The topic of the week — besides whether or not there really is a rivalry between the Jets and Giants — is how the Jets are going to defend against the Eli Manning-to-Odell Beckham Jr. connection if two of their top four corners are out of action.
Darrin Walls said there's no mystery.
"As a group, I think we've got so much depth that we push each other. Going against those guys, it's a challenge in itself," Walls said before no doubt his largest crowd of reporters at his locker this season. "We practice pretty hard. I think we prepare as if we're going to play. Our coach always says you're one play away, and we take that to heart. For me, I have played a little bit last year and I kind of rely back on my technique if all else fails."
That's what Walls did Sunday against Miami and their offense, which boiled down over the course of the 38-20 win to Ryan Tannehill playing pitch and catch with Jarvis Landry.
Walls was on the field for a lot of the Dolphins' 61 pass plays (58 throws, three sacks) because Darrelle Revis (concussion) started the game on the sideline and Marcus Williams joined the Island eight plays in with a knee injury at the end of his early interception.
"I thought I did OK," said Walls, whose 50 defensive plays was not an unusual amount for his five-year career, the last four with the Jets, but were almost four times as many defensive snaps as he'd played in the first 10 games combined this year. "I thought there were a lot of plays that were left to be made. But coming in for Marcus, I tried to do the best I could, just help the team out."
Walls was in coverage on Miami's first two touchdown passes, 5-yarders to Landry and Greg Jennings. But he also applied two strong pass breakups before the TDs and also was a special teams presence with two tackles.
In general, he held up well, which was good to see because he could be on the hotseat again, sharing coverage of Beckham and the Giants' other receivers, since Revis remains in the concussion protocol and didn't practice again today and Williams also was a DNP and is day-to-day.
This sounds somewhat shaky, but one thing head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan did this offseason was to build in plenty of that corner depth that Walls spoke of. Buster Skrine is the nickel starter but also plays outside. Second-year man Dexter McDougle got more reps against the 'Fins. And the Jets still haven't tapped into third-year corner Dee Milliner, who Bowles said is "in football shape, he's healthy, he just has to get his turn."
Whoever's healthy, whoever's turn it is, Bowles said he had confidence in his corner depth before Miami and he has it heading into battle against Beckham, who had another one of his highlight grabs at Washington on Sunday and already has 1,005 yards on the year, along with nine TDs, on 72 catches.
"People have covered him before, but he's going to make his plays," Bowles said. "He's not impossible to cover. You just have to fight for the ball."
Walls is ready to fight if his number is called again.
"Odell likes to go attack the ball, so regardless of where it is, he's going to go get it. So for us it's just attacking the ball, going up first or pulling his hands away. He's a great competitor and I think that's what makes him so good,": Walls said.
"But it's just like any other week. We're all prepared to play. ... We have guys that are up for the challenge and we practice that way."