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Thread: Top 5 Unheralded Performances of OTAs (In No Particular Order)

  1. #1

    Top 5 Unheralded Performances of OTAs (In No Particular Order)

    Good article from the Jets Blog

    With OTAs over and voluntary minicamp set to begin, letís take a look at some guys who had some of the better under-the-radar performances during the Organized Team Activities that could unexpectedly lead to them getting a bigger role than previously anticipated. Keep in mind, the media was only allowed to attend one practice each week, meaning they have no idea how guys performed when they were not around. Thus, after speaking to a variety of sources, hereís some guys who separated themselves, albeit in shorts, during this period.

    1. TE Hayden Smith - Everybody Iíve talked to has absolutely raved about Hayden. The progress he has made from year one to year two is nothing short of phenomenal. If you think about it, this time last year he was just learning to put on a helmet for the first time. Now, heís getting ready to be make a major impact for this team. In his West Coast offense, the two-tight end set is very common, so itís more than likely we will see Hayden out there with Jeff Cumberland a majority of the time. While Konrad Reuland is a formidable player, heís not as versatile as Hayden. People at the practices have raved to me about his route running, improved blocking, and overall understanding for the game. Itís been a while since the Jets have had a legitimate pass catching threat at the TE position. Maybe one might classify Dustin Keller as one, but he would show up for five games than disappear. Hayden is here to stay. This is a guy to watch closely as camp rolls around.

    2. WR Zach Rogers - Overshadowed by Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter at Tennessee, Rogers has been lining up everywhere during OTAs. Iím told in addition to playing slot receiver, Rogers has been handling the duties as a punt returner and kick returner as well. In fact, he was the reason the Jets cut Royce Pollard after minicamp. Rogers, who caught 32 passes for 491 yards and seven touchdowns last season, performed so well that Pollard, who spent the entire season on the practice squad, was suddenly let go. Right off the bat Rogers clearly has a leg up on a guy like Titus Ryan in terms of making the team just due to his versatility. Rex has taken notice has well, ďRogers was very productive there and he really did a nice job of running routes and catching the football. He stood out. He caught a lot of balls out there, he was a slot receiver, you saw him return punts. And he did a good job in the special teams drills.Ē Rex, who is notorious for not knowing undrafted free agents names, clearly has his eye on Rogers. As should you.

    3. LB Ricky Sapp - Letís start off with something that has been reported yet. Last year, Ricky found out in the middle of the season that he was playing with a stress fracture in his right ankle, which was causing him unbearable pain. As such, Rex decided to make a bold decision. He made Ricky inactive for the latter part of the season. With the season pretty much over and Rex looking ahead, he decided to ďhideĒ Ricky. He didnít want to get him on tape, and also felt it necessary to let his ankle heal. After the season ended, Rex asked Ricky to add on some weight, but not so much that it will affect his speed. He did, and came into camp in the best shape of his life. While the team has said Quinton Coples will be starting at one of the OLB spots, the media has labeled Calvin Pace the starter. Not so fast. They should know on the days they werenít there, Ricky was receiving a TON of reps and was playing with the first team. I can see a scenario in which Antwan Barnes and Pace end up in more of a situational role with Ricky and Quinton starting. Barnes is probably best suited for that kind of role anyway, and Calvin is getting up there in age. Kristian Dyer said of every single defensive player on the field last week, Ricky ďlooked the best.Ē With his ability to drop back in coverage and also get after the QB, will will be playing a lot this season. I can promise you that.

    4. RB John Griffin Ė Like Ricky, Griffin was lighting it up in camp last summer, but suffered a high ankle sprain and was ultimately let go. After being resigned to the practice squad late in the season and activated for the Week 17 game vs. Buffalo, heís back in camp turning heads once again. RB Coach Anthony Lynn said, ďhe was really raw when he got here at first but Iím expecting John to really compete, not just be a camp guy but compete for playing time. Heís a big back Ö Heís fast, heís quick, he can make people miss inline and he does some really nice things that I like.Ē The problem is, the Jets are extremely loaded at the running back position, with Mike Goodson, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight. Interestingly, however, Iíve been told Griffin has the best hands out of the aforementioned group, something that is a necessity in a West Coast Offense. Griffin has been making the most out of his reps, and if he continues to shine, he might just push one of these guys off the rosterÖ

    5. DB Eric Crocker - First and foremost, from all of us here at TJB, we send our condolences to Eric, who left OTAs this week to return home to California to be with his family following the loss of his father. Signed by the Jets in March, he went attended University of Arkansas at Monticello. After going undrafted in 2012, he joined the San Antonio Talons last season, where he finished the year with 70 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 3 interceptions. Crocker, 6í2, 190lbs., has been making a name for himself during OTAs. The Jets coaches feel he has a real shot to make the team, Iíve learned. He has shown a ton of toughness and ability to match up with receivers during practice. Furthermore, Iíve been told they ďcanít waitĒ to get him in pads. His ability to run down the field and make plays on special teams will also help his cause. He reminds me a lot of Marquice Cole, who like Crocker, was signed by the Jets to a reserve/future contract. Quice became in instant star on special teams while slowly showing he had what it took to play in Rexís complicated defense as well. Crocker has been working one-on-one with Dennis Thurman and Tim McDonald to better himself every day.

    http://thejetsblog.com/nyjets/top-5-...ticular-order/

  2. #2
    Wow great to hear, our weakest positions are TE, WR, OLB and FS. Hoping at least one of those five really energes.
    P

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Konrad R. is a formidable player? Huh?

