New York Jets Draft Wrap-Up

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook or twitter (TurnOnTheJets). You need those updates because Mike Tannenbaum makes a trade every 4.8 seconds.

2. Here is a run down of all the reported UDFAs the Jets signed: Michigan CB Donovan Warren, Illinois WR Jeff Cumberland, Texas G Charlie Tanner, Nevada DE Kevin Basped, Pittsburgh DT Mick Williams, Baylor DE Jason Lamb, North Dakota State OT Keith Buckman, Bethune-Cookman WR Phillip Kirkland, Alabama LB Cory Reamer, California SS Marus Ezeff, Indiana State SS Donye McClesky, Northeastern State DT T.J. Raymond, William Paterson WR Joel Rivera

3. The depth chart has been updated to include draft picks and UDFAs. Also the 2010 Draft section has been remodeled into “2010 Draft Picks,” which has information on the four players the Jets drafted and the UDFAs they signed.

New York Jets Draft Wrap-Up

I would have never thought the Jets would spend three of their four picks on offensive players. Yet, Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets front office decided to use the 2010 draft to primarily reshape their offense by parting ways with two veterans and adding three new long term pieces on that side of the ball.

A few things became clear this weekend. First off despite the recent acquisitions of Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, the Jets will still be a run first, run heavy offense. It is obvious the Jets like to have their young backs learn from veterans before taking over big time roles. Shonn Greene spent a season behind Thomas Jones and is now the Jets #1 back. Joe McKnight will spend a season or two behind LaDainian Tomlinson before becoming the Jets full time change of pace back/#2 option. John Connor will spend a year behind Tony Richardson before becoming the Jets long time starter at fullback. One thing you can’t argue with is the fact the Jets are now set in the backfield for the future.

PhotobucketSecond on defense, the line of thinking that defensive ends aren’t premium positions in Rex Ryan’s scheme held true. Ryan believes he can get by with a defensive end rotation of Shaun Ellis, Mike DeVito, Vernon Gholston, and Ropati Pitoitua. He confirmed in the post draft press conference that Marques Douglas won’t be back and Gholston will now be a full time end. At least Gholston adds some speed and youth to the end position…even if he can’t you know…play football. Ryan is also comfortable with the three man rotation at outside linebacker of Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, and Jason Taylor for the next year or two, which will also hopefully give enough time for a guy like Jamaal Westerman to develop into a more consistent player.

The Jets defense and Rex Ryan in particular values corners over just about any position. Kyle Wilson will basically be a starter for the Jets because their nickel back is on the field so frequently. Ryan is also confident Brodney Pool will be the answer at safety and that he if he does get hurt, Eric Smith or James Ihedigbo can adequately step in.

PhotobucketThe decision to part ways with Alan Faneca and Leon Washington hasn’t been a popular one, both with the team and with fans. Yet, keep in mind how many long term contracts the Jets will have to work on after this season. Nobody is saying the Jets offensive line will be better this year with Matt Slauson or Vladimir Ducasse at left guard but for the long term cutting Faneca was the right choice. He was their 5th best lineman last year and Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson both need new deals next off-season. Ducasse or Slauson will be fine because the Jets are lucky enough to surround them with one of the best offensive line coaches in the game in Bill Callahan and pro-bowl talent in Mangold and Ferguson.

Nobody liked Leon Washington more than me but he wasn’t getting a long term deal from the Jets and is likely starting out the season on the PUP list. McKnight has the skill set to effectively replace him as the Jets third down back and has a year or two behind Tomlinson to develop into a quality #2 back behind Shonn Greene. McKnight and Kyle Wislon also have the ability to fill the hole left by Leon in the return game.

Maybe Not The Next Reggie Bush But Hopefully The Next Leon Washington

Is The Jets Offense Ready To Match The Swag Of The Jets Defense?

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First a few updates:

1. I hate to be repetitive but follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…it is good for your mental, physical, and emotional health.

2. We have had a nice spike in the number of comments on recent articles…keep it up, I always love getting feed back to my articles and will always take the time to respond to every comment. Finding a job…finishing my graduate school work…obviously none of these things take precedent over Turn On The Jets.

3. Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins? I was consistent in saying I never wanted the Jets to trade for Marshall (check the history of TOJ if you don’t believe me) and I am thrilled we aren’t the team who gave up two 2nd round picks for him and paid 47.5 million dollars to him on a five year contract, in what most people agree is the largest contract given to a receiver in NFL history. Is Marshall a beast? Yes. Will he help the Dolphins? Yes. However, they are taking a huge risk giving him that much money, with his history of off the field problems. Marhsall makes Santonio Holmes look like a choir boy. You will have to check back a little later for the primary reason, I am not worried about this deal.

Photobucket4. Thoughts on Lost Final Season, Episode 12 “Everybody Loves Hugo” – There is 18 hours scheduled hours for Lost’s final season, which means last night marked the end of the second third of season six. The first third ended with Locke taking down the temple and assembling his team. The second third of the season added another faction to the island in Widmore’s group and revealed their intention to stop Locke using Desmond. It also assembled the rival group to Locke, whether you want to call it Jack’s, Hurley’s, or Jacob’s team. Last night these groups finally converged and it looks we are gearing up for an old school Jack vs. Locke showdown. Yet, focusing on last night: I wasn’t sad to see Illana die. She never really did it for me. I wonder why the writers had Richard, Ben, and Miles break off into a separate group to destroy the plane and wonder how that will factor in later in the season. What is the deal with that boy Locke keeps seeing appear in the jungle? Will Desmond make it out of that well alive? In the sideways, what was Desmond’s agenda in running Locke over? Also, we are seeing the direction the sideways timeline is going pretty clearly now with Desmond and others helping to guide people to remember their “other” life. A few other quick comments: good to see Michael back…the explanation for the whispers was kind of lame…the only line Sawyer says anymore is “Where the hell you been, Locke”…Zombie Sayid is starting to piss me off.

