Friday, August 22, 2014
Jets-Giants: Players to watch
By Rich Cimini
New York Jets players not named Geno Smith or Michael Vick that we'll be watching Friday night at MetLife Stadium:
Stephen Hill, wide receiver: Two games, one catch, two targets. It's hard to imagine the New York Jets giving up on a former second-round pick after only two years, but Hill needs a strong showing to make double sure.
Calvin Pryor, safety: Warning to Victor Cruz: Watch yourself on those slant routes. The Jets' No. 1 pick makes his first NFL start.
Antonio Allen, cornerback: Allen gets his second start at corner, which tells me the Jets are concerned about Dee Milliner (high-ankle sprain) and his availability for the season opener. If they felt confident Milliner would be back, they'd start Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster at corner, putting Allen at his natural spot -- safety. Clearly, they're trying to formulate a contingency plan.
Eric Decker, wide receiver: He returns after missing a game with various leg ailments. Decker, who caught two passes for 12 yards in the opener, is in an important stage of his relationship with Geno Smith. A lot of Decker's bread-and-butter routes are based on timing with the quarterback, which means he and Smith need to get busy.
Chris Ivory, running back: It was the Chris Johnson show last week, so now it's Ivory's turn to chip off some rust. He missed last week with a rib-cartilage injury.
Oday Aboushi, offensive line: He got a surprise start last week at left guard, but he'll be with the backups in this game -- at right tackle. Because of his versatility, Aboushi is developing into an important "swing" player. Brian Winters will start at left guard, but he could get work at right guard with the backups.