Dec 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (52) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 28-9. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

2013 New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Part V-Linebackers


The time is counting down, Jets fans. We are now just a little over two weeks away from the start of 2013 training camp. I know for us in the East, dealing with this intense heat, it’s hard to think about it being football time, but believe it or not, it’s almost here.

With that, let’s continue our position by position preview of training camp. Most recently, we took a look at the situation at defensive line.  Here are our offensive previews:

Quarterbacks

Backs and Receivers

Offensive Line

Now, let’s finish up the defensive front seven by taking a look at the……..

LINEBACKERS

Back for another season to lead the linebacking corp is seven-year veteran David Harris.  He brings his 85+ tackles per season back to anchor the New York defense.  Set to step up and join him is second year player Demario Davis.  He had been learning the ropes from Bart Scott, and now that “Can’t Wait” is gone, it is Demario’s time to step up and lead.

From here, the competition will begin.  In-house players with the upper hand include Nick Bellore and Garrett McIntyre.  The team is looking to finally establish an outside pass rush, and McIntyre showed some promise with 3.5 sacks last season. Veteran free agent Antwan Barnes is expected to do big things as well, one season removed from an 11 sack campaign.

One guy that will prove to be an X-Factor in the group is Ricky Sapp.  In the past, he has shown breakneck speed coming off the edge, looking like the pass rusher we have been waiting for.  Unfortunately, injuries have stunted his growth, and he has not made the team coming out of camp yet.  Should he stay healthy, Ricky Sapp has the potential to be a difference maker.

Calvin Pace has been released and brought back, but he will be brought on in specific situations only.  His primary role will be as mentor.  Other competitors for a roster spot will include Troy Davis, JoJo Dickson, Danny Lansanah, Josh Mauga, Sean Progar-Jackson, and Jacquies Smith.

How will the group turn out?  Well, you have your locks, David Harris, and Demario Davis.  Antwan Barnes will stick around, as will McIntyre or Bellore, my opinion one or the other.  Mauga being here before will keep him here, as it will for Calvin Pace.  From there, maybe one of the undrafted free agents, making a total of seven.

What do you guys think?

 

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.willie.509 Joe Willie

    David Harris needs a big comeback yearin 2013–his best pose last year was being stuck to a blocker like Velcro as the opposing RB ran by him for 10-20-30-40 yards. PFF rated Harris as 1of the most overpaid players in the NFL. Another Mr T prepaid debacle.

  • Paul Newbold

    Harris has served the Jets well in the past, but after 7 seasons, he’s begun to slow down, finding it harder to shed blockers. He along with Pace have jobs because of valued experience. I personally think Pace will be cut after camp, by many reports there are several candidates to take his position. Harris will be here for leadership and tutoring, but I won’t be surprised if his playing time decreases as the year goes on. The Jets need LB’s that are fast enough to drop in coverage and actually cover a TE or Back coming out of the backfield!

    • TheJetPress

      He has slowed a bit I agree Paul…his 123 tackles still aren’t anything to sneeze at though. I could see Pace gone after camp, I agree. The idea that eventually, Harris’ time will dwindle makes sense too.

      • Paul Newbold

        Agreed 123 tackles is huge! He has always been a solid run defender. Today’s “pass happy” offenses require more of a two dimensional LB, one being able to toss off blockers and finding the RB, while also being able to drop back and cover well, speed and athleticism is more the modern mold.

        • TheJetPress

          No disagreement…Harris is definitely on the backside of a good career.