Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…because I can’t be typing about all the Jets related links you should be reading here.

2. Turn On The Jets has climbed to #2 when you google “Jets Blog”…now you may be asking, who the hell ever googles “Jets Blog?” and it is a good question but  I am pumped about it anyway. Wait until I finally get that press pass this summer, get the podcast up and running, and redesign the site.

3. Darren Sharper re-signed with the Saints. I never thought he would end up with the Jets anyway, the organization seems to be high on Brodney Pool and if he doesn’t work out Eric Smith is a reliable back-up.

4. There is still plenty of chatter about Laveranues Coles joining the Jets but again I don’t see it happening unless it gets to July 22nd and Coles hasn’t found a team yet. I can’t see him accepting being a number four receiver for 12 weeks of the season, which he would be after Santonio Holmes returns from injury. On the other hand, I wold bet on Mark Brunell joining the Jets after July 22nd and Adalius Thomas also joining the team some time in June (he was cut and isn’t a UFA so the Jets could sign him whenever).

5. Philadelphia…the only place where a father tells his 17 year old son to run on the field during a MLB game and then watches as his son proceeds to be tazed by the cops and thrown in jail.

6. What the hell was that last night Cleveland? I run my mouth on twitter talking you guys up over Boston and you lay an egg like that?

Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart

PhotobucketBy this point we have a general idea of who the starters for the Jets will be on both sides of the ball and who many of the key reserves coming off the bench will be. However, there are still some spots that remain up for grabs on the Jets final 53 man roster. Let’s take a look through at current situation on the Jets depth chart heading into May’s full squad OTAs, continuing today with the defense. After looking at the offense yesterday, it is fair assume the Jets will keep 26 players on this side of the ball and maybe add another when Santonio Holmes returns from suspension and the Jets release a receiver:

Defensive Tackle

  1. Kris Jenkins – The big fella is returning from a season ending injury and looking to regain his form from early in the 2008 season.
  2. Sione Pouha – Did a great job stepping in for Jenkins last year. He will play a ton to keep Jenkins fresh for the stretch run.
  3. Matt Kroul – Coaching staff is apparently very high on him, should push for a roster spot.
  4. Ty Steinkuhler – Outside chance of pushing for a roster spot.

Defensive End

  1. Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet and a solid veteran player.
  2. Mike DeVito – Could be pushing it by asking him to be a full time starter.
  3. Vernon Gholston – Should be cut…but won’t be until after this season.
  4. Ropati Pitoitua – Is expected to be a big part of the defensive line rotation this year.

Potential Additions – Marques Douglas – This could be more of wishful thinking on my part but if there is an injury or the defensive ends struggle in camp, don’t be surprised to see the Jets bring Douglas back.

Analysis – Jenkins, Ellis, DeVito, Pouha, and Gholston are all locks to make the roster. I would be shocked if Pitoitua doesn’t end up on the final 53 either because the Jets like his potential. Kroul will likely be the 7th and final guy they carry unless somebody else steps up in camp.

Inside Linebacker

  1. David Harris – All-Pro caliber linebacker.
  2. Bart Scott – Emotional leader of the defense.
  3. Jamaal Westerman – Showed potential last year, could have bigger role in sub packages this season.
  4. Lance Laury – Special teams ace brought in to replace Larry Izzo.
  5. Kenwin Cummings – Talented guy from small school, who stuck around the team the past couple of years.
  6. Brashton Satele – Made good impression in minicamp.

Outside Linebacker

  1. Calvin Pace – Very good all around player, who the Jets get for all 16 games this year instead of 12.
  2. Bryan Thomas – Not flashy but does his job well.
  3. Jason Taylor – Brought in to sack the quarterback and make Jets fans nauseous.
  4. Corey Reamer – Made a strong impression in minicamp.
  5. Kevin Basped – Also made a strong impression in minicamp.

Potential Additions – Adalius Thomas – A Rex Ryan favorite who has the versatility to line up all over the place in his defense. The Jets will likely wait a few weeks before making a move to sign him.

Analysis – Harris, Scott, Pace, Thomas, Taylor are all locks for the final roster. Westerman and Laury are overwhelmingly likely to make it because of their special abilities and in Westerman’s case, his long term potential. My guess is the Jets will carry 8 linebackers, with the eighth either being Adalius Thomas or one of the UDFAs like Reamer or Basped.

Corner

  1. Darrelle Revis – The Island is the best in the business.
  2. Antonio Cromartie – Playing for a long term contract and to show he can still be an all-pro player.
  3. Kyle Wilson – He was a steal at #29 and should flourish in this defense.
  4. Dwight Lowery – I feel a hell of alot better with him as our #4 corner instead of our #2.
  5. Drew Coleman – Hanging by a thread.
  6. Marquice Cole – Played well last pre-season, could easily jump Coleman on the depth chart and maybe even Lowery.
  7. Brian Jackson – UDFA who played well in minicamp.

Safety

  1. Jim Leonhard – Comfortable in Rex’s system…steady player.
  2. Brodney Pool – Let’s hope he can stay healthy.
  3. Eric Smith – Versatile player, who did a good job last season off the bench.
  4. James Ihedigbo – Good on blitzes and special teams.
  5. Donovan Warren – Could turn out to be a huge steal as a UDFA.

Analysis – My guess today is that everybody I just listed sticks on the final roster, except either Drew Coleman or Brian Jackson. Rex loves DB’s and don’t be shocked to see him carry 11.

PhotobucketOverall AnalysisThe way I see it now is the Jets will carry 7 defensive lineman, 8 linebackers, and 11 secondary guys. They could add another defensive lineman or linebacker after the Holmes suspension ends and the Jets release a receiver. Don’t be shocked to see Adalius Thomas be one of the linebackers on the final roster. Also, keep an eye on Donovan Warren as somebody who could sneak up the depth chart.

Kris Jenkins Is A Beast

Death Of The Jets Chemistry Discussion

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First a few updates:

1. There is still some talk about Darren Sharper potentially ending up with the Jets. I doubt it ends up happening though, especially considering the Jets restrictions with the final eight rules. Rex Ryan appears comfortable with Brodney Pool or Eric Smith taking the majority of the reps alongside Jim Leonhard. If the Jets add any other major pieces this off-season, I would expect it to be Adalius Thomas, a kicker, or a veteran guard if Ducasse and Slauson bomb out in training camp.

2. The Jets start rookie minicamp tomorrow, where all four draft picks, the UDFAs, the tryout players, and a handful of other guys with limited experience will participate.

3. Jets draft pick numbers – Kyle Wilson #20, Vlad Ducasse #62, Joe McKnight #25, John Connor #38.

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

5. I know I ask this from time to time, but what new Jets jersey should I get this summer? Wilson? Santonio? Greene? Jim Leonhard?

Death Of The Jets Chemistry Discussion

I can’t tell you how tired I am of reading articles about the Jets “chemistry” and how it may stop them from winning games this season. The obsession with this issue leads to things like “Mangold Upset Faneca Was Released” becoming a news story. Of course Nick Mangold is upset one of his fellow lineman and good friends was cut. Yet, his quotes get blown completely out of proportion like he is upset with the team and it will become a problem this year. How come nobody talks about when he said “If we want to prove that we’re a great offensive line and a great unit, then we can make changes and still be great. There’s nothing like a little adversity to continue on.”

PhotobucketMy point is that this whole question about the Jets chemistry is being beaten to death by the media. Let’s start with the unit that makes the Jets into one of the league’s best teams…their defense. They have three new starters. Guess who they are replacing? Kerry Rhodes, one of the most unpopular guys in the locker room, who despite his unhappiness last year, still didn’t prevent the Jets from going to the AFC Championship Game. Yes, the Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game with an unhappy player who was benched mid-season and handled it like a little kid. They are also replacing Lito Sheppard, who was on the team for one year and missed more games than he played. Finally, Marques Douglas won’t be back but again he was only on the team one year and is being replaced by a guy who played a ton of snaps for the Jets last season and been on the team for a few years in Mike DeVito.