Is The Jets Offense Ready To Match The Swag Of The Jets Defense?

Last year Bart Scott claimed himself, Rex Ryan, and the other players brought over from Baltimore would be making the Jets defense “swaggalicious.” He turned out to be right on point. The combination of the left over talent from the Mangini era (Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Calvin Pace) combined with Scott, Jim Leonhard, Marques Douglas, and Rex Ryan’s schemes led the Jets to have the league’s #1 ranked defense. Not to sound corny but they were a hard-hitting, trash-talking unit that kicked the crap out of teams on most weeks. They had plenty of swag. Yet, the offense didn’t match the swag of the defense in year one under Rex Ryan. Yes, they ran the football better than anybody in the league but they struggled to consistently put up points and were looked at more to “stay out of the way” and make sure they did just enough to help the defense win. It looks like that could be changing in year two of the Ryan era.

The transformation started early last year when the Jets swung a trade for Braylon Edwards, who despite his inconsistency catching the football provided a big play element to the Jets offense. It continued later in the year with the emergence of Shonn Greene as a hard-running back, who could pop a big run at any moment. Do everything receiver Brad Smith started chipping in with a few big plays. As the playoffs started, Mark Sanchez began to locate his confidence and playmaking ability from the first three weeks of the year, while Dustin Keller began turning into a touchdown machine. All the while, Jerricho Cotchery kept catching everything thrown at him and converting huge third downs. Now in the off-season, the Jets did lose their emotional leader in Thomas Jones but will be benefited by the addition of LaDainian Tomlinson and the return of Leon Washington from injury. Beyond that, they just added another big play receiver in Santonio Holmes.

As it stands today, the Jets have a serious collection of talent on offense…especially, young talent. A top ranked offense may not be too far behind a top ranked defense in the upcoming years. Look for yourself:

Mark Sanchez – Undoubtedly the x-factor when it comes to how far the Jets will go this year. He struggled heavily at times during his rookie year but also showed some prolonged flashes of brilliance. Most importantly, he played his best football when it counted the most…in the playoffs. Sanchez standing in the pocket, taking a monster hit, and delivering a perfect touchdown pass on a third down, on the road, in the AFC Championship game in the last highlight shown in this clip tells you everything you need to know about this guy’s potential.

Shonn Greene – The Jets new #1 back. Greene became a bigger factor on the Jets offense down the stretch last season and then exploded in the playoffs with back to back monster games in first two rounds of the playoffs. If Greene can stay healthy and protect the football, you will be seeing alot of these type of runs next season:

LaDainian Tomlinson – The guy Greene was imitating in the previous video…imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right? Tomlinson is a first ballot hall of famer looking to prove he still has something left in the tank. If he does, watch out:

Leon Washington – Remember him? The Jets biggest playmaker from 2006 until he was hurt in week 8 of 2009. Washington is coming off major surgery but will be looked at to remain the playmaker he always has been as the team’s third down back and primary return man.

Braylon Edwards – He might have struggled at times last year but Edwards provided some big plays for the Jets offense and was a much needed deep threat. The guy is a physical freak who could make just about any catch humanly possible, while somehow still struggling with the easy ones:

Jerricho Cotchery – Don’t sleep on Jerricho Cotchery’s value to this offense. He is the Jets most reliable receiver and a clutch player, who routinely steps up in big spots. Cotchery will be deadly in the slot on third downs with Edwards and Holmes on the outside.

Santonio Holmes – By the way, we just added Santonio Holmes coming off a 1200 yard receiving season. Holmes is one of the top big play threats in the NFL at the receiver position and cam score from any spot on the field at any time.

Brad Smith – A versatile, speedy playmaker, who allows the Jets to run their own version of the “Wildcat.” He can line up at quarterback, running back, or wide receiver.

Dustin Keller – The Jets athletic tight end, who began to come into his own during the playoffs last year. Keller is athletic enough to line up at tight end, H-Back, split end, or in the slot. He is a valuable weapon in the red-zone.

I don’t know about you but I can’t think of too many teams with nine playmakers like that on their roster.

In-Depth Look At Santonio Holmes Trade

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First a few updates:

1. An overwhelming amount of Jets/Santonio Holmes information has been released since the trade was announced late last night. Fortunately, I have sorted it out for all of you on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page, which if you aren’t following yet…go ahead and do that right now. I don’t want to brag but who had the Santonio Holmes story up first Turn On The Jets, Rich Cimini’s The Jets Stream, or The Jets Blog? You guessed right, Turn On The Jets (I was fortunate enough to stumble across the link just as the story was breaking last night). Who says you need inside sources to break news stories, you just need to have nothing better to do on a Sunday night than sit on the Internet constantly refreshing NFL news sites/twitter accounts.

2. As we all expected, Santonio Holmes has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 NFL season. He was the facility today and passed his physical this afternoon and also spoke briefly with reporters, here is a good recap:(http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/articles/show/3653-holmes-talks-of-mistakes-fresh-start-as-a-jet)

3. The NFL is finally expected to announce this season’s schedule at some point later this week…hopefully the Jets will be playing in Pittsburgh at some point after week 4.

In-Depth Look At Santonio Holmes Trade

This deal has so many interesting and different aspects/elements to it, let’s just hit them one at a time:

Where Did This Come From? – Obviously this move came out of left field. It was being reported last week that Pittsburgh wasn’t going to give Holmes a long term deal and had tired of his off the field behavior. There is talk going around today that Holmes was going to be cut if the Steelers couldn’t trade him, which if you look at the fact that they have brought in Arnaz Battle, Antwaan Randle El, and recently worked out Dez Bryant makes some sense. Apparently, this wasn’t pre-mediated at all and the Jets basically got a phone call on Sunday night and jumped at the offer. Most people knew the Jets desired another receiver and I am sure Mike Tannenbaum nearly fell out of his seat when he realized he could get a guy like Holmes for a 5th round pick instead of signing somebody like Laveranues Coles or taking a risk by drafting a receiver in round one or round two.

