Jets Area Of Strength – Secondary

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. It is more than a little ridiculous that a player who has never won a ring is announcing his free agency decision during a 1 hour primetime special. Yet, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be watching it tomorrow night. I think it is down to the Bulls, Cavs, and the Knicks at this point for LeBron’s destination. For a guy who is so obsessed with his legacy, he wouldn’t be doing it much service by playing second fiddle in Miami to Dwayne Wade. The Bulls give him the best shot to challenge for a title immediately. The Knicks can now offer Amare Stoudermaire to run with him and the potential of acquiring another major free agent next year.

2. I am interested to see how Miami fills out their roster around Wade and Chris Bosh. Right now, they literally have two other players under contract along with their draft picks.

3. It has been very quiet on the contract negotiations front, especially considering how slow NFL news is right now. The pressure has to pick up on the Jets in the next week or two as training camp begins to creep closer and the question of how Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold will handle their contract situation grows bigger. It wouldn’t be quality premium cable to start Hard Knocks without the Jets best offensive and defensive player.

4. I am still holding out hope that the Jets will sign Marques Douglas to a minimum deal at some point this summer to boost their depth on the defensive line and that they decide to pass on Mark Brunell unless he is coming in as their number three quarterback.

5. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and check out the new episode of Turn On The Jets TV, where we run through some of the top highlights from last season as we look forward to why the Jets have the potential to be so good in 2010.

Jets Area Of Strength – Secondary

Today we cover another area of strength for the Jets headed into the 2010 season, joining the linebackers and receivers, the Jets secondary should be one of their deepest, most talented position groups this year.

PhotobucketAny talk about the Jets secondary starts with cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is coming off one of the best individual defensive seasons in recent NFL history. There isn’t a better cover guy in the league, period. Revis has the rare ability to completely take a team’s top receiving top target out of the game, while still creating turnovers. The Jets defensive scheme dares teams to take a shot at Revis and when they did in 2009, they failed an overwhelming majority of the time. In the end, the Jets will find a way to appease his contract demands. Mike Tannenbaum can be stubborn in his contract negotiations but he isn’t stupid. Revis has the ability to become one of the greatest players in the organization’s history.

In 2009, the weakest spot of the Jets defense was the corner position opposite Revis. Veteran Lito Sheppard struggled to stay healthy and productive, when he actually was on the field. Dwight Lowery was doing an adequate job filling in Sheppard for a little while, but ultimately lacked the physical skills to match up with starting receivers on a consistent basis. The Jets didn’t hesitate this off-season to fix this weakness.

Former All-Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie was acquired in a trade from the San Diego Chargers. Cromartie is one of the most physically gifted players in the NFL and had a 10 interception season in 2007, along with creating a reputation for racking up highlight reel plays. He has struggled the past few years. However, the Jets are banking on their aggressive man to man scheme bringing the best out of Cromartie, along with him recovering from a hip injury that nagged him last year. Cromartie is a huge boom or bust player heading into 2010. Hopefully, he won’t replicate the bust performance offered by Lito Sheppard last season.

The Jets added further support to the corner position by drafting Kyle Wilson out of Boise State in the first round of the NFL Draft. Wilson was a player who shot up most draft boards after a strong performance during Senior Week. He was rumored to potentially be a top 15 selection. Fortunately for the Jets, he managed to slip all the way to number 29 for them to snatch up. Rex Ryan instantly handed Wilson the starting nickel job, where he could face some early struggles adjusting to playing in the slot. However, his physical skills are far superior to Dwight Lowery and as the season progresses, Wilson should develop into a integral part of the Jets defense. Ryan will utilize his athleticism as both a cover guy and a blitzer off the edge.

PhotobucketWith the acquisitions of Cromartie and Wilson, Dwight Lowery bumps down to the team’s number four corner. In terms of the fourth guy, Lowery has tons of experience and should be used in a selective way as both a corner and safety in certain packages that allow him to take advantage of his ball hawking skills. Marquice Cole and Drew Coleman round out of the cornerback position, as primarily special team players.

At safety, the Jets traded away Kerry Rhodes who has already ticked off his new teammates in Arizona with his desire to vacation over working out in the off-season. Brodney Pool was signed from Cleveland to replace Rhodes. Despite having his season cut short by a head injury in 2009, Pool had a much better statistical season than Rhodes in only 11 games. The coaching staff has been raving about his work ethic this off-season, and that work ethic combined with his athleticism gives Pool the potential to have a big season in the Jets defense.

Jim Leonhard returns as the other starting safety. Most people look over Leonhard when discussing the Jets defense, but he was one of the most consistent players on the team last year and has a complete mastery of the Rex Ryan’s system. He won’t rack up a ton of big plays but he will always be in the right place at the right time and won’t give up big plays either.

The Jets have excellent depth behind Pool and Leonhard. Eric Smith is a versatile player, who has extended starting experience. He will see plenty of action in the multiple packages the Jets use on defense. James Ihedigbo came on towards the end of last year as a quality reserve off the bench and somebody who was effective as a blitzer off the edge. The Jets also added UDFA Donovan Warren from Michigan this off-season, who was talked about as a second round pick before a poor combine showing.

Revis

Cromartie

New TOJ TV

Don't Get Hurt Mark Sanchez

Photobucket

Last season Mark Sanchez missed a late season game after he banged up his knee against the Buffalo Bills. Despite only entering his second NFL season, Sanchez has had problems with both of his knees and is coming off surgery on his left one this off-season. Beyond that, despite being tutored by Joe Girardi last year, he still needs to work on learning how to slide and how not to put himself in position to break his neck when he runs.

The point I am making is that Sanchez is vulnerable to injury. In 2010, if Sanchez gets hurt and misses any type of extended time, the Jets are trouble…big trouble. Here is a quick run down of other quarterbacks who could be on the Jets depth chart this season:

Kellen Clemens – It appears to be a foregone conclusion that Clemens is going to be released at some point this summer. Yet, in reality he is a better option than anybody else the Jets are currently considering to backup Sanchez. It isn’t a good sign that your best option was only able to manage 13/26 for 125 yards against the Tampa Bay Bucs last year. However, at least he knows the offense and has some recent starting experience. The Jets could probably manage with Clemens at the helm for 3-5 games if they had to, without their season falling apart.

