Brandon Marshall? Hard Knocks? Draft Rumors? Thanksgiving? Jets News Swirling Everywhere

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First a few updates:

1. March Madness starts tomorrow and I have to confess that I didn’t follow college basketball as closely as I normally do this year. I followed the Big East and followed Syracuse, who I have become attached to since I covered them a few years back for Fan University, so I will be rooting for the Orange. However, let’s not forget that the school I currently attend is in the NCAA Tournament. How about those Lehigh Mountain Hawks? I can’t say there is much of a buzz on campus about Bethlehem’s finest taking down #1 seed Kansas tomorrow night, but I will be watching with the one Lehigh hat and one Lehigh shirt I own on, (I am only a graduate student here, if Muhlenberg jumped to Division I and made the tournament, I would have a new shirt and hat to wear everyday during the entire duration of March Madness).

Photobucket2. Thoughts On Lost Season 6 Episode 8 “Recon” – I am not sure why this episode hasn’t been received well by most fan websites and critics of the show. I thought “Recon” kept up the momentum from the previous few weeks with a better than average sideways storyline, some interesting revelations from Flocke, and a near throat slit of Kate by Claire. First off, I have to say that Charlotte cleans up nice off the island. She never did it for me back in season five but maybe that was because she always had a bloody nose, but last night…she gets two thumbs up. As my friend Snyder texted me during the show, Sawyer is always cleaning up with the ladies no matter what time line or reality he is in. By the way, was that first girl one of Tony’s gumars from season six of the Sopranos? Anyway, I like how the characters are all starting to cross paths in the sideways world. You get the feeling we are marching toward some big clash of all of them somewhere in Los Angeles. On the island, I don’t know what Widmore’s real motivations are. My initial thought was that he would be with Flocke, considering he wanted the real Locke back on the island in season 5, but it appears he wants to kill him. I don’t know if I believe him. I don’t know if I believe Flocke. I don’t even know if I believe Sawyer or Claire finally forgiving Kate. All I do know is that Sayid is straight messed up right now and I am looking forward to next week’s Richard episode in a big way.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because why wouldn’t you want to be fan #224?

4. Jay Feely is meeting with the Cardinals…this is no good, I can’t accept Nick Folk, I just can’t.

Brandon Marshall? Hard Knocks? Draft Rumors? Thanksgiving? Jets News Swirling Everywhere

I have been writing late night articles the past couple of days, which is a habit I don’t enjoy but apparently you actually need to complete coursework to get a graduate degree and my Dad keeps reminding me that I am done with school in July, so I need to find this thing called a job and here I was thinking this website counted, I guess not. Anyway, I will be back to a more regular writing schedule starting tomorrow afternoon and since I made it through my Austin trip and mid-terms alive, will be picking up the total number of weekly posts, especially after I get my new laptop this weekend. Anyway, what’s going on with the Jets…

Brandon Marshall rumors persist – The National Football Post and ESPN NFL Insider continue to talk up the Jets interest in Brandon Marshall. Adam Schefter and Rich Cimini of the Daily News both say the talk has no legs, so what gives? Honestly, I wouldn’t put it past Mike Tannenbaum to make one final big move this off-season by acquiring Marshall. At this point, you can’t take anything off the table with the Jets. They have acquired Brett Favre, LaDainian Tomlinson, Braylon Edwards, and Alan Faneca in the past few seasons. Personally, I think it would be a foolish move to trade for Marshall. The guy has excessive amounts of baggage and not the late on the child support/driving without a license baggage, but instead the hit his girlfriend, got his friend killed in gang fight, and gets suspended for his team’s biggest game last year baggage. I don’t care how talented he is, I don’t want to part ways with our first round pick for him. I don’t want to part ways with Braylon Edwards for him. I don’t want to part ways with a package of players and picks that includes Jerricho Cotchery for him.

The Jets offense is built to run the football. Yes, I expect a little more balance this season but I think we have the weapons to handle throwing the ball more frequently. Edwards will be more comfortable in the offense, with a whole off-season under his belt, Cotchery is a terrific number two receiver who is under-appreciated by most people in the NFL, and Dustin Keller began to emerge in the playoffs last season as a key weapon. If you throw in another receiver from the draft, along with Brad Smith Wildcatting all over the place, the Jets have the capability to put up some points if Sanchez continues to develop.

Draft Talk – We know the Jets have given themselves some flexibility with the acquisition of Brodney Pool, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Antonio Cromartie, so what position will they target in round one? Most of us have been assuming defensive lineman or wide receiver, and Rich Cimini and his sources appear to agree with that thought process, as he mentioned Penn State’s Jared Odrick, Northwestern’s Corey Wootton, and Florida’s Carlos Dunlap as potential first round targets. Hopefully, the Jets will be drafting a guy to learn behind Shaun Ellis and Marques Douglas for a year before taking on a full time role and not throwing a guy right into the starting line-up because they were too cheap to sign Douglas. Even though I don’t agree with it, I could still see the Jets taking a big name receiver from a big name program like Golden Tate or Damian Williams in round one. 

Brodney Pool Talk – Speaking of Cimini, who I remain a big fan despite him ignoring my e-mail about an interview even though we met in the past at Curtis Martin’s retirement press conference, he got this quote from an opposing GM about new safety Brodney Pool and how he compares to Kerry Rhodes:

Photobucket“”Pool has had four concussions, so that’s iffy. As a player, he’s a good athlete. He plays with tunnel vision like a lot of players do. He’s not real aware in pass coverage, but he’s solid against the run. He’s got talent. He doesn’t have Rhodes’ ball skills in coverage, but he’ll come up and hit you. In a way, he’s the opposite of Rhodes. If you had a guy with a concussion problem, you’d want it to be Rhodes because he doesn’t hit anybody. Pool will hit you.” Read full post at: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/#ixzz0iUw4oFnt

From that scouting report, you could see why Rex Ryan wanted to bring the guy in. Imagine…a safety who likes to hit.

