Jets Training Camp Sleepers

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Jets training camp sleepers for 2010, since I should still be sleeping at this time on a Saturday morning:

Aundrae Allison – I am a fan of David Clowney but I think Allison could make a run at the last roster spot at receiver. After the signing of Laveranues Coles, it is pretty clear the Jets weren’t looking for Clowney to see much time at receiver anyway, which means any receiver that makes the roster after Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, Laveranues Coles, and Brad Smith has to be a big time special teams contributor. Allison was a very good kick returner for the Minnesota Vikings in 2007 and similar to Clowney has terrific speed. If Allison breaks a few big returns in the pre-season, he could end up on the Jets final 53.

Jeff Cumberland – Signed by the Jets as a UDFA, after a very quiet senior year at Illinois, the 6’4 250 pound Cumberland showed potential in mini-camp to develop into a decent pass catching tight end. I don’t think there is a roster spot available for him this year, considering the Jets #3 tight end roster spot will likely be reserved for their long snapper (Tanner Purdum or Matthew Mulligan) but I could see him having a strong August and getting put on the practice squad to have another year to develop.

Donovan Warren – Warren was talked about as being a 2nd round draft pick before a poor showing at the NFL Combine. He was a productive player at Michigan against a high level of competition as a cornerback. The Jets have opted to move him over to safety and considering his talent level, versatility, and Rex Ryan’s love of defensive backs, there is a decent chance of Warren making the final 53.

Kevin Basped – The coaching staff was raving about Basped’s athleticism and long term potential after mini-camp. Basped was a defensive end at Nevada, where he recorded 9.5 sacks his senior year, yet the Jets have moved him to outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. At the worst, it sounds like the 6’4 249 pound Basped will make the practice squad so the Jets can continue to develop him. However, it isn’t out of the question for him to grab a roster spot, if he shows he can contribute on special teams during his rookie season.

Cory Reamer – Another linebacker who impressed the coaching staff in the spring, especially with his knowledge of the Jets defense. He is competing at a stacked position, but he is another guy who could be a candidate for the practice squad.

A few others

  • Britt Davis – Receiver with good size who had a strong training camp in 2009. Tough position to be competing for a roster spot at on the Jets.
  • Larry Taylor – Another receiver who caught my eye during mini-camp. I doubt he can get a roster spot but I bet he turns some heads this August.
  • TJ Conley – He could give Steve Weatherford a run for the punter job.

TOJ TV

Weekend Video Clips: Pay The Man

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets officially signed Laveranues Coles today but he admitted in a statement there is a good chance he could be released after the first four games. It is surprising the Jets were so up front with him about it and this also means there is a good chance of a guy like David Clowney or Danny Woodhead sticking around on the roster.

2. The Jets have extended the contract of Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum through the 2014 season.

3. Jason Taylor will wear #99 this season. Bryan Thomas will wear #58.

In honor of the report that the Jets and Darrelle Revis have opened the lines of communication again in hopes of settling his contract dispute before training camp, this week’s edition of Weekend Video Clips is devoted Revis Island.

Jets Fans Should Root For 2007

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets made the following moves yesterday:

  • Erik Ainge was placed on the non-football illness list and there is no timetable for his return. I wouldn’t bank on Ainge being around much longer in green and white.
  • Rookie Joe McKnight failed his conditioning test and was put on the active non-football injury list. He won’t be taken off until he passes the test. What the hell is the deal with this guy? You think he would have been running every single day after his vomit filled performance in mini-camp. Yes, I am already missing Leon Washington.
  • The Jets signed safety Emmanuel Cook and released linebacker Ezra Butler.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). If you aren’t, you just can’t get that full TOJ experience, and honestly that just makes me sad.

3. There has been no movement on releasing Kellen Clemens or Kevin O’Connell since the Jets signed Mark Brunell. Could we have a three way battle for the #2 spot? I feel bad for those second string receivers, Santonio Holmes and Laveranues Coles. What, our second string receivers are Santonio Holmes and Laveranues Coles? That’s what I call some depth.

Jets Fans Should Root For 2007

There is plenty of reason for Jets fans to be rooting for certain key players to reproduce their efforts from the 2007 season –

Braylon Edwards – As a member of the Cleveland Browns in 2007, Edwards pulled in 80 receptions for 1289 yards and 16 touchdowns. The season appeared to establish him as one of the premier receivers in the NFL but unfortunately his production dropped off in subsequent seasons. Edwards wasn’t helped by horrific quarterbacking but also developed a nasty case of the drops, which he is still working on shaking off. The 2007 season did demonstrate Edwards potential to be one the best receivers in this league. I continue to say he is the Jets most physically gifted offensive player.

