New York Jets Saturday Notes

Will WR Eron Riley make an impact this year? Kenrick Ellis should see major playing time tomorrow and a few words on Kris Jenkins

A few notes and thoughts before the New York Jets take on San Diego tomorrow at home –

1. The team has placed WR Logan Payne on IR, ending his season. This is a somewhat surprising move as Mike Tannenbaum had recently mentioned him as being part of the team’s plans this season. However, I think the recent signing of WR Eron Riley may have had something to do with it. Jon Heath from Broncos Talk reached out to me with the following words on Riley.

“Riley, 6-3, 207 pounds, is a second year player out of Duke that went undrafted in 2009.  He has loads of potential and a sick vertical leap, which compliments his impressive speed and reliable hands.  I was really hoping the Broncos would activate him to the active roster because I knew somebody would sign him off Denver’s practice squad if he stayed there too long. In the preseason, Riley led the Broncos in catches (6), yards (187) and receiving touchdowns (2).  He also had nice rhythm with quarterback Tim Tebow.”

2. The team has also signed DT Martin Tevaseu back to their active roster. There is a chance Mike DeVito might miss tomorrow’s game and if he does it will be rookie Kenrick Ellis getting the start, but Tevaseu would also likely see a good chunk of playing time.

3. What is with Kris Jenkins recent assault on the New York Jets players and Rex Ryan? You had never had a problem with Rex when you were in his locker room and now that you are out of it, you are going to hop on the media bandwagon and start bashing him for how he acts? Give me a break.

New York Jets: It Feels Like Home

Rex Ryan talking big? Underdogs at home? It finally feels like a normal week for the New York Jets

Rex Ryan getting ripped to pieces in the media for an arrogant comment?

The New York Jets underdogs in their own building?

Somebody from outside the locker room (Kris Jenkins), criticizing the players on the team as being catty, selfish and more concerned with self-promotion than winning?

It finally feels like a normal week for the Rex Ryan led New York Jets. This team needs the headlines, controversy and doubt to play to their potential. Think about it –

In 2009, they started off with low expectations with a new coach and a rookie quarterback. They rip off three straight wins to start the season, including a stunner over New England. The praise and complacency start to come and they lose 6 out of 7.

At 4-6 they are written off in a similar way to they are being now. They respond by winning 4 out of 5 and making the playoffs. Yet, they still receive criticism and a lack of respect for how they got in. Rex Ryan outlandishly calls the Jets the Super Bowl favorites before the playoffs start, everybody thinks he is crazy until they win two straight on the road and are up by 11 in Indianapolis in the AFC Championship Game.

It falls apart but everybody takes the Jets seriously as a Super Bowl contender heading into the 2010 season. They drop a stink bomb in week one, leading to everybody questioning everything about the team, particularly Ryan and Mark Sanchez. In response, the Jets win 9 of their next 10 and are arguably the best team in the league at 9-2 heading into New England. Too much confidence, too much praise, too much complacency and the Jets lose two straight and make themselves underdogs heading into Pittsburgh. They win a surprising game that ultimately propels them to the playoffs, where nobody picks them to beat Peyton Manning or Tom Brady but they do.

Finally everybody hops on the bandwagon, the trash talking disappears and they lose in the AFC Championship Game.

It seems to me that the Jets only respond as an underdog. They find ways to run their mouths and win games in ways that piss people off. Let’s hope history repeats itself the next 3 games when the Jets will likely be underdog in every single match-up, starting this week versus San Diego.

Kris Jenkins Announces His Retirement

 

Former New York Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins announced his retirement today. He is coming off rehabbing back to back to ACL injuries and the Jets had released him earlier in the off-season, so this isn’t a total surprise. Jenkins was a dominant player when healthy for both Carolina and the Jets. In 2008, he finished with 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks in his only full season in New York, as the past two years were cut short by injury.

