Much has been made in the media of a scirmish between Jets teamates in the last 2 days of Training Camp. Some believe this is the beginning of another year of a fractured locker room, and people who actually know what they are talking about know that this is a normal part of Training Camp across the League. One thing everyone would agree on is that the Jets are ready to hit players wearing different color uniforms, and Jets fans want to see what their team has been working on all off season to correct an 8-8 season.
New players through Free Agency, WR Chaz Schilens, S LaRon Landry, S Yeremiah Bell, K Josh Brown will be on full display in some position battles with the 2 new Safeties expected to be the new starters and answer to the biggest weakness on Defense. Josh Brown has been in a tight battle with Nick Novak and the competition has brought out the best in both kickers, more notably Novak who seems to thrive during competition, but needs to be more consistant during the regular Season. Safeties Landry and Bell were brought in to plug in the middle of the Secondary and stop TE's from bleeding the Defense dry. Both players are known for being in the box players, so it will be good to see how they work in coverage knowing they can trust their Corners to handle their assignments one on one with no need for help. Schilens was the vocal leader against CB Antonio Cromartie's comments about being the #2 WR on the Roster, so lets see if He can step up on the field as well.
Many Jets fans are excited about the Jets contraversal 2012 Draft Class which may be as good as the 2007 Draft Class highlighted by CB Derrelle Revis and ILB David Harris. 1st Round pick DE Quinton Coples wasn't the player fans or critics expected to get with DE/OLB Melvin Ingram and OLB Courtney Upshaw still on the Board. Coples looked good good in OTAs, but has been quiet for most of Training Camp. The Jets have said that they will use more 4-3 alignments, so the Coples pick makes more sense, but the Jets need to see something from their 1st Round pick during the Pre-Season.
2nd Round pick WR Stephen Hill is a big, fast, and strong WR that Fans and Critics are in love with. He has his issues, but He is battling for the #2 WR position and the Jets are counting on him to step up. He has impressed in Training Camp against Revis and Cromartie who are both far above average Corners, so it will be interesting to see how he does against Corners around the League and it all starts Friday.
3rd Round pick ILB Demario Davis has most people taking a closer look. With Bart Scott not playing well last year and being up there in age with a large contract it is a matter of when not if Davis will be inserted into the starting lineup. Davis is a big hitter with a 4.5 40 yard dash. His leadership skills have been on full display with comparisons to Ray Lewis, but the Jets want to see him show skills on the field. Lets see if Davis can put pressure on the QB, stop the run and cover TEs as well as he leads off of the field.
6th Round pick S Josh Bush and 7th Round pick S Antonio Allen are both developemental picks with neither expected to make any big impacts this year. Bush is the only natural FS on the Jets Roster so the Jets were hoping to see something from him incase of injuries, but Allen who played exclusively in the box in S. Carolina has been the ball hawk in Training Camp above ALL of the Safeties. It will be interesting to see how much these 2 players can pick up in their first year and if the Coaching Staff will implement certain packages, cause the players are just too good to keep them off of the field.
Of course Tim Tebow will be heavily watched, but the QB who should be in the spotlight is starter Mark Sanchez. How well has he picked up Tony Sporano's Offense and how much chemistry does he have with a Recieving Core that has had injuries and missed practices all Training Camp. Sanchez has been praised by the Coaching Staff and Media alike for his leadership qualities and understandng of the QB Position. Tebow will be Tebow and that is that.
There is a battle for the #2 RB spot between 3rd year player Joe McKnight who was a superstar in kick-off returns last year and 2nd year player Bilal Powell who was abismal last year in the few snaps he recieved. It doesn't matter who impresses during practice because when it comes to the RB position it is all about what you do with the pads on and the bodies flying.
I am most excited to see what Sanchez does under center, how good Stephen Hill can be and how hard Landry is going to hit someone. What are you looking for in the Jets 1st Pre-Season game against the Bengals Friday night?