Feature Image: Associated Press
Let me preface today’s piece, by giving a tip of the hat (and ‘wag of the finger’, for Colbert fans) to the United States Men’s National [Soccer] Team, for their efforts today and throughout the 2014 World Cup.
In the end, their hearts and spirits were respected by World Cup fans around the globe, yet they were inevitably eliminated by a dark horse Belgium team.
It’s this type of sticktoitiveness — as a former Business professor of mine likes to use — that can propel a team with less talent past a superior competitor. Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan has seemed to instill this same mentality in his players. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll reap the benefits, as fans.
The time from now until training camp can be filled with a mix of vacations and training regiments for players and personnel, but for hardcore NFL fans it’s more of a time filled with vodka and despair.
We’ll be counting down to the July 23rd, report-to-Cortland date, by featuring current players with roster numbers that correspond with the number of days left. For days without a corresponding player, we’ll be featuring other players and maybe some surprises.
22 Days = #22 Johnny Patrick
Cornerback Johnny Patrick was acquired off waivers, by way of the San Diego Chargers, on March 5. Patrick originally came into the NFL via the 2011 draft: a third-round selection of the New Orleans Saints. He played his college ball at Louisville.
Patrick played in 24 games with the Saints, through 2012, starting in one. As he would later be used by the Chargers, Patrick was primarily featured in the nickel and slot. Statistically, Patrick’s impact on New Orleans’ defense was minimal, and he would be cut in February of 2013.
Seeing potential, the Chargers signed him just one day after his release.
With San Diego, Patrick began to come into his own — playing in 13 games and starting in three. This previous season, the corner added an interception, forced fumble, and even 1.5 sacks, to his resume.
We never pretend to know 100% about players on other rosters, so it’s usually best to get an outsider’s perspective in these scenarios. Here’s what BoltsFromTheBlue.com, a San Diego Chargers fan site, had to say regarding Patrick and his release.
In a secondary without many bright spots in 2014, Johnny Patrick stood out as the team’s best cornerback at times. He ended up on the field for 484 snaps in 2013 and started in 3 games before finishing the season on IR.
They go onto add that Patrick’s release wasn’t really a cap-saving move, with a minimal cap number on one-year remaining on Patrick’s contract. Instead, the writer suggests that the move is more about San Diego remaking their secondary. San Diego drafted TCU CB Jason Verrett in the first round of this year’s draft, so that makes sense.
What does the future hold?
Patrick has a more than reasonable chance to make the 53-man roster out of camp, as the Jets currently have more questions than answers at the cornerback position.
Having played in multiple CB positions, Patrick adds versatility, something that is extremely necessary in a Rex Ryan defense. His biggest opponent may come in a player like Ras-I Dowling, a former second rounder of the Patriots, whose injury issues may cloud natural ability.
At 25, Patrick may not have yet reached his peak, so it’ll definitely be interesting to watch his development in Cortland.
For those that missed it, the training camp schedule has been released. Click Here for more.