PhotobucketMark “Bankrupt” BrunellI would be all for Brunell being the Jets #3 quarterback/player coach, but their backup quarterback? You are really going to cut ties with Clemens and let this 39 year old guy be one snap away from playing? I am pretty sure these are Brunell’s stats from the last three NFL seasons:

– 2009: 15/30, 102 yards, 1 INT

– 2008: No Stats

– 2007: No Stats

Am I missing something? I am literally not sure if Brunell would be able to manage even an entire game if Sanchez had to miss a week. It makes absolutely no football sense to cut Kellen Clemens and make Mark Brunell the back-up quarterback.

Erik Ainge – Ainge is entering his third season in the Jets system. He did progress well in the pre-season last year but he spent most of mini-camp and OTAs working behind Kevin O’Connell and Brad Smith, so I am not sure how high the Jets coaching staff on him. Ainge doesn’t throw a pretty ball but he has good size and is familiar with the offense. I would rather have him coming in off the bench instead of Brunell.

Kevin O’Connell – The Jets traded a 7th round draft pick for him, which means they must see some type of potential in him. He has also been spending the majority of the time working ahead of Ainge this off-season. O’Connell has thrown 6 passes during his entire NFL career. It will be interesting to see if he can make an impression during the pre-season.

Brad Smith – For five to ten plays a game, Smith is great as a quarterback on gimmick plays. Beyond that? I don’t think so.

JaMarcus  Russell – You know your backup quarterback situation is ugly when you are considering this guy to join your team.

Jets Area of Strength – Linebacker

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. I always wonder why the NBA has such a quick turn around on their draft. They give no time for the hype to build up like it does for the NFL Draft. I guess it makes sense considering only the first 10 picks are interesting and after that 3/4 of the guys never even make it in the league. However, there is always a high amount of trades and I’m sure there will be a few interesting LeBron nuggets of information coming out tonight.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and now on YouTube (Turn On The Jets channel).

3. I had a nice wake up call from the Jets organization this morning attempting to convince me to buy season tickets. Considering I already have tickets and the salary of a blogger doesn’t cover those club-level PSL seats, I had to decline. I was thinking they were calling to offer the job of running their web-site.

Jets Area of Strength – Linebacker

We touched on one of the Jets areas of concern yesterday by talking about their running back position, so let’s cheer you back up today by talking about one of their areas of strength heading int0 2010, the linebacker position.

The Jets are returning the same four starters from the 2009 season, all of whom had a very productive seasons considering their role on the team. Second team All-Pro linebacker David Harris led the way with 127 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 FF, and 2 INT. Despite not being a big name around the league because he isn’t a flashy player, Harris is one of the league’s best inside linebackers and the second most important player on the Jets defense behind Darrelle Revis.

Photobucket Scott and Calvin Pace are both a touch below being Pro-Bowl caliber players. Pace racked up 8 sacks, 55 tackles, and 3 FFs in only 12 games last season. There is no reason he shouldn’t be able to crack double digit sacks in a full season of play. Scott is the vocal leader of the defense and I am not sure if I have seen a player ever run his mouth on the field more. Yet, he had a very good season in 2009 to back up his words. Scott finished with 92 tackles, 1 sack, and an impressive 11 tackles for a loss. There are few teams in the league that you could argue have a better top three linebackers than Harris, Pace, and Scott.

Bryan Thomas didn’t have flashy numbers in 2009 but is an important part of the Jets defense because of his versatility and ability to do things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He isn’t frequently given chances to make plays in the Jets scheme but still had 53 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 TFLs, and a FF in 2009.

This off-season, the Jets added Jason Taylor which gives a huge boost to their depth. Taylor will provide a needed pass rushing threat off the bench and should see a ton of time on third downs and in the Jets nickel package. He had 7 sacks for the Dolphins last season and he came to the Jets on Rex Ryan’s promise that he could get him at least 10 this season. It is hard not to have faith in Ryan’s ability to get his players after the quarterback. Taylor will have every chance to be a 10-12 sack guy this season

The linebacker group is rounded out by two young players, who are heading in the right direction. Jamaal Westerman managed to make an impact last year as a UDFA on both defense and special teams. The coaches love his versatility and he should be involved in a few defensive packages as both an inside and outside linebacker. Kenwin Cummings has been raved about by the coaches and players as one of the MVPs of the team’s off-season program. He should provide good depth behind Scott and Harris at the inside linebacker position and could contribute in a few packages and on special teams.

The Jets also added special teams ace Lance Laury from Seattle this season to help offset the loss of Wallace Wright and Larry Izzo. He will be listed as a backup at inside linebacker but his primary job on the team will be to lead the special team units.

Turn On The Jets TV – Mini Camp

Jets Area Of Concern – Running Back

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. Check out the new updated “About Turn On The Jets” section…and remember to follow TOJ on Facebook, Twitter, and now YouTube.

2. Take a listen to my apperance on Marty Schupak’s Green Rewind, here (http://web.me.com/greenrewind/Site/Podcasts/Podcasts.html). Marty and myself primarily talk about the Jets defense but also spend a little time on the Darrelle Revis contract situation along with a few other things.

3. An interview I read today on NYJ Scout had an interview with Dwight Lowery, with him talking about getting more reps at safety this off-season. This is a move that has frequently been talked about by fans, considering Lowery’s lack of physical abilities to play corner full time but good ball instincts. It will be interesting to see if Lowery can get a good number of reps in the nickel or dime package as a safety.

Jets Area Of Concern – Running Back

Contrary to the belief of some fans, the Jets roster isn’t perfect. Like any team in the NFL, they have multiple areas of concern throughout their roster heading into the 2010 season. Today is our first look at one of these areas, the running back position:

Shonn Greene certainly looked the part of a number one back in the wild-card and divisional round of the playoffs last season. However, don’t be fooled into thinking two games is adequate proof that Greene is ready to be a full time number one back. My concerns about him are primarily his durability, fumbling issue, and lack of hands out of the backfield. A closer look at this statistics last season, also raise questions about his ability to be a full time starter for a 16 game schedule.

PhotobucketGreene was a player who had injury issues in college and encountered similar problems in his rookie season. He missed time with an ankle injury and rib injury in the pre-season, had a banged up shoulder during the regular season, and then was knocked out of the AFC Championship with another rib injury. Obviously, not an encouraging sign considering he was far from a number one back until the playoff run, where he was knocked out after two games. How will he handle 20 carries a game for an entire regular season?

Despite only having 108 total carries in the regular season, Greene had three lost fumbles. He also lost another one in week 17 that was called back. If he gets the 331 carries Thomas Jones had last season and keeps up that type of fumble rate, it translates into 9 lost fumbles. His lack of hands was also evident in the passing game, where between the entire regular season and postseason, he only recorded 1 reception for 4 yards. Nobody is saying he has to become a major pass catching threat, but he needs to be a reliable outlet option and catch a screen pass every now and then, so it isn’t obvious when the offense could run a screen by pulling him out for LaDainian Tomlinson or Joe McKnight.

