Four storylines from this week’s Jets OTAs

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

In preparation for the 2014 season, many Jets players participated in the team’s voluntary Organized Team Activities this past week.  Here’s what we learned from the Jets during their two days of practice. 

All Eyes on Dee — The Jets drafted Dee Milliner ninth overall in 2013 to be a major component of the Jets defense going forward.  He has the size, the speed, the range and the athleticism to be a world-class NFL corner, but he’s had some trouble staying on the field.  After pulling a hamstring in practice, Rex lauded Milliner for knowing to pull up and not aggravate the injury, but Rex’s aggravation was at keeping Milliner on the field so that he could continue to learn and become a focal point for the Jets defense.  “His challenge will be to be in world-class shape,” Ryan told reporters on Wednesday this past week.  “Because we’ve got to have [Milliner] out there. He needs to be out there and he needs to get work, because that’s when he’s going to get better … he has to step it up because I think he has all the talent in the world.”   For Rex, there must be something about those NFL sophomores.  He seems to like to call them out as the team heads into training camp.

Jace AmaroLots of Work Ahead  — The Jets made a number of additions to the offense but the first one the team made in the draft is trying to tread water in the deep end of the NFL pool.   Rookie tight end Jace Amaro seems to be having a tough time adjusting to the new offense and himself admitted that he was thinking too much about what he should be doing and where he should be.  Tight ends can be lifesavers for young quarterbacks or free agent quarterbacks adjusting to a team with new personnel.  Amaro will be a big part of this team moving forward but it is important for him to do as much study between now and training camp to get himself off on the right foot.

Bullish on the Dozier — When asked this week about what rookies have stood out to him, head coach Rex Ryan praised Dakota Dozier on his versatility, but also called out his jumpiness.  “We’ve put [Dozier] in there, right side, left side, different things, and he’s done some good things,” Ryan said. “Then he’s also jumped offsides about five times, but [we’re] seeing some positives.”

How will OLB Antwan Barnes recovery play out? — Last year the Jets brought in Antwan Barnes to be a situational pass-rusher for the team, but he suffered a Week 5 ACL injury.  So how will his recovery proceed and how would the Jets use him this year?  ACLs are tricky and while recovery is possible, Barnes will be 30 this year and the game’s best players generally need a full year to recover.  The good thing for Barnes is that in the role he was designated last season, he was tasked with getting after the passer, so the lateral agility needed to corral ball-carriers might not be an issue.  Barnes was effective at hurrying the passer for the Jets, so if he appears to be close to full-speed this summer, the Jets might be able to carve out a roster spot for him, but at present his making the 53 man roster might be a mild surprise.

To Sir, With Love — While the Jet player in question who addressed Mike Vick as ‘sir’ was likely just doing it out of respect, it seems as this story is taking Vick down The Darkest Timeline.  It seems like coming to New York has put Vick into something of an existential crisis that he’s not faced to this point in his NFL career; that of the veteran superstar who must come to terms with aging gracefully.  Some fans might never experience empathy for Vick, but there’s some sadness (to me) in watching this unfold.  Vick seems to be doing all the right things in how he has approached his second-string status and in his attempts to diffuse any controversy, but the media keep making an issue of an as-of-yet non-issue.




30 comments
NYCPEinGermany
NYCPEinGermany

" but at present his making the 53 man roster might be a mild surprise"


I'll be more surprised if he doesn't make the team

Pete 57
Pete 57

Does Dee Milliner really have trouble staying on the field? How many games did he miss due to injury last year?

bradysucks
bradysucks

Seems to me like Vick would beat out Geno in a fair competition......


I think the Jets should start whichever QB looks better in camp and pre-season.........No need to RUSH Geno's development if he isn't clearly better than Vick.......The way I see it if Vick starts the season and Geno replaces him like Foles replaced Vick it boosts Geno's confidence......


But if you start Geno and then he is benched for Vick it could end Geno's career as a Jet.......at least as a starting QB

juunit
juunit

It is slightly disappointing that we haven't heard many good things about the new receivers so far. All we've got is Amaro is a dumb-dumb and the rookie wide outs we haven't heard a peep about. Hell, even the Decker news was just that he skipped a practice. And Nelson is dying of Ebola.


I was really hoping for a "Receiver X has torn the OTAs a new a-hole" story.

Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

One doesn't read "bad things" very often  about a tight end.  Moreso in an OTA in early June. Factor in it's a NY Jets tight end, and  it can be like stickum for an eternity.


Could result in more harm than good.




bklyndude
bklyndude

I'm not sure Dee Milliner is going to be a storyline as much as the secondary as a whole.   Some new guys need to get comfortable with each other. I like the players,  just think they are going to need some time to gel.

Bent
Bent moderator

Four storylines?  So...which of the above is Bassett implying is a non-story?

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@bradysucks You got to see what the kid's got with better talent around him, next season there's Franchise QB potential in the Draft and it's important to know if we can go forward with Geno or grab one of those in the draft. He needs a full season's worth of snaps to make a well informed decision, by starting Vick not only do you short change Geno, but the organization.

Brendan
Brendan

@bradysucks "Seems to me like Vick would beat out Geno in a fair competition......"


Based on what? Vick hasn't exactly lit the world on fire in OTAs. 

bradysucks
bradysucks

@juunit


Many of the Jets players have said Jalen Saunders is impressive........Vick said Clyde Gates looks good.....


Evans and Enunwa have to learn the offense before we can get a feel for how they can contribute.....Neither of them has the speed or elusiveness making cuts as Saunders who is a serious weapon

williamg1
williamg1

@juunit All the reporters stated Shaq Evans has made it through OTAs mistake-free. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@williamg1 @Pete 57 It was three although he was struggling right before those three games so I wouldn't be surprised if that was more of a benching that they just attributed to injury so as to deflect any negativity off him.

williamg1
williamg1

@Pablo Bruno @bradysucks If Geno can't beat out a guy who's nothing but a backup at this point in his career (Vick) then he we shouldn't wait around for him. That wouldn't be fair to the other guys on the team. 

BDarc23
BDarc23

For one thing based on how each played last year.

bradysucks
bradysucks

@jake100 @bradysucks


You are being absolutely ridiculous.....absurd.....and naive....


Geno had 12 touchdowns and 21 turnovers and a 66 QB rating last year and you are saying Mike Vick can't compete with him......You are trippin fool


Let them compete.....and don't rush Geno's development

Bent
Bent moderator

@bradysucks Damon Harrison said Ford was impressive. 

juunit
juunit

@williamg1 @juunit 

I'm not sure "he didn't screw up" is quite the positive story I was looking for. But I'll take it. 

bradysucks
bradysucks

@williamg1 @bradysucks


I hope Hill proves me wrong......


We passed on Alshon Jeffrey to draft him (rolls eyes) - Thanks Tannenbaum

Bent
Bent moderator

@juunit @williamg1 Maybe the fact none of the receivers tore things up in OTAs bodes well for our much-maligned secondary though.

juunit
juunit

@Bent @juunit @williamg1 

I dunno, really all depends on the specific people too. Like in spring training some guys bat .400 and others bat .100. But those same guys end the year at .260. Lots of rookies too, so extra slow starts aren't abnormal.

levi
levi

@Bent  Or it could mean our QB stinks.

levi
levi

@juunit  I read somewhere that Evans was not very impressive...

juunit
juunit

@levi @juunit 

I know I've said that before. Having watched lots of UCLA, he never impressed me. If I'd made a draft board, Enunwa would've been higher than Evans. 

levi
levi

@juunit  But Gates is impressing some people.