Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Early Camp Observations & Predictions

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack has some early thoughts and predictions for New York Jets training camp

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack is back after a packed week of content here on the site. A big thanks to our writing staff who is the best in the business: Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly and TJ Rosenthal. In case you weren’t following, here is what you missed –

And of course we started selling our Turn On The Jets Vintage Jets T-Shirts this week. Make sure to buy yours now. Wear that Green and White proud – 

1. Anybody who follows this team on a day to day basis shouldn’t be surprised by the reality that there is no quarterback competition in training camp. Mark Sanchez is going to be the starter. He is going to get 95% of the reps with the first team and in certain situations Greg McElroy will even take second team reps over Tim Tebow. This coaching staff views Sanchez as their quarterback and Tebow as a weapon to enhance their running game and give them a dynamic element on offense. The reports from day one are that Sanchez thoroughly outplayed Tebow, notably throwing the ball much better…get used to reading that.

2. The top story from today will likely end up being that Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse are suddenly in a battle for a starting guard positon. Mike Donnelly was on to this a few months ago. I dislike this. Why? Let your starting offensive line work together every single day to build chemistry and cohesion in a new offensive system. Don’t rotate to Ducasse in every few plays because you are making a last ditch effort to make him a contributing player. Slauson beat him out easily two years ago and has been solid ever since, while Ducasse has shown no signs of improvement. Stop with the dog and pony show to hype up a failed draft pick and give the reps to Slauson who has earned his spot.

3. Not sure why there is so much buzz about Antonio Cromartie taking a few reps at wide receiver. He did this last season and even ran a reverse. The Jets will likely use him as a decoy and a potential rushing option on a few trick plays again.

4. Random prediction – Just like their first play in team practice was a play action bomb to Stephen Hill (a 40 yard catch over Darrelle Revis by the way), their first play against Buffalo will be a deep pass. You spend all summer talking about the Ground and Pound and then you come out and just bomb one up the first play.

5. Regretting not putting Dexter Jackson on my 53 man roster prediction. I think he could stick as a special teamer and a gadget player on offense because of his speed.

6. Each passing day we don’t hear about Jeff Otah passing his physical gets a little scarier. It is hard to say that it would be a shock at this point if the trade is rescinded and we are back to Wayne’s World at right tackle.

7. Rex Ryan’s press conferences are never going to be toned all the way down. You won’t hear Super Bowl getting thrown around but you will still hear effusive praise for all his coaches and players…and himself. Today Ryan proclaimed his belief that he is the best defensive coach in football and why shouldn’t he have that belief in himself? Other coaches and players make similar statements and they are called confident, if Rex does it…he is ridiculed.

8.Aren’t we due for a big camp from Kyle Wilson? People seem to forget the Jets spent a first round pick on this guy a few years ago. It is time for him to start playing like it.

9. I am staying with my prediction that Sanchez will thoroughly outplay Tebow all summer and then Tebow will have a monster final pre-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles when both teams are resting all their starters, leading into a new wave of “controversy” and Skip Bayless yelling heading into week 1.

10. Sounds like Nick Folk got the better of Josh Brown on day one. It is a long battle and I do ultimately think Brown will get comfortable and beat him out.

11. Let’s hope Demario Davis is back on the field soon. Hamstrings are tricky injuries. It is hard to see him working his way into the first sub package early in the season if he misses a couple of weeks in training camp.

12. Tough start for a few of the late round Jets draft picks – Robert T. Griffin left the field with a leg injury. Jordan White is still out with a foot injury and Antonio Allen is running with the third team, behind Tracy Wilson on the depth chart.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack – Must Follows For Jets Fans

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack gives 12 must follows for Jets fans throughout the NFL season

Today’s edition of the Turn On The Jets 12 Pack is going to hand out some love to our peers who we have had the pleasure of interacting with throughout the growth of our site. Turn On The Jets started as a member of the Fanball Network thanks to Bryan Douglass, who is currently the content manager for Wayin. Personally, I will always have Bryan to thank for giving me a shot. After the network shut down, Will Horton of the Rams Herd made sure we stayed afloat thanks to some timely HTML and web service help. So thanks to Will as always, who is a great writer himself. 

Anyway here are your TOJ recommended follows for the 2012 NFL Season, obviously outside of us and staff writers Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly. Turn On The Jets commits itself to providing in-depth writing and analysis on the New York Jets on a daily basis. We do that as well as anybody out there, so stay with us. The staff is only growing with Rob Celletti and Chris Celletti joining up in season and TJ Rosenthal continuing with contributions.

Last site PSA: T-Shirts are done and shipped. They will go on sale early next week (likely Tuesday) right here on the site. We will be doing all types of giveaways to people who buy from our first batch so keep an eye out and make sure you are following TOJ on Facebook

On the to the recommendations (in no particular order) –

1. Jeff Capellini, CBS New York/WFAN.com – Jeff is a terrific, in-depth writer who covers the Jets along with the Yankees and Islanders. His articles are a must read. We only wish we could have more published content from him. Jeff thinks outside the box and has a very good pulse on the Jets. He is also an entertaining follow on Twitter and always up for a solid debate.

2. TJ Rosenthal, The Jet Report – We are fortunate enough to have TJ as a regular contributor here at Turn On The Jets but his own site, The Jet Report is also a must visit. TJ has a PhD in Jets history and has a fascinating collection of materials from the team throughout the years. He is also a detailed writer who frequently finds unique angles to cover the team from.

3. Erik Manassy, Jets Twit – The social media master when it comes to the New York Jets. He does a little bit of everything, including writing, podcasts, web development and social media management. Erik does a great job of aggregating all the social media content coming from Jets writers and players.

