The other day we discussed the most pleasant surprises of the Jets in 2015. Now let's flip things around and dwell on the negative. Which players on the team underperformed?
5. Dee Milliner
I am not sure how much you can really call Milliner a disappointment. That would imply there were high expectations on him to begin with. Still, everything was set up for him to grow as a player. The Jets signed three cornerbacks in the offseason. Milliner could recover from his Achilles injury at his own pace. There was no need to rush back. Once he got back, he could ease into his role with limited playing time against the number four receiver on the other teams. Maybe he would get a start here or there due to injury. If he played effectively, Dee would be in the mix to take Antonio Cromartie's starting job next season. Instead, Milliner once again showed an inability to stay healthy. He suffered a wrist injury in training camp. The Jets deemed him so expendable that they placed him on short-term injured reserve even though the injury was not going to keep him out half the season. When he returned, he could not get playing time. He suffered another hamstring injury in between. I am doing my best to keep injuries from factoring in to disappointment, but it has gotten to the point of absurdity in Milliner's case. That role of number four corner and potential Cromartie replacement was taken by Marcus Williams. Milliner's only playing time came on special teams. He could not even convince the coaches to give him playing time when there were multiple injuries at cornerback. It seems doubtful the Jets will ever get anything out of Milliner at this point.
4. Zac Stacy
I felt going into the season like people were overrating the talent of the Jets' backfield. Still, it did not seem like a lot to ask Stacy to do a credible job giving Chris Ivory a breather. I don't blame Stacy for performing poorly on kick returns. He never should have been there. I don't blame Stacy for getting hurt. I do blame him for averaging under 3 yards per carry. He was a nonentity when he played. Stevan Ridley at least had an excuse. Ridley might not have been totally recovered from a knee injury.
3. Antonio Cromartie
The story of Cromartie's career is that he has been up and down. He is a four-time Pro Bowler. There have also been years where you wonder how he is a starter in the NFL. The early part of 2015 left Cromartie in the latter camp. He was one of the worst cornerbacks in the league during the beginning stages of the season. Even with a strong finish, it would be difficult to justify bringing him back at anything resembling his low salary.
2. Demario Davis
Davis started the season as an every down linebacker. This was after being a 1,000 snap linebacker in 2013 and 2014. He ended the season playing in just 21% of the snaps in the Week 17 loss to Buffalo. Along the way, Davis was a liability one on one in coverage against backs.
1. Quinton Coples
Like with Davis, I am not sure many people were expecting star production out of Quinton Coples. They were hoping for credible play, however. Coples did one better than Davis. He went from an opening day starter to off the roster by the end of November. Not only was he not effective at outside linebacker. When the team let him go, Todd Bowles admitted the former first round pick wasn't good enough to crack the rotation on the interior defensive line.