Expectations For Jets New Additions

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets had OTAs today but it has been a quiet day of news, most of the focus is on the vote tomorrow for the New York Super Bowl in 2014. From all indications, it looks like it is something that is going to happen.

2. I honestly wish the Jets would stop wasting time and sign Matt Stover right now. Let him and Folk compete throughout the summer and then if Folk keeps shanking every ball he puts his foot on, then you could at least feel somewhat comfortable with a reliable kicker like Stover on the roster.

Expectations For New Jets Additions

I have already went over what should be fair expectations for the Jets rookie class in 2010 but how about their new acquisitions via trade and free agency, here is a look:

PhotobucketSantonio Holmes – It is hard to project Holmes production since he won’t be joining the Jets offense until week 5. Yet, the most important thing the team needs him to be is a consistent big play threat. In the Jets offense, he isn’t going to average 5 catches for 100 yards each week but he needs to continue doing what he did in a Steelers uniform. Holmes has to turn those quick smoke screens into 15-20 yard gains and get down the field to pull in a few deep balls. The most important thing for Holmes will be to learn all the receiver positions in the Jets offense, so he has the ability to move all over the formation and get himself into one on one coverage situations. It is hard for me to pinpoint stats for him in 12 games, especially when it could take a couple of games for him to integrate into the offense, but how about 40-45 catches for 650 yards with 4-6 touchdowns?

LaDainian Tomlinson – When Leon Washington was traded to Seattle, the expectations for what Tomlinson would bring to the Jets offense rose substantially higher. The Jets need him to spell Shonn Greene for a series or two each half, be the full time third down back until Joe McKnight is ready to consistently contribute and be the team’s goal-line and short yardage back. Tomlinson’s yards per carry has to be way up from the 3.3 it was last year and get it closer to 4.o. If the Jets could get 700-900 total yards and 5-8 touchdowns, I think they’d be very happy.

Antonio Cromartie – The Jets need the consistency opposite Darrelle Revis at corner in 2010 that Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery couldn’t give them. Cromartie is now playing in a defense that plays to his strengths, with a strong emphasis on man to man coverage. He will have plenty of balls coming his way as teams attempt to avoid Revis Island and he needs to not only provide steady coverage but also bring the big play element that made him an All-Pro a few years ago.

Jason Taylor – The Jets brought Taylor in to improve their pass rush and considering the way Rex Ryan is likely to use him in his style of defense, the team is expecting 9-12 sacks out of him. If Calvin Pace could get 8 sacks in 12 games last season, than Taylor who is a better pure pass rusher should be able to hit double digits in a full season of work.

Brodney Pool – The Jets need Pool to be everything Kerry Rhodes wasn’t for them last season. They want a player who will be aggressive in the running game and wrap-up when he makes tackles. Nobody wants to see anymore of the Rhodes “turn my back to the runner and jump into him” tackle attempts or their starting safety being steamrolled by a scrub like Laurence Maroney. Pool was having a very good season in 2009 before he was hurt so hopefully he can pick up where he left off in 2010.

Oh wait…you thought I wouldn’t have thoughts on the LOST finale?

From everything I have read, it seems the finale was relatively polarizing. Personally, I liked it. I thought the first 2 hours and 20 minutes were terrific and was LOST at its absolute best. I was surprised the Jack/Locke conflict was so early in the episode, along with Desmond heading down into the “source” so early. However, they all filled their purpose. Desmond was able to live through pulling the cork out, which gave Jack the chance to kill Locke (well Kate technically did it) and then Jack sacrificed himself to place the cork back in and save the island, leaving Hurley behind in the “Jacob” role. I am just waiting for the spin off of the years when Hurley and Ben ruled the island, when ABC realizes all their other Lost spin offs like Flashforward and V are failures.

PhotobucketThe last scene? The sideways world basically being a purgatory? Yes, I can understand complaints about it but in the end, I liked the explanation of it and how all the characters crossed over and had their “realization” moment. I think the ending was relatively straightforward…almost too straightforward. The final shot of Jack’s eye closing was well done, along with the shot of Locke/Jack looking down the cave mirroring the shot of them looking down the hatch in season 1. Also what does everybody think that wreckage at the end during the credits was? Did the Ajira plane crash? Was it another plane that crashed after Jack died?

In the end, I am sorry for the people who watched it and couldn’t be satisfied unless one of the creators sat there for 3 hours and read answers to every minuet question. It was a great show and the real question is what I am going to watch now? I think I am heading to Blockbuster to rent season 1 of “The Wire.”

Wrapping Up Jets Week Of OTAs and Other Thoughts

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First a few updates:

1. I’d annoy everybody about following Turn On The Jets on Facebook but we jumped from 315 fans to 348 fans in the last 24 hours…well done. You can also follow TOJ on Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

2. The Jets have the same schedule next week for OTAs, with a practice on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with Thursday being the only day with media access. They then have OTAs on June 2-3, June 8th, and June 10th.

3. Jason Taylor is practicing with #95 for now but in a recent interview it sounded like Bryan Thomas would be willing to sell #99 to him.

4. Darrelle Revis has refuted reports he is asking for 20 million dollars a year but he has stated he wants to be the highest paid corner in football. Currently, Nnamdi Asmougha is and he makes about 15.2 million a year, so look for Revis to end up with something in the 16-18 million dollars a year range. Pay. The. Man.

5. It looks like we are headed to Lakers vs. Celtics in the NBA Finals. Can I buy a competitive series in this NBA Playoffs?

6. I can’t get enough Mikhail Prokhorov…I may have to become a Nets fan soon especially if the Knicks don’t come through with LeBron.

Wrapping Up Jets Week Of OTAs and Other Thoughts

New Additions – Antonio Cromartie has been doing some work as a kick returner. I think most people assumed the Jets would have Brad Smith, Kyle Wilson, and Joe McKnight battle for that job but Cromartie is obviously an explosive player with the ball in his hands. I doubt he would have the job full time but I could see them throwing him back there a few times a game.

