Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Pre-Season Opener Edition

Mike Donnelly’s stock watch is buying and selling for the New York Jets pre-season opener this Friday

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. If you missed it earlier today, check out his piece on fantasy football. Chris Gross also had a great read on Aaron Maybin and yours truly looked at the Jets lack of depth on offense. Yes, we are getting after it here…and yes you should be celebrating the return of Jets football in 3 days by rocking this new shirt –  

With the Jets first preseason game a mere three days away, fans everywhere have been stricken with a major case of Jets-fever. No matter where you look, whether its the TV, Twitter, Jets forums, the radio, this website, or wherever else, people want to discuss all of the ins and outs of the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. This week’s Stock Watch is going to focus on the players and storylines that I’m looking forward to in these preseason games.

BUY: Bilal Powell – The second-year RB was written off by virtually everyone heading into the season, but has by all accounts shown some great ability during training camp. Despite being held down on the ground in last week’s green and white scrimmage (3 offensive linemen were out and he was facing arguably the league’s top D), he did still manage to score a touchdown on a short pass from Mark Sanchez. I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles reps with the first team against some live competition.

SELL: The WR Situation – This has been discussed a ton lately, including on this very site, but it bears watching. The wide receiver situation right now is downright abysmal. With 3 projected top receivers Santonio Holmes, Chaz Schilens, Jeremy Kerley all suffering from injuries we are looking at Stephen Hill and Patrick Turner as the #1 and #2 receivers heading into these pre-season games. Look for a veteran to be brought in after the first wave of cuts around the league, but for now, this position is not looking too strong to say the least.

BUY: Jordan White – All that being said about the WR position being so weak is definitely true, but if there’s a silver lining it is that young players such as 7th round pick Jordan White will get a chance to shine. Our very own Chris Gross was extremely high on this prospect and we’re going to see just how right (or horribly, horribly wrong) he was in projecting White’s talents.

SELL: Austin Howard – With Wayne Hunter banged up, you have to figure Austin Howard is going to get extended looks with the first team unit. Mike Tannenbaum has been talking Howard up for months now, but at this point it’s hard to take him seriously when it comes to these bottom of the roster players. I just don’t think Austin Howard is that good, and I don’t want to see him in there blocking for The Sanchize.

BUY: Quinton Coples – Coples has apparently come alive in a big way the past few days, first with a solid performance in the Green & White Scrimmage, and then again the day of the Brawl to End All Brawls, as he managed to sack quarterback Tim Tebow twice. I am very excited to see our first round pick in some live action.

BUY: Kenrick Ellis – Ellis is definitely going to get extended playing time throughout the preseason and I’m very excited to see how the massive nose tackle has developed heading into year 2. He has the natural ability to be a major contributor on the defensive line, and a strong preseason could really springboard him into more playing time once the games count for real.

BUY: Ricky Sapp – We’ve been talking him up here for months, and doubled down on buying his stock recently, and I for one am very excited about seeing him in action. I think he is going to really play well against the second and third stringers that he will be up against this week and earn himself some more reps with the big boys in coming weeks. He has a lot of potential and could end up playing a key role for the defense before too long.

BUY: The Safeties (Except Eric Smith, obviously) – I’m sure I’m not the only one excited to see our new safety corps in action, particularly LaRon Landry. I know after watching Jets safeties last year, it seems as though ANYBODY would be an upgrade, but this new duo of Landry and Yeremiah Bell could actually be considered very good if they stay healthy and play up to their potential. I’m also very excited to see impressive rookie Antonio Allen in action. We have potentially gone from zero good safeties to 3 or 4. That is very encouraging.

SELL: Injuries – Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed that the Jets don’t suffer any more injuries this preseason. We’ve been fortunate enough to not witness anything too serious yet, and let’s hope it stays that way.

New York Jets: Offensive Depth Still Area Of Concern

The New York Jets still have depth issues on the offensive side of the football

There is a fine line between having confidence in your young players and being ignorant about the depth on your roster. The New York Jets are walking that line right now. A suggestion for the addition of a veteran running back or wide receiver isn’t a questioning of the future potential of the youth at those positions but a call for needed insurance, in case of injury or a lack of productivity.

Let’s start at running back. Shonn Greene has stayed healthy throughout camp so far. He will likely receive minimal work throughout the pre-season and has proven to be fairly durable over the past two years. However, as we have mentioned before a rolled ankle or separated shoulder leaves the Jets perilously thin at running back for an offense built to be run heavy…very run heavy.

Yes, Bilal Powell has had a strong camp. He is likely the team’s best combo back because of a skill set has features traits needed for both a “A” and “B” back in their system. Powell has shown he can pass protect, catch the football well out of the backfield and mix up running inside and outside. That being said, he still hasn’t proven it in a NFL game and he is really ready to handle 20 carries in a game if Greene misses a few weeks?

Terrance Ganaway was back on the practice field today but has been banged up all throughout camp. He is a rookie 6th round pick. Joe McKnight did look good early in camp but seems to be losing ground to Powell as the team’s primary third down back. Beyond that, McKnight was very fragile with limited touches last year and is already nursing a shoulder injury this camp.

The question remains, why keep such an unproven (Powell, Ganaway) and injury prone (McKnight) group behind Greene with no support? Signing a player like Cedric Benson or Ryan Grant or swinging a trade for a player who is tumbling down the depth charts elsewhere like Knowshon Moreno is low risk, high reward move. Benson or Grant would come on a veteran minimum deal. Moreno wouldn’t cost more than a 6th round pick and has first round talent. You bring them into the rotation and if an injury occurs or  a 1B back never steps up on the Jets roster, you have insurance.

We have seen Cedric Benson, Ryan Grant and Knowshon Moreno run for a 100 yards in a NFL game. Insurance never hurts. New England is loaded at tight end because their offense is built around them. New Orleans and Green Bay is loaded at wide receiver because their offense is built around them. The Jets offense is built around their running game, why not work to be loaded at running back?