4. Flight 5 Live – A new web based television show that airs every Friday night. They have pulled in quite the collection of guests so far including Curtis Martin, Wesley Walker, Demario Davis and Marcus Dixon. All five hosts are passionate fans, among them Kristine Reese who is a great writer for Aerys Sports and Brian Imbemba who is a must follow on Twitter.

5. Erik Frenz, The Bleacher Report – The AFC East lead blogger for BR. Regardless of your preconceptions of the site, Erik is a terrific writer who thoroughly covers the Jets, Dolphins, Bills, and Patriots. The guy literally might publish 3,000 words a day…not sure when he sleeps.

6. Jet Nation – An active and interesting Twitter account and a website that houses a great forum for Jets fans to debate about the team.

7. The Jet Press – A site that frequently has differing opinions with us about issues surrounding the team but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy reading their content. Alan does a great job with the site and we have debated here recently.

8. Brian Bassett, The Jets Blog – Founded The Jets Blog, which is now in partnership with SNY, the Jets home station. Brian is a blogging beast and a great guy who I was fortunate enough to meet at Blog With Balls last year.

9. HargzAndCarter, The Green Zone – Run a weekly Jets radio talk show that is always worth a listen and contribute to The Jets Blog.

10. Pro Football Focus – We love how in-depth they are with film breakdown and how consistently they put out quality content. Any NFL fan should enjoy this site.

11. Enemy Tweeps – Keep your enemies close…New England Patriots fans to follow (Pats Propaganda and Patriots XLVII). Armando Salguero who is a beat writer for the Miami Dolphins and Tim Graham, the former AFC East blogger who now covers the Bills.

12. The Rest – @LilMissNYJet (Opinionated and entertaining Jets and soccer fan), @MokeHamilton (our favorite Knicks blogger), @NYJets_101 (good Jets reading), @FootballPost (NFP), @MCaseyNYJ (just started his own site), @ItsOasus , @JRDengo , @cfattovw (Great fans, thanks for reading!)

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: New York Jets Statistical Predictions

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack breaks out some stat predictions for the 2012 New York Jets

This week’s 12 Pack is going throw out some statistical predictions for members of both the New York Jets offense and defense. Credit for the idea goes to (@ItsOasus) on Twitter. Give the man a follow and while you are it give our fellow writers Chris GrossMike Donnelly and TJ Rosenthal a follow. 

In case you missed it this week…

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1. Mark Sanchez – 256/432, 59.2 completion percentage, 3,360 yards, 25 touchdowns, 13 interceptions – I am basically projecting Sanchez for 16/27, 210 yards on a weekly basis. The yardage total might seem a little high but I think the Jets will attack down the field more often with Tony Sparano calling plays, will use Santonio Holmes more vertically and should have a viable deep threat in Stephen Hill. Yes, I believe he will do a better job of protecting the football and will cut 5 interceptions off his total from last season.

2. Shonn Greene – 280 carries, 1,175 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 5 touchdowns – Greene isn’t anywhere near an elite level back but considering their depth chart at running back and the offensive system the Jets are going to give him 17-20 carries per week. He should be able to translate that into a little under 1,200 yards considering his history. His touchdown total will be disappointing because Tim Tebow will be a major presence around the goal-line.

3. Santonio Holmes – 72 receptions, 1,044 yards, 7 touchdowns – Holmes averaged 15 yards per catch over the 3 years prior to 2011, let’s put him at 14.5 this season…a nice bump up from the 12.8 of last season. Sparano should also do a better job of getting the ball in his hands than Brian Schottenheimer did last season, so 4.5 catches per game seems reasonable. Holmes had 8 touchdowns last year, which tied a career high. He will end up with 7 this season.

4. Dustin Keller – 64 receptions, 832 yards, 7 touchdowns – Yes, I do think Holmes and Keller will equate for this large of a share of the Jets passing game. Keller was at 12.5 yards per catch last year, he’ll bump up to about 13 in Tony Sparano’s offense. 7 touchdowns would be a career high but he is due to be a sustainable red-zone presence throughout an entire season.

5. Stephen Hill – 40 receptions, 630 yards, 5 touchdowns – The reception total won’t be high but Hill will be a big play threat for the Jets, hence the high yards per catch average. His size and leaping ability ability will also make him a consistent red-zone threat.

6. Tim Tebow – 80 carries, 440 yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 250 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns – Tebow is going to be a major factor in the red-zone as a rusher and overall should average out to about  5 carries per week. His passing totals are hard to project, because it remains to be seen how often the Jets will use him a passer. For the record, I do think Mark Sanchez, barring injury, starts every game this season at quarterback.

7. Aaron Maybin – 10.5 sacks, 26 tackles, 5 forced fumbles – With a full off-season under his belt, Maybin will become the first Jets defender to hit double digit sacks since John Abraham (!). If that forced fumble total seems high, remember he forced 4 last season in 13 games with a very limited role.

8. David Harris – 90 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 interceptions – Another rock solid, Pro-Bowl caliber season from the Jets inside linebacker. Don’t look for any drop-off in his regular production.

9. Quinton Coples – 30 tackles, 5.5 sacks – Rex Ryan and Karl Dunbar will get Coples in the proper position to make an immediate impact as a pass rusher. Towards the end of the season, he will begin to come on more as a complete player, particularly in run defense.

10. Muhammad Wilkerson – 55 tackles, 6 sacks, 10 tackles for a loss – I am on the Wilkerson bandwagon, who I think will play at a Pro-Bowl caliber level as a two way defensive end. Wilkerson and Coples will give the Jets their best pass rushing duo up front since John Abraham and Shaun Ellis were young pups.

