Turn On The Jets Roundtable – Jets/Eagles Pre-Season Wrap Edition

The TOJ staff discusses what they’ll be watching for when the New York Jets take on the Philadelphia Eagles tomorrow night

The Turn On The Jets Roundtable is back to debate issues surrounding the New York Jets. Make sure to give all of the writers a follow on Twitter and if there is a question you want to see us debate, leave it in the comment section! 

What are you watching for tomorrow night when the Jets finish their pre-season versus the Philadelphia Eagles?

Joe Caporoso – Everybody stay healthy. Seriously. This team’s can’t afford any more nagging injuries. Outside of that, I want to see the backup offensive lineman show some stability, namely Brian Winters who I think can push for a starting job by mid-season. On defense, it would be encouraging to see Antonio Allen or Jaiquawn Jarrett make a few plays and solidify their hold on the starting safety job.

Cole Patterson – The Bollinger Bowl, as the Jets annual pre-season bout with the Eagles is called, does not often peak the interest of the casual fan. However, the careful observer should be aware that there are many position battles yet to resolve themselves. The results of these competitions will define the bottom half of the Jets’ roster and provide the most quality depth possible. In particular keep an eye on Darrin Walls and if he shows enough to overtake the ever-underwhelming Kyle Wilson. Can Danny Lansanah carve a niche for himself on this defense? Have Ryan Spadola and Ben Obamanu separated themselves from the pack and solidified the receiver position? Thursday’s game is the last chance for these bottom of the roster players to make an impact and prove they belong.

Mike O’Connor –  Beyond the chaos still evaporating from last week’s Jets-Giants pre-season game, I still have worries about the starting squad outside of quarterback. Therefore, I will be watching for significant separation between players in positional battles so that they can be inserted into the starting lineup with confidence. Specific positions that I’m looking at are free safety (between Antonio Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett, and Josh Bush), nickelback (Kyle Wilson’s job to lose over the surging Darrin Walls), and right guard (between the now healthy rookie Brian Winters and Vladimir Ducasse). It’s essential to enter the season knowing you’re not storing any players on the bench who are deserving of a starting spot, and changing starters or handing out significant playing time to a player mid-season can only hurt, as it interferes with chemistry and often scheme purposes. 

Other random areas on the outside of the starting lineup bubble that I would like to see clear up are running back depth (can Kahlil Bell AND Mossis Madu make the team?), wide receiver depth (will youngster Zach Rogers unseat the valuable Ben Obomanu and newcomer Mohammad Massaquoi?), and of course, quarterback depth (can Matt Simms perform well enough to officially give the injured Greg McElroy the boot?). It would be nice to enter the season with some of these glaring questions answered, as well as giving us an idea of how the final roster cuts will play out.

Connor Rogers – In what has been a surprisingly high scoring preseason for the Jets, one area is beginning to worry me. In the past the kick return unit is usually one of the best in the entire NFL, but at the moment the Jets don’t even have a return man after cutting Joe McKnight. Clyde Gates is injury prone and needs to worry about receiver reps, not getting blasted on kick returns. Mike Edwards, an undrafted free agent corner out of Hawaii had two touchdown returns for over 100 yards last season and needs reps Thursday night. He has big time potential as a returner with elite speed and deserves a shot to win a wide open competition.

TJ Rosenthal –   We honestly don’t know what we’re watching for or what we will see. Geno. The first team offense. The start of the Matt Simms era. Maybe that’s the beauty of this traditional Thursday night JV get together.

All kidding aside, we want to see Rex Ryan show a little life. Above all else. A little fire. A little enjoyment of the game. Get back to inspiring the players. Forget last week, it’s over. Mistakes happen. Your team is still 0-0.

Mike Nolan – This is a loaded question for me as I will be paying close attention to both teams. The main thing I will be watching for up front is the performances of Vlad Ducasse (Hopefully he plays) and Brian Winters. I really want to see if all this Vlad hype is warranted or is it just team fed positive press to give him a boost heading into the regular season. For Winters, I want to see how his footwork is coming along and I want to see him bring an edge to this 2nd unit that has struggled so mightily. 

