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One Burning Question for Every Member of the New York Jets' Roster

Ryan AlfieriCorrespondent IIIAugust 7, 2012

One Burning Question for Every Member of the New York Jets' Roster

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    Looking around the NFL, you would be hard-pressed to find a team with as many question marks as these New York Jets.

    However, the questions go beyond the ongoing Sanchez-Tebow debate. Every player on the roster has issues they can fix and questions they can answer.

    Here is the biggest question for every member of the Jets roster, from backup kickers to starting linebackers. 

Quarterbacks

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    Mark Sanchez

    How much longer can he maintain his good relationship with Tim Tebow?

    So far, so good between the two quarterbacks, but we are just over a week into camp. There's still a long way to go to prove that this relationship can work. 

     

    Tim Tebow

    How many snaps will Tebow get in a game?

    The Jets, wisely, are not showing their hand, so we will have to wait and see as to just how often the Jets plan to use Tim. 

     

    Greg McElroy

    Can he lose his job to Matt Simms?

    While McElroy has started off slow in his second training camp, Matt Simms is gaining momentum. Could McElroy be one and done in New York?

     

    Matt Simms

    Can Simms rob McElroy of the third quarterback spot?

    Simms has the superior arm, and it has been evident in camp. He has the potential of overthrowing last year's seventh-rounder. 

Running Backs

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    Shonn Greene

    Can Greene become the bell-cow back the Jets have been expecting him to be now that he is back in a run-first offense?

    Greene has yet to become the same runner he was in the 2009 playoffs. Will being in a new offense bring the best out of him?

     

    Joe McKnight

    Can McKnight be reliable enough in pass protection to get on the field on third downs?

    McKnight has the ideal skill set to be a terrific third-down back, but he needs to make the mental leap in protection in order to be trusted to play regularly in passing situations.

     

    Bilal Powell

    Can Powell work his way into the starting lineup?

    Powell has been as impressive any any other Jet this camp, and it may just be enough to push Shonn Greene for carries because of his wider range of skills. 

     

    Terrance Ganaway

    Will Ganaway have any kind of role this year, or will Powell's surge keep him on special teams duty?

    Bilal Powell's impressive camp has put a damper on Ganaway's hopes of getting meaningful carries in the regular season. 

     

    John Griffin

    Can Griffin do enough to convince the Jets to carry an extra running back?

    Griffin has the skill set to succeed, but there may be one too many bodies in the backfield for Griffin to make the team. 

Fullback

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    John Conner

    Can Conner limit his mental mistakes to become a complete player?

    Everyone knows that Conner can lay the wood, but he found himself in the wrong place too many times last year. He will need to limit these mistakes to become the fullback the Jets need him to be. 

Wide Receivers

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    Santonio Holmes

    Is 'Tone truly a changed man? 

    Or is he the same selfish player that was the root cause for the Jets' locker room issues last year?

     

    Chaz Schilens

    Can Schilens shine enough in camp to convince coaches to ease Stephen Hill into the starting role?

    Sooner or later, Hill is going to start, but exactly when will be determined by how Schilens looks in camp. 

     

    Stephen Hill

    Can Hill learn how to run an NFL route tree in time to start Week 1?

    There is no denying Hill's ability to get deep, but he ran very simplistic routes at Georgia Tech, making the NFL learning curve steep.  

     

    Jeremy Kerley

    How soon can Kerley get out of Rex Ryan's doghouse to ensure that his spot as the slot receiver is secure?

    Kerley still has to get over his hamstring issues, which is only giving his competition more reps to prove themselves. 

     

    Jordan White

    How quickly can White get over his broken foot to compete for the starting slot receiver job?

    White's start to his young career was hampered after a broken foot in OTAs; how quickly he can run at 100 percent will go a long way in determining his role for 2012. 

     

    Patrick Turner

    Is Turner competing for a starting job or just trying to make the roster?

    Because of the sudden decline of Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill, the door is open for Turner to come out of nowhere to seize a starting job. 

     

    Royce Pollard

    Can Pollard shine enough in special teams to make the roster?

