Before you read this post you first need to read Hackett's remarks in another thread ... then contrast the attitude of the two Jets coordinators
One man is already finding excuses to fail, the other is busting at the seams to watch his unit crack some heads
Jets: Aggressive defense will be coordinated effort
Sunday, May 02, 2004
BY DAVE HUTCHINSON
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The instant Jets quarterback Chad Pennington hit a wide open Justin McCareins on a 15-yard completion, Donnie Henderson sprang into action. The team's new defensive coordinator confronted the guilty party -- cornerback David Barrett -- and gave him an earful.
"We don't have all day (to wait) for you David," Henderson shouted. "Get your guy! Get your guy!"
You've heard of the Energizer Bunny. Well, meet the Energizer Lion.
Henderson, a mountain of a man, barks instructions to his unit like a drill sergeant. He jogs onto the field after every play, either praising or scolding. He wears a microphone every practice and then listens to himself afterward, grading his own performance.
"Nobody is excluded from his wrath," veteran cornerback Ray Mickens said.
That's exactly what Jets coach Herman Edwards wanted when he hired Henderson, someone who can bring a sense of urgency to the defense, someone to get in players' faces.
"That's his style," Edwards said. "He's a fiery guy. He's demanding. He's not going to take no for an answer. When he wants something done, it's going to get done. He wants his players to be successful and he's not afraid to get after it."
Henderson, 46, is getting his first crack at being a coordinator after spending five seasons (1999-2003) with the Baltimore Ravens as the secondary coach. Since 2000, the Ravens' 88 interceptions are second in the NFL. Last season, he coached two Pro Bowlers, cornerback Chris McAlister and safety Ed Reed.
While Henderson has quickly proven to be a motivator and vows to be aggressive, whether he can devise a clever game plan and call a game remains to be seen.
"I'm comfortable where I'm at right now," Henderson said. "I've got to make sure I don't go too fast or too slow... I'm not sure the word 'gamble' is what I want to do, but I'm going to get after (opponents). I can promise you that."
A year ago, the Jets finished 21st in the NFL in total defense, 28th against the run, allowing an astounding 143.4 yards rushing per game. The unit was old and slow and predictable. Former defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell paid for it with his job, although he lacked the personnel.
The Jets have retooled their defense with speed and youth, adding three new starters and moving outside linebacker Sam Cowart inside. Rookie middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma is expected to challenge Cowart for the starting job.
Henderson will employ an aggressive, attacking defense with blitzing and man-to-man coverage. The Jets will play multiple fronts, switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 in mid-game, with Henderson having already installed 10 new defenses. The key is two-time Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham, who'll double as a linebacker in a 3-4 alignment.
"What I have to do is be careful of one thing: I don't throw too much at them too fast," Henderson said. "I have to make sure that they can do what I'm asking them to do. With that being said, I have to make sure I can do what I do, too. They'll let me know when they can't do it. I really believe that."
Henderson said his base defense will be a 4-3, with a heavy dose of the 3-4. He said he'll play a little of the "46" defense made famous by Buddy Ryan and what he calls a "50" defense, a variation of the 3-4 with wider gap responsibility and the inside linebackers taking on the guards head-on.
In addition to Abraham, Henderson said he plans to install special packages for Pro Bowl defensive end Shaun Ellis.
"I tell you what, you better find (Abraham) because if you don't, you're going to have some issues," Henderson said. "And what I'm doing is creating another package for (Ellis). Once I create that one, now what are you going to do? I think the kids are excited."
Edwards said the Jets will use a no-huddle offense and speed-tempo offense to keep defenses off balance. Also, Pennington will be given more freedom to call plays and audible at the line....