Interesting AFC East Thoughts And Questions

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…I have been hovering near 300 fans on Facebook for awhile without getting over it, so let’s go now. I know you want that news feed filled with Jets links and witty commentary on your favorite team.

2. A recent SportsNation poll on ESPN.com that asked Jets fans to select what games they thought their team would win this regular season resulted in fans projecting a 15-1 season for the team. I like the optimism because I was getting tired of the post draft negativity, but 15-1 may be…just may be…a stretch. Right now I would project the Jets as a 11-5 or 12-4 team, which scares me because I have never projected them to be that good. It is a little weird to have such high expectations.

Photobucket 3. Thoughts on Lost Final Season, Episode 14 “The Candidate” – Wow…that is what I am talking about. When Lost is on it’s game like that, there isn’t a better show on TV…not even close. I am glad we can end any debate about Locke being the bad guy now. He clearly never had any intention to get off the island but his plan was rather based around getting the candidates to all kill each other. I can’t blame Sawyer for not trusting Jack after he got Juliet killed last season but c’mon now you have to listen to the chosen one (which Sayid confirmed Jack was before sacrificing himself). I will miss Sayid, who was undoubtedly my favorite Iraqi torturer. The Jin/Sun death was obviously sad but we can get along fine without them considering how their characters have been used the past 2 seasons. It was kind of funny how nobody mentioned Frank dying…how about some love for the pilot, who went out with the funny line before getting smashed with a door and drowning. The sideways stuff is getting better, especially with Jack and Locke switching roles. Next week should be crazy good as well, with the backstory of Jacob and the MIB.

4. Do you think Nick Mangold noticed the contract Jahari Evans just got from the Saints? Do you think David Harris noticed the contract Patrick WIllis just got from the 49ers? The Jets better be ready to offer up the money to keep the cornerstones of their offense and defense…okay maybe Revis is the cornerstone on defense but he is about to be a free agent too.

Interesting AFC East Thoughts And Questions

#2 Quarterback in the Division? – Tim Graham of ESPN.com addressed this question in his AFC East blog and properly selected Mark Sanchez as the second best quarterback in the division over Chad Henne. Here is a key part of his argument:

“While Sanchez got better as games became more meaningful down the stretch, Henne struggled. Heading into Week 15, the Dolphins had a wonderful shot at securing a wild-card berth. They finished with three straight losses. Henne threw three touchdowns and five interceptions.”

PhotobucketI couldn’t agree more. I am always amazed how much people talk up Henne as this player who is going to jump into greatness next year, while they are quick to question Sanchez as the Jets biggest potential problem in 2010. Yes, Sanchez struggled heavily at times last year but it was the guy’s rookie year and he was thrown right into the fire. In the end, he came out  of it to lead the Jets from 4-6 to the AFC Championship Game. Henne had a year to learn behind Chad Pennington and turned in a very average season last year. Stop talking about Henne like he lit the league on fire last season. He threw 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions and had a QB rating of 75.2. Beyond that, he had his team at 7-6 and lost out to three teams who missed the playoffs to finish 7-9.

Sanchez’s performance against the Bengals in the wild-card round on the road, in the fourth quarter against the Chargers in the divisional round on the road, and in the AFC Championship Game on the road are all more impressive than anything Henne has done in his career.

Well, at least we can’t debate Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the division and Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, or Brian Brohm are the worst.

Just How Bad Is Buffalo – Unfortunately for those upstate New York football fans, it is hard to see Buffalo winning more than 5 games this season. No quarterback. No offensive line. A questionable defense. A questionable hire at head coach and GM. Three other quality teams in the division. This is the recipe for a rough season. Yet, I am still terrified of the Jets traveling up there in week 4.

PhotobucketWhere Are Your Running Backs The AFC East is stacked with quality running backs. Even the previously mentioned Bills have two 1,000 yard rushers and the 9th overall pick in the draft, with Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Dolphins have Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. The Jets have rising star (I hope not to jinx him) Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson in the proper backup role, and Joe “Tums” McKnight. But what about the Patriots? Laurence  Maroney isn’t a #1 back. Fred Taylor is 650 years old and can’t stay healthy. Sammy Morris is 575 years old and can’t stay healthy. This normally wouldn’t be a problem in New England’s spread offense, but with an injured Wes Welker, their passing offense just isn’t that scary anymore. I could only say that because I know Darrelle Revis can take Randy Moss out of the game 1 on 1, and I like…make that love, matching up Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson on Julian Edeleman, Sam Aiken, or the old version of Torry Holt.

