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The New York Jets defense: Bent? Broken? … no chance

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https://elitesportsny.com/2019/08/22/the-new-york-jets-defense-bent-broken-no-chance/

The New York Jets defense: Bent? Broken? … no chance

By
 Robby Sabo
 -

 08/22/2019

Gregg_Williams_Jamal_Adams_Quinnen_Willi

 

The recent Avery Williamson and Brandon Copeland news favor a broken a New York Jets defense. Be careful in that assumption.

 

FLORHAM PARK, NJ—“Another one bites the dust.” Classic lyrics aside, the all-time tune is ringing frighteningly true in Florham Park as of late.

First, Leonard Williams missed a little bit of time. Then, Trumaine Johnson popped a hammy in practice while picking off Sam Darnold. This past weekend is when the crushing blow arrived in the form of an Avery Williamson ACL. Now, edge rusher Brandon Copeland has been suspended four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

 

Just when Gregg Williams thinks he’s in the clear, Freddie Mercury’s familiar voice provides a harsh football reality that’s oftentimes forgotten during the summer months.

No man is safe. Consequently, the New York Jets defense feels bent and completely broken.

 
 

Be careful. It’s entirely too early to make such bold (and silly) proclamations.

Current Depth Chart / Packages

Base 4-3

If you’re a Jets fan familiar with ESNY, you’re already aware the 3-4 is dead in the water. You already read it from this very platform in the spring. Adam Gase announcing that his defensive coordinator would stick with the 3-4 was simply a headline mover. Announce the current personnel grouping on paper and move on. That’s all it was.

Gregg Williams is a 4-3 man. His three decades in the NFL showcased a tried and tested reliance on the four-man front. Why would he suddenly change now?

Aside from a 3-4 base look early in training camp, the 4-3 has taken shape, especially last week in Atlanta when the Jets took on the Falcons.

 

Gregg Williams on 1st-down is as aggressive as it gets in the NFL. Calculated risks. #Jets

 
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The interesting thing about this 4-3 is that it’s featuring an edge rusher on the second level, along with C.J. Mosley and the other backer (whomever it may be).

The man who had the lead in this spot was Copeland. Now, it’s Frankie Luvu.

  • 1-TECH: Quinnen Williams / Steve McLendon / Foley Fatukasi
  • 3-TECH: Leonard Williams / Henry Anderson / Nathan Shepherd / Bronson Kaufusi
  • EDGE: Henry Anderson / Brandon Copeland / Bronson Kaufusi / Frankie Luvu
  • EDGE: Jordan Jenkins / Brandon Copeland / Tarell Basham / Frankie Luvu / Jachai Polite
  • MIKE: C.J. Mosley / James Burgess
  • SAM: Avery Williamson / Neville Hewitt / Anthony Wint
  • WILL: Frankie Luvu / Blake Cashman
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson / Brian Poole / Tevaughn Campbell / Kyron Brown / Parry Nickerson
  • CB: Darryl Roberts / Arthur Maulet / Mark Myers / Derrick Kindred
  • SS: Jamal Adams / Rontez Miles / Brandon Bryant
  • FS: Marcus Maye / Rontez Miles / Doug Middleton

Of course, in today’s league, the base really isn’t the “base” anymore. It’s critical to dive deep into the subpackages.

4-2-5 Nickel

  • 1-TECH: Quinnen Williams / Steve McLendon / Foley Fatukasi
  • 3-TECH: Leonard Williams / Henry Anderson / Nathan Shepherd / Bronson Kaufusi
  • EDGE: Henry Anderson / Brandon Copeland / Bronson Kaufusi / Frankie Luvu
  • EDGE: Jordan Jenkins / Brandon Copeland / Tarell Basham / Frankie Luvu / Jachai Polite
  • LB: C.J. Mosley / James Burgess
  • LB: Avery Williamson / Neville Hewitt / Blake Cashman / Anthony Wint
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson / Tevaughn Campbell / Kyron Brown
  • CB: Darryl Roberts / Arthur Maulet / Mark Myers / Derrick Kindred
  • NB: Brian Poole / Parry Nickerson
  • SS: Jamal Adams / Rontez Miles / Brandon Bryant
  • FS: Marcus Maye / Rontez Miles / Doug Middleton

