Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 7/31 – One Week In Cortland Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, focusing on the first week of training camp for the New York Jets

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. This week’s edition focuses on the first week of training camp in the books in Cortland. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and if you haven’t had the chance yet check out our brand new Turn On The Jets shirts

There’s a lot to get to this week with Jets Camp opening, so I won’t waste time coming up with an intro, other than to say FOOTBALL IS BACK!

BUY: Rex Ryan – Check back later in the week for my full take on Rex Ryan and why the Jets are lucky to have him, but for now I’m buying some Sexy Rexy stock. He got himself in the headlines this week by proclaiming himself the best defensive coach in the NFL (he’s right), but the more I see out of Rex this offseason the more I love it. He’s dialed back on the Super Bowl talk publicly, he’s lost a ton of weight, and the big thing is he’s holding his players accountable, as we saw with him calling out Jeremy Kerley. I also loved his comments telling Santonio Holmes to basically shut up, and that the best players will play. This is a big year for Rex and I expect him to answer the bell.

BUY: Aaron Maybin and Ricky Sapp – All of the reports out of camp so far are that Aaron Maybin looks absolutely awesome. For years now the Jets have lacked a dominant pass rusher, and it’s looking like Maybin might step into that role this year and finally give us a double digit sack man. There’s even talk that his role in the base defense will grow, which will give him even more opportunity to rush the passer. Maybin stock is on the rise. Big time.

As for Sapp, I would say he’s almost guaranteed a roster spot if he keeps up the good work like he has this week, which would really justify my Buy of him way back in the inaugural Stock Watch. According to the beat writers (Check back tomorrow for our new rankings) he racked up several nice tackles and even a few sacks. With Bryan Thomas up there in age and Calvin Pace seemingly entering his last year, the opportunity is there for Sapp to earn himself a spot on the team not just this year, but going forward as well.

BUY: Bilal Powell – The Running Back Who Was Left For Dead a few weeks ago (I had him in my initial Sell list as well) has been turning heads so far in camp and is a legit threat to Joe McKnight to take over the 3rd down back role. While he may not have the speed or elusiveness of the shifty McKnight, Powell has the ability to handle a bigger workload and could end up as one of the biggest sleepers on the entire roster.

SELL: Jeremy Kerley – Camp couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start for the man many expected would be the slot receiver in 2012. As if things weren’t bad enough when he injured himself and had to sit out for a week to start camp, they sure did get a whole lot worse when Rex Ryan — REX RYAN! — called him out publicly, and Rex NEVER has a bad word to say about his guys to the media. He said he was disappointed in Jeremy the whole offseason, and that’s definitely not a good sign. Now there’s talk that Holmes could be the predominant slot receiver with Hill and Schilens on the outside. Not a good start to 2012 for Mr. Kerley

SELL: Brian Schottenheimer Era – Plenty has been said about the pitiful former offensive coordinator, but Santonio Holmes had even more to say this week, and he really brought the laughs. During a radio interview with ESPN, Holmes was praising new OC Tony Sparano and pretty much threw Schotty directly under the proverbial bus when he said that the new coach actually “knows how to coach players”. Ouch. And you wonder why I’m so high on Sanchez now that he’s been freed from that buffoon’s shackles.

New York Jets: Right Tackle Remains Wayne Hunter

After Jeff Otah failed his physical, it appears Wayne Hunter will remain the New York Jets right tackle

After tackle Jeff Otah failed his initial physical a week ago, it was hard not to take a pessimistic view of his future with the New York Jets. The spin control started yesterday as comments were leaked out to the media about Otah not being likely to pass and people doubting he could help the team if he did. Rex Ryan simultaneously praised Wayne Hunter’s performance at camp so far in seeming preparation for Otah being shipped back to Carolina today.

Sure enough, Otah failed his physical and has left the Jets exactly where they started a week ago at right tackle. It is Wayne Hunter and a bunch of players on the roster who aren’t viable competitors to him.

Don’t buy the Mike Tannenbaum line of BS about Austin Howard being a competitor for the spot. If he was, the Jets wouldn’t have traded for Otah in the first place or signed journeyman Stephon Heyer. Vladimir Ducasse has been shifted to guard permanently to compete with Matt Slauson so he isn’t in the mix either. Everything Tannenbaum said today indicates that the Jets will likely now bring in another player to compete with Hunter.

