A Collection Of Awful New York Jets

With all the talk this week about who the greatest New York Jet ever is, why not flip the script and take a look at some of the worst players in recent franchise history…

Vernon Gholston – Nothing like spending the 6th overall pick on a pass rusher who can’t sack the quarterback. Gholstoncouldn’t even trip in the right place to record a sack during his three seasons with the Jets. Beyond that, he never really seemed to have any passion for the game.

Justin McCariens – Maybe he wasn’t that bad overall, but all of those dropped passes from 2007 still stick in my memory. He also cost me a remote control, which I slammed against the wall, after this game in Baltimore:

Doug Brien – He didn’t just miss one…but yes two kicks that would have sent the Jets into the AFC Championship Game in 2004. Few people remember what a huge upset over Pittsburgh that win would have been, with the Steelers being 15-1 that season. Those missed kicks also made the Jets have a knee jerk reaction and waste a second round pick on Mike Nugent the following year.

Rick Mirer – A valuable reminder that you always need a quality backup quarterback. The Jets season went up into flames in 1999 after Vinny Testaverde tore his ACL in week one because for some reason they thought Mirer was a competent backup.

Adrien Clarke – Sure, go ahead and release Pete Kendall…we will be fine with Clarke under at guard…tell that to Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens who were routinely pummeled thanks to Clarke’s matador blocking.

Alex Van Dyke – A first round wide receiver who had 25 receptions for the Jets in three years and most notable play was a costly fumble in the AFC Championship Game.

Blair Thomas – Nothing like spending the second overall pick on a running back who will rush for five career touchdowns. I will say this…he was always very fast in the original Tecmo Bowl.

TOJ's Ten Least Favorite Jets

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets are planning to announce tomorrow they will be returning to Cortland next year for training camp, which was basically already a foregone conclusion. Let’s see if the team finally steps up to get me that press pass and then we will see if me and my 1998 Jeep Sport will be making the 86 hour ride to upstate New York.

2. A decision from Jason Taylor isn’t expected until the middle of this week according to his agent. I am sure the Jets want to get this done before the draft because it will have an impact on their need to add a pass rusher in round one or two. Hopefully, this doesn’t drag out and Taylor just makes up his mind or Bill Belichick finally decides to stop holding Adalius Thomas hostage.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook….Because we are only 39 fans away from 300 and Shonn Greene promised me he’d run for 1500 yards this year if we could get 300 by May 1st.

4. Two nice Yankees wins on Saturday and Sunday, while the Mets lost back to back games to the Nationals…things are right in the New York baseball world heading into this week.

5. Who else is fired up for the NBA Playoffs and more of those Kobe/LeBron puppet commercials?

6. Nice win for the Spirits Today (My ACFL touch football team)…32-14 over the Deep Threats. I am proud to say I pulled in 2 touchdowns and was looking like a young Keyshawn Johnson out there.

TOJ’s Ten Least Favorite Players In Jets History

If Jason Taylor ends up signing with the Jets he will quickly become my least favorite person ever to wear a Jets uniform (unless he has 10 sacks this season), along those lines here my ten least favorite Jets in no particular order…

Justin McCariens  – There is nothing like trading a second round pick for a wide receiver who can’t catch the football (insert joke about the Jets just trading for Braylon last year). However, this is different because Braylon is a freak athlete who occasionally rips off a huge play. McCariens was a crappy possession receiver who caused me to shatter my remote control in 2007 when he dropped a game tying touchdown pass from Kellen Clemens against Baltimore, and then had another one bounce off his hands that was intercepted to end the game.

PhotobucketDavid BarrettNobody loved giving a huge cushion, letting a receiver catch a 10 yard stop pattern and then miss the tackle so he gets 25 yards more than old #36. (That’s right David, just let Welker catch that one right in front of you). He was a key part of crappy rotation of corners associated with the Eric Mangini era along with Andre Dyson, Hank Poteat, and Drew Coleman.

Adrien Clarke – Probably just should have paid Pete Kendall his money. Richard Seymour nearly killed Kellen Clemens on the first play of a Jets/Patriots game in 2007 after he blew right by the revolving door of Adrien Clarke.

