Is Shonn Greene Ready?

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First a few updates:

1. The fallout over the Thomas Jones release hasn’t been pretty. The fans are pissed off. The beat writers are ripping the move. Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, Alan Faneca and a few other anonymous players are expressing their dissatisfaction with the decision. As one player said, it doesn’t make the locker room happy when somebody like Vernon Gholston gets his money and another chance next year but Thomas Jones can’t collect his bonus money and is sent packing. Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a popular decision yet it might not the complete unmitigated disaster some people are making it out to be. I don’t agree withthe move. I think it is a big risk. The Jets now need another running back for depth purposes but overall this doesn’t change my mind about the Jets still being the favorite in the AFC East as of right now. This situation reminds me a little bit of Laveranues Coles from last off-season. It isn’t entire comparable because Jones was a much better player and much more of a team leader, but the decision to let Coles go wasn’t popular at the time and it ended up working out. Maybe Jones ends up having another big year in 2010 or maybe he runs for 800 yards in Cleveland, while Shonn Greene racks up 1300 yards for the Jets. We shall see.

2. Rich Cimini of the Daily News is reporting there still is a good chance the Jets will look to trade Kerry Rhodes. Apparently his sources are indicating the coaching staff still isn’t sold on him or his attitude. Unless Mike Tannenbaum has a replacement in mind via trade or free agency, I don’t see Rhodes going anywhere. The Jets aren’t getting anything but a 5th round pick for him and that doesn’t fill the spot he would leave on their defense.

3. Remember to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…Also check out the 2010 Draft Section of the site (http://turnonthejets.com/2010-draft/). The depth chart has been updated to include all the recent players the Jets signed to future/reserve contracts, and to include the pending release of TJ and Lito Sheppard…(http://turnonthejets.com/2009-depth-chart/).

4. When the Jets release Lito Sheppard, he won’t be counted as UFA which means the Jets can’t sign another UFA to replace him. This puts a dent in their hopes of signing a guy like Dunta Robinson, as explained here (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/02/salary-cap-update-lito-is-not-a-ufa/).

5. The Jets remain far apart on locking down long term deals for Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis.

6. Bart Scott was a guest on Mike and Mike this morning and discussed the desire of Adalius Thomas to be a Jet. If I had to make a prediction today, it would be that Thomas will be the Jets biggest UFA signing and maybe their biggest overall off-season acquisition unless Tannenbaum swings a big trade.

Is Shonn Greene Ready?

PhotobucketWith the release of Thomas Jones coming this Friday, the torch is being passed to Shonn Greene as the Jets #1 running back. Greene took the NFL by storm during the first two rounds of the NFL playoffs last season. In the wild-card round against Cincinnati, he rushed for 135 yards on 21 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per carry and had a 39 yard touchdown run. In the divisional round against San Diego, he rushed for 128 yards on 23 carries, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and had a 53 yard touchdown run.

Those were two terrific performances that were somewhat foreshadowed at other points during the Jets regular season. Greene racked up 144 yards on only 19 carries during a week 7 win against the Raiders. He put up solid efforts against the Bills (11 carries, 59 yards), Bucs (6 carries, 41 yards), Colts (16 carries, 95 yards), and in the regular season finale against the Bengals (13 carries, 62 yards). These weren’t earth-shattering games but they showed Greene’s natural talent. He has a tremendous burst through the hole, is rarely tackled by the first guy who hits him, and has a second gear that allows him to rip off long runs.

There is no reason not to be excited about Greene’s potential to be franchise running back. By any account, he had a very good rookie year but let’s take off the green and white shades for a moment and look at some facts you can’t ignore:

  • Greene came off the bench last season and gashed defenses after Thomas Jones had softened them up. He rarely received carries in the 1st and 3rd quarter. His production was absolutely enhanced by having a bruising back in front of him.
  • Despite only having 108 carries in the regular season, Greene dealt with multiple injury issues in his rookie year. He missed nearly all of the pre-season and was inactive week 1 because of a rib injury. He was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game with a rib injury after only having 41 yards on 10 carries (a 4.1 average, which is down from the previous two playoff games). During training camp he also had an ankle injury and late in the regular season, he was on the injury report with a shoulder injury.
  • Greene lost three fumbles during the regular season. He lost a fourth one in week 17 but it was called back because of a penalty.
  • Greene had zero receptions during the regular season and only one during the playoffs.
  • Despite the previously mentioned impressive stat lines, he also had these not so impressive outings against Miami (8 carries, 18 yards), Jacksonville (7 carries, 26 yards), New England (3 carries, -1 yard), Carolina (10 carries, 36 yards), Atlanta (8 carries, 30 yards).\

I hate to take off those green and white shades and be so negative but the reality is Greene still has plenty to prove. There is big difference between coming off the bench and having a couple of great games and being a #1 back week in and week out for entire season. He needs to work on his consistency, ball protection, and receiving skills. You can’t have a #1 back who fumbles and who goes through the entire season without catching a single pass.

PhotobucketThe positives are that Greene got better as the season went on last year. He didn’t fumble the ball in the last six games, in which he received 91 total carries. Next season he will be playing behind the best offensive line in football and should be supported by an improved passing game, as Mark Sanchez continues to develop. He will also be more experienced, more comfortable in the offense, and better prepared to handle the rigors of an entire NFL season as a second year player instead of a rookie. The talent is clearly is there. It isn’t crazy to think Greene could realistically be a 1300-1400 yard back next year, especially when you consider how often the Jets run the ball.

The torch has been passed to Shonn Greene, let’s all hope he is ready to take it.

 

My Favorite Play Of The Past Season

Greene Touchdown Against Bengals

Greene’s First NFL Touchdown

Final Word On Thomas Jones & Free Agency Week Begins

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First a few updates:

1. Busy week coming up here at TOJ. The posts were a little sparse last week, due to my laptop dying after a historic 5 year run of being dropped, having food spilled on it, and generally accumulating dirt and dust, along with professors having the audacity to assign schoolwork to their graduate school students. I also took my first trip up to Boston during the weekend, good times. Anyway, free agency starts this Friday so it is all business this week, who needs a laptop anyway? Yet, feel free to buy me one for my birthday, which also happens to be this Friday.

