Friday Storylines: Let’s Set It Off!
Brian Bassett , theJetsBlog.com
With the Jets facing their first test this weekend against the Bills, here’s some of the big stories that we should be tracking and talking about on the way to the stadium, the sports bar or even the couch, here’s some of the storylines as we head into the weekend.
Path of Least Resistance? — All Jets fans eyes will be on #94 versus #77. Austin Howard is going to have a tough task in his second career start against Mario Williams who has 53 career sacks to his name. It’s a virtual guarantee that Williams will line up almost every snap over Howard, so what do the Jets do to combat that? Extra blockers, motioning Tight Ends? Wildcat plays? Making sure that Howard has the help he needs is going to have to be a cornerstone of the Jets offensive gameplan.
Defensive Collabo! – When asked yesterday about how involved Rex Ryan will be in the defense this season, DC Mike Pettine downplayed the notion that Rex was deeply involved in most of the defensive playcalling. “I think that’s a little overblown. It’s basically what it’s been,” Pettine said in his press conference yesterday. “Again, it will depend on the opponent, and if it’s in game. Sometimes .. I’ll take first or second down and he’ll take third down.” More than anything our understanding of how Rex was going to re-invest himself into the defense was as a defensive mentor to young players, especially in his area of expertise, the defensive line now that he was going to be more freed up from worrying about whatever idiocy Brian Schottenheimer was dreaming up. Rex was trying to get back to his roots, but his roots, still as the Jets head coach.
Down on the Corners — I will talk all day and night about the Bills safeties, but their young corners are promising as well. Even so, there’s ways to beat these guys. Gilmore is young, plays aggressively and can be inconsistent in his technique so look for Santonio to take advantage of that with his disciplined style of route running. As far as Williams? He has a year more experience on Stephen Hill, but Williams was thrown around as a possible safety telling you about his functional speed. The young Jets receiver has almost a two-tenths of a second advantage on Williams, and the Jets would be wise to try and take advantage of Hill in that fashion using out-breaking routes to shade away from the safeties. Hill will be the first rookie receiver to start opening day for the Jets in over 15 years.
Wrath of Revis — Bills fans have wanted more attention for Stevie Johnson, and now it’s time for them to Johnson to get Darrelle Revis’ full and undivided – even if he laughed off the idea earlier this week that Johnson can get the best of Revis. Sure, Ryan said that the Jets will plan to play Revis against other receivers during the course of the game, but look for the Jets to keep Revis on Johnson in key situations to try and prevent any damage that Johnson might try to inflict on the Jets.
Some Call Me … Tim — Tebow’s role is one of the most anticipated things for people to see and truly understand. There’s been a lot of talk that his role on special teams won’t materialize, there’s been talk Tebow could be a major piece on specials to keep opponents on their toes for fakes, there’s been talk that the Wildcat won’t be effective for the Jets, and there’s been talk that the Jets offense can’t be judged wholly without seeing how the Wildcat sits within it. How much does Tim play? You can imagine that the media will be feverishly tallying his snap count – heaven forbid he tally 21 snaps this game!!!!!
The Injured — Keller sounds like he’ll be ready to play Sunday, as does LaRon Landry, but Eric Smith won’t play.
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