11. Joe McKnight – 75 carries, 325 yards, 32 receptions, 320 yards, 2 offensive touchdowns, 1 special teams touchdown – A good all-around year for McKnight who will be able to handle the role of 3rd down back and be a reliable checkdown/screen option for Mark Sanchez. He also will remain one of the league’s better kick returners.

12. Jeremy Kerley – 45 receptions, 460 yards, 2 touchdowns – Kerley won’t have a high yards per catch but will develop into a reliable third down target, being a good option in the short to intermediate passing game.

 

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Damn Those Patriots

Can the Jets bounce back from an ugly 2011 against the Patriots and find success against their rivals from the north?

Inspired by a business trip to New England which I am currently taking part in, this week’s 12 pack is going to focus on the Patriots: what the Jets can do to get back to beating them, what New England has added this off-season, and a few more items pertaining to the team we love to hate. Make sure to give myself and staff writers Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly on Twitter, Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook

1. Maybe it is because I am only 25 years old and I’d love to hear older Jets fans opinion on this, but isn’t the divisional round win in New England the second greatest win in franchise history behind Super Bowl III? Beyond that game, the Jets have only won three other times to put themselves in an AFC Championship Game. I know beating Jacksonville and San Diego wasn’t as sweet as ending the Patriots season and I am assuming the 1982 win over Los Angeles in the strike shortened season wasn’t either. Considering the circumstances around that game (the Monday Night massacre, being such heavy underdogs), how they won (smacking crap out of Brady and visibly rattling him), it doesn’t get any better for a Jets fan outside of a Super Bowl win, right?

2. On the other end of the spectrum, the Patriots thrashing of the Jets on Sunday Night Football last season ended the Jets as a serious contender in 2011. Yes, I know they were still alive after that but people forget how vulnerable the Patriots looked heading into that game and how the Jets had just rolled Buffalo. It was a clear shot for the Jets to take a stranglehold of the division in their own building and they were embarrassed in the second half and ran off the field. The Patriots made it apparent that the Jets had become too slow and reactive on defense and lacked any kind of firepower on offense to take advantage of a defense with holes in it.

3. What was even more frustrating about last season’s meeting with the Patriots is when you consider how New England beat them in their first meeting. They ran the ball down the Jets throat as Rex Ryan stuck with a defensive back heavy lineup too frequently and on offense they dared the Jets to throw the ball on the field and Brian Schottenheimer refused to. In the second meeting, the Jets adjusted to stop the run and Tom Brady threw all over them and offense the Jets tried to open it up and were overmatched. Bill Belichick was completely out-coached by Rex Ryan in the playoff loss but worked him over last season as revenge.

4. This season we are treated to Jets/Patriots on Thanksgiving. The Jets have been hit or miss on holidays as of late. In 2006, they all but clinched a playoff spot by beating Miami on Christmas as I happily cheered on in my Leon Washington jersey. In 2007, they were humiliated by Dallas on Thanksgiving as I purposely spilled cranberry sauce on my Kerry Rhodes jersey. In 2010, they beat Cincinnati on Thanksgiving as we laughed in our Darrelle Revis jersey at Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson trying to get open. Last year, the Jets ruined our Christmas by losing to the Giants on December 24th and propelling their Super Bowl run.

5. New England added some nice pieces in the draft this year, by grabbing Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower in the first round, two players many Jets fans coveted. Jones will provide a needed pass rush boost after New England lost Mark Anderson in free agency. Hightower has the skill set to step into being an every down player immediately. Belichick has made his share of errors in recent drafts but it is hard to see either Jones or Hightower being a flop.

6. Brandon Lloyd is going to be a playmaker in New England’s system. They badly needed an outside threat who could stretch the field and Lloyd fits the bill, particularly with his comfort in Josh McDaniels offense. It will be hard for him to rack up a high amount of catches with Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker likely prioritized in front of him but his yards per catch should be impressive.

7. The Patriots added Steve Gregory and our every own Marquice Cole to their secondary. These aren’t big name additions but they are the type of players who will end up being major contributors. Remember James Ihedigbo last year?

8. New England deserves to be heavy favorite in the AFC East this season. The Jets must find a way to beat them head to head, once if not twice to keep themselves in the mix for a division title. It will be on Rex Ryan to bounce back after beating picked apart by Brady and Belichick last season because the Jets have the talent on defense to at least slow down the Pats attack. On offense, Tony Sparano needs to control the clock with his running game but not be shy about taking chances on the Pats questionable secondary when the time calls for it.

9. How to stop the Patriots tight ends this year? The Jets lack one player who can cover either Gronkowski or Hernandez. It will have to be combination of new additions Yeremiah Bell, LaRon Landry, Demario Davis and Josh Bush. The Jets could also slide Revis or Cromartie inside on certain situations but ultimately the safeties are going to have to step up.

10. What is your favorite Jets play against the Patriots of the Rex Ryan era? I will go with either Calvin Pace nearly ripping Brady’s arm off, Braylon Edwards dragging half their defense into the end-zone or Shonn Greene rocking them to sleep…unfortunately none occurred last year and all occurred in one game.

11. When projecting New England’s win total this year, how could you put them at anything under 11, considering the consistency of their success?

12. I don’t care what anybody says Buffalo, the Jets remain New England’s biggest threat to a divisional title repeat.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Ranking The AFC

The Turn On The Jets 12 pack ranks the AFC’s best teams heading into the season

This week’s edition of the 12 pack is going to rank the top teams in the AFC, including sorting out where our New York Jets fit in heading into training camp. For your requisite Friday reminders before you crack into your 12 pack of reading and 12 pack of drinking, remember to follow myself, Chris GrossMike Donnelly, and TJ Rosenthal on Twitter. Nobody out there is rolling with four stronger Jets writers right now, period. Also remember to check out Gameday Goods, where you get 10% off any product by using the promo code “TurnOnTheJets.” Finally, sit tight on those t-shirts, they are on their way along with enough giveaways to make your head spin. 

