12 Pack Of New York Jets Off-Season Thoughts – 2013, Edition #1

Turn On The Jets with 12 off-season thoughts on the New York Jets

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The 12 packs do not stop here at Turn On The Jets. Every week, this space will now be used for a collection of 12 weekly off-season thoughts on the New York Jets (This will normally run on Fridays, not Mondays). Some exciting things to look forward to in the coming weeks 

On to the 12 pack…

1. The hiring of Tom Gamble as the New York Jets General Manager is not official yet and many are beginning to panic since he is interviewing with San Diego, while the Jets still interview Marc Ross and Scott Cohen. We remain confident in Bassett’s report and think the outline he provided this morning is a sensible explanation. Nothing is 100% until the contract is signed but it would take a major turn of events for this not to go through. The Jets must interview Ross today to comply with the Rooney Rule and need to get their act together for the season ending press conference tomorrow, while Gamble is posturing for further leverage knowing he is team’s top choice. If he isn’t officially hired by Wednesday night/Thursday morning…then it is time to panic (although ending up with Ross wouldn’t be a disaster at all).

2. Tomorrow’s press conference should be an interesting one to say the least. Expect an angry, vindictive New York media coming hard after Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson. What is the over/under on tattoo and Tebow questions? Do not look for too many answers of note coming out of either Johnson or Rex. The entire organization is in flux until the GM hiring becomes official.

3. I have been banging this drum pretty loudly on Twitter the past few weeks but a few cost effective upgrades for the Jets on offense could be letting Dustin Keller and Shonn Greene walk and replacing them with Delanie Walker and Chris Ivory, respectively. You can get familiar with the entire free agent list right here. (Note that Ivory is going to be a Restricted Free Agent this off-season, not Unrestricted).

4. It is hard not to look forward to the complete house cleaning of the Jets linebacker position, which outside of quarterback is the biggest disaster on the team. Bryan Thomas, Bart Scott and Calvin Pace will all be let go, with Thomas and Scott likely retiring. Pace could probably find a taker on a minimum contract from a team who plays 3-4 but at this point, he is strictly a 2 down linebacker. David Harris will be back but remains one of the most overpaid players in the league and is coming off a career worst season. It is going to take an aggressive approach in the draft and free agency to fix this mess. There will be some intriguing options likely available at #9 and the list of available linebackers in free agency is deep this season (Paul Kruger, Conner Barwin, Antwan Barnes, Manny Lawson, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler).

5. LaRon Landry is going to be a tough player to bring back in 2013. He was a good fit in Rex Ryan’s defense as an in the box safety and earned himself a trip to the Pro-Bowl. However, he has limitations in coverage and is likely going to be seeking a contract out of the Jets budget. Paying 3 million per year for Landry is one thing, paying 7 million a year for him? Probably not a wise move, particularly with so much money already tied up in the secondary.

6. Plenty of superlatives being thrown out for Buffalo’s hire of Doug Marrone. Somehow I don’t think we’d be hearing so many if Woody Johnson made the decision to hire a college coach who went 25-25 at Syracuse. This isn’t to say Marrone will be a bad coach but it is interesting how heavily he is being praised already with such an unproven record. Similar to the Jets, Buffalo won’t be going anywhere until they find a quarterback.

7. The Jets will likely be looking at 4-6 new starters on each of the football in 2013. We haven’t seen roster turnover like that since between the 2005 and 2006 season. Similar to now, that team was expected to be entering a long rebuilding phase. However they surprised everybody by going 10-6 thanks primarily to Chad Pennington putting together a steady year at quarterback, a strong draft and a few savvy low-cost free agent signings/trade acquisitions. Nothing wrong with looking for a silver lining, right?

8. The Jets need to find a way to bring Mike DeVito back. Mike Tannenbaum allowed too many players like DeVito to leave over the years and it caught up to him. DeVito is a versatile, blue-collar player who is essential to the Jets defensive line rotation. He is also one of the leaders in the locker room and one of the team’s most high character guys. Besides, if he walks…you know he is ending up in New England.

9. Whoever is in charge of Gameday Operations for Jets games – No more C-List celebrities leading awkward J-E-T-S chants before the game. No more special teams being called out as starters. No more fireworks and poorly timed music being blared. Thank you.

10. Quinton Coples led the Jets this season with 5.5 sacks, despite only playing in 47% of the team’s snaps. It was quietly a very strong year for Coples, who will only get better as his technique improves and playing time increases. I was as critical about the pick as anybody but he proved his critics wrong and could be a double-digit sack guy next year playing alongside Muhammad Wilkerson and improved outside linebackers.

