12 Pack Of New York Jets Off-Season Thoughts – All Revis Edition

An all Darrelle Revis 12 Pack of off-season thoughts from Turn On The Jets

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We briefly touched on the Darrelle Revis trade rumors earlier in the week but with this report about a “Revis Gold Rush” forming and the ensuing insanity on Twitter, it seemed appropriate to put together an All Revis 12 pack…

1. Let’s start here – Darrelle Revis is an unique talent. He is the best cornerback in football when healthy by a wide margin. He is on pace to be a Hall of Fame player and his 2009 was the best individual season any New York Jet has ever put together. Revis has represented the team well off the field and is a homegrown best player on the roster. There is nothing easy about a decision to trade him and there is a credible argument for keeping him, regardless of the financial constraints.

2. However, the prospect of giving him a 15-16 million per year contract heading into this season has potentially dangerous long term ramifications for a needed rebuilding process. It is an exorbitant amount of money to sink into a position that isn’t quarterback, particularly when you have so many other holes in your current roster.

3. Do not kid yourself into thinking the New York Jets are not full of holes and do not need a complete roster makeover. This cannot be stressed enough. This team needs a starting quarterback. The top running back under contract is Bilal Powell. The top tight end under contract is Jeff Cumberland. The only guard under contract is Vladimir Ducasse. The only linebacker returning with starting experience is David Harris. The only two safeties under contract are Antonio Allen and Josh Bush. This is a team that currently has a CFL caliber roster. Do you want Revis at 16 million per year or four capable starters at 4 million per year, so you can field an offense that can score more than 6 points per game?

4. Revis is also coming off ACL surgery. Yes, with modern medicine that is not as daunting as it once was. Look at Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles. However, there is always an enormous risk in sinking that much money into a player coming off that type of injury.

5. If you don’t trade Revis now and he comes back healthy with a strong year in 2013, what if he walks away in free agency before the 2014 season? The Jets have a poor relationship with his agents (as evidenced by his previous two holdouts) and even with Mike Tannenbaum gone, they could still be difficult to deal with and bitter Revis wasn’t take care of before his walk year. It would be a crippling blow to lose a player of Revis’ caliber with zero compensation.

6. Cornerbacks are not that valuable. The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens do not have an All-Pro corner between them. The Ravens lost their top corner, Lardarius Webb, back in week 6 and have been fine. The Chicago Bears had two All-Pro corners, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, and didn’t make the playoffs this year. The Jets finished second in the NFL this past season in passing yards allowed per game and Darrelle Revis played in 7 quarters.

7. Potential Trade Partner #1 – The Denver Broncos – They have done business with the Jets recently. They have a small window to win a championship with Peyton Manning. Their secondary was torched by the Baltimore Ravens in their divisional round loss. They have a low first round pick they wouldn’t be hesitant to part with and extra mid-round picks to spare. They also have a competent cornerback to spare (Chris Harris) and a running back who’d be a nice fit in the West Coast Offense (Ronnie Hillman). How about Revis for a 2013 first rounder, 2013 third rounder and Chris Harris? The Jets will have five picks in the first three rounds, which allows them to address their many needs and have flexibility if they want to move up for somebody.

8. Potential Trade Partner #2 – The Seattle Seahawks – (Pushed by our good friend Jeff Capellini) – They have a very good corner to offer back in Brandon Browner, along with a quarterback the Jets could have interest in with Matt Flynn. Seattle also had 10 draft picks this year and oh by the way…new GM John Idzik worked there last year.

9. Potential Trade Partner #3 – The Washington Redskins – Always willing to make a splash and badly need to improve their defense. They need a cornerback to deal with Dez Bryant, Victor Cruz and Chip Kelly’s new offense in Philadelphia. They have a few intriguing running backs on their roster in Evan Royster and Roy Helu that could be thrown in to sweeten a package of draft picks.

9. Yes, you could trade Antonio Cromartie instead but you will get less value back and less long term financial help, along with still facing the reality of paying a defensive player who isn’t a pass rusher 16 million per year.

10. The difficulty of this situation comes from so much guaranteed money being locked up for Mark Sanchez, David Harris and Santonio Holmes which cripples the Jets flexibility and makes embracing a rebuild a necessary evil. Thanks Mike Tannenbaum!

11. A reminder of the point differential in all the Jets losses last year in case you think they are a player or two away from being a contender – 17, 34, 6, 3, 21, 21, 30, 4, 10, 19. That is an average margin of defeat of 16.5 points. They won 6 games, 4 against teams drafting in the top 12 this April and 1 against a team with a winning record.

12. Usually where there this is smoke, there is fire with these things…Jets fans should prepare for the reality of Revis being traded.

New York Jets – A Preliminary Checklist For John Idzik

A preliminary checklist for New York Jets GM John Idzik

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We had a less serious, but equally important previous take on John Idzik’s introductory press conference as the New York Jets General Manager last week. Today, we focus on his preliminary checklist on rebuilding the Jets into a serious contender.

