Antonio Allen, can he make the leap to cornerback? The New York Jets want to find out.
Head coach Rex Ryan will put him up against Bengals’ wide receiver A.J. Green to find out.
Rex Ryan said Tuesday he would likely start the safety at cornerback against the Bengals.
“What the heck, let’s put him out there,” Ryan said.
Training camp injuries prompted the move. CB-Dee Milliner (high ankle sprain) faces a 4-6 week recovery period, Dimitri Patterson (ankle/calf/quad) Will be back, but Dexter McDougle (torn ACL) is out for the season.
Allen at 6′-1″ 210# (25), normally a free safety, was drafted by the Jets in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL draft.He entered the 2013 preseason competing with newly signed Jaiquawn Jarrett for the starting free safety job. Allen finished the 2013 season with 60 tackles, a sack, and an interception for a touchdown.
For the Jets and Allen, Playing cornerback, is just one of the team’s ideas.
Allen w while at the University of South Carolina from 2008 to 2011, played linebacker his first two years before switching to safety; He finished his college career with 198 tackles, 3.5 sacks, four interceptions and two touchdowns.
But A.J. Green, is considered one of the top wide receivers in the league. Can Allen cover him?
“Well if he can cover that kid, then he can cover ’em all, If he can cover that kid, then we know we’re in good shape because that guy’s about as good as it gets. So yeah, I think our entire fan base would sleep a lot better. I don’t know if he can do that.” -Rex Ryan
In Monday’s practice Allen recorded two interceptions, one each from Geno Smith and Michael Vick.
Tuesday, Geno Smith’ pass to Eric Decker, a slant for a 10-yard touchdown got past Allen.
“The guys are a little faster, but as long as you have good eyes and have good feet, should be in good position It’s tough out there on the island, but you’ve got to get it done.” – Antonio Allen
“All the guys telling me that I can’t play man (coverage) and I can’t cover tight ends and all that kind of stuff, and I’m just proving them wrong,”
“He’ll give everything he has at it. Just like everybody describes him: He’s a baller.” Rex Ryan said.
While the Jets will be in the hunt for players come cut-downs, for now they are using the talent they have.