Santonio Holmes probably didn’t make many people in the organization happy when he said he didn’t want a Super Bowl to be played at the Meadowlands. Regardless, outside of being knocked over by Darrelle Revis in a blocking drill, Holmes seems to be blending in well with his teammates according to people reporting from practice and his fellow teammates. Holmes best asset for the Jets is his versatility to line up all over the formation, which will help him integrate into the offense quicker when he returns in week 5.

PhotobucketVladimir Ducasse was running with the first team offense and made a good impression on Rex Ryan. It will be interesting to see how much of a shot Matt Slauson really has at winning the job. If Ducasse can hold his own in his rookie year as the starting left guard, it will speak well for the Jets front office who took a chance on him as a small school prospect in the 2nd round.

In my mind, the most concerning news of the week was that Nick Folk missed about every kick he took. You can’t be a team built around running the ball and playing defense and have a kicker who can’t make a 40 yard field goal…actually no team can afford to have a guy like that. It looks the Jets may have to wait and see who loses the kicking battle in Houston or take somebody else off the scrap heap. Mike Nugent? John Hall? Is he still around?

Second Year Players – It was good to hear Sanchez was participating in some drills this week…any time spent with the offense is valuable. There is no need to push him too far during OTAs, the key is that he is 100 percent for training camp and the pre-season. Apparently, neither Kellen Clemens or Erik Ainge was impressive during OTAs. Also, Rich Cimini reported Shonn Greene looked like he put on some weight and not the good kind of weight. I am a little worried about the Jets running back situation this year, I hope #23 can prove me wrong and show he is capable of being a full time number one back.

Other Thoughts/Questions

1. Who will be the Jets main competition for the AFC East title, Miami or New England? It is easy to assume New England but I could see the Dolphins being better than them this season. New England’s offense just doesn’t scare me without Wes Welker out there and they still have question marks on their defense.

2. If the Jets could do five things before the regular season starts, I would want to see them add a new kicker, lock down Revis long term, lock down Mangold long term, sign Mark Brunell, and sign Adalius Thomas.

3. What prime time game are you looking forward to the most this year? Personally, I can’t help but get the most pumped about hosting the Vikings (if they have Favre) on Monday Night Football. I also badly want a win on Sunday Night Football over the Dolphins in their building.

Devil's Advocate: Why The Jets Won't Be Good This Year

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First a few updates:

1. You know I love updates but I have to cut them somewhat short today because I have to figure out how to get TOJ The Podcast up and running this week and do some filming for TOJ TV. Don’t forget the Jets DVD Contest…E-Mail me 5 new fans you got to become fans of the Facebook Page and you will have a chance to win a free copy of “New York Jets Best Games of 2009.”

2. It is a real shame Brian Cushing will remain Defensive Rookie of the Year…I am not sure what kind of message it sends to give him the award again after it has been proven that he cheated.

3. How entertaining is tomorrow night’s Cavs/Celtics game going to be? The entire fate of the NBA for the next 10 years could be on the line. How will LeBron respond to all the criticism he is receiving? If you aren’t tuning in tomorrow…you aren’t a sports fan.

Photobucket4. Thoughts On Lost Season 6, Episode 15 “Across the Sea” – You will be hard pressed to find a bigger defender of LOST than me. I think the show is terrific and the writers take too much crap from fans, who have ridiculous expectations. Season six has been very good and even great at times, but last night’s episode was a swing and miss. I have only watched it once and maybe on a re-watch, I will appreciate it more. Look I understand, you can’t have something tangible as being the reason the Island is special, so I don’t have a problem leaving it as this ambiguous entity, but the imagery of that yellow cave was lame. The kid actors were crappy and I didn’t like the whole “drink this wine and now you are the protector of the island” scene. However, I expect more details on “rules” of the island and what actually happened when the MIB was thrown into the cave to be fleshed out in the final 2 episodes. In terms of theories, I do believe the original woman on the Island was the smoke monster herself and had orchestrated a long plan to get herself a replacement as both the island protector and as the smoke monster. Regardless, I am looking forward to getting back to the main characters this week.

5. So much for having short updates today.

Devil’s Advocate: Why The Jets Won’t Be Good This Year

For the first time since 1999, I genuinely 100 percent believe the Jets are one of the five best teams in the NFL heading into a season. I don’t think my fandom is clouding my vision when I say I expect the Jets to win 11 or 12 games and be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Yet, as we see every year in the NFL expectations aren’t always met and teams frequently come out of nowhere to make the playoffs and occasionally win the  Super Bowl. Despite the optimism I share with many fans for 2010, thee are two sides to every argument. So, let me play a little devil’s advocate to myself and feelings on the 2010 Jets, by looking at why the Jets won’t be good this season and by not good, I mean 8-8 or less.

Let’s start on offense where the Jets could have problems at three crucial positions: quarterback, running back, and left guard. Mark Sanchez was Jekyll and Hyde last year, what if he comes back in 2010 with a bunch of Buffalo/Atlanta/At New England performances? He missed time this off-season rehabbing from injury and still has a long way to go from his 12 touchdowns/2o interceptions performance in 2009. Defenses will scout out what the Jets did to protect Sanchez down the stretch last year and how they played to his strengths in the playoffs, and come up with new ways to confuse him. Sanchez may become a franchise quarterback one day but there is a really good chance he isn’t ready to be consistent enough to lead a team past Tom Brady for a divisional title. Beyond that, Sanchez hasn’t shown he knows how to avoid taking a hit when scrambling and he is coming off surgery. If he gets hurt, who is stepping in? Kellen Clemens? Erik Ainge? Mark Brunell? I’d feel okay about Brunell if he was throwing to Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith but this isn’t ten years ago.

