Early Thoughts On Jets vs. Bengals

The New York Jets second pre-season game will take place this Sunday at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. Unlike the opener, the starters are expected to get a full half of work. A few key players won’t participate including Brandon Moore, Sione Pouha, and Shonn Green. However, Plaxico Burress will take the field for the first time in a Jets uniform.

Here are a few things we are hoping to see Sunday night –

1. Coming Up – Continued accuracy, confidence, and leadership from Mark Sanchez. I also expect to see him push the ball down the field a little more. Most important, is that he stays healthy which could be a bit of a concern with Vladimir Ducasse starting at guard in place of Brandon Moore.

2. Signs Of Life – Speaking of Ducasse, it would be nice to see him flash any kind of potential or improvement after a difficult opening to the pre-season last week. The Jets need him now more than ever as he is the team’s top backup. Another bad performance from him and the Jets will likely have a veteran signed by the time the fourth quarter comes to an end.

3. Pass Rush – Whether it is Jamaal Westerman, newly signed Aaron Maybin, or Garrett McIntyre building on his two sack performance from last week, one of the outside linebackers needs to get after the quarterback, preferably against the Bengals first unit.

4. Plax – I am sure Brian Schottenheimer will design a few plays to get him involved early and if the Jets get in the red-zone, he will get a few shots. It will just be interesting to see him back on the field again and how he responds to the contact from another team.

5. The Battle For Carries – With Shonn Greene out of the line-up and LaDainian Tomlinson not likely to see extended action. Joe McKnight, who is just coming back from a concussion but is expected to play and Bilal Powell will both have a chance to make a statement in extended action. McKnight is in need a of a big play or two and Powell will look to build on a solid debut.

Jets Look To Improve Pass Rush: Sign Aaron Maybin

Let the Vernon Gholston 2.0 jokes begin.

The New York Jets have signed former Buffalo Bills linebacker Aaron Maybin, who was the 11th overall pick only two years ago. He didn’t record a sack through his first two seasons and couldn’t impress either of the two coaching staffs he was around enough to ever get a major contributing role on defense.

After dealing with a recent case of pneumonia, Maybin is 248 pounds and projects strictly as a pass rush specialist for the Jets, if he can manage to make the roster. Rex Ryan was never able to reclaim Vernon Gholston, but it is worth taking a shot on Maybin, who I am sure is receiving the veteran’s minimum. This could also serve notice to Jamaal Westerman who was quiet in the Jets pre-season opener.

The backup linebacker spots are wide open on the Jets, so a few strong showings from Maybin this pre-season could put him in a contributing spot on the Jets defense in 2011.