Can Kenrick Ellis Finally Move On Following His Legal Resolution?

Yesterday, New York Jets defensive lineman, and former 3rd round pick, Kenrick Ellis pleaded guilty to assault and battery charges that have been stemming from a 2010 incident at Ellis’s former place of education, Hampton University. According to his attorney, Ellis will likely serve 45 days in a Virginia prison beginning on June 15th of this year, which will cause him to miss the opening days of training camp. Although this legal issue is unfortunately going to cost him some training and practice time, the resolution to this case could be just what Ellis needs to finally propel his NFL career and fulfill his vast potential.

Coming out of John I. Leonard High School in Lake Worth, Florida, Ellis was regarded as a 4 star prospect, according to scout.com, and was widely considered to be the best defensive tackle prospect from the Lake Worth area since Patriots All-Pro Vince Wilfork. In his final two seasons in high school, Ellis tallied 139 tackles and 24 sacks, while earning scholarship offers from Rutgers, Tennessee, South Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State, and North Carolina.

After finally deciding to become a member of the Gamecocks, Ellis redshirted his freshman season, before recording 11 tackles the following year. With a promising collegiate career seeming inevitable, Ellis was unfortunately reprimanded for repeated violations of both university and team policies, and transferred to Hampton University in Virginia. In his final two seasons as a Pirate, Ellis recorded an amazing 30 tackles for loss, which, considering his immense size (6’5” 346 lbs) is tremendous.

With Ellis having the legal case lingering over him heading into the NFL Draft, he dropped to the 3rd round, despite his great potential, where he was eventually selected by the Jets with the 94th overall pick. Since becoming a member of the green and white, Ellis, who is a native of Jamaica, has constantly had fears of jail time and even the possibility of deportation hanging over his head. The resolution to this case that has been pending for nearly two years should finally give Ellis some closure, and allow him to move on with his NFL career, without being weighed down by his troubled past.

Once he is released from prison, presumably in late July/early August, Ellis will surely be around the right guys to ensure his character develops where it needs to be in order for him to accentuate his abilities as a player. Fellow Jets Defensive Lineman Marcus Dixon is no stranger to legal trouble. In 2003, Dixon, coincidentally a fellow Hampton University Alumni, was found guilty of statutory rape in Georgia and was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison. After serving about a year of his sentence, the supreme court overturned the case, and Dixon was released and able to continue his NFL career. If there is anyone fitted to mentor Ellis on leaving his troubled past behind him, while focusing on moving forward, it is certainly Marcus Dixon.

Ellis’s situation is surely not the first case of an NFL player having to serve jail time in between seasons. In 2009, the Giants’ Ahmad Bradshaw served 31 days in prison to complete a 60-day sentence he faced as a result of a petty larceny charge he attained while attending the University of Marshall in 2006. Similar to Ellis, Bradshaw began his collegiate career at the larger University of Virginia, but was dismissed following an underage drinking arrest in 2004. In the three seasons since serving his jail sentence, Bradshaw has rushed for 2,672 yards and 24 touchdowns, while playing a vital role in the Giants’ most recent Super Bowl run. The Jets would be ecstatic to see Ellis provide a similar level of production following the resolution to his legal troubles.

The key for Ellis’s success will be his ability to buy into the workman’s mentality that is prevalent on the Jets’ Defensive Line. Led by current Nose Tackle Sione Pouha, Ellis has an excellent veteran mentor to learn from in terms of play, character, work ethic, and leadership. Combine that with the constant exposure he will have to blue collar guys like Dixon, Mike DeVito, and Mohammed Wilkerson, and Ellis should have no problem developing into the player the Jets envisioned him to be when they selected him in last year’s draft. Physically, the potential is sky high. Now, Ellis must prove that he can be mature enough to handle the responsibilities of an NFL player and teammate.

How Yeremiah Bell Fits In With The Jets

Heading into the offseason, the New York Jets most obvious need, along with Right Tackle, was undoubtedly the Safety position. To say the Jets were poor in this part of their secondary last year would be an understatement, and in a division where you face two of the NFL’s top tight ends, in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, twice a year, safety play is crucial to the success of a defense. The Jets have taken another step in addressing the position by adding free agent Yeremiah Bell this past Friday. Bell will join LaRon Landry and rookies Josh Bush and Antonio Allen as the four safeties New York has added this offseason.

There are some concerns about how Bell will fit in, since he is very similar to Landry in terms of play. Like Landry, Bell is a very physical safety whose talents are best utilized in run support. So, the obvious question that comes about is why the Jets would add two strong safety types, when the greater need is in coverage. However, there are numerous factors as to why this signing makes sense.