At running back, there is no proof Shonn Greene can handle being a number one back for an entire season. Despite not receiving substantial playing time until the stretch run last year, he dealt with multiple injuries and on top of that had a fumbling issue. It is a big step to go from 108 carries to being asked to carry the ball 20 times each week from September to January. If Greene struggles or gets hurt, LaDainian Tomlinson is past his prime as a #1 back and Joe McKnight is a rookie fourth round  pick who can’t get through a practice in shorts and a t-shirt without throwing up.

PhotobucketAt left guard, the Jets are expecting either last year’s sixth round pick, Matt Slauson, who received no real experience last season or a rookie from a I-AA school, Vladimir Ducasse, to fill in for Alan Faneca. There are inevitably going to be bumps in the road for whomever wins the starting job and problems at one spot on the line can trickle down to the rest of the unit.

On defense, the Jets are very thin at the defensive end position. They are starting a backup caliber player in Mike DeVito opposite Shaun Ellis, who is getting up there in age. They will be relying on Jason Taylor to be their top pass rusher and there are also concerns about his age, along with whether his heart is really in New York. Brodney Pool is being relied on at safety but can he stay healthy? Antonio Cromartie also has to prove that he can be the player he was in 2007 and not the lazy disappointment he was last year.

What about on special teams, where the Jets have replaced Jay Feely with Nick Folk who was awful last season on Dallas. The Jets are a team built to play close football games but don’t have a reliable kicker. Their coverage teams were poor enough last year and they lost their top special teams player in Wallace Wright. They are also breaking in a new long snapper, which could be problematic in a big spot.

Overall, the Jets were only a 9-7 team last year who happened to get hot at the right time, along with some assistance from teams resting starters. Whenever there is high expectations for the Jets, they struggle to live up to the hype. There is a ton of attention around the team, more than ever in the team’s history, will they be able to handle it? Could it be possible I was naive in overlooking potential chemistry concerns?

I need to go wash my hands.

Nah, I think we’ll be alright next year

A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

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First a few updates:

1. The Patriots have finally cut ties with outside linebacker Adalius Thomas. Will the Jets still puruse Thomas, who excelled in Rex Ryan’s system during his time in Baltimore? Initially you would think not, considering they just signed Jason Taylor and still have Calvin Pace and  Bryan Thoams in place as starters. However, you could never have enough pass rushers, especially in this defensive system. The Jets may be able to get Thomas at a low price depending on the amount of interest he generates around the league and his desire to reunite with Ryan and stick it to the Patriots for cutting him. I say if they can get him at a reasonable price, then why not? Also keep in mind Thomas is versatile enough to play multiple positions in Rex Ryan’s defense. Overall, don’t be shocked to see the Jets add yet another big name in the next few days.

2. The Jets have restructured Vernon Gholston’s contract to make it primarily incentive based. Apparently, Gholston approached the team about redoing the deal in an attempt to actually earn his contract money. If that is true, than it is a very admirable move by Gholston who will hopefully begin to turn his career around somewhat at the defensive end position.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Good links today on the Jets/Giants business relationship and Peter King’s inside information of what went down before the Leon Washington deal.

A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

I have been caught off guard by the amount of negativity expressed by many Jets fans after their draft weekend decisions. On the whole most people who follow and write about the NFL initially praised the Jets pro-active approach this off-season, however there is starting to be some questions asked about adding too many big name players, destroying team chemistry, and an overall skepticism about the direction Mike Tannenbaum/Rex Ryan have taken this team. You can poke holes in any team’s roster and any personnel decision they make, yet I have this to say to people who haven’t liked the Jets off-season: are you kidding me?

Let’s start with the defense. The consensus weakest part of the Jets defense last year was their secondary outside of Darrelle Revis. Everybody agreed they needed a major upgrade at corner after Revis and that Kerry Rhodes was a disappointment in Rex Ryan’s system who wasn’t a good fit in the locker room with his “Hollywood” personality and selfish anger over Jim Leonhard calling the shots in the defensive backfield. What did the Jets do? They replaced Lito Sheppard with Antonio Cromartie as the other starter at corner. They replaced Dwight Lowery with Kyle Wilson as the nickel back and they shipped Rhodes to Arizona for two draft picks.

Photobucket Cromartie and Wilson should be substantial upgrades over the players they replaced. Cromartie is out to prove he can return to his all-pro level in Ryan’s man to man scheme and validate the Jets decision to give him a chance, along with a nice advance on his contract to help pay his child support. Wilson was a steal at #29 in the first round and should immediately be one of the most talented nickel backs in the NFL. Everybody wants to criticize the Jets chemistry for this upcoming year but didn’t they improve it by shipping out the disgruntled Rhodes? Brodney Pool has been tabbed as his replacement and had more sacks and interceptions than Rhodes last year, despite only playing in 11 games. Yes, Pool has injury concerns but if he gets hurt, wasn’t Eric Smith just as productive as Rhodes last season. Beyond that the Jets didn’t break the bank for Cromartie, Pool, or Wilson considering where he was selected.

The other big problem on the Jets defense last year was their lack of a pass rush. In order to improve this they added Jason Taylor, who notched seven sacks last year despite not being put in the best position to rush the passer in Miami’s defense. Rex Ryan should be able to put together enough schemes and blitz packages to get somebody with Taylor’s talent 9-12 sacks. Also don’t forget Kris Jenkins is coming back from injury and while he won’t ever rack up monster sack numbers his presence on the line will open up things for everybody else. Beyond that, there is a decent chance Adalius Thomas will also be thrown in the mix as a pass rusher at outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and defensive end.

