The Pressing Issues:
- Quick Preseason Overview of the annual Snoopy Bowl
- The curious case of Dimitri Patterson
- Who has stepped up for the New York Jets?
- Geno Smith officially named starting quarterback for the regular season opener Sept. 7th
- Overview of the first round of roster cuts
- Preview of the next round of roster trimmings
- Who is on the roster bubble? Who Stays? Who go’s?
So a quick review of the infamous Snoopy Bowl. Beyond the meaningless score of the game and the records of the teams involved, if you’re a Jets fan you had to like what you saw from the starters on both sides of the ball. The offensive line has continued to mature over the course of the offseason as some new pieces have been added and shuffled around. But it has really shown as Geno has continued to have plenty of time in the pocket. The presumptive word that has been associated with Geno Smith so far this preseason has been ‘rhythm’. When given time he’s been able to deliver to the open man. This preseason Geno has cut down on the turnovers, increased completion percentage, and has really shown an a bravado of leadership that he was lacking last season. Some other takeaways from the game: the defensive line has finally awoken from its slumber and created some havoc.
Speaking of havoc, just when we thought the New York Jets secondary situation couldn’t get any worse; we come to the curious case of Dimitri Patterson. He was brought on-board as a low-risk high-reward kind of player who looked to claim one of the starting corner spots available. He has dealt with some nagging injuries over his career and that trend has followed him to New York where he was also nursing groin & quad injuries respectively. On top of his sustained injuries we have the aforementioned injuries to Dee Milliner with an ankle sprain that could keep him out of the regular season opener & 3rd round pick out of Maryland Dexter McDougle is out for season with a torn ACL. So this was an opportunity for Patterson to really shine in a starting gig. But that’s where we get to the Patterson situation where he went missing without contact from the team for several days. Including skipping the Jets vs. Giants preseason game. There are a variety of stories floating around the rumor mill out there & I’m not going to pretend like I have an inside scoop & speculate. But what we do know is Dimitri was suspended indefinitely while they investigate the issue. It’s really a shame, but that opens the door of opportunity that I alluded to earlier. If one man doesn’t seize it someone else will. And that someone was Darrin Walls. A player who was considered a key reserve was suddenly thrust into the spotlight and shined against the Giants. With the status of the other cornerbacks on the roster in the air the dark-horse for one of the starting corner positions you may want to start paying attention to is none other than…Darrin Walls.
Finally the quarterback ‘battle’ is over, Geno Smith is now the starter. Now before we hear all the ‘he was handed the job talk’ & all the ‘Vick’ people need to just sit down for a second. Let’s clear some things first…Vick regardless of your stance is a short-term answer whether he is the back-up or the starter. What the New York Jets need to answer this season is…whether or not Geno Smith is the franchise quarterback we’ve been searching for since Broadway Joe. Now Geno will have no excuses: no rookie excuse, no excuse about no weapons, he now has a season under his belt and he is stocked with weapons. From Eric Decker to CJ2K this offense has a spice and electricity it hasn’t had in years. So expectations? Well lets not get crazy here…I’m not going to predict 5,000 yards passing and 40 tds no no not yet. I think realistically I’d like to see a td-int ratio switch somewhere around the ball park of 20+ tds with 12 or less interceptions, and get that passing number above 3,500 with 350+ yards rushing. I came up with these numbers on my own, I think they’re realistic I definitely want to see that turnover number shrink a lot. For us to have a chance this season Geno has to play well. We talk about opportunities all the time in this line of work. But this is Geno’s time to shine, we’ll see on Sept. 7th how much he’s really improved in live-game action. But if I were a betting man…I have one thing to say…get your popcorn ready, this Jets team is going to be one to watch out for. With their front-7 humming they can compete with any team in this league and I truly believe that.
Moving right along, with the first round of cuts officially in the book, lets take a look at who the Jets decided to cut bait on. Not a lot of surprises from the initial 7 cuts: Michael Smith running back had no chance of getting into the deep backfield of Ivory, CJ2K, Powell, Richardson there was simply no more room for another tailback. OL Bruce Campbell was nothing more than a camp-body, the extra-camp kickers were cut in Furney & Schum as expected. Furney got a chance to kick the game winner in week 1 of the preseason so he should get another look from a squad. Then a few short hours later another round of cuts came with a few bigger names including: returner Jacoby Ford. He brought the speed factor for sure, but the inconsistency was frustrating and on top of that an ‘average’ returner just didn’t make enough plays to warrant a spot on the team. Another name was Ras-I Dowling a former 2nd round pick of the New England Patriots has a lot of talent the problem has always been durability. Again the injury-bug plagued his stay with the Jets he couldn’t stay on the field to seize the opportunity at corner.
And finally the last portion of this segment of Press-Coverage, lets take a quick preview of who is on the roster-bubble? And who needs a solid-performance this Thursday night in the preseason finale to lock in a roster spot! Stephen Hill is a name to watch out for he’s been on and off his inability to catch the football. His talent and draft-pedigree should be enough to warrant a roster spot, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he didn’t make the cut. Tajh Boyd looks practice squad bound he’s been unimpressive, but with time could develop. Another practice squad bound player would appear to be Jeremiah George, 5th round pick out of Iowa State. He just hasn’t made enough plays and to be frank he’s been out-played by undrafted free agent A.J. Edds. Edds was ‘supposed’ to be nothing more than a training camp body, but the New York Jets may have found their diamond in the rough. He’s been flying all over the field in preseason notching up tackles and just being around the football. To end the segment I’m going to play a little game of ‘in or out’ on a bunch of players on the ‘roster bubble’ who fans have been tweeting me about ready? Let’s Do this!
I’m going to say in! I think he makes the cut, from the multiple days of training camp I’ve attended I’ve seen first hand he has fantastic hands he seems to come down with everything. I like his work-ethic & think he makes it in as the 5th or 6th receiver on this squad.
It’s funny, not only from Jets fans and analysts alike I’ve heard a million Clyde Gates jokes. If you would have asked me if he would make the 90 man roster I probably would have said no. But he’s really impressed me, usually he’s the kind of player that looks great in shorts, but once you get to real game action he’s MIA. But he’s been impressive throughout camp and I’d say he makes it in as the final receiver spot. Well in no specific order: Decker is in, Kerley is in, David Nelson is in, I’ll say Hill makes it, Salas & Gates and then Hakim makes it as our return man so we’ll have 7 which is a lot, but with our receiver injury history that isn’t a bad thing necessarily to carry that many.
The forgotten man in the New York Jets secondary. Right until the Antonio Allen switch to cornerback I might have leaned to no he doesn’t make the cut. But with Allen sliding to corner the last safety spot which is open to squeeze one more guy in you have to go with Miles. I mean what an inspiring journey he’s had to the NFL. I’m going to say in he has worked so hard to get where he has & let’s be honest he’s just been damn impressive this offseason he deserves to make it on an NFL team I just hope its with the Jets and we can make room for him.