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How Lee Feels About New ILB Partner, Defense

Second-Year LB Brings Energy, Believes Chemistry with Davis Is Good


The Jets have a new look at inside linebacker without David Harris.

After getting his feet wet last year, LB Darron Lee is anxious to take the next step as a defense.

"Always want to have energy," Lee said following today's practice. "Last year we had energy coming out, but we didn't sustain it. Now we're starting to sustain that energy. Whenever we feel a drag, we'll have one of the leaders come up and get us back to who we are. Now, for sure, we're sustaining the energy for the entire length of practice, which we're trying to translate to the game."

Lee is joined on the insided by a familiar face for Jets fans in Demario Davis, who was reacquired via trade with the Browns in June. Davis was originally a third-round draft pick in 2012 and spent four seasons with the Green & White.

"Great, honestly," Lee said of his chemistry with Davis. "He's fitting in smoothly and everything. He brings that swagger and energy that we definitely need on defense. And he's been here before, so guys are familiar and comfortable with him. I'm comfortable with him. We're joking all the time, but when we go on the field, he's about business. He's sharp. We're getting better and pushing each other every day."

Last week, the second-year pro said he feels a lot more comfortable in the defense after he's had a full year to digest the playbook even though he finished fourth on the team with 76 tackles in 2016.

"Now I know what to expect on the field," he elaborated. "I definitely know what to do, even making checks and alignments for other guys, too. I know of all that now and it's second nature."

The Ohio State product said his mind "isn't racing" like last year, which has allowed him to react quicker. In Lee's first professional offseason, he added 11 pounds to his frame and tweaked his training regimen after he picked the brain of Panthers LB Luke Keuchly.

"Obviously the strength and nutrition," the 6'1", 238-pounder said of the changes. "I harped on it coming out of Ohio State, but really looked at it this offseason and it helped. I don't know if y'all can tell, but I look a little hefty right now. I was also running a lot more as opposed to last year."

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