Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comJust a few Sunday thoughts based on reports around the Jets …
Receiver Incompletion — As was reported, Rex sure seemed unhappy with his receivers all week long, saying “it has to get better” and that the drops need to end. The return of Santonio Holmes will address the problem to a degree, but Stephen Hill’s inability to catch the ball during minicamp as well as the play of the rest of the group has made it a position of real concern. Could the Jets try and sign an unsigned player? There’s not a lot of stellar options left: Brandon Lloyd, Austin Collie and Laurent Robinson highlight the group with Moss, Breaston, Doucet and former Jet Braylon Edwards also available.
Sounds Serious — According to Rich Cimini, Santonio told the Jets website (though I don’t see the quote now) that had suffered a grade-four Lisfranc injury — the most serious designation. Santonio seems optimistic that he’ll be ready for training camp, but it’s hard to imagine that it will be an easy process getting back on the field and that Rex Ryan will take many chances even if he can.
The Replacements — The Jets were banking on picking up a veteran free agent or a player through the draft, and neither seemed to happen for the Jets. One has to think that the team’s addition of TE Kellen Winslow has a lot to do with the team’s troubles at the receiving position. Right now, Winslow could realistically jump to the top of the depth chart even though he was basically out of football last year but it comes down to his ability to stand up to the grind of training camp and a sixteen game season. With the problems at the WR spot adding a pass-catching TE is a sensible solution, but it will only work if Winslow can stay on the field and out of the traininer’s room. The Jets are going to have to decide during cutdowns whether his production will trump the cost of using a roster spot to hold onto him. If Hayden Smith is smart, he’ll dedicate as much of the time between now and training camp to working on his blocking. It would be the best way to distinguish himself Cumberland and Winslow, the likely two top guys.
Will the Wildcat be Wild Once Again? — The Jets took Wildcat snaps during practice this spring and that shouldn’t come as a surprise as it was David Lee, not Tony Sparano, who was the mastermind behind the Miami Dolphins Wildcat in 2008. The three elements of the Wildcat are (1) a direct or shotgun snap to the running back, (2) an unbalanced line and (3) motion from a skill player, most likely a running back. While those are the elements, the keys are having an offensive line who is aggressive in run blocking, deep enough to add some effective sixth or seventh linemen as required and quick to fire off the ball. That coupled with backfield players who can read the developing play and then use their power or speed accordingly to find a crease in the defense are what makes the Wildcat purr. Last year, the Jets ran Wildcat plays and were ineffective in the hands of Tony Sparano. With David Lee now in the mix, the team should be able to get back to some effective use of the package and can also make use of Jeremy Kerley in the group as he was quite effective in the role at the end of last season, even heaving a long completion.