1 – The Quarterback – The Jets aren’t accomplishing anything until the quarterback position stabilized. A decision has to be reached on Mark Sanchez. If he is going to be cut or traded, how do the Jets deal with the cap ramifications? If he is going to stay, who is going to be brought in to compete with him? The Jets need a veteran with starting experience and a mid-round pick in the mix next season regardless of what happens with Sanchez.

2 – Revis – We touched on this earlier today but are you signing him long term or are you trading him? You can’t let him play out his contract and then walk after this season. If you do trade, you must receive a substantial haul of draft picks. If you do sign him long term, you must get Antonio Cromartie on the trade block to get his 8 million off the books and get draft picks back for him.

3 – Current Free Agents – Shonn Greene is a goner. LaRon Landry likely is also. But what will Idzik do about starting tight end Dustin Keller, starting guards Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore, key defensive lineman Mike DeVito and starting safety Yeremiah Bell? You can’t keep everybody but how are going to replace the players who are leaving, particularly the two starting guards?

4 – Trade Bait – It won’t just be Revis and Cromartie on the trading block. The Jets will be making calls about Santonio Holmes, David Harris and maybe a few others. The more awful contracts they can get off the books, the better.

5 – Cut The Crap – Bart Scott. Calvin Pace. Jason Smith. Eric Smith. Good-Bye.

6 – Stockpile Draft Picks – The Jets currently have 7 picks. Hopefully, they end up with 10-12 picks. This team needs quantity and quality in April.

In case you forgot just how much work Idzik has ahead of him, here is a look at the Jets current depth chart of players under contract and factoring in players who will absolutely be cut for cap purposes (Pace, Scott etc)

QB – Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow

HB – Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight

FB – None

TE – Jeff Cumberland, Hayden Smith

WR – Jeremy Kerley, Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill

OT – D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Austin Howard

C – Nick Mangold

OG – Vladimir Ducasse, Caleb Schlauderaff

DE – Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples

DT – Sione Pouha, Kenrick Ellis

OLB – Garret McIntyre, Ricky Sapp

ILB – David Harris, Demario Davis

CB – Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie

S – Antonio Allen, Josh Bush

Yikes.

New York Jets West Coast Offense Primer

A primer on how the New York Jets offense will need to change next season

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The New York Jets have made a fairly radical shift in their offensive scheme by hiring Marty Mornhigweg as their new coordinator. Mornhigweg brings his unique brand of the “West Coast Offense” with him from Philadelphia, which will be quite a departure from Tony Sparano’s “Ground and Pound, JV High School Playbook.”

Over the next few weeks, we are going to do a number of pieces covering different aspects of the offense. Obviously “West Coast Offense” is a large umbrella term. Yes, Mornhigweg is a disciple of the system and will bring many elements of it with him but the offense he ran in Philadelphia is far from a carbon copy of what Bill Walsh ran in the 1980s or the systems that Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren or Steve Mariucci used, among others.

To help focus on Mornhigweg’s specific offense, we are going to have Michael Nolan write a piece for us in the coming week. Nolan is a previous NFL Films and NBC Sports employee who is also a die-hard Eagles fan that has seen every game Mornhigweg called for them and he will speak to how he changed the play-calling from Andy Reid and how he varied it from Donovan McNabb to Michael Vick to Nick Foles quarterbacking.

In the meantime, we are going to provide a general overview of the West Coast system and what is required out of the various offensive positions in it, along with how the Jets personnel fits.

A Little History – Bill Walsh is considered “The Godfather” of the system, which he developed as an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Bengals and saw perfected as a Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers with Joe Montana under center, en route to three Super Bowl titles. Since then many coaches from the “Walsh Tree” have ran derivatives of the offense to varying degrees of success and with their own unique spin on it. A few recent examples would be by the offense Mike Holmgren ran in Seattle with Matt Hasselbeck, what Jon Gruden ran during his time with Oakland and Tampa Bay and the Andy Reid/Marty Mornhigweg’s offense in Philadelphia with Donovan McNabb, Mike Vick and then Nick Foles.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s you had quarterbacks like Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas calling their own plays, based off whatever had been repped for certain situations in practice during the week. Walsh’s system gave the play-calling responsibilities to him or the offensive coordinator over the quarterback and frequently worked off a script early in the game that wasn’t altered, regardless of the game situation. Over time more responsibility has been shifted back to the quarterback in terms of having the freedom to audible and avoid working off such a specific script.

General Principles – The WCO looks to spread the defense out and attack heavily in a horizontal, quick-hitting passing game. Generally, it is pass heavy with the short passing game, replacing many elements of the running game. Three-step and five-step drops are frequently used, making the timing between the quarterback and receiver even more critical than usual. Due to the spread formations, versatility and speed are key traits of running backs and tight ends. In the running game, a zone scheme is usually used more heavily than a gap blocking scheme, although Marty Mornhigweg loves to run sprint draw which uses man or gap blocking.

