Battle For Bragging Rights: Jets vs. G-Men Preview

First a few updates:

1. Did anybody see that video of Brandon Marshall from practice that prompted his indefinite suspension from the Broncos? Punting the football away from the ballboys, knocking balls down in pass catching drills and walking around while the rest of the team runs…funny, albeit immature stuff. The guy must really not want to play football anytime soon because he just diminished his trade market substantially.

2. Pretty good debut for Michael Vick, it will be real interesting to see what that Eagles offense can do when his package of plays expands and he gets more comfortable.

Battle For Bragging Rights: Jets vs. G-Men Preview

The Opponent: The Giants are a somewhat similarly constructed team to the Jets. They have a great offensive line, a strong group of running backs, questions at receiver, and a very good defense. Yes, the G-Men do have a much better defensive line but I would argue the Jets have a better secondary and a better group of linebackers (cue argument from my friend Dan). Regardless, the Giants have a proven commodity at quarterback and are coming off a 12-4 season. With both teams starters playing the entire first half, it will be a great test for the Jets to go against one of the NFL’s elite teams. The Giants will attempt to pound the ball with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to soften up the Jets D and then hit them over the top with a big play to a guy like Sinorce Moss, Mario Manningham, or Hakeem Nicks. Steve Smith, Domenick Hixon and Kevin Boss are all decent in the shorter passing game. The Jets secondary didn’t do that well against an average group of Ravens receivers last week, so they need to bounce back against the Giants. It will certainly help to have Darrelle Revis back and Kris Jenkins pushing the pocket up front.

Jets Offensive Game Plan – Mark Sanchez has only thrown 12 passes in 2 pre-season games, many of them screens and check downs. Now that the Jets have a healthy offensive line, and their starting offense set in stone, it is time to open it up a little bit and let Sanchez get some throws under his belt. Let’s see him hit a few throws in the intermediate passing game to Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller, and take a few more shots down the field to David Clowney or Leon Washington out of the backfield. We know the Jets can run the football and I’m never going to get tired of watching Thomas Jones and #29 run around but the more experience Sanchez can get in the pre-season, the better. Going back to Keller and Washington, the Giants have struggled the past few years covering pass catching tight ends (Jason Witten) and running backs out of the backfield (Brian Westrbook) so look for a potential big game from both of them. (Nice job by #16 pointing this out in his comments on my last article).

Jets Defensive Game Plan – The Jets defense has looked pretty good so far this pre-season but it is time to cause a turnover. Vernon Gholston will be making the start for Calvin Pace and instead of asking for a sack from him like I do every week (and never happens) I would be satisfied with a couple of tackles or maybe a tackle for a loss. Hopefully, Kris Jenkins can begin the process of getting back into game shape and Darelle Revis will shore up the Jets secondary which has been shaky thus far. Also keep an eye on Jamaal Westerman and Marques Murrell who are pushing Gholston hard for playing time at the outside linebacker position.

Prediction – I’m not crazy about making predictions of scores in pre-season games. However, I anticipate Mark Sanchez playing better than he did last week although I wouldn’t be shocked if he had another turnover. On defense, I think it will be a hell of a battle between the Jets front seven and the Giants offensive line/running backs. For the second game in a row, you have to be real excited about pre-season football.

Knowshon Moreno Struggles Adjusting to Training Camp:

Jets vs. Giants: What to Watch For

First a few updates:

New Pages Alert – Across the top of the site, you will find two new pages “Jets Commercials” and “Jets Game Highlights.” Commercials is a collection of Jets commercials, 2009 preview videos, and other funny video clips involving our team. Game Highlights is an ongoing collection of highlights from all of the Jets games this year, so far I have both the Rams and Ravens highlights in there.

1. The Jets appear to be completely healthy in terms of their starters and primary backups. The only two people who were working on the sideline today were Shonn Greene and reserve linebacker Joshua Magua. Rex Ryan said in today’s press conference that Greene has some cartilage issues in his ribs and that he will be out against the Giants and likely against the Eagles. Good thing the Jets didn’t trade Thomas Jones, right?

2. In response to Greene being banged up, the Jets signed undraftedrookie running back Anthony Kimble who played at Stanford. Look for Kimble and Danny Woodhead to get a ton of carries in that last pre-season game against Philly to save Thomas Jones and Leon Washington’s legs.

3. Ryan took another dig at New England today (although in a joking manner) when discussing the tampering rules. He was kidding around about the roster being nearly set and said unless somebody like Ed Reed came available he had an idea of who would make the team, he then commented he made sure that didn’t mention any New England players (referencing the Pats filing tampering claims a few years ago against the Jets when looking at Deion Branch)…always entertaining stuff from Ryan.

4. Ryan also confirmed that David Clowney would be seeing more reps with the first team against the Giants. Also, he stated the final roster spots at receiver aren’t set and implied that either Marcus Henry, Britt Davis, or Aundrae Allison could grab one of the 53 spots. When talking about the tight ends, he said nobody has emerged as the clear #2, although he expressed confidence in Wayne Hunter taking reps there.

