New York Jets: Green and White Scrimmage Recap

Mike Donnelly recaps the New York Jets Green and White scrimmage

Mike Donnelly provides a recap of today’s Green and White scrimmage. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter and check back tomorrow for Chris Gross’ overview of the Jets options at wide receiver with Santonio Holmes likely being out for 4-6 weeks with a broken rib. 

With today’s first Jets Green and White scrimmage taking place, the important thing to remember is that today is August 4th and the season doesn’t begin for another five weeks. So getting too up or too down about certain players or position groups on this team based on one glorified practice is a pretty futile exercise. That being said, there would be no fun in keeping a level head and not breaking down the action that we saw, heard, or read tweets about this afternoon.

The main thing to know about today’s scrimmage was that in addition to learning a whole new system on the fly, the Jets offense was without wide receivers Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, and Chaz Schilens, plus 3/5 of their starting offensive line were out. (Nick Mangold was off in London to watch his sister compete in the Olympics, Brandon Moore was out watching Curtis Martin get inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Wayne Hunter was not playing, which would usually be good thing until you remember his backups are even worse, but that’s a whole other issue). Oh, and they were only going against arguably the best defense in the NFL.

No big deal. That of course won’t stop many “experts” and commenters from bashing the offense and making unfunny Twitter jokes, but the fact is, the defense is supposed to dominate in situations like that. So for the purposes of this article, I’m going to be looking at all of the positives that came out of today’s scrimmage and not taking petty shots at anyone; not even at Tim Tebow, i promise. Let’s break this down in easy-to-read fashion with random thoughts:

Quinton Coples – I guess all the fans ready to call him a Gholston (it seemed like some actually want him to fail so they can say “I told you so”, which blows my mind) can exhale and actually, you know, give the first round pick more than 6 practices before writing him off. On the very first play of the scrimmage he beat his man, knifed in, and stuffed Shonn Greene behind the line of scrimmage. After that, by all accounts he played very well and should only build off this performance.

Flashes of the new Defense – Rex Ryan started to show some wrinkles he’s incorporating into the new 46 defense this year, and came in with many different looks. Aaron Maybin was all over the field lining up at many different positions, and we even saw some looks where Calvin Pace and Coples were standing up next to each other on the same side of the line. It’s very easy to get excited about this defense, especially when you read things like…

Antonio Allen, Garrett McIntyre, and Ricky Sapp all looked great – Three guys who are all under-the-radar and unknown to casual fans all have had very strong camps and continued that today. Allen has looked like an absolute steal as a 7th round pick, and Sapp and McIntyre are proving that the Jets are not as thin at OLB as many would think. Those Stock Watch Buys of Sapp the past few weeks are looking like money makers so far!

Dustin Keller – Keller caught 3 passes for 31 yards against the first string defense, which is a very positive sign. It appears as though new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano got the memo Brian Schottenheimer never got around to reading, about Dustin Keller being a legit weapon for this offense and if put in the proper position can really do well. Better late than never I suppose. Speaking of Sparano..

Sparano makes adjustments, Sanchez looks sharp – After getting it handed to them early in the scrimmage, when the offense came out for the first drive after halftime, they looked totally different. Mark Sanchez looked great as he went 7-9 for 52 yards during a 60-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown pass to Bilal Powell. That halftime adjustment already gives Sparano one more than Schotty had in six years here as coordinator. Sad, but true.

Santonio Holmes broke his ribs – Oh wait, that’s not a positive at all. But it looks as though that is the case, as he was apparently leveled by #2 wide receiver Antonio Cromartie — yes, Antonio Cromartie made a big hit. Seriously. — and came out of the scrimmage. If the rib is indeed broken, his status for week 1 is very much up in the air. The options to replace him from outside the organization are downright putrid now that Braylon Edwards just signed with Seattle, so someone has to step up. If there is a silver lining to all of this, it will give players like Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner, Jeremy Kerley and even Jordan White the opportunity to step in and show the coaching staff something. It remains to be seen whether or not they will do so, but if all else fails, I guess we can just look forward to watching a 57-8 run/pass ratio in week 1, right?

