New York Jets: Green and White Scrimmage Recap

Mike Donnelly recaps the New York Jets Green and White scrimmage

Mike Donnelly provides a recap of today’s Green and White scrimmage. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter and check back tomorrow for Chris Gross’ overview of the Jets options at wide receiver with Santonio Holmes likely being out for 4-6 weeks with a broken rib. 

With today’s first Jets Green and White scrimmage taking place, the important thing to remember is that today is August 4th and the season doesn’t begin for another five weeks. So getting too up or too down about certain players or position groups on this team based on one glorified practice is a pretty futile exercise. That being said, there would be no fun in keeping a level head and not breaking down the action that we saw, heard, or read tweets about this afternoon.

The main thing to know about today’s scrimmage was that in addition to learning a whole new system on the fly, the Jets offense was without wide receivers Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, and Chaz Schilens, plus 3/5 of their starting offensive line were out. (Nick Mangold was off in London to watch his sister compete in the Olympics, Brandon Moore was out watching Curtis Martin get inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Wayne Hunter was not playing, which would usually be good thing until you remember his backups are even worse, but that’s a whole other issue). Oh, and they were only going against arguably the best defense in the NFL.

No big deal. That of course won’t stop many “experts” and commenters from bashing the offense and making unfunny Twitter jokes, but the fact is, the defense is supposed to dominate in situations like that. So for the purposes of this article, I’m going to be looking at all of the positives that came out of today’s scrimmage and not taking petty shots at anyone; not even at Tim Tebow, i promise. Let’s break this down in easy-to-read fashion with random thoughts:

Quinton Coples – I guess all the fans ready to call him a Gholston (it seemed like some actually want him to fail so they can say “I told you so”, which blows my mind) can exhale and actually, you know, give the first round pick more than 6 practices before writing him off. On the very first play of the scrimmage he beat his man, knifed in, and stuffed Shonn Greene behind the line of scrimmage. After that, by all accounts he played very well and should only build off this performance.

Flashes of the new Defense – Rex Ryan started to show some wrinkles he’s incorporating into the new 46 defense this year, and came in with many different looks. Aaron Maybin was all over the field lining up at many different positions, and we even saw some looks where Calvin Pace and Coples were standing up next to each other on the same side of the line. It’s very easy to get excited about this defense, especially when you read things like…

Antonio Allen, Garrett McIntyre, and Ricky Sapp all looked great – Three guys who are all under-the-radar and unknown to casual fans all have had very strong camps and continued that today. Allen has looked like an absolute steal as a 7th round pick, and Sapp and McIntyre are proving that the Jets are not as thin at OLB as many would think. Those Stock Watch Buys of Sapp the past few weeks are looking like money makers so far!

Dustin Keller – Keller caught 3 passes for 31 yards against the first string defense, which is a very positive sign. It appears as though new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano got the memo Brian Schottenheimer never got around to reading, about Dustin Keller being a legit weapon for this offense and if put in the proper position can really do well. Better late than never I suppose. Speaking of Sparano..

Sparano makes adjustments, Sanchez looks sharp – After getting it handed to them early in the scrimmage, when the offense came out for the first drive after halftime, they looked totally different. Mark Sanchez looked great as he went 7-9 for 52 yards during a 60-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown pass to Bilal Powell. That halftime adjustment already gives Sparano one more than Schotty had in six years here as coordinator. Sad, but true.

Santonio Holmes broke his ribs – Oh wait, that’s not a positive at all. But it looks as though that is the case, as he was apparently leveled by #2 wide receiver Antonio Cromartie — yes, Antonio Cromartie made a big hit. Seriously. — and came out of the scrimmage. If the rib is indeed broken, his status for week 1 is very much up in the air. The options to replace him from outside the organization are downright putrid now that Braylon Edwards just signed with Seattle, so someone has to step up. If there is a silver lining to all of this, it will give players like Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner, Jeremy Kerley and even Jordan White the opportunity to step in and show the coaching staff something. It remains to be seen whether or not they will do so, but if all else fails, I guess we can just look forward to watching a 57-8 run/pass ratio in week 1, right?

Curtis Martin going into the HOF – Not part of today’s scrimmage, but definitely worth mentioning. One of the greatest Jets of all time is heading into the Hall of Fame tonight, and we couldn’t be happier for him here at TOJ. If you missed my column on why Curtis deserves this honor so much, you can check that out here.

New York Jets Fact Or False: Offseason Review Edition

Chris Gross Fact or False reviews off-season predictions for the New York Jets and sees what was right heading into training camp

Staff Writer Chris Gross looks back at the previous few months of Fact or False to see how the off-season developed for the New York Jets and what predictions were on point or completely off-base. Make sure to follow Chris on Twitter – 

With the 2012 NFL Offseason finally in the books, it is only fitting that we take a look back at our first 10 editions of New York Jets Fact Or False and review which predictions went wrong, as well as which ones seem to have held up thus far. Certainly, few, if any, of these predictions will not be resolved until the conclusion of the season, but for now, let’s use the beginning of training camp as a check point to see how we are doing. For this week’s edition, we look at the 6 most prevalent issues that we predicted, and explain why or how they look to be on point, or completely lost.

TOJ SHIRTS AVAILABLE NOW – TURN THE SWAG ON FOR TRAINING CAMP

From May 17th, 2012 –

What we said then:

1.) Darrelle Revis will hold out again. False. Outcome: Correct. 

Why we were right: The heart of my argument against a Revis holdout was that, as a team leader, Revis would not be selfish enough to abandon his team when it needed him the most. The importance of Revis’s presence in Cortland goes far beyond his play. He is the most accomplished New York Jet, and arguably the most idolized on the team. For him to be vacant during training camp, the most important time for the development of team chemistry, would not only be detrimental to the team, it would paint a very negative light of number 24, particularly after how last season ended.

