TJB Friday Chat – 2pm ET

Join us at 2:00pm ET for our weekly TJB chat.

In order to access the room, you must now sign up for a chatzy account at chatzy.com – click where it says log in/sign up in the top right hand corner. Obviously if you registered already, you can log into your existing account. You will then be able to access the room at the usual address – Chatzy.com/TJB where this week’s password is whattheheck.

Apologies for this extra requirement, but it will allow us to moderate the chat more effectively and prevent any abuse or vulgarity. The action gets underway at 2:00pm ET.

NFL: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Geno Smith surprises with offseason routine

Geno Smith spent his offseason like many football players do, preparing to come back better than before for the next one. Only Smith took it a step further, much to the surprise of his coaching staff, studying film to learn more about the people calling the plays against him (Daily News, August 14).

He began the study shortly after his lackluster rookie season ended, unbeknownst to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, quarterbacks coach David Lee or Rex Ryan.

“That’s smart as hell though,” Ryan said of Smith’s offseason tactics. “I never even knew about it.”

“He wants to be great,” Ryan said. “He just doesn’t want to be a guy that gets through. God touched the kid. He’s got so much ability. He can throw, he can run, he can do all that. But it’s that work ethic. As a quarterback, you almost have to be a gym rat. And he’s done it.”

For Smith, the extra work was just as enjoyable as it was helpful.

“I like watching film anyway,” Smith told The News. “It was one of those things where I didn’t have anything to do anyway, so I just wanted to kind of get ahead of stuff.”

He spent about three hours on each team, focusing on third downs, blitz packages and red-zone plays.

“On third-and-long, early in the game, does he like to blitz?” Smith said. “Does he like to lay off it? How does he do two-minute situations? So, I kind of got a feel for the game.”

Though Smith’s work is hardly over yet as he said he hasn’t completely finished the study yet – not until he’s actually faced the teams himself.

“I got to watch a lot of film based on what they do this year,” said Smith. “Yeah, I got those notes, but they’re useless at this point. But once you get a chance to play those teams in the regular season, I can go back to it and look at some of those tendencies I had written down.”

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

It is a great look at a quarterback who a year ago was slammed by some scathing reports – most notably by Nolan Nowrocki leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft.  It also aligns with Connor Orr’s piece last year shortly after Geno’s arrival.

Geno has been soaking the NFL game in for more than a year and has demonstrated not only a willingness to learn, but an aptitude.

While the focus right now is on the secondary, Geno’s ascension as a second year player could do a lot to quiet the concerns of many in New York.

The Rundown: Backed into a corner

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

What a week for the Jets defense.

The largest question mark on the defense got a little larger with the injuries to Dee Milliner and Dexter McDougle, two of Rex Ryan’s top four cornerbacks go to the sideline due to injuries. McDougle tore his left ACL and won’t see the field this season, and ascending starter Dee Milliner was diagnosed with a high left ankle sprain and might take the rest of the preseason off as a result.

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Is Antonio Allen the keystone holding this depleted unit together?

Ryan had a stiff upper lip on Sunday when he addressed the media.

“I am not a new coach to those kinds of situations,” Ryan said. “I have had to deal with them in the past. Adversity to some is opportunity to others. We will put the best eleven out there. We will be able to play defense. We have a lot of good football players …. we will be fine.”

But what if they aren’t? Brian Costello of the New York Post writes that should the defense falter this season and Rex Ryan be fired the team’s GM should go with him.

What once was the strength of the Jets when Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie manned the position from 2010-12 has become the weakness and it could wind up costing Ryan his job if this team misses the playoffs because their secondary can’t stop a nosebleed, as Ryan likes to say.

If it does, Idzik should be shown the door with him for ignoring such a glaring weakness this offseason.

The situation was worrisome before Sunday’s injuries when the plan was to start Milliner, coming off a rough rookie season, and Dimitri Patterson, who is on the seventh team of his 10-year career and has a history of injuries.

Now it has become dire.

Dire enough to lowball an offer to free agent Asante Samuel?

As of Monday, Milliner might not even be ready for the season opener, according to the AP. To read more of this story, click here

BGA: Calling up reinforcements from Double-A

Easily the most intriguing storyline heading into Saturday’s preseason game against the Bengals is the Jets’ proposed usage of third-year safety Antonio Allen at the cornerback position. Injuries have forced the Jets to work with some different combinations over the last few weeks with Allen and veteran Ellis Lankster starting at cornerback with the first unit over the past three days of practice.

In an article with the Star Ledger earlier this week, Allen’s college position coach praised his versatility and man-coverage skills, but was dubious about his chances of developing into a full-time cornerback. Even Allen himself seemed skeptical. However, it does look like he’ll get his chance to get some reps at the position Saturday night.

After the jump, some theories as to what the Jets might be thinking here and what this could mean for the defense once Dee Milliner and Dimitri Patterson can return from injury.

To read more of this story, click here

GEICO SportsNite: Sheldon Richardson 1-on-1

SNY’s Jeane Coakley talks with Sheldon Richardson about his expectations for the Jets’ preseason game against the Bengals this weekend.

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Decker convinced to join Jets after Googling Geno Smith

Eric Decker’s final decision to join the New York Jets came down to a Google search (Costello, August 14).

Decker’s search results led him to YouTube videos of Geno Smith in action, which impressed the wideout, so he dug deeper.

“I was impressed by the games I watched of Geno, and then I Googled and YouTubed interviews to get a feel of who he was as a person more than just the physical skill on the field,” Decker said in the New York Post. “That’s a big thing.”

Decker eventually signed a five-year, $36 million deal with the Jets and quickly became their No. 1 receiver.

Saunders expected to be primary punt returner

Fourth-round pick Jalen Saunders is expected to make the Jets final roster as the team’s primary punt returner (Cimini, August 13).

Saunders will also likely be the team’s fifth or sixth receiver on the depth chart.

Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, David Nelson, Greg Salas and Clyde Gates are all listed ahead of Saunders on the team’s depth chart.