No Huddle – New York Jets Struggles Continue

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets offensive problems

TJ Rosenthal kicks off another week of New York Jets coverage here at Turn On The Jets with his weekly No Huddle, looking at the struggles of the past weekend and how the Jets can improve heading into their third pre-season game. 

Alright so we can all agree, THAT was ugly. The Snoopy Bowl rematch was way too much reality for us. The Giants are in the Penthouse. Defending Champs and all that. The Jets aren’t. Worse, Big Blue doesn’t need Hakeem Nicks to throw downfield  but the Jets are dying for Santonio Holmes to return to regain a license to. The Giants don’t need a blitz to get sacks. The Jets would love to say that about themselves one day soon, but can’t just yet.

Hey, the best way to swallow being outplayed by the crosstown team Gang Green ignited on Christmas is to just shrug it all off, right?

Wrong.

Which leads us to the first “No Huddle” point in our latest installment.

1 -It Is Only The Preseason 

We know it’s only August but folks, let’s not forget the way 2011 crumbled late in the year: Primarily from a lack of protection for Mark Sanchez.

If you can’t stretch the field, you can’t run. Play action, a weapon Mark Sanchez needs, won’t be respected either. Ground and Pound? How, with eleven defenders waiting for it? Over these first two prsesson games we’ve seen nothing from the first team
but much of the same. Little pass protection, rare separation from WRs, and modest runs from backs at best.

When push came to shove Saturday, the Jets run game got stuffed on 3rd and short and 4th down.

Not good.

The Jets have implemented a new OC a new system, remained adamantly against adding skill position vets and linemen up front, sure that things would change without the need to add more dynamic players. Sorry. we expected to see more already. Some sign, even one sign, that things will be different. A RB breaking loose, a solid string of throws downfield aided by a pocket created up front.

A glimmer from the first team.

Instead we bring you Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 GOP convention speech regarding Obama’s leadership record, to describe what’s taken place so far on offense. “Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.”

Don’t be shocked if ” it’s only August” turns to it’s only September soon if nobody else is brought in, and Holmes or the Wildcat don’t alter things dramatically.

We’re concerned.Can you tell?

2 – Landry Lays A Lick On The Salsa Dancer

Victor Cruz called it legit, as the NFL looks into it. We on the other hand,  are celebrating a Jets safety who for the first team seemingly since the days of Victor Green, made his presence felt physically. Landry’s hit on Victor Cruz, provided that we can assume it was legal, is hopefully a sign of things to come for the Jets. A unit that needs to become a mean shutdown machine.

Especially if you’re one of those who can’t see the offense elevating to great heights this year.

Cough cough.

3 – Veteran Help, Why Not?

Call us ignorant when it comes to the salary cap and it’s restrictions. We’re no gurus like Mike T is in this field. Far from it.
However, we dont see why names like Cedric Benson, Ryan Grant, Braylon Edwards and Plaxico Bureess were never seriously explored.

Add Terrell Owens to the list too. What media circus would TO bring that isn’t already here?

Maybe Plax did himself in by dissing Sanchez publicly during the offseason. Perhaps Edwards knee scared off Jets brass. We can live with those reasons. We have a harder time though, accepting the fact the Jets may have been comfortable with a skill position crew that aside from Tone and Shonn Greene, bring no resume at all to the table.

The Jets can’t go 2-4 or 1-5 while their young players grow and gain experience. It will be too late. The AFC East won’t allow for it. Yet patience with the younghans will be key early on now, as so many get their feet wet in regular season duty.

Was this scenario necessary?

4 – Hiding the Wildcat

What are the Jets really hiding with this formation that won’t be put on tape the minute it’s unveiled?

Instead of being so wrapped up in keeping this “back to the future” formation secretive, why not run a few basic vanilla Wildcat plays in games just to practice rotating QBs and other personnel? The mechanical parts of the operation that must run seamlessly, before week one features 12 men in the huddle, and time outs wasted due to communication breakdowns.

Imagine the offense needing five more penalty yards for a first down right now… The marker would feel as far
away as NYC feels, while stuck in Jersey traffic near the toll, trying to cross over the GW Bridge.

5 – What Next Week Means

The Jets and Sanchez have to show up for a brief period on offense. One solid drive. Period.

