Jets Area Of Concern – Quarterback

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook, Twitter (TurnOnTheJets), and YouTube.

2. I have already resigned to talking myself into Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemaire, if the Knicks can even land the two of them. If LeBron truly only cares about winning, he is going to the Bulls and taking Chris Bosh with him. A starting five of LeBron, Bosh, Deng, Noah, and Rose is winning 65-70 games in the Eastern Conference next season, maybe more.

Jets Area Of Concern – Quarterback

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 second look at one of these areas, the quarterback position:

Here are the links the previous articles in the “Area of Concern” and Area of Strength” Series:

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/23/jets-area-of-concern-running-back/

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/24/jets-area-of-strength-linebacker/

Out of the Jets eleven starters on offense, there are only three question marks or potential areas of concern in my mind: running back, quarterback, and left guard. Obviously, the quarterback is the most important position on the field so the Jets biggest concern heading into this season is Mark Sanchez.

The great off-season Braylon Edwards is having. The addition of Santonio Holmes. The potential of Jerricho Cotchery in the slot. The continued growth of Dustin Keller. The addition of LaDainian Tomlinson. Drafting Joe McKnight. The Jets stacked offensive line. It could all go to waste on offense if Mark Sanchez isn’t up to the task in 2010. Because in football if your quarterback isn’t playing well, your offense isn’t playing well.

Let’s look back through Sanchez’s rookie season briefly. In the regular season, Sanchez was either very good (for a rookie), awful, or a successful game manager in near perfect balance.

Very Good

  • Week 1 – 18/31. 272 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 2 – 14/22, 163 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 3 – 17/30, 171 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD
  • Week 5 – 12/24, 172, 1 TD
  • Week 8 – 20/35, 265 yards, 2 TDs, 1 rushing TD

Awful

  • Week 4 – 14/27, 138 yards, 3 INTs
  • Week 6 – 10/29, 119 yards, 5 INTs
  • Week 10 – 16/30, 212 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
  • Week 11 – 8/21, 136 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs
  • Week 15 – 18/32, 226 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs

Successful Game Manager

  • Week 7 – 9/16, 143 yards, 1 TD, 1 rushing TD
  • Week 12 – 13/17, 154 yards, 1 INT
  • Week 13 – 7/15, 104 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 16-  12/19, 106 yards
  • Week 17 – 8/16, 63 yards

PhotobucketIf the Jets are going to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender, they need Sanchez to be somewhere in-between the game manager and very good level. Nobody is saying the guy has to be a Pro-Bowl quarterback for the Jets to win 12 games, but if he could protect the football and hit big plays down the field when the opportunity presents itself the Jets are going to be very difficult to stop. If he can duplicate his performance from games like week 8 against Miami, then Jets are going to have one of the NFL’s best offenses to match the NFL’s best defense.

The most encouraging thing moving forward into the 2010 season is how Sanchez stepped up his play when it mattered the most last season, in the playoffs. Everybody was picking the Jets to lose to Cincinnati in the first round because there was no way Sanchez could go on the road in tough weather conditions and pull out a victory. He responded with 12/15, 182 yards, and a touchdown. Also, anybody who watched that game and saw a picture perfect 50 yard touchdown pass drop through Braylon Edwards hands knows what Sanchez’s numbers actually should have looked like.

Sanchez got off to a sluggish start in the second round against the Chargers but hit the switch in the fourth quarter and made arguably the biggest play of the Jets season, by buying time with his athleticism and finding Dustin Keller in the back of the end-zone with a rocket on third down to put the Jets ahead. The real Sanchez “arrival” moment was in the AFC Championship Game on the road against the Indianapolis Colts. His stat line is impressive (17/30, 257 yards, 2 TDs) but it doesn’t tell the whole story. When Sanchez stood in the pocket and took a monster hit to the face while delivering a perfect strike to Keller on third down for a touchdown that put the Jets up 14-6, it was a moment that all the Jets fans should have said to themselves “this guy has what it takes to be our franchise quarterback.”

