New York Jets – Breaking Down Sanchez’s 9 Dropbacks Friday Night

Breaking down Mark Sanchez’s 9 dropbacks in the New York Jets pre-season opener

New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez was asked to drop back for nine pass attempts in the team’s pre-season opener. Here is a breakdown of what occurred on each play and an overall analysis of his and the first unit’s performance in the passing game –

1) – 1st and 10 on NYJ 20 yard line – Completion for 0 yards to John Conner

The Jets opened the game in a double tight formation (Dustin Keller and Jeff Cumberland) with Stephen Hill split out wide and two backs. They ran a basic play action bootleg out to the right (a play Jets fans are familiar with from Brian Schottenheimer). Hill cleared out leaving Keller as the first read but he was covered, the only other viable option on the play was Conner in the flat who Sanchez threw the ball to. Conner made the reception but was immediately tackled by Manny Lawson. A simple, safe play that was defended and tackled well.

2) – 3rd and 8 on NYJ 22 yard line – Sacked for 9 yard loss

The Jets came out in shotgun on 3rd long with a bunch formation to the right. Sanchez never had a chance on this play as the Bengals sent a blitz to the right side. Austin Howard picked up the proper man but running back Bilal Powell missed Rey Maualuga who brought Sanchez down before the play had a chance to develop.

3) 3rd and 2 on NYJ 28 yard line – Incompletion to Jordan White

Again the New York Jets ran a play that was popular during the Brian Schottenheimer years. The short yardage, speed out to the slot receiver was a bread butter play for the Jets in both 2009 and 2010, with Jerricho Cotchery frequently running it, although Braylon Edwards ripped off a big gain on it in 2009 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This play was designed for Jordan White and it is basically going to him no matter what, as from the slot he is supposed to run an immediate speed out a 1/2 yard to a yard past the first down marker on the short side of the field. The ball gets thrown to the low and outside where only the receiver can get it.

White cut his route a little short (a frequent mistake for young receivers), throwing off the timing. Sanchez threw the ball where it was supposed to be but White failed to pull in the tough catch (Terrence Newman had nice coverage as well).

4) 1st and 10 on NYJ 33 yard line – 6 yard completion to Patrick Turner

Turner ran an angle route over the middle from the slot position. He quickly beat his man to the inside (Leon Hall) and as the primary target Sanchez got the ball to him quickly. Hall recovered to make a nice tackle. Overall, a successfully executed first down play that is probably better suited to a quicker player like Jeremy Kerley.

5) 2nd and 4 on NYJ 39 yard line – 6 yard completion to Patrick Turner

The Jets ran double speed outs with their outside receivers (Turner and Stephen Hill). Turner was on the short side of the field and was receiving a substantial cushion. Sanchez made the right read and a good throw to convert the first down. Again a simple, safe call to convert on 2nd and short.

6) 2nd and 11 on NYJ 44 yard line – 9 yard completion to Patrick Turner

As you can tell, Sanchez was easily the most comfortable with Turner out of any of his wide receivers. On this play, Turner ran a comeback route and was the primary option. Sanchez delivered a well timed throw. Leon Hall provided fairly good coverage and wrapped Turner up immediately. Either way, a successful play on a 2nd and long.

7) 3rd and 2 on CIN 47 yard line – Sanchez scrambles for 4 yards

It is hard to tell whether Sanchez taking off up the middle was the primary option on this play. The Jets sent their outside receivers on deep post corner routes (both of whom were blanketed) and the middle of the field was cleared out as well by vertical routes. Sanchez stepped up in the pocket and had nothing but green in front of him. He got enough for the first down and got down.

8) 2nd and 8 on CIN 41 yard line – Sanchez sacked 7 yard loss

Simply put, backup tight end Jeff Cumberland was smoked off the line by Manny Lawson, barely getting a hand on him. Sanchez hadn’t even set his feet and Lawson was on him. Can we sign a blocking tight end?

9) 3rd and 15 on CIN 48 yard line – Incompletion to Jordan White

The Jets didn’t run an aggressive play here to attempt to get a first down. It looked more like the intent was to get half the yardage to either go for it on 4th down or kick a long field goal. Jordan White ran an option route in the slot but never really came open. Sanchez waited and bought himself a little time by scrambling out to his left but basically threw it away because of how covered White was.

