The New York Jets have benched right tackle Wayne Hunter
In a move that was long overdue…as in it should have done after the first play of the 2011 regular season, New York Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter has been benched. His replacement for the time being will be Austin Howard, who started the Jets first pre-season game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Howard was an undrafted free agent in 2010 who has spent time on the Eagles and Ravens practice squad. The best thing to say about Howard is that he cannot be worse than Wayne Hunter, it is physically impossible.
ESPN’s Rich CImini is reporting that the Jets remain in the trade market for a starting right tackle despite Howard’s promotion. The team will likely evaluate how he performs against Carolina on Sunday with the starters before deciding to pull the trigger on any move. At this point, it will not be easy to acquire a capable starting lineman.
Ultimately guaranteeing Hunter’s contract this off-season will go down as one of the worst moves in Mike Tannenbaum’s career as the Jets GM. It was indefensible considering his play last season and the plethora of options on the free agent market at right tackle this off-season. The Jets cannot cut Hunter at this point without taking a substantial hit to their cap and are desperately still looking for a starter with the season only a couple of weeks away.
You hate to have this type of instability on the offensive side of the football so close to the season.
Chris Gross explores the potential pros and cons of the New York Jets trading for Maurice Jones-Drew
With a lengthy hold out seemingly poised to last well into the regular season, Jacksonville Jaguars star Running Back Maurice Jones-Drew has reportedly told the team that he is open to being traded if the two sides cannot come to an agreement on a new deal. Since then, many reports have surfaced linking the reigning rushing champion to the New York Jets. Some sources have reported that the Jets front office has contacted Jacksonville to inquire about the availability of Jones-Drew, while conflicting reports have stated that New York has no interesting in making a deal. Although signs currently point to the latter, with Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, one can never quite say never.
In exploring a deal for Jones-Drew, there are numerous factors to take into account. First, why on earth would Jacksonville, under the new ownership of Shahid Khan, get rid of the face of the franchise, rather than pay him the money he commands? The answer is quite simple. With a completely new regime in place, the Jaguars seem ready to move forward in complete overhaul mode, meaning moving ahead with young players, leaving no room for high priced veterans who are going to cause a distraction to the new coaching staff and front office. With that in mind, Jacksonville would surely like to add some future draft picks to bring in their own, young players in the future, with the idea of building a playoff caliber team a few years from now.
What could also determine whether or not the Jaguars decide to retain, or move MJD, is the play of the man who has replaced Jones-Drew as the lead back in his absence, Rashad Jennings. Over the past two seasons in Jacksonville, Jennings has built a career rushing average of 5.4 yards per carry. Last season, he played in just 13 games while accumulating 459 rushing yards on just 84 carries, for a total of 5.5 YPC. The argument can certainly be made that Jennings is a beneficiary of Jones-Drew wearing down defenses for him to rip off big chunks of yardage, however Jennings has been quite impressive this preseason thus far without MJD carrying the load in front of him.
In his first two games this preseason, Jennings has carried the ball 23 times for a total of 118 yards, including 56 yards on the New York Giants starting defense, the same defense that held Jets starting Running Back Shonn Greene to just 36 yards on 11 carries. While Jennings may not be Jones-Drew, he has shown that he has the potential to be a very serviceable back in this league.
The next immediate question that comes to mind is whether or not this would be a good move for the Jets to make. First, let’s look at why Tannenbaum and co. would want to make such a trade:
Usually when players of Jones-Drew’s stature reportedly become available, the immediate concern for all teams interested is the cap space. According to nyjetscap.com, the Jets have just over $6 million left before going over this year’s salary cap. Jones-Drew is slated to make $4.45 million this season, and $4.95 million next season, so, for at least the immediate future, the move could work financially.
Talking strictly football, Jones-Drew could be a godsend for the Jets. For a team committed to establishing a “ground and pound” identity, they have proved to be anything but from what we have seen over the course of their two early preseason games. Not one back on the roster has stood out as someone who can carry the workload and be the lead back. Jones-Drew is a proven back who has consistently posted stats atop the league, rushing for over 1300 yards in each of the past three seasons, including an NFL leading 1606 yards in 2011. At 27, many believe MJD is nearing the point in his career when he will begin to wear down, but he has shown no signs of that up until this point, averaging his most yards per carry last season since his rookie year.
