New York Jets Training Camp Interview: Ross Martin

Joe Malfa interviews New York Jets rookie kicker Ross Martin

Our own Joe Malfa had the chance to speak with Jets’ kicking hopeful, the undrafted Ross Martin out of Duke:

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Interview with Jace Amaro, New York Jets Tight End

Mike Donnelly of Turn On The Jets interviews New York jets rookie Tight End, Jace Amaro.

It is no secret that many of us here on Turn On The Jets were huge fans of Jace Amaro heading into the NFL draft this year. Personally, I felt like he had all the tools to be a perfect fit in Marty Mornhinweg’s offense and he would do wonders for Geno Smith, who didn’t have many reliable targets last year as a rookie. When the #18 pick rolled around and the Jets were on the clock, Amaro was on my short list of players I wanted to see have his name called (as I tweeted). As we know, that didn’t happen, and while I loved the Calvin Pryor selection, I was a little bit bummed that we may have missed out on the next Jimmy Graham or Gronk. Continue reading “Interview with Jace Amaro, New York Jets Tight End”

TOJ Interview: New York Jets Running Back Chris Ivory

Staff writer Dalbin Osorio sits down with New York Jets starting running back Chris Ivory for an off-season interview

TOJ’s Staff Writer Dalbin Osorio got to interview New York Jets Running Back Chris Ivory at the XBox One Loft today. A big thank you to Marc Sousa for allowing us a chance to interview The Kraken.

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2013 NFL Draft – Ted Sundquist Interview, Part 2

Chris Gross sits down with former Denver Broncos’ General Manager Ted Sundquist for part 2 of their NFL Draft discussion.

Welcome back to part 2 of our 2013 NFL Draft discussion with former NFL General Manager Ted Sundquist. If you missed part 1, be sure to check that out here, while learning more about the work Mr. Sundquist has done throughout him time in the league. 

Today, we talk impending contract situations, “boom or bust” prospects, drafting value over need & vice versa, draft planning, and General Manager/Head Coach dynamic in relation to the NFL Draft.

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2013 NFL Draft – TOJ Interview With Ted Sundquist, Part 1

Chris Gross sits down with former Denver Broncos’ General Manager, Ted Sundquist, to discuss the ins and outs of all things NFL Draft.

Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with former Denver Broncos’ General Manager, Ted Sundquist, of TheFootballEducator.com and Eye-Draft.com to discuss the ins and outs of the NFL Draft. We talked about topics ranging from scouting, strategy, evaluating, and beyond. Mr. Sundquist has provided us with some fantastic, first hand, insight that you will not find anywhere else.

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New York Jets 2012: Interview With Rotoworld’s Evan Silva

TJ Rosenthal interviews Rotoworld’s Evan Silva, who gives his outlook for the 2012 New York Jets…and it isn’t pretty

TJ Rosenthal had the opportunity to sit down with Evan Silva from Rotoworld and Pro Football Talk to discuss the 2012 New York Jets and the reasons he believes the team will struggle so much. We never shy away from varying opinions and thank Evan for taking the time to so thoroughly explain his opinions…even if we do disagree with them. Take it away TJ…

Rotoworld Senior NFL Editor Evan Silva is one of the up and coming NFL analysts out there today. Silva, who also contributes to NBC Sports and Profootballtalk.com, has recently caught the attention of some Jets fans who have come across some not so promising tweets from him when it comes to the Jets outlook for 2012. The Jet Report caught up with him to discuss in further detail why he believes the Jets will struggle this season.

How will the Jets fare in 2012?

I don’t think they’ll be very good. The one factor that may prevent the Jets from finishing as one of the league’s worst teams in terms of won-loss record is an easy schedule. They have the AFC South and NFC West as non-division opponents. They should also be better than the Dolphins. But I think the Jets will start the season 1-4 and end up losing along the way a number of games most people believe they “should” win because they will struggle mightily to generate offense.

Mark Sanchez?

