Another interesting offseason for Gang Green, but hey, these are the Jets we’re talking about. Ending the season on somewhat of a high note, finishing 8-8 in a year where some had them ranked as the league’s worst coming in, the offseason and the future looked promising. It wasn’t just the record that had Jets fans buzzing, but mainly the emergence of defensive studs Mo Wilkerson and Defensive Rookie of the Year Shelden Richardson. Not to mention some promising moments from Geno Smith. Last year the jets had one of the worst set of skill players in NFL history. For christ’s sake Jeremy Kerley led the team with 523 receiving yards. If you would have told me they’d finish 8-8, I would have thought you were insane, as would any realistic Jets fan.
Shedding some dead weight aka Mark Sanchez, Vlad Ducasse, and that piece of SHIT Santonio Holmes had fans rejoicing. But some were even happy parting ways with Antonio Cromartie (ask them today and I bet they’d take back what they said). GM John Idzik brought in some strong talent though to fill some gaps. Michael Vick is a capable backup to say the least, and should Geno drop the ball early on, I am confident in our backup for the first time (ex. Kellen Clemens). Eric Decker is a HUGE addition for any team, especially one with a young quarterback and a receiving corp that was desperate for improvement. They got some offensive line help with Breno Giacomini and yet another proven pass rusher in Jason Babin. But lets not forget about who I think will be the biggest addition and the greatest contribution of all the newcomers, Chris Johnson. Granted he’s not gonna be the guy from years ago to threaten for 2000 yards, but he looks DAMN GOOD so far. I have no doubts in my mind he will get back to his old ways and make some big plays.
But the Jets schedule is not exactly in our favor. Weeks 2-7 they play 6 straight pro bowl QBs, 2 of which in 96 hours (Peyton Manning and Tom Brady). The schedule sucks, at least the early part does. The first half of the year is going to be a real struggle but a good test for this team. Backed by a bunch of leaders and veterans, this is a young team with talent and capability. The running game is gonna be versatile and gutty, led by CJ and Chris Ivory with Powell to change the pace. Geno finally has options to find in the open field, Eric Decker being the most likely main target. But rookie tight end Jace Amaro has oodles of potential, and size for that matter. David Nelson and Jeremy Kerley are gonna have to step up big; it’s not the best group of receivers in the league by any means, but it is undeniably a major improvement. Hopefully we see a poised and confident Geno Smith who is ready to command this offense and lead this team. He doesn’t have to be great, but he’s gotta be better. I’m not totally sold on the kid yet, but he’s proven he has what it takes, and he has my full support. Geno needs to be a smart but aggressive quarterback if this team is gonna excel on the offensive front.
The front 7 is scary good on defense. I’d put them up against any in the league, that’s how good they are. Guys like Mo, Richardson, Kendrick Ellis, Quinton Coples, and Jason Babin have the natural ability to deny the run and pressure the quarterback on every single snap. But the biggest question mark on this team is gonna be the secondary. For example: who is gonna play CB? If the 2 corners are gonna be Kyle Wilson and Darrin Walls every Sunday, this team doesn’t stand a chance. The two of them have done literally nothing to earn my confidence and would be lucky to find a roster spot on other teams if you ask me. With the departure of AC and the Jets not signing Darrelle Revis, despite his obvious desire to return to NY, the Jets didn’t do much at all to improve their already questionable secondary. And with injuries to Milliner and McDougle and the likely suspension of Dmitri Patterson, you’ve got to wonder how we are gonna stop any offense with decent receivers (Nelson/Cobb, Marshall/Jeffrey, Megatron/Tate, Demaryius/Welker). The list goes on, and the questions will remain unanswered until they step on the field.
I have complete faith in Rex as a coach, and there’s no doubt he has some defensive schemes up his sleeve that will come surprise to any offense. But how far can that take the Jets? Can the front 7 be great enough to overcome their weak secondary every Sunday? The answer for me right now is no. Had the Jets signed Revis or had one healthy and competent/capable CB, my expectations would be high. This team has a lot of the pieces for a playoff team, but they lack in a major area and it has me apprehensive. Let’s hope guys like Antonio Allen and rookie Calvin Pryor can step up and make big plays down field defensively. Let’s hope Geno can become the captain we need him to be and empower the rest of this Jets squad.
The offense is MUCH better, and the defensive line is fantastic. But the schedule is brutal, and the secondary is putrid and basically incapacitated at this point. The Jets always find a way to keep things interesting. Maybe they make a trade for a CB, maybe the defense proves to be good enough. I think this team has the potential to be a playoff team and a good one at that. But not yet. Not with what we have today.