Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 7/10 – Jets West Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly TOJ Stock Watch is buying Jets West and selling on Evan Silva’s rankings

It is a bit of a dead period in the sports world right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of stuff going on that I can make jokes about and sell for profit in our fantasy land stock market. And after last week’s bear market where I sold any and all things, I’ll even recommend a few buys this week. Let’s dive in..

BUY: Jets West Camp – Last year with the lockout going on, it was harder for the Jets players to organize “Jets West” properly. Rookies couldn’t get their playbooks from the team or speak to coaches, and then there was the little issue of not even knowing who was going to be on the team. Santonio Holmes was a free agent, Braylon Edwards was in limbo, Jeremy Kerley was a rookie, and Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason were, well… Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason.

This year, Mark Sanchez got the band back together and just about all of the offensive skill position players are expected to be in attendance. Even bad guy Santonio Holmes is there and already causing major problems, as this Twitter photo he posted shows. By making that X with his chop sticks, he’s obviously conveying his hatred for his quarterback. Oh wait, sorry, I was doing my Mike Florio impression there and didn’t warn you, nevermind. Not only is Santonio there, but he’s going to be a major positive influence on players like Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. Despite what the media would have you believe Santonio is actually a very good teammate and teacher to the young wide receivers. Speaking of the media, this year Mark has decided to close the camp to the public, which is a great idea, since the mythical figure that is Tim Tebow will be there. People can make all the jokes they want, but this 5 day camp out in California is going to be a major positive.

BUY: Spending a Month at Cortland – And if you think the few day “Jets West” is going to be a major step in the right direction, just wait until the team heads off to Cortland for four weeks. Everyone underestimated just how much of an impact the lockout had last year, not just with the rule changes and having to cram 6 months worth of activity into about 6 weeks, but it precluded teams like the Jets from going away to training camp. On a team with so many big personalities (to put it kindly), that bonding time is extremely important. In 2009 and 2010, many players spoke of how important that time bunked up in dorm rooms with only each other to lean on was. Well, it’s back this year, and I suspect it’s going to help solve a lot of the turmoil that may be carried over from last season. Plus, Vladimir Ducasse will get a chance to defend his King Ugly crown. That’s very important, too.

SELL: Evan Silva ranking the Jets 27th in the NFL in Power Rankings – I was going to break this one into 2 different sells, because Evan Silva deserves his own. That guy is just the worst. The. Worst. He got his foot in the door of the NFL world by being the guy who copies what beat writers post on Twitter, and pasting it (usually incorrectly) onto RotoWorld.com, a fantasy football site. He’s probably the guy at the office who makes inappropriate Tim Tebow jokes repeatedly and creeps out all his co-workers.  Somehow all of that qualified him to be an NFL analyst and post nonsense like this.

I’ve been over this before, but just for fun, let’s show Mr. Silva one more time why the Jets won’t finish as the 27th best team in the NFL:

  • Top 5 defense, arguably #1
  • Great backup QB, so an injury won’t cripple the season
  • Coming off a very disappointing year in which they still won 8 games
  • They dumped Brian Schottenheimer, major addition by subtraction there
  • Games vs. the awful Dolphins (twice), the hilariously overrated Bills (twice), the Colts, the Rams, the Seahawks, the Cardinals, the Titans, the Jaguars, and the Chargers at home in December. They’ve also got the Texans and 49ers at home, the declining Steelers on the road, and a hopeful split against the Patriots.

Not only will the Jets not finish in the bottom 6 teams of the NFL with 5 or fewer wins, they won’t even finish with an under .500 record. You’ve been put on notice, Silva. I’m going to call you on your crap all year, both Jets related and your horrible fantasy football advice.

And now, this week’s edition of “Why the Bills Hype is Wrong”… 

SELL: The Bills – While many in the media are tripping over themselves to fit Ryan Fitzpatrick for his Super Bowl ring, I’d just like to remind everyone of a few things:

The 2011 Eagles – Signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a mega-deal, and also added Cullen Jenkins, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. They finished 8-8 in hilarious fashion, and they were FAR more talented than this Bills team.

The 2009 Redskins –  Signed Albert Haynesworth for $100 and two years later he is out of the league, while the Redskins are a perennial laughingstock. In fact, the Redskins make huge splashes all the time and are the winners of the offseason. Then they’re the losers on the field. Take notes, Buffalo.

The Chargers, Cowboys, Redskins – Every year they are the offseason darlings and paper champions. How’s that working out?

The “Chic” Pick – Every year there’s a team that the media drools over heading into the season for various reasons–strong finish to the last season, great draft, big free agent, whatever it may be. And it NEVER works out. In 2010 it was the 49ers, last year it was the Rams and Cardinals. This year it’s obviously the Bills, despite the fact they lost 8 of their last 9 games, have Ryan Fitzpatrick as their QB, and just gave the largest contract to a defender in NFL history to a guy coming off serious surgery and whose team improved last year after he got injured. They’re more likely to win 6 games again than they are to win 10. (Add the Lions to the Chic Pick teams that are going to fall on their faces this year).

BUY: BIlly King and the Brooklyn Nets! – Just as I’ve been saying for weeks, there’s a method to Billy King’s madness and he’s going to build a powerhouse. Ok, I’ve actually been mocking him relentlessly and selling Billy King stock like it was the plague, but whatever. If the proposed Dwight Howard trade goes through, the Nets will officially be a powerhouse and I will apologize for all the terrible things I said about Bill along the way. I still think the Gerald Wallace contract is terrible and was unnecessary, but the way he brilliantly handled the Mirza Teletovic contract–not giving him the full mid-level exception–can not be overstated, and opened the door for a potential Howard trade. Now, if the Howard trade doesn’t go through, they’re still stuck fighting for a 5 seed every year and suddenly he doesn’t look so smart anymore. But I’m pulling for him.

