12 Pack Of Jets Off-Season Thoughts – Edition #9

The 12 pack is back on Friday where it belongs, after a special Thursday edition last week. As always, a friendly reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter. Today, I will be summarizing where I think the Jets stand at each position and what the appropriate moves would be at those positions this off-season. Check back a little later in the day for a mock draft round-up as well.

1. Quarterback – Mark Sanchez took major strides in the right direction in the second year of his career. Despite his inaccuracy and inconsistency, he has the “it” quality all great quarterbacks need to succeed. He plays better when the spot is bigger and has quickly developed into a leader on the team. The Jets plan to bring Mark Brunell back as his primary backup, which is a foolish and shortsighted decision that could kill their 2011 season (if it ever occurs). They should investigate a better, younger veteran option like Bruce Gradkowski, Tyler Thigpen, or Billy Volek.

 2. Running Back – Despite a somewhat disappointing 2010 season, I remain confident that if given the proper amount of carries on a weekly basis, Shonn Greene can be a capable lead back. LaDainian Tomlinson should move into being the primary third down back and occasionally spell Greene. Joe McKnight also needs a shot on offense this year and should be given a few series as the third down back, split out wide occasionally, and have a package of plays to get him involved. John Conner will be the starting fullback, which means Tony Richardson will likely announce his retirement sometime relatively soon.

3. Wide Receiver – The Jets should prioritize getting Santonio Holmes back before Braylon Edwards, which they seem to have. Getting Edwards back would be a nice luxury but it shouldn’t come at the cost of Antonio Cromartie returning to the team. It has now been revealed that Jerricho Cotchery played through last season with a herniated disc in his back, explaining some of his struggles. He can handle the starting role if needed and I think will bounce back with a big year in 2011. It sounds like the Jets are interested in Brad Smith returning, but if the price gets too high they can afford to let him leave. My guess is that it is about 50/50 on seeing him back next year.

4. Tight End – One of the main reasons I think the Jets can handle Braylon Edwards departing is Dustin Keller. He can assume a bigger role in the passing game and provide the size on the outside that Edwards did last year. Matthew Mulligan is poised to become the primary blocking tight end with Ben Hartsock not returning, and should see plenty of playing time. Jeff Cumberland remains an intriguing prospect, who could factor into the Jets plans, especially if Edwards doesn’t return.

5. Offensive Line – Thank god we have Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Brandon Moore. I believe Matt Slauson will continue to develop into a quality starter at guard. The battle for right tackle will be one of the biggest in camp, between Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse. Hopefully, Ducasse can pull it out or it means the Jets wasted a second round pick on him last year.

6. Defensive Line – The Jets need to add two or three players to their defensive line rotation, while getting younger and faster. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito will return as starters and I’d like to see the Jets get Shaun Ellis back on a short term deal so he can finish his career where he started it, and can mentor whomever the Jets draft to replace him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kris Jenkins return at a cheaper price. Marcus Dixon and Ropati Pitoitua will both be given chances to become part of the rotation and both have flashed potential.

7. Linebacker – The Jets need to improve their depth and find a long term replacement for Bryan Thomas, who can rush the passer. I don’t expect Jason Taylor to return to the team. Calvin Pace needs to put together a full 16 game season and reach his double digit sack potential. It would be nice to see more impact plays from both David Harris and Bart Scott, but especially Scott.

8. Secondary – I don’t know if there is a Jets writer out there who is more pro bringing back Antonio Cromartie than me. I am not the number one person in his fan club but in terms of how this team is constructed, he is needed back before Braylon Edwards is. Kyle Wilson gave no indication that he is ready to start and Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery are better suited to be role players. Personally, I don’t think the Jets can swing Nnamdi Asomugha in the free agent market and why go get somebody else besides him when Cromartie is already comfortable in the system? They also need to decide what they are doing at safety opposite Jim Leonhard. The team will likely pick between Brodney Pool and Eric Smith to return, and I’d go with Pool because of his upside. I also wouldn’t object to taking a long look at UCLA’s Rahim Moore with the 30th overall pick.

9. Special Teams – The new kick return rules could arguably limit Brad Smith’s value as a returner and might make somebody like Cromartie or Joe McKnight a better fit. Rex Ryan has said Jim Leonhard won’t return punts anymore and that the job will be split between McKnight and Jerricho Cotchery, which I agree with. Leonhard needs to stay healthy for defense. I expect Nick Folk to remain the Jets kicker in 2011 and for Steve Weatherford to eventually return.