The presence of a veteran doesn’t mean you can’t give a player like Powell his touches. It just means that if he gets hurt or doesn’t perform in a game, you have another option.

At wide receiver, it is the walking wounded for the Jets. Santonio Holmes has sore ribs and he will miss the first pre-season game. Fine, he is a proven veteran and will be ready to go for the regular season. Stephen Hill has managed to stay healthy but remains a rookie. Patrick Turner has quietly put together a strong camp and does have a few NFL receptions under his belt. After that…everybody is hurt. Jeremy Kerley is out for another 1-2 weeks with a hamstring injury. Chaz Schilens has been banged up all throughout camp and has never been healthy in his NFL career. Jordan White is just returning from an injury and is a rookie. Dexter Jackson has flashed at times but is completely unproven.

Yesterday the Jets cut bottom of the roster dwellers Scotty “Can I have your girlfriend’s number?” McKnight and DaMarcus “why does this Jets Tweeter love me so much” Ganaway. The logical assumption would be that Mike Tannenbaum is getting ready to add somebody at the position. This makes sense because the Jets will be running out a 3 wide of Hill (0 NFL receptions), Turner (8 NFL receptions) and White/Jackson (0 NFL receptions) with Mark Sanchez this Friday if Holmes and Schilens don’t play.

Tannenbaum isn’t going to go big here. So get Mike Wallace and Dwayne Bowe out of your head (sorry fake Adam Schefter account from last night). If they look to the trade market, James Jones of Green Bay makes sense because of the surplus the Packers have at the position and because Randall Cobb has all but taken his job. Jones won’t be too pricey and is a proven big play receiver who can stretch a defense.

If they look to the free agent market, Greg Camarillo makes the most sense. He knows Sparano’s offense, is a reliable route runner and has very good hands. The hope is that Jordan White can seize the slot receiver role is Jeremy Kerley doesn’t get his act together but it never hurts to have insurance for a rookie 7th round pick. Again, Camarillo will cost you the veteran’s minimum. Low risk for a proven veteran if the injuries remain an issue.

It always better safe than sorry. Didn’t we learn that at the center position last season?

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8 Steps To Achieve The Perfect Fantasy Football League, Part 2

Mike Donnelly finishes out his 8 easy steps to having a perfect fantasy football league

Mike Donnelly will be leading our fantasy football coverage all season. Make sure to check out part 1 of this article here and to follow him all season on Twitter. Today he finishes the breakdown of the 8 key steps to having a perfect fantasy football league –

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5. Appoint a strong Commissioner. Terms like “jerk”, “inflexible”, and “know-it-all” may seem like unflattering things to be called. But in the fantasy land, those are exactly the qualities you want in your Commission of the PFL. I take them as as compliment now. Oh you want to fight me tomorrow? That means I’m doing a good job. The rules have to be iron-clad, everyone has to obey them, and there can be no shenanigans. No unfair trades, no collusion, no getting around the waiver rules. Otherwise you end up in a league where a team falls out of it and tries to help their buddy in exchange for a few bucks, or there’s one guy who tries to cheat his way through waivers, etc. Those are not things you need in a PFL.

To become a good Commissioner you need to do a few things: First, put in the scoring system I showed you above. Second, implement a waiver system in which every team owner has 100 dollars to bid on free agents for the season. They put their bids in after the games on Sunday, and have until Wednesday night to do so. At that point, the highest bidder gets the free agent. After the waiver process ends, pickups are free Thursday through kickoff of the first game of the week. Very simple, fair, and efficient. Trust me on this. Third, make sure everybody pays at the draft or very shortly after. No exceptions. Fourth, draw up an iron clad league Constitution that clearly states all the rules and ins and outs of the league — Things such as Playoff rules, scoring tie breakers, trade rules, etc all need to be included here. That way any time an incident arises you can just point to the Constitution. Any questions or problems with these rules need to be brought up at the draft. Which is why you need to…

6. Have a live, IN PERSON draft. Besides being a great excuse to spend a Saturday with your friends drinking beer, eating pizza, and having fun, it also helps clear up any issues anybody might have with the league. Things just get done so much easier in person.

Besides that, it also gives you good insight into what all the other team owners are thinking or trying to do. Sometimes you can look across the table and just know who the other guy is hoping falls to him. That’s when you announce it to the group and blow up his spot. Nothing is more fun. Except maybe when a guy reaches for a player and you can string off a couple of thinly-veiled insults. Some of my favorites include: “We’re in the 10th round already?” when a guy makes a bad pick in the 5th round; “Is that last year’s draft guide you are using?” when someone takes a washed up player; “HA! Good one, who are you really picking?”;  “Someone needs to stop drinking”;  or “Awesome! That just means one more actually good player will fall to me”. Plus, did I mention it’s a good excuse to get together with 11 of your friends to drink beer and let loose for a few hours? I did, but one more time: It’s an excuse to get together with 11 of your closest friends and have an excuse to drink beer and have fun.

7. Have thick skin. I touched on this above, but it’s worth repeating and making it’s own rule. You have to remember: the things written about you, the pictures posted about you, the derogatory polls made about you, and whatever else are all in good fun. Plus they are probably hilarious, and you’d love it if they were about your friend instead of you. Then, you should strive to give it back to that person just as good without being a jerk about it.

In my PFL there are no less than 3 articles written with photoshopped pictures about a league member written per week. Plus at least a poll or two. And the polls don’t typically ask “Who is going to win this week’s matchup” if you catch my drift. They are far more personal and much more likely to include someone’s girlfriend and farm animals. That’s what makes it fun. If you get upset because someone asked “What’s in worse position – Joe’s team or the Kardashian family?” or called you the “Dungeon Master” because your team is absolute crap, well, you just aren’t going to make it over 16+ weeks. I will make a comment about anything you do. I will insult your free agent pick up; I will say you got fleeced in the big trade you made just to make you mad; I’ll laugh about the girl you hooked up with last night and post a picture of it that I secretly took; I’ll offer you some terribly unfair trades just to make you mad; I’ll make my team name something about you. I expect you to do the same, just be funny about it. Deal with it.

