Jets Wednesday Morning Recap & Hard Knocks Preview

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The Good – Another strong day for Vernon Gholston, who collected praise from all the beat writers for constantly being in the backfield today, including back to back pressures on Kellen Clemens and a pressure on Mark Sanchez. Brodney Pool recorded a sack against Sanchez. Clemens hit Marcus Henry for a 50 yard touchdown (how about that connection?). Donovan Warren picked off Clemens. Vladimir Ducasse had one of this better days, while working with the ones. Kevin O’Connell hooked up with Larry Taylor for a 40 yard touchdown.

The Bad – Nick Mangold got his bell rung in individual drills while battling with Sione Pouha and didn’t participate in team drills. Kyle Wilson got called for a pass interference, which brought back a Jim Leonhard interception. It sounds like the defense beat up on the offense a little bit, especially when the second units were going against each other. Marquice Cole was beat by Larry Taylor for a long touchdown, a day after getting some work with the first team.

Play Of The Day – The long touchdown receptions by reserve receivers, Marcus Henry and Larry Taylor. Mark Brunell had one of his passes batted up in the air, caught it himself and took off for a short gain.

Played Who Helped Himself – The summer of Gholston continues

Player Who Hurt Himself – The extended missed time by Brashton Satele can’t be helping his case to make the roster. You hate to see Nick Folk missing field goals from under 45 yards.

Sanchez Stats – 8/15 in team drills. He was sacked once by Brodney Pool (stats courtesy of Manish Mehta).

Folk Stats – 4/6…misses from 42 and 44 yards.

Injury Brashton Satele and Brian Jackson were out of practice today. Jason Taylor was back on the field. Joe McKnight and Jim Leonhard had their legs wrapped but were practicing.

Depth ChartVladimir Ducasse worked with the first team at left guard today.

Rex Ryan Press Conference Highlights –

  • Ryan called for Darrelle Revis to come to the facility with anybody he wants and the entire organization will show up. He will cancel practice. Ryan thinks this is the only way to prevent any confusion over who is saying what, and that if they do it that way “I bet something gets done.”
  • He said it was a “blatant joke” that Revis’ agents called Mike Tannenbaum and Woody Johnson “blatant liars.”
  • Nick Mangold was held out for precautionary reasons after being hit on the head.
  • The Jets could still consider keeping four quarterbacks.
  • He wasn’t happy with the pass protection in today’s practice.
  • The player he has been most impressed with on the Jets defense so far has been Kyle Wilson, particularly his communication and studying skills…posturing?
  • He doesn’t think the Jets will run the ball as much as they did last year but will maintain a “Ground and Pound” mentality.

Revis Update – The big story of the day was Gary Myers reporting the Jets and Revis are 40 million dollars apart in negotiations. Despite the Jets offering a 10 year, 120 million dollar contract, the Revis camp isn’t satisfied because of the lack of guaranteed money and signing bonus.

Hard Knocks Preview

Enough of all the Revis talk for a second and let’s get excited about HBO’s Hard Knocks premiering tonight, featuring the New York Jets. A few things to look for:

An All-Time Record – Bart Scott may break a record for most words spoken in a single hour of television. He will absolutely break the record for most trash talking in a single hour.

Revis (whoops) – Apparently we won’t see much of a focus on the Revis situation tonight but I am sure there will have to be at least a few quotes on him from some of the players and coaches. I just don’t want to see any camera footage of Mike Tannenbaum arguing on the phone or the faces of Revis’ agents.

The Beard – Interested to see Braylon Edwards’ beard in HD tonight…that thing has a life of its own.

The Meeting Room – Among my favorite parts of Hard Knocks is when they show the coaches discussing the depth chart and specific players in a meeting room. Let’s see who Rex Ryan and company are high on and who is on their way out the door.

Camera Hogs – I am guessing we are going to see plenty of Nick Mangold, Bart Scott, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan and to a slightly lesser extent Braylon Edwards, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Kyle Wilson.