After Greene’s breakout performance against the Raiders in week 8, he followed with four concerning performances:

  • 8 carries, 18 yards, 1 lost fumble against Miami
  • 7 carries, 26 yards, against Jacksonville
  • 3 carries, -1 yards, against New England
  • 10 carries, 36 yards, against Carolina

Fortunately, he picked up his play down the stretch run of the season and began to perform with more consistency regardless of the number of carries he was getting. The main thing to remember with Greene is that the guy only had 108 regular season carries last year. It is far from a sure thing that he handle 300 plus carries and put up a 1200 yard type season. The talent is certainly there, but Greene has to stay healthy, protect the football, and become a more consistent player.

PhotobucketThe depth behind Shonn Greene is an even larger cause for concern. We all saw LaDainian Tomlinson play last season and it wasn’t pretty. He didn’t register a single 100 yard game. He only averaged more than 4 yards per carry in 2 games the entire season. He only ran for more than 70 yards in 4 games. I understand he will be playing behind a much better offensive line and he is motivated to prove he still has something left in the tank. However, the Jets would be foolish to think he can give them 12-15 carries a game on a consistent basis. Tomlinson could be a successful player for the Jets, only if he used in proper moderation. You let him spell Greene a series or two each half. You give him short yardage/goal-line carries. You throw him screen and swing passes a few times a game. Tomlinson can give them a productive 10 touches a game next year, if properly game planned. If Shonn Greene gets hurt though, they could be in big trouble.

Joe McKnight is an unproven, rookie fourth round draft pick. I think he can contribute early in the year as a pass catcher out of the backfield and in the slot. Yet, by all accounts he has a long way to go before he is ready to be counted on as a third down back or for significant numbers of carries. A Shonn Greene injury leaves the Jets with a scary prospect of splitting carries between Tomlinson and McKnight.

For a team known for their “ground and pound” approach in 2009. The Jets have an awfully high amount of questions about their running back position. They could be one injury away from very quickly becoming a pass first offense, which is an easy temptation to fall into because of their talent at receiver and tight end. Yet, forcing Mark Sanchez to throw that ball that often could lead to some ugly, turnover filled performances that don’t let the Jets defense win them football games.

New TOJ TV

LT Highlights

McKnight Highlights

Greene Highlights

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. The sun is shining a little brighter today because America’s favorite touch football team had a nice second round upset victory in their march to a title yesterday. Next stop is the AFC Championship Game and we won’t be repeating the Jets performance in that particular game this year.

2. I am not a big soccer guy, but when I sat down to eat breakfast this morning and saw Portugal put a 7-0 whooping on North Korea, it caught my attention. If there is one place you don’t want to be heading back to after losing by 7 goals in soccer, it is North Korea.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

We basically know who the Jets starting eleven will on be on defense this season:

  • DE – Mike DeVito
  • DT – Kris Jenkins
  • DE – Shaun Ellis
  • OLB – Calvin Pace
  • ILB – David Harris
  • ILB – Bart Scott
  • OLB – Bryan Thomas
  • CB – Darrelle Revis
  • CB – Antonio Cromartie
  • S – Brodney Pool
  • S – Jim Leonhard

However, there is going to be major roles for players not listed above. After watching all that basketball over the past two months, you can’t count out the value of a solid bench. Rex Ryan loves to throw different personnel groups out there and bring in a variety of players. Here is a look at who the key players off the Jets bench should be on defense this season:

Secondary

Nickel Back – Kyle Wilson: Wilson was handed the starting nickel job on the day he was drafted. He will see plenty of action in the slot and I am guessing will quickly become one of Ryan’s favorite guys to blitz off the edge. The amount of reps Wilson plays will obviously be bumped up when the Jets play teams who like to spread it out (New England, Green Bay, Houston) but I am sure he will still be worked heavily into the game plan, even against offenses who are more run orientated.

Fourth Corner – Dwight Lowery: As a fourth guy, Lowery is a very good option. He has starting experience over the past two years. While he lacks the physical skills to be an every down starter, he has good ball anticipation skills and a knack for creating turnovers. Lowery is the type of guy who will likely see a bunch of reps in certain game plans and then be used less frequently against run heavy offenses. However, he does still have very good value as a depth player and special teams option.

Fifth Corner – Drew Coleman/Marquice Cole: I expect both of these guy to make the roster again, but only of them will probably be active on a weekly basis. Coleman has a ton of speed but has a knack for getting burnt whenever the ball is thrown at him. Cole looked pretty good last pre-season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leap over Coleman on the depth chart this season.

PhotobucketSafety – Eric Smith: A versatile player who became a key contributor off the bench last season. He has the ability to play both safety positions, be used in coverage on tight ends or running backs out of the backfield, and be used frequently as a blitzer off the edge. There will be some weeks where he plays near a starter’s amount of reps and some weeks where he won’t be as big as a factor. However, he is a core special teams player and a very good depth guy to have in the secondary.

Safety – James Ihedigbo: As the season went on last year, Ihedigbo gradually received a bigger role on the defense. He is a good blitzer off the edge and had a couple of sacks last season and a forced fumble. In the AFC Championship Game, he played a ton of reps for Bart Scott in the dime package. Similar to all the bench players, his number of reps will be game plan specific but I think overall you will seeing a decent amount of Ihedigbo.

Linebacker

Outside Linebacker – Jason Taylor: Taylor was brought in to provide energy to the Jets pass rush. Rex Ryan will be lining him up all over the place to get him the cleanest rush possible to the quarterback. Expect to see a ton of Taylor on third downs and when teams are in two minute mode against the Jets. He should also get some reps at defensive end in certain packages.

Outside/Inside Linebacker – Jamaal Westerman: Westerman had a nice sack in week one last year but was relatively quiet on defense after that. The coaches love his long term potential and versatility. He should find his way on to the field in a few different packages this season at both the inside and outside spot.

Inside Linebacker – Kenwin Cummings: The coaching staff has been raving about him this off-season but unless there is an injury, he shouldn’t see any type of substantial time on the defense. I could see him coming in a goal-line look when the Jets load up on defensive lineman and  linebackers or maybe if Bart Scott or David Harris need a quick break.

