Instant Reaction: Giants – 31 Jets – 16

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Quick thoughts on tonight’s game…

Mark Sanchez played very, very well after his initial interception. He was accurate, in control of the offense, and did a great job of spreading the football around. Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, and Dustin Keller all looked particularly sharp and in sync with Sanchez. LaDainian Tomlinson showed good burst on a key third down reception and a touchdown run that was called back. However, Shonn Greene showed why he is the Jets number one running back, by averaging over 5 yards per carry compared to Tomlinson’s 2 yards per carry. Joe McKnight looked very iffy. Kellen Clemens played well and more than I thought he would. Santonio Holmes ate up the Giants second team, which was expected. Smart decision to play it safe with Mangold.

On defense, the depth is a major area of concern. Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman can’t be relied on. However, Antonio Cromartie looked sharp and nearly had two interceptions. Kyle Wilson had a quiet night, which can be a good thing for a corner. The Jets showed they still have their pass rush and overall looked very good against the Giants first offense. Calvin Pace completely steamrolled Eli Manning, in a hit that will be the primary highlight from this game. Vernon Gholston didn’t record a stat. Jason Taylor got a few pressures.

Larry Taylor looked good as a returner. Nick Folk…I’m not sold yet. He needs to hit a kick over 40 yards first. Eric Smith is a terrific special teams player, who had a great blocked punt tonight.

Jets Wednesday Morning Recap & Hard Knocks Preview

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The Good – Another strong day for Vernon Gholston, who collected praise from all the beat writers for constantly being in the backfield today, including back to back pressures on Kellen Clemens and a pressure on Mark Sanchez. Brodney Pool recorded a sack against Sanchez. Clemens hit Marcus Henry for a 50 yard touchdown (how about that connection?). Donovan Warren picked off Clemens. Vladimir Ducasse had one of this better days, while working with the ones. Kevin O’Connell hooked up with Larry Taylor for a 40 yard touchdown.

The Bad – Nick Mangold got his bell rung in individual drills while battling with Sione Pouha and didn’t participate in team drills. Kyle Wilson got called for a pass interference, which brought back a Jim Leonhard interception. It sounds like the defense beat up on the offense a little bit, especially when the second units were going against each other. Marquice Cole was beat by Larry Taylor for a long touchdown, a day after getting some work with the first team.

Play Of The Day – The long touchdown receptions by reserve receivers, Marcus Henry and Larry Taylor. Mark Brunell had one of his passes batted up in the air, caught it himself and took off for a short gain.

Played Who Helped Himself – The summer of Gholston continues

Player Who Hurt Himself – The extended missed time by Brashton Satele can’t be helping his case to make the roster. You hate to see Nick Folk missing field goals from under 45 yards.

Sanchez Stats – 8/15 in team drills. He was sacked once by Brodney Pool (stats courtesy of Manish Mehta).

Folk Stats – 4/6…misses from 42 and 44 yards.

Injury Brashton Satele and Brian Jackson were out of practice today. Jason Taylor was back on the field. Joe McKnight and Jim Leonhard had their legs wrapped but were practicing.

Depth ChartVladimir Ducasse worked with the first team at left guard today.

Rex Ryan Press Conference Highlights –

  • Ryan called for Darrelle Revis to come to the facility with anybody he wants and the entire organization will show up. He will cancel practice. Ryan thinks this is the only way to prevent any confusion over who is saying what, and that if they do it that way “I bet something gets done.”
  • He said it was a “blatant joke” that Revis’ agents called Mike Tannenbaum and Woody Johnson “blatant liars.”
  • Nick Mangold was held out for precautionary reasons after being hit on the head.
  • The Jets could still consider keeping four quarterbacks.
  • He wasn’t happy with the pass protection in today’s practice.
  • The player he has been most impressed with on the Jets defense so far has been Kyle Wilson, particularly his communication and studying skills…posturing?
  • He doesn’t think the Jets will run the ball as much as they did last year but will maintain a “Ground and Pound” mentality.

Revis Update – The big story of the day was Gary Myers reporting the Jets and Revis are 40 million dollars apart in negotiations. Despite the Jets offering a 10 year, 120 million dollar contract, the Revis camp isn’t satisfied because of the lack of guaranteed money and signing bonus.

Hard Knocks Preview

Enough of all the Revis talk for a second and let’s get excited about HBO’s Hard Knocks premiering tonight, featuring the New York Jets. A few things to look for:

An All-Time Record – Bart Scott may break a record for most words spoken in a single hour of television. He will absolutely break the record for most trash talking in a single hour.

