New York Jets: Offense Remains Work In Progress

The New York Jets still have a long way to go on the offensive side of the football

There is no need for overreactions to week 1 of the NFL pre-season. There is no also no need to stick your head in the sand and act like the New York Jets offense doesn’t have a hell of a long way to go. When you review the depth chart, when you see them consistently handled in practice by the defense (yes, a very good defense) and then look completely listless in their pre-season opener, it is a valid cause for concern.

There is talent on the offensive side of the football for the Jets. There is hope in a new offensive coordinator whose vision is better aligned with the team’s talent and Rex Ryan’s philosophy but we need to start seeing some kind of production.

Tony Sparano’s comment about the Jets “pushing around” the Bengals was glorified coach-speak. The Jets didn’t push anybody around Friday night. Shonn “the bell-cow” Greene had 11 yards on 5 carries. Mark Sanchez was sacked twice in eight dropbacks and the longest plays of the nights came from a checkdown to Joe McKnight and a scramble by Tim Tebow. It was ugly, little league caliber football.

Yes, the game plan was vanilla but so is everybody’s in the pre-season so let’s stop with the excuses. This unit just isn’t very good right now and has a little less than a month to get their act together.

Where will it come from? The hopes for help at the wide receiver or running back position from outside the team are lowering with each passing day. Improvement will have to come from within.

When it comes to the passing game, the receiver situation is only going to get better. Stephen Hill will improve with the monster share of reps he is receiving in practice and throughout pre-season. He did have a drop on Friday but also pulled in two other nice catches in traffic. In the next couple of weeks Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley will return to the line-up. Holmes is the team’s top playmaker and somebody who can take a 5 yard slant route 50 yards for a touchdown. Kerley, despite a disappointing off-season showed immense potential in the slot last season and will be a third down weapon.

Improved play at wide receiver will help Mark Sanchez get rid of the ball quicker because his receivers will actually be able to get separation. The Jets protection remains shaky at best. They seriously need to consider adding a true blocking tight end because Jeff Cumberland looked comically bad trying to block on Friday. You can’t support inconsistent play at right tackle if you don’t have a blocking tight end to help out.

Tony Sparano will have to get creative to buy Sanchez time in many situations, whether that is rolling him out, increasing his number of 3-step drops and bringing in an extra tackle to play blocking tight end.

In the running game, Tim Tebow is a unique and dynamic weapon to have at their disposal. The “Wildcat” or whatever you want to call it will hopefully provide a needed X-Factor to an offense lacking overall proven big play capability. If Tebow can give the Jets 35-50 yards rushing on a weekly basis it will be a needed supplement to Shonn Greene.

Joe McKnight had an impressive showing Friday night but neither him or Bilal Powell are anywhere near proven. Hopefully one of them can become a factor on outside runs and as a receiver out of the backfield. The Jets desperately need a back who can break a big run because for Greene a big run is 7 yards.

If you are anticipating a high amount games in the 20s and 30s this year you will be sorely disappointed. This Jets offense is not going to light up the scoreboard. With their defense, they may not need to on many weeks but they still need to find ways to produce big plays and touchdowns. Will it be Tebow and McKnight rejuvenating the running game? Will it be Hill and a healthy Santonio Holmes producing more than it expected? Hopefully, it will be some combination of both.

Initial Reaction – New York Jets Inconsistent Against Bengals

The New York Jets had an inconsistent performance, at best, in their pre-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals

A handful of thoughts from the New York Jets pre-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, a 17-6 loss that was far from the prettiest football game you will ever see –

1. Mark Sanchez didn’t receive much help in the way of protection or his receivers getting separation. However, he protected the football, scrambled for a first down on a 3rd down and hooked up with Patrick Turner 3 times. Overall, the first offense was rather disappointing, particularly Shonn Greene who finished up with 11 yards on 5 carries. Tony Sparano’s new offense remains a work in progress but remember how vanilla they were tonight.

2. Tim Tebow was Tim Tebow. He had three very impressive scrambles and finished as the team’s leading rusher with 34 yards on 4 carries. Yet, he struggled to throw the football only finishing 4/8 for 27 yards with an ugly interception. I remain confident in my belief that Tebow will be the team’s second leading rusher and is more of their number two running back than their number two quarterback.

3. Quinton Coples was the star of the night. Few people were more critical of his selection than yours truly but the rookie impressed tonight with 4 tackles, a tackle for a loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass defensed. Yes, many of his big plays came against the Bengals second unit but Coples looked athletic and like he could be a factor against both the run and pass.