Analysis – Tony Sparano didn’t give Sanchez much of a chance to push the ball vertically and that might have been wise considering some of the protection issues. Neither of the sacks or incompletions were on Sanchez. Rookie Jordan White was the target of both incompletions and failed to run a good route both times or catch the ball in the one case. Sanchez was given no time on either sacks. On his completions (outside of the dump off to Conner), Patrick Turner was the primary target and he got him the ball every time. Two 6 yard and a 9 yard completion may not seem impressive but considering the context (6 yards on first down, converting a first down on 2nd and short and picking up 9 yards on 2nd and 11, respectively) they were good throws.

Keep in mind, Santonio Holmes will be in Turner’s spot on those type of plays and has the ability to get more separation and create more after the catch.

A Word On Tebow 

The Good – His slant route to Stephen Hill for 12 yards was a very impressive thrown. Cover 2 is the last type of coverage you want to see on a slant route and Tebow fit it into a tight window. The scrambles were all very athletic plays, even if he might have pulled the ball down a little early on a few. Regardless, you don’t complain when you are picking up chunks of yardage like that. He also had a nice throw to Stephen Hill on a 3rd and 7 that Hill blatantly dropped.

The Bad – The interception was awful, by both him and Jeff Cumberland. Cumberland had an option route and should have hitched back to the quarterback instead of breaking out. Regardless Tebow locked into him and threw it regardless even though the linebacker had cut underneath. He had a poor read and throw to Chaz Schilens on a slant and go. Tebow again locked in even though Schilens was blanketed by two guys and floated a poorly thrown ball. He should have checked down in that situation.

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New York Jets: Offense Remains Work In Progress

The New York Jets still have a long way to go on the offensive side of the football

There is no need for overreactions to week 1 of the NFL pre-season. There is no also no need to stick your head in the sand and act like the New York Jets offense doesn’t have a hell of a long way to go. When you review the depth chart, when you see them consistently handled in practice by the defense (yes, a very good defense) and then look completely listless in their pre-season opener, it is a valid cause for concern.

There is talent on the offensive side of the football for the Jets. There is hope in a new offensive coordinator whose vision is better aligned with the team’s talent and Rex Ryan’s philosophy but we need to start seeing some kind of production.

Tony Sparano’s comment about the Jets “pushing around” the Bengals was glorified coach-speak. The Jets didn’t push anybody around Friday night. Shonn “the bell-cow” Greene had 11 yards on 5 carries. Mark Sanchez was sacked twice in eight dropbacks and the longest plays of the nights came from a checkdown to Joe McKnight and a scramble by Tim Tebow. It was ugly, little league caliber football.

Yes, the game plan was vanilla but so is everybody’s in the pre-season so let’s stop with the excuses. This unit just isn’t very good right now and has a little less than a month to get their act together.

Where will it come from? The hopes for help at the wide receiver or running back position from outside the team are lowering with each passing day. Improvement will have to come from within.

When it comes to the passing game, the receiver situation is only going to get better. Stephen Hill will improve with the monster share of reps he is receiving in practice and throughout pre-season. He did have a drop on Friday but also pulled in two other nice catches in traffic. In the next couple of weeks Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley will return to the line-up. Holmes is the team’s top playmaker and somebody who can take a 5 yard slant route 50 yards for a touchdown. Kerley, despite a disappointing off-season showed immense potential in the slot last season and will be a third down weapon.

Improved play at wide receiver will help Mark Sanchez get rid of the ball quicker because his receivers will actually be able to get separation. The Jets protection remains shaky at best. They seriously need to consider adding a true blocking tight end because Jeff Cumberland looked comically bad trying to block on Friday. You can’t support inconsistent play at right tackle if you don’t have a blocking tight end to help out.

Tony Sparano will have to get creative to buy Sanchez time in many situations, whether that is rolling him out, increasing his number of 3-step drops and bringing in an extra tackle to play blocking tight end.

In the running game, Tim Tebow is a unique and dynamic weapon to have at their disposal. The “Wildcat” or whatever you want to call it will hopefully provide a needed X-Factor to an offense lacking overall proven big play capability. If Tebow can give the Jets 35-50 yards rushing on a weekly basis it will be a needed supplement to Shonn Greene.

Joe McKnight had an impressive showing Friday night but neither him or Bilal Powell are anywhere near proven. Hopefully one of them can become a factor on outside runs and as a receiver out of the backfield. The Jets desperately need a back who can break a big run because for Greene a big run is 7 yards.

If you are anticipating a high amount games in the 20s and 30s this year you will be sorely disappointed. This Jets offense is not going to light up the scoreboard. With their defense, they may not need to on many weeks but they still need to find ways to produce big plays and touchdowns. Will it be Tebow and McKnight rejuvenating the running game? Will it be Hill and a healthy Santonio Holmes producing more than it expected? Hopefully, it will be some combination of both.

