One Week Out Jets Draft Thoughts

A few scattered thoughts on the Jets draft plans with round one only one week away…

1. Mike Tannenbaum had his pre-draft press conference today and shockingly said a whole bunch of nothing. He did continue to seemingly randomly rave about backup defensive end Marcus Dixon. To me this sounds like damage control for when the Jets let Shaun Ellis walk or attempt to low-ball him on a contract offer. Dixon looked okay in very limited action last year, yet it would be very foolish to expect him to handle a starting role on the defensive line next season.

2. Tannenbaum and VP of college scouting Joey Clinkscales said the Jets have 8-10 players they are targeting with the 30th pick. One man’s guess at those players — Phil Taylor, Cameron Heyward, Muhammad Wilkerson, Akeem Ayers, Justin Houston, Brooks Reed, Jimmy Smith, Ryan Kerrigan, Stephen Paea, and Corey Liuget

3. The Jets claimed they aren’t concerned about the reports on Phil Taylor having chronic foot problems. We will only know if they are lying if they decide to pass up on him at #30.

4. If the Jets stay put with their six selections, which is unlikely from their history. I would guess they add in no particular order: DL, OLB, WR, S, ILB, CB.

5. With the first round one week out. I am going to guess there is about a 5 percent chance the Jets move up in the first round. Keep in mind, they have only drafted seven players over the past two years and only have six total picks this year. Besides who is going to be there in the 18-22 range that the Jets will be desperate to trade up for?

6. I think it is much more likely the Jets will trade down and look to acquire more picks to improve their defensive depth.

7. If the Jets stay put, I’d say the favorite is either Phil Taylor or Akeem Ayers, with Brooks Reed and Jimmy Smith (if he is on the board) being dark-horses. Also if Muhammad Wilkerson falls to #30, which is doubtful, I think the Jets would pounce on him.

Reviewing Mike Tannenbaum’s Draft Picks

Most New York Jets fans are appropriately big supporters of General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, his aggressive nature has kept off-seasons entertaining and helped shape the Jets into one of the league’s best teams. With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, let’s take a look at every selection Tannenbaum has made since taking over as GM in 2006 —

2006

  • Round 1, Pick 4 – D’Brickashaw Ferguson
  • Round 1, Pick 29 – Nick Mangold
  • Round 2, Pick 49 – Kellen Clemens
  • Round 3, Pick 76 – Anthony Schlegel
  • Round 3, Pick 97 – Eric Smith
  • Round 4, Pick 103 – Brad Smith
  • Round 4, Pick 117 – Leon Washington
  • Round 5, Pick 150 – Jason Pociask
  • Round 6, Pick 189 – Drew Coleman
  • Round 7, Pick 220 – Titus Adams

This was one hell of a draft for Tannenbaum to start his career with. It was a bold move to take two offensive lineman in the first round for a first-time GM, especially deciding to pass on quarterback Matt Leinart, who would have been an extremely popular (but in hindsight an extremely stupid) selection. Ferguson and Mangold have developed into the foundation of the Jets offensive line and are both Pro-Bowl caliber players.

Yes, Kellen Clemens never panned out and the highlight of Anthony Schlegel’s career was muffing an onside kick, but he compensated for it by getting Eric Smith, Brad Smith, Leon Washington, and Drew Coleman in later rounds, who all turned into major contributors on playoff teams.

2007

  • Round 1, Pick 14 – Darrelle Revis
  • Round 2, Pick 47 – David Harris
  • Round 6, Pick 177 – Jacob Bender
  • Round 7, Pick 235 – Chansi Stuckey

Another terrific draft for Tannenbaum who traded up to get Darrelle Revis, who is now the consensus best corner in football and David Harris who is a Pro-Bowl caliber inside linebacker. Bender never amounted to anything but Stuckey turned into a quality player who was an important part of the Braylon Edwards trade.