So on defense the Jets replaced three starters: Kerry Rhodes, Lito Sheppard, and Marques Douglas with three younger players in Brodney Pool, Antonio Cromartie, and Mike DeVito. They removed the biggest personality/chemistry problem by getting rid of Rhodes. Yes, Douglas was a quality player and it remains to be seen if DeVito can be a full time starter but the Jets defense isn’t dropping from the number one spot in the league because they removed the 60 tackles and 1.5 sacks from Douglas. On top of that, they now have Jason Taylor as their top reserve at linebacker instead of Vernnon Gholston and Kyle Wilson at nickel back instead of Dwight Lowery. So tell me what the problem is again? It sounds to me like there is a good chance the Jets will be repeating as the league’s #1 defense.

PhotobucketNow let’s look at the offense where there is a popular misconception that the Jets signed LaDainian Tomlinson to replace Thomas Jones. Actually it will be Shonn Greene replacing Thomas Jones, with LaDainian Tomlinson taking over the #2 role and stepping in as the goal-line/short yardage back. The Jets also replaced Leon Washington, who may have begun the season on the PUP list with a player who has the skill set to be a young, healthier version of him in Joe McKnight. Washington also would have been leaving the Jets after this season anyway because of his contract situation, while the Jets now have McKnight for the next 4-6 years at a minimum.

Most people agreed the Jets needed to upgrade their receiving core. They responded by adding Santonio Holmes for a fifth round pick. Holmes has the talent to be a #1 receiver on many teams in this league, yet will basically be the Jets #3 receiver when he begins playing in week five. They will also be benefitted by having Braylon Edwards spend a full off-season with the team and having both Edwards and Holmes looking to prove they deserve long term contracts from the Jets or another team.

Yes the Jets had to make the tough choice of parting ways with Alan Faneca. However, considering they just gave Brandon Moore a long term deal and will have to give Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson ones after this season, did they really have a choice? Let’s have a little faith in Bill Callahan, widely considered one of the best offensive line coaches in the game, to develop Vladimir Ducasse or Matt Slauson into capable starters this year and long term quality players for the team.

PhotobucketSo on offense the Jets replaced two starters: Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca. Two guys who were productive last year and well-respected in the locker room, yet two guys who are 31 and 33 years old, respectively. Shonn Greene certainly looked the part of a a number one back in the playoffs last year and if he struggles the Jets have quality depth behind him in LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight. Ducasse and Slauson are unproven but will be surrounded by four high quality players and a great offensive line coach. Beyond that, they moved from having their number three receiver either being Brad Smith or David Clowney to being Santonio Holmes. Mark Sanchez should also be better in his second year but hey the Jets went to the AFC Championship game with him throwing 20 INTs to 12 TDs, along with a 53 completion percentage, so imagine what they could do if he makes strides this season.

I am sure players hated to see people like Faneca, Jones, and Washington leave the team. Yet, let’s not go crazy with the chemistry or leadership concerns. Last time I checked on offense the Jets will still have Tony Richardson, Jerricho Cotchery, and Damien Woody in the huddle, along with the same quarterback, three other returning starters on the offensive line, the same top two tight ends, and a new strong veteran presence in LaDainian Tomlinson. On defense Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and Shaun Ellis will still be out there along with Kris Jenkins returning to the huddle.

You want to criticize the Jets for something? Fine, they downgraded at kicker by replacing Jay Feely with Nick Folk, yet somehow I think Tannenbaum will find a way to add another kicker at some point this summer.

Like I said before, you can poke holes in any roster or personnel decision. Yet, sometimes you just have to call things as you see them. The Jets are loaded right now, on both sides of the football. This team is built to be a legit Super Bowl contender and in my mind are the second best team in the AFC right now and a top five overall team in the NFL.

Let’s Go

Jets Special Teams Concerns & Draft Talk

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First a few updates:

1. Just a short article today to preclude a furious onslaught of draft coverage Monday through Thursday.

2. When is this Jason Taylor decision coming?

3. There is a report out that the Jets offered Denver their first round pick for Brandon Marshall during the owner’s meetings but the deal didn’t get done because the Jets couldn’t work out a long term deal with him. In the end it is probably for the best, considering the lack of risk involved in the Santonio Holmes deal and how the Jets have been able to hang on to their first round pick to add a needed defensive player.

4. I was disappointed by the lack of upsets on day one of the NBA Playoffs…is there a bigger team of cry babies than the Celtics by the way? I am pulling for D-Wade to lead the Heat back for the round 1 upset.

5. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Not because you want to….because you need to.

Jets Special Teams Concerns & Draft Talk

The Jets didn’t have one of their best years when it came to special teams last season. Whether it was Ted Ginn Jr ripping off two kick returns in a single game or botching three field goal attempts against Atlanta…Mike Westhoff’s unit wasn’t up to their usual standards. Unfortunately it is hard to picture the special teams being any better this year considering the way the off-season has went so far.

First off, the Jets have substantially downgraded at the kicker position. Jay Feely played at a pro-bowl level for most of last season, connecting on 30/36 field goals, hitting a 55 yard yarder and putting up a respectable 11/14 on 40-49 yard kicks. He also contributed on covering his own kicks with 4 tackles and stepped upt a punter in the Jets wild-card game when Steve Weatherford was unable to go. To replace Feely, the Jets currently have Dallas castoff Nick Folk who melted down in 2009 after a pro-bowl season in 2008. Folk was only 6/13 on 40-49 yard field goals and 20/31 overall last year. How could you trust this guy in a big spot? Mike Tannenbaum better be keeping his eyes open for somebody to compete with him training camp.

In two moves that received substantially less press coverage. the Jets let special teams ace Wallace Wright walk and he has been picked up by the Carolina Panthers. Wright has been the Jets top coverage guy the past few years and had 23 tackles on specials last year. They also decided to replace long time long snapper James Dearth with the unproven Tanner Purdum, who to my knowledge has never long snapped in a regular season NFL game. Two quiet moves that could end up making a big difference in a negative way at some point in the season.

