New York Jets Defense – Three Layers Of Excellence

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The New York Jets had the NFL’s number one ranked defense last season and there is plenty of reasons to believe they will improve in 2010. Whether it is the increased familiarity the returning players have with Rex Ryan’s system or the influx of talent through trades, free agency, and the NFL draft; the Jets are position to improve their defensive weaknesses from 2009 and become an even more dominant unit.

PhotobucketThe Jets had the number one ranked total defense thanks to their number one ranked passing defense, which blew away the rest of the NFL by allowing 153.7 yards per game. The second place team was over 30 yards behind. There is no reason to think the Jets pass coverage should suffer in 2010, considering they upgraded their second, third and fourth cornerback and replaced the underachieving Kerry Rhodes with Brodney Pool.

Despite having such an exceptional pass defense, the Jets didn’t rack up impressive sack totals in 2009. They finished tied for 18th in the league with 32.0 sacks. This number should improve in 2010 because of the addition of Jason Taylor, who Rex Ryan will use as a pass rush specialist. The return of a healthy Kris Jenkins will also help push the pocket on the quarterback. Finally, the Jets will have their returning sack leader, Calvin Pace, for 16 games instead of the 12 they had him for in 2009.

The Jets had the 8th ranked rushing defense in the NFL in 2010, nothing to be ashamed of but also nowhere near the level of their pass defense. Again the return of Jenkins at nose tackle should lead to improvement and having Pool at safety instead Rhodes, who struggled in run support and tackling in general last season, will help.

PhotobucketThe return of Kris Jenkins at nose tackle gives the Jets a legitimate All-Pro caliber player at all three levels of their defense. Jenkins on the defensive line, David Harris at linebacker, and Darrelle Revis in the secondary. This is a luxury few teams in the NFL currently have and means you need to have exceptional talent on the offensive line, running back, and receiver position to handle all three of these players.

Jenkins is flanked by a collection of blue-collar players who fit well into Ryan’s system. Shaun Ellis is the most well-know of the rest of the bunch and is one of the better 3-4 defensive ends in the league. He has the ability to stop the run and provide a solid pass rush. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito aren’t household names but they did more than an adequate job when Jenkins went down last season and are good run stopping defensive lineman.

PhotobucketHarris is surrounded by two borderline pro-bowl caliber players in Bart Scott and Calvin Pace at linebacker, along with Taylor who is a former All-Pro that should benefit from only having to focus on rushing the passer and from Ryan’s aggressive scheme overall. Bryan Thomas is the lowest profile player in the linebacker group but remains a competent starter who does many of the little things for this defense that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

Revis is now paired with Antonio Cromartie at cornerback, who could have made the claim to being the best corner in the NFL after the 2007 season. I don’t know if Cromartie will ever play at that level again but he will certainly have opportunity to flourish in New York because of how his skill set matches up to the Jets defensive system and because of how many balls will be thrown his way. Rookie first round pick Kyle Wilson will be asked to step into the nickel role, which speaks to the talent in front of him. Former starter/nickel back Dwight Lowery can now slide into the #4 corner/extra safety in certain packages role, which best suits him. The Jets don’t have big names at safety in Jim Leonhard and Brondey Pool, but Leonhard is consistent and won’t give up the big play and Pool will have the chance to shine the way Rhodes was supposed to in 2009. Reserve safeties Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo are also key contributing members to this unit off the bench.

There are questions about the Jets heading into the 2010 season but it is hard to see their defense not being an elite unit in the NFL again. Considering what they did last year and their influx of talent, it would be a legitimate disappointment if they didn’t have the NFL’s number one ranked unit.

What To Watch

Ranking The Jets Defensive Starters

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First a few updates:

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

2. I was surprised how many people on Facebook and Twitter responded to the TOJ Question of the Day “Who do you think will lead the team in receptions this season” with Santonio Holmes. The guy is only playing in 12 games, I doubt he can catch Cotchery or Edwards after their four game head start. I agree Holmes is probably the best overall receiver of the three but in this offense, this season…I will stay with Cotchery having the most receptions.

Ranking The Jets Defensive Starters

Since I ranked the Jets offensive starters on Friday, I had to finish the job by heading over to the other side of the ball.

1. Darrelle Revis – The best corner in football and the number one headline going into training camp because of his contract dispute.

2. David Harris – A top five inside linebacker in the NFL, who deserves a new contract and will hopefully get it soon for staying quiet about an extension similar to D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

3. Kris Jenkins – When Jenkins is healthy, he has the ability to take over football games and be a premier defensive lineman in the NFL. In 2010, he will be benefited from having Sione Pouha able to spell him and keep him fresh the entire season.

4. Antonio Cromartie – On pure talent and potential, I am placing him above Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, who are coming off better seasons. Cromartie has shown the ability to be a top flight corner in the NFL. Hopefully the move to New York will rejuvenate his career.

