We are a few days away from seeing the Jets in live action for the first time this Saturday night against the Titans. Training camp is going full tilt. Some positions are in disarray. Of course the quarterback situation is up in the air. I went out to Jets camp last Thursday and tried to watch every pass each QB threw. I will say this, Josh McCown is a someone you really want to succeed. He has excellent presence and says the right things but he lacks talent. He can be vocal and sees the field just okay but his release seems slow as well as his decision making. Christian Hackenberg throws a nice pass but you scratch your head seeing him thread the needle on a rope then he throws a “duck” of a pass. Bryce Petty is just not getting a fair amount of reps so he is really not getting a fair shot. I’m sure all of Jet management is hoping Hackenberg will somehow win the job. Whoever wins the QB job will be in a tough spot. All three don’t seem to have the talent to make the players around them better. With Enunwa going down for the season, the Jets are really thin at wide receiver. I am also very concerned about the offensive line. I thought this had to be addressed early in the draft. For “full disclosure” the player I wanted in the second round, Forest Lamp drafted by the San Diego Chargers out of Western Kentucky is out for the season with a torn with a torn ACL. The Jets second round pick safety Marcus Maye has been lighting it up in training camp. Shows how much I know. Though I’d be surprised if the offensive line isn’t a big issue for the Jets this year. Austin Seferian-Jenkins the tight end has looked real good! He dropped a bunch of weight and came into camp in real good shape. He has a DUI and will miss the first two games but the tight end should be more active for the Jets this year than they have been in the past two years.
Special Teams is one area of the game the Jets should really focus hard on in training camp. Bill Parcells always said when he had a team that lacked talent, he would focus harder and practice more with special teams. The Jets have been awful returning punts the last few years and the rest of their special teams was not that good either. It will take a lot to get them up to snuff but I would also focus on this part of the game. The NFL has made it harder because of the training schedule with only single sessions. When there were two sessions, a lot of the afternoon time was special teams. Boy I wish we could get Mike Westoff on the field if only for the pre-season. I’d even pay for his bait on his next fishing trip on his boat in Florida.
The Eye Watch:
- Lawrence Thomas (#97) DL: Second year player who lit it up in pre-season and carried it over to the first game until he was injured for the year. I liked him a lot.
- Jordan Jenkins (#48) LB: Another 2nd year player who had some ferocious hits last year. He had a nagging toe injury most of the season but I really think the Jets have something.
- Brandon Shell (#72) OT: Word last year was he was playing much better the last few games of the season. He would be an excellent find if he develops.
Lookalikes: Christian Hackenberg and FOX's Tucker Carlson
What the Jets Scribes Are Saying:
Rich Cimin, ESPN
In the absence of Quincy Enunwa, other Jets wide receivers will need to step up. Robby Anderson’s name comes to mind as one of the players who will need to elevate his game. It was only one training camp practice, but Anderson played well on Tuesday.
*Note: Numerous other reports said Robby Anderson really lit it up in practice on Tuesday
Brian Costello, NY Post
Perhaps a true quarterback competition will soon begin.
Though veteran Josh McCown still spent most of Monday’s practice with the first team, 22-year-old Christian Hackenberg received his most reps with the top unit in training camp. Hackenberg, who took 21 overall reps, had six opportunities with the first team, and overall, went 10-of-21 with one touchdown.
Danish Mehta, NY Daily News
The Jets self-described three-way open quarterback competition has been nothing of the sort through a peculiar training camp that has prompted fair questions about a mysterious plan at the most pivotal position. Todd Bowles has tried to sell the idea that Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty will each have a fair opportunity to win the starting job, but only dye in the wool Kool-Aid guzzlers would buy that at the moment. McCown has worked almost exclusively with the starters through the first eight practices, while Hackenberg has taken second-team reps. The Jets tweaked their rotation on Monday by giving Hackenberg six consecutive snaps with the first team in 11-on-11 drills on Monday, his most extensive work with the starters. The second-year signal-caller completed one pass on a quick hitter and was “sacked” in three drop backs. In other words, the results were inconclusive.
From Walter Football: The QB Class For The 2018 Draft:
1) Sam Darnold**, QB, USC
Darnold was very impressive as a redshirt freshman in 2016. Sources say that while they haven't studied Darnold extensively, he jumped out at them as being a potentially special quarterback. Darnold completed 67 percent of his passes in 2016 for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He has size, a strong-enough arm and accuracy, plus led USC on a nine-game winning streak to end last season. There is buzz of him being a No. 1-overall talent at the position. Team sources say that the early feedback is that Darnold has good intangibles as well.
2) Josh Allen*, QB, Wyoming
Height: 6-5. Weight: 222.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.
7/17/17: Allen became a discussed prospect late in the 2016 season, but he wisely decided to return to Wyoming. He has a good skill set, and some draft analysts were projecting him high in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but one general manager told WalterFootball.com that he had Allen as a third-day prospect and thought Allen should improve before going pro. Scouts from other teams say they think Allen is a top-of-the-draft prospect and compare him to Ben Roethlisberger, so Allen could end up being a love/hate prospect. There is no doubt that he has superb physical talent to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. In 2016, Allen completed 56 percent of his passes for 3,203 yards with 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions
3) Josh Rosen*, QB, UCLA
Height: 6-4. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 1
7/17/17: Rosen completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,915 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions over his six games of 2016 before being sidelined by shoulder surgery. Rosen is a pocket passer, but there is already talk that his character and leadership are lacking. Some team sources have told me that Rosen is disliked by a lot of teammates. Rosen had an impressive debut as a freshman, completing 60 percent of his passes for 3,670 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He showed off a powerful arm and the ability to be an NFL pocket passer. While Rosen has gotten a ton of hype, the same thing happened with Christian Hackenberg after his freshman season. Thus, Rosen still has more to prove as a junior to be a high first-rounder.
4) Lamar Jackson*, QB, Louisville
Height: 6-3. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2018): 1
7/17/17: Jackson set college football on fire in 2016 while winning the Heisman Trophy. He was a massive point-producer for the Cardinals. Jackson completed 56 percent of his passes for 3,543 yards with 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions on the year. He also ran for 21 touchdowns and 1,571 yards while averaging six yards per carry.
Jackson has a good athletic skill set, but will need to show more accuracy and pocket-passing skills in 2017. He also faces some size concerns and needs to add weight. Teams do feel that Jackson has a ton of athletic ability and upside to grow. He also has gotten good early reviews for his character, leadership and toughness.
*CHECK OUT MY NEW SPORTS BLOG: Schupak Sports