Sanchez Has More Than One Job To Save Now

Woody Johnson wanted Greg McElroy. GM Mike Tannebaum and OC Tony Sparano backed Mark Sanchez. Rex Ryan could have hitched his wagon to the owner while distancing himself from the embattled GM and quarterback. Instead, Ryan jumped into the lifeboat with all three. Now only Sanchez can save the crowded sinking ship.

The mind boggling three quarterback controversy, that never really included Tim Tebow, grew in proportion when it became clear to Ryan that a switch would mean more than McElroy simply getting a late season start. It would signify the possible end of the Sanchez era. Due to one third quarter benching with no reprieve. A price that in the end, Ryan saw as too high to pay in one fell swoop.

Sanchez was given a hefty extension prior to training camp and has had to endure a season with second rate personnel around him. While his two top targets Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller, have been injured for most of the year.

The greatest problem working against Sanchez has been his demeanor. Sanchez has looked doubtful, glum, and unsure. Too often appearing defeated. Resigned to the fate that the Jets inexperienced receivers will fail him. Traits that hardly bode well for a leader. The distraction of a Tebow-led wildcat package rotating in at any time, has not made life easy for Sanchez either.

All have combined to erode Sanchez’s focus. Like it did on Thanksgiving night, when after calling the wrong play, he tried to dive to the ground towards safety. Only to run into the backside of Brandon Moore, in what is now certain to become a blooper for the ages.

Sanchez’s three interception, 91 yard performance at Met Life Stadium against the lowly Cardinals, truly warranted a mid-game switch. Matching the God awful play of Cards QB Ryan Lindley, was no way to remind anyone about a resume that includes 33 career wins and four playoff victories as a starter.

McElroy had nothing to lose and only a modest task to complete, when he entered the huddle as the Jets trailed 3-0 with 4:58 to go in the third quarter last Sunday. The second year pro simply had to engineer one touchdown drive and not turn the ball over after the fact. However, it was obvious from the minute Sanchez exited, that this was not a simple case of a substitution for a player having an off day. The energy of an entire team and stadium changed. Instantaneously. A fan base that craved seeing Sanchez holding a clipboard instead of a football, went into a frenzy as soon as McElroy began warming up. Key notions that in the end, failed to outweigh Ryan and Tannenbaum’s commitment to Sanchez, as the final decision was being made.

Tannebaum’s future is up in air after a string of poor drafts, and minimal free agent talent brought in to replace important role players who have left. If Sanchez can settle down over the final four games, Tannenbaum may rest easier knowing that he can better justify the extension given.

Ryan has had these past seventy two hours to go in a different direction. Away from his GM, and for a team that rose with McElroy for one quarter of play. He chose not to. The issues for the fourth year head coach are now twofold. Another vote of confidence may not kickstart a player who has none himself. The move may also now put Ryan on notice in the process. Sanchez is back in the pilot’s seat, but will carry a bigger weight than before. Knowing that he has more than his own job to save. In what will be his final chance to prove that he is the long term answer in New York

No Huddle – New York Jets Quarterback Switch Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on yesterday’s win and the Jets quarterback switch

No game this entire season was as exciting as the 7-6 “thriller” was for us yesterday. The exit of a struggling QB and the entrance of an unblemished one, got us up off of our seat and screaming as if it were the 2009 or 2010 playoff runs all over again.

Never mind that we were going hoarse over a few meager third and manageable completions. That came courtesy of a guy who had yet to throw an NFL pass. While trailing 3-0 late in the third quarter against an Arizona club drowning in the midst of its own seven game skid. This was about erasing the anger that grew to new heights in many of us, after Mark Sanchez met Brandon Moore’s derrière head on against the Pats ten days ago.

Thank you Rex. Thank you Mac. Even if this game only served to change the taste in our mouths. Sometimes a cleaning of the palate is all that it takes to enjoy the taste of food again.

“Even Keeled” McElroy Steals The Show

Tim Tebow saw this one coming before anyone else did. A guaranteed Mark Sanchez meltdown was the very reason why Tebow became a Jet in March. How ironic it was then, that on the day both a winnable game was there for the taking and a Sanchez benching felt right, Rex Ryan turned to third stringer Greg McElroy for a spark. The former Alabama product being the only active backup available.

McElroy did what any cool headed Wonderlic genius would do when asked to engineer one measly TD drive without a hiccup. He landed the Jets safely in the end zone.

How far can McElroy take this undermanned Jets offense now? Only Ryan can give him the chance to find out. Regardless of who starts down the stretch, the reality that the Jets needed a change when Ryan made a call to the bullpen, was clear.

Tony Sparano’s patched together group  had lost hope with Sanchez behind center. Probably a long time ago in fact. The embarrassing fumble on Thanksgiving into Brandon Moore symbolically serving as the final straw.

The only way that Mark Sanchez can win back the trust of this team, provided he gets a second chance to now or in 2013,  is to change his emotional patterns. Maybe a seat on the sidelines for the first time in his pro career could help him do that. Holding onto feelings about mistakes at a position that requires an ultra short memory, is the quickest way to creating self made slumps. Ones that can last for quarters, games, and even entire seasons.