1.) The Jets will be taking a more physical approach toward covering tight ends this season. While New York needs people who can keep up with guys like Gronkowski and Hernandez, they could be moving more towards a scheme that requires the safeties to play more physical in coverage. This includes a heavy amount of jamming at the line of scrimmage, while doing anything possible to disrupt the routes of the opposing tight ends. The Jets could certainly run packages where they put both Landry and Bell in press type coverage, while allowing someone like rookie Josh Bush, who has fantastic cover skills, to play in a centerfield type role, where he excelled in college. With the ability to bring in Bush, Eric Smith, and Kyle Wilson as the nickel corner, expect New York to mix it up with personnel in the defensive backfield through a number of various schemes to keep opposing offenses on their toes.

2.) Bell gives the Jets much needed veteran depth at the safety position. Besides Landry and Smith, the other four safeties on New York’s roster have played in a combined 12 NFL games. Although rookies Antonio Allen and Bush are very promising, combining them with DeAngelo Smith and Tracy Wilson as your only backups in the event that Eric Smith or the injury prone Landry get hurt would be an idiotic move. Veterans in the secondary will be crucial not only to the success of the defense, but also to the development of the young guys.

3.) Jim Leonhard is not healing well enough from his season ending knee injury for the Jets to commit to him. The Bell signing most likely signifies the end of Jim Leonhard’s run as a Jet. Leonhard has been a valuable piece to Rex Ryan’s defense since joining his defensive mentor in coming to New York three seasons ago. However, season ending leg injuries in each of the past two years have seemed to seal his fate with the Jets. If this is, in fact, the end of Leonhard in the green and white, his cerebral contributions, and constant fire and tenacity to Ryan’s scheme will surely be missed, and will be difficult to duplicate. Unfortunately, though, health has caused Leonhard to become too much of a liability for the Jets to invest in.

Although it may not sit well with most fans, opting for Bell over Leonhard is a smart, safe move. Since his rookie season, in which he played in 13 games, Bell has played in all 16 games in each of his 8 seasons in the NFL, with the exception of 2007 when he suffered a torn Achilles in week one, which sidelined him for the entire year. Since recovering, Bell has never missed a game, while recording over 100 tackles in each season following his injury.

Other than the concern that Bell is too similar to Landry in terms of ability, another popular issue that has caused some alarm for Jet fans is how he will be able to pick up Rex Ryan’s complex defensive system. Although he may not be on Jim Leonhard’s level anytime soon, the notion that Bell will not be able to pick up the scheme because it is too complicated is being blown way out of proportion. Every defense in the NFL is complex, and Bell is a professional. While it certainly may take some time for him to truly get comfortable, he should get a full grasp of the defensive concept in no time. Fortunately for him, he has a great amount of time between now and the start of training camp, and will be surrounded by players like Darrelle Revis and Eric Smith, who are very familiar with the scheme, to help him adjust mentally.

Why Do You Hate The Jets? NFC East Edition, Part I

In continuation with our new Why Do You Hate The Jets? series, we follow our review of the AFC East with the division’s counterpart in the NFC. The NFC East is very similar to the AFC East on a number of levels. There’s a team in the New York Giants who, like the Patriots, have unquestionably dominated the division recently. There is the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys who are, surprisingly, similar to the Jets. All three of these teams look solid on paper year in and year out and generally have a vast amount of hype surrounding them each season. Then there is the Washington Redskins, who most closely resemble the Buffalo Bills. Like the Bills, Washington has struggled throughout the past decade.

For the second edition of this series, we will use the same criteria for each of these teams in relation to the Jets. However, the NFC East Edition will be broken down into two separate parts, the Washington Redskins, and everyone else. For Part I, we will look at Washington solely, then we will follow up with an analysis of the remainder of the division. If you missed the first article, here are explanations of the three categories that teams will be placed in. Onto the Redskins.

Just Shut Up:

Washington Redskins – I haven’t seen a more unaccomplished, poorly run organization with as great a sense of entitlement as Washington. Fans of the Redskins seem to hang onto the one playoff victory they’ve had in the past decade for dear life. They seem to forget that owner Daniel Snyder has treated his head coaches like a game of musical chairs. Since taking ownership in D.C. in 1999, Snyder has gone through six head coaches. Now, I am not mathematician, but that averages out to a new coach roughly once every two seasons. Say what you want about the Jets struggles to find consistency and an identity, but a coaching shuffle like Washington’s is unheard of.

The Jets are also often criticized for personnel decisions, most recently the team’s decision to give Santonio Holmes a $50 million contract. Whether or not Holmes will prove to be worth his contract remains to be seen. However, since Daniel Snyder has come to town, the Skins have become notorious for shelling out big dollars to big name free agents who rarely end up working out. Snyder brought in players like Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, and Mark Brunell well into the twilight of their careers to assume starting roles, while offering them hefty salaries. Most recently, though, the Redskins inked Defensive Tackle Albert Haynesworth to a 7-year deal worth $100 million in 2009, with $41 million guaranteed, only to trade him in the summer of 2011 for a measly fifth round draft pick.

