From the message boards of GreenAndWhiteReport.com, site publisher Kristian Dyer answers your questions based on the first three days on training camp in Cortland.
Q: How is Nick Folk faring?
In a word - good. In two words – very good.
Folk has plenty to prove after hip surgery last year, a surgery that several other prominent NFL kickers have successfully gone through. Folk is just two years removed from Pro Bowl status and is still one of the youngest kickers in the game. The big issue for Folk is obviously rust, but is also his leg strength.
During training camp, Folk told me that he felt he would be close to fully recovered come training camp and the consistency and continued leg strengthening he has gone through over the past month has greatly improved his kicking game. During training camp, a team source told me off the record that "Folk is the best of a bad situation."
Well, that source was a tad bit premature.
Looking at Folk with a critical eye during camp, he showed good leg strength and accuracy and was solid in that 35-40 yard range, which is really what is needed with this offense. The Jets should be able to move the ball, they just need someone to come in and consistently hit those kicks when the team stalls in the red zone. Folk showed during the first few days of camp that he can do that.
Two Fridays ago, Rex Ryan was impressed with the kicking game.
"Today he was just nailing them, despite guys rushing, pushing like crazy and all that. He's just boom – right down the middle," Ryan said. "He reminds me right now, the more I'm around him, of Matt Stover."
Ryan also in an earlier part of that statement made fun of Folk for having a stud earring. Like Jay Feely before him, Folk is a good locker room guy who gladly takes the joke of being a kicker in stride.
Most noticeable during a special teams only session in the beginning of camp was the fact that Folk shortened his approach to the ball. It's not like he was previously Charlie Brown running up to the spot, but Folk is now two steps back and one step to the side. He's just stepping up, planting his leg and uncorking the other leg. The hip is fine and the ball comes out straight.
My concern stems from two fronts and it is two things Folk can't control. How will the new turf, which Folk raved about in June, at the New Meadowlands Stadium play when it gets wet or cold? We've seen how funky turf can impact kicking games throughout the league and until he (or any other NFL kicker) gets used to the stadium's new turf, every field goal try can be an adventure.
The second concern also stems from the stadium and that is the wind patterns at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The bowl is deeper and the tier of the stadium is higher which should cut back on the infamous Giants Stadium swirl – but will it really react that way in mid-December?
Folk showed some good leg to his kicks and when he got into a rhythm, did just fine. There are other concerns for the Jets beyond the kicking game at this point and that's a testament to Folk's steady and capable job so far. Folk has looked consistent and confident on the field. He'll do just fine.
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012