Stop the fantasy football thinking! Dan Leberfeld

Florham Park – I think Fantasy Football is great, but that kind of thinking can’t creep into professional football decision-making, and it’s best the Jets ignore this fringe, which they usually do . . .

You hear this talk from some reporters and fans demanding the Jets sign cornerback Brandon Flowers, and honestly, this doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Let’s drill down on this for a minute.

One of the reasons the Kansas Chiefs released Flowers was he wasn’t very good in press coverage last year.
The Jets recently moved on from Antonio Cromartie because he wasn’t good at press coverage.

The Jets picked two very physical corners in the draft – Dex McDougle and Brandon Dixon. They signed another one in Dimitri Patterson.

They are trying to get away from what Cromartie was doing – things like bailing on press coverage and not “stick his face in the fan” in run support.

So why on earth would they make a bee-line for Flowers, which many want them to do?

And keep in mind, Flowers played poorly last year, basically in the Jets’ system. Remember, former Jets assistant Bob Sutton, is the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator, and in many ways was running Rex’s defense.

So let me get this straight, you want the Jets to sign a corner who isn’t physical at the line, and didn’t play well in their system last year?

A little ridiculous, don’t you think?

This is Fantasy Football thinking. You see a big name, so the knee-jerk reaction from some is “go get him, he’s better.”

In this case, that isn’t true. The Jets don’t need Flowers . . .

You here talk here and there about how much better Geno Smith is this spring, compared to a last year.

“I tried last year (to develop chemistry), but I was just so engulfed in trying to learn the playbook and getting my steps down and all the little things, that it’s kind of difficult to develop that exact chemistry that we want,” Smith told Brian Costello at a football camp (ProCamps) in Scotch Plains.

“I can see it this year. It’s night and day because I can coach guys up on where I need them to be. … That’s what quarterbacking is. It’s about being the coach on the field. That’s the position we’re in right now. We’re still building. We’re still developing that chemistry, but as of right now, we’re levels ahead of where we were at this time last year.”

This is all fine and dandy, and surely he’s more comfortable with the offense. He’s had over a year to absorb the system. He’s definitely working hard at it.

But spring practices mean very little at the quarterback position – very little. There are no sacks. I can’t tell you how often a pass rusher gets to the quarterback, pulls up because you can’t touch the QB in practice, and then Geno, or another QB, makes a play, either running or throwing a pass late. These plays aren’t steeped in reality.

I’m not trying to be a buzz-kill here, but I’m telling you, from what I saw the last few weeks in OTA’s, there is still an issue here with Smith holding the ball too long, and the problem can be exacerbated by having no tackling and sacks. Honestly, you can hold the ball as long as you want with no tackling and sacks, and make a play real late, that probably wouldn’t happen in real football.

And I give Smith credit, he admitted as much in his interview with Costello.

“Ultimately, it’s about the production on the field,” Smith said. “When we get on the field against an opposing defense, then we’ll see.”

Thank you.

June 16, 2014

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