What to Watch for in Tonight’s Jets vs. Eagles Preseason Game
By Alan Schechter
July 27, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Greg McElroy (14) look on during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
Tonight, the Jets take on the Philadelphia Eagles in their annual preseason game. As this is the final week of the preseason, you won’t see very many familiar names. The Jets are going to start some of their younger starters, but we won’t see any of Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow. There are a couple of things that will be worth watching. Here are some things to watch for:
THIRD STRING QUARTERBACK
Tonight is the night for our third string quarterbacks, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms. We have seen very little of McElroy this preseason, and we have not seen any of Matt Simms, so it will be nice to see these guys get out on the field and get some in-game reps. Is there a competition? It’s hard to tell. Many have said that Simms is just there to be a camp arm, maybe practice squad, but fact is that Simms is still on the roster. The Jets are not likely to carry 4 QBs so anything is possible, and it will be interesting to see these guys split the game and do battle.
IS THERE A PUNTING COMPETITION?
After Travis Baltz was cut earlier in the preseason, it seemed that the punting job was all set for TJ Conley. Then we hear Mike Westhoff say that Conley is competing with a “guy wearing another shirt”. Tuesday, the Jets made a claim on, and were awarded, punter Spencer Lanning. Is this the guy that will compete with Conley? Can he possibly unseat the incumbent punter? We will see tonight if these two guys split the punting duties. Lanning doesn’t have long to impress, we’ll see if he can do so.
BACKUP DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Here is a position that the Jets still have a few guys on the roster, all that are able bodied. We know the starters, but who is going to be behind Sione Pouha and Kenrick Ellis? They have Martin Tevaseu, and fan favorite Damon Harrison. Both of these guys have had pretty good camps, but neither of them have jumped out to a big lead. Don’t forget that Brett Roy is still in camp as well. He could earn a spot tonight as well. Watch that defensive front tonight, they should be interesting to watch.
CAN ELLIS LANKSTER MAKE THE TEAM?
Finally, if he plays, look out for Ellis Lankster. He has played well so far in camp, but is a bit banged up with injury. People are getting tired of watching Kyle Wilson get beaten constantly, especially on third down. If Lankster goes, he will have a chance to make a mark, see if he can earn some regular season playing time.
There you have it, what we will be looking for in tonight’s game. I know the 4th game is often difficult to watch, but hopefully pointing out these factors will give you a little bit to look out for, and make the game a bit more interesting.