Jets vs. Bengals: Turn On The Jets 12 Pack Of Predictions

Turn On The Jets with 12 predictions for the Jets vs. Bengals pre-season game tonight

Turn On The Jets is back in the prediction business with 12 for tonight’s Jets/Bengals pre-season game. Make sure to take advantage of our one day sale to celebrate the return of New York Jets football. All Turn On The Jets shirts are 25% off. It would be crime against your fandom to not take advantage of a deal like that. When you put this shirt on not only can you play the guitar…your bench will also increase 25 pounds

On to the predictions –

1. Mark Sanchez won’t turn the football over and will lead one scoring drive. He won’t have a high yards per completion but will have a high completion percentage. I expect many shorter, safe throws to Dustin Keller and Josh Baker, along with maybe one shot down the field to Stephen Hill or Chaz Schilens.

2. Bilal Powell is going to lead the Jets in touches and total yards at running back. Look for the Jets to get him out in space in the screen game and give him a decent amount of reps with the first unit. It is time to see if he can translate his practice field success to the game.

3. Stephen Hill will have at least three receptions. Tony Sparano needs him up to speed immediately, so he will try to get him going early with a few quick hitch routes or smoke screens.

4. Demario Davis and Antonio Allen will be the most impressive rookies on the field tonight.

5. Tim Tebow will be Tim Tebow. He will run the ball well, make a few plays on third down but ultimately struggle throwing the football.

6. Aaron Maybin and/or Ricky Sapp are going to have 1.5-2.5 sacks between them.

7. Jordan White is going to make a name for himself as a viable contender for reps in the slot tonight. Look for him to be frequently targeted on third downs.

8. I don’t anticipate Quinton Coples making much noise tonight.

9. Austin Howard will play well enough to keep the right tackle position “open for competition” a few more weeks.

10. Look for a big game from Kenrick Ellis and Muhammad Wilkerson upfront, particularly Ellis who will start for Sione Pouha.

11. Marvin Lewis will look confused on the sideline.

12. The Jets defense will force at least two turnovers.

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Turn On The Jets Roundtable – Jets vs. Bengals Preview

The Turn On The Jets roundtable previews the New York Jets pre-season opener versus the Cincinnati Bengals

Welcome to our first Turn On The Jets Roundtable of the 2012 season. We will be doing this throughout the year to get multiple opinions in a single article to both preview and predict upcoming New York Jets games. Today myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly discuss what we are most looking forward to seeing tomorrow night –

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Joe Caporoso – It has to be Tony Sparano’s new offense. We have heard all off-season about the “Ground and Pound” so let’s see it in action. Last pre-season the Jets were awful running the football and it carried over into the regular season. Let’s see Shonn Greene churn out at least 4 yards a carry on his touches and Bilal Powell or Joe McKnight pop a run over 15-20 yards. The Jets are depleted at wide receiver but that is no reason to not give Mark Sanchez a chance to work with his new vertical threats, Stephen Hill and Chaz Schilens. And yes, it will be interesting to see Tim Tebow in action. I don’t think we will see much of The Wildcat but I’m sure he will break out of the pocket for a few runs with the second offense.

Can Austin Howard hold his own at right tackle and become a viable competitor to Wayne Hunter? Can one of the wide receivers make a big enough impression to prevent Mike Tannenbaum from swinging a trade? My money is on Patrick Turner or Jordan White having such a game.

Chris Gross – Command, control, and confidence out of Mark Sanchez. – The worst thing fans can do is expect Sanchez to come out tomorrow night and air it out early in his limited reps. The majority of his receiving corps (that he is most familiar with) will be sidelined, so don’t expect to see too many big plays out of number 6. Instead, look for him to, first, be confident in the new system. A very encouraging sign will be to see Sanchez exhibit early signs of the Tony Sparano “Know and know you know” philosophy. Look for Sanchez to show confidence in the new system, while displaying command, and most importantly the ability to protect the football. Improving his turnovers will be vital to his success this season, and Sanchez can take a step toward that tomorrow night.

Defensive Speed – The biggest area of need for the Jets following last season’s conclusion was team speed on the defensive side of the ball. New York is hoping that they improved on that with the additions of rookies Demario Davis and Quinton Coples, as well as veteran LaRon Landry, and a reborn Aaron Maybin, who finally has a full offseason under his belt with the Jets. It will be interesting to see these improvements in speed in live action tomorrow night. Expect Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to come out swinging early with some aggressive blitz schemes

Mike Donnelly – Well I think my Stock Watch this week pretty much covered many of the things I’m looking forward to seeing in this game, but there are a few that bear repeating. Obviously I would love to see the Jets plan for Tim Tebow or see just how much Mark Sanchez has grown and improved this offseason, but this game won’t be a good barometer for either of those things in my opinion. The offense is going to come out very vanilla, work on a few basic things, and then get the starters the hell out of there before any more injuries can occur.

What we will get a good look at tomorrow night, however, is the second string on both sides of the ball. Players like Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight, Patrick Turner, Jordan White, Kenrick Ellis, and Ricky Sapp are guys I’m especially excited to see get extended playing time. I’d love to see a guy like Turner or White really step up and grab the bull by the horns and show that the Jets aren’t so thin at WR as everyone things. I’d love to see Bilal Powell justify the hype this preseason and show the Jets don’t need to go out and sign a veteran like Cedric Benson. And I’d really love to see Ricky Sapp continue his strong play this preseason and give the Jets a dynamic edge rusher to team up with Aaron Maybin. The thing I’d like to see the most though is everyone stay healthy, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that is the case Friday night around 10pm when the game ends.

