thrives on making opposing QBs uncomfortable with confusing coverages and/or pressure.  A plain vanilla defense is not Rex's defense and, as past pre-seasons have shown, Rex will be reluctant to show much of his schemes.  Gabbert lit up the Jets D last year in pre-season.  Enough said.

Bent
Bent moderator

Hmmm Jeris Pendleton was cut.  That's the guy Vick beat to the edge for that 15-yard run.  I'm sure it wasn't just because of that play but he was on their main roster during the playoffs last year.  He played 45 snaps in two playoff games.

juunit
juunit

Enunwa starting to show up in practice now that he's fully healthy. 


Looking forward to see if he can get in earlier and make some plays in the second game now.

Daniel Diffin
Daniel Diffin

It says a lot about how much we've missed football that people are willing to go nuts about how someone played in the first half of a pre-season game. Can you imagine people obsessing about the first pre-season baseball game? This is silly.

Geoff Dean
Geoff Dean

i will disect our team at a later date. we still have that new car smell.

Geoff Dean
Geoff Dean

whats up my fellow jet fans. getting a tad pumped here. bring on the best game going played by the group i will be living and dying with till, hopefully february. booYeah!

j3tsfan29
j3tsfan29

You may not be concerned but I am. Yes it's early and hopefully I'm wrong but from what I saw Thursday, not only Patterson but Wilson as well couldn't cover a pea with aluminum foil. I'm still shocked that idzik had a chance to obtain the droy with the revis pick and get revis back and didn't want a shutdown corner. Milliner I'm confident in but the rest, not so much. Like I said its still early but IMO as of right now, wish we would swallowed some pride and picked up revis.

levi
levi

I see Joey is doing the daily links today.

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

On the flip side Milliner made some good plays breaking up a couple of passes when Luck was in. I would like to see Mcdougal get some first team reps, I would like to see what he's got. On offense I wasn't Impressed much but alot of it had to do with the personnel they had in the beggining, I would of like to see different receiver sets challenging that first team defense. They had Kerley and Decker and Nelson which are good clutch players but won't stretch a defense. I would have like to see them put in Hill, Ford, Saunders, or even Hakim in the mix to have the defense respect the speed on the field, could have open up stuff underneath. 

jlaw
jlaw

Wow.....Preseason Game 1 And Seemed To Me That Luck Is Taking Mantel Of Best Q in league.

Luck knew the Jets d line is a beast. Got rid of ball quickly. When games count I expect cb to get in face of wr. Safety will play over top throw. This shows me the league will be showing this excellent d line. That is my take away from this game more then anything. It's a team game...all about schemes and adjustments. I don't question Rex defense. I also recall MILLINER went though this last year.

maynardfan
maynardfan

I'm guessing that Rex knows more than he is saying. He put all corners in bad situations on purpose to see what happens...that includes Walls, Eric and McDougle. Then the coaches check the film and compare. Patterson is a placeholder for McDougle...with Walls and Eric ready to fill-in as they did with Dee last year.

williamg1
williamg1

I like the idea of #FREELANKSTER

Bent
Bent moderator

@rstysanchz I wouldn't say always but it's fair to say there's been times when it looked suspect that it proved not to be anything worth worrying over.

Bent
Bent moderator

@SackDance99 Let's not forget that at certain points of his tenure, Rex has taken a defense that looks TERRIBLE one week and then fixed it overnight so it looks pretty good the next week, whether that's because one player is underperforming or they're adjusting to an injury.


Can't we trust him to fix any issues on the defense by the time we have our next game that counts (which is still over four weeks away)?  Especially when those issues were relatively minor in comparison to something like the 45-3 loss in New England, after which the Jets defense was terrific down the stretch starting the very next week. 


Suddenly a probable starting corner looking a tad shaky a month before the season starts is an unsolvable riddle?

harold
harold

@SackDance99 


Clearly this was the Jets defense and we are what we are.  Season over!!

BDarc23
BDarc23

With pitchers they do. We heard about Sabathia's velocity non-stop.

harold
harold

@Bent 


Patterson is a bum and one of the 2 or 3 worst CB's in football.  We can't possible have a top ten unit with him in there.  (we finished 11th last year with the exact same scenario).



johnnyl65
johnnyl65

@Bent Hope Pattersons woes are injury related he did look slow out of the break. I didn't notice a limp or any sign that he was injured though.

levi
levi

@Bent It makes no sense for Rex and Thurman to have Patterson play more snaps than any other CB if he is hampered by injuries. Let the man heal. But why they let him play is the question because Rex has always let his injury prone Vets rest or be on a pitch count as they say. Something doesnt add up especially Rex criticizing him at practice and after the game if he was struggling due to injury.