New York Jets: What We Have Actually Learned At Training Camp

Turn On The Jets cuts through the BS coverage of the New York Jets and discuses the developments on the field

The New York Jets first pre-season game is only two days away. From a distance the only information you may have heard about the team involves a backup quarterback being shirtless, an altercation between players, and a cornerback talking about playing wide receiver. Yet, believe it or not there has actually been some football played on the fields of Cortland. A few interesting developments have taken place that actually involve you know…the game. Let’s run them down –

Bilal Powell – We discussed Powell last week and his production hasn’t tailed off. By all accounts he has been the best running back on the field and is about to leap frog Joe McKnight as the number two back and primary third down back. Out of all the Jets backs, Powell has the best overall combination of skills which could lead to him eventually cutting into Shonn Greene’s carries, if Greene struggles to catch the football. McKnight hasn’t helped his cause lately by consistently being banged up. Obviously Powell still needs to show it on the game field but he has a real chance to become a major contributor on offense this season.

Mark Sanchez – Remember him? The Jets starting quarterback has quietly (somehow) put together a very good all-around camp. Sanchez has protected the football and shown an impressive command of Tony Sparano’s new system. There was never a quarterback controversy and if Sanchez develops the way he should, there never will be.

Patrick Turner – A receiver who has actually stayed healthy all camp! Turner has been consistently producing. He has very good height and hands, along with familiarity with Tony Sparano’s offense and chemistry with Mark Sanchez. Considering how thin the Jets are at receiver, Turner has a good chance to work himself into reps at split end this season.

Aaron Maybin – A practice hasn’t passed yet where he hasn’t recorded at least 1 sack. His speed and increased size combined with Rex Ryan’s creativity should be a scary thing for opposing offenses. Even as a situational player, Maybin has the look of a 10 sack player in 2012.

Ricky Sapp – Another edge rusher who has flashed all throughout camp. Sapp seems to be a lock to make the roster and a guy who could be on the field in passing situations. Could this be Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum’s second pass rushing reclamation project in as many years? They are almost halfway to making up for Vernon Gholston.

Josh Baker – The tight end/H-Back/Fullback has been all over the field making plays in the passing game. It appears he will be more of a factor than Jeff Cumberland this season and could also take away reps from John Conner.

Rookie Rundown

  • Quinton Coples – Been quieter than you would like and Mike DeVito remains firmly entrenched as the starter in 3 man looks. However, Coples still has the talent to be a factor in pass rushing situations.
  • Stephen Hill – He has flashed enough promise to be very excited about his potential this season. The other day he beat Darrelle Revis deep for a 50 yard touchdown. Hill is going to disappear for stretches this season but will also have his share of big plays.
  • Demario Davis – Back from a hamstring injury and should be starting in the sub packages by week 1.
  • Josh Bush – A very, very quiet camp. Could be losing his grip on 4th safety spot to fellow rookie Antonio Allen.
  • Terrance Ganaway – Been a little banged up and struggled at times but has shown versatility to also play fullback. Tony Sparano will find a use for him this season.
  • Robert Griffin – Practice squad.
  • Antonio Allen – Has been making plays all over the field and could be on the way to working himself into some defensive reps.
  • Jordan White – Back from a hamstring injury and has a golden opportunity to contribute as a slot receiver.

New Addition Rundown

  • Tim Tebow – He is a great athlete and will be a weapon running the ball. Takes too many sacks and is inconsistent passing…so exactly what we thought.
  • LaRon Landry – On a pitch count but on pace to start week 1 and be a frequent blitzer/run stopper in Rex Ryan’s scheme.
  • Yeremiah Bell – Taken over veteran leadership role in the secondary. He will struggle in coverage at times.
  • Chaz Schilens – Banged up and inconsistent. Turner has outplayed him all camp.

Disappointments

  • Jeremy Kerley Could still be out another full week with a hamstring injury and is firmly in Rex Ryan’s doghouse for a lackluster offseason.
  • Joe McKnight – Seemed to have number 2 running back job on lockdown heading into camp…it isn’t that way anymore.
  • Jeff Cumberland – Thoroughly being outplayed by Josh Baker.

 

New York Jets: WR Depth A Serious Concern

Chris Gross takes a closer look at the New York Jets depth issues at wide receiver

Among the positives that came out of yesterday’s Green and White scrimmage for the New York Jets, eyes were opened to a serious concern when starting Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes was sidelined with what was originally thought to be a fractured rib. X-rays have reportedly come back negative on Holmes, who is listed as day to day, however, with Mark Sanchez’s primary target down, it became truly evident how thin the Jets are at the Wide Receiver position.

