For nearly a month, the headlines surrounding the New York Jets have been dominated by Geno Smith's jaw/IK Enemkpali's fist, Sheldon Richardson's misdeeds, Muhammad Wilkerson's hamstring, Darrelle Revis' return and Brandon Marshall's mouth. At the same, unbeknownst to many outside the organization, Chris Ivory -- the most important non-quarterback on the offense -- has been enjoying his best training camp with the Jets.
When Ivory isn't smashing heads with his physical running style, he's turning them. Count coach Todd Bowles among those impressed.
When he greeted Ivory on the sideline after his 33-yard touchdown run last Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons, Bowles told his No. 1 running back he didn't realize he was that fast. Ivory smiled and shrugged. A man of few words, he'd rather knock out your mouthpiece than be one.
Ivory doesn't create much buzz on a national scale, but there's no denying his importance to the Jets. If the Jets want to end their four-year playoff drought, Ivory must crack the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career, the story said. (His previous high: 833.) He will likely share some carries Bilal Powell, but Ivory could prove to be a quality depth pick at RB later in drafts.
Jeffery, who is only under contract through 2015, is the favorite to assume the No. 1 wide receiver role previously occupied by Brandon Marshall.
“I’ve liked what he’s done and like the way he competes,” Fox said. “He’s got a big wingspan and a big ball radius as far as plucking catches away from defenders. I’ve liked what I’ve seen.”
In three years with Chicago, Jeffery has 198 receptions for 2,921 yards and 20 touchdowns over 42 games (36 starts). He became only the fourth player in franchise history to record consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons and has eight career 100-yard receiving games. Jeffery was not entirely healthy for much of 2014, but ranked in the NFL's top-15 in receiving touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards.
Monday, July 6, 2015, 1:47pm
“He’s a quarterback’s best friend … For one, he’s a veteran guy,” Smith said, via the team’s website. “He understands the game on and off the field. He’s a beast of a player. You can’t say enough good things about him.”
That’s part of the reason why Ron Jaworski and others think the needle is pointing up for Smith heading into the 2015 season, although that optimism is tempered by those who think the problems of his first two seasons have had more to do with Smith than with the players next to him on offense, the story went on to say. Smith ranks just 29th on our QB list.
About a month before camp, Geno Smith and most of the Jets' skill players will work out in Brandon Marshall's hometown, Chicago, so Marshall can spend more time with his newborn twins. They'll work on "chemistry, talking over the playbook and things we saw at the end of camp, things that we thought we needed to improve on,'' Smith said.
It's usually not a good thing when a receiver changes teams, unless he's getting a promotion, which isn't really the case with Marshall. But it's a good sign that he and Smith are working on their chemistry, because they're going to need to be on the same page by the time training camp begins. Smith is expected to get an opportunity to start at least four games so that the franchise can decide if he’s their quarterback of the future. With the addition of Marshall, Eric Decker and receiving TE Jace Amaro in the last two years, the weapons around him are improved. He could work his way into the QB2/streaming conversation if he gets off to a good start.
“I think Geno, when I’ve looked at him now for a couple of years in the NFL, I see a quarterback that’s getting better,” said ESPN analyst Ron Jaworksi. “He’s forgotten the mistakes and I still remember going to Morgantown, West Virginia for his Pro Day and outside of Robert Griffin III – it was one of the best pro days I’ve seen. So he can make every throw, he can do everything it takes to be an NFL quarterback. It’s just about consistency.”
Smith is expected to get an opportunity to start at least four games so that the franchise can decide if he’s their quarterback of the future. With the addition of Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and receiving TE Jace Amaro in the last two years, the weapons around him are improved. He could work his way into the QB2/streaming conversation if he gets off to a good start.
Jets OC Chan Gailey on the team's quarterback situation: “Right now, Geno’s the starter…That’s the way it sits and that’s the way we expect it to be.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a safe fallback option if Geno Smith doesn't pan out. Neither player is a particularly good fantasy option at this point in the offseason, but the team has a couple of good receivers in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and an up-and-coming tight end in Jace Amaro. It's not inconceivable that the Jets' starter is stream-worthy at some point this fall.
Saturday, May 9, 2015, 10:13am
“Did a lot of movement today,” Bears WR Kevin White said. “Left side and in the slot on the right side. Slot in the left. So a lot different than college. Just trying to get adjusted. First day. So it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. But I’m learning the system and trying to get better each and every day.
