Dyson helps flatten Vikes WR Troy Williamson
Andre Dyson has been around the block — and around the NFL, from the Heartland to the West Coast to the East Coast — for a while. The veteran cornerback not fazed by, say, the second training camp under Jets head coach Eric Mangini.
"With the schedule, everything's the same" as it was last season, Dyson said this week. "Just the fact that you've been through it and have been through the defenses, it's a little easier than last year when you're trying to learn the defense and get familiar with the players. Now it's more just go out there and play. Once you get the thinking part out, it slows the game down and makes it more fun. That's the difference this year."
And regarding where he fits into the secondary, he's not worried about that either. As he told The Record about being a backup or being a part of a three- or even four-man rotation:
"I don't really worry about it. I don't even read to much into it. If it's where they want me to play, that's where I'll play. It's not where I want to be, obviously. I feel confident in my ability."
Dyson was the starter at left corner for 16 of last season's 17 games. This camp he's been working at different positions and with the first and second defenses. But for the preseason opener vs. Atlanta, he was back at his usual LCB spot for the game's first play from scrimmage.
However Mangini deploys his corners this summer and into the regular season, he has expressed respect for Dyson, even after the seventh-year pro gave up two deep completions in the Green & White Game back on Aug. 5.
"One of them really was a function of multiple people, another one was a technique error," the coach recalled. "Then when Kellen [Clemens] was starting a drive, they could have gone up by 10 with a field goal at that point, Dyson makes the pick on the deep ball, takes the ball away.
"That's the type of stuff I really like to see because you've dealt with some adversity through the game. There were some plays that you could easily have said, 'This isn't my day.' But he responded the next time he was challenged — he took the ball away. I think he ran it back 30 or 40 yards, and it changed the whole momentum of the game."
Dyson and the Jets' pass defense next face a challenge Friday night on national TV from the Minnesota Vikings, which means Tarvaris Jackson and former Jets teammate Brooks Bollinger trying to complete passes to WR Troy Williamson, the self-proclaimed fastest player in the NFL.
The Jets will likely be without the injured Justin Miller and first-round draft pick Darrelle Revis, unsigned as of today. But Dyson will continue to roll with the punches and deal with any adversity as it comes.
"If you put your mind to it and work hard and have the patience to know it will take time, you can just go out there and play," Dyson said. "At the end of the day, football is football. If you can play football, you can pick up on stuff very quick."