Turn On The Jets 12 Pack – Early New York Jets 2013 Opinion Edition

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The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack is back with an op-ed edition, clarifying a collection of early opinions on the 2013 New York Jets that I either see frequently criticized or questioned on Twitter or in the comment section. I encourage the disagreement, that is part of the fun this whole thing, no? 

We are going to give our live chat plug-in a shot at 1 PM today. The kinks are still being worked out but we are giving it a go so we can troubleshoot for weekly editions. So come by at 1 PM, ask some questions in the post and let’s talk Jets, NFL or whatever else you want. Try to keep it PG-13. If the game is available on digital channels only, viewers should make sure they have access to the best providers not to miss a game. If not available on local TV, fans have to look for a good digital TV provider.

1. Joe McKnight Won’t Make The Final 53 - After the Mike Goodson and Chris Ivory acquisitions, I didn’t McKnight sticking on the final roster. My logic was that if the team was sold on McKnight’s ability, they wouldn’t have brought Goodson in who is basically a better version of him. Now due to Goodson’s legal issues there is obviously a much better chance of McKnight sticking around. I think people tend to overrate McKnight’s value as a kick returner and the difficulty of finding competent kick returners in general. Without question, McKnight has talent but if Goodson is available on day one of training camp, he is opening as the 4th running back and I don’t see him leap-frogging anybody in front of him. Maybe the Jets keep four halfbacks? Maybe Goodson is suspended? Maybe. But it is far from a slam dunk that McKnight is on the team in September, especially if he struggles picking up the playbook.

2. Vlad Ducasse Won’t Make The Final 53 - There is a belief among some Jets fans that Ducasse was good in his limited duty last season. I didn’t see it. The only reason he was rotating with Matt Slauson was because of pressure from the front office who wasted a 2nd round pick on him. Ducasse bounced between mediocre and average in his limited reps. If this coaching staff had any confidence in his ability, they don’t sign Willie Colon and Stephen Peterman and they don’t draft Brian Winters, Oday Aboushi and William Campbell to play guard. Ducasse is also behind Caleb Schlauderaff in terms of value because Schlauderaff can play center also. Unless there is injuries, Ducasse isn’t starting or being the backup swing lineman this year and he probably isn’t making the final 53. The new offensive staff and front office has no loyalty to him.

3. Geno Smith Will Start Week One - Yes, I have long been categorized as SANCHEZ APOLOGIST but I think the Jets second round rookie quarterback is going to start day one. There is going to be no hesitation from Rex Ryan to start a rookie, just like there wasn’t in 2009. All Smith needs to do is look competent in training camp and the pre-season and he’ll get the job. I’m sorry, I just don’t see Sanchez running away with the job enough to keep Smith on the bench. I’ve lost betting on Sanchez in the past and I’m not doing it again.

4. Brian Winters Will Start Week One - Another rookie starter. Willie Colon is going to start at one Guard spot, leaving the other spot basically between Winters and Stephen Peterman. Winters skill set and attitude should make an early impression on the Jets coaching staff and I think they let him roll from day one with Peterman being the backup/swing lineman.

5. Binky Offensive Player - Most Jets fans and writers (whether they want to admit it or not) have a “binky” player who they believe is better than most give credit for. On offense, mine is Jeremy Kerley who I think is a much more complete and talented overall receiver than many seem to. I see Santonio Holmes being the 1A option in the passing game this year with Kerley being the 1B option, with Stephen Hill and the tight ends well behind them.

6. Binky Defensive Player - Antonio Allen. I like the physicality Allen plays with and think he will make a impact in a number of defensive packages for the Jets as a slot corner, blitzer and traditional safety.

7. Kyle Wilson Isn’t Good - I always believed he was overextended as a starter and I don’t even classify him as a quality nickel back. He has never developed the needed ball awareness skills and has never brought anything to the return game, like he was supposed to coming out of college. Both Aaron Berry and Darrin Walls have the ability to push him for reps as the 3rd corner and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them took the job from him, like Drew Coleman did back in 2010. Maybe it is a harsh assessment but there is no way I see him getting a second contract from the Jets.

