Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Ranking The AFC

The Turn On The Jets 12 pack ranks the AFC’s best teams heading into the season

This week’s edition of the 12 pack is going to rank the top teams in the AFC, including sorting out where our New York Jets fit in heading into training camp. For your requisite Friday reminders before you crack into your 12 pack of reading and 12 pack of drinking, remember to follow myself, Chris GrossMike Donnelly, and TJ Rosenthal on Twitter. Nobody out there is rolling with four stronger Jets writers right now, period. Also remember to check out Gameday Goods, where you get 10% off any product by using the promo code “TurnOnTheJets.” Finally, sit tight on those t-shirts, they are on their way along with enough giveaways to make your head spin. 

On to the 12 pack – 

Just Missed

16. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck is going to be a special player one day but he has been put in the middle of a rebuilding process. The Colts won’t be 2 win bad this season but won’t be much better. The Jets see them in week 6 at MetLife Stadium. Bring the blitz, Rex.

15. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blaine Gabbert with Chad Henne waiting in the wings…yikes. The defense and Maurice Jones-Drew will keep them competitive in most weeks but ultimately they will be battling with the Colts for the basement in the AFC South. The Jets travel to them in week 14. I am calling for more Tebow fans than Jaguars fans in the crowd.

14. Cleveland Browns – Poor Cleveland. That being said, we disagree with Jim Brown and think Trent Richardson is anything but ordinary. But, what does he know about running backs anyway?

13. Miami Dolphins – Picturing David Garrard under center on a 3rd and 9 with Chad Ochocinco, Brian Hartline and Davone Bess split out and wondering how the hell are they going to convert…ever?

12. Oakland Raiders – Not a believer in Carson Palmer and not sure if Darren McFadden can stay healthy.

11. Kansas City Chiefs – Wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up being a playoff team and wouldn’t be surprised if they were 4-12. It depends on how Matt Cassel manages the offense and how Jamaal Charles bounces back from his injury.

10. San Diego Chargers – I am sure I will hear I put them too low but what exactly have they won lately? The last time they were in the playoffs was when Shonn Greene was actually breaking long runs. The Jets host them in week 16 for Sunday Night Football.

9. Buffalo Bills – Everybody else can pile on their bandwagon. Ryan Fitzpatrick is their quarterback. Chan Gailey is their coach. They can’t win in their division and they can’t stretch the field. The Jets start and end their season with them.

8. Tennessee Titans – How quick of a hook will Matt Hasselbeck have? The Titans quietly put together a good off-season and should make some noise in the AFC South. The Jets travel to them for Monday Night Football in week 15 in what could be an elimination game for a wild-card spot.

7. New York Jets – They are going to be in plenty of close games this season, how they finish in the fourth quarter will determine if they are 7-9 or 11-5.

6. Cincinnati Bengals – I don’t know if Andy Dalton and AJ Green will have a sophomore slump or if it is foolish to believe Marvin Lewis can coach a winning team for two years in a row but they deserve the respect heading into the season.

5. Denver Broncos – Maybe I am giving too much respect to Peyton Manning but if he is anywhere near healthy, Denver is going to be very tough with that kind of defense to support him.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers – Interested to see how the Todd Haley/Ben Roethlisberger marriage is going to work out but you know they are going have a very good defense and they are loaded at wide receiver. Jets play them week 2 on the road in what will be some kind of test for Tony Sparano’s new offense.

3. Houston Texans – On paper they might be the best team in the conference but can that defense play at the level they did last season? If so, they are going to be very hard to beat. They come to MetLife Stadium for Monday Night Football in week 5.

2Baltimore Ravens – They should have won in New England last season for the AFC Championship Game. Can they get themselves back to that level? Much of that will depend on how Joe Flacco keeps developing and if they can replace Terrell Suggs adequately. Fortunately, the Jets don’t play them this season as they have suffered two ugly losses to them since Rex Ryan has taken over.

1. New England Patriots – They keep the top spot until somebody knocks them off. Unfortunately for the Jets, the Brady/Belichick combination basically guarantees 11-13 wins a season. Interested to see how new additions like Brandon Lloyd, Joseph Addai, Chandler Jones, and Dont’a Hightower fit in. The Jets play them in week 7 and then on Thanksgiving night.

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TOJ’s Top 50 New York Jets Countdown: 30-40

Turn On The Jets counts down the top 50 New York Jets currently on the roster, continuing today with numbers 30-40

Frustrated and confused after seeing the NFL’s Top 100 player list? TOJ was as well. Due to that, we have decided to rank the current New York Jets on the roster from 50 all the way down to 1. Along the way, we will be classifying the players into the following five categories:

  • Bottom of the Roster (strictly a depth and developmental player)
  • Middle Class (Situational player, spot starter)
  • Quality Starter (Capable starting player or very good role player)
  • Red Chip (Swiping this term from Michael Lombardi, an above average stater/borderline Pro-Bowler)
  • Blue Chip (Another swipe from Lombardi, an elite player at his position)

(STILL IN THE BOTTOM OF THE ROSTER CATEGORY)

39. Jeff Cumberland, Tight End – Currently projects as the team’s backup tight end. Cumberland is a taller, slower version of Dustin Keller which isn’t good for a team who wants to run the football as often as the Jets do. He does have potential to be a weapon in the red-zone and in certain packages, however it wouldn’t be surprising if the Jets signed a blocking tight end before camp which would bump him down the depth chart.

38. Stephon Heyer, Offensive Tackle – A six year veteran with a good amount of experience. He started 16 games for the Redskins in 2009 and started 2 games last year for Oakland. He projects as the top backup at tackle and could push for playing time if Wayne Hunter struggles in camp.

37. Martin Tevaseu, Defensive Tackle – He has bounced between the Jets practice squad and active roster over the past couple of seasons. Last year he outplayed rookie third-round pick Kenrick Ellis and leaped him in the defensive line rotation.

36. Kenrick Ellis, Defensive Tackle – Putting him over Tevaseu based on his potential, which he will hopefully begin to recognize this year after his first full off-season as a professional. Ellis is currently serving a jail sentence but it was split so he won’t miss any training camp. The Jets are hoping he can develop into a big part of the defensive line rotation in 2012 and be Sione Pouha’s long term replacement.

35. Josh Mauga, Linebacker – Worked himself into a good amount of playing time last season at both inside and outside linebacker, finishing with 25 tackles, 1 TFL and 1 interception. This year he projects to being more of a special teams player but could see action in certain packages due to his pass coverage ability from the linebacker position.

