Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Training camp preview: New York Jets
By James Walker
The New York Jets will begin their rebuilding process Friday when the team takes the field for training camp in Cortland, N.Y.
Most view 2013 as a down year for the Jets. This is a group that was 6-10 last year and lost a lot of veteran talent in the offseason.
Here are three things to watch for the Jets in training camp:
No. 1: Mark Sanchez vs. Geno Smith
Analysis: All eyes will be on the quarterbacks. What was expected to be a three-man race became a two-man race when veteran David Garrard retired due to a knee injury. That left only Sanchez and Smith to compete for New York’s starting quarterback job. Sanchez is the early leader due to experience. But both players remain very confident. Sanchez has led the NFL in turnovers the past two years and is wildly inconsistent. Smith has an opening to take over the job if he’s a fast learner this summer.
No. 2: Who will develop on offense?
Analysis: The next question is who will the quarterbacks throw to? The Jets’ offense lacks depth at the skill positions. The team's No. 1 receiver, Santonio Holmes, is still recovering from a broken foot. Second-year receiver Stephen Hill is very raw and hasn’t proven reliable. New York’s late signing of former Pro Bowl tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was a smart move. He brings a dynamic element to the tight end position. But new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has a tall task of making something out of New York’s wide receiver group if Holmes can’t quickly get back to form. It doesn’t matter who the quarterbacks are in New York if the receivers can’t get open.
No. 3: Adjusting to life without Revis
Analysis: This will be the first time since 2007 that the Jets’ defense enters a season without Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis. New York traded the shutdown cornerback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, which will dramatically alter how the Jets play defense. There will be no more “Revis Island” in New York. The Jets cannot simply shut off half the field like they’ve done in the past. The good news is New York played most of last year without Revis, so the team should be used to it by now. Young corners such as Kyle Wilson and rookie first-round pick Dee Milliner must step up in the secondary.