On to the 12 pack – 

Just Missed

16. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck is going to be a special player one day but he has been put in the middle of a rebuilding process. The Colts won’t be 2 win bad this season but won’t be much better. The Jets see them in week 6 at MetLife Stadium. Bring the blitz, Rex.

15. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blaine Gabbert with Chad Henne waiting in the wings…yikes. The defense and Maurice Jones-Drew will keep them competitive in most weeks but ultimately they will be battling with the Colts for the basement in the AFC South. The Jets travel to them in week 14. I am calling for more Tebow fans than Jaguars fans in the crowd.

14. Cleveland Browns – Poor Cleveland. That being said, we disagree with Jim Brown and think Trent Richardson is anything but ordinary. But, what does he know about running backs anyway?

13. Miami Dolphins – Picturing David Garrard under center on a 3rd and 9 with Chad Ochocinco, Brian Hartline and Davone Bess split out and wondering how the hell are they going to convert…ever?

12. Oakland Raiders – Not a believer in Carson Palmer and not sure if Darren McFadden can stay healthy.

11. Kansas City Chiefs – Wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up being a playoff team and wouldn’t be surprised if they were 4-12. It depends on how Matt Cassel manages the offense and how Jamaal Charles bounces back from his injury.

10. San Diego Chargers – I am sure I will hear I put them too low but what exactly have they won lately? The last time they were in the playoffs was when Shonn Greene was actually breaking long runs. The Jets host them in week 16 for Sunday Night Football.

9. Buffalo Bills – Everybody else can pile on their bandwagon. Ryan Fitzpatrick is their quarterback. Chan Gailey is their coach. They can’t win in their division and they can’t stretch the field. The Jets start and end their season with them.

8. Tennessee Titans – How quick of a hook will Matt Hasselbeck have? The Titans quietly put together a good off-season and should make some noise in the AFC South. The Jets travel to them for Monday Night Football in week 15 in what could be an elimination game for a wild-card spot.

7. New York Jets – They are going to be in plenty of close games this season, how they finish in the fourth quarter will determine if they are 7-9 or 11-5.

6. Cincinnati Bengals – I don’t know if Andy Dalton and AJ Green will have a sophomore slump or if it is foolish to believe Marvin Lewis can coach a winning team for two years in a row but they deserve the respect heading into the season.

5. Denver Broncos – Maybe I am giving too much respect to Peyton Manning but if he is anywhere near healthy, Denver is going to be very tough with that kind of defense to support him.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers – Interested to see how the Todd Haley/Ben Roethlisberger marriage is going to work out but you know they are going have a very good defense and they are loaded at wide receiver. Jets play them week 2 on the road in what will be some kind of test for Tony Sparano’s new offense.

3. Houston Texans – On paper they might be the best team in the conference but can that defense play at the level they did last season? If so, they are going to be very hard to beat. They come to MetLife Stadium for Monday Night Football in week 5.

2Baltimore Ravens – They should have won in New England last season for the AFC Championship Game. Can they get themselves back to that level? Much of that will depend on how Joe Flacco keeps developing and if they can replace Terrell Suggs adequately. Fortunately, the Jets don’t play them this season as they have suffered two ugly losses to them since Rex Ryan has taken over.

1. New England Patriots – They keep the top spot until somebody knocks them off. Unfortunately for the Jets, the Brady/Belichick combination basically guarantees 11-13 wins a season. Interested to see how new additions like Brandon Lloyd, Joseph Addai, Chandler Jones, and Dont’a Hightower fit in. The Jets play them in week 7 and then on Thanksgiving night.

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Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: What About The Damn Offense?

Friday’s Turn On The Jets 12 pack focuses on the New York Jets offense, how can they improve in 2012?

We have spent a big chunk of the week here focusing on the New York Jets defense, and why not?  They have the potential to be one of the league’s best units. However, it is the other side of the football that needs to see a dramatic improvement from last season. Today’s 12 pack is going to take a closer look at multiple aspects of the Jets offense in 2012. 

Make sure you are following myself, and staff writers Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly on Twitter. Give us a follow on Facebook and check out the new Jets merchandise available from our partners at Gameday Goods. Remember if you type in “TurnOnTheJets” when you check out, you’ll receive a 10% discount. 

I can also now confirm that we have finalized a purchase with Bark Tees New York to bring you an original Jets TOJ t-shirt that we will have for sale on the site in 2 weeks. They did a great job for us…the shirt has boundless amounts of swag and will be a must wear for you this summer. The best part is that I’m overloaded with other Jets merchandise to hand out for free on select days with a purchase of a t-shirt. Signed hats, DVDs, books, pictures and plenty more. So basically I’m going to be hooking you up all summer cause I love every last reader of this site. 

And finally we are going to be welcoming back our good friend from The Jet Report TJ Rosenthal for a weekly article every Monday. So next week, when we publish TJ’s column on Monday, Mike’s Stock Watch on Tuesday, Beat Writer Rankings on Wednesday, Chris’ Fact or False on Thursday and the 12 pack on Friday, who will be rolling with 4 better Jets writers anywhere?

Nobody.

On to the 12 pack…

1. Wayne’s World – The Jets don’t need Wayne Hunter to be an All-Pro. They need him to be competent. They need him to resemble the Wayne Hunter from the end of the 2010 season. If Tony Sparano is smart, he will avoid leaving Hunter on an island in obvious passing situations and roll Sanchez to his left the majority of the time. If Hunter is given the necessary help and this offensive system suits him better, he is salvageable as a starter. He needs to be because Vladimir Ducasse has spent the entire off-season working at left guard and Stephon Heyer and Ray Willis can’t be relied on.

