Mailbag: Did Jets err by ignoring Flowers?
@RichCimini: No, I'm not surprised the Jets didn't pursue Brandon Flowers. As I noted after his release from the Kansas City Chiefs, it was a non-starter for the Jets. Contrary to a report, they never expressed interest in him. The reason is because John Idzik, in his mind, adequately addressed the cornerback need by signing Dimitri Patterson, re-signing the likes of Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster and drafting Dexter McDougle. You might not agree with his moves, but he wasn't about to spend more money (Flowers got $3 million from the Chargers) at a position where the Jets feel they have enough talent.
@RichCimini: Their hope is that Jalen Saunders emerges as the primary punt returner. He did it last season for Oklahoma, and did it quite well -- a 15.4 average and two touchdowns. This doesn't mean he will be an automatic hit on the pro level. I remember when Aaron Glenn came out in 1994 and everybody was raving about his punt-returning prowess in college. Well, he was a bust as a returner. As for Saunders, he has the quickness and courage you want in a punt returner. Jacoby Ford and Clyde Gates are the leading candidates at kickoff returner. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about Gates' amazing speed. When has it ever shown up on the field? I'm interested to see Ford in that role; he had big success with the Oakland Raiders before the injuries started to mount.
@RichCimini: Good question. I'd say linebacker Jeremiah George (fifth round) and pass-rusher IK Enemkpali (sixth) have a chance to contribute on special teams. Enemkpali will have a chance to play in a sub-package defense if he can show anything as a pass-rusher, but I'm skeptical because of the jump in competition (he played at Louisiana Tech) and his suspect speed.
@RichCimini: Barring an injury to a starter, yes. Been there, done that. I actually think Ed Reed would have a positive impact on Calvin Pryor, just as he did last season for Dee Milliner, but the Jets want to stay as young as possible. Can't say I blame them. If something happened to Dawan Landry, maybe they would have a change of heart.
@RichCimini: Marty Mornhinweg said recently his goal is to cut the turnovers in half. The Jets committed 29 last season (25 attributed to Geno Smith), tied for 24th in the league. If they slashed the total to 14 or 15, they would be near the top of the league, virtually guaranteeing a playoff spot. It would be an extraordinary accomplishment.
@RichCimini: A slim chance. There will be growing pains because of the inexperienced secondary, and they will be plain to see early in the season. They face the Missiles of October in a three-week succession -- Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
@RichCimini: The list of potential unrestricted free agents includes Michael Vick, Bilal Powell, David Nelson, Jeremy Kerley, Kenrick Ellis, David Harris, Patterson, Kyle Wilson and Landry. The players whose rookie contracts are expiring usually get first dibs, if they are seemed worthy of an extension. In that group, there is Powell, Kerley and Ellis. Kerley has the most value, but do you want to lock into him before seeing what Saunders, a similar player, can do? Ellis is a wait-and-see guy. Obviously, Harris still has tremendous value, but he just turned 30, so I don't see Idzik rushing into anything. In short, it wouldn't surprise me if none of these players gets an extension before the start of the season..