For No Particular Reason, Receiver Rankings

  1. Brandon Marshall
  2. Randy Moss
  3. Santonio Holmes
  4. Braylon Edwards
  5. Jerricho Cotchery
  6. Lee Evans

PhotobucketThis is obviously very, very debatable. I really hate putting Braylon in front of Cotchery but his physical talent is too hard to ignore…the guy had 17 touchdowns only a few season ago. What about Edwards and Cotchery in front of Lee Evans? The guy only had 44 receptions for 612 yards last year. I know his quarterbacks were crappy but Cotchery’s quarterbacks were crappy in 2007 and he had 1130 yards. Then again Evans had 1000 yards in 2008 with crappy quarterbacking and Cotchery didn’t with Favre back there…but then again Favre stunk the second half of the season. Evans is more physically gifted and more of a big play threat but Cotchery is more consistent…I don’t know, they are interchangeable. I feel good about 1-4, what is interesting is how sharp the drop off is after these 6. Look at this collection of players:

  • Torry Holt
  • Julian Edeleman
  • Sam Aiken
  • Brad Smith
  • David Clowney
  • Steve Johnson – That is Buffalo’s listed other started right now by the way.
  • Roscoe Parrish
  • James Hardy
  • Brian Hartline
  • Devone Bess
  • Greg Camarillo

How do you rate those guys? Holt has the best pedigree obviously, but how much does he have left in the tank? Brad Smith isn’t really a true receiver. Edeleman and Hartline showed flashes last year. Bess and Camarillo are steady guys, who are decent fits as #3 options. Everybody else is a journeyman.

And Yet Another Well-Made Highlight Video

Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…because I can’t be typing about all the Jets related links you should be reading here.

2. Turn On The Jets has climbed to #2 when you google “Jets Blog”…now you may be asking, who the hell ever googles “Jets Blog?” and it is a good question but  I am pumped about it anyway. Wait until I finally get that press pass this summer, get the podcast up and running, and redesign the site.

3. Darren Sharper re-signed with the Saints. I never thought he would end up with the Jets anyway, the organization seems to be high on Brodney Pool and if he doesn’t work out Eric Smith is a reliable back-up.

4. There is still plenty of chatter about Laveranues Coles joining the Jets but again I don’t see it happening unless it gets to July 22nd and Coles hasn’t found a team yet. I can’t see him accepting being a number four receiver for 12 weeks of the season, which he would be after Santonio Holmes returns from injury. On the other hand, I wold bet on Mark Brunell joining the Jets after July 22nd and Adalius Thomas also joining the team some time in June (he was cut and isn’t a UFA so the Jets could sign him whenever).

5. Philadelphia…the only place where a father tells his 17 year old son to run on the field during a MLB game and then watches as his son proceeds to be tazed by the cops and thrown in jail.

6. What the hell was that last night Cleveland? I run my mouth on twitter talking you guys up over Boston and you lay an egg like that?

Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart

PhotobucketBy this point we have a general idea of who the starters for the Jets will be on both sides of the ball and who many of the key reserves coming off the bench will be. However, there are still some spots that remain up for grabs on the Jets final 53 man roster. Let’s take a look through at current situation on the Jets depth chart heading into May’s full squad OTAs, continuing today with the defense. After looking at the offense yesterday, it is fair assume the Jets will keep 26 players on this side of the ball and maybe add another when Santonio Holmes returns from suspension and the Jets release a receiver:

Defensive Tackle

  1. Kris Jenkins – The big fella is returning from a season ending injury and looking to regain his form from early in the 2008 season.
  2. Sione Pouha – Did a great job stepping in for Jenkins last year. He will play a ton to keep Jenkins fresh for the stretch run.
  3. Matt Kroul – Coaching staff is apparently very high on him, should push for a roster spot.
  4. Ty Steinkuhler – Outside chance of pushing for a roster spot.

Defensive End

  1. Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet and a solid veteran player.
  2. Mike DeVito – Could be pushing it by asking him to be a full time starter.
  3. Vernon Gholston – Should be cut…but won’t be until after this season.
  4. Ropati Pitoitua – Is expected to be a big part of the defensive line rotation this year.

Potential Additions – Marques Douglas – This could be more of wishful thinking on my part but if there is an injury or the defensive ends struggle in camp, don’t be surprised to see the Jets bring Douglas back.

Analysis – Jenkins, Ellis, DeVito, Pouha, and Gholston are all locks to make the roster. I would be shocked if Pitoitua doesn’t end up on the final 53 either because the Jets like his potential. Kroul will likely be the 7th and final guy they carry unless somebody else steps up in camp.

Inside Linebacker

  1. David Harris – All-Pro caliber linebacker.
  2. Bart Scott – Emotional leader of the defense.
  3. Jamaal Westerman – Showed potential last year, could have bigger role in sub packages this season.
  4. Lance Laury – Special teams ace brought in to replace Larry Izzo.
  5. Kenwin Cummings – Talented guy from small school, who stuck around the team the past couple of years.
  6. Brashton Satele – Made good impression in minicamp.

Outside Linebacker

  1. Calvin Pace – Very good all around player, who the Jets get for all 16 games this year instead of 12.
  2. Bryan Thomas – Not flashy but does his job well.
  3. Jason Taylor – Brought in to sack the quarterback and make Jets fans nauseous.
  4. Corey Reamer – Made a strong impression in minicamp.
  5. Kevin Basped – Also made a strong impression in minicamp.

Potential Additions – Adalius Thomas – A Rex Ryan favorite who has the versatility to line up all over the place in his defense. The Jets will likely wait a few weeks before making a move to sign him.

Analysis – Harris, Scott, Pace, Thomas, Taylor are all locks for the final roster. Westerman and Laury are overwhelmingly likely to make it because of their special abilities and in Westerman’s case, his long term potential. My guess is the Jets will carry 8 linebackers, with the eighth either being Adalius Thomas or one of the UDFAs like Reamer or Basped.

