Dee Milliner quietly has best game of season against Raiders

Dee Milliner
Rex Ryan has always been a supporter of Dee Milliner at cornerback.
Credit: Getty Images

A week of second-guessing, and questioning is draft selection could have left Jets rookie cornerback Dee Milliner in a tailspin. Instead, Milliner played one of his best games this past Sunday in a 37-27 win over the Raiders.

Milliner looked nothing like the maligned player from a week before. In a game where the Jets’ rookie quarterback was heralded, it was Milliner who turned in the better performance.

Benched midway through the second half of the Jets’ Week 13 loss to the Dolphins, Milliner rebounded in Week 14 to silence the critics for at least one game. Milliner didn’t put up huge numbers — he had just one tackle — in large part because his coverage was so good Raiders quarterbacks Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor simply didn’t throw in his direction.

Milliner has been benched three times this season. He said his latest benching didn’t affect his psyche going into the Raiders game.

“No, not at all, that’s part of football. [You] always have to get better, have to improve [and] have to execute,” Milliner told Metro. “I’ve got teammates lifting me up, coaches telling me how to get better. Guys around me [are] staying positive, keeping me going. I wasn’t affected at all.”

The coaching staff congratulated him on his performance after the game in what is hoped to be a sign of his development.

During the week, veteran safety Ed Reed sat next to Milliner in film study in an effort to mentor the rookie. Jets head coach Rex Ryan praised Milliner’s practice effort from last week during his Monday press conference. If the coaching staff pointed something out early in the week, Milliner had it corrected by one of the next practices.

“I think he took the coaching this week in particular,” Ryan said.

After shoulder surgery shortly after the NFL Combine kept him out of rookie minicamp and offseason workouts, he then missed time when a contract holdout sidelined him for the first few days of training camp. Injuries have limited his practice time, making this a difficult first year in the NFL.

He’s been exposed in man coverage on the field. Consistently beaten on the inside, Milliner isn’t playing strong press coverage which is allowing shorter, faster wide receivers to beat him on routes over the middle.

Last week, Ryan named rookie quarterback Geno Smith the starter despite benching him the day before for the third time this season. He dodged questions throughout the week on Milliner, not exactly a glowing recommendation for a player who he has hyped throughout the season. Ryan eventually gave Milliner the nod on Friday and for the first time this season the rookie put together a complete performance.

Milliner agreed this was his best showing as a Jet.

“[You could] probably could say that because I didn’t give up too much,” Milliner said. “[There] weren’t any really big plays or anything.”

He had a nice pass breakup in the fourth quarter where he rose high in single coverage to bat away a fade route from McGloin to Rod Streater.

“I think it was mostly technique. I played my game, read my keys,” Milliner said. “Know when to press off, read the keys, watch their eyes. It felt really good out there today.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.