4. Bilal Powell played over Joe McKnight as both the third down back and number two running back but it was McKnight who stole the show at running back. Powell finished with 16 yards on 5 carries and 1 reception for 4 yards, along with a missed block that led to a sack. McKnight showed some good giddy-up with 32 yards on 7 carries and 3 receptions for 34 yards.

5. Overall the defense was very good against the run, surrendering only 2.8 yards per carry. Kenrick Ellis filled in admirably for Sione Pouha and David Harris racked up 4 tackles in limited action.

6. Defensive end Jay Richardson had a head turning performance with 4 tackles and a sack. Garret McIntyre also had a sack and was active. Rookie linebacker Demario Davis had 4 tackles and a tackle for a loss.

7. Aaron Maybin struggled against the run and wasn’t effective getting to the passer despite extended reps. Isahiah Trufant and Julian Posey were beat like a drum all night long at corner. Josh Bush also doesn’t look quite ready for any kind of first team reps yet.

8. The Jets backup offensive lineman were downright awful, nearly getting Greg McElroy killed in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Depth is a major concern with this unit.

9. Can we keep Bart Scott out of coverage? When you can’t keep up with BenJarvus Green-Ellis over the middle, you have a problem. Demario Davis needs to be in on passing downs.

10. Rookie Stephen Hill had an ugly drop on a 3rd down. However he did haul in two high Tebow passes. It would have been nice to see him stretch the field but I’m sure that will come in time.

11. I would hate to be in the special teams meetings tomorrow…

Jets vs. Bengals: Turn On The Jets 12 Pack Of Predictions

Turn On The Jets with 12 predictions for the Jets vs. Bengals pre-season game tonight

Turn On The Jets is back in the prediction business with 12 for tonight’s Jets/Bengals pre-season game. Make sure to take advantage of our one day sale to celebrate the return of New York Jets football. All Turn On The Jets shirts are 25% off. It would be crime against your fandom to not take advantage of a deal like that. When you put this shirt on not only can you play the guitar…your bench will also increase 25 pounds

On to the predictions –

1. Mark Sanchez won’t turn the football over and will lead one scoring drive. He won’t have a high yards per completion but will have a high completion percentage. I expect many shorter, safe throws to Dustin Keller and Josh Baker, along with maybe one shot down the field to Stephen Hill or Chaz Schilens.

2. Bilal Powell is going to lead the Jets in touches and total yards at running back. Look for the Jets to get him out in space in the screen game and give him a decent amount of reps with the first unit. It is time to see if he can translate his practice field success to the game.

3. Stephen Hill will have at least three receptions. Tony Sparano needs him up to speed immediately, so he will try to get him going early with a few quick hitch routes or smoke screens.

4. Demario Davis and Antonio Allen will be the most impressive rookies on the field tonight.

5. Tim Tebow will be Tim Tebow. He will run the ball well, make a few plays on third down but ultimately struggle throwing the football.

6. Aaron Maybin and/or Ricky Sapp are going to have 1.5-2.5 sacks between them.

7. Jordan White is going to make a name for himself as a viable contender for reps in the slot tonight. Look for him to be frequently targeted on third downs.

8. I don’t anticipate Quinton Coples making much noise tonight.

9. Austin Howard will play well enough to keep the right tackle position “open for competition” a few more weeks.

10. Look for a big game from Kenrick Ellis and Muhammad Wilkerson upfront, particularly Ellis who will start for Sione Pouha.

11. Marvin Lewis will look confused on the sideline.

12. The Jets defense will force at least two turnovers.

ONE DAY SALE – TURN ON THE JETS SHIRTS 25% OFF

New York Jets: What We Have Actually Learned At Training Camp

Turn On The Jets cuts through the BS coverage of the New York Jets and discuses the developments on the field

The New York Jets first pre-season game is only two days away. From a distance the only information you may have heard about the team involves a backup quarterback being shirtless, an altercation between players, and a cornerback talking about playing wide receiver. Yet, believe it or not there has actually been some football played on the fields of Cortland. A few interesting developments have taken place that actually involve you know…the game. Let’s run them down –

Bilal Powell – We discussed Powell last week and his production hasn’t tailed off. By all accounts he has been the best running back on the field and is about to leap frog Joe McKnight as the number two back and primary third down back. Out of all the Jets backs, Powell has the best overall combination of skills which could lead to him eventually cutting into Shonn Greene’s carries, if Greene struggles to catch the football. McKnight hasn’t helped his cause lately by consistently being banged up. Obviously Powell still needs to show it on the game field but he has a real chance to become a major contributor on offense this season.

