Dee Milliner is playing one of the toughest positions in pro football. The cornerback position is notoriously hard to adapt to from college football through to professional football, so the challenge is already tough enough. However Dee has faced significant time on the sideline through injuries, which is surely hurting his cause. Rex has said numerous times how the missed time affected his development.
Remember Milliner missed the entirety of the Spring last year with a shoulder injury which he had surgery on. He then missed parts of training camp with an Archilles injury and then missed time during the season with a dodgy hamstring. Unfortunately for Dee he has had to sit out of some portions of the OTA's due to hamstring problem. Dee said him missing time was just precautionary, but Rex doesn't exactly sound best pleased:
"He has to understand that he has to be in extraordinary shape," Ryan said. "His challenge is to be in world-class shape because we have to have you out there. He needs to be out there. He needs to get work because that's how he's going to get better.
"He's got to step it up because I think he has all the talent in the world."
Right now Dee is slated to be one of the starters, probably alongside Dimitri Patterson. However if you have been paying attention to the OTA updates this year, you would have heard the name Ras-I-Dowling a lot. He was the one who stepped in with the first team defense and by most accounts, he is the player having the strong start to OTA's.
Now lets not forget that it's still June, it's still early and some players who start strong don't even make the roster. However if I were Dee Milliner I wouldn't be sitting too comfortably. As a first round selection he is obviously not getting cut as he has a ton of potential, but is he really guaranteed a starting spot? He needs to show he can stay healthy first and foremost and then he needs to show improvements. Fortunately for him, the Jets CB class is relatively poor, but doesn't Rex sound just a little bit agitated?