Five Questions About The Jets Offense

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First a few updates:

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

2. HBO will be airing a 12 minute preview of Hard Knocks on July 28th at 11 PM. The actual show starts on August 11th at 10 PM. Jets training camp opens on August 2nd. For the second year in a row they will be in Cortland, New York but also have open practices at Florham Park and Hofstra.

Ten Questions About The Jets Offense

As training camp rapidly approaches, here are five questions about the Jets offense that still need to be sorted out –

1. How will Santonio Holmes be integrated after he returns from his suspension in week 5?

– When Holmes joins the Jets it remains to be seen how many reps he will immediately receive and whose reps he will be taking away. Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards will remain the de facto starters but Holmes needs to be on the field much more than a standard number three receiver. There could be a push to use more three receiver sets but that moves away from the Jets “ground and pound” approach by putting them in a more spread formation. Cotchery, Edwards, and to an extent Dustin Keller will have to be prepared to sacrifice both reps and looks from Mark Sanchez after Holmes returns to the line-up. Also if Holmes starts making a high amount of his usual big plays, Edwards or Cotchery could be looking at a demotion from the starting line-up. Overall, this a good problem to have because it means the Jets have substantial talent at the receiver position but it will be require personal sacrifices from all the receivers and tight ends for the good of the team.

2. How many carries will LaDainian Tomlinson receive on a weekly basis?

PhotobucketIt is going to be interesting to see what LaDainian Tomlinson’s exact role on this offense will be and if he is satisfied with it. I would assume he will start the year off as the team’s third down back, short yardage/goal-line back, and taking a series or two each half to rest Shonn Greene. As the season progresses, Joe McKnight should start to take over some of the third down responsibilities and take a bigger overall role in the offense. I don’t doubt Tomlinson’s ability to help the Jets as a pass catcher out of the backfield but I wonder if he can handle receiving less than 10 carries for a few games in a row if Greene is playing to his potential and McKnight starts coming on. It is likely better for Tomlinson’s productivity to be in the 8-11 carry a game range but will he see it that way?

3. How long will it take Joe McKnight to become a consistent contributor?

As with any rookie there is going to be a period of adjustment for Joe McKnight. He can’t step in as a third down back or get any substantial number of reps until he proves he can pass protect and demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge of the Jets running and passing schemes. McKnight is athletic enough to line up in the slot, which will help the Jets find ways to get the ball in his hands out in the open field, where he is most dangerous. If McKnight quickly develops as the season goes on, we could be seeing less and less of LaDainian Tomlinson as McKnight is groomed to be the long term complimentary back to Shonn Greene.

4. Will Vladimir Ducasse be ready?

– Will the Division I-AA graduate be ready to hold his own at guard by week one and if he isn’t will Bill Callahan be able to scheme up ways to protect him? Ducasse is fortunate enough to be surrounded by Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, which should help cover up any of his early mistakes. However, he still has to be able to do his job on a consistent enough basis or the Jets running game and pass protection is going to suffer.

5. Will there be an urge to throw the ball more frequently and move away from the ground and pound approach from last season?

– It is easy to look at the collection of players the Jets have as pass catching options and fall in love with throwing the football all over the place, however that moves away from the formula they used to win games last season. Mark Sanchez isn’t ready to be throwing the football 35 times a game, regardless of how good his wide receivers and tight end are. If the Jets lose a tight, low-scoring game with Sanchez only throwing 18 passes there is going to be plenty of clamoring for them to open things up, but the question remains will Rex Ryan push the offensive staff to keep the ground and pound approach in place?  Hopefully, the Jets can find a happy medium that opens up the offense slightly from last year without moving too far away from what got them to the AFC Championship Game.

Training Camp Is Getting Close

New York Jets Defense – Three Layers Of Excellence

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The New York Jets had the NFL’s number one ranked defense last season and there is plenty of reasons to believe they will improve in 2010. Whether it is the increased familiarity the returning players have with Rex Ryan’s system or the influx of talent through trades, free agency, and the NFL draft; the Jets are position to improve their defensive weaknesses from 2009 and become an even more dominant unit.

PhotobucketThe Jets had the number one ranked total defense thanks to their number one ranked passing defense, which blew away the rest of the NFL by allowing 153.7 yards per game. The second place team was over 30 yards behind. There is no reason to think the Jets pass coverage should suffer in 2010, considering they upgraded their second, third and fourth cornerback and replaced the underachieving Kerry Rhodes with Brodney Pool.