Personnel 

Quarterback – Accuracy in the short to intermediate passing is crucial, along with the ability to make quick reads. Mobility is a plus because rollouts could frequently be used. Looking at Mark Sanchez (because whether you want to admit it or not there is a decent chance he starts next year), Mornhigweg could run a simplified version of the offense like he did for Michael Vick. Basically, he could cut the field in half and have Sanchez work on 1-2 read route combinations. Sanchez has shown an ability to throw the slant route and quick in-cut well (both critical routes in this system) and has also been productive on rollouts. Of course 2012 Mark Sanchez can’t do anything that resembles NFL quarterbacking in any system. However, 2010 Mark Sanchez? The West Coast offense could be an interesting fit for him.

Wide Receiver/Tight End – Receivers need to run precise routes and be smart enough to read a defense on a high number of option routes, making the proper break that is in sync with the quarterback. They also must be able to consistently catch the football in traffic and create yards after the catch. The three main positions are split end (Braylon Edwards/Stephen Hill), a larger receiver who will line up predominantly on the weak side, work mostly as a possession receiver but can get off press releases and take advantage of the defense with an occasional deep post when the coverage is rolled away from him. The flanker (Santonio Holmes/Jeremy Kerley) is usually the primary play-maker and can move all over the formation. The slot (Jeremy Kerley/Santonio Holmes/Jordan White) works tighter to the formation and is a quicker player who is adept at reading defenses and finding the soft spot in zones or beating linebackers/safeties in coverage.

2010 Santonio Holmes could be a beast in this offense because of his quickness and run after the catch ability, not the more recent version of Holmes who has been lazy on his routes and completely out of sync with the rest of the offense. Jeremy Kerley should also flourish because of his route running ability and ability to make people miss in space. Stephen Hill has an uphill battle because he doesn’t run precise routes at all and struggles to catch the ball in traffic, which makes keeping Braylon Edwards on the cheap that much more important.

At tight end, the ability to flex out and be a pass catching option is critical. Dustin Keller’s likelihood of coming back increased substantially with the Mornhigweg hiring. Keller should catch plenty of passes in this system, both in the intermediate passing game and as a checkdown option. If the Jets get some kind of consistency at quarterback, a 4 wide set with Keller and Kerley working in the slot, with Holmes and Edwards/Hill on the outside will create plenty of match-up problems for a defense.

Running Back – Good-bye Shonn Greene. Running backs in this system must be versatile and strong pass catchers with the ability to split out and run crisp routes. They also need speed to take advantage of the lanes created in spread formations and to run sprint draws. Greene’s chances of returning went from 5% to 0% with the Mornhigweg hiring. On paper, Joe McKnight’s skill set is a terrific fit but can he stay healthy and can he protect the football? Bilal Powell should also be a decent fit but only as a secondary option. Look for the Jets to address running back in the first three rounds of the draft, with a player like Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor being a potential target.

Offensive Line – Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson shouldn’t have problems in this system and right tackle Austin Howard should also be a good fit. Howard is a strong run blocker who will be able to get out in front on sprint draw, while the three steps and rollouts should help mask his deficiencies in pass protection. The Jets still need to figure out guard with both Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore free agents, but theoretically either would be solid enough fits in a predominantly zone blocking scheme.

Press Conference Notes For The Next New York Jets GM

How the New York Jets new GM can win over the fanbase immediately in his first press conference

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The next General Manager of the New York Jets will immediately face a highly scrutinized press conference, where he will answer to a group of bitter beat writers and angry,anxious fans. In hopes of him succeeding and seeing our generally miserable fan-base have something to be happy about, I have prepared the following suggested comments for his first press conference –

(Walk out wearing a Jets polo shirt, holding a clipboard filled with player evaluation notes, with a stop-watch around your neck and a visor on. Jets fans permanently hate “accountants or bean-counters” after Mike Tannenbaum the past few years. The worst possible thing you could do is come out wearing glasses, holding a calculator and use the word “process” more than once. So make yourself look like a coach or “A REAL FOOTBALL GUY”)

“Hello. Let me begin by asking Manish Mehta, Gary Myers or anybody from The Daily News to leave the room. You are banned from the building this season. Is this fully legal? I don’t know. But you can go preoccupy yourselves with fighting back for partial credentials, then come back to watch practice from 700 yards away and have 8 minutes of locker room access per day, where you are only allowed to talk with Tanner Purdum and Hayden Smith. Thank you and good-bye.

Second, Mark Sanchez isn’t going to be on the team next year. I just watched all the game tape from last year and I’m pretty sure him and Russell Wilson don’t play the same sport. Did you see those interceptions against Arizona and the turnovers against Tennessee? LAWD! I don’t care how much money we owe him, he won’t be here. The young man had a good run on the field and off the field…Kate Upton, Eva Longoria…KNOW WHAT I MEAN? Here’s hoping that out of the New York spotlight he can find success in the NFL or just a job alongside Joey Harrington and Jesse Palmer on a college pre-game show.

