Thoughts On Ongoing Jets Off-Season Workouts

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1. Great work by Sione Pouha organizing the Jets defensive lineman for workouts in North Jersey. This is a group that will have some new pieces in the rotation with draft picks Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis, along with Ropati Pitoitua coming off season ending surgery now in the mix. It is also encouraging to hear that Shaun Ellis will join the workouts later in the week, considering his status with the team is up in the air. Let’s hope any work Wilkerson gets in the off-season will contribute to him making some type of immediate impact whenever the season starts.

2. It is encouraging to hear Mark Sanchez talk about putting together full team workouts, if the lockout continues to carry on. He stated he thinks somewhere around 50 players would show up, which would be great since New England only has around 40…every victory counts, right?

3. Speaking of New England, what is with the paranoia of keeping the media away from your team workouts? Did the secrecy pay off last year in January? Nobody is stealing the information about what routes you are running on air.

4. Jamaal Westerman is taking part in the defensive line workouts and had also worked out with Bart Scott and a few other Jets at the TEST facility in Martinsville, New Jersey earlier in the off-season. It is good to see Westerman getting after it, as he will have a chance to maybe contribute in some of the Jets defensive packages this season considering their depth chart at linebacker.

Click here for more coverage of the New York Jets off-season workouts

The Sanchez vs. Henne Debate

A seemingly never ending “debate”, particularly on ESPN.com is the question of who has been better so far in their NFL career, Mark Sanchez or Chad Henne.

I am aware Chad Henne has thrown for more yards, has a higher completion percentage, and a higher quarterback rating. I am also aware of the following…

Mark Sanchez has more touchdown passes and five more rushing touchdowns.

Mark Sanchez’s regular season record as a starter is 29-12. Henne’s is 14-14 (counting a win over Tennessee last year when he came in after one series for an injured Chad Pennington).

In his second full year as a starter, Henne threw 3 more touchdowns than he did the previous year and 5 more interceptions. In his second full year as a starter, Sanchez threw 5 more touchdowns than he did the previous year, and 8 less interceptions.

Mark Sanchez has two winning seasons, two playoff appearances, and four playoff wins (all on the road). Chad Henne has two 7-9 seasons, zero playoff appearances and zero playoff wins.

Where I really put Sanchez above Henne, is performance in big games and big spots. For Sanchez, it isn’t hard to pick out the big games…

  • 139.4 QB Rating on the road in a wild-card victory over Cincinnati in 2009.
  • 93.3 QB Rating on the road in a AFC Championship Game loss to Indianapolis in 2009.
  • 127.3 QB Rating on the road in a AFC Divisional Game win over New England in 2010.
  • 102.2 QB Rating on the road in a AFC Championship Game loss to the Pittsburgh in 2010.

For Henne, it is a little more difficult. In 2009, Miami was 7-6 with a very good chance for the playoffs. Here is what Hennedid in their next two games, both losses…

  • 3 interceptions, 66.3 QB Rating in a loss to Tennessee.
  • 1 interception, 78.0 QB Rating in a loss to Houston.

Miami would also lose in week 17, to finish 7-9.

In 2010, the Dolphins were 4-3 and a had big mid-season game against the Ravens. Henne threw zero touchdowns and three interceptions before being benched the following week. A few weeks later, the Dolphins were 6-5, still in playoff contention and Henne was back under center. He threw three interceptions against Cleveland and the Dolphins lost again. Henne did beat the Jets the following week, despite going 5/18 for 55 yards and being sacked five times.

For the second year in a row, this left Miami at 7-6 and with a shot for the playoffs. Similar to 2009, they lost out to finish 7-9. In this stretch of games, Henne threw 2 touchdowns to 4 interceptions.

So yes, the past two years Henne’s record between weeks 15-17 is 0-6.

In 2010, Sanchez led the Jets to four 4th quarter comeback wins. In 2010, Henne led the Dolphins to zero fourth quarter comeback wins.

The bottom line is that Sanchez took a step forward in 2010, while Henne took a step back. Sanchez has proven himself to be a winner, who plays better in big spots. Henne hasn’t proven anything yet and has not consistently played better in big spots.

I don’t know if KC Joyner’s metrics account for any of that, but if you needed to win a big game…you are taking Mark Sanchez over Chad Henne every single time.

How Much Can Jets Offensive Rookies Contribute?

