Turn On The Jets Exclusive Interview: Donovan Warren

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Turn On The Jets Exclusive Interview: Donovan Warren

One of the first moves by the Jets after the draft was pouncing on undrafted free agent Donovan Warren from Michigan. Originally projected to be a mid round pick by draft pundits, Warren fell down draft boards when an ankle injury led to a slow 40 time at the NFL Combine. However, Warren was one of the top cornerbacks in the Big Ten last season and has a very good chance to stick on the Jets roster as a safety, where he has been working since joining the team.  His godfather, Mark Carrier is an assistant on the Jets coaching staff, helping his transition to the NFL.

TOJ: How much personal motivation do you have to prove all the teams who passed on you in the NFL Draft wrong?

Warren: It is a lot of motivation to just go out everyday and work hard. It will motivate me to keep working hard and get the opportunity to show that I am something special.

TOJ: Do you think there is too much of an emphasis on combine workouts, instead of focusing on a player’s production on the field?

Warren: Yea, I feel as if there is a lot of emphasis on workouts but it is just part of the business. It is what it is. When the pads get on and your on the field it is football. Football is football and not everyone has the chance to play at this high of a level.

TOJ: Even though you were a UDFA, you appear to have come into a very good situation. Your godfather is an assistant coach with the team, your physical style of play fits well with Rex Ryan’s scheme, and it has been well documented that Ryan loves his defensive backs and loves to carry as many as possible on the roster. How excited are you to be part of this defense and what can you bring to it?

Warren: Yea I feel as though the coaches and players on the team have the right mindset, just going on chipping away day by day. I am blessed to be in this position and I am taking advantage daily.

TOJ: After spending the overwhelming majority of your time in college at corner, you have primarily been working at safety since joining the team, what is your comfort level at this position?

Warren: Yea, it is very different. I am just learning the daily nuisances of the position and trying to soak in as much as possible from my teammates and coaches around me.

TOJ: Can you talk about how big of a help Jim Leonhard has been in your transition to the NFL and if he is inspirational considering he was a UDFA and now is a starter and one of the leaders of the NFL’s best defense?

Warren: As for Jim Leonhard, he is an inspiration coming up as an undrafted free agent and just someone who I can relate to on the same team.

TOJ: What can you bring to the Jets on special teams?

Warren: On special teams, I am willing to do whatever it is to help this team get to the Superbowl and make history.

Pro Draft Party Warren Draft Tape

Post-Game Interview

Weekend Video Clips For Jets Fans

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have announced major cuts to their PSL prices in multiple sections of the stadium. Somehow I don’t think this will be the last time this happens before the season starts. They are way off from selling them all out.

2. Remember Jets minicamp next Monday-Wednesday, including an open practice at the new stadium on Wednesday. Yes, I am pumped about my first trip inside the new building.

3. Pau Gasol can you box out Glen Davis? You are like 9 inches taller than the guy and we are all sick of watching him react like he has is one of the guys from 300 every single time he gets a put back. By the way, is there higher comedy in sports right now than a Rasheed Wallace reaction to a foul call on him? He literally runs around the entire court with the most ridiculous face…I can’t get enough of it.

4. USA! USA! USA! I am little pumped for tomorrow, I can’t lie.

Weekend Video Clips For Jets Fans

New segment here at TOJ, because even I can’t come up with 1,500 words a day to write about the Jets, only Manish Mehta can. Next week keep an eye out for the following:

  • Interview with UDFA safety Donovan Warren
  • Analysis of all the minicamp practices
  • If you happen to make it out to The New Meadowlands Stadium, look for the two guys with Jets jerseys that have (http://turnonthejets.com) on the back and come say hi. We will be interviewing fans for new TOJ TV.
  • A closer look at the Jets defensive line.
  • A closer look at the bubble roster players who could make an impact this season.

And now to the video…

Vernon Gholston plows though Jake Long and hits Chad Henne…Unfortunately this took place in a Michigan/OSU game, and not a Jets/Dolphins game…But hey it is never too late to get started Vernon

Yea, you could really rely on this guy…

And, this was their first year in a new defensive system? Before they added Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Brodney Pool, and Jason Taylor?

