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EA Q&A: Geno & Sanchez Competition to Heat Up

Posted Jun 4, 2013

Christopher Lynch
Little Ferry, NJ
Q:
Do you think Geno Smith will start this year?

EA: If the Jets think Smith can function at a high level on a consistent basis, then he will get the starting nod.  But you can say the same thing for Mark Sanchez.  This thing is wide open. 

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Smith “has an opportunity to be a heck of a player in this league.”  Will Smith outduel Sanchez this summer and earn the nod for the Week 1 meeting with the Bucs?   The Jets will let the competition play out and it is very important to remember that the media is only allowed at 30% (3 of 10) OTA sessions.  Both Smith and Sanchez have received reps with the first unit.  The rookie is a big-time talent and hasn’t looked out of place on the field.   

The season is a marathon and a lot of things can change from camp through January. 

Markus
Munich, Germany
Q:
According to NFL.com, Sanchez took the majority of first-team reps during organized team activities this week. Does this mean Sanchez will still be QB No. 1?   If no, does it make sense for Geno take on second team activities?

EA: Let me turn it over to Rex Ryan for this answer.

“We’ve actually flip-flopped some days,” he told the media last week.  “We actually had Geno running with the ones a day you guys weren’t out there. Again, there is going to be competition for this job. There’s no doubt. It’s not clear cut that this guy is the starting quarterback. The guy is going to have to earn it no matter who it is.”

Ken
Bay Shore, NY

Q: If you were a betting man, who will be the Jets starting QB Game 1?   And for Game 16?

EA: If I do wager, you might see me at a Blackjack table.  At this point in early June, there is no clear-cut leader in the QB race.  Keep your money tucked away or put it in a savings account.

Bob
North Attleboro, MA

Q: There has been a lot of talk about Coples moving to OLB, but what about Demario Davis? Do you think he is ready to fill in for Bart Scott? I felt there was a big drop-off in performance by the ILBs last year.

EA: After playing a valuable role in sub packages last season, I do believe Davis is ready to step up in his sophomore campaign.  He is a talented athlete who will be an asset in coverage, provides some physicality against the run and possesses a good burst when rushing the passer.  Davis, who will be one of my guests on “Jets Talk LIVE” this week, has outstanding intangibles and is a natural leader.  I like the Jets front seven and the Green & White have done a nice job improving their speed at linebacker and along the defensive line.

Jim Pass
Castro Valley, CA

Q: Do the Jets have any linebackers that can cover big and fast tight ends as well as running backs out of the backfield?

EA: The Jets have some speed at linebacker with the aforementioned Demario Davis and free agent addition Antwan BarnesCalvin Pace is not a kid anymore, but I still think he does a solid job in coverage.  There has been a lot of change at safety, but that does not mean there isn’t talent there.  Dawan Landry is a steady vet, Antonio Allen is a rangy athlete who can cover ground, Josh Bush has good man cover skills and Jaiquawn Jarrett and Donnie Fletcher are also interesting prospects.  A rookie to track in camp is Rontez Miles, a California (PA) product who was one of the top players in Division II last year.  Linebacker Josh Mauga, who was limited to five games in 2012 due to a torn pectoral muscle, also is solid in coverage.

Bruce Leone
Oswego, NY

Q: Is there going to be a recommitment to the run this season?

EA: I think the phrase “Ground & Pound” can be put away for a bit, but you play to your strengths.  On paper, the strengths of the Jets offense are the offensive line and the running backs.  Marty Mornhinweg is going to get the ball to his playmakers and you are going to see the Green & White use their backs a lot more in the passing game. 

The NFL is a scoring league and the Jets were 28th in that category a year ago at 17.6 points a contest.    The run game should be improved because the talent is better up front and in the backfield.  They haven’t run that much in practice yet because you don’t get much out of those limited contact drills in shorts.

But the biggest challenge — perhaps of the whole team — is improving a pass game that ranked 30th in yard per game (180.7) and 29th in TD passes (14).

Paul N.
Queens, NY
Q:
Interesting article on (Willie) Colon. I liked the signing, but does the club expect to start both Colon and (Stephen) Peterman? I thought the draft would relegate them to a supporting role?  Anything on the rookie OL?

EA: If Colon is healthy, he will be the Jets LG.  This lineman could be a huge steal for the Jets and I love the presence he adds to the locker room. 

Peterman is receiving first-team reps at RG, but I think he is going to be pushed hard by Brian Winters.  The Jets are high on Winters, a third-round pick from Kent State.  As far as the other OL draft picks, Oday Aboushi (D5, No. 141) will be a reserve swing tackle as a rookie and Will Campbell (D6, No. 178), a former Michigan DT, is making the transition back to the offensive side of the ball at guard.  The pads will be on in Cortland and that’s when we’ll see some separation.

David Aron
Haifa, Israel
Wouldn't our offense have been better served with a second-round pick at a different skill position and next year pick a 1st round rated QB? 

EA: Ahhh, you know better than that.  You don’t look ahead to next year.  What skill position player would have you have taken instead of Geno Smith?  I like the pick, I like what I’ve seen and I’m awfully glad Marty Mornhinweg and QB coach David Lee are tutoring the young passer.

Mike C.
Ormond, Beach, FL
Q:
What are we doing with Mike Goodson?

EA: The Jets are letting the legal process play out with Goodson.  On the field, they love his speed and he can catch the rock out of the backfield.   Rex Ryan also said Goodson does a good job running some direct snaps as well.  He might be the fastest Jet overall.

Bob Whitcraft
Philadelphia, PA
Q:
Do you think we need a receiver?

EA: With GM John Idzik, he is always going to search for ways to improve the roster.  At the wide receiver position, the Jets need Santonio Holmes back healthy and they need Stephen Hill to make a big jump in Year 2.  Jeremy Kerley quietly had an excellent second season and he should only get better.  They most recently brought in former Seahawk WR Ben Obomanu and he was a solid special teams performer in Seattle.  Three months remain before the season opener, so a lot of time remains for the Jets to tinker with their roster.

Ron Alexander
Poughkeepsie, NY

Q: Eric, I'm wondering if anyone's pointed out the fact that the art work of you looks absolutely nothing like you?(beard or not) This cartoon image looks a lot more like David Feherty the golf announcer.

EA: Well I do change my appearances quite a bit, but my good friend Mike Scott did an awesome job with that avatar and his other drawings over the years including on my twitter page: @eallenjets. 

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