McElroy said after the 7-6 win over the hapless Cards, that being “even keeled” was part of his skill set as a player. For a Ryan coached-team that seeks to win through its defense and ground attack, his is a trait that matters more than arm strength, physical strength and GQ looks do combined.

McElroy Is Not The Only Kid Who Should Start And Play More Now

Ryan has to start McElroy next week. Keeping the huddle as hopeful during the week as it was late against Arizona, is essential now. Ryan shouldn’t stop there either.

Bilal Powell and Shonn Greene were effective Sunday. but it’s Powell who has that shake and bake in his game. Let him get more touches next week. Powell started strong then disappeared Sunday. Why? Use him more now Rex. He finds open space and the end zone as well. Powell has proven worthy of an expanded role.

Stephen Hill, who shocked many with his catches let alone tough ones in traffic Sunday, deserves more throws his way now too. Maybe Hill can springboard off of the clutch grabs but Rex must give him the opportunity to while the memory of a solid game finally, is fresh in his mind.

Gotta Go To Mo’s

Second year Jet Mo Wilkerson has officially arrived. Of all the people that Ryan predicted would break out in 2012, and there were many, Wilkerson has been the one to do so. Sacks, pressures, run stops and a knack for rising to the task on third down is why the Jets defensive line may finally have a player to build around. It’s about time.

Only Rex Can Lead Jets Out Of Circus Tent

TJ Rosenthal on Rex Ryan being the only person who could stop the Jets circus

After a week filled with ridiculous circus-like sideshow drama, the Jets bizarre traveling show lands in St Louis for another must win Sunday. As the 3-6 Jets look to avoid another nail in the coffin in a season currently on life support, only Rex Ryan can reel in a team that is now being portrayed as jugglers, tricksters, and liars again. To do so, he must forget relying on a pre game speech, and go dominate offensive coordinator and current Rams OC, Brian Schottenheimer instead.

Since the Jets last left us on an actual playing field in Seattle, Jets fans have been privy to yet another uncanny weekday soap opera. One that has included, unnamed sources bashing Tim Tebow, one former Jet (Ladainian Tomlinson, now of the NFL Network) guessing aloud who the anonymous quotes belonged to (Antonio Cromartie and Bart Scott, both who deny the charge from their former teammate) an owner calling for a press conference to justify the signing of Tebow as a football decision (not one to sell jerseys, a theory most Jets fans have especially when considering how little Tebow has been implemented despite the shroud of secrecy his Wildcat package was treated with during the summer), a running back (Shonn Greene) backtracking hours after his own statement that a QB change might be a good thing, and a team that now believes the original “sources” were contrived by the Daily News simply for a story.

Those Gang Green sideshows are growing again. So are the shadowy voices. Both of whom combined to bring the Jets unity down in 2011. In a year that Ryan admitted after the final game, was one where he lost a feel for the locker room.

With self implosion staring the undermanned (and you can blame that on injuries, Mike Tannenbaum, the coaching staff’s inability to develop talent, or all of the above) Jets in the face, it is down to one man now. Rex Ryan. A coach with Jet bloodlines (father Buddy was architect of the Jets Super Bowl III defense) who upon taking over the team with the shattered psyche, one that starved for acceptance and an identity, single handedly changed the attitude of a franchise wallowing in self pity, from top to bottom in his first two seasons at the helm.

Ryan can continue to search for a leader to join him in Florham Park, but he will have a hard time finding it these days. Especially in QB Mark Sanchez, who is often times too busy moping on a sideline bench, daydreaming of a whole new WR corps, or a run game that can mask his spotty mechanics and decision making. Ryan can also rule out the recently emerging locker room force Cromartie (the defacto leader of the defense with Darrelle Revis out), now that “Cro” is embroiled in “Terrible Tim Gate.”

GM Mike Tannenbaum? After refusing to add veteran depth at receiver or RB, the strategy for Tanny lately has been “Hide, Deny, and Deflect.” Forget him for the time being too, Rex. Woody Johnson is tied up too we’re afraid. Fresh off of dropping millions of dollars and countless time spent on the unsuccessful Mitt Romney Presidential campaign, the Jets owner is too busy calling for press conferences that insure the signing of Tebow was done solely to improve the team. An ironic notion when you consider that Tebow, the only possible leader of men Ryan COULD call upon right now, barely plays at all.

Ryan has to simply look in the mirror. The only leader this team has, will be staring right back at him. Rex should kick things off in this final attempt to salvage the team by guiding it, through showing that the decision to show Brian Schottenheimer the door, was the right one. Not an easy trick to pull when you yourself (Jets) are the 30th ranked offense in football. Schottenheimer has taken a Rams offense that averaged 12 points a game an has helped to increase it to 18. However, this scoring “surge” hardly leaves St Loo in any “high powered”category.