Antonio Cromartie – Cromartie had a monster 2007 season for the San Diego Chargers. He racked up 10 interceptions and 3 return touchdowns. Similar to Edwards, he seemed to establish himself as one of the elite players in the NFL. Yet, his production also fell off in the following two seasons. He spent time dealing with a hip injury and struggled in San Diego’s zone scheme. However, he also showed a lack of effort at certain times, which is what Jets fans should be most concerned about.

PhotobucketLaDainian Tomlinson – 2007 was Tomlinson’s last season as one of the top backs in the NFL. He finished with 1474 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, along with adding 60 receptions and 3 receiving touchdowns. We all know how his production fell off a cliff the past two years. Hopefully, behind a better offensive line and in a system more dedicated to running the football he can offer some type of production.

Jason Taylor – Taylor’s last double digit sack season was in 2007, when he finished with 11 for the Dolphins. He also had 4 forced fumbles and an interception this season. Needless to say, every Jets fan would sign up for those numbers from Taylor in a heartbeat.

Nick Folk – Folk was an All-Pro selection in 2007 thanks to going 26/31 on field goals and his impressive five connections from outside of 50 yards. This was clearly long before he was shanking 20 yard kicks and being cut mid-season.

Jerricho Cotchery – Cotchery had his most career receiving yards and receptions in 2007, although I would argue his best overall season was in 2006. Regardless his 82 receptions for 1130 yards was especially impressive considering the Jets quarterbacking that year.

The Jets took a leap of faith this off-season by hoping players like Tomlinson, Folk, Taylor, and Cromartie can produce somewhere near their 2007 level. Considering the Jets depth chart, it is unlikely any of these players will reproduce those kinds of numbers again, with maybe the exception of Cromartie. Yet, the Jets really just need Braylon Edwards to be consistent and to avoid the killer drops, Folk to be stable from inside 50 yards, Tomlinson to be a good third down and short yardage back, and Taylor to enhance their third down pass rush. These guys don’t have to be superstars on the 2010 Jets but instead find their place as role players.

TOJ TV

Thoughts On Jets Adding Laveranues Coles

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Also, check out the new edition of Turn On The Jets TV, which should have your heart pumping through your chest.

2. A friendly reminder that training camp starts this Monday in Cortland, New York. The Jets will have practice at Florham Park on August 23rd and August 24th, along with at Hofstra on August 25th. Hard Knocks starts on August 11th at 10 PM and the Jets first pre-season game is on August 16th against the Giants.

Thoughts On Jets Adding Laveranues Coles

Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reported today that the Jets will be working out wide receiver Laveranues Coles tomorrow and are expected to sign him shortly after. This was a move that was speculated throughout the off-season, both before and after the Santonio Holmes trade. Last season on Cincinnati, Coles finished with 43 receptions, 514 yards, and 5 touchdowns. This would be his third tour of duty with the Jets.

I have always been a big of fan of LC, because of his toughness and ability to go over the middle. The decision to sign Coles, clearly indicates the Jets aren’t comfortable with David Clowney being the #3 receiver from weeks 1 – 4 while Santonio Holmes serves his suspension. Personally, I think Clowney would have been fine in that role and that he provides more speed than Coles. However, Coles is still a better overall wide receiver and should be very good in the slot because of his quickness, hands, and ability to run after the catch.

The real question is, what is Coles going to do after week four? First off, how about the lineup of receivers the Jets will trot out against the Minnesota Vikings in week five? Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, Laveranues Coles, and Brad Smith, wow…that is some collection of talent and depth. I am sure Coles understands there will be a minimal number of passes coming his way over the last 12 games. Yet, I am sure Brian Schottenheimer can get creative with a few four receiver packages that will keep Coles in the weekly game-plan. Also, he provides excellent insurance if one of the Jets top three receivers misses time with an injury.

After Holmes returns from suspension, it will be interesting to see if the last receiver on the depth chart, whether it is David Clowney, Danny Woodhead, or Aundrae Allison, ends up sticking around. I can’t image Coles is going to contribute on special teams, so Clowney or Woodhead could hang around as the #6 receiver, if they show they can become a core player on the various special teams units.

Overall, this further demonstrates how the Jets are all in when it comes to winning a Super Bowl this season. They are hesitant to risk a young player being their #3 receiver for four games, so they are going out to add a solid veteran, who has always been productive for the organization.