You Have To Like The Confidence

Anybody who can dance like that clearly deserves a new contract

Nobody and I mean nobody throws snow at Shaun Ellis or this teammates without getting a snow boulder back in the face

Stay away from HBO Rex Ryan…oh wait, too late for that.

And for no particular reason…just because I saw this episode last night and it is a great scene

Ten 2010 New York Jets Plays To Be Excited About

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…we have been stuck at 392 fans for 2 days now. Who wants the honor of being #400?

2. Two great pieces of Jets news today: Darrelle Revis was in attendance at OTAs and Mark Sanchez took part in 11 on 11 drills. Another good piece of news, The Sporting News picked the Jets over the Cowboys for this year’s Super Bowl match-up. When is the last time a major publication picked the New York Jets to be Super Bowl champions? Maybe after the 1998 season?

3. Jets next OTA practice is on Thursday, followed by open to the public minicamp practices next Monday and Wednesday.

Ten 2010 New York Jets Plays To Be Excited About

Why not? You already know why it is good news that Mark Sanchez took part in 11 on 11 drills and Darrelle Revis showed up today. So here you go in no particular order…

1. Antonio Cromartie’s first interception return – The guy is electric with the football in his hands and he will have plenty of opportunities to rack up the interceptions with Revis Island located opposite of him. This could be replaced with the first time the Jets throw Cromartie back for a kick return or a team attempts a long field field goal.

2. Kris Jenkins first sack – It will be great to see the big fella back in action, especially if he can flatten Joe Flacco right out of the gate in week 1.

3. Jason Taylor’s first sack – It will just be interesting to see every Jets fan’s body fighting against itself when it attempts to cheer for something Taylor does.

4. Santonio Holmes first big playThe stadium is already going to be electric in week five because it is Monday Night Football and because Favre will be in the building, but everybody is going to be hyped to finally see Holmes in a Jets uniform during a game that counts. I got a feeling Schottenheimer will be dialing up a deep one for him at some point in the first half.

5. Nick Folk first made field goal from 40+ yards – Everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief…until his next attempt.

6. Shonn Greene’s first long touchdown runWe can officially start missing Thomas Jones a little less when we see Greene pick up where he left off last season.

7. When Darrelle Revis makes Randy Moss quit  againThis should happen some time during the third series of their week two match-up.

8. Joe McKnight’s first big playWe can start missing Leon Washington a little less when we see McKnight rip off his first big play as a pro.

9. The first time Bart Scott looks at an opponent’s sideline and talks trashAlso known as the first play of the season for the Jets defense…the swag is back in 2010.

10. Kyle Wilson’s first big playWill it be a sack, interception, or long punt return for our first overall pick?


Better Than Expected: Jets Who Will Surprise in 2010

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 First a few updates:

1. I’d like all the TOJ fans to know that I am blogging through injury right now, almost like Curt Schilling in the ALCS if he was actually hurt and didn’t put ketchup on his sock. Anyway, I was out in Morristown and felt something stuck on the bottom of my shoe so I reached to pull it out, unfortunately I forgot how my friend had hands like Sinorce Moss and dropped a beer near me about 15 minutes earlier so yes, I pulled glass out with my bare hands, which apparently makes you bleed..alot. Fortunately thanks to the brave soldiers of the Morristown volunteer ambulance corps, I am now typing with a heavily bandaged left hand which is impacting my typed words per minute. I just wanted to make sure everybody appreciated the extra time this article took, which has delayed my plans for the night. The plans? Either playing Tecmo Super Bowl for SNES or starting to watch The Wire on DVD.

2. Very disappointing effort by the Lakers last night. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett might as well have been in wheelchairs and Boston still found a way to win. This feels like a seven game series.

3. Highly recommend Get Him To The Greek.

4. The Jets minicamp practices will be open to the public next week. On Monday you could go watch at Florham Park and on Wednesday they will be practicing in the new stadium starting at 11:30 AM free of admission. However, you still have to get a ticket in advance to show at the door, even though the ticket is free.

5. The Jets are the fourth highest rated team in this year’s version of Madden…oh how far we have come. They are behind the Colts, Saints and Ravens.