Curtis Martin going into the HOF – Not part of today’s scrimmage, but definitely worth mentioning. One of the greatest Jets of all time is heading into the Hall of Fame tonight, and we couldn’t be happier for him here at TOJ. If you missed my column on why Curtis deserves this honor so much, you can check that out here.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: New York Jets Mailbag

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack answers fan’s questions about the New York Jets

Today’s 12 Pack is going to answer 12 questions we received on Twitter about the New York Jets throughout this morning. If you aren’t following on Twitter, kindly take a moment and do it right now. Also make sure to follow fellow TOJ writers Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly and TJ Rosenthal as well. We had a busy week here at TOJ, here is a recap –

Take a look at our new t-shirts to celebrate the start of the 2012 season. Get your order in now, they are moving fast and a big thanks to everybody who has bought one so far. Wear that green and white proud

1. @SeanLDurham – “Talk about this silly notion that Sanchez isn’t showing any back bone by supporting Tebow packages in the red-zone”

Sanchez is in a difficult situation because no quarterback ever wants to come off the field. However, he has handled the situation properly with the media. He knows what he is dealing with and one comment that shows dissatisfaction is going to lead to all types of unnecessary hype and drama surrounding his team. Sanchez is demonstrating his leadership by putting the team first, although personally I’m sure he has resolved to play at a high enough level that it becomes extremely difficult to take him off the field, in any situation.

2. @ItsOasus – “What about the hamstring situation? Preventable?”

This has been an extremely frustrating part of training camp, particularly at the wide receiver position. Hamstrings are pulled when players are not properly stretched or didn’t show up in proper football shape to camp, as a few receivers has publicly admitted. Tony Sparano is running uptempo practices and it seems the receivers are having a tough time adjusting to all the running. At this point, the injuries have already occurred so the players have to make sure they are fully healed before they return or else the injury can become a nagging issue all season.

3. @DC914 – “Who has really been impressive in camp so far?”

On offense, you have to go with Bilal Powell. And how is that for a shocker? Many people didn’t even think Powell would make the roster and yet he has been the consistently most impressive back on the team. He is receiving gradually more work with the first team and has a serious chance to end up being the third down back. Josh Baker also deserves a mention. He is a versatile player, who we talked up a bunch this off-season. Baker will be a factor at tight end, H-Back and fullback this season. On defense, Aaron Maybin has been racking up multiple sacks every day and Ricky Sapp hasn’t been far behind. The Jets may have finally found a couple edge pass rushers.

4. @WheelanNDealin – What about the Australian TE the Jets signed this off-season?

Hayden Smith has held his own by most accounts so far in Cortland. However, he still has a long way to go before leap frogging Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland and Josh Baker on the depth chart. Smith is a good down the road prospect and has practice squad written all over him for this season.

5. @TeamThirstTrap – How are LaRon Landry and Bryan Thomas looking after coming off major injuries?

LaRon Landry has been on a pitch count all camp but when he has been out there he been very impressive. Landry has admitted himself that he can only go 100 miles per hour so the Jets have tried to protect him from himself somewhat. He is on pace to start the first pre-season game but will likely receive limited usage throughout the pre-season to make sure he is 100% for Buffalo in week 1. Bryan Thomas has had a quiet camp. Yet, the team knows what to expect from him. He should be a quality two down linebacker for the defense throughout this season.

6. @NFLSpecialist – Santonio Holmes admittedly “not being ready for camp” and what are Rex’s disciplinary options?

Holmes quotes didn’t come off well yesterday, with his comments about not being in “true football shape” yet. He is setting a poor example for a group that been injury plagued and disappointing throughout camp. Unfortunately for Rex, he needs Holmes back on the field as soon as possible because he is the team’s only proven wide receiver and because it will encourage the other injured players to get out there. Holmes has always been a gamer but he is coming off a down year, so it remains to be seen how productive he will be.

7. @ShawnZP715 – Details on Jets practice at MetLife and how is Coples doing so far?

The Jets practice at MetLife Stadium will be on August 21st from 5:30 – 8:30 and open to the public for free. Coples has had a quiet camp so far. Apparently he has had some difficultly grasping the full installation of the defense, so the Jets have been using him more situationally. This makes sense since Coples will primarily be used on passing downs this season anyway, since Mike DeVito is so stout against the run.