Third, Tim Tebow isn’t going to be on the team next year. We don’t need the media circus and quasi-cult following for a guy who caps out at being the 25th best quarterback in the league. He can’t throw and throwing is important in today’s NFL. No Sanchez. No Tebow. We’ll find a better quarterback for this year and for the long term and he will be prohibited from talking to GQ.

Pertaining to our offense, nobody will use the term “Ground and Pound” anymore or “All Weather Offense.” There will be no more eligible tackles on 35% of our snaps. There will be no “Wildcat.” We are going to run a competent NFL offense that can complete 15-18 yard passes down the field with some type of regularity. Our running backs will also have the ability to avoid ramming their heads into defenders in the open field and will instead look to make them miss tackles.

On defense…hey Bart Scott, shut up and you are cut. Calvin Pace? Too slow. You are gone too. Bryan Thomas, thanks for everything over the years except the recent apparent assault case on your girlfriend. Guess what? You aren’t coming back. We are going to find linebackers who are fast and can rush the quarterback.

Rex is going to be the coach and that is it. He will draw up Xs and Os and motivate our team. He will also put on 120 pounds and go back to being this guy. He will have no say on personnel decisions. Did you see John Conner play football? Rex will be at Taco Bell during the draft this season and has no choice in the matter.

ESPN won’t be at training camp this year. Woody Johnson will make no public comments related to football,because he sounds like an idiot when he does…sorry Woody. Our entire PR and media department has been fired because they are awful at their jobs. Our entire gameday entertainment department has been fired because they are awful at their jobs. No more celebrity J-E-T-S chants before games. No more announcing the special teams starters. No more fireworks after field goals. More flight crew! And Fireman Ed, here is my personal invite to come back next season and I’m only offering once, put back on that Bruce Harper jersey and come on back.

Fans, we have some work to do but turnarounds happen quick in the NFL. Stay with us.

…oh and Mike Francesa, you are an asshole and nobody associated with our organization will come on WFAN until you start working with Mad Dog again or retire.

Goodnight!”

Should The New York Jets Move To A 4-3?

Should the New York Jets move to a 4-3 in 2013?

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The New York Jets defense has gradually declined the past few seasons, mostly due to a lack of speed at linebacker and an inability to consistently pressure the quarterback. Heading into 2013, the team will see three former starters at linebacker leave for cap purposes and declined play (Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, Bart Scott), along with both starting safeties and a key defensive lineman in Mike DeVito hit free agency. Looking at the current pieces they have and their cap space, does it make sense for the Jets to consider moving to use predominantly a 4-3 look, instead of a 3-4?

The strength of the unit is currently defensive line. Muhammad Wilkerson is coming off a terrific season and has the skill set to line up all over the formation, particularly at both a 5 and 7 technique (as our resident defensive lineman Chris Gross assured us). Quinton Coples is built to rush the edge in the 4-3 and can also slide inside to rush from defensive tackle in certain passing situations. Remember he was a double-digit sack guy at UNC in his junior year at DT. If resigned, Mike DeVito and Kenrick Ellis can play defensive tackle with Damon Harrison coming off the bench.

At linebacker, the Jets myriad of issues will be easier solved in  a4-3 than a 3-4. Considering they are stuck with David Harris and his bloated contract, he could slide over to playing weak-side backer which will help hide his speed limitations. Last year’s third round pick, Demario Davis has the speed and collegiate experience to play strong-side, which leaves the Jets to find a long term middle backer. If they stay in a 3-4, they need two outside linebackers and have very valid questions if Harris can play inside in the 3-4 competently. For depth purposes in the 4-3, Antonio Allen played the “spur” in college and can be a backup at strong-side linebacker and Garret McIntyre has shown enough to be a backup on the weak-side.

In the secondary, regardless of the system the Jets should be considering a trade of Antonio Cromartie to both free up cap space and receive draft compensation. A middle round pick and the extra available money could help fill the void in the middle at linebacker and potentially at safety since LaRon Landry will probably not sign here long term while Yeremiah Bell could return on a low-cost one year deal.

Rex Ryan is a smart enough defensive mind to handle this kind of transition. The current reality of the Jets defensive depth chart is that they are devoid of talent at linebacker, while they have strong pieces at defensive line. Why not focus the defense more around their strength, than their weaknesses?

New York Jets – Self-Scouting Will Be Critical To Future Success

The New York Jets must improve their self-scouting if they plan on improving in future years

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The New York Jets are expected to make the decision on their next GM in the next 24-48 hours, final candidates include John Idzik, Omar Kahn, Ted Sundquist and Scott Cohen. Regardless of who is hired, it is imperative the new General Manager revamp the team’s scouting department and gives a harshly, critical look to the entire roster. Terry Bradway, Cohen (if he isn’t hired) and other individuals prominently associated with building the current roster need to move on while Rex Ryan needs to be relegated to coaching, not giving input on personnel decisions.

