One of the bright spots early on for the New York Jets this season has been OLB Josh Martin. He’s taken advantage of a positional coaching change, with the Jets hiring Kevin Greene, and used that opportunity to show he can contribute significantly with the starting defense. Martin shined throughout preseason and continued his impressive play in week 1 against the Bills. Here we’ll take a look at a few plays from him and how some reflect on the rest of the defense.
Here, Josh Martin is lined up in a 9 technique outside the left tight end. The Bills try to run a stretch play to Martin’s side. He presses the tight end in the backfield while keeping outside leverage, forcing the running back, Mike Tolbert, to flatten out. Then he wraps up Tolbert for a tackle for loss. This is textbook and definitely pleased the coaches.
On this play, Martin is lined up over the left tackle. He does his job again containing Lesean McCoy this time, on another stretch play. However, there’s a huge hole inside after he establishes himself outside. At first glance it just looks like he overplayed McCoy to the outside. However, if you look at the play-side inside linebacker, Darron Lee, on this play, you Lee he takes too long to process the play, and gets caught up. Also, the center and play-side guard double team Leonard Williams in a combo block to get to Darron Lee. So, Williams getting pushed back, and Lee getting lost, leave a straight path to the second level for McCoy.
On this next play, Martin is lined up outside the right tight end. The Bills run another zone run. Here, Martin stifles the tight end, once again maintaining outside leverage. Instead of overplaying it too far up the field, Martin controls the tight end closer to the line of scrimmage and closes on Lesean McCoy for the tackle only after McCoy committed inside.
Here on this play, Martin is lined up outside the left tackle. On snap the left tackle sets up in pass protection and Martin starts his pass rush. However, he’s able diagnose the screen play as McCoy slides by him, redirect, and make the play.
On the next play, Martin is lined up outside the left tackle. Its a passing play and the Jets use a stunt a here. You might remember seeing the inverse of this recently in a recent film room with Sheldon Richardson in preseason. Here the two defensive tackles inside slant towards Martin’s side as he loops around to the opposite A-gap which turns out to be wide open, leading him straight to Tyrod Taylor for the assisted sack.
On this last play much later in the 4th quarter, Martin is in a nine technique lined up outside the second tight end to the left of the formation. With two receivers on the opposite side of the formation its clear if the Bills run the ball it will likely be to Martin’s side. At the snap you see it’s a zone run to left side. Once again, Martin establishes outside leverage and forces McCoy back inside where he should have help. But once more, there is so help. The Bills left offensive line walls off Leonard Williams, the Jets’ inside linebackers react too slow and McCoy powers his way into the endzone.
Josh Martin played pretty well in the time he had on the field. Let’s hope he continues to perfect his technique and play well beyond what expectations were for him. Perhaps his drive, and work hard can teach the younger players how to grind and maybe inspire some of the veterans to give a bit more.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com