A Few Comments On Rex Ryan’s New Book

I will have a full review of Rex Ryan’s new book, “Play Like You Mean It” published at Gunaxin in the coming days, yet here are a few quick thoughts and some of my favorite quotes —

– If you are a Jets fan (which I am assuming you are since you are here), you will absolutely enjoy this book. It provides interesting insights into the team over the past two seasons and will make you feel like the Jets may never lose a game again.

– You aren’t going to find a bigger fan of Rex than myself, but this book has  its share of flaws. It jumps around and can be repetitive at times (we get it, you respect Bill Belichick but you didn’t come hear to kiss his rings). Rex’s excessive bravado will make you roll your eyes occasionally, even as a Jets fan or somebody who admires his personality.

– Rex’s love for the game of football and attitude about life really shines through. Say what you want about him but he is a determined, motivated individual who has an ability to inspire people. You will want to work harder at whatever it is you are doing with your life after reading this book.

– The chapter about “Sharing the Big Apple” is going to be printed, copied and hung all over New York City and North Jersey in the weeks leading up to December 24th.

– Rex’s sense of humor about his weight makes the “Let’s Go Have a Snack” chapter one of the book’s best.

– Similar to what I said before, you won’t want another coach leading the Jets in your lifetime after reading this book.

Rex on Jets/Giants

It seems clear that right now we are the better team and we are going to remain the better team for the next 10 years. Whether you like it or not, those are the facts, and that’s what is going to happen…We are going to take over the town whether the Giants like it nor not, so those fans on the fence that like both teams are going to be Jets fans in the end. The truth is, if I am going to watch one game, I am going to see the Jets, without a doubt. We are better.

Rex on food

“I’m huge. I love to eat…I just love tacos. Then there’s pizza and lasagna. Yeah, just pour on the carbs…You start and all of a sudden you forget how much you have pounded down because you’re having such a good time…It’s like at Thanksgiving-I love all that food. You get turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, the cranberry sauce, the corn, then pecan, pumpkin piece, apple pie. Yeah, just line up the pies and keep them coming.”

Rex on Rex

Let me tell you something: Just because I’m a fat guy doesn’t mean you’re going to outwork me. That crap about being lazy? I’ll take on anyone. Don’t worry, I’ll be there to put you to bed every night when you  need to get tucked in.”

The Occasional Idiocy Of New York Sports Journalism

For the most part I enjoy the work of the New York Jets beat writers. In particular, I think both Manish Mehta of The Daily News and Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger work hard to consistently produce unique content. However, I was disappointed to see the back cover on the early edition of the New York Post feature an “exclusive” story on Jets seventh round pick, Scotty McKnight written by long time beat writer Mark Cannizzaro.

Cannizzaro “got” McKnight by obtaining information about when as a 17 year old, McKnight was suspended from school for writing a inappropriate story for his creative writing class. As a bet with a friend, they attempted to come up with the most shocking “Quentin Taratino” like stories. Unfortunately, the teacher perceived these as direct threats to her, even though McKnight has no history of violence and has never been in any type of legal trouble in his life.

This is really headline, front-page news in the New York sports world? If Cannizzaro was interested in tearing down NFL draft picks just days into his career, he could have started with Kenrick Ellis or Bilal Powell who actually have a history of real problems, especially Ellis who is pending trial on an assault charge. Yet, he got his information, probably from a bitter old classmate of McKnight, who openly discussed the incident with the Jets before being drafted, and looked to tear down the kid just days into his NFL career.

New York…where a 17 year old kid writing an inappropriate story five years ago is headline news. Hide your pens and paper tri-state area, Scotty McKnight could be moving to a neighborhood near you. Give me a break. Do your job and go get some inside information on the Jets free agency plans instead of muckraking the past of their players.

New York Jets: Who Is On Thin Ice After Draft?

