What to watch for in Jets at Lions

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

With the Jets first preseason game taking place tonight in Detroit, here’s some of what we’ll be looking for from the team.

Climbing that Hill — Stephen Hill’s improvement this off-season hasn’t gone unnoticed and we want to see how it translates into tonight’s game against the Lions.  There’s a lot of questions for the Jets receivers right now and if Hill can become a more steady productive part of the offense, then that will help to allay a lot of the concerns.

ndamukong-suhHold the Line — How does the line look against Suh and the rest of this fearsome group?  The changeover on the Jets line will get a tough test tonight against a loaded Lions front.

Griffin’s Roost — Chris Ivory and Joe McKnight both won’t be competing in tonight’s game and the Jets are concerned about overloading (read: exposing to injury) Bilal Powell at this point, so how does John Griffin look in the game?  He’ll likely get second team reps, but if he does get time with the first teamers, how does he look?

The First Shots — Up until now, the quarterback battle has been more or less theoretical.  Now the Jets will get to see Sanchez and Smith in real live action against opponents.  Yes, the offense and defense will likely be vanilla, but can they thrive nevertheless?  Can Sanchez make the right decisions quickly when the ball is in play?  How does he fare in the West Coast system in a game situation?  Can Smith’s command of his offense and reading of the defense catch up with his ability to throw the football?  Will the Jets show some quarterback wrinkles like the Pistol or Wildcat?

D Reconfigured — From a year ago, there are now two new defensive line starters, two new linebacking starters and three new secondary starters.  While we expect good things from the defense on the whole this year. how do they look?  Can you spot missed assignments, communication breakdowns, or blown coverages?  On the whole how do you like the way this group pieces together?  Keep an eye on how the safeties and interior linebackers (Davis, Harris) mesh in coverage and how the defensive line works in unison.  Pay special attention to how Antonio Allen does in his time on the field.

Changing Roles — A lot has been made about Quinton Coples and his movement to the rush linebacking role.  We don’t expect he’ll have massive coverage responsibilities, but the Lions have a good RB/TE group when it comes to catching passes.  How does he do in the small assignments he’s given?

Dee and Sheldon — The Jets two first rounders are going to be thrown right into action against the Lions and we will be very interested to see how they fare in their first team work.  They will likely stay on the field a little longer than the rest of their group, but watch how the do in their respective spots.