Impact players: Quiet contributors

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Over the next few days, we’re going to take a look at some key Jets players this season centered around a themes.  Next up, we’ll look at some of the more reliable players on the team, whom the Jets will be relying upon for consistent and steady production once again…

NFL: New Orleans Saints at New York JetsNick Bellore (LB) — Bellore was used almost exclusively as a special teamer in 2013, ranking 15th overall (tied) according to Pro Football Focus, and while we expect him to still have a pivotal role as one of the leader’s on special teams, don’t be surprised if the Jets feel more confident in using Bellore on defense, thanks to the Jets bringing in a number of rookies who will help to fill out what was a depleted special teams unit in 2013.

Leger Douzable (DL) — Of all the players on the Jets defensive line, Douz gets some of the least publicity, but as the 2013 season wore on, Douzable saw more reps on a game-by-game basis. While the Jets might not have been sure what they had in Douzable, what we’re sure they saw was that the line’s overall play didn’t drop off significantly with him in on the field in sub-package work. Douzable was successful against the run and the pass and we expect more of the same from him in an expanded role to give the starters a rest more often.

harris-dDavid Harris (ILB) — Rex Ryan praised Harris to the skies this week by questioning why a player like he would be left out of the NFL’s Top 100 players. Lists are always bad, but Harris is just another poster child of why the NFL must recover the ranking from the hands of the players. The voting system is drastically flawed (ably demonstrated by Bill Barnwell last year) and this year’s group is no less problematic. Stats producers and recency bias runs rampant and so it’s not as shocking to me that Harris was left out, but while Harris is a crucial element to the Jets defense, his pay hasn’t matched his ProFootballFocus grading for a long time. Harris is often one of the league’s best inside players against the run, but the biggest problem with Harris has always been his ability to play well in pass coverage. With a group of linemen ahead of him that will have another year in Rex’s system under their belt, expect good things from Harris in what might be his last year with the team.

Nick Mangold (OC) — D’Brickashaw Ferguson might garner more attention for good or ill, but it is Mangold who has held the interior of this line together and done so at a very high level dating back to his early days as a Jet. Mangold’s and Brick’s grades suffered last year with a rookie quarterback and problematic play at left guard all season. Even so, Mangold’s no less dominant than he has been and if the guard play can take a turn for the better in 2014, expect a return to top rankings for Mangold.

David Nelson (WR) — Nelson came to the team late in 2013, but ended up as a helpful target for Geno Smith with 36 catches (20 for first downs) and 2TDs. Nelson’s large catch radius and work as a possession receiver worked well with the rookie quarterback and the two developed a rapport quickly thanks to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s scheme. Nelson might lose some targets over the course of the season with more receivers on the roster and the possibility that the team will run more two TE sets, but expect him to still be a helpful third down and red zone target for the Jets offense.





130 comments
Brendan
Brendan

@UncleJoesJetFarm Feel free to stop linking to Dolphin-affiliated reports and articles, Joey. 


Their kicker was a heaping pile of trash last year, but they're somehow #2. Okay. 

jsadolph
jsadolph

@UncleJoesJetFarm 

It's funny to see the Phins bragging about how good their punter is.  Talk about scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

@jsadolph @UncleJoesJetFarm

Phins fans would troll onto Jets articles by Florio et al.  Easiest way to hit reality with them is they have not won a playoff game this century!!


Our "lousy Jests" prevented them from going to the playoffs last season.  Another possible reason  why LeBron left.

Brendan
Brendan

@UncleJoesJetFarm Someone posted an article where rookies found out their actual Madden ratings and had their reactions taped, pretty funny. 


Manziel said he thought he should be in the 88-92 range. 

nesboogie
nesboogie

Coples was working out with Terrell Suggs?

Bent
Bent moderator

@nesboogie This was a rumor Bassett heard from a very reliable source close to Q.  We've yet to verify it.

bklyndude
bklyndude

@a57se

The Jets defensive line is pretty good and David Harris can be a pretty good player behind them.  He's just paid more than he should be, not really a big deal after this year.

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @bklyndude I think Harris is better than Ray Lewis was over the last few years of his career.  This is more a comment about how Lewis did not deserve to be considered as a top ILB by then though.

Brendan
Brendan

@Bent Someone should go back through game film just to tally the amount of times the NFL credited him with a tackle when all he did was flop into a mass of bodies after the play was over. 

harold
harold

@Bent

You are pushing it just a little with this comparison.  Comparing 36 and 37 year old Ray Lewis to a last year 29 year old Harris.

