With the final pre-season game tonight against the Eagles, the Jets will have to cut their Roster down to 53 by Saturday. NONE of the starters will be playing tonight so it will be the second string and other players fighting for their football lives.
I like this game because these guys are desperate and will be playing with all their might to stay on the team. You will see all out hustle.
So who will I be looking closely at tonight?
The Bills castoff has shown some flashes during practices and one pre-season game, but Rex has been on record that he wants to see more from Maybin. His speed is undeniable, but he needs to have a big night tonight. He NEEDS a sack, and he needs to hit the QB hard and often. If he can do that, he’s a lock to make the team.
The Running Backs
Coaches Called him QuckSand
Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell will be toting the rock all night and McKnight leads all Jets rushers this pre-season in yards, but he still has the cloud of last pre-season over him. He only scored his first TD ever last week, but this guy has speed and play making ability.
The Jets need to take a hard look at McKnight because he brings a dimension they don’t have — speed out of the backfield. Aside from wide receiver Santonio Holmes and maybe tight end Dustin Keller, there isn’t a take-it-to-the-house threat on offense.
“I think, as far as a role, good things happen when you put the ball in his hands,” Rex Ryan said. “He’s one of the fastest athletes in the league. He is an explosive athlete, so you want to get him some touches.”
Bilal Powell has been non-existent so far. He needs to pop onto the radar for the coaches and have a decent night. It will be interesting to see how the Jets run the ball behind the second string offensive line who frankly hasn’t looked good at all (even the first string) in pre-season.
The Wide Receivers
There is still that 5th slot open, and I thought Payne was going to land the last spot until he sprained his wrist, so the job is still open. I don’t believe the 7th round draft pick Scotty McKnight even has a chance to make the team, as I think the job will go to either Patrick Turner or Michael Campbell. Scotty, Turner, Campell will end up on the PS.
I’m personally rooting for a long shot in Dan DePalma who shows flashes of quickness. If he can somehow land on the team with special teams with punt returning that would be a win for the local boy from Verona NJ.
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Erik Manassy is the author of this blog and a self proclaimed “Die Hard” New York Jets fan.