New York Jets: Relying On More Youth In Defensive Front Seven

The New York Jets continue to have a strong group of veterans in their defensive backfield. Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie form one of the league’s top duos of corners, Donald Strickland is going to provide veteran depth for Kyle Wilson as the nickel back and at safety both Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith are experienced members of this defense and Brodney Pool provides a more than capable veteran backup. In contrast, the Jets are going with a younger look, especially off the bench in their defensive front seven.

At linebacker the New York Jets are starting a solid collection of veterans, however the key backup positions behind them will all be stocked with highly inexperienced players. Consider that as of right now, the top three backups will likely be Jamaal Westerman, Nick Bellore, and Josh Mauga. Westerman has played sparingly in his first two years in the league but will be counted on to be a pass rush specialist in many packages. Bellore is an undrafted free agent who has wowed the coaching staff so far in camp, and Mauga is entering his second year after making a few minor contributions on special teams last year.

Similarly on the defensive line, the Jets have a veteran starter at nose tackle and defensive end, in Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito, respectively. Yet the other starting defensive end will be rookie first round pick Muhammad Wilkerson. The top backups on the line are rookie third round pick Kenrick Ellis, Ropati Pitoitua, and Marcus Dixon, who are both entering their fourth years but have never played a large role on a team’s defense. Dixon didn’t record a stat before last year and Pitoitua missed all of 2010 with an injury.

It is valid to question the Jets depth in both these positions, as they are an injury away from having a very inexperienced player take over a starting role at both linebacker and defensive end, where one starting spot is already taken by a rookie. However, a bigger role for so many young players could help them develop into quality backups for the long term or even into potential starters down the road. For example, a big season from Westerman off the bench will likely to lead to Bryan Thomas being released next year and Westerman stepping into the starting outside linebacker role.

All of the previously mentioned young players should get an extended look this pre-season, starting Monday in Houston.

New York Jets: Let’s Not Get Too Pass Happy

The New York Jets can’t forget where they came from and what their identity is. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of big names like Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Mason but a wide-open passing attack isn’t going to take the Jets to the next level this season.

You can’t argue that Mark Sanchez progressed nicely in his second season, yet that doesn’t mean he is ready to let the ball fly 30 times a week, every single week. He still has strides to make before the Jets are ready to run that type of offense, namely improving his accuracy and consistency, particularly early in games.

It would be foolish for the Jets to ignore the following realities: they still possess one of the league’s best defenses, they still have the tools to run the football very effectively, and allowing those two aspects of their team to lead the way has bred success in recent years.

I am not saying the Jets should be holding Sanchez back. He is mature enough at this point to be given the responsibility to consistently change plays at the line based on the defense and look down the field. Yet, Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer both need to be smart enough to not forget their running game should be setting the table for their passing attack.

This is the year to give Shonn Greene 18-22 carries a game, every game starting from week one. Let him wear down the opposing defense and set up the play-action passing attack which Sanchez has been successful with in previous years. The Jets have a more than capable backup in LaDainian Tomlinson if Greene starts to wear down and fresh, talented legs in Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell also on the roster.

The primary way the Jets can take their offense to the next level this year is by improving in the red-zone, which makes the acquisition of Tom Moore that much more important. If this unit can start turning field goals into touchdowns into a more regular basis, the temptation to start throwing at too high of rate will be avoided. With Moore assisting on play design and calling in the red-zone, the height of Plaxico Burress, and ability of Dustin Keller to create mismatches, the Jets should take a major step forward in this area.

This article isn’t meant to question Mark Sanchez’s ability. However, at this point let’s see him continue to gradually improve before starting to ignore the running game and drifting to a pass first offense.

Rex and Plax Gear Up For 2011 Together

The coach and his new star wide receiver. One coming off two heartbreaking AFC championship losses. The other a two year football hiatus due to a jail sentence. We all know THOSE stories. We won’t rehash them for you.

Rex Ryan and Plaxico Burress both enter the 2011 season with something to prove individually, both needing each other in order to achieve it. Ryan and the Jets will be that much more of a Super Bowl threat if much of the “old” Burress returns. Ryan has not been shy of his desire to get over the hump that has left him and his Jets one game short of the Super Bowl two years in a row.

