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.

New York Jets – An Off-Season Roster Checklist

An overview of where the New York Jets need to improve their roster

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We are going to have an in-depth look through the entire New York Jets roster from our staff, supported by film breakdown from Steve Bateman and draft coverage from Chris Gross, along with roundtables featuring Mike Donnelly, TJ Rosenthal, Chris Celletti and Rob Celletti. However, today I wanted to start off with a general overview of where the roster stands…and it ain’t pretty. This team will not be an easy sell to any GM candidate.

Quarterback – An unmitigated disaster. Currently you have Mark Sanchez who is currently incompetent as a starting quarterback in the NFL and doesn’t look like he can realistically play another down in New York. Unfortunately he is owed over 8 million dollars next year. The new GM must see if there is a team willing to take him for a low draft pick if the Jets agree to pay the overwhelmingly majority of the contract. If there is not, he has to decide whether to release him and take the cap hit or keep him on the roster to let him compete for a starting job. Yet, what veteran is going to believe they have a fair crack at starting with Sanchez likely making nearly four times what he is? The best move is to cut your losses with Sanchez and move on.

Beyond that, you have Tim Tebow who will either be released or traded to Jacksonville, which is more dead money you are eating nevermind the two draft picks you wasted last year. Greg McElroy looks like a number three quarterback/practice arm and cannot be a serious contender for a starting job in this league. There is no easy solutions here. The best answer is probably signing a low-cost veteran like Matt Moore and hoping he could hold the fort until a long term starter is found.

Running Back – Shonn Greene is heading into free agency and should not be brought back. He is a thoroughly average back who lacks explosiveness and cannot get yards that are not blocked up for him, while also struggling in the passing game. Bilal Powell has a better all-around skill set and is under contract for barely any money next year. He has the ability to be a very capable 1B option. Joe McKnight still has never received a fair chance here on offense. Yet, considering his durability issues it is hard to expect him to take on a major role in 2013. It would be nice to see the Jets think outside the box here and take a look at restricted free agent Chris Ivory who is buried on the New Orleans depth chart but would be an upgrade over Greene. There is also a good amount of mid-round talent at the position in the draft. Lex Hilliard was below average at fullback and won’t be back.

Tight End – Dustin Keller is heading into free agency and is another player the Jets should strongly consider letting walk. Why not pay half the money to Delanie Walker or Anthony Fasano and get a more capable all-around tight end? Keller is only going to thrive in a pass-happy offense as a H-Back. He cannot be relied on for blocking. Jeff Cumberland is basically a poor man’s version of Keller and shouldn’t be more than a situational player that utilizes his pass catching ability. Konrad Reuland is average at best and can’t be relied on as a 20-25 snap per game guy. Hayden Smith remains a developmental project and it is doubtful that he will be a major contributor next year.

espnny_a_kerley_d1_600Wide Receiver – The big decision will be how to handle Santonio Holmes. Do you release him or see if you could find a partner willing to take him in a trade if you eat some of the contract? It remains to be seen how effective of a player he will be coming off major surgery, even at 100% he isn’t a true number one receiver. Outside of Holmes, the depth should be solid. Jeremy Kerley is coming off a very good year where he made immense strides. Braylon Edwards showed he has something left in the final three games and can be brought back on the cheap and Stephen Hill should improve in year two if not forced into extended reps. The physical tools are all there for Hill but he still has a ways to go in terms of development. Chaz Schilens and Clyde Gates probably will not be back. Jordan White will have a tough time making the roster next year.

Offensive Line – Tough decisions need to be made, with Brandon Moore, Matt Slauson and Austin Howard all free agents. Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson aren’t going anywhere. Ferguson had a very good 2012 and was a borderline Pro-Bowl player. Mangold’s play has been down the last two years but he has been banged up. Ideally, the Jets will find a better long term answer at right tackle than Howard but that is easier said than done. At guard, the sensible thing to do would be to pay Slauson and then find a replacement for Moore who is likely nearing retirement. The Jets are going to have to address offensive line early in the draft and in free agency.

