TOJ Roundtable – New York Jets Off-Season Priorities Edition

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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 the top three off-season priorities for the New York Jets and who should the team target at each spot?

Joe Caporoso1) Add playmakers in the passing game

They need them at tight end and wide receiver. The days of rotating through substandard retreads at both positions needs to stop. This team should be adding at least three new targets for Geno Smith or whoever the quarterback is through free agency and the NFL Draft.

2) Get a pass rusher off the edge

Calvin Pace is a nice stopgap. Antwan Barnes is a good situational pass rusher. Quinton Coples is a defensive lineman listed as an outside linebacker. The Jets have ignored this need for long enough. Brian Orakpo and Jason Worilds should be free agency considerations and it wouldn’t be insane to consider an outside linebacker with a first or second round pick.

3) Upgrade Safety

Let’s do better than starting somebody cut by Jacksonville (Dawan Landry) and somebody cut by Houston (Ed Reed) – Go spend the money on TJ Ward or Jairus Byrd and bump Antonio Allen into the starting line-up.

Cole Patterson - The 2014 New York Jets: a flawed team with a chance to right the ship and build a winner. With one of the biggest budgets in the NFL and a king’s ransom of draft selections, the Jets can target their needs in free agency and comfortably use the “best player available” strategy in the draft. The team has numerous holes and weak spots but the top three are:

Wide Receiver: I don’t think I’m going out on a limb with this selection. In fact, I imagine the rest of the TOJ staff chose this as the position of priority. The Jets pass catching woes are no secret. The depth and overall skill of the position are deplorable. Luckily, free agency and the draft hold various remedies. I would attack the position by signing the reliable and dynamic Golden Tate and drafting Marquise Lee who, despite inconsistent quarterback play, has flashed.

Safety: The Jets defense has a chance to be dominant. The talent and depth of the defensive line is not in question. With a full bill of health, the tandem of Coples and Barnes should bring the pass rush to a new level. Harris and Davis proved to be dominant against the run. With Milliner trending in the right direction and Cromartie hopefully healthy and back on a reduced salary, the Jets achilles heel on defense has to be the saftey position. The trio of Landry, Allen, and Reed let up their fair share of big plays and failed to make many of their own. A consistent, ball hawking safety on the back end could make a world of difference. I expect John Idzik to spend money on at least one difference maker on defense and I hope its Jarius Byrd. Byrd has been the bane of Jets quarterbacks for years now and to have him in green and white could put this defense over the top.

GuardThis is probably an unpopular pick but I prioritize guard over tight end, outside linebacker, and cornerback. I believe the starting linebackers and cornerbacks of 2014 are already on the roster (Cro, Milliner, Wilson, Coples, Pace, Barnes). While Jason Worlids or Alterraun Verner would be nice luxury signings, I would be upset to see big money spent on them without solidifying the guard spot. Solid guard play makes the entire offensive unit function better. Good guards create bigger holes for running backs to hit, give the quarterback more time to throw, and allow the pass catchers more time to get open. Willie Colon and Brian Winters will likely be in consideration for the starting gigs this summer but I would bring in Jon Asamoah to provide competition. Asamoah is young and extremely talented. With a little more development he could become one of the better guards in the league. If he loses out to Colon and/or Winters, the worst case scenario is depth at the position or cutting him lose. 

Dalbin Osorio - The Jets have a chance to be major players in free agency this offseason, so it’s important that they come out of there with 3 starters. How they do in free agency, and how quick they fill up a few of their holes, will allow them to target the best player available with their 10-12 draft picks. Here’s what, and who, they should aim for:

1.  #1 WR. The Jets have had 1 number one WR in the last 10 years (Santonio Holmes in 2010). It’s time that changes this offseason, and the guy I would target to change that is Eric Decker. Decker is 6’3″, 206 pounds and a physical WR and good run blocker who will give Geno a big target opposite any of the draft’s WRs the Jets target in the second round (I believe Ebron or Amaro need to be the picks at 18). Some will argue that Decker won’t put up the same numbers away from Peyton Manning, but with Tim Tebow as his QB Decker put up 44 catches for 612 yards and 8 TDs. Decker is 26 years old, and is finishing up his 3rd full season as a starter in the NFL. He’s someone Geno can grow with, and who will help immediately. Plus, it weakens an AFC contender.

