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Jets Pass Rush Making Some Strides Toward the QB

Detroit Pressure, 4 Sacks vs. Miami; Now Defenders Size Up Browns' Tyrod Taylor


Of all the developments in the first two weeks of the Jets' season, here's one thing Green & White fans probably didn't think they'd be saying:

The Jets seem to have a pass rush.

"We feel like we're taking the next step," said LB Jordan Jenkins.

"It's something you constantly have to be working hard at and practicing during the week," said DL Henry Anderson. "As long as we keep doing that, we should be all right."

Those men are two pieces to the Green & White's evolving pressure puzzle, which some fans thought wouldn't be solved this year:

■ Anderson, the draft day import from Indianapolis, dropped Ryan Tannehill for a 15-yard loss in the Jets' Sunday home opener and has flashed into the backfield in both games. "I've wanted to show up on the stat sheet a little bit more," said the man called "Goose" by his teammates, "but I think I've gotten after the quarterback pretty well."

■ Jenkins separated Tannehill from the ball and recovered the fumble to set the offense up for its ill-fated single play from the Dolphins 12 in the third quarter. "That's the earliest in my whole career that I got my first sack," Jenkins said. "Normally it comes after the bye week or Week 8 or 9. It was good to get it and I want to keep building on that."

Top Snapshots from the Indoor Practice Leading Up to Thursday Night Football

■ DL Leonard Williams had two hits on Matt Stafford in the opener, during which the Jets went sackless yet still pressured Stafford and Matt Cassel into throwing five interceptions.

■ LB Brandon Copeland has three QB hits, two of them plus the first full sack of his career coming against Miami.

■ S Jamal Adams got the sack ball rolling vs. Miami with blindside pursuit and a strip sack of Tannehill in the first quarter, the first strip by a Jets safety since Kerry Rhodes and Jim Leonhard in the 2009 playoffs.

The Adams and Jenkins forced fumbles also gave the Jets two strips in a game for the first time since the 2015 opener, which just happened to be against Cleveland, the Jets' Thursday night opponent. In that game, Josh McCown, then a Brown, lost the ball at the goal line on an early scramble — "Calvin [Pryor] sent Josh on the spin cycle," said Jenkins, who's enjoyed the replay — while the strips were of Johnny Manziel in the fourth quarter.

Both Anderson and Jenkins said this pass rush remains a work in progress.

"There's still one or two plays," Jenkins mused. "There were two penalties that took sacks back [vs. Miami]. Then there were probably three or four other times where, if we would've had a little better technique or were more fundamentally sound, we might've gotten the sack or it might've been a quarterback hit. So it's coming along but we still have steps to take."

Such as Thursday against Tyrod Taylor and the Browns.

The Jets are familiar with Taylor from his Buffalo days. They had their downs against him — he won three of five as a Bills starter — but also their ups, as in the seven-sack Thursday affair last season. Jenkins notched the only two-sack game of his career, one of them a strip, that night.

"Tyrod's a hell of an athlete. You've really got to be sound when you're coming at him because he's a cat," Jenkins said. "It looks like he doesn't see you, then at the last second he's going to spin out. He's very elusive, very shifty and very good on his feet. You almost have to break down before you get to him because if you go at him full speed, you're not going to bring him down."

"Whenever you play mobile quarterbacks," Anderson said, "it's of the utmost importance to keep them in the pocket and not let them beat you with their legs. We've just got to make sure we're disciplined up front with our rush lanes, making sure we're not opening up big holes for him to escape through.

"As long as we do that, we should be able to execute the game plan."

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