5. Vernon Gholston will start and play the majority of the snaps with the first team against the Giants…oh boy.

Jets vs. Giants: What to Watch For

1. Doesn’t Get Any Easier, Rook – Mark Sanchez doesn’t get a break this week, as he will face another one of the NFL’s elite defenses. The Giants have the best collection of defensive lineman and pass rushers in the NFL, which will provide another test for Sanchez to adjust under constant pressure and different blitz packages. He will likely play into the third quarter and you would like to see him protect the football, take a few shots down the field, and get into some type of rhythm with Jerricho Cotchery who is yet to catch a pass from Sanchez this pre-season. Overall, the last thing you want to see is Sanchez implode after being named the starter, but judging from how this summer went that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

2. More Run D – The Jets run defense looked very good last week against Baltimore without Kris Jenkins, so logically they should be that much better on Saturday with him. Rex Ryan’s Ravens got embarrassed by the Giants running game last year and he hasn’t forgotten that. It will be a great test for the Jets front seven to go against the Giants offensive line and Brandon Jacobs/Ahmad Bradshaw.

3. Get After Eli – If there is an area I think the Jets have a nice advantage in against the Giants, it is their secondary against the G-Men’s receivers. Darrelle Revis will be back, rounding out a talented, deep Jets defensive backfield. The Giants have an inexperienced group of receivers and lack a legit #1 (and maybe even a legit #2 for that matter). I want to see the secondary smothering Steve Smith, Domenick Hixon, Sinorce Moss, Mario Manningham and whomever else the Giants throw out there. The Jets pass rush has been great this pre-season and the secondary’s coverage should help produce even more sacks on Saturday night. The only problem is that Vernon Gholston is starting and playing the majority of first team reps instead of Calvin Pace and that certainly won’t help the pass rush.

4. Who Is Catching This Ball – David Clowney will see a good amount of first team reps, so let’s see him make some plays against the Giants first team defense. Brad Smith is hanging by a thread as a player who will get meaningful reps. Chansi Stuckey has been quiet this pre-season and is slowly losing his spot to Clowney. Jerricho Cotchery needs to catch a few balls and start looking like a #1 receiver. I keep hearing hype about Britt Davis, but he hasn’t made any big plays. Also, at the tight end spot look for Sanchez to target Dustin Keller often. A young quarterback’s best friend is a pass catching tight end.

5. Can Anybody Punt – Rex Ryan didn’t hold back the criticism of his punters in today’s press conference. Hopefully, Reggie Hodges can step up and finally seize the job.

A Little Break From the Football Videos…

Big Moves On Jets Horizon?

First a few updates:

1. Special thanks to Tim Graham for linking TurnOnTheJets.com to the NFL Nation Blog right here (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afceast/0-9-191/Projecting-final-rosters-in-the-AFC-East.html) …a little ESPN.com action for our little web site, we just might make it. I knew it was a good idea to predict the 53 man roster, although it was clearly not a good idea to predict people like Mario Urrutia and TJ Conley to make the team since they both have been cut already, oh well. 51 out of 53 wouldn’t be bad.

2. The big news in my life right now is that I found my old SNES and have started a season in Tecmo Super Bowl with the 1993 Jets. All I can say is that nobody can cover Chris Burkett and Rob Moore or stop my rushing attack of Brad Baxter, Johnny Johnson, and Rob Carpenter. Between the recent installation of HBO On Demand, the discovery of my old SNES, and the beginning of the NFL season it isn’t going to be easy to get that graduate school work done.

3. I just caught up on the last three episodes of Entourage…eh, I still liked last season better. I am more excited about beginning to re-watch seasons 1-5 of Lost to prepare for the final season.

Big Moves on Jets Horizon?

The big news about the Jets today is that they are exploring the possibility of trading for a veteran receiver, namely Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Bowe, or Rich Cimini even mentioned Sinorce Moss…yuck. We all know that Mike Tannebaum isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on a big August deal, but what would the Jets have to give up for a premier receiver like Marshall or Bowe? Let’s forget about a journeyman like Moss for now, since the Jets have no need for him with a guy like David Clowney on the roster. You would have to think a minimum of a 2nd round pick would be necessary or maybe a veteran player, Thomas Jones? I don’t think the Jets should give Jones up but a 2nd round pick for either Marshall or Bowe would be reasonable. Parting with a first round pick would be difficult, although both players are legit number one receivers and would instantly improve the Jets offense. Imagine Marshall as a #1, Cotchery as a #2, Stuckey as a #3, Clowney as a #4, with Smith and Wallace Wright rounding out the receiving corps…sounds good to me.

If I had to guess right now, I’d say nothing is going to happen. I think I might prefer Bowe over Marshall because he doesn’t have as much baggage, despite not being quite as talented. Regardless, I’d still be surprised if the Jets gave up a high draft pick because they only added four players last April and need a big draft in 2010 to improve the overall depth on their roster. It certainly would be exciting to add Marshall or Bowe but after the Jets first pre-season game I think they might be alright with Cotchery, Stuckey, Keller, and Clowney catching the majority of the balls.

The Jets have also bumped their offer to Leon Washington to around 5 million a season. It originally started at 2 million, then to 4 million, and now they moved to 5 million which is inching closer to the 6 million per year that Leon wanted. It is only a matter of time until something gets done, hopefully before the start of the regular season. It would send the right message to other players on the team that the Jets will take care of their players who have earned a significant pay raise, which Washington certainly has.

Tomorrow is the Jets last training camp practice out at Cortland. They will have a couple of more practices open to the public in Florham Park but beyond that training camp is just about done. Where do we stand right now in the quarterback battle? Mark Sanchez is probably a bit above Kellen Clemens right now, after both them were pretty average in both of the practices today. If Sanchez plays well against the Ravens on Monday night, he will start against the Giants the following week and for the rest of the season. If Sanchez struggles and Clemens turns in a strong performance, a decision may not be reached until right before the regular season opener.

Enjoy the Dance Moves of David Clowney