New York Jets: Not Sanchez vs. Tebow…Sanchez AND Tebow

Mike Donnelly with a needed reminder to Jets fans: It is not Sanchez vs Tebow…it is Sanchez AND Tebow

Mike Donnelly with a much needed rant to New York Jets fans to kick your week off…

Read that title again, Jets fans, and let it sink in. I’ve observed an inordinate amount of arguing, fighting, name-calling, and general assholery permeating through the Internet since the Jets traded for Tim Tebow — and it is only getting worse as we get closer to the season. I’ve seen trouble-making writers with bad hairpieces like Mike Florio play the Tebow vs. Sanchez card to generate some interest in their columns or blogs; I’ve seen fans spew vitriol on Twitter toward one another in an attempt to bash and belittle Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow, depending which one they support; I’ve witnessed people call other people idiots — that’s the G-rated version — for supporting either Sanchez or Tebow, respectively.

These things are to be expected from the men and women of the media who are always trying to create a buzz, or from rival Patriots and Dolphins fans engaging in varying levels of trash talk (Speaking of which, if Dolphins fans want to talk down about Sanchez, all Jets fans should throw the big LOL right back at them for the lethal Garrard to Ochocinco connection). But that’s only a small part of it. The majority of these comments and attacks I’m talking about aren’t coming from bozo writers or Masshole Pats fans; they are coming from Jets fans and are directed at Jets fans, and it’s getting ugly. That’s right, it’s Jet fan on Jet fan crime, and it has to stop.

Take a deep breath and let the following sink in:

Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are both Jets players. It’s not Mark Sanchez versus Tim Tebow this year. It’s Mark Sanchez AND Tim Tebow, and they’re taking on the NFL. As teammates. As New York Jets.

Full disclosure here: I am an unabashed Mark Sanchez fan and supporter. I am Team Sanchez all the way, and I’ll defend him against any and all critics. Is he the best QB in the NFL? No, certainly not. But he’s a damn fine quarterback with a ton of potential who has been mishandled by the Jets organization throughout his career (Check out the book excerpts I was fortunate enough to be able to share in that column). Despite that, he’s improved every season, showed great big-game moxy, and led the team to four road playoff wins in his first two seasons. The Jets can win with Mark Sanchez as they’ve shown, and I support him all the way. Under no circumstances do I think he should be replaced by Tim Tebow this season, or ever.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t support Tim Tebow, too. Trust me, that’s allowed, I checked it out and everything. Tebow is a Jets player now, and when he’s on the field I’m going to be rooting for him to do well and help the Jets win a football game. All Jets fans should. We don’t have to choose just one of them to root for, because it’s Sanchez and Tebow. On the same team.

Now I’m not naive enough to think that is going to actually be the case with all Jets fans this year, however. I know full well that whether I’m sitting in the stands of MetLife or watching the game from a sports bar, I’m going to hear nonsensical comments from both Jets fans and Jets haters (unfortunately sometimes one person fits both categories). I know there will be Sanchez fans who won’t cheer if Tim Tebow makes a big play, just like there will be Tebow fans openly upset when they see Mark Sanchez throw strikes down the field to Stephen Hill with great success. I know this is going to happen.

Jets fans, we’re going to hear enough crap this year from all angles when it comes to the Jets and their quarterback spot; we don’t need to give it to each other too. There are already enough Jets — and Sanchez — haters out there. We already see and hear enough garbage about Sanchez: the made-up stats like “near-interceptions”, the discrediting of his good play by saying “Oh, he was wide open, so what?”, or pointing to his stellar line and running game his first two years, as if he’s the only quarterback who needs help on the field and can’t do everything himself. The haters like point to Sanchez’s shortcomings like his completion percentage instead of acknowledging the positives like the 32 touchdowns he contributed last year. And it comes from all over the place. Heck, we even had disgruntled former Jet Plaxico Burress take shots at Sanchez recently and imply he doesn’t think Mark can lead the team to the Super Bowl (That’s probably good though, since before the genius shot himself in the leg, he had similar things to say about Eli Manning and we know how that turned out).

And if you think all of that’s bad, get ready, because we’re going to hear more than our fair share of Tim Tebow chatter coming up. Every time he skips a pass across the turf or gets sacked this year, there will be pointing and laughing form rival fans. We know that. So if you’re really a fan of the Jets, there’s no need to pile on and hurl insults at your fellow Jets fan standing there in his Tebow jersey; just like I don’t need that same guy with #15 across his chest telling me I’m an idiot for supporting Mark Sanchez while he’s rooting for him to fail so the Messiah–err, I mean Tebow, can come into the game. The goal of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow this year is for the Jets to win games. That should be what we want too, no matter how it happens. We’re all in this together.

So think about it, Jets fans. I know how many of you feel. I was against the Tebow trade at the time like many others, but there’s nothing to be done about that at this point; he’s a Jet now, which makes him one of us. And as a Jets fan, if he’s out on the field helping the Jets win football games, we should all support that and cheer when he does so. You don’t have to love him as a person, or get down on your knee to “Tebow” when he scores, but you absolutely can cheer that he helped the Jets win without feeling guilty about it, or as if you are cheating on Mark Sanchez (you can also do everyone a favor and just take that snarky Tebow joke you spent half the night thinking of and lock it up in a box somewhere).

And I didn’t forget about you Jets fans who loved the Tebow trade or just simply think Sanchez should be benched for some silly reason. As much as it may pain you to do so, when Mark Sanchez makes a few nice passes this year and leads a touchdown drive without Tebow, take that sour puss off your face, unfold your arms, and cheer! Be happy that Mark Sanchez just helped the Jets win. Get used to it too, because it’s going to happen a lot; and when it does, we can all do without your half-assed (or worse) analysis of why you think he still stinks and Tebow is better, thanks. Afterall, if Tim Tebow is on the sideline cheering his teammate on — and you know he will be — why can’t we all?

Remember, it’s not Mark Sanchez versus Tim Tebow this year. It’s Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow versus the NFL. It’s Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow versus the Patriots, versus the Bills, the Dolphins, the Steelers, the haters, the critics, the writers, and we should be supporting both of them the whole way. It’s Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow versus the world pretty much. Together. As teammates.

As New York Jets.

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – June 20th

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers

Welcome back to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the the team. The votes are tallied amongst myself, Mike Donnelly and Chris Gross with explanations written by the three of us below. For next week’s edition, we are going to be asking for your votes on Twitter, Facebook and here on the site, so make sure to follow us. On to the rankings…

1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – Vrentas continued to dominate the rankings once again this past week. She ran several nice articles including Q&A segments with Quinton Coples and Dustin Keller, as well as solid piece on the retirement of LaDanian Tomlinson. However, where Vrentas truly shined this week was in her Sunday article on the passing aspect of the Jets new offensive scheme under the recently hired Tony Sparano. Not only was this piece extremely original, as it was certainly the first to give an in-depth examination of exactly what this part of the offense will look like this season, but it was extraordinarily insightful as well.

Vrentas explained how this offense is designed in every facet from route adjustments to the vocabulary. She explained how this system, unlike the previous one orchestrated by Brian Schottenheimer, gives the players much more freedom and flexibility to take advantage of looks given to them by opposing defenses. Vrentas revealed that this freedom comes with a bit more responsibility, as receivers and quarterbacks are required to know the blocking protection, as it affects the passing routes in terms of both timing and design. Jenny also emphasized on the preparation required by players and coaches alike to adjust to this new system, most notably Mark Sanchez going as far as making flash cards to learn the ins and outs of the offense.

This was somewhat of a ground breaking article by Vrentas. With so much emphasis on the Jets return to Ground and Pound this season, there was not been much focus on how the passing game will look, until now. Vrentas continues to put out relevant, original material. She remains the best at what she does, and until someone passes her in terms of content, creativity, and relevancy, she will remain on her first place pedestal here. – Chris Gross 

2. Manish Mehta, The Daily News – I know what it looks like: I accepted Manish’s bribe last week at Jets Mini-Camp to move him up a spot, but trust me, that is not the case (although I happily would if any of the other beat righters are interested. Just saying..). We moved Manish up this week for a few other reasons. But before I get to that let me just say that before old fart Gary Myers sauntered on over with his bad 1987 clothing ensemble and even worse jokes last Thursday to disrupt my Jets chat with Mr. Mehta in a failed attempt to big-time him (Chronicled here on Deadspin.com, and also by me last week), he did address two of the main things that people have been complaining about when it comes to his Twitter page: Sulia and Tebow love.