2. A Pass Rushing LB: The Jets have spent three first round picks on defensive linemen, and have yielded very good results. Coples ended his first season as an OLB strong, Mo Wilkerson cemented his place as one of the best defensive linemen in football, and Sheldon Richardson (who should be the defensive rookie of the year) had an impact year. It’s time the Jets added an edge rusher to the equation. Clemson’s Vic Beasley would make sense, but I stated above where I think the Jets should go in the first round. The player that will give a new dimension to the Jets defense is OLB Brian Orakpo. Orakpo is 27 years old and bounced back from an injury plagued 2012 season to notch 10 sacks in 2013 in 15 games. Orakpo has played 64 out of 80 possible games in his career, so it seems like the injury prone label is minor. Orakpo has notched at least 8.5 sacks in 4 out of his 5 seasons and he can, also, stop the run. With Orakpo and Coples bookending Wilkerson, Richardon, and Harrison, the Jets defense becomes that much more dangerous.

3. A #1 CB: The Jets are likely to release Antonio Cromartie due to his large cap hit. There’s a chance that Cromartie may be back, but there’s also a chance that his best days are behind him. In any event, the Jets need a number one corner to play opposite of Dee Milliner. Milliner ended his season strong as Rex threw him into the deep end of the ocean and let him learn how to play corner. Now, they need consistency from both corner positions. Who can they sign to fill the other corner position? The Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner. Verner, 26, has been the Titans starting CB for two full seasons now and has racked up 7 INTs and 32 passes defended (23 this past season). Adding Verner opposite Milliner gives you two young cornerbacks that can excel in Rex Ryan’s man to man scheme. The Jets secondary was atrocious this past season, and adding Verner goes a long way to fixing that.

Frank Giasone -  Take a look at the Jets’ 2013 roster and the needs of the team jump off the page. While the majority of issues can be found on the offensive side of the ball, the defense too, could use a tuneup. That’s why I’m looking to not only improve the Jets at their most publicized need (wide receiver) but also trying to get this defense back into form.

While the teams’ estimated 12 draft picks will certainly help cure many of their woes, there are a few free agent signings that I’d like to see John Idzik & Co. explore:

-Julien Edelman, WR: It’s no secret that the Jets need help at wide receiver, and Edelman would provide the team with a quality receiver to pair with Jeremy Kerley and (hopefully) a top-tier rookie. Not only would Edelman offer help on the offense, but he’s also one of the best punt returners in recent history. That’s something the Jets could especially use.

-Jason Worilds, OLB: Many have been beating the table for a pass rushing linebacker since Rex came to the Jets. This offseason, Worilds could be that guy. A New Jersey native, Worilds finished 2013 with 63 tackles and eight sacks, along with two forced fumbles. With Calvin Pace a free agent, the 25-year-old linebacker would be a tremendous replacement for this defense and would look great lined up opposite of Quinton Coples.

-Alterraun Verner, CB: This one isn’t likely to happen…but we can hope, right? Verner is one of the top cover corners in football and would be a terrific replacement for Antonio Cromartie–if the team decides to part ways with him, which I’m assuming they will. Imagine Rex Ryan with his current cast on the defensive line and one of the best cornerbacks in football? Yeah, I think that defense would probably find its way back to being a top-five caliber unit in the NFL. 

