TOJ Immature Gloating And Other Random Thoughts On Jets

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Every now and then the articles you write time up very well with what occurs on Sunday, for example –

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/11/11/new-york-jets-we-have-our-franchise-qb-standing-up-for-sanchez/

Nothing like lavishing praise on Mark Sanchez as a legitimate franchise quarterback before arguably the best game he ever plays as a professional. I could have sworn I was going to jinx him into a 14/34, 3 INT performance. However, I am not sure he has too many of those left in him for 2010. The strides Sanchez has made from year one to year two have been better than any of us expected, and with each passing week he looks more and more like the player we all hoped he could be for this team.

http://newyork.sbnation.com/new-york-jets/2010/11/12/1810522/ny-jets-or-ny-giants-go-green-nfl-week-10-previews-predictions

My argument for the Jets being the best team in the New Meadowlands looked much smarter and less like a homer fan rambling thanks to the Giants getting embarrassed at home by the 1-7 Cowboys, while the Jets took care of business in Cleveland. The Giants are starting to sustain too many injuries, don’t protect the football, and with Philadelphia coming up on the schedule could be heading into their second straight second half swoon. (How is that for an alliteration?)

Just For The Hell Of It, If The Playoffs Started Today In The AFC…

  1. New York Jets (7-2)
  2. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
  3. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
  4. Oakland Raiders (5-4)
  5. New England Patriots (7-2)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
  7. Miami Dolphins (5-4)
  8. Tennessee Titans (5-4)
  9. Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)
  10. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)
  11. San Diego Chargers (4-5)
  12. Houston Texans (4-5)

Similar to last year, it should be another wild finish in the final weeks. The Jets need to take advantage of playing two sub .500 teams at home the next two weeks before they face four straight teams with winning records, with three of them being on the road…actually wait, the Jets never lose on the road.

Can I Get An Interception?

The Jets only have 5 total interceptions through 9 games. They haven’t pulled one in since week 5 against the Vikings when Dwight Lowery took one back to the house. Antonio Cromartie? Darrelle Revis? Brodney Pool? C’mon now. The only Jet who came close to intercepting one in previous weeks was big Sione Pouha against the Detroit Lions.

Quick Hitters

– For everybody who whines about Leon Washington (which includes myself) he has 59 rushing yards and 28 receiving yards this year. Brad Smith has 160 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards. In reality, Brad Smith has become our #3 running back since Joe McKnight can’t fill the role.

– Despite being 193 yards behind him right now, I wouldn’t be shocked if Shonn Green finished with more rushing yards than LaDainian Tomlinson.

– Mark Sanchez has the same amount of touchdown passes (12) right now that he had all of last regular season.

– Dustin Keller hasn’t caught a touchdown since week 4 against the Buffalo Bills.

– The Jets are more than likely going to go another year without a player with double digit sacks. Currently, Jason Taylor leads the team with 4. Calvin Pace only has 2.5 since returning 5 games ago.

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

Jets Weekend Video Clips & Roster Observations

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

First a brief TOJ schedule update:

  • Saturday – Thoughts on final roster and depth chart
  • Monday – 100 Predictions about the Jets season
  • Tuesday – 2010 NFL Predictions
  • Wednesday – Initial thoughts on Jets/Ravens and week in 1 in NFL
  • Thursday – New TOJ TV/Something else
  • Friday – Jets vs. Ravens Game Breakdown
  • Saturday – Jets vs. Ravens prediction
  • Sunday – Final notes on Jets on Ravens
  • Monday – Thoughts on week one of NFL and final thoughts on Jets/Ravens

Thoughts on the Jets recent round of cuts –

– To be honest, there was absolutely no surprises. The only player I was disappointed to see leave is receiver Larry Taylor. Hopefully, he can stick on the Jets practice squad or get another chance next season. Danny Woodhead and David Clowney are widely being reported as having roster spots locked down. Unfortunately, Joe McKnight will make the 53 man roster because he was a fourth round pick. It will be a damn shame if Chauncey Washington gets bumped off because of the lackadaisical and soft McKnight. Washington is the kind of player who could actually contribute in some situations and fits well with the Jets ground and pound approach. He provides quality depth and showed he can play on special teams. Hopefully, he sticks on the final 53 even if it means the Jets keep six running backs.

Jets Weekend Video Clips

Welcome to the bench, Brandon Jacobs…it’s a hard knock life, right?

Now, Let’s Get Some Snacks

I Hear You, Random Sports Report Girl

Come Back, Leon

What Darrelle Revis Will Be Doing While The Jets Battle For An AFC East and Super Bowl Title

Could We Be Electric Gliding More Than Expected This Year?

Look at LT go…and Rex talking that smack on the field

Outdated, But Still Hysterical

What Will LaDainian Tomlinson's Production In 2010 Be?

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets). Also subscribe to our YouTube channel at (http://www.youtube.com/user/turn0nthejets).