34. Patrick Turner, Wide Receiver – Saw his most extensive playing time as a professional in 2011, finishing with 8 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. Turner has good size and chemistry with Mark Sanchez from their time together at USC. He also can contribute on special teams. Turner is the current favorite to be the team’s fifth wide receiver.

MIDDLE CLASS

33. Marcus Dixon, Defensive Lineman – Dixon was a solid, reliable part of the team’s defensive line rotation last year and stepped in to start a few games for an injured Mike DeVito. He finished with 16 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Dixon can line up at both defensive end and tackle, increasing his value. In 2012, he should remain a key part of the defensive line rotation.

32. Chaz Schilens, Wide Receiver – Signed as a free agent from the Oakland Raiders this off-season, Schilens has all the desired measurables for a wide receiver at 6’4, 225 pounds and with a 4.3 forty. However, he has been unable to stay consistently healthy throughout his four year career. In those four seasons he has racked up 72 receptions for 902 yards and 7 touchdowns. Schilens was one of the most impressive players in the Jets off-season workouts and could carve himself out a nice sized role on offense if he keeps performing.

31. Josh Brown, Kicker – Working off the assumption that he will be out Nick Folk this summer. Brown has been a very good kicker at times throughout his career but is coming off a somewhat disappointing year with the Rams. He is a career 80.9 percent kicker with a long of 58 yards.

30. Demario Davis, Linebacker – The rookie third round linebacker is generating a ton of buzz this off-season as the steal of the Jets draft class. Teammates and coaches have been raving about his natural leadership skills, speed and tenacity. At a minimum, Davis will play in the Jets sub-packages and be a major factor on special teams. He will also take over for Bart Scott alongside David Harris at inside linebacker, no later than the beginning of next season.

Check back later for the 12 Pack and on Monday for numbers 20-30

TOJ’s Top 50 New York Jets Countdown: 40-50

Turn On The Jets counts down the top 50 New York Jets currently on the roster, starting with numbers 40-50

Frustrated and confused after seeing the NFL’s Top 100 player list? TOJ was as well. Due to that, we have decided to rank the current New York Jets on the roster from 50 all the way down to 1. Along the way, we will be classifying the players into the following five categories:

  • Bottom of the Roster (strictly a depth and developmental player)
  • Middle Class (Situational player, spot starter)
  • Quality Starter (Capable starting player)
  • Red Chip (Swiping this term from Michael Lombardi, an above average stater/borderline Pro-Bowler)
  • Blue Chip (Another swipe from Lombardi, an elite player at his position)

Just missed

  • Tanner Purdum – Long snapper goes 53 on a 53 man roster.
  • Nick Folk – On the thought that Josh Brown will win the kicking battle
  • Hayden Smith – Practice squad bound in TOJ’s opinion
  • Garret McIntyre – Started at times last year…won’t make team this year
  • Austin Howard – Went with Stephon Heyer over him as primary backup at tackle

BOTTOM OF THE ROSTER

50. TJ Conley, Punter – An average punter at best, who will likely be challenged at some point in training camp by a  free agent signing. He is no better than 50/50 to make the roster at this point and if he does, must be more consistent than he was in 2010.

49. Vladimir Ducasse, Guard/Tackle – Ducasse was easily beat out for the starting guard position in 2009 and when called into duty as a reserve tackle last season looked completely overwhelmed. At this point, it looks like his ceiling is a swing backup at guard and tackle…fairly disappointing for a 2nd round pick.

48. Bilal Powell, Running Back – Looked plodding and mediocre in both the pre-season and when given an opportunity in the regular season in 2010. It wouldn’t be a shock to anybody if rookie Terrance Ganaway beat him out on the depth chart this year.

47. Antonio Allen, Safety – A good value pick for the Jets in the seventh round this season. Allen will have a tough time seeing the field in 2012 with LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell and Eric Smith in front of him on the depth chart. However, he has the skill set to project to being the team’s long term strong safety.

46. Terrance Ganaway, Running Back – An intriguing sixth round pick from this year’s draft. A power runner, with experience in the option, which could get him some looks when Tim Tebow is under center. With a strong pre-season, could work himself into getting some weekly carries behind Shonn Greene.

45. Greg McElroy, Quarterback – Showed promise in the pre-season and has the intangibles to be a capable NFL backup. He looks to be a poor man’s Chad Pennington, with limited arm strength but very high intelligence and good decision making skills.

44. Josh Baker, Tight End/H-Back – Worked his way on to the field at the end of last season as a H-Back and finished with 3 receptions and a touchdown against the Giants. Baker is a natural pass catcher, who is versatile enough to line up at tight end, H-Back, and fullback. It will be interesting to see if he sticks on the roster and how Tony Sparano uses him, if he does.

43. Josh Bush, Safety – A sixth round pick who is the only natural free safety that projects to make the Jets roster. Defensive Backs coach Dennis Thurman has already pegged Bush as the team’s fourth safety, which means he should get on the field in certain packages.

42. Ellis Lankster, Corner – A special teams player last year, who now appears poised to take over the fourth cornerback role on defense. In Rex Ryan’s scheme that will get him on the field a decent amount of time. The Jets clearly have faith in him for now, as they haven’t signed free agents like Drew Coleman or Chris Johnson who could have easily filled the fourth corner role.

41. Caleb Schlauderaff, Guard – The Jets traded for him last pre-season and Mike Tannenbaum randomly loves mentioning him all the time in press conferences as a developing player. He projects to being the top backup at guard and center

40. Ricky Sapp, Linebacker/Defensive End – Added to the practice squad last season, he has impressed this off-season and could be a factor in pass rushing situations. Sapp was a fifth round pick of the Eagles in 2010.

Check back tomorrow for our Friday 12 pack and for players 30-40

New York Jets Fact Or False: New Jets Edition

TOJ’s weekly Fact or False from Chris Gross – Focusing on the newest members of the New York Jets roster

Our weekly Fact or False from Chris Gross…make sure to give Chris a follow on Twitter and let him know what you think –

The New York Jets have experienced yet another exciting offseason of player acquisitions. While the early weeks of free agency had the majority of Jets Nation convinced there was a new mentality in the front office due to the lack of pursuit of the marquee free agents, General Manager Mike Tannenbaum returned to his roots as “Trader Mike” and made the splash of the offseason in trading for the most polarizing figure in the NFL, Denver Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow. Beyond the Tebow trade, Tannenbaum and the Jets achieved, what could prove to be, their best draft in recent years. With the acquisitions of eight players in this year’s draft, there are plenty of newcomers on board with Gang Green this season, many of whom have already stood out at OTAs and Mini-Camp.