Harris has been grossly overpaid the last several years.  He has never been a top overall LB, imo.  He is a good player, but a top 100 player as Rex believes he may be is just silly.

Bent
Bent moderator

@harold It's not a comparison.  I brought Lewis up because people gushed over how valuable and important he was to that Super Bowl team when the reality was that he was more of a liability than Harris has ever been in coverage and otherwise did not perform well.


However, he's well respected and people gave him credit for being a leader and lynchpin on that unit.  Which suggests that Harris deserves respect for the same things too and therefore Rex's comment had merit even if it was over the top.

Bent
Bent moderator

@harold Is he grossly overpaid now at $5m or slightly overpaid?

levi
levi

@harold Doesnt he make a lot of the calls on D?

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent @harold


The voters who included Lewis in the top 100 do exist though, so this is not a strawman argument.  Well, unless you believe Donte Whitner.

harold
harold

@Bent

Even at 5 million per he is overpaid. The grossly was in repsonse to the last several years. 

He is a 2-3 million per player at this point in his career.

levi
levi

@Bent  Thats probably not to easy to replace.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se If that's your agenda, sure, but you will continue to get called out on it. 

harold
harold

@Brendan

If we reduced his snaps accordingly (specifically passing downs),

Yes!

To still have playing almost 100% of the snaps,

No!

Bent
Bent moderator

@harold That's fair.  


When Harris replaced Vilma, the transition was more or less seamless, so hopefully that bodes well for Harris' eventual replacement.

Brendan
Brendan

@harold I can live with that, given his value to the defense as a whole (play calls, etc.). Hopefully the team has a plan set up for replacing him, though. 


Question, since you're his toughest critic on here: if he came back for, say, $2-$3 million a year for a couple of years, would you be okay with that? Since it appears they don't have his replacement on-hand, it might help the transition to his eventual replacement. 

harold
harold

@Bent

I would not compare Harris as an emotional leader to Lewis.  He can help teach the defense since he has played in it so long.

But I seriously don't see us missing him when he leaves.  What he brings on the field is so flawed, imo, that when he leaves I don't see the defense suffering at all.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se That is not the same thing, since you use that term to refer to people on this blog. If you didn't use it so generally, we wouldn't think you were referring to us. 


Glad that's solved. 

Brendan
Brendan

@harold Yeah, sorry, that's with the reduced snap count. 


I like David and wouldn't mind seeing him finish out his career here, but it's definitely time to look at replacing him. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@Brendan @Bent Just go into his career stats page.  It's right there under total tackles for 2013.

__fense
__fense

@a57se @Brendan Remember when you weren't sure why people didn't like you?


It's an insult. If you think someone's wrong, prove it with facts. Don't just insult people who prove you wrong, and everyone will be much better off. 

harold
harold

@Brendan

As I have always stated I don't don't personally dislike Harris.

But the problem with the Jets is we hold onto good players.  If Harris was an all-time great okay.  But I just think with players like Harris you need to move on in most cases when their play declines.

I am not opposed to keeping him at a big dip in salary.  However if he pulls an Urlacher and thinks he is worth much more than 2 million per season, you thank him for his time and let him go.

Also draft his replacement in the 1st two rounds of the draft next year.

Brendan
Brendan

@Marcus Armstrong I wouldn't be surprised if that's the eventual plan. 


Unrelated, but the preview you tweeted last night of your site looks great, man. Excited to check it out once it's ready. 

Marcus Armstrong
Marcus Armstrong

@Brendan @Marcus Armstrong Thanks! Got a lot more work to do on sorting out the controls and such, but yeah, it's coming along nicely.


But yeah. I think the whole... drafting-a-first-round-safety was something of an admission by Rex that the age of the LB is somewhat over, and he didn't want to tie himself to an ILB in on every play.

Alec Wilson
Alec Wilson

@Bent @Brendan  Guys please correct me if I'm wrong but Harris never really comes out the game ? I love the guy but he is a liability in coverage, so really don't understand why the Jets don't take him out and go with a 3 safety look on third downs +4 yards.....I know he calls the plays but surely this would improve the defence and keep him fresher as well.


Just watched most of the season on Gamepass, my word how bad was Cromarty last year and Geno talk about jekell and hyde !!

