TOJ Roundtable: Jets Playing Out The String Edition

The TOJ Roundtable discusses what they want to see most out of the Jets the final four games of the season

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 do you want to see most out of the Jets final four games?

Joe Caporoso Most importantly, I’d like to see strides from this season’s draft picks, which means Geno Smith doing enough to be a viable competitor for the starting job next year, Dee MIlliner looking like he may be able to start next season, and Brian Winters doing something besides getting rag-dolled on every play. Furthermore, the Jets should be playing Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen 100% of the snaps in the secondary the rest of the way. Ed Reed and Antonio Cromartie (who is hurt, anyway) won’t be here next season, while Walls and Allen will be, so get them additional experience. Rex Ryan probably isn’t going to oblige, unfortunately.

Personally, I do think it is time for the Jets to move on from Rex. However, he can make a strong case to keep his job in the final four games. A strong case in my opinion is winning three out of four and being highly competitive in the game they lose. A strong case isn’t squeaking out ugly home wins over the putrid Raiders and Browns and then getting waxed by Carolina and Miami. Jets fans shouldn’t find fools gold in beating a team like Oakland 12-9 and Cleveland 14-13. Let’s see how Rex gets this team ready to compete against a legitimate Super Bowl contender in Carolina and a divisional rival who will be in the playoff hunt like Miami.

Finally, even though I don’t think he is a good NFL wide receiver or a player with a high ceiling, the Jets need to force feed Stephen Hill the ball a little bit. They need to give him some chances to make plays and see if there is anything there.

Cole Patterson In a perfect world I would like to see:

  • Rex Ryan doing enough to keep his job so he can keep grooming this defensive monster he has started
  • Dee Milliner earn his playing time and show marked improvement over the final stretch
  • Ed Reed and Antonio Cromartie ride the pine while Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls prove they can be future contributors for this team
  • Geno Smith not miss a snap and show enough for the team to warrant building around the quarterback in 2014 (WRs, TEs, Gs, etc.) instead of reaching or overpaying for a new one

What I expect:

  • Rex Ryan will do just enough to make whether or not to retain him as the head coach a difficult decision and earn the ire of the fan base
  • Dee Milliner will continue to play erratically and show that he really could have used a full training camp
  • Ryan will stubbornly continue to start Reed and Cromartie while the younger backs with more future potential waste away
  • Geno Smith, like Ryan and Milliner, will do just enough for nobody, from Idzik to the fans, know what to do about the quarterback position in 2014

**Note: I am not arguing that he deserves it, but if Ryan was assured of his job security, he too could begin planning for 2014 (as the rest of the organization has done). He could put Smith, Allen, Walls, and the rest in a position to show what they have.

TJ Rosenthal –  To be honest with you all a you know me as a rare glass half full Jets fan, the hope is gone for me. I had hoped at 5-4 to see an offense have two weeks to gear up to a wildcard level. Two weeks for Rex to make clear headed choices on how to proceed on defense given the clear issues at corner. Instead it’s been a disaster since the Buffalo game.

I “hope” the Jets run the table and sneak in. I expect them though to lose to Oakland and slowly implode from there. Leaving them 5-11 or 6-10 and the HC out of a job.

Geno won’t show us anything we haven’t seen. Some decent plays and throws mixed in with game changing mistakes. Garrard will probably start one of the final games because only the Jets would even consider turning to a banged up 35 year old backup to play out the string.

Frank Giasone – Here we are sitting at 5-7 with four games remaining. Not exactly the scenario many expected a few weeks ago, but a fairly reasonable position considering the state of this Jets roster. So what can we look for during this four-game span?

In my mind, it’s the same thing I’ve been looking for since August. A true evaluation of the Jets roster. It’s time to figure out who’s going to be here next season, and who won’t. With the playoffs out of the question, there’s really no better time to figure out what this team has, and what it’s lacking.

A few specific things I’ll be looking for:

  • For me, this is the one factor that’s most important moving forward: Can this team actually compete during this final stretch of games? It’s not about wins or losses for Rex Ryan anymore. It’s about getting a team that has no shot at the playoffs to play like these games actually have meaning. Rex’s job may depend on his ability to get a flawed roster to remain competitive down the stretch and while he’s struggled to do so over the past three weeks, he still has some time to persuade John Idzik to stick with him moving forward.
  • Is there a need to look for a new quarterback this offseason or can Geno Smith reignite the excitement that came following the comeback win in Atlanta earlier in the season? While many want to see Geno benched in favor of Matt Simms, come NFL Draft time, having as much information possible on the rookie QB will be paramount to the Jets’ draft decisions this April.
  • Are any of these wide receivers capable of starting in the NFL? Chances are there won’t be many returning faces in the WR corps next season, but there are a couple of guys to keep your eye on. The receivers I have on the bubble heading into next season include Stephen Hill, Greg Salas and David Nelson. This is clearly a position of need with this team and if these guys want a legitimate shot at hanging around next season, they’ll need to show more than they have recently.
  • On defense, it’s time to give Antonio Allen his snaps back. Ed Reed won’t be here next season, and many (including myself) have high hopes for Allen moving forward. His snaps have been dwarfed by the Reed signing, and honestly, that needs to change for the good of Allen’s development.
  • The same can be said for cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Cro, who has a pretty hefty salary figure next season, has been nursing injuries all year, leading to a less than spectacular season. The Jets may be best to cut ties with the former pro-bowler in the offseason and a guy like Darrin Walls could certainly benefit from the added snaps this year. Cromartie’s constant injuries this year offer Rex the perfect excuse to sit down the big-name corner. We’ll see if Rex see’s it the same way.

Daniel Marcus – In a word, hope. I want to see some reason to hope and believe that this team is on the upswing, that John Idzik didn’t waste high picks on the likes of Dee Milliner and Geno Smith, that they can show they can play in this league and for this team. I want to see some fight and although it won’t mean anything for their playoff prospects, I would love to see this team at least get to .500 so that Rex has a puncher’s chance of keeping his job, I won’t be bashful about, I’m an unabashed (I know that’s redundant, sue me) Rex Ryan supporter and I think pulling the plug on him now will set this franchise back another year. Assuming they bring in an offensive coach with different offensive and defensive philosophies, it can only hurt the growth of the Jets’ young core. The one thing that would absolutely kill me would be seeing Rex go and having to watch Idzik bring in one of his Ex-Tampa buddies and have to watch this once-proud and aggressive unit play the “Tampa 2,” yuck.

Mike O’Connor – Dan’s write-in scares me a bit. It would be great to see Dee Milliner and Geno Smith make some strides in their game in the season’s last four weeks, yes, but wins will only help Rex Ryan keep his job. It’s tough for me to say I want the Jets to lose out, even if that means a higher draft pick, because a 5-11 season is just depressing. I’m really conflicted. I fear that Rex will somehow find a way to keep his job, so good showings from Geno, Milliner, and more would please me even if they came at the expense of a few wins.

However, I would hate to see the Jets win out or even win three of the last four. While it would show promise, Rex Ryan has made it quite clear in a short period of time that he is not going to be a consistent thinker to help this team win consistently, and three/four fluky wins against equally bad teams (outside of Carolina) in the final stretch of a season shouldn’t change that. When it comes to specific players, I’d like to see Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls play significant snaps (as they should have been all season) since they are apart of the future of this team, but I really can’t trust Rex with making the correct decisions anymore for this team anyway.

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