With Rex Ryan’s job security at an all-time low, Ryan will do everything he can to make sure he maintains his job. With defensive coordinator Mike Pettine now out of the Big Apple, Ryan will once again have a major impact on the defensive play-calling. In Ryan’s first two years as a head coach, the Jets’ defense blitzed the most in the NFL in 2009 and third-most in 2010. In those years, the Jets had the most success they have had in recent years, making the AFC Championship Game in both years.
However, when Mike Pettine came into New York in 2010, the Jets switched to a more conservative defensive approach. Under Pettine, the defense dropped out of the top-10 in the most blitz-heavy team rankings. This different approach led to two straight unsuccessful years without a playoff appearance. With Pettine out and full control of the defense back in Rex Ryan’s hands, look for the Jets to go back to their blitz-frequent ways. Although it is arguable that the reason for the Jets’ recent lack of blitzing
is due to the dearth of players able to get to the quarterback, the Jets have loaded their front 7 with young and fit personnel. When David Harris was asked about the defensive scheme for the upcoming year, he stated, “We’re going to do a lot of blitzing and getting after people… There should be a different brand of football than you were used to seeing the last couple of years. … (Last year) we played more coverage. It wasn’t like ’09, that’s obvious. That’s all I’ll say about that.”
With a defensive front led by 6-year veteran David Harris, the Jets have a much younger defensive front consisting of Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson, and maybe even Demario Davis. This young crew of pass-rushers will certainly have a chance to make their mark in the NFL as top-notch defensive players now that the Jets have switched back to their old ways.