Thoughts On Kerry Rhodes Trade & Weekend Wrap-Up

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First a few updates:

1. Great times yesterday at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hoboken…I am happy to report everybody I was with  avoided the $2,000 fines that were being handed out like candy on Halloween. I got a decent amount of love for my “Revis Island” shirt. Sure, there were plenty of bitter Giants fans celebrating the Antrel Rolle signing like they just picked up Ronnie Lott in his prime, but I mean hey any time you can make a guy who might not even be a top ten player in the league at his position the highest paid safety in NFL history…hey, go for it.

2. I am heading out to Austin, Texas from Tuesday to Sunday with some college friends, so posts might be a little more sparse than I would normally like but if anything major happens, I’ll obviously be on it and of course follow the facebook page and twitter account for updates.

3. The 2010 Draft section has been updated.

Thoughts On Kerry Rhodes Trade & Weekend Wrap-Up

When I woke up this morning and saw all the information on the Kerry Rhodes trade, I wasn’t surprised to see he was moved. The momentum had been building on this for awhile and even though Mike Tannenbaum made it sound like he would be back during the Antonio Cromartie conference call, you still had a feeling he wouldn’t be playing for the Jets in 2010. Initially, I wasn’t thrilled with the value they got back from Arizona. The original reports from last week had Arizona potentially sending over a 3rd round pick, but as we know it ended up being a 4th rounder and a 7th rounder next year. I suppose that it is decent value for a guy who has never been a pro-bowler but the Jets still now have a hole at safety.

PhotobucketIt sounds like the Jets are content to let Eric Smith take over but I can’t really see Tannenbaum standing pat here. I don’t know if he will try to make a move up in the draft to grab Eric Berry or Earl Thomas, look at the second round tender on Baltimore’s Dawan Landry or has something else in mind but I’d be shocked if the Jets didn’t bring in somebody else to pair with Jim Leonhard. Eric Smith is a decent player but he has some limitations in pass coverage and isn’t much of a playmaker. The Jets defense isn’t better with Smith and James Ihedigbo taking the major reps at safety over Rhodes.

In retrospect, I now have another jersey of a former Jets player. I could slide my #25 jersey next to my Chad Pennington, Jonathan Vilma, Laveranues Coles, Santana Moss, and Curtis Conway (yikes) ones. Like most Jets fans, I was huge Rhodes fan when he instantly became a productive player as a fourth round pick in 2005. He took his game to the next level in 2006 with a monster season, in which he probably should have received All-Pro recognition. Unfortunately, his play has declined in every season since, culminating with him being benched in week 10 this past year. Rhodes never seemed to click with the new coaching staff and was apparently wearing thin on the locker room with his “Hollywood” attitude. Regardless, TOJ wishes Rhodes luck in Arizona and will have always fond memories of the big plays he made from 2005-2009.

It is nice the Jets added a fourth round pick and now currently only have one round in which they don’t pick (third). I also expect they will pick up another selection when compensatory picks are announced. The Jets need depth on both sides of the ball and have been short on draft picks in recent years, so the more overall selections the better.

In terms of where they go from here, there hasn’t been much written on Adalius Thomas in the past 48 hours but I still expect when everything is said and done, that he will end up on the Jets. Mike Tannenbaum has been giving the impression the Jets will definitely add another one or maybe even two, corners. Corey Ivy remains a potential target. Ralph Brown, Frank Walker, Benny Sapp, and Roderick Hood are other available players the Jets could consider.

PhotobucketMarques Douglas is attracting interest from the Patriots, Panthers, and Titans. I really hope the Jets use some of the money they freed up from Kerry Rhodes, Thomas Jones, Donald Strickland, and Lito Sheppard to get Douglas back. He was a valuable part of their defense and is a quality 3-4 end, which are hard to come by. Mike DeVito was pretty good last year but is better served as a rotational player, providing depth very similar to Eric Smith. The Jets have the money to sign him and their defense will be better overall with him. There is no reason to have too much turnover on the league’s #1 defense.

Pro Football Talk is reporting the market could soon heat up for Leon Washington. Yet, they don’t name any specific teams. Even if another team signs Washington to an offer sheet, I can’t see the Jets letting Thomas Jones and Leon Washington walk in one off-season. Jones is going to get more money offered somewhere else and likely not return. Tannenbaum has said the Jets will target a veteran running back, although the options are fairly slim. Mike Bell’s name has been thrown around but beyond him I haven’t heard another running back specifically mentioned.

A Longer Look At Antonio Cromartie Deal & The Impact It Has On Jets Off-Season

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A Longer Look At Antonio Cromartie Deal & The Impact It Has On Jets Off-Season

Here I am, ready to type up a nice short article with some final thoughts before free agency kicked off at midnight. Before I started writing, I decided to check Rich Cimini’s The Jets Stream and see he has two really short posts, right in a row which usually only means one thing, the Jets have done something big. Sure enough, Mike Tannenbaum did what he does best and he couldn’t even wait until tomorrow to pull the trigger. The Jets have acquired former Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie for a 2011 third round pick, which could turn into a 2nd rounder based on his performance and playing time. (Jay Glazer is being credited with breaking the story, by the way).

PhotobucketObviously, there is always some initial excitement when your team makes a big move, which was conveyed in my initial post on this trade. However, you can’t just look at the glass half full with this deal. Yes, Cromartie is an extremely physically gifted player. Yes, he was a beast in 2007 when he had ten interceptions and was an All-Pro. Yes, he is a playmaker, with four career touchdowns, including one on a 109 yard return of a missed field goal. His physical attributes are summed up nicely by this scouting report from ESPN Insider, linked by The Jets Blog here, (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/04/antonio-cromartie-scouting-report/).

