Pondering A Season Without Revis

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Monday Practice Recap –

  • Good to hear Mark Sanchez went 9/12 with a touchdown today. This is his first practice with a completion percentage over 50 percent. Hopefully, he is building off a relatively strong showing at the Green and White Scrimmage.
  • David Clowney was back on the practice field and pulled in a 20 yard touchdown reception from Sanchez to end the team’s two minute drill. It hasn’t been released why Clowney missed the past few days.
  • Rex Ryan’s press conference love affair with Vernon Gholston continued today. Gholston better drop Eli Manning and Jim Sorgi two times a piece next Monday.
  • Dwight Lowery went to the coaching staff to volunteer his starting position (in place of Darrelle Revis) to rookie Kyle Wilson. Rex Ryan praised the team mentality and commented that Lowery would play a variety of roles on the Jets defense anyway. This move was probably going to happen anyway, with the longer Revis holdout lasted. It is better to thron the rookie out there now because it is starting to become more and more likely Revis could miss a portion of the regular season, if not the entire thing.
  • Nick Folk…5/5.
  • Jason Taylor tweaked his groin. Braylon Edwards had limited reps with a sore knee. Mario Davis, Jeff Cumberland, and Brashton Satele all missed practice with minor injuries. Surprise, surprise…Joe McKnight was suffering from dehydration.

Pondering A Season Without Revis

Let’s get to the big news of the day. The Jets met with Darrelle Revis’ representatives at Roscoe’s Diner in New York on Friday night (where all major NFL business happens) and received a proposal. When discussing the Revis negotiations with the media today, owner Woody Johnson offered the sunny forecast that he didn’t think a new deal would be reached before the season starts and that his gut feeling is that Revis won’t play for the Jets in 2010.

So it could really come to this?

PhotobucketThe Jets have never had more hype surrounding their organization and haven’t been this widely recognized as a Super Bowl contender since 1999 and they can’t get their best overall player on the field. Their defense is built around sending as many people after the quarterback as possible and leaving their corners on an island with receivers and they are going to move ahead without the best corner in football. Mike Tannenbaum found a way to get Brett Favre on this team, trade up for Mark Sanchez, trade for Kris Jenkins, Antonio Cromartie, and Santonio Holmes but can’t work a deal out with Revis. Woody Johnson just paid for a new stadium but won’t pay for his best player to play in it.

Darrelle Revis is going to sit out an entire season just after arriving as an elite player in the NFL. He is going to wave good-bye to all those new advertisements and publicity that has been coming his way as the second coming of Deion Sanders. He is going to push his way out of New York, the city that renamed Manhattan “Revis Island” and the organization that traded up for him. He is going to pass up the chance to play on a legitimate Super Bowl contender. There may not even be football in 2011 and he is going to skip 2010.

I hope the Jets win a Super Bowl without Revis, trade him to Tampa Bay for a 1st round pick and he becomes irrelevant on a crappy team.

The Jets organization is moronic for not shelling out the money for Revis. After all the moves they made to position themselves for a Super Bowl, they won’t go the extra step here to insure they are putting the best team possible on the field.

It is hard not to feel the tug of both sides in this ongoing contract dispute. Both sides are in the wrong to a certain extent. Yet a Jets team without Revis, is bad for the organization, bad for Revis, bad for fans, and good for opposing receivers.

However, this season can’t just end if the team’s best player doesn’t report. There is too much talent spread across the roster. The offense can still run the football. Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller will all be catching passes. On defense, Kris Jenkins, David Harris, Bart Scott and company aren’t going to say “oh well, so much for repeating as the league’s top unit. We don’t have Revis.”

The Jets aren’t going to have an all-time great defense without Darrelle Revis. Yet, they still will have one of the league’s top units and could probably maintain their top overall spot if Antonio Cromartie finds his 2007 form and Kyle Wilson grows up quickly. Both of those are major ifs.

No team isn’t going to suffer at least a little bit from losing their best player. However, this team is too confident and well-rounded to fade off into irrelevancy because of one individual. Could we see a re-enactment of the Bill Simmons “Ewing Theory” that when a team loses their best player, they play better? Will the Jets defense rally around the loss and have other players step up to fill the void? Repeating as the NFL’s number one defense may be a little much to ask but remaining a legitimate Super Bowl contender is not.

Also, thanks again Al Davis.

Jets Friday Morning Recap & What About The Gholston Hype?

