Frank Giasone discusses the double standard of the attitude towards PEDs in football compared to baseball
I’ll admit, when the Sports Illustrated report regarding Ray Lewis’ alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs surfaced, my curiosity was instantly piqued. I wasn’t especially curious if the iconic middle linebacker actually used the illegal drugs in question. And I wasn’t even all that concerned with his comments following the allegations. What I really wanted to know was, what kind of outcry would this report instigate throughout sports world?
As it turned out (and as I suspected), it was no more than a blip for Lewis and the NFL, as Major League Baseball–once again–was thrust into the forefront of the PED scandal. Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun headed a list of players reportedly linked to HGH use and the story immediately took flight, offering the NFL another chance to sneak by virtually unscathed.
The Turn On The Jets 12 pack goes through a wish list for the New York Jets off-season
In the coming months there will be no shortage of additions to the New York Jets roster, which currently is closer to resembling a CFL team than a competitive NFL team. In today’s 12 pack we are going to sort through every position and outline our “wish list,” “most likely,” and “long shot” outcome for the Jets in free agency, mindful of the salary cap situation. We will also go over a handful of draft prospects they could consider at each position. Let’s have a look –
What current New York Jets need to make the jump in 2013 to help expedite the team’s rebuilding process?
In a previous article this off-season, we discussed the necessary components of a rebuilding process for the New York Jets. When citing an example from how they quickly turned a disastrous 2005 season into a productive 2006, we mentioned younger players “making the jump” and having career years. A few examples of this in 2006 were Jerricho Cotchery becoming a capable, productive starting receiver, Victor Hobson becoming a playmaking linebacker, Bryan Thomas having a career high in sacks and Kerry Rhodes putting together a Pro-Bowl caliber season at safety.
The Jets aren’t going to be able to fill all their holes via free agency and the draft, there are simply too many. They are going to need young players currently on the roster to take their games to the next level the way Jeremy Kerley did in 2012, as one of the team’s few bright spots on offense.
Kerley having 56 receptions, 827 yards and 2 touchdowns in last year’s passing offense is a borderline miracle. He needs to continue building on that production because nothing is guaranteed with Santonio Holmes coming off such serious surgery and the rest of the wide receiver position in flux. Kerley showed he was capable of being more than a pure slot receiver and hopefully new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhingweg is more creative at using him than Tony Sparano was. But what rostered players outside of Kerley will the Jets need to make “the jump”?
The TOJ Draft staff looks at what interior defensive lineman the New York Jets should consider in the upcoming NFL Draft
In continuation with our positional breakdowns of potential NFL Draft prospects for the New York Jets, we turn our attention to a position that, although very promising, will almost surely need some added depth this offseason. Today, our draft team provides a breakdown of the top five potential interior defensive linemen that could be selected by the Jets in April’s draft. These initial rankings are certainly subject to change as we progress through the entire pre-draft process, but as it stands now, these players are who we feel would be the best options for New York’s defense to add up front. Be sure to give our draft team a follow on Twitter, and to check out our previous breakdowns of potential quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and offensive linemen.
The interior defensive line situation for the Jets is quite interesting heading into the offseason. New York surely has young staples up front in Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, as well as Kenrick Ellis, who flashed brilliance at times last season but struggled to stay healthy. Conversely, the Jets face questions regarding key players on the defensive front. Mike DeVito is an impending unrestricted free agent, and his price tag could end up driving him out of New York. While he is certainly not as flashy as the defensive ends aforementioned, DeVito is the blue collared, lunch pale type player that is a necessity to any defensive line. While it will be difficult to replace a player like DeVito, there are certainly a good amount of players of his mold at defensive tackle in this year’s draft class.
On a similar note, the Jets have uncertainty with nose tackle Sione Po’uha. Po’uha had arguably his least productive season as a Jet last year, largely due to a lingering back issue that hampered his ability to get off the ball and maintain leverage throughout the season. A release of Po’uha is seemingly imminent as it would clear some much needed cap space for Gang Green, while paving the way for Ellis to take over as the full time starter.