Defensive Line – One of the few spots on the roster to feel good about. Muhammad Wilkerson is a stud and is coming off a terrific second year. Quinton Coples had an encouraging rookie season, leading the team with 5.5 sacks. When the Jets actually get some edge rushers, watch out for these two upfront. Kenrick Ellis flashed at times but was banged up over the second half of the season. Regardless, he looks like the long term answer at nose tackle. Mike DeVito is a versatile, valuable player upfront who the team should bring back. You can’t have enough guys like DeVito. Sione Pouha is likely to be cut in a cap savings move. Damon Harrison can provide some long term depth.

Linebacker – Another disaster position that needs to be completely remade. Bart Scott, Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas are all gone next year and all struggled mightily this past season. David Harris is the most overpaid linebacker in football, getting paid 10.9 million dollars in 2013 coming off a below average season in the middle. Hopefully he bounces back next year. 2012 3rd round pick Demario Davis is likely to start alongside him at inside linebacker. The team must address the gaping holes at both outside linebacker spots through the draft and free agency. Garret McIntyre is a capable backup/situational player and Josh Mauga should be back next year to provide depth at inside linebacker.

Secondary – A strength in 2012 that could be in flux next season. LaRon Landry will be difficult to bring back at the salary he commands, whether Jets fans want to hear it or not. Yeremiah Bell will likely be brought back on a one year contract. Darrelle Revis will be back and looking to receive a long term contract. Antonio Cromartie is coming off a career year, which makes him an enticing trade piece. When you have as many holes as the Jets, keeping two of the league’s five best cornerbacks may not be a sensible approach.

Kyle Wilson showed no ability to be a starting cornerback this year and is a borderline 3rd corner at best. Darrin Walls, Aaron Berry and Isaiah Trufant all have long term potential, particularly Berry if he can stay healthy. Ellis Lankser is best suited strictly as a special teams player. Antonio Allen flashed as an in the box safety and should be a capable situational player in 2013. Josh Bush didn’t do much as a rookie and may not be around for long.

Special Teams – There is no reason to change the kicker, punter or kick returner. Nick Folk, Robert Malone and Joe McKnight were all good this year. It would be nice to find a reliable punt returner next season, somebody in the Jim Leonhard or Jerricho Cotchery mold who is going to catch everything no matter what. Mike Westhoff is retiring but probably a year too late. This unit had way too many mistakes in 2012 and must clean itself up next season.

New York Jets – In Post Black Monday Limbo

The New York Jets are currently in limbo while they attempt to find their new General Manager

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The New York Jets have made a collection of intelligent decisions since their embarrassing season ending loss in Buffalo. Firing Mike Tannenbaum was a much needed start coupled with hiring Jed Hughes to lead the search for the team’s new General Manager. Credit Woody Johnson for recognizing he is not a football expert and needs assistance in selecting the proper person to run his team. Hughes has a distinguished resume and hasn’t wasted any time in requesting interviews with three strong GM candidates: Tom Gamble, Marc Ross, and Dave Caldwell. All three are highly sought after around the league and the Jets won’t be an easy sell but at least it shows they are on the right track.

While the GM search plays out, the entire coaching staff remains in limbo. If you are able to snare a candidate like one of the previously mentioned ones, they must have full autonomy on how to proceed at Head Coach. There can be no requirements that force him to keep Rex Ryan. If he wants to keep Rex, great but if not…he must be allowed to make that call. The same goes for the rest of the coaching staff.

Personally, I have no problem with Rex being brought back but think he needs to be managed in the proper way. He cannot have too much say in personnel decisions and he must be forced to embrace a 21st century offense and offensive coordinator. Let Rex lead and motivate the men in his locker room. Let him scheme up defensive game plans. Get him better media training so there is a more consistent and unified voice coming out of the organization.

Regardless of who the new GM is, they must revamp the team’s media and PR approach. The New York media can complain right now all they want about the lack of a season ending press conference for Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson but they sound absurdly hypocritical. Why should the Jets treat them with transparency and industry standards when the media (cough, cough Daily News) has buried them with anonymously sourced and misquoted material? Hopefully, the Jets are currently ironing out a better way to handle their local coverage.