Despite having such an exceptional pass defense, the Jets didn’t rack up impressive sack totals in 2009. They finished tied for 18th in the league with 32.0 sacks. This number should improve in 2010 because of the addition of Jason Taylor, who Rex Ryan will use as a pass rush specialist. The return of a healthy Kris Jenkins will also help push the pocket on the quarterback. Finally, the Jets will have their returning sack leader, Calvin Pace, for 16 games instead of the 12 they had him for in 2009.

The Jets had the 8th ranked rushing defense in the NFL in 2010, nothing to be ashamed of but also nowhere near the level of their pass defense. Again the return of Jenkins at nose tackle should lead to improvement and having Pool at safety instead Rhodes, who struggled in run support and tackling in general last season, will help.

PhotobucketThe return of Kris Jenkins at nose tackle gives the Jets a legitimate All-Pro caliber player at all three levels of their defense. Jenkins on the defensive line, David Harris at linebacker, and Darrelle Revis in the secondary. This is a luxury few teams in the NFL currently have and means you need to have exceptional talent on the offensive line, running back, and receiver position to handle all three of these players.

Jenkins is flanked by a collection of blue-collar players who fit well into Ryan’s system. Shaun Ellis is the most well-know of the rest of the bunch and is one of the better 3-4 defensive ends in the league. He has the ability to stop the run and provide a solid pass rush. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito aren’t household names but they did more than an adequate job when Jenkins went down last season and are good run stopping defensive lineman.

PhotobucketHarris is surrounded by two borderline pro-bowl caliber players in Bart Scott and Calvin Pace at linebacker, along with Taylor who is a former All-Pro that should benefit from only having to focus on rushing the passer and from Ryan’s aggressive scheme overall. Bryan Thomas is the lowest profile player in the linebacker group but remains a competent starter who does many of the little things for this defense that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

Revis is now paired with Antonio Cromartie at cornerback, who could have made the claim to being the best corner in the NFL after the 2007 season. I don’t know if Cromartie will ever play at that level again but he will certainly have opportunity to flourish in New York because of how his skill set matches up to the Jets defensive system and because of how many balls will be thrown his way. Rookie first round pick Kyle Wilson will be asked to step into the nickel role, which speaks to the talent in front of him. Former starter/nickel back Dwight Lowery can now slide into the #4 corner/extra safety in certain packages role, which best suits him. The Jets don’t have big names at safety in Jim Leonhard and Brondey Pool, but Leonhard is consistent and won’t give up the big play and Pool will have the chance to shine the way Rhodes was supposed to in 2009. Reserve safeties Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo are also key contributing members to this unit off the bench.

There are questions about the Jets heading into the 2010 season but it is hard to see their defense not being an elite unit in the NFL again. Considering what they did last year and their influx of talent, it would be a legitimate disappointment if they didn’t have the NFL’s number one ranked unit.

What To Watch

Who Is The Team To Beat In The AFC?

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2. Just a reminder that the Jets rookies report to training camp on July 29th in Cortland, New York. The veterans report on August 1st. The first episode of Hard Knocks is August 11th. The first pre-season game is August 16th against the Giants.

Who Is The Team To Beat In The AFC?

As training camp rapidly approaches let’s look at the four divisions in the AFC and what teams are most likely to come out of them and compete for a playoff spot and a Super Bowl.

AFC East

Favorite – I know it is shocking that the writer for Turn On The Jets is going to say the Jets are the favorite to win the AFC East, yet at the end of last season they were the best team in the division and they had the best overall off-season. Nobody is saying they are going to run away with this thing. It is going to be a dog fight with both the Dolphins and Patriots (likely more with the Dolphins). However, the Jets have the most overall talent on their roster and were less than a half away from a Super Bowl appearance last season. The addition of Antonio Cromartie, Brodney Pool, Jason Taylor, Kyle Wilson, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Santonio Holmes is only going to help that cause, along with the continued growth of Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene. Their defense will also improve from the familiarity the eight returning starters will now have with Rex Ryan’s system.

Primary Competitor – I am going with the Dolphins over the Patriots in this spot. Brandon Marshall will help give them some much needed balance on offense and a legit big play threat. Karlos Dansby and Jared Odrick were solid additions to their defense. However, I’m still not sold on their defense as an overall unit yet and I don’t know if Ronnie Brown can stay healthy or if Ricky Williams has another year like last season left in him. They also lack a proven option opposite Marshall at receiver, so when he loses himself on Revis Island, who will Miami turn to?

In The Mix – I am not counting out Tom Brady and Bill Belichick but the Patriots are looking like a 8-8 or 9-7 team to me right now. What did they do this off-season to make sure they don’t catch a swift beatdown from teams like the Ravens in 2010? Maybe I am putting too much stock in one game but I am not exactly worried about the additions of Torry Holt or Alge Crumpler. They have some young players with potential on offense who could step up but their defense isn’t what it used to be and is lacking on overall talent. Also, their offensive line isn’t the brick wall it used to be and they still don’t have anybody who is anything near being called a lead running back.

Circling The Wagons…In Basement – Trent Edwards. Brian Brohm. Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 2010 Buffalo Bills, everybody. I am sorry but who are their receivers beside Lee Evans and who is going to block for their UFL collection of quarterbacks and actually high quality trio of running backs?

AFC North

Favorite – The Baltimore Ravens have the potential to be scary good this season, if Joe Flacco can play more consistently and take advantage of the additions of Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth. Ray Rice is a superstar in the making and you know their defense will be good. So yes, week 1 is going to be a hell of a test for the Jets and a potential preview of the AFC Championship Game.

Primary Competitor – Don’t sleep on the Cincinnati Bengals this year. Many people are picking them as the team least likely to return to the playoffs but they can run the ball, play defense, and had a good off-season. Antonio Bryant is a major upgrade over Laveranues Coles at receiver opposite Chad Ochocinco Johnson and the selection of Jermaine Gresham in the draft gives them a much needed pass catching tight end. They also swept the Ravens last year.

In The Mix – Let’s see what kind of job Byron Leftwich does holding the fort down until Ben Rothlisberger returns and how quickly Rothlisberger can get acclimated after he returns. Pittsburgh can survive the subtraction of Santonio Holmes because Mike Wallace is going to be a very good player but is their defense going to improve from last season, especially at the end of games?

Fun Times In Cleveland Again – Those poor Cleveland fans. I can’t imagine having to root for the Indians, Browns, and Cavs for the next few years.

AFC South

PhotobucketFavorite – The Colts are the favorite for the division and the conference until somebody knocks them off. Peyton Manning might complete 80 percent of his passes this year with Antony Gonzalez returning to support Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, and Dallas Clark. You can ask the same questions we always ask about their defense and running game but chances are they are going to be right there competing for a first round bye again.

Primary Competitor – I hate drinking the Texans kool-aid because everybody hypes them up every season and they never seriously challenge for a division title or make the playoffs. This roster has plenty of talent and maybe if their kicker can make a meaningful attempt this year, they can finally break through and play football in January.

In The Mix – Chris Johnson is the most electric playmaker in the NFL and Vince Young is always capable of making his share of big plays. Beyond that, Jeff Fisher is a great coach which means the Titans will be right in the mix for a playoff spot in 2010. I don’t know if they can make the jump to compete with the Colts for a AFC South title though.

Actually Not That Bad – The Jaguars somewhat exceeded expectations last year and added a few quality pieces to their defense. They are far from the doormat the Bills, Browns, and Chiefs and should be competitive in the division. They will likely finish last but could still win 7 or 8 games.

AFC West

Favorite – The Chargers should take advantage of playing in a weak division and roll to another division title. Hopefully, they bring their run defense into the New Meadowlands for a playoff battle against the Jets.

Primary Competitor – They don’t really fit the category as a competitor but I think the Oakland Raiders will end up in second place in this muddled division. Jason Campbell will bring much needed stability to the quarterback position and Michael Bush has the potential to be a quality lead back. Their defense has talent at all three levels with Richard Seymour, Rolando McClain, and Nnamdi Asomugha. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the NFL’s punchline win 8 games this year.

In The Mix – I am not really sold on any moves the Denver Broncos made this off-season and don’t see how they improved from the 8-8 team they were last season.

Poor Thomas Jones – I still wish Thomas Jones was on board with the green and white this season instead of playing for the Chiefs, who likely struggle to win 5 games this season.

As of today, if I had to list the order of probability of AFC teams making the playoffs (not a power ranking, just the likelihood of team making playoffs):

  1. Colts
  2. Chargers
  3. Ravens
  4. Jets
  5. Bengals
  6. Dolphins
  7. Patriots
  8. Texans
  9. Titans
  10. Steelers
  11. Raiders
  12. Jaguars
  13. Broncos
  14. Browns
  15. Chiefs
  16. Bills

10 New York Football Predictions

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First a few updates:

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

2. Exactly 2 months until Jets and Ravens kick off on Monday Night Football.

10 New York Football Predictions

Ten assorted predictions related to the two teams who will be sharing the New Meadowlands Stadium this fall.

