Well, football is kind of back. The Jets OTA’s began Tuesday and media availability began yesterday. A majority of the team attended (the workouts are voluntary), with a few players being excused for various reasons. Let’s recap some of the “highlights” so far.
The Decker connection:
Although these workouts/practices are in shorts and non-contact, the star of the show has been Eric Decker. The prized free agent signing has drawn attention for his smooth route running and top notch hands.The criticisms of the Decker signing are quite simple (and ignorant): he is a product of Peyton Manning and he is not a “number one” wide receiver. As Rex Ryan pointed out after day two, Decker caught eight touchdowns from Tim Tebow in his second year in the league.
He may not take over games like Calvin Johnson and Josh Gordon do, but he is a twenty-seven year old wide out with tons of production on his resume. The Jets need consistency at the wide receiver position and they are hoping Decker can bring that from day one.
Eyes on the quarterbacks:
Geno Smith did not speak with the media after Wednesday’s practice but Mike Vick did. Vick is saying all of the right things and it is obvious how well he can command a huddle (one player called him “sir” on Wednesday). A lot of the players on the Jets roster (one of the younger rosters in the league) look up to Vick and respect him as a player.
Meanwhile, Geno Smith is locked in for an intense training camp. Vick is still a superb talent, especially in non-contact situations. It will all come down to preseason performances, but it is quite clear the Jets want Smith to take control as the signal caller.
The end of what never began:
Mike Goodson has not attended the first two days of OTA’s and Rex Ryan had little to offer on that subject. With the offseason additions of Chris Johnson and Daryl Richardson, Goodson’s career as a Jet is dwindling quickly.Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson should command most of the carries, with Bilal Powell being rock solid as the third string back. Richardson has flashed in St. Louis and will be tough to beat if the Jets do carry four running backs.
It is unfortunate Goodson’s career never took off with the Jets, but it is time to face the facts. With all the talent the Jets have at the running back position, why keep a running back coming off a torn ACL and currently facing legal trouble?
Obviously it is extremely early, but Jace Amaro and Jalen Saunders both seem like they can contribute from day one. Amaro may see majority snaps at the tight end position this year, which also frees up Jeff Cumberland as the number two tight end, not number one.
Saunders was a superb punt returner in college and should be the Jets starter from week one. If he can flash as a route runner much like he did at Fresno State and Oklahoma, he may see some time in trips formations and from the slot.
Keep an eye on these two as we inch closer to training camp.
Follow Connor on twitter: @CRogers_NFL