New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Major Storylines

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. Sorry for the lack of a morning article, but fortunately all the Terrell Owens nonsense has already came and passed. It would have made absolutely zero sense for the Jets to sign him. Anybody think the Jets just put their “interest” out there to drum up media attention before training camp starts? Anyway, I am glad the Owens circus will be joining the Chad Ochocinco Johnson circus in Cincinnati. The Jets were equipped to handle the Bengals offense in 2009 and that is still the case, even after the Owens signing.

2. Jason La Confora is reporting the Jets are working out quarterback Mark Brunell tomorrow along with a few other veterans.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

4. A reminder there will be a 12 minute preview of Hard Knocks on HBO tomorrow night at 11 PM.

5. Justin Tuck told the New York Post the Jets talk too much. I think Justin Tuck should spend more time worrying about improving his defense to being anywhere near as good as the Jets, instead of getting jealous of their press clippings.

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Major Storylines

In the second part of our training camp preview, we look at the major storylines that will be or should be covered from Cortland, New York.

Brad Smith is Versatile – The beat writers love putting together massive amounts of articles about how versatile Brad Smith is every summer. The worse was in 2007 when Transformers came out in the theaters and there may have been 900 articles comparing Smith to the movie because of all the positions he can play. We have all seen Brad Smith play receiver, running back, quarterback, cover kicks, and return kicks. There is a general understanding of his versatility. Rex Ryan will provide no help in avoiding this story either because every time he mentions Smith, he cites his rushing and passing statistics in college.

Danny Woodhead Is Small – Another beat writer favorite, that HBO is a lock to eat up in Hard Knocks. “Danny Woodhead may be small in size and have played at a small college but nobody would ever say his heart or toughness is small.” He is an easy guy to pull for because of his long shot odds and he does help himself by playing two positions, running back and receiver. However, in the end there will be too much ink and time dedicated to a player who isn’t going to make an impact on the Jets season. Considering his nondescript special teams performance in 2009, I wouldn’t be shocked if he was cut before the end of camp.

Nick Folk – This is a story that will rightfully be scrutinized by everybody. Folk’s daily statistics are going to be closely watched by everybody who is properly concerned about the Jets kicking situation. He may be back to back bad days away from being cut. Hopefully, he can build on the momentum he had at the end of mini-camp, when he had a few very good practices. Beat writers…get those Folk stats going.

An Unlikely Marriage – The somewhat awkward ongoing interaction between Jason Taylor and Jets fans should be something frequently focused on by the beat writers, HBO, and the national media. At this point I think it is clear that Jets fans have embraced him in hopes that he brings 1o – 12 sacks to the team.

PhotobucketChemistry! Chemistry! Chemistry! – The most overblown issue about the Jets this season. Here is my response (http://turnonthejets.com/2010/04/29/death-of-the-jets-chemistry-discussion/).

LaDainian Tomlinson’s Attitude – It will be interesting to see how Tomlinson handles being the Jets backup running back. Will he demonstrate any frustration with Shonn Greene receiving more touches or if Joe McKnight comes in to spell him for a certain situation? This is going to be the first pre-season Tomlinson has played extended reps in for a long time. He needs to prove to the Jets and the rest of the NFL, he can still be a productive player.

Vladimir Ducasse – You can bet any offsides penalty or allowed sack by Vladimir Duccasse will be covered like a natural disaster. I am already waiting for the first wave of “how much will the Jets pay for releasing Alan Faneca” stories.

Contracts – The biggest story heading into training camp is the contract situation of Darrelle Revis. Everybody will be waiting on pins and needles to see if he shows up and if he does show up, how he carries himself. Will he ignore the media or will he just ignore their questions about his contract? Will he address the situation openly? Nick Mangold has already ended the circus around himself by claiming he will show up. Darrelle Revis has decided to keep us waiting.

Eyes On The Waist – Whenever you have a public weight loss contest, you are calling attention to your figure. Let’s see how Rex Ryan, Damien Woody, and Kris Jenkins look in August and who the ultimate winner of their contest will be. Jenkins has been on an all cookie diet and on Twitter Damien Woody is promising a huge surprise about the contest.

PhotobucketThe Sanchize – Of course we will get the daily round up of Sanchez’s statistics, along with the feature stories about whether he “gets it” yet or if he can avoid holding the Jets back. I can’t even imagine how many minutes HBO is going to spend with cameras jammed in his face. Unfortunately, we can’t even vicariously enjoy his bachelor lifestyle because he has settled down with Meadow Soprano. Then again, I doubt the nightlife in Cortland is anything to get excited about.

Share The Love – One of the things I am most fascinated to see is how the passes are being divided up between Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller. Beyond that, how much of the Tiger formation will we see? Can David Clowney still make an impact with so many players in front of him? What about lesser name players like Britt Davis and Aundrae Allison? There will be plenty of receivers looking for receptions this August and it will be entertaining to see how Mark Sanchez, whomever the backup ends up being, and Brian Schottenheimer attempt to keep everybody happy.

Injury Watch – Kris Jenkins coming back from his ACL surgery. Jason Taylor has been dealing with shoulder issues. If Shonn Greene gets banged up at all this training camp, it is going to raise millions of valid questions about his durability. Sanchez is also coming back from off-season surgery, so his mobility will be something to keep an eye on.

Your Daily Stand Up Routine – You have to look forward to Rex Ryan’s press conferences and any face time he gets on Hard Knocks. He is bound to give bulletin board material to New England and Miami, along with claim every single person in the Jets organization is the best in the NFL at what they do.

TOJ TV

Blogger vs. Blogger: Running Backs, Hard Knocks, Mark Sanchez, & More

Photobucket
First a few updates:

1. If you haven’t seen it yet, the press conference announcing the Jets being on Hard Knocks is up on www.newyorkjets.com and is pretty entertaining stuff. Plenty of zingers from Rex Ryan and Steve Sabol and definitely worth the twenty minutes to watch.

2. A few key quotes from Ryan on Leon Washington from today’s press conference pulled off the Jets official web site:

“We have the No. 1 facilities in the country, we have a great medical staff, a great medical team and we have the best strength coach in the country. Leon knows this and that’s what’s disappointing,” said Ryan when writers huddled around the head coach. “Wherever he’s at might be good, but it’s not the best. I want what’s best for him and the New York Jets and this is a time there’s team building. This guy is a great young man — I love Leon — but it’s still disappointing he’s not here.”

PhotobucketDo we expect him to come back from the surgery? Yeah. And you’re going to put him in there instead of Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson? Maybe you would, but I’m not comfortable with that,” he said. “Let’s see where he’s at. I’m not just going to give him the ball 20 times a game coming off of that. He has to be ready to take that kind of role. If he’s ready to take an expanded role, then obviously we can see that. Third down is the most important down you have on offense and that would be an ideal situation for him. We have three great backs.”

I do believe that Leon will be on the Jets next year. There isn’t a team in the NFL who is giving up a second round pick for a guy coming off that type of leg injury. It is going to take him some time to adjust this year. He isn’t going to come flying out of the gates in week one as the Leon of 2006-2008, but hopefully by the middle of the season he can start approaching the role he had before he was hurt in 2009. It could be a stretch to hope for that but I am sure Washington is motivated to prove to the coaching staff he is more than a third down back and returner.

3. Speaking of third down running backs/kick returners…keep an eye out for Conte Cuttino out of Stony Brook to be added by the Jets after the draft as a UDFA.

4. Bart Scott expressed some skepticism about the Jets being featured on Hard Knocks in this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/sports/football/25jets.html?ref=sports)…he makes some fair points, but it is up to him and the other leaders in the locker room to make sure the team isn’t distracted.

Blogger vs. Blogger: Running Backs, Hard Knocks, Mark Sanchez, & More

Welcome to our first installment of the new TOJ series, Blogger vs. Blogger, where myself and a fellow Jets blogger will share opinions on four current issues surrounding the team. Today our featured blogger is Jeff Capellini who runs The Green Lantern over at (http://wcbstv.com/capellini) and is also a senior producer for WCBSTV.com…Jeff had no shortage of opinions, some of which I agreed with and some of which I had differing viewpoint on.