6. Chris Mortensen is reporting that it is basically a done deal that quarterback Mark Brunell will join the Jets in mid-July. It will likely logically follow that Kellen Clemens will be cut, and leave Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell to battle for the #3 spot.

Better Than Expected: Jets Who Will Surprise in 2010

I am not sure I have heard one person who analyzes the NFL say that LaDainian Tomlinson will have a good year for the Jets in 2010. Everybody has already jumped on the bandwagon that the Jets were ill-advised to sign him and he will continue his rapid decline this season. It is more than fair to question Tomlinson’s ability to be productive because of how he played towards the end of last season. However, I wonder if at this point the expectations are so low for him around the league that he now has a chance to surprise a good deal of people by giving the Jets a quality year. Nobody is saying the guy is going to run for 1,000 yards but a highly motivated future hall-of-famer, now playing behind an offensive that actually knows how to run block and for a coach who is committed to running the football, Tomlinson could do better than expected this season. If he can get his yards per carry up in the 3.9-4.2 range, continue to excel in goal-line situations, and remains the quality receiver out of the backfield he always has been the Jets will have got their money’s worth. 550-650 rushing yards, 200 receiving yards, and 6-8 total touchdowns and I’d be satisfied with Tomlinson’s production and at that point it would be hard to say he was a bust for the team. Who else will exceed expectations on the Jets in 2010?

PhotobucketBrodney Pool – He has received a little press recently but is still frequently lost in the shuffle when people talk about the Jets new acquisitions. Pool isn’t a big name guy like Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor, or Tomlinson but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a big impact on the Jets defense. Unless he suffers an injury, he will be the opening day starter at safety in Kerry Rhodes old spot. Pool won’t shy away from contact like Rhodes and has already impressed the coaching staff with his study habits, enthusiasm, and willingness to do whatever the coaching staff asks him. Don’t forget Pool was having a very good season last year (5o tackles, 1 sack, 4 INTs in 10 games) before his season was cut short by an injury. It will be exciting to see how Rex Ryan uses him in the Jets scheme and if he can produce the big plays Rhodes failed to last season.

Calvin Pace – Another player who gets lost in the shuffle alot when people talk about the Jets defense. Pace had 55 tackles and 8 sacks in only 12 games last season, after missing the first 4 because of suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. When discussing who could get double digit sacks in 2010, most conversation centers around Jason Taylor while forgetting to recognize Pace could easily get in the 10-12 sack range in his second season playing in Rex Ryan’s system.

Joe McKnight – The amount of pessimism around McKnight is pretty laughable at this point. It sounds like everybody is ready to give up on the guy because he threw up a few times during rookie OTAs, forgetting another fourth round scatback dropped so many punts and fumbled so many balls in his first few weeks of practices that he logged 87 miles of Mangini penalty laps and turned out to be pretty decent.

Similar to Washington and Shonn Greene last year, look for a somewhat slow start followed by McKnight becoming a big factor in the Jets offense during the second half of the season.

Brad Smith – So you are a defensive coordinator trying to stop the Jets…Shonn Greene  is gashing you behind Nick Mangold and Brandon Moore, Mark Sanchez is spreading the ball around to Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight (if you can’ tell yet, I really enjoy listing all of the Jets skill position players) are catching screens and swing passes out of the backfield, and now Brad Smith checks in at quarterback to run the “Tiger” formation. Is he running option? Is he going to handoff to Greene or McKnight coming in motion or fake the hand off and keep the ball around the end? Is he going to pull up and throw the football for a big play down the field? Don’t forget about Smith as a guy who could create some huge plays for the Jets this year.

Jets Thoughts To Take You Into The Weekend

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First off, get yourself excited for the 2010 Jets despite Revis skipping OTAs yesterday by enjoying a new episode of TOJ TV…don’t worry if you hate my acting, this is a highlight video to get fired up for next year by producer James Corbett.

Second, relax a little about the Revis negotiations (and this is also a note to myself). John Geiger, who is Revis’ best friend and manager said encouraging news could be coming for Jets fans today. I doubt something gets done in the next few hours but it still shows there is progress being made. How long could Tannenbaum really let this go on, despite holding all the cards since Revis has three years left on his deal and stands to lose out on up to 20 million dollars if he starts skipping mandatory practices? If I am the Jets or Revis, I want this behind us before training camp and then let’s move on to addressing Nick Mangold’s contract. Get creative, Tannenbaum.