11. As for the other rookies, it is easy to be down on Stephen Hill’s future after a disappointing rookie year but we knew he was far from a finished product coming out of Georgia Tech. Shame on the Jets for forcing him into the starting line-up with no capable veterans at split end to help ease him in. Hill has the physical skills but still needs to improve his hands and route-running. He can be an consistently explosive player in this league, it is just going to take time. Demario Davis didn’t get much of a shot this year, so it will be interesting to see how he fits in the new GM’s plans. Antonio Allen has potential going forward as a situational player and special teamer.

12. Words I never want to hear again associated with the Jets: Wildcat, Process, (Insert Number Here) is eligible, Ground and/or Pound, TEBOW, Pump fake.

No Huddle: New York Jets GM Must Be Bold And Prompt

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the course of action needed to be taken by the New York Jets new GM

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The 6-10 New York Jets have clearly flown off course. The new Jets GM, whoever finally ends up with the job, will be walking into a laundry list of issues the minute those Florham Park doors open. Steering the overall product on the field back to Super Bowl contender status won’t be easy. The following are the keys to the foundation. Questions that the new head honcho upstairs must answer correctly and swiftly before the rest of the cracks are filled in.

If Rex stays, which Rex should it be?

Big Rex was loud, boastful, cocky, and successful for two out of his first three seasons. Little Rex in 2012, was not. Ryan has to be given the green light on optimizing his own abilities but the immediate question is which Rex best fits the new 2013 Jets.

Mark Sanchez

“The Sanchise” is an even bigger uncertainty. Can #6 find his confidence again in New York, and still have room to grow out of a game manager’s role? Or is he just a career backup at best elsewhere?

Sanchez’s contract, one that awards him 8 Million in 2013 makes his case a tricky one. The Jets could bring in a viable vet to compete for the job, or follow the advice from one Wall Street Journal piece written last week that broke winning formulas for NFL teams. One that included eating “dead money” in the name of turning the page.

The Jets have to get the QB situation settled here once and for all. Forget Rex’s tattoo’d faith in Sanchez. Too many games have been lost, and not enough have been won at the position over the past two seasons.

Revis, Keller and Greene

Sorry Jets fans but it’s true and you all know it. Revis Island may have enough trade value to aid the Jets need for fast growth on offense all by himself. Dustin Keller was useless all year and Shonn Greene can’t be any better than he was in 2012. The new GM’s overall opinion regarding how much roster-gutting is warranted will provide clues into how these key Jet vets may be treated.

Coordinators: Rex’s Friends or Foes

From Shotty to Sparano, playcalling has been a source of irritation for the Jets under Ryan. Mike Pettine opted not to re-up on his deal.

The next set of coordinators are either going to be guys that Ryan wants to go down fighting with, or handpicked choices by the GM. Perhaps to be HC’s in waiting. After all, it will be tough to sell a potential coordinator on a “win or else” one year scenario. Enticing candidates with the possibility about becoming the next HC, should Ryan struggle in 2013, may be a better sell in order to get them into the building.

Much of these soon to be top priorities will be determined by what the purpose of 2013 will be for the new Jets general manager. Ryan must win now, but the incoming folks who will call the shots upstairs, don’t necessarily have to.

Turn On The Jets – Wild-Card Weekend NFL Picks

THe TOJ staff gives their picks for WIld-Card Weekend

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The Race for Steak continues. Only 11 games to go… 

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Rob Celletti (137-112-7)

2. Chris Gross (129-120-7)

3. Mike Donnelly (129-122-5)

4. Chris Celletti (126-124-6)

5. Joe Caporoso (114-135-7)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (12-4)

Cincinnati (+4) at Houston – This is a popular pick…almost popular enough to make me want to change it. However, Matt Schaub has never played in a playoff game and has looked generally mediocre the final month of the season. The Texans defense has started to slip due to injuries and they lack weapons in the passing game outside of Andre Johnson. Beyond that, they are terrible on special teams which is a key ingredient in allowing any upset to happen. The Bengals are quietly very good on defense, good enough to think they will be within 3 points and maybe steal a win.

Green Bay (-8) vs. Minnesota – There is nothing comfortable about betting against Adrian Peterson. Yet, sometimes it is as simple as Christian Ponder in Lambeau in January. What happens if this game gets to 21-7. How does Minnesota come back?

Baltimore (-6.5) vs. Indianapolis – Hate to go against Chuckstrong but the Ravens will be motivated for the last home game of Ray Lewis’ career. They have been far from impressive down the stretch but this is a veteran, playoff tested team who will be playing at home against a rookie quarterback surrounded by a ton of inexperienced players. Andrew Luck has been terrific but remains prone to turnovers. Look for the Ravens to take advantage of that and both win and cover.

