Wednesday Minicamp Review: A Day At The New Stadium

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…There is no logical reason for you not to do it.

2. Game 7 here we come…should be fun. I was little surprised at the extent Boston just laid down and died last night.

3. Another thank you to David Clowney and Donovan Warren for taking the time to do interviews with Turn On The Jets. We are working on future interviews with Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and James Ihedigbo.

Wednesday Minicamp Review: A Day At The New Stadium

Our video producer, James Corbett and myself made the trip out to the New Meadowlands Stadium today for minicamp. We arrived about 15 minutes late for the 11:30 practice, and the first thing I noticed was how many people had turned out for a Wednesday morning. There were people in full tailgate mode and I can’t argue with finding an excuse to play beer pong in a parking lot on a Wednesday morning in June. As usual, there was plenty of energy from the fans. The new stadium is enormous compared to the old one.

I doubt it will be like this on game days, but they had it set up that you could basically walk right up behind the sideline at the ground level and watch behind a small fence. You could literally stand about 10 yards from the field. We pushed to the front and got a spot right in front of the defensive back drills, where Darrelle Revis was receiving plenty of support. There were constant “Please Pay Revis” chants and a bunch of signs saying “Pay Revis.” Antonio Cromartie is huge in person. He either bulked up or the television makes him look skinnier than he really is. He was getting a ton of love from the fans and turned about five times to wave to everybody.

PhotobucketWe then relocated to seats on the 50 yard line for 11 on 11 drills. Sanchez hit Braylon on dig route but then had to run a penalty lap because half of the offensive line jumped offsides. Kellen Clemens came in and promptly threw an interception on a deep ball to Antonio Cromartie who had a long run back and looks scary elusive in the open field. Later in the 11 on 11s, Sanchez hit Cotchery on a nice deep crossing route, where he beat Kyle Wilson.

A few other observations, from that period: Brad Smith is getting a ton of work at quarterback and he isn’t just running Wildcat stuff. He was basically the number two today and received more reps than Clemens, Kevin O’Connell, and Erik Ainge (who barely played and appears to be falling behind O’Connell). Smith actually had a few nice throws, including hitting a deep in route to Marcus Henry. He also ran a few options with Danny Woodhead. Another guy who impressed me was receiver Larry Taylor. He is a small, shifty guy who looked very good out of the slot.

The Jets then moved to 7 on 7s. The first thing to notice is how many different looks the Jets can run with their personnel. Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Jerricho Cotchery were being moved all over the place. When the Jets go to three wide, Cotchery primarily works out of the slot. However, Braylon was being sent in motion frequently. The Jets were also showing plenty of looks with Keller split out, and Joe McKnight or LaDainian Tomlinson in the slot.

During this period, Brodney Pool and Darrelle Revis had nice pass breakups. Dustin Keller just beat Bart Scott for a short touchdown. LaDainian Tomlinson had a pretty grab out of the backfield that he took in for a 20 yard touchdown. When the backups were in, James Ihedigbo broke up a corner route to rookie tight end Jeff Cumberland, who looked pretty good out there, right in front of us.

In the last 11 on 11 drills, Cotchery had a rare drop but was consoled by Sanchez right as a plane flew over, which said “Happy Birthday Jerricho.” All of the fans sang a few verses of Happy Birthday to J-Co, who turned and waved. The Jets also ran their patented sideline comeback to Cotchery but Revis was all over him and broke it up, which was followed by another “Please Pay Revis” chant.

At the end of the practice, the entire team took a lap to high five the fans. We got some great footage of this as the new episode of TOJ TV will show. On the way out, we got some interviews with fans and funny enough got an interview with Damien Woody’s whole family by accident. We were simply approaching fans asking what they thought the team’s record would be, so we approached Woody’s wife and kids (unknown to us). They answered our questions and shouted out the site, when I complimented his son’s jersey (a Titans white Woody jersey), she said “well we better be Woody fans, I am his wife.” So that was interesting.

Finally, we drove by the player exit and caught Jason Taylor walking out. Nobody has hated on Taylor more than me, but I give him credit for taking his time and signing every single person’s autograph and taking about 35 pictures. Good work JT. (And no I didn’t ask for an autograph, but Corbett did get good footage of him).

Some other loose-end observations: Dwight Lowery was particularly active and had some nice pass break-ups…John Conner is quicker than I expected…Joe McKnight looked like he is going to be a serious weapon out of the slot…Brian Schottenheimer is loud…Nick Mangold got some reps at safety against the second offense and had a few nice blitzes off the edge…Braylon Edwards beard is nasty looking but Edwards was the most impressive offensive player on the field by a good margin.

