The Jets are a 10-win team coming off a near-miss of the playoffs and returning most of their key players. Maybe that's why there are so few questions - or question marks - about their starters or the core of their team.
That never stops the worrying, though, especially after watching the backup quarterbacks perform (or not) in the first preseason game. That seems to be a big concern of Jets fans - which makes sense, considering neither Ryan Fitzpatrick nor Geno Smith are under contract for next season, making the "quarterback of the future" situation unclear.
Do you think the Jets will carry 4 QB's into the season - @bigguns111
That's a really intriguing question because it's rare for teams to do that. Some teams are even comfortable with only two. But the Jets are in a situation where they may have to consider it. And if they don't, it may come down to this question: Bryce Petty or Geno Smith?
More on that in a moment, but obviously Fitzpatrick is safe and the Jets didn't draft Christian Hackenberg in the second round just to cut him. Heading into camp it would seem to me that Smith is pretty safe as the backup quarterback, given his talent and his experience, and that Petty would be the odd-man out.
But from everything I've seen and been told, Petty is much-improved and the Jets are impressed with how far he's come. Impressed enough to let him compete with Smith for the backup job? Doubtful, unless Smith really falls apart in the final preseason games. Impressed enough to let him stick around and eat a roster spot so he and Hackenberg can battle it out for a starter or backup job next year if Fitzpatrick and Smith are gone?
That's to be determined. But maybe. In the end, I don't think the Jets will carry four quarterbacks because coaches are usually paranoid about not having enough players and I'm guessing Todd Bowles wouldn't want to "waste" a roster spot on a fourth quarterback that won't play. But at this point, I just can't rule it out.
Does Jalin Marshall 'Wally Pip' Devin Smith? -- @realsportsporn
Smith is still a second-round pick and teams aren't usually quick to give up on those, so I don't know if Marshall is about to "Wally Pipp" him. But he may at least get the chance because Smith is still rehabbing from his torn ACL and last week he told NJ.com that he's "just not ready to play football" yet. He remains on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and he's starting to look like a good candidate to start the season there.
As for Marshall, he's been impressive in camp and it's impossible to overlook his eye-opening, 84-yard kickoff return in the preseason opener. That return ability, plus with his receiving skills, could be enough to get him on the final roster. But then keep in mind this: Even if he does, his opportunities in the offense figure to be limited behind Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa. So I don't know that I'd predict that he's about to push Smith out of the Jets' future plans just yet.
Do both Jalin Marshall and Peake make the Jets 53 man roster -- @jonjy36
I think there's a possibility of that, but it will be tough and we'll need to see a few more games to really know for sure. Charone Peake is a seventh-round pick and teams usually don't like to give up on draft picks so early, so he may actually have the easier path. And he got plenty of opportunities in the Jets' preseason opener and took advantage with four catches for 45 yards, including a nifty touchdown catch in tight quarters right at the pylon from Geno Smith.
Marshall's road to the roster might be more as a returner than a receiver, so his big kickoff return certainly helped. But this decision likely comes down to how many receivers the Jets decide to take, and it could be one or the other when the final cuts are made.
You can bet whichever one gets cut will end up on the practice squad, though - unless some other team scoops him up first.
How is Amaro, the Jets TE, doing so far? Can he or will he contribute? -- @chrislocurcio
This is a tough one to answer at the moment, because when I've seen tight end Jace Amaro at camp he's looked pretty good. He obviously didn't do much in the Jets' preseason opener, though. And really, the most important thing for him is to stay healthy so the second-rounder can bounce back from his disappointing rookie season (38-345-2 in 14 games).
The Jets do have big plans for him, so they certainly hope he can contribute. And he has the skills to be a big part of the passing game if he ever gets going. He was a terrific receiver in college and there seems to be no reason why he can't do the same in the pros. The key for him, though, is to work on his blocking. The Jets want him to be an every-down tight end, which means he has to block to stay in for obvious running plays. At the moment, he needs more work in that area.
But a guy with his receiving skills usually can find a place in the offense somewhere. So yes, I think he will contribute this year, especially if he stays health. And I expect that we'll see that more and more as the preseason goes on.
Who's better the Giants or the Jets? -- @PH1Losophical
I put this question in the Jets mailbag, instead of my Giants mailbag (coming tomorrow over at SNY.tv/Giants, by the way) because my answer is going to be "Jets." But it's not by much and it's not a simple answer either. That's why you're going to get this explanation:
I actually love the team the Giants have put together and the fact that they've got what I consider to be an elite quarterback at the helm makes them dangerous. Their drafting in recent years has been better and their $200 million offseason spending spree has made them a much better team than they were a year ago.
Two things worry me about the Giants, though: 1.History suggests that free agency is a terrible way to build a winner in the NFL, so while I think the Giants' spending spree will work wonders on their defense I have to be skeptical based on the track record. And 2.They are not deep. Really, look at almost every position on their roster and while the starters may be good (and in some cases could be Pro Bowlers) the backups are untested at best, and in some cases very questionable in talent. A couple of injuries to starters and I could see the whole thing falling apart.
That said, if you assume they're healthy, I think the Giants have got the talent to win double-digit games. I haven't made my prediction yet, but given how far they have to climb from last year - 6-10, the NFL's worst defense - I'm likely to predict they'll be 9-7.
As for the Jets, they're coming off a 10-win season and bring back almost everybody and there's no reason to think that with their defense they can't win 10 again. My biggest worry about them? Fitzpatrick is coming off what was by far the best season of his 11-year career. Considering he's never had a season like that before, can he really do it again at age 33? That takes a leap of faith that's hard to make, especially after a contract stalemate kept him out all offseason.
I actually think Fitzpatrick can take a little bit of a step back and the rest of the Jets team is still good enough to get him to 10 wins. Whether that's good enough for the playoffs in the tough AFC is anybody's guess. But I'll at least give them the edge in New York by the slightest of margins -- though if you promise me the Giants will be intact in the second half of the season, the race for New York supremacy could be really, really close.