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).

New York Jets: Rookie Mini-Camp Is Time To Feel Good

The early returns on the Jets top draft picks were positive, but let’s not get carried way

The New York Jets, not unlike many other teams in the NFL, had rave reports about their rookies and how they performed at mini-camp over the past weekend. DeMario Davis is the next Ray Lewis. Stephen Hill was a man among boys. Quinton Coples had six sacks in a single practice.

This isn’t a criticism of Rex Ryan’s effusive praise or the fan’s excitement about new players. Every team around the NFL is taking part in the same practice right now. Robert Griffin III has already been crowned Sonny Jurgensen by a Washington writer. You would think the Colts are improving from Peyton Manning in his prime this season with Andrew Luck under center. And Ryan Tannehill apparently threw some of the prettiest 10 yard out routes ever seen on tryout NFL players not wearing equipment.

The point is not to get carried away. Should you be excited about DeMario Davis because he is fast and seems to have natural leadership skills? Yes. Should you be fantasizing about 90 yard Stephen Hill touchdown receptions? I know I am. But as Bill Parcells used to say after a particular player was being hyped a little too much early in his career, “let’s not put him in Canton yet.”

Let’s see how the rookies handle the veterans and full contact practices, then let’s see them making plays in the pre-season, then let’s see them playing when it really counts. I do think that Stephen Hill and Quinton Coples will start this year. I’d be surprised if DeMario Davis wasn’t in a number of defensive packages and a special teams ace but they all have a long way to go.

In case you weren’t keeping track, here are the player comparisons we have heard so far for prominent Jets rookies –

Coples – Trevor Pryce, Shaun Ellis, Muhammad Wilkerson

Hill – Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Keith Jackson

Davis – Ray Lewis, Bart Scott

And our very own at TOJ, from the rookies Chris Gross and myself have reviewed

Jordan White – Jerricho Cotchery

Antonio Allen – James Ihedigbo

Terrance Ganaway – A quicker Shonn Greene (hopefully).

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Eyes On The AFC East

The TOJ 12 pack looks at the moves made in the AFC East that should get the New York Jets attention

In case you haven’t noticed, all three of the New York Jets division rivals have been fairly active this off-season. Today’s 12 pack is dedicated to examining which of those moves will have the biggest impact. I can promise you the Jets will be a consensus pick to battle for last place with Miami this year while Buffalo will be everybody’s sweetheart pick to challenge New England and grab a playoff spot. To that I say…good. I am glad this team is back to playing with low expectations and in more of an underdog role.

12. Watch Him – Under the radar signing, corner/safety Richard Marshall going to Miami. He is a good, versatile player who will be a nice addition to that defense.

11. Bit Pieces – New England made a handful of minor moves on their defense by signing Jonathan Fanene, Bobby Carpenter, and ex-Jet Marquice Cole. These are the kind of transactions that don’t get much press but then you see all three of them making impact plays for the Patriots.

10. Mid-Round Steals – Credit Buffalo for getting great value in the second and third round of the NFL Draft. Cordy Glenn has a good chance to start immediately at tackle and I wouldn’t be surprised to see wide receiver T.J. Graham starting by the end of the year.

9. Quiet Secondary – New England didn’t make any major splashes in improving their consistently awful secondary this off-season. However, keep an eye on free agent Steve Gregory and second round pick Tavon Wilson to make immediate impacts at the safety position.

8. We Want An Island – Buffalo selected highly touted cornerback Stephon Gilmore in the first round to help sure up the back end of their secondary. He has the skill set to make an immediate impact on a defense that allowed Mark Sanchez to throw four touchdowns against it last season in a single game.

7. No Law Firm – New England decided to let BenJarvus Green-Ellis leave for Cincinnati in a somewhat surprising move. They will be relying heavily on Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen to step up to fill the void. Personally, I am happy to see Green-Ellis go. He was a savvy, hard running and productive back. I wouldn’t be surprised if New England added Joseph Addai in the coming weeks.

6. Light On Receivers – Miami surprisingly shipped wide receiver Brandon Marshall off to Chicago in a trade, leaving them thin at the wide receiver position unless you consider Brian Hartline and Davone Bess major threats.

5. Linebacker Nation – New England drafted two players in the first round to boost their pass rush and linebacker play, by grabbing Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower. Jones will line up all over New England’s formation and Hightower should be an instant upgrade at inside linebacker.

