New York Jets – Of Course Mark Sanchez Is Starting This Week

Of course the New York Jets are starting Mark Sanchez this week

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For some reason many people were surprised at Rex Ryan announcing that Mark Sanchez is going to be the New York Jets starting quarterback this Sunday in Buffalo. At this point, nothing related to the Jets quarterback situation should surprise anybody. Greg McElroy has a concussion? Maybe. He was sacked 11 times on Sunday. It is understandable if he held off telling the coaching staff until this point as he knew this could be his last chance to start a game for awhile. Sadly, you could argue that it is equally as feasible that the front office told Rex Ryan to find a way to sit McElroy and get Mark Sanchez one last start. Who knows at this point?

With McElroy out of the picture, it becomes a no-brainer to start Sanchez over Tim Tebow. Why? Look at both their contracts. Look at both their situations. Tim Tebow isn’t coming back next year. He isn’t going anywhere but Jacksonville, whether it is via trade of a late round pick or simply being released and signed by them. There is nothing to gained from having him start from the front office perspective.

Mark Sanchez is owed over 8 million dollars next year. He could stay or go, depending on who is in charge. If he plays well, maybe he builds some confidence heading into a quarterback battle with a veteran next year. If he plays well, maybe it is a little easier to convince some team to take him for a 7th round pick if the Jets agree to pay the overwhelming majority of the contract. If he doesn’t play well…what else is new?

There is no reason for an uproar either way. It doesn’t matter if Sanchez or Tebow plays well on Sunday because it is a meaningless game against an awful defense. Anybody who puts any stock into a performance, good or bad, from Sunday’s game is a fool.

So enjoy one last spin on the circus carousel because come Monday the firings begin. The only thing Jets fans should be rooting for right now is for Mike Tannenbaum to get fired, not reassigned. Who cares about Sunday?

4 Years Later, 3 Similar Problems Plague New York Jets

TJ Rosenthal on the New York Jets being plagued with 3 of the same problems they were back in 2007

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The New York Jets flipped the script from self-pitying losers to Super Bowl contenders during Rex Ryan’s first two seasons. As the 2012 season has slipped into oblivion, though, warm fuzzy feelings related to how the honeymoon originally felt, have become harder to conjure up. It has become fashionable nowadays, as the 6-9 Jets close their season on Sunday, to question whether the club is better off now than it was four years ago. When Woody Johnson replaced Eric Mangini and Brett Favre with Ryan and Mark Sanchez. Three major issues still plague the Jets. What type of head coaching persona best fits the team going forward, who the QB should be, and how the Patriots can be toppled.

Many people forget that Mangini was once perceived as the “Mangenius.” A brilliant Bill Belichick disciple during his first season (in 2006 when the 10-6 Jets returned to the playoffs after a 4-12 year under Herm Edwards in 2005) whose rigid, secretive, and stoic ways only became a detriment when the Jets crashed late in 2008.

Ryan then came barrelling through the doors in 2009 as the loud, brash, AFC Championship-level coach. A made for media character seemingly prepared to lead the organization out of it’s “Same Old Jets” mentality permanently. His present-day state as the humbled, neutered uber-loyal figurehead, has some diehards who all once loved him, wondering if he is the right man for the job going forward.

With reports surfacing now that the Jets are already searching for a new GM to replace Mike Tannenbaum, the Jets will once again be staring down a predicament they faced in early ’09 regarding the HC postion: What type of mindset, X’s and 0’s approach and personal skills best fit a model that aims for long-term success.

In 2008 out of nowhere, Brett Favre replaced Chad Pennington at quarterback in training camp. The shotgun wedding with the future hall of famer started out beautifully, but ended in disaster. As the 8-3 Jets fell victim to a stubborn Favre. Whose undisclosed arm injury left the club (that eventually fell to 9-7) hostage to a consecutive game streak that Favre refused to relinquish.

The Jets were happy after that late season crash to let Favre head to Minnesota. Mark Sanchez then became the franchise quarterback and instant starter after being selected in 2009.  After a modest yet victorious start that began with a 4-2 playoff record in just two seasons, Sanchez’s career has gone from promising to second string.

With or without a new GM calling the shots, the Jets, as they did following the Favre experiment, appear ready to finally give up on the notion that Sanchez can guide them without challenge for years upon end. A new starter for the Jets in 2013 almost seems like an inevitability at this point.

Then there are the Patriots. In ‘08 the Dolphins shocked many by winning the AFC East. This thanks ironically both to Pennington’s guidance as the new Miami QB, and something the innovative Dolphins called the Wildcat formation. That anomaly of a year aside, the Pats have been the NFL’s most successful regular season team for over a decade. As well as the biggest thorn in the Jets side. Having won the division in ten of the last twelve years.

They are 11-4 this year. With a legendary head coach in Belichick who is as motivated to win as he was when he first left Bill Parcells and the Jets at the podium in back 2000, in order to rejoin Robert Kraft in Foxboro.

The Jets and Ryan believed that by now, they would be the ones in the penthouse. So much for wishful thinking. Soon the  Jets will again assume the unenviable role of having to view their own their parts based on what it will take to overtake Brady and Co.

