When the Jets take the field on Sunday to host the Jacksonville Jaguars, they will line up against two former teammates who contributed to past Jets defenses. Cornerback Drew Coleman signed a free agent contract with the Jaguars in late July and safety/corner Dwight Lowery was traded to Jacksonville less than two weeks ago on final cutdown day.
"They're good players," said Jets S Brodney Pool. "I enjoyed playing with those guys. They were fun to be around. We know it's a business and things happen, but they're in Jacksonville now."
Coleman had spent his entire career with the Jets after being drafted in the sixth round in 2006. He played in 68 games, recording 82 tackles, seven sacks, two interceptions, and seven forced fumbles. Perhaps his most memorable game in green and white came last season in the Week 15 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he made 10 tackles, recorded two sacks and forced two fumbles.
Lowery had a three-year Jets tenure after being drafted in the fourth round in 2008. He played both CB and S over those three seasons, making 18 starts. In the 44 games in which he appeared, he made 90 tackles and had seven interceptions, two sacks and five forced fumbles. He earned the nickname "The Closer" last season after coming up with timely, fourth-quarter takeaways in back-to-back wins over the Vikings and Broncos.
According to one new teammate, the two have not been asked to expose any secrets about the Jets defense.
"We're not asking them to do that because I know if I went to another team, I wouldn't tell secrets or anything like that," said Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew. "They do help us in practice, though, when we ask about a certain player how they like to play, those types of things."
Pool was in a similar situation last season when the Jets traveled to Cleveland for a Week 10 matchup with the Browns. He had been drafted in the second round in 2005 by the Browns and played five seasons in Cleveland before coming to the Jets last year.
Pool said the Jets didn't press him for information on the Browns defense last year, and even if they had, it wouldn't have made much difference.
"It's a matter of going out there and executing, doing things the right way," he said. "Not worrying about what they're doing but worrying about what you're doing."
Returning to where it all began can evoke several sentiments for a player, something Pool has experience with.
"It can be emotional," he said. "You want to prove them wrong, show them why you should still be there."
In Week 1, Lowery and Coleman lived up to their reputations, bringing a bit of their Jets success to Jacksonville. Lowery intercepted a Matt Hasselbeck pass intended for Kenny Britt with 16 seconds remaining in the game to secure the 16-14 Jaguars win. Coleman added a sack, forced a fumble, and made five tackles.
"They're good," said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio. "They've been well-schooled. Rex and those guys up there did a nice job. Obviously, they have such great numbers in their secondary, they were able to let us have a couple, so we appreciate that."
With Lowery and Coleman now patrolling the defensive backfield as Jaguars, the Jets will look to exploit their former teammates come Sunday.
"I know how those guys are going to feel," Pool said, "but at the same time, they're going to have to concentrate and do their job."