Ten Things August Taught Us About The Jets

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Opening night is less than two weeks away for the Jets, who only have to get “The Backup Bowl” out of the way this Thursday against the Eagles before preparation begins for the Baltimore Ravens. Here is ten things the month of August has taught us about the 2010 New York Jets:

1. Darrelle Revis Is A Stubborn SOB – When Revis said he wanted to be the highest paid cornerback in the NFL, he wasn’t playing. With his uncle in his ear, Revis hasn’t budged and appears ready to sit out the entire 2010 season unless the Jets cave in. At this point, even if Revis returns he can’t be expected to play at his 2009 level and has a high chance of getting hurt. I am sorry but getting trained by some random ex high school player in the Pittsburgh area isn’t proper preparation to face Anquan Boldin, Randy Moss, and Brandon Marshall. Revis has successfully turned public Jets opinion nearly 100 percent against him but for some reason I think we’d still see plenty of #24 jerseys week one, if he signs within the next few days.

2. Two For Four – Even though it is too early to place judgements, it appears the Jets went 2/4 in their 2010 draft picks…at least for this season. Kyle Wilson is likely going to be the week one starter at corner and has looked excellent throughout training camp and pre-season. The coaching staff has raved about his work ethic and knowledge of the defense. Fifth round pick John Conner has quickly developed into one of Rex Ryan’s favorite players because he is an absolute battering ram as a lead blocker. He should have a role on the Jets offense this year before taking over as the full time fullback next season. Second round pick Vlad Ducasse was overwhelmed in training camp and likely will spend the entire year on the inactive list unless Matt Slauson can’t handle the job at left guard. Fourth round pick Joe McKnight has looked good on punt returns but beyond that runs timid at running back and can’t hold on to the football. Come back, Leon Washington.

3. Still YoungMark Sanchez improved by leaps and bounds in the playoffs last season, yet judging by the pre-season there are still going to be inconsistencies from him in 2010. I am still confident Sanchez’s stat line will be substantially improved from 2009 but there are still going to be some moments from #6 that make you wince.

Photobucket4. Ground And PoundThe Jets were the league’s number one ranked rushing attack in 2009 and there is a good chance they will repeat in the number one spot in 2010. LaDainian Tomlinson looks motivated to prove he isn’t washed up and has shown a degree explosiveness this August that has surprised everybody. Shonn Greene looks like he is ready to pick up where he left off in the playoffs last season. The Jets may not have the same amount of rushing attempts as they did in 2009 but that doesn’t mean they still won’t be a run heavy offense.

5. Cookie Monster – I don’t know what was in those cookies Kris Jenkins ate all off-season to lose weight but the big fella looks like he is poised to be even more dominant than in 2008. Jenkins is all the way back from his off-season surgery and is moving around better than I have ever seen since he joined the Jets.

6. There May Be Hope Yet For Vernon Gholston – I don’t want to be get excited about anything related to Gholston at this point but the guy put together an impressive August. At the very least, it looks like he will be a quality backup defensive lineman. Hopefully, he can take advantage of the Calvin Pace injury and become a consistent contributor to the Jets pass rush. I am not sure how much time he will see at outside linebacker for the first four weeks or if he should even see any, considering how poorly he played there and how much better he has looked at defensive end.

7. Breakout Year I have consistently said it will be Jerricho Cotchery who will lead the Jets in receptions in 2010. Yet, the amount of times Mark Sanchez has been going to Dustin Keller this August has me contemplating changing my mind. It is feeling like Keller could be on the verge of a 65 reception season, with 6 or 7 touchdowns.

8. What The Folk?The Jets kicking situation might turn out to be okay after all. Nick Folk put together a good training camp and a better pre-season. Hopefully, Mike Westhoff has helped Folk find his 2007 All-Pro form again. While on the topic of kicking, punter Steve Weatherford has been solid all August also.

9. Danny Woodhead Won’t Go Away – It looks like the perpetual long shot will stick on the 53 man roster for the second straight year. Woodhead is versatile enough to play running back and receiver and has the skill set to be a competent special teams player.

10. We Have An Entertaining Team:

Monday Night Jets Roster Thoughts

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A few comments on the recent roster developments…

First off, I can’t say I disagree with the decision to release Laveranues Coles. The Jets are better off giving his roster spot to a young player, who can contribute on special teams. David Clowney is the obvious favorite to stick on the roster as the number five receiver, but don’t be shocked if Danny Woodhead or Larry Taylor bump him off if they can put together strong performances Thursday against Philadelphia.

