New York Jets: Smith, Moss, Ocho, or Plax?

One of the ongoing themes of the off-season…or whatever you want to call the endless cycle of appeals, stays, and mediation, has been the New York Jets being linked to any big name receiver who could potentially be available. Most people are under the assumption that either Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards won’t return next year, which is likely correct. Brad Smith is also likely to leave for more money and a bigger role on offense somewhere else. The Jets did add two potential slot receivers in the draft by selecting Jeremy Kerley and Scotty McKnight but could use another free agent if Edwards or Holmes leaves along with Smith. If the Jets had to add one of these big name players at the receiver position, who would you prefer to see them sign?

Randy Moss

  • Plays when he wants to play
  • Two different teams got rid of him last year and he looked done in Tennessee
  • Still a vertical threat and was good enough to beat both Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie deep for touchdowns last year
  • He isn’t going to bring much over the middle or with his blocking.
  • Can probably get him on a cheap one or two year deal.

Chad Ochocinco

  • Very entertaining on Twitter
  • Basically got himself kicked out of Cincinnati
  • Coming off one of his least productive seasons
  • Vertical threat who is more consistently passionate about the game than Moss.
  • Jets would have to trade for him and he wouldn’t come as cheap as Moss or Burress.

Plaxico Burress

  • He hasn’t played a snap in two full seasons while sitting in jail and is going to be 34 years old
  • Should be able to be signed on a relatively cheap, short-term deal
  • Excellent size and red-zone presence

Steve Smith

  • Jets would have to trade for him and he would be the most costly out of any of these receivers
  • Just turned 32 years old and is coming off a down season (although much of that blame could go to Jimmy Clausen)
  • Passionate player but does have history of erratic (and violent) behavoir towards teammates

10 New York Football Predictions

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook, Twitter (TurnOnTheJets) and YouTube.

2. Exactly 2 months until Jets and Ravens kick off on Monday Night Football.

10 New York Football Predictions

Ten assorted predictions related to the two teams who will be sharing the New Meadowlands Stadium this fall.

Photobucket Shonn Greene will run for more yards than Brandon Jacobs Yes, the Jets second year back and first year starter will finish the season with more total rushing yards than Jacobs who is entering his sixth year. Every durability question you can ask about Greene, you can ask about Jacobs. The difference is Greene is younger, has fresher legs, will be running behind a better offensive line, and is in an offense more committed to running the football. Don’t buy any talk about LaDainian Tomlinson challenging for the starting job, Shonn Greene is the team’s starting back. Instead of having an aging back on the down side of his career backing him up, Jacobs has a younger, more explosive back behind him, chomping at the bit to take away his carries, in Ahmad Bradshaw. In the end, Jacobs, his tip-toeing behind the line and his 3.7 yards per carry won’t match Greene’s production in 2010.

– Steve Smith will lead all New York receivers in receptions and yards – Despite Hakeem Nicks late season surge, Steve Smith is the unquestioned number one receiver on a Giants offense that is much more pass happy than the Jets. Eli Manning has excellent chemistry with Smith and he should duplicate, if not exceed his numbers from last season. Considering the Jets “ground and pound” mentality, the likely continued growing pains of Mark Sanchez, and the division of receptions between Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller, it is hard to picture any single Jets receiver having 107 receptions or 1220 yards.

Brodney Pool will have more interceptions than Antrel Rolle – Despite Rolle being the Giants biggest off-season addition and Pool being the Jets lowest profile one, the Jets safety will finish with more interceptions and more total big plays. Look at their numbers from last season:

  • Pool – 4 INTs, 10 PDs, 1 sack
  • Rolle – 4 INTs, 8 PDs, 1.5 sacks

Then remember that Rolle played four more games than Pool last season. If he can stay healthy, which is a fair question, Pool will excel in Rex Ryan’s defense the way everybody thought Kerry Rhodes was going to. He will benefit from having arguably the best trio of corners in the NFL and be able to roam/ball hawk more than Rolle will be able to.