The Jets roster is in a transitional period, to put it kindly. Their offense needs to be rebuilt nearly from scratch and their defense has to be worked around a few key, young pieces.

Offensively, your harsh reality is that the current team lacks a starting quarterback, starting running back, number one receiver, tight end, and two guards, nevermind a poor overall depth situation. Shonn Greene can’t get paid like a starting running back, which means you let him walk. Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow need to go, any way possible. If you can get Santonio Holmes off the roster now, do it because he won’t be on the team in 2014. Does it make sense to keep Dustin Keller here long term considering his limitations blocking and durability issues? Probably not, franchise him and look to move him for a draft pick. It is hard to see Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore coming back, which means you need two new starters upfront because Vladimir Ducasse isn’t a NFL caliber player.

It won’t be a one season rebuilding process on offense. It will take a couple of strong drafts and a few savvy free agency pickups and trades to build this back up. A temporary competent quarterback needs to be found (Matt Moore, Kyle Orton?) along with a long term solution, which is never an easy task. What will be critical is avoiding evaluation mistakes that lead to players like Wayne Hunter, Shonn Greene, John Conner and Stephen Hill being opening day starters in 2012.

Defensively, this team can’t realistically pay Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and LaRon Landry for the long term, not when they already have an excessively bloated contract sunk into David Harris and lack talent all over the rest of the roster. Fans won’t be happy if a guy like Landry walks or Cromartie is traded for a draft pick to free up cap space but there is logic behind hypothetical decisions like that. This team has the makings of a young, elite defensive line with Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples and Kenrick Ellis under contract but linebackers need to be found to compliment them.

There can be no more pushing off finding a pass rusher or hoping a scrap-heap player like Aaron Maybin can lead the way in sacks. The Jets lack of overall speed at linebacker needs to be aggressively addressed in the draft and free agency. With the pistol and spread offense increasingly taking over the NFL, the days of players like David Harris, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas being starters is over. Yes, I included Harris who is coming off a putrid year and needs to dumped as soon as it becomes contractually feasible.

The team’s new GM and scouting department has to avoid pitfalls like making a plodding, two-down linebacker the highest paid player at his position in a league that is increasingly moving to spread offenses led by speedy quarterbacks. Considering the team’s current personnel and cap situation, it might be prudent to switch into predominantly a 4-3 while the roster is being remade.

Bold moves need to be made across the board and there can be no hesitancy to part with big names or big contracts in the process. The sooner this roster is torn down, the sooner it can be rebuilt.

New York Jets – How To Begin A Turnaround?

How can the New York Jets have a quick turnaround from their recent struggles?

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The New York Jets lack the following things: General Manager, Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach and of course…a Quarterback. What they do have is a situation that is tabloid fodder for the mainstream NFL media, as constant shots are taken at how undesirable it currently is to join the organization. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems in the NFL but without question, the Jets have work to do.

It is hard not to keep referencing back to the off-season prior to the 2006 season for some type of silver lining. The parallels are there. After 2005, the Jets had no GM, were shaky at quarterback and had an undesirable salary cap situation. Rebuilding was the only option and the team was written off for another 4-12 year, with a few more likely to follow.

So how did they end up at 10-6 and in the playoffs, along with begin to lay the groundwork for a team who would be .500 or better in 5 of the next 7 seasons?

It started with a strong draft, where picks were stockpiled. The team selected ten players, including two first round picks, two third round picks, and two fourth round picks. They acquired an extra first round pick by trading away John Abraham after he was coming off a strong, double-digit sack season. They were able to acquire an extra fourth round pick when Herman Edwards left for Kansas City.

The Jets landed two future Pro-Bowlers in the first round, D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. and found mid-round and late round contributors in Brad Smith, Leon Washington, Eric Smith, and Drew Coleman. It was far from a perfect draft (Kellen Clemens and Anthony Schlegel, anybody?) but it yielded both quality and quantity.

Outside of the draft, the Jets cut the fat from their roster: Jason Fabini, Barry Gardner, Jay Fielder, Lance Legree, and Jerald Sowell along with trading away Doug Jolley and Brooks Bollinger. They made the tough decision to part ways with longtime Pro-Bowl center Kevin Mawae. The players brought to the roster were low and mid-level free agents or players via trade: Matt Chatham, Kevan Barlow, Tim Dwight, Andre Dyson, Anthony Clement, Patrick Ramsey, Brad Kassell and Kim Von Oelhoffen.

From the crop of new draft picks and free agents, a sizable amount turned into immediate starters and key contributors. Of equal importance, younger players on the roster from the previous year submitted career performances, players like Jerricho Cotchery, Cedric Houston, Victor Hobson, Chris Baker and Kerry Rhodes. Most importantly, they received a stable, productive year at quarterback from Chad Pennington. All these factors meshed with what turned out to be a soft schedule equaled a 10 win season and the building blocks for a generally successful team in the succeeding years.

