A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

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First a few updates:

1. The Patriots have finally cut ties with outside linebacker Adalius Thomas. Will the Jets still puruse Thomas, who excelled in Rex Ryan’s system during his time in Baltimore? Initially you would think not, considering they just signed Jason Taylor and still have Calvin Pace and  Bryan Thoams in place as starters. However, you could never have enough pass rushers, especially in this defensive system. The Jets may be able to get Thomas at a low price depending on the amount of interest he generates around the league and his desire to reunite with Ryan and stick it to the Patriots for cutting him. I say if they can get him at a reasonable price, then why not? Also keep in mind Thomas is versatile enough to play multiple positions in Rex Ryan’s defense. Overall, don’t be shocked to see the Jets add yet another big name in the next few days.

2. The Jets have restructured Vernon Gholston’s contract to make it primarily incentive based. Apparently, Gholston approached the team about redoing the deal in an attempt to actually earn his contract money. If that is true, than it is a very admirable move by Gholston who will hopefully begin to turn his career around somewhat at the defensive end position.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Good links today on the Jets/Giants business relationship and Peter King’s inside information of what went down before the Leon Washington deal.

A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

I have been caught off guard by the amount of negativity expressed by many Jets fans after their draft weekend decisions. On the whole most people who follow and write about the NFL initially praised the Jets pro-active approach this off-season, however there is starting to be some questions asked about adding too many big name players, destroying team chemistry, and an overall skepticism about the direction Mike Tannenbaum/Rex Ryan have taken this team. You can poke holes in any team’s roster and any personnel decision they make, yet I have this to say to people who haven’t liked the Jets off-season: are you kidding me?

Let’s start with the defense. The consensus weakest part of the Jets defense last year was their secondary outside of Darrelle Revis. Everybody agreed they needed a major upgrade at corner after Revis and that Kerry Rhodes was a disappointment in Rex Ryan’s system who wasn’t a good fit in the locker room with his “Hollywood” personality and selfish anger over Jim Leonhard calling the shots in the defensive backfield. What did the Jets do? They replaced Lito Sheppard with Antonio Cromartie as the other starter at corner. They replaced Dwight Lowery with Kyle Wilson as the nickel back and they shipped Rhodes to Arizona for two draft picks.

Photobucket Cromartie and Wilson should be substantial upgrades over the players they replaced. Cromartie is out to prove he can return to his all-pro level in Ryan’s man to man scheme and validate the Jets decision to give him a chance, along with a nice advance on his contract to help pay his child support. Wilson was a steal at #29 in the first round and should immediately be one of the most talented nickel backs in the NFL. Everybody wants to criticize the Jets chemistry for this upcoming year but didn’t they improve it by shipping out the disgruntled Rhodes? Brodney Pool has been tabbed as his replacement and had more sacks and interceptions than Rhodes last year, despite only playing in 11 games. Yes, Pool has injury concerns but if he gets hurt, wasn’t Eric Smith just as productive as Rhodes last season. Beyond that the Jets didn’t break the bank for Cromartie, Pool, or Wilson considering where he was selected.

The other big problem on the Jets defense last year was their lack of a pass rush. In order to improve this they added Jason Taylor, who notched seven sacks last year despite not being put in the best position to rush the passer in Miami’s defense. Rex Ryan should be able to put together enough schemes and blitz packages to get somebody with Taylor’s talent 9-12 sacks. Also don’t forget Kris Jenkins is coming back from injury and while he won’t ever rack up monster sack numbers his presence on the line will open up things for everybody else. Beyond that, there is a decent chance Adalius Thomas will also be thrown in the mix as a pass rusher at outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and defensive end.

So on defense the Jets replaced three starters: Kerry Rhodes, Lito Sheppard, and Marques Douglas with three younger players in Brodney Pool, Antonio Cromartie, and Mike DeVito. They removed the biggest personality/chemistry problem by getting rid of Rhodes. Yes, Douglas was a quality player and it remains to be seen if DeVito can be a full time starter but the Jets defense isn’t dropping from the number one spot in the league because they removed the 60 tackles and 1.5 sacks from Douglas. On top of that, they now have Jason Taylor as their top reserve at linebacker instead of Vernnon Gholston and Kyle Wilson at nickel back instead of Dwight Lowery. So tell me what the problem is again? It sounds to me like there is a good chance the Jets will be repeating as the league’s #1 defense.

PhotobucketNow let’s look at the offense where there is a popular misconception that the Jets signed LaDainian Tomlinson to replace Thomas Jones. Actually it will be Shonn Greene replacing Thomas Jones, with LaDainian Tomlinson taking over the #2 role and stepping in as the goal-line/short yardage back. The Jets also replaced Leon Washington, who may have begun the season on the PUP list with a player who has the skill set to be a young, healthier version of him in Joe McKnight. Washington also would have been leaving the Jets after this season anyway because of his contract situation, while the Jets now have McKnight for the next 4-6 years at a minimum.

Most people agreed the Jets needed to upgrade their receiving core. They responded by adding Santonio Holmes for a fifth round pick. Holmes has the talent to be a #1 receiver on many teams in this league, yet will basically be the Jets #3 receiver when he begins playing in week five. They will also be benefitted by having Braylon Edwards spend a full off-season with the team and having both Edwards and Holmes looking to prove they deserve long term contracts from the Jets or another team.

Yes the Jets had to make the tough choice of parting ways with Alan Faneca. However, considering they just gave Brandon Moore a long term deal and will have to give Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson ones after this season, did they really have a choice? Let’s have a little faith in Bill Callahan, widely considered one of the best offensive line coaches in the game, to develop Vladimir Ducasse or Matt Slauson into capable starters this year and long term quality players for the team.

