New York Jets Free Agency: The Other Guys

There has been no shortage of talk about the appropriate fates in free agency for Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie, and Brad Smith…but what about the other unrestricted free agents the New York Jets have to make decisions on?

Shaun Ellis – Personally, I think it is a smart investment to bring Ellis back on a one or two year deal to help him mentor rookie Muhammad Wilkerson. He is also a leader in the locker room who clearly has plenty left in tank, as evidenced by his performance against New England in the playoffs last year. Unfortunately, I could see the Jets not matching his contract demands, especially after his request for a restructured deal last season didn’t happen.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk.

Brodney Pool – He came on strong at the end of last year and finally began to look like the playmaker the Jets signed him to be. Pool should command a good amount of interest in the open market, so it will be up to the Jets to determine how much of an upgrade he is over Eric Smith.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

Trevor Pryce – Rex Ryan compared Muhammad Wilkerson to a young Trevor Pryce and he would be a cheaper, although less productive, mentor to the rookie than Shaun Ellis. I could very easily see the Jets choosing to bring him back over Ellis in order to save money.

  • TOJ Votes – Let him walk.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

Tony Richardson – Likely to retire and if he decides not to, the Jets aren’t going to bring him back considering they have John Conner ready to step into the starting role.

  • TOJ Votes – Retire T-Rich, you had a great career.
  • TOJ Predicts – T-Rich retires.

Steve Weatherford – Despite an inconsistent performance in the playoffs, Weatherford was still pretty good overall last year, especially at pinning teams deep. Considering the musical chairs they played at punter before Weatherford, I think the Jets will bring him back…besides, who else is bringing the shake weights to camp?

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

Wayne Hunter – Originally it looked like he could compete with Vladimir Ducasse for the starting right tackle spot. I now think because of the lockout, the Jets will opt to bring Damien Woody back and have Ducasse spend a year learning behind him at the position, which likely means good-bye to Hunter.

  • TOJ Votes – Let him walk, spend the money on Woody instead.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk.

Lance Laury – A special teamer, who was fairly quiet on special teams for the Jets last season. However, they are very thin at linebacker.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk to give more of a chance to players like Josh Mauga.

Eric Smith – A versatile safety, who is also very good at special teams. The Jets will ultimately have to choose between him and Brodney Pool and I think Pool projects better as a starter opposite Jim Leonhard.

  • TOJ Votes – Let him walk.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk.

Drew Coleman – Struggles in coverage, but he is a playmaker at the nickel back position. The decision on Antonio Cromartie could go a long way to determining his fate. He isn’t helped by the fact that the coaching staff likely wants to give more reps to Kyle Wilson, who was a first round pick last year.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk to give Kyle Wilson and Marquice Cole more playing time.

James Ihedigbo – An effective blitzer in many of the Jets packages and a good special teams player, who seems to be a Rex Ryan guy.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

Nick Folk – Inconsistent at times last year but I don’t see the Jets just handing the job off to Nick Novak.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

As for Kellen Clemens, I think we all know he is gone. Perhaps if Justin McCariens didn’t have a bad day back in 2007, things would have went differently…

Jets Are Running Major Risk At Quarterback

At the league meetings in New Orleans, Rex Ryan has surprisingly been very open with the media. Outside of his jabs at New England and Super Bowl guarantees, which this writer will never tire of reading, he made a concerning comment about the Jets quarterback position. Ryan confirmed the Jets aren’t looking for a quarterback and will stay put with Mark Brunell as the backup and Kellen Clemens likely as the third stringer.

The Jets were lucky…very lucky in 2010 that Mark Sanchez didn’t miss a single start. He probably should have down the stretch because of his banged up shoulder. Keep in mind despite only being in the league for two seasons, Sanchez has had surgery on his left knee, sprained his right knee, and a cartilage tear in his throwing shoulder.

You would think the Jets, a team who considers themselves a legitimate Super Bowl contender, would have better insurance for their franchise quarterback.

They don’t. They are content to allow Brunell, who is better suited to be a coach at this point than a player, remain Sanchez’s top backup. In case you forgot, Brunell will turn 41 years old this September and since the end of the 2006 season, he has thrown for 229 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.

Are you really comfortable with Brunell taking over the Jets offense for a few weeks if Sanchez gets banged up? If you are, you need to hop back in the time machine that took you to 1995 and get yourself into the present reality.

Beyond Brunell, it is clear the coaching staff has no faith in Kellen Clemens since they went and got Brunell to replace him after the 2009 season. Their lack of faith is probably well grounded, considering Clemens history as an incredibly mediocre NFL quarterback.