How can this year’s Jets emulate a similar model?

The fat should be cut from the roster when Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, Eric Smith and Jason Smith inevitably leave town. They will also likely have to make the difficult choice to part ways with Sione Pouha, like they did with Kevin Mawae. Similar to how the Jets traded Abraham at the height of his value, they should consider doing the same thing with Antonio Cromartie, particularly if it yields a high draft pick back.

In April, the Jets should be looking to leave with 10-12 players not 4-6 like they have been in previous years. They must stockpile in the early and middle rounds, like they did in 2006. Of course, they also need to hit on these picks like they did with Mangold, Ferguson, Smith and Washington. In free agency and in the trade market, the Jets need to find low-cost contributors and stopgap starters while hoping young players like Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, Bilal Powell, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, and Kenrick Ellis flourish in bigger roles.

At quarterback, they will need somebody on the current roster or a veteran to provide competent play until a long term answer is found. It isn’t like Pennington set the world on fire in 2006 (3,352 yards, 17 TDs, 16 INTs, 64.5 completion percentage) but he allowed the Jets to be competitive on a weekly basis.

You never know how the schedule will break in the NFL but at least the Jets only host one 2012 playoff team next year (New England).

Whoever the new GM ends up being, let’s hope they find a little inspiration from the Jets past in their rebuilding process – Stockpile draft picks, don’t be shy about cleaning house on the current roster, and bargain hunt in the free agency/trade market.

New York Jets GM Search Marches On

The New York Jets GM search continues to march on

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Last Saturday we published this article citing a report from our friends at The Jets Blog that the New York Jets had hired Tom Gamble to be their new General Manager. While the contract remains on the table, the deal is not completed and is appearing less and less likely to be consummated with each passing day. If the report turns out to be ultimately inaccurate, we apologize for jumping the gun…so is the life and lessons of an independent website that has freedom to publish such things.

Anyway, since then the net has been cast wide on the General Manager search with some negative, perplexing and yes a few positive trends becoming apparent. Let’s take a run through who remains an option and try to make sense of this thing –

Tom Gamble – Originally considered a top of the line candidate and the Jets top option, Gamble has completely fell off the map…not just with the Jets but with other teams around the league. There are only two other GM openings left besides the Jets, Kansas City and Cleveland, and Gamble doesn’t appear to be a serious candidate for either of those jobs. He also lost out in San Diego to Tom Telesco and never got serious consideration in Jacksonville or Carolina. We heard from Pro Football Talk that Gamble didn’t interview well with the Jets and from an independent source that Gamble has no grasp on the salary cap. Could these be true or did Gamble want no part of the Jets because of the forced marriage with Rex Ryan, and the team is now spinning to the media? Only time will tell but his ascension to a GM position could very well not happen until a future off-season.

Marc Ross – He received an interview with the Jets Monday but has since not been mentioned as a serious candidate. Carolina went with Dave Gettleman instead of Ross out of the New York Giants front office and Ross doesn’t appear to be an option in Cleveland or Kansas City. Ross has an impressive resume and would be a strong hire but it doesn’t sound like the Jets are serious about him.

Dave Caldwell – Pretty simple here – Used his second interview with the Jets to leverage more money out of Jacksonville before taking the job.

John Dorsey – Expected to head to Kansas City. We haven’t heard a peep about him and the Jets in days.

Brian Gaine –  Out of the Bill Parcells tree, Gaine had his name pushed to Rich Cimini and Jason La Canfora from day one of the off-season because he wasn’t mentioned as a candidate for any team, anywhere this year except from those two in the first week of GM interviews. After the Jets went through the top tier candidates, Gaine has headlined the second group giving credence to a rumor that Korn Ferry (the firm in charge of the search) is heavily monitoring the media reaction to candidates. Despite his roots in NY and with the organization, he has a so-so resume and has too much of a Terry Bradway/Mike Tannenbaum influence. It is important to note, he was or is not a candidate for any open GM jobs this off-season except for the Jets.

Scott Cohen – A fallback, internal candidate. This would be a tough hire to sell. There is no logic behind promoting Mike Tannenbaum’s #2. There is a reason Cohen didn’t receive any interview requests this off-season from other teams. There is a reason he didn’t jump ship for a GM job after successful 2009 and 2010 seasons for the Jets. He is a Tom Heckert/Tannenbaum discipline. Do better, Jets.

Jerry Angelo – A big name in the second tier of GM candidates. Angelo has been out of work for a year after helping build a Chicago Bears team who reached the Super Bowl. Does he still have the fire/motivation to deal with a rebuilding process in New York, nevermind the media?

Omar Kahn – From everything we are hearing and reading, he sounds like the Pittsburgh Steelers version of Mike Tannenbaum, which is fine if you remove Terry Bradway’s influence from the scouting department and remake it entirely.

