Inspired by our good friend Jeff Capellini’s article this week, we have decided to go optimistic on the 12 pack this weekend. Yes, I know some of you have been frustrated by my questioning of the Tebow trade and the Coples selection, but hey I don’t hand out effervescent praise for transactions that I think deserve questioning. That being said, let’s look at 12 reasons to be optimistic for the upcoming New York Jets season
1. Sparano > Schotty – There isn’t an easier person to replace to New York Jets fans than Brian Schottenheimer, Sparano was beloved the second he came in the door simply because he wasn’t Schottenheimer. Shockingly, we are exhausted of consistent mediocrity, confused game plans and 67 ‘effin dropbacks against the Giants pass rush. Yet, let’s give Sparano more credit than just not being Schotty. He has brought a needed energy and discipline to the offense. He won’t stray from the Ground and Pound approach Rex Ryan wants in place but also won’t be shy to take his shots down the field. Expect an improved Jets offense in 2012.
2. Needed Speed – If there is one thing the Jets added through the draft, it was speed. Quinton Coples gives them a defensive lineman, who unlike every other one on the roster, can get after the quarterback. Stephen Hill gives them a wide receiver, who unlike every other one on the roster, can take the top off a defense. Demario Davis gives them a linebacker, who unlike every other one on the roster, can run with a tight end.
3. Measured Improvement – Despite lacking a proven free safety, which is an issue. The safety collection of LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Eric Smith, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen will be better than Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard, and Brodney Pool were last year.
4. He Can Do Some Things – Tim Tebow isn’t anywhere near the quarterback Mark Sanchez is but he will bring a new dimension to the Jets offense, particularly in short yardage situations. His presence will improve the Jets rushing game and add a dynamic element to their offense which it sorely lacked last year.
5. Versatile Dunbar – The New York Jets are going to be more versatile on defense this season, with a better ability to bounce between a 3-4, 4-3 and 46 and the addition of defensive line coach Karl Dunbar will only help that process. Keep an eye on Muhammad Wilkerson in year two, who is coming off a quietly strong rookie year. If Wilkerson keeps improving and Coples turns into boom instead of bust, the Jets will have a serious presence up front surrounding proven nose tackle Sione Pouha.
6. Bounce Back – Credit the coaching staff and Bart Scott for both recognizing his need to drop weight in order to remain effective on defense. Scott can’t be any worse than he was last season and should still be able to be the effective 2 down linebacker he was in 2009 and 2010. Also look for an improved year from D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who is simply too talented to have back to back down years. Finally, watch out for Santonio Holmes this year. No matter how much the New York media disparages him, the guy can play football.
7. Other Year 2 Leaps – Outside of Muhammad Wilkerson, Jeremy Kerley will be a year better and has the talent to be every bit the slot receiver Davone Bess was in Miami under Tony Sparano. I also count this year as Joe McKnight’s second season since he basically redshirted his rookie year in an out of shape daze. Hopefully Sparano uses McKnight in a similar way to how he used Reggie Bush last year.
8. Mayhem – Aaron Maybin has now had a full off-season to work with the coaching staff and master the Jets defense. He racked up 6 sacks in 13 games last season, let’s see what he can do with a full 16.
9. Great is Great – Contrary to some, I believe Darrelle Revis will be on the field week 1 against Buffalo. Revis, Nick Mangold, and David Harris are still elite football players in the prime of their career.
10. Learn From Your Mistakes – In the long run, last season could have been the best thing that happened to Rex Ryan’s coaching career. He learned valuable lessons about keeping the pulse of his team, keeping his mouth shut in certain circumstances, and becoming more hands on in certain situations.
11. Still #6 – You may not find a more Pro-Sanchez Jets site than TOJ and we remain confident that despite the mainstream media’s desire to start up a quarterback controversy and the amateur psychoanalysis that constantly goes on of Sanchez, that he will play very well this season and solidify himself as the team’s long term answer at quarterback.
12. Your Weekly TOJ Schedule – Ok, not related to the team but about the site in the coming weeks leading up to training camp, keep an eye out for
- Tuesday – Stock Watch by Mike Donnelly
- Wednesday – Beat Writer Power Rankings
- Thursday – Fact or False by Chris Gross
- Friday – 12 Pack by yours truly
Enjoy the weekend…