The New Jets Acquisition Who Will Make The Biggest Impact Is…Brodney Pool?

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First a few updates:

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

2. Great game last night…How is it possible that Ray Allen can go from his game two performance to 0/13 in game three? This has been a bit of a weird series, especially considering it was Derek Fisher who took over in the fourth quarter for the win last night. You have to give the Lakers credit for silencing that raucous crowd early and still finding a way to win despite not playing their best game. The Celtics wasted a vintage KG performance last night, which they likely won’t receive again this series. As of today, I like Lakers to win this in 6 games.

3. Much more information to come on this over the weekend and early next weekend, but if you plan on going to the Jets open practice at the new stadium this Wednesday stay posted for details on how to get yourself in the new episode of TOJ TV because yes me and Corbett will be there promoting the hell out of the site, interviewing fans, and maybe hopping on to the field to grab some player interviews.

4. I wonder why our buddy Armando Salguero hasn’t been critical of the Dolphins ownership proclaiming them a Super Bowl contender and talking about Chad Henne like he is going to be the next Dan Marino, when he hasn’t accomplished anything yet in his NFL career?

The New Jets Acquisition Who Will Make The Biggest Impact Is…Brodney Pool?

I was asked to answer the following question about the Jets for an upcoming Fanball Magazine:

Which free agent/trade acquisition will make the biggest impact in the Big Apple this season?

Perhaps to many people’s surprise, my answer wasn’t Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonoio Cromartie or Santonio Holmes it was…Brodney Pool. The short version of my answer for the magazine was this:

“This answer may be a surprising one but the new acquisition that will make the biggest impact on the Jets this season is safety Brodney Pool. Kerry Rhodes failed to be the playmaker at the safety position in Rex Ryan’s defense that everyone expected him to be in 2009, but look for Pool to fill that void this year. In only 11 games last season for Cleveland, Pool recorded 55 tackles, 4 interceptions, and a sack. He has impressed coaches this off-season with his work both in the classroom and on the field. Pool has the athleticism and physicality to make a high amount of impact plays in for the defense. Also keep in mind, bigger name acquisitions like Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson will be coming off the bench, and Santonio Holmes won’t be active until week 5.”

But, let’s expand on that little…

PhotobucketEverybody was quick to assume Kerry Rhodes would turn into the New York version of Ed Reed last season, an assumption that was unfair to Reed, Rhodes, and Rex Ryan. Ed Reed is a Hall of Fame player, who would be a jaw-dropping playmaker in any defense but who especially flourished in Ryan’s attacking scheme. Rhodes was a player who put together two very good, pro-bowl caliber seasons in 2006 and 2007 but then saw his production drop off in 2008. It is clear now that Rhodes never embraced the transition to the Rex Ryan era because of petulant concerns about Jim Leonhard taking the lead on calling out plays for the secondary and a general feeling that he wasn’t looked at as a leader of the defense anymore. Instead of working to earn that spot back, he sulked his way to a sub par season, which culminated with him being benched after a week 11 loss to New England. Rhodes was athletic but wasn’t physical enough to be a safety in Ryan’s defense. He was talented but his big personality didn’t mesh well with the locker room last year.

Fortunately, the early indications are that the Jets may have found somebody with Rhodes athleticism, who lacks his personality issues and aversion to contact. Sandwiched in-between the Antonio Cromartie trade and the LaDainian Tomlinson signing, the Jets signed free agent safety Brodney Pool from the Cleveland Browns. When discussing the transition from Rhodes to Pool, here is what Mike Pettine and Rex Ryan have had to say:

Mike Pettine “Brodney will play the run better [than Rhodes]. I think he’s a better tackler. They’re both rangy guys, good athletes. I think he’ll stick his face in there more than Kerry.” Some of the issues with Kerry were off-the-field stuff. Buying in, I think he struggled with that, some of the comments he made after he left were kind of indicative of how he felt, that we brought guys up from Baltimore and we leaned too heavily on them. Of course we were going to lean on guys who know the system. That’s the whole point for bringing them in. There were some struggles there that we won’t have with Brodney.”

Rex Ryan “Brodney’s a young man with similar talents as Kerry (Rhodes).  I was a big fan of Kerry’s athleticism.  (Brodney is) an athlete.  He’s got length.  He’s got speed.  He’s got ball skills.  I think that’s going to be good.”

You get the impression the Jets may have found a player with the positive aspects of Rhodes play, without the negatives on and off the field. Don’t forget Pool was a second round draft pick for a reason back in 2005. For all the talk about his injury history, he played in 16 games in 2006 and 2007, along with 15 in 2008. It is now being reported he has only suffered one concussion in his career, with his head injury last year being a migraine that was misdiagnosed. Pool was having a career season in Ryan’s brother’s system in 2009, with 55 tackles, 4 INTs, a sack, and 5 passes defensed before missing the last 5 games of the season with the migraines. Pool had more impressive numbers in 11 games than Kerry Rhodes did in 16 regular season games in 2009.