After the Buffalo game ends, the GM question is answered, and the Tim Tebow error is dealt with, the Jets will have to answer the same three key problems they had hoped to solve in January of 2009. “What type of coaching style best suits us now, who should be the quarterback, and how do we finally take down the Patriots? “

New York Jets – Waiting For The Insanity To End

The final days of the New York Jets 2012 season cannot pass fast enough

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There are plenty of bad football teams in the NFL this season. There are teams with worse records than the New York Jets despite having more talent. There are teams who have gotten blown out or been less competitive on a more frequent basis than the New York Jets. Regardless, it is hard to fathom another situation where the season ending will be greeted more happily than this organization and their fan-base.

Rex Ryan press conferences, once entertaining highlights throughout the week of winning seasons, have turned into bumbling, confusing explanations about quarterback depth charts and activation theories. Rex and the rest of the Jets staff is coaching like they don’t expect to be back next year. How else do you explain young players and rookies being glued to the bench in meaningless games? How else do you explain the complete discord between the staff, the front office and even the offense and defense?

The Jets franchise has devolved into “everybody save themselves” mode, as they all desperately try to shift blame and save their jobs. It is sickening to watch such a lack of organization, discipline and vision. As we have previously alluded to, there are no half measures when it comes to fixing these kinds of problems. They require a reevaluation of direction and a fresh set of eyes on the roster.

A clean break doesn’t mean bringing Bill Parcells back for a consulting role, since he has previous working relationships with Mike Tannenbaum and Terry Bradway. Bring in somebody fresh and hungry to prove themselves as a personnel evaluator and General Manager. Mike Maccagnan from Houston was the right idea, just give him the freedom to do the job without Tannenbaum’s interference.

This organization desperately needs to move past the Tim Tebow circus sideshow act. It needs to move past Mark Sanchez who was set up to fail the previous two years and did just that in spectacular fashion. The old faces from the 2009 and 2010 AFC Championship Game runs need to be sent packing: Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Eric Smith, Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller and if possible Santonio Holmes among others. Rex Ryan might have to go as well, that needs to be strictly the call of the new General Manager. Right now, Rex doesn’t carry himself like somebody who believes he will back next year or even really wants to be back at all.

The Jets finish up their season in Buffalo this Sunday in a glorified exhibition game against another disappointing team from their division. Yet, the real entertainment will be in the following days. When will the end of season press conference be scheduled? Who will even run it? How many days until Tony Sparano is fired and who from the offensive staff will get the ax with him? It will be an active January of speculation and hopefully front office/coaching staff turnover from the Jets, likely supported by endless anonymous quote stories ran in the Daily News. The only hope is when the dust settles, there are more competent decision makers in place.

This is an obviously critical off-season for the Jets, where a cleaning up of the salary cap needs to take place while attempting to begin the process of starting to fill the numerous holes across the roster. The team will have a top 15 pick in the first round and a pick in every round after that. They cannot afford early round misses and need to find immediate contributors, likely on the offensive line, at outside linebacker and at running back. In free agency, they are going to have to hit with smart, low-cost deals.

The most important thing the Jets do this off-season will be finding a way to improve their self-scouting, which of course means getting people like Tannenbaum and Bradway away from decision making. No more mistaking Shonn Greene for a lead back. No more mistaking Wayne Hunter for a starting right tackle. Look at the roster, find the capable pieces and build around them, while cutting ties with the rest.

New York Jets – No Half Measures

The New York Jets can’t take any “half measures” when it comes to rebuilding this off-season

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Jason La Confora is reporting the New York Jets are starting the process of acquiring a new General Manager. Good news, right? Wrong. Woody Johnson apparently wants the new GM to work with Mike Tannenbaum who will be demoted to a salary cap management type position. Not surprisingly, no credible candidates are interested in such a foolish arrangement.

I love writing and sometimes that leads me to carry on when writing about this team but let’s keep this succinct today, since it is the holidays and this situation is so idiotic it doesn’t deserve that many words.

Making Mike Tannenbaum strictly a salary cap specialist is like making Mark Sanchez a quarterback coach. He has destroyed our salary cap by giving Sanchez arguably the worst contract in sports right now. He has no merit for this position.

No GM that you want running your football team, like Houston’s Director of College Scouting Mike Maccagnan, who has been approached is going to have any interest in this type of power sharing arrangement. As our source has stated all season, Woody and Tannenbaum have a close working relationship and no GM who will want Tannnbaum looking over his shoulder on every move.

Why can’t this organization just flat out fire anybody? Former GM Terry Bradway was just demoted into scouting after an awful tenure, where he could continue to hurt the Jets with his poor personnel decisions. Former Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton, who was awful at his job was only demoted to linebackers coach. Current quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh stil hasn’t been fired for some ungodly reason. You need to fire ineffective people. Get them completely out of the building.

The Jets are a disaster right now. Woody Johnson can’t be that blind not to see that. The solution is simple. Fire Mike Tannenbaum. Fire Terry Bradway. Fire Tony Sparano. Fire Matt Cavanaugh. Allow the newly hired GM to make the decision on Rex Ryan and go from there.

Happy Holidays everybody!

No Huddle – Just End The Season Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets counting the seconds until the season is over

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The Jets deserved this. This 27-17 loss to the Chargers was Woody Johnson, Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum’s reward for having no plan at all on offense, acquiring Tim Tebow, and failing to improve the Jets skill positions during the offseason. This week’s No Huddle is brought to you by, the Jets offensive line.
 
11 Sacks
Greg McElroy was sacked 11 times. In one game. Keep in mind that he’s a scrambler too. Some of the sacks we will attribute to McElroy’s inexperience, but eleven? What an embarrassment for this organization. We can only imagine what offensive line coach DuGuglielmo will say when a microphone is shoved in front of him this time.
 
