Jets vs. Bills Round 1: First Look

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First a few updates:

1. It sounds like there is a decent chance Calvin Pace could play this week and an outside chance Darrelle Revis could suit up. Personally, I think the Jets should be resting Revis until after the bye week. Give him the full six weeks to recover from the hamstring injury, so he is 100 percent for the second half of the season. He needs to be 100 percent for Green Bay and Detroit coming out of the bye. The Jets can survive against Buffalo, Minnesota, and Denver without him. All three teams lack a big time receiver and depth at the position…and yes, I do think Kyle Wilson will eventually learn to turn around when the ball is in the air.

2. Jamaal Westerman is also now banged up and could miss this week, which equals more Vernon Ghoslton at outside linebacker. Wayne Hunter will likely miss his second straight game.

Final Thoughts on Week 3:

Offensive MVP – Dustin Keller – Keller has been rolling since the playoffs started last year, if you count those games he has 6 touchdowns in his last 6 games. It sure looks like he will be the Jets leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns unless Santonio Holmes plays outside of his mind for 12 straight games.

Defensive MVP – Brodney Pool – He was quiet all night but made two huge plays in the final minute to clinch the Jets victory, by chasing down Brandon Marshall and reading Miami’s final play to knock the ball away from Anthony Fasano.

They Deserve Some Love Too – Mark Sanchez…The guy has looked like a legit franchise quarterback the past two weeks…LaDainian Tomlinson…Carrying the Jets running game and providing a viable receiving option out of the backfield…Braylon Edwards…On the football field, he blocked very well and made two huge catches…Eric Smith…The Jets best special teams player and currently leads the team in tackles…Brad Smith…Every time he touches the ball, it seems like the Jets get a big play.

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: First Look

The Opponent: Those poor, poor Buffalo Bills. The AFC East’s whipping boy is off to a 0-3 start and has already cut the quarterback who won their off-season competition. Regardless, the Bills tend to play above their talent level in AFC East games and were very much in their games against Miami and New England. Ryan Fitzpatrick will take shots down the field at quarterback and the Bills have a quality collection of running backs. We all remember what their secondary did to Mark Sanchez last year.

Buffalo Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick – 20/28, 247 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
  • Running Back: Marshawn Lynch – 33 carries, 156 yards
  • Running Back: Fred Jackson – 17 carries, 66 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: CJ Spiller – 12 carries, 38 yards, 11 receptions, 41 yards, 1 TD
  • Fullback: Corey McIntyre – 1 carry, 2 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Lee Evans – 9 receptions, 88 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Steve Johnson – 9 receptions, 137 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Roscoe Parrish – 9 receptions, 152 yards, 1 TD
  • Tight End: Jonathan Stupar – 5 receptions, 41 yards
  • Tight End: David Nelson – 3 receptions, 22 yards
  • Left Tackle: Demetrius Bell
  • Left Guard: Andy Levitre
  • Center: Geoff Hangartner
  • Right Guard: Eric Wood
  • Right Tackle: Cornell Green

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Marcus Stroud – 13 tackles
  • Nose Tackle: Kyle Williams – 14 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive End: Dwan Edwards – 15 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Chris Kelsay – 19 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Andra Davis – 21 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Keith Ellison – 16 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Akin Ayodele – 7 tackles
  • Corner: Terrence McGee – 9 tackles
  • Corner – Leodis McKlevin – 12 tackles
  • Corner: Drayton Florence – 17 tackles
  • Safety: Jairus Byrd – 11 tackles
  • Safety: Donte Whitner – 21 tackles
  • Safety: George Wilson – 9 tackles
  • Safety: Bryan Scott – 14 tackles, 1 sack

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Rian Lindell – 4/6 FGs
  • Punter: Brian Moorman – 43.3 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: CJ Spiller – 31.2 yards per return, 1 TD
  • Punt Return: Roscoe Parrish – 6.6 per punt return

Key PlayersMarshawn Lynch has been Buffalo’s most productive back. CJ Spiller is explosive on offense and special teams. Roscoe Parrish is a big play threat at receiver. Terrence McGee and Leodis McKlevin are athletic corners who can make big plays.

Injuries – Paul Posluszny has been banged up and could miss this game. Calvin Pace could suit up for the Jets and play a somewhat limited role. Darrelle Revis will likely be out for the second straight week, along with Wayne Hunter.

Key Storylines – Can the Jets avoid the trap game? Seeing if the secondary can play better against an average offense. Can Shonn Green finally get going? Calvin Pace’s potential return to the lineup.

