It’s getting close to the end of July, which only means one thing: The start of football. The New York Jets have started preparations for the 2013 regular season with rookies reporting to training camp on July 22nd, and the rest of the team to follow on July 25.
A tragedy in progress.
Last year, the Jets finished a disastrous season with a 6-10 record and in third place in a weak AFC East division—a far cry from the team that went to back-to-back AFC Championships just a few years ago. Remember that team?
After a busy offseason, in which we saw longtime Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum get fired; best defensive player on the Jets Darrelle Revis (and around the league) get traded, and losing 10 starters, there are still some big issues confronting the New York Jets.
Here are five burning questions entering training camp:
1. The biggest question: Who will be the starting quarterback for the NY Jets? Rookie quarterback Geno Smith, or embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez? Sanchez’s first two seasons, when the Jets went to back-to-back championship games, were promising. He won 4-of-6 playoff games, all on the road, with nine touchdown passes and just three interceptions in the postseason, but all of that seems like a distant memory now. The Jets organization and its fans have lost confidence in the Sanchize.
Enter former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who put up video game-like stats in his college career. The Jets drafted the quarterback in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft in hopes of finding another franchise quarterback.
Both quarterbacks think they’re going to win the starting job, but Sanchez has the upperhand because of his experience in the league.
2. Will rookie Dee Milliner make a sudden impact on the Jets’ secondary? The cornerback out of Alabama has some big shoes to fill. The Jets decided not to pay their top corner, Darrelle Revis, and lost him, so they looked to the draft to try and fill that gaping hole. Dee Milliner, the top cover cornerback in the draft, has been rehabbing his shoulder, so he’s missed important time going over the Jets’ defensive schemes. Once Milliner comes back, can he pick up the schemes quick enough to make an impact?
3. How will the Jets’ defense fare with six of its key starters gone? Bart Scott is gone; Sione Pouha is gone. LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell are gone; Mike Devito and Bryan Thomas are gone. All those players played important roles on the defensive side, and now they’re all gone. The team will definitely go through some growing pains this season on the defensive side.
4. What’s going on with Santonio Holmes’ foot? Santonio Holmes is the Jets’ only legitimate offensive threat. The receiver has been out since last October due to a LisFranc injury, and hasn’t done any football-related activities for a while. When he comes back, will he be the same?
The team already lacks playmakers, so without Holmes, that puts more pressure on the other receivers (who already have enough trouble catching the ball) like Stephen Hill, Clyde Gates and Jeremy Kerley, to make things happen on offense.
5. Who’s going to run the ball? Let’s face it, no team in the NFL fears the Jets’ passing attack. They’re going to dare the Jets to throw the ball, regardless of who’s behind center, so it’ll be imperative for the Jets’ running backs to get the ground game going. But who will it be? Chris Ivory has the talent to be a starting running back with his speed, strength and agility, while other new addition Mike Goodson has game-breaking ability and has the speed to do some damage as a pass-catching back.