Where are the chemistry problems coming from on defense? You are telling me Bart Scott, David Harris, Shaun Ellis, Darrelle Revis, Jim Leonhard, Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, and Kris Jenkins can’t handle Antonio Cromartie, who will be on his best behavior anyway because he is in a contract year. Is Brodney Pool going to destroy everyone’s ability to cover people? Even if these guys self-destruct, can’t Kyle Wilson and Eric Smith just step in, while Rex Ryan locks Cromartie and Pool away so they can’t damage the precious chemistry?

On offense, okay yes there may be an adjustment period to Vlad Ducasse or Matt Slauson stepping in at guard. Yet, won’t they work this out during OTAs, mini-camp, training camp, and the pre-season? Even if those guys struggle, will everybody’s else play all of a sudden fall off the cliff and the Jets won’t be able to run the ball or protect Mark Sanchez? Isn’t Bill Callahan a better coach than that? Aren’t Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Damien Woody, and Brandon Moore better players than that?

Santonio Holmes? I don’t know I am pretty sure I just read this quote from Mark Sanchez today in The Daily News:

“He’s so open and ready to get going,” said Sanchez, who has thrown with the receiver several times already. “We’re getting that chemistry to the point where I can explain what I want and we can exchange ideas.”

Yes, I think Holmes will fit in just fine on the Jets offense after working with Sanchez the next few months. He will be raring to go in week 5, because I am sure it will kill him to watch those first four games and beyond that the guy has a ton to prove. He is a former Super Bowl MVP who was traded by his team. By all accounts, Holmes is a big time competitor and he is in a contract year.

PhotobucketWill the Jets miss Thomas Jones leadership on offense? He was absolutely a valuable leader but can’t Mangold, Woody, Ferguson, and Jerricho Cotchery step up? Can’t Sanchez step up in his second year as the starter? What about LaDainian Tomlinson? What about Tony Richardson? These guys are professionals.

Turnover is common in the NFL. Everybody talks about what great chemistry the Jets had last year and guess what they had four new starters on defense and two new starters on offense in 2009. They were breaking in a rookie quarterback. They had to adjust to a new #1 receiver in week 5 (sound familiar for 2010?). They basically switched starting running backs in the middle of their run to the post-season. They dealt with an unhappy big name player on defense, who was demoted. They handled two season ending injuries to key players. They had a player benched because of a twitter incident. They fired a defensive line coach mid-season and guess what? They still managed to pull it together and make a run to the AFC Championship Game.

If you are going to argue the Jets will struggle in 2010, you will have to do better than the chemistry argument.

2009: A Season Filled With Potential Chemistry Problems

A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s Go

Help Needed: Jets #1 Ranked Defense

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First a few updates:

1. Leon Washington spoke to the press yesterday and it sounded like it is all good between him and the organization. As expected, nobody signed him to an offer sheet, leaving him to sign the Jets tender. His goal is to be back for the first day of training camp on August 1st and work his way back to getting the amount of carries he was receiving before his injury last year. Here’s hoping Leon could get back 100 percent to the player he once was and TOJ is obviously glad he will be back with the team in 2010.

2. The Jets will be moving on without long time long snapper James Dearth this year. He won’t be signed to a new deal, which I don’t quite understand, Dearth has always been reliable. Anyway the Tanner Purdum era now begins at long snapper…hopefully I will never have to type his name again. New long snapper? Crappy kicker? No Wallace Wright? Anybody else worried about the Jets special teams this year?

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Because Dwight Lowery promised me he’d never be beat deep again if we got 300 fans by May 1st.

4. Read here (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/04/16/revis-carefully-sets-the-trap-everyone-knows-white-boys-cant-refuse-cabo-san-lucas/) about a funny prank involving Dustin Keller, Nick Mangold, and Darrelle Revis.

