A Word On Jerricho Cotchery And The Jets Receivers Moving Forward

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It has been a tough couple of weeks for Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. He suffered his worst game as a professional in their week 8 loss to the Green Bay Packers with a collection of drops no seasoned Jets fans could believe, considering his history with the team. The problem followed him to Detroit where he dropped a couple of more passes and was officially demoted out of the starting line-up after holding down the position since the start of the 2006 season.

Cotchery has rightly been a fan favorite since becoming a starter on the team. He is a gutsy player with terrific hands, who always had a knack for making a big run after the catch. He has developed a reputation as a humble, hard-working, team first player who couldn’t represent the Jets organization on or off the field in a better way. (http://www.cotcheryfoundation.com/)

As we all expected he would, Cotchery bounced back in week 9 with a strong performance. I spent plenty of time this off-season writing about what an ideal fit he would be as a slot receiver and how he would be a killer weapon for the Jets on third downs, and that is exactly what he demonstrated yesterday. The stats (3 receptions, 43 yards, 1 TD) don’t jump off the page but look a little closer:

  • He pulled in a 25 yard touchdown on a 3rd and 8 in the second quarter, where he operated the scramble drill to perfection with Mark Sanchez.
  • He had a 8 yard reception on a 3rd and 6 in the fourth quarter, which helped lead the Jets to a field goal, giving them a 20-13 lead.

And then of course, the play none of us will soon forget –

What can you really say? Just an awesome football play.

Unfortunately, the Jets will now be without Cotchery for at least a few weeks. Similar to hamstrings, groin pulls are tricky to recover from and Cotchery expressed how much pain he was in after the game. You would  hope he could be back by December 6th for Monday Night football in New England but that could be wishful thinking, so what will the Jets do moving forward?

Keep in mind the Jets only carry 4 active receivers on their roster: Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith, and Cotchery. You can say that Smith could bump up to take Cotchery’s reps but that limits what the Jets can do in their “Tiger” formation with Smith, which as we saw yesterday is a big part of their offense. Beyond that, Smith is a very good all-around football player but not a true wide receiver. He has never demonstrated great route running or the hands needed of a true slot receiver.

The Jets could give their old friend Laveranues Coles a call. If he has been keeping himself in shape, maybe he could provide 20 quality snaps a game. Patrick Turner could be given a shot off the practice squad but he is very inexperienced. Another thought is that reserve rookie tight end Jeff Cumberland could finally get a bump to the active roster and take reps. Keep in mind, Cumberland played wide receiver in college and the Jets love his receiving skills, which is why he remains on the 53 man roster.

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Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: 12 Pack of Predictions

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First a few updates:

1. Jason Taylor and Nick Mangold both practiced today and are expected to start Sunday night. Mangold is playing with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and if he encounters too much, Rob Turner will be subbed in. Backup tackle Wayne Hunter won’t be making the trip, which means Vladimir Ducasse will be active for the first time in his NFL career and will be the extra tackle in the Jets jumbo package.

2. Wide receiver Patrick Turner has been moved to the active roster and will likely be a game captain, considering Rex Ryan’s love of making players game captains when they are facing their former teams. Offensive tackle Patrick Brown was waived in a corresponding move.

3. After hearing what Mike Francesa said this week about the Jets organization and how he treated Peter Schwartz…there is no other conclusion to reach except that he is a disrespectful, hypocritical, bitter individual who is lacking knowledge on major issues in the NFL. It is okay when the Giants start Kareem McKenzie in 2008 two days after a DUI. Francesa even let Tom Coughlin on his show to defend the decision. It is okay when the Dolphins don’t suspend Ronnie Brown for a DUI in March. Francesa even let Tony Sparano on his show this week and didn’t challenge him on the issue. It is okay for Francesa to question the character of Mike Tannenbaum, who was always respectful to him but not Bill Parcells who allowed Lawrence Taylor to be a coked up maniac, as long as it didn’t get in the way of the Giants winning. All I can advise Jets fans to do is enjoy how much every victory for Rex Ryan and crew will bother Francesa and inspire pathetic, twisted excuses from him. Keep hating Mike, the Jets are the number one story in this town right now, not your Giants (not even close), not even your Yankees. I just can’t wait until December when the Giants are out of playoff contention and the Jets are battling for a division title to hear how he divides up discussion time on the show, when nobody from the Jets organization will go near him for good reason.

