Three things to watch at Jets minicamp
June, 11, 2012
By James Walker | ESPN.com
The New York Jets will begin their three-day, mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, and the AFC East blog is hitting the road to take in all the action. This is the last chance to see the Jets before the opening of training camp later this summer.
Here are three things we will definitely keep an eye on this week:
No. 1: The quarterbacks
This goes without saying. Incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez won the first round by outperforming backup Tim Tebow in organized team activities. That is a great sign for Sanchez. But he must keep that momentum going during this week's three-day minicamp. Tebow also has to continue to improve, because the Jets and new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano wants to use Tebow in some capacity.
No. 2: Safety play
The Jets are projected to start two new safeties acquired in free agency this year: LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell. Landry, who is still rehabbing his Achilles, has been missing from most OTAs, and his role for minicamp isn't known. But Bell already is making plays in Jets camp. If Landry is out or limited, Eric Smith will work with the first team. Smith needs to stay ready as the third safety considering Landry's history of injuries.
No. 3: Rushing the passer
This is probably the hardest thing to gauge in minicamps without contact. The quarterbacks cannot be touched and players on both sides are very careful about that. But I will be keeping my eye on any new tweaks and improvements the Jets are doing with their pass rush. Is there anything schematically the Jets are doing to wreak more havoc? What about young guns like first-round pick and defensive end Quinton Coples adding to the pile? If the Jets can better get to the quarterback, there won’t be much New York’s top-five defense isn’t capable of.