Jets-Steelers Match up Central

I never thought I’d get the chance to say associate the 2013 Jets with a “trap game,” but here we are in Week Six with the 0-4 Steelers a clearly inferior opponent.  With the Patriots’ match-up on the horizon, the Jets could be caught in a trap game this week. Continue reading “Jets-Steelers Match up Central”

Game Balls, “Plucked”: New York Jets 30 Atlanta Falcons 28

To borrow one of my favorite Suzyn Waldman-isms, “of all the dramatic things,” (and no, Roger Clemens is not in George Steinbrenner’s box) the New York Jets are now sitting at 3-2 by virtue of a heart-pounding road win against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, in front of the nation, after most people wrote them off before the season even started. I have to be honest, I thought the likelihood that they would be able to pull this one out was slim. Yet, the Jets came ready to play and were great in all three phases. The stat of the day is 0; the amount of turnovers the Jets committed last night and the first game in which they did not hand the ball to the opposing team. Imagine what would happen if they could do that on a regular basis. While you’re doing that, lets’ paint up some Game Balls:

Continue reading “Game Balls, “Plucked”: New York Jets 30 Atlanta Falcons 28″

New York Jets vs Atlanta Falcons: Match-Up Central – TOJ

Most have the New York Jets pinned down as a loser heading into Monday night’s match-up, even though the Atlanta Falcons have been a drastically underachieving team so far this year.  I honestly think tonight is a real toss up.

Continue reading “New York Jets vs Atlanta Falcons: Match-Up Central – TOJ”

TOJ – New York Jets Tight End Grade Sheet (Week 4 & First Quarter of the Season)

Every week Cole Patterson will break down the performance of the New York Jets tight ends. Here is his take on week four. 

Grading Scale: Tight end is an interesting position to grade out, given that they are responsible for both receiving and blocking. As receivers in the West Coast Offense, tight ends will be asked to line up anywhere from slot, to split end, to flanker and be responsible for the entire route tree. As blockers in the offense, they will be assigned delayed releases, one-on-one blocks, or simply to chip a pass rusher. With these roles in mind, it is difficult to create a complex grading scale based on YPC or blocking, as the play may conclude before the tight end’s true role on the play is clear. All of that is to say, because the tight end position is so enigmatic (particularly in a WCO) a simple letter based grading scale is best employed. 

  • A = Entirely positive impact
  • B = Consistent positive impact, few minor mistakes
  • C = Equal level of positive and negative impact, average, or made no impact plays whatsoever
  • D = Mostly negative impact, with room for improvement
  • F = Entirely negative impact

Continue reading “TOJ – New York Jets Tight End Grade Sheet (Week 4 & First Quarter of the Season)”

An Overview of Sports-Betting Odds

By – Michael Chen 

Some people are comfortable making sports bets based on their gut. Everyone has heard a story or two about “a friend” who managed to make big money picking a team or horse based on the color of the uniforms, the animal’s name or another unscientific method.

Continue reading “An Overview of Sports-Betting Odds”

The Double-Standard Towards PEDs In Sports

Frank Giasone discusses the double standard of the attitude towards PEDs in football compared to baseball

I’ll admit, when the Sports Illustrated report regarding Ray Lewis’ alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs surfaced, my curiosity was instantly piqued. I wasn’t especially curious if the iconic middle linebacker actually used the illegal drugs in question. And I wasn’t even all that concerned with his comments following the allegations. What I really wanted to know was, what kind of outcry would this report instigate throughout sports world?

As it turned out (and as I suspected), it was no more than a blip for Lewis and the NFL, as Major League Baseball–once again–was thrust into the forefront of the PED scandal. Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun headed a list of players reportedly linked to HGH use and the story immediately took flight, offering the NFL another chance to sneak by virtually unscathed.

Continue reading “The Double-Standard Towards PEDs In Sports”

NFL Draft 2013: Frank Giasone’s Mock Draft 1.0

Turn On The Jets NFL Draft writer Frank Giasone with his first mock draft for 2013

2011-NFL-Draft-Order1

1.) Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M: While it’s already nearly impossible to predict the No.1 overall selection this early in the draft process, a new regime in KC only complicates the forecast further. Although the Chiefs used back-to-back picks on the offensive line (second and third round) in the 2012 NFL Draft—and signed right tackle Eric Winston to a four-year, $22M contract last offseason— the Kansas City decision makers will find it hard to pass up a talent like Joeckel on draft day. We all know Andy Reid loves his quarterbacks, but I think the most likely scenarios include Reid finding one through a trade or sometime on the second day of the draft—as he did with both Kevin Kolb and Nick Foles.