Anyway, that was it. Keep an eye for new TOJ TV, which will have great footage of the new stadium, practice, and plenty more.

Get Hyped For This Season

Turn On The Jets Exclusive Interview: Donovan Warren

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Turn On The Jets Exclusive Interview: Donovan Warren

One of the first moves by the Jets after the draft was pouncing on undrafted free agent Donovan Warren from Michigan. Originally projected to be a mid round pick by draft pundits, Warren fell down draft boards when an ankle injury led to a slow 40 time at the NFL Combine. However, Warren was one of the top cornerbacks in the Big Ten last season and has a very good chance to stick on the Jets roster as a safety, where he has been working since joining the team.  His godfather, Mark Carrier is an assistant on the Jets coaching staff, helping his transition to the NFL.

TOJ: How much personal motivation do you have to prove all the teams who passed on you in the NFL Draft wrong?

Warren: It is a lot of motivation to just go out everyday and work hard. It will motivate me to keep working hard and get the opportunity to show that I am something special.

TOJ: Do you think there is too much of an emphasis on combine workouts, instead of focusing on a player’s production on the field?

Warren: Yea, I feel as if there is a lot of emphasis on workouts but it is just part of the business. It is what it is. When the pads get on and your on the field it is football. Football is football and not everyone has the chance to play at this high of a level.

TOJ: Even though you were a UDFA, you appear to have come into a very good situation. Your godfather is an assistant coach with the team, your physical style of play fits well with Rex Ryan’s scheme, and it has been well documented that Ryan loves his defensive backs and loves to carry as many as possible on the roster. How excited are you to be part of this defense and what can you bring to it?

Warren: Yea I feel as though the coaches and players on the team have the right mindset, just going on chipping away day by day. I am blessed to be in this position and I am taking advantage daily.

TOJ: After spending the overwhelming majority of your time in college at corner, you have primarily been working at safety since joining the team, what is your comfort level at this position?

Warren: Yea, it is very different. I am just learning the daily nuisances of the position and trying to soak in as much as possible from my teammates and coaches around me.

TOJ: Can you talk about how big of a help Jim Leonhard has been in your transition to the NFL and if he is inspirational considering he was a UDFA and now is a starter and one of the leaders of the NFL’s best defense?

Warren: As for Jim Leonhard, he is an inspiration coming up as an undrafted free agent and just someone who I can relate to on the same team.

TOJ: What can you bring to the Jets on special teams?

Warren: On special teams, I am willing to do whatever it is to help this team get to the Superbowl and make history.

Pro Draft Party Warren Draft Tape

Post-Game Interview

Tuesday Minicamp Review: Defense Still Ahead of Offense

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Also if you make it out to practice tomorrow keep an eye out for TOJ TV, we will be interviewing fans and getting footage of practice. What Jets fan doesn’t want to make a guest appearance on TOJ TV?

Photobucket2. A quick comment on Darrelle Revis since I caught some flak for being critical of him yesterday…I have always been in favor of paying Revis (look no further than an article I wrote last week called “Pay The Man” with a huge picture of Revis on top). However, I didn’t like the mini protest by walking off the practice field. If you are going to show up to practice, you go 100 percent. I also didn’t like the feed my family comments for obvious reasons. I just think the more Revis has talked the worse he has come off, especially while the Jets are making him the number one priority in negotiations with fellow All-Pro players Nick Mangold and David Harris having one year left on their deal.

Tuesday Minicamp Review: Defense Still Ahead of Offense

The impression you got from reading the notes on today’s practice was that there were ton of defensive players making big plays. Yes, Santonio Holmes made a ridiculous touchdown catch down the sideline to end a two minute drill and LaDainian Tomlinson also had a nice sideline grab (you can see the footage from practice on the TOJ Facebook Page). However, Mark Sanchez didn’t have a good overall day. His final stats in the morning practice were 7/17 with a TD and INT. There is no need to panic since it is June, Sanchez is still young, and he is going against the best defense in the NFL…

Speaking of that defense, they were all over the place today. Kyle Wilson pulled in his first interception in team drills. Turn On The Jets favorite for best new addition to the team, Brodney Pool, recorded two interceptions and had a bunch of passes defensed. Dwight Lowery had a pick six. Darrelle Revis broke up a deep ball for Braylon Edwards and later had a pick six. Marquice Cole had an interception. Kris Jenkins and Bart Scott were yapping with excessive amounts of trash talk, even for them.

