TOJ's Initial Thoughts On Jets 2011 Defensive Depth Chart

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First guess on the what the defense will look like 2011…

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Defensive Line – Draft Pick, Free Agent, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis, Ropati Pitoitua – I think Kris Jenkins will agree to take a major pay cut and give it another shot for the Jets. What other option does he have? Nobody is paying him with how much time he missed the past two years. I can see negotiations with Shaun Ellis getting ugly, the Jets letting him waver in free agency for awhile but then ultimately finding a way to bring him back on a cheap, short-term deal. Does he really want to go somewhere else after spending his whole career here? He is another guy who won’t get big money elsewhere. The Jets do need to spend an early draft pick at defensive end and should sign a veteran to replace Trevor Pryce. Hopefully, Pitoitua can contribute this year.

Linebackers – David Harris, Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, Draft Pick/Free Agent, Jamaal Westerman, Josh Mauga – This is another area the Jets need to spend a draft pick in. I am not sure what free agency will look like in this area but it would be good to see them add some youth here. Jason Taylor won’t be back. Westerman and Mauga have shown potential in the past couple years and are developmental players. David Harris isn’t going anywhere, you can bank on that.

Secondary – Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Jim Leonhard, Brodney Pool, Kyle Wilson, James Ihedigbo, Marquice Cole, Dwight Lowery, Draft Pick – I think the Jets will find a way to get Cromartie back after dealing with Harris and Santonio Holmes. They can’t keep everybody so don’t be surprised to see Drew Coleman and Eric Smith leave, as they will want Kyle Wilson to have a bigger role and Pool’s play improved down the stretch. I am sure Rex Ryan will insist they spend another draft pick in the secondary, either at safety or corner.

Overall – I think the Jets will be able to get Jenkins and Ellis back on the cheap as they work younger players into the defensive line positions. The bottom line is that long term replacements are needed for Ellis and Bryan Thomas and the Jets aren’t loaded with draft picks, so Mike Tannenbaum needs to hit in the first and third round or get creative with free agency or a trade. Rex Ryan loves his corners, which is why I think after taking care of Harris and Holmes, the Jets next priority won’t be Braylon Edwards or Brad Smith, but will rather be Cromartie. Eric Smith, Drew Coleman, Jason Taylor, and Trevor Pryce are the major contributors who won’t be back.

TOJ's Initial Thoughts On Jets 2011 Offensive Depth Chart

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Just throwing it out there at the earliest possible point in the off-season on what I think the New York Jets line-up could look like on both sides of the ball in 2011, I will update this a few times before free agency starts (if it starts), for today here is the offense…

Offense

Quarterback – Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens, Veteran Free Agent – It is good to have a franchise quarterback in place and not be like the Dolphins and have to draft one in the second round every two years and then watch him play so poorly, you are talking yourself into Tyler Thigpen being a viable option. The Jets do need to address the backup situation, unless they suddenly found confidence in Kellen Clemens.

Running Backs – Shonn Greene, LaDainain Tomlinson, Joe McKnight – In the end, I think Tomlinson will be back for year two of his contract but he needs a reduced role in the offense. Did you see how Shonn Greene ran against Pittsburgh? He needs the chance to get 17-20 carries each week, every week from week one on. Joe McKnight also needs a bigger role in the offense, as long as he doesn’t spend his off-season eating McDonalds and playing NCAA on Playstation. Tomlinson has value as a pass catcher out of the backfield and getting 8-10 carries a game next year.

Fullback – John Conner – He had a full year to learn behind one of the best in the business in Tony Richardson…now it is his time to take over.

Wide Receiver – Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, Patrick Turner – I hope I’m wrong but in the end I don’t think the Jets will be able to bring back both Holmes and Braylon Edwards. However, I do think they can get Holmes and Smith back. Patrick Turner has some size and potential and could be a steady contributor next year. Cotchery is more than capable of handling the number two spot.

