Who Will Be The Jets Breakout Offensive Player?

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First a few updates:

1. Jason Taylor will be taking the weekend to decide whether he wants to accept the Jets offer after spending his day at the team’s facility today. He met with a few players, including Calvin Pace and Damien Woody who spoke out in favor of adding Taylor to the Jets defense. Another person who spoke about Taylor was Bryan Thomas, who now according to The Star Ledger will be safe if Taylor does sign with the Jets. Apparently defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has said Taylor will primarily  be used in pass rushing downs and that Thomas remains part of the Jets plans for next year.

2. We got hit with a few “Nick Folk is working his way back to pro-bowl form” articles today from the New York media, which is basically the Jets front office saying “crap, we are stuck with this guy, he better get his stuff together, so let’s release a feel good article about him on the team’s website.” I am not buying into Folk as our kicker until he knocks down a 48 yarder opening night at the new stadium under some pressure.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…45 away from 300, and we need 300 by the end of April because Braylon Edwards promised me he wouldn’t drop a single pass this year if that happened.

4. Anybody else already huge Curtis Granderson fans?

Who Will The Jets Breakout Player On Offense Be?

Like most people I believe the Jets offense is an up and coming unit that should improve on their production from last year. In 2009, the Jets didn’t have skill position players who could brag about impressive stat lines outside of the now departed Thomas Jones who racked up 1400 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2010, who could be a player who takes his game to the next level and puts up pro-bowl caliber statistics?

Braylon Edwards – In 12 games with the Jets last season, Edwards had 35 catches for 541 yards and 4 touchdowns. He did provide the occasional big play but continued to struggle with dropped passes and only had one 100 yard game (although he had another one in the playoffs). We all know Edwards has the physical tools to be an elite receiver in the NFL…the guy did catch 17 touchdown passes in a single season only a few years ago, so can he produce like the legit number one the Jets traded for him to be? It certainly won’t hurt that he will now have a whole off-season in the Jets offense and have a training camp and pre-season to work with Mark Sanchez. If Edwards plays to his potential he could be a 1100 yard, 8-10 touchdown receiver in this Jets offense.

Dustin Keller – Keller had a monster streak of games in the middle of his rookie season in 2008, which led many to predict he could become a pro-bowl caliber tight for the Jets. However, he struggled to get on the same page with Sanchez for most of the season and only finished the regular season with 45 catches, 522 yards, and 2 touchdowns. However, Keller came alive in the playoffs by catching a touchdown pass in each of the Jets three games and averaging a little over 60 yards receiving per game. If Brian Schottenheimer can do a better job of getting him the ball and he remains in rhythm with Sanchez, Keller could have a pro-bowl caliber season for the Jets, especially if he remains a primary red-zone target.

Shonn Greene – After a somewhat quiet regular season, Greene exploded in the playoffs and gave the Jets enough confidence to let Thomas Jones walk so he could take over as their number one back. Greene will have the benefit of playing in a run heavy offense behind one of the best lines in the league. Yet, he must show he can stay healthy and handle the beating a lead back takes throughout a 16 games schedule, along with proving he can hold on to the football. If Greene can suit up every week, there is no reason he can’t approach the numbers Thomas Jones put up last year, although it will be hard to come near the 14 touchdowns he had since LaDainian Tomlinson will likely get most of the goal-line carries.

I know I didn’t include my personal favorite Jets offensive player, Jerricho Cotchery but I am hopeful that J-Co can stay healthy for all 16 games, crack the 1000 yard mark, chip in his usual 4 touchdowns, and make his normal collection of clutch third down receptions. Other key Jets skill position players? Tomlinson likely won’t have an impressive yardage total but hopefully he is productive as a pass catcher out of the backfield and as a short yardage/goal-line back. It is hard to tell what to expect from Leon coming off such a serious injury. Brad Smith will likely have a few big plays here and there but isn’t a consistent weapon. David Clowney might not make the roster next year if the Jets spend a high pick on a receiver. I know…I know, I forget Ben Hartsock and Matthew Mullligan, I am hopeful they will improve on their combined 2 catches for 3 yards and 1 touchdown last year.

Great Jets “My Way” Video

Jason Taylor? Say It Ain't So

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First a few updates:

1. I have a 3 1/2 break in between my two classes on Wednesday so I come to the computer lab thinking I will write my normal gem of a Wednesday article, read up on some Lost from last night so I make sure I know what is going on, and do my week’s reading for afternoon class. Of course, instead I ended up talking trash on our touch football league’s message board, researching hotels/clubs for my trip to AC trip in 2 weeks, and now I get hit with about 9,000 articles about Jason Taylor visiting the Jets today. So much for doing that reading.

2. Before we get into all the Taylor stuff, Mark Brunell is also visiting the Jets today…yes that Mark Brunell who used to throw bombs to Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith on the Jaguars way back in 1998 when Vinny and Keyshawn were whipping them up in the playoffs. Clearly the Jets are attempting to put together the All-Star team from “NFL Quarterback Club 1998” but in all seriousness, bringing Brunell in for the veteran’s minimum wouldn’t be a bad decision. The Jets need a veteran backup and a mentor for Sanchez, even if Brunell is twice his age.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook….because we added 7 fans yesterday and that made me so happy that I need to feel what it would be like to add 10 today. Beyond that, you need to me sort through the 15000 Jets stories today so I can link the ones you really need to read.

4. In case you didn’t see the update anywhere else, the Jets signed kicker Clint Stitser who has been out of football the past two years. Folk vs. Stitster? Sounds like “Shank-Off 2010” is coming to Jets training camp this summer.

