“(Compared to) the rest of the defenses in the NFL? S***, man, we’re the best,” Pace said.
Pace isn't the only one singing the Jets praises as second-year cornerback Dee Miller told the Daily News on Saturday he's the best in the league in his position.
“You ask anybody around the league, we’re not the team you want to see coming in, even in a down year,” he said.
As the Jets defense come off an 11th-overall finish in 2013 - the unit's worst ranking ever under Ryan - Pace is excited about their potential this year. As he should be with Muhammad Wilkerson and Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richarson back in the defensive line.
“We’re the benchmark when we’re doing well,” said Pace. “I’ll take these guys and Rex and this system any day.”
There's no question that this defensive line is going to be one of if not the best unit in the league. There are more questions around what sort of secondary this group will wind up being.
Between the solid coverage I saw in camp from linebackers like Demario Davis and the rise in play from Dee Milliner, the back-end of this unit has the potential to be put in a good position to succeed. What makes it hard for many analysts is that we don't have the historical evidence with the lack of proven players like Revis and Cromartie in recent years. This is without question an "under the radar" group.
All eyes on on Dee Milliner, but I'll be watching Dimitri Patterson. Patterson is a very physical playmaker and will be a good addition to this defense, but it will come down to his ability to stay healthy. As Rex said Sunday about Patterson, "sometimes he might be a little too physical for his own body."