2. The Jets are back to two a days tomorrow all the way through Saturday. Pre-Season kicks off next Monday against the Giants. Hard Knocks premieres this Wednesday at 10 PM.

What Will LaDainian Tomlinson’s Production In 2010 Be?

Today on twitter I sent Peter King of Sports Illustrated a question about LaDainian Tomlinson. Would he finish with over or under 900 total offensive yards in 2010? King responded the under. I wasn’t shocked by this, considering King has been on record stating his belief that Shonn Greene will be a 1,400 yard back. I am assuming he doesn’t think Tomlinson will get the workload to attain those type of numbers. Beyond King, I quickly had seven other responses agreeing that Tomlinson would either be under or way under 900 total offensive yards. Immediately after the Tomlinson acquisition I would have felt the same way. However, my opinion on his level of production in 2010 has began to shift slightly, to the point where I think he will exceed 900 offensive yards.

PhotobucketTomlinson’s production as a receiver will be the primary reason he hits that number. Brian Schottenheimer likes involving the running backs in the passing game but was hamstrung last year by the Leon Washington’s injury. I am looking for Tomlinson to closely mirror Washington’s 47 receptions for 355 yards in 2008, if not have slightly more yards. Shonn Greene is relatively inept as a pass catcher out of the backfield and Joe McKnight appears to be a long way from being a contributing member of the Jets offense. Tomlinson is going to be catching a ton of screens, check downs, and swing passes and will also frequently be split out. The first play of the Jets Green and White scrimmage was a 70 yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez to Tomlinson, with him lined up at split end. Hopefully, Tomlinson can continue to take advantage of mismatches when linebackers are trying to cover him.

On the rushing end of things, Tomlinson should be able to reach 500 yards. Shonn Greene is going to be the workhorse but you will still see Tomlinson on third downs, a few series each half, and in some short yardage/goal-line situations. I don’t know if he will have a much improved yards per carry from last year in San Diego. Yet, let’s assume Tomlinson is averaging 10 carries per game and finishes with 160 total carries on the season. If he averages 3.5 yards per carry, he will finish up with 560 rushing yards.

Look for Tomlinson to be in the 350-400 yard range on receiving yards and 550-600 yard range on rushing yards. I will take the over on Tomlinson at 900 total offensive yards, but not by much.

Stock Report One Week Into Training Camp

Up – Mark Brunell – The veteran looks like he is running away with the backup spot to Mark Sanchez.

Down – David Clowney – He had a case of the drops on day one and missed the last two practices for personal reasons. I hope all is well with Clowney and his family but he could end up on the outside looking in at the Jets crowded receiver position.

Up – Matt Slauson – The second year player has impressed in the battle for the starting left guard spot with his physicality and knowledge of the offense. He is on his way to pulling off an upset and keeping second round pick Vladmir Ducasse on the bench.

Down – Dwight Lowery – He is struggling opposite Antonio Cromartie in the starting lineup at cornerback. The longer Darrelle Revis holds out, the more time Kyle Wilson will get on the outside instead of in the slot.

Up – Antonio Cromartie – He has impressed with athleticism and ball skills.

Down – Kellen Clemens – I don’t think he will be around much longer.

Up – Braylon Edwards – Edwards and Santa Clause like beard continue to have a strong off-season.

Down – Mike Tannenbaum/Darrelle Revis – August 10th is the day to watch. If Revis doesn’t report he loses a year towards free agency.

Jets Fans Should Root For 2007

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets made the following moves yesterday:

  • Erik Ainge was placed on the non-football illness list and there is no timetable for his return. I wouldn’t bank on Ainge being around much longer in green and white.
  • Rookie Joe McKnight failed his conditioning test and was put on the active non-football injury list. He won’t be taken off until he passes the test. What the hell is the deal with this guy? You think he would have been running every single day after his vomit filled performance in mini-camp. Yes, I am already missing Leon Washington.
  • The Jets signed safety Emmanuel Cook and released linebacker Ezra Butler.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). If you aren’t, you just can’t get that full TOJ experience, and honestly that just makes me sad.

3. There has been no movement on releasing Kellen Clemens or Kevin O’Connell since the Jets signed Mark Brunell. Could we have a three way battle for the #2 spot? I feel bad for those second string receivers, Santonio Holmes and Laveranues Coles. What, our second string receivers are Santonio Holmes and Laveranues Coles? That’s what I call some depth.

Jets Fans Should Root For 2007

There is plenty of reason for Jets fans to be rooting for certain key players to reproduce their efforts from the 2007 season –

Braylon Edwards – As a member of the Cleveland Browns in 2007, Edwards pulled in 80 receptions for 1289 yards and 16 touchdowns. The season appeared to establish him as one of the premier receivers in the NFL but unfortunately his production dropped off in subsequent seasons. Edwards wasn’t helped by horrific quarterbacking but also developed a nasty case of the drops, which he is still working on shaking off. The 2007 season did demonstrate Edwards potential to be one the best receivers in this league. I continue to say he is the Jets most physically gifted offensive player.