10. Coaching – My guess is that this will be the last year for Brian Schottenheimer before Bill Callahan takes over as the offensive coordinator and Mike Pettine’s last year before he gets a head coaching job, leaving the defensive coordinator position to Dennis Thurman.

11. Front Office – There is no reason not to be confident in Mike Tannenbaum’s ability to navigate through this difficult off-season. However, he needs to get the most out of his six draft picks this year, after the Jets have only walked away with seven players in the past two years, many with question marks still around them.

12. Weekend Video Clips – Sanchise Edition

Concern About The Jets Front Seven

And now back to football…

Appropriately there is a general consensus that the New York Jets need to improve their defensive front seven this off-season, which has been spearheaded by most mock drafts pairing them with a defensive lineman or outside linebacker.

At defensive line and linebacker, the Jets are a little bit old and a little bit slow. Outside of David Harris, all three starting linebackers are over 30 and none (including Harris) have great speed. On the defensive line, Sione Pouhaand Shaun Ellis (if he returns) are both into their 30’s and if you saw Mike DeVito trying to cover Danny Woodhead last year, you know he didn’t run track in high school or college.

The depth isn’t great at either position, Jamaal Westerman and Josh Mauga don’t project as future starters at linebacker. On the line, Marcus Dixon, Ropati Pitoitua, and Matt Kroul have potential but still a long way to go to prove they deserve regular spots in the rotation.

Where will the help come from? At a minimum, the Jets need a long term replacement for Bryan Thomas at outside linebacker, a defensive end to replace Shaun Ellis (even if he ends up coming back), and another interior lineman to boost the rotation and maybe eventually take over for Pouha.

The draft could only solve so much, especially with the Jets missing a second round pick. Hopefully, Mike Tannenbaum’s first round pick can contribute immediately and he finds another later round prospect or two that contribute at defensive line or linebacker. The Jets will likely be handcuffed in signing new players in free agency, as they will be limited by the same “Final Eight” rules they were last year, if an injunction is granted as expected on April 6th.

In reality, it is going to take multiple off-seasons to get the defensive front seven where it needs to be. The Jets can take a big step in the right direction this year by having a strong draft, hoping a few of their developmental players (Dixon, Pitoitua) contribute, and maybe swinging a deal or two via free agency or trade.

12 Pack of Jets Off-Season Thoughts – Edition #5

Over the hump – Are you surprised that in the slowest part of the NFL calendar year, Rex Ryan has managed to make two Super Bowl guarantees for the Jets in the past two weeks? I know I’m not. Rex is going to be Rex. The big talk, the confidence, the swagger…all of that isn’t going to stop anytime soon. He was a half away from the Super Bowl in 2009 and a series away from it last season. What is it going to take for the Jets to get over the hump?

It certainly wouldn’t hurt to win the division and get a home playoff game as a start. The Jets are going to need Mark Sanchez to keep improving, the defense to get younger and faster, and certain players on offense like Dustin Keller and Shonn Greene to take their game to the next level. I am scared of this team turning into the Philadelphia Eagles of the AFC. I can’t stomach any more Championship Game losses.

CSI – I have mixed feelings about Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum appearing on CSI: New York. It is nice they performed so well on Hard Knocks that they have made the step to standard cable. However, it was a bad omen when Eric Mangini appeared on a certain popular television show.

Mr. T – Considering this off-season is going to be unlike anything the NFL has seen in awhile, I am glad Mike Tannenbaum is steering the ship on the Jets personnel and salary cap decisions. The guy has always shown an ability to be creative and work around difficult situations. I don’t know when this CBA madness is going to be settled but I know the Jets will be prepared for whatever arises in the coming months.

#81 – An issue that is frequently being ignored when people talk about either Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes leaving or the importance of keeping them both, is how Dustin Keller is more than capable of picking up the production of whomever leaves the team. Don’t forget in the four games last season when Holmes was suspended, Keller had 19 receptions, 254 yards, and 5 touchdowns. This is a major reason I have argued for bringing Antonio Cromartie back before bringing both receivers back.

Rumors – There has been some chatter about both Vernon Gholston and Jason Taylor being released before March 4th. I don’t think any of us expect either back next year, so the sooner the better I suppose. The Jets still need to find a long term replacement for Bryan Thomas and a guy who can provide some type of consistent pass rush.

