Impatience and fear. Oh, how they dominate the psyche of Jets fans.
Both feelings take complete control, create unrealistic expectations, and force people into believing irrational things. Perhaps Darrelle Revis’ rapid emergence as the best corner in the NFL set the bar to an unfair standard.
Revis’ excellent play is actually a disadvantage for anyone who plays on the other side of the field. No one wants to throw his way.
This means the second corner is always going to receive a lot more looks and throws his way.
In a perfect world, everyone would love to have a secondary filled with players like Darrelle. Then it’s time to be realistic.
While everyone sets their sights on who the Jets should acquire to play opposite Revis, maybe the desire to open the wallet is premature. Maybe the other starting cornerback is already on the roster.
No Pass for the Rookie?
Stepping in as a starter from Week One, Dwight Lowery showed he could be good, great, or mediocre every time he was on the field.
But it was his ability to show greatness that earns him the right to at least be considered as a starter for the team.
Lowery was picked on—and sometimes abused—because of his inexperience and the quarterback’s fear of Revis. But he often rose to the occasion when he was challenged.
Whether it was swatting down passes or blanketing a receiver, Lowery was usually step-for-step with his man. His development was only hindered when Eric Mangini decided to add another past-his-prime player in Ty Law.
And when the season ended, Lowery was still fourth on the Jets with tackles, had forced five fumbles, and had defended just as many passes as Revis. That’s an excellent foundation to have established as a rookie.
It’s supposed to be understood that the transition at corner from college to the NFL is one of the most difficult to make. Lowery may have flaws in his game, but the Jets can’t afford a Pro Bowl player at every position.
For Lowery to have started off so strongly proves that he’s more than capable of developing his skills to perform more consistently.
Does he really not deserve the opportunity to be the starter again?
No Temptation in Free Agency
The contracts cornerbacks receive when they hit the open market are insane. Unfortunately, the position demands it.
While players like Dre’ Bly, Leigh Bodden, and Chris McAlister have been purged from their rosters, none of them are the kinds of players that justify extraordinary amounts of money.
Dipping into the free agency pool to come up with one of those players and paying them the kind of money commanded for a veteran would straddle the border of desperation and irresponsibility.
The NFL Draft should be intriguing to most fans, but the Jets’ direction won’t be clear until the free agency period is done.
And even then, there are no guarantees that the right decision will be made.