Cortland, NY – On the defensive side of things there are decidedly less questions. That shouldn’t be a big shock for a team whose identity is largely defined by that side of the ball.
The biggest question marks come in the secondary where the Jets lost Darrell Revis and safeties Eric Smith, Yeremiah Bell, and LaRon Landry.
A breakdown of the corner battle can be found here.
The safety battle looks to be the most intriguing on the defensive side. No matter what, there will be two new starters on the backend of the defense. Dawan Landry, older brother to last year’s starter LaRon, was signed in the offseason and is all but penciled in as one starter.
For the other spot the top choices seem to be Antonio Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett, and Josh Bush.
Bush and Allen were the Jets 6th and 7th round picks, respectively, from a season ago. Both saw time primarily on special teams last year, and it should be a tight competition. But for right now, Allen has stood out the most in training camp.
“[Allen] made a great play in the endzone getting that one interception today,” said Rex Ryan. “And he challenges himself. Very few safeties will line up one-on-one with a wideout, and he challenges himself every day to do that.”
Competing with them is former Eagles second-round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett. While he was a high draft pick, many called it a reach at the time, and the Eagles released him less than two years into his career.
Still, he has managed to catch the attention of Ryan.
“So far, he’s been doing a tremendous job coming in and learning a brand new system,” said Ryan. “The thing that we know he can do is that he was a hitter.”
Rounding out the group are Brett Lockett, Donnie Fletcher, and Rontez Miles.
Lockett hasn’t played in a game since 2009, and will most likely be fighting just to stay on the roster.
Fletcher is a player like Kyle Wilson that will be lining up in several different positions. There is a chance he emerges as the best option, but he will probably end up as depth for several positions in the secondary.
Miles is the most intriguing of the group. He is an undrafted rookie out of D-II University of California-Pennsylvania. He is currently on the PUP, and the jump in competition means he might be destined for the practice squad. Still he is a player who could make an impact for this team in the coming seasons.
For the most part the Jets appear pretty set at linebacker. The big question for the unit is how much time Quinton Coples will see on the outside. The Jets have talked about making the move for last year’s first-round pick, but the majority of his snaps so far in training camp have been on the line.
Outside of Coples the Jets have Calvin Pace and free-agent acquisition Antwan Barnes. It’ll be interesting to follow how the Jets divvy up the snaps for these three over the duration of training camp
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