Jets Practice #4 Recap & Thoughts On Offensive Depth Chart

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Practice #4 Recap

The Good – LaDainian Tomlinson beating David Harris on a slant route and taking it all the way to the end-zone. Mark Sanchez drawing Kris Jenkins off-sides. Joe McKnight holding his own against Bart Scott in pass protection drills. John Conner getting another big hit in, this time on Calvin Pace. Braylon Edwards beating Dwight Lowery for a 20 yard touchdown in 7 on 7 drills. Sanchez squeezing one down the seam to Jerricho Cotchery for a touchdown. Kyle Wilson getting his first interception of camp, when he picked off a Mark Brunell pass headed towards David Clowney. Aundrae Allison catching a long touchdown from Kevin O’Connell. Antonio Cromartie pulling in two more interceptions from Sanchez.

The Bad – Dwight Lowery getting beat for a touchdown, where is our Island? Joe McKnight had yet another drop today. Mark Sanchez was picked off  twice by Antonio Cromartie in 11 on 11s. Kellen Clemens was picked off by Drew Coleman. Mark Brunell was picked off by Kyle Wilson. Sanchez botched a pitch to LaDainian Tomlinson. Nick Folk missing a 35 yard and 40 yard field goal.

Play of the Day – Braylon Edwards out jumped Antonio Cromartie for a one-handed reception that set up the game winning field goal in the two minute drill.

PhotobucketPlayer Who Helped Himself – John Conner is catching everybody’s attention at least once every practice. He might end up with a bigger role on the offense than Joe McKnight and his pan hands.  Antonio Cromartie has interceptions two consecutive days and from all accounts has put together a very good few days to start camp.

Player Who Hurt Himself – Mark Sanchez hasn’t gotten off to the best start this summer. His completion numbers have been a little disappointing and he has thrown a few interceptions over the past couple of practices.

Sanchez Stats – 8/17, 2 INTs in 11 on 11s (both INTs by Cromartie)…thanks to Manish Mehta for the numbers.

Folk Stats – 6/8 (1 miss from 35 yards and 1 miss from 40 yards)

Roster Moves – Kris Jenkins was taken off the Active/PUP list and was back to practice. Don’t expect to see Erik Ainge anytime soon, since it was reported that he has been checked into a drug treatment/rehab facility. Ainge was suspended four games in 2008 for substance abuse. Kellen Clemens is back to practicing 100 percent. Santonio Holmes has to pass his conditioning test this morning and then is expected on the field this afternoon.

Injury – Shaun Ellis sat out of practice today because the coaches advised him to take a day off.

Depth Chart – John Conner saw some reps with the first team offense at fullback. Matt Slauson was back to working as the starting left guard. Ropati Pitoitua and Vernon Gholston both received first team reps at defensive end, as did Jason Taylor.

Rex Ryan Press Conference Highlights –

  • Called today the “Cromartie and Braylon Edwards” show.
  • Santonio Holmes will have to pass his conditioning test after his suspension and will be a full go in this afternoon’s practice.
  • Praised punter Steve Weatherford’s work this off-season, including his holding.
  • Said he hasn’t noticed the Hard Knocks cameras in meetings and that they have been discreet.
  • He praised Antonio Cromartie’s desire to learn how to do things “the Jets way.”
  • Jim Leonhard is the top “hands” option as a punt returner, meaning if there is any poor weather conditions he would be placed back there. However, he said the coaching staff wants Kyle Wilson to win the full time job.

Revis Update – In an interview yesterday, Peter King of SI said he believed Revis had more leverage than the Jets and that a deal wouldn’t be finalized until around Labor Day.

Thoughts On Offensive Depth Chart

It sounds like Matt Slauson has a much better chance at winning the starting left guard job  than most people (including myself) originally gave him. He has been rotating every practice with Vladimir Ducasse and got the nod in the Jets first practice. Rich Cimini of ESPN New York gave him a slight edge when asked about the battle. If Slauson does happen to win the job, it will be interesting to see if the Jets spend the season grooming Ducasse to replace Damien Woody at right tackle in 2011. Ducasse could also be given a role in some of the Jets short yardage packages, similar to Robert Turner and Wayne Hunter.

Photobucket Tomlinson is off to a strong start in camp and has been receiving a good amount of reps with the first team offense. I still don’t buy him competing with Shonn Greene for the starting job but he will get plenty of work in the pre-season to show the Jets he still has the necessary burst. Tomlinson is probably looking at 9-13 touches a game until Joe McKnight gets his act together and can become a bigger part of the offense. Also in the backfield, it sounds like John Conner is having one of the most impressive overall camps so far. He may actually carve out a little role for himself in the offense this year in certain situations or if he keeps playing so well, is it possible the Jets could release Tony Richardson at some point this summer? Going back to McKnight, if he keeps struggling it only increases the chances of Danny Woodhead sticking on the roster.

Santonio Holmes returns to the practice field this afternoon. I am anxious to hear about where Brian Schottenheimer is lining him up and if the Jets are trotting out any four and five receiver sets. There hasn’t been much talk about the Jets using their “Tiger” formation yet, however they could just be waiting until the more basic offensive installation is done.

Jets are back on the practice field at 4:20.

Jets Fans Should Root For 2007

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets made the following moves yesterday:

  • Erik Ainge was placed on the non-football illness list and there is no timetable for his return. I wouldn’t bank on Ainge being around much longer in green and white.
  • Rookie Joe McKnight failed his conditioning test and was put on the active non-football injury list. He won’t be taken off until he passes the test. What the hell is the deal with this guy? You think he would have been running every single day after his vomit filled performance in mini-camp. Yes, I am already missing Leon Washington.
  • The Jets signed safety Emmanuel Cook and released linebacker Ezra Butler.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). If you aren’t, you just can’t get that full TOJ experience, and honestly that just makes me sad.

