New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich believes in such a thing as a sophomore slump. However, he doesn’t think Sauce Gardner will fall into that trap after being named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season.

In fact, Ulbrich said any talk of a step backward or a sophomore slump might be used as extra motivation by the All-Pro cornerback.

“That’s an absolute real thing (sophomore slump) … for these guys that get a lot of recognition and notoriety and awards,” Ulbrich explained Wednesday. “Typically when that happens you see a letdown, you see a guy take a deep breath, kick his feet up.

“I haven’t felt or seen that from him in the slightest. I think it just made him more hungry to be the great corner that I know he can be.”

Gardner had a ridiculous 90.0 coverage grade, per Pro Football Focus, last season. Facing each team’s top receivers week after week, Gardner led the NFL with 20 passes defensed. Only 45.9 percent of passes thrown his way were completed and Gardner allowed one touchdown in 17 games.

The 22-year-old was selected to the Pro Bowl and named first-team All-Pro.

“I don’t anticipate any letdown,” Ulbrich said.

There is one area the Jets DC believes Sauce can improve. Intercepting more passes. He had two last season.

“The big challenge that’s been laid to him is his ability to get the ball,” Ulbrich said. “That’s the next step for him.”

We all know Sauce Gardner loves a challenge. Let’s see what he does with this one in his sophomore season.