Alabama coach Nick Saban thinks his old cornerback Dee Milliner will fit in well with the Jets, who selected him with the ninth pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night. But Saban would prefer not to hear about how Milliner is the heir apparent to the departed Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Saban got a little cranky when reporters at Radio City Music Hall began to ask him about Revis on Thursday night.
“I can already tell the tone of what you all are doing,” Saban told reporters. “What’s Revis got to do with Dee Milliner coming here? Just let Dee Milliner be Dee Milliner. Let Dee Milliner play like Dee Milliner plays. Whether Revis used to play there or not, what’s that got to do with Dee Milliner? Why do you want to make comparisons and make it like a circumstance for the guy before he ever gets a chance to go on the field? I think Dee has a vision for the kind of player that he wants to be, and I think he’ll be a very, very good player for a long time.”
Saban also said he hopes New York fans realize it would be counterproductive to get on Milliner’s case just because he’s not Revis.
“People have a much better chance of helping Dee Milliner be successful by being positive and supportive rather than being difficult on him,” Saban said.
Whether Saban likes it or not, however, Milliner is going to be viewed as the Revis’s replacement. And if Milliner doesn’t live up to his Top 10 draft pick pedigree, he’s going to find out that New York is a tough town.