The New York Jets open their pre-season tonight at home against the Indianapolis Colts. What should you be watching for? Here are five things that we will be paying particular attention to…
What do you want to see the most? Let us know in the comment section below!
1 – Geno. Geno. Geno. – There is nobody more important to the 2014 Jets roster than quarterback Geno Smith. He is expected to play roughly a quarter. Ideally, Smith will show strides in being decisive with the football, avoiding turnovers and in simply keeping the offense on the field. We have had too many summers of the Jets doing NOTHING offensively in the pre-season. Smith needs to engineer a long drive or two and get some points on the board. Beyond that, it will be interesting to see if/when he targets new options like Eric Decker, Jace Amaro and Chris Johnson. This is a fickle town, a quiet night from Smith and one head turning scramble from Mike Vick and we are looking at 40 front page headlines about a quarterback controversy.
2 – Guard Shuffle – Will we see the Brian Winters from the last two or three weeks of 2013 or the one who struggled horribly at times last season? Has Oday Aboushi actually made any strides and how long of a look will he get with the first team? Finally, what is the early chemistry like between Willie Colon and Breno Giacomini? The Jets offensive remains a fairly big question that is being ignored by too many. If you can’t block, you can’t do anything offensively.
3 – The Rooks – We won’t see Calvin Pryor tonight. However, Dexter McDougle, Jace Amaro, Jalen Saunders, Dakota Dozier and Trevor Reilly should all see a big chunk of playing time and to a lesser extent Jeremiah George, Tahj Boyd, Brandon Dixon and IK Enemkpali. UDFA Chad Young should get a chance to make a run at the fullback job and we’ll see if defensive tackle Kerry Hyder can build on a strong start to camp.
4 – Earn Your Money – Outside of Geno Smith, 2013 first round pick Dee Milliner and 2012 first round pick Quinton Coples could be the team’s two biggest x-factors. Is Milliner ready to be a consistent starter who is regularly matched up with a team’s top receiver? Are we going to see the Coples we saw last pre-season before he got hurt? The Jets desperately need both these guys to play to their potential if their defense is going to be playoff caliber.
5 – Who Catches The Passes – How many targets are headed towards tight ends, receivers and running backs? This is a critical pre-season for Stephen Hill and Zach Sudfeld to make their case to be bigger parts of the passing game. Can David Nelson keep up his chemistry with Geno Smith? Will Greg Salas continue to impress? Jalen Saunders has been relatively quiet so far but keep an eye on #16 tonight.