A few days ago, I did a little break down on the Jets offense concluding that they may be slightly better just based upon the play at QB. Then they released Jerricho Cotchery; I'm now slightly less confident in the offense. Oh well, its still early. Just below is the link for offense.
After the jump, a breakdown of the moves on defense.
DEFENSIVE LINE - The Jets made some interesting moves in the draft. They went after two defensive lineman with their first two picks gaining Mo Wilkerson in the 1st round and Kennrick Ellis in the 3rd round. It's already said that Mo will join Sione Pouha and Mike Devito as the starters. That of course begs the question as to whether or not Shuan Ellis will return. While the rookies may have upside, Shuan Ellis was described by Rex as "possibly the best pass rusher on the team last year." Without Ellis and a sub like Trevor Pryce, I believe the line is slightly worse even with the addition of the rookies. Perhaps by week 8, the rookies will be competeing at a high level, but to start the season without Ellis, I believe the defensive line is worse than last year. Position: Worse
LINEBACKERS - The linebackers return almost unchanged from last year. The starters are Calvin Pace, David Harris, Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas. Last year the top sub was Jason Taylor who performed decently with 5 sacks. This year Rex has nominated the unproven Jamaal Westerman as the top sub. On the loss of Taylor alone, I might be compelled to believe the linebackers are worse this year. But recall that Pace was injured last year and apparently never significantly recovered. A healthy Pace may make up for the loss of Taylor, who incidently subbed most often for Pace himself. Position - Status Quo
SECONDARY - The secondary returns almost exactly the same as last year. The corners will be Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Revis will participate in camp and hopefully stay healthy unlike last year. Cromartie should benefit from another year in the system. The safeties include Brodney Pool, Jim Leonhard, and Eric Smith just the same as last year. Kyle Wilson will play the nickel; hopefully in his second year and with a mentor like Revis, he can reach his potential. Other subs include Dwight Lowery and Donald Strickland. The biggest loss is Drew Coleman but I do believe his play was more involved with scheme than his own physical talents. All told, a healthy Revis, another year in the system for the whole group and the tape study from last year, makes this group just slightly better than last year. Position: Better
Altogether, I don't know what to expect from the Jets defense this year. On one hand, I believe that another year together will help them tighten up the coverage on an already good defense. On the other hand, tight coverage is only so valuable if you can't pressure the QB. And I don't see any improvement in the pass rush, in fact, it may have gotten worse. More or less, I see them same defense as least year with a few minor tweaks. Let's hope they have a few hidden gems on the bench or a few more moves before the season starts.