Tight Ends – Dustin Keller, Ben Hartsock, Jeff Cumberland – The Jets kept Cumberland on the 53 man roster all of this year without making active once (excluding the Buffalo game), so you have to figure he will get a chance to factor in the passing game this year. As a matter of fact, I can already hear Mike Tannenbaum justifying let Braylon Edwards walk by saying they expect big things from Turner and Cumberland.

Offensive Line – D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Brandon Moore, Nick Mangold, Matt Slauson, Wayne Hunter/Vladimir Ducasse, Rob Turner – I am calling it right now that the Jets will re-sign Wayne Hunter and have him compete with Vladimir Ducasse for the starting right tackle spot, after making the tough decision to let Damien Woody walk. Matt Slauson will remain the starter at guard and Rob Turner will be the top backup at guard and center.

Overall – The Jets focus on the off-season will be on the other side of the football. They will attempt to save money on offense by letting Edwards and Woody walk and hoping that Turner and Cumberland can pick up the production at receiver/tight end and that Hunter or Ducasse can take over at right tackle full time.

Hope Dies: Jets Can’t Overcome First Half Deficit

 

You can’t expect to win games when you fall behind 24-0, nor when you can’t execute a hurry up offense because there is no communication between the sideline and quarterback, nor when you decide to keep LaDainian Tomlinson in the game when Shonn Greene is averaging nearly 6 yards a carry.

In the end, are you shocked our season ended on a slot receiver catching a pass? Too big of a hole…and the Jets were a miracle short in 2010. Unfortunately, we are turning into the Philadelphia Eagles of the AFC.

Two straight years of losing in the AFC Championship Game is tough to stomach right now. We know we have a coach and we know we have a quarterback (20/33, 233 yards, 2 TDs) but there will still be plenty of changes to the roster next year.

It could be a long wait until next season, so there is plenty of time to rehash this game, right now I have to realize this streak without a Super Bowl is going to continue.

AFC Championship Game – 12 Pack of Predictions

 

It is cold, it is refreshing and it is wrong more times than not…it is the 12 pack, with a very special AFC Championship Game edition –

1. Mark Sanchez is going to throw for about 200 yards and hit a key big play down the field to Santonio Holmes, who is due for a long touchdown. He also won’t turn the football over.

2. Braylon Edwards will lead the Jets in receptions and yards, continuing his terrific season as the Jets most reliable receiver.

3. Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson will combine for less than 90 yards rushing, it is going to be tough sledding against a pissed off Pittsburgh front seven that didn’t play well in the previous Jets match-up.

4. Ben Roethlisberger is going to create a long touchdown after breaking the pocket by hitting one of his receivers that isn’t being covered by Darrelle Revis. Overall, Antonio Cromartie is going to have a tough time in this game and will be picked on by Roethlisberger.

5. Rashard Mendenhall won’t crack 100 yards but will still have a solid outing against the Jets defense, especially taking advantage when they don’t stack the box.

6. The Jets are going to have one big kick return that will directly set up points.

7. The Jets will be very hesitant to attempt a field goal over 40 yards, Nick Folk is going to miss a kick somewhere between 30 and 40 yards as well.

8. Emmanuel Sanders and Heath Miller are both going to have productive days working the middle of the field against the Jets secondary.

9. Jason Taylor is going to record a sack in a big spot. I know he has looked out of it the past week, but I just got a feeling.

10. Shaun Ellis is going to play another very strong game and keep pressure on Roethlibserger throughout the game.

11. The Jets are going to score points in the first quarter…finally.

12. Yes, Yes, Yes…the Jets are going to the Super Bowl. Put it down as my most confident pick of the season, with the Jets winning 21-17 in a tight, hard-fought game. This is our year and it has been since the off-season, through Hard Knocks, through all the miracle last second victories, through all the controversies, and punctuated by the major upset of the Patriots last week, that even I couldn’t see coming…shame on me. Pittsburgh has won enough damn Super Bowls, this is our time.