Revis (whoops) – Apparently we won’t see much of a focus on the Revis situation tonight but I am sure there will have to be at least a few quotes on him from some of the players and coaches. I just don’t want to see any camera footage of Mike Tannenbaum arguing on the phone or the faces of Revis’ agents.

The Beard – Interested to see Braylon Edwards’ beard in HD tonight…that thing has a life of its own.

The Meeting Room – Among my favorite parts of Hard Knocks is when they show the coaches discussing the depth chart and specific players in a meeting room. Let’s see who Rex Ryan and company are high on and who is on their way out the door.

Camera Hogs – I am guessing we are going to see plenty of Nick Mangold, Bart Scott, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan and to a slightly lesser extent Braylon Edwards, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Kyle Wilson.

QuotesI am sure Ryan will spend 15 – 20 minutes discussing a Super Bowl. Maybe he will take a shot at New England or Miami along the way.

Hard Knocks

Jets Fans: Stop The Pity Party

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

Do you remember December 30th 2007? I do. I was sitting in the pouring rain watching the 3-12 New York Jets play the 4-11 Kansas City Chiefs. The Jets won the game 13-10. I left the stadium frustrated because we hurt our draft position, ultimately falling to number six where the team would select Vernon Gholston. Our quarterback of the future, Kellen Clemens, had just played one of his better games of the 2007 season: 13/25, 115 yards, TD. Our newly signed starting running back, Thomas Jones, scored his second touchdown of the season. The offensive line was in shambles. The defense prominently featured players like Dewayne Robertson, Victor Hobson, David Barrett, and Erik Coleman.

Fast forward to January 20th, 2008. The New York Giants upset the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, sending the Jets in-stadium rivals to face their division rivals, the New England Patriots (coming off a perfect regular season) in the Super Bowl. The Giants and Patriots went on to play one of the most memorable championship games in league history, while the Jets wallowed in complete and utter irrelevancy.

Do you remember those days? They weren’t too long ago. Do you remember gearing up for a broken down Chad Pennington/Kellen Clemens quarterback battle? What about the few months of the Kellen Clemens/Brett Ratliff/Erik Ainge battle? How about heading into training camp with Brad Smith/David Clowney/Chansi Stuckey fighting it out for a starting receiver spot? At cornerback, do you recall players like Hank Poteat, Drew Coleman, and Barrett rotating in a starting spot? The Jets offensive line used to feature players like Anthony Clement and Adrien Clarke.

Yes, the Darrelle Revis holdout sucks. There really isn’t a better way to put it. Revis was a player our organization was savvy enough to trade up to select, who developed in front of our eyes into the league’s best cornerback and arguably best defensive player. The entire league took notice. We got to see one of our players featured in Nike commercials and constantly be talked about on the NFL Network and ESPN. Everybody was looking forward to his encore performance to an epic 2009 season. Bring on Brandon Marshall. Bring on Randy Moss. Bring on Chad Ochocinco Johnson. Bring on Andre Johnson. Send every diva, big-name receiver at our defense and watch him disappear.

PhotobucketIt now looks like that may not happen. Before you bury the Jets organization, before you bury Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan, remember this: Tannenbaum brought this team back to relevancy with the resources provided to him by Johnson. He got us Mark Sanchez so we didn’t have to watch Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff one-hop curl routes. He beefed up the defense by trading for Kris Jenkins and Antonio Cromartie, hitting on David Harris in the second round, and signing Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, and Jim Leonhard. On offense, he collected an impressive arsenal of weapons for his franchise quarterback.

Rex Ryan may have hurt the Jets bargaining position by showing too much love for his player to the media. However, that is Ryan’s personality. Don’t talk about loving all the swagger and confidence he brought to the organization and then get mad when he gives due praise to a player. I will take the negative impact on negotiations Rex Ryan brings, in exchange for all the positives he has brought the Jets, which shouldn’t have to be listed.

Don’t talk yourself into hating Revis either. The Jets organization approached him about re-negotiating his contract and after hearing everything they said about him, he expects to be compensated at a substantially higher level in 2010 (currently scheduled to be the eight highest paid defensive back on the Jets). Yes, he should understand that Al Davis is clinically insane and gave Nnamdi Asomugha an aberration of a contract and yes he has three years left on his deal but this is a business. The Jets botched the Leon Washington situation to an extent, which has burned a scary image into the heads of current players. Who wants to shipped off to the rain in Seattle to play for Pete Carroll without a new contract?