Bent
Bent moderator

@Alec Wilson @Bent @Brendan I disagree that he's a liability in coverage.  He plays the underneath zone most of the time or spies a back and typically does that pretty well.  


The main reason he doesn't come out is because he's the guy with the headset.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Marcus Armstrong @Brendan If Pryor wears the headset that will enable the Jets to go 4-0-7 on passing downs.  I can see the league moving in that direction.

David Aron
David Aron

@Bent @Marcus Armstrong @Brendan
bent - would that make it the 4-7 defense?
the son does the father one better :)

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@harold Good call Harold.He's just not that good and he should be relatively easy to replace.Although i don't see anyone on this roster at this time i would project as a quality starter.

hitchhiker
hitchhiker

Has there been any indication from the team that Bellore will have a role on defense this year, or even that he is being groomed for a role on defense?

Harris' contract is expiring after this year & the team's depth at ILB is very thin.

Bent
Bent moderator

@hitchhiker


Rex did imply after the season that they were reluctant to use Bellore and Lankster on defense because they were so integral to the coverage units (and that this wouldn't be as much of an issue in 2014).

Brendan
Brendan

@Bent I saw last night that the Jets worked out Quentin Groves, since he's pretty useless on defense do you think this was more of a STs workout? 

levi
levi

@Brendan  Pass rusher and ex Browns Special teams captain the link says.

Bent
Bent moderator

@levi @Brendan He's really not a pass rusher.  Not a good one anyway.


It's a possibility, perhaps.  He did play 240 special teams snaps in 2012.  I don't know that he's especially highly regard on teams though.

hitchhiker
hitchhiker

@bent this draft should have bolstered the STs.

George, Reilly, & Enunwa should be capable of contributing on the coverage units. Dixon & IK are possibilities here, as well.

Saunders should add some excitement on punt returns.

Outside of Ford, I don't think anyone on the team has a lot of experience returning kicks, but Shaq Evans & McDougle may have potential in that role.

Bent
Bent moderator

@hitchhiker That's the plan.  Are any of those five locks to make the active roster though?

bklyndude
bklyndude

@hitchhiker

Maybe Jeremiah George will surprise us,  he looks like a tank.

Let's get this training camp started,  I want to see all of our new toys !!!

hitchhiker
hitchhiker

@bent I think George, Reilly, & Enunwa are very strong candidates to make the roster. IK & Dixon seem a bit more 'limited' to me, & I'm not sure what to expect from them at this point.

Brendan
Brendan

@Bent That was my recollection, too. And with the crowded OLB competition (where Groves would play) I can't see them sneaking him onto the roster even if he's a full-time STs guy. 

Brendan
Brendan

@hitchhiker I could see Enunwa going to the PS. He's still pretty raw, a year of seasoning could really help him. 

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@hitchhiker So you think a 6-1 265 LB who runs a 5.2 40 is actually gonna run down the field and tackle somebody? Give me a break.This clown is destined for the waiver wire as another of Izzy's follies!

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@hitchhiker I think Dixon has the size and speed to contribute on specials. Ike on the other hand is just too damn slow bro!

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@bklyndude @hitchhiker Just curious but did you see any video on George (not produced by his agent!)? The guy looks like he just got off the set from Sesame Street? I know he's listed at 5-10 235 bur he looks about 5-7 on film. i saw some film on him after the draft and he looked like he was on roller skates going backwards half the time. Again, my prediction is he 's yet another member of Izzy's Follies!

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se A guy like Ik could absolutely be on a kickoff coverage team. And OL are featured on kickoff return teams. 


Like I said, OL/DL do play specials, so calling someone out for saying a DL would play specials is not a good look. 

levi
levi

@Ron Alexander  My guess is theres a lot of 5th round "follies" out there. But just the same lets let him go through camp before cutting him huh?

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Brendan @Ron Alexander Of course I do. But they usually play on return teams in what used to be referred to as the wedge. You don't usually see them running down field to cover kick off's or punts.(especially guys who are timed via sun dial vs. the usual stop watch!

Brendan
Brendan

@Ron Alexander Plodding DT's/NT's? Sure, they'll never see a coverage unit. But a pass rusher? They could. 

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Ron Alexander @bklyndude @hitchhiker

he looks about 5-7 on film......

Excuse me while I laugh at your perception of him.

