No Huddle – New York Jets Pre-Season Week 1 Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets heading into week of the NFL pre-season

TJ Rosenthal kicks off another week of New York Jets coverage at Turn On The Jets with his weekly No Huddle – Make sure to give TJ a follow on Twitter on Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook.

Two Field Goals: It’s Too Early To Panic But…

Many of us wanted more out of Saturday night’s Green and White Scrimmage offensively. We wanted to hear about the crisp timing in between plays and the extended drives that turned contributions from the rushing attack and thr array of targets in the passing game into touchdowns. Instead we got a pair of Mike Vick scrambles, a big grab from Stephen Hill, a few field goals, and the Greg Salas show (5 receptions, 54 yards). The offensive production against the “best defense in the NFL” according to Calvin Pace was underwhelming and hey, may have been understandable. No matter how big of a part the defense played however in the offense obtaining just six points, it’s too early to panic.

It’s not too early however, to continue to keep at least a watchful eye on Vick’s ability to scramble, make plays, and lead. Not as long as the offense even with it’s additions, continues to have trouble moving the chains consistently.

Vick rushed twice for 35 yards. The scrambling Vick has always been known for could be that extra injection for a team that can’t afford to come up lame averaging 18.1 points a game (29th out of 32 in 2013) this season. Not with a week two through seven schedule that reads Packers, Bears, Lions, Chargers, Broncos, and Patriots.

It’s one scrimmage. One summer night. Way too early to sound the alarm. On the other hand, it would be foolish for Rex Ryan and Marty Mornhinweg to turn a blind eye towards any sort of progress this offense makes in August, and which of the two quarterbacks is back there spearheading it.

Stephen Hill’s 41 Yard Catch and Run Brings Hope

The most exciting Twitter barrage of Saturday night, because that is how we followed the action (thanks to Connor Rogers and other Turn on the Jets staff members on hand as they provided play by play and analysis) was news of Stephen Hill’s 41 yard catch and run from Geno Smith. The Jets are DYING for a viable second receiver, especially if it’s a guy like Hill, who brings that coveted combo of size and downfield speed to the position.

Hill is clearly on the bubble but he is also in season three. That magic year where many receivers seem to have it all fall into place. Like the scrimmage itself, it was one play. One summer night. The big gainer on a night where little was gained by the O brought with it hope that Hill has not run out of time yet.

Now let’s see if the play can springboard his confidence to another level. One that reminds the former second round pick that he was actually drafted in 2012 to be one of the key pieces going forward.

Salas Proves Production Trumps Hype

The Jets can draft all the wideouts they want. As long as when the rubber hits the road, the ones who make the plays, stay. WR Greg Salas was a reception machine Saturday night. When you’re on the bubble, performances like his show a person’s mental toughness. Salas has that slot man look with a physical grit to his play for his size, doesn’t he? He’s in the system he came from in Philly too…a system that won’t be hurt any by a guy who’s had extended time in it outside of New York.

Ok, so the former rarely used Eagle isn’t some big high priced name that excites people as a free agency signing in March. Or a notable big time college star. What he may end up being if given the chance instead, is a trustworthy player with some big play potential.

A poor man’s Victor Cruz? Alright now that may be going a little too far, but I like this player. Marty Mornhinweg’s offense has much to do with strength in numbers and mismatches more so than it does featuring one marquee skill player. Forget talk regarding which receiver would have to be released or sent to the practice squad to make room for Salas. If he keeps finding room and gaining yards, just figure it out Rex.

Quick Hits

– Newly acquired DE/LB Jason Babin had a big red zone sack and was flying around I hear. Just when you thought the front seven was already loaded, now it adds a veteran maniac with a chip on his shoulder. Playing for a defense that likes to pressure the backfield. A match made in heaven. Great signing Lord Idzik.

– Nick Folk: It’s hard to remember the days when we’d all watch his kicks through our hands. I hated losing rock solid Jay Feely at the time for Folk. Who first arrived here as a kicker who could drill it from 50 but miss from 30. He’s turning into one the league’s best.

– On Thursday night when the Jets open the preseason against the Colts, the QB battle begins. No, not the Geno-Vick battle. The Matt Simms-Tajh Boyd fight for the number three job. Boyd may have been selected late with the idea of cloning the mobile, strong armed Marty ball type for this system (provided he can straighten out his erratic throwing issues) but Simms has to be rightfully unseated as far as I’m concerned.

– Chris Johnson ran the ball and said afterwards that the knee felt good. Eric Decker ran around even with the early camp hammy. Maybe those are really the best signs to take from the weekend. Exiting these scrimmages and preseason games without any major injuries is still above all else, top priority. I don’t care if the Jets don’t get a first down for the entire month of August. Stay healthy gentleman, it’s a long long season.

  • KAsh

    You bring up a very important point that gets lost in the barrage of the analysis and predictions for the roster: if Idzik, his front office, and his coaching staff preach competition through and through, they cannot then turn around and promote “their” players over others. In the month before training camp, Evans was a lock for a roster spot according to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who bothered to comment on the eventual roster, even though Evans missed almost the entire preseason up to that point. Now, the Jets will have some tough decisions on their hands, as the players starting to separate from the crowd are layovers, some from the previous GM, and some of the rookies have disappointed. Evans and Enunwa have been injured; Saunders has flashed at times, but needs to stop making mental mistakes; Dixon has not broken past the third string; Boyd is responsible for half of all the turnovers so far in camp. Meanwhile, Salas and Hill are surging, Simms has thrown the fewest interceptions in camp (two, when you include the one he threw Saturday), and Miles and Jarett are showing they belong on this team. The preseason is all about momentum, and unless it changes, few of this rookie class will deserve to make the team.

    As for the offense, think of it this way: the entire offense has a total of three first-round draft picks: Ferguson and Mangold from the ’06 draft and Johnson from the ’08 draft. On the other hand, if a QB scans our base nickel defense from left to right, he will see:

    Milliner, a first-round pick in 2013
    Wilson, a first-round pick in 2010
    Coples, a first-round pick in 2012
    Pryor, a first-round pick in 2014
    Richardson, a first-round pick in 2013
    Davis, a third-round pick in 2012
    Harris, a second-round pick in 2007
    Allen, a seventh-round pick in 2012
    Wilkerson, a first-round pick in 2011
    and Patterson

    The base 3-4 would replace Wilson with Pace, a first-round pick in 2003, and Douzable for Harrison. The point is that is a lot of talent to face when installing an offense in its early stages. It would be an embarassment if these guys could not disrupt a more or less vanilla offense with an OC that was experimenting to see what works and what does not.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    “It would be an embarassment if these guys could not disrupt a more or less vanilla offense with an OC that was experimenting to see what works and what does not.”

    I agree completely, & it looks like the defense has stepped up their performance after the reports of the offense doing well in TC roughly 2 weeks ago.

    Since Salas is currently behind Hill on the newly released depth chart, I wonder if they are, or will end up, competing for a roster spot. I don’t think either makes the team on potential this year, they will need to prove they have the ability to produce to earn a roster spot.