Mike O’Connor1. Address Tight End
There aren’t any clear reasons to bring back any other tight end on the current roster other than second year man Zach Sudfeld.  With that said, Sudfeld absolutely needs a starter in front of him.  I’m in the boat that would rather see the Jets spend their top two picks elsewhere come May, so I see 2014 being another year for the team to sign another stop-gap type of veteran at the position, similar to what they did with Kellen Winslow this past off-season.  Some big names will be thrown into the mix in Jerimichael Finley and Brandon Pettigrew, but at the end of the day there you’re getting a slight upgrade from Jeff Cumberland but essentially a replica in terms of play style.  I’d rather see them take a stab at Anthony McCoy or Andrew Quarless, two younger guys who have a lot of unrefined skill.

If they do go the route of a younger, less refined tight end to take a chance on their development, I’d like to see a tight end get selected at some point between rounds three and five.  A prime target in that general area could be Iowa’s C.J Fiedorowicz or Georgia’s Arthur Lynch.  Oh and by the way, this team should not and will not enter the running for Jimmy Graham.

2. Address Wide Receiver
I think a wide receiver or two is just as necessary as everybody else does, but the Jets would survive more with David Nelson and Jeremy Kerley than a practically vacant tight end spot,  In terms of value, however, I think receiver is absolutely the top priority.

Though it’s early, I would guess the Jets will bite for a receiver in the first round if HaHa Clinton-Dix doesn’t make it to 18.  Whether it’s a dream scenario of Sammy Watkins testing positive for something and falling to the Jets, Marqiuse Lee, or a late riser, I think the position is talent deprived enough for the focus to be set on WR (my rankings are view-able here, by the way. They will be updated).

With the drastic need for talent at the position, I would bet on a free agent being brought in as well.  If the Jets are going to spend a lot of money somewhere this off-season, this may be the spot.  Personally, I’d rather see them draft high and sign an affordable free agent like Riley Cooper or James Jones.  Golden Tate has also become a popular option by Jets fans, and although I guess I’m not as high on him as most are, I wouldn’t mind the addition if they don’t have to break the bank for him.  If they spend wisely, they could take a shot elsewhere in free agency where franchise-changing players are available, like at FS with Jarius Byrd or corner with Alterraun Verner.

3. Add Offensive Line Depth
I would love to see free safety or outside linebacker add a superstar, believe me, but it’s a luxury regardless.  In terms of priorities to just stabilize the team heading into 2014, the team has to sign a stop-gap or two on what has become a relatively weak offensive line.  The Jets have been really lucky when it comes to injuries along the line recently.  Not to mention, Brian Winters has improved a bit since forced into a starting role, but he could be just as lost next season as he looked earlier this year.  D’Brickashaw Ferguson had a forgettable year, and Nick Mangold also looks to be declining, just not as rapidly.  Willie Colon is a stop-gap player, and nothing else.  Veterans who could be options are Jon Asammoah if they want to spend high, or Shawn Lauvao or Geoff Schwartz as dependable backups/spot starters.

Connor Rogers - 1) Upgrade skill positions on the offense

Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell did a real solid job at running back and Mike Goodson should be healthy for next year. I wouldn’t be opposed to adding a guy like Dexter McCluster in free agency or drafting a guy like De’anthony Thomas from Oregon, both players that can run the ball but are primarily pass catchers from the backfield and the slot.

At tight end, the only guy I see staying right now Zach Sudfeld. He is a young player that can hold down the third tight end spot to develop. The Jets can add a cap friendly pass blocker in free agency and use the draft to find a pass catcher.

At wide receiver, it is safe to say things will be blown up. Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson are most likely the respective 3rd and 4th wide receivers. Stephen Hill will be in camp fighting to take Nelson’s spot or the fifth wide receiver spot. Free agency and the draft can both be used to fill the two primary wide receiving spots.

2) Find a game changing safety

The Jets have filled the safety position with “hold the fort” players such as Yeremiah Bell and Dawan Landry the past few years. Both guys were solid but certainly not spectacular. I know a lot of people are not a fan of this, but if the Jets do not find this guy in free agency, drafting HaHa Clinton-Dix would not be a bad move at all.

