On the day before the New York Jets open mini-camp for two days to fans, players took time to chat with members of the media about defense.
1495 Sports is proud to bring these quotes, as Jets-stars Yeremiah Bell, Calvin Pace and Darelle Revis and all gave their thoughts on the various aspects of the team’s defense thus far.
*Bell had this to say on what he thinks of the defense:
“I’m finally starting to get comfortable with it. I’m finally starting to see what I can do in it, what I can’t do and finally adjusting to the calls. That was the biggest thing for me coming here was just learning the verbage. Because football is football and a lot of defenses are the same, they’re just called something different. So I’m getting the verbage down and things are starting to go more smoothly.”
*On what it is like to play in the secondary with Revis and Antonio Cromartie:
“It’s a blessing. I’ve got two guys on the outside who have played in this league, who have made Pro Bowls in this league and you don’t have to worry about them. They know what they’re doing out there. You don’t have to get those guys lined up out there because they’re going to line themselves up.”
*How does this defense compare with others that he has played in:
“You’ve got a lot of freedom in this defense if you know what you’re doing. And also, you’ve got two guys on the outside who can lock it down. That’s made my transition a lot easier. In the past I’ve probably only played with veteran corners maybe one or two years. I’d say it takes the stress off you as a safety knowing that you’ve got two guys on the outside who know what they’re doing and you know who can make calls by themselves.”
*Pace had this to say on how the defense is looking this year:
“I like the direction that we’re going in. We’re kind of getting back to square one as if it was the first day that Rex Ryan was here. So we’re just kind of reinstalling the defense from the ground up. We’re getting some good work. I think Tony Sparano, his side of the ball, the tempo they’re working on is helping us out a lot and just the physicality that they’re bringing to the practice is helping us out a lot.”
*On if the defense has gotten quicker:
“I think so. We really haven’t had a choice because of what the offense is doing with the tempo that they’re coming with. Like I said before, they’re really helping us out. Practice in general is a lot faster, I don’t know if you guys can see it but it’s just a faster tempo. And there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be a step faster. We’re going on our fourth year which a lot of guys have been in the system. Sometimes we don’t have to talk to each other, I’ll know what Eric Smith thinking, where he’s going to be, or Darrelle (Revis) knows where I’m going to be. That is a great connection and it’s been really good work this past month.”
*On the defense showing a lot more four-man fronts:
“I think the addition of Coach Karl Dunbar and where he came from with Jared Allen and Kevin Williams and those guys, is helping us out just in terms of being able to run a four-man line. Whether or not we’re going to do it in a game, I don’t know. So far we’ve been doing it a lot more than we have in the past couple of off-seasons so I’m excited about it.”
*Revis shared these thoughts on how important it is for the team to grow during mini-camp:
“I think to really answer your question; we’ve been trying to grow through all of OTA’s and our off-season program. This is just three more days that are mandatory. Of course we’re just getting better and improving. I think that’s how we’re approaching these last three days. It’s really just to get some great work in before we break off and go our separate ways to work out during the summertime.”
*Can this team’s defense get back to being the best in the NFL:
“Yeah, I mean every year we’ve been in the top five in defense. So last year it was a bunch of mistakes going on but we just have to improve. And I think that’s how we approached this offseason is communicating better on defense and just being a sound defense overall. Running to the ball, make sure we’re doing the little things, and communicating. So we really can. This year is an exciting year for us to actually get back and compete. I think a lot of guys on defense felt that we failed as a defense a little bit in terms of accomplishing what we wanted to accomplish last year. This year we’re excited, we have a lot of guys back and we’re just ready to play ball. I think that’s where the focus is at on defense.”
What is the mentality of the defense thus far:
“We want to be number one. Rex (Ryan) and Mike Pettine and our coaching staff on defense, Dennis Thurman as well, we want to be number one. We don’t want any teams scoring and that’s how we try to approach it. Every time we step out on the field we just want to stop the opponents as much as we can.”
Fans of the Jets are encouraged to check in with team’s hotline at 973-549-4844, website www.newyorkjets.com, Twitter (@nyjets) and Facebook (Facebook.com/Jets) prior to heading down to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center for mini-camp.
There is expected to be incremental weather over the next few days, so fans should make sure to check in before driving on down.