2. As you can see on the home page, I posted up the Jets pick in the Fanball Mock Draft earlier today. Feel free to criticize.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook….because we are only 85 fans away from 300.

4. Nothing Rex Ryan said at the combine really caught my attention. It was nice of him to attempt taking some of the blame for Vernon Gholston but the reality is that the Jets just missed with the guy. He doesn’t deserve more reps. He didn’t even deserve to be active last season.

Photobucket5. There has been alot of buzz about the Jets pursuing Adalius Thomas. Despite being on the outs in New England and seeing some decline in his production, he is a guy who is obviously a good fit in Ryan’s scheme and would probably more than welcome going from the grim secret society culture of New England to the Rex Ryan, middle-finger waving Jets. If the Jets spend the money on Thomas, most people are assuming Bryan Thomas will be let go. However, I think there still couldbe a role for him. I think both Thomases…Adalius and Bryan, could be better served splitting time and only playing in certain packages. There isn’t going to be a trade market for BT, especially since Mangini isn’t calling the shots in Cleveland anymore, so why just release him? Do you really want Vernon Gholston stepping in, if one of the Jets outside linebackers get hurt?

6. The Jets will be releasing Lito Sheppard on Friday…I don’t think anybody is going to shed a tear over that one.

Final Word On Thomas Jones & Free Agency Week Begins

We all know the news now, the Jets will be releasing Thomas Jones on Friday. Everybody saw this coming and no matter how many articles I wrote on it over the past 2 weeks, it was going to happen. I still don’t agree with the move. Obviously, Jones wasn’t going to agree to restructure coming off a 1400 yard, 14 touchdown season. I know on the surface it doesn’t make perfect financial sense to pay TJ his full 3 million dollar bonus, but I do believe this could come back to haunt the Jets next season…and please spare me with the Mike Tannenbaum quote saying he is confident about Chauncey Washington as the team’s third running back. The Jets now have another need on offense. For a team that runs the football more than any other team in the NFL, it is a big risk to go into the season with their current depth at running back.

We all saw Shonn Greene in the playoffs last year. We all love his potential, yet he still has plenty to prove as I will detail in an article at some point this week. Nobody likes Leon Washington more than I do, but he also has plenty to prove coming off major surgery. The Jets need a third guy who can handle a few carries a game and more importantly be ready to step in and take 10-15 touches a game if somebody in front of him gets hurt or fumbles once or twice and needs to be taken out. Danny Woodhead isn’t that guy. Chauncey Washington hasn’t really gotten a chance but I have to think there is a reason that Jacksonville cut him so quickly after spending a draft pick on him.

Yet, let me just take a moment to thank Thomas Jones for time with the Jets. He struggled a little bit in 2007 behind a crappy offensive line and with no help at quarterback but still ran for 1119 yards. In 2008, he ran for 1312 yards with 13 touchdowns and then bumped his numbers up even higher last year to 1402 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Also, over the past three years he has 74 receptions and 3 receiving touchdowns. Jones has been a leader in the locker room and an example around the team complex about how players should carry themselves. I have no doubt that Shonn Greene and Leon Washington will both be much better off because of their time spent with Jones. So good luck TJ, I hope you get a good deal in free agency on a team that isn’t playing the Jets over the next couple of years.

PhotobucketOn to other issues with free agency…There has been some talk about the Jets pursuing Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle. Yet, there will likely be a decent market out there for him and I am not sure how much the Jets would spend on a guy who could end up being very similar to Kerry Rhodes in their defense. If Rex Ryan wants a more physical player at the safety position, is he going to give money to a smaller guy who used to be a corner? I still think Rhodes will be back next year and hopefully improved. Overall, it is hard to tell who the Jets will target because of the restrictions placed on them. As of right now, I am hoping they could bring Marques Douglas, Tony Richardson, and yes even Jay Feely (I know it isn’t happening but I am terrified of Nick Folk) back. James Dearth, Larry Izzo, and Ben Hartsock will all likely walk. I can’t see anybody matching the Jets RFA tenders, unless somebody wants to take a big risk on Leon Washington. Unlike the past two seasons, the first week of free agency isn’t going to be a chaotic signing of big name players for the Jets. Their primary needs are a corner, a pass rusher, defensive line depth, and offensive line depth. Their secondary needs are a slot receiver, a running back, a veteran quarterback, and a backup tight end. I am not sure how many of those needs can actually be filled through free agency, so keep an eye for out potential trades and an active draft weekend where the Jets look to accumulate more picks.

No More Funny Jets Commercials For Thomas Jones

Early Off-Season Concerns For Jets & Draft Updates

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First a few updates:

1. I am sick of snow and I am sick of schoolwork. I am caught in the middle of a hellacious week, which saw my laptop break, an all-nighter to finish a paper that died with my laptop, a 50 dollar parking ticket at Lehigh because I parked in a spot 6 minutes earlier than I was supposed to, and an amusement park like ride back into New Jersey this morning because of the snow. I was basically playing Mario Kart the entire drive home down 78 and 287, getting hit by green turtle shells and driving over the banana peels…great stuff. Regardless, it was worth it because I couldn’t take another weekend in Pennsylvania….and yes, my friends and I will continue playing Mario Kart in person tomorrow when we attempt to drive to Boston for the weekend to see our long lost friend who moved up there 7 months ago.

2. Speaking of Boston, I saw Shutter Island last night…wow, great movie. 4 Stars. 2 Thumbs Up. Awesome stuff.

Photobucket3. Thoughts On Lost Season 6 Episode 5 “The Lighthouse” – I am a little biased with this review because I am a big Jack fan. The guy gets nothing but crap from writers (by making him a complete wreck the past 2 seasons) and the fans, except everybody forgets he saved everybody’s life about 8 times in Season 1, 2, and 3. Beyond that, nobody yells more for unnecessary reasons and looks weirder doing it than Matthew Fox (see the video below). It is always entertaining television, whether Jack is chasing down Thai women, popping Oxycontin, driving around his crappy brown jeep, or deciding to blow up the island because he can’t close the damn deal with Kate. Regardless, I liked Tuesday’s episode. We bounced between deadbeat Dad off-island Jack, and angry smashing mirrors on-island Jack. The off-island story caught me off-guard. It is clear some things are now radically different in these people’s lives because of what they did in 1977 (like Jack now having a son). It was nice to see Jack finally break his family tradition of overbearing, terrible parenting by the end of the episode. On the island, the whole crazy Claire plot seemed a little off to me but we’ll see where it goes. The lighthouse was an interesting concept, as a way for Jacob to monitor all his candidates. When Jacob going to show up to somebody besides Hurley, by the way?

