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New York Jets: Not Benching Dee Milliner a Bad Recipe

Al Bello

Today's post dedicated to the awesomeness that is Applebee's is themed about a master chef. What ingredient has Rex Ryan used recently to either make the team better or worse? It would be tough to put a positive spin over the last few weeks. There is plenty negative.

In my book, the worst is his refusal to bench Dee Milliner. Like fellow rookies Geno Smith and Brian Winters, Milliner has looked lost at pretty much everything. Opponents have made a point to target him since Week 1 and been successful for the most part. He has been benched in multiple games. He kept getting his starting job back, though.

The difference with Milliner opposed to Geno or Winters is the quality of players behind him. Geno could be replaced by David Garrard, a guy who hasn't played in three years and whose knee is in such bad shape he retired a few months ago. He could also be replaced by Matt Simms, who is as much of a nonprospect as could be and arguably looked even worse than Geno in his limited action. With Winters, the obvious replacement would be Vladimir Ducasse, who was so bad when he started earlier in this season that the Jets thought Winters was actually a better option. Comparing the play of the two, they probably were not wrong. Winters actually might be better than Ducasse.

The story is different with Milliner. Kyle Wilson worked as a starter for most of last season and played credibly on a good pass defense. He is playing at a high level in the slot this year just like he did in 2011. Darrin Walls' ceiling is unclear, but he has looked a lot better than Milliner when he has played.

The Jets have credible alternatives, but Rex Ryan has for some reason refused to make a switch. This has left the secondary more vulnerable than it has to be, and opponents have taken advantage. In football terms, that is the opposite of a delicious Honey Pepper Sirloin.