Jets Offseason Part 2

Like I mentioned in the last Jets article, for the second year in a row the Jets made a big splash in free agency, and this includes more than just one linebacker. Following the signing of Scott the Jets worked hard to try to get a corner to pair opposite their pro bowl corner Darrell Revis in an effort to shore up their pass defense. The player they wound up acquiring was Lito Sheppard formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sheppard had recently fell out of favor with the Eagles as the Eagles went out last offseason and replaced him with Asante Samuel, a move that paid off as the Eagles made the conference championship game last season. Prior to that season Sheppard had been a pro bowl player; however, this past season Sheppard plummeted so far down the depth chart that he was no longer used as the nickelback and barely saw the field. He is still a young player and prior to this past season the main knock on Sheppard has been his injury problems so the Jets are hoping the change of scenery will be enough to get Sheppard to return to the form he showed earlier in his career, and if he does the Jets could have one of the best sets of starting corners in the league.

The Jets did not stop here as they wanted to upgrade their safety position too not being enamored with their starter opposite Rhodes. To make the upgrade they picked up another former Raven in Jim Leonhard. Leonhard is another young player to add to the secondary and while he isn’t a former pro bowl player like Sheppard he is still a good player and an instant upgrade over Elam. These moves help to solidify a secondary that fill the Jets last needs for a defense that looks ready to implement Ryan’s schemes and be a dominant defense in the mold of the Ravens, something that is needed for an offense that saw no real improvements and even lost a starting receiver in Coles.

If these moves pan out for the Jets, and except for maybe Sheppard there is very little risk in these moves, then the Jets should have a pretty good defense improving on their great performance last season. While there weren’t any big moves on offense during free agency there was a huge one on draft day, something that will be talked about in the next article. Also Ryan is a former defensive coordinator and for him to want to stock up on the defense is not unexpected. Jet fans should expect the games to be similar to when Edwards was head coach, tight defensive games with tons of running where the winner is usually the team that turns the ball over less. The difference being the Jets defense is more talented than it ever was under Edwards and there will be an aggressive 3-4 scheme as opposed to the basic cover 2.

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