Sunday is our last day in Cortland. Despite some weather that threatened to rain, here’s what we saw on the offensive side of the ball.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Land of the Giants
It must be noted that the receivers on this team are massive, by recent standards. Gone are the days of the sub six foot receivers with Tone, Cotchery and the rest. In their place are a massive front line of receivers. Eric Decker (6’3″) , Stephen Hill (6’4″), David Nelson (6’6″) the Jace Amaro (6’5″) / Jeff Cumberland (6’4″) platoon with the one exception, Jeremy Kerley (5’9″). Football Outsiders wrote about Geno’s penchant for larger targets, so this should be a group that he works well with as he develops more rapport.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better, of course, but it isn’t without their own merits. Bigger players can be better red zone targets for Geno, bigger players can be better perimeter blockers for the frisky Chris Johnson and Bilal Powell. While it might not have been done with a full intent, you look at two of the three receivers (Shaq Evans and Quincey Enunwa) the team drafted and they have that body type that seems to be in keeping with the trend.
Geno Smith ran the ball a lot today. While some of the runs were spontaneous, others were designed read-option run plays that allowed Geno to turn on the booster jets. The read-options allowed Geno to gain positive yards, but it was Geno’s quick thinking on one play in which he recognized a defensive communication breakdown and burned right through the middle of the defense, untouched.
Geno’s running ability was not that heralded as he came into the league. But Smith ran the ball well early in his time with the Mountaineers and hasn’t seemed to forget how effective he is at it. It was Geno’s legs last year that got the Jets out of the conundrum of teams crowding the box or double teaming receivers and it will be his running, in collection with the upgraded receivers and running backs that will make them a much harder out this year for opposing defensive coordinators.
The Return of Willie
Rex has been saying that Willie Colon’s return was going to happen soon, and today he came off the PUP. It’s good news for a Jets offensive line that is trying to sort out who will play where for this group. While Colon only saw some light work today, this now means that he can build some chemistry with RT Breno Giacomini and the coaches can delve more into the questions around who is the more viable option at the other guard spot. Rex has been very impressed with Aboushi, so see if he doesn’t seriously factor into the starters rotation through the first few preseason games.
In Support of Sudfeld
While Zach Sudfeld is mostly working with backups and getting very limited reps with the twos and almost no reps with the ones, his knowledge of the offense, his athleticism and his size have made me take closer note of him. At 6’7″ he’s an easy target for many to see on the field and he caught a lot of passes today in red zone drills, scoring multiple “touchdowns” on the day. In talking with Sudfeld after practice it is clear that he is very bright and is picking up the offense faster now that he’s been through a season with the team and is coming at this system with familiar eyes. Sudfeld said there were times last year where he needed help remembering his role in a given play, but that the offense is coming more easily to him the second time around.
- It seems impossible to get the same opinion from anyone on Stephen Hill. Some see him as coming into his own and playing more physical football. Others see bad body language and one outburst to the crowd in recent days. Expect opinions to start merging on him come the preseason games.
- I know I won’t shut up about him, but I love Jalen Saunders suddenness in addition to the other aspects of his game.
- Will Campbell is coming along nicely. He had some great crunching blocks today on pulling plays. Great technique there.
- Chris Johnson was quiet, but did have one play that drew applause from the crowd. In a screen play where he got the ball in traffic he used his blockers well and was patient waiting for all his blocks to develop before making his move. Had it been a real game, it would have been a scrimmage line pass that would have netted the team 15-20 yards.