NFL: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Link: Milliner’s rapid improvement key to defense’s recent successes

In the last two weeks, Dee Milliner has had three interceptions and as Sunday showed, the rookie from Alabama is becoming more sure of his play at the NFL level, writes the Star-Ledger’s Dom Cosentino:

The Dolphins targeted Wallace, one of the league’s fastest receivers, 12 times during the Jets’ 20-7 win Sunday. He caught just five passes for 25 yards. One was a touchdown when Milliner was locked in single coverage on him as the Jets blitzed. But twice, Milliner broke up passes intended for Wallace in the end zone that would have gone for touchdowns. And twice, Milliner came away with interceptions.

All this a week after Milliner had held his own against the Browns’ Josh Gordon, one the NFL’s best receivers.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Cosentino’s article points out that Ed Reed has been a huge influence for Milliner and his guidance. Reed’s help on the back-end for Milliner has allowed the rookie to play with more confidence and aggressiveness. While it has taken time to adjust, the way the Jets have deployed their safeties over the second half of the season has changed and seems to suit Milliner’s style of play as a rookie.

With an injured Cromartie and Ed Reed to help deep, the Jets have increasingly put Milliner in the spot to take on the toughest opposing receiver with Reed playing over the top. Last week against the Browns and this week against the Dolphins has proven that as teams prepare for the Jets in 2014, picking on Dee Milliner won’t be as effective a strategy as it was early on in Milliner’s rookie season.

33 comments
__fense
__fense

I just realized last night, even with all the ups and downs of the year, there were only 3 games that didn't go our way that we needed to go to the playoffs. The Ravens-Lions, a few weeks ago, Chiefs-Chargers, and Steelers-Browns yesterday. And one of those games ended in overtime, and the other ended in a 61 yard field goal. The Steelers winning yesterday was the only game that we needed, didn't get, and wasn't close. Maybe I'm forgetting something else, but I consider that pretty close to the playoffs.

Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

While Milliner had a considerably better game than he ever experienced as a pro, on one play Wallace beat him so badly, Millin er was pumping his arms at his side so fiercely, it would have been impossible to employ any defending techniques using his arms .

Bad throw by Tannehill saved the play and maybe the day.

OTOH, chit happens.

Ryan Flanagan
Ryan Flanagan

This is, by far, the happiest I've ever seen this fan base after a non-winning season. 

harvlis
harvlis

I wouldn't get crazy about Geno, Milliner, or Winters -- yet.  We weren't playing great teams, the last few weeks.  Like every Jet fan, I am hoping all of them blossom into stars.  I think Idzik gave up on the season, to get these players some experience.  I hope it pays off. 

greggreen
greggreen

BuT hes a bust! I saw him playing bad in his first games as a pro so that means hes always gonna be bad! same thing happened with da brick he sucked his rookie year and he still sucks now. Players dont get better with experience thats silly, any pick in the draft should be a instant stud or bust. Remember what happened to wilson sucked as a rookie and still sucks now. dont tell me stats that prove me otherwise. i know the truth!


Signed- Far too many jet fans who think like this 

__fense
__fense

So he had one INT last week and 2 this week. Week one of next year he has to get 3 or else it's a disappointment, right?

SackDance99
SackDance99

Off-season work on conditioning and technique is critical for the rookies to make progress for next season.  All of them need to get stronger and work the kinks out on their technical skills.  Obviously, Geno, Milliner and Winters need the most work, but Richardson with a full and dedicated off season could surpass Mo as the best DL on the Jets.  And, let's not forget Coples, who now that he has a year of OLB/DE under his belt could come back even better next season (ditto for Snacks).  What's now exciting about this team is that if all of these guys improve, and the injured guys come back to full strength, the base of this team is like the Jets circa 1980...a great mix of young and not too old talent...the Jets just have to mix in better offensive skill players.

bradysucks
bradysucks

Isn't it funny how many fans bitched and moaned about Ed Reed coming to the Jets and being too old and too slow.....and also cried about Reed impeding the development of Antonio Allen (untrue)......How many of us lost sight of the fact that Ed Reed mentoring Dee Millner and the other young Jets defenders is worth 10 times what the Jets are paying him?!?!....


