By David J. Cohen
The Jets are halfway through the preseason and several things are standing out. After seeing them in person against the Redskins, these things are clearly apparent:
Favre looks sharp – The offense was definitely simplified but he was very effective. He had command of the huddle and directed the offense well. Look for Cotchery and Keller to evolve into his main targets as the season goes on.
Another Clemens dying in NY – Kellen’s time with the Jets is coming to an end. He looked shaky in the first preseason game and looked awful against the Redskins. Nothing went his way. He tripped over the center twice. He seemed lost in the flow of things. The crowd that was left after Favre booed him so loud after the second trip you would’ve thought he was Isiah Thomas.
Brett Ratliff emerging – The practice squad QB last year has looked terrific thus far. After throwing for 252 yards in the first game, he was able to lead the offense again and make good throws. Every once in a while he uncorks an errand pass but more often than not he hits the right receiver at the right time. He led the Jets to what should have been the winning TD against Washington with 1:07 to work with, but the receiver dropped a ball that hit him right on the button. He has already been seeing time with the first team offense in practice. It would be nice to see him come in right after Favre in the first half against the Giants this week.
Jay Feely available – Mike Nugent was unreliable as usual, going 1-3 on FG attempts, including a missed FG to end the game against the Redskins. The Jets need to accept the fact that they botched a second round pick on him and just let him go, or at the very least bring in some competition at the position. Feely has improved his FG % in each of the last four years and was sadly the best offensive weapon on the Dolphins last year.
David Clowney number three – Clowney is taking advantage of his opportunity and has shown to be an effective deep threat and slot receiver. He is easily outplaying Chansi Stuckey and Brad Smith and has enough speed to give the Jets the speed threat they lack at receiver. He was on the Packers last year, so he has some familiarity with Favre.
First team defense needs work – The Jets first team is still struggling to generate consistent pressure on the QB. They had two sacks in the first half against Washington, but those were mainly the result of a blocking breakdown by the Redskins offensive line. The Jets got no sacks against Cleveland, and looking at their offensive line last night, that’s not good. The Jets front four need to do a better job of asserting themselves in both the run and pass plays and take some pressure off the linebackers.
These are the trends surfacing for the Jets after two games. We’ll see how the Jets land at the end of the preseason.