C’mon, that’s not exactly reaching for the stars here.

It would help if the defense didn’t  make them sit for long as they wither drives down to FG attempts.
Give the offense the ball right back. We know it’s gonna be the dynamic Cam Newton on the other side of the line, but look at the Jets first half schedule. Alot of quality QBs are on the way.

It’s the last dress rehearsal for the starters. We want a healthy night, with the offense making a cameo, and the defense turning up the heat a few times.

We don’t need a 21-0 lead. Just some proof that many of us are hitting the panic button too early

New York Jets: Offensive Pre-Season From Hell Continues

Thoughts on the New York Jets after two pre-season games.

I am going to treat this article like a compliment sandwich, starting and ending with something positive about the New York Jets with all the criticism in-between. So basically everything on this team besides the offense will be the bread and the offense will be the steaming pile of crap in-between those slices of bread.

The New York Jets have a very good defense. It won’t be a great defense until they generate a more consistent pass rush but with the way Quinton Coples is developing, that could happen sooner rather than later. The run defense is rock solid. The secondary is excellent. LaRon Landry looks ready to go and play at the Pro-Bowl level he is capable of, making the Jets completely loaded on the back end of their defense. The overall speed and depth of the unit has improved substantially. If you have a very good defense, you can be competitive on a weekly basis in the NFL.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the New York Jets arguably have the worst looking offense in the league right now. Wayne Hunter could be the worst starting offensive player in the league and I am not using a hyperbole to prove a point. It remains inexcusable that Mike Tannenbaum refused to replace him this off-season and it could very well be the decision that ends his career as the Jets General Manager. The Jets need to be on the phone with every team in the league trying to swing a trade for a tackle or looking to get Vernon Carey out of retirement.

Hunter is not supported by a strong blocking end either. The Jets literally have three wide receivers at the tight end position right now in Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland and Josh Baker. This shows when the “Ground and Pound” offense tries to run the football. Last night the Jets had 65 yards on 24 carries for a pathetic 2.7 average. Their longest run of the night was 8 yards. No running back can pop a big play. They can’t even move the chains in short yardage situations, as the Jets were stuffed on a 3rd and 2, 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 last night.

The wide receivers are a mess because of injuries. Mark Sanchez is yet to complete a pass this pre-season to one of his top three projected receivers, Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. His longest completion of the pre-season has been 12 yards. What happened to those “chunk plays” Tony Sparano was referring to?

Sanchez deserves the blame for his interception last night, a poor decision and a worse throw. This is what happens when you throw 2 yard crossing patterns on 3rd and 10. The Jets allow defenses to smother their short routes because they don’t press the ball down the field. Part of that is playcalling. Part of that is protection issues. Part of that is on receivers who can’t get open down the field. And part of it is on Sanchez. All of it needs to be corrected.

Something positive to end with? Nah, just this. Get to work Mike T.

Turn On The Jets Roundtable – Jets vs. Giants Preview

The Turn On The Jets writers preview the New York Jets/New York Giants pre-season game

The Turn On The Jets writing staff breaks down what they are most looking forward to seeing in the New York Jets second pre-season game. Make sure to leave your comments below or on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page

Joe Caporoso – I want to see the New York Jets offensive line find a way against this Giants pass rush. Give Mark Sanchez enough time to complete his drop back and get the football down the field. Beyond that, there is no reason this talked up “Ground and Pound” shouldn’t be able to grind out a productive night running the football. Shonn Green get the yards per carry over 4.0 and break a run over 5 yards for once in your life. Finally, let’s see Dustin Keller involved in the passing game. Tony Sparano needs to find a way to successfully keep him active every single week, no matter how vanilla the game plan is. And oh yeah…how about a touchdown?