If this does happen and it sounds like it is going to…welcome back to New York, LC.

You Want To Watch This

Thoughts On Hard Knocks Preview

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Wow, I’m not sure you could watch that 15 minute preview of Hard Knocks featuring the Jets and not leave with your heart pumping out of your chest. Can a fan of a team ask for anything more than this type of access? I will tell you this if I wasn’t a Jets fan, I would hate Rex Ryan. In the preview alone, he had to piss off every single fan of every other team. You could just have Ryan talking the entire time and it would be worth watching. There hasn’t been a Jets team with this much confidence, maybe ever. I don’t think they leave a question that it is Super Bowl or bust in 2010. Who would have thought the Jets would ever be the most hyped up team in the NFL? Yet, the real question is if they can back it up. A losing season in 2010, with these type of expectations could be one of the most painful seasons in a damn painful history.

Outside of Ryan, you have to expect Nick Mangold and Bart Scott to be stealing the show on Hard Knocks.

The funniest thing I saw in the 15 minutes? Ryan running out of the tunnel in one of the Jets games, yelling “that’s right, here come the Jets” and any other clip they were showing of him wired up on the sideline.

August is going to be more entertaining than usual, buckle up.

Get Hyped

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Predicted 53 Man Roster

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have signed quarterback Mark Brunell. I tend to agree with the opinion held in the Jets locker room as reported by Manish Mehta (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/2010/07/jets-to-work-out-mark-brunell.html)

2. There will be a preview of Hard Knocks on HBO tonight at 11 PM tonight.

3. Get yourself hyped up for some AFC East football in 2010, with our new episode of TOJ TV –

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (Turn On The Jets). Also a heads up to all season ticket holders that the tickets will be mailed out August 2nd.

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Predicted 53 Man Roster

It is time for our annual prediction of the Jets final 53 man roster before training camp starts and by annual I mean this is the second time we have done it, since it is only my second training camp at Turn On The Jets. Let’s hope I improve on last season when I picked Jehuu Caulcrick, Mario Urrutia, Jack Simmons, and TJ Conley to make the team.

Quarterback

  1. Mark SanchezLet’s hope he builds on his performance in the playoffs.
  2. Mark Brunell – I disagree with the decision to bring him in, let’s hope Sanchez stays healthy.
  3. Kevin O’Connell – He was working ahead of Ainge in the spring and the Jets wouldn’t have traded a pick for him if they didn’t think he had potential.

Running Back

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  1. Shonn Greene – He steps into the lead back role after a very impressive end to his rookie season.
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Looking to prove he isn’t over the hill.
  3. Joe McKnight – Hopefully he will be groomed into Leon Washington 2.0
  4. Tony Richardson – Despite his advance age, one of the better fullbacks in the NFL.
  5. John Conner – Fullback of the future, should primarily play special teams this season.

Tight End

  1. Dustin Keller – Another player hoping to build on a strong run of games in the playoffs.
  2. Ben Hartsock – Holding! Hartsock gets his share of flags but he is a good blocker.
  3. Tanner Purdum – The new long snapper, if he botches one in camp let’s get James Dearth on the phone.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jerricho Cotchery – Can’t wait to see how many third downs he converts this season.
  2. Braylon Edwards – Coming off a very good off-season.
  3. Santonio Holmes – See you in week five.
  4. Brad Smith – Hope the Jets don’t forget about the Tiger formation.
  5. David Clowney – He will have a chance in the first four games to make an impact on offense and will need to step on specials.

Offensive Line

  1. C: Nick MangoldThe best in the business, now pay the man.
  2. LG: Vladimir Ducasse – He has big shoes to fill.
  3. RG: Brandon Moore – Quietly, one of the better guards in the NFL.
  4. LT: D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Just got his new contract.
  5. RT: Damien Woody – Let’s hope he did well in the weight loss contest
  6. G/T: Robert Turner – He sees action in the Jets short yardage packages.
  7. T: Wayne Hunter – Another guy who sees action in the short yardage packages.
  8. G/C: Matt Slauson– “Battling” with Ducasse for the starting job.

Defensive Line

  1. DE: Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet, likely in his final season with the team.
  2. NT: Kris Jenkins – Returning from ACL surgery.
  3. DE: Mike DeVito – Stepping into the starting line-up for Marques Douglas.
  4. DT: Sione Pouha – Had a very good 2009 filling in for Jenkins.
  5. DE: Vernon Gholston – New position, hopefully new results.
  6. DE: Ropati Pitoitua – Will have a chance to become a bigger part of the rotation in 2010.
  7. DL: Matt Kroul – Spent last season on the practice squad, should jump up this year.

