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 Special Teams Concerns & Draft Talk

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First a few updates:

1. Just a short article today to preclude a furious onslaught of draft coverage Monday through Thursday.

2. When is this Jason Taylor decision coming?

3. There is a report out that the Jets offered Denver their first round pick for Brandon Marshall during the owner’s meetings but the deal didn’t get done because the Jets couldn’t work out a long term deal with him. In the end it is probably for the best, considering the lack of risk involved in the Santonio Holmes deal and how the Jets have been able to hang on to their first round pick to add a needed defensive player.

4. I was disappointed by the lack of upsets on day one of the NBA Playoffs…is there a bigger team of cry babies than the Celtics by the way? I am pulling for D-Wade to lead the Heat back for the round 1 upset.

5. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Not because you want to….because you need to.

Jets Special Teams Concerns & Draft Talk

The Jets didn’t have one of their best years when it came to special teams last season. Whether it was Ted Ginn Jr ripping off two kick returns in a single game or botching three field goal attempts against Atlanta…Mike Westhoff’s unit wasn’t up to their usual standards. Unfortunately it is hard to picture the special teams being any better this year considering the way the off-season has went so far.

First off, the Jets have substantially downgraded at the kicker position. Jay Feely played at a pro-bowl level for most of last season, connecting on 30/36 field goals, hitting a 55 yard yarder and putting up a respectable 11/14 on 40-49 yard kicks. He also contributed on covering his own kicks with 4 tackles and stepped upt a punter in the Jets wild-card game when Steve Weatherford was unable to go. To replace Feely, the Jets currently have Dallas castoff Nick Folk who melted down in 2009 after a pro-bowl season in 2008. Folk was only 6/13 on 40-49 yard field goals and 20/31 overall last year. How could you trust this guy in a big spot? Mike Tannenbaum better be keeping his eyes open for somebody to compete with him training camp.

In two moves that received substantially less press coverage. the Jets let special teams ace Wallace Wright walk and he has been picked up by the Carolina Panthers. Wright has been the Jets top coverage guy the past few years and had 23 tackles on specials last year. They also decided to replace long time long snapper James Dearth with the unproven Tanner Purdum, who to my knowledge has never long snapped in a regular season NFL game. Two quiet moves that could end up making a big difference in a negative way at some point in the season.

A few quick thoughts on the draft:

Photobucket The only way I could see the Jets trading up is if Earl Thomas slips into low to mid twenties. Thomas would be a big time addition to the Jets secondary and could immediately slide next to Jim Leonhard at safety. Beyond that, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets trade back one or two times to add a few more picks later in the draft.

– The most common names you have been hearing associated with the Jets and the draft: Thomas, Brandon Graham, Jerry Hughes, Jared Odrick, Sergio Kindle, Ricky Sapp, Mike Iupati, Terrence Cody.

– Despite the addition of Antonio Cromartie, expect to see the Jets draft a corner by round 4 and don’t be shocked if they add a second one in round 6 or 7.

Earl Thomas Highlights

Looking Over The Jets Receivers & A Word On Pro Football Talk

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First a few updates:

1. I have been a daily reader of the website Pro Football Talk, despite their consistent anti-Jets bias from lead writer Mike Florio. In my mind, I thought it would be a little silly/immature to completely ignore a decent source of information because the guy who runs it just hates my team. So I dealt with the constant writing that criticized Jets players, coaches, owner, or GM and held them to a different standard than the other 31 teams in the NFL. However, as eloquently expressed by Brian Bassett here (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/22/mike-florio-hurrying-to-become-next-perez-hilton/) I will also be done with PFT for the foreseeable future. Yes, I am aware not linking them or referencing them does nothing to the massive amounts of hits they receive on a daily basis but based on the principle of it, TOJ is going PFT free.

PhotobucketWhat triggered this decision? If you didn’t read the above link from The Jets Blog, Florio has decided to run his website like TMZ and a not a source of NFL News, and wrote an unnecessary article criticizing Rex Ryan for his recent lap-band surgery and questioning how he could expect to discipline a team, when he couldn’t discipline himself. After being ripped apart in the comment section of the article, he followed up with one of the weakest, insincere, and incoherent apologies ever typed in which he talked about being a chubby teenager for some reason. Now you might say, wait a minute…didn’t you just write an article about the Jets on Hard Knocks which joked around about Rex Ryan’s weight? Yes, I did spend three sentences on it but it was prefaced by a disclaimer saying it was clearly a joke and I obviously wished for Ryan to become as healthy as possible as quickly as possible. Beyond that, I thrown Ryan so many compliments on this site it should be illegal because I love the big guy and what he has brought to the Jets.

