Rex Ryan Makes The Defense Go Round

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

As long as we have Rex Ryan, we'll be okay.

A lot of people are understandably upset with how the New York Jets have treated the cornerback position in free agency. I'm certainly not thrilled. However, it's important to remember that the team has Rex Ryan running the defense. Despite putting a premium on top-notch cornerback play, he hasn't always had it.

In 2009, the team had Donald Strickland and Lito Sheppard opposite of Darrelle Revis, and made it to the AFC Championship Game. In 2012, Revis went down with an ACL tear and with the team relied on Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson, they had the second best pass defense in the league. In 2013, Cromartie played all season with a hip injury and looked truly awful, along with a struggling rookie in Dee Milliner next to him, and the defense still came out all right.

I understand that past performance isn’t a guarantee of future success. In 2009 and 2012, the defense was helped by Revis and Cromartie playing out of their minds. However, as we saw towards the end of this past season, Milliner started to play extremely well, and there’s hope his development will continue. Wilson played well on the outside in 2012, and as John B. has suggested, it's possible he can be moved back. There are several great corners in the draft such as Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard. It’s possible Cromartie has recovered from his hip injury, can be re-signed cheaply, and can play better than 2013 (honestly, hard to imagine him playing much worse).

Although it’s fair to be disappointed with free agency so far, the world hasn’t ended yet.

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