2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Rex Ryan: Jets will have a top-5 defense

    2013-08-21 02:16

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Sports Writer

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Rex Ryan is still feeling good about his defense.

Sure, the New York Jets have a handful of new faces. And, yes, there are a couple of injuries to deal with. But none of that is keeping Ryan from issuing a bold prediction: The Jets will rank among the top 5 defenses in the NFL this season.

``We will be,'' Ryan said Tuesday. ``Right now, we're not there. Obviously, we have to make some improvements, especially from this past week. I'm certainly confident that we'll be where we always are - or better.''

Defense is Ryan's bread and butter, and a top-notch performance this season will be counted on for a team that is still unsure whether Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith will be the quarterback of an offense that lacks playmakers.

That's not an issue on defense, despite the trade of Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay in April and linebacker Quinton Coples being sidelined indefinitely with a fractured ankle.

``I think for me, I agree with (Ryan) 100 percent,'' cornerback Antonio Cromartie said. ``It's just about us going out and making sure that we do our jobs and making sure we cut down on mental errors and cut out the self-inflicted wounds. For us, we feel like we have a good front seven to get to the quarterback. Just (have) to make sure we're communicating from the safeties to the linebackers and out to the corners.''

Sounds simple enough, but there's another reason Ryan believes his defense will be one of the league's best.

``I guess my history,'' Ryan said. ``I think in knowing what it looks like. We have a lot of good players. There's going to be a lot of new faces in there, but I guess, you put that decal on the side of your helmet, it says `New York Jets,' you have to be special. You have to understand that there (are) expectations that come along with it.

``I expect our guys to play extremely well.''

The Jets finished eighth in overall defense last year, the worst ranking in Ryan's four seasons in New York. In Ryan's first year in 2009, the Jets were No. 1 in the league. They were third the following season, and fifth in 2011. So, clearly, Ryan knows what a top-5 defense looks like.

Losing Revis, a former All-Pro, was a big blow to the defense because of how regularly the cornerback shut down opposing teams' best receivers. But Cromartie did a terrific job last season of filling in when Revis suffered a season-ending injury early in the year.

Cromartie will be counted on to be the No. 1 cornerback again for defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. First-round draft pick Dee Milliner, the No. 9 overall selection, is expected to start opposite Cromartie. Milliner, a former star at Alabama, had a rough game against Jacksonville last Saturday night but Ryan revealed that the cornerback was playing with a sore calf. He spent most of Tuesday working with the trainers.

``It hasn't been getting a whole lot better,'' Ryan said. ``So when the trainers came to me and said, `Let's just give him some time here,' obviously, that's what we'll do. We'll listen to them. They're the experts. Hopefully, it won't be long and hopefully he'll be back out there.''

The Jets allowed productive veteran defensive lineman Mike DeVito to leave for Kansas City and Pro Bowl safety LaRon Landry to go to Indianapolis as free agents, and they cut popular nose tackle Sione Po'uha.

New York used the No. 13 overall pick - the one it acquired from Tampa Bay for Revis - to draft defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, who is expected to start in Week 1 on a line that includes rising star Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis, who is dealing with a sore back. The Jets stayed in the family to replace Landry by signing his older brother Dawan, who played for Ryan in Baltimore a few years ago.

Demario Davis, in his second year, will replace the newly retired Bart Scott at inside linebacker next to David Harris. Garrett McIntyre, a solid backup, will fill in for Coples along with free-agent signing Antwan Barnes.

``I don't really think it's going to be any kind of drop off,'' Cromartie said of the new faces. ``I think we have a great group of guys that understand what we're trying to accomplish here as a defense, as a whole.''

That means, they expect to be a whole lot better than they were in the first half against Jacksonville, when the Jets allowed Blaine Gabbert to move the ball down the field seemingly at will.

``I've been trying to coach them, and I think that's the big thing,'' Ryan said. ``I try to teach and coach from the tape. That's what you do and that's how you get better. Was it strong language or whatever? I don't know. I just try to teach. But again, I'm confident that we'll be right where we expect to be.''

NOTES: Ryan said the team hasn't decided on whether Sanchez or Smith will start against the Giants on Saturday. It is expected that Smith will be under center if his sprained right ankle is healthy. ``He looked good,'' Ryan said. ``I still don't think he's 100 percent, but I certainly think he's getting closer to that.'' ... FB Lex Hilliard was carted from the field with an apparent injury to his right arm/shoulder. Ryan had no immediate update on the severity of the injury, but said it reminded him of when he dislocated a shoulder back in his playing days. ... Antonio Allen will start at safety against the Giants, and Jaiquawn Jarrett in the preseason finale against Philadelphia as the two compete for the starting job.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 20 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is optimistic he'll be able to play Sunday, Nov. 23. He went through rehabilitation Wednesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 20.

James AndersonNov 20 04:02p

The Atlanta Falcons signed LB James Anderson (Titans) Thursday, Nov. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Josh GordonNov 20 04:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon was amped up and excited to take part in his first practice with the team this year Wednesday, Nov. 19, but QB Brian Hoyer [ More ]

Charles ClayNov 20 03:02p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) is expected to be a game-time decision for Week 12 because of a knee injury.

Dwayne AllenNov 20 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) missed his second straight day of practice Thursday, Nov. 20, and The Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer would bet on Allen sitting out this weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 20 02:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Julius ThomasNov 20 01:32p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 01:22p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Giovani BernardNov 20 01:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) is participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Reggie BushNov 20 01:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) said he is on track to play against the New England Patriots in Week 12. He was not able to play in Week 11 because of the injury.

Josh GordonNov 20 12:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is expected to be limited in Week 12 because it will be his first game of the season, and the team does not want [ More ]

Adrian PetersonNov 20 11:52a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has officially appealed his suspension, according to a source. The NFL Players Association is looking for a neutral arbitrator to hear the case, but [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 20 09:13a

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is likely share carries with RB Alfred Blue if he plays in Week 12.

LeGarrette BlountNov 20 08:32a

The New England Patriots signed free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) to a two-year deal for the veteran's minimum plus incentives Thursday, Nov. 20.

Giovani BernardNov 20 01:13a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) will be eased back into the lineup, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said Wednesday, Nov. 19. 'I think we've got to work him [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 20 01:13a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill is likely to get a bulk of the carries in Week 12 against the Houston Texans, according to beat writer Geoff Hobson, despite the [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 19 09:33p

Free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) went unclaimed on waivers Wednesday, Nov. 19, and is now an unrestricted free agent available to sign with any club.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group