Turn On The Jets 12 Pack – Season Review Edition

The Turn On The Jets 12 pack looks back at the lows…and lows of the 2012 season

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The Super Bowl is only two days away, which sadly means we are about to enter a dark period of no football. Gone are the days when you could disappear for 12 hour chunks of the day surrounded by multiple TVs and enough wings/beer to make you look like Vince Wilfork. I have really enjoyed using this blog as a consistent “work” crutch to gain freedom Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays from September to February. “Babe, I’d love to come to brunch and shop for cutlery but I HAVE to work today. Goddamn Jets are at 1 and then I have to keep an eye on the Patriots game at 4, and it is important I tweet during the Sunday night game. This BLOG IS SO HARD SOMETIMES!” She will usually rebuttal by asking why don’t I have one of our 8 other writers take care of it, at which point I have to throw Chris Gross under the bus despite him being a terrific writer and fully capable of it. “LEAVE IT TO HIM? HE CAN”T EVEN FIGURE OUT HOW TO OPEN WORPRESS! HE ISN’T READY!”…And with that I’m free for 12 hours of this paradise

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I’m not sure how the rest of you consume your NFL but I have developed a nice little system.

  • Big TV set to Jets game with volume on LOUD because I am immature and embarrassed of my exaggerated claps and yells for 4 yard Bilal Powell gains, which is pathetic until you realize a 4 yard Powell run looks like a 96 yard Adrian Peterson run to a Jets fan who has been watching Shonn Greene average .089 yards per carry the past three years.
  • Little TV muted with NFL Red-Zone on…you don’t see many touchdowns or red-zone action watching the Jets so I take in all I can from Red-Zone. Tony Sparano must HATE the Red-zZne channel. His preference would be repeated punts and 48 yard field goal attempts followed by fist pumps and BOOMS for all!
  • When the Jets aren’t on, I get the red-zone on the big TV with whatever other game is airing locally on the little TV. Nothing like watching Eli Manning skittish his way through a mediocre season with the knowledge that every 3-4 years he is going to randomly become Joe Montana for 6 weeks in December and January leading to another Giants Super Bowl. ELITE ALL-IN!
  • Laptop on the lap all day (probably doesn’t speak well to my future as a procreator) with the following windows open – Twitter (#LOLSANCHEZ), The running box score from the Jets game (Wait, it is the 3rd quarter and we still only have 19 yards of total offense?), A running conversation thread with a group of my friends from home who are all Giants fans (LOLSANCHEZ), My fantasy match-up (C’mon CROMARTIE’S KIDS!), and a running draft for my Initial Reaction at Turn On The Jets (Usually something cheerful like this)
  • Cell phone in constant contact with dismayed fellow Jets fans (I DON”T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING?!)

Anyway, this season saw plenty of this from your editor, let’s recap some of this year’s greatest hits –

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1. Way back in week 2, we had the apartment packed with Jets fans including fellow writers Chris Gross, Rob Celletti and Chris Celletti. Here were the Jets 1-0, coming off a beat-down victory over the Fredo Buffalo Bills and rolling down the field to a 7-3 lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Did you know through the first 5 quarters of the Jets season Mark Sanchez was 23/32, 344 yards, 4 TDs and 1 INT?! Then this happened –

It is like Lawrence Timmons knocked the hope out of this franchise. From that point on the game went south and early shock/excitement in the room wore off into anticipated depression about the season.

2. A few weeks later the Jets had a devastating overtime loss to the New England Patriots. I’m not sure about you but the loudest I cheered all season was when Antonio Allen recovered Devin McCourty’s kick return with only a few minutes left in the fourth quarter. The game (and hope for the season) was there for the taking but was of course not taken advantage of. As soon as Stephen Hill dropped that pass, most Jets fans knew the door was left open too far for New England and they were right.

3. In retrospect, the real season ender was the drubbing they took at home to Miami the following week…that was when radio personality/special teams savant Mike Westhoff’s unit allowed a blocked punt, blocked field goal and onside recovery in ONE HALF! I set a record for uses of the word “Awful” in Initial Reaction headlines this year.

4. The latter part of the season was a mash-up of boring wins and ugly losses until the Jets somehow found their way to 6-7 and relevant in the playoff race thanks to a thrilling 1 point win over Arizona and a heart-stopping 7 point win over the mighty Jacksonville Jaguars in front of 82 TEEEE-BOW fans who passed out in joy over the thought of seeing him run for 2 yards on 2nd and 14 and flex in conquest! SUCH INTANGIBLES!

5. In a miserable year, you had no choice but to get excited for the Monday Night game against the Tennessee Titans when the Jets still had a chance at the playoffs. Their offense and Sanchez in particular were such an unmitigated disaster that it truly reached levels of comedy. Even when they scored their only touchdown of the night (on a short pass to Jeff Cumberland), you couldn’t help but laugh because everybody looked so confused and awkward at how it happened.

6. The last two games were a picture perfect edition of how to play out the string awfully. Needless to say I wasn’t surprised when MCELROY-SANITY didn’t pan out considering he has zero arm strength or pocket presence. I’ve seen plenty of bad quarterbacking in recent years as a Jets fan and he fits right in.

7. Around this point you are probably saying, what about Thanksgiving? And to that I say…I have no idea what you are talking about. I remember turkey and some exciting day games…that’s it.

