As the lockout lingers on like a muggy hot New Orleans summer and free agency remains stalled on the roadside with a wisp of steam rising from its radiator... just kidding, I want to talk about the Wide Receivers again. I know we 've done it before and before that again and again, but I promise a new slant that will not involve Randy, TO or Ocho with more than one mention. I also won't have a poll for this one as it, well it just gets too dicey for some.
My full and final Jets Wide Receiver wrap up for 2011 ... after the jump.
I've said it before but it bares repeating... the Jets 2010 offense looked confused at times and among other things, I blame all of the various personell packages and formations. This experiment with a young QB and three competeing wide receivers, just didn't always work. For 2011, I think the Jets and Sanchez in particular would benefit from a set no. 1 and 2 receiver. They need to focus on consistency and consistency is born in practicing consistent formations and packages. Consider for example, Reggie Wayne is always on Peyton Manning's left side. Peyton always knows where he is in good times and bad. Sanchez needs that comfort zone in my opinion.
Number One WR
I am thoroughly conviced that Braylon Edwards is ready, willing and able to come back and be the "number one WR" (for whatever that means in the end). Braylon has size, speed, and with nurturing and confidence, he also has good hands. Unless the Jets insult him with a low ball number, he's back. I want the Jets to feed him the ball. Hit him on slants, hooks, go routes. Let's see this guy repeat his stats from 2007: 80 catches, for 1289 yards and 16 TDs. If he falls short of 2007, but provides 65 catches, 1000 yards and 10 TDs, that great too. It can be done; he has the talent, we have the team, he just needs that confidence to come back full swing.
If Tanny and Rex, in their wisdom, decide that Santonio Holmes is the better option, then so be it. If they can sign him and are confident that he is a safe risk, than so be it. Make him the number one. Feed him the ball. Let him find his stride and never "insult" him again as he says they did in the Pitts playoff game. Let him make all the big catches in all the big moments. I'm on board for that too.
Number Two WR
I doubt there will be money for both Braylon and Santonio. But if there is, then so be it. One will line up on one side and the other obviously on the other side. Pick the sides based upon match ups. Figure out who can be your possession receiver and who can be your home run, or trade them off each other. But in no instince should either trade time with Cotchery. If both Braylon and Santonio are back, Cotchery needs to be the 3rd WR or, though it pains me to say it, traded or cut.
Now again, I don't think the Jets can afford both Braylon and Santonio. And it would pain me to see Cotchery have his role diminished or to be traded. I think Cotchery is the most sensible number 2 receiver in the scenario where only one of the other guys comes back. Cotchery, despite some set backs that we later learned were due to injury, has been a very good route-running possession receiver for the Jets. He is capable of 70 catches, for 900 yards and 5 TDs. He is the perfect compliment with a playmaker on the other side. I would go as far as to say that I think Cotchery would be better as a number 2 WR than Braylon or Santonio would be.
Cotchery would certainly be a better number 2 receiver than slouches such as Randy Moss or TO. The slouches are former playmakers with diminished skills who will always have trouble playing across from Braylon or Santonio in diminished roles. Personally, I don't believe the Jets are even considering these guys. I challenge you to find me one quote from Rex or Tanny that shows any real interest the Jets may have in them. Its simply a media creation. It's simply a better (I hate this term, but sexier) story to report that the Jets may possibly be interested in Moss than for example, Chansi Stuckey. The story causes all sorts of mixed emotions from Jets fans; it turns ordinarily retarded Pats fans into pack trolls. It reminds me of past Hollywood reports that Nicholas Cage might be cast as the next Superman; it makes no sense. Moss at this point is little more than a twice a game go route option, a role that could be played by David Clowney.
Chad Johnson and Steve Smith (Car.) could potentially be options for number two WRs if its determined that Cotchery is broken beyond repair. Both could fill the role as possession receivers and both could keep their egos in check to play for a winner. But Cotchery would have to be done, and these guys would have to come super cheap. They do not fit the role as a 3rd or slot WR. Again, so unless Cotchery is done, there is no need to discuss these guys further.
So if Braylon and Santonio are back, Cotchery needs to be demoted permanently to slot for consistency. Since I believe only one of the big two come back, and Cotchery will then be the number 2, the slot is open. Here I don't think consistency is as important. You can put Kerley in the slot; you can shift Keller over in two TE sets; Tomlinson or either of the McKnights could get work there too. If Rex and Tanny feel a veteran WR is needed, there is always Brad Smith or a free agent such as Chansi Stuckey. In the end, there is no need for the Jets to have too much money tied up in a position that the offense doesn't exploit.
So that's it. That's all I have to say about that. Do you disagree with this summation?