It is a great time of year if you are a glass is half full kinda guy. Every draft pick is a world beater and every UDFA is awesome. Every player coming off an injury, be they one of our own or one picked up on the open market is going to fully recover back to the highest level of their careers pre-injury.
Every now and then one or two of these type stories actually turn out to be true for the Jets.
But the vast majority of them do not.
For pessimists, life must really suck. I don't know how you can stand to get out of bed in the morning, when everything sucks and life and your team will definitely disappoint you AGAIN today.
I am not necessarily referring to you EM, just the collective 'you' for the eternal pessimist. The guys who like to think of themselves as 'realists', when in reality, they are just miserable.
So yes, I CHOOSE to think that things will get better for my team, that the Jets off-season moves will work out, in the majority, and that the team that I root for will have an outstanding season. It doesn't cost me a dime to think that way. Hope springs eternal.
If it doesn't work out, there is always next year! But I like the direction that things are moving.
On the other hand once a guy has been on the roster for a couple of years without making any significant impact then I am less likely to keep my powder dry.
You dont remember the fear the Clowney threads? They didnt seem a joke to me.
Remember Marcus Henry and his 6'6" frame and how he would be a key redzone target.
Now its Chaz Schiilens, Mcknight, Gannaway (rb) and Stephen hill we are COUNTING on producing this year at key offensive positions.
The coaches and fans hype these players every year. Most years the team isnt counting on the Ducasses, Gannaways, and Chaz Schillens to produce as players. This is whats scary. No RB and no WR depth.
If you and others are confident with that, great. Im not....it reeks of disaster.
QB MArk Sanchez
RB Shonn Greene/Gannaway/Mcknight
WR Santoni-ho Holmes/ Rookies & scrubs
As a Jets fan, this concerns me. I dont live a negative life, i just fear the team will not be good this year with those players at those key positions.
How is this doom and gloomy?
The defense is not a concern for me personally, but this offensive unit is looking like it is taking far too many gambles with players surrounding a shaky QB coming into a very important year.
RB Shonn Greene/Gannaway/Mcknight - Green can be a freight train but last year, with all of the injuries on the OL, he never got going. New OC, new OL coach, new blocking scheme. We will see, but he could excel. McKnight has all of the potential in the world. He now has his chance. Per the media, he seems motivated. Again, we will see, but why not? Gannaway? who knows... late rounder. special teams and maybe more. A bonus if he contributes on offense.
WR Santoni-ho Holmes/ Rookies & scrubs - We now have what we have not had since Johnny Lam Jones. Speed at WR. If the Giants can find a phenom, why can't we? We have 3 guys that can run 4.3. We only need one of those 3 to step up and contribute. I like our odds.
See.. things aren't as bad as you thought... ;)
I don't think that is the right way to look at it at all...
The team's #5 overall pick 3 years ago, they expect the player to take the next step in his development, and from all accounts he's done exactly that so far this off-season, let's see how things play out in the season.
And why is the QB position suddenly shaky? We had a rookie and a first year QB take this team to the AFCCG two years in a row, if anything, we should expect and bank on further improvement this year, and be confident about that. I don't get how people suddenly view Sanchez as a concer, with 4 playoff wins under his belt. People have no patience, our now 25 year old QB wasn't going to become Peyton Manning in his first 3 years, none of them do. We should be enjoying the progression, and so far, he's done exactly that since becoming a Jet. There were always going to be growing pains and ups and downs, why are some taking last year away from that process?
You say the WR position Holmes and a bunch of scrubs... Not even close. Holmes and a bunch of ? marks? Sure, that's fair, but they also have some real talent, young talent, talent with a lot of upside in players like their 2nd round and 43 overall pick who was a first round talent in Hill, a player in Schilens who despite his injury history, DOES have upside, and DOES have good ability, not to mention size and speed. Ganaway, the player mentioned in this article, may just be our diamond in the rough, why is this not possible?
What about Kerley? He at least showed to be a quality #3 WR in a slot role. Despite the inexperience, there is a lot of potential to be excited about.
Yes, there is the inexperience factor
Clowney was smallish, not really built for football, Westhoff hated him because be couldn't even ay specials, i was never a Clowney fan, always felt entitled like he was some superstar or something, Gannaway on the other hand has been working like a maniac with the likes of Fitzgerald in order to become an NFL receiver, he's hungry and determined, we'll see if hecan catch the ball though, can he get open and will he catch it, from the youtube workout videos i see a guy with a lot of natural ability, he looks like a football player to me, nor just a workout freak.
I'm talking about the H-Back position, for those who don't know or can't remember the H-back is a FB/TE tweener who can run, block and catch. Josh Baker looks like a natural H-back to me, more than a traditional TE, he's a guy that from all I've read and seen from him seems to fit that role to a T,
He reminds me a lot of Jermaine Wiggins who we got as an UDFA out of Georgia a few years back and who became a decent player for NE.
Tannenbaum commenting on Conner and saying he's the starting FB for now makes me wonder if maybe Sparano might not have this HBack under their sleeves. Last year they went and got Charles Clay and he excelled for the Fins as a rookie playing mostly as an H-Back. Ideal scenario would be if they convince Tebow to accept that role, but the question is can Tebow catch?