5. Calvin Pace – There were plenty of questions about the Jets giving Pace a monster contract two years ago but he has given them two very productive seasons. I expect him to have over 10 sacks this season.

6. Bart Scott – The loudest player on the field and an emotional leader on the team. Scott had a very good first season in New York and will look to build on it in 2010.

7. Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet, remains one of the better all-around 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL.

8. Jim Leonhard – Consistent player who knows the ins and outs of Rex Ryan’s defense.

9. Bryan Thomas – His numbers from last year won’t blow anybody away but Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine swear by his value to the defensive unit as an all-around solid player who does all the little things well.

10. Brodney Pool – I am excited to see what this guy can do in Ryan’s defense. Kerry who?

11. Mike DeVito – The UDFA from the University of Maine has come a long way. The Jets like his ability to stop the run.

TOJ TV

How To Spot Bandwagon Jets Fans

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First a few updates (and yes another comment on the comments)

1. A friendly reminder that comments from people who never had a comment go through before the past week are locked in pending. The ones you see going through are from people who had posted before that. Until the Fanball technical crew fixes this, I will transcribe your comments myself under my name but with a POST FROM ___ above, as you can see in our recent articles. Keep the comments coming and keep the conversation going, and for god’s sake follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

How To Spot Bandwagon Jets Fans

Who would have thought the New York Jets…the ugly stepchild of New York football would ever have bandwagon fans? Well it is starting to happen, as the Jets have climbed into relevancy thanks to a run to the AFC Championship Game, a collection of flashy trades/free agent signings/ draft picks, the most entertaining coach in professional sports, and now a spot on HBO’s Hard Knocks. How can you separate these fans who just decided to come along for the party now, without paying their dues of suffering and misery. TOJ has the guide:

PhotobucketThey are wearing either a Brett Favre or LaDainian Tomlinson jersey – First off, if you expected Favre to be on the Jets for more than one year, you were out of your mind and wasted your money on a jersey. Second, anybody wearing the Favre jersey likely hopped on in 2008 because “I’ve always loved Favre man” or because they thought he would carry the Jets to a Super Bowl…guess again, he flamed out in December. This is the Jets we are talking about and again this is Brett Favre we are talking about, who has now made a career of melting down in big spots. Tomlinson jerseys? Really? You really think he is going to be on the team for more than 1 season? A smarter investment would have been any other of the Jets new acquisitions or maybe their starting running back who is entering his second season in the NFL. Hey, at least you didn’t get a tattoo of “LT” on your calf or anything.

– They think Mark Sanchez is awesome – Look, I am as excited about Sanchez’s potential as the next fan and loved the way he played in the playoffs but you can’t be walking around going “bro, Sanchez is awesome.” I am sorry but if you watched the Jets last year, you know Sanchez threw 8 more interceptions than TDs and still has to prove himself as a franchise quarterback or anything near “awesome.” If you are talking about the caliber of women Sanchez dates…then yes he is “awesome.”

They don’t know who Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, or Brandon Moore are – If you start talking about any of these guys and a “Jets fan” tells you they don’t know who you are talking about, then you have spotted one. Or, if you are watching a game and one of the three does something or gets mentioned, and you get a “who the hell is that, anyway?” you found one. Sione Pouha started every game after week 6 last season and was terrific at nose tackle. Mike DeVito is going to be a starter this year and played a ton last season. Brandon Moore is one of the best guards in the NFL. He was better than Alan Faneca last season.

They cheer against the Jets on a particular play because somebody on their fantasy roster made a big play – Sorry guy, I don’t care how much you paid to get into your fantasy league, you don’t cheer when Maurice Jones-Drew rumbles in for a touchdown against the Jets defense. You don’t cheer when anybody scores or makes a big play against the Jets defense. You don’t cheer when Sanchez throws an interception. You don’t cheer when Nick Folk shanks a 28 yard field goal because the kid you are playing is starting him at kicker.

They agree with anything Mike Francesa or Mike Florio says about the Jets – Two chronic Jets haters who always go out of their way to find a negative angle about the team and take a shot at Rex Ryan (Francesa) or Mike Tannenbaum (Florio). Francesa is just bitter and likes to bother people because it is entertaining radio and I think Florio was beaten up for his lunch money by Jets fans when he was a kid.

They don’t think Jerricho Cotchery is a good receiver – If you have actually watched every Jets game since 2006, you would never say something like “thank god, they got Holmes, Cotchery can’t handle being a starting receiver.” Actually, yes he can and he was handling being a number one receiver just fine before the Braylon trade last year. I admit he is a better fit as a #2 but anybody who thinks he isn’t a more than capable starter just hasn’t watched him play.

They own a Giants jersey – Should I have to say anything? You can get jerseys from other teams, if you were younger and just wanted to get all the best players at the position you played but those other teams can’t include the Giants, Dolphins, Patriots, or Bills. I remember back in 8th grade, I had a sweet Issac Bruce Rams jersey because I was a monster on those recreation football fields at receiver. Of course, I also had a Chrebet and Keyshawn Johnson jersey but there was nothing wrong with wearing the ‘Ike back in the day. However, once you are over 16 you should be committing money to only your favorite team. I remember my one friend had a Kevin Johnson Browns jersey in high school. Yes, it was cool and rare at the time but where is that jersey now?