Third, the Jets signed fifth round pick fullback John Conner today, which means it will only be four years until there is a potential contract problem with him.

Fourth, interesting question to throw out for Jets fans, if you could only have one player spend the rest of his career with the team would it be Nick Mangold or Darrelle Revis? I think I am going with Revis. You just don’t see legit lock down corners like him in the NFL.

Fifth, what would be the worst Jets jersey to buy this season? My vote is for Jason Taylor or LaDainian Tomlinson. They are going to on the team for no more than two years and really, how could you get a Taylor jersey? If you buy a Tomlinson jersey, you look like a bandwagon fan. Other nominees include the collection from the under 15 dollar bin at Wal-Mart, featuring:

  • Kellen Clemens
  • Vernon Gholston
  • Nick Folk (who will inevitably be cut before week 1)
  • Dwight Lowery (marked down after the AFC Championship Game)

Finally, if I could change one thing about Mark Sanchez, who I am a huge fan of, it would be his soccer-esque celebrations after touchdowns. I want him to make the switch to the Jordan/Kobe single fist pump and hold or break out the “you can’t see me” face wave directed to the opposing sideline.

Watch It, Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets), Check out the Podcast (see tab on top of page), and be prepared for TOJ: The Store

How To Start Your Summer: 50 Things For Jets Fans To Smile About

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Memorial Day Weekend is about to kickoff and what is a better way to start off your summer than by reading 50 things to be happy about if you are a Jets fan. I hear some occasional criticism for being too positive about the team this season, even when a simple click through the archives will show I have written plenty of articles about potential problems the entire team, certain players, and certain positions will have in 2010. Regardless, today is a day to enjoy the optimism that every Jets fan should rightfully have heading into this year, so without further delay here 50 things for Jets to smile (or brag) about heading into this season:

(By the way, that’s my man JetBo from Section 313 in the old stadium)

1. Our 23 year old quarterback has already won two road playoff games.

2. Our 23 year old quarterback has more playoff wins in one season than Tony Romo has in seven. (For all those Maganelli Dallas fans in the area).

3. Our number three receiver was the 2009 Super Bowl MVP.

4. Fine, you say he isn’t our number three receiver than our number three receiver had 1130 receiving yards in 2007.

5. You say he isn’t our number three receiver either, than our number three receiver had 17 touchdowns in 2007.

6. If you moved our starting tight end to wide receiver, he’d be better at it than anybody Buffalo is trying to start opposite Lee Evans.

7 . Our second year running back already has two career playoff 100 yard rushing games.

8. We have the best center in the NFL.

9. We have the best corner in the NFL.

10. We had the number one defense in the NFL last season, without one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL who is now returning from injury.

11. We have a Pro-Bowl left tackle.

12. Our defense is good enough that our first round corner from the 2010 NFL Draft comes off the bench.

13. We have two corners who have been All-Pros. They are 26 and 24 years old.

14. A player with 127.5 career sacks is our #3 outside linebacker.

15. A player with 138 career touchdowns is our backup running back.

16. We have one of the best fullbacks in the NFL.

17. We drafted the best fullback in the 2010 NFL Draft to back him up.

18. Our third and fourth best offensive lineman are better than most team’s first and second best offensive lineman.

19. The New England Patriots lost 33-14 in their home building in the first round of the playoffs last year. Their biggest off-season acquisitions were Torry Holt, David Patten, and Alge Crumpler.

20. New England’s top three running backs are Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, and Sammy Morris.

21. Miami is relying on this guy to improve their offense:

22. We have this guy to cover him:

23. We have an All-Pro inside linebacker who is 26 years old.

24. We are going to be featured HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer.

25. We don’t play in Giants Stadium anymore.

26. Our stadium is hosting the 2014 Super Bowl.

27. We have the most aggressive GM in the NFL.

28. We have the funniest head coach in the NFL.

29. Our head coach is one the best defensive minds in the NFL.

30. Our defensive blitzes more than any team in the NFL.

31. Our players love playing for our head coach and players now actually want to join the New York Jets.

32. Despite winning a Super Bowl in 2007, the Giants are frustrated by all the attention the Jets receive from the local media.

