115-Day New York Jets Warning – Muhammad Wilkerson Is A Beast

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Here at Turn On The Jets, we decided to take a page out of Robert Mays book over at Grantland (a polite way of saying rip his article idea off) by counting down the 115 days until the New York Jets kick off, with a daily reason to get excited about their return. Mays has the whole NFL to work with, we only have the Goddamn Jets…now there is a challenge, step your game up Mays! 

We start today with Muhammad Wilkerson and his beastliness

The New York Jets took Wilkerson with the 30th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, breaking a running three year streak of awful early round choices. Vernon Gholston at #6 in 2008? Mark Sanchez at #5 in 2009? Kyle Wilson at #29 in 2010? Vlad Ducasse at #61 in 2010? GAHH!

Finally the Jets got one right with Wilkerson who started from day one in 2011 and finished with 49 tackles, 3 sacks and a forced fumble. It was an encouraging rookie season where he was productive but also flashed immense potential for the future.

Wilkerson didn’t wait long to meet that demonstrated potential, as he was terrific last season and really should have been a 2nd Team All-Pro selection and Pro-Bowl player. The numbers are nice for a 3-4 defensive end (69 tackles, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 touchdown, 4 passes defensed) but how Wilkerson was able to dominate the line of scrimmage so consistently despite always being double teamed is what was really impressive.

Pro Football Focus had Wilkerson ranked as the 14th best player in the NFL last year and the 2nd best 3-4 defensive end behind JJ Watt (who just knocked down another Mark Sanchez pass somewhere). The film from Wilkerson throughout the 2012 season was so impressive that I thought our resident defensive lineman Chris Gross would be getting a Wilkerson tattoo by the end of the year. Whether it was blocking field goals, running back touchdowns ended by dunks over the goal post, or coming up with another strip sack, Wilkerson was a beast in 2012 and projects to be even better in 2013.

Why is that? As we discussed earlier at TOJ, the growth of Quinton Coples and the additions of Sheldon Richardson and Antwan Barnes should allow for less double teams on Wilkerson, which means more havoc caused by him upfront.

The YouTube directory on Wilkerson is horrifically weak, the best thing I could find is him buying a house on this awful celebrity realtor show

More importantly this picture of a jovial Wilkerson made it to the TOJ banner, as he has taken over the title and banner location from Darrelle Revis as the best overall player on the team. HIGH HONORS!

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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS STORY PITCH OF THE DAY - 1,900 words on how Matt Simms isn’t really going to get a fair shake in the quarterback competition, anonymously sourced by the taco stand guy who works near Florham Park who said “Simms? Guy is just camp arm with a famous last name” ZING…still a hard hitting enough quote for the NYDN.

RANDOM JET TO REMEMBER OF THE DAY - JOE KOWALESKI! Who caught a 1 yard touchdown pass for the 2007 Jets against Washington? Backup tight end/fullback/H-Back Joe Kowaleski did!

“It was a 1-yard catch and about a 50-yard celebration,” Jets Coach Eric Mangini said of the reception in Sunday’s loss to the Redskins. “I lost track of it after the first 20 yards and 35 fist pumps.” 

“That’s the longest celebration I’ve seen in my life,“ linebacker Eric Barton said.

Joe Kowalewski, Chris Baker

  • George

    Great job fellas! I’m actually really excited about this team and he solid foundation we are building around!

  • KAsh

    Good luck with this series. How long can you hold out before praising the backup LBs and incoming class of third-string WRs?

  • twoshady

    Joe… don’t you mean Matt Simms? Chris is his brother the coaching assistant for NE.

  • Joe Caporoso

    You are correct twoshady, my bad.

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  • Dima

    Personally, I’d have held off on writing the Mo’ article until later on in the lineup. May not get the chance to throw out the “Rontez Miles Might Be a Stud” piece in June when the Jets cut him to make room for Quintin Demps.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Ya’ll are underestimating my creativity

  • Nikolas

    Wilkerson, Coples, Richardson and Ellis should be a top defensive line in the NFL.

    If Barnes and Pace give us something solid the defense is going to be great.

  • mikeM

    Nicholas according to Joe, Ellis will be off the team because he got hurt and he was drafted by Tanny. SMH

  • Joe Caporoso

    MikeM – I encourage you to go back and read the article again since I clearly state that Ellis isn’t in danger of being cut but is simply in danger of seeing less playing time than originally expected this year due to the addition of Richardson and Garay, along with the Jets moving to more 4-3 fronts, while he is built to be a pure 3-4 nose tackle.

  • sephenf

    MIKE M do you not know anything about FB lol KEndrick ELlis is a NOSE and in a 3-4 or a 4 3 is no difference. He is there to shoot a gap and a double team everytime. Please know what your talking about before making an uneducated comment.

  • Matr Dontelli III

    Joe, you do a great job of writing. Now if you could start reading it to us maybe some of the slower guys could understand.

  • mikeM

    @sephenf you must be speaking to Joe he is the one who said Ellis will see less playing time because the jets are going to play more 4-3 so complain to him lol

  • KAsh

    This argument has gotten ridiculous.

    Here is what Joe wrote:

    “A few other Tannenbaum selections aren’t likely in danger of missing the final 53 but could be bumped down the depth chart without strong summers…

    Kenrick Ellis – 2011 3rd Round Pick – Ellis is built to be the best pure nose tackle on the roster but with the variety of personnel options the Jets have, particularly with Sheldon Richardson and Antonio Garay now in the fold, Ellis could see a limited amount of weekly reps. He has immense physical potential but still needs to show an ability to stay healthy and consistent.”

    The Jets seemingly like their players, especially in the front seven to be versatile and be able to play multiple positions. The drafting of Sheldon Richardson hammers this point home. The Jets liked him over some other great DTs because he could line up all over the D-line.

    In this light, Garay, who was thought to be Ellis’s backup, but who, like Richardson, has played many different D-line positions over his career, creates a much bigger threat to Ellis than first thought. Garay takes double teams when tasked to do so, but can also penetrate from the 3-technique and rush from the 5-technique. Here is this site’s analysis of Garay when he was signed by the Jets:

    http://turnonthejets.com/2013/03/new-york-jets-dt-antonio-garay/

    This review does say that Garay will probably be a backup to the entire current D-line, able to substitute any player and surprise offenses. I think that this would be a much better use of Garay than as a pure NT.

    But when we are talking about who Garay would replace, AKA take reps from, between Wilkerson, Richardson, and Ellis, Ellis is currently the odd man out based on his injury history and the promise/talent of the other two. Ellis will probably be the starter, but may have Garay come in for him on a significant amount of reps. And, if Ellis does not show his mettle in camp – competition through and through – Garay might be the starter and Ellis his backup.

    This site has actually been a supporter of Ellis. They liked him when he played last year. Can we please drop this?

  • francesco bruno

    I’d rather antonio garay over ellis don’t see much prduction coming out of him plus our defense should be top 5 this year!

  • Boomer

    Love the random jet to remember