The Jets were back at the Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park today for day one of minicamp. Let’s take a look at some of the trending topics.
Welcome back everyone! (Well, almost):
The only notable absence from the mandatory minicamp was running back Mike Goodson (who can and will be fined for not attending). Why is Goodson pulling a Bartolo Colon? Nobody knows and I highly doubt anyone finds out before Goodson is cut from the team.
Rookie wide receiver Shaq Evans completed his degree at UCLA and is with the team. David Nelson is feeling much better from illness and practiced in full.
Willie Colon was rehabbing on the bike, but said he will be fully ready to go by the time training camp rolls around. Running back Chris Johnson participated in individual drills but did not take part in 11 on 11’s.
Addition and subtraction:
It is pretty incredible how different the offense looks in June 2014 compared to last season. A healthy, 27 year old Eric Decker is the number one wide out instead of a rehabbing Santonio Holmes.
Not to take away from Holmes who did have success at one point in time with the Jets, but his run was over. Decker is coming off of a season where he hauled in 87 catches, over 1,200 yards and double digit touchdowns (11).
We have all heard the “product of Peyton” nonsense, but it is not like every guy in the league can have that kind of production just because of the quarterback. More importantly, Decker is a much bigger threat than Holmes who was coming off of a devastating foot injury.
The attention Decker commands from a secondary should give Jeremy Kerley, Jace Amaro, and even Stephen Hill much more winnable match ups.
The forgotten man:
Every year Bilal Powell is left in the shadows throughout the offseason. Chris Ivory was impressive when healthy last season, while Chris Johnson brings explosiveness that the offense has not seen in quite some time.
Although these two players will command the bulk of the carries at the start of the season, Powell will have a steady role with this team. He is an excellent pass protector and knows how to get open on third downs (he averaged 7.6 yards per catch last year on 36 catches).
Points to ponder:
-If Jalen Saunders can show he can handle the kick returning duties, Jacoby Ford will have a very tough time making the final roster. Saunders was a punt returner in college (a very good one), but the Jets want to see if he is capable of handling the role on both return units.
-It was only day one of minicamp, but the attention on Mike Vick (and lack of attention on Geno Smith) is incredible. Smith is the starter, Vick is the back up. The media can push for a quarterback competition as much as they want, but Geno (barring injury) will be the guy under center on week one.
-Antwan Barnes is not a lock to be ready for training camp, as Rex Ryan pointed out. This leaves former Patriot’s second round pick Jermaine Cunningham in his role. If Cunningham can prove he can get to the quarterback from the edge on passing downs, this will turn into a key competition.