The Jets filled a great amount of needs on their roster this offseason, particularly at the safety position where they added four new players (two rookies, two veterans) to the position that was popularly considered the worst on the defense last year. New York has also gone international with the signing of Aussie Rugby Star Hayden Smith, who is vying to make the team as a Tight End, another position in need of depth on the Jets roster. It seems that Mike T and Co. have added players via every means possible this offseason – signings, trades, draft picks, international, domestic, you name it. With so many new additions to the team for the 2012 season, what can we expect from those who will wear the Green and White for the first time this year? This week’s New York Jets Fact Or False takes a look at the “New” New York Jets.

Chaz Schilens will have the greatest impact of all newcomers at the Wide Receiver position. False. While the Jets certainly have a young and promising group of speedy, athletic receivers, Schilens was signed to a one year deal after a season of just 23 receptions in 2011, prior to the Jets selections of rookies Stephen Hill and Jordan White in this year’s NFL Draft. While Schilens certainly has the physical tools (6’4” 4.3 40 yard dash) to be a dangerous weapon in New York’s receiving corps this year, durability will be the key issue, as it has been throughout his career. Schilens has already missed 20 games due to injury in his short four-year career, and has never once recorded 30 receptions in a single season.

However, Schilens showed flashes of brilliance during mini-camp after obtaining a surplus of reps due to injuries to Hill, White, and Santonio Holmes. While Schilens could certainly be a diamond in the rough for Gang Green if he can stay healthy, history does not look favorable for the four-year veteran out of San Diego State. In terms of Jets newcomers at the wide receiver position, Hill, who will likely be starting opposite Santonio Holmes come week 1, is the most likely to have the greatest impact among the new wide outs. Jordan White is certainly another name to keep an eye on if he can come back completely healthy from a foot injury that will have him sidelined until training camp.

Quinton Coples will have the largest impact of all rookies. Fact. DeMario Davis is another candidate here, however with Coples likely to crack the starting lineup right out of the gate this year, he will ultimately have more opportunity to provide a greater impact to the team this season. We’ve repeatedly gone over the physical intangibles of Coples here at Turn On The Jets, not to mention how the shift toward more four-man fronts will benefit his skill set. However, what has not been discussed to a great extent is the work ethic Coples has been displaying since joining the Jets.

Heading into the draft, Coples unfairly saw his character and work ethic come into question, although review of his college game film proves he is anything but lazy and unmotivated. So far, we have yet to hear these concerns about Coples. The first round selection out of North Carolina has displayed nothing but high character and a tremendous work ethic during OTAs and Mini-Camp practices, and has earned praise from the coaching staff and media alike. Coples has the ability to fill the void the Jets defense has been truly lacking since the days of John Abraham, a pass rusher that opposing offenses must game plan around. Rex Ryan will use his vast defensive knowledge and creativity in order to ensure Coples is in every position possible to succeed.

Hayden Smith will make the active roster. False. The idea of Hayden Smith is a very intriguing one for Gang Green. The Jets took a shot at signing the Aussie Rugby star who has never played a down of football in his entire life, but has the physical tools (6’6” 255 lbs) to be an elite tight end in this league. While Smith is highly unlikely to develop into the next Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates, he could end up being a solid contributor down the road for the Jets. Rex Ryan has already praised his tenacity and work ethic, and for good reason. Smith seems poised to learn the game of football from both an intellectual and fundamental standpoint. However, his development will likely take more than just one offseason before he can contribute, not only on the Jets, but also at the NFL level in general. A year on the practice squad is likely the destination for Smith this year, but that may be just what he needs to build his game and become a contributor in 2013.

Yeremiah Bell will provide more bang for the Jets buck than LaRon Landry. Fact. This could easily turn if Landry stays healthy for the entire year, as New York obtained the Pro Bowl caliber player on a rather cheap one-year contract, however, like Schilens, Landry comes with serious durability concerns. When healthy, Landry has been extremely productive, but over the past two seasons, the former first round selection out of LSU has played in just 17 total games. Bell, on the other hand, has not missed a game in the past four seasons and has accumulated over 100 tackles in each. While the ex-Miami Dolphin was certainly a bit more of an under-the-radar signing than Landry, his impact will likely be much greater with the Jets defense this season due to his durability and production.

Of the two rookie safeties, Josh Bush will see the majority of the reps. Fact. This is a no brainer. Antonio Allen is absolutely a very young, promising prospect for the Jets. However, like Landry and Bell, Allen fits the mold of an in the box, strong safety type player. Conversely, Bush is the only true free safety on the Jets roster and will likely see his reps increase as the season progresses, while picking up the defense a bit more each week. Bush has been widely regarded as one of the better cover safeties in this year’s rookie class, as shown by his All-American and All-ACC honors last season at Wake Forest. While Allen could certainly be used on special teams and in some sub packages, primarily as a blitzer, Bush fills a greater need for the Jets as of right now, and will likely see the majority of the reps among the two.

Tim Tebow will cause a Quarterback controversy in New York. False. While everyone from fans and mainstream media are drooling at the prospect of seeing Tebow come in and replace Mark Sanchez, the reality of the situation is that there will be no controversy at the Quarterback position for the Jets this season. It is certainly easy to argue against this proclamation as Sanchez is coming off of his most criticized season as a pro, despite accounting for 32 total touchdowns in 2011, while the Tebow magic is still fresh in the minds of everyone who witnessed arguably the most polarizing figure in all of sports defy all the odds last season in leading Denver to a playoff victory.

While Tebow will remain the number two quarterback in the event that Sanchez gets injured, he was not brought to New York to take the job from number 6. Tebow will likely be used at quarterback in some wildcat and spread option sub packages, however he will take very little, if any, snaps at QB when the regular offense is on the field. Despite the fact that Sanchez is poised for a breakout season, Tebow’s unique skill set is too diverse to see him taking snaps under center this year. Expect to see Tebow in a variety of roles including H-Back and Running Back. New York has already begun to get him reps here, all of which will likely increase heading into the season. Remember, Sanchez AND Tebow, not Sanchez OR Tebow.

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – June 27th

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets Beat Writers…this week we go by the fan’s vote

Welcome back to our weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers. For this week’s edition, we went to the fans for the rankings. What did we find? Myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly seem to have a good pulse of the general opinion, as their rankings didn’t differ much from ours on a weekly basis. Thank you to everybody who voted and thank you to Manish Mehta of The Daily News who gave us the idea for next week’s column, when we will be discussing our all-time favorite Jets beat writers. 