A few quick thoughts on the draft:

Photobucket The only way I could see the Jets trading up is if Earl Thomas slips into low to mid twenties. Thomas would be a big time addition to the Jets secondary and could immediately slide next to Jim Leonhard at safety. Beyond that, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets trade back one or two times to add a few more picks later in the draft.

– The most common names you have been hearing associated with the Jets and the draft: Thomas, Brandon Graham, Jerry Hughes, Jared Odrick, Sergio Kindle, Ricky Sapp, Mike Iupati, Terrence Cody.

– Despite the addition of Antonio Cromartie, expect to see the Jets draft a corner by round 4 and don’t be shocked if they add a second one in round 6 or 7.

Earl Thomas Highlights

Who Will Be The Jets Breakout Offensive Player?

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First a few updates:

1. Jason Taylor will be taking the weekend to decide whether he wants to accept the Jets offer after spending his day at the team’s facility today. He met with a few players, including Calvin Pace and Damien Woody who spoke out in favor of adding Taylor to the Jets defense. Another person who spoke about Taylor was Bryan Thomas, who now according to The Star Ledger will be safe if Taylor does sign with the Jets. Apparently defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has said Taylor will primarily  be used in pass rushing downs and that Thomas remains part of the Jets plans for next year.

2. We got hit with a few “Nick Folk is working his way back to pro-bowl form” articles today from the New York media, which is basically the Jets front office saying “crap, we are stuck with this guy, he better get his stuff together, so let’s release a feel good article about him on the team’s website.” I am not buying into Folk as our kicker until he knocks down a 48 yarder opening night at the new stadium under some pressure.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…45 away from 300, and we need 300 by the end of April because Braylon Edwards promised me he wouldn’t drop a single pass this year if that happened.

4. Anybody else already huge Curtis Granderson fans?

Who Will The Jets Breakout Player On Offense Be?

Like most people I believe the Jets offense is an up and coming unit that should improve on their production from last year. In 2009, the Jets didn’t have skill position players who could brag about impressive stat lines outside of the now departed Thomas Jones who racked up 1400 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2010, who could be a player who takes his game to the next level and puts up pro-bowl caliber statistics?

Braylon Edwards – In 12 games with the Jets last season, Edwards had 35 catches for 541 yards and 4 touchdowns. He did provide the occasional big play but continued to struggle with dropped passes and only had one 100 yard game (although he had another one in the playoffs). We all know Edwards has the physical tools to be an elite receiver in the NFL…the guy did catch 17 touchdown passes in a single season only a few years ago, so can he produce like the legit number one the Jets traded for him to be? It certainly won’t hurt that he will now have a whole off-season in the Jets offense and have a training camp and pre-season to work with Mark Sanchez. If Edwards plays to his potential he could be a 1100 yard, 8-10 touchdown receiver in this Jets offense.

Dustin Keller – Keller had a monster streak of games in the middle of his rookie season in 2008, which led many to predict he could become a pro-bowl caliber tight for the Jets. However, he struggled to get on the same page with Sanchez for most of the season and only finished the regular season with 45 catches, 522 yards, and 2 touchdowns. However, Keller came alive in the playoffs by catching a touchdown pass in each of the Jets three games and averaging a little over 60 yards receiving per game. If Brian Schottenheimer can do a better job of getting him the ball and he remains in rhythm with Sanchez, Keller could have a pro-bowl caliber season for the Jets, especially if he remains a primary red-zone target.

Shonn Greene – After a somewhat quiet regular season, Greene exploded in the playoffs and gave the Jets enough confidence to let Thomas Jones walk so he could take over as their number one back. Greene will have the benefit of playing in a run heavy offense behind one of the best lines in the league. Yet, he must show he can stay healthy and handle the beating a lead back takes throughout a 16 games schedule, along with proving he can hold on to the football. If Greene can suit up every week, there is no reason he can’t approach the numbers Thomas Jones put up last year, although it will be hard to come near the 14 touchdowns he had since LaDainian Tomlinson will likely get most of the goal-line carries.

I know I didn’t include my personal favorite Jets offensive player, Jerricho Cotchery but I am hopeful that J-Co can stay healthy for all 16 games, crack the 1000 yard mark, chip in his usual 4 touchdowns, and make his normal collection of clutch third down receptions. Other key Jets skill position players? Tomlinson likely won’t have an impressive yardage total but hopefully he is productive as a pass catcher out of the backfield and as a short yardage/goal-line back. It is hard to tell what to expect from Leon coming off such a serious injury. Brad Smith will likely have a few big plays here and there but isn’t a consistent weapon. David Clowney might not make the roster next year if the Jets spend a high pick on a receiver. I know…I know, I forget Ben Hartsock and Matthew Mullligan, I am hopeful they will improve on their combined 2 catches for 3 yards and 1 touchdown last year.

Great Jets “My Way” Video

Jason Taylor? Say It Ain't So

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First a few updates:

1. I have a 3 1/2 break in between my two classes on Wednesday so I come to the computer lab thinking I will write my normal gem of a Wednesday article, read up on some Lost from last night so I make sure I know what is going on, and do my week’s reading for afternoon class. Of course, instead I ended up talking trash on our touch football league’s message board, researching hotels/clubs for my trip to AC trip in 2 weeks, and now I get hit with about 9,000 articles about Jason Taylor visiting the Jets today. So much for doing that reading.

2. Before we get into all the Taylor stuff, Mark Brunell is also visiting the Jets today…yes that Mark Brunell who used to throw bombs to Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith on the Jaguars way back in 1998 when Vinny and Keyshawn were whipping them up in the playoffs. Clearly the Jets are attempting to put together the All-Star team from “NFL Quarterback Club 1998” but in all seriousness, bringing Brunell in for the veteran’s minimum wouldn’t be a bad decision. The Jets need a veteran backup and a mentor for Sanchez, even if Brunell is twice his age.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook….because we added 7 fans yesterday and that made me so happy that I need to feel what it would be like to add 10 today. Beyond that, you need to me sort through the 15000 Jets stories today so I can link the ones you really need to read.

