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Opening night is less than two weeks away for the Jets, who only have to get “The Backup Bowl” out of the way this Thursday against the Eagles before preparation begins for the Baltimore Ravens. Here is ten things the month of August has taught us about the 2010 New York Jets:
1. Darrelle Revis Is A Stubborn SOB – When Revis said he wanted to be the highest paid cornerback in the NFL, he wasn’t playing. With his uncle in his ear, Revis hasn’t budged and appears ready to sit out the entire 2010 season unless the Jets cave in. At this point, even if Revis returns he can’t be expected to play at his 2009 level and has a high chance of getting hurt. I am sorry but getting trained by some random ex high school player in the Pittsburgh area isn’t proper preparation to face Anquan Boldin, Randy Moss, and Brandon Marshall. Revis has successfully turned public Jets opinion nearly 100 percent against him but for some reason I think we’d still see plenty of #24 jerseys week one, if he signs within the next few days.
2. Two For Four – Even though it is too early to place judgements, it appears the Jets went 2/4 in their 2010 draft picks…at least for this season. Kyle Wilson is likely going to be the week one starter at corner and has looked excellent throughout training camp and pre-season. The coaching staff has raved about his work ethic and knowledge of the defense. Fifth round pick John Conner has quickly developed into one of Rex Ryan’s favorite players because he is an absolute battering ram as a lead blocker. He should have a role on the Jets offense this year before taking over as the full time fullback next season. Second round pick Vlad Ducasse was overwhelmed in training camp and likely will spend the entire year on the inactive list unless Matt Slauson can’t handle the job at left guard. Fourth round pick Joe McKnight has looked good on punt returns but beyond that runs timid at running back and can’t hold on to the football. Come back, Leon Washington.
3. Still Young – Mark Sanchez improved by leaps and bounds in the playoffs last season, yet judging by the pre-season there are still going to be inconsistencies from him in 2010. I am still confident Sanchez’s stat line will be substantially improved from 2009 but there are still going to be some moments from #6 that make you wince.
4. Ground And Pound – The Jets were the league’s number one ranked rushing attack in 2009 and there is a good chance they will repeat in the number one spot in 2010. LaDainian Tomlinson looks motivated to prove he isn’t washed up and has shown a degree explosiveness this August that has surprised everybody. Shonn Greene looks like he is ready to pick up where he left off in the playoffs last season. The Jets may not have the same amount of rushing attempts as they did in 2009 but that doesn’t mean they still won’t be a run heavy offense.
5. Cookie Monster – I don’t know what was in those cookies Kris Jenkins ate all off-season to lose weight but the big fella looks like he is poised to be even more dominant than in 2008. Jenkins is all the way back from his off-season surgery and is moving around better than I have ever seen since he joined the Jets.
6. There May Be Hope Yet For Vernon Gholston – I don’t want to be get excited about anything related to Gholston at this point but the guy put together an impressive August. At the very least, it looks like he will be a quality backup defensive lineman. Hopefully, he can take advantage of the Calvin Pace injury and become a consistent contributor to the Jets pass rush. I am not sure how much time he will see at outside linebacker for the first four weeks or if he should even see any, considering how poorly he played there and how much better he has looked at defensive end.
7. Breakout Year – I have consistently said it will be Jerricho Cotchery who will lead the Jets in receptions in 2010. Yet, the amount of times Mark Sanchez has been going to Dustin Keller this August has me contemplating changing my mind. It is feeling like Keller could be on the verge of a 65 reception season, with 6 or 7 touchdowns.
8. What The Folk? – The Jets kicking situation might turn out to be okay after all. Nick Folk put together a good training camp and a better pre-season. Hopefully, Mike Westhoff has helped Folk find his 2007 All-Pro form again. While on the topic of kicking, punter Steve Weatherford has been solid all August also.
9. Danny Woodhead Won’t Go Away – It looks like the perpetual long shot will stick on the 53 man roster for the second straight year. Woodhead is versatile enough to play running back and receiver and has the skill set to be a competent special teams player.
10. We Have An Entertaining Team: