Over the past few years Kerry Rhodes has emerged as one of the Jets best defensive players as well as a fan favorite. With the implementation of Rex Ryan’s aggressive style of defense Kerry could be heading into the best year of his career. Recently the Jets safety took the time to answer a few questions.
Q: How much do you think your role on the defense will change in Rex Ryan’s new aggressive system?
Rhodes: Well Rex gives me the freedom to roam and blitz when I want to in the scheme of the defense. When I’m making plays like I know I am capable of, I can make this defense better.
Q: In the off-season has the secondary been working with Jim Leonhard to get caught up to speed on the new signals and play calls?
Rhodes: Right now he’s catching us up to their signals for the most part and bringing us along. I’m making them change some signals to what we had already though to help the people who were here already, so its a little bit of both.
Q: With every coaching change there is a learning curve for the team, how long do you think it will take to have the new defense fully implemented?
Rhodes: Well into training camp I would say. We have the base stuff down and we are moving along fast but for every one to be on same page with each other will take time.
Q: As one of the defensive captains, how do you help your teammates prepare before games? what about after games?
Rhodes: Well before the game I study religiously and have been doing that since my 2nd year in the league. After practice I have been bringing in guys to study sessions at my house to learn everything we can of our opponent. After the game it’s more about physically getting your body ready to take another beating on Sunday!
Q: Who is the toughest quarterback you have faced and why?
Rhodes: Tom Brady is the toughest and the reason for it is that he is so sure of himself out there on the field. Tom is so smart that he makes you have to be on point or you are in trouble.He can also make every throw on the field.
Q: Anything you would like to say to all of the Jets fans out there?
Rhodes: Get ready for a great year this year! The team is working extremely hard and preparing ourself for a long run this year! So make sure you guys are super loud and bring your “A” games like we will!
Thank you for your time Mr. Rhodes.
As active as Kerry Rhodes is on the field, he is just as active off the field with his Rhodes Foundation. The Rhodes Foundation was founded as a financial source and outlet that affords young men and women as well as educational facilities the financial backing enabling them to educate and support students to continue striving towards embracing dreams that endear them to further themselves educationally.
The charity’s mission is twofold. The organization uses its resources to support the maintenance of high school facilities throughout the country while also assisting young men and women birthed from these institutions to further themselves educationally by providing them with scholarships that serves to reaffirm the bold steps taken by those who dare to dream.
Please check out www.kerryrhodes.com for information on Kerry Rhodes as well as his foundation. In late July Kerry will be holding a celebrity weekend to raise money for his foundation, so keep an eye on his website for more details.
Tyson covers the Jets for TheExaminer.