Now turning to the glass being half empty: since 2007, Cromartie has had as many paternity suits (5) as he has had interceptions (5). In 2008, he only had two interceptions, both of which ironically came against the Jets on Monday Night Football, including one he ran back for a touchdown. At the end of the year, he blamed his poor play on a hip injury, which he sustained in week one. In 2009, he finished with three interceptions, thirty-three tackles, and ten passes defensed. All Jets fan also got a first-hand look at his laziness in the divisional round of the playoffs, when he made a poor effort on Shonn Greene’s 53 yard touchdown run and then topped it off with a cheap shot on Greene in the end-zone, which I ripped him for in my “Cheap-Shot Chargers” article way back in January. San Diego made it known they were fed up with Cromartie’s occasional lazy play and inconsistency, which is never something you want to hear about a player.

Adam Schefter is reporting the Jets will not be giving Cromartie a new deal, which means he will be playing in his contract year. Overall, similar to Lito Sheppard and Braylon Edwards, the Jets are rolling the dice on a guy with physical talent who has some question marks surrounding him. It didn’t work out with Sheppard and it remains to be seen how everything shakes out with Edwards but clearly the Jets aren’t afraid to take risks on players.

Cromartie will have a chance to play on the league’s best defense for a coach players love and live in a cornerback’s dream: having a ton of balls thrown is way, giving him a chance to make plays and never having to worry about the opposing team’s best receiver. For a third round pick next year? I think the risk outweighs the reward. If the Jets hit on this trade, they could have two legit pro-bowl corners next year and see Cromartie rack up 6-7 interceptions, along with a few touchdowns. If they miss, they lose a third round pick next year and have to deal with more Dwight Lowery down the stretch. I think there is a good chance it lands somewhere in the middle of those two, Cromartie isn’t going to bounce back to 2007 form but I think he will be motivated by Ryan, the challenge of playing opposite Revis, and of course a contract year. Richard Marshall would have been safer, but Cromartie has more upside.

It is honestly hard not to be excited about the thought of Revis and Cromartie next year, period, There are valid concerns but at least we have a GM who goes after it.

So, where does this leave the Jets the rest of the off-season?

  • Forget about spending that first round pick on a corner. I still wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets pursue Corey Ivy for the nickel role however, Donald Strickland will likely be released and they need somebody to fill his spot.
  • Adalius Thomas still remains a likely target at outside linebacker.
  • Rich Cimini is reporting the chances are “very remote” Thomas Jones returns next year. The Jets could  focus on guys like Mike Bell or Chris Brown if TJ doesn’t come back.
  • Unless the Kerry Rhodes for Anquan Boldin deal is swung, receiver could become a first round target now or the Jets could look defensive line/outside linebacker.
  • I am expecting Rhodes to be moved for a third round pick tomorrow…just a gut feeling, which also means the Jets could look to draft a safety in round 1 or 2.
  • How about Laveranues Coles and Chris Baker both being cut? I guess Mike T was smart not to pay them the money they were demanding. I wouldn’t mind seeing Baker as a #2 tight end or even Coles back a slot receiver.
  • It looks Chad Pennington is heading back to Miami…oh well.

Antonio Cromartie: The Good

The Scary Good

The Ugly

Jets Trade For Antonio Cromartie

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It isn’t even midnight yet and Mike Tannenbaum has struck…it is being reported the Jets have traded a 2011 third round pick for Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie, which could escalate to a second round pick.

Initial thoughts? I have been down on Cromartie on this blog, but considering the Jets only gave up a third rounder next year, which elevates to a second if he hits certain benchmarks, it is hard to argue with. Cromartie is obviously one of the most talented corners in the league. The guy had ten interceptions in 2007 and made some ridiculous plays. I am sure Rex Ryan is confident, he can get Cromartie back to pro-bowl form and won’t have any effort/off the field issues because of the tight knit Jets locker room.

Much more to come…

Boldin? Cromartie? Marshall? Jones Coming Back? The Rumors Are Swirling

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Shame on me for talking about how slow the Jets off-season news was yesterday, because last night it began to pick up. Let’s sort through some of the talk that is flying around on the day before free agency starts.

Anquan Boldin/Kerry Rhodes – Last night Adam Schein reported the Cardinals were interested in Kerry Rhodes because of the impending departure of Antrel Rolle. Apparently, they are offering either Anquan Boldin or a third round pick in exchange for Rhodes. First off, I never thought the Jets could get a third round pick for Rhodes, thinking that they would have to settle for a 4th our 5th round pick. Even at a third roundpick, I am not crazy about the deal but it is somewhat more acceptable because the Jets may have a little more flexibility to make a move to fill the spot left by him. I think the Jets would probably do this deal because Rex Ryan likely believes Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo could get the job done if the Jets can’t acquire anybody else.

Despite writing about how the Jets don’t need a receiver, it is hard not to get excited about Anquan Boldin and Braylon Edwards split out wide, with Jerricho Cotchery in the slot. Are the Jets trying to turn into the greatest show on turf? It doesn’t really fit into the Jets identity to release Thoams Jones, give Leon a tender that could be matched and then swing a trade for a big time receiver for the second time in 6 months, but who knows? Anquan Boldin is a better player than Kerry Rhodes, and we know the coaching staff isn’t crazy about Rhodes, so I could absolutely see Tannenbaum pulling the trigger on this offer.

PhotobucketAntonio Cromartie – Mike Lombardi of the National Football Post reported last night that the Jets are “very interested” in Antonio Cromartie and are currently his most likely suitor. I am not crazy about Cromartie because of his occasional lack of effort and struggles the past two years but the guy obviously has serious amounts of talent. The Jets number two corner is going to see alot of balls thrown his way because of that Revis guy on the other side, and you are talking about a guy who had 10 interceptions in a single season back in 2007. I am sure Rex Ryan is enamored with his talent level and believes he can get the most out of him, but there would still be some risk associated withit. If San Diego is so anxious to get rid of Cromartie  that they will part ways with him for a late round pick, like say a 5th rounder this year and a 6th rounder next year, than go for it but let’s not do anything crazy and give up a pick in the first two or three rounds for this guy.

Restricted Free Agents – The Jets placed a tender on 8 of their 11 restricted free agents:

  • Braylon Edwards – 1st and3rd Round Picks
  • Leon Washington – 2nd Round Pick
  • Brad Smith – 2nd Round Pick
  • Kellen Clemens – Original Round(3rd) because the Jets already used their second round tenders on Washington and Smith
  • Eric Smith – Original Round (3rd)
  • Wayne Hunter – Original Round (3rd)
  • Drew Coleman – Original Round (6th)
  • James Ihedigbo- Original Round (FA)

Wallace Wright, Marques Murrell, and Howard Green were not given a tender and will become unrestricted free agents at midnight. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wright and Green were eventually brought back, if they don’t receive that much interest on the free agent market. I don’t see anybody offering Leon a contract, regardless of what his agent says.

PhotobucketMarshall and Marshall – There has been some talk about the Jets having a potential interest in Panthers corner Richard Marshall, who was only given a second round tender. I know DMB on the Jets ESPN message board was all over this last night and then Rich Cimini of the Daily Newsalso pointed it out today. Honestly, it makes alot of the sense for the Jets to investigate Marshall who is only 25 years old, started every single game for the Panthers last year, and put together a very productive season (88 tackles, 4 INTs, 9 PDs). The Jets could get a proven starter opposite Revis, without Cromartie’s baggage, for a second round pick and then focus on a different area of need in the first round. It almost makes too much sense for Mike Tannenbaum to ignore.

An ESPN Insider report and Rich Cimini both discussed the possibility of the Jets pursuing Brandon Marshall, who was given a first round tender by the Broncos. I would still be surprised to see the Jets go after him, unless they found a way to move Braylon Edwards for some value. They aren’t going to give up a 1st rounder or even a 2nd rounder, if they could talk Denver into a trade, unless they are going to get a quality draft pick for Braylon.

Thomas Jones – PFT is reporting the Jets are planning an attempt to bring back Thomas Jones. They cut him to avoid paying him his 3 million dollar bonus but depending on the interest he receives in the open market, may be able to bring him back under a new deal. The same thing happened with Brandon Moore last season so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Anybody who regularly reads this site knows how I feel about Jones. I think it would be a great move if they could get him back on the roster for 2010.

Other Guys – The beat writers were all over the Jets pursuing Saints running back Mike Bell, who received the lowest tender (no draft pick compensation). Bell is a hard, inside runner who had five touchdowns and 654 yards last season for the champs. Corey Ivy has also been mentioned as a nickel back. Adalius Thomas seems destined to endup with the Jets after he is cut by the Patriots. There is still some talk about Nnamdi Asomugha, but I just can’t see that happening.

Stay tuned, the next few days should be interesting…

If I had to make some predictions as of right now, here is what I would say:

  • The Jets trade Rhodes for a third round pick because they don’t want to give Boldin a big contract.
  • The Jets match the offer sheet for Richard Marshall, if this doesn’t work out, they look to trade the third round pick acquired from the Rhodes deal for Cromartie.
  • The Jets sign Adalius Thomas.
  • The Jets sign Corey Ivy.
  • Donald Strickland is released.
  • Jay Feely signs with another team.
  • Marques Douglas comes back.
  • Tony Richardson comes back.
  • The Jets match the offer sheet for Mike Bell.
  • Leon is back next year.
  • Thomas Jones signs with another team for more money than the Jets are willing to pay him.

What Can The Jets Expect From Leon Washington In 2010?

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First a few updates:

1. Not much on the update front today, especially for the Wednesday before free agency. There has been some talk about the Jets interest in Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie, who is on the trading block. I think this is more of a result of everybody knowing the Jets need a corner and automatically linking them with anybody who could potentially be available. I haven’t read anything (and I spend way too much time reading every single thing on the Internet Jets related) that makes me believe the Jets will pursue Cromartie and even have an interest in a guy like Dunta Robinson. Beyond that, Cromartie’s play has declined in recent years, he is a soft player known for his lack of effort, and has off the field baggage in the form of five paternity suits.

2. Obviously we will have to wait and see who gets cut and what potential trades could be consummated but as of now, you haven’t really heard the Jets linked with alot of players this off-season. I think most people are expecting Adalius Thomas to be seriously considered when he gets cut. We know the Jets met with Travis LaBoy, who wasn’t even in the league last year. Yet, is there any other low end free agents the Jets could target/afford with the new rules in place? When I looked through the list of 2010 UFAs from the NFL Labor site, here a few that caught my attention:

  • Corey Ivy, Corner – A Rex Ryan guy who was almost signed last year and could fit into the nickel role.
  • Josh Reed, Receiver – A talented guy who has had to deal with crappy quarterbacks. He could be a productive slot receiver.
  • Michael Gaines, Tight End – Almost signed last year, could be an option if Hartsock walks.
  • Bobby Wade, Wide Receiver – Another potential cheap option for the slot.
  • Justin Griffith, Fullback – If Tony Richardson doesn’t come back.
  • Jeremi Johnson, Fullback – If Tony Richardson doesn’t come back.
  • Roderick Hood, Corner – Could be a depth guy at corner and compete for reps in the nickel role.
  • Chris Brown, Running Back – Add more depth to the running back position to replace TJ.
  • Will Heller, Tight End – Another option if Hartsock walks.
  • Hank Poteat, Corner – Just kidding.

Photobucket3. Thoughts On LOST Season 6, Episode 6 “Sundown”– Good episode, with a great ending. The first third of the season is now over and I am glad it culminated with the Temple being destroyed and Locke scoring a big victory by rallying a growing group of followers, now including Sayid. I didn’t need to see anymore of Hurley and Miles playing tic-tac-toe while Dogen didn’t answer anybody’s questions at the Temple. It will be interesting to see how Jacob puts the other side together and the direction people like Miles, Illana, Jin, Kate, Jack etc. will go. The sideways story was pretty interesting with a nice cameo from Keamy and it was a surprise to see Jin locked away in that freezer, setting the stage for his eventual feature episode. By the way, what ever happened to Ben? The guy barely gets any screen time anymore, so let’s hope next week’s episode is a good one (since it looks to feature him) and gets him back in the mix as an important character.

