No Huddle – Curtis Martin, Antonio Cromartie and Tim Tebow

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle looking at Curtis Martin HOF speech, Antonio Cromartie and Tim Tebow

TJ Rosenthal is back with his weekly No Huddle, talking on a number of different issues surrounding the New York Jets as they prepare for their first pre-season game. Make sure to follow on TJ on Twitter –

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As we head into week one of the preseason schedule we take a look back on the past seven days in Jets nation. Never a dull moment around here –

Curtis Martin: 

What a Hollywood movie Curtis Martin’s life has been. From his tragic youth to redemption through the love for his mom and family, football and the coaches who become role models.

After making us all cry in the early part of his story, Curtis offered that even though he never grew up a football fan, the sport taught him about life. His speech taught us a few things too about perseverance, and the value of what’s truly important in this world.

Few Hall Of Fame acceptance speeches have been better.

A Week in The Life Of Antonio Cromartie:

Cro is a character. He’s up, he’s down, he’s athletic, he’s a game changer yet wears a bullseye on his back when he struggles. He’s quotable and he’s always honest.

That said, calling himself the second best WR on the Jets, even if it was taken out of context of it being a smack talk joke, was not what the Jets needed most regarding the passing game. What they needed and still need more, is for a true WR2 to emerge. And fast.

Later last week, Cro then of course goes ahead and almost breaks WR1’s rib during a Saturday night scrimmage. Figures. Only the Jets, right?. Luckily Mr. Holmes is OK.

Now Cro, make the same noise you made last week on the field and off, at your actual position. Be consistent. Lock down WR2. Jump some routes. Be that playmaker week in week out, that we envisioned you would be when you arrived.

As for wideout, if you streak downfield every so often on offense, we won’t complain either.

The Holmes scare:

Taking the Cromartie hit on Santonio during Saturdays intrasquad scrimmage a step further, sometimes a little doomsday fear is a good thing. Do the Jets REALLY feel safe if Tone were to go down? The answer is, depending on how they reacted for those few hours whoever awaiting X-Rays. Depth with experience still an issue.. Relying on potential for a win now team is a dangerous proposition.

Our suggestion? Pick up a vet who has made a few plays in this league before week one. This player can always be cut as time goes on. Be smart, not stubborn. Kids are kids. Give them time to develop and when the time is right, then allow them centerstage. Don’t just hand a young player a big job because there is no other choice.

Obama Chimes In On Jets QB situation:

First off, we truly believe Rex when he says as he did last week that Mark Sanchez is the clear cut QB and Tim Tebow is a special weapon who poses unique problems for opponents. We disagree with the Prez that fans should fear a controversy. We also wonder, ‘Mr President shouldn’t you be focused more on that 1970’s game show host that you will be facing in November?’

Then again, the NFL is alot more fun to banter about than any wonk talk about the economy is. Another diversion from the real issues, by some Commander in Chief.

We get it.

Boomer Esiason Says Jets Should Cut Tebow:

The former Jet QB now turned WFAN radio host offered this opinion this morning, mostly due to how Tebow throws the ball. Enough already with this people.

Tim Tebow is a runner who CAN throw at times, got it? The Jets do. As his role develops into something of a hybrid playmaker based on the potential to line up in many places, maybe everyone will finally believe Gang Green when they say they have a clear cut starter in Sanchez.

Now in defense of Boomer, the Jets will have to slide somebody up to the QB2 role at some point. No backup should be taking and delivering the hits that Tebow will this season. If the McElroy-Simms battle for the QB3 spot doesn’t develop one of those players into a viable 2 right now, the Jets might want to hit the market for a veteran.

Even if the move becomes a trick play on Tebow, who thought he was signing on here to be the backup. Hey, whatever is best for the team isn’t that true 15? You’ve said it yourself, that this is your goal in New York.

On more than one occasion.

Well what’s best may soon mean a slight change in plans. Tanny, Move Tebow to QB3 in time. This way, there will be a viable option if 6 goes down for a period of time. It’s still a passers league right now. The Jets have to prepare for the worst and be able to take part in an aerial show to some degree, if the worst does happen.

