How The Jets Can Get The Most Out Of Their Offense

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It is hard to spend too much time complaining about the Jets offense through their first six games. They have made tremendous strides since last season, starting with quarterback Mark Sanchez who finally appears to understand the value of the football and isn’t giving it away at every chance possible. Braylon Edwards is playing to his potential. LaDainian Tomlinson has found the fountain of youth and has been a revelation. Dustin Keller is playing like the Pro-Bowl tight end the Jets drafted him to be.

Yet, this doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

The Jets have no shortage of weapons and skill position players who play meaningful reps on their offense. Consider they have Tomlinson and Shonn Greene splitting reps at halfback, Tony Richardson and John Conner splitting reps at fullback. Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Jerricho Cotchery, three wide receivers who have all been number one guys at some point in their careers. Keller at tight end, with Ben Hartsock, Matthew Mulligan, and Wayne Hunter all involved as blocking tight ends. Beyond that, they have Brad Smith playing receiver and quarterback.

It isn’t an easy task for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to mix and match up personnel groups and come up with ways to get the most out of this collection of players. We have all seen his inconsistencies and struggles attempting to do this. Coming out of the bye week, the Jets can do a better job with their division of reps, more clearly dividing roles in their offense, while still not becoming too predictable and tipping off their tendencies.

Nobody is a bigger fan of Jerricho Cotchery than me, he is a gritty player who has a terrific understanding of how to run routes and great hands. However in this offense, he would be most effective as primarily the number three receiver/slot guy. Cotchery can give this offense what they need from him in 25 – 35 reps a game. He can be a big time weapon for the Jets on third downs and in the slot, matched up on team’s third or fourth best corners.

Santonio Holmes needs to be on the field more than the 25 – 35 reps he has been. Simply put, he is a more dynamic overall receiver than Cotchery and puts more pressure on the defense opposite Braylon Edwards. He can make a defense pay more for leaving him in single coverage and should be the guy getting the quick receiver screens instead of Cotchery. Holmes can force defenses to roll coverage over to him, which will open up things for Edwards who has been on top of his game this season.

At running back, the Jets need to mix up their tendencies more often. You can’t just bring in Shonn Greene when you want to run the football. He has to be out there occasionally on passing downs and be involved in the screen game. A better mix between Tomlinson and Greene will open up more running lanes for both of them. On top of that, the Jets must start getting Greene more overall touches particularly over the next five games. Tomlinson needs to be fresh for the final five games of the regular season heading into the playoffs, most notably against New England, Miami, and Pittsburgh.

Tomlinson has 43 touches over the past two weeks compared to Greene only having 19 touches, which isn’t a good enough division by Schottenheimer. The Jets can’t risk running Tomlinson into the ground and with the way Greene has been running the past few weeks, he has shown he is more than capable of taking on more carries. He is averaging 4.8, 5.7, and 5.3 yards per carry over the last three games, respectively.

When the Jets move into their “Tiger” formation, I’d like to see them get more out of it. They have rarely been using the extra player coming in motion to hold the defense on the fake reverse. Despite his recent fumble, Holmes is a big threat coming around the end. It would also be nice to get Brad Smith on the edge a little more and let him throw another pass to keep defenses honest. Also don’t forget LaDainian Tomlinson’s career passing numbers (8/12, 143 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INTs). How about an option pass?

Nobody is saying Brian Schottenheimer has an easy job, but the Jets could certainly be getting more out of their offense considering their collection of weapons.

For The 2010 Jets, 12 Is The Number

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The Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game the hard way in 2009. They went on the road and pulled off two upsets as a wild-card, built momentum and eventually ran out of steam in the second half in Indianapolis.

