But let’s get to a number of topics that are on my mind...
Q: Geno seems to have a bit of an exaggerated motion. He goes back flat and then raises the ball. Does that concern anybody?
EA: I don’t see any issue with Smith’s delivery. In fact, I see the rookie as having the ability to throw at multiple arm angles and that is a positive. If your release point never changes, that makes it an easier job for defensive linemen and blitzers to knock the ball down.
The trademark of Smith in college was he didn’t force passes when pressured, so that limited turnovers. I would anticipate him playing quicker at SUNY Cortland, speeding up with the reads and the progressions.
New Sharon, MA
Q: (Sione) Pouha is a huge loss not only on the field, but in the locker room. If healthy, K. Ellis impresses me and I think has Pro Bowl potential. What are your thoughts?
EA: Not ready to go that far on Ellis. A project coming out Hampton, Ellis saw his playing time increase in Year 2 as he appeared in 12 games. But a knee injury hampered his progress and Ellis knows he has to stay available. The addition of
Q: I read your comments about "camp battles.” Interesting piece. You didn't mention RB on offense or LB on defense. Curious to know how those competitions will shake out. Any thoughts?
EA: Unless you have Adrian Peterson in your backfield, the NFL is all about committee at running back. I like the Jets depth and talent in the backfield.
Linebacker covers a wide spectrum, but the inside appears set.
Q: How come the Jets don’t have training camp sessions at Hofstra anymore?
EA: The Jets want to host events in both Queens and Long Island, and that remains a priority for the organization. According to the team’s current deal with SUNY Cortland, they are locked in to train there for this summer and then there is mutual option in the contract.
Orange County, CA
Q: Would it be possible to see the Jets sign another veteran TE like Dallas Clark?
EA: Don’t see that happening at this point. If
Jets High Point is .500 or 11-5?
Interesting look at the AFC East by Marc Sessler on NFL.com. As for the Jets, Sessler believes they’d do well to reach .500.
“The Jets are a mixed bag until they find a quarterback. Darrelle Revis has left the building and the talent void on offense is downright disturbing, but coach Rex Ryan remains one of the NFL's top defensive minds. Planted firmly on the hot seat, Ryan has a chance to up his Q rating if he can steer Gang Green out of the sadness. Those back-to-back AFC title game appearances feel like ancient history, but New York's rebuilt front seven gives the something to build on. If everything goes right, the ceiling is 8-8. If Rex loses the reins, the Jets are a wandering ghost ship by Christmas.”
But former Jets CB Ray Mickens, who visited the club in minicamp, sent some shockwaves on twitter when he wrote: “My prediction, Jets win 11 games this year, for all of y'all that sprained ankles last yr jumping off the bandwagon.”
My take is the Jets would appear to have a favorable December. If they can get to 6-6 or better by the time the Raiders come to town on Dec. 8, then they could be in contention all the way.
Are the Pats Vulnerable?
Kind of. You typically don’t lose that kind of production and field the same ballclub.
WR Wes Welker (118-1354-6TD) and RB/WR Danny Woodhead (76-301-4TD/40-446-3TD) are in Denver and San Diego respectively, WR Brandon Lloyd (74-911-4TD) and TE Aaron Hernandez (51-483-5TD) were released, and TE Rob Gronkowski (55-790-11TD) just had back surgery.
The replacements include WR Danny Amedola, Michael Jenkins & rookie Aaron Dobson and TE Jake Ballard. But Tom Brady is a magician and RB Stevan Ridley (290-1263-12TD) really broke out in his second season. You would imagine that the defense will continue to be a bend but don’t break unit that thrives off the takeaway.
But the Pats have claimed nine of the past 10 division championships and they went a perfect a 6-0 inside the AFCE in 2012. They still carry a mystique and I think it will be important for the Jets and the Bills — teams in transition that get the Pats in Week 2 and Week 1 respectively — to attack them out of the gate. If you don’t get to the Pats early, they typically run away and hide.
Meanwhile, let’s see how the Dolphins handle all their press clippings. A lot of hype down in South Florida for a team that improved themselves this offseason, but won seven games a year ago.