Comments On Lingering Jets Issues

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Interesting article up at www.thejetsblog.com about the Jets low-balling Leon Washington on his contract offer last year and then releasing to the press that they offered him more money. The source for the article is “close” to Washington and is also reporting that two other teams are currently interested in him. Obviously, the validity of that claim and generally all his claims could be questioned considering he is in Washington’s camp but it is still worth a read. Overall, I will remain steadfast in my belief that no team is giving up a second round pick for Washington and that he will be back with the Jets next year.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 8 fans away from 250 and you want the chance to be #250.

3. Around The NFL…It amazes me the Eagles are willing to part with Donovan McNabb for a high second round pick. Nobody in the Philadelphia appreciates how productive and how many winning seasons that guy has brought them. I am not sure what Kevin Kolb has ever done to prove he can handle being a franchise quarterback, but I have to say I am looking forward to Eagles fans whining about how much they miss McNabb when they are 6-10 next year. I know Giants fans will be thrilled to see McNabb leave since he has owned them the past two years…Dez Bryant had a rough workout for scouts yesterday, hopefully enough teams will be dumb enough to pass on him to allow him to get within range for a reasonable trade for the Jets, and Bryant will be in “pissed off Randy Moss rookie year” mode about falling so far for our offense next year. (Yes, I know I have been against drafting a receiver in the first round but to get somebody with Bryant’s talent anywhere in the 20s would be a steal)…If I was the Rams I would be taking Sam Bradford with the first pick, they need a quarterback to build around…The NFL regular season schedule isn’t going to be released until April 13th.

Photobucket4. Thoughts On Lost Season 6, Episode 10 “The Package” – I am not usually a big fan of Jin/Sun episodes, especially since Sun has been reduced to a broken record asking for her husband the past season and a half but last night was a good episode that touched on all the characters/storylines. We saw a little more bleed through between the sideways timeline and the main timeline, with Sun’s inability to speak English and her seeming to notice the bump on her head from the island in the sideways action. Considering she accidentally got shot in the stomach, I don’t think her baby is going to make it, although I am sure Jack will be the operating doctor at the hospital. On the island, it is confirmed that Sayid is nothing more than a zombie/Locke’s killing machine and we got some dialogue from Widmore indicating he may be against the Man In Black. I don’t know who to believe but I do know I am beyond pumped that Desmond is back. All I can say it is about damn time and it will be interesting to see how Widmore wants to use him to stop Locke. My guess is that it involves the wheel that moves the Island since Widmore’s team took Jin to help them locate the pockets of energy on the island.

5. Other quick entertainment comments…Go see Hot Tub Time Machine, and if you haven’t been watching How To Make It In America, wait until after this week’s season finale and take the time to watch the 8 season 1 episodes online or on-demand.

6. Jets Pre-Season Schedule:

  • Week 1 vs. Giants
  • Week 2 at Carolina
  • Week 3 vs. Washington
  • Week 4 at Philly

Comments On Lingering Jets Issues

#3 Receiver: I think it is obvious we won’t be going into training camp with just Brad Smith, David Clowney, and Britt Davis battling it out for the #3 receiver spot. Unless somehow the Jets swing a move to grab Dez Bryant in round 1, I think they draft a receiver in either round 2 or round 4 if they find somebody who’s value they like at that spot. If for some reason the Jets leave the draft without adding a receiver or just adding one in the 6th or 7th round, I think at that point they would sign Laveranues Coles, who would be a nice fit for a year or two in the slot. Another guy I wouldn’t mind the Jets looking at is former Bills receiver, Josh Reed who is younger than Coles and has put together some productive years in the slot for Buffalo.

Defensive Line: My guess on the Jets thinking at this time is that they plan to draft a defensive lineman with their first round pick…hopefully Jared Odrick. Yet, if they can’t get him or another guy they are satisfied with and end up trading back or going in a different direction, they will then proactively go re-sign Marques Douglas. Honestly considering how thin and old they are on the defensive line right now, it would be probably be smarter to draft a defensive lineman in the first round and re-sign Douglas.

PhotobucketSecondary Depth: You have to think with Rex Ryan’s love of defensive backs, the Jets will add at least another body or two to their secondary through the draft or free agency. As of right now, we are only one injury away from Dwight Lowery starting and Drew Coleman moving into the nickel role, which is no good. It is hard to project what positions the Jets will target on a round by round basis because they aren’t going to reach for a guy who isn’t a good value only because he plays a specific spot but here is what I think you could see:

  • Round 1 – Defensive Lineman
  • Round 2 – Receiver
  • Round 4 – Corner
  • Round 5 – Offensive Lineman
  • Round 6 – Linebacker
  • Round 7 – Defensive Lineman/Corner

Backup Quarterback: Kellen Clemens hasn’t signed his tender yet but I would guess at this point he will end up remaining the Jets #2 quarterback. I think both Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell will get a fair shot to unseat him in training camp and then one of them, Clemens, Ainge, or O’Connell will be let go or traded during camp/pre-season. The Jets are likely hoping that an injury occurs that will lead a team to offer a late round pick (6 or 7) for Clemens, who has some starting experience under his belt and could be viewed as a good backup prospect for some teams.

One Last Time If You Haven’t Seen It Yet, TOJ Movie Trailer:

Dez Bryant Highlights

Five Ways For The Jets To Flame Out In 2010

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. You know as of right now there isn’t a ton to update on, the draft section is updated and overloaded with potential prospects for the Jets in all seven rounds. The guys over at www.thejetsblog.com do a great job with their “Prospect Watch,” which is where the list of players came from in the “2010 Draft” Section, as you can see from all the links. They finish up adding prospects on April 4th at which point I will organize them by position and list their projected rounds (per TJB), and then we can wait to see if the Jets actually end up with any of these guys.

2. Even though Rich Cimini mentioned Dez Bryant yesterday as a potential guy for the Jets at #29 and I got myself all excited about it, it is pretty hard to see a guy with that much talent even falling into the 20’s. His physical talent is too great for that many teams to pass on, regardless of his off the field issues.

3. A big congratulations to the New Jersey Nets for getting their 10th win and avoiding having the worst record in NBA history.

4. Dustin Keller is beginning his career as a restaurant critic on the New York Times Fifth Down Blog here (http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/dustin-keller-i-eight-one/) even though he didn’t exactly pick an out of the way place for his first review (since he went with one of the best and well-know steakhouses in the City), it is still a good read and has me thinking about treating myself to a meal there when that TOJ check comes in this month.

Five Ways For The Jets To Flame Out In 2010

You may have noticed that I have been optimistic about the Jets chances in 2010. Even when I push aside my bias as a lifelong fan, I still genuinely believe the Jets will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next year. However, this is the NFL and we know big expectations don’t always equal big things. It is difficult to maintain success on a year to year basis, so let me channel my Joe Benigno negative Jets fan inside of me and look at five ways the Jets could disappointin 2010 (by the way I consider anything short of a playoff berth next year to be a major disappointment).

1. Sophomore Slump – It is hard to say that if Mark Sanchez struggles next year that it would be a sophomore slump considering his regular season stats last season. However, we saw the quarterback Sanchez has the potential to be in the playoffs and if he can maintain that level of play the Jets are going to be a very, very tough team to beat. Yet, if he goes back to his performance in the middle of the season last year, when he was throwing 3+ interceptions every other game, the Jets are going to struggle to be anything better than the 9-7 team they were in 2009. The Jets remain a team built on their defense and running game, and even though the playbook should be opened up a little more, Sanchez must protect the football and not take unnecessary chances.