New York Jets: What Does Mark Sanchez Need To Do In Pre-Season?

What constitues a productive pre-season for New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez?

Let me preface this article by saying there is no quarterback controversy for the New York Jets. This isn’t an article meant to argue what Mark Sanchez needs to do to hold off Tim Tebow from being the starting quarterback because barring injury, Sanchez will be under center week 1 versus Buffalo. This is an article looking at what constitues a productive pre-season for Sanchez as the Jets starting quarterback working in a non-Brian Schottenheimer NFL offense for the first time in his career.

Sanchez is in the difficult situation of working with a makeshift group of receivers while he tries to master this new offense. One of the many mistakes the Jets have made while attempting to develop their young quarterback has been constantly changing his top three wide receivers. Here is who he had the past three years prior to week 1 –

2009 – Jerricho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith

2010 – Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith (Santonio Holmes was suspended until week 4)

2011 – Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason (aka grumpy old men)

This year the presumed top three receivers are Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. Unfortunately, Holmes and Kerley are hurt and out for tomorrow night. Kerley also no longer has a stranglehold on the number three position because of a poor off-season. Sanchez will be playing his first pre-season game with a top three of Hill (a rookie), Patrick Turner (8 career receptions), and Chaz Schilens (72 receptions through 4 years).

Look for Sanchez to frequently target tight end Dustin Keller, the pass catcher he has the best chemistry with. Backup tight end/H-Back Josh Baker should also be a big part of the offense while the receivers get their legs under them.

The most important thing always for Sanchez is protecting the football. With the type of style the Jets are playing this year, he must cut down on interceptions and fumbles. If he can get through this pre-season with no turnovers or maybe only one, it would be a success.

However, Sanchez also must press down the field. Tony Sparano will give him his opportunities. Sanchez needs to develop a fast chemistry with Hill and Schilens, both of whom are vertical threats. Despite frequently being criticized for his arm strength, Sanchez has shown good deep ball accuracy throughout his career. It would be nice to see him convert on a few 20+ yard passing plays, which the Jets barely had any of last season.

Finally, the Jets right tackle situation remains a question mark. Austin Howard will start for Wayne Hunter tomorrow night. Whether it is Hunter or Howard, Sanchez is going to see pressure at times and needs to demonstrate pocket awareness. No more keeping the ball at his waist and having it stripped away, no more panicked checkdowns thrown high to his running back that are intercepted.

The Jets won’t be airing it out in any of their pre-season games but that doesn’t mean Sanchez can’t make a strong impression about his improvement this off-season.

New York Jets Fact Or False: Preseason Week 1 Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False previews the New York Jets opening pre-season game against the Cincinnati Bengals

For this week’s edition of New York Jets Fact Or False, we will begin a trend that will be prevalent all season long. Each week, F or F will be dedicated to the upcoming Jets game, as we will look at the most pressing issues facing Gang Green each week. For our initial take, let’s have a look at what to expect to see, as well as what to watch for, in tomorrow night’s game in Cincinnati.

AJ Green vs. Darrelle Revis will be the most intriguing matchup of the game. Fact.

AJ Green had a stellar rookie season last year, joining with Quarterback Andy Dalton to form the first ever rookie QB/WR tandem to make the Pro Bowl. Green hauled in 65 passes for 1,057 yards and 7 Touchdowns last season, while facing some excellent defenses along the way. However, this will be his first career matchup with Revis, and not to disrespect any other players, he has never quite faced a talent like this in his entire playing career. Revis is a completely different animal, but Green certainly has immense talent. Rest assured both of these players cannot wait to face each other, not only for the challenge, but for the opportunity to assert their dominance. Revis would undoubtedly like to strand yet another receiver on Revis Island, while Green would love to be one of the very few to get off. Although they will get limited reps against one another, expect each of those reps to provide the best matchup on the field tomorrow night.

Andy Dalton will outperform Mark Sanchez. False.

Although Dalton had a very solid rookie campaign last season, his numbers were average at best when facing defenses ranked in the top ten in the NFL. Against those opponents, Dalton completed 175 of 311 passes for 1,954 yards, 11 Touchdowns, and 10 interceptions with a completion percentage of 56.27 and a passer rating of 77.28. These numbers certainly are not terrible, especially for a rookie, but Dalton clearly struggled to protect the football. While he has already faced the stellar defenses of Baltimore and Pittsburgh twice each, he has yet to come up against a Cornerback tandem with the combined talent of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson. Factor in what should be improved Safety play, and Dalton could get overwhelmed quickly. He will certainly get his completions, however don’t expect him to outshine Sanchez. Sanchez is coming into this game with an extreme sense of confidence in relation to his knowledge of the new offensive system, and you’d have to think after what was probably the longest offseason of his playing career, he will be coming out with a heavy chip on his shoulder. Each of these players’ reps will be very limited, but look for Sanchez to play at a higher level than Dalton.

This will be a great test for the Ground and Pound. Fact.

