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Jets risky plan giving Darron Lee more responsibility


Patriot Killa
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https://nypost.com/2018/07/10/jets-risky-plan-giving-darron-lee-more-responsibility/amp/

As the Jets get close to training camp, I am going to examine the roster and give you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game.

No. 12: Darron Lee

Last year’s ranking: 10

Position: ILB

Age: 23

How acquired: Selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft

Years left on contract: 2 (plus a team option for a third)

2018 Salary Cap figure: $2.8 million

Looking back at 2017: Lee came off a bit of a shaky rookie season in 2016 to show improvement overall in his second year.

I thought Lee improved as last year went on, but I still don’t see the flashes of great play you’d expect to see from a first-round pick. That being said, people inside the Jets are very, very high on Lee. Coach Todd Bowles is one of his biggest supporters.

Lee had 79 tackles last year, second on the team. Tackles are a little overblown for inside linebackers because the Jets’ system is designed to keep blockers off of them and funnel the ball carrier to them. Still, Lee has shown he can play between the tackles.

That being said, Lee too often overruns plays and gets caught in the wrong place on a big play. That happened in Week 2 against Oakland on two of the Raiders’ big plays.

Lee’s coverage skills also leave a lot to be desired. Coming out of Ohio State, Lee was pushed as a great coverage guy, but that has not translated in the NFL.

Pro Football Focus really graded Lee harshly last season. They rated him 52nd out of 52 linebackers they graded, dead last. He was 50th in coverage and 49th against the run. He was sixth as a pass rusher.

In coverage, PFF had Lee giving up 50 receptions (eighth most among ILB) on 69 targets (seventh most among ILB). They also credited him with allowing 570 receiving yards (the second most among ILB) and three touchdowns.

Now, PFF can get these things wrong. It is hard to know what players’ assignments are and crediting them with allowing a catch can be tricky. But they are not wrong all the time, so even if you discount some of these numbers, the overall picture is bad.

Lee is an adept blitzer. He had four quarterback hits and three sacks last season. He can be disruptive when he gets in the backfield.

Lee still has some maturing to do. He was benched for one game after he showed up late for a Saturday walkthrough session. Lee owned the incident afterward and vowed it would not happen again.

Outlook for 2018: The Jets are counting on Lee to make a big step this season. Bowles has said Lee is the player he expects to see the most improvement from this year.

The Jets are handing Lee more responsibility. He will call the majority of the defensive plays, a duty Demario Davis held last year.

Lee is entering an important season. The Jets will face a decision next spring whether to pick up his fifth-year option. I’d say that is likely right now, but not a certainty. Lee can erase any doubts with a big season. For the Jets defense to realize its potential, it needs Lee making plays in the middle.

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I’m just thinking out loud but since his coverage skills have not translated and he has great speed when blitizing, would it make sense to have him jam tight ends at the line to disrupt timing and just blitz the QB? Seems like something he can excel at but not sure if this Is practical as I am not an X and O expert. Just trying to utilize what he may actually be able to do well. 

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34 minutes ago, Patriot Killa said:

Pro Football Focus really graded Lee harshly last season. They rated him 52nd out of 52 linebackers they graded, dead last. He was 50th in coverage and 49th against the run. He was sixth as a pass rusher.

n coverage, PFF had Lee giving up 50 receptions (eighth most among ILB) on 69 targets (seventh most among ILB). They also credited him with allowing 570 receiving yards (the second most among ILB) and three touchdowns.

Now, PFF can get these things wrong. It is hard to know what players’ assignments are and crediting them with allowing a catch can be tricky. But they are not wrong all the time, so even if you discount some of these numbers, the overall picture is bad.

 

LMFAO!!!  I know how to fix this, give him more responsibility!!!

 

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4 minutes ago, JiF said:

 

LMFAO!!!  I know how to fix this, give him more responsibility!!!

 

Meh, it's not like he's actually calling the plays, he's just repeating the play Rogers speaks into his helmet speaker to the huddle. One of his issues is maturity and giving him this "responsibility" might genuinely help him along there. 

