It was a turbulent flight to Cincinnati, but the Jets have landed. So we make history with our first "EA Q&A" from the road (and it's late due to some techincal issues). Our next one is scheduled for Tuesday, so fill out the form at the side of the page and get your questions in. I'll be in touch before kickoff — Football is Back!
Q: What do you think about WR Jordan White so far? Do you think that he will find playing time?
EA: Jordan White is an interesting player who we will continue to track throughout the summer. White had two ACL injuries at Western Michigan, but he was unbelievably productive when he was on the field. This guy had 140 receptions and 17 TDs last season after amassing a miniscule 94 catches and 10 TDs in 2011.
Following a setback in the spring, White is back on the field. He is smart, instinctive and a strong route runner. He'll get his opportunities in game action both in the slot and the outside, and Mike Westhoff will see what he can do as a punt returner and kick returner. Remember Jeremy Kerley (hamstring) won't play tomorrow. The Jets are set at the top at both return spots with Joe McKnight and Kerley, but White can help himself if he can return well. He is athletic, strong and is hard to bring down. And as the production would indicate — he has good hands.
Bronx (Currently in Atlanta)Q: How is the young receiving core progressing —Stephen Hill and Jordan White specifically with his injury? He was held out of the scrimmage. Did his rehab regress? Their maturation is key to a successful season with such a thin receiving core.
EA: Hill is nowhere near a finished product, but he has great play speed and he can block. He is 6'4", 215 pounds and he has a body that can help you in the red zone as well. The transition won't be seamless, but he has huge potential and the great thing about the rook is he wants to be great. The Jets have more routes than he ran at G. Tech and Hill has to learn every detail under Sanjay Lal.
We touched upon White before, but don't forget about Chaz Schilens. He can also play outside and inside, and Schilens can bring some physicality to the game. He isn't going to be a true burner, but the former Raider has good size and could be an asset as a possession-type receiver.
Amityville NYQ: What rookie has impressed you the most? Based on observations from camp, who would start today?
EA: Honestly, I'd have to say Antonio Allen. No that doesn't mean you should be concerned about Quinton Coples or Stephen Hill, but the 7th rounder from South Carolina had three interceptions in practice and he has been extremely active. We knew he could be a physical in the box-type player after playing the "Spur" for Steve Spurrier, but he has done a nice job in the back end. He also will participate on special teams for Mike Westhoff and this is a player who likes contact.
I love the attitude of Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill and Demario Davis. They want to get better and they are all adjusting to a lot of things right now. I expect Coples to continue to take strides as he processes the information and Davis has some special qualities. Unfortunately Demario pulled up with a hamstring injury in his conditioning run and missed the first week or so, but this is a pro's pro and the Jets are going to use him in a variety of ways. Running back Terrance Ganaway, a sixth round pick from Baylor, has flashed and the coaches like his work ethic.
Pompano Beach, FL
Q: Do you think we will be a top 10 offense this year with the weapons we have?
EA: I don't know, but I don't think it matters. They rank total offense based on yards gained and that doesn't determine wins and losses. The Jets have to run the ball better, get more chunk plays in the passing game and cut down on turnovers & turnovers for scores.
Tony Sparano continues to preach pace with these guys and I love what I've seen from Mark Sanchez thus far. He is in such a good state mentally and the game just seems to be slowing down for him. I want to see the Jets return to a Top 10 rushing team and I think they will if the line stays healthy because Shonn Greene is ready for an increased load, Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell are both very talented and No. 15 can do a thing or two as well. The Jets should have the opportunity to take more shots deep in 2012.
There is continuity up front with the same five starters returning. At tight end, Josh Baker looks better and better every day and Jeff Cumberland is healthy.
Boozer up the Middle
BeaconsfieldQ: How is Vladimir Ducasse doing? I think this is a key year for him since he's finally gotten OTAs etc… What's the deal, bust or not?
EA: Great point. Vladimir has benefited from the offseason and he has found a home on the interior at guard. He was terrific in the spring, but Slauson has been up to the challenge so give him props. We all know what happened when Nick Mangold got hurt last year, but the Jets are in better position if (knock on wood) something like that would happen again. Slauson could move over to center and they are more comfortable with Ducasse and Caleb Schlauderaff. Depth and size looks better on the interior.