“There’s a lot of information to take for day one. Everything gets thrown at you at one time. So you’ve got to kind of relax and try to take it all in and just learn.”
One of White’s biggest supporters is Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who endorsed White after the wide receiver’s April pre-draft visit to Halas Hall.
“He was outstanding,” Gase said. “He could tell you exactly what the checks were, what him and the quarterback, what page they were on. It was pretty impressive when he came in the building. We really like what he brought to the table, and we look for specific routes, and when we see one or two things, we know they can do the entire tree, so his speed, his body control, the way that he bursts off the ball, all those things we really liked.”
White replaces Brandon Marshall, who was traded to the Jets. He has a capable quarterback in Jay Cutler, though he comes in as the clear #2 option to the already established Alshon Jeffery. Marshall averaged 8.2 targets per game last season, but that was with Marc Trestman calling the plays. Gase figures to call a more balanced offense. White is a great talent and should be a fantasy factor as a rookie — just don’t expect WR1-type targets with Jeffery in the mix.
Johnny Manziel is fresh out of a 10-week stay in a rehab facility. McCown is a stable veteran with a career completion percentage near 60. This wasn't difficult.
"We just look back to when he was in Chicago, when he had a pretty good supporting cast around him, and he was able to be more than functional. He had a very successful year," Pettine said on WKRK-FM, via the Beacon Journal. "When you build the team right, it minimizes the importance of the quarterback."
The problem here is that while in Chicago, McCown was throwing to Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett and now he'll be targeting Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline and Rob Housler. That's a serious downgrade at all three positions. McCown didn't play particularly well with Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans in 2014, there's no reason to believe that he's going to make a passing game go with Bowe, Hartline and Housler.
The Jets waited until Marshall passed his physical before parting ways with Harvin, whose ouster was announced simultaneously with confirmation of the trade.
Harvin is a playmaker, but he's been dumped by his third team in two years, so suitors would be wise to be cautious. Even so, he's going to draw plenty of interest on the open market.
In his final three seasons with the Vikings, Harvin averaged 16.3 fantasy points (PPR) and was dangerous in both the passing game (averaging 5.6-64-.35) and the running game (2.4 carries for 14 yards and 0.10 TD). In 14 regular season games with the Seahawks and the Jets, Harvin has averaged just 50 total yards and 0.14 TD per game, resulting in 9.6 PPR fantasy points. He turns 27 this summer and still has elite speed for his position, so he should be a hot commodity in free agency despite his poor production in recent years. There are character concerns, but if he lands in the right situation, he will be a fantasy factor in 2015.
Injuries made it a frustrating year for Marshall owners. His biggest game (5-48-3) came on Sunday night in Week 2 when it looked like he wasn't going to play against the 49ers. Then, when everyone had him back in the lineup for Week 3, he posted one catch for six yards against the Jets. He finished as the #34 PPR receiver, but had the #21 PPG. If fully healthy, he'll be a solid starter, though it's a quarterback downgrade from Jay Cutler to Geno Smith (or whomever ends up starting for the Jets). New OC Chan Gailey did throw the ball 56.6% of the time in his three seasons running the Bills, so the Jets figure to pass it much more than they have in the last few seasons. Marshall's arrival could have a negative impact on Eric Decker's targets, but given the team's relative lack of playmakers and Gailey's positive impact on the pass offense, Decker's value should hold steady.
Sanders is good to go for an important game.
Both Peyton Manning (thigh) and Emmanual Sanders (illness) were questionable coming into this game, but reports all week said there was little doubt both would play and both are indeed active and can be safely started for Week 16. Ronnie Hillman is inactive meaning C.J. Anderson will again carry the load in what is a great matchup on paper.
Christopher Clark (T, back), Cortrelle Anderson (RB, ankle), Cody Latimer (WR, concussion), Jacob Tamme (TE, ribs), Demaryius Thomas (WR, ankle), Julius Thomas (TE, ankle), Will Montgomery (C, knee).
Paul Cornick (T, toe), Brandon Marshall (LB, foot).
Brandon Tate (WR, illness), Jermaine Gresham (TE, toe), Margus Hunt (DE, ankle), Terence Newman (CB, ankle), Mike Pollak (G, knee), Carlos Dunlap (DE, calf), D'Andre Kirkpatrick (CB, Achillies).
QB A.J. McCarron (illness)
Emmanuel Lamur (LB, hamstring), James Wright (WR, knee).
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