PhotobucketCompensation – Even with Holmes being suspended the first four games of the 2010 season, this is still a steal for the Jets. A 5th round pick? The Jets weren’t getting a player who could immediately help them for 12 games the way Holmes will in the 5th round this year. This guy is only is 26 years old by the way. Honestly, I would have been satisfied with this deal if the Jets had given up a fourth round pick or even a third round pick, if they had one to trade but at a fifth round pick, how could you honestly complain?

Draft Strategy – This move allowed the Jets to keep their top three picks in this year’s draft (Round1, Round 2, and Round4), which will all more than likely be used to select defensive players. Receiver was the only position on offense the Jets were considering targeting with a high pick and now they filled the hole, which will allow them to focus on improving the depth of their defense. Mike Tannenbaum has always made it clear he hates being forced to draft a player out of a positional need instead of just taking the best guy available, and now if the Jets sign Jason Taylor they won’t have a glaring need on their roster. Yes, the Jets need another defensive lineman, a nickel corner, and maybe another safety but they could afford to take those three positions in any order depending on who are the best players available. If Jason Taylor doesn’t end up signing, expect the Jets to add a pass rushing outside linebacker in round one or two. You can throw out any mock draft that currently has the Jets taking a receiver in one or round two, and now look for it to be increasingly likely that the Jets will trade back at some point to acquire another pick later in the draft to replace the one they just lost.

Santonio vs. Braylon – The Jets have an interesting dynamic now on offense as both Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes are in the last year of their contracts and will be playing to prove they deserve big money from the franchise. You would have to expect this type of competition will bring the best out of them. If the two of them have productive seasons, do the Jets plan on bringing back both of them? Edwards is 27, Holmes is 26, and Jerricho Cotchery is 28…that could be some receiving core to keep together around Mark Sanchez for a long time.

Braylon’s Role On Offense – Despite both being legitimate deep threats, Edwards and Holmes are different types of receivers. Edwards is a natural split end because of his size. while Holmes is versatile enough to be moved all over the formation, especially in the slot. Edwards provides value as a big target over the middle, in the red-zone and on third downs, while Holmes excels on quick receiver screens where he could run after the catch and as a big play threat lined up either on the outside or inside.

What About Jerricho? – Jerricho Cotchery is still a key part of the Jets offense moving forward into 2010. Cotchery has the hands, route-running ability, and knowledge of the offense to be a terrific slot receiver and he of course still has the ability to line up on the outside. He will remain a reliable, security blanket for Sanchez in big spots.

PhotobucketStarters? – Obviously with the four game suspension, Edwards and Cotchery will begin the year as the starters but when Holmes returns expect Cotchery to remain the de facto starter even though there will be a big rotation working through all three receivers and moving them around the formation.

Offensive Possibilities – They are endless. Cotchery in the slot on third and shorts to convert big first downs. Holmes in the slot running deep seem patterns and catching quick screens. Play action bombs to Edwards or Holmes…Cotchery sliding out to split end to run his normal comeback route…Holmes on reverses or other trick plays…and we haven’t even started talking about using Dustin Keller, Leon Washington, LaDainian Tomlinson, or Shonn Greene yet.

Smile, Mark Sanchez – The Jets have given their franchise quarterback the tools neccessary to succeed. He is playing behind a great offensive line with a strong group of running backs, a good pass catching tight end, and now one of the league’s best receiving cores. There is so much talent around him, how could he not make immense strides in his second year?

Stay Up, Brian Schottenheimer – I am not sure Brian Schottenheimer will be able to sleep in the next 5 months, how many different formations/plays could this guy figure out for the weapons the Jets have on offense?

Smile, Jets Fans – Look at this collection of young offensive talent we currently have assembled:

  • Mark Sanchez – 2nd year quarterback, who flourished in the playoffs last season.
  • Shonn Greene – 2nd year running back, who flourished in the playoffs last season.
  • Leon Washington – Pro-Bowl kick returner/big-play third down back, hungry to prove he can return from injury.
  • Braylon Edwards – 27 year old receiver who had 1289 yards receiving and 17 TDs in 2007…6’3, 215 pounds.
  • Santonio Holmes – 26 year old receiver who had 1248 yards receiving last year and was the Super Bowl MVP in 2009.
  • Jerricho Cotchery – 28 year old receiver who had 1130 yards receiving in 2007 and catches everything thrown at him.
  • Dustin Keller – Athletic 3rd year tight end, who has played in three playoff games and caught a touchdown pass in every single one of them.
  • Brad Smith – A 26 year old versatile running back/quarterback/receiver who has an ability to make big plays.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson – Not young but a first ballot hall of famer looking to prove he still has something in the tank.

We might not be far away from having a number one offense to match a number one defense.

Clutch?

Fantasy File

Who Will Be The Jets Breakout Offensive Player?

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First a few updates:

1. Jason Taylor will be taking the weekend to decide whether he wants to accept the Jets offer after spending his day at the team’s facility today. He met with a few players, including Calvin Pace and Damien Woody who spoke out in favor of adding Taylor to the Jets defense. Another person who spoke about Taylor was Bryan Thomas, who now according to The Star Ledger will be safe if Taylor does sign with the Jets. Apparently defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has said Taylor will primarily  be used in pass rushing downs and that Thomas remains part of the Jets plans for next year.