Brooks Bollinger – The Jets team in 2005 was among the worst I have watched on a weekly basis. You just knew they were going to get the crap kicked out of them every game. I will never forget walking into a Monday Night game against New England late in the season knowing we had absolutely no chance because Brooks Bollinger would be under center for us against Tom Brady.

Curtis Conway – This guy was really supposed to be our number one receiver in 2003? I am extra bitter about Conway because I bought his jersey in what may have arguably been the stupidest purchase of my entire life. To make things even worse the next season I taped “McCariens” over the back of his name, when the Jets released Conway and traded for him….that damn jersey was cursed which I was why I never taped “Keller” over the back of the Conway jersey and just bought a completely new one.

Doug Brien – Is an explanation even necessary?

Doug Jolley – The Jets traded a first round pick for this guy, who managed a whopping 29 catches and 324 yards before being let go the following year. A first round pick for Doug Jolley? Somebody must have lost a bet in the Jets front office.

Mike Nugent – Nothing like spending a second round kick on a slightly below average kicker, who doesn’t have the leg strength to reach the end-zone on kickoffs. Then again I might take Nugent over Nick Folk.

Ty Law – Nothing good ever happened when Law was on the Jets. He joined the team in 2005 and despite having 10 interceptions they went 4-12 and then he joined the team in 2008 when the team was 6-3 and they end up finishing 9-7 and out of the playoffs.

Justin McCariens Had A Bad Day

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Jets Need Big Season From #25

First a few updates:

1. A shorter Saturday post today since news is a little slow until practices pick up again this week and the Thomas Jones/Leon Washington watch can begin. Mark Sanchez should also be feeling a little pressure this week to improve on his first week struggles, and by a little, i mean only a little…it’s just OTAs.

2. How about LeBron last night?

3. A few things to think about when you are wondering why the Jets have issues with depth and may have struggled in recent years, since 2004 they have: traded a first round pick for Doug Jolley, traded a second round pick for Justin McCariens, spent a second round pick on Mike Nugent, and spent a second round pick on Justin Miller…owch.

Jets Need Big Season From #25

Arguably the most important part of Rex Ryan’s defense the past few years in Baltimore has been the Hall of Fame level play of safety Ed Reed. Reed is a one of a kind player and it isn’t fair to expect anybody on the Jets to match his level of play, but the Jets do have one of the highest paid safeties in the league who Ryan has expressed a desire to turn into “a New York version of #20 (Reed).” Kerry Rhodes had a monster year in 2006, followed by another strong season in 2007, prompting the Jets to give him a huge contract since he appeared to be on the path of being a perennial pro-bowler. Yet, last season was a disappointing one for Rhodes, who struggled to make an impact in Eric Mangini’s increasingly conservative system.

It is hard to assign too much blame to Mangini because he was in charge of the team in 2006, which was Rhodes’ break out year. Bob Sutton was also the defensive coordinator for the past three years, so if you want to blame those two coaches for Rhodes struggles in 2008, they deserve at least some credit for his success in 2006-2007.

During the 2006 season, Rhodes was robbed of pro-bowl and all-pro recognition. He finished the season with 98 tackles, 13 passes defensed, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 4 interceptions for the 10-6 playoff-bound Jets. Rhodes was constantly making game changing plays, especially in the opposing team’s backfield. In 2007, Rhodes dropped off slightly but still had a productive season. He finished with 67 tackles, 10 passes defensed, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 touchdown, and 5 interceptions. The decline in his production didn’t really get noticed since the Jets tanked to a 4-12 record, thanks mostly to a weak offensive line and inconsistent quarterback play.

In 2008, Rhodes level of play decreased even further. He did jump up to 84 tackles but only had 5 passes defensed, 1 sack, 0 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. Many people believed Eric Mangini/Bob Sutton weren’t being aggressive enough with him, but regardless some of the blame must still fall on Rhodes for having a such a major drop off in production the past two years from his 2006 season.

The Jets signed Jim Leonhard from Baltimore to give Rhodes a partner at safety who is comfortable with Rex Ryan’s system and who excelled at playing alongside Ed Reed last year. Ryan is going to let Rhodes be aggressive and be in a position to make plays, similar to Reed. Nobody expects Rhodes to match Reed’s overall production but if he can get somewhat near his 2006 numbers, the Jets defense is going to be that much better.