1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – Jenny refuses to get knocked out of the top spot, regardless of who is being polled. Her summer interview series is a popular read and she remains highly interactive on Twitter and without Sulia use…which we love. We are all looking forward to another season of her coverage.

2. Manish Mehta, The Daily NewsEasily the most polarizing writer among fans. You either love him or you hate him. To his credit, Manish has been a great sport about these rankings and offered us the previously mentioned great idea for next week. It speaks to his writing skills and work ethic that he is so high on these rankings because we (and the fans) can’t stand Sulia or anonymous sources.

3. Rich Cimini, ESPN New YorkThe “Take 5” is an interesting weekly read and we liked his breakdown of how the Jets spent their money this off-season. Many fans criticize him for having a condescending or negative tone but everybody respects the amount of content he produces and I don’t know many Jets fans who don’t read nearly everything he writes.

4. Jane McManus, ESPN New York – Good interview with Connie Carberg from today. Nearly everybody respects Jane’s writing ability and she remains highly interactive on Twitter. She obviously doesn’t put out the same amount of content as others on this list but still racked in a good amount of votes.

5. Brian Costello, New York Post The voters disappointed us here because “Coz” has been on his game the past few weeks. We are loving his countdown of the Top 25 Jets and how much he is interacting with fans on Twitter. Clearly the fans need a few more weeks to get him higher in their standings, even though TOJ has him higher in ours.

Remember to check back next Wednesday, when we will be going over our favorite Jets beat writers of all-time. Is there any you want to see mentioned? Leave a comment or here or send us a Tweet 

New York Jets: Wise To Explore A Trade For Harvin

Chris Gross explores if the Jets should make a run at attempting to trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin

After trading with the Cleveland Browns to obtain Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the New York Jets reportedly attempted to execute another trade in order to move back into the bottom half of round one to select WR Percy Harvin of the University of Florida. As it is now known, the Jets were unsuccessful in their attempt to obtain that pick and Harvin. However, with recent reports surfacing earlier this week that Harvin has requested a trade out of Minnesota, New York could explore another attempt to swing a deal that would bring in the player they nearly landed just three seasons ago. While it remains to be seen whether or not the Vikings will even entertain the idea of moving one of their most vital offensive weapons, if Harvin does in fact become available, the Jets would be wise to look into swinging a deal for the three-year veteran.

With a new offensive coordinator in place in Tony Sparano, New York has high hopes for offensive improvement for the 2012 season. Bringing in Harvin would bolster those hopes even further, and would give the Jets a very unique arsenal of offensive personnel that, if used properly, could become one of the most dangerous in the league. When looking at Harvin, there are several reasons as to why he would be a great fit with Gang Green, all of which fit the identity of the new scheme to a T.

Speed Kills – The Jets are making a big push to add some much needed speed to their offense as displayed already by the decision to draft burner Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech (4.3 40 yard dash), as well as the signing of free agent wide out Chaz Schilens, who has also been timed in the low 4.3 40 yard dash range. Bringing in another speedster in Harvin (4.41 40 yard dash) to put alongside Santonio Holmes, Schilens, and Hill would give the Jets a near perfect amount of YAC potential in its receiving corps.

Big Play Threat – One of Tony Sparano’s greatest points of emphasis in his offensive philosophy is the importance of achieving “Chunk Plays,” meaning the ability to make large gains on any particular play, moving down the field in “chunks.” Harvin would fill yet another piece of this puzzle. Over his three-year career, Harvin has made receptions of at least 20 yards in 27 total contests, averaging out to exactly 9 games per season. Of those 27 games, he has made receptions of at least 30 yards in 15, 8 of which he had receptions of at least 40 yards, all while building a career average of 12 yards per reception. Harvin certainly has the ability and athleticism to provide Sparano and the Jets offense with a good amount of these chunk plays that the offensive philosophy covets so wildly.

Dual Threat – In an offense that will likely see a great amount of creativity and versatility, Harvin would prove to be a vital weapon within this approach. Although he has had great success as a wide receiver during his three years in Minnesota, Harvin has also done very well running the football, accumulating an average of 6.9 yards per carry, with three touchdowns. These numbers are certainly not mind blowing, but impressive considering the fact that he achieved them with arguably the greatest back in the league on his team in Adrian Peterson. With New York’s desire to return to the “Ground and Pound” offensive style, there is certainly never enough room for players with the ability to effectively run the ball.

Familiarity – Prior to entering the 2009 NFL Draft, Harvin played in his final two seasons at the University of Florida with current Jets backup Quarterback Tim Tebow as the starting signal caller for the Gators. During those two seasons, Harvin posted numbers that were impressive enough to secure a first round selection in 2009. With Tebow running the helm, Harvin amassed 99 receptions for 1,502 yards and 11 touchdowns. Conversely, Harvin served as a very successful ground threat in Florida’s spread offense scheme with Tebow, as he carried the ball 153 times over his final two seasons as a Gator for 1,423 yards, culminating in an astounding 9.3 yards per carry, while amassing 17 touchdowns along the way.

A large part of the Jets’ “Tebow Package” is expected to include a good amount of Wildcat formations, however it has recently been reported that New York may be reluctant to run these formations because that would put starting Quarterback Mark Sanchez as a receiver every time Tebow takes the field. Instead, Sanchez will likely come completely out of the game when Tebow enters, which could lead to a more read-option approach under #15, a scheme very similar to the one Harvin and Tebow were a part of at Florida. Could Sparano and Co. rekindle the chemistry that produced a National Championship and Heisman Trophy during the two years that the two were together in Gainesville? Odds are the offensive coaching staff, along with General Manager Mike Tannenbaum and Head Coach Rex Ryan, would be drooling at the prospect of implementing a personnel group centered around Tebow and Harvin. This would add a dynamic to the Jets offense that has yet to be seen in the league.

Production – Harvin’s career numbers in Minnesota speak for themselves. Over the past two seasons, Harvin played in 30 total contests reeling in 158 passes for 1,835 yards and 11 touchdowns. In New York, the Jets’ number one receiving option over the past two years has been Santonio Holmes. During those seasons, Holmes played in 28 total games, while collecting 103 receptions for 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns. Although Harvin has been a bit more productive than Holmes in terms of receptions and yardage, the two have each been collectively successful considering the situations of each of their respective offenses. Minnesota went through a drastic quarterback shuffle last season, while the Jets maintained virtually no identity under the philosophically challenged Brian Schottenheimer. Pairing the two of them with rookie Stephen Hill would give the Jets one of the most dynamic, fast, and youthful wide receiving corps in the NFL.

