Behind Enemy Lines: The Jets

As the offseason winds down, we catch up with the rest of the AFC East and find out how things are looking for the Dolphins' division foes. In this installment, we check in with Jets Confidential's Dan Leberfeld to find out what's going on with the Jets.

Q. How has Thomas Jones looked in the offseason, and how confident are people in Jets land that he will help provide New York with a potent running game?

Dan Leberfeld: It's hard to tell how he has looked in the offseason because there is no tackling. But he has very impressive in the offseason workout program. To call him a workout warrior would be an understatement. There isn't a runner in the league with a better physique than Jones. His arms are like those of a defensive tackle.

The Jets are very excited about the addition of Jones. They think he gives them the feature back they lacked last year. In 2006, they used a running back by committee. With Jones, they won't have to do this. He is coming off back-to-back seasons of around 1,300 yards rushing in Chicago, and they think he can do the same for them.

Q. How big of a problem has the Pete Kendall situation been, and how do you think it will play out?

Leberfeld: It could play out in the Dolphins' favor. The Jets attempted to trade Kendall during the draft, and there were rumors the Dolphins were interested. The Kendall holdout is ugly. He has blasted the team on a number of occasions. If he can shoot his way out of the building (one writer nicknamed him "Pistol Pete"), the Dolphins would be very interested in signing him. Dolphins GM Randy Mueller drafted him while with Seattle.

Kendall wants a $1 million raise, and the Jets aren't budging. It's hard to see him on the team this year. If he is cut or traded, the Jets would likely start former Eagle Adrien Clark at left guard. He started four games for the Eagles in 2005, but was out of football last year with a back injury. Whether he is a capable replacement remains to be seen.

Q. Based on what you saw in the offseason, what player is most likely to emerge and have a big season in 2007?

Leberfeld: The answer is wide receiver Brad Smith. He looked great in minicamp. Remember, he was a quarterback in college who the Jets drafted in the fourth round last year, and immediately was moved to wide receiver. Last year was like a redshirt year for him, while he learned the position. This year, he seems poised for some good things. He's an amazing athlete. Anybody who saw him play quarterback at Missouri will tell you that. He is a great open-field runner with outstanding leaping ability. Now that he is comfortable at wide receiver, look out!

Q. How has first-round pick Darrelle Revis looked, and how quickly would you anticipate him making an impact on the Jets defense?

Leberfeld: Revis has looked OK, but he has a lot to learn. Remember, he entered the draft after his junior year, so he's somewhat raw. It's unlikely he will start over the first half of the season, but he will have a big role as the team's nickel or dime back. He has tremendous potential, but the Jets don't want to rush him and hurt his confidence by starting him before he's ready.

Q. As things stand right now, what kind of year would you expect the Jets to have?

Leberfeld: If Chad Pennington stays healthy, I see the Jets as a 9-7 team. Without him, they are a 6-10 team. They have good, not great, talent, but Pennington is such a smart field general, he can make the slight difference in so many games between winning and losing. Think about, the only difference between the Jets and Dolphins last year was one team had stability at quarterback (the Jets), and the other didn't (Miami). See what's free at AOL.com.


Dolphins Report Top Stories