If the Jets were smart, they’d pursue any of the following: Bruce Gradkowski, Marc Bulger, Billy Volek, Luke McCown, and Tyler Thigpen, all of whom would upgrade the number two quarterback spot. They should then consider spending a late round draft pick on a developmental quarterback to groom as Sanchez’s long term backup.

12 Pack Of Jets Off-Season Thoughts: Edition #8

The 12 pack is back with a very special Thursday edition, for the the very special reason that I will be in New Orleans for the weekend and don’t plan on having the laptop out on Bourbon Street tomorrow afternoon. However, the site will still be updated throughout the weekend, make sure you are following the Facebook and Twitter page.

1. My thoughts on the report about Mark Sanchez leading the league in dropped interceptions this past season…Yes, we all saw defensive backs dropping balls that could have been intercepted and yes we all know Sanchez needs to improve his accuracy (his completion percentage shows that). However, it is foolish to try to argue that he didn’t take major strides forward in his second year. The bottom line is that he threw 5 more touchdowns and 7 less interceptions, won two more games, was substantially more consistent and routinely clutch in big games. I will take Sanchez and his dropped interceptions any day over Chad Henne, who threw the ball so accurately at the other team’s defensive backs that only one “dropped” one all season.

2. I have harped on this all off-season and will continue to do so until he is  in a Jets jersey for 2011. This team needs to find a way to bring Antonio Cromartie back next year. When you play the type of aggressive man to man coverage the Jets do, you need a big time corner opposite Darrelle Revis, especially when you have a weak pass rush. Nnamdi Asomugha isn’t coming here and the Jets aren’t spending a first round pick on a corner. If you think Kyle Wilson, Dwight Lowery, or Drew Coleman can handle being a full time starter in this system right now, you need a head examination.

3. You have to be encouraged by the reports of the work Vladimir Ducasse is doing this off-season. Hopefully, he will grab the starting right tackle job by the throat this summer because if he can’t beat out Wayne Hunter, his long term future with the team will start to become fairly cloudy. Let’s hope Joe McKnight follows Ducasse’s lead these next few months.

4. If I had to guess today who the Jets will end up with in April’s draft, I would go with either Baylor’s Phil Taylor or Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson. Both defensive lineman have a good shot of being available at #30. I am also intrigued by potentially taking safety UCLA safety Rahim Moore, just because I am anxious to see Rex Ryan finally get a play-making safety here in New York.

5. “I’d rather beat the Patriots, than maybe go to heaven” — That’s why we love you Mike Westhoff.

6. Speaking of our friends up north, Randy Moss recently said he’d be interested in returning to the Patriots. Somehow, I don’t think they will be interested. Personally, if Braylon Edwards ends up leaving I wouldn’t mind if the Jets could get Moss on a cheap, one year deal to provide a vertical threat and some size at split end.

7. It is going to take more than the draft to improve the Jets defensive line depth. Let’s hope either Marcus Dixon, Ropati Pitoitua, or Matt Kroul can step up and become a quality rotation player this year, similar to how Mike DeVito did a couple of years back and eventually worked his way to being a starter.

8. Can we not forget the Jets need to address the backup quarterback position this off-season? Mark Brunell isn’t the answer and is better suited to being the #3. Clearly the coaching staff has no confidence in Kellen Clemens. It is either time to find somebody in free agency or draft a developmental backup to be a long term solution.

9. I am very anxious to see how Shonn Greene handles this season, which is really a make or break year for him as a lead back. It sounds like he will get the amount of carries necessary to show he can be a 1,200 yard type guy, let’s see if he can protect the football, stay healthy, and bring the consistency that is needed to put up those kind of numbers.

10. If you haven’t been able to tell, I am trying to be optimistic that an injunction will be ruled on April 6th and we will have football games this year.

11. As you know, we like to get off topic occasionally here — so here is wishing good luck to St. John’s in the NCAA tourney tonight and hoping the Knicks wake up sometime soon because they have looked like garbage the past week.

12. Weekend Video Clips – Assorted Highlight Tapes Edition

Thank God The Pre-Season Is Over: Jets Beat Eagles 21-17

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I think everybody can sympathize with me when I say “Thank god, the pre-season is over.” It wasn’t the prettiest of games tonight but hear is a quick recap:

Joe McKnight doesn’t deserve a spot on the Jets 53 man roster. He is going to get one because the Jets spent a fourth round pick on him but the guy has been terrible this August, simply terrible. He lost three fumbles, including another one tonight that went back for a touchdown. He doesn’t hit the hole hard and runs timid. The guy is more scared of contact than Kerry Rhodes…no wonder he wears #25. Chauncey Washington ran the football the way it is supposed to be run tonight with 56 tough yards on 12 carries. He earned a spot on this roster. Danny Woodhead added 45 yards and a touchdown. He earned a spot on this roster.

