New York Jets Recent Cuts Open Up New Opportunities

There have been varying emotions on the New York Jets recent round of cuts. A mix of joy and disgust as the Vernon Gholston disaster finally came to an end, sadness at seeing respected veterans like Kris Jenkins and Damien Woody go, amusement at Jason Taylor now only wanting to continue his career with the Jets, a team he once despised as much as we despised him, and indifference over Ben Hartsock (sorry #84). Regardless, all of these moves are going to open up new opportunities for other players on the roster and will affect strategy in April’s draft.

Woody – The Jets are expected to have veteran Wayne Hunter and second year lineman Vladimir Ducasse battle for his old spot. For Ducasse, this a make or break battle. The Jets are going to have to admit they may have missed in last year’s second round if Ducasse begins his NFL career by losing consecutive battles to Matt Slauson and Hunter. Towards the end of last season, Hunter showed he could be adequate as a starter but  I am sure the coaching staff is hopeful Ducasse will seize the position and be the long term answer at right tackle.

Jenkins – There is still a good chance Jenkins will come back at a reduced price. Regardless, this just means embracing Sione Pouha as the quality starter he has shown himself to be. It also means the Jets will have to look defensive line early in the draft, as we expected them to anyway.

Gholston – He didn’t play enough to shake up anything on the roster. The coaching staff does seem high on Marcus Dixon at defensive end and Ropati Pitoitua is returning from injury. Expect both players to get a shot at becoming large parts of the defensive line rotation in 2011.

Taylor – He has expressed an interest in returning to the Jets at a reduced price. I have a hard time seeing that happening as the Jets will likely look to get younger at linebacker and defensive end (where Taylor frequently lined up) in the draft. Jamaal Westerman might be a guy who gets more of a shot now that Taylor is gone. Westerman showed some potential in 2009 but wasn’t given much of a chance last season…until he roughed the punter against Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game.

Hartsock – The Jets decided to keep Jeff Cumberland on the roster all of the last season, despite only making him active once in week 17. He showed potential as a pass catcher in the pre-season and clearly the Jets think he can become a bigger part of the offense, which he may need to if Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith don’t return. In terms of blocking, Matthew Mulligan should be able to step into that role as he received occasional reps in run heavy sets last season.

Check Out Hartsock’s Lone Touchdown as a New York Jet at 1:05…and his incredibly lame celebration

Projecting The Jets Offensive Statistics

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Yes, Fanball is still working on breaking those pending comments out but any comment you leave will be transcribed by me and posted.

2. After it was initially reported that Darrelle Revis was going to hold out of training camp unless he received a new contract, it has now been released that he will attend because he risks losing guaranteed money on his old contract if he misses any mandatory workouts. Obviously, we just have to wait and see what happens on August 1st but hopefully Mike Tannenbaum and the rest of the Jets front office is putting in OT right now on Revis, Nick Mangold, and David Harris. The less distractions the Jets have heading into training camp the better, considering they will already have Hard Knocks in attendance. There hasn’t been any positive talk about the Revis negotiations in recent weeks but the Jets still have a few weeks to make a move before training camp and the 18,000 daily stories about every move Revis does or doesn’t make.

Projecting The Jets Offensive Statistics

A few thoughts speculating on what some of the Jets offensive player statistics could look like in, after ranking the starters on Friday (http://turnonthejets.com/2010/07/09/ranking-the-jets-offensive-starters-weekend-video-clips/).

PhotobucketJerricho Cotchery led the team in receptions last season and I think he will do the same in 2010. Out of all the Jets receivers, he seems to have the best chemistry with Mark Sanchez and should be the team’s primary target on third downs this season. Similar to the rest of his career, he likely won’t rack up big touchdown or yardage totals. When the Jets are looking for a big play, Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes will be the primary target (after week 4). By all accounts, Edwards had a terrific off-season and if he can remain consistent could be in store for a big season in a Jets offense that will throw more frequently than their 2009 unit. I don’t know if he will get the amount of looks necessary to be a 1,000 yard receiver but he could end up being close, especially with Holmes suspended the first four games. I also think he will be battling Dustin Keller for the team lead in touchdown receptions. Keller will struggle to have big reception and yardage totals with so many other pass catching options but is an excellent red-zone target because of his combination of size and speed at the tight end position.