Even though he has what it takes, doesn’t mean it is going to equal a consistent, productive performance. Those games against Buffalo, in New England, and New Orleans happened last year but it seems hard to believe that Sanchez won’t learn from his mistakes in year two. By all accounts, he has put in enormous amounts of work this off-season and has the exact attitude you want from your young quarterback.

Remember the Jets found their way to 9 wins last year with a quarterback having a horrific statistical season. Think about how far they could go, if Sanchez could throw 15 touchdowns, 12 INTs, with a 57 completion percentage.

Beyond Sanchez, the Jets depth is questionable. The expected plan is to go into the year with Sanchez, Mark Brunell, and either Erik Ainge or Kevin O’Connell. With a line-up like that, I might feel better with Brad Smith coming in at quarterback if Sanchez got hurt.

AFC Championship Highlights (Turn Off at 2 Minute Mark)

TOJ Hype Video

TOJ Mini-Camp

Revisiting My Opinions Of Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlison, & Antonio Cromartie

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First a few updates:

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

2. If I had to guess where LeBron James will end up next year as of today, I would say 30% chance of Cleveland, 30% chance of Chicago, 20% percent chance of Miami, and 10% percent each for New York and New Jersey. I hope I’m wrong.

3. There is nothing that makes me happier then when Dolphins fans post on this site, please keep the comments coming. I thoroughly enjoy your misguided efforts to insult me as you spend part of your day on my web site.

4. You know it is going to be a rough season for Buffalo, when their running back is interviewed by the media and all he can talk about is how excited he is about how good the Jets are going to be this year.

5. New England re-signed linebacker Gary Guyton yesterday, further solidifying their mediocrity at the position.

Revisiting My Opinions Of Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlison, & Antonio Cromartie

It’s Friday. It’s a nice day out. I might as well enjoy my self-deprecating sense of humor by looking back on some things I have written in the past on new Jets Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Antonio Cromartie before I get out on the lake for some floating:

Jason Taylor

November 5th, 2009 article “The Jets Will Win 10 Games”

PhotobucketJason Taylor talking about how Giants Stadium is a “hellhole” and that unlike Giants fans, Jets fans are “asses.” We all know that Taylor has had a lifelong hatred of the Jets organization and fans and will always take a shot whenever he can. What can you say? Taylor is a probable hall of fame player but a guy who will never win a championship and a guy who has never been past the second round of the playoffs. He got there a couple of times but lost 62-7 to Jacksonville and was blown out by the Raiders another time. He left Miami last year because Bill Parcells didn’t want him because he was too worried about his Hollywood career, stunk it up in DC and then got out of his contract by refusing to participate in off-season workouts. While he was gone, Miami had their best season in years and won the division, so Jason came back this year just in time to be a part of another 6-10 Dolphins team this season. Taylor is right about one thing, he hates Jets fans and we hate him. He can enjoy another January at home this season watching the NFL playoffs, like he has done every year since 2001.

February 4th, 2010 article “Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Moments”

(Worst Moments of the Year)…5. Anybody But Him – Rookie running back Shonn Greene fumbles behind the line of scrimmage and the ball bounces directly to Jason Taylor who runs it back for a 48 yard touchdown, promptly forcing Jets fans everywhere to throw up.

Antonio Cromartie/LaDainian Tomlinson

January 18th, 2010 article “Grading Out The Jets Win Against The Cheap-Shot Chargers”

Why the cheap-shot Chargers? Look at dirtbag Antonio Cromartie throw an elbow into Shonn Greene’s back after he rips off his 53 yard touchdown run in the game highlights at the bottom of this article…unbelievble (by the way, I think they are still scraping Eric Weddle off the turf back in San Diego).

March 3rd, 2010 article “What Should The Jets Expect From Leon Washington in 2010?”

Not much on the update front today, especially for the Wednesday before free agency. There has been some talk about the Jets interest in Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie, who is on the trading block. I think this is more of a result of everybody knowing the Jets need a corner and automatically linking them with anybody who could potentially be available. I haven’t read anything (and I spend way too much time reading every single thing on the Internet Jets related) that makes me believe the Jets will pursue Cromartie and even have an interest in a guy like Dunta Robinson. Beyond that, Cromartie’s play has declined in recent years, he is a soft player known for his lack of effort, and has off the field baggage in the form of five paternity suits.

