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Carrier Mo’ Than Pleased with Wilkerson

Posted by Eric Allen on May 6, 2011 – 12:33 pm

Considering that a record 12 defensive linemen were selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, it wasn’t a shock that the Jets addressed their defensive front with the addition of Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson. But then a night later when the Green & White tabbed Hampton’s Kenrick Ellis in the third round, a few assistant coaches felt a little envious of DL coach Mark Carrier.

“They kind of knew we were trying to get a defensive guy with that first pick when it was there for us,” Carrier told me on a recently taped installment of “Four Quarters” that is scheduled to air next week. “But when we drafted Kenrick — the coaches started coming down to my office and were wondering what I was doing to get that lucky. Was I Rex’s stepchild or something like that? And I said, ‘Hey, it helps to have your head coach who’s not only a defensive coach but he was also a defensive line coach.’

“But it worked out good. The fact that those two guys were there when we were drafting — we were pretty lucky.”

Carrier made the most of Wilkerson’s visit to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in early April. The Jets knew the Linden, N.J., native was talented, but they wanted to work out the Temple product, who was coming off a 70-tackle, 9.5-sack campaign for the Owls.

In order to be an elite defensive lineman, you need quality feet and excellent hands. You have to be explosive off the ball, have the ability to shed blocks and power offensive linemen backward with punches.

The Jets value versatility along their front and Wilkerson has a good size/speed combo that should allow him to move around a bit.

“The biggest surprise for me after working him out was how athletic he was,” Carrier said. “That tells you he can play outside and he’s big enough to play inside.”

New York’s AFC representative got even bigger two rounds later with Ellis. Rex Ryan couldn’t hide his delight over the weekend, saying how much he enjoyed watching the former Hampton star get way down field to make tackles.

“It’s hard to hide a guy at 330, 340 pounds running down the field and getting involved,” Carrier said. “Our mindset going into this draft was to get more athletic and here we get two of the biggest guys in the draft who are very athletic. When you watch Kenrick’s film, you see a guy who’s dominating but is also running up and down the field, which is pretty special, and not getting tired. That’s the thing you liked about him is he kept on doing it even with a bum ankle. He kept going and didn’t quit.

“I like Kenrick. He’s young, he’s developing, and his upside is tremendous. Once he gets comfortable and gets settled, he’s going to be good for us.”

Ellis was one of the few prospects this year who project as a nose tackle on the next level. The good thing for the Jets is their new space eater is used to double-team attention and he’s hungry to learn.

“In our 3-4 scheme, our interior guys — the DeVitos and the Pouhas of the world — that’s what they do a lot. We take on a lot of double teams and we free up everyone else. That’s one thing we like about him,” Carrier said.

“The one thing about Kenrick that was a pleasant surprise was what an engaging young man. This kid came in and couldn’t get enough of the classroom work. He wanted to keep getting more and more. You could see that he wanted to learn and he’s going to fit in well in our room.”

Ryan Island

Rex Ryan continued his book tour for his just-released “Play Like You Mean It” with a stop at Book Revue in Huntington, N.Y., on Wednesday evening. And Newsday’s video journalists were on hand to record the scene, talking with Rex/Jets fans waiting on line and following them to the autograph table to get their very own signed copy of the Ryan rundown of his first two seasons as an NFL head coach.

Here’s a link to the Newsday report on youtube.com.

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Posted in Eric Allen | 29 Comments »

29 Responses to “Carrier Mo’ Than Pleased with Wilkerson”

  1. By matt on May 6, 2011 | Reply

    I love Ellis. Amazingly fluid for his size. Excellent pick and perfect for a Rex/Pettine defense.

  2. By Eric on May 6, 2011 | Reply

    All I can say is the first two picks of this years draft for the jets were awesome, good job staff, and lets hope these massive DL men live up to their expectations

  3. By wayne on May 6, 2011 | Reply

    They did exactly what needed to be done in this draft….Not knowing what is going to be available with free agency and having the DL be the oldest position begged that they draft the way they did…..they’ll need to do some aggressive recruiting for the OLB spot in free agency…..Safety help is needed but not a desperate need…..If passrush improves, what they have will do. And someone probably will come available….A ok vet is the best option…..

