With the Jets first preseason game a mere three days away, fans everywhere have been stricken with a major case of Jets-fever. No matter where you look, whether its the TV, Twitter, Jets forums, the radio, this website, or wherever else, people want to discuss all of the ins and outs of the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. This week’s Stock Watch is going to focus on the players and storylines that I’m looking forward to in these preseason games.
BUY: Bilal Powell – The second-year RB was written off by virtually everyone heading into the season, but has by all accounts shown some great ability during training camp. Despite being held down on the ground in last week’s green and white scrimmage (3 offensive linemen were out and he was facing arguably the league’s top D), he did still manage to score a touchdown on a short pass from Mark Sanchez. I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles reps with the first team against some live competition.
SELL: The WR Situation – This has been discussed a ton lately, including on this very site, but it bears watching. The wide receiver situation right now is downright abysmal. With 3 projected top receivers Santonio Holmes, Chaz Schilens, Jeremy Kerley all suffering from injuries we are looking at Stephen Hill and Patrick Turner as the #1 and #2 receivers heading into these pre-season games. Look for a veteran to be brought in after the first wave of cuts around the league, but for now, this position is not looking too strong to say the least.
BUY: Jordan White – All that being said about the WR position being so weak is definitely true, but if there’s a silver lining it is that young players such as 7th round pick Jordan White will get a chance to shine. Our very own Chris Gross was extremely high on this prospect and we’re going to see just how right (or horribly, horribly wrong) he was in projecting White’s talents.
SELL: Austin Howard – With Wayne Hunter banged up, you have to figure Austin Howard is going to get extended looks with the first team unit. Mike Tannenbaum has been talking Howard up for months now, but at this point it’s hard to take him seriously when it comes to these bottom of the roster players. I just don’t think Austin Howard is that good, and I don’t want to see him in there blocking for The Sanchize.
BUY: Quinton Coples – Coples has apparently come alive in a big way the past few days, first with a solid performance in the Green & White Scrimmage, and then again the day of the Brawl to End All Brawls, as he managed to sack quarterback Tim Tebow twice. I am very excited to see our first round pick in some live action.
BUY: Kenrick Ellis – Ellis is definitely going to get extended playing time throughout the preseason and I’m very excited to see how the massive nose tackle has developed heading into year 2. He has the natural ability to be a major contributor on the defensive line, and a strong preseason could really springboard him into more playing time once the games count for real.
BUY: Ricky Sapp – We’ve been talking him up here for months, and doubled down on buying his stock recently, and I for one am very excited about seeing him in action. I think he is going to really play well against the second and third stringers that he will be up against this week and earn himself some more reps with the big boys in coming weeks. He has a lot of potential and could end up playing a key role for the defense before too long.
BUY: The Safeties (Except Eric Smith, obviously) – I’m sure I’m not the only one excited to see our new safety corps in action, particularly LaRon Landry. I know after watching Jets safeties last year, it seems as though ANYBODY would be an upgrade, but this new duo of Landry and Yeremiah Bell could actually be considered very good if they stay healthy and play up to their potential. I’m also very excited to see impressive rookie Antonio Allen in action. We have potentially gone from zero good safeties to 3 or 4. That is very encouraging.
SELL: Injuries – Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed that the Jets don’t suffer any more injuries this preseason. We’ve been fortunate enough to not witness anything too serious yet, and let’s hope it stays that way.
Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch, focusing on the first week of training camp for the New York Jets
Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. This week’s edition focuses on the first week of training camp in the books in Cortland. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and if you haven’t had the chance yet check out our brand new Turn On The Jets shirts.
There’s a lot to get to this week with Jets Camp opening, so I won’t waste time coming up with an intro, other than to say FOOTBALL IS BACK!
BUY: Rex Ryan – Check back later in the week for my full take on Rex Ryan and why the Jets are lucky to have him, but for now I’m buying some Sexy Rexy stock. He got himself in the headlines this week by proclaiming himself the best defensive coach in the NFL (he’s right), but the more I see out of Rex this offseason the more I love it. He’s dialed back on the Super Bowl talk publicly, he’s lost a ton of weight, and the big thing is he’s holding his players accountable, as we saw with him calling out Jeremy Kerley. I also loved his comments telling Santonio Holmes to basically shut up, and that the best players will play. This is a big year for Rex and I expect him to answer the bell.
BUY: Aaron Maybin and Ricky Sapp – All of the reports out of camp so far are that Aaron Maybin looks absolutely awesome. For years now the Jets have lacked a dominant pass rusher, and it’s looking like Maybin might step into that role this year and finally give us a double digit sack man. There’s even talk that his role in the base defense will grow, which will give him even more opportunity to rush the passer. Maybin stock is on the rise. Big time.
As for Sapp, I would say he’s almost guaranteed a roster spot if he keeps up the good work like he has this week, which would really justify my Buy of him way back in the inaugural Stock Watch. According to the beat writers (Check back tomorrow for our new rankings) he racked up several nice tackles and even a few sacks. With Bryan Thomas up there in age and Calvin Pace seemingly entering his last year, the opportunity is there for Sapp to earn himself a spot on the team not just this year, but going forward as well.
BUY: Bilal Powell – The Running Back Who Was Left For Dead a few weeks ago (I had him in my initial Sell list as well) has been turning heads so far in camp and is a legit threat to Joe McKnight to take over the 3rd down back role. While he may not have the speed or elusiveness of the shifty McKnight, Powell has the ability to handle a bigger workload and could end up as one of the biggest sleepers on the entire roster.
SELL: Jeremy Kerley – Camp couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start for the man many expected would be the slot receiver in 2012. As if things weren’t bad enough when he injured himself and had to sit out for a week to start camp, they sure did get a whole lot worse when Rex Ryan — REX RYAN! — called him out publicly, and Rex NEVER has a bad word to say about his guys to the media. He said he was disappointed in Jeremy the whole offseason, and that’s definitely not a good sign. Now there’s talk that Holmes could be the predominant slot receiver with Hill and Schilens on the outside. Not a good start to 2012 for Mr. Kerley
SELL: Brian Schottenheimer Era – Plenty has been said about the pitiful former offensive coordinator, but Santonio Holmes had even more to say this week, and he really brought the laughs. During a radio interview with ESPN, Holmes was praising new OC Tony Sparano and pretty much threw Schotty directly under the proverbial bus when he said that the new coach actually “knows how to coach players”. Ouch. And you wonder why I’m so high on Sanchez now that he’s been freed from that buffoon’s shackles.