Highlights of Bills week three loss

In the coming days, keep an eye out for some TOJ give-a-away contests for the following items and more –

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Final Thoughts On Jets/Ravens

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Quick Week 1 Thoughts –

  • You have to give New England credit, they completely smacked around an over-matched Bengals team today. I am still not sold on their running game or defense but when it comes to throwing the ball, they will be as good as anybody in the NFL.
  • Ugly, ugly game between Miami and Buffalo. Trent Edwards attempt at a two minute drive at the end of the fourth quarter was one of the ugliest things I have ever seen. The Bills are as devoid as talent as any team in the NFL. Miami certainly didn’t look like a serious contender today but a win is a win.
  • Matt Moore and Carolina’s offense isn’t a pretty sight to watch.
  • What happened to San Francisco? The NFC West is completely up for grabs. Those four teams are closer together in their mediocrity than most people thing.
  • Why couldn’t the Colts play like that last January?
  • And here comes the quarterback controversy in Philadelphia…

Final Thoughts on the game that just won’t get here

Offense – I am interested to see how much playing time Danny Woodhead or Jeff Cumberland get at the wide receiver position, considering the Jets are only carrying three actual receivers. This is a game where it makes sense to liberally use more spread formations, which means Brad Smith is going to have step up and make some plays as a receiver and not just in the Wildcat…Braylon Edwards, let’s see it. Now is the time to put those physical skills to use and show you can handle being a number one receiver…Everybody is panicked about Mark Sanchez heading into this game, yet I have hard picturing him falling flat on his face. I think he will make a concerted effort to protect the ball, yet I hope that doesn’t prevent him from taking the necessary shots down the field…I am hopeful I will be bumping this on my ride to work Tuesday morning:

Defense – I am just excited to see this unit in action. I want to see Joe Flacco on the ground early and often. The Jets sack totals were somewhat disappointing last year so I’d like to see them get a strong start tomorrow night…Regardless of his reputation, I have a hard time believing the Ravens won’t take an early shot on Darrelle Revis…Can we see some signs of life from Jason Taylor, and if not get Jamaal Westerman in the game…I am worried about Ray Rice matched up on our linebackers tomorrow night.

Special Teams – I am very anxious to see Kyle Wilson get his first punt return under his belt…I can’t relax about Nick Folk until I see him hit a 40+ yarder tomorrow night.

Let’s Get It

Jets vs. Eagles "Backup Bowl" – What To Watch For

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1. Mark Brunell is a whopping 5/13 for 23 yards with a lost fumble this pre-season. Why is he the primary backup to Mark Sanchez again? I have said it 1,000 times this August and I will say it again, Kellen Clemens should be the #2. I hope Clemens puts together a final push tonight and claims his rightful spot on the depth chart.

2. Considering the play of Danny Woodhead and Chauncey Washington this pre-season. Is there a chance the Jets might put Joe McKnight on the practice squad? He certainly hasn’t played like he deserves a spot on the 53 man roster and is in desperate need of a strong performance tonight.

3. Larry Taylor and David Clowney will both be battling for one of the final 53 roster spots. Clowney needs to flash on special teams, which he has been inconsistent on this pre-season. Taylor is an easy guy to root for who appears to be a favorite of special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff, which certainly doesn’t hurt his chances.

4. Vernon Gholston is going to get plenty of time tonight, including a good share of the reps at outside linebacker since Calvin Pace, Jason Taylor, and Bryan Thomas won’t be playing. Hopefully, Gholston continues his strong pre-season and can drop Mike Vick a few times.

5. Keep making those field goals, Nick Folk.

6. Santonio Holmes should be running circles around the Eagles backups tonight. Of course, he needs a quarterback who can get the ball into his hands.

7. How about Matt Slauson doesn’t allow a sack tonight? It would go a long way to making all of us feel better about Mark Sanchez’z safety in 2010.

8. I am looking for Jamaal Westerman to make a strong case that he deserves a good chunk of the reps Calvin Pace would play until he returns from injury.

New Episode Coming This Wednesday

Jets Area of Strength – Linebacker

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First a few updates:

1. I always wonder why the NBA has such a quick turn around on their draft. They give no time for the hype to build up like it does for the NFL Draft. I guess it makes sense considering only the first 10 picks are interesting and after that 3/4 of the guys never even make it in the league. However, there is always a high amount of trades and I’m sure there will be a few interesting LeBron nuggets of information coming out tonight.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and now on YouTube (Turn On The Jets channel).

3. I had a nice wake up call from the Jets organization this morning attempting to convince me to buy season tickets. Considering I already have tickets and the salary of a blogger doesn’t cover those club-level PSL seats, I had to decline. I was thinking they were calling to offer the job of running their web-site.

Jets Area of Strength – Linebacker

We touched on one of the Jets areas of concern yesterday by talking about their running back position, so let’s cheer you back up today by talking about one of their areas of strength heading int0 2010, the linebacker position.