What Can The Jets Expect From Leon Washington In 2010?

After I spent the entire summer arguing with my friend Dan about who was better, Leon Washington or Reggie Bush, with a primary point in my argument being that Leon was more durable, I had to watch him suffer a compound fracture to his fibula in a week 7 win against the Raiders. It was a gruesome, scary injury that left many wondering if Leon could ever be the same. Fortunately, the reports on his rehab have all been positive, with some indicating he is two months ahead of his recovery schedule. Mike Tannenbaum recently said he is expected to be ready to go by opening day.

PhotobucketThe question now becomes with the recent release of Thomas Jones, how much of a workload can Leon handle in support of new starting running back, Shonn Greene? There was already a concern about the amount of the touches he could handle because of his size and now these concerns are only amplified. The problem is, the Jets need Leon to be heavily involved on offense because of how often they run the ball and their current lack of depth at the position.

I wouldn’t expect to see anymore kick or punt returns from Washington, at least not this season. In the six full games he played last year, Washington averaged a little over 11 carries per game and 2.5 receptions per game. At that point, he was only splitting touches with one back (Thomas Jones) because Shonn Greene wasn’t receiving any substantial playing time until after Washington got hurt. Considering that, will the Jets be able to get 13-15 offensive touches a game out of him next season?

Hopefully, the answer will be yes especially if he isn’t getting another 3-6 touches a game on returns. I am not sure how often the Jets will be giving Washington interior handoffs, which is why they need another running back who could spell Shonn Greene and run the inside plays. I would expect Washington to receive an increase in touches on screen passes, either lined up as a running back or a wide receiver and start off primarily with outside handoffs/stretch plays.

A potential problem could arise if Shonn Green gets hurt and misses a few games. I doubt Leon will be ready to handle 15-20 carries in a single game this season, which is just another reason the Jets should be looking hard at some of the veteran free agent running backs available (Chris Brown, Vernon Haynes, Chicago’s Adrian Peterson). Overall, I see Washington starting out as primarily a third-down back and pass catching option, before gradually being integrated into getting more carries and spelling Shonn Greene for full series.

Leon Lays Out Channing Crowder

Is Shonn Greene Ready?

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First a few updates:

1. The fallout over the Thomas Jones release hasn’t been pretty. The fans are pissed off. The beat writers are ripping the move. Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, Alan Faneca and a few other anonymous players are expressing their dissatisfaction with the decision. As one player said, it doesn’t make the locker room happy when somebody like Vernon Gholston gets his money and another chance next year but Thomas Jones can’t collect his bonus money and is sent packing. Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a popular decision yet it might not the complete unmitigated disaster some people are making it out to be. I don’t agree withthe move. I think it is a big risk. The Jets now need another running back for depth purposes but overall this doesn’t change my mind about the Jets still being the favorite in the AFC East as of right now. This situation reminds me a little bit of Laveranues Coles from last off-season. It isn’t entire comparable because Jones was a much better player and much more of a team leader, but the decision to let Coles go wasn’t popular at the time and it ended up working out. Maybe Jones ends up having another big year in 2010 or maybe he runs for 800 yards in Cleveland, while Shonn Greene racks up 1300 yards for the Jets. We shall see.

2. Rich Cimini of the Daily News is reporting there still is a good chance the Jets will look to trade Kerry Rhodes. Apparently his sources are indicating the coaching staff still isn’t sold on him or his attitude. Unless Mike Tannenbaum has a replacement in mind via trade or free agency, I don’t see Rhodes going anywhere. The Jets aren’t getting anything but a 5th round pick for him and that doesn’t fill the spot he would leave on their defense.

3. Remember to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…Also check out the 2010 Draft Section of the site (http://turnonthejets.com/2010-draft/). The depth chart has been updated to include all the recent players the Jets signed to future/reserve contracts, and to include the pending release of TJ and Lito Sheppard…(http://turnonthejets.com/2009-depth-chart/).

4. When the Jets release Lito Sheppard, he won’t be counted as UFA which means the Jets can’t sign another UFA to replace him. This puts a dent in their hopes of signing a guy like Dunta Robinson, as explained here (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/02/salary-cap-update-lito-is-not-a-ufa/).

5. The Jets remain far apart on locking down long term deals for Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis.

6. Bart Scott was a guest on Mike and Mike this morning and discussed the desire of Adalius Thomas to be a Jet. If I had to make a prediction today, it would be that Thomas will be the Jets biggest UFA signing and maybe their biggest overall off-season acquisition unless Tannenbaum swings a big trade.

Is Shonn Greene Ready?

PhotobucketWith the release of Thomas Jones coming this Friday, the torch is being passed to Shonn Greene as the Jets #1 running back. Greene took the NFL by storm during the first two rounds of the NFL playoffs last season. In the wild-card round against Cincinnati, he rushed for 135 yards on 21 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per carry and had a 39 yard touchdown run. In the divisional round against San Diego, he rushed for 128 yards on 23 carries, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and had a 53 yard touchdown run.

Those were two terrific performances that were somewhat foreshadowed at other points during the Jets regular season. Greene racked up 144 yards on only 19 carries during a week 7 win against the Raiders. He put up solid efforts against the Bills (11 carries, 59 yards), Bucs (6 carries, 41 yards), Colts (16 carries, 95 yards), and in the regular season finale against the Bengals (13 carries, 62 yards). These weren’t earth-shattering games but they showed Greene’s natural talent. He has a tremendous burst through the hole, is rarely tackled by the first guy who hits him, and has a second gear that allows him to rip off long runs.

