We are 4 days away from the first preseason game for the New York Jets. To help get you ready for Thursday, we will throw out five DOs and five DON’Ts for Rex Ryan and the Jets against the Indianapolis Colts…
1. DO let Geno Smith take some shots down the field to Stephen Hill. This is a favorable match-up for the New York Jets wide receivers, as the Colts do not have a very good secondary. Use the opportunity for Geno and Hill to showcase Hill’s speed and Geno’s ability to throw the deep ball.
2. DO test out Chris Johnson’s surgically repaired knee. There were reports out of training camp last week that Marty Morningwheg had CJ1K lined up in the slot and out wide during a couple of formations. While you won’t see a lot of the playbook from the Jets on Thursday, a little taste of the weapon CJ will be in the passing game will be something I’m looking forward to.
3. DO match up Dmitri Patterson with TY Hilton in the slot. I think there’s a very good chance that someone other than Patterson will be starting on the outside opposite Dee Milliner. I think Rex and Dennis Thurman need to start putting Patterson in the slot, so he can get used to playing there in this defense.
4. DO let Jalen Saunders return kicks. I don’t think Jacoby Ford will make the team (as stated in my 53 man roster prediction) and that leaves the job primarily up to Saunders. He will need as many live reps as possible, and Thursday is as good of an opportunity as any.
5. DO give ample playing to fullback Chad Young, running back Daryl Richardson, and safety Rontez Miles. I believe these three have a chance to make a real impact this year, and you want to see each of them take advantage of the chance in front of them. Young could push to be the starting fullback on a team that will run the ball plenty, Miles can contribute in certain defensive packages and on special teams, and Daryl Richardson is a quality back that could be utilized in multiple ways.
1. DON’T turn the ball over, Geno. He appeared to move off his first read much quicker during the Green and White scrimmage, and he’s going to have to do the same on Thursday. Too many of his turnovers came from forced throws, so it would behoove him to work through his progressions quickly and get the ball out of his hands.
2. DON’T play Calvin Pryor. Concussions are tricky because you could feel fine one day and then horrible the next, so the Jets need to be diligent with their first round pick. Pryor is needed for September, not August.
3. DON’T hesitate to open up the playbook a little bit with Geno or Vick, Marty. There’s some familiarity with the basic concepts, but there are potentially 3 new starters on the offensive side of the ball. Mix it up, call some actual plays, and let’s see how well they’ve grasped the offense.
4. DON’T play Chris Ivory more than one series. With word that he’s a bit banged up heading into Thursday, and the nagging hamstring injuries from a year ago popping back up, this is as good a chance as any to rest him in preparation for the season opener. One series on Thursday, two in week 2, and then maybe three in week 3 should be more than enough.
5. DON’T get hurt. This one is out of their control, but it’d be great if the Jets could leave the first preseason game with no injuries.