Reaction To Super Bowl Announcement, And Speaking Of The Super Bowl…

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have hired former Appalachian State receiver coach Lance Taylor as an offensive assistant.

2. The Jets have the day off from OTAs tomorrow but we will back on Thursday with full media availability. There was some released statements from players on the team, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan on the Super Bowl announcement and obviously everybody was excited. It is a nice moment for the organization.

Reaction To Super Bowl Announcement, And Speaking Of Super Bowl…

As expected, the new Meadowlands Stadium was awarded the Super Bowl in 2014. Over the last few days it had become relatively apparent this was going to happen and the announcement didn’t take anyone by surprise. Personally as a North Jersey native, I am very pumped about the Super Bowl taking place 20 minutes from my house. I know everybody refers to it as the New York Super Bowl but keep in mind it is beautiful East Rutherford, New Jersey that will be hosting the game. It is being estimated the game, being held in 2014, will generate approximately $550 million for the local economy.

PhotobucketI could only hope that gives the state enough money to either knock down Xanadu or actually some functioning stores in it. We are all getting tired of looking at that empty, bizarrely colored building which is an ugly sign of recent economic problems in the area. The announcement should help sell the naming rights to the stadium, which is currently just being called The New Meadowlands Stadium.

I think the concern over cold weather is overrated. Is there anything better than a good snow game? If you disagree…stop being so soft, football is supposed to be played in the elements. However, if the Jets happen to make the 2014 Super Bowl and the weather negatively impacts them, then I reserve the right to change my mind. Seriously though, I hope this starts a trend of occasionally having the game in cold weather locations and by that I mean I hope this isn’t the only time it ends up in this stadium. The only other cold weather stadium that could have a shot would be New England but let’s be real it is no New York up there so that probably won’t happen.

PhotobucketAnyway since we are talking about the Super Bowl, what are your expectations for the Jets in 2010? Is anything short of a Super Bowl appearance considered a disappointment? You would think when a team is winning in the second half of the AFC Championship Game the previous season, the logical next step and expectation should be a Super Bowl appearance. While it is bizarre to expect a team who hasn’t won a AFC Championship since 1969 to do it this season, that is the reality for the Jets in 2010. Nobody is going to be happy with a divisional title. Nobody is going to be satisfied with a couple of playoff wins. We saw that last year. The talent is in place and the Jets have talked the talk since the season ended, so now it is time to walk the walk.

There are no certainties in the NFL. There may not even be a season in 2011. If there is, the Jets are going to have to make some difficult roster decisions. No, it isn’t as bad as some writers make it out to be. There isn’t going to be a need to blow up the team. Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson will get their money from the Jets but some of the recent additions could be moving on (Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson) along with certain veterans like Shaun Ellis and Damien Woody.

The point is that while the Jets should still be a good team past this season, they are in the best position they have been in a long time to reach a Super Bowl. The roster is loaded on both sides of the ball. The Patriots are down. The Dolphins have plenty of question marks. The Jets showed they can handle the Chargers and we’ll see how they match-up with the Ravens in week one. Obviously the top team in the conference is still the Colts but the Jets have spent the entire off-season building themselves to beat them, by adding Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Kyle Wilson, and Brondey Pool.

A successful season for the Jets in 2010 equals an appearance in the Super Bowl and in reality nobody is satisfied with a loss in the big game, so yes it is championship or bust in 2010 for the New York Jets.

Go Shonn, Go

Expectations For Jets New Additions

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets had OTAs today but it has been a quiet day of news, most of the focus is on the vote tomorrow for the New York Super Bowl in 2014. From all indications, it looks like it is something that is going to happen.

2. I honestly wish the Jets would stop wasting time and sign Matt Stover right now. Let him and Folk compete throughout the summer and then if Folk keeps shanking every ball he puts his foot on, then you could at least feel somewhat comfortable with a reliable kicker like Stover on the roster.

Expectations For New Jets Additions

I have already went over what should be fair expectations for the Jets rookie class in 2010 but how about their new acquisitions via trade and free agency, here is a look:

PhotobucketSantonio Holmes – It is hard to project Holmes production since he won’t be joining the Jets offense until week 5. Yet, the most important thing the team needs him to be is a consistent big play threat. In the Jets offense, he isn’t going to average 5 catches for 100 yards each week but he needs to continue doing what he did in a Steelers uniform. Holmes has to turn those quick smoke screens into 15-20 yard gains and get down the field to pull in a few deep balls. The most important thing for Holmes will be to learn all the receiver positions in the Jets offense, so he has the ability to move all over the formation and get himself into one on one coverage situations. It is hard for me to pinpoint stats for him in 12 games, especially when it could take a couple of games for him to integrate into the offense, but how about 40-45 catches for 650 yards with 4-6 touchdowns?

LaDainian Tomlinson – When Leon Washington was traded to Seattle, the expectations for what Tomlinson would bring to the Jets offense rose substantially higher. The Jets need him to spell Shonn Greene for a series or two each half, be the full time third down back until Joe McKnight is ready to consistently contribute and be the team’s goal-line and short yardage back. Tomlinson’s yards per carry has to be way up from the 3.3 it was last year and get it closer to 4.o. If the Jets could get 700-900 total yards and 5-8 touchdowns, I think they’d be very happy.

Antonio Cromartie – The Jets need the consistency opposite Darrelle Revis at corner in 2010 that Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery couldn’t give them. Cromartie is now playing in a defense that plays to his strengths, with a strong emphasis on man to man coverage. He will have plenty of balls coming his way as teams attempt to avoid Revis Island and he needs to not only provide steady coverage but also bring the big play element that made him an All-Pro a few years ago.