The Jets defense showed last weekend, even in defeat (28-7 to the Seahawks), that it can slow down a great running back (Marshawn Lynch) and shake down a non elite quarterback (Russell Wilson). Ryan, a defensive genius in the eyes of many around the league,  has to take the Rams Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson Daryl Roichardson RB tandem by the horns in the same way as Lynch and Wilson were treated for much of last week’s game.. Anything less, may shine an even greater circus spotlight on the current Jets mess and the notion that OC Tony Sparano was a better fit for the job.

Talk is cheap. You’d figure that the Jets would have learned that by now. Yet just last weeek Cromartie called the club a playoff team. Ryan later echoed his cornerback’s statement. Ryan will of course roll out the “us against the media” rallying speech before the game but in truth, the real statement must start on the field. Led by Ryan in out foxing Schotty, Jets Nation’s old friend and nemesis. Who while in New York,  often times called plays that many diehards saw as more detrimental to the Jets than purposeful.

Leadership starts with action. Ryan’s is the final card in the deck the Jets can play before the house of cards crumbles, and he knows it.

No Huddle – Second Half New York Jets Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the second half of the New York Jets season

Since the Jets last left us with an abysmal showing against the Fish, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the region. By the time of Sunday’s kickoff we may even have a new Commander in Chief. So much can change in a few week’s time. In the NFL, fourteen days is an eternity. Given the opportunity to reflect during the bye week, here is where we stand on the state of the Jets.

Sandy Was A Tale Of Two Cities

So much for living breathing and eating football. How about just living, eating and breathing?

It goes without saying that being downtown near evacuation zone A during the storm was rough. No power, no heat, and dwindling supplies being sold by depleted stores was the scene right afterwards. We heard the Con Ed explosion. It happened just blocks away. Midway through the post Sandy fallout, my girlfriend and I were fortunate enough to have a place to stay up near Central Park West. What a different world.

Life was business as usual uptown. There were streets lit up unlike below 40th st and the new neighborhood “NoPo,” meaning no power. People going to and from work. Supermarkets were stocked. A stark difference from the images we began to see of places downtown and ravaged areas like New Dorp, on televised news reports.

Being across the street from Central Park, we watched the NYC Marathon drama unfold firsthand. Generators and media tents set up for Sunday,  then packed up after Mayor Bloomberg called the race odd on Friday.

The experience of seeing both NYC worlds was an unforgettable one. After so much time focusing on the Jets and their forgettable first half, the perspective on the things in life that really count, was sorely needed. We wish all the storm ravaged regions and families a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with you and more donations from our end will be on the way in the coming weeks.

The QB Nonsense

Chalk our hardened view this week of the Jets QB drama up to last week’s historic disruption caused by Sandy, but enough is enough. The Jets have to use Tim Tebow and quit being afraid of his upside.

If the effects of Tebow engineering a TD drive rattle Sanchez’s confidence, too bad. The Jets have to score now, win now, and find leadership now. If #6 can’t step up out of the role of some three point shooting role player, let someone else try. We need a general running this operation. It’s no longer about who makes what throws more consistently. It’s about a QB commanding respect and getting others to follow. We have had it.

Seattle

The young Seahawks are fast, strong, energetic, and hell to deal with at home. If the Jets plan to bring their sorry attitude from the Miami drubbing out West with them, we have a suggestion before they do.

Stay at home and save yourself a second straight embarrassment.

The AFC

After Sundays results, only the Colts and Steelers are at a wildcard leading 5-3. The Dolphins, who the Jets still  could end up winning a divisional tie breaker against, are 4-4. The Chargers, who will face the Jets in December, are also 4-4. Being a paltry 3-5 (along with Buffalo, Oakland and Cincinnati) never looked so good.

The Jets have the opportunity to put the first eight games behind them and somehow STILL reach their goals.

The question is, what have the coaches learned about their current personnel in the past eight days and what do they plan on doing about it? We will soon find out. No excuses allowed.

After all, alot of people locally right now have it alot worse and are standing tall despite the extreme conditions. The undermanned Jets would be wise to seek a little professional inspiration from them.

New York Jets Working To Change Perceptions

Can this “no name” Jets team form new perceptions about their team?

We are starting to see a new Jets team branding themselves out there, are we not? It’s early in the process we know. After all, Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes just left Gang Green for the year only weeks back. Since then however, this no name bunch of young Jets has teamed up with written off starters like Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene to battle the then undefeated Texans, and take care of business against a Colts team that simply had to be defeated. A task that is never a guarantee if you follow Jets history closely enough.

Among this excitable new crop of Jets gaining important playing time is Chaz Schilens. A wide receiver who lately, has spoken with enough pride about his belief in the systems in place and his teammates, that we are beginning to feel as though maybe something is gelling inside of the locker room of a team. A unity among this current and ever changing cast of characters, who may be rallying around the doubt that pervades them outside of Florham Park.

We all know what happens when a football team plays together. Even a team built out of a laundry list of stars in this sport can often times run into problems against a committed team that works together, despite a lack of any notable names on the backs of their jerseys.

