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Dee Milliner’s rocky rookie season ends with AFC defensive player of the week

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Things did not start off well for Jets cornerback Dee Milliner in his rookie season.

Milliner battled injuries during the summer and then got benched more than once early in the year as teams picked on him to positive effect in the passing game. Rex Ryan offered weekly support for the rookie, but the results didn’t get better right away.

They did eventually get better, though. Safety Ed Reed took on a mentorship role with Milliner and the rookie closed the season showing improved play. That culminated in two interceptions and a large hand in a quiet day from wide receiver Mike Wallace in the 20-7 Jets win that knocked the Dolphins out of playoff contention.

Milliner has been named the AFC defensive player of the week as a result, leaving things on a high note that creates a lot more optimism about his future than there was a month ago. If Milliner can build on that, Ryan’s praise of Milliner when he was struggling will seem a lot less hyperbolic than some other things Ryan’s said over the years.

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18 Responses to “Dee Milliner’s rocky rookie season ends with AFC defensive player of the week”
  1. FinFan68 says: Dec 31, 2013 11:53 AM

    He played much better than he did in his first game against the Dolphins. He looks like he will be fairly good once he gets things figured out.

  2. ryann252013 says: Dec 31, 2013 11:57 AM

    Rex Ryan was right. He does look like the best rookie cornerback right now. This kid has been improving since the saints game.

  3. pisano says: Dec 31, 2013 11:59 AM

    That’s all well and good, but the rest of the year he was getting beat left and right. He was the Geno Smith of the defense. They both had that Deer in the headlights look.

  4. helixir1 says: Dec 31, 2013 12:00 PM

    Nevermind… Give the award to the ref who didn’t make the pass interference call the play before in the end zone.

  5. tomny0970 says: Dec 31, 2013 12:10 PM

    Even when Milliner was playing dreadfully in the first half of the season he would mix in some pretty good plays with a great many more awful ones. But really he has been playing good for a couple of weeks now. I think his biggest problem is he’s trying to play the position by playing the receiver’s eyes and body without EVER looking back at the ball. He is setting himself up to be called regularly for pass interference penalties if he can’t get used to just turning his head around at the last moment. But he is someone I am okay going into next season with as a starting corner. And that’s a positive.

  6. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Dec 31, 2013 12:15 PM

    This game was a step in the right direction for Milliner, but the conversation is far from over on him & his play…

  7. whatnojets says: Dec 31, 2013 12:16 PM

    Better than the guy we sent to Tampa Bay!.
    What was his name…….????? I forgot!!

  8. phillyfinsfan says: Dec 31, 2013 12:21 PM

    Nice blatant interference non-call in the end zone by Milliner on Wallace . The officiating this season has been horrendous. With that said, the Jets still would have won the game because the Dolphins were playing like they were all wearing skirts.

  9. ravenswhat says: Dec 31, 2013 12:21 PM

    The jets would be wise to re-sign Ed for another year. When he takes a dude under his wing, they tend to flourish. Ed has always been a great mentor and doesn’t seem to mind helping. See ravens corners.

  10. raenray2 says: Dec 31, 2013 12:30 PM

    The pass defended in the end zone was not a penalty. You are aloud to stick your hands out like he did you just can’t push or turn the wideout as he goes for the catch. Know your football

  11. scmems07 says: Dec 31, 2013 12:39 PM

    of the first 3 picks for the jets, 2 of them have been benched at least once during the season for poor play.

  12. vinsonmount says: Dec 31, 2013 12:40 PM

    Lets see how he does against Dustin Keller the ex Jet that was signed by the Dolphins and was out all season. Its a lot harder covering good tight ends!!

  13. ttommytom says: Dec 31, 2013 12:44 PM

    He looked terrible at The Combine. The same way he looked after many a Sunday.

    I thought it was a bad pick and it still might be. How he turned it around is why I post here and others coach in the NFL.

  14. pftfan says: Dec 31, 2013 12:51 PM

    Good on him. QB’s will stop picking on him once they see how effective he is at jumping routes (unarguably his biggest strength).

    3 INTs in final two games is definitely cause for optimism for his future.

  15. larry321 says: Dec 31, 2013 1:08 PM

    He played really well the week before against Josh Gordon. Richardson looks like a stud, Milliner is starting to show flashes of excellence, and if Geno ever pulls it together, Idzik will look like an absolute genius.

  16. zeke2517 says: Dec 31, 2013 2:12 PM

    “of the first 3 picks for the jets, 2 of them have been benched at least once during the season for poor play.”

    Speaking of marginally relevant facts, when’s the last time the crappy dolphins won a playoff game?

  17. laxcoach37 says: Dec 31, 2013 3:01 PM

    I guess the Jets think everything they have is gold now that they beat my crappy Dolphins. You do remember you went 8-8 and split with us? That makes you crappy too. Sorry, the truth hurts.

    As for Milliner and his INT came on Wallace falling down… I could have made that play with a Beer in in one hand. The End Zone play was blatant Pass Interference and even the Jets Fans I was with said so. He gave up 119 yds in passing. Nothing to write home about. Having said all this, he will be a decent but not a great Corner. Trufant was the best Cover CB in the draft followed by X. Rhodes the most talented overall if he learns theNFL game quicker. Hopefully Milliner doesnt learn from Cromartie who literally holds on every play.

  18. peepeetoucher says: Jan 1, 2014 4:45 PM

    Do you remember that your dolphins spent over a 100 millions dollars to be 8-8 laxcoach? The jets spent nothing on bottom of the barrel players and still ended up with the same record. That’s the difference. I thought Miami was supposed to challenge the pats this year for division lol, but instead got swept by the Bills and failed against the Jets with playoffs on the line.

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