Reactions on the Jets initial 53 man roster: Offense

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

4PM ET Saturday marked the deadline for every NFL team to cut down their roster from 75 to 53 players. Granted, with waiver claims pending and potential free agents in the air the roster that the Jets posted Saturday night might not be exactly the same as the one that lines up next weekend against the Raiders.

Here’s our reactions to the team’s newly named position groups on the offensive side of the ball.

Offensive Line (9)

No. Name Pos. Height Weight Age Years College
63 Freeman, Dalton C 6-5 291 24 1 Clemson
74 Mangold, Nick C 6-4 307 30 9 Ohio State
67 Winters, Brian G 6-4 320 23 2 Kent State
75 Aboushi, Oday OL 6-5 308 23 2 Virginia
66 Colon, Willie OL 6-3 315 31 9 Hofstra
70 Dozier, Dakota OT 6-4 312 23 R Furman
60 Ferguson, D’Brickashaw T 6-6 310 30 9 Virginia
68 Giacomini, Breno T 6-7 318 28 7 Louisville
71 Ijalana, Ben T 6-4 322 25 4 Villanova

Grade: B+
Analysis:  To me, this is the deepest group at offensive line that the team has had in a few years.  Is it as good as the 2009 version was?  No, but it is the built-in redundancy should there be injuries that I like most about the group.  Four of the five starters return from last year and new right tackle Breno Giacomini brings a nasty streak to a line that might rely more on running the football this season with Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as the team’s top backs.  The big question for the starters, and the reason the grade isn’t an “A” is the concerns I still have about the right side’s ability to pass protect.

Winters should be better this season which will keep Mangold and Ferguson from as much babysitting and get them back to the level of play we’ve come to expect from them over the last nine years.  Willie Colon will get called for more procedural and holding penalties than we’d like to see, which could cause the Jets offense to stall at times, but Colon is the veteran enforcer that the line needs.  Colon is helping the Jets buy time until players like backups Oday Aboushi and Dakota Dozier are ready to step into the starting lineup.

Really, it is the group of Ijalana, Freeman and Aboushi that intrigues me most.  The Jets have backups at three key spots who can play multiple positions (right/left) and they also were able to keep promising rookie Dakota Dozier in the bargain.

Tight Ends / Receivers (10)

No. Name Pos. Height Weight Age Years College
88 Amaro, Jace TE 6-5 265 22 R Texas Tech
85 Cumberland, Jeff TE 6-4 260 27 5 Illinois
44 Sudfeld, Zach TE 6-7 260 25 2 Nevada
87 Decker, Eric WR 6-3 214 27 5 Minnesota
82 Enunwa, Quincy WR 6-2 225 22 R Nebraska
15 Hakim, Saalim WR 5-11 188 24 2 Palomar Coll. CA (J.C.)
11 Kerley, Jeremy WR 5-9 188 25 4 TCU
86 Nelson, David WR 6-5 215 27 5 Florida
17 Salas, Greg WR 6-2 210 26 4 Hawaii
16 Saunders, Jalen WR 5-9 164 21 R Oklahoma

Grade: C+
Analysis: There’s no question that this group of pass catchers is better than they were a year ago, but it is hard yet to gauge just how much better.  The tight ends have a decidedly pass-catching streak to them; none of the three that the Jets kept are particularly known for their crushing run-blocking.  Cumberland might be the best of the bunch and offers the team the best two-way option at the spot, but look for Amaro to line up almost exclusively out of the slot or just off the hips of the tackles.  From a targets/production (not a role) standpoint, the addition of Amaro and his recent strides in the offense will more than make up for the loss of the targets that Hill would have otherwise seen this season.  Due to the nature of the group, look for the the Jets to rely on a sixth lineman to help boost their run-blocking game.

The addition of Eric Decker normalized the Jets receiver group, but it is still a group that beyond Decker doesn’t have a prototypical WR1 and WR2 that a team like the Lions or Redskins can field this year.  Reductionist national writers will look at this group and discount the names and the production, but we like how the Jets are moving forward with this group.  The removal from Stephen Hill from the equation breaks the logjam for a group that had too many players stuck in the waiting room behind him that could otherwise provide more value with him off the roster.

