Lately, change has been the only constant for the New York Jets. Recent weeks saw the departure of several key defensive veterans such as Calvin Pace and Bart Scott. Scott’s release in particular is relevant to this discussion.
Two years ago after the Jets pulled off a Divisional Round Playoff upset against the New England Patriots, Scott thrilled television audiences with his post-game comments. Acquiring him from the Baltimore Ravens was one of Rex Ryan’s first moves as Jets head coach.
For the first three years in New York, Scott played the role of enforcer on an aggressive defense. His skills eroded in 2012 which helped lead to an extremely disappointing year for the team. Prior to the regular season, Ryan found the man the Jets hope will be Scott’s successor.
Demario Davis was selected in the third round of 2012’s NFL Draft. Davis may have seen his stock drop because he played at Arkansas State. Some experts said if he had gone to a larger school, Davis could have gone later in the first round. When New York gave him extended time on the field, Davis took advantage. The soon to be second year player finished with 35 total tackles in his rookie year. He closes quickly on the opposing ball carrier on run plays, and also gets to the quarterback on passes. His development will be very important. Although New York could use more 4-3 looks in their defense this year, their base scheme remains the 3-4. As a result, they regularly use two middle linebackers.
Davis played on the outside at times last year, but his natural position is middle linebacker. David Harris is a very good player, and now Davis is expected to form a solid tandem with him. New York should be confident that at least this part of the defense presents a challenge for opponents.