I am not crazy about keeping four tight ends. Clearly, the Jets are very high on Jeff Cumberland. Yet, why not just stash him on the practice squad this year, let him develop a little more as a blocker and hope he can become the number two tight next year? I can’t see many scenarios when Cumberland will be active on Sundays. I just don’t think he has shown enough this pre-season to merit a spot on the 53 man roster.

It is a wise decision to keep Tony Richardson and John Conner. Let Conner get a full season working off the bench and soaking up as much information as possible from Richardson. The Jets need Richardson’s veteran presence in the huddle. Both of these guys will be active on a weekly basis, while we may not be able to say the same for Joe McKnight.

PhotobucketIt sounds like Kellen Clemens is going to make the final roster, which should have been a no-brainer. Clemens should be the #2 quarterback. Mark Brunell has done absolutely nothing this pre-season. He will get the starting nod this Thursday and if Clemens outplays him again, how could the Jets keep him as the number two quarterback?

I think the Jets can survive without the addition of Adalius Thomas. Yes, it would be nice for depth purposes but I like what I have seen from Jamaal Westerman this pre-season and think he can adequately spell Jason Taylor. I also think, similar to last year, Bryan Thomas can handle most of Pace’s regular responsibilities. We’ll see how Vernon Gholston looks when he drops back to outside linebacker occasionally on Thursday. Yet, I would hate to see the progress he has been making at defensive end go to waste. He has actually looked like he could be a capable part of the line rotation in 2010.

TOJ TV?

Change Of Perspective: Jets Training Camp

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In case you have been living under a rock…

1. The Jets officially locked down Nick Mangold today with a 7 year, 55 million dollar contract with 22.5 million dollars guaranteed. Anytime you can lock down the best center in the NFL, along with one of the best left tackles in the NFL within a few months of each other, it is a job well done.

2. The “Darrelle Revis…he says, she says” battle waged on today, with Tim Cowlishaw’s report picking up a little more support. Fanhouse is also now reporting a deal should be done in the next few days, as is Bill Daughtry of ESPN 1050 Radio, along with ESPN News. Beyond that, I get the impression from a OCNN representative I am in contact with that a deal is going to happen sometime this week (OCNN = OchcoCinco News Network, which Darrelle Revis recently became a part of). I would strongly advise Twitter users to closely monitor the following accounts @OGOochoCinco, @ocnnfeed, and @Revis24.

3. Also, Turn On The Jets will be appearing on the New York Sports Exchange tonight http://www.themirl.com/nyse.html at 9:20 PM to talk Mangold, Revis and plenty of other Jets related topics.

4. The Jets have signed wide receiver Brooks Foster and safety Keith Fitzhugh, along with releasing offensive tackle Adam Tadish and receiver Vic Hall.

5. Rex Ryan strongly implied the Jets will keep both Tony Richardson and John Conner on their 53 man roster and that Jason Davis even might have a chance to stick. It is a very smart move by the Jets to keep Richardson around.

Change Of Perspective: Jets Training Camp

As the Jets head into their third pre-season game, my perspective on a few issues surrounding the team has begun to shift, while others have been reinforced —

Matt Slauson/Vladimir Ducasse – Prior to training camp it seemed like Vladimir Ducasse would basically be handed the starting left guard job. Rex Ryan has spoken before about his desire to play high draft picks and I didn’t think the Jets were about to sit their second round pick (and a guy they nearly took in the first round) for a 6th round pick from 2009 with no experience. However, it now appears the battle is all but over and Slauson will be the opening day starter at left guard. You have to give credit to Slauson, who took advantage of his knowledge of the offense and Ducasse’s difficult transition to the NFL from Division I-AA. The real question is if the Jets will now begin grooming Ducasse to take over for Damien Woody at right tackle and are comfortable with Slauson as the long term answer at guard.

Kellen Clemens/Mark Brunell – Prior to camp, I adamantly stated that Kellen Clemens should remain the number two quarterback, while Mark Brunell fills the #3/mentor to Mark Sanchez position. I still feel the exact same way, even though Rex Ryan refuses to budge on Brunell being the primary backup. Brunell hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass in three full seasons and is going to be 40 years old. Kellen Clemens knows the offensive system better, can move around better, and has easily outplayed Brunell in both pre-season games.

