Where Do New York Jets Fit In AFC East?

Despite two straight appearances in the AFC Championship Game, the New York Jets have fallen short of winning their own division under Rex Ryan. Their regular season divisional record (6-6) under him also leaves plenty to be desired. Even though in recent years wild-card teams have reached the Super Bowl, it would be nice to see them finally host a home playoff game and potentially get a bye week.

Some people will say the Jets are the favorite to win the AFC East this year, considering they knocked the Patriots out of the playoffs last year. Some people will say it is still the Patriots division to lose since they have won it the past two years. Miami remains a few levels behind both teams as they struggle to get over the hump of being a sub .500 team. Buffalo is currently in rebuilding mode but can be a dangerous match-up in any given week.

Free agency will shake up the rosters of all four teams but likely not enough to change perceptions about where they stand as contenders heading into the regular season. New England could look to add a wide receiver who can be a consistent deep threat for them on the outside, who isn’t named Randy Moss. They will also be looking to add pass rushers and thus could be battling with the Jets to sign players like Matt Roth or Manny Lawson. There is still an issue for the Patriots on how to deal with guard Logan Mankins, who isn’t going to accept the franchise tag again kindly.

The Dolphins have been rumored with a wide range of names at the skill positions. At quarterback, there has been talk about Carson Palmer, Vince Young, and Matt Moore all being brought in. At running back, Reggie Bush’s name has been floated around the past week and Ahmad Bradshaw has publicly stated his interest in the Dolphins. They could also make a run at DeAngelo Williams, as they are set on improving the production of their backfield.

Buffalo has formally handed off the starting quarterback job to Ryan Fitzpatrick. They will now hope he can grow with Steve Johnson at receiver, Fred Jackson at running back, and that CJ Spiller can contribute something this year. On defense they still have work to do to support first round pick Marcell Dareus on the defensive line and a young secondary with some talent. Linebacker Paul Posluszny is a free agent and rest of the position remains weak for the Bills.

The Jets have the talent and experience to win the division this year, even if they suffer losses in free agency. However, 11 wins wasn’t enough to get it done in 2010 so they are going to need to improve their divisional play and avoid any late season letdowns like they had last year.

New York Jets divisional match-ups in 2011

  • Week 5 at New England
  • Week 6 vs Miami (Monday night)
  • Week 9 at Buffalo
  • Week 10 vs New England (Sunday night)
  • Week 12 at Buffalo
  • Week 17 at Miami

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: 12 Pack of Predictions

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First a few updates:

1. Jason Taylor and Nick Mangold both practiced today and are expected to start Sunday night. Mangold is playing with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and if he encounters too much, Rob Turner will be subbed in. Backup tackle Wayne Hunter won’t be making the trip, which means Vladimir Ducasse will be active for the first time in his NFL career and will be the extra tackle in the Jets jumbo package.

2. Wide receiver Patrick Turner has been moved to the active roster and will likely be a game captain, considering Rex Ryan’s love of making players game captains when they are facing their former teams. Offensive tackle Patrick Brown was waived in a corresponding move.

3. After hearing what Mike Francesa said this week about the Jets organization and how he treated Peter Schwartz…there is no other conclusion to reach except that he is a disrespectful, hypocritical, bitter individual who is lacking knowledge on major issues in the NFL. It is okay when the Giants start Kareem McKenzie in 2008 two days after a DUI. Francesa even let Tom Coughlin on his show to defend the decision. It is okay when the Dolphins don’t suspend Ronnie Brown for a DUI in March. Francesa even let Tony Sparano on his show this week and didn’t challenge him on the issue. It is okay for Francesa to question the character of Mike Tannenbaum, who was always respectful to him but not Bill Parcells who allowed Lawrence Taylor to be a coked up maniac, as long as it didn’t get in the way of the Giants winning. All I can advise Jets fans to do is enjoy how much every victory for Rex Ryan and crew will bother Francesa and inspire pathetic, twisted excuses from him. Keep hating Mike, the Jets are the number one story in this town right now, not your Giants (not even close), not even your Yankees. I just can’t wait until December when the Giants are out of playoff contention and the Jets are battling for a division title to hear how he divides up discussion time on the show, when nobody from the Jets organization will go near him for good reason.

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: 12 Pack of Predictions

1. I think the Jets will hold Braylon Edwards out the entire first quarter. After he is subbed in during the second quarter, he will do what he did to the Dolphins secondary last year. They simply don’t have somebody who can match up with him.

2. Miami is going to be focusing their coverage on Dustin Keller, which means Jerricho Cotchery needs to step up in a big way. Sanchez and him just missed on a few big plays last week, so hopefully they can get on the same page for Sunday night.

3. Shonn Greene will get more than the 15 carries he got last week, while LaDainian Tomlinson will be in the 14-16 total touches range.

4. Either Brad Smith or LaDainian Tomlinson will throw a pass tomorrow night.

5. The Jets will do something tricky on special teams. Mike Westhoff has had this game circled on his calendar after the way Miami embarrassed the Jets special team unit last year in their second meeting.

6. Antonio Cromartie will hold Brandon Marshall under 65 yards receiving. Kyle Wilson will play his best game as a pro, considering the drop in competition he is facing after the first two weeks.

7. Mark Sanchez won’t have the gaudy stat line he did from week two, but will put together an efficient, turnover free performance.

8. Even though he has struggled so far this season, Ricky Williams will have a few big plays, like he always does against the Jets.

9. If he frequently gets matched up with Drew Coleman or Dwight Lowery, Davone Bess will put together a strong performance in the slot.

