Thoughts On Jets 53 Man Roster…As Of Right Now

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View the Jets current depth chart here http://turnonthejets.com/2009-depth-chart/

Obviously, there could be some changes in the upcoming days but for now…

The biggest surprises on the final 53

  • CB Brian Jackson – Benefits from the Revis holdout and Rex Ryan’s desire to carry as many corners as possible at all times. He also played well in the final pre-season game.
  • RB Chauncey Washington – A distant longshot when camp started but earned his spot through his tough inside running and solid special teams play.
  • TE Jeff Cumberland – Surprising the Jets carried four tight ends but they clearly love his potential.

Weird Numbers Game

  • The Jets are carrying seven running backs and only four receivers (until Santonio Holmes returns in week five). However, they can do this because Danny Woodhead can play running back and receiver.
  • Four tight ends, as previously mentioned, is somewhat rare.
  • Only six defensive lineman, not too shocking considering the Jets run a 3-4 and how much Ryan loves defensive backs.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable

  • Brian Jackson, Chaucney Washington, and David Clowney could all be victimized by either the end to the Darrelle Revis contract dispute or the return of Santonio Holmes in week five. Also, I’d be surprised if Mike Tannenbaum didn’t find somebody off another roster before the season starts.

Enjoy Your Labor Day Weekend

Jets Tuesday Recap & AFC East Training Camp Round-Up

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Jets Tuesday Recap

1. Mark Brunell is going to be the number two quarterback this season, with Kellen Clemens and Kevin O’Connell battling it out for the number three spot. I wouldn’t bet on Clemens, considering the Jets just traded a draft pick for O’Connell last season and clearly have no faith in Clemens. I’m not a believer in Brunell as the backup yet, despite his relatively strong start in training camp. He should see plenty of action this Monday night against the Giants, hopefully he puts together a strong performance which demonstrates the Jets could handle a Mark Sanchez injury for a short period of time.

2. Matt Slauson will start at left guard against the Giants, which wasn’t a surprising announcement considering his strong start to camp and Vladimir Ducasse’s struggles. It will be interesting to see how early the Jets will officially hand the job to Slauson and then begin grooming Ducasse to replace Damien Woody at right tackle at some point in the near future. I also wonder if Ducasse will be worked in with Robert Turner and Wayne Hunter on the Jets short yardage packages.

3. Rex Ryan’s daily love affair with Vernon Gholston continued in his press conference today. Apparently, Gholston beat D’Brickashaw Ferguson a few times in pass rushing situations. Either Gholston has magically remembered how to rush the passer or Ferguson was having a tough day at the office. Imagine what a pleasant surprise 5 – 7 sacks from Gholston would be in 2010?

Photobucket4. The biggest news of the day was Rex Ryan commenting the Jets “had everything they needed on defense” without Darrelle Revis and that people shouldn’t feel sorry for them. Of course classic Jets haters Mike Francesa and Mike Florio ran with these comments as being hypocritical due to Ryan’s previous effusive praise. I am not really sure what they expected Ryan to say. “You know what, our defense isn’t going to be good this season. We can’t survive without Revis. I have no faith in everybody else on our defense to step up. We will probably pack it in and concede the division to the Patriots or Dolphins and battle for 3rd place with the Buffalo Bills.” Give me a break, Ryan is confident in his system and oh by the way the Jets still have David Harris, Kris Jenkins, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Jim Leonhard, Kyle Wilson, Brodney Pool, Shaun Ellis, and on and on.

5. There was a high amount of Brad Smith at quarterback today. I am curious how big of a role the “Tiger'” formation will play on the Jets offense in 2010. It certainly doesn’t hurt to show it once or twice a game to keep defenses off balance and force them to prepare for it each week.

