The New York Jets reported to camp in Cortland, New York where it is once again time for the circus to resume. The circus of course, referring to what the Jets has transformed themselves into over the course of the last 365 days. Last season as we all know, a backup quarterback made all the headlines in training camp along with the help of a coaching staff that didn’t know how to utilize his talents along with the “starting” quarterback Mark Sanchez. This season is shaping up to be no different, just with a few different characters.
Instead of Tim Tebow lurking over Sanchez’s shoulder this year it is now rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Smith was assumed by many to be the first quarterback taken in this year’s draft but he slipped into the second round. Once again Upstate New York will be a hot spot for the media this late July/August period as the world will watch and wonder “Who will be the Jets quarterback this season?” Even if you are not a Jets fan you have to admit it is a compelling storyline. Sanchez is the returner; a playoff road warrior who has shown flashes of excellence in his young career yet is still very inconsistent and turnover prone. And then the Challenger: West Virginia product Geno Smith.
Decisions, Decision… Who will be the starter come Week 1? Only time will tell.
Until then sit back and enjoy the entertainment. The inexperience of Smith and the lack of confidence in Sanchez ensure that regardless of who is the starter the Jets right now don’t have a quarterback that can lead them to the playoffs.
The quarterbacks will grab the headlines for the Jets but there are many other question marks for Gang Green entering camp.
Everybody needs playmakers. You can never have too many of them but you most certainly can have too few. Last season the Jets had only five rushes of over 20 yards. Shonn Green averaged 66.4 yards/game but he wasn’t the back that they were hoping for so Green was released. So the Jets went out and got Chris Ivory. Ivory had 3 rushes of over 20 yards or more in 2012 and seems ready to prove himself as after years of splitting careers with multiple backs in New Orleans. Is he the answer? Probably not long term but if the Jets want to get back to that “ground and pound” style when they were doing well and making AFC Championship Game appearances then maybe Ivory can be a difference maker this season.
Wide Receiver is another question mark spot for the Jets. It takes two people to complete a pass and last season whoever lined up under center for the Jets didn’t have much to work with. Santonio Holmes missed most of last season with injury and once he went down the passing game was in trouble. This year Holmes begins camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. The Jets have to find another option for (Insert Quarterback of your choice here) to throw to. Will it be Braylon Edwards who is making his third stint with the Jets in his career, second year wide receiver Stephen Hill, or last year’s leading Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley? The safe bet would be Kerley but cases can be made for the other two. Hill has good potential and Edwards was once a top 5 draft pick. Either way Holmes will need someone to help ease the pressure and double coverage off of him this fall.
On defense the Jets need to return to being the Jets. Remember that Revis guy? They played surprisingly well without him last year and Antonio Cromartie is no scrub at corner. The Revis loss won’t sting as bad once rookie cornerback Dee Milliner gets signed and arrives in Cortland.
Once again the Jets failed to address their lack of pass rushing in the draft. For as long as Head Coach Rex Ryan has been in New York he hasn’t really had a great outside rusher to fit that 3-4 scheme. In Baltimore as the defensive coordinator he had Adalius Thomas and Terrell Suggs. There have been no such players like that for the Jets so far at outside linebacker. The defense will be solid to say the least. Rex always manages to make it work.
I know it may seem like it, but it’s not all bad for the Jets. Just because we don’t know what is going to happen doesn’t mean that it can’t turn out positive. It just doesn’t seem likely. Quarterback, Running Back and Wide receiver all have question marks. Plus Milliner isn’t signed yet and that’s always frustrating to not have a first round pick at the opening of camp.
Whether it is Smith or Sanchez, the quarterback play will have to be excellent for the Jets to make a return to the playoffs. Who knows they both might splits snaps and have packages throughout the course of a game. We shall see. Be sure to enjoy this training camp Jets fans, the Circus only come to Cortland once a year.
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