Nelson and Salas might line up along the boundary across from Decker, but it is Jeremy Kerley that is the team’s second receiver — a statement we’ve emphatically stood by for months.  Kerley might line up in the slot, but he is the team’s second option and history has proven that he can be productive with or without big names around him.   It was no coincidence that the offense sputtered and the team lost three straight when Jeremy Kerley was absent to injury last season.   He’ll never get the respect he deserves but if you put Kerley on the Broncos, aside from Welker’s excellent blocking, we think that Kerley could provide a close facsimile to what Welker does for that offense.  Yes, really.

As far as Nelson and Salas?  The team has gone bigger in recent years at the receiver position and both seem to have the on-the-field chemistry with Geno Smith and Mike Vick.  Both are possession-style receivers which will be helpful for the Jets quarterback especially in third down and red-zone situations.

Hakim and Saunders will provide positive change on kick and coverage special teams — specifically as a kick returner and punt returner respectively.  We imagine that one or both of them will be worked into the offense as deep threats at some point during the season in an attempt to take advantage of Geno’s deep pass prowess.  Enunwa is a player the Jets like and will try to groom into a future role with this team.

Running Backs (4)

No. Name Pos. Height Weight Age Years College
40 Bohanon, Tommy FB 6-1 247 23 2 Wake Forest
33 Ivory, Chris RB 6-0 222 26 5 Tiffin University
21 Johnson, Chris RB 5-11 203 28 7 East Carolina
29 Powell, Bilal RB 5-10 204 25 4 Louisville

Grade: B+
Analysis:
If there’s any concerns about this group, it is due to concerns about age and durability.  While it doesn’t appear that Chris Johnson is as far gone as many suggested he was this offseason, the key for Ryan and Mornhinweg will be to keep Johnson fresh and put him in situations where he can get in isolation against a defender.  Ivory is the team’s best between the tackles runner, but injuries seem to be the only thing he can’t bowl over.

Bilal Powell is the mortar to Johnson & Ivory’s bricks, he can complement either and fill in for either role if one or the another needs a blow or gets sidelined with injuries.  Powell might not be as dynamic as either Johnson or Ivory, but he is more than almost every NFL team has as their third running back.

Bohanon makes the roster again and we’ll see how he progresses this season.  Bohanon will be called on as a blocker more with so many more targets for the offense this season.  That was an area he struggled with in 2013, so growth will be necessary here for the Jets to stand pat at the position.

Quarterbacks (2)

No. Name Pos. Height Weight Age Years College
7 Smith, Geno QB 6-3 221 23 2 West Virginia
1 Vick, Michael QB 6-0 215 34 13 Virginia Tech

Grade: C

Analysis: Keeping a third quarterback while Smith and Vick are both healthy is unnecessary and with 10 of 12 draft picks to keep and concerns elsewhere on the roster, the Jets were smart to use their roster spots elsewhere to better effect. We fully expect that Matt Simms and/or Tajh Boyd to be on the practice squad once the team can name their additions in the next 24 hours.

Before we talk about Geno, let’s compare him to EJ Manuel.  Manuel was drafted earlier and has better young guns around him, but he has struggled to establish himself as a viable option and now the Bills are panicking by bringing in the five million dollar man, Kyle Orton.  Comparatively, the Jets young quarterback might be settling in and the team gave their veteran backup four million and he’s already been with the team since the spring.

It is only his second year, but Geno Smith is taking ownership of this offense and making the progression that Rex Ryan desperately wanted to see from his former quarterback but never did.  The “competition” this summer might have been cock-eyed, but there was purpose in it all the same.  In a perfect world, Smith’s play elevates during his second season and the team doesn’t need to make a determination between their starter and backup at any point this season.

Of course this is reality and until we see the elevation in play from Geno Smith the offense (and the team) will live and die with what the quarterback can or can’t do.  Geno’s been named the “week to week” starter for the Jets, but with Mike Vick and an urgency to win in a division that is foundering outside of New England, it makes sense that Ryan and Idzik are keeping their options open.  Vick might only be marginally better than Smith at this point, but that margin could make all the difference for a defense that could be better than last year’s version once the secondary gets healthy.

Why do I write that?

