TOJ at SB Nation on why it would be foolish for the Jets to bring both Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards back before Antonio Cromartie. Yes, I am going to keep harping on this all off-season
At the league meetings in New Orleans, Rex Ryan has surprisingly been very open with the media. Outside of his jabs at New England and Super Bowl guarantees, which this writer will never tire of reading, he made a concerning comment about the Jets quarterback position. Ryan confirmed the Jets aren’t looking for a quarterback and will stay put with Mark Brunell as the backup and Kellen Clemens likely as the third stringer.
The Jets were lucky…very lucky in 2010 that Mark Sanchez didn’t miss a single start. He probably should have down the stretch because of his banged up shoulder. Keep in mind despite only being in the league for two seasons, Sanchez has had surgery on his left knee, sprained his right knee, and a cartilage tear in his throwing shoulder.
You would think the Jets, a team who considers themselves a legitimate Super Bowl contender, would have better insurance for their franchise quarterback.
They don’t. They are content to allow Brunell, who is better suited to be a coach at this point than a player, remain Sanchez’s top backup. In case you forgot, Brunell will turn 41 years old this September and since the end of the 2006 season, he has thrown for 229 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
Are you really comfortable with Brunell taking over the Jets offense for a few weeks if Sanchez gets banged up? If you are, you need to hop back in the time machine that took you to 1995 and get yourself into the present reality.
Beyond Brunell, it is clear the coaching staff has no faith in Kellen Clemens since they went and got Brunell to replace him after the 2009 season. Their lack of faith is probably well grounded, considering Clemens history as an incredibly mediocre NFL quarterback.
If the Jets were smart, they’d pursue any of the following: Bruce Gradkowski, Marc Bulger, Billy Volek, Luke McCown, and Tyler Thigpen, all of whom would upgrade the number two quarterback spot. They should then consider spending a late round draft pick on a developmental quarterback to groom as Sanchez’s long term backup.
Today we continue our series of evaluating how each player on the Jets performed this past season, along with looking forward to what their role on the team will be next year…up today, Mr. Do everything, Brad Smith
Stat Line – 38 carries, 299 yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 1 passing touchdown, 7 receptions, 44 yards, 28.6 per kick return, 2 touchdowns.
Playoff Stat Line – 2 receptions, 25 yards, 2 carries, 11 yards
Best Moment – I couldn’t choose between his two kick returns for a touchdown this season. The one against Pittsburgh to start the game was a huge play that helped the Jets end an ugly two game losing streak, but how could you ignore the shoeless touchdown? Run them both back…
Best Game – Smith scored a pair of touchdowns in the Jets Thanksgiving night victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, including the above kick return and one on a 53 yard reverse.
Overall Evaluation – Smith continued to further his reputation as one of the most versatile players in the NFL, providing the Jets a valuable weapon on both offense and special teams. He routinely provided big plays out of their “Tiger” formation and has turned into one of the best kick returners in the league. The only disappointing aspect of Smith’s game is how he has never really developed as a wide receiver. (A-)
Future – Smith is a restricted free agent in this hazy off-season. The Jets placed a second round tender on him. If the rules stay similar to what they were previously, I have a hard time seeing the Jets matching an offer if somebody wants to give him Josh Cribbs type money. However, if the Jets can get him back at a reasonable price I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return.
TOJ at SB Nation NY on what Carmelo Anthony can learn from Mark Sanchez.
If you follow Turn On The Jets on Twitter…which you should be, you’d know that I spent the previous four days in New Orleans. I wish I could say TOJ sent me down there to cover the league meetings, but since I own the website and I’m our only full time employee (AJ is still at intern status and working for college credits), there is nobody to send me and I actually went to visit a friend who was their for work. However, the timing did work out well to mix a little business into my vacation.
Last night, I was out at a club right off Bourbon Street when my friend Nick came over to me and pointed my attention to the end of the bar. You can imagine my excitement when I saw Omar Epps, since I have always been a huge House fan. Okay, it was actually Mike Tomlin. I also noticed he was with somebody else, who I knew was “somebody” but I couldn’t get a great view and my mind was a little mushy from three nights without sleep. Funny enough, it didn’t seem like many people outside of the three of us recognized Tomlin.
To make a long story short, we approached them and met Tomlin, who was polite but a little short with us. I congratulated him on ruining my dreams this past January, but he didn’t seem very concerned. The better part was the other person he was with happened to be Raheem Morris, the head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Morris was thrilled nobody was recognizing him and claimed that’s why he went out with Tomlin, since he would grab all the attention. (Sure enough, once word spread that Tomlin was there, “Black and Yellow” was blasting from the DJ booth with a big shout out…personally, I thought it would have been funnier if they played the “Green and Yellow” remix by Li’l Wayne).
Morris bought us all drinks and talked with us for a good thirty minutes. Similar to TOJ and friends, he is from North Jersey. He grew up about ten minutes from where my friend Eric and myself used to landscape in the summer. (Brick City, baby). All I can say is that he was a great guy, with a good sense of humor. You could tell he genuinely loves the team he has right now in Tampa and believes big things are on the way for them.