3. There has been no movement on releasing Kellen Clemens or Kevin O’Connell since the Jets signed Mark Brunell. Could we have a three way battle for the #2 spot? I feel bad for those second string receivers, Santonio Holmes and Laveranues Coles. What, our second string receivers are Santonio Holmes and Laveranues Coles? That’s what I call some depth.

Jets Fans Should Root For 2007

There is plenty of reason for Jets fans to be rooting for certain key players to reproduce their efforts from the 2007 season –

Braylon Edwards – As a member of the Cleveland Browns in 2007, Edwards pulled in 80 receptions for 1289 yards and 16 touchdowns. The season appeared to establish him as one of the premier receivers in the NFL but unfortunately his production dropped off in subsequent seasons. Edwards wasn’t helped by horrific quarterbacking but also developed a nasty case of the drops, which he is still working on shaking off. The 2007 season did demonstrate Edwards potential to be one the best receivers in this league. I continue to say he is the Jets most physically gifted offensive player.

Antonio Cromartie – Cromartie had a monster 2007 season for the San Diego Chargers. He racked up 10 interceptions and 3 return touchdowns. Similar to Edwards, he seemed to establish himself as one of the elite players in the NFL. Yet, his production also fell off in the following two seasons. He spent time dealing with a hip injury and struggled in San Diego’s zone scheme. However, he also showed a lack of effort at certain times, which is what Jets fans should be most concerned about.

PhotobucketLaDainian Tomlinson – 2007 was Tomlinson’s last season as one of the top backs in the NFL. He finished with 1474 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, along with adding 60 receptions and 3 receiving touchdowns. We all know how his production fell off a cliff the past two years. Hopefully, behind a better offensive line and in a system more dedicated to running the football he can offer some type of production.

Jason Taylor – Taylor’s last double digit sack season was in 2007, when he finished with 11 for the Dolphins. He also had 4 forced fumbles and an interception this season. Needless to say, every Jets fan would sign up for those numbers from Taylor in a heartbeat.

Nick Folk – Folk was an All-Pro selection in 2007 thanks to going 26/31 on field goals and his impressive five connections from outside of 50 yards. This was clearly long before he was shanking 20 yard kicks and being cut mid-season.

Jerricho Cotchery – Cotchery had his most career receiving yards and receptions in 2007, although I would argue his best overall season was in 2006. Regardless his 82 receptions for 1130 yards was especially impressive considering the Jets quarterbacking that year.

The Jets took a leap of faith this off-season by hoping players like Tomlinson, Folk, Taylor, and Cromartie can produce somewhere near their 2007 level. Considering the Jets depth chart, it is unlikely any of these players will reproduce those kinds of numbers again, with maybe the exception of Cromartie. Yet, the Jets really just need Braylon Edwards to be consistent and to avoid the killer drops, Folk to be stable from inside 50 yards, Tomlinson to be a good third down and short yardage back, and Taylor to enhance their third down pass rush. These guys don’t have to be superstars on the 2010 Jets but instead find their place as role players.

TOJ TV

Don't Get Hurt Mark Sanchez

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Last season Mark Sanchez missed a late season game after he banged up his knee against the Buffalo Bills. Despite only entering his second NFL season, Sanchez has had problems with both of his knees and is coming off surgery on his left one this off-season. Beyond that, despite being tutored by Joe Girardi last year, he still needs to work on learning how to slide and how not to put himself in position to break his neck when he runs.

The point I am making is that Sanchez is vulnerable to injury. In 2010, if Sanchez gets hurt and misses any type of extended time, the Jets are trouble…big trouble. Here is a quick run down of other quarterbacks who could be on the Jets depth chart this season:

Kellen Clemens – It appears to be a foregone conclusion that Clemens is going to be released at some point this summer. Yet, in reality he is a better option than anybody else the Jets are currently considering to backup Sanchez. It isn’t a good sign that your best option was only able to manage 13/26 for 125 yards against the Tampa Bay Bucs last year. However, at least he knows the offense and has some recent starting experience. The Jets could probably manage with Clemens at the helm for 3-5 games if they had to, without their season falling apart.

PhotobucketMark “Bankrupt” BrunellI would be all for Brunell being the Jets #3 quarterback/player coach, but their backup quarterback? You are really going to cut ties with Clemens and let this 39 year old guy be one snap away from playing? I am pretty sure these are Brunell’s stats from the last three NFL seasons:

– 2009: 15/30, 102 yards, 1 INT

– 2008: No Stats

– 2007: No Stats

Am I missing something? I am literally not sure if Brunell would be able to manage even an entire game if Sanchez had to miss a week. It makes absolutely no football sense to cut Kellen Clemens and make Mark Brunell the back-up quarterback.

Erik Ainge – Ainge is entering his third season in the Jets system. He did progress well in the pre-season last year but he spent most of mini-camp and OTAs working behind Kevin O’Connell and Brad Smith, so I am not sure how high the Jets coaching staff on him. Ainge doesn’t throw a pretty ball but he has good size and is familiar with the offense. I would rather have him coming in off the bench instead of Brunell.

Kevin O’Connell – The Jets traded a 7th round draft pick for him, which means they must see some type of potential in him. He has also been spending the majority of the time working ahead of Ainge this off-season. O’Connell has thrown 6 passes during his entire NFL career. It will be interesting to see if he can make an impression during the pre-season.

Brad Smith – For five to ten plays a game, Smith is great as a quarterback on gimmick plays. Beyond that? I don’t think so.

JaMarcus  Russell – You know your backup quarterback situation is ugly when you are considering this guy to join your team.

Jets Area Of Concern – Quarterback

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook, Twitter (TurnOnTheJets), and YouTube.

2. I have already resigned to talking myself into Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemaire, if the Knicks can even land the two of them. If LeBron truly only cares about winning, he is going to the Bulls and taking Chris Bosh with him. A starting five of LeBron, Bosh, Deng, Noah, and Rose is winning 65-70 games in the Eastern Conference next season, maybe more.

