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 Strength – Wide Receiver

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 First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and now also follow us on YouTube.

2. The big story of the day is that the Jets have an interest in JaMarcus Russell. I said this on the Facebook page and I will say it again here, I would love to have Russell as a backup…to Kris Jenkins. Maybe, even bring him in to compete with Vladimir Ducasse and Matt Slauson at the left guard spot. Wherever he is playing, he better not be throwing any footballs in green and white next season.

3. Speaking of Ducasse, the Jets are apparently near signing him to his rookie deal. How about some positive contract news for the Jets?

4. Let me throw out some final guesses on where the major free agents end up: I am going with LeBron and Bosh to Chicago, Carlos Boozer to Miami, Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemaire to the Knicks, Rudy Gay and David Lee to the Nets, and that’s all I got for right now.

Jets Area of Strength – Wide Receiver

Here at TOJ, we have been going through the various areas of concern and strength for the Jets heading into the 2010 season. So far the areas of concern have been quarterback and running back, while the area of strength has been linebacker. Today we add another area of strength with the Jets group of wide receivers:

Links to previous “Areas of Concern” and “Areas of Strength” articles

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

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

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/28/jets-area-of-concern-quarterback/

The Jets have come a long way from Chansi Stuckey battling David Clowney and Brad Smith for a starting spot opposite of Jerricho Cotchery last summer. There may not be a team in football with a better top three receivers than the Jets this season. Yes, they will be without Santonio Holmes for the first four games because of a suspension but for the 3/4 of the season they are at full strength, their top three options are going to give defensive coordinators nightmares.

Here is the production of Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Santonio Holmes last year:

  • Edwards – 45 receptions, 680 yards, 4 touchdowns
  • Cotchery – 57 receptions, 821 yards, 4 touchdowns
  • Holmes – 79 receptions, 1248 yards, 5 touchdowns

Initially, those numbers are nothing to go crazy over especially since Holmes is coming off his best season ever and can’t possibly match those numbers in only 12 games this season (except the touchdowns). Yet, keep in mind Edwards spent 4 games with a quarterback disaster in Cleveland and arrived just in time for the rough patch of Mark Sanchez’s season. Cotchery missed two and half games with an injury and was a likely 1,000 yard guy without that missed time. He produced at a high level, even with a rookie quarterback. As I said before, 2009 was Holmes best season. Here is the stat lines from Edwards and Cotchery’s best season:

  • Edwards (2007) 80 receptions, 1299 yards, 17 touchdowns
  • Cotchery (2007) 82 receptions, 1130 yards, 2 touchdowns (or you could argue for 2006 when he had 82 receptions, 961 yards and 6 touchdowns).

PhotobucketAll three of these guys are capable of being 1,000 yard receivers. Edwards is the most physically gifted of the three and seems poised for a big year after a great off-season and the expected improvement of Mark Sanchez. Holmes is just entering his prime as a legitimate number one receiver, and is the best overall receiver of the group. Cotchery will get looked over by people but he was doing just fine as the Jets number one receiver before the Edwards trade last  year and is going to kill teams out of the slot this season. He has the best hands out of the group, is the most precise route runner, and has the best chemistry with Sanchez. If you had to bet which of these three guys will have the most receptions, I would go with Cotchery.

The depth behind the Edwards, Cotchery, and Holmes is solid. Brad Smith is more of a do everything guy than a receiver, but as a #4/5 option is about as solid as you will get in the NFL. David Clowney flashed at times last season and is capable of being the number three receiver while Holmes serves his suspension. Aundrae Allison is a burner who could push for a roster spot because of his kick return and deep threat ability. Also keep an eye on Britt Davis who has good size and impressed the coaches last training camp, along with Larry Taylor who looked like a good slot receiver in the making at mini-camp.

Overall, the production of players like Edwards, Cotchery, and Holmes will depend on Sanchez’s progression in year two. However, if he takes the expected steps forward, all three will have plenty of opportunities to make plays. I don’t know if there will be a 1,000 yard receiver out of this group because of the division of looks between them, Dustin Keller, and the running backs but Edwards and Cotchery should get close. Holmes should still put up a big chunk of receiving yards because of his big play capability and will hopefully find the end-zone 4-6 times.

TOJ TV

Jets vs. Raiders: Game Breakdown & Five Requests For Mark Sanchez

First a few updates:

1. Jerricho Cotchery, Lito Sheppard, Brad Smith, and Damien Woody remained out of practice today. I wouldn’t expect Smith or Sheppard to go on Sunday, while Cotchery remains questionable and Woody is expected to start. Donald Strickland is finally expected to return after missing the past 4 games to the nickel role on defense.

