Jets Name Team Captains

With the start of the NFL season just days away, the Jets have named their six team captains for the 2019 season according to the team’s official twitter account.

The captains are are quarterback Sam Darnold, left tackle Kelvin Beachum, safety Jamal Adams, linebacker C.J. Mosley, defensive lineman Steve McLendon and safety Rontez Miles.

Here is the statement Adam Gase made today about the process.

We voted for captains yesterday. We’ll have six of them. It’ll be C.J. Mosley, Jamal Adams, Steve McLendon, Sam Darnold, Kelvin Beachum and Rontez Miles. It’s interesting to kind of go through that whole voting process and those guys were clear cut guys that were at the top. It shows the leadership strength that we have in this locker room. As far as injuries go, we look good going into today. Everybody is going to be going. We’ll have a couple guys that we’re just kind of making sure and will probably have a limited practice, but for the most part, everybody is going to be rolling.

 

Jets Face Saints in Dress Rehearsal; Twelve Players to Watch

In the only preseason contest that will see their starters go more than a few series (sans Le’Veon Bell), the New York Jets will take on the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium with kickoff set for 7:30.  Aside from the usual “pray for no injuries”, here’s what Jets fans should be looking for.

QB Sam Darnold: Darnold is the obvious answer every week, but this will be his first opportunity to establish a rhythm while knowing he won’t be done for the night after a series or two.  We saw lots of up-tempo stuff from Darnold and the Jets last week.  Look to see how well Darnold operates at a quick pace with what should be plenty of pocket movement.

C Ryan Kalil: Kalil may not get as much action as the other starters as he looks to get his feet wet in live action, but seeing him at the pivot will be nice for Jets fans who have witnessed some awful play at center over the past two seasons.

ILB Neville Hewitt: With a torn ACL putting Avery Williamson on the shelf, Hewitt figures to be the team’s starter in the early going.  Hewitt is a good coverage backer who filled in admirably for Darron Lee last season as the converted college safety offers steady yet unspectacular play.  The job may be his to lose if Blake Cashman steps it up a notch, but in facing the Saints, expect to get a look at the starting defense with Hewitt in place.

CB Darryl Roberts: Roberts is one of the biggest questions on the roster and will look to prove that last year’s stretch of quality corner play before being moved to safety wasn’t a fluke.  If the Saints look to take some shots down the field, Roberts will be challenged.  

S Rontez Miles: Miles has received a surprisingly high number of reps at safety as Gregg Williams is a big fan of using 3 safety sets.  Miles and Marcus Maye on the back end gives Jamal Adams more freedom which is a good thing.  However, Miles’ suspect coverage ability brings in to question the logic of using one of the team’s less athletic DB’s in a role that could be a catastrophe if exposed.  Tonight is a chance for Miles to prove to the doubters that he’s not just a “box” safety.  Is he?

4-3 vs 3-4: Nobody knows exactly how much Avery Williamson’s injury will shift Gregg Williams’ game plans over the course of the season.  What we do know is that with Henry Anderson, Quinnen Williams, Steve McLendon and Leonard Williams, a 4-3 set would be more talented than the Jets’ 3-4.  Seeing how one formation performs versus the other could give us an idea as to how things may unfold.

Trenton Cannon will look to do more with the ball in his hands than he has thus far.

RB Trenton Cannon: Cannon often looks like the fastest guy on the field but tends to run with some hesitancy as a return man and running back.  He’s garnered enough praise of late from Adam Gase to suggest he has a good shot to stick.  With Le’Veon Bell watching from the sidelines, Cannon will look to solidify a roster spot over Eli McGuire.

CB Alex Brown: The undrafted rookie free agent corner played well enough last week to earn some reps with the starters during the week.  The Jets need help at corner and anyone who catches the eye of the coaching staff will have a chance to stick.

CB Marcus Cooper: See above.  The Jets are desperate for corner help and the newly added Cooper is the most experienced boundary corner behind Trumaine Johnson.  After just a couple of days with the team he was running with the 2’s and figures to get an extended look against the Saints.

OLB Frankie Luvu: The undrafted free agent who impressed in a situational role last season has looked like a much better player in year two.  Luvu is in a prime position to steal significant reps while Brandon Copeland serves a four-game suspension and Jachai Polite has been pedestrian thus far.

OLB Harvey Langi: Not even a household name among Jets fans, Langi impressed early on in camp and got some run with the starters in practice this week.  Now that he’s back and healthy, he enters the fray for a large chunk of playing time due to Copeland’s situation and may get significant reps against the Saints.

