Same old story for Jets: Defense shines, offense lags behind

Minicamp: Done.

Organized team activities: Done.

Basically, the New York Jets' offseason is over, which means this is the perfect time to throw out a few opinions and observations, based on what these eyes witnessed over the past few weeks. A few things to keep in mind: They were non-contact practices ("touch football," as Todd Bowles likes to say), so let's keep things in perspective. Also, the entire spring was devoted to installing new offensive and defensive systems, which put the emphasis on teaching and learning.

Got it? OK, here goes:

1. Big picture: The defense looked terrific, hardly a surprise. The offense has a long way to go. I could've cut-and-pasted that evaluation from the previous six offseasons.

2. Same old Geno: Geno Smith was inconsistent. That's not just my opinion; Bowles said the same thing. I find it interesting that teammates and coaches praise Smith for his "arm talent" and his ability to "spin it," but you don't hear much about his intangibles. It'll be fascinating to see how he adapts to Chan Gailey's offense when the pads go on. His spread system is predicated on the quarterback getting the ball out quickly, meaning a lot of three-step drops and fast decisions. In open formations, the Jets will get blitzed, so reading the blitz and finding the "hot" receiver are imperative. The knock on Smith is that he doesn't see things fast enough. This will be his greatest challenge. Nevertheless, he'll probably be the opening-day quarterback. The new regime will give him a chance to show, once and for all, he can (or can't) do the job.

3. In the bullpen: Ryan Fitzpatrick, who began the offseason with questions about whether he'd be able to practice before training camp because of a broken leg, wound up getting a fair number of team reps in what amounted to rust-removing practices. That should help him get off to a quicker start in training camp. Clearly, he doesn't have Smith's arm strength. Fitzpatrick relies on smarts, timing and anticipation, throwing to the right place at the right time. Gailey knows exactly what he has in Fitzpatrick, a game-manager who still has the ability to escape the pocket. I heard a lot of positive feedback on how much he helped Smith and the other quarterbacks in the meeting room. His knowledge of Gailey's system is one of the reasons they traded for him.

4. A legit No. 1: The Jets haven't had a legitimate No. 1 receiver since 2010, when Santonio Holmes was healthy and focused. Brandon Marshall changes that. Recovered from last season's injuries, which caused his numbers to drop with the Chicago Bears, Marshall looked terrific. Because of his catching radius, he'll be a big help to Smith, not known for his pinpoint accuracy. The question with Marshall is whether he'll stay in the game mentally when he doesn't get his 10 targets per game; it will be tough to reach that number under the defensive-minded Bowles, who wants a balanced offense.

5. Spread the news: Without pads, the 12 practices (three minicamp, nine OTA) amounted to one long passing camp. That allowed Gailey to install his spread concepts in the passing game. It was beneficial to Smith, who had some familiarity with the scheme because he played in a spread at West Virginia. It also helped with the transition for rookie Bryce Petty, who came from a pure spread system at Baylor.

6. Idzik's parting "gift": In two years as the general manager, John Idzik drafted four guards -- Oday Aboushi, William Campbell (gone), Dakota Dozier and Brian Winters. At least one of these guys should be able to play, right? Honestly, I don't know. The right-guard position is there for the taking, and what we saw throughout the spring was a rotation that included Aboushi, Winters and Brent Qvale, an undrafted player who spent last season on the practice squad. The incumbent, Willie Colon, spent a lot of time on the sideline, dealing with residual soreness from an old knee injury. Unless the Jets sign free agent Evan Mathis, cut by the Philadelphia Eagles (I'd be surprised if they do), Colon probably will go into camp as the starter, but you get the impression this job won't be decided until late in the preseason.

7. Ivory tower: Chris Ivory got a ton of work. Dude was all over the place, lining up everywhere in the formation. A couple of reasons: I think the new coaching staff wanted to see if Ivory, a between-the-tackles guy, has the ability to play in space, splitting out as a receiver. (Takeaway: He's not a natural pass-catcher, but we already knew that.) There also was a shortage of backs in camp. Stevan Ridley, coming off knee surgery, still hasn't been cleared for team drills. (Don't be surprised if he begins training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list.) Zac Stacy, acquired in a draft-day trade, was a late arrival.

8. A foundation on defense: While everyone was gushing about the talent on defense (everyone from players to media types), Bowles said the most encouraging development was how the players grasped the on-field communication. That's important because so much of the game involves pre-snap adjustments. All the talent in the world doesn't mean anything if the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

9. Spring stars: A few unheralded players who stood out over the past few weeks -- cornerbacks Marcus Williams and Darrin Walls, wide receivers Shaquelle Evans and Chris Owusu, safety Rontez Miles, defensive end Leger Douzable, running back Daryl Richardson and linebacker IK Enemkpali.

10. On the flip side ...: It's unfair to rip a guy for a poor offseason performance, but there were a few players that left you wanting to see more. In some cases, they were limited by injuries. Others didn't jump out as much as you would've liked. My list: Tight end Jace Amaro (for both reasons), rookie wide receiver Devin Smith (excused from minicamp), Aboushi, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa and running back Bilal Powell.