Vernon Carey is a logical assumption, however the Jets could wait a week or so to see if there are any cuts in training camp or trades to be had with teams with depth at the position. With each passing day it does become more likely that Hunter will be the right tackle week one versus Buffalo.

If the Jets weren’t fully confident in Hunter (and the original decision to trade for Otah implies that) it begs the question why they didn’t pursue a player like Eric Winston in the off-season. They are now at the point where they will be putting a band-aid on a position that could remain a problem area in 2012.

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New York Jets Training Camp: Bilal Powell Turning Heads

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is off to a strong start in training camp. What kind of impact can he have?

It was a disappointing rookie season in 2011 for New York Jets running back Bilal Powell. As a fourth round selection, there was a hope he could make some type of impact or impression when given the opportunity. In the pre-season he failed to impress with 28 carries for 62 yards, burying himself on the depth chart behind Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight. About halfway through the season he received an enormous chance when Tomlinson was inactive for the Jets/Broncos week 11 match-up and Greene left in the first quarter with an injury. Powell received 7 carries but only ended with 11 yards and fumbled the ball into the end-zone, where he was luckily bailed out by Matt Slauson.

Prior to camp many (including myself) thought Powell would be the odd man out on the running back depth chart. The Jets drafted Terrance Ganaway in the 6th round this year and his bruising style and familiarity with the option seemed to make him a more natural fit behind Shonn Greene, while Joe McKnight handled the third down duties. However, Powell has responded by turning heads early in camp with both his quickness and ability to catch the football. He has been impressive enough that running back coach Anthony Lynn has declared the third down back job wide open between Powell and McKnight.

Lynn prefaced this competition a few months ago by classifying Powell as a “B” back in the Jets system, same as McKnight. Greene and Ganaway are “A” backs. As you could surmise, “A” backs are power, inside runners while “B” backs provide more outside speed.

Powell isn’t going to keep McKnight off the roster because of McKnight’s special teams value. He was one of the league’s top returners last season but that doesn’t mean the Jets can’t keep both and either stash Ganaway on the practice squad or just carry five running backs (fullback John Conner being the fifth) and part ways with H-Back Josh Baker.

With a strong pre-season, Powell could upset McKnight and steal his third down role. Both players were fourth round picks. Both players are nearly identical in size (same weight and McKnight is an inch taller). McKnight is faster, or was at least a full tenth of a second faster in his forty coming out of college and is a good enough receiver to be split out. Powell did have 18 receptions his senior year of college and three receiving touchdowns. He will need to demonstrate his hands at the NFL level to give McKnight a true run for his money.

It is obviously too early to make any kind of judgement about Powell’s long term potential. He has strung together five good practices but has shown enough tenacity in blocking drills and enough speed to catch people’s attention. Powell should receive substantial work in the Jets first and second pre-season game and with strong outings could receive extended work with the first unit in the crucial third pre-season game.

No Huddle – Early Jets Training Camp News

TJ Rosenthal breaks down some early trends in New York Jets training camp

TJ Rosenthal is back with his weekly No Huddle, looking at some early trends from New York Jets training camp in Cortland, New York. Make sure to give TJ a follow on Twitter and check back later in the day for a feature on running back Bilal Powell. We will also resume our Beat Writers Power Rankings this Wednesday, so send suggestions to myself, Chris Gross or Mike Donnelly

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ESPN covered the Jets practice from Cortland today. PRACTICE? Yes, practice. For three hours. ‘Whose town is this” we ask in New York? Never mind that. ‘Whose country is this?’ may be the more appropriate question. Especially odd when you consider the insanity of showing anyone’s late July practice in full. Not to mention choosing to do it with a team that’s coming off an 8-8 year and is entering the new campaign with a host of question marks. And oh yeah, one that also happens to be owners of some guy named Tim Tebow.

Sanchez vs Tebow: Media pitch counts this early were to be expected but nonetheless lead us to nowhere. The proof will be in the pudding on the field. As for what we saw this morning on ESPN, Mark Sanchez missed Stephen Hill on a deep out and Ron Jaworski called it a throw that “he has to make.” Minutes later though,Tebow tried to go deep down the middle of the field and should’ve been picked off. A play that Jaws applauded due to Tebow’s ability to “challenge himself.”