Cincinnati ranked 7th in total defense last season, and for good reason. They have talent all over the board, especially in the front seven. They posses great size up front in players like Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap, as well as defensive leader Rey Maualuga who racked up 88 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, and an interception in just 13 games last season. This is a very tough, hard nosed defense, with great experience against offenses that can effectively run the ball, as they play Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice each season. Any team that has to face Ray Rice twice in the same year is no stranger to power football, so this will be a very good, early test for the Jets’ projected return to the “Ground and Pound” philosophy. Friday night should be an excellent gauge of how far along this new system is, as well as where improvements need to be made. It will be very interesting to see how the heavily scrutinized Shonn Greene, the rising Bilal Powell, and the polarizing Tim Tebow contribute.

Mark Sanchez has the most to prove in this game. False.

While Sanchez may have the most to prove over the course of the entire season, this game will have little effect on how he is judged as the Quarterback of this team. He will see very limited reps, plus there are a countless number of players with much more to prove tomorrow night.

Patrick Turner is certainly one of those guys, as he is constantly overlooked despite having quietly developed what seems to be a nice chemistry with Sanchez. Jordan White was extremely productive in college and should have ample opportunity to prove his worth with all of the injuries at Wide Receiver. LaRon Landry certainly would love to show that he is healthy and capable of playing at the level that made him the sixth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Quinton Coples would love to put all the question marks surrounding him to bed, and although that will not be possible in just one game, he can certainly take a step in the right direction.

Austin Howard will get plenty of reps with Wayne Hunter being sidelined, and he needs to prove to the organization that they do not need to add depth at the tackle position from the outside. As the season progresses, veterans like Bart Scott, Tim Tebow, Jeremy Kerley, and Santonio Holmes will all be highly motivated to put recent criticism behind them, but that will not happen in the first game of the preseason, especially for Holmes and Kerley who will not be participating in the contest. Tebow and Scott could certainly play well, but they will not be considered to have proven anything until the regular season.

The Jets Defense Will Impress Early. Fact.

Many observers forget how good this defense actually is. Rex Ryan and Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine produced a top 5 defense last season, despite finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs for the first time with the Jets. New York has done what it could to address the areas of need at Safety and in the pass rush, so each of those areas should be improved in comparison to last season. More importantly though, the Jets defense seems to have gotten their edge back. Reports out of camp already reveal that Bart Scott is back to his “Madbacker” form. Antonio Cromartie, although many times painfully outspoken, certainly will be coming into this game a bit enraged due to all the recent criticism directed toward him in the past week. LaRon Landry seems ready to run through a brick wall if he doesn’t hit someone in a different colored jersey soon, and Aaron Maybin and Ricky Sapp have been turning heads all camp.

From what we have seen in training camp so far, this defense has regained its speed, its motor, and most importantly, its swagger. Expect the starting unit to come out looking to make a statement early, especially considering the fact that they realize they will only have a few series to do so.

Rex Ryan is the most intriguing coach in this game. False.

Rex undoubtedly loves to be in the spotlight, and the media generally loves to focus on him. However, this game is not so much about Ryan as it is about the newcomers. It is going to be very interesting to see the first live action of Tony Sparano’s new system. There is plenty to look for including an established running game, command of the offense by Sanchez, and whether or not the offensive line has improved yet.

Moving over to the defensive side of the ball, it will be extremely intriguing to see the work of new defensive line Coach Karl Dunbar. Dunbar certainly has a surplus of depth and talent up front, so it will be interesting to see if he is in the early stages of maximizing that. New York’s pass rush has been built primarily on scheme since the appointment of Rex Ryan as head coach, so if they can generate a rush without having to blitz as much, it will be a very positive sign for Dunbar and his unit. Wide Receiver’s coach Sanjay Lal is another newcomer to the staff, and considering all the injuries at the position so far, the wide receiver play could say a lot about his coaching ability. If the younger, less experienced players come out strong, it could tell us something very good about Lal.

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Turn On The Jets Beat Writer Rankings 8/8 – NFL Edition

Turn On The Jets beat writer rankings discuss the best and worst NFL writers heading into the 2012 season

This week’s edition of the Turn On The Jets beat writer rankings is going to take a break from our New York counterparts. Today we are going to discuss our favorite and least favorite NFL writers heading into the 2012 season. Enjoy and feel free to add your comments here or on our Facebook Page –

Joe Caporoso

Favorite – Greg Cosell/Mike Mayock/Trent Dilfer – I couldn’t settle on one individual. However, what these three have in common is their dedication to breaking down film and providing fascinating, in-depth Xs and Os analysis. Even in the case of Cosell, whose opinion I frequently disagree with, I respect the way he formulates his arguments and can understand why he has his perspective.

Worst – Mike Lupica – Legitimately can’t stomach even getting through a paragraph of one of his articles at this point. He writes about the Jets as an individual who only receives his information on the team via one of Sal Pal’s updates on ESPN or a Skip Bayless rant on First Take. Lazy garbage. Honorable mention goes to the newest scribe at Pro Football Talk Darin Gantt, who seems as if he was hired specifically to post two articles a day that end with a sentence about what wild soap opera circus the Jets are.

Mike Donnelly

FavoriteBucky Brooks – Going outside the box here perhaps a little with this pick, but Bucky Brooks does a great job and really takes the time to research and understand what he’s writing about before he puts it out there. I was put on to Brooks when he put out an excellent breakdown of the Jets new 46 Defense a few weeks ago, and I’ve been a fan ever sense, and also enjoyed his take on the Jets QB situation through a series of tweets. Unlike most in the national media he didn’t just rehash the same old nonsense and write “Sanchez stinks! Tebow is a winner! Last place!”, and I appreciated the time he clearly put into understanding things before throwing it out there and seeing if it stuck. I’d recommend him on Twitter, and be sure to check out his work.