8. @MikeMHill – How many rushing yards will Shonn Greene have this season? Over 1,500?

I would project Greene to finish with somewhere between 1,150 – 1,300 yards. I’d be shocked if he finished anywhere near 1,500 yards or over it. Greene is good for about 4.2 yards per carry, so if he gets the 300 carries Tony Sparano talked about giving him, he is looking at about 1,260 yards this season.

9. @MCaseyNYJ – Who really is the 2nd best receiver on the team? 

Based on physical talent alone it is probably Stephen Hill. Yet, he is extremely raw and obviously unproven as a rookie. Chaz Schilens has the best combination of physical skills and NFL production and only has 72 career receptions. Jeremy Kerley is coming off a pretty good rookie year but has been hurt and is in Rex Ryan’s doghouse. One player to keep an eye on is Patrick Turner who is quietly putting together a very good camp and showed some flashes last season.

10. @CrazyChimpman – Will the offense improve in rank and do we possibly have a legitimate pass rush? 

At a minimum the offense will improve in their rushing rank because of how frequently they are going to run the ball and the presence of Tim Tebow. As for the pass rush, Aaron Maybin looks legitimately poised for a double digit sack season and the presence of Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples up front should give the Jets more pressure they’ve had from their defensive lines in years.

11. @FroDawg14 – The best way to maximize efficiency in the red-zone?

Both of the Jets quarterbacks…yes both are very good rushing threats inside the 5 yard line. When throwing the football, Dustin Keller, Stephen Hill, Patrick Turner and Jeff Cumberland all have good size and potential to be consistent weapons down there. The Jets should be a very, very good red-zone team in 2012.

12. @JetsChamp – Talk about Jets beat writers thinking fans want them to cause fights among players and that we enjoy reading controversey

I wouldn’t put all the blame on the beat writers. The ESPN coverage has been far worse. Yes, the beat writers can exaggerate headlines at times but that isn’t always their fault. However, the intentional controversy brewing around this team has been frustrating and that is why we are here…we are on a mission to civilize New York Jets coverage.

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Inside Look: ESPN’s Idiotic Coverage Of New York Jets Training Camp

An inside look at ESPN’s idiotic coverage of New York Jets training camp

For everybody who was happy the New York Jets passed on Hard Knocks because of the excessive coverage it brought to training camp, they clearly didn’t realize the ESPN controversy stewing idiot box would be camped out in Cortland 24/7.

By the way, have you seen this trailer for Miami Dolphins Hard Knocks? Can you name one player you see? Can you stay awake listening to Joe Philbin talk? I am pretty sure I’d rather watch that new show with Matthew Perry NBC is pumping up more than this…and that show looks just awful.

Anyway back to the ESPN idiot box camped outside of Jets practice. This is a general outline of  their daily agenda –

– Find group of fans willing to chant Tebow, keep the camera in front of them all day. Every time we return from commercial, open with them and then cut to either Ron Jaworski or Skip Bayless smugly smiling.

– Allow Ron Jaworski to make poorly researched uninformed statements about the Jets offense and then hold the Jets quarterbacks to a double standard.

  • Mark Sanchez throws a deep out route low but it is still caught by Santonio Holmes. Cue Jaworski “That is the kind of throw you must get up higher…if you want to play…in the National…Football…League”
  • Tim Tebow sails a pass to Josh Baker over the middle and it is nearly intercepted. Cue Jaworski “Look at how Tebow has improved his throwing motion. He is really putting some nice arc on the ball. The Jets must get more athletic at tight end to help Tim Tebow play…in the National…Football…League”
  • Jaworski comments that Sanchez is comfortable with Jeff Cumberland and has chemistry with him but doesn’t have it with Josh Baker because they haven’t worked together. The only problem is Cumberland was on IR after week 3 last season and Baker spent the rest of the season practicing with the team, culminating with him catching a touchdown in week 16.
  • Jaworski notes that Tony Sparano is basically installing the same offense as Brian Schottenheimer. The only problem of course being that he is installing literally the complete opposite of what Schottenheimer did last year when the Jets base personnel was three receivers.

– Keep a microphone in front of Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes at all times and let the headlines run from there.