PhotobucketSo on offense the Jets replaced two starters: Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca. Two guys who were productive last year and well-respected in the locker room, yet two guys who are 31 and 33 years old, respectively. Shonn Greene certainly looked the part of a a number one back in the playoffs last year and if he struggles the Jets have quality depth behind him in LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight. Ducasse and Slauson are unproven but will be surrounded by four high quality players and a great offensive line coach. Beyond that, they moved from having their number three receiver either being Brad Smith or David Clowney to being Santonio Holmes. Mark Sanchez should also be better in his second year but hey the Jets went to the AFC Championship game with him throwing 20 INTs to 12 TDs, along with a 53 completion percentage, so imagine what they could do if he makes strides this season.

I am sure players hated to see people like Faneca, Jones, and Washington leave the team. Yet, let’s not go crazy with the chemistry or leadership concerns. Last time I checked on offense the Jets will still have Tony Richardson, Jerricho Cotchery, and Damien Woody in the huddle, along with the same quarterback, three other returning starters on the offensive line, the same top two tight ends, and a new strong veteran presence in LaDainian Tomlinson. On defense Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and Shaun Ellis will still be out there along with Kris Jenkins returning to the huddle.

You want to criticize the Jets for something? Fine, they downgraded at kicker by replacing Jay Feely with Nick Folk, yet somehow I think Tannenbaum will find a way to add another kicker at some point this summer.

Like I said before, you can poke holes in any roster or personnel decision. Yet, sometimes you just have to call things as you see them. The Jets are loaded right now, on both sides of the football. This team is built to be a legit Super Bowl contender and in my mind are the second best team in the AFC right now and a top five overall team in the NFL.

Let’s Go

New York Jets Draft Wrap-Up

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook or twitter (TurnOnTheJets). You need those updates because Mike Tannenbaum makes a trade every 4.8 seconds.

2. Here is a run down of all the reported UDFAs the Jets signed: Michigan CB Donovan Warren, Illinois WR Jeff Cumberland, Texas G Charlie Tanner, Nevada DE Kevin Basped, Pittsburgh DT Mick Williams, Baylor DE Jason Lamb, North Dakota State OT Keith Buckman, Bethune-Cookman WR Phillip Kirkland, Alabama LB Cory Reamer, California SS Marus Ezeff, Indiana State SS Donye McClesky, Northeastern State DT T.J. Raymond, William Paterson WR Joel Rivera

3. The depth chart has been updated to include draft picks and UDFAs. Also the 2010 Draft section has been remodeled into “2010 Draft Picks,” which has information on the four players the Jets drafted and the UDFAs they signed.

New York Jets Draft Wrap-Up

I would have never thought the Jets would spend three of their four picks on offensive players. Yet, Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets front office decided to use the 2010 draft to primarily reshape their offense by parting ways with two veterans and adding three new long term pieces on that side of the ball.

A few things became clear this weekend. First off despite the recent acquisitions of Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, the Jets will still be a run first, run heavy offense. It is obvious the Jets like to have their young backs learn from veterans before taking over big time roles. Shonn Greene spent a season behind Thomas Jones and is now the Jets #1 back. Joe McKnight will spend a season or two behind LaDainian Tomlinson before becoming the Jets full time change of pace back/#2 option. John Connor will spend a year behind Tony Richardson before becoming the Jets long time starter at fullback. One thing you can’t argue with is the fact the Jets are now set in the backfield for the future.

PhotobucketSecond on defense, the line of thinking that defensive ends aren’t premium positions in Rex Ryan’s scheme held true. Ryan believes he can get by with a defensive end rotation of Shaun Ellis, Mike DeVito, Vernon Gholston, and Ropati Pitoitua. He confirmed in the post draft press conference that Marques Douglas won’t be back and Gholston will now be a full time end. At least Gholston adds some speed and youth to the end position…even if he can’t you know…play football. Ryan is also comfortable with the three man rotation at outside linebacker of Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, and Jason Taylor for the next year or two, which will also hopefully give enough time for a guy like Jamaal Westerman to develop into a more consistent player.

The Jets defense and Rex Ryan in particular values corners over just about any position. Kyle Wilson will basically be a starter for the Jets because their nickel back is on the field so frequently. Ryan is also confident Brodney Pool will be the answer at safety and that he if he does get hurt, Eric Smith or James Ihedigbo can adequately step in.

PhotobucketThe decision to part ways with Alan Faneca and Leon Washington hasn’t been a popular one, both with the team and with fans. Yet, keep in mind how many long term contracts the Jets will have to work on after this season. Nobody is saying the Jets offensive line will be better this year with Matt Slauson or Vladimir Ducasse at left guard but for the long term cutting Faneca was the right choice. He was their 5th best lineman last year and Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson both need new deals next off-season. Ducasse or Slauson will be fine because the Jets are lucky enough to surround them with one of the best offensive line coaches in the game in Bill Callahan and pro-bowl talent in Mangold and Ferguson.

Nobody liked Leon Washington more than me but he wasn’t getting a long term deal from the Jets and is likely starting out the season on the PUP list. McKnight has the skill set to effectively replace him as the Jets third down back and has a year or two behind Tomlinson to develop into a quality #2 back behind Shonn Greene. McKnight and Kyle Wislon also have the ability to fill the hole left by Leon in the return game.

Maybe Not The Next Reggie Bush But Hopefully The Next Leon Washington

New Day On Offensive Line: Thoughts On Ducasse & Faneca

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Most of the time in the NFL rumor mill, when there is smoke, there is fire. After missing out on Mike Iupati and Maurkice Pouncey in round one, most people assumed (including myself) that Alan Faneca would remain a Jet for another year as the Jets targeted a player for their front seven on defense in round two. Well, think again…the Jets selected UMass OT/OG Vladimir Ducasse with the 61st overall pick and reports have surfaced that Alan Faneca has either already been released or will be released on Monday.