3-3-5 Nickel

  • 1-TECH: Quinnen Williams / Steve McLendon / Foley Fatukasi
  • 3-TECH: Leonard Williams / Henry Anderson / Nathan Shepherd
  • 3-TECH: Henry Anderson / Bronson Kaufusi
  • EDGE: Jordan Jenkins / Brandon Copeland / Tarell Basham / Jachai Polite
  • EDGE/LB: Avery Williamson / Frankie Luvu / Brandon Copeland / Blake Cashman
  • MIKE: C.J. Mosley / Neville Hewitt / Blake Cashman / James Burgess / Anthony Wint
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson / Tevaughn Campbell / Kyron Brown
  • CB: Darryl Roberts / Arthur Maulet / Mark Myers / Derrick Kindred
  • NB: Brian Poole / Parry Nickerson
  • SS: Jamal Adams / Rontez Miles / Brandon Bryant
  • FS: Marcus Maye / Rontez Miles / Doug Middleton

3-2-6 Big Dime

  • 1-TECH: Quinnen Williams / Steve McLendon / Foley Fatukasi
  • 3-TECH: Leonard Williams / Henry Anderson / Nathan Shepherd / Bronson Kaufusi
  • 3-TECH: Henry Anderson / Bronson Kaufusi
  • EDGE/LB: Avery Williamson / Frankie Luvu / Brandon Copeland / Blake Cashman
  • MIKE: C.J. Mosley / Neville Hewitt / Blake Cashman / Anthony Wint / James Burgess
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson / Tevaughn Campbell / Kyron Brown
  • CB: Darryl Roberts / Arthur Maulet / Mark Myers / Derrick Kindred
  • NB: Brian Poole / Parry Nickerson
  • S: Rontez Miles / Doug Middleton
  • SS: Jamal Adams / Rontez Miles / Brandon Bryant
  • FS: Marcus Maye / Rontez Miles / Doug Middleton

Strengths / Weaknesses

Just take a gander at the middle of the defense; it’s literally as good as it gets in the NFL.

Quinnen Williams, Leonard Williams, Henry Anderson (when he’s playing inside), C.J. Mosley, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye (when healthy) is as stout a middle-defense as can possibly be. To pile on to the embarrassment of riches, Brian Poole is one of the sneakier slot corners in the league. His smarts and physicality add a lot to the defense.

Of course, for a unit to fetch success, it first must be complete.

This is the issue of the Mike Maccagnan era; he never solved the edge woes, and due to that horrifying fact, the interior rushers have an impossible time of it and the defensive backs play with a built-in handicap.

Furthermore, an Anderson-Jenkins combo at the edge is a tough pill to swallow. Anderson belongs inside, and Jenkins, while excellent against the run, isn’t a terrifying edge rusher. When the bookends are both power/bull rushers, the offense enjoys an advantage. A Polite, Luvu or anybody else presence is needed to offer up a finesse-style that can help contrast with the beasts inside.

And yes, the cornerback situation is woeful at the moment. Remember, though; this is the NFL. This is football and a four-man rush can negate any back-end issues.

Final Thoughts

The hard-salary cap ensures that talent is strikingly similar across 32 franchises. It’s coaching and schematics that usually win the day. If you’d like to argue such a statement, explain the New England Patriots to the world. Explain a Matt Cassell 10-5 record during the 2008 campaign.

Gregg Williams continues the extraordinary shuffle at practice and in exhibition games. His base 4-3 features Luvu as the WILL backer, a usual edge rusher. (It also mixes in Copeland at the spot as well.) His cornerback situation continues to shuffle. From Kyron Brown to Tevaughn Campbell, a starter opposite Darryl Roberts is required.

It’s this constant shuffle that tells the story that Williams is constantly in search of the missing ingredient: speed/finesse on the outside (edge and corner). But to count them out this early in the season is a foolhardy move. What wins on defense in today’s NFL is a conventional four-man pass rush and a strong safety who negates matchups (those tricky running back and tight end issues that often arise).

While, of course, you can’t count them out just yet, a few things do need to happen:

  1. Quinnen Williams needs to step into his big-boy shoes.
  2. At least one finesse edge presence needs to step up (Luvu or Polite).
  3. Marcus Maye needs to stay healthy.
  4. One corner needs to become a reliable starter.

With Jamal Adams serving as the best safety in the league, employing intense potential up the middle and Gregg Williams’s scheme ripe to shock the league for the first few weeks (at least), the New York Jets defense may be bent and broken (for now), but it’s not shot.

There’s plenty of talent and knowledge to overcome a few missing bodies.

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I sure hope a reliable CB shakes loose before the season begins.

