Besides right tackle, I think most people would agree the next area of need, would have been in the pass rush. Our pass rush has been a mysterious beast. In 09, our pass rush only survived because of Rex's schemes. By 2010, the league was onto our tricky ways. For the past 2 years, our pass rush has been nonexistent. When we look at Rex's past, we see one of the best pass rushing OLB/DEs in the game, with Suggs. This put the notion in our minds that we would need Suggs' equal or better to get our pass rush up to snuff.
Going into the 2010 season, we wanted our Suggs, and we got Kyle Wilson. Before 2011, we wanted our Suggs again, and were rewarded with Wilkerson. Now it is 2012, and one again, we had hoped for landing our future Suggs, and we pick Coples. None of these three guys are pass rushing OLBers, but that doesn't mean there is no hope for our pass rush. In fact I see a bright future for our pass rush. I believe this, because of another acquisition this offseason, Karl Dunbar.
What this tells me is that Rex might be flipping the script on the league. Yes our base D is a 3-4 defense. In that defense, guys like Coples and Wilkerson are used more to take up blockers than to get to the QB. We also run a great deal of plays out of the 4-3 and nickel packages. In these 4 down linemen sets, guys like Coples and Wilkerson will be the primary pass rushers. Rex might have been planning to switch to more of a 4-3 defense, the whole time.
What I think will happen is with the addition of Karl Dunbar, I see us going to more sets with 4 down linemen. In the end, the 4-3 set better suits the players we have. Dunbar's fame comes from running one of the most dominant 4 man fronts in football, in recent years. The transition to this kind of defense, will cancel out the need for a traditional 3-4 OLBer. Both Aaron Maybin and Demario Davis would work perfectly as 4-3 OLBers. This new 4-3 heavy, hybrid D, would usher in a new era to the Rex Ryan defense.