Overall, I am done with PFT because there are plenty of other superior sources of information out there to read without having to deal with Florio’s weekly line of BS on why Mike Tannenbaum should be fired, why Mark Sanchez is terrible, why every move the Jets make is stupid, and so on. I don’t know if a Jets fan beat Florio up and took his lunch money when he was a chubby teenager or the people from Sprint that force him to promote them every 10 updates on the site are Patriots or Dolphins fans but clearly he has some unresolved issues with the Green and White.

2. The Jets have been showing interest in Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn, who could fall to them at #29 in the first round of the draft. Most people seem to think the Jets are going defensive line or receiver in the first round, and if they do Benn could be a nice fit this season as a #3 receiver.

3. The league was expected to announce the match-ups for certain games today, including the Jets opening Monday Night game and their Thanksgiving night game but it looks like it will be pushed back until tomorrow. I will stick with my guess that they play Miami in week one and the Ravens on Thanksgiving.

4. Three Miami Dolphins arrested in the six weeks? They are turning into the NFL’s version of the Portland Trailblazers. I thought Tony Sparano and Bill Parcells were all about assembling a disciplined, high-character team?

5. The Depth Chart and 2010 Draft Section of the site have been updated.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 69 fans away from 300.

7. I think the recent signing of linebacker/special teamer Lance Laury was quietly a very smart move by the Jets. They were getting thin on special teams players with the departure of Wallace Wright, Larry Izzo, and Marques Murrell. Laury has been a productive special teams player the past four years and was good enough to be a captain of the unit for Seattle.

Looking Over The Jets Receivers & A Word On Pro Football Talk

Similar to the secondary, which has already seen a few departures and a couple of new additions, the Jets receiving core is frequently talked about as an area of the team that needs improvement. Despite my disagreement about how much they actually need a receiver (as in they don’t need to spend a first round pick on one, unless they are in position to really steal somebody at #29), here is an article looking at what the Jets currently have on their roster and who they could look to add:

Braylon Edwards – Most people look his 2009 stats with the Jets (35 catches, 541 yards, 4 touchdowns in 12 regular season games) and are down on Edwards potential to be the Jets #1 receiver. Yes, he did some have bad drops and was inconsistent at times. However, he also did show his big play potential and clearly has the skill set to be a legit #1 target. I want to see how Edwards produces with a full off-season under his belt with the Jets offense and an improved Mark Sanchez behind center. There is no reason he can’t be a 1,100 yard, 8 touchdown guy for this team next season.

PhotobucketJerricho Cotchery – Underrated and under-appreciated, all Cotchery does is catch everything thrown to him and routinely come up with huge plays on third downs. He would have easily been a 1,000 yard receiver last year if he didn’t miss nearly three full games with an injury. Cotchery showed his value in the playoffs, when he stepped up as Sanchez’s go to guy in a big spot in all three games. It is easy to look at 6 receptions for 67 yards against the Bengals or 3 catches for 25 yards against the Chargers and forget how big those specific catches he made were.

Brad Smith – He isn’t really a true receiver but is instead more of a gadget player. Smith only caught 7 passes for 63 yards last year but racked up over 200 yards of rushing and continued to be a very good special teams player. Ideally, he would be the Jets #4 receiver who has his own package of plays to take advantage of his speed and versatility.

David Clowney – Clowney got everybody excited with a monster pre-season but never turned into the consistent deep threat the team hoped he would be. To be fair, he didn’t receive a ton of chances and did make some big plays (a 53 yard catch on Monday night against Miami and a 35 yard touchdown against the Raiders) but overall he will likely be battling for a roster spot as the Jets #5 receiver this year. Clowney’s value is hurt by the fact that he doesn’t contribute on special teams.

Danny Woodhead – He is a running back/receiver and I would guess with the acquisition of LaDainian Tomlinson will keep the #83 and stay at receiver. It will be difficult for Woodhead to stay on the active roster this year if all the Jets running backs stay healthy because I don’t think he has the skill set to be a full time receiver in the NFL and he hasn’t shown much on special teams.

Britt Davis – The Jets coaching staff was high on him during training camp last year but he never really flashed in the pre-season and began to struggle with drops. Davis has good size (6’3, 205 pounds) and could be a sleeper to steal a roster spot this year.

There is still talk about the Jets acquiring Brandon Marshall because of their lack of faith in Edwards as a legit number one target. I don’t think the deal is going to happen because another team (most likely Seattle) will offer Denver more than the Jets will want to. Regardless, it seems likely the Jets are going to draft a receiver in round 1 or 2 to fill the #3 receiver/slot guy spot on their depth chart since there currently is a hole there. Laveranues Coles also remains an option to fill that hole. Personally, I would like to see the Jets sign Coles and then spend a later round pick on a receiver to develop behind the veterans Edwards, Cotchery, and Coles. A depth chart of Edwards, Cotchery, Coles, 4th/5thround draft, and Brad Smith would look pretty good to me.