Mark Sanchez
The Sanchise was awful for much of this season. Still, you just know that deep down he has a nationwide grin on his face over this outcome. No protection. Few receivers to throw to. Yet this time, the reporters are in some other guys locker. Not his. Enjoy your night 6. You earned it by doing nothing again. This time, “nothing” meaning zero wrong. Sometimes observing is better for the sleeping pattern than stinking up the joint is.
 
Norv Turner
We bet that Rex Ryan and Norv Turner had a quick chat about 2013 during warmups. One where Rex said, “Okay, so this is your cell number, right? I’ll call or text you in a week or so. Happy Holidays.” So much for the days when Ryan would boast about how he would have taken Turner’s Chargers further. Ryan is beyond humbled at this point, and this marriage seems inevitable.
 
Tim Tebow and Jeremy Kerley
Jeremy Kerley was allowed to throw the ball? Yes. Think about that. He completed a 40 yard pass play while Tim Tebow, the 3.5 million dollar cardboard cut out sat and daydreamed about the Jaguars. We thought there was no room left in the clown car for this team. Little did we know about the cavernous trunk space in the Jet mobile.
 
Is Anybody On This Staff Safe?
Completely safe? Not in our eyes. Rex Ryan is the one most likely to stay. It is hard to accept however, his approval of Sparano, the ground and pound personnel, and Sanchez for 15 weeks. What we want to know how Rex plans on getting better as a talent evaluator for the offense from here. By sheer luck? By choosing Turner, a proven offensive guy? If the Johnson decides to continue with the Ryan regime, he better not be hoping and praying in this department any longer.

Initial Reaction – New York Jets Embracing The Awfulness

The New York Jets continued to bottom out today with a 27-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers

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It was a sad day at MetLife Stadium. The New York Jets have fully regressed to 2007, when December home games were filled with bitter, disinterested fans watching a bad football team play out the string.

Shockingly, a second year 7th round quarterback wasn’t the answer to all the Jets problems. Greg McElroy looked overwhelmed in his first NFL start, turning the ball over twice, taking unnecessary sacks and showing the lack of arm strength that will prevent him from being this team’s answer at quarterback. The rest of the team, with the exception of a handful of players, were truly awful and looked like a team ready to head home for the off-season. There is not a coach on the Jets offensive staff who deserves to be employed in the NFL next season and Rex Ryan’s beloved defense was pushed around by one of the league’s worst offenses.

The offensive line embarrassed themselves. Shonn Greene can’t crack 40 yards rushing unless he gets 20 carries. Eric Smith is still Eric Smith. The linebackers are slow. Kyle Wilson remains his terrible self (at least we didn’t see any finger wags today).

What else can you say? It needs to be blown up from top to bottom. If you have been paying attention, you knew this already.

How about a few positives? Quinton Coples recorded a sack in his third straight game, finishing with 1.5 on the day and now has a team leading 5.5 on the season. Muhammad Wilkerson also added in a sack and now has 5 on the year. The two of them and Kenrick Ellis form the core of an excellent young defensive line. Braylon Edwards has looked strong since returning and the Jets are going to be able to bring him back on a low cost contract and get a productive player. Outside of that? I guess Robert Malone has put together a good season of punting the ball.

One game left and then the rebuilding can commence!

Turn On The Jets Week 16 NFL Picks

The TOJ Staff submits their week 16 NFL Picks

The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday games –

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Rob Celletti (123-95-6)

2. Chris Gross (113-105-6)

3. Mike Donnelly (112-108-4)

4. Chris Celletti (111-108-5)

5. Joe Caporoso (96-122-6)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (9-6)

  • Atlanta (-3.5) vs. Detroit
  • Tennessee (+12.5) vs. Green Bay
  • Oakland (+8.5) vs. Carolina
  • Buffalo (+4.5) vs. Miami
  • Pittsburgh (-3) vs. Cincy
  • New England (-14.5) vs. Jacksonville
  • Indianapolis (-7) vs. Kansas City
  • Dallas (-3) vs. New Orleans
  • Washington (-6.5) vs. Philadelphia
  • Tampa Bay (-3) vs. St. Louis
  • Giants (-2.5) vs. Baltimore
  • Minnesota (+7.5) vs. Houston
  • Denver (-13) vs. Cleveland
  • Chicago (-5.5) vs. Arizona
  • Seattle (PK) vs. San Francisco
  • Jets (-2.5) vs. San Diego

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (9-6)

  • Falcons -3.5
  • Titans +12
  • Raiders +8.5
  • Bills +4.5
  • Steelers -3
  • Jaguars +14.5
  • Chiefs +7
  • Cowboys -3
  • Eagles +6.5
  • Bucs -3
  • Jets -2.5
  • Texans -8
  • Giants -2.5
  • Broncos -12.5
  • Bears -5.5
  • Seahawks PK

Rob Celletti

Last Week (10-5)

  • Falcons (-3.5) over Lions
  • Titans (+12.5) over Packers
  • Raiders (+8.5) over Panthers
  • Dolphins (-4.5) over Bills
  • Steelers (-3) over Bengals
  • Patriots (-14.5) over Jaguars
  • Chiefs (+7) over Colts
  • Cowboys (-3) over Saints
  • Eagles (+6) over Redskins
  • Rams (+3) over Buccaneers
  • Giants (-2.5) over Ravens
  • Texans (-7.5) over Vikings
  • Browns (+13) over Broncos
  • Bears (-5.5) over Cardinals
  • 49ers (PK) over Seahawks
  • Chargers (+2.5) over Jets

