Jul 31, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets linebacker Antwan Barnes (95) reacts while walking off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets: A closer look at Antwan Barnes

Whether it be constant updates on the quarterback battle between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith; or some running back on the roster getting arrested (read: Mike Goodson, Joe McKnight), or the curious case of the missing wide receiver, let’s just step away, for a second, from all the frenzy that is the New York Jets.

Yes, our thirst for football is insatiable, so we can’t have enough of football news—especially Jets updates—but while it is entertaining to read up on all the things that makes the Jets the Jets, there are some positives on the team.

Let’s take a look at one:

Antwan Barnes. Why? Because you’ll be hearing his name a lot (in a good way) this season.

The 28-year-old outside linebacker was signed this offseason by the Jets. He was brought in because the Jets need his pass-rushing abilities in a bad way. Rex, who prides himself on his defense, coached a unit that produced only 30 sacks last season, which was good enough for 25th in the league. That’s unacceptable.

There was talk the Jets would draft a pass rusher in the 2012 draft, but they did not, so that will give Barnes more opportunities to try and duplicate his 2011 season—Barnes was a monster that season, recording 11.5 sacks, and realizing his potential, but injuries and personnel changes slowed him down the season after.

In the Jets’ preseason opener against the Lions, Barnes was decent, but there was one play in the second quarter where he played the sort of way that the Jets and Rex envisioned from him when they brought him in; Barnes bull-rushed the offensive line, collapsing the pocket, creating a sack for teammate Quinton Coples. That play there showed what Barnes brings to the table. He is a disruptive force that can beat one-on-one blocks.

Barnes can immediately make plays for the Jets due to his familiarity with Rex Ryan’s defensive schemes. He is a capable run-stuffer and is an explosive player off the edge that can disrupt the offense—and we all know the Jets need that type of help on defense.

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Tags: Afc East Antwan Barnes Football New York Jets NFL

  • matr dontelli iii

    They got him on the cheap, which was all they could afford at that moment, though idzik has since done a couple restructures to free up a little bit of money. But if you listen to the clown media in New York they’ll tell you what a poor job the rookie gm, who may have as many as five draftees starting this season, which doesn’t include the likely starting running back he got with a fourth round draft pick, is doing. That it’s his fault he didn’t spend money he didn’t have, that he didn’t foresee mike Goodson doing something he had no history of etc. and unfortunately football fans believe what they hear and read and don’t bother thinking about what they’re hearing. They just believe, and in turn become ignorant. I’m a jet press reader who has kinda been forced to use the app, bringing me a lot of articles i dont enjoy from sites i will not willingly go to. i have, however, noticed that your writing is fair and i watch for your bylines. keep up the good work.

    • Jonathan Peralta

      Hey, thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. And I do hear ya’, there’s way too much negative stuff on the Jets, so I try to not do the same. I’ve been following the Jets for a long time, so it’s tough reading some of the negative stuff. Idzik has been doing a good job so far, I think. If healthy, Chris Ivory can play an important role in the offense. I like that he brought back Braylon, Barnes can be a beast, Richardson and Milliner are starters, he worked on the o-line a bit—not a bad start for the rookie gm. When the Jets have more cap room next year hopefully they can bring in more key pieces.