J-Co

Braylon

Brad Smith

Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. What a first day of March Madness…unfortunately my Lehigh Mountain Hawks couldn’t pull off the 16 vs 1 upset but they did hang tough. They definitely made it more competitive than Lafayette would have, I know that much.

2. James Ihedigbo (who received his first article lead picture on TOJ today), Vernon Gholston, and Davd Clowney have all been in Haiti the past week helping out with the rebuilding effort. www.newyorkjets.com has been documenting it. Great job by all those guys taking the time out of their lives to give help where it is needed most.

3. LaDainain Tomlinson got a jump start on Monday’s first team workout by showing up at the facility today to do some drills with strength coach Sal Alosi. Bart Scott and Dustin Keller were also present.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because 226 other people are doing it

5. Starting in April, I will be doing some fantasy football writing for Fanball/Rototimes so if you are interested in reading some advice/insight on the world of fantasy I will be posting the links here when I start up.

6. Upcoming TOJ stuff to be excited about — An off-season edition of TOJ TV. I know everybody misses seeing me and James in front of the camera. Also, as soon as I get my new laptop I will be putting together TOJ: The Podcast. My goal is to have the first episode up and running by the NFL Draft.

Ten Friday Thoughts On The Jets

For once, news is a little slow on our J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have ten Friday thoughts about them:

1. Tim Graham of ESPN.com does a great job of occasionally compiling mock draft selections for AFC East teams, here is the latest picks from Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, (ESPN) Don Banks (SI), Bucky Brooks, Pat Kirwan (NFL.com), Sam Farmer (LA Times), Clark Judge, Pete Prisco, Rob Rang, and Chad Reuter (CBS Sports).

  • Kiper – Taylor Mays, USC Safety
  • McShay – Jared Odrick, PSU Defensive Tackle
  • Banks – Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech Receiver
  • Brooks – Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech Receiver
  • Farmer – Dan Williams, Tennessee Defensive Tackle
  • Judge – Mike Iupati, Idaho Guard (who the Jets worked out today)
  • Kirwan – Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State Receiver
  • Prisco – Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech Receiver
  • Rang – Golden Tate, Notre Dame Receiver
  • Reuter – Jared Odrick, PSU Defensive Tackle

PhotobucketIt looks like just about everybody has the Jets penciled in for a defensive lineman or a wide receiver, which makes sense considering their recent acquisitions. Odrick is coming off a strong pro day and is a name who has been linked to the Jets since the draft order was set. Personally, at this point I would rather see the Jets improve their defensive line depth, especially considering they haven’t re-signed Marques Douglas yet, than add a wide receiver in round one. There will be plenty of receivers for the Jets to target in the second round if they are looking for a slot guy.

2. What are the odds of Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Brandon Moore starting every single game again this year? I am not sure I am confident in Wayne Hunter or Robert Turner for an extended period of time. The Jets should spend a middle-round pick on an offensive lineman to develop behind the veterans and eventually take over for either Faneca or Woody, depending on whether they a pick a guard or tackle. It also probably wouldn’t hurt to add another cheap free agent lineman to improve depth, although the market is pretty thin right now.

3. I am curious how the battle for the starting safety is going to play out. You would think Eric Smith will probably get the first crack at the job, but I get the impression the coaching staff is high on James Ihedigbo’s potential, especially in run support and that they didn’t sign Brodney Pool to sit on the bench. Honestly, I think all three will have a role on the defense and end up splitting the reps. My guess is that the starting job will likely change hands multiple times. The only problem is that all three of these guys are known to be better in run support than in pass coverage. I guess it is a good thing we have Revis Island on one side of the field, and hopefully Cromartie peninsula coming together on the opposite side (I know peninsula probably isn’t the best geographic term, but I can’t think of anything better right now, I guess I am saying receivers will occasionally be able to escape to the only border because only #24 is good enough to maintain his own island…enough geography for the day).

4. What is your ideal Jets offensive box score looking like right now? Here is what mine is looking like for our week 1 Monday night victory over the Dolphins:

  • Mark Sanchez – 18/24, 221 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
  • Shonn Greene – 21 carries, 114 yards
  • LaDainain Tomlinson – 8 carries, 40 yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 26 yards
  • Leon Washington – 7 carries, 40 yards, 3 receptions, 25 yards
  • Braylon Edwards – 4 catches, 70 yards
  • Jerricho Cotchery – 5 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD
  • Dustin Keller – 4 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD
  • Brad Smith – 2 carries, 22 yards

5. How many games does Vernon Gholston get a shot this year before the Jets decide to throw in the towel and just make him inactive every week? If it gets to week 5 or 6 and he isn’t contributing on defense and remains an average special teams player, how do you justify keeping him on the active roster?