Photobucket2. Built To Last – The Jets have been extremely fortunate to have the same five guys start every game on their offensive line the past two seasons. They still lack solid depth across their front and if one or heaven forbid two of those five went down for an extended period of the time the Jets could be in serious trouble. The running game would suffer, which would put more pressure on Sanchez who wouldn’t be protected as well as usual…sounds like a recipe for disaster.

3. Lead Back Problems – This is Shonn Greene’s first year as a starter and a guy who will counted for 20 carries week in and week out. If Greene can’t stay healthy and can’t shake his fumbling problems, the Jets will be forced to rely on two guys who shouldn’t be getting more than 10 carries a game: an aging LaDainian Tomlinson and Leon Washington, returning from a major injury. Personally, I think Greene is going to be a 1300-1500 yard back this year but he has never done it before, so you never know.

4. Secondary Holes – The Jets are counting on Antonio Cromartie to fill the gaping hole opposite Darrelle Revis. If Cromartieplays like he did in 2007, the Jets will have the best corner duo in football. If he plays like he did last year, the Jets are going to have the same problems they did at times last season. Dwight Lowery remains the #3 corner and I don’t think he will be getting bumped into the starting line-up in a big spot after last year’s AFC Championship game. At safety, Brodney Pool needs to show he can stay healthy all year or Eric Smith needs to show he can handle a full time starting role.

5. Close Game Problems – The Jets lost on the last play of game two times last year to Miami, once to Buffalo, once to Jacksonville, and basically once to Atlanta. If the Jets could have been 3-2 in those games instead of 0-5, you are looking at a 11-5 team. If the Jets don’t learn how to win close games, they won’t win enough games to compete for a division title.

TOJ Movie Trailer

Who Are We Kidding, Shonn Greene Is Going To Be A Beast Next Year…Cromartie Better Learn To Tackle Though

Are The Jets The Team To Beat In The AFC East?

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…for some reason we lost 2 fans in the past 2 days. I don’t think I offended anybody recently but who knows, all I know is we need somebody to make up for those 2 and we need to add a few more this week.

2. Good post today by Rich Cimini on who the Jets may be interested in for this year’s draft. #29 is a hard spot to project but Jared Odrick of Penn State has been a popular choice because of the Jets age and lack of depth on the defensive line. Yet, if Dez Bryant somehow falls to #29 or in the near proximity of it, it is hard not to see Mike Tannenbaum grabbing such a big name guy with such big time potential. Personally, I would rather see them take Odrick or another defensive lineman/outside linebacker instead of a receiver but you have to admit Bryant is an exciting possibility…and please, no Taylor Mays…we don’t need Vernon Gholston 2.0 at safety.

3. Nice quote from Calvin Pace in a Sporting News interview about playing for the Jets and their fans:

“When I signed with the Jets two years ago, I thought about that, and if that would help me do well. The people here are passionate, and you get really excited playing for the tem. That J-E-T-S chant gets you pumped up. It’s 24-hour football for these fans.”

4. As you can see at the bottom of the article, we have a new episode of TOJ TV. Our producer got a new camera and thought it would be fun to put together a movie trailer documenting how I began working for the site. I am saving all my football analysis for the upcoming Podcasts, which will world premiere on April 15thwith a draft preview, off-season review edition. TOJ TV can now fully embrace its role as entertaining videos related to being a Jets fan instead of a spot for analysis.

Are The Jets The Team To Beat In The AFC East?

PhotobucketA popular topic this off-season has been debating the question of whether the Jets or Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC East in 2010. On November 22nd 2009, this question would have been a no-brainer. New England took advantage of an awful Mark Sanchez performance and whipped the Jets 31-14. It seemed like the Patriots would be rolling to another division title and run at a Super Bowl while the Jets were headed to another year without the playoffs. However, over the last 6 weeks the Jets finished strong with a 5-1 record, while New England only went 3-3 down the stretch. In the wild-card round of the playoffs, the once mighty Patriots were completely humiliated on their home field by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14, while the Jets pulled out a gutsy win on the road against the Bengals 24-14. The Jets then followed that performance up with a 17-14 upset in San Diego, before eventually falling to the Colts by 13 in the AFC Championship Game. Is the torch ready to be passed?

So far this off-season, the Jets have had more than turnover than the Patriots. They added Antonio Cromartie to replace the ineffective Lito Sheppard, signed LaDainian Tomlinson to back up Shonn Greene instead of giving the job to the recently more effective Thomas Jones, and replaced the underachieving Kerry Rhodes with Brodney Pool. They let special teamers like Wallace Wright and Marques Murrell walk but recently signed special teams standout Lance Laury to help fill the gap left by them. It also appears Jay Feely and Marques Douglas won’t be back and the Jets are yet to fill the holes left by them…I don’t count Nick Folk and Mike DeVito as filling their spots properly.

New England has concentrated primarily on hanging on to their own players. They have brought back Leigh Bodden, Vince Wilfork, and Tully Banta-Cain on defense. On offense, they did let Chris Baker and Ben Watson walk at tight end but recently signed Alge Crumpler to fill the spot and also brought back Kevin Faulk and Stephen Neal.

Where does that leave the two teams right now? On offense, New England probably isn’t getting back Wes Welker until sometime in October and who knows when he will be back to 100 percent. Make no mistake, Welker is the Patriots most dangerous playmaker and important receiver, not Randy Moss who appears to be in decline. Also, spare me with the Julian Edeleman can be just as good as Welker in New England’s offense talk because regardless of Edeleman’s stats when Welker was out, here is what Tom Brady did without Welker in the lineup:

  • Vs Baltimore – 23/42, 154 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs
  • Vs Jets – 23/47, 216 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
  • Vs Atlanta – 25/42, 277 yards, 1 TD

PhotobucketOutside of a good game against a crappy Atlanta secondary, Brady could barely complete 50 percent of his passes without Welker in the lineup and had two of his worst games of the year when he didn’t have him as a safety valve. New England is still currently thin at receiver because Edeleman is injury prone (he missed 4 games last year) and Sam Aiken or Isaiah Stanback can’t handle major reps. They also have questions at running back because after a big rookie year, Laurence Maroney has been a bust who can’t hold on to the football. Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris are both ancient and can’t stay healthy and Kevin Faulk is nothing more than a third down back, although a good one at that. Beyond that, Tom Brady didn’t have his best year last season but considering the injury he was coming back from was still very good, until he had a meltdown in the playoffs. New England’s offensive line isn’t what it used to be but still remains one of the better units in the league.

On defense, the Patriots were pretty good last year. They finished #11 in total defense but laid an egg in the playoffs and were embarrassed a few times, including a dreadful performance on Monday Night against the Saints and when they choked away a big lead to the Colts in a Sunday Night game (no shame in that because the Colts also shredded up the Jets in the AFC Championship game and came back from a double digit deficit). Jerod Mayo was a disappointmentin his second year and they remain very average in the secondary. If you take Leigh Bodden’s stats away from the second Jets game when Sanchez gift wrapped him three interceptions, I don’t see how you could claim he is a legit number one corner and the rest of their corners are journeyman unless Darius Butler develops. New England’s front still has talent but you could run on them.

When I look at the Jets compared to the Patriots, I think they compare very favorably. The Jets have a superior offensive line, substantially more talent at running back, a better tight end, and a better #2 receiver until Welker makes it back to 100 percent. Yes, I would take Jerricho Cotchery over Julian Edeleman, Sam Aiken or anybody else they currently have to trot out there. The Jets don’t have somebody at receiver with the talent of Randy Moss but fortunately when we play them, we have Darrelle Revis to completely take him out of the game. Obviously, the Patriots have an advantage at quarterback but Brady is going to struggle against the Jets pass rush or any defense with a quality pass rush without Welker as a safety valve and a good running game to rely on. The Jets have a better all-around defense right now than New England. They are better at corner, linebacker, and with Jenkins back compare well with them on the defensive line.

