When the offseason began, cornerback Brian Poole wasn’t a name you heard floated about as a possible free-agent target for teams. But after three seasons in Atlanta, the Falcons elected not to tender the restricted free agent and he hit the open market. The Jets were in need of a corner to play inside the numbers and the one-year deal made sense for both sides.
“I like playing in the nickel, but I can play on the outside as well,” Poole said after signing his contract with the Green & White.
While Poole could line up outside occasionally for the Jets, it’s expected the 5’9”, 213-pounder will predominantly line up over the slot receiver. He is coming off his best pro season as he registered career highs in interceptions (3), sacks (3) and tackles (74).
“First and foremost, I’m physical,” he said. “I’m fast, I’m a cover guy. I do a good job blitzing as well.”
An undrafted free agent out of Florida, the 26-year-old Poole appeared in 47 games for the Falcons and made 21 starts. Playing in 2,167 snaps, Poole collected 196 stops, five sacks and four interceptions in addition to 20 pass defenses. He will spend a lot of time in coverage, but Poole’s ability to get to the quarterback could be a perfect fit for aggressive defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
“We talked a little scheme, so I’m definitely excited about the role he has for me,” Poole said of Williams.
Poole will find comfort inside the Jets’ locker room that includes two fellow Florida products in OL Jonotthan Harrison and S Marcus Maye. During their SEC days, Poole and Maye lined up for years together in the Gator backfield.
“I feel like the whole secondary is great,” said Poole, who was recruited by Maye over social media. “I’m excited to work with all those guys.”