The Jets are returning the same four starters from the 2009 season, all of whom had a very productive seasons considering their role on the team. Second team All-Pro linebacker David Harris led the way with 127 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 FF, and 2 INT. Despite not being a big name around the league because he isn’t a flashy player, Harris is one of the league’s best inside linebackers and the second most important player on the Jets defense behind Darrelle Revis.

Photobucket Scott and Calvin Pace are both a touch below being Pro-Bowl caliber players. Pace racked up 8 sacks, 55 tackles, and 3 FFs in only 12 games last season. There is no reason he shouldn’t be able to crack double digit sacks in a full season of play. Scott is the vocal leader of the defense and I am not sure if I have seen a player ever run his mouth on the field more. Yet, he had a very good season in 2009 to back up his words. Scott finished with 92 tackles, 1 sack, and an impressive 11 tackles for a loss. There are few teams in the league that you could argue have a better top three linebackers than Harris, Pace, and Scott.

Bryan Thomas didn’t have flashy numbers in 2009 but is an important part of the Jets defense because of his versatility and ability to do things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He isn’t frequently given chances to make plays in the Jets scheme but still had 53 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 TFLs, and a FF in 2009.

This off-season, the Jets added Jason Taylor which gives a huge boost to their depth. Taylor will provide a needed pass rushing threat off the bench and should see a ton of time on third downs and in the Jets nickel package. He had 7 sacks for the Dolphins last season and he came to the Jets on Rex Ryan’s promise that he could get him at least 10 this season. It is hard not to have faith in Ryan’s ability to get his players after the quarterback. Taylor will have every chance to be a 10-12 sack guy this season

The linebacker group is rounded out by two young players, who are heading in the right direction. Jamaal Westerman managed to make an impact last year as a UDFA on both defense and special teams. The coaches love his versatility and he should be involved in a few defensive packages as both an inside and outside linebacker. Kenwin Cummings has been raved about by the coaches and players as one of the MVPs of the team’s off-season program. He should provide good depth behind Scott and Harris at the inside linebacker position and could contribute in a few packages and on special teams.

The Jets also added special teams ace Lance Laury from Seattle this season to help offset the loss of Wallace Wright and Larry Izzo. He will be listed as a backup at inside linebacker but his primary job on the team will be to lead the special team units.

Turn On The Jets TV – Mini Camp

12 Reasons Why The Jets Will Win 12 Games

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Also check out the new episode of TOJ TV at the bottom…And now follow Turn On The Jets on YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Turn0nTheJets

2. I will making an appearance on Marty Schupak’s Green Rewind Podcast tonight, I will post the link once he has it up and running.

3. The Jets signed 4th round pick Joe McKnight today. They still have to sign Kyle Wilson and Vladimir Ducasse to finish up their draft pick deals.

12 Reasons Why The Jets Will Win 12 Games

I was amazed by  how high the levels of optimism were when I was interviewing Jets fans at mini-camp practice this past week. Out of the 40 people we interviewed, not a single person put their record below 11-5. Personally, I share the optimism because I genuinely believe this is a 12 win, division winner type team this season just I like I genuinely believed they would be a 10 win, wild-card  type team last season (close enough on the win total). Am I being blinded by the fact I am a Jets fan? I don’t think so, why should I say a team that should win 12 games, shouldn’t? Here are 12 reasons, why the Jets will win 12 games in 2010

Photobucket 1. Familiar With Defensive System – This is year two in Rex Ryan’s defensive system, which means all of the returning starters will be substantially more comfortable. They were already number one in the league and now they will have the ability to expand into more complex packages and blitz schemes. The players will also be given more of a chance to freelance and create plays based on what they see from the offense.

Some quotes from Bart Scott earlier in the off-season on this issue…

“Now it’s not what the coaches can do more of, it’s what the players can do more of. Last year we were doing everything pretty much straight by the book. Now we can improvise…The only field coaches we had last year were me, Marques Douglas and Jim Leonhard.  Now you’ve got 22 people here that know the defense and can teach the defense.”

2. Improved Sanchez – I find it hard to believe after the solid postseason Mark Sanchez had, an off-season spent at the team facility, and a year of experience under his belt that he won’t improve on his 20 interceptions to 12 touchdowns from last season. The Jets won 9 games with Sanchez having a pretty awful statistical season, just imagine how many they could win if he makes the expected improvements to his touchdowns, interceptions, completion percentage, and QB rating.

3. Welcome Back – One of the top defensive lineman in the NFL will be returning to the Jets this season. They did struggle against the run at times last season, especially in the wild-card round against the Bengals but the return of Kris Jenkins should alleviate those problems. He will also provide a much better push on the pocket in passing situations.

