John from SBN's Jets site, Gang Green Nation, provided us with an overview of the various plots happening with the Jets as they get ready for a new season. As you have have heard, they've made some changes since this time last year. Here's John with the view from the other side.
The two most important people in any NFL franchise are the head coach and the quarterback. The Jets made headlines by getting a new guy at both spots this offseason.
For the second straight year, the team made a bold trade to acquire a high profile quarterback. Twelve months ago, a fading Hall of Famer became a Jet. This year, it's an unproven youngster. The starting job is Mark Sanchez's to lose. He's the guy New York traded up to draft. He's the guy the team gave $28 million guaranteed to. Rex Ryan was an integral part of the Baltimore coaching staff that saw a rookie take the Ravens to within a game of the Super Bowl a year ago. If he had any faith in Kellen Clemens, he probably wouldn't have made such an expensive move to grab Sanchez. At this point, Sanchez has outplayed Clemens in camp and during a scrimmage, but all eyes will be on number 6 to see how he holds up under the microscope of game action.
Jets fans are thrilled to have Sanchez, but we're just as excited to have one of the most innovative defensive minds in the game calling the shots on defense. There is a lot of talent on the unit. One of the biggest complaints about Eric Mangini was he failed to utilize that talent. His defenses were very passive. The Jets rushed three and dropped eight more than any team in the NFL in 2008. When the team did blitz, the designs were unimaginative and ineffective. In a do or die game against Seattle last season, the Jets did not register a single sack. The Seahawks' entire starting offensive line was on injured reserve in that game. Ryan's extremely aggressive, and fans are hoping his brashness rubs off on his defense, adding a swagger that was missing under Mangini.
Rex also has bloodlines with the team. A lot of people remember his father Buddy Ryan's Super Bowl win with the Bears as defensive coordinator. Did you know he was also the defensive coordinator in the Jets' Super Bowl III upset of the Colts?
A key position battle to watch is wide receiver as the Jets look to internally replace Laveranues Coles. Word has it two players have emerged. Chansi Stuckey, one of Brett Favre's early season targets in the slot, and Wallace Wright, an undrafted special teams coverage standout, are currently the frontrunners to win the starting job, but undrafted rookie Britt Davis of Northern Illinois has turned heads in practice.
2008 first round disappointment Vernon Gholston has become Rex Ryan's special project. Ryan wants to turn him into the next Terrell Suggs. He'd better because the best pass rusher on the team, Calvin Pace, is suspended the first four games of the regular season for taking a banned substance. This is our first chance to see Gholston in a game situation and whether he can make a jump after doing literally nothing in year one.
Ryan has promised a trip to the White House during President Obama's first term. Not too many expect that to happen this year, but expectations are certainly high for a team that was the AFC favorite in the eyes of many entering December last year.