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5 Things the New York Jets Must Accomplish During OTAs

5 Things the New York Jets Must Accomplish During OTAs

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OTAs are when NFL teams officially begin their season, and the competition to make the final 53 man roster is underway. Most of the focus for the New York Jets will be on Geno Smith and Michael Vick, but that won’t be solved in OTAs. However, there are numerous other position battles on this team, and these are five key things the Jets must accomplish during OTAs.

5. Find a Viable Replacement for Willie Colon

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5. Find a Viable Replacement for Willie Colon

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Starting right guard Willie Colon is having his knee scoped, and although he should be back well before the start of the season, the Jets have to be worried. Colon is 31 and has a lengthy injury history, so the Jets must figure out who their emergency backup is. Oday Aboushi got the first crack, but expect Dakota Dozier and Caleb Schlauderaff to get a shot as well. The Jets need one of these players to prove they can handle starting at guard.

4. Solidify the Safety Rotation

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4. Solidify the Safety Rotation

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Calvin Pryor, Dawan Landry, and Antonio Allen are all similar players, so the Jets have to figure out how they will work their safety rotation. Right now it looks like Pryor will be forced to free safety, while Landry and Allen rotate at strong safety. All three are part of the best 11 defenders the Jets can put on the field, so look for them to work in a lot of three safety packages or even try some 4-3 looks with Allen at linebacker.

3. Find a Balance at Running Back

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3. Find a Balance at Running Back

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The Jets brought in Chris Johnson this offseason to complement Chris Ivory in the backfield, and now the Jets need to start figuring out exactly how that will work. Ivory is the better choice as the starter because he is younger, more reliable and a better fit for the Jets’ scheme. Using him as the workhorse and Johnson as a change of pace makes a lot of sense, but it remains to be seen exactly what the Jets are thinking.

2. Establish a Pecking Order at Wide Receiver

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2. Establish a Pecking Order at Wide Receiver

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Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley are the top two receivers, but there are all kinds of questions after them. Rookies Jalen Saunders, Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa will compete with veterans David Nelson, Jacoby Ford and Stephen Hill for playing time and roster spots. The Jets need to figure out who deserves the most reps in training camp and the preseason and who gives them the best shot at improving their passing game.

1. Test the Cornerbacks

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1. Test the Cornerbacks

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The Jets’ cornerback situation is a disaster, and they need to quickly figure out who can contribute. Dee Milliner is a guaranteed starter, but the Jets need to find contributors from the group of Dimitri Patterson, Kyle Wilson, Dexter McDougle, Darrin Walls, Ras-I Dowling and Johnny Patrick. The Jets must use OTAs to test all of these corners and figure out who deserves to be the other starter and the slot corner.