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As we move into the next phase of the offseason, I have 2 question marks that still gnaw at me.


Alka
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It’s our biggest weakest.

The only way Ive tried to rationalize a potential improvement is

Better corner players means LB/S dont have to worry about coverage as much and can key in on the run game. Idk. We’re likely going to get gashed up the middle. 😂

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Zach will take a step forward .. not even a concern for me.

Our run defense ... yikes!

Our defense will be gashed this year and we will lose safeties to injury because of the derth of run defense in the center of the D Line and lack of talent around Mosley.

will be frustrating .. but hopefully not on offense.




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20 minutes ago, Alka said:

Yes, the Jets had a great draft.  Let's get that out of the way.  Still, the Jets had the worst defense against the run last season, and I don't see how the Jets significantly addressed that thus far in the offseason.  In fact, we lost our best run defender in Fatukasi, and did nothing to replace him.  Yes, Sauce and the 2 back end backs that we got in free agency will help a little, but we didn't pick up a d tackle, and we picked up a total of zero linebackers to combat the front lines of the running attack.  This alone will assure that the Jets will still be a team in need.

My second question mark is of course Zach Wilson.  Will he take a step forward?  For me, if he is just average, the Jets will take a leap forward this year.  I think 8 or 9 wins is possible if he plays well, and 6 or 7 wins if he plays no better than he did last year.

Let't face it, the Jets are still not a playoff team, but if Zack takes a step up, the Jets will be playing significant football games going into December. 

They may think Rankins will play better or Marshall has a lot of potential

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3 minutes ago, nycdan said:

Our run defense issues last year came down to a few issues.

1) Two men named Davis.  Ashtyn and Jarred were both horrible tacklers.  Jarred is gone.  Ashtyn won't have to play as much on early downs hopefully with the infusion of Whitehead and hopefully return to health of Joyner.

2) Terrible first down results.  The secondary was so bad, in part because of the loss of Lawson up front and no appreciable pass rush, that we were facing a lot more 2nd and short and 3rd and short downs.  More runs against us.  Not what you want to see.

3) Inability to bring Safety up.  Because our secondary was so challenged after Bryce Hall, we had to run with two deep Safeties more often than Saleh would normally want to.  His defense prefers to attack the LOS with one Safety (think Jamal).  Well, probably more than anything, that explains why he wanted Gardner in the draft.  Now, with Gardner, Reed, and Hall starting instead of Hall, Echols, and Carter - and with deeper and better depth off the bench, we may see more of what he wants to do, which will directly impact the success of the run defense.

4) JFM out of position.  JFM is more effective from the DT position.  The loss of Lawson forced him to move outside.  Rankins was awful filling in.  Quinnen actually plays the run well.  An interior of JFM and QW will be better than what we had last year.  

None of this means anything without health and good execution, but despite the lack of signing/drafting a new DT, there are reasons to expect the run defense to be better, possibly much better, this year.

Great points. Although I’m a little concerned about JFM moving inside.   I read an article where they discussed this and if I recall correctly, he had a great pass rush win rate from the inside but his run defense numbers suffered because he’s a little undersized for a DT. 

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Our run defense issues last year came down to a few issues.
1) Two men named Davis.  Ashtyn and Jarred were both horrible tacklers.  Jarred is gone.  Ashtyn won't have to play as much on early downs hopefully with the infusion of Whitehead and hopefully return to health of Joyner.
2) Terrible first down results.  The secondary was so bad, in part because of the loss of Lawson up front and no appreciable pass rush, that we were facing a lot more 2nd and short and 3rd and short downs.  More runs against us.  Not what you want to see.
3) Inability to bring Safety up.  Because our secondary was so challenged after Bryce Hall, we had to run with two deep Safeties more often than Saleh would normally want to.  His defense prefers to attack the LOS with one Safety (think Jamal).  Well, probably more than anything, that explains why he wanted Gardner in the draft.  Now, with Gardner, Reed, and Hall starting instead of Hall, Echols, and Carter - and with deeper and better depth off the bench, we may see more of what he wants to do, which will directly impact the success of the run defense.
4) JFM out of position.  JFM is more effective from the DT position.  The loss of Lawson forced him to move outside.  Rankins was awful filling in.  Quinnen actually plays the run well.  An interior of JFM and QW will be better than what we had last year.  
None of this means anything without health and good execution, but despite the lack of signing/drafting a new DT, there are reasons to expect the run defense to be better, possibly much better, this year.