2. We got hit with a few “Nick Folk is working his way back to pro-bowl form” articles today from the New York media, which is basically the Jets front office saying “crap, we are stuck with this guy, he better get his stuff together, so let’s release a feel good article about him on the team’s website.” I am not buying into Folk as our kicker until he knocks down a 48 yarder opening night at the new stadium under some pressure.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…45 away from 300, and we need 300 by the end of April because Braylon Edwards promised me he wouldn’t drop a single pass this year if that happened.

4. Anybody else already huge Curtis Granderson fans?

Who Will The Jets Breakout Player On Offense Be?

Like most people I believe the Jets offense is an up and coming unit that should improve on their production from last year. In 2009, the Jets didn’t have skill position players who could brag about impressive stat lines outside of the now departed Thomas Jones who racked up 1400 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2010, who could be a player who takes his game to the next level and puts up pro-bowl caliber statistics?

Braylon Edwards – In 12 games with the Jets last season, Edwards had 35 catches for 541 yards and 4 touchdowns. He did provide the occasional big play but continued to struggle with dropped passes and only had one 100 yard game (although he had another one in the playoffs). We all know Edwards has the physical tools to be an elite receiver in the NFL…the guy did catch 17 touchdown passes in a single season only a few years ago, so can he produce like the legit number one the Jets traded for him to be? It certainly won’t hurt that he will now have a whole off-season in the Jets offense and have a training camp and pre-season to work with Mark Sanchez. If Edwards plays to his potential he could be a 1100 yard, 8-10 touchdown receiver in this Jets offense.

Dustin Keller – Keller had a monster streak of games in the middle of his rookie season in 2008, which led many to predict he could become a pro-bowl caliber tight for the Jets. However, he struggled to get on the same page with Sanchez for most of the season and only finished the regular season with 45 catches, 522 yards, and 2 touchdowns. However, Keller came alive in the playoffs by catching a touchdown pass in each of the Jets three games and averaging a little over 60 yards receiving per game. If Brian Schottenheimer can do a better job of getting him the ball and he remains in rhythm with Sanchez, Keller could have a pro-bowl caliber season for the Jets, especially if he remains a primary red-zone target.

Shonn Greene – After a somewhat quiet regular season, Greene exploded in the playoffs and gave the Jets enough confidence to let Thomas Jones walk so he could take over as their number one back. Greene will have the benefit of playing in a run heavy offense behind one of the best lines in the league. Yet, he must show he can stay healthy and handle the beating a lead back takes throughout a 16 games schedule, along with proving he can hold on to the football. If Greene can suit up every week, there is no reason he can’t approach the numbers Thomas Jones put up last year, although it will be hard to come near the 14 touchdowns he had since LaDainian Tomlinson will likely get most of the goal-line carries.

I know I didn’t include my personal favorite Jets offensive player, Jerricho Cotchery but I am hopeful that J-Co can stay healthy for all 16 games, crack the 1000 yard mark, chip in his usual 4 touchdowns, and make his normal collection of clutch third down receptions. Other key Jets skill position players? Tomlinson likely won’t have an impressive yardage total but hopefully he is productive as a pass catcher out of the backfield and as a short yardage/goal-line back. It is hard to tell what to expect from Leon coming off such a serious injury. Brad Smith will likely have a few big plays here and there but isn’t a consistent weapon. David Clowney might not make the roster next year if the Jets spend a high pick on a receiver. I know…I know, I forget Ben Hartsock and Matthew Mullligan, I am hopeful they will improve on their combined 2 catches for 3 yards and 1 touchdown last year.

Great Jets “My Way” Video

Jets Send Us Into Weekend With Headache

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First a few updates:

1. Big list of quality Jets material published within the last two days, of course you can easily find the links to every Jets related piece of material you should be reading on the Internet by following Turn On The Jets on facebook…go ahead and do that right now…in case you are being stubborn here are a few highlights with some analysis

Photobucket2. First off, ESPN finally launched their ESPN New York site here {http://espn.go.com/new-york/), Jane McManus is doing the Jets blog for it. This is just what I need, another site to check on a daily basis sandwiched between the 19 other Jets sites, Barstool Sports, Lost blogspot and lostpedia so I can figure out what the hell is going on, the message board for our touch football league which I make I living talking trash on, and of course the occasional stop at my school email address…anyway Jane’s first post was on LaDainian Tomlinson who defended his lack of production the last few years by blaming it on the Chargers,“Because the things that happened in San Diego, everything was taken away from me. There wasn’t an emphasis on running the football anymore, my best fullback was gone, the linemen were pass blocking and it was a passing QB and a passing coach.”…well LT will have no such excuses in New York running behind T-Rich and the Jets offensive line. Tomlinson also went on to say he hopes Shonn Greene and himself will be like Jordan and Pippen…does that make Leon, Toni Kukoc?

3. Great article by Tim Graham on his AFC East Blog (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/12137/jets-overtake-patriots-as-the-team-to-hate) about the Jets now being the team to hate in the division. Personally, I love the Jets new style and I say bring the hate on.

4. Rich Cimini also a few recent posts, highlighting some locker room talk (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/) and a few other things. He also discusses the Jets off-season motto “212 degrees,” which is the temperature at which water boils. I think is is clever enough.

Jets Send Us Into Weekend With Headache

PhotobucketWhy are the Jets sending me into the weekend with a headache? The primary reason is that Jay Feely just signed with the Cardinals and it is being reported the Jets had a chance to match the offer and chose not to. Really? The front office and coaching staff is really satisfied going into the year with Nick Folk at kicker? I understand we saved a million dollars because Folk was signed basically for the veterans minimum but there was a reason the Jets were able to sign him for that…because he was awful last year.

I don’t understand how a team who is essentially built to play close football games and plays their home games in a stadium that is notoriously difficult to kick in could undervalue the kicker position so much. The Jets had a very good one in Jay Feely and made a poor decision to be cheap in this instance.