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer recently discussed the four new offensive rookies the New York Jets added in April’s draft, all of whom are skill position players. Looking at the 2011 season, if and when it occurs, how much can the Jets really expect from their rookies with such a shortened off-season?

Jeremy Kerley – Considering the roster situation, Kerley seems the most likely to contribute in his rookie year. If free agency goes how expected, there is going to be some reps available at the wide receiver position and Kerley is expected to work into the mix as a slot receiver. He should also compete for the punt return job with Kyle Wilson and Jerricho Cotchery. However, he will have to pick up the offense quickly which will not be easy, especially for a slot receiver where many route changes are made on the fly and are dictated by certain coverages. Punt return won’t be as complex obviously. Look for the Jets to start him off slow by only featuring him in certain packages.

Bilal Powell – The highest of the Jets offensive selections won’t have any pressure to contribute right away considering he is behind Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight on the depth chart. Similar to Greene’s rookie year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him inactive for the first part of the season while he picks up the offense and then maybe get worked in depending on injuries and the productivity of the players in front of him.

Scotty McKnight – He does already have the chemistry with Mark Sanchez which will help him in his battle for reps at slot receiver. As a 7th round pick he will have an uphill battle to even make the roster so the pressure will be on to make an immediate impact in the pre-season. He is also going to have to show that he can contribute on special teams, which is something he didn’t really do in college.

Greg McElroy – McElroy is more than likely going to be the third quarterback, unless something unexpected happens in training camp or the pre-season. Apparently, he was just about the smartest player in the draft and he has two good mentors in front of him with Mark Sanchez and Mark Brunell, so he should be able to handle his role this season.

Best New York Jet To Have A Beer With?

Can you tell we are in a lockout yet? Don’t worry, TOJ will be back at analyzing the more football centric aspects of the team tomorrow, but for tonight let’s explore this important question…

Which Jets player would the be most entertaining to spend a night on the town with, a few nominees in no particular order…

Nick Mangold – The Jets center seems to be a funny enough guy and you have to figure you’d be rolling with the other offensive lineman, which means you can get as rowdy as you want because who is messing with a bunch of NFL tackles, guards, and centers?

Mark Sanchez – You can’t not nominate him. He seems to be generous enough (think Jets West) and he can’t handle all those women at once, can he? I am pretty sure Sanchez’s scraps would be better than many players on the team top option.

This video still cracks me up…well done Sanchez, well done. Don’t be foolish enough to settle down with the girl from Heroes … do it Jeter style and stay single well into your 30s.

Bart Scott – I know Scott is a married guy who claims to never really leave the house on weekends, but you have to figure if he could get out of the cage it would be a great time rolling with him and the Jets linebackers. First off, invite all your friends who are Giants and Patriots fans because who is going to out trash talk Scott? Second, they are making a movie about Scott’s life so you know he will have some interesting stories to tell.

Darrelle Revis – Revis and best friend John Geiger seem like a knock off of Rob and Big and like they’d be an interesting crew to roll with. Beyond that, you know Revis isn’t short on cash and apparently he is dating Olivia from G-Unit, so maybe you can get some hang time in with 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks as well.

I guess it ultimately depends what type of night you are looking for. Let me know your thoughts here or on the Facebook and Twitter page. Also weigh in on our Forums

Thoughts On NBA Finals Game 1/New York Knicks Draft

TOJ at SB Nation New York on why the Knicks should pass on Jimmer Fredette in the NBA Draft

1. Do any of you Knicks fans out there disagree about Fredette? Forgot about the big name, it is time to realize the Knicks can’t outscore everybody on their way to a NBA title. The reason Miami is probably going to win it all this year is because of how they have dedicated themselves to playing elite level, high energy defense these past few months. It is time for the Knicks to surround their two stars with the proper role players, who can rebound and defend…and then of course hope for Dwight Howard or Chris Paul in 2012.

2. Dallas had a great opportunity last night to steal game one and they let it get away. There were too many missed open shots by Dirk’s supporting cast, most notably Jason Terry. Now Dirk will be dealing with a torn tendon in his finger, which is only going to make the uphill climb Dallas has now that much harder. The role players need to do more for the Mavericks, especially when it comes to rebounding and hitting open threes or this will be a short series.

