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Jets think Muhammad Wilkerson on the verge of breakout season

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Part of the reason the Jets are thinking about using more 4-3 defense this year is because of the ascension of defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson.

And in typical Jets fashion, they’re not afraid of pumping him up a bit.

Jets coaches said he could become every bit as dominant at his position as cornerback Darrelle Revis is at his.

“Looking back on the spring, if I had to rank our guys – outside of Revis – he was the best player on the field,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “He was dominant at times … He doesn’t take a day off. He doesn’t take a play off.”

He may not get much of a chance. Pettine told Mehta he expects Wilkerson to play “80-plus percent” of the Jets defensive snaps, a huge burden for a big man, considering he played fewer than 60 percent last year.

“Mo’s only going to come off the field when he needs a break,” Pettine said.

The Revis comparisons in Jets camp extend to their off-field preparation, as coach Rex Ryan hailed Wilkerson’s film study.

“If Rex is telling you that, that just shows you all the confidence he has in me as a player,” Wilkerson said.

It’s enough confidence to change an entire scheme, and adjust the expectations accordingly.

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13 Responses to “Jets think Muhammad Wilkerson on the verge of breakout season”
  1. jenniferxxx says: Jun 20, 2012 1:34 PM

    I heard that Tim Tebow was replacing him on obvious passing downs.

  2. voxnovo says: Jun 20, 2012 2:13 PM

    “Pettine told Mehta he expects Wilkerson to play “80-plus percent” of the Jets defensive snaps, a huge burden for a big man, considering he played fewer than 60 percent last year.”

    Huh? Going from under 60 percent of the snaps one season to over 80 percent the next is “a huge burden”? For a young player?

  3. nxsteven says: Jun 20, 2012 2:25 PM

    It’s just a lot easier to find a 4-3 DE than a 3-4 OLB. Wilkerson is a DE/DT combo type of player. Considering the Defense was asked to drop weight and focus on speed he’s probably better suited as a DE this season.

    With Pouha and Devito on the inside that’s more than enough sure tackling and technically sound football in the middle. True run stuffers.

    Or you could have Wilk OR Coples play DT alongside Pouha with Wilk OR Coples opposite Maybin/Sapp/Pace depending on down and distance.

  4. cooklynn17 says: Jun 20, 2012 2:29 PM

    I think they meant to say break down season.

  5. nofaceangler718 says: Jun 20, 2012 2:40 PM

    WOW!!!!! I know he was a rookie, but this guy was awful last season. He made one big play where he sacked a qb for a safety, but on that one the olineman moved out of his way and the qb fell into his arms. Other than that play you wouldn’t have known he was on the field. He was consistently moved by olinemen on running plays, and on passing downs he was consistently stood up in one on one blocks by TEs and RBs. Opposing teams never even sent a double team in his direction. Not only that but he was always late off the snap. I’m a huge Jets fan and I watched every game. I watched pretty much every play several times in slo mo and I focused on him because he was the #1 pick. He looked terrible. I didn’t see anything that made me enthusiastic. The DT Ellis, on the other hand, looked like he might be a player. Again, I know he was a rookie, but Wilkerson barely did anything last year. Can anyone remember him pressuring a QB? I can’t.

    Same old Jets. They are pumping up Dwayne Hunter too!!! Ugh

  6. grndizzle says: Jun 20, 2012 3:03 PM

    @noface-You must be kidding. Ellis, looked like he might be a player?. He was hardly on the field for a reason, he’s a project at best. He stands way to upright to have an impact on the interior line. Mo on the other hand is a natural 4-3 DE, that’s why they’re going to play a lot more 4-3 this year with him and Coples on the edge. He held up well against the run last year and 3-4DE’s don’t generate a lot of sacks, they just do the dirty work.

  7. grndizzle says: Jun 20, 2012 3:17 PM

    If you were really a Jets fan you would know it’s Wayne Hunter, not Dwayne Hunter.

  8. CaJonMcChicken says: Jun 20, 2012 3:31 PM

    “If Rex is telling you that, that just shows you all the confidence he has in me as a player,” Wilkerson said.

    That’s not saying much since Rex predicted 2 superbowls. So far.

  9. stavreafavre says: Jun 20, 2012 3:40 PM

    It’s nice we hear so much about the invincible Jets before the season starts, because we never seem to hear anything after the regular season ends.

  10. covercorner says: Jun 20, 2012 5:10 PM

    Yeah, he does have to break out of prison first.

  11. gbrown23 says: Jun 20, 2012 5:37 PM

    It’s great to see Wilkerson beginning to come into his own. Last season, while he wasn’t a consummate All-Pro, he did a solid job filling in for Shaun Ellis who had previously manned the position for ten years and showed flashes many a time. His time and effort clearly speaks for itself and with a full offseason program, which was not available to him last season (Thanks lockout!), I’m certain Wilkerson will have great things to add to what will hopefully be one of the most potent defensive lines in the league.

  12. onegamedoesnotaseasonmake says: Jun 20, 2012 10:13 PM

    and if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle.

  13. jetstizzi85 says: Jun 21, 2012 4:32 PM

    @nofaceangler718 – maybe you should rewatch those games. Mo was getting double teamed in most games last season.

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