Questions, questions, questions ... and some answers

May, 7, 2010
5/07/10
10:08
AM ET
The response to the first Jets chat session Thursday was so strong that we had many leftover questions. I picked out a few, and will attempt to answer them here:

Q: My first impression from afar of Joe McKnight is not very good. Showed up not in shape, barfed off the field, complained that he was given Reggie Bush's uniform number. Seems like he is very high maintenance. No wonder Pete Carroll stayed away from him. What is your take? (Rich, Farmingville)

A: Rich, you are not alone in your concerns. After the draft, I spoke with personnel guys from two different teams (not the Jets) and they both gave an unflattering scouting report on McKnight's character. We're not talking legal issues or anything like that, just immaturity. They said he doesn't like to play hurt, that he complains, that he's easily discouraged. And, you're right, his performance in the minicamp was troubling. But let's not write him off just yet. Leon Washington, in his first minicamp, dropped punts and fumbled all over the field -- and he turned out okay.

Q: I know we keep hearing 'Ground and Pound' from Rex Ryan, but I think the Jets will throw more than they did last year. Are you hearing the same thing? I think the "leaks" from Bill Callahan about Alan Faneca being a weak pass blocker, and the Santonio Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson additions speak volumes. Agree? (SouthernJet from JetNation.com, Raleigh)

A: First of all, Callahan, the OL coach, didn't leak anything about Faneca's decline as a pass blocker. It's a fact: Faneca allowed 6 1/2 sacks last season, according to STATS. That said, yes, the Jets will throw more than last season. Ryan already is on record as saying they will pass more. They were the most run-oriented team in the NFL last season, with a run-pass ratio of 59-41. I can see that dropping to 55-45 or, if Mark Sanchez continues to develop, to 50-50. But it can be a slippery slope, especially with an improved receiving corps. The temptation to open up the offense will be there. No doubt, this will be something to watch.

Q: Does team have enough speed/strength/depth at defensive end? Do you view pass rush as the team's biggest weakness? (Adam, New York)

A: Yes, I'd say the pass rush is the biggest weakness because they don't have a true speed rusher off the edge. If Jason Taylor were a few years younger ... if Vernon Gholston were ... um better ... it would be a different story. Remarkably, the Jets led the league in third-down defense, but that was due, in large part, to clever schemes and Darrelle Revis. They had to rush five, six and sometimes seven guys to pressure the quarterback, a dangerous way to live. Unless Taylor discovers the Fountain of Youth, they'll have to do it again. There's a lack of speed at DE and OLB, and that will hurt them against opponents with a fast back and an effective perimeter running game.

Q: Rich, Do you think Donovan Warren has a chance to make the team? You know Rex loves depth in the secondary. (Michael, Hauppauge)

A: Yes, I do think Warren has a shot. The Jets made a smart move, shifting him to safety. He simply doesn't have the speed to play corner in a man-to-man scheme, but he should be fast enough to be a "cover" safety -- an extra DB capable of covering a slot receiver. With all the spread offenses in the league, that is the new rage. You need safeties that can cover. Warren probably was the highest-rated of the Jets' UDFAs, so, yeah, he's got a shot -- if he can carve a niche on special teams.

Q: How do you see the LG position for the Jets shaping up? Do you think Vladimir Ducasse can really do a good job replacing Faneca? Do you think this will still be the No. 1 O-line in the league, even with the loss of Faneca? (Dan, Philly)

A: They will take a step back at LG; anybody who doesn't admit that is nuts. But the Jets are hoping it will be followed by two steps forward. The question is, how long will that take? My guess is it will take more than one season. The front office is putting an enormous amount of faith in Callahan. They've handed him a lump of clay (Ducasse) and they're asking him to sculpt a work of art. The raw talent is there, but he's never played left guard and it's a huge jump from UMass to the NFL. My hunch is Matt Slauson is the opening-day starter.

Q: Does Thomas Jones have a big year in KC and leave Jets fans green with envy? (Oscarfactor, Kansas City)

A: Great signing by your Chiefs, Oscar. Yes, Jones was out of gas last December and January, but he still finished with 1,400 yards and I think he will be highly motivated to prove people -- the Jets -- wrong. I see one more productive season out of him.

Q: How is Mark Sanchez progressing? And same for Kris Jenkins? (Mark, Farmingdale)

A: On Thursday, Sanchez ran on a treadmill for the first time since his knee surgery in February. I think there's a chance he could participate on a limited basis in next month's minicamp. He'll definitely be ready for training camp. Jenkins is coming along nicely, but I'm sure he will be limited through minicamp and training camp, for precautionary reasons.

Q: Do you see them getting rid of David Harris next year with their depth at LB? (David, Florida)

A: David, I can answer that in two words: No way.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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