Jets Area of Strength – Wide Receiver

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 First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and now also follow us on YouTube.

2. The big story of the day is that the Jets have an interest in JaMarcus Russell. I said this on the Facebook page and I will say it again here, I would love to have Russell as a backup…to Kris Jenkins. Maybe, even bring him in to compete with Vladimir Ducasse and Matt Slauson at the left guard spot. Wherever he is playing, he better not be throwing any footballs in green and white next season.

3. Speaking of Ducasse, the Jets are apparently near signing him to his rookie deal. How about some positive contract news for the Jets?

4. Let me throw out some final guesses on where the major free agents end up: I am going with LeBron and Bosh to Chicago, Carlos Boozer to Miami, Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemaire to the Knicks, Rudy Gay and David Lee to the Nets, and that’s all I got for right now.

Jets Area of Strength – Wide Receiver

Here at TOJ, we have been going through the various areas of concern and strength for the Jets heading into the 2010 season. So far the areas of concern have been quarterback and running back, while the area of strength has been linebacker. Today we add another area of strength with the Jets group of wide receivers:

Links to previous “Areas of Concern” and “Areas of Strength” articles

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/24/jets-area-of-strength-linebacker/

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/23/jets-area-of-concern-running-back/

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/28/jets-area-of-concern-quarterback/

The Jets have come a long way from Chansi Stuckey battling David Clowney and Brad Smith for a starting spot opposite of Jerricho Cotchery last summer. There may not be a team in football with a better top three receivers than the Jets this season. Yes, they will be without Santonio Holmes for the first four games because of a suspension but for the 3/4 of the season they are at full strength, their top three options are going to give defensive coordinators nightmares.

Here is the production of Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Santonio Holmes last year:

  • Edwards – 45 receptions, 680 yards, 4 touchdowns
  • Cotchery – 57 receptions, 821 yards, 4 touchdowns
  • Holmes – 79 receptions, 1248 yards, 5 touchdowns

Initially, those numbers are nothing to go crazy over especially since Holmes is coming off his best season ever and can’t possibly match those numbers in only 12 games this season (except the touchdowns). Yet, keep in mind Edwards spent 4 games with a quarterback disaster in Cleveland and arrived just in time for the rough patch of Mark Sanchez’s season. Cotchery missed two and half games with an injury and was a likely 1,000 yard guy without that missed time. He produced at a high level, even with a rookie quarterback. As I said before, 2009 was Holmes best season. Here is the stat lines from Edwards and Cotchery’s best season:

  • Edwards (2007) 80 receptions, 1299 yards, 17 touchdowns
  • Cotchery (2007) 82 receptions, 1130 yards, 2 touchdowns (or you could argue for 2006 when he had 82 receptions, 961 yards and 6 touchdowns).

PhotobucketAll three of these guys are capable of being 1,000 yard receivers. Edwards is the most physically gifted of the three and seems poised for a big year after a great off-season and the expected improvement of Mark Sanchez. Holmes is just entering his prime as a legitimate number one receiver, and is the best overall receiver of the group. Cotchery will get looked over by people but he was doing just fine as the Jets number one receiver before the Edwards trade last  year and is going to kill teams out of the slot this season. He has the best hands out of the group, is the most precise route runner, and has the best chemistry with Sanchez. If you had to bet which of these three guys will have the most receptions, I would go with Cotchery.

The depth behind the Edwards, Cotchery, and Holmes is solid. Brad Smith is more of a do everything guy than a receiver, but as a #4/5 option is about as solid as you will get in the NFL. David Clowney flashed at times last season and is capable of being the number three receiver while Holmes serves his suspension. Aundrae Allison is a burner who could push for a roster spot because of his kick return and deep threat ability. Also keep an eye on Britt Davis who has good size and impressed the coaches last training camp, along with Larry Taylor who looked like a good slot receiver in the making at mini-camp.

Overall, the production of players like Edwards, Cotchery, and Holmes will depend on Sanchez’s progression in year two. However, if he takes the expected steps forward, all three will have plenty of opportunities to make plays. I don’t know if there will be a 1,000 yard receiver out of this group because of the division of looks between them, Dustin Keller, and the running backs but Edwards and Cotchery should get close. Holmes should still put up a big chunk of receiving yards because of his big play capability and will hopefully find the end-zone 4-6 times.

TOJ TV

Jets Area Of Concern – Quarterback

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook, Twitter (TurnOnTheJets), and YouTube.

2. I have already resigned to talking myself into Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemaire, if the Knicks can even land the two of them. If LeBron truly only cares about winning, he is going to the Bulls and taking Chris Bosh with him. A starting five of LeBron, Bosh, Deng, Noah, and Rose is winning 65-70 games in the Eastern Conference next season, maybe more.

