CB D.J. Reed: 'We Can Be Historical' on Jet Defense

Jets' defense voices ambitions, setting season aspirations high.

by Nouman Rasool
CB D.J. Reed: 'We Can Be Historical' on Jet Defense
© Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The New York Jets are already buzzing with excitement, and it's not just because of Aaron Rodgers' high-profile arrival. The defence, which was instrumental in shaping the previous season, promises an even better show this time around.

On Monday, star cornerback D.J. Reed voiced his confidence, asserting, "We have the potential to be the best defence in the NFL. Honestly, we can even achieve historic greatness, reminiscent of the legendary '85-'86 Bears or the 2013 Seahawks' Legion of Boom." His reference to the celebrated defensive squads, integral to their teams’ Super Bowl successes, is a towering ambition.

Ambitions like this could be seen as tall orders, especially for Gang Green. But, analyzing the defence reveals a tapestry of talent at every layer, giving Reed's claims some sturdy legs to stand on. Complementing Reed on the other side is Sauce Gardner, last season's AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

He is projected to continue his ascendant trajectory. In the heart of the action, C.J. Mosley, back at his best, manages the defence from the inside linebacker slot. He reclaimed his second-team All-Pro stature last year after a gap since 2019.

Furthermore, Quinnen Williams recently bagged the title of the second-highest-paid interior defensive lineman in NFL history. Reinforcing this star-studded lineup is John Franklin-Myers, who registered five impressive sacks in 2022.

Echoing Reed’s sentiments, he remarked, "Why shouldn’t we voice our ambitions? We’re game to challenge expectations and declare our Super Bowl aspirations, or our intent to be the league's best defense."

Stats Validate Jets' Defensive Claims

Despite their ambitious statements, the stats back up the Jets' claims.

Last season, they had the fourth-best defence, both in terms of points and yards allowed. Their road to becoming the best, however, requires strategic improvements, especially in run defence and turnover creation. Even though they had an impressive record in passing defence in 2022, their 16th rank in rushing defence and a mere 16 forced turnovers (ranked 29th) show areas needing urgent attention.

Franklin-Myers highlighted turnovers, stating, "It’s the pivotal metric in football. Mastering this will propel us from fourth to the top." With Rodgers bolstering the offence, the onus is now on the defence to match up.

The next month will indeed be a trial by fire, as they face powerhouses like the Bills, Cowboys, and Chiefs. Recognizing the challenge, Mosley added, "When our teammates set these benchmarks, it's on us to deliver an unparalleled performance."