While things looked bleak a month ago......the season ends with Millner, Winters, Geno, and Richardson all improving, Heck Sheldon Richardson has 2 TD's as a FB.

levi
levi

He has been steadily improving this season and I get a kick out of these guys that call him a bust or calling any rookie a bust for that matter but the CB position is one of the hardest in the NFL let alone for a rookie to step in and play man coverage on some of these athletic freaks playing WR.

LIJetsFan
LIJetsFan

I'm just thankful that Rex reduced Reed's reps, gave Allen more playing time so that he could continue his development, and figured out how to use Reed to help Milliner by having his back.  It took Rex a while to figure out how best to use Reed but he finally did and it paid off in spades.  I hope Reed can be resigned on the cheap and he's here next season. 

djf1
djf1

@__fense Well, if you just reverse one result (either of the Bills or the Dolphins losses), we're tied with SD, and it's down to the third or fourth tiebreaker (too lazy to figure out common games).  

__fense
__fense

@Lloyd Jay Reife On the other hand, Milliner is still a rookie, even with all the improvement he made during the season, he still hasn't had a full training camp or anything, and Wallace is really good at running towards the end zone faster than the guy that he's covering. There's only a few CBs in the league that he can't beat at least once a game.

__fense
__fense

@Ryan Flanagan It is, but there's some obvious reasons for it. The expectations going in, the two weeks of knowing we're out of the playoffs but winning anyway, Keeping one of the best HCs the team has ever had,  and the cap and draft situation that we're in that makes it easy to think that the team can really improve from a talent standpoint. This year was about building a foundation, and now we've got a strong one that can allow us to be good for years if things go well. The future has looked brighter than it's been in a while.

GhostofBrowningNagle
GhostofBrowningNagle

@greggreen its not just players we draft...that peyton manning clown had a rough rookie year and never turned it around either.  we may as well send geno to the glue factory now.

djf1
djf1

@__fense You got the progression wrong, It's 2^N - so week 1 I expect 4, and week 16 I expect 131072 interceptions.

Kyle Suta
Kyle Suta

Yeah I would resign him and play him 30-40 snaps a game. We have bigger needs like 2 WR and a TE to worry about safety

Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

  @__fense


I realize Milliner hasn't had a full training camp.  Maybe that's why he put in so much effort yesterday.  They were targeting him.

No breaks in the NFL.  . Fortunately his overall performance was good as mentioned in my original post.  He's a good kid who I hope shows continual progress.



Ryan Flanagan
Ryan Flanagan

I didn't mean it sarcastically. I'm one that is hopeful for the future and felt Rex absolutely should be here. He is the biggest face of this franchise since Joe Namath and is fast becoming what Jet football embodies. I think he's a great coach and I'm glad he'll be back. Spend that money wise, draft smart and this team should be a force for years to come. This off season is so huge.

a57se
a57se

@djf1@__fense

262,144 to be exact.....2^18

djf1
djf1

@juunit @bradysucks According to the PFF grades Bent posted, he had a steady improvement over the past five games (with only the last game being a positive grade, of course).


It wasn't pretty, but maybe with the experience of this season and the offseason, Winters becomes serviceable.  Maybe.

boomer
boomer

@juunit @bradysucks Improved?  Yes.  Good?  Not yet but he clearly got better the last few games of the season.

bradysucks
bradysucks

@juunit @bradysucks 


Well people dwell on the negatives...especially with a rookie.....but I am betting that Winters will be a solid NFL guard and we will see a much better year from him in 2014


(Give him a year in the Jets strength & conditioning program......)

a57se
a57se

@__fense@djf1@a57se 

Ahhhh...you got me....n=0 in the first week.....I counted N = 18 games so did 2^18.....it is really 2^N-1 where N =  number of games!

I told you I hated STATISTICS!!

__fense
__fense

@djf1 @a57se @__fense I'm going to go ahead and say that the bye week counts. No one will be able to say that we're doing damage control.

djf1
djf1

@a57se @djf1 @__fense Well, if N = 2 in game 1 next year, in game 16 it will be N = 17.  2^17 = 131072.  Of course I said week 16 instead of game 16, so technically it would only be 2^16 = 65536.

Matt Kelly
Matt Kelly

@boomer @juunit @bradysucks i agree he got better..... i'm hoping he has an Austin Howard-like improvement next year.    think about that, everybody was screaming about Howard last year and he had a quietly very solid year this season