In regard to Tebow, he simply said, “He’s popular, what can I do? Gotta write about him.” Fair point, even if many of us think it goes a little too far. When I brought up Sulia, it looked like he wanted to just tell me to F-off, but he restrained himself and simply said “Come on man, what do you want from me?” I want you to stop tweeting links to crappy Sulia. That’s what we wall want. In fact, from now on when I want to curse on the internet, I may just simply say Sulia instead. Sulia you, people who tweet links to that site! But alas, I think Sulia is here to stay sadly, and that’s probably the main thing keeping Manish from the top spot.

But even Sulia wasn’t enough to keep the determined Manish down this week, as he did lots of great stuff. Notably, he spent a solid 20 minutes or so on the inaugural radio show of the Flight Five Live on Friday and it was an excellent spot where he addressed many Jets topics, showing how knowledgable and great at his job he can be. (Speaking of being great at the job, check out that picture of him putting in work on the field!) He even promoted the show on his Twitter account, which was also darn decent of him. Beyond that, he wasn’t kidding when he told me he was working on a big article on the defense. Less than 24 hours later, a very nice piece on the Jets defense was put out  in which we learned about Mike Pettine’s plans for the defense and using the “Best 11”. We also picked up this nugget on Manish’s Twitter page: Pettine telling him that they may not play any 3-4 base defense at all vs. division opponents. So yes, it was a big week from Manish Mehta this week, and if he ups his bribe offer before the next rankings, the #1 spot is his–err, I mean, if he keeps up the great work! You got this, Manish! – Mike Donnelly

3. Brian Costello, New York Post – While we don’t want to beat our own chest here at TOJ, there has been a noticeable and enjoyable improvement in Costello’s work since we are started these rankings. His Jets Blog is becoming more of a must read and he did a good job transcribing Ron Jaworski’s quotes on Mark Sanchez this past week. Costello also broke the news that the Jets would not be bringing Braylon Edwards back this season. Finally, his Twitter game has been on point. He does a good job of asking fans what they are looking for at practice and pulling observations about how certain players are being used around the formation on offense and defense. Of course, he receives a major bonus for a lack of Sulia links as well. Keep up the great work Coz! – Joe Caporoso 

4. Rich Cimini, ESPN New York – It has been quite the rough week for Cimini after opening up with two consecutive weeks at the number two spot. Although his “Take 5” on the areas of concern for the Jets was on point, his Sunday notes along with his piece on the retirement of LaDanian Tomlinson have caused the ESPN New York columnist to drop two spots this week. Cimini’s first point of his Sunday notes addressed the issue of Dustin Keller’s contract situation. Rich offered the idea that the Jets would be smart to wait on giving Keller an extension until they see how he plays in the new offensive scheme under Tony Sparano, which places a greater emphasis on the blocking ability of the Tight End. This is an excellent point considering the fact that Keller has never been a strong blocker, leaving a fair amount of question marks about how he will fare in this new system. The problem with this assessment by Cimini is that he was nearly a week late to the party on this issue. Rich’s article was published on Sunday, June 17th. Five days earlier, I addressed the issue right here on TOJ with the exact line of thinking used by Cimini in his notes. Is the former Daily News beat writer a frequent visitor of Turn On The Jets? Who knows? Either way, Cimini analyzed this issue after it had already been deemed old news.

Other than sleeping on the Keller situation for five days, Cimini also made an interesting argument in his piece on Tomlinson’s retirement. First, Rich criticized LT for his post-season comments on the Jets locker room turmoil. He claimed Tomlinson made his negative statements about the organization on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL” as a publicity stunt to pave his way into the world of broadcasting. However, when, at any point during his career, did Tomlinson display any sign of self-promoting, especially with a controversial issue like this? LT was simply asked a question, and answered it honestly. It was the mainstream media that blew the entire situation out of proportion, not Tomlinson, who has been a class act since entering the league in 2001.

Furthermore, in the same piece on LT, Cimini made a claim that Tomlinson’s 2010 season was so impressive that it made Jets fans forget about Thomas Jones. However, when reviewing Jones’ final two seasons with the Jets in comparison to LT’s only two seasons, it is clear that Jones not only had a greater impact on New York’s rushing attack, but posted career numbers in nearly every statistical category as well.

Prior to leaving the Jets after the 2009 season, Jones rushed for a career high 1,402 yards along with, another career high, 14 touchdowns. In 2008, he rushed for 1,312 yards with, a then career high, 13 touchdowns. Tomlinson, on the other hand, rushed for only 1,194 yards and 7 touchdowns is his two seasons with Gang Green, combined. While LT will certainly be remembered as one of the greatest backs of all time, his success in New York was not nearly as high as that of Thomas Jones. So, while Jets Nation is certainly appreciative of what LT brought to the team during his brief stint, Thomas Jones remains, by and large, the best running back to carry the load for New York since the retirement of Curtis Martin. No one has forgotten about TJ. – Chris Gross

5. Jane McManus, ESPN New York – Another very solid week from Jane McManus, and she’s really knocking on the door to move up in these rankings. She kicked off the week with a genuinely hilarious tweet (seen below) after Brian Costello was claiming the top spot was going to be his. I’m pretty sure she was joking, but maybe Jenny Vrentas should hire a bodyguard just in case. Jane may know something the rest of us don’t. Ms. McManus also provided lots of solid info on her Twitter page, with quotes, player info, and she shows a great ability to only give us the important things Rex Ryan says instead of just tweeting every word that comes out of his mouth like some others do. Sometimes, less is more, and Jane does a great job with that. Additionally, she put out a great article on Laron Landry and how he’s recovering from his injuries and what we can expect from him this year. In non-Jets related topics, she did a great job with her take on Twitter of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky mess, and she handled it well. (Jane: 1, Penn State students: 0). As I said, it was a very good week from Jane McManus, and she very well could be on the way up. – Mike Donnelly

6. Kimberly Martin, Newsday – We aren’t burying Kimberly in the #6 spot for the third straight week as a sign of disrespect to her but more as a sign of respect towards the others who have been on the beat longer. For our rankings we are still waiting for that one article or Tweet that is really going to jump off the page to move her up in the standings. We have heard from followers of this article and other beat writers that there other individuals who deserve inclusion in this list. Because of that, we are encouraging you to submit any other writer (must write for a mainstream publication/be credentialed) that you think belongs here. Please note that “must be credentialed” isn’t meant to elevate them above the rest of us who aren’t, it is just that we place them in a separate category and much of what we use in these rankings is how they handle interaction with the players on a day to day basis and what they pull from attending practices. – Joe Caporoso

Next week we will be giving your rankings. Submit your votes here, on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page or respond to Mike, Chris or my Twitter Account. We will publish the results next Wednesday. Also let us know if there are any other writers you’d like to see included in these rankings

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 6/19 – Wilkerson, Schilens, & Braylon

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch. Who are we buying and selling this week?

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, make sure you give Mike a follow on Twitter and Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook – 

It’s Tuesday so you know what that means: Time to combine the two things that take up most of my time and write a column! What are those two things you ask? Well, there’s sports of course, and specifically Jets football and then there’s boring financial work (Boo!). When put together we have the Stock Watch, where once again we’ll be buying and selling sports players, teams, ideas, and whatever else we see fit as if such things are able to be bought and sold. What’s that sound? It’s the Opening Bell! Let’s get started…

BUY

Mo Wilkerson – I put big Mo in the inaugural Stock Watch, but after seeing him up close at Jets Camp last week and reading the effusive praise rained on him by coaches, players, reporters, fans, analysts, and everybody in between, it’s time to double up and go in big on Big Mo. After coming out as a Junior from Temple, Wilkerson had a very strong rookie season (Had he stayed in school an extra year, he probably would have gone much higher in the draft this year).

By all accounts, he worked out extremely hard in the offseason to improve his strength, and he appears poised for big things. In fact, he, along with Quinton Coples, are going to be extremely important parts of the Jets new 46 defense. Mo’s athleticism and versatility will be the key to opening everything up up front. He can line up at any spot across the defensive line and that allows the Jets to shift in and out of different looks without having to change personnel. By the end of this year, Mo is going to be one of those guys that a few smart analysts and sites like ProFootballFocus.com will be raving about, while the uninformed general public will probably be late to the party and scoff when Rex Ryan raves about him. Thats fine by me. I’ll be watching, and I’ll be loving what I see — That’s why I’m doubling up this stock.