It is hard to project what Santonio Holmes will do after he returns from his suspension. You have to figure it will take some time for him to adjust and find his exact role in the Jets offense. Yet, by the end of the year he could very well be the guy leading the Jets in receiving yards most weeks. If you asked me right now, I’d say Cotchery will lead the team in receptions, Edwards will lead them in yards and touchdowns, with Keller close behind in the touchdown category.

– At running back, if Shonn Greene stays healthy and keeps up his high yards per carry, there is no reason he can’t be a 1200 – 1300 yard back. I don’t buy any talk about LaDainian Tomlinson competing with him for the starting job. The primary reason the Jets let Thomas Jones walk was because they believed Greene could handle the starting job. Tomlinson was brought in to back him up and provide a pass receiving option out of the backfield since Greene struggles catching the football. I also expect him to get the first crack at being the goal-line and short yardage back. Greene is going to lead the team in carries and yards by a good margin. Yet, Tomlinson could end up leading them in rushing touchdowns and should catch 30-40 balls as well. Joe McKnight will likely start out slow but if he shows he can handle blitz pick up, his package of plays will expand as the season goes on. I doubt he will get over 80 carries this season but hopefully he can chip in a decent reception total, especially in the second half of the season.

– At quarterback, it is hard to see Mark Sanchez not improving on his statistics across the board in 2010. It will be a disappointment if he doesn’t throw for a higher completion percentage, more yards, more touchdowns, and less interceptions. Nobody is saying he is going to make a monster leap but I think he is capable of reaching 3000 yards with something like 15 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, along with a completion percentage in the 56 – 58 range. The Jets will throw more this season and his completion percentage will be aided by a more active screen game led by Tomlinson and McKnight.

– Brad Smith won’t catch any more passes than he did in 2009 (7) but hopefully he can match or exceed the 207 rushing yards he gave the Jets last year, with a few big plays out of the Tiger formation or on a reverse. He should also complete a few passes, as the Jets look to build on his big completion to Jerricho Cotchery in the AFC Championship Game. David Clowney will likely catch a few passes in the first four weeks but I don’t know how involved he will remain in the game plan after Holmes returns from suspension. Outside of that, I wouldn’t be spending any of my fantasy football picks on Ben Hartsock, Matthew Mulligan, Tony Richardson, or John Conner.

New TOJ TV

Tiger Formation

Jets Offense: Don't Forget These Players

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First a few updates:

1. We have got a good response on the TOJ DVD Contest, yet it is technically still open so recruit five new fans for the Turn On The Jets Facebook page, e-mail me their names, and you will have a chance to win a free copy of “New York Jets Best Games of the 2009 Season” from Warner Home Video. The DVD isn’t being released until June 1st and you have a shot to get your hands on it for free so start recruiting.

2. You have to love Rex Ryan challenging Damien Woody and Kris Jenkins to a weight loss contest…I am sure the local food establishments aren’t happy but we need all three in shape.

3. The Jets and Giants are making their bid for a New York (well technically, New Jersey) Super Bowl in 2014 tomorrow…it is hard not to get excited picturing the new stadium hosting the Super Bowl. There is nothing wrong with the cold weather, football is supposed to be played in the elements.

4. The TOJ Podcast has finally been recorded and will be up by week’s end and there is a good chance a new TOJ TV will be on the way shortly also.

Jets Offense: Don’t Forget These Players

The original idea for this article was to just focus on Jerricho Cotchery as an underrated player on the offense but there are a few other guys who will have a prominent role on the team in 2010 who need a mention. Yet, let’s start with Cotchery:

PhotobucketAnybody who reads this site knows J-Co is a TOJ favorite. It is easy to get excited about Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, with their big play potential and forget that the Jets number one receiver is still currently Jerricho Cotchery.

