Likes and dislikes heading into Jets' 2014 NFL season

Jets defensive linemen Leger Douzable, Tevita Finau, Damon Jets defensive linemen Leger Douzable, Tevita Finau, Damon Harrison, Sheldon Richardson, and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar pose for photographers on the first day of training camp in Cortland, N.Y. on Thursday, July 24, 2014. Photo Credit: Hans Pennink

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Geno Smith is showing more pocket awareness, poise and the ability to run with the football. He appears far more comfortable heading into his second year.

The defensive line is so good, even the Giants' front seven had to give them props. The Jets have bona fide stars in the making, and there's no way opponents can double-team both Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson.

If Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory can stay healthy, the running game will be fun to watch. Ivory's violent, mow-them-down style is the perfect complement to Johnson's quick burst and even quicker feet.

Slot receiver Jeremy Kerley was the perfect security blanket for Smith last season. But the Jets acquired more weapons for their QB. Big things are expected of former Bronco Eric Decker, and if rookie tight end Jace Amaro (6-5, 265) can adjust quickly to the NFL learning curve -- watch out!

Have you seen the cornerbacks? Dee Milliner was a big question mark heading into his second year, but his high ankle sprain and Dexter McDougle's season-ending ACL injury sent the Jets into desperation mode. They made Antonio Allen, a third-year safety with "Pro Bowl ability," according to Rex Ryan, a starting corner and have been relying on former backups to emerge. Free-agent pickup Dimitri Patterson was expected to start in Week 1, but the corner was injured and then went AWOL before being released.

Geno Smith may be walking around with more "swagger," according to teammates, but will that confidence translate into wins? He showed flashes in 2013, but the jury's still out on whether he's the Jets' long-term answer at quarterback.

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Their schedule should make fans cringe. In Weeks 2 through 7, they'll face the Packers, Bears, Lions, Chargers, Broncos and Patriots. But Sheldon Richardson isn't worried about the good teams they'll play. "Good receiving corps," the defensive tackle said. "We wouldn't call them good teams."

-- KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN

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