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2014 NEW YORK JETS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

August 7, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



2014 NEW YORK JETS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

HEAD COACH: REX RYAN, 42 – 38

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: MARTY MORNHINWEG

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: DENNIS THURMAN

SCORING OFFENSE: 18.0

RUSHING: 134.9

PASSING: 183.2

TOTAL OFFENSE: 318.1

SCORING DEFENSE: 24.2

RUSHING: 88.2

PASSING: 246.7

TOTAL DEFENSE: 334.9

INTERCEPTIONS: 13

SACKS: 41.0

New York Jets (1998 - Pres)

The New York Jets are not a Super Bowl contender and head coach Rex Ryan will be on the hot seat again this year if they don’t at least make it to the playoffs. Ryan’s first two teams went to the AFC championship game but since that time they’ve managed only 22 wins in three seasons. This year schedule won’t be easy early and the Jets may find themselves in a whole after playing the likes of Green Bay, Chicago, San Diego, Denver and New England in five of their first seven games.

New York is hoping the additions they made through free agency will make their offense more formidable in 2014. Receiver Eric Decker was signed from Denver where he thrived in the offense run by Peyton Manning. The question about Decker is his ability to spread the field but not his ability to catch the football after catching 87 passes for 1288 yards and 11 touchdowns with the Broncos. Decker also averaged nearly 15 yards per reception. Decker is an upgrade from last year’s receiving corps which included Jeremy Kerley (43 receptions), David Nelson (36), Bilal Powell (36), Kellen Winslow (31) and Santonio Holmes (23). Stephen Hill is nothing more than a one dimensional receiver and it appears right now he may never be a complete receiver.

New York Jets (2002 - Pres)

The Jets also added former Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson after Tennessee decided to let him walk. Johnson played last year with a torn meniscus in his knee and had his least productive season in the NFL. Johnson’s durability has become a question after caring the football 1742 times in his career. His age will also be an issue, as Johnson will turn 29 in September. Joining Johnson in the Jets backfield will be Chris Ivory who led the Jets in rushing with 833 yards and a 4.6 yards per carry average. Bilal Powell, who is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, was second in rushing with 697 yards and average 4.0 yards per carry. If the Jets can use all three, Johnson should be an excellent complement to both Ivory and Powell.

Despite all the changes, the success of the Jets’ offense comes down to the quarterback. Second-year signal caller Geno Smith had dreadful numbers in 2013 after throwing for only 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Smith must make better decisions so the Jets signed veteran Michael Vick to give him a push. New York’s offense finished 31st in the NFL in passing, 29th in scoring and 25th in total offense. Over the last three seasons, the Jets have a combined 57 interceptions and that must improve or they won’t make a playoff run in 2014.

The offensive is a strength, and if this group can stay healthy, the Jets should be able to run the football effectively in 2014. C Nick Mangold will be joined by left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, left guard Brian Winters, right guard Willie Colon and right tackle Breno Giacomini.

New York’s defense, especially upfront, is as good as anyone in the NFL. The issue comes in the secondary after they gave up 246.7 yards per game, which ranked 22nd in the NFL. New York drafted FS Calvin Pryor out of Louisville with their first round selection in 2014. Pryor is a hard hitter but there are some questions about his covered skills. Joining prior will be cornerback Dee Milliner and Dimitri Patterson (Miami) on the corners and Dawan Landry at strong safety. Antonio Allen will challenge prior for the free safety starting job but he too has issues in cover skills. Garrett McIntyre, Kyle Wilson, rookie Dexter McDougle and Jaiquawn Jarrett will be the backups.

The line is led by Muhamad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. Wilkerson, is arguably the best football player on this team, with a great combination of speed, strength and size (6-4 315) that allows him to disrupt opposing offenses and get to the quarterback (10.5 sacks). Richardson won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season and with Wilkerson, they may be two of the more dominating lineman in the NFL. Nose tackle Kendrick Ellis will join Richardson and Wilkerson in the 3-4 alignment.

