1. It has been a slow start for rookie wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who is banged up with a hip injury and Shaq Evans, who has struggled with drops. Early struggles aren’t uncommon for mid to late round players but with Enunwa, a lingering injury opens up the door for the team to potentially place him on IR for a “red-shirt” season, where there is no risk of him being snatched off the practice squad. Evans was a 4th round pick, so many roster projections have him sticking on the final 53 and there is no reason to write that off from a couple of practices. However, his situation will be interesting to monitor if he has a tough summer. The practice squad could be an option or would the Jets give two of their rookies “injuries” to get them on IR?
2. Through two days Geno Smith has 26 first team reps compared Mike Vick’s 9. In case you hadn’t realized by now, Smith is going to open the season under center for the Jets. The early reports on Smith have been all sunshine and rainbows but the real evaluation of his progress won’t begin until the Green/White Scrimmage and the first pre-season game. He is going to lead a relatively run heavy attack but Marty Mornhinweg will still have him taking his shots down the field. where he excels, and operating a high volume screen game. The addition of Eric Decker, Jace Amaro, Chris Johnson and Jalen Saunders should only make that easier on Smith.
3. Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson have reportedly been a clear cut above the other receivers so far, which isn’t surprising…since they are clearly the three best receivers on the team as of now. Nelson is perceived by some to be a bubble player, he isn’t. Again, the Jets top four options in the passing game are going to be Decker, Kerley, Amaro and Johnson, with Jeff Cumberland likely being fifth. Amaro, Johnson and Cumberland are going to be moved all over the formation, making the importance of the top receiver behind Decker and Kerley somewhat limited but Nelson is still the favorite to grab that role.
4. Get used to seeing a three safety rotation that features Antonio Allen, Calvin Pryor and Dawan Landry. Hopefully, we begin seeing more and more of Allen and Pryor but Landry is going to remain active in the defense, as the Jets do use a decent amount of three safety looks.
5. Dexter McDougle has already begun seeing action with the first team. The team is confident he is going to be starting by year’s end opposite of Dee Milliner and view Dmitri Patterson as a competent placeholder for the time being. The Jets are going to take some lumps in the passing game this season but the long term potential of Milliner, McDougle, Pryor and Allen is something to be excited about, particularly if Pryor plays to expectations as a rookie.
6. Willie Colon and Antwan Barnes remain on the PUP list. Hopefully, Colon will get out there at least a few practices before the first pre-season game. It is critically important that he gets as many reps as possible with new tackle Breno Giacomini, especially with the amount of combo blocks they will be asked to execute in the Jets’ offense. As for Barnes, all reports say that he looks near 100% executing drills on the sideline, so it makes you wonder about the impetus to sign Jason Babin and how long he is going to be out.
7. Speaking of Babin, the Jets are listing him as a OLB, not a DE and he will wear #58. Babin is likely to be an exclusive pass rush specialist and see most, if not nearly all, of his action on third downs. He has enough juice to make a difference in this role, especially with Rex Ryan moving him around the formation and with the talent the Jets have on their interior line. Jason Taylor played a similar role for the Jets in 2010 and had 5 sacks, Babin could very well exceed that number.
8. Veteran addition watch: Offensive line and blocking tight end. Keep an eye on this after the first wave of camp cuts take place.
9. The Jets have been flipping Oday Aboushi and Brian Winters between the two guard spots with the first offense. Aboushi has a small window here to make an impression and show himself worthy of being considered for a starting spot. When Colon comes back, it will be interesting to see how many series or how frequently Aboushi is still rolled through with the starters. I also wonder if Daktoa Dozier gets a look with the ones at any point.
10. Chris Ivory missed day one of practice with hamstring tightness (GUH) but was back out there today. The Jets could very well limit his workload this summer to make sure he is 100% for September. Meanwhile, the early reports on Chris Johnson have been positive and indicate that he is showing no limitations after off-season surgery. The Jets are already experimenting with splitting him out at receiver. If there is one statistic to be confident on about Johnson in 2014, it is that he will catch 40-50 passes.
11. Upcoming schedule: Practice Saturday and Sunday at 10AM, with Monday being the first off day. The Jets are then back out there from Tuesday – Friday, culminating with the Green and White scrimmage Saturday at 7PM.
12. Stay healthy, everybody. STAY HEALTHY!