Not surprisingly, he confirmed they just left Rex Ryan who was out on the town with John Fox but surprisingly, he said Tom Coughlin didn’t go straight to bed after the day’s meetings and was actually a good time to hang with. My friend Nick (who is a big Giants fan) was convinced Coughlin would have ate off the early bird menu and had the lights out by 8:30.
Yes, I spent the next hour running all over Bourbon Street looking for Rex and asking if anybody saw him. Unfortunately, I couldn’t track him down. Oh well, still a fun night in the NOLA.
TOJ at Gunaxin with a new rating system for the women in your life
Although it is hard to speculate what will happen this off-season, Incarcerated Bob had this to say last night on Twitter about the New York Jets and Braylon Edwards. If you don’t follow him on Twitter, he has a good enough track record that this merits mentioning.
Personally, I never thought the Jets would find a way to bring Edwards back with Santonio Holmes, who received a first and third round tender. However, you can never count out Mike Tannenbaum and obviously if he could swing this, it is great news for the future of the Jets offense and Mark Sanchez. Edwards is coming off a terrific year and provides excellent size on the outside. This also probably doesn’t bear well for Antonio Cromartie’s future with the team, it is true.
TOJ rounds up who recent mock drafts have the Jets selecting with the 30th overall pick.
The 12 pack is back with a very special Thursday edition, for the the very special reason that I will be in New Orleans for the weekend and don’t plan on having the laptop out on Bourbon Street tomorrow afternoon. However, the site will still be updated throughout the weekend, make sure you are following the Facebook and Twitter page.
1. My thoughts on the report about Mark Sanchez leading the league in dropped interceptions this past season…Yes, we all saw defensive backs dropping balls that could have been intercepted and yes we all know Sanchez needs to improve his accuracy (his completion percentage shows that). However, it is foolish to try to argue that he didn’t take major strides forward in his second year. The bottom line is that he threw 5 more touchdowns and 7 less interceptions, won two more games, was substantially more consistent and routinely clutch in big games. I will take Sanchez and his dropped interceptions any day over Chad Henne, who threw the ball so accurately at the other team’s defensive backs that only one “dropped” one all season.
2. I have harped on this all off-season and will continue to do so until he is in a Jets jersey for 2011. This team needs to find a way to bring Antonio Cromartie back next year. When you play the type of aggressive man to man coverage the Jets do, you need a big time corner opposite Darrelle Revis, especially when you have a weak pass rush. Nnamdi Asomugha isn’t coming here and the Jets aren’t spending a first round pick on a corner. If you think Kyle Wilson, Dwight Lowery, or Drew Coleman can handle being a full time starter in this system right now, you need a head examination.
3. You have to be encouraged by the reports of the work Vladimir Ducasse is doing this off-season. Hopefully, he will grab the starting right tackle job by the throat this summer because if he can’t beat out Wayne Hunter, his long term future with the team will start to become fairly cloudy. Let’s hope Joe McKnight follows Ducasse’s lead these next few months.
4. If I had to guess today who the Jets will end up with in April’s draft, I would go with either Baylor’s Phil Taylor or Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson. Both defensive lineman have a good shot of being available at #30. I am also intrigued by potentially taking safety UCLA safety Rahim Moore, just because I am anxious to see Rex Ryan finally get a play-making safety here in New York.
5. “I’d rather beat the Patriots, than maybe go to heaven” — That’s why we love you Mike Westhoff.
6. Speaking of our friends up north, Randy Moss recently said he’d be interested in returning to the Patriots. Somehow, I don’t think they will be interested. Personally, if Braylon Edwards ends up leaving I wouldn’t mind if the Jets could get Moss on a cheap, one year deal to provide a vertical threat and some size at split end.
7. It is going to take more than the draft to improve the Jets defensive line depth. Let’s hope either Marcus Dixon, Ropati Pitoitua, or Matt Kroul can step up and become a quality rotation player this year, similar to how Mike DeVito did a couple of years back and eventually worked his way to being a starter.
8. Can we not forget the Jets need to address the backup quarterback position this off-season? Mark Brunell isn’t the answer and is better suited to being the #3. Clearly the coaching staff has no confidence in Kellen Clemens. It is either time to find somebody in free agency or draft a developmental backup to be a long term solution.
9. I am very anxious to see how Shonn Greene handles this season, which is really a make or break year for him as a lead back. It sounds like he will get the amount of carries necessary to show he can be a 1,200 yard type guy, let’s see if he can protect the football, stay healthy, and bring the consistency that is needed to put up those kind of numbers.
10. If you haven’t been able to tell, I am trying to be optimistic that an injunction will be ruled on April 6th and we will have football games this year.
11. As you know, we like to get off topic occasionally here — so here is wishing good luck to St. John’s in the NCAA tourney tonight and hoping the Knicks wake up sometime soon because they have looked like garbage the past week.
12. Weekend Video Clips – Assorted Highlight Tapes Edition
TOJ at Gunaxin with a tribute to the hookmaster, Nate Dogg.