Not every player drafted is destined to be an impact player or a star.  I'm sure some of these guys drafted will be cut.  Why is that a problem for you.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Ron Alexander @Brendan He'd be a lineman on the punt team and gunning for Garrett's role on kick coverage.  If what you're saying about his speed is true (I think he was injured when he ran 5.2) then he probably won't make his mark.  However, if he plays faster than his official time, then there is a role for that kind of guy.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Bent @a57se @Brendan @Ron Alexander Yes Bent, I hear you, yes he could play on the return teams wedge but I cant see him chasing a kick returner down in the open field. And if he's restricted to doing something like that I'm not sure that will justify a roster spot.

Joe B.
Joe B.

@Bent @Ron Alexander @Brendan From what I've seen of George he plays a lot faster than that 40 time. I personally wouldn't be surprised to see him running down the field to make  a tackle. 

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Brendan @a57se He's not a D-lineman! He's listed as a OLB which is the only position in a 3-4 Rex defense he's physically fit to play. He's way to small to play end or Nose and his speed at OLB just doesn't play in this league. Hey, if you want to believe he's gonna be on this roster good luck! Although I suppose if guys like Aboushi and Campbell could survive a whole year on the active 53 in spite of the fact that they were both inactive for all 16 games I guess anything can happen.

Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

@levi @Brendan


His four game combined  stats (tackles, INTs, Sacks, pressures)  are probably equal to an all-Pro's one game.  Can't see a place for him.  Lacks  the "spark" for  an ST back up.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Brendan @Ron Alexander So you think Ike's a pass rusher? Hey Coples is at least 10 years older than Ike and even he could beat Ike in a foot race. i suppose might be able to catch up with Dan Marino or our old guy Ken O'Brien who are both around 50 years old, but I have my doubts he could even catch Eli or Payton at this point.

Brendan
Brendan

@Tequila Joe Hey, they didn't cut Cruz, they just overlooked him when they went up to UMass to scout Big Vlad. 

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Bent @Ron Alexander @Brendan Yeah, i get that Bent. But again, keeping him around to be a G on the punt team when he brings nothing to the table on defense just seems like a waste of a roster spot and draft pick as well.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@levi @Ron Alexander Agreed. Believe me, i hope you guys are right! I don't have to be right, just like to put stuff out there and get stuff going.

Joe B.
Joe B.

@Brendan @Tequila Joe I heard in a game once that he was a Jet but I just looked it up and they said that was mistake made by some announcer who mistook him for Ware...

Brendan
Brendan

@Ron Alexander Well, they're a year apart, so not sure what you mean by the 10 year comment. 


He ran his 40 with a tweaked hamstring at the combine, he ran a 4.86 at his pro day. And even if his 40 time was 5.2, there was another short, "slow" college DE who was laughed at and went undrafted who turned out okay...former DPOY James Harrison. 


My point isn't that IK will become Harrison, but writing a guy off for a 40 time he ran while not 100% is a stretch, to say the least. He's an effort/strength/motor pass rusher, there's always room for a guy like that with Rex. 

Joe B.
Joe B.

@Brendan Apparently is was Greg Buttle...Too many shots to the head? 

Brendan
Brendan

@Tequila Joe I like Buttle, but he's been known to misfire with the info before. 

Joe B.
Joe B.

@Brendan @Tequila Joe I like Buttle too, I'm pretty sure he's my neighbor I've seen him walking around town. I've never talked with him but I have had some conversations with Mike Francesa who also lives in my town.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@bklyndude @Ron Alexander @hitchhiker No problem, i get that. And George may be a good special teams player. Like i said, he looks awfully small on film and I just don't recall a lot of small ILB's in 3-4 schemes. I remember Parcells taking over the Dolphins and replacing their star ILB Zack Thomas and later Dat Ngyun in Dallas,because he just wasn't big enough to hold up against Guards who out weighed him by as much as a hundred pounds or more. I also remember Jonathan Vilma being a bad fit in Mangini's 3-4 which resulted in his winding up in N.O's. Part of what i call Izzy's Follies is his insistence on going against the grain (almost like he's trying to re-invent the wheel) by picking players that raise a lot of eyebrows when their names are called as either reaches or poor scheme fits? Hey, i know I'm no expert.But i do read a lot and follow the draft process and I sometimes get the impression Izzy is more concerned with proving those that proclaimed him" a cap guy "wrong than he is in putting the best team on the field.How else do you explain keeping guys like Aboushey and Campbell on the 53 man roster last year?