Mike Donnelly’s weekly stock watch is looking forward to training camp finally kicking off
Mike Donnelly is back for his weekly Stock Watch with his last pre-training camp edition. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and keep coming back for this column all season here at Turn On The Jets…
Training camp is a few days away still, the basketball offseason is basically complete, and the dog days of baseball are in full effect. The worst sports period of the entire calendar year is just about over, so let’s get the ball rolling and go ahead and make that our first sell –
SELL: Mid-July on the Sports Calendar–I feel like I’m looking forward to the football pre-season more than ever this year. Baseball has basically bored me to tears, and the excitement of the Knicks and Nets bolstering their rosters has quickly faded. In two weeks I will probably be complaining about the media’s Jets hatred and over-saturation of Tebow stories, but as of right now, I can’t wait for that to get here.
SELL: Jason Bay and the Mets– And here’s a big reason why baseball has has officially turned me off for the season. The Mets have now lost 10 of 11 games and I have to watch the man who is by far my most hated player trot out there day after day after day to strike out or ground out weekly to shortstop. I have a theory that Omar Minaya knew he was about to be fired so he signed Bay as an “F U” to the Mets ownership and their fan base as his final joke.
BUY: The Jeff Otah trade– YES! Now we’re talking! Some good old fashioned Jets news – and pleasant news at that. This just goes to show you that my previous sells of “The ‘New’ Wayne Hunter” and new line coach Dave DeGuglielmo’s spirited defense of him (which was downright hilarious and made him look like a fool) were money makers. Coach Gooch can speak until he’s blue in the face about how great Hunter is, but actions speak louder than words, and the action move was getting a new Right Tackle. Wayne Hunter did and will continue to suck, so getting a 1st round talent in here to take over the job is an excellent move. I fully understand his injury history and all that, but I’ll take a 60% healthy Jeff Otah over 450% of Wayne Hunter any day.
SELL: The Detroit Lions– Just reminding everyone that I’m down on the Lions this year BIG TIME, and in coming weeks I’ll mention that plenty more times. These 7 arrests this offseason? Yeah.. not a good start for them.
BUY: The new TurnOnTheJets.com T-Shirts – If you haven’t checked these out in the new TOJ store, you owe it to yourself to do so. Of course, I had a (small) part in picking out the design, so obviously they’re beautiful and top notch. And yes I just patted myself on the back for basically nothing. Like I said, its a slow time of the year, come on.
BUY: The Yankees Getting Ichiro– This move just screamsYankees. It has all the qualities of a classic Yankees midseason trade. They had a small crack in the foundation of the team with Brett Gardner out for the season so they went and poured 30 pounds of concrete on it. They added a future Hall-of-Famer for basically nothing, tacked on some salary (which no other teams seem willing to do), and now they have an outfielder who is going to KILL IT in Yankees Stadium the rest of this season as he makes a push for a new contract. You can add this as reason #9,671 of why I hate the Yankees.
BUY: Jets Training Camp – Worth mentioning again, but Jets training camp is here and I couldn’t be more excited. I hope all the readers stick with us in the coming weeks and months, because things are about to heat up in a big way around here. If anybody plans on attending training camp, shoot one of us a line, because I think there’s more than a good chance that I’ll make the trek up there one of the days. Hopefully I get to see my good pal Manish Mehta again and give him a chance to bribe me for the #1 spot in our next Power Rankings column.
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.
Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, focusing on a handful of rumors surrounding the New York Jets
Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and leave any comments you have for him. Check back later in the day for our ongoing countdown of the top New York Jets on the roster.
It’s Tuesday again, and that means another edition of the Stock Watch. I’ve been seeing, hearing, and reading an awful lot of nonsense lately, and that has put me in a pretty bearish mood when it comes to my buys and sells this week. I won’t be buying players, teams, and coaches in this edition, but rather selling some horrible ideas, predictions, and generally stupid thoughts that I’ve seen pop up over the past few weeks. The people buying this rubbish deserve to lose their fake investments in our fake stock market, while we’ll be cashing in. Let me show you why..
Sell: Idea Jets need another Veteran RB – To be clear, this is probably the only sell on the agenda today that I don’t think is totally idiotic. In fact, there have been some very logical arguments made in favor of it. That being said, it’s been debated ad nauseam lately on Twitter, Jets forums, here (and here, again) and seemingly everywhere else. This is why I think it’s a bad idea that just can’t happen:
1.) There just aren’t enough carries for someone like Cedric Benson here, and since he doesn’t play special teams, his value is roughly zero.
2.) TEBOW (!!!)
3.) Time to let Joe McKnight sink or swim.
In an ideal world, the Jets will run the ball somewhere around 575 times this year as they get back to their ground and pound attack, which boils down to about 36 rushes per game (They ran it 607 in 2009, 534 in 2010, and just 443 last year). Here’s how I expect the breakdown of carries to unfold, with McKnight graduating to LT’s old role, and Tebow here as basically a running back:
Misc (Holmes, Kerley, etc) – 10-15 carries (1 per game)
So basically we’d be bringing in a guy like Benson or Grant to take over those 2.5 carries per game from Powell or Ganaway. The team invested draft picks in those guys the past two years, so why not give them a shot and see if one of them can prove themselves and perhaps earn more than the measly scraps left behind? Greene is going to start and get his 15-20 per game as the work horse (and no matter what you think of him, you can’t reasonably say Benson or Grant would be better options). Tebow is going to get his snaps and run 5 or 6 times per game on average, while McKnight provides the only real breakaway threat in the backfield. Those guys are going to play. There is just very simply no room for another running back on the team. It makes no sense to add one.
Sell: Idea that the Bills have surpassed the Jets – Yawn. This one just won’t go away, and likely won’t until some time around mid-November as the Bills are staring down the barrel at another 6-10 season. It’s amazing how many people see Mario Williams sign in Buffalo and assume that means a 4 or 5 win improvement is coming; especially since the Texans so easily replaced him last year, had their best season ever, and let him walk. Weird, huh?
