TOJ Roundtable: Jets Playing Out The String Edition

The TOJ Roundtable discusses what they want to see most out of the Jets the final four games of the season

The Turn On The Jets Roundtable is back to debate issues surrounding the New York Jets. Make sure to give all of the writers a follow on Twitter and if there is a question you want to see us debate, leave it in the comment section!

What do you want to see most out of the Jets final four games?

Joe Caporoso Most importantly, I’d like to see strides from this season’s draft picks, which means Geno Smith doing enough to be a viable competitor for the starting job next year, Dee MIlliner looking like he may be able to start next season, and Brian Winters doing something besides getting rag-dolled on every play. Furthermore, the Jets should be playing Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen 100% of the snaps in the secondary the rest of the way. Ed Reed and Antonio Cromartie (who is hurt, anyway) won’t be here next season, while Walls and Allen will be, so get them additional experience. Rex Ryan probably isn’t going to oblige, unfortunately.

Personally, I do think it is time for the Jets to move on from Rex. However, he can make a strong case to keep his job in the final four games. A strong case in my opinion is winning three out of four and being highly competitive in the game they lose. A strong case isn’t squeaking out ugly home wins over the putrid Raiders and Browns and then getting waxed by Carolina and Miami. Jets fans shouldn’t find fools gold in beating a team like Oakland 12-9 and Cleveland 14-13. Let’s see how Rex gets this team ready to compete against a legitimate Super Bowl contender in Carolina and a divisional rival who will be in the playoff hunt like Miami.

Finally, even though I don’t think he is a good NFL wide receiver or a player with a high ceiling, the Jets need to force feed Stephen Hill the ball a little bit. They need to give him some chances to make plays and see if there is anything there.

Cole Patterson In a perfect world I would like to see:

  • Rex Ryan doing enough to keep his job so he can keep grooming this defensive monster he has started
  • Dee Milliner earn his playing time and show marked improvement over the final stretch
  • Ed Reed and Antonio Cromartie ride the pine while Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls prove they can be future contributors for this team
  • Geno Smith not miss a snap and show enough for the team to warrant building around the quarterback in 2014 (WRs, TEs, Gs, etc.) instead of reaching or overpaying for a new one

What I expect:

  • Rex Ryan will do just enough to make whether or not to retain him as the head coach a difficult decision and earn the ire of the fan base
  • Dee Milliner will continue to play erratically and show that he really could have used a full training camp
  • Ryan will stubbornly continue to start Reed and Cromartie while the younger backs with more future potential waste away
  • Geno Smith, like Ryan and Milliner, will do just enough for nobody, from Idzik to the fans, know what to do about the quarterback position in 2014

**Note: I am not arguing that he deserves it, but if Ryan was assured of his job security, he too could begin planning for 2014 (as the rest of the organization has done). He could put Smith, Allen, Walls, and the rest in a position to show what they have.

TJ Rosenthal –  To be honest with you all a you know me as a rare glass half full Jets fan, the hope is gone for me. I had hoped at 5-4 to see an offense have two weeks to gear up to a wildcard level. Two weeks for Rex to make clear headed choices on how to proceed on defense given the clear issues at corner. Instead it’s been a disaster since the Buffalo game.

I “hope” the Jets run the table and sneak in. I expect them though to lose to Oakland and slowly implode from there. Leaving them 5-11 or 6-10 and the HC out of a job.

Geno won’t show us anything we haven’t seen. Some decent plays and throws mixed in with game changing mistakes. Garrard will probably start one of the final games because only the Jets would even consider turning to a banged up 35 year old backup to play out the string.

Frank Giasone – Here we are sitting at 5-7 with four games remaining. Not exactly the scenario many expected a few weeks ago, but a fairly reasonable position considering the state of this Jets roster. So what can we look for during this four-game span?

In my mind, it’s the same thing I’ve been looking for since August. A true evaluation of the Jets roster. It’s time to figure out who’s going to be here next season, and who won’t. With the playoffs out of the question, there’s really no better time to figure out what this team has, and what it’s lacking.

A few specific things I’ll be looking for:

  • For me, this is the one factor that’s most important moving forward: Can this team actually compete during this final stretch of games? It’s not about wins or losses for Rex Ryan anymore. It’s about getting a team that has no shot at the playoffs to play like these games actually have meaning. Rex’s job may depend on his ability to get a flawed roster to remain competitive down the stretch and while he’s struggled to do so over the past three weeks, he still has some time to persuade John Idzik to stick with him moving forward.
  • Is there a need to look for a new quarterback this offseason or can Geno Smith reignite the excitement that came following the comeback win in Atlanta earlier in the season? While many want to see Geno benched in favor of Matt Simms, come NFL Draft time, having as much information possible on the rookie QB will be paramount to the Jets’ draft decisions this April.
  • Are any of these wide receivers capable of starting in the NFL? Chances are there won’t be many returning faces in the WR corps next season, but there are a couple of guys to keep your eye on. The receivers I have on the bubble heading into next season include Stephen Hill, Greg Salas and David Nelson. This is clearly a position of need with this team and if these guys want a legitimate shot at hanging around next season, they’ll need to show more than they have recently.
  • On defense, it’s time to give Antonio Allen his snaps back. Ed Reed won’t be here next season, and many (including myself) have high hopes for Allen moving forward. His snaps have been dwarfed by the Reed signing, and honestly, that needs to change for the good of Allen’s development.
  • The same can be said for cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Cro, who has a pretty hefty salary figure next season, has been nursing injuries all year, leading to a less than spectacular season. The Jets may be best to cut ties with the former pro-bowler in the offseason and a guy like Darrin Walls could certainly benefit from the added snaps this year. Cromartie’s constant injuries this year offer Rex the perfect excuse to sit down the big-name corner. We’ll see if Rex see’s it the same way.

Daniel Marcus – In a word, hope. I want to see some reason to hope and believe that this team is on the upswing, that John Idzik didn’t waste high picks on the likes of Dee Milliner and Geno Smith, that they can show they can play in this league and for this team. I want to see some fight and although it won’t mean anything for their playoff prospects, I would love to see this team at least get to .500 so that Rex has a puncher’s chance of keeping his job, I won’t be bashful about, I’m an unabashed (I know that’s redundant, sue me) Rex Ryan supporter and I think pulling the plug on him now will set this franchise back another year. Assuming they bring in an offensive coach with different offensive and defensive philosophies, it can only hurt the growth of the Jets’ young core. The one thing that would absolutely kill me would be seeing Rex go and having to watch Idzik bring in one of his Ex-Tampa buddies and have to watch this once-proud and aggressive unit play the “Tampa 2,” yuck.

Mike O’Connor – Dan’s write-in scares me a bit. It would be great to see Dee Milliner and Geno Smith make some strides in their game in the season’s last four weeks, yes, but wins will only help Rex Ryan keep his job. It’s tough for me to say I want the Jets to lose out, even if that means a higher draft pick, because a 5-11 season is just depressing. I’m really conflicted. I fear that Rex will somehow find a way to keep his job, so good showings from Geno, Milliner, and more would please me even if they came at the expense of a few wins.

However, I would hate to see the Jets win out or even win three of the last four. While it would show promise, Rex Ryan has made it quite clear in a short period of time that he is not going to be a consistent thinker to help this team win consistently, and three/four fluky wins against equally bad teams (outside of Carolina) in the final stretch of a season shouldn’t change that. When it comes to specific players, I’d like to see Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls play significant snaps (as they should have been all season) since they are apart of the future of this team, but I really can’t trust Rex with making the correct decisions anymore for this team anyway.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • Lidman

    I think you want to see the Jets win games, plain and simple. They are 4-2, at home. Cleveland, and Oakland are 1-3 (and at NE this week), and 1-5, on the road, respectively. The Jets should win those games. Sure, it’d be great if they dominated, but winning is really all that counts.

    The team has lost 4 of it’s last 5, and everyone is jumping ship. I understand the frustration, but don’t necessarily agree on the sentiment. At one point Baltimore had lost 4 of 5 this season, and they fought back, Miami started 3-0, then lost 4 in a row, had their locker room blow up and now have won 2 of 3, and many are calling them a playoff team. Point: don’t get stuck on the most recent run. You want the coaches to get the team ready to play, and put them in position to win and then have the players execute. Do that over the next 4, and win as many as you can.

    As for personnel:
    -play Geno, and go back to what was working early in the season
    -figure out if this kid Winters can play and heck, even give Ducasse some of Colon’s snaps
    -fully agree w/Joe on Hill. If he’s healthy, start forcing him the ball downfield, and get him the ball in space (reverse maybe) and see what he is. He’s had a couple of decent moments this year, but they need to have a better idea of what he can be before next year’s off-season.
    -Get Ellis more snaps and figure out between he, and Harrison, who will be the better fit as the primary NT (assuming Rex is here). Both are talented, and who knows maybe the Jets could turn one of them into a need. I mean, Chicago is dying for interior help, maybe, with Jeffery’s emergence, they’d be open to moving Marshall? Or maybe, Dallas would be open to moving Terrence Williams (who was picked 2 picks after Brian Winters). Pouha, Harrison and Ellis..3 ‘hard to move guys’ developed by this staff. There has to be a market for those guys, and (again assuming Rex stays) Idzik should be confident Rex can find/develop another.
    -Play your young DBs and see what you have. Cro is gone. Reed is gone and Landry is not likely to be back either.

    The one thing this team has generally been, at least defensively, since Rex came here: agrressive. They seemed to be more aggressive, offensively, early in the season. Even defensively, the last 3 games Buff, Balt and Mia have kept drives going with 3 step drops. Get those corners up and if they get beat, at least you’ll have made the opposing QB make a throw. Too many pitch/catch 1st downs during this string.