4. A big thank you to www.thejetsblog.com for recently linking a bunch of my articles. It has provided a big spike in hits. They are the best in the business.

A Final Plea to Keep Thomas Jones and Other Thoughts

I normally don’t like writing these all over the place, update type articles like my post on Tuesday and today’s but there has been alot going on with the Jets this week, and I want to keep up and get my thoughts out there on all the issues. Beyond that, I haven’t had the time to sit down and come up with a good topic for a full length article like my recent Pulitzer level writing on why the Jets should keep Thomas Jones, why they don’t need a receiver, and why they should bring Kerry Rhodes back.

– The talk about Thomas Jones being potentially released has heated up recently, especially after LaDanian Tomlinson was let go. We know that Drew Rosenhaus and the Jets are sitting down this week in an attempt to work something out.  Most people still seem to be assuming nothing will get done and the Jets will let him go. I have been broken a record about this, but the Jets should just pay Jones his money. We saw last year how important depth is at the running back position, especially with how often the Jets run the football. If the Jets can convince Jones that he won’t get a big deal on the market because of his age and how he faded down the stretch last year (which is probably the case) and get him to come back for less, than good for them but I doubt that happens. Most people aren’t in the business of taking pay cuts after rushing for 1400 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns. Jones is valuable in the locker room, in goal-line/short yardage, and yes is still good enough to be a key part of the Jets offense next season.

– The story on the Jets kicking situation is that they basically low-balled Jay Feely, and despite wanting to be back with the team next year, he will see if he could get a bigger deal on the free agent market. Hopefully, in the end nobody is willing to pay him Sea-Bass money and he works something out with the team, if not Nick Folk is going to be the death of the Jets in close games next season.

– The Jets added offensive tackle Michael Turkovich, who was an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame picked up by the Cowboys last year. He hurt his knee and never saw any time in 2009, but he could be an interesting project for Bill Callahan at 6’5, 300 pounds. The Jets also recently tried out two journeyman fullbacks, Anthony Cotrone and Jonathan Evans. I hope Tony Richardson finds his way back on to the team next year. The Jets can’t sleep on the value of guys like Feely, Richardson, and Marques Douglas (who they are planning to let test the FA marker). All three of them were key contributors last season and I don’t count Nick Folk, Anthony Cortrone, or Travis LaBoy as potential adequate replacements.

Photobucket– A word on all the Nnamdi Asomugha talk…I just don’t see it happening. I don’t see him taking a sizable pay cut to join the Jets and I don’t see the Jets giving up multiple draft picks to get him. It is a scary good thought to have the two best corners in the NFL on our team, but similar to both LeBron and Bosh joining the Knicksnext year, I won’t believe it until I see it. Dunta Robinson could be a more realistic option.

– Draft Talk – Tim Graham of ESPN collected a group of pre-combine mock drafts, including ones from Mel Kiper Jr, Todd McShay, Don Banks, Bucky Brooks, Chris Burke, Richard Lines, Rob Rang, Chad Reuter, Allen Wilson:

  • Kiper – Dan Williams
  • McShay – Arrelious Benn
  • Banks – Damian Williams
  • Brooks – Kyle Wilson
  • Burke – Kyle Wilson
  • Lines – Kyle Wilson
  • Rang – Damian Williams
  • Reuter – Kyle Wilson
  • Wilson – Carlos Dunlap

Alot of love for Kyle Wilson, who I also like alot for the Jets at number 29. Damian Williams would be an exciting addition but if you are a regular reader of this site, you know how I feel about the Jets adding a receiver in the first round.

– The Fanball Mock Draft is rolling along and we are quickly approaching the Turn on The Jets pick, here is where we are at right now:

THE BIG BOARD

1) St. Louis Rams – Will Horton (RamsHerd.com) – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

2) Detroit Lions– Josh Pung (RoarOfTheLions.com) – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

3) Tampa Bay Bucs – Eric Schmidt (WhatTheBucs.com) – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

4) Washington Redskins– Ryan Estroninos (PaintItRedskins.com) – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

5) Kansas City Chiefs – (ChiefsChatter.com) – Joe Haden, CB, Florida

6) Seattle Seahawks– Jay Flannelly (FlockOfSeahawks.com) – Brandon Graham, LB, Michigan

7) Cleveland Browns – Ward Peterson (GridironBrownies.com) – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

8) Oakland Raiders – Stu Rosenberg (RaidersRadar.com) – Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama

9) Buffalo Bills – Jon Munoz (BillsHerd.com) – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

10a) Chicago Bears(Chicago’s pick goes to Denver) – Ismael Seguban (BearsHibernation.com, WHAT CHICAGO WOULD HAVE DONE) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

10b) Denver Broncos – Bryan Douglass (BroncosStable.com, DENVER’S PICK) – Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho

11) Jacksonville Jaguars – Nate Bruce (TealPower.com) – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida

12) Miami Dolphins– Josh Baumgard (BlogWithAPorpoise.com) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

13) San Francisco 49ers – Josh Russell (NinersNuggets.com) – CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson

14) Denver Broncos– TO SEATTLE – Jay Flannelly (FlockOfSeahawks.com) – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

15) New York Giants – Mike Farley (GmenDen.com) – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

16a) Carolina Panthers(Carolina’s pick goes to San Francisco) – James Dator (RealBitsOfPanthers.com, WHAT THE PANTHERS WOULD HAVE DONE) – Arrelious Benn, WR/TE, Illinois

