Twitter mailbag: Training-camp surprises

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
2:00
PM ET
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Monday is a mandatory day off for the New York Jets, so what better time for a mailbag? Here you go:

@RichCimini: I was surprised by the Jason Babin signing, but I don't think that's what you're looking for. Honestly, Oday Aboushi has been a surprise. In minicamp, I thought it was just the Rex Ryan hype machine, pumping him up, but Aboushi has been turning heads in camp. His athleticism is intriguing because he can move and block on the run, allowing them to run more outside zone plays. A few years ago, the Jets were a great outside-zone running team. Willie Colon is a more powerful, straight-up blocker than Aboushi, but he doesn't move as well. I'm curious to see Aboushi in the preseason games. Other surprises: Rookie linebacker Trevor Reilly, linebacker Troy Davis and safety Rontez Miles.

@RichCimini: In a word, yes. And don't forget about Bilal Powell and Daryl Richardson, who has been flying under the radar. The coaches like what he's showing. The Jets finished sixth in total rushing last season, 26 yards per game behind the Philadelphia Eagles. That's a lot of ground to make up, especially with LeSean McCoy down there, but the Jets can challenge if Chris Johnson stays healthy. We know they have a coaching staff whose mindset is to run the ball.

@RichCimini: They feed off Ryan, who obviously is the eternal optimist and isn't shy about expressing his feelings, especially this year. This subject is a slippery slope for reporters. Obviously, our job is to provide interesting content for our readers and viewers, and the fans have a right to know what their favorite players are saying, but it can reach the point of absurdity. And I think we're hovering close to that point right now.

@RichCimini: Quite frankly, none of them have impressed. Quincy Enunwa is injured, so we haven't seen anything out of him. Shaq Evans looks like he has enough speed to be a vertical threat, but he has dropped several passes. Ryan loves Jalen Saunders -- he gets plenty of reps -- but he disappears. Right now, if I had to rank the receivers, I don't think any of the rookies would make the team, based on performance. My top five: Eric Decker, David Nelson, Jeremy Kerley, Jacoby Ford and Stephen Hill.

@RichCimini: Hill is an enigma. Sunday's practice was a classic example. On the first play of team drills, he dropped an easy ball on a crossing route. Later, he ran a 'go' route on Dimitri Patterson, shedding the veteran corner with a downfield burst and hauling in a nice reception from Geno Smith. I think the question the Jets must ask themselves is this: Can Hill be trusted? Right now, I don't think he has earned their trust. I think he has concentration and intensity issues. As for Smith and Decker, yeah, they're already starting to develop a rapport. Smith looks for him a lot, maybe too much. Funny thing about quarterbacks, though: They like to throw to the guy that's open.

@RichCimini: Obviously, he does. He told me he thinks he'll be a top-five quarterback this season or next. Yes, I think he will improve. You can see it in practice: He's more comfortable at the line of scrimmage, doesn't force as many passes and will take off to run if no one is open. He has to be better than last year, right? The question is, how much better? I don't know. We won't know until we see him in game situations. All I know is, if he messes up, it'll be bench time because they won't hesitate to insert Michael Vick. 

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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