2008

  • Round 1, Pick 6 – Vernon Gholston
  • Round 1, Pick 30 – Dustin Keller
  • Round 4, Pick 113 – Dwight Lowery
  • Round 5, Pick 162 – Erik Ainge
  • Round 6, Pick 171 – Marcus Henry
  • Round 7, Pick 211 – Nate Garner

Without question Tannenbaum’s worst draft and probably worst overall few days as the Jets GM. Gholston was a complete bust, Ainge had serious drug problems and was suspended multiple times, Henry and Garner never played a regular season snap for the team. Dustin Keller has obviously been an important part of the offense and Lowery has been a serviceable role player but the Gholston pick hurts.

2009

  • Round 1, Pick 5 – Mark Sanchez
  • Round 3, Pick 65 – Shonn Greene
  • Round 6, Pick 193 – Matt Slauson

Two more trade ups that have paid early dividends for the Jets. Say what you want about Mark Sanchez, he certainly has looked the part of the franchise quarterback the Jets drafted him to be by winning four road playoff games in his first two years. Greene was a disappointment in year two but his terrific playoff stretch in his rookie year helped carry the Jets to the AFC Championship Game. Matt Slauson is now the starting left guard and was steady in that role last year.

2010

  • Round 1, Pick 29 – Kyle Wilson
  • Round 2, Pick 61 – Vladimir Ducasse
  • Round 4, Pick 112 – Joe McKnight
  • Round 5, Pick 139 – John Conner

The jury is still very much out on this draft class but the early returns weren’t very good. Wilson struggled heavily his rookie year and barely contributed. Ducasse was beat out by Matt Slauson for the left guard spot and will now compete to be the starting right tackle. McKnight showed up to camp out of shape and didn’t give any meaningful reps all season. Conner showed potential and will be the starting fullback this season.

12 Pack Of Jets Off-Season Thoughts – Edition #9

The 12 pack is back on Friday where it belongs, after a special Thursday edition last week. As always, a friendly reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter. Today, I will be summarizing where I think the Jets stand at each position and what the appropriate moves would be at those positions this off-season. Check back a little later in the day for a mock draft round-up as well.

1. Quarterback – Mark Sanchez took major strides in the right direction in the second year of his career. Despite his inaccuracy and inconsistency, he has the “it” quality all great quarterbacks need to succeed. He plays better when the spot is bigger and has quickly developed into a leader on the team. The Jets plan to bring Mark Brunell back as his primary backup, which is a foolish and shortsighted decision that could kill their 2011 season (if it ever occurs). They should investigate a better, younger veteran option like Bruce Gradkowski, Tyler Thigpen, or Billy Volek.

 2. Running Back – Despite a somewhat disappointing 2010 season, I remain confident that if given the proper amount of carries on a weekly basis, Shonn Greene can be a capable lead back. LaDainian Tomlinson should move into being the primary third down back and occasionally spell Greene. Joe McKnight also needs a shot on offense this year and should be given a few series as the third down back, split out wide occasionally, and have a package of plays to get him involved. John Conner will be the starting fullback, which means Tony Richardson will likely announce his retirement sometime relatively soon.

3. Wide Receiver – The Jets should prioritize getting Santonio Holmes back before Braylon Edwards, which they seem to have. Getting Edwards back would be a nice luxury but it shouldn’t come at the cost of Antonio Cromartie returning to the team. It has now been revealed that Jerricho Cotchery played through last season with a herniated disc in his back, explaining some of his struggles. He can handle the starting role if needed and I think will bounce back with a big year in 2011. It sounds like the Jets are interested in Brad Smith returning, but if the price gets too high they can afford to let him leave. My guess is that it is about 50/50 on seeing him back next year.

4. Tight End – One of the main reasons I think the Jets can handle Braylon Edwards departing is Dustin Keller. He can assume a bigger role in the passing game and provide the size on the outside that Edwards did last year. Matthew Mulligan is poised to become the primary blocking tight end with Ben Hartsock not returning, and should see plenty of playing time. Jeff Cumberland remains an intriguing prospect, who could factor into the Jets plans, especially if Edwards doesn’t return.

5. Offensive Line – Thank god we have Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Brandon Moore. I believe Matt Slauson will continue to develop into a quality starter at guard. The battle for right tackle will be one of the biggest in camp, between Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse. Hopefully, Ducasse can pull it out or it means the Jets wasted a second round pick on him last year.

