Thursday Morning Jets Thoughts & LeBron Rant

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2. Friendly reminder site comments are locked in pending, please keep them coming and the Fanball tech crew should have this problem fixed and all your comments posted in a few days, at which point I can respond to them.

Thursday Morning Jets Thoughts & LeBron Rant

Photobucket– It will be interesting to see how the Jets offense operates during the first four weeks of the season and how it shifts when Santonio Holmes joins the active roster. After week four, you would have to imagine you will see a high amount of 3 WR sets that spread the defense out and find a way to get Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, and Braylon Edwards on the field at the same time. However, will the Jets use a substantially higher percentage of their base package in weeks 1 -4 or will they go 3 – wide and utilize Dustin Keller as a receiver or give David Clowney or Brad Smith a big bump in reps. Also, what if the Jets are successful operating out of a base, 2 WR set the majority of the time in the fist four games? Are they going to risk moving to a more spread, pass happy attack after Holmes returns? There is going to be a point this season where either Edwards, Cotchery, Holmes, or Keller starts seeing a big cut in their reps and I wonder how they will handle it. You can’t have all those guys on the field at all times and expect to use the ground and pound approach on offense.

– If you have been reading this site regularly, you know I am on the Brodney Pool bandwagon big time. I think he is going to put together a very good season and make Mike Tannenbaum look smart for trading away Kerry Rhodes and signing him to such a low-cost deal. I expect him to put up more tackles, sacks, and interceptions than Rhodes does in Arizona this season. I also think Calvin Pace is in line for a double digit sack season at the outside linebacker position. Hopefully, Jason Taylor can join him in the 10-12 sack range. The last time a Jets player had double digit sacks in a season was in 2005, when John Abraham did it.

– Who would have thought the Jets would ever be a team with bandwagon fans? They are all over the place this season. As a matter of fact, I think a separate article later in the day is necessary about how to spot them.

– I have been surprised about how many people are completely down on Joe McKnight heading into this season. I think the low expectations will serve him well though, because he doesn’t step into a high pressure situation as a rookie. McKnight is going to provide some big plays for the Jets offense this season and while he will slowly be integrated into the scheme early in the year, by the end of the season he should be their full time third down back and a guy who is catching 3 or 4 passes each week, along with taking a handful of carries.

– For a first round pick, Kyle Wilson has flown under the radar a little bit when people talk about the Jets this year. Despite not being a starter this season, Wilson should provide big plays as a blitzer off the edge and a punt returner. He may struggle a little bit with his coverage in the slot to start the season out but he will be better for it in the long term. It is a difficult job to cover a receiver without the help of the sideline, which means when he moves to the outside as a starter the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.

LeBron Rant

Amid the reports of LeBron leaning heavily towards joining Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, I thought I’d get a quick rant in before his official decision tonight. Let me preface this by saying, yes I am a bitter New York Knicks fan and yes I hate Miami. Also, Bill Simmons basically hit the issue on the head better than I ever could in this article: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/100708

However:

PhotobucketHow lame is it for LeBron to concede the fact he can’t beat Wade and Bosh in Miami with the Cavs, Knicks, or Bulls? The last time I checked Miami would still be a very beatable team withWade/Bosh and whatever they end up surrounding them with. The Bulls with LeBron would absolutely be better, the Knicks would give them a hell of a run with LeBron, and even the Cavs with LeBron back and Byron Scott coaching them could take them in a playoff series. If LeBron goes to Miami to be the Queen to D-Wade’s King, there is no more “Witness” nonsense. He is basically saying, I can’t be a Michael Jordan, I can only be a Scottie Pippen. What kind of competitive athlete, concerned about his legacy and ego would rather play second fiddle on a team already established as somebody’s else’s, in one of the worst NBA cities in America instead of going to one of the best NBA cities in America (New York or Chicago) to become the lead guy?

Now we are going to have to watch Miami sell out their arena every night with bandwagon fans, who suddenly love the Heat and love basketball. I am pretty sure I remember watching Heat games over the past few years, where there were less people in the stands than WNBA games. You can only hope if LeBron goes there, the Heat fall short and don’t win a championship which is a real possibility considering their roster will be the big three and literally nobody else. When Mario Chalmers is your 4th best player and your 5th through 10th best players are all second round draft picks from this year and minimum wage players off the scrap heat, you could lose to Boston, Orlando, or Chicago in the East or definitely the Lakers in the finals.