We have seen wild-card teams win Super Bowls in recent years, most notably the New York Giants who ripped off three straight road victories before upsetting the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

However, considering the way the AFC looks like it is breaking so far and the 5-1 start the Jets have got themselves off to, there is no reason a minimum of 12 victories shouldn’t be the target for this team. The easiest road to the Super Bowl is getting yourself a bye and then hosting two playoff games, and this Jets team is built to do that. Look at the rest of their schedule:

Week 8 vs. Green Bay – Originally this appeared to be a much tougher match-up but the Packers have been decimated with injuries and could very well come into this game at 3-4. Beyond that, they have a long trip out to the Meadowlands off an emotional prime-time game against Brett Favre, while the Jets will be fresh off the bye week. There is no reason the Jets shouldn’t handle business against this one-dimensional offense, with Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace likely very close to, if not, 100 percent.

PhotobucketWeek 9 at Detroit – The Lions are frisky for a 1-5 team, which means this could be a dangerous game. Yet in reality, the Jets are going to be 8 – 10 point favorites and need to handle business against a team they are far superior to in the talent department. Darrelle Revis/Antonio Cromartie vs. Calvin Johnson? Should be fun to watch.

Week 10 at Cleveland – The Mangini Bowl. Cleveland can be a tough place to play, yet I think plenty of Jets will be up for this game against their former coach.

Week 11 vs. Houston – I love this match-up for the Jets. The Texans are a finesse team that does not match up well against them, as we already saw last year. Beyond that, the Jets get them at home. Yes it is a few weeks away but this feels like a nice double digit smack down.

Week 12 vs. Cincinnati – The Jets back on Thanksgiving, looking to make up for their debacle against Dallas a few years back. I am not sure why I should think the Bengals can come into the Meadowlands and win this game, considering how the Jets played them last year and the fact that Cincinnati has pretty much sucked so far this season.

Week 13 at New England – The Jets get an extra three days to prepare for this game, which will likely go a long way to determining who wins the AFC East. Prime-time. December football. It doesn’t get much better than this. Jets fans are already panicking about Danny Woodhead racking up 150 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.

Week 14 vs. Miami – Good to get Miami at home this late in the year. The Dolphins feel like a .500 team to me right now, so hopefully the Jets can do some serious damage to their playoff hopes this week.

Week 15 at Pittsburgh – Oh boy. Doesn’t this feel like a battle of a couple 11-3 or 12-2 teams for the AFC’s number one seed? Santonio Holmes coming back to Pittsburgh. A couple of powerhouse defenses. This game has to be flexed to Sunday night, right?

Week 16 at Chicago – I am already having visions of Wayne Chrebet getting flipped on his head and fumbling to clinch a killer loss. Regardless of the Bears 4-2 record, I just don’t think they are that good and will either be right at or below .500 coming into this game. What is the over/under on the number times Jay Cutler is sacked this week?

Week 17 vs. Buffalo – We should be seeing some Mark Brunell and Kellen Clemens this week.

When you look at this collection of ten games, it is hard to see the Jets not putting together at least a 7-3 record. 12-4 should be good enough for a bye week in the AFC but may not be good enough for a number one seed unless the Jets can take care of business in Pittsburgh. Does it make me a delirious homer to think there is a somewhat realistic shot the Jets could win 13 games this year?

A 13 win Jets team? Times really could be changing.

Your 2010 Guide To Jets Haters

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The New York Jets are arguably the most talked about team in the NFL heading into the 2010 season. Without argument being necessary, they have talked more than any team in the NFL heading into the 2010 season. Rex Ryan is a brash and confident individual, who hasn’t toned down his personality since becoming a head coach and his mentality has trickled down to the entire organization to an extent.

The result is that you either love him or hate him, along with either loving or hating the 2010 Jets. Fans obviously admire the swagger and confidence brought to an organization desperately in need of it, while other players or coaches have praised his approach. Defending Super Bowl champion head coach, Sean Payton, has repeatedly complimented the mentality Ryan has brought to the Jets and how he runs his team. Adam Schefter reported players were texting their agents how badly they wanted to play for Rex Ryan after watching Hard Knocks.