10. Chad Henne will push the ball down the field more than he has so far this season, resulting in a few big plays but also a turnover or two.

11. Jason Taylor will have at least one sack. Nick Mangold is going to have to come out at some point because of pain in his shoulder, yet Rob Turner will hold his own.

12. The Jets are going to have a gut-check performance, playing without Darrelle Revis, Calvin Pace, Kris Jenkins and a banged up Nick Mangold, along with dealing with the Braylon Edwards drama. They will scratch out a hard fought, close victory, thanks to a trick play or two, along with a big turnover created by their defense. I am taking the Jets 17-13.

Other NFL Picks (Lines from BetUs)

  •  Titans (+3) vs. Giants
  • Bills (+16) vs. Patriots
  • Browns (+11.5) vs. Ravens
  • Steelers (-4.5) vs. Bucs
  • Bengals (-4.5) vs. Panthers
  • Falcons (+4) vs. Saints
  • Chiefs (+4.5) vs. 49ers
  • Lions (+10.5) vs. Vikings
  • Texans (-3) vs. Cowboys
  • Redskins (-4.5) vs. Rams
  • Eagles (-4.5) vs. Jaguars
  • Colts (-7) vs. Denver
  • Chargers (-6.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Raiders (+4.5) vs. Cardinals
  • Jets (+2) vs. Dolphins
  • Packers (-4.5) vs. Bears

Some DirectTV Love

Are you a JETS fan living outside the NY/NJ area?  Do you sit at home on Sundays praying for your local CBS or FOX affiliate to show Revis and the Jets? If you are, and you want to go to the Super Bowl in Dallas to meet your favorite player from the Jets, then you have to prove it to DIRECTV. 
 
For the third year in a row DIRECTV is seeking to find America’s most die-hard displaced NFL Fan and award them a trip for two to Dallas, two tickets to the Super Bowl, and a radio interview tour with a player from their team.  All you need to do is submit a video, essay and/or photo to
www.ultimatedisplacedfan.comand show why you are America’s most die-hard displaced NFL Fan.  In 2008, the DIRECTV Ultimate Displaced Fan winner was a Cowboys fan who recreated a replica Old Texas Stadium in his two car garage.   Last year’s winner was a Steelers fan who created a music video about his death and return as a zombie. With a little bit of creativity, or just straight passion, you may be able to live every fan’s dream and watch the Super Bowl live. Here is an example of exactly what you can WIN if you are declared America’s Ultimate Displaced Fan, an honorable mention, or vote for your favorite submission on the UDF site.
 
So let’s go displaced Jets fans. It’s time to show that we are the most widespread and the most passionate!

Jets Have Chance To Make Major Statement Sunday Night

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First a few updates:

1. Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace have been declared out for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins. This was a smart call in both situations. There is no reason to rush them back so they have lingering injury issues all season long. Jason Taylor and Nick Mangold should be good to go, along with Brad Smith.

2. I would expect Braylon Edwards to sit out the first series and that is about it. I am not saying I agree with the decision, but it is what it is. The guy made an incredibly stupid decision and he won’t be on the team next year. The Jets were handcuffed by the CBA in terms of suspending him but it still feels like they didn’t take strong enough action. However, I can’t sit here lying and say I won’t be cheering if Edwards did to Miami what he did last season.

3. The Jets are planning to activate wide receiver Patrick Turner Sunday night.

Jets Have Chance To Make Major Statement Sunday Night

Lost in the midst of the entire world ripping the Jets to pieces for losing to the Ravens by one point, Ines Sainz, and Braylon Edwards’ stupidity is just how impressive their win against the New England Patriots really was.

Consider this, no Darrelle Revis, no Calvin Pace, no Kris Jenkins, and a banged up Jason Taylor against that vaunted Patriots passing attack…and the Jets defense allowed zero points in the second half after allowing 14 in the first. The Jets beat their supposed biggest competition in the division by 14 points nowhere near full strength.

Now here come the Dolphins, the other serious contender for the AFC East title. If the Jets can go on the road and beat them this week amidst all the Braylon Edwards nonsense, they are demonstrating they are the team to beat in the AFC East and a legit contender throughout the entire conference. Just think about about this team when they get Revis back at full strength, get their top pass rusher back in Calvin Pace and then get their top wide receiver Santonio Holmes back. They are only going to get better and if they can grab back to back wins against their competition for an AFC East title early in the season, it is going to demonstrate just how resilient this team really is.

Just as many people the Jets shut up last week by beating New England by two touchdowns, they will shut up this week if they knock off the 2-0 Dolphins on the road without their best player on defense, their best pass rusher, and while dealing with another headline grabbing controversy.

Beyond that, it is time for Rex Ryan to get his first win against the Dolphins.

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: First Look

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First a few updates:

1. On Braylon Edwards’ stupidity…There is never any excuse to drive drunk and regardless of what the league sanctions, the Jets need to take some type of action to tone down some of the behavior on this team. Obviously, it would be nice if the Jets could “collect the facts” this week and then bench him against the Bills (because they are the Bills) and the Vikings (because Santonio Holmes will return). Yet, it is more likely he won’t play against Miami which is the appropriate action. I have confidence in Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller’s ability to step up, although Brad Smith and David Clowney are also going to have to produce. How about it The Clown?

Final Thoughts on Week 2:

Offensive MVP – Mark Sanchez – A no brainer here. It was the best game of our young QB’s short career. Sanchez played well in both games against Miami last year, so hopefully he can now start stringing together a few strong performances.