While a trade for Harvin would certainly come with a great amount of obstacles, most notably the compensation that Minnesota will likely seek in return, knowing Mike Tannenbaum, this move cannot be completely ruled out until the 2012 trade deadline passes. Few people expected the Jets to trade for Brett Favre and release Chad Pennington during training camp heading into the 2008 season, and even fewer expected the organization to trade for Tebow just a few short months ago. With this front office, anything is possible, and a move like this would not only bolster the talent of the Jets offense, but would also contribute to the identity this offense is trying to achieve, something that was virtually non-existent last season.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 6/26: The Tony Sparano Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly stock watch, focusing on Tony Sparano’s offense

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly stock watch. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook

I’m going to mix things up this week and and list all my buys and sells under the umbrella of a much larger general investment strategy. That strategy is one that the New York Jets incorporated this offseason in an attempt to generate much larger returns  for the 2012 season. That strategy is simple:

SELL – Brian Schottenheimer

BUY – Tony Sparano

That’s not to say that all things Sparano brings are wonderful and the offense will automatically be a juggernaut, because there are certain aspects of the offense I am still not sold on. Likewise, not all things Schitty (that’s a typo, I swear!) brought to the table were awful. There was some good, I just don’t know what they were. Actually, forget I said anything; Brian Schottenheimer sucks. Anyway, I think the general theme of selling on Schotty and buying in to the Sparano era is going to be profitable for the Jets offense, and not just because like many Jets fans, I thought Schottenheimer was awful (I even wrote a whole column about how the Jets hired him to sabotage their QB’s with his incompetence), but also because Sparano brings a sorely-needed fresh approach. One play last year summed up Schotty’s offense and his reign as coordinator perfectly: 3rd and 6 against the Patriots, pivotal point in the game, needed a first down. This is what he came up with:

That’s right. Five receivers doing 4-yard curls on 3rd and 6! Needless to say, they did not  pick up the first down. The Brian Schottenheimer Era, ladies and gentlemen!

Further evidence of how he repeatedly hamstrung the offense can be found in this excellent piece by Jenny Vrentas, found Here. If you read between the lines of the players’ quotes, you can tell they couldn’t stand working within the confines of the his offense — it was too complicated, too restricting, too dumb, and too inflexible. He drew up bad game plans, confused his players, and couldn’t adjust when he had to. Against the Raiders, they threw him a curveball by switching to zone defense when all week the offense had prepared to face man coverage. That was apparently too much for Schotty to handle as he couldn’t –or wouldn’t– adjust, the offense collapsed, Holmes fumed, and the Jets lost. Mercifully, the book has closed on the Schottenheimer Era, and there’s a new hope for Jets fans.

Let’s take a look at what we should be buying and selling when it comes to Tony Sparano:

BUY- Tony Sparano the Play Caller and Line Coach – Contrary to popular belief, Sparano did not call plays in Miami. He did however call them in Dallas during the 2006 season when long-time bench warmer Tony Romo took the reigns and played very well. The offense finished 5th in the NFL in total yards, at 360 yards per game and 5th in passing with 239 per game. They also scored the 4th most points in the NFL. (If you want a good laugh, check out the ranks Schottenheimer has had during his career.) As the offensive line coach, he also built one of the best lines in the NFL during his tenure in Dallas. Solid players like Flozell Adams and Andre Gurode became Pro-Bowlers. Marginal players like Kyle Kosier and Marc Columbo became very dependable starters. Quite simply, Sparano has a history of success, and a proven track record of being very good at certain things. We can expect him to bring those things over with him to New York and improve parts of this offense.

BUY – Tony Sparano’s Attitude and Demeanor – Tony Sparano is a no-nonsense kind of guy. He’s loud, he screams, he curses, and he isn’t about to take any crap from the players. When asked about last year’s Holmes debacle, he said how he was a head coach and he knows how to handle problems. Reading between the lines, he was saying pretty much that that stuff isn’t going to happen this year. The Jets offense needed a swift kick in the ass heading into 2012, and Sparano is the exact kind of guy to deliver it.

BUY – Shonn Greene and the Run Game – I know there has been lots of debate lately about Greene and what kind of player he is after Evan Silva tweeted some less than flattering things about him. Why we are taking evaluation seriously from a guy whose job appears to be highlighting things beat writers tweet about, click “copy”, and then paste them on Rotoworld.com, I don’t know. I’m a believer in Greene and think he can do some great things when given the opportunity, but even his biggest supporters would admit he’s not a superstar. He’s just not that kind of player, but then again, you don’t need an Adrian Peterson to win a Super Bowl. That’s not to say Greene can’t carry the load and help this team win games though, because he can. Joe gave us a great look at Greene’s career and his production earlier today, and provided some valid observations, but there is plenty to be said in support of Greene, as well.

First of all, the new “power” system Tony Sparano brings with him is going to help Greene immensely. Last year Greene at times was the victim of thinking too much on the field instead of just hitting the hole and going, which is what he’s best at. He was also victimized by horrendous line play early in the season, as Nick Mangold went down with an injury and was slow to recover. Brandon Moore also started the season slowly as he was recovering from surgery. Once the line got it together, Greene took off in the second half of the season in a big way, despite not being used to his full potential and still finished with 4.2 yards per carry, which is very solid. Shonn is a streaky runner, so it was maddening to see him get on a role during games the past two years and then the team curiously going away from him for large stretches. Sparano has made it clear he’s going to ride his hot hand, so that shouldn’t be an issue this year. Greene also improved his receiving ability a great deal last year, as he caught 30 balls, which doesn’t make him Marshall Faulk, but it does make him more of a two-way threat.

The other important thing to keep in mind about Greene is that he offers great value to the Jets, and an awful lot of bang for their bucks. He is scheduled to make just under $800,000 this year which allows the Jets to allocate their salary cap dollars elsewhere (ahem, Revis), and with free agency around the corner, you better believe Greene is going to show up in shape, motivated, and ready to put up big numbers. I don’t believe investing big money in your backfield is the way to operate, but rather to have a few low-cost backs who can all get the job done, which is what the Jets have done. Greene may never be the “bell cow” Rex Ryan proclaimed him to be, but in a platoon with a guy like Joe McKnight, he can –and will– be extremely effective. We’ve seen what he can do when used properly, and I look forward to seeing more of it in 2012.