Jets Area Of Concern – Quarterback

Contrary to the belief of some fans, the Jets roster isn’t perfect. Like any team in the NFL, they have multiple areas of concern throughout their roster heading into the 2010 season. Today is second look at one of these areas, the quarterback position:

Here are the links the previous articles in the “Area of Concern” and Area of Strength” Series:

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/23/jets-area-of-concern-running-back/

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/24/jets-area-of-strength-linebacker/

Out of the Jets eleven starters on offense, there are only three question marks or potential areas of concern in my mind: running back, quarterback, and left guard. Obviously, the quarterback is the most important position on the field so the Jets biggest concern heading into this season is Mark Sanchez.

The great off-season Braylon Edwards is having. The addition of Santonio Holmes. The potential of Jerricho Cotchery in the slot. The continued growth of Dustin Keller. The addition of LaDainian Tomlinson. Drafting Joe McKnight. The Jets stacked offensive line. It could all go to waste on offense if Mark Sanchez isn’t up to the task in 2010. Because in football if your quarterback isn’t playing well, your offense isn’t playing well.

Let’s look back through Sanchez’s rookie season briefly. In the regular season, Sanchez was either very good (for a rookie), awful, or a successful game manager in near perfect balance.

Very Good

  • Week 1 – 18/31. 272 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 2 – 14/22, 163 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 3 – 17/30, 171 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD
  • Week 5 – 12/24, 172, 1 TD
  • Week 8 – 20/35, 265 yards, 2 TDs, 1 rushing TD

Awful

  • Week 4 – 14/27, 138 yards, 3 INTs
  • Week 6 – 10/29, 119 yards, 5 INTs
  • Week 10 – 16/30, 212 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
  • Week 11 – 8/21, 136 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs
  • Week 15 – 18/32, 226 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs

Successful Game Manager

  • Week 7 – 9/16, 143 yards, 1 TD, 1 rushing TD
  • Week 12 – 13/17, 154 yards, 1 INT
  • Week 13 – 7/15, 104 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 16-  12/19, 106 yards
  • Week 17 – 8/16, 63 yards

PhotobucketIf the Jets are going to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender, they need Sanchez to be somewhere in-between the game manager and very good level. Nobody is saying the guy has to be a Pro-Bowl quarterback for the Jets to win 12 games, but if he could protect the football and hit big plays down the field when the opportunity presents itself the Jets are going to be very difficult to stop. If he can duplicate his performance from games like week 8 against Miami, then Jets are going to have one of the NFL’s best offenses to match the NFL’s best defense.

The most encouraging thing moving forward into the 2010 season is how Sanchez stepped up his play when it mattered the most last season, in the playoffs. Everybody was picking the Jets to lose to Cincinnati in the first round because there was no way Sanchez could go on the road in tough weather conditions and pull out a victory. He responded with 12/15, 182 yards, and a touchdown. Also, anybody who watched that game and saw a picture perfect 50 yard touchdown pass drop through Braylon Edwards hands knows what Sanchez’s numbers actually should have looked like.

Sanchez got off to a sluggish start in the second round against the Chargers but hit the switch in the fourth quarter and made arguably the biggest play of the Jets season, by buying time with his athleticism and finding Dustin Keller in the back of the end-zone with a rocket on third down to put the Jets ahead. The real Sanchez “arrival” moment was in the AFC Championship Game on the road against the Indianapolis Colts. His stat line is impressive (17/30, 257 yards, 2 TDs) but it doesn’t tell the whole story. When Sanchez stood in the pocket and took a monster hit to the face while delivering a perfect strike to Keller on third down for a touchdown that put the Jets up 14-6, it was a moment that all the Jets fans should have said to themselves “this guy has what it takes to be our franchise quarterback.”

Even though he has what it takes, doesn’t mean it is going to equal a consistent, productive performance. Those games against Buffalo, in New England, and New Orleans happened last year but it seems hard to believe that Sanchez won’t learn from his mistakes in year two. By all accounts, he has put in enormous amounts of work this off-season and has the exact attitude you want from your young quarterback.

Remember the Jets found their way to 9 wins last year with a quarterback having a horrific statistical season. Think about how far they could go, if Sanchez could throw 15 touchdowns, 12 INTs, with a 57 completion percentage.

Beyond Sanchez, the Jets depth is questionable. The expected plan is to go into the year with Sanchez, Mark Brunell, and either Erik Ainge or Kevin O’Connell. With a line-up like that, I might feel better with Brad Smith coming in at quarterback if Sanchez got hurt.

AFC Championship Highlights (Turn Off at 2 Minute Mark)

TOJ Hype Video

TOJ Mini-Camp

Into The Break: Sunday Night Thoughts On Jets

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A few Sunday night thoughts to kick off the first week of the Jets time off before training camp:

1. I am beginning to wonder if the Jets are planning on signing Mark Brunell, making him their number two quarterback, cutting Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge, and then putting Kevin O’Connell on the practice squad. With the amount of work Brad Smith has been getting at quarterback, he could technically be their number three guy and save them a roster spot. If something happened to Sanchez, they could bump O’Connell up from the practice squad. If Ainge or O’Connell don’t step up in training camp, this idea makes plenty of sense. Why not keep another defensive back, defensive lineman, or receiver who could potentially contribute? You hear talk about the Jets defense messing around with schemes that have eight DBs on the field, so you know Rex Ryan is going to want to carry as many as possible each week.

2. It is easy for him to get lost in the shuffle a little bit with the additions around him but I think Jerricho Cotchery is going to be a lethal weapon out of the slot this season. Between the chemistry he has with Sanchez, his quickness, hands, and route-running…he is going to be converting a ton of third downs this season. His overall numbers may not be gaudy, but he will consistently be coming up with big catches when the Jets need to move the chains. If I was drafting a Jets receiver for my fantasy team this season, it would be Braylon Edwards though. You get the impression he has been particularly locked in this off-season and he lit it up in OTAs and minicamp. The guy is in a contract year and he is still trying to prove that 17 touchdown season wasn’t a fluke. Beyond that, he needs to score as soon as possible so he could shave that beard he has going on right now.