Photobucket6. It will be an interesting battle this year for the final roster spot at receiver, considering who the Jets add through the draft or if they decide to sign Laveranues Coles. David Clowney made a few big plays last year but never lived up to the hype he created in pre-season. Britt Davis was a camp favorite of the coaches before he began struggling with drops toward the end of the pre-season. Aundrae Allison might be the fastest player on the team but he was forced to go on IR after the last pre-season game and Marcus Henry is still around.

7. I think Erik Ainge and maybe Kevin O’Connell will give Kellen Clemens a run for the #2 quarterback job this pre-season. The Jets didn’t carry four quarterbacks on their roster last year for no reason and I bet they won’t do it again this year.

8. Nick Folk, really? C’mon now.

Photobucket9. Who is going to fill Wallace Wright’s spot on special teams? Better yet, who is going to fill his article space in training camp with the requisite “this special teams guy is having a terrific camp on offense and is going to finally break out.” It can’t be Danny Woodhead, who showed he can’t contain on kick coverage against Miami last year and already has a hold over the requisite “long-shot division 2 player who is really scrappy and everyone is pulling for to make the roster” story space. NOTE – After I began typing this, it was announced the Jets signed former Seahawks linebacker Lance Laury who was their special teams captain last year. He had 21 tackles and 1 forced fumble last year. Nice job reading my mind Mike Tannenbaum.

10. What is the next Jets jersey I should buy? Currently my jersey depth chart is looking like this (ranked in order of swaggalicious-ness)…I don’t know how to pronounce what I just typed. By the way, I never wear outdated jerseys in public, just for pick-up football, but I listed them anyway.

  • Darrelle Revis, White Titans
  • Jerricho Cotchery, White
  • Dustin Keller, Green
  • Mark Sanchez, White
  • Curtis Martin, Green
  • Laveranues Coles, White
  • Santana Moss, White
  • Jonathan Vilma, Green
  • Chad Pennington, Green
  • Kerry Rhodes, Green
  • Curtis Conway, Green

I could have a new car by now, if I didn’t have all these jersey. I have two identical green #81 jerseys, the only difference is that it says “Keller” on one and “Conway” on the other. I am leaning heavily towards either a home Shonn Greene jersey or a blue Leon Washington throwback (depending how he looks coming off the injury)…maybe a home David Harris jersey, we’ll see.

Oh, The Madness

Free Agent Anxiety: Where Do The Jets Go From Here?

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I was clearly spoiled by the past two off-seasons from the Jets. Since Thursday, they have pulled off two pretty major trades and I am still sitting here getting anxious because there isn’t much talk out there about any substantive transactions on the horizon for them. Only one new player has been added so far: Antonio Cromartie, while Kerry Rhodes, Donald Strickland, Lito Sheppard, and likely Thomas Jones have all been let go. The future in green and white of Marques Douglas, Wallace Wright, Howard Green, and to some extent Leon Washington remain up in the air. I am confident Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets scouting department will do a good job in the draft with their current six selections, but beyond that what is left for this Jets off-season? Let’s take a quick position by position run through –

Quarterback – It doesn’t look like the Jets will be bringing in a veteran backup for Mark Sanchez. I can’t see any team showing any interest in Kellen Clemens as a RFA or even in a trade, meaning he will likely be back. The Jets organization seems to be pretty high on the potential of both Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the three of them battle for the #2 spot behind Sanchez in 2010. The idea of Chad Pennington coming back ended when he re-signed with the Dolphins and there has been other movement with backup quarterbacks, David Carr to San Francisco, AJ Feely to the Rams and rumors of other movement, Jim Sorgi to the Giants and Jeff Garcia to multiple teams but there hasn’t been anything reported on the Jets showing interest in any quarterbacks.

PhotobucketRunning Back – Thomas Jones has most recently been linked to the Chiefs and it sounds like a long shot he will end up back with the Jets. Mike Tannenbaum has said the Jets will add a veteran running back but I think he could wait until the summer to see what some of the training camp cuts are. He discussed Tony Richardson in a conference call with reporters today, saying it was a “priority” to re-sign him which is good news. I am sure at his age, Richardson would like to come back for another year with the Jets instead of moving out to another team. There is no reason to go cheap at fullback, especially with a lack of veteran leadership now at the running back position. I still doubt any team signs Leon Washington to a contract as a RFA, but that could just be a hopeful thought.