– Eli Manning will have more touchdowns, yards, a higher completion percentage, and a higher QB rating that Mark Sanchez – I’m not really going out on a limb with this one. You have to give Manning his props, he has improved every year of his NFL career and is on the cusp of being a legit Pro-Bowl quarterback. I hope Mark Sanchez’s can develop into a guy throwing for 4,021 yards with a 93.1 quarterback rating.

– Kyle Wilson will have a better overall season than Jason Pierre-Paul – Both players will be entering the season as backups, yet Wilson will have a bigger role as the Jets nickel back and primary punt returner. Honestly, Pierre-Paul can do all the back flips he wants but I think he has Vernon Gholston type bust written all over him. I’m sorry if I’m not confident in a guy who played 1 year of major college football and only recorded 6.5 sacks at South Florida. Considering how much Rex Ryan loves to blitz his defensive backs, I wouldn’t even be shocked if Wilson had more sacks than Pierre-Paul this season.

Both teams will have winning records but the Jets will finish with a better record – It is going to be a good year for New York football. The Jets are a 11-5 or 12-4 team in my mind, who are the favorite to win their division based on how they finished last season and their off-season. Even though the Giants own them, Dallas is the favorite in the NFC East. The Giants owned them in 2009 and Dallas still won the division. I think the G-Men will be 9-7 or 10-6 and battling for that last wild-card spot in the NFC, even with their scrap heap collection of linebackers.

Photobucket– Ahmad Bradshaw will have more yards than LaDainian Tomlinson by a substantial margin but Tomlinson will have more touchdowns – Tomlinson’s greatest value to the Jets will be as a pass catcher out of the backfield and a goal-line back. He won’t rack up big yardage totals, that will be up to Shonn Greene. I expect Bradshaw to push Jacobs for the bulk of the carries by the end of the season and to match or exceed his 778 yards last season.

Dustin Keller will have more touchdown receptions than Kevin Boss – I know the Boss Man has 6 more touchdowns than Keller over the past two seasons but Keller is going to build on his playoff production (3 touchdowns in 3 games) to become the Jets primary red-zone target and leader in touchdown receptions. Boss won’t exceed his 5 touchdowns from last season as Travis Beckum and Hakeem Nicks both get more looks than they did in 2009.

Tony Richardson will have more receptions than Madison Hedgecock – Yes, I know Hedgecock beat Richardson by 1 last year in the battle of blocking fullbacks. However, Richardson still looks much smoother catching the ball than Hedgecock, who makes catching a football look more difficult than still liking LeBron James.

Kris Jenkins will be the heaviest player in New York – Don’t worry about that weight loss contest G-Men, Jenkins will stay safely above any of you in the weight category.

TOJ TV

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

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First a few updates:

1. Rough slate of games yesterday for the NFL. I still don’t understand how the Raiders beat the Bengals and Eagles. The Giants laid a big time egg, which caught me off guard especially because of how bad Denver had been playing. Unless they get things turned around quickly, the Giants might be joining the Jets at home in January.

2. Rex Ryan press conference today: He took some time to stand up for Vernon Gholston, who will be active this week. Donald Strickland and Dwight Lowery are going to be out. He expressed frustration with how the news about Kerry Rhodes being benched got out, and reiterated that he will still be on the field in nickel and dime packages.

Jets vs. Panthers Game Breakdown/Prediction

Offense: Expect a run heavy game plan from the Jets. The Panthers have struggled against the run all season and I think the game plan will work to protect Mark Sanchez. He will likely be started out with a bunch of short throws and pass plays with very basic reads. More important than the Jets winning this week, is Sanchez not turning the ball over, improving his completion percentage, and throwing a couple of touchdown passes. Regardless, I’d be shocked to see Thomas Jones have anything less than 20 carries and see Sanchez throw more than 20-23 passes.