8. Ivory > > > Greene - Chris Ivory is going to be an IMMENSE upgrade over Shonn Greene at running back. If he can stay healthy over 16 games and if you gave the same amount of carries and blocking that Greene had last year, I think he racks up 300-350 more yards and 3-5 more touchdowns. Those numbers might not jump off the page to you but they average out to another full yard per carry and you’ll notice the difference week to week.

9. Jeff Cumberland’s Value - He should be a situational backup on passing downs. He doesn’t have the skill set to start or even be a full time backup. The Jets need help at tight end, immediately.

10. You HATE these guys, don’t you? - There is no personal vendetta from me or this site against any Jets player, especially since I’ve basically never met any of them. I just go by what I see on the tape and offer my opinion.

11. Quick Hitters -

  • Greg McElroy – Career 3rd stringer.
  • David Harris – Was one of worst starting ILBs in football last year. Team badly needs bounce-back year from him.
  • Santonio Holmes – Talent to be a true number one receiver when he wants to be.
  • Muhammad Wilkerson – Best 3-4 DE in football not named JJ Watt.
  • Quinton Coples – Future Pro-Bowler and double digit sack guy.
  • Austin Howard – Good run blocker. Poor in pass protection. Has long term potential.
  • Sheldon Richardson – Will be the best pro from the Jets 2013 Draft Class.

12. REMINDER - Live chat at 1 PM.

  • matr dontelli iii

    i wouldn’t argue anything except i think mcknight sticks due to the uncertainty surrounding goodson. if by september they know goodson is good to go and will not be suspended then i could see mcknight being cut. nice work, as always.

  • Vic Wooten

    i agree with most everything said here except the quarterback situation. sanchez will be the starter, and to everyones surprise (even so called sanchez apologists), will thrive. he’s built for this kind of offense. i don’t see what everyone else sees in this geno smith. he might have some talent but, some of the things i see in him reminds me of vince young. that won’t fly in this organization. go jets.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    1. While its a possibility McKnight doesn’t make it to week 1, with Ivory & Goodson having durability issues & the lack of depth at WR, I could see MM creating a role for a guy like McKnight that is explosive & can make plays in space.

    2. Vlad was reported to be playing with the ‘A’ team on Wed by nj.com, so perhaps rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.

    3. The Sanchez/Geno battle will be very interesting. I think it’s a toss up at this point, but I suspect MM wants to choose the starter sooner rather than later because the offense will differ greatly depending upon who he chooses.

    4. We’ll see the battle for starting OG positions should also be very interesting. It won’t get the media attention that the QB battle gets, but will be just as important to the Jets success, or lack of, in 2013.

    5. There’s a strong possibility Kerley ends up having a better year than Santonio, IMO.

    6. It’ll be interesting to watch this guy develop under Rex & DT. Does he end up as Digs 2.0 or grow into a full-time safety role?

    7. It’ll be interesting to see how Wilson responds to the drafting of Milliner. Wilson as shown himself to be a liability, not an asset. I could see him getting cut ths year, if he doesn’t improve & Milliner, Berry, & Walls are healthy.

    8. I could not agree more.

    9. Crumby is also terrible. Hopefully the jets can find a couple of decent veterans who get cut in camp so we can move on from this failed project player.

    10. Fwiw, the reporting/opinions on this site seem objective & fact based to me.

    11. McElroy was reported to have gotten the fewest reps on Wednesday by nj.com, which would indicate he’s running with the 4th team. Im not sure he has the arm strength to be an NFL QB.

  • Harold

    Two Words: Vlad Ducasse. Joe you know I love the insight and the blog. But as with Sanchez last year you can make yourself believe something which is not so just because you want to believe it.

    A few Quick points:

    Where is Matt Slauson? He is a Bear and signed a one year deal for $815k. That should tell you all you need to know about how Vlad performed and what the NFL and the Jets thought about Slauson as a long-term option.