QuotesI am sure Ryan will spend 15 – 20 minutes discussing a Super Bowl. Maybe he will take a shot at New England or Miami along the way.

Hard Knocks

Jets Fans: Stop The Pity Party

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Do you remember December 30th 2007? I do. I was sitting in the pouring rain watching the 3-12 New York Jets play the 4-11 Kansas City Chiefs. The Jets won the game 13-10. I left the stadium frustrated because we hurt our draft position, ultimately falling to number six where the team would select Vernon Gholston. Our quarterback of the future, Kellen Clemens, had just played one of his better games of the 2007 season: 13/25, 115 yards, TD. Our newly signed starting running back, Thomas Jones, scored his second touchdown of the season. The offensive line was in shambles. The defense prominently featured players like Dewayne Robertson, Victor Hobson, David Barrett, and Erik Coleman.

Fast forward to January 20th, 2008. The New York Giants upset the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, sending the Jets in-stadium rivals to face their division rivals, the New England Patriots (coming off a perfect regular season) in the Super Bowl. The Giants and Patriots went on to play one of the most memorable championship games in league history, while the Jets wallowed in complete and utter irrelevancy.

Do you remember those days? They weren’t too long ago. Do you remember gearing up for a broken down Chad Pennington/Kellen Clemens quarterback battle? What about the few months of the Kellen Clemens/Brett Ratliff/Erik Ainge battle? How about heading into training camp with Brad Smith/David Clowney/Chansi Stuckey fighting it out for a starting receiver spot? At cornerback, do you recall players like Hank Poteat, Drew Coleman, and Barrett rotating in a starting spot? The Jets offensive line used to feature players like Anthony Clement and Adrien Clarke.

Yes, the Darrelle Revis holdout sucks. There really isn’t a better way to put it. Revis was a player our organization was savvy enough to trade up to select, who developed in front of our eyes into the league’s best cornerback and arguably best defensive player. The entire league took notice. We got to see one of our players featured in Nike commercials and constantly be talked about on the NFL Network and ESPN. Everybody was looking forward to his encore performance to an epic 2009 season. Bring on Brandon Marshall. Bring on Randy Moss. Bring on Chad Ochocinco Johnson. Bring on Andre Johnson. Send every diva, big-name receiver at our defense and watch him disappear.

PhotobucketIt now looks like that may not happen. Before you bury the Jets organization, before you bury Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan, remember this: Tannenbaum brought this team back to relevancy with the resources provided to him by Johnson. He got us Mark Sanchez so we didn’t have to watch Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff one-hop curl routes. He beefed up the defense by trading for Kris Jenkins and Antonio Cromartie, hitting on David Harris in the second round, and signing Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, and Jim Leonhard. On offense, he collected an impressive arsenal of weapons for his franchise quarterback.

Rex Ryan may have hurt the Jets bargaining position by showing too much love for his player to the media. However, that is Ryan’s personality. Don’t talk about loving all the swagger and confidence he brought to the organization and then get mad when he gives due praise to a player. I will take the negative impact on negotiations Rex Ryan brings, in exchange for all the positives he has brought the Jets, which shouldn’t have to be listed.

Don’t talk yourself into hating Revis either. The Jets organization approached him about re-negotiating his contract and after hearing everything they said about him, he expects to be compensated at a substantially higher level in 2010 (currently scheduled to be the eight highest paid defensive back on the Jets). Yes, he should understand that Al Davis is clinically insane and gave Nnamdi Asomugha an aberration of a contract and yes he has three years left on his deal but this is a business. The Jets botched the Leon Washington situation to an extent, which has burned a scary image into the heads of current players. Who wants to shipped off to the rain in Seattle to play for Pete Carroll without a new contract?

There is plenty of blame to go around. The Jets organization gets a little. Darrelle Revis gets a little. Al Davis can have a little. Leon Washington’s injury is a factor. Yet, there is no reason to spend all pre-season pouting and looking for somebody to blame.

