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Jets' new defense fits Rhodes just fine


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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Record

STAFF WRITER

CORTLAND, N.Y. — As Kerry Rhodes spoke to reporters after practice Monday, he still was wearing his helmet, an unusual move for the charismatic free safety.

Then again, perhaps he’s so excited about the Jets’ new defense and his role in it that he can’t bear to remove his headgear for too long before getting back to the practice field.

Whatever the case, it’s obvious that Rhodes is relishing the new defense installed by coach Rex Ryan and coordinator Mike Pettine. It has a philosophy that could return Rhodes to his play-making ways of 2006 and 2007, when he totaled nine interceptions and seven sacks.

"I think Kerry is licking his chops right now," free safety Jim Leonhard said. "He’s ready to go out and make plays."

That’s something Rhodes didn’t do that often in 2008, when he only had two interceptions and one sack as the Jets ranked 29th in pass defense in the NFL. He was asked to provide stability for the safeties, especially after Abram Elam took over as the full-time starter in the eighth game. Elam, who was traded to Cleveland in April, made several big plays but also gave up his share.

"Last year I was the stay-at-home guy," Rhodes said. "I was directing everybody, and directing everybody took a little bit away from me."

In basketball terms, Rhodes took on the role of a point guard, with his biggest responsibility being to make the calls in the secondary and set up others.

"I was more of that guy," he admitted.

Not anymore.

"I’m Kobe [bryant] right now," Rhodes said. "I’m the shooting guard. I can take chances. ... I know when I can take my shots [at making a play]. I don’t have to shoot the ball 50 times, but I know when to take the right shot at the right time."

In fact, Leonhard’s scouting report of Rhodes almost sounds as if he is describing the Lakers’ superstar.

"He’s so athletic," Leonhard said. "He has so much range. ... He can cover a lot of ground [and] this defense gives him a lot of freedom to roam around."

Rhodes appreciates the help he’s getting from Leonhard, an expert in this defense.

"For me it was a little bit of a transition," Rhodes said, "having a guy like Jim come in. I had to be more receptive and not have an ego and listen to what the guy has to say, because he knows some stuff, too. ... And it’s been good. I’ve been able to see things a little bit more clearly. [Leonhard] knows it in and out. He’s like another coach out there."

"I definitely think [Rhodes] is going to have a big year for us," Ryan said. "I don’t want to really flat compare him to [baltimore’s] Ed Reed because I don’t really think that’s fair. There’s only one Ed Reed out there. I think he can definitely be a playmaker for us."

Rhodes believes that, too. From the vantage point through his facemask, he can see the plays he can make. He isn’t quite making them just yet, but believes he’s very close.

"I can visualize stuff more and more now and see how I fit into certain things," Rhodes said, "and see where I can make my plays. That’s coming with time and that’s going to take time. But hopefully we can get these preseason games out of the way and I’ll be ready to go."

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I swear..Is this this guy the most self-absorbed schmuck on the planet? If he sucks this year I betcha he'll blame someone else. I'm s sick of this ego maniac poppin off about how great he will be this year..Shut the f**k up and play already and stop posturing for your post football career..It may come sooner than later.

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Rhodes is a beast.

Rhodes is Is a good player, but i think he's highly overrated. He's talks the talk but don't think he walks it. that secondary always gets eaten up. he spends more time pointing the finger on the field (who's man was that?) then in interviews he's always telling us how great he is and a good leader . GIVE ME A BEAK!

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I think you guys are taking the Kobe reference a little to literaly..he is saying instead of playing back to protect others, like a point guard, he can begin to attack more, like Kobe...some people always have to look at things negatively I guess

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I swear..Is this this guy the most self-absorbed schmuck on the planet? If he sucks this year I betcha he'll blame someone else. I'm s sick of this ego maniac poppin off about how great he will be this year..Shut the f**k up and play already and stop posturing for your post football career..It may come sooner than later.

When it comes to quiet guys like Brick, a little swagger is an improvement.

But as to Rhodes, Mr. 7/11 Mouth Lousy THEspian, he really needs to STFU in the worst way and let his play do the talking. Because spare a very good rookie year, he's been nothing special, unless you like tackles 9 yard upfield on 3rd and 8 being celebrated like an 8-year old opening Christmas presents.

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I think you guys are taking the Kobe reference a little to literaly..he is saying instead of playing back to protect others, like a point guard, he can begin to attack more, like Kobe...some people always have to look at things negatively I guess

Without Chad and Mangini, people need someone to hate. So far it looks like it's a tie between Gholston, Rhodes, and Clowney. People just love to bitch.

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Without Chad and Mangini, people need someone to hate. So far it looks like it's a tie between Gholston, Rhodes, and Clowney. People just love to bitch.

Firstly, KR trying to compare himself to freakin KOBE BYRANT.To say thats long reach is the understatement of the decade.. He probably honestly thinks he's an athlete of Kobe's stature..which of course is seriously laughable. Hey maybe I'm old school, but KR you need to do something before you start doing your Muhammed Ali schtick.

"I am the greatest of ALL TIME"...lol

An his constant blaming of Mangini.. well...Least we protest too much....