4. First Down – The addition of Santonio Holmes will allow the Jets to run a wide variety of personnel groupings and formations with their three wide receivers, who are as good of a top three as any in the NFL. Watch for Jerricho Cotchery to become to one of the best slot receivers in the NFL on third downs this season, while all the attention is being paid to Holmes and Braylon Edwards on the outside.

5. No More Corner Problems – The Jets weak spot on defense last year was the cornerback position opposite Darelle Revis. How do you solve a problem like that? You trade for a former All-Pro corner who is one of the best overall athletes in the NFL and spend a first round pick on one of the draft’s top corners. I doubt you can name a team with four corners better than Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, and Dwight Lowery.

Photobucket6. A Mismatch NightmareThe Jets loaded receiver position and number one ranked rushing attack, makes you forget they have one of the better pass catching, and most athletic tight ends in the NFL in Dustin Keller. His regular season numbers weren’t overwhelming last season but in the playoffs, he caught a touchdown in every single game and appeared to finally be on the same page as Mark Sanchez. Keller will get plenty of favorable match-ups this season with attention focused on the Jets receivers and running backs.

7. Defensive Depth – The growth of young players Jamaal Westerman and Kenwin Cummings, along with the additions of veterans Jason Taylor and Lance Laury has given the Jets solid depth at the linebacker position. You already read about their corner depth, which is matched by quality depth at the safety position with Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, and Donovan Warren. The defensive line could use a little more but that problem could be solved if they add Marques Douglas to the roster over the summer.

8. Safety Valve – The Jets have added two very good pass catching running backs, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight which will benefit Mark Sanchez. Unlike previous years, the Jets screen game was nearly non-existent last season. Sanchez lacked a good outlet out of the backfield. The presence of Tomlinson and McKnight will help his completion percentage and also create some big plays in the screen game.

9. Playing For The Money – The Jets have three very, very talented players in Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Antonio Cromartie playing for a contract that will secure them for the rest of their careers.

10. Safety Upgrade – Despite not having as big of a name, Brodney Pool will prove to be an upgrade for the Jets at the safety position over Kerry Rhodes, who was a major disappointment last season.

11. Offensive Line – Even with the subtraction of Alan Faneca, who was arguably the Jets fifth best lineman last year anyway, the Jets will still have a very good offensive line in 2010. Nick Mangold is an All-Pro. D’Brickashaw Ferguson is a Pro-Bowl player. Brandon Moore should have been a Pro-Bowl player last year. Damien Woody is a solid, consistent veteran. Their experience will help overcome the growing pains of Vladimir Ducasse.

12. Special Playmakers – The Jets have a serious collection of playmakers for their return game. Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Joe McKnight, Brad Smith, Aundrae Allison, and David Clowney give Mike Westhoff plenty of options.

New TOJ TV

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

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First a few updates:

1. The sun is shining a little brighter today because America’s favorite touch football team had a nice second round upset victory in their march to a title yesterday. Next stop is the AFC Championship Game and we won’t be repeating the Jets performance in that particular game this year.

2. I am not a big soccer guy, but when I sat down to eat breakfast this morning and saw Portugal put a 7-0 whooping on North Korea, it caught my attention. If there is one place you don’t want to be heading back to after losing by 7 goals in soccer, it is North Korea.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

We basically know who the Jets starting eleven will on be on defense this season:

  • DE – Mike DeVito
  • DT – Kris Jenkins
  • DE – Shaun Ellis
  • OLB – Calvin Pace
  • ILB – David Harris
  • ILB – Bart Scott
  • OLB – Bryan Thomas
  • CB – Darrelle Revis
  • CB – Antonio Cromartie
  • S – Brodney Pool
  • S – Jim Leonhard

However, there is going to be major roles for players not listed above. After watching all that basketball over the past two months, you can’t count out the value of a solid bench. Rex Ryan loves to throw different personnel groups out there and bring in a variety of players. Here is a look at who the key players off the Jets bench should be on defense this season:

Secondary

Nickel Back – Kyle Wilson: Wilson was handed the starting nickel job on the day he was drafted. He will see plenty of action in the slot and I am guessing will quickly become one of Ryan’s favorite guys to blitz off the edge. The amount of reps Wilson plays will obviously be bumped up when the Jets play teams who like to spread it out (New England, Green Bay, Houston) but I am sure he will still be worked heavily into the game plan, even against offenses who are more run orientated.

Fourth Corner – Dwight Lowery: As a fourth guy, Lowery is a very good option. He has starting experience over the past two years. While he lacks the physical skills to be an every down starter, he has good ball anticipation skills and a knack for creating turnovers. Lowery is the type of guy who will likely see a bunch of reps in certain game plans and then be used less frequently against run heavy offenses. However, he does still have very good value as a depth player and special teams option.