Mark Sanchez – Remember him? The Jets starting quarterback has quietly (somehow) put together a very good all-around camp. Sanchez has protected the football and shown an impressive command of Tony Sparano’s new system. There was never a quarterback controversy and if Sanchez develops the way he should, there never will be.

Patrick Turner – A receiver who has actually stayed healthy all camp! Turner has been consistently producing. He has very good height and hands, along with familiarity with Tony Sparano’s offense and chemistry with Mark Sanchez. Considering how thin the Jets are at receiver, Turner has a good chance to work himself into reps at split end this season.

Aaron Maybin – A practice hasn’t passed yet where he hasn’t recorded at least 1 sack. His speed and increased size combined with Rex Ryan’s creativity should be a scary thing for opposing offenses. Even as a situational player, Maybin has the look of a 10 sack player in 2012.

Ricky Sapp – Another edge rusher who has flashed all throughout camp. Sapp seems to be a lock to make the roster and a guy who could be on the field in passing situations. Could this be Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum’s second pass rushing reclamation project in as many years? They are almost halfway to making up for Vernon Gholston.

Josh Baker – The tight end/H-Back/Fullback has been all over the field making plays in the passing game. It appears he will be more of a factor than Jeff Cumberland this season and could also take away reps from John Conner.

Rookie Rundown

  • Quinton Coples – Been quieter than you would like and Mike DeVito remains firmly entrenched as the starter in 3 man looks. However, Coples still has the talent to be a factor in pass rushing situations.
  • Stephen Hill – He has flashed enough promise to be very excited about his potential this season. The other day he beat Darrelle Revis deep for a 50 yard touchdown. Hill is going to disappear for stretches this season but will also have his share of big plays.
  • Demario Davis – Back from a hamstring injury and should be starting in the sub packages by week 1.
  • Josh Bush – A very, very quiet camp. Could be losing his grip on 4th safety spot to fellow rookie Antonio Allen.
  • Terrance Ganaway – Been a little banged up and struggled at times but has shown versatility to also play fullback. Tony Sparano will find a use for him this season.
  • Robert Griffin – Practice squad.
  • Antonio Allen – Has been making plays all over the field and could be on the way to working himself into some defensive reps.
  • Jordan White – Back from a hamstring injury and has a golden opportunity to contribute as a slot receiver.

New Addition Rundown

  • Tim Tebow – He is a great athlete and will be a weapon running the ball. Takes too many sacks and is inconsistent passing…so exactly what we thought.
  • LaRon Landry – On a pitch count but on pace to start week 1 and be a frequent blitzer/run stopper in Rex Ryan’s scheme.
  • Yeremiah Bell – Taken over veteran leadership role in the secondary. He will struggle in coverage at times.
  • Chaz Schilens – Banged up and inconsistent. Turner has outplayed him all camp.

Disappointments

  • Jeremy Kerley Could still be out another full week with a hamstring injury and is firmly in Rex Ryan’s doghouse for a lackluster offseason.
  • Joe McKnight – Seemed to have number 2 running back job on lockdown heading into camp…it isn’t that way anymore.
  • Jeff Cumberland – Thoroughly being outplayed by Josh Baker.

 

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: New York Jets Mailbag

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack answers fan’s questions about the New York Jets

Today’s 12 Pack is going to answer 12 questions we received on Twitter about the New York Jets throughout this morning. If you aren’t following on Twitter, kindly take a moment and do it right now. Also make sure to follow fellow TOJ writers Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly and TJ Rosenthal as well. We had a busy week here at TOJ, here is a recap –

Take a look at our new t-shirts to celebrate the start of the 2012 season. Get your order in now, they are moving fast and a big thanks to everybody who has bought one so far. Wear that green and white proud

1. @SeanLDurham – “Talk about this silly notion that Sanchez isn’t showing any back bone by supporting Tebow packages in the red-zone”

Sanchez is in a difficult situation because no quarterback ever wants to come off the field. However, he has handled the situation properly with the media. He knows what he is dealing with and one comment that shows dissatisfaction is going to lead to all types of unnecessary hype and drama surrounding his team. Sanchez is demonstrating his leadership by putting the team first, although personally I’m sure he has resolved to play at a high enough level that it becomes extremely difficult to take him off the field, in any situation.

2. @ItsOasus – “What about the hamstring situation? Preventable?”

