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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Jets Receivers May Be Improved

I know that I’m sounding like the typical “glass half full” fan but this is the most optimistic I have been about the Jets in a while. Sure we have questions on the offensive and defensive line. Sure we don’t have a pass rusher and haven’t really had a pure one since John Abraham. And until Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Darnold do it when it matters, the quarterback position is still a question mark. Oh how we fans love the off season. Every team looks improved on paper. With the receivers, call it the “alphabet soup bunch”. At one point there were (I believe) 17 receivers on the roster. Slowly the Jets are cutting that number down and as of now there are 13. Receivers Jalin Marshall is gone as is JoJo Natson who played mostly special teams and always seemed to take his first three steps going backwards on punt returns. The receivers remaining in no particular order are:

Quincy Enunwa, Chad Hansen, Charles Johnson, Jermaine Kearse, Tre McBride, Charone Peake, Robby Anderson
Terrelle Pryor, Andre Roberts, Devin Smith, ArDarius Stewart, Jonah Trinnaman, Lucky Whitehead

From these players here is why I’m feeling pretty pretty good about them. Quincy Enunwa is back! In case you forgot, before he was injured he was getting better and better game by game. If he overcomes his neck injury, he should take off where he left off. Stabilizing the quarterback situation will only help this talent. In 2016 he had 58 receptions for 857 yards and 4TDs for the 5-11 Jets catching passes from the the “Bizarro” Ryan Fitzpatrick who was awful.

Robby Anderson is a lucky man. From the police reports I have read, he sounds like a bad dude who needs to grow up. With that said he got off the felony charge and has looked real good in OTA’s. I unofficially counted at least 9 times that Anderson was either wide open or ahead of the field in 2017 that Josh McCown either couldn’t find or reach him. Darnold or Bridgewater will have more success with Anderson.

I’ve spoken about Terrelle Pryor who in 2016 for the Browns had 77 receptions for 1,007 yards. Interestingly Josh McCown threw some of those passes playing 5 games at QB for the Browns. Last year was a wash out for Pryor who only caught 20 passes for 240 yards with 1 touchdown. This former quarterback is a talent who can stretch the field and has real good size at 6’4”. He had ankle surgery last November and last week Mannish Mehta of the Daily News reported that Pryor suffered another ankle injury in the off-season. Unconfirmed word came out that it is a fractured ankle with no ligament damage and he should be ready to go in training camp. Who knows? Let’s all see and we will take our own “eye test” if and when he gets on the field in 2018. I really had high hopes for this player.

Speaking about injuries, Devin Smith is giving it another try. He was the #37 overall pick of the 2015 draft. He had a pair of ACL injuries and has only appeared in 4 games in two years. I doubt he will be on the roster. ArDarius Stewart was a third round pick and did not distinguish himself in his rookie year. He caught 6 passes for 82 yards. His counterpart Chad Hansen drafted in the 4th round the same year had 9 receptions for 94 yards. This player is a talent! Why he did’t play more or wasn’t targeted more, I don’t know. I expect with Jeremy Bates as OC, he will recognize Hansen’s upside and I expect 50-60 catches from him this year.  

Jermaine Kearse had 65 receptions for 810 and 5 TDs last year. This 28 year old is a good player to keep around. If Pryor comes back healthy. Kearse may be the odd man out. He is an excellent locker room guy also. If Andre Roberts makes the team it will be as a return man. Charles Johnson is another player who will be a casualty because of the numbers. And Charone Peake who I really liked in his rookie year, missed most of last year with an injury but may stick because of his special teams play. Jonah Trinnaman, Lucky Whitehead and Tre McBride, I don’t see and of them on the team.

