The New York Jets have found themselves in a peculiar predicament. They have no corners left! I may be exaggerating a bit, but I’m not far off. After the injuries to starters Dee Milliner, Dmitri Patterson & rookie Dexter McDougle in the past week, I’m not too far off. They’ve been replaced for the time being by a collection of misfits that has included the likes of Kyle Wilson, Jeremy Reeves, Ras-I Dowling, Ellis Lankster, & Darrin Walls. Beginning with the second game of the regular season, the Jets will face the Packers (Aaron Rodgers), the Bears (Jay Cutler), the Lions (Matthew Stafford), the Chargers (Phillip Rivers), & the Broncos (Peyton Manning) , all in succession. All this before they face Tom Brady twice! This isn’t going to be pretty.
Unfortunately they have been placed in this vulnerable position by their GM John Idzik who, for all intents & purposes, virtually ignored their weaknesses in the back of the defense. He allowed a bumper crop of free agent cornerbacks to pass him by without so much as an attempt to sign any of them. This while still having well over $20 million in cap space remaining. In case you’ve forgotten, that crop of corners included Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Darrelle Revis, Vontae Davis, Brent Grimes, Alterraun Verner, Aquib Talib, & Brandon Flowers. All of them would be starting in this Jets’ defensive backfield right now. But John Idzik, along with HC Rex Ryan, let all of these corners sign elsewhere while they trumpeted their good fortune in being able to secure the services of Dmitri Patterson, a journeyman veteran corner at best who has a history of injuries. And he promptly got hurt by the second week of camp. But that’s still better than McDougle’s situation – he won’t return this season after tearing his ACL.
Dee Milliner, now the #1 corner on the depth chart, isn’t expected to return before the opening week match against the Oakland Raiders. And he will have missed most of training camp when he does. This is a fine mess Idzik’s gotten them into. Rex Ryan, bless his now – little heart, claims he doesn’t need shutdown corners in order for his defense to thrive. I’ve got to see this. When that battalion of QBs gets through with them early in the season, we’ll see who thrives & who merely survives. Regardless of Rex’s opinions, this defense is in a lot of trouble. The front seven really has the pressure on them now to create a pass rush on a consistent basis in order to counteract the glaring weaknesses in the defensive backfield. Oh, and did I mention one of the starting safeties is a rookie? As good as Calvin Pryor can be you have to expect him to have his struggles early on going up against that Murderer’s Row of QBs. The pool of drool is forming to the left after they get a load of who’s checking Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Jody Nelson, Demaryious Thomas, etc. I’m getting queasy just thinking about it.
If Rex Ryan can hold off those upper echelon QBs with this rag-tag group, he deserves Coach of the Year hands down. He has his work cut out for him. Let’s not forget DC Dennis Thurman. He has a career at stake here also. And John Idzik can just sit up in his office watching the 300 – yard passing games pile up along with the cap money he’s saved Jets’ owner Woody Johnson.
*BREAKING NEWS*: As of Sept. 1, the New York Jets have released Dmitri Patterson after a bizarre incident where he went AWOL before a preseason game on Aug. 22 vs. the Giants. The team did not know of his whereabouts for 48 hours. He eventually returned and the Jets suspended him indefinitely but admitted he would return on or about Sept. 1. Later he stated in an interview that the Jets were “completely false” for claiming he was AWOL. Not that he gave any details as to why he disappeared. Well, he’s been shown the door in order to do whatever he does when he disappears. Meanwhile, the Jets have signed CBs Leon McFadden and Philip Adams off the street. Have mercy.