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Jets rookie cornerback Dee Milliner benched Thursday night

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Dee Milliner was benched for his bad play on Thursday.
Dee Milliner was benched for his bad play on Thursday. (USATSI)

Thursday night was an evening of highs and lows for the Jets' trio of prominent rookies. Sheldon Richardson looked good for much of the night but was eventually injured. Geno Smith stood tall early but threw picks late. And Dee Milliner made some nice plays but was benched by Rex Ryan.

Ryan confirmed as much following the game, dropping a "Yes" when asked if he benched the former Alabama cornerback and then explaining why.

"Well, this young man is going to be a tremendous player. There is no doubt," Ryan said. "But as I told him, I said, 'You know, Dee. I want you to sit on the sidelines and I want you to watch.' And sometimes when you do that, it is the best thing for you. And so we replaced him with Kyle [Wilson] and [Darrin] Walls and that's what we did. I am trying to win a game, and put in who I think has the best chance to win it.

"And the young man, like I said, he is going to be a great player. But at that time, I went with the veteran."

Rex mentioned a couple of missed play calls. Perhaps the busted coverage on the first -- and only -- Patriots touchdown of the night Thursday was the problem? There wasn't anyone within five yards of Aaron Dobson when he caught the ball on a third-and-2 play-action pass.

Maybe this is why Milliner (27) was benched?
Maybe this is why Milliner (27) was benched? (NFL.com)

Milliner was on Dobson for much of the night and Dawan Landry (26) and Antonio Allen (39) seem unlikely to draw man-to-man assignments on a wideout here. Literally, there was no one on Dobson when he took off from the line.

The Jets rook said it's not the first time he has been benched and appeared to take it in stride pretty well.

"I was fine with it, he felt the need to make that decision," Milliner said. "I made a couple of mistakes, on a couple calls. I got benched before in college, for sort of the same thing."

And Milliner got props from fellow cornerback Antonio Cromartie for the way he handled being stuck on the bench.

"He handled it as a pro," Cromartie said.

No one ever said it would be easy replacing Darrelle Revis.

 
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