Conversation with Jets CB Derrick Strait

New York Jets cornerback Derrick Strait may have benefited in a strange way with the addition of Ty Law. His role has become cemented in the defensive scheme as the nickel back.

Are you more comfortable at nickel or cornerback?

Derrick Strait: Coming in, I was the nickel from last year so that role was there already, but I always prepare myself to play cornerback just in case anything happened and I would have to step in. I just prepared myself since I first got here to play corner as well as nickel.

How comfortable are you in the defense in Year Two?

Derrick Strait: I feel more comfortable as far as me knowing what I need to do. Last year I was a rookie coming in and trying to learn two things at one time. Going in and out from cornerback to nickel, everything was kind of running together, but now I feel comfortable. Now I studied everything I needed to and I feel confident in the job I'm in. The coaches are doing a great job of teaching me and telling me what I need to be doing.

How is your foot feeling after hurting it last year and missing so much time?

Derrick Strait: It feels great to be healthy. Last year I had to sit out most of the season and that hurt a lot having to watch your teammates knowing that you're supposed to be out there. It feels good to be healthy and going out and contributing to the team.

How much did Ray Mickens teach you last year about being a nickel back?

Derrick Strait: There are so many little things that he teaches you. In a certain play, he'll tell you to watch out for this or be ready for that. He told me to get my study habits right. He taught me a lot of things as far as being a pro and doing what you need to do. He taught me and I'm thankful for that.

What was the last thing Ray told you before he left?

Derrick Strait: He just told me to keep my head up and always believe in myself.

How would you compare nickel back to cornerback?

Derrick Strait: It's a lot different because there are so many things that can happen to you on the inside. On the outside you have a 12th man with the sideline, they can only go so far. But on the inside, they can go out, in, straight up or straight underneath. You just have to be ready for anything.

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