When it comes to Gang Green, the most prominent aspect of their game is defense. However, on Saturday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the defense was the worst part of the game. They came out sluggish, with low intensity and allowing the Jaguars to run and pass on them at will. Also, the Jets were unable to make tackles, missing and whiffing on ballcarriers.
The lack of intensity was a major issue for Rex Ryan.
“Our defensive intensity in the first half I thought (was) not to Jets standards, to New York Jets standards certainly (with) the poor tackling,” explained Ryan. “Something the Jets will have to work on in practice this week.
New York’s defensive leader, Antonio Cromartie, commented on the struggles against the hurry-up offense by the Jaguars.
“You know honestly, we come into a preseason game not expecting a lot of hurry up but for us we were kind of glad we got a look at it,” noted Cromartie. “(It) had us on our toes a little bit you know its preparing us for when we play New England you know with the hurry up offense.”
Cromartie understands that the team will have to do better against the hurry-up in the future if they want to beat New England, a priority for the Jets every year. The Jets top cornerback had a slow start to the game but picked up the intensity as the contest wore on. He missed several tackles, one in the open field against a wide receiver screen, similar to the play where Victor Cruz scored a 99-yard TD after a missed tackle by Cromartie on a screen. However, the man nicknamed “Cro” turned it around and made four solo tackles to round out the night.
On the opposite side of the field, rookie Dee Milliner seemed to struggle early in the game as well. He missed a few tackles and was too soft in pass coverage. Cromartie went on to comment on Milliner’s performance.
“We expect more from him than we saw last night,” noted Cromartie. “That’s something that he needs to learn from and he has to come out with a great attitude and get ready for the next week.”
Next week, the Jets will be taking on the New York Giants, where both corners will be matched up against Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. For Milliner, it’s a great opportunity to go up against one of the best receiving tandems in the league. Another weakness for the Jets this past weekend was the pressure on the Quarterback. The Jets starters could not get in the backfield quickly and put pressure on Blaine Gabbert early in the game. Despite the defensive front’s struggles, Cromartie is the pass-rushing will be on top of its game this year .
“We feel like we have a good front seven,” declared Cromartie. “So we have the guys to get to the quarterback and that’s what Rex wants to do. He wants to use those guys and get to the quarterback as much as possible.”
Even with the slow start, the Jets came together and dominated on defense. After an interception by Danny Lansanah in the third quarter, the Jets’ defense seemed to be clicking, with an intensity way above the one displayed during the first quarter. The second half squad should be representative to the 2013 Jets’ defense.