Why Are You Shaking? Continued Coverage Of The NFL Lockout

America needs football. Why? When you are away from football, you start taking up causes that you don’t have the foresight to know are going to ruin you. Like David Tyree, NY Giant headcatcher who recently came out against gay marriage, something that will have him torn apart in almost every NY tabloid from the Daily News to the New York Times.

Then you have Plaxico Burress, who is fresh out of jail and looking like he’s trying to hide his aging body, recently tore apart Tom Coughlin. He may be mean and old, but the guy knows how to win. Oh yes, and then you have LeSean Mccoy, who claimed that Osi Umenyora (who also happens to be suing the NY Giants), is “soft and overrated”. Have fun trying to run the ball next year.

So what news do we have about the Jets. Well…they have been working out…that is good. What I like more is the fact that Darrelle Revis took Kyle Wilson under his wing, probably under pressure from Rex and Mike Tannenbaum, who uttered something like “listen man, we can’t have this blow up in our face…I’m still having nightmares about the Gholston deal”

I also like to see Vladimir Ducasse putting the work in. They’re going to need him at multiple position s,so they probably needed his rookie year to bench him (somewhat demeaning for a second round pick) to see if he was mentally tough enough to make it at either tackle or guard.

Looking at free agency, you can’t assume though, that Plaxico Burress, Randy Moss or Terrell Owens will actually fit in with the system that Brian Schottenheimer runs. Especially because they won’t be the prime receivers. Sometimes the Jets play long, sometimes they play short. The Holmes/Edwards combination is perfect because one is a short burster, and one is a long strider. Edwards on the vertical, and Holmes on the stick. Why change something that is vital to Mark Sanchez’s development when you can just shrug off a few DB’s?

There’s a good chance Holmes and Edwards will take a pay cut if they sign, and Cromartie will get more money than he deserves, but hopefully it is a short term, two year deal in case his head gets too big. Which it will if the Jets ever win a Super Bowl.

What else is there to hope for? The best running game in the league? Greene, McKnight, Powell and Tomlinson? Sounds like all points covered. Greene power running. Tomlinson 3rd down. Powell the Thomas Jones replacement, McKnight the Reggie Bush type to keep the linebackers on their toes.

Is it possible to have rookies unused for 2 years in a row? We all know how useful Kyle Wilson, Joe Mcknight and Vladimir Ducasse were their rookie season. Remember, Buddy Ryan hated rookies, and Rex probably does as well. Too much to learn, especially this year. Good thing is, there are going to be a few rookie players and coaches on the Jets schedule, which will be a whole bunch of fun for all the Jets DB’s, none of whom are rookies.

In other news the Yankees pitching is doomed, the Knicks future is doomed, and the Rangers and Islanders arouse little to no of my interest. I meant to say something nice about soccer but I lost the paper I scribbled it on. Off to the Casey Anthony trial, this stuff is better than Days of Our Lives. God bless Long Island, where you can barely hear the shrieks of madness from the inferno of Manhattan.

TOJ’s 32 Thoughts On 32 Teams

A quick thought on each team in the NFL, as the lockout hopefully nears a conclusion —

New England Patriots – I’ll go with this picture

Miami Dolphins – You aren’t confident in your quarterback if there are rumors of signing Matt Moore to compete with him.

Buffalo Bills – I think they will improve to around a .500 team this season, with a decent collection of young talent on both sides of the ball.

Pittsburgh Steelers – If only Antonio Brown would have dropped that pass on third down..

Baltimore Ravens – I think Jimmy Smith has a good chance to be Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Cincinnati Bengals – Apparently, Carson Palmer doesn’t want to play for them…in case you haven’t heard. I would guess Andy Dalton starts week one.

Cleveland Browns – There whole season is already cursed by having Peyton Hillis end up on the Madden Cover.

Houston Texans – I have an irrational hate for them because of all the hype they receive every year and how they never live up to it.

Tennessee Titans – Somewhere Kenny Britt was just arrested again…

Indiannapolis Colts – 1 reception for 1 yard by Reggie Wayne in the playoffs against the Jets last year.