Burress needs the Jets and their success as a team to help provide him a big time platform for his comeback. There are those who feel that the team has taken a step back in not bringing WR Braylon Edwards back. who was a big cog in the Jets 2010 machine but his off the field antics in conjunction with a desire for a long term deal, left the Jets in the market for a tall second receiver. A failure to make a run at the title this year may make Burress a culprit, should he fail to deliver in a significant way.

In fact, much of what the Jets have done this offseason will be seen through the lense of what Burress is able to contribute. He was the short term “bargain” as the Jets moved away from the concept of retaining the services of Edwards. The Jets will be able to relax and keep away from the distraction of having to defend themselves publicly regarding their free agency approach should Burress be a positive force.

Ryan will always be responsible for however this new Jets team ends up. In addition to the natural position of being the head coach, the Jets HC has, since his entry onto the scene in 2009, been one of the more outspoken personalities in all of professional sports. He has set the bar so high, that the Jets can’t afford a drop off in any way. Burress can help Ryan maintain the lofty goal of Indianpolis (site of the 2012 Super Bowl) or bust.

The season is quickly approaching. The offseason and free agency period have come and gone in a flash. The Jets are a little over five days away from unveiling their 2011 model in Houston.

The spotlight will once again soon be aimed down upon the Green and White. The light will shine even brighter on Ryan. It always does. Burress will, due to his own self inflicted drama, live under the microscope too. There will be nowhere to hide.

This pair likes it better that way and that’s a good thing, since they’ll have no choice in the matter. The entire NFL will be coming for the loudmouth Jets.  Production and results provided by both parties, will help make the upcoming flight for the Jets a smoother one.

TJ Rosenthal runs The Jet Report and can be followed on Twitter.

One Week In: Random Thoughts On Jets Offense

We are about in week into the Jets having somewhat normal practices, so here is a collection of thoughts on their offense heading into their first pre-season game which is less than a week away.

Wildcat – Rex Ryan has commented the Wildcat will remain a part of the Jets offense even without Brad Smith, mentioning LaDainian Tomlinson, Joe McKnight, and Jeremy Kerely as potential replacements. Brian Schottenheimer also seems high on the potential of McKnight replacing Smith. I don’t see the Wildcat remaining a big part of what the Jets do on offense. First off, I think as Mark Sanchez continues to develop they will want to pull him off the field less. Second, I could see Tomlinson being used for a few gimmick plays where he could throw the ball but not consistently taking shotgun snaps from the center. Kerley has some experience from college but is also just a rookie and McKnight isn’t a threat to throw the football. The Jets shouldn’t force the Wildcat outside of a handful of plays and should instead focus on getting their regular offense in rhythm.

#5 Spot – An interesting battle is breaking out between Patrick Turner, Scotty McKnight, and Logan Payne for the number five receiver spot. Turner has the size to fill in for Plaxico Burress if he misses time with an injury and actually caught a few passes in the offense last year. Payne spent time with the team last year and has the greatest special teams potential, which goes a long way for a number five receiver. McKnight has shown flashes at camp of being a capable slot receiver and obviously has good chemistry with Mark Sanchez but needs to show he can be a solid special teams contributor to have a shot.

So Then Run – The Jets wide receiver position still has a few question marks around it, as Plaxico Burress is yet to take a meaningful rep in practice and we still need to see how Derrick Mason works with Mark Sanchez in a game. Yet, keep in mind at an absolute minimum the Jet still have Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller to keep defenses honest and from stacking the box. They still have a one of the league’s best offensive lines and like many people out there, I think if Shonn Greene is given the appropriate amount of carries, he can be a legitimate number one back. LaDainian Tomlinson is still capable of being a good third down back and hopefully Joe McKnight can bring something this year.

Don’t Put Him In Canton Yet – I love hearing all the excitement about rookie wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, but let’s see him in a real game first. Remember how great Kyle Wilson looked in camp last year? It is good the Jets brought in Derrick Mason, so there won’t be too many expectations heaped on Kerely as he is bumped to a number four wide-out. Hopefully, he can provide a valuable weapon in the slot in certain packages and bring occasional big plays.

Where Do New York Jets Fit As Super Bowl Contender?

ESPN released their first edition of NFL Power Rankings today, which always provides an interesting talking point. The New York Jets came in a somewhat surprisingly low seventh place, here is a look at the top ten –

  1. Green Bay
  2. New England
  3. Philadelphia
  4. New Orleans
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. Atlanta
  7. New York Jets
  8. Indianapolis
  9. Baltimore
  10. San Diego

Also of note, the Giants came in 11th place, the Dolphins 24th, and the Bills 31st.