There is no reason not to be excited about Greene’s potential to be franchise running back. By any account, he had a very good rookie year but let’s take off the green and white shades for a moment and look at some facts you can’t ignore:

  • Greene came off the bench last season and gashed defenses after Thomas Jones had softened them up. He rarely received carries in the 1st and 3rd quarter. His production was absolutely enhanced by having a bruising back in front of him.
  • Despite only having 108 carries in the regular season, Greene dealt with multiple injury issues in his rookie year. He missed nearly all of the pre-season and was inactive week 1 because of a rib injury. He was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game with a rib injury after only having 41 yards on 10 carries (a 4.1 average, which is down from the previous two playoff games). During training camp he also had an ankle injury and late in the regular season, he was on the injury report with a shoulder injury.
  • Greene lost three fumbles during the regular season. He lost a fourth one in week 17 but it was called back because of a penalty.
  • Greene had zero receptions during the regular season and only one during the playoffs.
  • Despite the previously mentioned impressive stat lines, he also had these not so impressive outings against Miami (8 carries, 18 yards), Jacksonville (7 carries, 26 yards), New England (3 carries, -1 yard), Carolina (10 carries, 36 yards), Atlanta (8 carries, 30 yards).\

I hate to take off those green and white shades and be so negative but the reality is Greene still has plenty to prove. There is big difference between coming off the bench and having a couple of great games and being a #1 back week in and week out for entire season. He needs to work on his consistency, ball protection, and receiving skills. You can’t have a #1 back who fumbles and who goes through the entire season without catching a single pass.

PhotobucketThe positives are that Greene got better as the season went on last year. He didn’t fumble the ball in the last six games, in which he received 91 total carries. Next season he will be playing behind the best offensive line in football and should be supported by an improved passing game, as Mark Sanchez continues to develop. He will also be more experienced, more comfortable in the offense, and better prepared to handle the rigors of an entire NFL season as a second year player instead of a rookie. The talent is clearly is there. It isn’t crazy to think Greene could realistically be a 1300-1400 yard back next year, especially when you consider how often the Jets run the ball.

The torch has been passed to Shonn Greene, let’s all hope he is ready to take it.

 

My Favorite Play Of The Past Season

Greene Touchdown Against Bengals

Greene’s First NFL Touchdown

Final Word On Thomas Jones & Free Agency Week Begins

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First a few updates:

1. Busy week coming up here at TOJ. The posts were a little sparse last week, due to my laptop dying after a historic 5 year run of being dropped, having food spilled on it, and generally accumulating dirt and dust, along with professors having the audacity to assign schoolwork to their graduate school students. I also took my first trip up to Boston during the weekend, good times. Anyway, free agency starts this Friday so it is all business this week, who needs a laptop anyway? Yet, feel free to buy me one for my birthday, which also happens to be this Friday.

2. As you can see on the home page, I posted up the Jets pick in the Fanball Mock Draft earlier today. Feel free to criticize.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook….because we are only 85 fans away from 300.

4. Nothing Rex Ryan said at the combine really caught my attention. It was nice of him to attempt taking some of the blame for Vernon Gholston but the reality is that the Jets just missed with the guy. He doesn’t deserve more reps. He didn’t even deserve to be active last season.

Photobucket5. There has been alot of buzz about the Jets pursuing Adalius Thomas. Despite being on the outs in New England and seeing some decline in his production, he is a guy who is obviously a good fit in Ryan’s scheme and would probably more than welcome going from the grim secret society culture of New England to the Rex Ryan, middle-finger waving Jets. If the Jets spend the money on Thomas, most people are assuming Bryan Thomas will be let go. However, I think there still couldbe a role for him. I think both Thomases…Adalius and Bryan, could be better served splitting time and only playing in certain packages. There isn’t going to be a trade market for BT, especially since Mangini isn’t calling the shots in Cleveland anymore, so why just release him? Do you really want Vernon Gholston stepping in, if one of the Jets outside linebackers get hurt?

6. The Jets will be releasing Lito Sheppard on Friday…I don’t think anybody is going to shed a tear over that one.

Final Word On Thomas Jones & Free Agency Week Begins

We all know the news now, the Jets will be releasing Thomas Jones on Friday. Everybody saw this coming and no matter how many articles I wrote on it over the past 2 weeks, it was going to happen. I still don’t agree with the move. Obviously, Jones wasn’t going to agree to restructure coming off a 1400 yard, 14 touchdown season. I know on the surface it doesn’t make perfect financial sense to pay TJ his full 3 million dollar bonus, but I do believe this could come back to haunt the Jets next season…and please spare me with the Mike Tannenbaum quote saying he is confident about Chauncey Washington as the team’s third running back. The Jets now have another need on offense. For a team that runs the football more than any other team in the NFL, it is a big risk to go into the season with their current depth at running back.

We all saw Shonn Greene in the playoffs last year. We all love his potential, yet he still has plenty to prove as I will detail in an article at some point this week. Nobody likes Leon Washington more than I do, but he also has plenty to prove coming off major surgery. The Jets need a third guy who can handle a few carries a game and more importantly be ready to step in and take 10-15 touches a game if somebody in front of him gets hurt or fumbles once or twice and needs to be taken out. Danny Woodhead isn’t that guy. Chauncey Washington hasn’t really gotten a chance but I have to think there is a reason that Jacksonville cut him so quickly after spending a draft pick on him.

Yet, let me just take a moment to thank Thomas Jones for time with the Jets. He struggled a little bit in 2007 behind a crappy offensive line and with no help at quarterback but still ran for 1119 yards. In 2008, he ran for 1312 yards with 13 touchdowns and then bumped his numbers up even higher last year to 1402 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Also, over the past three years he has 74 receptions and 3 receiving touchdowns. Jones has been a leader in the locker room and an example around the team complex about how players should carry themselves. I have no doubt that Shonn Greene and Leon Washington will both be much better off because of their time spent with Jones. So good luck TJ, I hope you get a good deal in free agency on a team that isn’t playing the Jets over the next couple of years.

