TOJ Roundtable – New York Jets Camp Early Trends Edition

The TOJ Roundtable is back. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to let us know your opinion down in the comment section below! Today’s question is…

What are you most happy and most annoyed with so far in New York Jets camp?

Joe Caporoso – It has been encouraging to see the consistency from both sides of the football on a daily basis. In the past few years, there always seemed to be too many days when the offense was completely dominated or a positional group had a particularly rough go of it (multiple dropped passes from the receivers, penalties from the linebackers, fumbles from the running backs etc…) that has not been the case this year. The offense has went toe to toe with the defense and overall the Jets have practiced much “cleaner” than in recent seasons.

Injuries remain immensely frustrating, even though they are inevitable. The Jets can weather Dee Milliner and Antonio Allen being hurt much more so than last year but both had the potential to be valuable role players this season and provide depth. At wide receiver, Devin Smith and Chris Owusu have had promising starts to camp interrupted by injuries, while fringe players like TJ Graham and DeVier are also now missing time.

Cole PattersonAt this early point in camp, it is tough to say what will and will not transfer to actual game performance. However, the most encouraging camp trend has to be the red zone efficiency. In a practice last week, the Jets first team offense scored on all their goal line opportunities (albeit against a defense missing Muhammad Wilkerson). Chris Ivory has been lights out and Geno Smith has been finding Brandon Marshall early and often – both key elements to an improved red zone performance. Furthermore, reports have been surprisingly positive regarding the offensive line’s run blocking and Jace Amaro’s improvement in that area.

Sheldon Richardson’s off the field struggles are concerning and disappointing. We knew that the Jets could not keep Wilkerson, Richardson, Damon Harrison, Quinton Coples, and Leonard Williams together forever but it was expected that they all have at least two seasons together. Now, Richardson is likely looking at a total of 8 games suspended and a full season if he is found to have been under the influence for the second time in months. Yes the Jets are deep at the position but the prospect of having the luxury to rotate talent like that was a tantalizing one.

Dalbin Osorio – A week plus in to training camp and the most impressive thing has to be Geno Smith. At the end of last season, i’m sure Jet fans had a laundry list of things that they wanted Geno to improve on. Footwork, going through all of his reads, learning to throw the ball away, and utilizing his legs more were on the list for me. Geno has talent, but the intricacies of being a quarterback were things he hadn’t learned yet. If early reports are to be believed, it seems like Geno has improved on exactly these things. Geno continues to display excellent ball placement and he has been able to move the ball consistently against the most talented defense he will see all year. He’s challenged Revis, taken shots deep against Cromartie, and has spread the ball around to different targets consistently. He has also extended plays and known when to throw the ball away instead of taking a sack. There will be people that discredit Geno by saying that it’s just practice and these are the same people that will want him benched if he throws an INT against the Lions next week.

I’m annoyed with people being annoyed about Sheldon. Not even focusing on the NFL’s archaic substance abuse policy, the fact that everyone was very quick to rush to judgment about Sheldon after the arrest for resisting arrest. The police report makes this sound like me playing Grand Theft Auto, but the truth is none of us know anything yet. I am concerned about Sheldon the man much more than I am about Sheldon the player. The Jets can be a playoff team without Sheldon Richardson, but getting him the help he needs to manage what he admitted was a tough offseason is the most important thing right now.

Jason Wiles – I am very, very happy with Geno Smith’s progression. In a previous article, I mentioned how the addition of Brandon Marshall would let Geno show what he’s worth…throw in Smith’s better attitude and making all the throws a starter needs to make in training camp at least, and he’s showing those ‘pro bowl flashes’ every game. We’ll see how Smith performs during the regular season, but it gets easier with every practice to say that Geno has definitely made strides.

I’m worried about Sheldon Richardson. It’s hard not to be incensed at his behavior, especially from the everyday fan’s perspective. A young guy with all the talent in the world making millions of dollars and potentially a lot more if he stays on the field manages to mess up so completely? It’s no wonder so many Jets fans called into radio shows to insist his removal from the team. I just hope he turns a corner with the help of his team. No one wants to hear of another Jerome Brown case.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports