Cool Your Jets 02: The Jets Have To Do Something at Cornerback

New CYJ! – Reviewing New York Jets vs. New York Giants and previewing Jets vs. Atlanta

Ben Blessington and Michael Nania discuss the New York Jets’ preseason opener, the dire situation at cornerback & kicker, answer mailbag questions, and preview this week’s game vs Atlanta.

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A Day At MetLife – Jets vs. Browns

In what was regarded by many as a “meaningless” game, the New York Jets beat the Cleveland Browns with an impressive effort on Sunday. Many teams often crumble once they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but the Jets fought like a team with new life. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith was efficient with three touchdowns and no turnovers. The defense held tough on their own end of the field multiple times. Overall, it was an exciting game to watch, especially from the south end zone. I was fortunate enough to attend the game with my father, a life long Jets fan since the Shea Stadium days.  Continue reading “A Day At MetLife – Jets vs. Browns”

Week 3 – New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills Halftime Report

Half time report on the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills

 What an exciting first half of football with the Jets leading the Bills 17-6. Geno Smith is airing it out against a beat up Bills secondary, the Jets defense is trying to out-do the 2009 team, and this offense is actually portraying a real aerial NFL offense. With all of these nice things, the Bills are still right in this game thanks to a Geno Smith interception and Calvin Pace missing key tackles. Let’s run down a wild first half of Jets-Bills football.

Continue reading “Week 3 – New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills Halftime Report”

New York Jets Monday Notes – Bryan Thomas Done For Season

A round-up of Jets headlines today —

1. As expected, Bryan Thomas is out for the year with a torn Achilles. It sounds like the Jets will use a committee of Jamal Westerman, Aaron Maybin, Josh Mauga, and Garret McIntyre to replace him. Thomas is a valuable player who does a lot of the dirty work on the defense, but this was likely his last year with the team anyway. Let’s hope one of these young players can step up.

2. The Jets are considering signing tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, who I will just call “Manu” from now on. They could use him as a hybrid tight end/tackle to provide extra blocking…since Wayne Hunter is pretty damn awful.

3. Rex Ryan proclaimed the Jets would return to their Ground and Pound roots from now on. Considering they have 92 carries for 284 yards this season, I will believe it when I see it. However, it should at least help keep Mark Sanchez somewhat more safe and allow their defense to keep them in games.

4. No grade report, because it is all F’s for the offense and all A’s for the defense. No final thoughts on Jets/Ravens tomorrow because this team needs to bury this game and move forward. It is New England week.

Initial Reaction: Jets Put Together Encouraging Performance

The New York Jets were far from perfect in their 27-7 victory over the porous Cincinnati Bengals. Yet, there was a collection of very encouraging signs from both the offense and the defense.

Plaxio Burress was the main story of the night, pulling in 3 receptions for 66 yards including a beautiful over the shoulder 26 yard touchdown. Burress didn’t look anywhere near as rusty as many anticipated he would be. Prior to his touchdown, Mark Sanchez connected with Burress on a back shoulder fade down sideline, which was exciting to see because you can’t stop that route if it is thrown properly to a 6’5 receiver. A big chunk of the Jets third down and red-zone problems will go away if Sanchez and Burress are connecting like they were tonight.

Sanchez put together another good performance, going 12/20 for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did an excellent job spreading the ball around to his top targets, as Santonio Holmes caught a 16 yard touchdown and Dustin Keller led the way with 73 receiving yards, including a 43 yarder off a nice play action fake. The sky is the limit for this passing offense once Burress, Holmes, Keller, and Derrick Mason are on the field together.

The starting defense dominated outside of one drive, where they broke down on a screen pass to Brian Leonard which went for a huge gain that eventually led to a touchdown.Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton struggled and threw two bad interceptions, one picked off by Eric Smith and one by Jim Leonhard. The backups on defense keep Cincinnati off the board. Brashton Satele intercepted a pass and fell a couple yards short of a touchdown. Recently signed linebacker Aaron Maybin also came up with a strip sack, in a play that isn’t going to make Bills fans happy.

Joe McKnight deserves credit for putting together a strong performance and taking a big step towards locking down the #3 running back spot. He scored his first NFL touchdown on a 3 yard reception from Greg McElroy and also had 36 yards on 7 carries.Bilal Powell was quiet with 22 yards on 9 carries. Fifth string running back Chris Jennings actually had the run of the night, breaking off a 69 yarder late in the fourth quarter.

