Dee Milliner Survives Roller Coaster Season

Dee Milliner loves the game of football but is not certain if he enjoys riding roller coasters. The 2013 first round selection of the New York Jets rode the highs and lows as an NFL rookie cornerback. Relegated to the bench three different times by Coach Rex Ryan, the former UA All-America cornerback rebounded, earning the AFC Defensive Player of the Week Rookie of the Month honors for December.

Dee Milliner persevered through the adverse circumstances to finish the season with a flurry, and record three interceptions. His first was against the Cleveland Browns in week 16 and he followed up with two picks the following game against the Miami Dolphins. The second-year pro has visions of greatness. Comments reported from a July preseason training camp interview illustrate the level of confidence Milliner exudes. “The best corner in the league? Me,” Milliner told the Daily News (NY) after a practice last month. “I ain’t gonna say that somebody else is better than me.”

He elaborated, “I’m not going to say somebody that plays the same position is better than me,” Milliner said. “Don’t care if they’ve been in the league 10 years and I’ve been here five months. That’s how it’s going to go. I’m the best. I’m not going to say that another man that plays the same position… and say he’s better than me? I can’t do that.”

Milliner has aspirations to wear the golden colored blazer fashioned by all Pro Football Hall of Fame members.

“I want to be great,” Milliner said. “That’s the difference between the players that are in the Hall of Fame and not in the Hall of Fame…. You want to do great things.

That’s what I want to do.”

“Yeah, that motivates me,” Milliner said. “When you’re through with your career, you want to be in the Hall of Fame. But as you go, you got to progress. This is only Year 2. So you can’t (think), ‘Oh, I got to be (like that) right now.’ You have to build each year and try to be great each time you get on the field.”

Missing three of the 16 regular season games due to a hamstring injury, Milliner recorded 56 tackles (45 solo, 11 assisted), 3 interceptions, and 17 pass deflections for the year. He was having an outstanding training camp but a high ankle (left) sprain suffered during a 7-on-7 drill in an August 10th practice has curtailed the progress making him unavailable for the rest of the preseason schedule. The New York Jets are convinced Milliner can be their no. 1 cornerback.

’BAMA Magazine/BamaMag.com interviewed the Stanhope Elmore High School (Millbrook) product at MetLife Stadium following the annual exhibition tussle between the New York Giants and New York Jets on Friday evening. Dee Milliner addressed and clarified the recent bold comments, explained the individual turnaround at the end of last season and offered advice to future Alabama defensive backs dreaming of an NFL career.


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