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Firstly, KR trying to compare himself to freakin KOBE BYRANT.To say thats long reach is the understatement of the decade.. He probably honestly thinks he's an athlete of Kobe's stature..which of course is seriously laughable. Hey maybe I'm old school, but KR you need to do something before you start doing your Muhammed Ali schtick.

"I am the greatest of ALL TIME"...lol

An his constant blaming of Mangini.. well...Least we protest too much....

Do people really have that hard of a time comprehending what he was saying with the Kobe Bryant comment??? Wow

And I don't have a problem with him blaming Mangini's system. Personally, I blame Mangini's system and stubbornness for our collapse last year. Once he screwed with the defense and changed it all and basically made us play prevent defense the 2nd part of the year I knew he was garbage. That was an absolute horrible job of coaching. I can't blame Rhodes or any other player for wanting to play in a defense that maximizes their skills. It's what good coaches are supposed to do...put their players in a position to succeed. Having Rhodes playing 20 yards off the ball at the snap is not putting him in a position to succeed.

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Kerry Rhodes will be back playing center field this year because that's the only thing he does effectively. He's a nice player, a good, heady athlete, but his lack of physicality will be his undoing in this defense. You can "heart" Kerry all you want, but if he' not hitting people on defense, Eric Smith and/or James Ihedigbo are going to start getting his snaps. Bart Scott and Rex won't stand for a guy in their D who avoids contact.

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Btw, my favorite off-seaon moment this year was during OTA's when Kerry was doing a round of interviews saying that the just-drafted Mark Sanchez had to come to the Jets and "just focus on football," and then it came out the next day that Rhodes begged out of practice to go do all those self-serving interviews. You can't make that shut up.

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Kerry Rhodes will be back playing center field this year because that's the only thing he does effectively. He's a nice player, a good, heady athlete, but his lack of physicality will be his undoing in this defense. You can "heart" Kerry all you want, but if he' not hitting people on defense, Eric Smith and/or James Ihedigbo are going to start getting his snaps. Bart Scott and Rex won't stand for a guy in their D who avoids contact.

RIGHT !!! Pay attention this season ok? Looks like you haven't in past years

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Kerry Rhodes will be back playing center field this year because that's the only thing he does effectively. He's a nice player, a good, heady athlete, but his lack of physicality will be his undoing in this defense. You can "heart" Kerry all you want, but if he' not hitting people on defense, Eric Smith and/or James Ihedigbo are going to start getting his snaps. Bart Scott and Rex won't stand for a guy in their D who avoids contact.

You really couldn't be more wrong.

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Rhodes had a good rookie season.

Since then he's been average.

It's one problem the Jets' fan base has had forever-guy has one good year and you're ready to put him in Canton rather than expect solid continued production. And the nonsense histrionics on the field and the bullsheet attempt at an "acting career" off it are ri-Goddamned-diculous. He's not going to be a Wayans brother.And celebrating every tackle(often when the opposing offense got a 1st down) and pointing to players when they eff up is crap. It's absolute crap. ANd blaming Mangini's system on a daily basis when he simply doesn't hit or tackle well enough is also crap.

He could at least be a solid NFL safety. And for once let his play do the talking rather than his mouth.

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Lets compare last season to the All Powerfull Ed Reeds #'s:

KR

YearTeamGTotal Solo Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int TDsYds Avg Lng200816 8460241.0--5205025.0 50

Ed Reed:

YearTeamGTotal Solo Ast Sck SFTY PDef IntTDs Yds Avg Lng2008

16 41 34 7 1.0 0169226429.3 107T

looks liike Rhodes actually had a better season against the run. And you can't blame him if the rb gets past everyone else in front of him...

With Leonhard next to him this year like he ws next to Reed last year, I expect HUGE things from KR..

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Kerry Rhodes will be back playing center field this year because that's the only thing he does effectively. He's a nice player, a good, heady athlete, but his lack of physicality will be his undoing in this defense. You can "heart" Kerry all you want, but if he' not hitting people on defense, Eric Smith and/or James Ihedigbo are going to start getting his snaps. Bart Scott and Rex won't stand for a guy in their D who avoids contact.

Well TOmShane.. you have hit the proverbial "nail on the head". Kerry Rhodes is NOT a physical player at all. He's more of an athlete and a "chaser". He is not a "smack you in the mouth safety" aka Polumu or Saunders. and never will be.

You must be a helluva film watcher to notice that TS..most people don't notice that about "Hollywood" but thats definitely is MO..no question.

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Well TOmShane.. you have hit the proverbial "nail on the head". Kerry Rhodes is NOT a physical player at all. He's more of an athlete and a "chaser". He is not a "smack you in the mouth safety" aka Polumu or Saunders. and never will be.

You must be a helluva film watcher to notice that TS..most people don't notice that about "Hollywood" but thats definitely is MO..no question.

You're completely wrong.

Define a physical safety...Rhodes isn't a guy who will lay WR's out left, right and centre but he tackles as well as anyone, in fact as well as any safety in the league (He's much better in that area than either Polamalu or Ed Reed BTW).

But nah, let's cut him or better yet let's trade him for Roy Williams and watch aanyone with a pulse run right by the "Smack you in the mouth safety".

Hitting is overrated.

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