Defensive MVP – Antonio Cromartie –Played the part of “Revis Island” in the second half and rallied the secondary around him with a half time speech to his unit.

They Deserve Some Love Too – Nick Folk…How about 5/5 in two games? Steve Weatherford…who is kicking the crap out of the ball. Dustin Keller…for shredding the New England cover two in pieces…Sione Pouha/Mike DeVito…unsung heroes on the Jets defense. LaDainian Tomlinson…Bringing a ton of energy and explosiveness to the Jets offense. Matt Slauson…He has struggled at times but overall is holding his own well enough.

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: First Look

The Opponent: You aren’t much of a Jets fan if you can’t already feel the hate flowing through your veins when thinking about the upcoming match-up with Miami. The Dolphins swept the Jets despite going 7-9 last season, thanks mostly to Ted Ginn Jr, who is fortunately no longer on the team. In 2010, Miami is off to a 2-0 start thanks to an impressive win in Minnesota and a not so impressive win in Buffalo. Their defense has been terrific so far this year but their offense has been struggling to produce points.

Miami Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Chad Henne -30/49, 296 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: Ronnie Brown – 26 carries, 145 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble
  • Running Back: Ricky Williams – 28 carries, 92 yards, 1 fumble
  • Fullback: Lousaka Polite – 6 carries, 16 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall – 12 receptions, 124 yards
  • Wide Receiver: Brian Hartline – 3 receptions, 28 yards, 1 TD
  • Wide Receiver: Davone Bess – 7 receptions, 63 yards
  • Tight End: Anthony Fasano – 3 receptions, 46 yards
  • Left Tackle: Jake Long
  • Left Guard: Richie Incognito
  • Center: Joe Berger
  • Right Guard: John Jerry
  • Right Tackle: Vernon Carey

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Kendall Langford – 7 tackles, 1 sack
  • Nose Tackle: Randy Starks – 3 tackles, .5 sack
  • Defensive End: Jared Odrick -1 tackle
  • Outside Linebacker: Koa Misi – 6 tackles, 1 sack
  • Inside Linebacker: Bobby Carpenter – 4 tackles
  • Inside Linebacker: Karlos Dansby – 17 tackles, 1 sack
  • Outside Linebacker: Cameron Wake – 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks
  • Corner: Vontae Davis – 8 tackles, 1 INT
  • Corner – Jason Allen – 17 tackles, 2 INTs
  • Corner: Sean Smith – 3 tackles
  • Safety: Chris Clemons – 9 tackles
  • Safety: Yeremiah Bell – 20 tackles

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Dan Carpenter – 2/3 FGs
  • Punter: Brandon Fields – 40.8 yards per kick
  • Kick Return: Clifton Smith – 17.3 yards per return
  • Punt Return: Clifton Smith – 4.5 yards per return

PhotobucketKey PlayersBrandon Marshall and Ronnie Brown are the Dolphins two biggest weapons on offense. Chad Henne has the ability to push the ball down the field and Ricky Williams has killed the Jets in the past. Davone Bess is a dangerous slot receiver. On defense, Cameron Wake leads Miami’s pass rush, while their young secondary has played well so far. Karlos Dansby is a very good inside linebacker.

Injuries – For the Jets, don’t expect Darrelle Revis or Calvin Pace to suit up. On Miami, Jared Odrick should be out.

Key Storylines – The rivalry…Can Rex Ryan beat the Dolphins? How will the Jets slow down Brandon Marshall without Darrelle Revis? Mark Sanchez’s follow up performance. Braylon Edwards suspension and how it affects the Jets offense. Jason Taylor’s homecoming.

Highlights of Dolphins Week Two Win

Jets Week 2 Training Camp Wrap-Up

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets). Also, you can now reach us via e-mail at JCaporoso@fanball.com…we are getting official over here.

Jets Week 2 Training Camp Wrap-Up

Two weeks are in the books in Cortland, New York for the Jets as they are now preparing for their pre-season opener against the suddenly chatty New York Giants tomorrow night. Here is a review of the highlights of the week, along with a recap of  how the rest of the AFC East did in their first pre-season game:

New York Jets

The Jets are going into tomorrow’s game nearly 100 percent healthy. Only reserve linebackers Josh Mauga and Brashton Satele wont’t play. Of course that Revis guy also won’t be on the field. We can only hope the Jets are doing an elaborate PR stunt and he will come running out of the tunnel with the defensive starters. Peter King will be writing about the Revis situation extensively in his MMQB column tomorrow so keep an eye out for that. I think Revis will end up signing before the third pre-season game. He won’t be able to take too many more episodes of Hard Knocks and the Jets won’t be able to stomach watching anybody catch a pass on their starting corners, without thinking “well if Revis was here…” Remember the Jets open the season with Anquan Boldin, Randy Moss, and Brandon Marshall.

On offense, the Jets have released guard Marion Davis and replaced him with Chet Teofilo. Matt Slauson will begin the game as the starting left guard. Vladimir Ducasse should also get a shot with the first offense, which is expected to play the entire first quarter and maybe a series into the second quarter. It sounds like it is a foregone conclusion Slauson will end up being the starting guard, unless he craps the bed tomorrow night. Rex Ryan said Slauson has the potential to be the long term answer at LG, which could mean Ducasse could start being groomed to replace Damien Woody at right tackle.

