What Can The Jets Expect From Leon Washington In 2010?

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First a few updates:

1. Not much on the update front today, especially for the Wednesday before free agency. There has been some talk about the Jets interest in Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie, who is on the trading block. I think this is more of a result of everybody knowing the Jets need a corner and automatically linking them with anybody who could potentially be available. I haven’t read anything (and I spend way too much time reading every single thing on the Internet Jets related) that makes me believe the Jets will pursue Cromartie and even have an interest in a guy like Dunta Robinson. Beyond that, Cromartie’s play has declined in recent years, he is a soft player known for his lack of effort, and has off the field baggage in the form of five paternity suits.

2. Obviously we will have to wait and see who gets cut and what potential trades could be consummated but as of now, you haven’t really heard the Jets linked with alot of players this off-season. I think most people are expecting Adalius Thomas to be seriously considered when he gets cut. We know the Jets met with Travis LaBoy, who wasn’t even in the league last year. Yet, is there any other low end free agents the Jets could target/afford with the new rules in place? When I looked through the list of 2010 UFAs from the NFL Labor site, here a few that caught my attention:

  • Corey Ivy, Corner – A Rex Ryan guy who was almost signed last year and could fit into the nickel role.
  • Josh Reed, Receiver – A talented guy who has had to deal with crappy quarterbacks. He could be a productive slot receiver.
  • Michael Gaines, Tight End – Almost signed last year, could be an option if Hartsock walks.
  • Bobby Wade, Wide Receiver – Another potential cheap option for the slot.
  • Justin Griffith, Fullback – If Tony Richardson doesn’t come back.
  • Jeremi Johnson, Fullback – If Tony Richardson doesn’t come back.
  • Roderick Hood, Corner – Could be a depth guy at corner and compete for reps in the nickel role.
  • Chris Brown, Running Back – Add more depth to the running back position to replace TJ.
  • Will Heller, Tight End – Another option if Hartsock walks.
  • Hank Poteat, Corner – Just kidding.

Photobucket3. Thoughts On LOST Season 6, Episode 6 “Sundown”– Good episode, with a great ending. The first third of the season is now over and I am glad it culminated with the Temple being destroyed and Locke scoring a big victory by rallying a growing group of followers, now including Sayid. I didn’t need to see anymore of Hurley and Miles playing tic-tac-toe while Dogen didn’t answer anybody’s questions at the Temple. It will be interesting to see how Jacob puts the other side together and the direction people like Miles, Illana, Jin, Kate, Jack etc. will go. The sideways story was pretty interesting with a nice cameo from Keamy and it was a surprise to see Jin locked away in that freezer, setting the stage for his eventual feature episode. By the way, what ever happened to Ben? The guy barely gets any screen time anymore, so let’s hope next week’s episode is a good one (since it looks to feature him) and gets him back in the mix as an important character.

What Can The Jets Expect From Leon Washington In 2010?

After I spent the entire summer arguing with my friend Dan about who was better, Leon Washington or Reggie Bush, with a primary point in my argument being that Leon was more durable, I had to watch him suffer a compound fracture to his fibula in a week 7 win against the Raiders. It was a gruesome, scary injury that left many wondering if Leon could ever be the same. Fortunately, the reports on his rehab have all been positive, with some indicating he is two months ahead of his recovery schedule. Mike Tannenbaum recently said he is expected to be ready to go by opening day.

PhotobucketThe question now becomes with the recent release of Thomas Jones, how much of a workload can Leon handle in support of new starting running back, Shonn Greene? There was already a concern about the amount of the touches he could handle because of his size and now these concerns are only amplified. The problem is, the Jets need Leon to be heavily involved on offense because of how often they run the ball and their current lack of depth at the position.

I wouldn’t expect to see anymore kick or punt returns from Washington, at least not this season. In the six full games he played last year, Washington averaged a little over 11 carries per game and 2.5 receptions per game. At that point, he was only splitting touches with one back (Thomas Jones) because Shonn Greene wasn’t receiving any substantial playing time until after Washington got hurt. Considering that, will the Jets be able to get 13-15 offensive touches a game out of him next season?