Despite Mike Tannenbaum saying Ducasse will work at right tackle and left guard, you have to think the Jets view him as the number one potential replacement for Faneca this season and moving forward. Unless Matt Slauson or Robert Turner blow everybody away in camp this summer and they move Ducasse to being Damien Woody’s future replacement. However, if I had to bet today, I would bet on Ducasse being the Jets opening day starter at guard.

What about cutting Faneca? Most people agree that Faneca’s play declined a little bit last season, especially in pass protection. As a matter of fact many sites like Football Outsiders had him ranked as one of the worst performing guards in the league. Yet, the bottom line is that the Jets offensive line had chemistry. Faneca was still a top notch run blocker and a an important veteran in the locker room. The Jets offensive line won’t be any better next year with Ducasse or Slauson at left guard instead of Faneca. However, in the long term the Jets needed to find replacements for Faneca and Damien Woody and now they have one in Ducasse.

Keep in mind the Jets have some major contracts to pay in the next couple of years. If you want to sign Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes for the long term, the money has to be cut somewhere else.

In the end Faneca gave us two quality years and helped immensely in the development of Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

Ducasse is 6 foot 4, 332 pounds. Apparently the Jets had him graded high enough that they considered taking him in round one. Hopefully, Bill Callahan can work his magic with the big fella.

Some Video Action Of Ducasse

It Is Finally Here: Last Thoughts On The Draft

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First a few updates:

1. When I say last thoughts on the draft, I mean that if you are only silly enough to not be following Turn On The Jets on twitter (TurnOnTheJets) or on facebook (just search Turn On The Jets and become a fan of the page)…because I will be all over both them all day and night with thoughts/updates. I got my resident draft expert (my good friend Mike “Tiny” Nolan) heading up to my apartment, I got massive amounts of unhealthy food, I got some cheap beer, and I am ready to sit on my couch from about 6 PM to 1 AM.

Photobucket2. You thought I was going to forget my weekly LOST review, right? wrong. Thoughts On Lost Final Season, Episode 13 “The Last Recruit” – Most people weren’t crazy about this episode because it was a transitional one. I can understand those criticisms but overall I thought the writers did a good job of getting everybody in to place for the final arc of action this season (and overall for the show). The Jack/Locke discussion scene was up to it’s usual high standard and it is hard to picture the end of show not being based around some type of showdown between the two of them. In the sideways world, we are well on the way to everybody meeting up at the hospital and Jack curing Locke’s paralysis. The Jin/Sun reunion was…meh. It was nice to get confirmation that Christian Shephard was the smoke monster all along, which most of us suspected. Next week it looks like Jack/Locke’s camp will be finding a way to break out the rest of the main characters from Widmore and his team.

3. Nothing too ground-breaking from Jason Taylor’s press  conference yesterday…just sack the quarterback and we’ll try to forget the past.

4. Flipping around during the draft? Look for the Bulls and Thunder to steal a game tonight from the Cavs and Lakers and for Portland to take a 2-1 lead over the Suns. What can I say? I like the home teams tonight.

It Is Finally Here: Last Thoughts On The Draft

– Despite his agent re-tweeting from some non verifiable fan information, I am still not sure if Terrence Cody to the Jets at #29 makes sense or if it is going to happen. Obviously he would provide some help on the defensive line but you have to worry about the guy staying in shape and he isn’t really versatile enough to slide out to defensive end.

– Final mock drafts in, as compiled by Tim Graham on ESPN.com here (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post?id=12936)

  • Mel Kiper Jr. – Linval Joseph – East Carolina – Defensive Tackle
  • Scouts Inc – Jared Odrick – Penn State – Defensive Tackle
  • ESPN Blog – Taylor Mays – USC – Safety
  • Bucky Brooks – Jared Odrick – Penn State – Defensive Tackle
  • Charles Davis – Everson Griffen – USC – Defensive End
  • Pat Kirwan – Carlos Dunlap – Florida – Defensive End
  • Rick Gosselin – Patrick Robinson – FSU – Florida State
  • Wes Bunting – Nate Allen – USF – Safety
  • Clark Judge – Taylor Mays – USC – Safety
  • Pete Prisco – Tyson Alualu – California – Defensive End
  • Rob Rang – Everson Griffen – USC – Defensive End
  • Chad Reuter – Demaryius Thomas – Georgia Tech – Wide Receiver

– Let me say right now that I would be furious if the Jets drafted Taylor Mays. This is guy is Vernon Gholston at the safety position. Stay away Mike Tannenbaum…stay away. If you want a safety trade up for Earl Thomas or trade back a few spots and take Nate Allen.

– Isn’t it hard to picture the Jets not making a trade tonight? I don’t know if it will be up or back or if they will move Alan Faneca or Kellen Clemens, but something has to go down.

– Speaking of trades, I got a feeling that Albert Haynesworth and Ben Rothlisberger will be moved. The Steelers have already been calling teams and listening to offers so it almost feels like there is no turning back. Can’t you see Oakland offering their first round pick and the Steelers jumping on that offer?

Most Exciting Thing That Could Happen Tonight – The Jets trade up for Earl Thomas…can you imagine their defense with him roaming around at safety? Wow. What would be the cost though?

You Have To Be Thrilled If The Jets Leave With – Jared Odrick. He would be a steal at #29 and provide instant depth and versatility to their defensive line.

It Would Be A Successful Night If – The Jets found a way to trade Alan Faneca and got their hands on Mike Iupati. I know the Jets line has had good chemistry but Faneca is getting old, his play is starting to decline and the Jets owe him alot of money. For the long term, Iupati alongside D’Brick and Mangold gives the Jets offensive line security for a long time.

You Have To Be Satisfied With – Everson Griffen, Jerry Hughes, Devin McCourty, or Carlos Dunlap at #29.

And with that, I have to prepare for 10 hours on my couch.