BUY – Mark Sanchez – Yes, I’m going to keep beating the Mark Sanchez drum. Sparano has had lots of success with quarterbacks in the past. I touched on Romo earlier, but he also did very good work in Miami with inferior talents to Mark Sanchez. Chad Pennington (not the Chad we all love from 2002, but rather the guy whose arm was hanging on by chewing gum and paper clips in 2008) finished 2nd in MVP voting. Average talents like Chad Henne and Matt Moore put up some very nice numbers. Mark Sanchez is better than all of them, and now that he’s been freed from Schottenheimer’s stale offense, we can all expect big things.

BUY- Jeremy Kerley and John Conner– Look at the way Davone Bess and Lousaka Polite were used in Miami, and it’s easy to see Kerley and Conner being big contributors this year. As a slot receiver, Bess recorded 54, 76, and 79 catches his first three years with Sparano. Look for Kerley to blossom in that role this year. As for the Terminator, I hope he’s ready for lots of short yardage work, because along with Tim Tebow, they’re going to be pounding lots of balls right up the middle on 3rd or 4th and 1’s.

SELL – Wayne Hunter – I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying all the “New and Improved” Wayne Hunter stuff. Yes, he will likely improve in this new blocking scheme but that’s kind of like saying you went from being the dumbest kid in class to the second dumbest. There’s only one way for Hunter to go, because he can’t possibly get worse than he was last year, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to all of a sudden be good. He’s more likely to get Mark Sanchez’s #6 jersey imprinted on the MetLife turf after he gets him flattened by Mario Williams than he is to become a very good starter.

Like I said, it’s not all flowers and rainbows with the Jets offense all of a sudden just because Sparano is here and Schotty is gone, but things are looking up. I’m buying the Tony Sparano Era. I hope we’re all cashing in in January.

No witty comment here to tie into the article but a sweet backpack, no? 10% off with “TurnOnTheJets” promo code

New York Jets: What Is The Verdict On Shonn Greene?

Is Rotoworld’s scathing criticism of Shonn Greene on point? Can the Jets survive with him as their lead back? TOJ explores…

We have discussed Shonn Greene and his validity as a lead back in the New York Jets offense at length this off-season here at Turn On The Jets. However, a recent article and series of Tweets from Evan Silva, a senior NFL editor at Rotoworld and a contributor to Pro Football Talk has reopened the debate amongst Jets fans. Here is a sampling of the Tweets from Silva after watching game film of Jets vs. Chiefs, Jets vs. Dolphins (week 6) and Jets vs. Raiders in the 2011 season.

“Shonn Greene even worse than expected. Leaves so many yards on field. Not an NFL starter, to me.”

“Very little short area burst/acceleration. Takes forever to reach top speed. No chance to get corner. Runs like he’s stuck in mud.”

“Constantly buried at LOS. Lacks power to push pile. Runs small for big man. Slow feet. Zero quicks.”

Sticking by players like Greene and Wayne Hunter – pretending they are good – gets front offices cleaned out. Coming soon to Jets”

First off, let’s be clear that like the rest of the PFT staff, Silva has never seen a Jets player, front office member or coach that he has liked. He sums up Mark Sanchez simply as being “Not good. Weak arm. Scared to challenge deep and frenetic in the pocket.”

A few weeks ago the only thing he discussed about Darrelle Revis was how Stevie Johnson had his way with him, continuing the fallacy of people throwing out Johnson averages against the Jets and incorporating his 2010 stats pertaining to Revis. It must be noted that every catch he had against the Jets in 2010 was not against Revis, go back and watch the film. Johnson had one good game against Revis in 2011, when he had 8 catches for 75 and a touchdown in the team’s second meeting. In their first meeting, he had one very nice sideline catch for 52 yards after the Jets were up by two touchdowns in the second half and beyond that did nothing.

You have to be constantly amazed at how the PFT staff thinks everybody associated with a team that is 28-20 with 4 playoff wins over the past three seasons is just so awful. What was the explanation when Greene, Sanchez and Hunter were all starters in a playoff win over New England in 2010 because those are the kind of things that get front offices extended, not cleaned out. Contrary to popular belief, the Jets didn’t go 4-12 last year, they went 8-8.

Regardless, despite Silva’s seeming lack of love for the Green and White. He is a good writer and somebody that is a necessary follow for any NFL fan. I do think he makes a few points worth considering when it comes to Greene, although he exaggerates his shortcomings.

For Greene defenders, you have to be lying to yourself if you claim to be satisfied with his level of production the past two years. Expectations for Greene were rightfully high after his monster showing in the 2009 playoffs. Yet, here are some very alarming numbers –

  • His three highest rushing totals in a single game came in 2009 (144 yards vs. Oakland, 135 yards vs Cincinnati, 128 yards vs. San Diego)
  • The three longest runs of his career came in the 2009 season (53 yards vs San Diego, 39 yards vs Cincinnati, 33 yards vs. Oakland)
  • Greene has only had 3 100+ yard games in the 2010 and 2011 season combined
  • He has one…one run over 30 yards since the end of the 2009 season
  • If you take away the Washington game last season when Greene scored 3 touchdowns, he has 5 touchdowns in his last 32 regular season starts…a little over one every six games.

Those numbers don’t lie. He was outplayed the majority of the 2010 season by LaDainian Tomlinson and had a decent 2011 season as the primary back. I have watched every game from last season twice and Greene did consistently leave yards on the field, very rarely made anybody miss, and didn’t break the amount of tackles you’d expect for somebody his size. The blocking of his offensive line did leave something to be desired at times, but overall Greene is generally a back who gets what is blocked for him and nothing more. The explosiveness we saw in 2009 was not consistently there.

However, last season Greene did overcome a very sluggish start and put together a more encouraging second half of the season that indicates his potential value in 2012. Look at how he turned it up after week 6 –

  • Weeks 1-6: 93 carries, 314 yards, 3.3 yards per carry, 2 touchdowns
  • Weeks 7-17: 160 carries, 740 yards, 4.6 yards per carry, 4 touchdowns

It was the second season in a row that Greene started painfully slow, which doesn’t speak well to his off-season workout habits. He appears to be a player who needs to work his way into shape during the season. Most people assume that Greene is a player who gets better with more carries per game, and the splits represent that to an extent. When looking at last season (note he missed the majority of the Denver game with an injury and only had 3 carries) –

  • 20-25 carries – 97.2 yards per game, 4.5 yards per carry (5 games)
  • 15-20 carries – 76.5 yards per game, 4.5 yards per carry (4 games)
  • 10-15 carries – 50.1 yards per game, 4.0 yards per carry (6 games)

You are going to get more out of Greene by giving him 15+ carries, a half yard more per carry. When you look at the ceiling for him, let’s say he gets 18 carries a game because there is no discernible difference in his production when he gets between 15-20 carries and 20-25 carries and the Jets will want to get Joe McKnight and Tim Tebow their share of rushing attempts. 18 carries a game brings him to 288 on the season which will give him 1,296 yards (if he maintains the 4.5 YPC from last season in games he had between 15-25 carries). Considering his scoring rate from the past few years and the presence of Tebow around the goal-line, it is probably safe to say his max is 7 touchdowns in 2012.

