New York Jets: Predicting the 2015 Roster


Jan 21, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets new head coach

Todd Bowles

speaks during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for via USA TODAY Sports

The coaching staff is almost together, the front office is in the process of being transformed and the roster is about five weeks away from a makeover so it’s time to imagine how the Jets are going to look next year. What style will they play offensively? Defensively? Will they play the “complimentary football” the Todd Bowles spoke of during his press conference?

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Offensively, under new coordinator Chan Gailey, expect the Jets to run the football both traditionally, by running simple plays out of multiple formations, and non-traditionally, by throwing screens and swing passes on 1st down to get play-makers in space and have the effect of the run. Expect them to combine the things that made Gailey successful with quarterbacks like Tyler Thigpen and Ryan Fitzpatrick. They will run a good amount of offense out of the pistol to utilize Geno Smith‘s athleticism and they will go up-tempo to prevent substitutions and force defenses to play vanilla base defenses to simplify Smith’s reads and take advantage of mismatches.

Expect C.J. Spiller, or another speed back with good hands, to come in and share time with Chris Ivory and create more mismatches as he lines up out wide, in the slot, as well as in the backfield. Percy Harvin will be retained and will have a similar jack of all trades role. Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley will get the ball in space, either at the line of scrimmage or on crossing routes so they can maximize the run after the catch.

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Next: The Defense

Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets free safety

Calvin Pryor

(25) in the first quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

On defense, Todd Bowles blitzed 70% of the time with Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie and Tyrann Mathieu. Will he blitz as much with the strength of the Jets being on the defensive line and with Pepper Johnson and Kacy Rodgers being two of the best defensive line coaches in the business on the same staff?

A lot will be determined on how they fill out the roster. If they bring back Antonio Cromartie and add another corner like Byron Maxwell of the Seahawks then Bowles can afford to be aggressive and bring the house, if not, he is going to have to rely on creativity and the defensive line to get pressure.

One player sure to benefit from Todd Bowles’ system is Calvin Pryor. Bowles likes to blitz a safety, both against the run and pass, and Pryor does his best work around the line of scrimmage. After playing out of position and learning to play free safety on the fly, a return to the box maybe just what the doctor ordered for Pryor, especially if they get a safety in free agency or the draft to play center field.

Another player who should benefit is Demario Davis. With assistant head coach/inside linebacker coach Mike Caldwell coming with Bowles, I expect Davis to flourish under better coaching and utilize his downhill speed both blitzing and against the run while the utilization of more four man fronts should free Davis up to make tackles from sideline to sideline and take away some of his coverage responsibilities. Finding linebackers who can cover and get to the quarterback are a high priority for the team this offseason.

Next: Overall

January 23, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Jets players Team Irvin defensive tackle

Sheldon Richardson

(91) and center

Nick Mangold

(74) during photo day at The Arizona Biltmore. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, I’d expect the Jets to be smarter, more disciplined and better taught this year with a better staff from the coordinators down to the position coaches. The stress Todd Bowles is putting on teaching is refreshing. Bowles was talking about the changing NFL during his interview with Mike Francesa on WFAN (I know, I know) and he mentioned that since players are coming out of school earlier they aren’t learning the fundamentals and need to be taught at the professional level so you better have teachers on the staff and put your emphasis there because those young players can’t sit, they have to play.

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  • The Jets should force more turnovers, a Bowles hallmark, and that will lead to better field position. Better field position helps the offense not have to drive the ball down the field every time and puts the opponent on their heels which makes life a bit easier. Better situational football will lead to better results and that is all that Jets fans want in the end.

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