Photobucket5. Thoughts On Final Season Of LOST, Episode 11 “Happily Ever After” – As if enough wasn’t going on, LOST had to drop arguably the best episode of the season last night. Desmond episodes always bring it and usually signify a key change in the show’s direction and last night was no exception. We finally got a clear connection between the two timelines and it looks Desmond is the x-factor who is going to make everybody aware of what is actually going on. Clearly, Eloise Hawking knows what is up which makes you wonder who’s side she is actually on. Faraday (another great character return) has an idea of what is going on and Charlie who was terrific in his reappearance, helped Desmond figure out something was wrong in the 2004 timeline. Two questions, why was Desmond so willing to leave Widmore’s team with Sayid? Does he know he needs to stop Locke and Sayid is bringing him directly there? Second (or third actually) what is the specific plan involving electromagnetism to have Desmond stop Locke/Man In Black? Beyond that, how is Desmond going to make everybody in 2004 conscious of what is going on in 2007 and make them realize their plane was supposed to crash? So many questions and only 7 hours of LOST left. By the way, next week looks great also, with the return of Michael who I am sure will yell “WALLLLTTTT” at least once.

Jason Taylor? Say It Ain’t So

PhotobucketJason Taylor…the first member of the now defunct “TOJ Hall of Shame”…my least favorite player in the NFL. A guy who has always hated the Jets and their fans and a guy who we gladly returned the hate to. A guy who was on “Dancing With the Stars” and Neurtogena commercials and guy who said such things as:

“A bunch of them chanting their dumb-ass chant and all that other stuff, being the ignorant fans they are. I said it. I don’t care if they get mad at me or not. They don’t like me anyway. Quite frankly, I don’t care. … I’m just being real. I’m telling the truth. You carry yourself with some class, and we’ll talk about you as if you’ve got class. If you want to act crazy and do all the crazy things they do, I’ll call a spade a spade.”

“The problem I have is with the Jets fans. It’s not really a problem; it’s kind of this rivalry that has gone on, and they love to hate me, and I love to hate them, and we’ve had some fun over the years. They’ve had a lot of fun at my expense. I’ve had some fun at their expense at times.  It’s the times like this where you beat them and they just keep talking. They just keep going, and they just don’t know when to be quiet.  You know, I’ve said a lot of things about Jets fans in the past, and I’m sure at heart they’re good people. Most of them are good people. The Giants fans are a different type of people. Just put it that way. There’s a little more class on the Giants’ side, and some Jets fans take the ‘c-l’ out of class.”

“It’d be very, very, very difficult [to sign with the Jets]. Very difficult. But at the end of the day, if you can’t find a job anywhere else and the Jets call, I guess you’ve got to retire or go play.”

Well now since it is being reported by Manish Menta of the Newark Star-Ledger that Taylor to the Jets “is basically a done deal” and the Jets have rolled out the red carpet for him by flying him in on a helicopter and showing his highlights in the new stadium like it is “Blue Chips,” it looks Taylor is going to choose to play…in the green and white.

Let me put aside my personal hate for Taylor and try to look at this from strictly a football perspective. We know Taylor can rush the passer and it is hard to picture him not being a good fit in the Jets 3-4 scheme as a pass rushing outside linebacker. Even in a down year last season, he recorded 7 sacks which is 5 more than Bryan Thomas recorded in 2009. Only two years ago in 2007, Taylor had 11 sacks. The Jets haven’t had a player with double digit sacks since John Abraham in 2005.

Apparently the Jets are offering a one year deal and then are planning to trade Bryan Thomas. Taylor could be a good mentor for Vernon Gholston this season and give the Jets another year/off-season to find a long term answer at outside linebacker opposite Calvin Pace, if Gholston still shows nothing (which he probably will). The Jets may be able to grab another late round pick by trading Bryan Thomas, especially if Cleveland is still looking to improve their linebacker core or any other 3-4 team is looking for an experienced OLB who started every game on the league’s #1 defense last year.

Clearly the Jets are tired of waiting on Adalius Thomas, who Bill Belichick is holding hostage in New England. Rex Ryan wants a pass rusher and Mike Tannenbaum is throwing the full sales pitch on to get him one. From everything I read today, it sounds like I will be writing another article tonight confirming Taylor’s arrival to the Jets and looking at what it means for their defense. Yet, we all thought Neil Rackers was definitely going to be a Jet this week and look how that turned out.

This has been a weird off-season for me. I have never liked LaDainian Tomlinson and the Jets signed him. I didn’t like Antonio Cromartie after that elbow he gave Shonn Greene in the playoffs and the Jets traded for him. I absolutely hate Jason Taylor and now it looks like the Jets will sign him. What is next, the Jets trying to swing a monster trade for Tom Brady or Bill Belichick continuing his slip into insanity and deciding to come back to work for the Jets as a defensive assistant?

Speaking Of Old Video Games, Tecmo Super Bowl Was The Best

Pre-Draft Thoughts On The AFC

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First a few updates:

1. I will be catching up on the “2010” Draft Section today, www.thejetsblog.com has been ripping through those potential prospects the past few days. Speaking of the draft, Clemson OLB Ricky Sapp is visiting today. As I said yesterday, he could be a target for the Jets at #29 or they could trade back a few spots and look to grab him. Here is a look at his highlight tape:

2. Tim Graham had a few interesting pieces up on his AFC East Blog today, one of which discussed the teams that passed up Rex Ryan as a potential head coach…I must say I am happy that Buffalo decided to stay with Dick Jauron these past few years instead of hiring Rex and now they are stuck with Chan Gailey. He also discusses the potential of Syracuse receiver Mike Williams, who I am familiar with because I covered Syracuse football for Fan University during my undergraduate years. I absolutely agree with the assessment given by the scout in Graham’s article, Williams is a first round talent and he is going to be available in the mid-rounds because of questions about his character. He could be a guy the Jets take a risk on if they don’t end up adding a receiver in round one or two, who turns into an absolute steal.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 2 fans from 250 and you want the honor of being #250.

4. Eric Allen of www.newyorkjets.com compiled this list of players visiting Florham Park this week as the Jets prepare for the draft:

  • OT Anthony Davis – Rutgers
  • RB Montario Hardesty – Tennessee
  • CB Kareem Jackson – Alabama
  • RB Ryan Matthews – Fresno State
  • CB Devin McCourty – Rutgers
  • DL Jared Odrick – Penn State
  • DT Cory Peters – Kentucky
  • OL Maurkice Pouncey – Florida
  • CB Patrick Robinson – Florida State
  • OLB Ricky Sapp – Clemson
  • TE Micky Shuler Jr. – Penn State
  • S Major Wright  – Florida

Pre-Draft Thoughts On The AFC

A quick look at where all the teams in the AFC currently stand heading into the draft:

Division Title Contenders

New England Patriots – As I covered in my team to beat in the AFC East article, the Patriots haven’t had a very active off-season but are overloaded with draft picks and remain the primary competition to the Jets for a division title. They still need help at running back, in the secondary and need somebody to step up to fill the void of Wes Welker until he returns from injury but with Brady and Belichick they remain a playoff caliber team.

