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EA Q&A: Thoughts on Chad, Braylon and Tebow

It's been awhile and there is lots we have to cover today.  You know the deal by now — fill out the form on the side of the page and we'll answer as many questions as we can.  Our next "EA Q&A" runs Thursday.

MikeBrooklyn, NY

Q: Do you think it will be a wise idea to pursue Chad Johnson as out 2nd receiver across from Tone?

EA: Mike Tannenbaum will continue to look under every rock, every day.  Let's look at the facts right now.  The Patriots needed wide receiver help last year and Johnson struggled mightily with 15 receptions and 1 TD.  That was after the Bengals parting ways with No. 85.

Then Johnson signed with the Dolphins and head coach Joe Philbin said his subsequent release was based on more than one single incident.  (These recent domestic abuse allegations are troubling).

Chad Johnson is 34-years-old.  If he can still play and prove he is a model citizen and a good teammate, then yes maybe you would consider taking that chance.  But those are three mighty big ifs, so it seems like a stretch to me.

GregPortsmouth, VAQ: Allen, why didn't the Jets pick up Braylon Edwards?  He is a proven performer who knew the system and truly wanted to stay a Jet.

EA: Allen was the name on the back of my hockey jersey when I tended goal back in Buffalo, so we can roll with it.  Listen nobody's happy that three of the Jets top four wideouts (Santonio Holmes – rib, Jeremy Kerley – hamstring and Chaz Schilens – ankle) have missed time with injuries, but better now than on Sep. 9.  They are all working hard to return to team activities. 

But if they were healthy and you had BE back, that means less reps for Stephen Hill.  The kid is a big-time talent and he needs reps. 

Although I like BE as a person and as a player, did you know that he has averaged 38 catches per season over the past three years?  One of Edwards' greatest assets is one thing that Hill does very well already — block in the run game.

The system Edwards knew was Brian Schottenheimer's and Schotty is in St. Louis.  I think the Jets could add another receiver here, but a lot of problems will be solved when Mark Sanchez will get his full arsenal back.  I am rooting for BE (and Leon Washington, whom I chatted with at Darrelle Revis' youth camp) in Seattle and was happy to see him on the receiving end of a Russell Wilson TD over the weekend.

NickHouston, TXQ: Understanding that the division is getting tougher this year due to preseason acquisitions, which team do you believe will cause more preparation for Gang Green?

EA: They better not sleep on any team inside the AFC East, but the Patriots remain the team to beat.  The Men of Belichick just represented the AFC in the Super Bowl and they've won nine of the past 11 division titles.  And as long as Tom Brady is slinging the rock, they're going to be a force.

While I see the Dolphins in rebuilding mode, the Bills have definitely improved themselves with the addition on DE Mario Williams and that D-line is stacked.  The Jets host the Bills in Week 1 at MetLife Stadium and that's a fascinating matchup.  You want to get that one at home because you have to travel to Pittsburgh in Week 2 and Ben Roethlisberger isn't typically hospitable in his crib.

Dr. StuAlbany, NYQ: Why won't the Jets be realistic and turn Tebow into our version of Peyton Hillis? He could throw some option passes as well. Anything else seems ludicrous to me as a long time Jet's football fan. The guy is much better with his legs than his arm and nothing will change that.

EA: I don't see many parallels between the two except for size — Tebow is 6'3, 240-plus and Hillis is listed as 6'2", 250 pounds.  Tebow is the Jets' backup quarterback and punt protector.  He will have a role on this offense as Rex Ryan has stated that the former Heisman Trophy Winner will get anywhere between 2 and 20 plays a contest. 

Don't expect the Jets to spell out his offensive role each week.  Can Tebow spin it like Mark Sanchez?  Of course not, but I'll tell you that he's improved immensely in the last couple of weeks as far as staying in the pocket and releasing the rock.  Nobody ever said Tebow is going to throw it 30 times a game.

This kid is an electrifying player and I see him as a playmaker.  We know he can run it (his 660 yards in 2011 are better than every seasonal rush total of Hillis other than 2010), but don't overlook the versatility here.


Q: Which players looked most impressive on Friday?   And who is most likely to step up if Kerley's hamstring keeps him out too much longer?

EA: Quinton Coples, Joe McKnight and Tim Tebow all flashed during the preseason opener in Cincinnati. 

Coples showcased his versatility by moving around and he was active all night with five tackles (two stops behind the line), one sack, one forced fumble and one pass defended.  The explosive McKnight, who told me he's working really hard on becoming a better pass protector, again popped in space with 32 yards rushing and another 34 yards receiving. 

Tebow has tremendous field vision and you witnessed that on his runs.  Everyone always forgets to mention Calvin Pace, but boy what a player against the run and you saw that in only a handful of plays.  The Jets have a ton of depth and talent along the defensive line and there won't be many positions available, but veteran Jay Richardson has impressed me as well.

Kerley returned to the practice field on Sunday in limited action.  While he works to get back to 100 percent, rookie Jordan White will continue to get a long look in the slot.

Jose MSouth Amboy, NJ

Q: John (The Terminator) Conner has not been mentioned lately except once by Ryan. Do you feel he may not make the team?

EA: There could be an interesting numbers game in the backfield.  We know Shonn Greene is the bellcow, Joe McKnight adds an explosive element and the Jets love Bilal Powell's all-around game — especially his pass protection.  Terrance Ganaway, a sixth round pick from Baylor, is smart and he helps himself because he is cross-training as a RB/FB.

Frankly I don't think you hear a lot about Conner because he doesn't handle the rock that much.  He remains a good blocker in two back sets and he is also an asset on special teams. 

DaveModesto, CAQ: I'm told Kyle Wilson is really improving with his understanding of this defense. How do you see him being used this year?

EA: On Wednesday, we will feature a 1-on-1 that I had with DB coach Dennis Thurman recently.  It promises to be a good watch and Thurman told me that he challenged Wilson in the offseason to step up and play like a No. 1 corner, a player who was selected in the first round.

Wilson has had a solid camp and he'll continue to be the all-important slot corner.  You almost feel bad for the guy because I think he would be on the outside on almost every other team in football.  But he embraces his role and he just had two interceptions in practice on Sunday.  Kyle is a heady ball player and the Jets are lucky to have him.

It should be noted that Wilson, who was a terrific return man at Boise State, is also the Jets' No. 2 punt returner behind Jeremy Kerley.   He also can be used as a gunner and vice on special teams. 

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