Cole Patterson continues his New York Jets Therapy Session series. Make sure to check for these every Thursday and to give him a follow on Twitter.
Diagnosis: Call in the Center for Disease Control. Don your HazMat suit. Stock up on the Stickum antiviral. The highly contagious scourge that is the “Dropsies” has infected the New York Jets. With a minimal incubation period, this contagion has spread like wild fire through the Jets receiving corps with dire effects.
CATCHING WITH YOUR CHEST (like a pop warner fullback)
Stat lines like this: 15/35, for 214 yds, 0 TDs, 3 INTs
Literally, ZERO yards after the catch
A “Bunch” being used to quantify the number of drops (“I don’t know how many balls we dropped today, but it was a bunch” – Rex Ryan)
Sunshine and Fresh Air: I’ll start with the obvious. Much as the dropsies displayed by the receivers hurt quarterback Geno Smith, the weather sure didn’t help the dropsies. Rain dramatically worsens the symptoms of the Dropsies Virus, its a known medical fact. The ball comes out of the quarterback’s hands with less zip and accuracy (impacting the ball’s trajectory) and the receivers’ drenched hands cannot get a good grip on the poorly thrown, slippery ovular, duck. With that said, Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates don’t have the best pass catching ability to begin with…
Coaching and the Jugs Machine: When Stephen Hill was drafted in the second round, the organization was well aware that he was a project. He had all the athletic ability in the world but was a stiff route runner and an unnatural pass catcher. Clyde Gates is a similar case with more exaggerated flaws. This was a concern going into the offseason, considering these two wide outs were expected to be major parts of the passing game. However, both displayed improved route running and receiving abilities in training camp and preseason. Hope for this receiving corps was at an all time high. Yet, the progress displayed by Hill and Gates has failed to translate to the regular season. They are failing to attack or high point the ball. They are catching with their chest. They are not following the ball with their eyes through the catch. Their flaws are symptoms of the dropsies, lapses in concentration, poor coaching, and poor retention. Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal needs to take these boys out, fire up the Jugs Machine to max velocity, and have them attack the football with their HANDS until the cows come home.
The mistakes these receivers are making are rookie, no, pee wee football mistakes. A lot of catching ability is natural and built into a players’ DNA. Still, if Hill and Gates can’t move past these mental lapses and learn the proper mechanics to catching a football, the Jets may be looking at a complete overhaul of the position next season…not a very beneficial situation for a young quarterback.