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Thoughts on the Defense's Night

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Two things really stuck out to me from the defense last night.

The first was how awful Lito Sheppard looked. Two penalties and burned no less than four times, one of which would have gone for a touchdown if Steve Smith catches a perfect throw. He looked a step slow all night, and it's not like he's been great during the rest of the preseason. This has to get better. A blitzing attack means plenty of man coverage. With Darrelle Revis on the other side of the field, quarterbacks are going to be looking Sheppard's way.

The second was the adjustment on defense because of Vernon Gholston playing in a starting role. Gholston saw a lot of time to prepare for the first four weeks when Calvin Pace is out. The Jets showed a lot of 4-3. Sione Pouha joined Kris Jenkins in the middle. It seems like the idea is to let Gholston play his natural position at end. Pouha comes in to add as much beef as possible to play the run. That makes Gholston's task simple, get to the quarterback.

It didn't work too well. Gholston was handled most of the night by one man. I know he had his big sack in the second half. Don't get me wrong. It was great to see him play with such aggression, even if it meant a personal foul penalty. It's quite a contrast to the way he let up against Jay Cutler last year against Denver. Let's call that play for what it was, though, a horrific blown blocking assignment up front by the Giants. Gholston went through untouched. Nobody even noticed him up front. The rest of the night he was very quiet. I have to imagine Jamaal Westerman, who played well, takes a lot of Gholston's time once the regular season starts.