TE Ryan Griffin: With Chris Herndon suspended for the first four games of the season, somebody is going to have to get those reps and Griffin is the most accomplished receiving tight end on the roster behind Herndon.  The Jets should look to build some chemistry between Griffin and Darnold that could pay off in the early going.

A dozen players to keep an eye on is a lot, but with rosters and 90 and jobs up for grabs, there’s plenty to take in.

JetNation Positional Breakdown: Safeties

The safety position for the New York Jets is an interesting one. They are locked in with the top talent of their depth chart, but after that it gets a bit shaky. While the roster is not finalized, we continue to look at each position and break down what to expect entering training camp.

Last year, as a unit, the safety position under performed with Marcus Maye spending much of the season injured. Jamal Adams, however, remains a bright spot on the back end as what view as a future perennial All-Pro.. New coach/GM tandem Adam Gase and Joe Douglas must be impressed with their most vocal leader. If Marcus Maye can get back to playing high quality football, the sky is the limit for this group.

 

Jamal Adams: Adams is entering his third season with New York, coming off a Pro-Bowl selection in 2018 as well as second-team All-Pro. He is the spark plug of the defense, and is the outspoken leader of the defense. Adams had 115 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception and 3 forced fumbles in his breakout sophomore campaign. Since entering the league in 2017, Adams has shown himself to be a legitimate building block that the Jets are luck to have to work with.

Marcus Maye: Also entering his third season in Green & White, Marcus Maye had far different results from those of Jamal Adams in year two. After playing all 16 games as a rookie, he was limited to just 6 games in 2018 due to shoulder and ankle injuries. Maye looks to return to form in 2019 and become a contributor on the defense alongside Adams. The potential is there for the duo to become the best safety tandem in the league.  In fact, Pro Football Focus has them as the fourth-ranked duo entering training camp.

Dark Horse-

Rontez Miles: The first backup on the depth chart is Rontez Miles, who has played well  as a box safety when asked but is limited in coverage. He is entering his 7th season with the Jets. After nearly losing his leg in 2014, Miles has seen consistent playing time, appearing in 37 games over the last three seasons. Special teams coach Brant Boyer is dependent on Miles as a core special teamer, and he has failed to disappoint. Don’t be surprised if Miles has a breakout season in Gregg Williams system utilizing three safeties, while leading the way on special teams. Rontez Miles is a dark horse safety because his presence is overlooked and his impact as a special teams player is unmatched.

Could Rontez Miles be an ideal fit for Gregg Williams?

Doug Middleton: Middleton has been with the Jets for two seasons, and has played well in a backup capacity. He has only played in 11 total games, but has tallied 33 tackles and 4 passes defended. The Jets may look to replace Middleton before preseason after cuts are made. Middleton suffered a torn pectoral last October but has fully recovered in time for training camp.

Brandon Bryant: A bit of an unknown for New York, Bryant only played in Week 17 last year against New England, failing to record a stat. The chances of Bryant making an impact on the roster is slim, but if he shows the coaches some flash in preseason, he may be able to make the final 53-man roster.

Santos Ramirez: An undrafted free agent out of Arkansas, Ramirez will likely end up on the practice squad. He is a plus in the run game, but the former high school cornerback is a liability in coverage. His athleticism is limited, but he showed flashes at his pro day before injuring his hamstring. He will look to work his way up the depth chart in camp, but it will be a struggle to make the 53-man roster.

Ultimately, the current state of the position will not be the final one, but it is one that shows great promise for not only the 2019 season but for the long-term as well. A lot will be riding on Adams to continue his dominance, but the addition of linebacker CJ Mosley and first round draft pick Quinnen Williams will help make his job easier.

Texans v. Jets: Who’s Dinged Up, Who Can Step Up?

Last week, Sam Darnold led the Jets in his first career 4th quarter comeback against the Bills, to break the Jets six game losing streak. It was also Sam Darnold’s first game back, and he energized the team, breathing life into a very stagnant offense. His scrambling throw to find Robby Anderson in the end zone to tie the game showed Jets fans what he excelled at when with USC. Hopefully, there will be much more of that to come. There is is still a lot of work to do in the offseason, but it looks like the Jets may have finally found the most important piece that has eluded them for half a century.

Jeremiah Attaochu is still in concussion protocol and will not play Saturday. He has flashed at times lining up as a defensive end in blitzing situations, but he has only played limited snaps and only has 2 sacks on the season. With the Jets having no real edge rushing presence and only one player with over 5 sacks on the season (Jordan Jenkins with 6, next highest is Brandon Copeland with 4), not having Attaochu does hurt the Jets ability to get after the QB.

