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 Friday Afternoon Recap & The High Comedy Of Jealous Giants Fans

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

A few highlights from this afternoon’s practice:

  • Sounds like Mark Brunell had a quality day at the office and could be well on his way to burying Kellen Clemens on the depth chart or knocking him off the roster. I have been anti-Brunell as the #2 all off-season but maybe the old veteran will prove me wrong. I am interested to see how he plays in extended action during the pre-season. He hit Santonio Holmes on a couple of long completions today and also had a nice connection with Dustin Keller.
  • Joe McKnight and Aundrae Allison were working alongside Kyle Wilson on returning punts. The Jets haven’t had an explosive punt returner in a long time, which makes the addition of Wilson a little extra exciting. It is always risky to have a rookie back there, though.
  • Throughout camp Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller have been on the same page and have connected for a high amount of completions. Keller was a slight disappointment during the regular season in 2009 but much of that had to do with Sanchez’s struggles. We saw what this combination could do in the playoffs last year.
  • Marty Schottenheimer was in attendance today.
  • More Matt Slauson with the starters at LG.

A reminder the Jets will have their annual Green and White scrimmage tomorrow night at 6 PM. I will have a preview of the scrimmage either tomorrow morning or afternoon, followed by a recap on Sunday.

The High Comedy Of Jealous Giants Fans

I don’t know if fellow Jets fans have experienced the same increased bitterness towards their team from Giants fans this off-season as I have, but personally it has been overwhelming. Look at this recent post I had left on my Facebook wall:

I’m writing this to you as a wake up call to not only you but to all JETS fans that are acting like they already won the Superbowl when they haven’t won jack in our lifetimes. (You know the game that makes you the best team in the NFL for a single season like the NY Giants when they defeated the Patriots) I thought you should watch this video as a reminder that even after all the big name signings and TV contracts I want you to remember at the end of the day its the JETS and they’ll find a way to f— it up. (Note the video was the infamous ‘Jets Draft Blunders’)

I have seen plenty of this, along with hearing Giants players like Brandon “tip-toe” Jacobs and Justin Tuck take shots at the Jets this off-season. I have to say I find it very entertaining, not quite as entertaining as a Rex Ryan press conference, but close enough. We get it Giants fans, the Jets haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1969 and you guys won just two years ago. So, why do you care so much about the Jets dominating the headlines and receiving more national coverage than the Giants? Just worry about your team, their subpar defense, declining offensive line, and laundry list of injuries. There is no reason to be angry that Giants Stadium is now a pile of dust and the Jets are primed to make the New Meadowlands their own because they built a team on running the football and defense, the same things that won the G-Men three Super Bowls, and the same things they can no longer do.

By the way, the Giants also showed a ton of heart last season in those final two games.

Jets Practice #4 Recap & Thoughts On Offensive Depth Chart

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Practice #4 Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rex Ryan Press Conference Highlights –

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

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

Thoughts On Offensive Depth Chart

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

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

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

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

Weekend Video Clips And Skepticism About Brunell

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

Weekend Video Clips And Skepticism About Brunell

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

Weekend Video Clips – Sanchez’s Targets

Dustin Keller

Braylon Edwards

David Clowney

Brad Smith

Santonio Holmes

Jerricho Cotchery

Jets Must Learn To Win Close Games

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

Jets Must Learn To Win Close Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOJ TV

Jets Area Of Strength – Secondary

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First a few updates:

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

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

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

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

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

Jets Area Of Strength – Secondary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revis

Cromartie

New TOJ TV

Jets Area Of Concern – Quarterback

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First a few updates:

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

2. I have already resigned to talking myself into Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemaire, if the Knicks can even land the two of them. If LeBron truly only cares about winning, he is going to the Bulls and taking Chris Bosh with him. A starting five of LeBron, Bosh, Deng, Noah, and Rose is winning 65-70 games in the Eastern Conference next season, maybe more.

Jets Area Of Concern – Quarterback

Contrary to the belief of some fans, the Jets roster isn’t perfect. Like any team in the NFL, they have multiple areas of concern throughout their roster heading into the 2010 season. Today is second look at one of these areas, the quarterback position:

Here are the links the previous articles in the “Area of Concern” and Area of Strength” Series:

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/23/jets-area-of-concern-running-back/

http://turnonthejets.com/2010/06/24/jets-area-of-strength-linebacker/

Out of the Jets eleven starters on offense, there are only three question marks or potential areas of concern in my mind: running back, quarterback, and left guard. Obviously, the quarterback is the most important position on the field so the Jets biggest concern heading into this season is Mark Sanchez.