33. We have five games in primetime this season.

34. We host the first Monday Night Football game of the season.

35. We get to boo our lungs off at Brett Favre at a home Monday Night game.

36. We are playing on Thanksgiving this year for the second time in 4 years.

37. Our quarterback threw 8 more interceptions than touchdowns last year and we still made the AFC Championship Game.

38. Our number four receiver can do things like this:

39. Our top outside linebacker only played in 12 games last season but still had 8 sacks.

40. The Patriots are either going to be starting a rookie, Darius Butler, Jonathan Wilhite, or Terrence Wheatley at corner. We could go four wide with Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller.

41. Those White Titans throwback jerseys are pretty slick looking.

42. We had a complete bust with the #6 overall pick in the 2008 draft and still had the league’s #1 overall defense last season.

43. Everybody thinks Chad Henne is a franchise quarterback and the biggest game he ever won in the NFL was beating the Jets in a week 5 game.

44. Our starting right guard is one of the most underrated players in the NFL and is hysterical on twitter. (@ShitMeatSays)

44. Bill Belichick is clearly starting to lose his mind:

45. The Jets piss off everybody in the NFL.

46. Our owner called out the NFL Commissioner for holding a fake coin toss to give the Giants the first home game in the new stadium.

47. A Rex Ryan press conference is more entertaining than 3/4 of the shows on TV right now.

48. Randy Moss doesn’t even bother to try against us anymore.

49. You could say “I expect the Jets to win the Super Bowl this season” and people won’t look at you like you have three heads.

50. The Empire State Building is going to spend plenty of time looking like this over the next few years.

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Jets OTA Thoughts: Safety, Rookies, Rex, Receivers

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First a few updates:

1. Nothing would make me happier than to watch the Bruins and Celtics both choke away 3-0 leads within weeks of each other…that would have to be a sign of bad things to come for the Patriots this NFL season, right?

2. I know you are wondering when TOJ: The Podcast is coming back with episode 2, well we are recording it tomorrow and hopefully it will be posted by Sunday night.

3. I want everybody to Facebook message “James Corbett” and bother him to make some free time to record a new episode of TOJ TV.

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

Jets OTA Thoughts: Safety, Rookies, Rex, Receivers

Yes, I wasn’t at OTAs today but that doesn’t mean I didn’t read every single word written by every single person who was there today, which I will use as writing prompts:

PhotobucketRex RyanI tell you I can never get tired of listening to Rex Ryan’s press conferences. Since LOST is off the air, it is basically my new favorite TV show. I love Rex’s optimism and the confidence he has with the organization but it is hysterical to listen him discuss any coach or player on the team. According to him everybody is the best in the NFL at what they do. Bill Callahan is the best offensive assistant in the league. Brian Schottenheimer is the best young offensive mind in the league. Mike Westhoff is the best special teams coach in the league. Mike Pettine is the best young defensive mind in the league. Dennis Thurman is the best secondary coach to ever step on a field. Kris Jenkins? Nick Mangold? Darrelle Revis? Best players at their respective positions. The best part about this is that Rex isn’t too far off when discussing most of these guys.

He is already talking about LaDainian Tomlinson like he is Chris Johnson in OTAs and Jason Taylor like he is Mario Williams. I give him a few months before he says Kyle Wilson is one of the best corners in the league, Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are battling for the title of the NFL’s best receiver, and Mark Sanchez is the AFC’s best quarterback.

Braylon – It was very encouraging to hear Rex Ryan cite Braylon Edwards as the most impressive offensive player for the Jets in OTAs. Edwards has been expanding his knowledge of the playbook and doing some work at the Z receiver (flanker), which is different from where he usually plays (X aka split end aka where I was a first down converting beast for Muhlenberg). The more versatile he is in their offense, the more it will help him get open. Edwards has the talent to be a legit number one receiver and is the most physically gifted offensive player on the team. If he has his head on straight and has the proper work ethic, watch out because he is capable of putting up some scary numbers.

