Sunday is our last day in Cortland. Despite some soggy weather, here’s what we saw on the defensive side of the ball.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
The Big Nickel
There was no sign of Calvin Pryor today, but the safeties still came up during Rex’s press conference. Rex was asked about why he likes using three safety sets in his defense and he answered that it’s the versatility that it provides his defense. “They don’t know who is playing what” said Rex. According to Rex, safeties provide plus coverage and have larger bodies like linebackers and can be deployed in coverage, run support, or pass rush situations. In fact, Antonio Allen’s ability to rush the passer is one of the aspects of AA’s game that Ryan likes best. With deep group of corners, it is hard to tell how much the Jets will use their Big Nickel package, but it’s good to know that they are right there should Rex need them.
As for Pryor, Rex didn’t seem that this concussion for Pryor was a concerning start for a player who is known as a big hitter and who the team hopes to make a cornerstone of this defense in coming years. Rex indicated that this was more of a random injury and that Pryor’s lack of history with concussions makes him hope this was just and unfortunate event.
The Rise of Demario
When the Jets drafted Demario Davis a few years ago, Rex made a comment he was an excellent leader. Rex knows that while “not many linebackers can run with Demario” that now that DD is a veteran “other players are coming along with him” and that he is leading linebackers every day in extra film study and that “guys are starting to come with him.”
Room for improvement
In year’s past, Rex has crowed about how far along the defense is and how good they’ve looked. Rex sheepishly admitted today that he doesn’t feel like that’s the case this year and that there’s still lots of room for growth for them.
In addition he also said that he was animated at the end of practice and didn’t like seeing players trying to go to hard against other teammates. While there have been a plays that might qualify, QB Tajh Boyd was pushed out of bounds by Jeremiah George. Another linebacker chided George for the play and an offensive linemen barked at George after the hit. “We have to take care of our quarterbacks” Rex said at the press conference after practice. “That’s why they wear the red jerseys.”
- Rex has said repeatedly that getting takeways is a key area of improvement for this defense this year and they are talking about it and preparing for it on the field
- Jermaine Cunningham had a would be sack on Matt Simms during practice
- Nick Bellore had a crack of a hit on Mike Campbell. Both got up immediately and were fine but it got hoots from the crowd.
- I had a great interview with Sheldon Richardson after practice and I will put up the audio once I get back home!
I’ll put up some junk drawer thoughts later, but for now a big THANK YOU to all the readers. You are the reason that I get to take a few days away from my real life to do this every year. Thanks for everything and I can’t wait to share some of the awesome content from camp I got in the coming days! Go Jets!