Training Camp has been underway and there are a few more questions answered for the New York Jets, but there are still some remaining. This is around the time where most players can't wait to hit someone wearing a different Jersey and for a Jets team who have been the "butt" of jokes all off season expect some pretty hard hits handed out from frustrated Jets. Pre-Season games are vanilla with an emphasis on one on one match ups. If you're expecting to see exotic formations then you're still a month away. Here is what you should be looking for in the Jets first Pre-Season game.
The first thing, of course, has to be the Quarterback position. Mark Sanchez has been named the starter while Geno Smith will also see some time with the 1s. Many retweeters think that it is a mistake to not start Geno Smith. What they fail to realise is that the Coaching staff watches the practices and don't follow the stats. Geno Smith has slightly better numbers thus far in camp, but he holds the ball far too long. In real game situations he will be wearing a Green and White Jersey and not a Red one so he will be sacked. He is going to have to show that he can complete passes while defenders are baring down on him. Sanchez meanwhile needs to show his grasp for the New Offensive System while completing passes to his players and not the other team.
The Jets were excited to unleash their new Runningbacks, but with injuries to Chris Ivory, Joe McKnight and the absence of Mike Goodson the Jets are lacking in the backfield. Bilal Powell has stepped up as he has received the bulk of the carries and it will be interesting to see what other players step up. The Jets recently added two young RBs to the stable and with Goodson facing legal troubles a strong showing from one of them may keep them around for the Season and not just be a Camp body.
Four WRs have impressed so far this Off-Season. Clyde Gates and 2nd year WR Stephen Hill have shown great improvement while showcasing superior speed. Two undrafted Rookies, Ryan Spadola and Vidal Hazelton have impressed as well and shown great promise to not only make the team, but be impact players fit the Offense. Hazelton recently suffered a Season ending injury. Its reported that Spadola will see time with the starting Offense and at 6'2 with a 4.4 40 time he stands a great shot of securing more practice time with a strong showing this Friday against the Detroit Lions. For those that have followed the Jets for years, many must be happy, IF Hill can improve, Braylon shows that he hasn't slowed much and Spadola steps up as each player is 6'5, 6'3, and 6'2 respectively. Tall outside presences will only help Jeremy Kerley in the slot, but the only question about Kereley this Off-Season is just how good will he continue to get.
Moving to the Defensive side of the ball it's all about life without Revis. How will the Pass Defense look without the best CB in the game? Cromartie will be on Calvin Johnson as he continues to cover the the opposing teams number 1 WR. Rex Ryan calls it Megatron vs Megacorner. The Safety position has the most questions on the team. No-one has stepped up to man the FS Position and some wonder if this will be the downfall of the Defense. The Secondary can be helped with a strong Pass Rush, which is something the Jets haven't had without an exotic blitz. Coples has been moved to OLB and the team added Antwan Barnes,but Ricky Sapp has been making a lot of noise in Camp. The Jets desperately need to see at least one of these Outside Rushers get tto the QB.
The Player I'm most excited to see in pads is DT Sheldon Richardson. The Jets were ridiculed when they selected Richardson 13th overall out of Mizzouri. I was one of them that scratched their heads when the name was called. A few months later Richardson is the name that gets talked about most outside of the two battling QBs. He has constantly been in the Offensive backfield and is being called a Linebacker in a DTs body. He moves far too quick for his size and many think he will revolution the position. Ryan has lined him up all along the front 7. With the hybrid Coples grasping his new role there will be a lot of confusion trying to figure out where these two players will line up and where the Offenses need to apply protection. This is the chance for us not fortunate enough to watch practice daily to see these players for ourselves and I really want to see if Richardson truly shines the way that people says he does.
So what player are you most excited to see? Is it a QB, veteran player or one of the Rookies? Share in the comments section below and enjoy the game.