    Win some games…that’s what I want.

  • Johnny

    i’m all for rex coming back. i don’t think it is his fault we are losing games and the offense stinks. just like you need lemons to make lemonade, you need good playmakers to score points in the nfl. also, players like to play for rex so it will make it easier for us to compete for free agents that we want.

    i’m hoping we can get our shit together and finish 3-1. if we are able to do that, if you look at the schedules of our competitors, we have an outside shot at still making the playoffs.

  • KAsh

    Before the start of the season, I said the Jets would go 6-10 if Geno started. Right now, that seems to be optimistic. When your offense scores 13 points in a three game span, you are not going to win a lot of games unless something changes.

    I want to see Geno play well, but at this point in the season that seems to be a lost cause. Geno is not going to wake up next morning and be able to read defenses or feel pressure or memorize the entire playbook or go through all of his progressions or not stare down his receiver or be decisive in throwing the ball to his receiver. Defenses are swallowing him alive and it is not his fault; he simply lacks the skills to do anything about it. I expect to see one more game of Geno and then to see him holding a clipboard next season behind a veteran we bring in through FA.

    Our safety position is also too weak. Our corners play their best when they are not the last line of defense against the deep ball, but our safeties cannot provide that. This is not something Allen can do, so starting Allen and Milliner and Walls will mean playing a secondary that cannot function. It is not a true evaluation of anyone’s talent when you set them up to fail, which holds true for both the young talent in the secondary and under center.

    On a positive note, I expect Winters to pick up his game. He has played the last three games against very solid d-lines and has been overmatched. Carolina and the Dolphins, part II, will not help his case (or they will if he has incredible games) but the Raiders and the Browns should be on his level.

    I also expect Coples to develop further as a pass rusher. It is not enough just to pressure QBs. I want him to finish with more sacks than last year. He had 5.5 last year and has two this year, so I want him to average at least a sack a game, and have a little bit of a coming out party.

    I do not know what expectations you can have from Hill and Salas when the entire team has averaged nine catches over the last three games. I am satisfied that both of them will be on the team heading into next year’s training camp.

    Finally, the Jets are great at winning meaningless games, so I would love for them to do enough to impress, but lose. On the one hand, a 9-7 team just shy of the playoffs would be in position to draft one of only three TEs that are worth drafting (the competition level swan dives after them); on the other hand a 5-11 team can draft Sammy Watkins in the first round and may still pick up one of the three TEs in the second. Rex is Idzik’s decision, so meaningless wins and meaningless losses should not affect his stock. Idzik already knows what Rex can do with a roster he has given him and while I think he has done enough with a bad roster, Idzik’s opinion is all that matters. Does Idzik think Rex can use his roster to its full potential or does he think he can go further with someone else? I think Idzik already knows the answer.

  • Lidman


    Beating Atlanta, on the road, after the Pittsburgh loss, and then NE and NO, at home, are meaningless games?

    6-10 is ‘optimistic’? No, 8-8, or 9-7 is optimistic; 6-1 If they can’t beat Oakland and Cleveland, who are a combined 2-8 on the road (as of today, Cleveland is at NE on Sunday), then it’s a big problem, in my book.

  • Apart from Richardson – this draft was a minor disaster for Idzik and the Jets. Is it possible that Pete Carroll had more imput on Seattle’s picks than we have been led to believe?
    You know you’re a Real Jet fan when more often than not you find yourself doing mock drafts in December !

  • KAsh


    I was looking at mock drafts in September. Other fan bases do them as constant features (one Patriots site goes all year and looks at picks that will be available in the late stages of the round), and the Jets are one of the few that only think about draft picks when it gets to March.


    6-10 looks optimistic when your offense has five wins, but has struggled to even get first downs the past three weeks. 6-10 is optimistic when an honest assessment of this offense against any of its remaining opponents has the Jets struggling to win a single game without its defense dragging the team to a win.

    And I only meant that the remaining games are meaningless. But I take that back. The meaningless games will come after one more loss. After eight losses, with us unlikely to win any tiebreakers, the games will be meaningless. Go Jets!

  • Mark Phelan

    Stephen Hill: he took a beating during early games but held the ball and moved the chains. That TD pass nullified on an Offensive Interference call was a bummer. I want SH to show he has stud potential.

    Secondary: Can we not come up with coverage which doesn’t make this unit look foolish? We have spent 2 1st round draft picks on CB’s in past 3 years…mama mia. Are no there are reasons for why this unit stinks – solve them in the final 4 games.

    Couples: Clearly something is wrong. Rex must identify what it is and get him back in the game. He has too much talent to just be a ‘contributing actor.’

    MM: Show some balls and brains in the final 4 games. We know they are there!

    I am tired of hearing Jets don’t have the talent. The coaches must play with what they have. So, maybe we don’t win, but lets look smart, not pathetic.