Jason Taylor – The Jets brought Taylor in to improve their pass rush and considering the way Rex Ryan is likely to use him in his style of defense, the team is expecting 9-12 sacks out of him. If Calvin Pace could get 8 sacks in 12 games last season, than Taylor who is a better pure pass rusher should be able to hit double digits in a full season of work.

Brodney Pool – The Jets need Pool to be everything Kerry Rhodes wasn’t for them last season. They want a player who will be aggressive in the running game and wrap-up when he makes tackles. Nobody wants to see anymore of the Rhodes “turn my back to the runner and jump into him” tackle attempts or their starting safety being steamrolled by a scrub like Laurence Maroney. Pool was having a very good season in 2009 before he was hurt so hopefully he can pick up where he left off in 2010.

Oh wait…you thought I wouldn’t have thoughts on the LOST finale?

From everything I have read, it seems the finale was relatively polarizing. Personally, I liked it. I thought the first 2 hours and 20 minutes were terrific and was LOST at its absolute best. I was surprised the Jack/Locke conflict was so early in the episode, along with Desmond heading down into the “source” so early. However, they all filled their purpose. Desmond was able to live through pulling the cork out, which gave Jack the chance to kill Locke (well Kate technically did it) and then Jack sacrificed himself to place the cork back in and save the island, leaving Hurley behind in the “Jacob” role. I am just waiting for the spin off of the years when Hurley and Ben ruled the island, when ABC realizes all their other Lost spin offs like Flashforward and V are failures.

PhotobucketThe last scene? The sideways world basically being a purgatory? Yes, I can understand complaints about it but in the end, I liked the explanation of it and how all the characters crossed over and had their “realization” moment. I think the ending was relatively straightforward…almost too straightforward. The final shot of Jack’s eye closing was well done, along with the shot of Locke/Jack looking down the cave mirroring the shot of them looking down the hatch in season 1. Also what does everybody think that wreckage at the end during the credits was? Did the Ajira plane crash? Was it another plane that crashed after Jack died?

In the end, I am sorry for the people who watched it and couldn’t be satisfied unless one of the creators sat there for 3 hours and read answers to every minuet question. It was a great show and the real question is what I am going to watch now? I think I am heading to Blockbuster to rent season 1 of “The Wire.”

Saturday Afternoon Thoughts On Jets Rivals

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Another beautiful overcast day here in Whitehall, Pennsylvania and since I am looking for an excuse to procrastinate on filling out job applications, let’s get to some Saturday afternoon thoughts on the Jets rivals.

Patriots – Could this be the year the Patriots finally fall off? I amazed when people talk up the off-season they had and discuss them as a top 5 or 6 team in the league. I am pretty sure I saw a team that was falling off as the 2009 season ended, capped with a blowout loss in their building in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Yes, they still have Brady and Belichick which means they are going to be competitive week in and week out but beyond that, what else has New England done this off-season to make you think they are improving on their 10-6 record from last year, instead of getting worse?

Don’t underestimate how much the Patriots will miss Wes Welker on offense. Any Jets fan saw the difference between New England’s offense with Welker and without him when comparing week 2 to week 11 last year. The Patriots still don’t have a number one running back but have instead decided to collect aging, injury-proned players and stay with perpetual disappointment Laurence Maroney. On defense, New England struggled heavily in 2009 and outside of drafting Devin McCourty in the first round, what have they done to improve? The Patriots look like an 8-8 team to me this season.

PhotobucketDolphinsAfter acquiring Brandon Marshall, I am starting to think the Dolphins will be the Jets main competition for an AFC East title in 2010. Yes, they still have some questions on their defense but Karlos Dansby and Jared Odrick will help them, and you know they can run the football. Marshall finally gives them a legitimate weapon in the passing game and Brian Hartline should develop into a decent number two receiver. The whole world seems ready to pronounce Chad Henne a franchise quarterback but let’s wait and see if he can win a big game first. I am pretty sure when the Dolphins had a chance to make the playoffs last season, he went 0-3.

Giants – Brandon Jacobs recently grabbed some headlines by claiming New York is still the Giants city because they won a Super Bowl recently. First off, Jacobs might want to worry about improving that ugly stat line from last season before he gets shipped out of New York, but second you can’t say that he doesn’t have a point. If I was a Giants fan or player, I would tire of reading about the Jets every single day considering they haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1969 or a division title since 2002. Yet, the NFL and the mainstream media is a what have you done for me lately business and the last thing in everybody’s memory is the Giants quitting and being embarrassed the last 2 games of the 2009 season, while the Jets had a run to the AFC Championship Game, followed by the Jets having a better off-season. Personally, I don’t root against the Giants the way I used to when I was younger and outside of annoying my friends who are all Giants friends, I don’t really concern myself with what they do. The two teams don’t impact each other this year, unless they are going to meet in a Super Bowl, which would be terrific.

Other TOJ Updates

– Keep the Facebook fans coming…we are at 356 right now and I’d like to hit 500 by week 1 of the pre-season. Unlike a site like The Jets Blog, TOJ is a one man show so I basically use the Facebook page as my version of The Jets Blog. I use it to aggregate everything a Jets fan should be reading on a daily basis, along with quick commentary on each links. I will also throw up some non-Jets related things occasionally, if the situation calls for it. Keep in mind I am also a Yankees and Knicks fan, and watch massive amounts of television and movies….because you know, I am an unemployed college student (at least for a few more months). You can also follow TOJ on Twitter (Turn On The Jets) and on the ESPN Jets Message Boards (WR09CB), Digg, and Ballhype (all the account information is in the “About The Author” section of the web site).

– Remember the other links at the top of the page…Turn On The Jets TV, 2009 Highlights, 2010 Schedule, 2010 Depth Chart, 2009 Stats, The Podcast which can be accessed here (http://web.me.com/turnonthejets/Site/Podcast/Podcast.html).