There is plenty of blame to go around. The Jets organization gets a little. Darrelle Revis gets a little. Al Davis can have a little. Leon Washington’s injury is a factor. Yet, there is no reason to spend all pre-season pouting and looking for somebody to blame.

PhotobucketGuess what? Even without Darrelle Revis, the Jets are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. They are still the favorite in the AFC East. They are being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. They have knocked the Giants and yes even the Yankees off the back page. We aren’t playing in Giants Stadium anymore. The Jets are playing in primetime in weeks 1, 3, and 5 to start off the season, along with Thanksgiving night and a December Monday night showdown in New England. Beyond that, there is still a relatively good chance Revis will join the team at some point before the regular season starts, despite all of Woody Johnson’s posturing today.

So relax Jets fans, life is good, enjoy the ride in 2010. We are the team everybody loves to hate and really what is better than that in sports?

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

Jets Tuesday Recap & AFC East Training Camp Round-Up

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

Jets Tuesday Recap

1. Mark Brunell is going to be the number two quarterback this season, with Kellen Clemens and Kevin O’Connell battling it out for the number three spot. I wouldn’t bet on Clemens, considering the Jets just traded a draft pick for O’Connell last season and clearly have no faith in Clemens. I’m not a believer in Brunell as the backup yet, despite his relatively strong start in training camp. He should see plenty of action this Monday night against the Giants, hopefully he puts together a strong performance which demonstrates the Jets could handle a Mark Sanchez injury for a short period of time.

2. Matt Slauson will start at left guard against the Giants, which wasn’t a surprising announcement considering his strong start to camp and Vladimir Ducasse’s struggles. It will be interesting to see how early the Jets will officially hand the job to Slauson and then begin grooming Ducasse to replace Damien Woody at right tackle at some point in the near future. I also wonder if Ducasse will be worked in with Robert Turner and Wayne Hunter on the Jets short yardage packages.

3. Rex Ryan’s daily love affair with Vernon Gholston continued in his press conference today. Apparently, Gholston beat D’Brickashaw Ferguson a few times in pass rushing situations. Either Gholston has magically remembered how to rush the passer or Ferguson was having a tough day at the office. Imagine what a pleasant surprise 5 – 7 sacks from Gholston would be in 2010?

Photobucket4. The biggest news of the day was Rex Ryan commenting the Jets “had everything they needed on defense” without Darrelle Revis and that people shouldn’t feel sorry for them. Of course classic Jets haters Mike Francesa and Mike Florio ran with these comments as being hypocritical due to Ryan’s previous effusive praise. I am not really sure what they expected Ryan to say. “You know what, our defense isn’t going to be good this season. We can’t survive without Revis. I have no faith in everybody else on our defense to step up. We will probably pack it in and concede the division to the Patriots or Dolphins and battle for 3rd place with the Buffalo Bills.” Give me a break, Ryan is confident in his system and oh by the way the Jets still have David Harris, Kris Jenkins, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Jim Leonhard, Kyle Wilson, Brodney Pool, Shaun Ellis, and on and on.

5. There was a high amount of Brad Smith at quarterback today. I am curious how big of a role the “Tiger'” formation will play on the Jets offense in 2010. It certainly doesn’t hurt to show it once or twice a game to keep defenses off balance and force them to prepare for it each week.

6. Kyle Wilson will be starting at corner opposite Antonio Cromartie from now on after Dwight Lowery volunteered his position to him. It was a weird move by Lowery, who admitted Wilson needs the experience and seemed to embrace the inevitable that he was the first round pick and would eventually be starting anyway. Wilson had flown under the radar somewhat for a first round pick because of all the other hoopla around team but he is now being thrust into the spotlight because of the Revis holdout. Cromartie will really be filling the spot of Revis but teams will certainly target Wilson, due to his lack of experience. Lowery will play some safety in the Jets sub package, along with work in the nickel role. Marquice Cole has also been seeing extended reps, including some work with the first team.

AFC East Training Camp Round-Up

New England Patriots – The Patriots just finished a scrimmage with the New Orleans Saints. The primary news coming out of it is how good Wes Welker is looking after his season ending injury last year. Did you hear that Kyle Wilson? Fred Taylor has been working as the Patriots first team running back. Randy Moss has had a particularly strong camp. Ty Warren and Nick Kaczur have all been banged up. Darius Butler has impressed so far at cornerback. The Saints play the Patriots on Thursday night.

