Catching you up on the latest must-read news and analysis from around the web….
• Here we go again ...
The Jets, according to ESPNNewYork's Rich Cimini, are "toying with the idea" of using Geno Smith as a change-of-pace quarterback behind Mark Sanchez. That's how they tried to utilize Tim Tebow in 2012, at least for awhile, with pretty unimpressive results.
It might be an even worse plan with Smith, if that's possible. Smith has decent speed (4.59 40 time at the combine) and can move the pocket, when needed, but he's far from a traditional "running" quarterback. He's certainly no Tebow in that regard -- Smith averaged 2.3 yards per carry last season at West Virginia and finished with negative-33 yards rushing in 2011. (NCAA stats count sacks against a QB's rushing total; the NFL does not.)
Worse yet, any attempt by the Jets to implement special plays just for Smith would take away time the rookie QB could be using to learn the actual offense. It may be in the Jets' best interest to bring Smith along slowly, with Sanchez holding down the fort heading into the regular season. But New York did not draft Smith to be a permanent backup, and that competition should stay relatively open through training camp and beyond.
The team's Tebow-centric packages also produced next to nothing of tangible value in 2012. Tebow finished the year with 102 yards rushing on 32 carries (a worse yards-per-carry average, 3.18, than any of the Jets' running backs) and completed six passes for all of 39 yards. He accounted for no touchdowns.
Rex Ryan likely is in a do-or-die year -- there are some who would argue that he's a sacrificial lamb, with the Jets prepared to re-evaluate things after 2013. So, Ryan ought to explore using all the weapons at his disposal.
This plan, though, seems doomed to fail. Smith is not going to dominate teams out of run-based packages, and the Jets are not built to sneak in the zone-read or anything similar, especially when such a scheme is telegraphed by Smith's presence on the field.
For Smith's sake, at least, let's hope the Jets nip this idea in the bud.
The Falcons used two early draft picks on Desmond Trufant (Round 1) and Robert Alford (Round 2), hoping to minimize the losses of Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson in free agency. One of those two rookies should grab a spot in the starting lineup, barring an unexpected leap from someone else on the roster during camp.
Give the edge to Trufant, for now, based on his draft standing alone. The former Washington Husky was the third CB off the board, with the Falcons trading up to the No. 22 pick to grab him.
• The Titans have a number of pass-catching weapons on the roster, but the team's aerial attack failed to take off last season (with a healthy chunk of blame falling on inconsistent QB Jake Locker). Are there better fortunes in store for Tennessee in 2013?
Tom Gower of FootballOutsiders took a shot at projecting how Locker would dole out his passes this season, with Kendall Wright and Kenny Britt now joined by talented rookie Justin Hunter and versatile tight end Delanie Walker in the offense.
• Like many people, Giants WR Victor Cruz and Atlanta WR Roddy White took to Twitter to vent in the moments following George Zimmerman's acquittal on Saturday night. Both players then apologized within the next 24 hours for what they tweeted.
Cruz initially wrote, "Zimmerman doesn’t last a year before the hood catches up to him," then quickly deleted that tweet.
“I immediately realized my tweet was a mistake, and I apologize," Cruz said, according to the Washington Times. "That’s why I deleted it."
White, meanwhile, stepped even further across the line, tweeting: "All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid."
He, too, followed up with an apology: "I understand my tweet last nite was extreme. I never meant for the people to do that. I was shocked and upset about the verdict. I am sorry."
• Sage Rosenfels was a fourth-round pick of the Washington Redskins in 2001 and played for Miami, Houston, Minnesota and the Giants over the next decade. The 35-year-old QB hung up his cleats Sunday night, announcing his retirement.Texans