A New York Jets defense that counted two All-Pro players on their roster lost both of them in as many weeks. Now for the defense’s newest addition, safety Bradley McDougald, it isn’t as much who the Jets lost but rather what they do next.
The Jets only had two players on their defense who have made a Pro Bowl let alone been an All-Pro and the trade of safety Jamal Adams two weeks ago and the opt-out by linebacker C.J. Mosley has cleared them of their star players. McDougald, acquired in that blockbuster trade that sent Adams to the Seattle Seahawks, said that the mentality of the NFL is that no matter what happens, someone will need to step up and take responsibility when a position opens up.
“Next man up. It’s always been next man up - I don't know C.J. personally I know he's a baller, I know he's a hell of a player but I mean that's kind of the model of football regardless no matter who are, because you could be the star player on the team,” McDougald said last week on Sirius XM’s NFL Radio.
“I mean [an] injury is bound to happen to somebody on that team. It's about how you respond and that's it that's where you find out how good [the] quality a team is because you're only as good as your weakest link.
McDougald, who was solid last year for Seattle in 15 starts, will be called upon to replace Adams, considered the best safety in the league last year. And the Jets also drafted Cal defensive back Ashtyn Davis, who projects as a starter.
In terms of Mosley, the linebacker position is arguably the deepest of any position group on the team meaning that the Jets have the ability to augment the position without missing too much of a beat.
“If we haven't done a great job in bringing in great quality guys in or making sure that the guys on the second string or their backups are just as good or know the job just as well, then it’s going to show at some point in the season,” McDougald said. “Well, it already hit us and we can't feel sorry because our opponents won't feel sorry for us – it is next man up. And that the man behind [us] this great opportunity to show up and, you know, possibly change his career.”