Defense: If the Jets are smart they will stack the box to prevent DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart from beating them, leave Darrelle Revis one on one with Steve Smith and see if Jake Delhomme can beat them. This unit has been good all season and dominant at times but they struggled to create big plays. If there is a week to rack up some interceptions, forced fumbles, and sacks…this is it.

Prediction: I expect an ugly, turnover filled, low-scoring game. I am going  with Carolina 16-13.

Darrelle Revis Will Have His Hands Full

NFL Week 11 Recap/Jets vs. Panthers First Look

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First a few updates:

1. The big story being reported out of the New York media today is how Rex Ryan will be more hands on with the Jets offense and Mark Sanchez. Hopefully, a person the size of Ryan constantly in Sanchez’s ear about protecting the football will make him think twice before he launches another ball off his back foot into double coverage. Ryan also said yesterday he felt disrespected by the Pats bombing it up to Randy Moss with 30 seconds left despite being up 17. Was it a classless move? Sure it was, but what else would you expect from New England? The Jets and Pats are rivals. For all the talking the Jets have done this year, this is no time to be complaining about feeling disrespected.

2. The Jets fell to number 22 in ESPN’s Power Rankings. Remember when they were the #5 team? It is hard to believe that it was during this season.

AFC East Observations

New England Patriots – Unless they have a colossal meltdown, the Pats should cruise to the AFC East title. I am not sure if they are good enough right now to pull out a victory in New Orleans, but beyond that I think will roll through the rest of their schedule.

Dolphins-Patriots-Football2__1222089553_3355Miami Dolphins – Somehow, someway the Dolphins are right in the thick of the AFC wild card race. Unlike what was expected for the AFC this year, there is plenty of mediocrity battling for the #5 and #6 playoff spots. If the Dolphins can avoid a slip up against Buffalo this week, they will have a chance in upcoming games against Houston and Jacksonville to put themselves in great position to play in January. I am already having nightmares about a Miami/New England first round playoff game.

Buffalo Bills – I am fascinated to see how the NFL Network is going to promote the upcoming Jets/Bills Thursday night game, “Watch Mark Sanchez and his 19 interceptions lead the 4-7 Jets into Toronto to play Ryan Fitzpatrick and the 3-8 Buffalo Bills”…oh boy.

TOJ Top Twenty

  1. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings – I am giving them the bump up to #1 because of recent impressive victories over New England and on the road at Baltimore.
  2. New Orleans Saints – If they beat New England on Monday night, 16-0 becomes a reality.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – All I can do now is hope for a Brett Favre flameout in the playoffs.
  4. San Diego Chargers – About to run away from the suddenly hapless Broncos in the AFC West.
  5. New England Patriots – Another chance to show they are an elite team this Monday night.
  6. Arizona Cardinals – Putting together a very impressive season to follow up their NFC title.
  7. Cincinnati Bengals – A loss to Oakland? Really? Fortunately for them the Steelers couldn’t beat the Chiefs.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – They finally won a close game.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Ugly ugly win but if they can handle Oakland on Thursday, they will be 8-3 heading into a huge game against the Giants.
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers – Who would have thought Pittsburgh would be battling for a wild card spot?
  11. New York Giants – They should be able to handle the fading Broncos on Thursday.
  12. Green Bay Packers – I would love them to get another shot at Minnesota in the playoffs.
  13. Jacksonville Jaguars – Let’s see if they can handle a West Coast trip and being a playoff contender.
  14. Baltimore Ravens – Huge game Sunday night against the Steelers.
  15. Tennessee Titans – Could they actually finish over .500 after starting 0-6?
  16. Atlanta Falcons – Soft remaining schedule could help their playoff run.
  17. Miami Dolphins – I am hoping it is too little, too late for the Dolphins but unfortunately it may not be.
  18. Houston Texans  – They can’t win a big game.
  19. Denver Broncos – Could they actually finish below .500 after starting 6-0?
  20. Carolina Panthers – Good news for their fledgling playoff hopes…the Jets upcoming on the schedule.