While this likely weighed on Revis’s decision to ultimately not hold out and report to camp on time, the most probable reason for Revis showing up is a clause in his contract. ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that the clause in the extension Revis signed two seasons ago would extend the remaining two seasons left on Revis’s deal to a total of five more years had he held out. Therefore, if Revis missed one day of camp, he would not be a free agent for another five seasons, thus killing any chance of a huge extension for the All-Pro Cornerback in the near future. So, while it is nice to think that Revis is reporting to camp because he is an excellent teammate and leader, it is more likely that he realized showing up will ultimately benefit him financially. Either way, Revis Island is in Cortland this season.

2.) The New York Jets will add a Right Tackle in Free Agency. False. Outcome: Incorrect*

The asterisk is for the technicality that, based on the exact wording, we were actually correct. The Jets did not bring in a Right Tackle via Free Agency to compete with Wayne Hunter for the starting job. However, they did add a Right Tackle via trade earlier this week when Mike Tannenbaum swung a deal with Carolina for former first round pick Jeff Otah. However, the point of this argument was that the Jets were content heading into the season with Hunter and Vlad Ducasse battling it out for the starting RT job, therefore, other than the technicality, our main point was incorrect.

Why we were wrong:

Simple. The Jets, regardless of how many times they argued it, do not feel comfortable with Hunter and Ducasse as their primary options at Right Tackle, and rightfully so. Hunter had an atrocious year last season, and was a primary reason for most of the struggles of Mark Sanchez and the offense. Ducasse, on the other hand, will now likely get the majority of his reps at guard, which will seemingly be his last stop before the bus comes to take him to the land of the Vernon Gholston’s.

Tannenbaum realized he needed to, at the least, get legitimate competition for Hunter. If Otah is healthy, he will certainly provide that competition, and will likely win the battle, based on talent alone. However, that is a huge “if,” so Jets fans should not be excited about Otah until he proves to be durable, something he has failed to do thus far in his young career.

From May 31st, 2012-

What we said then:

3.) Jordan White will make an impact as a rookie. Fact. Outcome: Seemingly Incorrect.

Why we were wrong: This is another one that will still not be settled until the season officially kicks off. However, with his recent foot injury causing him to miss mini-camps and OTAs, White is very far behind the 8-ball heading into training camp. Chaz Schillens reportedly stood out during mini-camp, which does not bode well for White. While I do think he will still make the active roster at some point during the year, based on how far behind he will begin the season, a significant impact does not seem as likely as it once did following the NFL Draft. However, crazier things have happened, and with White’s work ethic, I still wouldn’t bet against him.

From June 14th, 2012-

What we said then:

Tim Tebow will be playing just about everything other than “traditional” Quarterback this seasonFact. Outcome: Correct. 

Why we were right: Again, this could be one that changes by midseason, but for now it looks like we were dead on with this proclamation. Other than the fact that Tebow has taken practice reps at personal protector on the punt team, as well as reps at Running Back, reports are now coming out that he may be used on both Kickoff and Kickoff Return teams. Our argument here, as it has always been, is that a player who is expected to see significant time as a “traditional” Quarterback does not see a down of Special Teams play, especially on such high impact teams like Kickoff and Kickoff Return. Until we see Tebow under center in an every down role, our position here remains firm: Mark Sanchez is the Quarterback of the New York Jets, while Tim Tebow is an effective role player.

5.) Santonio Holmes is still the team villain. Fact. Outcome: Correct.

Why we were right: Santonio Holmes is still public enemy number 1, the guy everyone loves to hate. Is this really a surprise to anyone? Holmes has tried his best to keep himself out of a negative light in the eyes of the public this offseason, yet has still failed to do so. Stemming from his notorious back page on the New York Daily News early this offseason, to his most recent comments regarding the New York media, Holmes cannot stop being the bad guy. Regardless of what he says or does, Tone will be painted in a negative light this year, until he proves to have repaired his relationship with Sanchez, and returns to his 2010 form, something we fully expect him to do here at Turn On The Jets. If Holmes can do this, while helping the Jets win games, then all of the negativity will likely be forgotten. Remember, winning cures all ailments. However, that is certainly in the distant future. For now, Holmes has to do his best to just remain quiet, otherwise he will likely find himself subject to headlines like this:

From June 28th, 2012-

What we said then:

Yeremiah Bell will provide more bang for the Jets buck than LaRon Landry. Fact. Outcome: Correct.

Why we were right: Simply, due to our reasoning. Again, this another one that is TBD, yet the argument we used here seems very on point for the start of training camp.

“This could easily turn if Landry stays healthy for the entire year, as New York obtained the Pro Bowl caliber player on a rather cheap one-year contract, however, like Schilens, Landry comes with serious durability concerns. When healthy, Landry has been extremely productive, but over the past two seasons, the former first round selection out of LSU has played in just 17 total games. Bell, on the other hand, has not missed a game in the past four seasons and has accumulated over 100 tackles in each. While the ex-Miami Dolphin was certainly a bit more of an under-the-radar signing than Landry, his impact will likely be much greater with the Jets defense this season due to his durability and production.” 

With Landry beginning camp on the active PUP list, along with being absent for mini-camp and OTA’s, one has to believe that Bell is going to be far ahead of him when he does finally suit up. While Landry could certainly be a fast learner, and should still contribute decently, it will likely be Bell that is noticed for having the superior season. Still, only time will tell.

New York Jets Fact Or False: Sanchez, Holmes, and Linsanity Edition

Chris Gross weekly Fact or False focuses on Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Lin

With less than a week to go before the New York Jets report to Cortland for the start of training camp, there have been countless topics and stories emerging on the Gang Green front, some good, some not so good. Regardless of what most sports books are predicting, we are carrying on as usual here at Turn On The Jets. For this week’s edition of New York Jets Fact Or False, we’ll examine some of those recent Jets topics heading into training camp, along with a little dose of Linsanity and America’s #1 new soap opera “As The Dwight Turns.”

