I think Brodney Pool might be the most important Jets defender on the field Sunday. Say what you will about Kerry Rhodes. He was a terrific cover safety. The Jets signed Pool hoping he would not be much of a dropoff in coverage and provide more in run support than Rhodes. Ever since sliding from free safety down to strong safety in place of Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith, Brodney has started to show what attracted the Jets to him. He has been a playmaker in run support and excellent in coverage.
Sunday will be his biggest test and one that might make the impending free agent a lot of money. Again, Brodney has been excellent in coverage lately. He has not faced tight ends as dangerous as Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. When the Jets played the Steelers, Pittsburgh did not have Heath Miller. The Colts were without Dallas Clark last week.
While I expect the Jets to change their coverage, Pool will likely have a prominent role playing one of the two tight ends man to man frequently. He is the best chance the Jets have. He has the best combination of size, speed, and athleticism on the roster. Considering his recent play, I think Jets fans would be justified to be relatively confident yet still concerned considering the challenge in front of him.
If he can do his job in coverage and man up effectively, the Jets have a lot more options in covering the other tight end. If he does not have a big game, victory will be much more difficult to find.