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…
Everybody 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