Roster Battles: Offensive Guards

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Here’s a chance to look at some of the position battles that should play out over training camp in the coming weeks.

The Setup: The offensive line is in the middle of some transition this year.  Breno Giacomini will take over for Austin Howard be at right tackle and there’s some potential upheaval on the interior.  Will Winters and Colon be the starters again?  Can Brian Winters get better?  Will one of the backups like Oday Aboushi, Will Campbell, Ben Ijalana or Dakota Dozier assert their viability as a starter?

The Main Contenders: Willie Colon, Brian Winters, Oday Aboushi

The Darkhorses: Dakota Dozier, Will Campbell, Ben Ijalana, Caleb Schlauderaff

NFL: New York Jets-Training CampThe Analysis:  A year ago the Jets brought in Stephen Peterman.  Peterman was a NFL veteran who had started for the Vikings and was known as a solid though not outstanding lineman.  As camp wound down, the Jets made a surprising move by releasing Peterman and moving Vlad Ducasse into the starters role.  Ducasse of course was later replaced by Brian Winters and Ducasse is now out of town.  The point of this?  John Idzik doesn’t seem to bring in veterans and assumes they will start for his team.  As last year demonstrated with players like Peterman and Antonio Garay and others, Idzik isn’t afraid to take a calculated risk with young players if he feels the gap won’t be too far to bridge in a short time period.  Now recovering from a torn biceps and on a one-year deal, could Willi Colon be this year’s Peterman?

One key to that plan is Brian Winters.  Winters struggled last year as a starter, but seemed to settle in by season end.  His play might be the key to the whole plan of moving on from Colon.

If Rex and Idzik determine that the decline in play from Colon isn’t worth the roster spot and want to get a promising backup into the lineup for the long-term there might be no time like the present.

There was a reason that Jets GM John Idzik stashed Oday Aboushi, Will Campbell and Ben Ijalana on the active roster for the whole of the 2013 season, yet never activated them on gameday.  It’s a sign that Idzik had longer term plans for the trio and wasn’t willing to expose them to the waiver process.

The Jets could theoretically move Winters to right guard (the more crucial spot due to the team’s question marks at right tackle) and backfill whichever youngster steps up in the more comfortable left guard spot between the solid D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold.

So far, the most likely player to make the leap into the starting lineup appears to be Oday Aboushi.  Like Winters, Aboushi is making the transition from tackle, but received some praise from Rex in spring practices. “I’ve been impressed with Aboushi,” Rex told reporters this spring. “More this year already in these [spring] camps than I was at any time last year.”

The Projection:  Conventional wisdom seems to be that Winters will play at left and Colon will play at right, but with roster spots for the Jets many draftees at a premium, I’d not be surprised to see the Jets try their luck with Aboushi at left guard and Winters slide to the right side.




171 comments
UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

The Farm, raging out of the barn!  A lovely day in store Gangrels!

@denzilland
@denzilland

The Jets have been trying to fit players around Nick & Brick for the longest. I hope we have the pieces now!

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

The Farm is packing it in today, it has been a rough day. The Farm will be in full swing tomorrow! Peace, and remember, Farming is a very important part of our nation, Peace out brothers!

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

Sorry for the Farms late afternoon blitz, but the Farm had some issues due to the inclement weather, in other words, the Farm was almost roasted! Thankfully, all turned out ok!

SackDance99
SackDance99

I find fascinating the lack of confidence in Breno ("the team's question marks at right tackle").  Breno, while coming back from injury in 2013, was better than Howard and there's no comparison between 2012 Breno and 2012 Howard...Breno was much better.  Frankly, we can all speculate, but we all have no idea why Winters got reps at RG.  It could be anything from considering moving Colon back to LG, where he played as a Steeler, to possibly flipping the OL if Vick, who is left-handed, becomes the QB (presumably, as veterans, flipping Breno and Brick wouldn't be as big an issue).  Only Rex, Idzik, MM and Devlin know why Winters got reps there, but judging from hearing Rex and Idzik first-hand, I highly doubt that it's because of a lack of confidence in Breno.

marcus81
marcus81

@@denzilland  there's enough players to sort through who can be be a a good starter, Dozier was a top rated talent, could be the most talented Lineman on this team, hope that translates to being a starting pro bowl caliber player

juunit
juunit

How many personalities would you say you have?

SackDance99
SackDance99

@UncleJoesJetFarm Phins look scary?  You have to believe that Finnegan returns to his 2008 form and the safeties can hit, but cover?  Ask a Lions fan about Delmas!

juunit
juunit

@a57se 

I think this man might be blind. He questioned both Winston and Hundley's arm strength when they have two of the strongest arms in the country. 

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99 

Why would playing Winters at RG have anything to do with a lack of confidence in Giacomini???

@denzilland
@denzilland

I like Dozier, with him Winter & Aboushi we have younth, athletic talent & depth on the O-Line. Something we haven't had in a long time. Like the experts say it all starts up front.

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

@juunit Actually, I am pretty predictable and consistent according to the folks here. You cats cant have it both ways ☺☺☺

a57se
a57se

@juunit @a57se 

Hmmm, I thought he questioned their mechanics which led to ineffective throws on deeper balls (for Hundley) and accuracy issues (Balls floating) on Winston...