Jets Area Of Concern – Quarterback

Contrary to the belief of some fans, the Jets roster isn’t perfect. Like any team in the NFL, they have multiple areas of concern throughout their roster heading into the 2010 season. Today is second look at one of these areas, the quarterback position:

Here are the links the previous articles in the “Area of Concern” and Area of Strength” Series:

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/23/jets-area-of-concern-running-back/

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/24/jets-area-of-strength-linebacker/

Out of the Jets eleven starters on offense, there are only three question marks or potential areas of concern in my mind: running back, quarterback, and left guard. Obviously, the quarterback is the most important position on the field so the Jets biggest concern heading into this season is Mark Sanchez.

The great off-season Braylon Edwards is having. The addition of Santonio Holmes. The potential of Jerricho Cotchery in the slot. The continued growth of Dustin Keller. The addition of LaDainian Tomlinson. Drafting Joe McKnight. The Jets stacked offensive line. It could all go to waste on offense if Mark Sanchez isn’t up to the task in 2010. Because in football if your quarterback isn’t playing well, your offense isn’t playing well.

Let’s look back through Sanchez’s rookie season briefly. In the regular season, Sanchez was either very good (for a rookie), awful, or a successful game manager in near perfect balance.

Very Good

  • Week 1 – 18/31. 272 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 2 – 14/22, 163 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 3 – 17/30, 171 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD
  • Week 5 – 12/24, 172, 1 TD
  • Week 8 – 20/35, 265 yards, 2 TDs, 1 rushing TD

Awful

  • Week 4 – 14/27, 138 yards, 3 INTs
  • Week 6 – 10/29, 119 yards, 5 INTs
  • Week 10 – 16/30, 212 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
  • Week 11 – 8/21, 136 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs
  • Week 15 – 18/32, 226 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs

Successful Game Manager

  • Week 7 – 9/16, 143 yards, 1 TD, 1 rushing TD
  • Week 12 – 13/17, 154 yards, 1 INT
  • Week 13 – 7/15, 104 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 16-  12/19, 106 yards
  • Week 17 – 8/16, 63 yards

PhotobucketIf the Jets are going to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender, they need Sanchez to be somewhere in-between the game manager and very good level. Nobody is saying the guy has to be a Pro-Bowl quarterback for the Jets to win 12 games, but if he could protect the football and hit big plays down the field when the opportunity presents itself the Jets are going to be very difficult to stop. If he can duplicate his performance from games like week 8 against Miami, then Jets are going to have one of the NFL’s best offenses to match the NFL’s best defense.

The most encouraging thing moving forward into the 2010 season is how Sanchez stepped up his play when it mattered the most last season, in the playoffs. Everybody was picking the Jets to lose to Cincinnati in the first round because there was no way Sanchez could go on the road in tough weather conditions and pull out a victory. He responded with 12/15, 182 yards, and a touchdown. Also, anybody who watched that game and saw a picture perfect 50 yard touchdown pass drop through Braylon Edwards hands knows what Sanchez’s numbers actually should have looked like.

Sanchez got off to a sluggish start in the second round against the Chargers but hit the switch in the fourth quarter and made arguably the biggest play of the Jets season, by buying time with his athleticism and finding Dustin Keller in the back of the end-zone with a rocket on third down to put the Jets ahead. The real Sanchez “arrival” moment was in the AFC Championship Game on the road against the Indianapolis Colts. His stat line is impressive (17/30, 257 yards, 2 TDs) but it doesn’t tell the whole story. When Sanchez stood in the pocket and took a monster hit to the face while delivering a perfect strike to Keller on third down for a touchdown that put the Jets up 14-6, it was a moment that all the Jets fans should have said to themselves “this guy has what it takes to be our franchise quarterback.”

Even though he has what it takes, doesn’t mean it is going to equal a consistent, productive performance. Those games against Buffalo, in New England, and New Orleans happened last year but it seems hard to believe that Sanchez won’t learn from his mistakes in year two. By all accounts, he has put in enormous amounts of work this off-season and has the exact attitude you want from your young quarterback.

Remember the Jets found their way to 9 wins last year with a quarterback having a horrific statistical season. Think about how far they could go, if Sanchez could throw 15 touchdowns, 12 INTs, with a 57 completion percentage.

Beyond Sanchez, the Jets depth is questionable. The expected plan is to go into the year with Sanchez, Mark Brunell, and either Erik Ainge or Kevin O’Connell. With a line-up like that, I might feel better with Brad Smith coming in at quarterback if Sanchez got hurt.

AFC Championship Highlights (Turn Off at 2 Minute Mark)

TOJ Hype Video

TOJ Mini-Camp

Revisiting My Opinions Of Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlison, & Antonio Cromartie

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and now on YouTube.

2. If I had to guess where LeBron James will end up next year as of today, I would say 30% chance of Cleveland, 30% chance of Chicago, 20% percent chance of Miami, and 10% percent each for New York and New Jersey. I hope I’m wrong.

3. There is nothing that makes me happier then when Dolphins fans post on this site, please keep the comments coming. I thoroughly enjoy your misguided efforts to insult me as you spend part of your day on my web site.