Wide Receiver – Another key point of Tannenbaum’s conference call today was confirming the Jets interest in Laveranues Coles. It has been reported over the past week that LC has an interest in returning to New York and I think he could be a good fit in the Jets offense. He has the skill set to be a very good slot receiver, as long as at this stage of his career he can accept a more limited role.

Tight End – The Jets re-signed backup tight end Ben Hartsock to a 2 year deal today. I believed the Jets could upgrade over him to a slightly more versatile guy. Hartsock is basically another tackle out there, but I suppose his value as a blocker is crucial in the type of offense the Jets run.

Offensive Line – Haven’t heard much of anything at this position but I still expect the Jets to spend a mid or late round pick on an offensive lineman.

Defensive Line – Marques Douglas is rightly attracting alot of interest in the free agent market but as I have written many times here before, the Jets would be foolish not to bring him back. Pay the guy his money. Quality 3-4 defensive ends are hard to come by and the Jets had one last year in Douglas. Even if the Jets bring Douglas back, I could still see them taking a defensive lineman in the first or second round…Dan Williams and Jared Odrick are some first round names that have been linked to the Jets in a few mock drafts.

Linebackers – Adalius Thomas hasn’t been released by the Patriots yet but when he is, I would expect the Jets to act quickly. They could also look for a pass rushing prospect at outside linebacker in the first or second round of the draft.

Secondary – Mike Tannenbaum has made it sound like he will be adding two or three more members to the Jets secondary before the off-season is done. Whether it is through the draft or free agency, I would expect to see a new safety, a nickel back, and a depth player at either corner or safety brought in.

Special Teams – Wallace Wright was just signed by Carolina, which is a shame. He has been the Jets top special teams player for a few years now.  Jay Feely hasn’t been signed by anybody yet, so I could hold on to the thought that Nick Folk won’t be kicking for us next year.

Dusting Off LC Footage

Jets Offense Has Bright Future

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First a few updates:

1. Well, there really isn’t too much to update about the Jets. Last week the Jets signed Chiefs practice squad long snapper Tanner Purdum, which could mark the end of James Death era. They are in the running to sign CFL MVP linebacker Rickey Foley, and some people are talking about the Jets signing Donte Stallworth, which I don’t think is happening. From a football perspective, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea but I don’t think the Jets want the PR of signing a guy who was suspended a year for manslaughter.

2. Further in the category of jinxing the Jets next year, Herman Edwards picked the Jets and Cowboys to play in the Super Bowl next year, just like Gary Myers of the Daily News. My pick? Rams vs. Browns.

3. I have made the educated decision to not do any of my work for the rest of the week since we are supposed to be hit with 2 feet of snow, so now I am just playing the waiting game. The only thing left on my agenda from now until is Friday is blogging and watching LOST tonight, yes it is an exciting life I live.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…we are locked in at 186 fans right now, and I need to get 200 by the end of the month.

Jets Offense Has Bright Future

Yesterday I wrote about the Jets defense and the holes they need to fill over the upcoming few off-seasons. Today, I am going to turn the focus over to the Jets offense. Despite a sluggish regular season, the long-term potential of this unit was on display during the playoffs. You have to be encouraged by the young core of talent the Jets have assembled on the offensive side of the football.

The regular season statistics were ugly but Mark Sanchez stepped up his game in the playoffs. With another year in the system and his knee taken care of, Sanchez should be a much improved quarterback next season. Nobody is saying he is ready to become a pro-bowler but I think the days of 6/12 for 65 yards are over with. There were flashes of what the Jets offense could be when Sanchez is playing well against the Texans, Patriots, Titans, and Dolphins last year during the regular season and of course in the wild-card round and the first half of the AFC Championship Game. There will be more responsibilitygiven to Sanchez next season and he should have better chemistry with Braylon Edwards after having a full off-season to work with him. Beyond that, he will be benefited from having Leon Washington as a check-down option and a threat in the screen game. It would be nice to see the Jets get a veteran backup for Sanchez, to give Erik Ainge another year to develop as a long-term backup. I am all for Chad Pennington coming back.

One of the most interesting parts of the Jets off-season will be seeing how they handle the situation with Thomas Jones. I think the Jets should pay him the bonus he is due and bring him back as their 1B option at running back. It is too risky to head into the season with Shonn Greene, who had some injury issues last year and Leon Washington who is coming off major surgery. Even though I think the Jets will open up the offense a little more, they will still be a run heavy unit so there is nothing wrong with having a 3 headed monster. Greene is going to be the primary guy and if he can stay healthy will be a 1500 yard back. I hope Leon can get back to where he was on offense and give the Jets the third-down back/screen threat they desperately needed last year. Even with Greene getting the bulk of the carries and Washington hopefully getting 10 offensive touches a game, Jones would still have value as a short-yardage/goal-line back and a guy who can chip in 10-12 carries or maybe more depending on the game plan. The Jets could also have a hole to fill at fullback if Tony Richardson decides to retire, but hopefully he will decide to come back on another 1 year deal after a productive season.