Entourage, How To Make It In America, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and…Rex Ryan? – Apparently the Jets front office has been palling around with HBO executives (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/17/a-hard-knock-life/) and they are serious contenders to be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks this season. The real question is why wouldn’t it be the Jets? You have a head coach who is entertaining as hell. He will be throwing out all kinds of hysterical and headline grabbing quotes, attempting to lose weight after his recent surgery, and screaming encouragement or expletives at everybody in sight. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got his own spin-off show after. Beyond Rex, there tons of other interesting story lines to follow with the Jets, that mirror or improve on story lines currently on television, there are so many in fact that I just now decided to write a whole separate article about it tomorrow.

By the way, if you recognized the names of Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm but not How To Make It In America, take some time and go watch it…great new show.

Thanksgiving – It has been announced the Jets will be hosting a game on Thanskgiving night at 8:20 PM. You think Roger Goodell feels a little bad about rigging that coin toss? Opening Monday Night game at home? Thanksgiving night game at home? It is only March and I am getting itchy for the season to start. You know the Jets have at least 2 more primetime games coming beyond those two. My primetime predictions as of right now:

  • Opening Week Monday Night Football:vs. Miami – Great rivarly, that has a history of putting on a great show on Monday Night Football.
  • Thanksgiving Night Game: vs. Baltimore – Rex’s former team comes into town.
  • Sunday Night Game: at New England – Let’s watch the passing of the torch in prime-time.
  • Monday Night Game: vs Minnesota – Rex Ryan sends 9 guys after Favre on every play.

How To Make It In America…Go Watch

Was Signing Tomlinson The Right Move? & Coin Flip Madness

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First a few updates:

1. I have to recommend everybody finds a way to get down to Austin, Texas at some point in their life. The place is completely out of control. I thought I would have a more laid back spring break after going to Cancun the previous two years but I was absolutely, 100 percent wrong. Good times. Anyway, I have been a little late writing this article about the Jets officially signing LaDainian Tomlinson and Coin-Flip Gate but I have a valid excuse. Here has been my last few days:

  • Saturday Night – Out on 6th street, go to bed at 8 AM.
  • Sunday Morning – Up at 9 AM.
  • Go to airport in Austin…find out I lost my credit card.
  • During flight, guy next to me throws up in a bag three times.
  • Fly to airport in Minnesota…find out flight is delayed 3 hours.
  • Look around for Tomlinson Vikings jersey…don’t see any.
  • Land in Newark at 9 PM, received 10 texts about Tomlinson signing being official.
  • Arrive back in Ringwood at 10:30 PM
  • Write 8 page paper on the European Union, finish at 8 AM
  • Drive back to Pennsylvania
  • Go to class from 11-12:30
  • Sleep from 1 PM until 9 PM.

So there you go. Anyway, despite currently running on nothing but coffee I have get my opinions out there, before going to bed for another 12 hours.

2. There are still some rumors swirling around about the Jets being interested in Brandon Marshall. I don’t see it happening but honestly you never know with Mike Tannenbaum. At this point, I like the way the Jets offense is constructed and would rather not deal with the sideshow Marshall would bring to town. I don’t care how talented he is. He was the target of a gang hit, hit his girlfriend, and made a huge scene in Denver last year.

3. I am glad to hear Rex Ryan is doing well after his surgery and that his first question after waking up was “Did we sign LT yet?” How can you not love this guy as your football coach?

Was Signing Tomlinson The Right Move? & Coin Flip Madness

Ironically enough, I spent a good amount of article space before and after the Jets/Chargers divisional round playoff game ripping not just Antonio Cromartie but also LaDainain Tomlinson. Sure enough, both players are now members of the Jets. I have already said my piece on Cromartie’s arrival over the past couple of weeks but now what about Tomlinson? First off, I would have still rather have Thomas Jones for next season. There is a bunch of different information being thrown around about the contracts of Tomlinson and Jones but it appears that Tomlinson’s is overall worth more money but Jones will be making more this upcoming season, and the Jets will be able to cut ties with Tomlinson with minimal cap damage after this year if he flames out. Regardless, I still would have rather paid TJ more money next season. He was substantially more productive last year. He was a veteran leader in the locker room and clearly everybody around the organization thought highly of him, as shown by this ad taken out in a Kansas City paper by the team:

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However, when it became apparent that Jones wasn’t coming back next year, the Jets were faced with a hole in their backfield. Chauncey Washington couldn’t be counted on to take consistent carries. The free agent market was extremely thin and the Jets didn’t want to be forced to spend another mid-round pick on a running back, after doing so last year and in 2006. I would have never thought they would look towards Tomlinson but when you consider a few things, it begins to make more sense.

First off, he is familiar with the Jets offense and is comfortable with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Second, he provides a veteran presence at a position that desperately needs it. Third, he is a great receiving running back and is steady in pass protection. Shonn Greene sure as hell can run but he has worse hands than Troy Williamson. Obviously, Leon Washington can catch but he is coming off major surgery so it remains to be seen how effective he will be next year. Fourth, Tomlinson is still a very good short yardage back. Washington isn’t built for that type of role and Greene was never used in short yardage or goal-line situations last year. Finally, we all know Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum like to make a splash with big names.