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Friday Morning Recap:

Rex Ryan’s press conference was particularly interesting this morning –

  • He backed up his bravado of signing the ESPN Training Bus “Soon To Be Champs” on the Jets logo. Ryan claimed when he looks in the crystal ball for 2010 he sees the Jets winning the Super Bowl and doesn’t believe there is any reason to hide it.
  • Rookie UDFA tight end Jeff Cumberland has a head injury and could miss the green and white scrimmage tomorrow. Linebacker Brashton Satele and guard Marion Davis are also banged up and could miss tomorrow.
  • He discussed Joe McKnight’s role on the team and commented how he must find a spot on special teams, particularly in covering kicks. The Jets had Mike Westhoff call him before they drafted him and make sure he would willing to embrace that role. When discussing him at running back, he said there is no way he is beating out Shonn Greene or LaDainian Tomlinson on the depth chart but he could still have a large role on the offense. Sticking to the running backs, he continued to lavish praise on Tomlinson and rookie fullback John Conner.
  • Mike DeVito will be the starting defensive end opposite Shaun Ellis. Those two along with Kris Jenkins and Sione Pouha will get the bulk of the defensive line rotation reps, although he is expecting Vernon Gholston and Ropati Pitoitua to contribute on a weekly basis also. When pressed about Gholston deserving a roster spot, Ryan got defensive saying he was earning it with a great opening week of camp and his various roles on special teams. One of the reporters questioned whether newcomer Rodrique Wright should get a spot over him but Ryan claimed they play different positions and that Gholston is currently the best option to back up Shaun Ellis at defensive end.
  • Currently, Kenwin Cummings is the team’s number three inside linebacker behind Bart Scott and David Harris.
  • Ryan said  Nick Folk reminded him of Matt Stover, who struggled at times early in his career but eventually settled down.
  • He was frustrated with the defense allowing a 50 yard touchdown reception by Brad Smith because he saw it as a continuation of their late game struggles in 2009.
  • Matt Slauson is leading in the battle for LG right now because he is being more physical and not as hesitant. The coaches have got on Vladimir Ducasse about worrying less on making mistakes and concentrating on finishing his blocks each play.

Practice Highlights

  • Mark Sanchez – 5/11, TD, INT (Calvin Pace on a batted ball)
  • Nick Folk – 6/6, including a 51 yarder.
  • Smith with the previously mentioned 50 yard touchdown.
  • Another sack for Vernon Gholston.
  • Fight between Jamaal Westerman and Robert Turner.
  • Laveranues Coles banged up his leg but returned later in practice.
  • David Clowney is excused from practice today for personal reasons.

What About The Gholston Hype?

PhotobucketWe hear it every single year. Vernon Gholston is finally getting it. He looks great out there. The game is slowing down for him and on and on. This training camp has been no different. Every single day we are hearing about Gholston recording another sack or flushing the quarterback out of the pocket. Rex Ryan defended his roster spot today by saying he deserves a key spot in the defensive line rotation and that he looks substantially better with his hand in the dirt instead of playing outside linebacker. Honestly, I will believe it when I see it in a game. Yes, there is a chance Gholston will be much better off at defensive end. He certainly has the physical tools to play the position and the Jets aren’t exactly asking a ton out of him in 2010. Could be develop into a quality role player? What do you think, are you falling for the hype again?

Jets Practice #5 Quick Recap & A Pat On The Back For Nick Mangold and David Harris

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Quick highlights of what is being reported from the Jets afternoon practice –

  • It sounded like a much better session for Mark Sanchez who hit a handful of check downs to LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, hit Santonio Holmes for a touchdown and had another long connection with Jerricho Cotchery.
  • Linebacker Brashton Satele left the field with a leg injury.
  • Vernon Gholston? Another sack…when did this guy turn into Mr. Augusut?
  • Yesterday’s story of the day, Jeff Cumberland, dropped two passes today.
  • Santonio Holmes came back with a bang, making a diving touchdown reception from Mark Sanchez and then catching a wide open touchdown a few players later from Kellen Clemens.
  • Drew Coleman had his third interception over the past two days.
  • Jason Taylor recorded a sack today.
  • Nick Folk has been booming kickoffs.

The Jets organization better reward Nick Mangold and David Harris for being such good soldiers with their contact situations. They are in the final years of their contracts, have easily outperformed their current deals but still have showed up to camp. Look at these quotes:

“I’m a football player,” Mangold said.  “Camp is what you do.  You know it’s just one of those things.  I decided after thinking about every option to be here and put my best foot forward and try to have a good time up here in beautiful Cortland.”