TOJ TV

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

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First a few updates:

1. The sun is shining a little brighter today because America’s favorite touch football team had a nice second round upset victory in their march to a title yesterday. Next stop is the AFC Championship Game and we won’t be repeating the Jets performance in that particular game this year.

2. I am not a big soccer guy, but when I sat down to eat breakfast this morning and saw Portugal put a 7-0 whooping on North Korea, it caught my attention. If there is one place you don’t want to be heading back to after losing by 7 goals in soccer, it is North Korea.

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

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

We basically know who the Jets starting eleven will on be on defense this season:

  • DE – Mike DeVito
  • DT – Kris Jenkins
  • DE – Shaun Ellis
  • OLB – Calvin Pace
  • ILB – David Harris
  • ILB – Bart Scott
  • OLB – Bryan Thomas
  • CB – Darrelle Revis
  • CB – Antonio Cromartie
  • S – Brodney Pool
  • S – Jim Leonhard

However, there is going to be major roles for players not listed above. After watching all that basketball over the past two months, you can’t count out the value of a solid bench. Rex Ryan loves to throw different personnel groups out there and bring in a variety of players. Here is a look at who the key players off the Jets bench should be on defense this season:

Secondary

Nickel Back – Kyle Wilson: Wilson was handed the starting nickel job on the day he was drafted. He will see plenty of action in the slot and I am guessing will quickly become one of Ryan’s favorite guys to blitz off the edge. The amount of reps Wilson plays will obviously be bumped up when the Jets play teams who like to spread it out (New England, Green Bay, Houston) but I am sure he will still be worked heavily into the game plan, even against offenses who are more run orientated.

Fourth Corner – Dwight Lowery: As a fourth guy, Lowery is a very good option. He has starting experience over the past two years. While he lacks the physical skills to be an every down starter, he has good ball anticipation skills and a knack for creating turnovers. Lowery is the type of guy who will likely see a bunch of reps in certain game plans and then be used less frequently against run heavy offenses. However, he does still have very good value as a depth player and special teams option.

Fifth Corner – Drew Coleman/Marquice Cole: I expect both of these guy to make the roster again, but only of them will probably be active on a weekly basis. Coleman has a ton of speed but has a knack for getting burnt whenever the ball is thrown at him. Cole looked pretty good last pre-season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leap over Coleman on the depth chart this season.

PhotobucketSafety – Eric Smith: A versatile player who became a key contributor off the bench last season. He has the ability to play both safety positions, be used in coverage on tight ends or running backs out of the backfield, and be used frequently as a blitzer off the edge. There will be some weeks where he plays near a starter’s amount of reps and some weeks where he won’t be as big as a factor. However, he is a core special teams player and a very good depth guy to have in the secondary.

Safety – James Ihedigbo: As the season went on last year, Ihedigbo gradually received a bigger role on the defense. He is a good blitzer off the edge and had a couple of sacks last season and a forced fumble. In the AFC Championship Game, he played a ton of reps for Bart Scott in the dime package. Similar to all the bench players, his number of reps will be game plan specific but I think overall you will seeing a decent amount of Ihedigbo.

Linebacker

Outside Linebacker – Jason Taylor: Taylor was brought in to provide energy to the Jets pass rush. Rex Ryan will be lining him up all over the place to get him the cleanest rush possible to the quarterback. Expect to see a ton of Taylor on third downs and when teams are in two minute mode against the Jets. He should also get some reps at defensive end in certain packages.

Outside/Inside Linebacker – Jamaal Westerman: Westerman had a nice sack in week one last year but was relatively quiet on defense after that. The coaches love his long term potential and versatility. He should find his way on to the field in a few different packages this season at both the inside and outside spot.

Inside Linebacker – Kenwin Cummings: The coaching staff has been raving about him this off-season but unless there is an injury, he shouldn’t see any type of substantial time on the defense. I could see him coming in a goal-line look when the Jets load up on defensive lineman and  linebackers or maybe if Bart Scott or David Harris need a quick break.

Defensive Line

PhotobucketDefensive Tackle/End – Sione Pouha: The Jets top defensive lineman off the bench, who will be a key player in the effort to keep Kris Jenkins fresh and healthy. Ryan could also experiment with some looks that have both Jenkins and Pouha on the field at the same time.

Defensive End – Vernon Gholston – It would be nice to get ten productive reps out of Gholston a game, to spell Shaun Ellis and Mike DeVito and to provide a boost to the pass rush.

Defensive End – Ropati Pitoitua – Similar to Gholston, it would be nice to see him contribute ten or so reps off the bench to improve the Jets defensive line depth.

