Jets Podcast


8 Emerging Stories

Posted Aug 4, 2014

Two Weeks Into Camp, Storylines are Emerging on Both Sides of the Ball

1. Excellent Depth at DL, RB & S: When you watch the Jets practice, three positional groups consistently stand out.  Loaded with talent at both running back and safety, this defensive line might be the best group — top to bottom — in the NFL.   It goes beyond Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon "Snacks" Harrison, hybrid Quinton Coples and super sub Kenrick EllisLeger Douzable and newcomer Jason Babin (who figures to be used primarily as a rusher in sub) were all over the field Saturday.   Rookie Kerry Hyder has impressed and T.J. Barnes is a big fella who has made plays. You could name every one of the guys.

On Saturday night, the Jets 1st unit offensive line played decent ball and Chris Johnson (5-14) and Chris Ivory (3-2) were held to 16 yards on seven attempts.  You take away two Mike Vick scrambles for 35 yards and the Jets rushed 27 times for 49 yards.  That's 1.8 yards a pop.  I don't see anybody running on this front and Babin's addition should help with the edge pressure.

"Up front, we're deep," head coach Rex Ryan told me Saturday night.  "You know what?  That's how you win games and obviously right now we're kind of built from the front to the back."

2. Geno in Charge: Oozing with confidence, Geno Smith told me he put on 10 pounds of muscle and he looks to be more of a factor in the run game.

“A lot of that has to do with just my confidence in my reads and knowing when to pull it down and run to get us some extra yards,” Smith said. “I realized the longer we can keep our defense on the sideline and give ‘em time to rest — the better they’ll play.”

“He’s as sharp as a tack and he’s been really spinning the ball well with accuracy, so I’ve been really impressed with him,” added Rex Ryan.

3. Decker is Seven-11: The Jets new No. 1 WR has not disappointed. In fact, the only thing that slowed Decks down here early in camp was a tight hamstring last Friday.

“It seems like the ball goes to Eric Decker a lot,” Ryan said. “He’s a good teammate, he blocks and obviously we brought him here to catch the football and he’s done that a bunch.”

4. Landry Looks Spry: Always a sound positional player, veteran S Dawan Landry has been more of a playmaker this summer. The 6’1”, 212-pounder, entering his ninth NFL season, has had a knack for finding the ball in the back end in addition to his sturdy play inside the box.

Despite Pryor’s concussion, the Jets have gotten strong player from their group as Antonio Allen and Landry have played alongside with the first unit. The Jets repeatedly told you not to forget about Landry and they were right.

5. Folk is Fantastic: For a guy who complains that it isn’t quite hot enough in Cortland, NY, Nick Folk just keeps on knocking the stuffing out of the ball. If he is 60 yards or in right now, it's close to automatic.  Folk did miss a 53-yarder Saturday, but he came right back in a drill and was good from 51.

6. High Hopes for Coples: Not only did hybrid defender Quinton Coples shed 18 pounds to get down to 272, but Q is much more comfortable with his role.

“It’s not just the physical part for Quinton that has impressed us — it’s his knowledge of the defense. He has a better understanding and grasp of what we expect of him,” said defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. “If he can continue on the road he’s on as far as the mental is concerned — the sky’s the limit because the guy is physically as gifted as any of the guys we have up front.”

7. Young Pups at Guard: The Jets are excited about their youth on the interior. Willie Colon has returned to his familiar spot at RG and there is an interesting battle at LG developing between Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi.

“I think Oday’s been awesome,” Colon said. “The way he’s played has kind of opened up a lot of peoples’ eyes. Nobody though that he that kind of oomph in him… I always knew Brian had it in him. It was about him having confidence in himself and really growing into himself.”

8. Johnson Still Can Fly:  The Jets are going to get creative with Chris Johnson, moving him around the field to create mismatches.  Opposition linebackers won’t be happy to see No. 21 split out wide.

“Is he as fast as he once was? I don’t know, but he looks pretty darn fast though,” Ryan said.


READ: What Have We Learned?
READ: QBs Seek Consistency After Green & White
WATCH: Rex Ryan: Jets Built From the Front to the Back
WATCH: Geno: 'We Want to Put Up Some Points'
WATCH: Green & White Analysis

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