New York Jets Fact Or False: Week 10 Edition

Chris Gross with his weekly Fact or False breaking down the Jets week 10 match-up in Seattle

The New York Jets begin the second half of their 2012 schedule with what will be a daunting task. The Jets head into Seattle to take on the 5-4 Seahawks, a franchise that has exceeded expectations up until this point through a variety of talent, tenacity, energy, youth, and passion. Pete Carroll has injected a positive influence over his team that is reflected by the Seahawks’ fierce competitive nature.

New York, on the other hand, is on the verge of watching their 2012 season slip through their fingers. The Jets have lost 4 of their last 5 and are coming off of their worst loss of the season, prior to the bye week, a 30-9 embarrassing loss at home to AFC East foe, Miami Dolphins.

This team’s fan base is seemingly on the brink of revolting against the front office, starting at the top with owner Woody Johnson and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, and rightfully so. The Jets have been down right embarrassing this season. 2 of their 3 wins have come against inferior ball clubs at home, games that no one expected them to lose. But when will the Jets win a game that they aren’t “supposed” to? Does this team have the mental makeup to pull of an upset, in a hostile environment, on the road? A win in Seattle this week would surely be a step in the right direction, as New York currently stands as a 7 point underdog. However, this will  be no easy task. Seattle is dominant in two areas that the Jets have failed to respond to all season long – running the ball and rushing the passer.

Will New York dig deep to shutdown Marshawn Lynch? Will the offensive line step up and provide a spark to a running game that absolutely must be ignited in order to win? Will that same unit be able to hold off a tenacious Seattle pass rush and give Mark Sanchez time and room to get comfortable? Will Sanchez be able to tune out the 12th man and stay poised, or will we see him express that look of a frightened turtle, eager to hide in his shell, that we have all become much too familiar with? Find out all of this and more in this week’s New York Jets Fact Or False.

Marshawn Lynch will run for 100+ yards and 1 touchdown. Fact. New York’s run defense has been laughable all season long as a shell of what this unit once was. The Jets currently rank 29th in run defense, surrendering an average of 141.4 yards per game to opposing offenses. Lynch, on the other hand, ranks second to only Adrian Peterson in rushing yards this season, as he has already compiled 881 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground. “Beast Mode” has surpassed the century mark in 5 of his team’s 9 games this year, including a 103 yard performance against the league’s second ranked defense in week 7 at San Francisco. The Jets will surely look to key Lynch, as he poses much more of a threat to their defense than rookie QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ aerial attack. Kenrick Ellis is set to return from injury which will greatly bolster the front 7, but expect Seattle to realize the glaring weakness in the Jets defense by feeding Lynch 25-30 times. With a season average of 4.8 yards per carry, that will be ample opportunity for Lynch to amass 100 yards on the ground, an opportunity he will surely take advantage of.

Russell Wilson will not throw a single interception. False. While Seattle will likely lean heavily on Lynch to carry the offense, they are still going to need to pass the ball at times. The Jets have fared very well against rookie quarterbacks this season. In two complete games against rookies (Tannehill week 3, Luck week 6), New York has yet to surrender a touchdown pass, while forcing 3 interceptions, and holding the young quarterbacks to a combined completion percentage of just 47.5. Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine will surely throw some exotic looks at Wilson, who will commit at least one turnover by interception this Sunday.

Mark Sanchez will be sacked 3 times. Fact. Seattle ranks third in the NFL in sacks with 25 total, including 7 from Chris Clemons and 5 from rookie Bruce Irvin. You think these guys are licking their chops at the though of lining up against Austin Howard this week? The noise of the 12th man, and the thought of Clemons and Irvin slamming him to the ground, will surely affect Sanchez’s mentality on Sunday. Look for number 6 to try and get the ball out as quickly as possible. However, with what will likely become a pedestrian effort to run the football by New York, the Jets are poised to be stuck in some third and long situations, forcing Sanchez into 5 and 7 step drops, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Clemons, Irvin, and Co. will be pinning their ears back and coming at Sanchez like bulls chasing a matador. New York will likely give as much help to the offensive line through protection schemes as it can, but don’t expect Sanchez to be able to avert a hat trick of sacks by the Seahawks’ defense.

Tendencies of Rex Ryan’s Jets on the West Coast will come into play this weekend. False. Why, you ask? Because the Ryan led Jets have yet to develop any type of pattern when traveling across the country. Ryan is 2-2 on the west coast. He has a blow out victory (2009 at Oakland), a close victory (2010 at Denver), an embarrassing defeat (2011 at Oakland), and a Tebowed defeat (2011 at Denver) all under his belt. Sanchez has also yet to develop any type of pattern when returning to his home time zone either, as his career numbers on the west coast (77/130, 59.2 completion percentage, 962 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs), are very…well, Sanchez-esque. With this group, the cross country trip will likely have no impact on the outcome of this game. As for the hostility of Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, that is an entirely different issue.

Mark Sanchez will remain the starting quarterback next week, despite how he performs on Sunday. False. Many are convinced that Sanchez is safe for the remainder of the year no matter how poorly he may play down the stretch. There is certainly good reason for this popular belief. Sanchez is due a large amount of guaranteed dollars next year, and Tim Tebow is a highly unlikely long term replacement for the position. However, has everyone forgotten how big Rex Ryan’s ego is? This is the same guy who guaranteed Super Bowl victories prior to each of his first three seasons in New York, despite the Franchise’s inability to even return to the big game since Super Bowl III. It has to be absolutely killing him that his team is on the verge of a total collapse and that his starting quarterback could seemingly care less, considering how comfortable he has become with his job security. It will take a lot, but if Sanchez comes out and lays an egg the way he did against San Francisco and Miami, there is a good chance Rex finally snaps and gives 15 the nod in week 11 at St. Louis.

Think about it. At 3-6, the chances of making the playoffs, when looking at the remainder of the schedule, are extremely slim. Why not see what you have in your polarizing backup quarterback? Could things possibly get any worse? Oh, and incase you forgot, the Jets travel to St. Louis in week 11, where Sanchez’s former mentor Brian Schottenheimer happens to be on staff as the team’s current offensive coordinator. Can you imagine the detailed report Schotty could give to St. Louis’s defensive staff regarding Sanchez’s weaknesses? It may come in more volumes than the Harry Potter novels. It will have to be disastrous performance by Sanchez, but this is the New York Jets we are discussing, and much crazier things have happened throughout the history of this franchise.

Turn On The Jets Roundtable – Jets vs. Bengals Preview

The Turn On The Jets roundtable previews the New York Jets pre-season opener versus the Cincinnati Bengals

Welcome to our first Turn On The Jets Roundtable of the 2012 season. We will be doing this throughout the year to get multiple opinions in a single article to both preview and predict upcoming New York Jets games. Today myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly discuss what we are most looking forward to seeing tomorrow night –

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Joe Caporoso – It has to be Tony Sparano’s new offense. We have heard all off-season about the “Ground and Pound” so let’s see it in action. Last pre-season the Jets were awful running the football and it carried over into the regular season. Let’s see Shonn Greene churn out at least 4 yards a carry on his touches and Bilal Powell or Joe McKnight pop a run over 15-20 yards. The Jets are depleted at wide receiver but that is no reason to not give Mark Sanchez a chance to work with his new vertical threats, Stephen Hill and Chaz Schilens. And yes, it will be interesting to see Tim Tebow in action. I don’t think we will see much of The Wildcat but I’m sure he will break out of the pocket for a few runs with the second offense.