6. Kyle Wilson will be starting at corner opposite Antonio Cromartie from now on after Dwight Lowery volunteered his position to him. It was a weird move by Lowery, who admitted Wilson needs the experience and seemed to embrace the inevitable that he was the first round pick and would eventually be starting anyway. Wilson had flown under the radar somewhat for a first round pick because of all the other hoopla around team but he is now being thrust into the spotlight because of the Revis holdout. Cromartie will really be filling the spot of Revis but teams will certainly target Wilson, due to his lack of experience. Lowery will play some safety in the Jets sub package, along with work in the nickel role. Marquice Cole has also been seeing extended reps, including some work with the first team.

AFC East Training Camp Round-Up

New England Patriots – The Patriots just finished a scrimmage with the New Orleans Saints. The primary news coming out of it is how good Wes Welker is looking after his season ending injury last year. Did you hear that Kyle Wilson? Fred Taylor has been working as the Patriots first team running back. Randy Moss has had a particularly strong camp. Ty Warren and Nick Kaczur have all been banged up. Darius Butler has impressed so far at cornerback. The Saints play the Patriots on Thursday night.

Miami Dolphins – Not to put too much stock in pre-season depth charts but the Dolphins have Joe Berger and Richie Incognito listed as their starting center and guard, respectively. Brian Hartline, as expected, is working as the starter opposite Brandon Marshall at receiver. Rookie Koa Misi is listed as the starting strong-side linebacker, with second year player Cameron Wake at the starting weak side spot. Chad Henne has had some inconsistencies in camp, including a poor showing at a recent scrimmage. The Dolphins play the Bucs on Saturday.

Buffalo Bills – The Bills also recently released their depth chart and here is their top four receivers: Lee Evans, Steve Johnson, Roscoe Parrish, and Felton Huggins. At least the Jets won’t miss Darrelle Revis against that receiving group. Trent Edwards looks like he is going to win the starting job at quarterabck. C.J. Spiller’s holdout ended recently and he has been participating in practice. Buffalo plays Washington Friday night.

Your New Starting Corners

Swept By Miami: Amen for the Bye Week

Dolphins Jets Football

Swept By Miami: Amen for the Bye Week

The Jets had 23 first downs. The Dolphins had 10. The Jets had 378 yards. The Dolphins had 104 yards. Yet, despite both statistically and realistically dominating the game…the Jets lost and that is all that matters. Why? They let up two kick returns for touchdowns and a Shonn Greene fumble bounced right into Jason Taylor’s arms and he took it back for a touchdown. Sometimes football just doesn’t make any sense, unless you are a Jets fan and accustomed to this type of thing.

Reading some fans reaction, everybody has jumped off the building on the season. Everybody is blaming the loss on Rex Ryan for his two point conversion decisions and Brian Schottenheimer for his play calling. It is funny because if you read the reactions at half time, they were calling for Mark Sanchez to be benched and how would that decision look now?

Brian Schottenheimer didn’t call a bad game. The Jets offense went up and down the field in the second half. They didn’t score on the final drive because Alan Faneca was beat and Sanchez made a rookie mistake by taking a sack, leaving the Jets with little more than a prayer on 4th and 13. It is probably fair to question the two point conversion decisions, but that isn’t why the Jets lost. Rex Ryan coached a great game on defense. Did you see what the Jets defense did to Miami today without Kris Jenkins? Don’t blame Rex…blame Danny Woodhead, Ryan Fowler, Donald Strickland, Jay Feely, and everybody else on the Jets coverage unit. Blame Shonn Greene for coughing up the football.

Dolphins Jets FootballSo in the end, I think Bart Scott said it best. Miami is awesome. They clearly showed today they have a better offense and defense than the Jets. They are probably going to compete for a Super Bowl. Watch out NFL, the 3-4 Miami Dolphins are coming and they got Chad Henne who racked up 120 yards passing today and was only sacked 5 times. They got Ronnie Brown who ripped off a ridiculous 27 yards on the ground and don’t forget Ricky Williams who also added an equally insane 27 yards. Devone Bess was a beast today with 18 yards receiving, and Greg Camarillo was like a young Randy Moss out there with 15 yards. Miami also has a scary good defense that allowed 22 second half points and a rookie quarterback to rack up three second half touchdowns on them.