– We should have a new Podcast up in the next week or two.

– As we head into the Lost finale tomorrow, which means you will never have to deal with reading about the show at TOJ again, I leave you with my favorite scene from each season:

Season 1 – The Opening

Season 2 – Down The Hatch

Season 3 – We Have To Go Back

Season 4 – I Always Have A Plan

Season 5 – Jacob?

Season 6 – The Timelines Merge

Wrapping Up Jets Week Of OTAs and Other Thoughts

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First a few updates:

1. I’d annoy everybody about following Turn On The Jets on Facebook but we jumped from 315 fans to 348 fans in the last 24 hours…well done. You can also follow TOJ on Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

2. The Jets have the same schedule next week for OTAs, with a practice on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with Thursday being the only day with media access. They then have OTAs on June 2-3, June 8th, and June 10th.

3. Jason Taylor is practicing with #95 for now but in a recent interview it sounded like Bryan Thomas would be willing to sell #99 to him.

4. Darrelle Revis has refuted reports he is asking for 20 million dollars a year but he has stated he wants to be the highest paid corner in football. Currently, Nnamdi Asmougha is and he makes about 15.2 million a year, so look for Revis to end up with something in the 16-18 million dollars a year range. Pay. The. Man.

5. It looks like we are headed to Lakers vs. Celtics in the NBA Finals. Can I buy a competitive series in this NBA Playoffs?

6. I can’t get enough Mikhail Prokhorov…I may have to become a Nets fan soon especially if the Knicks don’t come through with LeBron.

Wrapping Up Jets Week Of OTAs and Other Thoughts

New Additions – Antonio Cromartie has been doing some work as a kick returner. I think most people assumed the Jets would have Brad Smith, Kyle Wilson, and Joe McKnight battle for that job but Cromartie is obviously an explosive player with the ball in his hands. I doubt he would have the job full time but I could see them throwing him back there a few times a game.

Santonio Holmes probably didn’t make many people in the organization happy when he said he didn’t want a Super Bowl to be played at the Meadowlands. Regardless, outside of being knocked over by Darrelle Revis in a blocking drill, Holmes seems to be blending in well with his teammates according to people reporting from practice and his fellow teammates. Holmes best asset for the Jets is his versatility to line up all over the formation, which will help him integrate into the offense quicker when he returns in week 5.

PhotobucketVladimir Ducasse was running with the first team offense and made a good impression on Rex Ryan. It will be interesting to see how much of a shot Matt Slauson really has at winning the job. If Ducasse can hold his own in his rookie year as the starting left guard, it will speak well for the Jets front office who took a chance on him as a small school prospect in the 2nd round.

In my mind, the most concerning news of the week was that Nick Folk missed about every kick he took. You can’t be a team built around running the ball and playing defense and have a kicker who can’t make a 40 yard field goal…actually no team can afford to have a guy like that. It looks the Jets may have to wait and see who loses the kicking battle in Houston or take somebody else off the scrap heap. Mike Nugent? John Hall? Is he still around?

Second Year Players – It was good to hear Sanchez was participating in some drills this week…any time spent with the offense is valuable. There is no need to push him too far during OTAs, the key is that he is 100 percent for training camp and the pre-season. Apparently, neither Kellen Clemens or Erik Ainge was impressive during OTAs. Also, Rich Cimini reported Shonn Greene looked like he put on some weight and not the good kind of weight. I am a little worried about the Jets running back situation this year, I hope #23 can prove me wrong and show he is capable of being a full time number one back.

Other Thoughts/Questions

1. Who will be the Jets main competition for the AFC East title, Miami or New England? It is easy to assume New England but I could see the Dolphins being better than them this season. New England’s offense just doesn’t scare me without Wes Welker out there and they still have question marks on their defense.

2. If the Jets could do five things before the regular season starts, I would want to see them add a new kicker, lock down Revis long term, lock down Mangold long term, sign Mark Brunell, and sign Adalius Thomas.

3. What prime time game are you looking forward to the most this year? Personally, I can’t help but get the most pumped about hosting the Vikings (if they have Favre) on Monday Night Football. I also badly want a win on Sunday Night Football over the Dolphins in their building.

The Jets Journey To Relevancy

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The Jets Journey To Relevancy

Today I was talking to a friend from Philadelphia about how big of a following the Flyers have in the city with their recent Cinderella run in the playoffs. He assured me the Flyers were a big deal within the city and had a rabid following that didn’t trail the Eagles or Phillies by as much as you’d expect. I thought about the New York sports market, where the Rangers, Devils, and Islanders are irrelevant topics on the back pages of newspapers, sports talk radio, and mainstream websites. The only buzz around the Knicks and Nets is associated with the prayer’s chance of recruiting LeBron James. Football and baseball dominate the town. The Yankees are the number one story and you would normally put the Giants and Mets right behind them with the Jets a distant fourth.

PhotobucketI remember December 30th, 2007 sitting in the pouring rain at a half empty stadium watching the 3-12 Jets play the 4-11 Chiefs. It was an ugly and depressing game as I watched Kellen Clemens struggle through a 13/25, 115 yard performance. The Giants were headed to the playoffs. The Patriots had just completed an undefeated regular season. Little did I know that both were headed for an epic Super Bowl, which had one of the best fourth quarters and plays in league history. There you had it, the team the Jets shared the city with and their biggest rival battling on the world’s biggest stage while the Jets couldn’t be any more irrelevant. It was just another low point in the difficult life of being a New York Jets fan.