2.) Jacksonville Jaguars- Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State: Another tough selection to gauge this early in the process, especially considering the juxtaposition of recently hired head coach Gus Bradley’s defensive background and general manager Dave Caldwell, who comes from the offensive-minded Atlanta Falcons organization. There’s a good chance the Jags stick with Chad Henne at quarterback this season—and assuming the current crop of QBs doesn’t improve drastically by April, I don’t see Jacksonville selecting one to groom for the future in this spot. Werner is arguably the most gifted defensive player in this draft, with tons of upside considering he only started playing the game at 15. He’ll have an immediate impact on the Jaguars defensive line.

3.) Oakland Raiders- Star Lotuleli, Defensive Tackle, Utah: Oakland has issues all over the place, and while Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher is certainly an option here (even with promising LT Jared Veldheer already on the roster), Lotuleli is just too good for Dennis Allen to pass up. Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly hasn’t performed well, and both Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant are unrestricted free agents. Lotuleli is the best player left on the board at No. 3 and fills a huge need for Oakland.

4.) Philadelphia Eagles- Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan: While Luke Joeckel is the trendy name for top tackle in the draft, it’s Fisher –whose stock will continue to soar as April approaches- that may end up being the best of the bunch. The Eagles are in a great shape to improve an offensive line that has completely fallen apart the past two seasons with Fisher, who would immediately start at left tackle for Chip Kelly & Co.

5.) Detroit Lions- Damontre Moore, Defensive End, Texas A&M: With Cliff Avril likely testing free agency, and Kyle Vanden Bosch no guarantee to return to the Motor City in 2013, Moore looks like the most logical pick for a Lions defense that finished last season tied for 20th in sacks. The decisionmakers in Detroit have to figure out a way to maximize Ndamukong Suh’s presence up front and adding a threat like Moore to the line is as good a way as any.

6.) Cleveland Browns- Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia: Jones is the likely option for Cleveland at No. 6 following defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s confirmation that the Browns will switch to an “attack-minded 3-4 scheme” next season. Considered the best 3-4 OLB in the draft by some, Jones will give a boost to a defense already equipped with middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, cornerback Joe Haden and defensive tackle Phil Taylor. It’s too early to know if Jones’ injury concerns are severe enough knock him out of the top 10, but for now he’s the perfect selection for the Browns at No. 6.

7.) Arizona Cardinals- Chance Warmack, Guard, Alabama: The Cardinals have issues-on-top-of-issues when it comes to the offensive line. With the two top-rated offensive tackles off the board, it’s Warmack –not Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson—who jumpstarts the Arizona rebuild. The seventh spot may be considered too high to select a guard, but Warmack is a special talent worth reaching for.

8.) Buffalo Bills- Barkevious Mingo, Defensive End, LSU: This selection could likely turn into a quarterback on draft day, depending on head coach Doug Marrone’s stance on Ryan Fitzpatrick. But in this, my 1.0 mock draft, the selection goes the way of the defense. While Mingo has, in my opinion, the highest bust potential of any OLB in the draft, it’s his versatility and intangibles that will likely get him drafted early on Day 1.

9.) New York Jets- Dion Jordan, Defensive End, Oregon: The moment you’ve all been waiting for: Dion Jordan is the first pick of the John Idzik regime in New York. Versatile enough to play standing up in 3-4 front or at defensive end in 4-3 schemes, Jordan is the multitalented defender of Rex Ryan’s dreams. While he has a lot of developing yet to do—and is currently dealing with an injury that could certainly alter this selection in the coming months—the addition of a young, athletic outside linebacker like Jordan is something the Jets have been trying to accomplish for years. Combine the pick with the possible addition of OLB’s Conner Barwin or Paul Kruger via free agency, and the Jets once weak LB corps instantly morphs into a strength.

Note: Although some people see the Jets going offensive line here, we’ve seen time and time again the ability to secure a solid interior lineman late in the draft or through free agency. The Jets did it with Brandon Moore (who I believe will be back in ‘13) and they’ll have the opportunity to do it again this year.

10.) Tennessee Titans- Johnathon Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State: Hankins’ versatility makes him an intriguing option at No. 10 for Tennessee. Another team with lots of concerns, Tennessee could go in a number of different directions here. And while the tenth spot may be a little high for the Buckeye standout, it’s Hankins’ versatility, combined with the production from starting defensive ends Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley, that could make the Titans defensive line a real force moving forward.

11.) San Diego Chargers – Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma: Another offensive lineman who will continue trending upward as April approaches, Johnson is one of the most versatile big men in this draft. While he’s settled in a No. 11 today, he very well could find himself a top 10 prospect in the coming months. A former quarterback and tight end, Johnson has shown the ability to play left and right tackle, despite still being a neophyte on the offensive line. His long arms and elite athleticism will certainly garner a warm welcome from quarterback Phillip Rivers, who appears to have developed some happy feet over the past two years.

12.) Miami Dolphins- Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Cal: They’re stocked with picks and cap space in 2013, and while a free agent wide receiver like Gregg Jennings remains a very likely option for Miami, selecting the highest rated receiver certainly won’t hurt the development of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

13.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama: You probably didn’t expect to see the highest rated cornerback fall this far (truthfully, neither did I), but you better believe the Bucs will be more than happy reap the benefits of Milliner at No. 13. The best all around cornerback in this draft, Milliner’s size and physicality will be a welcomed addition in Tampa as a replacement to Aqib Talib.

