The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack is back to preview the New York Jets Green/White Scrimmage. A key marking point in many of the positional battles, particularly quarterback, this scrimmage is now at the point of having a sideline reporter and having play by play called for it…so cancel those Saturday night plans! What should you be on the lookout for? Crack open the 12 pack and find out (but first give us a follow on Facebook and Twitter)
1. Dude, Where Are My Running Backs? - Your current Jets running back situation
Mike Goodson (that is the hatch from LOST, BTW)
So, basically we are looking at a huge heaping of CHAD SPANN action. More seriously, Ivory sounds doubtful to play. Nobody knows what Goodson’s story is. McKnight is off to a putrid start in camp. Bilal Powell should be seeing plenty of work, while youngsters John Griffin and Spann will have a chance to make an impression.
2. The Main Attraction - The quarterback battle, of course. Both Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith will get the chance to work with the first team. Despite being an even battle so far (which is a positive for Smith), Sanchez is still most likely to start the pre-season opener. It would be nice to see Sanchez attack down the field and play aggressively, while still protecting the football. Smith has been a pleasant surprise so far but has held the ball a little too long in some situations. A strong showing from Smith tomorrow will really have him breathing down Sanchez’s neck heading into Jets/Lions next Friday.
3. Who Is Catching Passes? - There is going to be a wide range of players getting opportunities with the first team. Lesser known players like Vidal Hazleton and Ryan Spadola have impressed so far and have a chance to take another step towards making the roster. Both Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr are expected to play despite their “pitch count” situations. Winslow Jr will likely be splitting first team reps with Jeff Cumberland, while Edwards will likely roll through with Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates as the starting split end.
4. Rooks - Dee MIlliner is expected to play. He has stepped in and immediately began working with the first team. Sheldon Richardson is recovering from a root canal and is also supposed to be out there. Keep an eye on how many first team reps Brian Winters and Tommy Bohanon receive with the offense. Winters, in particular has the chance to take advantage of Stephen Peterman recently hurting his shoulder.
5. Camp Stars - Can early standouts of camp like Clyde Gates, Ricky Sapp and John Griffin carry their play over to a game simulation? Can players who have started out quietly, like Zach Rogers, Hayden Smith, Josh Bush and Ellis Lankster make a few plays?
6. Safety Check - Antonio Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett are platooning opposite of Dawan Landry with the first team. Both players are liabilities in pass coverage. If the Jets running backs and tight ends are making noise tomorrow night or there are a few big plays over the top, you will know where the issue is.
7. Corner Shuffle - Kyle Wilson could see some reps at free safety (particularly if Allen and Jarrett are struggling). Darrin Walls, Isaiah Trufant and Ellis Lankster are battling for reps and a roster spot. With Aaron Berry out of the mix, keep an eye on Walls who has good potential.
8. BIG Plays - The Jets were completely devoid of them last season. Marty Mornhinweg has a more organized and aggressive offense than Tony Sparano (then again, so does the coach of your local pee-wee team), so hopefully the Jets will take a few shots and come up with “chunk yardage” plays.
9. Stay Healthy - The Jets have already lost Berry to an injury and rookie center Dalton Freeman was carted off the field today. This team is thin in many areas and cannot afford to have the injuries start racking up.
10. Offensive Line Depth - It is a little shaky right now. If Peterman is out with his shoulder injury and Freeman can’t go, that leaves your top reserves as Vlad Ducasse, Caleb Schlauderaff and Oday Aboushi. Let’s just say there could be some sacks when the second unit is out there.
11. Kicking Battles? - YAWN. From all indications Nick Folk is pulling away from Billy Cundiff. In the equally not riveting third quarterback battle Greg McElroy and Matt Simms have been alternating ducks and interceptions. C’mon fellas, WHO WANTS TO HOLD THAT CLIPBOARD?
12. HOORAY! - One week from tonight you will be sitting on your couch, eating something unhealthy, Tweeting up a storm and watching JETS FOOTBALL while sinking into a pit of emotional unavailability! It’s go time!