After opening the season against Oakland, the Jets take on six straight potentially potent offenses: Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, San Diego, Denver and New England. New York will know a lot more about where it stands after that tough stretch in the schedule.
'SONS OF ANARCHY: Led by Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Damon Harrison, the Jets' defensive line is expected to be a force again. All three are Pro Bowl-caliber players, capable of disrupting offenses.
"You can only inspire the guys and you can only be that leader if you are on top of your game and you know what you're doing," Smith said. "I appreciate the fact that they have always stuck with me and they have always been confident in me because they've seen the way that I can bounce back from a tough game."
Smith has also become more vocal on the field, and his understanding of the offense has improved. Vick has liked what he has seen from Smith, too,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic
, even if that means he'll be kept on the sideline more than he'd like.
A year ago, he was merely a wide-eyed rookie trying to find his way in the NFL. Now, he's the undisputed starting quarterback of the New York Jets.
"Absolutely, no excuses one way or the other," Ryan said. "I believe that we will be just fine."
"His composure under pressure is definitely showing up this year," wide receiver Jeremy Kerley said. "He's showing he won't be rattled in pressure situations. Just his learning ability has taken over."
Well, Smith hasn't flinched.
"Geno's working extremely hard to be the best quarterback that he can be in this game," Vick said. "You see guys around the league around his age going out having success and doing some good things for their ballclubs and I think he wants to fall right into that echelon."
Starting cornerback Dee Milliner might not be ready for the season opener while recovering from a high ankle sprain. The status of Dimitri Patterson,Cheap World Cup Jerseys 2018
, expected to be the other starter,Cheap Stitched Jerseys
, is uncertain after he was suspended indefinitely by the team for going AWOL and not showing up for a preseason game. Third-round pick Dexter McDougle is out for the year with a torn knee ligament.
The Jets went into the offseason determined to give Smith every opportunity to show he deserved to be the starter. They also brought in Michael Vick to push Smith, as well as to mentor him — and to be ready to step in if Smith struggled.
NEW PLAYMAKERS: Smith and the offense could be forced into some scoring slugfests if the secondary struggles.
SAVE THE DATE: The cornerbacks,wholesale nfl jerseys
, whoever they might be, will be thrust into the spotlight quickly.
Here are a few other things to watch this season:
The Jets should be a bit more dangerous with wide receiver Eric Decker, running back Chris Johnson and rookie tight end Jace Amaro. New York might have one of the league's top backfield trios with Johnson, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. Decker, after catching passes from Peyton Manning in Denver the past two seasons, gives the Jets a legitimate top receiver to pair with the sure-handed Kerley.
Smith is brimming with confidence,Wholesale China Jerseys
, and with that comes increased respect in the locker room. The bottom line, though,Wholesale Baseball Jerseys 2018
, is the success — or failure — of Rex Ryan's team could depend on Smith's performance this season.
He had plenty of those last season, when he threw 12 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions. But Smith also had some promising moments, particularly during a four-game stretch in which the Jets went 3-1 to end the season 8-8 and saved Ryan's job.
Even with a still-effective Vick eager to show he's still one of the most dynamic players in the NFL. Smith got nearly 80 percent of the snaps with the first-team offense in training camp and played well enough to not force Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to stray from the plan.
If the Jets miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season — the longest drought in owner Woody Johnson's tenure since taking over in 2000 — Ryan could be the scapegoat. If Smith doesn't progress, the Jets could be in the market for a new coach, a new quarterback and starting from scratch. Again.
That could take some pressure off the secondary if they can stifle the run and get to the quarterback, something linebackers Quinton Coples, Calvin Pace and Jason Babin will be counted on to do.