Why are any Jets talking right now? Give me one good reason please. Dee Milliner who showed us what, a handful of good plays last season as a rookie, has now informed us all that he’s suddenly the league’s top corner. Calvin Pace thinks the growing Jets defense are already the NFL’s best, and Geno Smith noted that he is targeting a top five status as a quarterback over the next few seasons as the Jets opened camp in Cortland last week. Wonderful. Hey, can we stop it with the proclamations and crystal ball readings please? Let some battered opposition heap praise upon you manly men of Florham after getting pummeled at Met Life instead. That’s how a new Jet era and reputation as a dangerous team should be born.
I get the excitement and the confidence and a player’s instinctive need to combat the less than impressive preseason rankings the Jets and Smith have received already, but do it on the field. I’m not talking about the practice field either.
This team was 6-8 last year before the club finished with a pair of nice but non playoff implication wins. They had trouble stopping plays downfield at many points during 2013 and were not exactly world beaters in the chain moving department on offense.
There are enough new quality faces on both sides of the ball to be hopeful as a player or Jet fan heading into 2014, but these days, it should be about mastering the playbook, not the predictions.
Perhaps Rex Ryan’s “Goddamn Snack” era cameo when he said Patriots are the ones who should be thinking about the Jets and not vice versa set the tone for some of the latest Jet chatter. Who knows. Hey, I love big bold Rex folks but after three playoff-less seasons, who is buying any tough talk that comes out of a Jet mouth this summer?
I’d love to see more of a stealth like swagger going on. Keep that belief in the locker room to be shared only amongst each other. The time and place to shut up the doubters and the haters by winning games will arrive soon enough anyway.
Pryor on Specials Is Crazy
Remember when Kellen Winslow was once a promising young TE but got injured on special teams trying to recover an onsides kick during the first month of his rookie season in 2004? More recently, Patriot Rob Gronkowski, Brady’s favorite target, broke his forearm on FG protect. I know teams do it, but with a 53 man roster, risking top round picks and major pieces on routine special teams duty is stupid.
Jets first round pick Calvin Pryor is headed for a major role in the back of a defense from the start this year. A part of the secondary that until the corners actually prove they can handle themselves, will be vital to this club’s chances for success. Which is all the more reason why I wouldn’t have put him in as punt protector, the way the Jets did this past Saturday. An added role that regardless of its justification by the Jets, has now left him with a head injury and subsequent journey through the steps of the league’s new concussion protocol. Hindsight is always 20/20 but it’s time for some foresight here.
I don’t care if Pryor hits like a missile and hence could stop punt blockers, or played this role in college or high school or pop warner. He’s the next piece to the puzzle on DEFENSE. Take him off of specials now. Especially after the head shot. If I’m the Jets I would immediately do away with the idea of future perennial All Pro Sheldon Richardson joining the goal line on offense too.
It’s a 53 man roster, right?
Babin Signing A Good Move By Idzik
Jason Babin was a smart signing by the Great Lord Idzik this past week. He’s 34 but still has a motor and if used situationally, will bring some added piss and vinegar to an already fired up pass rush. Some are comparing the Babin signing to the Jason Taylor pick up the Jets made in 2010 during JT’s twilight years. I think this guy has more left in the tank than Taylor the Jet did, and will thus have a greater impact.
Now LB Antwan Barnes was of course supposed to own this role after joining the Jets in 2013, but has still not fully recovered from the the season ending knee injury he suffered last season. A situation that has both left Barnes on the active PUP list while opening the door for Babin. A veteran whose skill set just feels like the right fit for a Ryan defense depth wise and in terms of how the defensive master likes to dial up pressure.
Vick is Saying and Doing The Right Thing At This Time
Mike Vick is handling his situation like a pro right now. He’s making no waves, not drawing any unnecessary attention to the QB position, and helping to keep the media spotlight away from any potential QB controversy in camp. Vick may not have truly felt that he was headed for the primary role of viable insurance policy when he signed here as a free agent, but realizes that he is in those shoes as of now.
Vick the mentor has said that he wants to help Geno Smith and see him do well. Vick the player still trusts himself and believes that he can lead the offense if the call to the bullpen arrives in the future. You can’t ask for more from him or any quality backup. The guy seems willing to teach and be a sounding board, and sounds ready to lead if the opportunity presents itself.
- We heard that during initial Cortland workouts that Eric Decker was catching everything and that physically, Chris Johnson still looked to many who were there watching from the stands as a top flight running back. Great news. We did not like hearing that Chris Ivory missed time with hamstring issues though, but hey it is only late July. Pulls and strains do happen this time of year. I am not pushing any panic buttons here with Ivory. Yet.
- As for the Stephen Hill watch, TOJ reported in a column covering the position rundown after the first four days of camp, that the embattled WR “seems to be having an up and down camp while also taking time to yell at fans who are heckling him. I don’t see much of the point of driving all the way to Cortland to boo players on your team but I also don’t think Hill needs to be reacting to every idiot in the stands.” Sounds like too much thin skin on Hill ‘s part and the wrong approach for any guy on the bubble.
If you’re locked in properly as a player you don’t quite hear the crowd. Any negativity that you do pick up on from the stands should turn into motivation, not irritation. The best way for Hill to silence the naysayers or better yet make this team is by making plays. As a third year pro he should know that by now.
- I’m starting to truly enjoy the idea of a tight end depth chart that is home to Jace Amaro, Jeff Cumberland and Zach Sudfeld. This trio will bring speed, size and some very nice matchup flexibility to Marty Mornhinweg’s gameplans, especially in the red zone.