No Huddle – New York Jets Smoke Screen Season

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets in the middle of Smoke Screen Season

TJ Rosenthal kicks off another week of New York Jets coverage at Turn On The Jets with his weekly No Huddle – Make sure to give TJ a follow on Twitter on Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook.

The Jets and Sanchez Reps Meet: Will It Be For the Final Time?

The Daily News reported that the Jets spoke to reps of Mark Sanchez most likely about if he’d be willing to play for less here should the opportunity to return be the best scenario for both parties. The sides “will keep an open dialogue” according to writer Rich Cimini. It was an idea I suggested in a prior piece for TOJ last month in case other options withered away.

#6 is responsible for what little is left for him at this point in New York with his uneven play in 2011 and 2012. The turnovers and lack of faith in himself. He’s arguably not the only one who contributed to his struggles either.

The skill positions and schemes were never truly set in stone well for him. A Brian Schottenheimer system? I’m still trying figure it out. Tecmo Bowl had a deeper Playbook than the one Tony Sparano called plays out of. Then Tim Tebow got thrown into the mix just for a mind teaser, followed by a summer QB competition in 2013 that Sanchez arguably won by default over Geno Smith but had to hand over after getting hurt in the Snoopy Bowl. During time in an August game where starters rarely risk injury in exchange for additional reps.

I’m not making to build a case for Sanchez anymore. In all likelihood the Sanchize years are over and it will probably be best for him and the Jets that a new chapter for both will begin. It will be interesting though, to see what a clean slate will do for a player who lacked experience but not exuberance coming out of USC, and was seemingly groomed in the negative those first two years in New York. Being told repeatedly to simply hand off and not screw up on passing downs.

Josh McCown: The Next Backup?

So after we heard about Sanchez to the dismay of those diehards who do not want him back under any circumstances, word broke that the Jets have interest in recent 35 year old Bears backup and current free agent Josh MCown. This makes sense.

This guy won’t command backup/veteran starter type money or expect to start like fellow free agents Matt Schaub or Michael Vick will, but can push Geno Smith and be a viable alternative if a switch is needed just the same. McCown looked good when Jay Cutler went down last season however he won’t have the luxury of throwing to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey here. Or handing off to Matt Forte either.

Pursuing MCcown is a good start as far as the search for solidifying a reasonably priced veteran QB2 who has won in this league goes.

Sammy Watkins: Would You Move Way Up?

Clemson WR Sammy Watkins met with the Jets among other clubs at the combine in Indy last week. This even though he is the general consensus top receiver and the Jets pick far away at 18th. Due diligence.

If Watkins begins to slip a bit and (one pro football site envisions him dropping to Detroit at 10 if the Rams and Browns pass on him) would it be worth trading up if he’s the playmaker of all playmakers at the position? I’m not sure. I can see the Jets trading up four to five slots for a guy they covet. The compensation won’t be as high. The cost of moving up to the top five will be a lot steeper.

Chime in folks. Assuming the Jets go WR in round one, would you consider climbing up a bunch of slots to grab him, or do mid to late first round projections types like Mike Evans, Marqise Lee and Kelvin Benjamin (Jordan Matthews maybe too) excite you enough to sit tight in and around 18?

Bit O Honey and Kenny O

I went to buy some Bit O Honey pieces at Economy Candy, the legendary store that carries long forgotten treats in the Lower East side Saturday. I noticed there were some vintage football card packs for sale. For fun I decided to buy one 1990 Fleer pack for a buck.

I wondered the way I used to as a kid “will I get a Jet?” I opened the pack and the nostalgia started flowing. Gerald Riggs. Reggie White. Dave Krieg. Tony Mandarich. Anthony Munoz. NFL draft choice card, Andre Ware.

Then it happened. A Jet helmet logo caught my eye. Who was it. Tony Stargell? Brad Baxter? Kyle Clifton? No, it was Kenny O. I could hear Pete Rozelle again. “And the NY Jets select, QB (silence and anticipation) Ken O Brien, Cal Davis.

