NBJ: What Were Your Takeaway's From the Bowles and Maccagnan Press-Conference? Do you like the hirings?
Kristian Dyer: Both are football guys, you can hear that in their voices, in how they approach things. It is a no-nonsense sort of mentality and a bit of a change from Rex Ryan, who seemed to be part entertainer at times. In Mike Maccagnan, we didn't hear or learn much as he plays things close to the vest. But what stuck out is that he said the team will build through the draft and free agency. John Izdik made the "lifeline" mention about the draft two years ago and after two bad drafts, that doomed him. Sounds like Maccagnan won't be afraid to spend when and where need be. What stuck out about Todd Bowles is that even though he's a first-year head coach, he isn't afraid to bring on board experience for his assistants. That's going to help his transition.
NBJ: What Type of Approach Do You See Maccagnan Taking in Free Agency? And What position should be at the top of his list to improve?
Kristian Dyer: He will be thoughtful but he'll have to spread the money around so I'm not sure he lands more than one or two big fish in addition to re-signing Mo Wilkerson. Of course, cornerback is the pressing issue and I'd fully expect a return to New York for Antonio Comartie to be in play. I also think they need some help on the interior of the offensive line and at linebacker.
NBJ: Marcus Mariota is sitting at six, do you think the Jets would pull the trigger?
Kristian Dyer: I hope not. Mariota has potential for sure but if he's sitting there at six, you package a deal to the Philadelphia Eagles and move back in the draft and get multiple picks. Perhaps in that scenario, Nick Foles becomes available. That would be an interesting scenario. I don't like any quarterback in the first round. Mariota needs time to grow and a specific system. Jameis Winston is a walking red flag. There are some interesting names to watch later in the draft. Bryce Petty from Baylor could be a nice mid-round pick that you let develop for a year or two. Garrett Grayson from Colorado State could be a nice pick to develop under Chan Gailey.
NBJ: We have been having a debate over Bowles possibly going back to naming captains for the Jets. If the Jets had captains next season, in your mind who should they be?
Kristian Dyer: Great question and I'm glad I don't have to make this selection. I will just limit this to three players, one on offense and then of course defense and special teams. For me on offense, the leader is Nick Mangold. He's quiet, not a rah-rah guy but leadership comes in all shapes and sizes and Mangold can speak with a quiet authority as a top player who does things the right way. On defense, there will surely be additions that come in and bring leadership, but I think you need a Jet in there. If Dawan Landry returns, I really like his style and temperament. If not, then you look at Demario Davis as being that young, vocal leader who provides some balance to Mangold. The special teams captain would be Nick Folk. How he isn't a Pro Bowl kicker given his form, consistency and the tough kicking conditions he plays in is beyond me. He isn't a vocal, rah-rah type but leads by example.
Kristian Dyer: I think New England has given Revis a little religion. He is winning now and they love him. Not sure he can be pried away. But if your Woody Johnson, would you want that? This guy has held-out twice, been traded once, forced his way out of a team after that and then went to your divisional rival. He's still good, but how many more years of greatness does he have? I'd be hesitant here.
NBJ: Since what year have you covered the Jets, and who has been the guy you have enjoyed covering the most?
Kristian Dyer: I started covering the team in 2008 and took over the beat at Metro New York a year later. I've got the grey hairs to prove it. There are some interesting personalities every year, although this past year the locker room seemed a bit dull in terms of personality. I've enjoyed talking to Ellis Lankster, for example, about how he overcame stuttering to piece together a solid NFL career. Jamaal Westerman, who I covered at Rutgers, has one of the best personalities you'll find and is borderline brilliant in my opinion. One of the my favorite conversations was with D'Brickashaw Ferguson a few years back, after he visited the White House with Mark Sanchez. Hearing him talking about his interest in politics and seeing how excited he got was great. I admit to an affinity for the undrafted guys, the guys who are longshots. There's Lanier Coleman, who was a trainer at his alma mater when he decided to give the NFL another shot. Or Mason Robinson, who endured multiple injuries and position changes in college. Those are the guys you root for.