8. Finally, check your league at least once a day. This should go without saying, but if you aren’t doing this, you are really missing out. How are you getting through the work day? How are you getting through those hour-long phone calls with your girlfriend without scrolling through the top free agent defenses and their match-ups for the next 3 weeks? If someone offers you a trade and you don’t reply one way or another, or even say you are thinking about it, you should be excommunicated. There is no reason for that. A trade offer should not sit for any longer than 3 days. On top of doing it so you have a better chance of winning and staying a step ahead of your competition, in the PFL there is always something going on to entertain you whether it’s an article, a poll, a post on the message board, a picture, etc. Just check once a day, and you’ll be glad you did.

Keep in mind, fantasy football only lasts 4 months of the year. We have to cherish these times and get the most out of it that we possibly can. These 8 steps will surely help put you on the path to having a Perfect Fantasy League, but it’s up to you to make it happen. Just know that there are some people out there that have seen the light. It is possible. Come and join us and spread the word.

No Huddle – Curtis Martin, Antonio Cromartie and Tim Tebow

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle looking at Curtis Martin HOF speech, Antonio Cromartie and Tim Tebow

TJ Rosenthal is back with his weekly No Huddle, talking on a number of different issues surrounding the New York Jets as they prepare for their first pre-season game. Make sure to follow on TJ on Twitter –

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As we head into week one of the preseason schedule we take a look back on the past seven days in Jets nation. Never a dull moment around here –

Curtis Martin: 

What a Hollywood movie Curtis Martin’s life has been. From his tragic youth to redemption through the love for his mom and family, football and the coaches who become role models.

After making us all cry in the early part of his story, Curtis offered that even though he never grew up a football fan, the sport taught him about life. His speech taught us a few things too about perseverance, and the value of what’s truly important in this world.

Few Hall Of Fame acceptance speeches have been better.

A Week in The Life Of Antonio Cromartie:

Cro is a character. He’s up, he’s down, he’s athletic, he’s a game changer yet wears a bullseye on his back when he struggles. He’s quotable and he’s always honest.

That said, calling himself the second best WR on the Jets, even if it was taken out of context of it being a smack talk joke, was not what the Jets needed most regarding the passing game. What they needed and still need more, is for a true WR2 to emerge. And fast.

Later last week, Cro then of course goes ahead and almost breaks WR1’s rib during a Saturday night scrimmage. Figures. Only the Jets, right?. Luckily Mr. Holmes is OK.

Now Cro, make the same noise you made last week on the field and off, at your actual position. Be consistent. Lock down WR2. Jump some routes. Be that playmaker week in week out, that we envisioned you would be when you arrived.

As for wideout, if you streak downfield every so often on offense, we won’t complain either.

The Holmes scare:

Taking the Cromartie hit on Santonio during Saturdays intrasquad scrimmage a step further, sometimes a little doomsday fear is a good thing. Do the Jets REALLY feel safe if Tone were to go down? The answer is, depending on how they reacted for those few hours whoever awaiting X-Rays. Depth with experience still an issue.. Relying on potential for a win now team is a dangerous proposition.

Our suggestion? Pick up a vet who has made a few plays in this league before week one. This player can always be cut as time goes on. Be smart, not stubborn. Kids are kids. Give them time to develop and when the time is right, then allow them centerstage. Don’t just hand a young player a big job because there is no other choice.

Obama Chimes In On Jets QB situation:

First off, we truly believe Rex when he says as he did last week that Mark Sanchez is the clear cut QB and Tim Tebow is a special weapon who poses unique problems for opponents. We disagree with the Prez that fans should fear a controversy. We also wonder, ‘Mr President shouldn’t you be focused more on that 1970’s game show host that you will be facing in November?’

Then again, the NFL is alot more fun to banter about than any wonk talk about the economy is. Another diversion from the real issues, by some Commander in Chief.

We get it.

Boomer Esiason Says Jets Should Cut Tebow:

The former Jet QB now turned WFAN radio host offered this opinion this morning, mostly due to how Tebow throws the ball. Enough already with this people.

Tim Tebow is a runner who CAN throw at times, got it? The Jets do. As his role develops into something of a hybrid playmaker based on the potential to line up in many places, maybe everyone will finally believe Gang Green when they say they have a clear cut starter in Sanchez.

Now in defense of Boomer, the Jets will have to slide somebody up to the QB2 role at some point. No backup should be taking and delivering the hits that Tebow will this season. If the McElroy-Simms battle for the QB3 spot doesn’t develop one of those players into a viable 2 right now, the Jets might want to hit the market for a veteran.

Even if the move becomes a trick play on Tebow, who thought he was signing on here to be the backup. Hey, whatever is best for the team isn’t that true 15? You’ve said it yourself, that this is your goal in New York.

On more than one occasion.

Well what’s best may soon mean a slight change in plans. Tanny, Move Tebow to QB3 in time. This way, there will be a viable option if 6 goes down for a period of time. It’s still a passers league right now. The Jets have to prepare for the worst and be able to take part in an aerial show to some degree, if the worst does happen.

New York Jets: WR Depth A Serious Concern

Chris Gross takes a closer look at the New York Jets depth issues at wide receiver

Among the positives that came out of yesterday’s Green and White scrimmage for the New York Jets, eyes were opened to a serious concern when starting Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes was sidelined with what was originally thought to be a fractured rib. X-rays have reportedly come back negative on Holmes, who is listed as day to day, however, with Mark Sanchez’s primary target down, it became truly evident how thin the Jets are at the Wide Receiver position.

