During the second half, Kyle Wilson and Darrin Walls saw plenty of playing time, while first round rookie Dee Milliner watched from the sidelines. While Milliner has potential to be great, it might be a case of throwing him in at the deep end, and Ryan felt like a steady veteran presence would be better for the Jets given the close nature of the game and the quarterback the Jets were up against.
Milliner admitted he had trouble with the play calls after the game, owning his miscues by telling reports that “I made a couple mistakes on a couple calls … simple mistakes … I need to [use] better judgment on a few plays.”
It was those simple mistakes that caused Ryan to remove Milliner from the game. When asked about the matter during the post game press conference, Rex Ryan said that he wanted Milliner to watch and learn.
Rex says he benched Dee Milliner, wanted him to watch. Replaced him with Wilson and Walls. Says Dee will be a great player.—
Eric Allen (@eallenjets) September 13, 2013
So how did Milliner react to the news? Antonio Cromartie told reporters that Milliner “handled it as a pro” and when the press talked with Milliner, he was supportive of his coach’s decision.
“I was fine with the coach’s decision,” the rookie cornerback stated at his locker after the game, also explaining his coaches reasons to let him learn from the sideline.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comDee Milliner seems like he will be a very good player given some time, but right now he’s struggling to keep up with the proper mechanics as well as the play calls, and so against this Patriots team on this particular day, Ryan was right in removing Milliner from the game.
Milliner has shown some flashes, as he did in punching out that football on the play that was called back, but with a deep secondary and very competent players deep in the group like Walls and Lankster, there is no need to push Milliner out too soon. Of course, he needs to have a role and grow into playing an NFL cornerback. Look to see if the Jets don’t pick a specific way to build his confidence and his technique on the field in the coming weeks before trying him out as a full-time starter.