And all the Bills backers out there will have to excuse me if I don’t hold my breath waiting for the Bills to overtake the Jets in the division. Without getting into all the specifics of why Buffalo just isn’t as good of a team as the Jets across the board, let me just say that we’ve been hearing this same nonsense for years now, and it’s getting a little old. First, it was the Dolphins — they were going to be better each year, Henne was a star, their defense was elite, blah, blah, and how’d that turn out? Then last year after a nice start, the Bills Bandwagon was just about full, playoff reservations were being made, and the pundits were lining up to dance on the Jets grave heading into week 9. Gang Green proceeded to kick the everliving crap out of those very Bills on their home turf that week, sending them into a tailspin where they lost 8 out of their last 9, securing them yet another top-10 draft pick. I smell a similar ending in 2012.
Sell: ESPN says Jets can go 5-11, 8-8, or 11-5 – Now that’s some hard-hitting analysis, James Walker and John Clayton! Couldn’t this same garbage be said about any team? It angers me seeing a clown like John Clayton on ESPN acting as if he is some kind of football expert, when in fact he probably only got his job by simply signing up back in the 80’s when ESPN was just starting up and realized they were short a football analyst. Can’t you just picture Clayton walking in, applying to work in the marketing department or something, only to see a sign on a wall at the last second that a “football talker” was needed, then furiously crossing off “marketing” and writing “football” on his application before handing it in? You know damn well that’s what happened. Ok, I’m rambling.
Anyway, here’s why the Jets won’t be going 5-11: They have a capable backup QB, so an injury won’t destroy the season; they have an ELITE defense; they play the Bills twice; they play the Dolphins twice; they play the Colts, Jaguars, and Titans; they play the horrific NFC West; they have the warm-weather Chargers at home in December; they will at least split the 49ers and Texans games at home. That sure looks a lot more like 11 wins than 5 to me.
Sell: Idea Sparano was a bad choice for OC because he was a bad HC – I’ve heard this one a lot since Tony was hired, mostly from pompous Giants or Patriots fans. Because, you know, there has never been a guy who could win Super Bowls as a Coordinator, but suck as a Head Coach, right Kevin Gilbride? Right Dick LeBeau, Steve Spagnuolo, Romeo Crennell, Charlie Weis, Dom Capers… ok, you get the point. Let’s not let facts get in the way of things here. Let’s not mention how when Sparano called plays in Dallas, they had tremendous success (Last week’s Stock Watch was centered on what Sparano brings to NY). Let’s not mention how he turned the Dolphins around from a 1-15 laughingstock to a division winner in one year. Maybe Sparano won’t be the long-term coordinator here, but he’s shown he can run an offense very well before, and more importantly, that he can change the culture of a team, which is something the Jets offense needed after the way 2011 ended.
Sell: Mike Florio says the old Chad Ochocinco is back! – No, really. The dude with the bad hairpiece really tried to push this crap on his website. And he backed it up with such tremendous logic, as well. You see, Chad was only awful last year playing with Tom Brady because he couldn’t Tweet and make a fool of himself. Says Florio, “For the X-and-O-obsessed crowd who summarily dismiss the impact of human factors on the game, think again.” You got that? The X-and-O crowd — the people who watched the games and saw Chad absolutely suck on the field — should have realized that Chad only sucked because Chad couldn’t be Chad. It had nothing to do with the fact he’s washed up or anything. Seriously.
Sell: Rex Ryan is on the “Hot Seat” – I suppose if the Jets go 2-14 or something, Rex could — could — be in jeopardy (although the chances of a 2-14 season are approximately -0.0000003%). But that’s not what some guy named Eric Edholm had to say on Yahoo Sports last week. Nope, according to him, even a playoff appearance just “probably” keeps Rex safe this year. So, just to be clear: if Rex makes the playoffs for the 3rd time in 4 years, has 0 losing seasons in 4 years, and wins 4 (or more) playoff games in those 4 seasons, he still could be fired. Because it’s the Jets. Really, is it that easy to get a job writing on major websites like Yahoo or ESPN? Who is in charge of these things?! I can come up with things that make no sense, with no logic or reasoning behind it, with the best of them!
(For those uninterested in the NBA, I’ll see you next week!)
Sell: Billy King – Holy crap has Billy King done a remarkable job during his tenure with the New Jersey Brooklyn Nets. I mean it’s clear he took notes from Isiah Thomas’s reign of terror with the Knicks, or as I call it, How to Destroy a Team and Their Fans’ Souls 101. It’s rare you see a GM come in and within two years just take an absolute blowtorch to an organization, making sure to leave no signs of life in his wake, but that’s exactly what Billy King has done! The Nets officially won’t be able to contend for a championship for at least the next 4 years after King’s recent exploits.
First, he traded the #6 overall pick in the draft for soon-to-be-30-year-old Gerald Wallace, a player already on the decline. To save face on that brutal trade, he decided to compound his mistake and give Wallace a $40 million extension. Then, just to make sure the team wouldn’t have enough cap room to pursue Dwight Howard (or anybody else for that matter), he decided to make a trade for Joe Johnson and his vomit-inducing contract (4 years, $89 million remaining), which is probably the worst in the league. Basically, Billy King (likely) kept Deron Williams in Brooklyn which was his main goal, but now instead of competing for a title, they’ll be in a battle to get that #5 seed and get swept out of the 1st round of the playoffs for the next 4 seasons. Well done, Billy!* Again, who hires these people?
(* If the Nets somehow still land Dwight Howard, forget I said anything. Go, Billy!)
Sell: Cleveland taking Dion Waiters #4 overall – I don’t hate Waiters as a player; in fact I think he can be a pretty good 6th man. But didn’t we learn from Marvin Williams that we shouldn’t be drafting college bench players at the top of the draft, especially ones who can’t shoot? I find it hard to believe they couldn’t have traded down and taken Waiters a little later. I just don’t think reaching for role players is the way to build a team, and that they probably should have taken Thomas Robinson in that spot. Oh well, it could have been worse: They could have traded the pick for Gerald Wallace or something.
Mike Donnelly with his weekly stock watch, focusing on Tony Sparano’s offense
Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly stock watch. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook –
I’m going to mix things up this week and and list all my buys and sells under the umbrella of a much larger general investment strategy. That strategy is one that the New York Jets incorporated this offseason in an attempt to generate much larger returns for the 2012 season. That strategy is simple:
SELL – Brian Schottenheimer
BUY – Tony Sparano
That’s not to say that all things Sparano brings are wonderful and the offense will automatically be a juggernaut, because there are certain aspects of the offense I am still not sold on. Likewise, not all things Schitty (that’s a typo, I swear!) brought to the table were awful. There was some good, I just don’t know what they were. Actually, forget I said anything; Brian Schottenheimer sucks. Anyway, I think the general theme of selling on Schotty and buying in to the Sparano era is going to be profitable for the Jets offense, and not just because like many Jets fans, I thought Schottenheimer was awful (I even wrote a whole column about how the Jets hired him to sabotage their QB’s with his incompetence), but also because Sparano brings a sorely-needed fresh approach. One play last year summed up Schotty’s offense and his reign as coordinator perfectly: 3rd and 6 against the Patriots, pivotal point in the game, needed a first down. This is what he came up with:
That’s right. Five receivers doing 4-yard curls on 3rd and 6! Needless to say, they did not pick up the first down. The Brian Schottenheimer Era, ladies and gentlemen!
