Dalbin Osorio and Paulie Bruz will soon be launching a new podcast on the Turn On The Jets Digital Network called “What’s Your Point,” where they will debate out a topic around the 2018 team with a different judge each week awarding a winner. Here is a preview article of them debating the team’s offense vs. defense this season…
Dalbin – As the New York Jets begin their final break before training camp officially begins shortly, there is a buzz around the team and it is not only being driven by new rookie QB Sam Darnold. Teddy Bridgewater has made excellent strides and is pushing both Darnold and last year’s starter Josh McCown for playing time, the defense has seen flashes from rookie Parry Nickerson and has heard more from Jamal Adams than we thought possible after last year.
The wide receivers have gotten a boost from a healthy Quincy Enunwa and a second year jump from Chad Hansen. Even a position that’s been a wasteland since Dustin Keller left years ago seems rejuvenated by rookie Chris Herndon. No, this TOJ writer is not driving under the influence when I say that this could be the first year of a sustained run for the Jets.
At 21 years old, Sam Darnold is on track to being the youngest starter in the NFL come week one. Yes, the Jets don’t have to play him right away, but Darnold is making the decision much harder than a lot of people predicted. It is eerily similar to the Philadelphia Eagles during Carson Wentz’s first year, when Sam Bradford was the number one quarterback and Chase Daniel was the number two.
The Jets are adamant that their ideal plan is to have McCown or Bridgewater start, but if Darnold plays the way he practices when the games begin in preseason, then I’d be surprised to see him glued to the bench. With a young WR group led by two young wide receivers heading into free agency (if the Jets don’t reach an agreement with either of them, they will essentially be playing against each other this year for either the franchise tag or one big money WR contract), they are going to want to see their young QB with those receivers before next year’s draft. My bet is he starts week one in Detroit, and wins.
A lot will be said about Elijah McGuire’s role, especially as Running Backs coach Shump Mitchell compares him to LaDainian Tomlinson. The Jets will lean heavily on their four running backs (McGuire, Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell, and Thomas Rawls), especially if Darnold starts. How they break down the carries will be interesting, but the biggest question is going to be who does a better job of being a checkdown/pass blocking option for Sam. The back that can do that consistently should see the field most of the time. My money will be on McGuire, with Powell being the change of pace back and Crowell being the change of pace back to the change of pace back. Dmitri Flowers will be the lead blocker and H-Back in this offense, so Thomas Rawls shouldn’t get too comfortable.
Make no mistake, this team only goes as far as Darnold and the offense takes it this year.
Paulie – So, enough about the offense. While maybe the Jets finally found the QB of the future and that is great and all, let’s talk about the strength of this young Jets team. As always, it is all about the defense. The Jets go into this upcoming year with a much improved unit thanks to the addition of a lockdown, play making CB Trumaine Johnson, improving the secondary in a major way and allowing the Tag Team of New Jack City Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye to handle their assignments on the back end of the defense.
The Jets went younger on the defensive line by trading for Henry Anderson and adding Foley Fatukasi and Nathan Shepherd in the NFL Draft, and we can’t forget that Leonard Williams should be set for a breakout season. A big role is on the shoulders of third year LB Darron Lee as Todd Bowles is making him the coach of the defense by naming him the play caller. His new running mate is underrated free agent signing LB Avery Williamson. It will be interesting to see if late round CB Parry Nickerson can push incumbent Buster Skrine for slot reps early on. The Jets will win games this year because of their defense. With the possibility of a rookie QB in Sam Darnold being the week 1 starter, the coaching staff will rely on their young defense.
Point – DALBIN! (Via Joe Caporoso)