Worst – (Tie) Evan Silva and Mike Florio – This makes sense considering Silva used to work with Florio on ProFootballTalk.com and they have continued to share the same brain ever since. Florio clearly uses loaded headlines and antagonistic comments to lure in readers, so there’s at least a method to his madness I suppose. That doesn’t excuse the fact he’s basically just a West Virginia lawyer who has a limited understanding of football, but still.

Silva is a homer Patriots fan who hates all things New York, he fancies himself an “expert” and talks about scouting and reviewing film, yet never provides anything worth a damn. He has the Jets ranked as the 27th best team in the NFL (I can’t wait to call him out on that one), and tore apart Shonn Greene’s “game tape” during games where Colin Baxter was the starting Center and the offense couldn’t function. Fair and balanced all the way! And that doesn’t even begin to get into his fantasy football content. I’d rather throw darts at a board than take his advice on which players to start. More on this in the coming weeks, I promise…

Chris Gross

Favorite Adam Schefter – Schefter, to me, is the cream of the crop when it comes to, not only NFL journalists, but to sports journalists in general. He certainly has some great colleagues at ESPN like Chris Mortenson and John Clayton, however, Schefter continuously separates himself from the pack with unbelievable insight. Whether it be analysis or breaking headline stories, there is not a writer in the country that gets after it harder than Schefter. I mean seriously, have you seen ESPN during the NFL Free Agency and Draft periods? I don’t think the man sleeps. Schefter is beyond dedicated to what he does, and you can just feel his passion through his work. He never writes with any bias whatsoever, something so many journalists struggle to do these days. Schefter simply gives honest, coherent, and accurate analysis day in and day out. If you had to compare NFL writers to NFL players, Schefter would be in that elite group similar to Tom Brady, Drew Brees, the Mannings, and Aaron Rodgers. Nobody does it better.

Worst James Walker – This should come as no surprise to anyone who is a regular follower of Turn On The Jets. While I can certainly respect the position Walker is currently in, as I am sure he gives valiant effort to his work, the man simply struggles to publish anything worth reading. From his AFC East Quarterback “ranking” system last year, in which he gave no explanation to how he was really ranking them, to his endless posts preaching the obvious (his most recent about New England RB Stevan Ridley and how he must restrain from fumbling this season to earn playing time), Walker truly struggles to write anything noteworthy. He constantly retweets himself on twitter, something many are still trying to figure out the exact reasoning for, and apparently doesn’t like criticism, as he blocked my twitter account after our initial Beat Writer Power Rankings, where I deemed him “the bottom of the barrel” of NFL journalists. Nothing personal, but JW is easily my least favorite NFL writer.

New York Jets: What We Have Actually Learned At Training Camp

Turn On The Jets cuts through the BS coverage of the New York Jets and discuses the developments on the field

The New York Jets first pre-season game is only two days away. From a distance the only information you may have heard about the team involves a backup quarterback being shirtless, an altercation between players, and a cornerback talking about playing wide receiver. Yet, believe it or not there has actually been some football played on the fields of Cortland. A few interesting developments have taken place that actually involve you know…the game. Let’s run them down –

Bilal Powell – We discussed Powell last week and his production hasn’t tailed off. By all accounts he has been the best running back on the field and is about to leap frog Joe McKnight as the number two back and primary third down back. Out of all the Jets backs, Powell has the best overall combination of skills which could lead to him eventually cutting into Shonn Greene’s carries, if Greene struggles to catch the football. McKnight hasn’t helped his cause lately by consistently being banged up. Obviously Powell still needs to show it on the game field but he has a real chance to become a major contributor on offense this season.

Mark Sanchez – Remember him? The Jets starting quarterback has quietly (somehow) put together a very good all-around camp. Sanchez has protected the football and shown an impressive command of Tony Sparano’s new system. There was never a quarterback controversy and if Sanchez develops the way he should, there never will be.

Patrick Turner – A receiver who has actually stayed healthy all camp! Turner has been consistently producing. He has very good height and hands, along with familiarity with Tony Sparano’s offense and chemistry with Mark Sanchez. Considering how thin the Jets are at receiver, Turner has a good chance to work himself into reps at split end this season.

Aaron Maybin – A practice hasn’t passed yet where he hasn’t recorded at least 1 sack. His speed and increased size combined with Rex Ryan’s creativity should be a scary thing for opposing offenses. Even as a situational player, Maybin has the look of a 10 sack player in 2012.

Ricky Sapp – Another edge rusher who has flashed all throughout camp. Sapp seems to be a lock to make the roster and a guy who could be on the field in passing situations. Could this be Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum’s second pass rushing reclamation project in as many years? They are almost halfway to making up for Vernon Gholston.

Josh Baker – The tight end/H-Back/Fullback has been all over the field making plays in the passing game. It appears he will be more of a factor than Jeff Cumberland this season and could also take away reps from John Conner.