Chris Celletti

Last Week (5-10)

  • Falcons
  • Packers
  • Raiders
  • Dolphins
  • Steelers
  • Patriots
  • Colts
  • Redskins
  • Rams
  • Giants
  • Texans
  • Browns
  • Bears
  • 49ers
  • Jets

Chris Gross

Last Week (7-8)

  • Falcons (-3.5)
  • Packers (-12)
  • Raiders (+8.5)
  • Dolphins (-4.5)
  • Bengals (+3)
  • Patriots (-14.5)
  • Chiefs (+7)
  • Saints (+3)
  • Eagles (+6.5)
  • Bucs (-3)
  • Ravens (+2.5)
  • Vikings (+8)
  • Denver (-12.5)
  • Bears (-5.5)
  • 49ers (pk)
  • Jets (-2.5)

Turn On The Jets Week 16 Best Bets: Best Of 2012

Chris Celletti with his weekly NFL Best Bets and a collection of “Best Of” Lists for 2012

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Week 15 Record: 0-3

Season Record: 14-29-2

Unfortunately, there are TWO more weeks of the regular season in the NFL.  God why can’t this just end sooner?

I will be doing a Best Bets piece for Week 17 (I’m sure you’re all in tatters with excitement), but Week 17 falls on Dec. 30 this year. I plan on spending the week between Christmas and New Years bathing in alcohol and greasy food, so I’ll just alert you now; I’m probably going to mail in my Week 17 column like Mike Francesa in August.

So because I’m sure you haven’t seen enough year-end “Best Of” or “Top (insert whatever here) of the Year” lists, here come a bunch more. You’re welcome, everybody. Here are my Top 5 in a whole bunch of important things from 2012:

Movies of the Year

1. Zero Dark Thirty – I saw this last night and the first thing that came to mind when I walked out of the theater was “I’ve just seen the best movie of the year, if not the last five years.” Super intense, brilliantly paced, well-acted all around. It’s impossible to make a movie about this subject do a better job than Kathryn Bigelow did. The scene of the actual raid of the Bin Laden compound was action film-making at its finest. Oh yeah and all those torture scenes that the government are telling you are “factually inaccurate”? Yeah, please, we totally did all that.

2. Silver Linings Playbook – If everything about this movie was the same except the Solitano family was from New York or New Jersey and they were massive Jets fans instead of Eagles fans, there’s a chance this would be my favorite movie of all time.

3. The Master – Daniel Day-Lewis is going to get the Oscar for Best Actor for Lincoln, but Joaquin Phoenix is just as deserving if not more.

4. Argo – As much as it may pain me to say this, Ben Affleck made a great movie.

5. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson quirkiness at it’s best. Children acting like adults, adults acting like children. Hilarious, outrageous and heartwarming at the same time.

Honorable Mention: Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, ParaNorman (no, really), Lincoln – and I fully expect Django Unchained to be great.

Mike D’Antoni Quotes of the Year (No explanation required)

1. “Uhhhhhhhhh”

2. ” Well, uhhhhhh”

3. “Now you’re startin’ to piss me off.”

4. “Uhhhhhh…Let’s go! Comeonnow! Let’s go!”

5.”Uhhhhhhhhhh”

Honorable Mention: “Well…uhhhhhh, you know…uhhhhhh”

Albums of the Year

1. Japandroids – Celebration RockWhen your quarterback could learn a thing or two about attitude from the lyrics of a Canadian alternative outfit… “When they love you, and they will, tell ’em all they’ll love in my shadow / And if they try to slow you down, tell ’em all to go to Hell”…you know your football team sucks.

2. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball –An 11-track anthem for the 99%.

3. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE –If I was doing a Top Songs of the Year list (I’m not), “Pyramids” would be vying for the top spot. That song is mind-blowing.

4. Fang Island – Major – I didn’t know it was possible for an indie band to make anthems that are loud, fast AND fun. Major proved to me that you can.

5. Green Day – Uno! –Pop this in and you may think it’s 1994 all over again. Which would be great if you’re a Rangers or Knicks fan, and not so brilliant if you’re a Jets fan.

Honorable Mention – Rex Ryan f/Mike Pettine – “Sounds of a Defense”. My favorite tracks are “BOOOOOM” “46 Bear 4 Life” and “F&$!@% Sanchez”

Athletes of the Year

1. LeBron James – Thanks to this Grantland article, I was reminded that in Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers with his team down 2-1 in the series, LeBron went for 40 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists. Holy hell.

2. Lionel Messi – He scored more goals in a calendar year than anyone in history. I’d say that’s fairly impressive.

3. Adrian Peterson – Putting together a year this great, in a league that’s going away from the run, after his knee was decimated late in 2011?

4. Rory McIlroy – Won the PGA Championship by a record 8 strokes, helped the European team to an all-time comeback at the Ryder Cup, and finished atop the PGA Tour’s Money List.

5. Henrik Lundqvist – A goaltender who played so ridiculously good over the course of an entire season. John Tortorella deserves a ton of credit for the Rangers finishing first in the East and making a deep playoff run, but the Rangers are nowhere near that good with standard goaltending. He deserved to win a Stanley Cup in 2012.

