Gallery: 2015 Camp Preview – Running Backs

Brian Bassett,

The calendar has flipped over to July, which means we are just weeks away (!!) from training camp. This series will be a quick crash course on who will be competing for spots at each position on the roster.

Up first, the running backs…

Overview: The Jets have a good group of players with the potential for battles from the first to fourth spots. Chris Ivory appears to be the team’s lead back due to his ability to create yards on the ground in a power running game. The team seems to have aligned their offense around similar players with the additions of Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy. Bilal Powell could be the most distinct back in the group and should pick up much more third down work than he saw last year. As far as fullback, the position might not be as valuable in Chan Gailey’s offense and could be undercut by the team’s design to move Jace Amaro to H-Back.

Click the gallery to read the blurbs on each player.


Daily Links: Bowles you over

  • Can Jets win more close games in 2015? [NJAM]
  • Bowles is the NFL’s 40th most influential person [MMQB]
  • However, he places just 30th in coaches power ranking []
  • EA Q&A: No Titans unis in 2015, other throwbacks possible [Jets Official Site]
  • Jets Top 25: Carpenter is the secret key to offensive success [NY Post]
  • Jets (and Cards) good at creating pressure but not effectiveness [FO]
  • Geno going all-out to remain as starter [Newsday]


Guessing Gailey’s offense: Imported from Columbus

As Jets fans, we are trained to expect greatness from the defensive side of the football.  On offense?  Not as much.  It seems like every summer there is chatter about what to expect from this newest offensive incarnation and whether it will be enough to pair with the Jets defense to make this year, the year.  

In Part I of this article to understand what sort of a coordinator Chan Gailey is and which players he might make most use of in New York.  In Part II we talked about the success of the power-run spread offense as utilized by college programs like Ohio State and Oregon. In Part III we discuss what the addition of Devin Smith might mean to the Jets offense and why it matters more than many think.

Brian Bassett,

The presence of Devin Smith certainly provides an interesting justification to at least have the discussion as to whether the Jets are bringing some of Urban Meyer’s offense to New York.  Devin Smith’s addition is a strong indication that the Mike Maccagnan led Jets are willing to double down on the assumed starting quarterback’s strengths.

As Chan Gailey said in May when asked about whether or not quarterback Geno Smith was a ‘system fit,’ Gailey countered the reporter by saying that “I feel like the system will fit to him.”

One way in which the system could fit to Geno is the addition of Devin Smith.  During his college years, Geno was at his best when he had single or double read plays which he could routinely turn into kill-shot throws to a receiver able to break into single coverage deep down the field.  For Geno, the read was simple and a toss to the open side of the field often resulted in a score.  On plays where Geno didn’t get his kill-shot read, short and intermediate throws prevailed and receivers in space who could generate yards on the ground kept the chains moving.

Should Gailey add elements like a power running game and allowing Geno Smith use his legs?

Aaaand away we go …

Drafted this year in the second round by the Jets, Devin Smith was a polarizing player in the draft community.  Compared against the likes of Amari Cooper and Kevin White, Smith is not as thoroughly gifted or well-rounded as them, but even so analysts like NFL’s Daniel Jeremiah see strong opportunity for Devin Smith in the NFL as Jeremiah wrote the day after Ohio State’s Big Ten Championship game over Wisconsin.

With Cardale Jones making his first career start at quarterback, Smith, a senior, stepped up and helped the sophomore get comfortable in short order. Smith (6-foot-1, 199 pounds) is big, fast and physical. He has great ball skills to go up and get it. All of those attributes were on display Saturday night.

Smith … [is] a gifted vertical receiver and has a lot of good tools to work with as he prepares to develop his game for the next level.

But that isn’t to say that Smith doesn’t have detractors. To read more of this story, click here


Daily Links: Hope against hope

  • TE Coach Johnson on Amaro’s blocking and drops [NJAM]
  • Offseason report: Maccagnan-Bowles overhaul brings hope [USA Today]
  • Richardson “still has some things to work on” [Jets Confidential]
  • Gallery: Wide receiver storylines [Jets Official Site]
  • Jets Top 25: Position change should play to Amaro’s strengths [NY Post]
  • Bowen gives back at Long Island football camp [CBS New York]
  • Bills aiming to become “best defense ever” under Rex []
  • Report: Bills complete signing of ex-Jets OT Wayne Hunter [Buffalo Report]


Four Numbers that matter – June 30, 2015

Brian Bassett,

Every Tuesday between now and training camp, I will try to post a “numbers that matter” article.  Full credit to Sheil Kapadia at who does this every week on his beat with the Eagles and who was the inspiration for this post!