The situations of DeVito and Po’uha leave the Jets with some subtle needs along the defensive line. While it would be ill advised for New York to select a defensive tackle in the first round, considering the immense amount of need throughout the entire roster, do not be surprised to see one or two picks used on a defensive lineman this year, depending on how free agency plays out. With that being said, let’s take a look at who could be on the Jets radar come April. Continue reading “New York Jets Potential Draft Targets: Defensive Tackle”
Rookie defensive end Quinton Coples has divided opinion amongst Jets fans ever since it was announced at Radio City last spring that he’d been selected as their first round draft choice. The former North Carolina man arrived in New Jersey with several question marks against his name and, if popular opinion is to be believed, many of those question marks will follow him into his sophomore year.
For various reasons, however (mainly that it’s difficult to untangle the melee of line play during a live broadcast), defensive linemen are often harshly judged by fans unless they’re producing JJ Watt-esque stat lines. So, with that in mind, let’s break down a tell-tale play from 2012 in an attempt to make a true evidence-based assessment of what kind of player the Jets have in Coples.
Chris Gross with his second big board of NFL Draft Season. Who is rising and falling?
With the Senior Bowl in the books and the NFL Combine just two weeks away, we are beginning to get a better idea of where each NFL Draft prospect will rank among draft boards leading into April. Although there will likely be a few dramatic changes following Combine and Pro-Day performances, there are still an abundant amount of prospects whose value remains relatively clear at this point. Today, we bring you our first update of the Turn On The Jets 2013 NFL Draft Big Board. As more of the events aforementioned run their course, this board is surely subject to change, but for now let’s look at where each prospect ranks to current date.
1.) Chance Warmack, Guard, Alabama – 6″3″ 320 lbs: No change at the top for now, as Warmack is still the best player at his position in the entire country. He was the best offensive lineman on a team that ran for an average of 224 yards per game out of a pro-style offense in the SEC. Warmack has excellent strength at the point of attack, and combined with his fantastic footwork and ability to get to the second level. Warmack will be NFL ready from day one and should start right from the get go for whichever team selects him this April. It is a bit unclear where he may go, considering the value of the Guard position, but make no mistake, Warmack is one of the most talented players in the draft pool this year. Previously: 1
2.) Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia –6’3″ 241 lbs: Jones is probably the most balanced linebacker in this year’s class. While he has the ability to be an effective 4-3 OLB, his combination of strength, explosiveness, and pass rushing technique make him an ideal fit as a 3-4 DE/OLB. Jones has the size and long frame to become a nuisance to offensive tackles in the NFL, and combined with his speed, agility, and relentless motor, he will be ready to come in and start for whichever team he ends up with from day 1. He has been declared by some to not have the ideal bend around the corner in his pass rush, but his film shows these notions to be untrue. Outside of Texas A & M’s Damontre Moore, Jones is the most dynamic pass rusher in a class that is full of them, but also displays a superior ability in coverage. Against the run, he struggled at times when facing the double team at Georgia, but in a 3-4 scheme with quality lineman in front of him, this should not be a concern, as he will likely see more isolation blocks against the tight end, and with his ability to set the edge, he should excel against the run, as well. Previously: 3
3.) Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M –6’6″ 310 lbs: Joeckel leads a very strong class of offensive tackles this year. A stalwart to the Aggies offense that yielded 2012′s Heisman Trophy winner, Joeckel fits the Matt Kalil, Jake Long, and Joe Thomas profiles as one of the NFL’s next great offensive tackles. While his size and strength are a key factor to what make him so great, it is his tremendous footwork that will allow him to be a day 1 starter when he enters camp. Joeckel will be NFL ready from day 1, like Warmack, but will face some competition for the top tackle spot after a strong Senior Bowl performance from Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher. Previously 4
4.) Damontre Moore, Defensive End, Texas A&M –6’4″ 248 lbs: Moore has the rare versatility to play standing up or with his hand on the ground, making him a perfect fit for any 3-4 defense in need of a pass rusher. However, he certainly has the frame and technique to be a stellar 4-3 end, where he may have more success at the next level, depending on how much weight he will be able to add. Either way, Moore is an extremely versatile prospect with a natural ability to rush the passer, something that is of high priority in today’s NFL. He accumulated 12.5 sacks this season largely due to his arsenal of pass rush moves and great ability to dip his hips and shoulders to get by opposing offensive lineman. Previously: 5
The TOJ staff discusses how the New York Jets should handle their defensive line this off-season
Welcome to our off-season review of the New York Jets roster at Turn On The Jets. Each week we are going to attack a different position. We will have a roundtable discussion on it, Steve Bateman will submit a film breakdown examining it and our draft staff will look at potential prospects the Jets could add. So far we have covered quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and offensive line This week we move to defensive line –
How should the New York Jets handle defensive line this off-season?