Other than Holmes and Tight End Dustin Keller, there is an alarming lack of experience on the roster. Hopes are high for rookie Stephen Hill, but coming from a triple option offense at Georgia Tech, combined with the fact that he has never taken a single NFL snap, it is far too early to depend on him to carry the workload in the receiving corps. Jeremy Kerley had a very promising rookie campaign last season, but he’s been put in Rex Ryan’s dog house in the early days of training camp for what seems to be a conditioning issue. Regardless, Kerley is much more of a slot type receiver, who may not be very serviceable if plugged into the first or second spot on the depth chart.

Among the other receivers on the roster, newcomer Chaz Schilens has the most experience with four NFL seasons under his belt, however, his career has been plagued by injuries, having played a full 16 games in only his rookie season. Patrick Turner showed some positive signs at the end of last year, hauling in a touchdown in the season finale in Miami, but like many of his colleagues, he too has very little NFL experience, with just 20 games under his belt. Rookie Jordan White had an astounding college career at Western Michigan, but he has been hampered by a lingering foot injury during the first week of camp, so his potential level of production is still extremely hard to gauge.

To put it nicely, if Holmes were to miss significant time, New York would be more dependent on Sanchez and the run game than they have ever been. With this reality looming over the team, there is a good chance General Manager Mike Tannenbaum will look to bolster his group of receivers in some way, shape, or form. Certainly, trades are always a possibility with Tannenbaum, as he didn’t get the nickname “Trader Mike” because it has a nice ring to it. However with very few, if any, realistic trade scenarios out there, the most logical step would be to look at who remains in Free Agency. While there is certainly no abundance of talent left on the open market, New York could use, at the least, a veteran presence in its receiving corps. Here are some names to keep in mind in the coming weeks:

Greg Camarillo – 2011 Team: Minnesota Vikings, Stats: 13 GP, 9 receptions, 121 yards, 0 Touchdowns. 

Camarillo is coming off of his worst statistical season as a pro last year with the Vikings. However, the Quarterback situation in Minnesota was comparable to that of the Jacksonville Jaguars, simply atrocious. Donovan McNabb was released by December, and rookie Christian Ponder struggled greatly at times. However, Camarillo has a great sense of familiarity with new Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano’s system. The sixth year veteran out of Stanford played for Sparano during his first two seasons at the Miami Dolphins’ Head Coach, and accumulated the two most productive seasons in his career. In the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Camarillo played in a combined 27 games, while catching 105 balls for 1,165 yards and 2 touchdowns. Although these numbers aren’t jumping off of the stat sheets, this level of production looks impressive when compared to what is behind Holmes, if Camarillo can return to that under Sparano. The reliable target (0 drops in 2009) would likely come at a very cheap price as well. Tannenbaum may be picking up the phone to get him in for a workout at some point in the near future.

Mike Sims-Walker – 2011 Team: St. Louis Rams/Jacksonville Jaguars, Stats: 6 GP, 12 receptions, 150 yards, 0 Touchdowns (Season ending knee injury).

Sims-Walker faced a bit of a rough patch in his career last season, having played in just 6 games. However, before being hit by the injury bug, he was quite productive in 2009 and 2010 for Jacksonville, having played in 29 games while catching 106 passes for 1,431 yards and 14 touchdowns. Sims-Walker worked out for the Houston Texans in June, and reportedly looked healthy and impressive according to Head Coach Gary Kubiak. Concerns over his knee are likely why Sims-Walker remains a free agent, but he could be worth a glance.

Roy E. Williams – 2011 Team: Chicago Bears, Stats: 15 GP, 37 receptions, 507 yards, 2 Touchdowns.

Of the remaining free agents, Williams has probably been the most productive over the course of his career (393 receptions, 5,715 yards, 44 touchdowns), however he has been bounced around between Detroit, Dallas, and most recently, Chicago since becoming the 7th overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft. At 6’3” 215 lbs, Williams has the physical ability to contribute as a solid run blocker, something that is crucial in this offense, but he must be willing to do so. At 30 years old, he likely has some decent football left in him, and the Jets could certainly look his way as well.

Bernard Berrian – 2011 Team: Minnesota Vikings, Stats: 5 GP, 7 receptions, 91 yards, 0 Touchdowns.

Berrian hasn’t played a full 16 game season since 2009, which was also the last time he caught a touchdown. After signing a $42 million dollar contract with Minnesota in 2008, Berrian was productive early for the Vikings (103 receptions, 1,582 yards, 11 touchdowns over 2008-2009 seasons combined). Unfortunately, like many of the others, he has been nagged by injuries lately, making him simply irrelevant. New York would be much better suited looking to one of the previous three, before kicking the tires on Berrian.

Anthony Gonzalez – 2011 Team: Indianapolis Colts, Stats: 8 GP, 0 receptions, 0 yards, 0 Touchdowns.

While the Quarterback situation in Indianapolis last year was well below par, Gonzalez has played in just 11 games over the past 3 seasons. He was signed by New England earlier this offseason, but was released prior to training camp due to lingering injuries. His career is seemingly over.

Terrell Owens – 2011 Team: Allen Wranglers (Indoor Football League), Stats: 8 GP, 35 receptions, 420 yards, 10 Touchdowns.

This is simply not going to happen. New York is trying to repair their public image and what many consider a fractured locker room, not further tarnish it.

Plaxico Burress – 2011 Team: New York Jets, Stats: 16 GP, 45 receptions, 612 yards, 8 Touchdowns.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently had a sit down with Burress, whom he reported to be in tremendous shape. While he was very productive in the red zone for the Jets last season, New York has simply moved on. Burress was publicly critical of Mark Sanchez and the organization after the conclusion of last season, yet still remains without a job. A reunion can be ruled out by nearly 100 percent.