Hopefully, the answer will be yes especially if he isn’t getting another 3-6 touches a game on returns. I am not sure how often the Jets will be giving Washington interior handoffs, which is why they need another running back who could spell Shonn Greene and run the inside plays. I would expect Washington to receive an increase in touches on screen passes, either lined up as a running back or a wide receiver and start off primarily with outside handoffs/stretch plays.

A potential problem could arise if Shonn Green gets hurt and misses a few games. I doubt Leon will be ready to handle 15-20 carries in a single game this season, which is just another reason the Jets should be looking hard at some of the veteran free agent running backs available (Chris Brown, Vernon Haynes, Chicago’s Adrian Peterson). Overall, I see Washington starting out as primarily a third-down back and pass catching option, before gradually being integrated into getting more carries and spelling Shonn Greene for full series.

Leon Lays Out Channing Crowder

Is Shonn Greene Ready?

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First a few updates:

1. The fallout over the Thomas Jones release hasn’t been pretty. The fans are pissed off. The beat writers are ripping the move. Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, Alan Faneca and a few other anonymous players are expressing their dissatisfaction with the decision. As one player said, it doesn’t make the locker room happy when somebody like Vernon Gholston gets his money and another chance next year but Thomas Jones can’t collect his bonus money and is sent packing. Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a popular decision yet it might not the complete unmitigated disaster some people are making it out to be. I don’t agree withthe move. I think it is a big risk. The Jets now need another running back for depth purposes but overall this doesn’t change my mind about the Jets still being the favorite in the AFC East as of right now. This situation reminds me a little bit of Laveranues Coles from last off-season. It isn’t entire comparable because Jones was a much better player and much more of a team leader, but the decision to let Coles go wasn’t popular at the time and it ended up working out. Maybe Jones ends up having another big year in 2010 or maybe he runs for 800 yards in Cleveland, while Shonn Greene racks up 1300 yards for the Jets. We shall see.

2. Rich Cimini of the Daily News is reporting there still is a good chance the Jets will look to trade Kerry Rhodes. Apparently his sources are indicating the coaching staff still isn’t sold on him or his attitude. Unless Mike Tannenbaum has a replacement in mind via trade or free agency, I don’t see Rhodes going anywhere. The Jets aren’t getting anything but a 5th round pick for him and that doesn’t fill the spot he would leave on their defense.

3. Remember to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…Also check out the 2010 Draft Section of the site (http://turnonthejets.com/2010-draft/). The depth chart has been updated to include all the recent players the Jets signed to future/reserve contracts, and to include the pending release of TJ and Lito Sheppard…(http://turnonthejets.com/2009-depth-chart/).

4. When the Jets release Lito Sheppard, he won’t be counted as UFA which means the Jets can’t sign another UFA to replace him. This puts a dent in their hopes of signing a guy like Dunta Robinson, as explained here (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/02/salary-cap-update-lito-is-not-a-ufa/).

5. The Jets remain far apart on locking down long term deals for Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis.

6. Bart Scott was a guest on Mike and Mike this morning and discussed the desire of Adalius Thomas to be a Jet. If I had to make a prediction today, it would be that Thomas will be the Jets biggest UFA signing and maybe their biggest overall off-season acquisition unless Tannenbaum swings a big trade.

Is Shonn Greene Ready?

PhotobucketWith the release of Thomas Jones coming this Friday, the torch is being passed to Shonn Greene as the Jets #1 running back. Greene took the NFL by storm during the first two rounds of the NFL playoffs last season. In the wild-card round against Cincinnati, he rushed for 135 yards on 21 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per carry and had a 39 yard touchdown run. In the divisional round against San Diego, he rushed for 128 yards on 23 carries, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and had a 53 yard touchdown run.

Those were two terrific performances that were somewhat foreshadowed at other points during the Jets regular season. Greene racked up 144 yards on only 19 carries during a week 7 win against the Raiders. He put up solid efforts against the Bills (11 carries, 59 yards), Bucs (6 carries, 41 yards), Colts (16 carries, 95 yards), and in the regular season finale against the Bengals (13 carries, 62 yards). These weren’t earth-shattering games but they showed Greene’s natural talent. He has a tremendous burst through the hole, is rarely tackled by the first guy who hits him, and has a second gear that allows him to rip off long runs.