One guy gets the whip, the other gets the whip cream. With a cherry on top.

The station is calling this a competition, but is it really? We keep hearing from the Jets that it’s not. That Tebow will simply have packages designed for him. Well, THAT storyline isn’t juicy enough to keep national cameras and a crew upstate all morning so to keep hope alive, beauty will just have to be in the eye of the beholder, or analyst from snap to snap. With glass half full reports defining one or the other, even when there is no water. Just to rev things up.

Get used to it.

Tebow Shirtless: Goodness, didn’t we all just know that the Saturday Twitter explosion over Tebow in a rainstorm was headed for a guaranteed back page?

Beyond the infinite hype and attention surrounding the most famous QB2 ever, is a tough runner who gains yards even when a stadium of 80,000 know he’s carrying the rock. Shirt or no shirt, give him 5-10 shots with the ball, and line him up as a decoy as well. Please.

Don’t do it to sell tickets. Do it to win games.

Revis Hamstring: It’s a tweak. Not an excuse due to his contract drama.

In fact, 24 played during drills today, further proving that he is here to play, not to provide a sequel to his 2010 summer story. Going further though, what would a Jet defense without him actually look like? The thought of it is nightmarish isn’t it?

His lockdown skills allow Rex Ryan flexibility in so many ways. So no more tweaks please, Revis Island. Let us enjoy the last month of the summer without having to hold our breath underwater in some swimming pool or ocean by a Long Island a beach. Thank you.

Skill Position Depth On Offense: What depth? As of this moment, should Santonio Holmes and Shonn Greene both be sidelined at the same time, there would not be one RB or WR with consecutive games of ten carries or five receptions in the NFL on this roster to turn to.

Is there youth and speed and power in both corps? Absolutely. Experience? Hardly any.

Red alert.

Camp Chaos” Aren’t news sources supposed to report news AFTER it happens? The NY Post doesn’t. Our favorite coffee in the morning paper, decided to jump the story of Jets camp by labeling arrival day last week the way it believed things would turn out eventually this summer.

In chaos. Of course the catch phrase took place before one Jet had even put his uniform on yet.

It’s 2012 now last time we checked. Hey Post, let the Jets help you define them by what they do from here on in. At least a little bit. Not solely by how they ended 2011. We are not asking for softball type rosy depictions, or courteous home town slants. Just reasonable paintings of the picture. That’s all.

Call it chaos if and when it becomes that. It’s not nearly there yet.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Early Camp Observations & Predictions

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack has some early thoughts and predictions for New York Jets training camp

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack is back after a packed week of content here on the site. A big thanks to our writing staff who is the best in the business: Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly and TJ Rosenthal. In case you weren’t following, here is what you missed –

And of course we started selling our Turn On The Jets Vintage Jets T-Shirts this week. Make sure to buy yours now. Wear that Green and White proud – 

1. Anybody who follows this team on a day to day basis shouldn’t be surprised by the reality that there is no quarterback competition in training camp. Mark Sanchez is going to be the starter. He is going to get 95% of the reps with the first team and in certain situations Greg McElroy will even take second team reps over Tim Tebow. This coaching staff views Sanchez as their quarterback and Tebow as a weapon to enhance their running game and give them a dynamic element on offense. The reports from day one are that Sanchez thoroughly outplayed Tebow, notably throwing the ball much better…get used to reading that.

2. The top story from today will likely end up being that Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse are suddenly in a battle for a starting guard positon. Mike Donnelly was on to this a few months ago. I dislike this. Why? Let your starting offensive line work together every single day to build chemistry and cohesion in a new offensive system. Don’t rotate to Ducasse in every few plays because you are making a last ditch effort to make him a contributing player. Slauson beat him out easily two years ago and has been solid ever since, while Ducasse has shown no signs of improvement. Stop with the dog and pony show to hype up a failed draft pick and give the reps to Slauson who has earned his spot.

3. Not sure why there is so much buzz about Antonio Cromartie taking a few reps at wide receiver. He did this last season and even ran a reverse. The Jets will likely use him as a decoy and a potential rushing option on a few trick plays again.