Defensive Line

PhotobucketDefensive Tackle/End – Sione Pouha: The Jets top defensive lineman off the bench, who will be a key player in the effort to keep Kris Jenkins fresh and healthy. Ryan could also experiment with some looks that have both Jenkins and Pouha on the field at the same time.

Defensive End – Vernon Gholston – It would be nice to get ten productive reps out of Gholston a game, to spell Shaun Ellis and Mike DeVito and to provide a boost to the pass rush.

Defensive End – Ropati Pitoitua – Similar to Gholston, it would be nice to see him contribute ten or so reps off the bench to improve the Jets defensive line depth.

Defensive Tackle/End – Matt Kroul – The coaches have hyped him up this off-season, let’s see if can turn into  Mike DeVito part two.

Overall, I would say Wilson and Pouha will get the most total reps off the bench with Taylor and Smith not too far behind. Yet, for the Jets defense to remain at the top of the league they will need all the guys listed above to settle into their roles as productive players. The Jets depth is key to throwing different schemes and personnel groups at offenses, along with keeping their starters fresh.

TOJ TV

Analyzing The Jets Offensive Depth Chart

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. The Jets have signed tryout linebackers Cory Reamer from Alabama and Brashton Satele from Hawaii and released linebacker Broderick Stewart. Ryan was raving about Reamer throughout the Jets rookie minicamp and it will be interesting to see if he has a real chance to stick on the active roster. The depth chart has been updated accordingly and I also finally got rid of that Kerry Rhodes picture in the 2009 stats section.

2. It is being reported Leon Washington will have to play with a rod in his leg this season and there is still a chance he could start the year on the PUP list. Hopefully Leon can get himself back to 100 percent but you have to wonder if these injury concerns played a major part in the Jets decision to trade him and draft Joe “Get The Guy Some Rolaids” McKnight.

3. Anybody else enjoying the Red Sox being well on their way to a 75 win season? Also, you have to feel bad for Mets fans…I mean they get themselves in position for a big early season series against the Phillies, they are in great position to steal 2 out of 3 but then their ace walks a 47 year old pitcher with the bases loaded en route to being completely shelled.

Digging A Little Deeper Into The Jets Roster

By this point we have a general idea of who the starters for the Jets will be on both sides of the ball and who many of the key reserves coming off the bench will be. However, there are still some spots that remain up for grabs on the Jets final 53 man roster. Let’s take a look through at current situation on the Jets depth chart heading into May’s full squad OTAs, starting today with the offense:

Quarterback

  1. Mark Sanchez – Locked in as the #1 quarterback, likely won’t participate in all of the Jets OTAs as he recovers from off-season surgery.
  2. Kellen Clemens – Has a very, very tenuous hold on the #2 job. I wouldn’t bet on him being a Jet when the season starts.
  3. Erik Ainge – He will be given every opportunity to make a run at the #2 job.
  4. Kevin O’Connell – The Jets must think he has potential to compete for the backup job since they held on to him all last season as their #4 quarterback.

Potential Additions – Mark Brunell – If one of the other Jets UFAs signs somewhere, Brunell will likely be quickly added or they could wait until July 22nd to sign him after the Final Eight rules stop restricting them.

Analysis – I wouldn’t expect the Jets to carry four quarterbacks for the second year in a row. It is a waste of a roster spot. It is hard to determine right now what the Jets depth chart will look like behind Sanchez on opening day. If I had to guess today, Brunell will be brought in as the #2 quarterback while Ainge and O’Connell battle for the #3 spot and long term backup position. Kellen Clemens will either be traded to a team who suffers an injury at quarterback in camp or be released.

Running Back

  1. Shonn Greene – Locked in as the starting running back.
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Locked in as the number two back.
  3. Joe McKnight – Considering the Jets spent a fourth round pick on him and traded up to get him…locked in as the #3/third-down back.
  4. Chauncey Washington – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

Fullback

  1. Tony Richardson – He will start out the year as the team’s #1 fullback and mentor to 5th round pick John Connor.
  2. John Connor – He will be on the 53 man roster to learn from Richardson and be groomed as the full time fullback.
  3. Jason Davis – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

AnalysisI would expect the Jets to carry Greene, Tomlinson, McKnight, Richardson, and Connor on their 53 man roster. McKnight or Connor will be battling to be active each week, depending on the game-plan, their progress, and how much they are contributing on special teams.

Tight End

  1. Dustin Keller – Locked in as the team’s starting tight end.
  2. Ben Hartsock – The Jets #2/blocking tight end.
  3. Matthew Mulligan – Battling Tanner Purdum for the long snapper job.
  4. Tanner Purdum – Not technically a tight end but battling for the long snapping job with Mulligan.

Analysis – The Jets will carry Keller, Hartsock, and whoever ends up being their long snapper.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jerricho Cotchery – I still consider him the Jets #1 receiver until Braylon is more consistent and Santonio returns from suspension.
  2. Braylon Edwards – Playing for a long term contract.
  3. Santonio Holmes – Man, we have a hell of trio at receiver.
  4. Brad Smith – He will be on the roster because of his versatility, big play ability and special teams skills.
  5. David Clowney – He will have a tough time making the roster because of his lack of contributions on special teams.
  6. Danny Woodhead – He is versatile but needs to show more on specials to stick.
  7. Aundrae Allison – Has incredible speed and potential as a kick returner, which makes him intriguing.
  8. Britt Davis – Made an impression last season in training camp but needs to show something on special teams.

Potential Additions – Laveranues Coles – Apparently the Jets have recently been in contact with Coles and his agent, but I doubt anything happens. He would have to accept being a number 4 receiver after Holmes returns from suspension.

PhotobucketAnalysisOne of the more interesting position battles on the team will take place for the #5 receiver spot. I doubt Coles joins the Jets, which means Clowney, Allison, Woodhead, and Davis will fight it out. Since Holmes will be suspended for the first four games, two of them will likely make the opening day roster with one of them being cut or moved to the practice squad after he returns from suspension. Clowney has the advantage of gaining starting experience last year. I don’t think Woodhead can stick as a full time receiver and he didn’t do much on specials last year. Davis has good size and could be a good project player to hold on to. If Allison can win the kick return job, than he will obvious stick as the #5.

Offensive Line

  • LT – D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Bookend tackle.
  • LG – Vladimir Ducasse – He will be one of the most watched players in training camp as he battles to replace Alan Faneca.
  • C – Nick Mangold – The best in the business.
  • RG – Brandon Moore – Rock solid and underrated.
  • RT – Damien Woody – Solid veteran.
  • G – Matt Slauson – He will battle for the starting left guard spot with Ducasse…has an uphill battle considering where Ducasse was drafted.
  • C – Robert Turner – Mike Tannenbaum said after the draft Turner would backup Mangold and he also contributes as an extra tight end in short yardage packages.
  • T – Wayne Hunter – Backup tackle who also plays in short yardage packages.

