The Jets defense has dealt with its ups and downs thus far in 2016, sacking Bengals QB Andy Dalton seven times in the season opener and allowing a league high eight receptions of 40-plus yards. Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said the defense as making “great strides,” as his unit only allowed two 20-plus yard receptions last week against Pittsburgh, but there are still things that need to be tightened up.
“Slight things. What happened is we tried to take away the deep ball and they started hitting us with some underneath,” Rodgers said. “It was more yards after the catch with three or four yard passes. That hinders your pass rush and everything trickled down from there.”
With the news of WR Eric Decker heading to the IR, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey recognizes the challenges ahead, saying it will take a “group effort” to fill his void. The group Gailey is referring to includes a trio of rookie receivers — Robby Anderson, Charone Peake and Jalin Marshall, who fully participated in practice for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury against the Chiefs.
“What you have to do is you have to put them out there and play them. I think you have you to put them in a position to try to be successful and then evaluate from there and take the next step,” he said. “It’s a step-by-step process. It isn’t he can do this, I know he’s good at this, let’s just go do this all the time. Because they have to multiple type players, they just can’t be one dimensional. So it’s going to be a step-by-step developmental process with each one of them. Find out what they do well and get them in the right spots.”
Special teams coordinator Brant Boyer said his unit has made one or two mistakes a game that have hurt the team. His group needs to be on its A-game this week as the Cardinals’ have one of the most impressive special teams corps in the league.
“They’re really good. They got some great returners who are very, very fast. As a matter of fact, some of the fastest that have come into the league the past couple of years,” Boyer said. “They’ve got one of the best, if not the best, all-around special teams player in [Justin] Bethel in my opinion. Calais Campbell with field goal blocks, Patrick Peterson. I mean you can go down the line and name a bunch of people that they have, they’re a really good unit. It’s going to be a big challenge for us.”