This is a team currently in limbo. The entire coaching staff’s job security is up in the air. No approach has been decided on how to handle quarterback or the messy cap situation. None of the other dominoes can begin to fall until the General Manager is hired…then look for them to fall fast and furiously. The sooner, the better because there are many critical decisions and steps that need to be taken.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 17 – Year End Edition

Turn On The Jets year-end New York Jets 12 Pack – What is going on in Florham Park and who are we saying good-bye to?

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The Turn On The Jets 12 pack is back for one final edition in 2012. Instead of talking about the meaningless game against the Buffalo Bills, we are going to do two things today. First, we are going to cover our understanding of the current situation in Florham Park and venture a few guesses at what happens next week. Second, we are going to give our favorite moment from 12 Jets who will likely be playing their final game with the team this Sunday. 

Currently you have an organization at war with themselves in Florham Park. Everybody is out to save their own job and pulling their respective strings within the media. Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum are done working together. There has been a growing rift between both of them, which is likely going to leave Woody Johnson with a choice. He knows Tannenbaum can’t be retained in his current role, but will he do the right thing and fully cut the cord with him? Or will he take a half measure and just reassign him to a cap specialist role?

Tannenbaum has been actively reaching out to media members trying to spin himself into this role and painting a friendly picture of the Jets salary cap, which is incorrect. If Woody hangs on to Tannenbaum, due to their close working relationship, it is highly unlikely that Rex Ryan will be back and it will be difficult to recruit the type of GM the team needs to rebuild the roster. The Jets need a fresh face, not an in-house candidate (Scott Cohen), a retread (Joey Clinkscales), or a past his prime evaluator who destroyed another team (Scott Pioli). A Tannenbaum return also likely means that Mark Sanchez will stay on the roster, since it is Tannenbaum who traded for him and structured his contract, thus meaning he will give him every last possible chance to succeed.

If Woody fully fires Tannenbaum, the new GM will evaluate Ryan and could decide to hang on to him with a reworked offensive coaching staff. Hopefully, he will also construct a strong personnel department that doesn’t succumb to “groupthink” on draft or player decisions because Rex has publicly claimed responsibility for his share of flawed moves in that area (John Conner, Kyle Wilson, Santonio Holmes, Over reliance on Shonn Greene etc).

At this point, the following should be expected on Monday: Tony Sparano will be fired, with Matt Cavanaugh likely not far behind. Mike Tannenbaum will have his current position changed, either to fired or reassigned to cap specialist. From what we’ve heard no final decision has been reached yet, but If I was betting man (and I hope I’m wrong) Tannenbaum will just be reassigned. After that domino falls, the decision on Rex Ryan will come and further coaching staff and front office shake-ups could take place. It is going to be a very different hierarchy in Florham Park in 2013.

And now our farewell 12 pack to 12 Jets who likely won’t be back in 2013, by commemorating our favorite moment of their time with the team –

1. Bart Scott – Obvious choice here

2. Calvin Pace – Obvious choice here (Hey, that win over New England was the biggest in franchise history outside of Super Bowl III, no?)

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3. Sione Pouha – Remember how much fun Jets football was back in 2010? How excited the crowd was for the Monday Night opener against Baltimore? The first defense play when Shaun Ellis smashed Joe Flacoo and Sione Pouha recovered the fumble? Those were the days…

4. Eric Smith – Way before Eric Smith was chasing after Tim Tebow and Victor Cruz, he put together a strong year as a specialist/reserve in 2009. (I literally can’t believe this highlight tape is on YouTube).

5. Shonn Greene – This is out of hope that nobody with the Jets is foolish enough to give him a new contract. Greene peeked in the 2009 playoffs and has been on a steady decline since. But how about this run?

6. Dustin Keller – It is hard to see Keller back for another year. Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller…this close to a Super Bowl?

7. Bryan Thomas – Blue-collar and was a valuable player to this team for over a decade. He has had too many good moments just to pick one. We are going to miss you BT!

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8. Jason Smith – All those times you reported eligible was a nice reminder of Mike Tannenbaum’s ineptitude….

9. Tim Tebow – Ha!

10. Mike DeVito – I hope he is brought back. If not, he will be in New England and making plays before you blink your eyes.

