Kristian Dyer is a New York sports columnist who covers the Jets for Metro New York newspaper. He also contributes Yahoo. We had the chance to ask some questions about the Jets hiring, the offseason, and his work.
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.
NBJ: Is Revis a Real Possibility for the Jets?
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.
Shaq Evans was a fourth round pick out of UCLA for the Jets in last year's draft. Evans was having a great camp until a shoulder injury forced him on IR for his entire rookie season. We had the chance to ask Shaq a few questions on his rehab, on the Jets, and on his game.
NBJ: How has your rehab been coming from your shoulder injury? And, did you learn anything about yourself or did you take anything away from the team as you watched from the sidelines?
Shaq Evans: My rehab has been great. I am progressing very well and I'm back to lifting and I'm in the latter stages of my rehab that I'm finishing at my Alma mater [UCLA]. What I learned about myself is how much I love being on a team and playing football. I missed it so much this year. Not saying I didn't before. but missing this season made me miss it that much more and made me hungry and anxious.
NBJ: What are your expectations for next season for yourself?
Shaq Evans: My expectations for myself next season is to simply compete. I want to make a name for myself because I don't want Jets fans to think I'm a waste. I have a lot to offer and I want badly to show fans what I can do when I'm healthy and comfortable. Last year I was a bit behind because of the rules with the quarter system at my school. I can't wait to get back on the field.
NBJ: Your best years with UCLA were with quarterback Brett Hundley, how do you think his game will translate to the NFL?
Shaq Evans: I think Brett Hundley's game will translate well in today's NFL. He's good at running the read option which is becoming big in the NFL. He's smart, tough, and durable. He was sacked the most of any QB in college and he never missed a game. I just think he needs to work on reading the field better and be a bit more accurate downfield.
NBJ: How would you describe your game? Are you a guy who thrives in the slot or do you see yourself on the outside?
Shaq Evans: I would describe myself as a smart, tough, and trustworthy playmaker. I can make plays and tough catches when you need it. I love pressure moments, I thrive off of them. If it's fourth down I want the ball. I'm comfortable anywhere. I can play slot or outside, I'm comfortable at both (I like the outside a bit more lol).
NBJ: What do you think of the Jets hiring of Todd Bowles?
Shaq Evans: I think Todd Bowles was a great hire. I feel like we just needed a fresh start. He seems like a guy that can take control of an organization and instill the right values of winning, being a good teammate, and working hard. Can't wait to meet him and learn a bit more about him. Seems like a good dude from what little I've seen so far. And we definitely won't skip a beat on defense with him.
NBJ: Five years from now, what will Jets fans think of when they think of Shaq Evans?
Shaq Evans: Five years from now Jets fans will think of me as as guy that fought through adversity and gave them what they expected. Hopefully I will be a Pro Bowler.
NBJ: Earlier this offseason, you said the Jets will be a "surprise team in 2014", why do you believe that?
Marvin Jones: I believe that because the Jets have the making of a great team in 2014. I think having #7 go through as much as he did at this age is a huge learning curve for him. Last year the Jets faced every possible bad situation and they just have to learn from that. You know Rex is going to be at his best because he knows if they miss (the playoffs) this year he's probably going to be unemployed.
NBJ: Would you say there is any current player that plays the most like you did?
Marvin Jones: The game is so much different then when I played in the traditional, no guessing football. I don't believe there is what you would call a true middle linebacker anymore. These guys are more like hybrids.
NBJ: What was your favorite moment as a Jet?
Marvin Jones: I would say the day I got drafted to a team with lots of love and tradition. Being a part of a franchise with greats like Broadway Joe, Boozer, #99 (Gastineau), and Klecko was quite an honor.
NBJ: Who was the best player you ever played with, either at Florida State or with the Jets?
Marvin Jones: At Florida State it was Derrick Brooks. He was an awesome player who will be enshrined in the hall of fame this year. The Jets hand down was Mo (Lewis). He missed maybe five games in his career and was just a hitter, runner, and has unbelievable strength. Playing aside him for 11 years was quite a treat.
NBJ: Would you ever be interested in coaching?
Marvin Jones: I tested the water for three years as an assistant for high school in the Fort Meyers area. I would love the chance to get into a situation.
The Jets claimed cornerback Johnny Patrick off of waivers from the San Diego Chargers. Patrick was a third round pick of New Orleans in 2011 out of Louisville. After spending his first two seasons with the Saints, Patrick went to San Diego where he had a good 2013 until it was cut short by injuries. He played in 13 games, recording 38 tackles, an interception, and 1.5 sacks. We are thankful to have had a chance to ask Patrick some questions on his move to New York.
NBJ: Describe yourself as a corner to those in Jets nation who don't know much about you.
Patrick: Well I am physical, also love to blitz. I played more inside as a nickel since I have been in the NFL but also have played corner outside, also have really good quickness.
NBJ: Recently DL Michael Sam came out as gay. Do you think the NFL is ready for an openly gay player?
Patrick: I have no comment honestly on Michael Sam don't know much about him as a person, but I do know he is a great football player.
NBJ: You played at Louisville with current Jet, Bilal Powell. Is there anyone else on the team you have a relationship with?
Patrick: Powell is a very good friend of mine we are very close and have always kept in contact. Also in New Orleans was great friends with Chris Ivory, always kept in touch.
NBJ: Where can you improve on the football field?
Patrick: I think I can improve with my awareness on the football field. I am still young, I just believe that comes with reps and being in a consistent system.
NBJ: Is there any current NFL player you model your game after?
Patrick: I do not see myself as any other player, trying to make my own name. Growing up Deion Saunders was my idol.
NBJ: How are you feeling health-wise?
NBJ: What have you heard about Jets head coach Rex Ryan?
Patrick: I have heard Rex gets the best out of players, players coach and loves the game. I did get a chance to meet him before the draft and he was great guy and funny.
NBJ: Where do you see yourself at the end of the 2014 NFL season?
Patrick: Hoping to see myself still as a Jet. Would love to be in a consistent place and go from there. I know I have a lot of football left in me. Have been some bumps in the road for me, but just keeping my faith.
Tommy Bohanon was the 7th round pick for the Jets a few days ago out of Wake Forest. The fullback recorded 23 catches, 5 receiving touchdowns, and over 200 yards receiving this season. A lot of people think he will be a good fit in Marty Mornhinweg's offense. Check out Tommy on twitter, @TommyBo42.
Question #1: When You Got the call from the Jets, what was your initial reaction?
Tommy: Honestly I cannot really describe it. This is something I have worked my for, and it was one of the best feelings I have ever felt.
Question #2: Were the Jets the most interested team during the draft process?
Tommy: They were definitely one of the more interested teams. They always showed interest in me.
Question #3: Are you a more physical blocking fullback or a receiver like?
Tommy: I believe that I am a versatile fullback as I can block and be physical, but can also catch the ball and do other things well out of the backfield.
Question #4: Has rex Ryan told you that you will be competing for a starting job?
Tommy: We have not really gotten into that sort of thing, but I believe the plan is for me to come and compete and work with the special teams as well.
Question #5: Five years from now, What will jets fans be saying about the Tommy Bohanon Pick?
Tommy: I want them to say I was a great pick not only as a football player, but as a person in the community. I have set very high goals for myself and will do whatever it takes to achieve them.