This exactly. I’d like to add its ( year 2 ) the familiarity in this D alone will benefit


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5 minutes ago, IndianaJet said:

Great points. Although I’m a little concerned about JFM moving inside.   I read an article where they discussed this and if I recall correctly, he had a great pass rush win rate from the inside but his run defense numbers suffered because he’s a little undersized for a DT. 

That may be a problem.  I think his run grade was actually better last year (DE) than 2020 (DT).  I hope the improved 1st down performance overall will reduce the overall opportunities to run but we don't seem to have that reliable 320 lbs. space eater we used to.  I suspect the waiver wire will provide some options if that's something they feel they need.  But definitely something to keep an eye on.

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9 minutes ago, nycdan said:

Our run defense issues last year came down to a few issues.

1) Two men named Davis.  Ashtyn and Jarred were both horrible tacklers.  Jarred is gone.  Ashtyn won't have to play as much on early downs hopefully with the infusion of Whitehead and hopefully return to health of Joyner.

2) Terrible first down results.  The secondary was so bad, in part because of the loss of Lawson up front and no appreciable pass rush, that we were facing a lot more 2nd and short and 3rd and short downs.  More runs against us.  Not what you want to see.

3) Inability to bring Safety up.  Because our secondary was so challenged after Bryce Hall, we had to run with two deep Safeties more often than Saleh would normally want to.  His defense prefers to attack the LOS with one Safety (think Jamal).  Well, probably more than anything, that explains why he wanted Gardner in the draft.  Now, with Gardner, Reed, and Hall starting instead of Hall, Echols, and Carter - and with deeper and better depth off the bench, we may see more of what he wants to do, which will directly impact the success of the run defense.

4) JFM out of position.  JFM is more effective from the DT position.  The loss of Lawson forced him to move outside.  Rankins was awful filling in.  Quinnen actually plays the run well.  An interior of JFM and QW will be better than what we had last year.  

None of this means anything without health and good execution, but despite the lack of signing/drafting a new DT, there are reasons to expect the run defense to be better, possibly much better, this year.

I’m not buying it! ;)

1. We sucked at the beginning of the year when they weren’t even playing.  Did you see the the holes that Indy and others opened against us?  I could drive a truck thru them

2. We were gashed on first, second, third, fourth and fifth downs

3. Agree, we didn’t stack the box because we had a young secondary

4. JFM is great rushing the passer from the inside, not stopping the run.  Maybe he’ll be better in a 1 gap system than he was in a 2 gap system but I wouldn’t bet on that

 

 

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8 minutes ago, OtherwiseHappyinLife said:

I’m not buying it! ;)

1. We sucked at the beginning of the year when they weren’t even playing.  Did you see the the holes that Indy and others opened against us?  I could drive a truck thru them

2. We were gashed on first, second, third, fourth and fifth downs

3. Agree, we didn’t stack the box because we had a young secondary

4. JFM is great rushing the passer from the inside, not stopping the run.  Maybe he’ll be better in a 1 gap system than he was in a 2 gap system but I wouldn’t bet on that

 

 

Too many cases of injuries pushing people into roles they were suited for along with bad play

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39 minutes ago, Alka said:

Yes, the Jets had a great draft.  Let's get that out of the way.  Still, the Jets had the worst defense against the run last season, and I don't see how the Jets significantly addressed that thus far in the offseason.  In fact, we lost our best run defender in Fatukasi, and did nothing to replace him.  Yes, Sauce and the 2 back end backs that we got in free agency will help a little, but we didn't pick up a d tackle, and we picked up a total of zero linebackers to combat the front lines of the running attack.  This alone will assure that the Jets will still be a team in need.