Jets vs. Panthers First Look

jake_delhommeThe Opponent: Let playing out the string commence…the Jets begin a three game streak against sub .500 teams this week with a home game against Carolina in the “Interception Bowl.” Jake Delhomme (14) and Mark Sanchez (16) have combined for 30 interceptions this season. The Panthers are coming off a 12-4 season but have disappointed in 2009 with a 4-6 record. Similar to the Jets, they can run the football and play some defense but are limited by a turnover prone quarterback. I do know this, I would be starting both Thomas Jones and DeAngelo Williams on your fantasy football team because there should be plenty of handoffs in the Meadowlands on Sunday. Last Thursday night, Carolina lost 24-17 at home to our beloved Dolphins, due to Ricky Williams running all over them…like I said it is time to hand the football off.

Key Players: Steve Smith is one of the league’s premier big play receivers but has struggled in 2009 because of inconsistent quarterback play. Fortunately, the Jets have Darrelle Revis to handle him and Carolina doesn’t have Wes Welker on the other side of him. DeAngelo Williams is their lead back and is also a big play threat with breakaway speed. Jonathan Stewart is very involved as the #2 running back with over 500 yards and 6 touchdowns. He provides a more bruising, inside running style. On defense, Julius Peppers is having another strong season with 7 sacks. Jon Beason is one of the better linebackers in football and Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall are a talented pair of corners.

Injuries: I would expect Donald Strickland, Dwight Lowery, and Vernon Gholston to miss another week. Strickland has a head injury. Lowery has a bad ankle sprain and Gholston has a hamstring/he’s not that good and the Jets coaches need an excuse to bench him issue.

Dolphins/Panthers Highlights

Grading Out the Jets/Giants Game

First a few updates:

1. We had our fantasy football draft this past Saturday and I must say that I made out like a bandit. How about these receivers? Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith, and TJ Houshmanzedah, with Devin Hester coming off the bench? C’mon now…of course I picked up Thomas Jones and Dustin Keller, rounding out the roster I have DeAngelo Williams, Tennessee’s D, Nick Folk, Donovan McNabb, Matt Hassleback, Felix Jones, Julius Jones, Josh Morgan, and Vishante Shinaoce…not bad.

Grading Out the Jets/Giants Game

Quarterbacks: B+ – The rookie didn’t look half bad, did he? Mark Sanchez put together a solid performance against a very good defense that was constantly in his face with their pass rush. He displayed his mobility, ability to make plays outside of the pocket, and arm strength. His touchdown pass to Chansi Stuckey was something that gives hope to the Jets offense this year and for the next decade, it takes some serious arm strength to make that throw under pressure. Another throw which brought me out of my seat (yes, I know it is pre-season but I got issues) was the quick post he threw to Jerricho Cotchery for a 28 yard gain…another big time NFL throw. He showed good command of the offense and played with confidence. I am not saying Mark Sanchez is going to be a pro-bowler this year or anywhere near one for that matter, but he may be plenty good enough for the Jets to win with this season. Erik Ainge…one pass, one touchdown…not bad. Did Kellen Clemens even play?

Running Backs: B+ – Leon Washington averaged 7 yards per carry…imagine if the Jets actually gave him more than 9 carries? This guy better be getting at least 10 carries a game in the regular season, along with 3-5 passes thrown his way…he is far and away the Jets most explosive player on offense. Thomas Jones didn’t have pretty numbers but got the job done on the goal-line, which is important (especially for my fantasy team). Danny Woodhead again failed to distinguish himself.

Wide Receivers: A – That is what you want to see out of your starting receivers. Jerricho Cotchery looked like the player from 2006 who was constantly breaking tackles and adding long runs after the catch. Chansi Stuckey raised up and locked down his starting position with a 4 catch 69 yard, one touchdown performance. How about that run on his touchdown? I didn’t know he could break tackles like that. Aundrae Allison showed off his speed on a 70 yard touchdown. I wouldn’t be shocked if he made the roster as a #6 receiver because of his speed and kick return ability. Brad Smith, David Clowney (nobody is perfect), Britt Davis, and Wallace Wright were all invisible.