There is no reason not to be excited about Greene’s potential to be franchise running back. By any account, he had a very good rookie year but let’s take off the green and white shades for a moment and look at some facts you can’t ignore:

  • Greene came off the bench last season and gashed defenses after Thomas Jones had softened them up. He rarely received carries in the 1st and 3rd quarter. His production was absolutely enhanced by having a bruising back in front of him.
  • Despite only having 108 carries in the regular season, Greene dealt with multiple injury issues in his rookie year. He missed nearly all of the pre-season and was inactive week 1 because of a rib injury. He was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game with a rib injury after only having 41 yards on 10 carries (a 4.1 average, which is down from the previous two playoff games). During training camp he also had an ankle injury and late in the regular season, he was on the injury report with a shoulder injury.
  • Greene lost three fumbles during the regular season. He lost a fourth one in week 17 but it was called back because of a penalty.
  • Greene had zero receptions during the regular season and only one during the playoffs.
  • Despite the previously mentioned impressive stat lines, he also had these not so impressive outings against Miami (8 carries, 18 yards), Jacksonville (7 carries, 26 yards), New England (3 carries, -1 yard), Carolina (10 carries, 36 yards), Atlanta (8 carries, 30 yards).\

I hate to take off those green and white shades and be so negative but the reality is Greene still has plenty to prove. There is big difference between coming off the bench and having a couple of great games and being a #1 back week in and week out for entire season. He needs to work on his consistency, ball protection, and receiving skills. You can’t have a #1 back who fumbles and who goes through the entire season without catching a single pass.

PhotobucketThe positives are that Greene got better as the season went on last year. He didn’t fumble the ball in the last six games, in which he received 91 total carries. Next season he will be playing behind the best offensive line in football and should be supported by an improved passing game, as Mark Sanchez continues to develop. He will also be more experienced, more comfortable in the offense, and better prepared to handle the rigors of an entire NFL season as a second year player instead of a rookie. The talent is clearly is there. It isn’t crazy to think Greene could realistically be a 1300-1400 yard back next year, especially when you consider how often the Jets run the ball.

The torch has been passed to Shonn Greene, let’s all hope he is ready to take it.

 

My Favorite Play Of The Past Season

Greene Touchdown Against Bengals

Greene’s First NFL Touchdown

Final Word On Thomas Jones & Free Agency Week Begins

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First a few updates:

1. Busy week coming up here at TOJ. The posts were a little sparse last week, due to my laptop dying after a historic 5 year run of being dropped, having food spilled on it, and generally accumulating dirt and dust, along with professors having the audacity to assign schoolwork to their graduate school students. I also took my first trip up to Boston during the weekend, good times. Anyway, free agency starts this Friday so it is all business this week, who needs a laptop anyway? Yet, feel free to buy me one for my birthday, which also happens to be this Friday.

2. As you can see on the home page, I posted up the Jets pick in the Fanball Mock Draft earlier today. Feel free to criticize.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook….because we are only 85 fans away from 300.

4. Nothing Rex Ryan said at the combine really caught my attention. It was nice of him to attempt taking some of the blame for Vernon Gholston but the reality is that the Jets just missed with the guy. He doesn’t deserve more reps. He didn’t even deserve to be active last season.

Photobucket5. There has been alot of buzz about the Jets pursuing Adalius Thomas. Despite being on the outs in New England and seeing some decline in his production, he is a guy who is obviously a good fit in Ryan’s scheme and would probably more than welcome going from the grim secret society culture of New England to the Rex Ryan, middle-finger waving Jets. If the Jets spend the money on Thomas, most people are assuming Bryan Thomas will be let go. However, I think there still couldbe a role for him. I think both Thomases…Adalius and Bryan, could be better served splitting time and only playing in certain packages. There isn’t going to be a trade market for BT, especially since Mangini isn’t calling the shots in Cleveland anymore, so why just release him? Do you really want Vernon Gholston stepping in, if one of the Jets outside linebackers get hurt?

