Strong, But Not Strong Enough: Where the Jets Roster Needs Improvement

Chris Dela RosaContributor INovember 14, 2010

Jets Kicker Nick Folk after 1 of his three missed field goals
Jets Kicker Nick Folk after 1 of his three missed field goalsMatt Sullivan/Getty Images

The Jets made it through another week in overtime by defeating the Cleveland Browns with 16 seconds left in overtime.  Recent acquisition Santonio Holmes showed he is still a top receiver by scoring the game-winning touchdown, but there are several other spots in the Jets roster that need to be filled with better players.

In the safety position is Eric Smith. Although he's a hard-nosed player, the Jets could do without him. One of the problems in the game against the Browns that could jeopardize the Jets in the future is his size.

If Smith weren't a professional football player, his size would be considered average, in the NFL he's below-average.  When the Jets play man coverage, it is likely that Smith will be covering the tight end, with Smith's size, big plays can arise.  

In the Browns game, this mismatch occurred when Colt McCoy threw a pass to Benjamin Watson for a first down (on third down) which set the Browns up for a touchdown later in the drive.

Later in the season, the Jets will be playing teams with more threats in their passing game. In order for the Jets to be an all-around team, they need a larger and faster player at the safety position.  

Smith showed his lack of speed on an 18-yard dump pass to Peyton Hillis on a first-and-20.  Although it is too late for the Jets to make a change, the Jets will need to draft an all-around safety to maintain the stigma of having a strong defense.

A few weeks ago, kicker Nick Folk showed his boot by kicking a 56-yard field goal against the Denver Broncos; against the Browns, Jets fans wondered where that kicker had gone.  Just last week, Folk was able to kick the game-winning field goal against the Lions.  

This week in Cleveland, Folk missed three field goals.  Since 2006, the Jets have been having trouble with kickers.  Starting with Mike Nugent, the Jets have continuously gone through kickers.  Folk who was released by the Cowboys after last season seems to be showing signs of regression and displaying why he is no longer on the Cowboys.

The hope is that Nick Folk can recover from his bad game by next week when the Jets play the Texans at home. As evidenced by the game against the Browns, field goals make a big difference.  Had Folk made two of the field goals he missed, the Jets wouldn't' have had to go into overtime for the second week in a row.

Next week, the Texans will present a challenge that the Jets need to answer to. With Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and Matt Schaub, the Jets defense will need to work hard this week in preparing for another battle against Houston.