“I’m being patient and just getting ready for football,” Harris said of his contract situation. “My agent will take care of everything else. I love to play football and I love to be around my teammates. I’ll be at camp on time.”

Are you kidding me in this day and age of players holding out when they have three years left on a deal they originally held out twenty days for? Can you ask for anything more out of the best center in the NFL or one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL?

When the contract situation with Darrelle Revis is resolved, the Jets better remember to write a fat check to #74 and #52, two members of the core four who handled their contract situation the right way.

Practice #3 Recap & AFC East Round-Up

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Practice #3 Recap

The Good – Nick Folk going 5/5 on field goal attempts. Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller showing good chemistry, which was sorely lacking during a good part of the regular season in 2009. Antonio Cromartie pulling in a nice interception. David Clowney catching a 80 yard touchdown pass. Kenwin Cummings and Wayne Hunter getting into a scuffle, which drew Mike Pettine and Brian Schottenheimer into a screaming match. From my playing days, watching an offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator fight on the practice field is always entertaining. Vernon Gholston (Gasp) made a few impact plays. Rookie UDFA tight end Jeff Cumberland flashed on a couple of plays, making me look smart for mentioning him in my training camp sleepers article on Saturday (Yes, I know I mentioned Britt Davis too, whatever).

The Bad – Sanchez throwing an interception and having sub-par completion numbers (6/13). Brodney Pool getting beat by Clowney for that 80 yard touchdown. Kris Jenkins still being on the sideline with a hamstring injury. The fact that we have to hear about Brett Favre nonstop for the next week(s). Beyond that, there weren’t too many negatives being reported.

PhotobucketPlays of the Day – Clowney’s touchdown. Cromartie’s interception. Vernon Gholston’s “would have been a sack in a real game,” always sad that it is such huge news when that occurs.

Player Who Helped Himself – Jeff Cumberland getting his name out there with a few big plays. Nick Folk for remaining steady on day two.

Player Who Hurt Himself – Doesn’t really sound like anybody did too much damage today, although it sounds like Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge are on their way out the door.

Sanchez Stats – 6/13, 1 INT (Cromartie) in 11 on 11s

Folk Stats – 5/5 (all under 40 yards) still…good start for Folk.

Roster Moves – The Jets signed wide receiver Vic Hall.

Depth Chart – Vladimir Ducasse worked with the first team at left guard today. Kellen Clemens was back on the practice field in a limited role. Kris Jenkins remained sidelined.

Rex Ryan Press Conference Highlights –

  • The team hasn’t hesitated mentioning Darrelle Revis in team meetings and Ryan conceded that he knows Revis’ uncle Sean Gilbert is playing a big role in consulting his decision making process.
  • He praised Nick Folk’s strong start to training camp and admitted he was worried about him after OTAs.
  • He mentioned how David Clowney needs to step up on special teams to help fill the void left by Wallace Wright.
  • When discussing the tight ends, he said Jeff Cumberland has been impressive catching the ball but needs to block better. He would also like to see Dustin Keller become more involved in the run blocking. There was also a bold guarantee of Ben Hartsock doubling his production from 2009 (1 reception, 1 yard, 1 touchdown).
  • Normal praise for Vernon Gholston’s “progress”. I’ll believe it when I see it.
  • Ryan said he knows nothing about the status of Erik Ainge…probably doesn’t bode well for his chances of making the roster.
  • Praise for new acquisitions Antonio Cromartie (new found physicality, LaDainian Tomlinson (still showing burst) and Brodney Pool (ability to quickly pick up the Jets system).

Revis Update – It has been confirmed that Mike Tannenbaum reached out to Revis’ agent last night, in hopes of setting up a meeting. Obviously it is good news that the lines of communication are remaining open and I liked Woody Johnson’s proactive approach about getting a deal done in his press conference yesterday. Honestly, I wouldn’t bank on Revis playing in the first pre-season game but I’d be happy enough if he was back in time for the second or third game.