Fifth Corner – Drew Coleman/Marquice Cole: I expect both of these guy to make the roster again, but only of them will probably be active on a weekly basis. Coleman has a ton of speed but has a knack for getting burnt whenever the ball is thrown at him. Cole looked pretty good last pre-season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leap over Coleman on the depth chart this season.

PhotobucketSafety – Eric Smith: A versatile player who became a key contributor off the bench last season. He has the ability to play both safety positions, be used in coverage on tight ends or running backs out of the backfield, and be used frequently as a blitzer off the edge. There will be some weeks where he plays near a starter’s amount of reps and some weeks where he won’t be as big as a factor. However, he is a core special teams player and a very good depth guy to have in the secondary.

Safety – James Ihedigbo: As the season went on last year, Ihedigbo gradually received a bigger role on the defense. He is a good blitzer off the edge and had a couple of sacks last season and a forced fumble. In the AFC Championship Game, he played a ton of reps for Bart Scott in the dime package. Similar to all the bench players, his number of reps will be game plan specific but I think overall you will seeing a decent amount of Ihedigbo.

Linebacker

Outside Linebacker – Jason Taylor: Taylor was brought in to provide energy to the Jets pass rush. Rex Ryan will be lining him up all over the place to get him the cleanest rush possible to the quarterback. Expect to see a ton of Taylor on third downs and when teams are in two minute mode against the Jets. He should also get some reps at defensive end in certain packages.

Outside/Inside Linebacker – Jamaal Westerman: Westerman had a nice sack in week one last year but was relatively quiet on defense after that. The coaches love his long term potential and versatility. He should find his way on to the field in a few different packages this season at both the inside and outside spot.

Inside Linebacker – Kenwin Cummings: The coaching staff has been raving about him this off-season but unless there is an injury, he shouldn’t see any type of substantial time on the defense. I could see him coming in a goal-line look when the Jets load up on defensive lineman and  linebackers or maybe if Bart Scott or David Harris need a quick break.

Defensive Line

PhotobucketDefensive Tackle/End – Sione Pouha: The Jets top defensive lineman off the bench, who will be a key player in the effort to keep Kris Jenkins fresh and healthy. Ryan could also experiment with some looks that have both Jenkins and Pouha on the field at the same time.

Defensive End – Vernon Gholston – It would be nice to get ten productive reps out of Gholston a game, to spell Shaun Ellis and Mike DeVito and to provide a boost to the pass rush.

Defensive End – Ropati Pitoitua – Similar to Gholston, it would be nice to see him contribute ten or so reps off the bench to improve the Jets defensive line depth.

Defensive Tackle/End – Matt Kroul – The coaches have hyped him up this off-season, let’s see if can turn into  Mike DeVito part two.

Overall, I would say Wilson and Pouha will get the most total reps off the bench with Taylor and Smith not too far behind. Yet, for the Jets defense to remain at the top of the league they will need all the guys listed above to settle into their roles as productive players. The Jets depth is key to throwing different schemes and personnel groups at offenses, along with keeping their starters fresh.

TOJ TV

New York Jets Special Teams Questions

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First a few updates:

1. The NBA Playoffs is finally coming around a little bit. How can you not enjoy watching the Phoenix Suns play? They are like a #15 seed in the NCAA Tournament going for a upset with the amount of energy they play with. I just hope the Magic can overcome the corpse of Vince Carter dragging himself around the court to get another win tonight.

2. Some highlights from Rex Ryan’s video chat with fans today:

  • He was adamant that Nick Mangold isn’t going anywhere and that the organization will do what it takes to keep him a Jet for a long time.
  • He talked up Brandon Moore as one of the best guards in the NFL.
  • When discussing the running backs, he deflected a question about there being a battle for the starting running back job but said there would be weeks when Shonn Greene will have more carries and weeks when LaDainian Tomlinson will have more carries and that Tomlinson would also be the third-down back while Joe McKnight gets up to speed. He also raved about John Conner and discussed how he pushed for Mike Tannenbaum to draft him.
  • Ryan shot down the chemistry concerns and joked that nobody on the team but Eric Smith could pass a chemistry class.
  • He again penciled in Kyle Wilson as the starting nickel but said Dwight Lowery would still be used frequently at both corner and safety.
  • If the season started today Eric Smith would start at safety because of his knowledge of the defense but he expects Brodney Pool to be the opening day starter.
  • He talked up Brad Smith and the Jets use of the “Tiger” formation this year.
  • The player who has made the biggest improvements since he arrived is Mark Sanchez.
  • The biggest surprise and guy who has jumped out the most at OTAs has been Kenwin Cummings at inside linebacker and as of today he is the team’s #3 inside linebacker.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets), I need all the ammunition I can when I talk with the Jets media relations guy in the coming weeks about getting a press pass for training camp and the pre-season games.

