J-E-T-S….Jets! Jets! Jets!

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By Rikki Greenberg

The green and white warriors of the AFC East created quite a star-power stir with the addition of former Packers quarterback Brett Favre. The self proclaimed “non-prima donna” became the Lindsay Lohan of Jets training camp in Hempstead, New York, causing paparazzi-esque behavior from ESPN reporters as they followed his every footprint on the football field.

But Favre wasn’t the only thing the Jets acquired this offseason, nor is he the only thing to look forward to. From Sunday’s escape victory over the Miami Dolphins to the never-ending rivalry between that other New York football team and the almost perfect New England Patriots, here is a sneak peak at the upcoming 2008 season now that the Big Cheese is in town.

New Quarterback, New neighborhood

After 16 seasons in Green Bay, Favre is now setting up house in New York, learning a brand new scheme that sports a different shade of green. No one questions his athletic ability and talent; but detractors are unsure of his mental durability in learning a new offense. They need to recall that the Jets are working with a man with sixteen years of experience and a reputation as one of the best quarterbacks ever…not too shabby for a team whose previous quarterback was considered average at best. (Sorry Chad Pennington! I still love you).
New Additions and subtractions

The offense gets an upgrade this season with the addition of seven-time Pro Bowler left guard Alan Faneca and right tackle Damien Woody. Fresh off his trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Faneca can provide good pocket protection for Favre, along with balancing out left guard D’Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold, which is something that was missing from last season. 

The defense gets a much needed boost with former Arizona Cardinals defensive end/linebacker Calvin Pace, rookie linebacker Vernon Gholston, who set an Ohio State record with 14 sacks in a single season, and former Carolina Panthers nose tackle Kris Jenkins.

Former Purdue wide receiver Dustin Keller tries out a new position with the Jets as rookie tight end.  The Jets traded with the Green Bay Packers in the 2008 NFL Draft in order to move up six slots so they could snag Keller. If Keller can learn the blocking techniques of a tight end while maintaining his speed and quickness of his former position, he has the potential to be a go-to guy in the passing game…once he moves up the depth chart past Favre’s old mate Bubba Franks and Michigan State product Chris Baker. The transition may not take as long as expected, because Baker has started to fall out of favor with Jets leadership.

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The subtraction of Chad Pennington was handled in an unprofessional way- being told not even a full 24 hours after Favre had arrived on the first day of training camp that he was cut from the team wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but a brighter future for the Jets without  Pennington seems likely. Now that the Big Cheese runs the show in New York, it will be interesting to see if Pennington can burn his old mates as quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.  26 of 43 for 251 and 2 TDs was a good start, but not enough to bring victory.
Jets at a glance

The New York Jets have come a long way and made some changes that will hopefully put the 2007 season behind them. The inability to protect the quarterback prompted the Jets to make some changes on the offensive line this season. The additions of Faneca and Woody gives the offensive line some polish, as will hopefully give Favre more time to throw. If wide receiver Laveranues Coles can stay healthy, the ability for the Jets to make big plays is almost guaranteed. The Jets receiving corps also has Jerricho Cotchery, a reliable possession guy with a decent relationship with the deity of Cheeseland.

The defense looks to make a comeback after a dismal finish last season (26th) with Pace, Gholston and Jenkins.  Pace made a presence in the preseason with two sacks in the 10-7 win over the Giants in the third preseason game. Jenkins adjustment from defensive end to his new position of nose tackle seems to be of little concern to the team. The three-time pro bowler uses his 350-pound body as an effective space-filling tool against the running game in the Jets 3-4 defense.
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Comments

  1. prowriter0923 says

    Goooo JETS!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Nah, they’re going to get smoked by Matt Cassel and the Patriots this week.

  3. prowriter0923 says

    patriots and the who?

  4. Just wait till our text-off! It’s gonna be on. And one damn fine future column

  5. prowriter0923 says

    o its on like donkey kong!!

  6. 19-10!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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