New York Jets: A Few Target Free Agents?

Brian Bassett over at The Jets Blog did a nice round-up today of how the Jets could approach free agency. He hit on a few interesting names, considering most of the Jets free agency hype has been centered on players like Randy Moss and Nnamdi Asomugha, most likely because of their reputation of making a splash by adding big name guys. However, don’t discount Mike Tannenbaum’s ability to look down every possible avenue to improve his roster. Here is a run down of a few players they could target and how much sense they would make…

Wide Receiver – Bassett mentioned both Chansi Stuckey and James Jones as options. Jones jumps off the page to me because if the Jets do lose Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes, I believe they should target him before looking at a big name player with tons of baggage like Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco, Plaxico Burress, or Steve Smith. Jones is 27 years old, coming off a productive season in Green Bay (679 yards, 5 touchdowns) and has the potential to develop into a long term starting receiver. He has played behind Greg Jennings and Donald Driver the past couple of years and could thrive in a starting role with more opportunities.

I am not as interested in Stuckey, whose skill set really limits him to being a slot receiver. He does know the offense and could be a good mentor to Jeremy Kerley, but I don’t think signing him comes anywhere adequately replacing Edwards or Holmes. If they were interested in just adding a slot receiver, I’d rather see them look at Lance Moore who has more big play potential than Stuckey.

Outside Linebacker – The Jets didn’t add a pass rusher through the draft, which has led some to think they will bring back Jason Taylor for another year. It seemed like he was done at the end of last season and I’d be surprised to see him back, unless the Jets get into camp (if that ever happens) and realize they desperately need depth. When the new Collective Bargaining Agree is figured out, Kamerion Wimbley could be a free agent and he has a skill set that could intrigue the Jets. Matt Roth is another player the Jets could target, although New England is rumored to be interested as well.

Cornerback – If Antonio Cromartie happens to get away (despite the 1,000,000 million words I have written against it this off-season) and Asomugha signs a huge deal somewhere else, the Jets could look at Jonathan Joseph or Ike Taylor. Both of those players would be a downgrade from Cromartie considering his athleticism and familiarity with the defense. Yet, the Jets would be foolish just to hand the starting job to Kyle Wilson so they would need to add somebody else to compete with him.

Offensive Line – Personally, I think if the Jets make sure both Wayne Hunter and Robert Turner are back. They will be in good enough shape next year. Hunter could hold down the fort at tackle if Vladimir Ducasse flames out and Turner provides good depth at both guard and center.

Reviewing Mike Tannenbaum’s Draft Picks

Most New York Jets fans are appropriately big supporters of General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, his aggressive nature has kept off-seasons entertaining and helped shape the Jets into one of the league’s best teams. With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, let’s take a look at every selection Tannenbaum has made since taking over as GM in 2006 —

2006

  • Round 1, Pick 4 – D’Brickashaw Ferguson
  • Round 1, Pick 29 – Nick Mangold
  • Round 2, Pick 49 – Kellen Clemens
  • Round 3, Pick 76 – Anthony Schlegel
  • Round 3, Pick 97 – Eric Smith
  • Round 4, Pick 103 – Brad Smith
  • Round 4, Pick 117 – Leon Washington
  • Round 5, Pick 150 – Jason Pociask
  • Round 6, Pick 189 – Drew Coleman
  • Round 7, Pick 220 – Titus Adams

This was one hell of a draft for Tannenbaum to start his career with. It was a bold move to take two offensive lineman in the first round for a first-time GM, especially deciding to pass on quarterback Matt Leinart, who would have been an extremely popular (but in hindsight an extremely stupid) selection. Ferguson and Mangold have developed into the foundation of the Jets offensive line and are both Pro-Bowl caliber players.

Yes, Kellen Clemens never panned out and the highlight of Anthony Schlegel’s career was muffing an onside kick, but he compensated for it by getting Eric Smith, Brad Smith, Leon Washington, and Drew Coleman in later rounds, who all turned into major contributors on playoff teams.

2007

  • Round 1, Pick 14 – Darrelle Revis
  • Round 2, Pick 47 – David Harris
  • Round 6, Pick 177 – Jacob Bender
  • Round 7, Pick 235 – Chansi Stuckey

Another terrific draft for Tannenbaum who traded up to get Darrelle Revis, who is now the consensus best corner in football and David Harris who is a Pro-Bowl caliber inside linebacker. Bender never amounted to anything but Stuckey turned into a quality player who was an important part of the Braylon Edwards trade.

