New York's defensive backs lack size, but Dainard Paulson is All-League at safety and Cornell Gordon could be good at right corner back. The right safety will be either Jim Hudson or Ray Abruzzese, and Billy Baird takes over from Willie West, gone to Miami in the expansion draft, at the other corner. Veteran Johnny Sample will add experience and speed to the secondary. A very swift but very small rookie, Sherman Lewis, the Michigan State star of three years ago, should make the team if only on punt and kickoff returns.
The kicking is strong with Punter Johnson, who averaged 45.3 yards (second in the AFL), and Jim Turner, who scored 91 points with his toe.
That television musical in which the Jets lapsed into their old nonskills is all about miracles. Three of the Jets' first four games are against the lower echelon of the AFL—Miami, Denver and Boston—and they could be off to a fast start. Thereafter, the developing skills of the younger players could continue the momentum.