Joe Caporoso – Defensive line is one of the few spots on the New York Jets roster that the team can feel good about, not just for the upcoming season but for the foreseeable future. Muhammad Wilkerson was one of the league’s top defensive lineman in 2012 and gives the team an elite player against the run who commands a double team, while providing a good push on the pocket during passing downs. Instead of hitting a rookie wall, Quinton Coples actually got stronger down the stretch with 10 tackles and 3.5 sacks over the final quarter of the season. He is a natural freak who showed more polish to his game later in the year and should be ready to become a full time player in 2013. Kenrick Ellis was off a strong start but dealt with injury issues as the season progressed. He has the physical ability to be a full-time nose tackle but is he durable enough?
Outside of the three young guns (all currently 25 or under), Mike DeVito had a strong season as a versatile, run-stuffing tackle/end hybrid. The Jets will push hard to bring him back but he might fall out of their price range. There is undeniable value to having DeVito as a piece of the defensive line rotation and in the locker room but Jets fans should prepare for the reality of him leaving. Second year player Damon Harrison will need to step into a bigger role, particularly if Sione Pou’ha ends up being a salary cap causality, another reality the team may have to face. You can’t hang on to a 30+ year old defensive lineman with back issues at Pou’ha’s price tag.
2013 will be an exciting year for this group. It might not be long until it is the Jets, not the New York Giants, who have the defensive line that is talk of the area.
An overview of what to expect from the New York Jets off-season
With the Super Bowl in the rear-view mirror, the off-season rumor mill is going to pick up speed and begin to be overflowed with endless amounts of crap being thrown against the wall. Remember that before you get yourself in a huff about the Jets contemplating the possibility of trading Darrelle Revis for Alex Smith or thinking any team will have interest in Tim Tebow.
Considering the New York Jets have a new GM and it is unclear what the power dynamic in the front office will shake out to be, it is hard to project what will happen. We can discuss what needs to happen or just how many issues there truly are but there isn’t much concrete information available right now. What can we piece together at this point?
With the salary cap situation, the release of Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Eric Smith and Jason Smith is a foregone conclusion. There is also a reasonable chance that Sione Pou’ha will be cut. The team will try to trade Tim Tebow but realistically the trade market for him is non-existent, which will also likely lead to him being cut. Trade markets will similarly be gauged for Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and David Harris but there won’t be any takers. The only trade pieces teams are going to be interested in are Antonio Cromartie or Darrelle Revis.
The Jets will assess the type of offers received for both players, along with their confidence level in signing Revis long term. If it becomes clear that isn’t happening, they are taking a deal for Revis. The San Francisco 49ers are going to join the Denver Broncos at the top of the list in teams pursuing him, particularly after seeing their secondary ripped apart last night and with the knowledge they have 14 draft picks. If negotiations with Revis are more amicable, there will still be a strong market for Cromartie and the chance for the Jets to acquire a pair of mid-round picks for him.
In free agency, it is hard to see the Jets making a hard push to bring LaRon Landry back. It should become apparent early on that he will land outside of their price range. Similarly, don’t expect the Jets to give much of an effort, if any, to bring back Matt Slauson or Shonn Greene. Despite being a Restricted Free Agent, the Jets will probably do what it takes to bring Austin Howard back. The team will also look to sign Brandon Moore to a short term deal. Braylon Edwards would be smart to bring back and won’t cost much more than the veteran minimum. The same goes for Yeremiah Bell. The most interesting players to watch will be Dustin Keller and Mike DeVito.
The Jets will want to use their franchise tag on Keller, who likely isn’t going to be happy about that desire. This could turn into an ugly situation where Keller refuses to report without a new contract and the Jets look into trading him post Franchise Tag. Keller would be a nice fit in Marty Mornhinweg’s offense but the Jets aren’t going to give him a monster contract after such an injury plagued and inconsistent season. This has prolonged dispute written all over it.