The Jets have begun expanding their “Wildcat” package past Brad Smith to include LaDainian Tomlinson under center in the “Wild Horn Frog.” It sounds like Tomlinson will be the running back to open the game tomorrow night, which doesn’t really much. Shonn Greene is going to be the guy who is taking the majority of the carries when the regular season kicks off. I am interested to see how Tomlinson, who everyone has been raving about this August, looks tomorrow night. Also, if the Jets get into a goal-line situation, who will get the carries?

Judging from everything I read since camp started, Aundrae Allison and Marcus Henry have put together a better two weeks than David Clowney and Laveranues Coles. Clowney and Coles will have the first shot tomorrow to work behind the Jets big three at receiver, but they could use a little production before Allison and Henry start really pushing for their roster spots. Finally, I have a feeling Brian Schottenheimer is going to be dialing up an early deep ball to either Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards tomorrow.

PhotobucketOn defense, Kyle Wilson has continued to impress at cornerback while Dwight Lowery has been tumbling down the depth chart. Marquice Cole has been seeing extended action with the first and second team, on both the outside and in the slot. Ryan is also high on rookie UDFA, corner Brian Jackson. New acquisitions, Jason Taylor and Brodney Pool, have began to flash more in practice, while UDFA safety Donovan Warren has been struggling heavily. With the injuries to Mauga and Satele, inside linebackers Kenwin Cummings and Lance Laury should see a ton of reps behind David Harris and Bart Scott tomorrow. Rex Ryan has continued to effusively praise Vernon Gholston at defensive end, let’s see if he can make an impact in a game situation.

Buffalo Bills

Poor Buffalo. Their top two running backs, Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson are going to miss the rest of the pre-season, and in Jackson’s case maybe a little more. Buffalo took a healthy 42-17 whipping from the Washington Redskins the other night. Trent Edwards played relatively well and has all but locked down the starting quarterback position.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins beat the Tampa Bay Bucs in their rainy, pre-season opener. However, their first defense did allow the Bucs to score on them. Considering Tampa’s talent level on offense, that can’t be an encouraging sign for the Dolphins defense. Chad Henne went 5/11 for 19 yards, while Brandon Marshall dropped two passes. Miami had a punt blocked.

New England Patriots

The Patriots have lost defensive lineman Ty Warren for the season with a hip injury. Julian Edelman looked good in the Patriots opener against the Saints, with 6 receptions for 90 yards. BenJarvus Green-Ellis started at running back for New England. Torry Holt has been placed on injured reserve with a leg injury. Rookie Devin McCourty started at corner opposite Leigh Bodden.

Jets Tuesday Recap & AFC East Training Camp Round-Up

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Jets Tuesday Recap

1. Mark Brunell is going to be the number two quarterback this season, with Kellen Clemens and Kevin O’Connell battling it out for the number three spot. I wouldn’t bet on Clemens, considering the Jets just traded a draft pick for O’Connell last season and clearly have no faith in Clemens. I’m not a believer in Brunell as the backup yet, despite his relatively strong start in training camp. He should see plenty of action this Monday night against the Giants, hopefully he puts together a strong performance which demonstrates the Jets could handle a Mark Sanchez injury for a short period of time.

2. Matt Slauson will start at left guard against the Giants, which wasn’t a surprising announcement considering his strong start to camp and Vladimir Ducasse’s struggles. It will be interesting to see how early the Jets will officially hand the job to Slauson and then begin grooming Ducasse to replace Damien Woody at right tackle at some point in the near future. I also wonder if Ducasse will be worked in with Robert Turner and Wayne Hunter on the Jets short yardage packages.

3. Rex Ryan’s daily love affair with Vernon Gholston continued in his press conference today. Apparently, Gholston beat D’Brickashaw Ferguson a few times in pass rushing situations. Either Gholston has magically remembered how to rush the passer or Ferguson was having a tough day at the office. Imagine what a pleasant surprise 5 – 7 sacks from Gholston would be in 2010?

Photobucket4. The biggest news of the day was Rex Ryan commenting the Jets “had everything they needed on defense” without Darrelle Revis and that people shouldn’t feel sorry for them. Of course classic Jets haters Mike Francesa and Mike Florio ran with these comments as being hypocritical due to Ryan’s previous effusive praise. I am not really sure what they expected Ryan to say. “You know what, our defense isn’t going to be good this season. We can’t survive without Revis. I have no faith in everybody else on our defense to step up. We will probably pack it in and concede the division to the Patriots or Dolphins and battle for 3rd place with the Buffalo Bills.” Give me a break, Ryan is confident in his system and oh by the way the Jets still have David Harris, Kris Jenkins, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Jim Leonhard, Kyle Wilson, Brodney Pool, Shaun Ellis, and on and on.

5. There was a high amount of Brad Smith at quarterback today. I am curious how big of a role the “Tiger'” formation will play on the Jets offense in 2010. It certainly doesn’t hurt to show it once or twice a game to keep defenses off balance and force them to prepare for it each week.

6. Kyle Wilson will be starting at corner opposite Antonio Cromartie from now on after Dwight Lowery volunteered his position to him. It was a weird move by Lowery, who admitted Wilson needs the experience and seemed to embrace the inevitable that he was the first round pick and would eventually be starting anyway. Wilson had flown under the radar somewhat for a first round pick because of all the other hoopla around team but he is now being thrust into the spotlight because of the Revis holdout. Cromartie will really be filling the spot of Revis but teams will certainly target Wilson, due to his lack of experience. Lowery will play some safety in the Jets sub package, along with work in the nickel role. Marquice Cole has also been seeing extended reps, including some work with the first team.