If he goes back to Cleveland, you can commend him for being loyal. If he goes to Chicago, it is a smart basketball move and also a courageous one considering what Michael Jordan did there. Yes, Chicago with LeBron would be better than Miami with LeBron. A starting lineup of Derrick Rose, LeBron, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Luol Deng with Taj Gibson, Brad Miller, and Flip Murray coming off the bench blows away a lineup of LeBron, Bosh, Wade, Chalmers, Scrub X with a bench of Scrub X, Scrub X, and Scrub X. If he goes to the Knicks, it is the most courageous move by far because you are saying “I am going to save basketball in the world’s greatest city, in the world’s most famous arena.” That is a challenge only the greatest basketball player in world would take and a challenge that legends are made out of.

New TOJ TV

Antonio Cromartie: Boom Or Bust

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First a few updates:

1. I’d like to make it clear to everybody again that we are having a WordPress issue, which is leaving every comment left on the site in pending and thus not on the site. The comments haven’t been lost or deleted. I literally post every single thing somebody takes the time to leave, regardless of what they say. Please keep the comments on articles coming, because this problem should be resolved soon. For now, I will be personally copying and pasting the most intriguing comments from the last week under my name and then responding to them (as you can now see in the recent comments section on the right side of the site). I am sorry about this problem but our Network has recently moved our server to a different locaction, which has led to some technical problems.

2. I think the Bulls, Cavs, and Knicks all have an equal chance of landing LeBron tomorrow. It is amazing h0w one person could take the Knicks from the number five team in the New York sports market, to arguably the number one.

Photobucket3. Today was actually a big day of Jets news and of all things…it was good contract news. The Jets locked in left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson to a monster extension, adding 6 years and 60 million dollars to his original deal and giving him 34.8 million guaranteed dollars, which is a record for an offensive lineman. The Jets also locked down 2nd round pick, guard Vladimir Ducasse to a four year deal for 3.25 million dollars. In a matter of hours, the Jets solidified the left side of their offensive line for the foreseeable future. We can only hope the Ferguson deal will help get the ball rolling on new contracts for the rest of the Jets core four, Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, and David Harris. Why do I have feeling Harris will be taken care of next? The Jets could be rewarding the players who kept the quietest about their contract negotiations first.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…if you do, I will convince LeBron to join the Knicks.

Antonio Cromartie: Boom Or Bust

Considering I just wrote an article today about how strong the Jets secondary is heading into the 2010 season, I thought a closer look at the biggest question mark in that position group was in order.

PhotobucketI was as skeptical as anybody about the Jets decision to trade for Antonio Cromartie this off-season but I have gradually began to talk myself into the move, especially hearing about the work he has done this off-season and watching him at mini-camp practice. However, you can’t get past how much of a wild-card he is heading into this year. The guy didn’t play good football the past two years with the San Diego Chargers, period. Even if he was hampered by a hip injury, there was still questions about his lack effort. Every Jets fan saw Cromartie’s aversion to tackling in the playoffs last year and his immaturity when he threw a late elbow into Shonn Greene’s back.

You can’t ignore the red flags of only 5 interceptions the past two years and 19 passes defensed, when he had 10 interceptions in 18 passes defensed in 2007.  You can’t ignore his old organization questioning his effort on the field. You can’t ignore that he only had 33 tackles in 16 games last season.

PhotobucketHowever, you also can’t ignore the type of season Cromartie had in 2007 or the freak athleticism he has displayed on certain plays during his NFL career. There is a valid argument about Cromartie being a better man to man corner than a zone corner and the Jets system of defense playing to his strengths. He is going to see a ton of balls coming his way this season because of Revis Island being located on the other side of the field, meaning he will have plenty of chances to get his hands on the football and make big plays. Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine raved about the Cromartie acquisition this off-season to Manish Mehta of the Daily News

“I think he’s an upgrade over Lito – a clear upgrade over Lito. He fits our style of football. When you have your wide receiver line up outside the numbers, we’re going to eliminate him. That’s the one thing this kid can do…They played him off a lot (in San Diego), That’s a style thing.  They’re more of a zone team. A lot of times, they roll their corners up and get them involved in run support. We don’t do that nearly as much. For what we do schematically – we play so much man coverage or zone coverages that turn into man down the field as anyone – (Cromartie) fits.”