2. Speaking Of Guard – As Mike Donnelly pointed out last week, why is Vlad Ducasse still working as the starting left guard when Matt Slauson claims to be 100 percent healthy? Personally, I think the Jets just wanted to get Vlad as much work as possible and felt no need to rush Slauson back into his old spot. If Brandon Moore ever gets hurt, it isn’t the worst thing in the world to have Slauson get experience at right guard while Ducasse would move left guard. I don’t think Slauson is any danger of losing his position and I don’t think Ducasse has any real chance of starting this season. The Jets are going to look to him as a swing backup off the bench at guard/tackle and an extra tight end for big packages. At this point, if Ducasse can handle that role I’d be satisfied, which is a damn shame for a 2nd round pick.

3. A Signing On The Way – The Jets need Ben Hartsock or a player who resembles him. They missed him badly last season when they made a mistake letting him walk and handing the backup tight end position over to Matthew Mulligan. It is unusual that a team who is going to be so run heavy still lacks a blocking tight end. Jeff Cumberland is a nice receiving option, particularly in the red-zone but he is a basically a taller/slower Dustin Keller. Hayden Smith isn’t going to be ready this season. Do not be surprised to see the Jets consider a player like Daniel Graham who could give them 12-15 plays a game of solid blocking.

4. War Machine – There seems to be a genuine split amongst Jets fans on whether or not Shonn Greene can handle being the “Bell-Cow” back Rex Ryan talks him up as. Greene’s ceiling feels like 275 carries, 1100 yards and 7 touchdowns with a few receptions thrown in. That is okay if the Jets get needed support from Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell, Terrance Ganaway and Tim Tebow. If McKnight is used the proper way and can stay healthy, he has the skill set to be a very good third down back. Tebow will be a major factor in short yardage and near the goal-line, which doesn’t leave much work for Powell (who I could see being cut) or Ganaway. Most disagree but I say protect yourself by signing Cedric Benson or Ryan Grant. If Greene goes down for 4 weeks, do you trust a McKnight/Powell/Ganaway platoon to carry the “Ground and Pound” load?

5. Wide Receiver Rotation – It will be interesting to see how reps and targets shake out. Early reports indicate that Dustin Keller is going to be the featured player in the passing game, maybe even more so than Santonio Holmes. Regardless, I think Holmes will be good for a solid bounce-back season. He won’t put up Pro-Bowl numbers in this offense but the key is making big plays, particularly after the catch and remaining clutch as usual. Opposite him, Stephen Hill will be the de facto starter but if he struggles to stay healthy in camp don’t be surprised to see Chaz Schilens getting a good chunk of reps on the outside. There is no shame in bringing Hill along slowly if Schilens is productive. Both players have the size and speed to stretch the defense and take attention away from Holmes. In the slot, Jeremy Kerley should perform the Davone Bess role from Sparano’s days in Miami and be a major factor on third downs.

6. Really? – Ron Jaworski made a fairly on-point analysis of Mark Sanchez when going through his QB rankings but putting him 23rd in the league? How could you watch film of Sanchez, Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman and Matt Cassel last year and put Sanchez behind the three of them? Sanchez fits somewhere in the 16-20 range right now. Who would I rate ahead of him right now? Brady. Brees. P. Manning. E. Manning. Rodgers. Big Ben. Rivers. Romo. Vick. Stafford. Newton. Hasselbeck. Schaub. Ryan. Cutler are my top 15 (in no particular order). After that you are looking at a next group of Dalton, Palmer, Flacco, Sanchez and Alex Smith in some type of order. Don’t put Freeman in front of him. Don’t put Bradford in front of him. No Kevin Kolb. No rookies who haven’t played yet. No Jake Locker. No Cassel. Nobody on Jacksonville. Nobody on Seattle. Certainly no Ryan Fitzpatrick or anybody or Miami.

7. Really, Really? – Tim Tebow made the NFL’s Top 100 list and Nick Mangold didn’t? Mangold is the best center in the NFL and probably one of the 30 best players in the league. Tebow? Probably the 30th best quarterback in the league.

8. An Early Shot – After a whole summer of talk about the running game. Can’t you see the Jets going play action, deep post to Holmes on the first play from scrimmage this season against Buffalo?

9. Big Plays – Where will they come from this season? Holmes makes big plays after the catch, so he needs the ball in space. Stephen Hill should be targeted on a couple of “go” routes per game. Joe McKnight is dangerous in the screen game and maybe Jeremy Kerley can rip off a big play on a reverse or on a quick screen. Obviously, Tebow is a factor here if he can break the pocket or springs a quarterback draw.

10. Roster Prediction For Offensive Players – Sanchez. Tebow. McElroy. Greene. Conner. McKnight. Ganaway. Powell. Keller. Cumberland. Unsigned blocking tight end. Holmes. Hill. Kerley. Schilens. Turner. Mangold. Moore. Slauson. Hunter. Ferguson. Ducasse. Schlauderaff. Hoyer. (24 total)

11. 5 Game Exaggeration – The chatter about Sanchez struggling out of the gate because of the Jets schedule, leading to Tebow replacing him are over exaggerated. In week 1, the Jets play Buffalo who Sanchez is 5-1 against in his career. Last year in their two meeting his quarterback rating was 92.9 and 90.2, respectively. In week 2, they travel to Pittsburgh where Sanchez played two very good games in 2010, including one in the AFC Championship Game. Week 3 they are at Miami, who Sanchez has played well against in 4 of his 6 career games against them, including 3 games with a QB Rating over 95. Week 4 is against San Francisco which will be a challenge but at least the Jets are home and week 5 is against Houston at home. Sanchez is 2-0 against the Texans.

