Did everybody have a nice bye week? The Jets sure did, just look at the results across the AFC since the last time they’ve played a game. The Dolphins brought the circus to town and are in the middle of a ridiculous hazing scandal which effectively ruined their season, the Titans lost to the winless Jaguars (and then again last night), and the Bills lost in Pittsburgh. And to add to that, the Jets are adding Kellen Winslow, Santonio Holmes, and some guy named Ed Reed to the roster this week. So why does this week’s game in Buffalo scare the hell out of me? Let’s do some buying and selling… Continue reading “TOJ Stock Watch: Jets vs. Bills II Edition”
Ed Reed: nine time Pro Bowler; eight time all pro; 2004 Defensive Player of the year; sixty-one career interceptions, including a record nine in the post season and a pick six in last year’s Super Bowl; undoubtedly, a future Hall of Famer. Quite the resume. His past pedigree aside, what can Ed Reed bring to the 2013 New York Jets?
The New York Jets signed safety Ed Reed, boosting their secondary depth and leadership
The New York Jets signed veteran safety and future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed today. Once Reed passed through waivers, clearing him of his Houston contract this move was only a matter of time. Despite his struggles with the Texans, this season, Reed will immediately improve the Jets secondary depth and bring leadership to the back end of their defense.
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The Opponent: Along with the Jets and the Indianapolis Colts, the Baltimore Ravens are widely being selected as a favorite in the AFC. Coming off a 9-7 season in which they grabbed a wild-card spot in the week 17, Baltimore improved their offense this off-season with the addition of wide receiver Anquan Boldin and the recent signing receiver of TJ Houshmandzadeh. However, there is some concern about their secondary, with All-World safety Ed Reed beginning the season on the PUP list and starting cornerback Dominique Foxworth out for the year with a torn ACL. Regardless, Baltimore is a team cut in a similar mold to the Jets. They want to run the football and play an aggressive style of defense. This week one match-up could very well foreshadow a future playoff game between these two teams.
Baltimore Ravens Starters/Key Reserves
- Quarterback: Joe Flacco – 63.1 completion percentage, 21 TDs, 12 INTs
- Running Back: Ray Rice – 1339 rushing yards, 702 receiving yards, 8 TDs
- Running Back: Willis McGahee – 544 rushing yards, 85 receiving yards, 14 TDs
- Fullback: Le’Ron McClain – 180 rushing yards, 2 TDs
- Wide Receiver: Anquan Boldin – 84 receptions, 1024 yards, 4 TDs
- Wide Receiver: Derrick Mason – 73 receptions, 1028 yards, 7 TDs
- Wide Receiver: TJ Houshmandzadeh – 79 receptions, 911 yards, 3 TDs
- Tight End: Todd Heap – 53 receptions, 593 yards, 6 TDs
- Left Tackle: Michael Oher
- Left Guard: Ben Grubbs
- Center: Matt Birk
- Right Guard: Marshal Yanda
- Right Tackle: Jared Gaither
- Defensive End: Cory Redding – 2o tackles
- Nose Tackle: Kelly Gregg – 46 tackles, 3 sacks
- Defensive End: Haloti Ngata – 25 tackles, 1.5 sacks
- Defensive End: Trevor Pryce – 6.5 sacks
- Outside Linebacker: Jarrett Johnson – 36 tackles, 6 sacks
- Inside Linebacker: Ray Lewis – 95 tackles, 3 sacks
- Inside Linebacker: Dannell Ellerbe – 34 tackles, 1 INT
- Outside Linebacker: Terrell Suggs – 44 tackles, 4.5 sacks
- Corner: Chris Carr – 38 tackles, 2 INTs
- Corner: Fabian Washington – 34 tackles, 6 passes defensed
- Safety: Dawan Landry – 70 tackles, 4 INTs
- Safety: Tom Zbikowski – 24 tackles, 2 INTs
- Kicker: Billy Cundiff – 12/17 FGs
- Punter: Sam Koch – 43.7 yards per punt
- Kick Return: Jalen Parmele – 9 KRs, 283 yards
- Punt Return: Chris Carr – 8.2 yards per return
Key Players – Running back Ray Rice is the Ravens biggest weapon and is coming off a monster season. He is a threat to break a big play at any moment and has terrific hands out of the backfield. Rice reminds me of a younger LaDainian Tomlinson. At receiver, Anquan Boldin is a pro-bowl caliber player who will be a good early test for Darrelle Revis. Joe Flacco can be inconsistent at times but still has a big time arm. Ray Lewis remains one of the best linebackers in the NFL and the Ravens pass rush is led by Terrell Suggs and Trevor Pryce. Dawan Landry is a dangerous player at safety.
Injuries – Outside of Ed Reed, the Ravens will likely also be without corner Lardarius Webb further hurting their secondary depth. Don’t expect Jets starting safety Brodney Pool to suit on Monday, which moves Eric Smith into the starting lineup. The Jets are also without tap pass rusher Calvin Pace, who recently had foot surgery.
Key Storylines – Battle of expected AFC heavyweights…Rex Ryan going against his former team…Does Revis Island still exist?…Can Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco be consistent…Time for the Jets to put their money where their mouth is.