A ceiling of 288 carries, 1,296 yards and 7 touchdowns isn’t awful, even if he falls a little below his ceiling and ends up with say: 250 carries, 1,075 yards and 5 touchdowns that could be enough for the Jets if McKnight is productive and Tebow brings a dynamic element to the running game.

Greene isn’t great but he certainly isn’t anywhere near awful enough to be a major factor in cleaning out the Jets front office as Silva suggests. What could get the front office cleared out? Greene getting hurt and the Jets Ground and Pound getting handed off to the trio of Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell and Terrance Ganaway

No Huddle – New York Jets AFC East Obstacles

In his weekly No Huddle piece, TJ Rosenthal looks at what could stand in the way of the New York Jets winning an AFC East title in 2012

Turn On The Jets is happy to welcome back our good friend TJ Rosenthal who runs The Jet Report. TJ is going to run the No Huddle for us every Monday, looking at a pressing issue facing the New York Jets. Today he looks at what could stand in their way of a AFC East title… 

Rex Ryan’s Jets have proven that they can do it the hard way in January and win. Though the road, and wildcard weekend starting points have both proven historically tougher paths to survive, the NFL has nonetheless crowned winners out of teams who have played both the extra playoff round, and away from home in each of the past two seasons. For the Jets, the goal of winning the AFC East title, one that could award the club a bye and home playoff games, must still remain the goal heading into this season. Even though it may be harder for Gang Green to win their own division than most clubs who consider themselves playoff caliber. Here are some of the main reasons why –

The New England Patriots

You know, the Belichickian team that wins 11-12 games every year. The NFL regular season’s Legion Of Doom. Evil masters of the fall and early winter.

Potential Jet Losses due to rookie mistakes (and hey the Jets sound like they plan on using every newcomer available including interns at Florham Park) would be acceptable elsewhere, like divisions where nine or even ten wins could mean a bye and home game. Not in this division.

Keeping up with the Jones in THIS town means not only owning fancy cars and powerful speedboats, but optimizing them too. We’re not complaining. It just may take a while to get everyone going in the right direction together. Young. Old. Sanchez. Tebow. All of which won’t help securing a crown if the Foxboro duo of Bill and Brady outsmart everyone before snow hits the ground. Like they always do.

For the Jets, it is like the Pats Boston brethren Aerosmith once said “it ain’t easy living like ya wanna and it’s so hard to find peace of mind.”

Internal Strife:

Rex says the ugly chapter that defined the Jets 8-8  campaign last year is over. That the age of the 2011″ diva reciva” has come and gone. We believe in our hearts that Rex is correct. A page HAS been turned. That new kids that infused OTA’s like Demario Davis appear to be speeding the process from selfish entitlement back to a blue collar appreciation for all that gets earned on the gridiron. Rex has even toned his predictions down, as new position coaches like Karl Dunbar and Dave DeGuglielmo have arrived along with the always positive OC Tony Sparano. All carrying with them a bright new energy.

All that aside, there are still potential oil slicks. Ones that could make 2011’s crash turn into a lingering clean up process that Gang Green doesn’t currently envision:

A Darrelle Revis holdout. A senseless and media driven QB Drama. Angry vets who lose time to productive rookies and tell the media as such. (Bart Scott and Davis anyone?). Complaints by the WR corps about a run heavy attack that doesn’t include them. Rex falling off track and barking up the wrong tree again.

The Jets took the first step to recovery by admitting there was a problem. How cemented is the new foundation though? Is it sturdy enough to take on a few of these possible storms at once?

The Schedule:

We’ll be real brief here. The Jets have the 20th ranked strength of schedule difficulty according to ESPN.com based on opponents 2011 records. Not bad you say? The Patriots have the 32nd. Easiest in the NFL.

The Jets open with upstart Buffalo, then a trio of last year’s playoff clubs in Pittsburgh, the Niners and Houston, all in the first five weeks. They close the year with three of four games on the road. That’s tough.

We get it though. You can’t worry about what the other teams in the division do. You can only try and win the games on your own schedule. For the Jets that will be hard enough to do in September. Plus given the Pats situation on paper, scoreboard watching may be futile anyway. The Jets might as well follow the gospel of eternal nemesis the late Al Davis and “just win baby.”

Too Much Of A Reliance on Rookies:

Young players make rookie mistakes. Ones that can happen at inopportune times. Like when a game is in the balance. Lose a few games during this process in the AFC East, and suddenly your fighting for a wildcard berth as early as Halloween.

The Jets LOVE their new young pups. So do we. More so, we love the fact that the Jets finally get it. Speed and size on the field DO matter. Over the next few years we hope the Jets continue to value these two things that a coach can’t teach.

We also hope that expectations, should all the kids get in the huddle at once, for more than just situational work, are tempered a bit in the first half of the season by the fan base. Mistakes will happen and could cost the Jets a shot at keeping pace with the Pats should they be up their same old tricks.

The Ground and Pound Sputters:

Going retro thematically on offense seems right for the Jets in terms of regaining their initial identity in the Ryan era as a smashmouth team. However, in the past few years since first Ryan chose three yards and a cloud of dust as the playbook theme for the O, the entire NFL has moved further towards a “quick strike, pass happy” concept.

If the Jets invest as much time into rebuilding the ground and pound as they say they are, and fail to run the ball well, they may lag light years behind the current collection of aerial firepower that is growing around the league .

Two score deficits with an underdeveloped passing attack this year will feel like a four score deficit.  Behind Shonn Greene (who Rotoworld analyst Evan Silva questioned as a starter at all today) is an unproven Joe McKnight and essentially two rookies. Unless of course you believe Tim Tebow can become a key ground cog, or even the next Peyton Hillis. We’re not even talking about whether the O line can get back to it’s 2009 form. In short, alot remains to be seen.

In addition, controlling the clock and time of possesion has become shall we say from the living room of our Nolita apartment, a bit out of fashion. It better be done well.

Finally, there are injuries. You have to stay healthy if you want to compete. Knock on wood, the Jets have avoided disastrous sideline pile ups of key players in street clothes in recent years. It has to obviously stay that way. No matter how much a team loves it’s own depth.