Going into the season and this can change, if the Jets start Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson with either Jermaine Kearse or Chad Hansen, this will be a competitive group of receivers. If Pryor comes back 100%, they will be very good. Of course it looks great on paper and Jeremy Bates will play the players that give the Jets the best chance to succeed, but as Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Jamal Adams Needs To Tone It Down
Most Jet fans love the competitiveness and spirit of 2nd year safety Jamal Adams. But please tone down the rhetoric. He is guaranteeing he will make All-Pro and making other statements. We all know coach BB up I-95 would never let Adams continue to spout his confidence like he is doing. I’d love to stay under the radar and not to give other teams bulletin board material that they will use to get motivated. On the other hand if his brashness makes him and his teammates play better, then go ahead and talk.

From Randy Lange
Jets head coach Todd Bowles held his second news conference of the OTA period and Jets reporters asked him about how a number of players are looking the past few weeks. Here are Bowles' quick takes on 10 of those players:​​

On how rookie QB Sam Darnold has been looking...​
"He's been progressing. Obviously we're installing the offense and putting everything in on defense so he's seeing things for the first time on both sides of the ball. But as the days go by, he's getting more comfortable, so he's just got to keep working at it and getting better."​

On QB Teddy Bridgewater's continuing progress...
"Teddy has shown no signs of weakness with the knee. He's moving around, taking every rep, every snap like everybody else. So he's progressing, getting better. He's a tough guy. He feels good, he looks good, he's moving around good."

On how S Jamal Adams is progressing in year 2 and with a changed diet and a private chef...
"Physically, he's always been in great shape. Right now he's been running around like he was last year. But from a mental standpoint, his eyes are better, he's focusing on the little things. So from that standpoint, I see him getting better. ... As far as not letting his eyes roam, if his eyes stay focused, he'll be fine."

On what he's seen from WR Robby Anderson these practices...
"I think from a mental standpoint as far as presnap reads and understanding the game better, which he is doing, becoming more of a complete receiver and not just a speed guy and taking the next step, and understanding what's happening to him and how guys are attacking to him. And he's been working on that all offseason."

On WR Quincy Enunwa's ongoing efforts to return to action after a year away...
"Right now, we're cautious. He doesn't have a helmet on right now, but he's running around, he's catching the ball, he's running his routes fine. ... When he gets to camp, his health is most important. We're excited to have him back once he gets back and he excited to be back. So we'll see when the pads go on."

What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
Some non-quarterback thoughts on the Jets' practice: Strong day for Robby Anderson, whom Todd Bowles said is developing into an all-around receiver ... WR Chad Hansen beat CB Juston Burris for a long TD in 7-on-7 ... Josh Martin and David Bass worked as the starting OLBs. Jordan Jenkins has a minor injury ... Rookie DT Foley Fatukasi quicker off the ball than I anticipated ... A couple of drops for TE Neal Sterling. TE Jordan Leggett flashed, but can he do it with the pads on? ... S Jamal Adams extremely vocal and intense. It's May, but he acts like it's September.

Manesh Mehta, NY Daily News
The arrow continues to point up for #Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Todd Bowles today: "He has shown no signs of weakness with the knee. He is moving around & taking every rep & every snap like everybody else. So, he is progressing & getting better."

Brian Costello, NY Post
Henry Anderson was playing video games at home on the afternoon of April 28 when his phone rang. He looked at the caller ID: “Chris Ballard,” as in the general manager of the Colts, the team Anderson had played for the past three years.

“When I looked down and saw the GM’s name on my phone, I thought I should probably pause my video game and pick this up,” Anderson recalled this week.

Ballard was calling to tell Anderson that he had been traded to the Jets. On the third day of the draft, the Jets sent a seventh-round pick to Indianapolis in return for the defensive end.

“We needed another guy at the time,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “We wanted a veteran guy on the inside to help out at least on the four-down packages and not just rely on a rookie going in that way. We figured he was better than most of the guys we would have taken at that pick, so we went ahead and made the trade.”

For Anderson, the trade was a bit of a life raft. The Colts were switching to a 4-3 this season under new coach Frank Reich. Anderson had spent his entire college career at Stanford and his time with the Colts in a 3-4. Anderson was excited when he heard about the trade, knowing the Jets play a 3-4 primarily.  Anderson knew he did not fit what the Colts wanted to do in 2018, but the trade still caught him off guard.
“I wasn’t totally expecting it,” Anderson said. “I didn’t really get any concrete signs ahead of time. I knew I wasn’t their ideal fit when they switched defenses. I know I’m not their prototypical D end in that system. Looking back on it, it wasn’t something I should have been too shocked about it, but ahead of time I didn’t really know too much.”
The Jets had a hole on the defensive line after cutting Muhammad Wilkerson in February. Anderson will help fill that hole, as will third-round pick Nathan Shepherd.

Around The NFL
…..Two weeks after a Supreme Court decision opened the door for legalized sports betting nationwide, Delaware announced Thursday gaming will begin June 5 at all three casinos in the state. Delaware becomes the first state since that 6-3 court decision to offer sports gaming. The state-sanctioned gaming will be offered at Delaware Park, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, and Harrington Raceway & Casino. Wagers will be offered in NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, PGA and soccer events…..Former New England defensive end Cassius Marsh said there was nothing fun about playing for the Patriots while Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson said (per Bleeding Green Nation) earlier this week, "All these guys talking about 'I'll take the rings.' OK. You can have your rings. You can also have f— 15 miserable years."
It shouldn't come as much surprise the goal for coach Bill Belichick is not about making sure his players are having fun. It's about winning. "We feel what's important to us is to win," Belichick said, via Pro Football Talk. "So that's really what we're trying to do.”…..Andrew Luck missed an entire season of his NFL career due to injury. Peyton Manning knows something about that experience. The former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback missed the 2011 season due to a neck injury. The issue ended his tenure in Indy and began Luck's reign. Manning, careful not to compare the two situations, said from Wednesday's Pro-Am at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, that he believes Luck getting as many reps as possible is key to a positive return. "Everything is an individual thing, so you have to be careful speaking on it since injuries are different," Manning told ESPN. "But it's also universal. For me, I was a [repetition] guy. I liked to get all the reps on practice. The theory of 10,000 reps, I believe in that. I felt like I was kind of behind because I hadn't gotten the reps even though you have a lot in the bank. It took me a few games before I felt like I was coming back. Getting as many reps as possible is key.”…..Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is not attending the Packers’ organized team activities, per multiple reports. The Pro Bowl safety has offered no explanation for his absence, but it’s probably a good guess he wants a long-term extension. Clinton-Dix currently is scheduled to play 2018 under the fifth-year option of $5.96 million…..Colin Kaepernick, Dez Bryant, Richie Incognito, Johnathan Hankins, Mychal Kendricks, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Bashaud Breeland, Eric Reid are all free agents looking for work…..When the Bills took quarterback Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick in the NFL Draft last month, it wasn’t hard to find critics. Now, according to analysts and teammates, the Wyoming product is turning critics into believers during OTAs. "I had a member of the media up there first tell me and then I talked to somebody involved in their organization. Josh Allen is blowing people away. I mean blowing people away,” analyst Chris Simms said on his podcast. “It sounds like a Carson Wentz thing. I think everybody is blown away by the mental approach, but practice is eye opening like we said it would be.”….The news coming out of Philadelphia about Carson Wentz, who is recovering from a torn ACL, continue to be glowingly positive. Recently, video emerged of Wentz moving extremely well while doing passing drills (watch here). Then on Tuesday he was a full participant in every individual drill, along with 2-on-2 drills, according to Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer, who was very impressed with what he saw. “If it weren’t for the brace Wentz was wearing, it would be difficult to discern that he was five months removed from reconstructive knee surgery. He ran through the same motions as his counterparts. He jogged without a hitch. He had velocity on his throws, and dare I say, the balls appeared to be moving at a faster pace than last year. And he was accurate, even when throwing against defenders.”….. 

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