12. Won’t Be Elite, Don’t Need To Be – The Jets offense won’t be elite this year. Yet, with the defense they should have. If they can protect the football, run the ball consistently and hit the big play on a weekly basis, it will be good enough for the Jets to be a playoff caliber team.

Still thirsty after the 12 pack? Gameday Goods 10% off, just type in “TurnOnTheJets” as your promo code –

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack – The Other Guys

TOJ shines the light on 12 New York Jets who haven’t received much attention this off-season

The goal of this Friday’s 12 pack is to discuss twelve players on the New York Jets roster who haven’t been mentioned much, if at all this off-season. Middle class and bottom of the roster players play a crucial role in forming a deep, playoff-caliber team. Let’s give “the other guys” their day in the sun here at Turn On The Jets. Crack open the 12 pack, give us a follow on Facebook and Twitter…and enjoy –

1. Greg McElroy – The other guy in the quarterback room besides Tebowmania and The Sanchize. McElroy showed promise last pre-season and looked like he could be a long term backup for the team. He surrounded himself in some controversy by criticizing the locker room environment last year. This is an important season for McElroy to establish that he can be a backup quarterback in the NFL.

2. Josh Mauga – A forgotten man at linebacker since the Jets selected Demario Davis in the third round. However, Mauga has the skill set to be a very good special teams player and a capable backup at inside linebacker. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him in certain sub packages on defense because he has decent coverage skills compared to the rest of the linebacker group.

3. Ricky Sapp – He has received a little hype from the coaching staff as a role player/backup at outside linebacker. If he can stay healthy and produce with the second team in the pre-season, there is no reason he shouldn’t stick on the 53 man roster. Sapp has intriguing pass rushing skills.

4. Ellis Lankster – It looks like he will be the fourth corner heading into the season, which is an important part of Rex Ryan’s defense. Lankster will also be relied on to be a core special teams player, replacing Marquice Cole on many of the coverage units. The fact that the Jets didn’t sign Chris Johnson, after kicking his tires, shows their faith in Lankster to take on an expanded role.

5. Patrick Turner – By all accounts, he had a very strong practice this week and took advantage of Stephen Hill being on the sideline with a hamstring injury. Turner has good size and is familiar with Tony Sparano’s offense. He had a few catches last season and will battle it out with Chaz Schilens and Jordan White for the 4th and 5th spot on the receiver depth chart behind Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley.

6. John Conner – What ever happened to “The Terminator?” He was average at best last season and didn’t contribute much overall. Can he take on a bigger, more important role in Tony Sparano’s offense? His lead blocking will be crucial to helping establish the Jets as a power running team again and he also is a good short yardage back.

7. Jeff Cumberland – If the season started today, he’d be the number two tight end. Cumberland has good size and hands but similar to Dustin Keller, he is more of a receiver than blocker. If Cumberland can become more consistent blocking, he should see a good chunk of playing time in Tony Sparano’s offense.

8. Bilal Powell – Many (including myself) think that rookie Terrance Ganaway has the ability to pass him up on the depth chart. However, let’s not forget Powell was a fourth round pick and despite a disappointing rookie year should get a good chance in the pre-season to stake a claim on the third running back spot on the depth chart.

9. Matt Kroul – Competing with Caleb Schlauderaff (Mike Tannenbaum’s favorite player) for the backup center position behind Nick Mangold. He also has the ability to play guard. Kroul is a former defensive lineman. You know who also used to be a defensive lineman? Brandon Moore.

10. Tanner Purdum – You never want to hear about the long snapper but Purdum will be back for his second season with the team. The James Dearth era is truly over.

11. Martin Tevaseau – Competing with Kenrick Ellis for reps in the defensive line rotation. He has the advantage of Ellis missing the first few days of training camp because of a jail sentence.

12. Nick Bellore – A linebacker who will have a tough time seeing any reps on defense but does have the ability to become a quality special teams player. He is firmly on the bubble of the 53 man roster after the Jets selected Demario Davis in the third round.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Reasons For Optimism

The Turn On The Jets 12 pack looks at reasons to be optimistic for the upcoming season

Inspired by our good friend Jeff Capellini’s article this week, we have decided to go optimistic on the 12 pack this weekend. Yes, I know some of you have been frustrated by my questioning of the Tebow trade and the Coples selection, but hey I don’t hand out effervescent praise for transactions that I think deserve questioning. That being said, let’s look at 12 reasons to be optimistic for the upcoming New York Jets season

1. Sparano > Schotty – There isn’t an easier person to replace to New York Jets fans than Brian Schottenheimer, Sparano was beloved the second he came in the door simply because he wasn’t Schottenheimer. Shockingly, we are exhausted of consistent mediocrity, confused game plans and 67 ‘effin dropbacks against the Giants pass rush. Yet, let’s give Sparano more credit than just not being Schotty. He has brought a needed energy and discipline to the offense. He won’t stray from the Ground and Pound approach Rex Ryan wants in place but also won’t be shy to take his shots down the field. Expect an improved Jets offense in 2012.

2. Needed Speed – If there is one thing the Jets added through the draft, it was speed. Quinton Coples gives them a defensive lineman, who unlike every other one on the roster, can get after the quarterback. Stephen Hill gives them a wide receiver, who unlike every other one on the roster, can take the top off a defense. Demario Davis gives them a linebacker, who unlike every other one on the roster, can run with a tight end.

3. Measured Improvement – Despite lacking a proven free safety, which is an issue. The safety collection of LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Eric Smith, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen will be better than Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard, and Brodney Pool were last year.

4. He Can Do Some Things – Tim Tebow isn’t anywhere near the quarterback Mark Sanchez is but he will bring a new dimension to the Jets offense, particularly in short yardage situations. His presence will improve the Jets rushing game and add a dynamic element to their offense which it sorely lacked last year.