Corner

  1. Darrelle Revis – The Island is the best in the business.
  2. Antonio Cromartie – Playing for a long term contract and to show he can still be an all-pro player.
  3. Kyle Wilson – He was a steal at #29 and should flourish in this defense.
  4. Dwight Lowery – I feel a hell of alot better with him as our #4 corner instead of our #2.
  5. Drew Coleman – Hanging by a thread.
  6. Marquice Cole – Played well last pre-season, could easily jump Coleman on the depth chart and maybe even Lowery.
  7. Brian Jackson – UDFA who played well in minicamp.

Safety

  1. Jim Leonhard – Comfortable in Rex’s system…steady player.
  2. Brodney Pool – Let’s hope he can stay healthy.
  3. Eric Smith – Versatile player, who did a good job last season off the bench.
  4. James Ihedigbo – Good on blitzes and special teams.
  5. Donovan Warren – Could turn out to be a huge steal as a UDFA.

Analysis – My guess today is that everybody I just listed sticks on the final roster, except either Drew Coleman or Brian Jackson. Rex loves DB’s and don’t be shocked to see him carry 11.

PhotobucketOverall AnalysisThe way I see it now is the Jets will carry 7 defensive lineman, 8 linebackers, and 11 secondary guys. They could add another defensive lineman or linebacker after the Holmes suspension ends and the Jets release a receiver. Don’t be shocked to see Adalius Thomas be one of the linebackers on the final roster. Also, keep an eye on Donovan Warren as somebody who could sneak up the depth chart.

Kris Jenkins Is A Beast

Analyzing The Jets Offensive Depth Chart

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have signed tryout linebackers Cory Reamer from Alabama and Brashton Satele from Hawaii and released linebacker Broderick Stewart. Ryan was raving about Reamer throughout the Jets rookie minicamp and it will be interesting to see if he has a real chance to stick on the active roster. The depth chart has been updated accordingly and I also finally got rid of that Kerry Rhodes picture in the 2009 stats section.

2. It is being reported Leon Washington will have to play with a rod in his leg this season and there is still a chance he could start the year on the PUP list. Hopefully Leon can get himself back to 100 percent but you have to wonder if these injury concerns played a major part in the Jets decision to trade him and draft Joe “Get The Guy Some Rolaids” McKnight.

3. Anybody else enjoying the Red Sox being well on their way to a 75 win season? Also, you have to feel bad for Mets fans…I mean they get themselves in position for a big early season series against the Phillies, they are in great position to steal 2 out of 3 but then their ace walks a 47 year old pitcher with the bases loaded en route to being completely shelled.

Digging A Little Deeper Into The Jets Roster

By this point we have a general idea of who the starters for the Jets will be on both sides of the ball and who many of the key reserves coming off the bench will be. However, there are still some spots that remain up for grabs on the Jets final 53 man roster. Let’s take a look through at current situation on the Jets depth chart heading into May’s full squad OTAs, starting today with the offense:

Quarterback

  1. Mark Sanchez – Locked in as the #1 quarterback, likely won’t participate in all of the Jets OTAs as he recovers from off-season surgery.
  2. Kellen Clemens – Has a very, very tenuous hold on the #2 job. I wouldn’t bet on him being a Jet when the season starts.
  3. Erik Ainge – He will be given every opportunity to make a run at the #2 job.
  4. Kevin O’Connell – The Jets must think he has potential to compete for the backup job since they held on to him all last season as their #4 quarterback.

Potential Additions – Mark Brunell – If one of the other Jets UFAs signs somewhere, Brunell will likely be quickly added or they could wait until July 22nd to sign him after the Final Eight rules stop restricting them.

Analysis – I wouldn’t expect the Jets to carry four quarterbacks for the second year in a row. It is a waste of a roster spot. It is hard to determine right now what the Jets depth chart will look like behind Sanchez on opening day. If I had to guess today, Brunell will be brought in as the #2 quarterback while Ainge and O’Connell battle for the #3 spot and long term backup position. Kellen Clemens will either be traded to a team who suffers an injury at quarterback in camp or be released.

Running Back

  1. Shonn Greene – Locked in as the starting running back.
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Locked in as the number two back.
  3. Joe McKnight – Considering the Jets spent a fourth round pick on him and traded up to get him…locked in as the #3/third-down back.
  4. Chauncey Washington – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

Fullback

  1. Tony Richardson – He will start out the year as the team’s #1 fullback and mentor to 5th round pick John Connor.
  2. John Connor – He will be on the 53 man roster to learn from Richardson and be groomed as the full time fullback.
  3. Jason Davis – Unless there is an injury, he won’t be on the 53 man roster.

AnalysisI would expect the Jets to carry Greene, Tomlinson, McKnight, Richardson, and Connor on their 53 man roster. McKnight or Connor will be battling to be active each week, depending on the game-plan, their progress, and how much they are contributing on special teams.

Tight End

  1. Dustin Keller – Locked in as the team’s starting tight end.
  2. Ben Hartsock – The Jets #2/blocking tight end.
  3. Matthew Mulligan – Battling Tanner Purdum for the long snapper job.
  4. Tanner Purdum – Not technically a tight end but battling for the long snapping job with Mulligan.