BDarc23
BDarc23

You don't have any Gangrels here

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@UncleJoesJetFarm 

Very good for your friend Goldie, Brendan!!

His wife goes though labor and HE takes the day off...geezzzz what a wimp !!!

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@UncleJoesJetFarm 

Is that only ONE Finger the woman next to Rex has UP????

AND who is she pointing it to ??

harold
harold

@UncleJoesJetFarm

Glad you corrected that!!

a57se
a57se

@UncleJoesJetFarm 

Yeah, how dumb are the Jets coaches holding Lankster back just because of Special Teams!

williamg1
williamg1

@Pablo Bruno Milliner really did look good. He played with confidence. I think our offense will be fine once the OLine is syncing. Although, I don't trust Winters. Kinda iffey about Breno. 

williamg1
williamg1

@jlaw With our excellent D Line, its all the more reason for press coverage. Hopefully Patterson will start playing in WRs faces. 

bradysucks
bradysucks

@a57se


I think  Amaro is going to turn into the best TE the Jets have had since Mickey Shuler. He has ideal size for the position and  is a good receiver. He just needs to learn the offense...

Bent
Bent moderator

@johnnyl65 @Bent No, neither did I.  And too much of a cushion is too much of a cushion.  No CB has the recovery speed to close that gap.


I thought the most interesting part was when Rex spoke about traps and this has been perceived as a way to "hide" the 2nd cornerback when the reality is that two of the first downs he gave up were because they set a trap that didn't quite work.  Interesting.

Bent
Bent moderator

@levi @Bent From the way that was written and Rex's comments today, I think the suggestion is that Patterson didn't let on how badly he was hurt, perhaps because he feels his spot might come under threat.

Zartan
Zartan

It's the media drones that scare you, you have to listen to the media through them.

jlaw
jlaw

Exactly....i can assure they will play off all games except 3rd preseason game. This game is more about getting tempo up. ...means nothing. All you want out of this game is no injuries. If you really want to worry...the running game was terrible with our starters.

levi
levi

@Bent  It makes sense because he is better than how he played but you would think the coaches could tell he was hurt if it hampered him as bad as it seemed to.

And yes, he should be worried about his "spot". There is a lot of competition at CB this year.

a57se
a57se

@Bent @levi 

Sounds like more excuses for shoddy play to me....

a57se
a57se

@UncleJoesJetFarm @a57se 

When your "Sarcasm" is something that you have stated in all seriousness before, is it really sarcasm?

bradysucks
bradysucks

@a57se @bradysucks


He may not be better than Mickey Shuler but he will be better than any TE the Jets have had since Chris Baker......I am confident in making that statement

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent @levi


Yes, but maybe it's a valid excuse.


He's a capable player who played poorly.  There's a number of possible reasons for that ranging from "he never was a capable player in the first place that must have just been luck or something" to those which would be viewed as "excuses".


I'll keep an open mind and look forward to seeing him show signs of improvement in the coming weeks.

a57se
a57se

@Bent @a57se @levi 

Yeah just like Cro had a valid excuse for killing this team last season...

I guess you are alright with that!

williamg1
williamg1

@Christopher Lewis If I remember correctly, the draft pick we used to trade for him, could have been used on Heath Miller

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent @levi


Well, apparently he did and I mentioned that many times.  Clearly Cro is another guy who can play at a higher level than he did last year, so that's a good comparison.


Where the concern comes in is whether that injury that is making a difference to his performance is a long term or a short term thing.  When we got Patterson, the concern that he is "always" hurt was obviously a worry, but when healthy he is capable of playing well and "always" doesn't necessarily actually mean always...nor do we know that these injuries he currently has will be long or short term.


We have strength in depth at the corner position for the eventuality that he gets hurt.  If he never gets healthy then that's just bad luck but the idea that he is a total bum we never should have signed is a bit off-base for me.


I think mentioning Cromartie better helps me to make the point I was trying to, so thank you for that.



a57se
a57se

@williamg1 @Christopher Lewis 

Uh, no...

The draft pick used to trade for Jolly could have been used to trade up a few slots (like Oakland actually did with the pick) and draft Aaron Rodgers...

a57se
a57se

@williamg1 @a57se @Christopher Lewis 

and Oakland traded the 26th pick to the team that picked right before GB so they could take some one else...we could have made the same trade to get ahead of GB....