Likewise, in 2010, the Redskins traded a second round draft pick to Philadelphia for Quarterback Donovan McNabb. Later in the season, the team extended McNabb’s contract to five years, $78 million, despite the quarterback having been benched by head coach Mike Shanahan in week 8. The rocky relationship between McNabb and Shanahan ended up exploding by the end of the year, and McNabb saw himself fall to third string on the depth chart. The following summer, McNabb was traded to Minnesota for a sixth round draft pick.

The most recent questionable free agent signing by the Washington Redskins, though, is Safety Brandon Meriweather, who inked a 2 year, $6 million deal on March 15th of this year. A little over a month later, Meriweather, who has had a history of off the field trouble, was arrested for a DUI. The Jets have recently gotten a bad reputation for some of their personnel decisions, but when it comes to anticipating value, assessing talent, and evaluating character, no one seems to do it worse than the Washington Redskins.

The most heavily criticized player on the New York Jets is undoubtedly Mark Sanchez. Besides winning four playoff games in his first two seasons in the NFL, Sanchez is widely viewed as a bust throughout various fan bases around the league. Whether or not this proves to be true, Washington certainly has no room to talk when it comes to drafting quarterbacks. Remember Jason Campbell? Yeah, neither does anyone else. Washington selected the Auburn quarterback with the 25th overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft. From 2006-2009, the Redskins compiled a 19-32 record with Campbell as a starter, before allowing him to leave via free agency following the ’09 season.

The Redskins faithful will surely argue that the recent acquisition of Quarterback Robert Griffin III will return the franchise to one of the most respected organizations in the league. However, after selecting RGIII with the second overall selection in this year’s draft, the Redskins questionably selected Michigan State Quarterback Kirk Cousins in round 4. Surely, it is always good to have a backup quarterback, as it can be detrimental to a team if there is no depth at the postion. Just ask Chicago and Indianapolis about the importance of Quarterback depth.

However, Cousins was widely viewed by many draft analysts to be the fourth best quarterback in the draft behind Ryan Tannehill. He has received excellent reviews from his former head coach Mark Dantonio, and many believe he will be a high quality starter in this league at some point. Although it will certainly be RGIII’s team during the early stages of these young quarterbacks’ careers, this situation screams quarterback controversy down the road if Griffin begins to struggle. Criticize the Jets acquisition of Tim Tebow all you want, but the decision by Washington to draft two very quality young quarterbacks during the same draft is not only a questionable move, it could also prove to be very costly in the future.

I surely can go on and talk about how the Redskins have not even sniffed the playoffs since Rex Ryan has been in New York, but there is no need to bother. Washington is an inferior franchise, and until they prove to be anything else, should know their role as the punch line of the NFC East, while not breathing a word about the quality of the Jets as a team or as an organization.

 

New York Jets Fact Or False: Post Draft Edition

For our first edition of New York Jets Fact or False here at Turn On The Jets, we observe some of the most prominent story lines that have been emerging since the end of the 2012 draft. For most teams, the period between the end of the draft and the beginning of mini camp is typically a quiet time. However, the Jets are not most teams. There are still several unanswered questions heading into the season ranging from the Jets’ Right Tackle situation to the name of Tim Tebow’s dog. With Gang Green, there is surely never a dull moment. For our inaugural NYJ Fact or False, we address the six most pressing issues heading into June for the New York Jets.

1.) The Jets will add a Right Tackle in Free Agency. False.

Everyone has seemingly been waiting for the Jets to pull the trigger and acquire a tackle to replace the not-so-dynamic duo of Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse. However, New York’s lack of activity in free agency and during the draft at the position, has our earlier notion suggesting that Mike Tannenbaum and co. still have faith in either one of these two, looking more factual by the day. The Jets passed on the opportunity to sign Eric Winston, Demetress Bell, and every other free agent tackle this offseason. They also neglected the position in the draft, having selected Guard Robert T. Griffin as their only offensive lineman this year. Take all of these facts, and combine them with new offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo’s recent praise of Wayne Hunter, and it seems fairly obvious that the Jets will start some combination of Hunter and Ducasse at Right Tackle next season. They could always add a veteran at some point during training camp, but that is unlikely given the fact that the team recently guaranteed Hunter’s salary for 2012.

2.) At least 3 rookies will contribute significantly this season. Fact. Quinton Coples and Stephen Hill will contribute from week 1, if not in a starting role, then in a heavy amount of packages, before stepping in as starters at some point during the season. Rex has already declared this, and rightfully so. These two need to be on the field for a significant amount of time for the Jets to improve from their 8-8 record last season. Beyond the first two of the Jets’ eight selections in this years draft, there are two names that come to mind when thinking of who can contribute this season.

DeMario Davis should be an absolute monster on special teams. His tenacity and great speed, combined with his known ability to make big hits, should make him a favorite for Mike Westhoff. Davis will also likely play in several defensive packages, primarily on third downs in coverage or as a blitzer.

Also, expect Safety Josh Bush to develop into a solid contributor this year. His coverage skills are much better than Eric Smith’s, who will likely be the starter until Bush picks up the defense. Don’t be surprised to see Bush getting significant reps by midseason.

