Yeah, I still want to ge a few more answers on Mike Pettine, so, I’m joined by the folks over at One Jet at a Time to give us the lowdown.
1) Can you describe the pros/cons of the Jets’ defense under Pettine?
Under Pettine, the Jets defense played great press-man coverage that knocked opposing receivers off the ball at the line of scrimmage. The focus was never on INT’s and forced fumbles, but rather on strong coverage that sometimes allowed turnovers to happen. The Jets struggled to get pressure on opposing QBs, but once again, their bread-and-butter in coverage allowed some coverage sacks and pressures to happen. Many would attribute Darrelle Revis’ presence to most of their successes, but I’d disagree. The schemes are what maintained the quality of defense that the Jets have enjoyed. Disguised blitzes by the boatload could be something to expect, if I’m a Bills fan.
2) How much did Rex Ryan got involved in the defense and what was Pettine’s role?
Rex Ryan was (and still is) heavily involved with the Jets defense. Having played the role as defensive coordinator in Baltimore, Ryan has always been very hesitant to give up any control of his baby. However, there was always a strong rapport between Ryan and Pettine that could be seen on the practice field and on game day. They work together in Baltimore and entered the Jets organization the same year (2009). However, I believe Pettine played more of an ‘enforcer’ role. If one was to compare it to politics, Ryan would implement the schemes, or laws, and Pettine would make sure that they were followed correctly, making appropriate adjustments. I believe that Rex Ryan is the man behind the genius, but you have to think Pettine had his fair share of input.
3) The Bills are better suited for a 4-3 defense, yet, you guys ran a 3-4. Do you think Pettine can coach a 4-3? Also, did the Jets run a legit 3-4 or was it more or less a hybrid.
In 2006, the Baltimore Ravens ran a more hybrid defense, with about half of their looks under a 4-3 base. Mike Pettine was the OLB coach at the time for Baltimore. The Jets have run a primarily 3-4 base these past few years under the Ryan/Pettine tandem, but there were also number 4-3 looks and sub-packages sprinkled in. I think Pettine is suited well for any offense. However, having played with a defensive mind like Ryan, we won’t really know how he’ll be prepared to handle a defense on his own…until he does it with your Bills.
4) What would you say that the Bills would need personnel wise to make Pettine’s defense work?
Strong coverage, versatile players, and a player to get to the QB would put it over the top.
5) Is there anything you can tell me about Pettine that Bills’ fans don’t know? Personality?
Here’s where things get interesting. There has been a good measure of speculation that Mike Pettine was one of the main leaks of information and criticism that made it into the headlines for the Jets. The ‘circus’ seems to have been fueled by internal conflict, and Pettine may have been one of the issues, which could be why he’s now a rival in Buffalo. I believe there was some tension. Hopefully for the Bills and their fans, a fresh start will alleviate any worries.
6) From watching the Jets over the years, it seems like you guys didn’t exactly have a stout defensive line, but your LBs and Secondary really were the foundation for the defense. On the other hand, the Bills defensive line may be top 6 in talent with Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, but their LBs and DBs are average to below, with the exception of Jarius Byrd. How do you see this working out for Pettine?
As I’ve touched on, the Jets have relied on strong coverage. Of course, a more 4-3 heavy defense for the Bills could require the reverse than Gang Green has had these past few years. It’ll work if he can appropriately manage a 4-3 defense and get pressure from his defensive line. But that leaves yourself to get killed over the top. Personally, I prefer better coverage and a lesser pass-rush, because you can’t get pressure all the time.
7) Bills fans are excited about Jairus Byrd (Pro Bowl safety) being used in Pettine’s defense, how did the Jets use the safety position in the past?
The safety position was never a priority under Mike Pettine. The majority of coverage came from strong CB play, and safeties had been highlighted more in specialty blitz packages and run-stopping. With the additions of Landry and Yeremiah Bell last year, things changed, but I wouldn’t put too much into 2012. A potentially successful season for Byrd in 2013 should be attributed more to his talents than Pettine’s scheme.
8) If you were the opposing coach, how would you attack Mike Pettine’s defense or the Jets’ defense in this case?
-Air the ball out and spread the field.
-Use shifty running backs.
-Tight end play could be a difference maker.