PhotobucketOn to other issues with free agency…There has been some talk about the Jets pursuing Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle. Yet, there will likely be a decent market out there for him and I am not sure how much the Jets would spend on a guy who could end up being very similar to Kerry Rhodes in their defense. If Rex Ryan wants a more physical player at the safety position, is he going to give money to a smaller guy who used to be a corner? I still think Rhodes will be back next year and hopefully improved. Overall, it is hard to tell who the Jets will target because of the restrictions placed on them. As of right now, I am hoping they could bring Marques Douglas, Tony Richardson, and yes even Jay Feely (I know it isn’t happening but I am terrified of Nick Folk) back. James Dearth, Larry Izzo, and Ben Hartsock will all likely walk. I can’t see anybody matching the Jets RFA tenders, unless somebody wants to take a big risk on Leon Washington. Unlike the past two seasons, the first week of free agency isn’t going to be a chaotic signing of big name players for the Jets. Their primary needs are a corner, a pass rusher, defensive line depth, and offensive line depth. Their secondary needs are a slot receiver, a running back, a veteran quarterback, and a backup tight end. I am not sure how many of those needs can actually be filled through free agency, so keep an eye for out potential trades and an active draft weekend where the Jets look to accumulate more picks.

No More Funny Jets Commercials For Thomas Jones

With The 29th Selection In The Fanball.Com NFL Mock Draft…

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We have been running a network wide mock draft here at Fanball over the past few weeks, and finally after the long wait that is usually associated with a successful season…the Jets are up on the clock. Here is a run down of the picks so far, followed by my Mike Tannenbaum impression:

1) St. Louis Rams – Will Horton (RamsHerd.com) – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

2) Detroit Lions– Josh Pung (RoarOfTheLions.com) – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

3) Tampa Bay Bucs – Eric Schmidt (WhatTheBucs.com) – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

4) Washington Redskins– Ryan Estroninos (PaintItRedskins.com) – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

5) Kansas City Chiefs – (ChiefsChatter.com) – Joe Haden, CB, Florida

6) Seattle Seahawks– Jay Flannelly (FlockOfSeahawks.com) – Brandon Graham, LB, Michigan

7) Cleveland Browns – Ward Peterson (GridironBrownies.com) – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

8) Oakland Raiders – Stu Rosenberg (RaidersRadar.com) – Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama

9) Buffalo Bills – Jon Munoz (BillsHerd.com) – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

10a) Chicago Bears(Chicago’s pick goes to Denver) – Ismael Seguban (BearsHibernation.com, WHAT CHICAGO WOULD HAVE DONE) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

10b) Denver Broncos – Bryan Douglass (BroncosStable.com, DENVER’S PICK) – Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho

11) Jacksonville Jaguars – Nate Bruce (TealPower.com) – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida

12) Miami Dolphins– Josh Baumgard (BlogWithAPorpoise.com) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

13) San Francisco 49ers – Josh Russell (NinersNuggets.com) – CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson

14) Denver Broncos– TO SEATTLE – Jay Flannelly (FlockOfSeahawks.com) – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

15) New York Giants – Mike Farley (GmenDen.com) – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

16a) Carolina Panthers(Carolina’s pick goes to San Francisco) – James Dator (RealBitsOfPanthers.com, WHAT THE PANTHERS WOULD HAVE DONE) – Arrelious Benn, WR/TE, Illinois

16b) San Francisco 49ers– Dana Whipple (NinersNuggets.com) – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

17) Tennessee Titans– Brian Munson (HonkyTonkTitans.com) – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida

18) Pittsburgh Steelers – Dan Stack (SteelersMill.com) – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

19) Atlanta Falcons– Mike Luchessi (DirtyBirdBlog.com) – Taylor Mays, S, USC

20) Houston Texans– Mike Kerns (DontMessWithTexans.com) – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

21) Cincinnati Bengals– Mike Norrod (BengalsJaw.com) – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

22) New England Patriots– Tim Magoon (PatsChowder.com) – Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas

23) Green Bay Packers – Adam Burnett (PackingCheese.com) – Earl Thomas, S, Texas

24) Philadelphia Eagles – Joe Burt (EaglesHaveLanded.com) – Everson Griffen, DE, USC

25) Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Hanson (FootBaltimore.com) – Arrelious Benn, WR/TE, Illinois

26) Arizona Cardinals – Hunter Ansley (DesertFlock.com) – Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

27) Dallas Cowboys – Don Potts (RespectTheStar.com) – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma

28) San Diego Chargers – Anthony Blake (ChargingBolts.com) – Brian Price, DT, UCLA

With the 29th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft…the Jets select cornerback Kyle Wilson, from Boise State.

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Anybody who watched last year’s AFC Championship Game, knows the Jets need help at corner. Last year’s trade for Lito Sheppard didn’t work out because he couldn’t stay healthy and was inconsistent when he actually was on the field. Dwight Lowery lacks the speed and overall skill set to be a starter in the NFL and Donald Strickland will likely be cut because similar to Sheppard, he can’t stay healthy. At this point in the draft, the only corner taken has been Florida’s Joe Haden and I was a little torn between Wilson or Patrick Robinson of Florida State but in the end I decided to go with Wilson. At this point of the first round, he is a good value pick and fills a major need.

Wilson’s stock improved after a very strong showing the entire Senior Bowl week. He has decent size (5’10, 190 lbs) and very good speed, along with strong man to man skills. Wilson is also a factor in the return game. In four years at Boise State, he finished with 11 interceptions and 27 pass breakups. Wilson was also durable, playing in 50 games over the course of his career.

Highlights/Lowlights From TCU Game Last Year…Monster Sack at the :32 Mark

Interceptions

90 Yard Punt Return Touchdown

Mike Mayock Ranks Wilson #2 Corner

Early Off-Season Concerns For Jets & Draft Updates

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First a few updates:

1. I am sick of snow and I am sick of schoolwork. I am caught in the middle of a hellacious week, which saw my laptop break, an all-nighter to finish a paper that died with my laptop, a 50 dollar parking ticket at Lehigh because I parked in a spot 6 minutes earlier than I was supposed to, and an amusement park like ride back into New Jersey this morning because of the snow. I was basically playing Mario Kart the entire drive home down 78 and 287, getting hit by green turtle shells and driving over the banana peels…great stuff. Regardless, it was worth it because I couldn’t take another weekend in Pennsylvania….and yes, my friends and I will continue playing Mario Kart in person tomorrow when we attempt to drive to Boston for the weekend to see our long lost friend who moved up there 7 months ago.