6. Defensive Line – The Jets need to add two or three players to their defensive line rotation, while getting younger and faster. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito will return as starters and I’d like to see the Jets get Shaun Ellis back on a short term deal so he can finish his career where he started it, and can mentor whomever the Jets draft to replace him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kris Jenkins return at a cheaper price. Marcus Dixon and Ropati Pitoitua will both be given chances to become part of the rotation and both have flashed potential.

7. Linebacker – The Jets need to improve their depth and find a long term replacement for Bryan Thomas, who can rush the passer. I don’t expect Jason Taylor to return to the team. Calvin Pace needs to put together a full 16 game season and reach his double digit sack potential. It would be nice to see more impact plays from both David Harris and Bart Scott, but especially Scott.

8. Secondary – I don’t know if there is a Jets writer out there who is more pro bringing back Antonio Cromartie than me. I am not the number one person in his fan club but in terms of how this team is constructed, he is needed back before Braylon Edwards is. Kyle Wilson gave no indication that he is ready to start and Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery are better suited to be role players. Personally, I don’t think the Jets can swing Nnamdi Asomugha in the free agent market and why go get somebody else besides him when Cromartie is already comfortable in the system? They also need to decide what they are doing at safety opposite Jim Leonhard. The team will likely pick between Brodney Pool and Eric Smith to return, and I’d go with Pool because of his upside. I also wouldn’t object to taking a long look at UCLA’s Rahim Moore with the 30th overall pick.

9. Special Teams – The new kick return rules could arguably limit Brad Smith’s value as a returner and might make somebody like Cromartie or Joe McKnight a better fit. Rex Ryan has said Jim Leonhard won’t return punts anymore and that the job will be split between McKnight and Jerricho Cotchery, which I agree with. Leonhard needs to stay healthy for defense. I expect Nick Folk to remain the Jets kicker in 2011 and for Steve Weatherford to eventually return.

10. Coaching – My guess is that this will be the last year for Brian Schottenheimer before Bill Callahan takes over as the offensive coordinator and Mike Pettine’s last year before he gets a head coaching job, leaving the defensive coordinator position to Dennis Thurman.

11. Front Office – There is no reason not to be confident in Mike Tannenbaum’s ability to navigate through this difficult off-season. However, he needs to get the most out of his six draft picks this year, after the Jets have only walked away with seven players in the past two years, many with question marks still around them.

12. Weekend Video Clips – Sanchise Edition

Turn On The Jets 2010/2011 Report Cards – Darrelle Revis

Today we continue our series of evaluating how each player on the Jets performed this past season, along with looking forward to what their role on the team will be next year…up today, cornerback Darrelle Revis

Stat Line – 32 tackles, 10 passes defensed, 1 prolonged holdout

Playoff Stat Line – 15 tackles, 2 passes defensed

Best Moment – Does a single play jump out in your memory from Darrelle Revis’ 2010 season? It doesn’t in my mind. Honestly, I think we have to go with this…

Best Game – You can go with holding Andre Johnson to four receptions for 32 yards when the Jets played the Texans, holding Calvin Johnson to one reception for 13 yards against Detroit, or his performance against New England in the divisional round when he was all over the field, helping limit the Patriots much hyped passing attack.

Overall Evaluation – The holdout certainly didn’t help things for Revis early in the season, as in the Jets first six games, he missed two and a half and was ineffective in two. Revis was basically back to his 2009 form from that point on, despite not making the amount of big plays he did the previous season. Teams did a better job of avoiding throwing at him down the stretch, which obviously contributed to his zero interception total. I can’t give him higher than a B because of the time missed early in the year and the lack of big plays. He set the bar ridiculously high in 2009. (B)

Future – I think we all remember him negotiating a new contract over the summer, right? Even though he hinted a holdout at a future date wasn’t impossible, I would bank on Revis spending most of the next decade in Green and White.

12 Pack of Jets Off-Season Thoughts – Edition #5

Over the hump – Are you surprised that in the slowest part of the NFL calendar year, Rex Ryan has managed to make two Super Bowl guarantees for the Jets in the past two weeks? I know I’m not. Rex is going to be Rex. The big talk, the confidence, the swagger…all of that isn’t going to stop anytime soon. He was a half away from the Super Bowl in 2009 and a series away from it last season. What is it going to take for the Jets to get over the hump?

