Jul 24, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Shaq Evans (81) makes a catch during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
It begins on tomorrow night. Rex Ryan’s sixth attempt at bringing our Jets to a championship begins. It starts with the roster evaluation at game speed, which begins for Rex Ryan and company against the Colts on Thursday.
We will write tonight about specific players to watch, but now I wanted to give you guys a reminder. This one is a reminder to use the eye test when watching the team on Thursday night. We are going to look at how we should watch on Thursday Night.
For example, the wide receivers that will be competing for the number two spot will not all see time with the first team. Therefore, the numbers are going to be a bit skewed. So, we must watch their technique to get insight on who will move up. What does their route running look like? Can they catch the football? Do they catch the ball with their hands, or do they do it by trapping the ball against their body?
Watch the offensive linemen. Do they keep a good center of gravity, or are they easily lifted front their position? Do they have good technique with their blocking? Do they grab? How is their footwork? Are any of the new parts, especially at guard, starting to develop chemistry with the rest of the line?
These types of questions are answered via the eye test, but no boxscore will tell you about them.
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The numbers don’t matter.
Watch Geno and the first team offense. He will likely have the first quarter, as his first chance to show the world that this is his offense now. Look at the tempo of the offense. Watch how he brings them from the huddle. You want to see a difference in the confidence from both him and the team. This is DEFINITELY something that doesn’t come up with the numbers.
Start to take a look at the cornerbacks, Dexter McDougle, Dimitri Patterson and company. But, don’t look at their stats. I don’t care whether they notch a pass breakup or an INT, although it would be nice, and certainly be a sign of someone who might make the team.
Instead, which one looks like they can execute press coverage? It isn’t asked a lot during college, but you can’t play corner in this league without it. Watch their feet. Can they back pedal? Can they change direction and stay with a guy making a double move? How are the hips? Do they move fluidly as well?
We are all knowledgeable. As you watch on Thursday night, forget the stats. The numbers don’t matter. Watch the players closely, and you will likely have an idea of who will be staying on and who will be cut.