5. Every 5 minutes the story changes on Jason Taylor and the Jets…one second it is a done deal…the next second a decision is still far away. Hopefully this can get decided either way before the draft because it obviously impacts the Jets plans.

6. Congratulations San Francisco you just gave up a 5th round pick for Ted Ginn Jr and we gave up a 5th round pick for Santonio Holmes…that is like paying the same price for a Big Mac as a filet mignon…actually forget that analogy, Big Macs are way better than Ted Ginn Jr.

Help Needed: Jets #1 Ranked Defense

The draft is only 6 days away and as the Jets head into it their primary needs remain on the defensive side of the football. Despite having the league’s #1 ranked unit last year, there is much more work to be done to their defense than their offense. Here are some of the holes that currently exist on the Jets D:

Defensive End – Look at the Jets depth chart right now at this position: Shaun Ellis as one starter, who is 32 years old and had issues with his knee and hand last year and Mike DeVito as the other starter, who has been a backup his entire career and has 0.5 career sacks. The top backup? Ropati Pitoitua who was inactive for 8 games last season. Like I said…help needed. I am keeping my fingers crossed like most people that Jared Odrick somehow falls to the Jets at #29.

PhotobucketLinebacker – I feel good about our starters, even Bryan Thomas who does alot of little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. However, the Jets need a pass rusher, whether that comes in the form of Jason Taylor or a draft pick. They are also lacking depth at both the inside and outside position. The top backups right now are Vernon Gholston, who…well I don’t need to say it and Jamaal Westerman, a UDFA who did show some potential last year but doesn’t have much experience on defense.

Secondary – The Jets need another corner to develop. I don’t like being one injury away from Dwight Lowery starting and Drew “toast” Coleman playing nickel back. At safety, it is risky to assume Brodney Pool can last for 16 games with his injury history and I’d rather keep Eric Smith in a reserve roll. Don’t tell me that Mike Tannenbaum won’t get trigger happy if Earl Thomas starts sliding close to #29.

Five Ways For The Jets To Flame Out In 2010

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First a few updates:

1. You know as of right now there isn’t a ton to update on, the draft section is updated and overloaded with potential prospects for the Jets in all seven rounds. The guys over at www.thejetsblog.com do a great job with their “Prospect Watch,” which is where the list of players came from in the “2010 Draft” Section, as you can see from all the links. They finish up adding prospects on April 4th at which point I will organize them by position and list their projected rounds (per TJB), and then we can wait to see if the Jets actually end up with any of these guys.

2. Even though Rich Cimini mentioned Dez Bryant yesterday as a potential guy for the Jets at #29 and I got myself all excited about it, it is pretty hard to see a guy with that much talent even falling into the 20’s. His physical talent is too great for that many teams to pass on, regardless of his off the field issues.

3. A big congratulations to the New Jersey Nets for getting their 10th win and avoiding having the worst record in NBA history.

4. Dustin Keller is beginning his career as a restaurant critic on the New York Times Fifth Down Blog here (http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/dustin-keller-i-eight-one/) even though he didn’t exactly pick an out of the way place for his first review (since he went with one of the best and well-know steakhouses in the City), it is still a good read and has me thinking about treating myself to a meal there when that TOJ check comes in this month.

Five Ways For The Jets To Flame Out In 2010

You may have noticed that I have been optimistic about the Jets chances in 2010. Even when I push aside my bias as a lifelong fan, I still genuinely believe the Jets will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next year. However, this is the NFL and we know big expectations don’t always equal big things. It is difficult to maintain success on a year to year basis, so let me channel my Joe Benigno negative Jets fan inside of me and look at five ways the Jets could disappointin 2010 (by the way I consider anything short of a playoff berth next year to be a major disappointment).