Can Austin Howard hold his own at right tackle and become a viable competitor to Wayne Hunter? Can one of the wide receivers make a big enough impression to prevent Mike Tannenbaum from swinging a trade? My money is on Patrick Turner or Jordan White having such a game.

Chris Gross – Command, control, and confidence out of Mark Sanchez. – The worst thing fans can do is expect Sanchez to come out tomorrow night and air it out early in his limited reps. The majority of his receiving corps (that he is most familiar with) will be sidelined, so don’t expect to see too many big plays out of number 6. Instead, look for him to, first, be confident in the new system. A very encouraging sign will be to see Sanchez exhibit early signs of the Tony Sparano “Know and know you know” philosophy. Look for Sanchez to show confidence in the new system, while displaying command, and most importantly the ability to protect the football. Improving his turnovers will be vital to his success this season, and Sanchez can take a step toward that tomorrow night.

Defensive Speed – The biggest area of need for the Jets following last season’s conclusion was team speed on the defensive side of the ball. New York is hoping that they improved on that with the additions of rookies Demario Davis and Quinton Coples, as well as veteran LaRon Landry, and a reborn Aaron Maybin, who finally has a full offseason under his belt with the Jets. It will be interesting to see these improvements in speed in live action tomorrow night. Expect Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to come out swinging early with some aggressive blitz schemes

Mike Donnelly – Well I think my Stock Watch this week pretty much covered many of the things I’m looking forward to seeing in this game, but there are a few that bear repeating. Obviously I would love to see the Jets plan for Tim Tebow or see just how much Mark Sanchez has grown and improved this offseason, but this game won’t be a good barometer for either of those things in my opinion. The offense is going to come out very vanilla, work on a few basic things, and then get the starters the hell out of there before any more injuries can occur.

What we will get a good look at tomorrow night, however, is the second string on both sides of the ball. Players like Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight, Patrick Turner, Jordan White, Kenrick Ellis, and Ricky Sapp are guys I’m especially excited to see get extended playing time. I’d love to see a guy like Turner or White really step up and grab the bull by the horns and show that the Jets aren’t so thin at WR as everyone things. I’d love to see Bilal Powell justify the hype this preseason and show the Jets don’t need to go out and sign a veteran like Cedric Benson. And I’d really love to see Ricky Sapp continue his strong play this preseason and give the Jets a dynamic edge rusher to team up with Aaron Maybin. The thing I’d like to see the most though is everyone stay healthy, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that is the case Friday night around 10pm when the game ends.

Turn On The Jets Beat Writer Rankings 8/8 – NFL Edition

Turn On The Jets beat writer rankings discuss the best and worst NFL writers heading into the 2012 season

This week’s edition of the Turn On The Jets beat writer rankings is going to take a break from our New York counterparts. Today we are going to discuss our favorite and least favorite NFL writers heading into the 2012 season. Enjoy and feel free to add your comments here or on our Facebook Page –

Joe Caporoso

Favorite – Greg Cosell/Mike Mayock/Trent Dilfer – I couldn’t settle on one individual. However, what these three have in common is their dedication to breaking down film and providing fascinating, in-depth Xs and Os analysis. Even in the case of Cosell, whose opinion I frequently disagree with, I respect the way he formulates his arguments and can understand why he has his perspective.

Worst – Mike Lupica – Legitimately can’t stomach even getting through a paragraph of one of his articles at this point. He writes about the Jets as an individual who only receives his information on the team via one of Sal Pal’s updates on ESPN or a Skip Bayless rant on First Take. Lazy garbage. Honorable mention goes to the newest scribe at Pro Football Talk Darin Gantt, who seems as if he was hired specifically to post two articles a day that end with a sentence about what wild soap opera circus the Jets are.

Mike Donnelly

FavoriteBucky Brooks – Going outside the box here perhaps a little with this pick, but Bucky Brooks does a great job and really takes the time to research and understand what he’s writing about before he puts it out there. I was put on to Brooks when he put out an excellent breakdown of the Jets new 46 Defense a few weeks ago, and I’ve been a fan ever sense, and also enjoyed his take on the Jets QB situation through a series of tweets. Unlike most in the national media he didn’t just rehash the same old nonsense and write “Sanchez stinks! Tebow is a winner! Last place!”, and I appreciated the time he clearly put into understanding things before throwing it out there and seeing if it stuck. I’d recommend him on Twitter, and be sure to check out his work.

Worst – (Tie) Evan Silva and Mike Florio – This makes sense considering Silva used to work with Florio on ProFootballTalk.com and they have continued to share the same brain ever since. Florio clearly uses loaded headlines and antagonistic comments to lure in readers, so there’s at least a method to his madness I suppose. That doesn’t excuse the fact he’s basically just a West Virginia lawyer who has a limited understanding of football, but still.

Silva is a homer Patriots fan who hates all things New York, he fancies himself an “expert” and talks about scouting and reviewing film, yet never provides anything worth a damn. He has the Jets ranked as the 27th best team in the NFL (I can’t wait to call him out on that one), and tore apart Shonn Greene’s “game tape” during games where Colin Baxter was the starting Center and the offense couldn’t function. Fair and balanced all the way! And that doesn’t even begin to get into his fantasy football content. I’d rather throw darts at a board than take his advice on which players to start. More on this in the coming weeks, I promise…

Chris Gross

Favorite Adam Schefter – Schefter, to me, is the cream of the crop when it comes to, not only NFL journalists, but to sports journalists in general. He certainly has some great colleagues at ESPN like Chris Mortenson and John Clayton, however, Schefter continuously separates himself from the pack with unbelievable insight. Whether it be analysis or breaking headline stories, there is not a writer in the country that gets after it harder than Schefter. I mean seriously, have you seen ESPN during the NFL Free Agency and Draft periods? I don’t think the man sleeps. Schefter is beyond dedicated to what he does, and you can just feel his passion through his work. He never writes with any bias whatsoever, something so many journalists struggle to do these days. Schefter simply gives honest, coherent, and accurate analysis day in and day out. If you had to compare NFL writers to NFL players, Schefter would be in that elite group similar to Tom Brady, Drew Brees, the Mannings, and Aaron Rodgers. Nobody does it better.

Worst James Walker – This should come as no surprise to anyone who is a regular follower of Turn On The Jets. While I can certainly respect the position Walker is currently in, as I am sure he gives valiant effort to his work, the man simply struggles to publish anything worth reading. From his AFC East Quarterback “ranking” system last year, in which he gave no explanation to how he was really ranking them, to his endless posts preaching the obvious (his most recent about New England RB Stevan Ridley and how he must restrain from fumbling this season to earn playing time), Walker truly struggles to write anything noteworthy. He constantly retweets himself on twitter, something many are still trying to figure out the exact reasoning for, and apparently doesn’t like criticism, as he blocked my twitter account after our initial Beat Writer Power Rankings, where I deemed him “the bottom of the barrel” of NFL journalists. Nothing personal, but JW is easily my least favorite NFL writer.