4. You know it is going to be a rough season for Buffalo, when their running back is interviewed by the media and all he can talk about is how excited he is about how good the Jets are going to be this year.

5. New England re-signed linebacker Gary Guyton yesterday, further solidifying their mediocrity at the position.

Revisiting My Opinions Of Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlison, & Antonio Cromartie

It’s Friday. It’s a nice day out. I might as well enjoy my self-deprecating sense of humor by looking back on some things I have written in the past on new Jets Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Antonio Cromartie before I get out on the lake for some floating:

Jason Taylor

November 5th, 2009 article “The Jets Will Win 10 Games”

PhotobucketJason Taylor talking about how Giants Stadium is a “hellhole” and that unlike Giants fans, Jets fans are “asses.” We all know that Taylor has had a lifelong hatred of the Jets organization and fans and will always take a shot whenever he can. What can you say? Taylor is a probable hall of fame player but a guy who will never win a championship and a guy who has never been past the second round of the playoffs. He got there a couple of times but lost 62-7 to Jacksonville and was blown out by the Raiders another time. He left Miami last year because Bill Parcells didn’t want him because he was too worried about his Hollywood career, stunk it up in DC and then got out of his contract by refusing to participate in off-season workouts. While he was gone, Miami had their best season in years and won the division, so Jason came back this year just in time to be a part of another 6-10 Dolphins team this season. Taylor is right about one thing, he hates Jets fans and we hate him. He can enjoy another January at home this season watching the NFL playoffs, like he has done every year since 2001.

February 4th, 2010 article “Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Moments”

(Worst Moments of the Year)…5. Anybody But Him – Rookie running back Shonn Greene fumbles behind the line of scrimmage and the ball bounces directly to Jason Taylor who runs it back for a 48 yard touchdown, promptly forcing Jets fans everywhere to throw up.

Antonio Cromartie/LaDainian Tomlinson

January 18th, 2010 article “Grading Out The Jets Win Against The Cheap-Shot Chargers”

Why the cheap-shot Chargers? Look at dirtbag Antonio Cromartie throw an elbow into Shonn Greene’s back after he rips off his 53 yard touchdown run in the game highlights at the bottom of this article…unbelievble (by the way, I think they are still scraping Eric Weddle off the turf back in San Diego).

March 3rd, 2010 article “What Should The Jets Expect From Leon Washington in 2010?”

Not much on the update front today, especially for the Wednesday before free agency. There has been some talk about the Jets interest in Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie, who is on the trading block. I think this is more of a result of everybody knowing the Jets need a corner and automatically linking them with anybody who could potentially be available. I haven’t read anything (and I spend way too much time reading every single thing on the Internet Jets related) that makes me believe the Jets will pursue Cromartie and even have an interest in a guy like Dunta Robinson. Beyond that, Cromartie’s play has declined in recent years, he is a soft player known for his lack of effort, and has off the field baggage in the form of five paternity suits.

January 13th, 2010 article “Jets vs. Chargers Position By Position Comparison”

Tomlinson is a shell of his former self and only averages 3.3 yards per carry.

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Time To Get Your Story Straight, Turn On The Jets

Weekend Video Clips

Never Thought I’d See The Day

A Little Hype

Jets Area of Strength – Linebacker

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First a few updates:

1. I always wonder why the NBA has such a quick turn around on their draft. They give no time for the hype to build up like it does for the NFL Draft. I guess it makes sense considering only the first 10 picks are interesting and after that 3/4 of the guys never even make it in the league. However, there is always a high amount of trades and I’m sure there will be a few interesting LeBron nuggets of information coming out tonight.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and now on YouTube (Turn On The Jets channel).

3. I had a nice wake up call from the Jets organization this morning attempting to convince me to buy season tickets. Considering I already have tickets and the salary of a blogger doesn’t cover those club-level PSL seats, I had to decline. I was thinking they were calling to offer the job of running their web-site.

Jets Area of Strength – Linebacker

We touched on one of the Jets areas of concern yesterday by talking about their running back position, so let’s cheer you back up today by talking about one of their areas of strength heading int0 2010, the linebacker position.

The Jets are returning the same four starters from the 2009 season, all of whom had a very productive seasons considering their role on the team. Second team All-Pro linebacker David Harris led the way with 127 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 FF, and 2 INT. Despite not being a big name around the league because he isn’t a flashy player, Harris is one of the league’s best inside linebackers and the second most important player on the Jets defense behind Darrelle Revis.

Photobucket Scott and Calvin Pace are both a touch below being Pro-Bowl caliber players. Pace racked up 8 sacks, 55 tackles, and 3 FFs in only 12 games last season. There is no reason he shouldn’t be able to crack double digit sacks in a full season of play. Scott is the vocal leader of the defense and I am not sure if I have seen a player ever run his mouth on the field more. Yet, he had a very good season in 2009 to back up his words. Scott finished with 92 tackles, 1 sack, and an impressive 11 tackles for a loss. There are few teams in the league that you could argue have a better top three linebackers than Harris, Pace, and Scott.

