With the Jets in the middle of their bye week, here are three questions and answers about the team.
When will Rashard Robinson play on defense?
The Jets traded a 2018 fifth-round pick to the 49ers for Rashard Robinson, the slender cornerback, just before the trade deadline. Part of the reason was his ability to play the scheme (he’s a man corner), and the health of Morris Claiborne (foot) raised some issues. But in two weeks, Robinson has played 18 special teams snaps and zero defensive snaps.
The Jets’ secondary has endured some issues with Buster Skrine and Juston Burris in coverage. And Claiborne played only 16 snaps before leaving the game in the first half in the loss at Tampa Bay. So why no Robinson?
“He has to learn the scheme,” Todd Bowles said. “As a defensive back, there’s a lot of things to learn mentally. You can’t just come in and play. There’s a lot that goes with it and with him just getting here, he has to be in the system for a little bit before he gets on the field.”
Robinson was acquired less than two full days before the Bills game on a Thursday night, so it was understandable he didn’t play in that game. Not playing at Tampa was a surprise, especially after Claiborne left with his foot problem.
The Jets face the Panthers next week, so maybe Robinson will get some defensive snaps.
Is Brian Winters worth the money?
In the offseason, the Jets signed right guard Brian Winters to a four-year, $29-million deal with $15 million guaranteed.
The Jets are the second-most penalized team in the NFL at 81, and Winters leads his position group with seven penalties. In the loss at Tampa Bay, Winters was flagged for holding twice. Health might be a factor as he’s been dealing with abdominal issues since Week 2.
Winters might not have the lower body strength necessary to keep opposing defenders off him and this bye week could help him.
The penalties are still a major concern for the highly paid guard and the offensive line in general.
“It’s not just them, it’s everybody,” Bowles said. “That’s why we’re 4-6. It’s been inconsistent up and down. We have to play better with more consistency.”
Can the offense bounce back?
The Jets averaged 2.9 yards per carry and scored one touchdown in the loss to Tampa. They were coming off a game in which they scored a season-high 34 points in a win over the Bills and produced their second-highest rushing total of the season with 194 yards.
After watching the poor effort on offense against the Bucs, especially the lack of energy, it raised concerns about whether this offense has peaked.
“I’ve said it all year long, we’ve had games and different stretches where we’ve played at a high level, so no reason to believe we can’t do that [again],” quarterback Josh McCown said. “More than anything, I think what we have to continue to take away is each game is different and significant in itself. In pro football, no matter what the records are, and no matter how you feel going into the game, each team is different with how you match up with them.”