PhotobucketTomlinson is done as a feature back in my mind. Yes, I think he would be more productive in that role with the Jets than he was with San Diego because of the Jets dominant offensive line but he won’t be asked to be option 1A. What do the Jets need from him next year? I would think Shonn Greene will be looking at 17-21 carries a game. Leon will get his touches on third downs, gimmick plays, and as a pass catching target. Tomlinson needs to be an effective short yardage and goal-line back, be able to spell Shonn Greene for a series or two per half, and be a pass catching threat out of the backfield on screens and other short routes. You have to admit, it will be tough to defend the Jets screen game when they line up both Washington and Tomlinson in the backfield.

Tomlinson is in the green and white now so I am trying to look at the positives. I couldn’t stand him watching from the side-lines in playoff games in previous years with his jacket on and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him be made to look like an old lady last year by the Jets defense. Yet, with the help of the best offensive line in football, Shonn Greene, and Leon Washington maybe Tomlinson can carve himself a nice role on the Jets offense. At worst, he provides depth and veteran leadership. At best, he will pile up short-yardage touchdowns and become a game-changer as a change of pace back/receiver out of the backfield. The most likely scenario is that he ends up somewhere in the middle of those two. I will be happy if he can give us 7-9 carries a game, a few receptions, and a high success rate on short-yardage downs. Welcome to New York, LaDainain…I am sure you won’t have trouble getting #21 from Dwight Lowery.

Coin Flip – On to this whole coin-flip issue, which has now been settled by the NFL with a secret flip that resulted in a Giants victory (shocking). The news is that the Giants will open the stadium on Sunday afternoon of week 1 and then the following day, the Jets will host the Monday Night Football opener. Honestly, that is fine with me. Jets owner Woody Johnson is furious because there was no transparency in the coin toss (representatives of neither team were invited) and it is probably likely Roger Goodell just picked the Giants, because despite being 50/50 partners on the new stadium, there is still a view among some people that this new building will also be Giants Stadium. I could see Jets fans getting real worked up about this but in the end it isn’t a big deal. All I know is I am pumped that the Jets are hosting the week 1 Monday Night game. My early predicted opponent? I will either say Minnesota, New England, or Miami. Let the Giants play on Sunday, they probably can’t wait the extra day to start the season considering they lost their final two games by a combined score of 85-16. I can wait until Monday Night with the rest of the nation to watch the league’s #1 defense, #1 offensive line, most entertaining coach, up and coming franchise quarterback and running back, LaDainain Tomlinson, the return of Leon Washington, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and the rest of the #1 show in town next season.

Welcome to New York

They Could Have Settled The Home Opener, With A Bat Fight

Boldin? Cromartie? Marshall? Jones Coming Back? The Rumors Are Swirling

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Shame on me for talking about how slow the Jets off-season news was yesterday, because last night it began to pick up. Let’s sort through some of the talk that is flying around on the day before free agency starts.

Anquan Boldin/Kerry Rhodes – Last night Adam Schein reported the Cardinals were interested in Kerry Rhodes because of the impending departure of Antrel Rolle. Apparently, they are offering either Anquan Boldin or a third round pick in exchange for Rhodes. First off, I never thought the Jets could get a third round pick for Rhodes, thinking that they would have to settle for a 4th our 5th round pick. Even at a third roundpick, I am not crazy about the deal but it is somewhat more acceptable because the Jets may have a little more flexibility to make a move to fill the spot left by him. I think the Jets would probably do this deal because Rex Ryan likely believes Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo could get the job done if the Jets can’t acquire anybody else.

Despite writing about how the Jets don’t need a receiver, it is hard not to get excited about Anquan Boldin and Braylon Edwards split out wide, with Jerricho Cotchery in the slot. Are the Jets trying to turn into the greatest show on turf? It doesn’t really fit into the Jets identity to release Thoams Jones, give Leon a tender that could be matched and then swing a trade for a big time receiver for the second time in 6 months, but who knows? Anquan Boldin is a better player than Kerry Rhodes, and we know the coaching staff isn’t crazy about Rhodes, so I could absolutely see Tannenbaum pulling the trigger on this offer.

PhotobucketAntonio Cromartie – Mike Lombardi of the National Football Post reported last night that the Jets are “very interested” in Antonio Cromartie and are currently his most likely suitor. I am not crazy about Cromartie because of his occasional lack of effort and struggles the past two years but the guy obviously has serious amounts of talent. The Jets number two corner is going to see alot of balls thrown his way because of that Revis guy on the other side, and you are talking about a guy who had 10 interceptions in a single season back in 2007. I am sure Rex Ryan is enamored with his talent level and believes he can get the most out of him, but there would still be some risk associated withit. If San Diego is so anxious to get rid of Cromartie  that they will part ways with him for a late round pick, like say a 5th rounder this year and a 6th rounder next year, than go for it but let’s not do anything crazy and give up a pick in the first two or three rounds for this guy.

Restricted Free Agents – The Jets placed a tender on 8 of their 11 restricted free agents:

  • Braylon Edwards – 1st and3rd Round Picks
  • Leon Washington – 2nd Round Pick
  • Brad Smith – 2nd Round Pick
  • Kellen Clemens – Original Round(3rd) because the Jets already used their second round tenders on Washington and Smith
  • Eric Smith – Original Round (3rd)
  • Wayne Hunter – Original Round (3rd)
  • Drew Coleman – Original Round (6th)
  • James Ihedigbo- Original Round (FA)

Wallace Wright, Marques Murrell, and Howard Green were not given a tender and will become unrestricted free agents at midnight. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wright and Green were eventually brought back, if they don’t receive that much interest on the free agent market. I don’t see anybody offering Leon a contract, regardless of what his agent says.

