Friday marked our second of four days at Jets training camp in Cortland, New York. Here’s some impressions from what I saw on defense today.
Catch as catch can
It's always hard to tell who would be credited with sacks in no-contact scrimmages, but it looked to me as if Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples would have gotten the credit for a sack apiece had it been a game situation. Sheldon Richardson had another play in which he broke through the line and got close to Mike Vick, but was unable to corral him before Vick scampered out of the pocket and out of Richardson's grasp.
This defensive line and rush linebacking unit is a pick your poison situation for most any opponent. Taking away one player only means that other people will come free at other areas. It is clear that the Jets will have any opponent's attention up the middle and opponents can commit double teams easily. With a svelter Coples along with additions like Jason Babin and Antwan Barnes (if he can get back on the field soon) this is a formidable group that can pressure the passer quickly and effectively. With a young secondary and a defensive holding rule emphasis this year the best way to avoid the penalties and coverage breakdowns will be for the group to get to the quarterback and get him off his spot by any means necessary.
Am I off on my coverage?
I can't be sure yet if I am selectively remembering things, but I think that the Jets have been playing a lot of off-man coverage in their defense. This is notable because the Jets have used a rather aggressive man-coverage scheme in the past and what I can't be sure of is whether or not the off-man coverage is a result of being early in camp or a deliberate move to try and draw less penalties with the rule emphasis on defensive holding this year.
Playmake on, playmaker
David Harris and Demario Davis are cornerstones of this defense, and one area in which they will need to play well this year will be in coverage. Today both players had good days in that regard. Davis stuck well with a receiver and batted a Mike Vick pass. Harris batted a pass near the line of scrimmage that he tipped to himself for an interception. It was a nifty play by Harris and it seems apparent that the defense knows that they will need to do a better job of helping create turnovers for this defense this year. Rex talked at length yesterday about the continuum of how the offense and defense can help each other and turnovers was one of the areas that he brought up. In talking to players. It's clear that it's point of emphasis and that they want to become a more opportunistic playmaking defense.
- Milliner had a great pass break up on a slightly underthrown long ball to Eric Decker. Milliner was positioned perfectly, made a good move and defensed the pass.
- Antonio Allen's work has left me wanting during his man-coverage drills.
- Babin saw most of his time on both sides of the second team defense, but did have a few snaps at the end of practice with the first teamers.