So, keep an eye out for Pool to provide the playmaking ability you envisioned out of the safety position. The guy isn’t going to be Ed Reed but he won’t be Kerry Rhodes from 2009 either. What about the other big name acquistions? You could make a strong argument for Antonio Cromartie cause similar to Pool, he will be a starter for 16 games but Cromartie has to show he will be the player he was in 2007, not the player he was in 2008 or 2009.  Jason Taylor will be coming off the bench. LaDainian Tomlinson will be coming off the bench. Santonio Holmes won’t start playing until week 5 and will then have to work his way into the offense. If Pool can play in all 16 games this season and pick up where he left off before his injury in 2009, he could be looking at 80-85 tackles, 2-4 sacks, 5-7 INTs, especially when you consider all the talent around him and that Rex Ryan is now calling the plays. I don’t know if any of the other Jets new acquisitions will put up a stat line that impressive, unless Holmes goes wild in 12 games, which is unlikely considering all the people he is splitting catches with and how often the Jets run the ball. Cromartie has the potential but he has got worse the past two years, while Pool has improved every year heading into 2010.

Man, Kyle Boller Is Bad

Saturday Morning Breakfast: Kris Jenkins, Fantasy Football, Dustin Keller, David Clowney

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A few of plates of Jets talk for you to digest before you start your Saturday

People are always quick to point out concerns about the depth of the Jets defensive line and it is a fair point. Shaun Ellis is a graybeard but he has still been productive the past few seasons. Mike DeVito is unproven as a starter. Yet, can we not forget that Kris Jenkins is coming back this season? Do you remember how this guy was playing the first 12 games of the 2008 season? He was the best player on the Jets defense and was completely unblockable. Yes, he is coming off major surgery but if the Jets are smart and limit his snap count, he can be a beast in the middle for them. Beyond that, he has the versatility to slide out to the defensive end position, as does Sione Pouha who had a very good season last year after Jenkins was hurt. Basically, what I am saying is that even though the Jets are thin at defensive end (unless Ropati Pitoitua or gasp…Vernon Gholston develops into a solid player) they have two quality defensive tackles and Rex Ryan can get creative to use them to compensate for any shortcomings at the end position.

The Jets are never a popular target for fantasy football owners and despite some big name acquisitions this off-season, I don’t think that will change too drastically. First off, Mark Sanchez can’t be relied on as a fantasy starter until he becomes more consistent. Second, they have three very good receivers but they all will be splitting receptions, which means each week it could be a different player who has a big game. Third, while Shonn Greene should be the lead back, it remains to be seen how many goal-line carries he is getting compared to LaDainian Tomlinson. Manish Mehta just wrote a good piece over at The Jets Stream about Dustin Keller potentially being in for a big season and I think he may be the most reliable fantasy starter you could have from the Jets. He should be a quality fantasy tight end, especially because of the looks he will get in the red-zone.

David Clowney was initially in low spirits after the Santonio Holmes trade. However, the reports are that he has looked good in OTAs and he has dedicated himself to becoming a core special teams player for the Jets. The team needs somebody like him to step up on special teams to help fill the void left by Wallace Wright and even though Clowney might not get a ton of looks at receiver after Holmes returns from receiver, he still could be a valuable member of the team. He has also been kicking ass with his charity work this off-season, which has included trips to Haiti and Ghana.

New TOJ TV

Pay The Man

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Unless you lack access to technology, you have heard by now that Darrelle Revis skipped the Jets OTA today because of dissatisfaction with his contract situation. We knew there was a chance this could happen but Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post is reporting that Revis is “furious” with the recent offer he was presented with. He is also accusing the organization of leaking the 20 million per year number to make him look bad. According to Hubbuch the Jets recent offer was “pitifully low.” By the way…Nick Mangold also spoke today about potentially holding out if his contract discussions don’t pick up soon. Mike Tannenbaum spoke today and did his normal “speak in circles and say nothing” routine. He said the Revis negotiations were tough because of the uncertain future of the CBA and yada, yada, yada…

We all remember how things went with Pete Kendall, Chris Baker, and Laveranues Coles and I am sure it is weighing in the minds of Revis, Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and David Harris. We all like how aggressive and creative Tannenbaum can be as a GM but he needs to demonstrate that he is willing to take care of his own. He became the team’s GM in 2006 and since then his major draft picks have been Mangold, Ferguson, Revis, Harris, Vernon Gholston, Dustin Keller, Mark Sanchez, and Shonn Greene. Keller, Sanchez, and Greene won’t be problems for a few years in terms of a contract but the core four are rightly looking for their pay day now. Tannenbaum is already 0 for 1 in the “taking care of your own” category because of how the Leon Washington situation went. It is time for him to set a precedent by taking care of the Jets version of the “core four.”

This is no time for posturing. It is time to pay the best corner and best center in the NFL. They are the cornerstones of your team. They have been great both on and off the field. They are everything you want a member of the Jets organization to be. I don’t care about the uncertain future of the CBA, get these contracts done before the season starts. This team doesn’t need the distraction of their best offensive player and their best defensive player being disgruntled. If you want to build a championship contender year in and year out, you start by making sure Mangold and Revis are around for the long term…then you move to locking down Ferguson and Harris.

Need I Say More?

Three Offensive Question Marks For The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. It is always fun to rile up Dolphins fans. A big thank you to everybody from Miami who took the time out of their day to visit my site to criticize my article on their delusional beat writer and team.

