On Thursday the New York Jets training camp will begin, leading towards their first preseason game on Friday, August 10, versus the Cincinnati Bengals. We will take a look at some names to watch during camp competition that should they do well may lead to them making the final 53-man roster for the opening game on Sunday, September 9, versus the division rival Buffalo Bills.
Kicker Josh Brown was signed to provide better competition this time around in camp than Nick Novak did in 2011. It already seems, according to reports from the organized team activities, that Brown may have edge over incumbent Nick Folk in winning the job to start the season. The answer to who wins the job will come down to who makes more field goals in the four preseason games. Either way we hope for a kicker who hits a higher percentage of field goals, and especially the longer ones, if drives stall during the season.
Running Back John Griffin was added to the Jets roster after the end of last season. He is listed as 5-11, 208 pounds and seems to have impressed the coaches enough that he could beat out Bilal Powell as the third back on the depth chart behind Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight. Since McKnight has bulked up some in the off season Griffin could provide that "change-of-pace" nicely in the Jets base offense. Rookie draftee Terrance Ganaway will still give him a run for his money for that third running back spot, so expect he could even be kept via the practice squad.
Wide Receiver DaMarcus Ganaway certainly has the height at 6-2, but is somewhat small at 185 pounds to be an every down receiver. He could latch on to the team based on his speed, which may be best utilized on special teams, since the receiving corps are crowded ahead of him. Another candidate that may wind up beginning the season on the practice squad, unless injuries open a spot ahead to move up the ranks.
Linebacker/Defensive End Ricky Sapp was added to the practice squad near the tail end of last season after spending several unproductive years in Philadelphia. He has the size, relative to Aaron Maybin, to be an every down linebacker, and especially speed to attack the quarterback, but injuries limited his play. Now he has a second chance with Gang Green and is hungry to make the most of it. Expect big things out of him blitz situations, since he basically replaces Jamaal Westerman.
Defensive Back Royce Adams another talent that the Jets picked up in the off season that could help the team in more than one way. While he is listed as a six-foot and 190 pounds defensive back he has also played wide receiver in college. If he does make the squad at the tail end of the many defensive backs that Rex Ryan loves to have look for him to also benefit with playing time not only on special teams, but possibly in the Tim Tebow lead wildcat packages as another weapon to confuse defenses.
As with any training camp it's now time for the coaching to take the 88 players on the roster and pick out the very best 53 who can lead the team to victory each week. The New York Jets are loaded with possibly the best assemblage of talent in Rex Ryan's tenure as head coach. Now it's time to get it all together into a cohesive unit.
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