The negatives? The Jets were still inconsistent at finishing drives and struggled on third downs. They stalled at the 26 yard line on the first drive of the game, followed by Nick Folk missing a 43 yard field goal, also they later had to settle for a field goal when they had the ball in the red-zone. The first unit didn’t run the ball particularly well as LaDainian Tomlinson only had 21 yards on 9 carries. On defense, the screen wasn’t defended well and it was disappointing to see them allow a touchdown drive to such a weak offense.

Overall, it was still a step in the right direction and you have to be encouraged with where the Jets currently are at in the pre-season.

Thank God The Pre-Season Is Over: Jets Beat Eagles 21-17

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I think everybody can sympathize with me when I say “Thank god, the pre-season is over.” It wasn’t the prettiest of games tonight but hear is a quick recap:

Joe McKnight doesn’t deserve a spot on the Jets 53 man roster. He is going to get one because the Jets spent a fourth round pick on him but the guy has been terrible this August, simply terrible. He lost three fumbles, including another one tonight that went back for a touchdown. He doesn’t hit the hole hard and runs timid. The guy is more scared of contact than Kerry Rhodes…no wonder he wears #25. Chauncey Washington ran the football the way it is supposed to be run tonight with 56 tough yards on 12 carries. He earned a spot on this roster. Danny Woodhead added 45 yards and a touchdown. He earned a spot on this roster.

Don’t give me any BS standing up for McKnight either. Go back and watch the highlight of his reaction after he fumbled tonight. Look at the way he didn’t go after the ball and look how he hung his head, this guy has been a disaster. The Jets made an absolute mistake by parting ways with Leon Washington and drafting McKnight.

The numbers aren’t going to show it but Kellen Clemens still looked better than Mark Brunell tonight and I am still adamant in my belief that Clemens should be the number two quarterback.

Great night for Matt Kroul who locked himself down a roster spot with two sacks. Vernon Gholston had another active night and clinched the game with a bone crunching sack. I was also impressed with Brian “King Ugly” Jackson. I don’t know if he can stick on the 53 man roster but he could be a good practice squad candidate. Similar to Jackson, Larry Taylor flashed a few times but is probably destined for the practice squad.

In the end, it wasn’t the most exciting pre-season in Jets history. I am just happy it is over.

Bring on the Ravens.

Thoughts On Jets/Redskins: Looks Like 2009

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After watching the Jets starters get extended action last night, it is hard to think we won’t be seeing much of the same things we saw from the team in 2009. The Jets first defense has been rock solid. They can run football but inconsistencies remain in the passing game. Hopefully, the inconsistencies won’t show themselves as frequently as they did in 2009.

First off, it is a huge blow to the Jets defense to lose Calvin Pace. As of now, it sounds like he will only miss the first game or two but still you’d like to be at full strength coming out of the gate. Jason Taylor is nowhere near the complete player Pace is at this point of his career. Staying on the defense, there were definitely too many occasions where there were receivers running wide open down the field. The defense still played very well overall but you know every time one of the Redskins average receivers was running wide open, Mike Tannenbaum was thinking of caving on the Revis negotiations.

Over on the offensive side of the ball, how about LaDainian Tomlinson? It was looking like 2006 out there. You have to love seeing Tomlinson averaging 7.8 yards per carry and Shonn Greene at 4.7 yards per carry. Of course there was still Joe McKnight with his 5 carries for 9 yards and his lost fumble.

Mark Sanchez played great against the Giants after his early interception and has been erratic since then, very similar to 2009. He still continues to lock on his first target occasionally and gets a little jumpy in the pocket. However, there were still some positive sings and he did bounce back with a fourth quarter touchdown pass. Dustin Keller is certainly looking like his favorite target, while he did finally hook up with Santonio Holmes, #10 forgot to tuck the football away. The offensive line also needs to improve in pass protection. I can’t be watching Mark Sanchez rolling around on the ground anymore with geriatric Mark Brunell waiting in the wings.

Despite his shank on the extra point, you still have to be encouraged by Nick Folk’s pre-season. Joe McKnight has looked good on punt returns, which will probably knock Larry Taylor off the roster.

Thoughts On Jets/Panthers Slopfest

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A random collection of thoughts on a game that won’t go down as one of the most fascinating nights in Jets history:

1. It is hard to make an argument that Mark Brunell deserves to be the backup quarterback over Kellen Clemens. I am aware Clemens has seen more time through the first two pre-season games but the bottom line is that he has been sharper, more accurate, and looks like he has more command of the offense. Brunell has looked like…you know a 39 year old quarterback who hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass in three seasons. I still fully advocate keeping Clemens as the #2 quarterback and Brunell as the #3/mentor for Sanchez. Kevin O’Connell can’t be cut fast enough.

2. It has been to easy to be critical of Joe McKnight since he was drafted by the team. However, he did a better job of running north and south last night, along with showing some explosiveness on his long punt return in the fourth quarter. McKnight still must protect the football and he doesn’t handle contact very well but last night was a baby step in the right direction.

3. I am not going to overreact to how poorly the starting offense played. Keep in mind how little time there was in between the Jets first two pre-season games, how little practice time they had before last night and how there was no game planning involved.

4. Vernon Gholston leading the Jets in tackles? It was hard not to be impressed with the effort our first round bust put forward last night. He was always around the ball and finally looked a little aggressive out there. Gholston’s importance has only increased with the season ending injury to defensive end Ropati Pitoitua, which was a shame to see. Pitoitua was probably going to see a big role off the bench and has demonstrated some promise for a young player. TOJ wishes him a speedy recovery.

5. Good showing from Jim Leonhard last night, with a sack and interception. It is easy to forget about the Jets smallest player on defense but his knowledge of Rex’s system and consistency is a key part to what the Jets accomplish on the defensive side of the football.

6. A better night for the rightfully maligned Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman. Antonio Cromartie also showed a little more physicality and was involved in run support.

7. Very encouraging signs from Nick Folk, going 3/3 on field goals with a long of 49 yards. I still can’t relax about the Jets kicking situation until I see Folk knock down a kick over 40 yards under the bright lights of Monday Night Football in week one.

Instant Reaction: Giants – 31 Jets – 16

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Quick thoughts on tonight’s game…

Mark Sanchez played very, very well after his initial interception. He was accurate, in control of the offense, and did a great job of spreading the football around. Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, and Dustin Keller all looked particularly sharp and in sync with Sanchez. LaDainian Tomlinson showed good burst on a key third down reception and a touchdown run that was called back. However, Shonn Greene showed why he is the Jets number one running back, by averaging over 5 yards per carry compared to Tomlinson’s 2 yards per carry. Joe McKnight looked very iffy. Kellen Clemens played well and more than I thought he would. Santonio Holmes ate up the Giants second team, which was expected. Smart decision to play it safe with Mangold.

On defense, the depth is a major area of concern. Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman can’t be relied on. However, Antonio Cromartie looked sharp and nearly had two interceptions. Kyle Wilson had a quiet night, which can be a good thing for a corner. The Jets showed they still have their pass rush and overall looked very good against the Giants first offense. Calvin Pace completely steamrolled Eli Manning, in a hit that will be the primary highlight from this game. Vernon Gholston didn’t record a stat. Jason Taylor got a few pressures.

Larry Taylor looked good as a returner. Nick Folk…I’m not sold yet. He needs to hit a kick over 40 yards first. Eric Smith is a terrific special teams player, who had a great blocked punt tonight.

Revisiting 40 Predictions For 2009 New York Jets Season: How Wrong Was I?

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First a few updates:

1. As you can see at the top of the page, we have a new section “2009 Highlights,” which is a collection of season highlight videos made by various people, and some of the best moments of the year from Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and more. There is enough video in there to keep any Jets fan occupied for hours.

2. Rex Ryan is in the news again, this time for changing his hockey jersey in the middle of a Carolina/Philly game he attended last night…unfortunately for him and all of America that watched Sportscenter today, his stomach popped out…maybe exploded out, is a better word.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because 186 fans isn’t enough.

Photobucket4. Lost Season 6, Episode 3 “What Kate Does” Thoughts – You will rarely hear me criticize LOST but last night’s episode was a bit of a letdown, maybe it was inevitable after such a strong premiere, but overall I was somewhat disappointed. Basically, you had Sawyer sulking, Kate chasing him, Sawyer sulking some more, Jack asking 9000 questions to Dogen (the Japanese guy in the Temple), and Dogen finding a creative way to avoid answering any of them. The alternate storyline was a little dull and far-fetched at times, although it was clear some things from Kate’s time on the island are popping back into her mind (her looking back at Jack from the taxi, her reaction to seeing the whale in Claire’s bag) and I am assuming the only reason Claire trusted Kate so much was because she felt some type of bond with her. I did like the ending and the return of the “sickness” appearing in Claire, who looks all kind of crazy on the island, and unfortunately Sayid. How much longer is Sayid going to be around if he is about to be taken over by the “darkness” the guy said? Also, it looks like after 2 seasons of being dragged through the mud, Jack is finally going to become a smart/likable character again.

