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Milliner Has To Take His Spot On Defense

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There were a few interesting notes in Todd Bowles press conference yesterday

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A lot was made last week about the Jets decision to turn to Darrin Walls instead of Dee Milliner when Marcus Williams exited the game with a knee injury.

Williams didn't practice on Wednesday and although he's still listed as day-to-day, there are some who consider him a long shot to play on Sunday, if Revis fails to exit the concussion protocol in time, the Jets will be forced to utilize their depth on defense.

Bowles wouldn't confirm who would play outside if both were to miss the game, and he wouldn't confirm who would cover Odell Beckham Jr, saying he didn't want to give the game plan away (that's logical and fair). However he was asked about the status of Milliner and his current position on the team.

Asked what Milliner would have to do to see snaps on defense, Bowles replied:

Well, you have to see it on the field. He's hustling. He's getting the rust off, but other guys have been playing since the spring and they've been playing summer, so it's competitive. I'm not just going to put a guy in there. You have to take it.

He's practiced well, but the other guys have practiced well as well. Game-plan wise last week, like I said, Dexter (McDougle) was an inside guy, (Darrin) Walls had more experience with some of the things we were doing, so we played him.

Hearing this isn't surprising. We've never heard of Milliner slacking in practice, and we know Bowles doesn't like to play players who have missed time. However he states quite clearly that if Milliner wants to play, he's going to need to take that spot. Show in practice that you are superior to the other options, if you do that, a coach like Bowles will put you in there. It's as simple as that. Maybe Milliner just doesn't have the talent to totally outshine his competition.

What we do know is that Bowles doesn't feel comfortable putting Milliner inside in the slot, referencing a lack of quickness

I don't feel comfortable putting him inside as a dime or nickel because depending on the scheme and what we're trying to do, he's a different type of player than that. We needed more quickness inside. Dex has been playing nickel this whole time, so it was either going to be Dex or Marcus switched up anyway, so those two have always had those spots.