    Next, you act as though them drafting a Guard in the 3rd round means Vlad is off the roster. It is just silly and you are better than that. What it means is we have 4 O-lineman who will be free agents next year, Peterman, Colon, Howard and Vlad. So you plan for the O-line of the future if Colon has an outstanding year and you can not afford to keep him you have his replacement at LG in Winters (I think even if Colon is productive they probably let him walk and get a compensatory pick down the road for him) Idzik is playing chess like the Ozzie Newsome’s of the world have been doing for years. Peterman is a one year stop-gap, depth player. Vlad if he performs well because of age would probably be re-signed at a team friendly long-term deal.

    You really believe Oday and Campbell will make the Jets roster before Vlad? Peterman is a NFL level starter on a bottom 10 O-line. Not a top ten O-line like the Jets. He is there if Vlad does not pick up the system right away. Otherwise he may actually be cut which would save us 555k.

    You spoke about how you just did not see Vlad play well. Be honest, tell me did you really notice him at all? Most likely not because most people only notice guards when they do things wrong and Vlad was pretty solid last year. With another year under his belt he should be even better this season.

    Lastly, it took you a year to see the light on Sanchez and next year you will see the light with Vlad. I am trying to help you get there faster but when you get that look in you eye… You just can’t be talked to… LOL

  • Harold

    Vic you said not sure what fans see in Smith… A talented 3 year college starter who can protect the ball when he asked to throw it and can at least complete short pass plays with accuracy. In Sanchez we have seen ineptitude.. the inability to complete even short passes with regularity and no ability to protect the ball.

    That makes Geno a better fit in this offense and makes Sanchez a poor fit in any offense right now.

  • KAsh

    Harold, what does it say about Vlad that he could not beat out Slauson? Slauson is not a great guard. As you yourself point out, he was signed for the veteran minimum to a different. I agree that Slauson is not valued by NFL personnel. But that is not a good argument for Vlad.

    Peterman was part of a top 10 line last year. Football Outsiders rated Detroit as the #1 O-line in the adjusted sack rate and in the upper half in its average line yards stat. PFF had the Lions as the #7 line, #4th in run blocking, and #13th in pass blocking. Peterman was the weak link, but the weak link in a strong group. And Colon and Winters are better than him.

    Vlad is stuck between experienced veterans and talented newcomers. You keep Campbell and Aboushi because of what they promise; you keep Colon and Peterman because of what they can do. Vlad might be the starter, but he has more serious competition than Sanchez.

  • Simon Gribben

    My binkies are Miles and McElroy. I don’t think Mc is being given the chance to prove himself as a ball protector and smart game manager which is all the Jets really need now with an improved defense. Speaking defensively, Miles is the surest tackler in space that I’ve seen. ST guaranteed while pressuring for Safety reps.

  • KAsh

    1. I think McKnight makes the final cut if he stops fumbling the ball. He is a better fit for this offense than Powell.

    2. Vlad might start, but not without incredible improvement.

    3. Sanchez has looked much better than Smith in the OTAs. Smith will start, but it will be closer to mid-year.

    4. Agree

    5. Had a laugh at myself. My binky is definitely Sanchez, if that was not obvious.

    9. I honestly believe Hayden Smith will beat out Cumberland for the starting job.

  • matr dontelli iii

    kash, i hope you’re right on #9

  • Harold

    KAsh I was waiting for you to respond.

    As I stated Peterman should only an NFL level starter on a bottom 10 O-line. Not that Detroit was a bottom 10 line. He was pretty bad last year. Vlad was a better player, IMO.

    Also my statement was not that Slauson was bad, because he was a slightly above average NFL guard. My statement reflects two things:

    1)Vlad is a slightly above average Guard with only one full year of experience (this a positive despite people refusing to acknowledge this point) vs Slauson a slightly above average Guard who is a three year starter.

