The 2012 season will be crucial in more ways than one for the New York Jets. It could possibly determine how well the team will be for the next few years. With the stakes getting higher, some players will need to have great seasons.
One player who needs a big year for the New York Jets is Mark Sanchez. That is a no-brainer. With a new offensive coordinator in Tony Sparano, the world will get to see what Sanchez is really made of. Many believe that former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer had a lot to do with Sanchez's struggles in his first three seasons. Now is the time to see who gets the finger pointed at them. If he has a bad year in 2012, it could very well be the end of the Sanchez era in New York and maybe even send his career downhill. He will need a big season to prove he is the franchise quarterback and can lead the team in the right direction for years to come.
Shonn Greene will also have to turn it up a notch. While he has done a fair share in his time wearing green and white, some do not buy him as a legitimate number one halfback. The Jets have drafted a halfback four years in a row and have even tried to make moves for other veterans at the position. Greene must feel like his job has always been on the line. If he can have a great year and prove he can carry a great amount of the team's running and show he is athletic enough to be their guy at halfback, then he will turn some doubters into believers.
There is no denying that 2011 was a bad year for Wayne Hunter. He took a lot of blame for the Jets' offensive issues last season. Hunter obviously does not want a repeat of 2011. The two keys to success for Hunter in 2012 will be alertness and mobility. Hunter looked confused with his assignments and could not keep up with the defenders he was assigned to block. Something interesting that he said in an interview on SNY's Jets Nation was that he feels he needs to get out of being in "tight end mode," being on the field for a few plays at a time. This obviously had to be a big part of all the issues Hunter had last season.
It seems unfair to throw a rookie into this discussion, but Quinton Coples needs to have a big year. Even though he has looked great in practices so far, he carries the fear of Jets fans everywhere of being the second coming of Vernon Gholston. Coples does not have to have a 15-sack season in 2012, but he will need to put up some more than respectable rookie numbers and make big plays in big situations whenever he can. Even though it is only one season, Coples will need to silence the critics right away.
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