Potential Additions – Veteran Left Guard – If Ducasse and Slauson struggle in camp, don’t be shocked if the Jets look to add a veteran guard.

Analysis – I would anticipate the Jets carrying their five starters with Slauson/Ducasse, Turner, and Hunter as their backups.

Overall Analysis – If you figure the Jets carry three quarterbacks, five running backs, six receivers (until Holmes comes back), three tight ends, and eight offensive lineman, that totals 25 players, which gives Rex 26 defensive players to keep (with the kicker and punter rounding out the roster). He could also add another defensive player to the 53 man roster after week 4 when Holmes comes back and the Jets likely demote one of their receivers to practice squad or release them.

Don’t Sleep On J-Co

In-Depth Look At Santonio Holmes Trade

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. An overwhelming amount of Jets/Santonio Holmes information has been released since the trade was announced late last night. Fortunately, I have sorted it out for all of you on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page, which if you aren’t following yet…go ahead and do that right now. I don’t want to brag but who had the Santonio Holmes story up first Turn On The Jets, Rich Cimini’s The Jets Stream, or The Jets Blog? You guessed right, Turn On The Jets (I was fortunate enough to stumble across the link just as the story was breaking last night). Who says you need inside sources to break news stories, you just need to have nothing better to do on a Sunday night than sit on the Internet constantly refreshing NFL news sites/twitter accounts.

2. As we all expected, Santonio Holmes has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 NFL season. He was the facility today and passed his physical this afternoon and also spoke briefly with reporters, here is a good recap:(http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/articles/show/3653-holmes-talks-of-mistakes-fresh-start-as-a-jet)

3. The NFL is finally expected to announce this season’s schedule at some point later this week…hopefully the Jets will be playing in Pittsburgh at some point after week 4.

In-Depth Look At Santonio Holmes Trade

This deal has so many interesting and different aspects/elements to it, let’s just hit them one at a time:

Where Did This Come From? – Obviously this move came out of left field. It was being reported last week that Pittsburgh wasn’t going to give Holmes a long term deal and had tired of his off the field behavior. There is talk going around today that Holmes was going to be cut if the Steelers couldn’t trade him, which if you look at the fact that they have brought in Arnaz Battle, Antwaan Randle El, and recently worked out Dez Bryant makes some sense. Apparently, this wasn’t pre-mediated at all and the Jets basically got a phone call on Sunday night and jumped at the offer. Most people knew the Jets desired another receiver and I am sure Mike Tannenbaum nearly fell out of his seat when he realized he could get a guy like Holmes for a 5th round pick instead of signing somebody like Laveranues Coles or taking a risk by drafting a receiver in round one or round two.

PhotobucketCompensation – Even with Holmes being suspended the first four games of the 2010 season, this is still a steal for the Jets. A 5th round pick? The Jets weren’t getting a player who could immediately help them for 12 games the way Holmes will in the 5th round this year. This guy is only is 26 years old by the way. Honestly, I would have been satisfied with this deal if the Jets had given up a fourth round pick or even a third round pick, if they had one to trade but at a fifth round pick, how could you honestly complain?

Draft Strategy – This move allowed the Jets to keep their top three picks in this year’s draft (Round1, Round 2, and Round4), which will all more than likely be used to select defensive players. Receiver was the only position on offense the Jets were considering targeting with a high pick and now they filled the hole, which will allow them to focus on improving the depth of their defense. Mike Tannenbaum has always made it clear he hates being forced to draft a player out of a positional need instead of just taking the best guy available, and now if the Jets sign Jason Taylor they won’t have a glaring need on their roster. Yes, the Jets need another defensive lineman, a nickel corner, and maybe another safety but they could afford to take those three positions in any order depending on who are the best players available. If Jason Taylor doesn’t end up signing, expect the Jets to add a pass rushing outside linebacker in round one or two. You can throw out any mock draft that currently has the Jets taking a receiver in one or round two, and now look for it to be increasingly likely that the Jets will trade back at some point to acquire another pick later in the draft to replace the one they just lost.

Santonio vs. Braylon – The Jets have an interesting dynamic now on offense as both Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes are in the last year of their contracts and will be playing to prove they deserve big money from the franchise. You would have to expect this type of competition will bring the best out of them. If the two of them have productive seasons, do the Jets plan on bringing back both of them? Edwards is 27, Holmes is 26, and Jerricho Cotchery is 28…that could be some receiving core to keep together around Mark Sanchez for a long time.

Braylon’s Role On Offense – Despite both being legitimate deep threats, Edwards and Holmes are different types of receivers. Edwards is a natural split end because of his size. while Holmes is versatile enough to be moved all over the formation, especially in the slot. Edwards provides value as a big target over the middle, in the red-zone and on third downs, while Holmes excels on quick receiver screens where he could run after the catch and as a big play threat lined up either on the outside or inside.

What About Jerricho? – Jerricho Cotchery is still a key part of the Jets offense moving forward into 2010. Cotchery has the hands, route-running ability, and knowledge of the offense to be a terrific slot receiver and he of course still has the ability to line up on the outside. He will remain a reliable, security blanket for Sanchez in big spots.

PhotobucketStarters? – Obviously with the four game suspension, Edwards and Cotchery will begin the year as the starters but when Holmes returns expect Cotchery to remain the de facto starter even though there will be a big rotation working through all three receivers and moving them around the formation.

Offensive Possibilities – They are endless. Cotchery in the slot on third and shorts to convert big first downs. Holmes in the slot running deep seem patterns and catching quick screens. Play action bombs to Edwards or Holmes…Cotchery sliding out to split end to run his normal comeback route…Holmes on reverses or other trick plays…and we haven’t even started talking about using Dustin Keller, Leon Washington, LaDainian Tomlinson, or Shonn Greene yet.

Smile, Mark Sanchez – The Jets have given their franchise quarterback the tools neccessary to succeed. He is playing behind a great offensive line with a strong group of running backs, a good pass catching tight end, and now one of the league’s best receiving cores. There is so much talent around him, how could he not make immense strides in his second year?

Stay Up, Brian Schottenheimer – I am not sure Brian Schottenheimer will be able to sleep in the next 5 months, how many different formations/plays could this guy figure out for the weapons the Jets have on offense?

