The Turn On The Jets 12 pack is back with thoughts on the New York Jets heading into their second preseason game, tonight in Washington against the Redskins. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for further coverage…
1. It feels like there is a manufactured narrative being pushed by many that Bryce Petty has lit up training camp and the preseason, while Geno Smith has been putrid. Against Jacksonville, Smith was slightly better overall. Petty played okay and did look better than last year but was still inaccurate and struggled when his first read was not open. Smith has an antagonistic relationship with the local media who has been oddly fixated on him as the backup quarterback this summer, which isn’t going to help him get positive press.We seem to have reached a point where if Smith tosses his helmet in frustration in practice, it will be called childish and pedantic but if Petty did the same, it would show a fiery leadership that players can rally around.
Petty has made strides but there has been no tangible proof, unless you are forcing yourself to see things, that he is any better than Smith, or even really particularly close.
2. We have long been bullish on Quincy Enunwa on this site and while it is early, it is worth wondering if he can develop into some type of Delanie Walker/Jordan Reed Lite hybrid for this team. In terms of raw athleticism and versatility, Enunwa matches up with just about any player on this roster. The key for him in 2016 is catching the ball with consistency and expanding his route tree. There have been hints of it this summer and if he keeps growing, his opportunities for big plays will be endless with so much focus on Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
3. Yes, Ben Ijalana can unseat Breno Giacomini for the right tackle position. Giacomini isn’t good enough to miss most of camp and hold on to his position. However, Ijalana still needs to show a little more tonight and then potentially next week before you could safely pencil him in as a week 1 starter. Ijalana isn’t short on natural talent, he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy and hasn’t received much of an opportunity in previous years.4. It isn’t time to worry about Matt Forte yet. The Jets are being extra cautious with him because of his age and their investment. He needs minimal preseason work and I’d expect his practice time to ramp up in the coming week or so. Barring something unexpected, he will be ready to roll week 1 at 100%.
5. Right now I’d project the Jets keep Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Kenbrell Thompkins, Jalin Marshall, Jeremy Ross, and Charone Peake at receiver, with Quincy Enunwa and Jace Amaro making it at tight end. Devin Smith goes to the PUP list and replaces Ross in week 6. The team doesn’t keep a traditional Y tight end.
6. Oddly, it feels like Thompkins is more in danger of missing the final 53 than Ross right now. The latter has popped more on offense and provides increased special teams value.
7. Memo to the Jets, do NOT use Khiry Robinson on kick returns. Let’s not see Zac Stacy 2.0. Robinson is a superior talent but is a power runner and not somebody with a skill set conducive to returning kicks.8. It feels like Darron Lee is basically going to be a starter, even if not one in name, by very early in the season. There is too much big play potential to ignore and playing next to David Harris can help mask some of his likely early issues in the running game.
9. He is discussed enough now that you cannot call him underrated but it is hard to overstate the importance and value of Bilal Powell to the Jets offense. He will very much be the 1B to Forte’s 1A and is the type of player who can lead the Jets offense in total yards multiple weeks. The Jets badly need him healthy for 16 games.
10. Rookie fourth rounder Juston Burris has came on quicker than expected. He still feels like a situational player and special teamer this year but may be ready to compete for a starting role on the outside by 2017.
11. Two underrated free agent acquisitions who will carve out nice niche roles for themselves on the Jets defense: Bruce Carter and Jarvis Jenkins.
12. This writer still likes the Devin Smith pick and has not given up on his long term future here but he has a hell of an uphill battle to work himself into playing time when he returns healthy. I don’t think anybody expected all three of Jalin Marshall, Peake and Ross to play this well early in camp.
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