Antonio Cromartie – Cromartie had a monster 2007 season for the San Diego Chargers. He racked up 10 interceptions and 3 return touchdowns. Similar to Edwards, he seemed to establish himself as one of the elite players in the NFL. Yet, his production also fell off in the following two seasons. He spent time dealing with a hip injury and struggled in San Diego’s zone scheme. However, he also showed a lack of effort at certain times, which is what Jets fans should be most concerned about.

PhotobucketLaDainian Tomlinson – 2007 was Tomlinson’s last season as one of the top backs in the NFL. He finished with 1474 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, along with adding 60 receptions and 3 receiving touchdowns. We all know how his production fell off a cliff the past two years. Hopefully, behind a better offensive line and in a system more dedicated to running the football he can offer some type of production.

Jason Taylor – Taylor’s last double digit sack season was in 2007, when he finished with 11 for the Dolphins. He also had 4 forced fumbles and an interception this season. Needless to say, every Jets fan would sign up for those numbers from Taylor in a heartbeat.

Nick Folk – Folk was an All-Pro selection in 2007 thanks to going 26/31 on field goals and his impressive five connections from outside of 50 yards. This was clearly long before he was shanking 20 yard kicks and being cut mid-season.

Jerricho Cotchery – Cotchery had his most career receiving yards and receptions in 2007, although I would argue his best overall season was in 2006. Regardless his 82 receptions for 1130 yards was especially impressive considering the Jets quarterbacking that year.

The Jets took a leap of faith this off-season by hoping players like Tomlinson, Folk, Taylor, and Cromartie can produce somewhere near their 2007 level. Considering the Jets depth chart, it is unlikely any of these players will reproduce those kinds of numbers again, with maybe the exception of Cromartie. Yet, the Jets really just need Braylon Edwards to be consistent and to avoid the killer drops, Folk to be stable from inside 50 yards, Tomlinson to be a good third down and short yardage back, and Taylor to enhance their third down pass rush. These guys don’t have to be superstars on the 2010 Jets but instead find their place as role players.

TOJ TV

Five Questions About The Jets Special Teams

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First a few updates:

1. After a few reports came out yesterday about the Jets bringing back defensive end Marques Douglas by the week’s end, it now sounds like the Jets are content with their youth movement on the defensive line and won’t pursue him. This is a statement of confidence in players like Mike DeVito, Matt Kroul, and Ropati Pitoitua to give the Jets quality reps in their defensive line rotation. DeVito is going to be the starter, after putting together a pretty strong season in 2009. Kroul and Pitoitua are untested and of course there still is that Vernon Gholston fellow, looking for his first career NFL sack.

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

3. The Jets are expected to sign quarterback Mark Brunell tomorrow, with a release of Kellen Clemens following shortly after.

Five Questions About The Jets Special Teams

As training camp rapidly approaches, here are five questions about the Jets special teams that still need to be sorted out –

1. What The Folk?

– The Jets parted ways with Jay Feely this off-season, who was not only a reliable kicker but a good tackler and a political pundit. They replaced him with Dallas Cowboys castoff, Nick Folk, who despite being an All-Pro kicker in 2007 and hero of my fantasy football team that season, struggled heavily in 2009. The best way to describe Folk’s play for Dallas last year is absolutely brutal. He made 64.3 percent of his field goal attempts, spearheaded by him going 5/12 from the 40-49 yard range. He was cut after shanking a 24 yard field goal in a crucial late season game against the Saints. The Jets are confident that special teams guru Mike Westhoff can get him back on track but the reality is the Jets are taking a major risk by relying on Folk to be their kicker. In OTAs and mini-camp, Folk would have days where he missed four straight field goals and then follow up by going 7 for 7 the next day. The consistency clearly isn’t there yet and for a team built on defense and running the football, it is scary to have a kicker who isn’t reliable.

2. How much Antonio Cromartie will we see on kick and punt returns?

– The Jets were giving Cromartie reps at both kick and punt return during their off-season workouts. He is an explosive player in the open field with the ball in his hands, displayed by his four career return touchdowns. However, none of those were on kick or punt returns. They were from taking a missed field goal back, along with a few interceptions. Cromartie did have a 91 yard kick return in 2006. The Jets kick return job is open since Leon Washington is no longer on the roster and regardless of who the primary return guy is, Cromartie still could get put back there once or twice a game.

3. Can Kyle Wilson handle full time punt return duties?

– After the Jets drafted Wilson, Rex Ryan claimed he would be the team’s starting nickel back and primary punt returner. It is a big task for a rookie to be pressed into the punt return job, where any small mistake or misjudgement can swing an entire game. Do you remember when the Titans had a rookie back there last year against the Jets? From all reports in OTAs and mini-camp, Wilson looked terrific fielding punts. However, it is different when you are under the bright lights of Monday Night Football week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jerricho Cotchery or Jim Leonhard still put back deep in certain situations, especially if a team is punting into the Jets endzone. Regardless, Wilson should provide the Jets some explosiveness in the punt return game they were lacking last year.

4. Will Steve Weatherford last the season as the Jets punter?

– The Jets went through about 27 punters last season before finally settling on Weatherford, who was pretty good in 2009. The best part about Weatherford may be that he averaged a whopping 26 yards per carry last season and he took the time to compliment Turn On The Jets on Facebook, which of course puts him alongside David Clowney and Donovan Warren with first team all TOJ status. In all seriousness, it will be interesting to see if Weatherford can make it through another full season as the Jets punter or if the team has a quick trigger finger like they did before the 2009 season kicked off.

5. Who will return kicks for the Jets in 2010?

– There are a ton of candidates on the roster to take over the primary kick return duties. Brad Smith did a good filling in for Leon Washington last season and is the favorite to take the majority of kicks back for the Jets this season. However, Joe McKnight, Kyle Wilson, Aundrae Allison, David Clowney, and Danny Woodhead are also all in the mix. As previously mentioned, Antontio Cromartie should also get a few chances back there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a committee approach to the kick return job this season, unless Brad Smith can do more of this on a consistent basis:

Three Offensive Question Marks For The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. It is always fun to rile up Dolphins fans. A big thank you to everybody from Miami who took the time out of their day to visit my site to criticize my article on their delusional beat writer and team.

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

3. Episode number 2 of TOJ: The Podcast is now up and running, as you could see in the story below this one and from “The Podcast” link on top of the page. Give it a listen, as me and Dan Donohue debate the Jets and Giants records in 2010 and where LeBron James will end up.

4. The Jets have OTAs today and tomorrow, followed by ones on June 8th and June 10th.

5. NBA Finals – I am having a real tough time making any type of prediction in this series. It should be a 6 or 7 game battle that is very evenly matched. This series is huge for Kobe Bryant, who could cement himself as one of the five greatest players in NBA History in my mind, if he could beat the Celtics (who embarrassed him last time) and win his second title without Shaq. The major differences between this match-up and the 2008 match-up is that the Lakers now have Ron Artest “Say Queensbridge!” to guard Paul Pierce, Andrew Bynum can give them some minutes in the middle, and on the other side Rajon Rondo has turned into arguably the best point guard in the NBA. I respect what the Celtics have done this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t stand them and their constant whining at the officials…plus I have a natural hate of Boston sports teams. So let’s get it done Black Mamba…I am taking the Lakers in 7.

6. More charity work being done by one of the classiest guys on the team, receiver Jerricho Cotchery. http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2010/04/bpl-to-host-score-big-with-new-york.html

Three Offensive Question Marks For The Jets

In reverse order of importance…

Number Three – The Running Backs

PhotobucketThe Jets had the number one ranked rushing attack in the NFL last season, when they racked up 2756 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. An extremely large chunk of that came from Thomas Jones who ran for 1402 yards and 14 touchdowns. Leon Washington also chipped in 331 yards before his week 7 injury. Jones is now in Kansas City and Washington is now in Seattle. Shonn Greene will be replacing Thomas Jones as the number one back and LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight will be combining to replace Leon Washington. I doubt the Jets production will match what is was in 2009 because they are going to throw the ball more and because they will miss Jones and Alan Faneca’s run blocking. That being said, while there are some fair questions about Greene’s ability to be a number one back, he did come on very strong at the end of last season and did show he can carry the load in two playoff games. If he is healthy for all 16 games, he should be a 1100-1200 yard back in this offense. Tomlinson will be relied on to score a big portion of the touchdowns Jones did last season, as he will likely be the team’s goal-line and short yardage back. He will also have to spell Greene a series or two each half and hold down the third down back spot until McKnight is ready. The quicker McKnight can learn pass protections, the quicker he can become a contributing part of the offense.

Number Two – Left Guard

Alan Faneca was probably the Jets fifth best offensive lineman last season. However, he was still a very good run blocker and provided plenty of intangibles and veteran leadership. Despite talk of a competition between this year’s second round pick Vladimir Ducasse and second year player Matt Slauson, it looks like the job is Ducasse’s to lose. He will be making a major jump from Division I-AA at UMass to the NFL. Fortunately, he will be supported by playing in-between two Pro-Bowl players in Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson and he has one of the NFL’s best offensive line coaches in Bill Callahan. Look for the Jets to primarily run the ball behind Brandon Moore in big spots to take pressure off the left guard but either Ducasse or Slauson still has to hold up in pass protection and when the team needs to run to the left side.

Number One – The Quarterback

Well, obviously. It is encouraging that the Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game with Mark Sanchez throwing 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and having a 53.8 completion percentage but the team needs more from him in year two. If Sanchez can play the way he did in weeks 1-3, both Dolphins games and the playoffs, the Jets are going to be a 12-4 or 13-3 team and I truly believe that. He needs to find some level of consistency in year two, do a better job of protecting the football, and be more accurate. There isn’t a team in the league with a better top four targets than Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller…Sanchez has to take advantage of that.