3.) The media’s portrayal of Tim Tebow as a super hero will die down. False.

Let’s face it, the mainstream media has a serious crush on Tim Tebow, as do the majority of football fans. There is certainly good reason for this. Tebow is a proven winner, an extremely hard worker, a great role model, and most importantly, he is a fantastic human being. The NFL’s most popular player will likely draw more attention this season than the man whose job he is trying to assume. Each week, be prepared to hear speculation of everything, from how many reps Tebow will get, to what he eats for his pregame meal. Also, get ready for media and fans alike to be calling for Tebow to take the helm the second Sanchez shows any sign of inconsistency. Until number 6 proves everyone wrong, he will most popularly be considered the villain, while Tebow will widely be viewed as the heroic savior.

4.) Tony Sparano will revive the Jets’ dominant run game. Fact. Word out of OTAs is already extremely complimentary of new Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano. Sparano’s ideals seem to be identical to what Rex Ryan wants his offense to be. The Jets have a very talented group of running backs in Shonn Greene, who was able to rush for more than 1,000 yards last season despite playing for the philosophically confused Brian Schottenheimer, Joe McKnight, Tim Tebow, and promising rookie Terrance Ganaway. If the Right Tackle situation works out, the Jets will undoubtedly have an elite run offense once again.

5.) Darrelle Revis will hold out again. False. Although Revis is certainly worthy of being paid as the best defensive player in football, he knows this would be horrible timing for a hold out. As one of the unquestioned leaders of the Jets, Revis would be the ultimate hypocrite to hold out this year. First of all, he has two years remaining on his current contract. It is not the typical formality for a player to hold out with more than one year remaining on his current deal. Revis has already exercised this rare practice, and would be foolish to do so again.

More importantly though, is the picture a hold out would paint of Revis as one of those unquestioned leaders. How can the team’s best player bail on training camp, arguably the most important time for developing team chemistry, after the epic fallout of last season? It would be shocking to see Revis hold out this year, as it would put his character into serious question. The Jets need Revis more than ever in terms of both play and leadership, and he knows this. However, if no resolution is made in terms of an extension this season, it will be almost guaranteed that Revis does, in fact, hold out heading into 2013.

6.) Rex Ryan will tone down the bravado. Fact.

This is an evolution in Ryan that we are currently witnessing. Usually by this time every year, Rex has already predicted a Super Bowl victory. The brash head coach finally realizes that he can no longer put that type of pressure on his team. He saw what it caused last year, and he knows very well, that if he allows that type of melt down again, there is a good chance it will cost him his job. Expect Ryan to remain the jovial, confident coach that we have all come to know and love, but don’t expect many guarantees this year, if any.

The 5 Biggest Fears Of New York Jets Haters

Turmoil. Despair. Cancer. Implosive. These are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the New York Jets since the conclusion of the 2011 season. The end of the season meltdown in Miami that capped a horrible December for the Jets last year, has stuck with them throughout the entire offseason, and will likely be around until game one of next year. Most fans of the NFL who don’t cheer for the green and white have relished in this. As they see it, the big bad Jets, who have never lived up to their coach’s brash guarantees, finally got what they deserved. This attitude certainly will not be easing up anytime soon. However, there are 5 scenarios that would ultimately prove to be devastating to everyone who thrives in New York’s sufferings, and would likely rip the soul out of any negative commentary directed toward the Jets.

5.) Quinton Coples Produces Double Digit Sacks As A Rookie. Most people who love to point out any hardships faced by the Jets always seem to use their history of ineffective drafting as one of the many forms of ammunition against them. We all know the story. Ken O’Brien over Dan Marino. Kyle Brady over Warren Sapp. Vernon Gholston over…well, anyone. Jets haters are praying that the next chapter reads “Quinton Coples over Melvin Ingram.” These fans would love nothing more than to see Coples come out and be the loaf that he has unfairly been portrayed to be among draft analysts, media, and some uninformed fans. Coples certainly has the potential to be an excellent player in New York’s defense for years to come, and him fulfilling this potential would surely leave quite the sour taste in the mouths of everyone wishing negativity upon the Jets.

4.) The Jets Display Great Team Chemistry. How happy do you think fans of teams like New England, the Giants, and Buffalo were to see Santonio Holmes screaming on the field like a 4th grader in Miami last season. What surely made them even happier was Holmes’ miserable mug on the sidelines, watching as the team he “captained” saw their season slip between their fingers. To add even more to their joy was the week that ensued from the blowup on South Beach. Bart Scott was flipping off the media, Rex Ryan was crying, and anonymous sources were telling everyone how bad Sanchez was. A nightmare for anyone associated with the Jets, but a dream come true for all of Gang Green’s most passionate haters.

Speaking of nightmares, though, how terrifying of a thought is it, to everyone that hates the Jets, of the team actually unifying and displaying great team chemistry throughout the entire season? We already saw how much Giant fans quiver at this idea, as displayed by the immense amount of boos directed toward Sanchez and Holmes when they attended a recent Knicks game together.