6. The Jets will be releasing Lito Sheppard on Friday…I don’t think anybody is going to shed a tear over that one.

Final Word On Thomas Jones & Free Agency Week Begins

We all know the news now, the Jets will be releasing Thomas Jones on Friday. Everybody saw this coming and no matter how many articles I wrote on it over the past 2 weeks, it was going to happen. I still don’t agree with the move. Obviously, Jones wasn’t going to agree to restructure coming off a 1400 yard, 14 touchdown season. I know on the surface it doesn’t make perfect financial sense to pay TJ his full 3 million dollar bonus, but I do believe this could come back to haunt the Jets next season…and please spare me with the Mike Tannenbaum quote saying he is confident about Chauncey Washington as the team’s third running back. The Jets now have another need on offense. For a team that runs the football more than any other team in the NFL, it is a big risk to go into the season with their current depth at running back.

We all saw Shonn Greene in the playoffs last year. We all love his potential, yet he still has plenty to prove as I will detail in an article at some point this week. Nobody likes Leon Washington more than I do, but he also has plenty to prove coming off major surgery. The Jets need a third guy who can handle a few carries a game and more importantly be ready to step in and take 10-15 touches a game if somebody in front of him gets hurt or fumbles once or twice and needs to be taken out. Danny Woodhead isn’t that guy. Chauncey Washington hasn’t really gotten a chance but I have to think there is a reason that Jacksonville cut him so quickly after spending a draft pick on him.

Yet, let me just take a moment to thank Thomas Jones for time with the Jets. He struggled a little bit in 2007 behind a crappy offensive line and with no help at quarterback but still ran for 1119 yards. In 2008, he ran for 1312 yards with 13 touchdowns and then bumped his numbers up even higher last year to 1402 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Also, over the past three years he has 74 receptions and 3 receiving touchdowns. Jones has been a leader in the locker room and an example around the team complex about how players should carry themselves. I have no doubt that Shonn Greene and Leon Washington will both be much better off because of their time spent with Jones. So good luck TJ, I hope you get a good deal in free agency on a team that isn’t playing the Jets over the next couple of years.

PhotobucketOn to other issues with free agency…There has been some talk about the Jets pursuing Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle. Yet, there will likely be a decent market out there for him and I am not sure how much the Jets would spend on a guy who could end up being very similar to Kerry Rhodes in their defense. If Rex Ryan wants a more physical player at the safety position, is he going to give money to a smaller guy who used to be a corner? I still think Rhodes will be back next year and hopefully improved. Overall, it is hard to tell who the Jets will target because of the restrictions placed on them. As of right now, I am hoping they could bring Marques Douglas, Tony Richardson, and yes even Jay Feely (I know it isn’t happening but I am terrified of Nick Folk) back. James Dearth, Larry Izzo, and Ben Hartsock will all likely walk. I can’t see anybody matching the Jets RFA tenders, unless somebody wants to take a big risk on Leon Washington. Unlike the past two seasons, the first week of free agency isn’t going to be a chaotic signing of big name players for the Jets. Their primary needs are a corner, a pass rusher, defensive line depth, and offensive line depth. Their secondary needs are a slot receiver, a running back, a veteran quarterback, and a backup tight end. I am not sure how many of those needs can actually be filled through free agency, so keep an eye for out potential trades and an active draft weekend where the Jets look to accumulate more picks.

No More Funny Jets Commercials For Thomas Jones

Early Thoughts On Jets Draft

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First a few updates:

1. We are in the process of putting together a network wide mock draft, so keep a look out for it on Fanball and my article on what I decide to do with the 29thpick after seeing how the rest of the first round breaks down.

2. We picked up 5 new facebook fans yesterday for Turn On The Jets, which we means we are 9 away from 200, so once again follow Turn On The Jets on facebook.

3. Shaun Ellis has begun the rehab process for his broken hand and should be ready to go in time for the Jets off-season program.