Robert Allen Dickey – More commonly known as R.A, Mr. Dickey has been absolutely dominating baseball lately. He’s riding a 42 and 2/3 inning wave where he hasn’t allowed an earned run. In his last 6 starts, he’s pitched 48 and 2/3 innings, allowed just a single earned run, gone 6-0, allowed just 21 hits and 5 walks, and struck out a ridiculous 63 batters. Ho. Ly. Crap. On the season he’s 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA and is hands-down the best pitcher in baseball. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even able to make an awful Mets team out of spring training two years ago. R.A Dickey has been so awesome he makes me want to go outside and start practicing knuckleballs, and that’s enough to make me buy this stock.

Chaz Schilens – An under-the-radar type signing this offseason by the Jets, Schilens was pretty impressive at Jets mini-camp. In fact, he was so impressive that the Jets decided not to pursue Braylon Edwards any longer (more on that later). Schilens has always shown flashes of his great ability, but injuries have always popped up to derail any momentum he got going. The Jets brought in new receivers coach Sanjay Lal this year from Oakland where he happened to coach Chaz. Obviously Lal felt Schilens had talent and was worth bringing here, so now he’s a Jet. It’s hard to rely on a rookie like Stephen Hill from the get go, so look for Chaz to play a big role this year, especially early in the season. If he can stay healthy, this will be a nice stock to own.

My meeting with Manish Mehta being chronicled on Deadspin – Perhaps this is a stock that interests only me, but oh well. For those that missed it, I suggest giving it a read, if only for the part about Gary Myers’ hilarious fashion choices. As some of you know, I reported on my day at Jets Mini-Camp last week as well, but make sure you check back tomorrow for this week’s Jets Power Rankings, where there will be plenty more to discuss.

SELL

The Buffalo Bills Hype – I was all prepared to write up a paragraph about how this Bills hype is getting out of control and there’s no way they are better than the Jets, but Joe put that baby to rest yesterday. Make sure you give that a read, as he covered all the bases and totally derailed the Bills Hype Train.

Braylon Edwards – It’s hard to believe that two years ago, Braylon was entering the 2010 season as the Jets co-#1 receiver and the front office was rumored to be struggling with who to sign long-term: Edwards or Santonio Holmes. After a very good season in which he approached 1,000 yards and played an integral role in the Jets playoff run, the Jets decided to go with Holmes and let Edwards go. He then allegedly got involved in a bar brawl — which was not what teams wanted to hear after his early season DUI arrest –and signed a one-year contract with the 49ers, injured his knee, barely contributed, and then get released mid-season. Now he can’t find a job. Yikes. Braylon was one of my favorite players, so I hope things turn around for him, but it sure doesn’t look too good right now.

Jets #2 TE Spot – I touched on this in my Day at Jets Camp piece, but man oh man is this spot a black hole right now. Jeff Cumblerland, by all accounts including my own, was absolutely awful last week. He dropped a ton of passes and got chewed out by Tony Sparano often. Hayden Smith has potential, but doesn’t seem ready. Josh Baker is not a true tight end. They need to really look into picking up a veteran, preferably one who can block. Perhaps Daniel Graham? The only positive here is that Matt Mulligan was hilariously snatched up by Brian Schottenheimer and the Rams this offseason (that explains a lot) so he won’t be in that role, and that’s something we can all be grateful for.

Idea that the Jets need another RB – Joe wrote a great article about this last week which was very convincing, but I respectfully disagree. I just don’t see the point in bringing in someone like Cedric Benson, paying him, and giving him carries over Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell, and Terrance Ganaway. I know this idea has picked up steam amongst fans lately, but why not see what the young guys can do? Benson hasn’t averaged over 4 yards per carry since 2009, isn’t a good receiver, the Bengals couldn’t wait to dump him, and he doesn’t offer anything on special teams — and yet he’s actually the best option still available. I’ll pass on the veterans. The Jets have invested draft picks on these young guys, and it’s time to see what they can do.

James Harden – I tweeted about this during and after Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but when was the last time you saw a supposed “star player” not named LeBron James have such a bad NBA Finals performance? He was brutal and single-handedly cost the Thunder a 2-1 advantage. Hopefully someone got him a new bed in the past few days because he completely shit the bed all over his old one (By the way, is there a funnier term for failure than “shit the bed”?). If the Thunder are going to have a chance to win this series, Harden is going to have to do better than 2-10 shooting, but quite frankly, I’m not so sure he’s going to bounce back. I’d sell my Beard stock.

A Visit To Florham Park: Observations From Jets Mini-Camp

TOJ’s Mike Donnelly spent the day in Florham Park yesterday for New York Jets mini-camp. Here are his observations

Turn On The Jets own Mike Donnelly spent yesterday in Florham Park for the last day of New York Jets mini-camp. Here are his observations and make sure you give Mike a follow on Twitter – 

With the Jets Mini-Camp coming to a close on Thursday, I decided to call out sick from work (Sorry, Brian) and take a drive over to Florham Park with my buddy Dan, pretty much on a whim. Camp was open to the public and I figured it would be a better way to spend the day than sitting in an office. I was right.

I also had grandiose images dancing in my head of showing up, observing all the comings and goings, taking Twitter by storm with my hilarious commentary and finally cracking that illustrious 100 follower milestone. I’d also befriend all the players, meet all the beat writers that we’ve begun ranking each week here on this very site, and then leaving triumphantly after Mark Sanchez gave me his cell phone number to meet up for a beer later in the day. Unfortunately, I was unprepared to accomplish any of this, as my phone was half-dead after my charger didn’t work the night before, I didn’t have my car charger or my iPad, and I was forced to rely on the power of memory. Damn you, stupid phone charger. Fortunately, between Dan and myself, we were able to piece together the entire day. Here is a rundown of my thoughts from my day at Jets Camp, in no particular order:

The Jets D-Line looks tremendous – You can read and hear about how big and athletic these guys are, but when you see them up close, it’s really something. Quinton Coples stands out and just looks like a physical freak, Sione Pouha is massive, and Mo Wilkerson looked awesome out there. On the very first play of team drills, he knocked down a pass and gave a Dikembe Mutombo-style finger wag to Mark Sanchez.  I said it a few weeks ago in my Stock Watch column, but it bears repeating: Mo Wilkerson is going to be a stud for this defense. That autograph I got from him today is going to be worth a fortune! (Ok, not really, but I’m still glad I got it.)

Speaking of autographs.. – Many of the players were extremely fan-friendly and personable. I didn’t run around trying to get them to sign my little “Jets Mini Camp” cardboard paper thing they handed out at the entrance, but many of them did come by where I was standing and signed it. Aaron Maybin was extremely personable and even posed for many photos with fans. Nick Mangold, Pouha, and Wilkerson all also came by and were very cool about signing for the fans, especially kids, which is always nice. Joe McKnight also signed a ton of stuff, gave away his gloves, and even cracked some jokes about eating McDonalds. Rookies Stephen Hill and Demario Davis signed for a while, and I was fortunate enough to get both of their John Hancocks (check out the picture below of DeMario’s signature, which has got to be the funniest one of all time). I also saw Dustin Keller, Brandon Moore, Matt Slauson (hold that thought on Slauson for a minute) and a few others spending more than their fair share of time signing stuff. Also signing autographs for a few minutes until it got a little out of control? Mr. Mark Sanchez. And yes, the Sanchize graced my little piece of paper by scribbling a few lines on it.

Matt Slauson’s shoulder is fine, and he isn’t happy playing RG – Here’s my semi-juicy nugget of information I came across while in Florham Park. While signing autographs, a fan asked Slauson how his shoulder was and why he was playing RG instead of LG. He said his shoulder is 100% healthy and that he doesn’t know why he’s playing RG. He then added with a bit of a smile although he didn’t seem pleased, “I told Vlad I’m not happy about it.” Bears watching when training camp starts. Are they grooming Vlad to be the new LG while reducing Slauson to more of a “swing role” since he has more versatility? Guess we’ll find out. (My guess: No. Vlad stinks.)