PhotobucketJoe McKnightI was skeptical to judge McKnight so early after his rough start in rookie minicamp. However, he hasn’t given Jets fans much to be optimistic about this summer. I don’t know about you but I already miss Leon Washington. There were signs of life from him against the Carolina Panthers, including an electric punt return but he struggled to hold on to the football. Hopefully, it will click for McKnight sooner rather than later.

LaDainian Tomlinson – I was hesitant about how much Tomlinson would be able to give the Jets offense this season. Let’s be honest, the guy looked pretty much done in 2009. Yet, Tomlinson has had a strong camp by all accounts and looked like he had plenty left in both pre-season games. It appears Tomlinson is going to get more carries and playing time than I initially expected and he looks up to it. I am thinking he can give the Jets over 900 total offensive yards and maybe 6-9 total touchdowns.

Backup Wide Receivers – I thought David Clowney would have a lock on one of the final roster spots, although Aundrae Allison would push him. However, Danny Woodhead and Larry Taylor are putting together strong summers and I wouldn’t be shocked if either made the roster over Clowney. Yes, I know Woodhead is technically a running back but he still lines up at receiver frequently and if he does make the roster, it will be at the expense of Clowney and the other backup receivers.

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Jets Training Camp: Five Things We Learned In Cortland

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A few highlights from this morning –

  • The defense dominated practice. Mark Sanchez struggled, going 5/11 with an INT, which was picked off by David Harris. Jason Taylor also swatted a pass up in the air and into the arms of D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
  • Nick Folk went 5/5 today, including making a 56 yarder.
  • Mark Brunell and Laveranues Coles hooked up 3 times in the two minute drill for the second offense. When is the last time you hear about David Clowney doing anything?
  • Jim Leonhard recorded a sack. Kyle Wilson and Dwight Lowery both had passes defensed against the first offense.
  • Sanchez and Braylon Edwards hooked up for a 55 yard bomb down the sideline.
  • Donovan Warren didn’t practice today, due to a head injury.
  • Rookie corner Brian Jackson was tied to the goalpost after practice and had two buckets of Gatorade dumped on him. The reason? Apparently, he complained to defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman about how he was being used in the defense.
  • Jamaal Westerman, Kenwin Cummings, and Matt Kroul all sat out practice as a reward for winning an “Iron Jet” award this off-season.
  • Rookie show and King Ugly contest in Jets camp tonight.
  • Expect to see plenty of Mark Brunell and Laveranues Coles on Saturday night.

Five Things We Learned In Cortland

After tonight’s practice the Jets will be packing it up and heading out of Cortland, New York. Next week they will have practices at their Florham Park facility and out at Hofstra.

Photobucket1. Tale of Two Rookie Running Backs – The Jets selected halfback Joe McKnight in the fourth round and fullback John Conner in the fifth round of this year’s NFL Draft. Most people assumed McKnight would move into a Leon Washington type role on the team, while Conner spent a year learning behind Tony Richardson. Yet, both players have made a distinctly different impression so far in training camp. Conner has quickly become a favorite of the coaching staff because of his physicality and now appears likely to be the opening day starter at fullback. McKnight has disappointed the coaching staff with his hesitancy to run inside and his attitude. If the Jets are going by on-field production, McKnight doesn’t deserve to be on the active roster as of right now.

2. The Underdog – Most people, including myself, believed Vladimir Ducasse would end up being the starting left guard on opening day. Shame on me for sleeping on Matt Slauson who has built a comfortable lead over Ducasse in the battle to replace Alan Faneca. The coaches love how physical Slauson has been playing and he obviously already had a jump on knowing the offense. I will be interested to see if the Jets begin grooming Ducasse to replace Damien Woody at right tackle, if he doesn’t end up beating out Slauson.

3. Thumbs Up On The Kyle Wilson Selection I guess there could be some propaganda behind the coaching staff hyping up Kyle Wilson but every report out of camp is that he looks like a seasoned veteran out there. Most importantly, he is demonstrating a strong knowledge of the defense and is very coachable. Could you imagine the luxury of having him in the nickel role, with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie in front of him? We have also learned that Dwight Lowery hasn’t shaken off the AFC Championship Game yet and that Drew Coleman still can’t cover anybody.

4. Good RecoveriesKris Jenkins appears to be his old self after season ending ACL surgery last year, which is obviously a major boost to the Jets defense. Mark Sanchez hasn’t shown any signs of being slowed down by his off-season surgery either. I certainly hope Sanchez can keep building on his performance against the Giants, where outside of an early interception, he demonstrated accuracy, the ability to spread the ball around, and complete control of the offense.