Can Jerricho Cotchery Be a #1 Receiver?

First a few updates:

1. Kerry Rhodes made the media rounds today, appearing on ESPN Radio and First Take. He spent most of the time talking about the hard time everybody is giving Mark Sanchez over his GQ photo shoot. Rhodes also said the Jets “will go as far as their defense takes them” and that their defense is currently ahead of their offense (I’m sure Brian Schottenheimer was thrilled to hear that).

2. There are no updates on the Thomas Jones/Leon Washington contract disputes. You would hope that both players will be at practice by next Thursday, which is the next time the media has availibility for an OTA practice.

3. Some more numbers out of yesterday’s practice: Sanchez was 1-9 during 11 on 11 drills…yikes. Kellen Clemens was 5-13 but victimized by a few drops.

4. Pro Football Talk recently did an over/under for Jets wins this season and set their line at 7…fair enough without a proven quarterback. Tim Graham of ESPN.com also ranked the Jets wide receivers, as the worst group in the AFC East, which is hard to argue with although I may put them in front of Miami.

Can Jerricho Cotchery Be a #1 Receiver?

For the first time in his career, Jerricho Cotchery will be asked to be the Jets unquestioned go-to wide receiver. Since 2006, he has been in a 1-A/1-B type role with Laveranues Coles but with Coles now in Cincinnati and no replacement brought in via the draft or free agency, Cotchery is the Jets #1. Can he handle the increased responsibility and attention that comes with being a #1? The Jets are counting on Cotchery to take the next step as a player, and move beyond his production from the previous three years.

In 2006, Cotchery had a breakout year with 82 catches for 961 yards and 6 touchdowns. He displayed an impressive ability to run after the catch and made numerous clutch receptions, especially in the red-zone. In 2007, most people believed he would surpass Coles as the Jets clear number one receiver and potentially jump up to a pro-bowl level. He moved up from 961 yards to 1130, despite having the same amount of receptions but had a disappointing 2 touchdowns (including a garbage time hail mary against Cincinnati).

Coles spent large parts of the 2007 injured (Cotchery also missed one game), giving Cotchery the opportunity to be the Jets unquestioned #1 guy. Here is Cotchery’s production in games without Coles during 2007:

Week 9 vs. Washington: 5 Receptions, 90 Yards, 1 Lost Fumble.

Week 11 vs. Pittsburgh (Coles only played the opening series): 1 Reception, 5 Yards.

Week 12 at Dallas: 2 Receptions, 43 Yards.

Week 15 at New England: 6 Receptions, 53 Yards.

Week 16 at Tennessee: 8 Receptions, 152 Yards, 1 Touchdown.

Week 17 vs. Kansas City: 8 Receptions, 76 Yards.

In 2008, Cotchery was a mild disappointment. Most people expected a huge year from him with Brett Favre behind center, but Cotchery never could string together a few big games. He finished with 71 catches for 858 yards and 5 touchdowns, regressing to below his 2006 production. Some of the blame belongs on Brett Favre for being innaccurate and turning the ball over, and some goes on Brian Schottenheimer for being so consevative, but regardless Cotchery should have produced more last year.

There are defintley encouraging trends from 2007 for Cotchery being a number one receiver. In those games without Coles, he was paired with Brad Smith and Justin McCariens. For 2009, Smith is somewhat improved since then and I’d take Chansi Stuckey over McCariens in a heartbeat, and David Clowney is also now in the mix. Cotchery struggled initially with the increased attention, especially against Dallas and Pittsburgh but finished the year strong as a #1 receiver. He had a monster game in Tennessee, and had good overall efforts against New England and Kansas City.

The Jets are going to need Cotchery to be a 90 catch/1200 yard/6-8 touchdown guy for them this season. He has shown flashes of being that type of receiver, most notably in 2006 in all three games against the Patriots, in 2007 against Baltimore (7 rec/165 yds) and Tennessee, and last year against New England (5 Rec/87 yds/1TD) and Kansas City (9 rec/102 yds). Somebody does need to step up to take some pressure off him, but defenses will have to pay attention to Dustin Keller and Leon Washington, which should give Cotchery enough 1 on 1 match-ups to make big plays.