Jets scrimmage: What to watch for
August, 4, 2012
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- A few storylines that deserve attention in Saturday night's annual Green and White scrimmage at SUNY Cortland:
1. Tebow Time. Naturally, Tim Tebow will be the focal point for reasons that transcend football, but let's stick to X's and O's. I doubt they will use him in any Wildcat plays, but I'll be curious to see how he reads the field and how quickly he can deliver the ball. That has been an issue in camp, prompting the coaches to use buzzers to speed up the process for all the quarterbacks, but especially Tebow.
2. Rookie show. DE Quinton Coples (No. 1 pick) is having a quiet camp, so you'd like to see him flash some of the ability that prompted the Jets to draft him 16th overall. WR Stephen Hill should get a chance to work with the first unit, so he'll see quality reps against CBs Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Mind you, this is a controlled scrimmage, not a game. It'll be No. 1 offense vs. No. 1 defense, etc.
3. Defensive scheme. The Jets have employed a lot of 4-3 in camp, more than ever under Rex Ryan. In that front, Coples plays outside with former No. 1 pick Muhammad Wilkerson. It'll be interesting to see how much 4-3 they use in a public setting, where the entire world, so to speak, can see how they've tweaked their scheme.
4. Backfield battle. Second-year RB Bilal Powell is making a strong push to overtake Joe McKnight as the No. 2 back, behind Shonn Greene. Powell and McKnight also are battling for the third-down job. Rookie RB Terrance Ganaway hasn't received a lot of reps in camp, so this will be a good chance to show his stuff.
5. New-look line. The Jets will be down two starters on the offensive line -- RG Brandon Moore (in Canton to attend Curtis Martin's Hall of Fame ceremony) and C Nick Mangold (traveling to London to see his sister in the Olympics). They probably will be replaced by Vladimir Ducasse and Caleb Schlauderaff, respectively. RT Wayne Hunter (back) also could sit out, creating an opening for Austin Howard. Without Mangold making the line calls, there could be some hiccups in Mark Sanchez's pass protection. Don't worry, the Jets aren't "live," meaning the quarterbacks will have red jerseys and can't be tackled. That could change if Ryan decides to go live with Tebow in a situational drill, as he did the other day in practice.
6. Safety dance. This will mark the debut (sort of) of S LaRon Landry, who has missed significant practice time because of an old Achilles' tendon injury. They're being cautious with Landry -- no need to push him this early in camp -- but he told the coaches he wanted to play in the scrimmage. Look for Yeremiah Bell and Eric Smith to start at safety, with Landry rotating in.