3. I am really fascinated to see how the reps on defense are going to be divided up and how the touches on offense are going to be divided up. On defense, you know Ryan is going to be itching to get his defensive backs off the bench and into the game. Yet when Kyle Wilson, Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, Dwight Lowery, or Drew Coleman come in off the bench, who will be sitting the bulk of those reps out? How many times will the Jets slide Jason Taylor down to the defensive line in a three point stance? How often will be they put Sione Pouha in at nose tackle and bump Kris Jenkins out to defensive end? If you think about, the Jets could really come up with some interesting personnel combinations with their current depth chart.

On offense, it is really mind-boggling to go over the combinations, personnel groups, and formations the Jets could use, especially now with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards learning all three receiver sports. You have three wide receivers, a tight end, and two running backs (Tomlinson and McKnight) who could basically line up anywhere in the set. One of the funnier things i noticed at minicamp was the Jets had 4 wide set out there, with a single back. So they have Edwards split out to one side, with Cotchery in the slot. Keller in the slot on the other side of the field, Tomlinson in the backfield releasing on a quick out but split out wide on Keller’s side, they have Matthew Mulligan (filling in for Ben Hartsock as the number two tight end). You know Mulligan was looking in and thinking “there is no way I am getting this ball, why should I even bother running a route.”

Watch That New TOJ TV…That Intro Has To Get You Pumped

A Video That Only Enhances Your Hate Of Both Our Rivals

Wednesday Minicamp Review: A Day At The New Stadium

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…There is no logical reason for you not to do it.

2. Game 7 here we come…should be fun. I was little surprised at the extent Boston just laid down and died last night.

3. Another thank you to David Clowney and Donovan Warren for taking the time to do interviews with Turn On The Jets. We are working on future interviews with Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and James Ihedigbo.

Wednesday Minicamp Review: A Day At The New Stadium

Our video producer, James Corbett and myself made the trip out to the New Meadowlands Stadium today for minicamp. We arrived about 15 minutes late for the 11:30 practice, and the first thing I noticed was how many people had turned out for a Wednesday morning. There were people in full tailgate mode and I can’t argue with finding an excuse to play beer pong in a parking lot on a Wednesday morning in June. As usual, there was plenty of energy from the fans. The new stadium is enormous compared to the old one.

I doubt it will be like this on game days, but they had it set up that you could basically walk right up behind the sideline at the ground level and watch behind a small fence. You could literally stand about 10 yards from the field. We pushed to the front and got a spot right in front of the defensive back drills, where Darrelle Revis was receiving plenty of support. There were constant “Please Pay Revis” chants and a bunch of signs saying “Pay Revis.” Antonio Cromartie is huge in person. He either bulked up or the television makes him look skinnier than he really is. He was getting a ton of love from the fans and turned about five times to wave to everybody.

PhotobucketWe then relocated to seats on the 50 yard line for 11 on 11 drills. Sanchez hit Braylon on dig route but then had to run a penalty lap because half of the offensive line jumped offsides. Kellen Clemens came in and promptly threw an interception on a deep ball to Antonio Cromartie who had a long run back and looks scary elusive in the open field. Later in the 11 on 11s, Sanchez hit Cotchery on a nice deep crossing route, where he beat Kyle Wilson.

A few other observations, from that period: Brad Smith is getting a ton of work at quarterback and he isn’t just running Wildcat stuff. He was basically the number two today and received more reps than Clemens, Kevin O’Connell, and Erik Ainge (who barely played and appears to be falling behind O’Connell). Smith actually had a few nice throws, including hitting a deep in route to Marcus Henry. He also ran a few options with Danny Woodhead. Another guy who impressed me was receiver Larry Taylor. He is a small, shifty guy who looked very good out of the slot.

The Jets then moved to 7 on 7s. The first thing to notice is how many different looks the Jets can run with their personnel. Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Jerricho Cotchery were being moved all over the place. When the Jets go to three wide, Cotchery primarily works out of the slot. However, Braylon was being sent in motion frequently. The Jets were also showing plenty of looks with Keller split out, and Joe McKnight or LaDainian Tomlinson in the slot.

During this period, Brodney Pool and Darrelle Revis had nice pass breakups. Dustin Keller just beat Bart Scott for a short touchdown. LaDainian Tomlinson had a pretty grab out of the backfield that he took in for a 20 yard touchdown. When the backups were in, James Ihedigbo broke up a corner route to rookie tight end Jeff Cumberland, who looked pretty good out there, right in front of us.

In the last 11 on 11 drills, Cotchery had a rare drop but was consoled by Sanchez right as a plane flew over, which said “Happy Birthday Jerricho.” All of the fans sang a few verses of Happy Birthday to J-Co, who turned and waved. The Jets also ran their patented sideline comeback to Cotchery but Revis was all over him and broke it up, which was followed by another “Please Pay Revis” chant.

At the end of the practice, the entire team took a lap to high five the fans. We got some great footage of this as the new episode of TOJ TV will show. On the way out, we got some interviews with fans and funny enough got an interview with Damien Woody’s whole family by accident. We were simply approaching fans asking what they thought the team’s record would be, so we approached Woody’s wife and kids (unknown to us). They answered our questions and shouted out the site, when I complimented his son’s jersey (a Titans white Woody jersey), she said “well we better be Woody fans, I am his wife.” So that was interesting.

Finally, we drove by the player exit and caught Jason Taylor walking out. Nobody has hated on Taylor more than me, but I give him credit for taking his time and signing every single person’s autograph and taking about 35 pictures. Good work JT. (And no I didn’t ask for an autograph, but Corbett did get good footage of him).