AFC East Training Camp Round-Up

New England Patriots – The Patriots just finished a scrimmage with the New Orleans Saints. The primary news coming out of it is how good Wes Welker is looking after his season ending injury last year. Did you hear that Kyle Wilson? Fred Taylor has been working as the Patriots first team running back. Randy Moss has had a particularly strong camp. Ty Warren and Nick Kaczur have all been banged up. Darius Butler has impressed so far at cornerback. The Saints play the Patriots on Thursday night.

Miami Dolphins – Not to put too much stock in pre-season depth charts but the Dolphins have Joe Berger and Richie Incognito listed as their starting center and guard, respectively. Brian Hartline, as expected, is working as the starter opposite Brandon Marshall at receiver. Rookie Koa Misi is listed as the starting strong-side linebacker, with second year player Cameron Wake at the starting weak side spot. Chad Henne has had some inconsistencies in camp, including a poor showing at a recent scrimmage. The Dolphins play the Bucs on Saturday.

Buffalo Bills – The Bills also recently released their depth chart and here is their top four receivers: Lee Evans, Steve Johnson, Roscoe Parrish, and Felton Huggins. At least the Jets won’t miss Darrelle Revis against that receiving group. Trent Edwards looks like he is going to win the starting job at quarterabck. C.J. Spiller’s holdout ended recently and he has been participating in practice. Buffalo plays Washington Friday night.

Your New Starting Corners

The AFC East Is Going To Be One Hell Of A Race

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I don’t have a problem saying the Jets are the favorite to win the AFC East. The Jets finished the season much stronger than the Patriots and Dolphins, along with having a better overall off-season than both teams. When you look at the roster of all three teams, the Jets have the most overall talent. Yet, that is obviously no reason to write off the defending AFC East Champs, New England, along with their Hall of Fame coach and quarterback or a talented, improved Miami team. The AFC East should be a three team horse race that isn’t sorted out until December, sorry Buffalo.

Let’s look at the arguments of the three contenders for a division title in 2010, along with what could hold them back.

New York Jets – The argument for the Jets starts with their defense. They have the best one in the division and the best one in the NFL. Whenever you play defense the way this team does, you are going to be competitive week in and week out. Last year’s defensive depth chart has been supplemented by Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Jason Taylor, Brodney Pool, and a healthy Kris Jenkins, which is a scary thought for opposing offenses. On their offense, Mark Sanchez made strides in last year’s playoffs and should carry that over into his second year. He will have better chemistry with Braylon Edwards after having a whole off-season to work with him and he was given another major weapon with the addition of Santonio Holmes. Regardless of how much they contribute running the football, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight will provide good pass catching options out of the backfield to help Sanchez.

The questions about the Jets start with the two second year players they will be relying on to carry their offense, Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene. Sanchez needs to make the previously mentioned strides so he isn’t throwing 20 interceptions to 12 touchdowns. Greene still has to prove he can be a lead back for an entire season. The Jets may miss Thomas Jones in a big way, especially if LaDainian Tomlinson is as washed up as he looked in 2009. They will need a young player to step in for the departed Alan Faneca at left guard and it remains to be seen if/when Darrelle Revis will join the team.

Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins are built in a similar mold to the Jets. They want to run the football and play an aggressive, physical defense. Their defense was inconsistent and struggled heavily against the pass in 2009 but they are banking on their young secondary improving and new additions to their front seven to lead to improvements. Karlos Dansby will boost the linebacker core. They expect Cameron Wake and rookie Koa Misi to lead their pass rush. First round pick Jared Odrick should be a quality addition to their defensive line rotation. On offense, Miami finally added a number one receiver by trading for Brandon Marshall, who is one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Chad Henne has the arm strength to push the ball down the field, which should create more running space for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams,

PhotobucketThe Dolphins young corners still have to prove they can slow down opposing passing offenses, especially when they are facing players like Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Santonio Holmes. They have already loss Phillip Merling for the season, which hurt their defensive line depth and they are going to miss Joey Porter and Jason Taylor to an extent. On offense, Ronnie Brown is never healthy and they don’t have a number two receiver to put opposite Marshall. Despite the world being ready to send him to Canton, Henne still has to prove he can lead a team to the playoffs and throw more touchdowns than interceptions in a season.

New England Patriots – Brady and Belichick, which means the Patriots always have a shot. Randy Moss and Wes Welker (who it appears will miraculously be ready for the start of the season) aren’t half bad either. The Patriots passing game will be able to put points on the board consistently and Belichick will get the most out of what they have on defense. New England’s defense still has quality talent at all three levels with Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Brandon Merriweather.

The Patriots lack of a running game could hold them back in 2010. Simply put, they don’t have a number one back. They will also be relying on a bunch of young players in their passing game outside of Moss and Welker, like Brandon Tate, Aaron Hernandez, Taylor Price, and Julian Edeleman. Their secondary has question marks and will also be relying on a collection of young, unproven players. Overall, their defense isn’t an elite unit anymore. The Patriots are coming off an absolute woodshed beating from the Ravens in their building to end the 2009 season, it will be interesting to see how they bounce back from that.

AFC East Battle

Practice #3 Recap & AFC East Round-Up

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Practice #3 Recap

The Good – Nick Folk going 5/5 on field goal attempts. Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller showing good chemistry, which was sorely lacking during a good part of the regular season in 2009. Antonio Cromartie pulling in a nice interception. David Clowney catching a 80 yard touchdown pass. Kenwin Cummings and Wayne Hunter getting into a scuffle, which drew Mike Pettine and Brian Schottenheimer into a screaming match. From my playing days, watching an offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator fight on the practice field is always entertaining. Vernon Gholston (Gasp) made a few impact plays. Rookie UDFA tight end Jeff Cumberland flashed on a couple of plays, making me look smart for mentioning him in my training camp sleepers article on Saturday (Yes, I know I mentioned Britt Davis too, whatever).