New York Jets Special Teams Questions

Hey, it is one-third of the game. No Jets fans can sleep on the importance of special teams after watching the negatives of Ted Ginn Jr. take two kicks back for a touchdown in a single game last season and Jay Feely miss three kicks versus Atlanta along with the positives of Brad Smith taking a kick back to the house in Indy and the Jets executing four successful fake punts in 2009. The Jets were up and down last season despite having one of the best special teams coaches in the business with Mike Westhoff and they still have plenty of questions heading into this year.

Kicker – The Jets got a problem here. Jay Feely was a reliable kicker the past two seasons and the Jets decided not to bring him back and replace him with Dallas castoff Nick Folk, who was an ugly 18/28 last season before being cut. Apparently Folk had an ugly start to his Jets career last week by missing just about every kick he took during OTAs. I know I don’t feel confident in Folk lining up for a big kick this season and if he continues to struggle this off-season look for Matt Stover to be added to the roster sooner rather than later. Stover might not have the greatest leg strength at this stage of his career but he is reliable in the 40-45 yard range and you can’t say the same for Folk right now.

Punter – Steve Weatherford managed to keep his job throughout the entire 2009 season and did an okay job. It looks like he will be the Jets guy going forward and hey the guy averaged 21 yards per carry last season. Hopefully a full off-season of working with Westhoff will improve Weatherford’s consistency in 2010.

PhotobucketKick Return – It will be very interesting to see what the Jets do here. Brad Smith did a pretty gob job in this role last season. Antonio Cromartie got some reps in OTAs and was impressive. Rookies Kyle Wilson and Joe McKnight will likely get some opportunities in training camp and the pre-season. David Clowney could get a shot. Aundrae Allison was impressive last pre-season and is probably the fastest guy on the team. Dwight Lowery took some reps last year before Smith locked the job down. If I had to guess today, Smith and McKnight will be the primary guys with Cromartie getting occasional reps. However, keep an eye on Allison during training camp as a dark horse.

Punt Return – This will be Kyle Wilson’s job to lose, although I could see Jim Leonhard or Jerricho Cotchery getting some reps in a big spot or when a team is kicking from around mid-field, when it would be better to have an experienced veteran back there.

Coverage – The Jets lost valuable special teams players like Wallace Wright, Larry Izzo, and Ryan Fowler this off-season but did sign Lance Laury who was a stand out special teams player in Seattle. They will also look to guys like Kenwin Cummings, Jamaal Westerman, and Marquice Cole to fill the void. Eric Smith, Brad Smith, and John Conner should all also be core special teams players.

Maybe the play that saved the Jets season in 2009

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Defense

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First a few updates:

1. Mark Sanchez threw some passes during the Jets OTA practice today, which is obviously good news. The entire roster participated outside of Kris Jenkins and Jason Taylor. Jenkins was continuing to rehab his injury on the sideline and Taylor was finishing up charity work in Miami. There is a ton of pictures of today’s action on www.newyorkjets.com, including shots of Santonio and LaDainian in the green and white.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Defense

1. It will be very interesting to see how the reps are divided up in the Jets defensive backfield this season. Rex Ryan loves using packages that are overloaded with DBs but beyond Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, and Jim Leonhard, who else will be prominently featured in the Jets various sub, nickel, and dime packages? Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, Dwight Lowery, James Ihedigbo, and to a lesser extent Drew Coleman, Marquice Cole, and Donovan Warren will all be competing for a bigger role on the defense.

2. Most people are targeting Jason Taylor as the guy on the Jets who could come up with double digit sacks. Yet keep in mind, Calvin Pace had 8 sacks in only 12 games last season. How about the Jets get two guys in the double digit sack range?

3. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has been talking about second year player Matt Kroul as a key piece of the Jets defensive line rotation this season. Players like Kroul and Ropait Pitoitua need to step up to give the Jets the necessary depth on the line and take pressure off Kris Jenkins up front, who will also have his reps limited by the presence of Sione Pouha.

Photobucket4. I know we are all excited about Kyle Wilson’s coverage skills but don’t sleep on his value as a blitzer in Rex Ryan’s defense. He loves sending defensive backs off the edge and Wilson is athletic and physical enough to get 3 or 4 sacks this season to complement his coverage skills.

5. Nobody is a bigger fan of Darrelle Revis than Turn On The Jets but 20 million dollars a year? The guy is the best corner in football but he wants to be the highest paid player in the league, which is hard to swing if you aren’t a quarterback. These negotiations aren’t going to be pretty.

6. What is the reason we can’t resign Marques Douglas? We can’t give him a one year deal to boost the depth on the defensive line? Maybe I am underestimating Mike DeVito, who for some reason is my cousin’s favorite player on the defense.

7. What are the odds that Vernon Gholston is even active for more than half of the Jets games in 2010? I just can’t see him making a successful transition to defensive end, especially in the 3-4. He isn’t going to play special teams over Lance Laury or Jamaal Westerman.