Defensive Tackle/End – Matt Kroul – The coaches have hyped him up this off-season, let’s see if can turn into  Mike DeVito part two.

Overall, I would say Wilson and Pouha will get the most total reps off the bench with Taylor and Smith not too far behind. Yet, for the Jets defense to remain at the top of the league they will need all the guys listed above to settle into their roles as productive players. The Jets depth is key to throwing different schemes and personnel groups at offenses, along with keeping their starters fresh.

TOJ TV

A Closer Look At The Jets Defensive Line

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First a few updates:

1. I have to say I am feeling pretty good about the Lakers taking game 7 tonight.  The Celtics are going to have a tough time getting over the Perkins injury and the Lakers obviously have the advantage of playing at home. It will be a tight game but in the end, I think the Lakers will escape with the title.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…live NBA Finals commentary starting at 9 PM tonight.

3. The Jets are now on break until July 29th when the rookies report for training camp. The veterans report on August 1st. Hard Knocks starts on August 11th. This means there were will a downturn in the amounts of coverage they receive from the beat writers, unless there is an article on somebody’s contract negotiations or it is Manish Mehta, who is beat writing beast these days. However, TOJ will be in full swing the next six weeks, with the normal amount of articles and coverage. We are in the process of getting a press pass for training camp and pre-season and working on a few more interviews.

A Closer Look At The Jets Defensive Line

The general consensus for the weakest spot on an otherwise loaded Jets roster is the defensive line position. Outside of Kris Jenkins returning from injury and Vernon Gholston moving to defensive end from outside linebacker, the Jets haven’t made any major additions to the group from last year. They also let defensive end Marques Douglas walk, who was a productive starter for them last season. Here is a look at what the Jets will more than likely head into the 2010 season with:

The Starters

Defensive End – Shaun Ellis – Despite getting up there in age, Ellis had a good overall season in 2009. He finished with 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks, which is a solid number for a 3-4 defensive end. He is the longest-tenured player on the team and a valuable leader in the locker room. His primary value on the field comes from his ability to play both the run and the pass at a relatively high level. The Jets do need a long term replacement for him and this might very well be his last season in green and white. However, Ellis should be fine this year in a starting role and post numbers similar to the ones he did in 2009, when he only played in 15 games because of a suspension.

PhotobucketDefensive End – Mike DeVito – A guy who has worked his way up from a UDFA, to a reserve, to a rotational player, and now to a starter. DeVito had his best season in 2009 with 28 tackles and 1 TFL. He has a reputation for being one of the strongest players on the team and Rex Ryan likes his ability to stop the run. The Jets apparently believe DeVito can give them what Douglas gave them last season (64 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 TFLs) if he is given a full time starting role. It remains to be seen if that is the case, but at worst DeVito should be a steady player against the run.

Nose Tackle – Kris Jenkins – Jenkins was a dominant pro-bowl player in 2008 but had his 2009 season cut short by a torn ACL in week 6. He has worked his way back to participate in minicamp the past three days, but the Jets will be very cautious with his reps this season to get the most out of him. He ran out of steam towards the end of 2008 and the team needs him fresh for the stretch run and the playoffs. Jenkins obviously has the ability to be one of the best defensive lineman in the league when healthy and properly rested. Hopefully, the Jets will get the Jenkins from the first 12 games of 2008 for an entire season in 2010. If they do, the defensive line won’t be considered a weakness.

The Backups

Nose Tackle – Sione Pouha –Pouha had a terrific season last year filling in for Kris Jenkins after his injury. He finished with 45 tackles and 3 TFLs and was stout against the run. The Jets will rely on him to spell Jenkins frequently this season to help keep him fresh. Don’t be surprised if the Jets also use looks on defense that have Pouha and Jenkins on the field at the same time, with one of them sliding to defensive end. Pouha is the team’s top backup and should see near a starter’s amount of reps off the bench.

Defensive End – Vernon Gholston – The first round bust at outside linebacker has now been moved to defensive end. Gholston has the strength and size to be a productive end in the 3-4 system, but it remains to be seen whether he can successfully make the transition. The Jets would likely be satisfied if he became an adequate rotational player, who does a good job against the run and can provide some energy to the pass rush…not exactly what you want to be hoping for from the #6 overall player in the draft, but it is better than nothing.

Defensive End – Ropati Pitoitua – A guy with ridiculous size (6 foot 8, 310 pounds) who worked his way into the rotation for a couple of games last season. The Jets are hoping he can develop into a reliable player off the bench, similar to how DeVito did last year. It would be a nice boost to the Jets depth if Pitoitua can give them more than 3 tackles this season.

Defensive End/Defensive Tackle – Matt Kroul – Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has raved about Kroul this off-season and basically made it sound like he was a guaranteed roster player. Kroul is a UDFA heading into his second year, who spent his first season on the practice squad. It sounds like he will be given every chance to be a rotational player this season.

