Brant Boyer shows off improved special teams
For the New York Jets last year, special teams was a disaster but this time around thanks to special teams coach Brant Boyer, the positional unit is much improved.
It only took one week of preseason football to realize how much better the special teams unit of the New York Jets improved from last season. In Week 1 of the preseason against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the coverage and return units shined for the Jets.
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To open the game, Jets’ wide receiver Jeremy Ross broke off a 50-yard return. Not only did Ross show what he can do in the return game, rookie wide receiver Jalin Marshall returned a kick 89 yards. Marshall has impressed the coaching staff all summer, and was able to show the fans just how explosive he can be this upcoming season.
All offseason long, new special teams coach Brant Boyer has preached the same words. He wants his players going 100 miles-per-hour at all times. This philosophy was evident in Week 1, as special teams aces Rontez Miles and Quincy Enunwa displayed the toughness that Boyer preached. As Marshall broke away from the Jaguars, Miles and Enunwa sprinted with him, laying out Jaguars in pursuit of Marshall.
It is great to see the Jets thrive on special teams. Last year, the Jets gave up a league high 24 points. They were also ranked 25th by Football Outsiders in special teams DVOA.
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As the Jets play a tougher schedule this year compared to 2015, they will need their special teams to perform at a high level.
They can’t afford to lose a close game due to a lack of execution or giving up huge pieces of field positioning.
Thankfully for Gang Green, former player coach Brant Boyer is getting through to the Jets.
He has multiple players on the roster that can shine on special teams. M
iles and linebacker Trevor Reilly compiled 10 and 13 special teams tackles, respectively. A huge problem for the Jets last year was punter Ryan Quigley. He was highly inconsistent, including a momentum-changing shank in the Week 17 loss against Buffalo last season. This year, the Jets drafted punter Lachlan Edwards from Sam Houston State in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Edwards has an incredibly strong leg that enables him to consistently boom punts. He should be effective in giving the Jets an advantage in the field-position battle.
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With a vastly improved return unit, and guys that know how to play special teams, Boyer can finally make the Jets’ special teams as good as it was under the legendary Mike Westhoff. If they are going to shock the world and make the NFL Playoffs despite a super-tough schedule, special teams will play a crucial role in getting there.