It certainly wouldn’t hurt to win the division and get a home playoff game as a start. The Jets are going to need Mark Sanchez to keep improving, the defense to get younger and faster, and certain players on offense like Dustin Keller and Shonn Greene to take their game to the next level. I am scared of this team turning into the Philadelphia Eagles of the AFC. I can’t stomach any more Championship Game losses.

CSI – I have mixed feelings about Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum appearing on CSI: New York. It is nice they performed so well on Hard Knocks that they have made the step to standard cable. However, it was a bad omen when Eric Mangini appeared on a certain popular television show.

Mr. T – Considering this off-season is going to be unlike anything the NFL has seen in awhile, I am glad Mike Tannenbaum is steering the ship on the Jets personnel and salary cap decisions. The guy has always shown an ability to be creative and work around difficult situations. I don’t know when this CBA madness is going to be settled but I know the Jets will be prepared for whatever arises in the coming months.

#81 – An issue that is frequently being ignored when people talk about either Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes leaving or the importance of keeping them both, is how Dustin Keller is more than capable of picking up the production of whomever leaves the team. Don’t forget in the four games last season when Holmes was suspended, Keller had 19 receptions, 254 yards, and 5 touchdowns. This is a major reason I have argued for bringing Antonio Cromartie back before bringing both receivers back.

Rumors – There has been some chatter about both Vernon Gholston and Jason Taylor being released before March 4th. I don’t think any of us expect either back next year, so the sooner the better I suppose. The Jets still need to find a long term replacement for Bryan Thomas and a guy who can provide some type of consistent pass rush.

Better Every Day – As you have been able to see AJ has kicked off our NFL Draft coverage with an in-depth look at a couple of potential prospects for the Jets in the first round. If there are any specific prospects you would like to see covered, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at JCaporoso@gmail.com and we’ll see what we can do. Also another shout out is needed to Randy Yaws for designing our new banner, which is a major improvement over our old one (sorry, Fanball). Finally, I hope you are enjoying the occasional linkage to my work at SB Nation and Gunaxin, which steps outside the world of the Jets and NFL from time to time.

Winning Them Over – A player who wasn’t very popular with fans prior to the 2010 season but who they now seem to be desperately clinging to, is wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Despite his early season DUI, Edwards won the fan base over with his tough and consistent play throughout the entire year. His numbers don’t jump off the page but if you watched every Jets snap this year, you know how well he played. I hope Mike Tannenbaum can work magic and get him back on the team alongside Santonio Holmes.

Defensive Questions – Regardless of what their end of the year numbers were, it felt like the Jets defense took a step back in 2010. We saw what they were capable of against the Colts and Patriots in the playoffs but they need to play at that level more consistently. It is going to be up to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to continue to break their own tendencies and mix up the Jets defensive approach more frequently. Beyond that, Mike Tannenbaum needs to find a couple of players who can contribute immediately to the defense and players like Kyle Wilson need to grow up fast.

Easy Dealings – David Harris signed his franchise tender without any resistance as expected. He never complained about his contract last year and never made an issue of it during the season or in the past few weeks. I hope the Jets do the right thing and eventually give him the long term deal he deserves.

BT – Even though the Jets do need a long term replacement for him and more of a pass rush. Bryan Thomas did put together a pretty good overall year in 2010. He led the team in sacks with 6 and fits well in the scheme. He isn’t a flashy guy but don’t underestimate his value.

Holding My Breath – What is the over/under on number of days until the next scandal involving a Jets player or coach occurs?

Weekend Video Clips – Glad this isn’t our quarterback edition

TOJ Initial Thoughts On NFL Draft

Even though AJ is going to be taking the lead on TOJ’s NFL Draft coverage with his in-depth look at the prospects the Jets could target, that doesn’t mean I won’t be dropping my opinions in from time to time.

I agree with the sentiment that the team needs to focus on finding a defensive end or outside linebacker with their first round selection. This is already being talked up as an extremely deep draft for defensive ends, which should play to the Jets favor since they have to wait all the way to the 30th overall selection. Mike Mayock has stated nine defensive ends could go in the first round, which is an astronomically high number. Let’s see how that number looks after the combine.