It will be very interesting to see how this situation plays out in New York. The Jets have to be aware of the lack of experience on the depth chart behind Holmes and will likely look at some of the names mentioned above. While nothing is imminent, Mike Tannenbaum could be picking up the phone in a couple of weeks, particularly if the receiving corps does not impress in the early preseason games.

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New York Jets: Green and White Scrimmage Recap

Mike Donnelly recaps the New York Jets Green and White scrimmage

Mike Donnelly provides a recap of today’s Green and White scrimmage. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter and check back tomorrow for Chris Gross’ overview of the Jets options at wide receiver with Santonio Holmes likely being out for 4-6 weeks with a broken rib. 

With today’s first Jets Green and White scrimmage taking place, the important thing to remember is that today is August 4th and the season doesn’t begin for another five weeks. So getting too up or too down about certain players or position groups on this team based on one glorified practice is a pretty futile exercise. That being said, there would be no fun in keeping a level head and not breaking down the action that we saw, heard, or read tweets about this afternoon.

The main thing to know about today’s scrimmage was that in addition to learning a whole new system on the fly, the Jets offense was without wide receivers Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, and Chaz Schilens, plus 3/5 of their starting offensive line were out. (Nick Mangold was off in London to watch his sister compete in the Olympics, Brandon Moore was out watching Curtis Martin get inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Wayne Hunter was not playing, which would usually be good thing until you remember his backups are even worse, but that’s a whole other issue). Oh, and they were only going against arguably the best defense in the NFL.

No big deal. That of course won’t stop many “experts” and commenters from bashing the offense and making unfunny Twitter jokes, but the fact is, the defense is supposed to dominate in situations like that. So for the purposes of this article, I’m going to be looking at all of the positives that came out of today’s scrimmage and not taking petty shots at anyone; not even at Tim Tebow, i promise. Let’s break this down in easy-to-read fashion with random thoughts:

Quinton Coples – I guess all the fans ready to call him a Gholston (it seemed like some actually want him to fail so they can say “I told you so”, which blows my mind) can exhale and actually, you know, give the first round pick more than 6 practices before writing him off. On the very first play of the scrimmage he beat his man, knifed in, and stuffed Shonn Greene behind the line of scrimmage. After that, by all accounts he played very well and should only build off this performance.

Flashes of the new Defense – Rex Ryan started to show some wrinkles he’s incorporating into the new 46 defense this year, and came in with many different looks. Aaron Maybin was all over the field lining up at many different positions, and we even saw some looks where Calvin Pace and Coples were standing up next to each other on the same side of the line. It’s very easy to get excited about this defense, especially when you read things like…

Antonio Allen, Garrett McIntyre, and Ricky Sapp all looked great – Three guys who are all under-the-radar and unknown to casual fans all have had very strong camps and continued that today. Allen has looked like an absolute steal as a 7th round pick, and Sapp and McIntyre are proving that the Jets are not as thin at OLB as many would think. Those Stock Watch Buys of Sapp the past few weeks are looking like money makers so far!

Dustin Keller – Keller caught 3 passes for 31 yards against the first string defense, which is a very positive sign. It appears as though new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano got the memo Brian Schottenheimer never got around to reading, about Dustin Keller being a legit weapon for this offense and if put in the proper position can really do well. Better late than never I suppose. Speaking of Sparano..

Sparano makes adjustments, Sanchez looks sharp – After getting it handed to them early in the scrimmage, when the offense came out for the first drive after halftime, they looked totally different. Mark Sanchez looked great as he went 7-9 for 52 yards during a 60-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown pass to Bilal Powell. That halftime adjustment already gives Sparano one more than Schotty had in six years here as coordinator. Sad, but true.

Santonio Holmes broke his ribs – Oh wait, that’s not a positive at all. But it looks as though that is the case, as he was apparently leveled by #2 wide receiver Antonio Cromartie — yes, Antonio Cromartie made a big hit. Seriously. — and came out of the scrimmage. If the rib is indeed broken, his status for week 1 is very much up in the air. The options to replace him from outside the organization are downright putrid now that Braylon Edwards just signed with Seattle, so someone has to step up. If there is a silver lining to all of this, it will give players like Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner, Jeremy Kerley and even Jordan White the opportunity to step in and show the coaching staff something. It remains to be seen whether or not they will do so, but if all else fails, I guess we can just look forward to watching a 57-8 run/pass ratio in week 1, right?

Curtis Martin going into the HOF – Not part of today’s scrimmage, but definitely worth mentioning. One of the greatest Jets of all time is heading into the Hall of Fame tonight, and we couldn’t be happier for him here at TOJ. If you missed my column on why Curtis deserves this honor so much, you can check that out here.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: New York Jets Mailbag

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack answers fan’s questions about the New York Jets

Today’s 12 Pack is going to answer 12 questions we received on Twitter about the New York Jets throughout this morning. If you aren’t following on Twitter, kindly take a moment and do it right now. Also make sure to follow fellow TOJ writers Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly and TJ Rosenthal as well. We had a busy week here at TOJ, here is a recap –

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1. @SeanLDurham – “Talk about this silly notion that Sanchez isn’t showing any back bone by supporting Tebow packages in the red-zone”

Sanchez is in a difficult situation because no quarterback ever wants to come off the field. However, he has handled the situation properly with the media. He knows what he is dealing with and one comment that shows dissatisfaction is going to lead to all types of unnecessary hype and drama surrounding his team. Sanchez is demonstrating his leadership by putting the team first, although personally I’m sure he has resolved to play at a high enough level that it becomes extremely difficult to take him off the field, in any situation.

2. @ItsOasus – “What about the hamstring situation? Preventable?”

This has been an extremely frustrating part of training camp, particularly at the wide receiver position. Hamstrings are pulled when players are not properly stretched or didn’t show up in proper football shape to camp, as a few receivers has publicly admitted. Tony Sparano is running uptempo practices and it seems the receivers are having a tough time adjusting to all the running. At this point, the injuries have already occurred so the players have to make sure they are fully healed before they return or else the injury can become a nagging issue all season.