5. Versatile Dunbar – The New York Jets are going to be more versatile on defense this season, with a better ability to bounce between a 3-4, 4-3 and 46 and the addition of defensive line coach Karl Dunbar will only help that process. Keep an eye on Muhammad Wilkerson in year two, who is coming off a quietly strong rookie year. If Wilkerson keeps improving and Coples turns into boom instead of bust, the Jets will have a serious presence up front surrounding proven nose tackle Sione Pouha.

6. Bounce Back – Credit the coaching staff and Bart Scott for both recognizing his need to drop weight in order to remain effective on defense. Scott can’t be any worse than he was last season and should still be able to be the effective 2 down linebacker he was in 2009 and 2010. Also look for an improved year from D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who is simply too talented to have back to back down years. Finally, watch out for Santonio Holmes this year. No matter how much the New York media disparages him, the guy can play football.

7. Other Year 2 Leaps – Outside of Muhammad Wilkerson, Jeremy Kerley will be a year better and has the talent to be every bit the slot receiver Davone Bess was in Miami under Tony Sparano. I also count this year as Joe McKnight’s second season since he basically redshirted his rookie year in an out of shape daze. Hopefully Sparano uses McKnight in a similar way to how he used Reggie Bush last year.

8. Mayhem – Aaron Maybin has now had a full off-season to work with the coaching staff and master the Jets defense. He racked up 6 sacks in 13 games last season, let’s see what he can do with a full 16.

9. Great is Great – Contrary to some, I believe Darrelle Revis will be on the field week 1 against Buffalo. Revis, Nick Mangold, and David Harris are still elite football players in the prime of their career.

10. Learn From Your Mistakes – In the long run, last season could have been the best thing that happened to Rex Ryan’s coaching career. He learned valuable lessons about keeping the pulse of his team, keeping his mouth shut in certain circumstances, and becoming more hands on in certain situations.

11. Still #6 – You may not find a more Pro-Sanchez Jets site than TOJ and we remain confident that despite the mainstream media’s desire to start up a quarterback controversy and the amateur psychoanalysis that constantly goes on of Sanchez, that he will play very well this season and solidify himself as the team’s long term answer at quarterback.

12. Your Weekly TOJ Schedule – Ok, not related to the team but about the site in the coming weeks leading up to training camp, keep an eye out for

  • Tuesday – Stock Watch by Mike Donnelly
  • Wednesday – Beat Writer Power Rankings
  • Thursday – Fact or False by Chris Gross
  • Friday – 12 Pack by yours truly

Enjoy the weekend…

TOJ 12 Pack: New York Jets Post-Draft Predictions

Turn On The Jets gives out 12 post-draft predictions for the 2012 season

The New York Jets had open media availability yesterday and the top stories of the day were Tim Tebow’s dog, Darrelle Revis hating the Patriots and where Tim Tebow doesn’t live. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a 12 pack of information on that you are on the wrong site and should instead read some of the local newspapers. Instead I give you a 12 pack of post-draft predictions for the Jets 2012 season. If you are looking for more reading throughout the day, check back later this afternoon as Chris Gross will finish up our draft pick analysis by looking at Quinton Coples. I will also provide links to our other articles covering the rest of the picks.

On to the predictions…

1. Wayne’s World – The Jets opening day starter at right tackle will be Wayne Hunter. Should you be thrilled about this? Probably not, but perhaps this article from our good friend Jeff Capellini will make you feel better. It has become clear the Jets are content to let Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse battle for the position. While I think the organization would love to see Ducasse win, I think Hunter is the day one starter in camp and is steady enough to hold off Ducasse who hasn’t shown much of anything through two years. Tony Sparano will feel better going with a guy who has over a season of starting experience instead of the unproven Ducasse. For those who are asking, I do not think Austin Howard is a factor in this competition. If he was, the Jets wouldn’t have paid Hunter 2.5 million to comeback. They would have just let Howard compete with Ducasse.

2. Slow Safety – The Jets opening day starting safeties will be LaRon Landry and Eric Smith. At this point, I don’t think they will add Yeremiah Bell and even if Jim Leonhard returns, I don’t think it will be in a starting role. Look for rookie Josh Bush to be a factor in a centerfield type role when the Jets go to three safety looks and for rookie Antonio Allen to get on the field as a blitzer or to fill in for Landry if he gets hurt.

3. Out Wide – Braylon Edwards isn’t coming back. The Jets wide receiver depth chart will be Santonio Holmes as the starting flanker, Stephen Hill as the starting split end and Jeremy Kerley as the slot receiver. Behind them, I expect Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner and Jordan White to stick as backups. White could be relegated to the practice squad unless he shows value on special teams.

4. Must Addition – The Jets will add a blocking tight end at some point. How can you run Tony Sparano’s offense without a single blocking tight end on the roster?

5. Where The Rookies Land – As I mentioned previously, I do think Stephen Hill will start from day one. Quinton Coples will be a de facto starter on the defensive line but will be rotated through with Mike DeVito, Muhammad Wilkerson, Marcus Dixon and Kenrick Ellis. Demario Davis will be a key special teams player and play in some defensive packages, same for Josh Bush and Antonio Allen. Robert T. Griffin has practice squad written all over him. Jordan White could join him unless he sticks as the #5 receiver and a special teamer. Finally, I think Terrance Ganaway will beat out Bilal Powell and be the third rushing option behind Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight.

6. Everybody Loves Tony – Leading up to the regular season, Tony Sparano will be one of the most popular men in the Jets organization with fans and players, simply because of how much everybody disliked Brian Schottenheimer.