PhotobucketGuess what? Even without Darrelle Revis, the Jets are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. They are still the favorite in the AFC East. They are being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. They have knocked the Giants and yes even the Yankees off the back page. We aren’t playing in Giants Stadium anymore. The Jets are playing in primetime in weeks 1, 3, and 5 to start off the season, along with Thanksgiving night and a December Monday night showdown in New England. Beyond that, there is still a relatively good chance Revis will join the team at some point before the regular season starts, despite all of Woody Johnson’s posturing today.

So relax Jets fans, life is good, enjoy the ride in 2010. We are the team everybody loves to hate and really what is better than that in sports?

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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

Pondering A Season Without Revis

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Monday Practice Recap –

  • Good to hear Mark Sanchez went 9/12 with a touchdown today. This is his first practice with a completion percentage over 50 percent. Hopefully, he is building off a relatively strong showing at the Green and White Scrimmage.
  • David Clowney was back on the practice field and pulled in a 20 yard touchdown reception from Sanchez to end the team’s two minute drill. It hasn’t been released why Clowney missed the past few days.
  • Rex Ryan’s press conference love affair with Vernon Gholston continued today. Gholston better drop Eli Manning and Jim Sorgi two times a piece next Monday.
  • Dwight Lowery went to the coaching staff to volunteer his starting position (in place of Darrelle Revis) to rookie Kyle Wilson. Rex Ryan praised the team mentality and commented that Lowery would play a variety of roles on the Jets defense anyway. This move was probably going to happen anyway, with the longer Revis holdout lasted. It is better to thron the rookie out there now because it is starting to become more and more likely Revis could miss a portion of the regular season, if not the entire thing.
  • Nick Folk…5/5.
  • Jason Taylor tweaked his groin. Braylon Edwards had limited reps with a sore knee. Mario Davis, Jeff Cumberland, and Brashton Satele all missed practice with minor injuries. Surprise, surprise…Joe McKnight was suffering from dehydration.

Pondering A Season Without Revis

Let’s get to the big news of the day. The Jets met with Darrelle Revis’ representatives at Roscoe’s Diner in New York on Friday night (where all major NFL business happens) and received a proposal. When discussing the Revis negotiations with the media today, owner Woody Johnson offered the sunny forecast that he didn’t think a new deal would be reached before the season starts and that his gut feeling is that Revis won’t play for the Jets in 2010.

So it could really come to this?

PhotobucketThe Jets have never had more hype surrounding their organization and haven’t been this widely recognized as a Super Bowl contender since 1999 and they can’t get their best overall player on the field. Their defense is built around sending as many people after the quarterback as possible and leaving their corners on an island with receivers and they are going to move ahead without the best corner in football. Mike Tannenbaum found a way to get Brett Favre on this team, trade up for Mark Sanchez, trade for Kris Jenkins, Antonio Cromartie, and Santonio Holmes but can’t work a deal out with Revis. Woody Johnson just paid for a new stadium but won’t pay for his best player to play in it.

Darrelle Revis is going to sit out an entire season just after arriving as an elite player in the NFL. He is going to wave good-bye to all those new advertisements and publicity that has been coming his way as the second coming of Deion Sanders. He is going to push his way out of New York, the city that renamed Manhattan “Revis Island” and the organization that traded up for him. He is going to pass up the chance to play on a legitimate Super Bowl contender. There may not even be football in 2011 and he is going to skip 2010.

I hope the Jets win a Super Bowl without Revis, trade him to Tampa Bay for a 1st round pick and he becomes irrelevant on a crappy team.

The Jets organization is moronic for not shelling out the money for Revis. After all the moves they made to position themselves for a Super Bowl, they won’t go the extra step here to insure they are putting the best team possible on the field.

It is hard not to feel the tug of both sides in this ongoing contract dispute. Both sides are in the wrong to a certain extent. Yet a Jets team without Revis, is bad for the organization, bad for Revis, bad for fans, and good for opposing receivers.