Bryan Thomas didn’t have flashy numbers in 2009 but is an important part of the Jets defense because of his versatility and ability to do things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He isn’t frequently given chances to make plays in the Jets scheme but still had 53 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 TFLs, and a FF in 2009.

This off-season, the Jets added Jason Taylor which gives a huge boost to their depth. Taylor will provide a needed pass rushing threat off the bench and should see a ton of time on third downs and in the Jets nickel package. He had 7 sacks for the Dolphins last season and he came to the Jets on Rex Ryan’s promise that he could get him at least 10 this season. It is hard not to have faith in Ryan’s ability to get his players after the quarterback. Taylor will have every chance to be a 10-12 sack guy this season

The linebacker group is rounded out by two young players, who are heading in the right direction. Jamaal Westerman managed to make an impact last year as a UDFA on both defense and special teams. The coaches love his versatility and he should be involved in a few defensive packages as both an inside and outside linebacker. Kenwin Cummings has been raved about by the coaches and players as one of the MVPs of the team’s off-season program. He should provide good depth behind Scott and Harris at the inside linebacker position and could contribute in a few packages and on special teams.

The Jets also added special teams ace Lance Laury from Seattle this season to help offset the loss of Wallace Wright and Larry Izzo. He will be listed as a backup at inside linebacker but his primary job on the team will be to lead the special team units.

Turn On The Jets TV – Mini Camp

Jets Area Of Concern – Running Back

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First a few updates:

1. Check out the new updated “About Turn On The Jets” section…and remember to follow TOJ on Facebook, Twitter, and now YouTube.

2. Take a listen to my apperance on Marty Schupak’s Green Rewind, here (http://web.me.com/greenrewind/Site/Podcasts/Podcasts.html). Marty and myself primarily talk about the Jets defense but also spend a little time on the Darrelle Revis contract situation along with a few other things.

3. An interview I read today on NYJ Scout had an interview with Dwight Lowery, with him talking about getting more reps at safety this off-season. This is a move that has frequently been talked about by fans, considering Lowery’s lack of physical abilities to play corner full time but good ball instincts. It will be interesting to see if Lowery can get a good number of reps in the nickel or dime package as a safety.

Jets Area Of Concern – Running Back

Contrary to the belief of some fans, the Jets roster isn’t perfect. Like any team in the NFL, they have multiple areas of concern throughout their roster heading into the 2010 season. Today is our first look at one of these areas, the running back position:

Shonn Greene certainly looked the part of a number one back in the wild-card and divisional round of the playoffs last season. However, don’t be fooled into thinking two games is adequate proof that Greene is ready to be a full time number one back. My concerns about him are primarily his durability, fumbling issue, and lack of hands out of the backfield. A closer look at this statistics last season, also raise questions about his ability to be a full time starter for a 16 game schedule.

PhotobucketGreene was a player who had injury issues in college and encountered similar problems in his rookie season. He missed time with an ankle injury and rib injury in the pre-season, had a banged up shoulder during the regular season, and then was knocked out of the AFC Championship with another rib injury. Obviously, not an encouraging sign considering he was far from a number one back until the playoff run, where he was knocked out after two games. How will he handle 20 carries a game for an entire regular season?

Despite only having 108 total carries in the regular season, Greene had three lost fumbles. He also lost another one in week 17 that was called back. If he gets the 331 carries Thomas Jones had last season and keeps up that type of fumble rate, it translates into 9 lost fumbles. His lack of hands was also evident in the passing game, where between the entire regular season and postseason, he only recorded 1 reception for 4 yards. Nobody is saying he has to become a major pass catching threat, but he needs to be a reliable outlet option and catch a screen pass every now and then, so it isn’t obvious when the offense could run a screen by pulling him out for LaDainian Tomlinson or Joe McKnight.

After Greene’s breakout performance against the Raiders in week 8, he followed with four concerning performances:

  • 8 carries, 18 yards, 1 lost fumble against Miami
  • 7 carries, 26 yards, against Jacksonville
  • 3 carries, -1 yards, against New England
  • 10 carries, 36 yards, against Carolina

Fortunately, he picked up his play down the stretch run of the season and began to perform with more consistency regardless of the number of carries he was getting. The main thing to remember with Greene is that the guy only had 108 regular season carries last year. It is far from a sure thing that he handle 300 plus carries and put up a 1200 yard type season. The talent is certainly there, but Greene has to stay healthy, protect the football, and become a more consistent player.

PhotobucketThe depth behind Shonn Greene is an even larger cause for concern. We all saw LaDainian Tomlinson play last season and it wasn’t pretty. He didn’t register a single 100 yard game. He only averaged more than 4 yards per carry in 2 games the entire season. He only ran for more than 70 yards in 4 games. I understand he will be playing behind a much better offensive line and he is motivated to prove he still has something left in the tank. However, the Jets would be foolish to think he can give them 12-15 carries a game on a consistent basis. Tomlinson could be a successful player for the Jets, only if he used in proper moderation. You let him spell Greene a series or two each half. You give him short yardage/goal-line carries. You throw him screen and swing passes a few times a game. Tomlinson can give them a productive 10 touches a game next year, if properly game planned. If Shonn Greene gets hurt though, they could be in big trouble.