The Jets have developed a reputation as a high spending team yet they lowballed Leon Washington, which could eventually lead to a separation between the two. They went cheap at kicker. They have decided not to re-sign their reliable long snapper for the past decade, James Dearth. Why would you switch your long snapper? If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. They refuse to pay Marques Douglas who wouldn’t even cost that much money and was very productive last year. They went cheap at safety to replace Kerry Rhodes with a guy who is one head injury away from having his career be over.

I am big Mike Tannenbaum fan and maybe these moves are all in preparation of long term deals for Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Braylon Edwards (if he has a good year in 2010) but as of right now the Jets are taking some key risks:

  • They have damaged their relationship with Leon Washington, who has been a great player for them on the field and a great role model off the field. He is rightly a fan favorite but now you have to worry about the Jets ability to ever lock down a long term deal with him, and still be concerned about a team offering him a contract in the next month as a RFA.
  • They are going into the year with a kicker coming off a terrible season, with nobody to compete against him in training camp.
  • Their depth in the secondary is questionable at best. They lost two corners (Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland) and only replaced them with one (Antonio Cromartie). Brodney Pool is injury prone at safety and they only have in-house backups to compete with him for the starting spot.
  • They are thin on the defensive line because of the decision not to bring back Marques Douglas. This could be remedied after the draft but as of now, Shaun Ellis and Mike DeVito are the starters with zero viable backups unless they plan on sliding Sione Pouha or Howard Green out to defensive end.

And if that isn’t enough to give you a headache, Mark Sanchez hasn’t been cleared to run yet even though his surgery was 6 weeks ago. He isn’t going to take part in OTAs, which means it is the Kellen Clemens show in June. Where is the Advil?

This Cheers Me Up

Five Ways For The Jets To Flame Out In 2010

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First a few updates:

1. You know as of right now there isn’t a ton to update on, the draft section is updated and overloaded with potential prospects for the Jets in all seven rounds. The guys over at www.thejetsblog.com do a great job with their “Prospect Watch,” which is where the list of players came from in the “2010 Draft” Section, as you can see from all the links. They finish up adding prospects on April 4th at which point I will organize them by position and list their projected rounds (per TJB), and then we can wait to see if the Jets actually end up with any of these guys.

2. Even though Rich Cimini mentioned Dez Bryant yesterday as a potential guy for the Jets at #29 and I got myself all excited about it, it is pretty hard to see a guy with that much talent even falling into the 20’s. His physical talent is too great for that many teams to pass on, regardless of his off the field issues.

3. A big congratulations to the New Jersey Nets for getting their 10th win and avoiding having the worst record in NBA history.

4. Dustin Keller is beginning his career as a restaurant critic on the New York Times Fifth Down Blog here (http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/dustin-keller-i-eight-one/) even though he didn’t exactly pick an out of the way place for his first review (since he went with one of the best and well-know steakhouses in the City), it is still a good read and has me thinking about treating myself to a meal there when that TOJ check comes in this month.

Five Ways For The Jets To Flame Out In 2010

You may have noticed that I have been optimistic about the Jets chances in 2010. Even when I push aside my bias as a lifelong fan, I still genuinely believe the Jets will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next year. However, this is the NFL and we know big expectations don’t always equal big things. It is difficult to maintain success on a year to year basis, so let me channel my Joe Benigno negative Jets fan inside of me and look at five ways the Jets could disappointin 2010 (by the way I consider anything short of a playoff berth next year to be a major disappointment).

1. Sophomore Slump – It is hard to say that if Mark Sanchez struggles next year that it would be a sophomore slump considering his regular season stats last season. However, we saw the quarterback Sanchez has the potential to be in the playoffs and if he can maintain that level of play the Jets are going to be a very, very tough team to beat. Yet, if he goes back to his performance in the middle of the season last year, when he was throwing 3+ interceptions every other game, the Jets are going to struggle to be anything better than the 9-7 team they were in 2009. The Jets remain a team built on their defense and running game, and even though the playbook should be opened up a little more, Sanchez must protect the football and not take unnecessary chances.

Photobucket2. Built To Last – The Jets have been extremely fortunate to have the same five guys start every game on their offensive line the past two seasons. They still lack solid depth across their front and if one or heaven forbid two of those five went down for an extended period of the time the Jets could be in serious trouble. The running game would suffer, which would put more pressure on Sanchez who wouldn’t be protected as well as usual…sounds like a recipe for disaster.

3. Lead Back Problems – This is Shonn Greene’s first year as a starter and a guy who will counted for 20 carries week in and week out. If Greene can’t stay healthy and can’t shake his fumbling problems, the Jets will be forced to rely on two guys who shouldn’t be getting more than 10 carries a game: an aging LaDainian Tomlinson and Leon Washington, returning from a major injury. Personally, I think Greene is going to be a 1300-1500 yard back this year but he has never done it before, so you never know.

4. Secondary Holes – The Jets are counting on Antonio Cromartie to fill the gaping hole opposite Darrelle Revis. If Cromartieplays like he did in 2007, the Jets will have the best corner duo in football. If he plays like he did last year, the Jets are going to have the same problems they did at times last season. Dwight Lowery remains the #3 corner and I don’t think he will be getting bumped into the starting line-up in a big spot after last year’s AFC Championship game. At safety, Brodney Pool needs to show he can stay healthy all year or Eric Smith needs to show he can handle a full time starting role.

5. Close Game Problems – The Jets lost on the last play of game two times last year to Miami, once to Buffalo, once to Jacksonville, and basically once to Atlanta. If the Jets could have been 3-2 in those games instead of 0-5, you are looking at a 11-5 team. If the Jets don’t learn how to win close games, they won’t win enough games to compete for a division title.

