Jets coach Rex Ryan was asked on Thursday night whether new cornerback Dee Milliner or veteran Antonio Cromartie is the replacement for Darrelle Revis in the Jets’ defense. Ryan answered none of the above.
“Nobody replaces Revis,” Ryan said.
But Ryan said he’s excited about what the Jets can do on defense by pairing Cromartie and Milliner.
“We want Cro to be Cro and we want to Dee Milliner to be himself,” Ryan said. “That’s it. He’s a great football player. All these guys are. They don’t have to worry about trying to be compared to Darrelle Revis. Darrelle is certainly a great player. I think both these two guys, obviously with Cro making the Pro Bowl last year, and we’ll see with this young man. All he needs to do is be the guy we drafted, that’s be himself, and we’ll be more than happy with that.”
Ryan said the Jets were thrilled that Milliner was still available for them to take with the ninth overall pick in the draft, and he’s also thrilled that Sheldon Richardson was available for the Jets at No. 13.
“I think everybody is surprised, every team in the league is [thinking], ‘I’m surprised that this guy was there,’” Ryan said. “These two players that we got, I think and we’ll all see soon enough when we get out there, but when John mentions these are impactful players, I believe he’s exactly right. These two guys are going to make an impact for us. We love what they bring to the defense – the kind of mentality that both these young men play with are the same traits that we look for in all of our players, but they certainly play like a Jet.”
The last year has been rough on Ryan and the Jets, but he sees a bright future in his two new players.