Miami Dolphins – Not to put too much stock in pre-season depth charts but the Dolphins have Joe Berger and Richie Incognito listed as their starting center and guard, respectively. Brian Hartline, as expected, is working as the starter opposite Brandon Marshall at receiver. Rookie Koa Misi is listed as the starting strong-side linebacker, with second year player Cameron Wake at the starting weak side spot. Chad Henne has had some inconsistencies in camp, including a poor showing at a recent scrimmage. The Dolphins play the Bucs on Saturday.

Buffalo Bills – The Bills also recently released their depth chart and here is their top four receivers: Lee Evans, Steve Johnson, Roscoe Parrish, and Felton Huggins. At least the Jets won’t miss Darrelle Revis against that receiving group. Trent Edwards looks like he is going to win the starting job at quarterabck. C.J. Spiller’s holdout ended recently and he has been participating in practice. Buffalo plays Washington Friday night.

Your New Starting Corners

Green And White Scrimmage Preview

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets had a walk through this morning closed to the public in preparation of tonight’s scrimmage, which will kick off at 6 PM. They have off tomorrow and then will be back to two a days on Monday. Hard Knocks kicks off on Wednesday at 10 PM and the Jets open up pre-season on Monday Night Football on August 16th.

2. Take your talents to the Turn On The Jets Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnThJets) account.

3. Patriots guard Nick Kaczur could miss the entire 2010 season with a serious back injury.

Green And White Scrimmage Preview

A short preview of the Jets scrimmage tonight…

Left Guard Battle – Matt Slauson has jumped out to an early lead in the battle to replace Alan Faneca at left guard. Vladimir Dcuasse has been slightly hesitant and is struggling to pick up the offense, while Slauson has impressed with his physicality. If Ducasse wants to get back into serious consideration for the starting job, a strong performance tonight would be a good place to start.

Backup Quarterbacks – It doesn’t sound like Kellen Clemens has much of a shot to unseat Mark Brunell at the #2 spot. However, he will have a chance tonight to demonstrate his knowledge of the offense and maybe put himself back in the conversation of being Mark Sanchez’s backup. However, if he struggles and Kevin O’Connell puts together a good performance, it could accelerate his release.

Sanchize & Company – Mark Sanchez hasn’t had a great start to his second NFL training camp. His completion percentage has been low and he is still throwing an interception or two each practice. It would be nice to see him protect the football tonight and hit a few throws down the field. Let’s see how Sanchez takes advantage of the Jets collection of weapons. Braylon Edwards sounds like he has been the team’s off-season MVP so far. Santonio Holmes has been making plays all over the field the last two days. Jerricho Cotchery is Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller has been Sanchez’s favorite target so far this August.

This Island Is Gone – In the absence of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie has been stealing the show on defense. Dwight Lowery has struggled opposite him (shocking, I know). It will be interesting to see if Kyle Wilson gets some work on the outside and not just in the slot with the first team.

Vernon Gholston – The perpetual disappointment has turned heads the past week. How about a sack or two in the scrimmage, VG? Then we can worry about the pre-season and the regular season.

In Need Of A Good Performance – David Clowney (fighting for a roster spot and reps at wide receiver). Joe McKnight (he has continued to struggle holding on to the ball). Vladimir Ducasse (falling behind Matt Slauson in the LG battle). Kellen Clemens (falling behind Mark Brunell in the #2 QB battle). Donovan Warren (battling for a roster spot in a crowded secondary). Kris Jenkins (let’s see him keep progressing back from surgery). Nick Folk (let’s keep the strong camp up).

Weekend Video Clips

Jets Practice #4 Recap & Thoughts On Offensive Depth Chart

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Practice #4 Recap

The Good – LaDainian Tomlinson beating David Harris on a slant route and taking it all the way to the end-zone. Mark Sanchez drawing Kris Jenkins off-sides. Joe McKnight holding his own against Bart Scott in pass protection drills. John Conner getting another big hit in, this time on Calvin Pace. Braylon Edwards beating Dwight Lowery for a 20 yard touchdown in 7 on 7 drills. Sanchez squeezing one down the seam to Jerricho Cotchery for a touchdown. Kyle Wilson getting his first interception of camp, when he picked off a Mark Brunell pass headed towards David Clowney. Aundrae Allison catching a long touchdown from Kevin O’Connell. Antonio Cromartie pulling in two more interceptions from Sanchez.

