By Frank Barone
Is Eric Mangini ready for his first head coaching job?
Eric was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator last season, but that was his first year actually running a defense. It is a lot different trying to put all facets of a team together and dealing with the multiple decisions and different personalities. That is not even considering trying to deal with the local media and loyal Jet fans. He has the pedigree and work ethic to succeed. The questions are how long will that take and will it be with the Jets, or ala Bill Bellicheck with the Cleveland Browns, or with his next stop on the coaching carousel.
Who is the starter at Quarterback?
This has to be the number one question mark. The general consensus is if Chad PenningtonÂ can prove himself fit he is the starter.Â He has proven he has the heart and desire that you want in your starter no matter what we think of his physical skills and durability. Patrick Ramsey has started in the NFL and maybe he can turn his career around given a different situation.Â Kellen Clemens would be the ultimate long shot to start but if the team starts off bad why not let him learn on the job?
How much does Curtis Martin have left?
Curtis will go into the Hall Of Fame but that doesnâ€™t mean Eric Mangini should start him. The player or players that give the Jets the best ability to win belong on the field. A running back by committee and situational substitution is what seems likely. Maybe Cedric Houston grabs the opportunity and Leon Washington surprises given spot duty.
Will the rookie Offensive Linemen D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold be able to start and have an impact?
Ferguson in the minds of the media and most Jet fans is the starter at left tackle for the next 10 years. Is that wishful thinking or sound reasoning? Mangold will start by default given Teague being injured and not ready to play. The physical talent is there for both players but expect any rookie offensive lineman to struggle and have many things to learn.Â Patience will be the key word for them.
Can the Defense adapt to multiple formations and succeed?
It looks like they will start with the threeâ€“four as the base defense.Â They will change players and structure based on the situation in the game.Â Bryan Thomas needs to play up to his first round status.Â He also needs to prove that he can play in a upright stance?
Will Jon Vilma flourish in the three-four defense?
Not unless he is shielded by the players on the line- especially Dewayne Robertson.
Where will the pass rush come from?
Please hope that Ray Mickens doesn’t end up as the sack leader.
These are just a couple of the interesting stories about to unfold with the starting of Jets training camp. The best story for all of us Jet fans is thatÂ football is here again. For the end of the off-season we all give thanks.