AFC East Round-Up

Buffalo Bills – Aaron Schobel’s career with the Bills is now over, as they will look to trade or release him. This is good news for D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who always struggled with Schobel. If your Buffalo, you don’t have enough good players to let one of your few ones walk away. Rookie tackle Ed Wang suffered a relatively serious injury and could be out for awhile, as did rookie linebacker Danny Batten. Trent Edwards remains on top of the quarterback depth chart. Currently, Steve Johnson is starting opposite Lee Evans at wide receiver. The Bills had a fight at camp yesterday when last year’s rookie disappointment Aaron Maybin took a cheap shot at Fred Jackson, which fired up the offensive line. Rookie CJ Spiller is still unsigned.

Miami Dolphins – Karlos Dansby has made a strong impression so far at camp. Rookie linebacker A.J. Edds tore a knee ligament in yesterday’s practice. There is some chatter on Twitter about Chad Pennington looking better than Chad Henne so far but our favorite beat writer, Armando Salguero, disagreed with the sentiment. Rookie John Jerry is looking like the leading candidate to start at right guard. First round pick Jared Odrick has been impressive.

New England Patriots – Wes Welker has been practicing with the team. It doesn’t sound like Torry Holt is going to stick around on the final roster, as the Patriots want to give a bigger role to second year players Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate. Nick Kaczur and Ty Warren have been missing time with injuries. Rookie receiver Taylor Price and rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez have been heavily involved in the offense.

TOJ TV

Five Questions About The Jets Defense

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First a few updates:

1. Rich Cimini is reporting the Jets will sign quarterback Mark Brunell as early as this Thursday and there still remains a good chance defensive end Marques Douglas will be brought back before training camp. I am all for bringing Douglas back, who quietly had a very good 2009 season. As for Brunell, I would rather see him as the team’s #3 quarterback instead of their #2 but it seems like the Jets are ready to part ways with Kellen Clemens and let Brunell be Mark Sanchez’s primary backup.

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…good links today about Rex Ryan convincing Kris Jenkins not to retire, Woody Johnson’s opinions of the Jets contract problems, and a few season preview videos and articles.

Five Questions About The Jets Defense

As training camp rapidly approaches, here are five questions about the Jets defense that still need to be sorted out –

1. How large of an upgrade will Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson be over Lito Sheppard and Dwight Lowery at the cornerback position?

– I don’t think there is any question that Cromartie and Wilson will be an improvement over what the Jets had opposite Darrelle Revis at corner in 2009. Yet, Cromartie is coming off two relatively sub par seasons after a monster 2007 campaign. He was banged up those seasons and the Jets system should play better to his strengths, which should lead to improvements in 2010. However, it remains to be seen how close Cromartie can come to being the playmaker and shut down corner he was in 2007. The Jets are going to give him every chance to succeed with their style of play on defense and it sounds like he will get some reps at both kick and punt returner. If Cromartie can play to his potential, the Jets will have the best pair of starting corners in the NFL by a good margin. Kyle Wilson was considered by some to be the best corner in the 2010 draft and is an aggressive, physical player who will be asked to take over the nickel spot on the Jets defense. He is a rookie so there will be some bumps along the way but the upgrade of his physical talent over Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman last year should provide a huge boost to the Jets defense. This question really comes down to, exactly how dominant is the Jets pass defense going to be?

2. Will Kris Jenkins regain his 2008 form?

Photobucket– To be a little more accurate, will Kris Jenkins regain his form from the first 11 games of the 2008 season when he was the most dominant player on the Jets roster? He is coming off ACL surgery and is going to be 31 years old this season. The Jets need to do a better job of monitoring Jenkins reps this season to enhance his productivity when he is on the field and make sure he still has gas left in the tank when December rolls around. Fortunately, the Jets have a more than capable backup to Jenkins in Sione Pouha, who had a very good season last year after Jenkins went down with his injury. If the Jets can get the Jenkins from the first 11 games in 2008 this season, their defense is going to be that much better than it already is.

3. How much will Jason Taylor improve the Jets pass rush?

The Jets didn’t have overly impressive sack totals in 2009 and they signed long time rival Jason Taylor to help change that. He had seven sacks for the Dolphins last season but Rex Ryan is confident with the Jets scheme, he can get Taylor back to double digit sack totals. Bryan Thomas is going to remain the starter at outside linebacker but Taylor will be used on third downs and in pass rushing situations. Ryan will also likely move him all over the formation to attack the quarterback. Don’t be shocked to see Taylor with his hand in the dirt on some plays or blitzing from an inside linebacker spot, to keep teams off guard. I still think Calvin Pace may end up leading the Jets in sacks but if Taylor can give them 8 – 11 himself, than signing him was the right decision.