PhotobucketI know everybody is excited about the Jets offense with the addition of Holmes and Tomlinson, along with Sanchez being a year older but let’s not forget about how good the Jets defense could be this year. They were already number one in the NFL last year and it was the first year in Rex Ryan’s system. Now, the overwhelming majority of starters and key reserves are experienced in his defense. Beyond that, Antonio Cromartie is going to be an upgrade over Lito Sheppard at the #2 corner. Kyle Wilson is going to be an upgrade over Dwight Lowery as the #3 corner. Dwight Lowery is going to be an upgrade over Drew Coleman as the #4 corner. Brodney Pool is going to be an upgrade over Kerry Rhodes. Jason Taylor is going to upgrade the depth at linebacker, along with the continued improvements of players like Kenwin Cummings and Jamaal Westerman.

Oh and Kris Jenkins is also coming back to the defensive line…The pieces are in place for them to have an historically great defense. I don’t say that lightly either. There is a legit All-Pro caliber player at all three levels (Jenkins, Harris, Revis). A player two seasons removed from being an All-Pro (Cromartie). A player three seasons removed from being Defensive Player of the Year (Taylor). Two linebackers with borderline pro-bowl talent (Scott and Pace). A group of quality veterans who are consistent (Leonhard, Ellis, B. Thomas). Finally, they have a first round talent at corner. starting out as their nickel back.

Rex Ryan must be salivating at the thought of the schemes he can come up with for these guys. Hopefully, he is only salivating at that or he won’t be winning that weight loss contest.

Jets Defensive Highlights From Last Year

Monday Minicamp Review: Who Should You Be Mad At Over Revis Contract Dispute?

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First a few updates:

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

2. What is it going to take to remind the rest of the Lakers outside of Kobe that they are in the NBA Finals?

Monday Minicamp Review: Who Should You Be Mad At Over Revis Contract Dispute?

Let’s start with the good news…

Nick Mangold showed up despite not being satisfied with his contract, which is encouraging since he is in the final year of his deal unlike another player who happens to have three years left on his deal and has missed time. Similar to this player, Mangold is the best in the NFL at his respective position and is looking for a new deal. Apparently the progress has been slow on Mangold’s deal but hopefully Mike Tannenbaum and the rest of the front office will pick it up soon. There is no adequate replacement for Mangold if he misses time in training camp and the Jets need him there as much as possible to help develop Vladimir Ducasse at left guard. Regardless of who else is seeking a new deal, Mangold should really be priority number one considering he is the best player on the team who has one year left on his deal. Hopefully, he keeps showing up and hopefully there is some movement on his negotiations in the near future.

PhotobucketAccording to those in attendance, Braylon Edwards continued to have a great off-season by having another big day of practice. One of the more encouraging stories of the off-season has been how Edwards really seems to have his head on straight and for lack of better wording has been working his ass off to improve within the Jets offense. There isn’t going to be enough money to go around for everybody next off-season but it appears Edwards is focused on making sure there will be some for him. Edwards is the most physically gifted Jets offense player when you factor in his size and speed. This guy had a 17 touchdown season with Derek Anderson throwing him the ball. Don’t underestimate how dangerous he could be if continues to improve his consistency and further develops his chemistry with Mark Sanchez.

Speaking of Sanchez, he participated in morning 11 on 11 drills, where his numbers were average (5/9 with an INT) and then rested in the afternoon 11 on 11 session. The plan seems to be to rest him in all the afternoon sessions, which is fine because there is no reason to push him now. He needs to be 100 percent for training camp and the pre-season. Kris Jenkins returned to 11 on 11 drills today and was in good spirits about how his knee felt after practice. The more weight he loses and the more reps Jenkins can rest early in the season, the more likely the Jets will get a full, productive 16 games from him.

And how about Nick Folk having another good day of practice? It is always good news, when there is no news about him missing field goals. Antonio Cromartie also continued to impress with his athleticism. I probably slept on Cromartie a little bit when writing that Brodney Pool would prove to be the biggest addition to the Jets this off-season. If Cromartie is anywhere near his 2007 form, the Jets secondary is going to be the best in the NFL by a long shot.

And now to that Revis guy…

PhotobucketAn ugly situation got uglier today when Darrelle Revis took himself out of practice to stage a mini-protest over the lack of progress in his contract negotiations. The public opinion is starting to turn against Revis Island, and this somewhat juvenile move isn’t going to help. He isn’t going to gain any sympathy points from fans by talking about “putting food on the table” or basically saying anything in general. The more Revis has talked about his contract, the more selfish he has sounded. Keep in mind he has three years left on his original deal. He talks about being loyal but by stubbornly insisting on receiving more money than Nnamdi Asmougha, who was given a ridiclous contract by Al Davis and America’s dysfunctional team, the Oakland Raiders, he is preventing teammates Nick Mangold and David Harris from getting paid when they are in the final year of their deal.