Jacksonville Jaguars – I wonder if the Blaine Gabbert era will start by week two when they play the Jets?

Oakland Raiders – The division is wide open this year, so maybe they finally get over the hump.

Kansas City Chiefs – There is no way I see them back in the playoffs this year.

San Diego Chargers – If they can stay healthy, they will be handful as usual…looking forward to LaDainian Tomlinson getting a shot at them.

Denver Broncos – You have to start Tebow, right?

Philadelphia Eagles – It sounds like they are going to do some major damage in free agency.

New York Giants – Whoops…

Dallas Cowboys – Can’t wait to see Rex Ryan blitz the hell out of Tony Romo in week one.

Washington Redskins – How much did they pay Albert Haynesworth again?

Green Bay Packers – They have enough young talent to have a great shot at defending the belt.

Chicago Bears – How the hell did this team make it to the NFC Championship Game?

Detriot Lions – For once, they seem to be moving in the right direction.

Minnesota Vikings – Still can’t believe how high they selected Christian Ponder.

Atlanta Falcons – I am not sure if they have a draft pick for another five years…let’s see if Julio Jones is worth it.

Carolina Panthers – Can you blame Steve Smith for wanting to leave town?

New Orleans Saints – Marshawn Lynch is still breaking tackles…

Tampa Bay Bucs – Raheem Morris is the man

San Francisco 49ers – I am going to miss Mike Singletary press conferences.

Seattle Seahawks – Sounds like they aren’t going to bring Matt Hasselbeck back…not sure why.

St. Louis Rams – Ask Will…

Arizona Cardinals – Can we find somebody to throw Larry Fitzgerald the ball?

New York Jets – Look up, down, left and right.

TOJ Top Five: Meaningless Lockout Stories

Today’s edition of the TOJ Top Five, will look at the five dumbest New York Jets stories that became a bigger deal than they should have because of the lockout…

5. Schotty’s ExcusesWe aren’t interested in your side of the story, just find a way to get the ball into the end-zone on four tries from the 2 yard line…yes, I am still bitter about this. How about four straight handoffs to Shonn Greene who was a bowling ball in this game?

4. The Receiver Procession Line – I am all for free agency speculation and I gladly took part in it, but the considering it was pushed back three months (and counting) the amount of names linked to the Jets at wide receiver and the amount of coverage they received was a bit much. Randy Moss, Plaxico Burress, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Steve Smith…I’d think we’d all sign up for just having Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards back, let’s hope Mike Tannenbaum can work magic.

3. Scotty McKnight’s High School Essay – When the back cover of the New York Post is about a rookie 7th round pick writing an inappropriate essay as a high school student, you know it is a slow day in the sports world.

2. Rex’s Guarantees – If you haven’t noticed by now, Rex Ryan thinks the Jets are going to win the Super Bowl every single year. It isn’t a story anymore when he is interviewed and he comments that he thinks his team is going to win it all. I am pretty sure he has made the exact same comment in every interview he took this off-season.

1. Sanchez vs. McKnight vs. Klitschko – There were rumors floating around all off-season that Mark Sanchez was dating Vladimir Klitschko’s girlfriend, Hayden Panetierre…yet in the end, it turned out that it was Scotty McKnight who was dating her. First off, for a rookie 7th round pick…that is pretty good work. Second, if Klitschko is coming after anybody, I’d rather it be McKnight than Sanchez…sorry, Scotty.

TOJ As Tannenbaum: Free Agent Decisions For New York Jets

I am trying to be an optimist with this whole lockout thing, so if free agency does actually start some time in the next month here is TOJ sitting in the big chair as Mike Tannenbaum and making personnel decisions for the Jets this off-season:

1. Sign Santonio Holmes to a long term deal – Yes, this will likely mean the end of Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith’s stay in New York but in the long run making sure Holmes remains a Jet is the right decision. He is a uniquely gifted and clutch playmaker who can change a game at any second.

2. Sign Antonio Cromartie to a long term deal – You need a consistent, athletic corner opposite Darrelle Revis. Antonio Cromartie handled the job well last season. He is already familiar with the defense and it is too risky to hand the starting job over to Kyle Wilson or a free agent. If the Jets want a bigger role for Wilson in year two, they should let Drew Coleman walk.