Further evidence of how he repeatedly hamstrung the offense can be found in this excellent piece by Jenny Vrentas, found Here. If you read between the lines of the players’ quotes, you can tell they couldn’t stand working within the confines of the his offense — it was too complicated, too restricting, too dumb, and too inflexible. He drew up bad game plans, confused his players, and couldn’t adjust when he had to. Against the Raiders, they threw him a curveball by switching to zone defense when all week the offense had prepared to face man coverage. That was apparently too much for Schotty to handle as he couldn’t –or wouldn’t– adjust, the offense collapsed, Holmes fumed, and the Jets lost. Mercifully, the book has closed on the Schottenheimer Era, and there’s a new hope for Jets fans.
Let’s take a look at what we should be buying and selling when it comes to Tony Sparano:
BUY- Tony Sparano the Play Caller and Line Coach – Contrary to popular belief, Sparano did not call plays in Miami. He did however call them in Dallas during the 2006 season when long-time bench warmer Tony Romo took the reigns and played very well. The offense finished 5th in the NFL in total yards, at 360 yards per game and 5th in passing with 239 per game. They also scored the 4th most points in the NFL. (If you want a good laugh, check out the ranks Schottenheimer has had during his career.) As the offensive line coach, he also built one of the best lines in the NFL during his tenure in Dallas. Solid players like Flozell Adams and Andre Gurode became Pro-Bowlers. Marginal players like Kyle Kosier and Marc Columbo became very dependable starters. Quite simply, Sparano has a history of success, and a proven track record of being very good at certain things. We can expect him to bring those things over with him to New York and improve parts of this offense.
BUY – Tony Sparano’s Attitude and Demeanor – Tony Sparano is a no-nonsense kind of guy. He’s loud, he screams, he curses, and he isn’t about to take any crap from the players. When asked about last year’s Holmes debacle, he said how he was a head coach and he knows how to handle problems. Reading between the lines, he was saying pretty much that that stuff isn’t going to happen this year. The Jets offense needed a swift kick in the ass heading into 2012, and Sparano is the exact kind of guy to deliver it.
BUY – Shonn Greene and the Run Game – I know there has been lots of debate lately about Greene and what kind of player he is after Evan Silva tweeted some less than flattering things about him. Why we are taking evaluation seriously from a guy whose job appears to be highlighting things beat writers tweet about, click “copy”, and then paste them on Rotoworld.com, I don’t know. I’m a believer in Greene and think he can do some great things when given the opportunity, but even his biggest supporters would admit he’s not a superstar. He’s just not that kind of player, but then again, you don’t need an Adrian Peterson to win a Super Bowl. That’s not to say Greene can’t carry the load and help this team win games though, because he can. Joe gave us a great look at Greene’s career and his production earlier today, and provided some valid observations, but there is plenty to be said in support of Greene, as well.
First of all, the new “power” system Tony Sparano brings with him is going to help Greene immensely. Last year Greene at times was the victim of thinking too much on the field instead of just hitting the hole and going, which is what he’s best at. He was also victimized by horrendous line play early in the season, as Nick Mangold went down with an injury and was slow to recover. Brandon Moore also started the season slowly as he was recovering from surgery. Once the line got it together, Greene took off in the second half of the season in a big way, despite not being used to his full potential and still finished with 4.2 yards per carry, which is very solid. Shonn is a streaky runner, so it was maddening to see him get on a role during games the past two years and then the team curiously going away from him for large stretches. Sparano has made it clear he’s going to ride his hot hand, so that shouldn’t be an issue this year. Greene also improved his receiving ability a great deal last year, as he caught 30 balls, which doesn’t make him Marshall Faulk, but it does make him more of a two-way threat.
The other important thing to keep in mind about Greene is that he offers great value to the Jets, and an awful lot of bang for their bucks. He is scheduled to make just under $800,000 this year which allows the Jets to allocate their salary cap dollars elsewhere (ahem, Revis), and with free agency around the corner, you better believe Greene is going to show up in shape, motivated, and ready to put up big numbers. I don’t believe investing big money in your backfield is the way to operate, but rather to have a few low-cost backs who can all get the job done, which is what the Jets have done. Greene may never be the “bell cow” Rex Ryan proclaimed him to be, but in a platoon with a guy like Joe McKnight, he can –and will– be extremely effective. We’ve seen what he can do when used properly, and I look forward to seeing more of it in 2012.
BUY – Mark Sanchez – Yes, I’m going to keep beating the Mark Sanchez drum. Sparano has had lots of success with quarterbacks in the past. I touched on Romo earlier, but he also did very good work in Miami with inferior talents to Mark Sanchez. Chad Pennington (not the Chad we all love from 2002, but rather the guy whose arm was hanging on by chewing gum and paper clips in 2008) finished 2nd in MVP voting. Average talents like Chad Henne and Matt Moore put up some very nice numbers. Mark Sanchez is better than all of them, and now that he’s been freed from Schottenheimer’s stale offense, we can all expect big things.
BUY- Jeremy Kerley and John Conner– Look at the way Davone Bess and Lousaka Polite were used in Miami, and it’s easy to see Kerley and Conner being big contributors this year. As a slot receiver, Bess recorded 54, 76, and 79 catches his first three years with Sparano. Look for Kerley to blossom in that role this year. As for the Terminator, I hope he’s ready for lots of short yardage work, because along with Tim Tebow, they’re going to be pounding lots of balls right up the middle on 3rd or 4th and 1’s.
SELL – Wayne Hunter – I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying all the “New and Improved” Wayne Hunter stuff. Yes, he will likely improve in this new blocking scheme but that’s kind of like saying you went from being the dumbest kid in class to the second dumbest. There’s only one way for Hunter to go, because he can’t possibly get worse than he was last year, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to all of a sudden be good. He’s more likely to get Mark Sanchez’s #6 jersey imprinted on the MetLife turf after he gets him flattened by Mario Williams than he is to become a very good starter.