Smile, Jets Fans – Look at this collection of young offensive talent we currently have assembled:

  • Mark Sanchez – 2nd year quarterback, who flourished in the playoffs last season.
  • Shonn Greene – 2nd year running back, who flourished in the playoffs last season.
  • Leon Washington – Pro-Bowl kick returner/big-play third down back, hungry to prove he can return from injury.
  • Braylon Edwards – 27 year old receiver who had 1289 yards receiving and 17 TDs in 2007…6’3, 215 pounds.
  • Santonio Holmes – 26 year old receiver who had 1248 yards receiving last year and was the Super Bowl MVP in 2009.
  • Jerricho Cotchery – 28 year old receiver who had 1130 yards receiving in 2007 and catches everything thrown at him.
  • Dustin Keller – Athletic 3rd year tight end, who has played in three playoff games and caught a touchdown pass in every single one of them.
  • Brad Smith – A 26 year old versatile running back/quarterback/receiver who has an ability to make big plays.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson – Not young but a first ballot hall of famer looking to prove he still has something in the tank.

We might not be far away from having a number one offense to match a number one defense.

Clutch?

Fantasy File

Looking Over The Jets Receivers & A Word On Pro Football Talk

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. I have been a daily reader of the website Pro Football Talk, despite their consistent anti-Jets bias from lead writer Mike Florio. In my mind, I thought it would be a little silly/immature to completely ignore a decent source of information because the guy who runs it just hates my team. So I dealt with the constant writing that criticized Jets players, coaches, owner, or GM and held them to a different standard than the other 31 teams in the NFL. However, as eloquently expressed by Brian Bassett here (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/22/mike-florio-hurrying-to-become-next-perez-hilton/) I will also be done with PFT for the foreseeable future. Yes, I am aware not linking them or referencing them does nothing to the massive amounts of hits they receive on a daily basis but based on the principle of it, TOJ is going PFT free.

PhotobucketWhat triggered this decision? If you didn’t read the above link from The Jets Blog, Florio has decided to run his website like TMZ and a not a source of NFL News, and wrote an unnecessary article criticizing Rex Ryan for his recent lap-band surgery and questioning how he could expect to discipline a team, when he couldn’t discipline himself. After being ripped apart in the comment section of the article, he followed up with one of the weakest, insincere, and incoherent apologies ever typed in which he talked about being a chubby teenager for some reason. Now you might say, wait a minute…didn’t you just write an article about the Jets on Hard Knocks which joked around about Rex Ryan’s weight? Yes, I did spend three sentences on it but it was prefaced by a disclaimer saying it was clearly a joke and I obviously wished for Ryan to become as healthy as possible as quickly as possible. Beyond that, I thrown Ryan so many compliments on this site it should be illegal because I love the big guy and what he has brought to the Jets.

Overall, I am done with PFT because there are plenty of other superior sources of information out there to read without having to deal with Florio’s weekly line of BS on why Mike Tannenbaum should be fired, why Mark Sanchez is terrible, why every move the Jets make is stupid, and so on. I don’t know if a Jets fan beat Florio up and took his lunch money when he was a chubby teenager or the people from Sprint that force him to promote them every 10 updates on the site are Patriots or Dolphins fans but clearly he has some unresolved issues with the Green and White.

2. The Jets have been showing interest in Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn, who could fall to them at #29 in the first round of the draft. Most people seem to think the Jets are going defensive line or receiver in the first round, and if they do Benn could be a nice fit this season as a #3 receiver.

3. The league was expected to announce the match-ups for certain games today, including the Jets opening Monday Night game and their Thanksgiving night game but it looks like it will be pushed back until tomorrow. I will stick with my guess that they play Miami in week one and the Ravens on Thanksgiving.

4. Three Miami Dolphins arrested in the six weeks? They are turning into the NFL’s version of the Portland Trailblazers. I thought Tony Sparano and Bill Parcells were all about assembling a disciplined, high-character team?

5. The Depth Chart and 2010 Draft Section of the site have been updated.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 69 fans away from 300.

7. I think the recent signing of linebacker/special teamer Lance Laury was quietly a very smart move by the Jets. They were getting thin on special teams players with the departure of Wallace Wright, Larry Izzo, and Marques Murrell. Laury has been a productive special teams player the past four years and was good enough to be a captain of the unit for Seattle.

Looking Over The Jets Receivers & A Word On Pro Football Talk

Similar to the secondary, which has already seen a few departures and a couple of new additions, the Jets receiving core is frequently talked about as an area of the team that needs improvement. Despite my disagreement about how much they actually need a receiver (as in they don’t need to spend a first round pick on one, unless they are in position to really steal somebody at #29), here is an article looking at what the Jets currently have on their roster and who they could look to add:

Braylon Edwards – Most people look his 2009 stats with the Jets (35 catches, 541 yards, 4 touchdowns in 12 regular season games) and are down on Edwards potential to be the Jets #1 receiver. Yes, he did some have bad drops and was inconsistent at times. However, he also did show his big play potential and clearly has the skill set to be a legit #1 target. I want to see how Edwards produces with a full off-season under his belt with the Jets offense and an improved Mark Sanchez behind center. There is no reason he can’t be a 1,100 yard, 8 touchdown guy for this team next season.

PhotobucketJerricho Cotchery – Underrated and under-appreciated, all Cotchery does is catch everything thrown to him and routinely come up with huge plays on third downs. He would have easily been a 1,000 yard receiver last year if he didn’t miss nearly three full games with an injury. Cotchery showed his value in the playoffs, when he stepped up as Sanchez’s go to guy in a big spot in all three games. It is easy to look at 6 receptions for 67 yards against the Bengals or 3 catches for 25 yards against the Chargers and forget how big those specific catches he made were.

Brad Smith – He isn’t really a true receiver but is instead more of a gadget player. Smith only caught 7 passes for 63 yards last year but racked up over 200 yards of rushing and continued to be a very good special teams player. Ideally, he would be the Jets #4 receiver who has his own package of plays to take advantage of his speed and versatility.

David Clowney – Clowney got everybody excited with a monster pre-season but never turned into the consistent deep threat the team hoped he would be. To be fair, he didn’t receive a ton of chances and did make some big plays (a 53 yard catch on Monday night against Miami and a 35 yard touchdown against the Raiders) but overall he will likely be battling for a roster spot as the Jets #5 receiver this year. Clowney’s value is hurt by the fact that he doesn’t contribute on special teams.

