New game, new defensive coordinator.
The Jets defense is trying hard to put the drama of the past couple days behind them as they prepare to face the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson.
While it is easier said than done, two defensive starters threw their support behind interim defensive coordinator Frank Bush on Friday. Bush, who was the team’s assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach, was promoted to take over as the defensive coordinator for the final four games on Monday. He replaces Gregg Williams, who was fired on Monday, the day after his controversial cover-zero blitz call against the Raiders cost the Jets their first victory of the season.
"We all saw what happened," linebacker Neville Hewitt said. "Things in this league happen all the time. Players get cut, coaches get fired and it sucks. We’re all in this together. I have a great relationship with coach Bush. He’s been my coach for a while."
Hewitt, who is responsible for calling the Jets defensive signals, said Tuesday in a podcast on the Jets website that he considered audibling out of Williams’ call. He ultimately decided to stick with the call, believing that they could bring the heat on Derek Carr.
Bush has been coaching in the NFL since 1993, mostly as a linebackers coach. Sunday will be his first game serving as a defensive coordinator in a decade as he spent two seasons in that position for the Houston Oilers in 2009 and 2010.
This test will be anything but easy as the Seahawks are the fourth-highest scoring team in the league, averaging 29.4 points per game.
"I think he'll be great," linebacker Tarell Basham said of Bush. "He's a great coach. He knows us and he knows what we are capable of. He's going to put us in the right position to make plays this week."
With Ashtyn David and Bennett Jackson out, the Jets may have only two healthy safeties: Marcus Maye and third-stringer Mathias Farley.
"We’re looking for volunteers," coach Adam Gase said. Other key absences include linebacker Jordan Jenkins, guard Greg Van Roten and wide receiver Denzel Mims . . . Lamar Jackson, the rookie cornerback who was burned on the game-deciding touchdown last week, is headed back to the bench. Gase said Friday that Bless Austin, who is returning from a neck injury that sidelined him for three games, will start alongside rookie Bryce Hill. On Wednesday, Gase complimented Jackson for his mental toughness, saying he was confident that "Lamar will bounce back."