So of course, when his defense loses three guys to injury all within a span of 24 hours, one of which is out for the season with a torn ACL, that doesn't scare Ryan. In fact, it makes him feel more confident in his defense, which he told Rich Cimini of ESPN New York on Monday while at the team's practice in Cortland.
"This is going to work, we just don't necessarily know how yet," Ryan said. "One thing we know for a fact: This defense will be an outstanding defense."
The Jets have taken a bit of a pounding as far as criticism goes, especially since they lost out on the chance to bring back Darrelle Revis or signing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and for cutting loose Antonio Cromartie, which has now left their secondary rather bleak for their game on Saturday night against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
While the team has talked to veteran corner Asante Samuel about a possible contract and roster spot, safety Antonio Allen has shifted over from safety to cornerback in the meantime because of the lack of depth at the position. Ryan, still very confident in his defense, said he doesn't feel like the team needs an elite corner, much less a top-performing corner, for the defense to be effective this season.
"I never said I had to have the top corner in football," said Ryan, who actually had that player from 2009 to 2012 in Darrelle Revis. "My defenses work, period. I don't care what anybody thinks. We take what we have and we work around it."
While Ryan has top-level talent on defense in Sheldon Richardson, Muhammed Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, David Harris and rookie Calvin Pryor, Ryan's scheme of man-to-man best works with top cornerbacks being able to shut down the other team's wide receivers and with a lack of proven players at the position, it's going to be up to the Jets to either trust what they have, or go out and sign someone who can pick up the slack.
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