Rookie Rundown

  • Quinton Coples – Been quieter than you would like and Mike DeVito remains firmly entrenched as the starter in 3 man looks. However, Coples still has the talent to be a factor in pass rushing situations.
  • Stephen Hill – He has flashed enough promise to be very excited about his potential this season. The other day he beat Darrelle Revis deep for a 50 yard touchdown. Hill is going to disappear for stretches this season but will also have his share of big plays.
  • Demario Davis – Back from a hamstring injury and should be starting in the sub packages by week 1.
  • Josh Bush – A very, very quiet camp. Could be losing his grip on 4th safety spot to fellow rookie Antonio Allen.
  • Terrance Ganaway – Been a little banged up and struggled at times but has shown versatility to also play fullback. Tony Sparano will find a use for him this season.
  • Robert Griffin – Practice squad.
  • Antonio Allen – Has been making plays all over the field and could be on the way to working himself into some defensive reps.
  • Jordan White – Back from a hamstring injury and has a golden opportunity to contribute as a slot receiver.

New Addition Rundown

  • Tim Tebow – He is a great athlete and will be a weapon running the ball. Takes too many sacks and is inconsistent passing…so exactly what we thought.
  • LaRon Landry – On a pitch count but on pace to start week 1 and be a frequent blitzer/run stopper in Rex Ryan’s scheme.
  • Yeremiah Bell – Taken over veteran leadership role in the secondary. He will struggle in coverage at times.
  • Chaz Schilens – Banged up and inconsistent. Turner has outplayed him all camp.

Disappointments

  • Jeremy Kerley Could still be out another full week with a hamstring injury and is firmly in Rex Ryan’s doghouse for a lackluster offseason.
  • Joe McKnight – Seemed to have number 2 running back job on lockdown heading into camp…it isn’t that way anymore.
  • Jeff Cumberland – Thoroughly being outplayed by Josh Baker.

 

Hard Knocks Episode 1 Review – Selling The Miami Dolphins

Mike Donnelly reviews the first episode of Hard Knocks and he is selling most of what he sees of the Miami Dolphins

Outside of his Stock Watch and Fantasy Football columns, Mike Donnelly is throwing on the TV critic hat for us today. Here is his take on the first episode of Hard Knocks

After the first episode last night of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins, I felt compelled to write something about it. A few snarky Tweets weren’t going to be enough, especially since mine got drowned out in the massive tidal wave of snarky tweets that hit Twitter between 10 and 11pm EST from everyone else in the world. There was just too much to make fun of, between Joe Philbin being the most boring man in the entire world, Jeff Ireland being Jeff Ireland, and of course Lauren Tannehill, who has done the nearly-impossible and rendered her husband Ryan the second most overrated Tannehill in their household.

So what does all this mean? An emergency edition of Stock Watch: Hard Knocks edition! I’d attempt to drop more F-bombs than Chad Ochocinco did last night just to see if it’s possible, but just the thought of our fearless leader Joe having a Joe Philbin-style boring chat with me about how that’s unacceptable terrifies me. By the way, where’s the outrage today about Chad doing that? Everyone was ready to send Rex Ryan to the electric chair after the language he used two years ago when the Jets were on. Anyway, let’s get started…

SELL: Joe Philbin – If I were a Dolphins fan I would already start scouting the 2013 draft class, or just forget about football altogether. I mean it won’t be long until LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat are back and I’d actually have something worth cheering for. Really, did you see Joe Philbin in “action” last night? The guy has got to be the least inspiring and dull professional sports coach I’ve ever seen. Can’t you just picture him giving the big “fire the team up” speech before a big game this year in his boring monotone as he’s twitching nervously like he was when talking to Chad Ochocinco Johnson? “Ok guys, we have a football game and we should all do our best, let’s go get ‘em” as everyone gets up and sullenly walks out of the locker room?

SELL: Dolphins QB Coach who looks like he’s 17 years old – For the record his name is Zac Taylor and he’s actually 29, just five years older than Ryan Tannehill, the 1st round pick that he’s supposed to be mentoring, and five years younger than projected starter David Garrard. How did such an inexperienced coach (who was an assistant in college the past 2 years) get such a prominent NFL job? Well the answer to that would be good old fashioned nepotism, as he is now married to offensive coordinator Mike Sherman’s daughter, Sarah. When I pointed this out on Twitter and that this wasn’t mentioned on the show, Mike Sherman’s other daughter, Emily, somehow found my tweet on Twitter and proceeded to tell me I am pathetic, which really truly hurt my feelings in an unspeakable manner. I hope Emily is happy this year when the Dolphins quarterbacks are getting laughed off the field this year. I know I will be. Nuff Said indeed.

SELL: Eric Steinbach – When they said the Dolphins were bringing in two veterans for a workout and they showed the older, chubby, balding man standing there, I legitimately thought they were showing one of the facility janitors or low, low-level assistant coaches – you know, the kind of guy who holds the 1st down markers or something. When they said it was actually offensive lineman Eric Steinbach, my friend Dan and I who were watching the show together were absolutely blown away. He was walking with a limp in his big knee brace, appeared to have no muscles, didn’t seem that big at all in general, and Boring Joe Philbin even commented that he wasn’t that quick. Those all seem like important things for an offensive lineman, no? In short, Eric Steinbach was the least professional athlete-looking man I’ve ever seen, which makes a lot of sense since Jeff Ireland is the one who signed him.