I think the general consensus around the league is that the Jets haven’t got better this off-season and you can make a fair argument for that. We haven’t seen Plaxico Burress on the field yet or Derrick Mason work with Mark Sanchez in a real game. Their passing game is a work in progress, although hasn’t it been the past two years? They still have the tools to execute the Ground and Pound, which carried them to the AFC Championship Game in 2009 and 2010.

Let the entire league pick New England as the AFC Super Bowl favorite, they did it last year and we saw how that turned out in the playoffs. Atlanta hasn’t won a playoff game in the Matt Ryan era, which has to count for something. Philadelphia is receiving the expected hype from a big off-season and most people expect a New Orleans bounce-back this year after an ugly first round playoff exit.

According to these rankings, the Jets are the third best team in the AFC. It is time for them to find a way to win a division title by being consistent enough in the regular season to finish ahead of the Patriots. Regardless of recent history, the Jets need to host playoff games and make their road to the Super Bowl easier.

TOJ Roundtable: Best and Worst Off-Season Move?

Welcome to the TOJ Roundtable, where our writers debate a pressing New York Jets question

What was the smartest move the Jets made this off-season? Which one will they regret the most?

Joe Caporoso: In retrospect I think locking down Santonio Holmes will prove to be the smartest move. He provides Mark Sanchez with a legitimate number one receiver to grow with for the next five years and he should continue to flourish in this offense, while consistently providing the Jets with clutch plays. I think they will regret their handling of the Shaun Ellis situation the most. He could have provided a valuable and necessary mentor to rookies Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis, easing their transition into the NFL. Wilkerson now faces the pressure of being an immediate starter, which could backfire and hurt the Jets depth up front in 2011. Beyond that, they have to watch him go against their offensive line twice this year for the hated New England Patriots. You never want to see a decorated 11 year veteran of your franchise play for your rival.

Chris Celletti: I think the smartest move the Jets made was bringing back Santonio Holmes. If it was between keeping Holmes or Braylon Edwards, it was the right move for the Jets to pony up the cash for Holmes. He is a better all-around player than Edwards, and having him around long-term will only help further the development of Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense.

The move they will regret the most is letting Shaun Ellis walk to the Patriots. Firstly, losing Ellis to anyone is bad for the young Jets’ defensive line. Who is the leader of this group? Sione Pouha? Rex Ryan seems to really believe in first round pick Mo Wilkerson and fellow draft choice Kendrick Ellis, but keeping Shaun Ellis would have made the transition for those guys a lot easier. Ellis had his best game as a Jet in the playoffs against the Patriots last year, so you know he can still play. Lastly, Ellis going to New England strengthens the Jets’ chief rival.

TJ Rosenthal: Smartest Move: Going after big play WR Santonio Holmes immediately. The Jets haven’t stretched the field the way they have been with Holmes since Wesley Walker was racing down the sidelines. Keeping that connection intact before anyone else were to jump in, and there were teams rumored to be willing to break the bank over Holmes, is being overlooked right now due to the headlines garnered over players the Jets DIDN’T keep. It shouldn’t be. Holmes is a home run hitter who will keep the Jets in games for a long time to come.

Move They’ll Regret: Backup signal caller. Not upgrading the QB2 position frightens us. We like Mark Brunell as a third string QB/ coach type who, for the price of what Kellen Clemens played for last year, would give the Jets deep security and a wealth of knowledge. Should Sanchez be out of action for a length of time however, we seriously question whether Brunell could physically handle the various throws and play designs well enough to carry the offense over a lengthy stretch. We hoped that the Jets would have, through free agency, or via trade, taken the doomsday scenario regarding Sanchez more seriously.

Rob Celletti: I would say the smartest move was the re-signing of Santonio Holmes. His impact on the team after serving his 4-game suspension was undeniable, as ‘Tone basically won the Jets 3 games singlehandedly.  I think he wanted to be an unquestioned number one, and now he has that chance.  I think he’ll thrive in that role.

I think the Jets will regret the moves they didn’t make: mainly not significantly improving their pass rush.  The Jets were the worst defense in the league on third down last year, and the lack of a pass rush is the primary reason for that abysmal statistic.  I don’t want to make too big a deal out of them letting Shaun Ellis go, but clearly this team lacks defensive ends and outside linebackers that can pressure the quarterback consistently.  A lot of people are looking at Calvin Pace to finally reach his potential and become that elite, go-to pass-rusher, but I have my doubts about that and was hopeful that the Jets would look to improve this area of their team via free agency.  We’ll see

Jets vs. Patriots: Who Won The Free Agency Wars?