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

3. Episode number 2 of TOJ: The Podcast is now up and running, as you could see in the story below this one and from “The Podcast” link on top of the page. Give it a listen, as me and Dan Donohue debate the Jets and Giants records in 2010 and where LeBron James will end up.

4. The Jets have OTAs today and tomorrow, followed by ones on June 8th and June 10th.

5. NBA Finals – I am having a real tough time making any type of prediction in this series. It should be a 6 or 7 game battle that is very evenly matched. This series is huge for Kobe Bryant, who could cement himself as one of the five greatest players in NBA History in my mind, if he could beat the Celtics (who embarrassed him last time) and win his second title without Shaq. The major differences between this match-up and the 2008 match-up is that the Lakers now have Ron Artest “Say Queensbridge!” to guard Paul Pierce, Andrew Bynum can give them some minutes in the middle, and on the other side Rajon Rondo has turned into arguably the best point guard in the NBA. I respect what the Celtics have done this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t stand them and their constant whining at the officials…plus I have a natural hate of Boston sports teams. So let’s get it done Black Mamba…I am taking the Lakers in 7.

6. More charity work being done by one of the classiest guys on the team, receiver Jerricho Cotchery. http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2010/04/bpl-to-host-score-big-with-new-york.html

Three Offensive Question Marks For The Jets

In reverse order of importance…

Number Three – The Running Backs

PhotobucketThe Jets had the number one ranked rushing attack in the NFL last season, when they racked up 2756 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. An extremely large chunk of that came from Thomas Jones who ran for 1402 yards and 14 touchdowns. Leon Washington also chipped in 331 yards before his week 7 injury. Jones is now in Kansas City and Washington is now in Seattle. Shonn Greene will be replacing Thomas Jones as the number one back and LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight will be combining to replace Leon Washington. I doubt the Jets production will match what is was in 2009 because they are going to throw the ball more and because they will miss Jones and Alan Faneca’s run blocking. That being said, while there are some fair questions about Greene’s ability to be a number one back, he did come on very strong at the end of last season and did show he can carry the load in two playoff games. If he is healthy for all 16 games, he should be a 1100-1200 yard back in this offense. Tomlinson will be relied on to score a big portion of the touchdowns Jones did last season, as he will likely be the team’s goal-line and short yardage back. He will also have to spell Greene a series or two each half and hold down the third down back spot until McKnight is ready. The quicker McKnight can learn pass protections, the quicker he can become a contributing part of the offense.

Number Two – Left Guard

Alan Faneca was probably the Jets fifth best offensive lineman last season. However, he was still a very good run blocker and provided plenty of intangibles and veteran leadership. Despite talk of a competition between this year’s second round pick Vladimir Ducasse and second year player Matt Slauson, it looks like the job is Ducasse’s to lose. He will be making a major jump from Division I-AA at UMass to the NFL. Fortunately, he will be supported by playing in-between two Pro-Bowl players in Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson and he has one of the NFL’s best offensive line coaches in Bill Callahan. Look for the Jets to primarily run the ball behind Brandon Moore in big spots to take pressure off the left guard but either Ducasse or Slauson still has to hold up in pass protection and when the team needs to run to the left side.

Number One – The Quarterback

Well, obviously. It is encouraging that the Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game with Mark Sanchez throwing 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and having a 53.8 completion percentage but the team needs more from him in year two. If Sanchez can play the way he did in weeks 1-3, both Dolphins games and the playoffs, the Jets are going to be a 12-4 or 13-3 team and I truly believe that. He needs to find some level of consistency in year two, do a better job of protecting the football, and be more accurate. There isn’t a team in the league with a better top four targets than Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller…Sanchez has to take advantage of that.

No Questions At Receiver

Armando Salguero: A Dolphins Beat Writer Living In A Fantasy World

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Since the beginning of the Rex Ryan era, one of my favorite beat writers to read has been Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. It is always entertaining to get a cheap laugh from the nonsense he has to say in relation to the New York Jets and their rivalry with his Miami Dolphins. It is clearly bothering Armando to be working in a JV sports town like Miami. You know Miami, the city that puts less people in the seats for a Heat game than a WNBA pre-season match-up, despite having a perennial playoff team and one of the best players in the league? The same city that has more fans in green and white than orange and blue during Jets/Dolphins games in their home stadium. We can only hope D-Wade moves on to a real sports town, where his talent can be appreciated and The Miami Herald soon hires a Jets beat writer to cater to all the team’s fans in the area.

Anyway back to Armando who recently wrote a gem of an article entitled “Miami Dolphins Are Not Concerned by New York Jets’ Moves.” He decided to beat the old drum about the Jets crowning themselves as champions in the off-season. Don’t you remember this story from last year when Miami was attacking the Jets for having the same attitude? I remember and I also remember how that attitude brought them within one half of a Super Bowl appearance with a rookie quarterback and a rookie head coach while the Dolphins enjoyed the Miami weather with some golf and relaxation. Their off-season started when the regular season ended, while the Jets played until the end of January.

PhotobucketArmando didn’t like how Mark Sanchez said he was confident his team would return to the White House in February, after he returned from a visit himself when he was invited to meet Mexico’s President and his wife. I don’t mind seeing our young quarterback having confidence in his team, instead of spending time criticizing the abilities of college players who are heading into the NFL Draft. Don’t you remember Chad Henne saying he didn’t think Tim Tebow could cut it at this level? Obviously, Henne is an authority on what it takes to be an NFL quarterback considering his 75.2 QB rating last season and his 14 interceptions to 12 touchdowns.