    2) A smart team looking at upside (Vlad) vs no upside(Slauson) makes this an easy decision for any front office to let the limited, although dependable veteran leave when you have player who can already perform at that level.

    Vlad was only in his 1st full-time season at guard so the team with a 3rd year starter hedged their bet and let Vlad who earned his playing time while Slauson sit out much of the last off-season after surgery. So Vlad was able to learn and play 30% of the snaps so they could gauge if what he did in practice translated to Sundays. Vlad and Slauson were similar players last year and now the Jets could reasonably expect him to be much better with a full season under his belt.

    Peterman is a hedge this year only if Vlad can’t pick up the WCO fast enough (since Vlad main problem has been picking up the systems, not football talent ala Vernon Gholston).

    Lastly you stated Colon (YES) and Winters (We have no clue) are better than him (I assume you mean Peterman). Winters is not a definite improvement over anyone right now as a first year player switching positions.

    Seems logical not sure why people can’t follow the breadcrumbs. I get tired sometimes, having to explain such obvious details (sarcasm only) but hey that is part of the fun.

  • KAsh

    @Harold – I generally ignore laughable arguments, but you repeated one. The only way “Vlad Ducasse” and “upside” belong in the same sentence clause is with a negation between them. As in “Vlad Ducasse has no upside.”

    Campbell is the upside guard. Ducasse had three years to show upside. And it was obvious on Hard Knocks back in 2010 that he was not going places. You keep saying he only had one full year as only a guard. That is true, but only because he was so awful at guard in his rookie year, they threw a hail mary and tried to find a spot for him at right tackle. First year, he was a backup tackle/guard, which is Aboushi now. Then they tried to salvage him as a tackle. Then they tried him as a guard. Then his main backer got fired. He has to show a whole lot of fight if he wants someone to give him another chance.

    The other thing is his slow adaptibility. LG is jam-packed. Winters was told he would be a LG. Colon was a LG with the Steelers. Peterman was a RG. Ducasse only ever played as a LG. He either has to beat out both Winters and Colon or he has to move to RG, which the team probably wants Colon to do. The backup will probably know how to play both positions, so he has a long way to go either way.

    Ducasse is definitely your binky.

    Finally, not that it matters, but Peterman is a boom or bust as a guard. He grades out better than average but he is PFF’s #4 run blocker in the league for positive contributions. He was the worst pass protector on a team that allowed the least sacks last year. He would have beat Slauson one-handed last year.

  • Harold

    Kash:

    Your statements are the only laughable ones I see here.

    First your statements that Vlad was bad at Guard so they moved him to RT shows a complete lack of understanding of why Vlad was drafted orginally. You continue to think you know more than you do which is an achilles heel of a lot of people that blog.

    Vlad was drafted to be the RT of the future. He was going to kick inside to guard if he won the competiton (until Woody retired or moved on) and then back to RT. He was switching positions and was unable to beat out Slauson who had played in the Callahan system in college and than already in the NFL for one year. However, contrary to your limited knowledge base he was drafted to be the RT of the future.

    Ducasse is already playing RG in OTA’s and again contrary to your limited knowledge Ducasse has gotten snaps at RG in the pre-season and regular season, although he has primarily played at LG.

    Lastly Peterman was a disaster in pass blocking and was on a team that did not run much so his run blocking grade which was better than his career may have be an anomaly. Because he was such a disaster and teams pass more than they run to say he would have beat out Slauson is a guess and not definitive by any stretch (I believe because it is a pass first league Slauson’s superior pass blocking probably gets him the nod).

    Lastly Ducasse is not my binky (although I hope people can look at him objectively), but he is a good example of how some Jets fans will hold on to hope for players who hurt us (Sanchez) but damn players that have potential like Ducasse. I admit I was disappointed he did not develop into a better tackle, but I don’t hold it against him forever. Larry Allen or Leonard Davis were poor tackles (not comparing him them, although I would hope he can become a Leonard Davis type player), they were pretty good guards. Being bad at one position on the O-line does not automatically mean you can’t play. Even Tony Mandrich became a decent guard after being a disaster at Tackle.

