5th Greatest Weakness: Special Teams
Ever since the great Mike Westhoff rode into the sunset of retirement after the 2012 season, the New York Jets special teams has been in special need of improvement.
No longer was Brad Smith breaking off epic kick returns in Week 17 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Jets have been void of return men in both the punt and kick varieties. Jeremy Kerley was sure-handed in fielding punts, but his top-end speed shouldn’t allow him to be anything other than a No. 2 returner used in those seldom, critical situations when the catch is a must.
Right now on paper, Eric Decker is the punt returner and Kenbrell Thompkins is the kick returner. This simply won’t fly. They’ll need a Jalin Marshall, Charone Peake or Devin Smith to emerge from the pack to provide a spark back there.
Nick Folk has been one of the better kickers in the league over the last few seasons, but the punting situation is a different story.
The Jets are hoping seventh-round selection Lachlan Edwards can be their guy for a long time to come.
Even coverage has been sub-par since Westhoff’s departure. A lot of his is directly due to the poor depth John Idzik provided across the depth chart, but a lot of these woes came down to coaching.
As Bill Parcells used to say, “don’t ever take the foot out of football.” Special teams are critical and the Jets need to make sure it’s straightened out in 2016.