My second question mark is of course Zach Wilson.  Will he take a step forward?  For me, if he is just average, the Jets will take a leap forward this year.  I think 8 or 9 wins is possible if he plays well, and 6 or 7 wins if he plays no better than he did last year.

Let't face it, the Jets are still not a playoff team, but if Zack takes a step up, the Jets will be playing significant football games going into December. 

it's possible the jets have some high hopes for nasrildeem and sherwood.  neither of those guys saw much action last season.  and they did get a guy who may be able to set the edge in johnson.  so they lost fatakasi but picked up solomon.  zuniga may finally show something.  of course mosely isn't the player he was.

as for wilson, he has got to do better.  he has to get rid of the ball faster and make some better decisions.  the jets drafted hall who should really ramp up the run game along with fixing the right guard position.  i got the green shaded glasses on.  the jets will win 10+.

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39 minutes ago, Alka said:

Yes, the Jets had a great draft.  Let's get that out of the way.  Still, the Jets had the worst defense against the run last season, and I don't see how the Jets significantly addressed that thus far in the offseason.  In fact, we lost our best run defender in Fatukasi, and did nothing to replace him.  Yes, Sauce and the 2 back end backs that we got in free agency will help a little, but we didn't pick up a d tackle, and we picked up a total of zero linebackers to combat the front lines of the running attack.  This alone will assure that the Jets will still be a team in need.

My second question mark is of course Zach Wilson.  Will he take a step forward?  For me, if he is just average, the Jets will take a leap forward this year.  I think 8 or 9 wins is possible if he plays well, and 6 or 7 wins if he plays no better than he did last year.

Let't face it, the Jets are still not a playoff team, but if Zack takes a step up, the Jets will be playing significant football games going into December. 

JFM will replace Foli. JJ is notably a better edge setter and run defender than he his a pure pass rusher right now. Also you have Lawson coming into the fold who isn’t a great run defender but can take some pressure to the QB. I would say this line has improved enough to not be last in run defense next year. Add that to the fact the Jets have added a true starting caliber Saftey I’d say we did well for the amount of needs this team had. 
 

ZW is in year two and needs to take a step forward. That is the only way this team plays relevant games in December. I think he can do it. 

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26 minutes ago, OtherwiseHappyinLife said:

Good post.  Zach Wilson’s development will determine whether the Jets are a playoff team. They now have playoff talent and several strengths on paper but Wilson’s and others’ development will determine how far they go.  They are still young BUT have added experienced talent in a lot of good places.  

But yes, you are right on their major weakness. I’d add stopping the RB screen and TE outlet/seam as other weaknesses which might have only been partially addressed.  These also go back to the LBs and I’m not convinced that the rookie backers last year are up to the task.  Possibly in the screen and TE game since they are converted safeties but less so in plugging the running lanes.  Mosley gets hurt and it can ruin our entire defensive scheme.

The Jets would be kind of foolish not to address these weaknesses before the season.  Especially after building a potentially terrific roster elsewhere.  With their remaining cap dollars, instead of pushing forward to next year:
 

1. Run stuffing DT

2. LB w/ versatile (MIKE & Will)

3. Swing Offensive Tackle who is ready this year

 

Being in the AFC isn't going to help the case for this to be a playoff team. I firmly believe this team would be a strong playoff team in the other conference. The Jets could conceivably be really good this year and not even make the playoffs invoking the 2015 PTSD.

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Agreed on all fronts. 

 

Unfortunately, resources to improve the team are limited. 

Personally,  I'm thrilled that we chose to prioritize edge, WR, CB, TE, and OL over DT and LB.

Basically - I'm ok having a relatively weak run defense if we score some points and force some turnovers!

And Zach needs to be at least average or he'll be gone. But I personally think he will be. 

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Whitehead should be a big addition to the run defense. He is a solid tackler and a real good player. He should help cut down on those screens and long runs through the secondary.