Yet today, when I was talking with my friend I had to put the Jets as the number two story in the New York sports market behind the defending champion Yankees. The Mets are slowly fading into their usual oblivion and somehow the Jets have become a better, more entertaining team and a bigger story than the New York Giants, a team who won arguably the greatest Super Bowl game ever played a little over 2 years ago.

How did this happen?

It started with an uncharacteristically aggressive off-season headed into the 2008 regular season. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum learned from his mistake heading into the 2007 season, when he incorrectly believed his 10-6 team was only a few minor tweaks away from being a Super Bowl contender. The Jets were a fun story in 2006 but they caught the league off-guard with a wild-card appearance thanks to a soft schedule, a surprisingly productive season from Chad Pennington, and career years from journeyman players like Victor Hobson, Cedric Houston, Anthony Clement, Chris Baker, Bryan Thomas, Hank Poteat, Erik Coleman, Justin Miller, and Andre Dyson.

The Jets did add Thomas Jones but thought they could get by another year with Clement on the line and Adrien Clarke stepping in for Pete Kendall at guard and made no major free agent additions to their defense. However, Tannenbaum did strike gold in the draft by trading up for future All-Pro defenders Darrelle Revis and David Harris. Regardless, Pennington succumbed to another injury and Kellen Clemens struggled heavily behind a terrible offensive line and the Jets disappointed with a 4-12 season.

With owner Woody Johnson’s blessing the Jets began a trend of recruiting and landing big time free agents. They broke the bank for perennial pro-bowler Alan Faneca and brought in veteran Damien Woody to complement him at tackle. They outbid Miami for Calvin Pace and swung a trade for Kris Jenkins. They also solidified their running game by adding fullback Tony Richardson and blocking tight end Bubba Franks. Despite Eric Mangini’s stringent ways and the organization operating under the New England state of mind, they were still able to recruit big name players to rebuild the roster.

PhotobucketTannenbaum didn’t finish his off-season until he shocked the football world by swinging a trade for Brett Favre. I know in the end, the Favre experiment didn’t work out considering the Jets failed to make the playoffs and his struggles down the stretch. However, the fact that Favre joined the Jets demonstrated to the rest of the league that the team was moving in the right direction. The pieces were being put into place to build a contender on both sides of the ball and they had a GM and owner who would aggressively pursue putting together a winner regardless of the cost.

The Jets could have faded back into irrelevancy into 2009 when they decided to cut ties with Favre and head coach Eric Mangini. Breaking with his personal characteristics and the Bill Parcells mindset he was groomed with, Mike Tannenbaum went for the boisterous, confident Rex Ryan. Mangini was a good football mind but had suffocated the life out of the organization. Ryan provided the shot of energy necessary to overcome the hangover from the disastrous end to the 2009 season and Favre’s departure. The bold moves from the previous off-season carried over into the months heading into 2009, starting with Ryan and his recruitment of former Baltimore Ravens, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, and Marques Douglas.

Yet, the most important decision came during the 2009 NFL Draft. The Jets weren’t making the playoffs with Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff at quarterback and everybody knew it. They needed a franchise quarterback to wash the bad taste out of everybody’s mouth that Favre had left. Working with their former head coach Mangini, they moved up to acquire USC’s Mark Sanchez.

The team had successfully moved out of the Mangini/Favre era with an exciting new head coach and quarterback. However, they retained the quality players acquired during Mangini’s two winning seasons in three years. The pieces were in place for a team with cautiously high expectations heading into the 2009 season.

In a rare occurrence, the football gods smiled on the ugly stepchild of New York City. A 7-7 team that appeared to be out of the playoffs was handed the backups of the best team in the league and took advantage. The victory positioned them to close out the stadium they had embarrassingly been tenants in, with a playoff berth in front of the whole country on Sunday Night Football. The Big Brother New York Giants had packed up their bags a few weeks too early and left with an ugly loss to the Carolina Panthers, leaving the Jets to fill the void as the team the New York sports market could get behind. Regardless of who the Bengals played or didn’t play, the Jets thrived for their fans and the city with a 37-0 victory.

PhotobucketAny questions about the Jets validity as a playoff team were answered with subsequent road victories over the Bengals and heavily favored San Diego Chargers. The momentum carried right into the second quarter of the AFC Championship Game, when the Jets were up 17-6. Unfortunately, an immortal quarterback rose to the top of his game and ended their run.

Despite the loss, the Jets had arrived. Their head coach whose ability to entertain and grab headlines was matched by his ability to design an elite defense and motivate his players, had claimed the Jets would be the number one show in town when the new Meadowlands began hosting NFL games and it was hard not to believe him. Tannenbaum didn’t back off. He must have remembered the off-season heading into 2007 again because he added Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, and Santonio Holmes to a team that was 28 minutes away from a Super Bowl.

Here we are today, with HBO knocking down the Jets door to feature them on Hard Knocks. Relevancy doesn’t equal success but any Jets fan will tell you it is refreshing to be the most hyped up team in the area. Giants fans will say they enjoy flying under the radar and I don’t blame them. They shouldn’t concern themselves with the attention being paid to a team who hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1969, when they have won 3 since then. However, the Jets don’t have to ignore the spotlight being shined on them. Yes, they bring the attention to themselves with the boasting of their head coach, big name acquisitions, and posturing of their owner but there is substance behind the hype around the team.

There is a system of playing defense and running the football, which is a familiar formula for playoff teams. The Jets have the ability to run the ball because they have assembled one of the best offensive lines in football and found a running back by trading up to get a guy that inexplicably slipped through the cracks to the third round. They have the ability to play defense because they drafted the best corner in the NFL, an All-Pro inside linebacker, and surrounded them with quality free agent additions. Yet, if you follow the NFL these days you know it takes more than running the ball and defense to win a championship, which is why the Jets have surrounded their franchise quarterback with one of the best three wide sets in the NFL, a pass-catching tight end, and one of better receiving running backs in NFL history.

