Jets In Oakland: The Numbers Simply Don’t Add Up

In Oakland, Jets QB Mark Sanchez threw for 369 yards and lost while the Jets defense gave up 15 more points than their 2010 average. In two of three games the Jets have played this season, the personality on both sides of the ball has changed in comparison to that of last year’s AFC championship runner ups. The Jets might want to look at what has occurred in these areas as a warning sign. Before a brutal four game AFC stretch, three of which take place on the road takes place.

On offense, the Jets and coordinator Brian Schottenheimer came out of the gates  looking to prove to the league, themselves, their fans, and anyone else, that Mark Sanchez could throw the ball and be trusted. They have thrown it 111 times already compared to 71 rushing attempts so far. Last season though, the team amassed 534 rushing attempts compared to only 525 through the air. Sanchez’s totals have ballooned from his 205 yard per game average in 2010 to 350 yards a game passing against Dallas and Oakland. Yet the Jets are only 1-1 over those two games.

Has the switch to more passing helped in scoring? Barely. The Jets averaged 22 points a game last year in going 11-5. In the two games aforementioned (forget the Jacksonville game for obvious reasons) the Jets have only raised their scoring by a field goal (25.5). This combined with an inability to keep teams out of the end zone has left the Jets with plenty of question marks. Despite having won two of their first three contests.

Rex Ryan’s defense has allowed 58 points against teams who albeit house big play stars such as Tony Romo and Darren McFadden. That’s a 29 points per game average compared to the 19 a game they were giving up in 2010 when they were the league’s third ranked defense. They’ve also yielded 385 yards. A total that is slightly less than a hundred MORE (291 yds given up per game in 2010) yards per game than their average total last season. A reality that does NOT portray the Jets defense as a unit who opposing teams with weapons, are playing in fear of.

It is clear that the Jets Ground and Pound of 2009 has morphed into the “run and screen” game with LaDainian Tomlinson as the feature outside of the hashes. It’s also apparent that the Jets are still developing the relationship between Sanchez and his new WR corps while featuring the emerging TE Dustin Keller within it.

The problem lies in how to blend the two together.

The Jets led 17-7 into the late second quarter Sunday based on a shrewd gameplan that incorporated the screen game with a rushing attack that finally took the ball outside of the hashes. However in the second half things changed. The Jets looked downfield more often and payed for it.

When asked to protect Sanchez for longer pass routes, a makeshift offensive line that included rookie C Colin Baxter and a struggling Wayne Hunter, began to collapse. Why the sudden switch from the matriculation that was paying off? The Raiders came into the game ranked 27th against the run. Surely it seemed as though it would have been worth testing to see if they had worn down at all after getting hit hard and burned by RB Shonn Greene early on.

The reason may be twofold.

Perhaps Oakland adjusted their style on defense at halftime. If so, hats off to Raiders coach Hue Jackson and his staff.  The other scenario, a frightening one for the Jets could be that Gang Green is still trying to figure their approach out when they have the ball. Looking to find ways to spread the ball around, give Sanchez more responsibility, while regaining their running prowess, all at the same time.

Not having three time All Pro stalwart Nick Mangold certainly altered the initial offensive game plan yesterday. Still, The Jets must take the positives they see on film from Sunday in the run game and now devise a plan for how and where to attack with Greene and company.

The defense has ten returning starters from last year’s top five unit but must slow down fast teams that are scoring and gaining more than they did when they truly were the top five unit that Ryan would brag about on a weekly basis. As of right now, teams are not respecting the Jets defense in the way that they respect themselves. The numbers so far are proving that. They don’t add up.

For the Rex Ryan Jets the mantras aren’t matching the play. There is no more “Ground and Pound.” The defense has not smothered the good teams yet.

Amidst the search for consistency, the Jets still remain mentally tough. Often finding ways to win late in games as they did against the Cowboys in the opener and many times throughout 2010. Almost climbing back into the game during the waning moments in the Black Hole as well. Regardless of the need to tighten up the nuts and bolts, the Jets, as October approaches, have put themselves in position to still get where they want to go.

