Sheldon Smokes Out His Own September
The Sheldon Richardson four game suspension for smoking weed is a nuisance. Nothing more. It’s no devastating year ending or career threatening injury. It’s no contract holdout that could lead to an exit out of New York. It’s a September annoyance thanks to breaking a rule about doing in the off-season what is actually legal in many states now. It’s great too if you’re in a parking lot outside of one the Grateful Dead’s farewell shows this summer but this is the NFL where rules are rules. Sort of. Some of the time.
I’m not here to justify or condone or any of what Richardson did. I’ve never thought weed was a big deal and I don’t even smoke it myself. I just want to remind the diehard that the Jets have the most to prove on offense and at quarterback. As good as Richardson is, this defensive line, arguably the best position group on the team, can survive this temporary loss. Even though yes, the absence of #91 to start 2015 will be irritating. Like a cloud of smoke can be to the eyes.
Kerley In the Equation
Maybe this is the year for Jeremy Kerley. With Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker drawing attention outside, and rookie burner Devin Smith running fly patterns stretching the field, Kerley might finally find those mismatches inside that could result in a spike in receptions and allow for big yards after the catch consistently.
Add just a mere functional Jace Amaro and Jeff Cumberland into the mix and what we should see is another level of potency coming out of Kerley. A guy who has had some nice games even when most of the attention was on him due to little else for opponents to fear alongside him. The spotlight will be on Marshall and Decker. The focus will be on Geno Smith. The fallout from this new depth chart at receiver could result in the rise of Jeremy Kerley.
Calvin Pryor Can Be Like Kerley
Second year pro Calvin Pryor is no proven commodity in the NFL yet. He arrived in Florham however with the reputation of a vicious hitter who was at his best near the line of scrimmage. Not back in coverage.
HC Todd Bowles knows that though and thanks to the monstrous upgrade the Jets have made at cornerback, has the luxury of moving Pryor to strong safety. A position switch and new-found security Pryor has downfield now thanks to the return of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie among others. This gives Pryor a chance to be like Jeremy Kerley this season: A player who can thrive off the domino effect of the upgrade in talent around him, playing his natural position while being asked to do his job only.
– What if, Geno Smith actually figured it out and explodes in 2015? I’ve never explored that possibility you know. Things could get real fun around here if he did.
– News broke that Giants star pass rusher Jason Pierre Paul is lucky he didn’t lose any fingers after a fireworks accident this weekend. The NFL, always under the gun (no pun intended) for it’s concussion dilemma both path and present, has a brief window of opportunity to go all NRA now and say “see, football is dangerous but you could get severely injured doing anything. Even lighting fireworks on July 4th.”
– Congrats to the U.S. Women’s Soccer team. Tough, tenacious, resilient, confident. Key core ingredients for winning a championship. Hint hint.