All I know is that if Cromartie gets back to playing anywhere near his 2007 level, it is going to be nearly impossible to throw the football on the Jets. He is going to rack up a bunch of interceptions and probably a touchdown or two. On the other hand, if he can’t stay healthy or plays like he did the pat two years, Kyle Wilson is going to get thrown into the fire right away and we are going to see way more Dwight Lowery than any of us can stomach.

Cromartie…Wow

New TOJ TV

Jets Area Of Strength – Secondary

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First a few updates:

1. It is more than a little ridiculous that a player who has never won a ring is announcing his free agency decision during a 1 hour primetime special. Yet, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be watching it tomorrow night. I think it is down to the Bulls, Cavs, and the Knicks at this point for LeBron’s destination. For a guy who is so obsessed with his legacy, he wouldn’t be doing it much service by playing second fiddle in Miami to Dwayne Wade. The Bulls give him the best shot to challenge for a title immediately. The Knicks can now offer Amare Stoudermaire to run with him and the potential of acquiring another major free agent next year.

2. I am interested to see how Miami fills out their roster around Wade and Chris Bosh. Right now, they literally have two other players under contract along with their draft picks.

3. It has been very quiet on the contract negotiations front, especially considering how slow NFL news is right now. The pressure has to pick up on the Jets in the next week or two as training camp begins to creep closer and the question of how Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold will handle their contract situation grows bigger. It wouldn’t be quality premium cable to start Hard Knocks without the Jets best offensive and defensive player.

4. I am still holding out hope that the Jets will sign Marques Douglas to a minimum deal at some point this summer to boost their depth on the defensive line and that they decide to pass on Mark Brunell unless he is coming in as their number three quarterback.

5. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and check out the new episode of Turn On The Jets TV, where we run through some of the top highlights from last season as we look forward to why the Jets have the potential to be so good in 2010.

Jets Area Of Strength – Secondary

Today we cover another area of strength for the Jets headed into the 2010 season, joining the linebackers and receivers, the Jets secondary should be one of their deepest, most talented position groups this year.

PhotobucketAny talk about the Jets secondary starts with cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is coming off one of the best individual defensive seasons in recent NFL history. There isn’t a better cover guy in the league, period. Revis has the rare ability to completely take a team’s top receiving top target out of the game, while still creating turnovers. The Jets defensive scheme dares teams to take a shot at Revis and when they did in 2009, they failed an overwhelming majority of the time. In the end, the Jets will find a way to appease his contract demands. Mike Tannenbaum can be stubborn in his contract negotiations but he isn’t stupid. Revis has the ability to become one of the greatest players in the organization’s history.

In 2009, the weakest spot of the Jets defense was the corner position opposite Revis. Veteran Lito Sheppard struggled to stay healthy and productive, when he actually was on the field. Dwight Lowery was doing an adequate job filling in Sheppard for a little while, but ultimately lacked the physical skills to match up with starting receivers on a consistent basis. The Jets didn’t hesitate this off-season to fix this weakness.

Former All-Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie was acquired in a trade from the San Diego Chargers. Cromartie is one of the most physically gifted players in the NFL and had a 10 interception season in 2007, along with creating a reputation for racking up highlight reel plays. He has struggled the past few years. However, the Jets are banking on their aggressive man to man scheme bringing the best out of Cromartie, along with him recovering from a hip injury that nagged him last year. Cromartie is a huge boom or bust player heading into 2010. Hopefully, he won’t replicate the bust performance offered by Lito Sheppard last season.