– Have Sal Paolantonio make regular observations of Tebow’s usage and Sanchez’s demeanor in response to it. “We heard Tebow could throw a pass at some point to keep defenses honest. Sanchez was reportedly a little upset because we saw him not get seconds at lunch today. Could the pressure be getting to him, both mentally and physically?”

– Have Skip and Stephen A debate any and everything Tebow. 

  • Why did Tebow run with his shirt off?
  • Why did Tebow decide against seeing a movie?
  • When is the last time Tebow got his hair cut?
  • Tim TEBOW might not be able to THROW THE FOOTBALL there Skip but don’t talk to me about Mark SAN-CHEZZZ leading this team, TEBOW IS A WINNER!!

Of course the Jets only have themselves to blame for consenting to having ESPN there for over a week. A day? Two days? You could deal with, but this long with this much coverage is ridiculous. So much for the escape to football paradise in Cortland where there are no distractions. For the rest of the world, we understand why you hate the Jets and are tired of hearing about them.

For us Jets fans, we know that behind all the BS is a potentially good football team, with plenty of good stories. This team is going to be disliked as long as Rex Ryan is the head coach and the cameras are everywhere, but doesn’t that just make it more fun to root for?

We are on a mission to civilize Jets coverage here at TOJ. Stay with us all season and make sure to wear that green and white proud.

New York Jets Adjusting To Open Door Policy

TJ Rosenthal wonders if the New York Jets can handle an open door media policy?

TJ Rosenthal of The Jet Report is back with another feature, today looking at the New York Jets ongoing struggles with media exposure. Make sure to give TJ a follow on Twitter and to follow his work all season long at both The Jet Report and here at Turn On The Jets 

For the Jets, the offense with their return to the Ground and Pound, and the defense with their newcomers and hopeful additions of the 4-3 and the 46, are just the major concepts going under a transformation on the fly. There is more.  You have key players most notably Mark Sanchez who seek consistency and efficiency. Then there are the coaches starting with Rex Ryan who aim to have a better handle on guiding things than they did during the 8-8 disaster last year. Finally, you have the tricky open door media policy. One that provides a unique window into the minds of the personalities of this team directly, but when utilized foolishly, still threatens to divide before it conquers.

On Monday Antonio Cromartie told the world that he is currently the second best wideout the Jets have. It sounded like a joke, or a street ball challenge to us. It came off as a slight though to newly acquired Chaz Schilens. The episode made national headlines thanks to the fact that ESPN has replaced the idea of an HBO “Hard Knocks” return this summer by pitching it’s own tents in Cortland to stalk the Jets every morning. The episode forced Rex Ryan to remind his club and in a way himself, to be careful about HOW one addresses the media.

After all, it had only been days since Santonio Holmes, a star who constantly struggles with timing and tone (no pun intended) when it comes to airing out his thoughts near a microphone, stated publicly that a two QB system won’t work.

In Ryan’s mind, who knew what player would simply step up to the podium and do some damage next. Who could tell how the next words out of a Jet players mouth would be interpreted by fans, teammates, and sportswriters?

To Ryan, Monday early evening meant warning time.

Hey, Rex’s Jets will never end up quiet. Silent. Shy. It’s not in their DNA. They can however, like both sides of the ball, find a groove that works for them. That embodies who they are in an effective, rather than destructive way. Post practice articles that popped up and questioned whether or not this was the first new Gang Green locker room squabble, after a plethora of them took place last year, were jumping the gun. In the same way that QB pitch counts between Sanchez and Tim Tebow are jumping the gun right now. However, Ryan’s warning shot was on point in that it’s never too early to establish habits worth keeping throughout an entire season.

The Jets have to realize from the top of the organization on down that the media  will continue to look for anything that keeps the newsworthy club relevant in banner headline fashion. The Jets are one of those “it” teams, especially now that some guy named Tebow has joined them. How they finished last season only dramatizes further the storyline of the rise and fall of a cocky, confident, brash club. The real question now is where does the story end. Will the Jets rise again under Ryan or sink further into confusion and disarray that to some, only scratched the surface in 2011?