14.) Carolina Panthers- Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle, Missouri: The Panthers have a bevy of athletic linebackers, but they lack a big body in the middle of the defensive line to help stop the run and eat up blocks. Richardson will help address those issues, and will also provide another pass rushing option up the middle.

15.) New Orleans Saints- Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas: The Saints defense needs a lot of help, and while they could likely target a linebacker here, not know the scheme they intend to use next season makes Vaccaro the pick for now. Touted as the highest rated safety in the draft, Vaccaro is a rangy prospect with the body-type and athleticism to play both safety positions.

16.) St. Louis Rams- Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Tennessee: The Rams need to give Sam Bradford more offensive weapons in 2013. With Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson the top receivers in St. Louis, Patterson would provide offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer more flexibility in his offensive schemes. Patterson, who is one of the most complete receivers in the draft, could also have an impact on special teams.

17.) Pittsburgh Steelers- Johnathan Jenkins, Defensive Tackle, Georgia: The Steelers have gotten very old, very quickly on the defensive side of the ball, as its linebackers, defensive line and secondary have all seen better days. That means, with a rare top 20 pick, Pittsburgh is in good position to start retooling. Casey Hampton is older than dirt (sorry Casey), and Jenkins has an enormous frame capable of taking on multiple blockers. While he may lack versatility up front, his strength and frame make him a great fit for the Steelers 3-4 defense.

18.) Dallas Cowboys – Sharrif Floyd, Defensive Tackle, Florida: Jay Ratliff isn’t getting any younger, and after his most recent run-in with police (he got popped for DWI a few days back) a defensive tackle to Dallas at No. 18 is looking even more likely. Monte Kiffin is in as defensive coordinator in Dallas now, and Floyd fills a big need in his Tampa 2 scheme.

19.) New York Giants- Manti Te’o, Inside Linebacker, Notre Dame: His recent “issue” may steer the Giants away from making this selection, but the fact remains that Jerry Reece just can’t ignore his needy linebacker corps any longer. When Chase Blackburn is arguably your best ILB over the past two seasons…it’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

20.) Chicago Bears- Jonathan Cooper, Guard, North Carolina: You only needed to watch a few offensive series to recognize Chicago’s biggest need is on the offensive line. Cooper is my second-rated guard in the draft, and boasts impressive speed, lateral movement, and footwork. I’m sure Jay Cutler will be ecstatic with the addition fo Cooper to the Bears offense.

21.) Cincinnati Bengals –Eddie Lacy, Running Back, Alabama: The Bengals have a solid core and will eventually need to address some issues on defense (notably the overwhelming disappointment of Rey Maualuga at the MLB position). But as the cliché goes, “it’s an offensive league” and the Bengals can’t rely on BenJarvus Green-Ellis to carry the load in 2013. Lacy is a power back with some speed that would fit well with young up-and-coming offensive stars like Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.

22.) St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins)- Giovani Bernard, Running Back, North Carolina: Confession time: It pains me to write this because of an obsession I’ve developed with Jets grabbing Bernard in the second round. But, with that dream quickly fading, I’ve conceded that the Rams will once again address the offensive side of the ball in an attempt to recreate the days of “The Greatest Show on Turf”. Goodbye, Giovani.

23.) Minnesota Vikings- Alec Ogletree, Inside Linebacker, Georgia: The Vikings need help at linebacker in a bad way, and Ogletree boasts the speed and athleticism to make plays all over the field. A converted safety, Ogletree will likely need to add size to his frame, and will certainly deal with questions regarding off the field issues during interviews. But for now, he’s a great pick for Minnesota at No. 23.

24.) Indianapolis Colts- D.J. Fluker, Offensive Tackle, Alabama: It’s pretty simple: Andrew Luck is your meal ticket; make sure you protect him accordingly. While Fluker isn’t as highly touted as some of the other offensive lineman in this draft (as part of one of the best OL units in college football last year Fluker was, at times, overlooked), he does possess the physical skills to play both tackle positions in the NFL. Of course defense is an option here, but lowering Luck’s sack number from 40 should take precedence.

25.) Seattle Seahawks- Larry Warford, Guard, Kentucky: Similar to the situation in Indy, the Seahawks need to protect their investment at quarterback. Warford turned some heads at the Senior Bowl and will likely continue to do so in the coming months. With defense a strength in Seattle, No. 25 is a great spot to lock up one of the top interior lineman in the draft.

26.) Green Bay Packers- Ezekiel Ansah, Defensive End, BYU: Ansah is an extremely raw prospect (after only one year starting at BYU) who has garnered obvious comparisons to the Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul due mostly to his untapped potential. The Packers’ defense is lacking and Ansah could provide Green Bay with another weapon alongside Clay Matthews.