Baltimore Ravens – Regardless of the season the Bengals put together last year, I see the Ravens as the team to beat in the AFC North. The only thing holding them back last year was the struggles of their passing game. However, I think Joe Flacco will play better this season than he did at the end of last year, especially with the addition of Anquan Boldin. Beyond that, if they get something out of Donte Stallworth they could have a real strong three wide set with Boldin, Stallworth, and Derrick Mason. On defense they added Cory Redding to their line rotation but still could use some help at corner.

Indiannapolis Colts – Peyton Manning = double digit victories and most likely another AFC South title. They will be also be getting Anthony Gonzalez back at receiver to add to Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, and Pierre Garcon.

San Diego Chargers – They remain the best team in their division. However, they need to find more balance on offense and improve their running defense.

PhotobucketNew York Jets – I do think the Jets defense will be even better in year two under Rex Ryan and with the addition of Antonio Cromartie. On offense, Mark Sanchez should keep improving and allow them to have a very good chance to overtake the Patriots for the division title.

Pittsburgh Steelers – If Ben Rothlisberger’s legal situation is under control, it is hard not to expect to see the Steelers battling for that AFC North title again. They made some smaller moves like adding Antwaan Randle El, Arnaz Battle, Larry Foote, and Will Allen which will improve their overall depth and special teams.

Cincinnati Bengals – I know the Bengals won the AFC North last year but for some reason I have tough time seeing them repeat as champs. They faded down the stretch last season and aren’t going to sneak up on anybody this year. However, Antonio Bryant was a nice addition on offense and they can run the ball and play defense so I could be wrong.

Playoff Contenders

Miami Dolphins – Miami hasn’t done much this off-season outside of adding Karlos Dansby to their defense. They are still weak at receiver and have Ronnie Brown coming off a serious injury. Regardless if they keep running the football the way they did last year and the defense continues to improve they could be back over .500.

Denver Broncos – They haven’t done much this off-season except add a potential quarterback controversy by bringing in Brady Quinn. Also when they trade Brandon Marshall they will be getting rid of a headache but losing their top playmaker on offense.

Houston Texans – Every single year everybody says this is the year the Texans will make the jump to being a playoff team and every year they fall just a little short. Yes, they have plenty of talent but when are they going to win a big game? Every time they have a chance to make a move towards being a playoff team, they lose. They also have questions at running back since Steve Slaton can’t hold on to the football.

Tennessee Titans – If Vince Young plays the way he did after he took over for Kerry Collins for a full season, the Titans could be back in the mix as a threat to the Colts for the division title.

Jacksonville Jaguars – A young team who overachieved a little bit last year. They are stuck in a tough division but will be a difficult match-up on a weekly basis. Aaron Kampman should improve their pass rush.

Likely Basement Dwellers

Cleveland Browns – They have actually had a pretty good off-season thus far by bringing in some quality veterans like Sheldon Brown, Ben Watson, Scott Fujita, Chris Gocong and getting rid of their two ineffective quarterbacks. They also have a high amount of draft picks this year. Yet, how many games can they win with Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace behind center?

Buffalo Bills – No quarterback. A weak offensive line. Questions in the front seven of their defense. They are looking like the worst team in the AFC East by a few games.

Kansas City Chiefs – I feel bad that Thomas Jones is likely going to be stuck on a 5-11 team next year.

Oakland Raiders – It is always entertaining to watch what the Raiders do in the draft. They are assembling a nice All-Bust team on offense led by JaMarcus Russell, Darius Heyward-Bey, and Darren McFadden.

Mike Williams Highlights

No Neil Rackers & My 2010 Ideal Jets Schedule

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First a few updates:

Photobucket1.  As I am sure most have heard by now, Neil Rackers has signed with the Texans who threw 4 million dollars at him to compete with Kris Brown. You can’t blame Houston who watched Brown lose about 8 games for them last year on last second kicks. However, this leaves the Jets in a difficult situation at kicker (by the way I completely jinxed them in my article today by saying Tannenbaum always gets his man). Look for the Jets to now target Shayne Graham or Matt Stover. Rex Ryan is familiar with Stover, which could give him a leg up…witty pun intended. There is no way they can go into camp with just Nick Folk on the roster.

2. In a matter of a few hours today, Rich Cimini wondered if the Jets would pursue Marc Bulger but then reported the Jets have no interest in him as a back-up to Mark Sanchez. He also reported the Jets have a high amount of interest in Clemson DE/OLB Ricky Sapp, who could be somebody the Jets trade down a few spots for and still get.

3. Man, I hate Duke.

No Neil Rackers & My 2010 Ideal Jets Schedule

Considering I didn’t want to leave up an article based around Neil Rackers being on the Jets as the top story on the site, I figured I should add a second post today. The NFL schedule isn’t being announced until April 13th but before they get to it, here is how I’d like to see the Jets 16 games break down:

Week 1: Home Vs. Miami, Monday Night Football – Like most Jets fans, I want to get the taste of those two ridiculous losses to the Dolphins out of my mouth as soon as possible. When better than opening night at the stadium for the green and white?

Week 2: At Buffalo – Let’s start out the year 2-0 with a couple of division wins.

Week 3: At Chicago – Before it gets too cold and windy for Sanchez.

Week 4: Home Vs. Cincinnati – Playoff re-match action to close up the first fourth of the season.

Week 5: At Pittsburgh – Tough early season test on the road.

Week 6: Vs. Green Bay – Interesting match-up, hopefully it goes the same way it did last time the Packers traveled to play the Jets.

