Depth chart breakdown: OL

July 3rd, 2014

We’re three weeks away from the first day of training camp and during these three weeks we will look to examine the depth chart at each position (with the exception of special teams). We’ll look at who is locked into a starting spot, likely to get/keep a starting spot, who will just miss the starting lineup but become an important backup and guys who will likely be cut.

We start with the offensive line because honestly this is the unit that gives me the most concern for the Jets going into the season. Obviously the quarterback is the most important single position and it won’t matter much if the offensive line is great if the quarterback play is terrible but in order for the quarterback to play to the best of his ability the offensive line is going to need to prove it’s capable of protecting the quarterback and giving the running backs lanes to run through.

The secondary seems to be the unit most people are unsure of and understandably so, but with the raw talent, Rex Ryan’s system and getting to play behind a dominate front line I expect the secondary to have their rough patches, especially considering all the high-powered offenses they play this season, but still be more than adequate. With the offensive line there are two huge unknowns at both guard spots and I have some questions/cause for concern with the other three starting lineman as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Deep tight end group offers creative opportunities

June 20th, 2014

With so much attention on the quarterback competition, the new group of receivers and a talented but inexperienced secondary it seems like this tight end group has been getting overlooked.

Of course the rookie tight end, Jace Amaro, has received plenty of attention, even if his performance took a slight dip between OTA’s and minicamp before starting to trend upwards again, but it seems like the rest of the group has been an afterthought.

During Wednesday’s practice the tight end group as a whole looked to be the most impressive unit of the day (not the best we know that is the defensive line, but most impressive on that day).

Patriots castoff Zach Sudfeld has looked pretty good running routes and catching passes, he uses his frame really well and presents a big target for his quarterback, but what’s been most impressive about him has been his blocking. Sudfeld has greatly improved his blocking technique and it shows as he did a really impressive job of protecting the edge of the line and stuffing oncoming pass rushers. He even had to diagnose the defensive coverage and pick and choose who to block on a couple of occasions and both times he choose right. Read the rest of this entry »

Final minicamp practice: Spy games and secondary progress

June 19th, 2014

Florham Park, NJ – Hockey season has ended and the World Cup is in the middle of group stages, but ex-Jet defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, just managed to pull off one of the most unique and oddly impressive hat tricks ever by managing to anger Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick and Nick Saban all in one interview.

Pettine was doing an interview with the MMQB.SI.com’s Greg Bedard when he began to talk about installing the defensive system in Cleveland and took the first swipe at Belichick. “I don’t put a lot of graduate-level information in it.” Pettine said, “We know in places like New England, it’s only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook.”

So, did Pettine just accuse Belichick and the Patriots of spying and/or cheating? Well yeah, pretty much. Read the rest of this entry »

Day one minicamp recap: Geno’s comfort level grows

June 17th, 2014

Florham Park, NJ – It was a hot and humid day as the Jets kicked off their 2014 minicamp, the players made sure they were well hydrated as they drank a bit more water than normal during warmups and it’s a good thing they did because of all the pushups they had to do.

The Jets have continued a practice they started last season, hoping to correct all the penalty issues they were having, that involves everyone doing pushups any time there’s a penalty except the person who committed the penalty. Otherwise it’s literally everybody, all the players, the coaching and public relations staff. Woody Johnson and John Idzik have joined in when in attendance and today even some fans decided to play along.

Of course Rex Ryan wasn’t pleased with all the penalties, something he expects we won’t see again tomorrow saying,”It got ugly out there. We’re really harping on defensive holding. I know the league is trying to get restive jerseys and all that kind of stuff, but guys are running out there with the jerseys that we used to play in and it’s like you make contact and you really can’t touch them anymore. But yeah, I have to fix that one. Tomorrow, I promise there won’t be half of those penalties, because I’m going to have them wave the flag instead of throw it. That was ugly.” Read the rest of this entry »

McDougle impresses in first full practice

June 12th, 2014

Florham Park, NJ – Last year, on September 14th, Dexter McDougle had two interceptions to help the Terrapins beat Connecticut 32-21. Later in that same game McDougle suffered a season-ending shoulder injury when he went to make a tackle.

