Tuesday Thoughts On Jets/NFL Free Agency

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1. What the Folk? The Jets signed former Cowboys kicker Nick Folk to a one year deal today, which means they are going to let Jay Feely test the free agent market. Simply put, Folk was terrible last season. The guy was 5/12 on kicks between 40-49 yards and missed a big 23 yarder in a late season game against the Saints. I understand the Jets might be hoping that Feely picks up a decent deal with another team, giving them some flexibility to sign a free agent at another position, but isn’t this a big risk? The style of football the Jets play is conducive to a high amount of field goal attempts and a high amount of close games. Can the Jets really rely on Folk in a big spot next year?

2. The Jets hosted free agent defensive end Travis LaBoy yesterday. LaBoy sat out the ’09 season but prior to that was a decent pass rusher for both the Titans and Cardinals. He is only 28 and the Jets aren’t limited by any “final four” restrictions to sign him because he was released and isn’t a true UFA. He could be worth a shot, he has 23.5 career sacks and has started 32 games, which puts Vernon Gholston’s numbers to shame. He is only 250 pounds, so he would likely be a situational pass rusher on the Jets defense.

3. It also being reported that the Jets are going to let Marques Douglas hit the open market on March 5th, and then look to re-sign him, if he isn’t offered a big deal anywhere else. I hope Douglas ends up back next season, he was an underrated and valuable part of the Jets defense last year.

4. LaDanian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook have both been released. Westbrook obviously has some serious injury concerns if the Eagles let him go. We all saw how washed up Tomlinson was in the playoffs last year, maybe the Patriots will sign him and then he could join Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris on the inactive list with injuries for 10 games next year.

Photobucket5. Some people on the Jets ESPN Message Board disagreed with my thoughts about the Jets not really needing a receiver that badly. They made some valid points about the importance of having a quality slot guy to aid in Sanchez’s development and questioned whether Keller could be counted on as a consistent third option in the passing game. However, I am still not sure how many looks a #3 receiver is going to get in the Jets offense. Nobody in the NFL is anywhere near running the ball as much as the Jets do, are we going to spend a first round pick on a guy who is going to have 1 ball thrown his way a game? If the value doesn’t match the Jets need at corner or defensive line at number 29, I’d rather see them trade back than take a receiver, unless it is a guy the scouting department is convinced is a “must-get” or steal at 29. I wouldn’t have thought the Jets should be trading multiple picks to move up to grab a running back last year, but it turned out to be the right move. If they feel strong enough about a WR at 29, than you have to stick to your draft board. It will be interesting to see who is available at that point however because there seems to be a wide range of opinions on who the best receivers in this year’s draft are and what order they should be taken in.

6. I continue to be surprised by how many people believe the Jets should just let Thomas Jones go. Again, with how run heavy the Jets offense is, isn’t it a major risk to rely on Leon Washington (coming off major surgery) and Shonn Greene, who has never been a #1 back for an entire season and had some injury issues of his own last year. Jones isn’t going to be a 1400 yard back next year, but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute and add necessary depth, leadership, and intangibles.

7. I am interested to see if the Jets allow Leon Washington to return kicks next season. Brad Smith did a decent job last year and I would rather save Leon’s touches for the offense. The Jets completely lacked a screen game last year, after being successful with it in 2008. Sanchez’s completion percentage will improve with a reliable pass catching running back, and more screen passes called.

8. The Jets are going to have a big hole to fill, if Tony Richardson decides to retire. Hopefully, T-Rich decides to give it another year. He showed no signs of decline last season and I am not sure Jason Davis is ready to step into the job full time.

I Can’t Believe Somebody Actually Made This Video…I Hate Cowboys Fans

Jets vs. Chargers Position By Position Comparison

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First a few updates:

1. Good news for our coaching staff: Brian Schottenheimer has turned down an interview for the Buffalo Bills head coaching job. Despite most fans having mixed feelings on Schotty, he has down a great job the past few weeks andhaving the same offensive coordinator we will be a huge help for Mark Sanchez in year two. Beyond that, why would Schotty want to deal with that mess in Buffalo? I bet Steve Spagnuolo wishes he spent another year with the Giants instead of taking a job with the Rams.