TOJ Movie Trailer

Who Are We Kidding, Shonn Greene Is Going To Be A Beast Next Year…Cromartie Better Learn To Tackle Though

What About Mark Sanchez?

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First a few (or actually many) updates:

1. Jets backup tackle Wayne Hunter signed his restricted free agent tender offer with the Jets. Hunter is a valuable member of the Jets offense. He frequently sees the field as an extra tight end or tackle in short yardage or goal-line situations. The only current Jets restricted free agents who haven’t signed their tenders are Kellen Clemens, Drew Coleman, and Leon Washington. However, Clemens and Coleman have showed up to voluntary workouts with the rest of the team yesterday and today. The entire roster was in attendance (yes Braylon signed his tender and he is in the building) except recently signed Lance Laury and Washington.

2. Speaking of Leon, the word is that he is going to receive clearance to run within the next 10-14 days. His agent believes he will receive some interest in mid-April from other teams, although I think that is doubtful. Ryan didn’t hide his disappointment about Leon not being in attendance in recent quotes. “It is a voluntary situation, but the rest of his teammates volunteered to be there, so it was disappointing that he wasn’t there.”

3. Another interesting nugget of information on the Jets running back situation. Here is what Ryan had to say about Leon, LT, and Shonn Greene:

Photobucket Leon – “What we should do with him in my opinion is put him back to his role, which he had initially, which is third-down back, a change-of-pace type back and a Pro Bowl returner,” Ryan said. “And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

On LT  – “I’m sure some games he’ll have more rushing attempts than Shonn and I think Shonn will have more than LT in other ones,” Ryan said. “Our team is not based on a certain amount of touches. Hypothetically we’ see him carry the ball 15 times a game.”

While we are quoting Ryan, here is some general things he had to say about the Jets in 2010 – “We go into every game thinking we’re going to win. Every single game. I don’t care if we’re playing the Pro Bowl team, we expect to win. That’s just our mentality. That’s our belief in each other, our belief in our systems and our coaching staff and everything we do…When we were saying things, everybody thought we were crazy. I don’t know if they think we’re crazy now. We did go in there, saying we were going to have a dominant defense; we led the NFL in total defense. We said we were going to have a ground-and-pound offense; we led the league in rushing. So when I think we have an excellent football team, maybe you should take it to the bank because we’ve got an excellent football team.”

And a few parting shots he had for Kerry Rhodes – “To be honest with you, I don’t know if Kerry fully bought in. I think he did later. As the year went on, I could see him trying to do what we asked…If we thought he was giving us everything he had. It never would’ve been an issue.”

First off I pulled those quotes off Rich Cimini’s The Jets Stream (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/) and Tim Graham’s AFC East Blog (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast)

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I don’t know if I buy into LaDainain Tomlinso getting 15 carries a game and Leon being completely relegated to a third down role. I don’t know if that quote comes from trying to appease a recently signed Tomlinson and taking a dig at Washington for skipping workouts but that carry breakdown doesn’t sound right to me. Maybe in the beginning of the year, Leon will have a more limited role on the offense but I think when he gets his feet under him after the surgery he will move closer to his 2009 pre-injury role. In terms of Tomlinson, I think he would be better served with 8-10 carries and a few receptions a game. 15 carries a game could be pushing it. Shonn Greene should be getting 20-22 carries a game and no less than that because he wears on a defense and has the potential to pop a big run at any  moment.

Third, you know I love Ryan coming out with that confidence this early in the year. I never wanted Ryan’s swagger to be a first year stunt. The Jets have a very good team and there is no reason he shouldn’t exude the confidence that is a natural part of his personality. When the season ended last year the Jets were the best team in the AFC East and as far as I am concerned, they are the team to beat in the division right now so there is nothing wrong with carrying some swagger.

Fourth, Rhodes took his shot at the Jets so I have no problem with Ryan saying something back to him.

4. Number updates…just in case you are rushing out to get your Brodney Pool jersey:

  • LaDainain Tomlinson – #21
  • Dwight Lowery – #26
  • Brodney Pool – #22
  • Antonio Cromartie – #31
  • Nick Folk – #2

5. I am not crazy about the change in the OT rules. I don’t really like having different rules between the regular season and the playoffs and it takes some of the drama out of the overtime period. Although I am sure I won’t argue with the rule if it comes back to benefit the Jets in a playoff game this year. I will say it does bring some interesting strategy into the coaching of overtime now.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we only need 68 more fans for 300.

What About Mark Sanchez?

Photobucket I have confidence in Mike Tannenbaum, I think the Jets have a few minor moves left in free agency along with a solid draft on the horizon. Overall, I am feeling very good about the team in 2010. The defense will improve in year two of Rex Ryan’s system. If Antonio Cromartie’s head is on straight and he is properly motivated, he will be a substantial upgrade over Lito Sheppard. I think Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, and James Ihedigbo can fill the void (if you could call it that) left by Kerry Rhodes and by the way, Kris Jenkins is coming back and from early reports looks very good in the Jets off-season workouts. You didn’t forget about big 77 did you? Hopefully, Adalius Thomas will eventually be on board as an additional pass rusher but that remains to be seen.

On offense, obviously the offensive line remains a strength. Braylon Edwards should be improved after a full off-season with the Jets. Hopefully, Dustin Keller will carry over his level of play from the playoffs last year. Jerricho Cotchery is Mr. Reliable. Shonn Greene has the potential to be a 1,500 yard back. Leon Washington is coming back and LaDainain Tomlinson should be motivated to have at least one productive year behind the Jets offensive line. I like the coaching staff and the aggressiveness of the owner and GM. We have a new stadium for 2010 and a slate of prime-time games on the way. Yet, there is one thing that could hold the Jets back in 2010…the quarterback.

