In our second installment of Around the AFC East, Brian Bassett from an awesome blog The Jets Blog , talks about emerging leaders on defense and radio helmets.
Kerry Rhodes is being looked at as the guy to fill the leadership void afterwas traded to New Orleans. Mangini has even said Kerry's being considered for the defensive helmet transmitter, a clear indication the front office might consider him a defensive leader. Is he the guy for the job? Do the fans agree he could be a leader?
TJB : Rhodes has the charisma and strong play that make fans see him as a leader. Rhodes is a film nut and learned going through film at home during game weeks from Vilma. The two would spend hours going through it both together and apart. Now Rhodes hosts film nights at his house every week of the season with 2-3 other starting secondary players. Second year ILB/Monster David Harris is the other player to whom the team will likely give the radio helmet. Harris called the signals last season after Vilma went down, and it didn't keep him from tallying 126 tackles and 5 sacks in 9 starts. Rhodes is clearly the leader of the secondary, and is emerging as a leader of the team so giving him the helmet wouldn't be a bad move either. Functionally though, there's a reason that the signaler often is a linebacker, so I'd say that my vote would be for Harris just out of the function of it, but that Rhodes' play and off the field makes him a very deserving option too.
Brian brings up a good point about helmet radios. It's quite possible the most natural position will end up being ILBs and, in the Jets case, Harris is the better fit. Even though Rhodes is an emerging leader on defense, safety may not be the best place to put the radio. ILBs have a better spot on the field to read an offense. My guess is Rhodes will end up wearing a radio as an alternate to Harris, but that remains to be seen.
Thanks to Brian Bassett for answering my questions and don't forget to check out The Jets Blog for my answers regarding our QB depth.