SELL: Tony LaRussa not starting R.A. Dickey in the All-Star Game – In the B.S. move of the week, Tony LaRussa reminded everyone why we hated him all these years, and he decided to start Matt Cain over Dickey for strategic reasons in an ALL-STAR GAME, despite Dickey being better than Cain in literally EVERY SINGLE STATISTICAL CATEGORY. I can not stress enough how terrible I think this is. Dickey is 37-years-old and has been the story of baseball this year. He earned this. He deserve the start, especially since he likely won’t have another opportunity like this in his career. And I don’t want to hear about the “strategy”. To say it’s better to bring him and his knuckleball in during the middle innings to throw the opposing hitters off is dumb, because with all the substitutions, they likely won’t even be the same hitters who faced the fireballing Cain earlier.

No Huddle – Five Under The Radar New York Jets

TJ Rosenthal goes into the No Huddle to look at five under the radar New York Jets

Away from the primetime news and tabloids that will report daily on marquee names wearing the Green and White, are some Jets whose impact could truly be felt. Especially if they develop into next level players.

Or in the case of our choice at number five, are desperately needed to.

Josh Baker:

Baker is a tough and versatile H back who could end up part of the Ground and Pound rotation as a multi purpose guy. One who if portrayed as an unassuming blocker, could find a hole with the rock in his hands.

Of course while drilling a linebacker every now and then when he’s asked to lead the way for someone else. Don’t forget about putting him in motion out of the backfield as a second TE too.

Baker can be used in more ways than John Connor can but 45 is not a prototypical FB like “The Terminator” is. Tony Richardson was once vital to the original Ground and Pound. Maybe even the template for the position. If the Jets simply want a T Rich type of plower to line up at FB, then we’d put our money on Conner getting the bulk of the work. If they want flexibility and unpredictability there, throw in Baker.

Mike DeVito:

DeVito is certainly not unknown to the diehards of Jets nation. However, with Revis Island, recognizable Jet LB’s, the addition of Quinton Coples and two new safeties, the name game simply starts elsewhere on the Jets defense.

This blue collar run stopper is consistent and dependable though. Most importantly, he’s vital to the success of the interior run defense.

Maybe this is the year the Jets, with their youth outside, seal off the edges and force more ball carriers to remain inside. Thus giving Devito more camera time and shots at wrapping up at the line of scrimmage.

Where he usually stops RB’s looking to reach the second level, dead in their tracks.

Great players make solid unheralded ones better. If the young guns around him up front step up and become real threats, then everyone will be hearing about how solid Mike Devito is in 2012. Not just those who tune into SNY after the game.

Jeremy Kerley:

Imagine a Ground and Pound that can freeze LB’s with the play action. When it happens, the Jets won’t always have to work the ball outside in order to finish off the play. How about some short crossing routes to the former TCU speedster right behind those very same linebackers who hedged their bet on a Jet running play?

Kerley showed some toughness on third down as his rookie season wore on. He’s got his professional bearings now, and if Mark Sanchez can use anything out of the gates it’s a dependable yards after catch guy at close range.

Dustin Keller would be the guy better suited for that role you say? Well, so have we for three years now. Maybe a speedster trying to emulate Wes Welker would be the better option this time around. A weapon who could in turn actually free up 81 into becoming what we thought he’d become be two years ago. A serious go to guy.

Watch out for Kerley this year. We just got a feeling…

Chaz Schilens:

OK big tall guy with the 6’4 frame, here’s your chance. Your REAL chance. Rookie Stephen Hill seems penciled in at WR2 opposite Santonio Holmes, but it’s not uncommon in the NFL for a change of scheme and scenery to help do the trick for a 3rd and 4th year player with size and speed.

Can the former Raider finally stay healthy? If so, maybe the Jets have a diamond in the rough on the outside and for tough quick slants, Braylon Edwards style.

On paper it may be Holmes and Hill. In reality, Kerley and Schilens are two who could add depth in a flash to this unit. Perhaps even more.

Greg McElroy:

Now for the doomsday scenario.

No, not the one that has Tim Tebow replacing a struggling Mark Sanchez. Rather, the one that has Greg McElroy forced into action after QB2 gets nicked up while impersonating RB1, and QB1 gets helped off the field after another one of those failed Joe Girardi-taught slides.

Impossible you say? Well keep in mind, that the Jets are the only team to ever lose two starters for the year on consecutive plays remember (Pennington and Fiedler?).

Besides, if a UFO ever landed on Earth in plain sight would you have any doubt in the world that it would take place on the 50 yard line of a Jet game at Met Life? Aliens wearing Tebow jerseys no less. (think of the intergalactic merch potential Woody).

We of course pray that this dark picture being painted here regarding the emergency QB taking over never becomes reality. If it does, let’s just hope that the Wonderlic kid, who for a nanosecond last summer had some of us excited, is able to mange things.

Keep an eye on Alabama Mac in the second half of games this August.  You just never know who may be called upon when the games begin to count for real.

Honorable Mention:

Kyle Wilson:

Step it up kid. Year three. First round picks ought to become quality starters at some point. Corners go down all the time. You ready for this? We think you are. Now go out and dominate this summer.

Prove us right.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Damn Those Patriots

Can the Jets bounce back from an ugly 2011 against the Patriots and find success against their rivals from the north?

