New York Jets Could be Very Interesting Preseason Team
Wayne Root: New York Jets Could be Very Interesting Preseason Team
You longtime readers know that I follow the New York sports scene very closely. Even though I've been THE KING OF LAS VEGAS for many years now...I was born in Mt. Vernon, New York as a true S.O.B. (son of a butcher!). I can assure you that I'm watching the New York Jets very closely this month. Even if the team isn't destined to compete for the AFC East title just yet...they might be a value play in August.
Why is that? Several reasons to consider as the team gets ready for its NFLX opener Thursday night in Detroit.
NEW HEAD COACH
Todd Bowles takes over as head coach for Rex Ryan. Bowles was the widely respected defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals. You can bet he'll be trying to establish the right attitude right off the bat. It's not a 100% rule of thumb that new head coaches emphasize victory when they first take over. But, it's definitely true that players and coaches alike take August much more seriously when a new man is in charge. Pittsburgh's veterans barely went through the motions this past Sunday vs. Minnesota. It's unlikely you'll see that from the Jets.
Geno Smith really has to produce now because veteran signal caller Ryan Fitzpatrick was acquired in the offseason. Clearly, ownership has run out of patience with all the mistakes Smith has been making. Either he steps up and plays like a real NFL quarterback...or he steps aside as the team tries to win with defense and a fairly safe veteran. I also want to note here that the Jets drafted Bryce Petty from Baylor. Not only does that place more pressure on Smith in terms of the franchise's future...but it gives the team a proven passer who may be very aggressive when he gets on the field against other team's backups this month. We'll have to see what happens Thursday. On paper, there are reasons to like the Jets depth chart at this position in terms of a sense of urgency in August.
Rex Ryan wore out his welcome...particularly with guys who didn't play on defense. Often...when an NFL team goes south because of a bad attitude...a change at the top immediately leads to going north! By that I mean...last year's team wasn't as bad as its record in terms of raw skill sets. Getting their heads on straight by itself will lead to better execution and results. Also, in the case of Ryan, he could be a little loose on the reigns in a way that didn't lead to consistent sharpness. No way those reigns are going to be so loose this month.
Maybe the Jets will continue to struggle...and this is going to be a longer rebuilding project than management had hoped. But, in terms of what usually works in the PRESEASON, the elements are in play here for at least the potential of some pointspread covers.
With that in mind, you'd be well-served to look for other such circumstances around the league. Which teams have new head coaches? Which teams acquired backup quarterbacks who might be productive in the second, third, and fourth quarters in these two weeks before the dress rehearsals? Which teams are under pressure to show something immediately rather than waiting for the start of the regular season?
Preseason handicapping is all about common sense and legwork. I'm the only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the "Walk of Fame" because I'm the smartest (Ivy League education) and I don't get outhustled (New York street smarts!)
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Next week at this time I'll talk about the New York Giants, as I try to keep you abreast of what my sources back home are telling me. Between now and then, I'll have a special report later this week that talks more about Preseason football. I know all of you are excited about the first full week of action. Don't make the mistake of biding your time until the regular season gets here. That's just leaving money on the table. You should be taking the sportsbooks' money off the table and putting it in your pocket! It's time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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