In honor of Cinco De Mayo, we decided to crank out a special Sunday six pack at Turn On The Jets…so sit back, open your Modelo, grab some guacamole and let’s talk about that New York Jets offense
1. You should still be concerned about the Jets tight end position. Jeff Cumberland is basically a poor man’s Dustin Keller. He struggles with blocking and is a decent pass catching target. Cumberland has good size and hands but lacks the speed or explosiveness to be a true threat down the seam. Making him anything besides a situational player is overextending him. Konrad Reuland is at a similar talent level and should only be used situationally for his blocking or in a H-Back type role and you can’t count on Hayden Smith yet. If the Jets don’t swing a trade for Brent Celek, players like Dave Thomas or Kevin Boss need to be considered and should be able to be signed dirt-cheap. It is better to get them here sooner, rather than later so they have as much time as possible to pick up the offense.
2. Whether it is Ramses Barden or Braylon Edwards, the Jets shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on adding another veteran at receiver. You cannot be one injury away from having Clyde Gates be your number three receiver. Gates is a burner and that’s it. He has no field awareness, average hands and runs awful routes. He should be a #5 receiver and used in a minimal package of plays as a deep threat…nothing more. We aren’t writing Jordan White off yet but he will need to have a big pre-season to work himself into a contributing role.
3. We try never to get too optimistic here but the potential of a Chris Ivory/Mike Goodson backfield running behind a very good run blocking Jets offensive line (if Willie Colon stays healthy and Brian Winters seizes the other starting Guard job) is beyond exciting. We know Rex Ryan’s defense will be more than competent and if you have a strong running game, you have a recipe to stay competitive on a weekly basis. Ivory and Goodson both have immense natural running talent, compliment each other well and could both hit big plays. If they stay healthy, the Jets are going to have their best rushing attack since 2009.
4. If I had to guess who the opening day starter at quarterback would be today, I’d say it is 40% likely to be Mark Sanchez, 40% likely to be Geno Smith and 20% likely to be David Garrard. If Smith picks up the offense quickly and plays well early in the pre-season, Rex Ryan won’t hesitate to start him. If Sanchez wants the job, he needs to hit the ground running from day one of practice and leave no doubt that he is much better prepared to handle the role than Smith this season. The Jets will be looking for every reason possible to go with Smith, as they should.
5. Marty Mornhinweg is going to be an enormous upgrade over Tony Sparano. After working back through most of the Jets 2012 offensive tape, it is hard to put into words how poorly constructed their offense was last season. Obviously blame goes to the players and the lack of overall depth but they were coached and ran like the a high school JV team by Sparano. At a minimum, Mornhinweg is a competent NFL offensive coordinator who has had success with multiple quarterbacks and called the shots on an offense capable of making big plays consistently.
6. I wouldn’t be shocked if Vlad Ducasse didn’t make the Jets final 53 man roster. Same goes for Lex Hilliard, Joe McKnight and Hayden Smith.