“Dexter was playing as good as he’s played since I’ve been here.” Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said after the game according to ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson, “It’s just sad that this happened to him.”

After nine long months of healing, rehabbing and simultaneously training for the NFL McDougle finally got clearance to ditch the red non-contact jersey for the first time with the Jets and he was absolutely giddy with delight. Read the rest of this entry »

OTA’s: First impressions

May 28th, 2014

Florham Park, NJ – The Jets kicked off OTA’s yesterday, but today was the media’s first chance to get a look at the whole team together and as they say, ‘you never get a second chance at a first impression.’ Of course that puts too much pressure and/or emphasis on the first impression especially in a scenario such as this.

Yes, today was the media’s chance to get a first impression of the newly signed free agents, but what you see in OTA’s doesn’t necessarily translate to anything meaningful during the season. Still OTA’s are all we have for now and with no more media access until next Wednesday the first impressions are literally all we have to work with.

So, instead of getting ahead of ourselves and we start obsessing over quarterback competitions, who will be the number two receiver and cornerback, who will get cut and who could possibly be a breakout star let’s keep it simple and focus on today’s first impressions. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Calvin Pryor this year’s Sheldon Richardson?

May 21st, 2014

Last year Sheldon Richardson dominated the headlines in rookie camp, instantly earned the affection of the coaching staff and teammates and also became both a fan and media favorite. He continued that dominance throughout training camp and the regular season culminating with him winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Let’s travel back in time to just over a year ago.

The Jets had just drafted Dee Milliner and Richardson in the first round while also snagging Geno Smith with their second round pick. It was the first day of rookie camp and as soon as media observers glanced at the field their eyes lit up as if to say, ‘Damn, that dude is quick.’ Instantly onlookers were transfixed by his electric speed and quickness, an effortless burst and an overall giant ball of energy. It was just rookie camp though, so as impressive as his first impression was it was hard to put any stock into it, that is, until the locker room opened up. Read the rest of this entry »

Jets claim RB Daryl Richardson off waivers

May 17th, 2014

Florham Park, NJ – It appears John Idzik has an affinity for running backs with dreadlocks. After Zac Stacy had a breakout year of sorts and the Rams drafted Tre Mason in the third round Daryl Richardson became expendable to the Rams and Idzik quickly pounced on the opportunity to add Richardson to this suddenly very deep running back group.

Richardson was a seventh-round draft, out of Abilene Christian University, in 2012 and served as backup to Steven Jackson during his rookie season. As Jackson’s backup Richardson had 98 carries for 475 yard (4.8 yards per carry) to go along with 24 catches for 163 yards (6.8 yards per reception). Read the rest of this entry »

Rookies start first day of work

May 16th, 2014

Let’s skip the standard generic joke about the players getting paid more to play in college than in the NFL, today marks the first day of work as actual employees for these rookies.

Some of these players are just here temporarily, trying out to make the mini-camp/training camp roster, others are locks to make the regular season roster and see playing time, but they’re all here to work and prove to the coaching staff and players that they belong.

All of these players are excited to get back to playing football, but for some their wait has been longer than others. Players like Trevor Reilly (ACL and torn meniscus) and Dexter McDougle missed significant chunks of last season and are itching to get back to playing the game that they love.

“It was a dislocated shoulder and a fractured scapula.” McDougle said of his injury. “Yeah so, it was pretty serious. Basically I hit a guy and it was a freak accident. I had to get plates and screws (put in), luckily bone heals fast and it’s healed up very well. I’m just working on strengthening it so, everything’s good right now. Read the rest of this entry »

Jets add CB, DE, WR and QB in 6th round, LB in 7th

May 10th, 2014

With the Jets possessing 12 picks in this year’s draft everyone expected the Jets to package some of those picks to move up in the draft, after all it’s unlikely 12 rookies will stick with the team once the regular season starts, but using all 12 picks means sticking with Idzik’s mantra of building through competition. It also means they can completely whiff on a few of these picks and still come out of this draft in great shape.