4. In case you didn’t see the update anywhere else, the Jets signed kicker Clint Stitser who has been out of football the past two years. Folk vs. Stitster? Sounds like “Shank-Off 2010” is coming to Jets training camp this summer.

Photobucket5. Thoughts On Final Season Of LOST, Episode 11 “Happily Ever After” – As if enough wasn’t going on, LOST had to drop arguably the best episode of the season last night. Desmond episodes always bring it and usually signify a key change in the show’s direction and last night was no exception. We finally got a clear connection between the two timelines and it looks Desmond is the x-factor who is going to make everybody aware of what is actually going on. Clearly, Eloise Hawking knows what is up which makes you wonder who’s side she is actually on. Faraday (another great character return) has an idea of what is going on and Charlie who was terrific in his reappearance, helped Desmond figure out something was wrong in the 2004 timeline. Two questions, why was Desmond so willing to leave Widmore’s team with Sayid? Does he know he needs to stop Locke and Sayid is bringing him directly there? Second (or third actually) what is the specific plan involving electromagnetism to have Desmond stop Locke/Man In Black? Beyond that, how is Desmond going to make everybody in 2004 conscious of what is going on in 2007 and make them realize their plane was supposed to crash? So many questions and only 7 hours of LOST left. By the way, next week looks great also, with the return of Michael who I am sure will yell “WALLLLTTTT” at least once.

Jason Taylor? Say It Ain’t So

PhotobucketJason Taylor…the first member of the now defunct “TOJ Hall of Shame”…my least favorite player in the NFL. A guy who has always hated the Jets and their fans and a guy who we gladly returned the hate to. A guy who was on “Dancing With the Stars” and Neurtogena commercials and guy who said such things as:

“A bunch of them chanting their dumb-ass chant and all that other stuff, being the ignorant fans they are. I said it. I don’t care if they get mad at me or not. They don’t like me anyway. Quite frankly, I don’t care. … I’m just being real. I’m telling the truth. You carry yourself with some class, and we’ll talk about you as if you’ve got class. If you want to act crazy and do all the crazy things they do, I’ll call a spade a spade.”

“The problem I have is with the Jets fans. It’s not really a problem; it’s kind of this rivalry that has gone on, and they love to hate me, and I love to hate them, and we’ve had some fun over the years. They’ve had a lot of fun at my expense. I’ve had some fun at their expense at times.  It’s the times like this where you beat them and they just keep talking. They just keep going, and they just don’t know when to be quiet.  You know, I’ve said a lot of things about Jets fans in the past, and I’m sure at heart they’re good people. Most of them are good people. The Giants fans are a different type of people. Just put it that way. There’s a little more class on the Giants’ side, and some Jets fans take the ‘c-l’ out of class.”

“It’d be very, very, very difficult [to sign with the Jets]. Very difficult. But at the end of the day, if you can’t find a job anywhere else and the Jets call, I guess you’ve got to retire or go play.”

Well now since it is being reported by Manish Menta of the Newark Star-Ledger that Taylor to the Jets “is basically a done deal” and the Jets have rolled out the red carpet for him by flying him in on a helicopter and showing his highlights in the new stadium like it is “Blue Chips,” it looks Taylor is going to choose to play…in the green and white.

Let me put aside my personal hate for Taylor and try to look at this from strictly a football perspective. We know Taylor can rush the passer and it is hard to picture him not being a good fit in the Jets 3-4 scheme as a pass rushing outside linebacker. Even in a down year last season, he recorded 7 sacks which is 5 more than Bryan Thomas recorded in 2009. Only two years ago in 2007, Taylor had 11 sacks. The Jets haven’t had a player with double digit sacks since John Abraham in 2005.

Apparently the Jets are offering a one year deal and then are planning to trade Bryan Thomas. Taylor could be a good mentor for Vernon Gholston this season and give the Jets another year/off-season to find a long term answer at outside linebacker opposite Calvin Pace, if Gholston still shows nothing (which he probably will). The Jets may be able to grab another late round pick by trading Bryan Thomas, especially if Cleveland is still looking to improve their linebacker core or any other 3-4 team is looking for an experienced OLB who started every game on the league’s #1 defense last year.

Clearly the Jets are tired of waiting on Adalius Thomas, who Bill Belichick is holding hostage in New England. Rex Ryan wants a pass rusher and Mike Tannenbaum is throwing the full sales pitch on to get him one. From everything I read today, it sounds like I will be writing another article tonight confirming Taylor’s arrival to the Jets and looking at what it means for their defense. Yet, we all thought Neil Rackers was definitely going to be a Jet this week and look how that turned out.

This has been a weird off-season for me. I have never liked LaDainian Tomlinson and the Jets signed him. I didn’t like Antonio Cromartie after that elbow he gave Shonn Greene in the playoffs and the Jets traded for him. I absolutely hate Jason Taylor and now it looks like the Jets will sign him. What is next, the Jets trying to swing a monster trade for Tom Brady or Bill Belichick continuing his slip into insanity and deciding to come back to work for the Jets as a defensive assistant?

Speaking Of Old Video Games, Tecmo Super Bowl Was The Best

No Neil Rackers & My 2010 Ideal Jets Schedule

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First a few updates:

Photobucket1.  As I am sure most have heard by now, Neil Rackers has signed with the Texans who threw 4 million dollars at him to compete with Kris Brown. You can’t blame Houston who watched Brown lose about 8 games for them last year on last second kicks. However, this leaves the Jets in a difficult situation at kicker (by the way I completely jinxed them in my article today by saying Tannenbaum always gets his man). Look for the Jets to now target Shayne Graham or Matt Stover. Rex Ryan is familiar with Stover, which could give him a leg up…witty pun intended. There is no way they can go into camp with just Nick Folk on the roster.