Isaiah Crowell has been placed on IR. 2nd year player Elijah McGuire since coming back from a broken foot has played well, and had his best game of the season last week with Crowell out, rushing for 60 yards and the game winning touchdown on 4th and goal. Since Crowell ran for a Jet record 219 yards in week 5, he hasn’t broken 100 yards since. This is a good opportunity for McGuire as he will be the featured back and hopefully continues to impress. Trenton Cannon would be the backup, but he is questionable with a toe injury. De’angelo Henderson has been promoted from the practice squad.

Quincy Enunwa has re-injured his ankle and hasn’t practiced all week so he is out as well. Robby Anderson was the star receiver of last weeks game though, catching the game tying touchdown on Sam Darnold’s crazy dash throw. Anderson has been full go all week, so he will be Darnold’s main target with Jermaine Kearse and Chris Herndon.

Both Jordan Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson didn’t practice Tuesday or Wednesday, but were limited Thursday, so both are questionable. Johnson has a foot injury and Jenkins is shoulder/ankle. Jenkins leads the Jets in sacks this season with 6, so if he doesn’t play that will be a massive blow to the defensive front. Brandon Copeland is second on the team with 4 sacks, and undrafted rookie Frankie Luvu has really come on in the last few weeks, so both will get increased time if Jenkins doesn’t play. If Johnson doesn’t play, Darryl Roberts will fill in for him again like he did earlier in the season when he played very well. If Roberts plays corner, Terrance Brooks or Rontez Miles will play free safety.

Kevin Pierre-Louis played extended snaps for the first time last week, and he had a great game, totaling 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB hits, and a great pass breakup in the end zone. He was limited all week so he should play, and it will be good to see if he can keep up his production from last week. If he doesn’t play, Neville Hewitt will play more in his stead.

Jets Activate McGuire, Miles; Waive Henderson and Campbell

Looking to get their roster in order before Sunday’s meeting with the Miami Dolphins, the Jets have made a pair of personnel moves.

Running back Elijah McGuire was activated from short-term IR while run stuffing safety and special teams ace Rontez Miles was removed from the PUP list and added to the 53-man roster.

To make room for McGuire and Miles, the Jets parted ways with running back De’Angelo Henderson and safety Ibraheim Campbell.

Roster Reduced to 53; Peake In, Hansen, McBride Out

The NY Jets announced the roster moves needed to get to the 53 man limit today. Charone Peake made the cut at wide receiver over both Chad Hansen and Tre McBride. McBride had a strong camp, but Peake’s value on special teams was most likely the deciding factor. There are currently six wide receivers on the roster and special teams also played a factor in keeping Andre Roberts because he can return punts.

Glenn Naughton broke down some of the earlier roster cuts and he mentioned that Jason Myers won the kicking job. If you are auditioning and you make a 58 yard field goal, you make it really hard for the team to cut you.

At outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin and Dylan Donahue were both waived. Donahue had off the field problems and he never showed enough on the field to earn a roster spot.

Deon Simon was waived which means that Leonard Williams is the only player left on the roster from the 2015 draft.

Rontez Miles was placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list. He is eligible to return to the active roster after six games.

There are seven cornerbacks on the roster, Derrick Jones and Juston Burris both made the team.

There is an interesting mix at running back and tight end. Four tight ends made the team (Chris Herndon, Jordan Leggett, Eric Tomlinson and Neal Sterling). There are four running backs on the roster (Trenton Cannon, Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire) and one fullback (Lawrence Thomas). McGuire is coming back from a broken foot, so he is expected to be inactive the first few weeks of the season.

The Jets are technically three players over the roster limit, but they have exemptions for NFL suspensions:

  • CB Rashard Robinson (four games)
  • LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (two games)
  • WR ArDarius Stewart (one game)

Here is the list of moves the Jets made to get to the 53 man limit. Courtesy of NYJets.com.

 

Position Group Preview: Safety

Arguably their deepest position, the Jets look to be loaded at the safety position entering the 2018 season. With a young core of starters and veteran backups, the unit should be a solid one for Gang Green this season. The following players are currently with the team, but some will be battling to make the cut in September when camp comes to an end.

