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NFL Notes: Jets, Packers, Patriots & Steelers

Jets

  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini believes the Jets would be Super Bowl contenders in 2016 if they had either an elite quarterback or even a top-10 option at the position.
  • The biggest issue for the Jets, outside of special teams, is the team’s offensive line unit, according to Cimini.
  • Cimini points out that three of their five starters will be over 30 years old at the start of the season and this includes LT Ryan Clady, who’s coming off of a major knee injury.
  • According to Cimini, the Jets could mitigate their offensive line issues by simply re-signing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has a quick release.
  • The one area where the O-line could struggle in 2016 could be in the run-blocking department, writes Cimini.
  • If the Jets are looking for a No. 3 weapon in the passing game, Cimini specifically mentions Bilal Powell or Quincy Enunwa as two players worth keeping an eye on.

Packers 

Green Bay President and CEO Mike Murphy said he believes it is time for the NFL to reconsider preseason games, as they are one aspect of the NFL that is not “first class.”

“I think one thing we can all agree on is the quality of play in the preseason is not good. ” Murphy said via ESPN. “And players don’t need game time, they don’t need preseason games to get ready for the season. Certainly not four.”

The Packers CEO also said there has been discussions on changing the preseason but no movement. Murphy also acknowledged that any changes would be tied to the next CBA.

One suggested solution includes cutting the preseason and regular season to accommodate the league’s quest for more international games.

“As you look ahead, if we’re going to have more and more international games, something’s got to give at some point. One thought that’s been discussed is to go to 17 and three, and then everybody would have an international game. So nobody would have to give up a home game,” Murphy said. “That’s [one thing] people in the league office [have been] thinking. It’s never been voted on or anything like that.”  

Patriots

  • New England’s top selection in the 2016 draft, CB Cyrus Jones, should compete for immediate playing time on defense as a nickleback, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Reiss writes that the Patriots had some players graded similarly in the draft, but Jones’ value as a returner swayed the decision in his favor.
  • Other corners competing for roles with the Patriots are second year players Justin Coleman,Darryl Roberts, E.J. Biggers, Jonathan Jones, Cre’Von LeBlanc, and V’Angelo Bentley.
  • As for defensive end, the Patriots projected starters are Rob Ninkovich and Jabaal Sheard, according to Reiss. Free agent Chris Long and Shea McClellin have also seen repetitions in spring workouts. The Patriots writer expects New England to use their defensive ends as interior rushers in obvious passing situations, which should add scheme layers for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on a weekly basis.
  • Young players at defensive end like Geneo Grissom, Trey Flowers, and Rufus Johnson have all flashed promise but lack experience, according to Reiss. The Patriots’ primary question at end remains what they have in these younger players.

Steelers

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says K Chris Boswell has a clear path towards building on last season’s excellent year with Pittsburgh, after the team released Shaun Suisham.
  • Boswell learned soccer as a kid and it helps him with placing the football where he wants now, according to Fowler. Boswell gave up soccer in high school when he got a football scholarship to Rice.