From the message boards of GreenAndWhiteReport.com, site publisher Kristian Dyer answers your questions based on the first three days on training camp in Cortland.
Q: How is Brodney Poole looking at safety, Dennis Thurman said he might be the steal of the offseason ?
A; At no time last year when I was covering this beat for a paper in New York City did I feel as excited about any part of the Jets' team then I do this year about the secondary. With additions like Antonio Cromartie and draft pick Kyle Wilson, this could be a very deep unit. Through training camp, Brodney Pool has been a pleasant surprise and is benefitting from the man-to-man, blitz happy system in New York. This is allowing him to play physically and use his tools to shutdown the multiple looks the offense is throwing at the defense.
Pool has long arms and what seems like an effortless glide as he moves across the field and sometimes, it is easy to confuse his movements with those of Cromartie. In terms of reading the ball and making a break, Pool has been doing just that since mini-camp sessions. He's a playmaker back there and has shown me in bits and pieces that he has the potential to be very good back there. Maybe not as good as Kerry Rhodes when the former Jet was on (not on Twitter but on the field, making plays) but still awfully good. When "on," Pool has been more than solid and perhaps more solid in what he's showing then Rhodes was at any point last year.
I spoke with secondary coach Dennis Thurman and he told me that he thinks Pool can be a very good player but that the player can't have bad lapses like he did with Cleveland. Pool must continue to work hard and keep his head on straight. Those issues around him, I hate to call them character issues but Pool has some maturing to do, held him back with the Browns. Thurman said that if Pool had played up to his potential, then there is no way that the Jets would have signed him for a low salary such as $1.3 million dollars. They feel like they have a steal in Pool. Head coach Rex Ryan said as much earlier this week.
Pool has done a very good job of breaking to the ball, especially since the Jets' offense has been going over the top and trying to beat the secondary with deep balls throughout the start of training camp. Pool has been patient in his response, taking what the cornerback gives him but moving well once the ball is sent. He's not a headhunter back there, but he should be an intimidating player and his ability to cover what seems like an acre in just a step will be welcome on a defense that always seems to be on the edge in the way they play.
Right now, based off mini-camp and the first week of training camp, Brodney Pool will start with Jim Leonhard in the secondary. It should be noted that Thurman is a players' coach, but also a no-nonsense type. He will have no problem getting in Pool's face when need be but also will know how to handle him. This should excite Jets' fans to no end. Pool has the look and feel of an All-Pro player, now we have to see if he lives up to that potential.
In the next installment, I will answer the question: How much of a difference so far is there between Ducasse and Slausen?