Schilens, a fourth year vet and former Raider who has always owned physical potential and promise has slowly begun to make plays. This after waiting for a shot to contribute. Injuries to Holmes and recently to rookie WR Stephen Hill have allowed for that as Schilens has over the past few games, begun to turn himself into a player who can be counted on in tough yardage situations, with defenders draped on him.

His attitude off the field, has been one of a symbolic defiance lately too. Of refusing to be part of a team that is pigeonholed into an also ran so early in the year, even as injuries pile up. Here is what Schilens had to say about all of the talk regarding the Jets being a circus act and doomed for failure given who has been lost so far for the season:

“It’s so overly exaggerated it’s ridiculous. What’s not funny is you guys try to tell us maybe we shouldn’t even show up for the game or we’ll be outclassed or we’re not a good football team..When we get to full strength and get clicking on all cylinders with the parts we have right now, it’s not going to be funny, especially for other teams.”

There will be those who will paint Schilens’ words as just another example of a Jet sharing his views in an open door culture the team likes to promote. We see it as the voice of an entire team’s regrouped mindset.

A team that is changing it’s approach on the fly. From relying on a few top of the line stars to an entire room full of pieces. All fighting collectively for the same thing. Victories and respect.

No Huddle: New York Jets Areas Of Caution

TJ Rosenthal goes into the No Huddle to look at five areas of their team the New York Jets should be concerned about

TJ Rosenthal is back with the No Huddle, today looking at five areas of the New York Jets that could be a cause for concern in 2012. Make sure to give TJ a follow on Twitter and keep an eye out for a few exciting interviews by him in the coming weeks – 

As a lifelong New York Jets fan it’s hard to deny that there have been LONG stretches of years that have warranted seeing things through a glass half empty. The bright pockets of time for this organization have come in quick bunches thanks to the late 1960’s crew, some of the clubs from 1981-86, Bill Parcells, Herm Edwards, and Rex Ryan. The rest of the club’s fifty year history has essentially featured one harrowing crash on the runway after another. Especially in December.

History aside, we will soon be embarking upon a new Jet adventure. One that again will arrive for the die hard with excitement, eternal hope, paranoia, and of course, habitual doubt.

The Jet Report can envision 2012 heading in both directions. One that leads the club late into January with a shot at glory, and the other, well, yet another disappointment. Our personal goal for this season is to enjoy it with zero expectations. Despite the two near misses in 2009 and 2010 and a 2011 that contributed to helping springboard the other New York team to a world title.

In this week’s no huddle we approach five concepts whose success could collectively combine to catapult the Jets towards the Super Bowl. Knowing that they all should be approached with caution. After all, many of us still carry scars that forever force us to sleep with one eye open.

At all times.

1. The Rookies Will Have A Major Collective Impact In Year One –

Will they? Well we hope so. Then again, we always hope that draft picks blow up into legends and do so right out of the gates.

Coples, Davis, Hill and Co. will be used and much needed in spots, but demanding week in week out veteran type play from them is unfair. And unrealistic. How many rookies have become first team all pros in the last decade? Not as many combined as the Jets plan to put on the field this year all at once.

Let’s ease up on what we demand from this group and instead, enjoy the promise of individual break out moments and timely performances that we know these kids can give us.

2. Santonio Holmes Will Be Happy All Season – 

Santonio Holmes is a great clutch player. Period. He makes big plays with the money on the line. His unhappiness last year should have never been confused and mixed in with his reactions. We all wasted so much time wondering why Holmes behaved the way he did and spent little time asking “how the hell did Holmes not see more balls last year?” Was it Schotty’s fault? Sanchez’s fault? Well who cares whose fault it was. Just give him damn the ball please (to quote another Jets WR). Even if this team runs 60 percent of the time.

If the Jets win games and run the ball, Holmes will be a good teammate and accept it. We truly believe that. Fail to get him the rock AND lose games? Why wouldn’t he get pissed off? Why shouldn’t he?

The Holmes happy meter will be a reasonable measuring stick regarding the entire happiness of the Jets situation. Just win baby. This guy didn’t come from the Super Bowl champion Steelers to win four games for the Jets in one season to then just run around like a silly decoy all day.

Let’s make everyone happy by letting him help win games like he can. Or by having a ground game that is so exceptional, he can collect his big paychecks without having to jump over safeties downfield to haul in bombs.

We can live with either one of those scenarios. So can Santonio Holmes.

3. The Jets Will Of Course Return To The Postseason – 

Tell the Bills that. How many divisions send three teams to the playoffs? Not many. If you are thinking what we’re thinking (The Patriots are always in the playoffs when Tom Brady is healthy) then let’s make sure that the upstart buzz team Bills don’t finish with a better record or divisional record than the Jets do.

After you consider the Bills and the AFC East logjam, add the Ravens, Steelers, Bengals, Broncos, healthier Chiefs, and pissed off Chargers for starters into the equation and what you have is a crowded AFC wildcard race.

With little breathing room for third place teams to enjoy. Better stay ahead of Buffalo gentlemen.

Or else the road to the playoffs will grow quite slim and narrow.