Photobucket
Question #1 – Rex Ryan recently made headlines by saying LaDainain Tomlinson would receive 15 carries a game and Leon Washington would be relegated to a third down role, do you buy into what Ryan was saying or was he just pandering to the recently signed LT? Also, if you were Brian Schottenheimer how would you divide up the carries among Shonn Greene, LaDainain Tomlinson, and Leon Washington?

Jeff Capellini – I was a big fan of the decision to sign LaDainain Tomlinson. Thomas Jones struggled down the stretch last year as displayed by the rapid decline in his yards per carry. I think most in the organization were alarmed by how quickly his play went downhill and I think Kansas City is going to find out the same thing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jamaal Charles end up being the lead back for the Chiefs. I don’t think Tomlinson is done. Yes, he has lost a step but he can still be a productive back who can handle 15-20 carries a game. San Diego was so focused on the passing game last year that they did a poor job of using both Tomlinson and Darren Sproles. They had the league’s 31st ranked rushing attack and Tomlinson has become the scapegoat for that, not the way the Chargers offense was ran or their offensive line who was built for pass protection.

Tomlinson can be more than a change of pace back for the Jets. He is capable of taking over for multiple series at a time. Leon should be a third down back until he can prove he is fully  healthy. He should be used in passing situations and for screen passes primarily, although Brian Schottenheimer can’t be predictable and have him just do that or be the only back who is catching passes.

I think the Jets will play the hot hand but in most weeks Greene will get slightly more carries than Tomlinson. Yet, when the Jets are inside the 5 yard line, it will be LT getting carries. I don’t think Ryan was lying and that Tomlinson will be around 15 carries each game. The Jets need Leon to step up as their primary kick and punt returner because he is better suited for that role than Brad Smith, Jerricho Cotchery, or Jim Leonhard.

PhotobucketJoe Caporoso I have to say I disagree with most of your thinking on this issue Jeff. While I do believe Tomlinson will be an improved player behind the Jets offensive line and still has something left to give, I would have rather kept Thomas Jones for another year. He was a leader in the locker room and I think a large part of his late season decline was a knee injury that was worse than the team let on. I think he could have gave the Jets at least one more productive season splitting carries with Shonn Greene.

I have always been a huge Leon Washington fan and spent the entire off-season last year writing articles imploring the team to give him the ball more, which they did up until his injury. I understand the reasoning of easing him back into the lineup and do think he will begin as primarily a third down back but I am hoping he can return to a 8-10 carry a game guy by the end of the year.

When the Jets signed him, I never pictured Tomlinson as a 15 carry a game guy or somebody who could ever get more carries than Shonn Greene. I was thinking Tomlinson could be a guy who takes a series or two per half, gets short yardage and goal-line carries, and is involved in the screen game. If I was Schottenheimer, I’d start out giving Greene 20-22 carries a game, Tomlinson 10-12, and Leon 4-6 and then gradually move Tomlinson and Washington’s carries closer together as the season goes on.

Question #2 -What do you think of the Jets taking part in Hard Knocks?

Jeff Capellini – (Note Jeff wrote a great article on this topic at The Green Lantern, which is worth checking out at the link at the top of this article)…I am normally not a proponent of any type of chaos around the team, which usually turns into a negative. However, I think the Jets have a strong enough locker room to overcome any distractions from the show. The Jets have been a second class citizen in this market for so long that they deserve the attention they have earned by putting together a quality team that should be good for the next few years. They are a compelling team and HBO knows it.

Joe Caporoso – It is hard not to be extremely excited as a Jets fan about our team being featured on this show. Hard Knocks is a terrific show that any true football fan should love and now with the Jets featured on it, I am that much more excited about it. I do agree that the Jets have a strong enough locker room to overcome any distractions and don’t see the extra attention at training camp having any negative impact on their on-field production. There are so many compelling story lines around this team that I think all NFL fans will truly enjoy watching the Jets.

Question #3 – How much progress do you think Mark Sanchez will make in year two?

Jeff Capellini – I like what I am hearing about Sanchez spending 8 hours a day at the complex. He is the type of guy who is completely dedicated to his job and hasn’t got too caught up in the New York scene. I think you will see a smarter Mark Sanchez in 2010 who does a much better overall job of protecting the football. Late in the season last year he did a better job of throwing the football away and I think that will carry over. Next year, I could see him being a 3000 yard guy with more touchdowns than interceptions, and hopefully a QB rating somewhere near 90. Sanchez has all the physical tools to be a very good quarterback in this league.

Joe Caporoso – I agree that one of the most encouraging things you hear about Sanchez is how dedicated he is to improving. He isn’t Matt Leinart, this is a guy who is a gym-rat and spends his days in Brian Schottenheimer’s office breaking down film. I think you will see a substantial improvement over the 20 INTs to 12 TDs and 53.3 completion percentage he had last year. Nobody is saying he is going to be a pro-bowl quarterback but I could see him with 17 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and 57-59 completion percentage.

Question #4 – If you were Mike Tannenbaum would you pursue a trade for Brandon Marshall?

Jeff Capellini – Marshall is obviously a game changing player. I know he has off the field problems but as we saw from Braylon Edwards just because a guy has problems in one city, doesn’t mean they can’t become a good soldier in another city. I do believe the Jets need another receiver but I don’t want to see them part ways with a first round draft pick for Marshall or even Braylon, who I think is developing good chemistry with Sanchez. If the Jets could find someway to acquire Marshall without giving up Braylon or their 1st round pick then I would be for it, but beyond that I wouldn’t make the deal. The Jets have holes to fill at pass rusher and in the secondary so they can’t be parting with a first round pick.

Joe CaporosoPhotobucketI have to admit it would be hard to pass on Marshall’s talent if the Jets could get him for something besides their first round pick or Braylon Edwards but I doubt that is possible. Overall, I think it is best for the Jets to stay away from Marshall, whose off the field problems go deeper than most people. Yes, Braylon might have punched LeBron’s small friend or Antonio Cromartie never learned about contraceptives but Marshall is a guy who has been the target of a gang hit, beat his girlfriend, and has had some other very serious issues. I like our top three receiving targets right now. People underestimate Jerricho Cotchery and I think Dustin Keller has the potential to be a pro-bowl tight end.

I Know That Was A Lot Of Reading So Here Is Some Comedy To Reward You At The End

What About Mark Sanchez?

Photobucket
First a few (or actually many) updates:

1. Jets backup tackle Wayne Hunter signed his restricted free agent tender offer with the Jets. Hunter is a valuable member of the Jets offense. He frequently sees the field as an extra tight end or tackle in short yardage or goal-line situations. The only current Jets restricted free agents who haven’t signed their tenders are Kellen Clemens, Drew Coleman, and Leon Washington. However, Clemens and Coleman have showed up to voluntary workouts with the rest of the team yesterday and today. The entire roster was in attendance (yes Braylon signed his tender and he is in the building) except recently signed Lance Laury and Washington.

2. Speaking of Leon, the word is that he is going to receive clearance to run within the next 10-14 days. His agent believes he will receive some interest in mid-April from other teams, although I think that is doubtful. Ryan didn’t hide his disappointment about Leon not being in attendance in recent quotes. “It is a voluntary situation, but the rest of his teammates volunteered to be there, so it was disappointing that he wasn’t there.”

3. Another interesting nugget of information on the Jets running back situation. Here is what Ryan had to say about Leon, LT, and Shonn Greene:

Photobucket Leon – “What we should do with him in my opinion is put him back to his role, which he had initially, which is third-down back, a change-of-pace type back and a Pro Bowl returner,” Ryan said. “And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

On LT  – “I’m sure some games he’ll have more rushing attempts than Shonn and I think Shonn will have more than LT in other ones,” Ryan said. “Our team is not based on a certain amount of touches. Hypothetically we’ see him carry the ball 15 times a game.”

