Player you’ll be buzzing about: S Calvin Pryor — The Jets retooled their entire secondary, with Pryor being the only real starter remaining from last year. He moved around a lot then, and a renewed focus on one position should elevate his play beyond his solid rookie season.
What to watch: Like any team with a new head coach, the Jets are confident that they became a better team this offseason. They certainly have a talented team and seeing how Todd Bowles handles that team in training camp will be something to keep an eye on, but mostly you should watch the quarterbacks. The Jets insist Geno Smith is their starter and there’s no battle, but if Smith plays exceedingly poorly, things could get interesting.
Most important position battle: Running back — Since the Jets insist there’s no battle at quarterback, we’ll go with the running back position. Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley, Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson are all vying for carries.
For once, the crankiest San Antonio fans are right: We aren’t talking about the Spurs enough. This was the year San Antonio finally felt a little rickety. Tim Duncan, rim protector for their historically great defense, walked away. The Spurs replaced with him Pau Gasol, slow and ground-bound, lacking Duncan’s pinpoint ferocity.
Tony Parker is getting older; could the Spurs maintain their stinginess with Parker and Gasol bookending the defense? They couldn’t even count on their vaunted Spursy continuity anymore. San Antonio turned over half its roster after last season. Surely it would take time to find its pass-and-cut harmony!
Alas, that hasn’t really proved true. His shooting constrains Minnesota’s offense, especially against good defenses who game plan for him. It is a barrier the Wolves have to fight through and around every night.
But for some stretches, the good parts of Rubio’s game overcome that one handicap. We just went through one. Hope you enjoyed it.