Other than Holmes and Tight End Dustin Keller, there is an alarming lack of experience on the roster. Hopes are high for rookie Stephen Hill, but coming from a triple option offense at Georgia Tech, combined with the fact that he has never taken a single NFL snap, it is far too early to depend on him to carry the workload in the receiving corps. Jeremy Kerley had a very promising rookie campaign last season, but he’s been put in Rex Ryan’s dog house in the early days of training camp for what seems to be a conditioning issue. Regardless, Kerley is much more of a slot type receiver, who may not be very serviceable if plugged into the first or second spot on the depth chart.

Among the other receivers on the roster, newcomer Chaz Schilens has the most experience with four NFL seasons under his belt, however, his career has been plagued by injuries, having played a full 16 games in only his rookie season. Patrick Turner showed some positive signs at the end of last year, hauling in a touchdown in the season finale in Miami, but like many of his colleagues, he too has very little NFL experience, with just 20 games under his belt. Rookie Jordan White had an astounding college career at Western Michigan, but he has been hampered by a lingering foot injury during the first week of camp, so his potential level of production is still extremely hard to gauge.

To put it nicely, if Holmes were to miss significant time, New York would be more dependent on Sanchez and the run game than they have ever been. With this reality looming over the team, there is a good chance General Manager Mike Tannenbaum will look to bolster his group of receivers in some way, shape, or form. Certainly, trades are always a possibility with Tannenbaum, as he didn’t get the nickname “Trader Mike” because it has a nice ring to it. However with very few, if any, realistic trade scenarios out there, the most logical step would be to look at who remains in Free Agency. While there is certainly no abundance of talent left on the open market, New York could use, at the least, a veteran presence in its receiving corps. Here are some names to keep in mind in the coming weeks:

Greg Camarillo – 2011 Team: Minnesota Vikings, Stats: 13 GP, 9 receptions, 121 yards, 0 Touchdowns. 

Camarillo is coming off of his worst statistical season as a pro last year with the Vikings. However, the Quarterback situation in Minnesota was comparable to that of the Jacksonville Jaguars, simply atrocious. Donovan McNabb was released by December, and rookie Christian Ponder struggled greatly at times. However, Camarillo has a great sense of familiarity with new Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano’s system. The sixth year veteran out of Stanford played for Sparano during his first two seasons at the Miami Dolphins’ Head Coach, and accumulated the two most productive seasons in his career. In the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Camarillo played in a combined 27 games, while catching 105 balls for 1,165 yards and 2 touchdowns. Although these numbers aren’t jumping off of the stat sheets, this level of production looks impressive when compared to what is behind Holmes, if Camarillo can return to that under Sparano. The reliable target (0 drops in 2009) would likely come at a very cheap price as well. Tannenbaum may be picking up the phone to get him in for a workout at some point in the near future.

Mike Sims-Walker – 2011 Team: St. Louis Rams/Jacksonville Jaguars, Stats: 6 GP, 12 receptions, 150 yards, 0 Touchdowns (Season ending knee injury).

Sims-Walker faced a bit of a rough patch in his career last season, having played in just 6 games. However, before being hit by the injury bug, he was quite productive in 2009 and 2010 for Jacksonville, having played in 29 games while catching 106 passes for 1,431 yards and 14 touchdowns. Sims-Walker worked out for the Houston Texans in June, and reportedly looked healthy and impressive according to Head Coach Gary Kubiak. Concerns over his knee are likely why Sims-Walker remains a free agent, but he could be worth a glance.

Roy E. Williams – 2011 Team: Chicago Bears, Stats: 15 GP, 37 receptions, 507 yards, 2 Touchdowns.

Of the remaining free agents, Williams has probably been the most productive over the course of his career (393 receptions, 5,715 yards, 44 touchdowns), however he has been bounced around between Detroit, Dallas, and most recently, Chicago since becoming the 7th overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft. At 6’3” 215 lbs, Williams has the physical ability to contribute as a solid run blocker, something that is crucial in this offense, but he must be willing to do so. At 30 years old, he likely has some decent football left in him, and the Jets could certainly look his way as well.

Bernard Berrian – 2011 Team: Minnesota Vikings, Stats: 5 GP, 7 receptions, 91 yards, 0 Touchdowns.

Berrian hasn’t played a full 16 game season since 2009, which was also the last time he caught a touchdown. After signing a $42 million dollar contract with Minnesota in 2008, Berrian was productive early for the Vikings (103 receptions, 1,582 yards, 11 touchdowns over 2008-2009 seasons combined). Unfortunately, like many of the others, he has been nagged by injuries lately, making him simply irrelevant. New York would be much better suited looking to one of the previous three, before kicking the tires on Berrian.