No Questions At Receiver

Rookie Camp Wrap-Up

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First a few updates

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…It will be the smartest thing you have ever decided to do about anything.

2. Another Spirits Win…yes your favorite North Jersey touch B football team is now 4-1.

3. NBA Playoffs quick thoughts? I am thinking the Cavs are rolling in five games over the Celtics. Utah will take a couple of games from LA but ultimately lose in six. The Magic are going to roll over the Hawks in four or five. The Suns and Spurs are going to seven games…I don’t know who to pick.

4. Will the Turn On The Jets Podcast ever come? Yes, it is on the way…just give me a few weeks. During May we are getting two podcasts and a new TOJ TV and there are plenty of other major things coming on the way because graduate school is finishing up and I am still unemployed.

Rookie Camp Wrap-Up

The two primary stories coming out of this past weekend are Joe McKnight’s rough start to his NFL career and the non-story on the Santonio Holmes Ipod issue. In terms of McKnight, there is no reason to overreact to three days of practice without equipment on. The guy has tons of natural talent…he will adjust to the NFL and get himself into the proper shape. Don’t forget how Leon Washington started out his career by dropping everything thrown and kicked to him. He was running more Mangini penalty laps than anybody on the team and he turned out fine. Also Shonn Greene struggled in his early practices last year and eventually got it together. It takes some time, it is only May so let’s not go crazy about McKnight’s early problems.

PhotobucketWith Holmes, the story was clearly overblown. The released police report says Holmes complied with the request to turn off his IPod. There isn’t really anything left to say about it, unless you are a Patriots or Dolphins fan looking to talk yourself into some random reasons why the Jets could struggle with Holmes now on their roster.

– The players who stood out were clearly Alabama outside linebacker Cory Reamer, who impressed Ryan with his knowledge of the defense and his hustle/instincts, Donovan Warren who I think has a very good chance to stick on the roster and contribute on defense right away, Brian Jackson a corner from Oklahoma (you know Rex loves those corners), and Kevin Basped and a linebacker from Nevada.

– It sounds like Kyle Wilson made a strong impression in his first few days in a Jets uniform.

– Rex Ryan was on point in his post practice press conferences. I am not sure the guy could any more confident or funny for a NFL Coach. There will be no shortage of soundbites this season.

– It sounds like there is a good chance Mark Brunell will end up on the Jets, even if they wait until July 22nd after the final eight rules stop being in effect. There is no stopping the Jets from making a “gentleman’s agreement” with Brunell and having him end up with a copy of the playbook to study before joining the team. You don’t get the impression the team wants Kellen Clemens to be the backup this season.

– Is there any way the Jets don’t end up with Adalius Thomas at some point this off-season?

– The Jets will next have OTAs on from May 25th to May 27th.

– A quick complaint about ESPN’s recently released NFL Power Rankings, which has the Jets at #8 behind the following teams:

  1. Saints
  2. Colts
  3. Vikings
  4. Chargers
  5. Cowboys
  6. Packers
  7. Ravens

I will give you the Saints, Colts, Vikings, and even maybe..maybe the Cowboys, however no to the Chargers…we beat them in the playoffs last year and had a better off-season than them. Green Bay and Baltimore are also two other teams who didn’t get as far as us in the playoffs and we had a better off-season than both those teams.

Death Of The Jets Chemistry Discussion

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First a few updates:

1. There is still some talk about Darren Sharper potentially ending up with the Jets. I doubt it ends up happening though, especially considering the Jets restrictions with the final eight rules. Rex Ryan appears comfortable with Brodney Pool or Eric Smith taking the majority of the reps alongside Jim Leonhard. If the Jets add any other major pieces this off-season, I would expect it to be Adalius Thomas, a kicker, or a veteran guard if Ducasse and Slauson bomb out in training camp.

2. The Jets start rookie minicamp tomorrow, where all four draft picks, the UDFAs, the tryout players, and a handful of other guys with limited experience will participate.

3. Jets draft pick numbers – Kyle Wilson #20, Vlad Ducasse #62, Joe McKnight #25, John Connor #38.

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

5. I know I ask this from time to time, but what new Jets jersey should I get this summer? Wilson? Santonio? Greene? Jim Leonhard?

Death Of The Jets Chemistry Discussion

I can’t tell you how tired I am of reading articles about the Jets “chemistry” and how it may stop them from winning games this season. The obsession with this issue leads to things like “Mangold Upset Faneca Was Released” becoming a news story. Of course Nick Mangold is upset one of his fellow lineman and good friends was cut. Yet, his quotes get blown completely out of proportion like he is upset with the team and it will become a problem this year. How come nobody talks about when he said “If we want to prove that we’re a great offensive line and a great unit, then we can make changes and still be great. There’s nothing like a little adversity to continue on.”