 Funny enough in my article here:  http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/40-predictions-for-2009-new-york-jets-season/ I said this:

“34. The Jets will enter their week 9 bye as a 4-4 team and not be considered a serious playoff contender.”

and this…

“35. Similar to the 2006 team, they will rally to a 6-2 finish and end up as a 10-6 wild card team.”

by doing this…

“36. They will either upset the Colts or Pats on the road in the second half of the season, not both. Their other second half loss will be at home to Atlanta…so yes, I am saying they win in Buffalo (aka Toronto), Tampa, and take care of the Panthers at home in the second half of the season.”

Do I still believe this? Yes, I can see it happening. If they learn how to tackle on a kick returns, why can’t they beat Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Buffalo (not factoring 5 INTs from Sanchez), or maybe the Colts with them resting their starters in week 16? I don’t know they might lose all their games, or they might win all of them (probably not). All I know, is I am exhausted and nauseous after watching the Jets lose in that fashion. It is a good time for the bye week and good time to get a little rest/mental stability away from this team.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Talking to the Enemy

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First a few updates:

1. Lito Sheppard is listed as doubtful. Jerricho Cotchery, David Clowney, Brad Smith, Shaun Ellis, and Bart Scott are all listed as questionsable. However, Ryan said he expects everyone to play except Sheppard.

2. Ryan reiterated today how the Monday night loss to Miami was an embarrassmentto his defense and himself. In particular, he said he was upset with how well they let Chad Henne played against them. Also going on in “How The Jets/Dolphins Turn” Joey Porter criticized Ryan for not being sympathetic about Will Allen’s season ending surgery and said he is looking to put Mark Sanchez on the sideline with an ice pack. Ryan also again today referred to Ronnie Brown’s quote about the Dolphins being a tougher team than the Jets.

Jets vs. Dolphins: Talking to the Enemy

Steve Sheiner of http://www.blogwithaporpoise.com and I exchanged five questions each on the upcoming Jets/Dolphins game, as you will be able to read we don’t exactly see eye to eye on Chad Henne, Mark Sanchez, the two team’s running games, the Jets receivers or just about anything pertaining to this week’s game:

JC: Do you get the feeling that the Dolphins have a lack of respect for the Jets? Also, along those same lines do you think that Monday night win was a little extra sweet for them as some Jets are claiming they reacted like they won the Super Bowl?

SS: The feeling in South Florida regarding the Jets has always been one of disdain and disrespect. The Jets could rip off 38 straight wins and 2 consecutive Super Bowl titles and the Dolphins and their fans would still say they suck. The Jets have a 21-14 edge in the series since 1992, but Miami has won the last two. Those wins are always extra sweet. The rivalry gives every game between these two a pseudo-playoff atmosphere. I can’t speak for most Dolphins fans, but I, for one, was surprised at how well the Dolphins played, given that I expected the Jets to come in and steamroll them. As for the Super Bowl: I think it’s going to be a long wait for both of these teams.

JC:I have to be honest, I am not that impressed with Chad Henne. I thought he played a great second half against the Jets but beyond that has looked below average at best…can you convince me otherwise?

SS: No, I don’t think I can. Hennehas played with tremendous poise and has been impressive in the face of steady pressure behind an offensive line that excels in run blocking, but struggles in pass protection. He hasn’t made those game-killing mistakes, throwing an interception in just two of his four starts. But he’s also thrown just three touchdowns during that same span and is averaging a mere 165 passing yards per game since taking over for Chad Pennington. The Jets are a top-10 pass defense and I expect another average day from Henne. He’s being asked to manage the game, to not make any mistakes, and let the running game carry the offense; a role he fills well. But he has great arm strength and the gumption to go downfield regularly. He just needs time to earn the trust of his coaches and learn to utilize his weapons effectively.

