Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
Dee Milliner was benched three times last year, but you never would have known it based on his recent comments to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. The second-year pro refused to admit that another player at his position was better.
This quote is being taken out of context, as headlines will read how Milliner declared himself to be the top corner in football. Milliner's real message was that his mindset should be that he is the top cover man in the business regardless of the undeniable reality that he is not.
Due to the nature of the position, cornerbacks need to carry themselves with this exact mindset of being unbeatable and feared—any other demeanor will have a player defeated before they step onto the field. Without a supreme level of confidence and a short memory that borders on delusion, the pressure of never allowing a big play can cripple a player's confidence.
His coach agrees.
This is a huge season for Milliner, as the Jets are counting on him to make huge steps in his development and become the No. 1 cornerback the Jets drafted him to be. The first step in moving on from his rocky rookie season is to essentially pretend it never happened—which is precisely what Milliner is doing with these types of statements.
Having this level of confidence may rub some fans the wrong way, but it is the first step toward being the dominant player Milliner is capable of being.