    With so many other receivers in front of him, special teams is Pollard's only avenue to making the final 53. 

     

    Raymond Webber

    Can Webber finally learn how to put his elite speed to use?

    Webber, a former second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has yet to show that he can use his incredible speed to his advantage on the field. 

     

    Wes Kemp, Chris Forcier

    Can Kemp and Forcier learn the playbook fast enough to be on an even playing field with everyone else?

    Just recently signed on 8/4, both players have quite a bit of catching up to do. 



Tackles

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    D'Brickashaw Ferguson

    Was 2011 an anomaly, or a troubling sign of decline?

    While Wayne Hunter took the brunt of the blame for the offensive line's failures in 2011, Ferguson quietly had his worst season since his rookie year. 

     

    Austin Howard

    Is Austin's upside enticing enough to push him ahead of Wayne Hunter?

    Now that Jeff Otah is no longer an option, the Jets may decide to roll the dice on the younger and more athletic Howard, because honestly, he can't be too much worse than Hunter. 

     

    Wayne Hunter

    Can Hunter mentally rebound from last year?

    Hunter had a tough offseason after hearing boatloads of criticism. Will it ruin him, or will he use it as motivation?

     

    Stephon Heyer

    Can Heyer be more effective that Howard as a swing tackle?

    With Howard now in the mix for the starting right tackle position, Heyer's best chance to make the team is to prove that his experience is worth keeping around in an extra tackle. 

     

    Paul Cornick

    Can Cornick shake the small-school label?

    It will be hard enough for Cornick to make the roster, but first he needs to prove that the jump to the NFL from North Dakota State is not an issue. 

Guards

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    Matt Slauson

    What is the real reason for Slauson's possible demotion?

    The fact that the Jets currently have a left guard competition between Ducasse and Slauson is a bit head-scratching to the point where it is fair to think that this is a last-ditch effort to get something out of second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse.

     

    Vladimir Ducasse

    Is Ducasse truly turning the corner, or is this just a desperate attempt to get something out of such a highly-drafted player?

    Given how little Ducasse has shown in two years, it is fair to question exactly where the Jets' true motive lies for giving Ducasse first-team reps. 

     

    Brandon Moore

    Will an extra year of heal time help with Moore's run-blocking?

    While Moore was excellent in pass protection last year, he was terrible as a run-blocker, which is in large part due to surgery he had last February

     

    Dennis Landholt

    Will Landholt's recent injury kill his hopes of making the team?

    After being carted off the field on Tuesday, it remains to be seen how patient the Jets are with his recovery time. 

     

    Fred Koloto

    Where does Koloto fit in the Jets roster?

    With so many other players around Koloto who are virtual locks to make the roster, Koloto's chances of making the roster seem slim. 


    Robert Griffin

    Will Griffin get an opportunity to see the field at all this year?

    Vladimir Ducasse's rise to the top of the depth chart leaves little room for Griffin to make an impact as a rookie. 

Centers

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    Nick Mangold

    Can Nick stay healthy all season long?

    Health has never been a big issue for Mangold, but we all saw the chaos that ensues when he does miss time. His presence is crucial.

     

    Caleb Schlauderhaff

    Will Schlauderhaff be used as a backup guard or center?

    A natural guard, Caleb struggled with some of his snaps in Saturday's scrimmage. 

     

    Matt Kroul

    Can Kroul play more than just center?

    The converted defensive lineman is no longer practice squad-eligible, so he will need to prove his versatility to order to stick around. 

Tight Ends

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    Dustin Keller

    How will Keller's role change in Tony Sparano's offense?

    With Schottenheimer calling the plays, Keller led the team in catches in 2011. How Sparano's new system changes that remains to be seen. 

     

    Jeff Cumberland

    Will Cumberland be the same player after tearing an Achilles tendon last year?

    These types of season-ending injuries have the potential to linger into the next season. 

     

    Tarren Lloyd

    Can Lloyd build strength in his upper body?

    At 6'7, Lloyd has the ideal frame to be the Jets' answer at blocking tight end, but he needs to add strength in order to move around NFL defensive linemen. 