TOJ TV Throwback Week Continues With The Holiday Edition (Skit Starts At 1:45)

And From The Producer of TOJ TV – “Post Grad Purgatory”

Two Days Can Change Plenty: Wednesday Jets Draft Predictions

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First a few updates:

1. If you didn’t read Rex Ryan’s transcript from his conference call with reporters yesterday, go check it out at (http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/articles/show/3662-rex-s-tuesday-conference-call) …always an entertaining read to hear from Rex, who speaks about the schedule, Jason Taylor, and trade rumors.

2. Peter King has the Jets taking Jahvid Best in his mock draft. Really? There is no way that is happening.

3. Rich Cimini has moved on from running his popular blog The Jets Stream and being the Daily News beat writer to work for ESPN New York. First off, I am pissed at ESPN New York is hiring every other writer in the area but me, second off Daily News, come find me.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…I don’t have some clever reason today, but just do it.

5. It is being reported that Vernon Gholston will be moving to defensive end next year to back up Shaun Ellis. This move makes sense because Gholston was going to be getting no playing time at outside linebacker with Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, and Jason Taylor rolling through. The Jets are thin on the defensive line so hopefully Gholston can bulk up and become an adequate backup…great expectations for the number 6 pick in the draft, right?

6. The Jets are shopping Kellen Clemens…good luck getting a draft pick for him.

Two Days Can Change Plenty: Wednesday Jets Draft Predictions

On Monday I wrote about potential prospects the Jets could be taking in round one at #29, including the likelihood of certain popular players associated with the team to end up in green and white. Yet in a matter of two days things have already shifted, changing the complexion of round one for the Jets. Jason Taylor has been officially signed to play outside linebacker and rumors are swirling that the Jets are looking to trade veteran guard Alan Faneca. With the draft a little over 24 hours away, here are a few things to consider when looking at the Jets in round one:

The Jets interest level in Idaho guard Mike Iupati and Florida center Maurkice Pouncey (who the Jets would slide to guard) obviously increases if they are planning to make a move on Faneca. The only problem is that both players are shooting up the draft board and could be long gone by number 29. Would the Jets trade up for either player? It depends how serious they are about moving Faneca and whether they consider Matt Slauson, Robert Turner, or Wayne Hunter to be adequate in-house replacements. Regardless, Iupati and Pouncey are two names to keep an eye on, especially if either starts sliding into the 20s.

With Jason Taylor on board, I wouldn’t expect the Jets to make any type of move up in the draft to grab Brandon Graham or Sergio Kindle. Both players would be great value at #29 so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for the Jets to still take either of them or TCU’s Jerry Hughes at that spot. Yet, the likelihood of seeing any other these three players in green and white has decreased from the beginning of the week. Ricky Sapp could still remain a viable option in round two.

Despite Vernon Gholston moving to defensive end, it still remains a high priority for the Jets. Jared Odrick, Everson Griffen, and Terrence Cody all still remain high on the Jets radar. Devin McCourty is still a very real possibility at #29 also. Most people would question McCourty as an option for the Jets initially but remember Rex Ryan loves corners and the Jets nickel back plays about 50 percent of the defensive snaps. I doubt the Jets are comfortable with Dwight Lowery in the nickel role and Drew Coleman at dime back. McCourty could also contribute right away on all the Jets special teams units in coverage and as a returner.

PhotobucketIt is being reported Dallas in love with Texas safety Earl Thomas. The Cowboys are picking at #22 and there are rumors they could trade up to insure getting him. If the Jets really want Thomas, they are likely going to have to leap somewhere around 15 spots to get him, which is going to be costly. Taylor Mays’ name keeps getting thrown around for the Jets at #29. Please…Please…Please, stay away from this guy Mike Tannenbaum. He is Vernon Gholston 2.0 at safety. If you can’t get the safety you want in round one, look at Nate Allen from USF in round two.

 Here are my current thoughts on what could happen tomorrow:

Potential Trades:

  1. Jets Trade Up For Earl Thomas (Likely in 14-17 range) – 15%
  2. Jets Trade Up For Brandon Graham/Sergio Kindle (Likely in the 15-22 range) – 15%
  3. Jets Trade Up For Mike Iupati – (Likely in 14-17 range) – 25%
  4. Jets Trade Up For Maurkice Pouncey – (Likely in 21-25 range) – 30%
  5. Jets Trade Back Into Round Two, Target Ricky Sapp and Nate Allen With Their Two Picks – 30%

Staying Put At #29

  1. Jets get Jared Odrick – 35%
  2. Jets get Jerry Hughes – 35%
  3. Jets get Everson Griffen – 40%
  4. Jets get Terrence Cody – 40%
  5. Jets get Devin McCourty – 40%

TOJ TV Throwback Week Continues With A Mash-Up Video (starting at 1:26)  of Gloating To Jets Haters About Their Wild-Card Win

Jets Thoughts: 2010 Schedule, Jason Taylor, Trade Rumors

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Crazy day so let’s get right into it:

2010 Schedule – Oh, how far we have come. After being one of the most irrelevant teams in the league in 2007, our Jets will be spending a minimum of five nights in prime time during the 2010 season. Let’s go through the games one at a time with some quick on thoughts on each match-up:

  • Week 1 Vs Baltimore (MNF)– Juicy subplots all over the place as Rex Ryan takes on his former team. Even though he always expresses admiration for his old organization, Ryan is still clearly irked by being passed up for the head coaching job with the Ravens. If you don’t think Ryan relishes having all summer to come up with a defensive attack to send at Joe Flacco and co. on opening night in the new stadium than you are out of your mind. I could already see the Jets sending 8 guys at the quarterback on the first 10 plays. Beyond that, this will be a great test for the Jets right out of the gate against one of the AFC’s best teams. Honestly right now, I’d say Baltimore and the Jets are battling for the #2 team in the AFC behind the Colts.
  • Week 2 Vs New England – I am glad we get to stay at home for the first two weeks against two difficult opponents. The stadium will be rocking as usual against New England, as the Jets look to beat the Patsies in week 2 for the second season in a row. No Wes Welker in this match-up, which obviously helps the Jets because he usually kills them.
  • Week 3 At Miami (SNF) – Hopefully a little prime-time revenge for the Jets down in Miami, as this is the second of three straight divisional games for the Jets. Jason Taylor returns to his former team looking to prove he can still get after the quarterback.
  • Week 4 At Buffalo – The Jets have to take care of business against the Bills, who always put up a fight regardless of how crappy they are.