What about Mark Sanchez? After the encouraging run by Sanchez and the Jets in the playoffs, it is easy to forget the 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and 53.8 completion percentage he posted during the regular season. The Jets aren’t going to be any better than a 9-7 team if Sanchez puts up those type of numbers again. Is it a safe bet to believe Sanchez will make some substantial progress in his second year?

I feel confident that he will and here is why: first off, we saw Sanchez take a major step during the playoffs last year when the games got bigger. He put together a terrific wild-card game on the road. After some early struggles in the divisional round, he made a clutch third down touchdown pass that helped push the Jets to victory. Finally, he played a great game in the AFC Championship on the road in Indianapolis. When he stayed in the pocket, took a monster hit to the face and delivered a perfect pass to Dustin Keller for a third down touchdown, you had to feel good about the future of the Jets offense.

Second, by all accounts Sanchez has been living at the Jets facility this off-season. You want to hear about your quarterback spending all day and night in his offensive coordinator’s office breaking down tape. He got his knee taken care of this off-season and is currently ahead in his rehab. Sanchez will be 100 percent for training camp and hopefully will participate in the team’s OTAs in June.

I think Sanchez showed he has the physical tools to excel at this level last year. He will be returning for year two in the same offense, with the same offensive coordinator, the same top three receiving targets, a quality offensive line, and a very good group of running backs. There is no reason his touchdown to interception ratio shouldn’t improve to hopefully something like 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions and his completion percentage moves into the 57-59% range. I don’t think Sanchez is going to light the world on fire in year two or be a fantasy football beast but I think he will protect the football better and be much more comfortable in the Jets offense. If he can do those things, the Jets maybe looking at a 11-5 or 12-4 record.

Why The Jets Must Be On Hard Knocks

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First a few updates:

1. Jets safety Eric Smith signed his one-year tender today as a restricted free agent. Smith is expected to compete with Brodney Pool, James Ihedigbo, and any other player the Jets may add at the safety position through the draft or free agency for the starting role opposite Jim Leonhard. Smith has grown on me but I still don’t think he has the skill set to be a full time starter. He is a better fit as a role player on defense, like being used as a blitzer and in coverage on tight ends or running backs in certain packages. Smith is also a pretty good special teams player.

2. Some thoughts on other NFL moves– I am not sure what Pete Carroll and the Seahawks see in Charlie Whitehurst but I can’t believe what they gave up to acquire him and how much they are paying him, considering he has never played an NFL snap…I don’t know who has a worse quarterback battle this year, the Browns (Jake Delhomme vs Seneca Wallace vs Brett Ratliff) or the Bills (Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Trent Edwards vs Brian Brohm), who remembers the days of Chad Pennington vs Patrick Ramsey vs Kellen Clemens vs Brooks Bollinger?…I find it funny that Chad Henne, who has started 13 career NFL games and has 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, along with a career 75.2 QB Rating, thinks he is qualified to say that Tim Tebow isn’t a NFL quarterback…I think Anquan Boldin is going to have a monster year for the Ravens…Derek Anderson will be starting by week five over Matt Leinart…Hey Oakland, you have a problem with your franchise quarterback when you are bragging about him “slimming down” to 271 pounds.

3. The Jets off-season program begins on Monday, apparently there is some concern about Braylon Edwards showing up since he hasn’t signed his tender yet. All I know is that Edwards better get to Florham Park, find a jugs machine and get to work. Couldn’t you see Mike Tannenbaum findng out Edwards didn’t show up, and working out a trade for Brandon Marshall in about an hour?

4. The talk about Laveranues Coles returning to the Jets has quieted down for a few days, yet it is still a move I wouldn’t mind seeing the Jets make. As long as Coles can swallow his pride and accept his role, he would be a perfect fit as a #3/slot receiver.

5. Remember there are other sections to the website besides the home page. We have the “2010 Draft” Section, which includes a comprehensive list of players the Jets could target (courtesy of www.thejetsblog.com), a list of all their draft picks, and the top five players at each position. We have the “2009 highlights” Section, which includes multiple highlight tapes of the Jets past season. We have also have the updated depth chart, statistics from last year, the Jets 2010 opponents…and of course, the About The Author page.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 75 fans away from 300.

Why The Jets Must Be On Hard Knocks

I have always been a big fan of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which documents a NFL team’s training camp experience. It is a fascinating and highly entertaining look inside the dynamics of a NFL roster and coaching staff. After watching every episode covering the Bengals last year, all I could think throughout this past wild Jets season was how perfect they would be for Hard Knocks. Sure enough, it was recently reported the Jets are a serious candidate for the show, which makes sense for so many reasons that it would be a crime to the entertainment industry if they weren’t chosen.

First off, look at all the television shows you are getting rolled into one by featuring the Jets (please have a sense of humor and don’t criticize me for being insensitive, obviously TOJ is pulling for Rex to get healthier, etc):

  • The Biggest Loser – Rex Ryan is an overweight NFL coach attempting to lose weight, so much so that he decided to have lap band surgery this past off-season. Watch Ryan fight the temptations as the players around him stuff massive amounts of food down their throat in-between practices, couldn’t you see a distraught Ryan after the offense scores on his defense during a two-minute drill racing up to his emergency stash of KFC, while Mike Pettine and Brian Schottenheimer attempt to hold him back?
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  • Entourage – Instead of having a bunch of east coast guys follow their friend out to the west coast, we could watch a bunch of west coast guys follow their friend (Mark Sanchez, of course) out to the east coast. This is an even better fit since Sanchez looks exactly like Vinny Chase. The only problem is that the Jets hold training camp in Cortland and Sanchez’s hometown buddies likely won’t be accompanying him to upstate New York. Regardless, it would still be entertaining to watch Sanchez, Erik Ainge (as Johnny Drama), Dustin Keller (as E), and Braylon Edwards (as Turtle) enjoy that Cortland night life and sweep upstate New York ladies off their feet,
  • Antonio Cromartie Plus 8 – Since TLC cancelled Jon and Kate plus eight for various reasons, Antonio Cromartie and his seven kids could step up to fill the void. Yes, I know I put plus 8 but considering Cromartie’s rate of procreating, bumping the number up to 8 is a safet bet.
  • The Late Show With Bart Scott – Scott runs his mouth enough to carry on a monologue for an entire hour…no guests would even be needed.
  • Iron Chef 77 – We all know Big Jinx loves to cook and who is going to be brave enough to tell him he didn’t put together the best meal?