2008

  • Round 1, Pick 6 – Vernon Gholston
  • Round 1, Pick 30 – Dustin Keller
  • Round 4, Pick 113 – Dwight Lowery
  • Round 5, Pick 162 – Erik Ainge
  • Round 6, Pick 171 – Marcus Henry
  • Round 7, Pick 211 – Nate Garner

Without question Tannenbaum’s worst draft and probably worst overall few days as the Jets GM. Gholston was a complete bust, Ainge had serious drug problems and was suspended multiple times, Henry and Garner never played a regular season snap for the team. Dustin Keller has obviously been an important part of the offense and Lowery has been a serviceable role player but the Gholston pick hurts.

2009

  • Round 1, Pick 5 – Mark Sanchez
  • Round 3, Pick 65 – Shonn Greene
  • Round 6, Pick 193 – Matt Slauson

Two more trade ups that have paid early dividends for the Jets. Say what you want about Mark Sanchez, he certainly has looked the part of the franchise quarterback the Jets drafted him to be by winning four road playoff games in his first two years. Greene was a disappointment in year two but his terrific playoff stretch in his rookie year helped carry the Jets to the AFC Championship Game. Matt Slauson is now the starting left guard and was steady in that role last year.

2010

  • Round 1, Pick 29 – Kyle Wilson
  • Round 2, Pick 61 – Vladimir Ducasse
  • Round 4, Pick 112 – Joe McKnight
  • Round 5, Pick 139 – John Conner

The jury is still very much out on this draft class but the early returns weren’t very good. Wilson struggled heavily his rookie year and barely contributed. Ducasse was beat out by Matt Slauson for the left guard spot and will now compete to be the starting right tackle. McKnight showed up to camp out of shape and didn’t give any meaningful reps all season. Conner showed potential and will be the starting fullback this season.

The Jets Don't Need A Wide Receiver

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First a few updates:

1. My bad in my last article saying that Vinny Testaverde tore his ACL, when he actually ruptured his Achilles tendon. I was only 11 years old when it happened, but no excuses. I am getting a little sloppy with my injury history.

2. Rich Cimini returned from a long hiatus to update his blog today and I am actually basing this article off some of his thoughts about the Jets need for a receiver, although taking it a little further.

3. The scouting combine starts this week, hopefully the Jets won’t fall in love with a guy runs really fast and can lift alot of weight, but can’t tackle and has no passion for football.

4. Make sure to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…plenty of good Jets related links to check out today.

The Jets Don’t Need A Wide Receiver

I have been surprised by how many people are predicting the Jets taking a receiver in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. By my count, more people are giving the Jets a receiver instead of a corner or defensive lineman. Nearly everybody who breaks down the Jets off-season needs, always mentions wide receiver right around the top of the list. The way I see it, the Jets would be crazy to spend their first round pick on a receiver. I know it is tempting to add a big name guy from a big name program like Golden Tate or Damian Williams for Mark Sanchez, but the need isn’t there.

The title of this article may be a little misleading. The Jets could use a #3/slot receiver. Basically, a Chansi Stuckey type player with some quickness who could be a viable option on third downs. Yet, compared to their other needs, a #3 receiver is a luxury. Why?

PhotobucketThe Jets have Dustin Keller, who is basically another wide receiver. I know Keller was underutilized last year and was also held back by Mark Sanchez’s mid-seasons struggles. However, during the Jets playoff run Brian Schottenheimer finally figured out how to use him and Sanchez began to play better, and what happened? Keller caught 12 passes and 3 touchdowns in 3 games. He is athletic enough to run routes from the tight end spot, H-Back, slot receiver, and split end, which allows Jerricho Cotchery to slide into the slot. Keller is capable of being a 65 catch, 900 yard, 6 touchdown guy.

The Jets have Leon Washington returning from injury. Washington has the skill set to line up in the slot and catch passes out of the backfield. He had 15 catches in 6 games last season and 123 career receptions. I would expect Washington’s role on the offense to be based more around catching passes out in space, especially early in the season as he feels his way back from the injury. The Jets aren’t going to be throwing him into the interior of the line in September and October.