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It'll be a nice change of pace to lose games 42-41 instead of losing 17-3.

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We had a couple of big acquisitions this offseason. Bell, Mosely, Crowder, etc. It looks like the most important will be Greg Williams.

I have a lot of faith in him, he's going to have this defense play hard, and play tough, and play smart. A few people are going to have to step up, but in this game that's true for every team. The days of watching the Jets play a passive style of defense are over.

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11 minutes ago, 14 in Green said:

We had a couple of big acquisitions this offseason. Bell, Mosely, Crowder, etc. It looks like the most important will be Greg Williams.

I sure hope not.  Given his history, Gregg Williams will only be here 2-3 years.  Based on the structure of his contract alone, C.J. Mosley should be here thru 2021 (when he'll still "only" be turning 30 years old in June of that year).  

And if you count drafted assets as "acquisitions", Gregg isn't even the most important Williams we added this offseason.  

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28 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:
  • At least one finesse edge presence needs to step up (Luvu or Polite).
  • Marcus Maye needs to stay healthy.
  • One corner needs to become a reliable starter.

oh, is that all

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1 minute ago, dbatesman said:

oh, is that all

At least 1/3 of those (Maye staying healthy) is impossible, and all 3 are unlikely.  

Other than that, the defense will be great!

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20 minutes ago, Warfish said:

It'll be a nice change of pace to lose games 42-41 instead of losing 17-3.

Why lose? Why can't we win 42-41?

 

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7 minutes ago, ASH1962 said:

Why lose? Why can't we win 42-41?

We'll win some of those and lose some of those.  It's hard to put a lot of pressure on the offense to play near perfect football every game though.  Hence why we need a pass rush and decent corner play.   

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The def is going to be very good.  Now I know most fans on this board believe there needs to be a pro bowler at every position but thats not the case.

We are strong up the middle wotj quinnin, mosely and adams.  We have 1 lockdown corner.  Greg Williams is calling the shots. We will be just fine.

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Not sure how the Jets will succeed in Nickel and Dime packages with that set of DBs and little pass rush.  The NFL has clearly turned into a passing league.  We don't need to look at other teams, just our own, to see Gase hoping to deploy Bell, Herndon, Crowder, Enunwa, Robby at the same time to put pressure on opponents.

Unless the guys up front + Jenkins are getting into the QB's grill consistently I'm just not sure our secondary will hold up.  We'd better pray that both Trumaine Johnson and Marcus May get on the field, stay on the field, and play close to their best capabilities all season.

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1 minute ago, Jetsfan80 said:

We'll win some of those and lose some of those.  It's hard to put a lot of pressure on the offense to play near perfect football every game though.  Hence why we need a pass rush and decent corner play.   

This is such an interesting comment, and ironic.  For the better part of a decade it was the complete opposite, right?  We all KNEW the defense had to be close to perfect because the O wouldn't score a lot of points.  I'd go into most games thinking that we better hold the opponent to 20 points or less of we don't have a shot!

It is comforting to at least know that the Jets won't be completely out of a game just because they're down by 10 points at the start of a 4th quarter.

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I don’t have a lot of faith in the defense, unfortunately.

I just don’t love the personnel and think the secondary has a chance to be disastrous. 

Right now, I think the most realistic path to the playoffs for us is the offense lighting it up. 

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20 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

I sure hope not.  Given his history, Gregg Williams will only be here 2-3 years.  Based on the structure of his contract alone, C.J. Mosley should be here thru 2021 (when he'll still "only" be turning 30 years old in June of that year).  

And if you count drafted assets as "acquisitions", Gregg isn't even the most important Williams we added this offseason.  

Every orchestra needs a maestro, 80... and GW is our maestro!

(please don't ask me to explain this post, the phrase popped into my head, and I just went with it 😉

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7 minutes ago, Joe W. Namath said:

The def is going to be very good.  Now I know most fans on this board believe there needs to be a pro bowler at every position but thats not the case.

The way this franchise drafted, that was their method for nearly 2 decades.  To try to draft a Pro Bowl defensive player in every draft.  Don't put this on Jets fans.  

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15 minutes ago, 14 in Green said:

Every orchestra needs a maestro, 80... and GW is our maestro!

(please don't ask me to explain this post, the phrase popped into my head, and I just went with it 😉

Until Maestro quits or gets fired because the orchestra gets tired of his sh*t.  lol.  