After seeing how the Jets spent their six draft picks over the weekend, which players from the 2010 team could be on thin ice heading into this upcoming year?

  • Shaun Ellis – Personally, I think it is still a smart move to bring Ellis back as a mentor for Muhammad Wilkerson and because the guy should finish his career where he started it. He is the longest tenured Jet and a respected leader on the team. However, the Jets aren’t going to overpay for him now after spending their first round pick on a defensive end. They could also bring Trevor Pryce back as a cheaper mentoring alternative for Wilkerson.
  • Kris Jenkins – Not that he was likely to be back anyway, but the Kenrick Ellis selection seals his fate.
  • Kellen Clemens – Good as gone.
  • Kevin O’Connell – Will probably be given a chance to compete in training camp with Greg McElroy but unless he blows him away (not likely considering his past few summers) he will join Clemens.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson – Everything we have heard since the draft indicates that he will still be back and it would be the smart move to have him return. The Jets need his leadership, receiving ability, and pass protection. Yet, you have to wonder if Bilal Powell looks good in the pre-season, if the Jets would consider letting him go.
  • Joe McKnight – If he replicates his 2010 summer and Powell is productive, the Jets could part ways with their 4th round draft from last year to make room for their 4th round pick this year.
  • Brad Smith – If Smith is commanding too much money, the Jets have drafted a player with a skill set to be his replacement in Jeremy Kerley. Even if Smith’s contract demands aren’t outrageous, they will have a tough time bringing him back with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards both looking for new deals.
  • Patrick Turner – Will Sanchez’s old buddy from USC get bumped from the roster by his new buddy on the team, Scotty McKnight?

All About Greg McElroy

A closer look at the Jets seventh round pick, Greg McElroy 

Background– McElroy played his high school football in Texas, where he won a 5A championship as a senior. He actually didn’t start his sophomore or junior year, as he sat behind Chase Daniel. In his one year as a starter, he threw 56 touchdowns to 9 interceptions.

College– McElroy started as a junior at Alabama and helped lead his team to a BCS National Championship, throwing for 2,508 yards and 17 touchdowns, along with a 60.6 completion percentage. In his senior year, he improved to 19 touchdowns and upped his completion percentage to 70.6 percent.

Vitals – 6’2, 222 pounds, scored a 43 out of 50 on the Wonderlic Test.

Position – Most likely he will be the Jets number three quarterback in 2011 and projects as their long term backup for Mark Sanchez.

NFL Comparison – How about a poor man’s Chad Pennington, considering his intelligence and intangibles but lack of ideal physical skills?

Quotable

“I can’t think of a better place to go.  It’s an incredible opportunity to learn from one of the greatest young quarterbacks in the game right now and to also play for one of the greatest coaching staffs.  It’s an incredible tradition and legacy.  I’m proud to be able to continue it and try my best to make the Jets a better organization.

Where He Fits – McElroy will compete with Kevin O’Connell, Drew Willy, and maybe Erik Ainge for the Jets number three quarterback job behind Mark Sanchez and Mark Brunell. I am assuming Kellen Clemens won’t return next year.

Best Case Scenario– He shows promise in the pre-season and easily wins the number three job. McElroy gives the coaching staff enough confidence to make him the number two quarterback heading into 2012.

Worst Case Scenario– McElroy struggles in training camp and is relegated to the practice squad during his rookie year, with O’Connell or somebody else ending up as the number three quarterback.

All About Jeremy Kerley

A closer look at the Jets fifth round pick, Jeremy Kerley

Background – Kerley was a four sport athlete in high school in Hutto, Texas. As a junior, he led his football team to the state championship game as a quarterback. He was recruited to play both baseball and football in college but ultimately decided to stick with football at TCU.

College – Kerley began making his primary impact as a return man during his sophomore year. During his junior and senior year, he became a bigger part of the offense while remaining the team’s primary punt returner. Last season, he finished with 56 receptions for 575 yards, with 10 receiving touchdowns. He also added 97 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, a touchdown pass and 388 punt return yards.