The Bad – Dwight Lowery getting beat for a touchdown, where is our Island? Joe McKnight had yet another drop today. Mark Sanchez was picked off  twice by Antonio Cromartie in 11 on 11s. Kellen Clemens was picked off by Drew Coleman. Mark Brunell was picked off by Kyle Wilson. Sanchez botched a pitch to LaDainian Tomlinson. Nick Folk missing a 35 yard and 40 yard field goal.

Play of the Day – Braylon Edwards out jumped Antonio Cromartie for a one-handed reception that set up the game winning field goal in the two minute drill.

PhotobucketPlayer Who Helped Himself – John Conner is catching everybody’s attention at least once every practice. He might end up with a bigger role on the offense than Joe McKnight and his pan hands.  Antonio Cromartie has interceptions two consecutive days and from all accounts has put together a very good few days to start camp.

Player Who Hurt Himself – Mark Sanchez hasn’t gotten off to the best start this summer. His completion numbers have been a little disappointing and he has thrown a few interceptions over the past couple of practices.

Sanchez Stats – 8/17, 2 INTs in 11 on 11s (both INTs by Cromartie)…thanks to Manish Mehta for the numbers.

Folk Stats – 6/8 (1 miss from 35 yards and 1 miss from 40 yards)

Roster Moves – Kris Jenkins was taken off the Active/PUP list and was back to practice. Don’t expect to see Erik Ainge anytime soon, since it was reported that he has been checked into a drug treatment/rehab facility. Ainge was suspended four games in 2008 for substance abuse. Kellen Clemens is back to practicing 100 percent. Santonio Holmes has to pass his conditioning test this morning and then is expected on the field this afternoon.

Injury – Shaun Ellis sat out of practice today because the coaches advised him to take a day off.

Depth Chart – John Conner saw some reps with the first team offense at fullback. Matt Slauson was back to working as the starting left guard. Ropati Pitoitua and Vernon Gholston both received first team reps at defensive end, as did Jason Taylor.

Rex Ryan Press Conference Highlights –

  • Called today the “Cromartie and Braylon Edwards” show.
  • Santonio Holmes will have to pass his conditioning test after his suspension and will be a full go in this afternoon’s practice.
  • Praised punter Steve Weatherford’s work this off-season, including his holding.
  • Said he hasn’t noticed the Hard Knocks cameras in meetings and that they have been discreet.
  • He praised Antonio Cromartie’s desire to learn how to do things “the Jets way.”
  • Jim Leonhard is the top “hands” option as a punt returner, meaning if there is any poor weather conditions he would be placed back there. However, he said the coaching staff wants Kyle Wilson to win the full time job.

Revis Update – In an interview yesterday, Peter King of SI said he believed Revis had more leverage than the Jets and that a deal wouldn’t be finalized until around Labor Day.

Thoughts On Offensive Depth Chart

It sounds like Matt Slauson has a much better chance at winning the starting left guard job  than most people (including myself) originally gave him. He has been rotating every practice with Vladimir Ducasse and got the nod in the Jets first practice. Rich Cimini of ESPN New York gave him a slight edge when asked about the battle. If Slauson does happen to win the job, it will be interesting to see if the Jets spend the season grooming Ducasse to replace Damien Woody at right tackle in 2011. Ducasse could also be given a role in some of the Jets short yardage packages, similar to Robert Turner and Wayne Hunter.

Photobucket Tomlinson is off to a strong start in camp and has been receiving a good amount of reps with the first team offense. I still don’t buy him competing with Shonn Greene for the starting job but he will get plenty of work in the pre-season to show the Jets he still has the necessary burst. Tomlinson is probably looking at 9-13 touches a game until Joe McKnight gets his act together and can become a bigger part of the offense. Also in the backfield, it sounds like John Conner is having one of the most impressive overall camps so far. He may actually carve out a little role for himself in the offense this year in certain situations or if he keeps playing so well, is it possible the Jets could release Tony Richardson at some point this summer? Going back to McKnight, if he keeps struggling it only increases the chances of Danny Woodhead sticking on the roster.

Santonio Holmes returns to the practice field this afternoon. I am anxious to hear about where Brian Schottenheimer is lining him up and if the Jets are trotting out any four and five receiver sets. There hasn’t been much talk about the Jets using their “Tiger” formation yet, however they could just be waiting until the more basic offensive installation is done.

Jets are back on the practice field at 4:20.

Weekend Video Clips And Skepticism About Brunell

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook, Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and now also find our writing featured at www.profootballnyc.com. The site has just started up and we will have a radio program going by mid-August, beyond that I should be doing some appearances on the New York Sports Exchange, so you will have the opportunity to hear  plenty of my voice during the 2010 season.