Some other loose-end observations: Dwight Lowery was particularly active and had some nice pass break-ups…John Conner is quicker than I expected…Joe McKnight looked like he is going to be a serious weapon out of the slot…Brian Schottenheimer is loud…Nick Mangold got some reps at safety against the second offense and had a few nice blitzes off the edge…Braylon Edwards beard is nasty looking but Edwards was the most impressive offensive player on the field by a good margin.

Anyway, that was it. Keep an eye for new TOJ TV, which will have great footage of the new stadium, practice, and plenty more.

Get Hyped For This Season

Wrapping Up Jets Week Of OTAs and Other Thoughts

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First a few updates:

1. I’d annoy everybody about following Turn On The Jets on Facebook but we jumped from 315 fans to 348 fans in the last 24 hours…well done. You can also follow TOJ on Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

2. The Jets have the same schedule next week for OTAs, with a practice on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with Thursday being the only day with media access. They then have OTAs on June 2-3, June 8th, and June 10th.

3. Jason Taylor is practicing with #95 for now but in a recent interview it sounded like Bryan Thomas would be willing to sell #99 to him.

4. Darrelle Revis has refuted reports he is asking for 20 million dollars a year but he has stated he wants to be the highest paid corner in football. Currently, Nnamdi Asmougha is and he makes about 15.2 million a year, so look for Revis to end up with something in the 16-18 million dollars a year range. Pay. The. Man.

5. It looks like we are headed to Lakers vs. Celtics in the NBA Finals. Can I buy a competitive series in this NBA Playoffs?

6. I can’t get enough Mikhail Prokhorov…I may have to become a Nets fan soon especially if the Knicks don’t come through with LeBron.

Wrapping Up Jets Week Of OTAs and Other Thoughts

New Additions – Antonio Cromartie has been doing some work as a kick returner. I think most people assumed the Jets would have Brad Smith, Kyle Wilson, and Joe McKnight battle for that job but Cromartie is obviously an explosive player with the ball in his hands. I doubt he would have the job full time but I could see them throwing him back there a few times a game.

Santonio Holmes probably didn’t make many people in the organization happy when he said he didn’t want a Super Bowl to be played at the Meadowlands. Regardless, outside of being knocked over by Darrelle Revis in a blocking drill, Holmes seems to be blending in well with his teammates according to people reporting from practice and his fellow teammates. Holmes best asset for the Jets is his versatility to line up all over the formation, which will help him integrate into the offense quicker when he returns in week 5.

PhotobucketVladimir Ducasse was running with the first team offense and made a good impression on Rex Ryan. It will be interesting to see how much of a shot Matt Slauson really has at winning the job. If Ducasse can hold his own in his rookie year as the starting left guard, it will speak well for the Jets front office who took a chance on him as a small school prospect in the 2nd round.

In my mind, the most concerning news of the week was that Nick Folk missed about every kick he took. You can’t be a team built around running the ball and playing defense and have a kicker who can’t make a 40 yard field goal…actually no team can afford to have a guy like that. It looks the Jets may have to wait and see who loses the kicking battle in Houston or take somebody else off the scrap heap. Mike Nugent? John Hall? Is he still around?

Second Year Players – It was good to hear Sanchez was participating in some drills this week…any time spent with the offense is valuable. There is no need to push him too far during OTAs, the key is that he is 100 percent for training camp and the pre-season. Apparently, neither Kellen Clemens or Erik Ainge was impressive during OTAs. Also, Rich Cimini reported Shonn Greene looked like he put on some weight and not the good kind of weight. I am a little worried about the Jets running back situation this year, I hope #23 can prove me wrong and show he is capable of being a full time number one back.

Other Thoughts/Questions

1. Who will be the Jets main competition for the AFC East title, Miami or New England? It is easy to assume New England but I could see the Dolphins being better than them this season. New England’s offense just doesn’t scare me without Wes Welker out there and they still have question marks on their defense.

2. If the Jets could do five things before the regular season starts, I would want to see them add a new kicker, lock down Revis long term, lock down Mangold long term, sign Mark Brunell, and sign Adalius Thomas.

3. What prime time game are you looking forward to the most this year? Personally, I can’t help but get the most pumped about hosting the Vikings (if they have Favre) on Monday Night Football. I also badly want a win on Sunday Night Football over the Dolphins in their building.

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Offense

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First a few updates:

1. A reminder to check out Turn On The Jets, new site (http://web.me.com/turnonthejets/Site/Podcast/Podcast.html), where you could find our Podcast and eventually a few other things. It is in the early stages of construction but episode 1 of The Podcast is up and running so give it a listen.

2. Congratulations to Chris Embree and Shawn Perincheril for winning the TOJ DVD Contest, both will be receiving free copies of “New York Jets Best Games of 2009” from Warner Home Video.

3. The final week of LOST is under way and the real question is now what show should I start watching when it is over. I think my plan is to watch “The Wire” from start to finish, followed by the “The West Wing” but I am open to suggestions on shows currently on TV.

4. I have read some bad Power Rankings in my day…but Peter King putting the Dolphins at #6 in his power poll and the Carolina Panthers at #8 has to be up there among the worst.

Photobucket5. Let me just throw in some quick commentary on the Jets PSL/Parking Lot situation – It was bad enough when Deadspin released this story about how the Jets hosted their draft party (http://deadspin.com/5533012/tell-me-how-my-class-tastes-scenes-from-the-worst-nfl-draft-party-ever) but now the reports about the Jets dividing up parking lots based on whether you own a PSL or not have taken the organization’s arrogance to a new level. We knew PSLs were coming for the Jets and they managed to keep out of the upper levels (where my family has their season tickets) but telling people they can’t park near the stadium because they sit in the upper level is a joke. They are breaking up groups of people who have been tailgating together for years and diminishing the game day experience for fans who look forward to hanging out with their friends in the parking lot before and after games. I don’t mind the long walk to the stadium from the parking lot but plenty of older fans and people with younger children certainly will. The Jets have a predominantly working class fanbase and the team has done a spectacular job of alienating them as much as possible with their decisions on the new stadium. The fact that the team is nowhere near selling all the PSLs after one of the best season’s in franchise history, one of the best off-seasons in franchise history, and the rise of the team to one of the biggest stories in the NFL, speaks to that point.