Better Every Day – As you have been able to see AJ has kicked off our NFL Draft coverage with an in-depth look at a couple of potential prospects for the Jets in the first round. If there are any specific prospects you would like to see covered, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at JCaporoso@gmail.com and we’ll see what we can do. Also another shout out is needed to Randy Yaws for designing our new banner, which is a major improvement over our old one (sorry, Fanball). Finally, I hope you are enjoying the occasional linkage to my work at SB Nation and Gunaxin, which steps outside the world of the Jets and NFL from time to time.

Winning Them Over – A player who wasn’t very popular with fans prior to the 2010 season but who they now seem to be desperately clinging to, is wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Despite his early season DUI, Edwards won the fan base over with his tough and consistent play throughout the entire year. His numbers don’t jump off the page but if you watched every Jets snap this year, you know how well he played. I hope Mike Tannenbaum can work magic and get him back on the team alongside Santonio Holmes.

Defensive Questions – Regardless of what their end of the year numbers were, it felt like the Jets defense took a step back in 2010. We saw what they were capable of against the Colts and Patriots in the playoffs but they need to play at that level more consistently. It is going to be up to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to continue to break their own tendencies and mix up the Jets defensive approach more frequently. Beyond that, Mike Tannenbaum needs to find a couple of players who can contribute immediately to the defense and players like Kyle Wilson need to grow up fast.

Easy Dealings – David Harris signed his franchise tender without any resistance as expected. He never complained about his contract last year and never made an issue of it during the season or in the past few weeks. I hope the Jets do the right thing and eventually give him the long term deal he deserves.

BT – Even though the Jets do need a long term replacement for him and more of a pass rush. Bryan Thomas did put together a pretty good overall year in 2010. He led the team in sacks with 6 and fits well in the scheme. He isn’t a flashy guy but don’t underestimate his value.

Holding My Breath – What is the over/under on number of days until the next scandal involving a Jets player or coach occurs?

Weekend Video Clips – Glad this isn’t our quarterback edition

TOJ's Initial Thoughts On Jets 2011 Defensive Depth Chart

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First guess on the what the defense will look like 2011…

A much needed reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TurnOnTheJets) and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets)

Defensive Line – Draft Pick, Free Agent, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis, Ropati Pitoitua – I think Kris Jenkins will agree to take a major pay cut and give it another shot for the Jets. What other option does he have? Nobody is paying him with how much time he missed the past two years. I can see negotiations with Shaun Ellis getting ugly, the Jets letting him waver in free agency for awhile but then ultimately finding a way to bring him back on a cheap, short-term deal. Does he really want to go somewhere else after spending his whole career here? He is another guy who won’t get big money elsewhere. The Jets do need to spend an early draft pick at defensive end and should sign a veteran to replace Trevor Pryce. Hopefully, Pitoitua can contribute this year.

Linebackers – David Harris, Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, Draft Pick/Free Agent, Jamaal Westerman, Josh Mauga – This is another area the Jets need to spend a draft pick in. I am not sure what free agency will look like in this area but it would be good to see them add some youth here. Jason Taylor won’t be back. Westerman and Mauga have shown potential in the past couple years and are developmental players. David Harris isn’t going anywhere, you can bank on that.

Secondary – Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Jim Leonhard, Brodney Pool, Kyle Wilson, James Ihedigbo, Marquice Cole, Dwight Lowery, Draft Pick – I think the Jets will find a way to get Cromartie back after dealing with Harris and Santonio Holmes. They can’t keep everybody so don’t be surprised to see Drew Coleman and Eric Smith leave, as they will want Kyle Wilson to have a bigger role and Pool’s play improved down the stretch. I am sure Rex Ryan will insist they spend another draft pick in the secondary, either at safety or corner.

Overall – I think the Jets will be able to get Jenkins and Ellis back on the cheap as they work younger players into the defensive line positions. The bottom line is that long term replacements are needed for Ellis and Bryan Thomas and the Jets aren’t loaded with draft picks, so Mike Tannenbaum needs to hit in the first and third round or get creative with free agency or a trade. Rex Ryan loves his corners, which is why I think after taking care of Harris and Holmes, the Jets next priority won’t be Braylon Edwards or Brad Smith, but will rather be Cromartie. Eric Smith, Drew Coleman, Jason Taylor, and Trevor Pryce are the major contributors who won’t be back.

