The New York Jets have surprised many this season with a .500 (3-3) start through six weeks of the NFL regular season. While the Jets are better than most expected, they are still far from perfect, but in a weak AFC, the Jets could surprise even more by fighting for the second Wild Card spot down the stretch of this season.
Now obtaining that second Wild Card spot will be a very difficult task for the Jets, but certainly not impossible. They just have to keep improving at the little things and executing. One of their areas that needs some improving is special teams, specifically kick returning.
With a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith and an inconsistent offense, it is critical to give them the shortest field possible to work with, and former kick returner/wide receiver Clyde Gates just did not do the job. It almost seemed like every time Gates would run out of the end zone, I would cringe because I have never seen a kickoff returner almost never be able to reach his own 20-yard line.
Gates is not being replaced because of his poor kickoff return skills, but because of a shoulder injury he suffered last week that will end his season. So needing to fill Gates’ spot on special teams, the Jets went out and finally signed the man who is tied for the all-time lead with eight kickoff return touchdowns, Josh Cribbs.
I say finally because Cribbs has been working out with the Jets for a while now after being released in the preseason by the Oakland Raiders. I guess the team felt he was just not ready at the beginning of the season due to his health and recovery from a torn meniscus he suffered last season.
Obviously, he has been improving every week and is now in game shape to get back to work, and if he is able to remain healthy, Cribbs should be a huge upgrade over Gates. His speed and great track record with the Cleveland Browns speaks for itself, plus Cribbs was a quarterback in college, so his skill in that department could help the Jets spice up their ineffective and predictable wildcat plays.
One of the biggest keys to winning football games is field position, and Cribbs’ talent on the football field could certainly help the Jets out in that department and take the pressure off of an inconsistent offense. It’s a good move for the Jets in my opinion. What’s yours?