Chris Gross – Is anyone going to step up and take the metaphorical bull that is the Jets Running Back job by the horns? I’d love to finally see Shonn Greene step up and put together a performance we can feel confident as we inch closer to the regular season. Bilal Powell has done well in pass protection, but his performance last week against Cincinnati (5 carries, 16 yards) certainly did not reflect the praise he has been receiving in practice. Joe McKnight showed signs of life last week with his 32 yards on only 7 carries, but it’s time that he became more consistent and reliable. The Jets seem to be holding onto hope that one of these three is suddenly going to breakout and be the answer to the ground and pound. It is certainly time for this unit to start playing to the identity of this team, otherwise Tim Tebow will be getting the majority of the carries this season. Whether Jets fans want to hear it or not, this team is built to run the football. If none of these backs can prove to do so, New York will likely turn to Tebow to carry the workload on the ground, either as a RB or by rolling out the “Wildcat” more than anyone wants to see.

Mike DonnellyWhat do I want to see? Well there are a few things I’m looking forward to seeing, such as Patrick Turner continuing to stake claim to a big role on offense, Quinton Coples and Mo Wilkerson continuing their excellent play up front against an overrated Giants offensive line, and for Demario Davis to get more reps with the first team defense. But this game is more about what I don’t want to see: I DON’T want to see the safeties struggle against Victor Cruz over the middle of the field; I DON’T want to see Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell struggle against a so-so Giants rush defense; And I mostly DON’T want to see Mark Sanchez get carted off the field as Wayne Hunter and his buddies on the offensive line struggles to block JPP, Tuck, and the rest of the Giants pass rushers. If we can avoid those three things, this game will be a success.

Jets vs. Giants: Turn On The Jets 12 Pack Of Predictions

12 Predictions for the New York Jets second pre-season game against the New York Giants

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack is back with predictions for Jets/Giants tomorrow night. Will the New York Jets ever score a touchdown? Will Mark Sanchez leave the game in the body bag from the Giants pass rush? Read on to find out – 

In case you missed it, we had another great week of coverage. Make sure you are following the staff on Twitter – Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly, and TJ Rosenthal 

1. The New York Jets are going to be particularly run heavy with their starters. Considering four of their top six receivers won’t play, their pass protection is questionable and the Giants have the best pass rush in football…this is a logical move. Beyond that, the Jets need to get some momentum going for their running game and you can run the football on the Giants.

2. Mark Sanchez won’t turn the football over and will lead a touchdown drive in the first half. Look for Dustin Keller to be a point of emphasis in the passing game.

3. The New York Giants will rip off at least one huge play on the Jets starting defense. They have too much speed not to and even in the pre-season, they always seem to break off big ones against the Jets.

4. When Darrelle Revis is matched up on Victor Cruz, he won’t catch a single pass. However, if Cruz gets in the slot and matched up on Kyle Wilson the Jets will be in trouble.

5. Demario Davis is going to see extended time with the starting defense. The slow phase out of Bart Scott is going to begin. With his lack of speed, he simply can’t be on the field when it isn’t a likely running down.

6. Both starting defenses will record at least two sacks of the other team’s starting quarterback.

7. Stephen Hill will lead the Jets in receptions and haul in a couple from Mark Sanchez for the first time this week. Patrick Turner should also register 2-3 catches again.

8. Tim Tebow will have a rushing touchdown. The ESPN production truck will explode in response.

9. The Giants will win the game and the ridiculous Snoopy trophy that comes with it. Mike Lupica and Ian O’Connor will each write 1,500 word articles burying the Jets season and worshipping Tom Coughlin in response. Oh wait, O’Connor already did.

10. Antonio Allen is going to take another step towards leap frogging Josh Bush on the depth chart at safety.

11. Joe McKnight will have another strong pre-season game, making a few big plays as both a runner and receiver.

12. Quinton Coples will record his second sack in as many pre-season games and continue his strong pre-season.

New York Jets Fact Or False: Preseason Week 2 Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False previews the New York Jets pre-season game against the New York Giants

Chris Gross is back with his weekly Fact or False, this week previewing the upcoming Jets/Giants pre-season game. Make sure to give Chris a follow on Twitter and for God’s sake get yourselves a TOJ shirt before we sell out to current Jets players –

For this week’s New York Jets Fact Or False, we preview the preseason edition of the Battle of New York. Although the Giants remain the victor in this rivalry until the next regular season match-up, Jets fans still have much to watch for in Battle of NY Lite.

A Jets win will help forget about 12/24/2011. False.