This has been an extremely frustrating part of training camp, particularly at the wide receiver position. Hamstrings are pulled when players are not properly stretched or didn’t show up in proper football shape to camp, as a few receivers has publicly admitted. Tony Sparano is running uptempo practices and it seems the receivers are having a tough time adjusting to all the running. At this point, the injuries have already occurred so the players have to make sure they are fully healed before they return or else the injury can become a nagging issue all season.

3. @DC914 – “Who has really been impressive in camp so far?”

On offense, you have to go with Bilal Powell. And how is that for a shocker? Many people didn’t even think Powell would make the roster and yet he has been the consistently most impressive back on the team. He is receiving gradually more work with the first team and has a serious chance to end up being the third down back. Josh Baker also deserves a mention. He is a versatile player, who we talked up a bunch this off-season. Baker will be a factor at tight end, H-Back and fullback this season. On defense, Aaron Maybin has been racking up multiple sacks every day and Ricky Sapp hasn’t been far behind. The Jets may have finally found a couple edge pass rushers.

4. @WheelanNDealin – What about the Australian TE the Jets signed this off-season?

Hayden Smith has held his own by most accounts so far in Cortland. However, he still has a long way to go before leap frogging Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland and Josh Baker on the depth chart. Smith is a good down the road prospect and has practice squad written all over him for this season.

5. @TeamThirstTrap – How are LaRon Landry and Bryan Thomas looking after coming off major injuries?

LaRon Landry has been on a pitch count all camp but when he has been out there he been very impressive. Landry has admitted himself that he can only go 100 miles per hour so the Jets have tried to protect him from himself somewhat. He is on pace to start the first pre-season game but will likely receive limited usage throughout the pre-season to make sure he is 100% for Buffalo in week 1. Bryan Thomas has had a quiet camp. Yet, the team knows what to expect from him. He should be a quality two down linebacker for the defense throughout this season.

6. @NFLSpecialist – Santonio Holmes admittedly “not being ready for camp” and what are Rex’s disciplinary options?

Holmes quotes didn’t come off well yesterday, with his comments about not being in “true football shape” yet. He is setting a poor example for a group that been injury plagued and disappointing throughout camp. Unfortunately for Rex, he needs Holmes back on the field as soon as possible because he is the team’s only proven wide receiver and because it will encourage the other injured players to get out there. Holmes has always been a gamer but he is coming off a down year, so it remains to be seen how productive he will be.

7. @ShawnZP715 – Details on Jets practice at MetLife and how is Coples doing so far?

The Jets practice at MetLife Stadium will be on August 21st from 5:30 – 8:30 and open to the public for free. Coples has had a quiet camp so far. Apparently he has had some difficultly grasping the full installation of the defense, so the Jets have been using him more situationally. This makes sense since Coples will primarily be used on passing downs this season anyway, since Mike DeVito is so stout against the run.

8. @MikeMHill – How many rushing yards will Shonn Greene have this season? Over 1,500?

I would project Greene to finish with somewhere between 1,150 – 1,300 yards. I’d be shocked if he finished anywhere near 1,500 yards or over it. Greene is good for about 4.2 yards per carry, so if he gets the 300 carries Tony Sparano talked about giving him, he is looking at about 1,260 yards this season.

9. @MCaseyNYJ – Who really is the 2nd best receiver on the team? 

Based on physical talent alone it is probably Stephen Hill. Yet, he is extremely raw and obviously unproven as a rookie. Chaz Schilens has the best combination of physical skills and NFL production and only has 72 career receptions. Jeremy Kerley is coming off a pretty good rookie year but has been hurt and is in Rex Ryan’s doghouse. One player to keep an eye on is Patrick Turner who is quietly putting together a very good camp and showed some flashes last season.

10. @CrazyChimpman – Will the offense improve in rank and do we possibly have a legitimate pass rush? 

At a minimum the offense will improve in their rushing rank because of how frequently they are going to run the ball and the presence of Tim Tebow. As for the pass rush, Aaron Maybin looks legitimately poised for a double digit sack season and the presence of Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples up front should give the Jets more pressure they’ve had from their defensive lines in years.

11. @FroDawg14 – The best way to maximize efficiency in the red-zone?

Both of the Jets quarterbacks…yes both are very good rushing threats inside the 5 yard line. When throwing the football, Dustin Keller, Stephen Hill, Patrick Turner and Jeff Cumberland all have good size and potential to be consistent weapons down there. The Jets should be a very, very good red-zone team in 2012.

