New York Jets: 7 Players Who Could Reignite Jets Offense
It took the New York Jets four preseason games before they scored their first touchdown, and it came from their third-string quarterback. However, he's not someone that fans should count on to reignite the struggling offense.
Instead, the Jets' faithful should turn to its wide receivers, running back, tight end and, of course, quarterback to spark the offense.
The guys that I will list are sure to kick it into gear with the season about to open.
Dustin Keller, TE
If there's any one on the team that could revive the Jets offense, it's tight end Dustin Keller.
Keller led last season's offense with the most receptions on the team with 65. Those 65 receptions added up to 815 yards—good enough for about 12.5 yards per reception.
In each of his last three seasons, the tight end has increased in both receptions and total yards. His rookie season, Keller had 45 receptions for 522 yards and two touchdowns. To go from 45 receptions to 65 in just three seasons is incredible, and you can bet that he'll have more catches and yards than last year in the upcoming season.
According to a scouting report over at FFtoolbox.com by Randall Weida, Keller is a premier tight end with an extremely high ceiling, which he has yet to reach. Weida writes,
He has good speed for a tight end and Keller has one of the best hands in the country, wide receivers included. What makes him hard to cover for most linebackers and safeties is his ability to go up and get balls high over the middle.
We've seen Keller display his talents numerous times by grabbing receptions and turning them into positive gains.
With Dustin just entering his prime, you should expect this guy to have a breakout season and perhaps carry the New York offense.
Santonio Holmes, WR
Santonio Holmes must spark New York's offense if he wants the fans to forget about how he ended last season by getting into a scuffle with others of the Jets offense.
He ended last season with 51 receptions and 654 yards—that's an average 12.8 yards per catch. Holmes also managed to grab eight touchdowns in the process.
If the Jets are going to go anywhere in the upcoming season, Holmes and quarterback Mark Sanchez have to be on the same page and put the disappointing conclusion to last season to rest.
Santonio is incredibly fast, and he must utilize that speed in order to be successful, in turn making the Jets offense successful.
If he lines up in the slot, expect a big gain, even after the catch.
Stephen Hill, WR
Stephen Hill will start his rookie campaign this Sunday against Buffalo.
During preseason, Hill looked great. He was the most impressive rookie, and possibly the most impressive player on the roster.
NFL.com's scouting report had this to say about Stephen Hill:
"Hill will be a legitimate deep threat at the next level -- by recording nearly 30 yards per catch as a senior, he showed he was capable of going deep and scoring on every play.
He consistently runs past corners on deep routes and is impressive at the point of the catch, as he is able to lay out for the ball or rise above his defender.
Hill is a very good blocker who uses his length well and surprisingly doesn't get off-balance often, something that is usually evident of players with his frame.
Though it's risky to throw early comparisons of Hall-of-Fame-caliber players on prospects that don't even garner first-round consideration, Hill could remind some of Randy Moss when it comes to running a pure, one-on-one deep route."
The wide receiver concluded the preseason with nine receptions—totaling for 106 yards and averaging 11.8 yards per catch.
Pairing Hill in an offense opposite of Santonio Holmes will greatly benefit him. He'll most likely see a weaker defender than Holmes, and as a result will be targeted often by Mark Sanchez.
Shonn Greene, RB
Last year, the Jets' run game wasn't anything really special.
If anyone is hoping for a bounce-back season for New York, it's Shonn Greene.
Greene had 253 carries and broke the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career—1,054 yards to be exact. He also crossed the goal line six times to put six on the board for the Jets.
Gang Green is going to need Greene to run through the opposition.
If the running back can stay healthy all year, he'll surely have another 1,000 yard season, and the Jets could use that to reignite this struggling offense.
Tim Tebow, QB
Tim Tebow will undoubtedly see playing time; the question is how will this affect the Jets' performance?
Well, if Tebow can get New York on the right track, the AFC East better watch out.
No. 15 brings a lot to the table for Gang Green. He's a mobile quarterback that can avoid a tackle and take a hit, and, contrary to belief, he can make a big throw.
Despite only completing 13 passes for 151 yards this preseason, last year we saw something special from Tebow. He threw for 1,729 yards averaging 13.7 yards per completion.
If lined up behind center, he'll hurt you by running or making a pass. You're not sure which Tebow you'll get out the gate.
Basically, Tebow adds depth to a dull offense.
Although it's still not clear how the Jets will use him, Tebow will show those watching some great things.
D'Brickashaw Ferguson, LT
Left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson will need to keep Mark Sanchez out of harm's way by keeping defenders away from his blind side.
If Ferguson can do his job, Mark Sanchez does not have to worry about the side that he cannot see.
With Sanchez' trust in his left tackle, he'll take the time to let a play develop before making a call. This is why Ferguson is as important as everyone else on this list—without him, Sanchez can't do squat with the weapons he's given.
Keeping defenders off Sanchez's tail is all the management can ask of D'Brickashaw.
Mark Sanchez, QB
Mark Sanchez didn't look too bad during preseason; in fact, he looked pretty good—aside from the fact that he didn't throw a touchdown, but that could be blamed on receivers as well.
He concluded preseason with a completion percentage of 68.6. Sanchez completed 24 of his 35 passes, which translated into 203 yards with an average of 5.8 yards per completion.
Quarterbacking this team will not be easy, but Sanchez did a heck of a job last season before the epic meltdown. If he can have another 3,000 yard season, it means he's spreading out the ball, which makes the Jets a difficult team to prepare for because of their multiple weapons.
Sanchez isn't the baby of the team anymore—instead, he's got to be the vocal leader that's suppose to be the voice of the franchise. By calling the shots, he'll improve the offense to a point where everything just seems to flow.
It's obvious that Sanchez is the key player to reignite the Jets' offense. He'll see the most field time, and it's his judgement calls that will deem the franchise a success or failure.