On the issue of age, Michael Turner signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent prior to the 2008 season, at 26 years old, just a year younger than Jones-Drew’s current age. In his four seasons in Atlanta, Turner has run for at least 1300 yards, other than 2009 when he played in just 11 games due to injury. However, he has been able to rush for double-digit touchdowns in each of those seasons, including his shortened 2009. While there are concerns about the mileage of MJD, he is still likely a few seasons away from reaching his peak, before the inevitable descend of the NFL running back.
Additionally, bringing in MJD would actually help Shonn Greene–also 27 years old. Greene’s most productive season was when he was paired with Thomas Jones as a rookie in 2009. Jones was the Jets workhorse, as he would wear down defenses with his tough running style, similar to that of Jones-Drew, while Greene would spell him and take advantage of an exhausted defense, averaging a career best 5 YPC. Since then, Greene has struggled to take over as the lead back for New York. In 2010, he was beat out for the starting spot by LaDanian Tomlinson, who many thought was brought in to serve primarily in a back-up/third down role. Finally, in 2011, when Greene became the starter, he barely put fear in opposing defenses, running for just over 1,000 yards with 6 touchdowns. These are not exactly great numbers for a lead back on a team built to run the football.
While a change in coordinators was expected to help Greene, there has been no sign of that this preseason thus far. Jones-Drew and Greene could complement each other as well as Jones and Greene did back in 2009, and would be a step in the right direction in returning the Jets to the top of the league in rushing, assuming the Right Tackle situation is properly addressed. Still, Wayne Hunter’s run blocking isn’t nearly as bad as his pass pro, and many times, a back as dynamic as Jones-Drew can help mask, or at least band-aid, a weak link on the line like Hunter, while providing help in the pass game, as he is certainly one of the better pass blocking backs in the NFL.
MJD is also very effective as a receiver out of the backfield, an element that was virtually non-existent in the Jets offense in 2011. Over the span of his six-year career, Jones-Drew has compiled 279 receptions for 2,473 yards and 10 touchdowns. When was the last time the Jets offense successfully ran a screen that ripped off a big chunk of yards? Or better yet, when was the last time they effectively completed a pass to a back in any type of route out of the backfield?
Although the Right Tackle situation is surely a top priority for the Jets, that does not mean they can’t make moves that would greatly improve their roster in the mean time. Jones-Drew is a unique talent that would add a very interesting dynamic to an offense that lacks in that area.
When imagining Jones-Drew in the Green and White, strictly considering football reasons, there is very little, if anything, to dispel such an addition. However, anyone associated with this league knows how much of a role the business aspect plays in every decision, and when considering this, there is great reason as to why this trade would not work.
The price tag – MJD would not come cheap. Jacksonville would likely seek multiple draft picks in exchange for Jones-Drew, possibly a 2nd and 5th, which was what Marshall Faulk was traded for back in 1999 when the premium on Running Backs was much higher, or even two 3rd rounders, which was what Brandon Marshall was traded to Chicago for earlier this offseason. While the picks required to obtain Jones-Drew would probably not scare Mike Tannenbaum away, the eventual price to pay him likely will.
Although Jones-Drew would likely report to the Jets, if traded, prior to receiving a new deal, the Jets would be in a very difficult position come March, when they are going to be required to finally give Darrelle Revis his long overdue massive pay day. So, following this season, the Jets would be in a difficult spot. Do you pay Revis and ship out Jones-Drew, essentially making him a costly one-year rental? It would be very hard to imagine a scenario where the Jets spit in the face of Revis and awarded MJD with a contract before their most prized possession, as it would likely cause an immense outrage amongst the fan base. Tannenbaum and the front office couldn’t possibly be so short sighted.
The Holdout Factor – Even if the Jets hypothetically swing a deal for the coveted veteran out of UCLA, his performance almost surely will not be near where it has been in the past due to his lengthy holdout. When observing the history of star players who have held out recently, they never seem to hit their stride until much later than normal. In 2010, Darrelle Revis missed time due to injury following his holdout. Similarly, Tennessee Running Back Chris Johnson ran for career lows in both yards–1047–and touchdowns—4—after ending his holdout late last summer. Even if Jones-Drew were to be traded right now and reported to camp by Friday, he would me miles behind, both physically and mentally. He would likely not hit his stride until midseason, which would still leave the Jets in the same predicament they are in through a vigorous first half of the year.
As unlikely as a move for Jones-Drew may be, Mike Tannenbaum is notorious for pulling surprise trades. Under his management, the Jets have acquired Kris Jenkins, Brett Favre, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie, Santonio Holmes, and Tim Tebow via trade, just to name a few. Like any trade, though, there are positives and negatives of bringing in MJD. If available, it could simply come down to how desperate the Jets become offensively, something that is still very difficult to gauge.