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58 minutes ago, Alka said:

Yes, the Jets had a great draft.  Let's get that out of the way.  Still, the Jets had the worst defense against the run last season, and I don't see how the Jets significantly addressed that thus far in the offseason.  In fact, we lost our best run defender in Fatukasi, and did nothing to replace him.  Yes, Sauce and the 2 back end backs that we got in free agency will help a little, but we didn't pick up a d tackle, and we picked up a total of zero linebackers to combat the front lines of the running attack.  This alone will assure that the Jets will still be a team in need.

My second question mark is of course Zach Wilson.  Will he take a step forward?  For me, if he is just average, the Jets will take a leap forward this year.  I think 8 or 9 wins is possible if he plays well, and 6 or 7 wins if he plays no better than he did last year.

Let't face it, the Jets are still not a playoff team, but if Zack takes a step up, the Jets will be playing significant football games going into December. 

Johnson - JFM/Rankins - QW - Lawson

QW-Mosely

Sauce - Reed - Hall/Echols

Whitehead - Davis/Carter II

That's not a bad looking opening day starting Defense, on paper.  Including QW/JFM at D-Tackles.

You can't solve every issue all at once.  Something had to give, this year it was DT and LB.

Lets see where we go, but I'm ok with this starting unit (other than Ashton Davis, who is meh).

It won't be top 10, but it shouldn't be worst ever either.  If it is Saleh has some answering to do.

Ultimately, Saleh runs a 4-2-5 scheme.  It has one less player in the box (short one LB) vs. most other systems.  So the Safeties and DB's need to produce vs. the run more, since we're fielding more of them.  Hopefully we're improved there too.

 

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56 minutes ago, Alka said:

Yes, the Jets had a great draft.  Let's get that out of the way.  Still, the Jets had the worst defense against the run last season, and I don't see how the Jets significantly addressed that thus far in the offseason.  In fact, we lost our best run defender in Fatukasi, and did nothing to replace him.  Yes, Sauce and the 2 back end backs that we got in free agency will help a little, but we didn't pick up a d tackle, and we picked up a total of zero linebackers to combat the front lines of the running attack.  This alone will assure that the Jets will still be a team in need.

My second question mark is of course Zach Wilson.  Will he take a step forward?  For me, if he is just average, the Jets will take a leap forward this year.  I think 8 or 9 wins is possible if he plays well, and 6 or 7 wins if he plays no better than he did last year.

Let't face it, the Jets are still not a playoff team, but if Zack takes a step up, the Jets will be playing significant football games going into December. 

If the Jets offense can score points then opposing teams will likely need to throw more on us which plays into our pass rush and upgraded secondary. If we can't score points than teams will run on us.

Overall I agree LB and S will likely be top needs next off season

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i think JJ will help this run defense a lot right away.  they must like Jonathan Marshall, hopefully he can help on 1st and 2nd downs

I am glad we went offense with Hall and Ruckert to give Zach all the help he needs, we can upgrade DT and LB in next years draft FA.  A lot easier to upgrade your defense

 

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There's definitely some truth to what you say.

I think a big part of it is playing complimentary football. If we run the ball well and score points and are, at any point, playing with a lead I think it really changes the dynamic for our defense -- what they want to do and how we utilize our best players.

Staying healthy is also a huge factor -- I think people forget how many guys we had on IR last year. When you're thin to begin with that results in guys who just aren't real NFL players playing significant minutes which results in some ugly box scores.

I think if our offense improves and we stay reasonably healthy the defense gets much better by default. Wilson needing to take a huge leap is the big thing. I really think this team is ready to turn a corner if he shows major improvement.

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1 hour ago, Bungaman said:

The off season isn't over. A run stuffing interior DL may very well shake loose from another team before the start of the season.

Agree.  I think it’s fool’s gold to believe we are good enough there after losing Fatukasi and considering just how bad we were last year.  By the most credible beat writer’s account on FA (Connor Hughes),  the Jets lost out on nose tackle DJ Jones (SF) to Denver.  