4. Random prediction – Just like their first play in team practice was a play action bomb to Stephen Hill (a 40 yard catch over Darrelle Revis by the way), their first play against Buffalo will be a deep pass. You spend all summer talking about the Ground and Pound and then you come out and just bomb one up the first play.

5. Regretting not putting Dexter Jackson on my 53 man roster prediction. I think he could stick as a special teamer and a gadget player on offense because of his speed.

6. Each passing day we don’t hear about Jeff Otah passing his physical gets a little scarier. It is hard to say that it would be a shock at this point if the trade is rescinded and we are back to Wayne’s World at right tackle.

7. Rex Ryan’s press conferences are never going to be toned all the way down. You won’t hear Super Bowl getting thrown around but you will still hear effusive praise for all his coaches and players…and himself. Today Ryan proclaimed his belief that he is the best defensive coach in football and why shouldn’t he have that belief in himself? Other coaches and players make similar statements and they are called confident, if Rex does it…he is ridiculed.

8.Aren’t we due for a big camp from Kyle Wilson? People seem to forget the Jets spent a first round pick on this guy a few years ago. It is time for him to start playing like it.

9. I am staying with my prediction that Sanchez will thoroughly outplay Tebow all summer and then Tebow will have a monster final pre-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles when both teams are resting all their starters, leading into a new wave of “controversy” and Skip Bayless yelling heading into week 1.

10. Sounds like Nick Folk got the better of Josh Brown on day one. It is a long battle and I do ultimately think Brown will get comfortable and beat him out.

11. Let’s hope Demario Davis is back on the field soon. Hamstrings are tricky injuries. It is hard to see him working his way into the first sub package early in the season if he misses a couple of weeks in training camp.

12. Tough start for a few of the late round Jets draft picks – Robert T. Griffin left the field with a leg injury. Jordan White is still out with a foot injury and Antonio Allen is running with the third team, behind Tracy Wilson on the depth chart.

New York Jets: Walking The Tim Tebow Tightrope

Can the New York Jets find the proper way to use Tim Tebow in 2012?

The New York Jets voluntarily put themselves into a complex situation by trading for Tim Tebow this off-season. He is a polarizing player and a lightning rod for fans and critics alike. Keeping the focus to the football field, Tebow has the ability to help the Jets significantly this season if used properly. However, if not used properly, his presence could end up torpedoing the Jets season.

What is the best way to use Tebow? The New York Jets are thin at running back despite talking like they will be the most run-heavy team in the NFL. Despite also being the backup quarterback, Tebow is in position to be the de-facto number two running back. He could very well end up with the second most carries on the team behind Shonn Greene and should be a major factor in short yardage situations and around the goal-line.

There is no questioning the value of having a quarterback who can run the football like Tebow, who is more of a threat to throw than Brad Smith ever was. Tebow should be given the opportunity to throw a few times a game to keep defenses honest and to take advantage of his deep ball ability.

That being said, timing is everything. Considering the Jets…being well, the Jets…the following scenario can’t be allowed to happen – Mark Sanchez comes out on fire, goes 4/4 leads his team to the 18 yard line and is then promptly pulled for Tebow who sails a post pattern over Santonio Holmes head, which is then intercepted.

Tony Sparano has a very delicate balance to deal with. Tebow needs to be used as a complimentary part of the offense. A weapon that makes converting a 3rd and 2 an easy task or any time the team is within the 3 yard line an automatic touchdown. His role should never exceed 10-15 plays. Let’s not forget Mark Sanchez had 6 rushing touchdowns last year and is terrific with his play fakes by the red-zone. His bootlegs and quarterback draws will remain effective…just like surprising the defense with a Tebow pass on 3rd and short would be effective.

Mark Sanchez’s rhythm needs to be a major consideration. You don’t pull a hot hand at quarterback for any reason. On the other hand, you don’t send Sanchez to the bench for a full series because he went 0/3 on the last drive. Knee jerk reactions must be avoided that could lead to ping ponging between the two quarterbacks throughout the game.

The special teams chatter about Tebow? It is overrated. If Tebow plays more than 20 total plays on special teams this year it would be surprising. There could be a fake punt or field goal at some point or Tebow lined up as the personal protector to give the return team something to think about…but that is about it. He isn’t going to be the next Wallace Wright, chasing down kick returners and always lining up in the second line of the kick return team.