They also have the benefit of playing the second place schedule instead of the first place schedule next year. Basically, that means they get the Texans and Broncos instead of the Colts and Chargers, yes it is only 2 games but in a likely close race, that could help the Jets. It would remiss not to mention the Patriots are set up much better for the draft than the Jets. New England has three second round picks, a higher first round pick than the Jets, and five seventh round picks. We have to wait and see how the Patriots could improve through the draft since they have missed more than a few recent selections.

PhotobucketRight now, I do think the Jets are the team to beat in the AFC East. By the end of the season, they were the best team in the division and I think when you factor in the return of Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington, their roster has improved from last year. Even though he is showing signs of slipping from his untouchable genius ways, Bill Belichick will still have New England in contention next year, and they remain the Jets primary challenge for the division title. What about Miami, you ask? Karlos Dansby was a nice addition even though they overpaid for him, but I don’t think they have done enough yet to move from a 7-9 team who was a Danny Woodhead keeping his outside contain on kickoff and Bart Scott tackle away from being 5-11. (Can you tell I am still bitter about those losses?) What about Buffalo? I don’t know let me see who wins the quarterback battle between Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm, and Ryan Fitzpatrick and then I will let you know.

TOJ Movie Trailer

Randy Moss Is A Slouch While On Revis Island

Five Sunday Thoughts On The Jets

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. News has been slow on our Jets the past few days, clearly the front office is trying to catch their breath after the Hard Knocks frenzy. News has been slow enough that Mark Sanchez calling Brandon Marshall to wish him a happy birthday is being reported as a story. I am hoping I won’t wake up tomorrow to read about LaDainian Tomlinson not liking his eggs at a local Jersey diner. Going back to Marshall, I’d be shocked at this point to see him end up in a Jets uniform.

2. There is a general impression from some people that Rex Ryan is trying to run Leon Washington out of town. Honestly, I don’t see it that way at all. Leon is going to be back with the Jets in 2010 because no team is giving up a second round pick for him and I believe after a slow start, he will gradually turn into the player he has always been for the Jets. By the end of the year, I expect him to be getting more touches than Tomlinson on a weekly basis.

3. The 2010 draft section has been updated. As soon as I can figure out how to record Skype conversations on my Mac for phone interviews the first TOJ Podcast will be up and running.

Five Sunday Thoughts On The Jets

No Friday thoughts on the Jets this past week, but here are five Sunday thoughts as we get a week closer to the NFL Draft.

1. You have to wonder how long Bill Belichick will hold on to Adalius Thomas to prevent him from coming to the Jets. It is clear neither side is interested in Thomas spending another year with the Patriots but everybody in New England knows the second he is cut, he is signing with Rex Ryan and the Jets. I wouldn’t have a problem with another year of Bryan Thomas at outside linebacker, but it would be a nice improvement to the Jets pass rush if Adalius was rotating in on passing downs.

2. Jay Feely and Marques Douglas…still on the market. How could a team built around defense, running the football, and playing low scoring/close games feel good going into the season with Nick Folk at kicker? Can’t we pay Feely, who did a very good job the past two years and has proved he can handle kicking in the swirling winds of the Meadowlands? Douglas is a quality 3-4 defensive end, who is a perfect fit in Rex Ryan’s defense. Mike DeVito is miscast as a starter and is better served as a rotational player. Mike Tannenbaum, you do a great job but pay the men.

3. I feel good about Kris Jenkins having a big bounce-back year. He sounds motivated to give the Jets a few more high quality years and apparently has looked good in their off-season workouts. It will obviously be a major boost to the Jets front seven, who was still very productive without him last year, to have Jenkins back. If he can be the player he was in 2008, it is hard not to see the Jets defense repeating as one of the league’s top, if not the top unit, in the NFL.

Photobucket 4. How is Darrelle Revis going to follow up his performance last year? It will be interesting to see how much teams keep away from him and how he affects offensive game plans on a week to week basis. Antonio Cromartie is going to have every chance to be the ten interception guy he was in 2007 because there will be no shortage of balls coming his way. I wonder if Revis will be given enough opportunities to match or exceed the six interceptions he had last year. He has went from three in 2007 to five in 2008 to six last year, it would be nice to see seven or eight so he could get that DPOY Award he deserves.

5. When is the last year the Jets had a player with double digit sacks? The answer is 2005…when John Abraham had 10.5. We have to be due for it this year right? Calvin Pace? Shaun Ellis? David Harris? Bryan Thomas? Adalius Thomas? Vernon Gholston? Just kidding about the last one.

Jets Defense: You Shall Not Pass

Blogger vs. Blogger: Running Backs, Hard Knocks, Mark Sanchez, & More

Photobucket
First a few updates:

1. If you haven’t seen it yet, the press conference announcing the Jets being on Hard Knocks is up on www.newyorkjets.com and is pretty entertaining stuff. Plenty of zingers from Rex Ryan and Steve Sabol and definitely worth the twenty minutes to watch.

2. A few key quotes from Ryan on Leon Washington from today’s press conference pulled off the Jets official web site:

“We have the No. 1 facilities in the country, we have a great medical staff, a great medical team and we have the best strength coach in the country. Leon knows this and that’s what’s disappointing,” said Ryan when writers huddled around the head coach. “Wherever he’s at might be good, but it’s not the best. I want what’s best for him and the New York Jets and this is a time there’s team building. This guy is a great young man — I love Leon — but it’s still disappointing he’s not here.”

PhotobucketDo we expect him to come back from the surgery? Yeah. And you’re going to put him in there instead of Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson? Maybe you would, but I’m not comfortable with that,” he said. “Let’s see where he’s at. I’m not just going to give him the ball 20 times a game coming off of that. He has to be ready to take that kind of role. If he’s ready to take an expanded role, then obviously we can see that. Third down is the most important down you have on offense and that would be an ideal situation for him. We have three great backs.”

I do believe that Leon will be on the Jets next year. There isn’t a team in the NFL who is giving up a second round pick for a guy coming off that type of leg injury. It is going to take him some time to adjust this year. He isn’t going to come flying out of the gates in week one as the Leon of 2006-2008, but hopefully by the middle of the season he can start approaching the role he had before he was hurt in 2009. It could be a stretch to hope for that but I am sure Washington is motivated to prove to the coaching staff he is more than a third down back and returner.

3. Speaking of third down running backs/kick returners…keep an eye out for Conte Cuttino out of Stony Brook to be added by the Jets after the draft as a UDFA.

4. Bart Scott expressed some skepticism about the Jets being featured on Hard Knocks in this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/sports/football/25jets.html?ref=sports)…he makes some fair points, but it is up to him and the other leaders in the locker room to make sure the team isn’t distracted.

Blogger vs. Blogger: Running Backs, Hard Knocks, Mark Sanchez, & More

Welcome to our first installment of the new TOJ series, Blogger vs. Blogger, where myself and a fellow Jets blogger will share opinions on four current issues surrounding the team. Today our featured blogger is Jeff Capellini who runs The Green Lantern over at (http://wcbstv.com/capellini) and is also a senior producer for WCBSTV.com…Jeff had no shortage of opinions, some of which I agreed with and some of which I had differing viewpoint on.