2. Braylon Edwards pleaded no contest in his court case and it is expected that he will receive a one game suspension from the NFL for the 2010 season.

3. New TOJ TV is the on the way this Friday, also friend me on facebook…not because I want to be your friend, but I because I want you to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook, where you will receive extra commentary, links to other quality Jets articles, and plenty more stuff worth looking at.

4. Thomas Jones and Tony Richardson were held out of practice for extra rest by Rex Ryan. Shaun Ellis was limited today in practice, while everybody else was a full participant.

5. Another great Darrelle Revis graphic:

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Jets vs. Chargers Position By Position Comparison

Quarterback: Philip Rivers (4254 yards, 28 TDs, 9 INTs) vs. Mark Sanchez (2444 yards, 12 TDs, 20 INTs) – Sanchez surprised everybody last week by playing one of his best games of the season in a cold-weather environment on the road. This week, he is back in his home state and facing off against an even better quarterback. Rivers has been a beast this season and makes the Chargers offense go since their running game is the worst in the NFL, Sanchez just needs to manage the game and hit a few big plays when the opportunity presents itself. Advantage: Chargers

Running Back: LaDanian Tomlinson (730 yards, 12 TDs), Darren Sproles (840 total yards, 7 TDs) vs. Thomas Jones (1402 yards, 14 TDs), Shonn Greene (540 yards, 2 TDs) – San Diego has the league’s 32nd ranked rushing attack, while the Jets have the league’s #1 ranked rushing attack. Tomlinson is a shell of his former self and only averages 3.3 yards per carry. Sproles is obviously a big play threat as a receiver, however don’t sleep on Shonn Greene who is coming on strong and has fresh legs because he didn’t start playing until week 7. Greene gashed the Bengals for 135 yards and a touchdown last week. Advantage: Jets

Wide Receiver: Vincent Jackson (1167 yards, 9 TDs), Malcom Floyd (776 yards, 1 TD), Legedu Naanee (242 yards, 2 TDs) vs. Braylon Edwards (541 yards, 4 TDs), Jerricho Cotchery (821 yards, 4 TDs), Brad Smith (270 total yards, 1 TD), David Clowney (191 yards, 1 TD) – Vincent Jackson is going to be the best receiver on the field Sunday, it is shame because there is no reason Braylon Edwards can’t be as good as him…except he can’t catch. I am sure there is ton of people who would say Floyd is better than Jerricho Cotchery but I got news for you…he isn’t. I don’t care how tall he is, Cotchery is a better receiver and in reality is the Jets #1 guy, as everybody who watched Jets/Bengals last week knows. Chargers fans have been pumping up Naanee and his 242 yards like crazy this week, and while he is a better pure receiver than Brad Smith or David Clowney, let’s not go crazy like he is some type of game breaker. I don’t know how much of factor Smith will be this week and Clowney has been invisible since the middle of the year. Advantage: Chargers, slightly because Vincent Jackson can catch and Braylon Edwards hasn’t proven he can.

Tight Ends: Antonio Gates (1157 yards, 8 TDs) vs. Dustin Keller (522 yards, 2 TDs) – Despite Keller breaking out last week in the playoffs, Gates is the best in business and will be a big match-up problem for the Jets. Advantage: Chargers

Offensive Line: Marcus McNeill, Kris Dielman, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez, Brandyn Dombrowski vs. Damien Woody, Brandon Moore, Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, D’Brickashaw Ferguson – The Jets have the best offensive line in football, led by three pro-bowlers and two underrated guys in Brandon Moore and Damien Woody. Advantage: Jets