Jets vs. Dolphins Round 1: 12 Pack of Predictions

1. I think the Jets will hold Braylon Edwards out the entire first quarter. After he is subbed in during the second quarter, he will do what he did to the Dolphins secondary last year. They simply don’t have somebody who can match up with him.

2. Miami is going to be focusing their coverage on Dustin Keller, which means Jerricho Cotchery needs to step up in a big way. Sanchez and him just missed on a few big plays last week, so hopefully they can get on the same page for Sunday night.

3. Shonn Greene will get more than the 15 carries he got last week, while LaDainian Tomlinson will be in the 14-16 total touches range.

4. Either Brad Smith or LaDainian Tomlinson will throw a pass tomorrow night.

5. The Jets will do something tricky on special teams. Mike Westhoff has had this game circled on his calendar after the way Miami embarrassed the Jets special team unit last year in their second meeting.

6. Antonio Cromartie will hold Brandon Marshall under 65 yards receiving. Kyle Wilson will play his best game as a pro, considering the drop in competition he is facing after the first two weeks.

7. Mark Sanchez won’t have the gaudy stat line he did from week two, but will put together an efficient, turnover free performance.

8. Even though he has struggled so far this season, Ricky Williams will have a few big plays, like he always does against the Jets.

9. If he frequently gets matched up with Drew Coleman or Dwight Lowery, Davone Bess will put together a strong performance in the slot.

10. Chad Henne will push the ball down the field more than he has so far this season, resulting in a few big plays but also a turnover or two.

11. Jason Taylor will have at least one sack. Nick Mangold is going to have to come out at some point because of pain in his shoulder, yet Rob Turner will hold his own.

12. The Jets are going to have a gut-check performance, playing without Darrelle Revis, Calvin Pace, Kris Jenkins and a banged up Nick Mangold, along with dealing with the Braylon Edwards drama. They will scratch out a hard fought, close victory, thanks to a trick play or two, along with a big turnover created by their defense. I am taking the Jets 17-13.

Other NFL Picks (Lines from BetUs)

  •  Titans (+3) vs. Giants
  • Bills (+16) vs. Patriots
  • Browns (+11.5) vs. Ravens
  • Steelers (-4.5) vs. Bucs
  • Bengals (-4.5) vs. Panthers
  • Falcons (+4) vs. Saints
  • Chiefs (+4.5) vs. 49ers
  • Lions (+10.5) vs. Vikings
  • Texans (-3) vs. Cowboys
  • Redskins (-4.5) vs. Rams
  • Eagles (-4.5) vs. Jaguars
  • Colts (-7) vs. Denver
  • Chargers (-6.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Raiders (+4.5) vs. Cardinals
  • Jets (+2) vs. Dolphins
  • Packers (-4.5) vs. Bears

Some DirectTV Love

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So let’s go displaced Jets fans. It’s time to show that we are the most widespread and the most passionate!

Scouting the AFC East: Miami Dolphins

First a few updates:

1. There has been a good amount of talk about kicker Jay Feely’s recent comments on Sean Hannity’s show, where he expressed a lack of confidence in President Obama and said he “scares him.” Honestly, the guy is entitled to his opinion, even though I and many people disagree with the things he said. I write about sports here, so the only coverage Jay Feely will get is if he makes or misses field goals.

2. I can’t get enough of those Most Valuable Puppet Commercials with LeBron and Kobe, they just released like 4 new ones…hysterical.

3. Eric Allen wrote an interesting article on www.newyorkjets.com about Chansi Stuckey spending his free time working out with former NFL receiver Terrence Mathis. Stuckey is looking like the starter opposite Jerricho Cotchery as of right now, hopefully he can pick up a thing or two from Mathis who was a successful receiver in Atlanta, not as much with the Jets.