Mark Sanchez is “The East Coast Alex Smith.” False.

In a recent article on Bleacher Report, columnist Michael Schottey referred to Mark Sanchez as “Alex Smith with a Jheri curl.” However, Schottey fails to provide any factual argument to back his proclamation. This is likely because there are no facts to support the comparison between the two. Smith has played three more seasons in the NFL than Sanchez has, yet has thrown for only 3,334 more yards, less than the total number of yards Sanchez threw for last season alone. Additionally, Smith has thrown for only 13 more touchdowns than Sanchez has while compiling a total of 7 more interceptions than number 6. Again, Smith has played six full NFL seasons to Sanchez’s three. Numbers aside, Sanchez has already won 4 playoff games on the road, while Smith has won just a single playoff game, at home. It is surely shocking how far people will go in their attempst to bash Sanchez, and this ignorant comparison is just the tip of an iceberg of criticism that the Jets’ QB has faced this season.

A more realistic comparison to Smith would actually be Jets’ backup Tim Tebow. Both players have a similar style of play and both played in the same system in college under Urban Meyer. However, Tebow also has 2 national championship victories and a Heisman trophy on his resume, while winning a playoff game in only his second season as opposed to Smith who took six seasons to finally win in the post season. As the roster stands now, Smith would be the third best quarterback on the Jets if he were in New York. As for the comparison to Sanchez, there is no debate.

Santonio Holmes will be the Jets scapegoat all season. Fact.

The perception of Holmes as the largest villain to grace Gotham City since the Joker isn’t dying anytime soon. In an interview on NFL Network this past week, Holmes simply stated the obvious fact that even the most casual NFL fan knows, when he said that teams cannot succeed in a two quarterback system. Could you imagine if Marques Colston or Hakeem Nicks said the same thing? They’d be laughed at for stating something so obvious, while lauded for praising their starting quarterbacks.

Not only did Holmes simply state what everyone already knew, but he actually defended Sanchez, while subtly telling everyone to pump the brakes on Tebowmania in New York for now. Holmes noted that, in order for a Quarterback to get into a rhythm, he needs to be allowed to make mistakes early in games, while settling in and growing comfortable. Holmes is far from stupid. He knows, just as everyone else covering the Jets knows, that the moment Sanchez makes the slightest mistake, most fans will be calling for Tebow to take the helm. However, Holmes also knows that this would not put his team in the best position to win games. Sanchez will make his mistakes, every quarterback does. The key to his success, as well as the success of the Jets, will be his teammates and coaches being confident enough to allow him to correct those mistakes.

The bottom line with Holmes is that he simply wants to win. However, no matter what he says, it will likely be turned in a negative, selfish manner, until he lets his play do the talking.

 The Jets will add RB depth heading into training camp. False.

Cedric Benson recently revealed that the Jets were one of the teams to check in with the free agent veteran running back this offseason. While Benson joining Gang Green surely isn’t out of the question, don’t expect any moves to be made on this front anytime soon. The Jets are moving forward with Shonn Greene as the starter this season, regardless of what some may think. They are also ready to see what Joe McKnight can do as the primary backup to Greene, and rightfully so. McKnight has improved drastically since his rookie season when he was questioned for his work ethic and commitment. With an increased role on Special Teams last season, McKnight thrived as a kick returner. The Jets are hoping a similar increased workload on offense will produce parallel results.

Aside from Greene and McKnight, New York is also very eager to see if Bilal Powell is serviceable, as well as what newcomers Terrance Ganaway and John Griffin can do. They added these players because they are confident that Tony Sparano’s system will allow each of them to produce. If they prove incapable of such a feat over the course of the preseaosn, then the Jets may revisit bringing in a veteran like Benson. For now, they are more than ready to move forward with what they have.

Mark Sanchez will make the Pro Bowl this season. False.

While Sanchez is poised for a breakout year, the odds are against him to make the Pro Bowl this season. The new offensive system under Tony Sparano will likely limit the amount of passing attempts Sanchez has, thus limiting the statistics that would get him elected to a Pro Bowl. Additionally, outside of Santonio Holmes and Tight End Dustin Keller, Sanchez has an entirely new arsenal of weapons this season, most of whom come with very limited, if any, NFL experience. While Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schillens, and Jordan White could all prove to be productive, it is going to take time for them to develop chemistry with Sanchez. While I firmly believe that Sanchez will be a Pro Bowl caliber Quarterback at some point in his career, this season is more about improving his accuracy and developing relationships with his new targets.

The Knicks made the right move letting Jeremy Lin leave. Fact.

Knicks fans seem split on this issue. Some are up in arms that James Dolan and co. allowed such a young and exciting player to leave after his brief stint of success last season, while others are perfectly content with the club’s decision to move in another direction. While Lin could certainly become a very good point guard, the luxury tax ramifications the Knicks would have had to pay in the third year of the deal he agreed to with Houston would have been far too large of a financial commitment to a player who is still somewhat unproven. Remember, Lin’s numbers dropped after the departure of Mike D’Antoni. The Knicks already have an abundance of money committed to Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, so taking a risk on Lin simply would not have been worth it. Additionally, what no one seems to be talking about, is the fact that Chris Paul will be a free agent next summer. Surely, there are no signs that Paul wants out of Los Angeles, but don’t forget, he is good friends with Anthony, and even hinted at the idea of playing with him and Stoudemire at Anthony’s wedding last summer. While this is a shot in the dark, don’t think for a minute that this did not cross the minds of the Knicks’ brass in weighing the decision of whether or not to re up on Lin.