A Sock Full Of Jets Observations

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C’mon now, you didn’t think I was going to avoid a foot related pun on national “just when you think anything else couldn’t happen for your team to grab headlines, it is found out your head coach and his wife make foot fetish videos and post them all over the Internet” day?

Honestly, I have nothing to comment on it, except for the following:

  1. This was the cover story on a major newspaper’s front page section, not sports section, in the biggest city in our country. What does that say about journalism in America?
  2. For everybody hating on Rex about this, save your hate for Bill Belichick who had affair and ruined two marriages in the process. So what if Rex is into his wife’s feet? A little weird? Yes…actually very weird, but whatever it is their personal life.
  3. Finally, you really put these videos on YouTube and all over the Internet, Mr. and Mrs. Ryan and expected nobody to eventually find out?

Now on to that 10-4 football team, we cover here at Turn On The Jets

  • Despite being the 5th best known linebacker on the roster. Bryan Thomas leads the Jets with 5 sacks this season. He remains an under appreciated player in the Jets system, who does the little things that helps their defense succeed and has contributed his share of big plays in 2010.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson is only 114 yards away from cracking 1,000 and has already racked up 50 receptions. Despite a slowed down second half, Tomlinson has produce enough for the Jets offense to merit his signing. For the record, he has 58 more rushing yards than Thomas Jones and is averaging 4.3 yards per carry compared to Jones’ 3.9. He also has 37 more receptions than him.
  • It is hard not be disappointed with Shonn Greene’s 696 yards and 4.0 yards per carry. Some of the blame should go to the coaching staff for not using him enough or letting him get into a rhythm. Yet, some of the blame has to go on Greene’s shoulders as well. However keep in mind Greene didn’t make his mark until the postseason last year.
  • It is pretty amazing that Santonio Holmes is only 3 receptions behind Tomlinson for the team lead, despite missing the first four games because of a suspension.
  • Braylon Edwards has been impressive this year with 46 receptions, 774 yards, and 6 TDs. He is averaging a whopping 16.8 yards per catch, making a strong argument for the Jets to find a way to bring him back in 2011.
  • David Harris has been very good as usual in 2010 but it is hard to say he has been great or complain if he doesn’t receive any post-season accolades. He currently has 93 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 TFLs, and 1 FF. You can’t say he is leading tackler on the best defense in the NFL anymore either, since the Jets defense simply isn’t the league’s best this year unlike in 2009.
  • You want to talk about filling up a stat sheet? Look at Brad Smith’s 2010 line – 221 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 4 receptions, 44 yards, 1 completion, 1 TD, 12 tackles, 29.1 yards per kick return, 2 return TDs.
  • He is still inconsistent in coverage but hard to ignore Drew Coleman’s 39 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 TFL, 4 PDs, 1 INT, and 4…yes 4 FF’s.

Anybody still trying to talk themselves into New England losing their last two and the Jets winning out to steal the AFC East? Let’s go Bills, this Sunday and then tank it for us in week 17.

One early preview for the 12 pack this week – Darrelle Revis is getting his first interception this week. Jay Cutler isn’t the kind of quarterback who is smart enough to avoid throwing at him and Revis will make him pay.

TOJ Mid-Season Awards

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Here we are half way through the 2010 regular season already. The Jets sit at 6-2 and are on pace for the 12-4 record that many predicted for them. It hasn’t always been pretty but overall it is hard to complain at this point. Out of the final 8 games, only 3 are against teams who are currently under .500, so the Jets still have plenty of work to do. However, here is what our awards are looking like heading into week 10 –

Offense

MVP – Mark Sanchez – Yes, you can make a strong case for LaDainian Tomlinson but I am going with our quarterback who has taken major strides in the right direction so far in year two. At this time last year, the Jets were 4-4 and Sanchez had 8 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, currently the Jets are 6-2 and he has 10 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. Beyond that, he has led the team to two late comeback victories, something he never did in 2009.

Make TOJ Look Like An Idiot – LaDainian Tomlinson – I predicted before the season that Tomlinson would only have 900-1,000 yards of total offense for the Jets and be a clear cut #2 to Shonn Greene…whoops. Tomlinson already has 790 yards of total offense, 5 touchdowns, and is clearly the Jets #1 back. However, he has slowed the previous few weeks and I still believe Greene needs a bigger role in the offense.