8. Unlike last year when the Jets defense dominated the offense throughout training camp, it should be a little more even this season. How about watching Revis, Cromartie, and Wilson battle against Edwards, Cotchery, and Holmes on a daily basis? That kind of competition is going to make everybody better…and yes, Dwight Lowery and David Clowney could make each other better also.

9. I want some more defensive touchdowns this season…I am looking at you Antonio Cromartie…and Revis, you really can’t get any better than you were last season but if you want 20 million dollars, let’s take a couple back to the house this year.

10. What defensive player jersey are you looking to buy this season? I got Revis but beyond that I am swamped with offensive jerseys…Harris? Wilson? Leonhard? Drew Coleman?

Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…because I can’t be typing about all the Jets related links you should be reading here.

2. Turn On The Jets has climbed to #2 when you google “Jets Blog”…now you may be asking, who the hell ever googles “Jets Blog?” and it is a good question but  I am pumped about it anyway. Wait until I finally get that press pass this summer, get the podcast up and running, and redesign the site.

3. Darren Sharper re-signed with the Saints. I never thought he would end up with the Jets anyway, the organization seems to be high on Brodney Pool and if he doesn’t work out Eric Smith is a reliable back-up.

4. There is still plenty of chatter about Laveranues Coles joining the Jets but again I don’t see it happening unless it gets to July 22nd and Coles hasn’t found a team yet. I can’t see him accepting being a number four receiver for 12 weeks of the season, which he would be after Santonio Holmes returns from injury. On the other hand, I wold bet on Mark Brunell joining the Jets after July 22nd and Adalius Thomas also joining the team some time in June (he was cut and isn’t a UFA so the Jets could sign him whenever).

5. Philadelphia…the only place where a father tells his 17 year old son to run on the field during a MLB game and then watches as his son proceeds to be tazed by the cops and thrown in jail.

6. What the hell was that last night Cleveland? I run my mouth on twitter talking you guys up over Boston and you lay an egg like that?

Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart

PhotobucketBy 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, continuing today with the defense. After looking at the offense yesterday, it is fair assume the Jets will keep 26 players on this side of the ball and maybe add another when Santonio Holmes returns from suspension and the Jets release a receiver:

Defensive Tackle

  1. Kris Jenkins – The big fella is returning from a season ending injury and looking to regain his form from early in the 2008 season.
  2. Sione Pouha – Did a great job stepping in for Jenkins last year. He will play a ton to keep Jenkins fresh for the stretch run.
  3. Matt Kroul – Coaching staff is apparently very high on him, should push for a roster spot.
  4. Ty Steinkuhler – Outside chance of pushing for a roster spot.

Defensive End

  1. Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet and a solid veteran player.
  2. Mike DeVito – Could be pushing it by asking him to be a full time starter.
  3. Vernon Gholston – Should be cut…but won’t be until after this season.
  4. Ropati Pitoitua – Is expected to be a big part of the defensive line rotation this year.

Potential Additions – Marques Douglas – This could be more of wishful thinking on my part but if there is an injury or the defensive ends struggle in camp, don’t be surprised to see the Jets bring Douglas back.

Analysis – Jenkins, Ellis, DeVito, Pouha, and Gholston are all locks to make the roster. I would be shocked if Pitoitua doesn’t end up on the final 53 either because the Jets like his potential. Kroul will likely be the 7th and final guy they carry unless somebody else steps up in camp.

Inside Linebacker

  1. David Harris – All-Pro caliber linebacker.
  2. Bart Scott – Emotional leader of the defense.
  3. Jamaal Westerman – Showed potential last year, could have bigger role in sub packages this season.
  4. Lance Laury – Special teams ace brought in to replace Larry Izzo.
  5. Kenwin Cummings – Talented guy from small school, who stuck around the team the past couple of years.
  6. Brashton Satele – Made good impression in minicamp.

Outside Linebacker

  1. Calvin Pace – Very good all around player, who the Jets get for all 16 games this year instead of 12.
  2. Bryan Thomas – Not flashy but does his job well.
  3. Jason Taylor – Brought in to sack the quarterback and make Jets fans nauseous.
  4. Corey Reamer – Made a strong impression in minicamp.
  5. Kevin Basped – Also made a strong impression in minicamp.

Potential Additions – Adalius Thomas – A Rex Ryan favorite who has the versatility to line up all over the place in his defense. The Jets will likely wait a few weeks before making a move to sign him.

Analysis – Harris, Scott, Pace, Thomas, Taylor are all locks for the final roster. Westerman and Laury are overwhelmingly likely to make it because of their special abilities and in Westerman’s case, his long term potential. My guess is the Jets will carry 8 linebackers, with the eighth either being Adalius Thomas or one of the UDFAs like Reamer or Basped.