Aaron Maybin and Tim Tebow are HUGE – Much has been made of Tebow’s size the past few days in the media, especially from our pal Manish Mehta, who whipped out his tape measure and scale to compare Tebow’s height and weight to everyone from David Harris to Rex Ryan this week. But the fact is he does looks enormous, which is a good sign for our short yardage wildcat package and punt team I suppose. Maybin, who recently tweeted a picture of himself on the scale weighing 254 lbs, looks every bit of it. His arms and upper body were completely jacked, and you have to think that will only help him on the field.

Hard to get a read on the Offense – Any time Sanchez or Tebow throw an incomplete pass, everyone wants to jump all over them and say the offense sucks. We have the Sanchez fans rip the Tebow fans, the Tebow fans rip the Sanchez fans, and everyone hates everything. Like I wrote in my Take a Deep Breath column, everyone needs to relax. It’s June, and although Chaz Schilens was pretty impressive, these quarterbacks are still playing without Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill, not to mention they’re learning a new system and going up against arguably the best defense in the NFL. Speaking of which, this is not exactly breaking news, but Darrelle Revis is still very awesome. Throwing to his side is a lost cause.

The #2 TE spot is not looking promising – Jeff Cumberland is a guy a lot of coaches and fans had high hopes for, but man oh man did #86 look awful on Thursday. He dropped a bunch of passes, and Tony Sparano was completely ripping into him about his curious pass-catching technique where he runs down the field and doesn’t turn his head around to look where the ball is, only to have it land a few feet away from him. Hayden Smith also doesn’t appear to be ready to play football at this level, which makes sense since he’s been playing rugby in Australia the past few years, but you can tell he has some potential — just not for this year probably.

Manish Mehta is a cool guy – I know, I know, judging by some of the feedback we’ve gotten in our Beat Writer Power Rankings, many of you have turned on Manish lately because of his apparent Tebow love and Sulia usage on Twitter. I get it, I agree with most of it, and I wrote about that in our initial rankings (I also mentioned how it wasn’t too long ago he was far and away the best Jets writer, though). But when he was standing a few feet away from me on the other side of the fence, I couldn’t help but to call out to him and introduce myself as the guy who has been grading his performance weekly online. Instead of blowing me off or just calling me an asshole, he couldn’t have been nicer. Manish was gracious enough to came over and chat for a few minutes. We joked about the power rankings and his placement in them (“As long as I stay in the top 6, we’re cool”), talked about the Tebow phenomenon (“He’s popular, what can I say?”), and even his Sulia love (“Ahh come on man, what do you want me to do?”).

We also talked about Revis, David Harris, TurnOnTheJets.com, and probably would have continued a little longer since it was a down period in practice if his colleague at the Daily News, old fart Gary Myers, didn’t come over to ask him if he was paying attention to practice or if he was “holding a dissertation over here”. Gary is lucky he’s not a beat writer, or else I’d rank him 17th out of 6 this week. Speaking of which, there is no truth to the rumor I happily accepted a bribe from Manish to move him up to #1 this week. Or is there? Guess we’ll see on Wednesday.

So there you have it. My day at Jets Camp. We’d love to hear stories from anybody else who was in attendance this week, and maybe I’ll see some of you in Cortland in a few weeks.

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – June 13th

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers

Welcome back to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers as compiled by myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly. See how the writers fared last week here and make sure to leave comments on the site, our Twitter accounts or on the TOJ Facebook Page

1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – In my best Howard Finkel voice: Aaaaaanndd STILL, Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings Champion, Jeeeeennnnnyyy Vrentas! (Speaking of the Fink, any wrestling fan from the 80’s and 90’s has got to watch this video of the Fink doing wedding introductions.) Another excellent week from Jenny, as she seemingly widened the gap between herself and the competition. At this point even a bad week won’t be enough to knock her off her throne, similar to how a 12-0 NFL team wouldn’t be dropped after one fluke loss. That being said, the way she’s going I wouldn’t count on even that happening.

This week she again gave Jets fans all the pertinent information we were looking for on her Twitter page, without any of the fluff or full-fledged Tebow love affair that some of her fellow beat men and women seem to have. All of the relevant injury news, quotes, performance info, and lineup changes are all easily accessible, and she topped that off with some very good articles that didn’t just regurgitate the same old stuff. For example, last Thursday she put out an excellent piece about new kicker Josh Brown that gave unfamiliar fans some good insight into the man who we will likely be cursing for missing field goals for us this year. We’d like to see perhaps a little more fan interaction, but she did acknowledge these very power rankings and her position in them, so that scores her bonus points. What also scores her points is her NOT using the devil of Twitter, Sulia. We thank you for that, Jenny. Keep up the great work. – Mike Donnelly

2. Rich Cimini, ESPN – Another week of consistent content from Cimini, who provides a weekly chat and an entertaining “Take 5” piece which I particularly liked from this past week with a look at Bryan Thomas’ favorite memories with the team. His column on Rex looking to change the attitude around the team was a good read and provided an interesting parallel to the 2004 team under Herman Edwards. However, he had eye rolling article about the “quarterback controversy” that stated nothing but the obvious. Fortunately, he remains off Sulia on Twitter. – Joe Caporoso

3. Manish Mehta, The Daily News – Manish had a solid week following our inaugural beat writer power rankings. Although he did not run too great a surplus of stories, the ones he did run were quite impactful. His notes following the first day of mini camp yesterday were very significant, and he did a good job of reporting on several key issues that have been prevalent over the past week. Granted, the Holmes incident from OTAs has gotten a bit repetitive, but in the defense of Manish, every Jets writer has been beating this to death. The bottom line for Holmes is that he needs to realize, after the events of last season, he is going to be under the microscope of the media every second they are allowed access to team activities. He needs to start helping himself if he truly wants to repair his image. Although most readers are annoyed by these reports, one cannot fault Manish and the rest of the writers on the Jets beat for publicizing it so heavily.

Manish also reported, via his twitter, that people within the organization are becoming more impressed by DeMario Davis each day. Although this is exactly what we expected, it is still significant, and encouraging news for New York’s defense. Davis will likely be used in several sub packages with the first team this season, while developing into the long term answer following the eventual departure of Bart Scott, so any news regarding his status and performance gets a plus. Overall, solid work from Manish this week as he is displaying qualities that, if continued, could bump him to the #1 spot in the coming weeks. – Chris Gross

4. Brian Costello, New York Post – The Coz had a hell of a week in our opinion. His Twitter game stepped up tremendously as he provided insightful updates and made a few keen observations about the lineups the Jets were using on both sides of the football. He also had an intriguing blog update that focused on Jeff Cumberland improving his blocking to lock down the number two tight end spot. Also in that post, he was the first to report that Rex Ryan would now do press conferences in the morning before practice along with an explanation as to why. – Joe Caporoso

5. Jane McManus, ESPN – While McManus does not quite put out as much content as her counterpart at ESPN New York, her piece on Bart Scott this past week was excellent. We will look at Scott’s revival more closely as the week progresses, but McManus did an excellent job in noting that Scott’s notorious vocal activity is back and better than ever this off season. This is certainly a far cry from what we last saw of Scott following the conclusion of last season when he departed the team facility with a familiar gesture to the media present that day. While Scott will likely neve return to being a 100+ tackler at this point in his career, McManus notes that he has lost about 9 pounds this off season, and looks rejuvinated from the player we saw post an abysmal 66 tackles last season, his lowest total since 2004.

Scott’s production level, and leadership ability this season are going to be vital not only to the defense, but to the team as well. We have all come to love Scott for his presence as a leader both in terms of play and vocals so any news that he is working toward reviving himself this season is quality content. If McManus can get her quanity of content to match quality like her Scott piece, she could find herself moving up the rankings rather soon. – Chris Gross

6. Kimberly Martin, Newsday – Last week we didn’t have all that much to go on when it came to the great Rod Boone’s replacement at Newsday, but this week Kimberly Martin really started to establish herself in our minds. She really stepped up her Twitter game and provided all the information Jets fans need at OTA’s and Mini-Camp. She also mixed in some humor with her tweets, so following her also came with some bonus entertainment. And the best part of it all of course, was the lack of any Sulia links in her timeline. Major bonus points there. The drawbacks, however, would be a bit of a lack of real good original articles that don’t just give us the same exact thing we can read 10 other places. Again, she’s pretty new when it comes to the Jets beat, and I expert her to move up these rankings in the coming weeks. – Mike Donnelly

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 6/12: Jets, NFL Over/Unders, Tebow

Mike Donnelly gives us his weekly stock report. Who should you be buying or selling this week?