C’mon Man – Shonn Greene, Jerricho Cotchery, Brian Schottenheimer – Shonn Greene got off to a slow start but has looked better as of late. Yet, he still isn’t being given enough touches by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer who has been inconsistent at best with his playcalling this year and downright infuriating at worst. Jerricho Cotchery leads the team in drops and really who could have saw that coming. He is also only averaging 10.5 yards per catch, en route to a weak 272 receiving yards.

Make TOJ Look Smart – Braylon Edwards- I did predict Braylon Edwards would lead the team in receiving yards and put together a better than expected year and so far he is making me look good with a team leading 453 yards, along with 5 touchdowns.

Pleasant Surprise – Matt Slauson – Slauson has been very good so far at left guard and made sure none of us miss Alan Faneca all that much.

Pro-Bowl CaliberBrandon Moore, Dustin Keller (447 yards, 5 TD’s), D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Nick Mangold are all putting together excellent years so far.

Getting The Job Done – Ben Hartsock and Tony Richardson aren’t pro-bowl caliber but they are getting the job done also at their respective positions. Brad Smith remains a valuable, versatile weapon for the Jets.

Defense

PhotobucketMVP – David Harris – Most people have been saying Antonio Cromartie, but I am going with the Jets middle linebacker who never gets any respect. Harris has been rock solid in the middle and is a huge part of why the Jets are 4th in rushing yards allowed. He leads the team in tackles and is tied for the lead in tackles for a loss, along with recording a sack and having 2 passes defensed.

Make TOJ Look Like An Idiot – Brodney Pool – I spent plenty of time in the off-season hyping up Pool as quietly being the Jets best addition this off-season…um, what? After missing week one, Pool has been average at best for the Jets alongside Jim Leonhard at safety. So far through 8 games he has recorded 19 tackles, 0 sacks, 5 passes defensed, and 1 INT.

C’mon Man – Jim Leonhard, Jason Taylor, Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson – I know the Island is back now but you can’t let him off the hook for contributing nothing the first 6 weeks of the season. Jim Leonhard has been a liability in pass coverage and hasn’t made any impact plays yet. Jason Taylor had a pretty good start but has been invisible the past few weeks. Kyle Wilson apparently doesn’t know how to find the football in the air or when to turn around, which isn’t good for a first round draft pick. He doesn’t even play on defense anymore, as the immortal Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery jumped him on the depth chart.

Make TOJ Look Smart – Sione Pouha – I have always loved the big fella and he is putting together a great all-around season. He is 4th on the team with 32 tackles, recorded a sack, and somehow has 3 passes defensed.

Pleasant Surprise – Mike DeVito – DeVito has shown that without question he is capable of being a full time starting defensive end. He has also racked up 32 tackles, along with 3 tackles for a loss and is a huge reason the Jets are 4th in rushing yards allowed.

Pro-Bowl Caliber – David Harris and Antonio Cromartie have both played at a Pro-Bowl level to this point of the season, although Cromartie’s lack of big plays could keep him from getting the national respect.

Getting The Job Done – I don’t know if he will ever be a pro-bowler but Pouha has been terrific this year. Shaun Ellis, Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas have been steady as usual. Dwight Lowery has been good in his role so far in 2010.

Special Teams

Just a paragraph to offer high praise to this entire unit. Nick Folk has been unbelievably consistent this year, especially considering how he played in 2009. Steve Weatheford, fake punt aside, has been booming the football and great at pinning teams inside their 20. Brad Smith has developed into a quality kick returner. Eric Smith, Lance Laury, and Marquice Cole have led the way on the coverage units.

First Half Highlights

Grading Out Jets/Broncos

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Quarterback (C) – Mark Sanchez finally gave in and threw a pair of interceptions. His performance was ugly at times but most importantly he got it together and played well in the second half, leading his team to a comeback victory. He made the right decision by putting the ball up Santonio Holmes 1 on 1 on the decisive 4th and 6 and it obviously worked out. This offense has tons of potential that it still hasn’t reach yet, hopefully they will come rolling out of the bye week.

Running Back (B) – LaDainian Tomlinson brought it in the second half when it mattered the most. Shonn Greene was running hard and I would have liked to see him get more than 9 carries. Tony Richardson and John Conner are both playing very good football right now.