PhotobucketMarshall and Marshall – There has been some talk about the Jets having a potential interest in Panthers corner Richard Marshall, who was only given a second round tender. I know DMB on the Jets ESPN message board was all over this last night and then Rich Cimini of the Daily Newsalso pointed it out today. Honestly, it makes alot of the sense for the Jets to investigate Marshall who is only 25 years old, started every single game for the Panthers last year, and put together a very productive season (88 tackles, 4 INTs, 9 PDs). The Jets could get a proven starter opposite Revis, without Cromartie’s baggage, for a second round pick and then focus on a different area of need in the first round. It almost makes too much sense for Mike Tannenbaum to ignore.

An ESPN Insider report and Rich Cimini both discussed the possibility of the Jets pursuing Brandon Marshall, who was given a first round tender by the Broncos. I would still be surprised to see the Jets go after him, unless they found a way to move Braylon Edwards for some value. They aren’t going to give up a 1st rounder or even a 2nd rounder, if they could talk Denver into a trade, unless they are going to get a quality draft pick for Braylon.

Thomas Jones – PFT is reporting the Jets are planning an attempt to bring back Thomas Jones. They cut him to avoid paying him his 3 million dollar bonus but depending on the interest he receives in the open market, may be able to bring him back under a new deal. The same thing happened with Brandon Moore last season so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Anybody who regularly reads this site knows how I feel about Jones. I think it would be a great move if they could get him back on the roster for 2010.

Other Guys – The beat writers were all over the Jets pursuing Saints running back Mike Bell, who received the lowest tender (no draft pick compensation). Bell is a hard, inside runner who had five touchdowns and 654 yards last season for the champs. Corey Ivy has also been mentioned as a nickel back. Adalius Thomas seems destined to endup with the Jets after he is cut by the Patriots. There is still some talk about Nnamdi Asomugha, but I just can’t see that happening.

Stay tuned, the next few days should be interesting…

If I had to make some predictions as of right now, here is what I would say:

  • The Jets trade Rhodes for a third round pick because they don’t want to give Boldin a big contract.
  • The Jets match the offer sheet for Richard Marshall, if this doesn’t work out, they look to trade the third round pick acquired from the Rhodes deal for Cromartie.
  • The Jets sign Adalius Thomas.
  • The Jets sign Corey Ivy.
  • Donald Strickland is released.
  • Jay Feely signs with another team.
  • Marques Douglas comes back.
  • Tony Richardson comes back.
  • The Jets match the offer sheet for Mike Bell.
  • Leon is back next year.
  • Thomas Jones signs with another team for more money than the Jets are willing to pay him.

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?

Battle For Bragging Rights: Jets vs. G-Men Preview

First a few updates:

1. Did anybody see that video of Brandon Marshall from practice that prompted his indefinite suspension from the Broncos? Punting the football away from the ballboys, knocking balls down in pass catching drills and walking around while the rest of the team runs…funny, albeit immature stuff. The guy must really not want to play football anytime soon because he just diminished his trade market substantially.

2. Pretty good debut for Michael Vick, it will be real interesting to see what that Eagles offense can do when his package of plays expands and he gets more comfortable.

Battle For Bragging Rights: Jets vs. G-Men Preview

The Opponent: The Giants are a somewhat similarly constructed team to the Jets. They have a great offensive line, a strong group of running backs, questions at receiver, and a very good defense. Yes, the G-Men do have a much better defensive line but I would argue the Jets have a better secondary and a better group of linebackers (cue argument from my friend Dan). Regardless, the Giants have a proven commodity at quarterback and are coming off a 12-4 season. With both teams starters playing the entire first half, it will be a great test for the Jets to go against one of the NFL’s elite teams. The Giants will attempt to pound the ball with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to soften up the Jets D and then hit them over the top with a big play to a guy like Sinorce Moss, Mario Manningham, or Hakeem Nicks. Steve Smith, Domenick Hixon and Kevin Boss are all decent in the shorter passing game. The Jets secondary didn’t do that well against an average group of Ravens receivers last week, so they need to bounce back against the Giants. It will certainly help to have Darrelle Revis back and Kris Jenkins pushing the pocket up front.

Jets Offensive Game Plan – Mark Sanchez has only thrown 12 passes in 2 pre-season games, many of them screens and check downs. Now that the Jets have a healthy offensive line, and their starting offense set in stone, it is time to open it up a little bit and let Sanchez get some throws under his belt. Let’s see him hit a few throws in the intermediate passing game to Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller, and take a few more shots down the field to David Clowney or Leon Washington out of the backfield. We know the Jets can run the football and I’m never going to get tired of watching Thomas Jones and #29 run around but the more experience Sanchez can get in the pre-season, the better. Going back to Keller and Washington, the Giants have struggled the past few years covering pass catching tight ends (Jason Witten) and running backs out of the backfield (Brian Westrbook) so look for a potential big game from both of them. (Nice job by #16 pointing this out in his comments on my last article).

Jets Defensive Game Plan – The Jets defense has looked pretty good so far this pre-season but it is time to cause a turnover. Vernon Gholston will be making the start for Calvin Pace and instead of asking for a sack from him like I do every week (and never happens) I would be satisfied with a couple of tackles or maybe a tackle for a loss. Hopefully, Kris Jenkins can begin the process of getting back into game shape and Darelle Revis will shore up the Jets secondary which has been shaky thus far. Also keep an eye on Jamaal Westerman and Marques Murrell who are pushing Gholston hard for playing time at the outside linebacker position.

Prediction – I’m not crazy about making predictions of scores in pre-season games. However, I anticipate Mark Sanchez playing better than he did last week although I wouldn’t be shocked if he had another turnover. On defense, I think it will be a hell of a battle between the Jets front seven and the Giants offensive line/running backs. For the second game in a row, you have to be real excited about pre-season football.

Knowshon Moreno Struggles Adjusting to Training Camp:

Sanchez Is Starting…Duh, But What Now?