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly stock watch. Make sure you give Mike a follow on Twitter and give Turn On The Jets a like on Facebook.

It is that time of the week again: Stock Watch! It’s been a busy week with the Jets as always, and in the sports world in general. We had some big news as Santonio Holmes threw his helmet (on no!) and the media had a collective aneurysm running to their computers to throw him under the bus. We also saw a rigged boxing match, the NBA Finals get set (be sure to check out Joe’s Finals preview), the Kings win the Stanley Cup, and the Yankees mop the floor with my Mets and their abomination of a bullpen. We’re gonna touch on some of those with buy and sell advice, but this week the big stock tips come in the form of some NFL over/unders for wins. Vegas released their totals two weeks ago, and after several sleepless nights crunching the numbers –or just taking some guesses– I’ve come up with a few to invest in. Let’s dive in…

BUYS

Jets 8.5 Wins – Perhaps I’m a Jets homer, but I think this is a slam dunk. I can’t help but laugh when people say “Oh the Jets are the third best team in the division!”. We’ve been hearing that same crap for 3 years now, and it’s yet to happen. The fact is, the Dolphins and Bills just aren’t that good, and that isn’t going to change this year. Last year, the Jets had a disaster of a season, and they still finished with 8 wins and easily could have had one or two more. This year I’m expecting 4-2 in the division (split with Pats, 3-1 vs. Bills and Fins), and then score very likely wins against the Colts, Cardinals, and Chargers at home; and Rams, Jaguars, and Titans on the road. That leaves tough games in Pittsburgh and Seattle (always a tough place to play), and against the 49ers and Texans at home. A split amongst those 4 isn’t unlikely. With a potentially dominant defense and an offense that improved simply by getting rid of Brian Schottenheimer, I just don’t see this team not winning 10 or 11 games.

Cowboys 8.5 Wins – I hate backing the Cowboys, because every offseason people look at their roster and talk about how this is the year they put it all together and they’re going to the Super Bowl. Just to be clear, I don’t think that, but I do think this team has enough talent to win 9 or 10 games. The only reason they failed to get there last year was because of a secondary that featured several guys whose performances rivaled Eric Smith. And as all Jets fans know, that’s not a compliment. This year, however, they added the best corner in free agency, Brandon Carr, and traded up to draft the best corner in the draft, Morris Claiborne. 9 wins here we come!

Bears 8.5 Wins – I’m a big Bears fan this year. Da Bears have Jay Cutler coming back from injury, they added Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to the receiving corps, and they brought in Michael Bush as Matt Forte insurance. Oh, and they still have one of the best defenses in the NFL. Not only do I think they easily clear 8.5 wins, but I think they have a chance to give the Packers a run for their money in the NFC North.

Ricky Sapp, Joe McKnight, Jeff Cumberland, Vlad Ducasse – Yes, even Vlad Ducasse. I’m buying this group of 4 “under the radar” players, because I’m very interested in hearing how they do in Mini-Camp the next few days. All 4 guys have a chance to contribute in a meaningful way this year, especially McKnight and Sapp.

Jenrry Mejia – As a Mets fan, I’m absolutely disgusted with their bullpen. I don’t know what the hell Sandy Alderson was thinking this offseason putting this group of bums together, but there is hope on the horizon — Jenrry Mejia. One of the best pitching prospects in the Mets system, they recently moved him to the bullpen in Triple A, with the intention of having him come up and rescue this sad sack of relievers. I’m excited. And yes, I know that makes me pathetic getting excited for a middle reliever, but I’m a Mets fan, what do you want from me?

Kevin Durant – I love the NBA. I hate the regular season when the players openly don’t give a crap, but the playoffs are awesome, and I love when a young guy breaks down the door and announces he’s arrived. That’s what Kevin Durant is doing right now, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch his Thunder take on the hated Miami Heat and LeBron James.

SELL

That John Malkovich iPhone Commerial – Ugh. Had to mention this one first. I can’t be the only person who gets legitimately angry every time this commercial comes on, can I? And I can’t help but think Apple has a few more of these atrocities ready to put out there. It’s like they’re daring me to buy non-Apple products, knowing full well I am going to just sit here, do nothing, and continue to watch John Malkovich commercials while playing on my iPad. Screw you, John Malkovich.

Lions 9.5 Wins – I’m sorry, but I think the Lions are going to take a tumble this year. They’re the sexy pick for “Team Ready to Take the Leap into Super Bowl Contention”, but I don’t see it. The secondary still stinks, the offensive line is a mess, their coach is a raving lunatic, and this might be the year Ndamukong Suh attempts to become the first player to use the football to actually beat an opposing player into a coma. That’s not to mention Matt Stafford miraculously avoided injury all of last year, and is unlikely to happen again. I can see this Lions season going very, very badly.

Chiefs 8 Wins – Maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t see this at all. The Chiefs just aren’t that good. They have a solid defense, but questions at quarterback, Jamaal Charles is recovering from a blown out knee, and last I checked, Romeo Crennel is their head coach. Sell this one.

Dolphins 7.5 Wins – Sorry Dolphins fans, this one is going way under. As of now, the #1 quarterback on the depth chart is David Garrard. Yes, that David Garrard. The one who was out of football last year. The one who will be throwing passes to…umm, Brian Hartline? Davone Bess? Oof. The only way that can be worse is if they sign someone like Chad Ochocinco. Oh wait, that’s exactly what Jeff Ireland did. On the bright side, they have a solid defense and a pretty easy schedule, but the fact is, the Dolphins are the exact team other teams’ fans see on the schedule and say, “That should be a win there.”

LaRon Landry – Let’s just say I’m starting to get a little nervous about this guy and his prospects for the 2012 season. I’ll reserve judgment until closer to the season, but it’s not looking all that promising.

Boxing – I’m selling the sport as a whole. I know this same thing has been written 500 times since the fixed Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight on Saturday, but the sport is just a joke. I wish we could organize a worldwide boycott of a rematch if it comes to fruition, because seriously, what’s the point? The only guy I’d pay to watch fight at this stage is Mike Tyson, and that’s not a joke. At least that would be entertaining.

Tebow (!!!) Coverage at Mini-Camp – Get ready, Jets fans. The Jets are holding a 3 day mini-camp this week, and we’re about to get bombarded with Tim Tebow information. Not only will we know about every pass he throws within 10 seconds of it slamming into the turf, but get ready to find out some real important personal things about Tebow; things such as: his favorite color, his favorite book, his pick on the NBA Finals, if he prefers Coke or Pepsi, and what toppings he likes on his hot dogs. Crap, I think I just gave the media some ideas. My bad, Jets fans. My bad.

New York Jets Fans: Take a Deep Breath

Mike Donnelly implores New York Jets not to overreact to things occurring in June

Everyone, please take a deep breath and absorb the following facts:

  • Today is June 10th.
  • The Jets first regular season game is on September 9th.
  • Training camp doesn’t open for roughly 7 weeks.
  • The events taking place now at Jets OTA’s are not even mandatory for the players.

Please, try to remember these things next time you take to your keyboard to bash Jets players and coaches on Twitter or your Jets message board of choice. Remember that before you bash Santonio Holmes to your co-worker at the water cooler. Hell, try to remember that before you comment on this very article or on my Twitter page to tell me what an idiot I am for saying these things. Let’s all just take a deep breath and remember today is June 10th, because I’m getting awfully fed up with reading some of the things the media and Jets fans alike have been spewing the past few weeks. Let’s run down the ridiculousness:

Santonio Holmes threw his Helmet– Yes, Santonio Holmes threw his helmet on the field because his body was breaking down and he felt like he couldn’t continue with more reps. So? This is a far more common occurrence at spring OTA’s than all the genius commentators would like to believe. Also, before Holmes sat out, he was working with all the Jets young receivers on their routes and being a leader, as much as it pains some of you to admit. And no, Holmes wasn’t prepared for a full workload, which is somewhat disappointing to some. But why was that? Glad you asked..