3. Bring back Damien Woody – Don’t risk the right tackle spot to Vladimir Ducasse after he didn’t have a proper off-season. Let him spend a full year learning behind Woody at the position and have him take over next year. Wayne Hunter will likely walk in free agency if this happens but the Jets should at least make sure they bring back the versatile Robert Turner for depth.

4. Bring back Shaun Ellis – He is a longest tenured player on the team, a leader on the defense and would be a perfect mentor to Muhammad Wilkerson. The Jets should be able to work a short term deal to allow him to retire in green and white.

5. Bring back Brodney Pool – Pool began to develop into the playmaker most of us thought he would be at the end of last season. With a year of this system under his belt, he should flourish in his second year. Eric Smith likely won’t be back if this happens, but if the Jets can bring back James Ihedigbo and if a young player like Emmanuel Cook steps up, their depth should be fine.

6. Veteran Stopgap Receiver – We all have heard all kinds of name thrown around but if Braylon Edwards leaves, I expect the Jets to sign either Randy Moss or Plaxico Burress. Personally, I would sign Burress to a short, incentive-laden deal. He is a more physical player that should be able to do many of the things Edwards did for the Jets offense last season.

7. Linebacker Depth – The Jets need to add another linebacker to their depth chart, whether it requires bringing Jason Taylor back or signing somebody on the cheap like Matt Roth.

Who Is Coming To Revis Island In 2011?

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis put together arguably the best individual season in franchise history and one of the best seasons by a corner in league history in 2009. However, last year he missed all of training camp due to his holdout and then struggled with early season injuries. Fortunately, a healthy Revis began to replicate his 2009 success in the second half of the year and into the playoffs, giving hope that 2011 should be another season of Revis being the best player in the NFL at his position.

The shut down performances that should encourage that type of optimism were the following —

  • Week 9 – Calvin Johnson – 1 reception, 13 yards
  • Week 11 – Andre Johnson – 4 receptions, 32 yards
  • Week 12 – Terrell Owens – 3 receptions, 17 yards
  • Week 14 – Brandon Marshall – 2 receptions, 16, 1 TD
  • Wild Card – Reggie Wayne – 1 reception, 1 yard

Looking ahead to the 2011 schedule, here are a few Revis Island match-ups we can look forward to —

  • Week 1 vs DallasMiles Austin or Dez Bryant– It will be very interesting to see how the Jets use Revis in this game and who he will cover will likely be one of the primary storylines leading up to it.
  • Week 6 and Week 17 vs/at Miami – Brandon Marshall – Revis missed one of the Jets/Dolphins games last year and Marshall did score a touchdown in their other meeting, although if I recall correctly Marshall didn’t beat Revis for the touchdown.
  • Week 7 vs San Diego – Vincent Jackson – The Jets moved Revis all over the field the last time they faced San Diego, which was in the playoffs in 2009, yet Revis did come up with an insane interception on one of the plays he covered Jackson.
  • Week 9 and Week 12 vs/at Buffalo – Steve Johnson – Johnson looked like he was en route to becoming one of the better receivers in the AFC last year and I would expect Revis to draw the assignment on him.
  • Week 11 at Denver – Brandon Lloyd – Lloyd is coming off a career year, where he posted some monster numbers in a pass happy Denver offense. Revis was banged up in the Jets/Broncos match-up last year.
  • Week 14 vs Kansas City – Dwayne Bowe – A big, physical receiver who is also coming off a career year.
  • Week 15 at Philadelphia – DeSean Jackson – Arguably the fastest receiver in the NFL should provide an exciting match-up for Revis.
  • Week 16 vs New York Giants – Hakeem Nicks – Hometown bragging rights on the line as Revis will match-up with one of the best young receivers in the league.

Lockout Off-Season: Rounding Up Top Jets Defensive Storylines

Earlier today we looked at the top storylines on offense…now to the other side of the ball

Defensive Line

  • Draft Heavy, Veterans Leaving?