While we are quoting Ryan, here is some general things he had to say about the Jets in 2010 – “We go into every game thinking we’re going to win. Every single game. I don’t care if we’re playing the Pro Bowl team, we expect to win. That’s just our mentality. That’s our belief in each other, our belief in our systems and our coaching staff and everything we do…When we were saying things, everybody thought we were crazy. I don’t know if they think we’re crazy now. We did go in there, saying we were going to have a dominant defense; we led the NFL in total defense. We said we were going to have a ground-and-pound offense; we led the league in rushing. So when I think we have an excellent football team, maybe you should take it to the bank because we’ve got an excellent football team.”

And a few parting shots he had for Kerry Rhodes – “To be honest with you, I don’t know if Kerry fully bought in. I think he did later. As the year went on, I could see him trying to do what we asked…If we thought he was giving us everything he had. It never would’ve been an issue.”

First off I pulled those quotes off Rich Cimini’s The Jets Stream (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/) and Tim Graham’s AFC East Blog (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast)

,

Photobucket

I don’t know if I buy into LaDainain Tomlinso getting 15 carries a game and Leon being completely relegated to a third down role. I don’t know if that quote comes from trying to appease a recently signed Tomlinson and taking a dig at Washington for skipping workouts but that carry breakdown doesn’t sound right to me. Maybe in the beginning of the year, Leon will have a more limited role on the offense but I think when he gets his feet under him after the surgery he will move closer to his 2009 pre-injury role. In terms of Tomlinson, I think he would be better served with 8-10 carries and a few receptions a game. 15 carries a game could be pushing it. Shonn Greene should be getting 20-22 carries a game and no less than that because he wears on a defense and has the potential to pop a big run at any  moment.

Third, you know I love Ryan coming out with that confidence this early in the year. I never wanted Ryan’s swagger to be a first year stunt. The Jets have a very good team and there is no reason he shouldn’t exude the confidence that is a natural part of his personality. When the season ended last year the Jets were the best team in the AFC East and as far as I am concerned, they are the team to beat in the division right now so there is nothing wrong with carrying some swagger.

Fourth, Rhodes took his shot at the Jets so I have no problem with Ryan saying something back to him.

4. Number updates…just in case you are rushing out to get your Brodney Pool jersey:

  • LaDainain Tomlinson – #21
  • Dwight Lowery – #26
  • Brodney Pool – #22
  • Antonio Cromartie – #31
  • Nick Folk – #2

5. I am not crazy about the change in the OT rules. I don’t really like having different rules between the regular season and the playoffs and it takes some of the drama out of the overtime period. Although I am sure I won’t argue with the rule if it comes back to benefit the Jets in a playoff game this year. I will say it does bring some interesting strategy into the coaching of overtime now.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we only need 68 more fans for 300.

What About Mark Sanchez?

Photobucket I have confidence in Mike Tannenbaum, I think the Jets have a few minor moves left in free agency along with a solid draft on the horizon. Overall, I am feeling very good about the team in 2010. The defense will improve in year two of Rex Ryan’s system. If Antonio Cromartie’s head is on straight and he is properly motivated, he will be a substantial upgrade over Lito Sheppard. I think Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, and James Ihedigbo can fill the void (if you could call it that) left by Kerry Rhodes and by the way, Kris Jenkins is coming back and from early reports looks very good in the Jets off-season workouts. You didn’t forget about big 77 did you? Hopefully, Adalius Thomas will eventually be on board as an additional pass rusher but that remains to be seen.

On offense, obviously the offensive line remains a strength. Braylon Edwards should be improved after a full off-season with the Jets. Hopefully, Dustin Keller will carry over his level of play from the playoffs last year. Jerricho Cotchery is Mr. Reliable. Shonn Greene has the potential to be a 1,500 yard back. Leon Washington is coming back and LaDainain Tomlinson should be motivated to have at least one productive year behind the Jets offensive line. I like the coaching staff and the aggressiveness of the owner and GM. We have a new stadium for 2010 and a slate of prime-time games on the way. Yet, there is one thing that could hold the Jets back in 2010…the quarterback.

What about Mark Sanchez? After the encouraging run by Sanchez and the Jets in the playoffs, it is easy to forget the 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and 53.8 completion percentage he posted during the regular season. The Jets aren’t going to be any better than a 9-7 team if Sanchez puts up those type of numbers again. Is it a safe bet to believe Sanchez will make some substantial progress in his second year?

I feel confident that he will and here is why: first off, we saw Sanchez take a major step during the playoffs last year when the games got bigger. He put together a terrific wild-card game on the road. After some early struggles in the divisional round, he made a clutch third down touchdown pass that helped push the Jets to victory. Finally, he played a great game in the AFC Championship on the road in Indianapolis. When he stayed in the pocket, took a monster hit to the face and delivered a perfect pass to Dustin Keller for a third down touchdown, you had to feel good about the future of the Jets offense.

Second, by all accounts Sanchez has been living at the Jets facility this off-season. You want to hear about your quarterback spending all day and night in his offensive coordinator’s office breaking down tape. He got his knee taken care of this off-season and is currently ahead in his rehab. Sanchez will be 100 percent for training camp and hopefully will participate in the team’s OTAs in June.

I think Sanchez showed he has the physical tools to excel at this level last year. He will be returning for year two in the same offense, with the same offensive coordinator, the same top three receiving targets, a quality offensive line, and a very good group of running backs. There is no reason his touchdown to interception ratio shouldn’t improve to hopefully something like 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions and his completion percentage moves into the 57-59% range. I don’t think Sanchez is going to light the world on fire in year two or be a fantasy football beast but I think he will protect the football better and be much more comfortable in the Jets offense. If he can do those things, the Jets maybe looking at a 11-5 or 12-4 record.

2009 Evaluations: The Coaching Staff

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. A little background on the network wide mock draft we are about to kick off:

An introduction message from Bryan Douglass, Managing Editor of the Fanball Sports Network:
 

Photobucket

The 2009 season is in the books and the football universe has turned their eyes towards tomorrow. The Fanball Sports Network has put their first NFL season in the books as well and, like the faithful fans they support, our correspondents emerge with a desire to keep that momentum moving forward.
 
With that in mind and with the 2010 NFL Scouting Combinelurking in the distance, we have brought the group together for the launch of our talent evaluation season marked by the first annual Fanball Sports Network NFL Mock Draft.
 
Each of the team correspondents from our NFL family will take the reins of their particular franchises as we construct our own version of the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft… and for those of you in Chicago and Charlotte, while the fates have pushed you out of that moment of glory this season, we will not let you go without. ALL of our correspondents will be taking part as those teams relinquishing first-round selections will offer thoughts on what their teams may have done.
 
To enhance the experience we’ve opened multiple avenues for you to follow our progress.
 
Each selection will be announced and our progress will be updated throughout on a unique thread at RotoJunkie.com, the preeminent sports community on the net and the home of Fanball’s message-board mavens, and we would like to invite each and every one of you to comment, question, debate, and lobby for your NFL hopefuls right there in the thread with us. We’ve asked all of our correspondents to track that thread and if you have questions or thoughts to share, we’ll make sure the boys are there to answer.
 
That’s not all… during the draft our correspondents will be offering brief commentary following their selections at RotoJunkie.com. However, you will also find an adjoining link attached to those selections on the thread. Those links will steer you back to our blogs where you will find extended commentary and analysis on those selections. Our correspondents have worked hard to give you thoughtful insights from the local scene throughout the season and we’re looking to step up our game for our first-ever NFL mock draft. You’ll find that extra effort on each of our blogs following each selection, and you’ll have quick and convenient access to those offerings through our draft thread at RotoJunkie.com. We want to thank you for your support over this, our first year on the sports blog scene, and we keep that appreciation going by inviting you to enjoy this mock draft with us. Come check out the discussion at RotoJunkie, hit up the blogs to read what your team’s correspondent is thinking, and let us know what you think.
 