However, this season can’t just end if the team’s best player doesn’t report. There is too much talent spread across the roster. The offense can still run the football. Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller will all be catching passes. On defense, Kris Jenkins, David Harris, Bart Scott and company aren’t going to say “oh well, so much for repeating as the league’s top unit. We don’t have Revis.”

The Jets aren’t going to have an all-time great defense without Darrelle Revis. Yet, they still will have one of the league’s top units and could probably maintain their top overall spot if Antonio Cromartie finds his 2007 form and Kyle Wilson grows up quickly. Both of those are major ifs.

No team isn’t going to suffer at least a little bit from losing their best player. However, this team is too confident and well-rounded to fade off into irrelevancy because of one individual. Could we see a re-enactment of the Bill Simmons “Ewing Theory” that when a team loses their best player, they play better? Will the Jets defense rally around the loss and have other players step up to fill the void? Repeating as the NFL’s number one defense may be a little much to ask but remaining a legitimate Super Bowl contender is not.

Also, thanks again Al Davis.

What Will LaDainian Tomlinson's Production In 2010 Be?

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets). Also subscribe to our YouTube channel at (http://www.youtube.com/user/turn0nthejets).

2. The Jets are back to two a days tomorrow all the way through Saturday. Pre-Season kicks off next Monday against the Giants. Hard Knocks premieres this Wednesday at 10 PM.

What Will LaDainian Tomlinson’s Production In 2010 Be?

Today on twitter I sent Peter King of Sports Illustrated a question about LaDainian Tomlinson. Would he finish with over or under 900 total offensive yards in 2010? King responded the under. I wasn’t shocked by this, considering King has been on record stating his belief that Shonn Greene will be a 1,400 yard back. I am assuming he doesn’t think Tomlinson will get the workload to attain those type of numbers. Beyond King, I quickly had seven other responses agreeing that Tomlinson would either be under or way under 900 total offensive yards. Immediately after the Tomlinson acquisition I would have felt the same way. However, my opinion on his level of production in 2010 has began to shift slightly, to the point where I think he will exceed 900 offensive yards.

PhotobucketTomlinson’s production as a receiver will be the primary reason he hits that number. Brian Schottenheimer likes involving the running backs in the passing game but was hamstrung last year by the Leon Washington’s injury. I am looking for Tomlinson to closely mirror Washington’s 47 receptions for 355 yards in 2008, if not have slightly more yards. Shonn Greene is relatively inept as a pass catcher out of the backfield and Joe McKnight appears to be a long way from being a contributing member of the Jets offense. Tomlinson is going to be catching a ton of screens, check downs, and swing passes and will also frequently be split out. The first play of the Jets Green and White scrimmage was a 70 yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez to Tomlinson, with him lined up at split end. Hopefully, Tomlinson can continue to take advantage of mismatches when linebackers are trying to cover him.

On the rushing end of things, Tomlinson should be able to reach 500 yards. Shonn Greene is going to be the workhorse but you will still see Tomlinson on third downs, a few series each half, and in some short yardage/goal-line situations. I don’t know if he will have a much improved yards per carry from last year in San Diego. Yet, let’s assume Tomlinson is averaging 10 carries per game and finishes with 160 total carries on the season. If he averages 3.5 yards per carry, he will finish up with 560 rushing yards.

Look for Tomlinson to be in the 350-400 yard range on receiving yards and 550-600 yard range on rushing yards. I will take the over on Tomlinson at 900 total offensive yards, but not by much.

Stock Report One Week Into Training Camp

Up – Mark Brunell – The veteran looks like he is running away with the backup spot to Mark Sanchez.

Down – David Clowney – He had a case of the drops on day one and missed the last two practices for personal reasons. I hope all is well with Clowney and his family but he could end up on the outside looking in at the Jets crowded receiver position.

Up – Matt Slauson – The second year player has impressed in the battle for the starting left guard spot with his physicality and knowledge of the offense. He is on his way to pulling off an upset and keeping second round pick Vladmir Ducasse on the bench.

