Whispers: Robertson key to Vilma's success

When playing a blitzing style of defense, like the Jets are this year, it's very helpful to have accomplished man-to-man cover guys, who can shutdown wide receivers, one-on-one, while some of the other players in the secondary blitz.<p>

However, despite not having the type of cover corners Baltimore possesses, Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson has no intention of taking a more conservative approach than his former team the Ravens.

"Go back and look at what I did at Baltimore, that is what we did," said Henderson. "Down there we were aggressive, so let's go do it… We'll find out. If we get beat, we get beat. The slow death is what I don't like. If you get beat on an 81-yarder, make it be for one play. Don't let it be for 18 plays."

This approach is the polar opposite of the Jets former defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, who favored a bend-don't-break philosophy. Only time will tell if the Jets can be successful this year, playing this style, without one shutdown cornerback on the roster, and with their best man-to-man cover guy, Ray Mickens, out for the year . . .

The Jets are taking a big risk with their current backup offensive line situation. They currently only have one reserve offensive lineman with significant experience, in Brent Smith. Backup center Jonathan Goodwin, who might start for Kevin Mawae against Miami, is a third-year player, but remember he is new to the center position. He played guard at Michigan, and for most of his first two years in the NFL. The signing of center Drew Caylor off the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad now gives the Jets three developmental backups. Caylor played just one year of offensive line at Stanford after playing defense his first three years for the Cardinal. Jets rookie backup left tackle Adrian Jones, played tight end his first three years at Kansas after moving over from tight end. And reserve right tackle Marko Cakva is a raw 6-7, 290 pounder, out of low level Sacramento State, who needs a year in the weight room. Usually a team will have one, tops two of these guys, the Jets have three, and none of them seem ready to start in a pinch this year . . .

The Jets coaches continue to stress that defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson is making a lot of important plays that the media and fans don't notice.

"You guys (the media) don't notice 63, but I tell you what, if he keeps playing the way he is playing, he is going to get [Pro Bowl] votes," said Henderson. "There are people going to be voting for him because right now they can't block him. You say what you want, go look at the tape. What he is doing is what a three-technique should be able to do- be disruptive and make [it tough] to block you."

"If I blow up a play, and have two guys on me, somebody else is going to make the play and that is a plus on my behalf," said Robertson. "You took up two blockers. Any time a defensive player can take up two blockers, then he is doing a good job."

Robertson's ability to tie up two blockers is going to be a key to Jonathan Vilma succeeding as the starting middle linebacker, filling in for the injured Sam Cowart.

The undersized Vilma needs defensive tackles to keep him clean to allow him to run around and make tackles. If offensive linemen get on him, the 228-pound Vilma can get engulfed . . .

Jets GM Terry Bradway said this week, "there has never been an offer made, on either side, for Lamont Jordan."

This isn't accurate according to Oakland coach Norv Turner, who said the Raiders did make an offer this off-season . . .

The signing of safety Jarrell Weaver to the practice squad, and the release of wide receiver Carl Kearney from that same unit, shouldn't come as a surprise. The Jets like to alternate one spot every year on the practice squad with a couple of players, to give them both an opportunity. They did this last couple of years with running backs Little John Flowers and Johnathan Reese. Considering practice squad players make almost $5,000 a week, if two players can split those checks over the course of a season, that isn't a bad living for a 22-year-old.

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