I know, I know those stats are better than Mark Sanchez’s last season, right? Sure they are, but last time I checked Sanchez got better when the games counted more while Henne got worse. I seem to remember Sanchez leading a 4-6 team to the playoffs with big wins in November and December, followed by winning two road playoff games. I also remember Henne having Miami in position to grab a playoff spot at 7-6, before he finished with a 0-3 record leading his to team to a quite impressive 7-9 finish.

Armando also didn’t like Bart Scott talking about the Jets striving to be the greatest defense in NFL history. Why set such high goals, right? The problem is that Scott just can’t say he wants the #1 defense in the NFL, because the Jets already did that last year. Armando has never liked the Jets boasting and bragging. He likes to paint them as a low character team, led by a buffoon of a head coach who flaps his gums too much.

My favorite part of Armando’s latest article was who decided to use for quotes. He went to Jason Ferguson…the guy who is suspended for 8 games this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. High character indeed. Starting corner Sean Smith was also cited with a few laughable quotes about winning his battles against Braylon Edwards last year. Don’t you remember Smith? The guy hanging on to Edwards for dear life as he carried him into the end-zone during their week 8 match-up. As Manish Mehta of The Daily News recently pointed out on his blog, Edwards had 9 catches for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Dolphins last season. I hope Sean Smith remains satisfied with his level of play because I am sure the Jets would take those numbers again from Braylon.

But back to the picture Salguero like to paint of the Dolphins. The high character team, with no issues to speak of unlike the Jets. Nobody is saying the Jets brought in a bunch of choir boys this off-season but let’s not ignore Miami signing Richie Incognito one of the NFL’s dirtiest players…actually maybe the NFL’s dirtiest player. The guy has had four games in three years, where he had two personal foul penalties in a single game. He also got into a screaming match on the sideline with his coach last season, which was followed by a $50,000 fine by the league and him subsequently being cut.

What about last off-season when four Miami Dolphins were arrested? Ronnie Brown, DUI. Will Allen, DUI. Randy Starks, assaulting a police officer. Tony McDaniel, domestic battery. All of them are still on the team. Oh and don’t forget about Brandon Marshall who was recently acquired and who has a record of quitting on his team, beating up women, and getting involved in gang fights. What about GM Jeff Ireland who was kind enough to ask Dez Bryant in a pre-draft interview if his mother was a prostitute? High class, all the way around in Miami.

PhotobucketSalguero wrote in his article “Miami Dolphins Have True Character, While Jets Are Full of Characters” last November that “The Dolphins are a team with character. The Jets are a bunch of jerks.” Very eloquent and mature writing, Armando…you would think Bart Scott and David Harris took his lunch money or something. Salguero also scripted up these zingers…

“The Jets? They are a beaten, battered bunch…go for it Rex. Have your locker room filled with big talk and so little in the form of results. Have a locker room that drips sarcasm when a little humility is more appropriate.”

He went on to praise the “resilience” and “character” of the Dolphins. Funny enough, after their November match-up the beaten and battered Jets went to the AFC Championship game while the resilient Dolphins finished with a 3-5 record. The Jerks from New York found a way to get the job done.

Salguero has never been too fond of Rex Ryan. He took a cheap shot at him on Twitter the other day, when he praised Tony Sparano for losing 30 pounds this off-season…without the help of a lap-band. Another mature and professional comment. Way to attack a guy who is trying to get healthy and who has attempted to lose the weight without a medical procedure but has now been forced to use that option so he could be around for his family and his football team.

When Salguero discusses Sparano and Ryan, you would think the Dolphins coach has a glittering record of accomplishments. I actually do think he has done a pretty job in Miami but let’s not forget in two seasons, he has zero playoff wins while Ryan has two wins in one season. Sparano made the playoffs once but was smacked around by the Baltimore Ravens, who were led by Ryan on defense, to the tune of 27-9. Salguero must have been cringing with each of the five turnovers Ryan’s defense forced that day.

The final Salguero piece I need to touch on is another funny read “Miami Dolphins, Jets similarly matched despite offseason boasts” from May 16th. Armando seems to be convinced the Jets and Dolphins are basically even on both sides of the ball heading into this season.

PhotobucketThe last time I checked both of Miami’s starting corners would be battling to be a nickel back on the Jets. Their big time acquisition at receiver, Brandon Marshall, will be taken out of the game by that Darrelle Revis guy, leaving the likes of Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo, and Brian Hartline to get open on Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson. Somehow I don’t think Rex Ryan is losing sleep over that. The Jets have a substantial advantage on the offensive line, even without Alan Faneca which compensates for the Dolphins having more talent at running back. Beyond that, I am fascinated to see how Miami plans to cover Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes (in their second match-up), Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller with their collection of defensive backs. Finally, the Jets have a clear advantage at both outside linebacker and inside linebacker. You couldn’t find a GM in the league who would take Channing Crowder, Karlos Dansby, Cameron Wake, Charlie Anderson, and Koa Misi over Bart Scott, David Harris, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, and Jason Taylor.