At this point in time it is all a work in progress and too early to tell. Rebranding the offense to feature the ground game, while unleashing a new versatile athletic defense provides a new roadmap for Sanchez and Co. to follow, as they seek a way back to the playoffs. Heading back down the winning direction however, while avoiding the pitfalls of quotes that writers can turn into locker room wedges, may be the biggest challenge of them all for the 2012 Jets.

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New York Jets Headline Watch – Tebow Goal Line Dominance

Checking the accuracy about the Tim Tebow goal line dominance stories today

Shockingly enough the New York media and the mainstream media will occasionally twist headlines to generate some type of controversy. We will use this series of columns to review what was actually said and whether there is any reason to be up in arms about it. Today’s topic is Tim Tebow’s performance in the goal line segment of Jets practice –

Here are the headlines

What actually happened –

Mark Sanchez ran four goal line plays with the Jets first offense against the first defense. He ran for a touchdown and threw a touchdown. Tim Tebow ran four goal line plays with the Jets second offense against the second defense. He ran for two touchdowns and threw a touchdown.

Apparently scoring one more touchdown than Sanchez against backups, while Sanchez was going against the first team (a unit who is supposed to be one of the league’s best) equates to complete dominance and complete ignorance of Sanchez.

There is nothing wrong with being excited about Tebow performing well as a goal line rushing option. Yet, can we not forget Sanchez had the same amount of rushing touchdowns as Tebow last year, with six? His ability to play fake and bootleg is a weapon around the goal line is a weapon as well.

Ultimately the onslaught of headlines about Tebow going 3/4 against backups is…like most aspects of the coverage of Jets camp (which we will get into later)…complete overkill. Can’t you already hear Skip Bayless and Ron Jaworski yelling for Tebow to start next pre-season game because he beat Garret McIntyre to edge a couple of times in practice?

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – August 1st

The Turn On The Jets beat writer power rankings are back, who have been the top mainstream writers covering the New York Jets?

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the New York Jets is back. Myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly have ranked our top five after a week of training camp. Let us hear your opinion on Twitter, in the comment section or on the TOJ Facebook Page…and for the beat writers, we know you are reading and we do award five additional points to anybody seen in this shirt

1. Jenny Vrentas – Surprise, surprise! Jenny Vrentas remains in the top spot here at the TOJ Beat Writer Power Rankings as we get started with Training Camp and things really heat up. Even during the down period of the past few weeks, she remained active putting out her Summer Q&A feature where she asked players on the team a few questions. It wasn’t much, but it was nice to still have some fresh Jets material to peek through. During the past week, she stepped up her game, and in addition to her great work day-by-day at camp relaying all the info to her Twitter followers (all the beat writers do a great job with this), she put out a few great reads – one about Revis and his holdout, one about Curtis Martin discussing concussions, and of course some things on Tebow. In addition, she was the second beat writer (Manish was first) to appear on the Flight 5 Live Internet Show, and fan interaction always earns bonus points in our eyes. All in all, Jenny showed why she deserves to stay in the top spot and that it’s going to be tough to knock her off. – Mike Donnelly

2. Brian CostelloOur man Brian Costello of the New York Post has put in an excellent amount of work since our initial rankings, and finds himself second to only Vrentas this week. Coz really killed it with material leading into camp, including a phenomenal piece on Rex Ryan, which was a bit overlooked due to how great the Vrentas piece was. However, Costello provided a very unique look into a similar issue, the overall physical transformation of Ryan. Coz also wrote a fantastic, in-depth camp preview, among several other quality articles that were published during the weeks heading into camp. Among his writing, Coz had an excellent guest spot on ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd about two weeks ago, discussing the status of the Jets, the QB situation, and a brief pre-season outlook. It will certainly be tough to dethrone Vrentas this season, however at the rate he is going, I would not be surprised to see Costello be the one to do so. – Chris Gross

3. Rich Cimini – Regardless of the general opinion that Cimini is too negative towards the team, he has simply been writing his ass off the past few weeks. Beyond keeping his ESPN blog updated constantly and interacting with fans on Twitter, he has written a few very good feature pieces. Most notably, this one which was well researched and a much needed positive outlook on Mark Sanchez’s future in the middle of the endless line of undeserved criticism for him. This article discussing Darrelle Revis following the lead of Curtis Martin was a unique angle and another enjoyable read. Yes, the critical one liners can be annoying at times but it is impossible to ignore the quality of work he has been producing. – Joe Caporoso

