New York Jets Preseason Report: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
While watching the Jets game yesterday, we laughed, we cried, we yelled (a lot). What did you all think about the game?
I found a lot of flaws and a few things to be happy about. In this article, I will expound on the good, the bad and the ugly.
The Good: Quinton Coples
Let's start off with an obvious one. Quinton Coples was everywhere on the field. The stat sheets don't even tell the whole story. He played extensive time in all four quarters. My guess is that it has to do with Rex Ryan working on his motor to make him an every down player.
The stat sheet indicated he played well, but he was constantly shedding blocks and getting in the backfield. It doesn't look like this man is going to be a bust. Sure he might not be properly conditioned, but the way he was playing last night, I think he'll be okay by the start of the season.
Player Grade: A- (he was manhandled a bit in the third quarter).
The Bad: Shonn Greene
I was excited to see him in action after an important offseason working with Tony Sparano. Seeing as how he was only in for two series, I'm not going to make any rash statements, but he did not get into a rhythm. Hopefully this does not translate into poor play in the regular season.
I for one, am still hopeful. It would also help if he had Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and the wildcat looks. This definitely limited the surprises that the offense brought and, in turn, made the team look very one-dimensional.
Player Grade: C- (he didn't relieve much pressure off of Mark Sanchez)
The Ugly: Pass Protection
Mark Sanchez was sacked twice, Tim Tebow was avoiding pressure all game and Greg McElroy was strip sacked. What is going on?
Two sacks in two drives on Mark Sanchez is far too many.
Austin Howard didn't set the world on fire with his performance last night, which makes me wonder why there is a position battle with Wayne Hunter. Caleb Schlauderaff is the third string center and second string left guard, which shows how disappointing he's been since surprising Jets coaches.
First team unit grade: D (Sanchez was knocked around on both drives).
The Good: Joe McKnight
I wonder why Jenny Vrentas thinks that Bilal Powell took the starting spot over Joe McKnight. The way McKnight played last night, I'm sure Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano are re-thinking that decision.
The stat sheet shows his improvement since last season: seven carries, 32 rush yards, 4.6 ypc, three receptions, 34 receiving yards, 11.3 ypc
That's 66 all purpose yards on 10 touches. Powell had six touches for 20 yards or 3.3 yards per touch. Maybe the Jets will give McKnight the playing time he deserves.
Player Grade: B+ (He didn't score a touchdown or beat a 10-yard run)
The Bad: Poor Linebacking Coverage
When Bart Scott is covering Benjarvus Green-Ellis on a 3rd-and-15, you know there's a problem. Where was DeMario Davis, Aaron Maybin, Josh Mauga or even Garret McIntyre?
We understand that Scott is a little more trim now, but he is not in the proper shape to be covering running backs.
Garret McIntyre allowed a catch or two on poor routes and plays by the back.
Unit Grade in Coverage: C-
The Ugly: Tim Tebow's Decision Making
Interception aside, Tim Tebow just did not make smart throws against Cincinnati. He was constantly trying to fake the defense out and failed miserably.
If he didn't find anything open he tossed it out of bounds while getting otherwise decent pass protection on those plays. I loved his pass to Stephen Hill and his first run, but he didn't make smart decisions. I hope he's not throwing too much out of the wildcat.
Speaking of the wildcat, I'm not giving Tebow a grade as a player because his game is two-dimensional, one of which wasn't used in the game.
His decision-making grade: D (he did have a smart throw to Stephen Hill on his first snap).
The Good: Jay Richardson and the Third-Team Defense
Jay Richardson picked up where Quinton Coples left off in the 3rd quarter. While Coples was being manhandled in double and single teams, Jay Richardson was bull rushing, spinning and ripping his way into the backfield.
He was constantly starting a tackle, only for a gang of third stringers to meet him there and get the team stop. As expected, the third string depth on defense is much better than their offensive counterparts.
Unit Grade: B
The Bad: Tony Sparano's Play Calling
It's 3rd-and-15 at the Bengals' 30-yard-line. In what world is that a running situation?
If I were the play caller, I'd put Greg McElroy in the shotgun and look for a post route. This was one of multiple occasions where I had to ask myself what Sparano was thinking.
Individual Grade: C- (Below average play calling, but he's Charlie Weis when compared to Bryan Schottenheimer).
The Ugly: Offensive Line Depth
Matt Kroul was playing center for Greg McElroy at some points in the fourth quarter. Maybe Kroul was confused since he used to play on the defensive line, but he played poorly throughout his playing time.
McElroy didn't have more than two seconds to throw it, let alone the mandatory three seconds it takes for a good quarterback to get the ball off.
McElroy is young. Don't traumatize him with awful pass blockers. McElroy has a lot of potential, maybe even enough to be the backup quarterback this season. But like the rest of the offensive line, somebody needs to learn how to pass block.
Unit Grade: G (The only grade worse than an "F" for this terrible group)
The first team offense was pretty poor, the second team offense was better than expected, the third team offense was weak.
I'm hopeful for this unit, even if they are having a lot of troubles early on. The wildcat should be an important look that this offense will carry from week to week.
The first team defense was a little weak, but everybody else was pretty good. I'm confident they'll be fine.
Again, no serious injuries (Eric Smith is day-to-day) is always a good thing, but a lot to take away. Let's give this team a final grade.
Team Grade: C-
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