JC: How concerned are you about the secondary for the rest of the season?

58621259SS: Very. The loss of CB Will Allen is a significant one. This ensures the Dolphins will be starting two rookie cornerbacks from here on out. Sean Smith has already been seeing starting action, but now Vontae Davis gets the start opposite him. Dolphins fans should feel very good about the future at cornerback, but for now, it’s a concern. Let’s face it: they’re both rookies. They will make mistakes and can be abused by veteran receivers and experienced quarterbacks. Fortunately the Jets down have any of those. FS Gibril Wilson is also a concern. He’s been a major disappointment since his free agent signing, missing more tackles than he makes (or so it seems). SS YeremiahBell is the only stud in this secondary who excels in both run support and coverage over the top. This is a weakness for the Dolphins, without question. I just don’t know if the Jets have the weapons to exploit it this week.

JC: Do you believe this an absolute must win for Miami or do you think they would be able to dig themselves out of a 2-5 hole?

SS: If there ever was a ‘must win’, this is it. Falling to 2-5 is not an easy hole to climb out of. The Dolphins don’t have the passing attack or the defense to fire off a long line of wins. But there is a glimmer of hope should the Dolphins fail to get a win in New York. With games coming up against the Bucs, Panthers, Bills, Jags, and Titans, the Dolphins could still win seven or eight games on the year. It won’t be enough to make the playoffs, but if they finish ahead of the Jets in the final standings, it’ll be a silver lining on a disappointing year to Dolphins fans.

JC: Do you believe this an absolute must win for Miami or do you think they would be able to dig themselves out of a 2-5 hole?

Dolphins_vs_Jets_19a9SS: The Dolphins running game and their Wildcat mastery has proven to be too much for teams to handle. They had their Week 7 game against the Saints in the bag, but they don’t have the defense to contend with a powerful passing attack like New Orleans boasts. Fortunately, they won’t have to worry about that with the Jets and their 29th ranked passing offense. If the Dolphins continue to run the ball as effectively as they have, they win. And as the network’s Dolphins blogger, I will support my team and predict a Dolphins win, 31-21, and a sweep of the season series.

SS:This is one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL. Mark Sanchez got his first taste a few weeks ago in Miami. Does the golden boy, with just 6 TDs to 10 INTs, have what it takes to lead the Jets to victory in Round 2?

JC:I think he played more than well enough for them to win in Round 1. Sanchez has had two very ugly games this season but in the other five has been a quality quarterback. If you take away the Saints and Bills game, he has 6 TD’s to 2 INT’s. Obviously, you can’t do that and he has to be held accountable for awful outings on those days. However, I think he took a step in the right direction last week and that he will be confident because he played well against Miami last time.

SS: Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams rushed for 142 combined yards in the first meeting. With the loss of NT Kris Jenkins, what do you make of the Jets’ chances of slowing the top running game in the NFL?

JC: Actually, if you go by statistics the Jets have the top running game in the NFL and are coming off back to back 300+ yard performances. It certainly won’t be easy to slow down Miami since they are already struggled in the first meeting with Jenkins. Last week, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Howard Green all played well so hopefully they can keep it up this week. Yet, I would expect Rex Ryan to look long and hard at that Saints tape from this week and try to employ some of the techniques they used in slowing down the Wildcat.

SS: Speaking of running games: Thomas Jones has been on quite a tear of late. Do you think he can continue his recent success against the Dolphins 4thranked run defense? What does the loss of Leon Washington mean to the offense moving forward? And did Shonn Greene’s impressive outing against the Raiders (*snicker) earn him more playing time?

large_thomas-jones-jets-mvpJC:You will see plenty of Shonn Greene on Sunday. I would expect him to have 13-16 carries to go along with TJ’s usual 20. Jones hasn’t shown any signs of aging, although this week will be a much bigger challenge against a solid Miami front seven. He will get every oppurtunity to keep his recent hot streak going though as the Jets will look to protect Sanchez. Also, don’t be surprised to see some Danny Woodhead on offense, taking some of Washington’s plays on outside runs and screens.