When people analyze the Jets receivers, they continue to underestimate Jerricho Cotchery. You need to watch the Jets on a weekly basis to appreciate how good Cotchery actually is. Nothing frustrates me more than when somebody like Mike Francesa says “Eh…Cotchery is just another guy, he should probably be a #3 receiver instead of a starter.” The guy catches everything thrown at him, constantly makes clutch receptions on third downs, and is a threat to run after the catch. For most of his career, Cotchery has been durable and if he didn’t miss three games last year, he would have been a 1000 yard receiver. If you want an answer in the slot on third down, split Keller out and move Cotchery into the slot and watch him come through, time and time again.

Most people weren’t crazy about Braylon Edwards’ production last year, and yes he was a mild disappointment because of some key drops. Yet, considering how limited the Jets passing offense was, he still had his share of big plays. I still think of Cotchery as the Jets #1 receiver because of his consistency but Edwards is still a quality big play threat and a guy who will improve with a full off-season to work in the Jets offense, and with Sanchez becoming a year better.

I think Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, and Leon Washington are a good enough top four pass catching options to win with. It would be nice to have another guy to line up in the slot but remember the Jets found Chansi Stuckey in the 7th round and Jerricho Cotchery in the 4th round. There is no need to spend a first round pick on a receiver. How many balls is the Jets number three receiver even going to see next year, considering how often the team runs the ball and how many pass catching options will be ahead of him? If it gets to pick 29 and there is no corner or defensive lineman/outside linebacker that matches the Jets draft board in value, Mike Tannenbaum should trade back and acquire more picks, not look for a receiver. The Jets need depth all over their roster. There is nothing wrong with drafting a receiver but save it for the 5th, 6th, or 7th round. The Jets need help in round 1 and round 2 at corner (we can’t afford to start Dwight Lowery with the type of defense we run) and outside linebacker/defensive end (we need both depth and a pass rusher who could get to the quarterback without a blitz or stunt being called for him).

Cotchery Shredding Up Rex Ryan’s Old Defense

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

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am still bitter about this…1.5/8.

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

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

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

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

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

See Above…1.5/11.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes they did…4.5/17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was traded after week 4…6.5/25.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two in a row? Here we go…8.5/31.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not bad…11.5/36.

37. Most Improved Player Offense – Dustin Keller.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11.5 out of 40? Not pretty.

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

Jets Offense Has Bright Future

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

Jets Offense Has Bright Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could It Be? Another 2009 Highlight Tape

Taking Some Time To Give Mike T Credit

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First a few updates:

1. Check out that new graphic —–>, I’m not bragging, I’m just sayin….

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…everybody is doing it…well now, 181 people are.

3. I will be writing my thoughts on the Super Bowl tomorrow. I have somewhat ignored most of the media coverage the past two weeks because I am bitter and immature about the Jets losing in the AFC Championship Game.

4. The Jets have hired former Ravens defensive backs coach, Mark Carrier, to coach the defensive line.

5. Leon Washington spoke to PFT today and sounded confident about remaining with the Jets for a long time, which is obviously good news. Also, he is apparently ahead in his rehab…even better. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/02/04/leon-washington-expects-to-be-a-jet-for-a-long-time/).

6. Jay Glazer appeared on WFAN today and gave another side of the story of Rex Ryan’s encounter with Miami fans. Glazer was with Ryan that night and said the “I’ve never seen a fan go so far over the line, he said to Rex, ‘I hope you die, ‘you fat piece of crap,’ He spit at him.” He spit at him? Maybe Ryan should have pulled an Artest and went in the crowd. Stay classy, Dolphins fans.

Taking Some Time To Give Mike T Credit

Now that we are out of the season, I feel the need to write a complimentary article about our GM Mike Tannenbaum. With the Jets and the rest of the NFL heading into an off-season with altered rules because of an upcoming uncapped year, it is a good thing we have such a savvy and overall quality GM. Tannenbaum has made his share of mistakes and faced some criticism (mostly from Mike Florio at PFT, who is a Patriots fan anyway) but the guy has been aggressive and made the moves necessary to have the Jets in position to be a serious contender in the AFC for years to come.

Let’s start with the 2006 draft, when Tannenbaum did the right thing by taking D’Brickashaw Ferguson as a building block for an offensive line that needed to be completely rebuilt. He then turned around and used the Jets second first round pick (29 overall) to take another lineman, center Nick Mangold. As a first year GM in New York, it could have been very tempting to take a quarterback with the number 4 overall pick (Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler) and then take a skill position player to go with him later in the first round. They weren’t sexy picks, but considering I just watched Mangold and Ferguson start on the offensive line in the pro-bowl, they were the right picks.

Unfortunately, Tannenbaum decided that since he got two picks right, he needed to balance it out by getting two picks wrong. I am talking about taking Kellen Clemens in the 2nd round and Anthony Schlegel in the 3rd round. Fortunately, the pendelum swung back and he found three valuable players with Eric Smith(3rd round), Brad Smith (4th round), and of course Leon Washington (4th round). I am not going to get at him for late round picks like Jason Posciak and Titus Adams. However, he did draft Drew Coleman in the 6th round with Cortland Finnegan on the board.

PhotobucketTannenbaum made two of the smartest trade-ups in Jets history in 2007. He traded up in the first round to grab the best corner in football, Darrelle Revis. In the second round, he traded up to grab one of the inside linebackers in football, David Harris. Nice. To top it off, he grabbed Chansi Stuckey in the 7th round, who turned into a valuable chip in acquiring Braylon Edwards.

Apparently, Tannenbaum decided he did so well in 2007 that he needed to bomb out in 2008. Even though people try to shift the blame to Eric Mangini, Mike T still pulled the trigger on Vernon Gholston. In retrospect, he should have traded back and targeted either Mike Jenkins or Aqib Talib to pair up with Darrelle Revis at corner. Tannenbaum found some redemption late in the first round by trading up for Dustin Keller. In the later rounds, he grabbed Dwight Lowery (back-up), Erik Ainge (back-up), Marcus Henry (complete miss), and Nate Garner (complete miss).

In 2008, he got back to doing what he does best…trading up. He moved up in the first round to grab Mark Sanchez and then moved up in the third round to get Shonn Greene.

So even though I want to suggest the Jets trading back to gain more picks, Tannenbaum seems to be on absolute fire when he trades up. Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dustin Keller, Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene were all acquired by moving up in the draft.

Beyond the draft, Tannenbaum learned from a passive off-season before the 2007 season to become arguably the most aggressive GM in football. Many people criticized spending so much money on Alan Faneca and Damien Woody but both have started every game the past two years and played at a high level. Calvin Pace has been the Jets pass rusher the past two seasons. Tony Richardson has played at a high level. Kris Jenkins was a beast in 2008 but did have a season-ending injury this past year. Depending on how strong he comes back the next couple of years, will determine whether it was a smart trade or not.

He took a shot with Brett Favre. It is a shame the Jets didn’t get a motivated “I want to get Green Bay back” Favre for all 16 games but at the time the Jets made the move, everyone (or at least mostly everyone) agreed they needed a quarterback. Fortunately, the Jets haven’t been set back by the Favre signing since they have found their quarterback of the future. Tannenbaum also did a good job of getting the proper pieces for Rex Ryan’s defense (Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Marques Douglas). He did miss on Lito Sheppard, but 3 out 4 isn’t terrible on defense. He also got his young quarterback, a big target at wide receiver by trading for Braylon Edwards. Regardless of how you feel about Edwards, he adds a needed dimension to the Jets offense (big-play threat, size).

I do know that with the Jets limited by the new rules and a defense that slowly needs to be re-built for the future (as we will get to in a later article) I feel confident with Tannenbaum at the GM position. I feel confident with Rex Ryan at the head coach position (another good move by Tannenbaum) and I feel confident with Mark Sanchez at the quarterback position.

If Tannenbaum Could Do One Thing Over

Five Final Thoughts on Jets/Dolphins Monday Night Game

First a few updates:

1. Jerricho Cotchery and Damien Woody are both expected to be in the starting line-up tonight. Cotchery may not be at 100 percent, so it will be interesting to see if the Jets spell him occasionally with Brad Smith and David Clowney. On defense, the good is news is that Calvin Pace is back. The bad news is that Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland won’t be playing again…fortunately, Miami’s starting receivers are better cast as #3 and 4 receivers.

