The New York Jets enter their 2nd ‘New Era’ season under Head coach Todd Bowles and General Manager Mike Maccagnan with the same viable players and new faces. Ending the 2015 season at 10-6 was not enough for Gang Green to end their playoff drought. Now, the 2016 Jets kicked off mandatory training camp recently and look to play in the upcoming postseason.
‘Magic Mike’ needed to make moves in order to make this team more competitive. He let some home-grown talent leave and also didn’t re-sign the players that this team needed. Maccagnan did, however, bring back players that are known as playmakers in the NFL which could help this team take the next step.
DT Damon Harrison, S Antonio Allen, LB Demario Davis, DE Leger Douzable, RB Chris Ivory, LB Jamari Lattimore, P Ryan Quigley, RB Stevan Ridley, CB Darrin Walls, CB Antonio Cromartie, LB Calvin Pace, WR Jeremy Kerley OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson (retired), DE Stephen Bowen (retired)
OT Ryan Clady , RB Matt Forte, NT Steve McLendon, DE Jarvis Jenkins, RB Khiry Robinson, RB Bernard Pierce
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TE Kellen Davis , LB Erin Henderson, DE Muhammad Wilkerson, RB Bilal Powell, OL Ben Ijalana, TE Zach Sudfeld, TE Kellen Davis
2016 NFL Draft
Round 1 (20) ILB Darron Lee
Round 2 (51) QB Christian Hackenberg
Round 3 (83) OLB Jordan Jenkins
Round 4 (118) CB Juston Burris
Round 5 (158) OT Brandon Shell
Round 7 (235) P Lachlan Edwards
Round 7 (241) WR Charone Peake
*In less than 2 weeks, Mike Maccagnan signed Wilkerson to a long-term deal, signed first-round pick Darron Lee and signed Fitzpatrick to a 1-year deal*
What/Who to Watch For
This is the first season in a while where we, as Jets fans, know who our quarterback will be in Week 1. Obviously, all eyes are on Fitzpatrick and the rest of the QB’s but this year is different. The Jets are looking at different positions that need to be addressed, cornerbacks, linebackers, offensive line, and wide receivers.
Cornerbacks Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams, Dee Milliner, Dexter McDougle, and Juston Borris all have a shot to secure a starting role in this defense. Due to the amount of money Skrine is being paid ($7.7 million), he’ll most likely stay put at slot corner or move to the outside. When Cro was injured, Williams was the go-to guy to play on the opposite side of Revis. He ended his season with 6 interceptions in that role.
Milliner has been catching the injury bug and hasn’t proved much since he was drafted. The Alabama kid was projected to be Revis’s replacement after the Jets traded him. Milliner has showed a ton of potential but has a lot of downfalls. He is, after all, a first-round pick that the Jets invested a lot of time with so they’d like to see a return on their investment. Dee Milliner has the chance to be what everyone thought he would be. Dex McDougle tore his ACL during his rookie year so last year was the first season he had the chance to get his feet wet in the NFL. Having a special teams role and not much playing time on defense, we weren’t able to get a good idea of what he’s capable of. After watching college tape on Dex, it’s easy to see how he is a physical corner that has good vision up and down the field. The sky is the limit for these two and with the best cornerback by their side, they have a one way ticket to Revis Island to see what it is all about.
Lorenzo Mauldin will be accountable for a ton of QB hurries and most importantly sacks this year. With no Calvin Pace, Mauldin gets the nod to start with Bruce Carter and rookie Jenkins following him up. Bowles’ defense is all about cornerbacks and rushing the passer with a handful of blitzes every drive. If Mauldin can take the next step in his sophomore year, there is no reason why the Jets defense can’t turn over the ball.
The offensive line has been a bit shaky due to age and injuries. Mangold is entering his 12th year and has been the heart of this line. When he went down with an injury, you can easily tell that he was missed. Ferguson opted to retire and the Jets had no choice but to trade for an offensive tackle named Ryan Clady. Clady has missed 2 out of 3 seasons with injuries. He is still young (29) and has a history of being an All-Pro player. Going back to the ‘Seahawks blueprint’ made by yours truly, John Idzik, he thought it was a great idea to sign Breno Giacomini. He isn’t good, he isn’t bad, but can be replaced by rookie Brandon Shell.
Gang Green looks like a whole new franchise that is reaching for one goal and one goal only, a Super Bowl. Mike Maccagnan has given the fans something to look forward to with Bowles coaching them. Although this team is aging, Todd Bowles is making sure he is coaching the young players to replace the old players in due time.
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