PhotobucketMy point is that this whole question about the Jets chemistry is being beaten to death by the media. Let’s start with the unit that makes the Jets into one of the league’s best teams…their defense. They have three new starters. Guess who they are replacing? Kerry Rhodes, one of the most unpopular guys in the locker room, who despite his unhappiness last year, still didn’t prevent the Jets from going to the AFC Championship Game. Yes, the Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game with an unhappy player who was benched mid-season and handled it like a little kid. They are also replacing Lito Sheppard, who was on the team for one year and missed more games than he played. Finally, Marques Douglas won’t be back but again he was only on the team one year and is being replaced by a guy who played a ton of snaps for the Jets last season and been on the team for a few years in Mike DeVito.

Where are the chemistry problems coming from on defense? You are telling me Bart Scott, David Harris, Shaun Ellis, Darrelle Revis, Jim Leonhard, Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, and Kris Jenkins can’t handle Antonio Cromartie, who will be on his best behavior anyway because he is in a contract year. Is Brodney Pool going to destroy everyone’s ability to cover people? Even if these guys self-destruct, can’t Kyle Wilson and Eric Smith just step in, while Rex Ryan locks Cromartie and Pool away so they can’t damage the precious chemistry?

On offense, okay yes there may be an adjustment period to Vlad Ducasse or Matt Slauson stepping in at guard. Yet, won’t they work this out during OTAs, mini-camp, training camp, and the pre-season? Even if those guys struggle, will everybody’s else play all of a sudden fall off the cliff and the Jets won’t be able to run the ball or protect Mark Sanchez? Isn’t Bill Callahan a better coach than that? Aren’t Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Damien Woody, and Brandon Moore better players than that?

Santonio Holmes? I don’t know I am pretty sure I just read this quote from Mark Sanchez today in The Daily News:

“He’s so open and ready to get going,” said Sanchez, who has thrown with the receiver several times already. “We’re getting that chemistry to the point where I can explain what I want and we can exchange ideas.”

Yes, I think Holmes will fit in just fine on the Jets offense after working with Sanchez the next few months. He will be raring to go in week 5, because I am sure it will kill him to watch those first four games and beyond that the guy has a ton to prove. He is a former Super Bowl MVP who was traded by his team. By all accounts, Holmes is a big time competitor and he is in a contract year.

PhotobucketWill the Jets miss Thomas Jones leadership on offense? He was absolutely a valuable leader but can’t Mangold, Woody, Ferguson, and Jerricho Cotchery step up? Can’t Sanchez step up in his second year as the starter? What about LaDainian Tomlinson? What about Tony Richardson? These guys are professionals.

Turnover is common in the NFL. Everybody talks about what great chemistry the Jets had last year and guess what they had four new starters on defense and two new starters on offense in 2009. They were breaking in a rookie quarterback. They had to adjust to a new #1 receiver in week 5 (sound familiar for 2010?). They basically switched starting running backs in the middle of their run to the post-season. They dealt with an unhappy big name player on defense, who was demoted. They handled two season ending injuries to key players. They had a player benched because of a twitter incident. They fired a defensive line coach mid-season and guess what? They still managed to pull it together and make a run to the AFC Championship Game.

If you are going to argue the Jets will struggle in 2010, you will have to do better than the chemistry argument.

2009: A Season Filled With Potential Chemistry Problems

Rookie Expectations For The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. For everybody who gets on the Jets for bringing in players with troubled pasts and talking their share of trash, read here about an organization that actually is heavily lacking in the class department (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-trippintuesday042710).

2. There have been contradictory reports from the local papers about the Jets interest level in Adalius Thomas. Mike Tannenbaum was on WFAN this morning and said “nothing was imminent” but something could happen down the road. You have to think the Jets will let Thomas sit on the market for a little bit and see if there is any type of interest in him from other teams around the league and then potentially make a low price offer to him if he remains on the market in a month or so. In the end, I still have a feeling Thomas will end up in green and white, Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan can’t help themselves.

3. Also in that interview, Tannenbaum commented that he called Mark Sanchez before pulling the trigger on drafting Joe McKnight. Apparently Sanchez signed off immediately and said he was the type of player he wanted in the huddle. I hope Sanchez’s faith in his former and now current teammate pays off.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…When you follow on Facebook you get access to sweet pictures like this made by TOJ fan John Morales:

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5. I know I have long been talking about getting a Podcast going and trust me it is on the way, I’d rather take the time and make sure it gets done right instead of rushing it out. Also our staff (myself and maybe my friend Corbett) are working on a new design for the site. Finally, don’t forget there are other links across the top of the home page: Depth Chart, 2009 highlights, 2010 schedule, About the Author, Turn On The Jets TV (new episode coming within the next few weeks), 2009 Stats, 2010 Draft Picks.

Rookie Expectations For The Jets

What do the Jets need out of their four draft picks in the 2010 season? What is fair expectations for them considering their likely roles on the team?

