Position battles heat up

When the Jets take on the defending Super-Bowl champions this weekend in Tokyo, Head Coach Herman Edwards will be looking to see what kind of abilities his young players have.

"Some of the young players are going to have to play so that we can watch them play," he said. Really I am looking for how far they have come in a week. How far they have progressed."

One young player who Edwards is anxious to look at is first round pick from Kentucky, Dewayne Robertson. "He'll play more than the other starters."

… Another player that will be under the microscope is second year defensive end Bryan Thomas. Thomas had a disappointing rookie campaign but has had a good camp up to this point. "I want him to be able to play the run first, and do the things he has been taught over the last three months."

… Edwards feels that the Jets are far ahead of their progress from last year at this point in camp. Edwards attributes this growth in the teams development to the fact that this will be the third year the Jets will be in the same coaching system

On offense under Paul Hackett the Jets run the west coast offense. On defense they play mainly in a cover two, a byproduct of what Edwards brought over to from the Jets opponent this weekend the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Last year the team had allot of new players, especially on defense trying to learn these new roles, this year the coaches and players feel more on the same page. "We are a lot further along then we were last year," he said. "We have all been in the same system. Every year you're together as a team and a staff you get better."

… Interesting position battles that will work themselves out over the course of the next month are at tight end, and right guard.

Former first round draft pick Anthony Becht is being pushed hard by second year pro Chris Baker. Baker is quickly becoming a favorite passing option for Chad Pennington. "They have both elevated their play," said Edwards. "That is what competition brings. They're competing and there is a rotation system. We're going to give them an opportunity to play."

The competition at right guard is also interesting. Tom Nutten is the more experienced player with 46 starts in 50 career games. Nutten has also played in two super bowls from his time with the Rams.

Jonathan Goodwin is entering his second year in the league. Goodwin was a fifth round draft choice (#154 overall) last year. Edwards describes the competition at right guard as a battle, and time will tell who the eventual winner will be. "It is hard to say that there is a clear cut favorite after a week. They are still battling."


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