How does Salguero expect the Dolphins to beat the Jets without Ted Ginn Jr. on the roster? The only reason Miami beat the Jets twice last year was for some reason the first round bust decided to actually produce against the Jets. Without Ginn’s heroics against the Jets in 2009, the Dolphins would have been a 5-11 team.

Keep on writing in your fantasy world, Armando and if you ever want debate Jets/Dolphins, I’d love to make an appearance on your radio show.

Did You Win This Battle, Sean?

How To Start Your Summer: 50 Things For Jets Fans To Smile About

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Memorial Day Weekend is about to kickoff and what is a better way to start off your summer than by reading 50 things to be happy about if you are a Jets fan. I hear some occasional criticism for being too positive about the team this season, even when a simple click through the archives will show I have written plenty of articles about potential problems the entire team, certain players, and certain positions will have in 2010. Regardless, today is a day to enjoy the optimism that every Jets fan should rightfully have heading into this year, so without further delay here 50 things for Jets to smile (or brag) about heading into this season:

(By the way, that’s my man JetBo from Section 313 in the old stadium)

1. Our 23 year old quarterback has already won two road playoff games.

2. Our 23 year old quarterback has more playoff wins in one season than Tony Romo has in seven. (For all those Maganelli Dallas fans in the area).

3. Our number three receiver was the 2009 Super Bowl MVP.

4. Fine, you say he isn’t our number three receiver than our number three receiver had 1130 receiving yards in 2007.

5. You say he isn’t our number three receiver either, than our number three receiver had 17 touchdowns in 2007.

6. If you moved our starting tight end to wide receiver, he’d be better at it than anybody Buffalo is trying to start opposite Lee Evans.

7 . Our second year running back already has two career playoff 100 yard rushing games.

8. We have the best center in the NFL.

9. We have the best corner in the NFL.

10. We had the number one defense in the NFL last season, without one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL who is now returning from injury.

11. We have a Pro-Bowl left tackle.

12. Our defense is good enough that our first round corner from the 2010 NFL Draft comes off the bench.

13. We have two corners who have been All-Pros. They are 26 and 24 years old.

14. A player with 127.5 career sacks is our #3 outside linebacker.

15. A player with 138 career touchdowns is our backup running back.

16. We have one of the best fullbacks in the NFL.

17. We drafted the best fullback in the 2010 NFL Draft to back him up.

18. Our third and fourth best offensive lineman are better than most team’s first and second best offensive lineman.

19. The New England Patriots lost 33-14 in their home building in the first round of the playoffs last year. Their biggest off-season acquisitions were Torry Holt, David Patten, and Alge Crumpler.

20. New England’s top three running backs are Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, and Sammy Morris.

21. Miami is relying on this guy to improve their offense:

22. We have this guy to cover him:

23. We have an All-Pro inside linebacker who is 26 years old.

24. We are going to be featured HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer.

25. We don’t play in Giants Stadium anymore.

26. Our stadium is hosting the 2014 Super Bowl.

27. We have the most aggressive GM in the NFL.

28. We have the funniest head coach in the NFL.

29. Our head coach is one the best defensive minds in the NFL.

30. Our defensive blitzes more than any team in the NFL.

31. Our players love playing for our head coach and players now actually want to join the New York Jets.

32. Despite winning a Super Bowl in 2007, the Giants are frustrated by all the attention the Jets receive from the local media.

33. We have five games in primetime this season.

34. We host the first Monday Night Football game of the season.

35. We get to boo our lungs off at Brett Favre at a home Monday Night game.

36. We are playing on Thanksgiving this year for the second time in 4 years.

37. Our quarterback threw 8 more interceptions than touchdowns last year and we still made the AFC Championship Game.

38. Our number four receiver can do things like this:

39. Our top outside linebacker only played in 12 games last season but still had 8 sacks.

40. The Patriots are either going to be starting a rookie, Darius Butler, Jonathan Wilhite, or Terrence Wheatley at corner. We could go four wide with Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller.

41. Those White Titans throwback jerseys are pretty slick looking.

42. We had a complete bust with the #6 overall pick in the 2008 draft and still had the league’s #1 overall defense last season.

43. Everybody thinks Chad Henne is a franchise quarterback and the biggest game he ever won in the NFL was beating the Jets in a week 5 game.

44. Our starting right guard is one of the most underrated players in the NFL and is hysterical on twitter. (@ShitMeatSays)

44. Bill Belichick is clearly starting to lose his mind:

45. The Jets piss off everybody in the NFL.

46. Our owner called out the NFL Commissioner for holding a fake coin toss to give the Giants the first home game in the new stadium.

47. A Rex Ryan press conference is more entertaining than 3/4 of the shows on TV right now.

48. Randy Moss doesn’t even bother to try against us anymore.

49. You could say “I expect the Jets to win the Super Bowl this season” and people won’t look at you like you have three heads.

50. The Empire State Building is going to spend plenty of time looking like this over the next few years.

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New York Jets Special Teams Questions

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First a few updates:

1. The NBA Playoffs is finally coming around a little bit. How can you not enjoy watching the Phoenix Suns play? They are like a #15 seed in the NCAA Tournament going for a upset with the amount of energy they play with. I just hope the Magic can overcome the corpse of Vince Carter dragging himself around the court to get another win tonight.