3) Who fills Calvin Pace’s role?

Pace had a nice season considering he was brought back on the vet’s minimum. On the other hand, he was given 1 on 1 match ups week after week and was hardly an impact player. If the Jets can find a better option, it would really improve their pass rush. Antwan Barnes will be welcomed back with open arms as a third down pass rusher, but the Jets still need a guy to stop the run.

TJ Rosenthal -  The Jets need two playmaking receivers. They have to target one in free agency say a Jeremy Maclin and draft one high, but this time get it right. Will Mike Evans from Texas A&M be around at 18? I believe the Ravens pick right in front of the Jets and have the same need.

Secondly, for the love of god can we please get a viable backup QB here already? No 40 year olds. No Tim Tebows. No guys who have never played like Matt Simms. Target Josh McCown. He’s proven now. He can lead and win games. No more letting seasons go due to “developing” QB’s. If Geno is the guy, and the Jets attempt to build around him but he stumbles, let’s be able to turn to another guy please. It’s ridiculous already Rex. Five years now. C’mon.

The offense would also benefit from a modern day pass catching TE. Someone who can stretch the middle of the field a bit and be able to eat up catches certain days. Is Jeffa Cumberland really that guy? I say no, he’s a. Solid second TE but not a threat. Let’s get a threat to play the position.

Three needs. All on offense. Its time to finally load up and come out firing with the ball.

18 thoughts on “TOJ Roundtable – New York Jets Off-Season Priorities Edition

  1. Everyone knows the team needs offensive playmakers. However, when you look at the FA available, unless you’re backing up the truck for Jimmy Graham, there isn’t one offensive guy who has a proven track record as a game changer, a player the opposing DC game plans against. Cap space is so valuable, if you make a big mistake (say..like Santonio Holmes) reaching it ends up killing you (say…like the Santonio Holmes contract).

    The best available FAs, are all on the defensive side of the ball. Getting an Orakpo, Verner or Ward/Byrd gets you proven production, for an ‘in their prime’ player that would make this defense more stout, which would give the developing offense a bit more breathing room.

    On the draft, while WR is deep, the NYJ are going to have a lot of picks in this draft. As good as the TEs look, I can’t remember a great 1st round TE in..forever. If your team needs guys who can make plays through the passing game, then pick a WR, which I believe is a bigger impact position. I like Evans’ size, hands and how he’s peformed against A&Ms top competition, but if they deem Watkins, or someone else, the number 1 available guy, someone they believe is a game changer, they should do anything they can to get him. Hopefully they’ll have an extra 3rd rounder, maybe they can pair that with their 1 to move up and grab their highest rated WR? Maybe they can use Ellis to move up. This team hasn’t had a playmaker since Wesley Walker!

  2. I’m with Frank on going for Worilds over Orakpo. Orakpo would be a great pickup, but I think Worilds has more speed off the edge. While Orakpo might be better against the run than Worilds, Worilds is not awful at it and with this run-stuffing d-line, the extra speed is more important.

    The Jets really need to evaluate Bush and Miles before the start of free agency. If the team is 90% certain they are ready to step up sometime in 2014, then you can go to camp with Landry, Bush, and Miles. If they are 50%-90% certain, then they need a FA safety like Byrd. If they are less than 50% certain, then they need to draft competition at the position and probably look into adding a FA.

    The Jets should try to come away with three additions at wide receiver: a free agent and two draft picks in a deep draft. I am happy that someone else likes Abbrederis as much as me. We should also aim to draft at least one TE, so that, with the hopeful development of Sudfeld, we can get some talent at the position. A new starter at the position would also be warranted. Finally, a reliable backup QB. This one really depends on the price.

  3. Jason Worilds has one good season. He is not worth the money at all.

    I don’t see much playing time fo another rusher if Pace, Coples and Barnes are all healthy (Coples and Barnes would see most of the pass rush time). Wait for 2015 and draft you OLB of the future in the 1st or get you a potential high upside starter in round 3 or later.

