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Cornerback the Hot Topic

Posted Aug 12, 2014

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

EA:The Jets signed well-traveled DB LeQuan Lewis Tuesday morning, but don’t expect a splashy move. John Idzik is always searching and that is not a philosophy isolated to position.

While Dexter McDougle could be lost for the season with a torn ACL, Dee Milliner is day-to-day with the ankle injury. If things break the Jets way, Milliner will be in the lineup come opening day.

In the meantime, reps will increase for Ellis Lankster, Darrin Walls, Ras-I Dowling, Brandon Dixon and Johnny Patrick on the outside. Dimitri Patterson (leg) was ahead of McDougle on the depth chart, so your top three remains intact once Milliner returns with Kyle Wilson at nickel.

Rex Ryan will put his best 11 on the field and he surprised onlookers Monday by using Antonio Allen on the outside. But Double A responded with a pair of picks and it will be interesting to see how the former college “spur” ‘backer (down safety) turned pro safety will continue to adapt to life on the outside. If that kind of production is a daily occurrence for the rangy DB, then watch out.

During Monday and Tuesday’s sessions, Allen and Ellis Lankster were the outside corners with the first unit. Lankster had a number of PDs Tuesday in the rain and that should help his confidence. But the hope is you will have Milliner and Patterson ready for the Raiders. It really isn’t time to panic.

EA: You never completely shut the door on anything, but Jammer is a 35-year-old DB who started one game last year for a Broncos team that wasn’t great against the pass. While the Jets aren’t solely a man coverage team, the 33-year-old Samuel has always been considered a better fit for teams that play predominantly zone in the back end. You get the sense the Jets want to see what they have here before they look to make a play for a veteran corner on the market.
EA: John Idzik said he has no regrets and I believe him. He believes a model that favors fiscal responsibility will ultimately help this organization have sustainable success. The Giants reportedly signed Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie to a five-year, $39 million deal with $14 million guaranteed and a $10 million signing bonus. And that could prove to be a tremendous signing, but DRC is a corner playing with his third team in three years and was never considered a physical presence.

Antonio Cromartie battled injuries here last season and I think part of his departure was based on the Jets’ belief in Milliner’s ascension and that he was ready to be the guy. I know many fans wanted a Darrelle Revis reunion, but most people in the NFL would take the approach that $16 million for a cornerback — no matter how special they are — is too steep a price.

EA: Yes, I see potential in Brandon Dixon. The 5’11”, 203-pounder is a well-built kid who can run. But I think the Northwestern State product just has to take baby steps right now. Naturally, he is going to be swimming a bit because there is information overload. With limited defensive reps, you want to see him start making plays on the ball and it will also be imperative for Dixon to make a dent on special teams. Dixon had a pair of penalties Tuesday, but I liked his game because the rookie mixed in some PDs and found the ball better.
EA: The Jets certainly have to get their sack total down this year as their allowance of 47 QB takedowns behind the LOS last season tied for sixth-most in the NFL. A more experienced Geno Smith will mean less sacks because he sees the field better, is more decisive with the ball and is also more comfortable tucking the rock and running.

Brian Winters looks to be a much-improved player at LG and we will see if the Jets are better at RT with Breno Giacomini. Teams are going to pressure the Jets until they can prove they can make you play on the outside. If Decker is outside and Kerley is in the slot, then that other spot will be filled by either David Nelson or Stephen Hill. One rookie who continues to develop is Quincy Enunwa, a sixth-rounder with a big-league body from Nebraska.

EA: The O-line is good and I really like the depth on the interior with Oday Aboushi in addition to rookie Dakota Dozier. There are questions at tackle, though, behind the durable ‘Brick and the newcomer Breno.

I love the Jets at safety. Landry has been good and Allen is poised to break out. How can you not be excited about Pryor’s debut in the ‘Nati? Jaiquawn Jarrett quietly has had an outstanding camp and Rontez Miles is pushing for a spot. Josh Bush is right there in the mix as well. Cornerback was of course the hot topic today and the Jets have a lot of hope there. A speedy return from Milliner will be critical, but you can’t rush him back too soon.





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WATCH: CB Walls Asks, 'Why Not Me?'
WATCH: AA Pulls Down Pick on Deep Ball
WATCH: Idizk: 'Let this Play Out'
WATCH: Michael Vick Connects with WR Quincy Enunwa

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