2. Peter King dropped the Jets down to #8 in his Power Rankings and picked the Dolphins to win tonight, as are more people than I expected. The Jets are only 1 point favorites despite having a 2 game better record…we shall see tonight.

3. You have to love Paplebon choking in the 9th and the Red Sox getting swept out of the playoffs, the same day the Yankees swept the Twins and the same day the Patriots lost. Watching all those depressed/confused faces in Fenway, I have to say things are starting to feel right in the sports world again.

4. Congrats to Eric Mangini for getting his first win in Cleveland, despite his quarterback going 2/17 for 23 yards with an INT. I am 90 percent confident I could have replicated those stats, if I was under center for the Browns yesterday. Chansi Stuckey must be crying himself to sleep looking at pictures of Mark Sanchez.

Five Final Thoughts on Jets/Dolphins Monday Night Game

1. Back to Basics – The Jets need to run the football tonight, early and often. Expect to see Thomas Jones and Leon Washington have their stats look similar to the way they did in the Houston game. Also, don’t be shocked to Shonn Greene get a series in each half. The Jets offensive line has something to prove tonight.

2. When We Do Throw – The Jets will take at least one shot down the field to Braylon Edwards tonight who racked up his only three 100 yard efforts last year in primetime. It will be a message to upcoming defensive coordinators about the new capabilities of this offense. I am going to predict Edwards ends up with 4 catches for 62 yards. Also keep an eye on Dustin Keller, because the Dolphins linebackers and safeties aren’t good in coverage…remember what Dallas Clark did to them a few weeks back.

3. Mismatch – I wouldn’t start Chad Henne on my fantasy team tonight. The guy is going to be in for a rough night facing a Jets pass rush bolstered by Calvin Pace and a Jets secondary that should be able to handle the Dolphins receivers even without Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland. Ronnine Brown might throw for more yards than Henne tonight.

4. It All Comes Down To – The Jets ability to stop the run. If Miami can’t move the football on the ground, they have no chance to even remain competitive tonight. However, if Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams get going the Jets could be in for a long night.

5. Bury Them – The Jets can basically bury the Dolphins with a win tonight by opening up a 3 game lead over them. I hate to pencil in victories but the Jets get the Bills and Raiders the next two weeks, which means they can open up even more space throughout October.

Turn On the Jets TV Episode V

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Midnight Miracle

Welcome to New York Braylon

You can never rest easy with Mike Tannenbaum at GM, whether it is spending big money for Alan Faneca, Kris Jenkins, Damien Woody, and Calvin Pace or trading up Brett Favre right before the Jets first pre-season game, or trading up for Mark Sanchez in this year’s draft, or now swinging a trade for Braylon Edwards as the Jets approach week five.

The Jets have been after a big name receiver all off-season and just when it was beginning to come apparent that they may have dropped the ball by not acquiring one, they managed to get some help from our old buddy Eric Mangini in Cleveland, who appears to have an infatuation with ex-Jets players. The Browns have now acquired CJ Mosley, Eric Barton, Kenyon Coleman, Brett Ratliff, Hank Poteat, David Bowens, Jason Trusnik, and Chansi Stuckey…all Jets last season.

Over the past two weeks, it had become clear that the Jets needed another option in their passing game. Chansi Stuckeyhas three catches for 19 yards over the past two games, including a key drop on a third down against New Orleans. Brad Smith only has three catches the entire season and David Clowney is yet to have a ball thrown his way. Jerricho Cotchery has been doing above and beyond his job with no support. Cotchery currently has 23 catches for 356 yards.

Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News pointed out these stats today, which show how badly the Jets needed to make some type of move: Cotchery caught 23 of the 34 balls thrown to him (68%), while Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith and David Clowney have combined for only 14 catches out of 33 throws (42%).

Anyway on to Braylon Edwards, let’s start out with the negatives. Edwards has had multiple off the field issues, including a recent assault accusation against one of LeBron James’ friends, which is still being looked into. He has also been fined in the past for driving 120 miles per hour. Last season was a huge disappointment for Edwards, who struggled with drops on his way to having 55 catches for 873 yards, along with three touchdowns. This season he has 10 catches for 139 yards with 0 touchdowns.