First a few updates:

1. RIP Ted Kennedy.

2. Darrelle Revis, Kris Jenkins, Donald Strickland, and Jay Feely all returned to practice. Hopefully, the Jets will be at full strength for the Giants game this Saturday, which should see the starters play into the 3rd quarter.

3. The Jets waived offensive lineman Tavita Thompson.

4. Tonight is my first night of extensive graduate school homework but what better way to procrastinate than with an article about the Jets. Also, the Yankees are on ESPN tonight and Hard Knocks is on at 10…could be a late night.

Sanchez Is Starting…Duh, But What Now?

Today’s big news is that Mark Sanchez has been named the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. If you have been following the Jets all summer, you knew this was coming and it was only a matter of when not if Sanchez was going to be named the starter. Any individual who has kept track of the Jets on a daily basis would tell you it has either been a draw to this point or that Sanchez has slightly outplayed Clemens. Rex Ryan made the right decision. Kellen Clemens couldn’t outplay the rookie despite having 4 years of experience in this offensive system and showed no reason to believe he could be a reliable veteran quarterback that would protect the football. He consistently turned the ball over more than Sanchez, despite taking less risks down the field. In reality this decision was a no-brainer for Ryan, you don’t hold back your franchise quarterback for somebody of Kellen Clemens’ talent level.

So now what? First off, Jets fans need to accept the reality that Mark Sanchez is going to take his lumps, which should be an obvious. Yet, they also need to understand the type of football the Jets will be playing this year. This team has been built to win through their defense and running game. Sanchez isn’t going to  be airing it out or putting up pretty statistics. There is going to be plenty of times this season when it is 3rd and 9 and the Jets are on their own 30 yard line, down 7-3 in the third quarter and they are going to hand the ball off to Leon Washington and then punt…this is okay and smart football. You punt, play defense and wait until you have better field position. A good game for Sanchez this year could be 10/15 for 139 yards with 0 TD’s and 0 INT’s, if the Jets win. Gradually the offense will begin to open up more as his experience grows.

In terms of what is around Sanchez, apparently Mike Tannenbaum said in a recent interview that “nothing was imminent” in the contract talks with Leon Washington. Give the guy his 6 million a season and get the job done. He is their most valuable offensive player and a proven game-breaker. Washington is the type of guy you want spending 12 seasons in green and white, especially as your 60 million dollar quarterback grows…there are certain times to play hardball and certain times when you need to pay your stars, it is time to pay your star running back.

At the wide receiver position, David Clowney was working extensively with the first team today. It is about time. If you are evaluating the receiver position right now, Cotchery and Clowney should be starting with Stuckey playing the slot and working in alongside Cotchery on certain plays. Brad Smith is a few notches back and should be a #4 receiver used in certain packages of plays. There are rumors swirling about the Jets desperately looking to acquire another receiver in a trade, but at this point who are they going to get? It appears things are starting to go smoother with Brandon Marshall and the Broncos and he would also have a monstrous price tag. When looking at a few lower profile guys to consider, how about Reggie Brown on Philly or DJ Hackett on Washington?

The Jets offense has potential to be better than people think. Let’s not forget they have a top flight offensive line, a great stable of running backs, a very good fullback, a playmaking tight end, and a competent number one receiver. They also appear to have a legitimate deep threat in David Clowney. Mark Sanchez is going to be handing the ball off alot, throwing a ton of screen passes and intermediate passes to Dustin Keller and Jerricho Cotchery. He will probably only be taking a few shots a game to a guy like Clowney or Keller down the seam. Beyond that, the Jets will look for the big plays to come from their running game or Leon Washington turning a screen pass into a 30 yard gain. They will also fool around with the wildcat with Brad Smith behind center and use him on some reverses.

An Awesome Video Made by JetNaton.Com, Put Chills Down My Spine…How Many Days Until We Play Houston?

Grading Out the Jets/Ravens Game

First a few updates:

1. John Clayton speculated it would take a 1st and 4th round pick for the Jets or any other team for that matter to acquire Brandon Marshall from the Broncos…that is a steep price for the Jets, who only drafted three players last year and still badly need to add depth/talent to the WR, TE, and OL/DL. However, how much better would Mark Sanchez be with a guy like Marshall to throw to? It is an interesting debate, as of now I still wouldn’t expect anything to happen.

2. The Rex Sox just acquired Billy Wagner…did somebody say desperate? Also, it is really historically unbelievable how bad the Mets season has gone, in terms of injuries and everything else that has happened around the team.

3. I just found out you can download something called “NFL Replay” which allows you to watch any NFL game on your computer within 24 hours of it ending. Thank god…I was contemplating not going to Italy with my family because I would miss the Jets/Colts week 16 game.

4. My fantasy football league is holding our live draft this Saturday…and I am stuck the #5 pick. Suggestions are still welcome.

Grading Out the Jets/Ravens Game

Quarterbacks: D+ – Yeeesh. Let’s be honest here, outside of one play it was an ugly, ugly night for Mark Sanchez. The rookie threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown (a ridiculously athletic play by Haloti Ngata), threw another ball right into the arms of Ray Lewis, fumbled an exchange, had two delay of game penalties, and a miscommunication with Jerricho Cotchery. Yes, he did make an athletic play and a great throw on a 19 yard touchdown pass to Leon Washington on a third down, which shows some character and a short memory, both necessary for a successful quarterback but outside of that play, he was simply bad. Hopefully, this night be will remembered as an important part of his development and learning curve as a NFL QB. The Ravens in their building are as good as it gets in the NFL…Sanchez will learn from last night and be better prepared the next time around.

