OJT had the opportunity to chat with former-Jet Chanis Stuckey, about his career, and current affairs surrounding Gang Green. Stuckey was selected by the New York Jets in the 7th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Missing the '07 with a broken foot, he played with the team during the '08 and '09 seasons. Stuckey went on to play for Clevland and Arizona, as well as the Toronto Argonauts, of the CFL. Question contributions from the entire OJT staff.
Q: Reflecting on your time with the Jets (and in this case Cleveland), what was it like playing under HC Eric Mangini? What about Rex Ryan? How do the two coaches compare/differ?
A: Eric was very meticulous, something I never really understood until I went to Arizona when things were very different. I learned a lot from Eric about understanding all aspects and situations of the game. Rex bred toughness and accountability. He's a straight shooter, who tells it like it is.
They are polar opposites, as Rex speaks his mind and Eric just says what needs to be said. Eric kept a lot of stuff in-house and dealt with internally. I'm sure the media likes Rex better (jokingly).
Q: What game or moment sticks out to you, from your NFL career—with the Jets or Browns/Cardinals?
A: No brainer—catching my first TD pass from a future Hall-of-Famer, in Brett Favre, against Miami in 2008.
Q: Looking at the youth on the Jets roster, do you believe New York can be successful in the short-term? Also, staying on the topic of youth, how do you see WR Stephen Hill progressing in Year 2?
A: Defensively, yes, they can be successful because of Rex's game-planning and the great in-game decision-making of the coaching staff. Offensively, they just don't have enough on the perimeter to scare defenses into not stacking the box with 8 and 9 guys.
[On Hill], he has to build confidence, coupled with a sense of urgency. He worries me, the way he catches the ball—not attacking and using his hands as much as he should. Especially with the varying time table of when Holmes is going to return. His development needs to be fast forwarded x4.
More after the jump...
Q: After playing with Mark Sanchez in your rookie year, what did you see in him that allowed Mark to be successful? Do you still see that today, and if not— do you think he can get it back?
A: Early on, we were a very veteran heavy team, that Eric Mangini had created. We had players at every position. offensively and defensively, with much depth. Mark was to just manage the game until he was mature enough to control the game. The problem is this: Mark is still in the same mode of managing the game, and, now, they need him to control the game.
One, he doesn't have the guys around him to just manage a game and, two, he has to stop making the same mistakes that he's made last year and the year before.
Q: What about Geno Smith... is he the right choice to lead the Jets and save Rex Ryan's job?
A: This weekend will be all the indication we need for this answer, if he's 100% healthy.
Q: What are your thoughts on Braylon Edwards and he's potential to beat out young, up-and-comers, like Ryan Spadola (or SPEEDola, as fans are calling him), and Zach Rogers?
A: I see Braylon making the roster, regardless of how well those guys do. He is the only hard-working veteran presence they have right now. He gives you enough in the redzone, with his consistent hands to warrant a roster spot. Maybe [there will be] a different tune, midseason, after/if Santonio comes back and the young receivers are more mature.
Q: Who's your dark horse... offense or defense, who's going to give opposing teams nightmares?
A: Before Coples was injured, he was a guy I was seeing have a big season. He was finally back to his natural position, paralleled by playing beside emerging star Muhammad Wilkerson. He was due for big things.
Q: Finally, we know you're a Clemson grad, and having done a Q&A with Tajh Boyd, we wanted to get your thoughts on Boyd and the Tigers' upcoming 2013 season. Can they make the big time?
A: Tahj is poised for a big year. [What's] important, will be the running backs in short yardage, being successful. That will minimize the pounding on Boyd's body, who did a lot of the short yardage work last year. Also, WR Sammy Watkins' season will have a lot to do with their success. Talks out of camp were that he is leaner, more explosive (if possible) and more determined than last year. Defensively, they will have to be better against the run and make teams more one-dimensional, so those pass rushers can have at it.
Thanks again to Chansi for taking the time out, and be sure to 'follow' him on Twitter: @ChansiStuckey