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Jets GM on Dee Milliner's role: 'It's kind of a wild card'

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Todd Bowles will be bringing a different defensive philosophy to the Jets than the one employed for years by Rex Ryan, but the two coaches share one basic need: cornerbacks who can cover ... well.

Bowles' aggressive blitzing schemes rely on corners who can hold up in one-on-one coverage. The Jets don't have that on their roster right now -- the secondary has been a team weakness for two years now.

Complicating matters is the uncertain future of Dee Milliner, the former first-round pick once projected as the roster replacement for Darrelle Revis. Milliner tore his Achilles tendon while rushing on a field-goal attempt last season, a serious injury for a player who relies on quickness and burst.

We asked Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan at the NFL Scouting Combine if Milliner's uncertain status makes his job tougher as the Jets look to rebuild the back of their defense.

"It's a bit of an unknown," Maccagnan acknowledged on Wednesday. "It could have a negative outcome, but it could have a positive outcome. So, to me, it's kind of a wild card. It's not necessarily a negative or a positive. If he comes back well from his injury, suddenly you have a good player in him. You have to kind of prepare for the worst-case scenario, but if you do get him back and he plays well, if we go out and address that position and he comes back strongly, it just makes that position stronger.

"I will say this with cornerbacks: you can never have enough good ones," he said. "I'd be very happy if we had a surplus at that position."

Maccagnan said Milliner is rehabbing at the team facility and is expected back on the field by late spring or early summer. It's a tricky timetable that won't help the team during the free agency and draft process.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down all the latest from the combine and gives updates on Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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