O’Brien, was descending by that time from the perch of being selected instead of Dan Marino that day in 1983, followed by some very good seasons airing it out in the mid 1980’s.

New Jets head coach Bruce Coslet didn’t like O Brien as a player. He even voiced that view one day in 1990, telling a press gathering early on during his tenure that “You know (O Brien) sucks. I know he sucks. Everyone knows (he) sucks.” That’s why Boomer Esiason Coslet’s former QB in Cincy when he was the Bengals offensive coordinator) was brought here in 1993.

I left the iconic store with a 1/2 lb of bite sized candy and yet another reminder that literally since the days of the Reggie bar, the Jets Have been searching for a solid long term fit between the quarterback and the head coach.

Quick Hits

– Rex Ryan went to Hooters with brother Rob in Indianapolis last week. If this was five years ago, it would have been a back page story. “Rex eats a Goddamn Snack at Hooters.” Nowadays nobody cares. Rex is still Rex behind closed doors but these Jets don’t walk and talk the same way at all anymore.

– The Eagles allegedly want WR Jeremy Maclin back and would part with Riley Cooper if they had to in order to make that happen. I’d take Cooper and believe that N word drama is behind him. He’s physically tough, knows Marty Mornhinweg and can make some downfield and red zone plays for an offense even though he’s in between a burner and 6’5.

– The NFL’s desire to police the N word and any other offensive language is a nice PR posture, but let’s be real. Nobody is stopping street ball chatter during the game so fast. The Incognito Martin bullying stuff was one thing. Players hype themselves up and play mind games with opponents on the field though.

After battling the impossible odds of getting to the show, NFL players deserve to play freely without now worrying about what not to say. Can we stop trying to make these guys into something they are not? Let them play ball please. Trash talking is part of it.

  • Jeff

    I wouldn’t want to trade up for Sammy Watkins. Don’t get me wrong, kid is a stud but he is 5’10 (only 1″ taller than Kerley). I would try to land Mike Evans who is 6’5 and a former basketball player. He can go up grab a high ball in the Red Zone which is something the Jets have missed dearly since not resigning Plaxico Burress and to a lesser extent Brad Smith. Stephen Hill is a bust.

  • John X

    Has anyone actually watched film on Watkins? Maybe I’m the only missing the boat on him as I see nothing but a shorter version of Cordarrelle Patterson.
    Seriously, look at his game film – the bulk of his plays are handoffs and screens. Many throws to the sideline are contested as jump balls. He doesn’t have the aptitude in his game right now to run crisp, smooth routes but can go deep as most athletic, above average WR’s can do against college CB’s.

    Probably I’m the only one that’s wrong on him – to speak of him in the same light as an AJ Green (top 5) caliber WR, I can only laugh. We’ll see in time. I think he’s going to disappoint many and am still amazed at the praise he gets (for what?).

  • KAsh

    I am going to agree with the guy who got Watkins’s height wrong (and Kerley’s height wrong) and then made some crazy arguments off of his mistakes.

    I would love Watkins, but I would love the team’s selections at eighteen and in the later rounds more. Watkins is a very good receiver, but he will not bring more benefit than two other players picked early in the draft. Strange things happen in the draft, weird rumors come out, and bizarre stories get planted, so maybe Watkins will fall to us anyway. I can already see it: Watkings boasted about his speed -> but he only ran an official 4.43 -> seven receivers ran faster than Watkings -> OMG other receivers beat him in his best attribute -> those receivers are better than Watkings! Things like this happen all the time when you analyze things too much.

  • Jeff

    Oops…I did get Watkins height wrong (I must have been looking at Brandin Cooks) but I got the Kerley height straight from Jets website.

    And what is so crazy about my arguments on needing a tall receiver?

  • KAsh

    Sorry, for some reason I thought Kerley was 5’10”. But the crazy thing is that you use height as the only factor. There are taller receivers than Evans (who was measured at 6’4″ earlier this week) like Benjamin or Coleman. If height is all you want, Coleman is 6’6″ and can be had for a late-second, early-third round pick.