The aforementioned obstacles noted are not to say that a Jets 20102 division title can’t be had. It can.  It’s just that the for Jets to do it, alot has to go right here and on the periphery.

On the bright side, if the regular season all adds up into a playoff appearance that requires an extra game and away jerseys, so be it. Those frigid winter waters wouldn’t be uncharted or unmanageable ones for Rex Ryan’s Jets.

They’ve done it before.

New York Jets: Not Sanchez vs. Tebow…Sanchez AND Tebow

Mike Donnelly with a needed reminder to Jets fans: It is not Sanchez vs Tebow…it is Sanchez AND Tebow

Mike Donnelly with a much needed rant to New York Jets fans to kick your week off…

Read that title again, Jets fans, and let it sink in. I’ve observed an inordinate amount of arguing, fighting, name-calling, and general assholery permeating through the Internet since the Jets traded for Tim Tebow — and it is only getting worse as we get closer to the season. I’ve seen trouble-making writers with bad hairpieces like Mike Florio play the Tebow vs. Sanchez card to generate some interest in their columns or blogs; I’ve seen fans spew vitriol on Twitter toward one another in an attempt to bash and belittle Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow, depending which one they support; I’ve witnessed people call other people idiots — that’s the G-rated version — for supporting either Sanchez or Tebow, respectively.

These things are to be expected from the men and women of the media who are always trying to create a buzz, or from rival Patriots and Dolphins fans engaging in varying levels of trash talk (Speaking of which, if Dolphins fans want to talk down about Sanchez, all Jets fans should throw the big LOL right back at them for the lethal Garrard to Ochocinco connection). But that’s only a small part of it. The majority of these comments and attacks I’m talking about aren’t coming from bozo writers or Masshole Pats fans; they are coming from Jets fans and are directed at Jets fans, and it’s getting ugly. That’s right, it’s Jet fan on Jet fan crime, and it has to stop.

Take a deep breath and let the following sink in:

Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are both Jets players. It’s not Mark Sanchez versus Tim Tebow this year. It’s Mark Sanchez AND Tim Tebow, and they’re taking on the NFL. As teammates. As New York Jets.

Full disclosure here: I am an unabashed Mark Sanchez fan and supporter. I am Team Sanchez all the way, and I’ll defend him against any and all critics. Is he the best QB in the NFL? No, certainly not. But he’s a damn fine quarterback with a ton of potential who has been mishandled by the Jets organization throughout his career (Check out the book excerpts I was fortunate enough to be able to share in that column). Despite that, he’s improved every season, showed great big-game moxy, and led the team to four road playoff wins in his first two seasons. The Jets can win with Mark Sanchez as they’ve shown, and I support him all the way. Under no circumstances do I think he should be replaced by Tim Tebow this season, or ever.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t support Tim Tebow, too. Trust me, that’s allowed, I checked it out and everything. Tebow is a Jets player now, and when he’s on the field I’m going to be rooting for him to do well and help the Jets win a football game. All Jets fans should. We don’t have to choose just one of them to root for, because it’s Sanchez and Tebow. On the same team.

Now I’m not naive enough to think that is going to actually be the case with all Jets fans this year, however. I know full well that whether I’m sitting in the stands of MetLife or watching the game from a sports bar, I’m going to hear nonsensical comments from both Jets fans and Jets haters (unfortunately sometimes one person fits both categories). I know there will be Sanchez fans who won’t cheer if Tim Tebow makes a big play, just like there will be Tebow fans openly upset when they see Mark Sanchez throw strikes down the field to Stephen Hill with great success. I know this is going to happen.

Jets fans, we’re going to hear enough crap this year from all angles when it comes to the Jets and their quarterback spot; we don’t need to give it to each other too. There are already enough Jets — and Sanchez — haters out there. We already see and hear enough garbage about Sanchez: the made-up stats like “near-interceptions”, the discrediting of his good play by saying “Oh, he was wide open, so what?”, or pointing to his stellar line and running game his first two years, as if he’s the only quarterback who needs help on the field and can’t do everything himself. The haters like point to Sanchez’s shortcomings like his completion percentage instead of acknowledging the positives like the 32 touchdowns he contributed last year. And it comes from all over the place. Heck, we even had disgruntled former Jet Plaxico Burress take shots at Sanchez recently and imply he doesn’t think Mark can lead the team to the Super Bowl (That’s probably good though, since before the genius shot himself in the leg, he had similar things to say about Eli Manning and we know how that turned out).

And if you think all of that’s bad, get ready, because we’re going to hear more than our fair share of Tim Tebow chatter coming up. Every time he skips a pass across the turf or gets sacked this year, there will be pointing and laughing form rival fans. We know that. So if you’re really a fan of the Jets, there’s no need to pile on and hurl insults at your fellow Jets fan standing there in his Tebow jersey; just like I don’t need that same guy with #15 across his chest telling me I’m an idiot for supporting Mark Sanchez while he’s rooting for him to fail so the Messiah–err, I mean Tebow, can come into the game. The goal of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow this year is for the Jets to win games. That should be what we want too, no matter how it happens. We’re all in this together.

So think about it, Jets fans. I know how many of you feel. I was against the Tebow trade at the time like many others, but there’s nothing to be done about that at this point; he’s a Jet now, which makes him one of us. And as a Jets fan, if he’s out on the field helping the Jets win football games, we should all support that and cheer when he does so. You don’t have to love him as a person, or get down on your knee to “Tebow” when he scores, but you absolutely can cheer that he helped the Jets win without feeling guilty about it, or as if you are cheating on Mark Sanchez (you can also do everyone a favor and just take that snarky Tebow joke you spent half the night thinking of and lock it up in a box somewhere).

And I didn’t forget about you Jets fans who loved the Tebow trade or just simply think Sanchez should be benched for some silly reason. As much as it may pain you to do so, when Mark Sanchez makes a few nice passes this year and leads a touchdown drive without Tebow, take that sour puss off your face, unfold your arms, and cheer! Be happy that Mark Sanchez just helped the Jets win. Get used to it too, because it’s going to happen a lot; and when it does, we can all do without your half-assed (or worse) analysis of why you think he still stinks and Tebow is better, thanks. Afterall, if Tim Tebow is on the sideline cheering his teammate on — and you know he will be — why can’t we all?

Remember, it’s not Mark Sanchez versus Tim Tebow this year. It’s Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow versus the NFL. It’s Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow versus the Patriots, versus the Bills, the Dolphins, the Steelers, the haters, the critics, the writers, and we should be supporting both of them the whole way. It’s Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow versus the world pretty much. Together. As teammates.

As New York Jets.