PhotobucketI have heard some people say the Jets need need a legit number one receiver but I think they are in good shape with Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery as their starters. Yes, Edwards made his share of mistakes last year but he also made his share of big plays. With a full off-season to work with the team and Sanchez, there is no reason Edwards can’t be the #1 receiver the Jets traded for him to be. Cotchery played at the level of a #1 receiver for most of last year and if it wasn’t for an ankle injury, would have been a 1000 yard guy. Is it crazy to think both Edwards and Cotchery could be right around or slightly over 1000 yards next year, with Sanchez a year better?

The Jets do need a number 3 receiver/slot guy. Brad Smith deserves a roster spot because of his value on special teams and gadget plays. However, either Wallace Wright or David Clowney need to be replaced with a guy who can make some plays out of the slot. Chansi Stuckey was really perfect for this role but unfortunately he had to be sent back in the Edwards trade. Dustin Keller needs to be used the way he was in the playoffs, because he should be much more than a 500 yard, 2 touchdown a season guy. I would love to see Ben Hartsock replaced with a player who can block but is also somewhat of a receiving threat. Overall, even if the Jets don’t add another receiver this off-season Edwards, Cotchery, and Keller are a pretty strong top three targets for Sanchez to grow with over the next few years.

The offensive line was superb last season but is getting old at couple of spots. Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Brandon Moore should all be in place for a long time but the Jets have to start thinking about who will eventually replace Alan Faneca and Damien Woody. Hopefully, both guys can give us another two strong seasons but nothing is guaranteed at their age. Robert Turner and Wayne Huner have gained some valuable experience the past few years as extra tight ends and could eventually be looked to as starters. Also, Matt Slauson was drafted in the 6th round last year and will hopefully develop into something down the road. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets grab another lineman in the late rounds of this year’s draft.

With a core of Mark Sanchez (23), Shonn Greene (24), Leon Washington (27), Dustin Keller (25), Braylon Edwards (26), Jerricho Cotchery (27), Nick Mangold (26), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (26), Brandon Moore (29), and Brad Smith (26), the Jets offense could be very good, for a very long time. I know many Jets fan have a strong hate for Brian Schottenheimer(that is an article for another day) but I think he did good last year, considering he was dealing with a rookie quarterback and a receiving core that was shuffled around in the first half of the season from trades and injuries. He is a creative guy and it will be a big benefit for Sanchez to play in the same offense with the same coordinator for the second year in a row. Ideally this off-season, the Jets will get Thomas Jones and Tony Richardson back, find a #3 receiver, improve their #2 tight end, get a veteran backup QB and draft a lineman in the late rounds.

Could It Be? Another 2009 Highlight Tape

Grading Out The Jets/Raiders Game

First a few updates:

1. As expected, Leon Washington was placed on the IR today. It will be interesting to see who the Jets add to their roster to fill that spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved Danny Woodhead back to running back and then added another defensive lineman to the roster.

2. Another thing to keep an eye on is who will return kickoffs now for the Jets, some names to look out for will be Dwight Lowery, Danny Woodhead, Wallace Wright, or David Clowney.

3. The Game Highlights, Stats, and Depth Chart pages have been updated.

Grading Out The Jets/Raiders Game

Quarterbacks: (B) Mark Sanchez wasn’t asked to do much but he did a good job with what was handed to him. You could see him making a conscious effort to protect the football by throwing passes away and checking down. He also did a better job of avoiding sacks. On third down he was 5-8 for 65 yards, re-establishing his early season ability to come up with key first down conversions. Sanchez also executed a beautiful play fake and dropped in a nice pass to David Clowney for a 35 yard touchdown. There were still some missed throws and for some reason he can’t get on the same page with Dustin Keller but yesterday was a step in the right direction.

Running Backs: (A+) Shonn Greene and Thomas Jones completely wore down the Raiders defense. There wasn’t anything flashy or fancy about the Jets running game yesterday, they went right up the gut with Jones and Greene who combined for 265 yards. Jones certainly doesn’t look like a 30 year old running back and Greene has an unbelievable burst through the hole. We are all going to miss Leon Washington, but Jones and Greene will be a handful for defenses the rest of the season.

Wide Receivers (B) They weren’t given a ton of opportunities but did a good job when their numbers were called. David Clowney stepped up in particular with 4 catches for 79 yards, including a 35 yard touchdown. He showed an ability to be more than a deep threat by breaking some tackles and catching a tough pass over the middle. Wallace Wright recorded his first two catches of the season and Braylon Edwards had a drop but also pulled in a tough catch over the middle. I would expect Jerricho Cotchery to be back in action next week, which will be a big boost.

