Eric Smith to Take Over Defensive Calls

EAST RUTHERFORD NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Eric Smith #33 of the New York Jets warms up before a game against the New England Patriots at the New Meadowlands Stadium on September 19 2010 in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Rex Ryan indicated he will give Jim Leonhard's responsibility of making defense calls over to Eric Smith in today's press conference.

(We’ll) probably lean more on Eric Smith.  We'll be doing that.  (He’ll) probably have to captain the defense a little bit.  But Eric Smith, he's about the smartest guy I know and he'll be able to handle it.  Each guy will step up (and we’ll) step our game up a little bit and our preparation. It’s going to be tough to replace Jim, but we have guys.  We are fortunate.  We have a lot of talent.  Again, the next man that steps up, we expect to stay at this level or pick it up even more.

This should take some of the concern away from those of you worried about losing Leonhard for the defensive calls. Rex has consistently stated Smith is the smartest guy on the roster. Rex even used him as the lifeline in a game of Jeopardy he held in camp for the players.'

Smith knows the defense completely. He should be plenty capable of making sure everybody is lined up in the right spot.

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