Analysis – The Jets will carry Keller, Hartsock, and whoever ends up being their long snapper.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jerricho Cotchery – I still consider him the Jets #1 receiver until Braylon is more consistent and Santonio returns from suspension.
  2. Braylon Edwards – Playing for a long term contract.
  3. Santonio Holmes – Man, we have a hell of trio at receiver.
  4. Brad Smith – He will be on the roster because of his versatility, big play ability and special teams skills.
  5. David Clowney – He will have a tough time making the roster because of his lack of contributions on special teams.
  6. Danny Woodhead – He is versatile but needs to show more on specials to stick.
  7. Aundrae Allison – Has incredible speed and potential as a kick returner, which makes him intriguing.
  8. Britt Davis – Made an impression last season in training camp but needs to show something on special teams.

Potential Additions – Laveranues Coles – Apparently the Jets have recently been in contact with Coles and his agent, but I doubt anything happens. He would have to accept being a number 4 receiver after Holmes returns from suspension.

PhotobucketAnalysisOne of the more interesting position battles on the team will take place for the #5 receiver spot. I doubt Coles joins the Jets, which means Clowney, Allison, Woodhead, and Davis will fight it out. Since Holmes will be suspended for the first four games, two of them will likely make the opening day roster with one of them being cut or moved to the practice squad after he returns from suspension. Clowney has the advantage of gaining starting experience last year. I don’t think Woodhead can stick as a full time receiver and he didn’t do much on specials last year. Davis has good size and could be a good project player to hold on to. If Allison can win the kick return job, than he will obvious stick as the #5.

Offensive Line

  • LT – D’Brickashaw Ferguson – Bookend tackle.
  • LG – Vladimir Ducasse – He will be one of the most watched players in training camp as he battles to replace Alan Faneca.
  • C – Nick Mangold – The best in the business.
  • RG – Brandon Moore – Rock solid and underrated.
  • RT – Damien Woody – Solid veteran.
  • G – Matt Slauson – He will battle for the starting left guard spot with Ducasse…has an uphill battle considering where Ducasse was drafted.
  • C – Robert Turner – Mike Tannenbaum said after the draft Turner would backup Mangold and he also contributes as an extra tight end in short yardage packages.
  • T – Wayne Hunter – Backup tackle who also plays in short yardage packages.

Potential Additions – Veteran Left Guard – If Ducasse and Slauson struggle in camp, don’t be shocked if the Jets look to add a veteran guard.

Analysis – I would anticipate the Jets carrying their five starters with Slauson/Ducasse, Turner, and Hunter as their backups.

Overall Analysis – If you figure the Jets carry three quarterbacks, five running backs, six receivers (until Holmes comes back), three tight ends, and eight offensive lineman, that totals 25 players, which gives Rex 26 defensive players to keep (with the kicker and punter rounding out the roster). He could also add another defensive player to the 53 man roster after week 4 when Holmes comes back and the Jets likely demote one of their receivers to practice squad or release them.

Don’t Sleep On J-Co

Rookie Camp Wrap-Up

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First a few updates

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…It will be the smartest thing you have ever decided to do about anything.

2. Another Spirits Win…yes your favorite North Jersey touch B football team is now 4-1.

3. NBA Playoffs quick thoughts? I am thinking the Cavs are rolling in five games over the Celtics. Utah will take a couple of games from LA but ultimately lose in six. The Magic are going to roll over the Hawks in four or five. The Suns and Spurs are going to seven games…I don’t know who to pick.

4. Will the Turn On The Jets Podcast ever come? Yes, it is on the way…just give me a few weeks. During May we are getting two podcasts and a new TOJ TV and there are plenty of other major things coming on the way because graduate school is finishing up and I am still unemployed.

Rookie Camp Wrap-Up

The two primary stories coming out of this past weekend are Joe McKnight’s rough start to his NFL career and the non-story on the Santonio Holmes Ipod issue. In terms of McKnight, there is no reason to overreact to three days of practice without equipment on. The guy has tons of natural talent…he will adjust to the NFL and get himself into the proper shape. Don’t forget how Leon Washington started out his career by dropping everything thrown and kicked to him. He was running more Mangini penalty laps than anybody on the team and he turned out fine. Also Shonn Greene struggled in his early practices last year and eventually got it together. It takes some time, it is only May so let’s not go crazy about McKnight’s early problems.

PhotobucketWith Holmes, the story was clearly overblown. The released police report says Holmes complied with the request to turn off his IPod. There isn’t really anything left to say about it, unless you are a Patriots or Dolphins fan looking to talk yourself into some random reasons why the Jets could struggle with Holmes now on their roster.

– The players who stood out were clearly Alabama outside linebacker Cory Reamer, who impressed Ryan with his knowledge of the defense and his hustle/instincts, Donovan Warren who I think has a very good chance to stick on the roster and contribute on defense right away, Brian Jackson a corner from Oklahoma (you know Rex loves those corners), and Kevin Basped and a linebacker from Nevada.

– It sounds like Kyle Wilson made a strong impression in his first few days in a Jets uniform.

– Rex Ryan was on point in his post practice press conferences. I am not sure the guy could any more confident or funny for a NFL Coach. There will be no shortage of soundbites this season.

– It sounds like there is a good chance Mark Brunell will end up on the Jets, even if they wait until July 22nd after the final eight rules stop being in effect. There is no stopping the Jets from making a “gentleman’s agreement” with Brunell and having him end up with a copy of the playbook to study before joining the team. You don’t get the impression the team wants Kellen Clemens to be the backup this season.