27.) Houston Texans- DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson: Matt Schaub is Gary Kubiak’s guy at QB so the best chance for success in Houston is to improve the weapons around him. Kevin Walter isn’t a consistent enough weapon as a No. 2 receiver, and Hopkins possesses the skillset that could see him eventually develop into a replacement for Andre Johnson in a few years.

28.) Denver Broncos- Johnthan Banks, Cornerback, Mississippi State: The pick makes sense for a Denver team that really doesn’t lack much on either side of the ball. John Fox could go running back here, but the presence of Peyton Manning at QB automatically improves whatever ‘back the Broncos trot out on the field. With Champ Bailey showing his age in the playoffs this season, Banks fills a big need in for the Broncos.

29.) New England Patriots- Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, West Virginia: With Julian Edleman likely gone, and Wes Welker possibly right behind him, the Patriots offense may need to be tweaked in the offseason. Austin looks to be a great fit for the Pats offensive scheme and should flourish with Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick.

30.) Atlanta Falcons- Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame: Tony Gonzalez says he won’t be back—despite still being arguably the best receiving TE in the league—and Eifert is the ideal replacement. It won’t be easy to replace one of the best TE’s in NFL history, but Atlanta could certainly do much worse than the top-rated tight end in the draft.

31.) Baltimore Ravens- Kevin Minter, Inside Linebacker, LSU: Just like in Atlanta, Baltimore will have to deal with the absence of an icon in 2013. Ray Lewis is retiring and Ravens defense is getting older. Despite playing well late this season and during this postseason run, Baltimore has a lot of work to do this offesason. Minter is capable to step in as a starter and should provide Baltimore with more versatility in the middle of the field.

32.) San Francisco 49ers- Desmond Trufant, Cornerback, Washington: San Francisco boasts the most impressive roster in this league, but if there’s one issue with its defense it’s the absence of a true cover corner. So with pick No. 32 it’s a case of the rich getting richer, as arguably the best defense in football walks away with a big, physical corner who recently impressed during the Senior Bowl.

Breaking Down the Jets Roster From Top To Bottom

Mike Donnelly takes a comedic look through the New York Jets current roster

There’s been an awful lot of talk the past few days about the Jets poorly constructed roster and the mind-blowing lack of depth. Readers of this site know we have been beating that drum for months, but after the humiliating loss to the 49ers last week and the crippling injuries to Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis, the spotlight is shining squarely on Mike Tannenbaum’s masterpiece.

There is no question at this point that he has done a terrible job the past two offseasons. Let me show you how poor this collection of “talent” is from top to bottom, as I rank all the players on the Jets roster from 1-53 and place them in one of five different categories. Keep in mind as we go through this that I’m being very generous in my letter grade evaluations of these players, especially the ones that I rank as “useful” when that may not exactly be the case (I’m looking at you, Calvin Pace). Also, after the top 15 or so, I started to become physically ill when trying to best rank these players because I thought I was in the 40’s already and wasn’t. Anyway, here are the five categories the players are placed in:

  • Category 1, The Darrelle Revis Division: An excellent NFL player who would either start for every team in the league, or would have any team in the league loving to get him (example: Quinton Coples falls into this category because of his potential, recent draft position, and big upside).
  • Category 2, The Dustin Keller Division: A solid NFL starter that just about any team in the NFL would like to have, or a player with a lot of value.
  • Category 3, The Mike DeVito Division: An average NFL player that has a role in the league and can contribute to a winning team.
  • Category 4, The Calvin Pace Division: A below average NFL player that shouldn’t be starting for any team, but could contribute in the right situation — in small doses — as a role player, or on special teams (shocker: We have a lot of these!)
  • Category 5, The Jeff Cumberland Division: Useless players – (double shocker: We have plenty of these, too!)

Let’s take a look. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these rankings as well in the comments or on Twitter.

CATEGORY 1, The Darrelle Revis Division

1. Darrelle Revis, A++. Obviously. One of the best players in the entire league.

2. Nick Mangold, A++. Best Center in the NFL, a true stud.

3. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, A. Slipped last year, but still an excellent Left Tackle.

4. Antonio Cromartie, A. Some don’t like him, but the fact is he’s one of the best corners in the NFL.

5. David Harris, A-. A top MLB, even if he’s not in the elite class.

6. Santonio Holmes, A-. Still a great WR when given the chance. Well maybe not anymore after this severe foot injury. At least he’s guaranteed $7.5 million next year, whether he plays or not, so that’s good…

7. Mo Wilkerson, A-/B+. Hasn’t dominated the way Jets fans hoped this year (yet), but he’s still an extremely promising lineman who has shown flashes of greatness.

8. Quinton Coples, A-/B+. Obviously we haven’t seen much yet, but the 2012 1st-round pick has a chance to be a star player. One of the few players on the roster all 31 other teams would take without thinking twice.