Enough is enough… let’s get to it. Will Horton from RamsHerd.com will kick us off shortly with the first pick on behalf of the St. Louis Rams. Follow us on RotoJunkie HERE and make sure you hit up the links for extended analysis on each pick.
 
Thanks for tuning in, and enjoy.
 
(And here is a link for that “HERE” to the RotoJunkie thread…
 
So there you go..
2. How awful was the dunk contest last night? LeBron better step up and take part next season or they might as well shut the thing down.
3. The Jets signed nine players to future/reserve contracts: FS Brannon Condren, WR Britt Davis, FB Jason Davis, T Dan Gay, WR Marcus Henry, DT Matt Kroul, C Michael Parenton, LS Tanner Purdum, and DT Tyler Steinkuhler. Britt Davis flashed a little during training camp last year and could be a guy to keep an eye on at receiver. Jason Davis could be a factor if  Tony Richardson decides to retire.
4. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook.
 
2009 Evaluations: The Coaching Staff
 
Over the course of the next few weeks, Turn On The Jets will be going through the roster evaluating how each position performed this past season, starting today with the coaching staff:
 
Head Coach, Rex Ryan
 

Photobucket

The Good: Ryan provided a much needed change of scenery and attitude from the previous three years of Eric Mangini. His confidence and swagger trickled down to the team, excited the fan base, and created a buzz around the Jets that normally doesn’t exist. The defense finished the season ranked as the league’s #1 overall unit and Ryan’s “ground and pound” coaching strategy gave the Jets a definite identity. His presence helped recruit Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, and Marques Douglas to the roster, all of whom turned into valuable contributors. The players genuinely seem to love playing for him.
 
The Bad: Ryan’s emotional personality led to a few embarrassing moments, including him proclaiming the Jets out of the playoffs before they really were and him giving the middle-finger to a group of Miami fans who were harassing him (although it is hard to blame him, since they spit on him). In the first two-thirds of the season, he focused too much on the defense and acted more like a coordinator than a head coach by giving too much autonomy to Brian Schottenheimer and Mike Westhoff. His confidence in his defense, led to some poor time management decisions, most notably at the end of the Miami Monday night game.
 
Best Decisions: Taking a more hands approach with the offense after the Jets fell to 4-6, from that point on the Jets went 7-2…Deciding to bench Kerry Rhodes, which sent a message to the team and led to better play from him down the stretch…Naming Mark Sanchez the starter…Making Sanchez sit out against the Bucs, to avoid further injury and make sure he could play down the stretch.
 
Overall Grade: (A-) The bottom line is that Ryan, a rookie head coach, took a team with a rookie quarterback to the AFC Championship Game. He also mastered the New York media and was able to change his coaching style mid-season (by getting more involved with the offense). It was a great start for Ryan.
 
Brian Schottenheimer, Offensive Coordinator
 

Photobucket

The Good: He helped get Mark Sanchez off to a good start and after his rocky patch in the middle of the season, scaled back to the offense to help get his confidence back before slightly expanding the offense again during the playoff run. Schottenheimer is one of the more creative offensive minds in the league and does a good job of mixing personnel groups and formations. He stepped up during the playoffs, especially with a brilliantly called game against the Bengals which included some well-timed play action passes. Sanchez appears to be very comfortable working with him and Schotty also did a good job distributing carries throughout the season between Thomas Jones, Leon Washington (when healthy), and Shonn Greene.
 
The Bad: Scottenheimer tends to out-think himself sometimes with poorly timed reverses or shots down the field. He also sometimes got too conservative at the wrong moments, although some of that could be attributed to pressure from Rex Ryan. For some reason, he loves running toss even though the Jets never get a good gain out of it. When Sanchez began struggling, Schotty did a poor job of controlling him before Ryan stepped in after week 11. He did a poor job of using Dustin Keller and completely shut down the Jets screen game after Leon Washington was hurt.
 
Best Decisions: The entire game-plan wild-card weekend…the first half of the AFC Championship Game, with well-timed shots to Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery (via Brad Smith out of the Tiger Formation)…Passing the torch to Shonn Greene during the playoff run…
 
Overall Grade: (B/B-) Alot of fans have major problems with Schottenheimer but I think on the whole he had a pretty good year, especially considering he had a rookie quarterback, a number #1 receiver acquired mid-season, and a rookie running back getting major carries down the stretch.
 
Mike Pettine, Defensive Coordinator
 
The Good: It is hard to know exactly what Pettine was responsible for this season, considering Ryan calls the plays on defense and leads the way in coming up with the game-plans. However according to Ryan, Pettine is an integral part of the process. He also received credit for coming up with the way to handle the loss of Kris Jenkins. I also liked how Pettine wasn’t shy about the Kerry Rhodes benching and basically said he needed to work harder in the off-season and commit more to the system.
 
The Bad: Again, it is hard to say what he specifically would deserve blame for. Yet, he obviously was part of the problem of the Jets not having a “Plan B” against the Colts in the AFC Championship Game, some of the communication/substitution problems they had mid-season, and their late game struggles throughout the season.
 
Best Decisions: Getting behind the Kerry Rhodes benching…Getting the most possible out of Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, and Marques Douglas…Helped recruit Jim Leonhard to the team.
 
Overall Grade: (B+) Ryan trusts the guy and it is hard to say he didn’t do a very good job this year considering the Jets production on defense.
 
Mike Westhoff, Special Teams Coordinator
 
The Good: Orchestrated some well-timed fake punts this season. The Jets were 4/4 on fakes this year, which is a pretty impressive stat. The kick return unit improved as the season went on, despite the loss of Leon Washington. Steve Weatherford had a decent year for a journeyman punter and Jay Feely played at a borderline pro-bowl level. The punt rush team blocked one against New England that led to a touchdown.
 
The Bad: Ted Ginn Jr…enough said. The three botched field goals against the Falcons were absolute killers. He was likely part of the decision to let Jay Feely try a 50 yard field goal when the Jets should have punted against the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
 
Overall Grade: (C) Westhoff is a legend but this was far from the Jets best special teams season.

Revisiting 40 Predictions For 2009 New York Jets Season: How Wrong Was I?

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. As you can see at the top of the page, we have a new section “2009 Highlights,” which is a collection of season highlight videos made by various people, and some of the best moments of the year from Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and more. There is enough video in there to keep any Jets fan occupied for hours.

2. Rex Ryan is in the news again, this time for changing his hockey jersey in the middle of a Carolina/Philly game he attended last night…unfortunately for him and all of America that watched Sportscenter today, his stomach popped out…maybe exploded out, is a better word.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because 186 fans isn’t enough.

Photobucket4. Lost Season 6, Episode 3 “What Kate Does” Thoughts – You will rarely hear me criticize LOST but last night’s episode was a bit of a letdown, maybe it was inevitable after such a strong premiere, but overall I was somewhat disappointed. Basically, you had Sawyer sulking, Kate chasing him, Sawyer sulking some more, Jack asking 9000 questions to Dogen (the Japanese guy in the Temple), and Dogen finding a creative way to avoid answering any of them. The alternate storyline was a little dull and far-fetched at times, although it was clear some things from Kate’s time on the island are popping back into her mind (her looking back at Jack from the taxi, her reaction to seeing the whale in Claire’s bag) and I am assuming the only reason Claire trusted Kate so much was because she felt some type of bond with her. I did like the ending and the return of the “sickness” appearing in Claire, who looks all kind of crazy on the island, and unfortunately Sayid. How much longer is Sayid going to be around if he is about to be taken over by the “darkness” the guy said? Also, it looks like after 2 seasons of being dragged through the mud, Jack is finally going to become a smart/likable character again.

Revisiting 40 Predictions For 2009 New York Jets Season: How Wrong Was I?