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52 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

It makes complete sense to do this.  The team is still rebuilding, particularly on offense, and while we're expecting to be competitive the Jets still have 8-8 written all over them.  The team also needs to decide whether to exercise the Team Option on Lee for a 5th season.  They'll need to make that decision next Summer.  It's a smart move to push him into a leadership role as the starting ILB who will call the defense and find out whether he's worth that 5th year option.  Sink or swim, Darron, this is the year.

Was about to write more or less this same thing. 

That is, unless he's still not much better, but this is used as a rationalization for extending him (or even exercising the 5th year option) when in reality if it wasn't him this responsibility would have been given to someone else with no obvious dropoff (if any dropoff at all). 

Even still, this is worth doing.

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Over pursuit IMO is a very hard thing to correct in defenders.  With his speed and the supporting cast he had, Lee was probably able to get away with over pursuing in the Big 10.  You would think the scouts would see evidence of this on his college film.  After we picked him, you would think the LB coaches would be making this priority #1 in camp/practice.  

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"Pro Football Focus really graded Lee harshly last season. They rated him 52nd out of 52 linebackers they graded, dead last."

 

there is nothing much more to say. the guy sucks. easily blocked. no insticnts., no strength. a joke of an imitation of an NFL LB'er.

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1 hour ago, slats said:

Meh, it's not like he's actually calling the plays, he's just repeating the play Rogers speaks into his helmet speaker to the huddle. One of his issues is maturity and giving him this "responsibility" might genuinely help him along there. 

Trusting a guy who is constantly out of position and has zero instincts with handling on field communication and making sure everyone is the right place, sounds like a disaster in the making.  He will be the only person on the field with an ear piece in.  This is a guy, that is so terrible, they've upgraded the position via FA and trade, 2 straight season after drafting him the 1st round.

The good thing is, he wont be responsible for this and Avery Williamson will be come week 1. 

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39 minutes ago, jmat321 said:

Over pursuit IMO is a very hard thing to correct in defenders.  With his speed and the supporting cast he had, Lee was probably able to get away with over pursuing in the Big 10.  You would think the scouts would see evidence of this on his college film.  After we picked him, you would think the LB coaches would be making this priority #1 in camp/practice.  

Maybe its because our DEFENSIVE coaches, can't coach defense?

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2 hours ago, section314 said:

I am convinced that Bowles could take the 1985 Bear defense and make them mediocre.

This isn't fan talk.  There are real professionals who think that Bowles doesn't know how to use Leonard Williams or Darron    Lee.  Not hard to believe, considering what he did with Sheldon Richardson.

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5 hours ago, JiF said:

Trusting a guy who is constantly out of position and has zero instincts with handling on field communication and making sure everyone is the right place, sounds like a disaster in the making.  He will be the only person on the field with an ear piece in.  This is a guy, that is so terrible, they've upgraded the position via FA and trade, 2 straight season after drafting him the 1st round.

The good thing is, he wont be responsible for this and Avery Williamson will be come week 1. 

If they have upgraded the position twice since drafting him, then how is he a starter?  Do the Jets start 3 inside linebackers?

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11 hours ago, detectivekimble said:

This isn't fan talk.  There are real professionals who think that Bowles doesn't know how to use Leonard Williams or Darron    Lee.  Not hard to believe, considering what he did with Sheldon Richardson.

That’s fair. He did turned the Sons of Anarchy into the Golden Girls 

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1 hour ago, detectivekimble said:

This isn't fan talk.  There are real professionals who think that Bowles doesn't know how to use Leonard Williams or Darron    Lee.  Not hard to believe, considering what he did with Sheldon Richardson.

It is fan talk

Year    Team                      Comb    Total    Ast    Sck    SFTY    PDef    Int
2017    Seattle Seahawks    44         27       17     1.0     --         1         1       
2016    New York Jets         62         38       24     1.5     --         2         --

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11 hours ago, slats said:

Meh, it's not like he's actually calling the plays, he's just repeating the play Rogers speaks into his helmet speaker to the huddle. One of his issues is maturity and giving him this "responsibility" might genuinely help him along there. 