Why Curtis Martin Was A No Brainer For The Hall Of Fame

Mike Donnelly disputes any argument that Curtis Martin didn’t deserve to be inducted into the Hall of Fame

Assistant staff writer Mike Donnelly disputes any argument that Curtis Martin didn’t deserve his induction into Canton. Let us know if you’ll be heading out to Ohio this summer for the induction ceremony – JC

While going through my daily Internet routine the other day, hitting up my favorite websites and sifting through the usual Twitter nonsense, I randomly came across a statement that made me shake my head. I let it go at first, because coming across drivel like that is rather common on Twitter, especially when it comes to Jets-related news, as we’ve seen more than enough of lately. But then I saw it again, and again. It started to pick up steam with fellow Tweeters and I could practically feel my blood pressure go up a few points. What was this statement that got me all riled up?

Curtis Martin should not be a Hall of Famer.

I know. Ridiculous, right? My first reaction was obviously to just go on an expletive-filled rant and call the offending parties idiots, but I showed some rare self-restraint. Usually, I try not to get too attached to individual players, but Curtis Martin is the exception. He’s my single favorite player of all time, and I was ready to defend his honor! Or something like that. One of the things I hate the most about sports is how eager everyone is to pick apart truly great players and careers as soon as they’re over. People feel the need to diminish past greatness while trying to praise the next wave of players; It’s bizarre. Instead of flipping out and going Bruce Banner on them though, I read through it all and decided to wait to pick apart these myths and inaccuracies about Curtis Martin. Here they are.

Myth #1: Curtis Martin was a “compiler”

This is a term that people have used when it comes to baseball players for many years. Basically, it’s meant to say that at the end of a career, a player racked up a lot of impressive looking stats over the course of a very long time, but was never amongst the elite in the league. It makes sense a lot of times in baseball. Not about Curtis Martin, though.

Hearing this phrase used to describe Curtis is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, did he compile stats over his 11 year career? Yes, of course. He compiled a lot of really great and impressive stats every year and was one of the best players at his position every single season. So in a sense, yes, he compiled stats: Hall of Fame stats. He compiled them year in and year out, and while other players faded, got injured, retired, lost effectiveness, or disappeared from the league, Curtis Martin was there churning out great seasons. Let’s look at the numbers:

  • Over the course of 11 seasons, Curtis Martin racked up 14,101 rushing yards  and 3,329 additional receiving yards. He caught 484 passes, threw 2 more (both for touchdowns), scored 100 touchdowns himself, and finished in the top 3 rushing on four occasions, while leading the league 1 time, at the age of 31, which makes him the oldest player ever to do so.
  • If you take away his injury-riddled season in 2005 that ended his career, his average season looks like this: 330 carries for 1,337 yards; 46 catches for 321 yards and 9.5 touchdowns. That’s his average, year after year, over the course of a solid decade. I don’t see how those numbers can be diminished. How many teams in the NFL would turn down 1600 total yards and 10 TD from their starting running back on average for the next 10 years? Any? Well, maybe Jeff Ireland, because he’s not smart, but thats another story.
  • Curtis had the best fumble rate of any player with 1,500 carries ever: 0.82%. By comparison, Emmitt Smith fumbled on 1.38% of his carries and Barry Sanders 1.34%. Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett fumbled on 3.07% of his carries, nearly 4 times as often as Curtis.
  • 8th most Yards from Scrimmage of all-time with 17,430.

Myth #2: Curtis Martin’s best quality was his Durability, which allowed him to compile all those stats.

False. Curtis Martin’s ability to play football was his best quality that allowed him to put up great stats. However, durability absolutely was one of his trademarks. His ability to fight through injuries and be remarkably consistent was legendary. But why do people act like this should somehow be a negative? Isn’t it a good thing to be able to play through pain and be there for your team every Sunday while still performing at a high level? Shouldn’t it be a positive that you know exactly what you’re getting from a player, especially when it’s elite production and he’ll never let you down? Shouldn’t it count for something that his teammates watched him drag his injured body onto the field for every practice and every game, never once complaining, inspiring them to play through pain as well? Let’s look at Curtis’s consistency, which some foolishly take as a negative:

  • One of just 2 players ever to start their careers with 10 straight 1,000+ yard seasons. The other? Barry Sanders, and I heard that guy was pretty good. Not bad company to be in.
  • Over those 10 seasons, he racked up between 1,416 and 1,942 yards from scrimmage every season.
  • In 2000, the Jets led the NFL in pass attempts, but Curtis still finished in the top 10 in yards from scrimmage.
  • Before the 2005 season, he missed just 4 games throughout his entire career. Was he just lucky? No, he was incredibly tough and able to play through severe injuries that would have sidelined pretty much anybody else. Check out some of these injuries he played through:

2000 – Curtis played nearly the entire season with a partially torn ligament in his knee. In addition to that, he also had a torn ligament rip his gluteus maximus muscle away from his bone. In Layman’s terms, that means his butt muscle was tearing away from his butt bone. And his job was to run, cut, and get tackled by huge men. I don’t think I’d even be able to walk to the bathroom with those injuries. Seems like that could be problematic on a football field, no? Curtis still played every game.

2002 – Curtis injured his left ankle in week 1. Six weeks later, he injured the other ankle as well, and was given a 7-10 week injury diagnosis. He played the next week, missing 0 games, because he felt new starter Chad Pennington needed him. After the season when discussing the injury, he said: “My ankles were the size of your head. It was the most pain I’ve been in. I had to dig deeper than I ever had to just to play.” No big deal.

2003 – Curtis again injured his knee, but played through the pain. After a mid-season slump when he re-tore knee cartilage, he went to the coaching staff and volunteered to sit if they thought he wasn’t giving the team the best chance to win. He still played every game and rushed for 1,308 yards, despite the pain being so severe he said it “felt like there were chards of glass in the knee”. Oh, Curtis, you little stat compiler, you!

2005 – The final blow. After injuring his knee yet again, Curtis went to Herm Edwards and said his body finally could take no more after 12 games. He described it to the media by saying if their opponent that week had given the Jets the ball at their 1 yard line and said they wouldn’t tackle Curtis, he didn’t think he’d even be able to make it the 99 yards necessary to score, let alone play against 11 defenders. And he still almost went out there.

Myth #3: Curtis Martin should be in the “Hall of Very Good”

I don’t even know what the hell this means. That he was good enough for this fake Hall, but not deserving of the real honor? Please. The Hall of Fame is for the best players of all-time; That means Curtis Martin. In addition to everything i just wrote, the man’s resume speaks for itself:

  • 1995 Rookie of the Year
  • 5 time Pro Bowler (should have been 6)
  • 3-time All-Pro (1x 1st Team, 2x 2nd Team)
  • 4th All-Time in Rushing Yards. I know I already said this, but it bears repeating. 4th all-time!
  • 8th All-Time in Yards from Scrimmage
  • Changed the entire culture of two losing franchises upon his arrival
  • Jets Team MVP award re-named in his honor

Then there’s the single most impressive stat when it comes to Curtis Martin. In a league where running backs come and go, rise quickly then fade just as fast, Curtis Martin played 168 regular season games. Here’s the breakdown of the two halves of his career:

  • First 84 games: 7,194 yards, 50 touchdowns
  • Last 84 games: 6,907 yards, 50 touchdowns

That remarkable consistency and durability, combined with his selflessness, leadership, and incredible skill on the field are the reasons why Curtis Martin deserves his spot in the 2012 Hall of Fame Class. The only crime is that it didn’t happen a year sooner. It was probably because Curtis was never a “look at me” type of player. He didn’t do any dances when he scored, or talk about himself in the media. He was never the biggest, quickest, or fastest player. He was just a great all-around player–and person–100% of the time.

His former backup, LaMont Jordan, says Curtis Martin made him the man he is and that he’d take a bullet for him. High praise. Then there’s Bill Belichick, who said that Curtis “is the most unselfish player ever”, and that he should unquestionably go down as one of the all-time greats. Bill Parcells, who was his first coach in the NFL, and likely Hall of Fame presenter, said it best when he said Curtis Martin was one of the greatest players he ever coached and his “favorite player of them all”.

Couldn’t agree more, Bill. Couldn’t agree more.

The Five Greatest Jets Of The 2000s

 

In light of TOJ Editor-In-Chief Joe Caporoso’s absence, the weekly 12 pack will be put on hold until next Friday. For today, we have a special request from TOJ Twitter frequenter Tommy Lessman to breakdown the five greatest New York Jets from the year 2000 on.

Honorable Mention

Vinny Testaverde – Although Testaverde is certainly a fan favorite of New York Jets fans, primarily for his vast bravado, along with taking the Jets to a game within the Super Bowl in 1998, Vinny’s best years with Gang Green came prior to the new millennium.

Mo Lewis – Lewis was All-Pro in 2000, but like Testaverdere, his best years as a Jet came during the 90s. Lewis is also responsible for propelling the New England Dynasty by famously knocking out Drew Bledsoe in week 2 of the 2001 season, paving the way for Tom Brady and three Super Bowls.  

Chad Pennington – I always say that if injuries didn’t hamper his career, Pennington would have been an outstanding quarterback for the Jets. He led New York to two playoff victories in two separate seasons, including a 41-0 rout of Peyton Manning and the Colts in the 2002 playoffs. Pennington also holds the highest completion percentage in league history (with a minimum of 1,000 attempts), having completed 66.0 percent of his passes over his 11 year career. Unfortunately, countless rotator cuff injuries did hamper his career, and by the time he left New York in 2008 upon the arrival of Brett Favre, Pennington’s throwing shoulder was seemingly hanging on by a paper clip. Still, we love you Chad.

Wayne Cherbet – Cherbet is the ultimate underdog. Undrafted out of Hofstra in 1995, he churned out a very solid 11 year career with the Jets, and remains 2nd in franchise history in receptions with 580, while he is 5th in yards from scrimmage with 7,365. Cherbet compiled 41 touchdowns over his 11 seasons, and was awarded the Jets Alumni Association’s “Jets Player of the Year” Award in 2001, while also receiving the Ed Block Courage Award in 2005. Unfortunately, like Pennington, Cherbet’s career was hampered by injuries, and he was forced into retirement in 2005 after a long history of concussions.

Top 5

T-5.) Nick Mangold – Upon being drafted by the Jets in 2006, Mangold had the immense responsibility of stepping in for New York legend Kevin Mawae at the Center position. The first round pick out of Ohio State did not disappoint one bit. Starting all 16 games as a rookie, Mangold allowed only 0.5 sacks, while committing just 3 penalties throughout the entire season. He is a 4 time consecutive Pro Bowler from 2008-2011, as well as a 3 time consecutive All Pro from 2009-2011. He was the anchor for the league’s top rushing offense in 2009, and the fourth best rushing offense in 2010. In 2010, the Jets rightfully made Mangold the highest paid Center in the history of the NFL. His value was even more exposed last season, as displayed by the Jets’ horrific offensive struggles during his absence due to injury.

T-5.) Shaun Ellis – Over his 11 seasons as a Jet, Ellis compiled 559 tackles, 72.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles and an interception. Prior to departing via free agency to rival New England last season, Ellis was the longest tenured New York Jet. He was a 2 time Pro Bowl selection in 2003 and 2009, and was the recipient of the 2010 Ed Block Courage Award. He always handled his business with class, and was the foundation of the Jets defensive line for over a decade. Ellis will always be remembered in the history of Gang Green, and could eventually find himself a spot in the Jets Ring of Honor.

4.) John Abraham – In his 6 seasons with the Jets from 2000-2005, Abraham compiled an astonishing 275 tackles, 53.5 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, and 5 fumble recoveries. He was a 3 time Pro Bowl selection as a Jet in 2001, 2002, and 2004, and is a member of the New York Jets All-Time Four Decade Team. Abraham is also the last Jets player to record double digit sacks in a single season. Oh, what New York would surely give to have a healthy John Abraham in his prime with Rex Ryan at the helm.

3.) Darrelle Revis – Revis came on the scene after the Jets traded up in the 2007 NFL Draft to obtain him with the 14th overall pick. At the young age of 26 years old, Revis already holds the franchise record for most career passes defended with 95, along with holding the record for the longest interception returned for a touchdown (100 yards vs. Miami on 10/17/2011) in franchise history. Other than the two records the young CB already holds, he has compiled 283 tackles, 18 interceptions, 3 touchdowns, and 1 sack during his 5 seasons as a Jet. Revis is a 4 time consecutive Pro Bowler from 2008-2011, as well as a 3 time consecutive All Pro from 2009-2011, was the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, and is widely regarded as the best defensive back in all of football. By the time it is all said and done, we may not be deeming Revis the greatest Jet of the 2000s, but rather of all time.

2.) Kevin Mawae – Mawae was the Jets ultimate Iron Man, having started 177 games from 1994-2005. In 2000, he anchored the Jets offensive line that ranked 1st in the NFL in fewest sacks allowed with only 20 throughout the entire season. He was a 6 time consecutive Pro Bowl invitee with the Jets, including five in the 2000s from 2000-2004. Mawae was also a 6 time All Pro with Gang Green, 4 of which came in the 2000s from 2000-2004. He was voted to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team, while maintaining a spot on the Jets All-Time Four Decade Team. A torn left triceps in 2005 not only ended his consecutive starts streak, but his career as a Jet as well. Mawae was a vital part of Curtis Martin’s immense success as a Jet, and is one of the greatest contributors to the star Running Back’s Hall of Fame career.

1.) Curtis Martin – No one can argue that the first ballot Hall of Famer has been the greatest Jet to date since the year 2000. Martin was a 5 time Pro Bowler, including 3 with the Jets, 2 of which came in the 2000s. He was also a 5 time All Pro, and was the oldest player to ever win the NFL Rushing Championship at age 31 in 2004, when he compiled a total of 1,697 yards on the ground. Martin was the NFL Alumni Running Back of the year in that same year, along with the FedEx Ground Player of the Year. The following season, he was awarded the Bart Starr Man of the Year Award.

Martin is the New York Jets All-Time leading rusher with 10,302 rushing yards as a Jet, and his total career rushing yards of 14,101 rank 4th all time among the NFL’s all time leading rushers, behind only Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, and Emmitt Smith. He ranks 7th All-Time in yards from scrimmage with 17,430 yards. Martin is a member of the New York Jets Ring of Honor, while holding franchise records not only in rushing yards, but touchdowns as well (58). He ran for over a thousand yards in each of his first 10 seasons, including 7 of his 8 years with the Jets, 5 of which came in the 2000s. While Darrelle Revis certainly has the potential to eventually dethrone him, Curtis Martin is undoubtedly the greatest Jet since the turn of the century.

Curtis To Canton

A few words on the selection of Curtis Martin to the Hall of Fame

There hasn’t been much to cheer about lately for New York Jets fans but they did receive good news last night, as Curtis Martin was appropriately selected to the Hall of Fame.

Martin’s accomplishments on the field speak for themselves and off the field he carried himself in a way that all athletes should. For an organization short on Hall of Famers, the Jets now have a hell of a one in Martin. I encourage all fans to make the trip out to Canton this summer for his enshrinement.

Personally, I was lucky enough to meet Martin back when I was an intern at CBS in my sophomore year of college. He was in the building to do an interview about his retirement and we were putting together a project, that was for our intern program…not for the actual show we were working or that Martin was appearing on. However, he still agreed to sit down with me and be interviewed for our project. I had no experience with interviews and was now doing one in front of the camera with my favorite player on my favorite team.

Despite being the skillful and smooth actor I am now in front of the camera, at the time I was bumbling and clearly nervous. Martin made the process much easier by being patient and as kind as possible. He talked to me for nearly twenty minutes and the project ended up coming out great. He then invited me to go back to the Jets main office in midtown where he was speaking to all the beat reporters about his retirement.

I got to spend the afternoon sitting around a table with Martin and all of the writers covering the team, who were trading tons of interesting stories before he arrived about Martin’s career. To some this might not sound like much of a day, but for me at the time it was one of the most exciting and enjoyable days imaginable.

TOJ offers Martin a big congratulations and will definitely be hitting up Canton this August. I hope to see you all there.

…And if you couldn’t tell, I was being sarcastic about being skillful and smooth in front of the camera.