Photobucket
Question #1 – Rex Ryan recently made headlines by saying LaDainain Tomlinson would receive 15 carries a game and Leon Washington would be relegated to a third down role, do you buy into what Ryan was saying or was he just pandering to the recently signed LT? Also, if you were Brian Schottenheimer how would you divide up the carries among Shonn Greene, LaDainain Tomlinson, and Leon Washington?

Jeff Capellini – I was a big fan of the decision to sign LaDainain Tomlinson. Thomas Jones struggled down the stretch last year as displayed by the rapid decline in his yards per carry. I think most in the organization were alarmed by how quickly his play went downhill and I think Kansas City is going to find out the same thing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jamaal Charles end up being the lead back for the Chiefs. I don’t think Tomlinson is done. Yes, he has lost a step but he can still be a productive back who can handle 15-20 carries a game. San Diego was so focused on the passing game last year that they did a poor job of using both Tomlinson and Darren Sproles. They had the league’s 31st ranked rushing attack and Tomlinson has become the scapegoat for that, not the way the Chargers offense was ran or their offensive line who was built for pass protection.

Tomlinson can be more than a change of pace back for the Jets. He is capable of taking over for multiple series at a time. Leon should be a third down back until he can prove he is fully  healthy. He should be used in passing situations and for screen passes primarily, although Brian Schottenheimer can’t be predictable and have him just do that or be the only back who is catching passes.

I think the Jets will play the hot hand but in most weeks Greene will get slightly more carries than Tomlinson. Yet, when the Jets are inside the 5 yard line, it will be LT getting carries. I don’t think Ryan was lying and that Tomlinson will be around 15 carries each game. The Jets need Leon to step up as their primary kick and punt returner because he is better suited for that role than Brad Smith, Jerricho Cotchery, or Jim Leonhard.

PhotobucketJoe Caporoso I have to say I disagree with most of your thinking on this issue Jeff. While I do believe Tomlinson will be an improved player behind the Jets offensive line and still has something left to give, I would have rather kept Thomas Jones for another year. He was a leader in the locker room and I think a large part of his late season decline was a knee injury that was worse than the team let on. I think he could have gave the Jets at least one more productive season splitting carries with Shonn Greene.

I have always been a huge Leon Washington fan and spent the entire off-season last year writing articles imploring the team to give him the ball more, which they did up until his injury. I understand the reasoning of easing him back into the lineup and do think he will begin as primarily a third down back but I am hoping he can return to a 8-10 carry a game guy by the end of the year.

When the Jets signed him, I never pictured Tomlinson as a 15 carry a game guy or somebody who could ever get more carries than Shonn Greene. I was thinking Tomlinson could be a guy who takes a series or two per half, gets short yardage and goal-line carries, and is involved in the screen game. If I was Schottenheimer, I’d start out giving Greene 20-22 carries a game, Tomlinson 10-12, and Leon 4-6 and then gradually move Tomlinson and Washington’s carries closer together as the season goes on.

Question #2 -What do you think of the Jets taking part in Hard Knocks?

Jeff Capellini – (Note Jeff wrote a great article on this topic at The Green Lantern, which is worth checking out at the link at the top of this article)…I am normally not a proponent of any type of chaos around the team, which usually turns into a negative. However, I think the Jets have a strong enough locker room to overcome any distractions from the show. The Jets have been a second class citizen in this market for so long that they deserve the attention they have earned by putting together a quality team that should be good for the next few years. They are a compelling team and HBO knows it.

Joe Caporoso – It is hard not to be extremely excited as a Jets fan about our team being featured on this show. Hard Knocks is a terrific show that any true football fan should love and now with the Jets featured on it, I am that much more excited about it. I do agree that the Jets have a strong enough locker room to overcome any distractions and don’t see the extra attention at training camp having any negative impact on their on-field production. There are so many compelling story lines around this team that I think all NFL fans will truly enjoy watching the Jets.

Question #3 – How much progress do you think Mark Sanchez will make in year two?

Jeff Capellini – I like what I am hearing about Sanchez spending 8 hours a day at the complex. He is the type of guy who is completely dedicated to his job and hasn’t got too caught up in the New York scene. I think you will see a smarter Mark Sanchez in 2010 who does a much better overall job of protecting the football. Late in the season last year he did a better job of throwing the football away and I think that will carry over. Next year, I could see him being a 3000 yard guy with more touchdowns than interceptions, and hopefully a QB rating somewhere near 90. Sanchez has all the physical tools to be a very good quarterback in this league.

Joe Caporoso – I agree that one of the most encouraging things you hear about Sanchez is how dedicated he is to improving. He isn’t Matt Leinart, this is a guy who is a gym-rat and spends his days in Brian Schottenheimer’s office breaking down film. I think you will see a substantial improvement over the 20 INTs to 12 TDs and 53.3 completion percentage he had last year. Nobody is saying he is going to be a pro-bowl quarterback but I could see him with 17 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and 57-59 completion percentage.

Question #4 – If you were Mike Tannenbaum would you pursue a trade for Brandon Marshall?

Jeff Capellini – Marshall is obviously a game changing player. I know he has off the field problems but as we saw from Braylon Edwards just because a guy has problems in one city, doesn’t mean they can’t become a good soldier in another city. I do believe the Jets need another receiver but I don’t want to see them part ways with a first round draft pick for Marshall or even Braylon, who I think is developing good chemistry with Sanchez. If the Jets could find someway to acquire Marshall without giving up Braylon or their 1st round pick then I would be for it, but beyond that I wouldn’t make the deal. The Jets have holes to fill at pass rusher and in the secondary so they can’t be parting with a first round pick.

Joe CaporosoPhotobucketI have to admit it would be hard to pass on Marshall’s talent if the Jets could get him for something besides their first round pick or Braylon Edwards but I doubt that is possible. Overall, I think it is best for the Jets to stay away from Marshall, whose off the field problems go deeper than most people. Yes, Braylon might have punched LeBron’s small friend or Antonio Cromartie never learned about contraceptives but Marshall is a guy who has been the target of a gang hit, beat his girlfriend, and has had some other very serious issues. I like our top three receiving targets right now. People underestimate Jerricho Cotchery and I think Dustin Keller has the potential to be a pro-bowl tight end.

I Know That Was A Lot Of Reading So Here Is Some Comedy To Reward You At The End

Three Ways For The Jets To Live Up To The Hype

Photobucket
First a few updates:

1. The big news of the day is that the Jets will be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer, an official announcement is expected from the team tomorrow. I am glad to know HBO was persuaded by my article last week on why the Jets had to be on this show. Yet even taking away all my natural Jets bias, they are a great selection. Everybody who I have talked to today, including plenty of Giants fans agree the Jets will provide an entertaining show. Rex Ryan is well on his way to winning an Emmy and having his own spin-off.

2. The NFL announced the full draft order for each round today and the Jets have six total picks but you knew that already from checking the 2010 Draft section of the site, right?

3. Apparently Denver is having so much trouble moving Brandon Marshall, the price is beginning to come down. I am not on board with bringing Marshall in unless Denver is willing to accept Vernon Gholston for him straight up.

Photobucket 4. Thoughts On Lost Season 6, Episode 9 “Ab Aeterno” – Now there is some high quality LOST. I won’t go crazy like some fans and rank it up there with the season 3 finale or “The Constant” but last night was a terrific hour of television. We have  been waiting three years for Richard Alpert’s story and the writers didn’t disappoint. I am big fan of both the actor who plays Jacob and the actor who plays the Man In Black, who was pretty awesome in his original form in this episode. The explanation of the island as a “cork” which contains evil aka the Man In Black needs to be fleshed out a little more for me. Yet, it is pretty clear this season is setting up for Jacob’s side to stop MIB from getting off the island at all costs because it sounds like it will basically be the end of the world if he does. I still am waiting to see how the flash sideways are going to play into everything. It looks like next week we are getting a Jin/Sun episode, hopefully it will be good considering Sun has been reduced to repeating “where is my husband” on a loop the past season and a half.