Tight Ends: C – Quiet day from this group, Dustin Keller had two catches for 15 yards and Kareem Brown pulled one in for 5 yards and also saw extended time with the first offense as the #2 tight end. Jack Simmons had yet another drop.

Offensive LIne: B – They did pretty good against the pressure the Giants brought and sprung some big runs for Leon Washington. It was good to see the whole starting unit out there for an extended period of time. They will probably only play a series or two against Philadelphia on Thursday. D’Brickashaw Ferguson had a rough night, giving up a sack and getting called for two penalties.

Defensive Line: C+ – They did OK against the run and got a decent push occasionally. However, Eli had a little too much time back there in the pocket and Kris Jenkins jumped offsides in a big spot. Mike DeVito could be out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury, which could be trouble because the Jets are already without Shaun Ellis for week one and have questionable depth behind him.

Linebackers: B+ – They gave up some plays and made some penalties but they also made their share of big plays. As he said, Bart Scott “just wanted it more” than Brandon Jacobs when he ripped the ball out of his hands. David Harris made a diving interception thanks to a Vernon Gholston pressure (yes, that Vernon Gholston) and Scott deflection. Jamaal Westerman and Jason Trusnik had sacks. Gholston had a sack and a forced fumble that was negated because of a helmet to helmet hit. I still can’t believe I just typed Gholston and sack in the same sentence.

Secondary: C – Lito Sheppard had a night he’d like to forget. He got called for two pass interference penalties and was smoked by Steve Smith on what should have been a 90 yard touchdown, fortunately Smith like the rest of the Giants receivers (except for Hakeem Nicks), can’t catch…poor Eli. Sheppard better get used to getting picked on, with Darrelle Revis opposite him. Drew Coleman was beat again for a big play. Eric Smith also got beat.

Special Teams: C – The punting wasn’t good again. Jay Feely made both his field goals.

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…

Turn On The Jets Interview with Tim Layden

First a few updates:

1. I would have to say at this point there is a less than a 10 percent chance of the Jets signing Plaxico Burress or trading for Brandon Marshall. Beyond those two, what other veteran options could they consider at receiver? Marvin Harrison might not be a bad option, regardless of his diminishing skills, he could still be a very competent number 2 receiver.

2. It’s funny how much negative press the Jets inexperienced receivers get, in comparison to all the hype and positive press the Giants inexperienced receivers get. What have Sinorce Moss and Mario Manningham ever done to merit so much optimism? I do think Domenick Hixon and Steve Smith are good players but certainly no better than Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey.

3. The only enjoyable part of my daily commute to the PVSC (Passaic Valley Sewage Commission) in Newark, New Jersey (where I am working this summer as a landscaper…yes, a landscaper at the Sewage plant, awesome stuff I know) is I get to pass by the brand new Giants/Jets stadium every day. The new building puts the old one to shame and is going to be great for all NY/NJ football fans.

4. Congratulations to Brooks Bollinger for being drafted in the UFL. It seems just like yesterday he was leading the Jets to a 4-12 record in 2005.

Turn On the Jets Interview with Tim Layden

Tim Layden is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and recently did a great feature on Rex Ryan, which can be accessed here http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1156765/index.htm  . He was kind enough to let me interview him yesterday about Ryan, the Jets, and the AFC East. Here is what we talked about in the first ever interview at TurnOnTheJets.com:

JC: How much of Buddy Ryan do you see in Rex?

TL: I think Rex developed his passion for coaching from watching his father work growing up. There is no question he has alot of Buddy in him, yet it ends at a certain point. Rex’s mother is a very cerebral person and you can see that in Rex also. Unlike his father, Rex is a little more calculating when talking to the media and his players. He has an ability to treat different people in different ways, which is important in the NFL. I think he is also a little more reserved than Buddy and does hold back a little sometimes, in a positive way. I think you will see Rex be more successful as a head coach in the NFL than his father.

