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!
What do you want to see from the New York Jets against the Washington Redskins on Friday night?
Joe Caporoso – Offensively, I want to see the Jets young receivers continue to build on strong openers and training camps. Charone Peake has earned a longer look with the first team in the base three wide set and Jalin Marshall will likely continue to be rolled through with the first unit. If both players and Jeremy Ross continue to excel, it will be interesting to see if that knocks a player like Kenbrell Thompkins off the roster. At quarterback, Christian Hackenberg is likely to get a series or two and it would be good to see him execute some basic elements of the Jets offense.
Defensively, Lorenzo Mauldin needs to show a little more speed and consistency when tackling. It is always concerning when a player who has a game built on explosiveness puts on weight and it showed a little in the preseason opener. In the secondary, Juston Burris and Dee Milliner are again likely looking at extended reps. Can they make the most of it? Milliner was picked on against Jacksonville but to be fair, there are few corners in the NFL who can stick Allen Robinson one on one. I’m not even sure Darrelle Revis can at this point.
On specials, just keep it up. The Jets looked more explosive in the return game against Jacksonville than they have in a long, long time.
Alex Kaczynski – I am hoping to see a better performance from the first team defense against the Redskins this week. Against the Jags, the first defensive series was almost brutal to watch. Ivory was running with ease for decent yardage almost every time he got the ball. In addition, players were missing tackles, and Bortles only had one incompletion. Thankfully, this was only week 1, but it was not the promising start I was hoping for. I want to see more out of Dee Milliner, who was targeted against Allen Robinson multiple times for big plays. I believe with more in-game action, and when Revis returns to the field, Milliner will start to shine.
I need more explosive returns from Jalin Marshall. I really have enjoyed what I have seen from him in camp thus far and the big return last week was electric. He has great vision and speed when he gets the ball in his hands, and should complement the team nicely if he can keep it up. As for the offense, they need to start faster. It took a no huddle offense to finally get the first touchdown of the season, but it was good to see a nice bridge from the first to the second quarter. This wasn’t too concerning but slow starts are something that the team had addressed last season that they need to fix.
I am going to keep an eye on the offensive line as well. It’s very important that Clady starts to get in rhythm with the rest of the line, watching him get beat last week was not the most ideal situation, but I am sure with more reps and time he will be just fine. He just has to stay healthy.
Joe Malfa – Improvement…that is really all that you can ask for in the preseason. The goal is to get better each week, and that is what the Jets need to do Friday night. Some names that I am specifically looking at for improvement are Jace Amaro, Jalin Marshall, and Dee Milliner.
Jace Amaro proved that he is slimmer and quicker against the Jaguars, but he came away with 0 catches on 3 targets. For this offense to take that next step this year, Amaro needs to step up and provide an option for Fitz at TE. I am confident that he will step up, but now I need to see some results.
Jalin Marshall made a major impact in the return game, setting up a TD before the half with his 84-yard kick returner, but he left more to be desired at WR. He saw a lot of the field, but only had 1 catch for 10 yards. He is definitely making the team at this point, but I would like to see him blossom as a WR sooner rather than later so he is not a one-trick pony.
Allen Robinson made Dee Milliner look like a high-schooler the other night, but I will give Dee the benefit of the doubt and say that he will not be forced to cover the opposition’s top WR (unless there are a few injuries). I have always liked Milliner and believe that he has a lot of talent when he is healthy, but now he is healthy and needs to start showing more of that talent.
Continue to keep an eye on Doug Middleton and Freddie Bishop as my sleepers to make the back end of the roster and provide valuable depth at safety and EDGE.
Matthew Stalker – The biggest thing to keep an eye on in my eyes continues to be offensive line depth. With Giacomini on the PUP list, opportunity awaits. Once again, I’m looking for someone new to step in and step up in a big way against the Redskins.
Next, show me more Jalin Marshall, Darron Lee, Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins. Last week, Marshall only had one catch for 10 yards, but put his speed and vision on display with an 84-yard kick return that set up a touchdown. Lee played with the second team but had a sack and two tackles for loss (one negated by a Jaguars holding call), but has practiced with the first team this week. It would be great to see both Marshall and Lee get some first-team reps Friday night. Mauldin and Jenkins played a few extra series against Jacksonville and looked solid, but it left me wanting more, so I’m looking for big plays at the OLB position as well.
Finally, some improvement on last week’s lackluster performance by Jace Amaro and Dee Milliner. Whether it’s rust, a lack of effort, or a combination of the two, Amaro and Milliner need to showcase something and quick otherwise both could be looking for work elsewhere with cuts coming soon.
David Aitken – I am keeping a particular eye on Lorezno Mauldin Friday night after a performance last week that was underwhelming. He’s been a peripheral figure throughout training camp and it’s a little worrying that he has done so little to stand out the last few weeks. The Jets are counting on him to take a significant leap in 2016 and it would be a relief to see him make a greater impact starting this Friday.
The receiver battle will continue to be a fun story to follow throughout the preseason too, and we’ll see if Jalin Marshall and Charone Peake can continue to impress in Washington. Marshall saw snaps with the first-team last Thursday, and it’ll be a telling sign for his roster chances if he sees that kind of action again.
I’m also curious as to whether Ross Martin can salvage this kicking competition after a poor first display. There is still a small window to get back into this, but there is no more room for mistakes. I imagine part of it is now out of his hands, and he’ll have to hope for the game to play out in a fashion where he gets more opportunities to make field goals.
Lastly, will we see Christian Hackenberg? If I had to guess, I would say probably not. My expectation is he’ll see his first minutes in the preseason finale, with Petty seeing most of the second half like last week.
John Hargaden – Going into the 2nd pre season game we will see some increased playing time for the first string. I am hoping to see some continued signs of progress from the offense. In the first game the Jets 1st string had some nice plays exploiting the Jaguars secondary. I would like to see 1-2 scoring drives from the first team. I will be watching closely the competition at the WR spot with Peake, J. Marshall and Ross and looking to see who could have the upper advantage. I would think we may see a little as well from Hackenberg. Sounds like in the last few days he has seen a few more reps than usual.
Going to the defensive side, the first team did not look all that great. Granted no Wilkerson or McLendon were playing but there were some pretty decent runs and long drives against the 1st team. I expect to see Bowles and company to change things up a little. Above all the main concern must be no injuries across the board.
Kevin Zielaznicki – I want to see a better performance from Dee Milliner. He had a bad night against the Jaguars that was highlighted by the Allen Robinson catch, but like Joe Malfa said above, it is unlikely Milliner will ever be matched up with a team’s top receiver during the regular season. Milliner has a great opportunity to make up for his poor performance against the Redskins, especially if Darrelle Revis sits out again. If he gets any reps with the first team defense, he’ll probably get matched up with either DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garcon so he’ll have a chance to prove himself against some pretty good competition on Friday night.
And as always, I really hope to see an injury free game for both the Jets and Redskins.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com