Jamal Adams

The 6th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Adams has the makings of being a stud at the safety position for the Jets for years to come. Adams is coming off a nice rookie campaign in which he was given a grade of 81.2 by Pro Football Focus. He posted 63 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and defended 6 passes. Although he did not record any interceptions and did not play particularly well in coverage he still showed his versatility by lining up in multiple positions/formations all over the defense.

Adams played well in run support and near the line of scrimmage recording 25 run stops which were the most by a safety, but he must improve his skills in pass coverage to progress to the next level. He has quickly become a leader for the team and should help guide the defense not only this year but in the future as well. Some prefer that he let his play do the talking rather than his mouth and the hope is that will be the case this season as he takes the next step and continues to improve on the field.

Marcus Maye

2017 39th overall pick Marcus Maye looks to have finally broken the curse of the Jets’ second-round jinx. PFF’s #72 safety with a grade of 48.9 does not tell the full story of Maye’s rookie season. Although the numbers don’t look great on paper it was his play on the field that turned heads. Maye is a physical, hard-hitting safety with great instincts and play recognition. He finished the season with 56 tackles, 2 passes defended, 2 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble.

Maye is more of a free safety so he played back in coverage last season and had some success in doing so. Like Adams, if he can continue his upward trajectory in his 2nd season in the NFL and improve in pass coverage he should complete the solid duo that looks to be forming with his fellow second-year safety.

Terrence Brooks

Brooks was acquired last off-season in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for CB Dexter McDougle. He signed a 2-year deal this off-season to remain in New York and has had a nice showing so far in training camp, but he will be on the roster bubble this summer battling for a backup role.

The 5th year safety had one of his best seasons in 2017 totalling only 13 tackles but had 2 interceptions and 3 passes defended. Coincidentally both interceptions came in week 3 against the Miami Dolphins when he was named the AFC defensive player of the week.

Brandon Bryant

The Jets signed Bryant as an undrafted free agent after he was not selected in the supplemental draft just a few weeks ago. Bryant racked up 157 tackles and 5 interceptions during his three years at Mississippi State. The former Bulldog is a solid run defender and has decent coverage skills but it will be interesting to see how his game translates to the NFL. At 22-years-old he has plenty of room for growth but even if he were to make the team he doesn’t figure to get much playing time.

The odds are slim that Bryant does, in fact, make the team with all of the depth the Jets already have at the position. His best chance at cracking the roster will come if he shows he has value playing special teams especially with the loss of special teams ace Rontez Miles. It’s also possible that he ends up on the practice squad or released come September.

Doug Middleton

Doug Mddleton missed all of last season due to injury, but has been very impressive through camp thus far.

An undrafted free agent out of Appalachian St., Middleton did not do much during his rookie season in 2016 recording just 6 tackles and defending 1 pass. After missing all of 2017 with a torn pectoral he’ll be looking to establish himself as a backup in a crowded safety room. Middleton’s advantage is his familiarity with the defense as he has been with the team for 3 years.

Reports out of camp are that Middleton has played well filling in for the injured Marcus Maye. As of now, he looks to have a good chance at cracking the final 53-man roster as a backup and special teams player.

J.J. Wilcox

5th-year safety J.J. Wilcox is coming off arguably one of his worst seasons in the league recording just 12 tackles in 12 games. He was released by Pittsburgh after just one season with the team. Wilcox was signed almost immediately after it was announced that Rontez Miles would be out a few months after suffering a knee injury.

Should Wilcox make the team out of camp he is a veteran safety that offers some versatility. He can play special teams, help in both coverage and in the box against the run, play in three-safety sets which Head Coach Todd Bowles uses on occasion, and can spell Adams and Maye should they need to come off the field. Wilcox is a very good signing for depth and as a situational player.

Rontez Miles

Miles will miss all of camp and the start of the regular season with a knee injury (torn meniscus).  Miles is one of the best special teams players in the league leading the team 16 solo tackles in 2017. He will probably be eligible to return in November and if he remains with the team he will return to anchor the special teams unit. Rontez doesn’t offer much for the defense as he struggles in coverage, but he’s still a physical, run-stuffing safety that will make his presence felt with his hard tackling.

Kacy Rodgers II

Rodgers II joined the Jets this offseason after spending 2 years in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In 2 seasons with the Roughriders, he compiled 74 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 1 sack. Prior to playing in Canada, Rodgers played with the Miami Hurricanes but signed with Saskatchewan after going undrafted.

He is the son of current Jets defensive coordinator, Kacy Rodgers which is probably why he was given an opportunity with Gang Green. Rodgers II was a decent safety in college and the CFL, but the NFL may prove to be a big jump for the 26-year-old. He’s a long shot to make the team out of camp, but time will tell if he can show that he belongs this summer.