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44 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

Not sure how the Jets will succeed in Nickel and Dime packages with that set of DBs and little pass rush.  The NFL has clearly turned into a passing league.  We don't need to look at other teams, just our own, to see Gase hoping to deploy Bell, Herndon, Crowder, Enunwa, Robby at the same time to put pressure on opponents.

Unless the guys up front + Jenkins are getting into the QB's grill consistently I'm just not sure our secondary will hold up.  We'd better pray that both Trumaine Johnson and Marcus May get on the field, stay on the field, and play close to their best capabilities all season.

I didnt watch the Atlanta game but from what I read the Jets were in the backfield constantly and all over Matt Ryan.  Seems like they do have a pass rush and that was mostly without blitzing.    Maybe we shouldnt write of this season just yet??

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5 minutes ago, Bowles Movement said:

I didnt watch the Atlanta game but from what I read the Jets were in the backfield constantly and all over Matt Ryan.  Seems like they do have a pass rush and that was mostly without blitzing.    Maybe we shouldnt write of this season just yet??

Sure, nobody is writing the season off but the Jets certainly have some apparent deficiencies on Defense, especially in the Secondary and to some degree with the outside pass rush.  I'm hopeful, but I don't put a lot of stock in preseason games....Atlanta doesn't have a great OLine and we seemed to get to Ryan a couple times using more than just vanilla pressures.  Again, I'm optimistic more so because of Gregg Williams than because of our personnel (outside of CJ, Jamal, Leo, QW).

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The 'edge rusher on the second level' of the 4-3 is the sam linebacker, not the will. It isn't anything that everybody isn't doing. Williams used Genard Avery in this spot in Cleveland last year. Same role as Seattle's third LB has turned into as they've gone from over to under to 5-2 or whatever you want to call this. It's what we drafted Polite for, in theory.

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1 hour ago, Joe W. Namath said:

The def is going to be very good.  Now I know most fans on this board believe there needs to be a pro bowler at every position but thats not the case.

We are strong up the middle wotj quinnin, mosely and adams.  We have 1 lockdown corner.  Greg Williams is calling the shots. We will be just fine.

Lol, whose the "lockdown" corner that you have penciled in?

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2 hours ago, peebag said:

Lol, whose the "lockdown" corner that you have penciled in?

That would be trumaine johnson.  When hes not dogging it under bowles and playing for real for a guy like williams, hes lockdown.

Jet D is going to force alot of turnovers this year.   They will be a top 15 unit. 

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5 hours ago, ASH1962 said:

Why lose? Why can't we win 42-41?

 

Simple other NFL offense team talent is just so much better than what you have.  Has so much more versatility / options than the Jets offense.

This Jet offense isn't capable of being that kind of  high power offense.( you're reading too much in the preseason games- vanilla defense).

Heck the Jets defense has more holes than Swiss cheese, but if you go off the preseason games  you might think it will be decent.  

Lets see what happens when teams start playing for real, and let's just see how good this Jet offense is capable of being.

Btw you can play aggressive on defense, but if Julio Jones played , you can bet they would have exploiting that matchup all game..( any CB the Jets put on him). 

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1 hour ago, Joe W. Namath said:

That would be trumaine johnson.  When hes not dogging it under bowles and playing for real for a guy like williams, hes lockdown.

Jet D is going to force alot of turnovers this year.   They will be a top 15 unit. 

Did you watch any football last year?

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so much for the 3-4.  i guess the personnel wasn't that bad for a 4-3 base.  whatever.  if these play hard and smart they'll be good.  they just need to do it for all 16 games.

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36 minutes ago, TNJet said:

I prefer the 4-3. Better pressure.

This is a good article and convinces me that the Jets will put a strong DL on the field that will get pressure. 

I am feeling worse about the LBs.  Williamson will be missed more than I thought. 

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I believe the Jets defense isn't that dominant yet. People keep thinking Quinnen Williams is this great player that will go through every offense, but he's not. The Jets dline is not dominant against a good oline and there is no pass rushing OLB that will help the dline. The CB is very weak in passing situation!!! The secondary will be picked apart by QBs with a strong oline. Teams with a very good offense will have a field day picking apart this defense.

Its preseason and I don't believe what I'm seeing until the season begins. 

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7 hours ago, Warfish said:

It'll be a nice change of pace to lose games 42-41 instead of losing 17-3.

Guess @Jet Nut can't even take an off-the-cuff joke (aimed at the previous Head Coach ffs) at this point.

