Jeff Cumberland’s Absence Hinders New York Jets

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Surrounding a young quarterback with talent is very important. Mark Sanchez suffered in part due to the New York Jets front office constantly changing personnel from skill positions. A lot of these new players did not show as much talent mostly because of inexperience. Chemistry between a signal-caller and their pass catchers represents something so vital when trying to develop a team’s franchise cornerstone.

Geno Smith brings Gang Green physical capabilities that they have perhaps never seen before. Stephen Hill can flat-out fly, but consistency is an issue. No one really knows if Santonio Holmes will be in New York much longer, and his tenure has held mixed results anyway. The Jets creating openings in the middle offers a way to stretch opposing defenses.

This can be problematic Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints. Their defense obviously is much improved from last year’s awful unit that surrendered the most yards in NFL history. Jeff Cumberland still needs to establish a solid reputation, but has demonstrated flashes of a solid starting tight end. Kellen Winslow’s addition took some attention away from him, though he still brings talent to a receiving corps that constantly seeks stability.

Smith will be without Cumberland Sunday against New Orleans after a concussion last week. Now head coach Rex Ryan’s crew must count on former New England Patriots player Zach Sudfeld. Suddenly, their sneaky decision to recently claim him off waivers appears as a clever transaction as Sudfeld has good height, which helps him comes down with catches.

Opening plays in the middle is a primary concept of the West Coast scheme, and Cumberland missing from New York’s lineup still hurts as it takes away another threat.


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