Seattle (-3) at Washington – The best game of the weekend. Seattle has a far superior defense which will be the difference here. Robert Griffin III is clearly not at 100% right now, which means Washington won’t have enough to overcome Seattle’s pass rush and the playmaking ability of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Also Seattle has a nice special teams advantage with Leon Washington returning kicks and punts.

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (11-5)

  • Houston (-4) over Cincinnati 
  • Green Bay (-8) over Minnesota
  • Baltimore (-6.5) over Indianpolis 
  • Washington (+3) over Seattle 

Rob Celletti

Last Week (8-8)

  • Cincinnati (+4) over Houston
  • Green Bay (-8) over Minnesota
  • Indianapolis (+6.5) over Baltimore
  • Washington (+3) over Seattle 

Chris Celletti

Last Week (9-7)

Check Best Bets for more details

  • Cincinnati (+4) over Houston
  • Green Bay (-8) over Minnesota
  • Indianapolis (+6.5) over Baltimore
  • Washington (+3) over Seattle 

Chris Gross

Last Week (8-8)

  • Cincinnati (+4) over Houston
  • Minnesota (+8) over Green Bay
  • Baltimore (-6.5) over Indianapolis 
  • Seattle (-3) over Washington 

Turn On The Jets NFL Wild Card Round Best Bets

Chris Celletti with his weekly NFL Rant and Best Bets for Wild Card Weekend

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Let me start my column with some killer football insight, to keep up with the excellent, best-Jets-stuff-on-the-Internet precedent that’s been set this week by the entire Turn On The Jets staff –

Rex Ryan definitely lost a bet. TATTOOGATE is so obvious. Before the season, Rex Ryan and his lovable twin brother Rob, defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, got together over pork rinds, Skittles, and bourbon and made a bet: Whoever’s team finished with a worse record in 2012 would have to get a tattoo of their wife wearing nothing but the jersey of their starting quarterback. That also explains why Rex Ryan refused to go to Tim Tebow early on this season. God, this all makes so much sense now.

In related news, all I had to do was throw “SOURCE:” in front of my theory, make up a quote or two and BANG I just knocked out a Daily News exclusive.

Before we take a look at this week’s playoff games, I thought it would be fun to look back at my preseason gambling picks. I did three team Over/Unders, which I went 2-1-0 on. I missed by a hair on Baltimore at under 10, and was right on Jacksonville under 5.5 and Denver over 9. This quote on the Broncos stuck out when I re-read:

“Peyton Manning throwing with his left hand could win 10 games if he gets half the support Lefty Jesus got last year from this defense, special teams and running game.” Welp, that’s about right.

What I whiffed on were my “good bets” for MVP and Super Bowl Champs. I thought Eli Manning had a chance to have an incredible year, and thought at 18/1 for MVP was worth taking a crack at. Instead, Eli reminded us that he just isn’t in the same stratosphere as his brother, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. That isn’t to say that if I had to win one game tomorrow, I wouldn’t take Eli. I may; he’s certainly at the top of the discussion. The Giants could have won the Super Bowl again if they snuck in this year because he would have been the 2nd best quarterback in the NFC playoffs, plus he’s beat Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs on the road before. But his 2012 season was pedestrian at best. I’m not going to go all Ian O’Connor, who offered this drab after the season ended:

“In his heart of hearts, Eli Manning knows this was a winning season in record only. He knows he had a chance to do something no New York Giants quarterback had ever done, a squandered chance that might haunt him for the balance of his career and beyond.”

Yup Ian! You got it! Forty years from now when we interview an old, shriveled Eli Manning (gross image alert), he’s not going to talk about the legendary wins in Green Bay or the Super Bowl titles. Nope. It’ll be a sad tale of the 2012 season, the one that has kept him up countless nights over the years, with nightmares of throwing 26 touchdowns and finishing a dire 12th in the league in passing yards and winning a putrid nine games (the same amount he won in the regular season a year prior when winning a Super Bowl, mind you). How horrifying. Nevermind that Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora combined for 16.5 sacks, with Tuck having 1.5 less than Quinton Coples.

Eli’s legacy is secure. If he never throws another pass for the Giants, he’s a true New York sports legend, in the conversation with Mark Messier, Derek Jeter, Clyde Frazier and of course Jeff Cumberland. But let’s also understand that Eli’s legacy is what it is for a reason, and that’s his clutchness. People scoff at those who say he’s not “elite”, but if your definition of “elite” is “dominant, transcendent, consistently excellent over the course of many seasons”, then you know what? Maybe he isn’t. That doesn’t mean he isn’t great, or isn’t a legend. You can be one but not the other.