I usually try to avoid bandwagoning the mainstream, common refrains. And I realize it’s become mainstream to criticize Mark Sanchez. At the same time, I’ve seen enough of Sanchez to believe — know might even be a better word — that he’s not the answer at quarterback for the Jets. He’s a timid passer, scared to challenge deep, doesn’t trust his arm, and plays frenetically in the pocket. The Jets’ bye falls in Week 9 this year. Regardless of the phony offseason contract extension, I think Sanchez will lose his starting job before or during the off week.

I think if Sanchez is ever going to successfully engineer an offense — and not be a quarterback at the controls of a team trying to stay competitive despite him — it will happen down the road, outside of New York. I actually think that is going to happen. Sanchez will have some strong years later in his career, long after the Jets move on.

Is the AFC East “Patriot owned” with the closest challenger to the throne gearing up in Orchard Park not Florham Park, as many believe?

I like what the Bills did in the spring. They desperately needed to improve their pass rush, and they will be a more dangerous team defensively this year than they have been in quite some time. But I don’t think they’ll be more than a 7-9 win team. And I think the Jets are looking at about seven victories in an absolute best-case scenario. So, yes, I think the AFC East is Patriot owned.

The Ground and Pound: Talk about it as a viable or non viable concept at this point in time in the NFL.

It would be viable if the Jets had a premier NFL back and an offensive line capable of dominating in the trenches, snap to snap and game to game. The Jets do not have either of those elements. I have reviewed 2011 games, and I actually thought the Jets’ run blocking was better last year than it was given credit for. The front five opened lanes. There were plenty of cutback opportunities. The back consistently failed to capitalize. Shonn Greene is another major liability on this team, and I think you could make a good argument that he’s an even bigger liability than Sanchez.

Are the pieces in place for the Jets to at least achieve their goals with this system on offense?

I don’t think so. Not even close. I mean, what is the Jets’ strength on offense? It’s definitely not the passing game. And you can’t tell me it’s Shonn Greene. I enjoyed watching the Jets a couple of years ago when you had Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes threatening defenses vertically, and Dustin Keller and Jerricho Cotchery working the seam. The offensive line was maybe the best in the league. The Jets didn’t have elite backs, but there was a vertical threat and a punishing front-five group that worked in unison to kind of compensate for the talent shortcomings in the backfield. The Jets won 11 games that year. They could compete with anyone.

The Jets have gotten worse since then, probably much worse. The right tackle is a major, major problem. Wayne Hunter isn’t just a poor pass-protecting tackle. He gets knocked off the ball in the run game, too. And right tackle in a run-first scheme is a crucial puzzle piece. You want a guy there that you can run behind. Pound it off his backside. Hunter isn’t remotely close to that guy.

How about adding Cedric Benson?

I don’t think Benson would be a terrible pickup. He can handle a large workload and fits the scheme from the standpoint that he’s a power runner. He does a better job of picking up blocked yards than Greene. He sees the field better than Greene. But Benson doesn’t have any big-play ability. He doesn’t play in the passing game. When Benson is in the game, the defense knows the run is coming, which makes the offense easy to defend. He would not solve the Jets’ problems.

Tim Tebow?

I like Tim Tebow. I think he fits the Jets philosophically because he is a run-first quarterback. Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano want to pound the rock. I think that by midseason, Tebow will have overtaken Sanchez because he’s a superior philosophical fit. He’s also willing to stand in the pocket and test the defense downfield. Even if he’s not putting it on the money every time, I think that’s more than you can say about Sanchez. I think Tebow gives the Jets a better chance of delivering the rock to Santonio Holmes in the vertical passing game than Sanchez does.

The Jets are begging for a quarterback controversy, by acquiring Tim Tebow. And I think it will start off very rocky. But I think ultimately he will prove their best option to play under center.

How do you see him fitting into the equation offensively should he remain QB2?

It’s pretty clear that he will be used on special teams, and on offense have a designed package of plays for about 5-12 snaps per game. Offensively, I think it will be a disaster because you already have a starting quarterback whose down-to-down consistency is a major issue, and then you are pulling him off the field for a different quarterback who is sure to be a fan favorite. There is little doubt in my mind that it will cause problems for the Jets internally, until Tebow takes over full time.

Will Tebow improve at throwing the football as a pro?

