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 –

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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.

New York Jets Swag: Buy Turn On The Jets Shirt

Buy the Turn On The Jets shirt for the 2012 NFL season

Turn On The Jets shirts are here for the 2012 NFL season. Click on the above image or visit our buy page to order yours today. The shirts come in small, medium, large, extra large, or XXL for men and the same sizes for lady fit. Make sure you are following Turn On The Jets on Twitter and Facebook because we will doing giveaways throughout this entire first batch. 

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New York Jets Headline Watch – Santonio Holmes And Two Quarterbacks

A closer look at what Santonio Holmes actually said during his interview on NFL Network last night

Shockingly enough the New York media and the mainstream media will occasionally twist headlines to generate some type of controversy. We will use this series of columns to review what was actually said and whether there is any reason to be up in arms about it. Today’s topic is Santonio Holmes interview on the NFL Network last night –

Here are the headlines that have been generated from that video clip –

This is what Holmes had to say about two quarterback systems in the NFL

No. I don’t think so because you have to allow one quarterback to get into the rhythm of the game. It starts from the preparation in practice, knowing the first couple of plays that he’s going to take these reps. It’s getting a feel for coming onto the field with the crowd awaiting you. It’s the making the mistakes early in the game, to finishing the games at the end. You don’t just change a guy out just because he has a few mistakes early in a game. So I think coming into this season that we have a lot to expect from Sanchez.”

This is what he had to say about Mark Sanchez –

“Sanchez has done everything that he can do to keep his starting spot, and I’m thinking that he’s going to be our guy this season. I’m not saying that with any bit of less confidence than the way I feel about him coming into the season. He’s going to be our guy that we depended on for the past couple of years, and he’s going to get the job done this year.”

So where are the headlines about Santonio Holmes supporting his starting quarterback Mark Sanchez? There shouldn’t be a headline about Holmes making a common sense statement about two quarterback systems not working…they don’t work, they never have worked and they never will work. Holmes is absolutely right in that the Jets shouldn’t pull Sanchez if he has a few early mistakes in the game and gave a strong endorsement of him, which is exactly what you want to hear from your top receiver.

This was a positive interview but positive doesn’t fit the narrative the media has created for Holmes so it is spun into a negative. It is spun into a negative so Tweets like this can be fired out –

Make sure you give my lovely vocal chords a listen as I talked everything Jets last night with All Purpose Roto

New York Jets: What Are Reasonable Expectations?

What are reasonable expectations for the New York Jets in 2012?

The general consensus from the mainstream media about the 2012 New York Jets isn’t positive. We have seen them ranked as low as 27th in Power Rankings by Evan Silva of Rotoworld, along with most commentators pegging them for 3rd or 4th in the AFC East behind Buffalo and in some cases behind Miami. This line of thinking isn’t that surprising when you step back and consider a few things.

Most people view the Jets as a brash talking organization who has seen their small window close. They are a roster stuffed with overhyped, overpaid players who had an ugly meltdown to end the 2011 season. Everybody who doesn’t wear a green and white jersey on Sundays is giddy at the thought of Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez failing and being out of a job this time next year.

The hate towards Ryan makes sense. He bit off more than he could chew last year when his big words weren’t matched by a successful January run that came up just short of a Super Bowl appearance. Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants made him look foolish and petulant. He is an easy target because of his personality. Yet, it doesn’t mean the man can’t coach the hell out of a defense or that he wasn’t more successful than 95% of NFL coaches are in their first three years.

The hate towards Sanchez is a little more perplexing because few individuals in the league face more unwarranted criticism. It could be because of the Hollywood, appearing on GQ Cover persona. It could just be having Rex Ryan as his head coach. Whatever it is, Sanchez is treated as a backup, masquerading as a starter instead of a young, developing quarterback like his counterparts Josh Freeman (who was truly awful last year) and Joe Flacco. Nobody is saying Sanchez has been anywhere near a great quarterback the past three years, but he has had more than enough great moments to merit faith in him being the future quarterback of a successful team.

Certain prominent players on the Jets roster have a negative public perception which blurs objectively looking at their talent on the field. Santonio Holmes is a selfish diva, not a former Super Bowl MVP who had 4 game winning receptions for the Jets in 2010 and 2 more in 2011. Antonio Cromartie is a guy with a ton of kids, not one of the best number two corners in football. Other prominent players are soft-spoken and stay out of the limelight leading to them being overlooked. People forget David Harris is a top five inside linebacker in football. Nick Mangold is the best center in the NFL and Sione Pouha is one of the league’s top nose tackles. Is there 10 better guards in the league than Brandon Moore or 5 better left tackles than D’Brickashaw Ferguson? I’m not so sure.

It almost seems that with each passing month the Jets 2011 record got a game worse. You would think from commentary on their team that they finished at 4-12 or 5-11 last year. The reality is that they were 8-5 and lost their last 3 games to finish a very average 8-8. A tip here or a tip there away from being a playoff team at 9-7 or 10-6.

So where does that put them heading into 2012?

It is equally as foolish to rank the Jets as a top five team heading into the 2012 season, as it is to rank them a bottom five team. The Jets didn’t get worse this off-season by making their starting tandem at safety Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry instead of Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith. They didn’t get worse by adding Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill and Demario Davis through the draft. And if used properly, they didn’t get worse by adding Tim Tebow and all that he brings to their offense. Finally, they certainly didn’t get worse by replacing Brian Schottenheimer with Tony Sparano at offensive coordinator.

Considering the talent on their defense (which was still top five in the NFL last season by the way) and a schedule that features games against offensive juggernauts like St. Louis, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Miami (twice) and Seattle, the Jets have the look of a team that will range between 7-9 and 11-5 depending on how they play in close games.

The Jets are built to play tight, low scoring football. The results of these games will depend on winning the turnover battle, special teams, and finding a way to make the big play at an opportune time.

A large burden falls on Mark Sanchez to protect the football and hit big plays when they are available. He has a wide receiver who has the longest resume of clutch receptions currently in the NFL. A very good receiving tight end who he is comfortable with and a rookie speedster who is 6 foot 4. This team doesn’t need 45 pass attempts and 350 yards from Sanchez. It needs 18/25 for 200 yards but most importantly accuracy and smart decision making in big moments, which Sanchez has displayed in the past. They have the makings a competent, not great running game that could be dynamic at times if Tim Tebow is used properly.

Ultimately, there is too much talent on this roster to see the Jets as a 5 or 6 win team but there is enough questions to prevent expecting double digit wins. The difference between another 8-8 year and a playoff run into January will be their offense or special teams doing more of this in big spots –

And less of this –