Coming into the draft the biggest needs for the Jets were at receiver, tight end and defensive back. Safety Calvin Pryor and tight end Jace Amaro addressed two positions of need and the Jets went corner in the third with Dexter McDougle before adding two receivers in the fourth. In the sixth the Jets continued to add depth by adding another corner and receiver and also selecting a defensive end and a quarterback.

The Jets selection of Clemson QB Tajh Boyd in the 6th round puts Matt Simms' status in question.

I can’t offer up much information on the corner, Brandon Dixon, or the defensive end, Ik Enemkpali, but I am very familiar with the receiver, Quincy Enunwa from Nebraska and the quarterback Tajh Boyd from Clemson.

Enunwa is a big, strong, physical receiver with good speed but is very raw as a route runner and catcher. He is 6′2″ 256 lbs and ran a 4.5 40. Is physical and strong enough to get off jams from press corners, but wastes too much motion in his routes and doesn’t enter or exit his breaks cleanly. Good speed, but takes awhile to get up to top-speed. Ultra competitive, will fight for jump balls and has the hand strength and leaping ability to win, but uses his body to make catches too much and will need to improve his technique to create separation at the NFL. Excellent, physical blocker downfield and trucks through defenders once the ball is in his hands. Has good instincts and the open field. Has many of the tools needed to become a successful receiver in the NFL, but has a lot of kinks to iron out for that to happen.

Boyd is a player I’ve really enjoyed watching for the past couple of seasons. He started out last season mentioned as a contender for the Heisman but he seemed to become the forgotten quarterback as the season went on. Which was confusing to me because I didn’t see his play slip much and all the issues in his game, and there are plenty of issues, were all there the year before.

Boyd is a short quarterback, just over 6′, has slightly above-average arm strength and has trouble seeing the field and working through his progressions at times. He gets happy-feet and has a tendency to panic a little when pressured, but he has great mobility/escapability, excellent vision as a runner, will juke defenders or lower his shoulder and create a lane to run through. Needs to work on keeping his head up and eyes downfield when he gets moving in or out of the pocket. Because of his shortness he possesses the ability to throw the ball from multiple arm angles and has an above average touch on his throws.

Boyd is more accurate than many will lead you to believe, especially when on the run, but struggles with consistency due to sloppy footwork. Will sometimes take weird, unconventional steps but also has the ability to make impressive, “wow” throws when you least expect it. Boyd has an intriguing skill-set and the worst kept secret in the league was Rex Ryan’s affinity to the Clemson quarterback, but don’t listen to anyone with quarterback competition jokes. I’m as big a Boyd fan as anyone, but best case scenario is he’ll the number three quarterback/practice squad. This could very well mean the end to Matt Simms’ career as a Jet, but Boyd won’t be pushing Geno Smith or Michael Vick.

IK Enemkpali is the defensive end from Louisiana Tech and besides the fact that his name is extremely hard to spell I don’t know much about him. He’s clearly a developmental pick who, if he has a decent-to-strong training camp, will likely find himself on the practice squad as a best-case-scenario especially considering the talent already occupying spots on that line.

Brandon Dixon is the corner from Northwest Missouri State who is blazing fast 4.41 40. His speed is an obvious plus, but there are concerns about his ability to decipher routes and he gets turned around too easily in space. He is raw, needs to be coached up and work on his fundamentals, technique and becoming a student of the game, but that’s what sixth round picks are for.

With their 12th and final pick the Jets selected outside linebacker Trevor Reilly from Utah. Reilly is a lunch pal type of guy, hard worker and is keeps on fighting even after he gets locked up. He’s a good prospect but is 26 years old after serving a Mormon fellowship in Sweden. He also has had problems with his right knee which has had multiple surgeries.

Over the next couple of days I’ll do more research and homework for the players I’m not as familiar with and make sure to report my findings back to you.