Like I said, it’s not all flowers and rainbows with the Jets offense all of a sudden just because Sparano is here and Schotty is gone, but things are looking up. I’m buying the Tony Sparano Era. I hope we’re all cashing in in January.
Mike Donnelly with his weekly Stock Watch. Who are we buying and selling this week?
Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, make sure you give Mike a follow on Twitter and Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook –
It’s Tuesday so you know what that means: Time to combine the two things that take up most of my time and write a column! What are those two things you ask? Well, there’s sports of course, and specifically Jets football and then there’s boring financial work (Boo!). When put together we have the Stock Watch, where once again we’ll be buying and selling sports players, teams, ideas, and whatever else we see fit as if such things are able to be bought and sold. What’s that sound? It’s the Opening Bell! Let’s get started…
Mo Wilkerson – I put big Mo in the inaugural Stock Watch, but after seeing him up close at Jets Camp last week and reading the effusive praise rained on him by coaches, players, reporters, fans, analysts, and everybody in between, it’s time to double up and go in big on Big Mo. After coming out as a Junior from Temple, Wilkerson had a very strong rookie season (Had he stayed in school an extra year, he probably would have gone much higher in the draft this year).
By all accounts, he worked out extremely hard in the offseason to improve his strength, and he appears poised for big things. In fact, he, along with Quinton Coples, are going to be extremely important parts of the Jets new 46 defense. Mo’s athleticism and versatility will be the key to opening everything up up front. He can line up at any spot across the defensive line and that allows the Jets to shift in and out of different looks without having to change personnel. By the end of this year, Mo is going to be one of those guys that a few smart analysts and sites like ProFootballFocus.com will be raving about, while the uninformed general public will probably be late to the party and scoff when Rex Ryan raves about him. Thats fine by me. I’ll be watching, and I’ll be loving what I see — That’s why I’m doubling up this stock.
Robert Allen Dickey – More commonly known as R.A, Mr. Dickey has been absolutely dominating baseball lately. He’s riding a 42 and 2/3 inning wave where he hasn’t allowed an earned run. In his last 6 starts, he’s pitched 48 and 2/3 innings, allowed just a single earned run, gone 6-0, allowed just 21 hits and 5 walks, and struck out a ridiculous 63 batters. Ho. Ly. Crap. On the season he’s 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA and is hands-down the best pitcher in baseball. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even able to make an awful Mets team out of spring training two years ago. R.A Dickey has been so awesome he makes me want to go outside and start practicing knuckleballs, and that’s enough to make me buy this stock.
Chaz Schilens – An under-the-radar type signing this offseason by the Jets, Schilens was pretty impressive at Jets mini-camp. In fact, he was so impressive that the Jets decided not to pursue Braylon Edwards any longer (more on that later). Schilens has always shown flashes of his great ability, but injuries have always popped up to derail any momentum he got going. The Jets brought in new receivers coach Sanjay Lal this year from Oakland where he happened to coach Chaz. Obviously Lal felt Schilens had talent and was worth bringing here, so now he’s a Jet. It’s hard to rely on a rookie like Stephen Hill from the get go, so look for Chaz to play a big role this year, especially early in the season. If he can stay healthy, this will be a nice stock to own.
My meeting with Manish Mehta being chronicled on Deadspin – Perhaps this is a stock that interests only me, but oh well. For those that missed it, I suggest giving it a read, if only for the part about Gary Myers’ hilarious fashion choices. As some of you know, I reported on my day at Jets Mini-Camp last week as well, but make sure you check back tomorrow for this week’s Jets Power Rankings, where there will be plenty more to discuss.
The Buffalo Bills Hype – I was all prepared to write up a paragraph about how this Bills hype is getting out of control and there’s no way they are better than the Jets, but Joe put that baby to rest yesterday. Make sure you give that a read, as he covered all the bases and totally derailed the Bills Hype Train.
Braylon Edwards – It’s hard to believe that two years ago, Braylon was entering the 2010 season as the Jets co-#1 receiver and the front office was rumored to be struggling with who to sign long-term: Edwards or Santonio Holmes. After a very good season in which he approached 1,000 yards and played an integral role in the Jets playoff run, the Jets decided to go with Holmes and let Edwards go. He then allegedly got involved in a bar brawl — which was not what teams wanted to hear after his early season DUI arrest –and signed a one-year contract with the 49ers, injured his knee, barely contributed, and then get released mid-season. Now he can’t find a job. Yikes. Braylon was one of my favorite players, so I hope things turn around for him, but it sure doesn’t look too good right now.
Jets #2 TE Spot – I touched on this in my Day at Jets Camp piece, but man oh man is this spot a black hole right now. Jeff Cumblerland, by all accounts including my own, was absolutely awful last week. He dropped a ton of passes and got chewed out by Tony Sparano often. Hayden Smith has potential, but doesn’t seem ready. Josh Baker is not a true tight end. They need to really look into picking up a veteran, preferably one who can block. Perhaps Daniel Graham? The only positive here is that Matt Mulligan was hilariously snatched up by Brian Schottenheimer and the Rams this offseason (that explains a lot) so he won’t be in that role, and that’s something we can all be grateful for.
Idea that the Jets need another RB – Joe wrote a great article about this last week which was very convincing, but I respectfully disagree. I just don’t see the point in bringing in someone like Cedric Benson, paying him, and giving him carries over Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell, and Terrance Ganaway. I know this idea has picked up steam amongst fans lately, but why not see what the young guys can do? Benson hasn’t averaged over 4 yards per carry since 2009, isn’t a good receiver, the Bengals couldn’t wait to dump him, and he doesn’t offer anything on special teams — and yet he’s actually the best option still available. I’ll pass on the veterans. The Jets have invested draft picks on these young guys, and it’s time to see what they can do.
James Harden – I tweeted about this during and after Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but when was the last time you saw a supposed “star player” not named LeBron James have such a bad NBA Finals performance? He was brutal and single-handedly cost the Thunder a 2-1 advantage. Hopefully someone got him a new bed in the past few days because he completely shit the bed all over his old one (By the way, is there a funnier term for failure than “shit the bed”?). If the Thunder are going to have a chance to win this series, Harden is going to have to do better than 2-10 shooting, but quite frankly, I’m not so sure he’s going to bounce back. I’d sell my Beard stock.