Anthony Gonzalez – 2011 Team: Indianapolis Colts, Stats: 8 GP, 0 receptions, 0 yards, 0 Touchdowns.

While the Quarterback situation in Indianapolis last year was well below par, Gonzalez has played in just 11 games over the past 3 seasons. He was signed by New England earlier this offseason, but was released prior to training camp due to lingering injuries. His career is seemingly over.

Terrell Owens – 2011 Team: Allen Wranglers (Indoor Football League), Stats: 8 GP, 35 receptions, 420 yards, 10 Touchdowns.

This is simply not going to happen. New York is trying to repair their public image and what many consider a fractured locker room, not further tarnish it.

Plaxico Burress – 2011 Team: New York Jets, Stats: 16 GP, 45 receptions, 612 yards, 8 Touchdowns.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently had a sit down with Burress, whom he reported to be in tremendous shape. While he was very productive in the red zone for the Jets last season, New York has simply moved on. Burress was publicly critical of Mark Sanchez and the organization after the conclusion of last season, yet still remains without a job. A reunion can be ruled out by nearly 100 percent.

It will be very interesting to see how this situation plays out in New York. The Jets have to be aware of the lack of experience on the depth chart behind Holmes and will likely look at some of the names mentioned above. While nothing is imminent, Mike Tannenbaum could be picking up the phone in a couple of weeks, particularly if the receiving corps does not impress in the early preseason games.

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New York Jets: Wide Receiver Remains Unclear

Do the New York Jets have enough at wide receiver this season?

Earlier today New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie commented he could be the second best wide receiver on the team’s roster. While there is nothing wrong with Cromartie having confidence and yes he probably could be a pretty damn good receiver if he committed to it, it was an unnecessary public remark. It comes across as disrespectful towards Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens and the other receivers on the roster.

However, Cromartie is on to an issue at the wide receiver position for the New York Jets. Outside of Santonio Holmes, this unit is lacking in experience and is full of very valid question marks. The next four receivers on the depth chart have a combined 111 receptions for their entire careers.

Rookie Stephen Hill is the presumed number two wideout and starting “X” receiver. Hill has looked impressive in camp so far but is still coming out of a triple option offense in college. His size and speed are impossible to ignore but the Jets could get themselves into trouble by throwing too much at him early in the season.

Second year receiver Jeremy Kerley seemed to be a lock for the slot receiver/number three position on the depth chart but a hamstring injury and a spot in Rex Ryan’s doghouse has put that into question. You never want to hear a coach publicly getting on a player for a poor off-season. If Kerley doesn’t get healthy and improve his play, the Jets could slide Holmes into the slot in three wide formations and let Chaz Schilens play on the outside.

Unfortunately for that plan, Schilens has been struggling with drops in camp and is now nursing a minor groin injury. Behind him on the depth chart is Patrick Turner who hasn’t made any noticeable impressions so far in camp or in any of the previous OTAs.

The inconsistencies at the top of the depth chart could lead to opportunities for players like Dexter Jackson and seventh round pick Jordan White. In particular, White who we are very high on has the ideal skill set to slide into the slot receiver role if Kerley struggles. You don’t catch 140 passes in a single season by accident, which is exactly what White did at Western Michigan last year.

The Jets could still add a veteran but unless a serious injury occurs that remains unlikely. It would be hard for a player off the scrap heap to pick up the offense on such short notice and the list of options out there isn’t very impressive with Braylon Edwards now in Seattle. They will also be relying on Dustin Keller as a primary pass catching option, although when they split him out they still lack a viable blocking tight end to keep in for protection (remember Wayne Hunter is still the right tackle).

Ultimately it will likely be up to Hill to grow up fast, Holmes to play like a true number one receiver and one other receiver to assert themselves as a consistent playmaker. It will be interesting to see who that player is in the coming weeks.

TOJ’s Top 50 New York Jets Countdown: 30-40

Turn On The Jets counts down the top 50 New York Jets currently on the roster, continuing today with numbers 30-40

Frustrated and confused after seeing the NFL’s Top 100 player list? TOJ was as well. Due to that, we have decided to rank the current New York Jets on the roster from 50 all the way down to 1. Along the way, we will be classifying the players into the following five categories:

  • Bottom of the Roster (strictly a depth and developmental player)
  • Middle Class (Situational player, spot starter)
  • Quality Starter (Capable starting player or very good role player)
  • Red Chip (Swiping this term from Michael Lombardi, an above average stater/borderline Pro-Bowler)
  • Blue Chip (Another swipe from Lombardi, an elite player at his position)

(STILL IN THE BOTTOM OF THE ROSTER CATEGORY)

39. Jeff Cumberland, Tight End – Currently projects as the team’s backup tight end. Cumberland is a taller, slower version of Dustin Keller which isn’t good for a team who wants to run the football as often as the Jets do. He does have potential to be a weapon in the red-zone and in certain packages, however it wouldn’t be surprising if the Jets signed a blocking tight end before camp which would bump him down the depth chart.