January 13th, 2010 article “Jets vs. Chargers Position By Position Comparison”

Tomlinson is a shell of his former self and only averages 3.3 yards per carry.

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Time To Get Your Story Straight, Turn On The Jets

Weekend Video Clips

Never Thought I’d See The Day

A Little Hype

Jets Area of Strength – Linebacker

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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

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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

12 Reasons Why The Jets Will Win 12 Games

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Also check out the new episode of TOJ TV at the bottom…And now follow Turn On The Jets on YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Turn0nTheJets

2. I will making an appearance on Marty Schupak’s Green Rewind Podcast tonight, I will post the link once he has it up and running.

3. The Jets signed 4th round pick Joe McKnight today. They still have to sign Kyle Wilson and Vladimir Ducasse to finish up their draft pick deals.

12 Reasons Why The Jets Will Win 12 Games

I was amazed by  how high the levels of optimism were when I was interviewing Jets fans at mini-camp practice this past week. Out of the 40 people we interviewed, not a single person put their record below 11-5. Personally, I share the optimism because I genuinely believe this is a 12 win, division winner type team this season just I like I genuinely believed they would be a 10 win, wild-card  type team last season (close enough on the win total). Am I being blinded by the fact I am a Jets fan? I don’t think so, why should I say a team that should win 12 games, shouldn’t? Here are 12 reasons, why the Jets will win 12 games in 2010

Photobucket 1. Familiar With Defensive System – This is year two in Rex Ryan’s defensive system, which means all of the returning starters will be substantially more comfortable. They were already number one in the league and now they will have the ability to expand into more complex packages and blitz schemes. The players will also be given more of a chance to freelance and create plays based on what they see from the offense.

Some quotes from Bart Scott earlier in the off-season on this issue…

“Now it’s not what the coaches can do more of, it’s what the players can do more of. Last year we were doing everything pretty much straight by the book. Now we can improvise…The only field coaches we had last year were me, Marques Douglas and Jim Leonhard.  Now you’ve got 22 people here that know the defense and can teach the defense.”

2. Improved Sanchez – I find it hard to believe after the solid postseason Mark Sanchez had, an off-season spent at the team facility, and a year of experience under his belt that he won’t improve on his 20 interceptions to 12 touchdowns from last season. The Jets won 9 games with Sanchez having a pretty awful statistical season, just imagine how many they could win if he makes the expected improvements to his touchdowns, interceptions, completion percentage, and QB rating.

3. Welcome Back – One of the top defensive lineman in the NFL will be returning to the Jets this season. They did struggle against the run at times last season, especially in the wild-card round against the Bengals but the return of Kris Jenkins should alleviate those problems. He will also provide a much better push on the pocket in passing situations.

4. First Down – The addition of Santonio Holmes will allow the Jets to run a wide variety of personnel groupings and formations with their three wide receivers, who are as good of a top three as any in the NFL. Watch for Jerricho Cotchery to become to one of the best slot receivers in the NFL on third downs this season, while all the attention is being paid to Holmes and Braylon Edwards on the outside.

5. No More Corner Problems – The Jets weak spot on defense last year was the cornerback position opposite Darelle Revis. How do you solve a problem like that? You trade for a former All-Pro corner who is one of the best overall athletes in the NFL and spend a first round pick on one of the draft’s top corners. I doubt you can name a team with four corners better than Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, and Dwight Lowery.

Photobucket6. A Mismatch NightmareThe Jets loaded receiver position and number one ranked rushing attack, makes you forget they have one of the better pass catching, and most athletic tight ends in the NFL in Dustin Keller. His regular season numbers weren’t overwhelming last season but in the playoffs, he caught a touchdown in every single game and appeared to finally be on the same page as Mark Sanchez. Keller will get plenty of favorable match-ups this season with attention focused on the Jets receivers and running backs.

7. Defensive Depth – The growth of young players Jamaal Westerman and Kenwin Cummings, along with the additions of veterans Jason Taylor and Lance Laury has given the Jets solid depth at the linebacker position. You already read about their corner depth, which is matched by quality depth at the safety position with Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, and Donovan Warren. The defensive line could use a little more but that problem could be solved if they add Marques Douglas to the roster over the summer.