12. @JetsChamp – Talk about Jets beat writers thinking fans want them to cause fights among players and that we enjoy reading controversey

I wouldn’t put all the blame on the beat writers. The ESPN coverage has been far worse. Yes, the beat writers can exaggerate headlines at times but that isn’t always their fault. However, the intentional controversy brewing around this team has been frustrating and that is why we are here…we are on a mission to civilize New York Jets coverage.

GET YOUR NEW YORK JETS SHIRT NOW

Inside Look: ESPN’s Idiotic Coverage Of New York Jets Training Camp

An inside look at ESPN’s idiotic coverage of New York Jets training camp

For everybody who was happy the New York Jets passed on Hard Knocks because of the excessive coverage it brought to training camp, they clearly didn’t realize the ESPN controversy stewing idiot box would be camped out in Cortland 24/7.

By the way, have you seen this trailer for Miami Dolphins Hard Knocks? Can you name one player you see? Can you stay awake listening to Joe Philbin talk? I am pretty sure I’d rather watch that new show with Matthew Perry NBC is pumping up more than this…and that show looks just awful.

Anyway back to the ESPN idiot box camped outside of Jets practice. This is a general outline of  their daily agenda –

– Find group of fans willing to chant Tebow, keep the camera in front of them all day. Every time we return from commercial, open with them and then cut to either Ron Jaworski or Skip Bayless smugly smiling.

– Allow Ron Jaworski to make poorly researched uninformed statements about the Jets offense and then hold the Jets quarterbacks to a double standard.

  • Mark Sanchez throws a deep out route low but it is still caught by Santonio Holmes. Cue Jaworski “That is the kind of throw you must get up higher…if you want to play…in the National…Football…League”
  • Tim Tebow sails a pass to Josh Baker over the middle and it is nearly intercepted. Cue Jaworski “Look at how Tebow has improved his throwing motion. He is really putting some nice arc on the ball. The Jets must get more athletic at tight end to help Tim Tebow play…in the National…Football…League”
  • Jaworski comments that Sanchez is comfortable with Jeff Cumberland and has chemistry with him but doesn’t have it with Josh Baker because they haven’t worked together. The only problem is Cumberland was on IR after week 3 last season and Baker spent the rest of the season practicing with the team, culminating with him catching a touchdown in week 16.
  • Jaworski notes that Tony Sparano is basically installing the same offense as Brian Schottenheimer. The only problem of course being that he is installing literally the complete opposite of what Schottenheimer did last year when the Jets base personnel was three receivers.

– Keep a microphone in front of Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes at all times and let the headlines run from there.

– Have Sal Paolantonio make regular observations of Tebow’s usage and Sanchez’s demeanor in response to it. “We heard Tebow could throw a pass at some point to keep defenses honest. Sanchez was reportedly a little upset because we saw him not get seconds at lunch today. Could the pressure be getting to him, both mentally and physically?”

– Have Skip and Stephen A debate any and everything Tebow. 

  • Why did Tebow run with his shirt off?
  • Why did Tebow decide against seeing a movie?
  • When is the last time Tebow got his hair cut?
  • Tim TEBOW might not be able to THROW THE FOOTBALL there Skip but don’t talk to me about Mark SAN-CHEZZZ leading this team, TEBOW IS A WINNER!!

Of course the Jets only have themselves to blame for consenting to having ESPN there for over a week. A day? Two days? You could deal with, but this long with this much coverage is ridiculous. So much for the escape to football paradise in Cortland where there are no distractions. For the rest of the world, we understand why you hate the Jets and are tired of hearing about them.

For us Jets fans, we know that behind all the BS is a potentially good football team, with plenty of good stories. This team is going to be disliked as long as Rex Ryan is the head coach and the cameras are everywhere, but doesn’t that just make it more fun to root for?

We are on a mission to civilize Jets coverage here at TOJ. Stay with us all season and make sure to wear that green and white proud.

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – August 1st

The Turn On The Jets beat writer power rankings are back, who have been the top mainstream writers covering the New York Jets?

