Dec 23, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Quinton Coples (98) rushes San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the second half at MetLIfe Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
There is a lot of work still to be done to the 2013 New York Jets’ roster. It’s a team that still has a lot of holes to fill. We don’t know who is going to start at tight end, nor do we know where the depth at wide receiver is coming from. Bigger than that, we don’t even know who our starting quarterback is going to be! We definitely have to get to work.
But, we have some players in place that are ready to take 2013 by storm. Here are some players that are set to have breakout seasons in 2013:
CHRIS IVORY: Who else is pumped up beyond belief to watch this young man play? We have been waiting for months for the Jets to acquire Chris Ivory, and it finally happened, and we are going to reap the benefits.
He is bar none, the best running back on the roster. Chris Ivory will be the starter, bell cow running back come week 1 and we will get what we paid for. The one time Chris Ivory was the starter, he rushed for 716 yards, a 5.2 yard per carry average, to lead the Saints. And that was on a pass first team. Ivory will get more carries than the 137 he posted in 2010 with the Saints, and you should expect to see him at well over 1,000 yards.
QUINTON COPLES: After working out at linebacker and defensive end at his pro day, Quinton Coples was used exclusively along the defensive line in 2012. The result was a team leading 5.5 sacks.
Now, with the selection of Sheldon Richardson, Coples has been freed up to play outside linebacker, which the team has said he will do in 2013. With high quality players along the defensive line that must be accounted for, added to the fact that Coples getting the chance to rush the passer from a standing position, Coples will have the chance to dominate. Double-digit sacks is not out of the realm, and imagine how we will feel seeing that happen.
AUSTIN HOWARD: How do you quantify a breakout year in an offensive lineman? Well, it mostly takes the “eye test”, to see how they perform in the running game and the passing game. Last season, Austin Howard graded out in the top 10 offensive linemen in run blocking, with a Pro Football Focus grade of 9.6. His grade in the passing game, however, was a -5.1.
In large part, that can be cast off on the fact that teams all put their top pass rushers over Austin’s side of the ball, which is the only natural thing to do when a rookie lineman is on the field. With a full year of experience under his belt, Howard will be an improved pass blocker, and will rise rapidly to the class of elite tackles.
ANTONIO ALLEN: With Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell off to points outside of New York, the position of safety is ripe for the taking. Antonio Allen showed potential last year, able to accumulate one sack, although he was only available for 7 of the team’s 16 games. The Jets are looking for some youthful speed back there, and Antonio Allen is ready to give it to them.
Whether or not he starts, he will see significant playing time. It’s fun to watch a safety that can defend in pass coverage, and step up to make a play. Rex will love that level of versatility, and he will reward Antonio Allen by putting him out there. The numbers will impress, as will Allen.
There are my breakout players for this year. Sound off. What do you guys think?