Down – Dwight Lowery – He is struggling opposite Antonio Cromartie in the starting lineup at cornerback. The longer Darrelle Revis holds out, the more time Kyle Wilson will get on the outside instead of in the slot.

Up – Antonio Cromartie – He has impressed with athleticism and ball skills.

Down – Kellen Clemens – I don’t think he will be around much longer.

Up – Braylon Edwards – Edwards and Santa Clause like beard continue to have a strong off-season.

Down – Mike Tannenbaum/Darrelle Revis – August 10th is the day to watch. If Revis doesn’t report he loses a year towards free agency.

Green And White Scrimmage Preview

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets had a walk through this morning closed to the public in preparation of tonight’s scrimmage, which will kick off at 6 PM. They have off tomorrow and then will be back to two a days on Monday. Hard Knocks kicks off on Wednesday at 10 PM and the Jets open up pre-season on Monday Night Football on August 16th.

2. Take your talents to the Turn On The Jets Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnThJets) account.

3. Patriots guard Nick Kaczur could miss the entire 2010 season with a serious back injury.

Green And White Scrimmage Preview

A short preview of the Jets scrimmage tonight…

Left Guard Battle – Matt Slauson has jumped out to an early lead in the battle to replace Alan Faneca at left guard. Vladimir Dcuasse has been slightly hesitant and is struggling to pick up the offense, while Slauson has impressed with his physicality. If Ducasse wants to get back into serious consideration for the starting job, a strong performance tonight would be a good place to start.

Backup Quarterbacks – It doesn’t sound like Kellen Clemens has much of a shot to unseat Mark Brunell at the #2 spot. However, he will have a chance tonight to demonstrate his knowledge of the offense and maybe put himself back in the conversation of being Mark Sanchez’s backup. However, if he struggles and Kevin O’Connell puts together a good performance, it could accelerate his release.

Sanchize & Company – Mark Sanchez hasn’t had a great start to his second NFL training camp. His completion percentage has been low and he is still throwing an interception or two each practice. It would be nice to see him protect the football tonight and hit a few throws down the field. Let’s see how Sanchez takes advantage of the Jets collection of weapons. Braylon Edwards sounds like he has been the team’s off-season MVP so far. Santonio Holmes has been making plays all over the field the last two days. Jerricho Cotchery is Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller has been Sanchez’s favorite target so far this August.

This Island Is Gone – In the absence of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie has been stealing the show on defense. Dwight Lowery has struggled opposite him (shocking, I know). It will be interesting to see if Kyle Wilson gets some work on the outside and not just in the slot with the first team.

Vernon Gholston – The perpetual disappointment has turned heads the past week. How about a sack or two in the scrimmage, VG? Then we can worry about the pre-season and the regular season.

In Need Of A Good Performance – David Clowney (fighting for a roster spot and reps at wide receiver). Joe McKnight (he has continued to struggle holding on to the ball). Vladimir Ducasse (falling behind Matt Slauson in the LG battle). Kellen Clemens (falling behind Mark Brunell in the #2 QB battle). Donovan Warren (battling for a roster spot in a crowded secondary). Kris Jenkins (let’s see him keep progressing back from surgery). Nick Folk (let’s keep the strong camp up).

Weekend Video Clips

Jets Friday Afternoon Recap & The High Comedy Of Jealous Giants Fans

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A few highlights from this afternoon’s practice:

  • Sounds like Mark Brunell had a quality day at the office and could be well on his way to burying Kellen Clemens on the depth chart or knocking him off the roster. I have been anti-Brunell as the #2 all off-season but maybe the old veteran will prove me wrong. I am interested to see how he plays in extended action during the pre-season. He hit Santonio Holmes on a couple of long completions today and also had a nice connection with Dustin Keller.
  • Joe McKnight and Aundrae Allison were working alongside Kyle Wilson on returning punts. The Jets haven’t had an explosive punt returner in a long time, which makes the addition of Wilson a little extra exciting. It is always risky to have a rookie back there, though.
  • Throughout camp Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller have been on the same page and have connected for a high amount of completions. Keller was a slight disappointment during the regular season in 2009 but much of that had to do with Sanchez’s struggles. We saw what this combination could do in the playoffs last year.
  • Marty Schottenheimer was in attendance today.
  • More Matt Slauson with the starters at LG.