Danny Woodhead – He is a running back/receiver and I would guess with the acquisition of LaDainian Tomlinson will keep the #83 and stay at receiver. It will be difficult for Woodhead to stay on the active roster this year if all the Jets running backs stay healthy because I don’t think he has the skill set to be a full time receiver in the NFL and he hasn’t shown much on special teams.

Britt Davis – The Jets coaching staff was high on him during training camp last year but he never really flashed in the pre-season and began to struggle with drops. Davis has good size (6’3, 205 pounds) and could be a sleeper to steal a roster spot this year.

There is still talk about the Jets acquiring Brandon Marshall because of their lack of faith in Edwards as a legit number one target. I don’t think the deal is going to happen because another team (most likely Seattle) will offer Denver more than the Jets will want to. Regardless, it seems likely the Jets are going to draft a receiver in round 1 or 2 to fill the #3 receiver/slot guy spot on their depth chart since there currently is a hole there. Laveranues Coles also remains an option to fill that hole. Personally, I would like to see the Jets sign Coles and then spend a later round pick on a receiver to develop behind the veterans Edwards, Cotchery, and Coles. A depth chart of Edwards, Cotchery, Coles, 4th/5thround draft, and Brad Smith would look pretty good to me.

J-Co

Braylon

Brad Smith

Recapping Jets GM Press Conference & Other Updates

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Chad Johnson still refuses to give Darrelle Revis credit as you can read here (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/9859/ochocinco-on-revis-child-please), this guy is crazier than I already thought.

2. Another reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook. I have a page up there that includes extra commentary and links to all the Jets coverage from other sources that you should be reading on a daily basis. We are at 171 fans right now, and I want that number doubled by the time the 2010 season starts.

3. Isn’t it great that Mark Sanchez already has more playoff wins than Tony Romo in his career? I am just saying since nobody likes those Maganelli Cowboys fans that are here in the area.

4. One of the main things I will be working on in the off-season is putting together a TOJ Podcast for the 2010 season, more details to follow.

5. Next week, I will be doing our usual updates and stuff if anything Jets related occurs. However, I will be focusing on the 2009 Season 1st Annual Turn On The Jets Awards. The best players, best moments, best games, best coaches and of course the worst players, worst moments, worst games, and wort coaches will all be recognized…so let’s hand out some hardware.

Recapping Jets GM Press Conference & Other Updates

Mike Tannenbaum (who we are a big fan of here at TOJ) took the podium today to discuss the Jets off-season, here are some highlights and analysis:

Mark Sanchez – Sanchez saw Dr. James Andrew yesterday to have his knee checked out. It sounds like he is going to have minor surgery to clean it up. The Jets haven’t made a final decision yet but Tannenbaum basically said he wanted to see Sanchez take part in some rehab and strengthen the knee, and that he would be back well before training camp if they decide to have him get surgery. Hopefully, he won’t have to miss any OTAs or mini-camp.

– Kellen Clemens  – Tannenbaum said the Jets are going to tender Kellen Clemens as a restricted free agent. I don’t know at what level he will be tendered but I would imagine it would be a very low pick (6 or 7) at the highest or maybe even without a pick. He also said just because they are going to tender him, doesn’t mean the Jets won’t look at a veteran quarterback.

Erik Ainge/Kevin O’ConnellTannenbaum said he likes both of them moving forward but the Jets would be crazy to proceed with them as the top two backups.

Thomas Jones – It certainly sounded like TJ will be back next year. The Jets are going to pay him his bonus and I am sure Jones will recognize he isn’t going to get big money anywhere else. Tannenbaum continually emphasized the importance of depth, especially at the running back position.

Leon Washington – The Jets are going to tender Leon as a restricted free agent. I would guess with a mid-round pick (2 or 3). It is hard to see any team making a big money offer to him for the Jets to match since he is coming off major knee surgery.

Braylon Edwards – Edwards will be back next year with a likely 1st and 3rd round pick tender. Tannenbaum pointed out how he was a big help in the Jets rushing game and has been a good fit in the locker room.

Kerry Rhodes – Many people have been speculating that the ongoing difference between Rhodes and the Jets is that they want him to take a pay cut. However, Tannenbaum made it clear there are no contractual issues between the two and that the key is they want Rhodes to commit to the Jets off-season program. It sounds like the organization wants more of Rhodes in the team facility and less of Rhodes posing for magazines and acting.

Vernon Gholston – Gholston is going to be back in 2010, although Tannenbaum is obviously not happy with his lack of production, they are going to give him another off-season to improve.

Secondary – Secondary was mentioned more than a few times as a key focus for the Jets off-season. Tannenbaum made it clear that Ryan loves defensive backs and he wants to give him as much depth as possible at the position. He didn’t say anything about Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland, although I’d be shocked to see either back next season.

– Thank you to reader Ret2ski, who pointed out the Jets do in fact have a 5th round pick. So to my knowledge they have a 1,2,5,6,7. Another thing about the Jets this off-season, if a player is cut by a team before his contract expires the Jets are free to sign him without restriction. Overall, I would still guess the Jets will be relatively quiet in free agency, focus on acquiring more draft picks and actively work on adding depth to the defense, especially at the defensive back position.

Nice Highlight Tape Of TJ and Shonn Greene

Preliminary Look At Jets Off-Season

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Rex Ryan ruffled some feathers yesterday by saying the Jets were going to be the best show in town next season. I listened to the press conference and think most people are taking it the wrong way as some big time shot at the Giants. Basically, Ryan said when the Jets were playing at home it was going to be Jets Stadium and when they were playing at home, they were going to be the biggest show in town. Giants fans really got their panties in a bunch yesterday on the local radio shows after hearing the press conference, which was pretty laughable. If they are so confident they are still the number one team in town (which they are until the Jets win or at least get to a Super Bowl) why are they so insecure about what a Jets coach says in a press conference? Maybe it is because their team quit on them the last two weeks of the year, has one of the NFL’s worst defenses, and is heading into 2010 as the third best team in their own division.

2. I am surprised the line is so high on the Super Bowl…the last I saw it was at 5.5 in favor of the Colts. I would imagine the Saints will be able to exploit the Colts secondary. However, I guess Peyton Manning is playing so well right now that nobody wants to bet against them. I will be pulling for the Saints, not out of bitterness but because they have never won one before and the Colts just got one in 2006.

3. I am still trying to find out where all the Jets draft picks are for April. Unless what I have read online is wrong (which is a definite possibility) the Jets only have a 1st round (#29 overall), 2nd, round, 6th round, and 7th round pick. They lost their 3, 4, and 5 from the Braylon Edwards and Lito Sheppard trades. This might be a year to trade down and stockpile some more picks.