Dwight Howard will start the season in Orlando. False. The ongoing saga of this situation is growing far too annoying, not only to NBA fans, but to people around the league as well. Howard wants out of Orlando, seemingly worse than Carmelo Anthony wanted out of Denver, and will not ease his stance on this issue. The Magic will soon realize that they need to rid themselves of this headache and start fresh. While General Manager Rob Hennigan has been rightfully patient in weighing his options, the alleged three-team deal that could soon be in place soon between the Lakers, Cavaliers, and Magic will reveal itself as the best option for all clubs involved. With Howard now committing to signing long term in LA, Mitch Kupchak and co. will go above and beyond to get a deal done. My prediction? Howard starts the season in the purple and gold.

New York Jets Headline Watch – Santonio Holmes And Two Quarterbacks

A closer look at what Santonio Holmes actually said during his interview on NFL Network last night

Shockingly enough the New York media and the mainstream media will occasionally twist headlines to generate some type of controversy. We will use this series of columns to review what was actually said and whether there is any reason to be up in arms about it. Today’s topic is Santonio Holmes interview on the NFL Network last night –

Here are the headlines that have been generated from that video clip –

This is what Holmes had to say about two quarterback systems in the NFL

No. I don’t think so because you have to allow one quarterback to get into the rhythm of the game. It starts from the preparation in practice, knowing the first couple of plays that he’s going to take these reps. It’s getting a feel for coming onto the field with the crowd awaiting you. It’s the making the mistakes early in the game, to finishing the games at the end. You don’t just change a guy out just because he has a few mistakes early in a game. So I think coming into this season that we have a lot to expect from Sanchez.”

This is what he had to say about Mark Sanchez –

“Sanchez has done everything that he can do to keep his starting spot, and I’m thinking that he’s going to be our guy this season. I’m not saying that with any bit of less confidence than the way I feel about him coming into the season. He’s going to be our guy that we depended on for the past couple of years, and he’s going to get the job done this year.”

So where are the headlines about Santonio Holmes supporting his starting quarterback Mark Sanchez? There shouldn’t be a headline about Holmes making a common sense statement about two quarterback systems not working…they don’t work, they never have worked and they never will work. Holmes is absolutely right in that the Jets shouldn’t pull Sanchez if he has a few early mistakes in the game and gave a strong endorsement of him, which is exactly what you want to hear from your top receiver.

This was a positive interview but positive doesn’t fit the narrative the media has created for Holmes so it is spun into a negative. It is spun into a negative so Tweets like this can be fired out –

Make sure you give my lovely vocal chords a listen as I talked everything Jets last night with All Purpose Roto

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: New York Jets Statistical Predictions

The Turn On The Jets 12 Pack breaks out some stat predictions for the 2012 New York Jets

This week’s 12 Pack is going throw out some statistical predictions for members of both the New York Jets offense and defense. Credit for the idea goes to (@ItsOasus) on Twitter. Give the man a follow and while you are it give our fellow writers Chris GrossMike Donnelly and TJ Rosenthal a follow. 

In case you missed it this week…

Turn On The Jets shirts (designed and created by Bark Tees NY) are being shipped out this upcoming week and should be for sale no later than July 20th. 
Check out Gameday Goods for 10% off all New York Jets apparel. All you have to do is use the promo code “TurnOnTheJets”

1. Mark Sanchez – 256/432, 59.2 completion percentage, 3,360 yards, 25 touchdowns, 13 interceptions – I am basically projecting Sanchez for 16/27, 210 yards on a weekly basis. The yardage total might seem a little high but I think the Jets will attack down the field more often with Tony Sparano calling plays, will use Santonio Holmes more vertically and should have a viable deep threat in Stephen Hill. Yes, I believe he will do a better job of protecting the football and will cut 5 interceptions off his total from last season.

2. Shonn Greene – 280 carries, 1,175 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 5 touchdowns – Greene isn’t anywhere near an elite level back but considering their depth chart at running back and the offensive system the Jets are going to give him 17-20 carries per week. He should be able to translate that into a little under 1,200 yards considering his history. His touchdown total will be disappointing because Tim Tebow will be a major presence around the goal-line.

3. Santonio Holmes – 72 receptions, 1,044 yards, 7 touchdowns – Holmes averaged 15 yards per catch over the 3 years prior to 2011, let’s put him at 14.5 this season…a nice bump up from the 12.8 of last season. Sparano should also do a better job of getting the ball in his hands than Brian Schottenheimer did last season, so 4.5 catches per game seems reasonable. Holmes had 8 touchdowns last year, which tied a career high. He will end up with 7 this season.

4. Dustin Keller – 64 receptions, 832 yards, 7 touchdowns – Yes, I do think Holmes and Keller will equate for this large of a share of the Jets passing game. Keller was at 12.5 yards per catch last year, he’ll bump up to about 13 in Tony Sparano’s offense. 7 touchdowns would be a career high but he is due to be a sustainable red-zone presence throughout an entire season.

5. Stephen Hill – 40 receptions, 630 yards, 5 touchdowns – The reception total won’t be high but Hill will be a big play threat for the Jets, hence the high yards per catch average. His size and leaping ability ability will also make him a consistent red-zone threat.

6. Tim Tebow – 80 carries, 440 yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 250 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns – Tebow is going to be a major factor in the red-zone as a rusher and overall should average out to about  5 carries per week. His passing totals are hard to project, because it remains to be seen how often the Jets will use him a passer. For the record, I do think Mark Sanchez, barring injury, starts every game this season at quarterback.

7. Aaron Maybin – 10.5 sacks, 26 tackles, 5 forced fumbles – With a full off-season under his belt, Maybin will become the first Jets defender to hit double digit sacks since John Abraham (!). If that forced fumble total seems high, remember he forced 4 last season in 13 games with a very limited role.