4. Manish Mehta – Manish’s drop in the rankings has more to do with the excellent work of Mr. Coz and Rich Cimini the past few weeks than it does with The Daily News’ beat man. Manish mostly disappeared after mini-camp, and we felt he got off to a slow start once Training Camp really got going before really kicking some ass and getting into the swing of things the past few days. Hopefully he didn’t spend his vacation time getting big-timed by Gary Myers and being forced to read his long, boring dissertations on why the Jets are the worst at everything in a creepy Daily News back room somewhere. If Manish shows up in the next few days wearing stonewashed jeans and blocks me on twitter (as Gary did) then we’ll know he was brainwashed by Mr. Myers and then we’ll have to worry. Also worth mentioning, Manish has greatly curtailed his Sulia usage, and that earns major bonus points. I expect him to shoot up the rankings as soon as next week. – Mike Donnelly

5. Jane McManus Although she remains at the 5th spot, McManus has actually done some very good work over the past few weeks, just not quite enough to get the edge over one of the other four yet. She has been consistent with content on the ESPNNewYork Jets Blog, and has been tweeting Jets updates and news much more frequently than she had been in the weeks prior to training camp. She, like many other beat writers, put out a piece earlier in the week about Mark Sanchez using Eli Manning’s first three seasons as a pro to give himself a curve for how he should expect his fourth NFL season to go. Clearly, we agree with this notion here, as we reviewed a similar issue back in March. McManus has been doing solid work, but just needs a little more consitency to jump ahead in the rankings. – Chris Gross

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Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 7/31 – One Week In Cortland Edition

Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, focusing on the first week of training camp for the New York Jets

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. This week’s edition focuses on the first week of training camp in the books in Cortland. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and if you haven’t had the chance yet check out our brand new Turn On The Jets shirts

There’s a lot to get to this week with Jets Camp opening, so I won’t waste time coming up with an intro, other than to say FOOTBALL IS BACK!

BUY: Rex Ryan – Check back later in the week for my full take on Rex Ryan and why the Jets are lucky to have him, but for now I’m buying some Sexy Rexy stock. He got himself in the headlines this week by proclaiming himself the best defensive coach in the NFL (he’s right), but the more I see out of Rex this offseason the more I love it. He’s dialed back on the Super Bowl talk publicly, he’s lost a ton of weight, and the big thing is he’s holding his players accountable, as we saw with him calling out Jeremy Kerley. I also loved his comments telling Santonio Holmes to basically shut up, and that the best players will play. This is a big year for Rex and I expect him to answer the bell.

BUY: Aaron Maybin and Ricky Sapp – All of the reports out of camp so far are that Aaron Maybin looks absolutely awesome. For years now the Jets have lacked a dominant pass rusher, and it’s looking like Maybin might step into that role this year and finally give us a double digit sack man. There’s even talk that his role in the base defense will grow, which will give him even more opportunity to rush the passer. Maybin stock is on the rise. Big time.

As for Sapp, I would say he’s almost guaranteed a roster spot if he keeps up the good work like he has this week, which would really justify my Buy of him way back in the inaugural Stock Watch. According to the beat writers (Check back tomorrow for our new rankings) he racked up several nice tackles and even a few sacks. With Bryan Thomas up there in age and Calvin Pace seemingly entering his last year, the opportunity is there for Sapp to earn himself a spot on the team not just this year, but going forward as well.

BUY: Bilal Powell – The Running Back Who Was Left For Dead a few weeks ago (I had him in my initial Sell list as well) has been turning heads so far in camp and is a legit threat to Joe McKnight to take over the 3rd down back role. While he may not have the speed or elusiveness of the shifty McKnight, Powell has the ability to handle a bigger workload and could end up as one of the biggest sleepers on the entire roster.