4. The Jets have been linked to Adalius Thomas on multiple occasions as a potential target this off-season, if he is cut by New England (which he likely will be). I would be all for the Jets finding a way to get him without overpaying. I think he could rotate with Bryan Thomas at outside linebacker and improve the pass rush.

Early Thoughts On Jets Draft

With the Fanball mock draft rapidly approaching, I figured this was a good time to do a better job of familiarizing myself with some potential prospects the Jets could target with the 29th overall pick in the first round. The Jets also have the 29th overall pick in the 2nd, 6th, and 7th round, along with one of the Eagles 5th round selections. My initial thoughts on the draft, is that knowing his history, Mike Tannenbaum is likely to make multiple moves either trading up or trading down. I would also expect the first two selections to be defensive players unless there is a receiver the Jets fall in love with who is available at number 29 or at the end of the second round. Hopefully, one or two of those late round picks will be on offensive lineman for the Jets to develop behind Faneca and Woody.

Tim Graham did a nice job on his AFC East blog at ESPN.com, rounding up the latest mock selections for the Jets in the first round. Here is what he came up with:

  • ESPN’s Todd McShay – Arrelious Benn, Wide Receiver, Illinois
  • SI’s Don Banks – Damian Williams, Wide Receiver, USC
  • National Football Post’s Wes Bunting – Arrelious Benn, Wide Receiver, Illinois
  • Football Future’s Robert Davis – Patrick Robinson, Corner, Florida State
  • Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman – Jared Odrick, Defensive Tackle, Penn State
  • PFW’s Nolan Nawrocki – Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver, Georgia Tech
  • CBS Sports Rob Rang – Damian Williams, Wide Receiver, USC
  • CBS Sports Chad Reuter – Trent Williams, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
  • Fox Sports Peter Schrager – Kyle Wilson, Corner, Boise State
  • Scout.Com’s Chris Steuber – Dan Williams, Defensive Tackle, Tennessee

PhotobucketMy first thoughts when looking at this collection of names is that 5 out of 10 people think the Jets are going wide receiver and only 2 out of 10 think they are going corner, which surprised me. I would be shocked if the Jets spend a first round pick on an offensive tackle because he probably wouldn’t play next year and I think the Jets want instant help. I wouldn’t be as surprised if they went defensive lineman because of concern about Jenkins coming back from injury.

Here are some other sites that I looked up and who they had the Jets taking:

  • Draft Countdown – Golden Tate, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
  • Walter Football – Jerry Hughes, OLB/DE, TCU
  • Draft Site – Brandon Graham – Outside Linebacker, Michigan

From everything I have read about this year’s draft (which honestly isn’t that much at this point), Kyke Wilson, Dan Williams, and Jared Odrick sound like guys the Jets would like to get their hands on. Damian Williams and Golden Tate are both big time receivers from big time programs, who have skill sets that could fit well into being the Jets #3 receiver next year. It also can’t hurt Williams that he has some experience with Mark Sanchez already. Overall, considering where the Jets are picking unless they really fall in love with somebody, I could easily see them trading back and trying to get more picks to improve their overall depth. Obviously, whatever moves they make in free agency will also impact their decisions during draft weekend.

Golden Tate Highlights

Damian Williams Highlights

Jets vs. Patriots: Key Match-Ups

First a few updates:

1. The Jets added recently released cornerback Marquice Cole to their practice squad and released tight end Jack Simmons off it.

2. Kris Jenkins missed a small portion of practice today to receive some treatment on his lower back, according to both him and Rex Ryan it isn’t anything serious but we’ll see on Sunday if Jenk is his normal dominating self.

3. The Jets have no interest in recently released Eagles receiver Hank Baskett.

4. Rex Ryan left all Jets season holders a voice mail today encouraging them to help the team out at home this Sunday be being as loud as possible. He reaffirmed his quote of the week about Bellicheck being a better coach than him and Tom Brady being a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez, but that it remains to be seen who has the better team. So, yes at this moment I am sipping on some green tea and getting my voice ready for the game on Sunday which I will be attending. Hey, all of section 313 and myself won’t be letting Ryan down, I can tell you that much.

