Welcome to the NimbleTV Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, where today we will preview the New York Jets third pre-season game against the New York Giants. Yes…the NimbleTV TOJ 12 Pack. We would only take on a sponsor for the 12 Pack if we felt the product would be valuable to you and NimbleTV provides the ability to link your cable account to your laptop, tablet or smartphone so you can catch a Jets game ANYWHERE for FREE. Get more information right here:
On to the SNOOPY BOWL…
1. The Jets will start Calvin Pryor at safety alongside Dawan Landry tonight and Darrin Walls (#FreeWalls) at corner alongside Antonio Allen. It is an overdue opportunity for Walls and was an inevitably with Pryor. In an ideal world the Jets would trot out the following secondary into Green Bay for week 2: Pryor/Allen/Landry rolling through at safety, in a defense that will feature a high amount of three safety looks anyway. Dee Milliner at one corner spot, Darrin Walls and Lankster working opposite of him depending on who plays better in the coming weeks and Dimitri Patterson supplanting Kyle Wilson the slot. Is that a top end secondary? No. But if Pryor can put together a strong rookie season, Allen keeps growing and Milliner plays like he did the last few weeks of 2014, it will be far from the disaster that many think it will be.
2. For all the concern about the passing attacks the Jets face early in the season, they do get to start against five relatively weak defenses (OAK, GB, CHI, DET, SD). This will be a good opportunity for Geno Smith to get off to a strong start and hopefully build a successful sophomore campaign. Smith has played well so far this pre-season but a couple of touchdown drives against a suspect Giants defense would be nice to see. Let’s hope Smith finally has his full roster of weapons, as we haven’t had a game yet where Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson, Bilal Powell, Jeff Cumberland, Jace Amaro, Zach Sudfeld, Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson and Greg Salas have all been available.
3. If we are going by production on the field, Stephen Hill hasn’t earned a roster spot yet. However, the odd situation with Jalen Saunders’ health has left the wide receiver situation even more open than it was previously. If Saunders is ready for week 1, the Jets should keep him, Decker, Kerley, Nelson and Salas. Nobody else has really earned a spot. Tonight is a huge night for Hill, Jacoby Ford and Quincy Enunwa (likely headed to the practice squad regardless) to make their case.
4. The Jets are much less concerned with the wide receiver position than many of their fans are. This is going to be a run heavy offense that leans heavily on the tight end and running back position when they do throw the football, minimizing the value of the receiver position in 2014. The amount of targets for receivers not named Decker and Kerley is going to be extremely limited all season.
5. This is part of the reason the Jets didn’t package picks to move up to select one of the receivers that many Jets fans are already convinced are going to become superstars (Marqise Lee, Jarvis Landry, Donte Moncrief, etc) they took their “receiver” in round two in Amaro. The team would rather take the odds on 1 of their 3 mid round WR picks developing long term (as the need is limited this season anyway) than 1 of 1 mid round WRs developing long term.
When you draft 12 players, there are going to be misses and players who take long to develop. The thought behind compiling picks is developing depth long term, which is something the Jets have struggled with in recent years. They also have increased their odds of finding productive, young players. If Pryor and Amaro develop into above average starters, two other players from this draft class develop into competent starters and three other players become solid depth/role players. Is that not a successful haul, regardless of what happens with the other five guys? By taking 12, the Jets have a better chance of leaving with 6-7 contributors than if they started dealing picks around and only left the draft with 6-7 total players.
7. If I had to guess where the Jets rookies end up as of right now: Pryor, Amaro, Dozier, Saunders, IK, Reilly on the final 53. Evans and McDougle on the IR. Boyd, Dixon, George and Enunwa on the now expanded practice squad.
8. Let’s keep an eye on Quinton Coples tonight who has had a quiet summer. Rex Ryan has spoken about and actually given more work to Jason Babin with the first team defense. Is he trying to send a message or could we see Coples playing time cut back a bit? Either way, the Jets need a pass rush from their first team defense, particularly against a shaky Giants offensive line and a struggling Eli Manning.
9. The Jets will make their first wave of cuts after this pre-season game and unless something radically changes tonight Ras I-Dowling, Josh Bush, Clyde Gates, and Michael Campbell should be among the first to go.
10. Geno Smith took a shot down the field to David Nelson last week but slightly overshot him. It will be interesting to see how many shots down the field the Jets take tonight and who the targets end up being. I’d like to see Geno and Decker work to connect on their first deep post route.
11. Bubble Watch: TJ Barnes (good player to develop behind Kenrick Ellis, for when he leaves this offseason). Daryl Richardson (Jets would be smart to carry four halfbacks this season). Johnny Patrick (could he make an impression in the slot on defense?). Chad Young (hasn’t done anything yet to unseat Tommy Bohanon).
12. NO SIDEWAYS PRESS CONFERENCE, PLEASE!