Second, look at all the terrific plot lines you have going on with the Jets team this upcoming season, there will be more going on than an episode of LOST and no time travel, alternate time lines, smoke monster, 4 toed statues, or polar bears would even be needed:

  • Braylon Edwards dealing with irony of being a wide receiver who can’t catch…The camera could watch him in front of the jugs machine taking one off the nose every 5 minutes.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson attempting to handle not being the most popular running back on his team anymore…The camera could watch him sulk to himself as Shonn Greene and Leon Washington rack up big plays against the Jets defense in practice and then in pre-season games.
  • Vernon Gholston standing at 6 foot 3, 265 pounds, running a 4.4 forty, being able to bench 675 pounds…yet not being capable of recording a single sack or meaningful tackle, the audience could watch in awe as he aimlessly runs around the field and collects 6 million dollars from the Jets.
  • Dwight Lowery watching and re-watching footage of the AFC Championship Game as he slowly drives himself insane, while muttering “Garcon” to himself.

PhotobucketBeyond all of this the Jets have the best corner in football. The work of Darrelle Revis should be documented for all defensive backs to learn from. The same thing goes for Nick Mangold, who is the best center in football and of course could also throw in an advertisement for the shampoo he uses to keep that long hair going strong. You have Washington and Jenkins battling back from injury, a 82 year old fullback named Tony Richardson who is still a beast lead blocker, Calvin Pace giving advice on what supplements to take, and Shaun Ellis running a D.A.R.E. program.

How could you not choose the Jets? C’mon now, HBO.

Get Rex On Camera

Jets Need Minor Moves To Supplement Major Ones

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First a few updates:

1. LaDainain Tomlinson and Mike Tannenbaum had a conference call with reporters today. There was nothing too newsworthy to come out of it. Tannenbaum was evasive about the decision to part ways with Thomas Jones and didn’t go into any details about the contract situation of either him or Tomlinson, along with how that factored into the Jets decision making. Tomlinson said the deciding factors in his decision was the familiarity with the Jets offense and a desire to play in New York. The best things to hear from Tomlinson was his comfort level in backing up  Shonn Greene, his sense of humor about Greene mocking his touchdown celebration last year, and his understanding that the Jets were a successful team without him and his goal to help push them over the top to a title.

2. In the category of big news that will likely fly under the radar, the Jets announced today that they re-signed Tony Richardson. Make no mistake, this a very smart move by the Jets. Despite his age, Richardson has been a very productive player for the Jets the past two years and is a crucial part of their running game. You can’t run the ground and pound without a quality fullback and now the Jets have one for at least one more season.

3. In the category of minor news, the Jets also signed defensive end Rodrique Wright. He was a seventh round pick in 2006 of the Miami Dolphins and in 13 games with them recorded 37 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. However, after being waived he was out of football last season.

Jets Need Minor Moves To Supplement Major Ones

Unless you are a believer in the Brandon Marshall rumors, it would seem that the Jets won’t be making any more major acquisitions the rest of the off-season. They parted ways with three starters (Kerry Rhodes, Thomas Jones, Lito Sheppard) and filled their places with Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Brodney Pool. The Patriots haven’t released Adalius Thomas yet, but considering he missed the beginning of their workouts today because “he didn’t know about them,” I would say that move is eventually coming and hopefully he will end up in New York. The Jets off-season moves so far has left them with plenty of flexibility in the draft to take the best player available at each spot because they don’t have any glaring holes, that being said here a few loose ends the Jets should tie up:

  1. Re-Sign Tony Richardson– Check, the Jets must have read my mind because they took care of this today right after I saved the first draft of this article. As I said before, a very smart move to bring him back and not leave fullback in the hands of Jason Davis, just like it was smart not to leave the third running back spot in the hands of Chauncey Washington.
  2. Re-Sign Marques Douglas – The guy was very productive last year as a 3-4 defensive end, which is hard to come by. The Jets don’t have great depth along the defensive line so why wouldn’t they bring back one of their starters from last year? Douglas is a Rex Ryan guy, who likely prefers the Jets to any of the other teams currently showing interest in him. He won’t command a huge contract but the Jets should do what it takes to bring him back.
  3. Re-Sign Jay Feely – A pipe dream? Nobody has signed him yet, so I am holding out hope. I just can’t accept Nick Folk kicking field goals next season…not now, not never. You can’t underestimate the importance of a good field goal kicker.
  4. Sign Corey Ivy – Add a little depth to the cornerback position. Ivy is a Rex Ryan guy who could play the nickel role if Dwight Lowery reverts to Indianapolis mode or whoever the Jets draft isn’t ready to contribute yet.
  5. Keep Working On Long Term Extensions For Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold – The sooner the best center and cornerback in the league are wrapped for the long term, the better.

If the Jets took care of all those moves, they would have tremendous flexibility in the draft. They could add depth to their defensive line and wide receiver core in the first two rounds, add another corner and safety to the mix in the middle rounds, and finish up by adding some developmental offensive lineman to learn from Damien Woody and Alan Faneca. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a pretty balanced, deep, and talented roster to me.

Yes, Somebody Actually Made A Jay Feely Slideshow On Youtube…95 Views and Counting