2. I am huge fan of Antonio Cromartie going by “Alcrotraz” opposite Revis Island. Check out this well-made “Shutter Island” parody poster created by Gary Grund on Twitter.

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3. New Turn On The Jets TV is coming this Monday and I can already promise that it will be your favorite episode yet.

Weekend Video Clips And Skepticism About Brunell

Before I get into the weekend video clips, just a few words about the imminent signing of Mark Brunell and release of Kellen Clemens. How could you feel more comfortable with Brunell stepping in for an injured Mark Sanchez in 2010 instead of Clemens? Mark Brunell didn’t throw a single pass in 2007 or 2008 and only threw 30 passes for the Saints last year. He completed 15 of them and threw an interception with no touchdowns. The guy is 39 years old and has never played in Brian Schottenheimer’s offense. I know Kellen Clemens could barely get out of his own way against Tampa Bay last season but at least he started a bunch of games in 2007 and started a meaningful game in 2009. He is younger and more athletic than Brunell and above all knows Schottenheimer’s offense inside and out. Why not keep Clemens as the #2 and let Brunell be the #3, where he is basically a player/coach for Sanchez? After watching him last pre-season, I think I may even feel better about Erik Ainge stepping in for an injured Sanchez over Brunell. It could be a disaster of Rick Mirer proportions if Sanchez misses any extended time in 2010.

Weekend Video Clips – Sanchez’s Targets

Dustin Keller

Braylon Edwards

David Clowney

Brad Smith

Santonio Holmes

Jerricho Cotchery

Jets Must Learn To Win Close Games

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First a few updates:

1. For everybody sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to throw out their Kellen Clemens jersey and go buy a Mark Brunell one, the actual signing might not happen until tomorrow according to Rich Cimini. I am still not sold on this move, look at Brunell’s numbers the past three seasons and then tell me you’d be confident with him stepping in if Mark Sanchez got hurt.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Also you can now find TOJ contributions at www.profootballnyc.com. Also I know everybody has to love that new logo for our site, which we are working on getting into the banner.

3. Chris Paul wants to be traded and the Knicks are on top of his wish list. Can you imagine how many assists CP3 would have in Mike D’Antoni’s offense? LeBron James who? I want our own big three of Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul, and eventually Carmelo Anthony.

4. It sounds like there has been absolutely no progress on the contract talks with Darrelle Revis or Nick Mangold…let the circus at training camp begin.

Jets Must Learn To Win Close Games

A common argument against the Jets being one of the NFL’s elite teams in 2010 is they were only a 9-7 team in 2009 and made the playoffs because teams laid down against them in their final two games. This argument ignores or pays no respect to the two road, upset playoff wins the Jets pulled off. However you feel about that argument, many people forget how many games the Jets were one play away from winning last season.

PhotobucketWeek 5 – Holding a 27-24 lead with 5:05 left on the clock against the Miami Dolphins, the Jets defense allowed Miami’s offense to drive the length of the field and score the game winning touchdown with 6 seconds left. During this drive, Miami converted two key third downs, both on completions to Greg Camarillo, one of the receptions was on Drew Coleman and the other was on Dwight Lowery. For some reason, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Coleman or Lowery in this type of situation in 2010. Rex Ryan also did a poor job of not using his remaining timeouts to give the Jets offense a chance to respond.

Week 6 – The Jets lost in overtime to Buffalo 16-13, thanks mostly to Mark Sanchez’s five interceptions. However, this game was still there to be won in the extra period. Unfortunately, the Jets botched a field goal attempt to win the game and Sanchez then threw an interception after the Jets had crossed the 50 yard line on their next possession.

Week 8 –  Down 30-25 to the Miami Dolphins with a little under two minutes to go, the Jets had 1st and 10 from the Dolphins 12 yard line. Sanchez made a poor judgement call trying to run on second down,  took a sack on third down and threw the ball out of the end-zone on fourth down.

Week 10 – After taking a 22-21 lead with a little over 5 minutes left against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets defense allowed Jacksonville to drive to the one yard line and kick a game winning field goal as time expired. On the drive the Jaguars completed a key third down pass to Mike Thomas who beat Donald Strickland for 15 yards and then on the following play hit tight end Mercedes Lewis for 33 yards, who beat Kerry Rhodes down the middle of the field.

