Today marks the start of the Jets organised team activities, more commonly referred to as OTA's. Here are a few important details to remember:
- They are not mandatory. Most players will show, but these are voluntary workouts.
- Under the collective bargaining agreement, no contact is permitted.
- There are 10 practices in total, only 3 are open to the media, 7 are behind closed doors
It's easy to look past these practices, but here are 10 things I'm interested in as we start the journey towards opening day.
Fairly obvious, but a lot of eyes will be on the QB's. How does Petty look after getting some extended action last year? How does Hackenberg look after sitting an entire year and getting used to the NFL speed? How are the reps broken down? Is McCown getting more time than the others? There are a lot of questions to be answered and we'll only start the process of answering them here, we'll need to wait for pre-season for this one to develop.
We've got a new offensive coordinator, a man who's worked under some impressive head coaches, most recently Sean Payton. What does his offence look like? We'll get a glimpse into what the Jets will look like on that side of the football. Will we be running a WCO this year. How will the team line-up, how will the tight ends be used? Where will Enunwa fit into this scheme?
Which nicely leads us into the tight end group. We know they'll play a bigger part, but how much of a feature of this offense is getting the ball into the hands of the tight end? Will 2017 draft choice Jordan Leggett get off to a good start, remember how Jace Amaro struggled with drops during OTA's, with no fear of getting hit...you really shouldn't be dropping too many balls. The Jets have six tight ends on the roster right now, and the job is up for grabs... someone needs to grab it.
This position group has experienced the most upheaval. Will Buster Skrine move back inside? You have to imagine that Adams is an automatic starter, so where does that leave Calvin Pryor? How much will we see Adams and Maye in the base to start things off? Claiborne will take one outside spot, but who takes the other?
The team is a young one in general, so who's going to step up and lead this unit? Will Adams bring the kind of leadership we all expect from day one? What is Hackenberg's leadership like in year two? Is Wilkerson ready to lead the defensive line, or will it be up to Leonard Williams? After being reportedly shipped for the best part of 12 months now, how will Sheldon Richardson react?
Based on last years performance and what we know about running backs, how much of the load will Bilal take from Matt Forte this year? Will he finally get the playing time that his performances have deserved? If so, how does Matt Forte feel about that?
Young Pass Catchers
Like with the tight ends, you really don't want to hear that players are having problems holding onto the ball. All eyes on Stewart and Hansen to see how they perform. Does K.D Cannon make it through the OTA's without being cut? He just about made it through rookie mini-camp with the 49'ers before being shown the door.
There's one every single year and it always starts in OTA's. Jalin Marshall was the guy last year, so which undrafted rookie will come in and make a statement straight away. Usually it's a wide receiver, because their catching skills are fully visible even when there is no contact. In these situations, it's a lot harder for pass rushers or corners to stand out.
Honestly, we won't get definitive answers on any of these questions, but we'll start to get an understanding of the direction of this team. It may not be full football, but it's football, and it gives us something to talk about.
What are some of the things you'll be watching for over the next few weeks?