5. Good Camp/Bad Camp –

  • Good – Antonio Cromartie, Braylon Edwards, LaDainian Tomlinson, Kyle Wilson, John Conner, Nick Folk, Kenwin Cummings, Jeff Cumberland, Matt Slauson, Dustin Keller, Santonio Holmes, Aundrae Allison, Danny Woodhead, Vernon Gholston
  • Bad – Dwight Lowery, Marquice Cole, Drew Coleman, Joe McKnight, David Clowney, Kevin O’Connell, Donovan Warren, Vlad Ducasse, Chauncey Washington

TV Critic: Hard Knocks Episode #2

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A quick look at episode 2 of Hard Knocks

1. Does anybody else miss Leon Washington yet? I haven’t heard or seen one encouraging thing from Joe McKnight yet and he didn’t come off well at all in tonight’s episode. He looked like a spaced out kid, who thinks he has all the answers. Good move by Santonio Holmes trying to give him advice and running backs coach Anthony Lynn was working on him constantly, but it didn’t seem like it was getting through.

2. Sanchez, funny guy but pay attention when your quarterback coach is talking to you and stop stressing over the 59 cents extra on the Pizza Hut order, you have a 50 million dollar contract.

3. It sounds like a foregone conclusion that John Conner will be the starting fullback. I just hope the Jets aren’t stupid enough to cut Tony Richardson. There is value in keeping the veteran around and giving him a role on the offense.

4. Kris Jenkins vs. Nick Mangold – There is a battle worth watching…looks like Mangold got the best of him tonight.

5. I still don’t buy the Vernon Gholston hype. The Jets had to stage a fight for him to pick up the intensity.

6. Mark Brunell is a smart man for keeping his daughter far away from Sanchez. The veteran backup came off well in this episode as a valuable mentor for Sanchez, though.

7. Mike Westhoff is the man.

8. Where are you? – Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, Nick Mangold, Calvin Pace, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Jim Leonhard, Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller.

9. Somehow I think there will be some people out there mocking Cromartie’s clip naming all his children.

10. I’m glad they didn’t spent any time on the Revis holdout.

11. Somebody hide the M&M’s from Rex.

12. Bart Scott…nice zinger on McKnight taking a pay cut after leaving USC.

13. Sanchez, what is with the Karate Kid look in the weight room?

14. Steve Weatherford…funny stuff with the shake weights.

The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets). Also now reach TOJ by e-mail at JCaporoso@fanball.com

2. A reminder the Jets will putting Weeb Ewbank, Winston Hill, Joe Klecko, Curtis Martin, Don Maynard, and Joe Namath in their Ring of Honor tonight. So stay in your seats during halftime and pass up on the 9 dollar hot dog and 7 dollar beer.

The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

It’s time for some August football, which means despite a Subway spokesperson and a reserve corner constantly expressing their jealously over the Jets, ultimately tonight’s results will be meaningless. However, that is no reason not to be excited to watch the Jets and Giants first teams battle it out in the first quarter. Well, at least the Jets first team since the Giants have continued their trend from 2009 by becoming the Mets of the NFL aka “the walking wounded.” What is in the water up there in Albany that has half of their team injured?

Anyway on to the football, there is plenty to watch for from a Jets perspective tonight:

Offense

1. Mark Sanchez – It would be encouraging to see Sanchez build on his strong postseason run tonight. The most important things are for him to protect the football and show the ability to take a hit after his off-season surgery. The Jets offense should be a little more wide-open than their strict ground and pound approach in 2009. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brian Schottenheimer dial up an early deep ball for Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes.

2. LaDainian Tomlinson – The word out of Cortland has been that Tomlinson has a little bounce in his step and looks like he is far from done. LT will be getting substantially  more pre-season work than he is used to. The Jets love his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, so look for him split out on a few plays and to be the target of a screen pass or two. It will also be interesting to see how the carries are divided up between him and Shonn Greene, along with who will get the goal-line touches.

3. Left Guard – The battle between Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse moves into a game situation tonight. Slauson has an early advantage but Ducasse should get a shot with the first offense to keep himself in the race. How much will the Jets miss Alan Faneca and his revolving door pass blocking?