Three Ways For The Jets To Live Up To The Hype

Hosting a week one Monday Night game…hosting a Thanksgiving night game…being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks, the Jets have come a long way from a dull, lifeless 4-12 team in 2007. The expectations are high in 2010. Rex Ryan wants it that way and is going to keep the back pages of the New York newspapers filled with quotes. Never in my life have I seen the Jets receive so much national media attention and such a larger share of the New York media attention than the Giants. There is no denying the Jets are the #1 football story in New York, but will they be the number show in New York as Ryan promised?

Here are three ways the Jets can live up to the hype in 2010:

Photobucket 1. Remember What Got You Here – I am talking about the ground and pound. It may be tempting to air it out with a young, improving Mark Sanchez behind center throwing to a talented group of receivers in Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and a likely high draft pick but the Jets have to stick to their identity and formula that brought them success last year. The  offense should be run through Shonn Greene and the league’s best offensive line, with support from LaDainain Tomlinson and Leon Washington. Sanchez is a very good play action quarterback, who will benefit from having a strong rushing attack. Yes, there will be times the Jets need Sanchez to air it out a little bit but overall this should remain a decidedly run first offense.

2. Buy Into The System – The Jets defense must continue to grow and improve in year two of Rex Ryan’s system. Antonio Cromartie needs to reach his potential and take advantage of the chance to play a significant amount more of man coverage. Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, or James Ihedigbo needs to do what Kerry Rhodes never did, believe in the coaching staff and play physical. Dwight Lowery needs to rebound from a brutal AFC Championship Game to be a quality third corner and backup. Kris Jenkins needs to show he still has something in the tank and Sione Pouha must handle being moved back into a rotational role off the bench. Mike Tannenbaum needs to bring Marques Douglas back because he is a valuable part of the Jets front seven and add a guy through the draft to learn behind Douglas and Shaun Ellis.

3. Take Care Of the Division – The Jets were a brutal 2-4 in the division last year. They split with a crappy Buffalo team and were inexplicably swept by a Dolphins team that they were better than. The Jets have to take care of business in their division this year and focus on taking home the AFC East crown so they don’t have to go on the road three straight weeks. Buffalo is a mess right now. The Jets need to sweep them and find a way to get three out of four from the Patriots and Dolphins. You know every person in the organization wants a shot at Miami in week one on Monday Night at home to get some revenge for those two losses last year.

The story lines around this team are undeniably compelling: an entertaining, outspoken, confident head coach, a young potential franchise quarterback on the rise, an aging hall of fame running back looking to prove he still has something left in the tank, the best cornerback in football, a cornerback who was considered by some to be the NFL’s best in 2007 but now has to re-establish himself, a running back coming off  a gruesome knee injury, a loud mouth middle linebacker, one of the league’s top defensive lineman returning from injury, a third year player looking to prove he isn’t one of the biggest busts of all time (he is), and the best offensive line in football looking to build on last year’s success, yet nobody cares about interesting stories if you can’t find a way to win games.

Get Hyped For The Jets In 2010

What About Mark Sanchez?

Photobucket
First a few (or actually many) updates:

1. Jets backup tackle Wayne Hunter signed his restricted free agent tender offer with the Jets. Hunter is a valuable member of the Jets offense. He frequently sees the field as an extra tight end or tackle in short yardage or goal-line situations. The only current Jets restricted free agents who haven’t signed their tenders are Kellen Clemens, Drew Coleman, and Leon Washington. However, Clemens and Coleman have showed up to voluntary workouts with the rest of the team yesterday and today. The entire roster was in attendance (yes Braylon signed his tender and he is in the building) except recently signed Lance Laury and Washington.

2. Speaking of Leon, the word is that he is going to receive clearance to run within the next 10-14 days. His agent believes he will receive some interest in mid-April from other teams, although I think that is doubtful. Ryan didn’t hide his disappointment about Leon not being in attendance in recent quotes. “It is a voluntary situation, but the rest of his teammates volunteered to be there, so it was disappointing that he wasn’t there.”

3. Another interesting nugget of information on the Jets running back situation. Here is what Ryan had to say about Leon, LT, and Shonn Greene:

Photobucket Leon – “What we should do with him in my opinion is put him back to his role, which he had initially, which is third-down back, a change-of-pace type back and a Pro Bowl returner,” Ryan said. “And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

On LT  – “I’m sure some games he’ll have more rushing attempts than Shonn and I think Shonn will have more than LT in other ones,” Ryan said. “Our team is not based on a certain amount of touches. Hypothetically we’ see him carry the ball 15 times a game.”

While we are quoting Ryan, here is some general things he had to say about the Jets in 2010 – “We go into every game thinking we’re going to win. Every single game. I don’t care if we’re playing the Pro Bowl team, we expect to win. That’s just our mentality. That’s our belief in each other, our belief in our systems and our coaching staff and everything we do…When we were saying things, everybody thought we were crazy. I don’t know if they think we’re crazy now. We did go in there, saying we were going to have a dominant defense; we led the NFL in total defense. We said we were going to have a ground-and-pound offense; we led the league in rushing. So when I think we have an excellent football team, maybe you should take it to the bank because we’ve got an excellent football team.”

And a few parting shots he had for Kerry Rhodes – “To be honest with you, I don’t know if Kerry fully bought in. I think he did later. As the year went on, I could see him trying to do what we asked…If we thought he was giving us everything he had. It never would’ve been an issue.”

First off I pulled those quotes off Rich Cimini’s The Jets Stream (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/) and Tim Graham’s AFC East Blog (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast)

,

Photobucket

I don’t know if I buy into LaDainain Tomlinso getting 15 carries a game and Leon being completely relegated to a third down role. I don’t know if that quote comes from trying to appease a recently signed Tomlinson and taking a dig at Washington for skipping workouts but that carry breakdown doesn’t sound right to me. Maybe in the beginning of the year, Leon will have a more limited role on the offense but I think when he gets his feet under him after the surgery he will move closer to his 2009 pre-injury role. In terms of Tomlinson, I think he would be better served with 8-10 carries and a few receptions a game. 15 carries a game could be pushing it. Shonn Greene should be getting 20-22 carries a game and no less than that because he wears on a defense and has the potential to pop a big run at any  moment.

Third, you know I love Ryan coming out with that confidence this early in the year. I never wanted Ryan’s swagger to be a first year stunt. The Jets have a very good team and there is no reason he shouldn’t exude the confidence that is a natural part of his personality. When the season ended last year the Jets were the best team in the AFC East and as far as I am concerned, they are the team to beat in the division right now so there is nothing wrong with carrying some swagger.

Fourth, Rhodes took his shot at the Jets so I have no problem with Ryan saying something back to him.

4. Number updates…just in case you are rushing out to get your Brodney Pool jersey:

  • LaDainain Tomlinson – #21
  • Dwight Lowery – #26
  • Brodney Pool – #22
  • Antonio Cromartie – #31
  • Nick Folk – #2

5. I am not crazy about the change in the OT rules. I don’t really like having different rules between the regular season and the playoffs and it takes some of the drama out of the overtime period. Although I am sure I won’t argue with the rule if it comes back to benefit the Jets in a playoff game this year. I will say it does bring some interesting strategy into the coaching of overtime now.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we only need 68 more fans for 300.