Wide Receivers (A) – I continue to be impressed with the season Braylon Edwards is putting together. He looks like the 1,000 yard borderline pro-bowl player the Jets were hoping when they dealt for him. As of now, he is on pace for a very strong, statistical season and he isn’t dropping passes. Santonio Holmes took another step towards getting into the rhythm of the offense, but needs to learn to tuck the ball away. Jerricho Cotchery may finish the season averaging the least yards per catch in NFL history, but he is still reliable. Brad Smith was effective with the ball in his hands, as usual.

Tight Ends (A) – Good day at the office for Keller and more solid blocking from Ben Hartsock, who is quietly a big part of the Jets offense.

Offensive Line (A) – There has really been no drop off from last season, which is a credit to the entire unit and especially Matt Slauson.

Defensive Line (B-) – The run defense was a let down and so was the pass rush. However, Sione Pouha had a nice sack and Trevor Pryce had a tackle for a loss. Big Mike DeVito almost pulled in an interception on a zone blitz.

Linebackers (C+) – David Harris was all over the field and Bart Scott was also active. A very quiet game from Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, and Jason Taylor. You’d like to see more pressure on the quarterback from these guys.

Secondary (B) – Antonio Cromartie played another terrific game. Darrelle Revis simply wasn’t himself out there. Drew Coleman had a few nice plays, including a forced fumble and a third down pass breakup. However, he was picked on most of the day. The helmet to helmet call on Jim Leonhard was bogus.

Special Teams (A) – Nick Folk is a monster. Steve Weatherford isn’t too bad either.

Coaching (B) – I wasn’t crazy about the playcalling from Brian Schottenheimer, who never seemed to get in a rhythm. The Jets were caught napping on an onsides kick.

Highlights From The Game

Instant Reaction: 3 Up, 3 Down Jets Crush Bills, Keep Rolling Through AFC East

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Didn’t that feel a little too easy? After watching the Jets embarrass the Bills today, it doesn’t say much for Miami and New England that they beat them by one possession. Today was a completely one-sided statement from Jets, who avoided any threat of a trap game and are certainly looking like one of the elite teams in the NFL.

LaDainian Tomlinson was the primary story on offense, as he put on a show with 133 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns, including a highlight reel move on a 26 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter. I don’t think anybody expected Tomlinson to show this type of speed after the way he looked last year. Shonn Greene also finally got going with 117 yards on 22 carries, in a much needed confidence boosting performance.

Mark Sanchez has made it through 1/4 of the entire season without a single turnover. He put together an efficient performance with 166 yards and 2 more touchdowns, included a well executed double move 41 yard touchdown to Braylon Edwards. Without Santonio Holmes out the first four games, Edwards has stepped up with 3 touchdowns in 4 games.

The Bills offense is putrid, but the Jets still did the job they needed to. Shaun Ellis banged his knee up but is apparently fine. Antonio Cromartie completely took Lee Evans out of the game. Dwight Lowery and James Ihedigbo each had a sack. Bryan Thomas had a nice forced fumble. Nick Folk didn’t let us get too comfortable with him by missing a 30 yard field goal.

The most important thing is that the Jets are 3-0 in the division. Even better news, Santonio Holmes and Calvin Pace will be back next week, likely joined by Darrelle Revis. The Jets get a shot at Brett Favre and the Vikings on Monday night football and our stadium is going to be rocking. A victory is going to put all of that talk about the Jets difficult start to their schedule to rest.

Great teams beat the teams they are supposed to, and the Jets didn’t just beat Buffalo today they put an exclamation point on their first tour through the division marking themselves as the team to beat in the AFC East.

A few fun stats:

  • Dustin Keller is on pace for 20 touchdowns.
  • Mark Sanchez is on pace for 32 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson is on pace for over 1300 yards rushing.
  • Braylon Edwards is on pace for 12 touchdowns.

Grading Out Jets/Ravens: U-G-L-Y

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First a few updates:

1. For the second straight year, Kris Jenkins will have season ending ACL surgery. You have to feel terrible for the big guy, who is one of the Jets most likable players and worked himself back into great shape for 2010. Despite how well Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito played last night, the Jets have a serious depth issue on the defensive line. Forget the Albert Haynesworth talk…it is much more likely Marques Douglas will be brought back.