16b) San Francisco 49ers– Dana Whipple (NinersNuggets.com) – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

17) Tennessee Titans– Brian Munson (HonkyTonkTitans.com) – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida

18) Pittsburgh Steelers – Dan Stack (SteelersMill.com) – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

19) Atlanta Falcons– Mike Luchessi (DirtyBirdBlog.com) – Taylor Mays, S, USC

20) Houston Texans– Mike Kerns (DontMessWithTexans.com) – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

21) Cincinnati Bengals– Mike Norrod (BengalsJaw.com) – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

22) New England Patriots– Tim Magoon (PatsChowder.com) – Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas

23) Green Bay Packers – Adam Burnett (PackingCheese.com)

24) Philadelphia Eagles – Joe Burt (EaglesHaveLanded.com)

25) Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Hanson (FootBaltimore.com)

26) Arizona Cardinals – Hunter Ansley (DesertFlock.com)

27) Dallas Cowboys – Don Potts (RespectTheStar.com)

28) San Diego Chargers – Anthony Blake (ChargingBolts.com)

29) New York Jets– Joe Caporoso (TurnOnTheJets.com)

30) Minnesota Vikings – Eric Thompson – (VikingsThrone.com)

31) Indianapolis Colts – Brooks Busch (ColtsChatter.com)

32) New Orleans Saints – Mark Hooper (WhoDatBlog.com)

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Tuesday Thoughts On Jets/NFL Free Agency

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1. What the Folk? The Jets signed former Cowboys kicker Nick Folk to a one year deal today, which means they are going to let Jay Feely test the free agent market. Simply put, Folk was terrible last season. The guy was 5/12 on kicks between 40-49 yards and missed a big 23 yarder in a late season game against the Saints. I understand the Jets might be hoping that Feely picks up a decent deal with another team, giving them some flexibility to sign a free agent at another position, but isn’t this a big risk? The style of football the Jets play is conducive to a high amount of field goal attempts and a high amount of close games. Can the Jets really rely on Folk in a big spot next year?

2. The Jets hosted free agent defensive end Travis LaBoy yesterday. LaBoy sat out the ’09 season but prior to that was a decent pass rusher for both the Titans and Cardinals. He is only 28 and the Jets aren’t limited by any “final four” restrictions to sign him because he was released and isn’t a true UFA. He could be worth a shot, he has 23.5 career sacks and has started 32 games, which puts Vernon Gholston’s numbers to shame. He is only 250 pounds, so he would likely be a situational pass rusher on the Jets defense.

3. It also being reported that the Jets are going to let Marques Douglas hit the open market on March 5th, and then look to re-sign him, if he isn’t offered a big deal anywhere else. I hope Douglas ends up back next season, he was an underrated and valuable part of the Jets defense last year.

4. LaDanian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook have both been released. Westbrook obviously has some serious injury concerns if the Eagles let him go. We all saw how washed up Tomlinson was in the playoffs last year, maybe the Patriots will sign him and then he could join Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris on the inactive list with injuries for 10 games next year.

Photobucket5. Some people on the Jets ESPN Message Board disagreed with my thoughts about the Jets not really needing a receiver that badly. They made some valid points about the importance of having a quality slot guy to aid in Sanchez’s development and questioned whether Keller could be counted on as a consistent third option in the passing game. However, I am still not sure how many looks a #3 receiver is going to get in the Jets offense. Nobody in the NFL is anywhere near running the ball as much as the Jets do, are we going to spend a first round pick on a guy who is going to have 1 ball thrown his way a game? If the value doesn’t match the Jets need at corner or defensive line at number 29, I’d rather see them trade back than take a receiver, unless it is a guy the scouting department is convinced is a “must-get” or steal at 29. I wouldn’t have thought the Jets should be trading multiple picks to move up to grab a running back last year, but it turned out to be the right move. If they feel strong enough about a WR at 29, than you have to stick to your draft board. It will be interesting to see who is available at that point however because there seems to be a wide range of opinions on who the best receivers in this year’s draft are and what order they should be taken in.

6. I continue to be surprised by how many people believe the Jets should just let Thomas Jones go. Again, with how run heavy the Jets offense is, isn’t it a major risk to rely on Leon Washington (coming off major surgery) and Shonn Greene, who has never been a #1 back for an entire season and had some injury issues of his own last year. Jones isn’t going to be a 1400 yard back next year, but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute and add necessary depth, leadership, and intangibles.

7. I am interested to see if the Jets allow Leon Washington to return kicks next season. Brad Smith did a decent job last year and I would rather save Leon’s touches for the offense. The Jets completely lacked a screen game last year, after being successful with it in 2008. Sanchez’s completion percentage will improve with a reliable pass catching running back, and more screen passes called.

8. The Jets are going to have a big hole to fill, if Tony Richardson decides to retire. Hopefully, T-Rich decides to give it another year. He showed no signs of decline last season and I am not sure Jason Davis is ready to step into the job full time.

I Can’t Believe Somebody Actually Made This Video…I Hate Cowboys Fans

The Jets Don't Need A Wide Receiver

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First a few updates:

1. My bad in my last article saying that Vinny Testaverde tore his ACL, when he actually ruptured his Achilles tendon. I was only 11 years old when it happened, but no excuses. I am getting a little sloppy with my injury history.

2. Rich Cimini returned from a long hiatus to update his blog today and I am actually basing this article off some of his thoughts about the Jets need for a receiver, although taking it a little further.

3. The scouting combine starts this week, hopefully the Jets won’t fall in love with a guy runs really fast and can lift alot of weight, but can’t tackle and has no passion for football.

4. Make sure to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…plenty of good Jets related links to check out today.

The Jets Don’t Need A Wide Receiver

I have been surprised by how many people are predicting the Jets taking a receiver in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. By my count, more people are giving the Jets a receiver instead of a corner or defensive lineman. Nearly everybody who breaks down the Jets off-season needs, always mentions wide receiver right around the top of the list. The way I see it, the Jets would be crazy to spend their first round pick on a receiver. I know it is tempting to add a big name guy from a big name program like Golden Tate or Damian Williams for Mark Sanchez, but the need isn’t there.