SS: What kind of backlash would you expect if the Jets fall to their most hated rival twice in a three week span? Do you foresee any changes coming if Miami leaves New York with a win, leaving the Jets at 4-4?

JC:I am sure there would be plenty of dissapointment around the fan base and organization for being swept by a hated rival. However, I wouldn’t expect any major changes because of a 4-4 record. The Jets are built to run the football and play defense. They aren’t going to change their identity because they went .500 in the first half of the season.

SS: Prediction for the game?

JC: I like the Jets mindset heading into this game and home field will swing another close game to their advantage this time, 21-17

If you couldn’t tell from my picture selection, I was surprised by Steve’s lack of respect for the Jets passing game after what Braylon Edwards did to his secondary, here is another reminder:



Jets vs. Titans: Talking to the Opponent

Jets vs. Titans: Talking to the Opponent

I exchanged questions with Titans writer Drexel Perry from (http://mvn.com/totaltitans/) here is our conversation about the Jets/Titans match-up:

DP: Do the Jets fans expect a letdown of sorts after an impressive two weeks, from the dismantling of Houston to the emotionally charged victory over the Brady bunch? Or is Ryan the type of coach to keep his team…ahem….humble?

JC: I think most people are anticipating some type of let down this week. It was a very emotional win last week for the franchise and the Jets have all of a sudden become the national media’s favorite team. The Titans need this game more than the Jets, so it is a dangerous match-up for them. This will be a big test for Ryan and the Jets early on, because a great team would take care of business at home this week and be able to match the Titans intensity.

DP: Mark Sanchezhas looked “Matt Ryan-esque” in his first two NFL starts. What are your thoughts regarding the rookie signal-caller’s performance and do you expect him to continue his solid play as the season goes on?
  
JC: You could tell from the beginning of pre-season that the Jets made the right decision by trading up for Sanchez. Whatever “it” is at the quarterback position, this guy has “it.” He has surprisingly good arm strength and is very mobile in the pocket. Also, he has brought a new energy to the Jets offense. He is probably due for a couple of rough outings, but I think the sky is the limit for him in the long run.
 
DP: The Jets 3-4 defense is FAST, and will be keying on stopping Chris Johnson. Will they drop 8 or 9 into the box and dare us to throw it? (knowing Revis is a stud DB).

JC: The Jets are going to attack and be aggressive every week, regardless of who they are playing. They will come after the quarterback and come after Johnson and try to get him down in the backfield before he builds up a head of steam. We will likely be without our #2 and #3 corner this week (Sheppard and Strickland) so it will be interesting to see how often Ryan leaves Dwight Lowery on an island.

DP:  Tell us a little bit about Vernon Gholston…What impact has he had in first two games this year and will he keep his starting job when Pace returns?
  
JC: Gholston was pretty good week one against Houston but didn’t play that much last week against New England. Pace will be the starter as soon as he returns, he is one of the Jets best all around defenders and they are very anxious to get him back.

DP: Last but not least, look into your crystal ball and tell us who will win this Sunday’s Titans/Jets matchup?

JC: I think the Jets win a tight one, 21-20.

JC: How does a secondary with Cortland Finnegan and Michael Griffin struggle so much against the pass early in the season?

DP: That’s the million dollar question that’s been floating around all this week after the debacle against the Texans. In a recent article taking a look at new defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil struggles, I attributed the Titans’ atrocious pass defense to a lack of execution.

JC: Do you detect a real sense of desperation around this team, since another loss and another Colts win would put them 3 games back before September even ends?

DP: I’ll stop short of calling it desperation in respect to the head coach of this football team, Jeff Fisher. He’s been in this hole before, starting 1-4 in 2002 before rallying to finish 11-5 while making the AFC Title Game that year.