SELL: Jeremy Kerley – Camp couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start for the man many expected would be the slot receiver in 2012. As if things weren’t bad enough when he injured himself and had to sit out for a week to start camp, they sure did get a whole lot worse when Rex Ryan — REX RYAN! — called him out publicly, and Rex NEVER has a bad word to say about his guys to the media. He said he was disappointed in Jeremy the whole offseason, and that’s definitely not a good sign. Now there’s talk that Holmes could be the predominant slot receiver with Hill and Schilens on the outside. Not a good start to 2012 for Mr. Kerley

SELL: Brian Schottenheimer Era – Plenty has been said about the pitiful former offensive coordinator, but Santonio Holmes had even more to say this week, and he really brought the laughs. During a radio interview with ESPN, Holmes was praising new OC Tony Sparano and pretty much threw Schotty directly under the proverbial bus when he said that the new coach actually “knows how to coach players”. Ouch. And you wonder why I’m so high on Sanchez now that he’s been freed from that buffoon’s shackles.

New York Jets: Right Tackle Remains Wayne Hunter

After Jeff Otah failed his physical, it appears Wayne Hunter will remain the New York Jets right tackle

After tackle Jeff Otah failed his initial physical a week ago, it was hard not to take a pessimistic view of his future with the New York Jets. The spin control started yesterday as comments were leaked out to the media about Otah not being likely to pass and people doubting he could help the team if he did. Rex Ryan simultaneously praised Wayne Hunter’s performance at camp so far in seeming preparation for Otah being shipped back to Carolina today.

Sure enough, Otah failed his physical and has left the Jets exactly where they started a week ago at right tackle. It is Wayne Hunter and a bunch of players on the roster who aren’t viable competitors to him.

Don’t buy the Mike Tannenbaum line of BS about Austin Howard being a competitor for the spot. If he was, the Jets wouldn’t have traded for Otah in the first place or signed journeyman Stephon Heyer. Vladimir Ducasse has been shifted to guard permanently to compete with Matt Slauson so he isn’t in the mix either. Everything Tannenbaum said today indicates that the Jets will likely now bring in another player to compete with Hunter.

Vernon Carey is a logical assumption, however the Jets could wait a week or so to see if there are any cuts in training camp or trades to be had with teams with depth at the position. With each passing day it does become more likely that Hunter will be the right tackle week one versus Buffalo.

If the Jets weren’t fully confident in Hunter (and the original decision to trade for Otah implies that) it begs the question why they didn’t pursue a player like Eric Winston in the off-season. They are now at the point where they will be putting a band-aid on a position that could remain a problem area in 2012.

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New York Jets Training Camp: Bilal Powell Turning Heads

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is off to a strong start in training camp. What kind of impact can he have?

It was a disappointing rookie season in 2011 for New York Jets running back Bilal Powell. As a fourth round selection, there was a hope he could make some type of impact or impression when given the opportunity. In the pre-season he failed to impress with 28 carries for 62 yards, burying himself on the depth chart behind Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight. About halfway through the season he received an enormous chance when Tomlinson was inactive for the Jets/Broncos week 11 match-up and Greene left in the first quarter with an injury. Powell received 7 carries but only ended with 11 yards and fumbled the ball into the end-zone, where he was luckily bailed out by Matt Slauson.

Prior to camp many (including myself) thought Powell would be the odd man out on the running back depth chart. The Jets drafted Terrance Ganaway in the 6th round this year and his bruising style and familiarity with the option seemed to make him a more natural fit behind Shonn Greene, while Joe McKnight handled the third down duties. However, Powell has responded by turning heads early in camp with both his quickness and ability to catch the football. He has been impressive enough that running back coach Anthony Lynn has declared the third down back job wide open between Powell and McKnight.

Lynn prefaced this competition a few months ago by classifying Powell as a “B” back in the Jets system, same as McKnight. Greene and Ganaway are “A” backs. As you could surmise, “A” backs are power, inside runners while “B” backs provide more outside speed.

Powell isn’t going to keep McKnight off the roster because of McKnight’s special teams value. He was one of the league’s top returners last season but that doesn’t mean the Jets can’t keep both and either stash Ganaway on the practice squad or just carry five running backs (fullback John Conner being the fifth) and part ways with H-Back Josh Baker.