Where will the improvement on the New York Jets offense come from?
The New York Jets have hit rock bottom as an offensive unit. They can’t possibly play worse than they did against the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants. Their home pre-season game against Carolina needs to begin a road to improvement. Carolina has an average defense at best, so it will be good opportunity to build a little confidence and momentum heading into the regular season. The question is where will the improvement on this unit come from?
Trade Market – You never know what Mike Tannenbaum could come up with or what teams will be looking to move pieces as training camp comes to a close. From all indications the Jets aren’t in the market for a skill position addition but have to at least be exploring right tackle options. Teams around the league aren’t stupid. They know how desperate the Jets are for help at right tackle, so the question becomes is Mike Tannenbaum willing to overpay in compensation? From the way Hunter looked against the Giants, he has to be.
Free Agent Scrap Heap – Mike Tannenbaum has said the Jets will have “mini-draft” right around Labor Day after the last wave of roster cuts. That is all well and good but there is a reason teams cut players. The Jets will have to focus on teams with excessive depth in certain areas and hope to find something valuable. This is not where you want to be finding a starter for your offensive unit. However, there is no reason the Jets can’t find a competent blocking tight end prior to week one.
Getting Healthy – The biggest impact here will come at the wide receiver position. Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley will make a difference when they return and the Jets passing game production will improve. The Jets desperately need both players to be healthy and productive throughout the entire season. Holmes is the unit’s top playmaker and Kerley showed a high amount of potential in the slot in 2011.
Making Internal Decisions – If the Jets aren’t going to add another right tackle from outside the team, it is time to hand the job over to Austin Howard. He is probably only capable of starting on one team in the NFL but unfortunately that team is the Jets. Simply put, he cannot be worse than Wayne Hunter. At running back, the Jets need to decide if Joe McKnight or Bilal Powell will be the third down back and commit to it. McKnight’s upside is substantially higher and the Jets need speed desperately, so he is the logical choice.
Tebow Factor – One player who can make the Jets running game dynamic is Tim Tebow, particularly lined up at quarterback in certain situations. We still have no idea exactly how he will be deployed in the Jets offense but even if he can pick up 45-55 yards a game, it will make a huge difference in an offense desperate for yards.
Force The Issue – Tony Sparano needs to get the ball in his playmakers hands in the right situation. Get Santonio Holmes in space where he can run after the catch. Throw deep post and go routes to Stephen Hill. Send Dustin Keller down the seam and if they are taking it away, line him up at receiver and throw him a screen to keep him involved. Make McKnight the third down back and thrown him a few screens.
Sanchez – Protect the football and take more shots down the field. Sometimes you need to throw the deep ball just to throw it. Stephen Hill is 1 on 1 but covered well? Throw it anyway. He is 6 foot 4 for a reason. Santonio Holmes is 1 on 1 but covered well? Give him a chance to make a play, he was a Super Bowl MVP for a reason. Throw an interception on a 50 yard bomb on 3rd and 10, instead of on a 2 yard crossing pattern on 3rd and 10.
Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch previews the AFC East
Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, today breaking down the AFC East. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and check out our new partner Night Out –
After watching the Jets this offseason, I’ve decided I can’t do an All-Jets stock watch this week. I’m still waiting for a response from Mike Tannenbaum after the letter I wrote to him the other day, so I’ll let everyone know when he gets back to me, and I’ll reserve more comment until that time. I’m sure it’s high on his list of things to do, somewhere between “find the next Victor Cruz”, and “get back those incriminating pictures Wayne Hunter has of me”, because things like “get competent NFL lineman” and “find tight end who can block” are clearly not priorities. Let’s just move on before I punch my laptop.
But don’t worry Jets fans, there is still some Jets content coming today because I’ve decided to kick off my NFL preview series with the AFC East, which is home of our mighty J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. I’m going to be buying and selling records (the real Vegas lines), stats, prop bets (mostly made up ones by me), and whatever else I deem relevant. Here we go…
1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-4), #1 seed
BUY: Over 11.5 wins – Sigh. I have the Pats down for 12 wins because of Tom Brady, another ridiculously easy schedule somehow, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and of course, Tom Brady. Looks like another division win for Cheating Bill and his prized unbelievably crappy defense. Ugh.
BUY: Tom Brady over 5,000 yards – I couldn’t find an actual prop for Brady’s yards this season, but I would be happy to bet that he breaks Drew Brees’s record from just last year. Can’t you just picture Tom going into Cheating BIll’s evil lair this offseason, mentioning what Brees did, then they both just nod at each other with the understanding this year they’ll blow that new record right out of the water? Well, I sure can.