On the other hand, Revis is the best corner in football. We know it. Mike Tannenbaum knows it. Rex Ryan knows it and says it every chance he gets. Apparently Tannenbaum told Revis they thought he was the best defensive player in football and would be treated accordingly, so then why wouldn’t Revis expect Asmougha money? Even though Revis is the best player of the three, you would think Mangold and Harris would be higher priorities because their deals are done after the season and both are All-Pro caliber players also. However, Revis appears to be priority number one right now.

Basically what I am saying  is that it is hard to sympathize with Revis because of the time left on his deal, his rhetoric and some of his actions. Yet, it is also hard not to understand where he is coming from with his demands. The whole situation is frustrating because an inordinate amount of Rex Ryan’s press conference and all the media coverage is focused on a negative thing, the growing ugliness of this contract negotiation. Even when the Jets have the highest expectations in franchise history, we can’t enjoy it. Maybe Jets fans can focus all their anger on Al Davis instead of our best player or our GM, who has been terrific since being hired.

Apparently the Jets have been offering Revis around 10 million a year (Asmougha got about 15.1). If I was Tannenbaum, I would up the contract to 13 million, increase the guaranteed money substantially and say we need that extra 2-3 million to make sure we can lock down Mangold and Harris now. The Jets do one of their infamous press leaks to publicize Revis accepting less money for the good of his team, allowing them to lock down two other core players for the long term. They have a big press conference for the three contracts and everybody is happy. Darrelle, I am sure you could feed your family on the 13 million and get the fans back on you side.

Some much needed humor on a “our best player is preparing to hold out” Monday

Sunday Night Pre Minicamp Jets Thoughts

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…And if you happen to be at minicamp on Wednesday at the new stadium keep an eye out for TOJ TV, we will be interviewing the crowd and building up some street credit for the site as part of my case for a press pass.

2. Big win for America’s favorite touch football team in the wild-card round of the ACFL playoffs today…look at that huddle. We are just like Sanchez, J-Co and Braylon out there.

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Sunday Night Pre Minicamp Jets Thoughts

Some thoughts before the three day avalanche of updates on Sanchez’s 7 on 7 numbers, contract problems, and Rex Ryan press conference quotes…get pumped about minicamp in June:

– You never want to get crazy about non contact practices in June but this an important three days for Mark Sanchez. He finally will be out there at 100 percent leading the first offense through all the sessions. It would be nice to see him put together three solid practices, where he is protecting the football and improving his rhythm with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. Sanchez and Cotchery already seemed to be relatively locked in, but this is Edwards full off-season with the team and Holmes is obviously a new addition.

– Speaking of Santonio, good quote about him from Sanchez pulled from Rich Cimini on his blog over at ESPN New York.

“When you get a new receiver as a quarterback, it’s like a new toy,” he said. “Let’s say it’s a race car. What’s the first thing you do? You floor it. Pedal to the metal, let’s go. Let’s see what he’s got. I want to see what my race care has, I want to see what Santonio has.

“When we first started throwing, when we had a ‘9’ route, I launched it about as far as I could … He’s running, looking up at the ball, takes his eyes off the ball, gets into another gear, looks back up, late hands, tracks the ball … (Completion). He just knew. I mean, you don’t coach that. He’s unbelievable.”

When is the last time a quarterback could say that about a Jets receiver? Sanchez throws a nice deep ball and you can already see that some time on the Jets first possession in week five, Brian Schottenheimer is going to be dialing up a “go” route for Holmes. Points didn’t come easy for the Jets last season, so it would be nice to grab some touchdowns on a 60 yard bomb here or there.

– Can we not rush Kris Jenkins back for minicamp? Let the man keep dieting and working himself back into shape for training camp. All North Jersey fast food establishments should not be allowed to serve Jenkins until after the season…that goes for Damien Woody and Rex Ryan too.

Photobucket We really haven’t heard much about Shonn Greene so far this off-season. Does everybody remember he is the starting running back on a team that runs the ball more than anybody in the NFL? Beat writers, I need some Monday and Tuesday updates on how #23 is looking and then I will see for myself on Wednesday. Hopefully, he spent some time on the jugs machine this off-season to work on those pan-hands.

– Speaking of running backs catching passes, I hope to see the return of the Jets screen game this season. They were terrific from 2006-2008 in that area but didn’t do anything with it last season. Obviously, LaDainian Tonlinson will be a big help but hopefully Joe McKnight can also get going early in the year.