3. @DC914 – “Who has really been impressive in camp so far?”

On offense, you have to go with Bilal Powell. And how is that for a shocker? Many people didn’t even think Powell would make the roster and yet he has been the consistently most impressive back on the team. He is receiving gradually more work with the first team and has a serious chance to end up being the third down back. Josh Baker also deserves a mention. He is a versatile player, who we talked up a bunch this off-season. Baker will be a factor at tight end, H-Back and fullback this season. On defense, Aaron Maybin has been racking up multiple sacks every day and Ricky Sapp hasn’t been far behind. The Jets may have finally found a couple edge pass rushers.

4. @WheelanNDealin – What about the Australian TE the Jets signed this off-season?

Hayden Smith has held his own by most accounts so far in Cortland. However, he still has a long way to go before leap frogging Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland and Josh Baker on the depth chart. Smith is a good down the road prospect and has practice squad written all over him for this season.

5. @TeamThirstTrap – How are LaRon Landry and Bryan Thomas looking after coming off major injuries?

LaRon Landry has been on a pitch count all camp but when he has been out there he been very impressive. Landry has admitted himself that he can only go 100 miles per hour so the Jets have tried to protect him from himself somewhat. He is on pace to start the first pre-season game but will likely receive limited usage throughout the pre-season to make sure he is 100% for Buffalo in week 1. Bryan Thomas has had a quiet camp. Yet, the team knows what to expect from him. He should be a quality two down linebacker for the defense throughout this season.

6. @NFLSpecialist – Santonio Holmes admittedly “not being ready for camp” and what are Rex’s disciplinary options?

Holmes quotes didn’t come off well yesterday, with his comments about not being in “true football shape” yet. He is setting a poor example for a group that been injury plagued and disappointing throughout camp. Unfortunately for Rex, he needs Holmes back on the field as soon as possible because he is the team’s only proven wide receiver and because it will encourage the other injured players to get out there. Holmes has always been a gamer but he is coming off a down year, so it remains to be seen how productive he will be.

7. @ShawnZP715 – Details on Jets practice at MetLife and how is Coples doing so far?

The Jets practice at MetLife Stadium will be on August 21st from 5:30 – 8:30 and open to the public for free. Coples has had a quiet camp so far. Apparently he has had some difficultly grasping the full installation of the defense, so the Jets have been using him more situationally. This makes sense since Coples will primarily be used on passing downs this season anyway, since Mike DeVito is so stout against the run.

8. @MikeMHill – How many rushing yards will Shonn Greene have this season? Over 1,500?

I would project Greene to finish with somewhere between 1,150 – 1,300 yards. I’d be shocked if he finished anywhere near 1,500 yards or over it. Greene is good for about 4.2 yards per carry, so if he gets the 300 carries Tony Sparano talked about giving him, he is looking at about 1,260 yards this season.

9. @MCaseyNYJ – Who really is the 2nd best receiver on the team? 

Based on physical talent alone it is probably Stephen Hill. Yet, he is extremely raw and obviously unproven as a rookie. Chaz Schilens has the best combination of physical skills and NFL production and only has 72 career receptions. Jeremy Kerley is coming off a pretty good rookie year but has been hurt and is in Rex Ryan’s doghouse. One player to keep an eye on is Patrick Turner who is quietly putting together a very good camp and showed some flashes last season.

10. @CrazyChimpman – Will the offense improve in rank and do we possibly have a legitimate pass rush? 

At a minimum the offense will improve in their rushing rank because of how frequently they are going to run the ball and the presence of Tim Tebow. As for the pass rush, Aaron Maybin looks legitimately poised for a double digit sack season and the presence of Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples up front should give the Jets more pressure they’ve had from their defensive lines in years.

11. @FroDawg14 – The best way to maximize efficiency in the red-zone?

Both of the Jets quarterbacks…yes both are very good rushing threats inside the 5 yard line. When throwing the football, Dustin Keller, Stephen Hill, Patrick Turner and Jeff Cumberland all have good size and potential to be consistent weapons down there. The Jets should be a very, very good red-zone team in 2012.

12. @JetsChamp – Talk about Jets beat writers thinking fans want them to cause fights among players and that we enjoy reading controversey

I wouldn’t put all the blame on the beat writers. The ESPN coverage has been far worse. Yes, the beat writers can exaggerate headlines at times but that isn’t always their fault. However, the intentional controversy brewing around this team has been frustrating and that is why we are here…we are on a mission to civilize New York Jets coverage.

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Inside Look: ESPN’s Idiotic Coverage Of New York Jets Training Camp

An inside look at ESPN’s idiotic coverage of New York Jets training camp

For everybody who was happy the New York Jets passed on Hard Knocks because of the excessive coverage it brought to training camp, they clearly didn’t realize the ESPN controversy stewing idiot box would be camped out in Cortland 24/7.

By the way, have you seen this trailer for Miami Dolphins Hard Knocks? Can you name one player you see? Can you stay awake listening to Joe Philbin talk? I am pretty sure I’d rather watch that new show with Matthew Perry NBC is pumping up more than this…and that show looks just awful.

Anyway back to the ESPN idiot box camped outside of Jets practice. This is a general outline of  their daily agenda –

– Find group of fans willing to chant Tebow, keep the camera in front of them all day. Every time we return from commercial, open with them and then cut to either Ron Jaworski or Skip Bayless smugly smiling.

– Allow Ron Jaworski to make poorly researched uninformed statements about the Jets offense and then hold the Jets quarterbacks to a double standard.

