EA: I will take Geno and Vick. The Jets are in an enviable situation at the quarterback position.
Smith has set his goals high as recently evidenced when he told ESPNNewYork.com’s Rich Cimini that he expects to be a top-five QB over the next two years. But I don’t think he has to be a top-five QB for New York’s representative to be a contending team in 2014.
This Jets offense has potential. The cupboard isn’t bare and Smith won’t have the pressure on him that he did his rookie season. From a skill position standpoint, the Jets' stable of RBs are as good as any club, Decker upgrades the wideouts and the Green & White have big tight ends who can run.
Last season, the Jets entered the regular season with a 1-2 punch at signal caller in Smith and Matt Simms. Those pups had taken a combined zero NFL snaps. Compare that with this season when Smith figures to be your opening day starter and Vick is there in relief. At 34 years young, Vick is still a nasty athlete with a cannon of an arm and the electric feet to make it happen on the ground. He is also a leader and has the respect of every man in that locker room.
I don’t expect too many disastrous performances from Smith like Week 8 at Cincinnati last season, but if that happens — No. 1 can lead an offense.
When is the last time the Jets had a QB tandem like that at the top? EA:
Confident. He just has an aura about him now that he is in a good place. Decisive with the rock, he is throwing the ball accurately and running fast on the zone read. If you want to be picky, you could say he locks in maybe too early on occasion. And while Vick’s presence would probably mess with other younger quarterbacks’ psyches, Smith has welcomed the vet with open arms and is genuinely happy that the iconic dual threat is here. EA:
Good hearing from you, brother. Camp is really in its infancy stages, but I will give the nod to IK Enempkpali, a sixth-rounder from Louisiana Tech and Trevor Reilly
, a seventh-rounder from Utah. With limited reps, they have both flashed at times and might earn some more time here in the near future.
Willie Colon, who just came off the PUP list on Sunday, will be worked back slowly. The 31-year-old had a pair of offseason surgeries and was eager to get back on the field so he could develop chemistry with new RT Breno Giacomini.
Through the first four days of camp, Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi swapped guard positions with the first unit. Rex Ryan continues to sing Aboushi’s praises.
“I wasn’t sure that I could have said that Oday was going to be as impressive as he was,” Ryan said Saturday. “He decided in the offseason that you know what, he’s going to become more physical, he’s going to become more passionate and I see it on the practice field. I think that’s a real encouraging sign.”
Colon started 16 games for the Jets last season and that would be huge to have him healthy again this fall. Continuity is important up front and the Jets are already breaking in a new starter as Giacomini has replaced the departed Austin Howard. While Winters struggled early as a rookie and improved late, Aboushi is making a move to the inside after being inactive all last season. They both have been good enough early and Colon’s absence could actually turn into a blessing in disguise down the line.
EA: Hard to really be under the radar anymore. Aboushi, OLB Troy Davis & S Rontez Miles have all been mentioned by Ryan. In Miles’ case, he has starting safety athletic ability in the NFL. But he will be counted on as a key special teams contributor. I really like what I’ve seen out of TE Zach Sudfeld. He is a huge target who could be a red zone asset and remember this is his first training camp with the Jets. Sasquatch has wheels. While Aboushi (who didn’t sniff the field last season) is deservedly receiving a lot of price, Brian Winters has played very well. But I will vote for Bilal Powell. That dude is a hell of a football player and externally might be the most undervalued piece on this club.
EA: Demario Davis
. Blessed with tremendous athletic ability, Davis is hungry to take his game to another level. In his first season starting at WLB, he turned in a solid campaign with 120 tackles. His recognition skills will get better after being in the fire for a year and he is oozing with desire. Davis helped a stout unit against the run, he has the speed to blitz and he should only develop in coverage. EA:
Patterson is a feisty player who is going to fight for everything on the field. He will have to stay healthy for the Jets and while outside now, his best position might be on the inside. Dexter McDougle
, a third-rounder out of Maryland, has all the makings to be a very good player. But it won’t happen overnight and Dex has experienced his share of ups and downs. Kyle Wilson
is probably having his best camp as a Jet at this point. There is a lot of hope at corner, but there are questions. This is going to be a huge jump for Dee Milliner
and he is going to be tested immediately by some big-time talents.