During Monday's locker room media session, safety Damien Robinson became the first Jet player to play the blame game, sighting a lack of pass rush and not the secondary, as the real problem.
"There was no pressure on the quarterback and when you're playing cover-2, you can't cover all day," said Robinson. "If there is no pressure on the quarterback, then the secondary has to cover too long. You have to be able to let players play to the best of their ability. We've got to have pressure on the quarterback so the secondary can break on the ball and get some picks."
We'll see on Wednesday whether any of the Jets decide to return Robinson's fire. Defensive Coordinator Ted Cottrell was told of Robinson's comments, but decided not to respond. Cottrell has more important things to worry about, such as figuring out how to get his defense, currently the worst in the NFL, to start performing.
"What the numbers reveal is that we can't do anything right on defense, " said Cottrell. "I'll look at the film and see where the defense breaks down, do a quick study, and hopefully we can put them in the best position they can be in."
Cottrell felt the defense was pressing too much against the Chiefs in order to make a big play, and wound up over-pursuing and getting beaten. The two reverse plays Kansas City ran were perfect examples.
"We rotated to the side that they were doing a reverse to, and the guys still gained a ton of yards," Cottrell said. "When you look at that play, you figure that's a play that should be stopped. It's missed opportunities [and] teams are taking advantage of over-pursuits. 60-yards of rushing on two reverses, that's very unusual."
The Jets have struggled to make tackles all season long. Even when they out hustle their opponents, they can't finish the play. DT Jason Ferguson made a great play against the Chiefs when the 300-pound lineman sprinted downfield to catch RB Priest Holmes on a key third-down play. Unfortunately, instead of applying the proper tackling techniques and wrapping Holmes up, Ferguson tries to lay a big hit on the running back and wound up knocking him forward, enabling Holmes to pick up the first down.
On Monday, the defense received more bad news when an MRI exam revealed that cornerback Jamie Henderson had separated his shoulder, and will miss the remainder of the season. This was the same shoulder Henderson partially separated back in the preseason, causing him to miss the first three games of the year.
The Jets had planned on using the talented, second-year corner on passing situations, and he might have been able to steel time away from the struggling Aaron Beasley. Those plans have been scratched, and rookie Jon McGraw will take over as dime back, full-time.
Cottrell maintains that the players are giving it their all, and will turn things around.
"You look to see if they are playing hard and they are," Cottrell said. "As long as they are trying hard, I am okay with that. If I feel they are not giving their best, that's when a problem occurs."
The Jets best obviously hasn't been good enough so far. The defense has not played in sync, and it appears that with six new starters, the unit simply did not have enough time to gel.
Herm Edwards defended those changes on Monday.
"I don't know if it's too many changes. Some of those changes were necessary," said Edwards. "Some of those changes were going to happen anyway because of the money the guys wanted and [the] money we offered them, they didn't think it was enough. They didn't take our offer and they went somewhere else to play for less, so that was up to them."
Edwards was referring to safety Victor Green and linebacker James Farrior, who both excepted less money elsewhere, in response to the pay cuts the Jets wanted them to take.
Whatever the myriad of reasons, the Jets' defense has not gotten it done, and Cottrell will have his hands full during the bye week to figure it out.