Don’t give me any BS standing up for McKnight either. Go back and watch the highlight of his reaction after he fumbled tonight. Look at the way he didn’t go after the ball and look how he hung his head, this guy has been a disaster. The Jets made an absolute mistake by parting ways with Leon Washington and drafting McKnight.

The numbers aren’t going to show it but Kellen Clemens still looked better than Mark Brunell tonight and I am still adamant in my belief that Clemens should be the number two quarterback.

Great night for Matt Kroul who locked himself down a roster spot with two sacks. Vernon Gholston had another active night and clinched the game with a bone crunching sack. I was also impressed with Brian “King Ugly” Jackson. I don’t know if he can stick on the 53 man roster but he could be a good practice squad candidate. Similar to Jackson, Larry Taylor flashed a few times but is probably destined for the practice squad.

In the end, it wasn’t the most exciting pre-season in Jets history. I am just happy it is over.

Bring on the Ravens.

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

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?

Jets vs. Redskins: What We Need To See

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First a few updates:

1. There is a ton of buzz about the Jets depth chart, which was displayed on Hard Knocks last night. What we saw is still subject to change, especially after the upcoming two pre-season games. However, a few comments :

  • It is a joke if Kellen Clemens gets cut to keep Kevin O’Connell on the roster. It is bad enough that Mark Brunell is being handed the backup job, when he doesn’t deserve it over Clemens but to keep O’Connell on the roster over Clemens is insane. O’Connell has been awful this pre-season, while Clemens has been the Jets best second quarterback.
  • It is a wise decision by the Jets to keep Tony Richardson on the roster. He is a valuable veteran to have in the offensive huddle, especially with Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca no longer around.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets changed their mind about keeping four tight ends. It makes more sense to put a guy like Jeff Cumberland on the practice squad and keep a Danny Woodhead, Chauncey Washington, David Clowney, or Lance Laury on the active roster.
  • The Jets may have to look at roster cuts from another team to fill that sixth defensive lineman spot.

Jets vs. Redskins: What We Need To See

The third pre-season game provides the most extended look at a team’s starters, while the fourth pre-season game is for sorting out the final roster spots. Unfortunately, the Jets defense won’t really be tested tomorrow considering Donovan McNabb won’t be playing, and the geriatric collection of running backs and receivers the Redskins have. However, Washington usually runs out a solid defense, which will provide a good test for a Jets offense that needs a bounce-back performance after an ugly showing in Carolina.

PhotobucketMark Sanchez needs to demonstrate the accuracy he displayed against the Giants in the pre-season opener, while continuing to spread the ball around. It appears that Brad Smith is going to primarily be the number three receiver until Santonio Holmes returns from suspension, unless Laveranues Coles can have a head turning performance tomorrow night. Sanchez and Dustin Keller have displayed good chemistry all summer and he looks in sync with Jerricho Cotchery, like he was last season. However, Sanchez hasn’t connected with Santonio Holmes yet in a pre-seaosn game. I want to see them connect a few times in August, considering they won’t be playing together again until October 11th. Finally, the Jets haven’t hit on a deep ball. How about a downfield completion to Braylon Edwards from Sanchez, and a bomb from Mark Brunell to David Clowney?

Speaking of Brunell and Clowney, they are two players who need a strong performance tomorrow night. Clowney is on the verge of being cut and of course losing his “Mr. August” title. Brunell has done nothing to inspire confidence as being the number two quarterback. Hopefully he can actually string together a few completions and move the Jets offense a little bit.

I am interested to see the division of reps between Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. Greene has been solid this August, but I’d like to see him get 9 – 11 carries and get rolling a little bit. LT will be looking to continue to build on a strong August. Danny Woodhead and Chauncey Washington will be battling for a roster spot in the fourth quarter, while Joe McKnight continues his quest to stop every Jets fan from disliking him and wanting Leon Washington back.

I don’t buy the left guard competition anymore. Let’s just see Matt Slauson go three quarters without a holding penalty or allowing a snack.

On defense, I would like to see Kyle Wilson be tested a little bit. Yet, I don’t think Rex Grossman and Joey Galloway are up to the challenge. We can only hope that Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman build on what they did last week and aren’t beat like a drum by the Redskins reserves. Also, how about a Jason Taylor sighting? I am not sure I have heard a single word about our former enemy this August making any kind of impact on defense. Yes, Taylor is a veteran and pacing himself but at least a quarterback pressure would be nice.

Beyond that, Vernon Gholston needs to keep up his surprisingly high level of play. Kris Jenkins needs to stay healthy and I’d like to see Brodney Pool flash a little more out there.

Nick Folk…just keep pretending it is 2007.

