Stephen Russo with a closer look at New York Jets tight end Ryan Griffin
The Jets have been longing for a true pass catching threat at the tight end position since Dustin Keller, and they just might have struck gold with Chris Herndon. Herndon, a pleasant surprise from the fourth round in 2018, showed his all-around ability as a pass catcher, blocker, and consistent security blanket for Sam Darnold, especially in unscripted moments. Sadly, Herndon’s looming four game suspension to start the season leaves the Jets with question marks at the position yet again. With only Eric Tomlinson (yikes) and unproven rookie Trevon Wesco on the roster, the Jets moved to sign six-year veteran Ryan Griffin after he was cut by the Texans. Can Griffin be the guy to hold down the fort in Herndon’s absence?
Stephen Russo grades out the New York Jets 2019 defense
For the better part of twenty years, the Jets defense has outpaced the offense. For too long, defensive minded coaches with antiquated styles of game management strolled the sidelines. If you think hard enough, you can hear them saying “Any drive that ends in a kick is a successful one…” Well the tide could finally turn this year, as new Head Coach Adam Gase roams the Jets sidelines with a litany of offensive experience to bring to the table. While the Jets’ offense is shaping up to be an exciting one with Sam Darnold and a myriad of new weapons, what can we expect from a defensive unit that underperformed in 2018? Let’s take a closer look at the defensive unit and their grades as we look ahead to this 2019 season.
Stephen Russo grades the New York Jets offensive depth chart heading into 2019
NFL Training Camps are quickly approaching and the 2019 new look New York Jets are right around the corner. As excitement and angst swirls around the fan base, the questions surrounding this team remain large and it seems that a mere roll of the dice will separate 10-6 from 4-12. As the Jets and their fans prepare themselves for what should be, at the very least, an entertaining year, I will attempt to take an objective look at the 2019 roster and grade the positional groups on both sides of the ball, starting with the offense. Here we go:
Stephen Russo on the battle at backup quarterback between Trevor Siemian and Davis Webb…
Glenn Foley. Brett Ratliff. Kellen Clemens. All names of backup quarterbacks whose potential had Jets’ fans hyped and yearning to see them thrust into the starting lineup to see what they could do. While the average NFL fan would struggle to tell you one factoid about any of these guys, they are near and dear to many Jets’ fans hearts, yet truly indicative of the miserable state of the franchise and its never-ending search for a quarterback over the last twenty five years. But not anymore! We have our guy. We have our QB1. Sam Darnold. The kid is ready to take the next step and make that Carson Wentz or Jared Goff leap into year two.
Stephen Russo with a closer look at New York Jets GM candidate Champ Kelly
The Jets General Manager position has been vacant for almost three weeks now since the surprising move to fire Mike Maccagnan. They have set their lineup for interviews and have completed two thus far with Scott Fitterer (Seattle) and Terry Fontenot (New Orleans). They are wining and dining the odds-on favorite, Joe Douglas (Philadelphia) this weekend before wrapping up with Champ Kelly (Chicago) on Monday.
While many expect that Douglas is the favorite, and the name that has been most connected to Jets when the Maccagnan rumors began to fly, need I remind everyone that things rarely go as expected on One Jets Drive. If you don’t believe me, we can take a short walk down memory lane and I can introduce you to Head Coach Matt Rhule and starting Outside Linebacker Anthony Barr. So, before we all accept Joe Douglas as the new GM of the New York Jets, let’s take a closer at whose up next in the interview process: Asst. Director of Player Personnel with the Chicago Bears, Champ Kelly.
Stephen Russo with a quick overview of New York Jets GM candidate’s Joe Douglas resume
The Jets never seem to disappoint in the way of making headlines. On May 15, in what was supposed to be a very rare “quiet time” in the NFL offseason, the Jets fired General Manager Mike Maccagnan in a surprising move. As rumors of front office turmoil swirled during the draft, that smoke had died down over the past few weeks when Christopher Johnson shocked the world with this move. Was it Adam Gase making a power play? Did Johnson really take more of a hands-on approach leading him to see things in Maccagnan he didn’t like? Did Maccagnan’s indecisiveness and the ever-growing list of “Almost Jets” ultimately doom him?
Stephen Russo with three reasons for optimism and three reasons for concern on the 2019 New York Jets
Optimism is a dangerous and foreign term in the minds of Jets’ fans. It appears we have traveled quickly from the days of the Rex Ryan bravado and gloating about taking down the Patriots, to wallowing in despair and pleading to the Football Gods to just allow us to watch meaningful games in December. Whether it’s Sam Darnold’s highlight reel final games of the 2018 season that excited the fanbase for the future, or the glaring roster holes as the season quickly approaches, there are certainly causes for optimism and concern. Let’s look at the top reasons for both…
Stephen Russo rounds up all the day before NFL Draft mock picks for the New York Jets
Is Arizona drafting Kyler Murray number one overall? Does San Francisco truly value Quinnen Williams over Nick Bosa? Is the smoke around the Jets and Ed Oliver real? We have reached that time of year (which is pretty much year-round at this point) where you can’t believe a single word from any “source” regarding what will happen on Thursday night in Nashville at the 2019 NFL Draft. The rumor mill is in full swing. Smoke screens are everywhere. Per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, who tweeted out that his trusted source said “No one f**king knows anything right now. It’s going to be an interesting Thursday night.”
Simply put: Trust. No. One.
Stephen Russo with a closer look at whether WR Deontay Burnett and CB Derrick Jones can develop into major contributors for the 2019 New York Jets…
Todd Bowles’ tenure with the Jets cannot be described in just one word, but I think the word ‘frustrating’ encompasses the emotion that Jets’ fans feel towards the previous Head Coach. His in-game management and gameday roster decisions were perplexing. The overall stubbornness and unwillingness to change or admit fault was particularly maddening, especially when it came to the personnel decisions late in a lost season. In 2018, while the Jets were clearly struggling and playing meaningless football in late November and December, Bowles still seemed hesitant to give young players a chance.
Two of those players were Derrick Jones and Deontay Burnett, who were unquestionable rising stars among the Couch Coaches of Jets’ Twitter. Even if these two don’t blossom into Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice like many fans expect, one thing is certain: they should be given a chance to earn themselves more playing time than what Bowles’ provided. Allow me to take a closer look at their careers to date to see what we may anticipate from Jones and Burnett as we enter a new year, with new coaches and new systems.
Stephen Russo with a closer look at the signings of Tom Compton and Chandler Catanzaro
The Jets’ were in on their fair share of big market names at the start of this free agency period. Two of the more under-the-radar moves that they did make were Tom Compton and Chandler Catanzaro signings. Let’s take a closer look at those moves below.