Photobucket Shonn Greene will run for more yards than Brandon Jacobs Yes, the Jets second year back and first year starter will finish the season with more total rushing yards than Jacobs who is entering his sixth year. Every durability question you can ask about Greene, you can ask about Jacobs. The difference is Greene is younger, has fresher legs, will be running behind a better offensive line, and is in an offense more committed to running the football. Don’t buy any talk about LaDainian Tomlinson challenging for the starting job, Shonn Greene is the team’s starting back. Instead of having an aging back on the down side of his career backing him up, Jacobs has a younger, more explosive back behind him, chomping at the bit to take away his carries, in Ahmad Bradshaw. In the end, Jacobs, his tip-toeing behind the line and his 3.7 yards per carry won’t match Greene’s production in 2010.

– Steve Smith will lead all New York receivers in receptions and yards – Despite Hakeem Nicks late season surge, Steve Smith is the unquestioned number one receiver on a Giants offense that is much more pass happy than the Jets. Eli Manning has excellent chemistry with Smith and he should duplicate, if not exceed his numbers from last season. Considering the Jets “ground and pound” mentality, the likely continued growing pains of Mark Sanchez, and the division of receptions between Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller, it is hard to picture any single Jets receiver having 107 receptions or 1220 yards.

Brodney Pool will have more interceptions than Antrel Rolle – Despite Rolle being the Giants biggest off-season addition and Pool being the Jets lowest profile one, the Jets safety will finish with more interceptions and more total big plays. Look at their numbers from last season:

  • Pool – 4 INTs, 10 PDs, 1 sack
  • Rolle – 4 INTs, 8 PDs, 1.5 sacks

Then remember that Rolle played four more games than Pool last season. If he can stay healthy, which is a fair question, Pool will excel in Rex Ryan’s defense the way everybody thought Kerry Rhodes was going to. He will benefit from having arguably the best trio of corners in the NFL and be able to roam/ball hawk more than Rolle will be able to.

– Eli Manning will have more touchdowns, yards, a higher completion percentage, and a higher QB rating that Mark Sanchez – I’m not really going out on a limb with this one. You have to give Manning his props, he has improved every year of his NFL career and is on the cusp of being a legit Pro-Bowl quarterback. I hope Mark Sanchez’s can develop into a guy throwing for 4,021 yards with a 93.1 quarterback rating.

– Kyle Wilson will have a better overall season than Jason Pierre-Paul – Both players will be entering the season as backups, yet Wilson will have a bigger role as the Jets nickel back and primary punt returner. Honestly, Pierre-Paul can do all the back flips he wants but I think he has Vernon Gholston type bust written all over him. I’m sorry if I’m not confident in a guy who played 1 year of major college football and only recorded 6.5 sacks at South Florida. Considering how much Rex Ryan loves to blitz his defensive backs, I wouldn’t even be shocked if Wilson had more sacks than Pierre-Paul this season.

Both teams will have winning records but the Jets will finish with a better record – It is going to be a good year for New York football. The Jets are a 11-5 or 12-4 team in my mind, who are the favorite to win their division based on how they finished last season and their off-season. Even though the Giants own them, Dallas is the favorite in the NFC East. The Giants owned them in 2009 and Dallas still won the division. I think the G-Men will be 9-7 or 10-6 and battling for that last wild-card spot in the NFC, even with their scrap heap collection of linebackers.

Photobucket– Ahmad Bradshaw will have more yards than LaDainian Tomlinson by a substantial margin but Tomlinson will have more touchdowns – Tomlinson’s greatest value to the Jets will be as a pass catcher out of the backfield and a goal-line back. He won’t rack up big yardage totals, that will be up to Shonn Greene. I expect Bradshaw to push Jacobs for the bulk of the carries by the end of the season and to match or exceed his 778 yards last season.

Dustin Keller will have more touchdown receptions than Kevin Boss – I know the Boss Man has 6 more touchdowns than Keller over the past two seasons but Keller is going to build on his playoff production (3 touchdowns in 3 games) to become the Jets primary red-zone target and leader in touchdown receptions. Boss won’t exceed his 5 touchdowns from last season as Travis Beckum and Hakeem Nicks both get more looks than they did in 2009.

Tony Richardson will have more receptions than Madison Hedgecock – Yes, I know Hedgecock beat Richardson by 1 last year in the battle of blocking fullbacks. However, Richardson still looks much smoother catching the ball than Hedgecock, who makes catching a football look more difficult than still liking LeBron James.

