Reaching into the New York Jets mailbag on a couple of hot-button issues ...
@RichCimini Assume for the moment that Hack is right & Jets should have coached up his throwing motion. Isn't it legit to question @nyjets saying they won't mess with Darnold's 'hitchy' mechanics? Seems oddly missing with Bates' reported obsession with footwork. #jetsmail— Rob Feinstein (@RobFeinstein) May 25, 2018
@RichCimini: Fair question, Rob. Allow me to make a couple of points.
You're right, the Jets say they're cool with Sam Darnold's quirky throwing motion -- an elongated delivery in which he lowers the ball as he brings it back. The difference between Darnold and Christian Hackenberg is that Darnold was a highly successful passer in college while Hackenberg was inconsistent, so I can understand why the Jets are in the "if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it" mode with Darnold.
I agree with that approach. It's hard enough for a rookie quarterback to make a transition to the NFL, so the last thing he needs is to worry about overhauling his motion. It would be like a PGA Tour rookie trying a new swing after just qualifying.
Quarterback experts have told me it takes at least 8,000 reps to alter muscle memory, and Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates evidently didn't think there was enough time for Hackenberg to get it done in one offseason. And let's be honest: The Jets knew Hackenberg had no future with the team, so they probably were hesitant to invest the time. I'm sure they'll be more receptive if Darnold wants to do the same thing next offseason.
From Ian Damon on Twitter: Is there a reason Buster is taking reps at No. 2 CB spot? Won't he play in the slot this season? #jetsmail
@RichCimini: You're right, Ian. Buster Skrine was working with the starting base defense, opposite Trumaine Johnson, in the first practice (open to the media). I was a little surprised, but if you recall, coach Todd Bowles hasn't anointed Morris Claiborne as the No. 2 cornerback. He has always painted it as a competition between Claiborne and Skrine. I think many observers, myself included, assumed it would be Claiborne and Johnson. So far, there appears to be legitimate competition. It wasn't just lip service from the coach.
It's way too early to draw any conclusions, but it's safe to say Skrine and Claiborne will be heavily involved. In the nickel, Skrine can slide inside to the slot, with Claiborne joining Johnson on the outside. I know fans aren't thrilled with Skrine, but he has a big fan in Bowles, whose opinion matters most.
It's a good time to discuss "Ring of Honor" candidates. I think Marvin Powell & Joe Fields need to be inducted before Nick & Brick. Is it possible to start a campaign to educate the fanbase about these 2 multiple Pro-Bowlers? #Jetsmail— Kenneth Kaplan (@drkenkaplan) May 25, 2018
@RichCimini: You're preaching to the choir on this one, Ken, especially when it comes to Marvin Powell. Only four players in franchise history have been first-team All-Pro in at least three seasons: Larry Grantham (fives times in the AFL), Mark Gastineau (three), Darrelle Revis (three) and Powell (three). There's no doubt Powell belongs in the Ring.
From what I understand, Powell, living in Tampa, Florida, has lost touch with the team, but that's no reason to keep him out of the Ring. The Jets inducted Matt Snell, didn't they? Snell is so ticked off at the team (for reasons unknown) that he didn't show up for the ceremony.
So, yes, Powell belongs. Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson will be there some day, but why rush it?