No Huddle – New York Jets June Minicamp Edition

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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.

Flower Power And Lord Idzik’s Sleeping Patterns

The Chiefs released former Pro-Bowl CB Brandon Flowers this past Saturday to make salary cap room for franchise QB Alex Smith according to notable KC blog Arrowhead Pride. Upon his release came reports that the Jets and Chiefs had discussed a Flowers trade back in May. Naturally then, assuming the financial price is more reasonable with Flowers on the open market, some in Jets nation surmised that Lord Idzik should now make a play. Or at least look more seriously into it than last month.

Not all in the world of football analysts and cold hard analytics saw Flowers as the Pro Bowl type last year but he’d have to be an upgrade over a collection of unproven younger players, and Kyle Wilson. Or at least insurance against their inexperience, no?

Even if signing Flowers improves the secondary immediately, it’s just hard to envision Idzik budging on the economic approach of acquiring cost effective vets in any situation. The only way he’d break from his free agent grabbing gameplan in this case is if he’s not sleeping so well at night picturing Dee Milliner (who only showed he could be trusted late last season) on one side and “fill in the blank” across from him. Cold sweats. They can certainly motivate and inspire a little thinking outside the box once in a while, can’t they.

Decker and OTA’s

This week from June 17-19 mandatory minicamps will take place for the Jets. Here come all of the live tweets and updates from various sources as to who is progressing and who is not. Should we get worked up over the results though? Is this week a greater indicator of where the Jets are headed than OTA’s because those don’t seem like much get too worked up over. Just ask Eric Decker and Rex Ryan.

I guess that June is a time of hope but not urgency. Otherwise Decker, the Jets most prized offseason grab would have chosen to attend all non mandatory OTA’s last week instead of the CMT with his wife as thank you to her for bearing his child. Ryan would have suggested he do so as well. Hey, I’m not mad at the guy for putting family first this time of year or the HC for letting him do the right thing by his wife. Not one bit. At the same time I won’t then live and die with stats derived from some QB passing drill either.

In the spring the Jets can certainly use the official OTA gatherings to form personal relationships and grab a secure handle of what OC Marty Mornhinweg wants. When their new star receiver who one would think could use reps with his new quarterbacks isn’t there though, and the HC is ok with that, that tell me all I need to know. Either it really matters or it not so much. Train some, shake hands, reconnect with the guys, meet new teammates, then go back home and get ready for the real camp in Cortland. I get it.

Rumor Has it

Did any of you catch this one? Saturday night some poor attempt at a viral intended rumor hit the twitter waves about the Jets and star WR Vincent Jackson. I immediately thought to myself “didn’t the Bucs just grab Mike Evans to team him up with V Jax?” What is this some contractual issue? Or personality clash with new HC Lovie Smith? I then went on a frantic Tampa area news and pro football website search to see if there was any inkling of truth to Jackson and some link to the Jets. Crickets.

What struck me as I returned from my temporary loss of sanity is how powerful adding a bona fide stud to the Jets backfield, Decker, Jeremy Kerley and Jace Amaro felt. Jackson aside, imagine if one of the rookies or the Jets drafted emerges. Or Stephen Hill somehow finds himself over the next few months.

I’m not talking about any of the aforementioned rising instantly to the level of Jackson of course, but let’s just say they turn into enough of a weapon that when Geno Smith or Mike Vick drops back, the entire field is an option: from sideline to sideline and vertically. Is another big time receiver the piece that could perhaps make the new Jets offense feared? Yes, I just said that.

Quick Hits

- Manish Mehta of the Daily News reported last week that “OLB Jermaine Cunningham and CB Ras-I Dowling were dumped by New England last August but both have a second chance in the NFL with Gang Green.” Football is so much about fitting into a system. For most players finding the right place to play in order accentuate their attributes is a matter of career life and death.

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a few Patriot castoffs and make them useful here? Lord knows Bill Belichick has filled some holes by adding an ex-Jet or two up in Foxboro over the years.

- The Spurs are a great example of unselfish team play, commitment to a system, stability at the head coaching position, and the value of chasing team players with game IQ and no ego over marketable names on the backs of the jersey.

Maybe the idea of the ESPN top ten highlight will evolve from spectacular dunks and attention grabbing touchdown dances, to more images of spectacular ball movement and blocks at the line of scrimmage that protect QB’s and spring holes for running backs. Last time I checked Tim Duncan still hasn’t hidden one sharpee behind any NBA basket. He’s had seventeen years to do so too. How many rings is that for him now?

- I hope that Mike Vick lays low about where he is on the depth chart this week at minicamp and just plays lights out. Vick’s focus must be on playing well enough so that he is a viable option. Nothing more.