The Jets added further support to the corner position by drafting Kyle Wilson out of Boise State in the first round of the NFL Draft. Wilson was a player who shot up most draft boards after a strong performance during Senior Week. He was rumored to potentially be a top 15 selection. Fortunately for the Jets, he managed to slip all the way to number 29 for them to snatch up. Rex Ryan instantly handed Wilson the starting nickel job, where he could face some early struggles adjusting to playing in the slot. However, his physical skills are far superior to Dwight Lowery and as the season progresses, Wilson should develop into a integral part of the Jets defense. Ryan will utilize his athleticism as both a cover guy and a blitzer off the edge.

PhotobucketWith the acquisitions of Cromartie and Wilson, Dwight Lowery bumps down to the team’s number four corner. In terms of the fourth guy, Lowery has tons of experience and should be used in a selective way as both a corner and safety in certain packages that allow him to take advantage of his ball hawking skills. Marquice Cole and Drew Coleman round out of the cornerback position, as primarily special team players.

At safety, the Jets traded away Kerry Rhodes who has already ticked off his new teammates in Arizona with his desire to vacation over working out in the off-season. Brodney Pool was signed from Cleveland to replace Rhodes. Despite having his season cut short by a head injury in 2009, Pool had a much better statistical season than Rhodes in only 11 games. The coaching staff has been raving about his work ethic this off-season, and that work ethic combined with his athleticism gives Pool the potential to have a big season in the Jets defense.

Jim Leonhard returns as the other starting safety. Most people look over Leonhard when discussing the Jets defense, but he was one of the most consistent players on the team last year and has a complete mastery of the Rex Ryan’s system. He won’t rack up a ton of big plays but he will always be in the right place at the right time and won’t give up big plays either.

The Jets have excellent depth behind Pool and Leonhard. Eric Smith is a versatile player, who has extended starting experience. He will see plenty of action in the multiple packages the Jets use on defense. James Ihedigbo came on towards the end of last year as a quality reserve off the bench and somebody who was effective as a blitzer off the edge. The Jets also added UDFA Donovan Warren from Michigan this off-season, who was talked about as a second round pick before a poor combine showing.

Revis

Cromartie

New TOJ TV

New TOJ TV "What To Watch"

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First a few updates:

1. We are still working out the kinks on the issue we are having on getting comments to go through. Please keep them coming in and by the end of the week, they should all be posted up on the site and responded to.

2. Follow TurnOnTheJets on Facebook, Twitter (TurnOnTheJets), and YouTube.

New TOJ TV “What To Watch”

Enjoy our new episode of TOJ TV, where we go through what to watch for when the Jets start up again:

Saturday Morning Breakfast: Jets Holiday Weekend Clips

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First a few updates:

1. We are having some technical issues with the comments section, which is a shame because we some really good ones I am anxious to put through and respond to. Keep them coming, we should have the problem fixed by the end of the weekend.

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

Saturday Morning Breakfast: Jets Holiday Weekend Clips

That Other New York Defense In Action

Pay The Man?

4th Of July – A Little Red, White, And Blue Love

How ‘Bout That Ground And Pound?

Where Is The Greene Slide? Now Side Step, Side Step, Side Step…

1 – 15, Ya’ll

Don't Get Hurt Mark Sanchez

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Last season Mark Sanchez missed a late season game after he banged up his knee against the Buffalo Bills. Despite only entering his second NFL season, Sanchez has had problems with both of his knees and is coming off surgery on his left one this off-season. Beyond that, despite being tutored by Joe Girardi last year, he still needs to work on learning how to slide and how not to put himself in position to break his neck when he runs.

The point I am making is that Sanchez is vulnerable to injury. In 2010, if Sanchez gets hurt and misses any type of extended time, the Jets are trouble…big trouble. Here is a quick run down of other quarterbacks who could be on the Jets depth chart this season:

Kellen Clemens – It appears to be a foregone conclusion that Clemens is going to be released at some point this summer. Yet, in reality he is a better option than anybody else the Jets are currently considering to backup Sanchez. It isn’t a good sign that your best option was only able to manage 13/26 for 125 yards against the Tampa Bay Bucs last year. However, at least he knows the offense and has some recent starting experience. The Jets could probably manage with Clemens at the helm for 3-5 games if they had to, without their season falling apart.

