SNY pregame and postgame analyst and former Jets quarterback Ray Lucas talks with The Post’s Justin Terranova about the Le’Veon Bell effect, Sam Darnold taking the Jets to the promised land and Adam Gase’s adjustment from the Dolphins.
Q: How does Bell change an offense?
A: Le’Veon Bell changes everything. The guy is a security blanket. When you have an offensive line that was banged up all preseason and hardly played together, he brings something to the table that no other back in the NFL does because of his style, poise, vision and just the way he runs. He can turn a 5-yard pass into a first down into a touchdown. That’s amazing for a quarterback to have.
Q: Where did you think Darnold was at end of his rookie season?
A: Those games he missed [with a sprained foot] really helped him understand how the game works. Before that, sometimes — and this is not a clinical term — you get mashed potatoes. It’s when you are looking at something that doesn’t look right and that one bit of hesitation as a quarterback in the NFL will cause you to be all over the place. You have maybe four seconds to read the defense, find out what you are doing with the football and get it out of your hands. But the way he played the last [four] games was the Sam Darnold we all hoped he could be. I think he can take us to the promised land. He’s special.
Q: How does it change for a quarterback from Year 1 to Year 2?
A: It slows down. You get in there and it’s not thinking, it’s just reacting. But with Gase, there is a new offensive plan, so there might be a bit of a learning curve. I don’t want people smashing my boy if he doesn’t look as good as he did down the stretch. Any time you switch offensive coordinators for any quarterback it’s a challenge. So, you might see a couple of speed bumps early on.
Q: Do you think Gase is a fit in New York?
A: You are under the watchful eye at all times. Everything is first-guessed, second-guessed, third-guessed. It’s different in Miami. I remember going from New York to Miami as a player, it went from like 800 people in your locker room to like six. I think that will be the transition for him. It’s the whole thing, it’s not just about coaching; he’s got a lot to deal with. But winning takes care of everything.
Q: What is the biggest concern for this team?
A: The cornerback position is a worry. You have Daryl Roberts and Trumaine Johnson, who didn’t really play that well last year as a big-ticket item. I think he is going to have a better year. When you have (Marcus) Maye and (Jamal) Adams, you have a lot of things you can cover up. But what’s been killing me for years is, where is the pass rush? They get (Jachai) Polite as this guy who is going to rush the passer and you cut him. Where is the pass rush? A legitimate pass rusher solves all those back end problems.
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