After another wild week of team news, the New York Jets are gearing up to play host to their same-stadium rivals, the New York Giants, Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on CBS.
Without being crazy on a Tebow-media-circus level, there’s been plenty going on around Jets camp recently. None of the following items needed a full 500 words, so each gets its own blurb instead.
1. Antonio Allen‘s cornerback debut
In his first game assignment as a cornerback, former safety Antonio Allen had to cover Cincinnati star wideout A.J. Green. So I don’t blame Rex Ryan for saying Allen “played pretty decent, considering obviously the opponent in particular he’s going against (is) a top notch guy.” Ryan went on to say Allen “had his highs and lows” from a technique standpoint. It may be too much to ask of Allen to start at cornerback week one – but there may be no choice, either.
2. Personal foul problems
The Jets committed 12 penalties for 133 yards against Cincinnati. Six of those penalties were personal fouls – three unnecessary roughness calls and three unsportsmanlike conducts. Stephen Hill, Breno Giacomini and Willie Colon all got handsy with some Bengal players. “It’s never going to be acceptable when you have six personal foul penalties,” Ryan said this week, “but it is to a point where the style of play, we were going to be aggressive and we challenged our guys to be aggressive.” Aggressive is one thing, but I think players can show it without drawing flags.
3. WR2 battle
Hill has had a good camp, but he’s only made one impressive play in preseason action so far (two if you count a block on an outside sweep against Cincy, in addition to his 17-yard catch). Hill, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson are all candidates to start opposite from free agent addition Eric Decker. Kerley is the best receiver of the three, but is most effective in the slot.
4. Vick in the Wildcat? You’ve got the wrong guy
Ryan said last week that Michael Vick could be used in Wildcat formations this year. Stop right there before you start making Tim Tebow comparisons – it’s Geno Smith who should be getting this consideration. Smith is underappreciated as a runner – he averaged 5.1 yards on 72 carries, respectable QB numbers, and he ran for six touchdowns, tied for most by a QB in the league. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but neither does Vick anymore. Keeping Smith on the field for the occasional Wildcat play keeps one consistent quarterback playing – and keeps defenses guessing.
5. Jalen Saunders
When driving to the Jets’ Florham Park, N.J. facility last Friday, fourth-round draftee WR Jalen Saunders “experienced a medical event” and ended up in a one-car accident. After he was released from the hospital Sunday, the Jets announced Monday that Saunders will be out indefinitely. Saunders was previously seeing a lot of action as a punt returner. However, all we can hope for right now is that the young guy gets healthy again soon.
6. Shaq Evans
Saunders’ fellow fourth-rounder wideout Shaq Evans had surgery today on a shoulder he injured on July 31, ending his rookie season. Evans is the second of New York’s 12 draft choices to lose his rookie year to injury; third-round cornerback Dexter McDougle tore his ACL in practice last week.
7. Rest of the injury report
Six players returned to practice today after healing up some injuries, including Chris Ivory, Dimitri Patterson and Nick Mangold. Tight end Jeff Cumberland is still dealing with an Achilles injury and did not practice Tuesday.
8. Giants at Jets
The Giants are already 3-0 this preseason, including winning the Hall of Fame Game over Buffalo, but their biggest storyline is that their new offense, coordinated by Ben McAdoo, isn’t clicking yet. The Jets have won five of the last seven preseason MetLife Bowls, while Big Blue has had the upper hand in the regular season rivalry, winning the past five matchups dating back to 1996.
9. Fireman Ed
The former Gang Green superfan, Ed Anzalone, told Yahoo that the organization recently asked him over lunch to return to the position he left in 2012. Anzalone declined, so now the team is holding auditions for new rally cry leaders. “I told them they should do something and try to get a young guy,” said Anzalone. “I don’t want to see it go away.”
10. Players on Tinder
OK, I needed a tenth point. You can read all about Breno Giacomini’s and other Jets’ use of the dating/hook-up mobile app Tinder here, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. All I have to say is that I think it’s smart of Giacomini to be hiding his NFL identity, as he hopes to avoid women interested more in his money than his personality.