Eric Smith – Reiterating what he said in his video conference with fans on Wednesday, Rex Ryan said the goal is for Brodney Pool to be the opening day starter, while Eric Smith keeps his role coming off the bench and playing in a variety of defensive packages. Smith is a versatile player who is a core special teams guy, so Ryan does have a good point. Pool is athletically more gifted than Smith and will hopefully be able to make the plays Kerry Rhodes didn’t last season.

Rookies – Kyle Wilson apparently had a welcome to the NFL rookie type of day by receiving an education from Jerricho Cotchery in the slot. Wilson will eventually come around but the thing to be excited about is how good of a slot receiver Cotchery is going to be for this team. He is going to kill teams on third downs this season. Vladimir Ducasse continued to run with the first team and it basically sounds like unless he forgets how to walk, he will end up the opening day starter at guard. I am happy to hear that Joe McKnight didn’t vomit today. This is a step in the right direction.

Angry Rex

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.

Let Santonio Listen To His IPod: I Got Your Back #10

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Well it didn’t take long for Santonio Holmes to grab some headlines in a negative way as a New York Jet. In what has to be one of the stupidest stories I have ever read, Santonio Holmes was escorted off a plane in Pittsburgh for being a disruptive passenger. He wasn’t arrested. No files are going to be charged but why was Holmes sent off the plane? #10 refused to turn off his IPod as the plane was landing. Don’t worry Santonio as the rest of the New York media jumps all over you…I got your back.

First off, everybody knows nothing happens when you keep your IPod on as the plane lands. Let me tell you this, if my plane is going down because I need to hear the last verse of a Kid Cudi song than I need to switch airlines or start driving everywhere. You keep bumping those beats #10. The guy was flying to Vegas for the Mayweather fight, he was probably blasting a little Katy Perry “Waking Up In Vegas,” and getting hyped up for some roulette, blackjack, and craps. Leave him alone and let the man enjoy the last few minutes of his flight.

PhotobucketSecond, do you think this happens if Santonio was landing in JFK? Absolutely not. Obviously, these were bitter Pittsburgh airline employees and police officers who are mad they lost their Super Bowl MVP receiver for a 5th round pick and that their quarterback spends more time in bathrooms during the off-season than at the team complex. If Holmes was flying into JFK, I bet the airline employees tell him to turn his music up and get ready to pull in 10 touchdowns in 12 games. Hell, they might have even sat down with him and put their Ipods on. You think they were escorting him off the plane for being a “disruptive passenger”…C’mon now.

So you keep bumping that IPod Santonio but do us all a favor, if you make it to Vegas…take it easy. I love Braylon and Cotchery as our receivers but I want to see you out there for 15 games this year (including the playoffs)…we don’t need your suspension being shifted up to Rothlisberger or Jason Ferguson length.

Now, Some Other Updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (Turn On The Jets) for updates from today’s rookie minicamp. I wasn’t there but I have read a report from everybody who was and it sounds like Joe McKnight had a rough day and Vlad Ducasse was pushing some people around…as much as you could in a practice without pads. Also, I will link Rex Ryan’s press conference where he discussed Holmes and the UDFAs who stood out to him. Also, I will link up the transcripts of Kyle Wilson and Ducasse post practice press conferences. The Jets will practice twice tomorrow.

2. My NBA predictions for tonight? The Bucks knock the Hawks out of the playoffs. The Thunder send it back to Los Angeles for game 7. The Jazz knock the Nuggets out of the playoffs.

Death Of The Jets Chemistry Discussion

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First a few updates:

1. There is still some talk about Darren Sharper potentially ending up with the Jets. I doubt it ends up happening though, especially considering the Jets restrictions with the final eight rules. Rex Ryan appears comfortable with Brodney Pool or Eric Smith taking the majority of the reps alongside Jim Leonhard. If the Jets add any other major pieces this off-season, I would expect it to be Adalius Thomas, a kicker, or a veteran guard if Ducasse and Slauson bomb out in training camp.

2. The Jets start rookie minicamp tomorrow, where all four draft picks, the UDFAs, the tryout players, and a handful of other guys with limited experience will participate.