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – August 1st

The Turn On The Jets beat writer power rankings are back, who have been the top mainstream writers covering the New York Jets?

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the New York Jets is back. Myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly have ranked our top five after a week of training camp. Let us hear your opinion on Twitter, in the comment section or on the TOJ Facebook Page…and for the beat writers, we know you are reading and we do award five additional points to anybody seen in this shirt

1. Jenny Vrentas – Surprise, surprise! Jenny Vrentas remains in the top spot here at the TOJ Beat Writer Power Rankings as we get started with Training Camp and things really heat up. Even during the down period of the past few weeks, she remained active putting out her Summer Q&A feature where she asked players on the team a few questions. It wasn’t much, but it was nice to still have some fresh Jets material to peek through. During the past week, she stepped up her game, and in addition to her great work day-by-day at camp relaying all the info to her Twitter followers (all the beat writers do a great job with this), she put out a few great reads – one about Revis and his holdout, one about Curtis Martin discussing concussions, and of course some things on Tebow. In addition, she was the second beat writer (Manish was first) to appear on the Flight 5 Live Internet Show, and fan interaction always earns bonus points in our eyes. All in all, Jenny showed why she deserves to stay in the top spot and that it’s going to be tough to knock her off. – Mike Donnelly

2. Brian CostelloOur man Brian Costello of the New York Post has put in an excellent amount of work since our initial rankings, and finds himself second to only Vrentas this week. Coz really killed it with material leading into camp, including a phenomenal piece on Rex Ryan, which was a bit overlooked due to how great the Vrentas piece was. However, Costello provided a very unique look into a similar issue, the overall physical transformation of Ryan. Coz also wrote a fantastic, in-depth camp preview, among several other quality articles that were published during the weeks heading into camp. Among his writing, Coz had an excellent guest spot on ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd about two weeks ago, discussing the status of the Jets, the QB situation, and a brief pre-season outlook. It will certainly be tough to dethrone Vrentas this season, however at the rate he is going, I would not be surprised to see Costello be the one to do so. – Chris Gross

3. Rich Cimini – Regardless of the general opinion that Cimini is too negative towards the team, he has simply been writing his ass off the past few weeks. Beyond keeping his ESPN blog updated constantly and interacting with fans on Twitter, he has written a few very good feature pieces. Most notably, this one which was well researched and a much needed positive outlook on Mark Sanchez’s future in the middle of the endless line of undeserved criticism for him. This article discussing Darrelle Revis following the lead of Curtis Martin was a unique angle and another enjoyable read. Yes, the critical one liners can be annoying at times but it is impossible to ignore the quality of work he has been producing. – Joe Caporoso

4. Manish Mehta – Manish’s drop in the rankings has more to do with the excellent work of Mr. Coz and Rich Cimini the past few weeks than it does with The Daily News’ beat man. Manish mostly disappeared after mini-camp, and we felt he got off to a slow start once Training Camp really got going before really kicking some ass and getting into the swing of things the past few days. Hopefully he didn’t spend his vacation time getting big-timed by Gary Myers and being forced to read his long, boring dissertations on why the Jets are the worst at everything in a creepy Daily News back room somewhere. If Manish shows up in the next few days wearing stonewashed jeans and blocks me on twitter (as Gary did) then we’ll know he was brainwashed by Mr. Myers and then we’ll have to worry. Also worth mentioning, Manish has greatly curtailed his Sulia usage, and that earns major bonus points. I expect him to shoot up the rankings as soon as next week. – Mike Donnelly

5. Jane McManus Although she remains at the 5th spot, McManus has actually done some very good work over the past few weeks, just not quite enough to get the edge over one of the other four yet. She has been consistent with content on the ESPNNewYork Jets Blog, and has been tweeting Jets updates and news much more frequently than she had been in the weeks prior to training camp. She, like many other beat writers, put out a piece earlier in the week about Mark Sanchez using Eli Manning’s first three seasons as a pro to give himself a curve for how he should expect his fourth NFL season to go. Clearly, we agree with this notion here, as we reviewed a similar issue back in March. McManus has been doing solid work, but just needs a little more consitency to jump ahead in the rankings. – Chris Gross

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New York Jets: Wise To Explore A Trade For Harvin

Chris Gross explores if the Jets should make a run at attempting to trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin

After trading with the Cleveland Browns to obtain Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the New York Jets reportedly attempted to execute another trade in order to move back into the bottom half of round one to select WR Percy Harvin of the University of Florida. As it is now known, the Jets were unsuccessful in their attempt to obtain that pick and Harvin. However, with recent reports surfacing earlier this week that Harvin has requested a trade out of Minnesota, New York could explore another attempt to swing a deal that would bring in the player they nearly landed just three seasons ago. While it remains to be seen whether or not the Vikings will even entertain the idea of moving one of their most vital offensive weapons, if Harvin does in fact become available, the Jets would be wise to look into swinging a deal for the three-year veteran.

With a new offensive coordinator in place in Tony Sparano, New York has high hopes for offensive improvement for the 2012 season. Bringing in Harvin would bolster those hopes even further, and would give the Jets a very unique arsenal of offensive personnel that, if used properly, could become one of the most dangerous in the league. When looking at Harvin, there are several reasons as to why he would be a great fit with Gang Green, all of which fit the identity of the new scheme to a T.

Speed Kills – The Jets are making a big push to add some much needed speed to their offense as displayed already by the decision to draft burner Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech (4.3 40 yard dash), as well as the signing of free agent wide out Chaz Schilens, who has also been timed in the low 4.3 40 yard dash range. Bringing in another speedster in Harvin (4.41 40 yard dash) to put alongside Santonio Holmes, Schilens, and Hill would give the Jets a near perfect amount of YAC potential in its receiving corps.

Big Play Threat – One of Tony Sparano’s greatest points of emphasis in his offensive philosophy is the importance of achieving “Chunk Plays,” meaning the ability to make large gains on any particular play, moving down the field in “chunks.” Harvin would fill yet another piece of this puzzle. Over his three-year career, Harvin has made receptions of at least 20 yards in 27 total contests, averaging out to exactly 9 games per season. Of those 27 games, he has made receptions of at least 30 yards in 15, 8 of which he had receptions of at least 40 yards, all while building a career average of 12 yards per reception. Harvin certainly has the ability and athleticism to provide Sparano and the Jets offense with a good amount of these chunk plays that the offensive philosophy covets so wildly.

Dual Threat – In an offense that will likely see a great amount of creativity and versatility, Harvin would prove to be a vital weapon within this approach. Although he has had great success as a wide receiver during his three years in Minnesota, Harvin has also done very well running the football, accumulating an average of 6.9 yards per carry, with three touchdowns. These numbers are certainly not mind blowing, but impressive considering the fact that he achieved them with arguably the greatest back in the league on his team in Adrian Peterson. With New York’s desire to return to the “Ground and Pound” offensive style, there is certainly never enough room for players with the ability to effectively run the ball.

