It's that time again - time to see what's happening Around the AFC East. You all know the drill - we ask, they answer, we quietly mock. Let's start this week's session off with the New York Jets.
Buffalo Rumblings: Let's talk about the Jets' linebackers. The team added a ton of players to the rotation there, including draft pick David Harris. What will the starting lineup look like this season? How will they work Harris into the rotation if he doesn't start?
Jetfighter, NY Landing Strip: The starting lineup of linebackers is going to be quite the mystery. When your team signs 10 different LB'ers you know they are going to be revolving quite a bit. Mangini loves mystery so it will never really be clear cut what the lineup will be. He might even purposely keep changing the starting lineup to confuse the O coordinator as to what weakness to go after because it is revolving so much.
In my eyes the "starting lineup" will look a little something like this. Look for LOLB to be Bryan Thomas. He is a prototypical end that can stuff the run as well as attack the QB. For LILB it is going to be a toss up between Victor Hobson and rookie David Harris, but unless Hobson plays bad, look for Hobson to be a lock as initial LILB. As for RILB, I am putting my money on Matty I's newly acquired David Bowens. Yes I know Eric Barton played well, but he is getting older and Mangini hates those boneheaded Raider-esque hits that cause penalties. As for ROLB expect to see fan favorite Jonathan Vilma playing. He struggled learning the new 3-4, but with the cloggers of Bowens and Hobson/Harris, it should free him up to do what he is supposed to do...be a predator!
Wow. Quite the transition going on over in Jet land - and it doesn't sound quite as rosy as Jets fans would like you to believe. David Bowens as a starting inside linebacker? David Bowens - the former Bills castoff as a defensive end? Sounds like the Jets should have signed 15 linebackers - then maybe they wouldn't be starting a former defensive end at inside linebacker. David Bowens is no Tedy Bruschi (well, who is?!) or Mike Vrabel. Harris better start right away as a rookie or the Jets are in big trouble.
We'll be back later today with the usual Pats installment and the return of Matty I to the festivities.