Santonio Holmes chose to spend time in Germany instead of with Jets– Yep, some Jets fans, and even one prominent beat writer whose name rhymes with Pitch Fimini, decided to take shots at Holmes because he was late to OTA’s due to being in Germany — doing charity work!  It’s June, and he was a few days late to voluntary workouts because he was doing charity work. Let’s just cut him right now! And don’t laugh, because thats exactly what I’ve been reading from some super-smart internet posters. I even saw some of them say Holmes purposely schedules these charity events during football times so he doesn’t have to show up. I’m literally shaking my head right now. Nevermind that Holmes is back now and committed to showing up to Jets West this year. Why does nobody care about that? Because..

TEBOW (!!!) is going to Jets West!– That’s right, hold the presses! A Jets player is going to Jets practices! And not only is he just going, but because he’s going, it shows that..

Mark Sanchez is scared of Tebow– Yep, these are real things we have been hearing. Mark Sanchez invited Tebow to Jets West, not because Tebow is a quarterback and could use the offensive practice with his teammates, but because Mark is weak and scared of Tebow. Somehow this makes sense to some. I wish I was making this up. I wish I was also making up these big stories..

Tim Tebow’s dog is named Bronx, and he may or may not live in Hoboken – Glad we cleared those things up. That’s the kind of hard hitting analysis and pertinent information the internet was created for. I guess it was also created so Jets beat writers could tell us in real time that..

The Jets Offense is Terrible – Yes, the Jets offense stinks. Might as well not even show up come September. Sure Thursday’s practice took place on June 7th, with the season three full months away. And sure, they’re working on a whole new offensive system with many new players being incorporated. And sure Holmes, Stephen Hill, and Matt Slauson weren’t participating. The fact is the Jets offense stinks, and that’s final. Nevermind that the offense has to go against arguably the best defense in the NFL that has been playing together and in the same system for four years now. And let’s not focus on the fact that Quinton Coples, Mo Wilkerson, DeMario Davis, and some of the other young defenders up front have looked great. The easy story to sell here is that the Jets offense stinks, and that’s what we’re going with! Oh, speaking of the defense and easy stories to sell..

Darrelle Revis is “an asshole”– Yep, it’s true. He has shown up to every single team event, function, and practice this whole offseason but somehow he’s Public Enemy #1 because he might hold out. That’s right, he MIGHT hold out. He didn’t say he will, or that it’s even likely. He hasn’t skipped any OTA’s or boycotted any team events. But still, “Jets fans” everywhere have already begun bashing him on the internet, with one particularly caring fellow eloquently telling him on Twitter to “Eat shit”. Stay classy! How else can we create some headlines? Just say..

Jets will be interested in (Fill in the Recently Released Washed Up Veteran here)– In this case, the Recently Released Washed up Veteran is Chad Ochocinco. Twitter pal Kristine Reese just wrote an excellent article about this. Before Ocho, it was Terrell Owens. Ochocinco was just cut from the Patriots and appears washed up, which is still a few steps ahead of his former teammate. Owens was recently released from the UFL, but hey, he was a big name a few years ago, so surely the Jets want him, right? If you’re a Jets fan and you want these guys on the 2012 team, please go find a wall and slam your head into it a few dozen times until you realize the error of yours ways. When you’re done doing that, you can also apologize for saying that..

Joe McKnight ate McDonalds and is fat now – Ugh. So Joe McKnight, who played last season at around 200 lbs, knew he was going to have a bigger role on offense this year and bulked up to 215 lbs to be better prepared for the season. To me, that seems like a GOOD thing. A player went out on his own time and improved his body to better perform this season. But when he showed up to camp, he joked that he put on that weight by eating McDonalds every day. Did it matter that he was just joking and there’s not an ounce of fat on him? No, of course not. The fans who never quite forgave him for looking bad on Hard Knocks jumped all over this and talked about how he’s out of shape and a bust. Great.

I hope Joe learned a valuable lesson there. When it comes to the Jets, every single little thing you say or do gets sensationalized, scrutinized, and talked about for days. It’s easy to blame the media for all this, but it’s the fans’ fault too. So please, Jets fans everywhere, I implore you: Before the next time you go off on a rant about your favorite team or some of the players this summer, please try to remember: Today is June 10th, and to borrow a quote from Allen Iverson, we’re talking about practice. Get back to me on September 9th. Or even better, get back to me next January when the Jets are making a run through the playoffs.

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – June 6th

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the New York Jets

Welcome to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers, which will be compiled every Wednesday by myself, Chris Gross, and Mike Donnelly. These rankings are based on our composite votes and each of us will take two different writers to explain their position. As always feel free to agree or disagree here on the site, our Facebook Page or on Twitter

1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star LedgerVrentas was the consensus number one pick for all three of us. She puts out consistently high quality content, doesn’t look to sensationalize negative stories about specific players, and digs deeper for interesting angles the other writers ignore. A perfect example was from OTAs last week, Vrentas noted that Demario Davis was working with the first team sub defense, which was a great nugget of information gleamed over by the other beat writers. Her piece featuring Dustin Keller talking about the Jets offensive identity was another interesting angle from her recent work. Vrentas is a strong writer, although we’d like to see more interaction from her on Twitter with fans. The fact that she doesn’t use Sulia is also a big plus. – Joe Caporoso

2. Rich Cimini, ESPN – Cimini generally does a very good job of covering the New York Jets, and is personally one of my favorite beat writers. He consistently keeps his coverage on point, up to date, and relevant. He usually keeps his columns creative, particularly his “Sunday Notes,” and more recently his “Take Five.” Cimini does a good job of using the resources he has at ESPN to provide quality, well-researched analysis, and typically stays engaged with his Twitter followers and readers as displayed by the replies shown on his timeline, and particularly the Jets chat that he holds on ESPNNEWYORK.com.

What keeps Cimini from the top ranking for the inaugural week is his habit of sensationalizing any negative stories revolving around the Jets. If there is a rocky situation, Rich tends to blow it even more out of proportion. For instance, he repeatedly made note of Santonio Holmes’s absence from OTAs, while seemingly poking fun at the fact that he was visiting injured US Troops in Germany via twitter.

He also loves the Tebow drama, but he cannot be faulted for this in these rankings because so does just about every other Jets beat writer. Drama is what sells, and in Cimini’s defense, he usually doesn’t let that get in the way of his analysis, with some exceptions. – Chris Gross

3. Manish Mehta, The Daily News–  Manish took over the Daily News beat from Rich Cimini a little over two years ago, and has become one of the most prolific writers on the Jets beat, as evidenced by his over 30,000 Twitter followers. When Manish took over, he was like a breath of fresh air for Jets fans, and it seemed like he really connected with his audience. He churned out great articles and feature columns like they were going out of style (Which technically they kind of were, since he works for a newspaper and all.. maybe not the best choice of words there). He quickly earned himself many fans with his excellent writing and great information, and I was one of the biggest–until about 6 months ago.

Perhaps fueled by seeing fellow AFC East beat writers like Ian Rappaport and Jeff Darlington receive “promotions” to the national scene for NFL Network, it seemed as though our boy Manish wanted in on the action and decided the easiest way to do so would be to create controversy. And so shortly after the 2011 season ended, that’s what we got: We got harsh articles on players like Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez with sensationalistic headlines. We got anonymous quotes–A LOT of anonymous quotes–that always seemed a little too perfect and wrapped his controversial stories up in nice little bows. It got to the point I jokingly started referring to him as Scott Templeton, which you Wire fans out there will know is no compliment. More recently, he was one of the main conductors of the Tebow Hype Train, and seemingly couldn’t wait to force Mark Sanchez out of town. He even resorted to charting every single pass thrown by the two at OTA’s in MAY, four full months before the season. It was a far cry from the thoughtful and well-written articles I came to love reading two years ago.