8. Safety Valve – The Jets have added two very good pass catching running backs, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight which will benefit Mark Sanchez. Unlike previous years, the Jets screen game was nearly non-existent last season. Sanchez lacked a good outlet out of the backfield. The presence of Tomlinson and McKnight will help his completion percentage and also create some big plays in the screen game.

9. Playing For The Money – The Jets have three very, very talented players in Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Antonio Cromartie playing for a contract that will secure them for the rest of their careers.

10. Safety Upgrade – Despite not having as big of a name, Brodney Pool will prove to be an upgrade for the Jets at the safety position over Kerry Rhodes, who was a major disappointment last season.

11. Offensive Line – Even with the subtraction of Alan Faneca, who was arguably the Jets fifth best lineman last year anyway, the Jets will still have a very good offensive line in 2010. Nick Mangold is an All-Pro. D’Brickashaw Ferguson is a Pro-Bowl player. Brandon Moore should have been a Pro-Bowl player last year. Damien Woody is a solid, consistent veteran. Their experience will help overcome the growing pains of Vladimir Ducasse.

12. Special Playmakers – The Jets have a serious collection of playmakers for their return game. Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Joe McKnight, Brad Smith, Aundrae Allison, and David Clowney give Mike Westhoff plenty of options.

New TOJ TV

Into The Break: Sunday Night Thoughts On Jets

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A few Sunday night thoughts to kick off the first week of the Jets time off before training camp:

1. I am beginning to wonder if the Jets are planning on signing Mark Brunell, making him their number two quarterback, cutting Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge, and then putting Kevin O’Connell on the practice squad. With the amount of work Brad Smith has been getting at quarterback, he could technically be their number three guy and save them a roster spot. If something happened to Sanchez, they could bump O’Connell up from the practice squad. If Ainge or O’Connell don’t step up in training camp, this idea makes plenty of sense. Why not keep another defensive back, defensive lineman, or receiver who could potentially contribute? You hear talk about the Jets defense messing around with schemes that have eight DBs on the field, so you know Rex Ryan is going to want to carry as many as possible each week.

2. It is easy for him to get lost in the shuffle a little bit with the additions around him but I think Jerricho Cotchery is going to be a lethal weapon out of the slot this season. Between the chemistry he has with Sanchez, his quickness, hands, and route-running…he is going to be converting a ton of third downs this season. His overall numbers may not be gaudy, but he will consistently be coming up with big catches when the Jets need to move the chains. If I was drafting a Jets receiver for my fantasy team this season, it would be Braylon Edwards though. You get the impression he has been particularly locked in this off-season and he lit it up in OTAs and minicamp. The guy is in a contract year and he is still trying to prove that 17 touchdown season wasn’t a fluke. Beyond that, he needs to score as soon as possible so he could shave that beard he has going on right now.

3. I am really fascinated to see how the reps on defense are going to be divided up and how the touches on offense are going to be divided up. On defense, you know Ryan is going to be itching to get his defensive backs off the bench and into the game. Yet when Kyle Wilson, Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, Dwight Lowery, or Drew Coleman come in off the bench, who will be sitting the bulk of those reps out? How many times will the Jets slide Jason Taylor down to the defensive line in a three point stance? How often will be they put Sione Pouha in at nose tackle and bump Kris Jenkins out to defensive end? If you think about, the Jets could really come up with some interesting personnel combinations with their current depth chart.

On offense, it is really mind-boggling to go over the combinations, personnel groups, and formations the Jets could use, especially now with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards learning all three receiver sports. You have three wide receivers, a tight end, and two running backs (Tomlinson and McKnight) who could basically line up anywhere in the set. One of the funnier things i noticed at minicamp was the Jets had 4 wide set out there, with a single back. So they have Edwards split out to one side, with Cotchery in the slot. Keller in the slot on the other side of the field, Tomlinson in the backfield releasing on a quick out but split out wide on Keller’s side, they have Matthew Mulligan (filling in for Ben Hartsock as the number two tight end). You know Mulligan was looking in and thinking “there is no way I am getting this ball, why should I even bother running a route.”