3. Jets draft pick numbers – Kyle Wilson #20, Vlad Ducasse #62, Joe McKnight #25, John Connor #38.

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

5. I know I ask this from time to time, but what new Jets jersey should I get this summer? Wilson? Santonio? Greene? Jim Leonhard?

Death Of The Jets Chemistry Discussion

I can’t tell you how tired I am of reading articles about the Jets “chemistry” and how it may stop them from winning games this season. The obsession with this issue leads to things like “Mangold Upset Faneca Was Released” becoming a news story. Of course Nick Mangold is upset one of his fellow lineman and good friends was cut. Yet, his quotes get blown completely out of proportion like he is upset with the team and it will become a problem this year. How come nobody talks about when he said “If we want to prove that we’re a great offensive line and a great unit, then we can make changes and still be great. There’s nothing like a little adversity to continue on.”

PhotobucketMy point is that this whole question about the Jets chemistry is being beaten to death by the media. Let’s start with the unit that makes the Jets into one of the league’s best teams…their defense. They have three new starters. Guess who they are replacing? Kerry Rhodes, one of the most unpopular guys in the locker room, who despite his unhappiness last year, still didn’t prevent the Jets from going to the AFC Championship Game. Yes, the Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game with an unhappy player who was benched mid-season and handled it like a little kid. They are also replacing Lito Sheppard, who was on the team for one year and missed more games than he played. Finally, Marques Douglas won’t be back but again he was only on the team one year and is being replaced by a guy who played a ton of snaps for the Jets last season and been on the team for a few years in Mike DeVito.

Where are the chemistry problems coming from on defense? You are telling me Bart Scott, David Harris, Shaun Ellis, Darrelle Revis, Jim Leonhard, Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, and Kris Jenkins can’t handle Antonio Cromartie, who will be on his best behavior anyway because he is in a contract year. Is Brodney Pool going to destroy everyone’s ability to cover people? Even if these guys self-destruct, can’t Kyle Wilson and Eric Smith just step in, while Rex Ryan locks Cromartie and Pool away so they can’t damage the precious chemistry?

On offense, okay yes there may be an adjustment period to Vlad Ducasse or Matt Slauson stepping in at guard. Yet, won’t they work this out during OTAs, mini-camp, training camp, and the pre-season? Even if those guys struggle, will everybody’s else play all of a sudden fall off the cliff and the Jets won’t be able to run the ball or protect Mark Sanchez? Isn’t Bill Callahan a better coach than that? Aren’t Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Damien Woody, and Brandon Moore better players than that?

Santonio Holmes? I don’t know I am pretty sure I just read this quote from Mark Sanchez today in The Daily News:

“He’s so open and ready to get going,” said Sanchez, who has thrown with the receiver several times already. “We’re getting that chemistry to the point where I can explain what I want and we can exchange ideas.”

Yes, I think Holmes will fit in just fine on the Jets offense after working with Sanchez the next few months. He will be raring to go in week 5, because I am sure it will kill him to watch those first four games and beyond that the guy has a ton to prove. He is a former Super Bowl MVP who was traded by his team. By all accounts, Holmes is a big time competitor and he is in a contract year.

PhotobucketWill the Jets miss Thomas Jones leadership on offense? He was absolutely a valuable leader but can’t Mangold, Woody, Ferguson, and Jerricho Cotchery step up? Can’t Sanchez step up in his second year as the starter? What about LaDainian Tomlinson? What about Tony Richardson? These guys are professionals.

Turnover is common in the NFL. Everybody talks about what great chemistry the Jets had last year and guess what they had four new starters on defense and two new starters on offense in 2009. They were breaking in a rookie quarterback. They had to adjust to a new #1 receiver in week 5 (sound familiar for 2010?). They basically switched starting running backs in the middle of their run to the post-season. They dealt with an unhappy big name player on defense, who was demoted. They handled two season ending injuries to key players. They had a player benched because of a twitter incident. They fired a defensive line coach mid-season and guess what? They still managed to pull it together and make a run to the AFC Championship Game.

If you are going to argue the Jets will struggle in 2010, you will have to do better than the chemistry argument.

2009: A Season Filled With Potential Chemistry Problems