Whispers – Forget the hype, deal with reality

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New Jersey – Time for a heaping helping of Weekend Whispers to get you ready for the Jets-Raiders game on Sunday. Let’s jump into it . . .

Yes the Raiders offensive line is massive. The two guys on the right side, guard J’Marcus Webb, and tackle Austin Howard, are both about 6-7, 330.

The left tackle, Donald Penn is 6-4, 340, and the left guard, Gabe Jackson, is 6-3, 336.

No question this is a massive line loaded with road-graders.

But you know what, you don’t see these sort of lines very often anymore, because the league is much more about speed and quickness than 30 years ago.

Because the flip side to the sheer mass of the Raiders line is the problem these sort of big fellas have with speed and quickness.

There are so many defensive lineman these days who are freakish athletically, and the Jets have three of them – Mo Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams.

I totally expect this trio to give the massive Raiders line major issues with their quick twitch and ability to shoot the gaps.

So while you have been hearing a lot this week about the Raiders huge offensive line and the problems it creates, I think the line match-up favors the Jets . . .

Unfortunately for Chris Owusu it looks like the end of the line for his football career. As many of you know by now, he was waived-injured today after his fifth concussion.

So now the Jets are going back to Zac Stacy as their returner, and giving up any hope of breaking a long return.
Look, I understand with the new kickoff rules, there are a ton of touch-backs, but Stacy isn’t a kick returner.
And for the occasional returns you get to make, why not have bonafide returner back there with great speed and cutting ability?

I have said this before, and I will say it again, on most fronts Mike Maccagan has done a terrific job as Jets GM,
but when it comes to the kick returner situation and punt coverage, he gets low marks.

If I’m the Jets, I re-sign T.J. Graham, who has been on and off the Saints roster, to return kicks and help on punt coverage, but you get the sense Maccagnan doesn’t dig him . . .

The Jets loss last week was more on the defense than the offense.

“It’s on us, the defense – we didn’t do our job,” said David Harris.

He’s right.

And a big part of that was the Jets secondary, which is over-hyped right now.

They are good, not great.

And when I hear some of my fellow reporters talk about Darrelle Revis as a cornerback deity, I’m not seeing it.

Just like the secondary as a whole, he’s been good not great.

There are constant questions to Todd Bowles, or on the weekly conference call with opposing players and coaches, about what makes him so great. It’s over the top.

In the second quarter against New England, Brandon LaFell beat Darrelle Revis on a crossing route, but he dropped the ball (it was a little behind him), but he was open – cut away from Revis.

At the beginning of the third quarter, Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman on the goal-line, but he dropped it. It should have been an easy touchdown. Revis was beat on the play. Edelman cut away from him with relative ease.

Don’t view me as a hater. I’m just dealing with reality.

He’s making some good plays, but he’s also having problems with speed and quickness. He clearly doesn’t run like he used to.

He’s going to have his hands full this week with Amari Cooper and he knows it.

Also, as I said earlier in the week, nickel back Buster Skrine is giving up way too many receptions.

I will give you an example of what I’m talking about.

In the fourth quarter on the drive that ended with the Rob Gronkowski TD, Brady hit Danny Amendola on the left side for a gain of 13 in front of Skrine. Same drive, right before the two minute warning, Skrine was beat on a quick slant for 11 yards on third-and-10.

The Jets are ranked 16th in the NFL in pass defense.

Which sounds just about right.

They have been average.

Forget the hype, this unit needs to take it’s collective game to another level . . .

Watching Stevan Ridley in practice, he’s cutting hard on his surgical knee. He looks ready to roll . . .

It’s a long shot that Nick Mangold (neck) will play, but I think Wesley Johnson can hold-the-fort. The Vanderbilt-product is very, very smart, so he can handle the mental part of the position – the line calls and so forth. He’s also very athletic for a center and a lot stronger than when he arrived last year. He’s not Mangold, but the Jets should be fine.

October 30, 2015

Premium will return by 9:30 pm on Monday. No Sunday update from Oakland due to travel.

Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeldhttps://www.jetsconfidential.com
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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