3. Amazing how out of it Dwyane Wade could look in the first half and then completely hit the switch in the fourth quarter. This is LeBron’s show now but Wade was the key player down the stretch last night, with his block of Shawn Marion followed by a back breaking three.

4. I can’t help but think Udonis Haslem is in Dirk’s head…at least just a little bit.

5. How in the hell is Juwan Howard playing fourth quarter minutes in a NBA Finals game?

NBA Finals coverage at SB Nation

TOJ Top Five: Rex Ryan Quotes

One of the byproducts of the NFL Lockout is endless amounts of countdown articles being written…positional power rankings, helmet power rankings (no joke), top 100 players in the league and on and on…TOJ isn’t shy about jumping on the bandwagon with a few top five articles to help us through a football-less June.

Let’s start with the top five Rex Ryan quotes…and no, a top five Eric Mangini quotes article won’t be coming shortly after…

5. It seems clear that right now we are the better team and we are going to remain the better team for the next 10 years. Whether you like it or not, those are the facts, and that’s what is going to happen…We are going to take over the town whether the Giants like it nor not, so those fans on the fence that like both teams are going to be Jets fans in the end. The truth is, if I am going to watch one game, I am going to see the Jets, without a doubt. We are better.”

Ryan hasn’t been shy about attacking the Giants in an effort to help the Jets shed their little brother image in the New York sports market. It is probably a fight he didn’t need to pick but it will sure make this December 24th’s match-up more fun.

4.  I don’t know when I’m going to beat him, but I want it to be Saturday night,”  “Is it personal? Yes, it’s personal. It’s personal against him (Peyton Manning), Reggie Wayne, all those guys, yeah. Freeney and Mathis and those other dudes? Absolutely.”

It has been an ongoing pattern for Rex Ryan to put the pressure on himself before certain Jets games, most notably when they play Indianapolis or New England. Ryan made this year’s wild-card game against the Colts a personal vendetta against Peyton Manning, and finally managed to come out on top.

3. “If you take a swipe at one of ours, we’ll take two swipes at one of yours. We’re going to turn the heat up, we’re going to let the fur fly, and let’s see what happens.”

Ryan’s declaration about what type of team the Jets were going to be with him as the head coach…He has provided this organization with a much needed identity, which they now have as a physical, brash, team led by their defense and running game

2. “As much as I respect and admire Bill Belichick, I came here to kick his ass and that’s the truth.”

Ryan is constantly discussing his respect for both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady but hasn’t been shy about escalating the rivalry between the Jets and the Patriots. The best part of Ryan’s tenure is that he has turned it into an actual rivalry by leading the Jets to a 3-2 overall record against the Patriots, and by knocking them out of the playoffs.

1. “First off, with all the cameras I was looking for our new President back there. I think we’ll get to meet him in the next couple of years anyway.”

The first of many…many Super Bowl guarantees by Ryan, who has been defined by his unwavering confidence in his team. Even though I think Obama will get reelected in 2012, it would be nice to see Ryan make good on this quote sooner rather than later, after coming so close in his first two years.

Obviously needed to include these clips as well…

Strange Days: How The NBA Finals Will Define The Lives Of Many

Justin weighs in with his thoughts on the NBA Finals before they tipped off last night…

This is it. The finals. It has been a long, strange road. We had the foolish notion to assume a 6’2 point guard could actually work over the greatest power forward on earth without a legitimate 2nd man. Boozer was a joke. We assumed you could live off of pure talent and athleticism without having second or third round playoff experience. Both thoughts have been struck out with a rather convincing display of wisdom and what I can only call “complete” basketball.

The Mavericks showed that a roster of players who have been to the Finals will always outdo the inexperienced Thunder, who had to rely on out of this world displays by 21 and 22 year old players who are still learning how to play team basketball.

I thought that the Heat would have to rely on Lebron and D-Wade. Then I realized Udonis Haslem, who has been gone for what seemed like the entire year, was what really made the Heat machine tick. Remember, he was there for the 2006 championship and knew that the Big 2 would need help. They got it in both the physical and emotional sense.

I tried to go about this objectively, but after considerable thought, trying to think of a Dallas championship seems to be rather far fetched to me. Let’s say Dirk does go for 50. The Heat would probably do better letting him score that many, because playing defense on the rest of the team would be a joke. Jason Terry against Dwayne Wade? That’s almost laughable. Watching Jason Kidd trying to keep up with Lebron would be even funnier. Mario Chalmers may not be an All Star, but he will be a wash with Kidd. 38 years old makes him the oldest point guard in Finals history. This is not the team you want to play against.

