Friday, September 2, 2011
Jets-Eagles review: Hide your eyes
By Rich Cimini
Apologies for the cruel and unusual punishment, but it's time to take one last look at the Jets' 24-14 loss to the Eagles. Some positives and negatives.
P T.J. Conley. You know things are bad when you're starting off with the punter, but let's give Conley his props. In his first game as the only punter on the roster, he averaged a 42.3 net on eight punts. That should be good enough to solidify a roster spot.
CB Ellis Lankster. His 67-yard interception return for a touchdown was the biggest play of the game (not that there were a lot to choose from), an exclamation point on a solid camp for Lankster. The former seventh-round pick of the Bills has a legit chance of making the team.
OLB Eddie Jones. He's been one of the sleepers in camp, a late arrival who jumped out immediately because of his size (6-foot-3, 260) and speed. Jones recorded six tackles (one for loss) and also forced a fumble and recovered it on kick coverage. Aaron Maybin (1.5 sacks) made the flashy plays, but Jones, a rookie free agent from Texas, played a better game than the Bills' former No. 1 pick.
The 2010 draft class. CB Kyle Wilson struggled in coverage, OT Vladimir Ducasse committed three penalties and RB Joe McKnight lost a fumble. The other member of the '10 class, FB John Conner, sat out with a sprained ankle. This isn't going down as one of Mike Tannenbaum's best drafts. Rex Ryan claimed that Wilson was having a good preseason until this game, but this was an unfortunate step backward. You have to wonder if Wilson's nickel-back job is in jeopardy.
Second-team offensive line. The starters got the night off, so the Jets went with Dennis Landolt, Zane Taylor, Robby Felix, Matt Kroul and Ducasse. All told, they allowed five sacks and committed five penalties. Oh, yeah, and for the second time in the preseason, a backup OLM was involved in another players' injury -- QB Greg McElroy wrecking his right thumb on Kroul's helmet. In case you're wondering, the first injury was the Ducasse/Rob Turner wipeout in the first game.
Kenrick Ellis. The rookie nose tackle was largely invisible, which is tough when you're 6-foot-5, 345 pounds and playing against backups. With Sione Pouha (knee) set to return and Martin Tevaseu playing well, don't be surprised if Ellis is inactive for the opener.