Most Important Players in New-Look New York Jets Defense

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Most Important Players in New-Look New York Jets Defense
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After a dismal collapse to end the 2011 NFL season, New York Jets fans demanded change and the franchise and their main figureheads have delivered the goods.

Change came when the team replaced Brian Schottenheimer with Tony Sparano, let Plaxico Burress and LaDainian Tomlinson walk and, of course, acquired of Tim Tebow.

During the team's recent minicamp, Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talked about more changes in the team's defensive philosophy.

Recognizing that their defensive line has become a much stronger unit than their linebacking corps, Ryan and Pettine claimed the team would be using a 4-3 defense much more than the 3-4 they have featured in the past.

The switch makes perfect sense, as the league has caught on to their "exotic" blitz packages causing major problems when trying to generate a consistent pass rush.

Also, it simply gets the Jets' best players on the field more often.

Give Ryan and Pettine credit for adjusting their scheme to fit the personnel that they have on the roster. Too many coaches try to do things the opposite way by fitting ill-equipped players into a set scheme.

For the change to be successful, certain players will have to play major roles in the new defense.  

Sure, Darrelle Revis still needs to provide his lock-down coverage while Sione Pouha and David Harris must stuff the run with the same ferocity that they have in the past, but the following six players will play a large role in determining whether the Jets' new 4-3 defense will be a success.

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