DeVito is a valuable cog in the defensive line rotation because of his versatility. Yet, he might be a luxury the Jets cannot afford, particularly after spending a first round pick on Quinton Coples last year and a third round pick on Kenrick Ellis two years ago. The Jets will probably engage him aggressively in the coming weeks about returning but he might leave for more money elsewhere.
People anticipating a big name brought in at quarterback are going to be disappointed. Alex Smith is going to be out of the team’s price range and that isn’t a bad thing. Smith is going to get vastly overpaid somewhere by a team who is ignoring that he needs an elite supporting cast around him to be successful. Matt Flynn is more realistic than Smith, only because the price tag will be lower and because of Idzik’s ties with Seattle but he will still likely be out of the team’s price range and is far from a proven commodity. Expect the Jets to look at names like Tavaris Jackson, Matt Moore and Jason Campbell.
The no big name approach won’t be limited to quarterback as the Jets are going to be relegated to second tier free agent options at linebacker, wide receiver and running back as well. Don’t waste your time thinking about Reggie Bush or Greg Jennings. This doesn’t mean the Jets can’t find value but it won’t be headline players.
Draft weekend will be particularly critical for the Jets this year. The team currently has a pick in every single round, including the 9th overall selection. Hopefully, via trades they find a way to end up with a few more picks. Mid-round contributors are a must this season and is the only away depth can slowly be reestablished on this team. Heading into the summer, it will be interesting to watch “Tannenbaum era” players battle it out with new selections for the all the open jobs on the roster.
Without question the headline stories this off-season will be how the Jets approach finding competition for Mark Sanchez and how they handle Darrelle Revis. Expect to see Sanchez pitted against one of the previously mentioned veterans and a mid-round draft pick, while endless speculation swirls about how he is handling this off-season and how “open” the competition truly is. With Revis, things could move fast once we get into March. The Jets are going to have to quickly evaluate how realistic a long term deal is while a barrage of stories are leaked from both sides about contract demands and trade options. Expect a new rumor per hour on contract value and what teams are offering.
We know the Jets never give us a dull day but let’s hope these next few months are productive steps in the necessary rebuilding process.
The Turn On The Jets 12 pack looks back at the lows…and lows of the 2012 season
The Super Bowl is only two days away, which sadly means we are about to enter a dark period of no football. Gone are the days when you could disappear for 12 hour chunks of the day surrounded by multiple TVs and enough wings/beer to make you look like Vince Wilfork. I have really enjoyed using this blog as a consistent “work” crutch to gain freedom Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays from September to February. “Babe, I’d love to come to brunch and shop for cutlery but I HAVE to work today. Goddamn Jets are at 1 and then I have to keep an eye on the Patriots game at 4, and it is important I tweet during the Sunday night game. This BLOG IS SO HARD SOMETIMES!” She will usually rebuttal by asking why don’t I have one of our 8 other writers take care of it, at which point I have to throw Chris Gross under the bus despite him being a terrific writer and fully capable of it. “LEAVE IT TO HIM? HE CAN”T EVEN FIGURE OUT HOW TO OPEN WORPRESS! HE ISN’T READY!”…And with that I’m free for 12 hours of this paradise
I’m not sure how the rest of you consume your NFL but I have developed a nice little system.
Big TV set to Jets game with volume on LOUD because I am immature and embarrassed of my exaggerated claps and yells for 4 yard Bilal Powell gains, which is pathetic until you realize a 4 yard Powell run looks like a 96 yard Adrian Peterson run to a Jets fan who has been watching Shonn Greene average .089 yards per carry the past three years.
Little TV muted with NFL Red-Zone on…you don’t see many touchdowns or red-zone action watching the Jets so I take in all I can from Red-Zone. Tony Sparano must HATE the Red-zZne channel. His preference would be repeated punts and 48 yard field goal attempts followed by fist pumps and BOOMS for all!
When the Jets aren’t on, I get the red-zone on the big TV with whatever other game is airing locally on the little TV. Nothing like watching Eli Manning skittish his way through a mediocre season with the knowledge that every 3-4 years he is going to randomly become Joe Montana for 6 weeks in December and January leading to another Giants Super Bowl. ELITE ALL-IN!