– Is there any way the Jets don’t end up with Adalius Thomas at some point this off-season?

– The Jets will next have OTAs on from May 25th to May 27th.

– A quick complaint about ESPN’s recently released NFL Power Rankings, which has the Jets at #8 behind the following teams:

  1. Saints
  2. Colts
  3. Vikings
  4. Chargers
  5. Cowboys
  6. Packers
  7. Ravens

I will give you the Saints, Colts, Vikings, and even maybe..maybe the Cowboys, however no to the Chargers…we beat them in the playoffs last year and had a better off-season than them. Green Bay and Baltimore are also two other teams who didn’t get as far as us in the playoffs and we had a better off-season than both those teams.

Let Santonio Listen To His IPod: I Got Your Back #10

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Well it didn’t take long for Santonio Holmes to grab some headlines in a negative way as a New York Jet. In what has to be one of the stupidest stories I have ever read, Santonio Holmes was escorted off a plane in Pittsburgh for being a disruptive passenger. He wasn’t arrested. No files are going to be charged but why was Holmes sent off the plane? #10 refused to turn off his IPod as the plane was landing. Don’t worry Santonio as the rest of the New York media jumps all over you…I got your back.

First off, everybody knows nothing happens when you keep your IPod on as the plane lands. Let me tell you this, if my plane is going down because I need to hear the last verse of a Kid Cudi song than I need to switch airlines or start driving everywhere. You keep bumping those beats #10. The guy was flying to Vegas for the Mayweather fight, he was probably blasting a little Katy Perry “Waking Up In Vegas,” and getting hyped up for some roulette, blackjack, and craps. Leave him alone and let the man enjoy the last few minutes of his flight.

PhotobucketSecond, do you think this happens if Santonio was landing in JFK? Absolutely not. Obviously, these were bitter Pittsburgh airline employees and police officers who are mad they lost their Super Bowl MVP receiver for a 5th round pick and that their quarterback spends more time in bathrooms during the off-season than at the team complex. If Holmes was flying into JFK, I bet the airline employees tell him to turn his music up and get ready to pull in 10 touchdowns in 12 games. Hell, they might have even sat down with him and put their Ipods on. You think they were escorting him off the plane for being a “disruptive passenger”…C’mon now.

So you keep bumping that IPod Santonio but do us all a favor, if you make it to Vegas…take it easy. I love Braylon and Cotchery as our receivers but I want to see you out there for 15 games this year (including the playoffs)…we don’t need your suspension being shifted up to Rothlisberger or Jason Ferguson length.

Now, Some Other Updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (Turn On The Jets) for updates from today’s rookie minicamp. I wasn’t there but I have read a report from everybody who was and it sounds like Joe McKnight had a rough day and Vlad Ducasse was pushing some people around…as much as you could in a practice without pads. Also, I will link Rex Ryan’s press conference where he discussed Holmes and the UDFAs who stood out to him. Also, I will link up the transcripts of Kyle Wilson and Ducasse post practice press conferences. The Jets will practice twice tomorrow.

2. My NBA predictions for tonight? The Bucks knock the Hawks out of the playoffs. The Thunder send it back to Los Angeles for game 7. The Jazz knock the Nuggets out of the playoffs.

Death Of The Jets Chemistry Discussion

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First a few updates:

1. There is still some talk about Darren Sharper potentially ending up with the Jets. I doubt it ends up happening though, especially considering the Jets restrictions with the final eight rules. Rex Ryan appears comfortable with Brodney Pool or Eric Smith taking the majority of the reps alongside Jim Leonhard. If the Jets add any other major pieces this off-season, I would expect it to be Adalius Thomas, a kicker, or a veteran guard if Ducasse and Slauson bomb out in training camp.

2. The Jets start rookie minicamp tomorrow, where all four draft picks, the UDFAs, the tryout players, and a handful of other guys with limited experience will participate.

3. Jets draft pick numbers – Kyle Wilson #20, Vlad Ducasse #62, Joe McKnight #25, John Connor #38.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

5. I know I ask this from time to time, but what new Jets jersey should I get this summer? Wilson? Santonio? Greene? Jim Leonhard?

Death Of The Jets Chemistry Discussion

I can’t tell you how tired I am of reading articles about the Jets “chemistry” and how it may stop them from winning games this season. The obsession with this issue leads to things like “Mangold Upset Faneca Was Released” becoming a news story. Of course Nick Mangold is upset one of his fellow lineman and good friends was cut. Yet, his quotes get blown completely out of proportion like he is upset with the team and it will become a problem this year. How come nobody talks about when he said “If we want to prove that we’re a great offensive line and a great unit, then we can make changes and still be great. There’s nothing like a little adversity to continue on.”

PhotobucketMy point is that this whole question about the Jets chemistry is being beaten to death by the media. Let’s start with the unit that makes the Jets into one of the league’s best teams…their defense. They have three new starters. Guess who they are replacing? Kerry Rhodes, one of the most unpopular guys in the locker room, who despite his unhappiness last year, still didn’t prevent the Jets from going to the AFC Championship Game. Yes, the Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game with an unhappy player who was benched mid-season and handled it like a little kid. They are also replacing Lito Sheppard, who was on the team for one year and missed more games than he played. Finally, Marques Douglas won’t be back but again he was only on the team one year and is being replaced by a guy who played a ton of snaps for the Jets last season and been on the team for a few years in Mike DeVito.