5. Bill Bellicheck ignored questions about Rex Ryan’s “kiss the rings” comment in every way imaginable today. Tom Brady pointed out that “talk is cheap,” and disagreed with Kris Jenkins’ comment that the Jets are preparing for this game like it is the Super Bowl, reminding us that “Super Bowls are played in February,” regardless I hope Brady is having his face slammed into the turf as many times as he did the last time he played in February…remember New England fans, when you were undefeated but choked in the Super Bowl?

6. Patriots middle linebacker Jerod Mayo is out 6-8 weeks with a sprained MCL, which means he won’t be suiting up on Sunday. Another blow to the Pats defense which is quickly turning into a collection of strangers.

7. David Harris was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week…hopefully the first of many accolades for him this season.

Jets vs. Patriots: Key Match-Ups

Tomorrow check back for an excessively comprehensive breakdown of the Jets/Pats game and then again on Friday for my prediction, today I am going to focus on the key individual match-ups for this Sunday’s game.

Darrelle Revis vs. Randy Moss: Revis is at the top of the match-up list again as he gets no break after shutting down Andre Johnson last week. Ever since Randy Moss shredded the Jets for 9 catches, 183 yards and a touchdown on opening day in 2007 (also the first game of Revis’ NFL career), Revis has more than held his own against Moss. In their second meeting in 2007, Moss had 5 catches for 79 yards and Revis had a spectacular one-handed interception over him. In 2008, Moss was held to 2 catches for 22 yards in their first meeting and 3 catches for 26 yards in their second meeting, although he did catch the game tying touchdown (but it was on Ty Law). It will be important for Revis to continue keeping Moss from killing the Jets with the big play. Moss is coming off a great performance on Monday Night against the Bills, where he racked up 12 receptions. If Revis could start out the season shutting down Andre Johnson and Randy Moss, who else is going to catch passes on him this year?

Mark Sanchez vs. Bill Bellicheck: Bill Bellicheck excels at confusing quarterbacks young and old with his complex defensive schemes. Mark Sanchez had a great start to his NFL career last week against a suspect Houston defense but the challenge is obviously greater this week. New England won’t drop the interceptions the Texans did last week, so Sanchez needs to be extra careful with the ball while still playing with his usual confidence and swagger. Regardless, let’s not confuse this New England defense with the 2000 Ravens despite who is coaching them. Trent Edwards went 15/25 for 212 yards and 2 TD’s against them last week.

Dustin Keller vs. Adalius Thomas/Pierre Woods/Brandon Merriweather: Or whomever the Patriots decide to use in coverage versus Keller, who killed the Patriots when the Jets beat them last season with 8 catches for 87 yards, many of them converting big third downs. Keller is a difficult match-up for any defense and needs to build off his strong game in Houston last week. Look for Mark Sanchez to target his tight end early and often against New England.

Jets Organization/Jets Fans vs. The Aura of New England: We are all feeling it right now…we are excited about our new coach, new quarterback, and general new direction of the team. Yet, here come the Patriots to ruin it, like they always do. I have been at every single Jets/Pats game in the Meadowlands since 2001, which means I have sat through 8 losses like many of you out there. I remember believing in Herman Edwards in 2002 and 2004. I remember believing that Pennington would lead us to an upset in 2003 or that Brooks Bollinger could somehow get us a Monday Night win in 2005. I remember believing the Man-genius and Pennington would take us to an upset in 2006 and then kick the season off right in 2007. Of course, I thought Brett Favre would beat Matt Cassell last year in week two, and yet the last 8 years I have left the stadium disappointed…freakin 8 years, since I was 14 years old! I wasn’t even in high school yet the last time the Jets beat New England at home. This organization and fan base needs to forget the past, forget “kissing the rings” and go out and expect to beat New England, because we have a better defense, a better group of running backs, and a better offensive line…will it happen or will Brady, Bellicheck and the Pats find a way to curb all of our enthusiasm? Only time will tell.

One of my favorite vids of all time…it’s good to beat the Patriots, and I’ll say this, I don’t like Brett Favre and think he killed the Jets last year but you have to love the end of the video when he runs into the locker room screaming “F%#@ Yea!”