Jets training camp preview: Specialists

We will be providing position-by-position breakdowns leading up to Jets training camp this Thursday.  For now, we focus on the specialists.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

On the roster: K Nick Folk, K Andrew Furney, P Ryan Quigley, P Jacob Schum, LS Tanner Purdum

Nick Folk2013 notes: After four seasons with the Jets, the team finally awarded Folk with a multi-year deal after posting a 91.7% field goal percentage.  With a young quarterback, the kicking game can be invaluable.  We don’t expect there to be a serious competition from Furney over the job.  Also likely to retain his role unhindered, longsnapper Tanner Purdum.

Quigley seems likely to come out of camp with the job, but with a new special teams coach in the building, it is anyone’s guess.  The Jets real problems were in the coverage units last year backing up the work of the kicker and punter.  Due to the team’s depth concerns, kick and punt coverage became an issue.

The return game will most likely be up in the air this year for the Jets.  Josh Cribbs was the returner for the Jets during much of the second half of the season, but his speed was a problem and the Jets didn’t do a great job of chewing up yards off punts and kicks as they have in years past.

Overall outlook: With Folk, Quiqley and Purdum, the Jets seem set. While always steady, Folk seemed to come into his own in 2013, with his kicks helping to win at least three of the team’s eight wins.  Special teams should be better this year with an influx of draft picks to use and will allow the kicker and punter to better pin opponents.  That said, it comes down to whether new special teams coach Tim McGaughey can scheme well enough.  Folk’s mechanical adjustments that allowed him to be such a precise kicker in 2013 were noticeable, but based on his historical numbers we should assume some reduction in his completion percentage might be in store in 2014.

Camp competition:  Finding their key special teamers for coverage will take training camp, but the real story will be who becomes the team’s returner.  We likely won’t know for sure until the lights come on in preseason football, but look for rookie WR Jalen Saunders to be the hopeful solutiono on either punts, kicks or both.




78 comments
levi
levi

Why do I keep seeing stuff about "Get your free tickets to training camp" ?  Hasnt it always been free with a parking fee?

jaygo
jaygo

I'm far from a Serby fan but his Sunday article got my juices flowing.


http://nypost.com/2014/07/19/what-to-be-watching-for-as-football-season-gears-up/


Oakland comes to town game one with Schaub, MJD, Tuck, Woodly, Mack and a new coach.  Should be interesting.  Tuck starting his post-Giants life at Met Life in the silver and black is actually a little scary.


Nice to see Jets issues contrived with a bunch of teams having real issues.  NY media seems to be spending a lot more time worrying about the Giants than picking on the Jets.  Coughlin's hot seat is, IMHO, a lot hotter than Rex's hot seat. 

bob
bob

I miss Brad Smith on special teams he was a good one defending and on returns.

williamg1
williamg1

Best way to keep Folk's leg fresh is to let Boss Hogg go for 2 after every TD. 

a57se
a57se

Folk didn't make any mechanical adjustments last season. He cut down on how much kicking he did PRIOR to the season. Something Westhof would never let him do...Folk showed the team that other kickers were kicking approximately half as much as Westy was having him kick. That left him fresh down the stretch which he hadn't been (As Bent pointed out) his first two seasons with the team.

Brendan
Brendan

Folk's natural bend on his kicks makes me weak in the knees, even now when I know it's coming, but man did that guy kill it last year. 15-17 on kicks over 40 yards last year (nailing all 3 attempts from 50+), plus some game-winners? Sign me up for some more of that, please. 


FOLK HERO! FOUR MORE YEARS!

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

For $3.5 million, I would've kept Cro, played him at corner for a reduced snap count, and had him return kicks.

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

@bob 

Coughlin is his father-in-law?  That'll make for an awkward Thanksgiving dinner.  "HEY QUITTER WHO COST ME MY JOB, would you pass the potatoes?"

__fense
__fense

@levi You have to pre-register and print out tickets in advance. It's so that they don't fill up and have to start turning people away at the door, and so that they have a hard count of how many people showed up.

Bent
Bent moderator

@jaygo Manish referred to Rex's seat as "scorching" in an article he tweeted out this morning.  Nobody's saying that about Coughlin are they?

levi
levi

@jaygo IDK Coughlin has two very cool rings to lower the temp of his seat.

jsadolph
jsadolph

@bob 

He learned the hard way in Buffalo that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.  Maybe he way just a product of Westy.(BTW I liked him too)

rkymtnjet
rkymtnjet

@a57se I didn't know that, thanks for sharing! I knew kickers/punters are on limited kick counts, but didn't realize that Westoff had Folk going at almost double the league average.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Ceifus Hornswoggle If $3.5m was good value for a kick returner/part timer then Leon Washington or Brad Smith would never have left in the first place.