Outside of Tebow lining up under center offense, a few trick plays from time to time make sense. Maybe that is Tebow lining up at fullback or H-Back to take a handoff or throw a surprise pass but it won’t be a regular occurrence.

The Jets need to improve their running game and Tebow provides a needed runner who can do that. Hopefully Tony Sparano recognizes that is what his primary use should be.

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New York Jets Fact Or False: Offseason Review Edition

Chris Gross Fact or False reviews off-season predictions for the New York Jets and sees what was right heading into training camp

Staff Writer Chris Gross looks back at the previous few months of Fact or False to see how the off-season developed for the New York Jets and what predictions were on point or completely off-base. Make sure to follow Chris on Twitter – 

With the 2012 NFL Offseason finally in the books, it is only fitting that we take a look back at our first 10 editions of New York Jets Fact Or False and review which predictions went wrong, as well as which ones seem to have held up thus far. Certainly, few, if any, of these predictions will not be resolved until the conclusion of the season, but for now, let’s use the beginning of training camp as a check point to see how we are doing. For this week’s edition, we look at the 6 most prevalent issues that we predicted, and explain why or how they look to be on point, or completely lost.

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From May 17th, 2012 –

What we said then:

1.) Darrelle Revis will hold out again. False. Outcome: Correct. 

Why we were right: The heart of my argument against a Revis holdout was that, as a team leader, Revis would not be selfish enough to abandon his team when it needed him the most. The importance of Revis’s presence in Cortland goes far beyond his play. He is the most accomplished New York Jet, and arguably the most idolized on the team. For him to be vacant during training camp, the most important time for the development of team chemistry, would not only be detrimental to the team, it would paint a very negative light of number 24, particularly after how last season ended.

While this likely weighed on Revis’s decision to ultimately not hold out and report to camp on time, the most probable reason for Revis showing up is a clause in his contract. ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that the clause in the extension Revis signed two seasons ago would extend the remaining two seasons left on Revis’s deal to a total of five more years had he held out. Therefore, if Revis missed one day of camp, he would not be a free agent for another five seasons, thus killing any chance of a huge extension for the All-Pro Cornerback in the near future. So, while it is nice to think that Revis is reporting to camp because he is an excellent teammate and leader, it is more likely that he realized showing up will ultimately benefit him financially. Either way, Revis Island is in Cortland this season.

2.) The New York Jets will add a Right Tackle in Free Agency. False. Outcome: Incorrect*

The asterisk is for the technicality that, based on the exact wording, we were actually correct. The Jets did not bring in a Right Tackle via Free Agency to compete with Wayne Hunter for the starting job. However, they did add a Right Tackle via trade earlier this week when Mike Tannenbaum swung a deal with Carolina for former first round pick Jeff Otah. However, the point of this argument was that the Jets were content heading into the season with Hunter and Vlad Ducasse battling it out for the starting RT job, therefore, other than the technicality, our main point was incorrect.

Why we were wrong:

Simple. The Jets, regardless of how many times they argued it, do not feel comfortable with Hunter and Ducasse as their primary options at Right Tackle, and rightfully so. Hunter had an atrocious year last season, and was a primary reason for most of the struggles of Mark Sanchez and the offense. Ducasse, on the other hand, will now likely get the majority of his reps at guard, which will seemingly be his last stop before the bus comes to take him to the land of the Vernon Gholston’s.

Tannenbaum realized he needed to, at the least, get legitimate competition for Hunter. If Otah is healthy, he will certainly provide that competition, and will likely win the battle, based on talent alone. However, that is a huge “if,” so Jets fans should not be excited about Otah until he proves to be durable, something he has failed to do thus far in his young career.

From May 31st, 2012-

What we said then:

3.) Jordan White will make an impact as a rookie. Fact. Outcome: Seemingly Incorrect.

Why we were wrong: This is another one that will still not be settled until the season officially kicks off. However, with his recent foot injury causing him to miss mini-camps and OTAs, White is very far behind the 8-ball heading into training camp. Chaz Schillens reportedly stood out during mini-camp, which does not bode well for White. While I do think he will still make the active roster at some point during the year, based on how far behind he will begin the season, a significant impact does not seem as likely as it once did following the NFL Draft. However, crazier things have happened, and with White’s work ethic, I still wouldn’t bet against him.