Inspired by a business trip to New England which I am currently taking part in, this week’s 12 pack is going to focus on the Patriots: what the Jets can do to get back to beating them, what New England has added this off-season, and a few more items pertaining to the team we love to hate. Make sure to give myself and staff writers Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly on Twitter, Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook

1. Maybe it is because I am only 25 years old and I’d love to hear older Jets fans opinion on this, but isn’t the divisional round win in New England the second greatest win in franchise history behind Super Bowl III? Beyond that game, the Jets have only won three other times to put themselves in an AFC Championship Game. I know beating Jacksonville and San Diego wasn’t as sweet as ending the Patriots season and I am assuming the 1982 win over Los Angeles in the strike shortened season wasn’t either. Considering the circumstances around that game (the Monday Night massacre, being such heavy underdogs), how they won (smacking crap out of Brady and visibly rattling him), it doesn’t get any better for a Jets fan outside of a Super Bowl win, right?

2. On the other end of the spectrum, the Patriots thrashing of the Jets on Sunday Night Football last season ended the Jets as a serious contender in 2011. Yes, I know they were still alive after that but people forget how vulnerable the Patriots looked heading into that game and how the Jets had just rolled Buffalo. It was a clear shot for the Jets to take a stranglehold of the division in their own building and they were embarrassed in the second half and ran off the field. The Patriots made it apparent that the Jets had become too slow and reactive on defense and lacked any kind of firepower on offense to take advantage of a defense with holes in it.

3. What was even more frustrating about last season’s meeting with the Patriots is when you consider how New England beat them in their first meeting. They ran the ball down the Jets throat as Rex Ryan stuck with a defensive back heavy lineup too frequently and on offense they dared the Jets to throw the ball on the field and Brian Schottenheimer refused to. In the second meeting, the Jets adjusted to stop the run and Tom Brady threw all over them and offense the Jets tried to open it up and were overmatched. Bill Belichick was completely out-coached by Rex Ryan in the playoff loss but worked him over last season as revenge.

4. This season we are treated to Jets/Patriots on Thanksgiving. The Jets have been hit or miss on holidays as of late. In 2006, they all but clinched a playoff spot by beating Miami on Christmas as I happily cheered on in my Leon Washington jersey. In 2007, they were humiliated by Dallas on Thanksgiving as I purposely spilled cranberry sauce on my Kerry Rhodes jersey. In 2010, they beat Cincinnati on Thanksgiving as we laughed in our Darrelle Revis jersey at Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson trying to get open. Last year, the Jets ruined our Christmas by losing to the Giants on December 24th and propelling their Super Bowl run.

5. New England added some nice pieces in the draft this year, by grabbing Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower in the first round, two players many Jets fans coveted. Jones will provide a needed pass rush boost after New England lost Mark Anderson in free agency. Hightower has the skill set to step into being an every down player immediately. Belichick has made his share of errors in recent drafts but it is hard to see either Jones or Hightower being a flop.

6. Brandon Lloyd is going to be a playmaker in New England’s system. They badly needed an outside threat who could stretch the field and Lloyd fits the bill, particularly with his comfort in Josh McDaniels offense. It will be hard for him to rack up a high amount of catches with Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker likely prioritized in front of him but his yards per catch should be impressive.

7. The Patriots added Steve Gregory and our every own Marquice Cole to their secondary. These aren’t big name additions but they are the type of players who will end up being major contributors. Remember James Ihedigbo last year?

8. New England deserves to be heavy favorite in the AFC East this season. The Jets must find a way to beat them head to head, once if not twice to keep themselves in the mix for a division title. It will be on Rex Ryan to bounce back after beating picked apart by Brady and Belichick last season because the Jets have the talent on defense to at least slow down the Pats attack. On offense, Tony Sparano needs to control the clock with his running game but not be shy about taking chances on the Pats questionable secondary when the time calls for it.

9. How to stop the Patriots tight ends this year? The Jets lack one player who can cover either Gronkowski or Hernandez. It will have to be combination of new additions Yeremiah Bell, LaRon Landry, Demario Davis and Josh Bush. The Jets could also slide Revis or Cromartie inside on certain situations but ultimately the safeties are going to have to step up.

10. What is your favorite Jets play against the Patriots of the Rex Ryan era? I will go with either Calvin Pace nearly ripping Brady’s arm off, Braylon Edwards dragging half their defense into the end-zone or Shonn Greene rocking them to sleep…unfortunately none occurred last year and all occurred in one game.

11. When projecting New England’s win total this year, how could you put them at anything under 11, considering the consistency of their success?

12. I don’t care what anybody says Buffalo, the Jets remain New England’s biggest threat to a divisional title repeat.

New York Jets Fact Or False: Secondary Edition

Chris Gross with his weekly Fact or False, this week focusing on the New York Jets secondary

Chris Gross is back with his weekly Fact or False, this week focusing on the New York Jets secondary. Make sure to give Chris a follow on Twitter

The New York Jets have one of the most intriguing defensive secondaries in the NFL. While they have, arguably, the greatest trio of cornerbacks in the league in (All-World) Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson, they have not been very strong at the safety position as of late. However, the Jets addressed this issue the best way they possibly could this offseason, by adding 4 newcomers. The two free agents, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, along with the two rookies, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen, have the chance to revitalize this position for New York, and officially give the Jets the best secondary in the league. Will these additions, along with the players already on the roster, combine to make such a secondary? Find out all you need to know in this week’s edition of New York Jets Fact Or False.

Kyle Wilson will emerge as a starter this season. False. Although I fully expect Wilson to improve greatly this season, as we witnessed a fairly decent leap in play from his rookie to sophomore season, he is still not ready to take over as a full time starter. Last season, Wilson ranked 59th among active cornerbacks in the NFL in completion percentage when targeted, as opposing quarterbacks completed 66.7% of their passes when throwing at the former first round pick out of Boise State. While this number is certainly a bit inflated due to the fact that Wilson is picked on as the nickel corner in the same secondary as Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, this number will need to decrease if Wilson is going to become a starter on this defense. Players are not selected in the first round to serve as situational/back up players, so look for the Jets to attempt to increase Wilson’s role in the defense, but only if he proves capable.