Mike Donnelly gives us his weekly stock report. Who should you be buying or selling this week?
Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly stock watch. Make sure you give Mike a follow on Twitter and give Turn On The Jets a like on Facebook.
It is that time of the week again: Stock Watch! It’s been a busy week with the Jets as always, and in the sports world in general. We had some big news as Santonio Holmes threw his helmet (on no!) and the media had a collective aneurysm running to their computers to throw him under the bus. We also saw a rigged boxing match, the NBA Finals get set (be sure to check out Joe’s Finals preview), the Kings win the Stanley Cup, and the Yankees mop the floor with my Mets and their abomination of a bullpen. We’re gonna touch on some of those with buy and sell advice, but this week the big stock tips come in the form of some NFL over/unders for wins. Vegas released their totals two weeks ago, and after several sleepless nights crunching the numbers –or just taking some guesses– I’ve come up with a few to invest in. Let’s dive in…
Jets 8.5 Wins – Perhaps I’m a Jets homer, but I think this is a slam dunk. I can’t help but laugh when people say “Oh the Jets are the third best team in the division!”. We’ve been hearing that same crap for 3 years now, and it’s yet to happen. The fact is, the Dolphins and Bills just aren’t that good, and that isn’t going to change this year. Last year, the Jets had a disaster of a season, and they still finished with 8 wins and easily could have had one or two more. This year I’m expecting 4-2 in the division (split with Pats, 3-1 vs. Bills and Fins), and then score very likely wins against the Colts, Cardinals, and Chargers at home; and Rams, Jaguars, and Titans on the road. That leaves tough games in Pittsburgh and Seattle (always a tough place to play), and against the 49ers and Texans at home. A split amongst those 4 isn’t unlikely. With a potentially dominant defense and an offense that improved simply by getting rid of Brian Schottenheimer, I just don’t see this team not winning 10 or 11 games.
Cowboys 8.5 Wins – I hate backing the Cowboys, because every offseason people look at their roster and talk about how this is the year they put it all together and they’re going to the Super Bowl. Just to be clear, I don’t think that, but I do think this team has enough talent to win 9 or 10 games. The only reason they failed to get there last year was because of a secondary that featured several guys whose performances rivaled Eric Smith. And as all Jets fans know, that’s not a compliment. This year, however, they added the best corner in free agency, Brandon Carr, and traded up to draft the best corner in the draft, Morris Claiborne. 9 wins here we come!
Bears 8.5 Wins – I’m a big Bears fan this year. Da Bears have Jay Cutler coming back from injury, they added Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to the receiving corps, and they brought in Michael Bush as Matt Forte insurance. Oh, and they still have one of the best defenses in the NFL. Not only do I think they easily clear 8.5 wins, but I think they have a chance to give the Packers a run for their money in the NFC North.
Ricky Sapp, Joe McKnight, Jeff Cumberland, Vlad Ducasse – Yes, even Vlad Ducasse. I’m buying this group of 4 “under the radar” players, because I’m very interested in hearing how they do in Mini-Camp the next few days. All 4 guys have a chance to contribute in a meaningful way this year, especially McKnight and Sapp.
Jenrry Mejia – As a Mets fan, I’m absolutely disgusted with their bullpen. I don’t know what the hell Sandy Alderson was thinking this offseason putting this group of bums together, but there is hope on the horizon — Jenrry Mejia. One of the best pitching prospects in the Mets system, they recently moved him to the bullpen in Triple A, with the intention of having him come up and rescue this sad sack of relievers. I’m excited. And yes, I know that makes me pathetic getting excited for a middle reliever, but I’m a Mets fan, what do you want from me?
Kevin Durant – I love the NBA. I hate the regular season when the players openly don’t give a crap, but the playoffs are awesome, and I love when a young guy breaks down the door and announces he’s arrived. That’s what Kevin Durant is doing right now, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch his Thunder take on the hated Miami Heat and LeBron James.
That John Malkovich iPhone Commerial – Ugh. Had to mention this one first. I can’t be the only person who gets legitimately angry every time this commercial comes on, can I? And I can’t help but think Apple has a few more of these atrocities ready to put out there. It’s like they’re daring me to buy non-Apple products, knowing full well I am going to just sit here, do nothing, and continue to watch John Malkovich commercials while playing on my iPad. Screw you, John Malkovich.
Lions 9.5 Wins – I’m sorry, but I think the Lions are going to take a tumble this year. They’re the sexy pick for “Team Ready to Take the Leap into Super Bowl Contention”, but I don’t see it. The secondary still stinks, the offensive line is a mess, their coach is a raving lunatic, and this might be the year Ndamukong Suh attempts to become the first player to use the football to actually beat an opposing player into a coma. That’s not to mention Matt Stafford miraculously avoided injury all of last year, and is unlikely to happen again. I can see this Lions season going very, very badly.
Chiefs 8 Wins – Maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t see this at all. The Chiefs just aren’t that good. They have a solid defense, but questions at quarterback, Jamaal Charles is recovering from a blown out knee, and last I checked, Romeo Crennel is their head coach. Sell this one.
Dolphins 7.5 Wins – Sorry Dolphins fans, this one is going way under. As of now, the #1 quarterback on the depth chart is David Garrard. Yes, that David Garrard. The one who was out of football last year. The one who will be throwing passes to…umm, Brian Hartline? Davone Bess? Oof. The only way that can be worse is if they sign someone like Chad Ochocinco. Oh wait, that’s exactly what Jeff Ireland did. On the bright side, they have a solid defense and a pretty easy schedule, but the fact is, the Dolphins are the exact team other teams’ fans see on the schedule and say, “That should be a win there.”
LaRon Landry – Let’s just say I’m starting to get a little nervous about this guy and his prospects for the 2012 season. I’ll reserve judgment until closer to the season, but it’s not looking all that promising.
Boxing – I’m selling the sport as a whole. I know this same thing has been written 500 times since the fixed Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight on Saturday, but the sport is just a joke. I wish we could organize a worldwide boycott of a rematch if it comes to fruition, because seriously, what’s the point? The only guy I’d pay to watch fight at this stage is Mike Tyson, and that’s not a joke. At least that would be entertaining.
