New York Jets Therapy Sessions – Defensive Denial and Cognitive Dissonance

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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 “Defensive Denial”

Denial is a defensive mechanism used by one that is unwilling to admit to an obvious reality or truth. The New York Jets coaching staff and fans may be in an acute state of denial in order to protect their fragile egos and cope with their state of cognitive dissonance.

Diagnosis: In psychology, the ego is the part of the personality that deals with reality. If one’s perception (ego) and reality are not congruent, one may experience a state of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is a level of discomfort that occurs when a person holds two or more conflicting ideas to be true. In the case of the New York Jets, most staunchly believe that the defense will excel given the potential at cornerback and defensive line. Yet, upon closer inspection, most will admit that the linebacker and safety positions are shallow and untested. These two beliefs about the defense conflict, so to maintain the prior, many will resort to outright denial or minimization of the latter.

Symptoms:

- Underperforming defense

- Uncovered tight ends and slot receivers

- Epidemic levels of fan disappointment

- Can’t stop a nose bleed

- Overextended cornerbacks

Treatment

Temper Expectations: To judge this defense accurately one must look at it clinically. Dissect the body into its separate, functioning parts. The defensive line looks to be stellar with talent, potential, and depth. The linebackers consist of a couple of sluggish veterans, an unexperienced sophomore, a one trick pony, and a second year convert (Note: linebacker is a misnomer for the rush role Coples will play this year). The corners look deep as ever and the future looks surprisingly bright for this group considering they just lost the best player at their position. Finally, the caboose of the defense is reliant on Dawan Landry and another starter whose identity is up in the air. When looked at as the sum of its parts, the defense has potential to be great, given the sheer talent up front and at corner but has serious flaws at two key positions. Don’t look for this defense to put the 85′ Bears defense to shame.

Watch the Middle: If the 13′ New York Jets defense is going to have a chink in the armor it will be in the middle of the field. The defensive line will generate pressure and the corners could blanket their assignments. A good start. However, it is traditionally the job of the linebackers and safeties to cover the tight ends, possession, and slot receivers. None of the Jets linebackers or safeties have shown any propensity for covering these chain movers. Hope is placed on Demario Davis to be able to step into a coverage role and obviously Rex Ryan will scheme his defense to mask this deficiency  However, constant big plays over the middle might begin to chip away at the state of denial.

Hope for Help: The linebackers and safeties, as currently constituted, will not inspire fear in opposing offenses or confidence in the fans hearts. Look for GM John Idzik to bring in veteran help. Safeties Dwight Lowery and Kerry Rhodes have been discussed by some but no options are so apparent at linebacker. If help is brought in, perhaps those currently in denial will be able to look back and admit their use of the defense mechanism.

  • JetOrange

    I think there is a phiilosophical question that will be on trial this season. It will be Rex’s all out blitz scheme versus last year with Mike Pettin ‘s schemes, that had a mix of pressure and coverage..

  • Angel

    Why is the value of the D-Line the same as the value being placed on the Safeties? These are not comparably equal components within the defensive unit.

    With all positions being equal, the game is won or lost at the line of scrimmage. If you have average players across the board and an above average O-Line and D-Line, you will succeed in this league [not so much my opinion as it is an observation.]

    An above average D-Line can overpower and penetrate an average O-Line thus disrupting the passing and running game. QBs will get sacked or throw the ball away if they do not have the time to complete a pass, and RBs will be hit for a loss in the backfield or stopped for minimal yardage.

    Above average CBs with average players throughout the rest of the defense can help also, but nothing gives you as great as an advantage as the quality of the line play.