Jump to content

Jets' defensive goal: Gang up on Welker


Recommended Posts

When the Jets selected cornerback Kyle Wilson in the first round, stopping Wes Welker was on their mind.

Tomorrow at their new stadium, where the Jets play the first of at least two 2010 meetings with Patriots, stopping Welker, New England's deadly receiver with an uncanny knack for getting open for Tom Brady, was on their mind.

When Wilson was drafted, one of the first things the Jets coaches handed him was a cut-up highlight reel of Welker, basically saying: "Study up, kid."

"I've watched more film of him than anyone else I've watched film of since I've been here," Wilson said yesterday.

Wilson, the Jets rookie cornerback out Boise State via Piscataway, N.J., will not be alone on Welker Island on Sunday.

He will, however, be on Welker more often than anyone else in the Jets' secondary in what is unquestionably the make-or-break matchup in this game.

Welker makes his living breaking teams' will with third-down catches that convert first downs.

The failure of the Jets defense against the Ravens to get off the field Monday night is the reason the Jets are 0-1.

You see where this is going?

How Wilson and the Jets secondary handle Welker will determine whether the Jets go to Miami next Sunday with a 1-1 record and renewed confidence or stagger down there at 0-2 desperate to save their season.

"He makes it go for the Patriots," Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery said of Welker, who caught 15 passes for 192 yards in his only meeting against the Jets last season. "His experience, his knowledge of the game and the chemistry he has with [Tom] Brady, that's stuff you can't replace.

"Welker imposes himself out there and lets it be known that he's out there," Lowery added. "The biggest thing I think [Wilson] needs to understand about Welker is that he's relentless. Usually, when you use the word relentless you think of a defensive player. But he's relentless in that he's not going to let you rest, not going to take a play off."

Welker, coming off a devastat ing knee injury late last season, caught eight passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Bengals. He's already well on his way to hitting his yearly average of 115 receptions as a Patriot.

The Jets believe they have a sound plan for the slithery 5-foot-9, 185-pound Welker, who has amassed 38 catches for 463 yards in five games against the Jets as a Patriot.

The best way to get Welker off his game is to mug him at the line of scrimmage, which has been something all week the Jets coaches have implored their secondary to do.

Several players, including Wilson and fellow cornerback Antonio Cromartie, referred to a 2007 meeting between the Ravens and Patriots when Welker was manhan dled at the line of scrimmage by the Baltimore secondary and finished with only three catches for 18 yards, one of his least productive performances as a Patriot.

Wilson said he's taken a long look at that tape.

"Obviously, I want to make it tough on him by being aggressive, getting my hands on him and being physical," Wilson said.

Welker, of course, knows what's coming because, as Brady said: "He's seen a lot of coverages trying to take him away and he always finds a way to be open and get the ball."

Regardless of teams' best efforts to take Welker out of the game, Brady said, "He's he's someone I'm always looking for."

The Jets better find him before Brady does or else they'll be 0-2 by dinner time Sunday night.

"You need to throw different things at him," Lowery said. "If you think you can go out there and do the same things over and over again you're going to get carved up."

Though he won't be responsible for Welker by himself, the Jets believe Wilson has the proper skill set to cover Welker.

"That's why you draft a guy like that in a first round," Leonhard said. "You look at the receivers in your division and say, 'These are the guys we need to cover,' and you bring in someone who can match up with them."

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/taming_of_the_wes_sAwUVbLWPyzxWO0BuL4boN#ixzz0zt5pP39u

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...