Week 7: At New England, Sunday Night Football – Big prime-time showdown.

Week 8: Vs. Houston – Tough second fourth of the season for the Jets but it sets up well for a nice second half run like last year.

Week 9:  Bye – Split the season in half again.

Week 10: At Cleveland – Let’s ease out of the bye week with Mangini and company.

Week 11: Vs. Baltimore, Thanksgiving Night – Great showdown for national audience between Rex and his old team.

Week 12: At Denver – 10 days to prepare for the trip out to Mile High.

Week 13: Vs. Buffalo – Finish up the season sweep of the Bills.

Week 14: At Detroit – Stafford vs. Sanchez

Week 15: Vs. Minnesota, Sunday Night Flex – Jets beat up on Favre in primetime.

Week 16: Vs New England – For the division? Glad we are home.

Week 17: At Miami – Erik Ainge gets the start.

Why yes, I’d love a job Mr. Goodell

I Agree Rex, Those Refs Were BS

Good Stuff As Usual

Jets Have Plenty Of Work To Do In April

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First a few updates:

1. How about me getting off from both class and work today to enjoy this weather? I have moved my office (my laptop and myself) outside and just might have to double up on posts today since I didn’t post on Saturday or Sunday. I can save looking for a job and catching up on schoolwork for another day.

2. What was with the Yankees pitching last night? Let’s not get all crazy about one game but nobody ever likes losing to the Red Sox, especially with that sorry excuse for a line-up they assembled this year. 9 runs? Go buy yourself and the bullpen some Subway sandwiches and get it together CC.

3. NBA Playoffs is starting up soon and I couldn’t be more pumped about it. I am still deciding which teams to adopt this year, considering the Knicks never make the playoffs. I am probably going with the Thunder in the West (Durant and Westbrook are a dirty combination) and anybody who is playing the Celtics in the East. I am torn about the Cavs because I love watching LeBron rip it up but I am kind of pulling for a first round exit for them so he is more inclined to head over to New York next year.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook, because I promised Rex Ryan we’d have 300 fans by the end of April and we are still 54 away.

5. What the hell were the Eagles thinking with that trade? They traded their Pro-Bowl quarterback to a division rival, who is a quarterback away from being a good team and now has a coach who has a reputation for getting the most out of his quarterbacks…really smart move. I love how everybody in Philly is saying “bring on the Kevin Kolb era” like the guy didn’t only start 2 games last year and only win 1 of them…against the Chiefs, I could have started against the Chiefs last year and won a game. I am looking forward to Philly fans booing their faces off at Kolb when the Eagles start 2-5 and then pelting Andy Reid with snowballs in December as they finish up a 6-10 season.

Jets Have Plenty Of Work To Do In April

PhotobucketThe most encouraging news of the weekend was that the Jets are bringing in former Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers for a visit tomorrow.Most people around the organization seem to think it is a done deal that Rackers will be in a Jets uniform by the week’s end because let’s face Mike Tannenbaum always gets who he wants. Rich Cimini at The Jets Stream did a comparison of Jay Feely’s and Rackers numbers from the past few years and found some encouraging things

  • Over the last 2 years, Rackers was 41/45 on field goals (91%), while Feely was 54/64 (84%).
  • Rackers was 21/24 outdoors (88%), while Feely was 23/29 (79%)
  • In games where the margin was 0-7 points, Rackers was 10/10 and Feely was 17/20…they both had bad moments in the playoffs last year with Feely missing a pair of FGs in the AFC Championship Game and Rackers having an ugly shank when he had a chance to beat the Packers in regulation during the wild-card round.
  • They are both going to be 34 at the beginning of the year.

Doesn’t sound like a bad trade off, right? Fortunately, it looks like the NIck Folk era is only going to last a few weeks. Speaking of Cimini he wrote an article in today’s Daily News speculating about the Jets being active before the draft and during the draft to improve their roster. He doesn’t name any specific moves or players they could target but continues to insist the Jets aren’t interested in Brandon Marshall, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. What other work could the Jets do this month to improve their roster before OTAs start?

PhotobucketI think they should pull the trigger on bringing back Laveranues Coles. It doesn’t seem like he is generating much interest in the free agent market so the Jets should be able to grab him cheap. Bringing Coles in gives the Jets a little more flexibility on when they have to target a receiver in the draft because as it stands now they will likely draft one in either round one or two. Coles could be a productive slot receiver for a year or two and be a solid mentor to a late round pick.

Cimini mentions Tannenbaum could look over the RFA market and make a move on somebody but at this point I’m not sure who is really available for the Jets to target. There a few lower tier offensive lineman the Jets could look at add for depth. On the unrestricted market, the Jets could consider former Cowboys safety Ken Hamlin who was recently cut and could provide a little more competition/talent to the safety position. Darren Sharper remains a distant possibility because the Jets would have to get very creative financially to bring him in under the final four rules. The Jets may also look to add a veteran quarterback if they aren’t satisfied with Kellen Clemens (and how could you be) but the pickings are slim with people like Kyle Boller, Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown, and Patrick Ramsey on the market.

One place I could definitely see Tannenbaum making move is the draft. The Jets are kind of stuck in no man’s land at #29, which could lead to either a trade up on trade down to acquire more picks. Jared Odrick has been a favorite of mock drafters for the Jets but there are rumors the Browns are interested in him at #7…yes, #7 so it may be hard to see Odrick fall anywhere near the Jets. However, if he does or Dez Bryant does for whatever reason, I could see Mike T making a big move to grab one of those two guys. Beyond that, unless there is a defensive lineman/outside linebacker or receiver the Jets really fall in love with available at #29, expect the Jets to trade back and look to improve their depth at multiple positions.

I would say most people agree the Jets needs list, currently looks something like:

  1. Defensive Line – Especially considering Marques Douglas hasn’t been brought back yet.
  2. Outside Linebacker – They need another pass rusher, if they don’t add a defensive lineman who could get to the quarterback.
  3. Wide Receiver – They still need a #3 guy behind Braylon and Cotchery.
  4. Secondary – They need better depth at corner and safety.
  5. Offensive Line – They need depth and players to develop behind Faneca and Woody.
  6. Veteran backup QB – It couldn’t hurt.