Defensive Line: Jacques Cesaire (26 tackles,  1 sack), Ogemdi Nwagbuo (19 tackles, 1 sack), Luis Castillo (25 tackles, 2 sacks), Alfonso Boone (15 tackles, 3 sacks) vs. Marques Douglas (64 tackles, 1.5 sacks), Sione Pouha (45 tackles), Shaun Ellis (53 tackles, 6.5 sacks), Mike DeVito (28 tackles) – The Chargers miss Jamal Williams and it has shown in their run defense. The Jets miss Kris Jenkins and hasn’t really shown in their run defense until last week against the Bengals. Advantage: Jets, slightly

Linebackers: Shaun Phillips (59 tackles, 7 sacks), Stephen Cooper (102 tackles), Kevin Burnett (66 tackles, 2.5 sacks), Shawne Merriman (36 tackles, 4 sacks), Brandon Siler (67 tackles, 2 sacks), Tim Dobbins (55 tackles, 1 sack), Larry English (36 tackles, 2 sacks) vs. Calvin Pace (55 tackles, 8 sacks), David Harris (127 tackles, 5.5 sacks), Bart Scott (92 tackles, 1 sack), Bryan Thomas (53 tackles, 2 sacks) – The Chargers have alot of people rolling through at linebacker, especially since Merriman and Burnett among other people haven’t been able to stay healthy. Calvin Pace put together a better statistical season than Phillips despite only playing in 12 games, while David Harris will be the best overall linebacker on the field. What else can I say? The Jets are better and more consistent here. Advantage: Jets

Corners: Quentin Jammer (58 tackles, 3 INTs), Antonio Cromartie (33 tackles, 3 INTs), Antoine Cason (41 tackles, 2 INTs) vs. Darrelle Revis (54 tackles, 6 INTs), Lito Sheppard (31 tackles, 1 INT), Dwight Lowery (24 tackles, 3 INTs), Donald Strickland (26 tackles, 2 sacks) – Revis is obviously the best player here, although I would take Jammer or Cromartie over Lito Sheppard. Cason and Lowery are both good nickel backs. It will be a nice boost for the Jets to have Strickland back, who has been productive when he has been healthy. Advantage: Jets, slightly

Safeties: Steve Gregory (71 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT), Eric Weddle (82 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs), Kevin Ellison (52 tackles, 1 sack), Paul Oliver (49 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT) vs. Jim Leonhard (76 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT), Kerry Rhodes (63 tackles, 3 INTs), Eric Smith (48 tackles, 1 INT), James Ihedigbo (19 tackles, 2 sacks) – These are very comparable groups. Rhodes is going to have his hands full covering Gates. Leonhard did a nice job last week, and will need to keep it up. I wouldn’t be shocked to see alot of Eric Smith in the Jets nickel package, also Ihedigbo has turned into a valuable blitzer for the Jets. Advantage: Even

Specials: Nate Kaeding (32/35 FGs), Mike Scifers (45 yards per punt), Darren Sproles (24.1 per kick return, 7.0 per punt return, 1 TD) vs. Jay Feely (30/36 FGs), Steve Weatherford (42 yards per punt), Brad Smith (31 per kick return, 1 TD), Jerricho Cotchery (10.3 per punt return) – The Chargers have the best kicker/punter duo in the playoffs and arguably the most explosive return guy, even though Smith and Cotchery have quietly been very good on returns and Feely is a very good kicker, you have to give the advantage to the Chargers. Advantage: Chargers

Mike Francesa Begins His One Month Crying Session Over The Jets…Man He Is Upset The Giants Were Awful This Year

Wild-Card Weekend Reaction/First Thoughts On Jets/Chargers

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First a few updates:

1. Great weekend…I am officially exhausted from consuming unnecessary amounts of food and alcohol and screaming happy expletives at all the people around me cheering against the Jets as Shonn Greene, Mark Sanchez, and Dustin Keller shredded the Bengals defense and Darrelle Revis put Chad Johnson on the inactive list. My favorite moment was with the entire room screaming in my face after Benson’s touchdown run cut the lead to 21-14 and the Jets faced a 2nd and 8 and the Jets responded with a 45 yard completion to Dustin Keller, which did a beautiful job of silencing the room as a bunch of Giants fans went back to figuring out how to fix their god-awful defense. Hey, at least they had those Justin Tuck and Michael Strahan Subway commercials to enjoy.