The Jets spent their first two draft picks on defensive lineman, Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis, and released Kris Jenkins. There is also speculation that both Shaun Ellis and Trevor Pryce won’t be brought back, with Ellis leaving via free agency and Pryce contemplating retirement. However, it would be smart for the Jets to keep at least one, hopefully Ellis who is the longest tenured player on the team, to help mentor the rookies and ease their transition into the NFL.

Linebackers

  • Draft Ignored, Free Agent Answers?

The Jets didn’t select any linebackers in the NFL Draft and as of right now have some depth concerns. Unless they are anticipating a bigger role for players like Jamaal Westerman or Josh Mauga, they may look to coax Jason Taylor out of retirement or sign a free agent like Matt Roth.

Secondary

  • Everybody’s A Free Agent

Seriously…Antonio Cromartie, Drew Coleman, Eric Smith, Brodney Pool, and James Ihedigbo all need new contracts and obviously some tough decisions will have to be made.

  • Jim Leonhard On The Mend

Leonhard has recovered well this off-season from his season-ending injury in the middle of last year.

  • Is Wilson Ready?

If Antonio Cromartie leaves via free agency, Kyle Wilson will likely have to step into the starting line-up. He struggled his rookie season, is he ready for a bigger role?

NBA Mock Draft – June 15th

Take a look at who various mock drafts have the New York Knicks selecting in the first round and profiles of some of their top prospects…

The NBA Draft is next Thursday and while it certainly lacks the excitement of the NFL Draft, it is still something as we wait out the final weeks of negotiations to end the lockout (hopefully). The Knicks have the 17th pick and will likely look to either add some size up front or a shooting guard, like Josh Selby from Kansas (pictured above).

A Full Off-Season Of New York Jets Workouts

Click here for more information on the Jets team workouts over the past few months

With the conclusion of “Jets Camp Lockout” today, the team likely wrapped up their last informal workout during the lockout (hopefully). Since the end of the previous season, here is an unofficial look at the different workouts Jets players took part in —

Jets West – List of attendees – A collection of skill position players led by Mark Sanchez at his high school, Mission Viejo out in California. The camp was in early May and lasted roughly a week. It was highly organized and included on field work, film sessions, and various team activities.

Jets Southwest – Darelle Revis and Kyle Wilson spent a couple of weeks training together out in Arizona. It was very encouraging to see Revis take Wilson under his wing and Wilson to be smart enough to follow the lead of the best corner in the NFL.

Jets East – Bart Scott, Vladimir Ducasse, Jerricho Cotchery, Jamaal Westerman and a few others worked out together in Martinsville, New Jersey and then traveled to Miami to work out with fellow AFC East players.

Jets City Club – A group defensive lineman, led by Sione Pouha held a few days of workouts in North Jersey a couple of weeks ago. First round pick Muhammad Wilkerson was in attendance along with Mike DeVito, Ropati Pitoitua, and Westerman.

Jets Camp Lockout – Roughly 40 players attended team workouts the past three days at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Here is a partial list of attendees.

Lockout Off-Season: Rounding Up Top Jets Offensive Storylines

Despite the lack of formal workouts and traditional media access, there has still been plenty of storylines that have grown out of this New York Jets lockout infected off-season. Here is a round-up of them, check back later in the day for the top defensive storylines —

Quarterback

  • The continued development of Mark Sanchez’s leadership

Sanchez has further asserted himself as one of the leaders of the team by putting together both “Jets West” and “Jets Lockout Camp.” From what the other players have said this season, it is clear the amount of respect they have for Sanchez and the way he carries himself. One of his best traits is his work ethic and dedication to all things football, regardless of what else he has going on in his life, and his teammates clearly recognize that.

Running Back

  • Shonn Greene moving into the lead back role

Brian Schottenheimer, Rex Ryan, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Shonn Greene all agree that Greene is going to take over as the number one back this year and he is ready for the challenge. It remains to be seen how he can handle 18+ carries on a weekly basis but the only way to find out if you have a lead back is to give him the chance to be one.