Not only do people love the idea of the Jets failing professionally, but to see them waist deep in turmoil and drama is pure bliss. Imagine how sick it would make these fans to see the Jets come together as one, and achieve the type of unification that propelled them to back-to-back AFC title games just over a year ago.

3.) Tim Tebow Is A Vital Piece To The Jets Offense, But Not As A Quarterback. The day the Jets traded for Tim Tebow was surely the happiest day of the offseason for everyone that despises New York. Mark Sanchez has become the most heavily scrutinized quarterback in the NFL today. No player in the history of the league has had such an early amount of success overshadowed by constant questions of job security. Due to the fact that Sanchez was able to achieve so much in his first two seasons, those who hate the Jets will take every opportunity to point out even the slightest flaw in number 6’s game. This same group of people undoubtedly would like nothing more than to see Sanchez dethroned by the newly acquired Tebow. Haters of Gang Green love the fact that the Jets brought in the most popular player in the NFL to undermine Mark Sanchez, and create, as they see it, an inevitable quarterback controversy to further add to the team chemistry issues.

Most people have started predicting not if, but when, Tebow will become the full time starter in New York. Sanchez’s success, coupled with his portrayal as a “pretty boy,” has caused him to be one of the most hated players in the league. Mass amounts of people would love to see nothing more than Tebow take the reigns from Sanchez, with the Jets eventually kicking the former 5th overall selection to the curb.

However, could you imagine the pain it would cause this same sample of fans to have to watch the Jets win with both Sanchez and Tebow contributing? Picture a world where Sanchez is the unquestioned starter, and leader, of the Jets, with Tebow being a vital piece to a successful offense as a running back, h-back, wild cat quarterback, jack of all trades type player. Most people seem to forget how effective Tebow can be as a runner in this league. Group that with Tony Sparano’s run first philosophy, and this hypothetical could very well become a reality.

2.) Mark Sanchez Makes The Pro Bowl. As stated above, Sanchez is probably the most hated player on the Jets, among the many players that draw so much angst from those who look upon New York with such disapproval. Other than fans and personnel of the team, no one on the planet wants to see Sanchez succeed. To see him lead the Jets to a division title, while making his first career pro bowl, would not only kill so many punch lines for those who like to poke fun at the Jets’ misfortunes, but would put an end to any questions regarding the position heading into next offseason.

1.) The New York Jets Win The Super Bowl. This would be the ultimate defeat for anyone who has even the slightest feeling of animosity toward the Jets. To see Rex Ryan finally hoisting that Lombardi Trophy above his head in the Superdome next February would probably drive some of New York’s biggest haters into exile for at least a few weeks. The amount of ammo that Jet fans would have to fire back at everyone who has sulked in the team’s recent struggles would certainly be too much for any of them to handle. Not to mention, there would be no further questions of controversy, internal dissent, or lack of leadership, and we would likely witness a disappearing act of every anonymous source living in the Jets’ locker room. What on earth would the mainstream media write about?

 

A Turn On The Jets Eurotrip

A Turn On The Jets goodbye for the next 2 weeks

Starting tonight I will be heading over to Europe until Sunday, May 27th. In the meantime, Chris Gross will be running the site. Stay with us for new content from him, our newest writer Mike Donnelly and Justin Fritze. Make sure you are following all of them on Twitter. I will miss all of you…I won’t miss hearing about what Tim Tebow eats for lunch, what his dog is called or where he is residing in New Jersey.

For now, I will spread the good word of Turn On The Jets to Ireland, Netherlands, and Germany. Where hopefully they will be open to hearing about my confusion over the entire Jets organization verbally assaulting their starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, while effusively praising their backup quarterback. Along with why it makes little sense to hop on the bandwagon and pick the Buffalo Bills to finish over the New York Jets, since the Jets have owned them the past 3 years and the Bills don’t have a quarterback. Anyway…

I am looking forward to coming back for a strong June and I’m officially handing it off to Chris until then, unlike the Jets backup he is more than capable of running 20 plays per game and can complete a 10 yard out route.

Why Do You Hate The Jets? AFC East Edition

Chris Gross looks at what AFC East teams have the right to run their mouths about the New York Jets

In a new column, Chris Gross will be going through the NFL by division and determining which teams and fan-bases actually have a good claim to hating the New York Jets and running their mouth on the organization and which do not, up first the AFC East –

Since Rex Ryan became Head Coach of the New York Jets, his brash personality has caused his team to become one of the most hated, if not the most hated, teams in professional football. Other than Jets fans, it seems as if everyone who has even the slightest knowledge of the NFL loves nothing more than to see Gang Green face hardships. Mark Sanchez has become the punch line of every joke related to football, as has Santonio Holmes’ personality, Antonio Cromartie’s kids, and Rex Ryan’s weight. People truly love to take shots at the Jets, and will not waste any opportunity to do so.