How smart was I back on September 7th, 2009? Let’s take a look at the 40 predictions I made for the Jets 2009 season, and my analysis of them now. I am hoping I at least cracked 50 percent.

1. David Harris will lead the Jets in sacks this season with 9. Calvin Pace will come in second despite missing the first four games, finishing with 7.5.

– It was actually Pace who led the Jets in sacks this season with 8, so at least I was just about on with his numbers. Harris was third on the team in sacks with 5.5, behind Pace and Shaun Ellis who had 6.5….so 0/1.

2. Vernon Gholston will be somewhere between slightly below average and okay during the first four games. He will begin to play better as a situational player when the season progresses, finishing with 5.5 sacks.

I think my first sentence is a pretty accurate description of Gholston’s play during the first four games, he wasn’t awful but he didn’t make any notable impact. However, I was way, way off on him beginning a situational player and recording 5.5 sacks…0/2.

3. Lito Sheppard will give up alot of plays but also make alot of plays, because of all the balls that will be thrown his way. He will start 16 games and lead the team in interceptions.

Oh boy, well at least Sheppard did give up alot of plays but he came nowhere near starting 16 games and only had 1 interception, which of course did not lead the team…0/3.

4. Darrelle Revis will be returning Hawaii. He will prove to be a top 3 CB in the NFL this season.

That is a little better, and of course by Hawaii I meant Miami in the Pro-Bowl. I don’t think anybody could argue that he is a top 3  CB in the NFL, and honestly most people now recognize him as the best overall corner in the league…1/4.

5. Howard Green will be an extremely valuable player off the bench on the Jets defensive line, providing a quality backup to Kris Jenkins.

It was actually Sione Pouha, who stepped up. Green was cut but eventually re-signed and never made a big impact..1/5.

6. Kerry Rhodes will have a much better year than he did last season but still won’t produce at his 2006 statistical level and won’t be a pro-bowler.

– He didn’t really have a better year than last season, I won’t give myself credit for saying he wouldn’t be a pro-bowler because when I wrote this I thought he would have a much better all-around year than he did…1/6.

7. Jim Leonhard will be a steady, consistent player on the Jets defense but his most important contributions will be as a punt returner.

– Damn, I couldn’t just stop at steady, consistent player on the Jets defense. He was okay on punt returns but had to give up the duty half way through the season because of a hand injury. I am giving myself a 1/2 point on this one…1.5/7.

8. The Jets will sweep the Miami Dolphins this season.

I am still bitter about this…1.5/8.

9. Thomas Jones won’t match last year’s gaudy numbers but will still finish with a solid 1175 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns.

He actually exceeded last year’s numbers and finished with 1402 yards and 14 touchdowns, my bad TJ…1.5/9.

10. Leon Washington will have at least 50 more carries this season than he did in 2008, along with 10 more catches.

Unfortunately because of a leg injury, this didn’t happen…1.5/10.

11. Leon Washington will have 1100 combined rushing/receiving yards. He had 800 last year.

See Above…1.5/11.

12. Leon Washington will have 2 kick return touchdowns this season. Jim Leonhard will take one punt back.

I really have to stop talking about Leon…1.5/12.

13. Leon Washington will have a better season than Reggie Bush (sorry, Dan).

I really, really have to stop talking about Leon Washington…1.5/13.

Photobucket14. Shonn Greene will start out the season slow but become an important part of the offense in the second half of the season.

That’s what I am talking about. Greene wasn’t a factor until week 7 but was a key part of the Jets playoff run…2.5/14.

15. Bryan Thomas will very quietly have his best season since 2006, finishing with 67 tackles and 6.5 sacks.

Not quite, Thomas finished with 53 tackles and 2 sacks…2.5/15.

16. Shaun Ellis, Marques Douglas, Mike DeVito, and Ropati Pitoitua will be a surprisingly solid defensive end rotation.

They did prove to be a good rotation, especially after Kris Jenkins went down. Ellis had 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Douglas had 64 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 TFLs, and a TD. DeVito was a good role player off the bench. Pitoitua wasn’t much of a factor…3.5/16.

17. The Jets will split with New England for the third time in four years.

Yes they did…4.5/17.

18. Somebody on the offensive line will miss a few starts this season, exposing the Jets lack of depth at the position.

Fortunately, I was wrong about this. For the second year in a row, the entire offensive line started every single game…4.5/18.

19. Tony Richardson, the ageless wonder…will start another 16 games.

He did and hopefully he will be back for another 16 next year…5.5/19.

20. Jerricho Cotchery will just barely get 1000 yards receiving and finish with 5 touchdowns.

Cotchery finished with 821 yards and 4 touchdowns. He would have been at 1000 but he missed 2 full games and a large part of another…5.5/20.

21. Brad Smith will have less than 10 catches this season.

He finished with 7 catches for 63 yards…6.5/21.

22. Dustin Keller will be joining Darrelle Revis in Hawaii, finishing with 67 catches, 850 yards, and 7 touchdowns.

PhotobucketKeller was an under-utilized part of the Jets offense, finishing the regular season with 45 catches, 522 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He did step up in the playoffs, adding a touchdown in each game…6.5/22.

23. Mark Sanchez’s stats will look very similar to Joe Flacco’s last season. The Jets high paid rookie will finish with 15 TD’s, 11 INT’s, 2980 yards passing, and a 62.0 completion percentage.

Maybe if he played the way he did during the playoffs all year this would have been true. Sanchez finished the regular season with 12 TDs, 20 INTs, 2444 yards, and a 53.8 completion percentage…6.5/23.

24. David Clowney will catch at least 2 touchdowns of 40 yards or more.

He only caught one touchdown this season, and it was for 34 yards…6.5/24.

25. Chansi Stuckey won’t have stats that will impress anybody because of his low yards per catch average, but will be a valuable 3rd down weapon for the Jets.

He was traded after week 4…6.5/25.

26. The Jets defense will give up more big plays than expected but will have more sacks, interceptions, and defensive touchdowns than in 2008.

It was actually nearly the opposite. They didn’t give up a ton of big plays but finished with 32 sacks, 17 interceptions, and 1 touchdown. In 2008, they had 41 sacks, 14 interceptions, and 3 touchdowns…6.5/26.

27. Despite having a better backup than he did last year, Kris Jenkins will start out slow because of missing most of the pre-season and will start 14 games this year, not the full 16.

He only ended up starting 6 games before sustaining a season-ending injury…6.5/27.

28. Brian Schottenheimer will be extremely conservative the first 5-6 games of this season, frustrating fans. However, as Sanchez gets more comfortable the Jets offense will begin to resemble its 2006 form.

It was almost backwards of this. The Jets offense became more conservative as the year went on…6.5/28.

29. Steve Weatherford won’t finish the season as the Jets punter….will he even finish this article as the Jets punter?

He actually did finish the year as the Jets punter…6.5/29.

30. The Jets will split with the Buffalo Bills this season.

Yes, they did…finally got one right…7.5/30.

31. Bart Scott will be a quality player and bring a nasty attitude to the Jets defense but he will be outplayed by David Harris at inside linebacker.

Two in a row? Here we go…8.5/31.

32. Thomas Jones will catch another 30 passes this season.

He only caught 10 passes this season…8.5/32.

33. Mark Sanchez’s inexperience will cost the Jets a couple of winnable games in the first half of the season. His talent level and growing comfort in the offense, will steal them a late season game they shouldn’t win.

It didn’t really work out like that…8.5/33.

34. The Jets will enter their week 9 bye as a 4-4 team and not be considered a serious playoff contender.

Yes, they did enter the week 9 bye as a 4-4 team and weren’t considered a serious playoff contender…9.5/34.

35. Similar to the 2006 team, they will rally to a 6-2 finish and end up as a 10-6 wild card team.

They rallied to finish 9-7 as a wild-card team, so I am giving myself that one…10.5/35.

