Editor’s Note: We’re very lucky here at Black&Teal to be part of Fansided, a wide-reaching network of blogs for every NFL team (as well as a huge selection of NBA, NHL, MLB, and other blogs as well). We’d be dumb not to take advantage of these resources, so welcome to our new feature: Enemy Intel. Each week, we’ll be checking in with the staff from the Fansided blog representing the Jaguars’ opponent for that the week.
This week, we’ll be talking with Marc Greenberg, editor and lead blogger for The JET Press, Fansided’s New York Jets Blog. A huge thanks to Marc for taking the time to update us on what’s going on in the Big Apple as we head into a very tough week 2 contest for the Jags.
BLACK&TEAL: The Jets Offensive line has gotten older and lost some key pieces of the last few years. What are the team’s concerns (if any) for the offensive line this year? Will they be able to run block well enough to keep the Jets’ running identity going strong? Can they protect a still blossoming Mark Sanchez long enough for him to be effective?
THE JET EXPRESS: The offensive line looked very shaky last week against the Cowboys. The initial impression was that they had enough pieces to get by this season. Judging from Week 1, they were horribly wrong. Wayne Hunter will be targeted and the Jets need to figure out a solution fast. The concern obviously is protecting Sanchez who took some big hits. At this point in the season, it’s a work in progress and depending on how they play the next few weeks (Jaguars, at Oakland, at Baltimore, at New England), will determine if they acquire someone.
B&T: Two of the Jaguars veteran acquisitions this offseason have been Jets defenders – DB Dwight Lowery and CB Drew Coleman. How were they regarded by the team and why were they allowed to get away?
TJE: It’s funny because my thoughts of Lowery were always “decent Cornerback, nothing special, makes the late game play to seal the win” and what does he do last week but seal the win with a late INT. Sometimes those players are the most valuable.
The Jets drafted Kyle Wilson in the first round last year and need to give him a chance to be their cornerback. With Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie as the 1 and 2, and Wilson as the 3 (nickel back) the team didn’t want to spend money on Lowery or Coleman who wouldn’t get much time to play.
B&T: The Jets will likely be doing some exotic scheming on defense to confuse newly appointed starting QB Luke McCown. What are some of Rex Ryan’s favorite tricks for younger or less experienced quarterbacks?
TJE: Rex will be bringing the house early and often against McCown. Look to the Jets confusing McCown with their schemes which disguise just exactly who is blitzing and who is dropping back into coverage. In addition, Rex likes to change up his coverages and blitzes by half, so just because something is working for the Jags in the first half, does not mean it will work in the second.
B&T: Having made it to two consecutive AFC Championships with a fairly even mix of older veterans and younger players like Mark Sanchez, Dustin Keller, and Shonn Green. Are they still on the rise or could they possibly be facing a decline as key players get older?
TJE: The core is still there and it’s a young one. Sanchez, Greene, Santonio Holmes, Keller, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold will all be there for a while to make the team competitive. With that being said, Plaxico Burress, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Derrick Mason make this team extremely good right now, so the window is there but it’s closing. If not this year, then you begin to think about if it will happen.
B&T: What kind of contest do you think it will be Sunday and what’s your prediction for the final score of the game?