The Jets playoff hopes have come to an end, but there is still football to be played. The Cleveland Browns come into MetLife Stadium this weekend in what is expected to be a warm and rainy day. The Jets are a young team with a lot of big question marks heading into the offseason. Will the team lay down these next two weeks or fight for Rex Ryan’s job? Let’s take a look at this week’s story lines.
The Jets have signed Dwight Jones to the practice squad:
Jones, the former standout wide receiver from North Carolina, has an interesting story. The former UNC number one target is 6’3, 225 pounds and runs the forty yard dash in the 4.5 range.
He was banned from UNC’s pro day for an alleged New Year’s Eve party, which severely hurt his draft stock. After surprisingly going undrafted in the 2012 NFL draft, he was signed as a UDFA by the Houston Texans. He declared himself as the “next Andre Johnson” in OTA’s, but mysteriously left the team and quit football in general.
While many speculated that he was not cut out for the sport, there is more to the story. Jones had left football to be with his infant son who was suffering from lung disease. Unfortunately his son shortly passed away after Jones departure from football. After more than a year away from the game, the once extremely talented 24 year old is back, now with the Jets.
Jones is certainly not a lock to ever make it to the 53 man roster, as he has struggled at times with route running and using his frame. Being out of football for over a year is also a huge blow to his conditioning. Even with question marks, the once highly touted wide receiver is a low risk, potentially high reward practice squad player.
Moving on to ’14:
With playoff hopes out of reach, it would be nice for some of the younger guys to see more snaps. While Rex Ryan is arguably coaching to keep his job right now, this is not entirely likely. On the other hand, players like Antonio Allen and Kenrick Ellis are severely underused. They are both young and have proven their worth on the field in limited time.
It also boggles my mind to have Kyle Wilson “returning” punts and kick offs. Wilson has looked better as a nickel corner this season, but offers nothing as a return man. Why not give a young speedster like Saalim Hakim a chance to make a play?
Finally, where has Zach Sudfeld been? Him and Greg Salas arguably carried the Jets offense in their win over New Orleans, yet the two combined for 17 total snaps out of 62 offensive plays versus Carolina.
Keep the momentum rolling, fellas:
Quinton Coples has looked quite comfortable at his new position in the second half of the season. Not only has he turned it on in the sack department the past few weeks, but he is garnering a lot of quarterback hurries, an underrated statistic.
We always knew Coples has the ability to be a premier pass rusher, but could he do it from the edge? It appears he can, while also consistently stuffing the run game that dares to come his way.
On the other side of the ball, Chris Ivory is beginning to show why the Jets were willing to give up a fourth round pick for him. The bulldozing back picked up over 60 yards on only 11 carries against the best run defense in the league on Sunday.
If the Jets can develop a mediocre passing game in the offseason, Ivory will see a lot more space in front of him next season. Fourth round selections are essentially lotto tickets, trading the pick for a talent like Ivory was an intelligent move by John Idzik.