New York Jets Recent Cuts Open Up New Opportunities

There have been varying emotions on the New York Jets recent round of cuts. A mix of joy and disgust as the Vernon Gholston disaster finally came to an end, sadness at seeing respected veterans like Kris Jenkins and Damien Woody go, amusement at Jason Taylor now only wanting to continue his career with the Jets, a team he once despised as much as we despised him, and indifference over Ben Hartsock (sorry #84). Regardless, all of these moves are going to open up new opportunities for other players on the roster and will affect strategy in April’s draft.

Woody – The Jets are expected to have veteran Wayne Hunter and second year lineman Vladimir Ducasse battle for his old spot. For Ducasse, this a make or break battle. The Jets are going to have to admit they may have missed in last year’s second round if Ducasse begins his NFL career by losing consecutive battles to Matt Slauson and Hunter. Towards the end of last season, Hunter showed he could be adequate as a starter but  I am sure the coaching staff is hopeful Ducasse will seize the position and be the long term answer at right tackle.

Jenkins – There is still a good chance Jenkins will come back at a reduced price. Regardless, this just means embracing Sione Pouha as the quality starter he has shown himself to be. It also means the Jets will have to look defensive line early in the draft, as we expected them to anyway.

Gholston – He didn’t play enough to shake up anything on the roster. The coaching staff does seem high on Marcus Dixon at defensive end and Ropati Pitoitua is returning from injury. Expect both players to get a shot at becoming large parts of the defensive line rotation in 2011.

Taylor – He has expressed an interest in returning to the Jets at a reduced price. I have a hard time seeing that happening as the Jets will likely look to get younger at linebacker and defensive end (where Taylor frequently lined up) in the draft. Jamaal Westerman might be a guy who gets more of a shot now that Taylor is gone. Westerman showed some potential in 2009 but wasn’t given much of a chance last season…until he roughed the punter against Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game.

Hartsock – The Jets decided to keep Jeff Cumberland on the roster all of the last season, despite only making him active once in week 17. He showed potential as a pass catcher in the pre-season and clearly the Jets think he can become a bigger part of the offense, which he may need to if Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith don’t return. In terms of blocking, Matthew Mulligan should be able to step into that role as he received occasional reps in run heavy sets last season.

Check Out Hartsock’s Lone Touchdown as a New York Jet at 1:05…and his incredibly lame celebration

New York Jets Release Damien Woody, Kris Jenkins, Jason Taylor, Vernon Gholston

It is being reported the Jets have released right tackle Damien Woody, nose tackle Kris Jenkins, outside linebacker Jason Taylor, and defensive lineman Vernon Gholston. Quick thoughts….

Damien Woody – The biggest loss out of these four. Woody gave the Jets three quality years at right tackle and was a leader on the offense. He struggled with injuries towards the end of last season and the Jets managed to get by with backup Wayne Hunter filling in. Hunter (who is a free agent) will likely be re-signed and compete with second year lineman Vladimir Ducasse for Woody’s old job. Ducasse was recently moved to right tackle after losing out on the chance to start at guard in his rookie year. Similar to when the Jets released Alan Faneca last year, they will be taking a risk that a younger player on the roster can become an adequate replacement. They guessed right last year, let’s hope they do it again.

Kris Jenkins – Jenkins was a beast for the Jets in 2008 but suffered a season ending injury early in the 2009 season, and then after extensive rehab had another season ending injury in the first quarter of the 2010 season. He has claimed he wants to continue his career and is in the middle of another rehab. The Jets simply owed him too much money to bring back under his current contract. I would guess there is a good chance he is brought back if he agrees to a cheaper deal down the road. If not, Sione Pouha has been very good filling in for him the past two years, however the Jets still need to address their defensive line in this year’s draft.

Jason Taylor – The Jets took a shot with Taylor when it became clear the Miami Dolphins weren’t interested in bringing him back before the 2010 season. He was decent as a rotational player in their defense last year, finishing with 36 tackles, 5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. This team still needs to find a long term answer for their pass rush at the outside linebacker position.

Vernon Gholston – The bust of busts. A guy who wowed at the combine and was drafted with the #6 overall pick to sack the quarterback, yet never registered a single sack in three seasons with the team. Goodbye Vernon.

