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GM Mike Maccagnan and HC Todd Bowles continued their work to infuse the LB corps, led by longtime Jet David Harris, with talented youth. Darron Lee was drafted in the first round (20th overall) out of Ohio State and Jordan Jenkins arrived in Round 3 (83rd overall) out of Georgia.
It should come as no surprise that the Jets’ rush defense has rebounded from its one poor outing of the season. With David Harris back in the lineup, the Green & White have yielded just 39.5 yards per game during the team’s two-game win streak.
The Cardinals remain the only team to have topped 100 yards on the ground against the Jets, amassing 171 in a 26-3 win. But Harris missed that contest as a balky hamstring snapped a streak of 121 consecutive starts. He remains the defense’s heart and Harris embraces the challenge ahead of slowing down a streaking Jay Ajayi.
“It doesn’t happen much, but he’s playing out of his mind right now,” Harris said of Ajayi’s back-to-back 200-yard efforts. “The offensive line is getting downhill and punishing the front-seven fronts. We know the challenge we’re faced with and we’re looking forward to it.”
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Entering Week 9, the Jets defense leads the NFL while surrendering just 74 rush yards per game. In front of Ajayi, the Dolphins have a formidable line from left to right in Branden Albert, Laremy Tunsil, Mike Pouncey, Jermon Bushrod and Ju’Wuan James.
“They play well together. They get movement, they’re cutting off backside pursuits, which is opening up lanes for the running back,” Harris said. “Pretty much, they create two different holes every play. We need to play real good, solid defense up front and make sure we take all those possible gaps away.”
David Harris has never basked in the spotlight. While polite and friendly, one of the top defenders in Jets history grudgingly accepts interviews. During an on-camera catch-up this week, Harris was asked about the 85 tackles he needs to become the second most prolific tackler in franchise history.
“It may cross my mind every once in a while. But at the end of the day, I just know if I go out there and just do my job, that will come,” says Harris, who should pass Mo Lewis (1,231) on the team’s all-list in 2016. “So I’m not going to go out there pressing… No I’m not going to go out like that. I’m just going to go out there and do my job and if I pass it, I pass it this year. But that’s not in my mind right now.”
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Harris, who again paced the Jets with 128 tackles last season, has led the club in stops and reached the 100-mark in eight of his nine professional seasons. He again will be counted on cheap new york jets jerseys heavily as the Todd Bowles era reaches Year 2. Last season, the Jets finished 4th overall defensively including 2nd against the run, 3rd on third down and T3 in takeaways.
“I came in this year in the best shape of my life, the lowest body [fat] percentage I’ve ever been at, the lowest weight I’ve ever been at, smarter, spent more time focusing on the mental aspect of the game, controlling that,” Marshall told reporters today as the Jets players cleaned out their lockers following the final game of the season Sunday. “So I was expecting big things.”
The big things did not come for the Jets, who finished 5-11 with the 30-10 win over the Bills. And Marshall sat the game out due to hip and shoulder injuries that he said would have made him “probably the least effective receiver out there.”
Quincy Enunwa had a revealing take on his being targeted on 14 passes and catching 13 of them so far this season. He said one of the biggest catches Thursday at Buffalo’s New Era Field almost didn’t happen.
As a result, Marshall went from 2015, when he had “my most productive year” in setting multiple Jets and personal marks, to 2016, which he said today was “definitely, probably my most frustrating year” — his fewest receptions in a season, 59, and his least yardage/game at 52.5 both since his rookie year of ’06 with the Broncos.