  5. #5
    Mike Goodson is going to be playing in the NFL this season? Huh?
    He may be playing for the Alcatraz Arrows, but dont get yer hopes up to high that he will be in Kelly Green this September...

  6. #6
    Hayden Smith sounds like an nfl TE.

  7. #7
    Wish I could take Steiny more seriously. He's just a kid, and he doesn't realize that what he's doing is hard to distinguish from, you know, lying. Sapp and Griffin talk to him, let him tag along with them, give him shout-outs on Twitter, and all of the sudden they are Pro-Bowlers. Griffin was fourth on the depth chart last year, at a time when the Jets talent at RB was considerably worse.

    Wish I could take this post serious and be psyched about these guys, but who knows.

  8. #8
    Every year it seems like Sapp looks great in OTAs and every year he doesnt do a damn thing. I'd rather hear Jacquies Smith looks shiny.

  9. #9
    Let’s start off with something that has been reported yet. Last year, Ricky found out in the middle of the season that he was playing with a stress fracture in his right ankle, which was causing him unbearable pain. As such, Rex decided to make a bold decision. He made Ricky inactive for the latter part of the season.
    Something that has been reported yet? Nice proofreading!

    And wait. Ricky had a stress fracture and is in so much pain, it's unbearable, which suggests to me the guy couldn't play at that time. So why is it a bold decision to make him inactive?

    WTF?

    Does Steiny write this stuff himself or does he let Sapp write it and thus just cut out the middleman?
    Last edited by TheBlairThomasFumble; 06-06-2013 at 11:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Steiny is killing me with his constant talking up of Ricky Sapp

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBlairThomasFumble View Post
    Something that has been reported yet? Nice proofreading!

    And wait. Ricky had a stress fracture and is in so much pain, it's unbearable, which suggests to me the guy couldn't play at that time. So why is it a bold decision to make him inactive?

    WTF?

    Does Steiny write this stuff himself or does he let Sapp write it and thus just cut out the middleman?
    Agree with all of this.

  12. #12
    Lets put down the Kool-Aid for a moment please.

    Would it actually be just a little more objective to see what they can do in PADS and a full roster competing against?

    This isn't flag football, there's a LONG way to go before we can actually start to even predict who will stick on the roster.

  13. #13
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    Seriously, I hope these guys are all great but


    I think I'll wait and see

  14. #14
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    Immediately after I read the stuff on hayden smith i knew this was written by steiny i like the guy but he loves hyping these bottom feeders.

    Although i do hope he is right and Hayden Smith and Ricky Sapp work out but im not holding my breath.
    Last edited by Scoop24; 06-07-2013 at 07:21 AM.

  15. #15
    Steiny doesn't realize that its a 53 man roster. Griffin, no chance. Maybe Zach Rogers. Ricky Sapp has YET to distinguish himself in a real football game. Doubt he makes it.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by bman View Post
    Steiny doesn't realize that its a 53 man roster. Griffin, no chance. Maybe Zach Rogers. Ricky Sapp has YET to distinguish himself in a real football game. Doubt he makes it.
    I think Griffin has a shot. Powell and McKnight could be cut for all I care at this point. We have Ivory and Goodson who will be the 1 and 2. I think Powell will be cut. He is not a scat back and not a ST option so to keep him as the #3 seems far fetched to me. Maybe if he can play FB but we have 2 of those right now and I like Lex. If Griffin can hang onto the ball something McKnight apparently has issues doing in camp I would keep Griffin. Or at least PS him which is likely.

  17. #17
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    Would love to see a list of all the players who look good in OTAs to some blogger and actually do anything, ever, in their careers.

    Seems like people rave about guys like Sapp every year and we never hear from them again.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Nut View Post
    Would love to see a list of all the players who look good in OTAs to some blogger and actually do anything, ever, in their careers.

    Seems like people rave about guys like Sapp every year and we never hear from them again.
    This, but...

    ...in a classic case of role reversal I will add that if the timing for unjustified optimism about less heralded Jets prospects is not now then when is it?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamers View Post
    I think Griffin has a shot. Powell and McKnight could be cut for all I care at this point. We have Ivory and Goodson who will be the 1 and 2. I think Powell will be cut. He is not a scat back and not a ST option so to keep him as the #3 seems far fetched to me. Maybe if he can play FB but we have 2 of those right now and I like Lex. If Griffin can hang onto the ball something McKnight apparently has issues doing in camp I would keep Griffin. Or at least PS him which is likely.
    I'd be shocked if Powell doesn't make the team. He is valuable as a backup RB because he is good at everything you need a RB to do (albeit, not great at any of those things). He's a reliable runner who doesn't fumble, he can catch the ball out of the backfield, and he's the only HB on our roster who is even decent at pass protection. McKnight goes before they even think of releasing Powell.

  20. #20
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    i got pretty excited reading this until it hit me like a ton of bricks that Steiny wrote it.. might as well had been DWC

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