New York Jets: One Step Faster…How About Three?

The New York Jets have made their primary goal this off-season to get faster…thank god

When talking with reporters yesterday, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan revealed the team motto for 2012 is “One Step Faster,” and Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine conceded the Jets were a “dinosaur” last year when it came to matching the increased speed of the league. It is encouraging to hear the coaching staff admitting a problem that was disturbing to watch last season.

To say the 2011 New York Jets were slow is an understatement. Plodding? Sluggish? Decrepit? These are the type of words that come to mind when I think of Plaxico Burress trying to get separation between the 20 yard lines, Shonn Greene racking up 2 yards a carry, and Calvin Pace and Bart Scott needing a sun dial to time their rush to the quarterback. The Jets couldn’t make a big play against a 9 man defense last year and had circles run around them by the faster offenses in the league.

How will this problem be remedied? Replacing Burress with rookie Stepehen Hill is a nice start. Hill runs a 4.3 forty while I think Burress might have run a 5.3 forty last season. Yes, Hill needs to refine his route running but at a minimum he has speed and size that a defense must respect and should open up things underneath for Dustin Keller and Santonio Holmes. Beyond that, Jeremy Kerley will have a more prominent role this season and provides very good quickness and speed from the slot position. Chaz Schilens will be reduced to a reserve role after the selection of Hill but still can be utilized in certain situations. If you go 4 wide with Holmes, Hill, Kerley, and Schilens there is some serious speed on outside and in the slot.

At running back, Greene is who he is and that is not a big play back. However, better usage of Joe McKnight will bring needed speed to the running back position. Hopefully Tony Sparano uses McKnight in some of the ways he used Reggie Bush last year and can get him out in space. Tim Tebow isn’t a burner but obviously brings a potential big play element running the football from the quarterback position in the Jets Wildcat.

On defense, draft picks Quinton Coples and DeMario Davis add immediate speed to the front seven, while the rest of the unit was asked to drop weight. Ideally, their additions to the line-up will help free up Aaron Maybin, the team’s top speed rusher and Muhammad Wilkerson, last year’s first round pick. Calvin Pace may actually even be able to crack 5 sacks this year.

In the back end, the Jets did add Josh Bush and Antonio Allen through the draft and signed LaRon Landry. None of these guys are true burners but they should be able to help in the coverage of tight ends. Allen and Landry have the skill set to be physical off the line with them and Bush is a natural free safety that can line up in the centerfield spot. It should also be noted that one of the reasons the Jets drafted the previous mentioned Davis at linebacker was because of his speed and ability to match up with tight ends.

Are the Jets going to be the greatest show on turf? No. But hopefully they can start making plays over 20 yards with some type of consistency and won’t be sluggish chasing after players like Darren McFadden, Rob Gronkowski, and Tim Tebow (well, we don’t have to worry about that anymore).

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • Tony

    Greatest Show on Turf? Or THE Greatest Show on Turf?

  • i believe that shonn greene has big play potential we have seen flashes of it, but he cant do much if defenders are not blocked. and landry is a burner he ran a 4.35 at the combine and is the ultimate weight, height, and speed specimen

  • marciano

    Kyle Nunn at the mini-camp this weekend may open some eyes. He was overlooked in the draft by other teams as he was still listed as being on Blood Thinners by the Gamecocks on their website for NFL scouts to look at. Made the SEC All-Bowl Team coming back off injury list. South Carolina won every game he started this past season, he helped win the SEC East blocking for Lattimore in 2010 and is in the best shape he’s ever been in. In the video below you can see his blocking, #68, at the 59 mark on the QB sneak for a TD as well as his pass blocking on the TD at the 129-131 mark..

  • Joe Caporoso

    Nunn is at the right position to have a chance to compete on Jets roster this season, I will say that.

    Also e-star, I am not sure how Landry’s speed is these days after the injuries he has sustained. Greene hasn’t shown big play ability since 2009, let’s hope he finds it again.

  • Jets fan


  • marciano

    Update on OT Kyle Nunn. While he attended this camp his Agent at the time told the Packers he would most likely sign with the Jets so KN lost the opportunity the following week at the Green Bay mini-camp. Still baffled that the Jets haven’t called him yet. He continues to workout hard for the opportunity to be on a practice squad at least. Jets, Bills, Jags, Titans all need help on their OLs. We’ll see if something opens up for him.