Moving up the depth chart —

  • RT Wayne Hunter (when he is re-signed)
  • RT Vladimir Ducasse
  • OLB Jamaal Westerman
  • DL Marcus Dixon
  • DL Ropati Pitoitua
  • DL Jarron Gilbert

This also increases the Jets need to draft two to three players for their defensive front seven.

Don’t Forget How Dominant Jenkins Could Be

Turn On The Jets 2010/201 Report Cards – Sione Pouha

Today we continue our series of evaluating how each player on the Jets performed this past season, along with looking forward to what their role on the team will be next year…up today, defensive lineman Sione Pouha –

Stat Line – 59 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 passes defended

Playoff Stat Line – 14 tackles, 1 sack

Best Moment – Two moments jump out to me when thinking about Pouha’s season, first was his fumble recovery when Joe Flacco was sacked on the Jets first defensive play of the season and second was his sack of Tom Brady in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Best Game – Despite coming in a losing effort, Pouha had a monster game against the Miami Dolphins in week 14 (sounds similar to Brodney Pool, know?). He racked up 10 tackles and a sack and the crowd got more into their “POOO-HA” chants than usual.

Overall Evaluation – Similar to 2009, Pouha stepped in for an injured Kris Jenkins and did a more than admirable job. He is a quality starter in the NFL and a very good fit for Rex Ryan’s system. I would love to see the potential of this defensive line if Jenkins could actually stay healthy for a season and have Pouha playing alongside him. Pouha’s tackle totals for a defensive lineman are particularly impressive and emphasize how solid he is against the run. (B+)

Future: Pouha will be back with the team next year and probably will be given the starting role as Kris Jenkins works back from yet another injury. If Jenkins can recover, it will be interesting to see how much work Pouha gets at defensive end alongside him. Regardless of how healthy Jenkins does get, Pouha is now at the point where he is going to play plenty of reps no matter what.

Look at the big fella with the scoop

12 Pack of Jets Off-Season Thoughts – Edition #2

Put it on your calendar, every Friday the rest of the off-season (however long that takes) for your 12 pack of Jets thoughts…

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1. Backup Issues – It will be interesting to see how the Jets handle their backup quarterback situation in 2011. You can’t expect Mark Brunell back for another year. The Jets were lucky to make it through the season without an injury to Mark Sanchez because I still hold firm in the belief that Brunell isn’t capable at his age to hold the fort down for a few weeks if Sanchez was hurt. Kellen Clemens doesn’t appear to have the confidence of the coaching staff and I’d be surprised if they let him compete for the number two spot. The Jets need to find a quality long term backup for their franchise quarterback who has been occasionally banged up over the first two years of his career. Fortunately, it has now been revealed that Sanchez won’t need off-season shoulder surgery. It is never good when your quarterback needs surgery the first two years of his career.

2. Safety Decision – There is likely going to be a decision made at whom to keep at safety between Eric Smith and Brodney Pool. This isn’t necessarily an easy choice since both began to play better towards the end of the season. Smith has slowly developed into one of Rex Ryan’s favorite players after he was initially skeptical about him. He also has the advantage of being a core special team player. Pool might fit better alongside Jim Leonhard and did provide more big plays than Smith last year. I could honestly see this decision going either way but the reality is the Jets still need to finda bigger playmaker to pair with Leonhard long term.

3. Prime-Time – Despite not making the Super Bowl, I still wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets end up with the most prime-time games of any team in 2011. They have become a national team and a running headline since Rex Ryan has taken over and there are plenty of intriguing match-ups to consider. Jets/Giants and one of the Jets/Patriots games both seem like prime-time locks. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets/Cowboys, Jets/Eagles, Jets/Ravens, or one of the Jets/Dolphins games were on a Sunday, Thursday, or Monday night.