2. Adalius Thomas visted with the Jets today, so there is obviously a good chance he could sign within the next 24 hours. There is also talk about a Laveranues Coles return, which certainly couldn’t hurt the offense.

Grading Out Jets/Ravens: U-G-L-Y

Quarterback: (D) – The only positive from Mark Sanchez is that he didn’t turn the ball over. Beyond that, he looked like he was lacking confidence and appeared anxious in the pocket. He certainly wasn’t helped by the Jets decision to use an unnecessarily high amount of motions and shifts, along with Brian Schottenheimer’s play calling. Regardless, 10/21 for 74 yards is a joke.

Running Backs: (C) – LaDainian Tomlinsonwas the Jets best player on offense last night, finishing with 62 yards on 11 carries and 16 more receiving yards. Shonn Greene was simply put, awful. He fumbled once and had a bad drop, along with a whopping 18 yards on 5 carries. Tony Richardson seemed to struggle more than usual with his run blocking.

Wide Receiver: (F) – All I can remember from them is a killer drop from Jerricho Cotchery and a killer penalty from Braylon Edwards. Brad Smith was the Jets second best player on offense but he did from the quarterback position, not from the receiver spot.

Tight End: (F) – 4th and 10…that is 10 yards, Dustin.

Offensive Line: (C-) – Too many penalties and shoddy pass protection in big spots. I wonder when the Jets will start considering putting Rob Turner in as the starting guard over Matt Slauson.

Defensive Line: (A) – Shaun Ellis was playing like a man possessed with 7 tackles, .5 sack and a FF. The Ravens did absolutely nothing running the ball, thanks in large part to Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito who both had 7 tackles. Matt Kroul gave some quality reps and Vernon Gholston was actually very active.

Linebackers: (A) – What got into Bryan Thomas? He was a beast last night with 9 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Jason Taylor was better than expected in run support. Bart Scott had 9 tackles. A quiet night for David Harris.

Secondary: (D) – The penalties were absolutely brutal. Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson have to learn how to play the football in the air. Darrelle Revis looked like his old self. Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith played well but are liabilities in pass coverage.

Special Teams: (A) – Great night from Nick Folk, Steve Weatherford, and Jim Leonhard.

Coaching: (F) – The Jets were completely undisciplined but the reason this is so low is because of the pathetic game plan constructed by Brian Schottenheimer. Enough with the motion and shifts and give your quarterback a chance to get in rhythm at some point. Why do we even have wide receivers?

Monday Night Jets Roster Thoughts

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A few comments on the recent roster developments…

First off, I can’t say I disagree with the decision to release Laveranues Coles. The Jets are better off giving his roster spot to a young player, who can contribute on special teams. David Clowney is the obvious favorite to stick on the roster as the number five receiver, but don’t be shocked if Danny Woodhead or Larry Taylor bump him off if they can put together strong performances Thursday against Philadelphia.

I am not crazy about keeping four tight ends. Clearly, the Jets are very high on Jeff Cumberland. Yet, why not just stash him on the practice squad this year, let him develop a little more as a blocker and hope he can become the number two tight next year? I can’t see many scenarios when Cumberland will be active on Sundays. I just don’t think he has shown enough this pre-season to merit a spot on the 53 man roster.

It is a wise decision to keep Tony Richardson and John Conner. Let Conner get a full season working off the bench and soaking up as much information as possible from Richardson. The Jets need Richardson’s veteran presence in the huddle. Both of these guys will be active on a weekly basis, while we may not be able to say the same for Joe McKnight.

PhotobucketIt sounds like Kellen Clemens is going to make the final roster, which should have been a no-brainer. Clemens should be the #2 quarterback. Mark Brunell has done absolutely nothing this pre-season. He will get the starting nod this Thursday and if Clemens outplays him again, how could the Jets keep him as the number two quarterback?

I think the Jets can survive without the addition of Adalius Thomas. Yes, it would be nice for depth purposes but I like what I have seen from Jamaal Westerman this pre-season and think he can adequately spell Jason Taylor. I also think, similar to last year, Bryan Thomas can handle most of Pace’s regular responsibilities. We’ll see how Vernon Gholston looks when he drops back to outside linebacker occasionally on Thursday. Yet, I would hate to see the progress he has been making at defensive end go to waste. He has actually looked like he could be a capable part of the line rotation in 2010.

TOJ TV?