4. The Jets safety situation has improved – 

Provided that LaRon Landry is healthy well maybe it has. Of course the only photos of Landry’s biceps that we have been to find on Google to this point, are one’s of him in his Redskins gear. He better not be damaged goods.

Yeremiah Bell is poised to help out but he is 33. Sorry to bring that up folks.

On the younger side, Josh Bush is a late round pick. Give us his energy. Just don’t let us get bitten by his youthful over excitement on play action or pump fakes.

The Leonhard, Pool and Smith Experience were often times late to the party but when Jimmy was healthy, this unit was never an X’s and O’s meltdown. Except when it had to cover the tight end. Better to give up twenty yards at midfield than be toast downfield every week due to miscommunication though, right?

Eric Smith is back and healthy again but even when healthy, is limited as a cover guy. Bell, Landry and Smith. Let’s see a few series of plays with them this August first.

5. The Ground and Pound Is Set To Roll – 

First of all, who is ground and who is pound? The Jets have walked away from the Ryan blueprint of a veteran RB leading the way for the rookies and the younghans in this latest version of the ground game. There is also no back with a bell cow track record statistically in this corps right now. Shonn Greene is the group’s only 1,000 yard rusher, having squeaked by in 2011 with 1054 yards after a non existent start into mid October. Everyone else (Joe McKnight, Terrance Ganaway, Bilal Powell) is unproven except for Tim Tebow who as a QB has rushed for 12 TD’s in two years.

The offensive line is coming off a rough year and has to gel once again. Plus, we have to see how Mark Sanchez looks. If he can keep defenses honest in the passing game then hey, this new ground and pound mentality can work. Like the new safeties though, we have to wait and see how it all comes together. The potential is there but potential and results don’t always meet together when asked to.

These “no huddle” keys may all work out just fine in 2012. It IS possible. Yet we have no idea to what extent they will be a success at this point in time. Patience and time will play a key part. It’s a long season. The coaches, players and fans better have to remember to let this all build naturally.

The potential is there.

No Huddle – Five Under The Radar New York Jets

TJ Rosenthal goes into the No Huddle to look at five under the radar New York Jets

Away from the primetime news and tabloids that will report daily on marquee names wearing the Green and White, are some Jets whose impact could truly be felt. Especially if they develop into next level players.

Or in the case of our choice at number five, are desperately needed to.

Josh Baker:

Baker is a tough and versatile H back who could end up part of the Ground and Pound rotation as a multi purpose guy. One who if portrayed as an unassuming blocker, could find a hole with the rock in his hands.

Of course while drilling a linebacker every now and then when he’s asked to lead the way for someone else. Don’t forget about putting him in motion out of the backfield as a second TE too.

Baker can be used in more ways than John Connor can but 45 is not a prototypical FB like “The Terminator” is. Tony Richardson was once vital to the original Ground and Pound. Maybe even the template for the position. If the Jets simply want a T Rich type of plower to line up at FB, then we’d put our money on Conner getting the bulk of the work. If they want flexibility and unpredictability there, throw in Baker.

Mike DeVito:

DeVito is certainly not unknown to the diehards of Jets nation. However, with Revis Island, recognizable Jet LB’s, the addition of Quinton Coples and two new safeties, the name game simply starts elsewhere on the Jets defense.

This blue collar run stopper is consistent and dependable though. Most importantly, he’s vital to the success of the interior run defense.

Maybe this is the year the Jets, with their youth outside, seal off the edges and force more ball carriers to remain inside. Thus giving Devito more camera time and shots at wrapping up at the line of scrimmage.

Where he usually stops RB’s looking to reach the second level, dead in their tracks.

Great players make solid unheralded ones better. If the young guns around him up front step up and become real threats, then everyone will be hearing about how solid Mike Devito is in 2012. Not just those who tune into SNY after the game.

Jeremy Kerley:

Imagine a Ground and Pound that can freeze LB’s with the play action. When it happens, the Jets won’t always have to work the ball outside in order to finish off the play. How about some short crossing routes to the former TCU speedster right behind those very same linebackers who hedged their bet on a Jet running play?

Kerley showed some toughness on third down as his rookie season wore on. He’s got his professional bearings now, and if Mark Sanchez can use anything out of the gates it’s a dependable yards after catch guy at close range.

Dustin Keller would be the guy better suited for that role you say? Well, so have we for three years now. Maybe a speedster trying to emulate Wes Welker would be the better option this time around. A weapon who could in turn actually free up 81 into becoming what we thought he’d become be two years ago. A serious go to guy.

Watch out for Kerley this year. We just got a feeling…

Chaz Schilens:

OK big tall guy with the 6’4 frame, here’s your chance. Your REAL chance. Rookie Stephen Hill seems penciled in at WR2 opposite Santonio Holmes, but it’s not uncommon in the NFL for a change of scheme and scenery to help do the trick for a 3rd and 4th year player with size and speed.

Can the former Raider finally stay healthy? If so, maybe the Jets have a diamond in the rough on the outside and for tough quick slants, Braylon Edwards style.