4. Youth Movement – Remember how much panic there was last season when Alan Faneca, Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Kenyon Coleman, Jay Feely, and Kerry Rhodes (well maybe not him) all left the team? I expect a similar reaction this year when the Jets inevitably lose a fairly sizable group of contributors from the 2010 team. You can’t keep everybody and that is why it is important for young players to step up and to draft well. This past year Wayne Hunter, James Ihedigbo, Drew Coleman, and Mike DeVito all stepped up in bigger roles. In 2011, players like Joe McKnight, John Conner, Kyle Wilson, Patrick Turner, and Jeff Cumberland may need to do the same.

5. Road Warriors – This is fairly obvious but the Jets need to find a way to win their division next year so they can get some home playoff games. They haven’t played one since 2002, which means they have played 8 straight on the road. There certainly wasn’t a home-field advantage defined by this team in the new stadium and until they can improve on their 5-3 home record, they will have to do the tough sledding on the road in the playoffs. Regardless of the past success of wild-card teams, it is such an easier road to have a bye and then host a playoff game instead of trying to string together 3 straight road wins.

6. Scary Stats – The Jets didn’t have a 1,000 yard rusher or receiver, a player with double digit sacks, or anybody with more than 55 receptions. They didn’t score a touchdown in any of their three home losses. My poor cousin went to three games this year since we split the season tickets and saw a grand total of 5 Nick Folk field goals as the Jets scoring.

7. Poetic Justice – I am pretty sure the Bart Scott post-game interview has exceeded Joe Namath’s “I want to kiss you” interview as the most popular in team history. I already have the auto-tune version on my I-Pod and if you think I won’t be celebrating every touchdown in my flag football league this spring with the airplane arms, you are crazy.

8. Super Bowl – Check out my Super Bowl XLV predictions on SeatGeek. SeatGeek is the leading ticket search engine that enables fans to discover the best deals for sports and concerts — Check out SeatGeek next season when you’re looking for NFL tickets.

9. 2011 Draft – In case you weren’t aware, the Jets have a draft pick in every single round this year except for the 2nd, which they lost in the Antonio Cromartie trade. They pick 30thoverall in the first round.

10.  Under the Radar – A few players who don’t get a ton of press but put together very good years – Brandon Moore, who many thought would finally get a chance at a Pro-Bowl in 2010 due to his consistently high level of play…Sione Pouha, who has been rock solid filling in for an injured Kris Jenkins the past two seasons…Tony Richardson who held off John Conner all year and kept paving the way for one of the NFL’s top rushing attacks…Ben Hartsock who cut down on the penalties and is a key part of the running game.

11. Here is hoping Curtis Martin gets in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, like he deserves to

12. Video Weekend Clips – Swaggerlicious edition

TOJ's Initial Thoughts On Jets 2011 Defensive Depth Chart

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First guess on the what the defense will look like 2011…

A much needed reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TurnOnTheJets) and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets)

Defensive Line – Draft Pick, Free Agent, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis, Ropati Pitoitua – I think Kris Jenkins will agree to take a major pay cut and give it another shot for the Jets. What other option does he have? Nobody is paying him with how much time he missed the past two years. I can see negotiations with Shaun Ellis getting ugly, the Jets letting him waver in free agency for awhile but then ultimately finding a way to bring him back on a cheap, short-term deal. Does he really want to go somewhere else after spending his whole career here? He is another guy who won’t get big money elsewhere. The Jets do need to spend an early draft pick at defensive end and should sign a veteran to replace Trevor Pryce. Hopefully, Pitoitua can contribute this year.

Linebackers – David Harris, Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, Draft Pick/Free Agent, Jamaal Westerman, Josh Mauga – This is another area the Jets need to spend a draft pick in. I am not sure what free agency will look like in this area but it would be good to see them add some youth here. Jason Taylor won’t be back. Westerman and Mauga have shown potential in the past couple years and are developmental players. David Harris isn’t going anywhere, you can bank on that.