CATEGORY 2, The Dustin Keller Division

9. Laron Landry, B. A Godsend for the Jets D this year, despite his injury-prone past and not being the best in coverage. That he’s that high on the list speaks more to the rest of the crappy roster than his own play though, unfortunately.

10. Dustin Keller, B. Solid TE, but far from elite. Can’t block and doesn’t have great size.

11. Sione Pouha, B. Off to a slow start due to a back injury, but an elite run stuffer when healthy.

12. Stephen Hill, B-. Sure, the 2nd round pick can’t catch, but he has a ton of potential and any team would take him.

13. Brandon Moore, B-. His run blocking has slipped, but he’s still an above average Guard.

CATEGORY 3, The Mike DeVito Division

14. Mark Sanchez, B-/C+. I believe Sanchez will be a very good QB in this league. Unfortunately, I’m starting to think it won’t be with the Jets, who have absolutely mishandled him from the get-go and failed to develop him.

15. Demario Davis, C+. I think I speak for most Jets fans when I say I’m looking forward to seeing him play the rest of the season. Sadly, like Landry, his high placement on this list has more to do with the other players below him than what we’ve seen from Davis himself. Has a lot of potential.

16. Kenrick Ellis, C+. Ditto everything I said about Demario Davis.

17. Jeremy Kerley, C+. Kerley shouldn’t be the 17th best player on any team, despite his solid punt returning ability and slot receiver skills.

18. Mike DeVito, C. Solid run stuffer on the D-Line.

19. Kyle Wilson, C. I wanted to put this waste of a 1st-round pick lower, but…

20. Shonn Greene, C. See? It’s really a tossup at this point. Greene is the definition of an average running back right now. In the right situation he could still be very productive, though. This Jets team, unfortunately, is not the right situation.

21. Yeremiah Bell, C. Solid veteran safety. Nothing special. At #22. Thanks Mike Tannenbaum!

22. Aaron MaybinC. I think this is a fine spot for our pass rush specialist with 0 sacks.

23. Nick Folk, C. Folk has quietly become a very good kicker here. And yes, our average kicker is this high on the list. I wonder where Lawrence Tynes would rank on the Giants?

24. Matt Slauson, C. As average of an average lineman as you’ll see. We’re only up to #24, and it’s Matt freakin’ Slauson. Tan-Nen-Baum! Tan-Nen-Baum!

CATEGORY 4, The Calvin Pace Division

25. Joe McKnight, C. A great kick returner, but he apparently sucks so much as a Running Back that they wanted him to play Corner after he couldn’t get on the field for a team averaging 3.2 yards per carry.

26. Bilal Powell, C-. How many other teams would have their fans clamoring to see Bilal Powell run the ball more? I can’t think of many.

27. Tim Tebow, C-. Yeahhhh, I got nothin to say here. You know the deal with Tebow. If he can’t heal Revis or Holmes by touching their injured body parts, then there’s not much use for him on this team. Then again, he did lay some pretty sweet weak side blocks last week!

28. Calvin Pace, C-. Wanted to put him lower, but how could I when I look at this list? Make no mistake about it, though: Calvin Pace absolutely brings nothing at this stage of his career.

29. Bart Scott, C-/D+. It pains me to say it, but it’s over for Bart. It’s to the point now I want him off the team just so I no longer have to read corny jokes like this from writers who think they’re hilarious:

30. Tanner Purdum, D+. Great long snapper, gotta admit that!

31. Eric Smith, D+. Good special teamer, terrible safety. Certainly not worth $2.5 million/year. How are we not in the 40’s yet?

32. Austin Howard, D+. Perhaps he can develop, but as it stands now the best thing that can be said about him is that he isn’t Wayne Hunter.

33. Chaz Schilens, D+. It shows how terrible the Jets offensive weapons are that some fans are really pushing to see more of Chaz.

34. Josh Bush, D+. He was a Jets draft pick, so chances are he will be released soon.

35. Bryan Thomas, D. If Bryan Thomas was a dog, Rex Ryan would bring him out behind the shed and shoot him. It’s over.

36. Greg McElroy, D. Can be a solid backup QB for a few years here, and that ain’t bad!

37. Josh Mauga, D. I mean, I guess this is a good spot for him?

38. Nick Bellore, D. If Bellore and Mauga switched uniforms, would anybody tell the difference? And yes, this is the part of the roster rundown where I’d recommend you start drinking.

39. Jason Smith, D. At least he’s not Wayne Hunter.

40. Vlad Ducasse, D. It’s pretty hilarious to think back to Draft Day 2010 when the Jets were rumored to be looking at him in the 1st round. Shouldn’t it have raised some flags that he was still around when they picked late in round 2 and several linemen went instead? The reason is because he sucks. He sucked then, and he sucks now.

41. Robert Malone, D. He’s actually been really good this season. If he keeps it up, he can be much higher on this list later this year. Sadly, that’s not much of a compliment. On a side note, I would like to start calling him “Mayday” though, which will be fun when he punts 17 times a game.