38. Stephon Heyer, Offensive Tackle – A six year veteran with a good amount of experience. He started 16 games for the Redskins in 2009 and started 2 games last year for Oakland. He projects as the top backup at tackle and could push for playing time if Wayne Hunter struggles in camp.

37. Martin Tevaseu, Defensive Tackle – He has bounced between the Jets practice squad and active roster over the past couple of seasons. Last year he outplayed rookie third-round pick Kenrick Ellis and leaped him in the defensive line rotation.

36. Kenrick Ellis, Defensive Tackle – Putting him over Tevaseu based on his potential, which he will hopefully begin to recognize this year after his first full off-season as a professional. Ellis is currently serving a jail sentence but it was split so he won’t miss any training camp. The Jets are hoping he can develop into a big part of the defensive line rotation in 2012 and be Sione Pouha’s long term replacement.

35. Josh Mauga, Linebacker – Worked himself into a good amount of playing time last season at both inside and outside linebacker, finishing with 25 tackles, 1 TFL and 1 interception. This year he projects to being more of a special teams player but could see action in certain packages due to his pass coverage ability from the linebacker position.

34. Patrick Turner, Wide Receiver – Saw his most extensive playing time as a professional in 2011, finishing with 8 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. Turner has good size and chemistry with Mark Sanchez from their time together at USC. He also can contribute on special teams. Turner is the current favorite to be the team’s fifth wide receiver.

MIDDLE CLASS

33. Marcus Dixon, Defensive Lineman – Dixon was a solid, reliable part of the team’s defensive line rotation last year and stepped in to start a few games for an injured Mike DeVito. He finished with 16 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Dixon can line up at both defensive end and tackle, increasing his value. In 2012, he should remain a key part of the defensive line rotation.

32. Chaz Schilens, Wide Receiver – Signed as a free agent from the Oakland Raiders this off-season, Schilens has all the desired measurables for a wide receiver at 6’4, 225 pounds and with a 4.3 forty. However, he has been unable to stay consistently healthy throughout his four year career. In those four seasons he has racked up 72 receptions for 902 yards and 7 touchdowns. Schilens was one of the most impressive players in the Jets off-season workouts and could carve himself out a nice sized role on offense if he keeps performing.

31. Josh Brown, Kicker – Working off the assumption that he will be out Nick Folk this summer. Brown has been a very good kicker at times throughout his career but is coming off a somewhat disappointing year with the Rams. He is a career 80.9 percent kicker with a long of 58 yards.

30. Demario Davis, Linebacker – The rookie third round linebacker is generating a ton of buzz this off-season as the steal of the Jets draft class. Teammates and coaches have been raving about his natural leadership skills, speed and tenacity. At a minimum, Davis will play in the Jets sub-packages and be a major factor on special teams. He will also take over for Bart Scott alongside David Harris at inside linebacker, no later than the beginning of next season.

Check back later for the 12 Pack and on Monday for numbers 20-30

Jets vs. Bengals: What To Watch For

The Jets 20-16 loss in Houston last week left Jets fans concerned about depth on the roster. Thankfully the big pieces to the puzzle, Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, Santonio Holmes and the starting defense were sharp in limited action. Perimeter issues rose up however upon review of the contest, primarily that of the club’s backups heading into 2011 season. That said, here is what to watch for Sunday night at home as the Bengals come to town.

PLAX IS BACK:  It has taken two plus seasons but Plaxico Burress will finally return to a football field Sunday night. Burress will start after sitting the first week against Houston due to an ankle injury. All eyes will be on number 17 to see how he cuts, runs and handles game one of his partnership with new QB Mark Sanchez. The stadium will be rocking when Plax touches the football, making it the most exciting story of the night.

THE DUCASSE MICROSCOPE: Aside from Burress, no player will be scrutinized every single play by Jets fans though the way Vlad Ducasse will. The second year Jet caught the evil eye of many in Jets nation for his inability to slide laterally consistent enough in week one of preseason.

