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

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

Dez BryantFeb 26 09:03a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is likely to receive the franchise tag because the team is hesitant to sign him long term due to a lack of trust off [ More ]

Peyton ManningFeb 25 09:23p

The Denver Broncos and representatives for QB Peyton Manning are working on revising the veteran's contract, according to multiple league sources. He is scheduled to draw a $19 million [ More ]

Reggie BushFeb 25 05:33p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush has been cut Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A.J. HawkFeb 25 04:43p

Green Bay Packers LB A.J. Hawk was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move will save them $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Jacoby JonesFeb 25 12:33p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was released Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Peyton HillisFeb 25 10:43a

New York Giants RB Peyton Hillis was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move saves $945,000 on the 2015 salary cap.

Dez BryantFeb 24 10:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant's NFL career could be in jeopardy if a video he allegedly appears is as bad as it sounds. A source said the 'incriminating video [ More ]

Jake LongFeb 24 09:23p

The St. Louis Rams are likely to release OT Jake Long this offseason for savings against the salary cap, according to beat writer Nick Wagoner.

Mathias KiwanukaFeb 24 03:33p

New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka has been released Tuesday, Feb. 24.

DeAngelo WilliamsFeb 24 12:23p

Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) said he was not upset when the Carolina Panthers told him last week that he'd be released. Williams told Charlotte's WBTV that DE Greg [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's father denied a report that Peterson no longer wants to play for Minnesota. Peterson's father said Peterson is still open to a return to [ More ]

Ted Ginn Jr.Feb 23 04:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Ted Ginn Jr. was released Monday, Feb. 23.

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's situation with the team worsened during the NFL scouting combine as his agent and members of Minnesota's front office had a heated verbal altercation, [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 21 10:22a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) looks good as he continues to recover from a torn right pateller tendon in his knee, according to general manager Jerry Reese. [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 20 02:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will enter the 2015 season as the team's starting quarterback, and general manager Bruce Allen thinks Griffin's ceiling in the NFL remains high. [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 20 08:42a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fits well in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'My first impression: I can feel the quickness,' Quinn said [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 19 07:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) may commence running shortly, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz is recovering from a torn right patellar tendon in his right knee.

Andre EllingtonFeb 19 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) remains the focal point of the offense, according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Ellington split the injured tendon in his left foot, [ More ]

C.J. AndersonFeb 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson finished the year as the team's No. 1 running back and made the Pro Bowl, but new head coach Gary Kubiak said Anderson must [ More ]

James CaseyFeb 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles TE James Casey has been released.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group