New York Jets – David Garrard Retires, Overreaction Ensues

New York Jets quarterback David Garrard retired because of knee issues today, how will the Jets move forward at quarterback?

The New York Jets received surprising news today when quarterback David Garrard informed the team that due to swelling in his knee, he is deciding to retire. Considering he is 35 years old, hasn’t played a NFL snap in 2 years and missed all of last season with a bad knee, there is a limit to how surprising this news is.

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New York Jets – Early Free Agency Movement

A round-up and commentary on the New York Jets early movement in free agency

The New York Jets have started their off-season with a handful of small transactions and rumors swirling about their potential interest in certain players. There hasn’t been any shockers yet but they did lock in quarterback David Garrard to a contract today with the terms still undisclosed. This was an expected move and one that doesn’t need to be overreacted to on either end of the spectrum.

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New York Jets: What Moves Are On The Horizon?

After two days of free agency, TOJ looks at what the New York Jets likely have up their sleeve

It continues to be a quiet start for the New York Jets in free agency and with the action surrounding them, a few things have become clear. Overall, this is going to be a more restrained approach than in recent years but that doesn’t mean a big splash won’t be on the way in the coming month.

At wide receiver, it is clear the Jets never had any interest in spending big time money opposite Santonio Holmes. It makes sense when you look at the coordinator they hired and how much guaranteed money they are giving Holmes this year and next year. We suspected this would be case as the Jets are now bargain hunting to fill out their wide receiver depth chart. I anticipate them signing Chaz Schilens. He is comfortable with Sanjay Lal as his receiver coach and the Jets will give him a legitimate chance to start. Personally, I don’t think this is enough support at wide receiver for Mark Sanchez and the team should still consider checking out Braylon Edwards in May to make sure his knee is healthy. Jerricho Cotchery won’t come here unless the team is going to give him a legitimate chance to be the starter, which I’m not sure they will.

If the Jets are going to spend big money in free agency, it will be at the safety position. Look for them to make a strong push to get either Reggie Nelson or LaRon Landry in the coming few days. After hopefully signing one of them, I would expect them to bring back Jim Leonhard on a veteran’s minimum within a few months and then still add a safety in one of the early rounds of the draft.

We haven’t heard of the Jets looking to spend anywhere else in free agency outside of backup quarterback, where they will probably sign Drew Stanton. A move that will rightfully be questioned by many. David Garrard or Josh Johnson would provide a more legitimate threat to Sanchez in the number two spot than Stanton.

So what about tackle, linebacker, and running back? For whatever reason the Jets appear to be passing on many of the quality free agent right tackles. I don’t know if that is because they have a gentleman’s agreement with Vernon Carey to join the team in a few weeks or because they are really hard headed enough to think Wayne Hunter or Vladimir Ducasse could start next year. At linebacker, unless they make a push toward Jameel McClain, they appear to be standing pat and we haven’t heard anything about a Ronnie Brown signing being imminent yet at running back.

What you do need to remember is that the draft is a little over a month away and the Jets are going to have 10-12 picks. Don’t be surprised to see a very active few days from Mike Tannenbaum in terms of sliding up and down the board, along with looking to fill holes by trading picks for veteran players. This could very well be a situation where fans are in an uproar until draft weekend comes, and then it becomes much clearer what the Jets were looking to do this off-season. They have enough picks and assets to patch up linebacker, tackle, and running back in that weekend.

Don’t forget Mike Tannenbaum’s history when it comes to trades.

Jets vs. Jaguars: Game Breakdown

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First a few updates:

1. Vernon Gholston missed his second straight day of practice and isn’t expected to play this weekened…oh my, how are the Jets going to deal with that injury? Rex Ryan said today that he expects everybody else to be available including Brad Smith and Lito Sheppard. Smith will be a big boost to the Jets special teams units and will allow them to begin using their version of the Wildcat again.

2. Apparently the Jets secondary held a “serious” meeting over the bye weekend about getting more interceptions and making more big plays. We are all for the Jets secondary making big plays here at Turn On The Jets, especially coming from Kerry Rhodes who has one interception in his last 15 games.

05_Flatbed_1 - DECEMBER3. A funny note about the traffic on this site, which is doing very well I might add (thanks again to all the readers)…you’d be amazed how many people end up here because they are looking for a picture of Sloan from Entourage. In one article I wrote over the summer, I put a picture of her up and literally that one article has driven thousands of extra people to this site just to see a picture of her. Apparently people enjoy looking at attractive women on the Internet and apparently football fans are no exception to that, so in the interest of attracting more readers (because I know once they stop by the site, they will be hooked for life) we will begin occasionally putting up pictures of TOJ endorsed women in the update section. A few notes though: there won’t be anything too over the top since this site is officially rated PG-13. I’d also like to maintain some type of connection to the Jets so we may start with some flight crew members or other women in Jets apparel (as we start with ex Jets employee Jen Sterger. Finally, if you are  a female reader of the site and believe you belong in this new section feel free to send a picture along, but please be showing off your Jets apparel.

4. Don’t forget to check in tomorrow for a new episode of TOJ TV, we are back after a one week hiatus.

Jets vs. Jaguars: Game Breakdown

Offensive Game Plan: Jacksonville has struggled on defense this season, in both getting to the quarterback and creating turnovers. They lack an elite pass rusher so Mark Sanchez should have his share of time in the pocket when the Jets decide to throw. Regardless, they still have some playmakers in the secondary with Reggie Nelson and Rashean Mathis so Brian Schottenhiemer needs to guard against falling in love with the pass. There is no reason to go away from giving the ball to Thomas Jones who has racked up three straight 100 yard games and looks better than he ever has in a Jets uniform. Shonn Greene should also see plenty of action off the bench. If Schottenheimer is smart (which is often questioned by Jets fans) he will have at least 35 carries between Jones and Greene and attempt to keep Sanchez’s pass attempts right around 20.

It will be interesting to see if the Jets can keep Dustin Keller involved in the offense after his breakout game against Miami, while still getting enough balls thrown towards Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery. Despite Brad Smith returning from an injury, David Clowney should remain the #3 receiver for the foreseeable future because of his production over the past four games. Smith still remains a valuable weapon on reverses and occasional gimmick plays but that is probably as big as his role will get on offense. I also wonder if Ben Hartsock will see a substantial decrease in playing time because of his ability to always get a penalty at the worst possible time.

Jets Bills FootballDefensive Game Plan: The focus on defense obviously needs to be on slowing down Maurice Jones-Drew. Similar to when they held Chris Johnson in check, the Jets must swarm to the ball and try to hit Jones-Drew in the backfield before he can build up a head of steam. He has a knack for bouncing off tackles so everybody needs to wrap up and hold on until more defenders can come help. I would expect Darrelle Revis to shadow Mike Sims-Walker who has been a big play threat for the Jags this season. However, that leaves a difficult match-up for either Lito Sheppard or Dwight Lowery on Torry Holt, who is still capable of making plays. The Jags also do a good job of involving the tight end in their passing attack, so guys like Bryan Thomas and Kerry Rhodes need to step up in coverage.

David Garrard is a big, strong quarterback who is difficult to bring down. This won’t be an easy game to get sacks but the Jets must avoid letting Garrard extend the play and create plays with his feet. There has been many times this year the Jets have been in the face of the quarterback but have let him escape a would-be sack and throw the ball away. If it that happens this week, Garrard will take off and get first downs for a Jags offense that has been better than expected this season.

Special Teams: I think we will be seeing guys like Marques Murrell and Ahmad Carroll active this week to boost the coverage units. Jacksonville has struggled on returns but still the memory of those Ted Ginn Jr. touchdowns is going to haunt the Jets and their fans the rest of the season. Hopefully, Justin Miller will show a little more this week on our kick return unit, he looked a step slow against Miami. I know alot of fans are getting down on Jim Leonhard as a punt returner because he hasn’t ripped off any big ones yet, but don’t ever take for gratned a reliable returner who always catches the ball.

I don’t know why I went with this video, but it is fun to watch Miami lose 62-7

AFC Power Rankings: Where Do the Jets Fit?

First a few updates:

1. It’s officially training camp week, with the Jets opening up this Friday in Cortland, New York. Later in the day, I will be posting an extended, comprehensive (two big time adjectives there) training camp preview. Also, I will finish up my positional analysis this week, with a look at the team’s linebackers and special teams. You can look back through the archives for my breakdown of all the other positions on the roster.

2. I will be appearing on a podcast on our site tomorrow around 11:30 to discuss the Jets, the link is http://ownersedge.fanball.com/fantasy_buffet.php

3. By the end of the week, I plan on making additions to both the TOJ Hall of Fame and TOJ Hall of Shame…thrilling stuff for everybody, I know. Also, I am stuck with the 5th pick in upcoming fantasy football draft and I am open to suggestions on who I should pick…Brees, Fitzgerald, Jones-Drew, Westbrook, Brad Smith, Wallace Wright?

AFC Power Rankings: Where Do the Jets Fit?

I don’t like to rank teams from 1-16, but instead separate them into different levels. With training camps starting up this week, here is how I see the AFC breaking down:

The Favorites

Pittsburgh Steelers – The defending champions are returning all of their major parts and should be right back at the top of the AFC North. Their defense should be one of the league’s best and if they can get something out of Rashad Mendenhall and Limas Sweed this year, their offense could be even more dynamic.

New England Patriots – They have the best coach in the NFL, a good defense, and potentially the best offense in football if Tom Brady is back at 100 percent. If the Jets want to win the AFC East, the road goes through New England (sorry Dolphins fans).

Indianapolis Colts – They were playing as well as anyone in football last year before getting bounced in the wild-card round to the Chargers. Even without Tony Dungy, they still have a quality defense and tons of weapons on offense, including first round pick Donald Brown, who should flourish in their system.

San Diego Chargers – They have as much talent as anyone in football, but can they put it together? Fortunately for them, the AFC West is a weak division and they shouldn’t have any trouble repeating as champs.

The Contenders

Baltimore Ravens – A great defense, a young quarterback who is only going to get better, and a dominant running game should equal another double-digit win total for the Ravens.

Tennessee Titans – I think they will take a big step down from last year’s win total. They sure didn’t feel like a 13-3 team last year, but maybe that’s just because I watched the Jets embarrass them in their home building. They got a shot for revenge in the Meadowlands in week 3, though.

Question Marks

Miami Dolphins – They have 6-10 written all over them this season and I’m not saying that as a biased Jets fan. The Wildcat won’t fool anybody this year and Chad Pennington has never put together two healthy, productive seasons in a row. Yet, they have a good defense and running game which will keep them competitive.

Buffalo Bills – There is a ton of talent at the skill positions but can Trent Edwards stay healthy and take his game to the next level? Can Dick Jauron get out of his own way?

New York Jets – I expect a great defense and a great running game but there is still question marks at quarterback, receiver, tight end, and depth on both lines.

Houston Texans – Every year everybody picks them to make a big jump but it never seems to happen. If Matt Schaub can stay healthy, their offense will be scary good with Steve Slaton and Andre Johnson making plays but they still have question marks on defense, as usual. The Texans will be a good test for the Jets in week one.

Bigger Question Marks

Denver Broncos – You don’t improve from 8-8 by going from Jay Cutler to Kyle Orton at quarterback.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Torry Holt will help them on offense, but unless David Garrard goes back to his 2007 form, the Jaguars aren’t going to be any better than they were last season.

The Basement Dwellers

Oakland Raiders – There is obviously talent on offense and some pieces on defense, but hasn’t that been the case on Oakland for the past few years? I’m sure they will go 5-11 but still find a way to beat the Jets.

Kansas City Chiefs – Matt Cassell isn’t going to look so good without Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and one of the best offensive lines in football.

Cincinnatti Bengals – If Carson Palmer can play a full 16 games, they could improve a few games from last season but that would only put them in the 6-7 win range.

Cleveland Browns – Have fun Eric Mangini, but hey they said the same thing about your Jets in 2006 and look what happened.

Jets Highlight of the Day: After spending another weekend of arguing with my friend’s about Leon Washington’s talent level, I decided to throw up some of his highlights, Give 29 a new contract: