We are lucky here at Fansided to have access to writers for all 32 teams, and this week we have the pleasure of speaking to one of the best. Alan Schechter is the editor of TheJetPress and he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
1. I know Jet fans are not high on Mark Sanchez, but given his contract most assume he will start until the season hangs in the balance. Last year I heard Tebow by week three…What is your take on the QB situation?
The QB situation is complex. The team has talked about the possibility of taking the competition into the fourth game, the game that starters normally rest for. The problem is that there seems to be an organizational divide as to who should play. The perception is that John Idzik, Woody Johnson, and even Rex Ryan want Geno Smith to start, so they are giving Geno every opportunity to win the job. Marty Mornhinweg, however, would like to move ahead with Mark Sanchez. Mind you, Marty has never opened a season with a rookie at the helm of his offense, anywhere.
I believe that Geno, if he plays really well Saturday night against the Giants, will be the starter come week one. If not, it leaves the door open for Mark. If Mark opens the season, it won’t hurt Geno, especially with the Jets having the Patriots in New England on the 12th of Sept, just four days after they open against Tampa Bay. That will be a bit rough to throw a rookie to the wolves like that.
So, Geno may start, but it won’t hurt if he doesn’t start right away. I think he likely starts by mid season anyway unless Mark is playing lights out.
2. Is this Rex’s last stand? Playing in what amounts to one of the weakest division in football, Rex proclaimed he was here to take down the Patriots, and yet he is 3 and 5 against the Dolphins in 5 years and has never won a division title.
Rex’s last stand? Possibly. I think that John Idzik ultimately would like to bring in his own guy as the head coach, despite the fact that they make nice in public. The Jets 2013 season will determine Rex’s fate. If they go 8-8, I don’t see a way they can justify getting rid of Rex. But, if the season goes down the tubes, Rex would likely be out the door.
3. Where will the offense come from this year?
RB Bilal Powell has all of a sudden found some explosiveness in his step. Granted, it is still the preseason, but he should be a good source of offense, as is Chris Ivory from the running back position. The offensive line has looked good, so the running game should reassert himself. At wide receiver, Jeremy Kerley should make the step up and improve on his last season play. Stephen Hill is getting better, and if he can hang onto the football, he will put up some TD numbers. If Holmes makes it make, the WR depth chart will look a whole lot better, as it is a mystery now as to when he will get back.
4. Will the loss of Revis be noticed, or will we see that all the hype over a shutdown corner was not all that important in the grand scheme?
The Jets will absolutely be fine without Darrelle Revis, not because the shutdown corner was not important, but because Antonio Cromartie has the talent to get the job done. I know, we have all seen Cro get beaten pretty badly, but he is truly stepping up as a leader on the defense, and will make us all forget Revis. Revis is a selfish football player that is Tampa Bay’s problem now.
As Dee Milliner progresses, the Jets will have a nice 1-2 punch at corner.
5. What rookies will make an impact on this team this year?
The biggest impact will be felt from Sheldon Richardson. He will make his presence felt on an already tough Jets’ defensive front four. Watch for an undrafted rookie named Ryan Spadola. A local kid out of Lehigh, he has made himself quite the name for himself at WR, so much so that he has already seen time with the first team. Keep an eye on him.
Thanks Alan…Only comment is I’m surprised to hear that an 8-8 season would be considered a success and that Rex gets to stay on unequivocally in that scenario.