Kellen Clemens had a real shot to make the quarterback battle alot more interesting last night but didn’t respond to the challenge. He threw a horrible interception at the end of the first half, which was returned for a touchdown and only completed 50 percent of his passes. He did drop in a nice 28 yard touchdown to David Clowney (who else?) and threw a beautiful long ball to Brad Smith that was dropped (shocking…I know).

The Jets are built to play defense and run the ball. They need a quarterback who can protect the football and not give points to the opposing team. If you take away the 2 INT’s for touchdowns last night, the Jets win that game handily. They can’t have turnovers from the quarterback position, period.

By the way, Erik Ainge looked pretty good last night and is probably on his way to being the #2 quarterback next year when Clemens isn’t resigned.

Running Backs: A – Pay Leon Washington. Pay Leon Washington. Pay Leon Washington. Pay Leon Washington. #29 is the engine the keeps the Jets offense running. He put on a display last night that clearly showed his value to the Jets. 48 rushing yards on a 6.0 yards per carry (just like last season…give him more touches), 2 receptions for 35 yards including a 19 yard touchdown, and a 52 yard kickoff return. Pay Leon Washington. Thomas Jones also looked like he was in 2008 form with 32 yards on 8 carries. Shonn Greene had a nice 15 yard catch but took a rib shot that limited his action. I am still not that impressed with Danny Woodhead, who isn’t going to make the roster. Brock Christopher looked pretty good filling in for Jehuu Caulcrick. Good to see Tony Richardson back out there.

Wide Receivers: D – Nothing from Jerricho Cotchery or Chansi Stuckey, who combined for 1 catch for 7 yards. Brad Smith dropped a touchdown and had an offensive pass interference penalty. Britt Davis dropped a long touchdown. Marcus Henry couldn’t get open on the 2 point conversion that could have won the game. Wallace Wright was quiet. On the positive side, David Clowney just keeps making plays as he caught another touchdown pass, using his speed to blow by Frank Walker. How can Clowney not be the Jets #2 receiver right now? Everybody talks about how much they love Stuckey in the slot, so put Clowney and Cotchery on the outside and have Stuckey work the slot.

Tight Ends: C – Quiet night from Dustin Keller. Jack Simmons had a drop and Kareem Brown didn’t have a catch, although they all deserve some credit for strong blocking in the running game.

Offensive Line: B+ – It says alot about Nick Mangold and Alan Faneca that they strapped it up last night…that is exactly what you want to see from your veterans, that they are excited about the team/season and are raring to get back out there. The offensive line did a great job opening up holes in the running game and did decent in pass protection, considering the amount of blitzes the Ravens threw at them. Wayne Hunter played much better filling in for Damien Woody than he did last week.

Defensive LIne: B+ – Very strong games from both Howard Green and Ropati Pitoitua, who both recorded a sack and are showing that the Jets have pretty good depth along their defensive line. The run defense was great and the entire line got a solid push all night. It will be a huge boost to get Kris Jenkins back in the next couple of days.

Linebackers: B – David Harris is going to record alot of sacks in Rex Ryan’s defense. He continued his terrific pre-season with 5 tackles and a sack. Bart Scott missed a tackle in the backfield on third down that would have ended a drive. Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace both had productive games, including another sack from Pace who the Jets are going to miss badly for the first four games this year. Kenwin Cummings and Marques Murrell were both active. Vernon Gholston did nothing except get out-run by Joe Flacco.

Secondary: C – They badly miss Darrelle Revis. Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman were picked on all night. Coleman had a nice pass deflection but was toasted deep by Derrick Mason. Lito Sheppard was beat a couple of times. Kerry Rhodes was pretty active and had a nice pass deflection, to break up a screen play. Marquice Cole had a nice interception but was beat deep later in the game. James Ihedigbo had an interception called back on a penalty.

Special Teams: C – Average punting, decent kicking, a big kick return by Leon Washington, a nice job on punt returns by Jim Leonhard and a near turnover by Aundrae Allison.

Highlights From the Game Last Night:

Big Moves On Jets Horizon?

First a few updates:

1. Special thanks to Tim Graham for linking TurnOnTheJets.com to the NFL Nation Blog right here (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afceast/0-9-191/Projecting-final-rosters-in-the-AFC-East.html) …a little ESPN.com action for our little web site, we just might make it. I knew it was a good idea to predict the 53 man roster, although it was clearly not a good idea to predict people like Mario Urrutia and TJ Conley to make the team since they both have been cut already, oh well. 51 out of 53 wouldn’t be bad.

2. The big news in my life right now is that I found my old SNES and have started a season in Tecmo Super Bowl with the 1993 Jets. All I can say is that nobody can cover Chris Burkett and Rob Moore or stop my rushing attack of Brad Baxter, Johnny Johnson, and Rob Carpenter. Between the recent installation of HBO On Demand, the discovery of my old SNES, and the beginning of the NFL season it isn’t going to be easy to get that graduate school work done.

3. I just caught up on the last three episodes of Entourage…eh, I still liked last season better. I am more excited about beginning to re-watch seasons 1-5 of Lost to prepare for the final season.

Big Moves on Jets Horizon?

The big news about the Jets today is that they are exploring the possibility of trading for a veteran receiver, namely Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Bowe, or Rich Cimini even mentioned Sinorce Moss…yuck. We all know that Mike Tannebaum isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on a big August deal, but what would the Jets have to give up for a premier receiver like Marshall or Bowe? Let’s forget about a journeyman like Moss for now, since the Jets have no need for him with a guy like David Clowney on the roster. You would have to think a minimum of a 2nd round pick would be necessary or maybe a veteran player, Thomas Jones? I don’t think the Jets should give Jones up but a 2nd round pick for either Marshall or Bowe would be reasonable. Parting with a first round pick would be difficult, although both players are legit number one receivers and would instantly improve the Jets offense. Imagine Marshall as a #1, Cotchery as a #2, Stuckey as a #3, Clowney as a #4, with Smith and Wallace Wright rounding out the receiving corps…sounds good to me.