Unfortunately for Jets fans, even if Gang Green beats their cross town rival in blowout fashion, the image of Victor Cruz’s 99 yard touchdown catch on Christmas Eve will remain burned in their memories until the next regular season match-up between the two clubs. The Jets would certainly love to take the game, and at least have some sense of pride in the city, however the Giants and their fans will hold bragging rights until the Jets take Big Blue down in the regular season, or until they win a Superbowl, whicever comes first. Until then, the Giants remain the Kings of New York.

Victor Cruz will dominate. False.

Anyone familiar with either of these two teams knows that Victor Cruz has had his way with the Jets over the course of his young career. Cruz became well known to both Jets and Giants fans when he torched Gang Green for 6 receptions for 145 yards and 3 Touchdowns in their 2010 preseason match-up. Cruz seemed to hold onto that flame in last year’s Christmas Eve game when he hauled in 3 balls for 164 yards and a touchdown, including the infamous 99 yard touchdown reception that all but ended the Jets’ 2011 campaign. However, with Hakeem Nicks out, and Mario Manningham now playing in San Fransisco, Cruz will likely play as the team’s primary option at wide receiver, meaning he will be matched up on All-Pro Darrelle Revis. While this is an excellent opportunity for Cruz to even further showcase his skills and dominance of the Jets, chances of anyone getting off of Revis Island are extremely slim.

Revis has been clashing with Stephen Hill in practice throughout all of training camp. After the rookie had his way with the league’s best defensive back earlier this week, Revis had reportedly buckled down and blanketed Hill in the week’s later practices. Revis has been practicing against great speed throughout training camp, something Cruz has plenty of. However, this will be nothing new to what Revis has seen in practice thus far, and I would expect him to come out on a mission, considering Cruz’s past success against the Jets.

The Offensive Line will struggle to get Sanchez protection early. Fact.

Although the Jets Offensive Line has vowed to improve upon their abysmal performance in Cincinnati, there is still a very serious issue at Right Tackle. Although Austin Howard held his own, and has earned praise from the coaching staff, the Giants defensive front is among the best in all of football, if not the best. Last year, Defensive Ends Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul combined for 3 sacks and 4 quarterback hits on Sanchez, leading the team’s total of 5 sacks and 6 QB hits. Although part of the blame for these numbers can be placed on former Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who called for an idiotic 60 plus passing plays, the offensive line will have their work cut out for them. Expect Giants Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell to attack the right side of the line with combinations of Tuck, Pierre-Paul, and Osi Umenyiora to get pressure on Sanchez. The task will be extremely tough for the guys up front come Saturday night.

The Jets will be able to run the ball effectively. Fact.

Although the Giants pass rush is a cause for concern, their run defense isn’t exactly stellar. The interior defensive line has been harped by early injuries, and the linebacking corps is average, at best. Last year, the Jets ran for 105 yards against them, on only 25 carries, for an average of 4.2 YPC. I would expect the Jets to try to pound the ball in the middle, while running a great number of draws in an attempt to take advantage of the Giants’ aggressive pass rush. For the first time, we could get an early glimpse of the Tebow package, as this makes great philosophical sense against a pass rush like the Giants’.

Eli Manning will throw for multiple touchdowns. False.

Other than the fact that he will hardly play past the first quarter, Manning actually struggled the last time he faced the Jets, contrary to popular belief. Other than the 99 yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz, which was more of Cruz burning the defense after the catch, Manning completed only 8 passes for 126 yards and an interception against the Jets last season. Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine did a good job of keeping him in check by disguising coverages and mixing up blitz packages. Manning will also be going up against the most talented secondary he will likely face all season long. While he is among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, taking these facts, plus limited playing time into account, it is very unlikely that Manning tosses even a single touchdown pass, let alone multiple.

Quinton Coples still has a lot to prove. Fact.

Although Coples looked fantastic in his preseason debut for the Jets (5 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 Sack, 1 FF, 1 PD), he has taken a lot of heat recently. Following the Jets 17-6 loss in Cincinatti last Friday, Coples was still criticized as the majority of his statistics came against the Bengals’ second and third strings. Earlier this week, both Calvin Pace and Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine questioned Coples’ practice habits, basically stating that they want to see the effort that he put into the game equate the effort that he practices with.