From June 14th, 2012-

What we said then:

Tim Tebow will be playing just about everything other than “traditional” Quarterback this seasonFact. Outcome: Correct. 

Why we were right: Again, this could be one that changes by midseason, but for now it looks like we were dead on with this proclamation. Other than the fact that Tebow has taken practice reps at personal protector on the punt team, as well as reps at Running Back, reports are now coming out that he may be used on both Kickoff and Kickoff Return teams. Our argument here, as it has always been, is that a player who is expected to see significant time as a “traditional” Quarterback does not see a down of Special Teams play, especially on such high impact teams like Kickoff and Kickoff Return. Until we see Tebow under center in an every down role, our position here remains firm: Mark Sanchez is the Quarterback of the New York Jets, while Tim Tebow is an effective role player.

5.) Santonio Holmes is still the team villain. Fact. Outcome: Correct.

Why we were right: Santonio Holmes is still public enemy number 1, the guy everyone loves to hate. Is this really a surprise to anyone? Holmes has tried his best to keep himself out of a negative light in the eyes of the public this offseason, yet has still failed to do so. Stemming from his notorious back page on the New York Daily News early this offseason, to his most recent comments regarding the New York media, Holmes cannot stop being the bad guy. Regardless of what he says or does, Tone will be painted in a negative light this year, until he proves to have repaired his relationship with Sanchez, and returns to his 2010 form, something we fully expect him to do here at Turn On The Jets. If Holmes can do this, while helping the Jets win games, then all of the negativity will likely be forgotten. Remember, winning cures all ailments. However, that is certainly in the distant future. For now, Holmes has to do his best to just remain quiet, otherwise he will likely find himself subject to headlines like this:

From June 28th, 2012-

What we said then:

Yeremiah Bell will provide more bang for the Jets buck than LaRon Landry. Fact. Outcome: Correct.

Why we were right: Simply, due to our reasoning. Again, this another one that is TBD, yet the argument we used here seems very on point for the start of training camp.

“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.” 

With Landry beginning camp on the active PUP list, along with being absent for mini-camp and OTA’s, one has to believe that Bell is going to be far ahead of him when he does finally suit up. While Landry could certainly be a fast learner, and should still contribute decently, it will likely be Bell that is noticed for having the superior season. Still, only time will tell.

New York Jets: A Comeback Year For Rex Ryan?

TJ Rosenthal looks to see if Rex Ryan can have a bounceback year in 2012

TJ Rosenthal gives a closer look at what the New York Jets need from their head coach in 2012. Make sure you are following TJ both here and here. And if you didn’t read them yet, check out his interviews with Evan Silva and Connie Carberg

For three seasons Rex Ryan thumped his chest. Guaranteeing Super Bowls in restaurants, at Knicks games, and hockey games, and probably even supermarket aisles to whoever would listen to him. He’s flipped off fans, and cursed out others at offseason events and halftime tunnels. After an 8-8 crash though, Ryan had to swallow the bitter pill that came from understanding that even WITH two AFC Championship appearances on his resume, some things had to change. Embracing a new emphasis on the value of  toning the bravado down while doing a better job of taking the temperature of his own players, that second chance has now arrived. Training camp kicks off in Cortland today for the New York Jets. Few if any in the entire organization can help this franchise by bouncing back from a down year more than Ryan can.

Jets practices over the next two months will be a rock star gathering each and every day but will also be a place where many will be seeking redemption for their performances and behavior last year. Like Mark Sanchez. Wayne Hunter and the entire offensive line. The rushing attack. Santonio Holmes. The pass rush. The list goes on, but nobody’s personal turnaround may be more vital to the Jets success than Rex Ryan.

Last season’s disappointing results should not be seen as the fault of one player or coach. In the NFL though, much of both the success and struggles of a club are seen through the lens of the head coach. Right or wrong. For Ryan, the buttons he was able to push in his players when he had to came more easily in 2009 and 2010 than they did in 2011.

The son of Buddy Ryan, whose apple clearly fell inches from the tree, now owns the task of having to reinvent himself as the team’s leader. One who must trim the edges in places yet remain the same guy that he has been for three years. Loud. Confident. Cocky. A believer in his system, players, and an organization that didn’t believe in itself the way it has since he barreled through the Florham Park doors. Declaring that he didn’t sign on to kiss anyone else’s rings.