And then there was my 18/1 pick of the Saints as Super Bowl Champs. I blame it on going to New Orleans twice in nearly a year from May 2011-July 2012. When you go there, you’ll believe anything. Crawfish? Why not. Open container anywhere? Great idea. Jazz? Still relevant. Voodoo? Not totally unreasonable if you think really hard about it!

So we’ll close the book on what was a pretty weak season by me picking games, and unlike the Jets I have a chance to redeem myself in the postseason. Let’s just go ahead and pick them all:

Cincinnati +4 at Houston – My thought all year has been that the Texans would lose at home in their first playoff game. I always thought it would be during the Divisional Round, after a bye, but some late season stumbling has them playing on Wild Card weekend. I’ll stick with my guns and say Cincy pulls the upset. Plus, AT LEAST one road team is winning this weekend.

Packers -8 vs. Vikings – The Adrian Peterson story is amazing, but I think last week was the Vikings’ Super Bowl. If it’s even ever possible for there to be a letdown in a playoff game, the Vikings might feel it. This has a very 2001 Jets/Raiders feel, with the dog beating the favorite in the regular season finale in dramatic fashion to set up a rematch the following week. I don’t like the chances of the Vikings beating the Packers twice in as many weeks, and with Aaron Rodgers at home, I think it’s a pull-away-late type of game for Green Bay. Who knows…maybe Charlie Garner will come out of retirement and salt the game away for the Pack on an 80-yard touchdown run on 3rd down in the final minutes.

Indianapolis +6.5 at Baltimore – The Ravens lost three of their last four to close out the season. It’s going the wrong direction for them. And the last thing America really wants is some memorable Ray Lewis swan song. Whoever wins, I think it’s a close one.

Washington +3 vs. Seattle – Home dog in the playoffs? I’m taking the points. And with no real GREAT team in the league this year, anyone without a dog in the fight has to be rooting for a Luck/RGIII Super Bowl, right?

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week – Hockey! Wait, what? I thought they canceled that sport forever? Well, even though the NHL has decided to sever any thread of relevance they were hanging on to, there is hockey being played in Russia: The World Junior Championships! And the USA is in tomorrow’s final against Sweden after blasting the favorite Canada 5-1 in the semis, which probably put all the Dougies and Gordos and Scotties and Stevies and Jonesys in Canada in mourning. Good. If you’re hanging your national pride on the backs of a bunch of 18 and 19-year olds, you deserve to lose and realize how ridiculous you are. With that being said, USA! USA! USA! at -190.

New York Jets: Uncertainty Could Be Become Paranoia For Rex Ryan

TJ Rosenthal on the dangers of Rex Ryan working under a new General Manager of the New York Jets

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Rex Ryan, should he remain on board with the Jets after a new GM is chosen, will have one year to turn things around. His soon to be new coaching staff will get the same timeframe. Those who join Ryan when a new GM comes aboard to first have a say in what coaches gets added, will be awarded one silver lining: The ability to showcase leadership and people management skills. A fact that won’t make Ryan, who is already walking on eggshells, feel any safer.

What a position for Ryan to presently be in. He has no GM and when one does arrive, Ryan will not be the coveted name, but some Mike Tannenbaum-hired leftover. Ryan will have no offensive coordinator either because everyone including Tony Sparano knows he is a goner, and no quarterback to rely on. The roster currently has one home run receiver in Santonio Holmes who has yet to run full speed after foot surgery, and a big need for a top notch running back.

That is just the state of the union for the offensive side of the ball.

Rex has done much of this to himself. His loyalty to struggling players, overall belief in anyone wearing green and white, and desire to return to an archaic offensive concept with undermanned talent, are all part of why the Jets have gone backwards after what was a terrific start to his tenure in New York.

Uncertainty will hover above Ryan as well as his new staff in this “playoffs or bust” 2013. The only way for him to stave off his own beheading will be by winning games. We don’t mean just six of them either. Ryan may want to start fast too. Should his dwindling control of the castle show early signs of internal fracture, he better beware of his own surroundings.

There may be a coach alongside him shining brighter. An assistant who simply has a better way of handling players and overall team direction than Ryan does. For the biggest star and media personality the Jets have had in many years, uncertainty could turn into a reasonably warranted paranoia. Borne from within the walls of Florham Park if Rex Ryan is not careful.

No Sympathy Among New York Jets Fans For Local Media

The New York media is finding no sympathy among fans for the Jets delaying their year end press conference

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The New York media is angry. How dare the New York Jets not send Rex Ryan to them in a timely manner that suits their needs at the end of the season. The snarky Tweets and bitter character assassination pieces are already swirling. Mike Francesa’s head almost exploded yesterday. Manish Mehta is digging back for old quotes from whispers in the wind that can conveniently fit a headline and get him another interview with Mike Florio so they could have a chuckle about dumb old Rex. They are demanding answers and in the most comical way possible – by saying the fans deserve to know…it is the fans who need answers and the beat writers are ready to inform and educate the public!

