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.