Watch That New TOJ TV…That Intro Has To Get You Pumped

A Video That Only Enhances Your Hate Of Both Our Rivals

A Closer Look At The Jets Defensive Line

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First a few updates:

1. I have to say I am feeling pretty good about the Lakers taking game 7 tonight.  The Celtics are going to have a tough time getting over the Perkins injury and the Lakers obviously have the advantage of playing at home. It will be a tight game but in the end, I think the Lakers will escape with the title.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…live NBA Finals commentary starting at 9 PM tonight.

3. The Jets are now on break until July 29th when the rookies report for training camp. The veterans report on August 1st. Hard Knocks starts on August 11th. This means there were will a downturn in the amounts of coverage they receive from the beat writers, unless there is an article on somebody’s contract negotiations or it is Manish Mehta, who is beat writing beast these days. However, TOJ will be in full swing the next six weeks, with the normal amount of articles and coverage. We are in the process of getting a press pass for training camp and pre-season and working on a few more interviews.

A Closer Look At The Jets Defensive Line

The general consensus for the weakest spot on an otherwise loaded Jets roster is the defensive line position. Outside of Kris Jenkins returning from injury and Vernon Gholston moving to defensive end from outside linebacker, the Jets haven’t made any major additions to the group from last year. They also let defensive end Marques Douglas walk, who was a productive starter for them last season. Here is a look at what the Jets will more than likely head into the 2010 season with:

The Starters

Defensive End – Shaun Ellis – Despite getting up there in age, Ellis had a good overall season in 2009. He finished with 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks, which is a solid number for a 3-4 defensive end. He is the longest-tenured player on the team and a valuable leader in the locker room. His primary value on the field comes from his ability to play both the run and the pass at a relatively high level. The Jets do need a long term replacement for him and this might very well be his last season in green and white. However, Ellis should be fine this year in a starting role and post numbers similar to the ones he did in 2009, when he only played in 15 games because of a suspension.

PhotobucketDefensive End – Mike DeVito – A guy who has worked his way up from a UDFA, to a reserve, to a rotational player, and now to a starter. DeVito had his best season in 2009 with 28 tackles and 1 TFL. He has a reputation for being one of the strongest players on the team and Rex Ryan likes his ability to stop the run. The Jets apparently believe DeVito can give them what Douglas gave them last season (64 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 TFLs) if he is given a full time starting role. It remains to be seen if that is the case, but at worst DeVito should be a steady player against the run.

Nose Tackle – Kris Jenkins – Jenkins was a dominant pro-bowl player in 2008 but had his 2009 season cut short by a torn ACL in week 6. He has worked his way back to participate in minicamp the past three days, but the Jets will be very cautious with his reps this season to get the most out of him. He ran out of steam towards the end of 2008 and the team needs him fresh for the stretch run and the playoffs. Jenkins obviously has the ability to be one of the best defensive lineman in the league when healthy and properly rested. Hopefully, the Jets will get the Jenkins from the first 12 games of 2008 for an entire season in 2010. If they do, the defensive line won’t be considered a weakness.

The Backups

Nose Tackle – Sione Pouha –Pouha had a terrific season last year filling in for Kris Jenkins after his injury. He finished with 45 tackles and 3 TFLs and was stout against the run. The Jets will rely on him to spell Jenkins frequently this season to help keep him fresh. Don’t be surprised if the Jets also use looks on defense that have Pouha and Jenkins on the field at the same time, with one of them sliding to defensive end. Pouha is the team’s top backup and should see near a starter’s amount of reps off the bench.

Defensive End – Vernon Gholston – The first round bust at outside linebacker has now been moved to defensive end. Gholston has the strength and size to be a productive end in the 3-4 system, but it remains to be seen whether he can successfully make the transition. The Jets would likely be satisfied if he became an adequate rotational player, who does a good job against the run and can provide some energy to the pass rush…not exactly what you want to be hoping for from the #6 overall player in the draft, but it is better than nothing.

