With Ryan Fitzpatrick back to the lead the offense, the Jets should be just fine, right?
Pass-catching running back Matt Forte could provide a huge spark for the unit now that bruising back Chris Ivory is in Jacksonville. But time will tell. If Forte, 30, can prove age is just a number in his ninth NFL season it’ll take the pressure off Fitzpatrick and open up the passing game for BrWandon Marshall and Eric Decker. But coordinator Chan Gailey needs a No. 3 receiver to emerge this year. Will it be hybrid WR/TE Quincy Enunwa? Or one of their three rookies to make the cut: Robby Anderson, Jalin Marshall or draft-pick Charone Peake?
Building chemistry on the fly will be key for the line with D’Brickashaw Ferguson (retired) and Willie Colon (free agent) no longer here. Ryan Clady — who had ACL surgery in June 2015 — tries to replace ironman Ferguson, while Breno Giacomini (back) is on the reserve/PUP list for at least six weeks.
After dumping the underachieving Jace Amaro, it’s anyone’s guess which tight end -- if any -- will contribute in 2016.
Opponents beware: This unit could be one of the best in the NFL.
With Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Leonard Williams and newcomer Steve McLendon, the D-line can get to quarterbacks any number of ways. Not to mention, Todd Bowles loves blitzing his defensive backs any chance he can.
The coaching staff also has plenty of youth and quickness at the linebacker position, something that was missing in recent years. “It just makes our overall defense faster,” said assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell, who now has first-rounder Darron Lee and veteran Bruce Carter at his disposal “…They’re naturally gifted, speed-wise, and they just go out there and make plays.”
Revis Island is still open for business, so look for star corner Darrelle Revis to fare better coming off wrist surgery. His counterpart, speedy Buster Skrine, may be small, but he presents a match-up problem for receivers. Rookie corner Justin Burris will see plenty of playing time, but he’s still a work in progress.
Expect Williams or safety Calvin Pryor to have a breakout year, while little-known lineman Deon Simon and linebackers Lorenzo Mauldin and Bayport native Mike Catapano could open some eyes.
New coordinator Brant Boyer knows only one speed: “500 miles per hour all the time.” The former Colts assistant brings a fiery passion and an in-your-face attitude to a unit that has disappointed in recent years. “We’re going to play snap to whistle and we’re going to punch first,” Boyer said in his first interview with Jets reporters. “That’s how I’m going to coach.”
Rookie Jalin Marshall has flashed in the return game, but he needs to work on ball security.
Fans have long forgotten Ryan Quigley now that new punter Lachlan Edwards — an Aussie with a booming leg — is here. And after staving off challenger Ross Martin in training camp, kicker Nick “Folk Hero” is back for his seventh season.