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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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Thoughts On Jets/Panthers Slopfest

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A random collection of thoughts on a game that won’t go down as one of the most fascinating nights in Jets history:

1. It is hard to make an argument that Mark Brunell deserves to be the backup quarterback over Kellen Clemens. I am aware Clemens has seen more time through the first two pre-season games but the bottom line is that he has been sharper, more accurate, and looks like he has more command of the offense. Brunell has looked like…you know a 39 year old quarterback who hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass in three seasons. I still fully advocate keeping Clemens as the #2 quarterback and Brunell as the #3/mentor for Sanchez. Kevin O’Connell can’t be cut fast enough.

2. It has been to easy to be critical of Joe McKnight since he was drafted by the team. However, he did a better job of running north and south last night, along with showing some explosiveness on his long punt return in the fourth quarter. McKnight still must protect the football and he doesn’t handle contact very well but last night was a baby step in the right direction.

3. I am not going to overreact to how poorly the starting offense played. Keep in mind how little time there was in between the Jets first two pre-season games, how little practice time they had before last night and how there was no game planning involved.

4. Vernon Gholston leading the Jets in tackles? It was hard not to be impressed with the effort our first round bust put forward last night. He was always around the ball and finally looked a little aggressive out there. Gholston’s importance has only increased with the season ending injury to defensive end Ropati Pitoitua, which was a shame to see. Pitoitua was probably going to see a big role off the bench and has demonstrated some promise for a young player. TOJ wishes him a speedy recovery.

5. Good showing from Jim Leonhard last night, with a sack and interception. It is easy to forget about the Jets smallest player on defense but his knowledge of Rex’s system and consistency is a key part to what the Jets accomplish on the defensive side of the football.

6. A better night for the rightfully maligned Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman. Antonio Cromartie also showed a little more physicality and was involved in run support.

7. Very encouraging signs from Nick Folk, going 3/3 on field goals with a long of 49 yards. I still can’t relax about the Jets kicking situation until I see Folk knock down a kick over 40 yards under the bright lights of Monday Night Football in week one.

Grading Out Jets/Giants Pre-Season Game

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Quarterbacks (B+) – Outside of his interception, Mark Sanchez was accurate (13/17, 119 yards) and spread the ball around to all his weapons. It was also encouraging to see his knee hold up when he was sacked in the second quarter. How about Kellen Clemens? The quarterback we love to hate put up a solid 7/10 performance and looked like the Jets second best option behind Sanchez. Mark Brunell only threw three passes and Kevin O’Connell loodke like he is trying to play his way off the roster.

Running Backs (B+) – Shonn Greene picked up right where he left off last season, gashing defenses up the middle for 5 yards a pop. LaDainian Tomlinson showed his value catching passes out of the backfield and had good burst on a touchdown that was called back. Joe McKnight has a long way to go. It didn’t seem like anybody distinguished themselves in the battle at fullback. I don’t know if Danny Woodhead is technically a receiver or running back but he looked good and outplayed McKnight.

Wide Receivers (A) – Great balance and production from this group, who avoided any costly drops or mistakes. Jerricho Cotchery had his 3 receptions for 32 yards, with the first of many key third down conversions. Braylon Edwards added 3 receptions for 35 yards. Santonio Holmes looked crisp with the second unit, pulling in 4 receptions for 55 yards. Brad Smith caught a touchdown. Aundrae Allison finished with 40 receiving yards and Larry Taylor had a pair of receptions. M.I.A. – David Clowney and Laveranues Coles.

Tight Ends (B) – Dustin Keller had a pair of nice catches and was targeted frequently by Sanchez. How about Matthew Mulligan with a nice sliding grab of a Brunell pass?

Offensive Line (C+) Minus Nick Mangold, the unit had a holding penalty that brought back a touchdown (Rob Turner) and Damien Woody was beat for a sack. However, the run blocking was solid and the pass protection was good beyond the one sack.

Defensive Line (B) – Quiet night for the guys up front. No recorded stats from Vernon Gholston. Ropati Pitoitua finished with 3 tackles.

PhotobucketLinebackers (B) – Calvin Pace demolished Eli Manning on his bobbled exchange but Bart Scott has to find a way to pick up that football. Kenwin Cummings led the team in tackles with 5. A quiet night from Jason Taylor and Jamaal Westerman.

Secondary (C) – Antonio Cromartie played well but dropped a pair of interceptions. Dwight Lowery, Drew Coleman, or Marquice Cole can’t be trusted as the team’s nickel back, which is a scary thought considering how much nickel the Jets play. James Ihedigbo was active and Brodney Pool did a nice job chasing down Ahmad Bradshaw on his long reception.

Special Teams (A-) – The only glitch was Nick Folk’s missed field goal in the second half. However, he hit his other three attempts. Eric Smith blocked a punt and Larry Taylor looked promising on returns.

Highlights