Tight Ends: (C) Good job blocking by Dustin Keller and Ben Hartsock. Keller also did a great job selling the play fake on his 26 yard reception. He was open a couple of other times but Sanchez missed him. One of these weeks it is going to click for Keller and Sanchez, who started off the year strong but have struggled to connect recently.

Offensive Line: (A+) Awesome job by the Jets front five, there really isn’t much to say except that Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Robert Turner dominated and embarrassed Oakland’s front seven. I bet Richard Seymour is regretting saying the Raiders are going to be a playoff team…unless he meant a high school playoff team.

Defensive Line: (B) The committee approach to replace Kris Jenkins got off to a decent start. Yes, the Jets gave up a little more rushing yards than you’d like to see but overall their defensive line was active, especially Mike DeVito and Howard Green. They have a hell of a challenge coming up this week against Miami.

Linebackers: (A) Quiet games for Bart Scott and David Harris but the grade is picked up by a terrific day from Calvin Pace, who racked up 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. The Jets are going to need that type of effort from him the rest of the season because Pace is unquestionably their top pass rusher. Vernon Gholston has been demoted behind Jamaal Westerman in pass rushing situations.

Secondary: (A) Darrelle Revis is something else…that interception was ridiculous. Do you think he is fired up for this week after getting burned by Ted Ginn Jr (aka Panhands) on national television? Jim Leonhard made his first interception of the season and Dwight Lowery continues to put together a strong season in replacement of Lito Sheppard. Donald Strickland was back and always seems to be around the ball.

Special Teams: (B) Steve Weatherford might run for 100 yards this season. It is not a good sign that Jay Feely has missed two short kicks in consecutive weeks.

Coaching: (A) Mike Pettine made a nice adjustment on defense, allowing Calvin Pace more pass rushing opportunities. Brian Schottenheimer did a great job sticking with the run and Rex Ryan clearly had the troops motivated. Let’s see how they handle Miami this week.

Jets/Raiders Highlights

Thank God For Oakland: Jets Beat Raiders Initial Reaction

Thank God For Oakland: Jets Beat Raiders Initial Reaction

It didn’t come out without a steep price but the Jets took care of business today by embarrassing the hapless Oakland Raiders 38-0. The losing streak is over and the Jets now face a monster game at home against the Miami Dolphins (who are now 2-4 after choking away a 21 point lead to the Saints thanks to two Chad Henne INT’s). 5-3 wouldn’t be half bad at the bye and the chance to put Miami at 2-5 is a golden oppurtunity but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look back at today:

Running Back Talk: First off it is obviously a shame to see Leon Washington gone for the season. Everybody who reads Turn On The Jets knows about my man crush on #29 and yes I am very upset. I am sure he will rehab hard and be ready to go 100 percent for next season. Fortunately, the Jets traded a handful of draft picks to select a guy named Shonn Greene in the third round this past year who showed he is ready for the NFL today. Greene racked up 144 yards on 19 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per carry and also scored 2 touchdowns. The guy just doesn’t go down on first contact and has a great burst through the hole. Thomas Jones built on his momentum from last week finishing with 121 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown.

Some Offensive Line Love: This is the type of football the Jets are built for. They ran the ball 54 times and threw 15 times. The offensive line pushed the Raiders up and down the field and consistently created big running lanes for Greene and Jones. If the Jets are going to make a playoff push, it is going to be on the backs of their offensive line and running backs. Brandon Moore left for a little while in the second half, but his injury doesn’t appear to be serious and Robert Turner did a good job filling in.

Welcome Back Calvin: After a slow start in his first two games back, Calvin Pace finally re-established himself as the playmaking pass rusher he was last year with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Donald Stickland was also active in his return to the line-up with 3 tackles and 2 passes defensed. The secondary had a great overall game, with Darrelle Revis making a ridiculous interception and Jim Leonhard also adding an INT on a horribly thrown JaMarcus Russell pass.

The Clown: It is obviously good luck to do an interview here at Turn On The Jets, since David Clowney had his best game as a pro today and recorded his first career touchdown. It was good to see Mark Sanchez spread the ball around today and avoid any turnovers. He still has a ways to go but today was a step in the right direction.

Ten Final Thoughts On Jets/Raiders

Ten Final Thoughts On Jets/Raiders

1, Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, and Lito Sheppard all won’t be playing on Sunday. In terms of wide receiver, David Clowney will make his second straight start with Wallace Wright sliding into the #3 spot. Danny Woodhead will also be available off the bench. I would expect the Jets to call some early quick passes to Clowney to get him involved. Mark Sanchez must look to other receivers beside Braylon Edwards to keep the Raiders secondary honest. Dwight Lowery will start for Lito Sheppard, which is fine since he has been better than him this year anyway. Donald Strickland is expected to return to the nickel role.