2. Some highlights from Rex Ryan’s video chat with fans today:

  • He was adamant that Nick Mangold isn’t going anywhere and that the organization will do what it takes to keep him a Jet for a long time.
  • He talked up Brandon Moore as one of the best guards in the NFL.
  • When discussing the running backs, he deflected a question about there being a battle for the starting running back job but said there would be weeks when Shonn Greene will have more carries and weeks when LaDainian Tomlinson will have more carries and that Tomlinson would also be the third-down back while Joe McKnight gets up to speed. He also raved about John Conner and discussed how he pushed for Mike Tannenbaum to draft him.
  • Ryan shot down the chemistry concerns and joked that nobody on the team but Eric Smith could pass a chemistry class.
  • He again penciled in Kyle Wilson as the starting nickel but said Dwight Lowery would still be used frequently at both corner and safety.
  • If the season started today Eric Smith would start at safety because of his knowledge of the defense but he expects Brodney Pool to be the opening day starter.
  • He talked up Brad Smith and the Jets use of the “Tiger” formation this year.
  • The player who has made the biggest improvements since he arrived is Mark Sanchez.
  • The biggest surprise and guy who has jumped out the most at OTAs has been Kenwin Cummings at inside linebacker and as of today he is the team’s #3 inside linebacker.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets), I need all the ammunition I can when I talk with the Jets media relations guy in the coming weeks about getting a press pass for training camp and the pre-season games.

New York Jets Special Teams Questions

Hey, it is one-third of the game. No Jets fans can sleep on the importance of special teams after watching the negatives of Ted Ginn Jr. take two kicks back for a touchdown in a single game last season and Jay Feely miss three kicks versus Atlanta along with the positives of Brad Smith taking a kick back to the house in Indy and the Jets executing four successful fake punts in 2009. The Jets were up and down last season despite having one of the best special teams coaches in the business with Mike Westhoff and they still have plenty of questions heading into this year.

Kicker – The Jets got a problem here. Jay Feely was a reliable kicker the past two seasons and the Jets decided not to bring him back and replace him with Dallas castoff Nick Folk, who was an ugly 18/28 last season before being cut. Apparently Folk had an ugly start to his Jets career last week by missing just about every kick he took during OTAs. I know I don’t feel confident in Folk lining up for a big kick this season and if he continues to struggle this off-season look for Matt Stover to be added to the roster sooner rather than later. Stover might not have the greatest leg strength at this stage of his career but he is reliable in the 40-45 yard range and you can’t say the same for Folk right now.

Punter – Steve Weatherford managed to keep his job throughout the entire 2009 season and did an okay job. It looks like he will be the Jets guy going forward and hey the guy averaged 21 yards per carry last season. Hopefully a full off-season of working with Westhoff will improve Weatherford’s consistency in 2010.

PhotobucketKick Return – It will be very interesting to see what the Jets do here. Brad Smith did a pretty gob job in this role last season. Antonio Cromartie got some reps in OTAs and was impressive. Rookies Kyle Wilson and Joe McKnight will likely get some opportunities in training camp and the pre-season. David Clowney could get a shot. Aundrae Allison was impressive last pre-season and is probably the fastest guy on the team. Dwight Lowery took some reps last year before Smith locked the job down. If I had to guess today, Smith and McKnight will be the primary guys with Cromartie getting occasional reps. However, keep an eye on Allison during training camp as a dark horse.

Punt Return – This will be Kyle Wilson’s job to lose, although I could see Jim Leonhard or Jerricho Cotchery getting some reps in a big spot or when a team is kicking from around mid-field, when it would be better to have an experienced veteran back there.

Coverage – The Jets lost valuable special teams players like Wallace Wright, Larry Izzo, and Ryan Fowler this off-season but did sign Lance Laury who was a stand out special teams player in Seattle. They will also look to guys like Kenwin Cummings, Jamaal Westerman, and Marquice Cole to fill the void. Eric Smith, Brad Smith, and John Conner should all also be core special teams players.

Maybe the play that saved the Jets season in 2009

Reaction To Super Bowl Announcement, And Speaking Of The Super Bowl…

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have hired former Appalachian State receiver coach Lance Taylor as an offensive assistant.

2. The Jets have the day off from OTAs tomorrow but we will back on Thursday with full media availability. There was some released statements from players on the team, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan on the Super Bowl announcement and obviously everybody was excited. It is a nice moment for the organization.

Reaction To Super Bowl Announcement, And Speaking Of Super Bowl…

As expected, the new Meadowlands Stadium was awarded the Super Bowl in 2014. Over the last few days it had become relatively apparent this was going to happen and the announcement didn’t take anyone by surprise. Personally as a North Jersey native, I am very pumped about the Super Bowl taking place 20 minutes from my house. I know everybody refers to it as the New York Super Bowl but keep in mind it is beautiful East Rutherford, New Jersey that will be hosting the game. It is being estimated the game, being held in 2014, will generate approximately $550 million for the local economy.

PhotobucketI could only hope that gives the state enough money to either knock down Xanadu or actually some functioning stores in it. We are all getting tired of looking at that empty, bizarrely colored building which is an ugly sign of recent economic problems in the area. The announcement should help sell the naming rights to the stadium, which is currently just being called The New Meadowlands Stadium.

