They always say that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. The New York Jets surely believed they had all the right answers during the offseason when they actually failed to address their needs at cornerback. Hoping for the best is hard to do when glaring stats tell you otherwise.
The Jets absolutely could have avoided this catastrophe heading into the start of the NFL season if they had simply prepared by acquiring much more quality depth at the position when the had so many opportunities to do so. Needless to say, it’s hard to predict when injuries happen, but if reports show an athlete is injury-prone, it’s usually in the best interest of the team to look the other way. The Jets thought they had a sure answer at cornerback via veteran Dimitri Patterson but that horribly failed. Not only was he injured throughout training camp and the preseason, but he was cut from the team due to his off the field antics.
The Jets originally planned to usher in a youth movement at cornerback with Dee Milliner and Dexter McDougle, but both are injured and may never be the same. In fact, McDougle is out for the season and Milliner might not be ready until another two, maybe three weeks at best.
One would think that the Jets should have bolstered their cornerback situation by acquiring a top veteran or two who didn’t have a history with injuries to help this depletion of depth. Sadly, even with plenty of cap room, the Jets looked the other way when shopping around for top cornerbacks via free agency. The Jets have such a disaster on their hands, they had to resort to sifting through the waiver wire after all final roster cuts were made hoping to find a diamond in the rough.
Remember that when players land on the waiver wire before the regular season starts, they are usually terrible. It’s incredibly rare to find a starting caliber athlete using this method.
Leon McFadden? Phillip Adams? Exactly; just like me, you probably have no idea who in the world these players are. These are the latest athletes the Jets picked up via the waiver wire hoping they can magically become true shutdown cornerbacks overnight.
It’s a surreal feeling knowing that the two starting cornerbacks for the Jets in their first game of the regular season against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 will be Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen.
Keep in mind that Walls has always really been a backup and Allen is actually a safety, but again, the Jets are believing they can get the job done. Despite making some great additions on offense and having probably one of the best defensive lines in the league, the Jets have a major weakness on defense and will absolutely be exploited by some of the better quarterbacks of the league.
If the Jets have any hope to be successful this season, it’s that Milliner comes back as soon as possible and has a breakout season in his sophomore campaign. Otherwise, this could be yet another consecutive season the Jets miss the playoffs due to their own negligence.