“I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to win.”
Just one of the reasons why Rex Ryan is making changes to his secondary.
Nickell Robey-Coleman admitted on Wednesday he’s been benched in favor of Kevon Seymour. On Monday, Corey White said he and Ron Darby were in competition for one of the starting cornerback jobs.
The secondary was supposed to be a strength of the defense. Instead they’ve allowed seven pass plays of 50 yards or more, which is more than anybody in the league.
“Teams aren’t fearing throwing the ball vertically against us,” Ryan said. “You got to be able to make plays down the field and when people are throwing jump balls out there. We gotta start making plays and making teams pay for just throwing jump balls up. I’m tired of seeing it and I’m sure our fans are as well. We’re playing pretty good defense, but that’s killing us.”
The problems in the secondary aren’t all because of the secondary. The rest of the defense made sure that was clear on Wednesday.
“We all play a part in eliminating big plays, no matter what they are,” Kyle Wiliams said. “We all have to have attention to detail in our job and execute the game plan.”
“People don’t understand how hard it is to cover a receiver,” Preston Brown said. “You can only touch him for five yards. Then, if you touch him while the ball is in the air, flag. But those guys are pros. They’ll get better each and every week. We know it’s a difficult job, but they’ll be fine.”
No matter who makes a mistake on a big pass play, it’s often the defensive back who appears responsible. Robey-Coleman acknowledged that’s just part of the job.
“You always want to make the big play in the back end. But in the secondary, you’re going to be scrutinized for the good and the bad because you’re the one that’s out there,” Robey-Coleman said. “So, when you make a bad play, it’s going to be seen. You just gotta have thick skin back there.”
“You gotta make plays. That’s what it comes down to,” Stephon Gilmore said. “You pick balls off, you have a couple pass break-ups, people will stop (criticizing). So that’s what it’s about. Playing corner is not easy.”
Whoever wins the starting job in the secondary will have the unfortunate task of having to guard AJ Green on Sunday. He’s second in the league in receiving, averaging over 100 yards per game.