2. In a matter of a few hours today, Rich Cimini wondered if the Jets would pursue Marc Bulger but then reported the Jets have no interest in him as a back-up to Mark Sanchez. He also reported the Jets have a high amount of interest in Clemson DE/OLB Ricky Sapp, who could be somebody the Jets trade down a few spots for and still get.

3. Man, I hate Duke.

No Neil Rackers & My 2010 Ideal Jets Schedule

Considering I didn’t want to leave up an article based around Neil Rackers being on the Jets as the top story on the site, I figured I should add a second post today. The NFL schedule isn’t being announced until April 13th but before they get to it, here is how I’d like to see the Jets 16 games break down:

Week 1: Home Vs. Miami, Monday Night Football – Like most Jets fans, I want to get the taste of those two ridiculous losses to the Dolphins out of my mouth as soon as possible. When better than opening night at the stadium for the green and white?

Week 2: At Buffalo – Let’s start out the year 2-0 with a couple of division wins.

Week 3: At Chicago – Before it gets too cold and windy for Sanchez.

Week 4: Home Vs. Cincinnati – Playoff re-match action to close up the first fourth of the season.

Week 5: At Pittsburgh – Tough early season test on the road.

Week 6: Vs. Green Bay – Interesting match-up, hopefully it goes the same way it did last time the Packers traveled to play the Jets.

Week 7: At New England, Sunday Night Football – Big prime-time showdown.

Week 8: Vs. Houston – Tough second fourth of the season for the Jets but it sets up well for a nice second half run like last year.

Week 9:  Bye – Split the season in half again.

Week 10: At Cleveland – Let’s ease out of the bye week with Mangini and company.

Week 11: Vs. Baltimore, Thanksgiving Night – Great showdown for national audience between Rex and his old team.

Week 12: At Denver – 10 days to prepare for the trip out to Mile High.

Week 13: Vs. Buffalo – Finish up the season sweep of the Bills.

Week 14: At Detroit – Stafford vs. Sanchez

Week 15: Vs. Minnesota, Sunday Night Flex – Jets beat up on Favre in primetime.

Week 16: Vs New England – For the division? Glad we are home.

Week 17: At Miami – Erik Ainge gets the start.

Why yes, I’d love a job Mr. Goodell

I Agree Rex, Those Refs Were BS

Good Stuff As Usual

Jets Have Plenty Of Work To Do In April

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First a few updates:

1. How about me getting off from both class and work today to enjoy this weather? I have moved my office (my laptop and myself) outside and just might have to double up on posts today since I didn’t post on Saturday or Sunday. I can save looking for a job and catching up on schoolwork for another day.

2. What was with the Yankees pitching last night? Let’s not get all crazy about one game but nobody ever likes losing to the Red Sox, especially with that sorry excuse for a line-up they assembled this year. 9 runs? Go buy yourself and the bullpen some Subway sandwiches and get it together CC.

3. NBA Playoffs is starting up soon and I couldn’t be more pumped about it. I am still deciding which teams to adopt this year, considering the Knicks never make the playoffs. I am probably going with the Thunder in the West (Durant and Westbrook are a dirty combination) and anybody who is playing the Celtics in the East. I am torn about the Cavs because I love watching LeBron rip it up but I am kind of pulling for a first round exit for them so he is more inclined to head over to New York next year.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook, because I promised Rex Ryan we’d have 300 fans by the end of April and we are still 54 away.

5. What the hell were the Eagles thinking with that trade? They traded their Pro-Bowl quarterback to a division rival, who is a quarterback away from being a good team and now has a coach who has a reputation for getting the most out of his quarterbacks…really smart move. I love how everybody in Philly is saying “bring on the Kevin Kolb era” like the guy didn’t only start 2 games last year and only win 1 of them…against the Chiefs, I could have started against the Chiefs last year and won a game. I am looking forward to Philly fans booing their faces off at Kolb when the Eagles start 2-5 and then pelting Andy Reid with snowballs in December as they finish up a 6-10 season.

Jets Have Plenty Of Work To Do In April

PhotobucketThe most encouraging news of the weekend was that the Jets are bringing in former Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers for a visit tomorrow.Most people around the organization seem to think it is a done deal that Rackers will be in a Jets uniform by the week’s end because let’s face Mike Tannenbaum always gets who he wants. Rich Cimini at The Jets Stream did a comparison of Jay Feely’s and Rackers numbers from the past few years and found some encouraging things

  • Over the last 2 years, Rackers was 41/45 on field goals (91%), while Feely was 54/64 (84%).
  • Rackers was 21/24 outdoors (88%), while Feely was 23/29 (79%)
  • In games where the margin was 0-7 points, Rackers was 10/10 and Feely was 17/20…they both had bad moments in the playoffs last year with Feely missing a pair of FGs in the AFC Championship Game and Rackers having an ugly shank when he had a chance to beat the Packers in regulation during the wild-card round.
  • They are both going to be 34 at the beginning of the year.

Doesn’t sound like a bad trade off, right? Fortunately, it looks like the NIck Folk era is only going to last a few weeks. Speaking of Cimini he wrote an article in today’s Daily News speculating about the Jets being active before the draft and during the draft to improve their roster. He doesn’t name any specific moves or players they could target but continues to insist the Jets aren’t interested in Brandon Marshall, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. What other work could the Jets do this month to improve their roster before OTAs start?

PhotobucketI think they should pull the trigger on bringing back Laveranues Coles. It doesn’t seem like he is generating much interest in the free agent market so the Jets should be able to grab him cheap. Bringing Coles in gives the Jets a little more flexibility on when they have to target a receiver in the draft because as it stands now they will likely draft one in either round one or two. Coles could be a productive slot receiver for a year or two and be a solid mentor to a late round pick.