BUY: Braylon Edwards mentioning Rex Ryan – Did anyone else get the impression Braylon Edwards would have rather been anywhere else other than in Jeff Ireland’s office talking to him about joining the Dolphins? Pretty awkward scene. Braylon was one of my favorite Jets players, so I’m glad he didn’t sign and ended up in Seattle to team up with Terrell Owens to form the 2007 All-Stars in the Great Northwest.

SELL: Lauren Tannehill – Mentioned this above, but it bears repeating: Over. Rated. Don’t get me wrong, she’s very pretty, but I just don’t get why everyone is fawning over her so much. I’d like to see more of those Dolphins cheerleaders though… (let’s just move on before I get myself in trouble)

SELL: Chad Ochocinco Johnson – Oof, that was painful to watch Chad. He seems like he’s just a big caricature of his former self at this point. His line about taking last year off to allow others to catch up to him was cute, but the reality is far worse for Mr. 85. The fact is that Chad just isn’t a good football player anymore, and that showed last year in a big way. If you can’t have success with TOM BRADY I don’t see it happening with David Garrard, sorry. And it sure did seem like he was trying just a little — ok, actually a lot — too hard to be “cool” with all the cursing and “outlandish” behavior. Again, I’m shocked I haven’t seen major outrage this morning that Chad dropped a few F-bombs. Where is Tony Dungy? For the love of God, can we please get Tony Dungy’s take on this?!?!

BUY: Chad and Reggie Bush playing Video Games together – There was just something very hilarious about this. Almost as hilarious as when Reggie Bush said he’s expecting to lead the league in rushing this year. That’s cute, Reg.

BUY: Boring Joe mentioning George Costanza – I loved that Philbin name dropped George Costanza and the Seinfeld episode where George makes grand entrances and goes out on a high note. I mean sure he didn’t exactly go out with a “bang” and more or less just boringly slunk out the door after nearly putting his quarterback group to sleep, but it was still cool to hear a good Seinfeld reference. Unfortunately for Boring Joe, I don’t think his Dolphins tenure is going to end on a high note either, and he’s far more likely to slink out of another door sometime in 2013 after the Dolphins struggle toward another 4-win season.

Looking forward to episode 2!

New York Jets: Stop Apologizing and Justifying

TJ Rosenthal on the New York Jets not concerning themselves with outside perception of their team

TJ Rosenthal checks in with another strong take about the current state of the New York Jets. Make sure to follow TJ on Twitter. Jets/Bengals is only two days away…watch the game in style. Check back later this afternoon for TOJ’s weekly beat writer rankings.  

They brawl with each other, when they aren’t busy saying whatever they feel like, whenever they they feel like it. They have a backup QB who plays smashmouth positions, yet feel the need to state every day that the guy ahead of him is the “clear cut” starter. Rookies are all over the field over veterans with experience as many wonder if youth can overcome the lack of years. All of this and more, being visible to the naked eye due to unbridled summer access again, this time thanks to ESPN. With it all though, whether or not one agrees with the club’s media policy or personnel choices, the Jets have to realize that they owe nobody an apology for any of this. Gang Green is responsible for just one thing. Being ready to rumble INSIDE of the ring when the bell rings. Starting Friday night against the Bengals.

Let’s go through some items that the Jets have no reason to explain at this time:

Knock It Off Boomer, You Had Your Chance

Former Jet QB, Boomer Esiason told the world boldly on Monday that Tim Tebow should be cut, because he can’t throw. Well the last time we checked the record book, Esiason’s rocket arm still read “2-10” as starter during his 1995 season with Gang Green. A 15-27 tenure overall in New York. A year in which by the way, he got KO’d for the season in Buffalo. He may not have the perfect mechanics, but a ten count AND presiding over a loser from behind center? Hey, that’s at least two things the arm challenged Tebow hasn’t come across yet either.

Tebow wins.

Tebow as a baller will be at his best as a runner who can throw. Whose roles will develop and become cemented more as his success from certain positions becomes apparent.

The Jets don’t have to explain how he will be used. What they ought to do instead, is realize that a more consistent arm should move soon to QB2. Whether it be the kids in camp or a cheap vet brought in. To do so would not be acknowledging a mistake in seeing Tebow as the number two. It would be strengthening a potential weakness.

If used right, this FOOTBALL PLAYER can help. The Jets need to stop feeling as though they need to send out a memo as to how and when it will all take place. Even if Hannah Storm and Ron Jaworski and Sal Paolantonio need to know now.

Woody Johnson says he’s surprised by the coverage surrounding Tebow but would be better off saying that he expected it. It shouldn’t matter either way since deep down Johnson has to feel that the kid will make plays. That’s why he was brought here first and foremost anyway, even if yes, he sells more merch than Lady Ga Ga.

Cro With An Ill Timed Thought, Not Exactly Breaking News

Antonio Cromartie said something ridiculous last week. Yes, and the sun rose and set each day all across the world as well. The Jets have an open door policy with players who tell you what they feel all the time. Often times the emotional words become headlines. If the Jets don’t like it, they can change the policy. That, or expect more nonsense.

On a trivial scale of an analogy of course, the Jets media approach is kind of like the 2nd amendment controversy. If the gun laws don’t change, the tragedies will continue. If the Jets want to stop the extra curricular chatter they have to close the doors and batten down the hatches. Changing their own amendment that was created once Eric Mangini was voted out office. Otherwise, let it ride.

Sanchez is the Starter? We Know That.