At times, in Jets nation, it seems as though there are only two teams in the NFL, the Jets and the Patriots. Everything has revolved around this New York/Boston border war rivalry that heated up to cosmic levels once Bill Parcells left Foxboro for Leon Hess Jets in the mid nineties.

The Jets and Patriots are the Yankees and Red Sox of football right no w, hated rivals who feel as though they have to be equipped in order to beat the other, otherwise reaching the Super Bowl becomes a pipe dream. When THESE two teams get at it, the fur flies the pre game hype flies, and the post game emotional damage for the losing team becomes a study to be conducted under a microscope. Consider 2010.

Last year, after the Monday night debacle in Foxboro, Rex Ryan had to bury a ball to exorcise the demons of an unexpected 45-3 massacre. A hangover then ensued in the putrid loss to Miami the following week.

It was then the Jets turn to give the Pats a dose of pain during the AFC divisional playoff round. Gang Green ruined the Pats home field advantage by eliminating them days after a week of trash talk culminating in Wes Welker’s foot fetish references. The devastating loss forced the Pats to question their personnel heading into this season.

Now enter the madness of THIS post lockout free agency. The Jets used their initial days to re-acquire home run threat Santonio Holmes and right tackle Wayne Hunter, thus keeping last year’s offensive line intact and their big play receiver in Green and White.

After a mad chase for CB Nnamdi Asomugha failed, the Jets rebounded with the pickups of WR Plaxico Burress and CB Antonio Cromartie to keep the status quo. All purpose WR Brad Smith was a casualty of the week long Nnamdi drama but the Jets kept their goal of remaining a vertical passing team capable of moving defenses out of the box against the their running attack.

The Pats sured up their run defense, exposed during their season ending loss to the Jets last year, during the first few days when they traded away a fifth round pick to the Redskins for disgruntled defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Next came WR Chad Ochocinco, who many feel has been hurt by the deteriorating play of Carson Palmer over the past few years. Ocho seemed needed after the Jets dropped eight defenders back into coverage all day during that same January game, thus exposing the Pats lack of firepower on the outside.

Sunday brought a spotlight to this border war when longtime Jets DE Shaun Ellis signed with the Pats, giving New England a line ready to take on the Ground and Pound consisting of Ellis, Vince Wilfork and Haynesworth, maybe adding some info on the Jets from the Ellis perspective as well.

The constant news regarding players gained on both sides, and even ones the Jets in particular HAVEN’T kept, have made it seem as though the two clubs have been the only active ones on the market.

We all know that the games are played on the field, not on paper, or in offices where contracts are signed. It is interesting however to consider the notion of which team got a leg up on the other these past two weeks.

For the Jets, a microcosm for this change can be seen through the WR position. Plaxico Burress and Derick Mason will replace Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery. Both new Jets WRs bring with them longer careers of success and bigger numbers. They also bring with them rust and age, and a lack of familiarity with the offense. The upside, should the new duo be healthy and motivated. will make the moves an upgrade for the Jets. The downside could be a disaster.

The Patriots haven’t altered as much as they have added veterans with something to prove but again, veterans. With age on them as well. The upside for them on the defensive line could be deadly provided that Haynesworth behaves and Ellis has something left in the tank. The downside? A sluggish disruptive unit that costs coach Bill Belichick time and energy. The risk? Slight. Belichick and the Patriots have offered little to nothing financially and draft pick wise in order to obtain these players.

It will take an entire 2011 season to determine who won this free agency war. Still, it hasn’t stopped many from wondering who has gained an edge. Here are some of Jets Nation’s take on who has done better during this crazy free agency period, told to us on Twitter:

@Ton3Atlas: Pats have built a shuttle from N.Y. to N.E. because they love our players.

@JoeyScalesi: Pats unfortuantely

@jWeinstein23 Pats have gotten the bigger names but the Jets have made their team better. If Haynesworth or Ochocinco suck, it looks terrible.

@UKJets: it’s a tough question. Both teams will see the biggest benefit from development in young players like Sanchez & mccourty.

@RobKosova: Hate em but I think the Pats.