Somehow, someway the Jets have navigated themselves into relevancy. The owner, GM, coach, and roster is finally in place to turn that relevancy into success. By success, I mean the one thing that could actually put the Jets on the same level of the Giants as a NFL organization and make sure the new stadium doesn’t turn into “Giants Stadium Part 2,” and that is win a Super Bowl.

Now Some Other Updates:

1. We have been locked at 315 fans on Facebook for 2 days now and that is getting me a little anxious. I need as many fans as possible to throw at the Jets media relations guy when I working on getting a press pass…so follow it on Facebook, tell you friends to follow it on Facebook and do the same for the Twitter account (TurnOnTheJets).

2. Remember we have other tabs on this site beyond the home page…we also have just added a tab for the Podcast, which links you to the site with the TOJ Podcasts.

3. (http://www.youhaveiwant.com/home.html) – Worth checking out, especially if you are looking to get your hands on New York area sports tickets.

4. Jets minor roster moves…they added offensive tackle Aaron Kia and released receiver S.J. Green and offensive tackle Matt Stommes. The depth chart has been updated accordingly.

5. Tough break for the New Jersey Nets last night. I can’t say that I wasn’t happy since I am a Knicks fan first and a Wizards fan second…yes I have a second favorite basketall team. How can I justify that? First off, the Knicks have been god awful the past decade, second I lived in DC for 6 months, attended some games at the Phone Booth when the Wizards were pretty good and became a big Agent Zero fan…before he decided to start bringing guns into the locker room. So, yea I broke out the John Wall dance in my Arenas shirt last night after they got the number one pick.

6. Thoughts On Lost Final Season, Episode 16 “What They Died For” –We ended our one episode break in 23 A.D. with glowing caves and terrible kid actors by getting back to our main characters with a very, very good episode. Everybody kind of saw it coming with Jack replacing Jacob, but it almost seemed like it happened too easy. I have a feeling when it is all said and done, Jack won’t be taking the job as island protector. I liked the sideways action…Desmond is well on his way to putting together the greatest reunion concert ever. Instead of breaking down all the details of last night’s episode, here are my predictions for the finale and you can trust I have avoided all spoilers this season:

  • Richard and Lapidus aren’t dead yet.
  • Sawyer will die on the island.
  • Juliet is Jack’s ex-wife in the sideways timeline.
  • Jack will cure Locke in the sideways but find a way to kill him on the island.
  • Ben is pulling a long con on Locke and will end up being a good guy at the end…and the new island protector.
  • Desmond is going into the yellow cave…and I don’t know what happens from there.
  • I still have no idea how they merge both timelines.
  • Rose and Bernard helped Desmond out of the well.
  • Final scene? It was all the dog’s dream.

The Not So Big Name Jets Starters

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First a few updates:

1. Jason Taylor practiced with the team today and was wearing #95. I guess he hasn’t been able to pay off Bryan Thomas yet for a number switch to #99 or Thomas has decided to hang on to his number.

2. The Jets will have the day off tomorrow and then be back at practice on Thursday with full media availability. They will have the same schedule next week.

3. How about those Yankees last night?

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

The Not So Big Name Jets Starters

When most people think about the New York Jets in 2010, they will refer to their number one ranked rushing attack and number one ranked defense. They have some big name lineman in Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Damien Woody. Any NFL fan who watched the playoffs should know all about Shonn Greene. Despite not having a big time passing attack, Mark Sanchez, Braylon Edwards, and Dustin Keller are well known names. On defense, Darrelle Revis, Bart Scott, David Harris are the big names associated with the Jets, along with Kris Jenkins. Calvin Pace got a big contract and Shaun Ellis is a respected veteran. The Jets also added some big name backups this off-season in Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson. Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie are also big name players who were added. However, lesser known starters on the Jets will be a major factor in determining whether or not the team can reach their goal of a Super Bowl this season. When looking at all the big names on the Jets roster, don’t forget about these players who will be running out of the tunnel as starters this season.

Brandon Moore – Moore quietly has been a very good player on the Jets offensive line at the right guard position. He has started 94 games for the team since 2004. After nearly letting him walk, the Jets smartly signed him to an extension before last season. Even though Alan Faneca made the Pro Bowl last year, it is arguable that Brandon Moore had a better year in 2009. He turns 30 this year and will hopefully be able to give the Jets 4-6 more seasons of his consistent play.

PhotobucketBryan ThomasThomas has put together an up and down career with the Jets since being a first round draft pick 9 years ago. He had a breakout season in 2006 with 8.5 sacks but hasn’t approached those numbers since. In year one of Rex Ryan’s defense, Thomas started 16 games and had 53 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. However, he is constantly cited by defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for doing the little things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. Thomas is a versatile player who does a good job on run contain, coverage, and can occasionally get after the quarterback. He will lose some reps to Jason Taylor this year but is still the starter at outside linebacker and a big part of the defense.

Mike DeVito – The Jets are confident in DeVito’s ability to fill in for Marques Douglas at defensive end after he put together a strong year off the bench in 2009. DeVito won’t put up gaudy numbers but seems to have a good grasp on what Rex Ryan wants out of his ends and does a good job in the running game.

Brodney Pool – The Jets are talking up Pool as a big off-season acquisition that is being overlooked by everybody. It is worth pointing out that Pool did have more sacks and interceptions than Kerry Rhodes in six less games last season. The real question about Pool is whether he can stay healthy or not. He has a history of concussions and if he gets another one, that could be it for him. However, it looks like he will get the first crack at replacing Rhodes alongside Jim Leonhard.