As the Jets face the challenge of imparting a new “old” look on offense while adding more variety on defense, as they work Tebow into the mix as a flex player, they will have to lean on the guidance of Ryan. Especially early on.

A tough schedule awaits the Jets in September. The potential for a divisive quarterback controversy looms during that period as well. Especially if the club doesn’t take a stand with how they feel about Sanchez. Both hurdles call for an improved Ryan to be on the top of his game. On the gridiron and at the podium.

Rex has to get his team, still with a core nucleus that can help him thanks to names like Revis, Scott, Harris, Mangold, Ferguson and such, out of the gates and alive in October. Not buried at 1-4 like many naysayers predict.

Ryan has to be firm if and when Sanchez struggles, so as not to play into any media games that will attempt to make as big of a story out of the Sanchez Tebow thing as humanly possible.

Finally, Ryan has to monitor himself. The line between confident leader and entertaining showman can’t be crossed the way it was in 2011 when Ryan hurt his own club by empowering some of the other opponents at times. Like the Giants for example, who made it known after their Christmas day victory in the “Battle of New York,” that covering trophies and Ryan’s smack talk motivated them in the most pivotal game of the year for both teams.

Ryan’s ability to grade out well in those key areas may mirror the Jets ability to be in position to grow into a club that truly can back the words Ryan once used to love to spew. Even if he keeps those thoughts more to himself at times this year.

New York Jets Training Camp: 53 Man Roster Prediction

Turn On The Jets predicts the New York Jets final 53 man roster heading out of training camp

As part of Turn On The Jets ongoing training camp preview, we are going to predict the final 53 man roster of the New York Jets coming out of camp. Yesterday we went over five questions facing the team and Mike Donnelly published his weekly Stock Watch. Make sure you stay with us everyday heading into the season –

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QUARTERBACK (3) – Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy – No surprises here. Sanchez is going to be the opening day starter (and in this writer’s mind, the starter for the entire season). Tebow will be the backup/Wildcat option/do everything man (more coming on this later) and McElroy is a long term backup option who likely won’t comment on team chemistry this year.

RUNNING BACK (5) – Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight, Terrance Ganaway, John Conner, Josh Baker – Greene, McKnight and Conner are locks, while the last two spots could break a few different ways. Baker is technically a H-Back but is listed on the depth chart as a FB/TE. His versatility and receiving skills should get him a spot. Like many, I believe Ganaway will get the nod over Bilal Powell. I would not be surprised if the Jets added a veteran and if they do, it will be Baker who loses his spot.

TIGHT END (3) – Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland, Veteran Addition – Another spot the Jets will likely make an addition…so much so that I am putting an unnamed veteran here. Neither Keller or Cumberland is known for their ability to block however both are weapons in the passing game. Outside of Santonio Holmes, Keller should see the most targets from Mark Sanchez this season.

WIDE RECEIVER (5) – Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner – Holmes, Hill and Kerley are locks…unless he gets hurt in camp, Schilens is likely a lock as well. The battle for the 5th spot should be interesting. Turner has a leg up because of his experience from last year and familiarity with the offense. Keep an eye on Royce Pollard and Jordan White.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9) – D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Brandon Moore, Nick Mangold, Matt Slauson, Wayne Hunter, Jeff Otah, Vladimir Ducasse, Stephon Heyer, Caleb Schlauderaff – The Otah/Hunter battle will be a highlight of camp. If Otah remains healthy he should prevail with Hunter becoming a backup swing tackle. Ducasse will be the first interior lineman off the bench and Heyer has a good amount of starting experience, so he is valuable to keep around. Schlauderaff is randomly Mike Tannebaum’s favorite player on the roster.

DEFENSIVE LINE (7) – Sione Pouha, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Mike DeVito, Marcus Dixon, Kenrick Ellis, Martin Tevaseu – The Jets like an extensive rotation on their defensive line and that should only increase this year with more four man fronts. Keep an eye on Wilkerson, who many believe is poised for a breakout year. There will be pressure on Ellis to start justifying the third round selection on him last year and Coples to answer his critics about the Jets drafting him in round one this past April.