A reminder the Jets will have their annual Green and White scrimmage tomorrow night at 6 PM. I will have a preview of the scrimmage either tomorrow morning or afternoon, followed by a recap on Sunday.

The High Comedy Of Jealous Giants Fans

I don’t know if fellow Jets fans have experienced the same increased bitterness towards their team from Giants fans this off-season as I have, but personally it has been overwhelming. Look at this recent post I had left on my Facebook wall:

I’m writing this to you as a wake up call to not only you but to all JETS fans that are acting like they already won the Superbowl when they haven’t won jack in our lifetimes. (You know the game that makes you the best team in the NFL for a single season like the NY Giants when they defeated the Patriots) I thought you should watch this video as a reminder that even after all the big name signings and TV contracts I want you to remember at the end of the day its the JETS and they’ll find a way to f— it up. (Note the video was the infamous ‘Jets Draft Blunders’)

I have seen plenty of this, along with hearing Giants players like Brandon “tip-toe” Jacobs and Justin Tuck take shots at the Jets this off-season. I have to say I find it very entertaining, not quite as entertaining as a Rex Ryan press conference, but close enough. We get it Giants fans, the Jets haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1969 and you guys won just two years ago. So, why do you care so much about the Jets dominating the headlines and receiving more national coverage than the Giants? Just worry about your team, their subpar defense, declining offensive line, and laundry list of injuries. There is no reason to be angry that Giants Stadium is now a pile of dust and the Jets are primed to make the New Meadowlands their own because they built a team on running the football and defense, the same things that won the G-Men three Super Bowls, and the same things they can no longer do.

By the way, the Giants also showed a ton of heart last season in those final two games.

Jets Friday Morning Recap & What About The Gholston Hype?

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Friday Morning Recap:

Rex Ryan’s press conference was particularly interesting this morning –

  • He backed up his bravado of signing the ESPN Training Bus “Soon To Be Champs” on the Jets logo. Ryan claimed when he looks in the crystal ball for 2010 he sees the Jets winning the Super Bowl and doesn’t believe there is any reason to hide it.
  • Rookie UDFA tight end Jeff Cumberland has a head injury and could miss the green and white scrimmage tomorrow. Linebacker Brashton Satele and guard Marion Davis are also banged up and could miss tomorrow.
  • He discussed Joe McKnight’s role on the team and commented how he must find a spot on special teams, particularly in covering kicks. The Jets had Mike Westhoff call him before they drafted him and make sure he would willing to embrace that role. When discussing him at running back, he said there is no way he is beating out Shonn Greene or LaDainian Tomlinson on the depth chart but he could still have a large role on the offense. Sticking to the running backs, he continued to lavish praise on Tomlinson and rookie fullback John Conner.
  • Mike DeVito will be the starting defensive end opposite Shaun Ellis. Those two along with Kris Jenkins and Sione Pouha will get the bulk of the defensive line rotation reps, although he is expecting Vernon Gholston and Ropati Pitoitua to contribute on a weekly basis also. When pressed about Gholston deserving a roster spot, Ryan got defensive saying he was earning it with a great opening week of camp and his various roles on special teams. One of the reporters questioned whether newcomer Rodrique Wright should get a spot over him but Ryan claimed they play different positions and that Gholston is currently the best option to back up Shaun Ellis at defensive end.
  • Currently, Kenwin Cummings is the team’s number three inside linebacker behind Bart Scott and David Harris.
  • Ryan said  Nick Folk reminded him of Matt Stover, who struggled at times early in his career but eventually settled down.
  • He was frustrated with the defense allowing a 50 yard touchdown reception by Brad Smith because he saw it as a continuation of their late game struggles in 2009.
  • Matt Slauson is leading in the battle for LG right now because he is being more physical and not as hesitant. The coaches have got on Vladimir Ducasse about worrying less on making mistakes and concentrating on finishing his blocks each play.