The Jets get an early tour of the division, along with a difficult week one opponent. However, there is no reason they can’t emerge from the first quarter of the season at 3-1.

Week 5 – Vs Minnesota (MNF) – Oh baby, Favre (he is absolutely coming back) vs. the Jets defense and a pissed off New York crowd on Monday night football. Obviously a tough game against a very good team but I am glad we have them at home. Welcome back Santonio.

Week 6 – At Denver – A tough trip across the country but the Broncos didn’t do much to improve on their 8-8 team from last season. A game the Jets should win.

Week 7 – Bye

Week 8 – Vs Green Bay – Another tough home game. It should be fun to watch Green Bay’s high powered offense go against the Jets top flight defense.

Week 9 – At Detroit – No excuses, the Jets can’t afford a let down on the road against a team of this caliber. Calvin Johnson vs. Darrelle Revis? Get your popcorn ready.

I don’t see any reason the Jets can’t pull out a 3-1 record in their second quarter of games.

PhotobucketWeek 10 – At Cleveland – I’d to thank the NFL for giving the Jets the Lions and Browns on back to back weeks. Rex Ryan against his brother. Eric Mangini against his old team. Jake Delhomme against the Jets defense again? Darrelle Revisis already excited. Braylon returns to Cleveland…probably not hanging with LeBron and his posse.

Week 11 – Vs Houston – Matt Schaub is already crapping his pants thinking about Bart Scott blitzing up the middle after what happened to him last year.

Week 12 – Vs Cincinnati (Thanksgiving) – What better way to end your holiday than to watch Chad OchocincoJohnson and Revis go at one more time. We saw last year the Jets match-up well with the Bengals.

Week 13 – At New England (MNF) – The Jets get a long time to prepare for this game on the road, which is a nice benefit. This should be a huge late season battle for the division lead.

I really believe the Jets can go 4-0 in this stretch. They match up well with the Bengals and Texans and get them both at home. Delhomme should be a disaster again against the Jets defense. Obviously, the game against the Pats is key.

Week 14 – Vs Miami – Back to back huge divisional games late in the year. Hopefully the Jets use these two weeks to close out the AFC East title.

Week 15 – At Pittsburgh – Tough late season road trip…should have playoff implications for both teams. Welcome back Santonio.

Week 16 – At Chicago – The Bears should be better this season and it is a difficult place to play.

Week 17 – Vs Buffalo – We could only hope Erik Ainge is starting this game because the Jets are resting their starters.

The last quarter of the season features two home divisional games and two tough road trips. 3-1 might not be out of the question.

I know at first glance it looks like I am saying the Jets will go 13-3 but I am sure they will slip up and lose a game to Buffalo or another team they should beat once or twice. As of today, I feel comfortable saying this could be a 11-5 or 12-4 team.

Jason Taylor – We all figured this was eventually coming. It was clear Miami didn’t want Taylor back and that Rex Ryan was hellbent on adding him as a pass rusher. I do think he will be used a situational player and Ryan will find a way to get 8-11 sacks out of him. I am not crazy about such a hated player coming to the team and don’t like hearing the talk that his heart is still in Miami but he is an upgrade at the pass rusher position and if he is productive, who cares about what he said in the past? Obviously, this lessens the possibility of the Jets taking somebody like Jerry Hughes or Brandon Graham in round one. However, I still wouldn’t be shocked to see them spend a mid-round pick on an outside linebacker.

PhotobucketFaneca, Ellis, Thomas On The Way Out – Mike Lombardi of the National Football Post created a huge buzz today by saying the Jets are actively shopping Shaun Ellis, Bryan Thomas, and Alan Faneca and will waive them after the draft if they can’t find a trade partner. Rex Ryan shot down the idea in his conference call with reporters today but you never know with Mike Tannenbaum. Honestly, Ryan made it sound that Thomas is the least likely of the three to be moved because he discussed Taylor being used in a situational role at length today with Thomas and Calvin Pace remaining starters. The Jets are already painfully thin at defensive end so I’d be absolutely shocked if they parted ways with Ellis, who is the longest tenured player on the team and a locker room leader. Faneca makes the most sense because he is a due a big chunk of money this year and his play has begun to fall off. However, the Jets don’t currently have an adequate replacement for him unless they draft Mike Iupati on Thursday, than you could say good-bye to Faneca.

TOJ TV Throwback Week Continues With A Week 8 Adventure Into The Woods

Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. What a first day of March Madness…unfortunately my Lehigh Mountain Hawks couldn’t pull off the 16 vs 1 upset but they did hang tough. They definitely made it more competitive than Lafayette would have, I know that much.

2. James Ihedigbo (who received his first article lead picture on TOJ today), Vernon Gholston, and Davd Clowney have all been in Haiti the past week helping out with the rebuilding effort. www.newyorkjets.com has been documenting it. Great job by all those guys taking the time out of their lives to give help where it is needed most.

3. LaDainain Tomlinson got a jump start on Monday’s first team workout by showing up at the facility today to do some drills with strength coach Sal Alosi. Bart Scott and Dustin Keller were also present.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because 226 other people are doing it

5. Starting in April, I will be doing some fantasy football writing for Fanball/Rototimes so if you are interested in reading some advice/insight on the world of fantasy I will be posting the links here when I start up.