4. Backup Quarterback – I’m not sold on Mark Brunell yet but apparently he has put together a strong camp. He will likely be working with Santonio Holmes, Laveranues Coles, and David Clowney at receiver, so let’s see the Jets offense move the ball against the Giants second unit.

5. Formations – The Jets are stacked with receiving options. I just can’t wait to see the different ways Schottenheimer has come up with to line up Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller.

6. Keep An Eye On – Rookie tight end Jeff Cumberland…reserve receivers Aundrae Allison and Marcus Henry…rookie running back Joe McKnight (please don’t throw up)…How many reps rookie fullback John Conner gets with the first offense.

Defense

Photobucket1. A Team Without An Island – Antonio Cromartie slides over into Darrelle Revis’ old spot and will be looking to build on a monster training camp. Rookie Kyle Wilson will start opposite him, while Dwight Lowery and Marquice Cole will be the first to work in behind the starters. It wouldn’t hurt the Jets leverage if Cromartie flashed back to 2007 and had a pick six or Kyle Wilson had a strong night in the starting lineup, while the organization could get antsy if Eli Manning is throwing all over the Jets first defense.

2. Is He Alive? – Vernon Gholston has been getting hyped up all August by the coaching staff and now even the beat writers. Will we actually notice him on the field tonight? Could he possibly pressure the quarterback or even record a sack?

3. The Cookie Monster – Kris Jenkins should see very limited reps tonight as he returns from ACL surgery. I would like to see the big fella blow up a few plays and then get on the sideline.

4. A Mirage – We get to see Jason Taylor rushing the quarterback in a Jets uniform tonight, weird. He can start winning fans over by flattening Manning tonight.

5. Mrs. Rhodes Replacement – I am anxious to see a safety next to Jim Leonhard who can tackle.

6. Keep An Eye On – Kenwin Cummings at inside linebacker…Ropati Pitoitua battling for a spot in the defensive end rotation…Donovan Warren, Brian Jackson, Drew Coleman, and Emmanuel Cook battling for a roster spot in the secondary…Bart Scott ripping the ball out of Brandon Jacobs hands again.

Special Teams

What The Folk – I won’t be able to watch tonight when Folk lines up for field goals.

No More Dearth – The Jets have a new long snapper in Tanner Purdum, everybody will remember James Dearth’s name tonight if he flubs a snap.

Return Battle – I am looking forward to see Kyle Wilson deep on punt returns and Brad Smith, Joe McKnight, Aundrae Allison, and Larry Taylor fight it out for the kick return job.

Check back tonight for instant reaction after the game

Get Yourself Pumped For Some Football

Jets Will Finally Have A Player With Double Digit Sacks…Maybe Two

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First your daily practice/Rex Ryan press conference update

1. Mark Sanchez – 8/15, No TDs, No INTs…not terrible considering it was raining all practice. There was also no reports about him fumbling…maybe he took Joe Namath’s advice.

2. Nick Folk – 6/7…good work by the kicker, who has been better than expected this August.

3. A Truce! – The Jets and Darrelle Revis’ agents issued a joint statement, saying they have cleared the air, will try to reach an agreement, and will keep all negotiations confidential. I suppose this is good news, better than the high school name calling. Maybe Revis watched HBO last night and started to miss everybody.

4. More of Rex Ryan talking up LaDainian Tomlinson and John Conner. He said Conner has a chance to unseat Tony Richardson at fullback but it will be very difficult. The Jets would be incredibly foolish to let Richardson walk. They should gradually work Conner into the offense but let T-Rich remain the de factor starter. The Jets need his veteran presence in the huddle.

5. Rex Ryan’s mom yelled at him for cursing too much on Hard Knocks. Hopefully she also yelled at him for sneaking snacks.

6. Nick Mangold sat out of practice to play it safe with his head injury. He doesn’t have a concussion but obviously there is no need to risk anything. Robert Turner worked as the first team center. Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse continued to rotate at guard.

7. Good day for Danny Woodhead, who was frustrating defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Jets Will Finally Have A Player With Double Digit Sacks…Maybe Two

Do you know the last time the Jets had a player on their roster who recorded double digit sacks in a single season? It was way back in 2005 when John Abraham finished with 10.5. Despite having winning records in 2006, 2008, and 2009 the Jets didn’t have a player who got after the quarterback consistently enough to reach double digits. Fortunately, that is going to change this year.