SELL: Brandon Lloyd over 1,000 yards – I know a lot of people are extremely high on Lloyd this year as he’s following his coach/mentor/super best friend Josh McDaniels to their third team together, plus he gets to play with Tom Brady this time. Unfortunately, I think the Pats just have too many weapons and Lloyd won’t be dominating to the degree many are expecting. There’s some free fantasy advice for ya.
SELL: The Patriots Defense – So funny how the media bows to Belichick and raves about how his two rookie defenders will dominate from day 1, but Quinton Coples is a lazy bum and is the second coming of Vernon Gholston. I guess it’s Bill’s awesome track record of drafting superstar defenders lately like Jermaine Cunningham, Ron Brace, and Darius Butler that would lead everyone to believe that.
2. NEW YORK JETS (10-6), wild card
BUY: Over 8.5 wins – I know, I know. After watching the preseason so far and seeing the complete lack of depth or quality blockers on the team, it’s hard to like the Jets right now. But let’s face it, this defense is going to be AWESOME. Rex is going to unleash that defense three times against rookie QB’s (Luck once, Tannehill twice), Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Fitzpatrick twice, Jake Locker, Kevin Kolb, Brian Schottenheimer’s offense, Matt Flynn, and Alex Smith this year. 9 wins is a lock. In fact, as down as most of us are right now, I think this is a 10 or 11-win team that’s heading to the playoffs this year.
BUY: Shonn Greene over 1,200 yards – I know many, many fans don’t believe in Greene, but here’s why I expect big things from him: he’s in a contract season. Never underestimate the hunger of a player playing for money. He’s going to play every game, Sparano is going to feed him the ball, and he’s going to play very well.
SELL: 4.5 games started by Wayne Hunter – I really, truly believe Mike Tannenbaum is going to do something drastic to address the RT position soon, which will relegate Hunter to a bench player.
BUY: Mark Sanchez over 60% completions – I think Sanchez is going to take a big leap this year. The numbers may not quite be there overall in a running offense, but we will see a noticeable difference in his play.
OVER: Quinton Coples 4.5 sacks – Some fans won’t be happy unless Coples racks up 15 sacks, but if he gets over 5 this year that would be a very solid rookie year for a lineman who will be taking on two blockers a lot of the time this year.
SELL: Over 2.5 media members who will admit they were wrong about it – The funny thing about the offseason darling team everyone picks in July to go to the playoffs, is that nobody is willing to admit they were on that bandwagon when they lose their 11th game in December. I’ll be happy to call out all the “experts” as best I can when this happens in Buffalo this year.
BUY: CJ Spiller – I think Spiller is going to be a nice little sleeper in fantasy football this year. Fred Jackson is an old, injured man, and Spiller helps them out since they have just one receiving threat. He will get his touches.
SELL: Mario Williams over 10 sacks – Granted, he can easily approach this number in two games against Wayne Hunter (ok, more like 2 quarters), but I don’t see Mario getting to double digits. He wouldn’t be the first guy to mail it in after a huge contract, right Albert Haynesworth?
SELL: Ryan Fitzpatrick – Speaking of guys sucking after getting a big paycheck, how about that Ryan Fitzpatrick?! I see that second half slide from last season carrying into this year.
4. MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-11)
SELL: Over 7 wins – Sorry, I can’t think of a single reason why this number would be so high. Not one.
SELL: 36.5 games coached by Joe Philbin – I went over this in my Hard Knocks review, but man oh man, that Joe Philbin sure doesn’t inspire much confidence does he? I don’t think you’ll see too many Dolphins fans this year saying “Man, I’m really glad we hired Joe Philbin!”. Actually, I don’t think you’ll see too many Dolphins fans this year, period.
BUY: Reggie Bush – In fantasy football leagues where catches count, Reggie Bush is going to be a very popular man this year. Well, at least he will be for the 10 games he actually plays. The Fins will always be losing and playing catch-up, and mop up time is where Reggie Bush shines!
SELL: 0.5 Quality Receivers on the Team – I would have put this at under 0.5 even before Chad Johnson got cut. Davone Bess is still there, and he counts for about 0.4 of a quality receiver, but not quite the 0.51 to push this over the total.