2. Rex Ryan said the Jets had an excellent practice today, which culminated with a competitive two minute drill that ended with a Mark Sanchez to Wallace Wright touchdown pass. I might be excited about that if this was training camp.

3. Turn On The Jets TV’s new episode will be airing later in the day and I can tell you in advance that it is good stuff. The production crew aka my roommate Corbett, stepped up this week.

4. A reminder that I am always open to suggestions for new content/article ideas on the site. I am constantly trying to tinker with every page and thoughts for articles. Hopefully, we will be able to put together a few more interviews and continue to update/improve all the different pages.

5. Richard Seymour predicted today that the Raiders would be making the playoffs this season. The Raiders certainly appear to be a more confident team after their upset of the Eagles. Sunday is a dangerous game for the Jets, very dangerous.

6. Let’s bring it home tonight Yanks.

Jets vs. Raiders: Game Breakdown & Five Requests For Five Jets

Jets Offensive Game Plan: Run. Run. Run. And when in doubt…run the football some more. Oakland has struggled with their rush defense and is currently ranked 29th in the league in yards allowed on the ground. They are slightly better in pass defense and are currently ranked 20th in the league in yards allowed through the air. Their secondary is filled with talented playmakers like Nnamdi Asmougha and Michael Huff, who has 3 interceptions already this season. They can also get after the passer with Richard Seymour and Greg Ellis who have combined for 8 sacks. The Raiders have 17 total sacks on the season, which is more than three times as many the Jets have (5). All this means the Jets need to go to their running game early and often and stick to it throughout the entire game. Last year Thomas Jones went off for 159 yards in Oakland and Leon Washington chipped in a rushing touchdown. There is no reason the two of them shouldn’t combine for 40-45 carries on Sunday.

When the Jets do need to pass, Brian Schottenheimer and Mark Sanchez need to keep it simple. With or without Jerricho Cotchery, the Jets need to spread the ball around because Braylon Edwards will likely be matched up with Asmougha. It is on Schottenheimer to call some receiver screens, tight end screens, and running back screens along with quick hitches and slants early in the game to get Sanchez rolling. It is on Sanchez to hit those throws and then check down to his running backs or the throw the football away on deeper throws when the primary receiver isn’t open. Oakland is going to load the box up and play man coverage, which doesn’t mean you have to bomb the ball. You can throw a quick screen to a guy like David Clowney and see if he can shake a tackle or get a block from another receiver to create a big play.

Jets Defensive Game Plan: Oakland likes to run the football on offense with Michael Bush and Justin Fargas, since Darren McFadden has been injured. Bush is a power back who is difficult to tackle 1 on 1 and Fargas has hurt the Jets in the past. It is on the Jets front seven, minus Kris Jenkins to stop Oakland on first and second down, forcing JaMarcus Russell into third and long. Russell is one of the few quarterbacks in the league who could make Mark Sanchez feel good about his stats. He has only thrown 2 touchdowns this year to 6 interceptions and has problems fumbling the football. The Jets have to get in his face to force him into quick decisions.

The Raiders best pass catching option is tight end Zach Miller, who leads the team in receptions and yards. He hurt the Jets last year so I am interested to see how Ryan chooses to cover him. Oakland is pretty weak at receiver, so this might be the type of the game where the Jets lock into man coverage and send as many people at Russell as possible. Rookie Louis Murphy is their top wide receiver but likely doesn’t merit being shadowed by Darrelle Revis on every play. Top draft pick Darius Heyward-Bey has struggled to catch the ball all season and has only recorded two receptions.

Special Teams: I still can’t believe Janikowski made that 57 yarder last year to beat us. Jay Feely hit a huge 52 yarder last year in Oakland to send the game into OT. Leon Washington has had a rough year on kick returns so far. The Jets coverage units will be without James Ihedigbo and Marques Murrell who have been placed on the inactive list for one week because of their role in a fight in last week’s game against Buffalo.

Five Requests For Mark Sanchez

1. Check the ball down. Leon Washington and Thomas Jones can make guys miss and turn short completions into key first downs.

2. If Jerricho Cotchery doesn’t start, don’t be afraid to throw the ball to David Clowney or Wallace Wright.

3. Enjoy the warm weather and play like you did at USC.

4. If your first read isn’t open and the pass rush is bearing down on you, throw the ball away. Punts are better than turnovers.

5. Get you swagger back. This franchise can’t afford to miss on the #5 overall pick in the draft.

Remember These Days? Look at the Screens! Look at the Check Downs! Look at Dustin Keller!