Florham Park N.J. - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln had presidential tenures that etched their mark in our nation's history, literally. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a tribute to four presidents that left an imprint on the United States. Sticking with the patriotic theme, just days after Independence Day, the New York Jets need four players to leave their mark on the 2016 season if they want to reach the postseason for the first time since 2010. The four faces of this year's Mt. Jet-more are:
1) Geno Smith: This would be a Jets fan's dream if Ryan Fitzpatrick is not under contract. If Geno Smith can have a Mt. Rushmore-type season for New York, expect the Green and White to make the playoffs. The team's talent is there. For the first time in years, there is skill and youth overflowing the depth chart with seasoned veterans primed for big seasons. This also means Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker need to have the same, if not better, statistical seasons than last year. Smith can only go as far as his weapons will take him. His rookie season was impressive with a lack of options at receiver, but it can quickly get ugly if the offensive threats are more like false alarms. It is now up to Smith to show his growth, maturity, and progression as an athlete and individual. He needs this training camp to reign in and instill the trust from his coaches and teammates in the locker room.
2) Jace Amaro: The tight end duo of Kellen Davis and Jeff Cumberland managed only eight receptions for 95 yards in 2015. That will not cut it in 2016. Amaro came out of college with tremendous upside after catching seven touchdowns and compiling 1,352 yards for Texas Tech. Injuries have hindered Amaro's potential which is restricting him from showcasing what he is capable of. The third-year tight end's productivity as a receiver far outweighs his ineffectiveness as a top-end in-line blocker but there will be a heavy emphasis on improving Amaro's blocking abilities during training camp. Amaro's 6'5", 265 pound frame provides a solid red zone threat for Smith as well as an inside option in the middle of the field. Tight ends coach Jimmie Johnson has already seen major strides from Amaro in practice and the weight room so expect Amaro's role in the offense to be gradually lifted in 2016.
3) David Harris: The "hit-man" is entering his 10th NFL season. How many more years does he have left? At 32-years-old, Harris is the Jets mainstay at middle linebacker but also is an anchor on the defense. It will be up to him to not just have a solid statistical season with tackles, but also coach New York's young draftees Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins to become the future core of linebackers. How much Lee and Jenkins progress in their rookie seasons can be attributed to the way Harris performs on and off the field in 2016. Without DeMario Davis, Harris must assume a slightly larger role in the middle of the field. Todd Bowles and the Jets hope the veteran can handle a larger workload at this stage of his career.
4) Darrelle Revis: This man has etched himself into the franchise's official Mt. Rushmore because of his dominant career and the 2016 Jets Mt. Rushmore of players needing to have big seasons to secure a playoff berth. Like Harris, Revis is entering his 10th NFL season with much to prove. Critics believe Revis' best days are behind him, which they may very well be, but at 30-years-old Revis is still one of the top defensive backs in the league. Last season, quarterbacks wanted to test Revis' abilities and he made them regret it intercepting five passes. This year, it will be interesting to see if quarterbacks will attempt to test Revis again as he is coming off a wrist injury and is a year older. Which Darrelle Revis will Jets fans see? To make the playoffs, the organization needs Revis to be the fourth and final face of the 2016 Mt. Jet-more.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)null