JC: When you were talking to the Jets players, did you sense that they are enjoying the switch from Eric Mangini to Rex Ryan? Both guys are obviously polar opposite in terms of how they run their team.

TL: When I was talking to Kris Jenkins, he expressed that he did like Eric Mangini and was okay with the way he ran things but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t enjoyed the new attitude Rex has brought to the Jets. Whenever there is a new head coach, people are going to focus on their positive qualities. Rex is a very likable guy and certainly a players coach so you would expect the players to be excited about him.

Kerry Rhodes admitted he is still adjusting and as I mentioned in the story, is used to holding himself back a little more on the field and with the media but is now learning more emotion is ok. Speaking of Rhodes, I really think he is guy you are going to see flourish in Rex’s system.

Bart Scott also made a good point not to get too carried away with the fun and emotional side of Rex. He noted they had success in Baltimore because of their scheme and execution. Rex is a well prepared, confident guy which leads to the swagger his defenses have. Scott said people don’t spend enough time talking about Ryan’s X’s and O’s and how smart he is when crafting a defensive scheme.

JC: What do you think of the recent comments he made about New England and his back and forth with Channing Crowder?

TL: I think with the Bellicheck ring statement, I mean…what is he supposed to say? Rex is confident in his guys and doesn’t say anything he knows his players won’t hear. He doesn’t want them to be afraid of New England and their past success. He isn’t intimidated by New England and believes he was brought to New York to beat them, not to look up to them. I don’t think it is a condescending statement to the Patriots at all.

In terms of the Crowder stuff, Rex has a great gift for conversation and humor. It is entertaining to listen to him speak and I think all that stuff was very light-hearted and also probably blown out of proportion by people criticizing him.

JC: Do you think Rex and the Jets should be as confident as they are heading into the season?

TL: One thing I know about Ryan is that he has never coached a bad defense. Even when some of those Baltimore teams had injuries, they were still consistent and successful. The Jets defense is going to be good this year, maybe great. I think the confidence is good thing and is rubbing off on the players. Bart Scott was telling me how he can’t wait to play against Tom Brady and New England. He wants to challenge them because he believes they can get to Brady and he wants to see how he will respond to the constant pressure coming off that leg injury.

JC: Switching to some more player specific questions, how does Ryan feel about Mark Sanchez?

TL: Ryan has a good amount of measured excitement about him. He knows he has the talent but understands he still has a ton to learn at this level. He doesn’t want to go too far praising Sanchez, in fear of losing Kellen Clemens, because there is still a chance he could be guy this September. Is Sanchez going to be Matt Ryan or Rex Grossman? I don’t think anybody can answer that yet. It will be tough in New York but Ryan believes Sanchez has the right make up for this city. Remember that Rex wants to win games 17-13 and isn’t going to be asking Sanchez to throw the ball over the field. He just wants him to protect the ball and make a few plays when the opportunity is there.

JC: What did Ryan have to say about Vernon Gholston?

TL: Ryan didn’t talk all that much specifically about Vernon Gholston. I know alot of people are trying to match up Baltimore players to Jets players, comparing Gholston to Terrell Suggs and Kerry Rhodes to Ed Reed but Ryan doesn’t want to do that. A key thing that both Ryan and Bart Scott said about the Jets linebackers is that everybody is going to have the chance to makes plays and it will be hard for the offense to know where the pressure is coming from. In Baltimore, the Ravens funneled everything to Ray Lewis, in this defense it won’t be that way.

JC: One last question, how do see the AFC East shaking out this year?

TL: I guess I would say New England is probably the best team but they aren’t head and shoulders above anybody in this division. Don’t think for a second they are a 14-2 team, that is a group of older guys with some question marks at linebacker and in the secondary and you can’t be 100 percent confident that Brady is going to be back to his old self. I am not confident in Miami repeating their success from last year and honestly think the Jets are probably the second best team right now and will be in the wild-card hunt and the division hunt until late in the year.