Coples has been under the microscope since the Jets selected him with the 16th overall pick in this years draft. Many have questioned the decision to pass on coveted OLB Melvin Ingram for Coples, leaving the rookie out of UNC with a lot to prove. Now, Coples needs to prove that he can make plays against the starters, while also continuing to prove that he has the proper mindset to improve day to day. Expect him to come out with a heavy chip on his shoulder yet again.

New York Jets: Make or Break Year For Dustin Keller

This is a make or break year for New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller

New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller is entering the most crucial season of his NFL career. The team has understandably held off on giving him a large contract extension, instead choosing to wait and see how he produces in Tony Sparano’s offense. Through four years, Keller has been good but has never truly broke out in the way many around the team expect him to. This season, more than ever the Jets need the Pro-Bowl season that he has personally declared is on the way.

It doesn’t take an expert to see that the Jets are lacking proven offensive playmakers heading into this season, particularly in the passing game. Beyond that, Mark Sanchez is yet to have an opportunity to work with two of his top three receivers, Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley, this pre-season because of his injuries. Without question, Keller is the receiver he is most comfortable with and should see a ton of passes coming his way all season.

Keller has never been able to sustain productivity throughout his career. The four seasons are marked by stretches of All-Pro caliber play followed by weeks of inactivity. The productivity tends to occur early in the season and then tail off throughout the year.

Last season, Keller caught 16 passes for 249 yards 2 touchdowns in the Jets first three games. Over the next six games, he only collected 15 receptions for 224 yards and o touchdowns. He improved slightly down the stretch but not much, finishing the season with only 5 touchdowns and 12.5 yards per reception. In 2010, it was the same story. He caught 5 touchdowns in the Jets first 4 games and then didn’t catch one the rest of the season. He also saw a gaudy early season yards per catch average drop off to 12.5 by the end of the year.

Keller needs to improve his consistency, his red-zone production and downfield playmaking ability. All of these issues don’t fall solely on him. It is fair to place blame on Brian Schottenheimer’s horizontal passing attack and perplexing game plans. It is also fair to blame Mark Sanchez for his occasional struggles.

Regardless, the top priority of the Jets passing game this year should be keeping Keller involved on a weekly basis and getting him the ball inside the 20 yard line. His yards per catch should improve thanks to Tony Sparano’s scheme. Anthony Fasano averaged 13.5 yards per catch and 14.1 yards per catch the past two years respectively and he is substantially less athletic and versatile than Keller.

It can’t be used as an excuse that defenses are keying on Keller. Santonio Holmes is enough of a threat on the outside to keep double teams away from Keller in most situations, nevermind if Stephen Hill develops into a viable deep threat. Keller needs to be moved around the formation to get matched up on defensive backs who he can take advantage of with his size, particularly in the red-zone. If he is seeing coverage from linebackers, the Jets have to get him down the seam where Mark Sanchez throws the ball particularly well.

The Jets can’t afford to have Keller go 5 straight weeks with less than 3 receptions. The Jets can’t afford Keller to have another 5 touchdown season. It is time to expand his route tree beyond bootlegs. Creativity will be needed because he is without question the team’s second best all around receiver and their most versatile weapon in the passing game.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Pre-Season Week 2 Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling New York Jets after their first pre-season game

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and to check back in later for a feature on New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller and Fact or False from Chris Gross, previewing Jets/Giants –

I know everyone was sorely disappointed that the Stock Watch did not come out yesterday as per usual, and I apologize for ruining everyone’s Tuesdays out there. I hope you can all find it in your hearts to forgive me. To make it up to you, I’m going to be giving you a bonus edition of Stock Watch on Friday to kick off our fantasy football coverage, free of charge! Talk about a good deal. Be sure to check back for some top notch fantasy advice if you have a draft coming up, and if you didn’t start your league yet, what are you waiting for? Read these 8 Easy Steps for the Perfect Fantasy League right here and get the ball rolling.

SELL: Peter Schwartz of WFAN- Many of you probably don’t know who Peter Schwartz is, and you should consider yourselves fortunate. That means that unlike me, you don’t listen to WFAN far too often, and you aren’t subjected to this guy’s completely ridiculous take on the Jets. You’d think a guy who watches the team every day would have a slight clue about what he’s talking about, but alas, it doesn’t seem as if he does. Last Friday before the Jets preseason game, Schwartz was on the radio with the worst host on the station, Marc Malusis. When asked about Quinton Coples, Schwartz replied thusly: “If you look up a picture of Quinton Coples in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Vernon Gholston.. a bust!”.