  • http://gravatar.com/theelidman Lidman

    TJ..good write up

    -It’s an interesting scenario with Flowers, especially when you consider the NYJ still have 20+mm, in cap space for this year, and current commitments have them will only $79mm (and no dead money) towards next year’s cap, which is likely to be in the +140mm neighborhood. I continue to think Idzik is misjudging supply/demand, but still some time to see that play out.

    -I don’t necessarily have an issue with Decker missing voluntary OTAs (how nice of me, like my opinion matters), but I think missing those ‘voluntary workouts’ was a mistake. When Idzik came here, the decrees of ‘the circus has left town’ were heard all over. I find it interesting that the one big FA signing he makes, is to a guy who has his own reality show, and then decides it’s more important to accompany his wife to an award show, where she is presenting, not nominated, instead of putting in time with his new offensive teammates. If the credo here is competition, how his Decker making his teammates better, by going on a 3-day bender, instead of working with them? On top of that, the quotes he gave were simply bad:

    “A marriage is give and take,” Decker said. “Any relationship is give and take. It’s funny how this became such a story. It was an opportunity to get down there [to Nashville] and be around our friends and be around the music industry that she’s a part of.”

    You mentioned the Spurs, later in your article, you think any of those guys miss ‘voluntary workouts’ to “be around our friends and be around the music industry that she’s part of”? Yeah, it’s probably not a big deal, but in a market that ripped Mark Sanchez for a cover shoot and made a circus out of Rex Ryan’s foot fetish, we shouldn’t be surprised this garners as much attention as it does. NY can be a cruel place, and if he starts out slow, he’ll be hearing about this all the time.

    -I coudn’t agree more with the idea of praying that someone, among the current skill position players, breaks out this year. More than anyone, Geno needs to progress, because his improvement impacts everyone else on the offensive unit most.

    -Back to the Spurs, I agree and it’s great to see. However, you can’t really expect the same type of ‘selflessness’ in football, IMO. Baskeball players get guaranteed contracts. So, when people hear that Tim Duncan ‘took a huge pay cut’ so SA could build their roster, they need to realize he’s still making $10+mm, and $35+mm, guaranteed; and before he took that pay cut, he had made over $200mm, in NBA salary. In the NFL, most decent players get 1 real shot at Free Agency and a big guarantee. To expect them to ‘sacrifice for the good of the team’ isn’t realistic, especially when they can be cut, at any time, and, in many cases, not be owed another time. The NFL salary structure is crazy, to me. It certainly was insanity to see unproven, 1st round draft picks, especially top 5-10 picks, get overpaid, and force teams to cut longer tenured, productive veterans. Now, with the new rookie wage scale, where 1st rounders can be locked up for 5yrs, at ‘discounted levels’, it’s gone the other way. With young players being cheap, for 4-5yrs, teams are now overpaying 28+yr old players, who are, in many cases, exiting their prime and not worth what they are getting. I don’t know what the answer is, but it would seem to me you’d want to be paying your best players the most money, while they are most productive. In a system like that, you might be able to sell the idea of ‘sacrificing, in order to win a championship’, to guys who had already gotten a big payday.

  • Mark

    Agree about highlighting team rather than individual contributions. I often wonder why between plays the networks do not show us the line play, or so much feature, rather than have the camera show us the huddle or players mulling around.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    It’ll be interesting to see how the offense performs this year. I could see them finishing anywhere from bottom of the pile again to approaching the top 10.

    The most important factor is how much Geno progresses on improving his weaknesses, particularly reading defenses & his footwork. The offense has an improved mix of veteran & rookie receivers to throw the ball to, & a veteran RB committee to lean on, so there is no excuse as far as “not enough weapons.”

    Assuming the defense is roughly top 10 again & the special teams improve substantially over last year, if the offense can be competent (reduce turnovers, reduce ’3 & outs,’ & score a few more points at a minimum), it’ll be a fun season.

  • Stevesc

    PLEASE stop with the Decker missing a couple days of “voluntary ota’s” already. In the scheme of things, it isn’t a big deal. Between mandatory ota’s, training camp and preseason there is a ton of time for Decker to work with the qb’s and learn the system. This is just another example of the New York media making a mountain out of a mole hill, because they don’t have anything of more substance to write about. IMHO.

  • Nick Evans

    Day one of mandatory OTAs and the headlines are owned by Goodson not showing up…. What a waste I mean the guy was a complete non factor last year and a huge distraction. Give me more about geno and Vick, Hill’s progress, how the secondary and draft picks seem to look and how colon and CJ are doing with their injuries. Smh the media is ridiculous sometimes.