The positives? Edwards is 6’3, 215 pounds. In 2007, he caught 80 passes for 1289 yards and 16…yes 16 touchdowns. Jerricho Cotchery has 14 career touchdowns in his 6 year career, Edwards had 16 in one season. He is a legitimate deep threat, who will prevent teams from double teaming Cotchery and not let teams overload the box because they have no fear of getting beat deep. His presence in the line-up will open up the Jets running game, aid in Mark Sanchez’s growth, and help the production of both Cotchery and Dustin Keller.

The trade? The Jets had to give up Stuckey and backup linebacker/special teams ace Jason Trusnik. You have to feel bad for those two guys going from the 3-1 Rex Ryan Jets to the 0-4 Eric Mangini Browns. It is also being reported the Jets gave up a 3rd and 5th round pick, although the year hasn’t been disclosed on the picks. Keep in mind, the Jets traded a conditional third round pick for Lito Sheppard, yet it remains to be seen whether he will reach the conditions necessary to make it a third round pick.

I am not sure how much Edwards will play this Monday night since he only has 5 days to pick up the offense, but I would expect to see plenty of him against the Dolphins. Brian Daboll likely took many aspects of Brian Schottenheimer’s scheme to Cleveland, so Edwards should be able to quickly pick it up. Also, the Jets can assist Edwards by tagging his routes in the play calls this week, while he acclimates to the new system.

Overall, this is a deal that can help take the Jets offense to the next level that didn’t cost them too much. In reality, you gave up a slot receiver, a backup linebacker, and two mid-round picks for a potential #1 receiver to support your franchise quarterback. On a 3-1 team that figures to be competing for an AFC East title and maybe more…the deal makes sense.

Start Getting Excited Jets Fans

Grading Out the Jets/Saints Game

First a few updates:

1. Damien Woody left the game in the second half with an ankle injury and was replaced by Wayne Hunter. Apparently it isn’t that serious and Woody absolutely expects to play this Monday night. There is no question that the Jets offensive line is off to slow start, which could be attributed to the missed time of many of the starters in the pre-season or maybe Woody and Alan Faneca are getting a step slower at their age.

2. Shonn Greene also has an ankle injury that isn’t considered serious, but if it wasn’t that bad why didn’t the Jets use him in the second half after such a strong showing on his first four carries? Obviously the status of Woody and Greene will be something to keep an eye on all week, but at least they have an extra day to get healthy since the Jets are playing on Monday night.

3. I’d be shocked if Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland weren’t ready to go this week.

4. The Jets bumped down to #6 Peter King’s weekly power rankings and Darrelle Revis climbed to #4 on his MVP watch list, after another strong showing.

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

Grading Out the Jets/Saints Game

Quarterbacks: (F) It was about as bad as it could get for Mark Sanchez yesterday. He directly handed the Saints 14 points off turnovers, including a telegraphed interception and a fumble in the end-zone where he held on to the ball for too long. There were also two more late interceptions on forced passes as the Jets attempted a desperation comeback. We’ll learn about the rookie this Monday night by seeing how he responds to his first poor performance in a nationally televised game on the road against a hated division rival. Give Sanchez credit for taking the blame after the loss but he needs to learn from his mistakes and start immediately protecting the ball better. He also needs to stop getting personal fouls for taking out people’s legs on his interceptions.

Running Backs: (C) Thomas Jones got off to another sluggish start but looked substantially better after Shonn Greene began taking his reps. Greene tweaked his ankle after only four carries and wasn’t used in the rest of the game after his strong start (4 carries, 23 yards). Leon Washington wasn’t involved with only 4 carries. The Seminole package looked good but the Jets still aren’t a anywhere near where they were last year running the football.

Wide Receivers: (C) Jerricho Cotchery had another good effort (5 catches, 71 yards) but did have a key dropped pass on a third down. Chansi Stuckey was invisible for the second week in a row. Brad Smith made an impact with a big run in the Seminole package and also registered a reception. David Clowney was active but still hasn’t had a pass thrown his way in four weeks. Somebody needs to step up to support Cotchery.