  • LaDainian Tomlinson embracing the third down role

As he said in many interviews, including one right here with TOJ…Tomlinson has accepted and embraced the idea of being a third down back this year in the Jets offense. Considering his age and how he wore down at the end of last season, Tomlinson should maximize his effectiveness by being limited to this role.

  • John Conner announced as starting fullback

Nobody expected Tony Richardson back for another year, but this clinched that the fullback job would be handed off to Conner.

Wide Receiver

  • Free Agent Decisions

The endless debate over who the Jets should prioritize bringing back, Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards, has arguably been their biggest off-season storyline. Holmes has said he won’t sign a restricted free agent tender and would basically be looking for the most money possible. Edwards has been more diplomatic and discussed the potential of taking a hometown discount. Brad Smith is also a free agent and unless he agrees to come back for less than another team offers, probably won’t be back.

Offensive Line

  • Right Tackle

Damien Woody was released early in the off-season but there is now speculation he could return because of concern about Vladimir Ducasse being ready to step in as a starter. Considering that Ducasse didn’t play a meaningful snap last year, I would think that is a reasonable concern.

Let’s Make A Musical: Thoughts On The NBA Finals And The Psychology Of Enjoying Failure

It says something that almost every person that despises LeBron came out with long proclamations that make no sense, seeing as how he is 26 years old. That’s correct. 26 years old. People are so forward with their claims that they proclaim he will not even achieve a single championship.

Did he shrink under the pressure? Sure. But to say that the pressure put on LeBron James and the pressure put on Michael Jordan are even in the same ballpark, would be insane. Is LeBron James Michael Jordan? No, he’s Lebron James.

With social media and the amount of press generated on a daily basis, Michael did not have to deal with articles about teammates having sex with his mother or girlfriend. He did not have 4,000 bloggers on his back because he was stuck with a horrible franchise, a horrible owner, and let’s face it, a rather small town mentality that looked like 4 year olds stuck in the bodies of 34 year olds. Remember, someone in Cleveland had to OK that witness poster.

Was Miami the answer? Probably not, but to leave Cleveland was a PROFESSIONAL decision. Because, let’s look at this, any other field of work would not even create one article of scorn, much less complete hatred. So to do something that was NOT illegal, and create a movement to burn and destroy pictures of someone, it makes fans look like religious fanatics and not sports fans. LeBron is not a religion, and it’s your fault as a fan for treating him as one.

Do I think the bracelet with King James on it is ridiculous? Hell yes. Do I think that over the top preseason stunt was too much? Hell yes. But guess what? Other people were involved in that besides LeBron James. Business people. The same people who decided to turn Miami upside down in creating LeBron burgers, hotel suites, and other sick twisted merchandising opportunities.

To all the people that got offended by him talking about his postgame comments, go check what he said today. He knew he isn’t better than other people. He plays basketball, he doesn’t cure cancer. And he didn’t steal your 401k. For anyone to think a basketball player is the highest form of humanity, they really need to get a grip on reality. As a sidenote, try getting told you suck for about 20 times and not getting at least a little upset. To be honest, I am shocked he didn’t reach across the table and choke Gregg Doyel.

So lets move on to Dallas, shall we? Dirk was a man amongst boys. There is absolutely no way to dispute that. He was a German romantic hero. He didn’t have the physique, the look, the speed. Yet he had one of the greatest shots of all time. A shot you can’t teach. His shooting coach could write a book, do a movie, and create an entire school, but he probably wont, which only adds more to the mystique.

Jason Terry was a New York Jet. He talked and walked. Actually he ran, right to the basket. It made Rex Ryan weep.

Dallas deserves everything they get, and Lebron deserves some of what he gets, but when your joy is in others failures, try for a moment to imagine being the close relative of someone like LeBron, when you have no public voice, no defense, just the continuous cackling of the deranged hate-mongers everywhere you go.

As a final note, to look at the childish mentality of all of Ohio, look at the governor, who after the Mavericks won, named them honorary Ohioans. Wow. You really showed LeBron. Don’t scorn us, or we will pass resolutions. Why don’t you just go Harry Potter and make it a fine to speak of LeBron James in public?