First a few updates:
1. It is always fun to rile up Dolphins fans. A big thank you to everybody from Miami who took the time out of their day to visit my site to criticize my article on their delusional beat writer and team.
2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).
3. Episode number 2 of TOJ: The Podcast is now up and running, as you could see in the story below this one and from “The Podcast” link on top of the page. Give it a listen, as me and Dan Donohue debate the Jets and Giants records in 2010 and where LeBron James will end up.
4. The Jets have OTAs today and tomorrow, followed by ones on June 8th and June 10th.
5. NBA Finals – I am having a real tough time making any type of prediction in this series. It should be a 6 or 7 game battle that is very evenly matched. This series is huge for Kobe Bryant, who could cement himself as one of the five greatest players in NBA History in my mind, if he could beat the Celtics (who embarrassed him last time) and win his second title without Shaq. The major differences between this match-up and the 2008 match-up is that the Lakers now have Ron Artest “Say Queensbridge!” to guard Paul Pierce, Andrew Bynum can give them some minutes in the middle, and on the other side Rajon Rondo has turned into arguably the best point guard in the NBA. I respect what the Celtics have done this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t stand them and their constant whining at the officials…plus I have a natural hate of Boston sports teams. So let’s get it done Black Mamba…I am taking the Lakers in 7.
6. More charity work being done by one of the classiest guys on the team, receiver Jerricho Cotchery. http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2010/04/bpl-to-host-score-big-with-new-york.html
Three Offensive Question Marks For The Jets
In reverse order of importance…
Number Three – The Running Backs
The Jets had the number one ranked rushing attack in the NFL last season, when they racked up 2756 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. An extremely large chunk of that came from Thomas Jones who ran for 1402 yards and 14 touchdowns. Leon Washington also chipped in 331 yards before his week 7 injury. Jones is now in Kansas City and Washington is now in Seattle. Shonn Greene will be replacing Thomas Jones as the number one back and LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight will be combining to replace Leon Washington. I doubt the Jets production will match what is was in 2009 because they are going to throw the ball more and because they will miss Jones and Alan Faneca’s run blocking. That being said, while there are some fair questions about Greene’s ability to be a number one back, he did come on very strong at the end of last season and did show he can carry the load in two playoff games. If he is healthy for all 16 games, he should be a 1100-1200 yard back in this offense. Tomlinson will be relied on to score a big portion of the touchdowns Jones did last season, as he will likely be the team’s goal-line and short yardage back. He will also have to spell Greene a series or two each half and hold down the third down back spot until McKnight is ready. The quicker McKnight can learn pass protections, the quicker he can become a contributing part of the offense.
Number Two – Left Guard
Alan Faneca was probably the Jets fifth best offensive lineman last season. However, he was still a very good run blocker and provided plenty of intangibles and veteran leadership. Despite talk of a competition between this year’s second round pick Vladimir Ducasse and second year player Matt Slauson, it looks like the job is Ducasse’s to lose. He will be making a major jump from Division I-AA at UMass to the NFL. Fortunately, he will be supported by playing in-between two Pro-Bowl players in Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson and he has one of the NFL’s best offensive line coaches in Bill Callahan. Look for the Jets to primarily run the ball behind Brandon Moore in big spots to take pressure off the left guard but either Ducasse or Slauson still has to hold up in pass protection and when the team needs to run to the left side.
Number One – The Quarterback
Well, obviously. It is encouraging that the Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game with Mark Sanchez throwing 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and having a 53.8 completion percentage but the team needs more from him in year two. If Sanchez can play the way he did in weeks 1-3, both Dolphins games and the playoffs, the Jets are going to be a 12-4 or 13-3 team and I truly believe that. He needs to find some level of consistency in year two, do a better job of protecting the football, and be more accurate. There isn’t a team in the league with a better top four targets than Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller…Sanchez has to take advantage of that.
No Questions At Receiver