Calvin Pace racked up 8 sacks in only 12 games last season. I believe with a full season of participation, in this defense, with Jason Taylor taking attention away from him, Pace will finish with 11-13 sacks. He had 6.5 in 2007 for the Cardinals, 7 for the Jets in 2008, the previously mentioned 8 last season, and will now jump to the next level. Pace is too talented not to take advantage of the pass rushing opportunities he will be given in Rex’s scheme with Taylor opposite him.

Taylor? He racked up seven sacks last season on a Dolphins defense that was nowhere near as talented as this Jets unit. Ryan will give him every chance to get 10-12 sacks. He will be out there in every pass rushing situation, lining up in multiple positions to get him the cleanest rush possible.

Finally, Vernon Gholson? Nah…If he gets 4 sacks, I’d be thrilled.

TV Critic: Hard Knocks Episode #1

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A short and sweet review of episode 1 of Hard Knocks –

1. Overall, I was a little disappointed. Rex Ryan’s speech in the beginning had me ready to jump out of my seat and start fighting all the Giants fans around me (good thing I didn’t, or I wouldn’t be typing this right now). However, after that we spent a little too much time with Kevin Basped, Aaron Kia, Brashton Satele, and Jason Davis. I would’ve liked to see a little more Nick Mangold, Braylon Edwards, and Shonn Greene among others.

2. Kris Jenkins and Bart Scott didn’t disappoint. You have to love Jenkins passion on the field. He was going crazy during that goal-line drill. Scott was entertaining, as expected. I’m glad we got to hear his ribbing of Mark Brunell.

3. It sounds like the groundwork is being laid for John Conner to take Tony Richardson’s job. I would urge the Jets coaching staff to use extreme caution in this “battle.” It would be incredibly foolish to cut Tony Richardson, who is the strongest veteran presence in the huddle, especially with Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca now gone. It is one thing to gradually assimilate Conner into the offense but Richardson still has value on this team and should remain the de facto staring fullback, even if Conner eventually ends up taking more reps.

4. Broadway Joe…always fun to watch, although you certainly got the vibe everybody in the quarterback meeting room was humoring him and yessing him to death on his suggestions.

5. We didn’t see anything in this episode to make you think the Revis negotiations are ending anytime soon.

6. Nice catch Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and even you Mark Sanchez but work on those botched snaps.

7. Cafe Ryan? You knew the big guy would be sneaking pretzels and MMs, but at least he has a sense of humor about it.

8. Where were you? Kyle Wilson, Joe McKnight, Jerricho Cotchery, Jim Leonhard, David Harris and  D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

Next Week – A big helping of Mike Westhoff and Mark Brunell on Old Timer’s Day at Hard Knocks.

Jets Friday Morning Recap & What About The Gholston Hype?

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Friday Morning Recap:

Rex Ryan’s press conference was particularly interesting this morning –

  • He backed up his bravado of signing the ESPN Training Bus “Soon To Be Champs” on the Jets logo. Ryan claimed when he looks in the crystal ball for 2010 he sees the Jets winning the Super Bowl and doesn’t believe there is any reason to hide it.
  • Rookie UDFA tight end Jeff Cumberland has a head injury and could miss the green and white scrimmage tomorrow. Linebacker Brashton Satele and guard Marion Davis are also banged up and could miss tomorrow.
  • He discussed Joe McKnight’s role on the team and commented how he must find a spot on special teams, particularly in covering kicks. The Jets had Mike Westhoff call him before they drafted him and make sure he would willing to embrace that role. When discussing him at running back, he said there is no way he is beating out Shonn Greene or LaDainian Tomlinson on the depth chart but he could still have a large role on the offense. Sticking to the running backs, he continued to lavish praise on Tomlinson and rookie fullback John Conner.
  • Mike DeVito will be the starting defensive end opposite Shaun Ellis. Those two along with Kris Jenkins and Sione Pouha will get the bulk of the defensive line rotation reps, although he is expecting Vernon Gholston and Ropati Pitoitua to contribute on a weekly basis also. When pressed about Gholston deserving a roster spot, Ryan got defensive saying he was earning it with a great opening week of camp and his various roles on special teams. One of the reporters questioned whether newcomer Rodrique Wright should get a spot over him but Ryan claimed they play different positions and that Gholston is currently the best option to back up Shaun Ellis at defensive end.
  • Currently, Kenwin Cummings is the team’s number three inside linebacker behind Bart Scott and David Harris.
  • Ryan said  Nick Folk reminded him of Matt Stover, who struggled at times early in his career but eventually settled down.
  • He was frustrated with the defense allowing a 50 yard touchdown reception by Brad Smith because he saw it as a continuation of their late game struggles in 2009.
  • Matt Slauson is leading in the battle for LG right now because he is being more physical and not as hesitant. The coaches have got on Vladimir Ducasse about worrying less on making mistakes and concentrating on finishing his blocks each play.

