Training camp is here!
It’s been a fun offseason with a lot of new for the New York Jets, but there’s been a ton of hype and now it’s time to see if the team can answer some big-time questions.
Every Monday morning here on ‘Heavy on Jets’ our leaders (Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden Jr and Michael Obermuller) explore five intriguing questions around the team and we continue that tradition.
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Some Fascinating Questions To Consider
1. Which player on the Jets roster would you be willing to bet your career on being a success in 2021 (excluding rookies)?
MO: There are really only two Jets players that I trust enough right now to bet my career on. The first is somewhat of a duplicate because Badlands host Joe Caporoso used him for his answer; third-year defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. When “Q-Will” was drafted out of Alabama, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about it. I had nothing against Williams but I preferred edge rusher Josh Allen, who I compared to superstar Khalil Mack at the time. Allen has been fine for Jacksonville, but at this point, Williams looks like more of a sure thing joining Robert Saleh’s system at 23-years old. I’ll always admit when I’m wrong and now I’m willing to stake my life on it!
For me, an honorable mention goes to Carl Lawson since Caporoso was way ahead of me. I do believe in judging pass rushers by pressure rate rather than sack totals and Lawson is a top-10 NFL disruptor in terms of analytics. Paired with Saleh and this fearsome front four, I see Lawson taking his game to the next level in New York.
Boy Green: I love this question. Everyone in 2021 loves having sizzling hot takes, but most of the time there’s nothing on the line. No sense of accountability when an analyst says something bonkers. Now? We are putting our careers on the line!
The obvious answer to this question is the Q man out of Alabama. Scheme fit and signs from last year all point to an explosive 2021 campaign, but I’ll stray from answers already stated.
Mekhi Becton, offensive tackle out of Louisville is my choice. Now it’s always dangerous to go with a player that scares you injury-wise, but I’m going to push all my chips into the middle of the table for ‘The Big Ticket.’
Last year he showed massive flashes of future All-Pro potential. Becton just brings things to the table that you can’t teach: freakish athleticism and footwork, ridiculous measurables, and ‘Hall of Fame traits.’
The big man plays a premium position (left tackle), has all the talent in the world, and has looked ripped in his offseason workout videos.
2. If you could steal any ONE player off another NFL team’s roster and insert them on today’s Jets, who would it be and why?
MO: Wow, what a question!
Aaron Donald and Patrick Mahomes come to mind, but let me actually relate this to the Jets. We need a shutdown cornerback like a fish needs water, and only one CB has held my attention for his entire career — Los Angeles Rams superstar Jalen Ramsey.
I know Ramsey isn’t exactly humble, but he’s the most consistent corner in football and this defense would immediately become a top 10 unit with him on the roster (if not higher). Pro Football Focus ranked Ramsey second behind Jaire Alexander for all outside corners ahead of the 2021 season.
I love Alexander and he’d probably be my second choice, but nobody has matched Ramsey’s stability on the outside since he’s entered the NFL. At age 26, I’d swipe the ex-Jaguar away from L.A. in a heartbeat.
Boy Green: This is a crazy question, but I’ll be transparent and reveal what led me to this: Fred Warner.
Again I blame former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum who said on Twitter this offseason that “if” the San Francisco 49ers don’t re-sign Warner (they since have) he’d be a great free agent to go chase.
Now that was never very realistic that he would have ever reached unrestricted free agency, especially since we are in the midst of the franchise tag era. Despite that it got a lot of us dreaming the dream, saying to ourselves maybe…
WHAT A TEASE!
I know linebacker isn’t the No. 1 need for the Jets, but I can’t help myself I’d steal Warner off San Fran and insert him into the middle of the Jets defense. The ripple effects of this move and how everyone would benefit from playing with him takes this to another level.
3. What’s more likely to happen: the Jets adding a veteran corner at some point ahead of the season or a veteran quarterback? (you can only pick one)
MO: I’ll be honest with the fans, the Jets aren’t adding a veteran cornerback unless they suffer injuries in camp, especially with Brian Poole and Steven Nelson officially off the table and Richard Sherman in legal trouble.
Douglas is known for avoiding situations like Sherman’s and I never thought of Nelson as a fit for similar reasons (even before his recent signing). The ex-Steeler basically forced his way out of Pittsburgh and although the fiasco was not solely his fault, the Jets have made it clear that they’re looking for culture changers, not problem-starters.
If the answer wasn’t obvious, I’ll go veteran quarterback, and I still have my money on it being Nick Foles. It may take some time, but either the Chicago Bears or Jets will give in and compromise to get this trade done. After all, we recently learned that the two teams have had discussions on the veteran QB, per beat reporter Brian Costello.
Boy Green: Well to take you guys behind the curtain, we organize these questions well ahead of when you guys are reading these. Which makes it all the funnier that we witnessed a slew of cornerbacks go off the board this past weekend with Poole and Nelson both finding new homes.
Although that wouldn’t have changed my answer candidly.
Saleh and this team, for better or for worse, are sold on this current crop of corners on the roster. I respect the gall that type of move requires, but I also seriously question it.
This level of youth and inexperience ranks the Jets among the worst cornerback groups in the entire NFL. To then turn around and say you have boatloads of confidence in these young men is interesting, but what else are you going to say?
With all that being said, there is no way in hell James Morgan and Mike White are the only other quarterbacks on the roster as we progress through the final leg of the offseason.
