COMMENTARY | The New York Jets wrapped up offseason training activities earlier this month, and we're still no closer to knowing much about this team.
Who's The Quarterback?
This will be the main question until the season kicks off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and not even the Jets brass knows the answer. Neither Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith has separated himself, which means training camp in July is going to be interesting.
Whether you believe new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's line about Sanchez's accuracy being "sky high" or not, nothing the veteran quarterback has done in actual practices has instilled confidence. His teammates are saying all the right things publicly, but privately, as I've written, it's a whole 'nother story. Smith hasn't proven much better, but being a rookie he deserves some leeway.
But if Sanchez continues to fail, as he has done numerous times throughout his brief career, Smith might get thrown to the wolves early.
Who's the Quarterback Throwing To?
Whoever wins the quarterback job, they've got to hope this receiving corp gets better in a hurry. Santonion Holmes continues to rehab from multiple surgeries. Stephen Hill can't catch a cold. Jeremy Kerley is developing Stephen Hill Disease. The team is so desperate for help, they've been kicking the tires on Braylon Edwards, Mike Sims-Walker and others.
It's gotten to the point that head coach Rex Ryan is threatening his players' jobs:"That's your job, and certainly we know we have to do a better job, but I expect it to happen immediately and it never happened yesterday, either," Ryan told reporters after a particular horrendous showing at OTAs.
Say what you want about the departed Dustin Keller, but he was a decent security blanket for Mark Sanchez. The Kellen Winslow signing isn't a bad one, as long as Winslow has his head on straight (no small task, considering his stints in Cleveland and Tampa Bay).
Where's the pass rush?
For all the focus on the offense during OTAs, the New York Jets defense still has some major holes. First and foremost, who's going to rush the passer. This team was near dead-last in pressuring quarterbacks last season.
Between drafting defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, moving Quenton Couples to a hybrid linebacker-end position and Ryan implementing more blitz-heavy schemes, there's talk of hope that this unit will indeed get in quarterbacks' faces more often.
But there are problems. Richardson was never a sack master in college (a total of six sacks in two seasons at Missouri). Couples -- who led the team in sacks last season -- will have to adjust to playing a new position with new roles, including dropping back in pass coverage. Ryan's blitz-happy schemes from his first two years with the Jets relied heavily on shutting down one side of the field thanks to a certain now-departed cornerback. Speaking of which ...
Who's the Next Darrelle Revis?
Now that's a loaded question, because there isn't one; not on the Jets, not on another team. There is only one Darrelle Revis. But who's going to be the guy in the secondary who leads this unit now that the premiere corner in the NFL resides in South Florida?
Antonio Cromartie is attempting to be "that guy," which isn't all that bad. He's a talented corner, but one who has to play smarter. Cromartie needs to cut down on the silly penalties, especially now that he'll be covering the top target from opposing teams.
Kyle Wilson, who's shown both good and bad decison-making in a more limited role, will be a key player, as will safety Dawan Landry and first-round pick Dee Milliner. This unit, as a whole, does have potential, but it needs Cromartie to step up as a vocal -- and positive -- leader.
James Moffat has 10-plus years of journalism expertise, writing for daily print and online publications. Check out his other work on the New York Jets here, or check out his recent work regarding the Jets:
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