New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan benched cornerback Dee Milliner during Thursday night’s game against the New England Patriots. Jets fans should not assume that this will contribute to Milliner being a draft bust.
The Jets drafted Milliner with the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Since the Jets drafted him, he has faced immense pressure to be Darrelle Revis‘ successor.
Milliner has made some mistakes so far, which contributed to Ryan benching him during Thursday’s game. Milliner played in 34 snaps on Thursday before he was benched, according to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News.
However, this does not mean that Milliner will be a draft bust.
He had shoulder surgery in March, which caused him to miss most of training camp. The offseason allows a rookie to learn new defensive schemes and opposing offenses’ tendencies. Ryan told Walder the shoulder injury hindered Milliner’s progress during the offseason.
Milliner did a great job at Alabama, but it is tougher to succeed in the NFL. He has to learn different tendencies of wide receivers and tight ends as well as defending against the play action and pump fakes.
Rookie players have to learn a lot of new information when they enter the NFL, and not everyone can learn it in a matter of months. For some players, it will take longer to adjust to the NFL than others.
He should be a very good cornerback once he adjusts to the NFL. Once he becomes a very good cornerback, he will be able to help out budding star Antonio Cromartie in the secondary.
Jets fans have to be patient with Milliner. Defensive Coordinator Dennis Thurman will probably have Milliner study the team’s defensive playbook and film of opposing offenses during practices and off-days so he can understand the system and opposing offenses better.
Thurman will have Milliner run plays from the defensive playbook in practice, so he knows what to expect during games. Although he has the potential to be very good, it is unfair to think that he will be the same caliber player as Revis right away.