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Rex: Not a Panic Situation, an Opportunity

Posted Aug 11, 2014

Head Coach Insists on CB Injuries: 'We'll Take What We Have & Make It Work'

This is day two of the Disintegration of the Green & White Cornerbacks storyline. But Rex Ryan isn't buying into it.

Instead, the Jets head coach came out bullish, even a little defiant, in regard to questions about what we do now that rookie Dexter McDougle (knee) is gone likely for the season, Dee Milliner (ankle) is out probably for multiple weeks, and Dimitri Patterson is still rehabbing his quadriceps/calf/ankle situation.

"I believe in the depth of this team," Ryan told reporters at his daily news conference at SUNY Cortland after today's practice. "We'll entertain any possibility, not just at corner but at any position. If we believe somebody can upgrade our team, we'll look at it. But I don't think it's dire straits.

"My defenses work, period," he said in response to another question. "We take what we have and then we work around it. It's always players over system. I've been around enough that it'll work out. It's not a panic situation, it's an opportunity. Sometimes guys'll step up. It might not be somebody we've even talked about yet.

"All of a sudden, you give opportunities to people and they make the most of it and run with it. We're not a one-trick-pony thing. We're not going to stick a round peg in a square hole. We'll take what we have and make it work."

Sure, fans can be wary of what lies ahead for the defense in general and the pass defense in particular as Rex, DC Dennis Thurman and DBs coach Tim McDonald take looks at all their options, such as S Antonio Allen on the outside at today's practice and Kyle Wilson, Darren Walls, Ras-I Dowling and others in the coming days of practice and preseason games.

But it is still worth noting about Rex Ryan defenses that:

■ In his nine years as a head coach/defensive coordinator, sometimes with the likes of Darrelle Revis or Ray Lewis in the lineup, sometimes without, his defenses have ranked in the NFL's top 10 overall for 122 out of 153 regular-season weeks, an average of 13.5 weeks out of 17 every season.

■ After Week 3 of the 2012 season, when Revis suffered his season-ending knee injury, the Jets were ranked 21st overall and 11th against the pass. Over the final 14 weeks that year, we improved in both categories almost weekly to finish eighth overall and second against the pass.

■ Last year, without Revis and with an ailing Antonio Cromartie  but with Muhammad Wilkerson and the front seven coming on like gangbusters, the D ranked 11th overall, third against the run, and posted 41 sacks — the last time we had that many was 2008 and the last time we had more was 1995.

So we can all fret a little but there's no reason to despair. As Ryan said: "I know the pride of this group. This is going to work. We just don't know how yet, but this group is going to be an outstanding defense."





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