Highlights of Ravens Beating Down Fading AFC East Team Last Year
First a few updates:
New Pages Alert – Across the top of the site, you will find two new pages “Jets Commercials” and “Jets Game Highlights.” Commercials is a collection of Jets commercials, 2009 preview videos, and other funny video clips involving our team. Game Highlights is an ongoing collection of highlights from all of the Jets games this year, so far I have both the Rams and Ravens highlights in there.
1. The Jets appear to be completely healthy in terms of their starters and primary backups. The only two people who were working on the sideline today were Shonn Greene and reserve linebacker Joshua Magua. Rex Ryan said in today’s press conference that Greene has some cartilage issues in his ribs and that he will be out against the Giants and likely against the Eagles. Good thing the Jets didn’t trade Thomas Jones, right?
2. In response to Greene being banged up, the Jets signed undraftedrookie running back Anthony Kimble who played at Stanford. Look for Kimble and Danny Woodhead to get a ton of carries in that last pre-season game against Philly to save Thomas Jones and Leon Washington’s legs.
3. Ryan took another dig at New England today (although in a joking manner) when discussing the tampering rules. He was kidding around about the roster being nearly set and said unless somebody like Ed Reed came available he had an idea of who would make the team, he then commented he made sure that didn’t mention any New England players (referencing the Pats filing tampering claims a few years ago against the Jets when looking at Deion Branch)…always entertaining stuff from Ryan.
4. Ryan also confirmed that David Clowney would be seeing more reps with the first team against the Giants. Also, he stated the final roster spots at receiver aren’t set and implied that either Marcus Henry, Britt Davis, or Aundrae Allison could grab one of the 53 spots. When talking about the tight ends, he said nobody has emerged as the clear #2, although he expressed confidence in Wayne Hunter taking reps there.
5. Vernon Gholston will start and play the majority of the snaps with the first team against the Giants…oh boy.
Jets vs. Giants: What to Watch For
1. Doesn’t Get Any Easier, Rook – Mark Sanchez doesn’t get a break this week, as he will face another one of the NFL’s elite defenses. The Giants have the best collection of defensive lineman and pass rushers in the NFL, which will provide another test for Sanchez to adjust under constant pressure and different blitz packages. He will likely play into the third quarter and you would like to see him protect the football, take a few shots down the field, and get into some type of rhythm with Jerricho Cotchery who is yet to catch a pass from Sanchez this pre-season. Overall, the last thing you want to see is Sanchez implode after being named the starter, but judging from how this summer went that doesn’t seem likely to happen.
2. More Run D – The Jets run defense looked very good last week against Baltimore without Kris Jenkins, so logically they should be that much better on Saturday with him. Rex Ryan’s Ravens got embarrassed by the Giants running game last year and he hasn’t forgotten that. It will be a great test for the Jets front seven to go against the Giants offensive line and Brandon Jacobs/Ahmad Bradshaw.
3. Get After Eli – If there is an area I think the Jets have a nice advantage in against the Giants, it is their secondary against the G-Men’s receivers. Darrelle Revis will be back, rounding out a talented, deep Jets defensive backfield. The Giants have an inexperienced group of receivers and lack a legit #1 (and maybe even a legit #2 for that matter). I want to see the secondary smothering Steve Smith, Domenick Hixon, Sinorce Moss, Mario Manningham and whomever else the Giants throw out there. The Jets pass rush has been great this pre-season and the secondary’s coverage should help produce even more sacks on Saturday night. The only problem is that Vernon Gholston is starting and playing the majority of first team reps instead of Calvin Pace and that certainly won’t help the pass rush.
4. Who Is Catching This Ball – David Clowney will see a good amount of first team reps, so let’s see him make some plays against the Giants first team defense. Brad Smith is hanging by a thread as a player who will get meaningful reps. Chansi Stuckey has been quiet this pre-season and is slowly losing his spot to Clowney. Jerricho Cotchery needs to catch a few balls and start looking like a #1 receiver. I keep hearing hype about Britt Davis, but he hasn’t made any big plays. Also, at the tight end spot look for Sanchez to target Dustin Keller often. A young quarterback’s best friend is a pass catching tight end.
5. Can Anybody Punt – Rex Ryan didn’t hold back the criticism of his punters in today’s press conference. Hopefully, Reggie Hodges can step up and finally seize the job.
A Little Break From the Football Videos…
First a few updates:
1. I would have to say at this point there is a less than a 10 percent chance of the Jets signing Plaxico Burress or trading for Brandon Marshall. Beyond those two, what other veteran options could they consider at receiver? Marvin Harrison might not be a bad option, regardless of his diminishing skills, he could still be a very competent number 2 receiver.
2. It’s funny how much negative press the Jets inexperienced receivers get, in comparison to all the hype and positive press the Giants inexperienced receivers get. What have Sinorce Moss and Mario Manningham ever done to merit so much optimism? I do think Domenick Hixon and Steve Smith are good players but certainly no better than Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey.
3. The only enjoyable part of my daily commute to the PVSC (Passaic Valley Sewage Commission) in Newark, New Jersey (where I am working this summer as a landscaper…yes, a landscaper at the Sewage plant, awesome stuff I know) is I get to pass by the brand new Giants/Jets stadium every day. The new building puts the old one to shame and is going to be great for all NY/NJ football fans.
4. Congratulations to Brooks Bollinger for being drafted in the UFL. It seems just like yesterday he was leading the Jets to a 4-12 record in 2005.
Turn On the Jets Interview with Tim Layden
Tim Layden is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and recently did a great feature on Rex Ryan, which can be accessed here http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1156765/index.htm . He was kind enough to let me interview him yesterday about Ryan, the Jets, and the AFC East. Here is what we talked about in the first ever interview at TurnOnTheJets.com:
JC: How much of Buddy Ryan do you see in Rex?
TL: I think Rex developed his passion for coaching from watching his father work growing up. There is no question he has alot of Buddy in him, yet it ends at a certain point. Rex’s mother is a very cerebral person and you can see that in Rex also. Unlike his father, Rex is a little more calculating when talking to the media and his players. He has an ability to treat different people in different ways, which is important in the NFL. I think he is also a little more reserved than Buddy and does hold back a little sometimes, in a positive way. I think you will see Rex be more successful as a head coach in the NFL than his father.
JC: When you were talking to the Jets players, did you sense that they are enjoying the switch from Eric Mangini to Rex Ryan? Both guys are obviously polar opposite in terms of how they run their team.
TL: When I was talking to Kris Jenkins, he expressed that he did like Eric Mangini and was okay with the way he ran things but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t enjoyed the new attitude Rex has brought to the Jets. Whenever there is a new head coach, people are going to focus on their positive qualities. Rex is a very likable guy and certainly a players coach so you would expect the players to be excited about him.
Kerry Rhodes admitted he is still adjusting and as I mentioned in the story, is used to holding himself back a little more on the field and with the media but is now learning more emotion is ok. Speaking of Rhodes, I really think he is guy you are going to see flourish in Rex’s system.
Bart Scott also made a good point not to get too carried away with the fun and emotional side of Rex. He noted they had success in Baltimore because of their scheme and execution. Rex is a well prepared, confident guy which leads to the swagger his defenses have. Scott said people don’t spend enough time talking about Ryan’s X’s and O’s and how smart he is when crafting a defensive scheme.
JC: What do you think of the recent comments he made about New England and his back and forth with Channing Crowder?
TL: I think with the Bellicheck ring statement, I mean…what is he supposed to say? Rex is confident in his guys and doesn’t say anything he knows his players won’t hear. He doesn’t want them to be afraid of New England and their past success. He isn’t intimidated by New England and believes he was brought to New York to beat them, not to look up to them. I don’t think it is a condescending statement to the Patriots at all.
In terms of the Crowder stuff, Rex has a great gift for conversation and humor. It is entertaining to listen to him speak and I think all that stuff was very light-hearted and also probably blown out of proportion by people criticizing him.
JC: Do you think Rex and the Jets should be as confident as they are heading into the season?
TL: One thing I know about Ryan is that he has never coached a bad defense. Even when some of those Baltimore teams had injuries, they were still consistent and successful. The Jets defense is going to be good this year, maybe great. I think the confidence is good thing and is rubbing off on the players. Bart Scott was telling me how he can’t wait to play against Tom Brady and New England. He wants to challenge them because he believes they can get to Brady and he wants to see how he will respond to the constant pressure coming off that leg injury.
JC: Switching to some more player specific questions, how does Ryan feel about Mark Sanchez?
TL: Ryan has a good amount of measured excitement about him. He knows he has the talent but understands he still has a ton to learn at this level. He doesn’t want to go too far praising Sanchez, in fear of losing Kellen Clemens, because there is still a chance he could be guy this September. Is Sanchez going to be Matt Ryan or Rex Grossman? I don’t think anybody can answer that yet. It will be tough in New York but Ryan believes Sanchez has the right make up for this city. Remember that Rex wants to win games 17-13 and isn’t going to be asking Sanchez to throw the ball over the field. He just wants him to protect the ball and make a few plays when the opportunity is there.
JC: What did Ryan have to say about Vernon Gholston?
TL: Ryan didn’t talk all that much specifically about Vernon Gholston. I know alot of people are trying to match up Baltimore players to Jets players, comparing Gholston to Terrell Suggs and Kerry Rhodes to Ed Reed but Ryan doesn’t want to do that. A key thing that both Ryan and Bart Scott said about the Jets linebackers is that everybody is going to have the chance to makes plays and it will be hard for the offense to know where the pressure is coming from. In Baltimore, the Ravens funneled everything to Ray Lewis, in this defense it won’t be that way.
JC: One last question, how do see the AFC East shaking out this year?
TL: I guess I would say New England is probably the best team but they aren’t head and shoulders above anybody in this division. Don’t think for a second they are a 14-2 team, that is a group of older guys with some question marks at linebacker and in the secondary and you can’t be 100 percent confident that Brady is going to be back to his old self. I am not confident in Miami repeating their success from last year and honestly think the Jets are probably the second best team right now and will be in the wild-card hunt and the division hunt until late in the year.