Roster Battles: The second starting safety

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Here’s a chance to look at some of the position battles that should play out over training camp in the coming weeks.

Calvin PryorThe Setup: Last year the Jets went into the season with questions about how strong they could be in coverage.  Dawan Landry, Antonio Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett were better equipped to be “box” safeties; deployed around the line and their strengths left the Jets vulnerable in coverage.  The Jets took the opportunity to upgrade the coverage of the group by bringing in Ed Reed mid-season and while it seemed to work in December, the November adjustment period was rough.  This year, the Jets will deploy their rookie first round pick, Calvin Pryor, deep in coverage but who will start alongside him?

The Main Contenders: Antonio Allen, Dawan Landry

The Darkhorses: Jaiquawn Jarrett, Josh Bush, Rontez Miles

The Analysis: Rex Ryan has always preferred to have highly versatile players up the middle of his defense.  While in a perfect world, Calvin Pryor would be deployed near the line, but he is more than athletic and experienced to drop into deeper coverages until they sort out that second versatile player.  Dawan Landry is the veteran leader of the secondary and his knowledge of the Jets defense dating back to Baltimore is invaluable, but Landry’s coverage skills were never his strong suit and the Jets played Landry with the backups this spring so that young players like Antonio Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett could see more reps with the starters and sub-package players.

The Projection:  Allen seems to have the inside track for three reasons.  (1) Allen provides more speed, athleticism & versatility in both coverage and run-support than any other safety outside of Pryor, (2) Allen won one of the starting jobs last year prior to Ed Reed’s arrival and (3) in the spring the Jets were already trying out the Pryor-Allen tandem heavily.  Need more?  Allen took roughly half as many snaps as Landry did over the 2013, yet produced 42 tackles to Landry’s 62 and made the same amount of sacks (one apiece) and interceptions (one apiece) as the veteran.

If Pryor pulls the heavier coverage role, Allen would be a fine complement in the run-heavy role, but can drop in coverage when required. Jarrett was a reclamation project from the Eagles that seems to be working out for the Jets as a depth option and Rontez Miles makes most sense as a potential core special teamer this year.




106 comments
Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

Shall we ponder,

do good safeties compensate for so-so corners?

goat7
goat7

Antonio Allen all day. He's underrated by many, especially his coverage skills, just like the masses believe Pryor can't cover cause of his thumping ability. Point blank, this is the best Safety play the Jets have had every since I can remember. Definitely better than the D that took us to 2 straight AFCCG's. Our back end will be better than most think, which puts the success of our season on the Offense to be middle of the pack for a special season that we all deserve.

a57se
a57se

If I remember right, a bunch of TJB'ers are into Fantasy Football.

Are there any sleepers out there guys are thinking about for this upcoming season?

Ladarius green seems to be getting a lot of love, for one...

a57se
a57se

Any chance the Jets sign Dustin Keller if he gets healthy soon?

He would come cheap on a one year deal and could provide some vet. leadership for the TE's...

Of course, if Sudfield or Pantale are showing a lot of promise, I wouldn;t want to go there...

levi
levi

After years of poor safety play Im looking forward to seeing these guys get some turnovers and lay some people out. Im assuming Pryor/ Allen will be starting. Time to let the thumping youngins take over.

a57se
a57se

Wow...mass deletions!

Back to Football now!

How many safeties do we keep on the final 53 man roster and who are they?

a57se
a57se

@Lloyd Jay Reife 

Last year when I was advocating taking Vaccaro at safety, the argument against that was Rex' defense doesn't need good safeties to be good...

Ironically, when he was in Baltimore, his safeties were excellent and his CB's were so-so...

I don't think it matters to much as Rex can gameplan for what he has.

jsadolph
jsadolph

@a57se 

I haven't heard anything about Gates this offseason.  But unless something happens to him.  It would be hard to put much stock in Green.  But Green could start to eat into Gates production this year.  I would probably wait on him.  He will be out there in week 3-4 if you want him.

jsadolph
jsadolph

@a57se 

It takes 2 years to fully come back from a Knee injury(inless your name is Peterson).  And if you knee gets completely broke in half it takes longer.

