Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The NFL’s recent cut confirms the Jets’ decision to trust rookie

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It’s always easy to get veterans in during the off-season. We all do it as fans, me included.

However, despite criticism from many supporters and the media, the New York Jets made a bold decision this spring and summer – they wanted to work together to develop their youth. That meant start-up troops and second year players in key positions like Nickelback.

In the modern NFL, the Nickel DB is a ton on the field, and its responsibility is more integral than ever. Rookie Michael Carter II has been phenomenal in that role so far in 2021, but he wasn’t most fans’ first choice.

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Brian Poole has been a solid free agent pickup truck for the Jets during his tenure here. The slot DB has been one of the most consistent men in high school over the past few seasons before an injury derailed its 2020 season.

In the end, Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh decided to design his replacement at Carter, with Javelin Guidry also on the roster as a secondary option. That didn’t stop the Gang Green Nation from demanding his return until he signed with the New Orleans Saints.

Since then, Carter and Guidry have become staunch defenders as Poole dealt with more complaints and joined the Saints’ injured reserve. On October 12, New Orleans decided to release the veteran with an injury settlement according to reporter Nick Underhill.

Poole never played a game for NOLA, which confirmed the Jets’ decision to roll with the youth. There will always be ups and downs with inexperienced players, but vets aren’t foolproof either. Just look at how many NYJ signings were injured in 2021.

Carl Lawson, Lamarcus Joyner, Vinny Curry, Jarrad Davis, and Ronald Blair have all never played a full game. Joyner is the only one who ever hit the field during the regular season, and he didn’t make it through Week 1. Even now, with the way the cornerbacks played, some Jets fans are still contemplating a return from Poole.

It’s unclear if Poole will play again in 2021, but his injury agreement with the Saints allows him to explore other options when he’s healthy. We really wish the former Jets-Nickelback the best and hope he finds a role somewhere soon, but with Carter and Guidry succeeding in that defense we are all ready for the time being.

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Poole may have been the average fan’s eyeball, but there have been other cornerbacks Douglas passed on. Richard Sherman never seemed to return interest in a rebuild team like the Jets, but after his legal saga, the chances of New York signing him were slim.

The other name that many loved was former Pittsburgh Steelers CB Steven Nelson. To be fair, he’s currently starting for the Philadelphia Eagles and doing well according to Pro Football Focus.

Nelson currently has a total coverage of 73.0 and a PFF coverage of 72.3, which would be an improvement over Brandin Echols. The bigger point, however, remains – how do you determine without repetition which of these rookies deserve a long-term squad spot?

After all, Bryce Hall was a bit shaky during its rookie season, and it already is showed great progress in year two. If you watch him play, the 2020 five-round player has all the characteristics of a true CB1.

Saleh and Douglas will keep building the design because they believe a sustainable winner is engineered that way. It may take a little more patience, but there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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After all, Bryce Hall was a bit shaky during its rookie season, and it already is showed great progress in year two. If you watch him play, the 2020 five-round player has all the characteristics of a true CB1.



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