The Bad – Sanchez throwing an interception and having sub-par completion numbers (6/13). Brodney Pool getting beat by Clowney for that 80 yard touchdown. Kris Jenkins still being on the sideline with a hamstring injury. The fact that we have to hear about Brett Favre nonstop for the next week(s). Beyond that, there weren’t too many negatives being reported.

PhotobucketPlays of the Day – Clowney’s touchdown. Cromartie’s interception. Vernon Gholston’s “would have been a sack in a real game,” always sad that it is such huge news when that occurs.

Player Who Helped Himself – Jeff Cumberland getting his name out there with a few big plays. Nick Folk for remaining steady on day two.

Player Who Hurt Himself – Doesn’t really sound like anybody did too much damage today, although it sounds like Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge are on their way out the door.

Sanchez Stats – 6/13, 1 INT (Cromartie) in 11 on 11s

Folk Stats – 5/5 (all under 40 yards) still…good start for Folk.

Roster Moves – The Jets signed wide receiver Vic Hall.

Depth Chart – Vladimir Ducasse worked with the first team at left guard today. Kellen Clemens was back on the practice field in a limited role. Kris Jenkins remained sidelined.

Rex Ryan Press Conference Highlights –

  • The team hasn’t hesitated mentioning Darrelle Revis in team meetings and Ryan conceded that he knows Revis’ uncle Sean Gilbert is playing a big role in consulting his decision making process.
  • He praised Nick Folk’s strong start to training camp and admitted he was worried about him after OTAs.
  • He mentioned how David Clowney needs to step up on special teams to help fill the void left by Wallace Wright.
  • When discussing the tight ends, he said Jeff Cumberland has been impressive catching the ball but needs to block better. He would also like to see Dustin Keller become more involved in the run blocking. There was also a bold guarantee of Ben Hartsock doubling his production from 2009 (1 reception, 1 yard, 1 touchdown).
  • Normal praise for Vernon Gholston’s “progress”. I’ll believe it when I see it.
  • Ryan said he knows nothing about the status of Erik Ainge…probably doesn’t bode well for his chances of making the roster.
  • Praise for new acquisitions Antonio Cromartie (new found physicality, LaDainian Tomlinson (still showing burst) and Brodney Pool (ability to quickly pick up the Jets system).

Revis Update – It has been confirmed that Mike Tannenbaum reached out to Revis’ agent last night, in hopes of setting up a meeting. Obviously it is good news that the lines of communication are remaining open and I liked Woody Johnson’s proactive approach about getting a deal done in his press conference yesterday. Honestly, I wouldn’t bank on Revis playing in the first pre-season game but I’d be happy enough if he was back in time for the second or third game.

AFC East Round-Up

Buffalo Bills – Aaron Schobel’s career with the Bills is now over, as they will look to trade or release him. This is good news for D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who always struggled with Schobel. If your Buffalo, you don’t have enough good players to let one of your few ones walk away. Rookie tackle Ed Wang suffered a relatively serious injury and could be out for awhile, as did rookie linebacker Danny Batten. Trent Edwards remains on top of the quarterback depth chart. Currently, Steve Johnson is starting opposite Lee Evans at wide receiver. The Bills had a fight at camp yesterday when last year’s rookie disappointment Aaron Maybin took a cheap shot at Fred Jackson, which fired up the offensive line. Rookie CJ Spiller is still unsigned.

Miami Dolphins – Karlos Dansby has made a strong impression so far at camp. Rookie linebacker A.J. Edds tore a knee ligament in yesterday’s practice. There is some chatter on Twitter about Chad Pennington looking better than Chad Henne so far but our favorite beat writer, Armando Salguero, disagreed with the sentiment. Rookie John Jerry is looking like the leading candidate to start at right guard. First round pick Jared Odrick has been impressive.

New England Patriots – Wes Welker has been practicing with the team. It doesn’t sound like Torry Holt is going to stick around on the final roster, as the Patriots want to give a bigger role to second year players Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate. Nick Kaczur and Ty Warren have been missing time with injuries. Rookie receiver Taylor Price and rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez have been heavily involved in the offense.

TOJ TV

Scouting The AFC East: Miami Dolphins

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First a few updates:

1. Manish Mehta is now also corroborating Rich Cimini’s report about the Jets likely signing defensive end Marques Douglas by the end of the week. Don’t sleep on the importance of this move. It provides a big boost to their overall depth in an area that was lacking it.

2. The Jets have announced six individuals will be added to their Ring of Honor in the New Meadowlands: Weeb Ewbank, Winston Hill, Joe Klecko, Curtis Martin, Don Maynard, and Joe Namath.