Kris Jenkins will be the heaviest player in New York – Don’t worry about that weight loss contest G-Men, Jenkins will stay safely above any of you in the weight category.

TOJ TV

Projecting The Jets Defensive Statistics

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First a few updates:

1. RIP George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard. The greatest owner and PA announcer both gone in back to back days…sad stuff. It will make the Yankees inevitable 28th championship a little sweeter when they win it for both of them though.

2. NBA Free Agency Thoughts – Despite my intense hatred of the Miami Heat, bringing back Udonis Haslem and adding Mike Miller were both solid moves. Miller is going to have insane amounts of open looks from three point range and Haslem is a solid all-around role player. However, they are still behind the Lakers in my mind, especially since Derek Fisher decided to head back to LA and will now pair with Steve Blake at point guard. Also if the Lakers pick up Raja Bell, it will be a big addition for them. It will give them three top level on ball defenders with him, Kobe, and Ron Artest. The Heat will score points in bunches but can they stop anybody? Despite not getting LeBron or Wade, the Chicago Bulls have quietly upgraded their roster substantially. Carlos Boozer up front to pair with Joakim Noah and Kyle Korver and JJ Redick to boost their backcourt. They have more than enough all around talent to give the Heat a serious run. It was obviously a dissapointing off-season for the Knicks. However, they have a young, talented roster in place and should compete for a 7 or 8 seed in the East season after adding Amare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, and Anthony Randolph. Now we are just holding out hope for Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony to eventually come on board. For all the hype about the Nets during the first couple of weeks of free agency, they ended up having Travis Outlaw and Jordan Farmar to show for it.

3. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Mark Brunell will be joining the Jets on July 22nd and that move will be coupled by the release of Kellen Clemens. Again, I agree with decision to sign Brunell but not the decision to cut Clemens. Why not keep Clemens as the #2 and let Brunell be the #3? It is a better depth chart than having Brunell as the #2 and Kevin O’Connell or Erik Ainge as the #3. I am also holding out hope that the Jets will bring back defensive end Marques Douglas. Why not have the rich get richer on defense?

Projecting The Jets Defensive Statistics

Depsite having a notoriously aggressive pass rush, the Jets didn’t have impressive overall sack numbers in 2009. They looked to remedy that this year by adding Jason Taylor, who should primarily play on third downs and passing situations. I trust Ryan’s ability to utilize Taylor’s ability to rush the passer and think he will end up in the 9 -11 sack range in 2010. I also think Calvin Pace will crack double digits, based on the fact he had 8 sacks in only 12 games during his first season in Ryan’s defense. Outside of that, Shaun Ellis should be good for his usual 5 – 7 sacks and the defensive backs should rack up a decent amount, considering how much Ryan loves sending them off the edge at the quarterback. Look for Kyle Wilson, Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, and Dwight Lowery to all get plenty of opportunities to pull in a few sacks each. If Kris Jenkins is kept fresh by rotating with Sione Pouha, he should also be good for a handful of sacks.

Photobucket– In the defensive backfield, it isn’t out of the question for Darrelle Revis to exceed his 6 interceptions from last year. The beauty of Rex Ryan’s system is that it forces opposing offenses to challenge Revis and the overwhelming majority of the time, he wins the battle. Revis is basically always going to be covering the team’s top option, which sometimes includes sliding in the slot to cover their primary third down target. For example, against the Chargers last year he spent time on Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates, and LaDainian Tomlinson out of the backfield depending on the situation. He also slid inside to cover Legedu Naanee on some third downs, because he was a favorite target of Philip Rivers in that particular situation. Ryan makes it nearly impossible to avoid throwing at Revis at least a few times a game. Antonio Cromartie should see plenty of balls come his way also when teams attempt to work away from Revis and he has the athleticism to make teams pay for challenging him, especially if he is covering their second or third option. Honestly, there is no reason Revis and Cromartie can’t both pull in 6 – 8 interceptions in 2010. Beyond that, I think Brodney Pool will have the third most. He had 4 interceptions in 11 games last year on a relatively poor defense, so it will be interesting to see how many he grabs on this team.

– Unless there is an injury, David Harris is going to lead the team in tackles by a good margin with Bart Scott finishing up in second place. Harris filled up the stat line last year (127 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 FFs) and those numbers should only increase as he gets more comfortable in Ryan’s system. Scott had an impressive 11 tackles for loss last season but hopefully he can cause a few more turnovers and get to the quarterback more in 2010. He had 0 FFs and INTs in 2009, along with only 1 sack.