Tight Ends: (C) Dustin Keller had a big grab down the seam but the Jets need more out of him than 31 yards receiving. Since week one, his yardage totals have been extremely low and he hasn’t been the consistent impact player he was during stretches of time last year.

Offensive LIne: (D) Another sub-par effort by this unit, who just hasn’t looked right this season. I don’t know if it is because of age or because they didn’t play together alot in the pre-season but they aren’t producing. Mark Sanchez can’t be sacked four times and the ground game can’t keep struggling like this if the Jets are going to be serious contenders.

Defensive Line: (B) Good all around effort up front, especially in the short yardage situations. Sione Pouha (3 tackles) and Marques Douglas (5 tackles, 1 TFL) were particularly active. Kris Jenkins played well but had a killer offsides penalty on a fourth and short situation.

Linebackers: (A-) David Harris racked up 12 tackles and Bart Scott had a pair of tackles for a loss and a quarterback hit. Bryan Thomas had his best game of the season. Vernon Gholston registered one tackle and failed to record a sack in any of his four starts. Fortunately, the Jets best pass rusher, Calvin Pace is returning from suspension this week.

Secondary: (A) Despite being without Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland for the second straight week, the unit had a very good effort. Darrelle Revis knocked down 3 passes and held Marques Colston without a reception. Both of his catches came with Drew Coleman on him, who still played a pretty good game as the nickle back. Dwight Lowery was solid and made a great play on a deep ball to Robert Meachem. Kerry Rhodes saved a touchdown on the first drive of the game by knocking away a pass intended for Reggie Bush and had 8 tackles. Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith had quiet games.

Special Teams: (B) Jay Feely is putting together a very good season. Steve Weatherford had a bad shank but responded with a 56 yard punt. Leon Washington never got a chance to get going because the Saints forced him into a touchback every time but once.

Coaching: (C) Some questionable play calling in short yardage situations. The defense did their job and had a strong all around game plan but the offense let the entire team down. Let’s see how this staff will respond to their first loss and how they can motivate their team against inferior opponents the next four weeks.

Jets/Saints Game Highlights

Welcome to the NFL, Rookie: Jets vs. Saints Instant Reaction

Well, I guess we aren’t going undefeated. You can’t win in the NFL when you turn the football over and the Jets let a great performance by their defense go to waste today. There are inevitable negatives when you start a rookie quarterback and today we were reminded firsthand that the Jets are going to lose some games this season because of Mark Sanchez’s inexperience. Yet, step back from the cliff Jets fans there is still plenty to feel good about for the 2009 season.

Sanchez, Offense Let-Down…The Jets defense held the Saints to 10 points today, forced Reggie Bush to fumble which set up the Jets only touchdown, held Drew Brees to under 200 yards of passing and a QB rating of 78.9…that should have been enough for a victory today. Unfortunately, Sanchez didn’t give the Jets a chance by directly handing the Saints 14 points. On his first interception, he locked on to Dustin Keller and turned a Jets red-zone opportunity into a 99 yard Saints touchdown. On his fumble, Sanchez needs to have the mental clock in his head go off and he has to get rid of the football. I also wasn’t crazy about Brian Schottenheimer throwing the ball twice on 3rd and 1 and then finally deciding to run on 3rd and 2 in the Jets goal-line personnel group. Regardless, the Jets still aren’t running the ball very well. Shonn Greene looked very good off the bench with 4 carries for 23 yards but then left with an injury. Why can’t this guy stay healthy? Chansi Stuckey has also pulled a disappearing act for the second week in a row.

Defense Is Real Deal…I already mentioned their impressive stats and they also stepped up with a goal-line stand and a stop on 4th and inches. This team is absolutely legit on the defensive side of the football. Darrelle Revis had another great game and David Harris was all over the field with 12 tackles. They received no help from the offense and still kept the Jets in the game until late into the fourth quarter.

At Least Feel Good About…the next 4 games on the Jets schedule – Miami (1-3), Buffalo (1-3), Oakland (1-3), Miami (1-3) and then a bye week…Calvin Pace is back this week…the Jets will receive less national attention now as a contender and most people will jump off their bandwagon as a contender allowing them to go about their business and deal with a little less pressure…we will get to see how Mark Sanchez responds to a bad performance on national television…at least he got this type of performance out of his system early in the season.