The great off-season Braylon Edwards is having. The addition of Santonio Holmes. The potential of Jerricho Cotchery in the slot. The continued growth of Dustin Keller. The addition of LaDainian Tomlinson. Drafting Joe McKnight. The Jets stacked offensive line. It could all go to waste on offense if Mark Sanchez isn’t up to the task in 2010. Because in football if your quarterback isn’t playing well, your offense isn’t playing well.

Let’s look back through Sanchez’s rookie season briefly. In the regular season, Sanchez was either very good (for a rookie), awful, or a successful game manager in near perfect balance.

Very Good

  • Week 1 – 18/31. 272 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 2 – 14/22, 163 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 3 – 17/30, 171 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD
  • Week 5 – 12/24, 172, 1 TD
  • Week 8 – 20/35, 265 yards, 2 TDs, 1 rushing TD

Awful

  • Week 4 – 14/27, 138 yards, 3 INTs
  • Week 6 – 10/29, 119 yards, 5 INTs
  • Week 10 – 16/30, 212 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
  • Week 11 – 8/21, 136 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs
  • Week 15 – 18/32, 226 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs

Successful Game Manager

  • Week 7 – 9/16, 143 yards, 1 TD, 1 rushing TD
  • Week 12 – 13/17, 154 yards, 1 INT
  • Week 13 – 7/15, 104 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 16-  12/19, 106 yards
  • Week 17 – 8/16, 63 yards

PhotobucketIf the Jets are going to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender, they need Sanchez to be somewhere in-between the game manager and very good level. Nobody is saying the guy has to be a Pro-Bowl quarterback for the Jets to win 12 games, but if he could protect the football and hit big plays down the field when the opportunity presents itself the Jets are going to be very difficult to stop. If he can duplicate his performance from games like week 8 against Miami, then Jets are going to have one of the NFL’s best offenses to match the NFL’s best defense.

The most encouraging thing moving forward into the 2010 season is how Sanchez stepped up his play when it mattered the most last season, in the playoffs. Everybody was picking the Jets to lose to Cincinnati in the first round because there was no way Sanchez could go on the road in tough weather conditions and pull out a victory. He responded with 12/15, 182 yards, and a touchdown. Also, anybody who watched that game and saw a picture perfect 50 yard touchdown pass drop through Braylon Edwards hands knows what Sanchez’s numbers actually should have looked like.

Sanchez got off to a sluggish start in the second round against the Chargers but hit the switch in the fourth quarter and made arguably the biggest play of the Jets season, by buying time with his athleticism and finding Dustin Keller in the back of the end-zone with a rocket on third down to put the Jets ahead. The real Sanchez “arrival” moment was in the AFC Championship Game on the road against the Indianapolis Colts. His stat line is impressive (17/30, 257 yards, 2 TDs) but it doesn’t tell the whole story. When Sanchez stood in the pocket and took a monster hit to the face while delivering a perfect strike to Keller on third down for a touchdown that put the Jets up 14-6, it was a moment that all the Jets fans should have said to themselves “this guy has what it takes to be our franchise quarterback.”

Even though he has what it takes, doesn’t mean it is going to equal a consistent, productive performance. Those games against Buffalo, in New England, and New Orleans happened last year but it seems hard to believe that Sanchez won’t learn from his mistakes in year two. By all accounts, he has put in enormous amounts of work this off-season and has the exact attitude you want from your young quarterback.

Remember the Jets found their way to 9 wins last year with a quarterback having a horrific statistical season. Think about how far they could go, if Sanchez could throw 15 touchdowns, 12 INTs, with a 57 completion percentage.

Beyond Sanchez, the Jets depth is questionable. The expected plan is to go into the year with Sanchez, Mark Brunell, and either Erik Ainge or Kevin O’Connell. With a line-up like that, I might feel better with Brad Smith coming in at quarterback if Sanchez got hurt.

AFC Championship Highlights (Turn Off at 2 Minute Mark)

TOJ Hype Video

TOJ Mini-Camp

Into The Break: Sunday Night Thoughts On Jets

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A few Sunday night thoughts to kick off the first week of the Jets time off before training camp:

1. I am beginning to wonder if the Jets are planning on signing Mark Brunell, making him their number two quarterback, cutting Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge, and then putting Kevin O’Connell on the practice squad. With the amount of work Brad Smith has been getting at quarterback, he could technically be their number three guy and save them a roster spot. If something happened to Sanchez, they could bump O’Connell up from the practice squad. If Ainge or O’Connell don’t step up in training camp, this idea makes plenty of sense. Why not keep another defensive back, defensive lineman, or receiver who could potentially contribute? You hear talk about the Jets defense messing around with schemes that have eight DBs on the field, so you know Rex Ryan is going to want to carry as many as possible each week.