Vitals – 5’10, 189 pounds, ran a 4.56 40 yard dash at the combine.

Position – He will work as a slot receiver in the Jets offense and immediately compete for the primary punt return job, which is wide open this year. The Jets will also likely experiment with him in the Wildcat formation, especially if Brad Smith doesn’t return.

NFL Comparison – Everybody is penciling him in as Brad Smith’s replacement already, although they are very different body types and Smith was a quarterback in college. Kerley should be able to be a more fluid receiver than Smith.

Quotable

“I had a great workout for the Jets when they came down and worked me out,” he said. “Ever since then I’ve thought in the back of my mind, ‘Maybe, somewhere down that line, it could be.’ I’m just glad it was today.”

Where He Fits – Kerley should compete for reps as the Jets number three receiver, especially if either Braylon Edwards or  Santonio Holmes don’t come back, along with Brad Smith likely leaving in free agency. He should also get a shot to be their punt returner and maybe get a few looks on kick return, beyond contributing on the coverage units for Mike Westhoff.

Best Case Scenario – Kerley finds a way to fill the role left by Brad Smith if he isn’t back next year. He becomes a versatile weapon on offense, contributing both as a receiver and a runner. Kerley also works into the rotation of punt returners.

Worst Case Scenario – He struggles to adjust into becoming a slot receiver in the Jets offense and doesn’t get meaningful reps on offense this season. Kerley also loses out on the punt return job.

All About Bilal Powell

A closer look at the Jets fourth round pick, Bilal Powell

Background – Powell played his high school football in Florida at Lake Gibson. He was originally recruited to play defensive back for Louisville. Powell had a rough upbringing and was stabbed, allegedly in a gang fight during his sophomore year of high school.

College – Powell didn’t do much during first three seasons at Louisville. In his junior year, he only ran for 392 yards, while averaging 3.6 yards per carry. However, he exploded in his senior year, where he earned 1st team All-Big East honors. Last year for Louisville, Powell finished with 1,405 rushing yards, along with 11 touchdowns. He also tacked on 18 receptions and 3 receiving touchdowns.

Vitals – 5’11, 216 pounds, ran a 4.52 40 yard dash at the combine.

Position – He will join the Jets crowded halfback depth chart, along with Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight.

NFL Comparison – I read Rich Cimini compare him to Thomas Jones because of his one cut style. However, he looks a little more explosive and to have more big play potential than Jones in some of his highlights…then again everybody looks good in their highlights.

Quotable

“It’s a great feeling right now, just to get the opportunity at a great organization and having the chance to play under Rex Ryan.”

Where He Fits – It will be very interesting to see. Everything we have heard since the Jets made the selection is that LaDainian Tomlinson will still be back, which means Powell will be battling Joe McKnight for reps behind Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. He should also contribute on special teams.

Best Case Scenario – Powell finds a way to contribute on both offense and special teams. He provides good depth for the Jets and is able to step in to handle some carries if one of the lead backs are banged up, showing an ability to take on an even bigger role in 2012.

Worst Case Scenario – Powell imitates Joe McKnight’s rookie performance last year.

All About Kenrick Ellis

A closer look at the Jets third round pick, Kenrick Ellis —

Background – Ellis was born in Jamaica and lived there until he was 11 years old. He played his high school football in Florida, where he was a four star recruit who ended up going to the University of South Carolina.

College – Before the 2008 season, Ellis was dismissed from South Carolina because of repeated team violations. He decided to transfer to Hampton University, of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Last season he had 51 tackles with 15 of them being for a loss. Ellis received first team All-MEAC honors for his work. He also had another run in with the law at Hampton, as he has a pending trial this summer for an assault charge.

Vitals – 6 foot 5, 346 pounds.

Position – He is a natural nose tackle, who can be a two gapper for the Jets in their 3-4.