Responsibility should be a reward for maturity, not given in the hopes of developing it. This has santonio “team captain” Holmes written all over it.

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4 hours ago, jgb said:

Responsibility should be a reward for maturity, not given in the hopes of developing it. This has santonio “team captain” Holmes written all over it.

That can work both ways. Sometimes giving people more responsibility can make them more responsible. He's the senior man in the MLB position. It should be his job. Next summer they're going to have to decide whether or not they want to take the fifth year option on him. I don't mind them throwing an extra duty his way this year. As I said, there's not much to it. He's just repeating the play calls, not making them. 

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Lee is a legitimately terrible player and this is just a last-gasp attempt to squeeze some juice from a bad draft pick that Todd, no doubt, asked for. This looks like another deal where Todd is on one schedule and the management—who brought in Minter, etc—is on another, more realistic one.

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Call me crazy, but I honestly believe this Jet defense plays very well this year. You have enough players with at least a year under their belt, so you can continue to slowly bring along rookies as the year progresses. Nathan & Foley can get reps from McClendon while playing alongside Leo. 

All of the young CBs will be playing in nickel & dimes with veterans at the the #1 & #2 spots. Nickerson, Clark, Jones, Robinson, someone will step up to challenge Skrine. 

Plus, the Jets hedged their bets at LB by signing Williamson (underated signing) and Minter (solid vet). Jets will have the best & deepest safety group in the league with Adams, Maye, Brooks, Middleton, Wilcox. 

This secondary will be pretty good, especially if the guys up front stuff opposing running games. A lot of versatility back there and some good blitzers with good speed & strength. 

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2 hours ago, slats said:

That can work both ways. Sometimes giving people more responsibility can make them more responsible. He's the senior man in the MLB position. It should be his job. Next summer they're going to have to decide whether or not they want to take the fifth year option on him. I don't mind them throwing an extra duty his way this year. As I said, there's not much to it. He's just repeating the play calls, not making them. 

Exactly this. People here seem to be mistaking physical ability with the ability to repeat and command. 

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5 minutes ago, Scott Dierking said:

Exactly this. People here seem to be mistaking physical ability with the ability to repeat and command.  

Its hard to be a leader on defense when you aren't good at football.  Seems like a rational critique of this plan to me.  But what do I know?

Ah, whatever.  This is another tank year to build around Darnold anyways. 

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12 hours ago, HawkeyeJet said:

If they have upgraded the position twice since drafting him, then how is he a starter?  Do the Jets start 3 inside linebackers?

Is Daron Lee suddenly better than Demario Davis and Avery Williamson?  The answer is no.

Any other questions? 

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10 minutes ago, JiF said:

Is Daron Lee suddenly better than Demario Davis and Avery Williamson?  The answer is no.

Any other questions? 

Yes.  I do.  Did they replace Darron Lee in the lineup?  If they didn't, they didn't upgrade jack **** at his position.  They upgraded at the ILB position opposite him.  You know this.  I don't know why you would try to argue.  It's quite stupid.  That's like saying they upgraded over Brian Winters by signing Carpenter.

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18 hours ago, jmat321 said:

Over pursuit IMO is a very hard thing to correct in defenders.  With his speed and the supporting cast he had, Lee was probably able to get away with over pursuing in the Big 10.  You would think the scouts would see evidence of this on his college film.  After we picked him, you would think the LB coaches would be making this priority #1 in camp/practice.  

There definitely was, but that wasn’t the major flaw in Lee’s evaluation by Mac.   It was the assumption that because Lee was fast and athletic that he would somehow be effective in pass caverage in NFL.  That was the fatal leap of faith from Mac regarding Lee.  

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26 minutes ago, sec101row23 said:

There definitely was, but that wasn’t the major flaw in Lee’s evaluation by Mac.   It was the assumption that because Lee was fast and athletic that he would somehow be effective in pass caverage in NFL.  That was the fatal leap of faith from Mac regarding Lee.  

Good point, but you could probably make the same case for the 50-60% of corners drafted every year who stink that they had the same evaluation.

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