Geno In, Milliner Out … of Job Security
Chan Gailey proclaimed last week that Geno Smith is the starter, for now (much to the dismay of those diehards hoping that Ryan Fitzpatrick would get an honest shot to compete for the job). Gailey added that Geno has already “done enough good, quality things that he deserves the opportunity to be the guy.” Perhaps, this declaration is a hint that Fitz won’t be a hundred percent heading into training camp. Forget the inexperienced Bryce Petty and, although I could picture the new brass wondering about Matt Simms, there just is not enough to call an open QB casting call. So the Jets thinking must have gone: “who else to anoint but but Smith, at this time.”
Geno being “the guy” all stems from the grim reality that, until Fitz is up to par physically, there are no better options. Gailey’s words are much ado about nothing though, if you ask me. If I’m Geno, I wouldn’t hang my hat on anything but quality play from the start. This competition appears to be closed but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was secretly open when Smith’s competitors are healthy and further along in their studies.
Now Dee Milliner, who new Jets DC Kacy Rodgers said is competing for a roster spot, doesn’t own the same luxury of a pedestrian depth chart that Smith does. He doesn’t get to win a starting job by default the way he and Geno both did upon entering 2014.
The Jets upgraded big time at corner and the kids who filled in there last year are hungry. Milliner and Dex McDougle were set to become a young starting tandem but they went down together. Now both lack a consistent resume. Rodgers’ aim is not solely to motivate Milliner. Lighting a fire under the third year pro may be a small part of it, but the truth is that if you play the numbers game, somebody with modest starting experience will have to be released.
I would have much rather entered 2015 with better options at QB and an experienced young Milliner on the rise at corner. Yet, we have the opposite in place … for now.
Sheldon and Mo
So Sheldon Richardson passed on OTA’s to spend to with his family. Then, he tweeted about fans who were critical of his decision. This debate has two clear sides to it. For Richardson, hey, the workouts were involuntary. Why not milk the rest and relaxation before the six to eight month grind begins? For the fans, it’s always nice to see a star and potential team leader attend all workouts (especially with a defensive new head coach and system being put in place). Commitment and leading by example, that’s what gives fans the feeling that the player REALLY cares.
In the end, all players nowadays have their own offseason training. It’s not like Sheldon is at home eating cake and ice cream all day. Richardson is a high caliber player and will most likely make this go away quickly. The guy has desire. Richardson is a team guy too; he bleeds green and white. Maybe that’s why it upset fans that he was a no show, but all will be forgotten soon enough.
Mo Wilkerson wasn’t there last week either. His situation is different though, a contractual one. Mo wants big time cash and security. Don’t we all? I just have this feeling that Woody Johnson was in the ballpark when he said a deal will get done with a Wilkerson if it makes sense. In other words, they will gladly lock Mo up long term with a price that suits him and the team. However, holding out won’t force the team’s hand here either. So don’t waste your time Mo.
The question now is, how far will Wilkerson’s legal team go to make the Jets blink and increase what they are willing to pay. I’d hate to see such a valuable player like Wilkerson enter halfway through the preseason schedule. To me that has a slow start and injuries written all over it. Work it out fellas.
Revis Had to Chime In
I was surprised. I’ll admit it. Darrelle Revis just won a ring with the Evil Empire Patriots. He’s a world champion forever, no matter what happens to himself and the Jets from this point forward. There will always be that bond between he and the dark forces in New England right? Well, he certainly didn’t take the high road when asked about DeflateGate last week. Even if what Revis said is true, that the Patriots have been “doing this type of stuff for years” and “that can’t be hidden,” you’d think that link between championship ex-teammates who climbed the mountain together would have overpowered any temptation to tackle the topic honestly.
I guess the Jets-Pats rivalry and dislike for each other runs deeper than some quick fling Revis and Brady had together. I jokingly tweeted that Revis is not one of those “once a Pat always a Pat kind of guys.” In fact, by being outspoken rather just going the no comment route , it sounds more like Revis is “once a Jet always a Jet” instead. He is back to hating the eternal enemy Pats, unafraid to get things off his chest.
-Is it true what the Daily News is reporting, that Mets ace Matt Harvey has dead arm? The last time I heard that phrase the 1986 Jets went from 10-1 to 10-6 and Ken O Brien was replaced by Pat Ryan. Yikes.
-What is wrong with David Wright and why does the Mets medical staff always have issues diagnosing their players? Sorry, I’m not even a Mets fan. It’s that Shea Stadium brotherhood-link though that has me forever keeping an eye on them and comparing their plight to the Jets one this time of year. A season of promise has turned into a series of big question marks at Citi Field too. Heard that one before.
-Brandon Marshall and Antonio Cromartie threw friendly jabs at each other on Twitter before OTA’s last week. It got me thinking that Cro and Revis can elevate the play of this receiving corps in camp. Better up your game. No freebies in practice inflating false confidence this time around guys. Marshall and company making plays against the cornerbacks this summer during seven on seven and eleven on eleven drills will be tough to do but could also provide a real viable mental boost for the real games.