The personnel coming to AFC East Rex Ryan knew he had to stop the Patriots to have a chance at a Super Bowl. So you bring in your highly drafted cornerbacks to stop the Patriots wide outs. Revis was already in place and after losing the AFC Championship game it was clear the CB’s were the weak link on the team not counting Darrelle Revis.
So what does a head coach do after identifying the weakness holding the team back? He works a trade for Antonio Cromartie and drafts the best CB available in the first round. Looking back at the 9-7 season, it was clear to get past Tom Brady and Peyton Manning the Jets had to be able to stop the WR’s. How well did it work out? Well, it was good enough to knock out Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in 2010.
In 2011, the offensive coaches started to catch on the fact that with three first round picks invested at CB the deep ball wouldn’t be effective. So the answer was to utilize the tight ends. The Jets defense was beaten on mismatches having invested so much at the CB position teams simply stopped using the deep ball. The Patriots, Cowboys, Redskins, and many other teams burned the Jets from the TE position. Rex Ryan appeared genius at stopping the deep ball but all he had to do was go to man coverage and blitz every other position. When you have talent like that it makes it look easy.
Back to the issue at hand, the Jets don’t have the talent at linebacker and safety position like they had at corner. It’s a copycat league and the Jets have to address this and trade a CB or get talent at either LB or TE to cover those deadly tight ends. Now that the league has caught on to beat the Jets - you play small ball to the tight ends and running backs.
How do the Jets fix this? I would draft the best linebacker or safety available in the first round. I would put one of the three corners on the trade block. If two starters cant be added at safety and OLB then a trade has to be made either for picks or players. I would move up a few spots to get OLB Courtney Upshaw in the first round then trade away a CB to move up in the 2nd
and pick up a safety.
Note: I will be addressing the Jets offense in my next piece. If you have questions or comments feel free to email or comment. Keith.email@example.com