The Jacksonville Jaguars travel up north to take on the New York Jets Saturday night so we decided to hit up our fellow Fansided brothers over at The Jet Press to get to know the 2013 Jets a little better. I was pretty high on Geno Smith going into the draft – I wanted the Jaguars to take him second overall – but what else should we be looking out for on Saturday?
Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) on the sidelines in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
1. Who is going to start the season at quarterback? If it’s Mark Sanchez, how short is his leash?
It is looking more and more like it will be Mark Sanchez, which will not make very many Jets’ fans happy. The Jets haven’t named a starter for the game this weekend*, and Geno might not even play against the Jags. If it turns out that way, Mark will be on as about as short of a leash you can be on. He won’t be given a whole lot of chances.
(*Sanchez was named the starter on Thursday)
2. Are there any legitimate playmakers on offense?
There are a couple. First is Chris Ivory. He hasn’t had a chance to play yet, and might not play on Saturday night, as he is recovering from a hamstring problem. When he gets out there, he will be the type of playmaker out of the backfield that the Jets haven’t seen since Curtis Martin retired. He is a violent runner that makes people miss. Jeremy Kerley at wide receiver is another one. With all of the injuries last year, he came into his own, as both a slot receiver and a guy on the outside, tallying just under 1,000 receiving yards for the year. He should make the next step and be a legitimate threat for whoever earns the starting job at quarterback.
3. Which rookie has stood out the most in camp?
There have been two, the first is Sheldon Richardson. Sheldon has shown that he will be quite the active member of the Jets’ defensive line, fitting right in with youngsters Mo Wilkerson and Quinton Coples(playing LB and DE). The other is Ryan Spadola. He is a local kid, out of Lehigh University, and undrafted free agent at wide receiver. He has played well, gotten better and better during camp, to the point that he has seen playing time with our starting offensive unit. He is a guy to watch, as it is looking more and more like he is going to make the team.
4. What’s the best position battle so far in camp?
Far and away, the battle for quarterback. It’s a battle that is followed, every step of the way, so much that reporters in NY keep track of their passing stats through each day of camp. Mark Sanchez has improved, but had a bad pick 6 the other night against the Detroit Lions. Geno Smith was accurate, but had the unfortunate injury to his ankle that prevented him from finishing up his scheduled reps. Geno was in the lead early, but Mark has closed the gap and likely passed him. It’s a good competition, despite the perception of some that there is a conspiracy to annoint Mark the starter.
5. Can the Jets compete for a playoff spot this year?
It’s an interesting question, Daniel. The typical response to the Jets chances is, “it’s a rebuilding year”. My answer is, why can’t the Jets make the playoffs? The greatest thing about our league is parity. No team can be stacked more than others, thanks to the salary cap. Every team is competitive. NFL teams are so close, it’s a few plays here, and a few plays there, that are the difference between winning and losing. It’s not like baseball, where there are only a few teams that can compete every year. NFL teams are close, any team can compete any year. So, why can’t that include the Jets?
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89