The title of this article may be a little misleading. The Jets could use a #3/slot receiver. Basically, a Chansi Stuckey type player with some quickness who could be a viable option on third downs. Yet, compared to their other needs, a #3 receiver is a luxury. Why?

PhotobucketThe Jets have Dustin Keller, who is basically another wide receiver. I know Keller was underutilized last year and was also held back by Mark Sanchez’s mid-seasons struggles. However, during the Jets playoff run Brian Schottenheimer finally figured out how to use him and Sanchez began to play better, and what happened? Keller caught 12 passes and 3 touchdowns in 3 games. He is athletic enough to run routes from the tight end spot, H-Back, slot receiver, and split end, which allows Jerricho Cotchery to slide into the slot. Keller is capable of being a 65 catch, 900 yard, 6 touchdown guy.

The Jets have Leon Washington returning from injury. Washington has the skill set to line up in the slot and catch passes out of the backfield. He had 15 catches in 6 games last season and 123 career receptions. I would expect Washington’s role on the offense to be based more around catching passes out in space, especially early in the season as he feels his way back from the injury. The Jets aren’t going to be throwing him into the interior of the line in September and October.

When people analyze the Jets receivers, they continue to underestimate Jerricho Cotchery. You need to watch the Jets on a weekly basis to appreciate how good Cotchery actually is. Nothing frustrates me more than when somebody like Mike Francesa says “Eh…Cotchery is just another guy, he should probably be a #3 receiver instead of a starter.” The guy catches everything thrown at him, constantly makes clutch receptions on third downs, and is a threat to run after the catch. For most of his career, Cotchery has been durable and if he didn’t miss three games last year, he would have been a 1000 yard receiver. If you want an answer in the slot on third down, split Keller out and move Cotchery into the slot and watch him come through, time and time again.

Most people weren’t crazy about Braylon Edwards’ production last year, and yes he was a mild disappointment because of some key drops. Yet, considering how limited the Jets passing offense was, he still had his share of big plays. I still think of Cotchery as the Jets #1 receiver because of his consistency but Edwards is still a quality big play threat and a guy who will improve with a full off-season to work in the Jets offense, and with Sanchez becoming a year better.

I think Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, and Leon Washington are a good enough top four pass catching options to win with. It would be nice to have another guy to line up in the slot but remember the Jets found Chansi Stuckey in the 7th round and Jerricho Cotchery in the 4th round. There is no need to spend a first round pick on a receiver. How many balls is the Jets number three receiver even going to see next year, considering how often the team runs the ball and how many pass catching options will be ahead of him? If it gets to pick 29 and there is no corner or defensive lineman/outside linebacker that matches the Jets draft board in value, Mike Tannenbaum should trade back and acquire more picks, not look for a receiver. The Jets need depth all over their roster. There is nothing wrong with drafting a receiver but save it for the 5th, 6th, or 7th round. The Jets need help in round 1 and round 2 at corner (we can’t afford to start Dwight Lowery with the type of defense we run) and outside linebacker/defensive end (we need both depth and a pass rusher who could get to the quarterback without a blitz or stunt being called for him).

Cotchery Shredding Up Rex Ryan’s Old Defense

Big Expectations Usually Equal Bad News For Jets

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First a few updates:

1. There isn’t much to update, so check out the facebook page to see other recent Jets links you should be reading/viewing. Also, don’t forget about the other sections we have across the top of the page, including the new 2010 Draft Section.

2. Non-Jets Thoughts – Good new show on HBO, “How to  Make it in America”…I am fired up about seeing “Shutter Island” this week, you can’t go wrong with Scorsese and Leo…Tough start for Antawan Jamison with the Cavs last night, I think he went 0/12 from the field, I like Jamison but I need to root for the Cavs to struggle so LeBron is more inclined to come to the Knicks…Could Tiger Woods have been more robotic during that press conference the other day?

Big Expectations Usually Equal Bad News For Jets

The Jets rightly will have alot of positive buzz around their team heading into the 2010-2011 season. They are coming off a surprising run to the AFC Championship Game, have a young up and coming offense led by Mark Sanchez, Nick Mangold, and Shonn Greene, arguably the league’s best defense, and a coach the team believes in. I wouldn’t be surprised if most people picked them to win the AFC East and some people pick them as legit Super Bowl contenders this summer. Unfortunately, when this has happened in recent history, things haven’t turned out according to plan.

1999 – Most people assumed the Jets would take the next step after losing to Denver in the AFC Championship Game in 1998 and become the team to beat in the AFC after John Elway’s retirement. All of the pieces seemed to be in place, but in week one Vinny Testaverde took one step to try and recover a fumble, and tore his ACL. The Jets season went down in flames with Rick Mirer behind center, until Ray Lucas stepped and led them to a respectable 8-8 record. Regardless, the season was a major disappointment and the final year for Bill Parcells.

Photobucket2002 – The Jets were coming of a 10-6 season and a wild-card loss. If I recall correctly, many people thought the Jets would improve and challenge for a division title and after a 2-5 start, they actually turned out to be right as Chad Pennington took over mid-season for Testaverde and led the Jets to an improbable 9-7 AFC East crown. Despite finishing a game worse in the regular season, the Jets won the division and won a wild-card game, before eventually seeing their season end at the hands of the Oakland Raiders 30-10.

2003 – Everybody was fired up to see Pennington lead the Jets for an entire season and thought the Jets could overcome the loss of Laveranues Coles, Chad Morton, Randy Thomas, and John Hall to the Redskins. Unfortunately, Pennington was hurt in the pre-season, and the Jets stumbled to a 0-4 start. They improved after Chad’s return in week 8 but still finished a disappointing 6-10.

2005 – After being robbed of a Divisional Round win against the Steelers by kicker Doug Brien, the Jets and many people around the NFL figured they would be Super Bowl contenders simply by replacing Brien with 2nd round (yes, 2nd round) draft pick Mike Nugent. The Jets also foolishly traded their first round pick for tight end Doug Jolley. Shockingly enough, Pennington suffered another injury, this time in week 3. The Jets floundered to a 4-12 record, with Brooks Bollinger playing quarterback for the bulk of the season.