The Jets need more production from outside linebacker Quenton Coples, who finished with only four to half sacks last year. Joining Coples will be weak side linebacker Demario Davis, inside linebacker David Harris and strong side linebacker Calvin Pace. The backups include Jermaine Cunningham, rookie Jeremiah George, Garrett McIntyre and Nick Bellore. Trevor Reilly, a rookie out of Utah, will also get a look at outside linebacker during training camp.

There is no question the pressure is on head coach Rex Ryan. Another 8 – 8 season, and another missed opportunity at the NFL playoffs, should mean Ryan is on his way out. There’s also a ton of pressure on quarterback Geno Smith. Can Smith becoming more consistent quarterback now that the Jets have gone out and signed help at receiver and it running back. The bottom line is, the Jets have a strong running game, may be better than last year, they have one of the better defensive lines in football, now they can shore up the passing attack and stop the pass, they could be a playoff contender this season.

New York Jets (1998 - Pres)

2014 DRAFT:

First Round

The pick: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville, 5-11, 207 (No. 18 overall)
The fit: If the Jets were going to go defense with their first pick, the thought was that they might take a corner. But Pryor was the highest guy on their board at No. 18. In a group that includes Dawan Landry, Antonio Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett, and several others who were practice squadders, Pryor can fill an immediate need and have an instant impact.

Second round


The pick: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech, 6-5, 265 (No. 49 overall)
The fit:Ignore any concerns about Amaro's suspect ability to pass-block, or that his presence on the field will signal to other teams that the Jets intend to pass. Amaro gives the Jets another quality receiving option, and a big one at that. The Jets also re-upped with Jeff Cumberland, and it's not like they always have to have just one of them on the field at all times. 

 

Third round

 


The pick: Dexter McDougle, CB, Maryland, 5-10, 196 (No. 80 overall)
The fit:Believe it or not, the Jets now have a crowded field of 12 corners on the roster heading into minicamp and OTAs. And where once they liked bigger, more physical types (Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie), they're now trending toward small and fast. McDougle is a bit of a mystery because he missed most of last season with an injury, but he did have three picks in just three games. 

 

Fourth round

 


The pick: Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma, 5-9, 165 (No. 104 overall)
The fit:The Jets knew this draft was deep for receivers, which might explain why they waited till now to get one. Saunders leaps into a crowded field of 12 wideouts, and while there are varying opinions about him out there on the internet, his ability to return punts and kicks gives him a leg up on making the roster.

 

 

 

The pick: Shaquelle Evans, WR, UCLA, 6-1, 213 (No. 115)
The fit: The Jets appear to have hedged their bet on the smaller Saunders by going with Evans just 11 selections later. Evans has average height but a big body, and he figures to be competitive in making the roster as more of a possession receiver.

 

The pick: Dakota Dozier, OG, Furman, 6-4, 313 (No. 137 overall)
The fit: Dozier dominated lower competition at left tackle in college, but he dropped this far because he was dominating lower competition. Roster competition is everything GM John Idzik wants, and Dozier provides that: The Jets plan to move him inside to guard, and while he can back up Willie Colon on the right side, he might also get a chance to start over Brian Winters on the left.

 

Fifth round

 


The pick: Jeremiah George, ILB, Iowa State, 5-11, 234 (No. 154 overall)
The fit:Best to let head coach Rex Ryan explain this one: "Last year, we felt very fortunate to get by with only three inside linebackers, where Nick Bellore had to back up both the MIKE [David Harris] and the WILL [Demario Davis] to the point where we didn’t really want to play him because we had no more backups. So here, [George] fits a role."

 

 

 

Sixth round

 


The pick: Brandon Dixon, CB, Northwest Missouri State, 5-11, 203 (No. 195 overall)
The fit:See the entry above for third-rounder McDougle. But unlike McDougle, Dixon has the bigger frame more suited to being the physical press coverage-type player the Jets have usually liked in this role for as long as Ryan's been in charge. He's as intriguing as any of the latter-round picks the Jets made.