Neil Rackers: Fantasy File

Calm Down About Last Night, #28 Is On The Way

Jets Send Us Into Weekend With Headache

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First a few updates:

1. Big list of quality Jets material published within the last two days, of course you can easily find the links to every Jets related piece of material you should be reading on the Internet by following Turn On The Jets on facebook…go ahead and do that right now…in case you are being stubborn here are a few highlights with some analysis

Photobucket2. First off, ESPN finally launched their ESPN New York site here {http://espn.go.com/new-york/), Jane McManus is doing the Jets blog for it. This is just what I need, another site to check on a daily basis sandwiched between the 19 other Jets sites, Barstool Sports, Lost blogspot and lostpedia so I can figure out what the hell is going on, the message board for our touch football league which I make I living talking trash on, and of course the occasional stop at my school email address…anyway Jane’s first post was on LaDainian Tomlinson who defended his lack of production the last few years by blaming it on the Chargers,“Because the things that happened in San Diego, everything was taken away from me. There wasn’t an emphasis on running the football anymore, my best fullback was gone, the linemen were pass blocking and it was a passing QB and a passing coach.”…well LT will have no such excuses in New York running behind T-Rich and the Jets offensive line. Tomlinson also went on to say he hopes Shonn Greene and himself will be like Jordan and Pippen…does that make Leon, Toni Kukoc?

3. Great article by Tim Graham on his AFC East Blog (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/12137/jets-overtake-patriots-as-the-team-to-hate) about the Jets now being the team to hate in the division. Personally, I love the Jets new style and I say bring the hate on.

4. Rich Cimini also a few recent posts, highlighting some locker room talk (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/) and a few other things. He also discusses the Jets off-season motto “212 degrees,” which is the temperature at which water boils. I think is is clever enough.

Jets Send Us Into Weekend With Headache

PhotobucketWhy are the Jets sending me into the weekend with a headache? The primary reason is that Jay Feely just signed with the Cardinals and it is being reported the Jets had a chance to match the offer and chose not to. Really? The front office and coaching staff is really satisfied going into the year with Nick Folk at kicker? I understand we saved a million dollars because Folk was signed basically for the veterans minimum but there was a reason the Jets were able to sign him for that…because he was awful last year.

I don’t understand how a team who is essentially built to play close football games and plays their home games in a stadium that is notoriously difficult to kick in could undervalue the kicker position so much. The Jets had a very good one in Jay Feely and made a poor decision to be cheap in this instance.

The Jets have developed a reputation as a high spending team yet they lowballed Leon Washington, which could eventually lead to a separation between the two. They went cheap at kicker. They have decided not to re-sign their reliable long snapper for the past decade, James Dearth. Why would you switch your long snapper? If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. They refuse to pay Marques Douglas who wouldn’t even cost that much money and was very productive last year. They went cheap at safety to replace Kerry Rhodes with a guy who is one head injury away from having his career be over.

I am big Mike Tannenbaum fan and maybe these moves are all in preparation of long term deals for Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Braylon Edwards (if he has a good year in 2010) but as of right now the Jets are taking some key risks:

  • They have damaged their relationship with Leon Washington, who has been a great player for them on the field and a great role model off the field. He is rightly a fan favorite but now you have to worry about the Jets ability to ever lock down a long term deal with him, and still be concerned about a team offering him a contract in the next month as a RFA.
  • They are going into the year with a kicker coming off a terrible season, with nobody to compete against him in training camp.
  • Their depth in the secondary is questionable at best. They lost two corners (Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland) and only replaced them with one (Antonio Cromartie). Brodney Pool is injury prone at safety and they only have in-house backups to compete with him for the starting spot.
  • They are thin on the defensive line because of the decision not to bring back Marques Douglas. This could be remedied after the draft but as of now, Shaun Ellis and Mike DeVito are the starters with zero viable backups unless they plan on sliding Sione Pouha or Howard Green out to defensive end.

And if that isn’t enough to give you a headache, Mark Sanchez hasn’t been cleared to run yet even though his surgery was 6 weeks ago. He isn’t going to take part in OTAs, which means it is the Kellen Clemens show in June. Where is the Advil?

This Cheers Me Up

Comments On Lingering Jets Issues

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First a few updates:

1. Interesting article up at www.thejetsblog.com about the Jets low-balling Leon Washington on his contract offer last year and then releasing to the press that they offered him more money. The source for the article is “close” to Washington and is also reporting that two other teams are currently interested in him. Obviously, the validity of that claim and generally all his claims could be questioned considering he is in Washington’s camp but it is still worth a read. Overall, I will remain steadfast in my belief that no team is giving up a second round pick for Washington and that he will be back with the Jets next year.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 8 fans away from 250 and you want the chance to be #250.

3. Around The NFL…It amazes me the Eagles are willing to part with Donovan McNabb for a high second round pick. Nobody in the Philadelphia appreciates how productive and how many winning seasons that guy has brought them. I am not sure what Kevin Kolb has ever done to prove he can handle being a franchise quarterback, but I have to say I am looking forward to Eagles fans whining about how much they miss McNabb when they are 6-10 next year. I know Giants fans will be thrilled to see McNabb leave since he has owned them the past two years…Dez Bryant had a rough workout for scouts yesterday, hopefully enough teams will be dumb enough to pass on him to allow him to get within range for a reasonable trade for the Jets, and Bryant will be in “pissed off Randy Moss rookie year” mode about falling so far for our offense next year. (Yes, I know I have been against drafting a receiver in the first round but to get somebody with Bryant’s talent anywhere in the 20s would be a steal)…If I was the Rams I would be taking Sam Bradford with the first pick, they need a quarterback to build around…The NFL regular season schedule isn’t going to be released until April 13th.