4. If It Ain’t Broke, Or Was It? – Buffalo decided to continue to roll with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their quarterback and Stevie Johnson as their top wideout. One thing that everybody forgets when discussing the Bills as a contender is that Ryan Fitzpatrick, outside of a few early season flashes…kind of sucks. Johnson has a weird ability to get open on Darrelle Revis on short and intermediate routes but is also an idiot and a loose cannon who frequently hurts his team more than he helps it.

3. Receivers On Receivers – New England had depth issues at wide receiver last year…not anymore. They added Brandon Lloyd, who is a viable deep threat and one of the more productive receivers in the league the past few years, along with Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Gonzalez, and Donte Stallworth. So long Ochocinco.

2. Miami Drafts Tannehill – The Dolphins finally decided to take a quarterback in the first round, not the second round. It is hard to imagine a scenario where Tannehill doesn’t start at some point this season, with apologies to the immortal Matt Moore and David Garrard. Opinions were mixed on him coming out of college, so he could be a boom or bust prospect. However, we do know there were not mixed opinions on his wife.

1. Buffalo Gets After The Quarterback – The biggest free agent signing of the NFL off-season not involving Peyton Manning was the Buffalo Bills getting Mario Williams to lead the improvement of their stagnant pass rush. They supplemented the move by bringing in Mark Anderson who had 10.5 sacks last season for New England. The popular line of thought is that Buffalo has the best front seven in football now, we’ll see about that. Either way, Tony Sparano has his work cut out for him with Wayne Hunter, Vlad Ducasse and Caleb Schlauderaff all potential parts of the line.

New York Jets Rookie Camp – The Path To Playing Time

How can the 2012 New York Jets draft picks find themselves playing time this season?

The New York Jets eight draft picks and a large collection of undrafted free agents and tryout players will gather for a mini-camp this weekend. Focusing down on the eight draft picks, what will it take for each of them to receive playing time this season? Who will be their primary competition? Let’s take a closer look –

Quinton Coples – Regardless of whether Coples starts at defensive end or not, he is going to see substantial reps on the defensive line rotation particularly on third downs. In a way Marcus Dixon, Kenrick Ellis and Mike DeVito are competing for playing time with him but in reality Coples has a much different skill set than all three and will likely be used in many unique ways by Rex Ryan. Ideally, at a minimum Coples is a pass rushing specialist this year and then sees the rest of his game develop in the coming years.

Stephen Hill – Unless he bombs out in the pre-season, Hill will be the opening day starter at split end. He has too much speed and size to keep on the bench. Chaz Schilens and Patrick Turner will be competing to be his backup but shouldn’t see anywhere near the amount of playing time Hill does this season.

DeMario Davis – Outside of Aaron Maybin, Davis will be the fastest of the Jets linebackers. While I do not think we will see him in a starting role this season unless there is an injury, he should fill in for Bart Scott at inside linebacker in certain packages and could also line up at outside linebacker for Bryan Thomas to utilize his ability to cover the tight end. He will be competing with players like Josh Mauga, Nick Bellore and Garret McIntyre but considering his skill set and where the Jets drafted him, I’d look for Davis to both make the roster and be a regular contributor on defense.

Josh Bush – Bush’s skill set make him the most natural free safety on the Jets roster. Unless he is beat out by Tracy Wilson or DeAngelo Smith, he should immediately contribute in a handful of defensive packages and be the top backup to Eric Smith who is technically the team’s free safety even though he is miscast in that role.

Terrance Ganaway – He will be competing with Bilal Powell to be active on a weekly basis and then competing with Joe McKnight and Shonn Greene for playing time. His comfort of playing in an option offense makes him an immediate candidate to be a factor on offense when Tim Tebow is under center. Don’t be surprised if Ganaway ends up contributing a few hundred yards of offense this season.

Robert T. Griffin – As our breakdown later in the day will show, Griffin has a long, long way to go before becoming a contributor on a NFL team. This season he will compete with Caleb Schlauderaff and Austin Howard for a spot on the active roster. However, it is much more likely he will end up on the practice squad.

Antonio AllenMake sure you click the link to read Chris Gross’ full breakdown of Allen, who should end up being LaRon Landry’s backup this season, a contributor as a blitzer and play special teams. I’d be surprised to see a journeyman like Tracy Wilson or DeAngelo Smith beat him out.

Jordan WhiteMake sure you click the link to read Chris Gross’ full breakdown of White. He will compete with Patrick Turner and Eron Riley for a roster spot and projects to backing up Jeremy Kerley in the slot if he can make the roster.