Here are four New York Jets numbers that matter this week:

19th / 23rd — Those are the rankings that Geno Smith received when he was under pressure and without pass pressure respectively according to Football Outsiders.  Interestingly enough, while Geno was pressured just the 30th most in the league, he still fared better when he saw pressure compared to a clean pocket.  This seems to indicate that teams are sitting back and waiting for Geno to make mistakes rather than overcommit resources … another arrow in the quiver of those (including me) who need to see Geno get better at his decision-making …

4 out of 5 — Robert Mays wrote for Grantland a few weeks back that no secondary has done more to improve themselves this offseason than the Jets did with the additions of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine and Marcus Gilchrist to upgrade four out of the five main secondary positions.  This of course should set up a much more favorable circumstance for second year safety Calvin Pryor to play the role he is most adept at.  A high tide does apparently raise all boats.

40 — Historically, most quarterbacks start to enter the precipitous decline of their production around age 35.  With rule changes to protect the quarterback and encourage passing and advancements in sports medicine, 40 could be the new 35 according to Football Outsiders Andrew Healy.  What does this mean for the Jets? It could mean that fans still have three years of tyranny left from the 38 year old Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Taiwan Jones at mini camp

Taiwan Jones at mini camp

6’3″ 252 lbs. — That’s the height-weight of undrafted free agent Taiwan Jones.

Jones has generated a lot of buzz this spring and his physical play impressed many around the team this spring.  Eric Allen wrote that Jones stands the best chance of making the roster among the UDFAs which is promising, but I find the gushing at Rotoviz over Jones a little too much.  David Harris will occupy the run stopping role for this year and probably next and Demario Davis has been better than Rotoviz wants to him give credit.  In fact Davis was PFF’s secret superstar thanks to his solid all-around play.

Jones possesses fantastic size and short area explosion, but with concerns around his instincts and the ability to keep up in coverage might box Jones into a two-down run thumping role in an ever increasingly pass-first league.  To his credit, Jones looks like a potential standout special teamer and so I’d look for Jones to challenge Erin Henderson and Joe Mays for their roster spots this summer.


Guessing Gailey’s offense: From the Ducks to the Bucks to … 

As Jets fans, we are trained to expect greatness from the defensive side of the football.  On offense?  Not as much.  It seems like every summer there is chatter about what to expect from this newest offensive incarnation and whether it will be enough to pair with the Jets defense to make this year, the year.  

In Part I of this article we sought to understand what sort of a coordinator Chan Gailey is and which players he might make most use of in New York.  Now in Part II we’ll look at trends that align with the Jets talent.

Brian Bassett,

So in summation the Jets have:

  • An athletic quarterback who can make good use of his legs and has had some success with spread concepts
  • A line that can sustain protection but is best served inside zone blocking
  • A battery of powerful inside runners
  • A corps of extremely capable receivers

Is it just me, or does this sound like a lot of the components that helped Urban Meyer just win a national championship at Ohio State?

When Urban Meyer took his talents to Columbus, he blended seemingly incongruous elements into his spread offense.  Meyer’s spread scheme, crafted at Bowling Green and Utah as an underdog method to level the playing field with more talented teams then put the SEC on its ear en route to two national championships at Florida.  When Meyer relocated to Ohio State, he blended the power run tradition revered at Ohio State with the spread sensibilities which had helped him rise to the top of the college ranks.