We have roughly $5M cap space left after allocating to our draft class and can save another $7m+ cutting Rankins and GVR.  Possibly just enough to:

1. Sign DT Hicks (32 years old; Bears) to a 1-2 year deal.  72 PFF grade in an injury plagued 2021.  But very underrated throughout his career and a top run defender and strong pass rusher before 2021.  PFF had him rated their #1 IDL entering this year’s FA

2. Sign OT Daryl Williams (29 years old; Bills) to a 1 year deal.  Can play guard or tackle.  Might want revenge on his old team.  67.5 PFF grade at guard in 2021 and 79.5 at RT in 2020 when he crushed it on a 1 year prove it deal 

3. No idea on linebackers but someone might free up.  A trade is also a possibility.  We need a backup to Mosley, either a late 20s/early 30s veteran who still has something in the tank or a young up / comer on a team with a surplus.  Possibly offer Echols in exchange since we now have a surplus of CBs

 

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1 hour ago, Alka said:

Yes, the Jets had a great draft.  Let's get that out of the way.  Still, the Jets had the worst defense against the run last season, and I don't see how the Jets significantly addressed that thus far in the offseason.  In fact, we lost our best run defender in Fatukasi, and did nothing to replace him.  Yes, Sauce and the 2 back end backs that we got in free agency will help a little, but we didn't pick up a d tackle, and we picked up a total of zero linebackers to combat the front lines of the running attack.  This alone will assure that the Jets will still be a team in need.

My second question mark is of course Zach Wilson.  Will he take a step forward?  For me, if he is just average, the Jets will take a leap forward this year.  I think 8 or 9 wins is possible if he plays well, and 6 or 7 wins if he plays no better than he did last year.

Let't face it, the Jets are still not a playoff team, but if Zack takes a step up, the Jets will be playing significant football games going into December. 

Can't claim to have studied the NFL rosters but I would expect that the Jets would be able to pick up a run-stuffing DT in free agency in June,  Also, keep in mind that Johnson is a good run defender at End and Franklin-Myers should be returning to his natural position at DT.

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53 minutes ago, nycdan said:

Our run defense issues last year came down to a few issues.

1) Two men named Davis.  Ashtyn and Jarred were both horrible tacklers.  Jarred is gone.  Ashtyn won't have to play as much on early downs hopefully with the infusion of Whitehead and hopefully return to health of Joyner.

2) Terrible first down results.  The secondary was so bad, in part because of the loss of Lawson up front and no appreciable pass rush, that we were facing a lot more 2nd and short and 3rd and short downs.  More runs against us.  Not what you want to see.

3) Inability to bring Safety up.  Because our secondary was so challenged after Bryce Hall, we had to run with two deep Safeties more often than Saleh would normally want to.  His defense prefers to attack the LOS with one Safety (think Jamal).  Well, probably more than anything, that explains why he wanted Gardner in the draft.  Now, with Gardner, Reed, and Hall starting instead of Hall, Echols, and Carter - and with deeper and better depth off the bench, we may see more of what he wants to do, which will directly impact the success of the run defense.

4) JFM out of position.  JFM is more effective from the DT position.  The loss of Lawson forced him to move outside.  Rankins was awful filling in.  Quinnen actually plays the run well.  An interior of JFM and QW will be better than what we had last year.  

None of this means anything without health and good execution, but despite the lack of signing/drafting a new DT, there are reasons to expect the run defense to be better, possibly much better, this year.

Good points. I think a few other things factor in as well and tie into what you said above. First of all, the scheme puts so much emphasis on the DL getting upfield quickly that it often left them out of position in the run game. That puts more pressure on the LBs and safeties to step up and fill gaps. Like you said, the Davis and Davis combo were particularly bad, and while maybe you can get away with that in a 2 gap scheme where the DL aren’t as aggressive off the snap, this scheme punished them for it.

