For the second season in a row, the Jets have to finish their campaign without S Jim Leonhard, the vocal leader of the secondary. The Gang Green have a pretty good backup plan, all things considered, with seventh-year veteran Brodney Pool stepping in. Pool started 12 games last season and has started three this year.
S Eric Smith will take over Leonhard's role of directing his teammates and calling out signals. The way we hear it, Smith has the smarts to lessen the drop-off in making defensive calls with Leonhard out. Pool brings good size and speed to the position. "Athletically, he's exactly what you look for. He has size. He has speed (and) range. He's tough. He'll hit, so like I said, we're really fortunate that we have Brodney," Rex Ryan said Friday.
Don't expect to see many three-safety looks without Leonhard. CB Donald Strickland has been covering tight ends. Ryan confirmed that Tracy Wilson, an undrafted rookie, would be the first safety off the bench. The team did acquire veteran S Gerald Alexander.
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- Jim Leonhard
- Brodney Pool