With Thursday’s contest against the New York Jets fast approaching, we here at Inside The Pylon reached out to Joe Caporoso, Owner, Head Writer and Editor-in-Chief of the Jets blog, Turn on the Jets, to provide an expert opinion from “behind enemy lines”. TOTJ uses “On a Mission to Civilize” as their tagline, making them a good fit with the ITP reputation of informed, intelligent discussion. Opposing fan viewpoints on some of the key issues we’ve been discussing in “Rex Ryan is an Evil Genius,” “Best Run Defense in the League?” and “The Wheels Fall Off: CJ2K…” are always welcome. Anyone attempting the civilize the world of Jets fandom – no mean task as they try to sort out the mess they’ve found themselves in – is our kind of people.
Despite the struggles, have you seen any progress in Geno Smith’s game? Are there any glimmers of hope?
Smith finished 2013 with four relatively solid games, where he demonstrated improved accuracy and a knack for making plays with his legs. This carried over to the first six quarters of 2014 but he has came off the rails since then. Smith has terrific physical tools but can be easily rattled and struggles heavily when under pressure. He has also oddly stopped using his legs, no longer making himself a dual threat. He took a step in the right direction last week and has played better with Eric Decker out there and Jace Amaro involved in the game plan, but he remains a wild card on a week to week basis.
The general consensus among Patriots fans is that Rex Ryan is a terrific, inventive defensive coordinator and a terrible, boring offensive coach. Do you think Rex is properly rated by Patriots fans and/or the national media?
I’m probably more critical of Rex than most who cover the team. He is a great defensive mind but can be maddeningly inconsistent and stubborn with his scheming at times. Rex also creates an environment that is not conducive to offensive growth or production. He is the head coach so he needs to be responsible for both sides of the football. Rex scripted up a strong game plan last week and has done some of his best work in the past against New England, so I think the Pats are likely to get his best shot on Thursday.
On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being “not bothered” and 10 being “#$#$#@,” how did the Michael Vick “I didn’t prepare” thing go over with your readers?
I’d give it a 5. Vick is lucky the story broke around the same time as Geno missing a meeting and Demario Davis calling out the Jets lack of preparation. He looked sluggish and disinterested against San Diego and now we know why. It is a frustrating situation but Vick has been the clear-cut backup since coming here and I think many who viewed him as some type of savior probably overrated his current skill set.
Who is the most underrated Jet player? Who should we be watching and giving more attention?
Demario Davis is turning into a really nice player at inside linebacker for the Jets. He is constantly around the football and brings much needed speed to the unit. Offensively, Jeremy Kerley always seems to kill you guys but Jace Amaro is coming off a 10-reception game and is a difficult physical match-up for any defense.
Who is the most overrated Jet player? Who has a reputation unsupported by their play?
Chris Johnson has been a FA bust so far, mostly because of tentative running and dropped passes but Marty Mornhinweg isn’t helping matters [with] how he is using him. David Harris can be picked on in the passing game and Dawan Landry is a huge liability every week for the Jets in the secondary.
Assuming your familiarity with pre-injury Revis and have seen film of post-injury Revis, what are the noticeable differences? Has he lost a step or otherwise physically declined?
Revis from 09-11 is about as good as anybody can play the cornerback position in the NFL. Those three years alone will make him a Hall of Famer. I’d say post-surgery and the wasted year in Tampa, he still looks like a great CB but a mortal. For a Jets fan, it is bizarre to see anybody get a catch on him…ever, which is obviously a crazy standard for any CB to be held to. His technique still seems impeccable but he looks like he may have lost a half-step and doesn’t bat 100% as frequently as he used to.
Who are the Jets special teams superstar(s)? Any concerns in the kicking game?
Nick Folk is a great kicker and Ryan Quigley has been solid at punter all season The Jets return game has been a disaster. Walt Powell is currently the returner on punt and kicks but muffed a punt last week and fumbled a kick, which he was lucky to have overturned by a challenge. Every Jets fan will be holding their breath on every punt and kick Thursday night.
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