The New York Jets have transformed one of their safeties into a cornerback in the wake of Dee Milliner, Dimitri Patterson and Dexter McDougle‘s injuries. Some unknown force is just smiting the Jets’ secondary, and the team had to do something about it. Head coach Rex Ryan chose FS Antonio Allen to work out as a cornerback today in practice.
Allen was actually bred to be a safety and only developed his coverage skills once he was drafted to the Jets in 2012. He has played an outside linebacker/safety hybrid position in college, and was used as a run-stopping player close to the line of scrimmage. Hopefully Allen will adapt quickly to his new assignment.
So far, the safety seems to be up to the challenge, having reportedly intercepted two passes in today’s practice. When you think about it, it shouldn’t be too difficult to go from a safety to a cornerback. If the player has a tendency to be physical, then all should be well.
However, there’s nothing worse than a safety who doesn’t like to tackle. One of the few things that annoyed me about former Jets CB Antonio Cromartie was how fickle he was when it came to making a tackle. With that being said, I definitely wish the Jets had Cromartie to lean on right now.
Ryan is not certain that Allen will be a permanent fix. If Allen isn’t better than Milliner/McDougle/Patterson or if the Jets are able to get a true CB from free agency or roster cuts, then he certainly shouldn’t be.