This morning is the time. The first depth chart of summer is out, with the occasion being the start of the week of our first preseason game, Thursday night at MetLife Stadium against the Colts.
It's never a good idea to read too much into any depth chart, yet there are a number of things that can be observed about this one, beginning with the novel way we're presenting our first three running backs. And you can find the actual depth chart here.
1. Three-Dreaded Monster at RB?
Returning Jets Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell and veteran newcomer Chris Johnson are all listed as first-teamers, complete with a pair of slashes. If only Bilal would consider dreadlocks as the two Chrises have, some endorsement possibilities could open up here.
This is the third straight summer that Rex Ryan has gone "slash." Last year, before Mark Sanchez's season-ending shoulder injury in the third preseason game, he and Geno Smith were listed as co-starters at QB. And for the 2012 preseason and on into the regular season, the coach listed LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell and Eric Smith as three-into-two starters at the safety spots.
2. The Starter at QB Is...
Speaking of Geno, Smith is No. 1 at QB and Michael Vick is No. 2, no slash. No surprise here since this is the way they were deployed at Saturday night's Green & White practice. Matt Simms, last year's first backup to Smith, checks in at third on the depth chart and rookie Tajh Boyd is No. 4.
3. Jacoby's Triple
Jacoby Ford is the only player listed three times on the initial DC. He's fourth at WR on Kerley's side behind David Nelson and Clyde Gates. He's also the first kickoff returner and the third punt returner.
4. The Rookie Class
The only rookie with any kind of first-string status is fourth-rounder Jalen Saunders, who's listed as the first punt returner. Saunders fielded punts at the Green & White but there were no returns that night. Five rookies are running with the twos — draft choices S Calvin Pryor, TE Jace Amaro, CB Dexter McDougle and G Dakota Dozier, plus free agent FB Chad Young.
5. Nose Is a Rock
Position with the least number of backups? That would be nose tackle, where Damon Harrison is with the ones and Kenrick Ellis is backing up. Although T.J. Barnes (6'7", 364), listed as first backup behind DT Sheldon Richardson, could certainly move over in a pinch.
6. The Guard Rotation
Similarly, only two players are listed at LG and at this moment Brian Winters is the first-stringer ahead of Oday Aboushi, although the two friends will continue their competition for the spot this week. But there are two rookie guards, Dozier and Will Campbell, both behind Willie Colon at RG.
7. Tough Lineup to Crack
For the defense, 10 of the 11 players who started last year's season finale at Miami are listed as ones on this depth chart. The only change: Dimitri Patterson at cornerback (so far at camp mostly at left CB with Dee Milliner on the right side) for four-year RCB starter Antonio Cromartie, now with the Cardinals.
8. More Open Offense
For the offense, 7⅓ of the starters return from that defeat of the Dolphins. At RT, Breno Giacomini opens up as the first-teamer replacing Austin Howard, now with Oakland. Eric Decker moves in at WR for the departed Santonio Holmes. We had no starting fullback at Miami (David Nelson started at third WR) but Tommy Bohanon, who started eight games at FB as a rookie, is the first-stringer. And of the three-headed RB, only one of them, Chris Ivory, needless to say, started vs. the Dolphins.
9. Deep Thoughts
What are our deepest positions? At this time 12 players are distributed between the two WR spots, 16 LBs are spread over the four 'backer positions, and 10 corners will be fighting for positions on the 53-man roster that will be announced around Saturday, Aug. 30. The depth charts after that will be for the games that count.
READ: Green & White Goes Mostly Defense's Way
READ: QBs Seek Consistency After Green & White
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WATCH: Green & White Analysis
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