@Sanchize6: the Jets, Pats have added good pieces but who knows what they have left, the jets kept all their key pieces and are younger.

New York Jets: Roster Just About Done?

The New York Jets appear to be done making major moves to their 2011-2012 roster. Unless there is a major injury or surprising turn of events, the week one staters/key reserves are already in place.

On offense, improvement will be found by young players taking the necessary next step in their development, most notably quarterback Mark Sanchez who now enters his third year. He has clearly established himself as the unquestioned leader of the offense but now must find a higher level of consistency and accuracy on the field. A great season from Sanchez is going to mean the Jets offense will improve, regardless of the turnover at wide receiver.

Shonn Greene and Dustin Keller are two other players who need to fully realize their potential. Similar to Sanchez, Greene is also entering his third year. He failed to become the lead back the Jets drafted him to be last year but now with LaDainian Tomlinson a year older must become the workhorse to lead the “Ground and Pound.” We have seen what Greene is capable of when he gets going and if he can consistently receive 18-22 carries each week, there is no reason he can’t be a 1200 yard back.

We have heard about Dustin Keller’s potential since the day he was drafted, yet have never seen him put together a full season of being consistently productive. With Tom Moore now helping out on offense and the flux at the wide receiver position, Keller needs to become the Dallas Clark type weapon he is capable of being. He should develop into Sanchez’s security blanket and needs to become a bigger factor near the red-zone.

A higher level of productivity from Sanchez, Greene, and Keller will allow Plaxico Burress more time to get acclimated to the NFL again and put less pressure on Derrick Mason as he picks up the intricacies of playing slot receiver in the Jets offense. There is also the hope that Joe McKnight can become another weapon out of the backfield and promising rookie Jeremy Kerley can offer a few big plays at wide receiver.

On defense, the turnover hasn’t been significant. The biggest question mark is on the defensive line where first round pick Muhammad Wilkerson will immediately step into the starting line-up to replace Shaun Ellis.

Yes, I think the Jets did an awful job by letting Ellis walk to the New England Patriots and would like to see them bring back Trevor Pryce as a veteran mentor to Wilkerson. However, it doesn’t appear that is going to happen so Wilkerson must quickly become a key part of a largely no name and somewhat inexperienced defensive line rotation along with third round pick Kenrick Ellis, Ropati Pitoitua, and Marcus Dixon. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito are quality blue-collar players who can lead up front and should help keep the Jets stingy against the run.

At linebacker, it is about time for Calvin Pace to give the Jets a 16 game season and become a 10 sack player. There is no excuse for him not to be in this scheme with his talent level. A contribution from Jamaal Westerman to the pass rush would be nice but Pace is still the team’s pass rusher and needs to produce like it.

In the secondary, Kyle Wilson will have the chance to grab the nickel back role and hopefully develop into the playmaker Drew Coleman was last year. If he can’t, Donald Strickland and maybe Marquice Cole provide good insurance.

On most teams you would be concerned about the turnover on special teams the Jets have seen this off-season, yet with Mike Westhoff leading the way, it is hard to see them not being one the league’s better units again.

Here we are, one week out from the opening pre-season game. Do the Jets still look like a Super Bowl contender to you? They do to me, but only time will tell if the way Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets front office handled this off-season properly.

AFC East Free Agency: 5 Days Without Sleep And I’m Not Tired

Albert Haynesworth is on the Patriots. The Redskins have had enough of the man made of ice cream and hot dogs. OK. People in New England are happy, people in Washington are not happy. Why? Haynesworth has proved to the world that he can just give up, walk away and still be rich for the rest of his life.

Fans don’t like to see someone so talented waste it, not because they like to see athletes succeed, but because there is no necessity (financially speaking) in a comeback. If he were to be broke and bagging groceries upon failure in New England, people would pull for the guy (Kurt Warner).

That is not the reality of Albert Haynesworth. He won’t be poor, even if he lights up a big fat cigar between the numbers on a third and 1 against the Jets in the playoffs. Only 5 years ago, Haynesworth ripped off the helmet of Andre Gurode and stomped on his head, opening a wound only inches from his eye. Amongst the football media, this has been viewed as one of the cheapest and most vicious incidents of “after the whistle” violence in NFL history. Some called for Haynesworth to be suspended for the entire season, which would have undoubtedly kept him out of the 2007 Pro Bowl. So what would Albert Haynesworth be if the maximum penalty was handed out? Cheaper to the Redskins? A harder worker? Less of a steal for the Patriots?