At 2-1, there should be no cause for panic. This solid but imperfect start in the standings should be seen a lift off point. With a little correction and adjustment time mixed in. However, if the Jets don’t keep a close eye on the guidelines and winning formula that they have set for themselves on paper over the past few years, then they may take on a personality that is truly not who they are. Or who they want to be.

Terminator’s Key Role In The Black Hole

Editor’s Note – Check out our new Video page for NFL highlights and picks courtesy of Burst Media

Middle LB Rolando McClain was flying around the field for the Silver and Black in Buffalo last Sunday. Oakland’s interior duo of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelley have three sacks combined already after two games. With three time all Pro C Nick Mangold likely out when the Jets travel out West for Sunday’s matchup with old AFL rivals the Raiders, backup C Colin Baxter will need help in keeping things status quo. That help must be provided in part by second year FB John Conner.

Conner has to do a solid job of picking up blitzes and cleaning up any mistakes the inexperienced Baxter may make in trying to assess stunts and other balls of confusion that the Raiders will undoubtedly throw his way. The Jets passing game will most likely be altered anyway, to include more quick releases in order to keep Mark Sanchez safe. In addition to Mangold’s probable absence, RT Wayne Hunter has struggled so far in 2011. Nonetheless, Conner has to be a brick wall when Sanchez drops back to throw. Especially if the amount of downfield attempts are decidedly lessened because of the major changes up front.

Conner might have an even greater positive effect for the Jets offense if he can begin to plow open some holes for the disappointing RB Shonn Greene (2.9 yards per carry). A return to a solid effective run game would do wonders in alleviating the stress caused by the high ankle sprain Mangold suffered last week at home against the Jags.

The shoes Connor has had to fill have been big ones. Former Jets FB, the longtime veteran Tony Richardson, was as dependable as they come. T-Rich is gone however. Therefore the unheralded and often thankless job of will now fall squarely on the shoulders of Connor. A player who the Jets must now lean on more heavily, if they hope to escape this tough three game road stretch with their AFC East title hopes still intact.

Life Without Mangold

How much will the Jets miss Nick Mangold if the center is truly out of action with a high ankle sprain? They’ll miss him plenty. The task of overcoming his absence is not however, insurmountable.  Shonn Greene could wake up from a sleepy September. The Jets could scale down their air attack, while leaning on their defense and special teams units. Both of whom have been quite resourceful this year. The Jets can continue their hot start minus Mangold only if they play it smart in all phases, and acknowledge which plays can’t be run when the three time Pro Bowler is not able to help spearhead them.

Provided that Mangold WILL be on the sidelines (there are differing reports as to the extent of the injury at this time) Jets and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will first have to try it on the ground. The problem with relying on that strategy is that RB Shonn Greene has averaged less than three yards a carry (26-75) so far WITH Mangold. Without the ability to find time to get the ball into their receivers hands, the focus for Oakland can center strictly around Greene. A dangerous scenario for the Jets who would then have to practically pitch a shutout in order to win.

Therefore the key may not be how Greene and the rushing attack adjust to life without number 74, but how the Jets passing game does. We suggest a higher percentage of plays out of a flex backfield attack that features more screens to trustworthy RB Ladainian Tomlinson. LT has already pitched in with clutch chain moving grabs so it only makes sense in this time of need, to go with what has been working. The quick drops and throws to the outside will not only relieve backup C Colin Baxter of the constant pressure that comes with reading stunts and withstanding bull rushes from interior defenders, it will also help tire out a Raider defense.

Baxter benefited greatly from the experience he gained at Met Life stadium Sunday. Mangold left in the first half, forcing the undrafted free agent into the fire. The rookie held his own but expectations for any first year lineman must be tempered. Especially when playing time comes as a result of having to replace a player like Mangold.

Losing their center will also mean that the Jets must scale down the amount of shots they take downfield. Baxter will have enough on his plate already and to have to add extended pass protection to his list of jobs on Sunday may be overload. Beyond that, RT Wayne Hunter has gotten off to a rough start, and it is clear that the Jets would be risking more than interceptions should they misdiagnose the effect Mangold has in keeping Sanchez safe and secure.

