Top 5 Position Battles to Watch in New York Jets Training Camp

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IMay 15, 2012

Top 5 Position Battles to Watch in New York Jets Training Camp

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    With veterans not living up to the hype, and young talent spread across the roster, Jets training camp looks like it will have it's share of exciting position battles.

    Many key contributors from past years, such as Bart Scott and Mike DeVito, have their starting jobs threatened, while many young rookies, such as Stephen Hill and DeMario Davis, fight for playing time.

    Here are the five biggest position battles to watch at Gang Green training camp this summer. 

Right Tackle

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    Right tackle is without-a-doubt the Jets weakest position entering training camp. 

    Wayne Hunter was a liability in the starting role last season, as he underachieved in both pass and run blocking.

    Unfortunately, the Jets do not have much talent at the tackle position to replace Hunter. 

    Former second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse has been a bust up to this point in his career. Ducasse has disappointed in training camp and preseason over the last few seasons, so the Jets have little faith in moving him to the starting role in 2012.

    Both Hunter and Ducasse are best fit for backup roles, but with the right tackle position a complete mess for the Jets right now, both will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job in training camp. 

    Rookie Robert T. Griffin has an outside chance at capturing the coveted starting role, but he will have to improve his game significantly in the offseason to do so. 


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    Safety is another weak position for Gang Green heading into the summer, and a nasty position battle looks to be in the making. 

    Newly-acquired LaRon Landry has a firm grasp on the starting strong safety position, but with Eric Smith's struggles last season, the free safety job is up for grabs. 

    The Jets brought in two talented safeties in the draft in Josh Bush and Antonio Allen, and they also boast second-year man Tracy Wilson.

    All three youngsters will have the opportunity to compete for the starting job in training camp. If one impresses and Smith continues to struggle, then we could be seeing a change of scenery in the Jets secondary. 

Defensive End

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    Gang Green made the surprising selection of controversial defensive end Quinton Coples in the first round of this year's draft.

    Coples is expected to start at the 3-4 defensive end position along with last year's first round pick, Muhammad Wilkerson.

    The Jets are very high on both players, and will look to develop them as much as possible throughout the season.

    This scenario seems to leave veteran Mike DeVito on the outside-looking-in.

    DeVito has been a solid defender for the Jets the past few years, as he has arguably been the team's best run stopper.

    Although beating out Coples or Wilkerson for the starting job is unlikely, DeVito will fight to earn substantial playing time throughout the season.  

Inside Linebacker

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    Fans are likely to see a changing-of-the guard at inside linebacker this season.

    Bart Scott is a locker room leader and a thunderous personality, but his play has dropped significantly in recent years.

    The aging veteran is most likely to see a decreased role in 2012, as the Jets drafted inside linebacker DeMario Davis with the team's third-round pick. 

    Davis is a talented, ultra-effort guy who looks to play on every down from the beginning. 

    Scott's ego will restrict him from spending every snap on the bench, so look for him to give it his all this training camp, as he tries to regain his coveted starting spot from the young Davis. 


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    The front office and coaching staff may ensure that Mark Sanchez is the unquestioned starter, but a training camp battle at quarterback still awaits.

    Sanchez took a step back last season, as he suffered from poor decision-making and inaccuracy. 

    On the other hand, newly-acquired Tim Tebow is coming off a brilliant season in which he led the Broncos to the the Divisional Round. He even out-dueled Sanchez in front of a national audience in Week 11. 

    Tebow is a pop-icon and a true winner, but his accuracy and pocket presence are subpar, to say the least.

    Sanchez and Tebow are two different types of quarterbacks.

    Sanchez is a traditional passer with a strong arm who has the ability to scramble when pressured.

    Tebow is a dual-threat that can beat you with his arm or his feet.

    Although Sanchez enters training camp as the surefire starter, it will be interesting to see how the two perform as we hit preseason and beyond.