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Newsday: Jets’ new DBs coach Dennard Wilson believes Darrelle Revis can pull safety switch


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Updated January 25, 2017 7:53 PM
By Kimberley A. Martin   kimberley.martin@newsday.com

MOBILE, Ala. — It remains to be seen if Darrelle Revis will be on the Jets’ roster in 2017, but if he is, the team’s new defensive backs coach believes Revis has the skill set to transition to safety if need be.

“You have to be able to see the whole field,” Dennard Wilson said at the Senior Bowl on Wednesday, adding that the most challenging facet of the position switch is adjusting to “angles tackling” and “the physicality” of the safety position. “But Darrelle is a guy that has a lot of football intelligence. He’s always had that, so I wouldn’t think it would be a problem for him to pick it up.”

Wilson should know. The former Rams defensive backs coach, who briefly played for the Redskins after going undrafted in 2004, said he played cornerback before switching to safety. 

Whether Revis stays a Jet remains to be seen, but Wilson had high praise for him, despite Revis’ declining play this season. “I think Darrelle is a hell of a player,” Wilson said of the cornerback, who had one interception and five passes defensed in 15 games. The Jets could choose to cut Revis before the second day of the new league year March 10 in an effort to save $9 million in salary-cap space. 

“He has always been a hell of a player. But in terms of Darrelle being there or not being there, that’s not on me. I don’t have anything to do with it. If he’s in the building, I’m going to coach the hell out of him and hopefully we get the results we both want.”

Wilson, 34, spent “two or three days” at the Jets’ facility in Florham Park before he and other members of the coaching staff traveled to the Senior Bowl. As a result, he has yet to watch game tape of the Jets’ 2016 season. But his plan is to watch all of their games when he returns to New Jersey in order to see “what guys can do and what they can’t do.”

So far, though, he likes what he sees from coach Todd Bowles and the team.

“I love his approach on defense,” Wilson said. “From afar, I’ve always respected the work he’s done. The Jets have always had a great organization, it’s on the East Coast, closer to back home [Marlboro, Maryland], and I thought they were building something great there, so I’m able to come and be a part of it.”

The Jets went 5-11 and struggled mightily on defense, particularly their secondary. They finished 17th in pass defense, allowing 243.6 yards a game. The Rams were 10th (233.2 yards).

But Wilson believes the Jets have all the pieces to be successful. 

“This defense plays reckless, they play tough, they’re physical and they stop the run,” he said. “If you can do that, and you can clean up the back end, and the ball doesn’t travel over your head, you have a great opportunity to be one of the top 10 defenses in the league. 

“It’s my job to come in and make sure the ball doesn’t travel over our heads, get the guys dialed in, have a cohesive unit and everything else will fall into place . . . As a coach, your resume is the way your players play and I feel like our [Rams] guys last year, they did a pretty good job.”

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1 minute ago, fltflo said:

Sorry folks but this fan has seen more then enough of number 24.

His mind may be willing but his body was shouting no more last season. Let him go play for some other team where he can whiff tackles as much as he did last season. The guy just does not want to hit or tackle anymore. Not great attributes for an NFL safety.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This. Get the guy out of here. He may have the IQ but he can't be whiffing on tackles in the open field and allowing huge plays..we allowed enough of that without him at S.

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The question isn't whether or not he's worth keeping for the "other" $9m. He's clearly not. Not another $9m, $7m, or $5m. The question, rather, is there a lesser number (on top of the $6m sunk cost we stupidly guaranteed) where he is worth it. 

If it's just to make the best of a bad situation for 2017, then IMO there is almost no amount. Maybe $7m, since the net is $1m, and they may end up signing a veteran for depth for that much anyway. But there's always pressure to play a prestigious veteran like Revis over a kid, if it's even close, and that won't likely help said kid getting on-field snaps.

If they believe he can be an elite safety for the next 3-4 years, then that would be different. Problem is elite safeties prove themselves to be as much before collecting $10m/yr for the next 3 years or so. 

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It all comes down to health and what the hell really happened this year. The coverage at corner is one thing. The lack of desire to tackle for the first time in his career is another. Was his wrist still injured?

They have the answer and if he simply turned into Cromartie in terms of avoiding contact, he can't play safety.

I personally am hoping he goes all Eye of the Tiger and comes back strong at Safety next season.

That said, I don't think the new DB coach should really be commenting on any of this publicly. There is a contract negotiation that has to happen, so the less the staff says the better off the team will be.

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3 hours ago, jeremy2020 said:

headline should be: "Wilson paid to believe Revis cares about something other than money so thinks he will tackle somebody at Safety thus making that deal seem somewhat less awful for Mac."

I dunno...that's a pretty long headline.

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10 hours ago, Sperm Edwards said:

The question isn't whether or not he's worth keeping for the "other" $9m. He's clearly not. Not another $9m, $7m, or $5m. The question, rather, is there a lesser number (on top of the $6m sunk cost we stupidly guaranteed) where he is worth it. 

If it's just to make the best of a bad situation for 2017, then IMO there is almost no amount. Maybe $7m, since the net is $1m, and they may end up signing a veteran for depth for that much anyway. But there's always pressure to play a prestigious veteran like Revis over a kid, if it's even close, and that won't likely help said kid getting on-field snaps.

If they believe he can be an elite safety for the next 3-4 years, then that would be different. Problem is elite safeties prove themselves to be as much before collecting $10m/yr for the next 3 years or so. 

Agree.  All the folks saying screw Revis cut him are ignoring the $6 million in dead cap room next season

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6 hours ago, Maxman said:

It all comes down to health and what the hell really happened this year. The coverage at corner is one thing. The lack of desire to tackle for the first time in his career is another. Was his wrist still injured?

They have the answer and if he simply turned into Cromartie in terms of avoiding contact, he can't play safety.

I personally am hoping he goes all Eye of the Tiger and comes back strong at Safety next season.

That said, I don't think the new DB coach should really be commenting on any of this publicly. There is a contract negotiation that has to happen, so the less the staff says the better off the team will be.

Revis was not healthy last year but he has lost a step that was noticeable even in 2015.

 

Charles Woodson and Rod Woodson both extended their careers by 5 years moving to Safety.  Revis should do it to what are people afraid he won't be as good as Eric Smith?!?!

 

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6 hours ago, Maxman said:

It all comes down to health and what the hell really happened this year. The coverage at corner is one thing. The lack of desire to tackle for the first time in his career is another. Was his wrist still injured?

 

My wrist is in much worse shape than Revis's. But it hasn't slowed me down or stopped me from doing what I do best.

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1 hour ago, thadude said:

Agree.  All the folks saying screw Revis cut him are ignoring the $6 million in dead cap room next season

The gray area is if, unexpectedly, an agreed-to lower salary is in the $8-9m range. With $6m a sunk cost if he's cut, the net is therefore $2-3m (obviously). Now I wouldn't go patting anybody on the back for this FO getting him to agree to that, since that sunk cost is of their own doing in the first place (i.e. the team is actually paying him $8-9m in new money that scenario, not just the "net" $2-3m).

Anything >$9m total - including any future guarantees beyond 2017 - is outright stupidity (for this team, this year) since ideally the team should be looking to its future without him.

 

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35 minutes ago, Big Blocker said:

A good safety is a good tackler.

Revis is not a good tackler anymore.

So how is he going to be a good safety?

A good safety should be able to defend the pass while playing off the line of scrimmage. Since week 17 of 2015, Revis has been giving WRs 10-15 yards of cushion off the line of scrimmage, and he has subsequently played like one of the worst CBs in football. Nothing at all about his skill set from the past 17 games translates to good play as a safety. Nothing.

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