    So please stop with the over-reaching statements. Lastly if I were to follow your logic Peterman should be being touted as the starter but sadly have not seen it reported as such. I watched Peterman last year and for a guard I noticed him on rollerskates far too often. So please bring a little more to your arguments because in the end the joke is on you.

  • joeydefiant

    The Lions attempted the most passes in the league last year. Take that into consideration when talking about Peterman. He didn’t run block often, and when he did the defense was probably expecting pass with their nickel package anyway.

  • joeydefiant

    Hayden Smith is going to be the starting TE and have 40 catches and about 500 yards with 5 tds.

  • KAsh

    They drafted Vlad to be the eventual starter at RT. They did not want his rookie year to go to waste, so they tried him at guard, where he failed. Next year, they tried him at RT, where he failed. He failed so badly that he was not considered a tackle anymore. In his third year, he failed to become a starter again. But the Jets needed to see if they were right or if he stepped up in games, so they platooned the position in the least harmful way possible. But any professional evaluator that looked at him, including his own o-line coach, thought he should not have been playing.

    The GM that drafted him got fired. The new GM reevaluated the entire roster. With limited resources and a lot of holes to fill, he let every starting guard walk and then brought five new players for this position. Whereas outsiders thought that other areas needed more attention, Idzik’s evaluation must have highlighted OG as the place at which to throw the kitchen sink. A third round pick is normally a starter, especially when it is a second-round talent that slipped because of the overload of talent at the position that year.

    If Ducasse had done anything worthy of starting, Idzik would be really foolish and impulsive to focus so much on the position. But all evidence points to that he is the opposite. He was more worried about this area than OLB, safety, or TE. He handed out “show me” contracts to Colon and Peterman, then went out and drafted Winters, who by the way needed one week of Senior Bowl practices to mildly pick up the position (unlike Vlad, who even you admit needs decades to learn blocking assignments). You do not do this in such numbers if you feel you have one of your spots filled.

    No one else is arguing for Ducasse. All the evidence is going against him. Ducasse getting cut is probably the most likely thing to happen out of Joe’s ten predictions. But if you want to keep arguing against reason, go ahead. Ducasse is a great talent, OJ did not kill his wife, and JFK was murdered with a magic bullet.

  • matr dontelli iii

    ducasse is on the last year of his rookie contract. the idea of him doing virtually nothing to earn his pay for the last three years and now he’s gonna perform is silly. his replacement is on the roster. he would have to do far more in this training than he has to date to stick around past august. i wouldn’t bet on him making it.

  • Harold

    Kash and matr dontelli iii:

    Your statements have very little to no proof behind them. It is sad a reach to continue much beyond a few quick statements.

    You say they did not want his rookie year to go to waste so they tried him at Guard? You realize we had Damien Woody one of the top 3 RT in the NFL, right? He was given an opportunity to compete at a new position guard and was unsuccessful.

    I believe it hurt his development to switch positions when he was already considered a project coming out of school. But regardless of why he was not successful at RT. He has played well at guard and will continue to get better. His long arms and strength and above average athleticism for guard make him a potentially excellent football player.

    They will certainly cut Peterman before Vlad. Cap savings (Vlad 200k in savings, Peterman 555k in savings) and Vlad upside all but guarantee him a spot unless he is hurt. And his play if he continues to progress like he did last year should make him the starter at RG.

    I am constantly giving football lesons on this site I may need to set up a PO BOX for donations for my time.

    Again it is all in good fun until the next debate.

  • Dan in RI

    Ryan had no hesitation starting Sanchez as a rookie because he basically had no fall-back option. Sanchez’ career suffered as a result. He would have been better served by carrying a clipboard for a year or two. If Geno doesn’t look ready to start, I say let Sanchez play.

  • Dan in RI

    I am hoping Hayden Smith turns out to be a find at TE—but I don’t really expect it. Yes, we need help there badly. Maybe a good vet gets cut in camp?