Practice Highlights

  • Mark Sanchez – 5/11, TD, INT (Calvin Pace on a batted ball)
  • Nick Folk – 6/6, including a 51 yarder.
  • Smith with the previously mentioned 50 yard touchdown.
  • Another sack for Vernon Gholston.
  • Fight between Jamaal Westerman and Robert Turner.
  • Laveranues Coles banged up his leg but returned later in practice.
  • David Clowney is excused from practice today for personal reasons.

What About The Gholston Hype?

PhotobucketWe hear it every single year. Vernon Gholston is finally getting it. He looks great out there. The game is slowing down for him and on and on. This training camp has been no different. Every single day we are hearing about Gholston recording another sack or flushing the quarterback out of the pocket. Rex Ryan defended his roster spot today by saying he deserves a key spot in the defensive line rotation and that he looks substantially better with his hand in the dirt instead of playing outside linebacker. Honestly, I will believe it when I see it in a game. Yes, there is a chance Gholston will be much better off at defensive end. He certainly has the physical tools to play the position and the Jets aren’t exactly asking a ton out of him in 2010. Could be develop into a quality role player? What do you think, are you falling for the hype again?

The AFC East Is Going To Be One Hell Of A Race

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I don’t have a problem saying the Jets are the favorite to win the AFC East. The Jets finished the season much stronger than the Patriots and Dolphins, along with having a better overall off-season than both teams. When you look at the roster of all three teams, the Jets have the most overall talent. Yet, that is obviously no reason to write off the defending AFC East Champs, New England, along with their Hall of Fame coach and quarterback or a talented, improved Miami team. The AFC East should be a three team horse race that isn’t sorted out until December, sorry Buffalo.

Let’s look at the arguments of the three contenders for a division title in 2010, along with what could hold them back.

New York Jets – The argument for the Jets starts with their defense. They have the best one in the division and the best one in the NFL. Whenever you play defense the way this team does, you are going to be competitive week in and week out. Last year’s defensive depth chart has been supplemented by Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Jason Taylor, Brodney Pool, and a healthy Kris Jenkins, which is a scary thought for opposing offenses. On their offense, Mark Sanchez made strides in last year’s playoffs and should carry that over into his second year. He will have better chemistry with Braylon Edwards after having a whole off-season to work with him and he was given another major weapon with the addition of Santonio Holmes. Regardless of how much they contribute running the football, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight will provide good pass catching options out of the backfield to help Sanchez.

The questions about the Jets start with the two second year players they will be relying on to carry their offense, Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene. Sanchez needs to make the previously mentioned strides so he isn’t throwing 20 interceptions to 12 touchdowns. Greene still has to prove he can be a lead back for an entire season. The Jets may miss Thomas Jones in a big way, especially if LaDainian Tomlinson is as washed up as he looked in 2009. They will need a young player to step in for the departed Alan Faneca at left guard and it remains to be seen if/when Darrelle Revis will join the team.

Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins are built in a similar mold to the Jets. They want to run the football and play an aggressive, physical defense. Their defense was inconsistent and struggled heavily against the pass in 2009 but they are banking on their young secondary improving and new additions to their front seven to lead to improvements. Karlos Dansby will boost the linebacker core. They expect Cameron Wake and rookie Koa Misi to lead their pass rush. First round pick Jared Odrick should be a quality addition to their defensive line rotation. On offense, Miami finally added a number one receiver by trading for Brandon Marshall, who is one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Chad Henne has the arm strength to push the ball down the field, which should create more running space for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams,

PhotobucketThe Dolphins young corners still have to prove they can slow down opposing passing offenses, especially when they are facing players like Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Santonio Holmes. They have already loss Phillip Merling for the season, which hurt their defensive line depth and they are going to miss Joey Porter and Jason Taylor to an extent. On offense, Ronnie Brown is never healthy and they don’t have a number two receiver to put opposite Marshall. Despite the world being ready to send him to Canton, Henne still has to prove he can lead a team to the playoffs and throw more touchdowns than interceptions in a season.