Didn't @slats warn you about this once already?  You're on ignore for a reason, and I've don't see any of your content unless you Rep me. 

Stalking me with multiple butt-fumbles a day after so clearly being put on ignore is inappropriate, dude.  I leave you alone, you leave me alone. 

Why is this so hard for you?  No need to respond to me, I won't see it.  But hopefully slats will.

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24 minutes ago, Warfish said:

Guess @Jet Nut can't even take an off-the-cuff joke (aimed at the previous Head Coach ffs) at this point.

Didn't @slats warn you about this once already?  You're on ignore for a reason, and I've don't see any of your content unless you Rep me. 

Stalking me with multiple butt-fumbles a day after so clearly being put on ignore is inappropriate, dude.  I leave you alone, you leave me alone. 

Why is this so hard for you?  No need to respond to me, I won't see it.  But hopefully slats will.

Warn me for simply not agreeing with you?  

Stalking?  OK

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1 hour ago, rangerous said:

so much for the 3-4.  i guess the personnel wasn't that bad for a 4-3 base.  whatever.  if these play hard and smart they'll be good.  they just need to do it for all 16 games.

The Jets don’t have the personnel to run either the 3-4 defense , or the 4-3 defense.  ( still missing key parts for both defenses). 

Greg Williams has to try it make it work with what he has.  H Anderson is strictly a 3-4 defense end , just because he’s going to play 4-3 defense means he will be effective.  Like the Jets really don’t have the pass rushers for either defense.

 

Some teams that are weak on the interior part of the offense line will have major problems with the Jets defense line.   Teams with very good interior part of the offense line , are going to hurt the Jets bad.

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1 hour ago, TNJet said:

I prefer the 4-3. Better pressure.

How ? Whose the De’s the Jets have that’s going to provide the pressure.   

In 3-4 outside lbs should provide the pressure, and in the  4-3 defense the defense Ends should provide pressure. 

Either defense you’re missing the pass rushers.

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33 minutes ago, Raideraholic said:

The Jets don’t have the personnel to run either the 3-4 defense , or the 4-3 defense.  ( still missing key parts for both defenses). 

Greg Williams has to try it make it work with what he has.  H Anderson is strictly a 3-4 defense end , just because he’s going to play 4-3 defense means he will be effective.  Like the Jets really don’t have the pass rushers for either defense.

 

Some teams that are weak on the interior part of the offense line will have major problems with the Jets defense line.   Teams with very good interior part of the offense line , are going to hurt the Jets bad.

Fun fact... Henry Anderson has better agility metrics than Clelin Ferrell whole being 30 lbs heavier.

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9 minutes ago, kdels62 said:

Fun fact... Henry Anderson has better agility metrics than Clelin Ferrell whole being 30 lbs heavier.

The fact is the Colts who were moving to 4-3 defense didn’t think he was a fit . (Why Jets paid peanuts to acquire him)     Yea but he can work in Greg Williams magic 4-3 defense.  Okay buddy 😂😂😂.

 Btw could careless about metrics, C Ferrell in a game was able to chase down Kyle Murray. ( all I had to see)

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45 minutes ago, Raideraholic said:

The Jets don’t have the personnel to run either the 3-4 defense , or the 4-3 defense.  ( still missing key parts for both defenses). 

Greg Williams has to try it make it work with what he has.  H Anderson is strictly a 3-4 defense end , just because he’s going to play 4-3 defense means he will be effective.  Like the Jets really don’t have the pass rushers for either defense.

 

Some teams that are weak on the interior part of the offense line will have major problems with the Jets defense line.   Teams with very good interior part of the offense line , are going to hurt the Jets bad.

You dont have the knowledge of the Jets to even attempt this one.  

They've been running both defenses all preseason.  The starters have played extremely well with both

Fun part is we're so much better than the clown show you root for. 

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9 minutes ago, Raideraholic said:

The fact is the Colts who were moving to 4-3 defense didn’t think he was a fit . (Why Jets paid peanuts to acquire him)     Yea but he can work in Greg Williams magic 4-3 defense.  Okay buddy 😂😂😂.

You sure he wasn’t gonna work in a 4-3? Did he fail in the 4-3? Or was he traded before even playing meaning that he was never given a chance to prosper? The Colts made a decision, doesn’t mean they were right. The Raiders intend to play a slower, smaller player in the same spot the Jets will play Henry Anderson. I’ll take the bigger guy with better feet every day.

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