I don’t feel great about betting against Tim Tebow long term, but I don’t think he will improve as a passer. He’s not a natural thrower of the football. Passing the ball into tight windows with precision and consistency is not in Tim Tebow’s DNA. Watch a bunch of Tebow’s throws uninterrupted, and you can see it in the way the football comes out of his hand. I don’t think we’ll see him get much better, but I also don’t think that necessarily means he can’t quarterback a winning offense.

How much of Mark Sanchez’s inability to elevate his play in 2011 when the Jets started the year attempting to open it up, had to do with Brian Schottenheimer’s playcalling, and or any handcuffs having been put on him since day one?

The issues are with Sanchez. They’re not with Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer ultimately did not successfully coordinate an explosive offense, and by failing to do so he failed to do his job. I know it’s easy to pile on the guy who’s gone. The guy who failed. But if he had an effective quarterback, Schottenheimer would still be the Jets’ offensive coordinator. In Sanchez, he did not have that.

The Jets did open last season with a passing offense. For instance, in the Week 1 Dallas game, the Jets used shotgun on 38 of their 64 offensive snaps. The Jets were using three receivers as their base offense early in the year. They opened up their offense and gave their quarterback a chance to really establish himself as a top-flight NFL passer. When Sanchez failed to produce the results the Jets wanted, Ryan called the thing off and went back to the Ground and Pound. We’d be telling a different story — and Schottenheimer would still be around — if Sanchez had played well in the passer-friendly offense. It all comes down to execution. Sanchez did not execute.

Can Tony Sparano make Sanchez into the leader the Jets first envisioned, when they traded up to select him 5th overall in 2009?

I obviously don’t think so. I don’t even think Sparano is trying to do that. The Jets hired Sparano to implement a running-based offense. In the NFL these days, you don’t implement a running-based offense when you have a quarterback who throws the football effectively. With Sparano calling the offense, the Jets will try to get back to winning games in spite of Sanchez. That’s not an endorsement of the quarterback, and that’s probably not going to work unless you have an elite running foundation. And the Jets do not have that. Sanchez will be asked to manage games, avoid turnovers. Hit the open man in obvious passing situations. He’ll be a complementary piece — a role player. In pro sports, it’s difficult to truly be a great “leader” when you’re a role player.

Does the offensive line have the potential talent wise to rival Rex Ryan’s initial unit that once housed names like Faneca and Woody?

No, they don’t. This is pretty obvious. I think the Jets can be a decent run-blocking team, but not to the point that they open enough holes to turn Shonn Greene into a great back. A healthy Nick Mangold for an entire season will help, but otherwise you have all of the same linemen returning from last year. You have the new offensive line coach talking up Hunter like he can play. To me, these are the signs of a delusional organization that is internally evaluating its own talent poorly.

The rookies: The Jets are real high on Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill and Demario Davis, among others they selected during April’s draft. Can any team realistically expect a serious contribution from so many first and second year players?

Absolutely they can. First- and second-year players contribute at high levels every year. The jury is out on all three of the players you mentioned for various reasons. For Coples, his motor is a concern. And he’s not a bend-the-edge pass rusher. I watched quite a bit of Hill at Georgia Tech, and at times he looked like the best player on the field. At others, he looked like the worst. I think the Jets will struggle to get him the ball, and we don’t know a whole lot about him because he ran one route in college. Davis is a small-school phenom who is probably a year away from impact.

On defense the Jets want to alternate between the 3-4, 4-3 and 46. Will this provide more versatility or lead to more confusion?

Rex Ryan knows a lot more about defensive schemes than me, and I don’t doubt for a second that the Jets will trot out an effective 2012 defense no matter what formation they’re using. The Jets will play good defense. I still question whether they have a pass rusher capable of instilling fear in offenses and altering field position. I would also think that in order for the 46 to be successful, you’d need a quality centerfield safety to roam the deep middle. I don’t think the Jets have that, and my guess is that it’s an area in which they’ll be exposable. But all in all, I have the utmost confidence in Ryan’s defensive strategy and think his unit will play well.

I just think the Jets will be heavily reliant on their defense to score points. Perhaps too reliant on the defense to take the football away and score touchdowns. Because I don’t think the offense is going to move the ball and put it in the end zone. They will need the defense to do it.

