TOJ Roundtable – New York Jets Two Weeks In The Book Edition

The TOJ Staff discusses which New York Jets have impressed and disappointed the most through two games

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! 

Who have you been most impressed with through two games and who has been the biggest disappointment? 

Joe Caporoso –  Despite his ugly statistics after a rough 4th quarter in New England, I’m going with Geno Smith as the player who has impressed me most. In 7 out of 8 quarters, there has been a strong element of poise to his game and he has flashed the immense physical talent that had many thinking he’d be a first round pick. There is going to be rough patches with Smith this season but through two games, Jets fans should be encouraged about his long term future here. 

Disappointed? I’d have to go with Stephen Hill. Clyde Gates is Clyde Gates. He should never be playing more than 5 snaps per game in your offense, if that. Hill was a 2nd round pick and still looks like a complete neophyte out there. There is no natural ability to catch the football, attack the football in the air or be a playmaker. He looks more like an inconsistent, body-catching possession receiver, with no ability to run after the catch than anything else right now.

Mike Nolan – There are quite a few guys I could pick as most impressive so far on the Jets’ front seven, but I am going with Sheldon Richardson. Even though I expected Richardson to be good, I didn’t think he would play so well, so quickly. He has been an absolute monster against the run as the Jets have only allowed 119 total rushing yards. He looks like he understands his role in Rex’s defense and has translated his incredible athleticism from the college game to the pro game seamlessly. He also seems to be a great teammate…pumping other guys up and talking to the other rookies when they make a mistake. I really like what he has brought to the Jets so far. I’d love to see him get more of a pass rush though.

The biggest disappointment so far has been Antonio Cromartie. Although I could list some other DBs, Cro has been the biggest disappointment to me since I thought he was such a sure thing after last season’s performance.  oming into the season, when Jets fans would list their concerns about this team they always had Cromartie to fall back on as a huge strength. While he hasn’t been terrible, he hasn’t played at the level I expected him too.

TJ Rosenthal –  We have loved both Damon Harrison and Sheldon Richardson inside. The Jets ability to shut down Doug Martin and Stevan Ridley thanks to this duo makes me feel like if Geno and Co can just pick it up a notch, this team can be in the playoff mix by November. Now that Quinton Coples is set to return, imagine the pass pressure thanks to third and longs all day, borne out of the interior run stopping.

We are disappointed with Clyde Gates. It’s still early but this guy had a great camp and was poised to be a big secret weapon in the Mornhinweg system. We hope he can clean it up because an efficient slot duo of him and Jeremy Kerley is what this team needs desperately in the short passing game.

Cole Patterson – After the first two weeks of the season numerous questions have been answered about the New York Jets. I am most impressed with the play of inside linebackers Demario Davis and David Harris. Last year this was a desperately weak position with David Harris having a very down year and Bart Scott providing as much production as a corpse in pads. During the preseason, Harris looked slow and out of place and many were concerned that last year was not an outlier (myself included). However, after two games, this does not appear to be the case. Demario Davis is proving to be a massive upgrade over the 2012 incarnation of Scott, has a nose for the ball carrier and the speed to make tackles anywhere on the field. Davis’ production along with the dominance of the defensive line has taken a lot off of Harris’ plate. Harris no longer has to make every play against the run nor is he forced into mismatches against the pass. He can now focus on clogging lanes and stuffing runs, his forte.

I would say that I am most disappointed by the Jets wide receivers. Based off their preseason and training camp improvements (in both route running and pass catching) I expected big things from them this year. Yet, Gates and Hill don’t look to have translated much of that off season improvement to the regular season. I am equally disappointed in the pass defense. Cromartie looks to have slipped a bit and Wilson and Milliner have not been stepping up to the plate consistently. Hopefully, Cro gets back in the saddle and Darrin Walls gets more reps with the rookie and Wilson struggling.

Mike O’Connor –  I’m stuck here. It is not that certain aspects haven’t been impressive, because some have been off the charts, and that’s the problem. I could feel comfortable going with either Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison, or Demario Davis for who has impressed me most. However, Harrison hasn’t played as many snaps as the other two, and Davis should be making some strides in his second year, so I’ll go with the rookie Sheldon Richardson. It feels great to see a guy I was touting for all pre-draft season succeed in the big leagues so early, and for the Jets no less. Richardson flashed in the pre-season, but nobody could have expected sheer domination on the defensive line that he has managed. What’s most impressive about his game so far, to me, is his work against the run. Richardson was so raw and unrefined in his pad level and hand usage coming out of Missouri this April, but he has somehow mashed it all together beautifully for when it all matters. The best part? He can only get better, of course, but he WILL be better, and soon. His pass rushing is explosive and has tons of upside, and we’re bound to see it unleashed as he gets further adjusted to the big league’s offensive line technique.

On the other side of things, many Jets have disappointed me as well this early in the season. Yet, when I stray away from the Jets who we could have seen this underwhelming play coming (Stephen Hill, Kyle Wilson, Clyde Gates, and rookie Dee Milliner are a few), I’m left with one obvious standout: Antonio Cromartie. As I hopefully accurately highlighted in my Week 1 secondary review and aim to in my Week 2 review coming soon, Cromartie has shown some very worrisome signs in his game thus far. These signs haven’t been normal. He’s shown extreme stiffness and some slow instincts that really aren’t like him. We’ll see how he pans out throughout the rest of this season, but (can’t believe I’m about to say this) we could find ourselves looking back on the 2013 season and claiming that Darrin Walls was the Jets most impressive corner over 16 games.