Ducasse is a key backup in more than one position on the offensive line this year and that scares alot of folks. Vlad needs a solid night to begin to build his own confidence. It’s not easy constantly switching positions and assignments. Howver, that is what the Jets have in store for him this year so he must start to provide a sense of calm to those around him. The danger created by his failure to achieve that is too scary to even talk about.

MAYBIN OR MAYBE NOT? Aaron Maybin turned out to be Buffalo’s Vernon Gholston. A first round bust of monumental proportions. However, as a Jet, the speed rushing LB simply needs to be disruptive during a handful of snaps each a week. Is Maybin going to be a steal, or an ex Jet by the opener?

MOVE CUMBERLAND AND TURNER UP: TE Jeff Cumberland took matters into his own hands last Monday. Was that a result of his going against the second and third string? We’d like to see Cumberland run routes early in this one, to get a sense of the type of weapon he could be in a a two TE set. Perhaps the Jets could even feature a two TE set with Dustin Keller on passing downs as well.

Patrick Turner’s hands looked great in Houston. His size was a factor in the red zone with his short slant route TD. Let’s see him work against the Benglas starting corners. What a nice WR corps this could turn into if Turner joins Kerley as new faces mixed in with older players like Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Mason.

POWELL’S CHANCE: With RB’s Shonn Greene out and Joe McKnight one week removed from a concussion, Powell may be poised to make his bid for a spot in the rotation. Ladainian Tomlinson will get a bunch of reps but the rest could go to Powell should McKnight get dinged up early on.

Last week Powell looked quick, cut nicely, and waited patiently for his blockers. We wait not so patiently to see him do it behind Nick Mangold and company. Sunday night may be Powell’s chance to show that he can be a guy who could contribute in 2011.

One Week In: Random Thoughts On Jets Offense

We are about in week into the Jets having somewhat normal practices, so here is a collection of thoughts on their offense heading into their first pre-season game which is less than a week away.

Wildcat – Rex Ryan has commented the Wildcat will remain a part of the Jets offense even without Brad Smith, mentioning LaDainian Tomlinson, Joe McKnight, and Jeremy Kerely as potential replacements. Brian Schottenheimer also seems high on the potential of McKnight replacing Smith. I don’t see the Wildcat remaining a big part of what the Jets do on offense. First off, I think as Mark Sanchez continues to develop they will want to pull him off the field less. Second, I could see Tomlinson being used for a few gimmick plays where he could throw the ball but not consistently taking shotgun snaps from the center. Kerley has some experience from college but is also just a rookie and McKnight isn’t a threat to throw the football. The Jets shouldn’t force the Wildcat outside of a handful of plays and should instead focus on getting their regular offense in rhythm.

#5 Spot – An interesting battle is breaking out between Patrick Turner, Scotty McKnight, and Logan Payne for the number five receiver spot. Turner has the size to fill in for Plaxico Burress if he misses time with an injury and actually caught a few passes in the offense last year. Payne spent time with the team last year and has the greatest special teams potential, which goes a long way for a number five receiver. McKnight has shown flashes at camp of being a capable slot receiver and obviously has good chemistry with Mark Sanchez but needs to show he can be a solid special teams contributor to have a shot.

So Then Run – The Jets wide receiver position still has a few question marks around it, as Plaxico Burress is yet to take a meaningful rep in practice and we still need to see how Derrick Mason works with Mark Sanchez in a game. Yet, keep in mind at an absolute minimum the Jet still have Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller to keep defenses honest and from stacking the box. They still have a one of the league’s best offensive lines and like many people out there, I think if Shonn Greene is given the appropriate amount of carries, he can be a legitimate number one back. LaDainian Tomlinson is still capable of being a good third down back and hopefully Joe McKnight can bring something this year.

Don’t Put Him In Canton Yet – I love hearing all the excitement about rookie wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, but let’s see him in a real game first. Remember how great Kyle Wilson looked in camp last year? It is good the Jets brought in Derrick Mason, so there won’t be too many expectations heaped on Kerely as he is bumped to a number four wide-out. Hopefully, he can provide a valuable weapon in the slot in certain packages and bring occasional big plays.

What Role Players Will Step Up For Jets In 2011?

I have decided that if I write enough of articles about the 2011 season, it actually has to happen, right?

Let’s take a look at a few role players for the Jets, who should have the opportunity to take on a bigger role in 2011 than they had in 2010.

Marquice Cole – A reserve corner who has carved out a small role in some of the Jets nickel and dime packages. He has played well in his limited duty on both defense and special teams. Antonio Cromartie and Drew Coleman are both free agents and Dwight Lowery could be seeing more time at safety, which should lead to more reps for Cole.

