Preseason football is still football. As we continue the Saints preseason with the “regular season dress rehearsal,” let’s look at a recap of the offseason from their next preseason opponent, the New York Jets, brought to use by our friends over at Gang Green Nation.
Preseason Week 3 - at the New York Jets
Notable free agent additions:
RB Le’Veon Bell, LB C.J. Mosley, WR Jamison Crowder, C Ryan Kalil, CB Brian Poole
7.5 wins -- Over. The Jets have been one of the worst teams in the NFL over the last three seasons, but they have clearly upgraded their talent level. Combined with a year of development for Sam Darnold, and a schedule that doesn’t seem daunting on paper the Jets can be at least a .500 team.
Most exciting rookie:
It might be an obvious answer, but Quinnen Williams has to be the choice. He is the only Jets rookie who currently projects to be a full-time player. A fair number of Draft analysts had him rated as the top prospect in the entire 2019 NFL Draft. He should be able to slide up and down the defensive line and allow Gregg Williams to create mismatches. His presence should also reduce the number of double teams Leonard Williams faced.
Position battle to keep an eye on:
Unlike last year the Jets don’t have a ton of big position battles. The one that might be most intriguing is for the second tight end spot behind Chris Herndon. With Herndon suspended the first four games of the season, the winner of this battle will be the starter for a quarter of the year. The candidates are all either undistinguished NFL players or unproven. Rookie Trevon Wesco and Daniel Brown seem to be the likely candidates heading into camp, but this battle is wide open.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp:
The focus is finally back on the field. The Jets are trying to earn some respect in the league after a turbulent offseason. The team fired its head coach. They replaced him with a coach coming off a failed tenure with a division rival. They were the league’s leading spender in free agency. After that, their general manager was pushed out after losing a power struggle with the newly hired head coach.
While the chaos was undoubtedly overhyped in the media to a certain extent, there were a lot of self-inflicted wounds.
In the end the story might have a happy ending as the Jets made a general manager hire that earned close to universal plaudits. The first step to rebuilding the organization’s credibility in the league is putting together a successful season.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into camp:
After letting Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers leave in free agency, the Jets have a question mark at the position. The team brought back Chandler Catanzaro who had a successful 2017 season with the team, but his up and down career leaves the position unsettled. The Jets likely made the right choice letting Myers walk as he was a top candidate for regression. They also grabbed Myers at the end of preseason last year, showing that this position can be addressed late in the summer.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
While Jamal Adams had an All Pro second season, the other safety the Jets drafted in 2017 had a nightmare year. Marcus Maye was limited to six games due to numerous injuries. He started training camp this year on the PUP list from a shoulder injury.
Obscure player on the 90-man roster that will be a preseason star (and likely later cut):
Wide receiver Tim White is off to a strong start in camp, but there aren’t many open spots at the position. He will need a big preseason and perhaps show an ability to contribute on special teams to make the 53.