The re-signing of DE Shaun Ellis was a good start. Now the Jets need to re-sign his partner, John Abraham.
- What in the name of Mo Lewis is going on?
No more holding your breath on every run play?
No more Trung Candiateís of the world torching the defense for 200 yards?
The 2005 version of the Jets defense has five second half shutouts, including four on the road. And two weeks in a row the defense bailed out a sluggish offense putting a pair of second half zeroís on the board propelling the Jets to back-to-back wins when they needed them the most, with their franchise quarterback on the shelf.
It may not begin with defensive end Shaun Ellis, but the 2000 first rounder has played his part just like everyone in the upstart front seven. Thatís why Jetsí fans should be delighted to learn Ellis will be a NY Jets for many seasons to come after he signed a multi-year extension yesterday.
Coming off a Pro Bowl season last year, Ellisí numbers are down. Through 11 games, he has just 36 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Last year total, he had 109 tackles and 12.5 sacks.
However, unlike the last few years the Jets defensive unit as a whole is much more athletic and ranks seventh in total defense and remarkably sixth against the run. They are in the middle of the pack regarding team in sacksÖ.But sacks are overrated.
The defensive line is not.
DTís Dewayne Robertson and Jason Ferguson are two loads that chew up blockers for lunch, allowing book ends Ellis and Abraham to devour quarterbacks and give the Jetsí young, athletic linebackers a chance to run down ball carriers.
Marvin Jones where have you gone?
Just two backs have cracked the 100 yard mark this year. Coincidently, they were by the Patsí Corey Dillon and the Billsí Willis McGahee in two crushing defeats. Jamal Lewis rushed for 70 yards in the other Jets loss. The Jets are 8-3 and have only scored over 25 points three times. Where would the gang green be without this group?
Oh, this is a far cry from the Aaron Beasley days.
But did the Jets sacrifice other big time free agents to sign Ellis?
If they let defensive player of the year candidate John Abraham walk, this signing is worthless. The team does have a franchise tag available but Abraham could view that as a slap in the face and demand a trade.
They need to stay together. They came in together, they should be signed together. And as big as this signing is in the Jets attempt to keep their blossoming defense in tact, like Martin without Lewis, Ellis is nothing without Abraham bull-rushing from the opposite side of the line.
Abraham has five more sacks that Ellis and molests quarterbacks on every play. If you are a defensive coordinator and you canít locate number 94 your quarterback is in big trouble.
If the Jets had two prioritize they made the wrong choice. When healthy, Abraham is a man possessed. If he is one the field the every quarterback knows it. If he doesnít get you in time for a sack, you can count bet he will make his presence felt with a few knockdowns, pressures, and hurries. Sometimes Ellis gets lost. Combine that with a Jetsí secondary that shaky at times and it can equal trouble.
With Abraham putting on the pressure, all is fine in Jetland.
With these two young studs on each side of the line and miracle worker Donnie Henderson running things, this defense could be Ravensí like in the near future. Henderson has made Jet fans put down their paper bag and stop hyperventilating. He has made a proud, respectable unit out of a defense that was Chiefsí like last year. And he has done it in a hurry.
The offense was taken care of with Chad Penningtonís seven-year deal over the summer. Now the defense must be taken care of before itís too late.
Signing Ellis is step one, but for the health of Jetsí fans, who have endured the pain of the Sam Garnesí of the world they better bring back Abraham no matter what it takes.