36. They will either upset the Colts or Pats on the road in the second half of the season, not both. Their other second half loss will be at home to Atlanta…so yes, I am saying they win in Buffalo (aka Toronto), Tampa, and take care of the Panthers at home in the second half of the season.

Not bad…11.5/36.

37. Most Improved Player Offense – Dustin Keller.

I am not really sure who their most improved player was, but it wasn’t Dustin Keller who saw his numbers go down…11.5/37.

38. Most Improved Player Defense – Bryan Thomas, David Harris

I would probably say Sione Pouha was their most improved player…11.5/38.

39.  Pro-Bowlers – Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller, David Harris, Leon Washington (kick returner), Nick Mangold

Right about Revis and Mangold…wrong about the other three…11.5/39.

40.  The Jets won’t add another veteran receiver this season, but it will be top priority in next year’s off-season.

They added Braylon Edwards after week 4…11.5/40.

11.5 out of 40? Not pretty.

No Video Today…just check out the new “2009 Highlights Section” for all the video you need.

Jets Offense Has Bright Future

Photobucket

First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

Jets Offense Has Bright Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could It Be? Another 2009 Highlight Tape

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Games

Photobucket

First a few updates:

1. Mark Sanchez will be getting surgery on his left knee in a couple of weeks. The expected recovery time is two months, which should make him ready to go by April. Unfortunately, he will miss the first month of the off-season program. Regardless, it is better for the long term that he gets his knee taken care of now. He will be ready for OTAs in May and June and of course by training camp.

2. There has been some talk floating around about the Jets working to get Nnamdi Asomugha since he talked about the potential of pairing up with Darrelle Revis at the Pro-Bowl (andbrought to light potential tampering chargers by mentioning he talked to Rex Ryan about it). However, I don’t think this is happening. The Jets aren’t trading multiple draft picks again. Yes, it is a nice thought to have the two best corners in the NFL on the same team but it would just cost too much for a team that needs to add depth through the draft.

3. Along similar lines, many people are talking about the Jets acquiring Julius Peppers which is another thing is almost definitelynot happening. Beyond the Jets limitations because of the Final Eight Rules, I am not crazy about signing a 30 year old to play a position he has never played before.

4. Can I get me some season 6 LOST? Big premiere tonight and yes every week I will typing some type of recap/opinion of each episode in the update section.

5. Daily reminder…follow Turn On The Jets on facebook for extra commentary and links to things you should be reading on a daily basis.

Turn On The Jets 2009/2010 Season Awards: Games

Welcome to day two of the TOJ Awards for the 2009/2010 New York Jets season. Yesterday we honored the Jets best and worst players on each side of the ball. Today, we will be looking at the best and worst games of the past season and tomorrow we will be looking at the best and worst moments/individual plays of the past year.

Best Defensive Game – October 4th At New Orleans, Loss 24-10

A loss for the best defensive game of the year? Absolutely, people always forget how well the Jets defense played in this game because of the loss but remember Mark Sanchez directly handed 14 points to the Saints. How about the Jets going into the building of the NFC Champions and holding the Saints to 10 offensive points, Drew Brees to 190 passing yards with 0 touchdowns, and Marques Colston to 33 receiving yards? Remember this is a team that scored 48 points at home against the Giants and 38 at home against the Patriots, with Drew Brees throwing for 371 yards.

Photobucket

Honorable Mentions – September 13th At Houston, Win 24-7, January 17th At San Diego, Win 17-14

The Jets shut out the Houston in their building, remember their only points came on an interception/fumble return. Beyond that, they just physically dominated them from start to finish. The Texans turned out to be a 9-7 team that had one of the league’s best offense. Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson both started in the Pro-Bowl (yes, Matt Schaub actually started in the Pro-Bowl), on this day Schaub threw for 166 yards with a INT, and Johnson had 35 receiving yards. Against the Chargers, the Jets were the first team to hold them under 20 points all season and came up with two huge INTs and 2 big sacks late in the game. This probably should have won the award, the only thing holding me back was the 344 total yards allowed, oh well…all three games were impressive as hell.

Best Offensive Game – January 9th At Cincinnati, Win 24-14

This was the game it all came together for the Jets offensively. Mark Sanchez was nearly perfect (12/15, 182 yards, 1 TD) with 2 of his 3 incompletions being dropped passes. Brian Schottenheimer called his best game of the season, with well-timed play action passes and a few good counter calls. Shonn Greene exploded for 135 yards and a touchdown. Thomas Jones chipped in 34 yards and a touchdown. Dustin Keller re-emerged with 99 yards receiving and a touchdown. Jerricho Cotchery was brilliant on third down and finished with 6 clutch catches for 67 yards. Braylon Edwards only finished with 2 catches for 15 yards, but if he rememberd to catch the football he would have finished with 65 yards and a touchdown and Sanchez would have been around 240 passing yards with 2 touchdowns.

Honorable Mention – November 1st Vs. Miami, Loss 30-25

An extremely painful loss but an all-around great game by the Jets offense. Sanchez had his best statistical game (20/35, 262 yards, 2 TDs), Thomas Jones ran for 102 yards and chipped in a 28 yard reception. Dustin Keller had 76 yards with a touchdown. Braylon Edwards had 74 yards with a touchdown. Jerricho Cotchery had 70 yards. Hopefully, this will be a nice preview of what the Jets offense could be next year with a little more Shonn Greene and Leon Washington thrown in…could be scary.

Most Painful Loss – November 1st At Miami, Loss 30-25

While we are on the topic of the second Miami game. I don’t know about you but it made me sick to see the Jets swept by an inferior Dolphins team in their own building, beyond all the offensive stats I just mentioned how about these stats for Miami on offense: Chad Henne 12/21, 121 yards and he was sacked 6 times, Ronnie Brown had 27 rushing yards, Ricky Williams had 27 rushing yards, no wide receiver on their team had more than 18 yards receiving. The Jets completely dominated this game but lost because they forgot how to cover kicks. Ted Ginn Jr is terrible 14 games a year but for reason always finds a way to make a big impact when he plays the Jets.

Honorable Mention – December 20th Vs Atlanta, Loss 10-7, January 24th At Indy, Loss 30-17

Everybody in the building on December 20th knew the three missed field goals would come back to haunt the Jets. Everybody knew Atlanta was driving down that field to win 10-7 and everybody knew on that fourth down play they were throwing to Tony Gonzalez, and yet we decided to move to zone coverage. At the time it seemed like the season was over (as Rex Ryan can attest to). Obviously, the actual season-ending loss in the AFC Championship Game hurt, especially because it felt like we were on our way after Calvin Pace caused that fumble in the 2nd quarter. However, we settled for a field goal, Peyton Manning led the Colts down the field in about 2 seconds and the rest is history.

Most Satisfying Victory – September 20th Vs New England, Win 16-9

The stadium was completely out of control in a good way on this day. It was one of the few Jets games I attended, where the crowd had a major impact on the game, forcing consecutive delay of game penalties at one point and contributing to 89 total penalty yards for the Patriots. It was the first time we beat New England at home since 2000 and showed the week one domination over Houston was no fluke. Hopefully, this will become a regular thing over the next few years as the Jets pass the Patriots as the best team in the AFC East.

Honorable Mentions – January 3rd vs. Cincinnati, Win 37-0, January 17th At San Diego, Win 17-14

I would have put beating Cincinnati to make the playoffs in the top spot because that was an awesome night at the Stadium, but I felt that win was expected. There was no way in hell the Bengals were beating the Jets that night. The New England win wasn’t expected at the time because how could you think the Jets were going to be New England when they have owned them at the Meadowlands for so long? Obviously, upsetting the Chargers and proving without a doubt we belonged in the playoffs was also a sweet day.

Most Boring Game – December 13th at Tampa Bay, Win 26-3

At one point in this game, Matt Slauson snapped the ball to Kellen Clemens who completed a pass to Matthew Mulligan, not exactly something we thought we’d see in December. Basically, the Bucs were simply awful and the Jets completed dominated which was of course fun to watch but the Jets offensive game-plan mirrored a 5th grade pop-warner one more than it even usually did. Beyond that, Kellen Clemens is just brutal to watch.