NFL Comparison – In terms of pure size and the role the Jets will put him in, they hope to see him develop into a Kris Jenkins type player. Obviously, that could be a reach considering how dominant Jenkins was but Ellis isn’t short on raw talent and could develop into a special player.

Quotable –

“I am human.  I have made mistakes. I feel like from me making these mistakes I have learned from them and have grown as a person. I have moved on from the mistakes I have made in the past that I will never do them again. I am a different person from who I was then.”

I feel really excited to be a Jet. It is unbelievable. I feel that I fit in real well with the defense. I’ll play whatever position, nose (tackle) or defensive end.  I feel that I will work as hard as possible to try to make the team better. The goal is to win and I want to win.”

Where He Fits – Ellis will start out as Sione Pouha’s primary backup and a rotational player on the defensive line. He will be battling players like Marcus Dixon and Ropati Pitoitua for reps and looking to increase his role as the season goes on.

Best Case Scenario – He pushes Pouha for reps and begins to develop into the Jets long term answer at the nose tackle position by putting together a productive rookie year as a key part of their defensive line rotation.

Worst Case Scenario – His character concerns rear their ugly head and he never plays a meaningful rep for the team.

It’s Like Christmas Came Thrice…1st Round Of The NFL Draft

I would like to give extend my condolences to fans of the Saints, the Buccaneers and the Panthers. You will all be sorely missed. The Falcons traded up to get Julio Jones. Which means, you will have Julio Jones and Roddy White catching balls from Matt Ryan. AKA…prepare for 5,000 yards Mr Ryan. And Michael Turner at running back? Damn. Good luck contending with that Cam. I can now guarantee at least 2 losses by the Panthers this year, and probably one to the Buccaneers. The Saints will eek one out…but maybe not.

Rob Ryan is clearly taking a backseat to Romo’s shoulder. No corner in the first round? Weak. But now Tony has no excuses. Look for defense to dominate in ensuing rounds, they need it. Hell, this guy put a beat down on Tom Brady, with the BROWNS.

Why the hell is Washington not taking Nick Fairley? Laughter from Eagles fans ensues, Redskin fans hang the long rope.

Party boy Mallett beat out by Christian Ponder? WOW. People really don’t like weed in the NFL…Santonio.

SWEET JESUS, Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh? Looks like the Lions will have a shot this year. Healthy Stafford? maybe…Calvin Johnson…that pass rush will make Jay Cutler wish he didn’t have to go under center.

KEEP NOTE THE JETS DO NOT PLAY EITHER THE FALCONS OR THE LIONS THIS YEAR.

The Dolphins will regret not taking Mark Ingram, especially when you play the Jets and the Patriots. Please god do not let the Patriots take Ingram. Yes. Nate Solder. He’ll probably make the Pro Bowl in two years. But he’s not Mark Ingram.

The Giants will have a legit corner. Probably gonna cost them a few plays though. Look at some of those pass interference plays. But they too will regret not taking Mark Ingram. Sorry, everyone is going to get the “you are going to regret not taking Mark Ingram” speech from here on out.

The Buccaneers will have a great D line again. and a good quarterback, let’s see if they nab a running back and a wide receiver in the next few rounds. The Browns will have a good combo with Phil Taylor and Shaun Rogers.

Still no Mark Ingram…kind of thinking the Jets might grab him…no…someone will do it before 30…although only 5 more picks…4 more picks…

I swear to god those 943,968 mock drafts could only be like 35% correct at this point. Any of them.

Let the Jets take Mark Ingram. Somebody take Andy Dalton……4 more picks…..ah the Ravens

Weird trades…..deadlines……strange orders.

Now perhaps the Saints have a chance……….MARK INGRAM

Oh lord, Mel Kiper just said the Jets may have just had the best pick in the draft, what kind of sick cosmic torture will we succumb to this year?

Muhammad Wilkerson, welcome home.