JC: Have the Titans referenced the beating the Jets handed them last often when talking about getting ready for this game?

DP: I haven’t heard too much talk centering around last year’s matchup. However, there’s a locker room full of Titans who remember how the Jets ended their undefeated season last year at LP Field. The focus of this week’s game is obviously avoiding an 0-3 start but in the back of their minds, I’m sure the Titans will use last year’s outcome as an extra source of motivation this Sunday.

JC: How excited are you guys about Kenny Britt?

DP: He got off to a slow start due to a hamstring injury, but since then, has displayed the potential to be a more than adequate downfield threat for the Titans. I’m excited about watching this guy develop in the years to come.

JC: How firm is Kerry Collins grip on the starting quarterback job? A few more losses and do you think we’ll see Vince Young?

DP: Kerry Collins is the quarterback of this football team and barring injury or perhaps if the Titans were mathematically eliminated for playoff contention, KC is going to be the guy in the huddle.

Scouting the AFC East: Buffalo Bills

First a few updates:

1. In this week’s Sports Illustrated Tim Layden has a great feature on Rex Ryan and his rise to becoming a NFL head coach. I am hoping for the chance to interview Layden for the site, so keep a look out for that in the upcoming weeks.

2. Another day passed and even more rumors are circulating about the Jets not being interested in Plaxico Burress anymore. Most of the local media seems against the move, although as I said yesterday the veterans on the team seem to be in favor of it.

3. A late congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers for winning the NBA Finals…I still wish we could have saw Kobe/LeBron, especially after all those hilarious puppet commercials but oh well. Hopefully, LeBron will now be finding his way to my Knicks in 2010, along with Chris Bosh.

4. According to ESPN’s statistic guru KC Joyner, the Jets have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and a better unit than the team they share a stadium with, the New York Giants. I don’t know about Joyner’s stat system but I do know the Jets have a damn good offensive line and who cares if they are better than the Giants O’line?

Scouting the AFC East: Buffalo Bills

Along with the positional analysis articles, I am going to take a look at each of the AFC East teams in the next week and how the Jets stack up against them, starting today with the Buffalo Bills.

2008 Record: 7-9

2008 vs Jets: The Jets swept the Bills last year, beating them in Buffalo 26-17 and then winning in the Meadowlands on Shaun Ellis’ miracle fumble recovery, 31-27. Kris Jenkins absolutely dominated in the first game and Darrelle Revis shut down Lee Evans in both games last season (4 receptions 41 yards in week 9, and 4 receptions 22 yards in week 15). Trent Edwards threw two interceptions in the week 9 loss and was injured when the teams met in week 15. Marshawn Lynch gashed the Jets in week 15 for 127 yards. On the Jets side, Thomas Jones ran for 69 yards in week 9 and 78 yards in week 15. Leon Washington had 1 carry for 47 yards and a touchdown in week 15…cough, cough, get him the ball more. Jerricho Cotchery had 62 yards receiving in week 9 and had a touchdown in week 15.

2009 Additions: The biggest one was Terrell Owens, who will pair with Lee Evans to form one of the best receiving duos in the NFL. They also added running back Dominic Rhodes and lineman Seth McKinney. They had two first round selections, picking defensive end Aaron Maybin and center Eric Wood.

2009 Losses: They traded away pro-bowl lineman Jason Peters and released tight end Robert Royal. Marshawn Lynch is also suspended the first three games of the 2009 season.

Why the Jets Should be Worried: The Bills have a deep, talented receiving core. I already mentioned Owens and Evans but they also have Roscoe Parrish, Josh Reed and James Hardy…all quality players. If Trent Edwards can stay healthy, he will have plenty of weapons at his disposal. When Edwards has been on the field, he has been a pretty good player. Buffalo also has three very capable running backs in Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson and Dominic Rhodes. On defense, they have a good front four led by Aaron Schobel and Marcus Stroud and playmakers in the secondary with Terrence McGree, Leodis McKelvin and Donte Whitner.

