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

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sep. 3: 'Houdini,' 'Colbert'…

Watch "Homeland" star Mandy Patinkin on "The Colbert Report."

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

Gossip

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth apparently love each…

Miley Cyrus may have broken off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth almost a year ago, but that doesn't mean she doesn't still have feelings for…

The Word

The Word: Charlize Theron isn't perfect, so stop…

We've been thinking a lot about famous women's bodies this week, obviously, so here's some food for thought to go with all that virtual ogling.…

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Style

5 minutes with..Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff on her Spring '15 show.