New York Jets football is back. Make sure you are following us on Twitter and Facebook for updates throughout tonight and the entire season. Let’s crack open the 12 Pack, which focuses on what to watch for tonight and throughout the entire pre-season…
1. That Sanchez Guy – Who will be starting tonight. Sanchez needs to protect the football, display a short memory after negative plays and push the football down the field. He isn’t showing anything as a fifth year veteran by going 4/4 for 14 yards tonight because he checked it down every time. Play aggressive and play to win, #6.
2. GENO – Hey, new quarterbacks are fun! Smith is physically superior to Sanchez and can’t be shy or jittery about flashing his gifts. If there is a crack in the defense and everybody is covered, take off for 15 yards instead of throwing it away. If there is a small window open for a hole shot against Cover 2, take it over the checkdown and show off that arm strength. Smith will have chances with the starters tonight and next week. He needs to act like he has been there before.
3. Young Pups – Get ready for the John Griffin and Chad Spann show tonight and maybe moving forward in August. Chris Ivory is going to get limited work all pre-season. Nobody knows where Mike Goodson is and if Joe McKnight will ever get healthy. The Jets are risking overworking Bilal Powell. Both Griffin and Spann have a real opportunity to make an impression and steal a roster spot. Both should receive no shortage of carries.
4. Continuity – Let’s hope Stephen Hill, Ryan Spadola and Clyde Gates can carry over strong training camps and ease some of the concern about the wide receiver position.
5. Sacks, Sacks, Sacks – We are all SO exhausted of watching this defense struggle to get sacks on a consistent basis. With Quinton Coples a year wiser and Antwan Barnes and Sheldon Richardson now in the mix…hopefully that won’t remain an issue. Also keep an eye on Ricky Sapp who is having a strong training camp rushing the passer.
6. A NFL Offense – No more Tony Sparano 8th grade hijinks. Marty Mornhinweg will at least have the Jets organized and with some semblance of a plan. Could we finally see a successfully operated screen pass?
7. NO SPECIAL TEAMS MISTAKES – It is easy to forget how many muffed punts, blocked kicks and coverage breakdowns the Jets had last year. No more of that, eh? This is also where younger players can make an impression and grab one of the final roster spots.
8. Tight Ends? – It has been a quiet camp for this group. Kellen Winslow Jr still needs to show he still has some explosiveness and Jeff Cumberland has hopefully improved his field awareness from last year. We know Konrad Reuland is good for 1 catch for 2 yards at some point.
9. Big Uglies – No Brian Winters tonight, which is a bummer. He was starting to push Stephen Peterman for a starting Guard spot. Peterman will be going against his former team tonight and trying to hold off the rookie, who should be back in action next week. It will also be exciting to see the Willie Colon and Nick Mangold combo blocking upfront.
10. Safety Concerns – Jaiquwan Jarrett? Antonio Allen? Kyle WIlson? Somebody grab the free safety spot.
11. A Healthy Dee? – Will Dee Milliner look 100% and can he handle the amount of targets that come opposite Antonio Cromartie?
12. No More Madbacker – Demario Davis has taken over at inside linebacker. He struggled with assignments and in space last season. Hopefully with another year of mastering the playbook he can utilize his natural physical gifts.