New York Jets: Fixing The Offense in 2015


We all experienced the 4-12 debacle last season. As a result, many of the Jets fans I’ve talked with around the web are expecting much the same for 2015. Some have slightly higher expectations, predicting an 8-8 season in 2015.

After looking at the current roster and evaluating what the Jets have already in place, I see it a bit different. I believe with a successful free agency period and additions made through the draft, the Jets can turn things around on offense rather quickly.

I believe the Jets are a few key acquisitions away from being competitive in the AFC East again. Today I’d like to look at how they can turn last season’s offensive disaster into this year’s success story. The Jets have a golden opportunity this season, let’s see why.

Next: Fixing the Offense Line

Oct 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Jets tackle

Breno Giacomini

(68) and guard

Willie Colon

(66) and wide receiver

Greg Salas

(17) line up during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

It’s widely viewed that the Jets offense is dismal. Many fans say it will take years to fix, but I disagree. Fans have told me the offensive line is a mess and that the Jets lack a WR group that is NFL quality. I would have had to agree last season, but the Jets have some pieces to build on so first, let’s see how they can turn things around on the offensive line.

Pieces In Place: Along the offensive line the Jets have some pieces. Anchoring the line for 2015 will be the tandem of Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson. They will be joined by Breno Giacomini and Oday Aboushi.Willie Colon is likely gone due to age and a decline in his play.

The Jets also have some depth along the line. These players will be depended on to compete in camp and to provide backup in case of injury. Currently the Jets have Dakota Dozier, Brian Winters, Dalton Freeman, Wesley Johnson, Brent Qvale, Ben Ijalana, and Sean Hooey on the roster.

To fix some of the troubles the Jets experienced along the line, the Jets will need one of the depth players step up their game. Candidates that should be ready to compete are Dakota Dozier and Brian Winters. If just one of these guys can step up, the Jets will be in much better shape along the offensive line.

The Fix. In free agency the Jets will require a veteran to complete the fix of the offensive line. A veteran presence along this line will solidify it. The Jets don’t need a lot of changes along the line this year. Continuity along the line is important, and adding a veteran starter will ensure continuity while adding an upgrade as well. The draft will supply another option, and offer youth for when Mangold and Ferguson retire.

My premier choice for the Jets offensive line would be Mike Iupati of the San Fransisco 49ers. Iupati is only 27 years old, an would be an immediate plug-in starter at guard. Other names the Jets might consider are; G Orlando Franklin, and G Clint Boling.  One veteran OL and one from the draft is all that is needed to fix the offensive line.

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Next: Wide Receiver Group

Dec 1, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Greg Salas (17) celebrates his touchdown against the Miami Dolphins with New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) during the first quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets offense was much maligned last season, and with good reason. I don’t believe you can lay all the blame on Geno Smith either. His play was poor, but so was the play calling and coaching around the team last season. The Jets may be looking to add a RB in the off-season, but if they retain Powell they may be set for 2015. Tight End is promising for the Jets, so they probably won’t be looking.

Wide Receiver is a group that requires an upgrade, as well as depth. Let’s take a look at what they currently have and a fix for the position.

Pieces In Place: The Jets wide receiver group is anchored by Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley. Percy Harvin joined the Jets last season, but his return is unsure at this point.  After Decker, Kerley and Harvin the Jets are suspect. Let’s take a look at what’s on the roster.

Depth Currently the Jets have Quincy Enunwa, Shaq Evans, T.J. Graham, Saalim Hakim, Chris Owusu, Walter Powell and Greg Salas.

The Fix. It’s obvious the Jets will be looking to land a deep threat receiver in free agency. Decker, Kerley, Harvin are much the same as they are short to mid range receivers. The Jets will be looking to sign a veteran to spread the field. My choice would be Demaryius Thomas if he were to hit the market. Other names that have been talked about for the Jets are; Dez Bryant, Randall Cobb, Denarius Mooreand Jeremy Maclin.

Let GM Mike Maccagnan make the choice, but the Jets need to be aggressive in finding an upgrade at WR. It won’t be cheap but the Jets have the luxury of having money to spend. Having landed a first tier WR, they can then look at second tier options. If they can land two veterans, the Jets will be in good shape.

They can then turn to the draft. The Jets own the sixth overall pick, and it’s quite possible they can draft the top wide receiver in this class; Amari Cooper. As I’ve said before, I think the Jets would be well served trading back and picking up an additional second rounder in this draft. This draft has some very talented receivers in the top end, and they will be available later in the first and into the second. Most will be immediate starters.

Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, a top-level free agent, a second tier FA, a top rookie, and one receiver from the current roster. The Jets may not even need a second tier guy, but it would be nice for insurance. The Jets would be in great shape heading into 2015.

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Next: Fixing QB

Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) drops back to pass against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The QB is going to be key going into 2015. As I’ve said before, it absolutely needs to be a competition. The position has become a dividing issue among Jets fans at the early point. Some claim it can’t be fixed this season due to a poor free agent class, and a mediocre draft class at the position. I don’t buy that for a minute. The position is fixable for 2015, and I’d say there a plenty of ways the Jets can go about it.

First they need to bring in an experienced NFL QB. My choice would be by trade to bring in Mike Glennon. There are a few other QB’s the Jets may look to trade for and there may be someone they like among the free agents. Regardless of the name the Jets need a an experienced NFL QB.

Then like it or not, you have Geno Smith. Unlike some, I see Smith being an integral part of any QB competition this summer. Smith is only going into his third year, he’s young and relatively cheap, there is no need to exclude him from competing for the starting role. Smith also played his college career in a “spread offense”.  Chan Gailey is rumored to be considering a similar type of offense for the Jets. Smith’s familiarity with the system, and Gailey’s reputation for getting good play from his QB’s, make Smith an ideal competitor.

The draft has more than its share of developmental type QB’s. The Jets need to draft one of them. My choice has been Brett Hundley. You can fill in the name, but in my opinion, the Jets need to develop a QB from this draft for insurance.

With the names I plugged in, you have three young arms competing for a starters spot. Winner take all. No heir apparent. No Guarantees. May the best man win. The winner should be enough to carry us through 2015. Adequate QB play is all that is needed. If a long-term solution surfaces itself during the competition and through the season, all that much better. My point is the Jets don’t necessarily have to fix the position long-term at this point.

With the signing of  two or three free agents, and a trade, the Jets have the potential to significantly upgrade its offense. With the development of a few of the younger players, they stand a good chance of being a competitor in the AFC East.

What’s your take? Let’s discuss it. Let’s talk Jets football!!

Next: Potential Free Agent Randall Cobb