Even though starters aren’t playing, it will be interesting to see if Rex makes any adjustments to the Chip Kelly turbo offense. Most importantly, we will find out if Graham Harrell is ready to take the reins of this offense. #FreeHarrell

Dalbin Osorio – I’m looking for the team, namely the offense, to finish the preseason on a high note. If you’ve followed the team this preseason, you’d think they were heading straight towards an 0-16 season. However, you can see the improvement on the offensive side of the ball. The offense has moved the ball well and scored points (ranked in the top 5 in both categories), which is something they didn’t do at all during the preseason last year. You can argue that its JUST preseason, but it wasn’t JUST preseason when the Jets struggled last year. The talent on the offensive side of the ball has improved more in 2 months under Marty Morningwheg than they did in the entire year under Tony Sparano, and I’m looking for the offense to continue to show that improvement.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • __fense

    How are they headed to a 0-16 season, but still top 5 in yards and scoring with a dominant defense? They’re 2-1. They only look like they are 0-16 if you didn’t follow the preseason and only paid attention to what Cimini and the Dope told you.

  • Keith cheetham

    On the anniversary of probably the most famous speech in political history. I have a dream

  • Landon

    If the offensive line can gel and the Defense can be stout and get to the QB… I believe the Jets can surprise people this year. I just want a QB who doesn’t throw killer interceptions in the red zone… (Thats all I want)…

    I am a little concerned about our special teams. Special teams will be crucial for both the Defense and the Offense. KOR & PR, we need to get yds to help with field position for the offense. On kick coverage we need to lengthen the field on the other teams offense. Our punters need to do a good job with corner kicks and directional kicking. We also can not afford for Folk to rank 28th in FG accuracy this year. We ned to score as many points as possible!

  • John C

    I know everyone wants to avoid injuries, but, if Geno is going to start Game 1, I think he needs at least two series with first stringers in this game. If Ryan could justify playing Sanchez last week (and I did agree with it), then he could justify giving Geno reps in this game. Supposedly, the decision has still not been made – not seeing more of an inexperienced QB, is not going to help answer any questions. If he gets hurt, we go with Simms in Week 1 if Sanchez is not ready.

  • KAsh

    How is Vlad getting good press after the Giants game. I have no time (vacation w/ little internet access) so I have not even gotten to halftime. But I have NFL Rewind, which has a convenient 10 sec rewind function, so I have been able to track several players play-by-play.

    I made a point to watch Vlad. And Winters. Until he left due to injury, Vlad was a beast in run blocking. Even when he let a rusher get past him, he sealed him off to one side and let the RB surge through the hole. The complete opposite was true in pass blocking. Ducasse had almost no snaps where he did not let the QB get pressured (sometimes sacked) or did not look lost. The first few snaps were so bad I thought “well he must have made up for those mistakes.” A pressure followed by an unabated sack, I believe, to start the match, both from Vlad helping out Mangold (needlessly) and then not disengaging to pick up the late rusher who exploded into the hole left behind by him. He could not hold anyone one-on-one. On a late hit in which Ferguson got beat by Tuck, Vlad got beat the exact same way for double the fun for Geno.

    On one of the only plays where he did not give up pressure, I figured out why he was so bad. Several months back, Chris Gross distinguished between attack pass rushers, who needed to engage to figure out the play, and read pass rushers, that watched the play then acted. Vlad needs to engage his man, otherwise he is lost. On the play, he has no one to block, but having earlier left gaping holes when he helped out on blocks, Vlad just stands his ground. He throws an arm to Mangold’s man, looks back upfield baffled, then throws an arm out to Ferguson’s man. He wants to push somebody, but has made two major mistakes earlier when he did just that. The sad thing is that even when he does, he lets him slip by him. Vlad throws linemen off balance to one side, as in his run blocking, forgetting that the QB will not jump through the hole left behind. I imagine d-linemen high-fiving each other when they learn that they can go up against Vlad Ducasse.

    Winters was much better, in my opinion. He got a push on run blocking and opened up lanes and mostly held his own in pass protection. I especially loved his work on a screen pass to Powell. He needed to get out in front, so that he could block for Powell. But a DT was in his way (and trying to get to Geno). So he threw the guy to the ground in one move so violently that he did not get up until Powell was speeding up the field with the ball and Winters still managed to run in front of him and take out some defenders. To me, Winters won the starting job on Saturday.