4. How much of an improvement will Brodney Pool be over Kerry Rhodes at safety?

Kerry Rhodes failed to live up to expectations in 2009. He had a tough time adjusting to no longer being a leader on the defense and was a little too concerned with his off the field lifestyle. Brodney Pool has spent his career on bad football teams and should be chomping at the bit to get his chance starting at safety for this Jets defense. The coaching staff has raved about Pool’s work this off-season and considering the type of season he has having before his injury in 2009, he could be in store for a big year. It won’t take much from Pool to be an improvement from Rhodes last year but hopefully he can bring some of the playmaking ability expected from the safeties in Rex Ryan’s system.

5. Will Vernon Gholston give the Jets anything this year?

Outside of Sione Pouha, the rotation spots on the Jets defensive line off the bench are up for grabs. It would be nice if Vernon Gholston can turn into a competent backup defensive end, who can occasionally provide some type of pass rush. It is shame that is what we have to hope for now from the #6 pick in the draft but at this point it would be better than nothing. If players like Ropati Pitoitua and Matt Kroul are getting more reps than Gholston by the time 2010 comes to an end, that will be the end of Gholston’s career in green and white.

TOJ TV

Projecting The Jets Defensive Statistics

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First a few updates:

1. RIP George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard. The greatest owner and PA announcer both gone in back to back days…sad stuff. It will make the Yankees inevitable 28th championship a little sweeter when they win it for both of them though.

2. NBA Free Agency Thoughts – Despite my intense hatred of the Miami Heat, bringing back Udonis Haslem and adding Mike Miller were both solid moves. Miller is going to have insane amounts of open looks from three point range and Haslem is a solid all-around role player. However, they are still behind the Lakers in my mind, especially since Derek Fisher decided to head back to LA and will now pair with Steve Blake at point guard. Also if the Lakers pick up Raja Bell, it will be a big addition for them. It will give them three top level on ball defenders with him, Kobe, and Ron Artest. The Heat will score points in bunches but can they stop anybody? Despite not getting LeBron or Wade, the Chicago Bulls have quietly upgraded their roster substantially. Carlos Boozer up front to pair with Joakim Noah and Kyle Korver and JJ Redick to boost their backcourt. They have more than enough all around talent to give the Heat a serious run. It was obviously a dissapointing off-season for the Knicks. However, they have a young, talented roster in place and should compete for a 7 or 8 seed in the East season after adding Amare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, and Anthony Randolph. Now we are just holding out hope for Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony to eventually come on board. For all the hype about the Nets during the first couple of weeks of free agency, they ended up having Travis Outlaw and Jordan Farmar to show for it.

3. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Mark Brunell will be joining the Jets on July 22nd and that move will be coupled by the release of Kellen Clemens. Again, I agree with decision to sign Brunell but not the decision to cut Clemens. Why not keep Clemens as the #2 and let Brunell be the #3? It is a better depth chart than having Brunell as the #2 and Kevin O’Connell or Erik Ainge as the #3. I am also holding out hope that the Jets will bring back defensive end Marques Douglas. Why not have the rich get richer on defense?

Projecting The Jets Defensive Statistics

Depsite having a notoriously aggressive pass rush, the Jets didn’t have impressive overall sack numbers in 2009. They looked to remedy that this year by adding Jason Taylor, who should primarily play on third downs and passing situations. I trust Ryan’s ability to utilize Taylor’s ability to rush the passer and think he will end up in the 9 -11 sack range in 2010. I also think Calvin Pace will crack double digits, based on the fact he had 8 sacks in only 12 games during his first season in Ryan’s defense. Outside of that, Shaun Ellis should be good for his usual 5 – 7 sacks and the defensive backs should rack up a decent amount, considering how much Ryan loves sending them off the edge at the quarterback. Look for Kyle Wilson, Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, and Dwight Lowery to all get plenty of opportunities to pull in a few sacks each. If Kris Jenkins is kept fresh by rotating with Sione Pouha, he should also be good for a handful of sacks.

