Game Notes: Preseason Week 4 – Eagles at Jets

Chris Pantale, Jake Knott

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Here’s some thoughts I had from tonight’s 27-20 win by the Jets over the Eagles during Week 4 of the preseason.

Overall observations

The Man, The Mornhinweg — The play in this fourth preseason game is usually atrocious compared to fall Sunday standards, but the rhythmic work of the team’s West Coast system had me buzzing … that or maybe it was the 750ML bottle of 9.2% ABV Hardywood Stout that I was drinking … Anyway, Marty’s ability to consistently scheme receivers open could buoy whoever the Jets quarterback is come what may this season.

Matt SimmsSimms Like a Keeper – Last week the best quarterback was Matt Simms, tonight Simms was the only one who threw passes for the team, and he looked sharp at times.  There were times early on when Simms struggled, but to be fair a lot of that came because Jason Smith looked like a turnstile.  Even so, he should have had the sense to throw the ball away in the end zone, and that’s an example of the game still being too fast for him.   Even so, once the Jets were able to stabilize the line (get Smith out of the game) Simms play quickly improved.  McElroy is injured, but should he lose his job to Simms?  We’ll find out this weekend …

Individual observations

Oday Aboushi — It didn’t start off well for Aboushi, who was called for a hold on the very first play of the game from scrimmage.  Aboushi had some ups, but it was more downs for the rookie from Virginia.

Kahlil BellKahlil Bell — A good night as a runner on the whole by Bell, but he was badly beat by a Brandon Graham who after blowing up Bell, then caused the safety on the Jets first series.

Leger Douzable — Another good night and another example of why he should make the team.  Douzable got some pressure into the backfield and created some plays for the Jets from the line of scrimmage.

Vlad Ducasse — Ducasse saw some time during the first half of the game and played passably as the team’s right guard.  Ducasse showed some excellent quickness, blocking and great “play to the whistle on a zone stretch run to the right side in the first quarter.  Ducasse even helped push Bell forward another few yards by knocking the entire scrum forward at the end of the play. 

Antonio Garay — Garay’s name wasn’t called much, but he did do a good job of getting some pressure on more than one occasion, most notably on the third down play in which ended the Eagles second drive.

Rontez MilesMiles played well on special teams, the Jets might be extending his time in New York as a practice squadder this fall based on some promising coverage work.

Zach RogersHis play in the second half will be what jumps out on the game tape for the coaches, but to his credit he did start out the game well with some good catches ending the game with four on the night.  Still, the drop and muffed punt could jeopardize his status with the team.

Ricky Sapp — Sapp had a great forced fumble on the defense’s first series to set up the Jets in good field position for their first scoring drive.

Caleb Schlauderhaff — #72 played as the center during the course of the game and as far as I can tell, didn’t seem to embarrass himself.  With the team searching for a backup center and Jason Smith playing worse than ever, there’s a growing likelihood that he makes the team as the backup center — of course unless someone else better comes along through the NFL “Minidraft” this weekend …

Ryan Spadola — Spadola played well again, catching six passes for 47 yards and demonstrating a knack as a possession style receiver, something the Jets have been searching for with signings like Braylon Edwards and Mohammed Massaquoi.  Spadola did have a fumble, but also had at least one tackle on special teams.

Jason Smith — Play after play, Smith was abused early and often by the Eagles pass rushers.  Bull rush, finesse move … he couldn’t stop anything all night.  Smith plays way too high to get any leverage on a defensive lineman and just seemed to be playing out the string.  After a horrible performance against second and third stringers, I have no idea how he makes the team unless they list him as “Fat Tight End” on the roster.  #63 is not eligible for me anymore.

Brian Winters — Bull rushed on the early sack, Winters had trouble being paired with Jason Smith.  Winters seems like a player with potential, but right now he seems too raw to take on a full-time role.