8. David Harris – 90 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 interceptions – Another rock solid, Pro-Bowl caliber season from the Jets inside linebacker. Don’t look for any drop-off in his regular production.

9. Quinton Coples – 30 tackles, 5.5 sacks – Rex Ryan and Karl Dunbar will get Coples in the proper position to make an immediate impact as a pass rusher. Towards the end of the season, he will begin to come on more as a complete player, particularly in run defense.

10. Muhammad Wilkerson – 55 tackles, 6 sacks, 10 tackles for a loss – I am on the Wilkerson bandwagon, who I think will play at a Pro-Bowl caliber level as a two way defensive end. Wilkerson and Coples will give the Jets their best pass rushing duo up front since John Abraham and Shaun Ellis were young pups.

11. Joe McKnight – 75 carries, 325 yards, 32 receptions, 320 yards, 2 offensive touchdowns, 1 special teams touchdown – A good all-around year for McKnight who will be able to handle the role of 3rd down back and be a reliable checkdown/screen option for Mark Sanchez. He also will remain one of the league’s better kick returners.

12. Jeremy Kerley – 45 receptions, 460 yards, 2 touchdowns – Kerley won’t have a high yards per catch but will develop into a reliable third down target, being a good option in the short to intermediate passing game.

 

New York Jets: How To Get The Most Out Of Stephen Hill

How can the New York Jets can get the most out of rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill this season?

It is impossible not to be excited about the potential of rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill. You don’t see an endless line of receivers who stand 6 foot 4, 215 pounds and still manage to run a 4.31 forty. The guy averaged over 29 yards per catch last season and is coming to an offense that couldn’t buy a 20 yard play last year. Yet, as the recent history of second round receivers shows, it might be wise to temper that excitement, especially when combined with the reality that Hill played in a triple-option offense and only caught 49 passes in 3 years at Georgia Tech.

Considering where he was selected, Hill is going to enter training camp as the de facto starter opposite Santonio Holmes at wide receiver. His size and speed has to be respected, despite being an unproven player and that will open up things underneath for Holmes and Dustin Keller.

But how can the Jets get the most out of him in his rookie season?

First off, despite being a “starter” don’t expect Hill to immediately play 65 snaps a game. There is going to be situations where Dustin Keller, Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens are taking reps for certain plays in his spot and that is okay. Hill should gradually build up to a full workload as he masters the offense and every route in the playbook. It is unreasonable to expect a player out of a triple option to be polished on all the necessary routes.

Out of the gate, Hill is going to be a frequent target when the Jets look to get those “chunk” plays Tony Sparano has talked about. Mark Sanchez has shown an ability to throw the deep play action post well and Sparano won’t hesitate to call it. We know at a minimum Hill has the ability to run that and the “go” route.

Considering Sanchez’s comfort with the slant route and Hill’s frame, I’d look for him to be running a good amount of those early as well. He also has the speed to be utilized on a smoke screen where he can try to shake his defender 1 on 1. Look for the Jets to build Hill’s confidence early in the season by getting him a few easy receptions and then taking their downfield shots to him, particularly off the play action.

Hill is also a logical primary target in the red-zone. Mark Sanchez had excellent chemistry with Plaxico Burress inside the 10 yard line last season and there is no reason he can’t replicate that with Hill. You can bet if the Jets are turning to the “fade” ball, it will be Hill on the receiving end.

Overall, it would be illogical to expect high reception totals from Hill in this offense in 2012. At a minimum, he will be the third most frequent target behind Holmes and Keller. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t rack up a high yards per catch and pull in 6-8 touchdowns. The Jets would be wise to start him out as primarily as a deep threat and then gradually increase his reps as the season goes on with the hope of him starting to resemble a complete receiver by December.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 7/10 – Jets West Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly TOJ Stock Watch is buying Jets West and selling on Evan Silva’s rankings

It is a bit of a dead period in the sports world right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of stuff going on that I can make jokes about and sell for profit in our fantasy land stock market. And after last week’s bear market where I sold any and all things, I’ll even recommend a few buys this week. Let’s dive in..

BUY: Jets West Camp – Last year with the lockout going on, it was harder for the Jets players to organize “Jets West” properly. Rookies couldn’t get their playbooks from the team or speak to coaches, and then there was the little issue of not even knowing who was going to be on the team. Santonio Holmes was a free agent, Braylon Edwards was in limbo, Jeremy Kerley was a rookie, and Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason were, well… Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason.

This year, Mark Sanchez got the band back together and just about all of the offensive skill position players are expected to be in attendance. Even bad guy Santonio Holmes is there and already causing major problems, as this Twitter photo he posted shows. By making that X with his chop sticks, he’s obviously conveying his hatred for his quarterback. Oh wait, sorry, I was doing my Mike Florio impression there and didn’t warn you, nevermind. Not only is Santonio there, but he’s going to be a major positive influence on players like Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. Despite what the media would have you believe Santonio is actually a very good teammate and teacher to the young wide receivers. Speaking of the media, this year Mark has decided to close the camp to the public, which is a great idea, since the mythical figure that is Tim Tebow will be there. People can make all the jokes they want, but this 5 day camp out in California is going to be a major positive.

BUY: Spending a Month at Cortland – And if you think the few day “Jets West” is going to be a major step in the right direction, just wait until the team heads off to Cortland for four weeks. Everyone underestimated just how much of an impact the lockout had last year, not just with the rule changes and having to cram 6 months worth of activity into about 6 weeks, but it precluded teams like the Jets from going away to training camp. On a team with so many big personalities (to put it kindly), that bonding time is extremely important. In 2009 and 2010, many players spoke of how important that time bunked up in dorm rooms with only each other to lean on was. Well, it’s back this year, and I suspect it’s going to help solve a lot of the turmoil that may be carried over from last season. Plus, Vladimir Ducasse will get a chance to defend his King Ugly crown. That’s very important, too.

