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New York Jets: 2013 team needs

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N.Y. JETS / 2013 TEAM NEEDS

OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK

Marty Mornhinweg takes over a unit that has been abysmal the past two seasons, especially at quarterback. Rex Ryan wants the offense to be an attacking group like the defense, and Mornhinweg will install his West Coast system. QB is a huge question mark, as are RB, OG and TE because of free agency. The Jets have some talent at wide receiver, especially with Santonio Holmes coming back.

TOP 3 OFFENSIVE NEEDS

ORT — The Jets moved on from Wayne Hunter and decided to hand the right-tackle reins to Austin Howard in 2012. Howard allowed 131⁄2 sacks, according to STATS Inc., and the Jets traded for OT Jason Smith to provide help on the right side in certain formations. It’s the biggest hole on the Jets’ O-line and has been since Damien Woody retired.

QB — Tim Tebow didn’t work, Greg McElroy showed no reason to think he’s the future of the Jets and Mark Sanchez is likely facing his last chance with “Gang Green” after being benched at the end of the season. Rex Ryan knows the Jets need a franchise quarterback, since Sanchez isn’t it, and need to find one to develop, or even challenge for the starting job in 2013.

OG— OLG Matt Slauson took a pay cut prior to the 2012 season and had to defer some snaps to Vladimir Ducasse. Slauson is a free agent, and Ducasse didn’t show enough to give the franchise hope he can hold down the fort. ORG Brandon Moore is also a free agent, and will turn 33 in June. The Jets could start fresh at guard.  

DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK

Dennis Thurman takes over for Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator, but make no mistake, this is still Rex Ryan’s defense. It’s an aggressive unit predicated on having the league’s best cornerback tandem, but it may see a facelift because of salary-cap issues. The Jets will use multiple fronts, and certainly could use an improvement in rushing the passer.

TOP 3 DEFENSIVE NEEDS

LB — Veterans Bart Scott (who would have been due $6.9 million in 2013) and Calvin Pace ($5.81 million with a $2.5 million roster bonus) were cap casualties. Bryan Thomas, who will be 34 in June, is a free agent. The Jets could be looking at three starters to replace. They drafted Demario Davis last year, but don’t have a ton of depth to put around ILB David Harris. Adding an edge-rushing OLB is definitely an option, something the team has been seeking.

DT — Sione Pouha signed a three-year deal last March and, when healthy, is one of the best in the business. But he dealt with back injuries all season long and missed four regular-season games. Pouha also turned 34 in February. His backup, 2011 pick Kenrick Ellis, remains raw and may not be ready to be a starter. Mike DeVito is a free agent.

S — The Jets drafted two safeties last year, Antonio Allen and Josh Bush, but both were late-round picks. LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell are both free agents. Landry is expected to be a top priority, but he could be too expensive for the Jets to re-sign. Bell just turned 35.

2012 DRAFT REWIND

1st round (16): DE Quinton Coples / North Carolina (GP/GS: 16/2)
Skinny: Tied for team lead with nine TFLs, a force down the stretch.

2nd round (43): WR Stephen Hill /Georgia Tech (GP/GS: 11/8)
Skinny: Showed a few flashes, but injuries were an issue.

3rd round (77): LB Demario Davis / Arkansas State (GP/GS: 16/3)
Skinny: Didn’t make a huge impact, but saw plenty of snaps.

6th round (187): FS Josh Bush / Wake Forest (GP/GS: 16/0)
Skinny: Sam some defensive snaps. Mainly a special-teamer.

6th round (202): RB Terrance Ganaway / Baylor (GP/GS: 3/0)
Skinny: Ended up joining the Rams’ roster.

6th round (203): OG Robert T. Griffin / Baylor (GP/GS: 0/0)
Skinny: Landed on the Colts.

7th round (242): SS Antonio Allen / South Carolina (GP/GS: 7/1)
Skinny: Special-teams contributor figures to contribute more in 2013.

7th round (244): WR Jordan White / Western Michigan (GP/GS: 3/0)
Skinny: Slowed by foot injury in training camp. Had one catch.

SUMMARY: Coples was a steady contributor, but there are still questions about Hill, Davis and the safeties.

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