It is a shame Cotchery hurt his hamstring and missed two games (actually three because he was playing at 50 percent in week 5 against Miami) because he would have broke the 1000 yard mark if he didn’t, which would have been especially impressive considering how the Jets offense operated last year. Many people forget how Cotchery was playing before the injury, which also coincided with the Braylon Edwards trade:

  • Week 1 At Houston – 6 receptions, 90 yards
  • Week 2 Vs New England – 4 receptions, 87 yards
  • Week 3 Vs Tennessee – 8 receptions, 108 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Week 4 At New Orleans – 5 receptions, 71 yards

After he returned, he continued his consistent production:

  • Week 8 Vs Miami – 3 receptions, 70 yards
  • Week 10 Vs Jacksonville – 6 receptions, 68 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Week 11 At New England – 3 receptions, 84 yards, 1 touchdown

Like every other receiver on the team, his numbers fell off during the final six regular season games because the Jets basically stopped the football and Kellen Clemens had to start a game. However, Cotchery stepped up in the playoffs with 6 receptions for 67 yards in the wild-card round, a quiet 3 catches for 25 yards in the divisional round (yet all three were for key first downs), and finished with 5 receptions for 102 yards in the AFC Championship Game.

It became clear in the playoffs that when the Jets needed a big third down completion, Cotchery was the primary target. Sanchez seems to be the most in sync with him, especially when it comes to option routes. Most people assume Braylon was or is the Jets number one receiver, but look how their stats compared after the trade heading into week 5 (including the playoffs):

  • Edwards – 41 receptions, 697 yards, 4 TDs
  • Cotchery – 45 receptions, 659 yards, 3 TDs

Now keep in mind Cotchery played in three less games in that time frame and still put up nearly identical stats.

Holmes is suspended for the first four games. Cotchery is going to be the number one receiver on this team for those four games and in reality even longer than that considering it will take some time for Holmes to get integrated into the offense. There is also a chance Edwards could be suspended in week one, which will give Cotchery an even bigger role earlier in the season…yes it is just one game, but against Baltimore on Monday night…that is a big game.

Brad Smith/David Clowney – If Edwards is suspended in week one, one of these guys will be starting. Beyond that, one of them will be the number three receiver until week five. In reality, Smith isn’t a true receiver and is more of a gadget player. So despite Clowney being depressed on Twitter about the Holmes trade, he could still be a a big factor in the early part of the year and will have a chance to show he deserves some type of role as a deep threat.

Ben Hartsock/Tony Richardson – The Jets made a smart move by bringing both these veterans back, who are key parts of their running game as blockers. Hartsock is basically another tackle for the Jets and Richardson remains one of the better fullbacks in football. He will also have the chance to mentor/help groom 5th round pick John Connor this year.

Some Brad Smith Action

Analyzing The Jets Offensive Depth Chart

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have signed tryout linebackers Cory Reamer from Alabama and Brashton Satele from Hawaii and released linebacker Broderick Stewart. Ryan was raving about Reamer throughout the Jets rookie minicamp and it will be interesting to see if he has a real chance to stick on the active roster. The depth chart has been updated accordingly and I also finally got rid of that Kerry Rhodes picture in the 2009 stats section.

2. It is being reported Leon Washington will have to play with a rod in his leg this season and there is still a chance he could start the year on the PUP list. Hopefully Leon can get himself back to 100 percent but you have to wonder if these injury concerns played a major part in the Jets decision to trade him and draft Joe “Get The Guy Some Rolaids” McKnight.

3. Anybody else enjoying the Red Sox being well on their way to a 75 win season? Also, you have to feel bad for Mets fans…I mean they get themselves in position for a big early season series against the Phillies, they are in great position to steal 2 out of 3 but then their ace walks a 47 year old pitcher with the bases loaded en route to being completely shelled.

Digging A Little Deeper Into The Jets Roster

By this point we have a general idea of who the starters for the Jets will be on both sides of the ball and who many of the key reserves coming off the bench will be. However, there are still some spots that remain up for grabs on the Jets final 53 man roster. Let’s take a look through at current situation on the Jets depth chart heading into May’s full squad OTAs, starting today with the offense:

Quarterback

  1. Mark Sanchez – Locked in as the #1 quarterback, likely won’t participate in all of the Jets OTAs as he recovers from off-season surgery.
  2. Kellen Clemens – Has a very, very tenuous hold on the #2 job. I wouldn’t bet on him being a Jet when the season starts.
  3. Erik Ainge – He will be given every opportunity to make a run at the #2 job.
  4. Kevin O’Connell – The Jets must think he has potential to compete for the backup job since they held on to him all last season as their #4 quarterback.

Potential Additions – Mark Brunell – If one of the other Jets UFAs signs somewhere, Brunell will likely be quickly added or they could wait until July 22nd to sign him after the Final Eight rules stop restricting them.

Analysis – I wouldn’t expect the Jets to carry four quarterbacks for the second year in a row. It is a waste of a roster spot. It is hard to determine right now what the Jets depth chart will look like behind Sanchez on opening day. If I had to guess today, Brunell will be brought in as the #2 quarterback while Ainge and O’Connell battle for the #3 spot and long term backup position. Kellen Clemens will either be traded to a team who suffers an injury at quarterback in camp or be released.

Running Back

  1. Shonn Greene – Locked in as the starting running back.
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Locked in as the number two back.
  3. Joe McKnight – Considering the Jets spent a fourth round pick on him and traded up to get him…locked in as the #3/third-down back.
  4. Chauncey Washington – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

Fullback

  1. Tony Richardson – He will start out the year as the team’s #1 fullback and mentor to 5th round pick John Connor.
  2. John Connor – He will be on the 53 man roster to learn from Richardson and be groomed as the full time fullback.
  3. Jason Davis – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

AnalysisI would expect the Jets to carry Greene, Tomlinson, McKnight, Richardson, and Connor on their 53 man roster. McKnight or Connor will be battling to be active each week, depending on the game-plan, their progress, and how much they are contributing on special teams.

Tight End

  1. Dustin Keller – Locked in as the team’s starting tight end.
  2. Ben Hartsock – The Jets #2/blocking tight end.
  3. Matthew Mulligan – Battling Tanner Purdum for the long snapper job.
  4. Tanner Purdum – Not technically a tight end but battling for the long snapping job with Mulligan.

Analysis – The Jets will carry Keller, Hartsock, and whoever ends up being their long snapper.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jerricho Cotchery – I still consider him the Jets #1 receiver until Braylon is more consistent and Santonio returns from suspension.
  2. Braylon Edwards – Playing for a long term contract.
  3. Santonio Holmes – Man, we have a hell of trio at receiver.
  4. Brad Smith – He will be on the roster because of his versatility, big play ability and special teams skills.
  5. David Clowney – He will have a tough time making the roster because of his lack of contributions on special teams.
  6. Danny Woodhead – He is versatile but needs to show more on specials to stick.
  7. Aundrae Allison – Has incredible speed and potential as a kick returner, which makes him intriguing.
  8. Britt Davis – Made an impression last season in training camp but needs to show something on special teams.

Potential Additions – Laveranues Coles – Apparently the Jets have recently been in contact with Coles and his agent, but I doubt anything happens. He would have to accept being a number 4 receiver after Holmes returns from suspension.

PhotobucketAnalysisOne of the more interesting position battles on the team will take place for the #5 receiver spot. I doubt Coles joins the Jets, which means Clowney, Allison, Woodhead, and Davis will fight it out. Since Holmes will be suspended for the first four games, two of them will likely make the opening day roster with one of them being cut or moved to the practice squad after he returns from suspension. Clowney has the advantage of gaining starting experience last year. I don’t think Woodhead can stick as a full time receiver and he didn’t do much on specials last year. Davis has good size and could be a good project player to hold on to. If Allison can win the kick return job, than he will obvious stick as the #5.

Offensive Line

  • LT – D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Bookend tackle.
  • LG – Vladimir Ducasse – He will be one of the most watched players in training camp as he battles to replace Alan Faneca.
  • C – Nick Mangold – The best in the business.
  • RG – Brandon Moore – Rock solid and underrated.
  • RT – Damien Woody – Solid veteran.
  • G – Matt Slauson – He will battle for the starting left guard spot with Ducasse…has an uphill battle considering where Ducasse was drafted.
  • C – Robert Turner – Mike Tannenbaum said after the draft Turner would backup Mangold and he also contributes as an extra tight end in short yardage packages.
  • T – Wayne Hunter – Backup tackle who also plays in short yardage packages.

