BY RICH CIMINI
Overshadowed by LaDainian Tomlinson and the coin-flip flap, newly-signed S Brodney Pool didn't get much ink in the local papers. Understandable. But this is an interesting signing by the Jets, who landed the former Browns starter one year, $1.3 million. He's the leading candidate to replace Kerry Rhodes, who was traded to Arizona.
Here's how an opposing GM assessed the Pool/Rhodes switch:
"Pool has had four concussions, so that's iffy. As a player, he's a good athlete. He plays with tunnel vision like a lot of players do. He's not real aware in pass coverage, but he's solid against the run. He's got talent. He doesn't have Rhodes' ball skills in coverage, but he'll come up and hit you. In a way, he's the opposite of Rhodes. If you had a guy with a concussion problem, you'd want it to be Rhodes because he doesn't hit anybody. Pool will hit you."
Some things have come to light since the Rhodes trade. For one, the Jets were shopping Rhodes at least two or three weeks before they dealt him, sources said, so it wasn't like an Arizona-only situation. If the Cards had re-signed Antrel Rolle, the Jets would've found another taker.
Rhodes' act with the Jets grated on a lot of people. According to people close to the team, he didn't have a full grasp of the defense until Week 11, around the time he got benched. In the DB meetings, a lot of players used to sit near Jim Leonhard to pick his brain because of his familiarity with the system, but Rhodes never made that effort.
There also was a feeling that Rhodes showed no accountability when he made a mistake. Rhodes was the burn victim on the momentum-swinging Colts TD pass just before halftime in the championship game, but he refused to own up after the game -- and that rubbed people the wrong way.
Anyway, I'm sorry this is a few days late, but as you know, the Jets have been busy making headlines.