Joe McKnight is an unproven, rookie fourth round draft pick. I think he can contribute early in the year as a pass catcher out of the backfield and in the slot. Yet, by all accounts he has a long way to go before he is ready to be counted on as a third down back or for significant numbers of carries. A Shonn Greene injury leaves the Jets with a scary prospect of splitting carries between Tomlinson and McKnight.

For a team known for their “ground and pound” approach in 2009. The Jets have an awfully high amount of questions about their running back position. They could be one injury away from very quickly becoming a pass first offense, which is an easy temptation to fall into because of their talent at receiver and tight end. Yet, forcing Mark Sanchez to throw that ball that often could lead to some ugly, turnover filled performances that don’t let the Jets defense win them football games.

New TOJ TV

LT Highlights

McKnight Highlights

Greene Highlights

12 Reasons Why The Jets Will Win 12 Games

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Also check out the new episode of TOJ TV at the bottom…And now follow Turn On The Jets on YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Turn0nTheJets

2. I will making an appearance on Marty Schupak’s Green Rewind Podcast tonight, I will post the link once he has it up and running.

3. The Jets signed 4th round pick Joe McKnight today. They still have to sign Kyle Wilson and Vladimir Ducasse to finish up their draft pick deals.

12 Reasons Why The Jets Will Win 12 Games

I was amazed by  how high the levels of optimism were when I was interviewing Jets fans at mini-camp practice this past week. Out of the 40 people we interviewed, not a single person put their record below 11-5. Personally, I share the optimism because I genuinely believe this is a 12 win, division winner type team this season just I like I genuinely believed they would be a 10 win, wild-card  type team last season (close enough on the win total). Am I being blinded by the fact I am a Jets fan? I don’t think so, why should I say a team that should win 12 games, shouldn’t? Here are 12 reasons, why the Jets will win 12 games in 2010

Photobucket 1. Familiar With Defensive System – This is year two in Rex Ryan’s defensive system, which means all of the returning starters will be substantially more comfortable. They were already number one in the league and now they will have the ability to expand into more complex packages and blitz schemes. The players will also be given more of a chance to freelance and create plays based on what they see from the offense.

Some quotes from Bart Scott earlier in the off-season on this issue…

“Now it’s not what the coaches can do more of, it’s what the players can do more of. Last year we were doing everything pretty much straight by the book. Now we can improvise…The only field coaches we had last year were me, Marques Douglas and Jim Leonhard.  Now you’ve got 22 people here that know the defense and can teach the defense.”

2. Improved Sanchez – I find it hard to believe after the solid postseason Mark Sanchez had, an off-season spent at the team facility, and a year of experience under his belt that he won’t improve on his 20 interceptions to 12 touchdowns from last season. The Jets won 9 games with Sanchez having a pretty awful statistical season, just imagine how many they could win if he makes the expected improvements to his touchdowns, interceptions, completion percentage, and QB rating.

3. Welcome Back – One of the top defensive lineman in the NFL will be returning to the Jets this season. They did struggle against the run at times last season, especially in the wild-card round against the Bengals but the return of Kris Jenkins should alleviate those problems. He will also provide a much better push on the pocket in passing situations.

4. First Down – The addition of Santonio Holmes will allow the Jets to run a wide variety of personnel groupings and formations with their three wide receivers, who are as good of a top three as any in the NFL. Watch for Jerricho Cotchery to become to one of the best slot receivers in the NFL on third downs this season, while all the attention is being paid to Holmes and Braylon Edwards on the outside.

5. No More Corner Problems – The Jets weak spot on defense last year was the cornerback position opposite Darelle Revis. How do you solve a problem like that? You trade for a former All-Pro corner who is one of the best overall athletes in the NFL and spend a first round pick on one of the draft’s top corners. I doubt you can name a team with four corners better than Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, and Dwight Lowery.

Photobucket6. A Mismatch NightmareThe Jets loaded receiver position and number one ranked rushing attack, makes you forget they have one of the better pass catching, and most athletic tight ends in the NFL in Dustin Keller. His regular season numbers weren’t overwhelming last season but in the playoffs, he caught a touchdown in every single game and appeared to finally be on the same page as Mark Sanchez. Keller will get plenty of favorable match-ups this season with attention focused on the Jets receivers and running backs.

7. Defensive Depth – The growth of young players Jamaal Westerman and Kenwin Cummings, along with the additions of veterans Jason Taylor and Lance Laury has given the Jets solid depth at the linebacker position. You already read about their corner depth, which is matched by quality depth at the safety position with Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, and Donovan Warren. The defensive line could use a little more but that problem could be solved if they add Marques Douglas to the roster over the summer.