Potential Additions – Veteran Left Guard – If Ducasse and Slauson struggle in camp, don’t be shocked if the Jets look to add a veteran guard.

Analysis – I would anticipate the Jets carrying their five starters with Slauson/Ducasse, Turner, and Hunter as their backups.

Overall Analysis – If you figure the Jets carry three quarterbacks, five running backs, six receivers (until Holmes comes back), three tight ends, and eight offensive lineman, that totals 25 players, which gives Rex 26 defensive players to keep (with the kicker and punter rounding out the roster). He could also add another defensive player to the 53 man roster after week 4 when Holmes comes back and the Jets likely demote one of their receivers to practice squad or release them.

Don’t Sleep On J-Co

Grading Out the Jets/Titans Game

First a few updates:

1. Your 2009 AL East Champs…The New York Yankees.

2. I review the weekend for the AFC East and entire NFL tomorrow, but just as a preface: The Jets aren’t looking so stupid for trading Chad Pennington anymore are they? It didn’t take a genius to see what was coming this year for the Dolphins who are well on their way to a 4-12 season. Pennington has never put together back to back healthy seasons in his career. Their schedule is substantially harder and they generally lack talent (especially in an overhyped, overrated linebacker core). Enjoy beginning to play out the string in October Jason Taylor, Channing Crowder, and the rest of Dolphins nation. I do feel bad for Chad, who I always liked and I hope he gets healthy soon but how can I not enjoy the Dolphins being 0-3?

3. I actually felt bad for Eric Mangini watching his press conference yesterday. The Browns actually might go 0-16. It sounds like there isn’t a more hated coach in the league right now, since at least five of his players are filing grievances with the NFL about his fines. I thought Favre was more to blame than Mangini last year but I don’t understand why it appears that he didn’t learn anything from the mistakes he made with the Jets.

4. Speaking of those 3-0 Jets, I saw on ESPN that they are early 6.5 point underdogs to the Saints. This will be the third time in four games the Jets are underdogs.

5. Peter King ranked the Jets #4 is his weekly Power Rankings and put Darrelle Revis #5 on his MVP watch list.

6. Site Updates – The new episode of TOJ TV has been uploaded to the “TOJ TV” page and Jets/Titans highlights have been added to the “Game Highlights” section. The stats have also been updated.

Grading Out the Jets/Titans Game

Quarterbacks: (B-) Sanchez came out of the gate on fire, then turned into the rookie he is supposed to be, and then finished strong enough for the Jets to get a win. It was an up and down for “The Sanchise,” who finished 17/30 for 171 yards, with 2 touchdowns and an interception. The positives? He showed his toughness by barreling over Michael Griffin in the end-zone, had a beautiful play fake on his touchdown pass to Ben Hartsock, and showed his arm strength/accuracy on a picture perfect 46 yard connection down the side-line to Jerricho Cotchery. The negatives? He needs to work on his ball handling. The rain led to the ball slipping out of his hands a few times, and he was also stripped because he kept the ball too low. Also, don’t pile all the interception blame on Chansi Stuckey because Sanchez sailed that pass.

Running Backs: (D) Not a pretty day for Thomas Jones, who finished with 20 yards on 14 carries. Leon Washington had slightly better luck (12 carries, 46 yards) but still averaged less than 4 yards per carry. We are still waiting for Leon to rip off his first big run of the season and Jones looked a step slow to the hole, even though he wasn’t aided by the offensive line, who struggled. Don’t be surprised if Shonn Greene slowly begins to be worked into the offense next week. The Jets didn’t draft him to sit on the bench all season.

Wide Receivers: (A) Jerricho Cotchery played a terrific game and is turning me into a believer that he could be a legit number one receiver. He is catching every thing that comes near him and showed his speed on his 46 yard over the shoulder grab and his toughness on his touchdown catch. Brad Smith finally registered a couple of catches, including an impressive 16 yard grab as he a took a huge hit. Chansi Stuckey was quiet and David Clowney was inactive, which wasn’t surprising considering the conditions.

