Johnson Will Be A Great Fit
I love the signing of Chris Johnson for a lot of reasons. For starters, he still has gas left in the tank. Secondly, he sounds like a team player who likes Rex Ryan and respects the Jets desire to remain playoff caliber, while willing to be as active as the club needs in order to win. He enters Florham Park with a self proclaimed chip on his shoulder too.
Another plus in Johnson is the contract, which at eight million for two years, the second year being a club option, is not exactly a salary cap killer. GM John Idzik has stayed disciplined and methodical in his controlled approach to upgrading through free agency via deals containing solid or better than market value.
The Jets now have speed in Johnson, power in Chris Ivory, and a reliable change of pace in Bilal Powell behind the quarterback. All with the ability to be effective and useful in their own way.
Can Johnson find his old Pro Bowl numbers again? Probably not, being that this may be the start of a modest pitch count for Johnson as he enters the back end of his career. CJ won’t need to provide monster fantasy football Sundays though. As long as he provides big play capability and consistency in gaining big chunks a few times each weekend.
Don’t look now, but the Jets have Michael Vick, Eric Decker and Chris Johnson. All guys who have and can still be home run hitters. With twelve picks to use and maneuver with on the way.
Mo And Sheldon are the Neutralizers
On SNY Jets Extra Point this past weekend, we learned of Sheldon Richardson and Mo Wilkerson’s offseason training in Houston with a top defensive line guru. Just seeing the two young pro bowl caliber Jets working out reminded me that teams with a killer pass rush and run stopping unit up front are never out of a game before it starts.
The early Rex Ryan Jets featured a nasty cornerback duo in Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie as the defenses foundation. Now the shift is to the line where it all starts with Mo and Sheldon.
A lot of the talk this offseason has been about players whom the Jets didn’t sign, or chase after. It was just nice to remember that with Quinton Coples and Snacks Harrison also in the mix, it is exciting to realize that with this crew, there is even more room to grow.
It’s Getting Late Early For Hill and Goodson
Even with decent camps the chances that either or both Mike Goodson and Stephen Hill make the 53 man roster are growing slim. It’s not a done deal yet, but with the Jets about to go stud wide receiver in the draft and the arrival of Chris Johnson, these two now must make their presence felt early and often.
Goodson was poised to gain a viable opportunity as an impact guy with the Jets thanks to brief NFL flashes of speed and big time yards after the catch in the screen passing game prior to his arrival. Hill is a big frame who more often than not has disappointed in his first two years, but every once in a while shows why he was selected primarily based on raw athleticism.
Goodson will have to play healthy and lights out from day one this summer in order to put pressure on the coaches to find a place for him. It still may not lead to an immediate invite for year two but could keep him in the conversation. A chance to stall for time so to speak.
Running backs get banged up, as much as I don’t like addressing the scenario of keys guys going down in August. Goodson has to give himself the opportunity to hang around by ripping some big runs off in practice and early preseason action. Make it hard for them to release him.
Hill who the Jets initially hoped could be a major help downfield and in the red zone, may want to first start thinking possession first. Be the trusted mid range target for size mismatches in man coverage. Show off speed and ability to fight for balls in the end zone of course, but give Marty Mornhinweg something to feel safe about.
Hill should try and mirror the role of Jason Avant who as an Eagle was the fourth or fifth option catching balls beyond the first down marker but did so when his number was called. While sneaking in a twenty yard plus play when those ahead of him on the depth chart were resting or nursing injuries. A reliable depth guy. Always ready to haul one in.
Assuming the Jets grab a top WR in the draft, they would have that new rookie, Decker, Jeremy Kerley, and David Nelson as the top four. Jacoby Ford will get a chance to do more than return kicks too. Greg Salas is a stylistic fit for a spread offense. That makes six and leaves Hill on the brink unless he can secure the rock and use his body to box out nickel and dime packages. Otherwise what CAN he offer besides run blocking?
– Word has it that many CBs and WRs slated to go high in the draft are visiting Florham Park. Sounds like Lord Idzik knows what he wants. Now wouldn’t it be lovely if he goes stealth and sneaks into the first round twice, to perhaps grab a top TE? Give me a top WR, CB and tight end next month and I will be thrilled.
– The thought of the defensive line elevating their play to an even higher level would coincide so well with Demario Davis developing into a lights out linebacker. Like his teammates in the trenches DD has the potential to make that climb from solid leader to constant game changer too. Imagine if THAT happens. Have fun trying to move the chains against Sexy Rexy’s crew.
– Phil Jackson wasted no time I see. Mike Woodson was fired today, but the real story is that Herb Willams and the entire staff was canned too. Nobody in New York sports history survived more coaching changes, bad teams, and revolving doors than Herb the tall classy gentle giant did. Good luck Mr Williams. You deserve a little success on the next go round.