Familiarity – Prior to entering the 2009 NFL Draft, Harvin played in his final two seasons at the University of Florida with current Jets backup Quarterback Tim Tebow as the starting signal caller for the Gators. During those two seasons, Harvin posted numbers that were impressive enough to secure a first round selection in 2009. With Tebow running the helm, Harvin amassed 99 receptions for 1,502 yards and 11 touchdowns. Conversely, Harvin served as a very successful ground threat in Florida’s spread offense scheme with Tebow, as he carried the ball 153 times over his final two seasons as a Gator for 1,423 yards, culminating in an astounding 9.3 yards per carry, while amassing 17 touchdowns along the way.

A large part of the Jets’ “Tebow Package” is expected to include a good amount of Wildcat formations, however it has recently been reported that New York may be reluctant to run these formations because that would put starting Quarterback Mark Sanchez as a receiver every time Tebow takes the field. Instead, Sanchez will likely come completely out of the game when Tebow enters, which could lead to a more read-option approach under #15, a scheme very similar to the one Harvin and Tebow were a part of at Florida. Could Sparano and Co. rekindle the chemistry that produced a National Championship and Heisman Trophy during the two years that the two were together in Gainesville? Odds are the offensive coaching staff, along with General Manager Mike Tannenbaum and Head Coach Rex Ryan, would be drooling at the prospect of implementing a personnel group centered around Tebow and Harvin. This would add a dynamic to the Jets offense that has yet to be seen in the league.

Production – Harvin’s career numbers in Minnesota speak for themselves. Over the past two seasons, Harvin played in 30 total contests reeling in 158 passes for 1,835 yards and 11 touchdowns. In New York, the Jets’ number one receiving option over the past two years has been Santonio Holmes. During those seasons, Holmes played in 28 total games, while collecting 103 receptions for 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns. Although Harvin has been a bit more productive than Holmes in terms of receptions and yardage, the two have each been collectively successful considering the situations of each of their respective offenses. Minnesota went through a drastic quarterback shuffle last season, while the Jets maintained virtually no identity under the philosophically challenged Brian Schottenheimer. Pairing the two of them with rookie Stephen Hill would give the Jets one of the most dynamic, fast, and youthful wide receiving corps in the NFL.

While a trade for Harvin would certainly come with a great amount of obstacles, most notably the compensation that Minnesota will likely seek in return, knowing Mike Tannenbaum, this move cannot be completely ruled out until the 2012 trade deadline passes. Few people expected the Jets to trade for Brett Favre and release Chad Pennington during training camp heading into the 2008 season, and even fewer expected the organization to trade for Tebow just a few short months ago. With this front office, anything is possible, and a move like this would not only bolster the talent of the Jets offense, but would also contribute to the identity this offense is trying to achieve, something that was virtually non-existent last season.

New York Jets Fact Or False: Bart Scott Edition

Chris Gross with his weekly Fact or False, this week focusing on Bart Scott and what type of season he will have in 2012

Chris Gross is back with Fact or False, this week focusing on the Madbacker and what kind of season to expect from him in 2012. Make sure to give Chris a follow on Twitter

New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott is coming off his worst statistical season as a member of Gang Green. Recent reports out of OTAs and Mini-Camp are suggesting that Scott, who played at a much heavier weight than he was used to playing at last season, is lighter and looks just as fast and impressive as he has ever been. While we should expect an improvement in performance out of Scott this season, there are several important issues to keep in mind when it comes to “Can’t Wait!” For this week’s edition of New York Jets Fact Or False, we examine what to expect from Scott, as well as his importance to the success of the Jets’ defense.

Bart Scott will have 100 tackles this season. False. Scott has posted 100 tackles only once in his 11 year career, during the 2006 season, in which he also tallied a career high in sacks with 9.5. Although the high 80s, low 90s could enter the realm of reality if Scott is truly revived, he will not be reaching the century mark this year. Historically, he has never been a hundred tackle player, and this should not be expected coming off of a season in which he had his lowest tackle total since 2004.

Scott will serve as an excellent mentor for rookie DeMario Davis. Fact. While some may view this proclomation as delusional due to Scott’s brash attitude and questionable choice of action at times, there is no one more equipped on the Jets roster to tutor the young mind of Davis than Scott. Other than the fact that Davis is the incumbent replacement for Scott when he eventually leaves New York, there is not one player on the team with a better understanding of Ryan’s scheme than number 57. Davis will have constant exposure to Scott’s mind as the two will be in every meeting, film session, and drill together, and this will prove to work wonders for the rookie out of Arkansas State. Davis will learn the defense, inside and out, from the longest tenured Ryan disciple, and will likely pick up some attitude and swagger along the way as well.

Bart Scott reflects Rex Ryan to a T. Fact. Many people have discussed the transformation being displayed by Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan. The toned down bravado and lack of guarantees this offseason already have us seeing a side of Rex that has yet to be revealed. However, no one is speaking of the identical transformation occuring within the Jets locker room, in Bart Scott. Scott has reportedly dropped a significant amount of weight and his performance in OTAs and Mini-Camp has him catching the eyes of his teammates and coaches alike, some of whom have declared this to be the best the madbacker has looked in years.

Scott, like Ryan, was certainly humbled after last season. The lasting image most media and fans have of Scott is the linebacker’s farewell gesture to reporters following the meltdown in Miami at the conclusion of last season. Now, we are seeing a dedicated, hard working player seemingly motivated to prove all of his doubters wrong. Scott has admitted that he was not the best player he could have been last season, while also owning up to the fact that his attitude was poor at times due to his struggles and collective loss of playing time. Similar to Ryan admitting he did not have the pulse of the team last season because he lost touch with his roots, so too has Scott admitted a similar declaration. Scott is a pure reflection of Ryan, who he has been with since entering the league in 2002 as a Baltimore Raven, in terms of passion, motivation, desire, bravado, and now, humility.

Scott’s trash talk will be toned down this season. False. Although he is a reflection of his head coach in most ways, unlike Ryan, Scott’s brash talking during games will not diminish this season. Reports out of mini-camp have shown reflections of the player we have come to know and love in terms of his passion and trash talking. Scott has never been shy about being the vocal leader of this defense, and he has thrived in that role since joining the Jets three seasons ago. Scott’s talking is part of who he is as a player, leader, and motivator, and it should certainly be encouraging to anyone associated with the team to see this characteristic return in him.

Bart Scott is the straw that stirs the drink in terms of the Jets’ defensive success. Fact. This is not to say that Scott is the best player on the defense, because he surely is not. However, when looking at Scott’s numbers in terms of the success of the defense, one can not help see a correlation. Last season, for instance, was the worst statistical season for Scott since becoming a Jet. In that same season, Darrelle Revis was still trapping receivers on his island, David Harris was still David Harris, and the defensive line was no worse than it has been in the Rex Ryan era. The defense ranked, statistically, the lowest it has ever been under Ryan at fifth best in the NFL. This was the same season that Scott posted career lows as a Jet with just 66 tackles, despite recording 4.5 sacks. Conversely, Scott racked up 92 tackles in 2009 and 81 in 2010. During those two seasons the Jets ranked 1st and 3rd in overall defense, respectively.