2. It is easy for him to get lost in the shuffle a little bit with the additions around him but I think Jerricho Cotchery is going to be a lethal weapon out of the slot this season. Between the chemistry he has with Sanchez, his quickness, hands, and route-running…he is going to be converting a ton of third downs this season. His overall numbers may not be gaudy, but he will consistently be coming up with big catches when the Jets need to move the chains. If I was drafting a Jets receiver for my fantasy team this season, it would be Braylon Edwards though. You get the impression he has been particularly locked in this off-season and he lit it up in OTAs and minicamp. The guy is in a contract year and he is still trying to prove that 17 touchdown season wasn’t a fluke. Beyond that, he needs to score as soon as possible so he could shave that beard he has going on right now.

3. I am really fascinated to see how the reps on defense are going to be divided up and how the touches on offense are going to be divided up. On defense, you know Ryan is going to be itching to get his defensive backs off the bench and into the game. Yet when Kyle Wilson, Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, Dwight Lowery, or Drew Coleman come in off the bench, who will be sitting the bulk of those reps out? How many times will the Jets slide Jason Taylor down to the defensive line in a three point stance? How often will be they put Sione Pouha in at nose tackle and bump Kris Jenkins out to defensive end? If you think about, the Jets could really come up with some interesting personnel combinations with their current depth chart.

On offense, it is really mind-boggling to go over the combinations, personnel groups, and formations the Jets could use, especially now with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards learning all three receiver sports. You have three wide receivers, a tight end, and two running backs (Tomlinson and McKnight) who could basically line up anywhere in the set. One of the funnier things i noticed at minicamp was the Jets had 4 wide set out there, with a single back. So they have Edwards split out to one side, with Cotchery in the slot. Keller in the slot on the other side of the field, Tomlinson in the backfield releasing on a quick out but split out wide on Keller’s side, they have Matthew Mulligan (filling in for Ben Hartsock as the number two tight end). You know Mulligan was looking in and thinking “there is no way I am getting this ball, why should I even bother running a route.”

Watch That New TOJ TV…That Intro Has To Get You Pumped

A Video That Only Enhances Your Hate Of Both Our Rivals

Analyzing The Jets Offensive Depth Chart

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have signed tryout linebackers Cory Reamer from Alabama and Brashton Satele from Hawaii and released linebacker Broderick Stewart. Ryan was raving about Reamer throughout the Jets rookie minicamp and it will be interesting to see if he has a real chance to stick on the active roster. The depth chart has been updated accordingly and I also finally got rid of that Kerry Rhodes picture in the 2009 stats section.

2. It is being reported Leon Washington will have to play with a rod in his leg this season and there is still a chance he could start the year on the PUP list. Hopefully Leon can get himself back to 100 percent but you have to wonder if these injury concerns played a major part in the Jets decision to trade him and draft Joe “Get The Guy Some Rolaids” McKnight.

3. Anybody else enjoying the Red Sox being well on their way to a 75 win season? Also, you have to feel bad for Mets fans…I mean they get themselves in position for a big early season series against the Phillies, they are in great position to steal 2 out of 3 but then their ace walks a 47 year old pitcher with the bases loaded en route to being completely shelled.

Digging A Little Deeper Into The Jets Roster

By this point we have a general idea of who the starters for the Jets will be on both sides of the ball and who many of the key reserves coming off the bench will be. However, there are still some spots that remain up for grabs on the Jets final 53 man roster. Let’s take a look through at current situation on the Jets depth chart heading into May’s full squad OTAs, starting today with the offense:

Quarterback

  1. Mark Sanchez – Locked in as the #1 quarterback, likely won’t participate in all of the Jets OTAs as he recovers from off-season surgery.
  2. Kellen Clemens – Has a very, very tenuous hold on the #2 job. I wouldn’t bet on him being a Jet when the season starts.
  3. Erik Ainge – He will be given every opportunity to make a run at the #2 job.
  4. Kevin O’Connell – The Jets must think he has potential to compete for the backup job since they held on to him all last season as their #4 quarterback.

Potential Additions – Mark Brunell – If one of the other Jets UFAs signs somewhere, Brunell will likely be quickly added or they could wait until July 22nd to sign him after the Final Eight rules stop restricting them.

