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Secondary Seeks to Heal Up & Do Its Part

Posted Aug 19, 2014

Jets CB Dimitri Patterson: 'You Have the Opportunity to Go Out and Shut People Up'

It’s no secret that the Jets' secondary is banged up, with three of their top four cornerbacks currently dealing with injuries, one of which could be of the season-ending variety. However, the speculation that the secondary is the weakness of the team doesn’t sit well with the DBs.

The secondary has struggled a bit through the first two preseason games, in which they’ve allowed QBs Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck and Andy Dalton to find success through the air.

Luck and Hasselbeck combined were 14-for-19 for 167 yards and one touchdown in the Jets’ 13-10 win in the preseason opener. In Saturday’s 25-17 win over the Bengals, Dalton went 8-for-8 for 144 yards and one touchdown — a 43-yard strike to Mohamed Sanu over Kyle Wilson.

Head coach Rex Ryan said the play was a result of a missed assignment. CB Darrin Walls agreed, saying it was a miscommunication among the secondary and that the team is already working on fixing that mistake.

“We missed a call on the back side,” Walls said. “If we got the communication right, that’d be an interception or he wouldn’t have thrown it there. I think that’s one of our biggest things to fix.”

The secondary looked in sync at Monday's practice back at Florham Park, recording four interceptions, one of which was caught by Walls.

The Jets also received encouraging news about CB Dimitri Patterson, who has been dealing with a couple of nicks and knacks. He said the injuries are not serious, evidenced by his return to practice, albeit in a limited role.

“Yeah, it’s frustrating,” Patterson said after today's practice. “You want to be out there, you want to play, you want to get into a rhythm. It’s a long season. You want to make sure when the live bullets start flying and the regular season comes, you’re at full strength.”

Patterson said he’s heard the concerns about the Jets secondary and is looking forward to playing a part in proving the doubters wrong.

“That’s the good thing about professional sports. You have the opportunity to go out and shut people up,” he said. “People are going to say whatever they feel they want to say outside the locker room. Football is a sport where you go out and prove it. You let your film speak for itself. People have a lot of opinions, but the best thing to do when everybody has an opinion is to go out during the regular season and be consistent and play well.”

Walls said that a big part of being consistent and playing well involves getting off to a faster start, mainly by holding the opponents scoreless on their first drive. Against Indianapolis, the Luck-led offense scored a field goal on their opening drive. On Saturday, the defense allowed Dalton to produce two touchdowns and a field goal on his three possessions.

“We’re going to be aggressive. We’ve got to come out fast,” Walls said about the game against the Giants on Friday. “I think that’s been one of our biggest downfalls the last two games. We gave up two scores, on the first drive of each game.”

LB Calvin Pace added that the front seven will have to step up in order to help out the aching secondary as players like Patterson and second-year man Dee Milliner get healthy.

“We've got to do our best up front to get some pressure to take some pressure off the back end,” he said. “Let the chips fall where they may, man.”

He said that if one looks around at the top defensive backfields in the league, all of them have one thing in common.

“Any good secondary, if you look up front, they've got good guys rushing and vice versa, so it works hand in hand,” Pace said. “We've got some guys down. They’ll be back eventually. Up front we've got to do our thing and we have a good challenge this weekend vs. Eli and the Giants.”




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