Scouting the AFC East: Miami Dolphins

Along with the positional analysis articles, I am going to take a look at each of the AFC East teams in the next week and how the Jets stack up against them, ending today with the Miami Dolphins

2008 Record: 11-5

2008 vs. Jets: The Jets and Dolphins split their games last year, with each team winning on the road. In week 1, the Jets won in Miami 20-14 thanks to two touchdown passes from Brett Favre, including a miracle pass on a fourth down to Chansi Stuckey. In that game, Jerricho Cotchery also caught a 56 yard touchdown and Thomas Jones pounded the Dolphins defense for 101 yards on 22 carries, with a touchdown himself. Chad Pennington threw for 251 yards in his Miami opener but was picked off by Darrelle Revis to end the game. Revis completely shut down Ted Ginn Jr. in week one, holding him to 2 receptions for 17 yards. Bryan Thomas had 2 sacks in week one (yes, that Bryan Thomas). In week 17, the Dolphins won in the Meadowlands to clinch the AFC East (owch, it still hurts). Favre killed the Jets with 3 INT’s. Leon Washington played well with 10 carries for 60 yards and a TD. Chansi Stuckey had a nice game also with 4 catches for 50 yards. Pennington threw for 200 yards and 2 TDs and Ted Ginn Jr burned the Jets for a 44 yard gain and 27 yard touchdown.

2009 Additions: They added Gibril Wilson at safety and signed corner Eric Green to boost their secondary. Also, they signed center Jake Grove and guard Joe Berger for their offensive line. Miami also brought twinkle toes aka Jason Taylor (see TOJ Hall of Shame) back, who will hopefully be more focused on Neutrogena commercials instead of sacking Mark Sanchez. Their first round pick was corner Vontae Davis. In the second round they picked quarterback/receiver Pat White, who should fit nicely into the Wildcat. They also drafted Mark Sanchez’s favorite target last year, wide receiver Patrick Turner.

2009 Losses: They released the immortal John Beck and traded center Samson Satele to the Raiders. Safety Renaldo Hill and corner Andre Goodman also left via free agency to Denver.

Why the Jets Should Be Worried: Miami was the division champs last year and did beat the Jets in their own building. Their secondary should be improved with the additions of Wilson, Green, and Davis. On offense, they are returning all their skill position players for another year in the Wildcat and their draft picks White and Turner should make their offense harder to deal with. Joey Porter and Jason Taylor are going to be difficult to handle coming off the edges and Phillip Merling is a talented, young player on their defensive line. Tony Sparano is a good coach and Bill Parcells obviously knows what he is doing in the front office.

Why the Jets Can Handle Miami: Rex Ryan looked awfully good coaching defense against the Dolphins last year. Chad Pennington and the rest of the Dolphins offense were overwhelmed by Ryan’s scheme. Obviously the Ravens also had a ton of talent on defense, but so do the Jets this year. Their secondary still has question marks, despite their new additions. Their wide receivers aren’t very good, and they lack a number one. I love Chad Pennington (see TOJ Hall of Fame), but when is the last time he put two really good, healthy seasons together in back to back years? I can tell you the answer…it is never.

Prediction: The 2008 Dolphins reminded me of the 2006 New York Jets. They took advantage of an easy schedule, used a gimmicky offense led by Chad Pennington, and played solid defense to surprise everybody by making the playoffs. I think the 2009 Dolphins will be similar to the 2007 Jets to an extent. They won’t be 4-12, I know that but teams are going to catch on to the wildcat and will be all over that playoff tape on how to rattle Pennington and their schedule is much harder. They aren’t sneaking up anybody this year. I think they will be a 7-9 to 9-7 team. In terms of the Jets, I always expect a split but then I thought about it, before last year’s week 17 loss the Jets had beat Miami 5 times in a row and 8 of their last 9. I am calling for the Jets sweep this year.

2009 Games: Week 5 At Miami, 8:30 PM Kickoff (Monday Night Football aka Crowder vs Ryan Round 1), Week 8 at New York Jets, 1 PM Kickoff.