11. Matt Slauson/Austin Howard/Brandon Moore – Some combination of you won’t be brought back. Moore has been a warrior for the Jets the past decade and is one of the team’s smartest, most articulate members. Slauson is a decent starting guard who had a bit of a down year in 2012. Howard is a good run blocker but is not reliable at all in pass protection.

12. Mike Tannenbaum – We can only hope…

New York Jets – Waiting For The Insanity To End

The final days of the New York Jets 2012 season cannot pass fast enough

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There are plenty of bad football teams in the NFL this season. There are teams with worse records than the New York Jets despite having more talent. There are teams who have gotten blown out or been less competitive on a more frequent basis than the New York Jets. Regardless, it is hard to fathom another situation where the season ending will be greeted more happily than this organization and their fan-base.

Rex Ryan press conferences, once entertaining highlights throughout the week of winning seasons, have turned into bumbling, confusing explanations about quarterback depth charts and activation theories. Rex and the rest of the Jets staff is coaching like they don’t expect to be back next year. How else do you explain young players and rookies being glued to the bench in meaningless games? How else do you explain the complete discord between the staff, the front office and even the offense and defense?

The Jets franchise has devolved into “everybody save themselves” mode, as they all desperately try to shift blame and save their jobs. It is sickening to watch such a lack of organization, discipline and vision. As we have previously alluded to, there are no half measures when it comes to fixing these kinds of problems. They require a reevaluation of direction and a fresh set of eyes on the roster.

A clean break doesn’t mean bringing Bill Parcells back for a consulting role, since he has previous working relationships with Mike Tannenbaum and Terry Bradway. Bring in somebody fresh and hungry to prove themselves as a personnel evaluator and General Manager. Mike Maccagnan from Houston was the right idea, just give him the freedom to do the job without Tannenbaum’s interference.

This organization desperately needs to move past the Tim Tebow circus sideshow act. It needs to move past Mark Sanchez who was set up to fail the previous two years and did just that in spectacular fashion. The old faces from the 2009 and 2010 AFC Championship Game runs need to be sent packing: Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Eric Smith, Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller and if possible Santonio Holmes among others. Rex Ryan might have to go as well, that needs to be strictly the call of the new General Manager. Right now, Rex doesn’t carry himself like somebody who believes he will back next year or even really wants to be back at all.

The Jets finish up their season in Buffalo this Sunday in a glorified exhibition game against another disappointing team from their division. Yet, the real entertainment will be in the following days. When will the end of season press conference be scheduled? Who will even run it? How many days until Tony Sparano is fired and who from the offensive staff will get the ax with him? It will be an active January of speculation and hopefully front office/coaching staff turnover from the Jets, likely supported by endless anonymous quote stories ran in the Daily News. The only hope is when the dust settles, there are more competent decision makers in place.

This is an obviously critical off-season for the Jets, where a cleaning up of the salary cap needs to take place while attempting to begin the process of starting to fill the numerous holes across the roster. The team will have a top 15 pick in the first round and a pick in every round after that. They cannot afford early round misses and need to find immediate contributors, likely on the offensive line, at outside linebacker and at running back. In free agency, they are going to have to hit with smart, low-cost deals.

The most important thing the Jets do this off-season will be finding a way to improve their self-scouting, which of course means getting people like Tannenbaum and Bradway away from decision making. No more mistaking Shonn Greene for a lead back. No more mistaking Wayne Hunter for a starting right tackle. Look at the roster, find the capable pieces and build around them, while cutting ties with the rest.

New York Jets – No Half Measures

The New York Jets can’t take any “half measures” when it comes to rebuilding this off-season

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Jason La Confora is reporting the New York Jets are starting the process of acquiring a new General Manager. Good news, right? Wrong. Woody Johnson apparently wants the new GM to work with Mike Tannenbaum who will be demoted to a salary cap management type position. Not surprisingly, no credible candidates are interested in such a foolish arrangement.

I love writing and sometimes that leads me to carry on when writing about this team but let’s keep this succinct today, since it is the holidays and this situation is so idiotic it doesn’t deserve that many words.

Making Mike Tannenbaum strictly a salary cap specialist is like making Mark Sanchez a quarterback coach. He has destroyed our salary cap by giving Sanchez arguably the worst contract in sports right now. He has no merit for this position.