Where are the chemistry problems coming from on defense? You are telling me Bart Scott, David Harris, Shaun Ellis, Darrelle Revis, Jim Leonhard, Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, and Kris Jenkins can’t handle Antonio Cromartie, who will be on his best behavior anyway because he is in a contract year. Is Brodney Pool going to destroy everyone’s ability to cover people? Even if these guys self-destruct, can’t Kyle Wilson and Eric Smith just step in, while Rex Ryan locks Cromartie and Pool away so they can’t damage the precious chemistry?

On offense, okay yes there may be an adjustment period to Vlad Ducasse or Matt Slauson stepping in at guard. Yet, won’t they work this out during OTAs, mini-camp, training camp, and the pre-season? Even if those guys struggle, will everybody’s else play all of a sudden fall off the cliff and the Jets won’t be able to run the ball or protect Mark Sanchez? Isn’t Bill Callahan a better coach than that? Aren’t Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Damien Woody, and Brandon Moore better players than that?

Santonio Holmes? I don’t know I am pretty sure I just read this quote from Mark Sanchez today in The Daily News:

“He’s so open and ready to get going,” said Sanchez, who has thrown with the receiver several times already. “We’re getting that chemistry to the point where I can explain what I want and we can exchange ideas.”

Yes, I think Holmes will fit in just fine on the Jets offense after working with Sanchez the next few months. He will be raring to go in week 5, because I am sure it will kill him to watch those first four games and beyond that the guy has a ton to prove. He is a former Super Bowl MVP who was traded by his team. By all accounts, Holmes is a big time competitor and he is in a contract year.

PhotobucketWill the Jets miss Thomas Jones leadership on offense? He was absolutely a valuable leader but can’t Mangold, Woody, Ferguson, and Jerricho Cotchery step up? Can’t Sanchez step up in his second year as the starter? What about LaDainian Tomlinson? What about Tony Richardson? These guys are professionals.

Turnover is common in the NFL. Everybody talks about what great chemistry the Jets had last year and guess what they had four new starters on defense and two new starters on offense in 2009. They were breaking in a rookie quarterback. They had to adjust to a new #1 receiver in week 5 (sound familiar for 2010?). They basically switched starting running backs in the middle of their run to the post-season. They dealt with an unhappy big name player on defense, who was demoted. They handled two season ending injuries to key players. They had a player benched because of a twitter incident. They fired a defensive line coach mid-season and guess what? They still managed to pull it together and make a run to the AFC Championship Game.

If you are going to argue the Jets will struggle in 2010, you will have to do better than the chemistry argument.

2009: A Season Filled With Potential Chemistry Problems

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

Is The Jets Offense Ready To Match The Swag Of The Jets Defense?

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First a few updates:

1. I hate to be repetitive but follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…it is good for your mental, physical, and emotional health.

2. We have had a nice spike in the number of comments on recent articles…keep it up, I always love getting feed back to my articles and will always take the time to respond to every comment. Finding a job…finishing my graduate school work…obviously none of these things take precedent over Turn On The Jets.

3. Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins? I was consistent in saying I never wanted the Jets to trade for Marshall (check the history of TOJ if you don’t believe me) and I am thrilled we aren’t the team who gave up two 2nd round picks for him and paid 47.5 million dollars to him on a five year contract, in what most people agree is the largest contract given to a receiver in NFL history. Is Marshall a beast? Yes. Will he help the Dolphins? Yes. However, they are taking a huge risk giving him that much money, with his history of off the field problems. Marhsall makes Santonio Holmes look like a choir boy. You will have to check back a little later for the primary reason, I am not worried about this deal.

Photobucket4. Thoughts on Lost Final Season, Episode 12 “Everybody Loves Hugo” – There is 18 hours scheduled hours for Lost’s final season, which means last night marked the end of the second third of season six. The first third ended with Locke taking down the temple and assembling his team. The second third of the season added another faction to the island in Widmore’s group and revealed their intention to stop Locke using Desmond. It also assembled the rival group to Locke, whether you want to call it Jack’s, Hurley’s, or Jacob’s team. Last night these groups finally converged and it looks we are gearing up for an old school Jack vs. Locke showdown. Yet, focusing on last night: I wasn’t sad to see Illana die. She never really did it for me. I wonder why the writers had Richard, Ben, and Miles break off into a separate group to destroy the plane and wonder how that will factor in later in the season. What is the deal with that boy Locke keeps seeing appear in the jungle? Will Desmond make it out of that well alive? In the sideways, what was Desmond’s agenda in running Locke over? Also, we are seeing the direction the sideways timeline is going pretty clearly now with Desmond and others helping to guide people to remember their “other” life. A few other quick comments: good to see Michael back…the explanation for the whispers was kind of lame…the only line Sawyer says anymore is “Where the hell you been, Locke”…Zombie Sayid is starting to piss me off.

Is The Jets Offense Ready To Match The Swag Of The Jets Defense?