Practice Highlights

  • Mark Sanchez – 5/11, TD, INT (Calvin Pace on a batted ball)
  • Nick Folk – 6/6, including a 51 yarder.
  • Smith with the previously mentioned 50 yard touchdown.
  • Another sack for Vernon Gholston.
  • Fight between Jamaal Westerman and Robert Turner.
  • Laveranues Coles banged up his leg but returned later in practice.
  • David Clowney is excused from practice today for personal reasons.

What About The Gholston Hype?

PhotobucketWe hear it every single year. Vernon Gholston is finally getting it. He looks great out there. The game is slowing down for him and on and on. This training camp has been no different. Every single day we are hearing about Gholston recording another sack or flushing the quarterback out of the pocket. Rex Ryan defended his roster spot today by saying he deserves a key spot in the defensive line rotation and that he looks substantially better with his hand in the dirt instead of playing outside linebacker. Honestly, I will believe it when I see it in a game. Yes, there is a chance Gholston will be much better off at defensive end. He certainly has the physical tools to play the position and the Jets aren’t exactly asking a ton out of him in 2010. Could be develop into a quality role player? What do you think, are you falling for the hype again?

Jets Thursday Training Camp Round-Up

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Some assorted thoughts on Jets training camp as we head towards the weekend –

First off, a friendly reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

The Jets early practice was cut short by rain this morning and they only had a special teams session in the afternoon. Hence, the normal avalanche of information about specific plays in practice wasn’t released today, however here is a run down of the biggest headlines:

  • Joe Namath graced the organization with his presence today and was quick to pronounce his belief the Jets were poised to win the Super Bowl. For some reason this was reported as a major story. I am not sure it is so shocking that a Jets legend who is involved in working with the organization is going to say he is confident the Jets will be really good in 2010. It is about as surprising as Rex Ryan saying he thinks the Jets will have the best defense in the NFL, which he says about 11 times a day.
  • Kris Jenkins had a scare today when he took a shot to his leg and admitted he had a similar feeling to when he tore his ligaments last year. However, everything held together and he said surviving that shot has boosted his confidence about the strength of his leg heading into this season. I would still expect Jenkins to have very limited reps in the pre-season. It will also be interesting to see the amount of playing time Jenkins gets in the beginning of the regular season as the Jets attempt to keep him fresh for the stretch run. Sione Pouha is a more than capable back-up, who can provide a high amount of quality reps off the bench.
  • Linebacker Brashton Satele’s injury isn’t that serious and he should be back at practice within in the next few days.
  • Steve Weatherford was rested for this afternoon’s special teams practice. Apparently punter TJ Conley has improved substantially from last season but it sounds like Weatherford still has a very strong hold on the job.
  • Mike Westhoff announced today that Kyle Wilson will be the Jets primary punt returner and Brad Smith will be the primary kick returner heading into the pre-season. I would still expect to see some Jim Leonhard on punt return for certain situations, along with Antonio Cromartie getting a few reps occasionally at both punt returner and kick returner. Aundrae Allison or Joe McKnight should also get some reps in the pre-season to be given a chance to make an impression.
  • Rex Ryan signed the Jets logo on Adam Schefter’s ESPN training camp tour bus “Soon To Be Champs.”…you have to love the big guy.

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  • From listening to every single interview on WFAN and ESPN Radio today at Jets camp (I was stuck working construction)…it sounds like there has been no tangible progress on the Revis deal and we should all be settling in for a long wait. In the meantime, Revis has been pairing up with old his buddy Chad Ochocino Johnson to work on the OCNN Network. All of his teammates said all the right things about supporting his decision and believing the team could be fine without him, while he sorts out his contract situation. Overall, I would say Rex Ryan has absolutely made his imprint across this roster. The confidence across the board from all the players is extremely encouraging.
  • It continues to sound like Matt Slauson has a very good shot of beating out rookie Vladimir Ducasse for the starting left guard position.

The Jets have a practice at 8:20 and 4:20 tomorrow and then have their annual Green and White scrimmage on Saturday at 6 PM.

A Few Shovel Fulls of TOJ TV