Jets Early Roster Preview: Special Teams
The special teams unit for the New York Jets was one of the best in the NFL in 2018. With new faces across the board, they look to maintain their success.
There isn’t much to be proud of from the 2018 season. Ending a season with 5 wins certainly isn’t something to high five each other about. But, if there’s anything we as Jets fans can brag about regarding 2018, it’s the special teams unit.
The group dominated across the board, whether it was kicking and punting or returning kicks and punts. Two Jets special teamer earned themselves a Pro Bowl bid through their excellent play. And, well, they’re gone now.
Jason Myers, the Jets’ kicker in 2018, was nearly automatic. He made 33 of his 36 field goals, including six of his seven 50+ yarders. These numbers earned him a starting job in the Pro Bowl, the first of his career.
The Jets decided not to re sign Myers despite his strong season, and Myers eventually signed with the Seahawks. The Jets signed Chandler Catanzaro, who will likely be kicking field goals for the team in 2019. This will be Catanzaro’s second go around with the Jets, having played for them in 2017 as well.
Catanzaro’s numbers in 2017 were not Myers-like, but he had a solid season. He made 25 of his 30 field goal attempts and went 29-29 on extra points. His play declined a little in 2018, missing 5 extra points and going 16-20 on field goals. The Jets hope he can fill the shoes of Myers and avoid any problems kicking in 2019.
The other Pro Bowler among the Jets’ 2018 specialists was Andre Roberts. Roberts was brought in through free agency in 2018, and he proved to be an excellent signing. He had a kick return and punt return touchdown, and posted great numbers in both kick and punt returns in yards per return.
The team decided not to pursue Roberts when he hit the market this offseason. Roberts signed with the Bills, and now the Jets have a competition for the new return man. Trenton Cannon, Jamison Crowder, Ty Montgomery, Elijah McGuire, and Quadree Henderson.
Ty Montgomery and Jamison Crowder are the favorites as of now, considering they’re the only ones who have returned kicks and punts in the NFL. The race is wide open though, and will likely go on through the entire preseason. The return man is a position battle to watch this coming training camp.
Lachlan Edwards will be back to return punts this season, as expected. Edwards has turned into an extremely reliable option since being drafted in 2016. He averaged 46 yards per punt in 2018, which is a solid number. Expect more of the same from him in 2019.
Brant Boyer, New York’s special teams coordinator, has been retained despite the arrival of Adam Gase. Boyer received tons of praise for the Jets’ special teams’ success in 2018. With new faces around in 2019, time will tell if he can continue his successes next season.