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the New York Jets is back. Myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly have ranked our top five after a week of training camp. Let us hear your opinion on Twitter, in the comment section or on the TOJ Facebook Page…and for the beat writers, we know you are reading and we do award five additional points to anybody seen in this shirt

1. Jenny Vrentas – Surprise, surprise! Jenny Vrentas remains in the top spot here at the TOJ Beat Writer Power Rankings as we get started with Training Camp and things really heat up. Even during the down period of the past few weeks, she remained active putting out her Summer Q&A feature where she asked players on the team a few questions. It wasn’t much, but it was nice to still have some fresh Jets material to peek through. During the past week, she stepped up her game, and in addition to her great work day-by-day at camp relaying all the info to her Twitter followers (all the beat writers do a great job with this), she put out a few great reads – one about Revis and his holdout, one about Curtis Martin discussing concussions, and of course some things on Tebow. In addition, she was the second beat writer (Manish was first) to appear on the Flight 5 Live Internet Show, and fan interaction always earns bonus points in our eyes. All in all, Jenny showed why she deserves to stay in the top spot and that it’s going to be tough to knock her off. – Mike Donnelly

2. Brian CostelloOur man Brian Costello of the New York Post has put in an excellent amount of work since our initial rankings, and finds himself second to only Vrentas this week. Coz really killed it with material leading into camp, including a phenomenal piece on Rex Ryan, which was a bit overlooked due to how great the Vrentas piece was. However, Costello provided a very unique look into a similar issue, the overall physical transformation of Ryan. Coz also wrote a fantastic, in-depth camp preview, among several other quality articles that were published during the weeks heading into camp. Among his writing, Coz had an excellent guest spot on ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd about two weeks ago, discussing the status of the Jets, the QB situation, and a brief pre-season outlook. It will certainly be tough to dethrone Vrentas this season, however at the rate he is going, I would not be surprised to see Costello be the one to do so. – Chris Gross

3. Rich Cimini – Regardless of the general opinion that Cimini is too negative towards the team, he has simply been writing his ass off the past few weeks. Beyond keeping his ESPN blog updated constantly and interacting with fans on Twitter, he has written a few very good feature pieces. Most notably, this one which was well researched and a much needed positive outlook on Mark Sanchez’s future in the middle of the endless line of undeserved criticism for him. This article discussing Darrelle Revis following the lead of Curtis Martin was a unique angle and another enjoyable read. Yes, the critical one liners can be annoying at times but it is impossible to ignore the quality of work he has been producing. – Joe Caporoso

4. Manish Mehta – Manish’s drop in the rankings has more to do with the excellent work of Mr. Coz and Rich Cimini the past few weeks than it does with The Daily News’ beat man. Manish mostly disappeared after mini-camp, and we felt he got off to a slow start once Training Camp really got going before really kicking some ass and getting into the swing of things the past few days. Hopefully he didn’t spend his vacation time getting big-timed by Gary Myers and being forced to read his long, boring dissertations on why the Jets are the worst at everything in a creepy Daily News back room somewhere. If Manish shows up in the next few days wearing stonewashed jeans and blocks me on twitter (as Gary did) then we’ll know he was brainwashed by Mr. Myers and then we’ll have to worry. Also worth mentioning, Manish has greatly curtailed his Sulia usage, and that earns major bonus points. I expect him to shoot up the rankings as soon as next week. – Mike Donnelly

5. Jane McManus Although she remains at the 5th spot, McManus has actually done some very good work over the past few weeks, just not quite enough to get the edge over one of the other four yet. She has been consistent with content on the ESPNNewYork Jets Blog, and has been tweeting Jets updates and news much more frequently than she had been in the weeks prior to training camp. She, like many other beat writers, put out a piece earlier in the week about Mark Sanchez using Eli Manning’s first three seasons as a pro to give himself a curve for how he should expect his fourth NFL season to go. Clearly, we agree with this notion here, as we reviewed a similar issue back in March. McManus has been doing solid work, but just needs a little more consitency to jump ahead in the rankings. – Chris Gross

ONLY 9 DAYS UNTIL PRE-SEASON OPENER, GET YOUR NEW JETS SHIRT NOW

New York Jets: Wide Receiver Remains Unclear

Do the New York Jets have enough at wide receiver this season?

Earlier today New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie commented he could be the second best wide receiver on the team’s roster. While there is nothing wrong with Cromartie having confidence and yes he probably could be a pretty damn good receiver if he committed to it, it was an unnecessary public remark. It comes across as disrespectful towards Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens and the other receivers on the roster.

However, Cromartie is on to an issue at the wide receiver position for the New York Jets. Outside of Santonio Holmes, this unit is lacking in experience and is full of very valid question marks. The next four receivers on the depth chart have a combined 111 receptions for their entire careers.

Rookie Stephen Hill is the presumed number two wideout and starting “X” receiver. Hill has looked impressive in camp so far but is still coming out of a triple option offense in college. His size and speed are impossible to ignore but the Jets could get themselves into trouble by throwing too much at him early in the season.

