Jets training camp preview: What to watch for

Mark Sanchez is reportedly Rex Ryan's preferred starter in the fall. Credit: Getty Images
Rex Ryan’s fate is likely tied to the performance of his preferred starter in the fall.
Credit: Getty Images

Plenty is on the line for the Jets this preseason with a new general manager pacing the sidelines, looking to put his stamp on the team and the entire organization.

Ahead of his first training camp, the methodical and calculating John Idzik has pieced together a revamped defense, a new-look offensive line and has a true quarterback competition in the making. The team is younger and more athletic than in year’s past.

3 things to watch in camp …

1. Rex on the hot seat

After a promising start during his first two years with the Jets, head coach Rex Ryan now must right the ship. His team has missed the playoffs the past two years and his vaunted defense has been rather ordinary. It is a rather unusual position Ryan finds himself in, with a new general manager perhaps wanting his own man as head coach as opposed to a holdover from the previous regime. A league source tells Metro New York that “Idzik will be looking for a new coach if Rex doesn’t make the playoffs, guaranteed” but it might not be that easy for the new general manager. Ryan is a popular presence in the locker room and with the team’s fans, as well as owner Woody Johnson. Any improvement over last year’s 6-10 mark and there might be too much momentum for Idzik to ignore. But there has to be improvement, or else Ryan is as good as gone.

2. The receiving line

During offseason workouts and minicamp in June, the receiving corps was plagued by bad drops and poor route running. The team’s best wide receiver is Santonio Holmes, who might not be ready for Week 1 as he continues to heal from a Lisfranc injury early last season. Jeremy Kerley stepped up in place of Holmes but he has to stay away from the pesky injuries that derailed him, and last year’s second-round pick, Stephen Hill, must step up. An intriguing name to watch is Clyde Gates, a raw product with great speed but still very much a project at the position. His route running has improved but the former college basketball player is still a work in progress. An under-the-radar player to watch is Zach Rogers, the former Tennessee wide receiver who has great shiftiness and runs a good route. The undrafted rookie free agent has a good chance to make the team.

3. Sanchez’s job to lose

It is apparent from this offseason that despite the roar around second-round pick Geno Smith, this is still Mark Sanchez’s offense. Now entering his fifth year, Sanchez should be the starter from Week 1 given his showing this offseason and a West Coast offense better suited for his skillset. There is no denying Smith is a splashy player with a lot of physical intangibles, but he’s nowhere near polished enough at this juncture to be the starter. Sanchez can quiet the critics with a strong showing in camp and preseason.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.