6. Upcoming TOJ stuff to be excited about — An off-season edition of TOJ TV. I know everybody misses seeing me and James in front of the camera. Also, as soon as I get my new laptop I will be putting together TOJ: The Podcast. My goal is to have the first episode up and running by the NFL Draft.

Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

For once, news is a little slow on our J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have ten Friday thoughts about them:

1. Tim Graham of ESPN.com does a great job of occasionally compiling mock draft selections for AFC East teams, here is the latest picks from Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, (ESPN) Don Banks (SI), Bucky Brooks, Pat Kirwan (NFL.com), Sam Farmer (LA Times), Clark Judge, Pete Prisco, Rob Rang, and Chad Reuter (CBS Sports).

  • Kiper – Taylor Mays, USC Safety
  • McShay – Jared Odrick, PSU Defensive Tackle
  • Banks – Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech Receiver
  • Brooks – Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech Receiver
  • Farmer – Dan Williams, Tennessee Defensive Tackle
  • Judge – Mike Iupati, Idaho Guard (who the Jets worked out today)
  • Kirwan – Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State Receiver
  • Prisco – Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech Receiver
  • Rang – Golden Tate, Notre Dame Receiver
  • Reuter – Jared Odrick, PSU Defensive Tackle

PhotobucketIt looks like just about everybody has the Jets penciled in for a defensive lineman or a wide receiver, which makes sense considering their recent acquisitions. Odrick is coming off a strong pro day and is a name who has been linked to the Jets since the draft order was set. Personally, at this point I would rather see the Jets improve their defensive line depth, especially considering they haven’t re-signed Marques Douglas yet, than add a wide receiver in round one. There will be plenty of receivers for the Jets to target in the second round if they are looking for a slot guy.

2. What are the odds of Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Brandon Moore starting every single game again this year? I am not sure I am confident in Wayne Hunter or Robert Turner for an extended period of time. The Jets should spend a middle-round pick on an offensive lineman to develop behind the veterans and eventually take over for either Faneca or Woody, depending on whether they a pick a guard or tackle. It also probably wouldn’t hurt to add another cheap free agent lineman to improve depth, although the market is pretty thin right now.

3. I am curious how the battle for the starting safety is going to play out. You would think Eric Smith will probably get the first crack at the job, but I get the impression the coaching staff is high on James Ihedigbo’s potential, especially in run support and that they didn’t sign Brodney Pool to sit on the bench. Honestly, I think all three will have a role on the defense and end up splitting the reps. My guess is that the starting job will likely change hands multiple times. The only problem is that all three of these guys are known to be better in run support than in pass coverage. I guess it is a good thing we have Revis Island on one side of the field, and hopefully Cromartie peninsula coming together on the opposite side (I know peninsula probably isn’t the best geographic term, but I can’t think of anything better right now, I guess I am saying receivers will occasionally be able to escape to the only border because only #24 is good enough to maintain his own island…enough geography for the day).

4. What is your ideal Jets offensive box score looking like right now? Here is what mine is looking like for our week 1 Monday night victory over the Dolphins:

  • Mark Sanchez – 18/24, 221 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
  • Shonn Greene – 21 carries, 114 yards
  • LaDainain Tomlinson – 8 carries, 40 yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 26 yards
  • Leon Washington – 7 carries, 40 yards, 3 receptions, 25 yards
  • Braylon Edwards – 4 catches, 70 yards
  • Jerricho Cotchery – 5 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD
  • Dustin Keller – 4 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD
  • Brad Smith – 2 carries, 22 yards

5. How many games does Vernon Gholston get a shot this year before the Jets decide to throw in the towel and just make him inactive every week? If it gets to week 5 or 6 and he isn’t contributing on defense and remains an average special teams player, how do you justify keeping him on the active roster?

Photobucket6. It will be an interesting battle this year for the final roster spot at receiver, considering who the Jets add through the draft or if they decide to sign Laveranues Coles. David Clowney made a few big plays last year but never lived up to the hype he created in pre-season. Britt Davis was a camp favorite of the coaches before he began struggling with drops toward the end of the pre-season. Aundrae Allison might be the fastest player on the team but he was forced to go on IR after the last pre-season game and Marcus Henry is still around.

7. I think Erik Ainge and maybe Kevin O’Connell will give Kellen Clemens a run for the #2 quarterback job this pre-season. The Jets didn’t carry four quarterbacks on their roster last year for no reason and I bet they won’t do it again this year.

8. Nick Folk, really? C’mon now.

Photobucket9. Who is going to fill Wallace Wright’s spot on special teams? Better yet, who is going to fill his article space in training camp with the requisite “this special teams guy is having a terrific camp on offense and is going to finally break out.” It can’t be Danny Woodhead, who showed he can’t contain on kick coverage against Miami last year and already has a hold over the requisite “long-shot division 2 player who is really scrappy and everyone is pulling for to make the roster” story space. NOTE – After I began typing this, it was announced the Jets signed former Seahawks linebacker Lance Laury who was their special teams captain last year. He had 21 tackles and 1 forced fumble last year. Nice job reading my mind Mike Tannenbaum.

10. What is the next Jets jersey I should buy? Currently my jersey depth chart is looking like this (ranked in order of swaggalicious-ness)…I don’t know how to pronounce what I just typed. By the way, I never wear outdated jerseys in public, just for pick-up football, but I listed them anyway.

  • Darrelle Revis, White Titans
  • Jerricho Cotchery, White
  • Dustin Keller, Green
  • Mark Sanchez, White
  • Curtis Martin, Green
  • Laveranues Coles, White
  • Santana Moss, White
  • Jonathan Vilma, Green
  • Chad Pennington, Green
  • Kerry Rhodes, Green
  • Curtis Conway, Green

I could have a new car by now, if I didn’t have all these jersey. I have two identical green #81 jerseys, the only difference is that it says “Keller” on one and “Conway” on the other. I am leaning heavily towards either a home Shonn Greene jersey or a blue Leon Washington throwback (depending how he looks coming off the injury)…maybe a home David Harris jersey, we’ll see.