However, Rex Ryan and the Jets have brought out a particular vitriolic hate out of some individuals heading into the season. You can already picture them huddled around the TV screen tomorrow, anxiously waiting for the Giants to get a first down on the Jets defense so they could get out of a few nasty comments on Rex Ryan and the overrated, overhyped Jets. You can allow these haters to get under your skin or you can realize Rex and the Jets are having a good time, and they’re just trying to ruin it. Sit back and enjoy your 2010 New York Jets because they are going to be good and they aren’t going to be shy about letting you know it. However, here is a guide to those who will be stammering and twisting their face with each Jets victory this year:

Mike Francesa – The iconic radio personality from WFAN can’t stand Rex Ryan and really since Bill Parcells left, can’t stand the New York Jets. Francesa has been particularly vicious with the Jets lately because nobody from their organization will go on his show after he spent all of December and January ripping them apart, despite their playoff run. He also nearly fell out of his chair after watching the first episode of Hard Knocks. Francesa tore into the “classless” Jets and their “bumbling” head coach, while Giants fans called in so they could all shake their heads in shame together and wonder why the Jets couldn’t be more dignified like the New York Giants. How could Rex Ryan curse like that? How could he? You would think the guy was beating up small children on national television, instead of using expletives when talking to his football team at 10 PM on premium cable. Clearly, no other coaches have ever cursed in NFL history.

Francesa will find any possible way to avoid giving the Jets credit when they win football games. He has completely sided with Darrelle Revis in his contract dispute and is calling the New Meadowlands “Giants Stadium 2.” If the Jets start the season 6-0, Francesa will attribute it to luck. Remember he knows more about football than Rex Ryan, regardless of how good the Jets defense in in 2010.

New York Giants Fans – A quick aside for Giants fans, stop calling into the local radio shows and acting like the best teams in your history weren’t led by a linebacker fueled by cocaine and hookers. The word “classless” is thrown around so easily as a shot at Ryan and the Jets it is ridiculous. The Jets don’t have to take the same approach as the Giants to football. You can hate on Rex Ryan all you want but his team didn’t quit on him the final two games of the regular season last year. Worry about your own team. I am aware your organization has a much better history and has won substantially more, yet at this moment the Jets are a better team and deserve more headlines.

Mike Florio – Every other article Florio has written this off-season has been about the Jets. Mike Tannenbaum is on the hot seat. Rex Ryan is overweight. LaDainian Tomlinson is washed up. Braylon Edwards is a jerk and can’t catch. Mark Sanchez isn’t going to be a good quarterback in the NFL. Joe Namath shouldn’t be in the hall of fame. Darrelle Revis is right in his contract dispute. New York smells bad (yes he wrote an article deriding the smell of the city as part of the news on his site). The Jets won’t go back to the playoffs in 2010. NBC, I’m in the same company. Give me a commercial during Sunday Night Football in a fancy suit in front of a laptop on a cell phone, like you did for Florio. I can call people names and pick on the teams I don’t like, while passing it off as news. I promise I will never report that Terry Bradshaw died when he didn’t and won’t use the same stale jokes referencing The Office and Seinfeld.

Armando Salguero – Dolphins beat writer who constantly wags his finger at the Jets for lacking class, neglecting the parade of Dolphins who have recently been arrested and the way GM Jeff Ireland conducts business.

Message Board/Website Trolls – I always love hearing from the Dolphins and Patriots fans who take the time to visit the Jets ESPN Message Board to express their displeasure with the team. I also thoroughly enjoy the derogatory comments they leave for me here at TOJ, which I have the ability to erase since I do run the site and all. So please, keep visiting the site, giving me hits, taking the time to curse me out and calling me elaborate slurs (greasy Jets loving meatball was my favorite)…we appreciate the support. Also, keep waking up in the morning and saying “man Rex Ryan makes me so mad, I am going on the Jets message board instead of my own team’s to talk about how much I hate him. That will show those Jets fans.”

Easy responses to common Jets bashing

“Rex Ryan is a bumbling idiot” – He is a head coach in the NFL, what do you do?

“Mark Sanchez is terrible” – He won two playoff games his rookie year, how many playoff games did your quarterback win his rookie year?

“Their defense isn’t elite” – It was ranked number one in the NFL last year, hence it is elite.