Grading Out The AFC Championship Game

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. Of course it is raining today…when I reflect about yesterday’s game, you can’t get around the fact the Jets lost to a better team and that there was no stopping Peyton Manning yesterday, especially withDwight Lowery and Drew Coleman playing major reps at defensive back. You can look at different points of the games and different decisions, but the bottom line is that the Jets weren’t stopping Indy, period. Even if the Jets made both field goals, Shonn Greene stayed in the game, and on and on…the Colts still would have scored enough points to win.

2. There will be a few tweaks in the site for the off-season, the final stats and game highlights for the 2009 season have been put up. I switched out the 2009 schedule with the Jets 2010 opponents, and there will likely be a few other changes here and there. We are done with our in-season schedule, so there won’t be 6-7 articles a week here. I will be laying out an off-season schedule in an article in the next day or two as I finish up Jets/Colts coverage. Obviously, we will have free agency/draft coverage, reflections on the past season, individual articles grading out each player’s performance this season, and plenty of other things that I will figure out later.

3. Since a new Collective Bargaining Agreement hasn’t been figured out yet, the Jets will be under specific free agency rules. Tim Graham breaks them down here (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/9749/jets-have-29th-pick-ufa-limitations) Basically, the Jets won’t be able to sign a free agent, unless one of their free agents signs with somebody else. However, this won’t impact their ability to make trades which we all know Mike Tannenbaum loves to do. In terms of the draft, the Jets will have the 29th overall pick in the first round.  I don’t know the rest of their picks as of right now, but I am pretty sure they don’t have a 3 or 4 because of the Braylon Edwards/Lito Sheppard trades…if anybody knows exactly, please post it.

4. Shaun Ellis will be replacing Robert Mathis in the Pro-Bowl.

5. Nobody chokes in a big spot like Brett Favre…last pass as a Packer was a brutal interception in the NFC Championship Game that cost his team the game. He choked down the stretch for the Jets and now his likely last pass as a Viking was a brutal interception in the NFC Championship Game that cost his team the game. Good article by Mike Florio and Favre being delusional and thinking he went out on top: (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/01/25/favre-cant-walk-away-yet/).

Grading Out The AFC Championship Game

Quarterback (A) – Mark Sanchez played arguably his best game of the season in the biggest spot of the year, which is a good sign for the future. He stood in the pocket, took huge hits, and delivered accurate passes especially on the touchdown to Dustin Keller. Sanchez is only going to get better with another off-season in the offense and even more time to work with Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, and Jerricho Cotchery. I really believe the Jets made the right choice trading up for this guy and that their offense is on the way to catching up with their defense with Sanchez under center.

Running Back (C) – Shonn Greene is going to be the Jets feature back next season and they missed him badly after he left. However, Greene had injuries throughout his rookie season and he is going to have to find a way to stay healthy next year. Thomas Jones was clearly worn down or his knee injury was worse than the team was letting on. It will be very interesting to see if he is back next season. 

Wide Receiver (A) – Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery both stepped up with 100 yards games. They are a good duo of starting receivers for Sanchez to grow with. However, the Jets need better depth behind them. Brad Smith isn’t really a receiver. He is a more of gadget/special teams player. They need to find a quality slot guy.

Tight End (A) – Dustin Keller stepped up in the playoffs, with a touchdown reception in each game. It is good to see him and Sanchez on the same page because he has the talent to be a pro-bowl caliber type player.

 Offensive Line (B) – They were excellent in pass protection but didn’t have their best game against the run. How about this unit starting the past 35 games together?

Defensive Line (C) – Not a great overall day for this group. Ellis was clearly limited because of his hand injury and they couldn’t generate a pass rush or slow down the Colts running the ball.

Linebackers (C) – David Harris played a terrific game, racking up 11 tackles and 2 sacks. Calvin Pace made a huge play by forcing that fumble but beyond that he didn’t get to the quarterback. Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas barely played because the Jets were using so many defensive backs.

Secondary (F) – I think it is illegal in most states what Peyton Manning and Pierre Garcon did to Dwight Lowery. I don’t think you will be seeing Lowery, Drew Coleman, and Lito Sheppard in a Jets jersey next season.

Special Teams (C) – You need as many points as you can get against the Colts so the misses by Jay Feely hurt.

Coaching (C) – The Jets had no answer for Peyton Manning on defense. People have been criticizing Brian Schottenheimer but I thought overall he called a good game. The double move to Braylon was well-timed and he finally broke out the pass play for Brad Smith.

Jets/Colts Highlights

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Breakdown

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. The Jets practiced outside today for whatever reason. Shaun Ellis, Kerry Rhodes, David Harris, and Bart Scott were all limited in practice, while everybody else was full.

2. New episode of TOJ TV is on the way tonight and yes we went real big for the AFC Championship Game.

3. Herman Edwards and Tedy Bruschi both picked the Jets on ESPN…obviously, I am not surprised about Herm but Bruschi? I don’t know, maybe he is trying to jinx us. Speaking of Herm, how could I not throw this clip in?

4. The NFL Network is replaying Super Bowl III on Saturday night if you are looking for some historic confidence in the Jets upsetting the Colts.

5. How I have used my time so far this week: 40% Reading/Listening to Jets Coverage, 40% Working on Site, 15% Sleep/Re-watch old episodes of LOST to get ready for the new season, 5% School/Work…it has been a good week. This around the clock Jets work is messing with my dreams. Last night I had a lucid dream I was in the slot with Braylon out wide, we were running double slants, Sanchez threw it out to him, Braylon caught it, broke a tackle andwas off to the races…good sign, or am I just delusional? We will find out Sunday.

Jets vs. Colts: AFC Championship Game Breakdown

PhotobucketOffense: North and South is the key this week. The Jets have to go right up the middle at the Colts defense. Brian Schottenheimer, throw out the reverses, tosses, and stretch plays because you aren’t beating this defense going sideline to sideline. It is time to work that inside running game. The Jets must repeatedlysend Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene right at the Colts defensive tackles and the defensive ends. Hopefully, the Jets can wear down Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis which will make them less effective as pass rushers. There is no need for the Tiger Formation or any option plays this week either. Teams have scouted it out and it hasn’t been effective in recent weeks so let’s not throw away yards.

I know most people would like to see Shonn Greene simply start the game, get 30 carries, andjust forget about Thomas Jones. However, Jones is the guy who wears on the defense andsoftens it up for Greene with his 15 carries. Beyondthat, it is important to keep Greene in the 20-25 range which will keep him fresh. You need a 1-2 punch in the NFL, especially with how often the Jets run the ball. Also, despite it not being a major factor in the Jets offense, Jones is a better receiver out of the backfield.

The Jets must get yards on first down to help set up manageable third downs for Mark Sanchez. There is no reason the Jets can’t successfully throw the ball in third and 4-6 situations. If the Jets can have Sanchez take short drops and get rid of the ball quickly, they have favorable match-ups on the outside and should be able to have a high conversion rate. Look for Jerricho Cotchery working that short option and intermediate comeback route often when the Jets need to throw, while Braylon Edwards has been effective on deep in routes and slants. One tendency the Jets must find a way to break is when they decide to take their deep shot to Edwards on the post route. Every game the Jets throw the ball to Edwards deep when they are around the 50 yard  line and it is 1st and 10 or 2nd and short. Teams are starting to expect it. The Jets have to mix it up when they take a shot because if they can get Edwards one on one and he decides to catch the football, they could be in great shape.