  • I disagree with John X on Watkins. I never studied his game tape, but I do feel he is the best wr in draft. That said I would not trade up. Every expert is saying this is the deepest draft ever, and I wouldnt give up a pick. I really like the numbers Jordan Matthews put up through out his college career and at combine. Biggest hands in the class, great 40 time, and looked really good in all the drills. Not to mention the SEC’S all-time leading receiver. He played at Vanderbilt, which isn’t exactly Bama, and still set the record. I also liked Beckham and Cooks, although they aren’t as tall as many would like. Speaking of which I forgot to mention Matthew’s is 6’3″. Kash what do u think about Matthews?

  • Jeff

    Not really hung up on his height but 6’5 and being a former basketball player does help his athleticism. That being said, I also would love Matthews. I’ve seen him play personally several times and love his game.

  • I think when we pick Watkins and Evans will be off board. I did some more research on Matthews and like him more and more.

  • The dude abides

    Marqise Lee. No need to trade up in a deep draft like this. Take him plus a WR from the FA draft a TE and suddenly the offense is looking dangerous. Out of all the vet QBs Sanchez makes some sense. assuming he takes a pretty hefty pay cut he’s could come back. He knows the system and beat Geno out right during the summer. I think Idizk is a patient man and sees a offense that can get away with a decent QB with a bad ass run game and beast defense.

  • Dan in RI

    I don’t think Idzik would entertain trading up, even for Sammy Watkins. Trading back is more likely, if the player they really want is no longer available. This draft is so deep at WR that you should be able to get a very good receiver (maybe Jordan Matthews, Beckham or Cooks) late in the first round. If the Jets could get an extra 2nd or 3rd round pick for moving back a few spots, I would do it.

  • John X

    Do you remember when the “experts” all fell in love with Gholston? I remember being nearly a lone voice against him seeing his lack of hustle and astounding low number of tackles then reading Ohio State forums admitting he wasn’t a complete player and was overrated. Those were his fans. And a minority of scouts thought he was at best a 2nd round prospect. But this was a scant minority even though they were vindicated. If you fall into the trap of simply believing others, you will get burned. Just ask TBaum.

    And IMO, this is another example of fans and media just accepting without scrutinizing for themselves. I urge some of you who mindlessly follow what their told to at least look at his film:

    Take a look and tell me I’m wrong after watching him but not before. He was 2nd to Hopkins last year who went late 1st round and suddenly this guy is a top 5 pick? I just don’t see it.

  • Bill Sherman

    Don’t know why, but I just can’t get on the Lee band wagon… I like guys like Davante Adams, J.Mathews, A.Robinson,Cooks, Landry. And there will be guys like Moncrief and M.Bryant available in the 3rd round absolutly no reason to trade up for a WR. In fact Id trade down from 18 into the 20’s , aquire another pick , and take the WR of choice in Robinson,Mathews,or Adams… Heck take one of the big TEs or best LB or cb/s – Jimmie ward should be there. Justmakes no sense to trade up , when you can nab multiple WRs in later rounds. Evans is a beast , I get it.. but is rather have 2 great WRs , we need multiple weapons on offense

  • Dave2220

    If the Jets trade up they will take a QB, but I doubt they will trade up

  • KAsh

    @Mike Ech

    I like Jordan Matthews. My one concern with him is that I cannot pinpoint one aspect of his game that really stands out. In every activity, at elite levels of performance, there are two types of people: the geniuses gifted at everything (think AJ Green or Julio Jones) and the guys that master one aspect. In this draft, Watkins has speed and fluidity, Evans has height and jumping ability, Lee has burst and agility, Cooks has speed, Beckham has explosiveness and shiftiness, Abbrederis can teach most pros about route-running. Matthews is more in the mold of an all-around player, but one that does not have the athletic ability of a Green or a J. Jones. If my worst suspicions are right, Matthews will come to the pros without a weapon to rely on and the psychological toll of having to find a reliable edge against elite secondaries will destroy his ceiling.