2. The early reports are that Steve Weatherford is expected to play this Sunday. The amount of confidence the Jets have in him will be shown by the amount of punters they bring in this week for workouts.

3. Rex Ryan revealed that Thomas Jones played with a knee brace on and that the cold weather hasn’t been helping his knee bruise. He said the warm weather should help Jones out and he should be near his normal 20 carries again…well not if Shonn Greene is still ripping off 6 yards a carry.

4. Bart Scott will probably be limited in practice this week with an ankle injury.

Wild-Card Weekend Reaction

Photobucket 1. Anybody else feeling that a change of guard in the AFC East is on the way? The Patriots look like a team with a coach and quarterback who have lost more than a few steps, no running backs, a washed up/uninterested Randy Moss, no Wes Welker until October, a fading offensive line, and a crappy defense highlighted by one of the worst secondaries in football.

2. Give the Ravens credit for sticking with the run, which the Patriots were helpless to stop. Ray Rice is one hell of a football player and Willis McGahee provides power off the bench. However, Joe Flacco must play much, much better if they want any chance at beating the Colts. They will be a confident team heading to Indy, but they will need more than 34 passing yards.

3. Can we stop debating about who the Defensive Player of the Year is now? Outside of a forced fumble, Charles Woodson played awful yesterday as a key part of a defense that allowed 51 points. 51! Larry Fitzgerald had 82 yards and 2 touchdowns on him, and Woodson missed a bunch of tackles. It will be nothing short of robbery if Darrelle Revis doesn’t win this award.

4. The Cowboys are playing better than anyone in the NFL right now, which means our old buddy Brett and the Vikings could be in trouble. I wouldn’t be shocked if both road teams in the NFC won this weekend. The Saints are ice cold and the Cardinals can go point for point with them.

First Thoughts On Jets/Chargers

I said on Saturday night that I wanted the Chargers, why?

1. The best way to attack the Jets defense is to run the football. San Diego can’t run the football. They have the league’s 32nd ranked rushing attack and don’t have a back who came near 1,000 yards. LaDanian Tomlinson averaged 3.3 yards per carry this year and Darren Sproles only averaged 3.7.

2. San Diego is not a very good defensive team, finishing 16th in the NFL in total defense. They are ranked 20th in the NFL in rush defense. You can bet on a combined 40 carries from Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene, which will work to keep Philip Rivers off the field and allow Mark Sanchez to be more comfortable.

3. Mark Sanchez should be comfortable, playing in his home state without weather being a factor.

4. The Chargers throw the ball better than anyone in the NFL, fortunately the Jets stop the pass better than anyone in the NFL.

5. Norv Turner is not a big game coach.

However…

1. Philip Rivers is a terrific quarterback who will shred the Jets up if their pass rush can’t get to him. Rex Ryan needs to scheme like crazy this week because Rivers won’t miss all the throws that Carson Palmer did last week.

2. David Harris and Bart Scott are both dealing with ankle injuries. The Jets don’t have a linebacker who could cover Darren Sproles out of the backfield. They will likely need to keep an extra safety or corner out there to help with covering him.

3. Kerry Rhodes is going to have his hands full with Antonio Gates.

4. The Chargers have won 11 games in a row.

Overall, San Diego went 13-3 for a reason, just like the Jets went 9-7 for a reason. They are a better team than the Jets. Yet, that doesn’t mean the Jets don’t match-up well with them and don’t have a reasonable chance at pulling off the upset. If the Jets can withstand the early blows from San Diego, like they did against the Bengals and get into halftime within one possession. They just might be able to steal the game in the second half. The Chargers are going to get their yards but the key is making them settle for field goals instead of allowing them to score touchdowns. The offense is going to have to run the ball to keep San Diego’s offense on the sidelines as much as possible but also hit a big play or two.

Crazier things have happened this season for the Jets…who knows? This just might be our season after all.

The Last Season the Jets Were In the Divisional Round