Tight Ends: (B) How great was Ben Hartsock’s prototypical white guy who has never scored a touchdown celebration? It consisted of him jumping straight up and down while holding up the #1 sign and then having an awkward timed jump into D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Dustin Keller had a leaping 18 yard catch on the first drive but was quiet after. I’d like to see the Jets get him more involved (probably because I have him on my fantasy football team).

Offensive Line: (D) You have to expect better than 83 rushing yards and three allowed sacks from an offensive line with this much talent. They also need to cut back on the penalties.

Defensive Line: (B) Great games by Kris Jenkins (2 TFL’s) and Shaun Ellis (.5 sack, 1 TFL). Sione Pouha and Marques Douglas were also active up front. The unit did a good job keeping Chris Johnson under 100 yards and was constantly pushing the pocket on Kerry Collins.

Linebackers: (A) Bart Scott was all over the field and David Harris keeps making big plays. Bryan Thomas has quietly put together a strong three games to start the season. Vernon Gholston looks like he is actually improving. I was somewhat surprised to Jamaal Westerman end up being inactive.

Secondary: (B) They were defintley some breakdowns and Kerry Collins threaded the needle on them a few times. However, Drew Coleman stepped up and had a great game as the nickel back. I still can’t believe this is the same Eric Smith from the past three years. He is all over the field and has turned into one of the Jets top playmakers on defense (6 tackles, 2 passes defensed, and an interception). Jim Leonhard always seems to be around the ball. Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes didn’t have their best days. Dwight Lowery was okay as a replacement for Lito Sheppard.

Special Teams (A+) Forced two key turnovers that were the reason the Jets won on Sunday. Great all around play by Jason Trusnik on fumble during the kick return. Brad Smith made a smart play by wrapping up Ryan Mouton to prevent him from recovering his muffed punt and Larry Izzo hustled down to make the recovery. Jay Feely has now made 19 straight field goals. Steve Weatherford had one bad shank but beyond that had a decent day.

Coaching: (B) It was a good decision to come out with the no-huddle, passing attack which caught the Titans off guard. Rex Ryan started out with a less aggressive scheme but with the game on his line, went back to what the Jets do best, blitz the hell out of the quarterback. The bottom line is that the Jets avoided a natural let-down game and found a way to win without having their “A” game.

Jets/Titans Game Highlights

Grading Out the Jets/Texans Game

First a few updates:

1. A bunch of the Jets talked about Rex Ryan’s pre-game speech before their beatdown of the Texans. According to Jay Feely, Ryan used the f-word about 52 times. The general gist of the speech was that the Texans were a soft, finesse team and the Jets were going to kick the crap out of them, and sure enough they did. Ryan sent a message to Houston right away by deferring after winning the coin toss, showing he wasn’t scared of their hyped up offense. Kris Jenkins joked that Ryan should be banned by the NFL as performance enhancing drug because of how motivated he had the team…I hope he has a strong encore performance for this week’s game.

2. The Jets don’t have permanent captains but their game captains for Houston were Kris Jenkins, Alan Faneca, Howard Green, and James Dearth.

3. After being presented with the game ball by Kerry Rhodes, Rex Ryan turned and flipped it over to Woody Johnson for giving him the chance to be a head coach in the NFL, before getting a little emotional in the locker room. I wonder if Eric Manginishowed any emotion in his opening game with the Browns?

4. Shonn Greene was inactive because the Jets wanted to carry an extra linebacker because they were concerned about Bryan Thomas having a sore leg, so Jason Trunsik was active over Greene who is now 100 percent healthy.

5. Across the top of the page, you can now find “Jets Stats” which has their updated leaders in all major statistical categories. I also added the Jets/Texans highlights to the “Game Highlights” section, don’t be confused by the lettering on the video that says “Colts vs Jaguars,” it is the Jets/Texans highlights. Also the first episode of TOJ TV is archived under the “TOJ TV” page.