– It will be interesting to see how the Jets rotation off the bench works on defense. You know Taylor and Wilson will see a good amount of reps and will almost always be in on third downs and passing situations. Depending on the game plan, Eric Smith should be on the field frequently to match-up with tight ends, running backs, or be used as a blitzer. Ryan also showed last year that he likes to use James Ihedigbo in pass rush situations. Dwight Lowery is working both at safety and corner now, which will help increase his reps. He will likely only get substantial playing time against teams who spread the field. On the defensive line, Sione Pouha will play near a starter’s amount of reps to help keep Kris Jenkins fresh and to occasionally pair up with him. Hopefully, either Vernon Gholston, Ropati Pitoitua, or Matt Kroul can step up to also give some quality reps off the bench.

That’s How You Come After the QB

What To Watch

Ranking The Jets Defensive Starters

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First a few updates:

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

2. I was surprised how many people on Facebook and Twitter responded to the TOJ Question of the Day “Who do you think will lead the team in receptions this season” with Santonio Holmes. The guy is only playing in 12 games, I doubt he can catch Cotchery or Edwards after their four game head start. I agree Holmes is probably the best overall receiver of the three but in this offense, this season…I will stay with Cotchery having the most receptions.

Ranking The Jets Defensive Starters

Since I ranked the Jets offensive starters on Friday, I had to finish the job by heading over to the other side of the ball.

1. Darrelle Revis – The best corner in football and the number one headline going into training camp because of his contract dispute.

2. David Harris – A top five inside linebacker in the NFL, who deserves a new contract and will hopefully get it soon for staying quiet about an extension similar to D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

3. Kris Jenkins – When Jenkins is healthy, he has the ability to take over football games and be a premier defensive lineman in the NFL. In 2010, he will be benefited from having Sione Pouha able to spell him and keep him fresh the entire season.

4. Antonio Cromartie – On pure talent and potential, I am placing him above Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, who are coming off better seasons. Cromartie has shown the ability to be a top flight corner in the NFL. Hopefully the move to New York will rejuvenate his career.

5. Calvin Pace – There were plenty of questions about the Jets giving Pace a monster contract two years ago but he has given them two very productive seasons. I expect him to have over 10 sacks this season.

6. Bart Scott – The loudest player on the field and an emotional leader on the team. Scott had a very good first season in New York and will look to build on it in 2010.

7. Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet, remains one of the better all-around 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL.

8. Jim Leonhard – Consistent player who knows the ins and outs of Rex Ryan’s defense.

9. Bryan Thomas – His numbers from last year won’t blow anybody away but Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine swear by his value to the defensive unit as an all-around solid player who does all the little things well.

10. Brodney Pool – I am excited to see what this guy can do in Ryan’s defense. Kerry who?

11. Mike DeVito – The UDFA from the University of Maine has come a long way. The Jets like his ability to stop the run.

TOJ TV

Projecting The Jets Offensive Statistics

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Yes, Fanball is still working on breaking those pending comments out but any comment you leave will be transcribed by me and posted.

2. After it was initially reported that Darrelle Revis was going to hold out of training camp unless he received a new contract, it has now been released that he will attend because he risks losing guaranteed money on his old contract if he misses any mandatory workouts. Obviously, we just have to wait and see what happens on August 1st but hopefully Mike Tannenbaum and the rest of the Jets front office is putting in OT right now on Revis, Nick Mangold, and David Harris. The less distractions the Jets have heading into training camp the better, considering they will already have Hard Knocks in attendance. There hasn’t been any positive talk about the Revis negotiations in recent weeks but the Jets still have a few weeks to make a move before training camp and the 18,000 daily stories about every move Revis does or doesn’t make.

Projecting The Jets Offensive Statistics

A few thoughts speculating on what some of the Jets offensive player statistics could look like in, after ranking the starters on Friday (http://turnonthejets.com/2010/07/09/ranking-the-jets-offensive-starters-weekend-video-clips/).

PhotobucketJerricho Cotchery led the team in receptions last season and I think he will do the same in 2010. Out of all the Jets receivers, he seems to have the best chemistry with Mark Sanchez and should be the team’s primary target on third downs this season. Similar to the rest of his career, he likely won’t rack up big touchdown or yardage totals. When the Jets are looking for a big play, Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes will be the primary target (after week 4). By all accounts, Edwards had a terrific off-season and if he can remain consistent could be in store for a big season in a Jets offense that will throw more frequently than their 2009 unit. I don’t know if he will get the amount of looks necessary to be a 1,000 yard receiver but he could end up being close, especially with Holmes suspended the first four games. I also think he will be battling Dustin Keller for the team lead in touchdown receptions. Keller will struggle to have big reception and yardage totals with so many other pass catching options but is an excellent red-zone target because of his combination of size and speed at the tight end position.

