The Jets' Fav Five: The Players Capable of Putting New York Over the Top
There's a new boss in town in New Jersey, and Jets' fans are tired of watching Gang Green continue to give them false hope and then crush their dreams.
Many fans have high hopes after the Jets made a blockbuster deal on draft day to acquire the pick that they used to pick up Mark Sanchez to be their quarterback of the future.
But, it will take more than just Sanchez for this team to be clicking once week one in Houston commences.
I have compiled a list of the top five guys who can put this team over the top in 2009-10. Take a look, and remember. "J! E! T! S! JETS! JETS! JETS!"
5. Jay Feely
It seems like a lot of fans underestimate the true value of a good kicker. Luckily, the Jets have one.
Feely hit over 85 percent of the kicks that he attempted in 2008, which is something that Jets' fans will love to see, considering how Mike Nugent and Doug Brien didn't exactly do the same.
Although he did miss two extra points in 2008, it's nice to have a kicker you can trust.
Not every drive is going to result in seven points, and it's nice to know that the Jets have a kicker who is capable of putting the ball through the uprights.
Interesting note. Last season, Feely only missed one field goal attempt from beyond 40 yards.
4. Lito Sheppard
There is no arguing that 2008 was a down year for Lito Sheppard. His tackles were down and so were results.
What makes me think that he can be successful for the Jets? Simple. He is craving the opportunity.
This is the perfect example of a guy who is starving to prove that he has something left in the tank, and the Jets are certainly trusting that that is a statement of truth.
This reminds me of Luis Castillo of the Mets (sorry for the inter-sport confusion). When a guy is hungry to prove everyone wrong, he usually turns his game up a notch.
For a guy who started just three games, Sheppard is getting the chance of a lifetime.
If he plays his cards right, he should be starting opposite to Darrelle Revis on week one in Houston, but he needs to prove that he can still grind with the best of them.
3. Vernon Gholston
This is a guy who has some serious pressure on his shoulders, but you couldn't have a better coach to work on his game.
For a guy that many people have already labeled the bust of last year's draft, Gholston is looking to emerge as a quality player in New York. Rex Ryan may just be what he needs.
Ryan has already gone out of his way to say that he has seen tape of Gholston, and he is known to be capable of a lot.
With the scheme that Ryan brings with him from Baltimore, Gholston may be playing the role that Ray Lewis played. That would definitely bode well for the Jets' sophomore linebacker.
He definitely has the skills. We have seen brief glimpses of his skill, but he hasn't been able to stay on the field long enough to impress anybody.
If he is able to pick up the defense-first strategy that Rex Ryan believes in, then the Jets just may be in business with No. 56.
2. Kris Jenkins
Last year, the Jets took a chance and acquired all-pro defensive tackle Kris Jenkins for draft picks. It turned out to be a worthy investment for Jenkins, who was a force to be reckoned with for offensive lines throughout the AFC.
Although Jenkins was very impressive, the quality of his performances seemed to diminish as the season progressed. He had to take more and more breaks, and it seemed like he wasn't getting through as many packs as we were used to.
Call it good offensive prevention, but I have something else to label it as...tired.
Jenkins has a lot of weight on his body, and he is also covered in pads. Add about 90 degrees on a warm Miami day, and he needs to take a break every couple of plays.
Call me crazy, but having Pouha in on third down doesn't exactly give me much faith.
The Jets are going to need the freak of the first half of the season to show up in 2009 if they want to be the defensive force that Rex Ryan usually produces.
1. Dustin Keller
Keller burst on to the scene in New York last season with 48 catches, and he quickly established himself as one of the favorite targets of quarterback Brett Favre.
Keller was getting targeted on third downs, and he seemed ready for the challenge, but then some adversity set in.
He began to drop passes, and the Jets started to target other options. Coles and Cotchery started to be featured more often, and Keller's progression tailed off along with Brett Favre as the season progressed.
Got any guys you think can be the difference? Remember, production is expected out of Leon Washington, Jerricho Cotchery and Alan Faneca. Guys like that are not considered for a list like this.
J! E! T! S! JETS! JETS! JETS!
With the departure of Coles, Keller is going to be an important target, no matter who is taking the snap. The Jets are going to need him to be their second or third option if they want any results out of their passing game.