If I had to guess right now, I’d say nothing is going to happen. I think I might prefer Bowe over Marshall because he doesn’t have as much baggage, despite not being quite as talented. Regardless, I’d still be surprised if the Jets gave up a high draft pick because they only added four players last April and need a big draft in 2010 to improve the overall depth on their roster. It certainly would be exciting to add Marshall or Bowe but after the Jets first pre-season game I think they might be alright with Cotchery, Stuckey, Keller, and Clowney catching the majority of the balls.

The Jets have also bumped their offer to Leon Washington to around 5 million a season. It originally started at 2 million, then to 4 million, and now they moved to 5 million which is inching closer to the 6 million per year that Leon wanted. It is only a matter of time until something gets done, hopefully before the start of the regular season. It would send the right message to other players on the team that the Jets will take care of their players who have earned a significant pay raise, which Washington certainly has.

Tomorrow is the Jets last training camp practice out at Cortland. They will have a couple of more practices open to the public in Florham Park but beyond that training camp is just about done. Where do we stand right now in the quarterback battle? Mark Sanchez is probably a bit above Kellen Clemens right now, after both them were pretty average in both of the practices today. If Sanchez plays well against the Ravens on Monday night, he will start against the Giants the following week and for the rest of the season. If Sanchez struggles and Clemens turns in a strong performance, a decision may not be reached until right before the regular season opener.

Enjoy the Dance Moves of David Clowney

Turn On The Jets Interview with Tim Layden

First a few updates:

1. I would have to say at this point there is a less than a 10 percent chance of the Jets signing Plaxico Burress or trading for Brandon Marshall. Beyond those two, what other veteran options could they consider at receiver? Marvin Harrison might not be a bad option, regardless of his diminishing skills, he could still be a very competent number 2 receiver.

2. It’s funny how much negative press the Jets inexperienced receivers get, in comparison to all the hype and positive press the Giants inexperienced receivers get. What have Sinorce Moss and Mario Manningham ever done to merit so much optimism? I do think Domenick Hixon and Steve Smith are good players but certainly no better than Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey.

3. The only enjoyable part of my daily commute to the PVSC (Passaic Valley Sewage Commission) in Newark, New Jersey (where I am working this summer as a landscaper…yes, a landscaper at the Sewage plant, awesome stuff I know) is I get to pass by the brand new Giants/Jets stadium every day. The new building puts the old one to shame and is going to be great for all NY/NJ football fans.

4. Congratulations to Brooks Bollinger for being drafted in the UFL. It seems just like yesterday he was leading the Jets to a 4-12 record in 2005.

Turn On the Jets Interview with Tim Layden

Tim Layden is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and recently did a great feature on Rex Ryan, which can be accessed here http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1156765/index.htm  . He was kind enough to let me interview him yesterday about Ryan, the Jets, and the AFC East. Here is what we talked about in the first ever interview at TurnOnTheJets.com:

JC: How much of Buddy Ryan do you see in Rex?

TL: I think Rex developed his passion for coaching from watching his father work growing up. There is no question he has alot of Buddy in him, yet it ends at a certain point. Rex’s mother is a very cerebral person and you can see that in Rex also. Unlike his father, Rex is a little more calculating when talking to the media and his players. He has an ability to treat different people in different ways, which is important in the NFL. I think he is also a little more reserved than Buddy and does hold back a little sometimes, in a positive way. I think you will see Rex be more successful as a head coach in the NFL than his father.

JC: When you were talking to the Jets players, did you sense that they are enjoying the switch from Eric Mangini to Rex Ryan? Both guys are obviously polar opposite in terms of how they run their team.

TL: When I was talking to Kris Jenkins, he expressed that he did like Eric Mangini and was okay with the way he ran things but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t enjoyed the new attitude Rex has brought to the Jets. Whenever there is a new head coach, people are going to focus on their positive qualities. Rex is a very likable guy and certainly a players coach so you would expect the players to be excited about him.

Kerry Rhodes admitted he is still adjusting and as I mentioned in the story, is used to holding himself back a little more on the field and with the media but is now learning more emotion is ok. Speaking of Rhodes, I really think he is guy you are going to see flourish in Rex’s system.

Bart Scott also made a good point not to get too carried away with the fun and emotional side of Rex. He noted they had success in Baltimore because of their scheme and execution. Rex is a well prepared, confident guy which leads to the swagger his defenses have. Scott said people don’t spend enough time talking about Ryan’s X’s and O’s and how smart he is when crafting a defensive scheme.

JC: What do you think of the recent comments he made about New England and his back and forth with Channing Crowder?

TL: I think with the Bellicheck ring statement, I mean…what is he supposed to say? Rex is confident in his guys and doesn’t say anything he knows his players won’t hear. He doesn’t want them to be afraid of New England and their past success. He isn’t intimidated by New England and believes he was brought to New York to beat them, not to look up to them. I don’t think it is a condescending statement to the Patriots at all.

In terms of the Crowder stuff, Rex has a great gift for conversation and humor. It is entertaining to listen to him speak and I think all that stuff was very light-hearted and also probably blown out of proportion by people criticizing him.

JC: Do you think Rex and the Jets should be as confident as they are heading into the season?

TL: One thing I know about Ryan is that he has never coached a bad defense. Even when some of those Baltimore teams had injuries, they were still consistent and successful. The Jets defense is going to be good this year, maybe great. I think the confidence is good thing and is rubbing off on the players. Bart Scott was telling me how he can’t wait to play against Tom Brady and New England. He wants to challenge them because he believes they can get to Brady and he wants to see how he will respond to the constant pressure coming off that leg injury.

