Brian Custer, Ray Lucas and Erik Coleman share their thoughts on the challenge ahead for Todd Bowles as he switches from a defensive to an offensive mindset…
While the New York Jets drafted speedy wide receiver Devin Smith in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft, he is not expected to be the team’s kick or punt returner. (NJ.com, May 18)
Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April said that although Smith is fast, he lacks experience as a returner. He returned five punts and 13 kickoffs at Ohio State.
April told NJ.com he thinks Jeremy Kerley and Walter Powell will compete for the punt returner job. Kerley returned 25 punts last season, while Powell returned 12.
April said Chris Owusu, Saalim Hakim and T.J. Graham are three candidates to be the team’s kickoff returner. Former Jet Percy Harvin returned 20 kickoffs last year, Hakim 13.
Last year, New York used fourth-round rookie Jalen Saunders as a punt returner. He muffed returns in back-to-back games before the Jets cut him.
Saunders was an experienced returner, having returned 31 punts and 33 kickoffs at Oklahoma.
SNY’s Jeane Coakley provides an in-depth look at Jets undrafted free-agent defensive tackle Damon Harrison.
Bent, theJetsBlog.com: As regular TJB readers will 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.
So far, we have looked at defensive lineman Leonard Williams and wide receiver Devin Smith, but today we’re moving on to take a look at the Jets’ third pick, outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin.
Mauldin, who is listed at 6’3″ and 259 pounds, is 22 years old and has played defensive end and outside linebacker for the Louisville Cardinals over the last four seasons. He recorded 119 tackles, 20.5 sacks and eight passes defensed over the course of his college career. He also added five forced fumbles and 31.5 tackles for loss. ACC coaches voted Mauldin to the all-ACC first team after the 2014 season.
After the jump, I’ll be sharing my observations from viewing footage of Mauldin in action over the last few seasons in order to assess some of his strengths and weaknesses…
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New Jets head coach, Todd Bowles, and defensive coordinator, Kacy Rodgers, first worked together in 2005 under Bill Parcells with the Dallas Cowboys. They went on to spend seven years working under the Hall of Fame head coach. Now that Bowles has taken over the reigns of his own team, Rodgers sees similarities between the two (Slater, May 15).
“Bill was very detailed oriented, knows what he wants, knows how to evaluate, really knew what he wanted in a player, knew how he wanted the players coached,” Rodgers said in an interview with NJ Advance Media. “Todd is very similar in a lot of ways. Bill was definitely on point. Todd is on point. They both know what they’re looking for, both know what a player should look like, both know how they want the program run. I see a lot of similarities.”
When Rodgers was asked about the influence Parcells had on his career he spoke highly of his former boss.
“He was the greatest,” Rodgers said. “Looking back at people that affect your coaching career, no question, I wouldn’t be sitting here today, really, if it wasn’t for him.”
Parcells praised Bowles after the Jets announced his hiring. The former mentor thinks the rookie head coach will do well.
“I have a high regard for Todd Bowles,” Parcells said. “I also worked with him in three different places—the Jets, Cowboys, and Dolphins—and I think he’s a highly intelligent guy. I think he’ll do well.”