In talking to the players this week, they all seemed genuinely confident going into this contest. Sanchez's biggest challenge might just be keeping calm in the first quarter. I saw a Tweet from Darrelle Revis yesterday that they were sitting on the plane together and Revis said Sanchez was "talking my ear off." Very funny.
It's probably a good thing that the team is opening in Houston. The temperature was down to 65 degrees in New York the other day and Sanchez, the southern Californian, was wearing a ski cap. They might need to think about getting him some battery-powered, hunting socks for the Bills game.
Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace are serving their suspensions so this is going to be the first real test for Vernon Gholston. When I talked to him a couple of days ago he told me "I know when I'm on point I can be one of the best players out there." Rex Ryan has been openly supportive of Gholston from day one, which has to have added to Gholston's confidence. We know he can rush the passer, but this defense will expect a lot of different things from him - especially without Pace in the game.
We'll also get a look at what the real plan is for the wide receivers. There still seems to be a hue and cry over the fact that the Jets don't have a deep receiving corps. With Dustin Keller serving basically as their number two receiver, it will be interesting to see how things with Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith and David Clowney start to fall into place.
I get asked a lot if the Jets are still looking for another receiver. You would have to think that if somebody appropriate became available, they would go for him.
Lastly, the running game is going to make a much stronger appearance this year. You can count on seeing a ton of Thomas Jones and even more, Leon Washington. Finally.