The Jets seem to be all but set at safety with the tandem of Adams and Maye locked in as starters. As long as everyone stays healthy there should be 2 or 3 spots open for the other 5 players to battle for backup positions.

Depth Beginning to Look Like Possible Strength for Gang Green in ’18

It’s early on in training camp, so no definitive conclusions are to be drawn for several more weeks (possibly months), but one thing that has become apparent over the past couple of weeks is that the Jets current roster may be a lot better than even the most optimistic Jets fan had anticipated.

Is this to say that the Jets roster is perfect and there are no holes, weaknesses or deficiencies?  Absolutely not.  This is the NFL, and in the NFL, there is no perfect roster.  But in taking away what we’ve seen at training camp and in speaking with other onlookers and reporters, this Jets roster is showing the potential to be one of the deepest groups we’ve seen in years.  How so?  Let’s take a look.

Quarterback: Even if you have just a passing interest in this team, you will not have been able to avoid all of the positive news coming out of camp regarding third overall pick Sam Darnold.  He’s learning at a breakneck pace and executing on the field in ways this team hasn’t seen from a rookie quarterback in forever…if ever.  Darnold is working behind Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater, whose fastball is showing more zip than it did early on.  McCown is the veteran mentor, while Bridgewater, a young playoff QB in his own right, appears to be all the way back from his knee injury.  A grizzed vet, a playoff youngster and arguably the best QB in the 2018 class all on the same roster.  Sure beats Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunell and Chris Simms.  Or was it Matt?

The Jets QB room is as deep as it’s ever been, thanks to the additions of Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater.

Cornerback: Could it be that an off-season of worrying about the cornerbacks was all for nothing?  Thought to be one of the weakest groups on the roster outside of Trumaine Johnson, others have stepped up since camp kicked off.  Morris Claiborne has been healthy and played well from start.  Rookie cornerback Parry Nickerson has been one of the most impressive players in camp along with second-year cornerback Derrick Jones.  Buster Skrine is expected to start in the slot, and despite poor play in the past, did have his best season as a Jet last year.  Xavier Coleman stuck last year and has had a decent camp this season, and the ultra talented Rashard Robinson has done some good things of late, but is still a work in progress.

Running back: No gamebreaker in the group, but Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell and a mix of what will likely be Eli McGuire and Trenton Cannon is plenty to go to battle with.  The most interesting back in the group is Crowell.  Despite playing with arguably the worst quarterback in the NFL last season in Deshone Kizer, he still managed to average 4.1 YPC, and that was after averaging 4.8 YPC in 2017.  Better QB play, better receivers from top to bottom, and Crowell might see a bit more running room in 2018.

Wide Receiver: First and foremost, Jermaien Kearse hasn’t gotten nearly enough credit for how good he’s looked in training camp thus far.  As a guy who just shows up, does his job well and does it quietly, you forget about him at times.  Then every time you do see him, he’s making an outstanding catch over a defender or shaking a cornerback on a post route.  Kearse, combined with Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Terrelle Pryor is an impressive group by itself.  Add in some of the younger bodies in camp such as Chad Hansen, Charles Johnson and ArDarius Stewart, and whoever is under center for the Jets should have no shortage of targets to pick from.

Tight End: Let’s be fair an acknowledge the fact that this group is almost completely unproven in actual NFL games, but it would be wilful neglect to ignore what has probably been the best positional battle in camp thus far.  The veteran in the group, Clive Walford was largely invisible through camp’s first few days as Chris Herndon and Neal Sterling made one dazzling play after another.  Now, having settled in, Walford’s number is being called regularly and he has looked very impressive.

Inside Linebacker: As of right now, Avery Williamson and Darron Lee are the team’s starters.  Lee, a former first-round draft choice, has got to start making impact plays.  Should Lee struggle as he has in the past, free agent addition Kevin Pierre-Louis may be an upgrade. Neville Hewitt is an unheralded player, but he’s a tweener who could find a way to make this roster.  As a former college safety, Hewitt has some good cover skills and he has impressed in diagnosing plays and getting in the backfield from time to time during camp.  Veteran Kevin Minter is also in the mix.

Safety:  Having a first and second round draft choice at the safety position is going to give you a pretty good shot at a deep group, and that’s just what the Jets have.  Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye will start, but those behind them on the depth chart have shown they can play either in camp, or in live games.  JJ Wilcox is an experienced starter who should be the third safety even after Rontez Miles returns.  Doug Middleton has looked very good when spelling Maye up to this point.  Throw Terrence Brooks in the mix, and you’ve got a nice group.