Honorable Mention – Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Nonito Donaire, R.A. Dickey, Jeremy Lin, Shonn Greene

“Same Old Jets” Plays of the Year:

1. Buttfumble – Sanchez’s Bubby Brister moment.

2. Season-Ending Snap Cluster%&!# – Blame it on Nick Mangold, blame it on Sanchez, take your pick. Picture perfect way for the meaningful part of Gang Green’s season to come to a close.

3. Joe McKnight’s Kickoff Fumble vs. New England – Couldn’t help but start laughing.

4. Sanchez’s OT Fumble in New England – The beginning of the end.

5. Tim Tebow signing a contract – Wait, no, THIS was the beginning of the end. While we’re at it…

Tim Tebow Plays of the Year:

1. 3-yard plunge

2. 2-yard plunge

3. Loss of 6

4. Incomplete Pass

5. 4-yard swing out to Jeremy Kerley

WHAT A FOOTBALL PLAYER!!!

Games/Events of the Year:

1. Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV – If you read this column (first off, thanks!) you know where I stand on this.

2. Manchester City’s Title-Winning Comeback – Watch this clip. If you say you’ve ever heard an American sports crowd go anything close to as insane as this, you’re lying through your teeth. Goalkeeper Joe Hart running around by himself in celebration is an incredible image. Martin Tyler’s call is probably the best call in live sports broadcast history. I’m not exaggerating.

3. Saints at 49ers, Divisional Playoffs  – I wish every football game was played like this. Rex Ryan doesn’t.

4. Winter Classic – Rangers vs. Flyers – The Rangers go down only to come back to take a lead in the third period. In the final minute, Henrik Lundqvist stones Danny Briere on a penalty shot with a slim one-goal lead. All in the fresh, open air.

5. Linsanity vs. the Lakers – Jeremy Lin outdid Kobe Bryant, dropping 37 points on the Lakers at MSG. Linsanity’s fever pitch.

Honorable Mention – Raul Ibanez pinch hits for A-Rod, hits game-tying and game-winning HRs, The Ryder Cup’s final day, Olympics Women’s Soccer Gold Medal game – U.S vs. Canada, No. 15 Lehigh beats No. 2 Duke

Oral Histories of the Year:

No yeah screw that, oral histories suck.

Jets Websites of the Year:

1. TurnOnTheJets.com – Yeah that about rounds out the list.

And now…the vaunted picks:

Redskins -6 at Eagles – Skins need it, Eagles are dead.

Giants -2.5 at Ravens – Ravens defense will have trouble with Eli, Cruz, Bennett etc.

49ers PK at Seahawks – Will be a defensive battle, but the Niners have the better big play capability.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week (Season Record: 6-8-1) – Knicks -6 vs. Bulls AND the over (187)

Happy Holidays y’all!

New York Jets: Looking at the Roster Beyond 2012

Chris Gross with an in-depth look at the New York Jets roster options and why any current report about 2013 personnel decisions is BS

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Following Rex Ryan’s decision to replace the embattled Mark Sanchez with third string quarterback Greg McElroy this past Tuesday, multiple reports have surfaced citing unnamed sources within the organization claiming that the powers that be in Florham Park will decide to part ways with both Sanchez, and second string quarterback Tim Tebow, following the conclusion of the 2012 season. However, much like the Mayan Calendar, the script for the New York Jets has not yet been written beyond 2012. While the said powers that be may be in favor of moving both Sanchez and Tebow, there is a very good chance that they are no longer the powers that be following the week 17 season finale in Buffalo. Regardless of what sources are claiming, or what reports are emerging, there is simply no way that a front office and coaching staff, seemingly walking on eggshells trying desperately to save their jobs within these final two weeks, have had the time to sit down and discuss monumental decisions like the ones mentioned above.

Following New York’s disastrous, playoff ending loss to Tennessee on Monday night, Rex Ryan supposedly made the decision to bench Sanchez as his team shamefully strolled into the locker room. On Tuesday afternoon, Ryan announced his decision to the media, and by Wednesday night, the Jets had apparently decided to not only move on from both Sanchez and Tebow, but to pursue Michael Vick in free agency this offseason. So, let’s think about this, chronologically for a minute.

Monday 12/17/2012, roughly 11:00 PM EST: Ryan notifies Sanchez he will not be the starting quarterback for the Jets week 16 matchup against San Diego.

Tuesday 12/18/2012, 3:52 PM EST: The New York Jets official twitter account announces that Greg McElroy will be the starting quarterback for the Jets final home game of 2012 season.

Jet Tweet

Wednesday 12/19/2012, 9:44 PM EST: Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports via Twitter that the New York Jets will try to trade Mark Sanchez following the conclusion of the season.

Manish

Wednesday 12/19/2012, 9:58 PM EST: Mehta tweets the link to the full story on the Jets apparent decision to move Sanchez after the season. Included in that story is another unnamed source confirming that the Jets do have interest in soon to be free agent Michael Vick, citing Rex Ryan’s “love” for Vick as the “X-Factor” in the veteran signal caller coming to New York this offseason.

Thursday 12/20/2012, 12:02 PM EST: The Daily News reports the Jets will look to trade or release Tim Tebow following the conclusion of the season.

So, according to Mehta and other various reports, in just over a day after naming McElroy the starting quarterback for this week, the Jets also decided that they will not only be parting ways with a former top 5 draft pick, whom they traded up to obtain, but have already had discussions about bringing in another high profile veteran to replace him.

