Let’s get it started already. The Jets hit the practice field this morning at SUNY Cortland (the team’s first open workout is Saturday) and training camp is officially under way. With the Green & White coming off an 8-8 season, NFL Network’s Charley Casserly (@CharleyCasserly) provided us a snapshot of where the Jets are at heading into 2012.
“I think the Jets have a lot of questions, but I don’t know if they’re bad questions,” he told me Thursday afternoon.
Not surprisingly, almost all of Casserly’s questions regard the offense. Casserly, a former NFL Executive of the Year, candidly said he wouldn’t have made the trade for Tim Tebow if he were in a similar situation.
“It’s a question if you want to deal with a potential distraction vs. something that could be a weapon to win a game,” he said.
Large crowds are expected here in Cortland over the next few weeks and that includes big media gatherings. You’ll read play-by-play analysis every Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow throw even though the former has been designated the clear starter.
“Not much goes on in training camp and there is a potential distraction here. There is no right or wrong answer for this one,” Casserly said. “They didn’t trade for Tebow to challenge to be the quarterback. They traded for him to have a role, so that’s why there’s no right or wrong answer. Don’t expect Tebow to challenge for No. 1. If they did that, I would disagree with that totally. But they’re not doing that.”
Casserly thinks the Rex Ryan/Mike Pettine-led defense will be strong again and rookie DE Quinton Coples and a healthy LaRon Landry (now off Active PUP) could potentially take them to another level.
“The defense will be good. They game-plan as well as anybody in the National Football League, their blitz packages are superb, and they do a tremendous job getting people free to the quarterback,” he said. “What they haven’t had in the front seven is a guy they’ve had to game-plan for in passing situations. That’s what they’re hoping they get out of Coples.”
But Casserly’s critical questions are on the other side of the ball:
WR Santonio Holmes — “Are they going to feature Holmes and target him 10-plus times a game? Is he going to be a true featured No. 1 receiver?”
WR Stephen Hill — “Here’s a guy who has game-changing speed. DeSean Jackson is the fastest player in the NFL when I watch players, but this guy has that kind of game-changing speed. He’s kind of raw as a receiver. What impact will he have?”
Run Game — “Can Shonn Greene be a No. 1 back and who’s No. 2?”
Offensive Identity — “What’s this offense going to look like? You aren’t going to win in the NFL by simply running the ball. You have to make plays in the passing game. How are they going to build the passing game into the running game?”
Jeff Otah Deal/Right Tackle — “If it (the acquisition of Otah from Carolina) works out, great. It if doesn’t, they haven’t lost much there. I’d say on offense, Wayne Hunter is capable of playing better than last year and bouncing back.”
Tags: Charley Casserly, Mark Sanchez, Quinton Coples, Santonio Holmes, Shonn Greene, Tim Tebow, training camp
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