Jim Popp – The most intriguing candidate in the 2nd tier of GMs the team is interviewing. Popp is an extremely successful Canadian Football League General Manager, who interviewed for the Colts GM job last off-season and the Panthers GM job this off-season, ultimately losing out to Tom Telesco. Shake your initial laughter of hiring out of the CFL, Popp is highly regarded around the league and would an interesting, outside the box hiring by the Jets. The hiring would be enhanced if brought along Marc Trestman to be the team’s offensive coordinator. Trestman is currently the coach of Montreal Alouettes but has extensive NFL experience as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. Simply put, he is a quarterbacks guru and the Jets need that desperately.

12 Pack Of New York Jets Off-Season Thoughts – 2013, Edition #1

Turn On The Jets with 12 off-season thoughts on the New York Jets

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The 12 packs do not stop here at Turn On The Jets. Every week, this space will now be used for a collection of 12 weekly off-season thoughts on the New York Jets (This will normally run on Fridays, not Mondays). Some exciting things to look forward to in the coming weeks 

On to the 12 pack…

1. The hiring of Tom Gamble as the New York Jets General Manager is not official yet and many are beginning to panic since he is interviewing with San Diego, while the Jets still interview Marc Ross and Scott Cohen. We remain confident in Bassett’s report and think the outline he provided this morning is a sensible explanation. Nothing is 100% until the contract is signed but it would take a major turn of events for this not to go through. The Jets must interview Ross today to comply with the Rooney Rule and need to get their act together for the season ending press conference tomorrow, while Gamble is posturing for further leverage knowing he is team’s top choice. If he isn’t officially hired by Wednesday night/Thursday morning…then it is time to panic (although ending up with Ross wouldn’t be a disaster at all).

2. Tomorrow’s press conference should be an interesting one to say the least. Expect an angry, vindictive New York media coming hard after Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson. What is the over/under on tattoo and Tebow questions? Do not look for too many answers of note coming out of either Johnson or Rex. The entire organization is in flux until the GM hiring becomes official.

3. I have been banging this drum pretty loudly on Twitter the past few weeks but a few cost effective upgrades for the Jets on offense could be letting Dustin Keller and Shonn Greene walk and replacing them with Delanie Walker and Chris Ivory, respectively. You can get familiar with the entire free agent list right here. (Note that Ivory is going to be a Restricted Free Agent this off-season, not Unrestricted).

4. It is hard not to look forward to the complete house cleaning of the Jets linebacker position, which outside of quarterback is the biggest disaster on the team. Bryan Thomas, Bart Scott and Calvin Pace will all be let go, with Thomas and Scott likely retiring. Pace could probably find a taker on a minimum contract from a team who plays 3-4 but at this point, he is strictly a 2 down linebacker. David Harris will be back but remains one of the most overpaid players in the league and is coming off a career worst season. It is going to take an aggressive approach in the draft and free agency to fix this mess. There will be some intriguing options likely available at #9 and the list of available linebackers in free agency is deep this season (Paul Kruger, Conner Barwin, Antwan Barnes, Manny Lawson, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler).

5. LaRon Landry is going to be a tough player to bring back in 2013. He was a good fit in Rex Ryan’s defense as an in the box safety and earned himself a trip to the Pro-Bowl. However, he has limitations in coverage and is likely going to be seeking a contract out of the Jets budget. Paying 3 million per year for Landry is one thing, paying 7 million a year for him? Probably not a wise move, particularly with so much money already tied up in the secondary.

6. Plenty of superlatives being thrown out for Buffalo’s hire of Doug Marrone. Somehow I don’t think we’d be hearing so many if Woody Johnson made the decision to hire a college coach who went 25-25 at Syracuse. This isn’t to say Marrone will be a bad coach but it is interesting how heavily he is being praised already with such an unproven record. Similar to the Jets, Buffalo won’t be going anywhere until they find a quarterback.

7. The Jets will likely be looking at 4-6 new starters on each of the football in 2013. We haven’t seen roster turnover like that since between the 2005 and 2006 season. Similar to now, that team was expected to be entering a long rebuilding phase. However they surprised everybody by going 10-6 thanks primarily to Chad Pennington putting together a steady year at quarterback, a strong draft and a few savvy low-cost free agent signings/trade acquisitions. Nothing wrong with looking for a silver lining, right?

8. The Jets need to find a way to bring Mike DeVito back. Mike Tannenbaum allowed too many players like DeVito to leave over the years and it caught up to him. DeVito is a versatile, blue-collar player who is essential to the Jets defensive line rotation. He is also one of the leaders in the locker room and one of the team’s most high character guys. Besides, if he walks…you know he is ending up in New England.

9. Whoever is in charge of Gameday Operations for Jets games – No more C-List celebrities leading awkward J-E-T-S chants before the game. No more special teams being called out as starters. No more fireworks and poorly timed music being blared. Thank you.

