Should he stay or go: Dennis Thurman

Jets General Manager John Idzik has several big decisions to make this offseason. In order for the Jets to become serious contenders, their offense must catch up to the playing level of their defense. The Jets still have some questions at quarterback and wide receiver. While the sturdy defense has a solid mix of youth and experience, Dennis Thurman could be the odd man out in the Big Apple.

With the 2013 season over for Gang Green, now comes the question of whether or not Dennis Thurman should return next season. One may suggest, why fix what isn't broken. The Jets finished the season with the No. 11 ranked defense (Yards per game) and allowed the third least rushing yards a game. However, those statistics don't tell the whole story.

Thurman, a former cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Cardinals, completed his first year as defensive coordinator. Thurman severed several years as the secondary coach, but he is now in charge of the entire defense. Thurman brought a ton of familiarity and experience to the Jets. Thurman served as the Jets defensive backs coach prior to his promotion. He has experience working under Rex Ryan in Baltimore and has helped develop players like Darrelle Revis for New York.

The Jets passing defense ranked No. 22, allowing almost 250 yards per game. Passing defense is believed to be Thurman's strong suit and while this is his first season, the passing defense was the defense's Achilles heel. Numerous times Jets fans watched corners like Antonio Cromartie and Dee Milliner blow coverages or get beat deep and hold their hands up confused as the opponents ran in for six points. These woes may give one cause to pause and question whether it was Thurman's schemes or player personnel to blame.

Thurman had to replace an All-Pro cornerback with a rookie. No one thought Milliner would replace Revis, especially not in his rookie season. The Jets young defense looks to only get better and Milliner finished the season playing some of his best football.

With all this said it seems like Thurman returning makes the most sense and both parties would benefit. Thurman has demonstrated his ability to have a quick hook when it comes to poor play as he benched Milliner during the season after the rookie missed a huge tackle against Miami's Mike Wallace. Thurman has become Ryan's partner in crime when it comes to running the defense and it does not look like it will come to an end this year.

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