Mark Sanchez is more polished, more in command, more able to do more things with his arm consistently. He is the starter. The Jets have said it enough so as to let the outside world know that there is no QB controversy here. Enough already.

We understand the need for Rex and Co. to have gotten out in front of this story from the podium. Now it’s time put it to bed and start focusing on Sanchez running the offense well, and growing the young weapons he has to throw to. While considering the addition of a few vets for him along the way.

We are bordering now on too much noise about who the “clear cut” starter is, and not, in Jets nation, taking enough time to consider what a corps minus Santonio Holmes would really look like. If the rib scare wasn’t enough to strike fear in Jets brass, we’re not sure what it will take.

Are Hill, Kerely, Schilens and Turner enough?

Sanchez is the starter. We get it. Now keep an eye on things and make sure that he has what he needs on the outside so he doesn’t struggle. Forcing more post game quotes that support 6, as the Tebowmaniacs get louder.

Camp Fights Are As Old As Camps Themselves.

Teams fight. Brothers throw punches at the dinner table. People battling for jobs are desperate warriors with nothing to lose. These truths are as old as the bible.

Ryan has spent time this week trying to discipline his brawlers and hey, that’s a good thing. There is a fine line between “physical” and “illogical.” Sexy Rexy does not however, have to send players on extra laps primarily to show a nation of cable voyeurs that he is in control. He must do so only to draw the line between smart and tough, and what is dumb.

The 2012 Jets are a work in progress on many fronts. From the rookies being asked to contribute, to Tony Sparano’s new blend of the ground and pound with a wise aerial attack, to a new commitment towards being a shutdown defense again.

Stop apologizing. Stop justifying. Just come out of that tunnel and begin to head down the road that has been drawn up on paper. One that reads, “run hard, play physical, make the opponents go three and out, no turnovers.” Simple. Less sexy than the headline grabbers the Jets hand the media every day, but the formula for success that Ryan believes will get the Jets back on track.

Stay focused. Never mind what those outside of the bubble think or say.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Pre-Season Opener Edition

Mike Donnelly’s stock watch is buying and selling for the New York Jets pre-season opener this Friday

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. If you missed it earlier today, check out his piece on fantasy football. Chris Gross also had a great read on Aaron Maybin and yours truly looked at the Jets lack of depth on offense. Yes, we are getting after it here…and yes you should be celebrating the return of Jets football in 3 days by rocking this new shirt –  

With the Jets first preseason game a mere three days away, fans everywhere have been stricken with a major case of Jets-fever. No matter where you look, whether its the TV, Twitter, Jets forums, the radio, this website, or wherever else, people want to discuss all of the ins and outs of the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. This week’s Stock Watch is going to focus on the players and storylines that I’m looking forward to in these preseason games.

BUY: Bilal Powell – The second-year RB was written off by virtually everyone heading into the season, but has by all accounts shown some great ability during training camp. Despite being held down on the ground in last week’s green and white scrimmage (3 offensive linemen were out and he was facing arguably the league’s top D), he did still manage to score a touchdown on a short pass from Mark Sanchez. I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles reps with the first team against some live competition.

SELL: The WR Situation – This has been discussed a ton lately, including on this very site, but it bears watching. The wide receiver situation right now is downright abysmal. With 3 projected top receivers Santonio Holmes, Chaz Schilens, Jeremy Kerley all suffering from injuries we are looking at Stephen Hill and Patrick Turner as the #1 and #2 receivers heading into these pre-season games. Look for a veteran to be brought in after the first wave of cuts around the league, but for now, this position is not looking too strong to say the least.

BUY: Jordan White – All that being said about the WR position being so weak is definitely true, but if there’s a silver lining it is that young players such as 7th round pick Jordan White will get a chance to shine. Our very own Chris Gross was extremely high on this prospect and we’re going to see just how right (or horribly, horribly wrong) he was in projecting White’s talents.

SELL: Austin Howard – With Wayne Hunter banged up, you have to figure Austin Howard is going to get extended looks with the first team unit. Mike Tannenbaum has been talking Howard up for months now, but at this point it’s hard to take him seriously when it comes to these bottom of the roster players. I just don’t think Austin Howard is that good, and I don’t want to see him in there blocking for The Sanchize.

BUY: Quinton Coples – Coples has apparently come alive in a big way the past few days, first with a solid performance in the Green & White Scrimmage, and then again the day of the Brawl to End All Brawls, as he managed to sack quarterback Tim Tebow twice. I am very excited to see our first round pick in some live action.

BUY: Kenrick Ellis – Ellis is definitely going to get extended playing time throughout the preseason and I’m very excited to see how the massive nose tackle has developed heading into year 2. He has the natural ability to be a major contributor on the defensive line, and a strong preseason could really springboard him into more playing time once the games count for real.

BUY: Ricky Sapp – We’ve been talking him up here for months, and doubled down on buying his stock recently, and I for one am very excited about seeing him in action. I think he is going to really play well against the second and third stringers that he will be up against this week and earn himself some more reps with the big boys in coming weeks. He has a lot of potential and could end up playing a key role for the defense before too long.

BUY: The Safeties (Except Eric Smith, obviously) – I’m sure I’m not the only one excited to see our new safety corps in action, particularly LaRon Landry. I know after watching Jets safeties last year, it seems as though ANYBODY would be an upgrade, but this new duo of Landry and Yeremiah Bell could actually be considered very good if they stay healthy and play up to their potential. I’m also very excited to see impressive rookie Antonio Allen in action. We have potentially gone from zero good safeties to 3 or 4. That is very encouraging.