It is certainly easy to point out other aspects of the Jets defense as the cause for their struggles last season. The case can surely be made for safety Jim Leonhard as the key to defensive success, although Leonhard was lost to season ending injuries in both 2010 and 2011. His drop off was not nearly as impactful as Scott’s, as displayed by the defense ranking third in the league without him in 2010, and also winning two road playoff games during that same year. The revival of Bart Scott should be extremely encouraging for all associated with the Jets. If history tells us anything, it is that Scott is vital to the success of the defense which has reflected his play during his time as a Jet. If Scott is truly back to 2009 form, expect nothing less than a top ranked defense from Gang Green this season.

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TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – June 20th

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers

Welcome back to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the the team. The votes are tallied amongst myself, Mike Donnelly and Chris Gross with explanations written by the three of us below. For next week’s edition, we are going to be asking for your votes on Twitter, Facebook and here on the site, so make sure to follow us. On to the rankings…

1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – Vrentas continued to dominate the rankings once again this past week. She ran several nice articles including Q&A segments with Quinton Coples and Dustin Keller, as well as solid piece on the retirement of LaDanian Tomlinson. However, where Vrentas truly shined this week was in her Sunday article on the passing aspect of the Jets new offensive scheme under the recently hired Tony Sparano. Not only was this piece extremely original, as it was certainly the first to give an in-depth examination of exactly what this part of the offense will look like this season, but it was extraordinarily insightful as well.

Vrentas explained how this offense is designed in every facet from route adjustments to the vocabulary. She explained how this system, unlike the previous one orchestrated by Brian Schottenheimer, gives the players much more freedom and flexibility to take advantage of looks given to them by opposing defenses. Vrentas revealed that this freedom comes with a bit more responsibility, as receivers and quarterbacks are required to know the blocking protection, as it affects the passing routes in terms of both timing and design. Jenny also emphasized on the preparation required by players and coaches alike to adjust to this new system, most notably Mark Sanchez going as far as making flash cards to learn the ins and outs of the offense.

This was somewhat of a ground breaking article by Vrentas. With so much emphasis on the Jets return to Ground and Pound this season, there was not been much focus on how the passing game will look, until now. Vrentas continues to put out relevant, original material. She remains the best at what she does, and until someone passes her in terms of content, creativity, and relevancy, she will remain on her first place pedestal here. – Chris Gross 

2. Manish Mehta, The Daily News – I know what it looks like: I accepted Manish’s bribe last week at Jets Mini-Camp to move him up a spot, but trust me, that is not the case (although I happily would if any of the other beat righters are interested. Just saying..). We moved Manish up this week for a few other reasons. But before I get to that let me just say that before old fart Gary Myers sauntered on over with his bad 1987 clothing ensemble and even worse jokes last Thursday to disrupt my Jets chat with Mr. Mehta in a failed attempt to big-time him (Chronicled here on Deadspin.com, and also by me last week), he did address two of the main things that people have been complaining about when it comes to his Twitter page: Sulia and Tebow love.

In regard to Tebow, he simply said, “He’s popular, what can I do? Gotta write about him.” Fair point, even if many of us think it goes a little too far. When I brought up Sulia, it looked like he wanted to just tell me to F-off, but he restrained himself and simply said “Come on man, what do you want from me?” I want you to stop tweeting links to crappy Sulia. That’s what we wall want. In fact, from now on when I want to curse on the internet, I may just simply say Sulia instead. Sulia you, people who tweet links to that site! But alas, I think Sulia is here to stay sadly, and that’s probably the main thing keeping Manish from the top spot.

But even Sulia wasn’t enough to keep the determined Manish down this week, as he did lots of great stuff. Notably, he spent a solid 20 minutes or so on the inaugural radio show of the Flight Five Live on Friday and it was an excellent spot where he addressed many Jets topics, showing how knowledgable and great at his job he can be. (Speaking of being great at the job, check out that picture of him putting in work on the field!) He even promoted the show on his Twitter account, which was also darn decent of him. Beyond that, he wasn’t kidding when he told me he was working on a big article on the defense. Less than 24 hours later, a very nice piece on the Jets defense was put out  in which we learned about Mike Pettine’s plans for the defense and using the “Best 11”. We also picked up this nugget on Manish’s Twitter page: Pettine telling him that they may not play any 3-4 base defense at all vs. division opponents. So yes, it was a big week from Manish Mehta this week, and if he ups his bribe offer before the next rankings, the #1 spot is his–err, I mean, if he keeps up the great work! You got this, Manish! – Mike Donnelly

3. Brian Costello, New York Post – While we don’t want to beat our own chest here at TOJ, there has been a noticeable and enjoyable improvement in Costello’s work since we are started these rankings. His Jets Blog is becoming more of a must read and he did a good job transcribing Ron Jaworski’s quotes on Mark Sanchez this past week. Costello also broke the news that the Jets would not be bringing Braylon Edwards back this season. Finally, his Twitter game has been on point. He does a good job of asking fans what they are looking for at practice and pulling observations about how certain players are being used around the formation on offense and defense. Of course, he receives a major bonus for a lack of Sulia links as well. Keep up the great work Coz! – Joe Caporoso 

4. Rich Cimini, ESPN New York – It has been quite the rough week for Cimini after opening up with two consecutive weeks at the number two spot. Although his “Take 5” on the areas of concern for the Jets was on point, his Sunday notes along with his piece on the retirement of LaDanian Tomlinson have caused the ESPN New York columnist to drop two spots this week. Cimini’s first point of his Sunday notes addressed the issue of Dustin Keller’s contract situation. Rich offered the idea that the Jets would be smart to wait on giving Keller an extension until they see how he plays in the new offensive scheme under Tony Sparano, which places a greater emphasis on the blocking ability of the Tight End. This is an excellent point considering the fact that Keller has never been a strong blocker, leaving a fair amount of question marks about how he will fare in this new system. The problem with this assessment by Cimini is that he was nearly a week late to the party on this issue. Rich’s article was published on Sunday, June 17th. Five days earlier, I addressed the issue right here on TOJ with the exact line of thinking used by Cimini in his notes. Is the former Daily News beat writer a frequent visitor of Turn On The Jets? Who knows? Either way, Cimini analyzed this issue after it had already been deemed old news.

Other than sleeping on the Keller situation for five days, Cimini also made an interesting argument in his piece on Tomlinson’s retirement. First, Rich criticized LT for his post-season comments on the Jets locker room turmoil. He claimed Tomlinson made his negative statements about the organization on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL” as a publicity stunt to pave his way into the world of broadcasting. However, when, at any point during his career, did Tomlinson display any sign of self-promoting, especially with a controversial issue like this? LT was simply asked a question, and answered it honestly. It was the mainstream media that blew the entire situation out of proportion, not Tomlinson, who has been a class act since entering the league in 2001.