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Offense

1. You have to wonder how many reps Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell will get during OTAs with the first team offense. Mark Sanchez won’t be participating until mid-June and even though Kellen Clemens is still technically number two on the depth chart, there is a good chance he won’t be with the team when week 1 comes around. Obviously, the Jets think O’Connell has potential since they carried four quarterbacks last season and Ainge had a very good pre-season in 2009. If either of these guys can play well during OTAs, it could expedite the process of getting rid of Clemens. The Jets will also likely sign Mark Brunell after July 22nd to be the backup for this season but in the long term, Ainge and O’Connell are battling to be Sanchez’s backup. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get an extended look with the starters while Sanchez continues to rehab.

2. The Jets may be better off if Matt Slauson can beat out Vladimir Ducasse in training camp for the starting left guard position. If this happens, Ducasse can spend time learning behind Damien Woody to take over at right tackle, when Woody is no longer with the team which is coming sooner rather than later. If Slauson has a good camp and pre-season, wins the job and can hold his own in 2010, the Jets will be heading into 2011 with a young group on the offensive line, and will have effectively replaced Alan Faneca and Damien Woody which has been a concern since they both were brought in before 2008. Ducasse might also benefit from having a season coming off the bench and slowly working into the Jets offense in short yardage packages, considering he is raw coming out of a I-AA school and won’t have to deal with the pressure in his rookie year of filling Alan Faneca’s shoes. Slauson has a year of learning in the Jets system already and gained valuable experience playing behind Faneca and Brandon Moore in his rookie season.

Photobucket3. It will be very interesting to see how the Jets integrate Santonio Holmes into their offense starting in week five. Unless somebody is really struggling or gets hurt, the Jets aren’t going to pull Jerricho Cotchery or Braylon Edwards from the starting line-up but obviously as the weeks pass with Holmes in the lineup he is gradually going to build up more reps. Cotchery is a team player and won’t have a negative public reaction to losing reps but will Braylon be able to keep his mouth shut if his playing time starts to decrease substantially in his contract year? His best remedy to the problem is to simply catch the football when it is thrown to him.

4. The decision to trade Leon Washington is going to increase LaDainian Tomlinson’s reps on the Jets offense, especially if Joe McKnight can’t get his feet under him in the early part of the season. The Jets can’t trust McKnight in the third down role right out of the gate, so Tomlinson will have to take the bulk of those reps, along with spelling Shonn Greene, and being the Jets likely short-yardage and goal-line back. If Tomlinson is as washed up as he looked towards the end of last season, the Jets could have serious problems with their Ground and Pound approach. Maybe, rookie fullback John Conner will take some short yardage carries to lighten the load on Tomlinson. I am not writing off McKnight in his rookie year but remember it took Shonn Greene awhile to get involved in the Jets offense last year.

5. Speaking of Greene, what are fair expecations for him this season? Honestly, I just want to see him stay healthy for 16 games, protect the football, and make some strides as a pass catcher. If he can do those three things, nobody is going to miss Thomas Jones. I also don’t doubt if he can do those three things, he won’t duplicate the number of yards Jones had rushing in 2009, although I doubt he comes near the 14 touchdowns because Tomlinson will be taking away goal-line carries.

6. If Mark Sanchez makes the expected strides in his second year, how much of the Jets “Tiger” formation will we see? The Jets won’t be helping their offense if Sanchez is in rhythm with Braylon, Cotchery, and Santonio by pulling him out and sticking Brad Smith in to run the option. That being said, Smith is still a valuable big-play weapon so it benefits to find a way to involve him in the game plan in some way on a weekly basis…it is just a matter of having the proper timing and using the proper plays.

Photobucket7. It is easy to lose him in the shuffle when talking about all the Jets wide receivers and running backs but Dustin Keller remains a potential x-factor on the Jets offense. He should be a primary target whenever the Jets get near the end-zone because of his ability to create mismatches. Keller is also benefited by Mark Sanchez’s ability to throw on the run because the Jets love calling the play action bootleg for him, in which Keller is normally the number one option. I don’t know if Keller will have the stats to be a pro-bowl tight end but he should be able to provide the Jets with a big play or two each week.

8. The Jets are going to throw the football more this season than they did last year but will they have a smooth transition into a more balanced offense? We all know Rex Ryan loves to run the football and allow his defense to win games but what happens if the Jets throw the ball 30 times in one week and that leads to a couple of Sanchez interceptions. Will the color code system go back into effect, with the Jets throwing the ball 14 times a game? How much rope will Brian Schottenheimer have with the offense in 2010?

9. Names to remember…Chauncey Washington, if one of the Jets running backs gets hurt he could get called up to the active roster and see some substantial playing time. Britt Davis, had a strong training camp last year and could push for a roster spot at receiver. Matthew Mulligan, the Jets number three tight end who is battling for long snapper job with Tanner Purdum. Aundrae Allison, maybe the Jets fastest player who could push for a roster spot at receiver and kick returner.

10. If you assumed the Jets had 60 plays in a game, how would you ideally divide up the touches as of right now? (assuming it is week 5 and Holmes is back)…here is my crack at it:

  • Sanchez – 24 pass attempts, hopefully 16-18 completions. Let’s say 17 for the sake of this.
  • Greene – 21 carries.
  • Tomlinson – 9 carries.
  • McKnight – 4 carries.
  • Smith – 2 carries
  • Cotchery – 4 catches
  • Holmes – 4 catches
  • Keller – 3 catches
  • Edwards – 3 catches
  • Tomlinson – 2 catches
  • McKnight – 1 catch

Let Us Tailgate In Peace

Analyzing The Jets Offensive Depth Chart

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have signed tryout linebackers Cory Reamer from Alabama and Brashton Satele from Hawaii and released linebacker Broderick Stewart. Ryan was raving about Reamer throughout the Jets rookie minicamp and it will be interesting to see if he has a real chance to stick on the active roster. The depth chart has been updated accordingly and I also finally got rid of that Kerry Rhodes picture in the 2009 stats section.

