Saturday Morning Quarterback: Jets Preseason Game 1
By Alan Schechter
June 14, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Quinton Coples (98) during minicamp at the Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Time for our first full recap of the new year. During the season this will be the Monday Morning Quarterback, but we adapt when the game is earlier in the week.
Since this is the preseason, instead of a game recap that talks about results, we will talk about what we liked and didn’t like from the game last night. Yes, it is only game one, but there are still things to talk about, positive and negative. First we will talk about the guy pictured to the right.
Last night, this guy began the process of silencing any doubters. Quinton played the entire game, and showed flashes of being an absolutely special player. He got tired, but was still making plays. For the game, he recorded 5 tackles, a pass defended, and a beautiful strip sack. On that play, he closed on the quarterback in barely two seconds, and nearly made the recovery on the football. He is fast, and has great closing speed. It’s only one game, and it wasn’t all against starter, but Coples is definitely on the right road. Good, it will be nice to see a lot of mainstream sports writers eat their words on this guy.
Ugh. Last night, you wondered if we had an offensive line. The first string, second, and third, all played very badly. Unfortunately, we can’t blame it on Wayne Hunter, as he did not play. His replacement, Austin Howard, did not look good in his place.
Depth is clearly an issue along the offensive line that Mike Tannenbaum needs to address, and do it quickly.
A troubling point about the offensive line was that some of the pressure that came against the first team, came from the left side of the Jets offensive line. D’Brickashaw’s side. It’s early, so we can blame a lot of it on rust. It had better improve fast before we are talking all of our quarterbacks off the field in body bags.
Aug 10, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) scrambles in the second quarter against Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy (56) at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
Tim Tebow at times looked very good last night. Tebow fans, you can pick your jaws off the ground now, because I said it. Tebow looked good at times. Especially when he gets in the open field. He adds another weapon that the Jets didn’t have before, with his ability to run the football. When the pocket broke down, he ran the ball, and did it effectively. He led the team in rushing with 4 rushes for 34 yards. If the defense is going to rush Tebow, Rex is right, they had better get to him or he will be off and running. I said to many readers on Twitter yesterday that I will give Tim credit for what he does well. And run the ball, he does that very well.
Sorry, but there is a but here. Tim has to be more consistent throwing the football. Some of his throws were good, some were quite off. Even when he made completions, the throws weren’t always great. His first throw, for example, the quick pass to Stephen Hill, was high. I don’t know if a smaller receiver makes the catch. And the interception he gave up clearly shows he needs to improve at reading defenses. In this league, you cannot stare down your wide receivers. The linebacker didn’t have a difficult time getting to Tim’s pass, because he knew where it was going. That has to get better.
One more thing on Tim. I love the fact that he can scramble, but he needs to be careful that his first instinct isn’t to run all the time. To be a quarterback in this league, you need to be able to look downfield when being pursued by a pass rush. Your first instinct cannot always be to run immediately when facing pressure.
Mark didn’t look too bad in his three series, going 4-6 for 21 yards. He had a tough time getting into a real rhythm, but you could attest a lot to the rough play of the offensive line, so you can’t take a great deal from that last night. He did seem to start some good chemistry with Patrick Turner, who made 3 catches in a row on a drive.
The Ground and Pound did not make a huge debut last night against the Bengals, as evidenced by the fact that Tim Tebow was the leading rusher. Bilal Powell did not have the debut that everyone expected, rushing 5 times for only 16 yards. The only running back that looked good was Joe McKnight, who rushed for nearly 5 yards per carry last night. Joe did a lot to reclaim his lead in the race for change of place/third down running back.
In general, the mantra of “One Step Faster” did not seem to be in play last night, other than through the play of Quinton Coples and a few others. No, the defense didn’t give up a touchdown, but they gave up chunks of yards, through the air and on the ground. I found it particularly troubling to see the yards being gained on the outside on the ground against our defense, which was a problem last year.
One bright spot on the defense is that they clearly have a great deal of depth on the defensive line. They have a lot of athletic players along that front.
One shining example last night was Jay Richardson. He made his presence felt with 4 tackles and a good looking sack.
Another guy that played well, even though he came into it late was Damon Harrison. He entered in the fourth quarter, and no offensive lineman was equipped to handle him. He made a nice tackle in the backfield on a running play, and seemed to make penetration on every play he was in. Good job out of Damon and congratulations to him, as he is a very popular player on Twitter.
Not good. You can never be happy when you give up a blocked punt, especially one that turns into a touchdown. The return game didn’t look very good either. Mike Westhoff has a lot of work ahead this week.
All in all, week 1 of the preseason was as to be expected. Some highs, a lot of lows, and a lot of rust to shake off. They get back to work for the Giants game this week, and we will see where they are.