No GM that you want running your football team, like Houston’s Director of College Scouting Mike Maccagnan, who has been approached is going to have any interest in this type of power sharing arrangement. As our source has stated all season, Woody and Tannenbaum have a close working relationship and no GM who will want Tannnbaum looking over his shoulder on every move.

Why can’t this organization just flat out fire anybody? Former GM Terry Bradway was just demoted into scouting after an awful tenure, where he could continue to hurt the Jets with his poor personnel decisions. Former Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton, who was awful at his job was only demoted to linebackers coach. Current quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh stil hasn’t been fired for some ungodly reason. You need to fire ineffective people. Get them completely out of the building.

The Jets are a disaster right now. Woody Johnson can’t be that blind not to see that. The solution is simple. Fire Mike Tannenbaum. Fire Terry Bradway. Fire Tony Sparano. Fire Matt Cavanaugh. Allow the newly hired GM to make the decision on Rex Ryan and go from there.

Happy Holidays everybody!

New York Jets – What Do We Need To See In Final Two Games?

What should New York Jets fans hope to see in the team’s final two games?

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The New York Jets final two regular season games basically break down to being nothing more than glorified pre-season games (without any kind of glory I suppose). What should a Jets fan root for these upcoming weeks against the mighty San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo “Fredo” Bills?

Greg McElroy – You can’t say at this point it won’t be interesting or mildly entertaining to watch somebody besides Mark Sanchez pump fake and throw interceptions or Tim Tebow scramble around and do nothing. Hopefully, the coaching staff allows McElroy to operate a normal NFL offense, not the JV-high school offense the team normally runs. We aren’t going to learn anything about his potential strengths and limitations from having him go 10/14 for 86 yards next week because all he was allowed to throw was slants and boots. Ideally, McElroy plays confident, turnover free football and shows enough to be considered a reliable back-up next season or maybe even a competitor along with a veteran for the starting job.

Young D – No more 35% of the snaps for Quinton Coples who has a sack in each of the last two games and is starting to really come along in his rookie season. Get him out there for 50-60 snaps and let him get accustomed to the extended work. The same goes for Kenrick Ellis who will be your starting nose tackle next year when Sione Pouha is released. Demario Davis should be playing the bulk of the reps at inside linebacker alongside David Harris and Antonio Allen should continue to see increased reps at outside linebacker and as a pass rusher on third downs.

Wide Receiver Shuffle – Haven’t we seen enough Chaz Schilens and Clyde Gates at this point? You make Braylon Edwards your starting split end, to see how he handles major reps. You put Jeremey Kerley as your starting flanker since he has been your best receiver this season and could be in this spot next year if Santonio Holmes is released. You put rookie 7th round pick Jordan White in the slot, since he hasn’t been given a chance yet. They get all the reps. No Schilens. No Gates. Certainly no Mardy Gilyard.

Just Give Him A Chance – Give Joe McKnight 10-15 carries and let’s see if that 6.1 yards per carry can come anywhere near to holding up. It certainly won’t end up lower than Shonn Greene’s 3.9 yards per carry. Let McKnight and Bilal Powell who will both be on the team next year, while Greene probably won’t, handle the workload in the backfield.

New York Jets – Off-Season Advice For Woody Johnson

Preliminary off-season advice for New York Jets Owner Woody Johnson

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Even though we have an entire off-season to discuss how the New York Jets can dig themselves out of their current mess, it feels appropriate to get into it a little bit today. There is no solution that involves minor changes or a slight “retooling” of the roster. The Jets weren’t a few games away from a playoff spot because Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes didn’t play this year. They have struggled this year because they lack talent, direction and common sense. Here is a collection of steps for Owner Woody Johnson to take this off-season to move away from being a laughingstock and back towards being a competitive football team –

1 – Fire Mike Tannenbaum and Terry Bradway – No demotions. No re-assigning Mike Tannenbaum to “cap guru” position as many fans have suggested. Newsflash: Mike Tannenbaum isn’t a cap guru. Look at Mark Sanchez’s contract! Beyond that, look at how he guaranteed money to Santonio Holmes, Calvin Pace and Bart Scott among others. Terry Bradway shouldn’t be employed by this organization either. In case you forget, he is the guy who traded a first round pick for Doug Jolley, took Mike Nugent with a 2nd round draft pick, and traded away a 2nd round pick for Justin McCariens. The entire personnel department needs to be revamped so this garbage roster can be looked at with the proper scrutiny and that starts with these two being let go.

2 – GM/Rex Dynamic – The new GM must be given full autonomy on how to handle the head coaching position. Personally, I think it would be wise to bring Rex Ryan back but the GM must be comfortable with him. If Rex does stay on, it must be under the condition that the entire offensive coaching is fired, obviously starting with coordinator Tony Sparano and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. Sparano has been an unmitigated disaster in his first season calling the Jets plays and Cavanaugh should have been fired after last season.

3 – Cut Your Losses On Sanchez – Eat the dead money if necessary but Mark Sanchez has to go. It is best for the team and best for him, as he is clearly checked out as a quarterback in this market. Maybe he restructures to help facilitate his release or a trade where he can be a developmental backup somewhere else. Maybe he doesn’t, either way he cannot continue on with this team. Start Greg McElroy the final two games and hope he shows enough to be a competent backup in 2013. Cut Tim Tebow. Look to add a low to mid-cost veteran via free agency or trade, maybe add a mid-round pick (this is a shaky year at QB in the Draft) and take it from there. A few names to kick around – Matt Moore, Matt Flynn, Kirk Cousins (Redskins might not let him go, unless for a King’s Ransom at this point), and Brian Hoyer.

4 – All Options On The Table – When you are so deep into salary cap hell and have so many needs, all options are on the table and that includes working the phones to see if you could swing a productive trade for anybody from Darrelle Revis to Antonio Cromartie, all the way through to David Harris. People naturally recoil at the thought of trading a Revis or Cromartie but here is the reality: you don’t have the luxury to have two elite, high-paid cornerbacks when you have gaping holes all over your roster.

5- Draft Heavy/Spend Smart – Load up on draft picks. The team currently has seven picks (one in each round). How about getting that number up towards the 9-12 range via trading current players or trading back on draft day in the necessary spots. When looking at personnel decisions not related to the draft, spend prudently and self-scout properly. Don’t pay Dustin Keller. Let him walk and sign Delanie Walker or Anthony Fasano for half the money. Don’t pay Shonn Greene. Try to sign Chris Ivory to a contract as a restricted free agent. Part ways with Sione Pouha because you have Kenrick Ellis and Damon Harrison. If you are going to spend, make it on enhancing your offensive line and outside linebacker positions which both badly need makeovers.

I even made a cheat sheet for you Woody!

MUST GO

  • Mike Tannenbaum
  • Terry Bradway
  • Tony Sparano
  • Matt Cavanaugh

LET WALK

  • Shonn Greene
  • Dustin Keller
  • Calvin Pace
  • Bryan Thomas
  • Bart Scott
  • Jason Smith

CUT YOUR LOSSES

  • Mark Sanchez
  • Sione Pouha
  • Eric Smith
  • Tim Tebow

UP IN THE AIR

  • Rex Ryan (Needs to be new GM’s call)
  • Mike Pettine
  • Matt Slauson/Austin Howard (Need to find suitable replacements if letting them walk. Ideally replace at least 1 of 2)

QUIETLY FLOAT ON TRADING BLOCK

  • Darrelle Revis (More hope to sign him long term if Tannenbaum is gone)
  • Antonio Cromartie (Value will never be higher)
  • David Harris (Good luck with that contract)
  • Santonio Holmes (Good luck with that contract)

BUILDING BLOCKS

  • Muhammad Wilkerson
  • Nick Mangold
  • Quinton Coples
  • D’Brickashaw Ferguson
  • Kenrick Ellis
  • Demario Davis
  • Jeremy Kerley
  • Stephen Hill (Because you can’t cut ties with a 2nd round pick this early…not with his size and speed)
  • Bilal Powell (Your hopeful 1B Back)
  • Greg McElroy (Your hopeful backup QB)
  • Joe McKnight (Kick returner/Hopeful can contribute on offense if properly used)

TRY TO BRING BACK, MAY NOT BE ABLE TO

  • LaRon Landry
  • Yeremiah Bell
  • Mike DeVito