LINEBACKER (8) – David Harris, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Aaron Maybin, Demario Davis, Josh Mauga, Ricky Sapp – This group will have more depth than it did in recent years thanks to growth of Maybin, the selection of Davis and the playing time Mauga received last year. The coaching staff is high on Sapp’s potential as a pass rusher.

CORNERBACK (5) – Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Ellis Lankster, Isaiah Trufant – Rex loves his corners and the Jets should have arguably the top trio in the league with Revis, Cromartie and Wilson. Lankster and Trufant are inexperienced but should be valuable special teamers. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Jets added a veteran at some point.

SAFETY (5) – LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Eric Smith, Josh Bush, Antonio Allen – The position has been completely revamped from last year with the exception of Smith. Allen is going to stick because of Landry’s injury concerns and his potential on special teams.

SPECIAL TEAMS (3) – Josh Brown, TJ Conley, Tanner Purdum – Going with Brown over Folk in the kicking competition and with Conley and Purdum keeping their jobs another year.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 7/24 – Training Camp…Finally Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly stock watch is looking forward to training camp finally kicking off

Mike Donnelly is back for his weekly Stock Watch with his last pre-training camp edition. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and keep coming back for this column all season here at Turn On The Jets…

Training camp is a few days away still, the basketball offseason is basically complete, and the dog days of baseball are in full effect. The worst sports period of the entire calendar year is just about over, so let’s get the ball rolling and go ahead and make that our first sell –

SELL: Mid-July on the Sports Calendar I feel like I’m looking forward to the football pre-season more than ever this year. Baseball has basically bored me to tears, and the excitement of the Knicks and Nets bolstering their rosters has quickly faded. In two weeks I will probably be complaining about the media’s Jets hatred and over-saturation of Tebow stories, but as of right now, I can’t wait for that to get here.

SELL: Jason Bay and the Mets– And here’s a big reason why baseball has has officially turned me off for the season. The Mets have now lost 10 of 11 games and I have to watch the man who is by far my most hated player trot out there day after day after day to strike out  or ground out weekly to shortstop. I have a theory that Omar Minaya knew he was about to be fired so he signed Bay as an “F U” to the Mets ownership and their fan base as his final joke.

BUY: The Jeff Otah trade– YES! Now we’re talking! Some good old fashioned Jets news – and pleasant news at that. This just goes to show you that my previous sells of “The ‘New’ Wayne Hunter” and new line coach Dave DeGuglielmo’s spirited defense of him (which was downright hilarious and made him look like a fool) were money makers. Coach Gooch can speak until he’s blue in the face about how great Hunter is, but actions speak louder than words, and the action move was getting a new Right Tackle. Wayne Hunter did and will continue to suck, so getting a 1st round talent in here to take over the job is an excellent move. I fully understand his injury history and all that, but I’ll take a 60% healthy Jeff Otah over 450% of Wayne Hunter any day.

SELL: The Detroit Lions– Just reminding everyone that I’m down on the Lions this year BIG TIME, and in coming weeks I’ll mention that plenty more times. These 7 arrests this offseason? Yeah.. not a good start for them.

BUY: The new TurnOnTheJets.com T-Shirts – If you haven’t checked these out in the new TOJ store, you owe it to yourself to do so. Of course, I had a (small) part in picking out the design, so obviously they’re beautiful and top notch. And yes I just patted myself on the back for basically nothing. Like I said, its a slow time of the year, come on.

BUY: The Yankees Getting Ichiro– This move just screams Yankees. It has all the qualities of a classic Yankees midseason trade. They had a small crack in the foundation of the team with Brett Gardner out for the season so they went and poured 30 pounds of concrete on it. They added a future Hall-of-Famer for basically nothing, tacked on some salary (which no other teams seem willing to do), and now they have an outfielder who is going to KILL IT in Yankees Stadium the rest of this season as he makes a push for a new contract. You can add this as reason #9,671 of why I hate the Yankees.

BUY: Jets Training Camp – Worth mentioning again, but Jets training camp is here and I couldn’t be more excited. I hope all the readers stick with us in the coming weeks and months, because things are about to heat up in a big way around here. If anybody plans on attending training camp, shoot one of us a line, because I think there’s more than a good chance that I’ll make the trek up there one of the days. Hopefully I get to see my good pal Manish Mehta again and give him a chance to bribe me for the #1 spot in our next Power Rankings column.