The New York Jets are hoping Jordan Whitehead is the enforcer they were lacking at safety
The New York Jets‘ safety situation was a messy one in 2021. Long-term starter Marcus Maye only played in six games, while Lamarcus Joyner, penciled in as the starter next to Maye, was lost for the season early on during the Week 1 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
These injuries left the Jets plugging holes in a sinking boat with tissue paper. New York signed safeties off of the scrap heap in hopes for some level of competent play.
The safety situation was even messier entering the 2022 offseason with neither Maye or Joyner under contract for the upcoming year. The Jets were able to retain Joyner, but lost Maye, who had been a staple of the Jets defense.
The full, member-only Jordan Whitehead film breakdown can be found at the bottom of this article (must be a Jets X-Factor member and logged into the site).
Joe Douglas was able to land Tampa Bay’s Jordan Whitehead to supplement the loss of Marcus Maye. Whitehead is a young, ascending safety with plenty of playoff experience the last two years. He will start at strong safety for the Jets, who hope Whitehead can provide a large upgrade at the position in comparison to last year’s mess.
In the latest Blewett’s Blitz film review, we answer every question that Jets fans might have about Jordan Whitehead.
- Can he replace Marcus Maye?
- What should his role be?
- Is he just a “box safety”?
- How does he fit in the Jets defense?
All of these questions and many more are answered on this edition of Blewett’s Blitz. Plus, Jordan Whitehead’s strengths and weaknesses are listed below, as is the full, member-only film breakdown.
YouTube clip and podcast episode
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Big hitter
- Triggers quickly in run game
- Played low and high
- Comfortable in box
- Re-routes when in intermediate zones
- Good awareness in short/intermediate zones
- Active eyes in deep drops
- Plays run to pass and pass to run well
- Patience in off coverage (mostly)
- Can play as WILL LB
- Good at sifting through traffic in the box
- Bring thump to blockers
- Takes good angle to cut off crossing routes when in deep zones
- Pre snap communication
- Blitz timing
- Flashes very good understanding of zone and leveraging routes
- Closes to the line of scrimmage with violence
- Avoids picks/rubs well
- Quick to pass of routes and find next threat as intermediate zone defender
- Needs to play with more control
- Throws shoulder as tackler too often
- Can lose balance when breaking towards ball/on route
- Shuffles too much vs. pedal in deep coverage
- Can have a slow trigger jumping on routes, has to confirm with QB at times
- Offers little to no pass rush moves
- Would like to see him stack blocks more aggressively while reading backfield
- Doesn’t always leverage himself well over crossing routes
- Feet can stall as a tackler (when upright)
- Some coverage lapses pop up
- Can be a boom or bust tackler
- Hips a little tight
- Needs to gain control as he closes ground to ball carrier
- Gets caught by play action
- Block shedding
- Needs more control on exit angles/drops
- Can be hoppy
- Leaves feet as tackler
- Can take overaggressive angles
- Leveraging in man coverage
- Can get caught flat footed while deep
- Needs to weave over routes
- Needs to wrap up with more consistency as tackler
- Can get caught staring at QB
Member-only Jordan Whitehead film breakdown
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