Defensive End – Ropati Pitoitua – A guy with ridiculous size (6 foot 8, 310 pounds) who worked his way into the rotation for a couple of games last season. The Jets are hoping he can develop into a reliable player off the bench, similar to how DeVito did last year. It would be a nice boost to the Jets depth if Pitoitua can give them more than 3 tackles this season.

Defensive End/Defensive Tackle – Matt Kroul – Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has raved about Kroul this off-season and basically made it sound like he was a guaranteed roster player. Kroul is a UDFA heading into his second year, who spent his first season on the practice squad. It sounds like he will be given every chance to be a rotational player this season.

Defensive End – Rodrique Wright – The Jets added Wright this off-season who was a seventh round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2006. Wright spent most of his time there inactive or injured, but did actually see action in the team’s playoff game against the Ravens a few years ago. He will be battling for a roster spot with Kroul and Pitoitua.

 Collection of Non-Football Jets D-Line Highlights

April Fools Joke

Don’t Ever Throw Snow At Shaun Ellis

Don’t Ever Taunt Kris Jenkins

Monday Minicamp Review: Who Should You Be Mad At Over Revis Contract Dispute?

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First a few updates:

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

2. What is it going to take to remind the rest of the Lakers outside of Kobe that they are in the NBA Finals?

Monday Minicamp Review: Who Should You Be Mad At Over Revis Contract Dispute?

Let’s start with the good news…

Nick Mangold showed up despite not being satisfied with his contract, which is encouraging since he is in the final year of his deal unlike another player who happens to have three years left on his deal and has missed time. Similar to this player, Mangold is the best in the NFL at his respective position and is looking for a new deal. Apparently the progress has been slow on Mangold’s deal but hopefully Mike Tannenbaum and the rest of the front office will pick it up soon. There is no adequate replacement for Mangold if he misses time in training camp and the Jets need him there as much as possible to help develop Vladimir Ducasse at left guard. Regardless of who else is seeking a new deal, Mangold should really be priority number one considering he is the best player on the team who has one year left on his deal. Hopefully, he keeps showing up and hopefully there is some movement on his negotiations in the near future.

PhotobucketAccording to those in attendance, Braylon Edwards continued to have a great off-season by having another big day of practice. One of the more encouraging stories of the off-season has been how Edwards really seems to have his head on straight and for lack of better wording has been working his ass off to improve within the Jets offense. There isn’t going to be enough money to go around for everybody next off-season but it appears Edwards is focused on making sure there will be some for him. Edwards is the most physically gifted Jets offense player when you factor in his size and speed. This guy had a 17 touchdown season with Derek Anderson throwing him the ball. Don’t underestimate how dangerous he could be if continues to improve his consistency and further develops his chemistry with Mark Sanchez.

Speaking of Sanchez, he participated in morning 11 on 11 drills, where his numbers were average (5/9 with an INT) and then rested in the afternoon 11 on 11 session. The plan seems to be to rest him in all the afternoon sessions, which is fine because there is no reason to push him now. He needs to be 100 percent for training camp and the pre-season. Kris Jenkins returned to 11 on 11 drills today and was in good spirits about how his knee felt after practice. The more weight he loses and the more reps Jenkins can rest early in the season, the more likely the Jets will get a full, productive 16 games from him.

And how about Nick Folk having another good day of practice? It is always good news, when there is no news about him missing field goals. Antonio Cromartie also continued to impress with his athleticism. I probably slept on Cromartie a little bit when writing that Brodney Pool would prove to be the biggest addition to the Jets this off-season. If Cromartie is anywhere near his 2007 form, the Jets secondary is going to be the best in the NFL by a long shot.

And now to that Revis guy…

PhotobucketAn ugly situation got uglier today when Darrelle Revis took himself out of practice to stage a mini-protest over the lack of progress in his contract negotiations. The public opinion is starting to turn against Revis Island, and this somewhat juvenile move isn’t going to help. He isn’t going to gain any sympathy points from fans by talking about “putting food on the table” or basically saying anything in general. The more Revis has talked about his contract, the more selfish he has sounded. Keep in mind he has three years left on his original deal. He talks about being loyal but by stubbornly insisting on receiving more money than Nnamdi Asmougha, who was given a ridiclous contract by Al Davis and America’s dysfunctional team, the Oakland Raiders, he is preventing teammates Nick Mangold and David Harris from getting paid when they are in the final year of their deal.

