Do the Jets really have defensive strategy problems?
The New York Jets are having issues on defense, and it stems from a philosophical change the team wasn’t built to handle. This team was built and drafted based on a base 3-4 defense.
There’s one problem. The defense of the New York Jets have been playing a lot of 4-3, and the team isn’t built to play a lot of 4-3. The Jets are built to rush from the edge with their linebackers. They also have linebackers who can cover tight ends and running backs man to man.
When you shift from 3-4 to 4-3, there’s a drastic philosophical change. The zones and man coverage schemes change as a result of having another lineman on the field.
When he was the defensive coordinator in Arizona, Todd Bowles blitzed a lot out of the 3-4. It’s very deceptive because it’s difficult to figure out where the extra rushers are coming from.
In his two seasons in Arizona, the Cardinals were fifth in the NFL in interceptions, in part due to their ability to get to the quarterback.
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Last season, the Jets had 18 interceptions, which was one fewer than the previous two seasons combined.
The Jets could get back to their ball-hawking ways if they can get pressure on the quarterback. It’s too easy to match up against the Jets right now because the opponents know who’s coming.
The defense is way too predictable. From blitz location to coverages, they’re too vanilla. The coaches could get more creative with the 4-3 scheme. However, they aren’t built to play that way.
Ultimately, the defensive production of the Jets will revolve around getting to the quarterback. Therefore, it’s time to get back to the drawing board and look to a scheme change.