Are LaRron Landry and Yeremiah Bell an upgrade at safety over Jim Leonhard and Brodney Pool?

If LaRon Landry is healthy — and there is no way for any of us to tell whether he is — he is a ferocious in-the-box safety. He blows up ball carriers and can separate them from the football. He will be an upgrade if and only if he is healthy.

Yeremiah Bell is 34 years old and got destroyed in coverage by tight ends last season. I hope the Jets don’t plan on matching him up with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. I think Bell can bring to the table run-support skills and veteran “leadership,” but the former is a dime-a-dozen trait at this point and the latter is unquantifiable in terms of value, and I’d ultimately put zero stock in it.

The Jets sense a big year out of Mo Wilkerson? Do you?

Wilkerson was a really good pass rusher in the MAC and he earned extensive playing time as a rookie, and played pretty productively. I’m not going to pretend to have watched him closely, but I think there are certainly promising signs and I would bet on him becoming a pretty good player. But the Jets seem to “sense” a big year out of every player on their roster. Shonn Greene, Wayne Hunter, Mark Sanchez, LaRon Landry, Kyle Wilson. So I don’t think it matters much that they “sense” a big year out of Wilkerson because they do that for everybody.

The current air attack corps: Holmes, Hill, Schilens, Kerley, Keller, Cumberland with of course some blocking TE’s, late picks and UDFA’s mixed in…A sufficient enough group to keep eight out of the box all day?

I don’t think the idea of keeping eight defenders out of the box has much to do with the pass-catching assembly. I think it has everything to do with the quarterback. And until the Jets get quarterback play that worries opposing defensive coordinators, those D-Coordinators are going to keep eight in the box, attacking the line of scrimmage and daring the quarterback to beat them.

Why not re-sign Braylon Edwards?

I don’t know how much Edwards has left. He’s coming off a troubling, recurring knee injury and couldn’t keep a starting job in a poor 49ers receiver corps last year. I know the New York Post reported that the Jets have essentially ruled out bringing Edwards back. So probably a moot point.

Why hasn’t Dustin Keller turned into a top tier TE yet?

I think Keller has developed into a nice player. He’s a solid starter, certainly not one of the Jets’ weaknesses. I think he’s not considered an elite tight end because he doesn’t put up huge stats. Stats for a player like this can be a function of the offense in which he plays. The Jets don’t throw the ball a ton. I also think it’s no secret that he blocks poorly. Keller can stretch the seam and has improved as a hands catcher. But he’s not a great fit for a run-first offense because he can’t block.

Some have recently said regarding your twitter posts on certain Jets personnel that “Evan Silva just hates the Jets, that’s all.” How would you respond to those who justify your take on the team as being more personal than analytical?

I’d just say I have nothing personal against the Jets. I don’t think they’re going to be a good ball club in 2012, and that’s precisely why I said those things.

2012 NY Jets Biggest strength: Darrelle Revis
2012 NY Jets Biggest weakness: Offense

Word association: In a few words or less:

Rex Ryan: Great defensive mind.
Tony Sparano: Fine coach, but I don’t see how he’s an upgrade on Callahan.
Mike Tannenbaum: Fired after this season.
Mark Sanchez: Benched by midseason.
The Ground and Pound: There are certain elements you need to make it work. Jets lack them.
Tim Tebow: Fun guy to root for.
Quinton Coples: Versatile five-technique end. Will be a solid — not spectacular — NFLer.
Darrelle Revis: Best defensive player in football.
Buffalo Bills: Fitzpatrick will hold them back.
NE Patriots: Have revolutionized the NFL.
The AFC Playoff Picture: Like the Pats and Steelers. Titans are my sleeper.
The Jets Offense in 2012: Hard to watch.
The Jets Defense in 2012: Must carry the team.
Jets Chemistry Issues of 2011: Don’t care much about them.

Interview With Former New York Jets Scout Connie Carberg, Part 2

TJ Rosenthal sits down with former New York Jets scout Connie Carberg to discuss the current roster

TJ Rosenthal was fortunate enough to sit down for a lengthy interview with Connie Carberg, the NFL’s first female scout. Yesterday, she discussed her career with the New York Jets and today she and TJ discuss the 2012 Jets roster. Enjoy and make sure to follow both TJ and Connie on Twitter –

READ PART 1 HERE

2012 Jets

Let’s Fast Forward to the 2012 Jets and start with Rex Ryan. Assess his body of work so far and what he has to do to improve as an HC.