– What am I looking forward to the most from these next three days? I want to see if Nick Folk can keep up his momentum of making field goals. I want some quality Rex Ryan quotes. I want everybody to stay healthy. I want Kyle Wilson to make progress in the nickel role and I want the contract rhetoric to get a little less combative from Revis and Mangold, which hopefully means there has been some progress in negotiations.

Weekend Video Clips For Jets Fans

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have announced major cuts to their PSL prices in multiple sections of the stadium. Somehow I don’t think this will be the last time this happens before the season starts. They are way off from selling them all out.

2. Remember Jets minicamp next Monday-Wednesday, including an open practice at the new stadium on Wednesday. Yes, I am pumped about my first trip inside the new building.

3. Pau Gasol can you box out Glen Davis? You are like 9 inches taller than the guy and we are all sick of watching him react like he has is one of the guys from 300 every single time he gets a put back. By the way, is there higher comedy in sports right now than a Rasheed Wallace reaction to a foul call on him? He literally runs around the entire court with the most ridiculous face…I can’t get enough of it.

4. USA! USA! USA! I am little pumped for tomorrow, I can’t lie.

Weekend Video Clips For Jets Fans

New segment here at TOJ, because even I can’t come up with 1,500 words a day to write about the Jets, only Manish Mehta can. Next week keep an eye out for the following:

  • Interview with UDFA safety Donovan Warren
  • Analysis of all the minicamp practices
  • If you happen to make it out to The New Meadowlands Stadium, look for the two guys with Jets jerseys that have (http://turnonthejets.com) on the back and come say hi. We will be interviewing fans for new TOJ TV.
  • A closer look at the Jets defensive line.
  • A closer look at the bubble roster players who could make an impact this season.

And now to the video…

Vernon Gholston plows though Jake Long and hits Chad Henne…Unfortunately this took place in a Michigan/OSU game, and not a Jets/Dolphins game…But hey it is never too late to get started Vernon

Yea, you could really rely on this guy…

And, this was their first year in a new defensive system? Before they added Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Brodney Pool, and Jason Taylor?

You Have To Like The Confidence

Anybody who can dance like that clearly deserves a new contract

Nobody and I mean nobody throws snow at Shaun Ellis or this teammates without getting a snow boulder back in the face

Stay away from HBO Rex Ryan…oh wait, too late for that.

And for no particular reason…just because I saw this episode last night and it is a great scene

Thoughts On Jets OTA News

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First a few updates:

1. Did you enjoy the interview with David Clowney? Of course you did…good because we should have another interview with safety Donovan Warren coming in the next few days.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…NBA Finals commentary kicking off at 9 PM tonight. Let’s go Lakers.

3. The last Jets practices before they disappear for a little over a month will take place next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Monday is open to the public at Florham Park and of course Wednesday is open to the public at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Turn On The Jets will be there on Wednesday with the cameras out looking for fans to talk Jets football.

Thoughts On Jets OTA News

Contract Situations – The good news is that the Jets gave Darrelle Revis another offer, which was better than their reportedly ridiculously first offer. The bad news is that it still wasn’t enough to end this contract dispute or make Revis the highest paid corner in the league. This isn’t ending until the Jets bite the bullet and give Revis more money than Nnamdi Asmougha. He did say he would be at minicamp next week but didn’t rule out missing training camp time. I doubt he would actually skip any of training camp unless the Jets next offer was lower than the first two. Mike Tannenbaum has his work cut out for him the next month. The organization’s goal should be to get Revis and Mangold taken care of or at least make substantial, substantial progress before training camp starts.

Nick Mangold said he was 50/50 on attending mini camp next week. The sense of urgency clearly needs to pick up in Mangold’s negotiations since he is in the final year of his deal. The Jets offensive line goes from being one of the league’s best to a bit of a clusterfudge (TOJ is PG-13) without him. Can we get this done, now? I understand these are complex negotiations but doesn’t it send an ideal message to your team by taking care of your homegrown, best offensive and best defensive player within a few weeks of each other? The only negative floating around the Jets season before it starts will be taken away and all the chatter about the Jets never taking care of their own will go away.

PhotobucketWhat The Folk?7 for 7? A 51 and 53 yarder right through the uprights? I always had faith in the guy. Seriously though, it is about time we got some encouraging news on the Jets kicking game. Yet that is no reason to take Matt Stover off the speed dial list.

Sanchez – From all indications, Mark Sanchez is 100 percent back and feeling great. He practiced without a knee brace today and it sounds like he will be full go for mini camp. The second year quarterback had a very good all around practice and was in rhythm, especially with Jerricho Cotchery today. Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes may be bigger names, but Cotchery will have more catches than both of them this season.

