2013 New York Jets NFL Team Preview
Odds Courtesy of 5dimes
With the ever expanding usage of the West Coast offense, the New York Jets will be the next to experiment with an adaptation thereof, as former Eagles coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will take over as offensive coordinator. Mark Sanchez will have a lot asked of him, as typically the offense requires a lot of quick decisions and short, accurate passes. Sanchez also does not have a stranglehold on the QB position, with David Garrard and Geno Smith both expected to make serious bids for playing time.
Smith was one of the best NCAA players last year and has a strong big arm, and mobile body. He seems almost more fit for what Mornhinweg will seek to accomplish, and the Jets are hardly contenders. With significant experimentation, a different starter could emerge, even with Sanchez being paid $8.5 million per season.
Garrard is a very accurate passer, and that is a valuable trait with the nuances of the West Coast. He has questionable health, but this may be his last shot which will cause him to take this season very seriously. He hasn’t played a regular season game since 2010, but has the talent still to be a very good NFL quarterback. If he is given the reigns, Garrard definitely could buy into what Mornhinweg is doing and become the QB that many thought he would before the knee issues.
The Jets have uncertainty in the backfield, too. Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory are likely to be the primary two ball carriers, though who will receive the bulk of the carries is unclear. Ivory seems well suited to being a first or second down back, while Powell could assume short yardage situations. Mike Goodson was also signed as a free agent, and he is a good dual threat back because he functions well in short pass routes.
The Jets have Santonio Holmes at WR, but the stud is coming off of a Lisfranc foot injury, and he has been declining for some time. He’s always one with big play potential, but if his speed is not what it once was, then that explosive playmaking ability will be gone.
Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates are the other top receivers. Gates has exceptional speed and pretty decent hands, so the Jets are hoping he fulfills expectations. Losing tight end Dustin Keller will rob Sanchez (or whomever else) of another very good target, though.
The Jets have a pretty solid defensive unit, as they were able to return most of a squad that ranked 8th in the NFL last season. Against the rush, the team ranked 12th, but they were horrible with pass coverage (30th). The team will count on Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson at the corners this season, and Cromartie is one of the best in the NFL.
Wilson has a tenuous hold on his job given the fact that the Jets selected Dee Milliner of Alabama in the first round.
Milliner is a game changer with great speed and will push for the starting job very early. Even if Wilson does hold the starting nod, having this type of secondary has to guarantee that the Jets become a much better pass defending team.
The modest improvement in the defense could lead to more wins, but it’s hard to think of this team as anything other than one progressing through the stages of a multi-year rebuild. The media pressure will continue to be immense, but the Jets don’t have the talent on the roster to do much more than win five or six games. There are some wild cards on the roster in the form of young talented, highly touted players, but that is just the beginning of what it takes to make much more than a mildly competitive team.