Grading Out the Jets/Texans Game

Quarterbacks: (A-) I’m not sure you could have asked for a better performance by Mark Sanchez in his first career start. Yes, he threw a costly interception and nearly had two others picked off but he dominated third down going 12/15 for 191 yards and a touchdown, showing his clutch ability. He also moved tremendously well in the pocket, avoiding sacks and keeping multiple plays alive. People love to talk about the “it” factor at quarterback, I’m not sure it is reasonable to assess a trait that can’t clearly be defined to somebody but it sure as hell looks like Sanchez has “it.” He plays with a ton of energy and acts like a leader on the field, sprinting out to break up a fight after Jay Feely knocked through a field goal. Would Brett Favre have been out there last year, trying to prevent a penalty?

Running Backs: (A-) 19 touches for Leon Washington? It is about damn time. Washington averaged 4 yards per carry and provided a consistent performance. He also chipped in 4 catches and a key pass breakup on a near interception. Thomas Jones started with 14 carries for 16 yards and finished with 20 carries for 107 yards, which is why you stick with the running game. Tony Richardson was excellent, providing a crushing block on safety Nick Ferguson that sprung Jones 38 yard touchdown run. I am going to keep harping on this…the closer Jones/Washington get to 40 touches a game, the more likely the Jets are to win. They combined for 39 against Houston, with a near perfect split of Jones having 20 and Washington having 19.

Wide Receivers: (B+) Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey’s ability to run after the catch converted a handful of key third downs for the Jets. After dropping his first pass, Cotchery caught the next 6 thrown to him. If they can play like this on a weekly basis, people won’t think twice about Laveranues Coles or any other veteran receiver for a long time. Brad Smith had a nice run on a reverse but also had a drop and a holding penalty. David Clowney wasn’t targeted at all.

Tight Ends: (A) Dustin Keller led the Jets in receiving yards with 94 and had two key third down conversions, including the biggest catch of the game, a 40 yard catch and run when the Jets faced a crucial 3rd and 3 with a 17-7 lead. He is going to be a nightmare match-up for defenses all season. Ben Hartsock played very well for somebody who just joined the team a week ago, providing steady blocking and playing a bunch of reps.

Offensive Line: (A) Whenever you allow zero sacks and have 190+ yards of rushing, you get an A. The only negative was three false start penalties. D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Damien Woody more than held their own against Mario Williams.

Defensive Line: (A) It was comical watching Kris Jenkins throw Texans center Chris Myers around like a rag doll all day. Jenkins didn’t have a big day statistically but anybody who watched the game knows how well he played. Mike DeVito had a big fumble recovery, thanks to his hustle down the field. Marques Douglas had a TFL…oh yea, Steve Slaton only ran for 17 yards.

Linebackers: (A) The A’s are getting redundant, but trust me I’m not getting tired typing them. David Harris was a beast with 11 tackles, a sack, and a pass defensed. He also knocked Andre Davis into another planet when he tried to come over the middle. Bart Scott set the tone early with a crushing blow on Matt Schaub, who played scared the rest of the game. Vernon Gholston had 3 tackles, a TFL and held his own for the entire day which is a step in the right direction for him. Jamaal Westerman continues to look like a UDFA steal, as he recorded his first NFL sack.

Secondary (A) Outside of Nnamdi Asomugha, who is a better corner than Darrelle Revis in the NFL? He is straight lockdown, period. Andre Johnson might as well stayed in the locker room because it was hard to notice he was even out there. Kerry Rhodes and Jim Leonhard were both active around the line of scrimmage. Donald Strickland had a great game with 3 tackles, a key forced fumble, and a QB pressure that led to an INT. Lito Sheppard was strong in run support and also had an interception. Eric Smith had a big 4th down pass break up and had a surprisingly active day.

Special Teams (A) Jay Feely made all his kicks. Steve Weatherford punted well and the Jets allowed zero return yards on punts. Leon Washington and Jim Leonhard were solid on returns.

Coaching (A) Rex Ryan had the Jets motivated and came up with a game plan that had Matt Schaub and Gary Kubiak’s head spinning. Brian Schottenheimer did a great job using Leon Washington and throwing some well timed screens to keep Houston off balance.