SELL: Injuries – Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed that the Jets don’t suffer any more injuries this preseason. We’ve been fortunate enough to not witness anything too serious yet, and let’s hope it stays that way.

New York Jets: An Examination Of Aaron Maybin’s “Ego”

Chris Gross on why the recent criticism of Aaron Maybin has been unwarranted

In an article published to BuffaloNews.com, columnist Tim Graham observed recent comments made by New York Jets OLB Aaron Maybin. Graham, like many fans and analysts out there, has taken a very negative view of what Maybin has said, declaring him as egotistical and “delusional.” However, when looking at Maybin’s thoughts and comments, with bias aside, there is certainly another way to interpret what the former first round draft choice was preaching. Let’s take a look at each quote while observing how people are interpreting it, along with an alternate translation.

“Me and that slow-down button don’t get along too well, but I’m learning.”

This quote was used as an example to demonstrate how Aaron Maybin’s ego has been refueled in New York. However, finishing the quote by saying “but I’m learning,” tells me something else. Maybin seemingly realizes that he plays completely out of control at times. Although he accumulated 6 sacks over 12 games last season, anyone who knows anything about rushing the passer can tell you that he probably would have reached double digits in sacks if he played with any type of control. Maybin’s high motor is certainly one of the positives to his game, however, getting to the quarterback is an art. Not only do you need to be extremely fast and explosive off of the line of scrimmage, but you also need to have the awareness to slow it down just at the right moment, or you will find yourself running right past the quarterback as he steps up into the pocket, something Maybin did countless times last season. So, while some wish to consider him egotistical for praising his own motor, it is actually a case of Maybin seemingly poking fun at himself, while making the clear assertion that he needs to be more under control to build on his success from last year.

“It is hard to say that you are satisfied, but I am saying this is probably the most fun I’ve had in a training camp in my career.”

Apparently this has been interpreted as Maybin taking a shot at the Bills. People have criticized this comment because Maybin has only been in about 2.5 training camps, if you take his rookie hold out and the fact that he was released twice last season into account. So, because he doesn’t quite have three full training camps under his belt, he isn’t allowed to have fun? Graham makes the argument that he speaks as if he has experience similar to that of Pro Football Hall of Famers.

I’m just not sure what to make of this. Yes, Maybin certainly does not have the most experience in the NFL. However, he simply declared, in comparison to his prior experience, this is the most fun he has had in camp during his short career. Putting any Jets or Bills bias aside, it is fair to say that the more significant role you have on the team, the more enjoying practice will be. This can be related to any field of work. Who do you think has more fun at ESPN every day, Adam Schefter or the night cleaning crew? Who has more fun at the Tonight Show, Jay Leno, or the people collecting tickets at the door? No disrespect to anyone, but work is simply more enjoyable when you have a prominent role in your company, regardless of what field you are in. Maybin finally has a significant role, in an elite defense mind you, so to him, it is exciting to get out there and work towards improving himself and the team every day.

As far as his statement declaring that it is hard to stay satisfied, there is no doubt that anyone associated with sports at any level knows that the best ones never are. Do you think Kobe Bryant is content with five NBA championships? Is Tom Brady happy with his three Super Bowls? Is LeBron James all set now that he has finally won a single Championship? If they were, what would be the point of playing the game? The great ones are never satisfied, regardless of the amount of success they have had. Peyton Manning would already be in discussion as the greatest Quarterback to ever play the game if he were to retire today, however he has worked himself back from a very serious neck injury to continue his career. I can assure you his motivation was not financially related. Any of these players are perfectly fine in that area. Instead, it is that competitive drive, the lifeblood that has propelled each of their careers since the day they began playing their respective sports. Is it a coincidence that players like Brett Favre, Jerry Rice, and Michael Jordan had such a difficult time walking away from the game?

For the most part, anyone who has made it to the professional level, possesses or has possessed that drive at some point during their careers. Maybin struggled early, but because of his hunger, worked himself to a notable season last year. Now, he has simply tasted how sweet personal success is, and he wants more. Maybin is hungry to bring further success not only to himself, but to his team as well. So, while he is being criticized for being cocky, it is simply a matter of the mindset of a professional athlete, the desire to be the best of the best, the need for success and nothing else. Some have it, others don’t, and that can be the difference between good and outstanding when it comes to sports. Maybin is being condemned for speaking about his drive, but he should instead be praised for his continued work ethic to build on his strong 2011.

The final point to be made is the hypocritical title of Graham’s article, since it was posted to a Bills biased news source. Graham entitled his article “Aaron Maybin pretends he has veteran perspective.”

Again, Graham, like everyone else, is entitled to their own opinion and interpretation of quotes. However, Graham claims that Maybin is “a tad delusional about his brief NFL tenure.” This is an interesting choice of words considering how most people closely associated with the Bills seem more than a tad delusional about their complete lack of success over the past two decades. The last time the Bills even appeared in the post season, they fell to Tennessee in what is today known as the Music City Miracle. Yet, Buffalo had a strong offseason and everyone is ready to crown them as the number two team in the division with an almost guaranteed wild card spot. To talk about another team or player having an undeserving sense of entitlement, is beyond hypocritical of anyone associated with Buffalo, considering the franchise’s extensive stretch of below average play.