Hmm. 24 hours is surely a long time, particularly in the NFL where sleep is relatively scarce during the season. However, for a front office and coaching staff desperately scrambling to find a way to somehow save their jobs, after another miserable performance that ultimately ended their season, it does not seem logical that they’d be using what little time they have to muster up a .500 record by discussing trading two of their highest profile players, and acquiring another, within 48 hours, on a 6 day week.

We also aren’t just talking about making mindless releases, trades, and additions to the roster. We are talking about a concluded plan on how to deal with a player who was once viewed as the face of the franchise, is owed over $8 million in guarantees next season, counts for $17 million against the salary cap if released, and is someone that both the head coach and general manager have pledged their undying loyalty to. We are also talking about moving one of the most polarizing figures in all of professional sports. Then, we are talking about acquiring one of the most controversial, yet dynamic players the NFL has ever seen. Do you honestly think all of this was decided between 11 PM on Monday night and Thursday at noon?

Well, with the Jets, anything is certainly possible. Woody Johnson has become known as one of the greatest knee-jerk reactors in the entire community of professional sports ownership. Could Johnson have muttered some things like this out of extreme frustration, causing someone to overhear him and leak his statements to the News? Sure. But these reports are suggesting that these are organizational decisions, meaning internal discussions between the front office, ownership, and even the coaching staff. As Rex Ryan stated earlier in the week, he is involved in every decision that is made with this team. Whether or not that is true, certainly remains to be seen, but the reality of the fact is that Woody Johnson does not posses nearly the amount of football knowledge that it would take to devise a plan like this in under three days, without consulting with the people he pays to run his team. You can rest assured Ryan did not partake in any such discussion this week, considering he is likely coaching to save his job in these final two games. Do you honestly think he’s sitting in a meeting room with Mike Tannenbaum mapping out their future, when the future of both men is insanely unclear?

What I am alluding to here is obvious. However, for the sake of argument, let’s say that Tannenbaum has met with his staff and these discussions were, in fact, had, and these decisions were, in fact, made. Let’s assume all of this speculation is one hundred percent true. Now let’s assume that the Jets lose their final two games, finish 6-10 and everyone, including Rex Ryan and Tannenbaum, are relieved of their duties. Now all of a sudden the roster is frozen. No moves will be made until a new regime – GM, front office, and coaching staff – is installed.

Now, we suddenly have a General Manager and head coach who come in and take a long look at the roster on day one, considering the play of each person on the team, as well as contract terms and conditions. This imaginary GM looks down at his roster, studying it closely. He sees the name Mark Sanchez. He then looks to his salary figures, noticing the guaranteed money, and potential cap trouble if Sanchez is outright released. This GM now has a massive decision to make. Does he give Sanchez one more chance to compete to be the starting quarterback for the Jets, or does he begin his reign as General Manager by releasing Sanchez and crippling himself with a $17 million cap hit?

Then that same General Manager continues to look over the roster and sees the name Tim Tebow. He consults with his new coach about the player. For the sake of argument, let’s say that coach is Jon Gruden, a red hot name on the list of potential NFL head coach replacements for 2013. Gruden then begins to gush to his new GM about how he has spent time at Oregon with Chip Kelly learning the spread offense, and how he thinks he can make it work at the professional level. He then tells his general manager that the only person on the current roster to make that system effective, is Tim Tebow. Now, all of a sudden Tebow goes from being thrown out of town, to the foundation of this team’s rebuilding process.

Are either of these situations going to happen? No one knows at this particular point in time, but that’s just the point. If the regime that is in place now is replaced, all supposed roster decisions that you have heard in the last few days are suddenly meaningless. While it is still unlikely that the current regime has made these decisions already, it is even more unlikely that the majority of the decision makers within the front office will be with the organization next year, rendering any apparent decisions for 2013 completely obsolete. Basically, we know very little about what this team will look like in 2013.

So what do we know? Well, the Jets have several key players under contract that will surely be on the team next season. They also have very inexpensive role players that will likely stick around as well. Then, there are a surplus of players who have underperformed and will be released to create cap relief, as well as players whose contracts will expire after this season, many of whom will not be brought back.

Then comes the interesting portion of the roster. Outside of Sanchez and Tebow, there are several players whose respective fates remain up in the air depending on what happens with the powers that be of the New York Jets. Below is a chart of what you can expect to become of every player currently under contract with the Jets, including a list of those players whose fortunes have yet to be decided, regardless of what you may hear or read, for the reasons aforementioned.

Jets going staying

Let’s start with who will remain on the team beyond 2012. In the secondary, Antonio Allen and Josh Bush are two rookies who have each contributed in relatively small roles this season. Allen has impressed the coaching staff enough to earn rare public praise from Special Teams Coordinator Mike Westhoff, while Bush has chipped in sporadically on defense and special teams throughout the year. Both Allen and Bush are very young, inexpensive players, who will see their roles grow in the coming years. Kyle Wilson is Kyle Wilson, but will make just over $2 million next season. While he hasn’t performed to the level of where he was drafted yet, there is no reason for him to be moved. Ellis Lankster certainly isn’t Deion Sanders, but at $630,000, he has played beyond his pay grade this season.