Second year receiver Jeremy Kerley seemed to be a lock for the slot receiver/number three position on the depth chart but a hamstring injury and a spot in Rex Ryan’s doghouse has put that into question. You never want to hear a coach publicly getting on a player for a poor off-season. If Kerley doesn’t get healthy and improve his play, the Jets could slide Holmes into the slot in three wide formations and let Chaz Schilens play on the outside.

Unfortunately for that plan, Schilens has been struggling with drops in camp and is now nursing a minor groin injury. Behind him on the depth chart is Patrick Turner who hasn’t made any noticeable impressions so far in camp or in any of the previous OTAs.

The inconsistencies at the top of the depth chart could lead to opportunities for players like Dexter Jackson and seventh round pick Jordan White. In particular, White who we are very high on has the ideal skill set to slide into the slot receiver role if Kerley struggles. You don’t catch 140 passes in a single season by accident, which is exactly what White did at Western Michigan last year.

The Jets could still add a veteran but unless a serious injury occurs that remains unlikely. It would be hard for a player off the scrap heap to pick up the offense on such short notice and the list of options out there isn’t very impressive with Braylon Edwards now in Seattle. They will also be relying on Dustin Keller as a primary pass catching option, although when they split him out they still lack a viable blocking tight end to keep in for protection (remember Wayne Hunter is still the right tackle).

Ultimately it will likely be up to Hill to grow up fast, Holmes to play like a true number one receiver and one other receiver to assert themselves as a consistent playmaker. It will be interesting to see who that player is in the coming weeks.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Early Camp Observations & Predictions

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack has some early thoughts and predictions for New York Jets training camp

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack is back after a packed week of content here on the site. A big thanks to our writing staff who is the best in the business: Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly and TJ Rosenthal. In case you weren’t following, here is what you missed –

And of course we started selling our Turn On The Jets Vintage Jets T-Shirts this week. Make sure to buy yours now. Wear that Green and White proud – 

1. Anybody who follows this team on a day to day basis shouldn’t be surprised by the reality that there is no quarterback competition in training camp. Mark Sanchez is going to be the starter. He is going to get 95% of the reps with the first team and in certain situations Greg McElroy will even take second team reps over Tim Tebow. This coaching staff views Sanchez as their quarterback and Tebow as a weapon to enhance their running game and give them a dynamic element on offense. The reports from day one are that Sanchez thoroughly outplayed Tebow, notably throwing the ball much better…get used to reading that.

2. The top story from today will likely end up being that Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse are suddenly in a battle for a starting guard positon. Mike Donnelly was on to this a few months ago. I dislike this. Why? Let your starting offensive line work together every single day to build chemistry and cohesion in a new offensive system. Don’t rotate to Ducasse in every few plays because you are making a last ditch effort to make him a contributing player. Slauson beat him out easily two years ago and has been solid ever since, while Ducasse has shown no signs of improvement. Stop with the dog and pony show to hype up a failed draft pick and give the reps to Slauson who has earned his spot.

3. Not sure why there is so much buzz about Antonio Cromartie taking a few reps at wide receiver. He did this last season and even ran a reverse. The Jets will likely use him as a decoy and a potential rushing option on a few trick plays again.

4. Random prediction – Just like their first play in team practice was a play action bomb to Stephen Hill (a 40 yard catch over Darrelle Revis by the way), their first play against Buffalo will be a deep pass. You spend all summer talking about the Ground and Pound and then you come out and just bomb one up the first play.

5. Regretting not putting Dexter Jackson on my 53 man roster prediction. I think he could stick as a special teamer and a gadget player on offense because of his speed.

6. Each passing day we don’t hear about Jeff Otah passing his physical gets a little scarier. It is hard to say that it would be a shock at this point if the trade is rescinded and we are back to Wayne’s World at right tackle.

7. Rex Ryan’s press conferences are never going to be toned all the way down. You won’t hear Super Bowl getting thrown around but you will still hear effusive praise for all his coaches and players…and himself. Today Ryan proclaimed his belief that he is the best defensive coach in football and why shouldn’t he have that belief in himself? Other coaches and players make similar statements and they are called confident, if Rex does it…he is ridiculed.

8.Aren’t we due for a big camp from Kyle Wilson? People seem to forget the Jets spent a first round pick on this guy a few years ago. It is time for him to start playing like it.

9. I am staying with my prediction that Sanchez will thoroughly outplay Tebow all summer and then Tebow will have a monster final pre-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles when both teams are resting all their starters, leading into a new wave of “controversy” and Skip Bayless yelling heading into week 1.

