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Mailbag: Opening day, then and now

Our weekly Twitter mailbag is back and, unlike Dimitri Patterson, it was an excused absence. Let's get to the questions:

@RichCimini: Excellent question to start the season. I'm going to pick Kyle Wilson, and here's why: With the cornerback situation in shambles, the Jets must be able to rely on their most experienced corner to do a credible job in the slot. I know, I know, he's not a favorite among fans, but you could do worse than Wilson at that all-important position. They will face a lot of spread offenses in the coming weeks, opponents with good slot receivers. It starts next week with Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers, and the following week it will be old buddy Santonio Holmes of the Chicago Bears. If Wilson can handle his business in the slot, it will give the rest of the secondary a fighting chance. It's his fifth season, a contract year; it's time to step up and take charge.

@RichCimini: Well, if you ask Mark Schlereth, the Jets don't even have a No. 1 receiver, but that's a story for another day. I think you'll see a receiver-by-committee approach, with Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson seeing the most action. I think you're selling Nelson short. He's a reliable receiver with a large catching radius because of his 6-foot-5 frame and long arms. He's ideal in a West Coast offense because he can make plays in traffic. They don't have a true vertical threat (Stephen Hill and Jacoby Ford didn't pan out), but at least they have guys who can catch the ball. It will be up to Marty Mornhinweg to scheme it up, trying to exploit different matchups. You'll also see rookie tight end Jace Amaro involved, flexed in the slot when they go to a four-wide look.

@RichCimini: I'd be surprised if he takes that route this week. Facing a rookie quarterback, Derek Carr, Ryan will call a very aggressive game, I believe, leaving the corners in man-to-man against the Oakland Raiders' pedestrian wide receivers. With all the new faces in the secondary, I think he needs to keep it simple, which should help with communication. Obviously, it's a different animal in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers. In that game, yes, I could see him protecting his corners with a two-deep safety look. He'd rather not do it that way, but he might not have a choice. I think there's a chance Dee Milliner could return next week, but it will take weeks before he's comfortable.

@RichCimini: I don't think Woody Johnson is stuck on a specific win total, and I'm pretty sure John Idzik feels the same way. It's all about progress, making sure the franchise is headed in the right direction. Obviously, a losing season would make it hard for Ryan to keep his job; it would be difficult to spin 7-9 (or worse) into a positive. That said, I don't think it's playoffs-or-bust. Again, it's all about the direction of the arrow. If it's pointed up, Ryan will be back.

@RichCimini: This will be my 26th opener, and I have so many favorite memories. I'd say the most emotional was 2011, the Jets playing the Dallas Cowboys on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Great game, too. The most exciting finish was 2002, when Chad Morton returned the overtime kickoff to beat the Buffalo Bills -- his second TD of the day. On the flip side, there was Garrison Hearst's 96-yard touchdown run in overtime in 1998, when the Jets lost to the San Francisco 49ers. Man, was Bill Parcells furious after that game. The previous year, they opened the Parcells era with a 41-3 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, and I'll never forget the reaction after the game. For the holdovers from the 1-15 team, it was the first tangible proof that hope had indeed arrived. They weren't a laughingstock anymore. In 1993, friend and former player Dennis Byrd walked into a halftime ceremony that honored him, and that was amazing. The most impactful opener, no doubt, was when Vinny Testaverde tore his Achilles' tendon in 1999. At his postgame interview, Keyshawn Johnson was so angry that he slammed the podium with his fist. Sorry, Big Ed, I couldn't pick just one.