What About Mark Sanchez?

Photobucket I have confidence in Mike Tannenbaum, I think the Jets have a few minor moves left in free agency along with a solid draft on the horizon. Overall, I am feeling very good about the team in 2010. The defense will improve in year two of Rex Ryan’s system. If Antonio Cromartie’s head is on straight and he is properly motivated, he will be a substantial upgrade over Lito Sheppard. I think Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, and James Ihedigbo can fill the void (if you could call it that) left by Kerry Rhodes and by the way, Kris Jenkins is coming back and from early reports looks very good in the Jets off-season workouts. You didn’t forget about big 77 did you? Hopefully, Adalius Thomas will eventually be on board as an additional pass rusher but that remains to be seen.

On offense, obviously the offensive line remains a strength. Braylon Edwards should be improved after a full off-season with the Jets. Hopefully, Dustin Keller will carry over his level of play from the playoffs last year. Jerricho Cotchery is Mr. Reliable. Shonn Greene has the potential to be a 1,500 yard back. Leon Washington is coming back and LaDainain Tomlinson should be motivated to have at least one productive year behind the Jets offensive line. I like the coaching staff and the aggressiveness of the owner and GM. We have a new stadium for 2010 and a slate of prime-time games on the way. Yet, there is one thing that could hold the Jets back in 2010…the quarterback.

What about Mark Sanchez? After the encouraging run by Sanchez and the Jets in the playoffs, it is easy to forget the 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and 53.8 completion percentage he posted during the regular season. The Jets aren’t going to be any better than a 9-7 team if Sanchez puts up those type of numbers again. Is it a safe bet to believe Sanchez will make some substantial progress in his second year?

I feel confident that he will and here is why: first off, we saw Sanchez take a major step during the playoffs last year when the games got bigger. He put together a terrific wild-card game on the road. After some early struggles in the divisional round, he made a clutch third down touchdown pass that helped push the Jets to victory. Finally, he played a great game in the AFC Championship on the road in Indianapolis. When he stayed in the pocket, took a monster hit to the face and delivered a perfect pass to Dustin Keller for a third down touchdown, you had to feel good about the future of the Jets offense.

Second, by all accounts Sanchez has been living at the Jets facility this off-season. You want to hear about your quarterback spending all day and night in his offensive coordinator’s office breaking down tape. He got his knee taken care of this off-season and is currently ahead in his rehab. Sanchez will be 100 percent for training camp and hopefully will participate in the team’s OTAs in June.

I think Sanchez showed he has the physical tools to excel at this level last year. He will be returning for year two in the same offense, with the same offensive coordinator, the same top three receiving targets, a quality offensive line, and a very good group of running backs. There is no reason his touchdown to interception ratio shouldn’t improve to hopefully something like 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions and his completion percentage moves into the 57-59% range. I don’t think Sanchez is going to light the world on fire in year two or be a fantasy football beast but I think he will protect the football better and be much more comfortable in the Jets offense. If he can do those things, the Jets maybe looking at a 11-5 or 12-4 record.

Looking Over The Jets Receivers & A Word On Pro Football Talk

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. I have been a daily reader of the website Pro Football Talk, despite their consistent anti-Jets bias from lead writer Mike Florio. In my mind, I thought it would be a little silly/immature to completely ignore a decent source of information because the guy who runs it just hates my team. So I dealt with the constant writing that criticized Jets players, coaches, owner, or GM and held them to a different standard than the other 31 teams in the NFL. However, as eloquently expressed by Brian Bassett here (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/22/mike-florio-hurrying-to-become-next-perez-hilton/) I will also be done with PFT for the foreseeable future. Yes, I am aware not linking them or referencing them does nothing to the massive amounts of hits they receive on a daily basis but based on the principle of it, TOJ is going PFT free.

PhotobucketWhat triggered this decision? If you didn’t read the above link from The Jets Blog, Florio has decided to run his website like TMZ and a not a source of NFL News, and wrote an unnecessary article criticizing Rex Ryan for his recent lap-band surgery and questioning how he could expect to discipline a team, when he couldn’t discipline himself. After being ripped apart in the comment section of the article, he followed up with one of the weakest, insincere, and incoherent apologies ever typed in which he talked about being a chubby teenager for some reason. Now you might say, wait a minute…didn’t you just write an article about the Jets on Hard Knocks which joked around about Rex Ryan’s weight? Yes, I did spend three sentences on it but it was prefaced by a disclaimer saying it was clearly a joke and I obviously wished for Ryan to become as healthy as possible as quickly as possible. Beyond that, I thrown Ryan so many compliments on this site it should be illegal because I love the big guy and what he has brought to the Jets.

Overall, I am done with PFT because there are plenty of other superior sources of information out there to read without having to deal with Florio’s weekly line of BS on why Mike Tannenbaum should be fired, why Mark Sanchez is terrible, why every move the Jets make is stupid, and so on. I don’t know if a Jets fan beat Florio up and took his lunch money when he was a chubby teenager or the people from Sprint that force him to promote them every 10 updates on the site are Patriots or Dolphins fans but clearly he has some unresolved issues with the Green and White.

2. The Jets have been showing interest in Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn, who could fall to them at #29 in the first round of the draft. Most people seem to think the Jets are going defensive line or receiver in the first round, and if they do Benn could be a nice fit this season as a #3 receiver.

3. The league was expected to announce the match-ups for certain games today, including the Jets opening Monday Night game and their Thanksgiving night game but it looks like it will be pushed back until tomorrow. I will stick with my guess that they play Miami in week one and the Ravens on Thanksgiving.

4. Three Miami Dolphins arrested in the six weeks? They are turning into the NFL’s version of the Portland Trailblazers. I thought Tony Sparano and Bill Parcells were all about assembling a disciplined, high-character team?

5. The Depth Chart and 2010 Draft Section of the site have been updated.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 69 fans away from 300.

7. I think the recent signing of linebacker/special teamer Lance Laury was quietly a very smart move by the Jets. They were getting thin on special teams players with the departure of Wallace Wright, Larry Izzo, and Marques Murrell. Laury has been a productive special teams player the past four years and was good enough to be a captain of the unit for Seattle.

Looking Over The Jets Receivers & A Word On Pro Football Talk

Similar to the secondary, which has already seen a few departures and a couple of new additions, the Jets receiving core is frequently talked about as an area of the team that needs improvement. Despite my disagreement about how much they actually need a receiver (as in they don’t need to spend a first round pick on one, unless they are in position to really steal somebody at #29), here is an article looking at what the Jets currently have on their roster and who they could look to add:

Braylon Edwards – Most people look his 2009 stats with the Jets (35 catches, 541 yards, 4 touchdowns in 12 regular season games) and are down on Edwards potential to be the Jets #1 receiver. Yes, he did some have bad drops and was inconsistent at times. However, he also did show his big play potential and clearly has the skill set to be a legit #1 target. I want to see how Edwards produces with a full off-season under his belt with the Jets offense and an improved Mark Sanchez behind center. There is no reason he can’t be a 1,100 yard, 8 touchdown guy for this team next season.

PhotobucketJerricho Cotchery – Underrated and under-appreciated, all Cotchery does is catch everything thrown to him and routinely come up with huge plays on third downs. He would have easily been a 1,000 yard receiver last year if he didn’t miss nearly three full games with an injury. Cotchery showed his value in the playoffs, when he stepped up as Sanchez’s go to guy in a big spot in all three games. It is easy to look at 6 receptions for 67 yards against the Bengals or 3 catches for 25 yards against the Chargers and forget how big those specific catches he made were.