Corner

  1. Darrelle Revis – The Island is the best in the business.
  2. Antonio Cromartie – Playing for a long term contract and to show he can still be an all-pro player.
  3. Kyle Wilson – He was a steal at #29 and should flourish in this defense.
  4. Dwight Lowery – I feel a hell of alot better with him as our #4 corner instead of our #2.
  5. Drew Coleman – Hanging by a thread.
  6. Marquice Cole – Played well last pre-season, could easily jump Coleman on the depth chart and maybe even Lowery.
  7. Brian Jackson – UDFA who played well in minicamp.

Safety

  1. Jim Leonhard – Comfortable in Rex’s system…steady player.
  2. Brodney Pool – Let’s hope he can stay healthy.
  3. Eric Smith – Versatile player, who did a good job last season off the bench.
  4. James Ihedigbo – Good on blitzes and special teams.
  5. Donovan Warren – Could turn out to be a huge steal as a UDFA.

Analysis – My guess today is that everybody I just listed sticks on the final roster, except either Drew Coleman or Brian Jackson. Rex loves DB’s and don’t be shocked to see him carry 11.

PhotobucketOverall AnalysisThe way I see it now is the Jets will carry 7 defensive lineman, 8 linebackers, and 11 secondary guys. They could add another defensive lineman or linebacker after the Holmes suspension ends and the Jets release a receiver. Don’t be shocked to see Adalius Thomas be one of the linebackers on the final roster. Also, keep an eye on Donovan Warren as somebody who could sneak up the depth chart.

Kris Jenkins Is A Beast

Help Needed: Jets #1 Ranked Defense

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First a few updates:

1. Leon Washington spoke to the press yesterday and it sounded like it is all good between him and the organization. As expected, nobody signed him to an offer sheet, leaving him to sign the Jets tender. His goal is to be back for the first day of training camp on August 1st and work his way back to getting the amount of carries he was receiving before his injury last year. Here’s hoping Leon could get back 100 percent to the player he once was and TOJ is obviously glad he will be back with the team in 2010.

2. The Jets will be moving on without long time long snapper James Dearth this year. He won’t be signed to a new deal, which I don’t quite understand, Dearth has always been reliable. Anyway the Tanner Purdum era now begins at long snapper…hopefully I will never have to type his name again. New long snapper? Crappy kicker? No Wallace Wright? Anybody else worried about the Jets special teams this year?

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Because Dwight Lowery promised me he’d never be beat deep again if we got 300 fans by May 1st.

4. Read here (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/04/16/revis-carefully-sets-the-trap-everyone-knows-white-boys-cant-refuse-cabo-san-lucas/) about a funny prank involving Dustin Keller, Nick Mangold, and Darrelle Revis.

5. Every 5 minutes the story changes on Jason Taylor and the Jets…one second it is a done deal…the next second a decision is still far away. Hopefully this can get decided either way before the draft because it obviously impacts the Jets plans.

6. Congratulations San Francisco you just gave up a 5th round pick for Ted Ginn Jr and we gave up a 5th round pick for Santonio Holmes…that is like paying the same price for a Big Mac as a filet mignon…actually forget that analogy, Big Macs are way better than Ted Ginn Jr.

Help Needed: Jets #1 Ranked Defense

The draft is only 6 days away and as the Jets head into it their primary needs remain on the defensive side of the football. Despite having the league’s #1 ranked unit last year, there is much more work to be done to their defense than their offense. Here are some of the holes that currently exist on the Jets D:

Defensive End – Look at the Jets depth chart right now at this position: Shaun Ellis as one starter, who is 32 years old and had issues with his knee and hand last year and Mike DeVito as the other starter, who has been a backup his entire career and has 0.5 career sacks. The top backup? Ropati Pitoitua who was inactive for 8 games last season. Like I said…help needed. I am keeping my fingers crossed like most people that Jared Odrick somehow falls to the Jets at #29.

PhotobucketLinebacker – I feel good about our starters, even Bryan Thomas who does alot of little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. However, the Jets need a pass rusher, whether that comes in the form of Jason Taylor or a draft pick. They are also lacking depth at both the inside and outside position. The top backups right now are Vernon Gholston, who…well I don’t need to say it and Jamaal Westerman, a UDFA who did show some potential last year but doesn’t have much experience on defense.

Secondary – The Jets need another corner to develop. I don’t like being one injury away from Dwight Lowery starting and Drew “toast” Coleman playing nickel back. At safety, it is risky to assume Brodney Pool can last for 16 games with his injury history and I’d rather keep Eric Smith in a reserve roll. Don’t tell me that Mike Tannenbaum won’t get trigger happy if Earl Thomas starts sliding close to #29.