Can the Jets shut down Jimmy Graham?

11/1/13 in NFL   |   Mia781   |   953 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsWhen the Patriots went up against the Saints, Patriots coach Bill Belichick utilized cornerback Aqib Talib to cover Jimmy Graham. This resulted in Graham having the worst game in the entire year. With Talib marking him, he was unable to make a single catch during the game. But during the other six games this season, he had eight touchdowns, 40 catches for 630 yards. This means that Belichick’s strategy clearly worked. And even though Graham had potential, he was unable to do anything and Belichick clearly handicapped him.
 
So when the New York Jets go up against the Saints, it would seem probable that the Jets will use the same strategy to contain the dangerous tight end. Their choice, most likely will be Antonio Cromartie. Coach Rex Ryan agreed that it was a feasible idea to implement.
 
“It’s a thought. I think from a size and skill-wise (standpoint), yeah I think he could handle it,” said Ryan. “But that guy is a unique cat now. Graham has the speed of a receiver (and) the size of an offensive tackle.”
 
The job of marking tight ends is given to the linebackers and safeties but that is not the case when considering Graham. He is strong, big and fast. Covering him would be a difficult task for anyone. Jets linebacker Calvin Pace agreed with the notion.
 
“Graham’s basically a wide receiver. . . . It’s a tough matchup. It’s like who do you put on him? I don’t want to guard him,” he said. “You put a safety on him, he’s got a height advantage on him. They do a good job of putting him in space, so it’s going to be a person that has got to get (his) hands on him. Just know where he is.”
 
 
Safety Dawan Landry said that having Cromartie marking Graham would definitely ease the burden a lot.
 
“Anytime you put your best corner on a target like that, pretty sure we would have success, but it’s up to Rex and the defenses we call,” the safety said.
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