Monday, July 22, 2013
Camp preview: 10 hottest issues
By Rich Cimini
The Jets open training camp Thursday in Cortland. After a tumultuous offseason, there are more questions than usual. Our top 10 issues confronting the Jets:
1. Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith?: This is truly an open quarterback competition. Sanchez predicts he will win the job; Smith believes he has a "great shot." Chances are, it'll be Sanchez -- unless the rookie lights it up in the preseason.
2. Santonio Holmes' foot: The Jets' most accomplished wide receiver is expected to begin camp on the physically unable-to-perform list. He could be activated at any time, but it might be weeks before he's cleared to practice. Will he be ready for Week 1?
3. Replacing Darrelle Revis. Owner Woody Johnson traded his best player to the Bucs because he didn't want to pay $16 million a year, and now the Jets are hoping No. 1 pick Dee Milliner can step into the lineup from day one. He's coming off offseason shoulder surgery, so he'll be playing catch-up in camp.
4. Defensive overhaul: The Jets could have seven new starters, a remarkable number even in the here-today, gone-tomorrow world of the NFL. When you have that many new pieces, expect growing pains.
5. The new old Rex: It's a make-or-break year for Rex Ryan, who will be evaluated by new GM John Idzik. In an attempt to save his job, Ryan has tweaked his philosophy, taking control of the defense. He also will crank up the blitzing, shades of 2009, when the Jets led the league in defense.
6. Martyball: Marty Mornhinweg, the third offensive coordinator in three years, is installing a West Coast system with the hope of sparking some electricity in a unit short on talent. He's a proven playcaller, and he should help the regressing Sanchez, but don't expect miracles.
7. Finding good hands people: The biggest problem on the roster is wide receiver. Holmes still isn't 100 percent, so second-year WR Stephen Hill has to take a major step after a disappointing rookie year. TE Kellen Winslow is a long shot. If no one steps up, the quarterbacks have no chance.
8. Who carries the rock? For the first time since 1994, the Jets are entering a season without a 1,000-yard rusher on the roster. Chris Ivory, Mike Goodson and Bilal Powell will
battle for playing time. The Jets think Ivory could be a top-10 back if he stays healthy.
9. Q's new home: Second-year DE Quinton Coples is attempting to transition to outside linebacker. In theory, it should help the pass rush, but how many 280-pound linebackers are there?
10. Safety dance: Safety is the thinnest position on the roster. Who will start opposite Dawan Landry? The leading candidate is Josh Bush, who has virtually no experience. The Jets will really miss Dawan's younger brother, LaRon.