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Thread: Wilkerson: Clear, Present Danger to Offenses

  1. #1

    Wilkerson: Clear, Present Danger to Offenses

    Randy Lange Editor-in-Chief,

    If the 2012 season unfolds the way Muhammad Wilkerson and the Jets coaches, players and fans want it to, we'll be looking for a nickname for him quickly. Here's an option: The Presence.

    Asked about his offseason training regimen at Jets training camp this week, Wilkerson said, "I wanted to make sure my physical presence is still there so

    I stayed strong."

    Then on why he chose to shed 10 pounds off of last year's top weight of about 315: "I felt like I wanted to have a quicker presence this year."

    At 6' 4 and 305, Wilkerson still presents an impressive figure when he lines up at the end of the Jets' D-line and starts to attack an offense.

    "I really believe he's going to have a huge year for us," head coach Rex Ryan said. "He's a guy that there are so many things you can do with him.

    He can play outside, inside, right, left, down the middle of the center, whatever it is. He's got great athleticism, he's in great condition. He knows the system and I would be shocked if he doesn't have a great year."

    "I felt I did pretty well last year in my rookie year," Wilkerson said. "But everybody's tough so I feel I need to step it up a notch."

    One under-the-radar measure of how well Wilkerson fared in the trenches last season is that unofficially he led all Jets defensive linemen with 12.5 tackles at or behind the line and, if you want to weed out the no-gain tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss. The last time a Jets D-lineman had more stuffs in a season was 1995, which was a bad year for all but TFLs when DT Matt Brock had 10.0 tackles for loss and DE Marvin Washington had 9.5.

    Then there were Mo's three sacks, one for the safety vs. the Jaguars. Not bad for a rookie 5-technique in a 3-4 base. But Wilkerson is already eyeing an improvement there.

    "I feel I'm definitely going going to improve in that category," he said, adding that the tutoring from line coach Karl Dunbar has been incredibly helpful to him. Improve by how many sacks, though? "I don't know," he said with a glimmer in his eye. "We'll see."

    Wilkerson's already gotten some of Ryan's flattering comparisons. The head coach likened his offseason focus and determination to Darrelle Revis', and he said his play at his position reminds him of Richard Seymour, who's likely to be a Hall of Famer some day.

    "That's a great comparison," Wilkerson said. "But I can only do what Muhammad Wilkerson can do, just be the type of player I can be and improve every day while I'm out here."

    One additional interesting development this offseason was the drafting of DE Quinton Coples with the 16th pick of the April draft. You may recall that Coples and Wilkerson were teammates once before, on Hargrave Military Academy's 2007 postgrad team. Coples poked his head into Wilkerson's small media scrum the other day and playfully said, "I'm just observing him on learning how to be great."

    Coples has had a quiet, perhaps hesitant summer so far, but his good friend from the one year in the rolling hills of Southside Virginia had words of encouragement.

    "I was the same way last year," Wilkerson said. "That's going to come when you're a rookie. You don't really want to mess up, you don't want to make too many mistakes, you don't want the coaches to get on you. But as a rookie you're going to make mistakes. Me, Sione [Pouha], Mike DeVito, Marcus Dixon, we're all going to talk to him, help him out when he's out there."

    Coples still has his mischievous demeanor and impressive physical tools, though, and he also has grand plans for his future with the Green & White. "I think Muhammad and I can do some damage together," he said.

    "Quinton made plays when we were down at Hargrave, at North Carolina he was a dominant player on the D-line," Wilkerson replied. "To have him here now, me and him, we've been best friends for a long time. We're looking forward to great things and I look forward to playing next to him for many years to come."

    Coples still has to show how much damage he can do in the NFL. And Wilkerson is intent on showing how much more damage he can do. After all, he has a definite presence about him.

  2. #2
    Jets Insider VIP
    Join Date
    May 1999
    New York City
    Thank you Great Article!!

  3. #3
    Man, I cant stand that Bean Counter's drafting

  4. #4
    Even though it's only his second year, Mo seems to have that veteran feel to him (save for a late night driving decision). He just seems he has the calm and confidence of an older player. Looking forward to a disruptive season from him!

  5. #5
    Great article.

    I know it's early and a typical pre-season but I honestly believe Wilkerson has a break-out year. Should be exciting!

  6. #6
    Great article. Wilks will be a new level of beastliness this season

  7. #7
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    greenwich village, NYC
    Quote Originally Posted by eaglenj View Post
    Man, I cant stand that Bean Counter's drafting
    Woody just brought him in to appeal to Islamic Jets fans. Definitely a marketing stunt.

  8. #8
    I'm hoping with the addition of Coples that this line will be able to push consistent pressure on the QB without having to blitz. If these guys can be disruptive up the gut it will open things up for everyone else.

  9. #9
    Bewildered Beast
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    SF via Strong Island
    Quote Originally Posted by eaglenj View Post
    Man, I cant stand that Bean Counter's drafting
    Ha ha ha! Tanny: The BEAST Counter.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by hatnlvr View Post
    I'm hoping with the addition of Coples that this line will be able to push consistent pressure on the QB without having to blitz. If these guys can be disruptive up the gut it will open things up for everyone else.
    I personally think ellis has an opportunity to be an excellent pass rusher, mainly due to his height, 6'5. He is very tall for a traditional NT, which will probably delay him as an every down player a bit, but should allow him to really push the middle and take away the QBs vision a bit.

    My personal best pass rush group is ellis and wilk at the tackles and maybin and coples as the ends.


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