I think the concern over cold weather is overrated. Is there anything better than a good snow game? If you disagree…stop being so soft, football is supposed to be played in the elements. However, if the Jets happen to make the 2014 Super Bowl and the weather negatively impacts them, then I reserve the right to change my mind. Seriously though, I hope this starts a trend of occasionally having the game in cold weather locations and by that I mean I hope this isn’t the only time it ends up in this stadium. The only other cold weather stadium that could have a shot would be New England but let’s be real it is no New York up there so that probably won’t happen.

PhotobucketAnyway since we are talking about the Super Bowl, what are your expectations for the Jets in 2010? Is anything short of a Super Bowl appearance considered a disappointment? You would think when a team is winning in the second half of the AFC Championship Game the previous season, the logical next step and expectation should be a Super Bowl appearance. While it is bizarre to expect a team who hasn’t won a AFC Championship since 1969 to do it this season, that is the reality for the Jets in 2010. Nobody is going to be happy with a divisional title. Nobody is going to be satisfied with a couple of playoff wins. We saw that last year. The talent is in place and the Jets have talked the talk since the season ended, so now it is time to walk the walk.

There are no certainties in the NFL. There may not even be a season in 2011. If there is, the Jets are going to have to make some difficult roster decisions. No, it isn’t as bad as some writers make it out to be. There isn’t going to be a need to blow up the team. Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson will get their money from the Jets but some of the recent additions could be moving on (Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson) along with certain veterans like Shaun Ellis and Damien Woody.

The point is that while the Jets should still be a good team past this season, they are in the best position they have been in a long time to reach a Super Bowl. The roster is loaded on both sides of the ball. The Patriots are down. The Dolphins have plenty of question marks. The Jets showed they can handle the Chargers and we’ll see how they match-up with the Ravens in week one. Obviously the top team in the conference is still the Colts but the Jets have spent the entire off-season building themselves to beat them, by adding Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Kyle Wilson, and Brondey Pool.

A successful season for the Jets in 2010 equals an appearance in the Super Bowl and in reality nobody is satisfied with a loss in the big game, so yes it is championship or bust in 2010 for the New York Jets.

Go Shonn, Go

Expectations For Jets New Additions

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets had OTAs today but it has been a quiet day of news, most of the focus is on the vote tomorrow for the New York Super Bowl in 2014. From all indications, it looks like it is something that is going to happen.

2. I honestly wish the Jets would stop wasting time and sign Matt Stover right now. Let him and Folk compete throughout the summer and then if Folk keeps shanking every ball he puts his foot on, then you could at least feel somewhat comfortable with a reliable kicker like Stover on the roster.

Expectations For New Jets Additions

I have already went over what should be fair expectations for the Jets rookie class in 2010 but how about their new acquisitions via trade and free agency, here is a look:

PhotobucketSantonio Holmes – It is hard to project Holmes production since he won’t be joining the Jets offense until week 5. Yet, the most important thing the team needs him to be is a consistent big play threat. In the Jets offense, he isn’t going to average 5 catches for 100 yards each week but he needs to continue doing what he did in a Steelers uniform. Holmes has to turn those quick smoke screens into 15-20 yard gains and get down the field to pull in a few deep balls. The most important thing for Holmes will be to learn all the receiver positions in the Jets offense, so he has the ability to move all over the formation and get himself into one on one coverage situations. It is hard for me to pinpoint stats for him in 12 games, especially when it could take a couple of games for him to integrate into the offense, but how about 40-45 catches for 650 yards with 4-6 touchdowns?

LaDainian Tomlinson – When Leon Washington was traded to Seattle, the expectations for what Tomlinson would bring to the Jets offense rose substantially higher. The Jets need him to spell Shonn Greene for a series or two each half, be the full time third down back until Joe McKnight is ready to consistently contribute and be the team’s goal-line and short yardage back. Tomlinson’s yards per carry has to be way up from the 3.3 it was last year and get it closer to 4.o. If the Jets could get 700-900 total yards and 5-8 touchdowns, I think they’d be very happy.

Antonio Cromartie – The Jets need the consistency opposite Darrelle Revis at corner in 2010 that Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery couldn’t give them. Cromartie is now playing in a defense that plays to his strengths, with a strong emphasis on man to man coverage. He will have plenty of balls coming his way as teams attempt to avoid Revis Island and he needs to not only provide steady coverage but also bring the big play element that made him an All-Pro a few years ago.

Jason Taylor – The Jets brought Taylor in to improve their pass rush and considering the way Rex Ryan is likely to use him in his style of defense, the team is expecting 9-12 sacks out of him. If Calvin Pace could get 8 sacks in 12 games last season, than Taylor who is a better pure pass rusher should be able to hit double digits in a full season of work.

Brodney Pool – The Jets need Pool to be everything Kerry Rhodes wasn’t for them last season. They want a player who will be aggressive in the running game and wrap-up when he makes tackles. Nobody wants to see anymore of the Rhodes “turn my back to the runner and jump into him” tackle attempts or their starting safety being steamrolled by a scrub like Laurence Maroney. Pool was having a very good season in 2009 before he was hurt so hopefully he can pick up where he left off in 2010.

