The 2012 offseason has been a long one for Jets fans, as the bitter taste from the end of the 2011 season has lingered for months. Sure, there was the hype surrounding Tim Tebow and what appears to be a strong draft class, but nothing eases the pain of a disappointing season like seeing the team out there performing against an opponent.
When things finally got started in 2012, there wasn't much to speak of. The Jets' first-team offense did little and neither did the Bengals. Outside of a blocked punt and a 45-yard passing play from the Bengals in which the Jets' Isaiah Trufant fell down, there wasn't much action here.
There were some positives for the Jets though. First-round pick Quinton Coples looked great and rookies Demario Davis and Stephen Hill had their moments too. Tim Tebow showed flashes of how he can be a dangerous weapon and Mark Sanchez looked fine.
The main thing that came out of the game though was that the Jets came away unscathed in the injury department.
Here's a look at the Instant Impact from the Jets preseason game against the Bengals. It provides fans an immediate digest of the game, allowing Jets fans to turn to Bleacher Report's Jets home page for an immediate reaction following every Jets game.
Coples got off to a slow start with the first-teamers as he appeared a little tentative. However, once the backups were on, Coples was dominant. He tackled Brian Leonard twice for losses and created a tremendous inside push.
What are your feelings after the preseason opener?
He was denied his first sack when he beat his man inside, but was held from behind. He at least drew the penalty. CBS announcers Ian Eagle and Greg Buttle pointed out that Coples tired in extended playing time though.
The Jets' first-round draft pick later came incredibly close to achieving a coveted trifecta at the end of the third quarter. Coples sacked Zac Robinson, caused a fumble and had the bouncing ball glance off his hand while he was on the ground.
Chump of the Game: The Jets offensive line
Last preseason, the line stunk, and it spilled over into the regular season. They got off to an atrocious start as they couldn't generate any kind of consistent protection. They didn't excel in run-blocking either. The backup linemen were even worse.
Defensive Star: Jay Richardson
After Coples, the Jets' next-best defensive player was Jason Richardson. He had the Jets' first sack of the preseason when he got to Bruce Gradkowski. He recorded four solo tackles on the game, second only to Coples.
Who was the Jets' player of the game?
Offensive Star: Joe McKnight
In a game where the Jets offense did nothing, it's tough to call anyone a star. McKnight had 34 receiving yards and 32 rushing yards and was clearly better than Bilal Powell. He was one of the few players Rex Ryan lauded after the game.
Special Teams Star: Josh Brown
He had the first opportunity to show his mettle in the Jets' kicking competition. He nailed a 42-yarder, then drilled the kickoff to the back of the end zone. If the kicking competition remains close and Brown can hit touchbacks consistently, it could win him the job.
Key Injuries: Eric Smith
He limped off the field after having his legs bent back under his body on a special teams play. He had his left knee heavily iced as halftime approached. Jenny Vrentas reported that Rex Ryan said Smith's injury was a knee and hip. He underwent an MRI after the game. X-rays were negative, Smith is currently listed as day-to-day.
Turning Point of the Game
The Bengals' blocked punt was a momentum-changer in an otherwise bland first half.
Revis Island Report
The Rookie Report
Jordan White was on the field for four plays with the first team. Sanchez threw passes to him twice. White later made a poor play as a punt returner. He let the punt bounce at the 5-yard line, which was fine, but whiffed on a block on Aaron Brown who downed the ball and pinned the Jets deep.
Josh Bush was called for a hold on a Bengals' punt. He then served as the personal protector on the Bengals' blocked punt. He missed a block on Dan Skuta, one of the Bengals in on the blocked punt. For someone who needs to make an impact on special teams, that's not a great start.
Antonio Allen made an incredible recovery tackle on the play where Bruce Gradkowski hooked up with Marvin Jones for a 45-yard play after Isaiah Trufant fell down. Allen lined up two yards off the line of scrimmage but made the tackle 45 yards downfield.
Royce Pollard had a nice punt return at the start of the fourth quarter. Pollard didn't hesitate, and upon catching the punt, bolted immediately upfield for a 19-yard return. It was in stark contrast to Kyle Wilson's dancing six-yard return in the first quarter.
Best Coaching Move
Giving Coples a taste of the action with the first team, and then, leaving him out there for nearly the entire game. It gave the rookie a little bit of everything. He saw the speed of live NFL action for the first time, and then, by playing against the backups, he got to let his athletic ability to take over. He also got to learn the type of conditioning needed to play a full NFL game.
NFL Personality Tweet of the Game
Great Quote from the Booth
Greg Buttle, CBS: "With a brand new offense and a brand new coordinator, you gotta be a little patient to see how they develop over the next two weeks."
The Arguing Army Says...
"Boy, it feels good to see NFL back on the screen," Rich R., Giants fan.
The Refs Blew This One
It was a close call, but the referees shouldn't have reversed the call on Greg McElroy's fumble in the fourth quarter. Although the ball was jostled loose, he still had the ball pinned to his hip as his backside hit the ground.
Did You Notice
Ryan is not having team captains this year, but he named Nick Mangold, David Harris and John Connor as game captains...Bilal Powell got the first opportunity as the third-down back...Demario Davis made a nice tackle on Andrew Hawkins on the Jets' second punt. Tebow was right behind if Hawkins got past Davis...Bart Scott was a step away from a sack on a blitz in the first quarter.
Calvin Pace and Scott were beaten for 19 and 18-yard pass plays respectively...The Jets were able to get pressure rushing only three on 3rd-and-goal from the one for the Bengals...Brown got the first field goal attempt over Nick Folk.
He nailed a 42-yarder. Folk later made a 38-yard field goal. Both kickers did well on kickoffs...Coples had a nice series against backups in the second quarter. He forced a bad throw, made a tackle on a run and batted a pass to create his own three-and-out.
Richardson recorded the Jets' first sack late in the first half. If he missed him, Marcus Dixon was coming hard a step behind him...Powell, D'Anton Lynn, Terrance Ganaway and Marcus Dowtin all appeared to have a hand in allowing the blocked punt for a touchdown.
Bush served as the personal punt protector and missed a block too. According to the Jets' Twitter feed, it was the first blocked punt allowed for a touchdown in the preseason since August 19, 1995, against the Giants...The Bengals lost four starters to injury in the first half.
What This Means Now
The first-team offense did next to nothing. The Bengals were able to get significant pressure at least three times on Mark Sanchez, sacking him twice. Ryan admitted before the game that he would keep the offense "vanilla," and it sure looked that way. The Jets need to show improved pass protection going forward.
The blocked punt is tough to criticize, as a line consisting mostly of rookies was clearly confused. The players who were on the line at the time most likely won't be there when the season starts.
The Jets were impressive on defense, especially against the run. That's a good sign, especially since Sione Pouha was out. The first-teamers held their ground well, and the second-teamers dominated. Aaron Maybin and Muhammad Wilkerson were quiet, but the activity of Coples is promising. He just has to do it against first-teamers now.
The Jets take on the Giants next Saturday night in a 7:00 start. The Giants' starters handled the Jaguars first-teamers easily in their preseason opener before the Jags pulled off the late win.
It will be interesting to see if Coples is given extended time with the first-team defense next week. Look to see how the Jets play Revis against the Giants. In their game last year, he shadowed Hakeem Nicks while Victor Cruz killed them.
Writer's note: New York Jets Instant Impact is something I hope to be able to do immediately following every Jets game. My aim to is give the Jets fans an instant look at some of the details from the game without having to wait for longer production pieces. Visit Bleacher Report's page for the New York Jets immediately following the game.