It is hard to project what Santonio Holmes will do after he returns from his suspension. You have to figure it will take some time for him to adjust and find his exact role in the Jets offense. Yet, by the end of the year he could very well be the guy leading the Jets in receiving yards most weeks. If you asked me right now, I’d say Cotchery will lead the team in receptions, Edwards will lead them in yards and touchdowns, with Keller close behind in the touchdown category.

– At running back, if Shonn Greene stays healthy and keeps up his high yards per carry, there is no reason he can’t be a 1200 – 1300 yard back. I don’t buy any talk about LaDainian Tomlinson competing with him for the starting job. The primary reason the Jets let Thomas Jones walk was because they believed Greene could handle the starting job. Tomlinson was brought in to back him up and provide a pass receiving option out of the backfield since Greene struggles catching the football. I also expect him to get the first crack at being the goal-line and short yardage back. Greene is going to lead the team in carries and yards by a good margin. Yet, Tomlinson could end up leading them in rushing touchdowns and should catch 30-40 balls as well. Joe McKnight will likely start out slow but if he shows he can handle blitz pick up, his package of plays will expand as the season goes on. I doubt he will get over 80 carries this season but hopefully he can chip in a decent reception total, especially in the second half of the season.

– At quarterback, it is hard to see Mark Sanchez not improving on his statistics across the board in 2010. It will be a disappointment if he doesn’t throw for a higher completion percentage, more yards, more touchdowns, and less interceptions. Nobody is saying he is going to make a monster leap but I think he is capable of reaching 3000 yards with something like 15 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, along with a completion percentage in the 56 – 58 range. The Jets will throw more this season and his completion percentage will be aided by a more active screen game led by Tomlinson and McKnight.

– Brad Smith won’t catch any more passes than he did in 2009 (7) but hopefully he can match or exceed the 207 rushing yards he gave the Jets last year, with a few big plays out of the Tiger formation or on a reverse. He should also complete a few passes, as the Jets look to build on his big completion to Jerricho Cotchery in the AFC Championship Game. David Clowney will likely catch a few passes in the first four weeks but I don’t know how involved he will remain in the game plan after Holmes returns from suspension. Outside of that, I wouldn’t be spending any of my fantasy football picks on Ben Hartsock, Matthew Mulligan, Tony Richardson, or John Conner.

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Tiger Formation

Ranking The Jets Offensive Starters & Weekend Video Clips

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I recently saw Mike Reiss of ESPN rank the entire New England Patriots roster 1 – 82. Let’s try that on a smaller scale with the Jets starting with their offensive starters today.

1. Nick Mangold – The best player in the NFL at his respective position. Hopefully, the Jets will be locking him down to a long term deal in the coming weeks.

2. D’Brickashaw Ferguson – One of the best tackles in the NFL, who the Jets just gave a massive extension to.

3. Brandon Moore – Three offensive lineman in a row? Yes, Brandon Moore is in the top tier of guards in the NFL, despite flying under the radar.

4. Braylon Edwards – The most physically talented player on the Jets roster. However, he still lacks consistency.

5. Jerricho Cotchery – The most reliable receiver the Jets have. I believe he is a borderline #1 guy, but the Jets have the luxury of letting him be a #2/#3 when Santonio Holmes returns from suspension.

6. Dustin Keller – He had a promising rookie season and then finished his second season on fire in the playoffs. He has pro-bowl level talent but I don’t know if he can get enough looks in this offense to reach that level.

7. Damien Woody – He has been rock solid since the Jets signed him, starting every game at right tackle and playing at a consistently high level.

8. Tony Richardson – Still one of the better fullbacks in the game. Yet, I wonder if he will see a dip in reps this season after Holmes returns in week 5.

9. Mark Sanchez – He had a roller coaster rookie season but finished strong in the playoffs. There is no doubt he has the potential to be a franchise quarterback but he has to be more consistent.

10. Shonn Greene – Similar to Sanchez, came on strong in the playoffs. Greene has the tools to be a number one back but has to stay healthy and protect the football.