There are still a handful of mock drafts which have the Jets taking a wide receiver in the first round based on the assumption of either Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards leaving the team. Even when one of them inevitably leaves, there is no reason for the Jets to target a wide receiver that high. They will be fine with Dustin Keller taking on a bigger role in the passing game and Jerricho Cotchery bumping up into the number two receiver role. The defensive front seven is a much more pressing need.

The Jets have only drafted seven players over the past two years, which is a dangerously low number. They have six selections in this year’s draft (every round but the second) and need to get a minimum of six players, if not a few more. This isn’t a year for the Jets trade up and give up even more picks, this is a year for them to trade down and add more selections. There is always the chance somebody high on their board could slide way down the first round leading to a trade up but I’d still be surprised to see them go in that direction.

In the later rounds, I would like to see the Jets keep adding youth and speed to their defensive front seven. At least two picks should be dedicated to that area of the team. I am sure they will take a defensive back at some point because of Rex Ryan’s influence and because a few will probably leave via free agency. I wouldn’t be surprised if they added a receiver in the later rounds, likely one with some size to help replace Braylon Edwards who will likely leave via free agency. They could also add another offensive lineman, especially if Damien Woody, Robert Turner, or Wayne Hunter don’t return next year.

DT Phil Taylor from Baylor has frequently been linked to the Jets

Revis, Come On Home

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1. The Jets will be on the practice field at 6 PM tonight at Hofstra University and of course Hard Knocks is on at 10 PM tonight.

2. Listen in at this exceptionally long link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/football-reporters/2010/08/26/football-reporters-online-presents-pro-football-nyc — at 8 PM, to hear TOJ talk Mangold, Revis, and every other Jets topic you could possibly imagine.

Revis, Come On Home

I am fully on the bandwagon of Darrelle Revis signing a new contract by the end of the day on Thursday. I don’t care if every Jets beat writer is reporting Revis and the team didn’t meet last night. All I know is I am seeing:

  • The TIm Cowlishaw initial report about Revis signing this week.
  • ESPN 105o’s Bill Daughtry confirming the Cowlishaw report with a separate source.
  • AOL Fanhouse confirming the report with a separate source.
  • The New York Post – Revis is close to signing a 10 year, $150 million dollar deal, with $65 million dollars guaranteed.
  • CBS New York/WFAN – Revis is close to signing the above mentioned deal.
  • Pittsburgh KDKA – Reporting the above mentioned deal.
  • Multiple sources are reporting Revis recorded a television interview last night.
  • A source from OCNN giving me a strong impression that a Revis deal is coming by the end of the week.

PhotobucketWishful thinking? I don’t know but to me, it seems like where there is smoke, there is fire. I am not expecting some type of announcement syncing up with Hard Knocks. However, whether it will be tonight, tomorrow during the day, or some time tomorrow night, Revis will sign a contract somewhat near the parameters being reported by multiple media outlets. The Jets and Revis have reached their breaking point and are going to get him in by the point where he still has a chance to play at his normal level in 2010. If we start getting late into next week or after the fourth pre-season game, Revis isn’t going to be an island, for at least the beginning part of the season. He is either going to get hurt (and he still may get hurt from missing 24 days) or struggle to maintain his high level of play. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but I think Revis is ready to get back to football and the Jets are ready to cough up the money and get their best player in.

Yes, Woody Johnson isn’t commenting on the situation and either are people around the team. They did go into a media silence over the negotiations. They probably didn’t meet last night with Revis’ representatives but that doesn’t mean this offer wasn’t floated out there by one of the two sides recently and the other side saw around this date as the time to give in.

Yes, New TOJ TV – Hard Knocks Edition

Jets Take Care Of Mangold…What About That Revis Guy?

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The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting the Jets have signed All-Pro center Nick Mangold to a seven year, $55 million dollar contract, while the guaranteed money is still being negotiated, it is expected to be over $20 million dollars. Mangold now joins Pro-Bowl left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson as the second member of the Jets “core four” to receive a long term contract from the team.