8. Safety Valve – The Jets have added two very good pass catching running backs, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight which will benefit Mark Sanchez. Unlike previous years, the Jets screen game was nearly non-existent last season. Sanchez lacked a good outlet out of the backfield. The presence of Tomlinson and McKnight will help his completion percentage and also create some big plays in the screen game.

9. Playing For The Money – The Jets have three very, very talented players in Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Antonio Cromartie playing for a contract that will secure them for the rest of their careers.

10. Safety Upgrade – Despite not having as big of a name, Brodney Pool will prove to be an upgrade for the Jets at the safety position over Kerry Rhodes, who was a major disappointment last season.

11. Offensive Line – Even with the subtraction of Alan Faneca, who was arguably the Jets fifth best lineman last year anyway, the Jets will still have a very good offensive line in 2010. Nick Mangold is an All-Pro. D’Brickashaw Ferguson is a Pro-Bowl player. Brandon Moore should have been a Pro-Bowl player last year. Damien Woody is a solid, consistent veteran. Their experience will help overcome the growing pains of Vladimir Ducasse.

12. Special Playmakers – The Jets have a serious collection of playmakers for their return game. Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Joe McKnight, Brad Smith, Aundrae Allison, and David Clowney give Mike Westhoff plenty of options.

New TOJ TV

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

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First a few updates:

1. The sun is shining a little brighter today because America’s favorite touch football team had a nice second round upset victory in their march to a title yesterday. Next stop is the AFC Championship Game and we won’t be repeating the Jets performance in that particular game this year.

2. I am not a big soccer guy, but when I sat down to eat breakfast this morning and saw Portugal put a 7-0 whooping on North Korea, it caught my attention. If there is one place you don’t want to be heading back to after losing by 7 goals in soccer, it is North Korea.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

We basically know who the Jets starting eleven will on be on defense this season:

  • DE – Mike DeVito
  • DT – Kris Jenkins
  • DE – Shaun Ellis
  • OLB – Calvin Pace
  • ILB – David Harris
  • ILB – Bart Scott
  • OLB – Bryan Thomas
  • CB – Darrelle Revis
  • CB – Antonio Cromartie
  • S – Brodney Pool
  • S – Jim Leonhard

However, there is going to be major roles for players not listed above. After watching all that basketball over the past two months, you can’t count out the value of a solid bench. Rex Ryan loves to throw different personnel groups out there and bring in a variety of players. Here is a look at who the key players off the Jets bench should be on defense this season:

Secondary

Nickel Back – Kyle Wilson: Wilson was handed the starting nickel job on the day he was drafted. He will see plenty of action in the slot and I am guessing will quickly become one of Ryan’s favorite guys to blitz off the edge. The amount of reps Wilson plays will obviously be bumped up when the Jets play teams who like to spread it out (New England, Green Bay, Houston) but I am sure he will still be worked heavily into the game plan, even against offenses who are more run orientated.

Fourth Corner – Dwight Lowery: As a fourth guy, Lowery is a very good option. He has starting experience over the past two years. While he lacks the physical skills to be an every down starter, he has good ball anticipation skills and a knack for creating turnovers. Lowery is the type of guy who will likely see a bunch of reps in certain game plans and then be used less frequently against run heavy offenses. However, he does still have very good value as a depth player and special teams option.

Fifth Corner – Drew Coleman/Marquice Cole: I expect both of these guy to make the roster again, but only of them will probably be active on a weekly basis. Coleman has a ton of speed but has a knack for getting burnt whenever the ball is thrown at him. Cole looked pretty good last pre-season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leap over Coleman on the depth chart this season.

PhotobucketSafety – Eric Smith: A versatile player who became a key contributor off the bench last season. He has the ability to play both safety positions, be used in coverage on tight ends or running backs out of the backfield, and be used frequently as a blitzer off the edge. There will be some weeks where he plays near a starter’s amount of reps and some weeks where he won’t be as big as a factor. However, he is a core special teams player and a very good depth guy to have in the secondary.

Safety – James Ihedigbo: As the season went on last year, Ihedigbo gradually received a bigger role on the defense. He is a good blitzer off the edge and had a couple of sacks last season and a forced fumble. In the AFC Championship Game, he played a ton of reps for Bart Scott in the dime package. Similar to all the bench players, his number of reps will be game plan specific but I think overall you will seeing a decent amount of Ihedigbo.

Linebacker

Outside Linebacker – Jason Taylor: Taylor was brought in to provide energy to the Jets pass rush. Rex Ryan will be lining him up all over the place to get him the cleanest rush possible to the quarterback. Expect to see a ton of Taylor on third downs and when teams are in two minute mode against the Jets. He should also get some reps at defensive end in certain packages.

Outside/Inside Linebacker – Jamaal Westerman: Westerman had a nice sack in week one last year but was relatively quiet on defense after that. The coaches love his long term potential and versatility. He should find his way on to the field in a few different packages this season at both the inside and outside spot.