Other random critiques of Manish that we’ve heard from many anonymous sources (see, I can do it, too) are that he doesn’t interact with his Jets fans enough on Twitter, unless of course he’s sending them condescending DM’s as seen below so nobody can see how salty he’s being. (Sorry, Manish, but you don’t need Jets credentials to write about the team.) Also, it’s worth mentioning that he’s gone way overboard with this annoying Sulia stuff on Twitter, which is something that should be outlawed. It may seem like I’m being hard on Manish or that I dislike him. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I actually like him and his work very much, and if I’m hard on him, it’s because I’ve seen what he can do on the Jets beat, and I wish we saw more of that guy. Come back, Manish. We’ve missed you. Your spot at #1 can be reclaimed. – Mike Donnelly

4. Jane McManus, ESPNMcManus covers both the Jets and Giants for ESPN and has been a strong writer in the New York market since she started out in 1998. It is hard to put her higher on the list because she simply doesn’t put out the same volume of content as others ahead of her, however she has a unique, engaging writing style and is an entertaining follow on Twitter. She doesn’t use Sulia, which we love and knows how to handle an angry Bart Scott. It would be nice to see less Tebow talk from her and more content on other aspects of the team.  – Joe Caporoso

5. Brian Costello, New York Post–  Brian Coz, as he’s known on Twitter, is a guy I’ve read in the Post for a while now, but only recently started following on Twitter. I’ve always enjoyed his writing and think his columns are enjoyable and good reading for Jets fans. He doesn’t try to create controversy or sensationalize headlines to get attention. He just reports on and writes what he sees.

That being said, Costello has a tendency to be a little bit bland with his columns. He seems to write on the same topics all the other reporters do on a given day and never really goes “outside the box”. By that, I mean I never really get the feeling something is MUST-SEE, to the point I feel like I have to go and post it on a Jets message board immediately to get the reaction of fellow Jets fans. It’s more like bathroom reading that’s used to kill a few minutes–not that there’s anything wrong with that. Also, his Twitter account leaves something to be desired. There are not that many tweets, there’s not much breaking news or info, and he doesn’t interact with fans much. Again, I like Brian Costello, and I’m going to be paying closer attention in the coming weeks, hoping we can move him up this list. – Mike Donnelly

6. Kimberly Martin, NewsdayMartin has certainly shown some promise in the early stages of her career as a Jets beat writer. According to her Newsday bio, the National Association of Black Journalists named Martin the 2011 Emerging Journalist of the Year. While she certainly has credentials, and has displayed some promising work, there is not quite enough of a sample of that work to rank her ahead of the first five. As the season unfolds, though, she could easily move up the rankings.

Since we don’t have enough material from Martin to give her a fair analysis yet, this week’s honorable mention for the absolute bottom of the barrel of Jets writers goes to ESPN AFC East Blogger James Walker. Although he certainly likes to bury the Jets every chance he gets, as he displayed by ranking Matt Moore above Mark Sanchez in his AFC East QB rankings last week, Walker earns a bit of a pass here for his most recent article defending Sanchez. If not for this article, which is the first coherent, intelligent analysis I’ve truly seen him give, I would have used this as a forum to bash Walker for his repeated use of minute points and incoherent analysis.

Take his AFC East QB rankings for example. Walker defers to the “Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch” as the measuring system used to determine who is the number two quarterback behind Tom Brady in the division. However, when digging deeper into this, Walker’s system goes back to week one of last season when it was initially the “Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch.” Walker explains that the column will be a scorecard held throughout the season to determine who deserves to be recognized as the East’s second best quarterback. What credentials does he use in his evaluation you ask? To answer, we have a quote from the first ever edition of the column:

“ Each week, the AFC East blog will keep an updated scorecard on the three quarterbacks, grade each performance on a variety of factors, and determine who’s better at the end of the season.” – James Walker, AFC East Blog, 9/14/11

That’s it. No explanation of what the “variety of factors” is, just simply a “variety of factors.” This leaves his analysis far too open ended, as these factors could vary week to week based on how Walker is feeling. By not clearly stating what he is using in his evaluation process, Walker is ultimately giving himself the ability to rank the quarterbacks on his opinion, since there is no accountability without a clearly defined “variety of factors.” So, Walker claims to have put Moore ahead of Sanchez “fair and square,” but it seems as if his idea of that is based on whom he prefers. I’d love to be proved wrong on this, but unfortunately, the print doesn’t lie.

So, now you have Matt Moore ranked ahead of Mark Sanchez by Walker, who then goes on to praise Sanchez in a defense article noting his ability to play big in big spots, and his habitual winning, less than a week later. A bit contradictory if you ask me. Perhaps Walker smartened up and actually did some research on this one. For that, JW gets a slight pass, but it will be a long season, and he is sure to cause some rumblings in these rankings again.

Still, Walker is not completely off the hook just yet. As pointed out by our good friend Kristine Reese, James is the biggest proponent of retweeting himself on twitter, which would be the equivalent to him “liking” his own status on Facebook. It is simply just not in good taste. Retweeting yourself is a no-no. Get it together James. – Chris Gross

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Jets, NBA, Mets, and Mad Men

Mike Donnelly gives us his weekly Stock Watch. Who is he buying and selling this week?

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, which will be published every Tuesday throughout the summer. Check back in tomorrow for our first edition of Jets Beat Writers Power Rankings – JC 

Just as with the initial Jets Edition of the Stock Watch, we’re going to be buying and selling individual players, teams, coaches, ideas, and whatever else we see fit based on their future prospects. We’re going to be doing this with our fake money in our fantasy land where these things can be bought and sold, so bear with me. And as always, feel free to contact me via Twitter @TheMikeDonnelly . Now let’s do some buying and selling…

BUY

Jets West – If I had the opportunity to buy some stock in Jets West 2012, I’d load up. It got plenty of attention the past two years with Mark Sanchez bringing his teammates out west for some good old fashioned team-building without coach supervision, but this year TEBOW(!!!) is involved! And as we all know, when Tebow is involved, things get out of control pretty quickly. Look for Jets West to be featured non-stop on television and talked about endlessly on Twitter. Of course, the story SHOULD be how Mark Sanchez is the undisputed leader of the team and has the respect of his offensive teammates, but Tebow’s mere presence will not allow for that. I’m amazed that a Jets player planning to attend Jets practices could be such a big story, but evidently it is.

On the bright side, I’m starting to think that in a roundabout way all of this nonsense is going to be very beneficial for Sanchez, and he’s going to come out playing with some serious fire this season. Plus, getting new receivers Stephen Hill and Chaz Schilens out west along with slot man Jeremy Kerley, and the formerly disgruntled Schottenheimer-hater, Santonio Holmes, should allow Sanchez to get comfortable with his receiving corps. And as we all know, that was not a luxury he was afforded last year with all the comings and goings, like the foolish swapping of Edwards and Cotchery for Mason and Plaxico. Which brings me to..

Mark Sanchez – Get used to seeing him here in the Buy section. With Brian Schottenheimer’s dismissal and the addition of a true deep threat in Stephen Hill, I’m expecting big things from the Sanchize this year. Remember all those fake shares you bought after last week’s column? Let’s add a few more to it.

The Mets Pitching Staff – This is strictly limited to the Starting pitchers, because watching their bullpen makes me feel like I just saw a puppy get hit by a car, but wow, what a week for the Mets. Between Johan Santana’s no-hitter, R.A. Dickey’s shutout, and Jon Niese’s near-shutout, the Mets announced themselves as serious contenders in the NL as long as the rotation remains in tact (which all Mets fans know is nearly impossible, given their incompetent medical staff, but still..). Throw in big time prospects Zach Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and to a lesser extent Jenrry Mejia, and the Mets are shockingly putting together a potentially dominant pitching staff. Let’s add some Mets stock to our portfolio and pray Johan’s arm doesn’t fall off in the next few weeks.

Rajon Rondo – Anybody watching the NBA Playoffs knows what a joy Rondo has been to watch these past few weeks. He’s playing absolutely out of his mind, and even better, he keeps taking hilarious shots at the Miami Floppers–err, I mean the Heat–through the media. Keep up the great work, Rondo! I’m buying.

The 46 Defense – After basically being wiped out of NFL playbooks for the past two decades, Rex Ryan and the Jets are bringing back the 46 defense in a big way this year. With the additions of Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, Laron Landry, and Yeremiah Bell, Rex Ryan has added a lot of the pieces he thinks are necessary to replicate his father’s famous dominant defenses in Chicago. In addition, he brought in widely respected defensive line coach Karl Dunbar to work with Coples, Mo Wilkerson, Aaron Maybin and the rest of the defensive front on their pass rushing technique. Look for all these moves to pay major dividends this year and other teams to follow suit. After all, the NFL is a copycat league, and you can expect to hear plenty about the 46 defense going forward.

Michael Ginsberg – No, this is not a new addition to the Jets defense or something like that, but all my fellow Mad Men fans know who I mean. With Peggy off finding out if the grass truly is greener on the other side, and Don desperately looking to go after the big fish, he needs Ginsberg more than ever–and to make matters worse for Don, Ginsberg knows it, too. Mr. Draper has started to realize he’s slightly out of touch and the 60‘s are passing him by, while Ginsberg has the new “cool” ideas the company needs. I’d load up on Ginsberg stock; he’s on the fast track.

