Biggest Summer Questions for AFC East Offenses

The New York Jets need to find stability from either Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith at the quarterback position this season. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

New York Jets

Will the Jets turn to Mark Sanchez again at quarterback?

Last season was a disastrous year for Mark Sanchez. 2012 saw him complete only 54 percent of his passes, fumble the ball nine times and compile a 13-18 TD-INT ratio for a 66.9 quarterback rating. He has been turnover prone and unable to seize control of the Jets since his second season, so they have brought in serious competition this season in the form of rookie second-round pick Geno Smith.

Despite a recent report from the New York Post that Nick Mangold and other Jets players want Sanchez to win the spot, the team cannot survive another year of unguided play from their quarterback. Sanchez needs to prove that he can handle the pressure or the Jets will have to turn to Smith, who himself is a raw and inconsistent talent.

Can the Jets get out of their own way?

Let’s be honest, the biggest concern within the Jets organization is simply if they can have a circus-free season. After the Tim Tebow mess that clouded the Jets clubhouse last season, the team released the former Florida standout in hopes of bringing more calm to the organization. However, the media circus still seems to find the Jets with Sanchez constantly under the microscope and head coach Rex Ryan never being afraid to speak his mind, which often leads to unnecessary attention on the team.

They have already had a pitfall this offseason after newly signed running back Mike Goodson was arrested this offseason on drugs and weapon charges. The Jets have been unable to handle media pressure before. If it stays on them again, can they survive?

Buffalo Bills

Who will win the Bills quarterback competition?

I didn’t write about the Bills quarterback situation last week because it’s the most discussed story around camp but that same reason is why I have to discuss it here. The Bills haven’t been able to find a consistent quarterback since Jim Kelly retired. The Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment failed miserably, and the Bills are looking to start the Doug Marrone era with their best foot forward. That either means veteran Kevin Kolb or rookie EJ Manuel will be this year’s starting quarterback.

Manuel was drafted with the No. 16 overall pick because of his tools and physical upside, but it was always known that he was more of a project than a finished product. However, Kolb did not reach the potential over the past two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals that people saw when he was an understudy in Philadelphia at the beginning of his career.

If Kolb can’t hold down the starting job, and Manuel is thrust into action before he’s ready, it could spell trouble for the 2013 Bills and Manuel’s long-term development.

Can C.J. Spiller make the leap to franchise star?

After fans complained about the way Spiller was used by former coach Chan Gailey, head coach Doug Marrone indicated that Spiller “will not be pulled from games in short-yardage, third-down or red-zone situations because of size or skill set,” according to the Buffalo News. There will be no more instances of Spiller being removed at the goal line, or rushing for fewer than ten times a game. Spiller will be on the field often and in all different types of formations for Marrone’s offense.

The consequence of the extra workload is the added responsibility that will be placed on Spiller’s shoulders. He will now be the focal point of the Bills’ offensive attack, and defenses will be gearing up to stop him. If he can prove to be as effective in a large role, the Bills’ offense could be something very special. If he proves to be just a change-of-pace threat, the Bills will have to revamp their offensive plans very quickly.

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Tags: Aaron Dobson, Aaron Hernandez, AFC East, C.J. Spiller, Donald Jones, EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Jonathan Martin, Kevin Kolb, Lamar Miller, Mark Sanchez, Mike Goodson, Questions, Rob Gronkowski, Training Camp

2 Responses to “Biggest Summer Questions for AFC East Offenses”

  1. Glenn Gifford says:

    Nice read Eric! Any bubble players on these teams that could get cut and land in Buffalo?

  2. Ryan Talbot says:

    Agree with Glenn’s thoughts. Very good read Eric.

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