  • Mark Sanchez throws a deep out route low but it is still caught by Santonio Holmes. Cue Jaworski “That is the kind of throw you must get up higher…if you want to play…in the National…Football…League”
  • Tim Tebow sails a pass to Josh Baker over the middle and it is nearly intercepted. Cue Jaworski “Look at how Tebow has improved his throwing motion. He is really putting some nice arc on the ball. The Jets must get more athletic at tight end to help Tim Tebow play…in the National…Football…League”
  • Jaworski comments that Sanchez is comfortable with Jeff Cumberland and has chemistry with him but doesn’t have it with Josh Baker because they haven’t worked together. The only problem is Cumberland was on IR after week 3 last season and Baker spent the rest of the season practicing with the team, culminating with him catching a touchdown in week 16.
  • Jaworski notes that Tony Sparano is basically installing the same offense as Brian Schottenheimer. The only problem of course being that he is installing literally the complete opposite of what Schottenheimer did last year when the Jets base personnel was three receivers.

– Keep a microphone in front of Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes at all times and let the headlines run from there.

– Have Sal Paolantonio make regular observations of Tebow’s usage and Sanchez’s demeanor in response to it. “We heard Tebow could throw a pass at some point to keep defenses honest. Sanchez was reportedly a little upset because we saw him not get seconds at lunch today. Could the pressure be getting to him, both mentally and physically?”

– Have Skip and Stephen A debate any and everything Tebow. 

  • Why did Tebow run with his shirt off?
  • Why did Tebow decide against seeing a movie?
  • When is the last time Tebow got his hair cut?
  • Tim TEBOW might not be able to THROW THE FOOTBALL there Skip but don’t talk to me about Mark SAN-CHEZZZ leading this team, TEBOW IS A WINNER!!

Of course the Jets only have themselves to blame for consenting to having ESPN there for over a week. A day? Two days? You could deal with, but this long with this much coverage is ridiculous. So much for the escape to football paradise in Cortland where there are no distractions. For the rest of the world, we understand why you hate the Jets and are tired of hearing about them.

For us Jets fans, we know that behind all the BS is a potentially good football team, with plenty of good stories. This team is going to be disliked as long as Rex Ryan is the head coach and the cameras are everywhere, but doesn’t that just make it more fun to root for?

We are on a mission to civilize Jets coverage here at TOJ. Stay with us all season and make sure to wear that green and white proud.

New York Jets Headline Watch – Tebow Goal Line Dominance

Checking the accuracy about the Tim Tebow goal line dominance stories today

Shockingly enough the New York media and the mainstream media will occasionally twist headlines to generate some type of controversy. We will use this series of columns to review what was actually said and whether there is any reason to be up in arms about it. Today’s topic is Tim Tebow’s performance in the goal line segment of Jets practice –

Here are the headlines

What actually happened –

Mark Sanchez ran four goal line plays with the Jets first offense against the first defense. He ran for a touchdown and threw a touchdown. Tim Tebow ran four goal line plays with the Jets second offense against the second defense. He ran for two touchdowns and threw a touchdown.

Apparently scoring one more touchdown than Sanchez against backups, while Sanchez was going against the first team (a unit who is supposed to be one of the league’s best) equates to complete dominance and complete ignorance of Sanchez.

There is nothing wrong with being excited about Tebow performing well as a goal line rushing option. Yet, can we not forget Sanchez had the same amount of rushing touchdowns as Tebow last year, with six? His ability to play fake and bootleg is a weapon around the goal line is a weapon as well.

Ultimately the onslaught of headlines about Tebow going 3/4 against backups is…like most aspects of the coverage of Jets camp (which we will get into later)…complete overkill. Can’t you already hear Skip Bayless and Ron Jaworski yelling for Tebow to start next pre-season game because he beat Garret McIntyre to edge a couple of times in practice?

New York Jets Fact Or False: The Tweeter’s Choice Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False on the New York Jets answers your submitted questions on the team

Throughout the season, we will periodically poll our Twitter followers for what they want to see addressed in New York Jets Fact Or False. For our inaugural edition of The Tweeter’s Choice, our readers brought the heat. Not one person disappointed with the issues they wanted to read about, which proves we have one of the most, if not the most, knowledgeable fan bases in all of football. Huge shout out to @Crazychimpan, @bleist25, @ItsOasus, @DrewFromJersey, and @Jetsforlife25 for sending in their suggestions this week. Be sure to give each of them a follow on twitter, and be sure to keep a look out all season, as we will certainly run another edition of this in the future. Thanks again, and enjoy!

8 DAYS UNTIL THE PRE-SEASON OPENER. WHERE IS YOUR NEW SHIRT?

The Jets will carry more than 5 RB/FBs going into season. (@Crazychimpman). False.

While five is a great over/under for the number of backs that will be on the active roster come opening day, don’t expect any more or any less. The three guaranteed spots will be Shonn Greene, who will presumably be the starter barring an injury, Joe McKnight, for his Special Teams value will lock him in, regardless of whether or not Bilal Powell gets the nod as the third down back, and John Connor, who established himself as the starting Fullback early in training camp as the team has already decided to waive journeyman Fui Vakapuna.

The next two spots are the intriguing ones. You’d have to think that, with all the talk about Powell, he will make it. However, Powell must truly prove that he is worthy of being a valuable option as a third down back. McKnight isn’t going anywhere, due to his worth on Special Teams, so for the team to carry two backs with strikingly similar skill sets, Powell must go above and beyond what’s asked of him.

Rookie Terrance Ganaway is also a very interesting case. Ganaway was seemingly drafted because he looks to be a perfect situational fit for this season, with the hope that he will develop into a perfect schematic fit long term. He has great experience in the option offense, running for an astounding 1547 yards and 21 touchdowns last season at Baylor, while posting a remarkable 6.2 YPC, which makes him the most logical back in any Tebow package. Ganaway also has tremendous size at about 6’0” 240 lbs, which makes him an ideal fit for the Ground and Pound that New York plans to implement under Tony Sparano. Unless Ganaway really struggles to prove he is not yet NFL ready, he should remain on the roster.

