No Napping In the Secondary

Florham Park, N.J.- “The biggest thing for the secondary is for us not to fall asleep. We can’t fall asleep back there in the secondary. It can get boring, especially if a team keeps on just running the ball, series after series, play after play.” (c) Darrelle Revis

By now you’ve likely heard this quote and there’s little doubt you’ve heard the complete and total overreaction by many in the media as well. But we should expect that at this point, because after all that’s what we media folks do. But the fact is, as big a deal as people are making out of this comment, it’s not the first time Revis has said that exact quote. In fact Revis says it pretty much every time the Jets face a run heavy offense.

Instead of trying to put receivers asleep, this week the Jets secondary will have to make sure they don't get lulled to sleep by all the running Tim Tebow and the Broncos will do tomorrow night. (Jetsinsider.com Photo)

It’s no secret that Revis is a fierce competitor and since he and everyone else considers him to be the best cornerback in the league he prefers to get tested on every single play so he can prove it. Against a run heavy team that’s not likely to happen, against Tim Tebow it’s most definitely not going to happen and Revis knows this, which is why he said what he said (although Revis will get plenty of opportunities to prove how good he is at defending the run, which is yet another area where Revis excels past the competition). He knows he won’t get tested through the air play after play, so the biggest thing he has to do is stay locked in and ready since just because he won’t get tested much doesn’t mean he won’t get tested at all.

Last week the Broncos beat the Chiefs 17-10 with Tebow only completing two passes the entire game, but one of those passes was a 56-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker. Tebow and the Broncos ran and ran, then ran some more against the Chiefs until they lulled the secondary to sleep then took a shot downfield that turned out to be the difference in the game. This is why Revis said, “The biggest thing for the secondary is for us not to fall asleep.”

“The thing with him is you have to stay disciplined because as inconsistent as he is throwing the football, all of sudden, he’ll make a throw where you look at it and go, ‘Wow, that was impressive.’ For the most part, those throws have been touchdowns.” Jim Leonhard said, “They are a big-play, kind of fast-strike offense when they throw the ball down the field. You have to stay honest with your eyes and play with good technique, otherwise, they can hurt you.”

That’s the danger of this Broncos team, you always have to expect run first, but you have to be ready at any given moment for a deep pass down the field because as soon as you least expect it is when it’s most likely to happen.

“I will say this, we don’t really know what they’re going to do because they’ve been really multiple. Sometimes they spread them out. They’ll go to empty and then run the ball with the quarterback. Running “O” plays and all that stuff. So, no matter what you see, you’ll probably start by saying, it’s probably a run, and then we’ll defend the pass after it.” Rex Ryan said, “But you’re looking at formations or personnel groupings that tell you it’s going to be a pass, and it’s not with this group. So, that’s a little different, but you better be sound and obviously assume he’s running with it.”

The good news for the Jets is as bad as the run defense looked early in the season, it looks just as good as of late. After the Raiders game the Jets ranked dead last in the league in rushing defense giving up 137 rushing yards a game (that happens when you give up 234 rushing yards in the third game of the season). Now they rank 15th allowing 116 yards a game, but over the past four weeks they have only allowed an average of 92.5 rushing yards a game.

The run defense took some bumps early in the season, but it would appear Ryan has fixed that problem. We’ll find out for sure tomorrow night, but the key remains, stop the run, expect the run, but be prepared for the deep pass at any moment. Basically, no napping in the secondary and the Jets should have an enjoyable flight back from Denver.

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