Secondary – Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Jim Leonhard, Brodney Pool, Kyle Wilson, James Ihedigbo, Marquice Cole, Dwight Lowery, Draft Pick – I think the Jets will find a way to get Cromartie back after dealing with Harris and Santonio Holmes. They can’t keep everybody so don’t be surprised to see Drew Coleman and Eric Smith leave, as they will want Kyle Wilson to have a bigger role and Pool’s play improved down the stretch. I am sure Rex Ryan will insist they spend another draft pick in the secondary, either at safety or corner.

Overall – I think the Jets will be able to get Jenkins and Ellis back on the cheap as they work younger players into the defensive line positions. The bottom line is that long term replacements are needed for Ellis and Bryan Thomas and the Jets aren’t loaded with draft picks, so Mike Tannenbaum needs to hit in the first and third round or get creative with free agency or a trade. Rex Ryan loves his corners, which is why I think after taking care of Harris and Holmes, the Jets next priority won’t be Braylon Edwards or Brad Smith, but will rather be Cromartie. Eric Smith, Drew Coleman, Jason Taylor, and Trevor Pryce are the major contributors who won’t be back.

Instant Reaction: Jets Offense Missing In Action, Lose 10-9

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And the rest of the NFL world can sleep with a smile on their face knowing the Jets lost tonight.

On opening night the Jets wasted a terrific effort by their defense and special teams, en route to an ugly 10-9 loss. I may be a damn good writer, but I can’t come up with the words to describe how awful the Jets offense was tonight. It was summed up perfectly by running the 9 yard out on 4th and 10 during one of the worst looking two minute drives in NFL history.

The Jets only lost by one point tonight but it sure didn’t feel that close. The positives? LaDainian Tomlinson still has plenty left in the tank. The Jets defense is still about as good as it gets in the NFL, despite incurring more penalties than were mentally comprehensible and playing terrible on third down. Bryan Thomas and Shaun Ellis played the game of their lives and Darrelle Revis looked like the Darrelle Revis from last year.

The negatives? A quick laundry list…

  • The Jets have no absolutely zero passing game.
  • Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson looked like Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman.
  • Kris Jenkins hurt his leg and could be out for awhile.
  • Shonn Greene mentally checked out of the game after a fumble and did nothing overall.

So, enjoy your gloating Jets haters and Jets fans throw yourself into a massive hysteria of panic. Yet, try to remember that despite playing one of the worst offensive games in recent history, racking up a 125 penalty yards, and playing terrible third down defense, the Jets just lost by 1 point to one of the five best teams in the NFL.

Although, I am already having nightmares about New England throwing the ball on us next week.

40 New York Jets Prediction For 2010 Season

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First a few updates:

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

2. Brodney Pool didn’t practice yesterday or today with a sprained ankle. Rex Ryan made it sound like he wasn’t going to practice Thursday either. Calvin Pace is apparently ahead of schedule in his rehab and could be back before week four. Finally, Darrelle Revis took part in about half of the team reps and pulled in a one handed interception, along with a few pass breakups.

50 New York Jets Prediction For 2010 Season

No introduction necessary:

1. Despite potentially missing up to four games, Calvin Pace will still lead the Jets in sacks this season with 8.5. David Harris and Jason Taylor won’t be far behind with 6.5 each.

2. Darrelle Revis won’t begin playing at his 2009 level until around week five. However, that doesn’t mean he still won’t be very, very good the first few weeks.

3. Antonio Cromartie will lead the Jets in interceptions with 7.

4. Kris Jenkins will benefit from having Sione Pouha spell him and from his weight loss this off-season to put together an All-Pro year.

5. Vernon Gholston will finally record his first NFL sack at some point during the 2010 season and prove to be a decent part of the defensive line rotation.

6. Mark Sanchez will throw for more touchdowns than interceptions in 2010, finishing with 19 TDs to 14 INTs.

7. LaDainian Tomlinson will finish with 950 total offensive yards and 8 total touchdowns.

Photobucket8. Shonn Greene will lead the Jets in rushing yards with 1200, and also add on 6 touchdowns of his own.