Linebacker

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  1. ILB: David Harris – One of the best in the business, despite not getting the proper recognition.
  2. ILB: Bart Scott – The vocal leader of the defense.
  3. OLB: Calvin Pace – Poised for a double digit sack season.
  4. OLB: Bryan Thomas – The first and second down linebacker.
  5. OLB: Jason Taylor – Brought in to provide a pass rush.
  6. ILB: Lance Laury – Brought in for his special teams ability.
  7. OLB: Jamaal Westerman – Impressive rookie season for the UDFA and he can also play inside.
  8. ILB: Kenwin Cummings – Coaches have raved about him this off-season.
  9. OLB: Kevin Basped – His athleticism and long term potential grab him a roster spot.

Cornerback

  1. Darrelle Revis – Pay The Man.
  2. Antonio Cromartie – Alcrotraz joins Revis Island.
  3. Kyle Wilson – The Jets first round pick.
  4. Dwight Lowery – Could also see some time at safety.
  5. Marquice Cole – Looker for a bigger role on special teams and defense than in 2009.
  6. Drew Coleman – Hopefully he is safely inactive in most games.

Safety

  1. Jim Leonhard – Solid and steady.
  2. Brodney Pool – New addition to replace Mrs. Rhodes
  3. Eric Smith – Will be used all over the place by Rex Ryan off the bench.
  4. James Ihedigbo – Good role player who is often used on blitzes.
  5. Donovan Warren – I am guessing Rex Ryan’s love of defensive backs will lead him to keep UDFA Warren, who was a corner in college but will now play safety.

Special Teams

  1. K: Nick Folk – Let’s hope he can find what made him an All-Pro in the past.
  2. P: Steve Weatherford – Nobody runs a fake punt better than big #9.

Notes: The last three I put on the roster were Drew Coleman, Donovan Warren, and Kevin Basped. I am thinking the Jets will decide they can survive with four active receivers in weeks 1 – 4. However, if they do keep an extra receiver over one of the defensive players I selected, I think it would be Danny Woodhead or Aundrae Allison. I wasn’t hesitant about the 11 defensive backs because of  Ryan’s professed love of collecting them for his roster.

New Turn On The Jets TV – “Take Over”

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Major Storylines

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First a few updates:

1. Sorry for the lack of a morning article, but fortunately all the Terrell Owens nonsense has already came and passed. It would have made absolutely zero sense for the Jets to sign him. Anybody think the Jets just put their “interest” out there to drum up media attention before training camp starts? Anyway, I am glad the Owens circus will be joining the Chad Ochocinco Johnson circus in Cincinnati. The Jets were equipped to handle the Bengals offense in 2009 and that is still the case, even after the Owens signing.

2. Jason La Confora is reporting the Jets are working out quarterback Mark Brunell tomorrow along with a few other veterans.

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

4. A reminder there will be a 12 minute preview of Hard Knocks on HBO tomorrow night at 11 PM.

5. Justin Tuck told the New York Post the Jets talk too much. I think Justin Tuck should spend more time worrying about improving his defense to being anywhere near as good as the Jets, instead of getting jealous of their press clippings.

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Major Storylines

In the second part of our training camp preview, we look at the major storylines that will be or should be covered from Cortland, New York.

Brad Smith is Versatile – The beat writers love putting together massive amounts of articles about how versatile Brad Smith is every summer. The worse was in 2007 when Transformers came out in the theaters and there may have been 900 articles comparing Smith to the movie because of all the positions he can play. We have all seen Brad Smith play receiver, running back, quarterback, cover kicks, and return kicks. There is a general understanding of his versatility. Rex Ryan will provide no help in avoiding this story either because every time he mentions Smith, he cites his rushing and passing statistics in college.

Danny Woodhead Is Small – Another beat writer favorite, that HBO is a lock to eat up in Hard Knocks. “Danny Woodhead may be small in size and have played at a small college but nobody would ever say his heart or toughness is small.” He is an easy guy to pull for because of his long shot odds and he does help himself by playing two positions, running back and receiver. However, in the end there will be too much ink and time dedicated to a player who isn’t going to make an impact on the Jets season. Considering his nondescript special teams performance in 2009, I wouldn’t be shocked if he was cut before the end of camp.