JC: Switching to some more player specific questions, how does Ryan feel about Mark Sanchez?

TL: Ryan has a good amount of measured excitement about him. He knows he has the talent but understands he still has a ton to learn at this level. He doesn’t want to go too far praising Sanchez, in fear of losing Kellen Clemens, because there is still a chance he could be guy this September. Is Sanchez going to be Matt Ryan or Rex Grossman? I don’t think anybody can answer that yet. It will be tough in New York but Ryan believes Sanchez has the right make up for this city. Remember that Rex wants to win games 17-13 and isn’t going to be asking Sanchez to throw the ball over the field. He just wants him to protect the ball and make a few plays when the opportunity is there.

JC: What did Ryan have to say about Vernon Gholston?

TL: Ryan didn’t talk all that much specifically about Vernon Gholston. I know alot of people are trying to match up Baltimore players to Jets players, comparing Gholston to Terrell Suggs and Kerry Rhodes to Ed Reed but Ryan doesn’t want to do that. A key thing that both Ryan and Bart Scott said about the Jets linebackers is that everybody is going to have the chance to makes plays and it will be hard for the offense to know where the pressure is coming from. In Baltimore, the Ravens funneled everything to Ray Lewis, in this defense it won’t be that way.

JC: One last question, how do see the AFC East shaking out this year?

TL: I guess I would say New England is probably the best team but they aren’t head and shoulders above anybody in this division. Don’t think for a second they are a 14-2 team, that is a group of older guys with some question marks at linebacker and in the secondary and you can’t be 100 percent confident that Brady is going to be back to his old self. I am not confident in Miami repeating their success from last year and honestly think the Jets are probably the second best team right now and will be in the wild-card hunt and the division hunt until late in the year.

Get Leon Washington the Ball!

First a few updates:

1. On the top of the site under the page “About the Author” you can find where to contact me through e-mail, how to friend me on facebook, or follow the site on twitter, ballhype or yardbarker. You can also witness a picture of me slowly trudging down the football field last year at Muhlenberg.

2. Randy Lange did an interesting piece on NewYorkJets.com about Rex Ryan having dyslexia which was unknown to most fans and the media. Ryan has obviously overcome any learning difficulties he has to become a successful individual, who has also attained a master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky.

3. I will be interviewing Tim Layden (the writer who did the article on Rex Ryan in the most recent Sports Illustrated) on Saturday, I will post our conversation on Sunday. Our first interview here at TurnOnTheJets…exciting stuff.

4. Brandon Marshall has apparently requested a trade and of course many people are now wondering if the Jets will pursue him. Personally, I don’t think Denver could be stupid enough to let Jay Cutler AND Brandon Marshall walk in the same off-season, but who knows. Marshall is a beast but does have his off the field issues. I doubt he ends up in New York, it really seems as if the Jets are content with their current receivers, time to step up Cotchery, Stuckey, Smith, Clowney, and Wright.

Get Leon Washington the Ball!

Dear Brian Schottenheimer:

I am aware you are considered a rising star in the NFL and have ambitions of being a head coach in the near future. However, in order to achieve that goal you must have a more successful season as an offensive coordinator this year, than you did last year. Fortunately, I have a good piece of advice for you. There is a player on your offense named Leon Washington, he is number #29 on your roster. He is the short guy, you see in the running back and kick returning drills. This guy is a pretty good football player and probably your best overall playmaker. He has break away speed and the ability to make defenders miss…both positive traits in an offensive player. It would be in your best interest to find a way to get the ball into Mr. Washington’s hands more frequently this year, than you did the previous season. Let’s take a look at some statistics to back up my claims:

Last year Washington had 76 carries for 448 yards. If you divide 448 by 76, you find that he averaged 5.9 yards per carry…that is really good. Imagine if he had 3 more carries each game last year, you would have had another 284 yards of rushing offense and a guy with over 700 rushing yards on the season. He also had 47 receptions for 355 yards. I know his yards per catch weren’t that amazing but because of his ability to break long gains, another 10 catches could have resulted in another 30 or 40 yard touchdown for your team.

Here is an amazing stat: When Washington had 3 or less carries, your team was 1-6 last year. Let me repeat that, when Leon Washington had 3 or less carries in 2008, the New York Jets were 1-6…One Win and Six Losses. The only time you won, was because Washington took the only carry you gave him and turned it into a 47 yard touchdown (against Buffalo week 15). The numbers don’t lie, Schotty.

Remember when your team shocked the NFL last year and upset the undefeated Titans in their building by blowing them out 34-13? Washington had 8 carries and 2 receptions…10 touches. Remember upsetting the Patriots in New England? Washington had 5 carries and 2 receptions, along with a kick return and receiving touchdown. Remember blowing out St. Louis by 44 points? Washington had 16 touches on offense in that game. When you guys won in Buffalo…9 offensive touches for #29. When you beat Cincy…9 touches. When you beat Arizona…11 touches. You get the point.

I’m sorry, I just get frustrated when I see Washington’s rushing stats against the Chiefs last year (3 carries for 67 yards a touchdown, 22.3 YPC) or New England (2 carries for 28 yards, 14.0 YPC) or the previously mentioned Buffalo game (1 carry for 47 yards and a touchdown, 47.0 YPC).

I know Thomas Jones is a good player and Shonn Greene is an exciting rookie. Yet, let’s not forget about #29 this year. Here is a good rule to remember…at least 10 offensive touches a game for Leon Washington. I think you can float the guy 7 carries and 3 catches each week, or divide it up however you want, maybe even give him more in some weeks…your the offensive coordinator.

Thank you for your time and the best of the luck in the upcoming season.

Yours Truly,

Joe Caporoso