With a strong pre-season, Powell could upset McKnight and steal his third down role. Both players were fourth round picks. Both players are nearly identical in size (same weight and McKnight is an inch taller). McKnight is faster, or was at least a full tenth of a second faster in his forty coming out of college and is a good enough receiver to be split out. Powell did have 18 receptions his senior year of college and three receiving touchdowns. He will need to demonstrate his hands at the NFL level to give McKnight a true run for his money.

It is obviously too early to make any kind of judgement about Powell’s long term potential. He has strung together five good practices but has shown enough tenacity in blocking drills and enough speed to catch people’s attention. Powell should receive substantial work in the Jets first and second pre-season game and with strong outings could receive extended work with the first unit in the crucial third pre-season game.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Early Camp Observations & Predictions

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack has some early thoughts and predictions for New York Jets training camp

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack is back after a packed week of content here on the site. A big thanks to our writing staff who is the best in the business: Chris Gross, Mike Donnelly and TJ Rosenthal. In case you weren’t following, here is what you missed –

And of course we started selling our Turn On The Jets Vintage Jets T-Shirts this week. Make sure to buy yours now. Wear that Green and White proud – 

1. Anybody who follows this team on a day to day basis shouldn’t be surprised by the reality that there is no quarterback competition in training camp. Mark Sanchez is going to be the starter. He is going to get 95% of the reps with the first team and in certain situations Greg McElroy will even take second team reps over Tim Tebow. This coaching staff views Sanchez as their quarterback and Tebow as a weapon to enhance their running game and give them a dynamic element on offense. The reports from day one are that Sanchez thoroughly outplayed Tebow, notably throwing the ball much better…get used to reading that.

2. The top story from today will likely end up being that Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse are suddenly in a battle for a starting guard positon. Mike Donnelly was on to this a few months ago. I dislike this. Why? Let your starting offensive line work together every single day to build chemistry and cohesion in a new offensive system. Don’t rotate to Ducasse in every few plays because you are making a last ditch effort to make him a contributing player. Slauson beat him out easily two years ago and has been solid ever since, while Ducasse has shown no signs of improvement. Stop with the dog and pony show to hype up a failed draft pick and give the reps to Slauson who has earned his spot.

3. Not sure why there is so much buzz about Antonio Cromartie taking a few reps at wide receiver. He did this last season and even ran a reverse. The Jets will likely use him as a decoy and a potential rushing option on a few trick plays again.

4. Random prediction – Just like their first play in team practice was a play action bomb to Stephen Hill (a 40 yard catch over Darrelle Revis by the way), their first play against Buffalo will be a deep pass. You spend all summer talking about the Ground and Pound and then you come out and just bomb one up the first play.

5. Regretting not putting Dexter Jackson on my 53 man roster prediction. I think he could stick as a special teamer and a gadget player on offense because of his speed.

6. Each passing day we don’t hear about Jeff Otah passing his physical gets a little scarier. It is hard to say that it would be a shock at this point if the trade is rescinded and we are back to Wayne’s World at right tackle.

7. Rex Ryan’s press conferences are never going to be toned all the way down. You won’t hear Super Bowl getting thrown around but you will still hear effusive praise for all his coaches and players…and himself. Today Ryan proclaimed his belief that he is the best defensive coach in football and why shouldn’t he have that belief in himself? Other coaches and players make similar statements and they are called confident, if Rex does it…he is ridiculed.

8.Aren’t we due for a big camp from Kyle Wilson? People seem to forget the Jets spent a first round pick on this guy a few years ago. It is time for him to start playing like it.

9. I am staying with my prediction that Sanchez will thoroughly outplay Tebow all summer and then Tebow will have a monster final pre-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles when both teams are resting all their starters, leading into a new wave of “controversy” and Skip Bayless yelling heading into week 1.

10. Sounds like Nick Folk got the better of Josh Brown on day one. It is a long battle and I do ultimately think Brown will get comfortable and beat him out.

11. Let’s hope Demario Davis is back on the field soon. Hamstrings are tricky injuries. It is hard to see him working his way into the first sub package early in the season if he misses a couple of weeks in training camp.

12. Tough start for a few of the late round Jets draft picks – Robert T. Griffin left the field with a leg injury. Jordan White is still out with a foot injury and Antonio Allen is running with the third team, behind Tracy Wilson on the depth chart.