On paper it may be Holmes and Hill. In reality, Kerley and Schilens are two who could add depth in a flash to this unit. Perhaps even more.

Greg McElroy:

Now for the doomsday scenario.

No, not the one that has Tim Tebow replacing a struggling Mark Sanchez. Rather, the one that has Greg McElroy forced into action after QB2 gets nicked up while impersonating RB1, and QB1 gets helped off the field after another one of those failed Joe Girardi-taught slides.

Impossible you say? Well keep in mind, that the Jets are the only team to ever lose two starters for the year on consecutive plays remember (Pennington and Fiedler?).

Besides, if a UFO ever landed on Earth in plain sight would you have any doubt in the world that it would take place on the 50 yard line of a Jet game at Met Life? Aliens wearing Tebow jerseys no less. (think of the intergalactic merch potential Woody).

We of course pray that this dark picture being painted here regarding the emergency QB taking over never becomes reality. If it does, let’s just hope that the Wonderlic kid, who for a nanosecond last summer had some of us excited, is able to mange things.

Keep an eye on Alabama Mac in the second half of games this August.  You just never know who may be called upon when the games begin to count for real.

Honorable Mention:

Kyle Wilson:

Step it up kid. Year three. First round picks ought to become quality starters at some point. Corners go down all the time. You ready for this? We think you are. Now go out and dominate this summer.

Prove us right.

No Huddle – New York Jets AFC East Obstacles

In his weekly No Huddle piece, TJ Rosenthal looks at what could stand in the way of the New York Jets winning an AFC East title in 2012

Turn On The Jets is happy to welcome back our good friend TJ Rosenthal who runs The Jet Report. TJ is going to run the No Huddle for us every Monday, looking at a pressing issue facing the New York Jets. Today he looks at what could stand in their way of a AFC East title… 

Rex Ryan’s Jets have proven that they can do it the hard way in January and win. Though the road, and wildcard weekend starting points have both proven historically tougher paths to survive, the NFL has nonetheless crowned winners out of teams who have played both the extra playoff round, and away from home in each of the past two seasons. For the Jets, the goal of winning the AFC East title, one that could award the club a bye and home playoff games, must still remain the goal heading into this season. Even though it may be harder for Gang Green to win their own division than most clubs who consider themselves playoff caliber. Here are some of the main reasons why –

The New England Patriots

You know, the Belichickian team that wins 11-12 games every year. The NFL regular season’s Legion Of Doom. Evil masters of the fall and early winter.

Potential Jet Losses due to rookie mistakes (and hey the Jets sound like they plan on using every newcomer available including interns at Florham Park) would be acceptable elsewhere, like divisions where nine or even ten wins could mean a bye and home game. Not in this division.

Keeping up with the Jones in THIS town means not only owning fancy cars and powerful speedboats, but optimizing them too. We’re not complaining. It just may take a while to get everyone going in the right direction together. Young. Old. Sanchez. Tebow. All of which won’t help securing a crown if the Foxboro duo of Bill and Brady outsmart everyone before snow hits the ground. Like they always do.

For the Jets, it is like the Pats Boston brethren Aerosmith once said “it ain’t easy living like ya wanna and it’s so hard to find peace of mind.”

Internal Strife:

Rex says the ugly chapter that defined the Jets 8-8  campaign last year is over. That the age of the 2011″ diva reciva” has come and gone. We believe in our hearts that Rex is correct. A page HAS been turned. That new kids that infused OTA’s like Demario Davis appear to be speeding the process from selfish entitlement back to a blue collar appreciation for all that gets earned on the gridiron. Rex has even toned his predictions down, as new position coaches like Karl Dunbar and Dave DeGuglielmo have arrived along with the always positive OC Tony Sparano. All carrying with them a bright new energy.

All that aside, there are still potential oil slicks. Ones that could make 2011’s crash turn into a lingering clean up process that Gang Green doesn’t currently envision:

A Darrelle Revis holdout. A senseless and media driven QB Drama. Angry vets who lose time to productive rookies and tell the media as such. (Bart Scott and Davis anyone?). Complaints by the WR corps about a run heavy attack that doesn’t include them. Rex falling off track and barking up the wrong tree again.

The Jets took the first step to recovery by admitting there was a problem. How cemented is the new foundation though? Is it sturdy enough to take on a few of these possible storms at once?

The Schedule:

We’ll be real brief here. The Jets have the 20th ranked strength of schedule difficulty according to ESPN.com based on opponents 2011 records. Not bad you say? The Patriots have the 32nd. Easiest in the NFL.

The Jets open with upstart Buffalo, then a trio of last year’s playoff clubs in Pittsburgh, the Niners and Houston, all in the first five weeks. They close the year with three of four games on the road. That’s tough.

We get it though. You can’t worry about what the other teams in the division do. You can only try and win the games on your own schedule. For the Jets that will be hard enough to do in September. Plus given the Pats situation on paper, scoreboard watching may be futile anyway. The Jets might as well follow the gospel of eternal nemesis the late Al Davis and “just win baby.”