Bill Belichick is not in the resurrection business. He runs a system that never requires star talent, save for the quarterback. It is simply a machine of efficiency that can be made better with star players. Albert Haynesworth will not get 20 sacks next year. He will not even play 50% of defensive snaps. He will be used in nickel and dime packages and goal line situations. How do you beat Albert Haynesworth? Get away from him. Toss the ball to the right. We all know Haynesworth is not Ndamukong Suh. Belichick is only going to use Haynesworth when he needs him. He has no point to prove about 30 year old defensive tackles.

So there we go, a big man with about 50% of his capabilities left. Enough of the sadist (see Redskins training camp hazing), let’s go to Miami, where expectations are so low they boo the starting quarterback in training camp. By the way, they want Orton. Now.
Reggie Bush will add flash to a team that can’t even string together 10 wins. What can flash do? Ask Andre Johnson. Getting snubbed by the FavreMan and Kyle Orton (Tebow Thing) the Dolphins are out of options. With a rookie running back named Daniel Thomas, Bush will be mentor, coach, and teammate with a serious workload for the first time in his NFL career.

They will try and get everything they can out of him, seeing if any of those college awards are good for anything in the land of jet skis and crystal dreams. Bush will benefit from the newly installed West Coast offense. He is not a bruiser, and he does not have the speed of a Chris Johnson. He’s a spaceback (I think I just made that up) who thrives on open field receptions. Give him a 1 on 1 in the flat, and it’s off to the races. He is more versatile than a tight end, and stronger than a receiver. He struggles explanation from even the most experienced of analysts. Running to the left will be his best chance, seeing as how the Dolphins have an excellent tackle, center combination in Pouncey and Long.

I see Reggie Bush making a serious impact in the Miami offense, especially with Brandon Marshall requiring cornerback/safety coverage on most plays. Will it take Miami to the playoffs? No. But at least it will be fun to watch.

Changing the tune, let’s see what the Jets have in terms of rookies and sophomores:

Kyle Wilson did not face elite competition in college. I’m sorry to all the Wilson fans, but Boise State does not face elite competition at any point during the year. Rough translation, he was not ready for NFL receivers when the time came. He got beat off the line, and often reverted to bad technique when he was beat down the field. It is not so much that I think Kyle Wilson will have a good year, it is that he NEEDS to have a good year in order to stick around as a nickel back and not get permanently relegated to a backup and kick returner. Seeing as how Rex already called him the starting nickel corner, expectations are high.

After a series of workouts in Arizona with Darrelle Revis, Wilson should be able to get back on the field with the confidence knowing he has been mentored by the best in the business. Being the same size also helps, as Cromartie teaching Wilson could only do so much, Cromartie having a 6’7 wingspan and all.

In terms of rookies, I think the Jets are going to get great run out of Muhammad Wilkerson. I base this on the fact that Wilkerson will probably get the most playing time between 3-4 defensive end and a nickel/dime package nose tackle. I know he hasn’t faced elite competition in college, but his size and speed when added to Kenrick Ellis and Sione Pouha will help the Jets at least turn down the requirement of a six man rush to a five man rush for the majority of blitz packages. I can see him and Kenrick Ellis requiring three blockers at all times, which could leave Pace, Harris, Thomas and Scott to rush the passer.

Rookies will be forced to turn into NFL players faster than ever before. Teams with new head coaches and rookie quarterbacks will look foolish. Defense will reign. It is the year of the Ryan brothers.

New York Jets Officially Sign Derrick Mason

Despite it seeming a foregone conclusion earlier in the week, Derrick Mason flapped in the wind for a few days before officially reaching a decision today to join the New York Jets. Fortunately for the team’s depth concerns, he will come on board and immediately become the slot receiver and provide good insurance if Plaxico Burress can’t stay healthy.

Here is a look at Mason’s stats the previous four seasons, as you can see he still has the ability to be very productive:

  • 2010 – 61 receptions, 802 yards, 7 touchdowns
  • 2009 – 73 receptions, 1,028 yards, 7 touchdowns
  • 2008 – 80 receptions, 1,037 yards, 5 touchdowns
  • 2007 – 103 receptions, 1,087 yards, 5 touchdowns

However, the Jets have now had serious turnover from this year to last year at wide receiver. Consider that last year their top four receivers were Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Brad Smith…they are now Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason, and Jeremy Kerley.