Furthermore, in the same piece on LT, Cimini made a claim that Tomlinson’s 2010 season was so impressive that it made Jets fans forget about Thomas Jones. However, when reviewing Jones’ final two seasons with the Jets in comparison to LT’s only two seasons, it is clear that Jones not only had a greater impact on New York’s rushing attack, but posted career numbers in nearly every statistical category as well.

Prior to leaving the Jets after the 2009 season, Jones rushed for a career high 1,402 yards along with, another career high, 14 touchdowns. In 2008, he rushed for 1,312 yards with, a then career high, 13 touchdowns. Tomlinson, on the other hand, rushed for only 1,194 yards and 7 touchdowns is his two seasons with Gang Green, combined. While LT will certainly be remembered as one of the greatest backs of all time, his success in New York was not nearly as high as that of Thomas Jones. So, while Jets Nation is certainly appreciative of what LT brought to the team during his brief stint, Thomas Jones remains, by and large, the best running back to carry the load for New York since the retirement of Curtis Martin. No one has forgotten about TJ. – Chris Gross

5. Jane McManus, ESPN New York – Another very solid week from Jane McManus, and she’s really knocking on the door to move up in these rankings. She kicked off the week with a genuinely hilarious tweet (seen below) after Brian Costello was claiming the top spot was going to be his. I’m pretty sure she was joking, but maybe Jenny Vrentas should hire a bodyguard just in case. Jane may know something the rest of us don’t. Ms. McManus also provided lots of solid info on her Twitter page, with quotes, player info, and she shows a great ability to only give us the important things Rex Ryan says instead of just tweeting every word that comes out of his mouth like some others do. Sometimes, less is more, and Jane does a great job with that. Additionally, she put out a great article on Laron Landry and how he’s recovering from his injuries and what we can expect from him this year. In non-Jets related topics, she did a great job with her take on Twitter of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky mess, and she handled it well. (Jane: 1, Penn State students: 0). As I said, it was a very good week from Jane McManus, and she very well could be on the way up. – Mike Donnelly

6. Kimberly Martin, Newsday – We aren’t burying Kimberly in the #6 spot for the third straight week as a sign of disrespect to her but more as a sign of respect towards the others who have been on the beat longer. For our rankings we are still waiting for that one article or Tweet that is really going to jump off the page to move her up in the standings. We have heard from followers of this article and other beat writers that there other individuals who deserve inclusion in this list. Because of that, we are encouraging you to submit any other writer (must write for a mainstream publication/be credentialed) that you think belongs here. Please note that “must be credentialed” isn’t meant to elevate them above the rest of us who aren’t, it is just that we place them in a separate category and much of what we use in these rankings is how they handle interaction with the players on a day to day basis and what they pull from attending practices. – Joe Caporoso

Next week we will be giving your rankings. Submit your votes here, on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page or respond to Mike, Chris or my Twitter Account. We will publish the results next Wednesday. Also let us know if there are any other writers you’d like to see included in these rankings

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – June 13th

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers

Welcome back to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers as compiled by myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly. See how the writers fared last week here and make sure to leave comments on the site, our Twitter accounts or on the TOJ Facebook Page

1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – In my best Howard Finkel voice: Aaaaaanndd STILL, Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings Champion, Jeeeeennnnnyyy Vrentas! (Speaking of the Fink, any wrestling fan from the 80’s and 90’s has got to watch this video of the Fink doing wedding introductions.) Another excellent week from Jenny, as she seemingly widened the gap between herself and the competition. At this point even a bad week won’t be enough to knock her off her throne, similar to how a 12-0 NFL team wouldn’t be dropped after one fluke loss. That being said, the way she’s going I wouldn’t count on even that happening.

This week she again gave Jets fans all the pertinent information we were looking for on her Twitter page, without any of the fluff or full-fledged Tebow love affair that some of her fellow beat men and women seem to have. All of the relevant injury news, quotes, performance info, and lineup changes are all easily accessible, and she topped that off with some very good articles that didn’t just regurgitate the same old stuff. For example, last Thursday she put out an excellent piece about new kicker Josh Brown that gave unfamiliar fans some good insight into the man who we will likely be cursing for missing field goals for us this year. We’d like to see perhaps a little more fan interaction, but she did acknowledge these very power rankings and her position in them, so that scores her bonus points. What also scores her points is her NOT using the devil of Twitter, Sulia. We thank you for that, Jenny. Keep up the great work. – Mike Donnelly

2. Rich Cimini, ESPN – Another week of consistent content from Cimini, who provides a weekly chat and an entertaining “Take 5” piece which I particularly liked from this past week with a look at Bryan Thomas’ favorite memories with the team. His column on Rex looking to change the attitude around the team was a good read and provided an interesting parallel to the 2004 team under Herman Edwards. However, he had eye rolling article about the “quarterback controversy” that stated nothing but the obvious. Fortunately, he remains off Sulia on Twitter. – Joe Caporoso

3. Manish Mehta, The Daily News – Manish had a solid week following our inaugural beat writer power rankings. Although he did not run too great a surplus of stories, the ones he did run were quite impactful. His notes following the first day of mini camp yesterday were very significant, and he did a good job of reporting on several key issues that have been prevalent over the past week. Granted, the Holmes incident from OTAs has gotten a bit repetitive, but in the defense of Manish, every Jets writer has been beating this to death. The bottom line for Holmes is that he needs to realize, after the events of last season, he is going to be under the microscope of the media every second they are allowed access to team activities. He needs to start helping himself if he truly wants to repair his image. Although most readers are annoyed by these reports, one cannot fault Manish and the rest of the writers on the Jets beat for publicizing it so heavily.

Manish also reported, via his twitter, that people within the organization are becoming more impressed by DeMario Davis each day. Although this is exactly what we expected, it is still significant, and encouraging news for New York’s defense. Davis will likely be used in several sub packages with the first team this season, while developing into the long term answer following the eventual departure of Bart Scott, so any news regarding his status and performance gets a plus. Overall, solid work from Manish this week as he is displaying qualities that, if continued, could bump him to the #1 spot in the coming weeks. – Chris Gross

4. Brian Costello, New York Post – The Coz had a hell of a week in our opinion. His Twitter game stepped up tremendously as he provided insightful updates and made a few keen observations about the lineups the Jets were using on both sides of the football. He also had an intriguing blog update that focused on Jeff Cumberland improving his blocking to lock down the number two tight end spot. Also in that post, he was the first to report that Rex Ryan would now do press conferences in the morning before practice along with an explanation as to why. – Joe Caporoso

5. Jane McManus, ESPN – While McManus does not quite put out as much content as her counterpart at ESPN New York, her piece on Bart Scott this past week was excellent. We will look at Scott’s revival more closely as the week progresses, but McManus did an excellent job in noting that Scott’s notorious vocal activity is back and better than ever this off season. This is certainly a far cry from what we last saw of Scott following the conclusion of last season when he departed the team facility with a familiar gesture to the media present that day. While Scott will likely neve return to being a 100+ tackler at this point in his career, McManus notes that he has lost about 9 pounds this off season, and looks rejuvinated from the player we saw post an abysmal 66 tackles last season, his lowest total since 2004.