Of course, anybody with a shred of common sense who has been following this team all year is laughing at the local media and gladly siding with a team they have plenty of reasons to hate right now. The Jets have been a mess…on the field and off the field. Their approach to PR and media needs to be completely revamped, which is why every fan is happy to see them keeping their mouths shut right now while they get their house in order.

Why send Rex Ryan out there when he has no answers? He might not even be the team’s coach by this time next week. He doesn’t know who is coming back on his staff. He doesn’t know what is happening with Mark Sanchez. The Jets are waiting to get an idea of who their GM will be and where their approach will head so a unified, sensible voice can finally be projected from the organization. They are supposed to rush Rex out their prematurely so satisfy this media after this year?

How can somebody on The Daily News staff talk about ethics and professional behavior after their conduct this year? Anybody who took an intro level communications class in high school knows how low they sunk with their standards this year. Anonymous quotes. Selective use of outdated quotes and information. Blurring the line between on the record and off the record, as it suits the punchy headline’s need. Nevermind Manish Mehta claiming Rex Ryan asked out of his job with shaky sourcing and then not even showing up at his press conference the next day when Rex addressed the article. Hopefully the Jets are taking this time to research how much they can limit that publication’s credentialed access this season.

Beat writers demanding answers for fans is such a joke because we have been watching and listening this year. The media embarrassed themselves in the daily press conferences. We heard more about Tim Tebow shirtless than any action on the actual field. No questions about upcoming games…just questions about an irrelevant backup quarterback who made no impact this year. Nothing on Muhammad Wilkerson turning into a All-Pro caliber player. Nothing on Quinton Coples exceeding everybody’s low expectations in his rookie year. Not a peep on questioning why younger players didn’t get more reps down the stretch. No exploration into if Nick Mangold was more hurt than he was letting on, leading to a declined level of play. You know…football coverage, not TMZ TEEE-BOWWW coverage!

In some of their shocked and angry responses to fan’s backlash today, the media showed how out of touch they really are. This is 2013. We can all watch Rex Ryan’s press conference stream live online. We don’t need you reporting what happens there. Fans would be content if the Jets streamed Rex live to an empty room over the Internet this Tuesday. We can get injury updates and practice reports from the team in training camp or just go watch ourselves or read what other fans are Tweeting out about it.

There is endless in-depth actual football coverage of the team going on outside of the “credentialed” press. I want film breakdowns or roster analysis, I have a great staff here. I want informed commentary on all the day’s issues with the team I read The Jets Blog. I need to understand the salary cap situation and want more roster analysis, I read NY Jets Cap. I want to hear player interviews and fan interaction, I listen to Flight 5 Live. Social media trends? I got Jets Twit. Feature length commentary? Green Lantern and The Jet Report. This list of quality content goes on – The Jet Press. Jet Nation. Nevermind the endless amount of feedback and discussion that can be had on Twitter with other followers of the team.

There are writers on the Jets beat who do good work on a daily basis but how can they not understand where the Jets and their fans are coming from right now? The lack of professionalism from primarily The Daily News has merited this while the team works to get their house in order. Fans care about that…not about hearing Rex torn to shreds this Thursday instead of next Tuesday.

New York Jets – An Off-Season Roster Checklist

An overview of where the New York Jets need to improve their roster

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We are going to have an in-depth look through the entire New York Jets roster from our staff, supported by film breakdown from Steve Bateman and draft coverage from Chris Gross, along with roundtables featuring Mike Donnelly, TJ Rosenthal, Chris Celletti and Rob Celletti. However, today I wanted to start off with a general overview of where the roster stands…and it ain’t pretty. This team will not be an easy sell to any GM candidate.

Quarterback – An unmitigated disaster. Currently you have Mark Sanchez who is currently incompetent as a starting quarterback in the NFL and doesn’t look like he can realistically play another down in New York. Unfortunately he is owed over 8 million dollars next year. The new GM must see if there is a team willing to take him for a low draft pick if the Jets agree to pay the overwhelmingly majority of the contract. If there is not, he has to decide whether to release him and take the cap hit or keep him on the roster to let him compete for a starting job. Yet, what veteran is going to believe they have a fair crack at starting with Sanchez likely making nearly four times what he is? The best move is to cut your losses with Sanchez and move on.

