Archive for August, 2013

Preseason Preview Jets v. Eagles: Who will fly?

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Leave it to the Jets to put excitement into preseason games, especially the fourth preseason game, which is usually a battle between the backups. The roster needs to be cut down to the final 53 by Saturday night.

WHEN: Thursday, August 29, 2013, 7:00 p.m. EST (TV-WCBS, Radio-ESPN New York 98.7FM)

WHERE: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

Matt Simms will make the start vs. Eagles and will try to steal the #3 QB position from Greg McElroy (JetsInsider.com Photo)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Matt Simms will start…and I’m excited about this. The QB with the big arm, who’s basically a prince in the NFL based on his genetic make-up, has been impressive every time he’s hit the field. He has a 137.5 passer rating. That’s the kind of impressive I’m talking about. Yes, I know that’s been accumulated playing against second and third string defenses, but still. Newly signed quarterback Graham Harrell will be waiting in the wings to relieve Simms as Greg McElroy who entered camp the #3 QB sits out this one with a knee injury. You all know Mark Sanchez won’t be playing and neither will Geno Smith, because the Jets don’t want to risk him getting injured (haha). It should be interesting to see if Phil Simms’s son can keep slinging them and secure himself a roster spot. Nick Foles will lead the Eagle’s offense. Foles, who was named second string QB to Michael Vick last week, learned the west coast offense from the Jets’ own Marty Mornhinweg.

-  If we’re on the topic of Simms slingers, we’ve got to talk about undrafted rookie wide receiver Ryan Spadola. I’ve got a feeling this pair is going to produce a couple more sparking moments tonight, like that 70-yard pass that helped set up a touchdown on Saturday night against the Giants. Maybe Simms and Spadola have a special Jersey Boy connection. The Howell, N.J. native leads the team with 169 receiving yards on seven catches. Yeaaahhh, this guy is making the team. If he didn’t, I’d laugh so hard at the ridiculousness. His preseason story is reminding me of Victor Cruz circa 2010, as bold as that sounds.

-   While we won’t be seeing the pressing first string quarterback competition play out further tonight, there are on-going competitions at other positions, like free safety. Expect to see Jaiquawn Jarrett, a former Eagle, start tonight. He’s battling Antonio Allen, who’s edging him out for the spot. Placekicker is still up for grabs. The team cut Billy Cundiff this week and replaced him with Dan Carpenter to compete with incumbent kicker Nick Folk. Then there’s the O-line…It’s been nice to see improvement in QB protection this preseason, but opening holes for the running back might be an issue. The Jets have been averaging only 3 yards per carry. Rookie left guard Brian Winters could eventually win himself a spot on the starting line, but he’ll have to become a more consistent player than the one we saw in his first start Saturday. He can start today. Rookie tackle Oday Abouishi and guard Will Campbell will need to show up strong today to avoid Saturday’s cut.

Getting to a Good Place

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Florham Park, NJ – The Jets are being quiet these days. Soft spoken Mike Goodson, who returned to the team facility today after being away for the past month “handling some personal stuff,” stayed in line with the approach, keeping it short and sweet with the media.

Goodson prefers to forgo the blah, blah, blah with his teammates as well. “[I’m ready to] work real hard and earn the trust of my teammates,” Goodson said. “Not talk a lot or do a lot of talking. I think the proof is in your actions and if I do things I need to do I think I’ll earn the trust of my teammates back.”

Goodson was arrested in May intoxicated in the passenger’s side of the car in New Jersey. He was charged with possession of marijuana and a semi-automatic handgun.

The fifth year running back repeatedly said that he’s “embarrassed” and “disappointed with himself” and admitted that he was worried about how he’d be received by his new teammates. “I was a little nervous,” he said. “But the guys have been great. It was all smiles and hugs when I got back, so it’s good.”

It was a bit surprising that the Jets decided to keep Goodson, who in the offseason signed a 3-year, $6.9 million contract, after the arrest. It’s not the way he wanted to start out his career in New York.

Despite not studying the playbook or working out hard while being away from training camp, he says he’s coming back to the team a better man.

“I just have my life in order,” Goodson said. “I was able to get my life in order and able to look at some things that I wasn’t happy with myself…I’m better for the job now that I did take the time that I needed.”

Goodson won’t be able to play or practice for the first four weeks of the NFL season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. However, he will be able to attend meetings and, obviously, train on his own.

When he does join the offense on the field on September 30, he’s excited to add a spark. “I think I’m really explosive and given four weeks to prepare for something, I think I’ll be pretty explosive and ready to play,” Goodson said.

Call me a sucker, but based on Goodson’s humble demeanor today, my gut says he won’t be repeating the past.

