There may be some question marks surrounding the Jets’ unit of corners. Robert Saleh, however, is portraying confidence.
While the Jets made improvements on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, bringing in Carl Lawson/Jarrad Davis and returning C.J. Mosley following his 2020 opt-out, there remains uncertainty in regard to the cornerback group.
The inexperienced and, at times, inconsistent Bryce Hall and Bless Austin could be the pair of individuals performing in the starting lineup. It introduces the debate of whether the Jets could acquire a veteran such as Richard Sherman (who was with Robert Saleh in San Francisco).
The possibility of that move still exists. Nonetheless, the rookie head coach seemingly notices potential in the current young group.
“We’ve seen some good improvement,” Saleh told DJ Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News Thursday. “Joe [Douglas] and I were just talking a little about it today, we’ll talk more obviously in the next couple of weeks, we were just talking about some of the rookies and the improvements that they’ve made. We talked about the guys who have been here, and the improvements that they’ve made, and the excitement to get them to training camp, to get them against other receivers, to see them against the receivers that the Giants have in the first preseason game, and to see them against Green Bay and Philadelphia.
“These are going to be really great moments for those guys because we are going to be able to see what they are capable of doing. There has been some good improvement and there’s a lot to look forward to.”
The defensive backfield in Florham Park isn’t set up to be a complete issue for New York. Lamarcus Joyner is a versatile veteran who can assume a safety role and additionally see time at nickel corner. Marcus Maye, on the other hand, is one of the top young safeties in the league and coming off a 2020 campaign in which he recorded 88 combined tackles, two picks, and 11 pass breakups (all career-highs).
The performance of the secondary will be immensely crucial for what the Jets are looking to build on the front end of the defense. Employing Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams, C.J. Mosley, John Franklin-Myers, and Sheldon Rankins means the team possesses the chance to succeed on the pass-rushing and run-defending fronts.
A strong secondary could free up that opportunity to produce within the front seven. It’s unknown who could eventually be a part of that development in the cornerback roles, but Saleh at least carries confidence in the present-day options.