Take It Easy – Kris Jenkins still hasn’t received medical clearance to practice fully with the team, yet. Santonio Holmes has also been slightly limited because of tight hamstrings. Let’s take it easy with these guys. We are close to a one month break and we need them both 100 percent for training camp.

Oh, Our First Round Pick – For a first round draft pick, Kyle Wilson doesn’t get a ton of publicity. However, he hasn’t dropped a punt yet and is progressing well in the defense. Don’t forget about the two key roles Wilson will be playing for the Jets this year, primary punt returner and nickel back. Antonio Cromartie has also been working on punt returns and has been making some head turns with his open field moves.

O’Connell #2? – Kevin O’Connell was working ahead of both Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge. I think we are headed to a Jets quarterback depth chart of Sanchez, Brunell, O’Connell in week one.

Nick Folk Everybody

Turn On The Jets Exclusive Interview: David Clowney

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First a few updates:

1. Get on the Facebook page or Twitter page (TurnOnTheJets) to follow the massive amounts of OTA coverage today. I will have a wrap-up article later tonight but here is what you need to know about today’s practice:

  • Mark Sanchez took part in 11 on 11 drills and had a strong overall day. He was in a rhythm with Jerricho Cotchery and at one point hit him three straight times in the 2 minute drill.
  • Nick Folk! He went 7 for 7 on kicks, including hitting a 52 and 53 yard attempt.
  • Nick Mangold said he was 50/50 on holding out for minicamp next week…pay the man.
  • Bart Scott and Darrelle Revis had a nasty collision but both were fine.
  • Kevin O”Connell was working ahead of both Erik Ainge and Kellen Clemens.
  • Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson were both looking good on punt returns.
  • Mark Sanchez wasn’t wearing a knee brace, just a sleeve on each knee and says he is feeling great.
  • Rex Ryan brought up a split screen of him and Strasburg pitching (Ryan threw out the first pitch at a Mets game recently)…funny stuff.

Turn On The Jets Exclusive Interview: David Clowney

I was lucky enough to get an interview with David Clowney in the middle of last season and fortunately he decided to come back for seconds. Clowney has taken the lead on the Jets with his off the field charity work. The David Clowney Foundation took part in a trip to Haiti this off-season and will be going to Ghana in early July. On the field, Clowney is coming off his best season as a pro and is looking to solidify himself as a core special teams player and a consistent contributor at the wide receiver position. Make sure to check out Clowney’s website at (www.davidclowney87.c0m), where you can access information on his foundation. Also, stop by (www.playerpress.com). Special thanks to Todd Schmerler for helping set up the interview:

By the way, how great is that pic of him smoking Yeremiah Bell and Vontae Davis?

TOJ: Even though many of the players on the team are actively involved in charity work, you seem to have gone above and beyond in the past year and have become a leader in that area on the team. Can you explain the initial motivation to travel to Haiti and now go to Ghana in early July?

PhotobucketClowney:  Haiti was a great trip. The motivation itself was just to go and help. James Ihedigbo brought it to my attention that he and his mother had decided to go to the Haitian country to help the earthquake victims and asked if me and my foundation would like to take part. Without hesitation I told him yes. From that day forth we got everything together to make this trip to Haiti.

As far as the Ghana trip, I have always wanted to go to Africa since I was a kid. Now that I have the ability to help I wanted to go over to Ghana and show the kids over there a little something different. Such as American football. But while I’m over there I will be taking clothes for the families, visiting children’s hospitals, orphanages, etc.

TOJ:  There have been reports that you are one of the players who will be primarily looked at to step up on special teams with the departure of players like Wallace Wright, Larry Izzo, Marques Murrell, and Ryan Fowler. How comfortable do you feel on special teams, outside of a kick return role? And, how have you worked to become versatile enough to play on all the special teams units?

Clowney: I love playing special teams. Playing football at Virginia Tech made the special teams life a lot easier. Even as a starter at WR I still was the starting gunner at Virginia Tech on the punt team. I have no problem going down on kickoff and punt return teams. I love doing that, especially rushing off the end to try and block the punt. So all in all I have no problem doing special teams and can’t wait till the season starts to show that.

TOJ: You had your best season as a pro in 2009. Yet in terms of the wide receiver position, what skills are you looking to improve on?

Clowney: Primarily route running and hand eye coordination. Of course I can catch or else I wouldn’t be in the NFL at all, but there are a lot of technical things as a WR that we all can work on and those are two that I plan on perfecting.

