Over the last two days the Jets coordinators, Marty Mornhinweg, Dennis Thurman and Thomas McGaughey, and front office representatives, John Idzik, Terry Bradway and Jeff Bauer, had press conferences. Here are some of the key takeaways:
1) Geno Smith will open the QB competition as the starter – The two most important things that Marty Mornhinweg said was that Geno Smith would open the competition as the starter, getting more reps in the OTAs. The second most important takeaway was that Marty said he would arrange the competition in a way to not impede Geno’s progress. Those statements are a clear indication that Vick was brought in just to be an insurance policy and the organization fully stands behind Geno Smith. In my opinion this is the way to go because developing Smith is best for the long-term future of the team and unless he falls flat on his face he should start. Vick is a good baseline for Smith, if Smith can’t outplay Vick then he doesn’t deserve to start.
The other takeaway from Marty Mornhinweg’s presser is that the Jets are really excited to have Chris Johnson and are planning to get the ball to him in space as much as possible. Johnson will be fresher having less carries and will take less of a physical beating with Ivory being the back that goes into the teeth of defenses.
2) The sky is the limit for Dee – Dennis Thurman spoke very highly of the progress of Dee Milliner, especially at the end of the year. Thurman sees him becoming a very good corner that will continue to improve. Thurman predictably said that he was happy with the current crop of cornerbacks. I think they are deeper than they were last year but I still think they should add another young corner with an early pick. The defensive coordinator also said that newly acquired Dimitri Patterson can play both inside or outside and likes his flexibility.
3) Thomas McGaughey gave the Jets the low down on LSU players – New Special Teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, formerly of LSU, said that he has provided the Jets with all the information he had on LSU’s potential draftees. Of special interest to the Jets are wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry, running back Jeremy Hill and safety Craig Loston. McGaughey also praised newly acquired Jacoby Ford for his return skills but added that he wanted to bring someone in to challenge him and compete. Also, he stressed that punt coverage would be area that will be focused on to improve. Finally he said that he consults with Mike Westhoff once a month because Westhoff is one of the best of all-time.
4) Idzik gives very little information as usual – You name the cliche, Idzik used it but there were two nuggets I found interesting. First was his continued insistence that character is highly weighted in their evaluations. While he said that they wouldn’t have 53 “choir boys”, he did say that a person’s background and getting to know the prospect is very important. You never know what happens when push comes to shove and a very talented, flawed prospect drops but I don’t expect the Jets to take many chances with players that have checkered pasts. Secondly, he said that it is a bigger, stronger, faster league and it is impossible to simulate that week to week in college. I took that to mean that tape means less for the smaller school players while the bigger conference players, especially the SEC, can most approximate the NFL conditions hence more valuable game tape. The all-star games and private interviews and workouts are more important to the smaller school players.
5) Terry Bradway quantifies all the scouting work done – The Jets visited 263 schools, 575 total school visits, 1,372 player reports, 3,500 player evaluations, 635 interviews, 115 Pro Days and 120 college games. Although most teams do similar work that’s pretty thorough.