Count on the Jets to Bring Drama the Snoopy Bowl

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

East Rutherford, NJ - The Super Bowl will be held at MetLife in five months and since the Jets probably won’t be there, they fought for the win in the Snoopy Bowl. Tom Coughlin showed an affinity for the trophy as well, kicking a field goal near the end of regulation to give his team a chance to take home the hardware in overtime…of a preseason game. But at the end of the day it was Matt Simms and Ryan Spadola once again connecting for a big gain to set the Jets up for the 24-21 win. It’s too bad that Simms, who has really proven he has quite an arm, will probably not make the 53-man roster.

Well, if you have a twitter or…I don’t know a TV turned on in your house…set to ohhh probably any channel…you’ve probably already seen Rex’s post-game press conference. If you didn’t watch the preseason game, you still probably already know it was one of the most dramatic preseason games…ever. Geno Smith did a crappy job starting in his first game, then in the fourth quarter…yes, I repeat the fourth quarter, Rex, having lost all of his marbles, put Mark Sanchez in to play. He was “protected” by guys who will be lucky to make the practice squad, let alone the roster. Rex made this stupid decision after Smith’s poor performance all but CONFIRMED (something the team just refused to do) Sanchez will be the starter week 1. So Sanchez gets injured when Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin slams him. His shoulder is said to be “very sore” and he’ll have an MRI on it tomorrow. Rex had no answers as to why he was put in the game. The press conference, in which he tries to defend himself, is bound to go viral. Memes and GIFs are already being created. Can’t wait for the Buzzfeed post on it tomorrow….Anyway, not only can he not explain this decision, but he freaks out when asked about when they’ll announce first week starter. We can only hope this will actually remain a competition in the next week or so, depending on the severity of Sanchez’s injury.

I guess there were some other storylines tonight, even though that will be what we hear about over and over for the next few days. The Jets can’t escape drama no matter how hard they try…then again, I don’t know if they’re actually trying.

Okay, back to those other storylines….Smith had his chance to claim the starting job tonight, but proved he wasn’t deserving of it, throwing three-interceptions in the span of 12 attempts. He went 16-of-30, throwing for 199 yards. The plan was for Smith to throw mostly underneath and quickly. It would hopefully make him look good, but he ended up looking like a newbie the whole time. You can tell the organization and most of the fan base wants Smith to start, but guess what, he’s not ready. He did have a moment during the third quarter, leading the offense on a 57-yard drive to a touchdown…against the Giants’ second-string defense.

When Geno was asked to grade his performance he said, “I don’t do grades, but overall I think this is just another learning experience for me. Lots of teaching tape. Felt good to be out there with my teammates competing once again and it was a great job. It was a good team win tonight.”

But tonight was not all doom and gloom. The Jets defense looked good. They may not be top 5 yet, but pretty solid. They did give up an 84-yard run by the Giants explosive back David Wilson early in the first quarter, but after that they regrouped and didn’t give up much the rest of the game. Granted, Eli Manning wasn’t having a particularly “on” day and it was a patchwork offensive line for the Giants who lost two starters to injuries in the past week. The Jets-D put on pressure and given the amount of times the Giants were given good field position, they didn’t allow them to put many points on the board.

Who knows what’s ever going on with the Jets offense? That’s why it’s even more critical for the defense to keep it together the way they demonstrated tonight.

Training Camp Update: 8/22

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

JetsInsider.com reporter Evan Slavit gives a brief update on Thursday’s practice at the Jets’ Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, NJ.

Training Camp Update: 8/21

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

JetsInsider.com reporters Ashley Iaconetti and Evan Slavit give a brief update on Wednesday’s practice at the Jets’ Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, NJ.

T-BO

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - During the first week or two of camp in Cortland, rookie fullback Tommy Bohanon would walk by the media on his way to the locker room, whistling, waiting for someone to be interested in interviewing him, but he would often not be stopped. Well, things have changed.

This morning, the Jets were forced to put competing fullback Lex Hilliard on injured reserve after breaking his scapula during Tuesday’s practice. If you’re an avid reader of this site…or the Jets in general…you probably know by now that this pretty much guarantees the starting fullback position will belong to Bohanon, the seventh-round pick out of Wake Forest.

Looks like Bohanon might get the attention he was yearning for. Today, “T-Bo’s” locker was quite a popular spot to be at today. Yes, Jets fans we have a new “T-Bo” generating buzz. One reporter pointed out it’s a bit eerie to hear chanted by the fans in the stands.

“It kinda just started in college because it was easier to say T-Bo than Tommy.”

We’ll see soon whether or not the college nickname sticks in Florham Park.

Rex said during his press conference that he’d be comfortable starting Bohanon on opening day.

“I certainly would be,” Ryan said. “We’ll look at everyone out there, but he’s been impressive to me in these camp and in practices, so I feel good about him.”

Bohanon can feel the support. “I’ve been very involved in the offense so far and I feel like they have a lot of confidence in me to get the job done.”

