One of the bigger questions on the Jets defense that will be answered in free agency, is who will start at safety opposite Jim Leonhard? It doesn’t seem likely that the team will bring back both free agents Eric Smith and Brodney Pool. Who would you prefer to see opposite Jim Leonhard next year?
- 28 years old, 6’1, 207 pounds
- 2010 stats – 54 tackles, 1 sack, 1 blocked kick, 2 passes defensed, 3 games missed cause of injury
Smith is better in run support and is a more valuable special teams player. He has two years experience in Rex Ryan’s defense and the versatility to move around to different positions in different packages. He struggles in pass coverage and gets called for too many penalties.
- 26 years old, 6’2, 214 pounds
- 2010 stats – 53 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception, 11 passes defensed, 1 game missed cause of injury
Pool has more upside and is better in coverage. He came on strong in the second half of last season after a slow start. Even though he only missed one game last year, he has a history of concussion problems.
What’s it going to be? Personally, I’d like to see Pool as the full time starter for another year. I think he can develop in this system into a very good safety, if he can stay healthy.