Oh, The Madness

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

Jets Offense Has Bright Future

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First a few updates:

1. Well, there really isn’t too much to update about the Jets. Last week the Jets signed Chiefs practice squad long snapper Tanner Purdum, which could mark the end of James Death era. They are in the running to sign CFL MVP linebacker Rickey Foley, and some people are talking about the Jets signing Donte Stallworth, which I don’t think is happening. From a football perspective, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea but I don’t think the Jets want the PR of signing a guy who was suspended a year for manslaughter.

2. Further in the category of jinxing the Jets next year, Herman Edwards picked the Jets and Cowboys to play in the Super Bowl next year, just like Gary Myers of the Daily News. My pick? Rams vs. Browns.

3. I have made the educated decision to not do any of my work for the rest of the week since we are supposed to be hit with 2 feet of snow, so now I am just playing the waiting game. The only thing left on my agenda from now until is Friday is blogging and watching LOST tonight, yes it is an exciting life I live.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…we are locked in at 186 fans right now, and I need to get 200 by the end of the month.

Jets Offense Has Bright Future

Yesterday I wrote about the Jets defense and the holes they need to fill over the upcoming few off-seasons. Today, I am going to turn the focus over to the Jets offense. Despite a sluggish regular season, the long-term potential of this unit was on display during the playoffs. You have to be encouraged by the young core of talent the Jets have assembled on the offensive side of the football.

The regular season statistics were ugly but Mark Sanchez stepped up his game in the playoffs. With another year in the system and his knee taken care of, Sanchez should be a much improved quarterback next season. Nobody is saying he is ready to become a pro-bowler but I think the days of 6/12 for 65 yards are over with. There were flashes of what the Jets offense could be when Sanchez is playing well against the Texans, Patriots, Titans, and Dolphins last year during the regular season and of course in the wild-card round and the first half of the AFC Championship Game. There will be more responsibilitygiven to Sanchez next season and he should have better chemistry with Braylon Edwards after having a full off-season to work with him. Beyond that, he will be benefited from having Leon Washington as a check-down option and a threat in the screen game. It would be nice to see the Jets get a veteran backup for Sanchez, to give Erik Ainge another year to develop as a long-term backup. I am all for Chad Pennington coming back.

One of the most interesting parts of the Jets off-season will be seeing how they handle the situation with Thomas Jones. I think the Jets should pay him the bonus he is due and bring him back as their 1B option at running back. It is too risky to head into the season with Shonn Greene, who had some injury issues last year and Leon Washington who is coming off major surgery. Even though I think the Jets will open up the offense a little more, they will still be a run heavy unit so there is nothing wrong with having a 3 headed monster. Greene is going to be the primary guy and if he can stay healthy will be a 1500 yard back. I hope Leon can get back to where he was on offense and give the Jets the third-down back/screen threat they desperately needed last year. Even with Greene getting the bulk of the carries and Washington hopefully getting 10 offensive touches a game, Jones would still have value as a short-yardage/goal-line back and a guy who can chip in 10-12 carries or maybe more depending on the game plan. The Jets could also have a hole to fill at fullback if Tony Richardson decides to retire, but hopefully he will decide to come back on another 1 year deal after a productive season.

PhotobucketI have heard some people say the Jets need need a legit number one receiver but I think they are in good shape with Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery as their starters. Yes, Edwards made his share of mistakes last year but he also made his share of big plays. With a full off-season to work with the team and Sanchez, there is no reason Edwards can’t be the #1 receiver the Jets traded for him to be. Cotchery played at the level of a #1 receiver for most of last year and if it wasn’t for an ankle injury, would have been a 1000 yard guy. Is it crazy to think both Edwards and Cotchery could be right around or slightly over 1000 yards next year, with Sanchez a year better?

The Jets do need a number 3 receiver/slot guy. Brad Smith deserves a roster spot because of his value on special teams and gadget plays. However, either Wallace Wright or David Clowney need to be replaced with a guy who can make some plays out of the slot. Chansi Stuckey was really perfect for this role but unfortunately he had to be sent back in the Edwards trade. Dustin Keller needs to be used the way he was in the playoffs, because he should be much more than a 500 yard, 2 touchdown a season guy. I would love to see Ben Hartsock replaced with a player who can block but is also somewhat of a receiving threat. Overall, even if the Jets don’t add another receiver this off-season Edwards, Cotchery, and Keller are a pretty strong top three targets for Sanchez to grow with over the next few years.

The offensive line was superb last season but is getting old at couple of spots. Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Brandon Moore should all be in place for a long time but the Jets have to start thinking about who will eventually replace Alan Faneca and Damien Woody. Hopefully, both guys can give us another two strong seasons but nothing is guaranteed at their age. Robert Turner and Wayne Huner have gained some valuable experience the past few years as extra tight ends and could eventually be looked to as starters. Also, Matt Slauson was drafted in the 6th round last year and will hopefully develop into something down the road. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets grab another lineman in the late rounds of this year’s draft.

With a core of Mark Sanchez (23), Shonn Greene (24), Leon Washington (27), Dustin Keller (25), Braylon Edwards (26), Jerricho Cotchery (27), Nick Mangold (26), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (26), Brandon Moore (29), and Brad Smith (26), the Jets offense could be very good, for a very long time. I know many Jets fan have a strong hate for Brian Schottenheimer(that is an article for another day) but I think he did good last year, considering he was dealing with a rookie quarterback and a receiving core that was shuffled around in the first half of the season from trades and injuries. He is a creative guy and it will be a big benefit for Sanchez to play in the same offense with the same coordinator for the second year in a row. Ideally this off-season, the Jets will get Thomas Jones and Tony Richardson back, find a #3 receiver, improve their #2 tight end, get a veteran backup QB and draft a lineman in the late rounds.