April’s Fools Joke on The Jets D-Line

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Defense

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First a few updates:

1. Mark Sanchez threw some passes during the Jets OTA practice today, which is obviously good news. The entire roster participated outside of Kris Jenkins and Jason Taylor. Jenkins was continuing to rehab his injury on the sideline and Taylor was finishing up charity work in Miami. There is a ton of pictures of today’s action on www.newyorkjets.com, including shots of Santonio and LaDainian in the green and white.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Defense

1. It will be very interesting to see how the reps are divided up in the Jets defensive backfield this season. Rex Ryan loves using packages that are overloaded with DBs but beyond Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, and Jim Leonhard, who else will be prominently featured in the Jets various sub, nickel, and dime packages? Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, Dwight Lowery, James Ihedigbo, and to a lesser extent Drew Coleman, Marquice Cole, and Donovan Warren will all be competing for a bigger role on the defense.

2. Most people are targeting Jason Taylor as the guy on the Jets who could come up with double digit sacks. Yet keep in mind, Calvin Pace had 8 sacks in only 12 games last season. How about the Jets get two guys in the double digit sack range?

3. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has been talking about second year player Matt Kroul as a key piece of the Jets defensive line rotation this season. Players like Kroul and Ropait Pitoitua need to step up to give the Jets the necessary depth on the line and take pressure off Kris Jenkins up front, who will also have his reps limited by the presence of Sione Pouha.

Photobucket4. I know we are all excited about Kyle Wilson’s coverage skills but don’t sleep on his value as a blitzer in Rex Ryan’s defense. He loves sending defensive backs off the edge and Wilson is athletic and physical enough to get 3 or 4 sacks this season to complement his coverage skills.

5. Nobody is a bigger fan of Darrelle Revis than Turn On The Jets but 20 million dollars a year? The guy is the best corner in football but he wants to be the highest paid player in the league, which is hard to swing if you aren’t a quarterback. These negotiations aren’t going to be pretty.

6. What is the reason we can’t resign Marques Douglas? We can’t give him a one year deal to boost the depth on the defensive line? Maybe I am underestimating Mike DeVito, who for some reason is my cousin’s favorite player on the defense.

7. What are the odds that Vernon Gholston is even active for more than half of the Jets games in 2010? I just can’t see him making a successful transition to defensive end, especially in the 3-4. He isn’t going to play special teams over Lance Laury or Jamaal Westerman.

8. Unlike last year when the Jets defense dominated the offense throughout training camp, it should be a little more even this season. How about watching Revis, Cromartie, and Wilson battle against Edwards, Cotchery, and Holmes on a daily basis? That kind of competition is going to make everybody better…and yes, Dwight Lowery and David Clowney could make each other better also.

9. I want some more defensive touchdowns this season…I am looking at you Antonio Cromartie…and Revis, you really can’t get any better than you were last season but if you want 20 million dollars, let’s take a couple back to the house this year.

10. What defensive player jersey are you looking to buy this season? I got Revis but beyond that I am swamped with offensive jerseys…Harris? Wilson? Leonhard? Drew Coleman?

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Offense

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First a few updates:

1. A reminder to check out Turn On The Jets, new site (http://web.me.com/turnonthejets/Site/Podcast/Podcast.html), where you could find our Podcast and eventually a few other things. It is in the early stages of construction but episode 1 of The Podcast is up and running so give it a listen.

2. Congratulations to Chris Embree and Shawn Perincheril for winning the TOJ DVD Contest, both will be receiving free copies of “New York Jets Best Games of 2009” from Warner Home Video.

3. The final week of LOST is under way and the real question is now what show should I start watching when it is over. I think my plan is to watch “The Wire” from start to finish, followed by the “The West Wing” but I am open to suggestions on shows currently on TV.

4. I have read some bad Power Rankings in my day…but Peter King putting the Dolphins at #6 in his power poll and the Carolina Panthers at #8 has to be up there among the worst.

Photobucket5. Let me just throw in some quick commentary on the Jets PSL/Parking Lot situation – It was bad enough when Deadspin released this story about how the Jets hosted their draft party (http://deadspin.com/5533012/tell-me-how-my-class-tastes-scenes-from-the-worst-nfl-draft-party-ever) but now the reports about the Jets dividing up parking lots based on whether you own a PSL or not have taken the organization’s arrogance to a new level. We knew PSLs were coming for the Jets and they managed to keep out of the upper levels (where my family has their season tickets) but telling people they can’t park near the stadium because they sit in the upper level is a joke. They are breaking up groups of people who have been tailgating together for years and diminishing the game day experience for fans who look forward to hanging out with their friends in the parking lot before and after games. I don’t mind the long walk to the stadium from the parking lot but plenty of older fans and people with younger children certainly will. The Jets have a predominantly working class fanbase and the team has done a spectacular job of alienating them as much as possible with their decisions on the new stadium. The fact that the team is nowhere near selling all the PSLs after one of the best season’s in franchise history, one of the best off-seasons in franchise history, and the rise of the team to one of the biggest stories in the NFL, speaks to that point.

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Offense

1. You have to wonder how many reps Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell will get during OTAs with the first team offense. Mark Sanchez won’t be participating until mid-June and even though Kellen Clemens is still technically number two on the depth chart, there is a good chance he won’t be with the team when week 1 comes around. Obviously, the Jets think O’Connell has potential since they carried four quarterbacks last season and Ainge had a very good pre-season in 2009. If either of these guys can play well during OTAs, it could expedite the process of getting rid of Clemens. The Jets will also likely sign Mark Brunell after July 22nd to be the backup for this season but in the long term, Ainge and O’Connell are battling to be Sanchez’s backup. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get an extended look with the starters while Sanchez continues to rehab.