1. Sophomore Slump – It is hard to say that if Mark Sanchez struggles next year that it would be a sophomore slump considering his regular season stats last season. However, we saw the quarterback Sanchez has the potential to be in the playoffs and if he can maintain that level of play the Jets are going to be a very, very tough team to beat. Yet, if he goes back to his performance in the middle of the season last year, when he was throwing 3+ interceptions every other game, the Jets are going to struggle to be anything better than the 9-7 team they were in 2009. The Jets remain a team built on their defense and running game, and even though the playbook should be opened up a little more, Sanchez must protect the football and not take unnecessary chances.

Photobucket2. Built To Last – The Jets have been extremely fortunate to have the same five guys start every game on their offensive line the past two seasons. They still lack solid depth across their front and if one or heaven forbid two of those five went down for an extended period of the time the Jets could be in serious trouble. The running game would suffer, which would put more pressure on Sanchez who wouldn’t be protected as well as usual…sounds like a recipe for disaster.

3. Lead Back Problems – This is Shonn Greene’s first year as a starter and a guy who will counted for 20 carries week in and week out. If Greene can’t stay healthy and can’t shake his fumbling problems, the Jets will be forced to rely on two guys who shouldn’t be getting more than 10 carries a game: an aging LaDainian Tomlinson and Leon Washington, returning from a major injury. Personally, I think Greene is going to be a 1300-1500 yard back this year but he has never done it before, so you never know.

4. Secondary Holes – The Jets are counting on Antonio Cromartie to fill the gaping hole opposite Darrelle Revis. If Cromartieplays like he did in 2007, the Jets will have the best corner duo in football. If he plays like he did last year, the Jets are going to have the same problems they did at times last season. Dwight Lowery remains the #3 corner and I don’t think he will be getting bumped into the starting line-up in a big spot after last year’s AFC Championship game. At safety, Brodney Pool needs to show he can stay healthy all year or Eric Smith needs to show he can handle a full time starting role.

5. Close Game Problems – The Jets lost on the last play of game two times last year to Miami, once to Buffalo, once to Jacksonville, and basically once to Atlanta. If the Jets could have been 3-2 in those games instead of 0-5, you are looking at a 11-5 team. If the Jets don’t learn how to win close games, they won’t win enough games to compete for a division title.

TOJ Movie Trailer

Who Are We Kidding, Shonn Greene Is Going To Be A Beast Next Year…Cromartie Better Learn To Tackle Though

What About Mark Sanchez?

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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)

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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.

Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Nick Folk, really? C’mon now.

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

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

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

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

Oh, The Madness

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

Looking Over The Jets Secondary

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First a few updates:

1. Austin…great city, I am getting my rest in now before another night out…I am looking forward to a little dinner cheering on Seton Hall over Notre Dame.

2. Just as it was announced the Jets had interest in former Colts corner Marlin Jackson, the Eagles moved first and signed him.

3. It doesn’t look like Darren Sharper will be going back to New Orleans and he has expressed his interest in playing in the New York market. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Jets sign Sharper to a one or two year deal, and then draft a safety in the middle rounds and have him learn the ropes behind him.

4. Quick Thoughts on LOST Season 6 Episode 7 “Dr. Linus” – It is pretty clear season 6 is starting to pick up some momentum. I thought this was a great all around episode. The flash sideways had interesting parallels to the on the island story and Ben’s past. It was good to see the good guys pick up a few people and gather together on the beach, setting up the inevitable clash with Locke’s group. The scenes with Richard and Jack were particularly strong. It looks like Jack is finally embracing his importance to the island. Another great ending this week, with Widmore heading back to the island which should add an interesting dynamic to the conflict.

Looking Over The Jets Secondary

No position on the Jets roster will have more of an overhaul than their secondary,  Mike Tannenbaum has made it clear the Jets will add a few more players to their group which has already parted ways with Kerry Rhodes, Lito Sheppard, and Donald Strickland and only been supplemented by the addition of Antonio Cromartie. Let’s take a look at what the Jets currently have and where they make some additions, along with who the targets could be:

Corners

Darrelle Revis – The best player in the NFL at his position. Tannenbaum is currently working on a long-term deal for Revis, which if it doesn’t get done this off-season will likely be priority number one next year.

