There is a saying in football that a teams success starts with “the fat guys on both sides of the ball”. As we can see this offseason, the Jets plan was to build inside out. The front office is counting on their beefed up lines with “quality” in Faneca, Woody, and Jenkins, to create better opportunities for the teams “skilled players” on BOTH sides of the ball.
On the offensive side of the ball, I no longer beleive that we will be just that, “OFFENSIVE”!
Even with the uncertainty at the QB position, I expect a much better rushing attack with the aformentioned off season pickups, continued development of Brick and Mangold, along with All Pro “true” fullback Tony Richardson leading the way for our tailbacks. How many times were TJ and Leon stonewalled at the point of attack last year? How many times were they met 3 yards in the backfield? Our passing game will be improved as well, with either Kellen or (yes) Chad. Remember, you need time and a running game to be a successful QB in this league. (Marino was an exception).
It begins with the offensive line.
How many times last season did we see our QB’S on their backs, or forced to throw before the receivers could even make their breaks? BOTH our weak links are gone in Clarke and Clement! I personally love the pick of Keller. If he can run the seam pattern as advertised, then we just may have our first TE/H-Back threat in 20 years (since Mickey Shuler), whom hopefully can cause those all important mismatches that will take alot of pressure off of not only the QB, but Coles and Cotchery. Smith, Stuckey(who awed me at TC and in preseason) and Marcus Henry should be an interesting battle this upcoming camp for the #3 AND #4 receivers.
It all starts with the offensive line.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jenkins is the key! If he can tie up 2 “fat guys” on a consistant basis, then I really can see this unit having the makeup of a feared one. The importance of him being the player that Mangini brought him here to be is critical! Not only in stopping the run game( by tieing up blockers), but also by being the “cog” in the middle that can open up lanes on passing downs allowing David Harris and Kerry Rhodes to “shoot” through the middle on blitz packages, as well as occupying blockers (along with Kenyon Coleman and Shaun Ellis), allowing our pass rushing “hybrids” Vernon Gholston, Calvin Pace, (and the 2006 version of Bryan Thomas) to get to the QB not only from the outside, but the inside as well with stunts and various schemes, that will be developed by Mangini for “his” hand picked players. I envision our pass rush being incredibly improved, which always leads to a much better secondary play. We already know what we have in Revis and Rhodes. As our #2 CB , will an injury free Miller step up? will the change of scenery for former 1st round pick Andre Woolfolk get his career going? Is Drew Coleman a possibility? 4th round pick Lowery? Hank Poteat if re-signed? Should be very interesting, as well as FS—Elam, Smith, Hawkins, maybe even Bing.
It All Starts with the defensive line!
However; all of this looks good on paper! But as a 30+ year Jet fan, I have a reason for hope and excitement for the upcoming season!
And it all starts with the offensive and defensive lines!