Beyond that, you have Tim Tebow who will either be released or traded to Jacksonville, which is more dead money you are eating nevermind the two draft picks you wasted last year. Greg McElroy looks like a number three quarterback/practice arm and cannot be a serious contender for a starting job in this league. There is no easy solutions here. The best answer is probably signing a low-cost veteran like Matt Moore and hoping he could hold the fort until a long term starter is found.

Running Back – Shonn Greene is heading into free agency and should not be brought back. He is a thoroughly average back who lacks explosiveness and cannot get yards that are not blocked up for him, while also struggling in the passing game. Bilal Powell has a better all-around skill set and is under contract for barely any money next year. He has the ability to be a very capable 1B option. Joe McKnight still has never received a fair chance here on offense. Yet, considering his durability issues it is hard to expect him to take on a major role in 2013. It would be nice to see the Jets think outside the box here and take a look at restricted free agent Chris Ivory who is buried on the New Orleans depth chart but would be an upgrade over Greene. There is also a good amount of mid-round talent at the position in the draft. Lex Hilliard was below average at fullback and won’t be back.

Tight End – Dustin Keller is heading into free agency and is another player the Jets should strongly consider letting walk. Why not pay half the money to Delanie Walker or Anthony Fasano and get a more capable all-around tight end? Keller is only going to thrive in a pass-happy offense as a H-Back. He cannot be relied on for blocking. Jeff Cumberland is basically a poor man’s version of Keller and shouldn’t be more than a situational player that utilizes his pass catching ability. Konrad Reuland is average at best and can’t be relied on as a 20-25 snap per game guy. Hayden Smith remains a developmental project and it is doubtful that he will be a major contributor next year.

espnny_a_kerley_d1_600Wide Receiver – The big decision will be how to handle Santonio Holmes. Do you release him or see if you could find a partner willing to take him in a trade if you eat some of the contract? It remains to be seen how effective of a player he will be coming off major surgery, even at 100% he isn’t a true number one receiver. Outside of Holmes, the depth should be solid. Jeremy Kerley is coming off a very good year where he made immense strides. Braylon Edwards showed he has something left in the final three games and can be brought back on the cheap and Stephen Hill should improve in year two if not forced into extended reps. The physical tools are all there for Hill but he still has a ways to go in terms of development. Chaz Schilens and Clyde Gates probably will not be back. Jordan White will have a tough time making the roster next year.

Offensive Line – Tough decisions need to be made, with Brandon Moore, Matt Slauson and Austin Howard all free agents. Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson aren’t going anywhere. Ferguson had a very good 2012 and was a borderline Pro-Bowl player. Mangold’s play has been down the last two years but he has been banged up. Ideally, the Jets will find a better long term answer at right tackle than Howard but that is easier said than done. At guard, the sensible thing to do would be to pay Slauson and then find a replacement for Moore who is likely nearing retirement. The Jets are going to have to address offensive line early in the draft and in free agency.

Defensive Line – One of the few spots on the roster to feel good about. Muhammad Wilkerson is a stud and is coming off a terrific second year. Quinton Coples had an encouraging rookie season, leading the team with 5.5 sacks. When the Jets actually get some edge rushers, watch out for these two upfront. Kenrick Ellis flashed at times but was banged up over the second half of the season. Regardless, he looks like the long term answer at nose tackle. Mike DeVito is a versatile, valuable player upfront who the team should bring back. You can’t have enough guys like DeVito. Sione Pouha is likely to be cut in a cap savings move. Damon Harrison can provide some long term depth.

Linebacker – Another disaster position that needs to be completely remade. Bart Scott, Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas are all gone next year and all struggled mightily this past season. David Harris is the most overpaid linebacker in football, getting paid 10.9 million dollars in 2013 coming off a below average season in the middle. Hopefully he bounces back next year. 2012 3rd round pick Demario Davis is likely to start alongside him at inside linebacker. The team must address the gaping holes at both outside linebacker spots through the draft and free agency. Garret McIntyre is a capable backup/situational player and Josh Mauga should be back next year to provide depth at inside linebacker.

Secondary – A strength in 2012 that could be in flux next season. LaRon Landry will be difficult to bring back at the salary he commands, whether Jets fans want to hear it or not. Yeremiah Bell will likely be brought back on a one year contract. Darrelle Revis will be back and looking to receive a long term contract. Antonio Cromartie is coming off a career year, which makes him an enticing trade piece. When you have as many holes as the Jets, keeping two of the league’s five best cornerbacks may not be a sensible approach.

Kyle Wilson showed no ability to be a starting cornerback this year and is a borderline 3rd corner at best. Darrin Walls, Aaron Berry and Isaiah Trufant all have long term potential, particularly Berry if he can stay healthy. Ellis Lankser is best suited strictly as a special teams player. Antonio Allen flashed as an in the box safety and should be a capable situational player in 2013. Josh Bush didn’t do much as a rookie and may not be around for long.

