The New York Jets have officially wrapped up training camp in Cortland and only have one more preseason game left on the schedule. Starters will sit this one out, leaving a lot of youngsters and soon to be cuts to play all four quarters (the “puke” game).
Lets take a look at some of the stand outs from 2014 training camp by handing out the awards. Commence the ceremony!
The Little John Flowers Award: Michael Campbell
This award is handed out to the guy that shows up for camp every year, brings a feisty, scrappy style of play when he gets in the game, but always comes up just short of the 53 man roster.
Campbell was back for another training camp, after being cut from the Jets at least five times in the span of the past three years (including practice squad trips). He came into camp, seemed to start a fight with someone everyday, and did not survive the first round of cuts. We hope to have you back next year Michael, it’s always fun.
The Hayden Smith Award: Ras-I Dowling
This award goes to the guy who draws a ton of hype in mini camp and is expected to be the next big thing for Gang Green. Dowling was apparently expected to be in the mix for serious playing time at corner, but was never healthy (shocker). Unfortunately, he did not survive the first round of cuts stopping another Jets’ hype train dead in its tracks.
Special Teams MVP: Saalim Hakim
Hakim is a speedster with very little football experience, as he picked up the game pretty late in his athletics career. He has had 2.5 tackles on special teams and often forces the punt returner to call fair catch with his straight line speed.
With Jacoby Ford being cut, Hakim might be given more chances to return kicks. He is a bit of a project as a wide out, but he could be a demon as a special teams gunner for the Jets in 2014.
The David Clowney Award: Clyde Gates
This award goes to the guy that seems to “light up” the preseason on offense but you know will disappear during the regular season. As much heat as he takes, I like Clyde. He works hard and has a ton of speed, but does not have the hands or route running to be an NFL wide receiver. Still, he deserves some sort of trophy for making the 3rd and 4th quarters of preseason fun, so here you go!
The Brett Ratliff Ol’ Gunslinger Award: Matt Simms
This was an absolute no-brainer as Simms was the stand out of the back up quarterbacks. Vick is slotted in the number two spot by default, but it is still nice to see Simms development trend upward. The youngster is proving he can be a capable long-term back up for Geno Smith in 2015.
The Offensive MVP: Jace Amaro
Not bad for a guy that took a lot of unnecessary heat before August even started. Amaro leads the Jets receiving targets during the preseason with eight catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown was caught versus the Giants starting defensive unit.
Even more importantly, Amaro has done the little things correctly. He gets downfield and clears defensive backs out of the way for the run game. With Jeff Cumberland sidelined, Amaro is making a case to be the primary tight end in 2014.
The Defensive MVP: Antonio Allen
This one might surprise you, but Allen is well deserving of this award. Allen played the “spur” position in college (linebacker hybrid) and transitioned very well to safety in the NFL last season. With the Jets cornerbacks catching the injury bug, Allen moved to corner.
The doubters, rightfully so, came out in full force. Well, Allen has proved them wrong. According to PFF, Allen has only been targeted four times in the two games he has played corner. He allowed one 35 yard catch to AJ Green, where Green blatantly pushed off of him in one on one coverage. Hats off to Allen, who should officially never be pegged to one position. The guy is just a very good football player and continues to do what is asked of him.
The “Kraken” Award: IK Enemkpali
“Are you not entertained?” – The Gladiator
The Jets decided to unleash IK for five snaps in the preseason opener vs. the Colts. In two pass rush attempts, he had the game ending strip sack. The following week versus the Bengals, he played in 21 snaps. He had another sack (on 18 pass rush attempts) and made a special teams tackle. He also did this:
You can not stop IK, you can only hope to contain him. Unleash the Kraken. Set this man free.
Follow Connor: @CRogers_NFL