Analysis – I wouldn’t expect the Jets to carry four quarterbacks for the second year in a row. It is a waste of a roster spot. It is hard to determine right now what the Jets depth chart will look like behind Sanchez on opening day. If I had to guess today, Brunell will be brought in as the #2 quarterback while Ainge and O’Connell battle for the #3 spot and long term backup position. Kellen Clemens will either be traded to a team who suffers an injury at quarterback in camp or be released.

Running Back

  1. Shonn Greene – Locked in as the starting running back.
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Locked in as the number two back.
  3. Joe McKnight – Considering the Jets spent a fourth round pick on him and traded up to get him…locked in as the #3/third-down back.
  4. Chauncey Washington – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

Fullback

  1. Tony Richardson – He will start out the year as the team’s #1 fullback and mentor to 5th round pick John Connor.
  2. John Connor – He will be on the 53 man roster to learn from Richardson and be groomed as the full time fullback.
  3. Jason Davis – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

AnalysisI would expect the Jets to carry Greene, Tomlinson, McKnight, Richardson, and Connor on their 53 man roster. McKnight or Connor will be battling to be active each week, depending on the game-plan, their progress, and how much they are contributing on special teams.

Tight End

  1. Dustin Keller – Locked in as the team’s starting tight end.
  2. Ben Hartsock – The Jets #2/blocking tight end.
  3. Matthew Mulligan – Battling Tanner Purdum for the long snapper job.
  4. Tanner Purdum – Not technically a tight end but battling for the long snapping job with Mulligan.

Analysis – The Jets will carry Keller, Hartsock, and whoever ends up being their long snapper.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jerricho Cotchery – I still consider him the Jets #1 receiver until Braylon is more consistent and Santonio returns from suspension.
  2. Braylon Edwards – Playing for a long term contract.
  3. Santonio Holmes – Man, we have a hell of trio at receiver.
  4. Brad Smith – He will be on the roster because of his versatility, big play ability and special teams skills.
  5. David Clowney – He will have a tough time making the roster because of his lack of contributions on special teams.
  6. Danny Woodhead – He is versatile but needs to show more on specials to stick.
  7. Aundrae Allison – Has incredible speed and potential as a kick returner, which makes him intriguing.
  8. Britt Davis – Made an impression last season in training camp but needs to show something on special teams.

Potential Additions – Laveranues Coles – Apparently the Jets have recently been in contact with Coles and his agent, but I doubt anything happens. He would have to accept being a number 4 receiver after Holmes returns from suspension.

PhotobucketAnalysisOne of the more interesting position battles on the team will take place for the #5 receiver spot. I doubt Coles joins the Jets, which means Clowney, Allison, Woodhead, and Davis will fight it out. Since Holmes will be suspended for the first four games, two of them will likely make the opening day roster with one of them being cut or moved to the practice squad after he returns from suspension. Clowney has the advantage of gaining starting experience last year. I don’t think Woodhead can stick as a full time receiver and he didn’t do much on specials last year. Davis has good size and could be a good project player to hold on to. If Allison can win the kick return job, than he will obvious stick as the #5.

Offensive Line

  • LT – D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Bookend tackle.
  • LG – Vladimir Ducasse – He will be one of the most watched players in training camp as he battles to replace Alan Faneca.
  • C – Nick Mangold – The best in the business.
  • RG – Brandon Moore – Rock solid and underrated.
  • RT – Damien Woody – Solid veteran.
  • G – Matt Slauson – He will battle for the starting left guard spot with Ducasse…has an uphill battle considering where Ducasse was drafted.
  • C – Robert Turner – Mike Tannenbaum said after the draft Turner would backup Mangold and he also contributes as an extra tight end in short yardage packages.
  • T – Wayne Hunter – Backup tackle who also plays in short yardage packages.

Potential Additions – Veteran Left Guard – If Ducasse and Slauson struggle in camp, don’t be shocked if the Jets look to add a veteran guard.

Analysis – I would anticipate the Jets carrying their five starters with Slauson/Ducasse, Turner, and Hunter as their backups.

Overall Analysis – If you figure the Jets carry three quarterbacks, five running backs, six receivers (until Holmes comes back), three tight ends, and eight offensive lineman, that totals 25 players, which gives Rex 26 defensive players to keep (with the kicker and punter rounding out the roster). He could also add another defensive player to the 53 man roster after week 4 when Holmes comes back and the Jets likely demote one of their receivers to practice squad or release them.

Don’t Sleep On J-Co

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.