SELL: Evan Silva ranking the Jets 27th in the NFL in Power Rankings – I was going to break this one into 2 different sells, because Evan Silva deserves his own. That guy is just the worst. The. Worst. He got his foot in the door of the NFL world by being the guy who copies what beat writers post on Twitter, and pasting it (usually incorrectly) onto RotoWorld.com, a fantasy football site. He’s probably the guy at the office who makes inappropriate Tim Tebow jokes repeatedly and creeps out all his co-workers.  Somehow all of that qualified him to be an NFL analyst and post nonsense like this.

I’ve been over this before, but just for fun, let’s show Mr. Silva one more time why the Jets won’t finish as the 27th best team in the NFL:

  • Top 5 defense, arguably #1
  • Great backup QB, so an injury won’t cripple the season
  • Coming off a very disappointing year in which they still won 8 games
  • They dumped Brian Schottenheimer, major addition by subtraction there
  • Games vs. the awful Dolphins (twice), the hilariously overrated Bills (twice), the Colts, the Rams, the Seahawks, the Cardinals, the Titans, the Jaguars, and the Chargers at home in December. They’ve also got the Texans and 49ers at home, the declining Steelers on the road, and a hopeful split against the Patriots.

Not only will the Jets not finish in the bottom 6 teams of the NFL with 5 or fewer wins, they won’t even finish with an under .500 record. You’ve been put on notice, Silva. I’m going to call you on your crap all year, both Jets related and your horrible fantasy football advice.

And now, this week’s edition of “Why the Bills Hype is Wrong”… 

SELL: The Bills – While many in the media are tripping over themselves to fit Ryan Fitzpatrick for his Super Bowl ring, I’d just like to remind everyone of a few things:

The 2011 Eagles – Signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a mega-deal, and also added Cullen Jenkins, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. They finished 8-8 in hilarious fashion, and they were FAR more talented than this Bills team.

The 2009 Redskins –  Signed Albert Haynesworth for $100 and two years later he is out of the league, while the Redskins are a perennial laughingstock. In fact, the Redskins make huge splashes all the time and are the winners of the offseason. Then they’re the losers on the field. Take notes, Buffalo.

The Chargers, Cowboys, Redskins – Every year they are the offseason darlings and paper champions. How’s that working out?

The “Chic” Pick – Every year there’s a team that the media drools over heading into the season for various reasons–strong finish to the last season, great draft, big free agent, whatever it may be. And it NEVER works out. In 2010 it was the 49ers, last year it was the Rams and Cardinals. This year it’s obviously the Bills, despite the fact they lost 8 of their last 9 games, have Ryan Fitzpatrick as their QB, and just gave the largest contract to a defender in NFL history to a guy coming off serious surgery and whose team improved last year after he got injured. They’re more likely to win 6 games again than they are to win 10. (Add the Lions to the Chic Pick teams that are going to fall on their faces this year).

BUY: BIlly King and the Brooklyn Nets! – Just as I’ve been saying for weeks, there’s a method to Billy King’s madness and he’s going to build a powerhouse. Ok, I’ve actually been mocking him relentlessly and selling Billy King stock like it was the plague, but whatever. If the proposed Dwight Howard trade goes through, the Nets will officially be a powerhouse and I will apologize for all the terrible things I said about Bill along the way. I still think the Gerald Wallace contract is terrible and was unnecessary, but the way he brilliantly handled the Mirza Teletovic contract–not giving him the full mid-level exception–can not be overstated, and opened the door for a potential Howard trade. Now, if the Howard trade doesn’t go through, they’re still stuck fighting for a 5 seed every year and suddenly he doesn’t look so smart anymore. But I’m pulling for him.

SELL: Tony LaRussa not starting R.A. Dickey in the All-Star Game – In the B.S. move of the week, Tony LaRussa reminded everyone why we hated him all these years, and he decided to start Matt Cain over Dickey for strategic reasons in an ALL-STAR GAME, despite Dickey being better than Cain in literally EVERY SINGLE STATISTICAL CATEGORY. I can not stress enough how terrible I think this is. Dickey is 37-years-old and has been the story of baseball this year. He earned this. He deserve the start, especially since he likely won’t have another opportunity like this in his career. And I don’t want to hear about the “strategy”. To say it’s better to bring him and his knuckleball in during the middle innings to throw the opposing hitters off is dumb, because with all the substitutions, they likely won’t even be the same hitters who faced the fireballing Cain earlier.

TOJ’s Top 50 New York Jets Countdown: 1-9

Turn On The Jets counts down the top 50 New York Jets currently on the roster, finishing today with the top 9 players on the team

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)

READ NUMBERS 40-50 HERE

READ NUMBERS 30-40 HERE

READ NUMBERS 20-30 HERE

READ NUMBERS 10-20 HERE

(STILL IN QUALITY STARTER CATEGORY)

9. Dustin Keller, Tight End – Keller has played great for stretches of time and put together a few monster games here or there but has never consistently played at a Pro-Bowl level for an entire season. He is coming off his best statistical season with 65 receptions, 815 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2011. The hope is that with Tony Sparano calling the plays, Keller will get the chance to stretch the field a little more and not have stretches where he seems to be forgotten in the game plan.

RED CHIP

8. Antonio Cromartie, Cornerback – Cromartie catches flak from fans at times for giving up big plays and not creating enough on his own. Yet few players in the NFL could stand up to the number of targets he faces opposite Darrelle Revis. Cromartie remains a very good corner, capable of manning up most receivers in the league which is essential in Rex Ryan’s defense.

7. Brandon Moore, Guard – One of the most underrated guards in the NFL, Moore has played at a Pro-Bowl level the past few seasons and is a key part to paving the way for the Jets running game. He is one of the most respected players in the locker room and a leader on the offensive side of the football.

6. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Tackle – Despite coming off a disappointing season, Ferguson is one of the top left tackles in football. Considering his level of play since being drafted in 2006, it is hard not to expect him to come back strong in 2012.

5. Santonio Holmes, Wide Receiver – The biggest playmaker on the Jets offense and a receiver capable of taking over games. Holmes looked the part of a number one receiver in 2010 but struggled last season without a viable threat opposite of him. Hopefully with Stephen Hill’s speed and a further developed Jeremy Kerley, Holmes will see more favorable match-ups and go back to creating the big plays we expect of him.

BLUE CHIP

4. Sione Pouha, Defensive Tackle – Has worked his way into being one of the best run stopping defensive tackles in football. Pouha is an essential piece of the Jets 3-4 and is versatile and athletic enough to play in a 4 man front as well. Arguably the best move the Jets made this off-season was signing him to a contract extension. Along with Brandon Moore, Pouha is one of the players on the team who actually deserves a “C” on their chest for his leadership abilities.

3. David Harris, Linebacker – A tackling machine and one of the best inside linebackers in football. It is crime that he hasn’t been a perennial Pro-Bowler and has only made the All-Pro team once (2nd team in 2009). He isn’t a flashy player but is more important to the Jets defense than any player not named Revis.

2. Nick Mangold, Center – A laughable joke that he wasn’t named to the NFL’s Top 100 player list. Mangold is the best center in the NFL and has been All-Pro the past three seasons. The Jets badly missed him in 2011 when he missed a handful of games due to injury. He is the leader of the offensive line and the anchor for the Jets rushing attack.

1. Darrelle Revis, Cornerback – The best corner in the NFL and arguably the best defensive player in the NFL. Outside of a handful of quarterbacks, there is nobody in the league who dominates their competition more thoroughly than Revis does on a week to week basis. Simply put, a beast and a guy well on his way to being a first ballot Hall of Famer.

New York Jets Fact Or False: Mini-Camp Edition

Chris Gross with his weekly New York Jets Fact or False, looking at New York Jets mini-camp issues

The 2012 New York Jets have countless story lines and question marks surrounding them heading into this pivotal year for both Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez. Following the conclusion of today’s third, and final, mini-camp practice, the Jets will not be together in their entirety until the beginning of training camp at the end of July. A lot can be taken from the OTA’s and mini-camp period of the off-season, however, it is important to remember that the regular season is still months from kickoff and absolutely nothing is set in stone yet. For this week’s New York Jets Fact Or False, we’ll examine six of the most prevalent headlines as we begin the early transition from the offseason into the preseason.

1.) Santonio Holmes is still the team villain. Fact. While Santonio Holmes has gone through great efforts to stay out of the spotlight all offseason, while seemingly working to repair his fractured relationship with Mark Sanchez, as well as saving some time to visit with injured U.S. Military Troops in Germany, it took number 10 only one day of practice to grab the headlines in a negative way. After struggling to fulfill his desired number of reps during the first day of mini-camp, Holmes reportedly threw his helmet as he came off of the field, while expressing his disapproval for the workload he was expected to achieve in his first day back with the team.

While this was likely just a simple act of frustration from the ultra-competitive Holmes, Tone has to realize that everything he does will be under heavy scrutiny this season, particularly acting out like this in a practice session open to the media. It is certainly understandable that highly spirited athletes are often emotional, however Holmes is in a unique situation. The majority of media outlets are seemingly waiting for him to implode, so he needs to be smart about repairing his image, if he truly intends to do so. Until then, Holmes will remain portrayed as the villain of the Jets, and the majority of the moves he makes will be painted in a negative light, until he changes the perception of himself in the media.

2.) The more rigorous strength and conditioning program is the reason for the early hamstring plague. False. Among others, Holmes and rookie WR Stephen Hill each missed practice time this week due to tweaked hamstrings. Yesterday, ESPN’s Rich Cimini hinted at the idea that the cause for the ongoing hamstring issues in mini-camp were related to the more intense weight room regiment. While an increase in strenuous muscle activity could contribute to some types of injury if not conditioned well enough, this is the NFL. The players and coaches are professionals, and experts in their respective trades. An NFL level strength and conditioning coach is certainly capable of implementing stretching and flexibility techniques to decrease the risk of muscle related injuries.

While it is easy to assume that an increase in weight room intensity is an underlying cause for the recent run of hamstring issues, it is more likely a case getting back into playing shape. The most durable NFL players usually have the most strenuous offseason programs. During his time with the New York Giants, Tiki Barber was known for having one of the most intense weight room regiments out of any player in the league, and as a result, missed only six total games throughout the span of his ten year career, four of which came during his rookie season. Strength training does not increase the risk of injury, but more commonly reduces it.

3) Tim Tebow will be playing just about everything other than “traditional” Quarterback this season. Fact. While Tebow is the backup quarterback, he was not brought to New York for that reason. Conversely, he was not brought here to be the starter either. The Jets traded for Tebow to be the excellent football player they know he is. He has reported to mini-camp at a career high 249 lbs, and reports indicate that the Jets would still like him to add weight. By traditional standards, there aren’t any 250 lb athletes with the overall football skills of Tebow serving as pocket passers. The added weight will allow Tebow to serve more effectively as an all around football player, particularly in an H-Back, Running Back type role. Over his two seasons in the NFL, Tebow has rushed for 887 yards and 12 touchdowns, with a very impressive 5.4 yards per carry.

There will surely be a good amount of Wild Cat QB thrown in for Tebow as well, especially with the newly hired Tony Sparano’s knowledge of the system, coupled with Rex Ryan’s infatuation with it. In fact, since Ryan has come to New York, the Jets have the highest total yards per play out of the Wildcat in the entire NFL during that time frame, at 6.1 YPP. Expect Tebow to serve as a jack-of-all-trades for Gang Green this season, while seeing very little, if any, time as the regular quarterback.