2. The Jets will be wearing their white away Titans jersey this Sunday. Hopefully, the new colors will bring some better luck and end this losing streak.

3. Rex Ryan commented that he doesn’t expect the Raiders to utilize the Wildcat often this weekend, especially with Darren McFadden out. Interestingly enough, he stated the Raiders may see a good amount of it from the Jets this weekend. With Brad Smith out, Shonn Greene is taking his usual spot in the Jets “Seminole” aka their verison of the Wildcat package. They have struggled out of it the past few weeks, so Brian Schottenheimer may need to add a few more wrinkles.

4. Interesting article on Football Outsiders here: http://footballoutsiders.com/walkthrough/2009/walkthrough-interventions which breaks down Sanchez’s struggles against the Bills. This article absolves Brian Schottenheimer of some of the blame for Sunday and also points out how the Jets have been hurt by their injuries at receiver.

5. Wide receiver Chaz Schilens is expected to return to the line-up for Oakland this weekend, potentially replacing Darius Heyward-Bey as a starter. Oakland is high on Schilens and he could be a guy the Jets need to keep their eyes on.

6. If the Jets lose to Oakland this weekend, not only will they fall behind them in the wild card race. They are going to fall two games behind New England who will beat Tampa Bay in London. They also risk falling behind Miami and Buffalo. The Saints are walking into an obvious trap game in Miami, coming off an emotional win and playing a team off a bye week. Buffalo is playing the Panthers, who have struggled about as much as they have this season.

7. I think we can all see a huge game coming for both Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. As I have said earlier this week, they should combine for 40-45 carries. However, Oakland knows how often the Jets are going to be running meaning there are going to be openings in the passing game. Mark Sanchez might only throw 15-18 passes but he needs to make them count. The potential for big plays is going to be there and guys like David Clowney and Dustin Keller need to beat single coverage to help their rookie quarterback out.

8. I know everybody loves Danny Woodhead but I wouldn’t expect to see him on offense. The guy just moved to receiver two weeks ago.

9. Bart Scott needs a big game on defense. The Madbacker has been awfully quiet the past two games and need to provide some big plays. David Harris has been an all-pro this season, while Scott has only been average.

10. This is going to be a close, hard fought, low scoring game. If the Jets can win the turnover battle, they will be in good shape to pull out a tight victory.

Turn On The Jets TV Episode 7

Jets vs. Bills: Prediction, TOJ TV Episode VI

First a few updates:

1. Injury updates: Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith are listed as questionable this weekend. Don’t expect to see either of them in the line-up. David Clowney will start opposite Braylon Edwards, with Wallace Wright technically sliding into the #3 spot. However, don’t be surprised to see alot of Dustin Keller in the three wide set and plenty more balls coming his way. Obviously we all know Cotchery’s value, but don’t underestimate Brad Smith’s value on special teams. It also limits their “Seminole” package, since he is a big part of it. Damien Woody, Shaun Ellis, and Donald Strickland are listed as questionable. I would be shocked if Woody and Ellis didn’t play and would be equally shocked if Strickland suited up. Lito Sheppard will be in the starting line-up on Sunday and is listed as probable.

2. Look for Jamaal Westerman to be active this weekend. When you only have 4 sacks on the season and a guy who has one of them isn’t active, it doesn’t make much sense. My predicted Jets inactives this week…Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, Donald Strickland, Erik Ainge, Matt Slauson, Marquice Cole, Ropati Pitoitua.

3. Make sure you check out http://greenrewind.com I recently did a podcast with Marty Schupak over there about the Jets/Bills match-up.

4. I am expecting to have an interview with David Clowney next week to post up on the site. Also, there is a potential interview with Rich Cimini of the Daily News coming in the future weeks. Finally, I am working hard to get a press pass for an upcoming game…we’ll see.

5. The Jets signed Danny Woodhead to the active roster today, which is an interesting move. We already know how short handed they are at receiver and maybe Woodhead will actually get some reps in the slot. I know he switched to #83 but somebody needs to tell the guy to switch to #80, if he is going to be playing slot receiver. The Jets also released backup defensive tackle Howard Green to make room for Woodhead.

Jets vs. Bills: Prediction, TOJ TV Episode VI

We had some technical difficulties this week, forcing me to put this up so late. We got some good stuff in the works for coming weeks and will really be trying to have these up first thing Friday mornings from now on. Here is part 1

The Song: Jason DeRulo – Riding Solo