Jets Benched Dee Milliner To Keep Patriots From Crushing His Confidence
The truth has finally been revealed about Dee Milliner’s benching.
Milliner was benched midway through his first start vs the the rival New England Patriots. Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman finally admitted they were afraid the Patriots were going to target the rookie corner before he was benched last Thursday, and that there were concerns that Brady and the Pats would crush his confidence.
“With Dee, it wasn’t that we were unhappy with what we were seeing. It’s just that the situation for us called for, OK, they’re getting ready to take some shots at this kid,” Thurman said, via Michael Fensom of the Newark Star-Ledger. “Rather than have him in a situation where he can get himself deflated, we decided to make the move and get a more experienced guy in there. And we did. We felt like it was the right thing to do.
“We’re not down on him at all. He’s got a chance to be a hell of a football player. And we don’t want a rookie to go out there and get shell-shocked and not be able to come back. And we were concerned about that.”
The Jets admit that the mistakes they made with Kyle Wilson led them to sit Milliner.
“You learn from your experiences, Thurman said. “Young corners, young nickels, when they’re out there they become big targets. And you get an experienced offensive coordinator, like they have in New England, with an experienced quarterback, they’re not dumb. They’re looking to score points.
“In any situation like that, you expect a guy to go out and perform, but if you see an opportunity to make sure his confidence doesn’t get shattered and he’s gotta fight back — if we can ward that off we’re gonna do that.”