  4. By GaryC on May 6, 2011 | Reply

    can someone tell me why Mark Carrier ex-safety is the jets defensive line coach.couldn’t they get a ex lineman as coach. jet fan tom knows carrier from his USC days.I always wondered why I never saw jet lineman besides Jenkins use the head slap.maybe we can bring Deacon Jones out of retirement.

  5. By GaryC on May 6, 2011 | Reply

    this is a continuation from my previous point, they may have outlawed the head slap that deacon was famous,but what about the rip move made famous by reggie white or the spin move by freeney.I never see a lineman on jets do any of those things.It might help to get a sack.

  6. By IRA on May 6, 2011 | Reply

    EA, yeah Carrier had to be besides himself after those 2 picks. Of course nobody really knows how they will turn out. My gut tells me the Jets have found themselves two very good football players. I really don’t see anybody running on the Jets at all. Just as good as they have been the past two years against the run they will be even better this year.
    EA What is the all-time record for least amount of yds per game given up by a team? Whatever it is [maybe the 2000 Ravens] the Jets can break it this year.

  7. By Arte Olde School on May 6, 2011 | Reply

    So excited!!! Say hello to the #1 Defense in the league!! Unreal what free agents we’ll have when Mr. T. is all said and done.. Looking at Asagma, Sharper, and maybe an outside madbacker, too.. Ducasse should be fine at OT with Slauson.. Eh what the hell get a Tackle, too! And how about Viniteiri :-) Fughettaboudit :-)

  8. By scjoe on May 6, 2011 | Reply

    Here is the defensive lineup I want to see…
    DE..Wilkerson, Pitoitua
    OLBs..Pace, Westerman
    ISlbs Scott, Harris
    Safety’s Leonard, Cromartie
    CBs..Revis, Wilson
    Almost 1000lbs of beef up front! Just one thing, someone need to teach Cromartie how to tackle.

  9. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on May 6, 2011 | Reply

    GaryC, I had the same question about Carrier and I voiced it on this site when he got the job. It struck me as particularly strange what with Rex having once been a DL coach himself but who knows, maybe that’s why he felt he could afford to give the job to somebody who never played the position. Arte, I’d go after Akers instead of Vinitieri. scjoe, I like that lineup except for Leonhard, too small and almost a liability in a lot of pass coverages as a result, plus we have to see how he comes back off that injury. A fully-converted Lowery at S with Cro sounds better to me. And while I agree Wilson has to play and play well this yr., I wouldn’t mind seeing him mostly in nickel packages with Asomugha at CB, that’s for sure! Also a new OLB.

  10. By matt on May 7, 2011 | Reply

    The problem is there are no 3-4 OLBs in free agency that can pass rush consistently. The best ones play 4-3. Jets will have to trade for one, and nobody can afford to lose pass rushers. Otherwise, they have no choice but to play Westerman, at least in passing situations.

    One thing they should not do is sign Taylor for another year. He needs to retire.

  11. By Pranit on May 7, 2011 | Reply

    scjoe, you hit it on the head….cro can’t tackle and he is afraid of contact…but why did you think he was a better bit at safety? Safeties need to make those jarring jaw-breaking hits..he can’t do that ever..

  12. By scjoe on May 7, 2011 | Reply

    Pranit, I like Cro’s ball skills, I think tackling is a mindset, something that you need to want to do. Rex has to get Cro to “want” to do it, then we will have our safety.

  13. By fred on May 7, 2011 | Reply

    Love your line-up scjoe but go back a watch Cro’s wiff on Greene in 09 & that sums up why he will never be a safety. Rhodes was a better tackler then he is. Really want to see Westerman this year I think he has the potential to get some meaningful sacks not just in August if there is one or in garbage time

  14. By IRA on May 8, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry guys Cro is not a safety. Its not happening. He is one of the better one on one CB’s in the league.

  15. By uncle joe on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    Ira,Thanks for setting them straight on Crow at Safety. Being we tendered ALL our DBs it will probably be the same cast. Lefeged(whatever his name is)the undrafted Safety probably has a deal in place already once FA begins,other then that can’t see us adding anyone with the Final Eight Rule probably being in place & our own FAs to resign. That said,I am comfortable going foward with this D with 2 years under it’s belt & almost 700lbs added up front!

  16. By GaryC on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, remember Ronnie Lot was a corner at Usc before he became a great safety.It just takes that want to attitude and to sacrifice for the team.

  17. By gmany3k on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    I’d rather Brad Smith play safety but Leonard is the man .