Brad Smith – He isn’t really a true receiver but is instead more of a gadget player. Smith only caught 7 passes for 63 yards last year but racked up over 200 yards of rushing and continued to be a very good special teams player. Ideally, he would be the Jets #4 receiver who has his own package of plays to take advantage of his speed and versatility.

David Clowney – Clowney got everybody excited with a monster pre-season but never turned into the consistent deep threat the team hoped he would be. To be fair, he didn’t receive a ton of chances and did make some big plays (a 53 yard catch on Monday night against Miami and a 35 yard touchdown against the Raiders) but overall he will likely be battling for a roster spot as the Jets #5 receiver this year. Clowney’s value is hurt by the fact that he doesn’t contribute on special teams.

Danny Woodhead – He is a running back/receiver and I would guess with the acquisition of LaDainian Tomlinson will keep the #83 and stay at receiver. It will be difficult for Woodhead to stay on the active roster this year if all the Jets running backs stay healthy because I don’t think he has the skill set to be a full time receiver in the NFL and he hasn’t shown much on special teams.

Britt Davis – The Jets coaching staff was high on him during training camp last year but he never really flashed in the pre-season and began to struggle with drops. Davis has good size (6’3, 205 pounds) and could be a sleeper to steal a roster spot this year.

There is still talk about the Jets acquiring Brandon Marshall because of their lack of faith in Edwards as a legit number one target. I don’t think the deal is going to happen because another team (most likely Seattle) will offer Denver more than the Jets will want to. Regardless, it seems likely the Jets are going to draft a receiver in round 1 or 2 to fill the #3 receiver/slot guy spot on their depth chart since there currently is a hole there. Laveranues Coles also remains an option to fill that hole. Personally, I would like to see the Jets sign Coles and then spend a later round pick on a receiver to develop behind the veterans Edwards, Cotchery, and Coles. A depth chart of Edwards, Cotchery, Coles, 4th/5thround draft, and Brad Smith would look pretty good to me.

J-Co

Braylon

Brad Smith

Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. What a first day of March Madness…unfortunately my Lehigh Mountain Hawks couldn’t pull off the 16 vs 1 upset but they did hang tough. They definitely made it more competitive than Lafayette would have, I know that much.

2. James Ihedigbo (who received his first article lead picture on TOJ today), Vernon Gholston, and Davd Clowney have all been in Haiti the past week helping out with the rebuilding effort. www.newyorkjets.com has been documenting it. Great job by all those guys taking the time out of their lives to give help where it is needed most.

3. LaDainain Tomlinson got a jump start on Monday’s first team workout by showing up at the facility today to do some drills with strength coach Sal Alosi. Bart Scott and Dustin Keller were also present.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because 226 other people are doing it

5. Starting in April, I will be doing some fantasy football writing for Fanball/Rototimes so if you are interested in reading some advice/insight on the world of fantasy I will be posting the links here when I start up.

6. Upcoming TOJ stuff to be excited about — An off-season edition of TOJ TV. I know everybody misses seeing me and James in front of the camera. Also, as soon as I get my new laptop I will be putting together TOJ: The Podcast. My goal is to have the first episode up and running by the NFL Draft.

Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

For once, news is a little slow on our J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have ten Friday thoughts about them:

1. Tim Graham of ESPN.com does a great job of occasionally compiling mock draft selections for AFC East teams, here is the latest picks from Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, (ESPN) Don Banks (SI), Bucky Brooks, Pat Kirwan (NFL.com), Sam Farmer (LA Times), Clark Judge, Pete Prisco, Rob Rang, and Chad Reuter (CBS Sports).

  • Kiper – Taylor Mays, USC Safety
  • McShay – Jared Odrick, PSU Defensive Tackle
  • Banks – Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech Receiver
  • Brooks – Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech Receiver
  • Farmer – Dan Williams, Tennessee Defensive Tackle
  • Judge – Mike Iupati, Idaho Guard (who the Jets worked out today)
  • Kirwan – Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State Receiver
  • Prisco – Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech Receiver
  • Rang – Golden Tate, Notre Dame Receiver
  • Reuter – Jared Odrick, PSU Defensive Tackle

PhotobucketIt looks like just about everybody has the Jets penciled in for a defensive lineman or a wide receiver, which makes sense considering their recent acquisitions. Odrick is coming off a strong pro day and is a name who has been linked to the Jets since the draft order was set. Personally, at this point I would rather see the Jets improve their defensive line depth, especially considering they haven’t re-signed Marques Douglas yet, than add a wide receiver in round one. There will be plenty of receivers for the Jets to target in the second round if they are looking for a slot guy.

2. What are the odds of Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Brandon Moore starting every single game again this year? I am not sure I am confident in Wayne Hunter or Robert Turner for an extended period of time. The Jets should spend a middle-round pick on an offensive lineman to develop behind the veterans and eventually take over for either Faneca or Woody, depending on whether they a pick a guard or tackle. It also probably wouldn’t hurt to add another cheap free agent lineman to improve depth, although the market is pretty thin right now.

3. I am curious how the battle for the starting safety is going to play out. You would think Eric Smith will probably get the first crack at the job, but I get the impression the coaching staff is high on James Ihedigbo’s potential, especially in run support and that they didn’t sign Brodney Pool to sit on the bench. Honestly, I think all three will have a role on the defense and end up splitting the reps. My guess is that the starting job will likely change hands multiple times. The only problem is that all three of these guys are known to be better in run support than in pass coverage. I guess it is a good thing we have Revis Island on one side of the field, and hopefully Cromartie peninsula coming together on the opposite side (I know peninsula probably isn’t the best geographic term, but I can’t think of anything better right now, I guess I am saying receivers will occasionally be able to escape to the only border because only #24 is good enough to maintain his own island…enough geography for the day).

4. What is your ideal Jets offensive box score looking like right now? Here is what mine is looking like for our week 1 Monday night victory over the Dolphins:

  • Mark Sanchez – 18/24, 221 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
  • Shonn Greene – 21 carries, 114 yards
  • LaDainain Tomlinson – 8 carries, 40 yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 26 yards
  • Leon Washington – 7 carries, 40 yards, 3 receptions, 25 yards
  • Braylon Edwards – 4 catches, 70 yards
  • Jerricho Cotchery – 5 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD
  • Dustin Keller – 4 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD
  • Brad Smith – 2 carries, 22 yards

5. How many games does Vernon Gholston get a shot this year before the Jets decide to throw in the towel and just make him inactive every week? If it gets to week 5 or 6 and he isn’t contributing on defense and remains an average special teams player, how do you justify keeping him on the active roster?

Photobucket6. It will be an interesting battle this year for the final roster spot at receiver, considering who the Jets add through the draft or if they decide to sign Laveranues Coles. David Clowney made a few big plays last year but never lived up to the hype he created in pre-season. Britt Davis was a camp favorite of the coaches before he began struggling with drops toward the end of the pre-season. Aundrae Allison might be the fastest player on the team but he was forced to go on IR after the last pre-season game and Marcus Henry is still around.

7. I think Erik Ainge and maybe Kevin O’Connell will give Kellen Clemens a run for the #2 quarterback job this pre-season. The Jets didn’t carry four quarterbacks on their roster last year for no reason and I bet they won’t do it again this year.

8. Nick Folk, really? C’mon now.

Photobucket9. Who is going to fill Wallace Wright’s spot on special teams? Better yet, who is going to fill his article space in training camp with the requisite “this special teams guy is having a terrific camp on offense and is going to finally break out.” It can’t be Danny Woodhead, who showed he can’t contain on kick coverage against Miami last year and already has a hold over the requisite “long-shot division 2 player who is really scrappy and everyone is pulling for to make the roster” story space. NOTE – After I began typing this, it was announced the Jets signed former Seahawks linebacker Lance Laury who was their special teams captain last year. He had 21 tackles and 1 forced fumble last year. Nice job reading my mind Mike Tannenbaum.