7. Puppy Eyes – Tim Tebow’s popularity will be at a fever pitch heading into the season. He has already won over the media and skeptics of the trade with his quotes and smiles. Listen, I won’t argue that Tim Tebow seems like genuinely a great human being. It is good to have a player like that part of this organization. I also won’t argue that he works his ass off to get better. However, Mark Sanchez works hard too. Mark Sanchez is a better quarterback than Tim Tebow…by a good amount. If the Jets are going anywhere this season, it is with Sanchez as their starting quarterback and Tebow as a versatile weapon off the bench. Don’t forget that, regardless of how many times Tebow smiles for the camera.

8. Bounce Back – Santonio Holmes is going to have a very good year from start to finish. Why? Great football players are motivated to bounce back from down years and I don’t care what you think of Holmes personally, he is a great football player and the Jets top playmaker on offense. I think he will use everything the media has said about him as fuel. So let him keep being snippy with them, as long as he is catching touchdowns.

9. K-Ball – Josh Brown is going to be the Jets kicker this year, not Nick Folk. TJ Conley isn’t going to be the punter either. You could tell from Mike Westhoff’s quotes last week that he wants no part of Folk and Conley for another year.

10. Big Plays – Look for an increase in Dustin Keller’s yards per catch this season, same goes for Holmes. Anthony Fasano was posting higher yards per catch than Keller in Sparano’s offense and Keller has much more athleticism than him.

11. Annoying Training Camp Stories About Things That Will Have No Impact On The Jets Season – Anything related to Tim Tebow’s personal life. Any story on Matt Simms. Excessive coverage of Hayden Smith. Amateur psychology pieces on Mark Sanchez’s facial expressions during press conferences and practices. Rex Ryan looking skinnier (no joke).

12. Low, Low Expectations – Expect most people to pick the Jets to finish either 3rd or 4th in the AFC East, with a record between 6-10 (pessimistic) or 9-7 (optimistic).

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Eyes On The AFC East

The TOJ 12 pack looks at the moves made in the AFC East that should get the New York Jets attention

In case you haven’t noticed, all three of the New York Jets division rivals have been fairly active this off-season. Today’s 12 pack is dedicated to examining which of those moves will have the biggest impact. I can promise you the Jets will be a consensus pick to battle for last place with Miami this year while Buffalo will be everybody’s sweetheart pick to challenge New England and grab a playoff spot. To that I say…good. I am glad this team is back to playing with low expectations and in more of an underdog role.

12. Watch Him – Under the radar signing, corner/safety Richard Marshall going to Miami. He is a good, versatile player who will be a nice addition to that defense.

11. Bit Pieces – New England made a handful of minor moves on their defense by signing Jonathan Fanene, Bobby Carpenter, and ex-Jet Marquice Cole. These are the kind of transactions that don’t get much press but then you see all three of them making impact plays for the Patriots.

10. Mid-Round Steals – Credit Buffalo for getting great value in the second and third round of the NFL Draft. Cordy Glenn has a good chance to start immediately at tackle and I wouldn’t be surprised to see wide receiver T.J. Graham starting by the end of the year.

9. Quiet Secondary – New England didn’t make any major splashes in improving their consistently awful secondary this off-season. However, keep an eye on free agent Steve Gregory and second round pick Tavon Wilson to make immediate impacts at the safety position.

8. We Want An Island – Buffalo selected highly touted cornerback Stephon Gilmore in the first round to help sure up the back end of their secondary. He has the skill set to make an immediate impact on a defense that allowed Mark Sanchez to throw four touchdowns against it last season in a single game.

7. No Law Firm – New England decided to let BenJarvus Green-Ellis leave for Cincinnati in a somewhat surprising move. They will be relying heavily on Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen to step up to fill the void. Personally, I am happy to see Green-Ellis go. He was a savvy, hard running and productive back. I wouldn’t be surprised if New England added Joseph Addai in the coming weeks.

6. Light On Receivers – Miami surprisingly shipped wide receiver Brandon Marshall off to Chicago in a trade, leaving them thin at the wide receiver position unless you consider Brian Hartline and Davone Bess major threats.

5. Linebacker Nation – New England drafted two players in the first round to boost their pass rush and linebacker play, by grabbing Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower. Jones will line up all over New England’s formation and Hightower should be an instant upgrade at inside linebacker.

4. If It Ain’t Broke, Or Was It? – Buffalo decided to continue to roll with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their quarterback and Stevie Johnson as their top wideout. One thing that everybody forgets when discussing the Bills as a contender is that Ryan Fitzpatrick, outside of a few early season flashes…kind of sucks. Johnson has a weird ability to get open on Darrelle Revis on short and intermediate routes but is also an idiot and a loose cannon who frequently hurts his team more than he helps it.

3. Receivers On Receivers – New England had depth issues at wide receiver last year…not anymore. They added Brandon Lloyd, who is a viable deep threat and one of the more productive receivers in the league the past few years, along with Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Gonzalez, and Donte Stallworth. So long Ochocinco.

2. Miami Drafts Tannehill – The Dolphins finally decided to take a quarterback in the first round, not the second round. It is hard to imagine a scenario where Tannehill doesn’t start at some point this season, with apologies to the immortal Matt Moore and David Garrard. Opinions were mixed on him coming out of college, so he could be a boom or bust prospect. However, we do know there were not mixed opinions on his wife.

1. Buffalo Gets After The Quarterback – The biggest free agent signing of the NFL off-season not involving Peyton Manning was the Buffalo Bills getting Mario Williams to lead the improvement of their stagnant pass rush. They supplemented the move by bringing in Mark Anderson who had 10.5 sacks last season for New England. The popular line of thought is that Buffalo has the best front seven in football now, we’ll see about that. Either way, Tony Sparano has his work cut out for him with Wayne Hunter, Vlad Ducasse and Caleb Schlauderaff all potential parts of the line.