Antonio Cromartie – The Jets biggest off-season acquisition so far. If Cromartie can get near his 2007 level of play, the Jets will have the best cornerback duo in the NFL.

PhotobucketDwight Lowery – Everybody is way down on Lowery after the abuse he took in the AFC Championship game, yet to think of Lowery as a complete lost cause would be a mistake. Over his first two years in the NFL, Lowery has been a productive player for the Jets but it is clear he lacks the skill set to be a full time starter. He still has value as a #3 or #4 corner, spot starter, and special teams player.

Drew Coleman – A guy with good speed and value on special teams. However, I think the Jets are pushing it when they rely on him to be their nickel corner. I would rather see him as a #4 or #5 corner. He could have a difficult time making the roster this season.

Marquice Cole – He had a strong pre-season last year and was active in a few games. Rex Ryan seems to have taken a liking to him. I wouldn’t be shocked if he had a chance to gain an expanded role this season.

Safeties

Jim Leonhard – A Rex Ryan guy, who makes the calls in the secondary and had a strong first season with the Jets. He is a blue-collar player, who isn’t afraid to step up in the box and be a physical player.

Eric Smith – Smith started the year off strong  as a role player on the defense and did a pretty good job when he was promoted over Kerry Rhodes. He is better served as a #3 safety/role player/special teams guy than a starter, regardless of what Mike Tannenbaum says.

James Ihedigbo – A very good special teams player and a guy who became more involved on the defense as a blitzer on third down late in the year, which is the perfect role for him regardless of what Mike Tannenbaum says.

I would expect the Jets to add a corner who could compete with Lowery, Coleman, and Cole for the nickel role. At this point, I am not sure who they would target outside of Corey Ivy in the free agent market. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they spent a late round pick on a corner to add depth to the position. Regardless of what Tannenbaum says, the Jets are going to add another safety whether it is Brodney Pool, Darren Sharper, or a high draft pick.

Quick Tuesday Thoughts On Kerry Rhodes, Brodney Pool, Leon Washington, And More

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I am currently on my spring break in Austin with a bunch of my college friends but I still want to get up a short post everyday on what is going on with the Jets off-season….

Kerry Rhodes – Rhodes took a bunch of shots at the Jets in an interview with Michael Kay at 1050 ESPN Radio. You can read the comments transcribed here: (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/2010/03/rhodes-takes-parting-shots-at.html)…Needless to say, he sounds extremely petulant and jealous of the success of other players on the defense. His comments actually make no sense since Darrelle Revis and David Harris were the two best players on the Jets defense last year and neither of them were former Ravens. Rhodes can take his cry baby ways to Arizona, where I hope he can handle being the third best player  in their secondary behind Adrian Wilson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

– Brodney Pool – The Jets are showing interest in former Browns safety Brodney Pool as a potential replacement for Kerry Rhodes. Pool had 4 interceptions and a sack in only 10 games last year. He missed the rest of the season due to injury…sounds like better numbers than Rhodes put up in a full season of work. Pool could be a cheap option that will improve the depth and competition at the safety position.

– Thomas Jones – So much for the thought of Thomas Jones coming back. He signed with the Chiefs today. Jones didn’t really get much of a big money deal. He is taking a pay cut from last year and will make 3 million dollars this year. Unfortunately, instead of playing on a contender in a big market, he is now stuck on a likely 5-11 team in Kansas City.

– Leon Washington – Apparently the 49ers are interested in Leon, which makes sense because of their need for a third down back and their employment of former Jets running back coach Jimmy Raye. The Jets would be crazy not to match an offer for Leon and attempt to run the ground and pound with Chauncey Washington backing up Shonn Greene.

– How about Derek Anderson as a veteran backup?…Benny Sapp re-signed with the Vikings…The Jets are rumored to be receiving no compensatory picks this year, which is no good…Don’t underestimate the loss of Wallace Wright. It is hard to replace quality special teams players.