2. It is being reported Leon Washington will have to play with a rod in his leg this season and there is still a chance he could start the year on the PUP list. Hopefully Leon can get himself back to 100 percent but you have to wonder if these injury concerns played a major part in the Jets decision to trade him and draft Joe “Get The Guy Some Rolaids” McKnight.

3. Anybody else enjoying the Red Sox being well on their way to a 75 win season? Also, you have to feel bad for Mets fans…I mean they get themselves in position for a big early season series against the Phillies, they are in great position to steal 2 out of 3 but then their ace walks a 47 year old pitcher with the bases loaded en route to being completely shelled.

Digging A Little Deeper Into The Jets Roster

By this point we have a general idea of who the starters for the Jets will be on both sides of the ball and who many of the key reserves coming off the bench will be. However, there are still some spots that remain up for grabs on the Jets final 53 man roster. Let’s take a look through at current situation on the Jets depth chart heading into May’s full squad OTAs, starting today with the offense:

Quarterback

  1. Mark Sanchez – Locked in as the #1 quarterback, likely won’t participate in all of the Jets OTAs as he recovers from off-season surgery.
  2. Kellen Clemens – Has a very, very tenuous hold on the #2 job. I wouldn’t bet on him being a Jet when the season starts.
  3. Erik Ainge – He will be given every opportunity to make a run at the #2 job.
  4. Kevin O’Connell – The Jets must think he has potential to compete for the backup job since they held on to him all last season as their #4 quarterback.

Potential Additions – Mark Brunell – If one of the other Jets UFAs signs somewhere, Brunell will likely be quickly added or they could wait until July 22nd to sign him after the Final Eight rules stop restricting them.

Analysis – I wouldn’t expect the Jets to carry four quarterbacks for the second year in a row. It is a waste of a roster spot. It is hard to determine right now what the Jets depth chart will look like behind Sanchez on opening day. If I had to guess today, Brunell will be brought in as the #2 quarterback while Ainge and O’Connell battle for the #3 spot and long term backup position. Kellen Clemens will either be traded to a team who suffers an injury at quarterback in camp or be released.

Running Back

  1. Shonn Greene – Locked in as the starting running back.
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Locked in as the number two back.
  3. Joe McKnight – Considering the Jets spent a fourth round pick on him and traded up to get him…locked in as the #3/third-down back.
  4. Chauncey Washington – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

Fullback

  1. Tony Richardson – He will start out the year as the team’s #1 fullback and mentor to 5th round pick John Connor.
  2. John Connor – He will be on the 53 man roster to learn from Richardson and be groomed as the full time fullback.
  3. Jason Davis – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

AnalysisI would expect the Jets to carry Greene, Tomlinson, McKnight, Richardson, and Connor on their 53 man roster. McKnight or Connor will be battling to be active each week, depending on the game-plan, their progress, and how much they are contributing on special teams.

Tight End

  1. Dustin Keller – Locked in as the team’s starting tight end.
  2. Ben Hartsock – The Jets #2/blocking tight end.
  3. Matthew Mulligan – Battling Tanner Purdum for the long snapper job.
  4. Tanner Purdum – Not technically a tight end but battling for the long snapping job with Mulligan.

Analysis – The Jets will carry Keller, Hartsock, and whoever ends up being their long snapper.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jerricho Cotchery – I still consider him the Jets #1 receiver until Braylon is more consistent and Santonio returns from suspension.
  2. Braylon Edwards – Playing for a long term contract.
  3. Santonio Holmes – Man, we have a hell of trio at receiver.
  4. Brad Smith – He will be on the roster because of his versatility, big play ability and special teams skills.
  5. David Clowney – He will have a tough time making the roster because of his lack of contributions on special teams.
  6. Danny Woodhead – He is versatile but needs to show more on specials to stick.
  7. Aundrae Allison – Has incredible speed and potential as a kick returner, which makes him intriguing.
  8. Britt Davis – Made an impression last season in training camp but needs to show something on special teams.

Potential Additions – Laveranues Coles – Apparently the Jets have recently been in contact with Coles and his agent, but I doubt anything happens. He would have to accept being a number 4 receiver after Holmes returns from suspension.

PhotobucketAnalysisOne of the more interesting position battles on the team will take place for the #5 receiver spot. I doubt Coles joins the Jets, which means Clowney, Allison, Woodhead, and Davis will fight it out. Since Holmes will be suspended for the first four games, two of them will likely make the opening day roster with one of them being cut or moved to the practice squad after he returns from suspension. Clowney has the advantage of gaining starting experience last year. I don’t think Woodhead can stick as a full time receiver and he didn’t do much on specials last year. Davis has good size and could be a good project player to hold on to. If Allison can win the kick return job, than he will obvious stick as the #5.

Offensive Line

  • LT – D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Bookend tackle.
  • LG – Vladimir Ducasse – He will be one of the most watched players in training camp as he battles to replace Alan Faneca.
  • C – Nick Mangold – The best in the business.
  • RG – Brandon Moore – Rock solid and underrated.
  • RT – Damien Woody – Solid veteran.
  • G – Matt Slauson – He will battle for the starting left guard spot with Ducasse…has an uphill battle considering where Ducasse was drafted.
  • C – Robert Turner – Mike Tannenbaum said after the draft Turner would backup Mangold and he also contributes as an extra tight end in short yardage packages.
  • T – Wayne Hunter – Backup tackle who also plays in short yardage packages.

Potential Additions – Veteran Left Guard – If Ducasse and Slauson struggle in camp, don’t be shocked if the Jets look to add a veteran guard.