When I worked for the Jets, the best record we had in 8 years was 8-8, so to consider that we went to back-to-back AFC championship appearances (under Ryan) is pretty darn good. We had so many lean years, that you can appreciate good coaches. I went to Super Bowl III at the Orange Bowl.

Jet Fans seem to forget our history was so bad for so many years and we’ve been to the playoffs many times with Herman Edwards, Eric Mangini and now Rex.

He said the locker room got ahead of him, and while it may sound strange, I believe the 2 years we were at Cortland made a huge difference in terms of team chemistry.  Last year, the team wasn’t even staying together in a hotel or dorms. You never had a chance to connect with folks you might normally not have. Hopefully this year at Cortland will make a big difference, and this Rookie class appears to be very tight and close together, with very good character.

Rex’s hirings of Sparano and Dunbar and his involvement on all facets of the team will make a big difference.

Mark Sanchez: Can the Jets win with him?

YES, I believe the Jets can win with Mark Sanchez. Even Namath took his 4th year before the Super Bowl, and with how many INT’s he threw, you realize how much seasoning it can take to be successful in this league. Also, let’s not forget that he has had to deal with new receivers every year, lacking consistency. Fans often want to discount this, but Namath knew who he would be throwing to every year, and that made a difference. We need consistency. I believe in Mark.

What do you make of the arrival and skill set of Tim Tebow?

I was shocked by the arrival of Tebow, but I was always an admirer of his emotional leadership and skills, and I think that if the press and fans will allow it, he and Mark can coexist.  I am real excited about this.

Assess the current draft class and is it realistic for the Jets to expect major contributions from too many rookies?

(Quinton) Coples has all the physical skills for a guy at 16 who has top 7 talent. I love Stephen Hill, and today, I watched an interview and if he can play as well as he can interview, we’ll have a deep threat we haven’t had since Wesley Walker. I know he went to an option college, but hopefully with others who have succeeded, he will do well especially in the red zone. I like Terrance Ganaway and Demario Davis has the skill set be very good.

Can the Ground and Pound get the Jets to a Super Bowl?

The Ground & Pound CAN WORK if it’s not ALL on Shonn Greene. We need John Conner and Joe McKnight and (Bilal) Powell and Ganaway in case anybody gets hurt. Our offensive Line has to get more consistent and I believe Sparano will help with that.

Let’s go back to the word association but this time, to cover some thoughts on the 2012 Jets and “friends.”

The Revis Contract Situation–– I hate it. Take care of the man. He’s an amazing ballplayer and some could argue that the last holdout severely injured the team with him being hurt throughout the season.

Santonio Holmes – I’m a fellow Buckeye and rooting for the Tone of 2 years ago, and for he and Mark to be on the same page.

Woody Johnson – Fan friendly owner who truly cares about the team and is doing everything in his power to make the team a winner.

Mike Tannenbaum – Genius salary cap/contract negotiator with a flair for the extraordinary and a willingness to take risks with the players he brings in.

Met Life stadium – I haven’t been there, but I still wish we didn’t share a stadium with the Giants. I will go there sometime and watch a game, but Shea will always be home to me.

Brady and Belichick – Enemy. Enemy. Enemy.

Local Rivalry with the Giants – When I was growing up, the Jets were always treated like 2nd class citizens, and then we won the Super Bowl but were still second banana. However, then we played the Giants at the Yale Bowl (August 1969), an exhibition game, and even Joe Namath has said that the Yale Bowl Game means as much if not more to him that SB III. Todays Jets don’t have that feeling, but I do, and I’ll forever hate the Giants and will NEVER root for the Giants as long as I live (that includes in Super Bowls against the Patriots).

Connie Carberg in 2012

What are you doing these days? 