  18. By IRA on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    You know sometimes i just don’t understand coaches. I know the Texans have loaded up in their front 7. But why would you want to take M Williams one of the best DE’s and pass rushers in the NFL, and convert him to an OLB because you are putting in a 3-4. Sure he will still get to the QB but at 290 is he really going to be able to cover and stay with RB’s, TE’s or even slot WR’s once OC’s make him cover them? I just don’t get it. Why mess with a player who has had succcess at a certain position?

  19. By matt on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    I think Rex is always thinking of replacements when his coaching staff gets poached. In the near future, Pettine will get lots of offers for DC or HC. Besides the obvious choice of his twin to replace him, Rex also would have thurman on his DC bench.

    If Thurman took over at DC, he could then plug in Carrier as DB coach, which is really where his expertise lies. With Rex being hands-on with the DL anyway, he could afford to do that. Indeed, I think Rex will be working very personally with Wilkerson and Ellis.

    It could also be that Rex adopted more of a college model, where a head coach hires a coach he likes and then moves him around to various positions to give him background in the overall defense/offense.

  20. By matt on May 9, 2011 | Reply


    I haven’t really seen that on the pro level, but Rex has always been innovative.

  21. By uncle joe on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    Ira,the Mario Williams thing boggles me too,but after adding JJ Watts and Brooks Reed to go along with M.Williams,Cushing and that other LB (DeMarco or something,forgot his name)I think anyway you line that cast up would work well!

  22. By Tom Spicer on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    Taking a page from SCJOE the lineup for next year I want to see is as follows.
    DE Wilkerson / Devito
    NT Ellis / Pouha
    DE Ellis / Pitoitua
    With the above rotation constantly bring guys in & out the other teams O Line will have a tuff time. If we sign back Jenkins to a incentive laden deal at the veteran minmum with bounuses based off of games played. Take out Devito & move Pouha to end & put Jenkins at NT.
    OLB Pace Thomas/Taylor
    ILB Harris Scott
    CB Revis Cromartie Nickel Wilson
    Saftey Pool Smith I think Leonhard should be the 3rd saftey he is small & not a good tackler after the 2 years I have to think the guys know the D by now so they dont need him back there anymore.

  23. By uncle joe on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    One or the more under the radar stories this offseason is the fact that Shawn Ellis is a Free Agent. I sincerely hope he resigns with us. Even though we added so much up front I would love to still have him in the rotation. It would be a major dissapointment to see him in a different Jersey.

  24. By IRA on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    Gary, True but Lott was as hard as nails. Can you see Cro asking to cut off his finger? I don’t think so.

  25. By IRA on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    uncle joe, Yeah i do hope they can get Lefeged. And you are right if anybody wants think that these UDFA’s haven’t been lined up already you would have to be very naive. All teams have done it.

  26. By Tom Spicer on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    On O.
    QB Mark Burnell Mcelroy
    RB Greene LT McKnight
    TE Keller
    WR Braylon Holmes Cotchery
    O Line Brick Slauson Mangold Moore Hunter
    Hunter played really well when Woody was out he earned the job.
    FB Conner
    The above is a championship team.

  27. By IRA on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    uncle joe, Ditto about Ellis. would love to see him play out his career as a Jet. He would be perfect to help groom these young DL.
    Hunter did play well and earn the job and should be re-signed. But don’t rule out Woody just yet. I am sure he is on their short list. If they had to choose from one Hunter would be the better option right now because of his age and that Woody is coming off of two injury problems. Woody would be a 1 yr deal. Hunter would be seeking at least a 3 yr and then what would that tell you about Ducasse if they were to sign Hunter to a 3 yr deal?

  28. By GaryC on May 9, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, considering the move of cromartie to safety,at cornerback he needs to force the run which is not one of his strongs suits.Free safety on defense might be the one position on defense where your weakness can be hidden.He would be off the ball and be more of a centerfielder.might be what he needs to be an all pro.

  29. By Row on May 12, 2011 | Reply

    Are you guys nuts? The name recognition pro bowl corner Revis did not record a single pick last year. Cromartie could have had at least five, I think he finished with 3 or 4. A safety needs to punish a WR going over the middle, not blitzing all the time. I want Atogwe ASAP. He was released right before the draft. Tell ya what, you let Wilson cover a guy in man with a thumper and you got another probowler.

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