There is not one Wide Receiver in the AFC East that will escape Revis Island this season. Fact. We’ve previously gone over why Chad Ochocinco is no threat to Revis, but the obvious argument here is Buffalo Wide Receiver Stevie Johnson. Many feel that Johnson “owns” Revis due to the fact that over two games last season, Johnson caught 11 balls for 159 yards and a touchdown. While these numbers certainly are not Revis-like, let’s not put Johnson in that life boat just yet. Although he did beat Revis on a 52 yard catch down the sideline during their week 9 match up in Buffalo, the sole touchdown that Johnson has on Revis in his career was a clear case of miscommunication within the defense.

Prior to the 5 yard touchdown Johnson snagged off of a slant route, Revis was lined up in what appeared to be man coverage, as displayed by the rather tight alignment to the line of scrimmage. Just before the snap, though, an obvious check in the coverage was made as Revis bailed out just as the play began. Johnson hit the slant, which should have been covered by Calvin Pace, who was running around like a chicken with his head cut off, as he clearly missed the check. So, while Johnson did have his 5 seconds of fame against Revis, he by no means “beat” the All-Pro corner. This is not to say that Johnson is incapable of such a feat, but let’s see him gain some consistency against 24 before declaring him the victor in any such matchup.

The Jets will add another Cornerback before the season. Fact. While the Jets have arguably the greatest trio of corners in the NFL in Revis, Cromartie, and Wilson, there is not too much experience on the depth chart behind them. The five other cornerbacks currently on the Jets roster have played in a combined 31 NFL games. While Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant have contributed on Special Teams in the past, it would not be wise for the Jets to enter the season with this amount of inexperience at the position, particularly if none of them stand out in training camp. One name that has been discussed greatly among Jets Nation is former Jet Drew Coleman. A free agent, Coleman is coming off of a career year in Jacksonville last season with 46 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 9 passes defended. Coleman is also familiar with Rex Ryan’s scheme having played in it in 2009 and 2010. This would be a great fit for both sides if the Jets decide to add depth heading into the season.

Antonio Cromartie is unfairly criticized based on performance. Fact. While Cromartie’s tackling has certainly never been the strength of his game, his coverage numbers have been very good for a number 2 corner. Cromartie is typically criticized for poor play, however in his two seasons with the Jets, he has 7 interceptions with 29 passes defended. While he certainly gives up his share of catches, and misses more tackles than anyone would enjoy seeing, Cromartie has arguably the toughest job in football: playing opposite Darrelle Revis. It is nearly impossible for anyone who is targeted as much as Cromartie, due to the presence of his counterpart, to maintain a perfect resume. Therefore it should not come as a surprise to anyone to see him give up a few catches. Yes, the best ones prove to consistently shut down anyone that lines up against them, but how many corners are there like that in the league? About one, and he plays in the same secondary as Cromartie.

The Jets collectively have the biggest group of meat heads at the Safety position in the NFL. Fact. Although their coverage skills are going to be tested to their greatest extent this season, is there truly a bigger group of meat heads at this position than LaRon Landry (6’0″ 220 lbs), Yeremiah Bell (6’0″ 205 lbs), and Eric Smith (6’1″ 207 lbs)? While their play on the field is critical to the success of the Jets defense this year, there is no debating the fact that these guys get after it in the weight room. Besides the countless bone crunching hits we’ve seen from them in the past, this picture should put any argument on this issue to rest.

Bonus – Having no captains will hurt the Jets this season. False. The no captains policy that took effect at the conclusion of last season following the Miami meltdown has been blown out of proportion ever since Rex Ryan uttered those words at his year end press conference. Guard Matt Slauson summed it up perfectly when he said that not naming captains has forced players to step into leadership roles. Leadership ability is something that players either have or don’t have, it is not a quality that can be attained or taught. Appointing captains can sometimes hurt a team because it could place the wrong people in leadership roles that they are unfit for, while excluding players who are natural leaders from such a position (Brandon Moore anyone?). While captains have been important to sports, the title does not automatically make a player a leader. The focus on this issue is certainly being sensationalized. Regardless of whether or not players have the “C” on their jerseys, those who are leaders are going to lead, it is encrypted in their DNA. Expect to see players like Moore, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, Mark Sanchez, and David Harris step into those leadership roles this season, on and off the field, without being officially declared as captains.

TOJ’s Top 50 New York Jets Countdown: 1-9

Turn On The Jets counts down the top 50 New York Jets currently on the roster, finishing today with the top 9 players on the team

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)

READ NUMBERS 40-50 HERE

READ NUMBERS 30-40 HERE

READ NUMBERS 20-30 HERE

READ NUMBERS 10-20 HERE

(STILL IN QUALITY STARTER CATEGORY)

9. Dustin Keller, Tight End – Keller has played great for stretches of time and put together a few monster games here or there but has never consistently played at a Pro-Bowl level for an entire season. He is coming off his best statistical season with 65 receptions, 815 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2011. The hope is that with Tony Sparano calling the plays, Keller will get the chance to stretch the field a little more and not have stretches where he seems to be forgotten in the game plan.

RED CHIP

8. Antonio Cromartie, Cornerback – Cromartie catches flak from fans at times for giving up big plays and not creating enough on his own. Yet few players in the NFL could stand up to the number of targets he faces opposite Darrelle Revis. Cromartie remains a very good corner, capable of manning up most receivers in the league which is essential in Rex Ryan’s defense.

7. Brandon Moore, Guard – One of the most underrated guards in the NFL, Moore has played at a Pro-Bowl level the past few seasons and is a key part to paving the way for the Jets running game. He is one of the most respected players in the locker room and a leader on the offensive side of the football.

6. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Tackle – Despite coming off a disappointing season, Ferguson is one of the top left tackles in football. Considering his level of play since being drafted in 2006, it is hard not to expect him to come back strong in 2012.

5. Santonio Holmes, Wide Receiver – The biggest playmaker on the Jets offense and a receiver capable of taking over games. Holmes looked the part of a number one receiver in 2010 but struggled last season without a viable threat opposite of him. Hopefully with Stephen Hill’s speed and a further developed Jeremy Kerley, Holmes will see more favorable match-ups and go back to creating the big plays we expect of him.

BLUE CHIP

4. Sione Pouha, Defensive Tackle – Has worked his way into being one of the best run stopping defensive tackles in football. Pouha is an essential piece of the Jets 3-4 and is versatile and athletic enough to play in a 4 man front as well. Arguably the best move the Jets made this off-season was signing him to a contract extension. Along with Brandon Moore, Pouha is one of the players on the team who actually deserves a “C” on their chest for his leadership abilities.

3. David Harris, Linebacker – A tackling machine and one of the best inside linebackers in football. It is crime that he hasn’t been a perennial Pro-Bowler and has only made the All-Pro team once (2nd team in 2009). He isn’t a flashy player but is more important to the Jets defense than any player not named Revis.

2. Nick Mangold, Center – A laughable joke that he wasn’t named to the NFL’s Top 100 player list. Mangold is the best center in the NFL and has been All-Pro the past three seasons. The Jets badly missed him in 2011 when he missed a handful of games due to injury. He is the leader of the offensive line and the anchor for the Jets rushing attack.

1. Darrelle Revis, Cornerback – The best corner in the NFL and arguably the best defensive player in the NFL. Outside of a handful of quarterbacks, there is nobody in the league who dominates their competition more thoroughly than Revis does on a week to week basis. Simply put, a beast and a guy well on his way to being a first ballot Hall of Famer.

TOJ’s Top 50 New York Jets Countdown: 10-20

Turn On The Jets counts down the top 50 New York Jets currently on the roster, continuing today with numbers 10-20

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)

READ NUMBERS 40-50 HERE

READ NUMBERS 30-40 HERE

READ NUMBERS 20-30 HERE

(STILL IN QUALITY STARTER CATEGORY) 

19. Bryan Thomas, Outside Linebacker – Doesn’t necessarily fill up the stat sheet but does all the little things that are needed to make a defense succeed. Thomas sat out the bulk of last season with a torn Achilles and the Jets badly missed him, struggling to find an adequate replacement. He will return to his starting role in 2012 and even though he will primarily be a two-down player, should still be a major part of the Jets ability to defend the run.

18. Bart Scott, Inside Linebacker – Coming off a rough 2011 season, Scott has dropped weight and earned rave reviews from the coaching staff this off-season for his increased speed on the field. Despite remaining a two-down  linebacker and having his replacement, Demario Davis, waiting in the wings, Scott is still capable of being a run stuffing linebacker and an emotional leader on defense.

17. Mike DeVito, Defensive End – A blue-collar 3-4 lineman who specializes in stopping the run. DeVito struggled with injuries last season and will likely see a decline in his playing time this year due to the selection of Quinton Coples and the Jets using more 4 man fronts. However, he remains a valuable part of the defensive line rotation and similar to Thomas and Scott will be key to the Jets run defense.

16. Tim Tebow, Quarterback – Who? Tebow will backup Mark Sanchez this season and be utilized in a variety of ways beyond that. If used properly, Tebow should add a dynamic dimension to the Jets offense and give them a valuable rushing weapon, particularly in short yardage situations. He remains limited as a passer but does have the arm to take advantage of defenses who stack the box against him.

15. Shonn Greene, Running Back – The Jets starting halfback, who has been one of the most discussed players on the roster this off-season. Greene has been very average the past two seasons but the Jets need him to be their primary go to back on a week to week basis if the Ground and Pound is going to work. He doesn’t need to be an elite back, because he doesn’t have the skill set to be, but the Jets need over 4 yards per carry and around 1,200 yards from him.

14. LaRon Landry, Safety – If healthy, Landry has the skill set to be a great in the box safety for Rex Ryan’s defense. However, his health remains a major question mark, so much so that the Jets are basically paying his contract out on a week to week basis.

13. Yeremiah Bell, Safety – The Jets recently added Bell as insurance for Landry and he has quickly impressed by picking up the defense and taking on a leadership role in the secondary. Bell is a natural strong safety but has more range than Eric Smith or LaRon Landy so could also see reps at the free safety position. I would not surprised if he makes a much larger impact than Landry in the secondary.

12. Calvin Pace, Outside Linebacker – Coming off a disappointing season where he struggled to get after the passer. Pace has been a good player since joining the team in 2008 but has never played to the level of his massive contract. Regardless he does a very good job at setting the edge and has the ability to get 7-9 sacks a season. He should benefit from the Jets trying more 4-3 and 46 looks this season. He is versatile enough to put his hand in the dirt and line up at defensive end along with his normal outside linebacker position.

11. Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive End – This high on the list because of his potential. Wilkerson had a very good rookie season despite not having a full off-season to work with. The team is anticipating him making a huge leap in year two. From all reports, he has put together a terrific off-season and seems poised to meet his high expectations.

10. Mark Sanchez, Quarterback – One of the most unfairly criticized players in the NFL. Sanchez is far from a polished product or an elite quarterback but has demonstrated the ability to both win and perform successfully at this level. Tony Sparano’s offense should play more to his strengths than Brian Schottenheimer’s did and we anticipate a solid “bounce-back” year for Sanchez who did struggle down the stretch in 2011 but still finished with career highs in touchdowns, passing yards, completion percentage and quarterback rating.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 7/3: New York Jets Rumors Edition

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, focusing on a handful of rumors surrounding the New York Jets

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and leave any comments you have for him. Check back later in the day for our ongoing countdown of the top New York Jets on the roster. 

