Robert Saleh 'not surprised' Jets CBs have been playing solid to start season

·2 min read
Brandin Echols during pre-game warmups
Brandin Echols during pre-game warmups

Heading into the new campaign, the Jets' defense had one glaring question mark to outsiders: How will their cornerbacks hold up this season? The question became even bigger when Bless Austin was a surprise cut from the 53-man roster.

But two games have gone by and the corners haven't had any disastrous plays. There isn't one side of the field that's far worse than the other. They're competing and growing in two weeks of the regular season, and head coach Robert Saleh had a feeling that was going to happen.

“I’m not surprised. We can be better in regards to zone eyes and stuff, but [Javelin] Guidry, Michael Carter II, [Brandin] Echols, Bryce [Hall] have been playing fantastic. And they’re only going to get better with more reps and the things they see. They got tested on a couple of go-balls, Echols got tested on a couple of go-balls plus a comeback and he was up to the challenge on two of them. Guidry got tested, he won on one. So they’re going to get tested and they’re going to continue to win and to me it’s a wasted effort by the offense. If they’re going to play the 50-50 game, we’ll take it.”

Week 2 against the New England Patriots saw some pretty solid coverage grades via Pro Football Focus for the Jets' cornerback group. Echols had the highest at 70.0, allowing only 12 yards on two catches (three targets). Carter came next at 65.8, and though he allowed a perfect 6-for-6 out of the slot, he kept receivers in front of him with just 20 yards allowed.

And that's an area C.J. Mosley likes about the cornerbacks group: They aren't afraid to tackle.

"Since OTAs, they’ve been working, battling and going against each other and going against the offense just giving it their all," he said. "And credit to all of them for being great tacklers. A lot of corners, DBs in this league that might shy away from the tackle, shy away from the hit. Our guys are trying to get after it every time.”

Can it be sustained for the rest of the season? The Jets hope so considering they didn't get any free agent help in that area. They'd rather let Saleh work his magic with them, see who grows into starters or not, and just maybe a solid bunch can develop for years to come under team-friendly deals.

That's easier said than done, and the Jets have 15 games left of this season to see how it pans out.

So far, so good.

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