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se (insert snarky comment about reading comprehension) 

Disgruntled Jets Fan
Disgruntled Jets Fan

@UncleJoesJetFarm @juunit No one said you have multiple personalities - that's Hank. You just keep changing usernames despite the site rules.  The personality remains disappointingly the same.

Brendan
Brendan

@UncleJoesJetFarm If he read the blog he'd probably stop acting like the team is in cap hell every year since we mock him mercilessly for it. 

a57se
a57se

@juunit @a57se 

To elaborate, here is his comment on Winstons' arm:

"Winston doesn't appear to have a great arm, but it's difficult to evaluate his arm talent because of his sloppy mechanics."

and his comments on hundleys' arm:

 

 The warts on Hundley's arm talent appear when he tries to push the ball down the field. It may be a mechanical issue to do with his footwork and upper body torque, but Hundley's passes appear to float once they pass roughly 15 yards down the field. Instead of fitting the ball into receivers down the sideline or down the seam, his passes too often drift off target.

juunit
juunit

@a57se @juunit 

Winston: "Winston doesn't appear to have a great arm, but it's difficult to evaluate his arm talent because of his sloppy mechanics."

Hundley: "... but when Hundley did try to find his receivers downfield there were major warning signs about his arm strength and accuracy."

a57se
a57se

@SackDance99 @a57se 

I was agreeing with you. The whole idea that somehow Winters would benefit Breno by playing RG was just a  misunderstanding of why Winters would play there vs. Aboushi or one of the other inexperienced guys if the Jets were to move on from Willie...the reason for Winters playing there is experience! As in, he would have more than Aboushi so put the least experienced guy between brick and Mangold hoping that Winters is far enough along to not impede Giacomini too much.


Colon played LG for the Steelers  but RG for the Jets for basically the same reasoning...

a57se
a57se

@juunit @a57se 

Haha..we had the same thought...in both instances he leaves plenty of room to pin the 'apparent arm strength' issues on mechanics...

SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se If I had to speculate why Colon was put on the right side, I'd would say it was to split up the inexperienced players, so each played next to a vet.  Howard was still just a 2nd year starter in 2013 and had never been in a WCO and was going back to more of a zone-blocking system  If you put Winters or Vlad next to him, then potentially the Jets would have had an inexperienced right side for the right-handed rookie QB...a disaster waiting to happen.  With Breno being a vet and used to zone blocking (as practiced by Seattle, which has a lot of power runs, too), I'd suspect that no matter what side Winters (or Aboushi) plays on, he'd be sandwiched between 2 vets.

bklyndude
bklyndude

@UncleJoesJetFarm @Brendan

If a professional sports writer disseminates incorrect information on purpose, that makes him an  A**HOLE......not a bad boy.

He's interested in having people read this stuff and think he has inside information that makes him worth reading.  Think about it, when is the last time he reported anything worthwhile ?

There are people on this blog that can't figure that out.

juunit
juunit

@a57se @juunit 

Winston was drafted by the Texas Rangers as a pitcher and throws a 90+ MPH fastball. There's really no need for wiggle room. He has a cannon. 

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

@bklyndude @UncleJoesJetFarm @Brendan Easy big guy, all is fair in love and war! As Mr. Roth has said, "This is the business that WE have chosen," peace!

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

@Brendan @UncleJoesJetFarm You said that not me. And you are a bad boy too, but in the other direction lol

a57se
a57se

@juunit @a57se 

Throwing a baseball and throwing a football are two very different things, I know as I used to pitch but couldn't throw a football very well at all.

He even points to Winstons' wind up as being an issue probably related to his baseball playing.

The freeze frame shots of Winston throwing the ball vs. brady throwing the ball is very instructive...

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se Good thing there's not a history of NFL QB's with cannon arms getting drafted by MLB teams. 



a57se
a57se

@juunit @a57se 

The articles talk a lot more about the players than just discussing their arm strength...what did you think of the rest of the work?

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se There should be no question about Winston's arm strength. He could do a whirly-bird windup and throw sidearm, the guy has a howitzer. 


To use one of Rex's favorite sayings, he could throw a strawberry through a battleship. 

a57se
a57se

@Brendan @a57se 

Did you read the articles?

Or are you just playing let's bust a57se's balls some more?

juunit
juunit

@a57se @juunit 

I skimmed during lunch, but eh. Like with Hundley, he said that he liked to get the ball out quick, but that's the total opposite of reality. Granted, I think a lot of Hundley holding the ball too long is having nobody open because his best receiver two years ago was a UDFA TE and this most recent season was Shaq Evans, who I feel was overdrafted in the 4th. But having watched all his games, I definitely do not agree that he gets the ball out fast. There are quite a few plays where he stands in the pocket with it for way too long.

As for Winston, I agree that he doesn't have perfect mechanics. But, the ball still goes where it has to. And honestly, the fact that his mechanics aren't the best is proof of the strength of his arm, not the other way around. Good mechanics = momentum behind the ball. Bad mechanics mean being more reliant on the strength of his arm. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se I read the Winston article, not the Hundley, which is why I'm only commenting on the Winston article.