Rolling Sanchez out to find the emerging Dustin Keller quickly in the flat can also help alleviate the stress to what would be a revamped offensive line. 6’4 WR Plaxico Burress could provide a hand on more slant routes over the middle while perhaps being that big play target down the sidelines should one on one coverage situations (which Burress saw few of last Sunday) emerge. If so, it would behoove the Jets to force feed advantages in any of those matchups as often as possible.

The Jets can also take solace in the fact that their defense has created turnovers so far in 2011, while the special teams has made momentum changing plays two weeks in a row. Rex Ryan wanted more interceptions from his defense this year and on Sunday against the Jags he got four of them. Mike Westhoff’s unit also helped out big time in the week one 27-24 comeback win over Dallas, when a fourth quarter punt block by Joe McKnight was picked up for and run for a TD.

Another key will be playing these this next tough stretch of  road games (Oakland, Baltimore, New England) cleanly. No turnovers. No penalties. The Jets were uncharacteristically flagged too often (7-60 yds) against the Jags. That can’t happen now, given the circumstances of a team playing without it’s star center.

Regardless of whether Greene gets it going finally, the formula for navigating through this tough three game stretch with out Mangold will still remain twofold. Get the ball out fast in the passing game, while looking for big play opportunities on defense and special teams. It won’t be easy for Gang Green to keep the train rolling when the leader of the trenches is not in uniform, should that be the case for any number of games though, the Jets still DO own a roadmap to victory.

Final Thoughts On Jets/Jaguars

A few final thoughts on Jets/Jaguars…

Game MVP – It has to be Antonio Cromartie, who bounced back from being last week’s Goat in this article. Cromartie came up with 2 interceptions and 2 big kick returns, demonstrating his big play potential.

Game Goat – I will go with Wayne Hunter, who has given Jets fans no reason to believe the right tackle position is in good hands moving forward without Damien Woody.

Play of the Game – The first quarter touchdown strike from Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes, ending the team’s first quarter touchdown drought, showing Sanchez’s accuracy and that Holmes was healthy.

Trending Up

  • Dustin Keller – Back to back big games, as he finished with 101 yards and another touchdown.
  • Muhammad Wilkerson – First career NFL sack went for a safety.
  • Bart Scott – Second straight week with a sack. Scott looks poised for a big year.
  • Nick Folk – 3/3 on field goal attempts.

Trending Down

  • Nick Mangold – Will likely be out 3-4 games with a high ankle sprain.
  • Wayne Hunter – Badly in need of a steady performance against Oakland.
  • Derrick Mason – Still hasn’t found his niche in the offense.
  • Mark Sanchez – Two ugly interceptions. He must protect the football better.

1. Calvin Pace and Scott have been consistently getting pressure on the quarterback, which is limiting the need for the Jets to blitz as much. This is an encouraging trend moving forward. It will also help if Muhammad Wilkerson can continue to get after the quarterback.

2. Colin Baxter should be living at the Jets facility the next month. After Oakland, he has Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork headed his way. Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson need to step up to help him out.

3. Regardless of double teams and his mature attitude on the situation. The Jets must do a better job of getting Plaxico Burress involved in the offense, in the first half. Throw the guy a quick hitch or slant and let him get in the flow of the game.

TJ Rosenthal reviews his top 5 keys from the game

New Jets Leave Perfectionists Rooting With Short Term Memory

We hear and see the complaints every day. From Twitter, to sports talk radio, to general conversations on the street: These Jets, despite two straight trips to the AFC championship game and a fast start in 2011, are still seen by some Jets fans with the glass half empty. A distinction must be made though, between being angry about a miserable football team and concerned over the details that turn a very good team into great.

The current NY Jets are not a flawless football team. They are a very good one, with some great players and units that can knock opponents out given the matchup. The Jets of today are a far cry from their predecessors. Guys who let windy days in Shea Stadium swirl wins into inexplicable losses. They are not the Jets of Giants stadium either, ones who turned hope by exit 16W into tragic endings that ruined once promising seasons.