The Heat will make plays that throw SportsCenter into a complete frenzy. They have been waiting for this. They will make people who hate them throw televisions out the window. It will be like a Michael Bay movie. They are actually currently installing 43 pyrotechnic towers along the sidelines with tags in Heat players sneakers for fast breaks, and I am told they are preparing backboard flamethrowers for every LeBron dunk. It will make Transformers 3 look like Little House On The Prairie. Some even say the temperature in their building will be increased to 136 degrees before warmups. It will be like watching Ali in Africa. Complete and utter physicality.

The question remains. Do we want the Heat to win? I don’t know. Do I want Dallas to win? I don’t know. Perhaps I would like to see Dirk vindicated…

Do I want to see Lebron vindicated? Not really, but I do think there is a certain point that you reach when your entire life has been devoted to something, reaching a dramatic arc, and violently exploding like the eventual megastar status of the sun…maybe it will be a last second game 7 dunk. One can only hope.

Damien Woody Coming Back?

In an interview today with Pro Football Talk, Daily News beat writer Manish Mehta said it is likely that offensive lineman Damien Woody will be back with the New York Jets in 2011 at a “reduced rate.” This corroborates an earlier report by ESPN’s Rich Cimini and makes sense considering how the long the lockout is anticipated to drag on.

The original thinking behind releasing Woody was that second year player Vladimir Ducasse would step into the role but considering his inability to work with the coaching staff due to the lockout, handing the tackle spot off to such an inexperienced player probably isn’t the smartest thing in the world. If the Jets brought back Woody, it would also show they weren’t impressed with the job Wayne Hunter did filling in for him last season, since they could bring back Hunter on a cheaper contract than Woody as a veteran fallback option.

Despite a handful of injuries last season, Woody has been very good for the Jets the past three years and has still only missed a total five games in that time. There is no reason to think he can’t give them another productive season at right tackle and he is still a safer option than Ducasse or Hunter.

While we are talking Jets offensive line, D’Brickashaw Ferguson made the NFL Network’s top 100 players in the league list at #79. Santonio Holmes came in at #76. They are only half way done with the countdown so far and I’d expect Nick Mangold to be in consideration for a top 20 spot and Darrelle Revis to be somewhere in the top ten.

NBA Finals Preview and Prediction

TOJ’s NBA Finals preview at Gunaxin. Can Dirk Nowitzki and company save us from suffering through a Miami title?

Five other observations and predictions for the NBA Finals…

1. A key factor in this series is how much DeShawn Stevenson, the Mavericks starter who usually barely plays 15 minutes a game, can slow down Dwyane Wade or LeBron James if given the chance. Most people are assuming he will cover Wade considering the job he did on him during the regular season (2 points in 30 minutes) but if LeBron starts going off, will they slide Stevenson  over? Don’t forget the old Stevenson/LeBron beef from the 2008 playoffs, when Stevenson was on Washington and LeBron was on Cleveland which was big enough to pull in both Jay-Z and Soulja Boy.

2. How much longer can the unexpected renaissance of Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion last? Dallas is going to need Kidd to continue to spread the floor with his three point shooting and outplay the Mario Chalmers/Mike Bibby combination the way he should. Marion will be part of the committee thrown at slowing down LeBron and needs to continue with his surprising offensive contributions to compliment Dirk.

3. Will Dirk Nowitzki still have what Udonis Haslem did to him in 2006 floating around in his head? Yes, the supporting cast is obviously important but the only way Dallas is beating Miami’s big three is if Dirk remains on the level he has been this entire post-season. He needs to play like an all-time great to pull off this upset, especially with the tear LeBron has been on.

4. Even if the previous comments may not indicate it, I do think Dallas will sneak this series out in seven. They have that “team of destiny” feel and I think they will get revenge for what happened in the 2006 Finals. Dirk will remain at the level he has been this post-season and I think the supporting cast will hit enough big shots. Beyond Dirk, Dallas is a collection of former all-stars (Kidd, Marion, and Peja Stojakovic) with one final shot at a ring and I think they will answer the call in a big spot. Miami is going to get their titles eventually, I just don’t think it will happen in year one.

5. It is too bad this series won’t be on TNT. You can’t beat that studio show.