I think in this regard, the loss of Fatukasi is overrated while the addition of Whitehead is underrated. And tying into what you said above about the additions at corner allowing a safety to come down into the box, Whitehead’s impact should be compounded.

Another factor was the overall inexperience at linebacker. Outside of Mosley and Davis, you had a mid season addition of a young player in Quincy Williams and two rookies who were converted safeties getting a lot of reps. Hamsah and Sherwood often got washed out in the run game not just because of their lack of size but also because their inexperience made them slow to react and take poor angles. When the DL is letting offensive linemen get to the second level so frequently, that is a death knell for undersized LBs.

I have no idea how much those guys will improve in this area, if at all (see Darron Lee), but hopefully if they do make the roster and get reps the added experience will help. That said, relying on improved play from that group is extremely dicey because we never saw much improvement last year. I’d be very surprised if they don’t add a veteran at LB to the mix before training camp.

And finally, hopefully all the improvements across the roster in general will make the run defense deficiencies less glaring. An improved offense will mean teams need to pass more, and an improved secondary will allow heavier boxes, cash in on third downs, and maybe even force some damn turnovers for once. If they can just be mediocre against the run, I think that will be good enough.

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1 hour ago, Alka said:

Yes, the Jets had a great draft.  Let's get that out of the way.  Still, the Jets had the worst defense against the run last season, and I don't see how the Jets significantly addressed that thus far in the offseason.  In fact, we lost our best run defender in Fatukasi, and did nothing to replace him.  Yes, Sauce and the 2 back end backs that we got in free agency will help a little, but we didn't pick up a d tackle, and we picked up a total of zero linebackers to combat the front lines of the running attack.  This alone will assure that the Jets will still be a team in need.

Run defense is the one area (again, outside of the QB) where there are legitimate concerns. Some good news is that their two defensive first rounders, while being brought in primarily to defense the pass, are both pretty good in run defense. Sauce is no diva in that respect, he makes tackles. And JJ can set the edge. Lawson will be an upgrade here, too. 
 
OL, DT, and LB are probably the three positions most likely to be addressed in the mini-draft. Maybe safety, although I think they believe they have the secondary under control. Between now and camp is when some teams let their well liked but expensive players go because they believe they’ve found a cheaper replacement in the draft. The Jets have a high waiver position if someone’s let go that they see as a fit. 

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The biggest question I have is with Quinnen Williams.  Unless they plan to extend this guy and pay him $18-20m a year, they should have addressed finding his replacement in this draft.  Q's maximum trade value would be on his rookie deal similar to Leonard Williams.

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3 hours ago, slats said:

Run defense is the one area (again, outside of the QB) where there are legitimate concerns. Some good news is that their two defensive first rounders, while being brought in primarily to defense the pass, are both pretty good in run defense. Sauce is no diva in that respect, he makes tackles. And JJ can set the edge. Lawson will be an upgrade here, too. 
 
OL, DT, and LB are probably the three positions most likely to be addressed in the mini-draft. Maybe safety, although I think they believe they have the secondary under control. Between now and camp is when some teams let their well liked but expensive players go because they believe they’ve found a cheaper replacement in the draft. The Jets have a high waiver position if someone’s let go that they see as a fit. 

Yep, I just posted with the same 3 remaining needs for 2022.

I looked back and saw that we claimed JFM, Berrios, and Quincy Williams via waivers.  Great pickups by JD and another benefit of being bad all these years.

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I dont think I'd say they "did nothing" to address stopping the run.  Both JJ and Clemons play the run well and they signed Whitehead who plays the run very well from the safety position, something they were severely lacking.  Also, I think the emergence of Pinnock and Quincy Williams will help, both having a full year in the system.

But also, like @Bungaman said, players are going to shake loose if they're concerned with it but also, there are a few FA's available right now, that could be a 1 year stop gap ie; Star Lotulelei, Eddie Goldman, Brandon Williams, Danny Shelton.  

And I dont know what's going on with Larry Ogunjobi but dude had 7 sacks last year for the Bengals and is a FA. 

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