I believe that the season’s starting quarterback will be resolved in the first month of the Jets season.  Many look nervously at the  slate of NFC North games because of the prolific offenses that litter the North and which the Jets will face before the leaves start turning, but the truth is that many of those North defenses are ripe for the plucking.

The Packers defense might be the only group that was improved, but that secondary could still be very bad.  Bears coach Marc Trestman is being lauded as an offensive mastermind but the Bears defense won’t recapture the team’s ’85 magic. Meanwhile, the Lions secondary hasn’t done nothing to make improvement.

Shootouts aren’t the Jets milieu.  But if the Jets defense can slow down any of those offenses, it is going to come down to the Jets quarterback to take advantage.  Just be glad that that the Jets aren’t relying on EJ Manuel or Kyle Orton to navigate the same treacherous waters.




147 comments
UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

Just started reading up on McFadden. The browns fans say they are glad he is gone. He mostly played as the 4th cb in the slot. They say he doesn't turn his head and commits mucho PI, and gets torched! OY He must have come REAL cheap, lol

drjreefer
drjreefer

shut up about the CBS already. EVERYONE KNOWS THEY ARE LACKING.
 Not adding anything to the convo by saying we lack CBs. Lots of ways to fix it.


How are ways to scheme around it? Do you think Rex decides to play more zone? some traps? Big Nickel?


Go with what he always does and hope AA and Walls step up? If so, do you think one of them does?


We can actually you know, have a convo and not be chicken littles.

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

It seems that Idzik's solution to our CB problems is sign another kyle wilson

bradysucks
bradysucks

Jets fans have placed John Idzik on the GM practice squad for passing on Darrelle Revis, Verner, Cro etc in favor of Dimitri Patterson and Dex McDougal !!

Welcome to practice squad Idzik - maybe someday I'll promote you to a real GM

Lol

Don't feel bad Idzik - you are still a notch above Hill, Sanchez, and Vlad in terms of your job performance

(Ducks)

Marcus Armstrong
Marcus Armstrong

Claimed Leon McFadden. Hell yes. Good player in college.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Kyle Ely

What else can be done at this point? Patrick Peterson isn't going to be available.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@bradysucks 

Sanchez and Vlad still have nfl jobs though. so players like Tebow (1st round pick QB) that are now out of the NFL, are better anaolgies to use if you are gonna say Idzik is only a notch above.

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

@Marcus Armstrong Here is the feedback on him from browns fans "When this guy wasn’t getting beat deep, he was committing pass interference – or both" sound like someone we already have

BDarc23
BDarc23

Hahaha. Positive thinking 57. They haven't played yet.

hazard2012
hazard2012

@BDarc23


The mere fact we're in this sad situation is itself a problem, but we'll shelve that for now.    He needs to go get a veteran CB...even Champ...or Cox or Adams...to come in with some hope of making an immediate contribution and provide some measure of coverage.   Falling back on someone like McFadden, with little track record and no record of success, is even less of a hope and a prayer than Patterson was.     

drjreefer
drjreefer

@UncleJoesJetFarm @drjreefer 

but what? You think the Browns are gonna cut an All Star CB or even starter level?

BDarc23
BDarc23

@hazard2012

They haven't even had real games yet. Do you think everyone was expecting Seatle to have a great secondary a few years ago entering the season the 5th rd pick Sherman, 4th rd pick Thurmond and CFL signing Browner?

drjreefer
drjreefer

@BDarc23 

Honestly, these guys want All Stars at every position. If every player isn't top 10, they wont be happy.

a57se
a57se

@UncleJoesJetFarm @drjreefer 

Now hold on a second there Doey...we were assured during free agency that their would be really good players available to us during cutdowns so don't go trashing them so quickly!!

BDarc23
BDarc23

@drjreefer

I will be more than happy to get in line blasting Idzik but I'd like to know the guys suck first. At the moment I am going to be crazy and assume that idzik and Rex know more about football and more about these players than me.

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@drjreefer @Kyle Ely 

Hey Dr."J", I've got an Idea ..

Why don't they insert a GPS device Inside Wilson's helmet this way he'll know where he's at on the field and he can concentrate on the ball??

diverge
diverge

@drjreefer @UncleJoesJetFarm If they can't teach Kyle Wilson to turn his head and look for the ball, I doubt they can teach another version of the same type of player.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@BDarc23 

exactly...when they deserve bashing, I will bash, but not until that moment.

