If the Jets want to return to being an elite team, they really better hope their kicking situation improves.
They can get away with Nick Folk kicking, even though they brought in veteran Josh Brown as competition, but T.J. Conley is a subpar punter to say the least.
Folk's field-goal percentage ranked near the bottom of the league last season, but he has shown a knack for making clutch kicks at times. He has also shown some ability to hit the long field goal.
Conley, on the other hand, didn't show much as a rookie.
His 42.7-yards-per-punt average was the second lowest among all full-time kickers, and he wasn't adept at directional kicking either.
If he could hang his hat on anything, it's that he only had six touchbacks on 92 punts for one of the best ratios in the league.
The Jets' return game is what keeps this grade from dropping any lower. Until a midseason meltdown of turnovers and penalties, the Jets were one of the top return teams in the league.
It seems that no matter whom Mike Westhoff puts back on kick returns, they will succeed. Expect that role to fall to Joe McKnight again.
The loss of Jim Leonhard hurt in the punt return game, as his sure hands were severely missed when he was injured.
Punt return duties in 2012 should fall to Jeremy Kerley, who was fourth in the AFC with a 10.9 return average in 2011.
UNIT GRADE: C+
Just having Mike Westhoff directing this unit means the Jets will do well in their return and kick coverage games. Fans can also expect their fair share of big plays. However, with Folk and Conley as the kicking incumbents, this grade can't be any higher than a C+.
Westhoff has announced that he will retire from the NFL after this season. The bone cancer survivor has missed a large portion of the Jets' offseason workouts, as he is recovering from surgery that was necessary when the titanium rod in his left leg broke.