Aug
13

Jets vs. Rams Game Preview

posted by: Site Admin | Jets Preseason | 0 comments

Jets vs. Rams Game Preview

Two former defensive coordinators will make their head coaching debuts tomorrow as Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo returns to Giants Stadium to face Rex Ryan's New York Jets. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez is also expected to make his much anticipated NFL debut. So, let's take a look at some of the upcoming position battles as well as just what players Jets' fans should be looking at closely...

Quarterbacks: The battle for the starting quarterback position is still ongoing and, according to Rex Ryan, will not be decided until the third preseason game against the New York Giants. Both Kellen Clemens and Mark Sanchez will play in the first half only, and considering that the Jets' offensive line will be missing three starters, we should not expect to see any passing fireworks from the Jets, at least not while Sanchez and Clemens are in.

Running backs: Rookie RB Shonn Greene should see plenty of action tomorrow, and that includes some playing time with the first team.

Wide receivers: We know that Jerricho Cotchery is #1 and Chansi Stuckey is #2, but what's going on at other WR slots? Is David Clowney going to have another breakout preseason as he did last year? We should see plenty of Clowney along with Sanchez' new favorite target, Wallace Wright. Versatile Brad Smith is another option at WR, but who else? Receivers are definitely one group of players that we should look at closely.

Tight end: Are there any other tight ends on this team besides Dustin Keller? Do most fans even know their names? The answers are yes and no. James Dearth is listed at tight end but really is a long snapper who hasn't caught a pass in 8 years. Recently signed rookie Kevin Brock, former basketball player J'Nathan Bullock, another rookie Jack Simmons and former defensive lineman Kareem Brown will be fighting for the remaining spots. Whoever is the best blocker will most likely get the nod. Bullock might end up on the practice squad as a development project.

Offensive line: The depth is really thin here and with the absence of three starters this unit will be under the microscope on Friday. 6-year veteran Wayne Hunter is the most experienced player among the Jets' OL backups. Time to sign a free agent, maybe?

Defensive line: Another unit where backups should see plenty of action. NT Sione Pouha will start in place of injured NT Kris Jenkins. DE Mike Devito is another player to watch, as he will be getting plenty of playing time this season.

LInebackers: Is he a bust or not? LB Vernon Gholston, hopefully, will try to answer his critics and prove that selecting him at #6 overall last year wasn't a big mistake. LB Bryan Thomas is another former first round selection and another underachiever who hasn't done much since recording 8.5 sacks in his contract year in 2006. MLB David Harris should look to rebound after a subpar plagued by injuries 2008 season. Rookie LB/DE Jamaal Westerman has looked really good in camp, but can he keep it up in a real game?

Cornerbacks: There's plenty of competition here for the nickel spot. Maquice Cole and Donal Strickland intercepted quite a few passes in camp. Second year player Dwight Lowery started really strong last season but faded as the year progressed.

Safeties: James Ihedigbo is another player who has looked good in camp. Ihedigbo and Eric Smith are currently backups, but can they push offseason acquisition Jim Leonhard for the starting spot? Kerry Rhodes is the best Jets' player at this position, but honestly he hasn't done much since securing a big contract before last season, the season where he had only 2 interceptions and 5 pass defenses (5 INT and 10 pass defenses in the year before).

Special teams: There's obviously a battle going on between T.J. Conley and Reggie Hodges for the solo punter spot on the roster. Recently claimed off waivers WR Aundrae Allison and RB Danny Woodhead will be trying to secure roster spots on special teams.

The kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm est. The game will be broadcast on CBS Channel 2 in the NYC area and on NFL Network elsewhere.

Tags: mark sanchez, kerry rhodes, david clowney, dwight lowery, rams, vernon gholston, bryan thomas

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