However, only a handful of teams actually have the right to poke fun at the Jets. Since Ryan took the helm in New York, the team has gone from a mediocre, occasional playoff team, to a serious contender each year, regardless of the abysmal 8-8 performance last season. Rex has let it be known that the Jets will be in contention every single year that he is the head coach, and he has actually lived up to those statements. Although he has yet to deliver on his Super Bowl guarantees, Ryan has put the Jets on the map, and whether or not people like to admit it, they will be in the mix in the AFC each year he remains in charge.

This simple fact surely irks anyone who is not a fan of the Jets. Although his bold predictions haven’t quite come true, the Jets have proved they will compete every year under Ryan. What other first time head coaches have combined with their rookie quarterback to win 4 road playoff games in their first two seasons together?  That’s correct, none. In fact, only a handful of teams have had more success than the Jets in the three years Ryan has been the head coach.

When it comes to hating on the Jets and making jokes about the team’s scarce struggles, there are three basic categories. There are the teams that have absolutely no right whatsoever to engage in such practice, there are teams that historically have been more of a laughing stock than the Jets have ever been, but have earned some recent bragging rights, and then there are teams that do, in fact, have the right to make all the fun of the Jets they want, until they are unseated from such a position. When looking division by division, the list of teams that has no ground to ever breathe a word of negativity about the Jets organization is much larger than the other two categories.

In the coming days, we will give a close examination of each NFL team by division, and place them into one of these three categories. For our inaugural TOJ Why Do You Hate The Jets?, let’s take a look at New York’s very own AFC East.

Just Shut Up:

This section contains the teams that have been inferior to the Jets during the past three seasons. The majority of these teams have also been dominated by New York during that time, and have historically faced much greater hardships then the Jets have had under Ryan.

Buffalo Bills – The self proclaimed “Bills Mafia” that has recently become the favorite to unseat the New England Patriots in the AFC East, while having been handed two victories against the Jets in 2012 already, should take a long hard look in the mirror. Mario Williams has been painted as the “savior” for a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since 1993. However, Buffalo shelled out 100 million dollars to a player whose sack production has dropped steadily in each of the past 5 seasons. In 2007, Williams tallied 14 sacks, followed by 12, 9, 8.5, and 5 in each of the following seasons, respectively.

Then, there is Stevie Johnson, the Bills supposed marquee offensive playmaker. This is the same guy who was more focused on mocking Plaxico Burress last season, than he was on catching passes. This is the same guy who blamed God for dropping an overtime touchdown pass against Pittsburgh in 2010. Say what you want about Tim Tebow praising God, but there is nothing more ridiculous and childish than a professional athlete publicly blaming his lack of ability on a higher power.

As for the AFC Title Game loss jokes, lets not forget that the Bills are the team that lost in 4 straight Super Bowls. You tell me what hurts worse.

And last, but certainly not least, the Bills have not even appeared in the post season since 1999, when they saw their season end on one of the most hilarious plays in NFL playoff history.

I could certainly go on and talk about how the Bills are 1-5 against the Rex Ryan led Jets, or how Chan Gailey has had a joke of a career as an NFL head coach (28-36 overall record), but the numbers speak for themselves.

Some Room To Talk:

These are the teams that have recently had success against the Jets, earning themselves some bragging rights. However, these teams have also been subpar in the grand scheme of the NFL during that same time period, and although have played the Jets tough, have not even sniffed their overall success.

Miami Dolphins – Much to their credit, the Dolphins took advantage of the Jets’ end of the season meltdown last year, and were able to put the fork in a team that had been done for a month leading into the game. Miami certainly has more room to talk than Buffalo, having actually won the division in 2008, even though they were bounced out of the first round in a dominating performance by the Baltimore Ravens. Miami has consistently been able to challenge the Jets, as Ryan is just 2-4 against the fish. However, the man who led those Dolphins teams to so much success against New York, is now the Jets Offensive Coordinator.

The quarterback situation in Miami is a laughable one. With the quarterback duo of Sanchez and Tebow, the Jets are an easy target for a QB joke, however when a team’s backup quarterback has the same amount of playoff wins as all of another team’s quarterbacks combined, where is the real joke? The Dolphins haven’t had a legitimate threat at quarterback since Dan Marino’s departure, minus the year that ex-Jet Chad Pennington led them to a division title.

Also, who is catching passes in Miami this year? The team traded away the only valuable offensive asset it had in Brandon Marshall this offseason, and did nothing to replace the void left in the receiving core. The Jets may not have the world’s greatest depth at wide receiver, but any of the receivers on New York’s roster would likely be a starter for Miami this season.

Unconditional Bragging Rights

These teams have every right to make any joke they please at the Jets. Other than a few bright spots, they have either repeatedly asserted their dominance over the Jets, or amongst other teams in the NFL during the three years that Ryan has been in New York.