Inside Linebacker – Kenwin Cummings: The coaching staff has been raving about him this off-season but unless there is an injury, he shouldn’t see any type of substantial time on the defense. I could see him coming in a goal-line look when the Jets load up on defensive lineman and  linebackers or maybe if Bart Scott or David Harris need a quick break.

Defensive Line

PhotobucketDefensive Tackle/End – Sione Pouha: The Jets top defensive lineman off the bench, who will be a key player in the effort to keep Kris Jenkins fresh and healthy. Ryan could also experiment with some looks that have both Jenkins and Pouha on the field at the same time.

Defensive End – Vernon Gholston – It would be nice to get ten productive reps out of Gholston a game, to spell Shaun Ellis and Mike DeVito and to provide a boost to the pass rush.

Defensive End – Ropati Pitoitua – Similar to Gholston, it would be nice to see him contribute ten or so reps off the bench to improve the Jets defensive line depth.

Defensive Tackle/End – Matt Kroul – The coaches have hyped him up this off-season, let’s see if can turn into  Mike DeVito part two.

Overall, I would say Wilson and Pouha will get the most total reps off the bench with Taylor and Smith not too far behind. Yet, for the Jets defense to remain at the top of the league they will need all the guys listed above to settle into their roles as productive players. The Jets depth is key to throwing different schemes and personnel groups at offenses, along with keeping their starters fresh.

TOJ TV

Into The Break: Sunday Night Thoughts On Jets

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A few Sunday night thoughts to kick off the first week of the Jets time off before training camp:

1. I am beginning to wonder if the Jets are planning on signing Mark Brunell, making him their number two quarterback, cutting Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge, and then putting Kevin O’Connell on the practice squad. With the amount of work Brad Smith has been getting at quarterback, he could technically be their number three guy and save them a roster spot. If something happened to Sanchez, they could bump O’Connell up from the practice squad. If Ainge or O’Connell don’t step up in training camp, this idea makes plenty of sense. Why not keep another defensive back, defensive lineman, or receiver who could potentially contribute? You hear talk about the Jets defense messing around with schemes that have eight DBs on the field, so you know Rex Ryan is going to want to carry as many as possible each week.

2. It is easy for him to get lost in the shuffle a little bit with the additions around him but I think Jerricho Cotchery is going to be a lethal weapon out of the slot this season. Between the chemistry he has with Sanchez, his quickness, hands, and route-running…he is going to be converting a ton of third downs this season. His overall numbers may not be gaudy, but he will consistently be coming up with big catches when the Jets need to move the chains. If I was drafting a Jets receiver for my fantasy team this season, it would be Braylon Edwards though. You get the impression he has been particularly locked in this off-season and he lit it up in OTAs and minicamp. The guy is in a contract year and he is still trying to prove that 17 touchdown season wasn’t a fluke. Beyond that, he needs to score as soon as possible so he could shave that beard he has going on right now.

3. I am really fascinated to see how the reps on defense are going to be divided up and how the touches on offense are going to be divided up. On defense, you know Ryan is going to be itching to get his defensive backs off the bench and into the game. Yet when Kyle Wilson, Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, Dwight Lowery, or Drew Coleman come in off the bench, who will be sitting the bulk of those reps out? How many times will the Jets slide Jason Taylor down to the defensive line in a three point stance? How often will be they put Sione Pouha in at nose tackle and bump Kris Jenkins out to defensive end? If you think about, the Jets could really come up with some interesting personnel combinations with their current depth chart.

On offense, it is really mind-boggling to go over the combinations, personnel groups, and formations the Jets could use, especially now with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards learning all three receiver sports. You have three wide receivers, a tight end, and two running backs (Tomlinson and McKnight) who could basically line up anywhere in the set. One of the funnier things i noticed at minicamp was the Jets had 4 wide set out there, with a single back. So they have Edwards split out to one side, with Cotchery in the slot. Keller in the slot on the other side of the field, Tomlinson in the backfield releasing on a quick out but split out wide on Keller’s side, they have Matthew Mulligan (filling in for Ben Hartsock as the number two tight end). You know Mulligan was looking in and thinking “there is no way I am getting this ball, why should I even bother running a route.”

Watch That New TOJ TV…That Intro Has To Get You Pumped

A Video That Only Enhances Your Hate Of Both Our Rivals

New TOJ TV: Live Footage From Jets Minicamp

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First a few updates:

1. Congrats to the Lakers on repeating as NBA Champions. I thoroughly enjoyed the Celtics choking and blowing a 13 point second half lead. Don’t compare LeBron to Kobe. Kobe has five championships. However, please still come to New York, LeBron.

