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EA Q&A: Jets Will Throw More to the RBs

Posted Jan 29, 2013

In just one year, Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at MetLife Stadium.  The New York area is accustomed to hosting big events and football was meant to be played in the elements.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco, who will lead the B-More offense against the 49ers defense inside the Louisiana Superdome Sunday, is not a fan of the outside plan. 

“I think it’s stupid,” said Flacco this week.  “If you want to have a Super Bowl, put a retractable dome on your stadium, then you can get one. Other than that, I don’t really like the idea.”

And this is from a player who has played in three wintry games this January and averaged 276 yards per contest with 8 TDs and 0 INTs?

As a kid who grew up playing football in the frozen backyards of Western New York, I am looking forward to a Super Bowl outdoors in a cold-weather city.  Let it snow.

Jeff
Trumbull, CT

Q: Why does Joe McKnight get no consideration for the starting running back spot?  Of the three backs used this year, he has by far the fastest 40-time, at 4.4, and by far the highest yards/attempt (6.0), but received the fewest carries (30). Do you see his number of touches going up this fall?

EA:  The Jets have a new offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg, so we have no idea how he views his personnel.  Also the starter designation is not nearly as important as playing time, but your point is well-taken.  With the Ground & Pound out and the West Coast offense in, does Shonn Greene fit the Jets plans anymore?  He is scheduled to be a free agent when the league year commences on March 13.

In my opinion, Bilal Powell is the Jets most complete running back in terms of run skill, the ability to catch the rock and his sturdiness as a blocker.  But McKnight is the most explosive player currently on the Jets roster.  He was underused in 2012 and it was troubling that he had one reception — all season.  He also carried the ball two fewer times than Tim Tebow.  

An accomplished return man, the Jets have to find a way to get the ball in McKnight’s hands more.  McKnight also has been slowed by various injuries throughout his career and one of the keys for him will be being available. 

If I am McKnight and Powell, I am studying tape of the Eagles offense and watching LeSean “Shady” McCoy.  Over the past three seasons, McCoy was targeted 226 times in the pass game and hauled in 180 receptions.  Eight of those catches went for scores.  The Jets are going to throw the ball to their backs more in 2013 — write it down in pen.  And if McKnight is on this roster, he should see his touches go up.

Aaron S.
Huntsville, AL
Q:
Who helped their stock and who hurt their stock in the Senior Bowl and who are potential Jet targets?

EA: Senior Personnel Executive Terry Bradway told me last week in Mobile that the Jets are “definitely going to look to add some more playmakers to our offense.” 

We are in the fact-finding stage right now, so I think it is too early to say exactly who the Jets are targeting.  If the Green & White opt for a playmaker at a skills position (other than quarterback), California WR Keenan Allen, Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson, West Virginia WR Tavon Austin and Baylor WR Terrance Williams all could be potential first-rounders.   There is no bona-fide star at the running back position and you could potentially have a Thursday night with no RBs taken off the board.  Keep in mind that the Jets will address some holes in free agency before entering the draft in April.

Senior Bowl Stock Rising: Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU, Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan, WR Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas, T Lane Johnson, Oklahoma, Datone Jones, DE, UCLA, Vance McDonald, TE, Rice, Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State, David Quessenberry, OL, San Jose State,  Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington, & Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor.

I don’t have a list of fallers, but I can tell you that Michigan WR Denard Robinson had a case of the dropsies early last week.

David W.
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY
Q:
What do you think about QB EJ  Manuel from Florida State?   Should he be our new QB?

Albert
Los Angeles, CA

Q: Do you think the Jets should get somebody like EJ Manuel to fit this kind of offense and will he most likely fall in the 2nd or 3rd round? He has been consistent in his pass percentage and his ability to run can really help the Jets.

EA: Named the Senior Bowl’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the South to three scoring drives in a 21-16 win over the North, Manuel had a productive week in Mobile.  There is a lot to like in Manuel in terms of size, arm strength and mobility.  The 6’5”, 240-pound Manuel was a 66.9% passer at FSU and he also rushed for 11 TDs.  I am intrigued by the former Seminole standout.   You watch him down in Mobile and you wonder what his ceiling is.  Most pundits believe that Manuel will fall in either the third or fourth-round.  But is a team rolling the dice if they make that call in round two and will Manuel perform well enough over the next couple of months to get in the first-round conversation?  A lot can change with time.

Jeff T.
Uncasville, CT
Q:
What do you think about Alex Smith?  I don’t see him wanting to be a backup QB.   I think he would look good in green.   What would it take to make him a Jet?

EA: Smith doesn’t view himself as a backup either and ProFootballTalk.com has reported that the 49ers QB will ask for his release before free agency.  Smith is under contract with the 49ers and he is reportedly set to earn $8.5 million next year. 

Although Smith is solid, I don’t view him as a guy that keeps coordinators up at night.  He is under contract with the 49ers, so let’s wait a bit to see how things unfold in Frisco. 

Bill
North Pole, AK

Q: Why would the Jets even consider trading the best cornerback in the NFL — when not only their defense, but whole team is struggling?

EA: The Jets have many holes and they have to upgrade the talent on their roster.   If they got blown away by an offer (something like two No. 1s?), why wouldn’t they have an internal conversation about it?  Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL and it will be exciting to see him return to the field in 2013.  The dude is a natural talent, but he is also a workaholic who takes his craft seriously.

Kollin
Greenville, WI

Q: Do you for see a possible move of Revis for Alex Smith?

EA: No way. 

James C.
Johnson City, NY


Q: Any chance of your show going on the road? An RV so you can follow the Jets on the road and give us updates at away games? Where does a request like this have to be sent?

EA: My bosses have had internal conversations about possibly taking a show to the road.  Our live programming really took off in 2012 with “Jets Talk LIVE” and “Jets Replay” and we want to improve the product in 2013. 

Mr. Joe
Bois D’Arc, Texas
Q:
What is the current status of Tim Tebow?

EA: Tebow is under contract and reportedly is working out in Scottsdale, Arizona.  New Jets GM John Idzik is evaluating the roster with his staff and there is nothing new on the Tebow front.

William L.
West Haverstraw NY

Q: In this draft, I feel that we should look for a QB, WR and a RB. But I feel that our No. 1 draft pick should be focused more on an elite defender — someone who will get to the QB. I am hoping that we can pick up at least two good WR with speed and height.

EA: I don’t know if the Jets need two receivers.  If Santonio Holmes returns to form, that will be a huge addition.  Then you already have Stephen Hill in-house and his development under WR coach Sanjay Lal is critical for this club.  The 6’4”, 215-pound Hill is a 4.3 guy, so he has the speed that you are looking for.  Jeremy Kerley is very solid in the slot and there is an interesting group of free agents slated to hit the market.  The Jets have to get more playmakers and they will.  It is premature to say they need two receivers in the draft. 

Could the Jets go for a pass rusher at No. 9 overall?  A pair of underclassmen — Georgia’s Jarvis Jones and Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore — would have to be examined closely if they were there at that spot.

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