First off, this is well-deserved for Mangold who chose not to holdout of camp despite his displeasure with his contract. Unlike Darrelle Revis who has three years left on his contract, Mangold was entering the final year of his deal but still showed up to work everyday. The Jets did the right thing by not waiting until after the season and fast tracking the Mangold negotiations. It is getting harder to say the Jets “don’t take care of their own” after the monster deals they have given to Ferguson and Mangold in the past few months. The Jets have been in communication with the representatives of David Harris and both sides have agreed that because of the CBA constraints, they would be better served negotiating a new contract next off-season, when Harris will be the Jets number one priority.

So, what about that Revis guy? Tim Cowlishaw stood by his source and his report about a new deal coming Wednesday on ESPN Radio today. Everybody else who reports football for a living is adamant that nothing is about to occur, so I suppose we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Personally, I can’t fathom a scenario when a deal is not reached before the regular season starts. Is Darrelle Revis going to risk giving up two full years in the prime of his career? You can say, Revis will just wait until the Jets struggle without him (like against the Patriots in their spread formation week 2) and then use his increased leverage to get a new deal. However, what if the Jets don’t struggle? Better yet, does Revis really believe he can just walk on the field in the middle of the regular season, with no training camp, no pre-season, and missed early season games and play at his normal stellar level? If Revis does that, chances are he won’t play up to the standard he set last season and chances are even better he will get hurt. He then will likely have to deal with a lockout in 2011. The guy just arrived as an elite player in the NFL, he wants to suit up in 2010 and wants to give himself a chance to be successful.

PhotobucketDue to this line of thinking, I believe Revis is ready to take what the Jets are offering. Today was the 22nd day of his holdout. He held out 21 days in his rookie season and got through the entire year healthy. It would make sense that he would be comfortable coming back right before the third pre-season game and be confident in his ability to get through the season at a high level. Beyond that, maybe he also just took a look at what his agents have done for Vincent Jackson who was recently put on the roster-exempt list and is probably going to be shipped off to Seattle. Somehow I don’t think Revis is in a rush to leave the New York market and a legitimate Super Bowl contender or is interested in spending a year of his prime watching from a couch when $120 million dollars is out there for him to take.

So, in the words of Rex Ryan “come on home, Revis.”

Gear Up For The Season, Cousin

TV Critic: Hard Knocks Episode #1

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A short and sweet review of episode 1 of Hard Knocks –

1. Overall, I was a little disappointed. Rex Ryan’s speech in the beginning had me ready to jump out of my seat and start fighting all the Giants fans around me (good thing I didn’t, or I wouldn’t be typing this right now). However, after that we spent a little too much time with Kevin Basped, Aaron Kia, Brashton Satele, and Jason Davis. I would’ve liked to see a little more Nick Mangold, Braylon Edwards, and Shonn Greene among others.

2. Kris Jenkins and Bart Scott didn’t disappoint. You have to love Jenkins passion on the field. He was going crazy during that goal-line drill. Scott was entertaining, as expected. I’m glad we got to hear his ribbing of Mark Brunell.

3. It sounds like the groundwork is being laid for John Conner to take Tony Richardson’s job. I would urge the Jets coaching staff to use extreme caution in this “battle.” It would be incredibly foolish to cut Tony Richardson, who is the strongest veteran presence in the huddle, especially with Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca now gone. It is one thing to gradually assimilate Conner into the offense but Richardson still has value on this team and should remain the de facto staring fullback, even if Conner eventually ends up taking more reps.

4. Broadway Joe…always fun to watch, although you certainly got the vibe everybody in the quarterback meeting room was humoring him and yessing him to death on his suggestions.

5. We didn’t see anything in this episode to make you think the Revis negotiations are ending anytime soon.

6. Nice catch Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and even you Mark Sanchez but work on those botched snaps.

7. Cafe Ryan? You knew the big guy would be sneaking pretzels and MMs, but at least he has a sense of humor about it.

8. Where were you? Kyle Wilson, Joe McKnight, Jerricho Cotchery, Jim Leonhard, David Harris and  D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

Next Week – A big helping of Mike Westhoff and Mark Brunell on Old Timer’s Day at Hard Knocks.