Nick Folk – This is a story that will rightfully be scrutinized by everybody. Folk’s daily statistics are going to be closely watched by everybody who is properly concerned about the Jets kicking situation. He may be back to back bad days away from being cut. Hopefully, he can build on the momentum he had at the end of mini-camp, when he had a few very good practices. Beat writers…get those Folk stats going.

An Unlikely Marriage – The somewhat awkward ongoing interaction between Jason Taylor and Jets fans should be something frequently focused on by the beat writers, HBO, and the national media. At this point I think it is clear that Jets fans have embraced him in hopes that he brings 1o – 12 sacks to the team.

PhotobucketChemistry! Chemistry! Chemistry! – The most overblown issue about the Jets this season. Here is my response (http://turnonthejets.com/2010/04/29/death-of-the-jets-chemistry-discussion/).

LaDainian Tomlinson’s Attitude – It will be interesting to see how Tomlinson handles being the Jets backup running back. Will he demonstrate any frustration with Shonn Greene receiving more touches or if Joe McKnight comes in to spell him for a certain situation? This is going to be the first pre-season Tomlinson has played extended reps in for a long time. He needs to prove to the Jets and the rest of the NFL, he can still be a productive player.

Vladimir Ducasse – You can bet any offsides penalty or allowed sack by Vladimir Duccasse will be covered like a natural disaster. I am already waiting for the first wave of “how much will the Jets pay for releasing Alan Faneca” stories.

Contracts – The biggest story heading into training camp is the contract situation of Darrelle Revis. Everybody will be waiting on pins and needles to see if he shows up and if he does show up, how he carries himself. Will he ignore the media or will he just ignore their questions about his contract? Will he address the situation openly? Nick Mangold has already ended the circus around himself by claiming he will show up. Darrelle Revis has decided to keep us waiting.

Eyes On The Waist – Whenever you have a public weight loss contest, you are calling attention to your figure. Let’s see how Rex Ryan, Damien Woody, and Kris Jenkins look in August and who the ultimate winner of their contest will be. Jenkins has been on an all cookie diet and on Twitter Damien Woody is promising a huge surprise about the contest.

PhotobucketThe Sanchize – Of course we will get the daily round up of Sanchez’s statistics, along with the feature stories about whether he “gets it” yet or if he can avoid holding the Jets back. I can’t even imagine how many minutes HBO is going to spend with cameras jammed in his face. Unfortunately, we can’t even vicariously enjoy his bachelor lifestyle because he has settled down with Meadow Soprano. Then again, I doubt the nightlife in Cortland is anything to get excited about.

Share The Love – One of the things I am most fascinated to see is how the passes are being divided up between Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller. Beyond that, how much of the Tiger formation will we see? Can David Clowney still make an impact with so many players in front of him? What about lesser name players like Britt Davis and Aundrae Allison? There will be plenty of receivers looking for receptions this August and it will be entertaining to see how Mark Sanchez, whomever the backup ends up being, and Brian Schottenheimer attempt to keep everybody happy.

Injury Watch – Kris Jenkins coming back from his ACL surgery. Jason Taylor has been dealing with shoulder issues. If Shonn Greene gets banged up at all this training camp, it is going to raise millions of valid questions about his durability. Sanchez is also coming back from off-season surgery, so his mobility will be something to keep an eye on.

Your Daily Stand Up Routine – You have to look forward to Rex Ryan’s press conferences and any face time he gets on Hard Knocks. He is bound to give bulletin board material to New England and Miami, along with claim every single person in the Jets organization is the best in the NFL at what they do.

TOJ TV

Breaking Down The Jets Schedule

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

A quick breakdown of the Jets 2010 regular season schedule with training camp only one week away. Currently, here is the best way I could divide it up:

The “being overhyped as very difficult six game pre-bye week start that is still relatively challenging”…how about that for a title?

  • Home vs. Baltimore – Monday Night Football
  • Home vs. New England
  • At Miami – Sunday Night Football
  • At Buffalo
  • Home vs. Minnesota – Monday Night Football
  • At Denver

Gang Green gets thrown in front of America in weeks 1, 3, and 5. Yes, I agree this is a challenging start before the Jets bye week but let’s not get carried away. The three best teams the Jets play in these six games (Baltimore, New England, Minnesota) have to come play at the New Meadowlands. The road games are very manageable, especially Buffalo and Denver. 4 – 2 has to be the minimum target in these 6 games if the Jets consider themselves an elite team. 5 – 1 would be tremendously impressive. 3 – 3 wouldn’t be devastating, as long as 2 of the losses come out of the division.