Everyone keeps getting worked up with made up scenarios. At the moment it is all in your head people.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@Hanknaples 

I def would if it helps hankster. But i doubt his reaction time would be quick enough anyways.

Also long as he is near the WR enough for the QB to go to another progression and take up more time for the pass rush to get to him, I'm perfectly fine with wilson not turning his head.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@dgdg @drjreefer @UncleJoesJetFarm 

hell he might still end up sucking or might be cut in a week.

Who knows, thats the point. Why be be half glass empty or even half glass full, just be happy there is something in the glass and move on.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@diverge @drjreefer @UncleJoesJetFarm 

Because Mcfadden and Wilson are the same person and are totally alike and take coaching the same way.


Yeah makes sense.

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@drjreefer 

Ok then how about bathing him in Stikum ala Lester Hayes....this way they'll be inseparable !!

diverge
diverge

@drjreefer I'd rather take a chance on the unknown CB from a small school someone mentioned earlier than another wilson.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@diverge @drjreefer 

have you watched mcfadden play? Or are you going by what a guy in this blog said he sounds like?

diverge
diverge

@drjreefer @diverge just going by what I've read.


Hey, I hope people are wrong about him...

drjreefer
drjreefer

@diverge @drjreefer 

Then you opinion really means nothing and you should assume the coaches who coach this Defense know more then you would about a player.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@diverge @drjreefer 

have i even made an opinion about him yet?
 You already claimed he sucked. I haven't claimed anything other then him not being an all star.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@diverge @drjreefer 

No no, Joey said he was garabge, and I said or they can coach him up.

I never claimed they would, or is he good.
I gave a less pessimistic take on it, then all you Nancies did.

diverge
diverge

@drjreefer lol Now I'm a nancy? I hate all the complainers on this blog. I just don't care for the pickup, if his comparisons are like kyle wilson who i can't stand. Would have rather taken a look at that keith lewis guy.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@diverge @drjreefer 

You are taking a negative spin on somebody we haven't seen play a snap in Rex's system yet. Regardless of the reasoning and honestly  when you back up Joeyboy, your gonna be called a Nancy. 

with that said I do apologize as it was uncalled for.

I just hate all the negative assumptions Jet fans make. It's so toxic to the team and fanbase.

diverge
diverge

@drjreefer well my negative comment had nothing to do with joey, or his post. it was based on quick google search on his name and whats been said about him. And the fact that wilson still can't cover anyone after 4 years and still has his job. Just like Hill can't catch and was rightfully cut, I think the same of wilson in regards to his cover skills. 

levi
levi

@drjreefer What? You dont want to talk about the draft or free agency that happened months ago now and what Idzik should have done? Youre no fun. What could we talk about then? Guys who are actually on our team and looking to contribute and win doesnt sound like an interesting topic to me.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@diverge @drjreefer 

And a 1 year player who was a 3rd round pick and wilson are the same exact player why?


Because both get beat and don't turn they heads. Well I guess every CB not named Revis or Sherman are all wilson too because most CBs get beat from time to time and most of the time it happens because they don't turn their head.


Wilson isn't the first, nor the last CB to do it. 


With all that said, just because Wilson couldn't get better at it, does not mean Mcfadden wont.

Stupid reason to be down on a player. Wilson will always suck, so this guy will too.

yeah, very logical.

Hate wilson all you like, thats fine, but to bash this move because you hate wilson is misplaced rage.



diverge
diverge

@drjreefer @diverge you're the one still harping on my post. I told you why I had my OPINION. One post stating my opinion, and I'm bashing? lol


How many edits can you do, or replies will you make to add more to support your own opinion? I can care less what else you keep adding, and hope i'm wrong about the comparisons to wilson. At least I'm not trying hard to be right. let it go.

drjreefer
drjreefer

@diverge @drjreefer 

If you have read this comment section at all, you should know, not to post your opinion unless you want people to debate it.

Plus you replied to me first...while i was obviously ready to go knuckle to kunckle with joey, like i tend to do time to time.


don't know what you expected.