Connor Rogers – Two weeks in and I’m definitely most impressed with the two nose tackles Damon “Snacks’ Harrison and Kenrick Ellis. These two guys are eating up blockers and creating a ton of space for inside linebackers Demario Davis and David Harris. Everything starts up front and these two excelling at their jobs has this defense ranked number two overall at the moment.

On the flip side, I’m really disappointed in the wide receiving core. Not one single guy is catching the ball consistently outside of Santonio Holmes, who is coming off a serious injury preventing him from gaining a lot of separation. Geno Smith deserves better, especially with the offensive line playing a respectable two games. Get open and catch the ball, the two main tasks asked of this group have been an absolute let down as of now.

Dalbin Osorio – I was the only one of my fellow writers to predict a playoff appearance for the New York Jets, so my expectations for the team may be a little higher than my brothers in writing. Because of this, my expectations for certain players on the team are undoubtedly higher. The Jet I’m most impressed with is Sheldon Richardson. All Sheldon’s done is line up in every spot on the defensive line and wreak havoc. I really believe that his numbers will jump once Quinton Coples returns (as soon as this week hopefully) because you can’t double every quartet of Mo, Coples, Sheldon, Harrison, Ellis, and Barnes. Richardson is athletic, with a high motor, and is a very smart player.

Speaking of cornerbacks, my biggest disappointment on the New York Jets is Antonio Cromartie. I can pick Stephen Hill, but let’s be frank; he was overdrafted in the 2nd round and should continue to experience growing pains as he acclimates to the NFL game. Cromartie is the guy for me. During the offseason, I highlighted Cromartie’s development last year into an elite cornerback that completely erased opposing WRs on a fairly consistent basis. My man OC highlighted Cromartie’s decline through the first two games very well in his Secondary Grade Sheet. Through the first two games, Cro looks old, tentative and like he’s lost a step. Cro, also, looks unwilling to press WRs (Vincent Jackson consistently got open on slants, due to the cushion Cro gave him.) The only solace is that it’s only been two games and that, with 10 days of rest in between Weeks 2 and 3, Cromartie begins to revert back to his play from last year, but he has definitely been a disappointment.

Dan Marcus – Let’s start with the impressive and the obvious choice here is the defense, specifically the defensive line but the entire Front Seven has played more or less out of their minds over these first two weeks. Bear in mind, they did all of this without one of Rex Ryan’s typically great secondaries and arguably one of their best pass-rushers in Quinton Coples. The defense gives those, like myself, reason to believe that the Jets can be competitive and maybe even pull off a few upsets, considering the schedule looks considerably softer than it did coming in.

I can drool over the defense all day so I will move over to the other sides of the ball, the offense hasn’t been anything to write home about by any means but what has impressed me has been Geno’s poise, his overall play has been very characteristic of a rookie that is undergoing his NFL baptism by fire but he has shown some flashes and an ability to shake off mistakes.

In terms of Special Teams, Nick Folk has definitely impressed me, considering the organization is giving him the “Mackenzie McHale” treatment, meaning his job situation is tenuous on a week-to-week basis. Despite this, Folk has shined making clutch kick after clutch kick and has also been very good off the tee but that should change as the weather gets colder and the winds begin to kick up at the Meadowlands.

Disappointing…?

It’s really hard to be a disappointed with a team that had the proverbial bar set so low for them going into the season. Naturally, you can be critical of the offense and how dismally the skill position players, most notably the wide receivers. Clyde Gates should have been cut yesterday. As a Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator with a rookie Quarterback you can expect your QB to make “X” amount of good decisions/throws and when those are wasted by drops or bad route-running it becomes extremely frustrating and exceedingly difficult to win games.

The only other thing that I have any cause for being disappointed about is the way that New England game shook out because it was classic Jets. Every time we have the Pats in a vulnerable position, we end up throwing up all over ourselves. I felt like Dennis Green after that loss because the Pats “Are who we thought they were and we absolutely let them off the hook,” a tough one to swallow.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owne 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

  • Keator

    Impressed: Sheldon, vlad, Davis and Powell

    Disappointed: all the wideouts, Cro and milliner

  • Davis has been lights out, and have to go with wideouts, no ? about it.

  • Circles26

    Cromartie has been listed with a hip injury. Do you think maybe that could be effecting his performance. I just hope it’s something that will heal, and not linger the season.

  • Angel

    Geno Smith impressive?

    Really??

    Not Wilkerson, Richardson, Winslow, Davis, or Ducasse?

    Which interception or fumble impressed you the most? Are you impressed because the fumble didn’t come from running into Willie Colon’s butt?

    Just busting your chops Joe… but seriously, Geno Smith?

  • Circles26

    What you want to see from a rookie QB is promise, and composure. He’s going to make mistakes, but how do they effect him? What type of mistakes are they? Are they mental, physical, or technique related. So far most of Geno’s mistakes have resulted from him throwing off his back foot, which tends to leave the ball short, and behind the receivers. Better receivers would probably have come down with, or at least broken up most of them. I’ve been pretty impressed with Geno, and think his mistakes are easily correctable with repetition to build muscle memory. I thank the lord that David Lee is here to do that, and not that former Patriot, who is thankfully teaching Cutler how to throw pick 6’s.