4.) David Harris will finally get his much deserved recognition this season. False. Is there a more underrated defensive player in the NFL than David Harris? Since being drafted by the Jets in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Harris is averaging 102.8 tackles, 3.9 sacks, and 1 interception per season over his first five years in the league, while never being selected to a single Pro Bowl. Yes, he was a second team All-Pro in 2009, but has been snubbed by for the Pro Bowl in each year of his impressive NFL Career. In 2007, Harris’s rookie campaign, he tallied 127 tackles, including 90 solo, 5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. His AFC counterpart DeMeco Ryans was elected as the starter to the Pro Bowl that same season, although he registered only one more tackle than Harris, with three fewer sacks. Similarly, Ray Lewis was elected as the reserve at middle linebacker that same season despite notching seven fewer tackles and three fewer sacks than Harris. Sure, Ryans had collected over 150 tackles in the season prior, and Ray Lewis is, well, Ray Lewis, but this tells you all you need to know about how far under the radar Harris has flown since entering the league.

Although Harris has been the most consistent player on the team not named Darrelle Revis over the past few seasons, he still receives very little, if any, recognition. Although the Jets linebacker corps is one of the biggest question marks of the defense as we head into July, they have still received a fair amount of publicity during mini-camp. However, the spotlight has once again left the Hitman in the dark as the focus has been primarily on the revival of Bart Scott and the possible emergence of rookie DeMario Davis. Harris is a staple, not only of the defense, but also of the entire team, yet he often goes without mention when it comes discussing the vital keys to New York’s successes. Harris will likely rank in the top 2 in tackles among defensive players this season, yet few words will likely be printed about the 5 year veteran out of Michigan.

5.) The Jets have their defensive core of the next generation in Quinton Coples, DeMario Davis, and Josh Bush. Fact. The three of these rookies have all been heavily involved in mini-camp practices. Coples will be starting from day one, as expected, and according to reports out of practice, it is with good reason. Coples has been very impressive during his first early practices as a Jet, and the new scheme will surely maximize his skill set. The Jets were criticized for passing on Melvin Ingram, but now with their intentions to use more 46 and 4-3 looks this season, the move to select Coples is beginning to become more praised each day. The 16th overall selection out of North Carolina is out to prove the Jets organization right, and all of his many doubters wrong. Expect nothing less from Coples this season and beyond.

As for Davis and Bush, there was a good chance they would be playing a significant role this year due to the lack of depth at their respective positions. Bush is the only true free safety on the roster that is capable of playing the center field role in the secondary, and Davis is brings some much needed speed to the linebacker corps. Each of these players have been running with certain first team sub packages, and expect them each to play a heavier role as the season progresses, while serving on special teams.

The three of these young players certainly have the potential to fill as the core of the defense down the road. By the time they are entering the primes of their careers, Muhammed Wilkerson will be right there with them, while Darrelle Revis will likely still be the best corner in football and David Harris will be young enough to remain as a very important piece of the defense. If each of them can fulfill their potential, the defense will have the potential to be ranked among the best in the league for years to come.

6.) Chad Ochocinco will get off of Revis Island in 2012. False. To quote Ochocinco himself, “Child Please.” In his 6 career games against Darrelle Revis, Ochocinco has compiled only 16 catches for 289 yards, with no touchdowns. Those numbers average out to about 2.67 receptions for 48.17 yards per contest. With the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson entering the twilight of his career, coupled with the nightmare that is the Dophins’ quarterback situation, Ocho would be wise to set up his beach chair and lather up with sunscreen because Revis Island will be his residency for two of the sixteen weeks this season.

New York Jets: The Other Off-Season Of Santonio Holmes

Regardless of the New York media’s portrayal, Santonio Holmes had an off-season to be proud of

The media that covers the New York Jets has come up with a few consistent narratives heading into the 2012 NFL season. One of them is building up Tim Tebow’s work ethic and viability as a starting quarterback while simultaneously questioning the same attributes in Mark Sanchez. Quarterback controversies sell. The potential of a Darelle Revis holdout is another one, even though the topic was initially broached by reporters not by a comment from Revis or the team. Finally, Santonio Holmes remains the aloof team villain.

Whether it is the Daily News misconstruing quotes from him or anonymous sources or Rich Cimini commenting during last week’s OTAs “Holmes still in Germany, according to team. Long trip. Maybe he’s looking for Berlin Wall.” when Holmes missed a voluntary practice to visit with American troops abroad, he remains the team’s bogeyman. It is laughable when the reporters characterize his answers to their questions as “testy.” Gee, I wonder why? Maybe he sees what is written about him and is exhausted of the constant questioning of him being the sole reason for the team’s struggles last year.

Let’s give a quick review of what we know Santonio Holmes did this off-season –

1. He worked out in Florida with his strength and conditioning coach, during a time of the year that many NFL players are taking a vacation.

2. He spent 2 weeks in Africa with the Pros for Africa organization visiting with and helping impoverished children throughout the continent.

3. He met with quarterback Mark Sanchez for a few days in Florida to smooth over any differences they had last season.

4. He visited ill and injured troops at USO locations in Germany.

5. He organized a bowling event to raise money for Sickle Cell research.

6. He is working with the F.I.N.E.S.S.E. Foundation Football Camp by sponsoring five kids to attend.

All the positive work that Holmes is doing doesn’t fit in the media’s narrative of him, so it doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. Instead he gets a headline on the Daily News saying “Give Me The Damn Ball!” when the quote was pulled from an anonymous source and not from him…then people like Manish Mehta wonder why they get “testy” answers from him in press conferences.

I am not saying Holmes hasn’t made mistakes on and off the field throughout his NFL career, but who hasn’t? I do know he is far from the villain that the media makes him out to be.