At linebacker, DeMario Davis was drafted to replace Bart Scott, a role he will likely step into next year, barring any unforeseen additions to the position this offseason. Garrett McIntyre shouldn’t be asked to start, but has played well in his time as a reserve this season, and will likely be the only returning outside linebacker on the roster. Nick Bellore is a solid special teams player who makes just over a half a million dollars per year. These players will all be Jets in 2013.

Along the defensive line, Wilkerson, Coples, and Ellis are primed to become one of the most dominant units in the league, with youngster Damon Harrison providing a much cheaper alternative to spell Ellis at NT than anyone else currently on the roster.

The offensive line has cornerstones in Ferguson and Mangold, while Austin Howard has certainly played well enough to come into camp as the starting right tackle next season. Vlad Ducasse hasn’t been nearly as horrible as he has looked in the past, and at under a million dollars in salary next season, he provides inexpensive experience on the interior of the offensive line.

Jeremy Kerley has played tremendously all season, and he should be a big part of this team’s plans moving forward. Although Stephen Hill had his troubles this season, he is still an extremely bright prospect with tremendous upside. Considering this, and the fact that the organization used a 2nd round pick to obtain him, expect him around for the long run.

At running back, Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight remain under contract at low costs. Powell has played well this season, and should be the team’s 1B back next year, with McKnight playing his usual role on special teams, while still trying to find some type of niche in the offense.

The specialists Folk, Malone, and Purdum have all performed well this season, and there is no reason to fix what isn’t broken.

To the far right of the chart lies the list of names that you can all but certainly rule out for a return to Gang Green in 2013. Eric Smith has been nothing more than a role player this season, a role that will likely be filled by Antonio Allen next season. The longest tenured Jet among the safeties becomes the first salary cap casualty, allowing New York to save $3 million upon his release.

Calvin Pace and Bart Scott have been solid players for this team in the past, but neither have performed to their pay grade over the past two seasons. Both would have been cut following 2011 if not for having guaranteed money due to them in 2012. This year, New York can save about $15 million in cap space with a release of both players. Their days with the Jets are all but finished. Bryan Thomas played his heart out this season after being cut and resigned before the year, but he is on a one year contract and will likely retire.

Sione Pouha has been fantastic for this organization, but unfortunately back injuries have taken their toll and diminished his play. With the emergence of Ellis, the Jets can save about $1.5 million i cap space by releasing Pouha.

At running back, Shonn Greene was a monumental part of the two AFC Championship game runs, but he has proved he is not a lead back at the NFL level. Greene is still a very capable 1B option, but the Jets need a true 1A at the position. With how Powell has played this season, the Jets will be wise to insert him into the 1B role, while spending the money saved by allowing Greene to leave to get a true lead back via free agency. Lex Hilliard was average at times, and awful at other times. The team needs a real solution at fullback, rather than an emergency signing to cover for the botched John Conner pick.

At wide receiver, Gates, Gilyard and Schilens were all brought here out of panic in an effort to assemble a last minute receiving corps for Mark Sanchez, but all are free agents at the end of the year, and not one of them has earned the chance to receive a new contract. Dedrick Epps, to my surprise, is still on the injured reserve, but there’s no reason for him to be back next season in what will likely be an entirely revamped group of tight ends. Josh Baker showed promise early in his career, but injuries and an overall lack of production have worn out his time in New York.

Now we get to the interesting part. In the middle of the chart above is a list of players whose fates with the Jets will ultimately be decided by a number of factors, none of which are apparent at the present moment. The most eye popping names are Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Revis has been the best player on this team for 3 years, but his future hinges on the GM situation. If Tannenbaum remains in charge, expect Revis to be gone. Tannenbaum and Revis’s agents have a poor relationship, have failed to come to a long term agreement in the past, and likely have little interest in working with each other on a new deal. If Tannenbaum is the GM of the Jets, look for him to try to move his All-Pro CB to alleviate some of the cap trouble that he created, while obtaining some much needed draft picks in return.

Cromartie’s situation really depends on what happens with Revis. If Tannenbaum is fired, there is a good chance that the new General Manager comes in and makes signing Revis to a long term deal his first priority. If that becomes the case, look for that GM to move Cromartie, who is coming off of a career year with trade value likely higher than it will ever be. The Jets are a team in dire need of cap relief, and when you don’t have the luxury of being flexible with your salary cap, it is not feasible to have two highly paid cornerbacks on your roster.

Yeremiah Bell stated that he would like to be back with the Jets, but this again depends on the GM. A new hire may want youth at the position. Personally, I see Bell coming back either way on a one year, inexpensive contract, but his situation can certainly go one way or the other. LaRon Landry has played very well this season, but will look to cash in and will likely command more money than the Jets can give him. A return is not completely out of the question, but as of now it looks highly unlikely.

Aaron Berry, Donnie Fletcher, Darrin Walls, and Isaiah Trufant are all inexpensive, but none have contributed much of anything due to injury or other circumstances.

Josh Mauga is a restricted free agent, and after missing a year to injury, his situation will likely depend on how well the regime in place feels he can come back. Ricky Sapp has been on and off the practice squad all season, while struggling through injuries, but could stick around through mini-camps and training camp due to the overhaul of the position.

Mike DeVito is a fundamental piece to the defensive line, but his situation remains as unclear as any. Tannenbaum has a history of letting players like DeVito leave rather than paying them their market value, and having drafted Quinton Coples last year, you have to wonder how much any GM will be willing to pay for DeVito, who will likely end up as a reserve/situational player if he remains with the team next season.