     

    Dedrick Epps

    Can Epps improve enough as a blocker?

    Epps is known more for his receiving skills than his blocking ability, but the Jets need a blocker, not a third receiving tight end. 

     

    Hayden Smith

    How long will it take for Smith to grasp a complex NFL offense in just a few weeks time?

    This is Smith's first summer ever playing American football, so it will take him some time to learn the basics of the position before he starts memorizing complex play-calls. 

Defensive Ends

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    Muhammad Wilkerson

    Can Wilkerson make a JPP-like jump to the top of the NFL at his position?

    Wilkerson is getting a lot of hype in camp, but he does have the raw ability to make a massive jump in his second year. Besides Revis, he could be the next best defender on the team.

     

    Quinton Coples

    How will Coples' role change as the season progresses?

    The Jets have backed off putting Coples directly into the starting lineup and will use him in pass-rushing situations for now. How that changes as he develops remains to be seen. 

     

    Mike DeVito

    How long can Mike DeVito keep his starting job?

    The answer to this question will depend on how quickly Coples can improve as a run defender. 

     

    Marcus Dixon

    Can Marcus improve enough as a run defender to get more playing time?

    Dixon played well as a rotational player last year, and will continue to have a similar role if he does not become a better all-around player. 

     

    Jay Richardson

    Can Richardson finally recover from his knee injury?

    A fifth-round pick from 2007, Richardson has yet to prove that he is a capable player after his injury in 2010. 


    Matt Hardison

    Can Hardison capitalize on his unique athleticism?

    The Delaware product faces an uphill battle to make the team, but he offers intriguing athletic gifts to work with. 

Defensive Tackles

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    Sione Pouha

    How long will Pouha be out with his head injury?

    Pouha should be back this week, but the issue is whether or not he can put a helmet on with all of the swelling. 

     

    Kenrick Ellis

    Has spending a month in jail slowed down Ellis' progress?

    Not much has been reported about Ellis' performance in camp, but spending 45 days cooped up in a jail cell could not have helped him. 

     

    Martin Tevaseu

    Can MTV be consistent enough to keep his spot?

    Tevaseu flashed at times during the season, but he could not quite convince coaches to keep him as a staple of the 53-man roster. 

     

    Damon Harrison

    Can Harrison shake the small-school label?

    Harrison has all of the physical tools necessary to succeed, but he must overcome the jump in competition. 

Outside Linebackers

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    Bryan Thomas

    How much will Thomas' role be scaled back?

    With the emergence of Aaron Maybin, Thomas' role will certainly take a dip, but by how much?


    Calvin Pace

    Will he be replaced by Ricky Sapp on third downs?

    Pace's age is beginning to catch up with him, while Sapp is showing flashes of potential as a pass-rusher. 

     

    Aaron Maybin

    Can Maybin me more consistent as a pass-rusher?

    Maybin got a lot of "coverage sacks" last year, but he will need to be more polished if he wants to keep producing on a consistent basis. 

     

    Garrett McIntyre

    Will Garrett have a chance to get on the field?

    McIntyre saw playing time last year in relief of the injured Bryan Thomas, but with Thomas back and healthy again, there is no clear fit for McIntyre. 

     

    Damario Ambrose

    How quickly can Ambrose pick up the defense?

    Ambrose was a late addition to the roster and is already at a major disadvantage in terms of knowing the playbook. 

     

    Ricky Sapp

    Can the Jets do to Sapp what they did to Aaron Maybin last year?

    Sapp, a former fifth-round pick in 2010, has flashed potential in camp and could get some quality playing time in 2012. 

Inside Linebackers

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    David Harris

    Can David improve in coverage?

    As good as Harris is, he was picked on in coverage a lot last year. 

     

    Bart Scott

    Is Scott truly the revitalized man he claims to be?

    After an enormously disappointing season, Scott appears to be reborn, but time will tell if his play warrants an increase in playing time. 

     

    Josh Mauga

    Can he hold off Demario Davis?

    While Davis is the more talented rookie, Mauga has in-game experience on his side. 