New TOJ TV: Live Footage From Jets Minicamp

Enjoy our new episode of TOJ TV, featuring a terrific new intro, footage of the new stadium, minicamp practice, interviews with numerous Jets fans, and much more. Special thanks to Damien Woody’s entire family for shouting out Turn On The Jets at the end of the video:

A Closer Look At The Jets Defensive Line

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First a few updates:

1. I have to say I am feeling pretty good about the Lakers taking game 7 tonight.  The Celtics are going to have a tough time getting over the Perkins injury and the Lakers obviously have the advantage of playing at home. It will be a tight game but in the end, I think the Lakers will escape with the title.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…live NBA Finals commentary starting at 9 PM tonight.

3. The Jets are now on break until July 29th when the rookies report for training camp. The veterans report on August 1st. Hard Knocks starts on August 11th. This means there were will a downturn in the amounts of coverage they receive from the beat writers, unless there is an article on somebody’s contract negotiations or it is Manish Mehta, who is beat writing beast these days. However, TOJ will be in full swing the next six weeks, with the normal amount of articles and coverage. We are in the process of getting a press pass for training camp and pre-season and working on a few more interviews.

A Closer Look At The Jets Defensive Line

The general consensus for the weakest spot on an otherwise loaded Jets roster is the defensive line position. Outside of Kris Jenkins returning from injury and Vernon Gholston moving to defensive end from outside linebacker, the Jets haven’t made any major additions to the group from last year. They also let defensive end Marques Douglas walk, who was a productive starter for them last season. Here is a look at what the Jets will more than likely head into the 2010 season with:

The Starters

Defensive End – Shaun Ellis – Despite getting up there in age, Ellis had a good overall season in 2009. He finished with 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks, which is a solid number for a 3-4 defensive end. He is the longest-tenured player on the team and a valuable leader in the locker room. His primary value on the field comes from his ability to play both the run and the pass at a relatively high level. The Jets do need a long term replacement for him and this might very well be his last season in green and white. However, Ellis should be fine this year in a starting role and post numbers similar to the ones he did in 2009, when he only played in 15 games because of a suspension.

PhotobucketDefensive End – Mike DeVito – A guy who has worked his way up from a UDFA, to a reserve, to a rotational player, and now to a starter. DeVito had his best season in 2009 with 28 tackles and 1 TFL. He has a reputation for being one of the strongest players on the team and Rex Ryan likes his ability to stop the run. The Jets apparently believe DeVito can give them what Douglas gave them last season (64 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 TFLs) if he is given a full time starting role. It remains to be seen if that is the case, but at worst DeVito should be a steady player against the run.

Nose Tackle – Kris Jenkins – Jenkins was a dominant pro-bowl player in 2008 but had his 2009 season cut short by a torn ACL in week 6. He has worked his way back to participate in minicamp the past three days, but the Jets will be very cautious with his reps this season to get the most out of him. He ran out of steam towards the end of 2008 and the team needs him fresh for the stretch run and the playoffs. Jenkins obviously has the ability to be one of the best defensive lineman in the league when healthy and properly rested. Hopefully, the Jets will get the Jenkins from the first 12 games of 2008 for an entire season in 2010. If they do, the defensive line won’t be considered a weakness.

The Backups

Nose Tackle – Sione Pouha –Pouha had a terrific season last year filling in for Kris Jenkins after his injury. He finished with 45 tackles and 3 TFLs and was stout against the run. The Jets will rely on him to spell Jenkins frequently this season to help keep him fresh. Don’t be surprised if the Jets also use looks on defense that have Pouha and Jenkins on the field at the same time, with one of them sliding to defensive end. Pouha is the team’s top backup and should see near a starter’s amount of reps off the bench.

Defensive End – Vernon Gholston – The first round bust at outside linebacker has now been moved to defensive end. Gholston has the strength and size to be a productive end in the 3-4 system, but it remains to be seen whether he can successfully make the transition. The Jets would likely be satisfied if he became an adequate rotational player, who does a good job against the run and can provide some energy to the pass rush…not exactly what you want to be hoping for from the #6 overall player in the draft, but it is better than nothing.

Defensive End – Ropati Pitoitua – A guy with ridiculous size (6 foot 8, 310 pounds) who worked his way into the rotation for a couple of games last season. The Jets are hoping he can develop into a reliable player off the bench, similar to how DeVito did last year. It would be a nice boost to the Jets depth if Pitoitua can give them more than 3 tackles this season.

Defensive End/Defensive Tackle – Matt Kroul – Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has raved about Kroul this off-season and basically made it sound like he was a guaranteed roster player. Kroul is a UDFA heading into his second year, who spent his first season on the practice squad. It sounds like he will be given every chance to be a rotational player this season.

Defensive End – Rodrique Wright – The Jets added Wright this off-season who was a seventh round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2006. Wright spent most of his time there inactive or injured, but did actually see action in the team’s playoff game against the Ravens a few years ago. He will be battling for a roster spot with Kroul and Pitoitua.

 Collection of Non-Football Jets D-Line Highlights

April Fools Joke

Don’t Ever Throw Snow At Shaun Ellis

Don’t Ever Taunt Kris Jenkins