Jets’ Odd Defensive Strategy Is a Recipe for Disaster vs Panthers

Jeff Ulbrich Jets

Getty New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich calling an important play during the preseason.

The most polarizing position on the New York Jets roster this offseason has been the cornerback group.

Some have argued that they’re unproven but have potential. While others have debated that the level of inexperience will sink the team.

Regardless of where you stand, everyone is on the same page that this group is a total mystery heading into 2021 for better or for worse.

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That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton

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It is still unclear who will be the three starters for the Jets at corner when they take the field in Week 1 vs the Carolina Panthers.

Although apparently, it doesn’t matter who the starters are going to be because this Jets’ coaching staff is strongly considering going with a very unique strategy heading into the season opener.

“This group is young and inexperienced and none of them came highly regarded from either draft status or what have you, but they each have their own inner-confidence and swag to them that makes me feel better,” Jets’ defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich on his cornerback group. “They don’t seem overwhelmed by any means, of course, Sunday will be a great challenge. I’m excited though for them, all of them because they’re all going to have a place to play on Sunday. It isn’t just going to be two corners like a lot of teams we are going to do a little bit by committee and let them all have a piece of it.”

I’ve heard of running back by committee, makes sense in this day and age of a longer regular season and the wear-and-tear that position goes through. In my 28 years of watching football I’ve never heard of a “cornerback by committee.”

This Would Be a Major Mistake by the Jets

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The reason why I’ve never heard of it, is that it’s not a thing across the NFL.

If Ulbrich really goes with that strategy and isn’t just blowing smoke in a press conference it would go against what head coach Robert Saleh said weeks ago when asked a similar question.

Earlier in camp, coach Saleh said he wanted to pick three corners out and roll with them moving forward so they could “get a rhythm going” and he didn’t believe in mixing guys in and out because the cornerback position is different than running back.

This would be a complete 180 on his original strategy.

I already didn’t trust the corners because of their level of inexperience and what is going to be asked of them. Now they’re considering mixing in a variety of one-two year players depending on the situation? Yikes.

How can these players build confidence and stay loose? They’re going to come in and out of the game and that’ll take them out of their rhythm and put them in a position to fail.

I’ve said throughout this offseason that I vehemently disagreed with Saleh’s blind faith in this young cornerback group, but I respected it. I’d much rather he pick his three best corners that win the job and roll with them as opposed to being wishy-washy and playing everyone.

This isn’t a participation contest in third grade, this is the real world. Not everyone gets a chance to play, it’s just the way of life, it’s the survival of the fittest.

Whoever wins the job fair and square should be the starters in Week 1, the coaching staff shouldn’t try to be cute and be a “players’ coach” and play everyone for the sake of playing everyone.

If they do that it’ll be a massive mistake.

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