It’s Tuesday again, and that means another edition of the Stock Watch. I’ve been seeing, hearing, and reading an awful lot of nonsense lately, and that has put me in a pretty bearish mood when it comes to my buys and sells this week. I won’t be buying players, teams, and coaches in this edition, but rather selling some horrible ideas, predictions, and generally stupid thoughts that I’ve seen pop up over the past few weeks. The people buying this rubbish deserve to lose their fake investments in our fake stock market, while we’ll be cashing in. Let me show you why..

Sell: Idea Jets need another Veteran RB – To be clear, this is probably the only sell on the agenda today that I don’t think is totally idiotic. In fact, there have been some very logical arguments made in favor of it. That being said, it’s been debated ad nauseam lately on Twitter, Jets forums, here (and here, again) and seemingly everywhere else. This is why I think it’s a bad idea that just can’t happen:

1.) There just aren’t enough carries for someone like Cedric Benson here, and since he doesn’t play special teams, his value is roughly zero.

2.) TEBOW (!!!)

3.) Time to let Joe McKnight sink or swim.

In an ideal world, the Jets will run the ball somewhere around 575 times this year as they get back to their ground and pound attack, which boils down to about 36 rushes per game (They ran it 607 in 2009, 534 in 2010, and just 443 last year). Here’s how I expect the breakdown of carries to unfold, with McKnight graduating to LT’s old role, and Tebow here as basically a running back:

  • Shonn Greene – 275 carries (17 per game)
  • Joe McKnight – 110 carries (7 per game)
  • Tim Tebow – 95 carries (6 per game)
  • Bilal Powell / Terrance Ganaway – 40 carries combined (2.5 per game)
  • John Conner – 25 carries (1.5 per game)
  • Sanchez – 25 carries (1.5 per game)
  • Misc (Holmes, Kerley, etc) – 10-15 carries (1 per game)

So basically we’d be bringing in a guy like Benson or Grant to take over those 2.5 carries per game from Powell or Ganaway. The team invested draft picks in those guys the past two years, so why not give them a shot and see if one of them can prove themselves and perhaps earn more than the measly scraps left behind? Greene is going to start and get his 15-20 per game as the work horse (and no matter what you think of him, you can’t reasonably say Benson or Grant would be better options). Tebow is going to get his snaps and run 5 or 6 times per game on average, while McKnight provides the only real breakaway threat in the backfield. Those guys are going to play. There is just very simply no room for another running back on the team. It makes no sense to add one.

Sell: Idea that the Bills have surpassed the Jets – Yawn. This one just won’t go away, and likely won’t until some time around mid-November as the Bills are staring down the barrel at another 6-10 season. It’s amazing how many people see Mario Williams sign in Buffalo and assume that means a 4 or 5 win improvement is coming; especially since the Texans so easily replaced him last year, had their best season ever, and let him walk. Weird, huh?

And all the Bills backers out there will have to excuse me if I don’t hold my breath waiting for the Bills to overtake the Jets in the division. Without getting into all the specifics of why Buffalo just isn’t as good of a team as the Jets across the board, let me just say that we’ve been hearing this same nonsense for years now, and it’s getting a little old. First, it was the Dolphins — they were going to be better each year, Henne was a star, their defense was elite, blah, blah, and how’d that turn out? Then last year after a nice start, the Bills Bandwagon was just about full, playoff reservations were being made, and the pundits were lining up to dance on the Jets grave heading into week 9. Gang Green proceeded to kick the everliving crap out of those very Bills on their home turf that week, sending them into a tailspin where they lost 8 out of their last 9, securing them yet another top-10 draft pick. I smell a similar ending in 2012.

Sell: ESPN says Jets can go 5-11, 8-8, or 11-5 – Now that’s some hard-hitting analysis, James Walker and John Clayton! Couldn’t this same garbage be said about any team? It angers me seeing a clown like John Clayton on ESPN acting as if he is some kind of football expert, when in fact he probably only got his job by simply signing up back in the 80’s when ESPN was just starting up and realized they were short a football analyst. Can’t you just picture Clayton walking in, applying to work in the marketing department or something, only to see a sign on a wall at the last second that a “football talker” was needed, then furiously crossing off “marketing” and writing “football” on his application before handing it in? You know damn well that’s what happened. Ok, I’m rambling.

Anyway, here’s why the Jets won’t be going 5-11: They have a capable backup QB, so an injury won’t destroy the season; they have an ELITE defense; they play the Bills twice; they play the Dolphins twice; they play the Colts, Jaguars, and Titans; they play the horrific NFC West; they have the warm-weather Chargers at home in December; they will at least split the 49ers and Texans games at home. That sure looks a lot more like 11 wins than 5 to me.

Sell: Idea Sparano was a bad choice for OC because he was a bad HC – I’ve heard this one a lot since Tony was hired, mostly from pompous Giants or Patriots fans. Because, you know, there has never been a guy who could win Super Bowls as a Coordinator, but suck as a Head Coach, right Kevin Gilbride? Right Dick LeBeau, Steve Spagnuolo, Romeo Crennell, Charlie Weis, Dom Capers… ok, you get the point. Let’s not let facts get in the way of things here. Let’s not mention how when Sparano called plays in Dallas, they had tremendous success (Last week’s Stock Watch was centered on what Sparano brings to NY). Let’s not mention how he turned the Dolphins around from a 1-15 laughingstock to a division winner in one year. Maybe Sparano won’t be the long-term coordinator here, but he’s shown he can run an offense very well before, and more importantly, that he can change the culture of a team, which is something the Jets offense needed after the way 2011 ended.