Highlights of the Jets Week One Win Over Houston

Brandon Marshall For David Harris? No, Thank You…

First, Let’s Hit a Few Other Jets Updates On a Busy Day:

1. The Jets signed veteran tight end Ben Hartsock today, after he was cut by the Atlanta Falcons to a one year, 1.275 million dollar contract. Over the past five seasons, Hartsock has played with the Colts, Titans, and Falcons andcollected 27 catches for 273 yards. Guess what that makes him? Easily, the second best tight endon the Jets roster. He will lstep right into the #2 spot on the Jets depth chart and serve as a the blocking tight end they desperately needed. This likely means that either Jack Simmons or Kareem Brown will not be making the final roster, my money would be on the Jets keeping Brown and stashing Simmons on the practice squad.

2. The Jets released punter Glen Pakulak…he had a distinguished 5 day career with the Jets. I guess it looks like Reggie Hodges is going to be the guy. Obviously, the position still remains an issue for the Jets but hopefully Hodges can show progress tomorrow night against the Eagles. Don’t underestimate the importance of punting on a team that is built like the Jets, who will try to win with defense, field position, and their running game.

3. Guess what was debated on NFL Live today? Who would you rather have on your team, Leon Washington or Reggie Bush? Showing some intelligence, Marcellus Wiley and Mark Schlereth both picked #29. If you want a better version of that debate, please look over these past articles from TurnOnTheJets.com, where I shredded my good friend Dan to pieces: http://turnonthejets.com/2009/07/05/jets-end-of-the-weekend-ramblings/ ….By the way, hasn’t Bush been hurt this pre-season?

4. Interesting that the Jets placed a waiver claim on Kevin O’Connell after the Pats released him, leaving their offense in the hands of Andrew Walter if Tom Brady’s knee doesn’t hold up. I think the Jets would have stashed O’Connell on the practice squad and let him compete with Erik Ainge for the backup spot next year after Kellen Clemens isn’t re-signed.

5. Rodney Harrison made some comments today about Rex Ryan comments on New England throughout the pre-season, I couldn’t hear exactly what he said over the sound of him taking performance enhancing drugs, taking cheap shots on everybody around him, and not breaking that Eli Manning to David Tyree pass…NBC will hire anybody these days.

Brandon Marshall For David Harris? No, Thank You…

The big news of the day has been the Jets reported interest in disgruntled, petulant receiver Brandon Marshall. In response, Denver has threatened tampering charges, which of course will never stick and then went on record to say they want Jets linebacker David Harris in any deal involving Marshall. Now you may think, I was a wide receiver, I love wide receivers, who doesn’t want an exciting playmaker on offense like Marshall…I can tell you that I don’t. The Jets would be crazy to trade David Harris in any deal for Brandon Marshall. Why?

1. Who steps in for Harris at inside linebacker in the Jets 3-4? Kenwin Cummings? Jamaal Westerman? I like Westerman but the guy is a rookie undrafted free agent and you are going to start him week one? All of the sudden the Jets would have a question mark in their middle of their defense, and if you have a question mark in the middle of your defense, you aren’t going to be a great defense like the Jets need to be this year in order to make the playoffs.

2. Have you watched Harris play this pre-season? The guy was built for Rex Ryan’s defense. He has been all over the field, recording multiple sacks, making a ton of tackles and intercepting a pass last week. Harris has easily outplayed Bart Scott this pre-season and let’s not forget Scott is an older player, and Harris is only entering his third season.

3. Let’s not be mistaken, Brandon Marshall is a beast on offense when healthy. Yet, he has recently had hip surgery and has missed the entire pre-season with a hamstring injury. How good of shape could he be in right now? He would also already be way behind in picking up the Jets offense and developing any type of chemistry with Mark Sanchez. Marshall also has a history of off the field issues, while Harris has been a model citizen for the Jets. It sends the wrong message and let’s be honest, you think Rex Ryan is trading away his 3rd year stud middle linebacker for a prima-donna wide receiver? I don’t think so…

4. The only deal I would make for Marshall is a trade that doesn’t cost a first round pick or a player like Harris. A second and seventh round pick? I can do that. A third round pick and Chansi Stuckey? I can do that. They want Dwight Lowery, David Clowney, or Brad Smith with a 2nd or 3rd round pick, they can have them for Marshall but no first round pick, no David Harris.

You Really Want This Guy?