It is not.

Joe/Orlando
Joe/Orlando

@Ceifus Hornswoggle I loved watching Cro return kicks. His technique seemed to be catch the ball, run full speed for the end zone and don't worry so much about screwing around and setting up blocks. I'm not sure it's the most effective way to return kicks but I always had fun watching it.


For what he got paid I probably would have rolled the dice a bit and brought him back as well.

levi
levi

@__fense  I just printed them. That would of sucked to get there and not have them.

levi
levi

@Bent  Nobody other than Manish is saying that about Rex either are they? 


Rex might just like that though because he knows it motivates his players.

a57se
a57se

@rkymtnjet @a57se 

There was an article about it last February or March... I don't recall if there was a piece on TJB about it but I know we did discuss it at the time...Maybe Bent can point us to a link. I tried Google but couldn't find it.

Joe/Orlando
Joe/Orlando

@Bent @Ceifus Hornswoggle That may be true, but part of that $3.5m would have been taking a chance that last year's Cro was an aberration. It would have been a gamble but if it paid off he would have been a bargain.

Brendan
Brendan

@Joe/Orlando There are few professional athletes I've ever seen who had a stride like Cro's. One of those guys who seems to actually fly, not run. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@bob @Ceifus Hornswoggle Nah, they've been preparing for life without him for a while.  He didn't really contribute last year.  Shouldn't hurt the Giants too much compared with last year.

jsadolph
jsadolph

@bob @jsadolph 

He is an example of what Tebow could have been, if Tebow would have accepted a position change.

Teebs has a complletely different body type, but he was a great athlete.  I am not sure where he would excel at, but he had potential that he wouldn't allow himself to use.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Joe/Orlando


Maybe it would have been a worthwhile gamble.  As I've stated, I think Cro would have been back if he'd kept his mouth shut this offseason, but Patterson is a similar gamble for slightly less money.

a57se
a57se

@Bent @Ceifus Hornswoggle 

Devin Hester signed a 3 year, $9 million dollar contract...he doesn't contribute as much on offense as Cro would as a nickel CB...

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

@Brendan @Joe/Orlando 

And it was cool how he'd hold the ball out in one hand, waving it around, just teasing defenders to dive for it.  Reminded me of vintage Mark Sanchez, one of the leagues all time lethal leg threats.

a57se
a57se

@jsadolph 

Uh, No.

Tebow was no where near as Dynamic as Brad Smith...

Bent
Bent moderator

@jsadolph


"He is an example of what Tebow could have been, if Tebow would have accepted a position change."


Moreover, he's a best-case example of what we could have got with the pick we traded for Tebow.

bob
bob

@jsadolph 

Tebow did all right. I think he made a least 5mill bucks in his contract. not to mention all those commercial's.

a57se
a57se

@Brendan @a57se 

Thanks for the Links...that was from in season...

I could have sworn there was an article about this back when the Jets re-signed Folk for the 2013 season.

Joe/Orlando
Joe/Orlando

@Bent @Joe/Orlando I admit I have a soft spot for Cro for some reason so I wouldn't have minded seeing him back. But my guess is that while the odds of success for Cro versus Patterson are in the same ballpark at least, Patterson is probably the better fit for our D if he's more willing to jam receivers so realistically it's probably the better gamble to take of the two. It's also possible the Jets doctors know a little more about Cro's injury than other teams' doctors do. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent @Ceifus Hornswoggle Devin Hester is one of the best kick returners EVER.  Recent history showed that whoever the Jets put back there was capable of getting success in Westhoff's systems.  I think that strengthens my point rather than weakens it.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se Cro's pretty terrible in the slot and against the types of receivers who typical inhabit that role. If he's a 3rd CB, he'd be a Darrin Walls type who comes in and plays on the outside while a starter slides inside. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se I didn't think that mattered since they're discussing the same stuff. 

a57se
a57se

@Bent @a57se @Ceifus Hornswoggle 

I don't know about 'strengthening your point' or not...Hester provided little else to a team except his return ability. His edge there would be counter balanced by Cro's edge on the field for other duties.

jsadolph
jsadolph

@Brendan @a57se 

True. I wouldn't want a long strider covering little shifty guys.  Cro was amazing at recovering and using his athleticism to create an advantage.  But on the inside on timing routes, he would get burnt all day.

a57se
a57se

@jsadolph @a57se 

Tebow was a nice college player with a great backstory. I wish we would collectively forget about him now...

a57se
a57se

@Brendan @a57se 

It is not important from an information standpoint...I could easily be confusing the issue.