 

 

 

The pick: Quincy Enunwa, WR, Nebraska, 6-2, 225 (No. 209 overall)
The fit: Because of where he was picked, Enunwa will be the low man in a crowded field of receivers. But his size makes him a potentially interesting red-zone target. Is that enough to win him a spot at a position that already includes Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, Jacoby Ford, and Stephen Hill, not to mention the three other draft picks and other wideouts the Jets have at the bottom of the depth chart and practice squad?

 

The pick: IK Enemkpali, DE, Louisiana Tech, 6-1, 261 (No. 210 overall)
The fit: The Jets have Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples as edge rushers, so right now Enemkpali looks like a depth option in passing situations who could also be valuable as a special teamer. It's somewhat odd the Jets waited this long to address their need for another pass rusher, however.

 

The pick: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson, 6-1, 222, (No. 213 overall)
The fit: Boyd figures to play behind Geno Smith and Mike Vick at quarterback, if he makes the roster at all. He played a spread offense in college and will have to learn to adjust to the Jets' west coast system, but QBs adjust to new offenses all the time when they jump from college to the NFL. Boyd was once touted as a top-shelf prospect, so he has a chance to edge out Matt Simms to be the third-stringer this year.

 

Seventh round

 


The pick: Trevor Reilly, OLB, Utah, 6-5, 245 (No. 233 overall)
The fit: Size-wise, Reilly looks like more of a fit than Enemkpali, who was taken in the sixth round, to be the sort of pass-rush specialist the team prefers. But is he quick enough to supplant Antwan Barnes, Jermaine Cunningham, and Troy Davis behind Coples and Pace, especially after coming off having the same knee scoped a year after having had ACL surgery on it?

New York Jets (2002 - Pres)

2014 SCHEDULE:

The first 10 games may well tell the tale of the Jets' 2014 season.

Head coach Rex Ryan got a look at his team's schedule before the NFL released all the regular-season schedules tonight, and one thing jumped out at him immediately: three of the first four games will be played at MetLife Stadium.

"I just know the energy and the passion our fans are going to have to open the season," Ryan told Eric Allen on tonight's Jets Talk Live Schedule Special. "Three out of four — I think that's the highlight. I just think our players feed off of that enthusiasm from our fans. Our guys, they know how important it is, they appreciate our fans. So we put everything we have into it."

The season opens at home on Sunday, Sept. 7, at 1 p.m. Not unusual. With that game, we will extend our franchise record to five consecutive seasons playing our season opener at home. What is unusual is the opponent: the Oakland Raiders. For the first time ever, the Green & White will play its home opener against the Silver & Black.

Then come three games against the NFC North — the first time the Jets will play three consecutive games against NFC opponents since 2001. Game 2 comes against the Packers in the pre-frozen tundra at Lambeau Field. Then come the Bears on Monday night, Sept. 22, and the Lions the following Sunday, both at MetLife.

Then what follows could be our season-making sixpack of games. That Black-and-Blue September will be followed by a brutal six weeks heading into the Week 11 bye: road games at San Diego, New England (Thursday night at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 16) and Kansas City alternating with home games against the AFC Super Bowl representative Broncos, the Bills and the Steelers.

That's four playoff teams from last year with, on paper, a backbreaking combined schedule strength of 59-37 (.615 winning percentage). It's reminiscent of last year's five-game stretch that included games against Atlanta's Matt Ryan, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, New England's Tom Brady, Cincinnati's Andy Dalton and New Orleans' Drew Brees. We came out of the stretch 3-2 to come up to last year's bye with a 5-4 mark.

And yes, you probably caught that right: Oct. 12 at home against the AFC champion Broncos and Peyton Manning, then four nights later at the AFC runnerup Patriots and Brady.

That's interesting how that thing works out," Rex Ryan said with a chuckle. "But you know, hey, we've been there and done it before, albeit not on a short week. But again, we'll be ready. That is a tough stretch. You're facing both teams that represented the AFC in that championship game. It's not going to be easy, certainly."

Any team's NFL schedule is never truly easy. But similar to the past two seasons, if the Jets can survive the first 10 games, there is the prospect of finishing strong against a less imposing array of opponents. From Nov. 23 through Dec. 28 the Jets play at Buffalo, Miami at home on Monday night, Dec. 1, at Minnesota and Tennessee, home for the Patriots and — for the third time in four years — the regular-season finale at Miami.