New England Patriots – Jets fans certainly do now want to hear this, but New England has every right to make as many jokes about the Jets as they want. Other than Gang Green’s epic playoff victory in Foxboro during the 2011 playoffs, Bill Belichick has had his way with Rex’s Jets. Posting a 2-4 record against New England since Ryan’s arrival, the Jets have been outscored by the Patriots during that span by a score of 160-98. While the rivalry hasn’t been completely one sided, it has included two blowouts and a sweep last season, not to mention, the Patriots’ Super Bowl appearance last year.

New York has proved that it can challenge New England for the crown in the AFC East, however they need to do it consistently. Until that time, the Patriots, unfortunately, have unconditional bragging rights. Meanwhile, New York can hang onto this in the process of taking the reigns in the division.

Give Me A Controversy: The New York Media’s Love Affair With Tim Tebow

Prepare yourself for five months of positive press on Tim Tebow and negative press on Mark Sanchez

Yesterday the Daily News published an article using New York Jets quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh as the primary source. The article generally portrayed Mark Sanchez in a negative light. Today they also published an article using Cavanaugh as the primary source, this time portraying Tim Tebow in a positive light. Erik Manassy of Jets Twit provides a terrific breakdown of the two articles here.

First off, Cavanaugh made himself look foolish by praising Tebow’s mechanics after criticizing Sanchez’s development, considering he has overseen that very development. It doesn’t take a football savant to see how far Tebow’s mechanics still need to go, so even if Cavanaugh was truly pleased with them it was odd to pair it with the Sanchez criticism.

We already discussed Cavanaugh’s unimpressive resume today at TOJ. He maintained his job this off-season, only after the Jets struck out chasing Todd Haley and Karl Dorrell. It would make sense for him to stay out of the media and focus on developing his starting quarterback primarily, and then his Wildcat/backup.

Yet, what I really want to focus on is the beginning of a trend you will see in the coming months. Manish Mehta of the Daily News has already shown his affinity for anonymous sources ripping Mark Sanchez since the season ended and many of the other beat writers have followed a similar path. The New York media wants a quarterback controversy. It sells newspapers.

Beyond that, they will create caricatures of members of the Jets to help write stories throughout the year. Santonio Holmes, the selfish bogeyman who is the team villain. Mark Sanchez, the fading star who is mentally weak. Tim Tebow, the heroic backup who can do no wrong.

Expect a steady stream of pro-Tebow and anti-Sanchez articles in the coming months. I can promise you a Daily News article this summer quoting unnamed sources that Tebow is outperforming Sanchez in practice and will soon take over as the starter. I can promise if Sanchez has one poor game, there will be rumors from those unnamed sources claiming that Sanchez will be benched or is one bad quarter away from being benched.

Get used to it.

New York Jets: Low Expectations, Better Results?

Will the lowered expectations for the New York Jets 2012 season, equal better than expected results?

The prognosticators aren’t going to be kind to the New York Jets in the coming months. Who wouldn’t want to kick Rex Ryan and his fat mouth when he is down? His team is coming off a 8-8 season playoff-less season and they had a controversial and potentially ineffective off-season. Beyond that. Ryan admittedly lost the locker room last season to petty in-fighting.

This year’s “it” pick in the AFC East will be the Buffalo Bills to challenge and potentially unseat the New England Patriots and grab a playoff spot or division title in the process. New York’s other, other team had a flashy off-season by bringing in Mario Williams and Mark Anderson to beef up the now supposed best front seven in football. They also kept the core pieces of their offense intact by resigning Stevie Johnson and extending Fred Jackson’s contract.

Of course, everybody is too busy criticizing Mark Sanchez to take the time to question Ryan Fitzpatrick. In case you haven’t noticed, Fitzpatrick was awful the second half of last season, has never won anything in his NFL career and is a substantially bigger question mark than Sanchez heading into this season.

Regardless of the Jets perceived hierarchy in the AFC East, there are valid questions about their roster which will lead most to pick them to go anywhere from 6-10 to 9-7. The looming quarterback controversy between Sanchez and Tebow, the shaky right tackle and safety situation, and lack of a proven big time running back will all be consistently referenced.

Fortunately, lower expectations may not be a bad thing for this team. As a matter of fact, if recent history proves anything…it is that when the Jets have low expectations, they exceed them and when they have high expectations, they struggle. Remember in 2004, 2006, and 2009 nobody expected the Jets to sniff the playoffs and they made it all three of those years and in 2007, 2008, and most recently last year when they were a popular pick as a contender and flamed out.

I firmly believe you will see a toned done Rex Ryan to the public this year, further removing the target from the Jets back. Nobody thinks the Jets have an elite defense anymore. Nobody thinks they have an elite offensive line. Everybody thinks Santonio Holmes forgot how to get open and that Mark Sanchez is seconds from the bench. David Harris is under still under the radar and most assume Quinton Coples will be a bust. We can only hope the Jets are reading their press clippings this season and saving every single one of them maybe then they can get back to surprising teams with a hit in the mouth.