Last year Bart Scott claimed himself, Rex Ryan, and the other players brought over from Baltimore would be making the Jets defense “swaggalicious.” He turned out to be right on point. The combination of the left over talent from the Mangini era (Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Calvin Pace) combined with Scott, Jim Leonhard, Marques Douglas, and Rex Ryan’s schemes led the Jets to have the league’s #1 ranked defense. Not to sound corny but they were a hard-hitting, trash-talking unit that kicked the crap out of teams on most weeks. They had plenty of swag. Yet, the offense didn’t match the swag of the defense in year one under Rex Ryan. Yes, they ran the football better than anybody in the league but they struggled to consistently put up points and were looked at more to “stay out of the way” and make sure they did just enough to help the defense win. It looks like that could be changing in year two of the Ryan era.

The transformation started early last year when the Jets swung a trade for Braylon Edwards, who despite his inconsistency catching the football provided a big play element to the Jets offense. It continued later in the year with the emergence of Shonn Greene as a hard-running back, who could pop a big run at any moment. Do everything receiver Brad Smith started chipping in with a few big plays. As the playoffs started, Mark Sanchez began to locate his confidence and playmaking ability from the first three weeks of the year, while Dustin Keller began turning into a touchdown machine. All the while, Jerricho Cotchery kept catching everything thrown at him and converting huge third downs. Now in the off-season, the Jets did lose their emotional leader in Thomas Jones but will be benefited by the addition of LaDainian Tomlinson and the return of Leon Washington from injury. Beyond that, they just added another big play receiver in Santonio Holmes.

As it stands today, the Jets have a serious collection of talent on offense…especially, young talent. A top ranked offense may not be too far behind a top ranked defense in the upcoming years. Look for yourself:

Mark Sanchez – Undoubtedly the x-factor when it comes to how far the Jets will go this year. He struggled heavily at times during his rookie year but also showed some prolonged flashes of brilliance. Most importantly, he played his best football when it counted the most…in the playoffs. Sanchez standing in the pocket, taking a monster hit, and delivering a perfect touchdown pass on a third down, on the road, in the AFC Championship game in the last highlight shown in this clip tells you everything you need to know about this guy’s potential.

Shonn Greene – The Jets new #1 back. Greene became a bigger factor on the Jets offense down the stretch last season and then exploded in the playoffs with back to back monster games in first two rounds of the playoffs. If Greene can stay healthy and protect the football, you will be seeing alot of these type of runs next season:

LaDainian Tomlinson – The guy Greene was imitating in the previous video…imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right? Tomlinson is a first ballot hall of famer looking to prove he still has something left in the tank. If he does, watch out:

Leon Washington – Remember him? The Jets biggest playmaker from 2006 until he was hurt in week 8 of 2009. Washington is coming off major surgery but will be looked at to remain the playmaker he always has been as the team’s third down back and primary return man.

Braylon Edwards – He might have struggled at times last year but Edwards provided some big plays for the Jets offense and was a much needed deep threat. The guy is a physical freak who could make just about any catch humanly possible, while somehow still struggling with the easy ones:

Jerricho Cotchery – Don’t sleep on Jerricho Cotchery’s value to this offense. He is the Jets most reliable receiver and a clutch player, who routinely steps up in big spots. Cotchery will be deadly in the slot on third downs with Edwards and Holmes on the outside.

Santonio Holmes – By the way, we just added Santonio Holmes coming off a 1200 yard receiving season. Holmes is one of the top big play threats in the NFL at the receiver position and cam score from any spot on the field at any time.

Brad Smith – A versatile, speedy playmaker, who allows the Jets to run their own version of the “Wildcat.” He can line up at quarterback, running back, or wide receiver.

Dustin Keller – The Jets athletic tight end, who began to come into his own during the playoffs last year. Keller is athletic enough to line up at tight end, H-Back, split end, or in the slot. He is a valuable weapon in the red-zone.

I don’t know about you but I can’t think of too many teams with nine playmakers like that on their roster.

In-Depth Look At Santonio Holmes Trade

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First a few updates:

1. An overwhelming amount of Jets/Santonio Holmes information has been released since the trade was announced late last night. Fortunately, I have sorted it out for all of you on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page, which if you aren’t following yet…go ahead and do that right now. I don’t want to brag but who had the Santonio Holmes story up first Turn On The Jets, Rich Cimini’s The Jets Stream, or The Jets Blog? You guessed right, Turn On The Jets (I was fortunate enough to stumble across the link just as the story was breaking last night). Who says you need inside sources to break news stories, you just need to have nothing better to do on a Sunday night than sit on the Internet constantly refreshing NFL news sites/twitter accounts.

2. As we all expected, Santonio Holmes has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 NFL season. He was the facility today and passed his physical this afternoon and also spoke briefly with reporters, here is a good recap:(http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/articles/show/3653-holmes-talks-of-mistakes-fresh-start-as-a-jet)

3. The NFL is finally expected to announce this season’s schedule at some point later this week…hopefully the Jets will be playing in Pittsburgh at some point after week 4.

