It is finally that time of training camp, no more shorts and t-shirts, no more going “on air” or against dummies. This is where we find out who is for real and wants to make this team and who is a shorts and t-shirt “hero”. Below I will highlight three young players on the offensive side of the ball, who need to continue their progression especially when the full gear goes on. If my “Big 3” players can continue to elevate their game and show signs of legitimacy, the Jets will have the right pieces for a successful football team moving forward. This will be broken down similar to my defensive “Big 3” breakdown that was posted yesterday.
Christian Hackenberg, Quarterback
- Imagine this – Christian Hackenberg comes out of training camp our starting quarterback and leads us to a week 1 win up in Buffalo. This is something every single person in this fan base should be rooting for and praying happens. Why would you root against this kid? So we continue our search for a franchise leader? So were stuck all year going back and forth with who we should draft? If Christian Hackenberg comes out and shows promise, can lead this team to multiple victories, he absolutely should be the starting quarterback for this franchise moving forward. I could not want this more then anything else this year, to see him succeed and win which will then lead us to surrounding him with play-makers starting this upcoming 2018 free agency. Am I crazy? Is this so far fetched that I’m wasting my time? Yeah, maybe. It all comes down to this, if Hackenberg has all the intangibles that make up a successful quarterback in this league, his arm strength is great, size, smarts, and was a previous top recruit coming out of high school. For Christian Hackenberg to achieve all of this it needs to start now at training camp this summer, and after the first three days – it has. He needs to continue, each practice, developing his craft by perfecting John Morton’s offense and having the game slow down for him. Understanding that he has a capable NFL offensive line that will give him the time to make his reads and adjustments, will allow him to step up in the pocket and deliver the ball with confidence, the way we know he can. So far he is progressing the way we would like a quarterback in his second year to progress, Im fairly confident this will continue for him as he becomes more and more comfortable in this offense and develops chemistry with these young receivers. If not today, in the coming days Hack deserves his run with the starters and the bulk of the reps. Bowles needs him to begin feeling success as well as failure with the starting offense, this will give him the chance to become a leader and show the other ten in the huddle he can lead them through any aspect of the game. Surrounding a quarterback with talent is very important, obviously this shouldn’t make or break a quarterback as we see what Tom Brady has done year after year. But if he is surrounded with the starters and play-makers we have, Hack will have no choice but to rise to the occasion or become the failed second round pick everyone has prematurely tagged him as. Lets see if Day 4 of training camp continues to be the progress we are all hoping Christian Hackenberg can continue.
Quincy Enunwa, Wide Receiver
- “Quincy is a smart guy and a leader of this team, I’m just trying to learn from that guy.” That right there was said by Ardarius Stewart our rookie receiver out of Alabama yesterday after practice. It has been night and day for our top receiver Quincy Enunwa as he enters his 4th season as a Jet after being selected out of Nebraska in the 2014 draft. In 2015 we saw glimpses of what Quincy could be if he continued to progress, and that he did after really coming on to the scene last year for us. After a 58 reception, 857 yards, and 4 touchdown season Quincy is settling into his play making role for this offense. Whether you find him in the slot, lined up on the outside, or even in the backfield catching swing passes. Quincy Enunwa has the capability to be a play making receiver for this team for several years to come as long as he continues to master his route running and overall receiving skills. A player like this will contribute to the overall success Hackenberg can have and the offense as a whole. He will have to adjust at first this year since Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are no longer with us, defenses will roll some of their coverage to him and he will need to create new ways of getting open. As long as John Morton can develop a game plan week in and week out to get the ball in this guys hands this offense will have more success then what most people are letting on. I am excited to see Quincy this year and have all the confidence he will continue on developing into the offensive force we will rely on in the future.
Robby Anderson, Wide Receiver
- This guy every time I looked at the screen during pre season last year was catching a touchdown pass over some defenders head or picking up 15+ yards on a skinny post route. It did not surprise me in the least that he made final cuts for the 53 man roster and it did not surprise me that he began to contribute once his playing time increased. Robby Anderson fought adversity throughout college as you can see on newyorkjets.com in a great piece they did called “Undrafted Memories: Robby Anderson”. After he re focused himself he had a breakout season in his senior year at Temple but ultimately did not get drafted in the 2016 draft. This guys footwork is unreal fast, he reached out to Chad OchoCinco this past offseason and continued to develop his game around his strengths – speed. Last year Robby got the best of some of the leagues best corners like Richard Sherman and Malcom Butler, his electric first step off the line will immediately put him in favorable match ups this year. The one thing I’d like to see Robby improve upon would be his strength when going up for a contested pass, there were multiple instances last year where he lost 1 on 1 battles when going up for a ball. If Robby Anderson can continue his development as a wide receiver this training camp and become more comfortable with these quarterbacks he will continue to be on the receiving end of some pretty big plays throughout this 2017-2018 season. Hopefully this minor “tweak” he suffered during yesterdays practice doesn’t hold him out for any extended period of time, the consensus is – it wont.