When a high first-round draft selection is taken, high expectations immediately arise. While excitement over this prospect excites fans a down side also exists. One negative that comes over the same player becomes impatience from these same supporters. Coming from a strong collegiate program adds additional pressure.
The New York Jets chose cornerback Dee Milliner ninth overall in this year’s NFL Draft. He demonstrated an ability to constantly make plays against opposing passing games. Under head coach Nick Saban at Alabama Milliner developed into a dynamic defensive back. Of course five surgeries performed in college place doubt in general managers. This did not deter Jets management from taking him.
Trading All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis several months ago created a major void. Not having ability to lock down an opposing team’s best receiver allowed head coach Rex Ryan to use more pressure. While” Revis Island “was present in New York, they never finished eighth in total yards surrendered. Milliner now assumes such responsibility. Unfortunately he got off to a somewhat rocky start. During his debut the rookie struggled against Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson. Jackson used great height to make plays against Milliner and fellow corner Antonio Cromartie. Gang Green also appeared frustrated to a degree with their young play player. Benching him Week Two demonstrated such learning curve still remains. Not starting Week Three at home against AFC East rival Buffalo Bills shows that they believe he is not ready. Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman attempted to downplay such feelings.
Thurman told the New York Star-Ledger “With Dee, it wasn’t that we were unhappy with what we were seeing. It’s just that the situation for us called for, OK, they’re getting ready to take some shots at this kid. Rather than have him in a situation where he can get himself deflated, we decided to make the move and get a more experienced guy in there. And we did. There is plenty of time to feel he will fulfill his potential.