Archive for August 15th, 2011

August 15, 2011

What’s the Biggest Question for the Jets Offense this Season?

How much better is Mark Sanchez v.2011 versus Mark Sanchez v.2010?  With all the free agent frenzy that occurred and the questions about who will be better Burress or Braylon, Mason or J-Co, the biggest opportunity for the Jets offense to improve is quite possibly this year’s performance of our number 6 versus last year’s performance.  In Sanchez’s first year, he was, frankly, a liability.  As fans, we were rooting for him not to lose the game.  Last year, he improved tremendously.  He showed that in crunch-time, when it matters most, he has nerves of steel.  He won us a bunch of games last year.  This year, if he can even out his performances and play the way we all know he can throughout the game, we will be a much better team.  Sanchez has acknowledged, after studying each game last year, that he needs to start games faster.  If he can do that, not only will we not need to pull out so many last minute victories but we’ll have an excellent chance of winning the division and more.

Is Wayne Hunter ready?  Damien Woody has left tremendous shoes to fill.  He will truly be missed.  I know in the past that Rex has called Hunter the best back-up OT in the league but I really hope Hunter ready to become a full-time starter.  Running right has always been a staple of our offense.  If Hunter isn’t ready, it would wreak havoc with our offense.

Who is Plaxico Burress?  I go back and forth on this one.  When I think of the kind of fool it takes to tuck a loaded gun into a pair of sweatpants to head out to a club and then to literally shoot yourself in the leg, I want no part of him.  However, when I think of the debt he’s paid and hear him speak, I think that he certainly deserves a second chance.  Then I think back to all the drama when he was a Giant with being late for meetings and getting fined and I think, why expose ourselves to these shenanigans.  However, when I think of how diametrically different Tom Coughlin’s and Rex Ryan’s styles are and how Coughlin could probably drive Tebow to swear, I think maybe Burress will be different under Rex.  As much as I go back and forth on Burress as a guy, I do the same with him as a player.  Part of me thinks that he’s been away too long at too old an age to just pick up where things left off.  Then the other part of me thinks, here’s a rare athlete with a one year contact with a whole lot to prove.  Given our well documented issues in the red zone and Burress height, I think he was worth the gamble but this is one of the big questions we have on offense this year.  Let’s also hope Burress stays healthy enough for us to find out.

What impact will Tom Moore have?  Play calling is a thankless job.  Unless you’re the team holding the trophy at the end of the year, there will always be critics.  As an avid football fan, I appreciate great play callers and offensive schemers such as Sean Payton.  Fundamentally, I am a huge proponent of a strong running game.  I drink the Ground and Pound Kool Aid.  However, Schottenheimer’s play calling and offensive schemes have left me scratching my head more than a few times.  For many reasons, I have not advocated for a new Offensive Coordinator.  I think one of the Jets’ biggest strengths coming into this season in particular is the stability of the organization, it’s staff and core players.  That said, I love the idea of adding an offensive guru to mix and am very hopeful that he will have a big positive impact.

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August 15, 2011

What’s the Biggest Question for the Jets Defense this Season?

Can we stay healthy?  We’re returning 10 of 11 starters on a defense that was ranked 3rd last year is great.  However, we don’t have much depth at the linebacker position and an injury there could be devastating.

Can we cover big TE’s?  While I think Eric Smith improved his game significantly last year and Jim Leonard is an excellent leader, our Safeties really struggled last year covering TE’s, especially big ones.  To win the division this year, we’re going to have to deal with New England’s 6’ 6″ Gronkowski.  I hope our Safeties and coaches are up to the task.

Will Kyle get his groove back?  As a 1st round pick, the expectations were high for Kyle Wilson as he came into camp last year.  He played well early in the year but seemed to lose his confidence after the Miami game.  With Drew Coleman playing at a high level, it was hard for Wilson to work his way back on the field.  However, after an offseason working with Darrell Revis and another year under his belt, big things are expected of Wilson.

Will Jamal Westerman shine as our Designated Pass Rusher?  Westerman was poised last year to take on a bigger role but that was thwarted when Jason Taylor danced onto the scene.  Now that Taylor is back where he belongs, Westerman will get his shot.

How good is Calvin Pace?  With one foot tied behind his back, Calvin was still a force to be reckoned with.  Ryan assessed Pace’s foot as “only 20 percent healthy” by the end of last season.  Pace, now healed, is poised to have a monster season.

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August 15, 2011

What’s the Biggest Special Teams Question for the Jets this Season?

Who will be Mike Westhoff’s new wonderboy?  While we will all surely miss one of my favorite Jets, Brad Smith, it will be interesting to see who Mike Westhoff molds into the next Chad Morton/Justin Miller/Leon Washington/Brad Smith.  Early money certainly points to Jeremy Kerley.

Can Conley step in for Weatherford?  Last year, Weatherford tied the record for the most punts inside the 20 in a season with 42.  Pinning opponents deep is obviously a tremendous help to an opportunistic defense.  Also, will he buy his teammates shake-weights and if not, will how will the teams conditioning be affected?

Which Nick Folk will be kicking for the Jets?  The former All-Pro or the guy that missed more than 1 of 3 between between 18 – 28 yards?

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