Special Teams – There is no reason to change the kicker, punter or kick returner. Nick Folk, Robert Malone and Joe McKnight were all good this year. It would be nice to find a reliable punt returner next season, somebody in the Jim Leonhard or Jerricho Cotchery mold who is going to catch everything no matter what. Mike Westhoff is retiring but probably a year too late. This unit had way too many mistakes in 2012 and must clean itself up next season.

New York Jets – In Post Black Monday Limbo

The New York Jets are currently in limbo while they attempt to find their new General Manager

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The New York Jets have made a collection of intelligent decisions since their embarrassing season ending loss in Buffalo. Firing Mike Tannenbaum was a much needed start coupled with hiring Jed Hughes to lead the search for the team’s new General Manager. Credit Woody Johnson for recognizing he is not a football expert and needs assistance in selecting the proper person to run his team. Hughes has a distinguished resume and hasn’t wasted any time in requesting interviews with three strong GM candidates: Tom Gamble, Marc Ross, and Dave Caldwell. All three are highly sought after around the league and the Jets won’t be an easy sell but at least it shows they are on the right track.

While the GM search plays out, the entire coaching staff remains in limbo. If you are able to snare a candidate like one of the previously mentioned ones, they must have full autonomy on how to proceed at Head Coach. There can be no requirements that force him to keep Rex Ryan. If he wants to keep Rex, great but if not…he must be allowed to make that call. The same goes for the rest of the coaching staff.

Personally, I have no problem with Rex being brought back but think he needs to be managed in the proper way. He cannot have too much say in personnel decisions and he must be forced to embrace a 21st century offense and offensive coordinator. Let Rex lead and motivate the men in his locker room. Let him scheme up defensive game plans. Get him better media training so there is a more consistent and unified voice coming out of the organization.

Regardless of who the new GM is, they must revamp the team’s media and PR approach. The New York media can complain right now all they want about the lack of a season ending press conference for Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson but they sound absurdly hypocritical. Why should the Jets treat them with transparency and industry standards when the media (cough, cough Daily News) has buried them with anonymously sourced and misquoted material? Hopefully, the Jets are currently ironing out a better way to handle their local coverage.

This is a team currently in limbo. The entire coaching staff’s job security is up in the air. No approach has been decided on how to handle quarterback or the messy cap situation. None of the other dominoes can begin to fall until the General Manager is hired…then look for them to fall fast and furiously. The sooner, the better because there are many critical decisions and steps that need to be taken.

Turn On The Jets Week 17 NFL Picks

The TOJ staff gives their picks for week 17 of the NFL Season

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The Race for Steak continues. Considering how in flux the lines are this week, we are going straight (PK) for week 17. The picks will continue into the playoffs next week as well. 

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Rob Celletti (129-104-7)

2. Chris Gross (121-112-7)

3. Mike Donnelly (118-117-5)

4. Chris Celletti (117-117-6)

5. Joe Caporoso (102-131-7)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (6-9-1)

  • Buffalo (PK) Jets
  • New England (PK) Miami
  • Baltimore (PK) Cincy
  • Indianapolis (PK) Houston
  • Tennessee (PK) Jacksonville
  • Eagles (PK) Giants
  • Washington (PK) Dallas
  • Chicago (PK) Detroit
  • Minnesota (PK) Green Bay
  • New Orleans (PK) Carolina
  • Denver (PK) Kansas City
  • San Francisco (PK) Arizona
  • Seattle (PK) St. Louis
  • Atlanta (PK) Tampa Bay
  • San Diego (PK) Oakland
  • Pittsburgh (PK) Cleveland

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (6-9-1)

  • Cincinnati
  • Pittsburgh
  • Houston
  • Tennessee
  • Giants
  • Jets
  • Chicago
  • Tampa Bay
  • New Orleans
  • Denver
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Green Bay
  • New England
  • Dallas

Rob Celletti

Last Week (6-9-1)

  • Bills over Jets
  • Patriots over Dolphins
  • Ravens over Bengals
  • Texans over Colts
  • Jaguars over Titans
  • Eagles over Giants
  • Cowboys over Redskins
  • Bears over Lions
  • Packers over Vikings
  • Saints over Panthers
  • Broncos over Chiefs
  • 49ers over Cardinals
  • Seahawks over Rams
  • Falcons over Bucs
  • Steelers over Browns
  • Chargers over Raiders

Chris Celletti

Last Week (6-9-1)

  • Falcons
  • Bills
  • Ravens
  • Bears
  • Texans
  • Saints
  • Eagles
  • Steelers
  • Titans
  • Broncos
  • Packers
  • Patriots
  • Chargers
  • Seahawks
  • 49ers
  • Cowboys

Chris Gross

Last Week (8-7-1)

  • Falcons
  • Bills
  • Bengals
  • Steelers
  • Lions
  • Jaguars
  • Eagles
  • Saints
  • Texans
  • Packers
  • Seahawks
  • Patriots
  • Broncos
  • Chargers
  • 49ers
  • Cowboys

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 17 – Year End Edition

Turn On The Jets year-end New York Jets 12 Pack – What is going on in Florham Park and who are we saying good-bye to?

