Welcome to our first Turn On The Jets Roundtable of the 2012 season. We will be doing this throughout the year to get multiple opinions in a single article to both preview and predict upcoming New York Jets games. Today myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly discuss what we are most looking forward to seeing tomorrow night -
Joe Caporoso – It has to be Tony Sparano’s new offense. We have heard all off-season about the “Ground and Pound” so let’s see it in action. Last pre-season the Jets were awful running the football and it carried over into the regular season. Let’s see Shonn Greene churn out at least 4 yards a carry on his touches and Bilal Powell or Joe McKnight pop a run over 15-20 yards. The Jets are depleted at wide receiver but that is no reason to not give Mark Sanchez a chance to work with his new vertical threats, Stephen Hill and Chaz Schilens. And yes, it will be interesting to see Tim Tebow in action. I don’t think we will see much of The Wildcat but I’m sure he will break out of the pocket for a few runs with the second offense.
Can Austin Howard hold his own at right tackle and become a viable competitor to Wayne Hunter? Can one of the wide receivers make a big enough impression to prevent Mike Tannenbaum from swinging a trade? My money is on Patrick Turner or Jordan White having such a game.
Chris Gross – Command, control, and confidence out of Mark Sanchez. – The worst thing fans can do is expect Sanchez to come out tomorrow night and air it out early in his limited reps. The majority of his receiving corps (that he is most familiar with) will be sidelined, so don’t expect to see too many big plays out of number 6. Instead, look for him to, first, be confident in the new system. A very encouraging sign will be to see Sanchez exhibit early signs of the Tony Sparano “Know and know you know” philosophy. Look for Sanchez to show confidence in the new system, while displaying command, and most importantly the ability to protect the football. Improving his turnovers will be vital to his success this season, and Sanchez can take a step toward that tomorrow night.
Mike Donnelly – Well I think my Stock Watch this week pretty much covered many of the things I’m looking forward to seeing in this game, but there are a few that bear repeating. Obviously I would love to see the Jets plan for Tim Tebow or see just how much Mark Sanchez has grown and improved this offseason, but this game won’t be a good barometer for either of those things in my opinion. The offense is going to come out very vanilla, work on a few basic things, and then get the starters the hell out of there before any more injuries can occur.
What we will get a good look at tomorrow night, however, is the second string on both sides of the ball. Players like Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight, Patrick Turner, Jordan White, Kenrick Ellis, and Ricky Sapp are guys I’m especially excited to see get extended playing time. I’d love to see a guy like Turner or White really step up and grab the bull by the horns and show that the Jets aren’t so thin at WR as everyone things. I’d love to see Bilal Powell justify the hype this preseason and show the Jets don’t need to go out and sign a veteran like Cedric Benson. And I’d really love to see Ricky Sapp continue his strong play this preseason and give the Jets a dynamic edge rusher to team up with Aaron Maybin. The thing I’d like to see the most though is everyone stay healthy, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that is the case Friday night around 10pm when the game ends.