    Memo: Coples led the team in QB hits and hurries and he missed two games. He is a Pass rushing OLB.

    Contrary to what everyone is saying the safeties were not the problem this year the CB’s were. Bring back Reed, Allen and Landry and we will be fine. Remember we had Pool, Leonhard and Smith and ranked #3 in defense in the NFL!

    We need to let Cro go and pick-up Verner if he is too rich for your blood. Sign Shields who will still be 26 when next season starts.

    I agree Joe we need playmakers. We should draft two Wr’s, a TE and sign one F/A WR to round out the receiving core.

    Get a quality guard in the draft or in F/A and we are set other than rounding out depth for our team.

  4. Main issues: WR- OLB- TE- S- CB- G

    WR – Draft 1st round and Late Round 5th speed special team guy
    Add Cheap veteran FA insensitive deal (Maclin)

    OLB – Watch Out for T Sizzle- Ravens cutting him Bring him in with Couples and that front seven – deadly!!!!

    TE- FA Brent Celeck- mix with Suddfeld

    S- Draft 2nd Round Mix in With Allen and Landry

    CB- Cut Cro and bring him back with small salary- Draft 3rd round

    G- Draft 3rd round bring back colon 1 yr deal bc of injury

    GO HUNT!!!

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  6. I don’t get all the we need a safety. We will be fine with what we have. Did the safeties we have in 2012 really play that great? I suspect most of the safeties perceived good play in 2012 was a combo of our CB’s playing much better and us being so bad offensively in 2012 teams did not need to pass much.

    OLB would be nice but to add as developmental guy, but can’t imagine a rookie seeing that much playing with a combo of Pace, Barnes and Coples. Better to draft playmakers in first 2 rounds.

    We can look at a Guard who can start in the early 3rd hopefully we pick a Warford who can play at a high level right away and not a Winters who clearly needed a season on the bench.

  7. Bart..Celek isn’t a FA, but he has a non-guaranteed $4mm salary next year, and if Philly were to cut him it costs them 0 cap space. With Ertz’ emergence, Maclin’s FA, Cooper’s FA and the possibility of having to do something with McCoy or DJax, he’s likely a cap casualty.

  8. I agree with TJ. WR, WR, TE. should be top priorities. Draft for 2 of them, and sign or trade for a proven receiver. I like the idea of spending money on a big free agent for either CB or S too. I agree with Joe, Byrd or Ward would be great!! If they did sign Orakpo to be OLB, I’d have his jersey the next day, love him!! I wouldn’t bet on it tho.

    I think they’ll be more WRs available eventually due to cap casualites. The only way the Jets will get a #1 WR is through trade.

    Draft is deep in skill positions which lays out nicely for the Jets this year. On on TEAM EBRON!!

  9. @Harold

    Safeties were the problem this year on defense.

    The 2012 defense held up with mediocre safeties because you had two of the best shutdown corners in the league and a slow run defense. When Revis went down Cromartie and Wilson still prevented the breakaway plays with man coverage and they had Bell to help out one side. The 2013 defense had an injured Cromartie and a rookie Milliner, and for most of the year, they had to make a choice between keeping the play in front of them for steady, limited gains or pressing and risking the pass sailing over their heads. 2013 proved the need for a rangy safety (or two) to allow more aggresive coverage by the corners. Rex’s choice of Reed and Landry for the latter half of the year put his two best cover safeties on the field and let the corners take more chances in coverage.

    For 2014, Milliner has improved, but we do not know if he can play on an island yet, Cromartie may not be back, Landry is average at best, Reed is old, and Allen, through all the praise, struggles most at assisting corners when he drops back. The quickest way to ensute that we see more of the December 2013 Jets pass defense rather than the October 2013 Jets pass defense is to bring in a good safety that can cover the entire field and help out our corners so they are not on an island all day.