That was a very good closer for the Green & White last year as they finished at 8-8 on a high note with the 20-7 win that bounced the Dolphins out of the playoff picture.

This year's final six games feature just one playoff team (the Patriots) and an opponents' schedule strength of 46-49-1 (.484).

However, balancing these thoughts of a strong closing kick is the fact that four of our last six games will be on the road.

One more note on the schedule here is that the Jets will play three primetime games — the Monday home games vs. Chicago and Miami and the Thursday-nighter at New England — one more than last year's total.

And there is at least the prospect of another primetime game earlier in the schedule than usual. The NFL will extend its "flex scheduling" concept into Weeks 5-10, with the new potential to change only two of those six Sunday night games in that span. The original flex rules of the past eight years will still apply for Weeks 11-17.

Also this year the league is introducing the concept of "cross-flexing," in which a select number of games can move between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.

"It kind of feels like a new season kicks off when you start those voluntary workouts," Ryan said of the players' return to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Monday. "But then when you get the schedule, it's right in front of you and it's like, 'Oh, yeah, here we go.' That's really when the blood starts going a lit bit. Hey, it's time."

New York Jets (2002 - Pres)

2014 ROSTER

#NamePos.Ht.Wt.AgeExp.College
75 Aboushi, Oday OL 6-5 308 23 2 Virginia
39 Allen, Antonio S 6-1 210 25 3 South Carolina
88 Amaro, Jace TE 6-5 265 22 R Texas Tech
89 Anderson, Colin TE 6-4 240 24 1 Furman
99 Barnes, T.J. DT 6-7 364 24 1 Georgia Tech
54 Bellore, Nick LB 6-1 250 25 4 Central Michigan
40 Bohanon, Tommy FB 6-1 247 23 2 Wake Forest
3 Boyd, Tajh QB 6-0 222 23 R Clemson
32 Bush, Josh S 5-11 205 25 3 Wake Forest
69 Campbell, Bruce T 6-6 320 26 5 Maryland
18 Campbell, Michael WR 6-2 205 24 2 Temple
65 Campbell, William G 6-4 311 23 2 Michigan
66 Colon, Willie OL 6-3 315 31 9 Hofstra
98 Coples, Quinton LB 6-6 290 24 3 North Carolina
85 Cumberland, Jeff TE 6-4 260 27 5 Illinois
56 Davis, Demario LB 6-2 239 25 3 Arkansas State
58 Davis, Troy LB 6-2 251 23 2 Central Florida
87 Decker, Eric WR 6-3 214 27 5 Minnesota
48 Divitto, Steele LB 6-2 237 22 R Boston College
42 Dixon, Brandon CB 5-11 203 24 R Northwest Missouri State
78 Douzable, Leger DT 6-4 284 28 7 Central Florida
34 Dowling, Ras-I CB 6-1 210 26 3 Virginia
70 Dozier, Dakota OT 6-4 312 23 R Furman
47 Edds, A.J. LB 6-4 256 26 4 Iowa
93 Ellis, Kenrick DT 6-4 346 26 4 Hampton
51 Enemkpali, Ikemefuna DE 6-1 272 23 R Louisiana Tech
82 Enunwa, Quincy WR 6-2 225 22 R Nebraska
81 Evans, Shaq WR 6-0 210 23 R UCLA
60 Ferguson, D'Brickashaw T 6-6 310 30 9 Virginia
