New York Jets New Look Secondary: “New Jack City”
Before Seattle’s Legion of Boom and Denver’s No Fly Zone, the New York Jets used to have the most feared secondary in the league. However, that secondary has become open air for quarterbacks over the last few years with the departure of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. There is hope though, as the Jets have some young talent patrolling that secondary now as well as some key acquisitions that have been signed so far. This new look secondary has been given the name New Jack City by players on the team.
Selected with the 6th overall pick last season, Adams hit the ground running and flew under the radar to many. His play was overshadowed by rookies such as Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore who had insane rookie seasons. But if you look at the stats and film you’ll see that the future is very bright for the kid out of LSU. For one Jamal Adams is very good at tackling, especially stopping the run. According to Pro Football Focus, Adams was one of the leaders in run stops (26) among all safeties last season. Don’t forget he was a rookie having more tackles than more established guys such as Landon Collins and Reshad Jones. On top of that, he had 8 “stuffs” for 16 yards.
Jamal is also great in the open field when making tackles as well and can be described as a big hitter. There were countless times whether in the secondary or backfield where Adams took on a runner by himself and won. On the year Adams had 83 combined tackles. The one knock on Adams, however, is his “ball-hawk” ability or lack thereof. He only had 6 passes defended and didn’t record an interception. However, there’s no need to fear as it was just his rookie year. One notable safety didn’t record an interception his rookie year and that man was Troy Polamalu.
Marcus Maye is the other half of the New York Jets young starting safety duo. Maye was selected with the 39th pick in last year’s draft out of the University of Florida. If Adams was overshadowed by other rookies then Maye was overshadowed by Adams. With Adams making plays around the line of scrimmage and backfield, Maye was protecting the back-end. Maye had a pretty good stat line himself with 79 combined tackles although he had 0 stuffs on the season. He did have more success in finding the ball in the air as he collected 2 interceptions. Maye and Adams will make a formidable duo in the secondary for years to come.
Arguably one of the biggest free agent signings this offseason, Trumaine Johnson might be the best corner the New York Jets have had since Revis. The Jets signed Johnson to a 5 yr/$72.5M contract at the beginning of free agency. The deal is one of the biggest in franchise history which includes $34M in guaranteed money.
Johnson is in his heading into his 7th season in the league out of tallied Montana. He had previously spent the last 6 seasons with the Rams. Trumaine is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro. In the 16 games, he tallied 65 combined tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery as well as 14 passes defended. His best season came in 2015 when he was one of the NFL interception leaders with 7 interceptions along with 17 pass deflections. What Johnson brings to the Jets is a big, physical receiver at 6’2, 213lbs. The Jets play a lot of man heavy coverages so having a physical corner who can also find the ball in the air is a plus.
Morris Claiborne will be back with the Jets next season after signing a one year deal with the team. Last season Claiborne was the #1 corner on the depth chart and it’s fair to say it wasn’t his best season. In 15 games he finished with 43 combined tackles, 1 interception and 8 passes defended. He did allow 58 receptions for 777 yards and allowed 3 touchdowns. The addition of Trumaine Johnson should lighten the load for Claiborne as he’ll now be the #2 corner. His time with the Jets so far seems to have put a new lease on his career. A career that has been marred by injury so far.
It’s crazy to think that Buster Skrine is entering his 8th year in the league. However, he has found a home with the New York Jets. During his time in Cleveland Skrine saw more time on the ends, however, he has been since relegated to the slot in New York. There are two sides to Skrine’s season last year. On one hand, he had his best statistical season as a Jet. In 15 games he had 63 combined tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 9 passes defended. He also had 2 run stuffs. On the other hand, Skrine led the league in penalties committed by a defensive back with 11. The majority of which were either defensive holding or passing interference. Aside from the penalties, Skrine is still a solid DB with a pretty high motor.
Roberts and Burris are among the plethora of young Jets defensive backs on the roster. If there’s one position the New York Jets have plenty of depth at, it’s at DB. Roberts is entering his 4th year with the team while Burris is going into his 3rd. Both are at the top of the depth chart behind Buster Skrine in terms of defensive backs and are interchangeable within the Jets Nickel and Dime packages. Roberts did have the edge in terms of stats last season as he had more tackles and passes defended.
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