I'm truly looking forward to our offensive skilled position players for the first time in quite some time. I've always been impressed by our defense heading into the season (under Rex). But for the first time, now that Shotty Jr is gone, I'm anxious to see what this unit can accomplish.
Despite what critics of Holmes may (or may not) say, he's a true #1 WR. A veteran WR with great route running ability and has came up clutch time and time again. Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald? No, not many are, but Holmes is a player in which opposing secondary's and safety's have to account for during each and every Sanchez drop back.
Some like to point out the fact that Stephen Hill is only a rookie, but look at how many rookies have impacted over the past two seasons. In 2010 you had rookies such as Mike Williams, Jermaine Gresham, Dez Bryant, Gronkowski/Hernandez, Brandon LaFell, Jordan Shipley etc, etc. Rookies such as A.J Green, Greg Little, Julio Jones, Doug Baldwin, Torrey Smith and Denarius Moore all impacted for their respected offenses as rookies last season. Some of you think a 6'1/205 Torrey Smith in whom ran a 4.43 40 with a 41' inch vert provided Flacco and the Ravens with a deep threat? Just wait until we see a 6'4/215 Stephen Hill in whom runs a 4.30 flat with a 39.5 inch vertical. This kid is blazing fast, very explosive off the line and has top of the line leaping/jumping ability. Haven't been this high on a Jets WR rookie since Keyshawn/Coles/Santana Moss. Even if he's not putting up big time production right away, he'll still make an immediate impact regardless. His speed can't be ignored. He'll open up the middle of the field for proven veterans such as Holmes and Keller to work. His deep threat potential/ability must be accounted for. It can not be ignored just because he's a rookie. This kid led the entire Nation is yards per reception at 29+ yards per catch coming out. Speed burner. A 6'4 one at that.
We have the perfect type of slot WR in Jeremy Kerley. At 5'9/188 pounds, this kid 23 year old athlete is built for the slot. Which is something we couldn't say heading into 2011. Mason had nothing left, Kerley was thrown into the fire as a raw rookie prospect during week 5 with just about zero reps with the first unit. Kid put up 29 receptions, 314 receiving yards and 1 TD during only 10 games of play after being thrown into the fire as a rookie. Was also very good at getting open, catching the football and moving the chains on 3rd down. Heading into 2012? We all know who our starting slot WR. Now, he'll have a chance to work with Sanchez and our offense during the offseason, training camp and preseason while physically and mentally preparing himself for the role of starting slot WR.
Holmes and Hill on the outsides, with Kerley working out of the slot can combine for a strong trio of WR's.
What about Dustin Keller? He's improved (production wise) each of the past 3 seasons with Sanchez under Center. He's a top 10 pass catching TE talent. Coming off a career year in which he put up 65 receptions, 815 yards and 5 TD's. He's by far Mark's favorite/most reliable option/target due to their overall chemistry that they've built together over the past 3 seasons. A true pass catching TE has always been a quarterbacks best friend. Tom Brady has Gronkowski/Hernandez. Peyton Manning had Dallas Clark. Drew Brees has Jimmy Graham. Philip Rivers has Antonio Gates. Tony Romo has Jason Witten. Aaron Rodgers has Jermichael Finley. Matt Ryan has Tony Gonzalez. Matthew Stafford has Brandon Pettigrew. Alex Smith has Vernon Davis. Matt Schaub has Owen Daniels. Andy Dalton has Jermaine Gresham etc, etc. As Jet fans, we should truly be thankful that Sanchez has a pass catching threat such as Dustin Keller to fall back on ala the best pass catching Jets TE I've ever seen.
Then you have our backfield with Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight. This isn't a proven 1-2 punch, but it's a 1-2 punch to look forward to watching this up coming season. Shonn Greene became a 1,000 yard rusher during his first season as our feature back. He's only heading into his 4th season as a back that rushed for an average of 4.2 yards per carry and only 37 rushing yards away from cracking the top 10. Only 12 rushing first downs from cracking the top 5 in regards to rushes resulting in 1st downs. There's a lot to be excited about in regards to a back in Shonn Greene who's only 26 years of age. Then you have Joe McKnight. This kid is only 24 years of age and led the NFL in kick returns for a reason; he's electric to say the least. Now he gets his first chance as our backup, and I'm looking forward to it. Could develop/become the home run threat our backfield needs spelling Shonn Greene. Only time will tell if he's ready for the challenge, but he's a play-maker without question. A true talent none the less. Kid has the ability to stretch the defense, catch out of the backfield, line up as an inside WR, utilize his return ability when running a HB screen etc, etc.
We also have some dept at the WR position in Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner and possibly/potentially DaMarcus Ganaway. If only one of these kids step up, when asked to step up? We're 4 deep at the WR position. Chaz has a boat load of potential (when healthy) and Patrick Turner gained some experience with us last season.
Last but not least? Tony Sparano and Tim Tebow should provide our offense with a dynamic Wildcat formation.
We may have a young offense, but we have an offense that we should all look forward to watching come Sunday's.