The Jets will likely remain set with these five backs. Unless Powell is written off, it looks very doubtful that New York will look to add a veteran. If Powell does not prove to be worthy of a spot by the time the season begins, the Jets still may remain content with just four backs, while relying on Tim Tebow to be a huge contributor to the run game. The only way I truly see New York adding a veteran is if Powell tails off, and Greene struggles immensely during the pre-season. Otherwise, it looks like the Jets are ready to roll into the season with what is currently on the roster.

Trader Mike will make a move for another RT before camp is over (@bleist25). Fact.

Tannenbaum took a shot swinging a deal with the Panthers for Tackle Jeff Otah, which clearly did not work out due to the former first rounder’s inability to pass a physical. With the Otah trade nullified, New York is back to square one with Wayne Hunter and Austin Howard as the two most logical choices at Right Tackle. Hunter has a serious edge over Howard, who will likely not see a significant down all season. That is a scary thought. Clearly, Mike T is aware of this, as displayed by the failed Otah trade. By now, I’m not sure anyone can argue with the notion that the Jets are not comfortable with the competition they currently have at the Right Tackle position.

The next logical step for Tannenbaum is to look to Free Agency. Many questioned why he hesitated to bring in a veteran during the offseason, but he likely wanted to see how Hunter and the other tackles looked during mini-camps and OTAs. Since Tannenbaum and the rest of the organization were clearly not satisfied, they can now look to add someone like Vernon Carey, who will come at a discount in comparison to what he may have cost them a few months ago.

“Mayhem” will play on more than just passing downs this season (ItsOasus). Fact.

Aaron “Mayhem” Maybin is already earning high praise from the media and coaching staff in the early stages of training camp. He has reportedly bulked up to 240+ pounds, which will help him greatly against the run. Calvin Pace will likely remain on one side of the field for the majority of downs, however the other side is open for competition. While most expect Bryan Thomas to retain the spot opposite Pace which he occupied prior to his season ending injury last year, there is a good chance we could see him in a limited role this season. While he has had success setting the edge on run-downs in the past, the praise Maybin has been receiving for his added size and relentless motor could propel him into an increased role to play a surplus of downs in a variety of spots on the outside. His versatility will be a huge weapon for Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine this season. Expect them to utilize that to the fullest extent.

Ricky Sapp will have more sacks than Calvin Pace this season (@DrewFromJersey). False.

Although Sapp has very exciting potential, he has still yet to record a sack at the NFL level. While he could very well break that trend this season, I wouldn’t give him an edge over the seasoned veteran that is Calvin Pace, even if he is entering the twilight of his career. Since joining the Jets, Pace has gotten to the Quarterback a total of 26 times. Sure, his sack total has decreased each year since 2009, however his experience, along with the amount of reps he will receive should make him good for at least 4 sacks, if healthy. Sapp, on the other hand, may still be able to compile 2-3, but will likely be used far less. Additionally, players with very little experience in real NFL game situations, unless tremendously talented, tend to compile more QB hurries and knockdowns, rather than actual sacks. Timing is everything on getting to the Quarterback before he gets rid of the ball, and it will likely take a full season of game experience before Sapp gets used to executing his moves just at the right time.

Early Camp Star Ellis Lankster will become a serious playmaker and collect at least 3 Interceptions as a shutdown nickel-guy this year (Jetsforlife25). False.

Lankster’s progress is extremely encouraging for New York thus far. With a serious question mark heading into training camp as to who would assume the role of the fourth cornerback, Lankster has provided a breath of fresh air for coaches and fans. However, he has played in just 17 total games over the course of his career, and has yet to register an interception. Additionally, the amount of reps he gets will likely be very limited. The Jets have a surplus of defensive backs including three excellent corners in All-World Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson, whom many believe is on his way to becoming a very good corner in this league, as well as the Safeties Yeremiah Bell, LaRon Landry, and Rookie Josh Bush, who is realistically the best cover Safety on the roster. For Lankster, it will all come down to scheme. His inexperience will have some, but not much, effect on his ability to become a playmaker.

However, if the Jets choose to put out more packages of Revis, Cromartie, Wilson, and two safeties, which seems like the most logical approach, other than third and long scenarios, Lankster may not get the amount of snaps necessary to truly establish himself as a serious playmaker, while compiling 3 interceptions. As well as Lankster has been playing, it is unlikely he will beat out Wilson for reps as the third CB. You’d like to think with improved Defensive Line and Safety play, New York will not see a surplus of third and long scenarios this season. However, if these positions fail to live up to their potential, then all bets are off.

Josh Baker is the 2nd best TE on the roster (DrewFromJersey). Fact.

Baker wins the spot as New York’s second best TE, somewhat by default. Jeff Cumberland has great potential, and has showed flashes of solid play in the past, but he has participated in just 4 career contests. Baker, on the other hand, saw action in 11 games last season, while hauling in 3 balls for 27 yards, including a touchdown on Christmas Eve against the Giants. Hayden Smith is very intriguing, but as a guy who has never played a down of football in his life, he certainly does not have the edge over his competition just yet. The key for whoever becomes the second Tight End this season will be their ability to block. Unfortunately for New York, not one of them has truly proved to be able to do that, so it will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Josh Bush will struggle in a forced role as the Jets only true cover safety (Jetsforlife25). False.

The fact that Bush will be forced into a role as the only true cover safety on the roster will actually benefit him. Prior to becoming a safety at Wake Forest, Bush was a corner, and has been noted for his cover abilities throughout his career. Last season, Bush had a team best 6 interceptions earning him First-Team All ACC accolades, as well as a spot as a third teamer on the All-American squad. Bush has sub 4.5 40 speed, and under the tutelage of savvy veterans like Landry, Bell, and Revis, he should fit nicely in a center field type role for the Jets. Sure, he will have his growing pains, but Bush will ultimately succeed more often than not this season.