Kyle Wilson – Rex Ryan made it abundantly clear in his post draft press conference that Wilson would be the team’s nickel back and punt returner in his rookie season. The Jets need him to be an upgrade over Donald Strickland (who couldn’t stay healthy), Dwight Lowery (who was wildly  inconsistent), and Drew Coleman (who just isn’t that good) at the nickel position. Wilson will be in position to blitz the quarterback often in Ryan’s scheme, which frequently overloads one side with corners and sends them at the QB. He will also obviously be asked to play plenty of man to man, both in the slot and on the outside. Ideally, Wilson will be consistent enough and make enough big plays to make the Jets seriously consider letting Antonio Cromartie walk after 2010. I am not saying they should or will (it depends on his production) but you want Wilson to show enough to make you believe he can easily step into a starting role. On special teams, the most important thing is that he is reliable with catching the ball. Hopefully he can also add more of a big play element to the Jets punt return unit, which has been lacking the past few years. Finally, expect to see Wilson on all of the Jets special teams coverage units.

Vladimir Ducasse – Regardless of his competition with last year’s sixth round pick, Matt Slauson, the Jets clearly want Ducasse to step into the starting role left by Alan Faneca. Nobody expects him to instantly duplicate Faneca’s level of play but if Ducasse can hold his own, especially in pass protection and show promise of being a quality starter on the line for the long term, the Jets will be thrilled with their decision to draft him and let Faneca walk. Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Ducasse (if he can develop into a quality player) would be a nice trio for Mark Sanchez to play behind for the next decade.

PhotobucketJoe McKnight It will be very interesting to see what McKnight’s role will be in his rookie season. He will likely be a candidate for the kick return job and play on many of the coverage units on special teams. On offense, I am assuming he will be the team’s third down back in most situations and be used as a pass catching weapon out of the backfield. Ideally, you want him improving as the season goes on and slowly taking carries away from LaDainian Tomlinson so he is ready to take over as the team’s number two back, sooner rather than later. In order to make fans forget about Leon Washington, McKnight will also have to rip off his share of big plays.

John Connor – Connor’s job will be to learn behind Tony Richardson this year. I am interested to see if he is even active on most weeks, despite his supposed value on special teams. It would be unlike the Jets to carry five running backs on the active roster each Sunday, so don’t expect to see a ton of Connor this year. The goal is to have him ready to be the starting fullback for opening day of the 2011 season.

UDFAs – Keep an eye on Michigan DB Donovan Warren. This guy was initially projected to be a mid-round pick but ran a poor 40 time at the combine so he fell drastically down the board. He was a corner in college but the Jets have him listed at safety. The guy was a productive player at a big time school, who could grab a spot on the Jets roster.

Donovan Warren Highlights

A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

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First a few updates:

1. The Patriots have finally cut ties with outside linebacker Adalius Thomas. Will the Jets still puruse Thomas, who excelled in Rex Ryan’s system during his time in Baltimore? Initially you would think not, considering they just signed Jason Taylor and still have Calvin Pace and  Bryan Thoams in place as starters. However, you could never have enough pass rushers, especially in this defensive system. The Jets may be able to get Thomas at a low price depending on the amount of interest he generates around the league and his desire to reunite with Ryan and stick it to the Patriots for cutting him. I say if they can get him at a reasonable price, then why not? Also keep in mind Thomas is versatile enough to play multiple positions in Rex Ryan’s defense. Overall, don’t be shocked to see the Jets add yet another big name in the next few days.

2. The Jets have restructured Vernon Gholston’s contract to make it primarily incentive based. Apparently, Gholston approached the team about redoing the deal in an attempt to actually earn his contract money. If that is true, than it is a very admirable move by Gholston who will hopefully begin to turn his career around somewhat at the defensive end position.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Good links today on the Jets/Giants business relationship and Peter King’s inside information of what went down before the Leon Washington deal.

A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

I have been caught off guard by the amount of negativity expressed by many Jets fans after their draft weekend decisions. On the whole most people who follow and write about the NFL initially praised the Jets pro-active approach this off-season, however there is starting to be some questions asked about adding too many big name players, destroying team chemistry, and an overall skepticism about the direction Mike Tannenbaum/Rex Ryan have taken this team. You can poke holes in any team’s roster and any personnel decision they make, yet I have this to say to people who haven’t liked the Jets off-season: are you kidding me?

Let’s start with the defense. The consensus weakest part of the Jets defense last year was their secondary outside of Darrelle Revis. Everybody agreed they needed a major upgrade at corner after Revis and that Kerry Rhodes was a disappointment in Rex Ryan’s system who wasn’t a good fit in the locker room with his “Hollywood” personality and selfish anger over Jim Leonhard calling the shots in the defensive backfield. What did the Jets do? They replaced Lito Sheppard with Antonio Cromartie as the other starter at corner. They replaced Dwight Lowery with Kyle Wilson as the nickel back and they shipped Rhodes to Arizona for two draft picks.

