While not a Jets fan by any means, I am an avid football fan so I always make a point to catch HBO’s Hard Knocks series. While the season premier focused on the absent Darrelle Revis, the second episode focused on the Jets moving on and going forward as though Revis will not be a part of the team this season. Watching this episode, we see that life without Revis is not going to be easy because with him missing from camp, other members of the team need to step things up a bit. In episode two, the coaching staff does not appear to be happy with the defense so far. Mistakes are being made and effort is not being made.
With the Revis talks at a stalemate, and owner Woody Johnson not optimistic that a deal will be done to get him into camp, the focus turns to first round draft pick Kyle Wilson who has been moved up to the first team. Coach Rex Ryan is most impressed with Lewis on defense so far in camp, and he should be. Even though he is a rookie, Lewis understands whose shoes he is stepping into, the pressure he is under, and shows leadership ability on the field. This kid looks solid and ready to play.
After this episode, however, one question still remains on defense. How many kids does cornerback Antonio Cromartie have? The Jets knew Cromartie would be a challenge when they acquired him from the San Diego Chargers in the off season, but this guy has his own challenge of trying to remember the names, sexes and ages of his kids. No wonder his play is inconsistent on the field, he’s too busy trying to figure out how he’s going to support the 8 kids he has fathered in 5 different states with 7 different women. To his credit, though, Cromartie did get married to his girlfriend recently whom he has baby number 8 with.
When Cromartie shows up, he is capable of making plays, but when he doesn’t bring the drive and passion, he’s missing things. In training camp and their first pre season game, the Cromartie missed numerous opportunities to grab a few interceptions. It was in the pre season game against the Giants that Rex Ryan and the rest of the staff saw just how much trouble they were in on defense. The second team players, which usually consist of the backups that will make the team, looked dreadful at best as they allowed the Giants backups to put on a clinic during second half action.
On offense, the focus is once again on starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. HBO does a great job reminding viewers of Sanchez’s young age, and the growth he still needs to achieve in his position. We even get to see quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, a former NFL quarterback, lecturing Sanchez on what he needs to do to move forward in his game. Sanchez spends too much time pouting and thinking about his mistakes rather than moving forward and thinking about how to fix them. Personally, I think Sanchez is nothing but a clown who is not living up to his potential because he clearly doesn’t listen to what his coaches have to say. HBO continues to focus on Sanchez goofing around in camp and even pouting and ignoring Cavanaugh during a meeting as he goes through a duffle bag aimlessly looking for something that is clearly more important than what his coach has to say.
After two episodes, it is clear that the Jets have a lot of work to do if they are going to live up to the media hype and their own hype.
New York Post