The New York Jets defense needs to take advantage of their early season opponents
The New York Jets are going to struggle offensively this season. Even if they aren’t as bad as many project them to be after a pathetic start to the pre-season, this offense isn’t built to consistently score over 20 over points even with improved play. Beyond that, they probably won’t hit their “stride” (whatever that will be this year) until the middle of the season, after all the injured receivers get in sync with Mark Sanchez, everybody becomes more comfortable with Tony Sparano’s system and the proper use of Tim Tebow is figured out.
Unfortunately the Jets schedule opens up with their most difficult five game stretch of the season, where they will face three playoff teams from last year and two divisional opponents. If they want to avoid digging themselves into a substantial early season hole, it will be up to the defense to flat out put the team on their back and win a few early season games. A closer look at the schedule, reveals that if this defense is as good as hyped they should start out very strongly.
In week one they face the Buffalo Bulls led by a mediocre quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick at home. Over the past two years, Chan Gailey’s offense is averaging 14 points per game on Rex Ryan’s defense. Buffalo made no major additions to their offense this season, while the Jets added a new pair of starting safeties and a first round defensive lineman. 14 points could very well be all the Jets can afford to give up at the rate their new offense is developing.
At first glance, week two in Pittsburgh appears to be a nightmare early season match-up. However, the Jets defense should actually match-up favorably with their offense. Pittsburgh has questions all over the offensive line, so you would think Ryan and Mike Pettine’s complicated scheme would cause some problems. Pittsburgh’s strength is going vertical with their wide receivers but the Jets are built to cover Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. In their two meetings in 2010, both in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger’s offense scored 17 points both times (remember one touchdown in the AFC Championship Game was on a fumble return by Pittsburgh’s defense).
The only way Pittsburgh actually hurt the Jets defense that year was with Rashard Mendenhall who had 220 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns over the course of both games. Mendenhall won’t be on the field in week 2 this year as he recovers from an leg injury.
In week three, the Jets face a rookie quarterback in Ryan Tannehil and a Miami offense that is the only one in the NFL with less depth at wide receiver than their own. In week four they play San Francisco at home. The thought of their defense coming after Mark Sanchez with Wayne Hunter blocking is a nightmare but offensively Alex Smith is Alex Smith and there is no reason to think he will duplicate his consistency from last year. San Francisco improved at receiver this off-season but the Jets are still more than equipped to cover Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham with their trio of cornerbacks.
Finally in week five the Jets face the Houston Texans at home. The Texans are built the way the Jets want to be. They can run the football. They can play defense and they have a vertical passing game. There is every indication that the Jets run defense will be very good this year and it better be on point in week five or Arian Foster and Ben Tate will shred them. Andre Johnson will be checked by Darrelle Revis, like he always is.
Rex Ryan believes the Jets have a top five defense in the NFL. They must be, particularly for the Jets in this early season stretch of games or the start to the season could be very ugly.
A list of things more productive than the New York Jets offense
To say the New York Jets offense has been bad this pre-season is an insult to the word bad. It actually might also be an insult to the word “offense” because whatever the hell they have been doing these past two weeks certainly isn’t NFL offensive football. The production has looked something like this –
– Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez’s longest completion – 12 yards
– Starting quarterback completions to projected top three wide receivers (Holmes, Hill, Kerley) – 0
What are a few things more productive than the New York Jets offense?
Isaiah Thomas as a NBA General Manager
Mike Francesa’s diet regimen
Every DMV in North Jersey
Bobby Valentine’s ability to bond with his players
Time Warner’s negotiations with the NFL Network
Chris Berman’s temper control in the 90s
It is very simple. The Jets offense isn’t going anywhere with a player like Wayne Hunter playing every snap. One offensive lineman can have that big of a trickle down, particularly when you are paper-thin at running back and wide receiver. Hunter’s struggles will prevent Mark Sanchez from ever being comfortable in the pocket and getting the ball down the field. The more Sanchez is battered, the more likely a quarterback controversy erupts. The more likely a quarterback controversy erupts, the more likely this season goes down in flames.
There is no glass half full perspective about the Jets offense until Hunter is replaced. I wrote it in March and I write it again now. You can talk me into the wide receiver situation improving with a healthy Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley coupled with a growing Stephen Hill. You can talk me into Shonn Greene being okay if he is supported by Tim Tebow breaking off a few runs every week. You can’t talk me into Hunter getting magically better, particularly when the Jets don’t have a blocking tight end on their roster to help support him when necessary.
Somebody please explain to me why Chad Clifton, Kareem McKenzie and Vernon Carey all weren’t flown in for workouts today?
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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 Donnelly – What 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.
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 –
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.