Sell: Mike Florio says the old Chad Ochocinco is back! – No, really. The dude with the bad hairpiece really tried to push this crap on his website. And he backed it up with such tremendous logic, as well. You see, Chad was only awful last year playing with Tom Brady because he couldn’t Tweet and make a fool of himself. Says Florio, “For the X-and-O-obsessed crowd who summarily dismiss the impact of human factors on the game, think again.” You got that? The X-and-O crowd — the people who watched the games and saw Chad absolutely suck on the field — should have realized that Chad only sucked because Chad couldn’t be Chad.  It had nothing to do with the fact he’s washed up or anything. Seriously.

Sell: Rex Ryan is on the “Hot Seat” – I suppose if the Jets go 2-14 or something, Rex could — could — be in jeopardy (although the chances of a 2-14 season are approximately -0.0000003%). But that’s not what some guy named Eric Edholm had to say on Yahoo Sports last week. Nope, according to him, even a playoff appearance just “probably” keeps Rex safe this year. So, just to be clear: if Rex makes the playoffs for the 3rd time in 4 years, has 0 losing seasons in 4 years, and wins 4 (or more) playoff games in those 4 seasons, he still could be fired. Because it’s the Jets. Really, is it that easy to get a job writing on major websites like Yahoo or ESPN? Who is in charge of these things?! I can come up with things that make no sense, with no logic or reasoning behind it, with the best of them!

BONUS SELLS

(For those uninterested in the NBA, I’ll see you next week!)

Sell: Billy King – Holy crap has Billy King done a remarkable job during his tenure with the New Jersey Brooklyn Nets. I mean it’s clear he took notes from Isiah Thomas’s reign of terror with the Knicks, or as I call it, How to Destroy a Team and Their Fans’ Souls 101. It’s rare you see a GM come in and within two years just take an absolute blowtorch to an organization, making sure to leave no signs of life in his wake, but that’s exactly what Billy King has done! The Nets officially won’t be able to contend for a championship for at least the next 4 years after King’s recent exploits.

First, he traded the #6 overall pick in the draft for soon-to-be-30-year-old Gerald Wallace, a player already on the decline. To save face on that brutal trade, he decided to compound his mistake and give Wallace a $40 million extension. Then, just to make sure the team wouldn’t have enough cap room to pursue Dwight Howard (or anybody else for that matter), he decided to make a trade for Joe Johnson and his vomit-inducing contract (4 years, $89 million remaining), which is probably the worst in the league. Basically, Billy King (likely) kept Deron Williams in Brooklyn which was his main goal, but now instead of competing for a title, they’ll be in a battle to get that #5 seed and get swept out of the 1st round of the playoffs for the next 4 seasons. Well done, Billy!* Again, who hires these people?

(* If the Nets somehow still land Dwight Howard, forget I said anything. Go, Billy!)

Sell: Cleveland taking Dion Waiters #4 overall – I don’t hate Waiters as a player; in fact I think he can be a pretty good 6th man. But didn’t we learn from Marvin Williams that we shouldn’t be drafting college bench players at the top of the draft, especially ones who can’t shoot? I find it hard to believe they couldn’t have traded down and taken Waiters a little later. I just don’t think reaching for role players is the way to build a team, and that they probably should have taken Thomas Robinson in that spot. Oh well, it could have been worse: They could have traded the pick for Gerald Wallace or something.

TOJ’s Top 50 New York Jets Countdown: 20-30

Turn On The Jets counts down the top 50 New York Jets currently on the roster, continuing today with numbers 20-30

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)

READ NUMBERS 40-50 HERE

READ NUMBERS 30-40 HERE

(STILL IN MIDDLE CLASS CATEGORY)

29. John Conner, Fullback – The Terminator was average at best last season, his first one as a full time starter. Hopefully, with a more run orientated approach this season he will develop into a more consistent lead blocker and bigger cog in the offense, as Tony Sparano hasn’t been shy in the past about using his fullbacks as runners for short yardage situations. Conner must also work on his hands, so he can be a reliable checkdown option.

28. Wayne Hunter, Tackle – Despite filling in for Damien Woody admirably at the end of the 2010 season, Hunter’s frankly awful 2011 makes it more than fair to question if he is capable starter in the NFL. The Jets are betting that Sparano will help turn into a competent every down player and for the sake of Mark Sanchez’s health, they better have bet right.

27. Stephen Hill, Wide Receiver – The hope is that he will quickly prove to be a capable starter and based on physical attributes, there is no reason he can’t become that immediately. Unless he gets injured, he will start from day one opposite Santonio Holmes and be relied on to prevent teams from double teaming him or Dustin Keller.

26. Kyle Wilson, Cornerback – Wilson bounced back somewhat from a disappointing rookie season in 2011 but still left something to be desired for a first round pick. People forget that when he was selected, he was anticipated to be a big time punt returner and hyped as somebody capable of the holding the fort down if Darrelle Revis missed time from a holdout. He is no longer a factor as a returner and has the looks of a good, not great nickel back that hasn’t proven he can be an every down player yet.

25. Joe McKnight, Running Back –  He proved to be a very good kick returner last season but never really received the chance to flourish into a big part of the offense. Tony Sparano found a way to make Reggie Bush more successful than he ever had been in his NFL career last season in Miami and while McKnight isn’t on the same talent level as him, he does have a comparable skill set. He should be given every opportunity to be the team’s primary third down back and a big part of the passing games, particularly on screens.

QUALITY STARTER (CAPABLE STARTER OR VERY GOOD ROLE PLAYER)

24. Jeremy Kerley, Wide Receiver – Flashed a ton of potential in his rookie season and will be the team’s slot receiver in 2012. Davone Bess caught plenty of passes in Miami in this same offensive system and Kerley should do the same. He will also likely be the team’s primary punt returner. Kerley has excellent short area quickness and should be a frequent target on third downs.