In-Depth Look At Santonio Holmes Trade

This deal has so many interesting and different aspects/elements to it, let’s just hit them one at a time:

Where Did This Come From? – Obviously this move came out of left field. It was being reported last week that Pittsburgh wasn’t going to give Holmes a long term deal and had tired of his off the field behavior. There is talk going around today that Holmes was going to be cut if the Steelers couldn’t trade him, which if you look at the fact that they have brought in Arnaz Battle, Antwaan Randle El, and recently worked out Dez Bryant makes some sense. Apparently, this wasn’t pre-mediated at all and the Jets basically got a phone call on Sunday night and jumped at the offer. Most people knew the Jets desired another receiver and I am sure Mike Tannenbaum nearly fell out of his seat when he realized he could get a guy like Holmes for a 5th round pick instead of signing somebody like Laveranues Coles or taking a risk by drafting a receiver in round one or round two.

PhotobucketCompensation – Even with Holmes being suspended the first four games of the 2010 season, this is still a steal for the Jets. A 5th round pick? The Jets weren’t getting a player who could immediately help them for 12 games the way Holmes will in the 5th round this year. This guy is only is 26 years old by the way. Honestly, I would have been satisfied with this deal if the Jets had given up a fourth round pick or even a third round pick, if they had one to trade but at a fifth round pick, how could you honestly complain?

Draft Strategy – This move allowed the Jets to keep their top three picks in this year’s draft (Round1, Round 2, and Round4), which will all more than likely be used to select defensive players. Receiver was the only position on offense the Jets were considering targeting with a high pick and now they filled the hole, which will allow them to focus on improving the depth of their defense. Mike Tannenbaum has always made it clear he hates being forced to draft a player out of a positional need instead of just taking the best guy available, and now if the Jets sign Jason Taylor they won’t have a glaring need on their roster. Yes, the Jets need another defensive lineman, a nickel corner, and maybe another safety but they could afford to take those three positions in any order depending on who are the best players available. If Jason Taylor doesn’t end up signing, expect the Jets to add a pass rushing outside linebacker in round one or two. You can throw out any mock draft that currently has the Jets taking a receiver in one or round two, and now look for it to be increasingly likely that the Jets will trade back at some point to acquire another pick later in the draft to replace the one they just lost.

Santonio vs. Braylon – The Jets have an interesting dynamic now on offense as both Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes are in the last year of their contracts and will be playing to prove they deserve big money from the franchise. You would have to expect this type of competition will bring the best out of them. If the two of them have productive seasons, do the Jets plan on bringing back both of them? Edwards is 27, Holmes is 26, and Jerricho Cotchery is 28…that could be some receiving core to keep together around Mark Sanchez for a long time.

Braylon’s Role On Offense – Despite both being legitimate deep threats, Edwards and Holmes are different types of receivers. Edwards is a natural split end because of his size. while Holmes is versatile enough to be moved all over the formation, especially in the slot. Edwards provides value as a big target over the middle, in the red-zone and on third downs, while Holmes excels on quick receiver screens where he could run after the catch and as a big play threat lined up either on the outside or inside.

What About Jerricho? – Jerricho Cotchery is still a key part of the Jets offense moving forward into 2010. Cotchery has the hands, route-running ability, and knowledge of the offense to be a terrific slot receiver and he of course still has the ability to line up on the outside. He will remain a reliable, security blanket for Sanchez in big spots.

PhotobucketStarters? – Obviously with the four game suspension, Edwards and Cotchery will begin the year as the starters but when Holmes returns expect Cotchery to remain the de facto starter even though there will be a big rotation working through all three receivers and moving them around the formation.

Offensive Possibilities – They are endless. Cotchery in the slot on third and shorts to convert big first downs. Holmes in the slot running deep seem patterns and catching quick screens. Play action bombs to Edwards or Holmes…Cotchery sliding out to split end to run his normal comeback route…Holmes on reverses or other trick plays…and we haven’t even started talking about using Dustin Keller, Leon Washington, LaDainian Tomlinson, or Shonn Greene yet.

Smile, Mark Sanchez – The Jets have given their franchise quarterback the tools neccessary to succeed. He is playing behind a great offensive line with a strong group of running backs, a good pass catching tight end, and now one of the league’s best receiving cores. There is so much talent around him, how could he not make immense strides in his second year?

Stay Up, Brian Schottenheimer – I am not sure Brian Schottenheimer will be able to sleep in the next 5 months, how many different formations/plays could this guy figure out for the weapons the Jets have on offense?

Smile, Jets Fans – Look at this collection of young offensive talent we currently have assembled:

  • Mark Sanchez – 2nd year quarterback, who flourished in the playoffs last season.
  • Shonn Greene – 2nd year running back, who flourished in the playoffs last season.
  • Leon Washington – Pro-Bowl kick returner/big-play third down back, hungry to prove he can return from injury.
  • Braylon Edwards – 27 year old receiver who had 1289 yards receiving and 17 TDs in 2007…6’3, 215 pounds.
  • Santonio Holmes – 26 year old receiver who had 1248 yards receiving last year and was the Super Bowl MVP in 2009.
  • Jerricho Cotchery – 28 year old receiver who had 1130 yards receiving in 2007 and catches everything thrown at him.
  • Dustin Keller – Athletic 3rd year tight end, who has played in three playoff games and caught a touchdown pass in every single one of them.
  • Brad Smith – A 26 year old versatile running back/quarterback/receiver who has an ability to make big plays.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson – Not young but a first ballot hall of famer looking to prove he still has something in the tank.

We might not be far away from having a number one offense to match a number one defense.

Clutch?

Fantasy File