Chris Brown wrote for Grantland back in January that as Urban Meyer assembled his coaching staff, he looked for fresh ideas to interject new life into his offense.  While Meyer’s running game was often the measure of gap-blocking attrition, the addition of Tom Herman (now head coach at Houston) made the running element of Meyer’s spread offense much more efficient by balancing inside zone runs with Meyer’s same spread reads, screens and the occasional deep kill shot that Meyer loves. To read more of this story, click here


Daily Links: Joe Knows

  • Klecko: “I ain’t predicting anything, but I predict…” [NJAM]
  • Source: QB race will be a fluid situation [Metro]
  • Assault warrant issued for ex-Jet Abraham [FOX Atlanta]
  • “Mind-blowing” Jets stats []
  • AFC East roundtable: Which Bills player will defenses focus on? [ESPN]
  • Jaworski likes Jets’ future with Geno at the helm [Jets Official Site]
  • Jets Top 25: Geno’s “last chance” will be different this time [NY Post]


Monday (not so) Morning Mailbag: Any Given K-T Mass Extinction Event

Brian Bassett,

It’s Monday!  And an EPIC Monday at that.  WHY is it epic you may ask?  Is it because Hyundai is the official vehicle of the NFL?  

Well duh, but also because it’s time to unload another mailbag!  

With weeks to go before training camp, we tackle a number of great questions from you our readers.  How do NFL draftniks recreate the 20th century’s landmark absurdist tragicomedy?  What fan favorites getting shown the door could cause an outbreak of fainting whilst clutching one’s Jets logo’d pearls?  How would Bassett survive an apocalytpic event?  By any genes necessary!

Enough of that … mailbag time!

A: While there are certainly talents that prove the exception to the rule like Khalil Mack, the Terrell Suggs edge-rusher seems to becoming an outdated NFL notion.  With defensive line talent outgunning offensive line talent on balance, the sport has adjusted to a quicker time from snap to throw.  This then as de-emphasized the importance of the outside linebacker compared to where the sport was 10 years ago.  Very few offensive coaches in the NFL use the Air Coryell bomb-em-out style. As a result, getting around the edge is less valuable than it has ever been since before the introduction of Lawrence Taylor to Joe Theismann’s leg.  Even as Michael Lewis penned The Blind Side, the importance of the left tackle — and that of the countering linebacker — was becoming less and less valuable in the modern NFL.

Defenses seek to attack the passer up the middle as evidenced in the rise of players like Ndamukong Suh, Geno Atkins and Gerald McCoy.  As teams run more multiple fronts, scheme flexibility along with player versatility has become increasingly important as opposed to just getting around the edge.  Remember when every year NFL Draft analysts would predicte that Rex Ryan would take an OLB in the early rounds and he never did, yet took corners and three and five techs?  When it came to Rex and OLBs, NFL draftniks were like an NFL production of Waiting for Godot.  For more information, I suggest you read Robert Mays article on the value of a player like Mo Wilkerson from 2013.   Good stuff.

I think that there will definitely be a platoon of players including Jason Babin, Trevor Reilly and Lorenzo Mauldin but I think the situation is primed for Quinton Coples.  The Jets are going to have to figure out ways to get Leonard Williams on the field, but I certainly think in passing situations that Coples could be a mainstay of the package.  It is true that Coples is something of a favorite player of mine, but now that the team has the luxury of a solid secondary, the Jets can utilize Coples as a rusher much more than they did a year ago.  As you will recall, Coples actually saw time jamming opposing receivers at the line of scrimmage in some instances due to the gaping holes and slapdash solutions Rex Ryan tried a season ago.  With that said I don’t know if Coples will be a double-digit sack player in this defense nor do I think Todd Bowles cares about such arbitrary measurements.  As long as Coples can beat his blocker and pressure opposing quarterbacks off his spot or into bad throws?  That’s what would matter most.

Who do you see as being the “surprise cut”? To read more of this story, click here


Guessing Gailey’s offense: Start at the beginning

As Jets fans, we are trained to expect greatness from the defensive side of the football. On offense? Not as much. It seems like every summer there is chatter about what to expect from this newest offensive incarnation and whether it will be enough to pair with the Jets’ defense to make this year the year.  

This is part one of a three-part series about new Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and the circumstances and clues which might help us guess what sort of offense he might run. 

Brian Bassett,

This offseason, a lot of emphasis has been placed on what new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will or will not do with the offense. Will Gailey run a smashmouth offense like he did in the late 1990s with Pittsburgh which led the Steelers to an AFC Championship? Will Gailey favor a spread-em-out offense like he did as head coach of the Buffalo Bills earlier this decade?

Maybe it’s something cool I don’t even know about? To read more of this story, click here