    A related issue is that it is hard to give Matthews a role in the offense or determine what his ceiling is. A first-round wideout is someone you want to build an offense around and Matthews right now seems more like the guy that does the secondary duties that the lead either cannot or will not do.

    Of course, everything I said about Matthews will be easily resolved if he is hiding a great noggin under that helmet. The Jets have interviewed him several times now: multiple meetings at the Senior Bowl and a formal meeting at the Combine. If Matthews astounds them with his knowledge and understanding – and the Jets are at least interested – I am not going to take any issues with them picking Matthews in the first round.

  • Dan in RI

    We are all assuming that the Jets will take either a WR or TE in the first round. But considering how deep this draft class is at WR, the Jets might be able to wait to the second round and still pick up a great receiver. Matthews or Beckham might still be available. Not that I am advocating that–but given Idzik’s value-oriented approach, I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes the highest rated player on the Jets draft board at #18–even if that is an OL or S. I can certainly hear the boos if he did that, but with all the needs the team has, the approach has some merit.

  • Lidman


    In regards to your Watkins scenario, if the NYJ draft process concludes that Watkins, or anyone else, is a transcendant talent, they should trade up to get him, IMO. They have a big need for playmaking ability. I don’t evaluate players for a living. However, many talent evaluators are saying this is the deepest, and most talented, WR draft in many years. If this is the case, and 1 guy separates himself from the pack, it certainly says something about him.

    As for your last point, I certainly see your point. However, the NFL is a multi-billion dollar business. Anything, that threatens that revenue stream has to be addressed. When you hear players talking about their contract, a common phrase heard is: ‘we all know it’s a business’. If that’s the case, what business allows you to go around the work place, saying whatever you want? If you’re a kid who worked hard, and got a scholarship to MIT and then turned that into a job in finance, with the opportunity to make multiple millions, could you walk into an office environment and say anything you wanted to?

    The NFL’s revenue stream is 100% dependent on it’s fan base. If fans don’t watch games, adverstisers won’t pay the networks, who in turn won’t pay the league. The NFL is worried about the precipitous drop in youth football, which is largely blamed on brain trauma. What do they do? They change the rules in an effort to make sure they keep their talent pool and revenue stream.

    I don’t have the answer, but I certainly don’t think it’s a simple: ‘just let them play’ argument.

    If the NFL adopts some form of this rule, they could be opening another can of worms though. If they decide to legislate offensive/derogatory language off the playing field, how will they then answer their critics who are calling for them to have the Redskins change their team name?

  • Nep Oznat

    Josh McCown?! So as an alternative to a second rate starter (Geno) you’re in favor of bringing in a second rate backup?! What WOULD change “if a switch is needed”? Why would Geno feel he has competition?

    This is JUST the recipe for keeping the Jets a second rate team – add more second rate players! You either improve the team or do nothing.

    If there’s no viable QB answer in free agency (and this lot of FA QB’s seems particularly bad) you gotta get one in the draft or via trade. You have to provide SOME hope, some alternative! But it HAS to be someone who can be BETTER than Geno.

  • Nikolas

    And..with the 49th pick the Jets select Jimmy Garoppolo!!

  • Steve Windeler

    Last year Lee was the best receiver ever. Every year it’s the same. The list would be turned upside down if these players all went back for another year. I think intelligence, and desire are the most important things that separate the top 15 WRs in this draft. I would go quantity, based on private interviews mostly. You just don’t know which of these players is going to be the best. Btw Lee is the most ready for a WCO. Look at the film, and you see he was a beast the two years he had a QB that could run it. Still respectable this year


    I think if you grab One of the top 3 TEs and then grab Jordan Matthews in the second round you got a good draft.


    Or even if they draft two 6’7 TEs, even if Sanchez had to play with the Jets, he would be successful with two Gronkowskis on Offense