Photobucket4. Thoughts On Lost Season 6, Episode 10 “The Package” – I am not usually a big fan of Jin/Sun episodes, especially since Sun has been reduced to a broken record asking for her husband the past season and a half but last night was a good episode that touched on all the characters/storylines. We saw a little more bleed through between the sideways timeline and the main timeline, with Sun’s inability to speak English and her seeming to notice the bump on her head from the island in the sideways action. Considering she accidentally got shot in the stomach, I don’t think her baby is going to make it, although I am sure Jack will be the operating doctor at the hospital. On the island, it is confirmed that Sayid is nothing more than a zombie/Locke’s killing machine and we got some dialogue from Widmore indicating he may be against the Man In Black. I don’t know who to believe but I do know I am beyond pumped that Desmond is back. All I can say it is about damn time and it will be interesting to see how Widmore wants to use him to stop Locke. My guess is that it involves the wheel that moves the Island since Widmore’s team took Jin to help them locate the pockets of energy on the island.

5. Other quick entertainment comments…Go see Hot Tub Time Machine, and if you haven’t been watching How To Make It In America, wait until after this week’s season finale and take the time to watch the 8 season 1 episodes online or on-demand.

6. Jets Pre-Season Schedule:

  • Week 1 vs. Giants
  • Week 2 at Carolina
  • Week 3 vs. Washington
  • Week 4 at Philly

Comments On Lingering Jets Issues

#3 Receiver: I think it is obvious we won’t be going into training camp with just Brad Smith, David Clowney, and Britt Davis battling it out for the #3 receiver spot. Unless somehow the Jets swing a move to grab Dez Bryant in round 1, I think they draft a receiver in either round 2 or round 4 if they find somebody who’s value they like at that spot. If for some reason the Jets leave the draft without adding a receiver or just adding one in the 6th or 7th round, I think at that point they would sign Laveranues Coles, who would be a nice fit for a year or two in the slot. Another guy I wouldn’t mind the Jets looking at is former Bills receiver, Josh Reed who is younger than Coles and has put together some productive years in the slot for Buffalo.

Defensive Line: My guess on the Jets thinking at this time is that they plan to draft a defensive lineman with their first round pick…hopefully Jared Odrick. Yet, if they can’t get him or another guy they are satisfied with and end up trading back or going in a different direction, they will then proactively go re-sign Marques Douglas. Honestly considering how thin and old they are on the defensive line right now, it would be probably be smarter to draft a defensive lineman in the first round and re-sign Douglas.

PhotobucketSecondary Depth: You have to think with Rex Ryan’s love of defensive backs, the Jets will add at least another body or two to their secondary through the draft or free agency. As of right now, we are only one injury away from Dwight Lowery starting and Drew Coleman moving into the nickel role, which is no good. It is hard to project what positions the Jets will target on a round by round basis because they aren’t going to reach for a guy who isn’t a good value only because he plays a specific spot but here is what I think you could see:

  • Round 1 – Defensive Lineman
  • Round 2 – Receiver
  • Round 4 – Corner
  • Round 5 – Offensive Lineman
  • Round 6 – Linebacker
  • Round 7 – Defensive Lineman/Corner

Backup Quarterback: Kellen Clemens hasn’t signed his tender yet but I would guess at this point he will end up remaining the Jets #2 quarterback. I think both Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell will get a fair shot to unseat him in training camp and then one of them, Clemens, Ainge, or O’Connell will be let go or traded during camp/pre-season. The Jets are likely hoping that an injury occurs that will lead a team to offer a late round pick (6 or 7) for Clemens, who has some starting experience under his belt and could be viewed as a good backup prospect for some teams.

One Last Time If You Haven’t Seen It Yet, TOJ Movie Trailer:

Dez Bryant Highlights

Five Ways For The Jets To Flame Out In 2010

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First a few updates:

1. You know as of right now there isn’t a ton to update on, the draft section is updated and overloaded with potential prospects for the Jets in all seven rounds. The guys over at www.thejetsblog.com do a great job with their “Prospect Watch,” which is where the list of players came from in the “2010 Draft” Section, as you can see from all the links. They finish up adding prospects on April 4th at which point I will organize them by position and list their projected rounds (per TJB), and then we can wait to see if the Jets actually end up with any of these guys.

2. Even though Rich Cimini mentioned Dez Bryant yesterday as a potential guy for the Jets at #29 and I got myself all excited about it, it is pretty hard to see a guy with that much talent even falling into the 20’s. His physical talent is too great for that many teams to pass on, regardless of his off the field issues.

3. A big congratulations to the New Jersey Nets for getting their 10th win and avoiding having the worst record in NBA history.

4. Dustin Keller is beginning his career as a restaurant critic on the New York Times Fifth Down Blog here (http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/dustin-keller-i-eight-one/) even though he didn’t exactly pick an out of the way place for his first review (since he went with one of the best and well-know steakhouses in the City), it is still a good read and has me thinking about treating myself to a meal there when that TOJ check comes in this month.

Five Ways For The Jets To Flame Out In 2010

You may have noticed that I have been optimistic about the Jets chances in 2010. Even when I push aside my bias as a lifelong fan, I still genuinely believe the Jets will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next year. However, this is the NFL and we know big expectations don’t always equal big things. It is difficult to maintain success on a year to year basis, so let me channel my Joe Benigno negative Jets fan inside of me and look at five ways the Jets could disappointin 2010 (by the way I consider anything short of a playoff berth next year to be a major disappointment).

1. Sophomore Slump – It is hard to say that if Mark Sanchez struggles next year that it would be a sophomore slump considering his regular season stats last season. However, we saw the quarterback Sanchez has the potential to be in the playoffs and if he can maintain that level of play the Jets are going to be a very, very tough team to beat. Yet, if he goes back to his performance in the middle of the season last year, when he was throwing 3+ interceptions every other game, the Jets are going to struggle to be anything better than the 9-7 team they were in 2009. The Jets remain a team built on their defense and running game, and even though the playbook should be opened up a little more, Sanchez must protect the football and not take unnecessary chances.

Photobucket2. Built To Last – The Jets have been extremely fortunate to have the same five guys start every game on their offensive line the past two seasons. They still lack solid depth across their front and if one or heaven forbid two of those five went down for an extended period of the time the Jets could be in serious trouble. The running game would suffer, which would put more pressure on Sanchez who wouldn’t be protected as well as usual…sounds like a recipe for disaster.