2. Speaking of Boston, I saw Shutter Island last night…wow, great movie. 4 Stars. 2 Thumbs Up. Awesome stuff.

Photobucket3. Thoughts On Lost Season 6 Episode 5 “The Lighthouse” – I am a little biased with this review because I am a big Jack fan. The guy gets nothing but crap from writers (by making him a complete wreck the past 2 seasons) and the fans, except everybody forgets he saved everybody’s life about 8 times in Season 1, 2, and 3. Beyond that, nobody yells more for unnecessary reasons and looks weirder doing it than Matthew Fox (see the video below). It is always entertaining television, whether Jack is chasing down Thai women, popping Oxycontin, driving around his crappy brown jeep, or deciding to blow up the island because he can’t close the damn deal with Kate. Regardless, I liked Tuesday’s episode. We bounced between deadbeat Dad off-island Jack, and angry smashing mirrors on-island Jack. The off-island story caught me off-guard. It is clear some things are now radically different in these people’s lives because of what they did in 1977 (like Jack now having a son). It was nice to see Jack finally break his family tradition of overbearing, terrible parenting by the end of the episode. On the island, the whole crazy Claire plot seemed a little off to me but we’ll see where it goes. The lighthouse was an interesting concept, as a way for Jacob to monitor all his candidates. When Jacob going to show up to somebody besides Hurley, by the way?

4. A big thank you to www.thejetsblog.com for recently linking a bunch of my articles. It has provided a big spike in hits. They are the best in the business.

A Final Plea to Keep Thomas Jones and Other Thoughts

I normally don’t like writing these all over the place, update type articles like my post on Tuesday and today’s but there has been alot going on with the Jets this week, and I want to keep up and get my thoughts out there on all the issues. Beyond that, I haven’t had the time to sit down and come up with a good topic for a full length article like my recent Pulitzer level writing on why the Jets should keep Thomas Jones, why they don’t need a receiver, and why they should bring Kerry Rhodes back.

– The talk about Thomas Jones being potentially released has heated up recently, especially after LaDanian Tomlinson was let go. We know that Drew Rosenhaus and the Jets are sitting down this week in an attempt to work something out.  Most people still seem to be assuming nothing will get done and the Jets will let him go. I have been broken a record about this, but the Jets should just pay Jones his money. We saw last year how important depth is at the running back position, especially with how often the Jets run the football. If the Jets can convince Jones that he won’t get a big deal on the market because of his age and how he faded down the stretch last year (which is probably the case) and get him to come back for less, than good for them but I doubt that happens. Most people aren’t in the business of taking pay cuts after rushing for 1400 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns. Jones is valuable in the locker room, in goal-line/short yardage, and yes is still good enough to be a key part of the Jets offense next season.

– The story on the Jets kicking situation is that they basically low-balled Jay Feely, and despite wanting to be back with the team next year, he will see if he could get a bigger deal on the free agent market. Hopefully, in the end nobody is willing to pay him Sea-Bass money and he works something out with the team, if not Nick Folk is going to be the death of the Jets in close games next season.

– The Jets added offensive tackle Michael Turkovich, who was an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame picked up by the Cowboys last year. He hurt his knee and never saw any time in 2009, but he could be an interesting project for Bill Callahan at 6’5, 300 pounds. The Jets also recently tried out two journeyman fullbacks, Anthony Cotrone and Jonathan Evans. I hope Tony Richardson finds his way back on to the team next year. The Jets can’t sleep on the value of guys like Feely, Richardson, and Marques Douglas (who they are planning to let test the FA marker). All three of them were key contributors last season and I don’t count Nick Folk, Anthony Cortrone, or Travis LaBoy as potential adequate replacements.

Photobucket– A word on all the Nnamdi Asomugha talk…I just don’t see it happening. I don’t see him taking a sizable pay cut to join the Jets and I don’t see the Jets giving up multiple draft picks to get him. It is a scary good thought to have the two best corners in the NFL on our team, but similar to both LeBron and Bosh joining the Knicksnext year, I won’t believe it until I see it. Dunta Robinson could be a more realistic option.

– Draft Talk – Tim Graham of ESPN collected a group of pre-combine mock drafts, including ones from Mel Kiper Jr, Todd McShay, Don Banks, Bucky Brooks, Chris Burke, Richard Lines, Rob Rang, Chad Reuter, Allen Wilson:

  • Kiper – Dan Williams
  • McShay – Arrelious Benn
  • Banks – Damian Williams
  • Brooks – Kyle Wilson
  • Burke – Kyle Wilson
  • Lines – Kyle Wilson
  • Rang – Damian Williams
  • Reuter – Kyle Wilson
  • Wilson – Carlos Dunlap

Alot of love for Kyle Wilson, who I also like alot for the Jets at number 29. Damian Williams would be an exciting addition but if you are a regular reader of this site, you know how I feel about the Jets adding a receiver in the first round.

– The Fanball Mock Draft is rolling along and we are quickly approaching the Turn on The Jets pick, here is where we are at right now:

THE BIG BOARD

1) St. Louis Rams – Will Horton (RamsHerd.com) – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

2) Detroit Lions– Josh Pung (RoarOfTheLions.com) – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

3) Tampa Bay Bucs – Eric Schmidt (WhatTheBucs.com) – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

4) Washington Redskins– Ryan Estroninos (PaintItRedskins.com) – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

5) Kansas City Chiefs – (ChiefsChatter.com) – Joe Haden, CB, Florida

6) Seattle Seahawks– Jay Flannelly (FlockOfSeahawks.com) – Brandon Graham, LB, Michigan

7) Cleveland Browns – Ward Peterson (GridironBrownies.com) – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

8) Oakland Raiders – Stu Rosenberg (RaidersRadar.com) – Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama

9) Buffalo Bills – Jon Munoz (BillsHerd.com) – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