2007 – Eric Mangini and the Jets shocked everyone in 2006 by going 10-6 and grabbing a wild-card spot. Most people figured they would be ready to challenge the Patriots for the division title in 2007, especially with the addition of Thomas Jones at running back. Guess what happened? Pennington was hurt in week one, and then after returning in week 3 struggled before being benched for Kellen Clemens. The Jets went 4-12.

2008 – I think most people thought the Jets should be a playoff team with the additions of Alan Faneca, Calvin Pace, Damien Woody, Kris Jenkins, Tony Richardson, and of course Brett Favre. It looked like they were right when the Jets were 8-3, but we all know how the rest of the season turned out.

What can I say about 2010? Stay healthy, Mark Sanchez. As for the rest of the team, don’t read your press clippings.

Remember This Guy?

Can The Jets Be The #1 Show In Town?

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First a few updates:

1. The 2010 Draft Section is now up and running, as you can see at the top of the page. You can head over there to see a run down of the Jets picks, draft rankings from Scout.com and a list of potential 1st round targets for the Jets from www.thejetsblog.com, along with links to their articles which include highlights/scouting reports.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 96 fans away from 300.

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3. How about that cover of the Daily News today? Every Knicks fan better be rooting for the Cavs to somehow be upset in the first round so LeBron is more anxious to come to New York. C’mon LeBron, how much longer do you really want to play in Cleveland? Look at these two videos and you tell me where you would honestly rather play.

Can The Jets Be The #1 Show In Town?

In his season ending press conference Rex Ryan ruffled some feathers when he said the following quote:

  • “Let’s play this game in front of our fans and our stadium, the new Jets stadium. I can’t wait. We get our own stadium and we are not visitors in our stadium. This is our stadium. We are the biggest show in town, and that’s what it’s going to be.”

Giants fans and Mike Francesa reacted like Ryan personally insulted all of their mothers and sisters. However, I don’t know if Ryan was really taking a shot at the Giants. I think he sometimes just says things with the intent to fire up his team and build some excitement around the Jets, but you know what? It is going to be nice for the Jets to be out of Giants Stadium. They were visitors in that building and I don’t think that will be the case from now on. Hopefully, the Jets will now have more of a home-field advantage and they won’t have to deal with seeing a Jets banner sloppily stuck on the wall around the stadium and field covering up the Giants logo.

PhotobucketFor a few weeks in December and January, the Jets were the biggest show in town. Can this continue in the foreseeable future? The reality is that the Yankees are the biggest show in town and when baseball comes to an end, the Giants remain the biggest show in town until the Jets can win a Super Bowl. The Giants just won a dramatic Super Bowl in 2007, in the one of the most sickening years imaginable for Jets fan. Since then, things have improved drastically for the Jets and things have gradually declined for the Giants, since there is obviously nowhere to go but down after being Super Bowl champs. Regardless, the G-Men did have a particularly ugly season this past year, finishing the season 3-8 after a 5-0 start and finishing the season by being embarrassed twice.

Of course it was enjoyable to poke fun at Giants fans during this past post-season run, but in the end who really cares who the biggest show in town is? I think the Jets will probably be a better team than the Giants next season and as of right now might have a better looking future but those things can change in an instant. All I am worried about is avoiding a let down after this past season. I want to see the Jets beat New England and Miami and move to becoming a division champ with a home playoff game. If the Giants are also good, which certainly a strong possibility, then good for them and good for the New York sports market. 

I would love to see Dallas, Philadelphia, New England, and Miami fans all sulking as both the Jets and Giants won division titles next year. Both the Jets and Giants should be good football teams in 2010. They will both likely have plenty of prime-time games to show off the new stadium. The Jets will enjoy moving out of Giants Stadium for obvious reasons and the Giants will enjoy the improvement from arguably the league’s worst stadium to arguably the league’s nicest stadium. Giants fans don’t need to get salty about Rex being Rex. He only cares about continuing to build confidence in and around his team. Last year in a rare turn of events, the Jets were the number 1 show in town, now let’s string together a few years of that and get a Super Bowl along the way.

2009 Evaluations: The Quarterbacks

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First a few…or actually alot of updates:

1. I would have wrote my normal article yesterday but my three friends from college decided to visit in the middle week for whatever reason, so instead of doing school work, blogging, and eating…my normal activities during the week, I ended up drinking, playing NBA Jam and NBA Jam related drinking games, and continuing my reign as our group of friend’s best beer pong player. Anyway, I have some catching up to do.

2. Mark Sanchez had his knee surgery yesterday and according to him everything went well…can you hear the collective sigh of relief from Jets fans everywhere? He is expected back in time for training camp.

3. The Jets worked out former Cowboys kicker Nick Folk. I had Folk last year for a little while in fantasy and let me tell you…he was terrible. I understand Jay Feely is a free agent and might be asking for a little too much money, especially since Oakland just paid Sebastian Janikowski like he was a franchise quarterback, but a team like the Jets can’t deal with a downgrade from Jay Feely to Nick “What The” Folk. I am already having nightmares about him missing 34 yard field goals in New England next year.

4. The Jets are likely headed back to Cortland for training camp next year.

5. Some delayed links that I promised: (http://southfloridajetsfanclub.wetpaint.com), check out Rob Nacarano’s site and stop by www.Thon.org to see some quality charity work being done by my fellow PVSC landscaper and other PSU students.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…I am happy to say we finally cracked 200 fans and now currently sit at 203…Now I want 300.