2. The Jets may be better off if Matt Slauson can beat out Vladimir Ducasse in training camp for the starting left guard position. If this happens, Ducasse can spend time learning behind Damien Woody to take over at right tackle, when Woody is no longer with the team which is coming sooner rather than later. If Slauson has a good camp and pre-season, wins the job and can hold his own in 2010, the Jets will be heading into 2011 with a young group on the offensive line, and will have effectively replaced Alan Faneca and Damien Woody which has been a concern since they both were brought in before 2008. Ducasse might also benefit from having a season coming off the bench and slowly working into the Jets offense in short yardage packages, considering he is raw coming out of a I-AA school and won’t have to deal with the pressure in his rookie year of filling Alan Faneca’s shoes. Slauson has a year of learning in the Jets system already and gained valuable experience playing behind Faneca and Brandon Moore in his rookie season.

Photobucket3. It will be very interesting to see how the Jets integrate Santonio Holmes into their offense starting in week five. Unless somebody is really struggling or gets hurt, the Jets aren’t going to pull Jerricho Cotchery or Braylon Edwards from the starting line-up but obviously as the weeks pass with Holmes in the lineup he is gradually going to build up more reps. Cotchery is a team player and won’t have a negative public reaction to losing reps but will Braylon be able to keep his mouth shut if his playing time starts to decrease substantially in his contract year? His best remedy to the problem is to simply catch the football when it is thrown to him.

4. The decision to trade Leon Washington is going to increase LaDainian Tomlinson’s reps on the Jets offense, especially if Joe McKnight can’t get his feet under him in the early part of the season. The Jets can’t trust McKnight in the third down role right out of the gate, so Tomlinson will have to take the bulk of those reps, along with spelling Shonn Greene, and being the Jets likely short-yardage and goal-line back. If Tomlinson is as washed up as he looked towards the end of last season, the Jets could have serious problems with their Ground and Pound approach. Maybe, rookie fullback John Conner will take some short yardage carries to lighten the load on Tomlinson. I am not writing off McKnight in his rookie year but remember it took Shonn Greene awhile to get involved in the Jets offense last year.

5. Speaking of Greene, what are fair expecations for him this season? Honestly, I just want to see him stay healthy for 16 games, protect the football, and make some strides as a pass catcher. If he can do those three things, nobody is going to miss Thomas Jones. I also don’t doubt if he can do those three things, he won’t duplicate the number of yards Jones had rushing in 2009, although I doubt he comes near the 14 touchdowns because Tomlinson will be taking away goal-line carries.

6. If Mark Sanchez makes the expected strides in his second year, how much of the Jets “Tiger” formation will we see? The Jets won’t be helping their offense if Sanchez is in rhythm with Braylon, Cotchery, and Santonio by pulling him out and sticking Brad Smith in to run the option. That being said, Smith is still a valuable big-play weapon so it benefits to find a way to involve him in the game plan in some way on a weekly basis…it is just a matter of having the proper timing and using the proper plays.

Photobucket7. It is easy to lose him in the shuffle when talking about all the Jets wide receivers and running backs but Dustin Keller remains a potential x-factor on the Jets offense. He should be a primary target whenever the Jets get near the end-zone because of his ability to create mismatches. Keller is also benefited by Mark Sanchez’s ability to throw on the run because the Jets love calling the play action bootleg for him, in which Keller is normally the number one option. I don’t know if Keller will have the stats to be a pro-bowl tight end but he should be able to provide the Jets with a big play or two each week.

8. The Jets are going to throw the football more this season than they did last year but will they have a smooth transition into a more balanced offense? We all know Rex Ryan loves to run the football and allow his defense to win games but what happens if the Jets throw the ball 30 times in one week and that leads to a couple of Sanchez interceptions. Will the color code system go back into effect, with the Jets throwing the ball 14 times a game? How much rope will Brian Schottenheimer have with the offense in 2010?

9. Names to remember…Chauncey Washington, if one of the Jets running backs gets hurt he could get called up to the active roster and see some substantial playing time. Britt Davis, had a strong training camp last year and could push for a roster spot at receiver. Matthew Mulligan, the Jets number three tight end who is battling for long snapper job with Tanner Purdum. Aundrae Allison, maybe the Jets fastest player who could push for a roster spot at receiver and kick returner.

10. If you assumed the Jets had 60 plays in a game, how would you ideally divide up the touches as of right now? (assuming it is week 5 and Holmes is back)…here is my crack at it:

  • Sanchez – 24 pass attempts, hopefully 16-18 completions. Let’s say 17 for the sake of this.
  • Greene – 21 carries.
  • Tomlinson – 9 carries.
  • McKnight – 4 carries.
  • Smith – 2 carries
  • Cotchery – 4 catches
  • Holmes – 4 catches
  • Keller – 3 catches
  • Edwards – 3 catches
  • Tomlinson – 2 catches
  • McKnight – 1 catch

Let Us Tailgate In Peace

Turn On The Jets: The Podcast & Other Updates

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First a few updates:

1. There are reports out today that the Jets denied a requested contract extension to veteran defensive end Shaun Ellis and have explored trading him. However, it appears they are now content to let him play out his contract and then let him walk at the end of the year. Needless to say, the Jets would be extremely foolish to cut Ellis when they already have no depth and tons of questions at the defensive end position. It would have been one thing if they added Jared Odrick in the draft and then traded him but at this point the smart move is to hang on to him and pay him the 3 million dollars he is owed this season.

2. It hasn’t been a pleasant week of Jets news. There are plenty of looming financial issues over the team and the sooner the Jets move to take care of Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, and David Harris, the less distractions will be around the team this season. I didn’t like how the Jets handled situations with Pete Kendall, Chris Baker, and Laveranues Coles but you can let that slide considering the type of players they were, you don’t mess around with All-Pro caliber players like Revis, Mangold, and Harris. You pay them top dollar and build your team around them.

