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Hutch: Jets Like Smith and Clowney

Dave Hutchinson says the Jets claim to like Brad Smith and David Clowney as potential options to replace Laveranues Coles at receiver.

It's getting difficult to decipher fact from fiction when talking to Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum these days. Let me try to figure it out.

Tannenbaum, whom I respect and like very much personally, has been talking out of both sides of his mouth recently, and I don't know what to believe. I understand that Tannenbaum didn't want to tip his hand leading up to the draft. But perhaps he could have side-stepped the questions instead of telling the media -- and fans -- outright falsehoods about his contentment with the Jets' situation at quarterback and running back only to trade up and draft a quarterback and running back?

Turns out, the Jets targeted quarterback Mark Sanchez from Day One and running back Shonn Greene was the top running back on their board.

Well, I'm hearing that Tannenbaum was at least telling the truth when he said the organization is excited about wide receivers David Clowney and Brad Smith and that's why the team didn't draft or trade for a wide receiver.

Clowney makes sense. Although his reps have been limited, he has looked really good whenever given a chance whether it be preseason or regular season. If nothing else, he has value because his speed can stretch the field. He will play a role even if he is only a one-dimensional deep threat.

Smith is more of a head-scratcher. Maybe he has refocused with a fresh start under a new coaching staff and because Coles' departure gives him an opportunity. All I saw in him was a guy who runs sloppy routes and does not have good hands. His athleticism has never translated to productivity with the ball in space either, no matter how often Brian Schottenheimer force fed gadget plays with Brad.

Chansi Stuckey was more of a threat to do damage after a catch. Considering how good he looked early in the year, it is surprising to not hear his name in the discussion. His opportunities only fell because Dustin Keller emerged as Brett Favre's favorite target. Stuckey has proven more than either Smith or Clowney, although that is not saying a whole lot.

What are your thoughts?