42. John Conner, D-. I told you I was going to be generous with my grades. He’s useless on offense, but he’s still a solid special-teamer! I might as well be picking names out of a hat at this point to fill out the list.

43. Caleb Schlauderaff, D-. Honestly, I didn’t bother to even make sure that’s how you spell his name. That’s really all you need to know about the guy that Mike Tannenbaum FOR SOME REASON has a hard-on for and calls out by name in every interview for being a great depth player (his “next Victor Cruz!” obsession). Somehow, he’s not one of the 10 worst players on the team.

CATEGORY 5, The Jeff Cumberland Division

44. Garrett McIntyre, F. – A useless player. How are there 9 players worse than him on this team? If you increased your drinking rate at this point while reading, I don’t blame you.

45. Damon Harrison, F. – His only skill appears to be that he’s a big fat guy. 8 more to go!

46. Konrad Reuland, F. I actually don’t hate this guy. He can be useful in small doses.

47. Ellis Lankster, F. He showed last week why he should never, ever be on the field for defense.

48. Jonathan Grimes, F. I’ve never even seen him play, but he can’t be worse than the last 5 guys.

49. Isaiah Trufant, F-. He’s a poor man’s Ellis Lankster. And considering Lankster has a homeless man’s amount of ability, I’m not even sure what that would make Trufant.

50. Jeff Cumberland, F-. An absolutely useless player in every sense of the word. Can’t block, can’t catch, can’t play special teams. Other than that, Tannenbaum hit a home run with this guy!

51. Clyde Gates, F-. Because not everyone can be ranked last, right??

52. Lex Hilliard, F– Sigh.

53. Dedrick Epps, F- –. That’s right, he gets two minuses for being the 53rd man on the team with the worst depth in the NFL. He seriously wouldn’t even play for the University of Alabama I don’t think.

And there you have it. The roster with the worst depth in the NFL run  down from 1-53. It’s become painfully clear that the roster was poorly constructed, there was no plan (and still isn’t), and that there isn’t much hope for an immediate turnaround. We’d love to hear thoughts from everyone on this.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Jets/Dolphins Review Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling after the Jets week 3 win against Miami

Before we jump into the negatives when it comes to this Jets team right now, I’d like to start this week off with a few positives because believe it or not, there actually were a few after re-watching the game. There weren’t many after the narrow win over the crappy Dolphins, but there are a few that are worth mentioning…

BUY: Robert Malone – That’s right, the list of positives begins with the punter! A lot of people were confused when TJ Conley was punted off the roster (Get it?!?), but as usual, Mike Westhoff was completely right. Robert Malone has been excellent this season, and he helped the Jets in the field position battle all afternoon on Sunday. He’s got a really strong leg, and he’s dropped several punts down near the goalline this year. There are no two ways about it: He’s been a major upgrade at the position.

BUY: Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley – As Mark Sanchez said, Santonio played his absolute ass off on Sunday and he deserves all the credit in the world for that performance. It can’t be easy when you’re double teamed on every play and the defense knows you are the only reliable receiver on the team, but he handled it well, played hard the entire game, and was the single biggest reason the Jets won the game (other than Dan Carptenter). If he can play like that every week, the offense won’t be too bad. As for Kerley, quite simply, he needs to get the ball more. For an offense that struggles making big plays, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be out there more often while guys like Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates watch from the sidelines.

BUY: Laron Landry – Man oh man, it sure was nice to see a safety wearing green make a play on the field for a change, wasn’t it? I had forgotten what that was like after watching Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith appear as though they were moving in slow motion on my television screen the past two years.

BUY: Shonn Greene and the Run Game – I’ve backed Greene all year, and that won’t change now! I thought he looked absolutely great out there on Sunday, making cuts, forcing missed tackles with nifty spin moves and– ahhhh ok, none of that happened at all. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t keep this charade up. Shonn Greene shouldn’t be relied upon as the “bell cow” running back any longer. I’m not saying he shouldn’t get 12 or so carries a game, because he definitely should, but we need to mix it up.

Bilal Powell looked much better against Miami and deserves to at least split touches at this point. Joe McKnight absolutely needs to be incorporated more into the offense, as does Tim Tebow. Yes, Tim Tebow 100% should be taking more snaps and running the ball to provide some kind of spark to this flat run game. Greene has always been better as a 1B type back who comes in to pound tired defenses, and that is what he should be back to doing now. Use a committee approach and let Greene seal the game at the end.  And when we get to short yardage or goal line situations, for the love of God, can we please see Tebow in there to run it right up the middle behind Mangold? Please? Just once? Speaking of which…

SELL: The Tebow Plan – It’s been three weeks and I’m starting to think the Jets didn’t actually have a plan for Tebow after all. Unless of course the plan was to make him a slot receiver who can’t actually catch, because if that was it, I take back everything I just wrote. They’re executing that one brilliantly. If Tebow isn’t in on 1st and goal from the 1 or other short yardage situations, what is the point of having him on this team? That’s a spot that he is tailor made for! And can we see him throw one pass maybe? I know they’re “saving it”, but it’s to the point now that everyone knows that’s what they’re doing anyway and it won’t even be a surprise. Ugh.