8. At least a couple of weeks ago we got to enjoy New England bombing out at home in the AFC Championship Game while Jim Nantz quietly wept in the background. Shocking how RAWBY NINKOVICH and company could be so awful on defense when the Patriots only draft captains! Don’t worry bandwagon Boston fans, you turn back to the Celtics…err…the Red Sox…err. Well Hockey is back!

9. What we’ll remember this season for –

  • Mark Sanchez turnovers
  • Tim Tebow irrelevance
  • Stephen Hill drops
  • Kyle Wilson Finger Wags
  • Calvin Pace being the slowest defensive player in the NFL
  • Shonn Greene being the slowest offensive player in the NFL
  • PROCESS

10. In fairness, let’s list Jets who had highly respectable NFL seasons in 2012 – Jeremy Kerley, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, LaRon Landry, Antonio Cromartie, Mike DeVito, Yeremiah Bell.

11. Snacks of the Year – Snyder’s Jalapeno Pretzels, Lime Tostitos, Cool Ranch Doritos (8 years running!) Atomic Wings, The chicken salad sandwich from Blue Moon Deli on 91st and 1st, Chicky’s on 86th, and East Side Eatery’s Steak Wrap.

12. This was exciting for us –

New York Jets – Living With Frustrating Realities

The New York Jets and their fans need to accept a few frustrating realities about next year

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New York Jets fans, like fans of any team, gain attachments to certain players and ideas about their team. Unfortunately that could lead to irrational thoughts and hopes for the off-season, particularly an off-season that is going to be step one in a rebuilding process. The Jets have no shortage of these. Before Twitter is flooded with “FIRE IDZIK” “IDIOT IDZIK” type commentary, prepare yourself for the following –

Mark Sanchez is most likely going to be the starting quarterback next year

Yes – He is going to come back because no team in the NFL will be interested in trading for him and because he isn’t going to re-negotiate his contract to take less guaranteed money. Sanchez will be on this roster and be a prime competitor for the starting job, along with a veteran and probably a mid-level draft pick. Considering he will be the opening day starter in training camp and has experience with the roster, he is the prohibitive favorite to win the job.

If Sanchez is comparable to the other options throughout the summer, he is going to get the starting nod. Why? The Jets have way more invested in him. If he puts together a competent 2013, there will be some type of trade market established for him and he remains a veteran option to compete with a rookie added in the 2014 Draft. Don’t think for a second if somebody like Tavaris Jackson or Matt Moore is signed and they play about the same as Sanchez in August, they are going to get the go-ahead to start. Will Sanchez have a much quicker hook this year? Absolutely. But if you were betting today on who will start the most games for the Jets at quarterback next year, the safest bet is Sanchez.

What is frustrating (outside of Sanchez’s horrific regression in 2012) is the personal hatred of Sanchez has reached such a high level among some fans that it seems they will openly root against him having any success next year, which of course makes no sense. It is only better for the Jets if he plays competently. For people who say that is abjectly hopeless, Sanchez’s career shows he is just as likely to have a 17 touchdown, 13 interception or 26 touchdown, 18 interception season as he is to bomb out the way he did last year. Sanchez isn’t a good quarterback but take away the Tim Tebow Wildcat Shuffle Circus, give him a somewhat threatening running game and upgrade above Mardy Gilyard, Clyde Gates and Chaz Schilens at wide receiver and the possibility exists for a 56 completion percentage, 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions…AKA competent game-managing at quarterback.

When people say there are higher odds of Greg McElroy being an effective quarterback in Marty Mornhinweg’s offense, what are they substantiating that claim with? We’ve seen Mark Sanchez have a QB Rating above 100 in 15 NFL games that he started, including three playoff games. We’ve never seen Greg McElroy do that, we’ve just seen him be completely overwhelmed in his only NFL start. At least Sanchez has the skill set and knowledge he has done it before.

Only one of the following will be back next year: LaRon Landry, Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis

The odds of every single one of these three players being on the Jets roster next year is just about zero. The odds of two of the three of them being on the roster is fairly low as well. Successful teams are not built by dumping a third of the salary cap into your secondary while the rest of the roster crumbles around it. If Landry is requesting 7 million per year, the Jets are going to let him walk. You can’t pay that type of money for a safety who is average in pass coverage. When it comes to Revis and Cromartie, you can’t pay both long term. Trade one, get draft picks back and reallocate the money to the offense and the painfully awful group of linebackers.

The Jets have the most overpaid wide receiver, linebacker and quarterback in football

Santonio Holmes is going to be a 12.5 million dollar cap hit next year, second highest among wide receivers. David Harris is going to be a 13 million dollar cap hit next year, second highest among linebackers. Mark Sanchez is a 12.8 million dollar cap hit next year. None of these players are even top 25 in the league at their respective positions. That is what we call a financial disaster, my fellow Jets fans.

When you say things like, how can you pay Mark Sanchez but let LaRon Landry go?!? It all sounds well and good but that ship has sailed. The Jets made their bed with Sanchez and now they have to lay in it. Get ready for the reality of unpopular players like Sanchez and Dustin Keller (with a franchise tag) being back while guys like Landry and Cromartie OR Revis leave town. These are financial decisions. This team needs to be rebuilt with a more equitable distribution of the wealth so talent can be replenished on offense and linebacker. This team needs draft picks so they can establish depth and don’t have people like Jeff Cumberland, Garret McIntyre, and Chaz Schilens starting games.

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.