Gang Green HAS to add a veteran passer to this rotation. They need a veteran presence in this room and maybe even more importantly if s*** hits the fan, you need to have someone that can step in just in case of injury. This team is 0-10 in its opportunities when Sam Darnold wasn’t in the game to start, that’s horrific and ridiculous.
Love vs Hate Questions?
4. Who is your favorite New York Jets player of all time (the length of his tenure with the team is irrelevant)?
MO: It’s funny because I was just recently telling Boy Green that my brain does not seem to retain much long-term information. I can remember the past five years or so in vivid detail and the five before that to some extent, but details have become very blurry for me beyond the last decade. That includes my childhood fandom of the Jets, which began around the same time Chad Pennington was quarterbacking the franchise.
I played cornerback in high school around the same time Darrelle Revis was booking one-way flights out to Revis Island, so there was a natural correlation in my fandom. I was truly upset when the Jets traded the defensive star rather than making an effort to re-sign him. It affected me more than any other foolish decision this franchise has made over the years. That’s how I know he’s my favorite Jet of all time.
Boy Green: I agree with my partner in crime that the recent Rex Ryan run featured some of my favorite moments of my Jets’ fandom. I’m 28 years old and that was great, although candidly it’s been more bad moments than good ones, but I strongly believe the juice will be worth the squeeze. When they eventually win the Super Bowl, it’ll be all worth it! But I digress…
I’m a historical football nerd/fan so endless names come to mind like Joe Namath, Don Maynard, Curtis Martin, Wayne Chrebet, and Laveranues Coles. Although I’m going to go with a weird choice.
As a former running back, I modeled my game after a lot of different players. Reggie Bush (that’s why my social media handle is Boy Green ’25’) because that was my jersey number in high school. He was so electric and could do it all as a tailback. Barry Sanders’ ability to start-and-stop was like a brand new Ferrari jumping from 0-to-60, the acceleration was ridiculous.
The other running back that I used to watch film on DAILY is LaDainian Tomlinson.
When he signed with the Jets after things went south with the then San Diego Chargers, I couldn’t buy that jersey fast enough. A Pro Football Hall of Famer, the historic 2006 season that I still talk to my friends about, and his leadership.
While he only played two years with the Jets, LT made a lasting impact on me as a fan. This won’t be everyone’s choice and maybe no other Jets’ fan choice if they’re asking this question, but I like being different and I’m more than okay being on the Tomlinson island.
5. Who is your least favorite Gang Green player of all time (please explain why and be descriptive)?
MO: Adam Gase immediately comes to mind, but he’s a coach so I suppose that doesn’t qualify. I’m not really one to hold a grudge when it comes to players. Most guys are trying to do their job at the end of the day and so long as a player gives 100% effort, showing them hate isn’t my style.
I don’t think back on recent first-round draft busts like Kyle Wilson, Quinton Coples, Dee Milliner, Calvin Pryor, and Darron Lee too highly, but that’s because of what they represent — poor scouting, drafting, and player development. Throw Christian Hackenberg and a handful of others on that list too. If I had to choose someone specific I’d probably say seven-year guard Brian Winters.
For the longest time, I would complain about Winters and his propensity for crucial penalties. He ended up with 19 holdings and 33 total penalties over his Jets’ tenure according to Pro Football Reference, and that feels like an underestimate. As I said, I’ll never hate a guy like Winters who gave it his all, but his consistently poor performances as a blocker represent a period where the Jets showed zero efforts to improve the offensive line. To me, he’ll always be the face of that mistake.
Boy Green: This is a question I’ve never heard anyone else ask, which intrigued me. It’s all about passion and that goes both way in terms of love and hate.
There are plenty of players that could appear on this list for me for a variety of reasons:
- Rubbed me the wrong way
When I first asked this question behind the scenes my answer was Matthew Mulligan. Which should lead many of you to exclaim, who?
Somehow he lasted eight years in the NFL and unfortunately the first three years of Mulligan’s career were with Gang Green. Any time you needed an untimely penalty in a pinch, Mulligan was your guy.
Every once in a while you can catch me channeling my inner Timmy Turner’s dad from The Fairly OddParents whispering to myself, “DINKLEBURG” but instead I say, “MULLIGAN!”
Although that is no longer my answer, a new player has recently jumped into the No. 1 spot: Ryan Fitzpatrick.
A journeyman veteran quarterback that orchestrated the second greatest single season in Jets’ history for a passer throwing for nearly 4,000 yards and 31 touchdown passes back in 2015.
Everyone who has studied his career knows that despite whatever success he captures, eventually, Fitz Magic turns back into Fitz Tragic when the clock strikes midnight. That happened in that painful Week 17 game vs Buffalo in 2015 where Fitzpatrick tossed three interceptions in the fourth quarter that held the Jets out of the playoffs with a 10-6 record.
So all of that would be bad enough and would warrant his placement on this list, but it was the next season that cements his legacy.
He turned into a sourpuss, a bad teammate, and just threw a temper tantrum in press conferences about things not going his way. Everyone has lauded Fitzpatrick recently for his work with Tua Tagovailoa as a great teammate, but people need to check their facts.
The reason why this has come back up stems from his recent appearance on the ESPN Daily podcast where the veteran joined Pablo Torre to talk about the moment he started to hate football (playing for the Jets in 2016).
Well, the feeling is mutual Fitzpatrick, we didn’t enjoy it either pal, good riddance!
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