New England Patriots – Brady and Belichick, which means the Patriots always have a shot. Randy Moss and Wes Welker (who it appears will miraculously be ready for the start of the season) aren’t half bad either. The Patriots passing game will be able to put points on the board consistently and Belichick will get the most out of what they have on defense. New England’s defense still has quality talent at all three levels with Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Brandon Merriweather.

The Patriots lack of a running game could hold them back in 2010. Simply put, they don’t have a number one back. They will also be relying on a bunch of young players in their passing game outside of Moss and Welker, like Brandon Tate, Aaron Hernandez, Taylor Price, and Julian Edeleman. Their secondary has question marks and will also be relying on a collection of young, unproven players. Overall, their defense isn’t an elite unit anymore. The Patriots are coming off an absolute woodshed beating from the Ravens in their building to end the 2009 season, it will be interesting to see how they bounce back from that.

AFC East Battle

Jets Thursday Training Camp Round-Up

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Some assorted thoughts on Jets training camp as we head towards the weekend –

First off, a friendly reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

The Jets early practice was cut short by rain this morning and they only had a special teams session in the afternoon. Hence, the normal avalanche of information about specific plays in practice wasn’t released today, however here is a run down of the biggest headlines:

  • Joe Namath graced the organization with his presence today and was quick to pronounce his belief the Jets were poised to win the Super Bowl. For some reason this was reported as a major story. I am not sure it is so shocking that a Jets legend who is involved in working with the organization is going to say he is confident the Jets will be really good in 2010. It is about as surprising as Rex Ryan saying he thinks the Jets will have the best defense in the NFL, which he says about 11 times a day.
  • Kris Jenkins had a scare today when he took a shot to his leg and admitted he had a similar feeling to when he tore his ligaments last year. However, everything held together and he said surviving that shot has boosted his confidence about the strength of his leg heading into this season. I would still expect Jenkins to have very limited reps in the pre-season. It will also be interesting to see the amount of playing time Jenkins gets in the beginning of the regular season as the Jets attempt to keep him fresh for the stretch run. Sione Pouha is a more than capable back-up, who can provide a high amount of quality reps off the bench.
  • Linebacker Brashton Satele’s injury isn’t that serious and he should be back at practice within in the next few days.
  • Steve Weatherford was rested for this afternoon’s special teams practice. Apparently punter TJ Conley has improved substantially from last season but it sounds like Weatherford still has a very strong hold on the job.
  • Mike Westhoff announced today that Kyle Wilson will be the Jets primary punt returner and Brad Smith will be the primary kick returner heading into the pre-season. I would still expect to see some Jim Leonhard on punt return for certain situations, along with Antonio Cromartie getting a few reps occasionally at both punt returner and kick returner. Aundrae Allison or Joe McKnight should also get some reps in the pre-season to be given a chance to make an impression.
  • Rex Ryan signed the Jets logo on Adam Schefter’s ESPN training camp tour bus “Soon To Be Champs.”…you have to love the big guy.

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  • From listening to every single interview on WFAN and ESPN Radio today at Jets camp (I was stuck working construction)…it sounds like there has been no tangible progress on the Revis deal and we should all be settling in for a long wait. In the meantime, Revis has been pairing up with old his buddy Chad Ochocino Johnson to work on the OCNN Network. All of his teammates said all the right things about supporting his decision and believing the team could be fine without him, while he sorts out his contract situation. Overall, I would say Rex Ryan has absolutely made his imprint across this roster. The confidence across the board from all the players is extremely encouraging.
  • It continues to sound like Matt Slauson has a very good shot of beating out rookie Vladimir Ducasse for the starting left guard position.

The Jets have a practice at 8:20 and 4:20 tomorrow and then have their annual Green and White scrimmage on Saturday at 6 PM.

A Few Shovel Fulls of TOJ TV