Geno Smith spoke to the media on Wednesday and said…

Geno Smith spoke with the media on Wednesday and weighed in on a host of topics…

1.) He doesn’t think what Chan Gailey said last week implied that the quarterback job was his to lose. Smith said he will “prepare the same way and work extremely hard,” but referred to the lead-up to the season as a “collective effort…a team thing.”

2.) Getting first-team reps doesn’t make him work harder, but he appreciates it. The goal of the quarterback competition, Smith said, is to make each other better.

3.) He thinks the Jets look good so far during OTA’s, and referred to the communication they have with one another as the best part of it.

4.) He’s understanding the offense a lot better and getting a better feel for it, but he needs to get better as far as execution is concerned.


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Jets full of blue-chippers?

While there are only a very few elite quarterbacks in the NFL, there are still plenty of talented players on rosters around the league who are difference-making factors in the outcome of a game and can alleviate the burden of the output from the quarterback position … or so writes Bucky Brooks.

Former NFL player, scout and NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks writes when the quarterback position is taken out, the Jets have one of the most talented rosters in the league.

Blue chips (6): CB Antonio Cromartie, C Nick Mangold, WR Brandon Marshall, CB Darrelle Revis, DT Sheldon Richardson, DE Muhammad Wilkerson.

On the rise: LB Demario Davis.

Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan have engineered quite a roster makeover since taking over the Jets at the beginning of the year. Despite inheriting a star-studded defense, the Jets’ brain trust added a pair of shutdown corners in Revis and Cromartie to suffocate opposing passing games. Given the dominant play of Wilkerson and Richardson at the point of attack, Gang Green’s defense could single-handedly lead the team into the playoffs. Marshall was acquired in a trade with Chicago, giving the Jets a legitimate WR1 on the perimeter. Eric Decker isn’t regarded as a blue-chip player based solely on his talents, but he is capable of playing at an all-star level when flanked by a big-time threat (see: Decker’s production in Denver). Mangold’s a rock at the pivot, having made six of the last seven Pro Bowls. With a solid supporting cast capable of enhancing the play of the quarterback, the Jets could be a bigger threat to win the AFC East than anyone anticipates at this point.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

I have always deeply respected Brooks’ opinion and so it is good to see an independent analyst write that the Jets have moved the roster significantly in the right direction, despite not having an elite quarterback.  The Jets have enough extremely talented players.

As I look at Brooks’ list, I think it is accurate in terms of encompassing talent, production and opponent disruption. There are no players padded to the list or players missing from the Jets.  The player most likely to be argued either way would be Cromartie, but placed alongside Revis and Skrine in a scheme he already knows with an uber-talented defensive line gives Cromartie a little more staying power.

The point of this all is to say the Jets are talented. Corey Griffin even argued on our podcast last week they are more talented than the 2010 team, and that because of their talent, they should be able to compete every week. That said, it will come down to the “game manager” component as Brooks calls it.  In the end, if the quarterback can be neutral or positive instead of negative, then it will make all the difference in the world for the Jets’ season.


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Bowles views QB spot as open competition

Despite offensive coordinator Chan Gailey naming Geno Smith the starter, head coach Todd Bowles said it will be more of an “open competition” for the quarterback spot.

“Come camp time, there will be competition [at QB]…[For now], the first-team reps will go to the guy that was first-team QB last year,” Bowles said, referencing Smith.

When asked whether Smith would be the starting quarterback when the Jets open against Cleveland, Gailey said: “Don’t make me say `yes,’ but probably” (May 20).

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

To date under the Maccagnan/Bowles regime, the team has been consistent, clear and measured in their comments. Gailey’s moment of candor last week, when he presumed Geno would be the team’s starting quarterback this upcoming season, was mildly surprising. In truth, it makes sense that the organization — even with no prior ties — would prefer Geno win the job. Geno has much more natural abilities and his ceiling is higher.

With that said, it’s foolish to not see the merits a game manager like Ryan Fitzpatrick could offer. Fitzy’s floor might wind up being just as attractive should Geno falter in camp or in-season.

The point that Bowles and Gailey’s comments matter is in that there is some discrepancy, even if slight, to how they are approaching the QB competition. Those are the narratives that the media in this market typically hammer at and which Bowles and company might now learn about the hard way.


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BGA: Scouting Deon Simon

BentBent, theJetsBlog.com: As regular TJB readers know, we don’t usually cover rookies in Bent’s Game Analysis. However, we’ve been looking at this year’s draft class in great detail so, this year, we’re going to provide in-depth scouting reports covering each of the Jets draft picks, as well as any undrafted free agent signings.

We’ve already covered the Jets’ first five picks (which you can see here), so today we wrap up this year’s draft class with a look at the Jets’ seventh round pick, defensive lineman Deon Simon.

Simon, who is listed at 6’4″ and 321 pounds, is a 24 year-old small school prospect from Northwestern State. In four seasons for the Demons, Simon recorded 93 tackles, including 13.5 for a loss. He added 6.5 sacks, five quarterback hits and three pass break-ups.

After the jump, I’ll be sharing my observations from viewing footage of Simon in action over the last few seasons in order to assess some of his strengths and weaknesses…

To read more of this story, click here


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Bazirgan promoted to pro personnel director, scouting assignments announced

The Jets have promoted Matt Bazirgan to pro personnel director (Mehta, May 26).

Earlier this month GM Mike Maccagnan fired five scouts and Brendan Prophett, who served as the head of the organizations pro personnel department for nine seasons.

Bazirgan has worked within the Jets organization since 2004. He served as an area scout for eight years before becoming the assistant pro personnel director in 2013.

In addition to Bazirgan’s promotion, the Jets announced lots of additional scouting assignments.

Xavier Adibi (Plains), Bill Dekraker (Northeast), Dom Green (Southwest), and Brian Shields (West Coast) were all named Area Scouts.

Both Jay Mandelosi (Southeast) and Johnathon Stigall (Midwest) will remain with the team as Area Scouts.

Lee Gissendaner (East Coast), Jim Jauch (West Coast), and Zach Truty (Central) were all hired as National Scouts.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

One would suppose that Maccagnan’s deep ties in the scouting community from his time with the Houston and Washington have allowed him to get to know some scouts who he likes and wanted to come work for him.  Having cleared out most of his scouting staff last month, Maccagnan has been filling out his scouting department and seems to have done a good job.

Adibi might be a recognizable name due to his recent NFL career.  Adibi played at UVA before being drafting in the fourth round by the Texans in 2008 and played on a few teams before most recently scouting for the Chiefs.  Maccagnan would know him well from their shared time in Houston.  Shields is another name that people seem to say is a young talented scout and will reunite with Brian Heimerdinger in New York.  Shields is a Princeton graduate who worked in various capacities before being named an area scout two years ago by Les Snead.

Zach Truty is following Rex Hogan to New York as Truty worked for Rex Hogan in Chicago.  Maccagnan would know Dekraker from their days together in Washington.


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Going Home with Damon Harrison

In SNY’s feature profile of Damon Harrison, Jeane Coakley travels to New Iberia, La. to learn about Harrison’s background and his long road to football and the NFL…


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