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The Turn On The Jets 12 pack is back for one final edition in 2012. Instead of talking about the meaningless game against the Buffalo Bills, we are going to do two things today. First, we are going to cover our understanding of the current situation in Florham Park and venture a few guesses at what happens next week. Second, we are going to give our favorite moment from 12 Jets who will likely be playing their final game with the team this Sunday. 

Currently you have an organization at war with themselves in Florham Park. Everybody is out to save their own job and pulling their respective strings within the media. Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum are done working together. There has been a growing rift between both of them, which is likely going to leave Woody Johnson with a choice. He knows Tannenbaum can’t be retained in his current role, but will he do the right thing and fully cut the cord with him? Or will he take a half measure and just reassign him to a cap specialist role?

Tannenbaum has been actively reaching out to media members trying to spin himself into this role and painting a friendly picture of the Jets salary cap, which is incorrect. If Woody hangs on to Tannenbaum, due to their close working relationship, it is highly unlikely that Rex Ryan will be back and it will be difficult to recruit the type of GM the team needs to rebuild the roster. The Jets need a fresh face, not an in-house candidate (Scott Cohen), a retread (Joey Clinkscales), or a past his prime evaluator who destroyed another team (Scott Pioli). A Tannenbaum return also likely means that Mark Sanchez will stay on the roster, since it is Tannenbaum who traded for him and structured his contract, thus meaning he will give him every last possible chance to succeed.

If Woody fully fires Tannenbaum, the new GM will evaluate Ryan and could decide to hang on to him with a reworked offensive coaching staff. Hopefully, he will also construct a strong personnel department that doesn’t succumb to “groupthink” on draft or player decisions because Rex has publicly claimed responsibility for his share of flawed moves in that area (John Conner, Kyle Wilson, Santonio Holmes, Over reliance on Shonn Greene etc).

At this point, the following should be expected on Monday: Tony Sparano will be fired, with Matt Cavanaugh likely not far behind. Mike Tannenbaum will have his current position changed, either to fired or reassigned to cap specialist. From what we’ve heard no final decision has been reached yet, but If I was betting man (and I hope I’m wrong) Tannenbaum will just be reassigned. After that domino falls, the decision on Rex Ryan will come and further coaching staff and front office shake-ups could take place. It is going to be a very different hierarchy in Florham Park in 2013.

And now our farewell 12 pack to 12 Jets who likely won’t be back in 2013, by commemorating our favorite moment of their time with the team –

1. Bart Scott – Obvious choice here

2. Calvin Pace – Obvious choice here (Hey, that win over New England was the biggest in franchise history outside of Super Bowl III, no?)

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3. Sione Pouha – Remember how much fun Jets football was back in 2010? How excited the crowd was for the Monday Night opener against Baltimore? The first defense play when Shaun Ellis smashed Joe Flacoo and Sione Pouha recovered the fumble? Those were the days…

4. Eric Smith – Way before Eric Smith was chasing after Tim Tebow and Victor Cruz, he put together a strong year as a specialist/reserve in 2009. (I literally can’t believe this highlight tape is on YouTube).

5. Shonn Greene – This is out of hope that nobody with the Jets is foolish enough to give him a new contract. Greene peeked in the 2009 playoffs and has been on a steady decline since. But how about this run?

6. Dustin Keller – It is hard to see Keller back for another year. Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller…this close to a Super Bowl?

7. Bryan Thomas – Blue-collar and was a valuable player to this team for over a decade. He has had too many good moments just to pick one. We are going to miss you BT!

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8. Jason Smith – All those times you reported eligible was a nice reminder of Mike Tannenbaum’s ineptitude….

9. Tim Tebow – Ha!

10. Mike DeVito – I hope he is brought back. If not, he will be in New England and making plays before you blink your eyes.

11. Matt Slauson/Austin Howard/Brandon Moore – Some combination of you won’t be brought back. Moore has been a warrior for the Jets the past decade and is one of the team’s smartest, most articulate members. Slauson is a decent starting guard who had a bit of a down year in 2012. Howard is a good run blocker but is not reliable at all in pass protection.

12. Mike Tannenbaum – We can only hope…