Nowadays, Jets fans seem to be most unhappy with the fact that third year QB Mark Sanchez is not Tom Brady yet. That Shonn Greene has not become Walter Payton. That the Jets don’t score enough, or early enough. That the front four is not the Steel Curtain. What is missing from many of these arguments is the inclusion of one simple fact. The one that acknowledges that Rex’s Jets win. They win the trap games that the Same Old Jets would lose. They win on the road. They win in the playoffs. They come from behind. They win games they shouldn’t win, not vice versa. Yes, the Sanchez’s and Greene’s must improve, but they don’t have to wind up in Canton in order for the Jets to get where they want to go.

Sunday’s 32-3 win over Jacksonville was the perfect example of how some fans and media experts now expect artistry, not just W’s. The Jets led 15-3 at the half. During the halftime show, CBS’s Boomer Esiason noted first and foremost that Sanchez needed to pick up his play. An opinion that summed up much of what we read from Jets fans using social media at that time.

Boomer was right that Sanchez had made a few poor decisions, ruining some drives and overall field position. However, the score at the half wasn’t even THAT close. In fact, aside from the fear of a long Maurice Jones Drew run or two in the second half, or an unforgivable mistake by the Jets, the Jaguars lacked the firepower to win that game. A notion that was obvious from the start for those who dedicate Sundays to watching football. By the third quarter when the lead ballooned to 29-3, it should have come as no surprise to anyone.

The Jets are not perfect. In fact they are beatable, should certain elements combine within a game that leave them too far back to pull of a comeback that many now wait around expecting, as if it is some birthright. If you’ve lived through the tough times of the early 70’s, the late 80’s and the Kotite era though, you might see all of the critical talk that surrounds the Jets lately as overkill. If so, it would be hard to argue with you.

Being perfect is not a championship requirement. Winning consistently is. A Super Bowl can be won as a result of many different key strengths. Some have done it through the air. Others on the ground, or with a smothering defense. In the modern day NFL, the Jets and GM Mike Tannenbaum are doing THEIR winning via late game toughness, a plethora of All Pro players, and a flexible scheme based defense. That’s the Jet way. Their own way.

In the very least, the Jets have finally achieved what they have failed to do in the past as a franchise. They’ve put themselves in position to compete for the Vince Lombardi trophy on a yearly basis. They’ve also become interesting. This thanks to Rex Ryan.

The bar on the field has been raised, especially by Rex himself who links the notion of “Super Bowl ” and the “Jets” every chance he gets. His players have in turn, fed off his energy. Some have even become outspoken themselves. Owner Woody Johnson sees the theater in allowing players to express themselves and has chosen not to edit them as a result.

If Ryan’s boasting about titles, and the Jets new brash demeanor has helped cause expectations for the Jets to soar nationwide, it can at least be taken with a grain of salt by the fan base. Ryan has from the start, been part entertainer, part salesman ,while spending the majority of his time leading his teams to wins. The players love playing for him and speak openly about how much they love being a Jet. Imagine that.

We bet if you were to travel in a time machine back to ask fans of the past with bags over their heads if they’d be ok with the chance to win it all given the current culture of the Jets, they’d take it in a second. No, they’d take it in a nanosecond.

This Jets team has to be better. There is no question about it. We write about who must pick it up on the Jet Report page on a weekly basis. Still, the disapproval by many who bleed Green and White for what is happening now, and has transpired here over the past two years, is hard to understand. Maybe for those who are unhappy with HOW games are WON, it’s simply a case of forgetting truly how far this franchise, once a laughingstock, has come.

2-0 is a record that many talented Jets teams of the past would have failed to achieve. Something somehow, would have simply gotten in the way for those Jets clubs. Games that were supposed to be won on paper like Sunday’s matchup against the Jags, would have slipped away. Not for the “New” Jets though. When push comes to shove, they take care of business most of the time now. There is no reason to settle for being almost Super, but let’s not forget the fact that things have been pretty great around here lately either.

TOJ Week 2 Roundtable: Jets/Jaguars Key Match-Up

What is the key match-up in the Jets/Jaguars game?

Joe Caporoso: I am going to say the New York Jets linebackers against Maurice Jones-Drew. With Mercedes Lewis likely out, Jones-Drew is the only person who you have to worry about gashing the Jets defense. It is key the Jets keep him contained and force Luke McCown to make some throws to keep the game competitive and considering the Jaguars wide receivers versus the Jets secondary, I doubt that will happen.

TJ RosenthalGround and Pound vs Jags run defense: The Jaguars come into the game second in the NFL against the run. We know. It has only been one week and a rusty Chris Johnson had a mere nine carries last week for the Titans. However, the Jets come into the game still searching for their rushing attack. The Cowboys took the run away from the Jets. The Jags have a slew of free agents that were added to Jack Del Rio’s unit. It is time for Shonn Greene to get it going early in a season.

Rob Celletti: The key match-up this week – and it is one I think the Jets will ace – is their front seven vs. the Jags rushing attack (Maurice Jones-Drew).  To me, MJD is the only person that can really hurt the Jets and make this game close if he has a huge day. The Jets got some great play from Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha and Bart Scott in week 1, so if those same guys contribute again and are joined by the rest of the bigs up front, the Jets will stuff the run and – absent some truly boneheaded plays on offense and special teams – be on their way to a win.

Top Five Keys For Jets/Cowboys

It is finally here. A game that so many have circled on their calendars from the minute that the 2011 NFL schedules became official. The Jets and America’s team. On the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy. Sunday night football on the first Sunday of the season. It doesn’t get any better than this in September. Here are our top five keys for the Jets as they take on the Dallas Cowboys.

SANCHEZ, YEAR THREE BEGINS: It seems obvious and easy to choose the Jets QB as the top key for any game. We do it here though to make a statement on the entire season. This is Mark Sanchez’s team now. He will be judged according to where the Jets end up. This week we’ll see how the “Sanchise” pulls together a WR corps that was revamped on the fly this summer. With the Jets it starts on the ground but it will only end up in Indianapolis if Sanchez takes the next step in 2011.

KEEP ROMO CONTAINED: Cowboys QB Tony Romo is most dangerous when his blocking breaks down. It is then that he breaks free, begins to improvise, and ultimately devastate. The Jets pass rush up front has provided little pressure this preseason. What they can’t do is compound that by allowing Romo to escape the pocket where he likes to sling it Brett Favre style, often times with downfield success. Even worse for the Jets, Romo has Jason Witten. The 2010 Jets had problems covering tight ends.

CROMARTIE VS BRYANT AND AUSTIN: You can already predict what Revis Island will look like on Sunday night. Barren. Deserted. The other side of the field though, will be the opposite. Balls will be flying like Juy 4th fireworks in CB Antonio Cromartie’s work area.

With the game breaking combo of Dez Bryant and Miles Austin coming to town, “Cro” can ill afford a night like the one he had last year in week one against the Ravens. A performance that featured constant holding and illegal contact calls, when he wasn’t getting beat. Cromartie can give up catches in front of him. He just can’t become an EZ pass toll booth for the Cowboys to race past at will.

KELLER AND WITTEN: Jason Witten is the template for how an All Pro tight end should perform and be employed in the passing game. Keller has been “emerging” since his rookie year. It is time for number 81 to be that weapon that the Jets don’t make excuses about anymore.

It ia always the same response from Gang Green regarding Keller’s lack of activity. The one that reads “Keller draws attention and therefore it is hard to force feed him the ball.” Does that mean that Witten grabs a hundred balls a year because he doesn’t draw attention? Hardly. The Jets need to stop talking about why Keller gets bottled up, and start making him the threat he has the ability to be.

SCHOTTY VS ROB RYAN: How entertaining and charming are the big loud Ryan brothers? We love them, they are great for football. We wish only the best for their father Buddy, who will be in attendance despite battling cancer for a second time.

Beyond their brothers natural media abilities, the Ryans are no nonsense on that field. The Cowboys new defensive coordiantor Rob made the Browns, that’s right the Browns defense, respectable last year.

Jets embattled offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has been, despite the clubs two straight trips to the AFC title game, the target of may die hards anger. This for his lack of faith in Sanchez and a seemingly lack of creativity in finding ways to get the Jets in position to score more points. Those complaints are not all warranted, yet can all be put to rest finally, if the offense begins to click consistently.

Schotty has weapons galore. The new personnel offense hasn’t gelled yet due to such limited time with each other, but the names on the backs of the jerseys are big ones. High profile ones. Potentially explosive ones. Coordinating means putting it all together. That is Schotty’s responsibility, one that will include an even greater scrutiny should the Jets stumble often on offense this season, like they have in the previous two.

We can guarantee what a Ryan run defense will bring. A Schotty offense? The Jets offensive “guru” has had to overcome game calling for a young, and often times mistake prone QB, on a team with an excellent defense that doesn’t need a scoreboard to light up in order to win. However, it is time to brand this unit. Time to blend the run game with what ought to be an emerging passing game.

For now two key questions remain: When if ever, will the veil come off of Sanchez? When does that blind mutual trust between OC and QB truly begin?  A stalemate in this one on one battle of the headsets will keep the Jets in the game. Anything less may leave the Jets at 0-1 and prepping for Jacksonville.

TOJ Week 1 Roundtable: Jets/Cowboys Picks

Joe Caporoso: See the 12 pack

Justin Fritze: This game will start slow as each offense will try and guess what the defense is going to do. We know one thing about the Dallas front 7. DeMarcus Ware is coming. John Conner will be put to the test. LT will not stop Ware in run blocking. The Jets got lucky that the secondary of Dallas is decimated, as Sanchez can air it out with less fear. You can’t run a Ryan defense without good corners, and Rob Ryan’s bluster will be put to the test. The Jets will try to run the ball, but we know Dallas is going to stop the run first. I see Holmes and Burress having big catches, and Dustin Keller finally getting some long deserved passes over the middle.  Romo will have a touchdown pass and Felix Jones will take it in from the goal line. I take Jets 21-17.

Rob Celletti: The Jets get off the ground, winning 24-16.  I think the defense will come up with a big performance highlighted by an interception or two of Tony Romo and the offense will do just enough, adjusting as the game progresses and scoring 17 of their 24 points in the second half. Santonio Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson (receiving) and Shonn Greene will score touchdowns for Gang Green.

TJ Rosenthal: Not a big fan of predicting games or seasons because we all know that one injury to a key player can change the complexion of how two teams play. That said, the matchup right now can go in two directions. If the Cowboys new offensive line struggles in their first game together, if the Dallas secondary, banged up and struggling has communication issues, the Jets have an edge in a 24/27 to-13/17 type of game. On the other hand if the Jets can’t stop Tony Romo from escaping the pocket to find TE Jason Witten, and Mark Sanchez and the new WR corps aren’t on the same page yet, the Cowboys have the edge in a 21/24-13 type of game.

Chris Celletti: I think it is a very close game that comes down to the last possession.The Jets will have some success throwing the ball, but I think Jason Witten and Miles Austin will have big games for the Cowboys as well. The Jets have a slight edge in the running game, with the inexperience of the Cowboys’ offensive line showing through. Plaxico Burress hauls in his first TD since being in the slammer, and Nick Folk makes a field goal in the 4th quarter to put the Jets up. The Jets get a stop on a 4th and long late in the game to seal a 23-20 win.

Third Year Jets Sanchez And Greene Must Lead The Way

The Jets offensive line houses two All-Pros in D’Brickshaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. The new wide receiving group owns two players in Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, who have last minute Super Bowl winning grabs on their resume. Yet it is third year QB Mark Sanchez and RB Shonn Greene who must lead the way for the Jets offense, if it hopes to improve upon the inconsistent behavior that it has displayed throughout the Rex Ryan era.

The Sanchez debate over his first two seasons ranges from the notion that he is a clutch late game winner, to the concept that Sanchez is not, and never will be, an elite quarterback. Two trips to the AFC title game are not enough for many including Sanchez, who along with Rex Ryan, have publicly stated a desire to see the QB’s completion percentage grow to 60 percent, up from from a 54 percent career average.

Sanchez has 29 career touchdowns with 33 interceptions but threw more TD’s (17) than picks (13) in 2010. That ratio must also improve significantly in order for Sanchez to make his way into the upper echelon of NFL signal callers.

Perhaps the addition of a red zone threat, the newly acquired WR Plaxico Burress will help, along with having WR Santonio Holmes from the onset (Holmes missed four games to start 2010 due to violating the NFL drug policy) will give Sanchez the downfield potential from week one as well. Many also believe TE Dustin Keller will break out in 2011. This courtesy of the arrival of former Colts offensive guru, the tight end centric offensive assistant Tom Moore.

In the end, though, the responsibility falls not on those who get the ball. It falls on the shoulders of Sanchez. A leader whose job it is to make quality decisions in where he chooses to deliver his throws. Sanchez in year three, has to solidify his emotional demeanor too. This in order to minimize the mental ups and downs he’s had a tendency to display in games. Those waves occurring mostly when moving the chains does not come easily. It is there that panic has lead Sanchez in the past, into high risk throws ending up as turnovers.

Maligned offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has been criticized for not trusting his quarterback since his arrival as the fifth overall pick during the 2009 NFL draft. That trust must go both ways though. Sanchez has to prove to Schotty and the sidelines that being given a greater responsibility will pay off in more points, not more mistakes.

Greene has been a playoff beast for the Jets during their back to back late January runs. His regular season totals of 1,306 yards and a 4.5 yards per carry average are numbers however, that a feature back would hope to display over one season, not in two years combined. Greene needs to enforce his will on opponents earlier in the game, and show that he is the feature back, earlier in the season. In 2010, his hesitant nature and failure to run with confidence left the Jets in the position of having to hand over the tempo setting reigns to veteran LaDainian Tomlinson.

LT did a solid job in a role that was expanded for him, in a backfield that opted to let the hammering Thomas Jones go in favor of Greene as the future. A future that didn’t happen for the former Iowa Hawkeye in 2010.

It must become a reality for Greene and the Jets in 2011. Otherwise Gang Green will again have to turn to LT, a future Hall of Famer who in the twilight of an outstanding career, appears to be a step slower. Running backs Joe McKnight and rookie Bilal Powell will seek to contribute to the ground game regardless of the effect that Greene has, but remain unproven.

There is no denying the fact that the Jets have to pick it up offensively in 2011. Their ability to do so, despite all of the talent the Jets currently have on offense, starts with Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene.

Can Jets Put Two Tight End Set To Use?

Many Jets fans had immediate dreams of a two tight end set the minute that Tom Moore, the former Colts offensive guru arrived in Florham Park as the newest member of the Jets staff. However, even with the emergence of Jeff Cumberland this summer with the second unit, the Jets never unveiled what many thought might be a new look for the playbook. Priorities made it such that the Jets in limited time had to work the new receiving corps out first. Perhaps the two tight end set is next in line. Even kept under wraps on purpose for the time being.

The Jets would have loved by this time to have their new wide receiving corps that includes Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason, and rookie Jeremy Kerley healthy and firing on all cylinders, which hasn’t happened yet. Former Rams WR Mardy Gilyard has now been added to this group. One that will go into week one unproven.

Both Burress and Mason missed time due to minor injuries and the offensive line started some second string players during the time that Mark Sanchez took first half snaps. Therefore the playbook was limited to safer throws that kept Sanchez safe as possible.

With the wideouts being the passing game’s top priority it is understandable that the club hasn’t gone to the next phase of development in adding 6’4 Cumberland to downfield routes with Keller yet. That’s doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Should they roll out a formation that does include both Cumberland and Dustin Keller, one that the Patriots took to another level in 2010, it will be done without having attempted it during any of the four summer tune ups.

If and when it the duo do emerge out of the huddle together, there will also be no guaranteed success that the duo of Cumberland and Keller will match the effectiveness that Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski displayed up in Foxboro.

With Moore’s tutelage and track record however, this type of addition to the air attack could provide Sanchez the ability to find a high percentage rythym with big targets at close range. In places on the field that don’t include the flat. Where moves have to be made by those with the ball, just to cross the line of scrimmage.

Many who follow the Jets still wonder if this scenario will unfold in 2011, while dreaming about the potential upside it could bring the Jets offense.