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent @Ceifus Hornswoggle Eh whatever, I know one thing... when I heard that they were emphasizing defensive holding my first thought was I'm glad we didn't keep Cro.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se What does "a match up guy" mean? You hold him out until a positive match up presents itself? Someone like Mike Wallace that Cro can just turn and run with all game? 

jaygo
jaygo

@bob @Bent @Ceifus Hornswoggle


FYI, I've been at more than a couple charity events where Snee spoke and he ALWAYS took cheap shots at the Jets.  Got to the point where I declined go to an annual Boy Scout dinner because they brought back Snee to talk.  When they asked why I said no, I found out a bunch of people felt the same so they ultimately decided to get Justin Tuck instead.  Tuck was pretty cool actually.  In the Q&A I asked him if there was one QB he enjoyed sacking more than others and he said "no, they all taste the same to me."

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Brendan From memory it wasn't just before the season that they cut down his workload but also during the season.  Also, it was THREE previous seasons that Folk had struggled down the stretch, not two.


This is similar to when the Jets got Tomlinson after two bad years and it was noted that he did well until he hit a certain number of carries then hit a wall, so the hope was a reduced workload could benefit him which proved to be the case (and now of course we hope the same happens with CJ).

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @jsadolph @Brendan Not physical enough.  Jimmy Graham ate him alive last season on the couple of occasions they were mixed up.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se He's also built like a scarecrow. You think his lanky self is going to hold up against a beast TE? 

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

@a57se @Ceifus Hornswoggle @Brendan 

If Cro's hands were a little smaller, he might not have so many kids.  Chicks see those hands and think, "Dang, why beat around the bush, when you can go straight to the bottom of the well."  Unfortunately, it guarantees that Cro is directly spraying the egg sack, with a 100% chance of fertilization by a scientifically impossible horde of salted milk.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se You could insert most TEs and have a similar result. They'd out-muscle Cro and hold a size advantage. Cro's only weapon would be athleticism, but that wouldn't be enough most times. 

jsadolph
jsadolph

@BDarc23 @jsadolph @a57se @Brendan 

It will be intresting to see how he does this year.  If his hips are healed, he could still produce at a high level.  I hope we didn't suffer through a terrible year while he was recovering and dump him as he fully healed.

a57se
a57se

@Brendan @a57se 

Well, I disagree....

Cro is 6'2" tall and 210 pounds. 

Antonio Allen is 6'2" tall and 202 pounds.

Cro is the same size as most safeties in this league...

I don't think he'd allow himself to be pushed around. It was the smaller, shifty guys who gave him fits.


BDarc23
BDarc23

@jsadolph @BDarc23 @a57se @Brendan yes, well he didn't miss any games or need surgery so it's a bit of a phantom injury.  I wouldn't be shocked if he had a decent year teaming with Patrick Peterson but I bet he gives up some long TDs.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se You're ignoring multiple facts here. First, Cromartie is a very lanky 210 pounds. Allen is 210 pounds, not sure where you got your # from (Combine weighed in at 210 and listed as 210 on team website). 


Both are very athletic and Cromartie is deceptively strong, but that doesn't change the fact that they play the game like polar opposites. Cromartie has always been a guy who is best without a ton of contact where he can try to use his physical gifts to do things other CB's couldn't do. He was never physical. Allen, on the other hand, played Rover in college, which is essentially a LB role and has lived in the box for years. 


Comparing them without any context does nothing for this discussion since they're completely different types of players. Allen was marking TEs in college, Cro was chasing speedy receivers or nursing a torn ACL. 

a57se
a57se

@Brendan @a57se 

I think you are over rating the physical part of covering TE's...

Cro is much more experienced in covering receivers than Allen is and has a proven track record of doing so...

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se "I think you are over rating the physical part of covering TE's..."


Why, might I ask? 


They're bigger and stronger than WR's, they block DL so the physicality of their game is usually far beyond a WR. 

Allen is much more experienced in covering TEs than Cro, so I don't get what your point is. Cro has no proven track record covering TEs, unless by that you mean "repeatedly bested by them."