We are about in week into the Jets having somewhat normal practices, so here is a collection of thoughts on their offense heading into their first pre-season game which is less than a week away.
Wildcat – Rex Ryan has commented the Wildcat will remain a part of the Jets offense even without Brad Smith, mentioning LaDainian Tomlinson, Joe McKnight, and Jeremy Kerely as potential replacements. Brian Schottenheimer also seems high on the potential of McKnight replacing Smith. I don’t see the Wildcat remaining a big part of what the Jets do on offense. First off, I think as Mark Sanchez continues to develop they will want to pull him off the field less. Second, I could see Tomlinson being used for a few gimmick plays where he could throw the ball but not consistently taking shotgun snaps from the center. Kerley has some experience from college but is also just a rookie and McKnight isn’t a threat to throw the football. The Jets shouldn’t force the Wildcat outside of a handful of plays and should instead focus on getting their regular offense in rhythm.
#5 Spot – An interesting battle is breaking out between Patrick Turner, Scotty McKnight, and Logan Payne for the number five receiver spot. Turner has the size to fill in for Plaxico Burress if he misses time with an injury and actually caught a few passes in the offense last year. Payne spent time with the team last year and has the greatest special teams potential, which goes a long way for a number five receiver. McKnight has shown flashes at camp of being a capable slot receiver and obviously has good chemistry with Mark Sanchez but needs to show he can be a solid special teams contributor to have a shot.
So Then Run – The Jets wide receiver position still has a few question marks around it, as Plaxico Burress is yet to take a meaningful rep in practice and we still need to see how Derrick Mason works with Mark Sanchez in a game. Yet, keep in mind at an absolute minimum the Jet still have Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller to keep defenses honest and from stacking the box. They still have a one of the league’s best offensive lines and like many people out there, I think if Shonn Greene is given the appropriate amount of carries, he can be a legitimate number one back. LaDainian Tomlinson is still capable of being a good third down back and hopefully Joe McKnight can bring something this year.
Don’t Put Him In Canton Yet – I love hearing all the excitement about rookie wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, but let’s see him in a real game first. Remember how great Kyle Wilson looked in camp last year? It is good the Jets brought in Derrick Mason, so there won’t be too many expectations heaped on Kerely as he is bumped to a number four wide-out. Hopefully, he can provide a valuable weapon in the slot in certain packages and bring occasional big plays.