Oh wait…you thought I wouldn’t have thoughts on the LOST finale?

From everything I have read, it seems the finale was relatively polarizing. Personally, I liked it. I thought the first 2 hours and 20 minutes were terrific and was LOST at its absolute best. I was surprised the Jack/Locke conflict was so early in the episode, along with Desmond heading down into the “source” so early. However, they all filled their purpose. Desmond was able to live through pulling the cork out, which gave Jack the chance to kill Locke (well Kate technically did it) and then Jack sacrificed himself to place the cork back in and save the island, leaving Hurley behind in the “Jacob” role. I am just waiting for the spin off of the years when Hurley and Ben ruled the island, when ABC realizes all their other Lost spin offs like Flashforward and V are failures.

PhotobucketThe last scene? The sideways world basically being a purgatory? Yes, I can understand complaints about it but in the end, I liked the explanation of it and how all the characters crossed over and had their “realization” moment. I think the ending was relatively straightforward…almost too straightforward. The final shot of Jack’s eye closing was well done, along with the shot of Locke/Jack looking down the cave mirroring the shot of them looking down the hatch in season 1. Also what does everybody think that wreckage at the end during the credits was? Did the Ajira plane crash? Was it another plane that crashed after Jack died?

In the end, I am sorry for the people who watched it and couldn’t be satisfied unless one of the creators sat there for 3 hours and read answers to every minuet question. It was a great show and the real question is what I am going to watch now? I think I am heading to Blockbuster to rent season 1 of “The Wire.”

Wrapping Up Jets Week Of OTAs and Other Thoughts

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First a few updates:

1. I’d annoy everybody about following Turn On The Jets on Facebook but we jumped from 315 fans to 348 fans in the last 24 hours…well done. You can also follow TOJ on Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

2. The Jets have the same schedule next week for OTAs, with a practice on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with Thursday being the only day with media access. They then have OTAs on June 2-3, June 8th, and June 10th.

3. Jason Taylor is practicing with #95 for now but in a recent interview it sounded like Bryan Thomas would be willing to sell #99 to him.

4. Darrelle Revis has refuted reports he is asking for 20 million dollars a year but he has stated he wants to be the highest paid corner in football. Currently, Nnamdi Asmougha is and he makes about 15.2 million a year, so look for Revis to end up with something in the 16-18 million dollars a year range. Pay. The. Man.

5. It looks like we are headed to Lakers vs. Celtics in the NBA Finals. Can I buy a competitive series in this NBA Playoffs?

6. I can’t get enough Mikhail Prokhorov…I may have to become a Nets fan soon especially if the Knicks don’t come through with LeBron.

Wrapping Up Jets Week Of OTAs and Other Thoughts

New Additions – Antonio Cromartie has been doing some work as a kick returner. I think most people assumed the Jets would have Brad Smith, Kyle Wilson, and Joe McKnight battle for that job but Cromartie is obviously an explosive player with the ball in his hands. I doubt he would have the job full time but I could see them throwing him back there a few times a game.

Santonio Holmes probably didn’t make many people in the organization happy when he said he didn’t want a Super Bowl to be played at the Meadowlands. Regardless, outside of being knocked over by Darrelle Revis in a blocking drill, Holmes seems to be blending in well with his teammates according to people reporting from practice and his fellow teammates. Holmes best asset for the Jets is his versatility to line up all over the formation, which will help him integrate into the offense quicker when he returns in week 5.

PhotobucketVladimir Ducasse was running with the first team offense and made a good impression on Rex Ryan. It will be interesting to see how much of a shot Matt Slauson really has at winning the job. If Ducasse can hold his own in his rookie year as the starting left guard, it will speak well for the Jets front office who took a chance on him as a small school prospect in the 2nd round.

In my mind, the most concerning news of the week was that Nick Folk missed about every kick he took. You can’t be a team built around running the ball and playing defense and have a kicker who can’t make a 40 yard field goal…actually no team can afford to have a guy like that. It looks the Jets may have to wait and see who loses the kicking battle in Houston or take somebody else off the scrap heap. Mike Nugent? John Hall? Is he still around?

Second Year Players – It was good to hear Sanchez was participating in some drills this week…any time spent with the offense is valuable. There is no need to push him too far during OTAs, the key is that he is 100 percent for training camp and the pre-season. Apparently, neither Kellen Clemens or Erik Ainge was impressive during OTAs. Also, Rich Cimini reported Shonn Greene looked like he put on some weight and not the good kind of weight. I am a little worried about the Jets running back situation this year, I hope #23 can prove me wrong and show he is capable of being a full time number one back.

Other Thoughts/Questions

1. Who will be the Jets main competition for the AFC East title, Miami or New England? It is easy to assume New England but I could see the Dolphins being better than them this season. New England’s offense just doesn’t scare me without Wes Welker out there and they still have question marks on their defense.

2. If the Jets could do five things before the regular season starts, I would want to see them add a new kicker, lock down Revis long term, lock down Mangold long term, sign Mark Brunell, and sign Adalius Thomas.

3. What prime time game are you looking forward to the most this year? Personally, I can’t help but get the most pumped about hosting the Vikings (if they have Favre) on Monday Night Football. I also badly want a win on Sunday Night Football over the Dolphins in their building.