Since April, everyone knew that New York Jets rookie cornerback Dee Milliner had a lot to live up to. He will forever be linked to former Jets superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis since being drafted by the team days after Revis was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Some scouts said that Milliner could be the next Revis. Based off of what he has shown this year, no one can tell where this comparison came from. After a great college career with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Milliner has done very little and practically made no impact as a pro. Even though he is only a rookie and has plenty of time to learn and tone his game up, how much longer will it take for him to be labeled as a draft bust?
Milliner’s two issues this year have been health and performance. Throughout the 2013 season, Milliner has been battling a hamstring injury. Because of that, he missed half of the games already played. He needs to take care of himself and make sure he does not aggravate his hamstring again. Even though he is now good to go, he still should make sure he is not overexerting himself. To put it simply, he should not play if his hamstring, or any other part of his body, bothers him that much.
When he has been healthy, he has been rather irrelevant. Every game consists of him getting beat by opposing receivers and not defending the pass well. In fact, he was already benched in two games due to his poor quality of play. It has been well-documented that this is more of a rebuilding year for the Jets, but coaches, fans, and team executives will still want to see some immediate results. Milliner has shown no progress and continues to make the same mistakes. Giving up on him now would be outrageous, but the conclusion can be drawn that he is not ready to be a starter. Until he begins to establish himself, Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman should spend some time with him going over techniques and game film so he can understand what he has to do to be successful.
Like Ryan said after the comparisons to Revis, Dee Milliner is here to be Dee Milliner. Does that mean the athletic and talented cornerback from two national championship teams or someone who continues to find himself steps behind receivers making first down receptions? That is up to Milliner. Revis was no standout in his rookie year, but he did everything he could to develop his skills and eventually become arguably the best defensive player in the league. This does not mean that Milliner will be as good as Revis or even better if he starts to figure out what he is doing wrong, but it will benefit him and make him a better player.
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