4. Non-Jets Related Off-Season Talk – LOST premieres in a week and yes i am very excited about that, you want to fill your free time in the off-season go rent the DVDs and catch up…I was watching the Knicks before the AFC Championship Game and not only were they wearing ridiculously ugly orange socks, they also lost by 50 freakin’ points, it was like watching Marist play Syracuse, I mean c’mon now, we aren’t convincing LeBron to come play for a team that bad…Has anybody had a worse off-season in baseball than the Mets? Even though the Yankees won the World Series, they still did much more to improve their team. Have you seen their line-up and pitching rotation for 2010? Wow.

Preliminary Look At Jets Off-Season

There is nothing like the dead period from when your team is eliminated from the playoffs until the start of free agency (March 5th, my birthday by the way), plenty of time to enjoy mid-season NBA and NHL, and college basketball and off course look at all the potential things the Jets could do to improve in 2010. Make no mistake, the Jets have work to do this off-season. The playoff run was terrific. They found their identity. The future is bright. However, they only won nine games in the regular season. It is time to take the next step, which means becoming a 11-12 win division winner who is hosting playoff games and hopefully getting a bye. What are the issues facing the Jets this off-season and where could they improve? Let’s take a look:

Defense

PhotobucketThe early reports coming from the organization is that the Jets will be looking to revamp their secondary after it was torn to shreds by Peyton Manning. Rex Ryan didn’t sound too confident in Kerry Rhodes coming back in his press conference yesterday. Basically, he said he wasn’t going to beg anybody to come back who didn’t really want to be here and that he wants committed players on his defense. Ryan refused to give details about a discussion him and Rhodes had considering his future with the team. Personally, I think Rhodes improved after his benching and would be crazy to want to leave New York. I am not sure if a guy like him wants to move out of the biggest market in the country and what defensive player wouldn’t want to play for Rex Ryan? The Jets owe Rhodes a roster bonus in March and will likely explore trade options but I am not sure how big the market is going to be for him. Obviously, the Jets minor league team (Cleveland) will be interested but unless the Jets are getting good value back and have plan to replace him, I don’t want to see Rhodes go. The secondary isn’t improving by trading Rhodes for a 5th round pick and then having James Ihedigbo and Eric Smith split reps at safety.

Lito Sheppard is a goner. There is no way the Jets are paying him a roster bonus in March. It is also being reported that Jets are likely going to part ways with nickel back Donald Strickland, who was productive when healthy this past year but always seemed to be banged up. I’d also be shocked to see Drew Coleman back next year.

Remember the Jets are limited in free agency because of the rules under the old CBA. They can only sign the same number of free agents that they lose. Regardless, Mike Tannenbaum is a creative guy with trades and with Strickland, Sheppard, and potentially Rhodes all likely ending up with new teams the Jets will have some room to operate.

Remember the Jets spent all three draft picks on offense last year, so you can bet Rex Ryan will be pushing for defensive help in the first two rounds of the draft. The Jets need a corner to pair with Darrelle Revis and a guy to compete for nickel reps. You have to expect at least one of their draft picks to be on a defensive back and trade options to be explored. The cornerback market isn’t loaded with talent although there are some quality guys (Richard Marshall, Carlos Rogers, Fabian Washington). If the Jets get rid of Rhodes, Roman Harper, Nick Collins, and Antoine Bethea are all free agents.

Outside of the secondary, the Jets need a pass rusher. Everybody knows this but finding a big time pass rusher isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. If the Jets don’t spend their first round pick on a corner, it will be on on outside linebacker/defensive end pass rushing prospect. Vernon Gholston will likely be cut this year and even if he isn’t, he has proven to be a bust. The Jets are pretty old along the defensive front, so don’t be surprised to see more than one new face added through the draft, free agency, or a trade.

Offense

PhotobucketDespite the defense carrying the Jets this past season, it needs more help than the offense does. The Jets are young at key positions and have a talented core to build around (Sanchez, Greene, Washington, Edwards, Keller, Mangold, Ferguson, Cotchery, Smith). Braylon Edwards is going to be given the highest tender as a restricted free agent, so he will be back. Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller are a pretty good trio of targets for Sanchez to grow with. However, the Jets could still use a slot receiver. Brad Smith is a valuable offensive weapon but isn’t a wide receiver and David Clowney is no better than a number 4/5. Chansi Stuckey would really be the perfect guy to fill this role but unfortunately the Jets had to give him up to acquire Edwards. The Jets could also use a better #2 tight end. Ben Hartsock is a good blocker but is no threat as a receiver and has too many costly penalties called on him.

On the offensive line, the Jets need to start thinking about their long term replacements for Alan Faneca and Damien Woody. I am confident the Jets will pay Faneca his roster bonus in February because he has started every game since signing his contract and maintained a high level of play. Yet, the Jets could really only bank on one or maybe if they are lucky two more seasons from the Faneca/Woody combination before they break down or their level of play falls off. Hopefully, guys like Matt Slauson, Robert Turner, and Wayne Hunter are developing into potential starters but it wouldn’t hurt to spend another late round pick on an offensive lineman.

Running back will be an interesting thing to keep an eye on. Will Tony Richardson want to come back for another year? If not, the Jets will have a big hole to fill at fullback. I think it is the right call to bring Thomas Jones back for the final year of his contract. You don’t know how Leon Washington is going to respond from his injury and Shonn Greene was banged up alot this year. With the way the Jets run their offense, there is no problem with having three backs getting carries. Hopefully, Jones can accept becoming option 1B, since Greene should clearly be the Jets 1A option at running back next year. Despite having a great regular season, there won’t be a huge market for Jones because of his age and because of how his production fell off in the playoffs so it makes sense for both sides to have Jones return.

The Jets also need a veteran backup at quarterback. Kellen Clemens is gone and they would be crazy to go into the year with Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell as their top backups. How about Chad Pennington? Seriously, who would be a better mentor for Sanchez and be better equipped to manage the Jets ground and pound if Sanchez was hurt?

Overall

If I had to list the Jets off-season needs as right of now it would look something like this:

  1. Secondary (#2 and #3 corner, potentially safety to replace Rhodes)
  2. Defensive Line/Outside Linebacker (Pass Rusher, Youth on defensive line)
  3. Veteran Backup Quarterback
  4. Offensive Line (Eventual replacements for Faneca/Woody)
  5. #3 Receiver
  6. #2 Tight End