Week 15 – Despite holding a 7-3 lead with 4:06 left on the clock, the Jets allowed the Atlanta Falcons to drive down the field for a game winning touchdown. On the drive Atlanta converted a key third down to Roddy White who beat Donald Strickland for 16 yards and then after the play Strickland was called for a 15 yard facemask penalty. Atlanta was down to 4th and goal from the 6 yard line, when Rex Ryan made the mistake to switch into zone coverage when man to man on tight end Tony Gonzalez had been working all day, Gonzalez found a soft spot in the zone and scored the game winning touchdown.

These were five games the Jets easily could have won. Even if they managed to go 2-3 in these contests, they would have been 9-5 heading into their final two games and not needed victories against the Colts or Bengals to grab a playoff spot. The bottom line is that the Jets lost these games. However, consider Rex Ryan was a rookie head coach last year and Mark Sanchez was a rookie quarterback. The two of them will learn from their late game mistakes in 2009. Beyond that, players on defense who killed the Jets by coming up small in big spots last year: Donald Strickland, Kerry Rhodes, Drew Coleman, and Dwight Lowery, have been replaced by Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, and Brodney Pool.

If the Jets knew how to win close games in 2009, they could have been a 12-4 team. If they learn how to win them in 2010, they will be a 12-4 team.

TOJ TV

Scouting The AFC East: Buffalo Bills

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and check out our new logo for TOJ:

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2. You may want to get rid of that Kellen Clemens jersey you prematurely bought after his starts against the Redskins and Steelers in 2007 because after Mark Brunell joins the team tomorrow morning, he won’t around much longer.

Scouting The AFC East: Buffalo Bills

Our final look at the teams who share the division with the Jets and how they match up with them heading into 2010:

7/19 – http://turnonthejets.com/2010/07/19/scouting-the-afc-east-new-england-patriots-2/

7/20 – http://turnonthejets.com/2010/07/20/scouting-the-afc-east-miami-dolphins-2/

Today – Buffalo Bills

Offense – You know there is a problem with your offense when Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Brian Brohm are battling for the starting quarterback job. You know there is a bigger problem when you have a patch work offensive line that was awful in 2009 and didn’t receive any substantial improvements this off-season. Beyond that, if Buffalo’s quarterback actually does get a pass off before being flattened, they will be throwing to Lee Evans because there may not be another NFL quality receiver on their roster right now.

PhotobucketOn the bright side, the Bills have one of the best collection of running backs in the NFL. Fred Jackson is coming off a very good year and Marshawn Lynch has been a 1,000 yard back in the past. Buffalo also took the electric CJ Spiller in the first round of the draft, although it remains to be seen if he has any space to actually run. Unless Mark Sanchez confuses the Jets and Bills jersey colors again as he did in their first 2009 meeting, I am not sure how Buffalo can move the ball against the Jets.

Defense – The Bills actually have a good collection of talent on the defensive side of the football, especially in the secondary. Jairus Byrd should have been the rookie of the year in 2009. Terrence McGee, Leodis McKlevin, and Drayton Florence have the potential to be one of the better trio of corners in the NFL. Paul Posluszny had a very good season in 2009 and should be a long term piece for the Bills to build around. It doesn’t sound like Aaron Schobel is going to play next season, which is a relief for Jets fans because he has tormented them in in the past. Overall, the Bills usually play over their heads in divisional games which means their defense will be tough to work against, especially considering the talent they have in place.

Special Teams – Buffalo has a reputation for having one of the best special team units year in and year out. Rian Lindell and Brian Moorman are a quality kicker and punter, respectively. Fred Jackson, Terrence McGee, Roscoe Parrish, and Leodis McKlevin all have the ability to be dangerous return men.

Overall – The Bills are widely expected to be the basement dwellers in the AFC East and for good reason. However, they always give the Jets a hard time. There is no easy wins against the Bills and I can’t say I’d be shocked if the Jets let one slip away in one of their two match-ups.

Jets vs Bills 2009 Highlights

Jets Area Of Strength – Secondary

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First a few updates:

1. It is more than a little ridiculous that a player who has never won a ring is announcing his free agency decision during a 1 hour primetime special. Yet, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be watching it tomorrow night. I think it is down to the Bulls, Cavs, and the Knicks at this point for LeBron’s destination. For a guy who is so obsessed with his legacy, he wouldn’t be doing it much service by playing second fiddle in Miami to Dwayne Wade. The Bulls give him the best shot to challenge for a title immediately. The Knicks can now offer Amare Stoudermaire to run with him and the potential of acquiring another major free agent next year.

2. I am interested to see how Miami fills out their roster around Wade and Chris Bosh. Right now, they literally have two other players under contract along with their draft picks.