He’s also getting support elsewhere. Bohanon says that having Josh Bush, his college teammate, has made the transition into the NFL easier.

The 22-year-old fullback said that Bush is the guy on the team he’d most like to hangout with on a deserted island. You should know by now that I will always ask at least one fun question. (He said Mark Sanchez would be most likely to rescue him from the island. “He has connections everywhere.”)

“He’s been there helping to show me the ropes a little bit because he was here a year before me,” Bohanon said. “It’s definitely something that’s helped me out a little bit.”

However, he’s quick to note the adjustments he’s had to make.

“Wake is a primarily spread offense, so I was getting out on routes a lot,” he said. “Here I’m doing a lot of lead blocking. I’m able to run the ball a little more out here and I’m still getting out on routes and catching the ball in the outfield as well.”

The speed of the game from the college level to the professional level dramatically changes, but Bohanon says he was prepared for that going into the preseason games.

“I think it’s what I’ve expected going through OTAs and minicamp and through camp,” Bohanon said. “So I’ve kind of adjusted to the speed of the game to the point that there weren’t too many surprises once we got into the game.”

Hopefully he’ll feel as comfortable going into Week 1.

Training Camp: Day 16 Update

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

JetsInsider.com reporter Evan Slavit gives a brief update on Tuesday’s practice at SUNY Cortland.

Training Camp: Day 15 Update

Monday, August 12th, 2013

JetsInsider.com reporter Ashley Iaconetti gives a brief update on Monday’s practice at SUNY Cortland.

One He11 of a Guy

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Cortland, NY - Scandalous news out of Jets camp today…I’m sure it’s bound to make headlines, cause internal speculation around the facility, and get fans and the media buzzing. When the players are in their dorm rooms and they aren’t studying, “we act like we’re studying.” Last year’s leading receiver, Jeremy Kerley, revealed this juicy factoid yesterday.

Obviously, if there were such a thing as sarcastic font, the above paragraph would be typed in it… but hey, this is the Jets we’re talking about. (Disclaimer: This was not meant to start anything. It was a joke.) Everyday after their two-hour practice, the players walk from the field into the weight room. Some Jets will stop and talk to the media depending on the day. And I’ve got to tell you, many of them are big, intimidating, and don’t want to bother with our questions. I understand this completely. Some of the questions that are being asked daily are annoying and repetitive. The players have stock answers for so many of them. It’s like pressing play on the show called “Media” on their mental DVRs. Sorry, for the diatribe…my point is Jeremy Kerley is sweet and approachable…and a couple inches shorter than most.

Jets leading receiver from last season Jeremy Kerley plans to repeat his success

I tried to veer away from those monotonous questions, but before I wanted to address them. I asked Kerley which question he’s most sick of. “The quarterback question,” he said. “It’s not up to us, so the questions are irrelevant.”

Not realizing the 24-year-old Kerley married his college girlfriend Kristal Juarez in March, I asked him who his celebrity crush is. He hesitated for a second saying, “My celebrity crush? I got a wife, yo.” I told him he was off the hook for that question if he wanted to be, but he said, “No, I’ve got a celebrity crush. Keri Hilson.”

Yes, the Mary Hart in me came out in full force.

Other little tidbits I learned about the soft-spoken third-year receiver include the last movie he saw in theatres. It was Let Me Explain, which he really enjoyed. He’s not itching for space from his roommate running back Bilal Powell yet. “He’s my bro,” Kerley said. “We’re like brothers.”

In case you want to hear about football (because after all that’s most likely why you’re visiting the JetsInsider.com) Kerley isn’t worried about one of the younger receivers, like Stephen Hill or Clyde Gates—who have both been impressive in camp so far—coming up and stealing his throne per se.

“I don’t feel any added pressure. I’m confident and feel good about my game. The system is set up great. Marty’s system is set up really nicely. I’m happy.”

He may not feel the up-and-comers on his back, but he’s willing to help his competition. “I’m just trying to lead by example,” Kerley said, “I’m not really a vocal guy. I’m just trying to put my efforts out on the field. Show them the right path.”

Coach Rex Ryan seems to think Kerley is on a good path. Last week he spoke about how impressed he is with Kerley’s hands, and more surprisingly, his punt returning.

“That’s a little football player there,” Ryan said. “Whether he’s running the option… whether he’s running the option route. There are all these things this young man can do. I think he’s had a great training camp.”

Based on what we’ve seen from Kerley on the field and the vibe I got from him based on the five minutes we spoke, I would personally follow the “right path” Kerley has set for the younger guys, particularly if I were dressed in green and white…on the roster…and a guy…

Training Camp: Day 14 Update

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

JetsInsider.com reporter Evan Slavit gives a brief update on Sunday’s practice at SUNY Cortland.