3. Lead Back Problems – This is Shonn Greene’s first year as a starter and a guy who will counted for 20 carries week in and week out. If Greene can’t stay healthy and can’t shake his fumbling problems, the Jets will be forced to rely on two guys who shouldn’t be getting more than 10 carries a game: an aging LaDainian Tomlinson and Leon Washington, returning from a major injury. Personally, I think Greene is going to be a 1300-1500 yard back this year but he has never done it before, so you never know.

4. Secondary Holes – The Jets are counting on Antonio Cromartie to fill the gaping hole opposite Darrelle Revis. If Cromartieplays like he did in 2007, the Jets will have the best corner duo in football. If he plays like he did last year, the Jets are going to have the same problems they did at times last season. Dwight Lowery remains the #3 corner and I don’t think he will be getting bumped into the starting line-up in a big spot after last year’s AFC Championship game. At safety, Brodney Pool needs to show he can stay healthy all year or Eric Smith needs to show he can handle a full time starting role.

5. Close Game Problems – The Jets lost on the last play of game two times last year to Miami, once to Buffalo, once to Jacksonville, and basically once to Atlanta. If the Jets could have been 3-2 in those games instead of 0-5, you are looking at a 11-5 team. If the Jets don’t learn how to win close games, they won’t win enough games to compete for a division title.

TOJ Movie Trailer

Who Are We Kidding, Shonn Greene Is Going To Be A Beast Next Year…Cromartie Better Learn To Tackle Though

Are The Jets The Team To Beat In The AFC East?

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…for some reason we lost 2 fans in the past 2 days. I don’t think I offended anybody recently but who knows, all I know is we need somebody to make up for those 2 and we need to add a few more this week.

2. Good post today by Rich Cimini on who the Jets may be interested in for this year’s draft. #29 is a hard spot to project but Jared Odrick of Penn State has been a popular choice because of the Jets age and lack of depth on the defensive line. Yet, if Dez Bryant somehow falls to #29 or in the near proximity of it, it is hard not to see Mike Tannenbaum grabbing such a big name guy with such big time potential. Personally, I would rather see them take Odrick or another defensive lineman/outside linebacker instead of a receiver but you have to admit Bryant is an exciting possibility…and please, no Taylor Mays…we don’t need Vernon Gholston 2.0 at safety.

3. Nice quote from Calvin Pace in a Sporting News interview about playing for the Jets and their fans:

“When I signed with the Jets two years ago, I thought about that, and if that would help me do well. The people here are passionate, and you get really excited playing for the tem. That J-E-T-S chant gets you pumped up. It’s 24-hour football for these fans.”

4. As you can see at the bottom of the article, we have a new episode of TOJ TV. Our producer got a new camera and thought it would be fun to put together a movie trailer documenting how I began working for the site. I am saving all my football analysis for the upcoming Podcasts, which will world premiere on April 15thwith a draft preview, off-season review edition. TOJ TV can now fully embrace its role as entertaining videos related to being a Jets fan instead of a spot for analysis.

Are The Jets The Team To Beat In The AFC East?

PhotobucketA popular topic this off-season has been debating the question of whether the Jets or Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC East in 2010. On November 22nd 2009, this question would have been a no-brainer. New England took advantage of an awful Mark Sanchez performance and whipped the Jets 31-14. It seemed like the Patriots would be rolling to another division title and run at a Super Bowl while the Jets were headed to another year without the playoffs. However, over the last 6 weeks the Jets finished strong with a 5-1 record, while New England only went 3-3 down the stretch. In the wild-card round of the playoffs, the once mighty Patriots were completely humiliated on their home field by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14, while the Jets pulled out a gutsy win on the road against the Bengals 24-14. The Jets then followed that performance up with a 17-14 upset in San Diego, before eventually falling to the Colts by 13 in the AFC Championship Game. Is the torch ready to be passed?

So far this off-season, the Jets have had more than turnover than the Patriots. They added Antonio Cromartie to replace the ineffective Lito Sheppard, signed LaDainian Tomlinson to back up Shonn Greene instead of giving the job to the recently more effective Thomas Jones, and replaced the underachieving Kerry Rhodes with Brodney Pool. They let special teamers like Wallace Wright and Marques Murrell walk but recently signed special teams standout Lance Laury to help fill the gap left by them. It also appears Jay Feely and Marques Douglas won’t be back and the Jets are yet to fill the holes left by them…I don’t count Nick Folk and Mike DeVito as filling their spots properly.

New England has concentrated primarily on hanging on to their own players. They have brought back Leigh Bodden, Vince Wilfork, and Tully Banta-Cain on defense. On offense, they did let Chris Baker and Ben Watson walk at tight end but recently signed Alge Crumpler to fill the spot and also brought back Kevin Faulk and Stephen Neal.

Where does that leave the two teams right now? On offense, New England probably isn’t getting back Wes Welker until sometime in October and who knows when he will be back to 100 percent. Make no mistake, Welker is the Patriots most dangerous playmaker and important receiver, not Randy Moss who appears to be in decline. Also, spare me with the Julian Edeleman can be just as good as Welker in New England’s offense talk because regardless of Edeleman’s stats when Welker was out, here is what Tom Brady did without Welker in the lineup:

  • Vs Baltimore – 23/42, 154 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs
  • Vs Jets – 23/47, 216 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
  • Vs Atlanta – 25/42, 277 yards, 1 TD

PhotobucketOutside of a good game against a crappy Atlanta secondary, Brady could barely complete 50 percent of his passes without Welker in the lineup and had two of his worst games of the year when he didn’t have him as a safety valve. New England is still currently thin at receiver because Edeleman is injury prone (he missed 4 games last year) and Sam Aiken or Isaiah Stanback can’t handle major reps. They also have questions at running back because after a big rookie year, Laurence Maroney has been a bust who can’t hold on to the football. Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris are both ancient and can’t stay healthy and Kevin Faulk is nothing more than a third down back, although a good one at that. Beyond that, Tom Brady didn’t have his best year last season but considering the injury he was coming back from was still very good, until he had a meltdown in the playoffs. New England’s offensive line isn’t what it used to be but still remains one of the better units in the league.

