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A random collection of thoughts on a game that won’t go down as one of the most fascinating nights in Jets history:
1. It is hard to make an argument that Mark Brunell deserves to be the backup quarterback over Kellen Clemens. I am aware Clemens has seen more time through the first two pre-season games but the bottom line is that he has been sharper, more accurate, and looks like he has more command of the offense. Brunell has looked like…you know a 39 year old quarterback who hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass in three seasons. I still fully advocate keeping Clemens as the #2 quarterback and Brunell as the #3/mentor for Sanchez. Kevin O’Connell can’t be cut fast enough.
2. It has been to easy to be critical of Joe McKnight since he was drafted by the team. However, he did a better job of running north and south last night, along with showing some explosiveness on his long punt return in the fourth quarter. McKnight still must protect the football and he doesn’t handle contact very well but last night was a baby step in the right direction.
3. I am not going to overreact to how poorly the starting offense played. Keep in mind how little time there was in between the Jets first two pre-season games, how little practice time they had before last night and how there was no game planning involved.
4. Vernon Gholston leading the Jets in tackles? It was hard not to be impressed with the effort our first round bust put forward last night. He was always around the ball and finally looked a little aggressive out there. Gholston’s importance has only increased with the season ending injury to defensive end Ropati Pitoitua, which was a shame to see. Pitoitua was probably going to see a big role off the bench and has demonstrated some promise for a young player. TOJ wishes him a speedy recovery.
5. Good showing from Jim Leonhard last night, with a sack and interception. It is easy to forget about the Jets smallest player on defense but his knowledge of Rex’s system and consistency is a key part to what the Jets accomplish on the defensive side of the football.
6. A better night for the rightfully maligned Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman. Antonio Cromartie also showed a little more physicality and was involved in run support.
7. Very encouraging signs from Nick Folk, going 3/3 on field goals with a long of 49 yards. I still can’t relax about the Jets kicking situation until I see Folk knock down a kick over 40 yards under the bright lights of Monday Night Football in week one.