SELL: Ellis Lankster – As soon as Lankster came on the field for extended action following the Revis injury… hold on, I have to slam my head into the desk a few times thinking about that. Ok, so yeah, when Lankster came in the game, the Dolphins IMMEDIATELY targeted him. And not just once, either. I’m pretty sure if Ryan Tannehill were mic’d up for that game, we would hear him at the line just yelling out “Lankster is over there covering you! I’m throwing to you, man!” I’m serious about that too. Lankster is awful. He’s a worse version of Drew Coleman, who is perhaps my most hated Jet in recent memory. If Lankster is seriously the nickel back the rest of the way, I expect him to challenge for that title. (EDITOR’S NOTE – I love Drew Coleman. He’d be the best pass rusher on the Jets right now).

SELL: The Linebackers – Lankster was far from the only bad defender on the field on Sunday. All of the linebackers played terribly, even David Harris, who is normally terrific. I love Bart Scott, but at this point I’m starting to think he went missing sometime last year and his slower, less athletic, weaker twin brother just showed up to the facility one day, started yelling and picking fights just like Bart would do, put on the 57 jersey and nobody seemed to notice. If the fake Bart can’t blow plays up in the backfield and stuff the run like the real one used to, then there’s really no use for him on the field anymore.

As for the outside linebackers, Garrett McIntyre came off his two sack performance in Pittsburgh and once again looked like Garrett McIntyre. You know, the guy who can’t set the edge on run plays, can’t cover tight ends or running backs, and who gets no pass rush. Or more simply, he looked just like a white Calvin Pace. Thankfully, Pace is in his last season with the team, and in 2013 we won’t have to see him Frankenstein-walk his way into the backfield in another ill-fated attempt to sack a quarterback. I’m starting to really wish this team still had Aaron Maybin on the roster so he could play more and we MIGHT have a chance at a sack. Oh, what’s that? Aaron Maybin is still on the team? Could have fooled me…

Thinking about the linebackers made me think about just how many completely and totally useless players are on this roster, which 100% lays at the feet of Mike Tannenbaum, who apparently never read my letter to him and just figured he already built a roster deep enough and strong enough to compete as a defense-oriented, ground and pound unit. He was wrong. Just take a look:

2012 Useless Jets Players List

  • WR- Clyde Gates
  • WR- Chaz Schilens
  • TE- Jeff Cumberland
  • G- Vlad Ducasse
  • OLB- Calvin Pace
  • OLB- Bryan Thomas
  • OLB- Garrett McIntyre
  • S- Eric Smith

2012 Almost-Useless Jets Players List

  • MLB- Bart Scott
  • FB- John Conner
  • TE- Konrad Reuland
  • QB- Tim Tebow

And that doesn’t even get into our rookie class that we are getting NOTHING out of, or backup players who weren’t expected to contribute in the first place. This team has NO depth, and it’s becoming painfully clear. Mike Tannenbaum did a terrible job building this team, giving Mark Sanchez no receivers to throw to (amongst other terrible development strategies), the running game no blocking tight ends to open holes for them, and the defense no speed to actually tackle ball carries. I’m pretty sure that’s not the way to build a contender.

And speaking of useless people, I present the last sell of the week. In this case, I did not save the best for last.

SELL: Evan Silva – The fantasy football and NFL super-duper guru/expert/analyst had himself quite a week. Some of you may have thought I was joking two weeks ago when I unveiled my new 3-part betting strategy, but I was not. What was that strategy you ask? Here you go:

  1. Find Evan Silva’s picks and score predictions.
  2. Bet the opposite of them all.
  3. Collect $$$

After a solid 12-4 week this week for me against the spread, the results speak for themselves. I invite you all to join me on the money train in coming weeks. The season may look bleak for the Jets and us fans with Revis’s torn ACL, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a little fun along the way.

New York Jets: Wise To Explore A Trade For Harvin

Chris Gross explores if the Jets should make a run at attempting to trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin

After trading with the Cleveland Browns to obtain Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the New York Jets reportedly attempted to execute another trade in order to move back into the bottom half of round one to select WR Percy Harvin of the University of Florida. As it is now known, the Jets were unsuccessful in their attempt to obtain that pick and Harvin. However, with recent reports surfacing earlier this week that Harvin has requested a trade out of Minnesota, New York could explore another attempt to swing a deal that would bring in the player they nearly landed just three seasons ago. While it remains to be seen whether or not the Vikings will even entertain the idea of moving one of their most vital offensive weapons, if Harvin does in fact become available, the Jets would be wise to look into swinging a deal for the three-year veteran.