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Brendan @Ron Alexander Coples is at least 10 years older than Ike. As for Ike's lack of speed that was out there well before he bombed at the combine and I would have to wonder who was holding the stop watch when he supposedly ran a 4.46 40? i watched the entire combine and there was no mention of any injury with Ike. Hey, he's a jet and I hope he surprises me but I'm not holding my breath.

Brendan
Brendan

@Ron Alexander " Coples is at least 10 years older than Ike"


Whyyyyyyy do you keep saying this? 

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Brendan @Ron Alexander I don't know where your seeing that but from what I've read he's an OLB? Frankly,it doesn't matter where they list him because at his size and with his speed concerns I think his position will eventually be on the practice squad or the unemployment line.

Brendan
Brendan

@Bent The RUSH is a 4-3 DE with a more kickass name, basically. 

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Ron Alexander @bklyndude @hitchhiker

Do you think the Jets are a team on the rise or just another team treading water ?

I happen to think we've brought in a lot of good players in the last two years under Idzik and the salary cap is in very good shape.

I'm not sure what type of players you are expecting in the mid rounds,  but many of these types are lottery picks where you get lucky once in a while.

If this team gets better production from the QB position,  I have a feeling you will have a different perception of the team and Mr. Idzik.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@bklyndude @Ron Alexander @hitchhiker Excellent question. While I'd like to think we are a team on the rise as I am hoping a 2nd (or more) super bowl victory is a possibility in the near future. But i'm not as sure as many here that we are on the right track. Or that we have brought in that many good players under Izzy. Of note,as a proven talent I count one of his 19 draft picks as clearly a good pick! Now, Pryor, and Amaro look good so far in shorts, and Milliner and Geno flashed last season. But looking good in shorts and flashing is not establishing one's self as a true NFL talent. Like you I'm hopeful, but again none other than Richardson is a sure thing.

Ignoring the better f/a'corners and safety's in spite of having about 35 million in cap space may turn out to be a mistake as there were about a dozen corners that were available that might be better than anyone on our current roster. Bargin hunting for guys with injury histories like Patterson and reaching for a corner in the 3rd round who most draft insiders projected as a 5th or 6th round value also raises questions about Izzy's so called value board. We shall see as things are going to start getting interesting around here.

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Ron Alexander @bklyndude @hitchhiker

If proven talent is the measuring stick for Idzik, I guess it's gonna take a while for John Idzik's report card grade.

I guess you are not going to count Eric Decker or Chris Johnson or Chris Ivory as proven talented acquisitions ?

Sometimes ignoring the better high priced f/a corners is the better long term strategy when building an organization.  It's very easy to throw money at f/a players and keep the fans appeased.  

The harder thing to do is to have a plan and be disciplined enough to stick with it.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@bklyndude @Ron Alexander @hitchhiker Like you i thought the Decker signing was a no brain'er. Not sure how the C.J thing is gonna shake out but if it works out well I will be happy.Believe me, I'm no hater. I'm starting to get up their in age so my time frame is probably a little different than some of the younger guys here. And yes, my patience has been tested as well. My biggest concern about not signing one of the better corners is that our defense's biggest attribute is its ability to generate pressure from inside. Unfortunately, talented as they are, it usually takes a little longer to get there(unless there's a blown assignment) so the corner play could be a problem if our bargain bin F/A fails to play well or stay healthy. Even Millliner is no sure thing at this point and the 3rd rd. corner we drafted is also coming off season ending surgery so maybe we should not have let a guy like DRC walk across the street for a better offer from our New Jersey neighbors?

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Ron Alexander @bklyndude @hitchhiker

If you think the Jets are ready to play football with the big boys this season,  maybe you push your chips into the middle and sign DRC.  I don't think Idzik feels this season is the season to spend big money.  I think the thing we need to find out this season is if Geno is the QB to lead this team into the future because I doubt Vick is the long term answer, although he probably can play a few more years at a decent level.  I'm not sure spending big money on CB is something this defense needed to do.  I would like to find out this season if Dee Milliner is the real deal or at the very least a capable starter.

But my guess is Idzik is more concerned with using his salary cap money to sign Wilkerson and eventually Richardson to long term big money contracts, and possibly Geno if he establishes himself this year or next.

There is also the possibility that one Darrelle Revis could be available next off season if CB is a major problem.  Idzik maintaining flexibility is a good thing and when he deems the time right,  I expect him to push his chips into the middle and address whatever area is the biggest problem on the team.