TOJ: The offense will need extended reps from you in the first four weeks of the season while Santonio Holmes serves his four-game suspension. Do you look at those four games as an ideal opportunity to make a strong enough impression on the coaching staff, that you remain a consistent part of the offensive game plan even after he returns in week 5?

Clowney: Yes without a doubt. Those 4 games while he is gone have to be the best games in my career in order for me to continue my role on offense or to get reps in the game itself. I will do everything in my power to make sure come week 5 I still have a nice amount of reps in every game after that.

TOJ: Is the team generally excited about being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks or is there concern about it becoming a distraction?

Clowney: To be honest no one has really talked about it. It was just something that came up originally but everyone is really just focused on OTAs and making sure all the new guys learn the system and all the new plays.

Video From The David Clowney’s Foundation Work

How About Clowney’s Little Bro? He looks like a young Leon Washington

And My Personal Favorite

The New Jets Acquisition Who Will Make The Biggest Impact Is…Brodney Pool?

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First a few updates:

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

2. Great game last night…How is it possible that Ray Allen can go from his game two performance to 0/13 in game three? This has been a bit of a weird series, especially considering it was Derek Fisher who took over in the fourth quarter for the win last night. You have to give the Lakers credit for silencing that raucous crowd early and still finding a way to win despite not playing their best game. The Celtics wasted a vintage KG performance last night, which they likely won’t receive again this series. As of today, I like Lakers to win this in 6 games.

3. Much more information to come on this over the weekend and early next weekend, but if you plan on going to the Jets open practice at the new stadium this Wednesday stay posted for details on how to get yourself in the new episode of TOJ TV because yes me and Corbett will be there promoting the hell out of the site, interviewing fans, and maybe hopping on to the field to grab some player interviews.

4. I wonder why our buddy Armando Salguero hasn’t been critical of the Dolphins ownership proclaiming them a Super Bowl contender and talking about Chad Henne like he is going to be the next Dan Marino, when he hasn’t accomplished anything yet in his NFL career?

The New Jets Acquisition Who Will Make The Biggest Impact Is…Brodney Pool?

I was asked to answer the following question about the Jets for an upcoming Fanball Magazine:

Which free agent/trade acquisition will make the biggest impact in the Big Apple this season?

Perhaps to many people’s surprise, my answer wasn’t Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonoio Cromartie or Santonio Holmes it was…Brodney Pool. The short version of my answer for the magazine was this:

“This answer may be a surprising one but the new acquisition that will make the biggest impact on the Jets this season is safety Brodney Pool. Kerry Rhodes failed to be the playmaker at the safety position in Rex Ryan’s defense that everyone expected him to be in 2009, but look for Pool to fill that void this year. In only 11 games last season for Cleveland, Pool recorded 55 tackles, 4 interceptions, and a sack. He has impressed coaches this off-season with his work both in the classroom and on the field. Pool has the athleticism and physicality to make a high amount of impact plays in for the defense. Also keep in mind, bigger name acquisitions like Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson will be coming off the bench, and Santonio Holmes won’t be active until week 5.”

But, let’s expand on that little…

PhotobucketEverybody was quick to assume Kerry Rhodes would turn into the New York version of Ed Reed last season, an assumption that was unfair to Reed, Rhodes, and Rex Ryan. Ed Reed is a Hall of Fame player, who would be a jaw-dropping playmaker in any defense but who especially flourished in Ryan’s attacking scheme. Rhodes was a player who put together two very good, pro-bowl caliber seasons in 2006 and 2007 but then saw his production drop off in 2008. It is clear now that Rhodes never embraced the transition to the Rex Ryan era because of petulant concerns about Jim Leonhard taking the lead on calling out plays for the secondary and a general feeling that he wasn’t looked at as a leader of the defense anymore. Instead of working to earn that spot back, he sulked his way to a sub par season, which culminated with him being benched after a week 11 loss to New England. Rhodes was athletic but wasn’t physical enough to be a safety in Ryan’s defense. He was talented but his big personality didn’t mesh well with the locker room last year.

Fortunately, the early indications are that the Jets may have found somebody with Rhodes athleticism, who lacks his personality issues and aversion to contact. Sandwiched in-between the Antonio Cromartie trade and the LaDainian Tomlinson signing, the Jets signed free agent safety Brodney Pool from the Cleveland Browns. When discussing the transition from Rhodes to Pool, here is what Mike Pettine and Rex Ryan have had to say:

Mike Pettine “Brodney will play the run better [than Rhodes]. I think he’s a better tackler. They’re both rangy guys, good athletes. I think he’ll stick his face in there more than Kerry.” Some of the issues with Kerry were off-the-field stuff. Buying in, I think he struggled with that, some of the comments he made after he left were kind of indicative of how he felt, that we brought guys up from Baltimore and we leaned too heavily on them. Of course we were going to lean on guys who know the system. That’s the whole point for bringing them in. There were some struggles there that we won’t have with Brodney.”