On the offensive line, it is mind boggling that Caleb Schlauderaff still has a spot on this team. Any competent GM will likely release him simply to regain his roster spot, but for some reason, Mike Tannenbaum is infatuated with him, convinced he will become the next Victor Cruz. So, if Tannenbaum sticks around, expect more Schlauderaff in 2013. Matt Slauson has played relatively well this season but his status also depends on the front office. Slauson will be an unrestricted free agent this year, and will likely be seeking a decent contract. If the Jets are confident with Ducasse and a rookie or cheaper free agent occupying the guard spots, they will let Slauson walk. If they see him as valuable, the price will need to be right.

espnnewyork_a_sanchez_mb_600Wide Receiver and Tight End are also very intriguing. Santonio Holmes, like Mark Sanchez, is due a surplus of guaranteed money next year, however unlike Sanchez, he may hold some type of trade value. It is difficult to gauge exactly what that value would be considering he has missed the majority of the season due to injury and has been known to be a headache in the locker room. If the Jets wish to move Holmes, they will likely have to pay part of his salary as well. This is very unlikely, but if a new GM with a no-nonsense attitude comes in, he could make a clean break with Holmes before developing any type of relationship with him.

Braylon Edwards will probably be back on a one year, inexpensive deal, but again, this depends on what happens with the front office and coaching staff. A new GM with no history with Edwards may be indifferent toward signing him. Conversely, if Rex Ryan is fired, and Mark Sanchez is released or traded, Edwards may look to go to a more stable quarterback situation (or wherever Sanchez ends up).

Jordan White has potential to be a solid contributor, but he was a seventh round pick, and if a new GM is brought in, he certainly isn’t guaranteed anything. Royce Adams will not see a down on the active roster next year, but could hang around on the practice squad for another season.

Dustin Keller is likely going to leave via free agency, however if a new offensive coordinator, someone like Norv Turner, is brought in, perhaps the Jets and Keller regain interest in one another with the implementation of a pass heavy offense, with a relatively large role for the tight end. Jeff Cumberland and Konrad Reuland have been average at best, but one of them could hang around as the third tight end, assuming two are added either by draft or free agency, or one is added and Keller is retained. Aussie Hayden Smith should be back for the offseason, and will likely get another crack at making the active roster in training camp.

The quarterbacks, as described above, are both likely to be gone under the current regime. However, as we have explained, a new General Manager and coach could come in and have a different vision for either of these two, whether it be potential cap ramifications or judgment of their actual ability. While all signs surely point to both not being here next season, there are far too many factors that will play into that decision, making their futures unrealistic to predict at this point in time. Tebow has apparently expressed displeasure with the organization for choosing to start Greg McElroy over him, but what if Tebow gets a chance to start in week 17 for some reason? Or what if a coach comes in with a vision to build around him? The same goes for Sanchez. While it is certainly fair to speculate on their futures based on how things have played out so far, it is still too early to predict what will happen after the season.

By now, you’re probably asking yourself how the Jets will address all of the positions that will be vacated next season. Be sure to check back later in the week for an exploration of the best possible Free Agent options for the Jets by position, as well as an introductory draft piece that will kick start our draft coverage here at Turn On The Jets. 

**All New York Jets salary cap information courtesy of www.nyjetscap.com**

New York Jets – What Do We Need To See In Final Two Games?

What should New York Jets fans hope to see in the team’s final two games?

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The New York Jets final two regular season games basically break down to being nothing more than glorified pre-season games (without any kind of glory I suppose). What should a Jets fan root for these upcoming weeks against the mighty San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo “Fredo” Bills?

Greg McElroy – You can’t say at this point it won’t be interesting or mildly entertaining to watch somebody besides Mark Sanchez pump fake and throw interceptions or Tim Tebow scramble around and do nothing. Hopefully, the coaching staff allows McElroy to operate a normal NFL offense, not the JV-high school offense the team normally runs. We aren’t going to learn anything about his potential strengths and limitations from having him go 10/14 for 86 yards next week because all he was allowed to throw was slants and boots. Ideally, McElroy plays confident, turnover free football and shows enough to be considered a reliable back-up next season or maybe even a competitor along with a veteran for the starting job.

Young D – No more 35% of the snaps for Quinton Coples who has a sack in each of the last two games and is starting to really come along in his rookie season. Get him out there for 50-60 snaps and let him get accustomed to the extended work. The same goes for Kenrick Ellis who will be your starting nose tackle next year when Sione Pouha is released. Demario Davis should be playing the bulk of the reps at inside linebacker alongside David Harris and Antonio Allen should continue to see increased reps at outside linebacker and as a pass rusher on third downs.

Wide Receiver Shuffle – Haven’t we seen enough Chaz Schilens and Clyde Gates at this point? You make Braylon Edwards your starting split end, to see how he handles major reps. You put Jeremey Kerley as your starting flanker since he has been your best receiver this season and could be in this spot next year if Santonio Holmes is released. You put rookie 7th round pick Jordan White in the slot, since he hasn’t been given a chance yet. They get all the reps. No Schilens. No Gates. Certainly no Mardy Gilyard.

Just Give Him A Chance – Give Joe McKnight 10-15 carries and let’s see if that 6.1 yards per carry can come anywhere near to holding up. It certainly won’t end up lower than Shonn Greene’s 3.9 yards per carry. Let McKnight and Bilal Powell who will both be on the team next year, while Greene probably won’t, handle the workload in the backfield.