Jets’ Reed: Our defense can be ‘historical’ like ’85 Bears

Jets' Reed: Our defense can be 'historical' like '85 Bears
Jets' Reed: Our defense can be 'historical' like '85 Bears

New York Jets cornerback D.J. Reed believes the team’s defense has the potential to be among the best of all time.

“I think we can be historical,” Reed told reporters Monday, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.

“Not just the best defense in the league, but I think we can be a historical defense like the ’85-’86 (Chicago) Bears and the (Seattle Seahawks’ Legion of Boom) in 2013. I think we can be that dominant if we just put all the things together.”

The Jets will return eight starters from the defense that ranked fourth in points and yards allowed last season. New York has two young stars in defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and cornerback Sauce Gardner who can take another step forward in 2023.

Williams signed a lucrative four-year, $96-million deal in July, making him one of the highest-paid defensive tackles in the league. The 25-year-old had a tremendous 2022 campaign, racking up 55 tackles with 12 sacks and two forced fumbles, earning first-team All-Pro honors.

Gardner had one of the best rookie seasons for a defensive player in recent memory, also earning first-team All-Pro honors. The Cincinnati product only allowed 34 catches on 74 targets in coverage for 361 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. He also only gave up one touchdown all season, which came in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns.

Meanwhile, second-year pass-rusher Jermaine Johnson and rookie Will McDonald are expected to earn considerable playing time on a defensive front that ranked seventh in sacks last season.

“Shit, why not speak your goals?” Jets defensive end John Franklin-Myers said, per Cimini. “We’re not afraid to sit here and go out on a limb and say we want to win the Super Bowl, or we want to be the best defense in the NFL.”

The 1985 Bears and 2013 Seahawks both won the Super Bowl and are widely considered two of the most dominant defenses of all time.

The Jets open their season Sept. 11 against the Buffalo Bills.

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