Scott’s production level, and leadership ability this season are going to be vital not only to the defense, but to the team as well. We have all come to love Scott for his presence as a leader both in terms of play and vocals so any news that he is working toward reviving himself this season is quality content. If McManus can get her quanity of content to match quality like her Scott piece, she could find herself moving up the rankings rather soon. – Chris Gross

6. Kimberly Martin, Newsday – Last week we didn’t have all that much to go on when it came to the great Rod Boone’s replacement at Newsday, but this week Kimberly Martin really started to establish herself in our minds. She really stepped up her Twitter game and provided all the information Jets fans need at OTA’s and Mini-Camp. She also mixed in some humor with her tweets, so following her also came with some bonus entertainment. And the best part of it all of course, was the lack of any Sulia links in her timeline. Major bonus points there. The drawbacks, however, would be a bit of a lack of real good original articles that don’t just give us the same exact thing we can read 10 other places. Again, she’s pretty new when it comes to the Jets beat, and I expert her to move up these rankings in the coming weeks. – Mike Donnelly

New York Jets: Wise To Wait On Keller Extension

Chris Gross explains why the New York Jets should hold off on giving tight end Dustin Keller a contract extension

For a counterargument to Chris, check out this piece at The Jet Press from Alan Schechter. Who do you agree with? 

It seems that Darrelle Revis is not the only New York Jet seeking a new deal heading into the 2012 season. Recent reports have revealed that Tight End Dustin Keller is also eager to ink an extension with the Jets. However, the former Boilermaker has confirmed that there has been no movement in that area thus far. While Keller is rightfully a fan favorite among the Jets’ faithful for his reliability and chemistry with Quarterback Mark Sanchez, the Jets would be foolish to jump the gun on committing a long-term deal to the four-year veteran.

Although Keller has proved to have the best chemistry with Sanchez, his contract with New York should, and likely will, be based on how he fits in the new offensive scheme of Tony Sparano. There have been some serious concerns about how Keller will fare under Sparano, primarily due to the amount of blocking the tight end is relied upon for. While Keller has always impressed with his athleticism and receiving skills, blocking has never quite been the strongest part of his game. This is not to say that Keller will not develop into a more efficient blocker under the tutelage of Sparano and new offensive line coach David DeGuglielmo, however this is going to be a major point of focus in working toward a new contract. Keller must prove his worth in this system, otherwise the Jets will surely let him walk. Giving him an extension prior to the season, before evaluating him in any real game situations in the new system, could prove to be a poor waste of money if he ends up struggling under Sparano. Not only would they be wrongly committed to him in years and dollars, but his trade value would likely plummet as well.

While Keller’s blocking ability will be a focal point for how he fits under Sparano, it may not be the deciding factor in whether or not he remains with the Jets beyond 2012. In the event Keller fails to develop into a capable blocker, the Jets could find a more suitable tight end to serve in that role, while allowing Keller to thrive in the receiving role where he has had his greatest success. Last season, Miami Dolphins Tight End Anthony Fasano was tied with Keller in receptions with 65, as well as touchdowns with 5. More impressively, though, Fasano also tied Keller with 12 receptions of 20 or more yards. While Fasano is certainly a higher quality blocker than Keller, he is not nearly as athletic. If Sparano, who emphasizes “chunk plays,” can get that type of receiving production out of Fasano (4.74 40 yard dash), than he should, realistically, be able to work wonders with Keller (4.55 40). If Keller fails to prove his worth as a blocker, but improves dramatically as a receiver in this system, it would be difficult for the Jets to not give Sanchez’s favorite target a new deal. Still, Keller needs to let his play do the negotiating.

While it may be unfair to claim that Keller, coming off of a career year with the Jets, still needs to prove himself in order to obtain a contract extension, it is the reality of the situation. While he did post career highs in three statistical categories last season, he is still nowhere near the production level of an elite tight end at this point in his career. Last season, Keller had 65 receptions for 815 yards and 5 touchdowns. The top five tight ends last year, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Gonzalez, and Jason Witten each had 99, 90, 83, 80, and 79 receptions, respectively.

Keller is certainly still young and improving, however he does not yet deserve to be paid like an elite tight end, which is why he wisely would not comment on whether or not Gronkowski’s recent extension gave him leverage. In his second season as a Patriot, Gronkowski set an NFL record for touchdown receptions by a tight end with 17, and had previously caught 10 in his rookie year of 2010, exactly twice the amount of Keller’s career high. Gronkowski has proved to be a perfect fit in the role he plays in the Patriots’ offense. Keller will not comment on Gronkowski’s deal because he knows it has nothing to do with his contract situation.

A realistic contract for Keller would be more comparable to the five year, $37 million extension given to 49ers tight end Vernon Davis prior to the 2010 season. Although Davis was coming off of a career year before he received his deal, his most recent numbers have been very comparable to those of Keller. Last season, Davis had only two more receptions than Keller with 23 fewer yards, and only one more touchdown. If he can prove to be productive in the new system, expect a deal similar to Davis’s for Keller. Again, this is a crucial if.

Patience will need to be very prevalent within Keller’s camp in working toward any movement on a new contract. The Jets will likely not budge, and the tight end will need to let his play do the talking. While it may seem unfair for a player who has done all the right things during his NFL career, while improving his play nearly every year, it is simply the nature of the business. The Jets would be foolish to shell out a bunch of money to a player who is currently surrounded by question marks with regard to how he will fit in the offensive system. Although Keller has become not only a staple of the offense recently, but a leader of the team as well, there is a new offensive coordinator in town, and in a contract year, he needs to earn his money before receiving it.

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – June 6th

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the New York Jets

Welcome to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers, which will be compiled every Wednesday by myself, Chris Gross, and Mike Donnelly. These rankings are based on our composite votes and each of us will take two different writers to explain their position. As always feel free to agree or disagree here on the site, our Facebook Page or on Twitter

1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star LedgerVrentas was the consensus number one pick for all three of us. She puts out consistently high quality content, doesn’t look to sensationalize negative stories about specific players, and digs deeper for interesting angles the other writers ignore. A perfect example was from OTAs last week, Vrentas noted that Demario Davis was working with the first team sub defense, which was a great nugget of information gleamed over by the other beat writers. Her piece featuring Dustin Keller talking about the Jets offensive identity was another interesting angle from her recent work. Vrentas is a strong writer, although we’d like to see more interaction from her on Twitter with fans. The fact that she doesn’t use Sulia is also a big plus. – Joe Caporoso

2. Rich Cimini, ESPN – Cimini generally does a very good job of covering the New York Jets, and is personally one of my favorite beat writers. He consistently keeps his coverage on point, up to date, and relevant. He usually keeps his columns creative, particularly his “Sunday Notes,” and more recently his “Take Five.” Cimini does a good job of using the resources he has at ESPN to provide quality, well-researched analysis, and typically stays engaged with his Twitter followers and readers as displayed by the replies shown on his timeline, and particularly the Jets chat that he holds on ESPNNEWYORK.com.