Could It Be? Another 2009 Highlight Tape

Taking Some Time To Give Mike T Credit

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First a few updates:

1. Check out that new graphic —–>, I’m not bragging, I’m just sayin….

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…everybody is doing it…well now, 181 people are.

3. I will be writing my thoughts on the Super Bowl tomorrow. I have somewhat ignored most of the media coverage the past two weeks because I am bitter and immature about the Jets losing in the AFC Championship Game.

4. The Jets have hired former Ravens defensive backs coach, Mark Carrier, to coach the defensive line.

5. Leon Washington spoke to PFT today and sounded confident about remaining with the Jets for a long time, which is obviously good news. Also, he is apparently ahead in his rehab…even better. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/02/04/leon-washington-expects-to-be-a-jet-for-a-long-time/).

6. Jay Glazer appeared on WFAN today and gave another side of the story of Rex Ryan’s encounter with Miami fans. Glazer was with Ryan that night and said the “I’ve never seen a fan go so far over the line, he said to Rex, ‘I hope you die, ‘you fat piece of crap,’ He spit at him.” He spit at him? Maybe Ryan should have pulled an Artest and went in the crowd. Stay classy, Dolphins fans.

Taking Some Time To Give Mike T Credit

Now that we are out of the season, I feel the need to write a complimentary article about our GM Mike Tannenbaum. With the Jets and the rest of the NFL heading into an off-season with altered rules because of an upcoming uncapped year, it is a good thing we have such a savvy and overall quality GM. Tannenbaum has made his share of mistakes and faced some criticism (mostly from Mike Florio at PFT, who is a Patriots fan anyway) but the guy has been aggressive and made the moves necessary to have the Jets in position to be a serious contender in the AFC for years to come.

Let’s start with the 2006 draft, when Tannenbaum did the right thing by taking D’Brickashaw Ferguson as a building block for an offensive line that needed to be completely rebuilt. He then turned around and used the Jets second first round pick (29 overall) to take another lineman, center Nick Mangold. As a first year GM in New York, it could have been very tempting to take a quarterback with the number 4 overall pick (Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler) and then take a skill position player to go with him later in the first round. They weren’t sexy picks, but considering I just watched Mangold and Ferguson start on the offensive line in the pro-bowl, they were the right picks.

Unfortunately, Tannenbaum decided that since he got two picks right, he needed to balance it out by getting two picks wrong. I am talking about taking Kellen Clemens in the 2nd round and Anthony Schlegel in the 3rd round. Fortunately, the pendelum swung back and he found three valuable players with Eric Smith(3rd round), Brad Smith (4th round), and of course Leon Washington (4th round). I am not going to get at him for late round picks like Jason Posciak and Titus Adams. However, he did draft Drew Coleman in the 6th round with Cortland Finnegan on the board.

PhotobucketTannenbaum made two of the smartest trade-ups in Jets history in 2007. He traded up in the first round to grab the best corner in football, Darrelle Revis. In the second round, he traded up to grab one of the inside linebackers in football, David Harris. Nice. To top it off, he grabbed Chansi Stuckey in the 7th round, who turned into a valuable chip in acquiring Braylon Edwards.

Apparently, Tannenbaum decided he did so well in 2007 that he needed to bomb out in 2008. Even though people try to shift the blame to Eric Mangini, Mike T still pulled the trigger on Vernon Gholston. In retrospect, he should have traded back and targeted either Mike Jenkins or Aqib Talib to pair up with Darrelle Revis at corner. Tannenbaum found some redemption late in the first round by trading up for Dustin Keller. In the later rounds, he grabbed Dwight Lowery (back-up), Erik Ainge (back-up), Marcus Henry (complete miss), and Nate Garner (complete miss).

In 2008, he got back to doing what he does best…trading up. He moved up in the first round to grab Mark Sanchez and then moved up in the third round to get Shonn Greene.

So even though I want to suggest the Jets trading back to gain more picks, Tannenbaum seems to be on absolute fire when he trades up. Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dustin Keller, Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene were all acquired by moving up in the draft.

Beyond the draft, Tannenbaum learned from a passive off-season before the 2007 season to become arguably the most aggressive GM in football. Many people criticized spending so much money on Alan Faneca and Damien Woody but both have started every game the past two years and played at a high level. Calvin Pace has been the Jets pass rusher the past two seasons. Tony Richardson has played at a high level. Kris Jenkins was a beast in 2008 but did have a season-ending injury this past year. Depending on how strong he comes back the next couple of years, will determine whether it was a smart trade or not.

He took a shot with Brett Favre. It is a shame the Jets didn’t get a motivated “I want to get Green Bay back” Favre for all 16 games but at the time the Jets made the move, everyone (or at least mostly everyone) agreed they needed a quarterback. Fortunately, the Jets haven’t been set back by the Favre signing since they have found their quarterback of the future. Tannenbaum also did a good job of getting the proper pieces for Rex Ryan’s defense (Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Marques Douglas). He did miss on Lito Sheppard, but 3 out 4 isn’t terrible on defense. He also got his young quarterback, a big target at wide receiver by trading for Braylon Edwards. Regardless of how you feel about Edwards, he adds a needed dimension to the Jets offense (big-play threat, size).

I do know that with the Jets limited by the new rules and a defense that slowly needs to be re-built for the future (as we will get to in a later article) I feel confident with Tannenbaum at the GM position. I feel confident with Rex Ryan at the head coach position (another good move by Tannenbaum) and I feel confident with Mark Sanchez at the quarterback position.

If Tannenbaum Could Do One Thing Over