I'm never one to take the popular road and today I'll take the road in defense of Kyle Wilson. As always, on this site, feel free to disagree. Pretty much since the draft pick four years ago there's been many Jets fans not satisfied with the Kyle Wilson pick, especially in the first round. Every game where Kyle draws a pass interference or gives up a big play people seem to be calling for his head. After watching Sunday's game there's a lot of talk about benching, trading and even cutting Kyle. I'm a little confused by some of this. Let's just slow down here and take a deep breath and put some things into perspective here.
No ones calling Kyle Wilson the next Darrelle Revis. I mean I may have made a comment similar to that four years ago but I am partial to Kyle since I watched him play for the Boise St. Broncos and wear his BSU Jersey on BSU game days but Kyle realistically is an average to slightly above average defensive back on any given Sunday. I believe _____key sums it up rather nicely in this article posted about Kyle back in July.
What we need to realize is that Kyle is more than just a cornerback however. He is more of a utility player in many of Rex's defensive schemes which is no easy undertaking to match up for 3 years with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie and learn. He's never really had a defined position. He's been bounced around from Nickel to Corner, from inside, to outside, to slot, to safety and on special teams (where he thrived in college and just hasn't really hit it off in the NFL - but is better than the likes of Gates!)
He didn't come into the NFL and have to transition to playing the role he knew from college, he had to learn all of the defensive back roles and clearly he's still learning. Turn your head, watch the hands, don't pull the jerseys... even Cro gets called for a ton of PI's we're a really aggressive team. I'll not excuse turning your head but the rest... I'll lay off most of it.
I look at Buffalo's game and I wonder... who else watched this game with me? How much of that was on Kyle and how much of it was on Steven Johnson or the Refs? At point in that drive do you just say, "let them play?" was it because it was Steven Johnson? Was I the only one who saw Steven Johnson take a swipe at Kyle before the snap before the first penalty against Kyle where Kyle wanted the push off? Who was in who's head? Kyle was clearly in Johnson's head since he later got called for the taunt to negate the "tiff for tat" holding penalty as well. This is a physical game but there is a mental aspect to it as well and Revis of all people plays that game. Where do you think Kyle learned that from? So we berate him for it? Sure looked like it was working to me.
The third play Wilson gets called for a penalty and it was when Wilson shoves Eric Wood of Buffalo in the pile up after Wilson gets ripped off the pile. This was after the Richardson illegal use of the hands. Again... Tiff for Tat... let the men play! We already had the illegal use of the hands penalty... let it go! We're not talking about Ndamukong Suh kicking people’s heads here...
Fourth and final play at this point if I was Wilson I'd be pretty pissed myself but I still don't really see anything wrong. I've seen so many worse plays than this not get called but Wilson tackles Johnson to the ground and ensures he's down. You see a Flop and a probable feigned injury by Johnson and at that point Rex pulls the string.
I can't get on Wilson for this game! I can get on Rex for not pulling him earlier to check his head on straight and calm him down. Probably 2 plays earlier. I can get on Wilson for not turning his head and drawing a PI. I can get on Wilson for a blown Coverage. I can even get on him for not returning punt returns because I know how explosive he was in college and I see 10+ yards of running room and a fair catch being called or a shoelace hit tackle happen.
I cannot... get on him for yesterday.
Call for a trade or a cut all you want but I'll stand by Wilson as a Jet and feel, even though I STILL want to see more out of the defense against a solid scoring team before I call them "top five", Wilson is an integral part of this defense and Rex and the other dbacks rely on him when he's out there.
He's a solid player and I'm glad he's on this team. BSU bias or no. When he's quiet he's under rated. When he's not the fans are in an uproar for his head. He's got his issues no doubt but he's part of a defense that could very well be touted in the top 5. We've got many more issues I'd rather turn my attention to than Kyle Wilson. Take Wilsons 4 penalties away (good or bad calls) and the team still has 16. You can't tell me that's still acceptable. I haven't forgotten about butterfingers at New England and as much as I still love Rex give the Challenge flags to someone else because he should never hold one again!