11. Vladimir Ducasse – The newcomer to the offensive line. He will have a major jump from I-AA to the NFL.

Argue, away…

Cheer Up Knicks Fans…At least we don’t live in Cleveland:

Rookie Highlights

Of Course, TOJ TV

Ut-Oh

Ok, #17

How To Spot Bandwagon Jets Fans

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First a few updates (and yes another comment on the comments)

1. A friendly reminder that comments from people who never had a comment go through before the past week are locked in pending. The ones you see going through are from people who had posted before that. Until the Fanball technical crew fixes this, I will transcribe your comments myself under my name but with a POST FROM ___ above, as you can see in our recent articles. Keep the comments coming and keep the conversation going, and for god’s sake follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

How To Spot Bandwagon Jets Fans

Who would have thought the New York Jets…the ugly stepchild of New York football would ever have bandwagon fans? Well it is starting to happen, as the Jets have climbed into relevancy thanks to a run to the AFC Championship Game, a collection of flashy trades/free agent signings/ draft picks, the most entertaining coach in professional sports, and now a spot on HBO’s Hard Knocks. How can you separate these fans who just decided to come along for the party now, without paying their dues of suffering and misery. TOJ has the guide:

PhotobucketThey are wearing either a Brett Favre or LaDainian Tomlinson jersey – First off, if you expected Favre to be on the Jets for more than one year, you were out of your mind and wasted your money on a jersey. Second, anybody wearing the Favre jersey likely hopped on in 2008 because “I’ve always loved Favre man” or because they thought he would carry the Jets to a Super Bowl…guess again, he flamed out in December. This is the Jets we are talking about and again this is Brett Favre we are talking about, who has now made a career of melting down in big spots. Tomlinson jerseys? Really? You really think he is going to be on the team for more than 1 season? A smarter investment would have been any other of the Jets new acquisitions or maybe their starting running back who is entering his second season in the NFL. Hey, at least you didn’t get a tattoo of “LT” on your calf or anything.

– They think Mark Sanchez is awesome – Look, I am as excited about Sanchez’s potential as the next fan and loved the way he played in the playoffs but you can’t be walking around going “bro, Sanchez is awesome.” I am sorry but if you watched the Jets last year, you know Sanchez threw 8 more interceptions than TDs and still has to prove himself as a franchise quarterback or anything near “awesome.” If you are talking about the caliber of women Sanchez dates…then yes he is “awesome.”

They don’t know who Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, or Brandon Moore are – If you start talking about any of these guys and a “Jets fan” tells you they don’t know who you are talking about, then you have spotted one. Or, if you are watching a game and one of the three does something or gets mentioned, and you get a “who the hell is that, anyway?” you found one. Sione Pouha started every game after week 6 last season and was terrific at nose tackle. Mike DeVito is going to be a starter this year and played a ton last season. Brandon Moore is one of the best guards in the NFL. He was better than Alan Faneca last season.

They cheer against the Jets on a particular play because somebody on their fantasy roster made a big play – Sorry guy, I don’t care how much you paid to get into your fantasy league, you don’t cheer when Maurice Jones-Drew rumbles in for a touchdown against the Jets defense. You don’t cheer when anybody scores or makes a big play against the Jets defense. You don’t cheer when Sanchez throws an interception. You don’t cheer when Nick Folk shanks a 28 yard field goal because the kid you are playing is starting him at kicker.

They agree with anything Mike Francesa or Mike Florio says about the Jets – Two chronic Jets haters who always go out of their way to find a negative angle about the team and take a shot at Rex Ryan (Francesa) or Mike Tannenbaum (Florio). Francesa is just bitter and likes to bother people because it is entertaining radio and I think Florio was beaten up for his lunch money by Jets fans when he was a kid.

They don’t think Jerricho Cotchery is a good receiver – If you have actually watched every Jets game since 2006, you would never say something like “thank god, they got Holmes, Cotchery can’t handle being a starting receiver.” Actually, yes he can and he was handling being a number one receiver just fine before the Braylon trade last year. I admit he is a better fit as a #2 but anybody who thinks he isn’t a more than capable starter just hasn’t watched him play.

They own a Giants jersey – Should I have to say anything? You can get jerseys from other teams, if you were younger and just wanted to get all the best players at the position you played but those other teams can’t include the Giants, Dolphins, Patriots, or Bills. I remember back in 8th grade, I had a sweet Issac Bruce Rams jersey because I was a monster on those recreation football fields at receiver. Of course, I also had a Chrebet and Keyshawn Johnson jersey but there was nothing wrong with wearing the ‘Ike back in the day. However, once you are over 16 you should be committing money to only your favorite team. I remember my one friend had a Kevin Johnson Browns jersey in high school. Yes, it was cool and rare at the time but where is that jersey now?

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