Rex Ryan “Brodney’s a young man with similar talents as Kerry (Rhodes).  I was a big fan of Kerry’s athleticism.  (Brodney is) an athlete.  He’s got length.  He’s got speed.  He’s got ball skills.  I think that’s going to be good.”

You get the impression the Jets may have found a player with the positive aspects of Rhodes play, without the negatives on and off the field. Don’t forget Pool was a second round draft pick for a reason back in 2005. For all the talk about his injury history, he played in 16 games in 2006 and 2007, along with 15 in 2008. It is now being reported he has only suffered one concussion in his career, with his head injury last year being a migraine that was misdiagnosed. Pool was having a career season in Ryan’s brother’s system in 2009, with 55 tackles, 4 INTs, a sack, and 5 passes defensed before missing the last 5 games of the season with the migraines. Pool had more impressive numbers in 11 games than Kerry Rhodes did in 16 regular season games in 2009.

So, keep an eye out for Pool to provide the playmaking ability you envisioned out of the safety position. The guy isn’t going to be Ed Reed but he won’t be Kerry Rhodes from 2009 either. What about the other big name acquistions? You could make a strong argument for Antonio Cromartie cause similar to Pool, he will be a starter for 16 games but Cromartie has to show he will be the player he was in 2007, not the player he was in 2008 or 2009.  Jason Taylor will be coming off the bench. LaDainian Tomlinson will be coming off the bench. Santonio Holmes won’t start playing until week 5 and will then have to work his way into the offense. If Pool can play in all 16 games this season and pick up where he left off before his injury in 2009, he could be looking at 80-85 tackles, 2-4 sacks, 5-7 INTs, especially when you consider all the talent around him and that Rex Ryan is now calling the plays. I don’t know if any of the other Jets new acquisitions will put up a stat line that impressive, unless Holmes goes wild in 12 games, which is unlikely considering all the people he is splitting catches with and how often the Jets run the ball. Cromartie has the potential but he has got worse the past two years, while Pool has improved every year heading into 2010.

Man, Kyle Boller Is Bad

Ten 2010 New York Jets Plays To Be Excited About

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…we have been stuck at 392 fans for 2 days now. Who wants the honor of being #400?

2. Two great pieces of Jets news today: Darrelle Revis was in attendance at OTAs and Mark Sanchez took part in 11 on 11 drills. Another good piece of news, The Sporting News picked the Jets over the Cowboys for this year’s Super Bowl match-up. When is the last time a major publication picked the New York Jets to be Super Bowl champions? Maybe after the 1998 season?

3. Jets next OTA practice is on Thursday, followed by open to the public minicamp practices next Monday and Wednesday.

Ten 2010 New York Jets Plays To Be Excited About

Why not? You already know why it is good news that Mark Sanchez took part in 11 on 11 drills and Darrelle Revis showed up today. So here you go in no particular order…

1. Antonio Cromartie’s first interception return – The guy is electric with the football in his hands and he will have plenty of opportunities to rack up the interceptions with Revis Island located opposite of him. This could be replaced with the first time the Jets throw Cromartie back for a kick return or a team attempts a long field field goal.

2. Kris Jenkins first sack – It will be great to see the big fella back in action, especially if he can flatten Joe Flacco right out of the gate in week 1.

3. Jason Taylor’s first sack – It will just be interesting to see every Jets fan’s body fighting against itself when it attempts to cheer for something Taylor does.

4. Santonio Holmes first big playThe stadium is already going to be electric in week five because it is Monday Night Football and because Favre will be in the building, but everybody is going to be hyped to finally see Holmes in a Jets uniform during a game that counts. I got a feeling Schottenheimer will be dialing up a deep one for him at some point in the first half.

5. Nick Folk first made field goal from 40+ yards – Everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief…until his next attempt.

6. Shonn Greene’s first long touchdown runWe can officially start missing Thomas Jones a little less when we see Greene pick up where he left off last season.

7. When Darrelle Revis makes Randy Moss quit  againThis should happen some time during the third series of their week two match-up.

8. Joe McKnight’s first big playWe can start missing Leon Washington a little less when we see McKnight rip off his first big play as a pro.

9. The first time Bart Scott looks at an opponent’s sideline and talks trashAlso known as the first play of the season for the Jets defense…the swag is back in 2010.

10. Kyle Wilson’s first big playWill it be a sack, interception, or long punt return for our first overall pick?