BY NICK ST. DENIS
The loss of cornerback Darrelle Revis to a season-ending ACL injury changes the way the New York Jets' defense operates, and in a big way.
Revis' best-in-league lockdown cover skills on the NFL's top receivers allows (or allowed) the Jets to roll safety coverage in a different direction or send extra attackers into the offensive backfield, among other schematic variables.
But despite the obvious positional disparity, the loss of Revis has the look and feel of the Jets' situation in 2009, when it lost then seemingly-irreplacable defensive tackle Kris Jenkins to a season-ending ACL injury in Week 6.
At the time, a lot of what the Jets did defensively was based around Jenkins' ability to take up two, and often three, offensive blockers, making room for other front-seven defenders to get to the quarterback or ball-carrier.
The Jets, however, went on to lead the league in defense.
"We have a history of stepping up," Jets coach Rex Ryan told the media Monday, referring to the Jenkins situation.
The void Revis leaves will certainly be much harder to fill than that of Jenkins, as Revis' position is more island-based (not a direct reference to Revis' nickname).
But like it did following the loss of Jenkins, the Jets' defense will have to make some big time changes and often divide what was a one-man job among multiple people. Kyle Wilson will take over to start opposite Antonio Cromartie, who already takes on similar man responsibilities as Revis.
Wilson, a first-round pick in 2010, has proven he'll need plenty of assistance.
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