Photobucket– In the defensive backfield, it isn’t out of the question for Darrelle Revis to exceed his 6 interceptions from last year. The beauty of Rex Ryan’s system is that it forces opposing offenses to challenge Revis and the overwhelming majority of the time, he wins the battle. Revis is basically always going to be covering the team’s top option, which sometimes includes sliding in the slot to cover their primary third down target. For example, against the Chargers last year he spent time on Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates, and LaDainian Tomlinson out of the backfield depending on the situation. He also slid inside to cover Legedu Naanee on some third downs, because he was a favorite target of Philip Rivers in that particular situation. Ryan makes it nearly impossible to avoid throwing at Revis at least a few times a game. Antonio Cromartie should see plenty of balls come his way also when teams attempt to work away from Revis and he has the athleticism to make teams pay for challenging him, especially if he is covering their second or third option. Honestly, there is no reason Revis and Cromartie can’t both pull in 6 – 8 interceptions in 2010. Beyond that, I think Brodney Pool will have the third most. He had 4 interceptions in 11 games last year on a relatively poor defense, so it will be interesting to see how many he grabs on this team.

– Unless there is an injury, David Harris is going to lead the team in tackles by a good margin with Bart Scott finishing up in second place. Harris filled up the stat line last year (127 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 FFs) and those numbers should only increase as he gets more comfortable in Ryan’s system. Scott had an impressive 11 tackles for loss last season but hopefully he can cause a few more turnovers and get to the quarterback more in 2010. He had 0 FFs and INTs in 2009, along with only 1 sack.

– It will be interesting to see how the Jets rotation off the bench works on defense. You know Taylor and Wilson will see a good amount of reps and will almost always be in on third downs and passing situations. Depending on the game plan, Eric Smith should be on the field frequently to match-up with tight ends, running backs, or be used as a blitzer. Ryan also showed last year that he likes to use James Ihedigbo in pass rush situations. Dwight Lowery is working both at safety and corner now, which will help increase his reps. He will likely only get substantial playing time against teams who spread the field. On the defensive line, Sione Pouha will play near a starter’s amount of reps to help keep Kris Jenkins fresh and to occasionally pair up with him. Hopefully, either Vernon Gholston, Ropati Pitoitua, or Matt Kroul can step up to also give some quality reps off the bench.

That’s How You Come After the QB

What To Watch

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

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First a few updates:

1. The sun is shining a little brighter today because America’s favorite touch football team had a nice second round upset victory in their march to a title yesterday. Next stop is the AFC Championship Game and we won’t be repeating the Jets performance in that particular game this year.

2. I am not a big soccer guy, but when I sat down to eat breakfast this morning and saw Portugal put a 7-0 whooping on North Korea, it caught my attention. If there is one place you don’t want to be heading back to after losing by 7 goals in soccer, it is North Korea.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

Jets Defense: Looking At The Bench

We basically know who the Jets starting eleven will on be on defense this season:

  • DE – Mike DeVito
  • DT – Kris Jenkins
  • DE – Shaun Ellis
  • OLB – Calvin Pace
  • ILB – David Harris
  • ILB – Bart Scott
  • OLB – Bryan Thomas
  • CB – Darrelle Revis
  • CB – Antonio Cromartie
  • S – Brodney Pool
  • S – Jim Leonhard

However, there is going to be major roles for players not listed above. After watching all that basketball over the past two months, you can’t count out the value of a solid bench. Rex Ryan loves to throw different personnel groups out there and bring in a variety of players. Here is a look at who the key players off the Jets bench should be on defense this season:

Secondary

Nickel Back – Kyle Wilson: Wilson was handed the starting nickel job on the day he was drafted. He will see plenty of action in the slot and I am guessing will quickly become one of Ryan’s favorite guys to blitz off the edge. The amount of reps Wilson plays will obviously be bumped up when the Jets play teams who like to spread it out (New England, Green Bay, Houston) but I am sure he will still be worked heavily into the game plan, even against offenses who are more run orientated.

Fourth Corner – Dwight Lowery: As a fourth guy, Lowery is a very good option. He has starting experience over the past two years. While he lacks the physical skills to be an every down starter, he has good ball anticipation skills and a knack for creating turnovers. Lowery is the type of guy who will likely see a bunch of reps in certain game plans and then be used less frequently against run heavy offenses. However, he does still have very good value as a depth player and special teams option.

Fifth Corner – Drew Coleman/Marquice Cole: I expect both of these guy to make the roster again, but only of them will probably be active on a weekly basis. Coleman has a ton of speed but has a knack for getting burnt whenever the ball is thrown at him. Cole looked pretty good last pre-season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leap over Coleman on the depth chart this season.