Analysis – I would anticipate the Jets carrying their five starters with Slauson/Ducasse, Turner, and Hunter as their backups.

Overall Analysis – If you figure the Jets carry three quarterbacks, five running backs, six receivers (until Holmes comes back), three tight ends, and eight offensive lineman, that totals 25 players, which gives Rex 26 defensive players to keep (with the kicker and punter rounding out the roster). He could also add another defensive player to the 53 man roster after week 4 when Holmes comes back and the Jets likely demote one of their receivers to practice squad or release them.

Don’t Sleep On J-Co

Comments On Lingering Jets Issues

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First a few updates:

1. Interesting article up at www.thejetsblog.com about the Jets low-balling Leon Washington on his contract offer last year and then releasing to the press that they offered him more money. The source for the article is “close” to Washington and is also reporting that two other teams are currently interested in him. Obviously, the validity of that claim and generally all his claims could be questioned considering he is in Washington’s camp but it is still worth a read. Overall, I will remain steadfast in my belief that no team is giving up a second round pick for Washington and that he will be back with the Jets next year.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 8 fans away from 250 and you want the chance to be #250.

3. Around The NFL…It amazes me the Eagles are willing to part with Donovan McNabb for a high second round pick. Nobody in the Philadelphia appreciates how productive and how many winning seasons that guy has brought them. I am not sure what Kevin Kolb has ever done to prove he can handle being a franchise quarterback, but I have to say I am looking forward to Eagles fans whining about how much they miss McNabb when they are 6-10 next year. I know Giants fans will be thrilled to see McNabb leave since he has owned them the past two years…Dez Bryant had a rough workout for scouts yesterday, hopefully enough teams will be dumb enough to pass on him to allow him to get within range for a reasonable trade for the Jets, and Bryant will be in “pissed off Randy Moss rookie year” mode about falling so far for our offense next year. (Yes, I know I have been against drafting a receiver in the first round but to get somebody with Bryant’s talent anywhere in the 20s would be a steal)…If I was the Rams I would be taking Sam Bradford with the first pick, they need a quarterback to build around…The NFL regular season schedule isn’t going to be released until April 13th.

Photobucket4. Thoughts On Lost Season 6, Episode 10 “The Package” – I am not usually a big fan of Jin/Sun episodes, especially since Sun has been reduced to a broken record asking for her husband the past season and a half but last night was a good episode that touched on all the characters/storylines. We saw a little more bleed through between the sideways timeline and the main timeline, with Sun’s inability to speak English and her seeming to notice the bump on her head from the island in the sideways action. Considering she accidentally got shot in the stomach, I don’t think her baby is going to make it, although I am sure Jack will be the operating doctor at the hospital. On the island, it is confirmed that Sayid is nothing more than a zombie/Locke’s killing machine and we got some dialogue from Widmore indicating he may be against the Man In Black. I don’t know who to believe but I do know I am beyond pumped that Desmond is back. All I can say it is about damn time and it will be interesting to see how Widmore wants to use him to stop Locke. My guess is that it involves the wheel that moves the Island since Widmore’s team took Jin to help them locate the pockets of energy on the island.

5. Other quick entertainment comments…Go see Hot Tub Time Machine, and if you haven’t been watching How To Make It In America, wait until after this week’s season finale and take the time to watch the 8 season 1 episodes online or on-demand.

6. Jets Pre-Season Schedule:

  • Week 1 vs. Giants
  • Week 2 at Carolina
  • Week 3 vs. Washington
  • Week 4 at Philly

Comments On Lingering Jets Issues

#3 Receiver: I think it is obvious we won’t be going into training camp with just Brad Smith, David Clowney, and Britt Davis battling it out for the #3 receiver spot. Unless somehow the Jets swing a move to grab Dez Bryant in round 1, I think they draft a receiver in either round 2 or round 4 if they find somebody who’s value they like at that spot. If for some reason the Jets leave the draft without adding a receiver or just adding one in the 6th or 7th round, I think at that point they would sign Laveranues Coles, who would be a nice fit for a year or two in the slot. Another guy I wouldn’t mind the Jets looking at is former Bills receiver, Josh Reed who is younger than Coles and has put together some productive years in the slot for Buffalo.

Defensive Line: My guess on the Jets thinking at this time is that they plan to draft a defensive lineman with their first round pick…hopefully Jared Odrick. Yet, if they can’t get him or another guy they are satisfied with and end up trading back or going in a different direction, they will then proactively go re-sign Marques Douglas. Honestly considering how thin and old they are on the defensive line right now, it would be probably be smarter to draft a defensive lineman in the first round and re-sign Douglas.

PhotobucketSecondary Depth: You have to think with Rex Ryan’s love of defensive backs, the Jets will add at least another body or two to their secondary through the draft or free agency. As of right now, we are only one injury away from Dwight Lowery starting and Drew Coleman moving into the nickel role, which is no good. It is hard to project what positions the Jets will target on a round by round basis because they aren’t going to reach for a guy who isn’t a good value only because he plays a specific spot but here is what I think you could see:

  • Round 1 – Defensive Lineman
  • Round 2 – Receiver
  • Round 4 – Corner
  • Round 5 – Offensive Lineman
  • Round 6 – Linebacker
  • Round 7 – Defensive Lineman/Corner

Backup Quarterback: Kellen Clemens hasn’t signed his tender yet but I would guess at this point he will end up remaining the Jets #2 quarterback. I think both Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell will get a fair shot to unseat him in training camp and then one of them, Clemens, Ainge, or O’Connell will be let go or traded during camp/pre-season. The Jets are likely hoping that an injury occurs that will lead a team to offer a late round pick (6 or 7) for Clemens, who has some starting experience under his belt and could be viewed as a good backup prospect for some teams.

One Last Time If You Haven’t Seen It Yet, TOJ Movie Trailer:

Dez Bryant Highlights