On defense, the Patriots were pretty good last year. They finished #11 in total defense but laid an egg in the playoffs and were embarrassed a few times, including a dreadful performance on Monday Night against the Saints and when they choked away a big lead to the Colts in a Sunday Night game (no shame in that because the Colts also shredded up the Jets in the AFC Championship game and came back from a double digit deficit). Jerod Mayo was a disappointmentin his second year and they remain very average in the secondary. If you take Leigh Bodden’s stats away from the second Jets game when Sanchez gift wrapped him three interceptions, I don’t see how you could claim he is a legit number one corner and the rest of their corners are journeyman unless Darius Butler develops. New England’s front still has talent but you could run on them.

When I look at the Jets compared to the Patriots, I think they compare very favorably. The Jets have a superior offensive line, substantially more talent at running back, a better tight end, and a better #2 receiver until Welker makes it back to 100 percent. Yes, I would take Jerricho Cotchery over Julian Edeleman, Sam Aiken or anybody else they currently have to trot out there. The Jets don’t have somebody at receiver with the talent of Randy Moss but fortunately when we play them, we have Darrelle Revis to completely take him out of the game. Obviously, the Patriots have an advantage at quarterback but Brady is going to struggle against the Jets pass rush or any defense with a quality pass rush without Welker as a safety valve and a good running game to rely on. The Jets have a better all-around defense right now than New England. They are better at corner, linebacker, and with Jenkins back compare well with them on the defensive line.

They also have the benefit of playing the second place schedule instead of the first place schedule next year. Basically, that means they get the Texans and Broncos instead of the Colts and Chargers, yes it is only 2 games but in a likely close race, that could help the Jets. It would remiss not to mention the Patriots are set up much better for the draft than the Jets. New England has three second round picks, a higher first round pick than the Jets, and five seventh round picks. We have to wait and see how the Patriots could improve through the draft since they have missed more than a few recent selections.

PhotobucketRight now, I do think the Jets are the team to beat in the AFC East. By the end of the season, they were the best team in the division and I think when you factor in the return of Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington, their roster has improved from last year. Even though he is showing signs of slipping from his untouchable genius ways, Bill Belichick will still have New England in contention next year, and they remain the Jets primary challenge for the division title. What about Miami, you ask? Karlos Dansby was a nice addition even though they overpaid for him, but I don’t think they have done enough yet to move from a 7-9 team who was a Danny Woodhead keeping his outside contain on kickoff and Bart Scott tackle away from being 5-11. (Can you tell I am still bitter about those losses?) What about Buffalo? I don’t know let me see who wins the quarterback battle between Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm, and Ryan Fitzpatrick and then I will let you know.

TOJ Movie Trailer

Randy Moss Is A Slouch While On Revis Island

Five Sunday Thoughts On The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. News has been slow on our Jets the past few days, clearly the front office is trying to catch their breath after the Hard Knocks frenzy. News has been slow enough that Mark Sanchez calling Brandon Marshall to wish him a happy birthday is being reported as a story. I am hoping I won’t wake up tomorrow to read about LaDainian Tomlinson not liking his eggs at a local Jersey diner. Going back to Marshall, I’d be shocked at this point to see him end up in a Jets uniform.

2. There is a general impression from some people that Rex Ryan is trying to run Leon Washington out of town. Honestly, I don’t see it that way at all. Leon is going to be back with the Jets in 2010 because no team is giving up a second round pick for him and I believe after a slow start, he will gradually turn into the player he has always been for the Jets. By the end of the year, I expect him to be getting more touches than Tomlinson on a weekly basis.

3. The 2010 draft section has been updated. As soon as I can figure out how to record Skype conversations on my Mac for phone interviews the first TOJ Podcast will be up and running.

Five Sunday Thoughts On The Jets

No Friday thoughts on the Jets this past week, but here are five Sunday thoughts as we get a week closer to the NFL Draft.

1. You have to wonder how long Bill Belichick will hold on to Adalius Thomas to prevent him from coming to the Jets. It is clear neither side is interested in Thomas spending another year with the Patriots but everybody in New England knows the second he is cut, he is signing with Rex Ryan and the Jets. I wouldn’t have a problem with another year of Bryan Thomas at outside linebacker, but it would be a nice improvement to the Jets pass rush if Adalius was rotating in on passing downs.

2. Jay Feely and Marques Douglas…still on the market. How could a team built around defense, running the football, and playing low scoring/close games feel good going into the season with Nick Folk at kicker? Can’t we pay Feely, who did a very good job the past two years and has proved he can handle kicking in the swirling winds of the Meadowlands? Douglas is a quality 3-4 defensive end, who is a perfect fit in Rex Ryan’s defense. Mike DeVito is miscast as a starter and is better served as a rotational player. Mike Tannenbaum, you do a great job but pay the men.

3. I feel good about Kris Jenkins having a big bounce-back year. He sounds motivated to give the Jets a few more high quality years and apparently has looked good in their off-season workouts. It will obviously be a major boost to the Jets front seven, who was still very productive without him last year, to have Jenkins back. If he can be the player he was in 2008, it is hard not to see the Jets defense repeating as one of the league’s top, if not the top unit, in the NFL.

Photobucket 4. How is Darrelle Revis going to follow up his performance last year? It will be interesting to see how much teams keep away from him and how he affects offensive game plans on a week to week basis. Antonio Cromartie is going to have every chance to be the ten interception guy he was in 2007 because there will be no shortage of balls coming his way. I wonder if Revis will be given enough opportunities to match or exceed the six interceptions he had last year. He has went from three in 2007 to five in 2008 to six last year, it would be nice to see seven or eight so he could get that DPOY Award he deserves.

5. When is the last year the Jets had a player with double digit sacks? The answer is 2005…when John Abraham had 10.5. We have to be due for it this year right? Calvin Pace? Shaun Ellis? David Harris? Bryan Thomas? Adalius Thomas? Vernon Gholston? Just kidding about the last one.

Jets Defense: You Shall Not Pass