I live in Coconut Creek FL, doing PR for Al Hendrickson Toyota as my full time job. My husband and I have been married for 33 years. My step daughter Lisa lives in Mystic,Connecticut and my Son, Chris lives in Orlando with his wife, Jenna. Both Die Hard Jet Fans. Everywhere I go, people know me as the biggest Jet fan there is down here.

Do you still go to training camp?

Yes, when I go back every summer, whether it’s at Hofstra, Cortland, or Florham Park, they treat me like family, and I NEVER take it for granted.

Tell us about your new Website and how the fans can contact you.

My website is www.ConnieScouts.com and has lots of great information to share, as well as stories from the past. I’ve probably had the luckiest life in the world (You can also find Connie on Twitter)

Interview With Former New York Jets Scout Connie Carberg, Part 1

TJ Rosenthal sits down with former NFL Scout, Connie Carberg to talk about her time with the New York Jets

TJ Rosenthal was fortunate enough to sit down for a lengthy interview with Connie Carberg, the NFL’s first female scout. We are going to run the interview in two parts. Today she talks about her career with the New York Jets and tomorrow she and TJ discuss the 2012 Jets roster. Enjoy and make sure to follow both TJ and Connie on Twitter –

For Connie Carberg the NFL’s first female scout, the New York Jets have always been family. Literally. From growing up the daughter of a team doctor to becoming a scout, from 1974-1980 (the one who found Mark Gastineau) few if any bleed the Green and White more than Connie. We truly thank her for taking the time to go through some of her personal Jets history with us while giving us a look through a professional’s eyes on how the NFL has changed. As well giving us some thoughts on the current 2012 New York Jets –

1974-80: Growing up a Jet:

You experienced so much as a scout for the Jets from 1974-80. Mark Gastineau. You found him. How did that process take place from your initial sighting of him to the Jets selection of him in 1979?

Walt Michaels was coaching. North team on Senior Bowl, Mike Stensrud was injured and my boss Mike Hickey asked me to find somebody, watched tapes of all 6, read reports, and made phone calls. Gastineau was in perfect shape and had the same passion off the field as he did on. He wasn’t an act. He had total enthusiasm, and I suggested we take him, and he became the defensive MVP of the game. We drafted in him in the 2nd round after we took Marty Lyons first.

Wow, what a 1-2 by the staff that year. Now you grew up as a kid in the Jets family. So were players house guests who would come over and raid the fridge? Who were the ones you knew and or liked the best growing up? Pre scouting days..

I have been part of the Jets family since I was 12 years old when my dad Dr. Cal Nicholas became the Jets doctor. His office was connected to the house, and players often came over to be examined, and would hang out in the house with the rest of the family.  The first player we had over for dinner was Gerry Philbin, and I remember meeting him and watching him at dinner, thinking “I’ve never seen anybody drink so much milk in my life”. Wonderful man,  Great DE. George Sauer was always over and was my tennis partner at the Long Island Yacht Club. He would play guitar while I played piano.  He loved to play games in the backyard, like wiffleball or basketball with my brothers and myself.

We were very close with the Hampton family, Bill Hampton was the Jets Equipment Manager, and his son Clay is now the Director of Operations for the Jets. We’d have pool parties with our large families, in Babylon and Bayshore. Emerson Boozer and Ralph Baker were often there.

The Jets had a basketball team in the offseason, with people like Bake Turner, Jim Turner, Randy Beverly, Ralph Baker, Emerson Boozer, and John Schmidt who would come over to the house afterwards. My mom would cook a big turkey and they could all eat.

My favorite growing up was WR Bake Turner, who played guitar and sang incredibly. I still have a tape of him and George Sauer playing guitar together at the house, singing all sorts of songs on reel-to-reel, in 1969. Country Songs.

It was an amazing way to grow up, and then I went off to college, first to an all girls school, Wheaton College, and later I transferred to the Ohio State University, graduating in 1974.

I came back, and went to work for the Jets, and times were changing a bit and people weren’t at the house as much as in the past, but always for treatment and checkups. I was a lifeguard at the Long Island Yacht Club, and would bring the kids over to meet Joe Namath, who was always so good signing for kids. As long as the kids were well behaved. It was a great time. There was no player I didn’t truly like.