What keeps Cimini from the top ranking for the inaugural week is his habit of sensationalizing any negative stories revolving around the Jets. If there is a rocky situation, Rich tends to blow it even more out of proportion. For instance, he repeatedly made note of Santonio Holmes’s absence from OTAs, while seemingly poking fun at the fact that he was visiting injured US Troops in Germany via twitter.

He also loves the Tebow drama, but he cannot be faulted for this in these rankings because so does just about every other Jets beat writer. Drama is what sells, and in Cimini’s defense, he usually doesn’t let that get in the way of his analysis, with some exceptions. – Chris Gross

3. Manish Mehta, The Daily News–  Manish took over the Daily News beat from Rich Cimini a little over two years ago, and has become one of the most prolific writers on the Jets beat, as evidenced by his over 30,000 Twitter followers. When Manish took over, he was like a breath of fresh air for Jets fans, and it seemed like he really connected with his audience. He churned out great articles and feature columns like they were going out of style (Which technically they kind of were, since he works for a newspaper and all.. maybe not the best choice of words there). He quickly earned himself many fans with his excellent writing and great information, and I was one of the biggest–until about 6 months ago.

Perhaps fueled by seeing fellow AFC East beat writers like Ian Rappaport and Jeff Darlington receive “promotions” to the national scene for NFL Network, it seemed as though our boy Manish wanted in on the action and decided the easiest way to do so would be to create controversy. And so shortly after the 2011 season ended, that’s what we got: We got harsh articles on players like Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez with sensationalistic headlines. We got anonymous quotes–A LOT of anonymous quotes–that always seemed a little too perfect and wrapped his controversial stories up in nice little bows. It got to the point I jokingly started referring to him as Scott Templeton, which you Wire fans out there will know is no compliment. More recently, he was one of the main conductors of the Tebow Hype Train, and seemingly couldn’t wait to force Mark Sanchez out of town. He even resorted to charting every single pass thrown by the two at OTA’s in MAY, four full months before the season. It was a far cry from the thoughtful and well-written articles I came to love reading two years ago.

Other random critiques of Manish that we’ve heard from many anonymous sources (see, I can do it, too) are that he doesn’t interact with his Jets fans enough on Twitter, unless of course he’s sending them condescending DM’s as seen below so nobody can see how salty he’s being. (Sorry, Manish, but you don’t need Jets credentials to write about the team.) Also, it’s worth mentioning that he’s gone way overboard with this annoying Sulia stuff on Twitter, which is something that should be outlawed. It may seem like I’m being hard on Manish or that I dislike him. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I actually like him and his work very much, and if I’m hard on him, it’s because I’ve seen what he can do on the Jets beat, and I wish we saw more of that guy. Come back, Manish. We’ve missed you. Your spot at #1 can be reclaimed. – Mike Donnelly

4. Jane McManus, ESPNMcManus covers both the Jets and Giants for ESPN and has been a strong writer in the New York market since she started out in 1998. It is hard to put her higher on the list because she simply doesn’t put out the same volume of content as others ahead of her, however she has a unique, engaging writing style and is an entertaining follow on Twitter. She doesn’t use Sulia, which we love and knows how to handle an angry Bart Scott. It would be nice to see less Tebow talk from her and more content on other aspects of the team.  – Joe Caporoso

5. Brian Costello, New York Post–  Brian Coz, as he’s known on Twitter, is a guy I’ve read in the Post for a while now, but only recently started following on Twitter. I’ve always enjoyed his writing and think his columns are enjoyable and good reading for Jets fans. He doesn’t try to create controversy or sensationalize headlines to get attention. He just reports on and writes what he sees.

That being said, Costello has a tendency to be a little bit bland with his columns. He seems to write on the same topics all the other reporters do on a given day and never really goes “outside the box”. By that, I mean I never really get the feeling something is MUST-SEE, to the point I feel like I have to go and post it on a Jets message board immediately to get the reaction of fellow Jets fans. It’s more like bathroom reading that’s used to kill a few minutes–not that there’s anything wrong with that. Also, his Twitter account leaves something to be desired. There are not that many tweets, there’s not much breaking news or info, and he doesn’t interact with fans much. Again, I like Brian Costello, and I’m going to be paying closer attention in the coming weeks, hoping we can move him up this list. – Mike Donnelly

6. Kimberly Martin, NewsdayMartin has certainly shown some promise in the early stages of her career as a Jets beat writer. According to her Newsday bio, the National Association of Black Journalists named Martin the 2011 Emerging Journalist of the Year. While she certainly has credentials, and has displayed some promising work, there is not quite enough of a sample of that work to rank her ahead of the first five. As the season unfolds, though, she could easily move up the rankings.

Since we don’t have enough material from Martin to give her a fair analysis yet, this week’s honorable mention for the absolute bottom of the barrel of Jets writers goes to ESPN AFC East Blogger James Walker. Although he certainly likes to bury the Jets every chance he gets, as he displayed by ranking Matt Moore above Mark Sanchez in his AFC East QB rankings last week, Walker earns a bit of a pass here for his most recent article defending Sanchez. If not for this article, which is the first coherent, intelligent analysis I’ve truly seen him give, I would have used this as a forum to bash Walker for his repeated use of minute points and incoherent analysis.

Take his AFC East QB rankings for example. Walker defers to the “Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch” as the measuring system used to determine who is the number two quarterback behind Tom Brady in the division. However, when digging deeper into this, Walker’s system goes back to week one of last season when it was initially the “Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch.” Walker explains that the column will be a scorecard held throughout the season to determine who deserves to be recognized as the East’s second best quarterback. What credentials does he use in his evaluation you ask? To answer, we have a quote from the first ever edition of the column:

“ Each week, the AFC East blog will keep an updated scorecard on the three quarterbacks, grade each performance on a variety of factors, and determine who’s better at the end of the season.” – James Walker, AFC East Blog, 9/14/11

That’s it. No explanation of what the “variety of factors” is, just simply a “variety of factors.” This leaves his analysis far too open ended, as these factors could vary week to week based on how Walker is feeling. By not clearly stating what he is using in his evaluation process, Walker is ultimately giving himself the ability to rank the quarterbacks on his opinion, since there is no accountability without a clearly defined “variety of factors.” So, Walker claims to have put Moore ahead of Sanchez “fair and square,” but it seems as if his idea of that is based on whom he prefers. I’d love to be proved wrong on this, but unfortunately, the print doesn’t lie.

So, now you have Matt Moore ranked ahead of Mark Sanchez by Walker, who then goes on to praise Sanchez in a defense article noting his ability to play big in big spots, and his habitual winning, less than a week later. A bit contradictory if you ask me. Perhaps Walker smartened up and actually did some research on this one. For that, JW gets a slight pass, but it will be a long season, and he is sure to cause some rumblings in these rankings again.

Still, Walker is not completely off the hook just yet. As pointed out by our good friend Kristine Reese, James is the biggest proponent of retweeting himself on twitter, which would be the equivalent to him “liking” his own status on Facebook. It is simply just not in good taste. Retweeting yourself is a no-no. Get it together James. – Chris Gross