New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Rex: We weren’t taking Irvin that high
Sure, the Jets were looking to take Bruce Irvin. Just not with the 16th pick in the draft.
Rex Ryan shot down a recent report that said the Jets were aiming to grab the Wake Forest defensive end, but settled on Quinton Coples when Seattle selected Irvin at No. 15.
“Not at No. 16, I can tell you that much,” the Jets coach said at a charity event for a fan in Eatontown, N.J. Tuesday night. “'He’s a guy we did a lot of stuff on. We liked Bruce Irvin as a player, but not ahead of the first two guys we took.”
After taking Coples with the 16th pick, the Jets targeted WR Stephen Hill in the second and linebacker Demario Davis in the third.
All three are speedy and athletic -- and fit perfectly in the Jets new, physical and fast philosophy for 2012.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said he did “mental backflip” when Coples, a defensive end from UNC, was still on the board for the Jets. Though raw, Pettine also said Davis’ skills against tight ends will be an asset for the team, which expects to have a better plan for covering big guys like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
The AFC East, as Pettine put it, “runs through Foxboro.”
“New England has set the trend for it, and we have to respond to it,” the defensive coordinator said. “That’s why we kind of have to find those guys who maybe 10 years ago weren’t your natural inside backers because of their size.”
Ryan said he and Pettine will collaborate on the defensive play-calling this season. The defensive coordinator said it wasn’t a big deal because after all their years together in New York and Baltimore “it’s like we share the same brain,” said Pettine.
“I just think he wanted to make more of a conscious effort to be in some of the meetings,” said the coordinator, who did most of the play-calling last year, though Ryan always had input. “He’s already been in some of our spring meetings. ...I just think that maybe he felt that on his plate he kind of strayed a little bit away from football too much, and I think he wants to get back to it.”
Ryan also called it “hilarious” that NFL draft experts have only given the Jets a so-so rating, compared to other teams.