On the other hand, Revis is the best corner in football. We know it. Mike Tannenbaum knows it. Rex Ryan knows it and says it every chance he gets. Apparently Tannenbaum told Revis they thought he was the best defensive player in football and would be treated accordingly, so then why wouldn’t Revis expect Asmougha money? Even though Revis is the best player of the three, you would think Mangold and Harris would be higher priorities because their deals are done after the season and both are All-Pro caliber players also. However, Revis appears to be priority number one right now.

Basically what I am saying  is that it is hard to sympathize with Revis because of the time left on his deal, his rhetoric and some of his actions. Yet, it is also hard not to understand where he is coming from with his demands. The whole situation is frustrating because an inordinate amount of Rex Ryan’s press conference and all the media coverage is focused on a negative thing, the growing ugliness of this contract negotiation. Even when the Jets have the highest expectations in franchise history, we can’t enjoy it. Maybe Jets fans can focus all their anger on Al Davis instead of our best player or our GM, who has been terrific since being hired.

Apparently the Jets have been offering Revis around 10 million a year (Asmougha got about 15.1). If I was Tannenbaum, I would up the contract to 13 million, increase the guaranteed money substantially and say we need that extra 2-3 million to make sure we can lock down Mangold and Harris now. The Jets do one of their infamous press leaks to publicize Revis accepting less money for the good of his team, allowing them to lock down two other core players for the long term. They have a big press conference for the three contracts and everybody is happy. Darrelle, I am sure you could feed your family on the 13 million and get the fans back on you side.

Some much needed humor on a “our best player is preparing to hold out” Monday

Sunday Night Pre Minicamp Jets Thoughts

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…And if you happen to be at minicamp on Wednesday at the new stadium keep an eye out for TOJ TV, we will be interviewing the crowd and building up some street credit for the site as part of my case for a press pass.

2. Big win for America’s favorite touch football team in the wild-card round of the ACFL playoffs today…look at that huddle. We are just like Sanchez, J-Co and Braylon out there.

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Sunday Night Pre Minicamp Jets Thoughts

Some thoughts before the three day avalanche of updates on Sanchez’s 7 on 7 numbers, contract problems, and Rex Ryan press conference quotes…get pumped about minicamp in June:

– You never want to get crazy about non contact practices in June but this an important three days for Mark Sanchez. He finally will be out there at 100 percent leading the first offense through all the sessions. It would be nice to see him put together three solid practices, where he is protecting the football and improving his rhythm with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. Sanchez and Cotchery already seemed to be relatively locked in, but this is Edwards full off-season with the team and Holmes is obviously a new addition.

– Speaking of Santonio, good quote about him from Sanchez pulled from Rich Cimini on his blog over at ESPN New York.

“When you get a new receiver as a quarterback, it’s like a new toy,” he said. “Let’s say it’s a race car. What’s the first thing you do? You floor it. Pedal to the metal, let’s go. Let’s see what he’s got. I want to see what my race care has, I want to see what Santonio has.

“When we first started throwing, when we had a ‘9’ route, I launched it about as far as I could … He’s running, looking up at the ball, takes his eyes off the ball, gets into another gear, looks back up, late hands, tracks the ball … (Completion). He just knew. I mean, you don’t coach that. He’s unbelievable.”

When is the last time a quarterback could say that about a Jets receiver? Sanchez throws a nice deep ball and you can already see that some time on the Jets first possession in week five, Brian Schottenheimer is going to be dialing up a “go” route for Holmes. Points didn’t come easy for the Jets last season, so it would be nice to grab some touchdowns on a 60 yard bomb here or there.

– Can we not rush Kris Jenkins back for minicamp? Let the man keep dieting and working himself back into shape for training camp. All North Jersey fast food establishments should not be allowed to serve Jenkins until after the season…that goes for Damien Woody and Rex Ryan too.