10. What is the next Jets jersey I should buy? Currently my jersey depth chart is looking like this (ranked in order of swaggalicious-ness)…I don’t know how to pronounce what I just typed. By the way, I never wear outdated jerseys in public, just for pick-up football, but I listed them anyway.

  • Darrelle Revis, White Titans
  • Jerricho Cotchery, White
  • Dustin Keller, Green
  • Mark Sanchez, White
  • Curtis Martin, Green
  • Laveranues Coles, White
  • Santana Moss, White
  • Jonathan Vilma, Green
  • Chad Pennington, Green
  • Kerry Rhodes, Green
  • Curtis Conway, Green

I could have a new car by now, if I didn’t have all these jersey. I have two identical green #81 jerseys, the only difference is that it says “Keller” on one and “Conway” on the other. I am leaning heavily towards either a home Shonn Greene jersey or a blue Leon Washington throwback (depending how he looks coming off the injury)…maybe a home David Harris jersey, we’ll see.

Oh, The Madness

Why The Jets Must Be On Hard Knocks

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Jets safety Eric Smith signed his one-year tender today as a restricted free agent. Smith is expected to compete with Brodney Pool, James Ihedigbo, and any other player the Jets may add at the safety position through the draft or free agency for the starting role opposite Jim Leonhard. Smith has grown on me but I still don’t think he has the skill set to be a full time starter. He is a better fit as a role player on defense, like being used as a blitzer and in coverage on tight ends or running backs in certain packages. Smith is also a pretty good special teams player.

2. Some thoughts on other NFL moves– I am not sure what Pete Carroll and the Seahawks see in Charlie Whitehurst but I can’t believe what they gave up to acquire him and how much they are paying him, considering he has never played an NFL snap…I don’t know who has a worse quarterback battle this year, the Browns (Jake Delhomme vs Seneca Wallace vs Brett Ratliff) or the Bills (Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Trent Edwards vs Brian Brohm), who remembers the days of Chad Pennington vs Patrick Ramsey vs Kellen Clemens vs Brooks Bollinger?…I find it funny that Chad Henne, who has started 13 career NFL games and has 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, along with a career 75.2 QB Rating, thinks he is qualified to say that Tim Tebow isn’t a NFL quarterback…I think Anquan Boldin is going to have a monster year for the Ravens…Derek Anderson will be starting by week five over Matt Leinart…Hey Oakland, you have a problem with your franchise quarterback when you are bragging about him “slimming down” to 271 pounds.

3. The Jets off-season program begins on Monday, apparently there is some concern about Braylon Edwards showing up since he hasn’t signed his tender yet. All I know is that Edwards better get to Florham Park, find a jugs machine and get to work. Couldn’t you see Mike Tannenbaum findng out Edwards didn’t show up, and working out a trade for Brandon Marshall in about an hour?

4. The talk about Laveranues Coles returning to the Jets has quieted down for a few days, yet it is still a move I wouldn’t mind seeing the Jets make. As long as Coles can swallow his pride and accept his role, he would be a perfect fit as a #3/slot receiver.

5. Remember there are other sections to the website besides the home page. We have the “2010 Draft” Section, which includes a comprehensive list of players the Jets could target (courtesy of www.thejetsblog.com), a list of all their draft picks, and the top five players at each position. We have the “2009 highlights” Section, which includes multiple highlight tapes of the Jets past season. We have also have the updated depth chart, statistics from last year, the Jets 2010 opponents…and of course, the About The Author page.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 75 fans away from 300.

Why The Jets Must Be On Hard Knocks

I have always been a big fan of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which documents a NFL team’s training camp experience. It is a fascinating and highly entertaining look inside the dynamics of a NFL roster and coaching staff. After watching every episode covering the Bengals last year, all I could think throughout this past wild Jets season was how perfect they would be for Hard Knocks. Sure enough, it was recently reported the Jets are a serious candidate for the show, which makes sense for so many reasons that it would be a crime to the entertainment industry if they weren’t chosen.

First off, look at all the television shows you are getting rolled into one by featuring the Jets (please have a sense of humor and don’t criticize me for being insensitive, obviously TOJ is pulling for Rex to get healthier, etc):

  • The Biggest Loser – Rex Ryan is an overweight NFL coach attempting to lose weight, so much so that he decided to have lap band surgery this past off-season. Watch Ryan fight the temptations as the players around him stuff massive amounts of food down their throat in-between practices, couldn’t you see a distraught Ryan after the offense scores on his defense during a two-minute drill racing up to his emergency stash of KFC, while Mike Pettine and Brian Schottenheimer attempt to hold him back?
  • Photobucket

  • Entourage – Instead of having a bunch of east coast guys follow their friend out to the west coast, we could watch a bunch of west coast guys follow their friend (Mark Sanchez, of course) out to the east coast. This is an even better fit since Sanchez looks exactly like Vinny Chase. The only problem is that the Jets hold training camp in Cortland and Sanchez’s hometown buddies likely won’t be accompanying him to upstate New York. Regardless, it would still be entertaining to watch Sanchez, Erik Ainge (as Johnny Drama), Dustin Keller (as E), and Braylon Edwards (as Turtle) enjoy that Cortland night life and sweep upstate New York ladies off their feet,
  • Antonio Cromartie Plus 8 – Since TLC cancelled Jon and Kate plus eight for various reasons, Antonio Cromartie and his seven kids could step up to fill the void. Yes, I know I put plus 8 but considering Cromartie’s rate of procreating, bumping the number up to 8 is a safet bet.
  • The Late Show With Bart Scott – Scott runs his mouth enough to carry on a monologue for an entire hour…no guests would even be needed.
  • Iron Chef 77 – We all know Big Jinx loves to cook and who is going to be brave enough to tell him he didn’t put together the best meal?

Second, look at all the terrific plot lines you have going on with the Jets team this upcoming season, there will be more going on than an episode of LOST and no time travel, alternate time lines, smoke monster, 4 toed statues, or polar bears would even be needed:

  • Braylon Edwards dealing with irony of being a wide receiver who can’t catch…The camera could watch him in front of the jugs machine taking one off the nose every 5 minutes.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson attempting to handle not being the most popular running back on his team anymore…The camera could watch him sulk to himself as Shonn Greene and Leon Washington rack up big plays against the Jets defense in practice and then in pre-season games.
  • Vernon Gholston standing at 6 foot 3, 265 pounds, running a 4.4 forty, being able to bench 675 pounds…yet not being capable of recording a single sack or meaningful tackle, the audience could watch in awe as he aimlessly runs around the field and collects 6 million dollars from the Jets.
  • Dwight Lowery watching and re-watching footage of the AFC Championship Game as he slowly drives himself insane, while muttering “Garcon” to himself.

PhotobucketBeyond all of this the Jets have the best corner in football. The work of Darrelle Revis should be documented for all defensive backs to learn from. The same thing goes for Nick Mangold, who is the best center in football and of course could also throw in an advertisement for the shampoo he uses to keep that long hair going strong. You have Washington and Jenkins battling back from injury, a 82 year old fullback named Tony Richardson who is still a beast lead blocker, Calvin Pace giving advice on what supplements to take, and Shaun Ellis running a D.A.R.E. program.

How could you not choose the Jets? C’mon now, HBO.

Get Rex On Camera