10a) Chicago Bears(Chicago’s pick goes to Denver) – Ismael Seguban (BearsHibernation.com, WHAT CHICAGO WOULD HAVE DONE) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

10b) Denver Broncos – Bryan Douglass (BroncosStable.com, DENVER’S PICK) – Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho

11) Jacksonville Jaguars – Nate Bruce (TealPower.com) – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida

12) Miami Dolphins– Josh Baumgard (BlogWithAPorpoise.com) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

13) San Francisco 49ers – Josh Russell (NinersNuggets.com) – CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson

14) Denver Broncos– TO SEATTLE – Jay Flannelly (FlockOfSeahawks.com) – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

15) New York Giants – Mike Farley (GmenDen.com) – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

16a) Carolina Panthers(Carolina’s pick goes to San Francisco) – James Dator (RealBitsOfPanthers.com, WHAT THE PANTHERS WOULD HAVE DONE) – Arrelious Benn, WR/TE, Illinois

16b) San Francisco 49ers– Dana Whipple (NinersNuggets.com) – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

17) Tennessee Titans– Brian Munson (HonkyTonkTitans.com) – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida

18) Pittsburgh Steelers – Dan Stack (SteelersMill.com) – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

19) Atlanta Falcons– Mike Luchessi (DirtyBirdBlog.com) – Taylor Mays, S, USC

20) Houston Texans– Mike Kerns (DontMessWithTexans.com) – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

21) Cincinnati Bengals– Mike Norrod (BengalsJaw.com) – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

22) New England Patriots– Tim Magoon (PatsChowder.com) – Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas

23) Green Bay Packers – Adam Burnett (PackingCheese.com)

24) Philadelphia Eagles – Joe Burt (EaglesHaveLanded.com)

25) Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Hanson (FootBaltimore.com)

26) Arizona Cardinals – Hunter Ansley (DesertFlock.com)

27) Dallas Cowboys – Don Potts (RespectTheStar.com)

28) San Diego Chargers – Anthony Blake (ChargingBolts.com)

29) New York Jets– Joe Caporoso (TurnOnTheJets.com)

30) Minnesota Vikings – Eric Thompson – (VikingsThrone.com)

31) Indianapolis Colts – Brooks Busch (ColtsChatter.com)

32) New Orleans Saints – Mark Hooper (WhoDatBlog.com)

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Tuesday Thoughts On Jets/NFL Free Agency

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1. What the Folk? The Jets signed former Cowboys kicker Nick Folk to a one year deal today, which means they are going to let Jay Feely test the free agent market. Simply put, Folk was terrible last season. The guy was 5/12 on kicks between 40-49 yards and missed a big 23 yarder in a late season game against the Saints. I understand the Jets might be hoping that Feely picks up a decent deal with another team, giving them some flexibility to sign a free agent at another position, but isn’t this a big risk? The style of football the Jets play is conducive to a high amount of field goal attempts and a high amount of close games. Can the Jets really rely on Folk in a big spot next year?

2. The Jets hosted free agent defensive end Travis LaBoy yesterday. LaBoy sat out the ’09 season but prior to that was a decent pass rusher for both the Titans and Cardinals. He is only 28 and the Jets aren’t limited by any “final four” restrictions to sign him because he was released and isn’t a true UFA. He could be worth a shot, he has 23.5 career sacks and has started 32 games, which puts Vernon Gholston’s numbers to shame. He is only 250 pounds, so he would likely be a situational pass rusher on the Jets defense.

3. It also being reported that the Jets are going to let Marques Douglas hit the open market on March 5th, and then look to re-sign him, if he isn’t offered a big deal anywhere else. I hope Douglas ends up back next season, he was an underrated and valuable part of the Jets defense last year.

4. LaDanian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook have both been released. Westbrook obviously has some serious injury concerns if the Eagles let him go. We all saw how washed up Tomlinson was in the playoffs last year, maybe the Patriots will sign him and then he could join Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris on the inactive list with injuries for 10 games next year.

Photobucket5. Some people on the Jets ESPN Message Board disagreed with my thoughts about the Jets not really needing a receiver that badly. They made some valid points about the importance of having a quality slot guy to aid in Sanchez’s development and questioned whether Keller could be counted on as a consistent third option in the passing game. However, I am still not sure how many looks a #3 receiver is going to get in the Jets offense. Nobody in the NFL is anywhere near running the ball as much as the Jets do, are we going to spend a first round pick on a guy who is going to have 1 ball thrown his way a game? If the value doesn’t match the Jets need at corner or defensive line at number 29, I’d rather see them trade back than take a receiver, unless it is a guy the scouting department is convinced is a “must-get” or steal at 29. I wouldn’t have thought the Jets should be trading multiple picks to move up to grab a running back last year, but it turned out to be the right move. If they feel strong enough about a WR at 29, than you have to stick to your draft board. It will be interesting to see who is available at that point however because there seems to be a wide range of opinions on who the best receivers in this year’s draft are and what order they should be taken in.

6. I continue to be surprised by how many people believe the Jets should just let Thomas Jones go. Again, with how run heavy the Jets offense is, isn’t it a major risk to rely on Leon Washington (coming off major surgery) and Shonn Greene, who has never been a #1 back for an entire season and had some injury issues of his own last year. Jones isn’t going to be a 1400 yard back next year, but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute and add necessary depth, leadership, and intangibles.

7. I am interested to see if the Jets allow Leon Washington to return kicks next season. Brad Smith did a decent job last year and I would rather save Leon’s touches for the offense. The Jets completely lacked a screen game last year, after being successful with it in 2008. Sanchez’s completion percentage will improve with a reliable pass catching running back, and more screen passes called.

8. The Jets are going to have a big hole to fill, if Tony Richardson decides to retire. Hopefully, T-Rich decides to give it another year. He showed no signs of decline last season and I am not sure Jason Davis is ready to step into the job full time.

I Can’t Believe Somebody Actually Made This Video…I Hate Cowboys Fans