    Also, Pace is gone. He is on his last legs and has just had a career-best, double-digit-sack season playing on a veteran’s minimum in a year in which he was almost catapulted into retirement. He will want a final paycheck (and someone should pay him). But let’s be clear about his ten sacks: a quarter were coverage sacks, another quarter he beat his man, a third quarter were from when the pocket collapsed into Pace’s lap, and with the final quarter the blockers just forgot he was there. Can you imagine what type of production we could have gotten with even a decent starter instead of Pace? If I was a free agent, I would be calling the Jets to offer my setvices. As for Barnes, he specializes in one area. You do not want him on the field more than 40% of the time and he will be much served spelling a linebacker capable of wearing out blockers by himself.

  10. Kash:

    I am burying the hachet with you 2014. Hopefully you can play in the sanbox nicely this year..lol

    Anyway the reason you gave that we had no lockdown CB is exactly why I says the safeties were not the problem. Get Verner or Shields and you have a young CB who can run and cover. Cro’s time has passed if want to invest that type of money you do it for the better, younger player.

    Also the lack of range (Harris) and awareness (Davis who I will give slight pass to because of youth) in the middle put a lot of pressure on our safeties. With a better space player like Dansby or Daryl Smith in the middle we will be much more solid.

    Lastly if Pace plays 65% of the snaps and Barnes plays the other part of his snaps and Coples is playing the other side. You may have 5% to 10% of the snaps remaining so for that reason I think a young player with all the tools who is undervalued a bit would be someone I would bring to develop to take over the majority of Pace’s snaps in a couple years.

  11. But like I said, Pace is likely gone this year. He is a free agent and will probably warrant an offer above the veteran minimum from a team that is either bamboozled by his numbers this year or wants a cheap, veteran player. It is also likely the last contract he gets, so he is going to go for whoever pays more.

    And it is much easier to upgrade the free safety than it is to get a shutdown corner. Remember, the corner does not just have to be good, but capable of playing on an island without any safety help. You can count such players with the fingers on one hand (and you do not know if they will be able to handle it until you put them on that island). The middling safeties of yore were the result of a salary cap and the ability of your corners to play without help. The salary cap is still there, but the corners cannot cope with the same responsibilities. And anyway, you can make an elite secondary again if you have Milliner, Allen, a FA – say Verner or a healthy Cromartie – and a good FS like Byrd, Ward, or Clinton-Dix, maybe also include Kyle Wilson in the slot.

  12. Move Cro to FS, where there would be less stress on his hips, his range and ball skills translate and familiarity w/Rex’ scheme and leadership abilities would provide continuity for youngsters Milliner and Allen. Plus the FS position isn’t as expensive. Then you go out and get a Verner to come in and play that shutdown CB position needed in Rex’ scheme.

    Plenty of CBs have made that move: Rod Woodson, Ronnie Lott (drafted in ’81 as CB) and recently Ronde Barber and Devin McCourty.

  13. Sign Verner, Worilds, Asamoah, Byrd, Maclin

    Draft
    Ebron
    WR in 2nd
    RB in 3rd
    SS in other third

    After cutting sanchez, holmes and cro we will have enough to sign all of those guys, even though it seems unrealistic.

    Verner will be around 6
    Jarius will be expensive
    Worilds also around 6
    Maclin 3.5(because of injury)
    Asamoah around 8

    I also intend on cutting Dawan and Mike Goodson. Saving about another 3-5 mill

  14. Kash:

    I disagree, Pace will get a modest raise maybe to 1.5 million for a solid season. Trust me Pace is not the fools gold for the NFL it is a guy like Jason Worilds. One good not great season w/ 8 sacks. Then overpaid sounds like Pace back in 2008. I will pass no thanks

    Also the two young corners I mentioned are very good in Verner or Shields. You just have to look at the team over the last 2 months most deep shots were on the CB straight down the sidelines. Milliner will be much better with a full offseason. Remember Revis was only okay and got much better in year two. Pair him with one the players above and a new ILB ( Dansby or Daryl Smith) no more David Harris we are set for 2014 and can put our resources into the offense through the draft and F/A.

