In “New York Jets Therapy Session” Cole Patterson examines a particular issue that the New York Jets face in a metaphorical therapy scenario. Treatments are prescribed from the perspective of a position of control with the franchise or through actions that have already been taken. Today’s edition focuses on the football affliction of “Phantom Revis”
Diagnosis: Phantom limb is a sensation in which an amputee feels the presence of their missing body part. This disorder describes, on a lesser level, what New York Jets fans could experience in the 2013 season in the absence of All-World cornerback, Darelle Revis. I have dubbed this football affliction: Phantom Revis.
– Wide receivers having clean breaks off the line, mysteriously unmolested
– Quarterbacks finding receivers where there may not have been one before
– A far less confident and effective pass rush
Treatment: To treat phantom limb, patients will often be prescribed a mirror box that lets them reflect and control their “limb”, as well as neurological therapy. However, reflecting on the past will only exacerbate “Phantom-Revis” and replacing the player cannot be done with one individual, simply because there is no one player that can produce at the same level as #24. Instead a series of general improvements is best prescribed to cure what ails em’:
Depth/Talent of Cornerbacks – The Jets played the entire 2012 season sans Revis. With this in mind, had no improvements been made to the defensive backfield, a similar level of production could be expected in 2013. Luckily, both the depth and talent should be improved. The Jets look to have a healthy Aaron Berry for the 2013 season, who is a starter in a depth role. The coaching staff also expects big things from up-and-comer Darrin Walls. Finally, the Jets first overall pick was cornerback Dee Milliner, who dominated top SEC competition in three seasons with the Crimson Tide. No individual player will replace Revis, but the overall talent and depth of the cornerback position in 2013 is superior to the available talent in 2012.
Improved Pass Rush – With less time to throw, cornerbacks will not be asked to remain in tight coverage beyond their abilities. What Revis brought to the Jets allowed Rex Ryan to disregard a team’s number one target and create exotic blitzes to confuse the quarterback. Now, without Revis, Rex cannot afford to create artificial pressure and must get after the quarterback the old fashion way. Antwan Barnes joins the Jets via free agency as a pass rush specialist from the outside linebacker position. However, his presence on the roster has gone largely unnoticed by fans due to an untested path the Jets are taking with regards to pressure. Traditional defensive philosophy is to generate a pass rush either with defensive ends (4-3) or outside linebackers (3-4). In either case, the interior linemen are expected to: clog lanes, stuff the run or occupy blockers. Pass rush from these big boys comes second.
However, the Jets have been collecting ultra athletic bigs over the past three years with their eye on a unique pass rushing model. Rex hopes to use players like Wilkerson, Coples, Richardson, Ellis, and Garay to create a pass rush focused on pressure up the middle, right in the quarterback’s face (an attack that tends to make Mr. Brady a tad antsy). Convention doesn’t become convention without someone trying it first and with defensive mastermind Rex Ryan directing this cutting edge pass rush, the Jets can expect better production.
Confidence in Safety Play – Safeties play a key role in the confidence of a defense. They allow cornerbacks to do their job knowing they have backup and if the corners are doing their job, the pass rush has more time to get the the quarterback. Its all so in sync. However, the safety position is one that the Jets and Idzik have not truly addressed as of yet. They seem to have confidence that some combination of Josh Bush, Antonio Allen, and Dawan Landry can replace the production of Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry. However, I would recommend trading for a talented safety or dipping into the (unfortunately weak) free agent pool.
Enjoy Revis’ All-World contract Tampa, the New York Jets have sought help from the good doctor and they will be just fine without him.