Defense: Similar to last week, the Colts are going to get their yards but it is key for the Jets to make them kick field goals instead of letting them score touchdowns. Everytime the Colts settle for 3, it will be a huge victory for the Jets. They also can’t let them get that classic touchdown before the half, which the Colts always score to take the momentum. The Jets must do a better job against the run than they did in week 16. Indy will try to counter the Jets blitz with draw plays and quick screens, which they always find a way to burn teams with. Regardless of how efficient the Colts passing game is, if the Jets can stop the run like they did against San Diego they will be in good shape by making them one-dimensional.

It has been well documented how difficult it is to sack Peyton Manning. However, the Jets must at least put some pressure on him, hit him and force him to rush a few throws. Manning does throw interceptions (he only threw 4 less than Sanchez this year, and we all know how many he threw)…and the Jets cannot, I repeat cannot, drop balls that could be intercepted. They need to take advantage if Manning throws a ball to them and run it back to set up easy points for their offense. Another key for the Jets is they need to be physical with the Colts receivers. Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, and even Donald Brown out of the backfield are all young guys and there is no reason they can’t be rattled in a big game by a few big shots over the middle.

Dallas Clark is obviously an extremely difficult match-up and the Jets did a poor job against him in week 16. I still think the Jets should occasionally slide Darrelle Revis over to Clark and then double Reggie Wayne. I am not worried about Wayne when he is one on one with Revis but you can’t be stupid enough to leave him one on one with anybody else. Kerry Rhodes is going to need to step up with another big game both in coverage and when he is sent at the quarterback. The Jets defense moves to another level when Rhodes is playing up to his potential.

Special Teams: I really think the Jets could swing the game here. I don’t know if it is going to be a fake punt, a big kick return or punt return, a blocked punt but if the Jets can steal some points here, they will be in great shape to pull off the upset.

Believe In The Upset

Jets vs. Colts Position By Position Comparison

Photobucket 

First a few updates:

1. The recent surge of comments has been a nice positive for the site. I knew I would be hearing plenty from “Coach” this week since he is a die-hard Colts fan who is convinced Super Bowl III was rigged. Also, I just received a breakdown of the site traffic which has been very strong over the past month…a special shout out to our international readers, including people from Denmark, France, Japan, Philippines, and Mexico.

2. Why do I have time to write back to back articles this afternoon? I have a big space between my 11 AM class and 4 PM class, what else would I do? This is Championship week, c’mon now.

3. Darrelle Revis, Bart Scott, and Mark Sanchez are talking to the media at 3:45 today.

Jets vs. Colts Position By Position Comparison

Quarterback – Peyton Manning (4500 yards, 33 TDs, 16 INTs) vs. Mark Sanchez (2444 yards, 12 TDs, 20 INTs) – Well then…at least admit you were surprised by how many interceptions Manning has thrown this year. Sanchez needs to manage the game, make a couple of plays and avoid turnovers while Manning is the single person that turns the Colts from a 6-10 team to a 14-12 team. Advantage: Colts

Running Back – Joseph Addai (828 yards, 10 TDs, 336 receiving yards), Donald Brown (281 yards, 3 TDs) vs. Thomas Jones (1402 yards, 14 TDs), Shonn Greene (540 yards, 2 TDs) – Greene is playing better than any running back in football right now. The guy is averaging 6 freaking yards per carry. Jones has been slightly phased out but still remains valuable, especially in short yardage situations and goal-line situations. Joseph Addai averaged less than 4 yards per carry this year and Brown is a talented rookie, who adds some size to the Colts offense. Advantage: Jets

Wide Receiver – Reggie Wayne (1264 yards, 10 TDs), Pierre Garcon (765 yards, 4 TDs), Austin Collie (676 yards, 7 TDs) vs. Braylon Edwards (541 yards, 4 TDs), Jerricho Cotchery (821 yards, 4 TDs), Brad Smith (270 total yards, 1 TD) – Reggie Wayne is one of the best receivers in football. Garcon is a burner who didn’t play when the Colts faced the Jets back in week 16. Collie is a rookie who is very good in the slot. While I think Garcon and Collie are good players, I do think their stats are inflated because of their quarterback. I would love to see Jerricho Cotchery’s stats if he played a year in the Colts offense. Regardless, you can’t argue who has the advantage here. Advantage: Colts

Tight End – Dallas Clark (1106 yards, 10 TDs) vs. Dustin Keller (522 yards, 2 TDs) – Keller has caught a touchdown in each of the Jets playoff games and I hope one day he becomes the type of player Dallas Clark is right now. Advantage: Colts

Offensive Line – Charlie Johnson, Ryan Lilja, Jeff Saturday, Kyle DeVan, Ryan Diem vs. Damien Woody, Brandon Moore, Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, D’Brickashaw Ferguson – The Jets have the best offensive line in the NFL. Advantage: Jets

Defensive Line – Dwight Freeney (13.5 sacks), Robert Mathis (9.5 sacks), Daniel Muir (52 tackles), Antonio Johnson (34 tackles, 1 sack), Raheem Brock (32 tackles, 3.5 sacks) vs. Shaun Ellis (53 tackles, 6.5 sacks), Marques Douglas (64 tackles, 1.5 sacks), Sione Pouha (45 tackles), Mike DeVito (28 tackles), Howard Green (23 tackles) – Freeney is the best pure pass rusher in the AFC (I am giving the NFL crown to Jared Allen right now) and Mathis is a pro-bowl caliber defensive end. Shaun Ellis will be playing with a broken hand, while Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha are coming off their best games of the season. Advantage: Colts

Linebacker – Phillip Wheeler (61 tackles, 1 sack), Gary Brackett (99 tackles, 1 sack), Clint Session (103 tackles, 2 INTs), Freddy Keiaho (38 tackles, 1 sack) vs. Calvin Pace (55 tackles, 8 sacks), David Harris (127 tackles, 5.5 sacks), Bart Scott (92 tackles, 1 sack), Bryan Thomas (53 tackles, 2 sacks) – The Colts linebackers have great speed and Gary Brackett is one hell of a player but David Harris will be the best linebacker on the field Sunday. Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas both played very well last week, while Calvin Pace is the Jets best pure pass rusher. Advantage: Jets

Corners – Jacob Lacey (85 tackles, 3 INTs), Jerraud Powers (66 tackles, 1 INT), Kelvin Hayden (50 tackles, 1 INT) vs. Darrelle Revis (54 tackles, 6 INTs), Lito Sheppard (31 tackles, 1 INT), Dwight Lowery (24 tackles, 3 INT), Donald Strickland (26 tackles, 2 sacks) – The Colts are fairly average here, meaning there will be chances for the Jets to make big plays down the field if they can pass protect. Darrelle Revis will do his thing but the pressure is on Sheppard, Strickland, and Lowery to have big games against Collie, Garcon, and Clark. Advantage: Jets

Safeties – Antoine Bethea (95 tackles, 4 INTs), Melvin Bullitt (77 tackles), Tim Jennings (57 tackles, 2 INTs) vs. Kerry Rhodes (63 tackles, 3 INTs), Jim Leonhard (76 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT), Eric Smith (48 tackles, 1 INT), James Ihedigbo (19 tackles, 2 sacks) – The Jets safeties came up huge last week against the Chargers and need another big game this week. They need to apply pressure when sent at the quarterback and find a way to contain Dallas Clark. The Colts safeties better be ready to hit or else Shonn Greene is going to make them pay (see Eric Weddle last week). Advantage: Jets

Special Teams – Matt Stover (9/11 FGs), Pat McAfee (44.3 yards per punt), TJ Rushing (5.7 per punt return), Chad Simpson (1 kick return TD) vs. Jay Feely (30/36 FGs), Steve Weatherford (42 yards per punt), Jerricho Cotchery (10.3 per punt return), Brad Smith (1 kick return TD) – I like the Jets here. Jay Feely has been money ever since the Atlanta game. Cotchery is a better punt returner than Rushing and Brad Smith already took one back 106 yards against the Colts coverage units. Advantage: Jets

Somebody Told Me The Jets Are In The AFC Championship Game, So I Should Be Working Around The Clock On The Site, This Is What I Told Them: