The New York Jets will visit the Cincinnati Bengals tonight at Paul Brown Stadium, opening what they hope will be a season of redemption for Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and the rest of Gang Green. Sure, it's only the first preseason game and the starters will probably only get about 15 snaps. If you love football and you love the Jets, there's still plenty of reasons to watch.
Everyone wants to see the New York Jets offense get off to a nice start, and some quick stops from the first team defense would be nice, but that's not really what this game is about. The offense will be very vanilla, as the Jets don't want to show too much in a meaningless game. The main reason to watch tonight's game is to see some of the players in unique roles or on the edge of the roster. This is one of their best chances to make a move and impress the coaching staff.
New York Jets Players to Watch:
- Tim Tebow: Come on, Tim Tebow has to be at the top of this list. As the backup quarterback he should get a good number of reps tonight and we will get a chance to see how he has improved as a passer. Don't expect the Jets to show and wildcat looks, but anytime you get a chance to watch Tim Tebow play, it's probably going to be worth it.
- Quinton Coples: The first round pick will have all eyes on him tonight. Melvin Ingram impressed last night, causing some to prematurely question the Quinton Coples selection.
- Stephen Hill: How polished are his routes? Can he get over the top on NFL cornerbacks? Those two questions could start to be answered tonight, and their answers will have a major impact on the offense this season.
- Marcus Dixon: Marcus Dixon has been on our radar for a while now and tonight should be a chance for him to get some extended playing time and possibly solidify himself in the Jets' defensive line rotation.
- Kenrick Ellis: Another defensive lineman seemingly flying under the radar. Kenrick Ellis has quietly moved up the depth chart and looks to be in line for a bigger role than expected this season. If he's playing with better leverage, expect to hear his name called a few times tonight.
- Royce Pollard: Injuries at wide receiver have opened the door. Royce Pollard should get some looks at wide receiver and possibly as a kick returner and is right on the edge of the roster. Each preseason game could be the difference between the practice squad and the chopping block for him.
Of course, the Cincinnati Bengals are playing too. Players like Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are certainly worthy of our attention tonight.
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