I was able to attend this year’s Green and White scrimmage up at Cortland last night and the results were definitely a mixed bag. The defense is way ahead of the offense. There were some standout performers on both sides of the ball as well as some players who were invisible. Also they showed some interesting formations and player movement that might be a sign of things to come.
1) No major injuries - You can’t win a Super Bowl in August but you can certainly lose one with a major injury or two. Jermaine Cunningham looked to have a significant ankle/foot injury but other than that it was a clean scrimmage.
2) No turnovers except that Alex Green fumble - The ball placement by the quarterbacks were good and aside from a good route jump by Darrin Walls on a Geno Smith pass and a deflection by Antonio Allen there was a clear concentration on protecting the ball.
3) This is not only a very good front 7 it is also a very deep one as well - In addition to the usual suspects of Wilkerson, Richardson, Ellis, and Harrison, the Jets also have productive players in Douzable, Coples along the line, TJ Barnes and Anthony Grady even played well. At the linebacker position, Demario Davis snuffed out a swing pass to Chris Ivory, Jason Babin had two sacks, Trevor Reilly got in for a sack, Garrett McIntyre held the edge and beat Vick to the sidelines on one play.
4) Rontez Miles steals the show - Miles was all over the place whether he was laying a hit on Salas, or notching two sacks blitzing off the edge (including one against the 1st team), he looked like he belonged. His speed jumped out at you and he looks like he is a player that can contribute. As we all know, though, playing well in a scrimmage is meaningless if it is not followed up by good play in the preseason then hopefully regular season games. Miles continues to benefit from the snaps he is getting while Pryor is out. He will see extended time on Thursday that he needs to utilize.
5) Dee Milliner plays strong - Other than a pass breakup Dee Milliner went unnoticed and that was great. Milliner shut down Eric Decker (or about 80% of Decker who is nursing a sore hamstring). Dimitri Patterson had a tough night on the other side but Dee Milliner stepped up for him. It will be interesting to see what happens when the preseason games start and McDougle is able to jump in and help. Darrin Walls also looked good in coverage.
6) The offensive line - The line run blocked very well, especially behind Colon and Giacomini. I was surprised they were able to gel so quickly. Giacomini on the whole had a good night and any sacks against Smith were because of a lack of receivers open rather than edge pressure. Aboushi and Winters also had some good run blocks next to Giacomini. When they were on the left side it seemed to me they struggled some , especially against the run where the defensive line was getting penetration through both center/guard gaps.
7) The running backs ran strong and hit the holes opened for them - Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory both looked healthy and productive while running behind the line. Other than getting stuffed three times from the one yard line in the 2nd half Alex Green ran strong and looked better than Darryl Richardson to me. It’s clear that it will be a strength of the team.
8) Fun formations - The Jets were in plenty of 2 and yes, 3 tight end sets. They motioned Decker out wide from the backfield, they ran from 4 wide receiver formations and passed from 3 tight end sets. The offense has a long way to go as far as execution but there are a lot more plays they can execute and clearly better players to execute them with. The defense had some fun with the Amoeba defense, they backed off of a cover 0 look into a single high safety, zone blitz pre snap and they blitzed from up the middle and on the edge, both with linemen, corners and safeties.