PhotobucketSafety – Eric Smith: A versatile player who became a key contributor off the bench last season. He has the ability to play both safety positions, be used in coverage on tight ends or running backs out of the backfield, and be used frequently as a blitzer off the edge. There will be some weeks where he plays near a starter’s amount of reps and some weeks where he won’t be as big as a factor. However, he is a core special teams player and a very good depth guy to have in the secondary.

Safety – James Ihedigbo: As the season went on last year, Ihedigbo gradually received a bigger role on the defense. He is a good blitzer off the edge and had a couple of sacks last season and a forced fumble. In the AFC Championship Game, he played a ton of reps for Bart Scott in the dime package. Similar to all the bench players, his number of reps will be game plan specific but I think overall you will seeing a decent amount of Ihedigbo.

Linebacker

Outside Linebacker – Jason Taylor: Taylor was brought in to provide energy to the Jets pass rush. Rex Ryan will be lining him up all over the place to get him the cleanest rush possible to the quarterback. Expect to see a ton of Taylor on third downs and when teams are in two minute mode against the Jets. He should also get some reps at defensive end in certain packages.

Outside/Inside Linebacker – Jamaal Westerman: Westerman had a nice sack in week one last year but was relatively quiet on defense after that. The coaches love his long term potential and versatility. He should find his way on to the field in a few different packages this season at both the inside and outside spot.

Inside Linebacker – Kenwin Cummings: The coaching staff has been raving about him this off-season but unless there is an injury, he shouldn’t see any type of substantial time on the defense. I could see him coming in a goal-line look when the Jets load up on defensive lineman and  linebackers or maybe if Bart Scott or David Harris need a quick break.

Defensive Line

PhotobucketDefensive Tackle/End – Sione Pouha: The Jets top defensive lineman off the bench, who will be a key player in the effort to keep Kris Jenkins fresh and healthy. Ryan could also experiment with some looks that have both Jenkins and Pouha on the field at the same time.

Defensive End – Vernon Gholston – It would be nice to get ten productive reps out of Gholston a game, to spell Shaun Ellis and Mike DeVito and to provide a boost to the pass rush.

Defensive End – Ropati Pitoitua – Similar to Gholston, it would be nice to see him contribute ten or so reps off the bench to improve the Jets defensive line depth.

Defensive Tackle/End – Matt Kroul – The coaches have hyped him up this off-season, let’s see if can turn into  Mike DeVito part two.

Overall, I would say Wilson and Pouha will get the most total reps off the bench with Taylor and Smith not too far behind. Yet, for the Jets defense to remain at the top of the league they will need all the guys listed above to settle into their roles as productive players. The Jets depth is key to throwing different schemes and personnel groups at offenses, along with keeping their starters fresh.

TOJ TV

Weekend Video Clips For Jets Fans

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets have announced major cuts to their PSL prices in multiple sections of the stadium. Somehow I don’t think this will be the last time this happens before the season starts. They are way off from selling them all out.

2. Remember Jets minicamp next Monday-Wednesday, including an open practice at the new stadium on Wednesday. Yes, I am pumped about my first trip inside the new building.

3. Pau Gasol can you box out Glen Davis? You are like 9 inches taller than the guy and we are all sick of watching him react like he has is one of the guys from 300 every single time he gets a put back. By the way, is there higher comedy in sports right now than a Rasheed Wallace reaction to a foul call on him? He literally runs around the entire court with the most ridiculous face…I can’t get enough of it.

4. USA! USA! USA! I am little pumped for tomorrow, I can’t lie.

Weekend Video Clips For Jets Fans

New segment here at TOJ, because even I can’t come up with 1,500 words a day to write about the Jets, only Manish Mehta can. Next week keep an eye out for the following:

  • Interview with UDFA safety Donovan Warren
  • Analysis of all the minicamp practices
  • If you happen to make it out to The New Meadowlands Stadium, look for the two guys with Jets jerseys that have (http://turnonthejets.com) on the back and come say hi. We will be interviewing fans for new TOJ TV.
  • A closer look at the Jets defensive line.
  • A closer look at the bubble roster players who could make an impact this season.

And now to the video…

Vernon Gholston plows though Jake Long and hits Chad Henne…Unfortunately this took place in a Michigan/OSU game, and not a Jets/Dolphins game…But hey it is never too late to get started Vernon

Yea, you could really rely on this guy…

And, this was their first year in a new defensive system? Before they added Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Brodney Pool, and Jason Taylor?

