Dee Milliner is ‘close to being the player’ the New York Jets want

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Milliner will soon exhibit testicular fortitude and bolster Rex Ryan’s defense.

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said rookie cornerback Dee Milliner will start Sunday versus the New Orleans Saints in the swamps of Jersey.

After surrendering four catches for 108 yards and a score to Marvin Jones, Ryan again benched the 22-year-old Milliner in last weekend’s 49-9 loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati.

Gang Green took the 6-foot, 200 pound Milliner with the ninth pick in April’s draft and the former Alabama star inked a four-year deal worth $12.66 million roughly three months later.

“He’s close to being the player we want,” said Ryan, 50, who is 38-34 since debuting with New York in September 2009. “By the time the season’s over, he’s going to be best corner in this year’s draft.”

Cornerback is an extremely difficult position to adjust to and Milliner’s likely still mending from surgery to fix a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

A 2012 unanimous All-American who is capable of completing the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds, Milliner’s yet to force a turnover and has only compiled 12 tackles over five contests.

The struggling youngster has substandard footwork, can’t backpedal, lacks timing and often aimlessly lunges at ball carriers.

On the positive, Milliner can be used in various coverage schemes, understands zone concepts and is mainly a gifted tackler.

Sitting at 4-4 and two games behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East, New York has a dominant front seven and suspect secondary.

Milliner will improve on the gridiron and mature physically and mentally.

In fact, “by the time the season’s over,” expect Dee Milliner to be on the cusp of becoming a shutdown cornerback.

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