It is currently the off-season for the NFL, which means rookie mini-camp week, OTA’s, and out of this world predictions for the 2012/13 season. For the New York Jets, the off-season consists of fixing locker room issues, having a lighter and faster defense, a stronger offense, strengthening the depth chart, and of course, the battle of the quarterbacks between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
The past two weeks have provided the opportunity for the Jets to prove the media wrong. After two locker room interviews, both identical with repetitive questions, Mark has made it clear he is and remains the starting quarterback of the Jets. He is respectful of Tim, and comments that he is a good player. If you are a person who can read between the lines, it is clear Mark remains humble and gives clear, straight forward answers about him and Tim before the media hounds him AGAIN with the same questions. Do reporters expect Mark to suddenly change his answers? Yes, but Mark won’t, and he is evidently over it.
Tim on the other hand, is just excited to be inside the beautiful state-of-the-art facility. His performance during OTA’s have trailed Mark on the quarterback front. Throwing a few incomplete passes along with interceptions, thanks to the help of Bart Scott. Not to go off topic, but I think Scott is attempting to focus on a major comeback to overcome demons of the past. That’s great and all, but words only go so far. Save it for the field my friend. That goes with Tim as well. The Tebow-mania hype will only go so far once the season starts. I think Tebow supporters will be surprised to see him excel in positions other than quarterback. Sorry guys, if you want to see your man hand off the rock on the ground and pound, there’s always Madden 13. Then you can make him “Tebow.”
Back to the lighter and faster defense. Quinton Coples (yes, he has an official Twitter account now) and Demario Davis have signed and will help increase the team’s speed. And yet another safety, Yeremiah Bell has been recently picked up and has already proven himself during the OTA’s. Rumor has it Bell will run the field more than LaRon Landry, due to Landry’s injury. Here’s how I see it. Over half the players have been injured and have had a successful recovery. Do not rule Landry out. He may be another one who surprises the skeptics. They have a slew of safeties, so the depth is pretty solid. This year’s defense has the potential to mirror the defense of 2009 and 2010. Remember, the best offense is a kick-ass defense.
Tony Sparano is introducing a new offensive vocabulary. The front line has expressed the differences they see in Sparano from former coach Brian Schottenheimer. According to Matt Slauson, he sees Sparano organizing two different offenses. One for Mark, and the other for Tim. This is bogus in my book because let’s be real here, football is football, and a win is a win. Just play the damn game and do not be all fancy about it. Which is what Sparano is really all about. He is no holds barred, knows what he expects from each individual player, and is not afraid to call a player out when they screw up. Strict order is exactly what this team needs. The earlier players are whipped into shape, the better they will play in the long run.
Wayne Hunter claims he is the best Right Tackle in the league. Although I appreciate the confidence, I still like to keep both feet on the ground, especially when a hard spiral is being thrown at me. Big things are expected of Joe McKnight this year as he replaces LaDainian Tomlinson. The chemistry between Dustin Keller and Mark should not be overlooked. I am pleasantly happy with the potential of all our tight ends and think they are all great targets for Mark.
To round out my little rant, and the topic of offense, I would like to make a prediction. I caution readers that I am not a fan of making predictions due to the unpredictability of events that occur in the NFL, but here it goes. If Shonn Greene does not step it up this season, expect to see Terrance Ganaway blow us away as starter. He set and broke records at Baylor, and 21 rushing touchdowns his senior year. Just saying.