PhotobucketMark “Bankrupt” BrunellI would be all for Brunell being the Jets #3 quarterback/player coach, but their backup quarterback? You are really going to cut ties with Clemens and let this 39 year old guy be one snap away from playing? I am pretty sure these are Brunell’s stats from the last three NFL seasons:

– 2009: 15/30, 102 yards, 1 INT

– 2008: No Stats

– 2007: No Stats

Am I missing something? I am literally not sure if Brunell would be able to manage even an entire game if Sanchez had to miss a week. It makes absolutely no football sense to cut Kellen Clemens and make Mark Brunell the back-up quarterback.

Erik Ainge – Ainge is entering his third season in the Jets system. He did progress well in the pre-season last year but he spent most of mini-camp and OTAs working behind Kevin O’Connell and Brad Smith, so I am not sure how high the Jets coaching staff on him. Ainge doesn’t throw a pretty ball but he has good size and is familiar with the offense. I would rather have him coming in off the bench instead of Brunell.

Kevin O’Connell – The Jets traded a 7th round draft pick for him, which means they must see some type of potential in him. He has also been spending the majority of the time working ahead of Ainge this off-season. O’Connell has thrown 6 passes during his entire NFL career. It will be interesting to see if he can make an impression during the pre-season.

Brad Smith – For five to ten plays a game, Smith is great as a quarterback on gimmick plays. Beyond that? I don’t think so.

JaMarcus  Russell – You know your backup quarterback situation is ugly when you are considering this guy to join your team.

Jets Area Of Concern – Left Guard

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First a few updates:

1. Sorry for the day off yesterday, we had some administrative problems with the site. You can expect 1-2 posts every single for the entire month of July. There is no shortage of things to talk about with this Jets team or with the NFL for that matter. Also keep an eye out for a new TOJ TV by the weekend and a new Podcast by the end of next week. Tomorrow check back for a little two a day action to compensate for no article on Wednesday.

2. I haven’t heard anything positive about the Knicks in free agency yet. If it becomes clear to the organization that they aren’t getting a top tier guy, they should focus on building their team with a few mid-level guys and role players this season, followed by a pursuit of Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul next year. It sounds to me like the Nets have a much better chance than the Knicks of getting LeBron as of right now. It makes sense, wouldn’t you be more excited to play for Prokhorov and Jigga Man instead of Jim Dolan?

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

Jets Area Of Concern – Left Guard

Contrary to the belief of some fans, the Jets roster isn’t perfect. Like any team in the NFL, they have multiple areas of concern throughout their roster heading into the 2010 season. Today is our final look at one of these areas, left guard:

On the Jets starting offense, there are three question marks: running back, quarterback, and left guard. Out of these three, left guard concerns me the least. You can buy into the “competition” between second year player Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse all you want, but the reality is that unless something drastic happens, Ducasse will be the opening day starter. The Jets didn’t spend a second round pick on the guy to put him on the bench for a player of Slauson’s caliber.

Ducasse is making a major jump from Division I-AA at UMass to the NFL, so why aren’t I that concerned? The people surrounding Ducasse will make him better and help compensate for his rookie shortcomings. He will be lining up directly between All-Pro center Nick Mangold and Pro-Bowl left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. The Jets other guard is one of the better ones in the NFL, Brandon Moore. Ducasse is also benefited by having one of the NFL’s best assistant coaches, Bill Callahan, leading his unit. Beyond that, look how pumped up Ducasse and his people were to be joining the Jets:

The Jets will design plays to help protect Ducasse and not put too much pressure on him during his rookie season. He will make mistakes but Mangold and Ferguson are good enough to help cover some of them up. Beyond that, he will be getting a hell of a hands on education from watching the Jets entire offensive line working on a day to day basis. You couldn’t ask for a better situation for a rookie to come into. Unless of course you were Kyle Wilson, learning from the best player in the NFL at your position everyday. Good thing he is on the Jets too.

There will be growing pains for Ducasse and as long as they don’t result in too many free runs at Mark Sanchez (especially considering our backup quarterback situation), the Jets are good enough to overcome them. In 2010, Alan Faneca would have been a better player but for the long term, but Ducasse has the physical skills, size and people around him to develop into a very good lineman, which will fit him in right in with the rest of the Jets offensive line.

TOJ TV (New Episode Coming This Weeekend)