10 Biggest Issues Facing New York Jets as Mandatory Minicamp Approaches
When it comes to the New York Jets, to say that the past few seasons have been interesting is something of an understatement.
Two AFC Championship Game appearances have been followed by two lackluster campaigns, both resulting in Gang Green missing the playoffs. The team has dominated the back pages, but it has suffered from very mediocre performances on the field.
Unfortunately, this season doesn't look much better for Jets faithful, as this offseason has provided more questions than answers. Who will be the starting quarterback? Will Rex Ryan make it out with his job? Finally, what the hell was that whole Tebow thing all about?
Let's take a look at the top 10 issues facing the New York Jets with minicamp just around the corner.
Honorable Mention: Quinton Coples Moves to Linebacker
After a strong rookie campaign, defensive end Quinton Coples will make the move to outside linebacker.
How will he handle the position switch? After a solid season in which Coples led the team in sacks, why fix something that isn't broken?
No. 10: A New Offense
Former Detroit Lions head coach Marty Mornhinweg has been brought in to fix a less-than-stellar Jets offense. But with any coaching change, there is doubt.
How will the players adapt to a new system? Will a coaching change be enough to get this team going?
No. 9: Defensive Back
The Jets started off the 2013 offseason by trading their best player, Darrelle Revis, for what appeared to be pennies on the dollar. As one of the league's best corners, the loss of "Revis Island" will certainly hurt the team.
However, the team has done its best to replace the outgoing All-Pro.
The Jets drafted Alabama's Dee Milliner to partner with Antonio Cromartie. Also adding to the new-look Jets secondary is this year's group of safeties, an area that looks to be a major question mark.
The signing of veteran Dawan Landry will provide leadership, but the group is inexperienced, to say the least.
The preseason favorite to win the second safety job is Josh Bush, who has a mere 11 career tackles. Fellow second-year safety Antonio Allen is also in the mix, but the position could be a major issue for the Jets.
Will this unit be brought down by inexperience, or will it succeed in what will be a baptism by fire?
No. 8: Tight End
Having lost starter Dustin Keller, the Jets now face questions at the tight end position.
With no real options on the roster, the team has reached out to former first-rounder Kellen Winslow Jr., who has never quite lived up to the lofty expectations that came with his draft position.
The team is desperate enough that Hayden Smith, a former rugby player with roughly a year of organized football experience, actually has a chance to earn the job.
Will Winslow or Smith earn the right to be the starter, or will the Jets give the position to someone else, such as former No. 2 Jeff Cumberland?
No. 7: Santonio Holmes' Injury Concerns
Santonio Holmes appears to be one of the few bright spots for the Jets on offense.
However, the star wide receiver may start camp on the physically unable to perform list with a foot injury, according to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News.
In a camp with a new coordinator and a possible new QB, will Holmes be harmed by missing valuable practice time?
No. 6: Mike Goodson
With a three-year, $6.9 deal in hand, newly signed running back Mike Goodson was expected to step in and compete for a starting gig.
However, those plans me be derailed following an arrest for both weapon and drug possession.
On top of the arrest, Goodson has also found his name in the papers due to an ongoing paternity suit, which is something the team must be getting used to.
Can Goodson be an asset to the team, or will his off-the-field issues keep him from ever contributing?
No. 5: Wide Receiver
Saying that the Jets have a deficiency at wide receiver is an understatement.
Excluding Santonio Holmes, the Jets are made up of a group that has a grand total of 212 career receptions to its name.
The Jets will need second-year receiver Stephen Hill (who has injury issues of his own) to step up if the team hopes to have any sort of passing game.
Is Hill good enough to step into the No. 2 slot, or do the Jets need to make a signing?
No matter what happens with the wide receivers, the Jets will need production from another position to keep defenses honest...
No. 4: Running Back
Mike Goodson, Chris Ivory and Joe McKnight make up what appears to be a rather weak running back corps for the New York Jets.
Goodson has proven problematic already, Ivory has had injury issues and McKnight will have to remember how to play RB after a stint at corner.
Can these three prove to be the running attack that this team desperately needs, or will the fate of the offense lie with what appears to be a mediocre passing game?
No. 3: Rex Ryan
Despite early success in the form of two AFC title games, Ryan's Jets have been less than impressive in recent seasons, leading to calls for his head after last season.
The front office reaffirmed its faith in the coach by informing possible general manager candidates that Ryan was here to stay. However, he will have tons of pressure on him this season, as there will need to be improvement if he is to keep his job.
Will Ryan be able to lead this team to improvement, or will off-the-field issues and a potential firing result in the locker room tuning him out? Can Ryan finally control the media, or will this season be another circus?
With that said, the Jets public relations team is already off to a rough start...
No 2: Off-the-Field Distractions
While the Jets are far from strangers to off-the-field issues, this offseason has seen plenty of people take shots at the team.
According to ESPN, legendary quarterback Joe Namath has come out to say that he is not a fan of Ryan's player-friendly attitude, which he believes have left players content and unmotivated. Namath also pointed out recent coaching defections as a negative reflection of Ryan, as he believes coaches are "jumping ship because you don't like how the captain has been handling it."
In a recent interview with Sirius XM Radio, former Jets tight end Dustin Keller stated that the organization is always in the media for the wrong reasons, as "there's always some type of nonsense going on."
Even famous fans have taken shots at the organization, as Game Of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin wasn't exactly happy at the new general manager John Idzik trading Darelle Revis, going as far to say that the Jets should, "fire his ass now."
While off-the-field distractions are the norm for this team, will the Jets be able to overcome another year of them, or will the pressure finally become too much?
The whole Jets organization is constantly scrutinized. However, this year's most talked-about topic will most certainly be my choice for this season's biggest issue for the Jets...
No. 1: Quarterback
What would a Jets preseason be without a quarterback controversy?
With Tebowmania behind us, Mark Sanchez will enter camp to questions yet again, as his job appears to be in severe jeopardy.
With the drafting of Geno Smith, the Jets have set off a quarterback competition that is sure to keep the back pages in New York talking.
No matter who the Jets pick, whoever is playing quarterback will need to step up this season, as a weak running game and a less-than stellar wide receiving corps make this offense look anemic on paper.
Will the Jets stick with Sanchez, despite his struggles, or will they go with Smith, who will have little room for rookie growing pains if the Jets hope to be competitive?
Do you think the Jets can be competitive this season? Discuss in the comments below!