    Charlie

    Verner is a 25 year old All Pro. He will be 8-10 million.

    I would not touch Worilds, one hit wonder and only a good year not dominating by any stretch.

    Byrd is good player but do you want to pay 7 million for a safety. Seems like a bit much.

    Maclin coming off injury will be probably closer to 2 million dollar range w/incentives to earn more but not affect the cap.

    Asoamah is a solid player depending on price but he will probably be looking in 5 million dollar range. Could get a little more but dont see 8 under any scenario.

    I would target two or three players off this list but not all of these guys. The locker-room of the Jets is really solid, do not disrupt that dynamic too much.

  15. Charlie

    Harold is right, Verner is likely to come in the 9-10 range. CBs are more expensive than Safeties. Last year, Goldson got 18mm guaranteed.

    Revis has a 16mm guarantee, Finnegan, Carr and Joseph all got 20+ on their contracts. That’s what you should be looking at, the guarantee. Just look at Cro as an example, in 2011 he signed that 32mm contract, with 12mm, in guarantees. This year, he is scheduled to make 9.98, is salary and roster/workout bonuses, but he’ll never see that. Verner is going to want, and likely get, around 20mm guaranteed. While Byrd is good, I don’t think he’ll command anything over the 15mm a guy like A Rolle got, especially because TJ Ward is also available.

  16. Before discovering solutions these are the problems:

    Problem 1:

    Geno too pressured to find/complete to receivers – throws interceptions of fumbles instead.

    Consensus is that with some star WR’s the offense/passing game would vastly improve. But would it?
    The pressure from the left and Geno’s diffiicuty picking up a blitz may still rule the day. We need to improve protection and a block and release TE, plus a RB who can pick up a blitz must be added.

    Problem 2: Jets pass rush does not close the deal.

    There are pressures for sure but QB’s generally neutralized our rush with quick release passes. We need to buy our DL more time by being able to stuff WRs at line and have our LBs be able to contribute in pass protenction. We can not afford to have both Harris and Davis providing pass coverage in the center of the field. It has killed us.

    Problem 3: Special Teams coverage and returns.

    Not a glamorous problem but as we put together our roster it must include skilled players for Special Teams.

  17. Mark

    Problem 1: I thought that the line peformed much better in December, as Winters’ play improved. With a full off season to improve both technique and cohesion with his linemates, I think that only improves. I personally think worries of ‘Brick and Mangold’s demise are overblown. They were both forced to play with a guy next to them, at LG, who was either not good, or not ready yet. The line has to work together, as a unit, in order to be good. I think the line will be a strength next year, as long as Winters’ December is a sign of things to come. Further, you’d expect the game to slow down a bit for Geno. You would also expect him to realize how, in December, by using his legs, he slowed down opposing pass rushers who were now forced to stay in their lanes, and contain, rather than just be hell bent on getting him pressure. Again, this assumes Geno takes next step.

    Problem 2: With a full off season, you hope Richardson develops this part of his game-similiar to how Wilkerson did, in season 2. You also hope a healthy Coples creates more pressure off the edge as well. Personally, I don’t see a huge offensive threat in FA (unless you believe they go for Graham), so I’d spend the FA money on Orakpo who is a proven edge rusher.

    Problem 3: When you’re team has major cap issues, the final 5-7 spots on our roster suffer, and these are guys who play S/T. The model is to have the LB/DB you draft in rounds 5-7, and the UFAs you find to develop into full time position players, while they are contributing on special teams. The fact is the NYJ roster lacked depth at many positions. So, if that depth isn’t good enough to back up position players, why would you think they have the skills to play S/T as well?

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