With a new offensive coordinator in place in Tony Sparano, New York has high hopes for offensive improvement for the 2012 season. Bringing in Harvin would bolster those hopes even further, and would give the Jets a very unique arsenal of offensive personnel that, if used properly, could become one of the most dangerous in the league. When looking at Harvin, there are several reasons as to why he would be a great fit with Gang Green, all of which fit the identity of the new scheme to a T.

Speed Kills – The Jets are making a big push to add some much needed speed to their offense as displayed already by the decision to draft burner Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech (4.3 40 yard dash), as well as the signing of free agent wide out Chaz Schilens, who has also been timed in the low 4.3 40 yard dash range. Bringing in another speedster in Harvin (4.41 40 yard dash) to put alongside Santonio Holmes, Schilens, and Hill would give the Jets a near perfect amount of YAC potential in its receiving corps.

Big Play Threat – One of Tony Sparano’s greatest points of emphasis in his offensive philosophy is the importance of achieving “Chunk Plays,” meaning the ability to make large gains on any particular play, moving down the field in “chunks.” Harvin would fill yet another piece of this puzzle. Over his three-year career, Harvin has made receptions of at least 20 yards in 27 total contests, averaging out to exactly 9 games per season. Of those 27 games, he has made receptions of at least 30 yards in 15, 8 of which he had receptions of at least 40 yards, all while building a career average of 12 yards per reception. Harvin certainly has the ability and athleticism to provide Sparano and the Jets offense with a good amount of these chunk plays that the offensive philosophy covets so wildly.

Dual Threat – In an offense that will likely see a great amount of creativity and versatility, Harvin would prove to be a vital weapon within this approach. Although he has had great success as a wide receiver during his three years in Minnesota, Harvin has also done very well running the football, accumulating an average of 6.9 yards per carry, with three touchdowns. These numbers are certainly not mind blowing, but impressive considering the fact that he achieved them with arguably the greatest back in the league on his team in Adrian Peterson. With New York’s desire to return to the “Ground and Pound” offensive style, there is certainly never enough room for players with the ability to effectively run the ball.

Familiarity – Prior to entering the 2009 NFL Draft, Harvin played in his final two seasons at the University of Florida with current Jets backup Quarterback Tim Tebow as the starting signal caller for the Gators. During those two seasons, Harvin posted numbers that were impressive enough to secure a first round selection in 2009. With Tebow running the helm, Harvin amassed 99 receptions for 1,502 yards and 11 touchdowns. Conversely, Harvin served as a very successful ground threat in Florida’s spread offense scheme with Tebow, as he carried the ball 153 times over his final two seasons as a Gator for 1,423 yards, culminating in an astounding 9.3 yards per carry, while amassing 17 touchdowns along the way.

A large part of the Jets’ “Tebow Package” is expected to include a good amount of Wildcat formations, however it has recently been reported that New York may be reluctant to run these formations because that would put starting Quarterback Mark Sanchez as a receiver every time Tebow takes the field. Instead, Sanchez will likely come completely out of the game when Tebow enters, which could lead to a more read-option approach under #15, a scheme very similar to the one Harvin and Tebow were a part of at Florida. Could Sparano and Co. rekindle the chemistry that produced a National Championship and Heisman Trophy during the two years that the two were together in Gainesville? Odds are the offensive coaching staff, along with General Manager Mike Tannenbaum and Head Coach Rex Ryan, would be drooling at the prospect of implementing a personnel group centered around Tebow and Harvin. This would add a dynamic to the Jets offense that has yet to be seen in the league.

Production – Harvin’s career numbers in Minnesota speak for themselves. Over the past two seasons, Harvin played in 30 total contests reeling in 158 passes for 1,835 yards and 11 touchdowns. In New York, the Jets’ number one receiving option over the past two years has been Santonio Holmes. During those seasons, Holmes played in 28 total games, while collecting 103 receptions for 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns. Although Harvin has been a bit more productive than Holmes in terms of receptions and yardage, the two have each been collectively successful considering the situations of each of their respective offenses. Minnesota went through a drastic quarterback shuffle last season, while the Jets maintained virtually no identity under the philosophically challenged Brian Schottenheimer. Pairing the two of them with rookie Stephen Hill would give the Jets one of the most dynamic, fast, and youthful wide receiving corps in the NFL.

While a trade for Harvin would certainly come with a great amount of obstacles, most notably the compensation that Minnesota will likely seek in return, knowing Mike Tannenbaum, this move cannot be completely ruled out until the 2012 trade deadline passes. Few people expected the Jets to trade for Brett Favre and release Chad Pennington during training camp heading into the 2008 season, and even fewer expected the organization to trade for Tebow just a few short months ago. With this front office, anything is possible, and a move like this would not only bolster the talent of the Jets offense, but would also contribute to the identity this offense is trying to achieve, something that was virtually non-existent last season.