Nonsense and Dustin Keller
I appreciated the many times when Dustin Keller backed Mark Sanchez publicly. Whenever an unnamed source would throw the erratic QB under the bus or some talking head in the media would question the signal caller’s ability to take the club all the way, DK was a class act and stand up teammate during his years with the Jets.
So it is with that in mind that we took Keller at his word again this past weekend when he said: “There’s always some type of nonsense going on (with the Jets). When you’re in the New York media, you don’t say that you’re used to all of that; there’s always going to be distractions.”
The endless microscope and press search for any Jet related drama had to have frustrated not only Keller, but many other Jets over recent years. As gossip, behind closed doors issues, and other shenanigans out of Florham Park became front page news and national talking points.
The Rex Ryan foot fetish stuff. The 2011 WR mutiny in Baltimore. Santonio booted out of the huddle in Miami. Tim Tebow. The ButtFumble. And more.
One could certainly argue that the never ending attention given to Gang Green finally affected the club negatively on the field over the past few seasons. Keller’s inability to get open on a week in week out basis didn’t help matters out either.
You can blame poor schemes by x-offensive coordinators, a lack of weapons causing opponents to focus mainly on stopping #81, injuries, and shoddy QB play if you’d like, for the disappearing acts he’d have in games. Just tell us though, that the nonsense of being unable to maximize or even semi-consistently utilize the skills of playmakers, will change for the better thanks to new OC Marty Mornhinweg.
Beyond the media frenzy connected to the Jets, what irritated us more than any weekday soap opera stuff, was having to endure watching an All-Pro caliber target so non impactful at times, that by halftime we would often wonder if he was even playing that day.
More Tire Kicking
Speaking of Keller and the new TE depth chart that includes two should-be backups and a former rugby player, injury plagued Kellen Winslow Jr. is on his way in for a tryout this week. As is one time quality WR (albeit briefly) Mike Sims Walker. Expect John Idzik to kick the tires on these and other wayward unsigned veterans this upcoming summer.
Combined, this duo had one catch last season, but if either are somehow healthy enough to call New York the home of a comeback story, the Jets will undoubtedly welcome the help.
Hey, how about Braylon Edwards though? He is the same age as Winslow and Sims Walker and healthier, no?
Maybe Idzik’s time with Edwards in Seattle is part of why #17 has not been brought back (yet), but aside from what may have taken place previously between Edwards and the Seahawks, pieces are needed. These two tryouts are a start, but let’s keep the line moving if things don’t work out this week for the pair of fading vets.
The Receivers Still Make Us Quite Nervous
Now, speaking of Sims Walker amd Edwards, if Santonio Holmes ends up on the PUP list to start the year (Rex Ryan recently called this scenario a possibility) while Stephen Hill’s knee fluid becomes the start of problems for him health wise in 2013, what are the Jets looking at offensively through the air? Ben Obamanu and slot receiver Jeremy Kerley forced into starting on the outside? Gulp.
The Jets may need, yes need a guy like Sims Walker to magically find his peak performance level, or some UDFA to emerge immediately. Quite the low percentage bet to bank on.
The receiving corps is paper thin again and already taking up space in the trainers room. We are quite concerned about this group as it stands today, to say the least.
Athleticism over Experience on Defense? Let’s Hope There Is Time
New Jets DC Dennis Thurman called his group more athletic but less experienced than previous Jets defenses under Rex Ryan. We embrace the thematic switch on paper, knowing full well that the Jets are quote unquote “rebuilding,” and accepting mental breakdowns from younger players must be part of that process.
For there to be any hope for the Jets in 2013 in terms of staying in the back end of the AFC playoff picture through Halloween (yes we just said that) Thurman’s new crew will have to be executing their gameplans well by October. It is a month that would present a challenge to any defense, with Atlanta, Pittsburgh, New England, Cincinnati, and New Orleans on the schedule in a row. Or shall we say Matty Ice, Big Ben, Tom Terrific Brady, emerging Andy Dalton, and Drew Brees.
Athleticism on the defensive side of the ball could be the only thing to slow the scoreboard down in order to keep those games winnable. Especially when considering that the Jets offense will feature a new playbook, backfield, and perhaps starting QB altogether.
Let’s hope that Thurman has enough time with the kids from now until this key stretch, to get the X’s and O’s part up to speed