“LaDainian Tomlinson is washed up” – Good thing we have Shonn Greene.

“They can’t survive without Alan Faneca” – Good thing we still have Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Brandon Moore, and Damien Woody.

“You haven’t won anything” – Only the Saints and Colts had a better season than us last year, and nobody has won anything yet this year.

“What about Darrelle Revis” – Shut up.

In Rex We Trust

Jets Week 2 Training Camp Wrap-Up

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First a few updates:

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

Jets Week 2 Training Camp Wrap-Up

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

New York Jets

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

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

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

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

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

Buffalo Bills

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

Miami Dolphins

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

New England Patriots

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

Jets Fans: Stop The Pity Party

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Do you remember December 30th 2007? I do. I was sitting in the pouring rain watching the 3-12 New York Jets play the 4-11 Kansas City Chiefs. The Jets won the game 13-10. I left the stadium frustrated because we hurt our draft position, ultimately falling to number six where the team would select Vernon Gholston. Our quarterback of the future, Kellen Clemens, had just played one of his better games of the 2007 season: 13/25, 115 yards, TD. Our newly signed starting running back, Thomas Jones, scored his second touchdown of the season. The offensive line was in shambles. The defense prominently featured players like Dewayne Robertson, Victor Hobson, David Barrett, and Erik Coleman.

Fast forward to January 20th, 2008. The New York Giants upset the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, sending the Jets in-stadium rivals to face their division rivals, the New England Patriots (coming off a perfect regular season) in the Super Bowl. The Giants and Patriots went on to play one of the most memorable championship games in league history, while the Jets wallowed in complete and utter irrelevancy.

Do you remember those days? They weren’t too long ago. Do you remember gearing up for a broken down Chad Pennington/Kellen Clemens quarterback battle? What about the few months of the Kellen Clemens/Brett Ratliff/Erik Ainge battle? How about heading into training camp with Brad Smith/David Clowney/Chansi Stuckey fighting it out for a starting receiver spot? At cornerback, do you recall players like Hank Poteat, Drew Coleman, and Barrett rotating in a starting spot? The Jets offensive line used to feature players like Anthony Clement and Adrien Clarke.

Yes, the Darrelle Revis holdout sucks. There really isn’t a better way to put it. Revis was a player our organization was savvy enough to trade up to select, who developed in front of our eyes into the league’s best cornerback and arguably best defensive player. The entire league took notice. We got to see one of our players featured in Nike commercials and constantly be talked about on the NFL Network and ESPN. Everybody was looking forward to his encore performance to an epic 2009 season. Bring on Brandon Marshall. Bring on Randy Moss. Bring on Chad Ochocinco Johnson. Bring on Andre Johnson. Send every diva, big-name receiver at our defense and watch him disappear.

PhotobucketIt now looks like that may not happen. Before you bury the Jets organization, before you bury Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan, remember this: Tannenbaum brought this team back to relevancy with the resources provided to him by Johnson. He got us Mark Sanchez so we didn’t have to watch Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff one-hop curl routes. He beefed up the defense by trading for Kris Jenkins and Antonio Cromartie, hitting on David Harris in the second round, and signing Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, and Jim Leonhard. On offense, he collected an impressive arsenal of weapons for his franchise quarterback.

Rex Ryan may have hurt the Jets bargaining position by showing too much love for his player to the media. However, that is Ryan’s personality. Don’t talk about loving all the swagger and confidence he brought to the organization and then get mad when he gives due praise to a player. I will take the negative impact on negotiations Rex Ryan brings, in exchange for all the positives he has brought the Jets, which shouldn’t have to be listed.

Don’t talk yourself into hating Revis either. The Jets organization approached him about re-negotiating his contract and after hearing everything they said about him, he expects to be compensated at a substantially higher level in 2010 (currently scheduled to be the eight highest paid defensive back on the Jets). Yes, he should understand that Al Davis is clinically insane and gave Nnamdi Asomugha an aberration of a contract and yes he has three years left on his deal but this is a business. The Jets botched the Leon Washington situation to an extent, which has burned a scary image into the heads of current players. Who wants to shipped off to the rain in Seattle to play for Pete Carroll without a new contract?