10. Sounds like Nick Folk got the better of Josh Brown on day one. It is a long battle and I do ultimately think Brown will get comfortable and beat him out.

11. Let’s hope Demario Davis is back on the field soon. Hamstrings are tricky injuries. It is hard to see him working his way into the first sub package early in the season if he misses a couple of weeks in training camp.

12. Tough start for a few of the late round Jets draft picks – Robert T. Griffin left the field with a leg injury. Jordan White is still out with a foot injury and Antonio Allen is running with the third team, behind Tracy Wilson on the depth chart.

New York Jets Training Camp: 53 Man Roster Prediction

Turn On The Jets predicts the New York Jets final 53 man roster heading out of training camp

As part of Turn On The Jets ongoing training camp preview, we are going to predict the final 53 man roster of the New York Jets coming out of camp. Yesterday we went over five questions facing the team and Mike Donnelly published his weekly Stock Watch. Make sure you stay with us everyday heading into the season –

TOJ SHIRTS ON SALE – BUY NOW AND KATE UPTON WILL LOOK AT YOU LIKE THIS

QUARTERBACK (3) – Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy – No surprises here. Sanchez is going to be the opening day starter (and in this writer’s mind, the starter for the entire season). Tebow will be the backup/Wildcat option/do everything man (more coming on this later) and McElroy is a long term backup option who likely won’t comment on team chemistry this year.

RUNNING BACK (5) – Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight, Terrance Ganaway, John Conner, Josh Baker – Greene, McKnight and Conner are locks, while the last two spots could break a few different ways. Baker is technically a H-Back but is listed on the depth chart as a FB/TE. His versatility and receiving skills should get him a spot. Like many, I believe Ganaway will get the nod over Bilal Powell. I would not be surprised if the Jets added a veteran and if they do, it will be Baker who loses his spot.

TIGHT END (3) – Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland, Veteran Addition – Another spot the Jets will likely make an addition…so much so that I am putting an unnamed veteran here. Neither Keller or Cumberland is known for their ability to block however both are weapons in the passing game. Outside of Santonio Holmes, Keller should see the most targets from Mark Sanchez this season.

WIDE RECEIVER (5) – Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner – Holmes, Hill and Kerley are locks…unless he gets hurt in camp, Schilens is likely a lock as well. The battle for the 5th spot should be interesting. Turner has a leg up because of his experience from last year and familiarity with the offense. Keep an eye on Royce Pollard and Jordan White.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9) – D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Brandon Moore, Nick Mangold, Matt Slauson, Wayne Hunter, Jeff Otah, Vladimir Ducasse, Stephon Heyer, Caleb Schlauderaff – The Otah/Hunter battle will be a highlight of camp. If Otah remains healthy he should prevail with Hunter becoming a backup swing tackle. Ducasse will be the first interior lineman off the bench and Heyer has a good amount of starting experience, so he is valuable to keep around. Schlauderaff is randomly Mike Tannebaum’s favorite player on the roster.

DEFENSIVE LINE (7) – Sione Pouha, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Mike DeVito, Marcus Dixon, Kenrick Ellis, Martin Tevaseu – The Jets like an extensive rotation on their defensive line and that should only increase this year with more four man fronts. Keep an eye on Wilkerson, who many believe is poised for a breakout year. There will be pressure on Ellis to start justifying the third round selection on him last year and Coples to answer his critics about the Jets drafting him in round one this past April.

LINEBACKER (8) – David Harris, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Aaron Maybin, Demario Davis, Josh Mauga, Ricky Sapp – This group will have more depth than it did in recent years thanks to growth of Maybin, the selection of Davis and the playing time Mauga received last year. The coaching staff is high on Sapp’s potential as a pass rusher.

CORNERBACK (5) – Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Ellis Lankster, Isaiah Trufant – Rex loves his corners and the Jets should have arguably the top trio in the league with Revis, Cromartie and Wilson. Lankster and Trufant are inexperienced but should be valuable special teamers. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Jets added a veteran at some point.

SAFETY (5) – LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Eric Smith, Josh Bush, Antonio Allen – The position has been completely revamped from last year with the exception of Smith. Allen is going to stick because of Landry’s injury concerns and his potential on special teams.

SPECIAL TEAMS (3) – Josh Brown, TJ Conley, Tanner Purdum – Going with Brown over Folk in the kicking competition and with Conley and Purdum keeping their jobs another year.