Photobucket7. Thoughts On Lost Season 6 Episode 4 “The Substitute” – A nice improvement from last week’s episode, “The Substitute” was a Locke-centric episode with an intriguing alternate timeline story and even better action on the island. First in the alternate reality, Locke has much a different personality. He no longer believes in destiny or miracles and seems like he is somewhat happy with his life. I enjoyed all the cross-overs with other characters (Hurley, Rose, Ben) but I am starting to wonder when the characters are going to become conscious of their history/whatever you want to call it on the island. As much as I enjoy watching Ben and Locke teach junior high school, I need to start seeing some connection to the other storyline. On the island, we got some answers and hell of alot more questions. Who is that weird kid with the bloody arms chasing around the Man in Black? Why does the Man In Black want Richard’s support? When was the Man In Black…actually a man and not the smoke monster? I thought the numbers in the cave was obviously a cool scene, but what a hell of a commute Jacob has to make every time he wants to write somebody’s name down…get some paper man. I am not sure I believe half the stuff the Man In Black told Sawyer and I am pretty sure Sawyer is looking to con him.

8. Now that the Cavs acquired Antawan Jamison…get ready for the Cleveland/L.A. series we were denied last year. By the way, the Knicks actually did something somewhat smart by getting Tracy McGrady because they are now going to be able to clear some serious cap space next season.

2009 Evaluations: The Quarterbacks 

Mark Sanchez
 
Stat Line: 196/364, 2444 yards, 12 TDs, 20 INTs, 53.8 completion percentage, 63.0 QB Rating (41/68, 539 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 60.3 completion percentage, 92.7 QB Rating in playoffs)
 
The Good: You can see the vast improvement in Sanchez’s regular season numbers to postseason numbers, which is obviously a good sign. Despite his inconsistencies, Sanchez showed he has the talent to be a very good NFL quarterback in his rookie season, whether it was during his terrific three game start, both regular season games against Miami, or during the Jets playoff run, the “it” factor the Jets drafted him for is there. Even though he was a rookie, he appeared to quickly gain the respect of his teammates as a leader on offense. Sanchez showed good mobility and a consistent ability to throw the ball well on the run. He can throw all the necessary passes in a NFL offense and has great touch/accuracy on his deep balls.
 
The Bad: Inconsistent. Sanchez was awful at times during his rookie season, mostly as a result of poor decision making and attempts to force plays when there was nothing there. He needs to improve in the 2 minute drill and his accuracy/decision making in the short/intermediate passing game. Occasionally, Sanchez tends to lock on a receiver and not look off defensive backs. He needs to learn better ball protection skills when he is in the pocket and scrambling. Also, he has to improve his sliding skills. No more hot dogs on the sideline and no more index cards at post game press conferences.
 
Best Moments: Played a great game in both the wild-card round and the AFC Championship Game…Made a clutch third down touchdown pass in the Jets Divisional Round win…Improved his play during the stretch run of the regular season by being more careful with the football.
 
Overall Grade (C+/B-) The regular season stats aren’t pretty. Yet, Sanchez found a way to get the Jets into the playoffs as a rookie and most importantly elevated his game in the post-season.
 
Kellen Clemens
 
Stat Line: 13/26, 125 yards, 62.3 QB Rating
 
The Good: He managed not to lose the game when he had to start against Tampa Bay and step in during the second half of the Buffalo game. Clemens provided a good mentor to Sanchez and never is a problem in the locker room or with the media.
 
The Bad: He lost yet another quarterback battle. He could barely get out of his own way against the Bills when he relieved Sanchez. He looked like he has regressed from a couple of years ago during his start against the Bucs.
 
Best Moments: Getting a win against Tampa…Taking a knee against the Bengals after the Jets clinched a playoff spot.
 
Overall Grade (C-) I don’t have any confidence in him as a starter, if he had to step in for an extended period of time.
 
Erik Ainge/Kevin O’Connell
 
Comments: Ainge looked pretty good in the pre-season and could be a long term answer as the team’s #2 quarterback. The Jets must think O’Connell has some type of potential since they held on to him all season.

What Should The Jets Do With Kerry Rhodes?

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First a few updates:

1. According to www.mlive.comthe Detroit Lions will either play the New England Patriots or our New York Jets on Thanksgiving. Obviously, the NFL has to choose the Jets because they are much more entertaining, Rex Ryan needs to be involved in a holiday associated with mass consumption of food, and because the Jets need a chance to make up for the 34-3 beat-down they took from Dallas on Thanksgiving in 2007.

2. NEW SECTION ALERT – I’ve added a 2010 Draft Section, as you can imagine there is all the information you need on the upcoming NFL Draft for the Jets, and of course it will updated accordingly as April 22nd gets closer.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook, because we are only 5 fans away from 200 and you want to be the person who ends up being the 200th fan.

4. Leon Washington sustained a compound fracture in his fibula last year, so it was stupid for me to say yesterday that he is coming off major knee surgery, because he isn’t, he is coming off major fibula surgery…you can’t generalize in the lower half of the body, that was the Eric Mangini in me coming out.

5. I am feeling a strong bounce-back episode for LOST tonight.

What Should The Jets Do With Kerry Rhodes?

I get the impression from most of the Jets beat writers that they believe Kerry Rhodes won’t be back in 2010, and I also get the impression that most fans would like to see Rhodes somewhere else next season. It isn’t hard to blame them. Rhodes was a major disappointment for the bulk of the past year. He was average at best through the first 10 games of the regular season, was rightfully benched, played better over the final 6 games, although he was still inconsistent at times and then came through witha few huge plays in the Jets Divisional Round win over the Chargers. At the end of the year, Rex Ryan didn’t give a glowing endorsement about him coming back. Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine had some issues with him throughout the season. There are some reports, mostly from Rich Cimini of the Daily News, that Rhodes isn’t very popular in the locker room and people are tired of his “Hollywood” persona.

PhotobucketRegardless, in his end of the year press conference Mike Tannenbaummade it sound like Rhodes would be back next season. He said there isn’t a contract issue with him but instead an issue with making sure he is wholly invested in the off-season program. Yet knowing Tannenbaum’s history, I am sure he will be exploring trade options for Rhodes considering it doesn’t appear that he is a Rex Ryan type of player and because let’s face it…Tannenbaum just loves making trades. He can’t go through a whole off-season without one.