There is plenty of blame to go around. The Jets organization gets a little. Darrelle Revis gets a little. Al Davis can have a little. Leon Washington’s injury is a factor. Yet, there is no reason to spend all pre-season pouting and looking for somebody to blame.

PhotobucketGuess what? Even without Darrelle Revis, the Jets are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. They are still the favorite in the AFC East. They are being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. They have knocked the Giants and yes even the Yankees off the back page. We aren’t playing in Giants Stadium anymore. The Jets are playing in primetime in weeks 1, 3, and 5 to start off the season, along with Thanksgiving night and a December Monday night showdown in New England. Beyond that, there is still a relatively good chance Revis will join the team at some point before the regular season starts, despite all of Woody Johnson’s posturing today.

So relax Jets fans, life is good, enjoy the ride in 2010. We are the team everybody loves to hate and really what is better than that in sports?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AFC East Battle

Thoughts On Hard Knocks Preview

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Wow, I’m not sure you could watch that 15 minute preview of Hard Knocks featuring the Jets and not leave with your heart pumping out of your chest. Can a fan of a team ask for anything more than this type of access? I will tell you this if I wasn’t a Jets fan, I would hate Rex Ryan. In the preview alone, he had to piss off every single fan of every other team. You could just have Ryan talking the entire time and it would be worth watching. There hasn’t been a Jets team with this much confidence, maybe ever. I don’t think they leave a question that it is Super Bowl or bust in 2010. Who would have thought the Jets would ever be the most hyped up team in the NFL? Yet, the real question is if they can back it up. A losing season in 2010, with these type of expectations could be one of the most painful seasons in a damn painful history.

Outside of Ryan, you have to expect Nick Mangold and Bart Scott to be stealing the show on Hard Knocks.

The funniest thing I saw in the 15 minutes? Ryan running out of the tunnel in one of the Jets games, yelling “that’s right, here come the Jets” and any other clip they were showing of him wired up on the sideline.

August is going to be more entertaining than usual, buckle up.

Get Hyped

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Predicted 53 Man Roster

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have signed quarterback Mark Brunell. I tend to agree with the opinion held in the Jets locker room as reported by Manish Mehta (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/2010/07/jets-to-work-out-mark-brunell.html)

2. There will be a preview of Hard Knocks on HBO tonight at 11 PM tonight.

3. Get yourself hyped up for some AFC East football in 2010, with our new episode of TOJ TV –

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (Turn On The Jets). Also a heads up to all season ticket holders that the tickets will be mailed out August 2nd.

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Predicted 53 Man Roster

It is time for our annual prediction of the Jets final 53 man roster before training camp starts and by annual I mean this is the second time we have done it, since it is only my second training camp at Turn On The Jets. Let’s hope I improve on last season when I picked Jehuu Caulcrick, Mario Urrutia, Jack Simmons, and TJ Conley to make the team.

Quarterback

  1. Mark SanchezLet’s hope he builds on his performance in the playoffs.
  2. Mark Brunell – I disagree with the decision to bring him in, let’s hope Sanchez stays healthy.
  3. Kevin O’Connell – He was working ahead of Ainge in the spring and the Jets wouldn’t have traded a pick for him if they didn’t think he had potential.

Running Back

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  1. Shonn Greene – He steps into the lead back role after a very impressive end to his rookie season.
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Looking to prove he isn’t over the hill.
  3. Joe McKnight – Hopefully he will be groomed into Leon Washington 2.0
  4. Tony Richardson – Despite his advance age, one of the better fullbacks in the NFL.
  5. John Conner – Fullback of the future, should primarily play special teams this season.

Tight End

  1. Dustin Keller – Another player hoping to build on a strong run of games in the playoffs.
  2. Ben Hartsock – Holding! Hartsock gets his share of flags but he is a good blocker.
  3. Tanner Purdum – The new long snapper, if he botches one in camp let’s get James Dearth on the phone.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jerricho Cotchery – Can’t wait to see how many third downs he converts this season.
  2. Braylon Edwards – Coming off a very good off-season.
  3. Santonio Holmes – See you in week five.
  4. Brad Smith – Hope the Jets don’t forget about the Tiger formation.
  5. David Clowney – He will have a chance in the first four games to make an impact on offense and will need to step on specials.

