Aggressive play calling was consistently present for the New York Jets during their AFC Championship Game appearances. Getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks serves as an important aspect of winning games in the NFL. Watching New York play last year one could see weakness from this area. Teams can create disruption either by designing schemes focused on blitzing or with a natural edge rusher.
The Jets appeared to go away from sending rushers regularly choosing instead to sit back in coverage. As a result struggles were present. According to head coach Rex Ryan blitzing will again become a larger staple this coming season. Information from ESPN states the Jets blitzed 52.4 percent in ’09 (first in NFL), 44.7 percent in ’10 (third), 32.8 percent in ’11 (12th) and 34.0 percent in 2012 which ranked (11th). Talent is unknown to an extent, however, potential fills the defensive end position.
Muhammad Wilkerson enters his third season holding much promise following five sacks last year. While New York totaled 47 last season which ranked 12th there was simply a feeling that teams could move ball. Quinton Coples switches from end to outside linebacker which should help take advantage of his power and speed. Sheldon Richardson possesses tremendous size as a collegiate defensive tackle.
Losing both starting safeties in LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell leaves the Jets with much more youth in their secondary. Their unproven replacements could lead to issues protecting the middle. Two young players in Josh Bush and Antonio Allen have good upside, but ass defense could turn out to be a place where they find trouble. Sending additional support takes away from actually covering receivers. Ryan appears committed to returning New York’s defensive attitude which could provide dividends while it also brings some risks.