3. The Jets signed guard Marion Davis and center Robby Felix. They also released guard Keith Buckman and center Michael Parenton. The depth chart on the site has been updated accordingly.

4. Kris Jenkins admitted to reporters that he is currently at 390 pounds and his goal is to teach 345 by the start of training camp. It is never a good thing when you could lose 45 pounds and still just barely be under 350. Hopefully this little weight loss challenge Rex came up with will help Jenkins along the way.

5. Pathetic effort by the Cavs last night and that includes LeBron James who was as careless with the ball as Jake Delhomme usually is. LeBron may have stunk it up (the guy still had a triple double last night) these last few games but we’ll take him in New York in a heartbeat…going to be a real interesting July in the NBA.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

Turn On The Jets: The Podcast & Other Updates

Finally, we are up and running with the podcast. Here is where you need to go:

http://web.me.com/turnonthejets/Site/Podcast/Podcast.html

This will be where you have access to our Podcasts which won’t be on a set schedule until the regular season starts, when we will have two each week: one on Tuesday with reaction to the previous game and one on Thursday with NFL picks and talk on the Jets upcoming  match-up. The Jets are a primary on focus on these podcasts but we will talk other NFL topics. As you can see in episode 1, we basically went through the AFC and NFC by division and discussed how we see them shaking out in 2010, along with breaking down the Jets off-season  moves.

PhotobucketNeedless to say, the Podcast site is in its very early stages and will become more aesthetically pleasing in the upcoming days and enhanced in other ways. I will always notify on this site and the Facebook page when a new podcast is up and update when I make changes to the site.

Another new e-mail Turn On The Jets can be reached at is now:

turnonthejets@me.com – You can send Podcast questions or comments to this site and keep normal TOJ conversation to JCaporoso@gmail.com.

I am also working out getting them available on Itunes.

TOJ Movie Trailer

The Players Who Can Take The Jets To The Next Level

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First a few updates:

1. Not a pleasant day of stories for Jets fans today…Darrelle Revis is talking about holding out, Nick Mangold wants a new deal like Revis, David Harris doesn’t want to be left out of these new contracts either. There has also been some talk about the Jets being potentially blacked out if they can’t sell the rest of their PSLs. Since those stories have been released, the Jets have came out and said they will not let any games be blacked out…and all I can say is they better not, don’t tell me I could watch the Jets on HBO this summer and then not watch them on CBS when they are playing New England.

We know the Jets are going to have some serious money to pay out on long term contracts in the coming years. The smart thing to do is take care of Revis and Mangold now before this season starts. Revis is the best corner in football. Mangold is the best center in football. You pay these two guys…don’t let a contract situation linger over this season. They get taken care of first and then you start working on David Harris and D’Brickashaw Ferguson and then you worry about Antonio Cromartie, Santonio Holmes, and Braylon Edwards.

2. It really sounds like we are going to end up with a New York Super Bowl in 2014…good job by the Jets and Giants working together on the presentation yesterday.

3. Check back later tonight for how to access the first ever Turn On The Jets Podcast.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…I will let the people know over the weekend who won the DVDs and send them out early next week.

The Players Who Can Take The Jets To The Next Level

The Jets expectations this year are to take the next step from being a 9-7 wild card team who fell short in the AFC Championship Game, to the next level…and rightfully so. After watching how the Jets finished the season, looking at their off-season additions, and considering how certain players will continue to develop, the Jets should have division title, first round bye and ultimately Super Bowl on their mind. yet where are the spots on the team that need to make the jump that will allow the Jets to go from 9-7 and over-matched in the AFC Championship Game to 12-4 and hopefully a Super Bowl?

Mark Sanchez – The most obvious player to start with is the quarterback. Nobody is saying Sanchez has to be a pro-bowl player for the Jets to make the jump but he does need to be better than 20 interceptions to 12 touchdowns with a 52.0 completion percentage. If Sanchez can play the way he did during the first three games of the season and the last three games of the season…the Jets offense is going to be right up there with their defense at the top of the league.

Braylon Edwards – Can you imagine if Edwards could play the way he did in 2007 for the Jets this year? If Santonio Holmes keeps developing the way he has been in recent years and Jerricho Cotchery is his usual self, the Jets will have the best group of receivers in the NFL. Don’t forget Braylon had 17 touchdowns in a single season to go with 1289 receiving yards. The guy is going to get himself open but he has to catch the football more consistently and take advantage when the coverage is rolled over to Holmes or Cotchery in certain situations.

PhotobucketAntonio CromartieEverybody who watched the Jets last year, especially in the AFC Championship Game knows the team needed substantial help at the corner position opposite Revis Island. Cromartie was well on his way to being the best corner in football during 2007 but got sidetracked by a number of issues over the past few years both on and off the field. If Cromartie can provide stability on the other side of the field from Revis and be the playmaker he used to be with all the balls that will be coming his way, the Jets will be nearly impossible to throw the football on. They also may get a few more defensive touchdowns this season.

Kyle Wilson – Yes, the rookie who will be the manning the crucial nickel spot on the Jets defense and the punt returner position. When you are working to get past pass first offenses like the Colts, Chargers, and Patriots you need three quality corners. Wilson will see plenty of action in man coverage in both the slot and the outside and hopefully can provide an explosive element to the Jets punt return game that has been lacking in recent years.

Jason Taylor – I hate to type this but the Jets need a pass rusher and Taylor is the best equipped player on the team to get double digit sacks in a single season. The Jets struggled to get to the quarterback on third downs last season and Taylor was brought in to be the remedy…he can dance all he wants, as long as he has 10-12 sacks, I’ll be happy.