Let’s do a little word association: In a few words or less can you help describe some of the names, nicknames and places from that 1974-80 era?

Walt Michaels – Tough, Fair, Paul Brown Disciple, Mentor, All-Pro LB

Owner Leon Hess – Hands off owner, not much football knowledge, very nice man, let coaches handle team

Lou Holtz- Motivator, great college coach, family man, answered every letter sent to him, Great man.

Shea Stadium – Home of the Jets, Diamond Club, Captain Kangaroo at every game, Bob Cleveland Orchestra, family

Joe Klecko – Strong, All Pro, Sack Exchange.

Richard Todd – Tough job following Namath, especially from Alabama, but did take us to AFC Championship game, if tarp had been down, could have been different.

Wesley Walker – Best Deep threat of last 30 years, vision in only one eye (same as me now), memorized eye charts. Great moves and hands.

Joe Namath – Quickest release ever, charisma and star power, forced AFL-NFL merger, so good to young fans, as big as the Beatles.

The Sack Exchange – Still a favorite, ability to pressure without the blitz, front four that could do it all. 

Scouting

Now we know that you still keep a close eye on things. How Much has the NFL changed to you…on the field talent and equipment wise?

Quite a bit, from the equipment (helmets), and the helmet is now a weapon. In the old days, players didn’t trust the helmet to be used as a reasonable weapon and launch with it. Now it’s supposed to be for safety.

Players are faster and stronger, due to far more lifting weights (they didn’t as much in the old days). No offensive lineman were over 300 lbs. It’s common. Middle Linebackers were 215-225, now they are 230-250.

The fundamentals of tackling are poorer. Everyone started wanting to be on the highlight reel of ESPN, not just form tackling, and with the new CBA, you only have one-a-days and the lack of ability to practice tackling. Tackling needs to get much better.

Rules wise?

Watch Ben Davidson hitting Joe Namath. He’d be fined for every single shot he took at Joe. Quarterbacks are protected far more now.

Marketing wise?

There were no jerseys back then, or Jets shirts or hats. You just looked for a green t-shirt. That’s why I wished we were red like the KC Chiefs, as it’s so much easier to find a red shirt than a green shirt. There was no Nike or Reebok.

Back then we were a Kelly green color, not as dark as now. It felt like more of a high-flying offense, while the darker green suits our defense today.

No sports talk radio, ESPN, NFL network, only the home team was on TV, so everybody always rooted for their home team. That was the only game you saw. You had no fantasy football, and didn’t know all of the stats. A lot less betting as well as no free agency, meaning that when you had a player, they were yours for life and as a fan, you lived and died with those players. He was your boy for life. I loved it that way.

The scouting profession? 

Back then – Character was most important for the Jets, and RB’s were incredibly important, whether OJ, Gale, Sweetness, or Freeman. It was usually one RB + FB to lead block. Speed was important but big and strong were emphasized.

Lots of guys didn’t make the NFL because they were tweeners, but today they become specialty players, for pass rushers (like Maybin), and are put into unique packages, situational players. Everybody played 3 downs. There was no rotation. Everybody played where they played. There was no nickel or dime packages.

What did you rank higher: IQ or athleticism?

IQ was important, but there were 2 types.  It was football and book IQ – Marino didn’t get the highest score like Ken O’Brien on his Wonderlic but his football IQ and ability to audible was off the charts.

Production, Motor, and Heart was the centerpiece of drafting then and now too because you need dependable players. The tweeners were primarily the different things that exist today. Guys just never asked to come off the field after a run or a catch like they do now.

MAKE SURE TO CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR PART 2

New TOJ TV: Live Footage From Jets Minicamp

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First a few updates:

1. Congrats to the Lakers on repeating as NBA Champions. I thoroughly enjoyed the Celtics choking and blowing a 13 point second half lead. Don’t compare LeBron to Kobe. Kobe has five championships. However, please still come to New York, LeBron.

New TOJ TV: Live Footage From Jets Minicamp

Enjoy our new episode of TOJ TV, featuring a terrific new intro, footage of the new stadium, minicamp practice, interviews with numerous Jets fans, and much more. Special thanks to Damien Woody’s entire family for shouting out Turn On The Jets at the end of the video: