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.




151 comments
nesboogie
nesboogie

Coples was working out with Terrell Suggs?

a57se
a57se

Harris is a dependent player. He is good when the D'line in front of him can occupy the O'line of the other team. When they can't, Harris is below average as he is not good at getting off blocks. He is not good in coverage and is an average blitzer.

Please stop with the nonsense that he is a top 100 player in the league.


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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

a57se
a57se

@bklyndude @a57se 

Yup and the money he got was also making up for the low pay he received because of the dopey final eight rules...

Harris has been a good Jet but he is not a top ILB.

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.

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.

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. 

Bent
Bent moderator

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

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

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

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.

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.

a57se
a57se

@Bent @harold 

Sounds like you are fighting Strawmen...pretty much everyone on this Blog has not been a fan of Lewis from my recollections.

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 !!

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. 

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.

levi
levi

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

a57se
a57se

@harold 

Unless we replace him with someone worse...

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.

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.

harold
harold

@Brendan

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

Yes!

To still have playing almost 100% of the snaps,

No!

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. 

levi
levi

@Bent  Thats probably not to easy to replace.

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.

a57se
a57se

@Bent @a57se @harold 

So then me calling someone not on this Blog a Happy Mealer because of an overly optimistic sentiment about a Jets player isn't a straw man argument either!

Glad we sorted that out!

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.

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

@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.

__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. 

Brendan
Brendan

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

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 :)