Now besides the obvious question of what dictionary does Peter Schwartz use that gives you definitions of people’s names, you’d think an NFL “reporter” would wait until a rookie first round pick plays ONE GAME, just ONE preseason game at least before even mentioning Gholston or throwing around the bust label. But not Mr. Schwartz, he confidently told all 14 listeners of Malusis’s show that Coples is the second coming of Gholston and will be a bust. Then, Coples went out and dominated the Bengals and drew rave reviews from everyone. When myself and a few others called Peter Schwartz out about this on Twitter, he simply blocked everyone rather than owning up to it. I’m selling Peter Schwartz’s already low stock, and I encourage everyone else out there to ask him about his Coples guarantee on Twitter. And then see how long it takes to get blocked.

BUY: Quinton Coples – I should have known right when Peter Schwartz called him a Gholston that I could start preparing for his trip to Canton in 2030, but I was very pleasantly surprised to see him play so well against the Bengals. With his size and athletic ability, combined with Mo Wilkerson, the Jets are going to be very, very good up front this year.

BUY: Patrick Turner – In last week’s Stock Watch I mentioned one of the big things to watch during the preseason was to see if one of the receivers on the roster could step up and make an impact with Santonio Holmes and many others out with injuries. Well, Patrick Turner is the one who appears to have made the most of his opportunity so far. Don’t forget, Turner played with Mark Sanchez at USC and was a highly regarded prospect coming out of college. He clearly has a rapport with Sanchez, and he’s earned his spot on the team with good special teams play and very good blocking. Now it looks like he will have the opportunity to get some serious playing time on offense, and he’s making the most of it.

SELL: Bart Scott’s Playing Time – I’m a big Bart Scott fan and I think he gets a bad rap from a lot of fans, but seeing Benjarvus Green-Ellis, who is not exactly “fast”, toast Bart on a crossing pattern for a big gain was painful to see. Whether Bart likes it or not, Demario Davis is going to see a lot of action in passing situations while he’s standing next to Rex Ryan watching.

SELL: The Offensive Line – My God that was painful to watch last Friday. And that was without the human turnstile Wayne Hunter playing. It appears as though the line is in midseason form and quite intent on getting Mark Sanchez killed on the field this season. There was constant pressure in the backfield and little to no running room opened up for the backs. Now, Cincinnati has a pretty solid defense, but if the line plays like that against the Giants this week, I hope Mark Sanchez fakes an injury before the game rather than play and suffer a real one.

That’s it for this week. Be sure to check back on Friday for the first Fantasy Football column of the season so you can kick the crap out of all your friend son the fantasy gridiron this year!

 

PSA: Turn On The Jets/Night Out Partnership

Turn On The Jets is happy to announce a partnership with Night Out

Turn On The Jets is happy to announce a season long partnership with Night Out: The Nightlife Community. You will notice that fresh new banner across the top of the home page promoting it. What is Night Out? I think this lovely lady does a much better job explaining it than I do –

Stay tuned all year as Night Out will providing special deals for New York Jets fans in our weekly 12 Pack for the New York City/Hoboken area. If you are looking for somewhere to watch the game, they are going to hook you up with the best deal possible on food and drink. Our TOJ staff will be attending the different venues on gameday that are hosting deals for TOJ/Jets fans to watch. So if you want to give Chris Gross or Mike Donnelly a piece of your mind about one of their recent articles or tell me how immensely talented and handsome I am, feel free. 

Follow Night Out On Twitter

 

New York Jets – Is Mike Tannenbaum Asleep At The Wheel?

Is New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum’s inactivity this August acceptable?

It has become a weekly topic here at Turn On The Jets to question the New York Jets depth on the offensive side of the football.  In general, Mike Tannenbaum has done more good than bad since becoming the team’s general manager. The extent he is criticized by outlets like Pro Football Talk and Mike Lombardi on NFL.com is overdone and out of touch with reality. Regardless, facing arguably the most important season of his career, he has been surprisingly (and somewhat disturbingly) inactive in addressing his team’s issues.

