Since the bye week, Jets cornerback Buster Skrine has played at a high level.
“He just really turned up his play,” defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said. “He’s really playing well for us right now. He’s locked in, he’s competitive. You can tell Buster’s into it while he’s talking on the sideline saying, ‘I feel like I got this guy today.’ He’s just been really into it.”
From Weeks 12-15, Skrine has racked up 12 tackles, five pass defenses, one forced fumble and one recovery. For the year, the 5’9”, 185-pounder has totaled 56 tackles, nine pass defenses, two forced fumbles and one recovery. His one interception of the season came in Week 6 against Patriots QB Tom Brady on a deep ball and he nearly had a second.
“The last three weeks, he’s played outstanding football,” head coach Todd Bowles said. “He started out playing well. He had some games with some penalties he’d like to have back, but I think he’s cleaned all that up. He’s been playing great football for us as of late.”
“I feel like it’s been a good stretch,” said Skrine. “I’ve been thrown at a lot and I feel like I’ve held my ground and made a lot of plays. I’m going to continue to do the same thing.”
In Week 7 in Miami, Skrine was charged with three penalties. He took ownership of his play in South Florida, but said that performance overshadowed how he’s been playing all year. He said his poor outing was magnified because of the nature of his position and playing in New York City.
“If you watch every game, I haven’t given up a deep ball,” said Skrine, who hasn't committed a single penalty in the last four games. “I’ve been competitive every single game before that. I’ve been praised for the Patriots game, then I had the bad Miami game and everyone thought I had a bad season. But I feel like I’ve been playing well this year and just to string these games together have helped.”
Skrine credited position coach Dennard Wilson for helping him become a smarter player, which has elevated his play this season. The seventh-year vet said he can usually tell what’s going to transpire after the snap when he lines up after reading his keys. Wilson and Skrine go over tendencies of opposing players throughout the week to the point where they’re breaking down offensive lineman.
“I play nickel a lot and in our defense the nickel is kind of like a linebacker,” Skrine said. “You can look and see if a lineman has a heavy hand. If it’s down in the ground super hard, it’s a run. If he’s back, it’s going to be a pass.”
Bowles said Skrine is seeing the ball better and has been looking back for the rock, which has reduced his number of penalties, but he’s remained consistent with his approach to the game no matter how he plays.
“He loves the challenge,” Bowles said. “Buster, for being small, is probably one of the strongest guys on the team. He takes care of himself and he’s just one of those guys that’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed every day that you love coaching because he loves to play the game.”