Defensive End – Rodrique Wright – The Jets added Wright this off-season who was a seventh round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2006. Wright spent most of his time there inactive or injured, but did actually see action in the team’s playoff game against the Ravens a few years ago. He will be battling for a roster spot with Kroul and Pitoitua.

 Collection of Non-Football Jets D-Line Highlights

April Fools Joke

Don’t Ever Throw Snow At Shaun Ellis

Don’t Ever Taunt Kris Jenkins

The Not So Big Name Jets Starters

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First a few updates:

1. Jason Taylor practiced with the team today and was wearing #95. I guess he hasn’t been able to pay off Bryan Thomas yet for a number switch to #99 or Thomas has decided to hang on to his number.

2. The Jets will have the day off tomorrow and then be back at practice on Thursday with full media availability. They will have the same schedule next week.

3. How about those Yankees last night?

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

The Not So Big Name Jets Starters

When most people think about the New York Jets in 2010, they will refer to their number one ranked rushing attack and number one ranked defense. They have some big name lineman in Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Damien Woody. Any NFL fan who watched the playoffs should know all about Shonn Greene. Despite not having a big time passing attack, Mark Sanchez, Braylon Edwards, and Dustin Keller are well known names. On defense, Darrelle Revis, Bart Scott, David Harris are the big names associated with the Jets, along with Kris Jenkins. Calvin Pace got a big contract and Shaun Ellis is a respected veteran. The Jets also added some big name backups this off-season in Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson. Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie are also big name players who were added. However, lesser known starters on the Jets will be a major factor in determining whether or not the team can reach their goal of a Super Bowl this season. When looking at all the big names on the Jets roster, don’t forget about these players who will be running out of the tunnel as starters this season.

Brandon Moore – Moore quietly has been a very good player on the Jets offensive line at the right guard position. He has started 94 games for the team since 2004. After nearly letting him walk, the Jets smartly signed him to an extension before last season. Even though Alan Faneca made the Pro Bowl last year, it is arguable that Brandon Moore had a better year in 2009. He turns 30 this year and will hopefully be able to give the Jets 4-6 more seasons of his consistent play.

PhotobucketBryan ThomasThomas has put together an up and down career with the Jets since being a first round draft pick 9 years ago. He had a breakout season in 2006 with 8.5 sacks but hasn’t approached those numbers since. In year one of Rex Ryan’s defense, Thomas started 16 games and had 53 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. However, he is constantly cited by defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for doing the little things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. Thomas is a versatile player who does a good job on run contain, coverage, and can occasionally get after the quarterback. He will lose some reps to Jason Taylor this year but is still the starter at outside linebacker and a big part of the defense.

Mike DeVito – The Jets are confident in DeVito’s ability to fill in for Marques Douglas at defensive end after he put together a strong year off the bench in 2009. DeVito won’t put up gaudy numbers but seems to have a good grasp on what Rex Ryan wants out of his ends and does a good job in the running game.

Brodney Pool – The Jets are talking up Pool as a big off-season acquisition that is being overlooked by everybody. It is worth pointing out that Pool did have more sacks and interceptions than Kerry Rhodes in six less games last season. The real question about Pool is whether he can stay healthy or not. He has a history of concussions and if he gets another one, that could be it for him. However, it looks like he will get the first crack at replacing Rhodes alongside Jim Leonhard.

April’s Fools Joke on The Jets D-Line

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Defense

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First a few updates:

1. Mark Sanchez threw some passes during the Jets OTA practice today, which is obviously good news. The entire roster participated outside of Kris Jenkins and Jason Taylor. Jenkins was continuing to rehab his injury on the sideline and Taylor was finishing up charity work in Miami. There is a ton of pictures of today’s action on www.newyorkjets.com, including shots of Santonio and LaDainian in the green and white.

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

Ten Monday Thoughts On The Jets Defense

1. It will be very interesting to see how the reps are divided up in the Jets defensive backfield this season. Rex Ryan loves using packages that are overloaded with DBs but beyond Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, and Jim Leonhard, who else will be prominently featured in the Jets various sub, nickel, and dime packages? Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, Dwight Lowery, James Ihedigbo, and to a lesser extent Drew Coleman, Marquice Cole, and Donovan Warren will all be competing for a bigger role on the defense.

2. Most people are targeting Jason Taylor as the guy on the Jets who could come up with double digit sacks. Yet keep in mind, Calvin Pace had 8 sacks in only 12 games last season. How about the Jets get two guys in the double digit sack range?

3. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has been talking about second year player Matt Kroul as a key piece of the Jets defensive line rotation this season. Players like Kroul and Ropait Pitoitua need to step up to give the Jets the necessary depth on the line and take pressure off Kris Jenkins up front, who will also have his reps limited by the presence of Sione Pouha.

Photobucket4. I know we are all excited about Kyle Wilson’s coverage skills but don’t sleep on his value as a blitzer in Rex Ryan’s defense. He loves sending defensive backs off the edge and Wilson is athletic and physical enough to get 3 or 4 sacks this season to complement his coverage skills.