     

    Demario Davis

    How much will Davis' injury hold him back from getting a role in sub-packages?

    Davis' hamstring sidelined him for the start of camp, which could get in the way of him nabbing a spot in nickel or dime packages. 

     

    Nick Bellore

    Where does Bellore fit?

    Bellore is a great special teams player, but the addition of Davis just may be enough to push him out. 

     

    Marcus Dowtin

    Can Dowtin put his character issues aside?

    Dowtin has some talent, but off-field issues that led to a transfer from Georgia prevented him from being drafted. 

Cornerbacks

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    Darrelle Revis

    Will hamstring issues be a lingering issue all season long?

    Revis had hammy problems in 2010, but they seem to be rising up again this year. 

     

    Antonio Cromartie

    When will Cro learn how to control his words and actions?

    Whether it's starting fights or calling himself the second-best receiver on the team, Cromartie needs to be smarter with his actions. 

     

    Kyle Wilson

    Can Kyle Wilson continue to make strides?

    Wilson was definitely a better player in 2011 than he was in 2010, but he still gave up way too many completions and needs to continue his development. 

     

    Ellis Lankster

    Can Lankster take snaps away from Wilson?

    Lankster is having a very impressive camp, and Jake Steinberg thinks he has looked better than Wilson at times. If that is true, it only makes sense to play the best player. 

     

    Isiah Trufant

    Can Trufant be anything more than a special teams ace?

    Trufant was a core special-teamer last year, but at some point, Trufant needs to prove that he can be trusted on defense. 

     

    Ryan Steed

    Can Steed shake the small-school label?

    The Furman product slipped through the cracks on draft day because of the competition he played against, and he will have to prove his doubters wrong to make the squad. 

     

    Julian Posey

    Can Posey impress enough on special teams to earn a job?

    Posey is not going to see any time on the regular defense; his only chance to make the team is if he impresses Mike Westhoff. 


    Donnie Fletcher

    Does Fletcher bring anything special to the table?

    Fletcher is a good technician and a solid player overall, but he doesn't have any special attributes to make him stand out. 

     

    Devon Torrence

    How quickly can Torrence learn the defense?

    Just recently signed on August 1st, Torrence does not have the same familiarity with Ryan's defense as everyone else.  

Safeties

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    LaRon Landry

    Can he stay healthy?

    When healthy, Landry is among the best in the NFL, but the fact that the Jets were able to land him so late in free agency is telling as to how doctors throughout the league think of his long-term prognosis. 

     

    Yeremiah Bell

    Can Bell hold up in coverage?

    Bell is a great in-the-box player, but the Jets need him to figure out how to handle tight ends and slot receivers. 

     

    Antonio Allen

    Can Allen learn the coverage aspects of the position?

    At South Carolina, Allen was used as more of a linebacker than a safety; he will have to make significant adjustments to his game if he wants to stick around. 

     

    Josh Bush

    How soon before the coaches trust Bush in sub-packages?

    Bush's best fit on the roster is to play free safety with his coverage skills, but he is still a rookie. 

     

    Eric Smith

    Can Smith be a more effective player in a rotational role?

    Smith was a big-time liability last year, but he has been effective in the past when not asked to do too much. 

     

    Marcus Lott

    Can Lott catch on to the Jets' playbook in time?

    Just signed on August 2nd, Lott is already behind. 

     

    D'Anton Lynn

    Can Lynn make the transition from corner to safety?

    Lynn is a pure-zone corner, so the transition from corner to safety makes sense. 

Specialists

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    Nick Folk

    Can Folk revert to his early-2011 ways and keep his job?

    The job is Folk's to lose, but Brown is pushing him hard

     

    Josh Brown

    Can Brown take Folk's job?

    Well? Can he?

     

    T.J. Conley

    Can Conley be more consistent?

    Conley flashed some potential last year, but simply had too many bad games to come into this season as the unquestioned punter.

     

    Derek Chad

    Can he take Conley's job?

    Conley is listed as the guy for now, but the fact that Chad is still on the team means the Jets don't hate what they are seeing from him. 

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