Why the Jets can handle Buffalo: The Bills have a suspect offensive line and showed no ability to block Kris Jenkins or the rest of the Jets pass rushers last year, as they totaled 8 sacks in 2 games. Darrelle Revis has Lee Evans’ number and has played well against TO in the past, also Lito Sheppard has had success against Owens in previous match-ups. The Jets were able to run the ball relatively well against the Bills last year, especially in short yardage situations. They should be confident after sweeping them last year and going on the road and beating them.

Prediction: The Bills have a ton of talent at the skill positions but some questions at offensive line, linebacker and most importantly head coach. I don’t think TO is good enough at this stage of his career to individually bump the Bills past the 7-9 level they have been the past 3 years and have no faith in Dick Jauron leading them to playoffs. I think Buffalo is a 8-8 to 9-7 team at best this year. In terms of the Jets. you can never expect a sweep of a AFC East opponent but I am confident the Jets will definitely take at least 1 from the Bills.

2009 Games: Week 6 at New York Jets 4:15 Kickoff, Week 13 at Buffalo, 8:20 PM Kickoff (Thursday Night Football)

Jets Thursday OTA: Sanchez Progressing, Jones Silent

The Jets had their OTA open to the media today, so here’s a quick run down of the day’s events with some analysis:

1. Mark Sanchez improved from last week’s rough performance. After initially struggling during 7 on 7’s and his first two minute drill, he responded by leading the second offense down the field for a touchdown. Also, according to Rex Ryan he had a strong practice on Wednesday, which included a beautiful deep ball on a corner route for a touchdown. Sanchez is facing a difficult, complex defense in practice and any type of improvement is positive. Beyond that, when you hear quotes from Sanchez like this, you have to feel encouraged:

“I’ve made friends with the cleanup crew because I’ve been staying so late…I want to know it (the offense). I want to master it by tomorrow. I want to master it 10 minutes ago. ”

You have to like the guy’s attitude. As for now, Kellen Clemens remains ahead in the QB competition, which is to be somewhat expected. Clemens has been steady during OTAs and isn’t going down without a fight. Right now, he is more comfortable in the offense and isn’t making as many mistakes or miscommunications.

2. Thomas Jones did practice and apparently looked great. Nobody expected Jones to show up out of shape, since the guy lifts more than some of the offensive lineman on the team. He chose not to speak to the media, which is fine. I’d rather have him not talking to the media, than ripping the organization. According to Rex Ryan, Jones stated he is happy to be here and Sanchez, Nick Mangold, and Damien Woody all said Jones was in good spirits and helpful on offense. Bob Glauber of the Daily News proposed an interesting compromise in today’s paper, which would have the Jets pay Jones his 3 million roster bonus this year instead of next year. I don’t know if that will happen or if it is even necessary at this point, but it is something to consider.

3. David Clowney had a pretty rough day, with some uncharacteristic drops. Chansi Stuckey seems to be creating some distance for himself at the #2 receiver spot, since he has been consistently making plays all off-season. Rex Ryan again stated that he is comfortable with his group of receivers and it appears at this point the Jets won’t add anybody else. He also complimented little know receiver, Huey Whittaker who is a guy the Jets pulled out of the Arena League. Whittaker has good size (6’2, 220 lbs) and speed and could be a player to keep an eye on.

4. Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes both had strong practices, recording an interception each. Jay Feely awarded them co-player of Thursday’s practice on his twitter account. David Harris and Jim Leonhard had a nasty collision, when Leonhard was trying to catch a punt. What is with all these collisions at the Jets non-contact practices?

5. Kerry Rhodes refused to discuss the pending legal investigation about a possible rape at his Morristown residence. It is important to remember that Rhodes is not a subject of the investigation and hasn’t been accused of anything.