You Have To Like The Confidence

Anybody who can dance like that clearly deserves a new contract

Nobody and I mean nobody throws snow at Shaun Ellis or this teammates without getting a snow boulder back in the face

Stay away from HBO Rex Ryan…oh wait, too late for that.

And for no particular reason…just because I saw this episode last night and it is a great scene

Saturday Morning Breakfast: Kris Jenkins, Fantasy Football, Dustin Keller, David Clowney

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A few of plates of Jets talk for you to digest before you start your Saturday

People are always quick to point out concerns about the depth of the Jets defensive line and it is a fair point. Shaun Ellis is a graybeard but he has still been productive the past few seasons. Mike DeVito is unproven as a starter. Yet, can we not forget that Kris Jenkins is coming back this season? Do you remember how this guy was playing the first 12 games of the 2008 season? He was the best player on the Jets defense and was completely unblockable. Yes, he is coming off major surgery but if the Jets are smart and limit his snap count, he can be a beast in the middle for them. Beyond that, he has the versatility to slide out to the defensive end position, as does Sione Pouha who had a very good season last year after Jenkins was hurt. Basically, what I am saying is that even though the Jets are thin at defensive end (unless Ropati Pitoitua or gasp…Vernon Gholston develops into a solid player) they have two quality defensive tackles and Rex Ryan can get creative to use them to compensate for any shortcomings at the end position.

The Jets are never a popular target for fantasy football owners and despite some big name acquisitions this off-season, I don’t think that will change too drastically. First off, Mark Sanchez can’t be relied on as a fantasy starter until he becomes more consistent. Second, they have three very good receivers but they all will be splitting receptions, which means each week it could be a different player who has a big game. Third, while Shonn Greene should be the lead back, it remains to be seen how many goal-line carries he is getting compared to LaDainian Tomlinson. Manish Mehta just wrote a good piece over at The Jets Stream about Dustin Keller potentially being in for a big season and I think he may be the most reliable fantasy starter you could have from the Jets. He should be a quality fantasy tight end, especially because of the looks he will get in the red-zone.

David Clowney was initially in low spirits after the Santonio Holmes trade. However, the reports are that he has looked good in OTAs and he has dedicated himself to becoming a core special teams player for the Jets. The team needs somebody like him to step up on special teams to help fill the void left by Wallace Wright and even though Clowney might not get a ton of looks at receiver after Holmes returns from receiver, he still could be a valuable member of the team. He has also been kicking ass with his charity work this off-season, which has included trips to Haiti and Ghana.

New TOJ TV

Jets Thoughts To Take You Into The Weekend

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First off, get yourself excited for the 2010 Jets despite Revis skipping OTAs yesterday by enjoying a new episode of TOJ TV…don’t worry if you hate my acting, this is a highlight video to get fired up for next year by producer James Corbett.

Second, relax a little about the Revis negotiations (and this is also a note to myself). John Geiger, who is Revis’ best friend and manager said encouraging news could be coming for Jets fans today. I doubt something gets done in the next few hours but it still shows there is progress being made. How long could Tannenbaum really let this go on, despite holding all the cards since Revis has three years left on his deal and stands to lose out on up to 20 million dollars if he starts skipping mandatory practices? If I am the Jets or Revis, I want this behind us before training camp and then let’s move on to addressing Nick Mangold’s contract. Get creative, Tannenbaum.

Third, the Jets signed fifth round pick fullback John Conner today, which means it will only be four years until there is a potential contract problem with him.

Fourth, interesting question to throw out for Jets fans, if you could only have one player spend the rest of his career with the team would it be Nick Mangold or Darrelle Revis? I think I am going with Revis. You just don’t see legit lock down corners like him in the NFL.

Fifth, what would be the worst Jets jersey to buy this season? My vote is for Jason Taylor or LaDainian Tomlinson. They are going to on the team for no more than two years and really, how could you get a Taylor jersey? If you buy a Tomlinson jersey, you look like a bandwagon fan. Other nominees include the collection from the under 15 dollar bin at Wal-Mart, featuring:

  • Kellen Clemens
  • Vernon Gholston
  • Nick Folk (who will inevitably be cut before week 1)
  • Dwight Lowery (marked down after the AFC Championship Game)

Finally, if I could change one thing about Mark Sanchez, who I am a huge fan of, it would be his soccer-esque celebrations after touchdowns. I want him to make the switch to the Jordan/Kobe single fist pump and hold or break out the “you can’t see me” face wave directed to the opposing sideline.

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