Photobucket Cromartie and Wilson should be substantial upgrades over the players they replaced. Cromartie is out to prove he can return to his all-pro level in Ryan’s man to man scheme and validate the Jets decision to give him a chance, along with a nice advance on his contract to help pay his child support. Wilson was a steal at #29 in the first round and should immediately be one of the most talented nickel backs in the NFL. Everybody wants to criticize the Jets chemistry for this upcoming year but didn’t they improve it by shipping out the disgruntled Rhodes? Brodney Pool has been tabbed as his replacement and had more sacks and interceptions than Rhodes last year, despite only playing in 11 games. Yes, Pool has injury concerns but if he gets hurt, wasn’t Eric Smith just as productive as Rhodes last season. Beyond that the Jets didn’t break the bank for Cromartie, Pool, or Wilson considering where he was selected.

The other big problem on the Jets defense last year was their lack of a pass rush. In order to improve this they added Jason Taylor, who notched seven sacks last year despite not being put in the best position to rush the passer in Miami’s defense. Rex Ryan should be able to put together enough schemes and blitz packages to get somebody with Taylor’s talent 9-12 sacks. Also don’t forget Kris Jenkins is coming back from injury and while he won’t ever rack up monster sack numbers his presence on the line will open up things for everybody else. Beyond that, there is a decent chance Adalius Thomas will also be thrown in the mix as a pass rusher at outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and defensive end.

So on defense the Jets replaced three starters: Kerry Rhodes, Lito Sheppard, and Marques Douglas with three younger players in Brodney Pool, Antonio Cromartie, and Mike DeVito. They removed the biggest personality/chemistry problem by getting rid of Rhodes. Yes, Douglas was a quality player and it remains to be seen if DeVito can be a full time starter but the Jets defense isn’t dropping from the number one spot in the league because they removed the 60 tackles and 1.5 sacks from Douglas. On top of that, they now have Jason Taylor as their top reserve at linebacker instead of Vernnon Gholston and Kyle Wilson at nickel back instead of Dwight Lowery. So tell me what the problem is again? It sounds to me like there is a good chance the Jets will be repeating as the league’s #1 defense.

PhotobucketNow let’s look at the offense where there is a popular misconception that the Jets signed LaDainian Tomlinson to replace Thomas Jones. Actually it will be Shonn Greene replacing Thomas Jones, with LaDainian Tomlinson taking over the #2 role and stepping in as the goal-line/short yardage back. The Jets also replaced Leon Washington, who may have begun the season on the PUP list with a player who has the skill set to be a young, healthier version of him in Joe McKnight. Washington also would have been leaving the Jets after this season anyway because of his contract situation, while the Jets now have McKnight for the next 4-6 years at a minimum.

Most people agreed the Jets needed to upgrade their receiving core. They responded by adding Santonio Holmes for a fifth round pick. Holmes has the talent to be a #1 receiver on many teams in this league, yet will basically be the Jets #3 receiver when he begins playing in week five. They will also be benefitted by having Braylon Edwards spend a full off-season with the team and having both Edwards and Holmes looking to prove they deserve long term contracts from the Jets or another team.

Yes the Jets had to make the tough choice of parting ways with Alan Faneca. However, considering they just gave Brandon Moore a long term deal and will have to give Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson ones after this season, did they really have a choice? Let’s have a little faith in Bill Callahan, widely considered one of the best offensive line coaches in the game, to develop Vladimir Ducasse or Matt Slauson into capable starters this year and long term quality players for the team.

PhotobucketSo on offense the Jets replaced two starters: Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca. Two guys who were productive last year and well-respected in the locker room, yet two guys who are 31 and 33 years old, respectively. Shonn Greene certainly looked the part of a a number one back in the playoffs last year and if he struggles the Jets have quality depth behind him in LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight. Ducasse and Slauson are unproven but will be surrounded by four high quality players and a great offensive line coach. Beyond that, they moved from having their number three receiver either being Brad Smith or David Clowney to being Santonio Holmes. Mark Sanchez should also be better in his second year but hey the Jets went to the AFC Championship game with him throwing 20 INTs to 12 TDs, along with a 53 completion percentage, so imagine what they could do if he makes strides this season.

I am sure players hated to see people like Faneca, Jones, and Washington leave the team. Yet, let’s not go crazy with the chemistry or leadership concerns. Last time I checked on offense the Jets will still have Tony Richardson, Jerricho Cotchery, and Damien Woody in the huddle, along with the same quarterback, three other returning starters on the offensive line, the same top two tight ends, and a new strong veteran presence in LaDainian Tomlinson. On defense Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and Shaun Ellis will still be out there along with Kris Jenkins returning to the huddle.

You want to criticize the Jets for something? Fine, they downgraded at kicker by replacing Jay Feely with Nick Folk, yet somehow I think Tannenbaum will find a way to add another kicker at some point this summer.

Like I said before, you can poke holes in any roster or personnel decision. Yet, sometimes you just have to call things as you see them. The Jets are loaded right now, on both sides of the football. This team is built to be a legit Super Bowl contender and in my mind are the second best team in the AFC right now and a top five overall team in the NFL.

Let’s Go