SELL

Lane Pryce – Allow me one more Mad Men thought here, and please, stop reading if you haven’t seen this week’s episode, because I’m going to spoil it for you. Seriously, you’ve been warned! Last chance. Ok.. This one is pretty obvious, but it’s pretty safe to unload all your Lane Pryce stock at this point after he totally bottomed out this week and committed suicide. We saw this one coming all season, but man, how depressing was it that poor Lane couldn’t even kill himself right? His brand new Jaguar wouldn’t start, so he had to resort to sadly hanging himself in his office, next to his New York Mets pennant. The poor guy could never quite catch a break. Ok, that’s the end of my Mad Men ranting for the week. Let’s move on..

Plaxico Burress – Oh, what’s that? Plaxico hasn’t even gotten a sniff in free agency this year? Wow, I am completely shocked that a receiver who can’t run, can’t get down the field, and can’t separate from cornerbacks hasn’t been scooped up. Plaxico hamstrung Mark Sanchez and this offense last year far more than Jets fans realized. I think it may be all over for Mr. Burress. Plaxico stock is a dud.

Justin Blackmon and Jaguars Fans (all 18 of them) – I have no sympathy for Blackmon, who is a total idiot, but I feel bad for the fans. Just when they thought they had a good receiver for the first time since Jimmy Smith, it turns out he’s a complete moron and likes driving around completely hammered at 3am. Great. He deserves to be punished for this, especially since it’s his second offense. And he will, but man oh man, that is not the way for your first round pick to start his career. I wouldn’t invest in this situation.

NBA Officials – It doesn’t get much worse than the performance the NBA Officials have put on as a whole in these playoffs. Whether it’s just awful calls or flat out rigging the games, these playoffs have been especially painful to watch. It’s gotten so bad that I have pretty much waited until a few minutes into the game to see which team the refs are favoring, then root for the underdog playing 5 against 8.

Quinton Coples Critics/Bashers – It was a popular thing to say during the draft process that Quinton Coples was a “boom or bust” player with questionable work ethic. Well I firmly believe Coples is going to make all of those people eat their words. It’s only June, but all reports out of Jets camp are that Coples is the real deal, and he’s going to be a terrific fit in this attacking style defense. He’s got all the tools, and he’s going to have some of the best defensive coaching in the NFL between Rex Ryan and assistant Karl Dunbar. All the people who bashed Coples will have changed their tune by the end of 2012.

NBA Draft Lottery: Winners, Losers, and Billy King

Mike Donnelly breaks down the winners and losers from last night’s NBA Draft Lottery and ponders how Billy King still finds work

Mike Donnelly looks at the winners and losers from last night’s NBA Draft Lottery. By the way, while we are discussing the NBA, save your river of tears about officiating Boston fans. Let’s not act like your stars have never received the benefit of a quick whistle. You are going to get swept because you are vastly inferior to Miami on the court not because of the referees. – JC

Winners

New Orleans Hornets – Obviously. They had the lottery rigged for them defied the odds, and improbably landed the #1 overall pick, and with it, the chance to draft Anthony Davis. They already have a few pieces in place, with Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman, and Trevor Ariza, so adding Davis will speed up the rebuilding process. They won’t be competing for a title any time soon, but now they have something to build on, which is something they couldn’t really say after David Stern screwed them with the whole Chris Paul fiasco last year.

Anthony Davis – Davis knew all along he would be the #1 overall pick, so his stock didn’t go up or down last night. The reason he came out as a winner was because he doesn’t have to go play in Charlotte for that abysmal Bobcats team. I mean have you seen that roster? It would be a shame to see him waste away there. He’s much better off in New Orleans, especially if David Stern is going to continue rigging things for them to succeed. Err–I mean, especially since he has a better supporting cast. Yeah, that’s it.

Conspiracy Theorists – What a day for NBA Conspiracy Theorists everywhere! 27 years after David Stern allegedly rigged the 1985 Lottery so the Knicks could land Patrick Ewing, something even more fishy occurred last night. After absolutely screwing the Hornets last year with the Chris Paul situation, and after a solid year of Tom Benson low-balling him with offers to buy his team that nobody wanted, David Stern somehow magically convinced Benson to up his offer and meet the asking price just a few weeks before the draft. Hmm. And then, despite having the 4th best chance to land the #1 pick, the Hornets and Tom Benson–I hope you’re sitting down for this one–land the #1 pick! Shocking!

So to recap: David Stern owned this team for a year, single-handily set them back a few years with the Chris Paul thing (and owed them one as a result), and somehow sweetened the pot for Tom Benson to pull the trigger on the purchase. Was the #1 pick that sweetener? We’ll never know…

(Yes, yes it was)

Losers

The Brooklyn Nets – Oof, what a disaster. Due to a stunningly bad trade last year (we’ll get to this later), the Nets needed to land in the top 3 of the lottery last night or else lose their 1st round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers. They pulled #6. Ouch. So now, the Nets have basically nothing to trade for Dwight Howard and are almost definitely going to lose Deron Williams to free agency. I’m sure people will be lining up to watch Jordan Farmar and Gerald Green go 20-62 next season in their brand-new stadium…

Michael Jordan – Poor Michael will now actually have to do a little work now that his Bobcats landed the #2 pick instead of the slam-dunk choice of Anthony Davis at #1. If GM Rich Cho can track him down on the golf course or casino, or wherever Michael spends his time these days, the choice will likely come down to unpolished UConn center Andre Drummond or Kentucky small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who may be the next Scottie Pippen. It’s almost a guarantee they’ll make the wrong choice and take Drummond, and that’s why they’re the Bobcats.

Billy King (Couldn’t think of a category name worse than “Loser”, so we’re gonna just name this the Billy King group)

Billy King – Seeing Billy King continue to get high-level jobs in the NBA blows my mind. Are there zero other qualified candidates out there that teams feel the need to recycle proven failures like Billy King? Is it his fault the ping-pong balls didn’t fall the Nets’ way and they didn’t land a top 3 pick? No. Is it his fault they made one of the most indefensible trades in recent NBA history putting them in a position that they needed a top 3 pick? Yes! Including a 1st round pick that was only Top-3 protected in a trade for a soon-to-be-30-year-old free agent Gerald Wallace, when the Blazers were supposedly only asking for a mid-to-late 1st round pick in return is completely and totally asinine. And his logic defending the trade–that they only liked 3 players in this draft so they didn’t mind losing the pick if it was after that–only shows him to be even more incompetent. Newsflash, Billy: Just because you don’t think a pick from #4 on is valuable, doesn’t mean other teams don’t. In fact, just knowing you thought that would make me jump through hoops trying to land a pick after #3 in this draft if I were an opposing GM.

It’s mind-boggling he even got this job with the Nets in the first place after his comical performance running the 76ers. Let’s take a look at some of his greatest hits:

  • Signing Theo Ratliff and Matt Geiger for a combined $108 million in 1999
  • Trading 1st round picks on multiple occasions for: Mirsad Turkcan, Jumaine Jones, and Kenny Thomas (so there is a precedent here for him making indefensible trades of 1st round picks)
  • Signing 35-year-old (but probably older in actuality) Dikembe Mutombo and Aaron McKie for a combined $117 million in 2001
  • Gave Samuel Dalembert and someone named Brian Skinner a combined $85 million
  • Inexplicably traded for a declining and injured Chris Webber in 2005, crippling their salary cap. Less than two years later, Billy King negotiated a $25 million buyout, basically paying Webber NOT to play for his team. Savvy!
  • Traded franchise player Allen Iverson for Andre Miller, Joe Smith, and 2 late 1st round picks that he used to select Daequan cook and Petteri Koponen. Nice!

It appears as though Billy King learned absolutely nothing from his tenure in Philadelphia and is intent on flushing the Nets down the toilet as well. They’re likely to lose Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace is a free agent (don’t think for a second Billy King isn’t about to overpay him big time to justify the trade, though), and they have no other real assets. When asked after the lottery if he would re-do the Wallace trade knowing he would lose his 1st round pick, he stunningly replied, “Absolutely”.

I’d agree with him, if only the question instead was: “Should you be fired?”