Revisiting 40 Predictions For 2009 New York Jets Season: How Wrong Was I?

How smart was I back on September 7th, 2009? Let’s take a look at the 40 predictions I made for the Jets 2009 season, and my analysis of them now. I am hoping I at least cracked 50 percent.

1. David Harris will lead the Jets in sacks this season with 9. Calvin Pace will come in second despite missing the first four games, finishing with 7.5.

– It was actually Pace who led the Jets in sacks this season with 8, so at least I was just about on with his numbers. Harris was third on the team in sacks with 5.5, behind Pace and Shaun Ellis who had 6.5….so 0/1.

2. Vernon Gholston will be somewhere between slightly below average and okay during the first four games. He will begin to play better as a situational player when the season progresses, finishing with 5.5 sacks.

I think my first sentence is a pretty accurate description of Gholston’s play during the first four games, he wasn’t awful but he didn’t make any notable impact. However, I was way, way off on him beginning a situational player and recording 5.5 sacks…0/2.

3. Lito Sheppard will give up alot of plays but also make alot of plays, because of all the balls that will be thrown his way. He will start 16 games and lead the team in interceptions.

Oh boy, well at least Sheppard did give up alot of plays but he came nowhere near starting 16 games and only had 1 interception, which of course did not lead the team…0/3.

4. Darrelle Revis will be returning Hawaii. He will prove to be a top 3 CB in the NFL this season.

That is a little better, and of course by Hawaii I meant Miami in the Pro-Bowl. I don’t think anybody could argue that he is a top 3  CB in the NFL, and honestly most people now recognize him as the best overall corner in the league…1/4.

5. Howard Green will be an extremely valuable player off the bench on the Jets defensive line, providing a quality backup to Kris Jenkins.

It was actually Sione Pouha, who stepped up. Green was cut but eventually re-signed and never made a big impact..1/5.

6. Kerry Rhodes will have a much better year than he did last season but still won’t produce at his 2006 statistical level and won’t be a pro-bowler.

– He didn’t really have a better year than last season, I won’t give myself credit for saying he wouldn’t be a pro-bowler because when I wrote this I thought he would have a much better all-around year than he did…1/6.

7. Jim Leonhard will be a steady, consistent player on the Jets defense but his most important contributions will be as a punt returner.

– Damn, I couldn’t just stop at steady, consistent player on the Jets defense. He was okay on punt returns but had to give up the duty half way through the season because of a hand injury. I am giving myself a 1/2 point on this one…1.5/7.

8. The Jets will sweep the Miami Dolphins this season.

I am still bitter about this…1.5/8.

9. Thomas Jones won’t match last year’s gaudy numbers but will still finish with a solid 1175 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns.

He actually exceeded last year’s numbers and finished with 1402 yards and 14 touchdowns, my bad TJ…1.5/9.

10. Leon Washington will have at least 50 more carries this season than he did in 2008, along with 10 more catches.

Unfortunately because of a leg injury, this didn’t happen…1.5/10.

11. Leon Washington will have 1100 combined rushing/receiving yards. He had 800 last year.

See Above…1.5/11.

12. Leon Washington will have 2 kick return touchdowns this season. Jim Leonhard will take one punt back.

I really have to stop talking about Leon…1.5/12.

13. Leon Washington will have a better season than Reggie Bush (sorry, Dan).

I really, really have to stop talking about Leon Washington…1.5/13.

Photobucket14. Shonn Greene will start out the season slow but become an important part of the offense in the second half of the season.

That’s what I am talking about. Greene wasn’t a factor until week 7 but was a key part of the Jets playoff run…2.5/14.

15. Bryan Thomas will very quietly have his best season since 2006, finishing with 67 tackles and 6.5 sacks.

Not quite, Thomas finished with 53 tackles and 2 sacks…2.5/15.

16. Shaun Ellis, Marques Douglas, Mike DeVito, and Ropati Pitoitua will be a surprisingly solid defensive end rotation.

They did prove to be a good rotation, especially after Kris Jenkins went down. Ellis had 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Douglas had 64 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 TFLs, and a TD. DeVito was a good role player off the bench. Pitoitua wasn’t much of a factor…3.5/16.

17. The Jets will split with New England for the third time in four years.

Yes they did…4.5/17.

18. Somebody on the offensive line will miss a few starts this season, exposing the Jets lack of depth at the position.

Fortunately, I was wrong about this. For the second year in a row, the entire offensive line started every single game…4.5/18.

