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New Jersey – On the eve of the Jets-49ers tilt, Dan checks in with some nuggets to get you ready for the game . . .
Getting Bilal Powell on the field more has not just given a boost to the running game, but also through the air.
He has soft hands (though he did have a bad drop that ended a mid-fourth quarter drive last week), and is very good at running after the catch.
A perfect example was late in the first quarter in Miami.
Mark Sanchez, while getting hit by a blitzing safety (Chris Clemons), dumped the ball over the middle to Powell, who did a terrific job of making linebacker Koa Misi miss, making something out of nothing, and the Jets ended up with a 10-yard gain.
Powell is quicker feet than Shonn Greene, so whether it’s as a runner, or a receiver, he’s better at making defenders miss . . .
What to make of the Matt Slauson-Vlad Ducasse platoon.
I think it’s fair to say that Slauson is the better pass protector, and Ducasse bring more to the table as a run blocker.
The Jets’ third drive of the game in Miami, the possession ended with a sack by Dolphins DE Jared Odrick.
On this play, Ducasse went to help another lineman with a double-team, and Odrick sprung free for the sack.
On the Jets’ next possession, a long drive that resulted in a field goal, late in the possession, Greene ran behind Ducasse, up the middle, for a gain of five.
So on a drive where the Jets know they are going to have to pass a great deal (perhaps when they are in catch-up mode), it would be best to have Slauson out there. On a run-heavy possession, that would be a good time for Ducasse to take the field.
Ducasse should improve his recognition as a pass protector in time.
And one thing is pretty clear, he will be starting for the Jets in 2013, either at left or right guard.
Slauson is a free agent, and will likely look to get out of here (he’s still seething over the ticky-tack pay-cut he had to take). Also Brandon Moore is a free agent.
It’s possible you could see Ducasse and Caleb Schlauderaff as the Jets starting guards in 2013.
While it’s a possibility that the Jets will bring Moore back, you have to wonder how much more of a pounding his hips can take . . .
Stephen Hill isn’t going to play on Sunday, and the Jets will survive this.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, for some strange reason, Rex insists on anointing guys as starters before they are ready.
Granted Hill had a strong game in the Jets’ opening day win over Buffalo, but the Bills secondary was blowing coverages left and right in that game. It’s not always that easy in the NFL.
This was followed by Hill being a non-factor in Pittsburgh, followed by two drops against Miami.
You don’t need to be Ron Wolf or Bill Polian to know this guy is a major project, coming out of Georgia Tech’s Triple Option offense.
He had just 47 career catches in this run-heavy attack.
I think he’s going to be a terrific player, but what was Rex’s rush to put him in the starting lineup?
It was the same deal with Quinton Coples.
Quinton should be excellent in time, but he wasn’t ready to start, either.
September 29, 2012
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