Too Much Of A Reliance on Rookies:

Young players make rookie mistakes. Ones that can happen at inopportune times. Like when a game is in the balance. Lose a few games during this process in the AFC East, and suddenly your fighting for a wildcard berth as early as Halloween.

The Jets LOVE their new young pups. So do we. More so, we love the fact that the Jets finally get it. Speed and size on the field DO matter. Over the next few years we hope the Jets continue to value these two things that a coach can’t teach.

We also hope that expectations, should all the kids get in the huddle at once, for more than just situational work, are tempered a bit in the first half of the season by the fan base. Mistakes will happen and could cost the Jets a shot at keeping pace with the Pats should they be up their same old tricks.

The Ground and Pound Sputters:

Going retro thematically on offense seems right for the Jets in terms of regaining their initial identity in the Ryan era as a smashmouth team. However, in the past few years since first Ryan chose three yards and a cloud of dust as the playbook theme for the O, the entire NFL has moved further towards a “quick strike, pass happy” concept.

If the Jets invest as much time into rebuilding the ground and pound as they say they are, and fail to run the ball well, they may lag light years behind the current collection of aerial firepower that is growing around the league .

Two score deficits with an underdeveloped passing attack this year will feel like a four score deficit.  Behind Shonn Greene (who Rotoworld analyst Evan Silva questioned as a starter at all today) is an unproven Joe McKnight and essentially two rookies. Unless of course you believe Tim Tebow can become a key ground cog, or even the next Peyton Hillis. We’re not even talking about whether the O line can get back to it’s 2009 form. In short, alot remains to be seen.

In addition, controlling the clock and time of possesion has become shall we say from the living room of our Nolita apartment, a bit out of fashion. It better be done well.

Finally, there are injuries. You have to stay healthy if you want to compete. Knock on wood, the Jets have avoided disastrous sideline pile ups of key players in street clothes in recent years. It has to obviously stay that way. No matter how much a team loves it’s own depth.

The aforementioned obstacles noted are not to say that a Jets 20102 division title can’t be had. It can.  It’s just that the for Jets to do it, alot has to go right here and on the periphery.

On the bright side, if the regular season all adds up into a playoff appearance that requires an extra game and away jerseys, so be it. Those frigid winter waters wouldn’t be uncharted or unmanageable ones for Rex Ryan’s Jets.

They’ve done it before.

How Will The New York Jets Play The Peyton Manning Hand?

The Jet Report explores how the Jets could approach Peyton Manning in the coming weeks

Not enough has been said out of Florham Park regarding Mark Sanchez, to change our minds about this. In seven days when the “play clock” runs out on the Colts who would owe Peyton Manning 28 million unless they release him, the Jets will be one of those teams who inquire about his services. Not just to grab a few headlines either. At first, they will try to do it subtly. It won’t work. Given their recent history, the Jets just don’t do subtle very well. On the field or off of it.

The Colts have to make a move on March 8th. If they don’t cut Manning loose, his 25 million dollar bonus kicks in. The number would be an insanely steep price to pay, when considering that QB Andrew Luck is slated to be selected first overall by Indy in the NFL Draft this April.

After the shock we all experience in seeing Manning actually let go dies down, the sharks will immediately hit the water smelling for blood.

Miami, looking to make a splash these days and in need of a starter, will claim they own the best chance to catch him. They could even be right. The Redskins and Daniel Snyder should be in the mix too because after all, an exorbitantly high priced big named star coming off of many surgeries will be available. It’s possible Peyton ends up as a Cardinal, paired with WR Larry Fitzgerald.

There will be other teams coming to the surface too. Recent reports from around the league support this belief.

The Jets? They will do more than just survey this situaton.

Because of the delicate nature of possibly having to fall back to Mark Sanchez should Manning sign elsewhere though, we expect the Jets to play it off early on. Posing as a club that is dipping it’s toes in the water just to “feel the temperature” of things.

How quickly however, could the Rex Ryan coach speak of “Mark’s still our guy” turn into “Mark was our guy,” should a crush on Peyton and the chance to sign him be too much for Jets owner Woody Johnson to resist?

Pretty quickly.

Is Manning the best move for the Jets right now? Given the legend’s health risk, age, and the addition of OC Tony Sparano to spearhead a “rushing first” attack on offense we’ll say no, but explain why in further detail another day.

Our focus for now is on how the Jets will play this hand.

We will guess that the Jets level of interest in Peyton is already more serious than just window shopping. Yet following our theory regarding the team hedging their bet to appear “Pro Sanchez” in case they lose the lottery, or learn that Manning is damaged goods, GM Mike Tannenbaum will try to employ the “stealth bomber” style.

One that calls for diving in and out of the water gathering “data” regarding Manning’s neck, cap solutions, and even Reggie Wayne, unknown to other GM’s and reporters like a Navy Seal. Tanny will do this by taking cover behind his go to tag line of doing his yearly “due diligence,” in the market. Claiming the club naturally has to look at every player and position, including Peyton Manning.

Signs of a clear interest by the Jets will become apparent however, after ESPN shows video highlights of Mr Laser Rocket Arm firing balls on a high school practice field, with Jets officials on hand. While Johnson is spotted that same night by Page Six with Archie Manning, having dinner on the West Side.

The Jets cover will have been blown. Then, look out. Can you imagine the back pages?

The Mannings May Own New York….Peyton and Eli?…Jets Trying to Steal Thunder from Super Bowl Champs.. Jets have lost faith in Sanchez. Manning-sanity.

Once that line of “covert” crosses over into “buyer” it will be tough to reel back in for any NFL club. Much less for the team that lost it’s cameo role as the top team in New York, in a matter of six winter weeks, and may want it right back. Thinking that the Manning THEY would be purchasing would be the same great one they last saw when he last played an NFL game. Against them in the 2010 playoffs.

For the Jets, the downside of a drama growing from a quiet inquiry into a media circus, is the lingering affect it could have on the guy who WILL steer the ship next season: Mark Sanchez.

A player whose confidence seems so adolescent at times, yet a guy who at 25, is still young. In need of nurturing, better coaching, and alot of emotional repairing. As opposed to further psychological damage that could be obtained from having to answer endless questions starting in July about his near exit OUT of New York.

Should Manning be pursued by the Jets yet end up elsewhere, Sanchez COULD take a lesson from Jets CB Antonio Cromartie. A player who after Nnamdi Asomugha signed with the Eagles after a maniacal post lockout chase by the Jets for the top free agent corner ended, harbored no visible ill will in playing temporary second fiddle. Cro stated instead that “it’s a business,” where teams have the right to do what is in their best interests to upgrade wherever they see fit.

As of now, with less than a week to go until the Colts press that red “detonate” button it’s all just speculation. For us, you, Manning, the Colts themselves, any NFL teams who covet him, and of course the Jets.

Gang Green could have avoided all of this Peyton talk that swims around them now, by declaring that “Mark Sanchez is the starter in 2012” with a stronger, more forceful tone since that final loss in Miami on New Years day. Instead they haven’t.

So what are we supposed to think? What many out there believe already. That the Manning sweepstakes may very well include the team from New York that doesn’t own one yet.

Wildcard Winners Each Offer Jets A Lesson

TJ on what the New York Jets should have learned from watching, instead of playing, this past weekend

The Jets having been officially knocked out in week 17 technically means that they just missed the playoffs this season. They certainly didn’t “just miss” being a threat in areas they hoped to thrive in over the course of 2011 though. Wildcard weekend’s winners each showcased a piece of what the Jets thought they would possess themselves, as they made their way into year three of the Rex Ryan era last August.

Arian Foster and Ben Tate exemplified what a “Ground and Pound 2.0 ought to look like. Powerful, fast, dangerous and unrelenting. This wasn’t 3.5 yards and a cloud of dust. This combo was a brutalizing pair against the Bengals. Foster and Tate were running downhill the minute the second half began. Similar to the way Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene would in 2009, but with more explosiveness. The Jets must continue to employ Ryan’s beloved mantra, but look for ways to add to it, with outside speed and some tank like force inside.

In the Saints in thrashing the Lions 45-28, the plethora of choices that Drew Brees (who thrived after ending his connection to QB coach Brian Schottenheimer in San Diego.. cough, cough) has to work with, were the template for what the Jets tried in their own pedestrian way, to achieve when they came out as a pass happy three wide bunch to start the year. Spread out and fast paced.

The Jets like most of the teams in the NFL, will never match this weaponry. However, they can try and learn from the Saints tempo in and out of the huddle, from play to play. Crisp. Quick. With purpose.

The Jets muddling along has to stop. Too many false starts by the offense comes as a result of being out of rhythm, a step slow, and not in control of the pace of play, when they hit the line of scrimmage.

The Giants front four allowed their offense time to get into a rhythm against the Falcons, even though it was an odd 2-0 Atlanta lead for much of the first half. The Jets don’t have this knockout outside pass rush prowess up front. At all.

Yes Mike Devito, Sione Pouha and Co. are stout against the run, but this is a quarterback’s league nowadays. Strike some fear into the opposition’s signal caller and an entire 53 man team can seem alot more imposing.

Big Blue’s QB Eli Manning is as poised as he has ever been this year as well. We know the Manning Mark Sanchez comparison is an unfair one based on experience, but Sanchez should be studying how calm Manning works under duress in the pocket. How accurately he delivers third down throws with his arm, while his legs remain composed.

Tim Tebow works miracles. We know that. The Broncos collectively follow him though. They play with heart and passion and unity. The Jets failed to exude this external desperation throughout the course of their 8-8 disappointment. Perhaps this was due to the fact that internally, Gang Green owned a sense of entitlement, after two straight trips deep into January.

A more humble disposition and collective belief in each other might be the antidote to the Jets malaise going forward. It certainly has been for John Fox’s crew who appear overmatched on a weekly basis on paper, yet find themselves heading to the AFC divisional round anyway.

Hopefully the Jets took away something from a voyeuristic distance from this first playoff weekend. There was alot to be gained simply from watching.