3. The Jets have signed undrafted defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu from UNLV.

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

Scouting The AFC East: Miami Dolphins

Our second look at the teams who share the division with the Jets and how they match up with them heading into 2010:

7/19 – http://turnonthejets.com/2010/07/19/scouting-the-afc-east-new-england-patriots-2/

Today – Miami Dolphins

Offense – I always expect Chad Henne’s statistics to look better when referencing them after hearing the things so many football analysts have to say about him. Yet, Henne had 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions with a 75.2 QB rating en route to a 7-9 Dolphins season. I won’t argue that Henne has a big arm and showed flashes of potential last season, but can we relax a little bit before we crown this guy the next Dan Marino? Just like there is valid questions about Mark Sanchez heading into 2010, there is questions about Henne heading into this season. The Dolphins finally got themselves a receiver by trading for Brandon Marshall, who immediately takes the spot as the best overall receiver in the division. It remains to be seen how the reps will be divided up between Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo, and Brian Hartline alongside Marshall. Anthony Fasano returns as the team’s starting tight end and they added walking personal foul Richie Incognito to compete for the starting guard position. Starting running back Ronnie Brown is returning from a foot injury that caused him to miss the final seven games last season, continuing his career trend of being injury prone. Do you know Brown has one 1,000 yard season in his 5 year career, and it came way back in 2006 when he ran for 1,008 yards?

Ricky Williams stepped up and had a big season in Brown’s absence last year, finishing with 1,121 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns. I am not sure how reliable he will be in 2010 to duplicate that type of performance, especially considering he is now 33 years old. The real question is how will the Dolphins score points on the Jets without Ted Ginn Jr. on their roster? The first round bust of Vernon Gholston proportions always killed the Jets for some reason. The Dolphins scored 8 touchdowns against the Jets last year and Ginn had 3 of them, along with another from Jason Taylor who is of course now on the Jets. I would be more worried about Brandon Marshall if the Jets didn’t have Darrelle Revis to cover him. Beyond that, I like the Jets matching up Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson against Hartline, Bess, or Camarillo. The Dolphins Wildcatted all over the Jets in their first match-up last year but when Rex Ryan got a second crack at it, the Jets held Brown and Williams to 27 yards rushing each.

PhotobucketDefense The Dolphins signed former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby to a monster deal, who is coming off a 109 tackle and 1 sack season in 2009. Miami parted ways with Jason Taylor and Joey Porter, the team’s two leaders in sacks last season. They are hopeful that Dansby along with second year player Cameron Wake will adequately fill the 16 sacks left behind by Taylor and Porter. They drafted Jared Odrick from Penn State in the first round of the NFL Draft, who should provide a nice boost an already talented collection of defensive lineman. In the secondary, the Dolphins have two young corners in Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, although they have a pro-bowler at safety in Yeremiah Bell. Mark Sanchez had his best statistical game of the 2009 season against the Dolphins defense and as unit they struggled to cover Braylon Edwards, who had a big game in both of the team’s match-ups.

The Dolphins were only 24th in the NFL last year in pass defense, as they had a propensity to give up big plays down the field. They should improve if Smith and Davis make strides in the right direction. Their rushing defense was ranked 18th in the NFL in 2009, yet Dansby and Odrick should help that ranking.

Special Teams – Ginn Jr. won’t be back to torment the Jets on kick returns in 2010. Dan Carpenter is the Dolphins kicker and is coming off a very good season. The Jets did pull off two fake punts on Miami in one game last season.

Overall – The Dolphins swept the Jets last year, thanks to a bizarre no show from the Jets defense in the first meeting, which included one of the league’s worst receivers beating the league’s best corner deep and that same receiver taking two kicks back for a touchdown in the team’s second meeting. A loss is a loss, however and Rex Ryan is still yet to beat the Dolphins as a head coach. The games between these teams are always going to be high intensity, slug fests. Part of me thinks the Dolphins were two fluke wins away from being a 5-11 team in 2009 and they aren’t a serious competitor to the Jets for an AFC East title. Yet a bigger part of me, recognizes the Dolphins have a good amount of talent spread across their roster and they went toe to toe with the best teams in the NFL last season. I have a feeling the December 12th match-up in East Rutherford will go a long way to determining who wins the AFC East in 2010.

2009 Jets vs Dolphins Highlights

Armando Salguero: A Dolphins Beat Writer Living In A Fantasy World

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Since the beginning of the Rex Ryan era, one of my favorite beat writers to read has been Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. It is always entertaining to get a cheap laugh from the nonsense he has to say in relation to the New York Jets and their rivalry with his Miami Dolphins. It is clearly bothering Armando to be working in a JV sports town like Miami. You know Miami, the city that puts less people in the seats for a Heat game than a WNBA pre-season match-up, despite having a perennial playoff team and one of the best players in the league? The same city that has more fans in green and white than orange and blue during Jets/Dolphins games in their home stadium. We can only hope D-Wade moves on to a real sports town, where his talent can be appreciated and The Miami Herald soon hires a Jets beat writer to cater to all the team’s fans in the area.

Anyway back to Armando who recently wrote a gem of an article entitled “Miami Dolphins Are Not Concerned by New York Jets’ Moves.” He decided to beat the old drum about the Jets crowning themselves as champions in the off-season. Don’t you remember this story from last year when Miami was attacking the Jets for having the same attitude? I remember and I also remember how that attitude brought them within one half of a Super Bowl appearance with a rookie quarterback and a rookie head coach while the Dolphins enjoyed the Miami weather with some golf and relaxation. Their off-season started when the regular season ended, while the Jets played until the end of January.

PhotobucketArmando didn’t like how Mark Sanchez said he was confident his team would return to the White House in February, after he returned from a visit himself when he was invited to meet Mexico’s President and his wife. I don’t mind seeing our young quarterback having confidence in his team, instead of spending time criticizing the abilities of college players who are heading into the NFL Draft. Don’t you remember Chad Henne saying he didn’t think Tim Tebow could cut it at this level? Obviously, Henne is an authority on what it takes to be an NFL quarterback considering his 75.2 QB rating last season and his 14 interceptions to 12 touchdowns.