Let’s start with something as simple as acquiring a blocking tight end before getting into the tired running back/wide receiver debate. The New York Jets want to be physical on offense. The New York Jets want to run the football. The New York Jets have pass protection issues at right tackle. The New York Jets don’t have a single blocking tight end on their roster. This makes no sense. You can’t bring in Jeff Cumberland to help block if he can’t even get a hand on the immortal (sense my sarcasm?) Manny Lawson before he steamrolls Mark Sanchez.

There was no logical reason for the Jets not to bring a player like Justin Peelle, Daniel Graham or another blocking tight end before training camp. Pittsburgh just signed Peelle to improve their depth at tight end and fullback because of an injury they sustained because smart teams who are perpetually in the playoffs and Super Bowls make sure they have depth.

If Jeff Cumberland keeps getting beat like a drum, perhaps Tannenbaum will sign a player a week or so before the season starts. That player will then have limited time to master the offense and pick up chemistry with the offensive line, likely leading to an early season slew of penalties and miscommunication…aka Matthew Mulligan 2.0. Why wait?

At wide receiver, Stephen Hill hurt his finger today in practice. Let’s say the Jets play it safe and keep him out this week against the Giants. Mark Sanchez will be throwing to a top three of Patrick Turner, Jordan White, and Royce Pollard. Not exactly the best way to break in a new offense for the Jets starting quarterback, right? Throughout the year if Hill gets hurt because he is a rookie and isn’t used to the rigors of a NFL season or Santonio Holmes re-injures his ribs or Jeremy Kerley’s balky hamstring acts up, where is the depth?

The Green Bay Packers just signed Cedric Benson. They did this because smart teams who are perpetually in the playoffs and Super Bowls make sure they have depth. Green Bay might run the ball 25% less than the Jets do this year but now have better depth than them at running back. Is Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets front office that much smarter than Green Bay that they couldn’t take on Benson for a veteran’s minimum deal?

All it takes is a rolled Shonn Greene ankle for the Jets to have the worst depth chart of running backs in the NFL…I repeat all it takes is a rolled Shonn Greene ankle for the Jets to have the worst depth chart of running backs in the NFL. The mighty Ground and Pound who is going to run it more than any team in the NFL will not have a single back on the roster who has eclipsed 150 yards in a season.

Smart teams who are perpetually in the playoffs and Super Bowls make sure they have depth. Wake up Mike.

New York Jets – Breaking Down Sanchez’s 9 Dropbacks Friday Night

Breaking down Mark Sanchez’s 9 dropbacks in the New York Jets pre-season opener

New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez was asked to drop back for nine pass attempts in the team’s pre-season opener. Here is a breakdown of what occurred on each play and an overall analysis of his and the first unit’s performance in the passing game –

1) – 1st and 10 on NYJ 20 yard line – Completion for 0 yards to John Conner

The Jets opened the game in a double tight formation (Dustin Keller and Jeff Cumberland) with Stephen Hill split out wide and two backs. They ran a basic play action bootleg out to the right (a play Jets fans are familiar with from Brian Schottenheimer). Hill cleared out leaving Keller as the first read but he was covered, the only other viable option on the play was Conner in the flat who Sanchez threw the ball to. Conner made the reception but was immediately tackled by Manny Lawson. A simple, safe play that was defended and tackled well.

2) – 3rd and 8 on NYJ 22 yard line – Sacked for 9 yard loss

The Jets came out in shotgun on 3rd long with a bunch formation to the right. Sanchez never had a chance on this play as the Bengals sent a blitz to the right side. Austin Howard picked up the proper man but running back Bilal Powell missed Rey Maualuga who brought Sanchez down before the play had a chance to develop.

3) 3rd and 2 on NYJ 28 yard line – Incompletion to Jordan White

Again the New York Jets ran a play that was popular during the Brian Schottenheimer years. The short yardage, speed out to the slot receiver was a bread butter play for the Jets in both 2009 and 2010, with Jerricho Cotchery frequently running it, although Braylon Edwards ripped off a big gain on it in 2009 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This play was designed for Jordan White and it is basically going to him no matter what, as from the slot he is supposed to run an immediate speed out a 1/2 yard to a yard past the first down marker on the short side of the field. The ball gets thrown to the low and outside where only the receiver can get it.

