New York Jets: 5 Players Not Named Tim Tebow That Jets Should Be Focusing on
However, there are numerous players on the Jets roster that we should be focusing on, who will be vital if this team is to return to the playoffs in 2012.
Tebow can make a difference in certain offensive sets, but he won't even be on the field for the majority of plays.
The Jets have a ton of young, talented players that can make a huge difference this season if they live up to their potential.
Here are five players not named Tim Tebow that the Jets need to focus on moving forward.
Just a few seasons ago, the Jets had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.
The team still has three Pro Bowlers on the line, but need at least one more lineman to step up to once again be considered among the best in the league.
Matt Slauson is the next best offensive lineman on the roster. His pass-blocking was much improved last season from 2010, but he still needs to do a lot of work on his run-blocking if he wants to be considered in the same class as his teammates.
Slauson is coming off major shoulder surgery this offseason, but his increased production would drastically improve the Jets’ chances of being successful on offense this upcoming season.
The Jets drafted linebacker Demario Davis out of Arkansas State in the third round of this year’s draft.
Davis will most likely get a chance to immediately make an impact on defense in 2012.
Last season, the Jets often subbed Bart Scott out during obvious passing situations because of his lack of speed. Davis will now be the guy who comes in to replace him. He will be responsible for covering the opposing team’s best tight end on most snaps.
Davis will begin the season on special teams, but has the potential to earn a starting linebacker position very quickly.
Antonio Cromartie struggled for most of last season, and many believe that Kyle Wilson could be the starting cornerback opposite Darrelle Revis in 2012 as a result.
This move makes some sense after Cromartie mentioned a potential move to free safety on Twitter earlier in the year (via ESPN).
Playing opposite Revis means that Wilson will see a ton of balls thrown his way in every game.
If he can become the lockdown corner many expected him to be when the Jets drafted him in the first round out of Boise State, it will be nearly impossible for opposing teams to put up large passing totals on the Jets.
Muhammad Wilkerson had a very respectable 49 tackles and three sacks during his rookie season, but is expected to have a breakout campaign now that he has a full year under his belt.
He received great praise from defensive coordinator Mike Pettine during minicamp (via the New York Daily News):
Looking back on the spring, if I had to rank our guys - outside of Revis - he was the best player on the field. He was dominant at times ... He doesn't take a day off. He doesn't take a play off.
Mo's only going to come off the field when he needs a break. I would not be shocked if he had a breakout year. He's really immersed himself not just in the playbook, but the tape…. He's got so much more awareness. At times last year, he just lined up and played.
The addition of rookie Quinton Coples on the defensive line should also significantly help Wilkerson’s production next season, since opposing teams will have two monsters to worry about and not just one.
These two could team up to become the best defensive end duo in the NFL within a few seasons.
Whether he’s ready or not, Stephen Hill could be thrown into the fire as the team’s starting wide receiver alongside Santonio Holmes in his rookie season.
Hill has all the potential to become a great NFL wide receiver. He’s a legitimate deep threat on every play at 6’4” with a 4.36-second 40-yard dash.
What he must improve at the next level is his route-running ability. It’s not necessarily his fault that he hasn’t perfected this skill, since he was only required to run very basic routes while playing in college at Georgia Tech.
As we've seen with previous GT wide receivers Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas, this skill can be developed with time.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York, Hill has impressed his coaches and teammates during voluntary practices and should become a focal point of the Jets offense.