Offensive Line

  1. C: Nick MangoldThe best in the business, now pay the man.
  2. LG: Vladimir Ducasse – He has big shoes to fill.
  3. RG: Brandon Moore – Quietly, one of the better guards in the NFL.
  4. LT: D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Just got his new contract.
  5. RT: Damien Woody – Let’s hope he did well in the weight loss contest
  6. G/T: Robert Turner – He sees action in the Jets short yardage packages.
  7. T: Wayne Hunter – Another guy who sees action in the short yardage packages.
  8. G/C: Matt Slauson– “Battling” with Ducasse for the starting job.

Defensive Line

  1. DE: Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet, likely in his final season with the team.
  2. NT: Kris Jenkins – Returning from ACL surgery.
  3. DE: Mike DeVito – Stepping into the starting line-up for Marques Douglas.
  4. DT: Sione Pouha – Had a very good 2009 filling in for Jenkins.
  5. DE: Vernon Gholston – New position, hopefully new results.
  6. DE: Ropati Pitoitua – Will have a chance to become a bigger part of the rotation in 2010.
  7. DL: Matt Kroul – Spent last season on the practice squad, should jump up this year.

Linebacker

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  1. ILB: David Harris – One of the best in the business, despite not getting the proper recognition.
  2. ILB: Bart Scott – The vocal leader of the defense.
  3. OLB: Calvin Pace – Poised for a double digit sack season.
  4. OLB: Bryan Thomas – The first and second down linebacker.
  5. OLB: Jason Taylor – Brought in to provide a pass rush.
  6. ILB: Lance Laury – Brought in for his special teams ability.
  7. OLB: Jamaal Westerman – Impressive rookie season for the UDFA and he can also play inside.
  8. ILB: Kenwin Cummings – Coaches have raved about him this off-season.
  9. OLB: Kevin Basped – His athleticism and long term potential grab him a roster spot.

Cornerback

  1. Darrelle Revis – Pay The Man.
  2. Antonio Cromartie – Alcrotraz joins Revis Island.
  3. Kyle Wilson – The Jets first round pick.
  4. Dwight Lowery – Could also see some time at safety.
  5. Marquice Cole – Looker for a bigger role on special teams and defense than in 2009.
  6. Drew Coleman – Hopefully he is safely inactive in most games.

Safety

  1. Jim Leonhard – Solid and steady.
  2. Brodney Pool – New addition to replace Mrs. Rhodes
  3. Eric Smith – Will be used all over the place by Rex Ryan off the bench.
  4. James Ihedigbo – Good role player who is often used on blitzes.
  5. Donovan Warren – I am guessing Rex Ryan’s love of defensive backs will lead him to keep UDFA Warren, who was a corner in college but will now play safety.

Special Teams

  1. K: Nick Folk – Let’s hope he can find what made him an All-Pro in the past.
  2. P: Steve Weatherford – Nobody runs a fake punt better than big #9.

Notes: The last three I put on the roster were Drew Coleman, Donovan Warren, and Kevin Basped. I am thinking the Jets will decide they can survive with four active receivers in weeks 1 – 4. However, if they do keep an extra receiver over one of the defensive players I selected, I think it would be Danny Woodhead or Aundrae Allison. I wasn’t hesitant about the 11 defensive backs because of  Ryan’s professed love of collecting them for his roster.

New Turn On The Jets TV – “Take Over”

Breaking Down The Jets Schedule

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A quick breakdown of the Jets 2010 regular season schedule with training camp only one week away. Currently, here is the best way I could divide it up:

The “being overhyped as very difficult six game pre-bye week start that is still relatively challenging”…how about that for a title?

