As a rookie, Jets cornerback Dee Milliner started 12 games, and he intercepted three passes for one of the NFL’s better defenses.
But it wasn’t a smooth first season for the 2013 first-rounder from Alabama. He dealt with multiple injuries, and he had some struggles. Moreover, the Jets’ pass defense was not a strength, with the club surrendering the 11th-most passing yards per contest.
Nevertheless, Milliner believes he ended his rookie season well, as he told the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser.
“Yeah, I never thought it would go like it went,” Milliner said of his rookie season in a story published by the Advertiser on Tuesday. “But it was great, it just started off rough. I expected to have a better year but I finished the way that I wanted to play the whole year, so I felt great about that.
“Coming into this year, that’s what I’m trying to do. The way I finished, I want it to be like that the whole year, be consistent in my play.”
Player ratings service Pro Football Focus gave Milliner his three highest game grades of the season in December, so there’s something to his belief regarding his late-season improvement. If he can continue on that arc, it will help a secondary that has parted ways with accomplished cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis in back-to-back offseasons.