Cimini mentions Tannenbaum could look over the RFA market and make a move on somebody but at this point I’m not sure who is really available for the Jets to target. There a few lower tier offensive lineman the Jets could look at add for depth. On the unrestricted market, the Jets could consider former Cowboys safety Ken Hamlin who was recently cut and could provide a little more competition/talent to the safety position. Darren Sharper remains a distant possibility because the Jets would have to get very creative financially to bring him in under the final four rules. The Jets may also look to add a veteran quarterback if they aren’t satisfied with Kellen Clemens (and how could you be) but the pickings are slim with people like Kyle Boller, Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown, and Patrick Ramsey on the market.

One place I could definitely see Tannenbaum making move is the draft. The Jets are kind of stuck in no man’s land at #29, which could lead to either a trade up on trade down to acquire more picks. Jared Odrick has been a favorite of mock drafters for the Jets but there are rumors the Browns are interested in him at #7…yes, #7 so it may be hard to see Odrick fall anywhere near the Jets. However, if he does or Dez Bryant does for whatever reason, I could see Mike T making a big move to grab one of those two guys. Beyond that, unless there is a defensive lineman/outside linebacker or receiver the Jets really fall in love with available at #29, expect the Jets to trade back and look to improve their depth at multiple positions.

I would say most people agree the Jets needs list, currently looks something like:

  1. Defensive Line – Especially considering Marques Douglas hasn’t been brought back yet.
  2. Outside Linebacker – They need another pass rusher, if they don’t add a defensive lineman who could get to the quarterback.
  3. Wide Receiver – They still need a #3 guy behind Braylon and Cotchery.
  4. Secondary – They need better depth at corner and safety.
  5. Offensive Line – They need depth and players to develop behind Faneca and Woody.
  6. Veteran backup QB – It couldn’t hurt.

Neil Rackers: Fantasy File

Calm Down About Last Night, #28 Is On The Way

Jets Send Us Into Weekend With Headache

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First a few updates:

1. Big list of quality Jets material published within the last two days, of course you can easily find the links to every Jets related piece of material you should be reading on the Internet by following Turn On The Jets on facebook…go ahead and do that right now…in case you are being stubborn here are a few highlights with some analysis

Photobucket2. First off, ESPN finally launched their ESPN New York site here {http://espn.go.com/new-york/), Jane McManus is doing the Jets blog for it. This is just what I need, another site to check on a daily basis sandwiched between the 19 other Jets sites, Barstool Sports, Lost blogspot and lostpedia so I can figure out what the hell is going on, the message board for our touch football league which I make I living talking trash on, and of course the occasional stop at my school email address…anyway Jane’s first post was on LaDainian Tomlinson who defended his lack of production the last few years by blaming it on the Chargers,“Because the things that happened in San Diego, everything was taken away from me. There wasn’t an emphasis on running the football anymore, my best fullback was gone, the linemen were pass blocking and it was a passing QB and a passing coach.”…well LT will have no such excuses in New York running behind T-Rich and the Jets offensive line. Tomlinson also went on to say he hopes Shonn Greene and himself will be like Jordan and Pippen…does that make Leon, Toni Kukoc?

3. Great article by Tim Graham on his AFC East Blog (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/12137/jets-overtake-patriots-as-the-team-to-hate) about the Jets now being the team to hate in the division. Personally, I love the Jets new style and I say bring the hate on.

4. Rich Cimini also a few recent posts, highlighting some locker room talk (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/) and a few other things. He also discusses the Jets off-season motto “212 degrees,” which is the temperature at which water boils. I think is is clever enough.

Jets Send Us Into Weekend With Headache

PhotobucketWhy are the Jets sending me into the weekend with a headache? The primary reason is that Jay Feely just signed with the Cardinals and it is being reported the Jets had a chance to match the offer and chose not to. Really? The front office and coaching staff is really satisfied going into the year with Nick Folk at kicker? I understand we saved a million dollars because Folk was signed basically for the veterans minimum but there was a reason the Jets were able to sign him for that…because he was awful last year.

I don’t understand how a team who is essentially built to play close football games and plays their home games in a stadium that is notoriously difficult to kick in could undervalue the kicker position so much. The Jets had a very good one in Jay Feely and made a poor decision to be cheap in this instance.

The Jets have developed a reputation as a high spending team yet they lowballed Leon Washington, which could eventually lead to a separation between the two. They went cheap at kicker. They have decided not to re-sign their reliable long snapper for the past decade, James Dearth. Why would you switch your long snapper? If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. They refuse to pay Marques Douglas who wouldn’t even cost that much money and was very productive last year. They went cheap at safety to replace Kerry Rhodes with a guy who is one head injury away from having his career be over.

I am big Mike Tannenbaum fan and maybe these moves are all in preparation of long term deals for Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Braylon Edwards (if he has a good year in 2010) but as of right now the Jets are taking some key risks:

  • They have damaged their relationship with Leon Washington, who has been a great player for them on the field and a great role model off the field. He is rightly a fan favorite but now you have to worry about the Jets ability to ever lock down a long term deal with him, and still be concerned about a team offering him a contract in the next month as a RFA.
  • They are going into the year with a kicker coming off a terrible season, with nobody to compete against him in training camp.
  • Their depth in the secondary is questionable at best. They lost two corners (Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland) and only replaced them with one (Antonio Cromartie). Brodney Pool is injury prone at safety and they only have in-house backups to compete with him for the starting spot.
  • They are thin on the defensive line because of the decision not to bring back Marques Douglas. This could be remedied after the draft but as of now, Shaun Ellis and Mike DeVito are the starters with zero viable backups unless they plan on sliding Sione Pouha or Howard Green out to defensive end.

And if that isn’t enough to give you a headache, Mark Sanchez hasn’t been cleared to run yet even though his surgery was 6 weeks ago. He isn’t going to take part in OTAs, which means it is the Kellen Clemens show in June. Where is the Advil?

This Cheers Me Up