19. Tony Richardson, the ageless wonder…will start another 16 games.

He did and hopefully he will be back for another 16 next year…5.5/19.

20. Jerricho Cotchery will just barely get 1000 yards receiving and finish with 5 touchdowns.

Cotchery finished with 821 yards and 4 touchdowns. He would have been at 1000 but he missed 2 full games and a large part of another…5.5/20.

21. Brad Smith will have less than 10 catches this season.

He finished with 7 catches for 63 yards…6.5/21.

22. Dustin Keller will be joining Darrelle Revis in Hawaii, finishing with 67 catches, 850 yards, and 7 touchdowns.

PhotobucketKeller was an under-utilized part of the Jets offense, finishing the regular season with 45 catches, 522 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He did step up in the playoffs, adding a touchdown in each game…6.5/22.

23. Mark Sanchez’s stats will look very similar to Joe Flacco’s last season. The Jets high paid rookie will finish with 15 TD’s, 11 INT’s, 2980 yards passing, and a 62.0 completion percentage.

Maybe if he played the way he did during the playoffs all year this would have been true. Sanchez finished the regular season with 12 TDs, 20 INTs, 2444 yards, and a 53.8 completion percentage…6.5/23.

24. David Clowney will catch at least 2 touchdowns of 40 yards or more.

He only caught one touchdown this season, and it was for 34 yards…6.5/24.

25. Chansi Stuckey won’t have stats that will impress anybody because of his low yards per catch average, but will be a valuable 3rd down weapon for the Jets.

He was traded after week 4…6.5/25.

26. The Jets defense will give up more big plays than expected but will have more sacks, interceptions, and defensive touchdowns than in 2008.

It was actually nearly the opposite. They didn’t give up a ton of big plays but finished with 32 sacks, 17 interceptions, and 1 touchdown. In 2008, they had 41 sacks, 14 interceptions, and 3 touchdowns…6.5/26.

27. Despite having a better backup than he did last year, Kris Jenkins will start out slow because of missing most of the pre-season and will start 14 games this year, not the full 16.

He only ended up starting 6 games before sustaining a season-ending injury…6.5/27.

28. Brian Schottenheimer will be extremely conservative the first 5-6 games of this season, frustrating fans. However, as Sanchez gets more comfortable the Jets offense will begin to resemble its 2006 form.

It was almost backwards of this. The Jets offense became more conservative as the year went on…6.5/28.

29. Steve Weatherford won’t finish the season as the Jets punter….will he even finish this article as the Jets punter?

He actually did finish the year as the Jets punter…6.5/29.

30. The Jets will split with the Buffalo Bills this season.

Yes, they did…finally got one right…7.5/30.

31. Bart Scott will be a quality player and bring a nasty attitude to the Jets defense but he will be outplayed by David Harris at inside linebacker.

Two in a row? Here we go…8.5/31.

32. Thomas Jones will catch another 30 passes this season.

He only caught 10 passes this season…8.5/32.

33. Mark Sanchez’s inexperience will cost the Jets a couple of winnable games in the first half of the season. His talent level and growing comfort in the offense, will steal them a late season game they shouldn’t win.

It didn’t really work out like that…8.5/33.

34. The Jets will enter their week 9 bye as a 4-4 team and not be considered a serious playoff contender.

Yes, they did enter the week 9 bye as a 4-4 team and weren’t considered a serious playoff contender…9.5/34.

35. Similar to the 2006 team, they will rally to a 6-2 finish and end up as a 10-6 wild card team.

They rallied to finish 9-7 as a wild-card team, so I am giving myself that one…10.5/35.

36. They will either upset the Colts or Pats on the road in the second half of the season, not both. Their other second half loss will be at home to Atlanta…so yes, I am saying they win in Buffalo (aka Toronto), Tampa, and take care of the Panthers at home in the second half of the season.

Not bad…11.5/36.

37. Most Improved Player Offense – Dustin Keller.

I am not really sure who their most improved player was, but it wasn’t Dustin Keller who saw his numbers go down…11.5/37.

38. Most Improved Player Defense – Bryan Thomas, David Harris

I would probably say Sione Pouha was their most improved player…11.5/38.

39.  Pro-Bowlers – Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller, David Harris, Leon Washington (kick returner), Nick Mangold

Right about Revis and Mangold…wrong about the other three…11.5/39.

40.  The Jets won’t add another veteran receiver this season, but it will be top priority in next year’s off-season.

They added Braylon Edwards after week 4…11.5/40.

11.5 out of 40? Not pretty.

No Video Today…just check out the new “2009 Highlights Section” for all the video you need.