Tebow (!!!) Coverage at Mini-Camp – Get ready, Jets fans. The Jets are holding a 3 day mini-camp this week, and we’re about to get bombarded with Tim Tebow information. Not only will we know about every pass he throws within 10 seconds of it slamming into the turf, but get ready to find out some real important personal things about Tebow; things such as: his favorite color, his favorite book, his pick on the NBA Finals, if he prefers Coke or Pepsi, and what toppings he likes on his hot dogs. Crap, I think I just gave the media some ideas. My bad, Jets fans. My bad.
Mike Donnelly gives us his weekly Stock Watch. Who is he buying and selling this week?
Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, which will be published every Tuesday throughout the summer. Check back in tomorrow for our first edition of Jets Beat Writers Power Rankings – JC
Just as with the initial Jets Edition of the Stock Watch, we’re going to be buying and selling individual players, teams, coaches, ideas, and whatever else we see fit based on their future prospects. We’re going to be doing this with our fake money in our fantasy land where these things can be bought and sold, so bear with me. And as always, feel free to contact me via Twitter @TheMikeDonnelly . Now let’s do some buying and selling…
Jets West – If I had the opportunity to buy some stock in Jets West 2012, I’d load up. It got plenty of attention the past two years with Mark Sanchez bringing his teammates out west for some good old fashioned team-building without coach supervision, but this year TEBOW(!!!) is involved! And as we all know, when Tebow is involved, things get out of control pretty quickly. Look for Jets West to be featured non-stop on television and talked about endlessly on Twitter. Of course, the story SHOULD be how Mark Sanchez is the undisputed leader of the team and has the respect of his offensive teammates, but Tebow’s mere presence will not allow for that. I’m amazed that a Jets player planning to attend Jets practices could be such a big story, but evidently it is.
On the bright side, I’m starting to think that in a roundabout way all of this nonsense is going to be very beneficial for Sanchez, and he’s going to come out playing with some serious fire this season. Plus, getting new receivers Stephen Hill and Chaz Schilens out west along with slot man Jeremy Kerley, and the formerly disgruntled Schottenheimer-hater, Santonio Holmes, should allow Sanchez to get comfortable with his receiving corps. And as we all know, that was not a luxury he was afforded last year with all the comings and goings, like the foolish swapping of Edwards and Cotchery for Mason and Plaxico. Which brings me to..
Mark Sanchez – Get used to seeing him here in the Buy section. With Brian Schottenheimer’s dismissal and the addition of a true deep threat in Stephen Hill, I’m expecting big things from the Sanchize this year. Remember all those fake shares you bought after last week’s column? Let’s add a few more to it.
The Mets Pitching Staff – This is strictly limited to the Starting pitchers, because watching their bullpen makes me feel like I just saw a puppy get hit by a car, but wow, what a week for the Mets. Between Johan Santana’s no-hitter, R.A. Dickey’s shutout, and Jon Niese’s near-shutout, the Mets announced themselves as serious contenders in the NL as long as the rotation remains in tact (which all Mets fans know is nearly impossible, given their incompetent medical staff, but still..). Throw in big time prospects Zach Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and to a lesser extent Jenrry Mejia, and the Mets are shockingly putting together a potentially dominant pitching staff. Let’s add some Mets stock to our portfolio and pray Johan’s arm doesn’t fall off in the next few weeks.
Rajon Rondo – Anybody watching the NBA Playoffs knows what a joy Rondo has been to watch these past few weeks. He’s playing absolutely out of his mind, and even better, he keeps taking hilarious shots at the Miami Floppers–err, I mean the Heat–through the media. Keep up the great work, Rondo! I’m buying.
The 46 Defense – After basically being wiped out of NFL playbooks for the past two decades, Rex Ryan and the Jets are bringing back the 46 defense in a big way this year. With the additions of Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, Laron Landry, and Yeremiah Bell, Rex Ryan has added a lot of the pieces he thinks are necessary to replicate his father’s famous dominant defenses in Chicago. In addition, he brought in widely respected defensive line coach Karl Dunbar to work with Coples, Mo Wilkerson, Aaron Maybin and the rest of the defensive front on their pass rushing technique. Look for all these moves to pay major dividends this year and other teams to follow suit. After all, the NFL is a copycat league, and you can expect to hear plenty about the 46 defense going forward.
Michael Ginsberg – No, this is not a new addition to the Jets defense or something like that, but all my fellow Mad Men fans know who I mean. With Peggy off finding out if the grass truly is greener on the other side, and Don desperately looking to go after the big fish, he needs Ginsberg more than ever–and to make matters worse for Don, Ginsberg knows it, too. Mr. Draper has started to realize he’s slightly out of touch and the 60‘s are passing him by, while Ginsberg has the new “cool” ideas the company needs. I’d load up on Ginsberg stock; he’s on the fast track.
Lane Pryce – Allow me one more Mad Men thought here, and please, stop reading if you haven’t seen this week’s episode, because I’m going to spoil it for you. Seriously, you’ve been warned! Last chance. Ok.. This one is pretty obvious, but it’s pretty safe to unload all your Lane Pryce stock at this point after he totally bottomed out this week and committed suicide. We saw this one coming all season, but man, how depressing was it that poor Lane couldn’t even kill himself right? His brand new Jaguar wouldn’t start, so he had to resort to sadly hanging himself in his office, next to his New York Mets pennant. The poor guy could never quite catch a break. Ok, that’s the end of my Mad Men ranting for the week. Let’s move on..
Plaxico Burress – Oh, what’s that? Plaxico hasn’t even gotten a sniff in free agency this year? Wow, I am completely shocked that a receiver who can’t run, can’t get down the field, and can’t separate from cornerbacks hasn’t been scooped up. Plaxico hamstrung Mark Sanchez and this offense last year far more than Jets fans realized. I think it may be all over for Mr. Burress. Plaxico stock is a dud.
Justin Blackmon and Jaguars Fans (all 18 of them) – I have no sympathy for Blackmon, who is a total idiot, but I feel bad for the fans. Just when they thought they had a good receiver for the first time since Jimmy Smith, it turns out he’s a complete moron and likes driving around completely hammered at 3am. Great. He deserves to be punished for this, especially since it’s his second offense. And he will, but man oh man, that is not the way for your first round pick to start his career. I wouldn’t invest in this situation.
NBA Officials – It doesn’t get much worse than the performance the NBA Officials have put on as a whole in these playoffs. Whether it’s just awful calls or flat out rigging the games, these playoffs have been especially painful to watch. It’s gotten so bad that I have pretty much waited until a few minutes into the game to see which team the refs are favoring, then root for the underdog playing 5 against 8.