As mentioned above, every team has issues to contend with.  For the Jets, right now, it’s primarily along the offensive line and at the rush linebacker positions.  The starting five up front should be “good enough”, but there are no dominant blockers in the group and there are questions about James Carpenter’s ability to adjust to their new scheme.

There’s no proven pass rusher, but the team is doing all they can to find one at the moment, and considering this is a team that’s only entering year two of a re-build, there’s a good chance they could find themselves much further along that expected when it’s time to start filling more holes when the 2019 draft rolls around.

Why J.J. Wilcox Offers Upgrade Over Rontez Miles

Free agent safety J.J. Wilcox was meeting with the San Francisco 49ers when he received a call that the Jets were interested in his services. He then left the 49ers facility without a contract and quickly signed a 1 year deal worth $1.25 million with New York. His reasoning per Rich Cimini of ESPN was, “I always wanted to play for Coach Bowles. I had the opportunity and I took it.”

Words that most are not accustomed to hearing in recent years when it comes to playing for the Jets. A player actually wanted to join the Green & White to play for Todd Bowles and the ascending Jets rather than the 49ers who are also well on their way.

Wilcox isn’t exactly a big-ticket free agent, but he provides solid depth at the safety position. Depth that the Jets needed after losing special teams ace and fan favorite Rontez Miles for a few months to a knee injury.

Wilcox has played in 70 games over 5 years in the NFL starting 39 of them. Although his numbers don’t flash he has still been a solid safety in the league. He’s totaled 226 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 6 interceptions, and 16 passes defended since 2013. 2014 was by far his best season as he started all 16 games, racking up 81 tackles, 3 interceptions, and defended 5 passes.

In comparison, Miles has 71 tackles from 2015-2017 to go along with 1 forced fumble and 1 interception. Miles isn’t close to a full-time player having played in only 124 defensive snaps for the Jets last season which was roughly 11% of snaps. He is, however, a very good special teams player as he played in roughly 69% of snaps and led the Jets in tackles with 16 in 2017.

When Miles is actually on the field in certain defensive packages he is better suited at playing down in the box and stopping the run. He has been known to deliver some big hits to opposing running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, but he is a huge liability in coverage when he’s asked to cover in space. He is not nearly fast enough to cover running backs out of the backfield or pass-catchers in the open field and he’s often left flat-footed, trailing behind the play.

That being said he was still a solid backup and situational safety for Gang Green. The addition of Wilcox not only softens the blow, but he also brings more to the table than Miles.

Wilcox is arguably a much better all-around safety than Miles so the Jets have actually upgraded behind their top two safeties in Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Wilcox is much more versatile and offers better cover skills than Miles.

In years past he’s mostly played the deep middle of the field, but he’s proven that he can move around the defense playing free or strong safety. He also has experience playing in the box and in man/zone coverage. He is a good special teams player as he has served as a punt gunner and covered kickoffs, but Miles probably tops him in that aspect of his game.

Todd Bowles is known to use three-safety packages which is where Wilcox should fit in. He is a sure tackler and is also known to be a big-hitter so he can be useful in run support. Although he does have experience in the nickel, he does not exactly excel in man coverage, but he is still much better than Miles as a cover defensive back.

Wilcox can pick up receivers in zone coverage and should be serviceable in the dime package where he may see some time on the field. Still, Wilcox doesn’t figure to be much more than a rotational/situational player. His playing time will vary depending on getting on the field in certain packages and the health of Maye and Adams.

That’s all the Jets can really ask out of Wilcox for now. With their young safeties dominating the snaps and playing time, Wilcox will get playing time but he should not be on the field a ton. while offering a veteran presence with plenty of snaps under his belt to work with the tandem of Adams and Maye. One way or another, Wilcox should have a role with the Jets this season.

A knowledgeable, versatile safety that has coverage skills, can help in run support, and is a solid tackler will be a welcome addition to a team that can use all the depth they can get in the secondary.

Rontez Miles Out 3-4 Months

As we mentioned yesterday the Jets were set to sign safety J.J. Wilcox. The move makes more sense after this update from Ian Rapoport.

Brian Costello from the NY Post adds that Miles is expected to return at some point this season.

Miles is expected to miss several months. The hope is that he could return midway through the season. Miles was the Jets’ third safety last year behind Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Miles is the longest-tenured defensive player on the Jets, joining the team in 2013.