White cut his route a little short (a frequent mistake for young receivers), throwing off the timing. Sanchez threw the ball where it was supposed to be but White failed to pull in the tough catch (Terrence Newman had nice coverage as well).

4) 1st and 10 on NYJ 33 yard line – 6 yard completion to Patrick Turner

Turner ran an angle route over the middle from the slot position. He quickly beat his man to the inside (Leon Hall) and as the primary target Sanchez got the ball to him quickly. Hall recovered to make a nice tackle. Overall, a successfully executed first down play that is probably better suited to a quicker player like Jeremy Kerley.

5) 2nd and 4 on NYJ 39 yard line – 6 yard completion to Patrick Turner

The Jets ran double speed outs with their outside receivers (Turner and Stephen Hill). Turner was on the short side of the field and was receiving a substantial cushion. Sanchez made the right read and a good throw to convert the first down. Again a simple, safe call to convert on 2nd and short.

6) 2nd and 11 on NYJ 44 yard line – 9 yard completion to Patrick Turner

As you can tell, Sanchez was easily the most comfortable with Turner out of any of his wide receivers. On this play, Turner ran a comeback route and was the primary option. Sanchez delivered a well timed throw. Leon Hall provided fairly good coverage and wrapped Turner up immediately. Either way, a successful play on a 2nd and long.

7) 3rd and 2 on CIN 47 yard line – Sanchez scrambles for 4 yards

It is hard to tell whether Sanchez taking off up the middle was the primary option on this play. The Jets sent their outside receivers on deep post corner routes (both of whom were blanketed) and the middle of the field was cleared out as well by vertical routes. Sanchez stepped up in the pocket and had nothing but green in front of him. He got enough for the first down and got down.

8) 2nd and 8 on CIN 41 yard line – Sanchez sacked 7 yard loss

Simply put, backup tight end Jeff Cumberland was smoked off the line by Manny Lawson, barely getting a hand on him. Sanchez hadn’t even set his feet and Lawson was on him. Can we sign a blocking tight end?

9) 3rd and 15 on CIN 48 yard line – Incompletion to Jordan White

The Jets didn’t run an aggressive play here to attempt to get a first down. It looked more like the intent was to get half the yardage to either go for it on 4th down or kick a long field goal. Jordan White ran an option route in the slot but never really came open. Sanchez waited and bought himself a little time by scrambling out to his left but basically threw it away because of how covered White was.

Analysis – Tony Sparano didn’t give Sanchez much of a chance to push the ball vertically and that might have been wise considering some of the protection issues. Neither of the sacks or incompletions were on Sanchez. Rookie Jordan White was the target of both incompletions and failed to run a good route both times or catch the ball in the one case. Sanchez was given no time on either sacks. On his completions (outside of the dump off to Conner), Patrick Turner was the primary target and he got him the ball every time. Two 6 yard and a 9 yard completion may not seem impressive but considering the context (6 yards on first down, converting a first down on 2nd and short and picking up 9 yards on 2nd and 11, respectively) they were good throws.

Keep in mind, Santonio Holmes will be in Turner’s spot on those type of plays and has the ability to get more separation and create more after the catch.

A Word On Tebow 

The Good – His slant route to Stephen Hill for 12 yards was a very impressive thrown. Cover 2 is the last type of coverage you want to see on a slant route and Tebow fit it into a tight window. The scrambles were all very athletic plays, even if he might have pulled the ball down a little early on a few. Regardless, you don’t complain when you are picking up chunks of yardage like that. He also had a nice throw to Stephen Hill on a 3rd and 7 that Hill blatantly dropped.

The Bad – The interception was awful, by both him and Jeff Cumberland. Cumberland had an option route and should have hitched back to the quarterback instead of breaking out. Regardless Tebow locked into him and threw it regardless even though the linebacker had cut underneath. He had a poor read and throw to Chaz Schilens on a slant and go. Tebow again locked in even though Schilens was blanketed by two guys and floated a poorly thrown ball. He should have checked down in that situation.

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