2_New York Jets1

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AFC EAST NEW YORK 2014 STRENGTHS: • Aggressive front seven, improved skill players Jets Offense JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES SPORT The New York Jets struggled to find their identity in the first year under offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. They finished the season 25th in yards gained and 29th in points scored. A major source of their struggles was the growing pains of rookie quarterback Geno Smith. In 16 games, Smith threw 21 interceptions compared to just 12 touchdowns. He also lost four fumbles, including a disastrous play against the Titans where he attempted to switch hands behind his back inside his own endzone. But Smith made strides toward the end of the season and hopes to continue his growth in 2014. In order to push him, the Jets brought in veteran QB Michael Vick as competition. Vick is not the superstar he once was, but he’s still quite capable of leading the team when healthy. One of the biggest complaints about the 2013 Jets was their failure to surround Geno Smith with quality skill players. Veteran wide receiver Santonio Holmes caught just 23 passes in another injury-plagued season. Jeremy Kerley managed to lead the team in receptions and receiving yards while only playing 12 games. And one of the team’s biggest acquisitions, RB Mike Goodson, appeared in just two games and was cut this offseason 2014 WEAKNESSES: • Inexperienced quarterback, poor turnover margin JETS due to off-field issues. This offseason, the Jets focused on improving their offense through free agency. Their biggest acquisition was WR Eric Decker, who racked up 2,352 yards and 24 touchdowns over the last two seasons with the Denver Broncos. The Jets also added RB Chris Johnson, who rushed for 2,006 yards in 2009. Johnson did not have his best year in 2013, but he still rushed for over 1,000 yards and caught 42 passes. One of Johnson’s biggest strengths is his durability. The running back has not missed a game since his rookie season. Not to be overlooked, the Jets also signed offensive lineman Breno Giacomini from the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. Giacomini will play on the line alongside Pro-Bowlers D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. Several rookies will also attempt to break into the rotation. Four of the Jets first six draft picks were spent on the offensive side of the ball with the selections of TE Jace Amaro, OT Dakota Dozier and WRs Jalen Saunders and Shaquelle Evans. Offensive Player to Watch Smith is the key to Jets success in 2014. Smith was pushed into the spotlight in his rookie season, but the pressure was a bit too much for the former West Virginia Mountaineer. But despite his struggles, the team still finished 8-8 and was just one game out of the final wild card spot. It’s also easy to forget that Smith missed a good portion of his first NFL training camp with an ankle injury. He wasn’t even expected to start until incumbent QB Mark Sanchez suffered a season-ending shoulder injury when he was put back into a preseason game against the New York Giants in overtime. Another year in the system of Marty Mornhinweg will benefit the entire offense, but it will be especially beneficial to Smith. Head Coach Rex Ryan is a defensive minded coach and will, once again, give full control of the offense and Smith to Mornhinweg. Geno Smith


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