The post-bye five game stretch when the Jets need to make a run

  • Home vs. Green Bay
  • At Detroit
  • At Cleveland
  • Home vs. Houston
  • Home vs. Cincinnati – Thursday Night Football

PhotobucketThere is no reason the Jets can’t go 4 – 1 or 5 – 0 in this stretch. They catch a huge break by getting a very good Green Bay team at home after a bye week. Detroit and Cleveland are two of the worst teams in the NFL. Everybody always loves Houston but we saw what the Jets did to them in their building last season. Cincinnati is a good team but how could you not like the Jets after how they handled the Bengals twice last year?

The two games that could swing the season

  • At New England –  Monday Night Football
  • Home vs. Miami

The Jets get their two biggest rivals in back to back weeks in December. This could be their chance to seize the AFC East title by its throat or the two games that end their season.

The not as difficult as it initially looks three game finale

  • At Pittsburgh
  • At Chicago
  • Home vs. Buffalo

Going into Pittsburgh and Chicago looks pretty scary at first, but I am not sure how good those teams will actually be this season. They are still very difficult match-ups and potential let down games after the back to back division showdowns against New England and Miami. However, if the Jets can split those two games, they are greeted with Trent Edwards at home in week 17.

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Position Battles

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First a few updates:

1. Nick Mangold has already announced he won’t hold out of training camp because of his contract. You can only hope the Jets will do the right and make sure he is properly compensated at some point in the near future. It doesn’t sound like a deal with Darrelle Revis is imminent and there remains a reasonable chance he holds out of training camp for a period of time, regardless of the guaranteed money he would be giving up by choosing that route. Every move Revis makes will face insane amount of scrutiny if he does show up. It is going to take a little bend from both sides to make this deal happen but unfortunately it sounds like everybody is firmly dug in at the moment.

2. There still has been no movement on the Mark Brunell signing. Hopefully, the Jets are considering keeping Kellen Clemens alongside Brunell. I’d much rather see Erik Ainge or Kevin O’Connell released.

3. A reminder there will be a 12 minute preview of Hard Knocks this Wednesday on HBO at 11 PM.

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

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Position Battles

In the first part of our training camp preview, we look at the position battles across the Jets roster –

There isn’t a high amount of intriguing battles for starting jobs on the Jets heading into this August. However, many players will be fighting it out for reps off the bench and to create a bigger role for themselves.

Left Guard – Vladimir Ducasse vs. Matt Slauson: The battle to replace Alan Faneca doesn’t sound like it is going to be much of a fight. Every indication from OTAs and mini-camp is that unless Ducasse is a complete disaster, he will end up being the starter. The Jets didn’t spend a second round pick on somebody to stash away on the bench for a 2009 sixth round pick with no experience.

PhotobucketSafety – Brodney Pool vs. Eric Smith: Another battle that isn’t really a battle. Rex Ryan has already stated he wants Pool in the starting lineup, so he can use Smith off the bench in a variety of roles and so that he can remain a core special teams player. Pool has impressed the coaching staff and it would be a huge surprise to not see him opposite Jim Leonhard in week one, with Smith coming off the bench in the nickel and sub packages.

Running Back – Shonn Greene vs. LaDainian Tomlinson: Only Tomlinson seems to think this an open competition. Unless he gets hurt, Shonn Greene will be the opening day starter at running back.

Defensive Line Rotation – Ropati Pitoitua vs.  Matt Kroul vs. Vernon Gholston: Shaun Ellis, Kris Jenkins, and Mike DeVito will be the starters with Sione Pouha getting plenty of work off the bench to spell Jenkins. However, the reps behind those four will be battled out between Pitoitua, Kroul, and Gholston. Pitoitua is mammoth at 6 foot 8 and 310 pounds. He played a little bit in 2009 but the coaching staff likes his potential. Kroul was stashed away on the practice squad last season after being signed as an undrafted free agent, yet defensive coordinator Mike Pettine raved about him this off-season and basically guaranteed he’d have a spot in the rotation. Gholston was only the six overall pick in the NFL Draft ,who looked clueless at outside linebacker. The Jets are hoping he can at least use his strength to give them something off the bench.

Wide Receiver – Brad Smith vs. David Clowney vs. Aundrae Allison: Somebody has to play the majority of the number three receiver reps while Santonio Holmes is suspended. Smith isn’t really a traditional receiver. Clowney made a few big plays last season and has the inside track to the majority of the reps. Similar to Clowney, Allison has great speed and could provide a deep threat. Britt Davis and Danny Woodhead could also push for a roster spot and these reps.

Turn On the Jets TV