Jamaal Westerman – An undrafted free agent before the 2009 season who impressed his rookie year in a limited role on defense but had a disappointing second year. Westerman dealt with a few injuries and frequently ended up on the inactive list. He has shown an ability to rush the quarterback in pre-season and did have a sack in 2009 against Houston. The Jets are thin at both inside and outside linebacker. Westerman is versatile enough to play both, and could see a bigger role in a few defensive packages this year.

Ropati Pitoitua – At 6 foot 8, 315 pounds you can understand why the coaching staff is excited about Pitoitua’s potential. Unfortunately, he missed the entire 2010 season with a pre-season Achilles injury after occasionally working his way into the defensive line rotation in 2009. Pitoitua should be a prominent part of their rotation this season if he recovers well from his injury.

Marcus Dixon – Another defensive lineman who the coaching staff appears to be high on. Dixon worked his way into the rotation late last season and recorded a sack against the Chicago Bears. Mike Tannenbaum has mentioned him potentially moving down to defensive tackle. Whether it is at end or tackle, Dixon will have a good chance to get some reps on the defensive line rotation this year.

Jeff Cumberland – The Jets held on to Cumberland as a backup tight end all of last season without making him active until their meaningless week 17 game. They are obviously intrigued by what he can bring to the offense. He looked good as a pass catching threat in the pre-season and has good size. Cumberland might be able to contribute near the red-zone and in certain formations, especially if the Jets lose a couple of receivers in free agency.

Patrick Turner – A receiver with some height, who has a history with Mark Sanchez at USC. Turner was on the active roster for a few games last season and recorded a couple of receptions. He will now be competing with rookies Jeremy Kerley and Scotty McKnight for reps behind whomever the Jets starting receivers end up being.

Joe McKnight – There has been no shortage of words written on McKnight this off-season but hopefully he is ready to reach his potential in year two and become a contributor on the Jets offense.

Jets vs. Texans: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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It’s about that time…

1. Mark Sanchez is going to throw for 300 yards for the second time in three weeks as he continues to flourish in the Jets offense during his second year. The Texans have a brutal secondary and unlike last year, the Jets are now equipped to advantage of it.

2. Shonn Greene will get more carries than LaDainian Tomlinson for the second week in a row and start building momentum for a big time December. Don’t worry about LT though, he will still get 13-15 carries along with 3-5 receptions.

3. The inactive list – Jerricho Cotchery, Marquice Cole, Dwight Lowery, Kellen Clemens, Marcus Dixon, Vladimir Ducasse, Josh Mauga, Matt Kroul

4. Andre Johnson will have less than 50 yards receiving, as Darrelle Revis does what he did to him last year and what he did to Calvin Johnson a few weeks back.

5. Arian Foster isn’t going to be the first running back to get 100 yards on the Jets this season.

6. Braylon Edwards is going to have his first 100 yard game of the season, as Houston keys on Santonio Holmes who is coming off back to back big games.

7. The Texans two leading receivers are going to be Jacoby Jones and Joel Dressen as they attack the Jets safeties and #3 and #4 corners.

8. Kyle Wilson is going to break big punt return this week for 30 yards or more.

9. The Jets are going to finally get an interception this week. I am guessing it will be Antonio Cromartie who pulls in his third of the season.

10. Nick Folk is going to miss another field goal, giving us all indigestion heading into December.

11. Patrick Turner will take the bulk of the reps for Jerricho Cotchery and record his first reception of the season.

12. If you haven’t been able to tell already I am supremely confident in the Jets this week. Houston does not match-up well with them and is in the midst of a 3 game losing streak. The Jets have the ability to take away the two best things Houston does on offense: throw to Andre Johnson and handoff to Arian Foster, and the Texans defense is brutal. There is no way they are coming into the New Meadowlands in late November and winning this game. I am picking the Jets 27-10.

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Week 11 Picks (Lines Courtesy of BetUs)

  • Raiders (+7) vs. Pittsburgh
  • Ravens (-11.5) vs. Panthers
  • Redskins (+7) vs. Titans
  • Cowboys (-7) vs. Lions
  • Packers (-3.5) vs. Vikings
  • Bills (+5.5) vs. Bengals
  • Browns (-1.5) vs. Jaguars
  • Cardinals (+8) vs. Chiefs
  • Saints (-11) vs. Seahawks
  • Falcons (-3.5) vs. Rams
  • Bucs (+3.5) vs. 49ers
  • Peyton Manning (+4) vs. Patriots
  • Mike Vick Show (-3.5) vs. Giants
  • Chargers (-9) vs. Broncos