Laptop on the lap all day (probably doesn’t speak well to my future as a procreator) with the following windows open – Twitter (#LOLSANCHEZ), The running box score from the Jets game (Wait, it is the 3rd quarter and we still only have 19 yards of total offense?), A running conversation thread with a group of my friends from home who are all Giants fans (LOLSANCHEZ), My fantasy match-up (C’mon CROMARTIE’S KIDS!), and a running draft for my Initial Reaction at Turn On The Jets (Usually something cheerful like this)
Cell phone in constant contact with dismayed fellow Jets fans (I DON”T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING?!)
Anyway, this season saw plenty of this from your editor, let’s recap some of this year’s greatest hits –
1. Way back in week 2, we had the apartment packed with Jets fans including fellow writers Chris Gross, Rob Celletti and Chris Celletti. Here were the Jets 1-0, coming off a beat-down victory over the Fredo Buffalo Bills and rolling down the field to a 7-3 lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Did you know through the first 5 quarters of the Jets season Mark Sanchez was 23/32, 344 yards, 4 TDs and 1 INT?! Then this happened –
It is like Lawrence Timmons knocked the hope out of this franchise. From that point on the game went south and early shock/excitement in the room wore off into anticipated depression about the season.
2. A few weeks later the Jets had a devastating overtime loss to the New England Patriots. I’m not sure about you but the loudest I cheered all season was when Antonio Allen recovered Devin McCourty’s kick return with only a few minutes left in the fourth quarter. The game (and hope for the season) was there for the taking but was of course not taken advantage of. As soon as Stephen Hill dropped that pass, most Jets fans knew the door was left open too far for New England and they were right.
3. In retrospect, the real season ender was the drubbing they took at home to Miami the following week…that was when radio personality/special teams savant Mike Westhoff’s unit allowed a blocked punt, blocked field goal and onside recovery in ONE HALF! I set a record for uses of the word “Awful” in Initial Reaction headlines this year.
4. The latter part of the season was a mash-up of boring wins and ugly losses until the Jets somehow found their way to 6-7 and relevant in the playoff race thanks to a thrilling 1 point win over Arizona and a heart-stopping 7 point win over the mighty Jacksonville Jaguars in front of 82 TEEEE-BOW fans who passed out in joy over the thought of seeing him run for 2 yards on 2nd and 14 and flex in conquest! SUCH INTANGIBLES!
5. In a miserable year, you had no choice but to get excited for the Monday Night game against the Tennessee Titans when the Jets still had a chance at the playoffs. Their offense and Sanchez in particular were such an unmitigated disaster that it truly reached levels of comedy. Even when they scored their only touchdown of the night (on a short pass to Jeff Cumberland), you couldn’t help but laugh because everybody looked so confused and awkward at how it happened.
6. The last two games were a picture perfect edition of how to play out the string awfully. Needless to say I wasn’t surprised when MCELROY-SANITY didn’t pan out considering he has zero arm strength or pocket presence. I’ve seen plenty of bad quarterbacking in recent years as a Jets fan and he fits right in.
7. Around this point you are probably saying, what about Thanksgiving? And to that I say…I have no idea what you are talking about. I remember turkey and some exciting day games…that’s it.
8. At least a couple of weeks ago we got to enjoy New England bombing out at home in the AFC Championship Game while Jim Nantz quietly wept in the background. Shocking how RAWBY NINKOVICH and company could be so awful on defense when the Patriots only draft captains! Don’t worry bandwagon Boston fans, you turn back to the Celtics…err…the Red Sox…err. Well Hockey is back!
9. What we’ll remember this season for –
Mark Sanchez turnovers
Tim Tebow irrelevance
Stephen Hill drops
Kyle Wilson Finger Wags
Calvin Pace being the slowest defensive player in the NFL
Shonn Greene being the slowest offensive player in the NFL
10. In fairness, let’s list Jets who had highly respectable NFL seasons in 2012 – Jeremy Kerley, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, LaRon Landry, Antonio Cromartie, Mike DeVito, Yeremiah Bell.
11. Snacks of the Year – Snyder’s Jalapeno Pretzels, Lime Tostitos, Cool Ranch Doritos (8 years running!) Atomic Wings, The chicken salad sandwich from Blue Moon Deli on 91st and 1st, Chicky’s on 86th, and East Side Eatery’s Steak Wrap.