5. Nobody is a bigger fan of Darrelle Revis than Turn On The Jets but 20 million dollars a year? The guy is the best corner in football but he wants to be the highest paid player in the league, which is hard to swing if you aren’t a quarterback. These negotiations aren’t going to be pretty.

6. What is the reason we can’t resign Marques Douglas? We can’t give him a one year deal to boost the depth on the defensive line? Maybe I am underestimating Mike DeVito, who for some reason is my cousin’s favorite player on the defense.

7. What are the odds that Vernon Gholston is even active for more than half of the Jets games in 2010? I just can’t see him making a successful transition to defensive end, especially in the 3-4. He isn’t going to play special teams over Lance Laury or Jamaal Westerman.

8. Unlike last year when the Jets defense dominated the offense throughout training camp, it should be a little more even this season. How about watching Revis, Cromartie, and Wilson battle against Edwards, Cotchery, and Holmes on a daily basis? That kind of competition is going to make everybody better…and yes, Dwight Lowery and David Clowney could make each other better also.

9. I want some more defensive touchdowns this season…I am looking at you Antonio Cromartie…and Revis, you really can’t get any better than you were last season but if you want 20 million dollars, let’s take a couple back to the house this year.

10. What defensive player jersey are you looking to buy this season? I got Revis but beyond that I am swamped with offensive jerseys…Harris? Wilson? Leonhard? Drew Coleman?

Devil's Advocate: Why The Jets Won't Be Good This Year

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First a few updates:

1. You know I love updates but I have to cut them somewhat short today because I have to figure out how to get TOJ The Podcast up and running this week and do some filming for TOJ TV. Don’t forget the Jets DVD Contest…E-Mail me 5 new fans you got to become fans of the Facebook Page and you will have a chance to win a free copy of “New York Jets Best Games of 2009.”

2. It is a real shame Brian Cushing will remain Defensive Rookie of the Year…I am not sure what kind of message it sends to give him the award again after it has been proven that he cheated.

3. How entertaining is tomorrow night’s Cavs/Celtics game going to be? The entire fate of the NBA for the next 10 years could be on the line. How will LeBron respond to all the criticism he is receiving? If you aren’t tuning in tomorrow…you aren’t a sports fan.

Photobucket4. Thoughts On Lost Season 6, Episode 15 “Across the Sea” – You will be hard pressed to find a bigger defender of LOST than me. I think the show is terrific and the writers take too much crap from fans, who have ridiculous expectations. Season six has been very good and even great at times, but last night’s episode was a swing and miss. I have only watched it once and maybe on a re-watch, I will appreciate it more. Look I understand, you can’t have something tangible as being the reason the Island is special, so I don’t have a problem leaving it as this ambiguous entity, but the imagery of that yellow cave was lame. The kid actors were crappy and I didn’t like the whole “drink this wine and now you are the protector of the island” scene. However, I expect more details on “rules” of the island and what actually happened when the MIB was thrown into the cave to be fleshed out in the final 2 episodes. In terms of theories, I do believe the original woman on the Island was the smoke monster herself and had orchestrated a long plan to get herself a replacement as both the island protector and as the smoke monster. Regardless, I am looking forward to getting back to the main characters this week.

5. So much for having short updates today.

Devil’s Advocate: Why The Jets Won’t Be Good This Year

For the first time since 1999, I genuinely 100 percent believe the Jets are one of the five best teams in the NFL heading into a season. I don’t think my fandom is clouding my vision when I say I expect the Jets to win 11 or 12 games and be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Yet, as we see every year in the NFL expectations aren’t always met and teams frequently come out of nowhere to make the playoffs and occasionally win the  Super Bowl. Despite the optimism I share with many fans for 2010, thee are two sides to every argument. So, let me play a little devil’s advocate to myself and feelings on the 2010 Jets, by looking at why the Jets won’t be good this season and by not good, I mean 8-8 or less.

Let’s start on offense where the Jets could have problems at three crucial positions: quarterback, running back, and left guard. Mark Sanchez was Jekyll and Hyde last year, what if he comes back in 2010 with a bunch of Buffalo/Atlanta/At New England performances? He missed time this off-season rehabbing from injury and still has a long way to go from his 12 touchdowns/2o interceptions performance in 2009. Defenses will scout out what the Jets did to protect Sanchez down the stretch last year and how they played to his strengths in the playoffs, and come up with new ways to confuse him. Sanchez may become a franchise quarterback one day but there is a really good chance he isn’t ready to be consistent enough to lead a team past Tom Brady for a divisional title. Beyond that, Sanchez hasn’t shown he knows how to avoid taking a hit when scrambling and he is coming off surgery. If he gets hurt, who is stepping in? Kellen Clemens? Erik Ainge? Mark Brunell? I’d feel okay about Brunell if he was throwing to Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith but this isn’t ten years ago.