9. Joe McKnight will make no significant contributions to the Jets offense this season.

10. Jerricho Cotchery will lead the Jets in receptions, Dustin Keller won’t be far behind him and lead the team in touchdown receptions.

11. Motivated by not being the only member of the Core Four who didn’t get paid, David Harris will put together his best career season and get Patrick Willis type money next off-season.

12. Kyle Wilson will put together a strong rookie year as the Jets nickel back and will eventually become the primary punt returner. He will have two interceptions and two sacks in 2010.

13. Shaun Eliis will have a quiet but productive year with 4 sacks, in what will likely be his final season in green and white.

14. Brodney Pool will get his feet under him in the Jets defense after the bye week and finish the season strongly, proving to be an upgrade over Kerry Rhodes.

15. The Jets will go 4-2 in their six games prior their bye week.

16. The Jets will finish 7-3, en route to a 11-5 record and AFC East title.

17. The Jets will split with Miami and New England.

18. The Jets will avoid their yearly letdown against the Bills and sweep them in 2010.

19. Braylon Edwards will start the season strongly and remain a big play threat for the entire year. Yet, there won’t be enough touches for him to approach 1,000 yards receiving or have any more than 5-6 touchdowns.

20. Santonio Holmes return will be a major boost to the Jets offense in week 5 and he will develop into their unquestioned number one receiver during the stretch run and into the playoffs.

21. Left guard will be an ongoing problem for the Jets in 2010, leading to Mark Sanchez taking more hits than any of us would like to see. If Sanchez misses any extended period of time and by that I mean more than a game or two tops, the Jets aren’t going to be a playoff team.

22. The Jets “Tiger” formation won’t be a major part of their offense, but Brad Smith will still provide an occasional big play every few weeks. Yet, Smith will be one of the Jets top special teams players along with Eric Smith.

23. Eric Smith will be the Jets most important defensive sub in 2010, not Jason Taylor, Kyle Wilson, or even Sione Pouha.

24. Jamaal Westerman will finish with three sacks and be a bigger part of the Jets defense than he was in 2009.

25. John Conner will play more and more as the season goes on, yet Tony Richardson and him will still be splitting reps about 50/50 by the end of the year.

26. Nick Folk will be good in 2010 but still won’t be at his All-Pro 2007 form.

Photobucket27. Jim Leonhard and Bryan Thomas will both have steady, consistent years despite not putting together stat lines that will turn any heads, similar to 2009.

28. There will be some type of storyline at least every other week about some player on the Jets upcoming opponent making a comment on how the Jets talk too much.

29. The Jets won’t have a 1000 yard receiver.

30. The Jets won’t miss Marques Douglas. Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha will be more than adequate in the defensive line rotation.

31. Despite having a good season as the Jets top back with the previously mentioned stats, Shonn Greene will still lose 2 – 4 fumbles.

32. The Jets will be back to where they were in 2009, in the AFC Championship Game except this time they will be facing the Baltimore Ravens.

33. Bart Scott won’t lead the Jets in tackles, sacks, or tackles for loss. Yet, you can bet he will lead the team in trash talk spoken.

34. Jerricho Cotchery will be the Jets primary third down target throughout the entire year, even after Santonio Holmes returns.

35. Mark Sanchez’s completion percentage will improve to around 56 percent, thanks largely to having a reliable check down back in LaDainian Tomlinson.

36. Pro Bowlers – Darrelle Revis, Kris Jenkins, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, David Harris.

37. All-Pro – Darrelle Revis, Kris Jenkins, Nick Mangold, David Harris

38. Tony Richardson will have more receptions than Ben Hartsock this season, but big #84 will still pull in one touchdown, beating out Richardson’s 0. I am even signing up Matt Mulligan for 2 receptions in 2010.

39. Mark Sanchez won’t eat any concession stand food on the sideline, nor bring prepared notes to any post game press conferences.

40. Mike Francesa will need to move to drinking 39 Pepsis a day to handle the Jets being a legit contender all season, while the Giants wallow in irrelevancy with their subpar defense and offensive line.