  • Home vs. Baltimore – Monday Night Football
  • Home vs. New England
  • At Miami – Sunday Night Football
  • At Buffalo
  • Home vs. Minnesota – Monday Night Football
  • At Denver

Gang Green gets thrown in front of America in weeks 1, 3, and 5. Yes, I agree this is a challenging start before the Jets bye week but let’s not get carried away. The three best teams the Jets play in these six games (Baltimore, New England, Minnesota) have to come play at the New Meadowlands. The road games are very manageable, especially Buffalo and Denver. 4 – 2 has to be the minimum target in these 6 games if the Jets consider themselves an elite team. 5 – 1 would be tremendously impressive. 3 – 3 wouldn’t be devastating, as long as 2 of the losses come out of the division.

The post-bye five game stretch when the Jets need to make a run

  • Home vs. Green Bay
  • At Detroit
  • At Cleveland
  • Home vs. Houston
  • Home vs. Cincinnati – Thursday Night Football

PhotobucketThere is no reason the Jets can’t go 4 – 1 or 5 – 0 in this stretch. They catch a huge break by getting a very good Green Bay team at home after a bye week. Detroit and Cleveland are two of the worst teams in the NFL. Everybody always loves Houston but we saw what the Jets did to them in their building last season. Cincinnati is a good team but how could you not like the Jets after how they handled the Bengals twice last year?

The two games that could swing the season

  • At New England –  Monday Night Football
  • Home vs. Miami

The Jets get their two biggest rivals in back to back weeks in December. This could be their chance to seize the AFC East title by its throat or the two games that end their season.

The not as difficult as it initially looks three game finale

  • At Pittsburgh
  • At Chicago
  • Home vs. Buffalo

Going into Pittsburgh and Chicago looks pretty scary at first, but I am not sure how good those teams will actually be this season. They are still very difficult match-ups and potential let down games after the back to back division showdowns against New England and Miami. However, if the Jets can split those two games, they are greeted with Trent Edwards at home in week 17.

Who Is The Team To Beat In The AFC?

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets). Also subscribe to the newly created YouTube page. I am happy to say our comment issue has been resolved as you can see, so any comment you leave on an article will be promptly posted.

2. Just a reminder that the Jets rookies report to training camp on July 29th in Cortland, New York. The veterans report on August 1st. The first episode of Hard Knocks is August 11th. The first pre-season game is August 16th against the Giants.

Who Is The Team To Beat In The AFC?

As training camp rapidly approaches let’s look at the four divisions in the AFC and what teams are most likely to come out of them and compete for a playoff spot and a Super Bowl.

AFC East

Favorite – I know it is shocking that the writer for Turn On The Jets is going to say the Jets are the favorite to win the AFC East, yet at the end of last season they were the best team in the division and they had the best overall off-season. Nobody is saying they are going to run away with this thing. It is going to be a dog fight with both the Dolphins and Patriots (likely more with the Dolphins). However, the Jets have the most overall talent on their roster and were less than a half away from a Super Bowl appearance last season. The addition of Antonio Cromartie, Brodney Pool, Jason Taylor, Kyle Wilson, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Santonio Holmes is only going to help that cause, along with the continued growth of Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene. Their defense will also improve from the familiarity the eight returning starters will now have with Rex Ryan’s system.

Primary Competitor – I am going with the Dolphins over the Patriots in this spot. Brandon Marshall will help give them some much needed balance on offense and a legit big play threat. Karlos Dansby and Jared Odrick were solid additions to their defense. However, I’m still not sold on their defense as an overall unit yet and I don’t know if Ronnie Brown can stay healthy or if Ricky Williams has another year like last season left in him. They also lack a proven option opposite Marshall at receiver, so when he loses himself on Revis Island, who will Miami turn to?

In The Mix – I am not counting out Tom Brady and Bill Belichick but the Patriots are looking like a 8-8 or 9-7 team to me right now. What did they do this off-season to make sure they don’t catch a swift beatdown from teams like the Ravens in 2010? Maybe I am putting too much stock in one game but I am not exactly worried about the additions of Torry Holt or Alge Crumpler. They have some young players with potential on offense who could step up but their defense isn’t what it used to be and is lacking on overall talent. Also, their offensive line isn’t the brick wall it used to be and they still don’t have anybody who is anything near being called a lead running back.