I know, I know those stats are better than Mark Sanchez’s last season, right? Sure they are, but last time I checked Sanchez got better when the games counted more while Henne got worse. I seem to remember Sanchez leading a 4-6 team to the playoffs with big wins in November and December, followed by winning two road playoff games. I also remember Henne having Miami in position to grab a playoff spot at 7-6, before he finished with a 0-3 record leading his to team to a quite impressive 7-9 finish.

Armando also didn’t like Bart Scott talking about the Jets striving to be the greatest defense in NFL history. Why set such high goals, right? The problem is that Scott just can’t say he wants the #1 defense in the NFL, because the Jets already did that last year. Armando has never liked the Jets boasting and bragging. He likes to paint them as a low character team, led by a buffoon of a head coach who flaps his gums too much.

My favorite part of Armando’s latest article was who decided to use for quotes. He went to Jason Ferguson…the guy who is suspended for 8 games this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. High character indeed. Starting corner Sean Smith was also cited with a few laughable quotes about winning his battles against Braylon Edwards last year. Don’t you remember Smith? The guy hanging on to Edwards for dear life as he carried him into the end-zone during their week 8 match-up. As Manish Mehta of The Daily News recently pointed out on his blog, Edwards had 9 catches for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Dolphins last season. I hope Sean Smith remains satisfied with his level of play because I am sure the Jets would take those numbers again from Braylon.

But back to the picture Salguero like to paint of the Dolphins. The high character team, with no issues to speak of unlike the Jets. Nobody is saying the Jets brought in a bunch of choir boys this off-season but let’s not ignore Miami signing Richie Incognito one of the NFL’s dirtiest players…actually maybe the NFL’s dirtiest player. The guy has had four games in three years, where he had two personal foul penalties in a single game. He also got into a screaming match on the sideline with his coach last season, which was followed by a $50,000 fine by the league and him subsequently being cut.

What about last off-season when four Miami Dolphins were arrested? Ronnie Brown, DUI. Will Allen, DUI. Randy Starks, assaulting a police officer. Tony McDaniel, domestic battery. All of them are still on the team. Oh and don’t forget about Brandon Marshall who was recently acquired and who has a record of quitting on his team, beating up women, and getting involved in gang fights. What about GM Jeff Ireland who was kind enough to ask Dez Bryant in a pre-draft interview if his mother was a prostitute? High class, all the way around in Miami.

PhotobucketSalguero wrote in his article “Miami Dolphins Have True Character, While Jets Are Full of Characters” last November that “The Dolphins are a team with character. The Jets are a bunch of jerks.” Very eloquent and mature writing, Armando…you would think Bart Scott and David Harris took his lunch money or something. Salguero also scripted up these zingers…

“The Jets? They are a beaten, battered bunch…go for it Rex. Have your locker room filled with big talk and so little in the form of results. Have a locker room that drips sarcasm when a little humility is more appropriate.”

He went on to praise the “resilience” and “character” of the Dolphins. Funny enough, after their November match-up the beaten and battered Jets went to the AFC Championship game while the resilient Dolphins finished with a 3-5 record. The Jerks from New York found a way to get the job done.

Salguero has never been too fond of Rex Ryan. He took a cheap shot at him on Twitter the other day, when he praised Tony Sparano for losing 30 pounds this off-season…without the help of a lap-band. Another mature and professional comment. Way to attack a guy who is trying to get healthy and who has attempted to lose the weight without a medical procedure but has now been forced to use that option so he could be around for his family and his football team.

When Salguero discusses Sparano and Ryan, you would think the Dolphins coach has a glittering record of accomplishments. I actually do think he has done a pretty job in Miami but let’s not forget in two seasons, he has zero playoff wins while Ryan has two wins in one season. Sparano made the playoffs once but was smacked around by the Baltimore Ravens, who were led by Ryan on defense, to the tune of 27-9. Salguero must have been cringing with each of the five turnovers Ryan’s defense forced that day.

The final Salguero piece I need to touch on is another funny read “Miami Dolphins, Jets similarly matched despite offseason boasts” from May 16th. Armando seems to be convinced the Jets and Dolphins are basically even on both sides of the ball heading into this season.

PhotobucketThe last time I checked both of Miami’s starting corners would be battling to be a nickel back on the Jets. Their big time acquisition at receiver, Brandon Marshall, will be taken out of the game by that Darrelle Revis guy, leaving the likes of Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo, and Brian Hartline to get open on Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson. Somehow I don’t think Rex Ryan is losing sleep over that. The Jets have a substantial advantage on the offensive line, even without Alan Faneca which compensates for the Dolphins having more talent at running back. Beyond that, I am fascinated to see how Miami plans to cover Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes (in their second match-up), Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller with their collection of defensive backs. Finally, the Jets have a clear advantage at both outside linebacker and inside linebacker. You couldn’t find a GM in the league who would take Channing Crowder, Karlos Dansby, Cameron Wake, Charlie Anderson, and Koa Misi over Bart Scott, David Harris, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, and Jason Taylor.

How does Salguero expect the Dolphins to beat the Jets without Ted Ginn Jr. on the roster? The only reason Miami beat the Jets twice last year was for some reason the first round bust decided to actually produce against the Jets. Without Ginn’s heroics against the Jets in 2009, the Dolphins would have been a 5-11 team.

Keep on writing in your fantasy world, Armando and if you ever want debate Jets/Dolphins, I’d love to make an appearance on your radio show.

Did You Win This Battle, Sean?