3. It has been very quiet on the contract negotiations front, especially considering how slow NFL news is right now. The pressure has to pick up on the Jets in the next week or two as training camp begins to creep closer and the question of how Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold will handle their contract situation grows bigger. It wouldn’t be quality premium cable to start Hard Knocks without the Jets best offensive and defensive player.

4. I am still holding out hope that the Jets will sign Marques Douglas to a minimum deal at some point this summer to boost their depth on the defensive line and that they decide to pass on Mark Brunell unless he is coming in as their number three quarterback.

5. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and check out the new episode of Turn On The Jets TV, where we run through some of the top highlights from last season as we look forward to why the Jets have the potential to be so good in 2010.

Jets Area Of Strength – Secondary

Today we cover another area of strength for the Jets headed into the 2010 season, joining the linebackers and receivers, the Jets secondary should be one of their deepest, most talented position groups this year.

PhotobucketAny talk about the Jets secondary starts with cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is coming off one of the best individual defensive seasons in recent NFL history. There isn’t a better cover guy in the league, period. Revis has the rare ability to completely take a team’s top receiving top target out of the game, while still creating turnovers. The Jets defensive scheme dares teams to take a shot at Revis and when they did in 2009, they failed an overwhelming majority of the time. In the end, the Jets will find a way to appease his contract demands. Mike Tannenbaum can be stubborn in his contract negotiations but he isn’t stupid. Revis has the ability to become one of the greatest players in the organization’s history.

In 2009, the weakest spot of the Jets defense was the corner position opposite Revis. Veteran Lito Sheppard struggled to stay healthy and productive, when he actually was on the field. Dwight Lowery was doing an adequate job filling in Sheppard for a little while, but ultimately lacked the physical skills to match up with starting receivers on a consistent basis. The Jets didn’t hesitate this off-season to fix this weakness.

Former All-Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie was acquired in a trade from the San Diego Chargers. Cromartie is one of the most physically gifted players in the NFL and had a 10 interception season in 2007, along with creating a reputation for racking up highlight reel plays. He has struggled the past few years. However, the Jets are banking on their aggressive man to man scheme bringing the best out of Cromartie, along with him recovering from a hip injury that nagged him last year. Cromartie is a huge boom or bust player heading into 2010. Hopefully, he won’t replicate the bust performance offered by Lito Sheppard last season.

The Jets added further support to the corner position by drafting Kyle Wilson out of Boise State in the first round of the NFL Draft. Wilson was a player who shot up most draft boards after a strong performance during Senior Week. He was rumored to potentially be a top 15 selection. Fortunately for the Jets, he managed to slip all the way to number 29 for them to snatch up. Rex Ryan instantly handed Wilson the starting nickel job, where he could face some early struggles adjusting to playing in the slot. However, his physical skills are far superior to Dwight Lowery and as the season progresses, Wilson should develop into a integral part of the Jets defense. Ryan will utilize his athleticism as both a cover guy and a blitzer off the edge.

PhotobucketWith the acquisitions of Cromartie and Wilson, Dwight Lowery bumps down to the team’s number four corner. In terms of the fourth guy, Lowery has tons of experience and should be used in a selective way as both a corner and safety in certain packages that allow him to take advantage of his ball hawking skills. Marquice Cole and Drew Coleman round out of the cornerback position, as primarily special team players.

At safety, the Jets traded away Kerry Rhodes who has already ticked off his new teammates in Arizona with his desire to vacation over working out in the off-season. Brodney Pool was signed from Cleveland to replace Rhodes. Despite having his season cut short by a head injury in 2009, Pool had a much better statistical season than Rhodes in only 11 games. The coaching staff has been raving about his work ethic this off-season, and that work ethic combined with his athleticism gives Pool the potential to have a big season in the Jets defense.

Jim Leonhard returns as the other starting safety. Most people look over Leonhard when discussing the Jets defense, but he was one of the most consistent players on the team last year and has a complete mastery of the Rex Ryan’s system. He won’t rack up a ton of big plays but he will always be in the right place at the right time and won’t give up big plays either.

The Jets have excellent depth behind Pool and Leonhard. Eric Smith is a versatile player, who has extended starting experience. He will see plenty of action in the multiple packages the Jets use on defense. James Ihedigbo came on towards the end of last year as a quality reserve off the bench and somebody who was effective as a blitzer off the edge. The Jets also added UDFA Donovan Warren from Michigan this off-season, who was talked about as a second round pick before a poor combine showing.

Revis

Cromartie

New TOJ TV