6. A quick programming note: I am going on vacation to Las Vegas and Cabo from June 1st-June 9th, which means posts may be sparse during those days. However, fortunately I will be getting back in time for mandatory OTAs. I full anticipate having at least one post a day throughout the duration of the summer when I return from vacation.

Don't Doubt It: Sanchez is the Jets Guy for 2009

First a few updates from the Jets Locker Room, which had media availability today:

1. Erik Ainge refused to give the reason why he has been absent from team activities the past few months. He stated the team doesn’t even know the specific reason, but they respected his personal privacy and need to handle the matter. Ainge will be battling UDFA Chris Pizzotti for the #3 spot this season, after originally being mentioned as a contender for the starting job before the Jets drafted Mark Sanchez.

2. When asked about the Jets move to acquire Sanchez, Jerricho Cotchery, Kerry Rhodes, and Darrelle Revis among others all sounded excited about his potential. They understand the implications about trading up to #5 to select somebody, so despite saying the politically correct thing about Kellen Clemens, seem to understand that Sanchez is going to be the guy this year. Rhodes had the funniest line of the day, when he mentioned that Sanchez would now have to battle him for “the best looking guy on the team.”

3. Sanchez has reached out to the wide receivers to set up times to work on throwing the football, which is a move that drew praise from a few veterans in the locker room. The guy has done everything you want a rookie to do so far. Obviously, he needs to produce on the field but still you can’t have any complaints about Sanchez yet.

4. Many Jets were asked about Brett Favre today, a few players anonymously cited him as being selfish and deceitful, while Rhodes refused to comment, although most of them were indifferent about him potentially joining the Vikings and expressed support for him. (It now appears he is going to stay retired, but who ever knows with this guy).

5. According to Dave Hutchinson, the Jets have recently worked out tight end Michael Gaines, who is one of the players I mentioned they should target a few days ago. I’m glad to see they are taking my advice. Gaines is a good blocking tight end, who would go a long to improving the Jets depth at tight end. He caught 23 passes last season for Detroit.

Don’t Doubt It: Sanchez is the Jets Guy for 2009

Kellen Clemens had to face the media today and said just about everything you expected he would. The common theme being that it is still an open competition, he still believes he will be the opening day starter, and that he is just going to keep working to improve. Rich Cimini made a good point however when discussing Clemens demeanor today, stating that he is “beginning to lose his swagger.” Obviously, Clemens is going to be more confident battling a UDFA with zero career NFL passes in Brett Ratliff, than he is battling the highly acclaimed Mark Sanchez.

Part of me feels bad for Clemens who is coming off a strong mini-camp and by all accounts has had a very good off-season. He is in a nearly impossible situation right now. No matter what anybody says, the odds are stacked heavily against him. He doesn’t need to just outplay Sanchez this summer, he needs to blow him away to win the job.

Doesn’t that sound familiar?

Last year Clemens was in the exact same position, except reversed heading into training camp. The coaching staff clearly wanted the younger Clemens, who they spent a 2nd round draft pick on, to beat out Chad Pennington for the job. Pennington needed to clearly out perform Clemens to win the job and through the first few weeks that was exactly what he did. Frustrated by Clemens lack of progress and the prospect of having Pennington be the starter for another season, they made the bold move to acquire Brett Favre.

 

Clemens had his chance to seize the Jets quarterback job last year. I can give him a pass for not seizing the job in 2007 in his eight starts behind a garbage offensive line and with no healthy receivers. Yet, during camp last season he did nothing to show he could be the Jets quarterback of the future. If he had outplayed Pennington and showed substantial progress last summer, the Jets wouldn’t have acquired Favre and Clemens would have started last season. He wouldn’t be in this situation now, where he is at a disadvantaged position battling the #5 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Unless there is an extended holdout or injury, bank on Mark Sanchez being under center for the Jets when they open up against Houston. I don’t see him bombing out in training camp or Kellen Clemens all of a sudden looking like a franchise quarterback this summer. The Jets drafted Sanchez to be their guy for this year, and for the next ten.