Photobucket We really haven’t heard much about Shonn Greene so far this off-season. Does everybody remember he is the starting running back on a team that runs the ball more than anybody in the NFL? Beat writers, I need some Monday and Tuesday updates on how #23 is looking and then I will see for myself on Wednesday. Hopefully, he spent some time on the jugs machine this off-season to work on those pan-hands.

– Speaking of running backs catching passes, I hope to see the return of the Jets screen game this season. They were terrific from 2006-2008 in that area but didn’t do anything with it last season. Obviously, LaDainian Tonlinson will be a big help but hopefully Joe McKnight can also get going early in the year.

– What am I looking forward to the most from these next three days? I want to see if Nick Folk can keep up his momentum of making field goals. I want some quality Rex Ryan quotes. I want everybody to stay healthy. I want Kyle Wilson to make progress in the nickel role and I want the contract rhetoric to get a little less combative from Revis and Mangold, which hopefully means there has been some progress in negotiations.

Thoughts On Jets OTA News

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First a few updates:

1. Did you enjoy the interview with David Clowney? Of course you did…good because we should have another interview with safety Donovan Warren coming in the next few days.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…NBA Finals commentary kicking off at 9 PM tonight. Let’s go Lakers.

3. The last Jets practices before they disappear for a little over a month will take place next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Monday is open to the public at Florham Park and of course Wednesday is open to the public at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Turn On The Jets will be there on Wednesday with the cameras out looking for fans to talk Jets football.

Thoughts On Jets OTA News

Contract Situations – The good news is that the Jets gave Darrelle Revis another offer, which was better than their reportedly ridiculously first offer. The bad news is that it still wasn’t enough to end this contract dispute or make Revis the highest paid corner in the league. This isn’t ending until the Jets bite the bullet and give Revis more money than Nnamdi Asmougha. He did say he would be at minicamp next week but didn’t rule out missing training camp time. I doubt he would actually skip any of training camp unless the Jets next offer was lower than the first two. Mike Tannenbaum has his work cut out for him the next month. The organization’s goal should be to get Revis and Mangold taken care of or at least make substantial, substantial progress before training camp starts.

Nick Mangold said he was 50/50 on attending mini camp next week. The sense of urgency clearly needs to pick up in Mangold’s negotiations since he is in the final year of his deal. The Jets offensive line goes from being one of the league’s best to a bit of a clusterfudge (TOJ is PG-13) without him. Can we get this done, now? I understand these are complex negotiations but doesn’t it send an ideal message to your team by taking care of your homegrown, best offensive and best defensive player within a few weeks of each other? The only negative floating around the Jets season before it starts will be taken away and all the chatter about the Jets never taking care of their own will go away.

PhotobucketWhat The Folk?7 for 7? A 51 and 53 yarder right through the uprights? I always had faith in the guy. Seriously though, it is about time we got some encouraging news on the Jets kicking game. Yet that is no reason to take Matt Stover off the speed dial list.

Sanchez – From all indications, Mark Sanchez is 100 percent back and feeling great. He practiced without a knee brace today and it sounds like he will be full go for mini camp. The second year quarterback had a very good all around practice and was in rhythm, especially with Jerricho Cotchery today. Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes may be bigger names, but Cotchery will have more catches than both of them this season.

Take It Easy – Kris Jenkins still hasn’t received medical clearance to practice fully with the team, yet. Santonio Holmes has also been slightly limited because of tight hamstrings. Let’s take it easy with these guys. We are close to a one month break and we need them both 100 percent for training camp.

Oh, Our First Round Pick – For a first round draft pick, Kyle Wilson doesn’t get a ton of publicity. However, he hasn’t dropped a punt yet and is progressing well in the defense. Don’t forget about the two key roles Wilson will be playing for the Jets this year, primary punt returner and nickel back. Antonio Cromartie has also been working on punt returns and has been making some head turns with his open field moves.

O’Connell #2? – Kevin O’Connell was working ahead of both Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge. I think we are headed to a Jets quarterback depth chart of Sanchez, Brunell, O’Connell in week one.

Nick Folk Everybody