10. Quinton Coples led the Jets this season with 5.5 sacks, despite only playing in 47% of the team’s snaps. It was quietly a very strong year for Coples, who will only get better as his technique improves and playing time increases. I was as critical about the pick as anybody but he proved his critics wrong and could be a double-digit sack guy next year playing alongside Muhammad Wilkerson and improved outside linebackers.

11. As for the other rookies, it is easy to be down on Stephen Hill’s future after a disappointing rookie year but we knew he was far from a finished product coming out of Georgia Tech. Shame on the Jets for forcing him into the starting line-up with no capable veterans at split end to help ease him in. Hill has the physical skills but still needs to improve his hands and route-running. He can be an consistently explosive player in this league, it is just going to take time. Demario Davis didn’t get much of a shot this year, so it will be interesting to see how he fits in the new GM’s plans. Antonio Allen has potential going forward as a situational player and special teamer.

12. Words I never want to hear again associated with the Jets: Wildcat, Process, (Insert Number Here) is eligible, Ground and/or Pound, TEBOW, Pump fake.

No Sympathy Among New York Jets Fans For Local Media

The New York media is finding no sympathy among fans for the Jets delaying their year end press conference

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The New York media is angry. How dare the New York Jets not send Rex Ryan to them in a timely manner that suits their needs at the end of the season. The snarky Tweets and bitter character assassination pieces are already swirling. Mike Francesa’s head almost exploded yesterday. Manish Mehta is digging back for old quotes from whispers in the wind that can conveniently fit a headline and get him another interview with Mike Florio so they could have a chuckle about dumb old Rex. They are demanding answers and in the most comical way possible – by saying the fans deserve to know…it is the fans who need answers and the beat writers are ready to inform and educate the public!

Of course, anybody with a shred of common sense who has been following this team all year is laughing at the local media and gladly siding with a team they have plenty of reasons to hate right now. The Jets have been a mess…on the field and off the field. Their approach to PR and media needs to be completely revamped, which is why every fan is happy to see them keeping their mouths shut right now while they get their house in order.

Why send Rex Ryan out there when he has no answers? He might not even be the team’s coach by this time next week. He doesn’t know who is coming back on his staff. He doesn’t know what is happening with Mark Sanchez. The Jets are waiting to get an idea of who their GM will be and where their approach will head so a unified, sensible voice can finally be projected from the organization. They are supposed to rush Rex out their prematurely so satisfy this media after this year?

How can somebody on The Daily News staff talk about ethics and professional behavior after their conduct this year? Anybody who took an intro level communications class in high school knows how low they sunk with their standards this year. Anonymous quotes. Selective use of outdated quotes and information. Blurring the line between on the record and off the record, as it suits the punchy headline’s need. Nevermind Manish Mehta claiming Rex Ryan asked out of his job with shaky sourcing and then not even showing up at his press conference the next day when Rex addressed the article. Hopefully the Jets are taking this time to research how much they can limit that publication’s credentialed access this season.

Beat writers demanding answers for fans is such a joke because we have been watching and listening this year. The media embarrassed themselves in the daily press conferences. We heard more about Tim Tebow shirtless than any action on the actual field. No questions about upcoming games…just questions about an irrelevant backup quarterback who made no impact this year. Nothing on Muhammad Wilkerson turning into a All-Pro caliber player. Nothing on Quinton Coples exceeding everybody’s low expectations in his rookie year. Not a peep on questioning why younger players didn’t get more reps down the stretch. No exploration into if Nick Mangold was more hurt than he was letting on, leading to a declined level of play. You know…football coverage, not TMZ TEEE-BOWWW coverage!

In some of their shocked and angry responses to fan’s backlash today, the media showed how out of touch they really are. This is 2013. We can all watch Rex Ryan’s press conference stream live online. We don’t need you reporting what happens there. Fans would be content if the Jets streamed Rex live to an empty room over the Internet this Tuesday. We can get injury updates and practice reports from the team in training camp or just go watch ourselves or read what other fans are Tweeting out about it.

There is endless in-depth actual football coverage of the team going on outside of the “credentialed” press. I want film breakdowns or roster analysis, I have a great staff here. I want informed commentary on all the day’s issues with the team I read The Jets Blog. I need to understand the salary cap situation and want more roster analysis, I read NY Jets Cap. I want to hear player interviews and fan interaction, I listen to Flight 5 Live. Social media trends? I got Jets Twit. Feature length commentary? Green Lantern and The Jet Report. This list of quality content goes on – The Jet Press. Jet Nation. Nevermind the endless amount of feedback and discussion that can be had on Twitter with other followers of the team.

There are writers on the Jets beat who do good work on a daily basis but how can they not understand where the Jets and their fans are coming from right now? The lack of professionalism from primarily The Daily News has merited this while the team works to get their house in order. Fans care about that…not about hearing Rex torn to shreds this Thursday instead of next Tuesday.