At running back, there is no proof Shonn Greene can handle being a number one back for an entire season. Despite not receiving substantial playing time until the stretch run last year, he dealt with multiple injuries and on top of that had a fumbling issue. It is a big step to go from 108 carries to being asked to carry the ball 20 times each week from September to January. If Greene struggles or gets hurt, LaDainian Tomlinson is past his prime as a #1 back and Joe McKnight is a rookie fourth round  pick who can’t get through a practice in shorts and a t-shirt without throwing up.

PhotobucketAt left guard, the Jets are expecting either last year’s sixth round pick, Matt Slauson, who received no real experience last season or a rookie from a I-AA school, Vladimir Ducasse, to fill in for Alan Faneca. There are inevitably going to be bumps in the road for whomever wins the starting job and problems at one spot on the line can trickle down to the rest of the unit.

On defense, the Jets are very thin at the defensive end position. They are starting a backup caliber player in Mike DeVito opposite Shaun Ellis, who is getting up there in age. They will be relying on Jason Taylor to be their top pass rusher and there are also concerns about his age, along with whether his heart is really in New York. Brodney Pool is being relied on at safety but can he stay healthy? Antonio Cromartie also has to prove that he can be the player he was in 2007 and not the lazy disappointment he was last year.

What about on special teams, where the Jets have replaced Jay Feely with Nick Folk who was awful last season on Dallas. The Jets are a team built to play close football games but don’t have a reliable kicker. Their coverage teams were poor enough last year and they lost their top special teams player in Wallace Wright. They are also breaking in a new long snapper, which could be problematic in a big spot.

Overall, the Jets were only a 9-7 team last year who happened to get hot at the right time, along with some assistance from teams resting starters. Whenever there is high expectations for the Jets, they struggle to live up to the hype. There is a ton of attention around the team, more than ever in the team’s history, will they be able to handle it? Could it be possible I was naive in overlooking potential chemistry concerns?

I need to go wash my hands.

Nah, I think we’ll be alright next year

Who Needs To Step Up On Jets Defense

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Who Needs To Step Up On Jets Defense

Two a days…quick hitting defensive article

Mike DeVito – The Jets really seem to be confident that DeVito can handle being a full time starter. Don’t get me wrong he did a good job in a bigger role off the bench last year, but he still only had 28 tackles, 1 TFL, and 0 sacks. Defensive ends aren’t asked to be major playmakers in Rex Ryan’s defense but can DeVito produce the 64 tackles, 4 TFLs, and 1.5 sacks Marques Douglas did last season?

Ropati Pitoitua – With DeVito moving into Douglas old role, now Pitoitua will move into DeVito’s old role…unless Vernon Gholston becomes a revelation at defensive end (not likely). We have heard about this guy’s potential for a couple of years now, but let’s see if he can become a consistent player off the bench. The Jets need depth at this position and they are looking to a young guy like Pitoitua to step up.

PhotobucketBrodney Pool – The Jets organization apparently is very high on Pool and believes he will be a more than adequate replacement for Kerry Rhodes. There is no doubt Pool is a talented guy but he needs to prove he can stay healthy and be steady in pass coverage, which has been a knock on him previously. I like Eric Smith as a role player so hopefully he won’t be forced into a full time starting role.

Jason Taylor – The Jets brought him in to rush the quarterback but can he answer the call at his age to be a double digit sack guy? I am sure Rex Ryan will come up with some creative ways to get him after the quarterback, yet you still have to worry whether Taylor has anything left in the tank and whether or not his heart is really in New York. I want 10 sacks, Jason and then maybe you can move up to being my 750th favorite NFL player.

Antonio Cromartie – Please don’t be Lito Sheppard. If Cromartie can regain his 2007 form, you will have a better chance of seeing a Bills/Bucs Super Bowl than throwing on the Jets in 2010. If Cromartie struggles early in the season or shows he hasn’t learned how to tackle yet, Kyle Wilson will be  instantly pushing for his starting job.

Kerry, Who?

Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…because I can’t be typing about all the Jets related links you should be reading here.

2. Turn On The Jets has climbed to #2 when you google “Jets Blog”…now you may be asking, who the hell ever googles “Jets Blog?” and it is a good question but  I am pumped about it anyway. Wait until I finally get that press pass this summer, get the podcast up and running, and redesign the site.

3. Darren Sharper re-signed with the Saints. I never thought he would end up with the Jets anyway, the organization seems to be high on Brodney Pool and if he doesn’t work out Eric Smith is a reliable back-up.

4. There is still plenty of chatter about Laveranues Coles joining the Jets but again I don’t see it happening unless it gets to July 22nd and Coles hasn’t found a team yet. I can’t see him accepting being a number four receiver for 12 weeks of the season, which he would be after Santonio Holmes returns from injury. On the other hand, I wold bet on Mark Brunell joining the Jets after July 22nd and Adalius Thomas also joining the team some time in June (he was cut and isn’t a UFA so the Jets could sign him whenever).

