Jets Podcast


Anticipate a Lot of 'Big Nickel' from Jets

Posted Aug 28, 2014

EA Answers Your Questions in His Third Installment of #MakeYourCase, Presented by Miller Lite

EA: There is cause for concern. Jets No. 1 cornerback Dee Milliner has been out of action for a couple of weeks with the sprained ankle and that means he has missed a lot of valuable reps. When Milliner returns, he will have to shake off rust. Dimitri Patterson was expected to start opposite Milliner, but the former was suspended for the remainder of the preseason and is eligible to return Monday. The Jets need a big year out of Kyle Wilson at the nickel because teams are going to spread this defense out and try to attack through the air. Darrin Walls was effective against the Giants and Ellis Lankster is a core special teams player who provides depth. The Antonio Allen experiment has been paused as Double A continues with concussion protocol. Journeyman LeQuan Lewis has played well, but he has been here only two weeks.

The Jets may have caught a break with the schedule because the Raiders come to town in Week 1 and their passing attack is nowhere near as prolific as the Packers (Week 2), the Bears (Week 3), the Lions (Week 4), the Chargers (Week 5), the Broncos (Week 6) & the Patriots (Week 7). So that means after Matt Schaub, this defense will see Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, Matt Stafford, Phillip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Demario Davis recently told the Star-Ledger that the Jets ‘have one of the most underrated secondaries in the league.’

And in a Jets Flight Plan segment that will air Saturday night on CBS-2HD here in New York, Sirius XM analyst/former Jets executive Pat Kirwan told me that he anticipates the Jets will use a lot of ‘big nickel’ looks with three safeties. Let’s see how this unfolds next week with the Patterson situation and as cut-downs continue throughout the National Football League.

EA:  It would be a shocker if Sudfeld was not on the final roster. The Jets have good depth at the position with the speedy Jeff Cumberland and now rookie Jace Amaro is coming on as well. Sudfeld nearly had a touchdown last week on a red zone toss from Geno Smith. At 6’7”, 260, Sasquatch is a big dude who can run. He can be another asset down there inside the 20 when the field shrinks. New Jersey native Chris Pantale, a Wayne Valley HS product, is battling out and has done a number of nice things as well.

EA: Yes. But the Patriots are prohibitive favorites and they should be. That Pats offense will remain explosive, but the secondary — an Achilles heel in the past — should be vastly improved with not only Darrelle Revis but Brandon Browner as well. The Jets split with the Pats last season and a similar result would be good. For the Jets to have a chance to contend for the division, they probably would have to win 12 games and that would be quite a jump from 8-8. X-factor is defined as a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome, so to me for the Jets that is Geno Smith.

EA: If John Idzik thinks he can upgrade his roster with a move, he will do just that. But Idzik won’t be pressured into making a decision and he is going to operate at his pace. Many of us fall victim to ‘big name’ association — we are familiar with a player, so we want our team to sign that cat immediately. Thomas missed both the 2011 and ’12 seasons and was said to have struggled in the slot with the Seahawks this summer. Quinton Jammer is not only 35, but he wasn’t at a camp after playing a reserve role with the Broncos in 2013. The 33-year-old Samuel has always been considered a better fit for teams that favor more zone coverage in the back end. Could the Jets have interest in one of these players? Perhaps, but expect Idzik to keep his plans to himself and remember the market is going to be flooded with players over the next week.

EA: The Jets have three excellent backs and they will use them all. Chris Johnson had a tremendous summer and he is a threat to go the distance at all times, but Chris Ivory is a powerful force and Bilal Powell can do it all. Expect this trio to stay fresh and feed off of each other. Marty Mornhinweg will take advantage of his personnel and that means moving these RBs around as well. I can tell you that CJ is absolutely loving the way Mornhinweg is taking advantage of his skills.

EA: Bush.

EA: Pass on this idea for a multitude of reasons. You just can’t make a dramatic position switch like that late in the summer.

EA: Kind of think we are in fantasy land here. The Jets are in a good situation in quarterback (Matt Simms had a productive summer as well) and there is no reason to change that at this point. You always listen, but Mike Vick probably isn’t going anywhere.


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