Jets Preseason Opener: Chaos, Confusion On The Line
Added by Marvin Turner on August 16, 2011.
Well Jets fans, the first preseason game is in the books. Let me start by saying it was nice to see Rex Ryan show some fire mid second quarter, when his rookie DT Kenrick Ellis did not recognize he was part of a substitution package, and did not get off the field. Its preseason Rex! But way to go big fella!
Right of the bat, lets get to what could be a major issue for the Jets this season, BIG PROBLEMS ON THE O-LINE!! This is why preseason games are so necessary, you get to see the obvious areas that need improving.
Here are a few things to be concerned about moving forward. The first is right tackle. Second year player Vladimir Ducasse did not play well at all. This is not a good sign for a player that was a very high pick, selected in the second round by the Jets. The Jets are expecting Ducasse to replace veteran RT D Woody, however judging from camp and this game, it does not look like it will play out that way. Tonight we saw Ducasse get beat several times, twice resulting in the QB being sacked without even getting a hand on the end rusher. Not Good! There are still three preseason games left for Ducasse to get better, but the Jets have to look to bring in a veteran for insurance.
Another issue on the line is depth. If the Jets have one major injury on the offensive line, the season could be done, judging from what we saw out of the second and third string players tonight. We have to give credit to the Texans defense though. This defense was itching to show how physical and aggressive they could be under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. During the first drive of the game for the Jets, it seemed the offensive calls were geared toward slowing down pro bowler Mario Williams. The problem was, they let guys like OLB Xavier Adibi,OLB Conner Barwin, ILB Tim Bobbins, OLB Brooks Reed and rookie DE JJ Watt wreak havoc on the Jets O-Line and QB’s. OLB Bryan Braman looks like a future star. The Jets have to look to improve in this area quick.
Positives offensive signs:
Mark Sanchez displayed quick reads, getting the ball out quickly with accuracy. He still needs to complete drives for touchdowns though. RB Shonn Green looks ready to take off and run people over as he does so well. TE Jeff Cumberland, showed great hands, and the ability to get open making several big plays all night. WR Patrick Turner is the guy to watch. He had a great night making play after play, using his 6’5 frame in the red zone for a touchdown. WR Jeremy Kerley is the energizer bunny, with quickness, shiftiness and great speed, Jets fans are going to love this guy, could become a fan favorite.
The one player I give the game ball to, even in a loss is rookie QB Greg McElroy. I wrote a piece about this kid a week ago. He is the real deal. You have to give this young kid credit for holding up, showing the leadership qualities, intelligence managing the cadence, making big throws with constant heat coming from the defense. Jets fans! This is a player you will come to love.
Not all that worried about the defense. We did see the Jets give up big plays on”naked boot-legs” twice. The young players were caught out of position on both of those plays, or it could have been an issue of missed assignments. In any case; that can, and will be fix by Rex and crew.
There is one real concern that I wrote about a few days ago with this defense, and that is safety Eric Smith. We saw again Smith get beat by a TE (Owen Daniel). Daniel had Smith beat in the second quarter by at least 4 yards, but luckily he could not bring the pass in. I am not into “what ifs”, but Smith just cant cover TE’s and this could be a real problem for the secondary when we face teams like the Pats and other teams in the league that utilize the TE a lot. All in all, for the first game of the preseason, the defense looked good.