NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The way the Jets are talking, you may want to start saving up for playoff tickets now.
Calvin Pace was the latest to join the confidence conga line, telling the Daily News over the weekend that New York’s defense is tops in the National Football League.
“(Compared to) the rest of the defenses in the NFL? S—, man, we’re the best,” Pace said.
Coach Rex Ryan and at least two of his players — David Nelson and DeMario Davis — have said the Jets are a postseason team. On Saturday, second-year cornerback Dee Milliner told the Daily News he’s the best in the league at his position.
But Lombardi trophies aren’t won on the back pages. While the Jets’ offense hopes to take the next step, their defense is coming off an 11th-overall finish in 2013. That’s the unit’s worst ranking ever under Ryan.
“You ask anybody around the league, we’re not the team you want to see coming in, even in a down year,” Pace told the Daily News.
Pace has reason to be excited. Damon Harrison, Muhammad Wilkerson and Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson are back to anchor the defensive line. The Jets drafted hard-hitting safety Calvin Pryor, who suffered a concussion at training camp, and he’s expected to be a big contributor this season. Two-time Pro Bowler Jason Babin was signed last week to bolster the pass rush.
Any improvement from Milliner, even if he doesn’t live up to his self-proclaimed billing, would give the Jets a boost, too.
“We’re the benchmark when we’re doing well,” said Pace, who was a member of the team’s top-ranked defense in 2009. “I’ll take these guys and Rex and this system any day.”
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