New York Jets: Top 3 reasons to be concerned about 2015


Aug 21, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) hands the ball to New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) during the first half of their game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to the New York Jets, I’ve been saying for quite sometime now that fans need to put aside their playoff predictions and Super Bowl claims. In my opinion, the team is ready for neither. Improvements have been made by Mike Maccagnan during the off season, a solid draft has been recorded and tweaks have been made as camp moves along. Yet there are three top reasons Jet fans should be concerned.

Some of these reasons have been discussed but many of those conversations I’ve participated in have all but swept the severity of the situation under the rug. This football team is a good one, I’m not condemning anyone but there is a lot to be done with this unit before they reach the goals many fans are setting for them this upcoming season.

Let’s take a look at my three main concerns.

Next: 3. Quarterback

Aug 21, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) attempts to pass against the Atlanta Falcons during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

3. Quarterback

The quarterback position was a major concern last season and very little was done to rectify it in my opinion. Geno Smith was once again named the starter early on, Michael Vick was replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets chose Bryce Petty in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. These are not major moves to rectify a dismal quarterback situation in 2015. Let’s break them down a bit.

Smith was once again named the opening day starter before camp even got under way. Smith was dismal last season, once again throwing interceptions at an alarming rate, while showing inconsistent play and poor ball handling. Little was gained by not providing him competition in camp for the starting job.

Smith did play fairly well in practice this summer, but that is hardly an endorsement. Smith’s troubles have been rooted in his decision making skills and his poor reads of defenses. Neither is truly tested while practicing, defenses are set and little real pressure or trickery are present in the early stages of practice.

The true tests begin in preseason and Smith never got to that point due to his immaturity while getting into a fight over a measly $600 dispute. No one has any idea what Smith will look like upon his return or even how he would respond being under center after he is healthy.

Fitzpatrick was brought in to backup Smith. Now, I’m not a big Vick fan, but this move is a long way from an upgrade in my opinion. Fitzpatrick has a career record of 33-55-1, while Vick held a record of 59-50-1. For his career, Vick has thrown 131 touchdowns in his career vs 87 interceptions. Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick has thrown 123 touchdowns vs 101 interceptions. Hardly an upgrade by any account. The Jets did no favor for Smith or the team by not making the quarterback position more of a priority this off-season.

The Jets released Matt Simms at his request, after drafting Bryce Petty in the fourth round. Obviously there is no way to compare these two quarterbacks, but at least Simms had some NFL experience. Petty has been disappointing to date, he’s struggled to pick up Chan Gailey’s system, has made poor decisions and quite frankly he looked lost on the football field when he played in his first preseason game last week.

None of the present quarterbacks on this roster should give fans the enthusiasm to call this team a serious playoff contender, or even on the level for a Super Bowl appearance! The Jets are simply not good at the quarterback position to warrant such claims.

Next: 2. Offensive Line

Nov 2, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Jets guard Willie Colon (66) and center Nick Mangold (74) on the line of scrimmage during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

2. Offensive Line

While moves were made to upgrade a porous offensive line from last year, questions are still abound about this unit. The Jets brought over James Carpenter from the Seattle Seahawks but he isn’t a guarantee to improve this line. Carpenter, a former first-round pick back in 2011 by the Seahawks, has suffered his share of injuries after entering the league and was hardly cried over in Seattle when his departure was announced. Over 4 seasons, Carpenter has missed 19 games due to injury and has conditioning issues as well. Carpenter is an upgrade over Oday Aboushi, but can he stay healthy through 16 games?

Willie Colon is reportedly winning the right guard competition. For a guy who has been bashed by fans for the past two years for his poor play and increasing penalty troubles, to be winning any type of competition doesn’t fare well for this team. Colon has had a long and distinguished NFL career, but his good days are behind him. He’s slowed in his movements, leading to more off side and holding penalties plus his play has shown he can easily be beat by speed. The fact that no one on this roster has been able to displace him is extremely concerning in my opinion. It says a lot about Brian Winters and Brent Qvale. Colon started the year on the PUP list, so injury here could be critical.

The stalwart’s of the Jets offensive line have been D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. Both have been great players for the Jets, but both have been in the trenches for many years. Both will likely play well for the Jets once again, but injury to aging linemen is always a concern.

Depth is another major concern with this line. If and when an injury occurs to the starters, very little experienced depth is available. Without depth to step in and hold the line, the offensive line becomes that much more of a concern. It’s not all gloom along this line, but there is certainly plenty of room for concern.

Next: 1. Tight End

Oct 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland (87) runs after a catch in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

1. Tight End

Much has been written about the tight end position over the last several years. Very little of it has been good. The Jets have long lacked a threat from the position and very little has changed from last season.

Jeff Cumberland has been disappointing for years now.  Once heralded as a developing talent for the Jets, Cumberland’s development hasn’t materialized. He has proven to be an average blocking tight end, and besides from flashes, hasn’t proven he can be seen as a serious threat to opposing defenses. He’s slow with his feet and his drops are far too many to be considered a top tight end in the league.

Jace Amaro was drafted last year and has been another disappointment. Brought in to replace Cumberland as the No. 1 tight end for this football team, Amaro showed little in his rookie season. He’s proven he cannot block and his offense had a lot to be desired last season. This season has showed little improvement, resulting in Chan Gailey’s experiment of using him as a half back. Amaro may still come on as the season progresses, but the lack of production from Cumberland and Amaro are concerning.

Kellen Davis was brought over from the Seahawks. Davis is a blocking tight end by definition, he’s very good at his craft but offers little in offensive output. Going into his 8th season in the NFL, Davis has  put up only 50 receptions and just 12 touchdowns.  He was out of football entirely in 2014, and only caught 3 passes for 32 yards for the Seahawks in 2013 on their way to a Super Bowl victory.

In a league where tight ends have become huge parts of offenses, the Jets don’t appear to have one to truly concern the opposition. To me that’s extremely concerning.

Next: Final Thoughts

Jul 27, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Final Thoughts

It’s not all gloom and doom for the Jets. It does have some potentially exciting players on the roster. This team however has questions that are concerning to any pundit trying to predict a playoff run. The questions surrounding the quarterback position surely precludes this team from any Super Bowl predictions.

This team will win some football games, make no mistake about it. It surely won’t be a repeat of the 4-12 debacle that fans witnessed last year. My point here is that this team is still missing pieces and it will take some time for them to develop into serious contenders. A new head coach and staff has been brought in along with a plethora of new faces. It’s a formula for some struggles but it takes time for everyone to get on the same page, to learn new systems and to learn to communicate effectively.

I’m looking forward to the season. It will be nice to see them win some games and progress in their development as a team and as individuals. I am not however expecting playoff runs and I laugh at predictions this team is good enough to appear in the Super Bowl. My honest expectation is somewhere around 7-9, with a really good run, maybe 9-7. That’s a vast improvement from 4-12 and I’ll be satisfied to see the improvement. If they go 11-5 well, I’ll be ecstatic to be wrong!

Many disagree with me I know. It’s time for the readers to share their thoughts. As always, we here at The Jet Press value your opinions. Please leave us a comment below so we can discuss Jet Football!!

Next: Fantasy Football 2015: Top 5 tips for a great season

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