TOJ 12 Pack: New York Jets Post-Draft Predictions

Turn On The Jets gives out 12 post-draft predictions for the 2012 season

The New York Jets had open media availability yesterday and the top stories of the day were Tim Tebow’s dog, Darrelle Revis hating the Patriots and where Tim Tebow doesn’t live. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a 12 pack of information on that you are on the wrong site and should instead read some of the local newspapers. Instead I give you a 12 pack of post-draft predictions for the Jets 2012 season. If you are looking for more reading throughout the day, check back later this afternoon as Chris Gross will finish up our draft pick analysis by looking at Quinton Coples. I will also provide links to our other articles covering the rest of the picks.

On to the predictions…

1. Wayne’s World – The Jets opening day starter at right tackle will be Wayne Hunter. Should you be thrilled about this? Probably not, but perhaps this article from our good friend Jeff Capellini will make you feel better. It has become clear the Jets are content to let Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse battle for the position. While I think the organization would love to see Ducasse win, I think Hunter is the day one starter in camp and is steady enough to hold off Ducasse who hasn’t shown much of anything through two years. Tony Sparano will feel better going with a guy who has over a season of starting experience instead of the unproven Ducasse. For those who are asking, I do not think Austin Howard is a factor in this competition. If he was, the Jets wouldn’t have paid Hunter 2.5 million to comeback. They would have just let Howard compete with Ducasse.

2. Slow Safety – The Jets opening day starting safeties will be LaRon Landry and Eric Smith. At this point, I don’t think they will add Yeremiah Bell and even if Jim Leonhard returns, I don’t think it will be in a starting role. Look for rookie Josh Bush to be a factor in a centerfield type role when the Jets go to three safety looks and for rookie Antonio Allen to get on the field as a blitzer or to fill in for Landry if he gets hurt.

3. Out Wide – Braylon Edwards isn’t coming back. The Jets wide receiver depth chart will be Santonio Holmes as the starting flanker, Stephen Hill as the starting split end and Jeremy Kerley as the slot receiver. Behind them, I expect Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner and Jordan White to stick as backups. White could be relegated to the practice squad unless he shows value on special teams.

4. Must Addition – The Jets will add a blocking tight end at some point. How can you run Tony Sparano’s offense without a single blocking tight end on the roster?

5. Where The Rookies Land – As I mentioned previously, I do think Stephen Hill will start from day one. Quinton Coples will be a de facto starter on the defensive line but will be rotated through with Mike DeVito, Muhammad Wilkerson, Marcus Dixon and Kenrick Ellis. Demario Davis will be a key special teams player and play in some defensive packages, same for Josh Bush and Antonio Allen. Robert T. Griffin has practice squad written all over him. Jordan White could join him unless he sticks as the #5 receiver and a special teamer. Finally, I think Terrance Ganaway will beat out Bilal Powell and be the third rushing option behind Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight.

6. Everybody Loves Tony – Leading up to the regular season, Tony Sparano will be one of the most popular men in the Jets organization with fans and players, simply because of how much everybody disliked Brian Schottenheimer.

7. Puppy Eyes – Tim Tebow’s popularity will be at a fever pitch heading into the season. He has already won over the media and skeptics of the trade with his quotes and smiles. Listen, I won’t argue that Tim Tebow seems like genuinely a great human being. It is good to have a player like that part of this organization. I also won’t argue that he works his ass off to get better. However, Mark Sanchez works hard too. Mark Sanchez is a better quarterback than Tim Tebow…by a good amount. If the Jets are going anywhere this season, it is with Sanchez as their starting quarterback and Tebow as a versatile weapon off the bench. Don’t forget that, regardless of how many times Tebow smiles for the camera.

8. Bounce Back – Santonio Holmes is going to have a very good year from start to finish. Why? Great football players are motivated to bounce back from down years and I don’t care what you think of Holmes personally, he is a great football player and the Jets top playmaker on offense. I think he will use everything the media has said about him as fuel. So let him keep being snippy with them, as long as he is catching touchdowns.

9. K-Ball – Josh Brown is going to be the Jets kicker this year, not Nick Folk. TJ Conley isn’t going to be the punter either. You could tell from Mike Westhoff’s quotes last week that he wants no part of Folk and Conley for another year.

10. Big Plays – Look for an increase in Dustin Keller’s yards per catch this season, same goes for Holmes. Anthony Fasano was posting higher yards per catch than Keller in Sparano’s offense and Keller has much more athleticism than him.

11. Annoying Training Camp Stories About Things That Will Have No Impact On The Jets Season – Anything related to Tim Tebow’s personal life. Any story on Matt Simms. Excessive coverage of Hayden Smith. Amateur psychology pieces on Mark Sanchez’s facial expressions during press conferences and practices. Rex Ryan looking skinnier (no joke).

12. Low, Low Expectations – Expect most people to pick the Jets to finish either 3rd or 4th in the AFC East, with a record between 6-10 (pessimistic) or 9-7 (optimistic).