92 Finau, Tevita DT 6-5 288 28 1 Utah
2 Folk, Nick K 6-1 222 29 8 Arizona
19 Ford, Jacoby WR 5-9 190 27 5 Clemson
61 Ford, Patrick G 6-6 305 24 1 Eastern Kentucky
63 Freeman, Dalton C 6-5 291 24 1 Clemson
57 Fugger, Tim DE 6-4 248 25 1 Vanderbilt
8 Furney, Andrew K 5-10 210 23 R Washington State
10 Gates, Clyde WR 6-0 197 28 4 Abilene Christian
53 George, Jeremiah ILB 5-11 219 22 R Iowa State
68 Giacomini, Breno T 6-7 318 28 7 Louisville
64 Grady, Anthony DE 6-7 289 24 R Missouri State
25 Green, Alex RB 6-0 220 26 4 Hawaii
15 Hakim, Saalim WR 5-11 188 24 2 Palomar Coll. CA (J.C.)
52 Harris, David LB 6-2 250 30 8 Michigan
94 Harrison, Damon DL 6-4 350 25 3 William Penn
84 Hill, Stephen WR 6-4 215 23 3 Georgia Tech
62 Hyder, Kerry DE 6-2 280 23 R Texas Tech
71 Ijalana, Ben T 6-4 322 25 4 Villanova
33 Ivory, Chris RB 6-0 222 26 5 Tiffin University
37 Jarrett, Jaiquawn S 6-0 196 24 3 Temple
21 Johnson, Chris RB 5-11 203 28 7 East Carolina
11 Kerley, Jeremy WR 5-9 188 25 4 TCU
26 Landry, Dawan S 6-1 212 31 9 Georgia Tech
31 Lankster, Ellis CB 5-9 190 28 5 West Virginia
74 Mangold, Nick C 6-4 307 30 9 Ohio State
43 McDougle, Dexter CB 5-10 196 23 R Maryland
50 McIntyre, Garrett LB 6-3 255 29 4 Fresno State
45 Miles, Rontez S 6-0 202 25 1 California (PA)
27 Milliner, Dee CB 6-0 201 22 2 Alabama
86 Nelson, David WR 6-5 215 27 5 Florida
97 Pace, Calvin LB 6-4 265 33 12 Wake Forest
83 Pantale, Chris TE 6-5 254 24 1 Boston College
22 Patrick, Johnny CB 5-11 190 25 4 Louisville
24 Patterson, Dimitri CB 6-0 200 31 9 Tuskegee
29 Powell, Bilal RB 5-10 204 25 4 Louisville
25 Pryor, Calvin FS 5-11 208 22 R Louisville
46 Purdum, Tanner LS 6-3 270 28 5 Baker
4 Quigley, Ryan P 6-3 188 24 2 Boston College
79 Qvale, Brent T 6-7 315 23 R Nebraska
41 Reeves, Jeremy DB 5-7 176 24 1 Iowa State
49 Reilly, Trevor OLB 6-5 225 26 R Utah
35 Richardson, Daryl RB 5-10 206 24 3 Abilene Christian
91 Richardson, Sheldon DT 6-3 294 23 2 Missouri
17 Salas, Greg WR 6-2 210 25 4 Hawaii
16 Saunders, Jalen WR 5-9 164 21 R Oklahoma
72 Schlauderaff, Caleb G 6-4 302 26 4 Utah
6 Schum, Jacob P 5-11 211 25 1 Buffalo
5 Simms, Matt QB 6-3 210 25 2 Tennessee
7 Smith, Geno QB 6-3 221 23 2 West Virginia
36 Smith, Michael RB 5-9 205 25 3 Utah State
44 Sudfeld, Zach TE 6-7 260 25 2 Nevada
77 Thompson, Zach DE 6-5 265 23 R Wake Forest
1 Vick, Michael QB 6-0 215 34 13 Virginia Tech
30 Walls, Darrin CB 6-0 190 26 4 Notre Dame
96 Wilkerson, Muhammad DL 6-4 315 24 4 Temple
20 Wilson, Kyle CB 5-10 190 27 5 Boise State
67 Winters, Brian G 6-4 320 23 2 Kent State
47 Young, Chad RB 5-10 240 23 R San Diego State
76 Zusevics, Markus T 6-5 300 25 3 Iowa

Reserve/Injured

#NamePos.Ht.Wt.AgeExp.College
55 Cunningham, Jermaine LB 6-3 255 26 5 Florida

Active/Physically Unable to Perform

#NamePos.Ht.Wt.AgeExp.College
95 Barnes, Antwan LB 6-1 251 29 8 Florida International






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