5. Philadelphia…the only place where a father tells his 17 year old son to run on the field during a MLB game and then watches as his son proceeds to be tazed by the cops and thrown in jail.

6. What the hell was that last night Cleveland? I run my mouth on twitter talking you guys up over Boston and you lay an egg like that?

Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart

PhotobucketBy this point we have a general idea of who the starters for the Jets will be on both sides of the ball and who many of the key reserves coming off the bench will be. However, there are still some spots that remain up for grabs on the Jets final 53 man roster. Let’s take a look through at current situation on the Jets depth chart heading into May’s full squad OTAs, continuing today with the defense. After looking at the offense yesterday, it is fair assume the Jets will keep 26 players on this side of the ball and maybe add another when Santonio Holmes returns from suspension and the Jets release a receiver:

Defensive Tackle

  1. Kris Jenkins – The big fella is returning from a season ending injury and looking to regain his form from early in the 2008 season.
  2. Sione Pouha – Did a great job stepping in for Jenkins last year. He will play a ton to keep Jenkins fresh for the stretch run.
  3. Matt Kroul – Coaching staff is apparently very high on him, should push for a roster spot.
  4. Ty Steinkuhler – Outside chance of pushing for a roster spot.

Defensive End

  1. Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet and a solid veteran player.
  2. Mike DeVito – Could be pushing it by asking him to be a full time starter.
  3. Vernon Gholston – Should be cut…but won’t be until after this season.
  4. Ropati Pitoitua – Is expected to be a big part of the defensive line rotation this year.

Potential Additions – Marques Douglas – This could be more of wishful thinking on my part but if there is an injury or the defensive ends struggle in camp, don’t be surprised to see the Jets bring Douglas back.

Analysis – Jenkins, Ellis, DeVito, Pouha, and Gholston are all locks to make the roster. I would be shocked if Pitoitua doesn’t end up on the final 53 either because the Jets like his potential. Kroul will likely be the 7th and final guy they carry unless somebody else steps up in camp.

Inside Linebacker

  1. David Harris – All-Pro caliber linebacker.
  2. Bart Scott – Emotional leader of the defense.
  3. Jamaal Westerman – Showed potential last year, could have bigger role in sub packages this season.
  4. Lance Laury – Special teams ace brought in to replace Larry Izzo.
  5. Kenwin Cummings – Talented guy from small school, who stuck around the team the past couple of years.
  6. Brashton Satele – Made good impression in minicamp.

Outside Linebacker

  1. Calvin Pace – Very good all around player, who the Jets get for all 16 games this year instead of 12.
  2. Bryan Thomas – Not flashy but does his job well.
  3. Jason Taylor – Brought in to sack the quarterback and make Jets fans nauseous.
  4. Corey Reamer – Made a strong impression in minicamp.
  5. Kevin Basped – Also made a strong impression in minicamp.

Potential Additions – Adalius Thomas – A Rex Ryan favorite who has the versatility to line up all over the place in his defense. The Jets will likely wait a few weeks before making a move to sign him.

Analysis – Harris, Scott, Pace, Thomas, Taylor are all locks for the final roster. Westerman and Laury are overwhelmingly likely to make it because of their special abilities and in Westerman’s case, his long term potential. My guess is the Jets will carry 8 linebackers, with the eighth either being Adalius Thomas or one of the UDFAs like Reamer or Basped.

Corner

  1. Darrelle Revis – The Island is the best in the business.
  2. Antonio Cromartie – Playing for a long term contract and to show he can still be an all-pro player.
  3. Kyle Wilson – He was a steal at #29 and should flourish in this defense.
  4. Dwight Lowery – I feel a hell of alot better with him as our #4 corner instead of our #2.
  5. Drew Coleman – Hanging by a thread.
  6. Marquice Cole – Played well last pre-season, could easily jump Coleman on the depth chart and maybe even Lowery.
  7. Brian Jackson – UDFA who played well in minicamp.

Safety

  1. Jim Leonhard – Comfortable in Rex’s system…steady player.
  2. Brodney Pool – Let’s hope he can stay healthy.
  3. Eric Smith – Versatile player, who did a good job last season off the bench.
  4. James Ihedigbo – Good on blitzes and special teams.
  5. Donovan Warren – Could turn out to be a huge steal as a UDFA.

Analysis – My guess today is that everybody I just listed sticks on the final roster, except either Drew Coleman or Brian Jackson. Rex loves DB’s and don’t be shocked to see him carry 11.

PhotobucketOverall AnalysisThe way I see it now is the Jets will carry 7 defensive lineman, 8 linebackers, and 11 secondary guys. They could add another defensive lineman or linebacker after the Holmes suspension ends and the Jets release a receiver. Don’t be shocked to see Adalius Thomas be one of the linebackers on the final roster. Also, keep an eye on Donovan Warren as somebody who could sneak up the depth chart.

Kris Jenkins Is A Beast