23. Quinton Coples, Defensive End – For where the Jets took him in the first round, he better be ready to be a starter out of the gates. Coples has drawn rave reviews for his performance in OTAs and mini-camp, and seems to be playing with a chip on his shoulder. I was skeptical of the selection at the time but you have heard exactly everything you want to hear about a first round pick since he was taken. Coples has the potential to be a force up front, particularly in the Jets 4-3 alignments alongside Muhammad Wilkerson.

22. Aaron Maybin, Linebacker/Defensive End – The team’s top pass rusher last season, who should improve in 2012 with a full off-season to master Rex Ryan’s defense and work on diversifying his rush techniques. He has bulked up in anticipation of an increase of reps. There is no reason to think he can’t approach double digit sacks in this system.

21. Matt Slauson, Guard – Slauson has been the team’s starting guard the past two seasons and has proven to be competent. He played through a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his left shoulder last season and is anticipated to be 100% healthy in 2012. Slauson won’t be elected to any Pro-Bowls but won’t hold the Jets offensive back as a starter.

20. Eric Smith, Safety – Defensive backs coach summed up Smith perfectly when he said, “you will love him 300 reps, not at 900 reps.” He was overextended as a starter last season and was also banged up down the stretch run. However, Smith can thrive in Rex Ryan’s defense as a role player like he did in 2009, which will also allow him to focus on being the team’s top special teams player.

Check back tomorrow for players 10-20…

No Huddle – New York Jets Stereotypes

TJ Rosenthal goes into the No Huddle to break down stereotypes surrounding the New York Jets

Welcome back to TOJ’s weekly No Huddle piece written by TJ Rosenthal, owner of the The Jet Report, today TJ focuses on a handful of stereotypes surrounding the team –

1. The Jets are undisciplined under Rex Ryan.

In 2012 we have many types of managerial styles. That old army style of negative reinforcement doesn’t work as much nowadays in our coddled new culture.

Ask Tom Coughlin about that. He  was almost canned by Giants brass before toning the harsh edges of his personality down prior to the 2008 season.

Rex Ryan is a player’s coach who along with GM Mike Tannenbaum, don’t seem to hold a player’s past issues against them. Plaxico Burress, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie. Every Jet gets a clean slate. We commend that. The Jets also have an open door media policy, which has helped bring the team closer to it’s fan base while at times allows for emotional outbursts that most NFL fans arent accustomed to seeing.

Perhaps things have gone a bit too far. The Jets ARE looking to reel it in a little now.

Let’s see how the players play for Rex THIS year. If you want to say the jury is still out on the discipline front we ask you to at least give Rex that courtesy while he and the Jets attempt to tone down the chatter.

2. The Addition Of Tim Tebow will cause distractions.

Not if Gang Green gets out in front of this potential storm. If the Jets can put him in a role that fans can begin to expect and define, then the talk will change from “QB controversy” to “Tebow The Weapon.”

Now if the lines are NOT clearly drawn by the coaches regarding how Tebow is to contribute, then when Mark Sanchez first struggles, all bets are off.

3. These Jets Will Do Anything For Attention.

Yes and No.

They grabbed Tim Tebow knowing that in addition to his leadership and late game skills, the merch sales will fly off the handle as a result. Another “Hard Knocks ” appearance was turned down though, right?  If they were truly reality show level attention getters, the Jets would’ve jumped at the chance for round two.

The big wigs in Florham Park know they have a rock star buzz in place no matter what time of year it is now. The cameras will be there regardless. Woody Johnson has shrewdly built the brand up enough that he DOESN’T need to take on all proposals sent his way.

The crosstown Giants are defending World Champs but the Jets (not the Giants) OTA’s had as much press coverage as the baseball teams did last week, and both are in pennant races.

Attention is not equal to a Super Bowl ring. We get it. So do the Jets, who recognize how recognized they have become a national story under Ryan but must prioritize their play on the field first and foremost.

4. The Jets will never win with Mark Sanchez.

Well, let’s not expect 6 to put the team on his back and throw for 350 yards each week. If the defense however, returns to form, and the rushing attack takes control of the tempo while Sanchez matures just enough to put mistakes behind him on the fly, then of course the Jets can go all the way with Sanchez.

They almost have twice.

Are we all really so sure that the development for a 25 year old QB with 6 road playoff games after just one year at USC, is maxed out? Really?

There are two Mark Sanchez’s.

The Jets will never win with the first one. The guy who gets down on himself then reads things slower out there. The Jets can win with the confident Sanchez. The QB who has sparked many late game comebacks and key postseason drives. Especially, if he is leading a team that is locked and loaded all around him. Sanchez can be an effective cog in the machine. Just don’t ask him to be the entire machine.

5. The Ground and Pound Is Dated:

You know, of all the banner headline stereotypes that could be written about the Jets right now, this one has us the most curious. We understand that the need for an identity on offense was essential after the undefined Schotty era. However,is a featured ground attack in 2012 the right direction when considering how pass happy the NFL has become?

It’s a fair question.

We also wonder whether the current backfield is ready for this type of commitment. Shonn Greene has no experienced power backup behind him. Joe McKnight is untested as far as extended work goes. Not to mention, the blocking up front has alot of work to do in order to avoid a repeat of last year’s struggles.

In truth for this to work, it’s the Jets D, not the Jets offense, that has to smother teams. Otherwise the ground and pound will have trouble even being in the position to slow down aerial attacks through ball control and time of possession.

We aren’t siding with those who say “no way” to the ground and pound 2.0 We just want some proof that the Jets as a team, are set up to truly roll downhill with the lead and the ball.

Especially when the less extreme measure of a balanced attack remains a viable option.