Circling The Wagons…In Basement – Trent Edwards. Brian Brohm. Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 2010 Buffalo Bills, everybody. I am sorry but who are their receivers beside Lee Evans and who is going to block for their UFL collection of quarterbacks and actually high quality trio of running backs?

AFC North

Favorite – The Baltimore Ravens have the potential to be scary good this season, if Joe Flacco can play more consistently and take advantage of the additions of Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth. Ray Rice is a superstar in the making and you know their defense will be good. So yes, week 1 is going to be a hell of a test for the Jets and a potential preview of the AFC Championship Game.

Primary Competitor – Don’t sleep on the Cincinnati Bengals this year. Many people are picking them as the team least likely to return to the playoffs but they can run the ball, play defense, and had a good off-season. Antonio Bryant is a major upgrade over Laveranues Coles at receiver opposite Chad Ochocinco Johnson and the selection of Jermaine Gresham in the draft gives them a much needed pass catching tight end. They also swept the Ravens last year.

In The Mix – Let’s see what kind of job Byron Leftwich does holding the fort down until Ben Rothlisberger returns and how quickly Rothlisberger can get acclimated after he returns. Pittsburgh can survive the subtraction of Santonio Holmes because Mike Wallace is going to be a very good player but is their defense going to improve from last season, especially at the end of games?

Fun Times In Cleveland Again – Those poor Cleveland fans. I can’t imagine having to root for the Indians, Browns, and Cavs for the next few years.

AFC South

PhotobucketFavorite – The Colts are the favorite for the division and the conference until somebody knocks them off. Peyton Manning might complete 80 percent of his passes this year with Antony Gonzalez returning to support Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, and Dallas Clark. You can ask the same questions we always ask about their defense and running game but chances are they are going to be right there competing for a first round bye again.

Primary Competitor – I hate drinking the Texans kool-aid because everybody hypes them up every season and they never seriously challenge for a division title or make the playoffs. This roster has plenty of talent and maybe if their kicker can make a meaningful attempt this year, they can finally break through and play football in January.

In The Mix – Chris Johnson is the most electric playmaker in the NFL and Vince Young is always capable of making his share of big plays. Beyond that, Jeff Fisher is a great coach which means the Titans will be right in the mix for a playoff spot in 2010. I don’t know if they can make the jump to compete with the Colts for a AFC South title though.

Actually Not That Bad – The Jaguars somewhat exceeded expectations last year and added a few quality pieces to their defense. They are far from the doormat the Bills, Browns, and Chiefs and should be competitive in the division. They will likely finish last but could still win 7 or 8 games.

AFC West

Favorite – The Chargers should take advantage of playing in a weak division and roll to another division title. Hopefully, they bring their run defense into the New Meadowlands for a playoff battle against the Jets.

Primary Competitor – They don’t really fit the category as a competitor but I think the Oakland Raiders will end up in second place in this muddled division. Jason Campbell will bring much needed stability to the quarterback position and Michael Bush has the potential to be a quality lead back. Their defense has talent at all three levels with Richard Seymour, Rolando McClain, and Nnamdi Asomugha. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the NFL’s punchline win 8 games this year.

In The Mix – I am not really sold on any moves the Denver Broncos made this off-season and don’t see how they improved from the 8-8 team they were last season.

Poor Thomas Jones – I still wish Thomas Jones was on board with the green and white this season instead of playing for the Chiefs, who likely struggle to win 5 games this season.

As of today, if I had to list the order of probability of AFC teams making the playoffs (not a power ranking, just the likelihood of team making playoffs):

  1. Colts
  2. Chargers
  3. Ravens
  4. Jets
  5. Bengals
  6. Dolphins
  7. Patriots
  8. Texans
  9. Titans
  10. Steelers
  11. Raiders
  12. Jaguars
  13. Broncos
  14. Browns
  15. Chiefs
  16. Bills