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Jets Film Mashup: Juston Burris, Lone Wolfpack

New York Jets v Oakland Raiders Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Time to look at a little more Jets film! Only this time, we’re going to sink our teeth into a few negative plays. I know, I know, it’s Friday and you have a good vibe going on. I’m sorry. These are the Jets we’re talking about after all. Just hold your nose and we are going to get through this.

The Jets defense has holes. Lots of them. Who was the biggest culprit? One candidate is Juston Burris, the 2016 4th round selection entering his third season in 2018. Burris played only 30.0% of the team’s defensive snaps this year, yet was part of an alarmingly high rate of the squad’s defensive miscues.

Here is Cordarrelle Patterson’s 43 yard touchdown run in the Jets’ Week 2 loss over in Oakland. Man, this is tough to watch. Remember the play from the Tampa Bay game I showed you where the entire offensive line was manhandled? This is the inverse.

Your biggest offenders here are Darron Lee and Burris. Burris was lined up man to man against Patterson outside before he motioned into the backfield, so he is effectively still matched up with him here. Burris takes 2 years to react to this play and doesn’t have nearly enough athletic ability to make up for it and beat someone like Patterson to the spot, then makes a brutal whiff. Meanwhile, Kelechi Osemele devours Darron Lee off the snap to carve out the hole. Neither of these losses were outliers. Burris’ tackling was poor this year, while Lee is too often removed from plays like this.

Demario Davis suffered a key loss on this play as well. Marcus Maye was lined up man to man outside, and would have had a chance to stop this play from reaching the end zone if he wasn’t completely removed by the wide receiver. Check out Jamal Adams’ hustle though. He’s moving at a different speed than everybody else.


This play is from the same Raiders game. Burris’ coverage starts out decently here. He anticipates this route and is quick to recognize it and stay with Michael Crabtree down the sideline. However, Burris loses on a well timed throw as he fails to get his head turned towards the ball.

Another problem I have on this play is that Burris physically owned at the tailend of it. He was lauded as a physical press guy coming out of NC State. Crabtree might get away with a bit of a shove here, but guess what? Be physical back and don’t let that happen. Burris barely touched Crabtree on this play. Then once the catch was made he completely lost his footing and made a brutal tackle attempt.


Ouch. For a corner who only played 3/10 of his team’s snaps, Burris sure had a knack for piling up missed tackles in the run game.

Also, credit to Dion Lewis for a sick cut upfield here. That right there is a running back play, manufacturing offense that wasn’t handed to him. He’s going to make some money on the free agent market, likely to be the #2 paid back behind Le’Veon Bell.


I’ll give you a rare dose of positive Burris. The Jets are in a Cover 4, and with the Chargers lining up only one receiver on Burris’ side, he plays the underneath zone against the sideline, alongside Demario Davis in the middle and Darron Lee on the opposite side. The Chargers send 3 deep and cross 2 underneath. Now, this snap does play right into Burris’ lap, as there is only one receiver entering his zone on a relatively predictable route. He still makes the play though, with great timing and finish. A whiff here would have left Travis Benjamin one on one with Demario Davis, not an ideal matchup.


Back to the norm. I don’t have the numbers to back it up, but it certainly seemed like Burris was playing the majority of his man cover snaps far off the line. I don’t understand why. He doesn’t have the quickness or speed to break on the football from a few yards out, and his reaction time is slow.

Burris gives Phillip Dorsett about 8 yards of cushion here yet was still in no place to make this play because of a combination of slow reaction, poor footing, and a lack of closing speed.

Check out his measurables.

It is zero surprise to see him struggle in scenarios like the one above. That chart clearly favors the physical style that was pounded home in his scouting reports. Should Burris have played more physically, or did the coaches not give him enough opportunities to press the line? I think its more so the former. He visibly gave extra cushion directly prior to the snap many times, and in coverage gave off little contact.

Burris’ struggles are the reason the Jets figure to make at least 1, maybe even 2 major splashes at cornerback. I think his 37.3 (117th among CBs) PFF grade was well-earned. Burris was a major reason for the Jets’ defensive struggles last year, a liability in pretty much every facet of the game. I don’t think the Jets will give up on him just yet, but he could have a long road to making the opening week roster, and certainly has an even longer road toward developing into a solid cornerback.

Poll

The Jets top two outside corners in 2018 will be....

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  • 16%
    2 free agent acquisitions
    (49 votes)
  • 44%
    A free agent acquisition and Morris Claiborne
    (129 votes)
  • 6%
    A rookie and Morris Claiborne
    (20 votes)
  • 31%
    A free agent acquisition and a rookie
    (93 votes)
291 votes total Vote Now