Personally, I think the Jets should bring Rhodes back next season. I don’t think they are going to get great value for him on the trade market. They aren’t going to get better by receiving a 5th or 6th round pick for him. I don’t want to see Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo platooning at safety next to Jim Leonhard because the Jets traded Rhodes for a late draft pick and weren’t able to sign another safety because of their free agency limitations. If Tannenbaum can get creative and somehow find a way to get a guy like Roman Harper, Antoine Bethea, or O.J. Atogwe than yes part with Rhodes because you have a way to replace him. If we are just talking about getting a draft pick for him, it better be at least a 3rd rounder so the Jets will have some flexibility to maybe move up and replace him through the draft but even at a 3rd rounder I wouldn’t be crazy about the move. Unfortunately, Eric Mangini isn’t making personnel decisions anymore in Cleveland because I’m sure he would have gave the Jets a 2nd round pick for him, and probably would have thrown in Josh Cribbs for good measure.

In the end, I think Rhodes will be back and it won’t be the worst thing in the world. You can’t argue with his talent level but it becomes a matter of him reaching it on a consistent level. He played a great all-around game in a huge spot against the Chargers last year, showed his pass coverage ability against Tony Gonzalez in the Atlanta game (I still don’t know why Rex Ryan moved to zone on the last play), and made some big plays in the Carolina game. He may never be the big play, pro-bowl caliber player he was in 2006 and 2007 but he could still be a solid contributor on this defense playing alongside Jim Leonhard.

Kerry Rhodes Complains About His Madden Ratings

Bring Thomas Jones Back in 2010

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First a few updates:

1. I am having a somewhat difficult time pulling together a comprehensive list of the Jets UFAs and RFAs, I keep finding different lists on different sites. Going off the one from New York Jets Salary Cap (http://www.nyjetscap.com/index.html), I got – RFAs: Kellen Clemens, Braylon Edwards, Leon Washington, Brad Smith, Eric Smith, Drew Coleman, James Ihedigbo, Marques Murrell, David Clowney. UFAs:James Dearth, Wayne Hunter, Tony Richardson, Jay Feely, Marques Douglas, Howard Green, Larry Izzo, Ben Hartsock, Ryan Fowler.

2. Speaking of free agents, it was announced today the Jets will be tendering Brad Smith and Eric Smith, along with Kellen Clemens, Leon Washington, and Braylon Edwards. I am not sure about the futures of the rest of the Jets RFAs, but I would expect Ihedigbo and Clowney to be back. Murrell and Coleman are likely on their way out. In terms of UFAs, I don’t know if Dearth will be back since the Jets just brought in another long snapper. I am sure they will do what they can to bring Richardson, Douglas, Hunter and Feely back. I would love to see the Jets let Hartsock walk and try to upgrade the backup tight end position and I wouldn’t expect Green, Izzo, or Fowler back.

3. Gary Myers tweeted today that there is a zero chance the Jets will pursue Joey Porter after the Dolphins figure how to properly release him. I think Adalius Thomas is a more likely target for the Jets, after the Pats release him.

Bring Thomas Jones Back in 2010

On March 5th, the Jets will have to make a decision whether to pay a roster bonus to three veterans on their team: LitoSheppard, Kerry Rhodes, and Thomas Jones. Sheppard is due 10 million dollars, Rhodes is due 2 million dollars, and Jones is due 3 million dollars. I would say you have better chance of seeing David Barrett start at corner for the Jets next year than Sheppard seeing that bonus money. The Jets will likely explore the trade market for Rhodes but unless somebody blows them out of the water with an offer, I would expect him to be back and to receive his bonus. Most people are assuming the Jets will refuse to pay Jones his bonus, look to re-negotiate with him for less money, which he won’t be receptive to, ultimately leading to his release.

If the Jets can talk Jones into coming back for less money, good for Mike Tannenbaum but that will be a difficult task considering Jones is coming off a 1402 yard season with 14 touchdowns, which were both improvements from the previous year. The best course of action for the Jets this off-season is to pay Jones his money and bring him back for the 2010 season.

I saw the playoffs and I know it is clear that Shonn Greene should be the Jets lead back next year but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a role for Jones in the offense. During the Jets 7-2 finish to the season (including the playoffs), here is the number of times they ran the ball each game:

  • Week 12 vs. Carolina: 39 Attempts
  • Week 13 vs. Buffalo: 43 Attempts
  • Week 14 vs. Tampa: 41 Attempts
  • Week 15 vs. Atlanta: 33 Attempts
  • Week 16 vs. Indy: 44 Attempts
  • Week 17 vs. Cincy: 57 Attempts
  • Wild-Card vs. Cincy: 41 Attempts
  • Divisional Round vs. Chargers: 39 Attempts
  • AFC Championship Game: 29 Attempts

PhotobucketIn a normal game, the Jets are going to run the ball between 39-45 times. There are enough carries to go around for three backs, especially considering Leon Washington is coming off major knee surgery and will also get some of his touches through the passing game. Despite basically only playing half a season, Shonn Greene had injury issues in his rookie season. He missed nearly all of the pre-season and was inactive in week 1 with a rib injury. He was knocked out in the second half of the AFC Championship Game with a rib injury. He also had an ankle injury during training camp and was on the injury report late in the regular season with a shoulder injury. Greene looked like a future 1500 yard back in the playoffs but don’t forget he 3 lost fumbles during the regular season and struggled at times (8 carries for 18 yards against Miami, 7 carries for 26 yards against Jacksonville, 10 carries for 36 yards against Carolina, 8 carries for 30 yards against Atlanta). It is a big step going from being a #1 back for 2 and 1/2 games to being a #1 back for an entire season.

Jones did slow down at the end of the year, but he was dealing with a knee injury. Even if he can’t play at the level he did in 2009, he still is an excellent short-yardage and goal-line back. We haven’t seen Greene excel in those situations yet, especially since all his touchdown runs were big plays. Also, don’t forget Jones is a valuable leader in the locker room and is one of the most respected players on the team.

It would be an unnecessary risk to go into the year with just  Shonn Greene and Leon Washington at running back. They both have injury concerns and can’t be relied on to take all the carries if the other one gets hurt. Also, spare with me with the Danny Woodhead talk, because he didn’t show anything as a running back in the regular season last year. The Jets need Thomas Jones back in 2010.

An Old TJ Highlight