Pass on Keller no matter how good he feels. 

juunit
juunit

@levi 

You were talking about getting a safety all offseason. I'm surprised you haven't been celebrating more that we got Pryor. Any plans on getting his jersey, or waiting to see first? 

a57se
a57se

@levi 

Hopefully Pryor lives up to the Hype...

williamg1
williamg1

@a57se Depends on how often we try to ....... blitz. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se I can't wait for you to act like that wasn't your fault! 


Another day, another thread demolished by your bull-in-a-china-shop antics. 

Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

@a57se    I'm just a trifle concerned that during the Revis-Cromartie years and the safeties of that day would be a better  group than whom  we'll be putting on the field in 49 days.


Thank you for your input.


levi
levi

@juunit  I plan to ask Pryor at training camp if I should buy his jersey! Seriously. 


BTW Ive been clamoring for a Safety for 3 off seasons.

Brendan
Brendan

@juunit If you buy those Chinese fake jerseys, you can just buy one for all the new players and throw out/donate the ones for players who end up sucking. 

Brendan
Brendan

@williamg1 I pray they send Pryor at least once a game. Let that dude fly around while he learns the structure of the position/playbook. 

Brendan
Brendan

@levi Please do ask him, that should be a good response. 

juunit
juunit

@Brendan @juunit 

Those fake Chinese jerseys probably turn your skin green though. 

Might be better off learning to sew and getting a bunch of letters and numbers so you can change them around yourself on the one real jersey you buy. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se So you can play the victim at a later date, I know. Your act is staler than month-old bread. 

levi
levi

@Brendan  Oh Im gonna if I can get close enough which usually you can... Id love a pic with Rex too.

Brendan
Brendan

@juunit Nah dude, they're remarkably legit looking. You'll get the occasional lemon with the wrong types of letters or whatever, but the majority of them are on-point. 

Brendan
Brendan

@williamg1 I was thinking kind of how Kerry Rhodes was used. Let him do a bit of everything so the offense is left guessing what his responsibility will be. 

Brendan
Brendan

@levi Giving Rex a high five is on my bucket list. 

juunit
juunit

@Brendan @juunit 

*Orders Richardson jersey*


*Opens package*


"Why is there a Pink Panther costume in this box?"


*Chinese factory workers dancing to the Pink Panther theme song*

Brendan
Brendan

@williamg1 The Jets weren't anywhere near the top in terms of blitzing last year, but I think that might have been a product of them not wanting to expose young players. I think as Rex gets more confidence in his young guys, we'll see him bring back some of those overload/exotic blitzes. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se Oh, you were given moderator powers?


That thread was deleted because it was political and you turned it into a bitter discussion before outright insulting a TJB commenter. 

Brendan
Brendan

@Bubby Brister Which ones/sport are you looking at? Some of them are trash, but the baseball/football ones are solid. Keep in mind you're paying like $20 for a jersey, but since I just wear them to games where they get messed up fairly easily, it's worth it for me. 

Bubby Brister
Bubby Brister

@Brendan @Bubby Brister 

I'm talking about the football Nike ones with the photos on the fronts and back...along with the usual lettering and numbers.

I'm no fashion guy, by any stretch, but those really are ugly to me...


Brendan
Brendan

@jsadolph Yes, sir, it was. That's the type of games that Rex loves and if he is confident in his secondary he's more likely to call plays like this one, imo. 

Brendan
Brendan

@Bubby Brister Oh, those print things are hideous, agreed with you there. I just skipped right to game jerseys. I liked the Reebok style better, so putting aside my dislike of the Nike design, the quality compared to legit Nike sewn jerseys isn't terrible. 


If you get up close you can probably tell it's fake, but you'd really have to look at it. 

jsadolph
jsadolph

@Brendan @jsadolph 

And to think that people are saying Q can't play OLB because he can't drop into coverage. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se That's not what you said originally. I didn't vow or offer to stop posting about non-football items, especially in the dog days of summer. You did, because that's something you fake caring about at random times for some reason.