Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Nick Folk, really? C’mon now.

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

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

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

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

Oh, The Madness

Free Agent Anxiety: Where Do The Jets Go From Here?

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I was clearly spoiled by the past two off-seasons from the Jets. Since Thursday, they have pulled off two pretty major trades and I am still sitting here getting anxious because there isn’t much talk out there about any substantive transactions on the horizon for them. Only one new player has been added so far: Antonio Cromartie, while Kerry Rhodes, Donald Strickland, Lito Sheppard, and likely Thomas Jones have all been let go. The future in green and white of Marques Douglas, Wallace Wright, Howard Green, and to some extent Leon Washington remain up in the air. I am confident Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets scouting department will do a good job in the draft with their current six selections, but beyond that what is left for this Jets off-season? Let’s take a quick position by position run through –

Quarterback – It doesn’t look like the Jets will be bringing in a veteran backup for Mark Sanchez. I can’t see any team showing any interest in Kellen Clemens as a RFA or even in a trade, meaning he will likely be back. The Jets organization seems to be pretty high on the potential of both Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the three of them battle for the #2 spot behind Sanchez in 2010. The idea of Chad Pennington coming back ended when he re-signed with the Dolphins and there has been other movement with backup quarterbacks, David Carr to San Francisco, AJ Feely to the Rams and rumors of other movement, Jim Sorgi to the Giants and Jeff Garcia to multiple teams but there hasn’t been anything reported on the Jets showing interest in any quarterbacks.

PhotobucketRunning Back – Thomas Jones has most recently been linked to the Chiefs and it sounds like a long shot he will end up back with the Jets. Mike Tannenbaum has said the Jets will add a veteran running back but I think he could wait until the summer to see what some of the training camp cuts are. He discussed Tony Richardson in a conference call with reporters today, saying it was a “priority” to re-sign him which is good news. I am sure at his age, Richardson would like to come back for another year with the Jets instead of moving out to another team. There is no reason to go cheap at fullback, especially with a lack of veteran leadership now at the running back position. I still doubt any team signs Leon Washington to a contract as a RFA, but that could just be a hopeful thought.

Wide Receiver – Another key point of Tannenbaum’s conference call today was confirming the Jets interest in Laveranues Coles. It has been reported over the past week that LC has an interest in returning to New York and I think he could be a good fit in the Jets offense. He has the skill set to be a very good slot receiver, as long as at this stage of his career he can accept a more limited role.

Tight End – The Jets re-signed backup tight end Ben Hartsock to a 2 year deal today. I believed the Jets could upgrade over him to a slightly more versatile guy. Hartsock is basically another tackle out there, but I suppose his value as a blocker is crucial in the type of offense the Jets run.

Offensive Line – Haven’t heard much of anything at this position but I still expect the Jets to spend a mid or late round pick on an offensive lineman.

Defensive Line – Marques Douglas is rightly attracting alot of interest in the free agent market but as I have written many times here before, the Jets would be foolish not to bring him back. Pay the guy his money. Quality 3-4 defensive ends are hard to come by and the Jets had one last year in Douglas. Even if the Jets bring Douglas back, I could still see them taking a defensive lineman in the first or second round…Dan Williams and Jared Odrick are some first round names that have been linked to the Jets in a few mock drafts.

Linebackers – Adalius Thomas hasn’t been released by the Patriots yet but when he is, I would expect the Jets to act quickly. They could also look for a pass rushing prospect at outside linebacker in the first or second round of the draft.

Secondary – Mike Tannenbaum has made it sound like he will be adding two or three more members to the Jets secondary before the off-season is done. Whether it is through the draft or free agency, I would expect to see a new safety, a nickel back, and a depth player at either corner or safety brought in.

Special Teams – Wallace Wright was just signed by Carolina, which is a shame. He has been the Jets top special teams player for a few years now.  Jay Feely hasn’t been signed by anybody yet, so I could hold on to the thought that Nick Folk won’t be kicking for us next year.

Dusting Off LC Footage

Early Thoughts On Jets Draft

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First a few updates:

1. We are in the process of putting together a network wide mock draft, so keep a look out for it on Fanball and my article on what I decide to do with the 29thpick after seeing how the rest of the first round breaks down.

2. We picked up 5 new facebook fans yesterday for Turn On The Jets, which we means we are 9 away from 200, so once again follow Turn On The Jets on facebook.

3. Shaun Ellis has begun the rehab process for his broken hand and should be ready to go in time for the Jets off-season program.

4. The Jets have been linked to Adalius Thomas on multiple occasions as a potential target this off-season, if he is cut by New England (which he likely will be). I would be all for the Jets finding a way to get him without overpaying. I think he could rotate with Bryan Thomas at outside linebacker and improve the pass rush.

Early Thoughts On Jets Draft

With the Fanball mock draft rapidly approaching, I figured this was a good time to do a better job of familiarizing myself with some potential prospects the Jets could target with the 29th overall pick in the first round. The Jets also have the 29th overall pick in the 2nd, 6th, and 7th round, along with one of the Eagles 5th round selections. My initial thoughts on the draft, is that knowing his history, Mike Tannenbaum is likely to make multiple moves either trading up or trading down. I would also expect the first two selections to be defensive players unless there is a receiver the Jets fall in love with who is available at number 29 or at the end of the second round. Hopefully, one or two of those late round picks will be on offensive lineman for the Jets to develop behind Faneca and Woody.

Tim Graham did a nice job on his AFC East blog at ESPN.com, rounding up the latest mock selections for the Jets in the first round. Here is what he came up with:

  • ESPN’s Todd McShay – Arrelious Benn, Wide Receiver, Illinois
  • SI’s Don Banks – Damian Williams, Wide Receiver, USC
  • National Football Post’s Wes Bunting – Arrelious Benn, Wide Receiver, Illinois
  • Football Future’s Robert Davis – Patrick Robinson, Corner, Florida State
  • Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman – Jared Odrick, Defensive Tackle, Penn State
  • PFW’s Nolan Nawrocki – Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver, Georgia Tech
  • CBS Sports Rob Rang – Damian Williams, Wide Receiver, USC
  • CBS Sports Chad Reuter – Trent Williams, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
  • Fox Sports Peter Schrager – Kyle Wilson, Corner, Boise State
  • Scout.Com’s Chris Steuber – Dan Williams, Defensive Tackle, Tennessee

PhotobucketMy first thoughts when looking at this collection of names is that 5 out of 10 people think the Jets are going wide receiver and only 2 out of 10 think they are going corner, which surprised me. I would be shocked if the Jets spend a first round pick on an offensive tackle because he probably wouldn’t play next year and I think the Jets want instant help. I wouldn’t be as surprised if they went defensive lineman because of concern about Jenkins coming back from injury.

Here are some other sites that I looked up and who they had the Jets taking:

  • Draft Countdown – Golden Tate, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
  • Walter Football – Jerry Hughes, OLB/DE, TCU
  • Draft Site – Brandon Graham – Outside Linebacker, Michigan

From everything I have read about this year’s draft (which honestly isn’t that much at this point), Kyke Wilson, Dan Williams, and Jared Odrick sound like guys the Jets would like to get their hands on. Damian Williams and Golden Tate are both big time receivers from big time programs, who have skill sets that could fit well into being the Jets #3 receiver next year. It also can’t hurt Williams that he has some experience with Mark Sanchez already. Overall, considering where the Jets are picking unless they really fall in love with somebody, I could easily see them trading back and trying to get more picks to improve their overall depth. Obviously, whatever moves they make in free agency will also impact their decisions during draft weekend.

Golden Tate Highlights

Damian Williams Highlights