Quinton Coples Critics/Bashers – It was a popular thing to say during the draft process that Quinton Coples was a “boom or bust” player with questionable work ethic. Well I firmly believe Coples is going to make all of those people eat their words. It’s only June, but all reports out of Jets camp are that Coples is the real deal, and he’s going to be a terrific fit in this attacking style defense. He’s got all the tools, and he’s going to have some of the best defensive coaching in the NFL between Rex Ryan and assistant Karl Dunbar. All the people who bashed Coples will have changed their tune by the end of 2012.
In a new column, Mike Donnelly examines the stock value of New York Jets players, coaches, and personnel. For his inaugural piece, he takes a look at who he’d buy and sell as the Jets head into June. Be sure to follow Mike on twitter @TheMikeDonnelly. -CG
Recently, I was at a family function and my uncle was asking me for stock advice. Since I work in finance, apparently my entire family thinks I have inside information. I do not. I wish I had some good, solid stuff to tell him if only to make myself sound smarter, but I had nothing. After an awkward few seconds that felt much longer, he thankfully asked the question that always seems to come up at these functions: “So, what do you think about the Jets this year?”
My eyes lit up. Whenever the topic of conversation turns to the Jets (which it always does at these things), I can rattle off any information he wants to hear. Detailed opinion on Rex Ryan and the coaching staff? No problem. Statistical information about any of the players? You got it. Breakdown of the incoming rookies? Child’s play. Why I hate Eric Smith? Well, that one is self-explanatory. After a few minutes, he laughed and said something about how it’s too bad he couldn’t invest in my Jets thoughts instead of finance. That got me thinking. What if we could buy and sell players and teams the way we do stocks? What if I could buy and sell Tim Tebow stock depending on how well I think he’s going to do in the next few games? And that leads me to the first edition of “Stock Watch: New York Jets Edition.”
Undervalued Jets I’d Invest In
RB Joe McKnight – Right now you’d be able to buy some Joe McKnight stock pretty cheaply, and with just 323 rushing yards in two seasons, it’s understandable why. But trading stocks is all about value, and there’s plenty of value in the former USC star since he’s he’s going to be taking over for the departed LaDainian Tomlinson. I expect McKnight to form a very nice tandem with starter Shonn Greene, and this will be his breakout season. As the team’s top dual threat, he can easily get over 1,000 total yards from scrimmage. Joe McKnight stock will be a money maker.
DE Muhammad Wilkerson – Big Mo had his ups and downs last season, but for the most part he had an excellent rookie campaign. He was one of the better run defending 3-4 DE’s in the NFL and also contributed 3 sacks. In year 2, he is going to take a big step forward, especially now that he gets to work with line coach Karl Dunbar. By 2013 this stock will have doubled.
OLB Aaron Maybin – A year ago, this would be a penny stock and I’d be laughed at. But after leading the Jets in sacks last season, Maybin really dedicated himself in the offseason and bulked up to try and get more playing time. With Wilkerson and rookie Quinton Coples opening lanes up front, look for Maybin to approach double digit sacks and perhaps get a long-term contract.
WR Santonio Holmes – SH Inc. is at an all-time low after his terrible 2011 season, both on and off the field. After patching things up with Mark Sanchez, and dedicating himself 100% to the team in the offseason, Holmes is going to be playing with a major chip on his shoulder. A 1,200 yard season and a pro bowl nod are within reach. This will become a blue chip stock yet again.
QB Mark Sanchez – Despite the organization seemingly going out of their way to stunt his growth, I expect Mark Sanchez to thrive in 2012 under Tony Sparano. The incompetent Matt Cavanaugh remains on the staff, but now that Sanchez has been freed from Brian Schottenheimer’s comical offensive scheme, he will take a big step this year, and I’ll gladly invest in him.
OL Vlad Ducasse – Please, stop laughing. Ok.. go ahead. Done yet? Great. Switching to the new, less complicated “power blocking” scheme is going to work wonders for Ducasse. In fact, I expect him to be the starting RT this season once new line coach Dave DeGuglielmo stops his “Wayne Hunter is great” comedy routine. Unfortunately, Vlad starting may have more to do with Hunter than it does Ducasse. Oh well. At least this stock is so cheap you can’t really lose much if he continues to disappoint.
OLB Ricky Sapp – A real penny stock here. Sure he’s a long shot, but the coaching staff definitely sees something in Sapp and they have some hope for him. Working with Rex Ryan and Karl Dunbar will help his development and hopefully he can turn into Aaron Maybin 2.0 for the Jets. A worthwhile investment.
Overvalued Jets Stock I’d dump
QB Tim Tebow – I wish I owned some Tebow stock. The way everyone in the media talks him up, he’d be one of the most valuable commodities in the whole league. That wouldn’t stop me from tripping over myself running to sell though, because after the 2012 season in which he starts 0 games and is merely a role player, it will be worth far less.
TE Dustin Keller – I hope I am wrong about this, but I think we will see less of Dustin Keller this season. He’s a poor blocker, slightly undersized, and doesn’t totally fit into Tony Sparano’s system. I wouldn’t be shocked if this is his last year as a Jet.
RT Wayne Hunter – I know Dave DeGuglielmo has been talking him up, but I don’t buy it. Wayne Hunter sucks, and once he loses his starting job, his stock price will go from the $0.08 or so that it’s worth now, to about half of that.
DE Mike DeVito – DeVito is one of the most unheralded players on the whole team. He is an elite run stuffer, but unfortunately for him, the team was looking for someone who can also get to the quarterback and drafted Quinton Coples to take his spot. DeVito will still contribute as a great run defender, but his role will be limited, causing his stock price to dip.
OL Coach Dave DeGuglielmo – Once Wayne Hunter falls on his face, DeGuglielmo is going to look pretty silly.
K Nick Folk – Mike Westhoff has seemingly never been happy with Folk and has tried to replace him every season. This could be the year he gets his wish with Josh Brown coming in to compete for Folk’s spot. His stock isn’t worth much now, but by the end of training camp it could be much lower.
RB Bilal Powell – Powell seems like a bigger waste of a 4th round pick all the time. He was barely active last year, and was incredibly unimpressive in his limited action. He doesn’t seem to be a fit for the new offensive scheme and the team drafted Terrance Ganaway, who could potentially take his roster spot. I’d unload this stock for whatever I could get.