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.

How To Start Your Summer: 50 Things For Jets Fans To Smile About

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Memorial Day Weekend is about to kickoff and what is a better way to start off your summer than by reading 50 things to be happy about if you are a Jets fan. I hear some occasional criticism for being too positive about the team this season, even when a simple click through the archives will show I have written plenty of articles about potential problems the entire team, certain players, and certain positions will have in 2010. Regardless, today is a day to enjoy the optimism that every Jets fan should rightfully have heading into this year, so without further delay here 50 things for Jets to smile (or brag) about heading into this season:

(By the way, that’s my man JetBo from Section 313 in the old stadium)

1. Our 23 year old quarterback has already won two road playoff games.

2. Our 23 year old quarterback has more playoff wins in one season than Tony Romo has in seven. (For all those Maganelli Dallas fans in the area).

3. Our number three receiver was the 2009 Super Bowl MVP.

4. Fine, you say he isn’t our number three receiver than our number three receiver had 1130 receiving yards in 2007.

5. You say he isn’t our number three receiver either, than our number three receiver had 17 touchdowns in 2007.

6. If you moved our starting tight end to wide receiver, he’d be better at it than anybody Buffalo is trying to start opposite Lee Evans.

7 . Our second year running back already has two career playoff 100 yard rushing games.

8. We have the best center in the NFL.

9. We have the best corner in the NFL.

10. We had the number one defense in the NFL last season, without one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL who is now returning from injury.

11. We have a Pro-Bowl left tackle.

12. Our defense is good enough that our first round corner from the 2010 NFL Draft comes off the bench.

13. We have two corners who have been All-Pros. They are 26 and 24 years old.

14. A player with 127.5 career sacks is our #3 outside linebacker.

15. A player with 138 career touchdowns is our backup running back.

16. We have one of the best fullbacks in the NFL.

17. We drafted the best fullback in the 2010 NFL Draft to back him up.

18. Our third and fourth best offensive lineman are better than most team’s first and second best offensive lineman.

19. The New England Patriots lost 33-14 in their home building in the first round of the playoffs last year. Their biggest off-season acquisitions were Torry Holt, David Patten, and Alge Crumpler.

20. New England’s top three running backs are Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, and Sammy Morris.

21. Miami is relying on this guy to improve their offense:

22. We have this guy to cover him:

23. We have an All-Pro inside linebacker who is 26 years old.

24. We are going to be featured HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer.

25. We don’t play in Giants Stadium anymore.

26. Our stadium is hosting the 2014 Super Bowl.

27. We have the most aggressive GM in the NFL.

28. We have the funniest head coach in the NFL.

29. Our head coach is one the best defensive minds in the NFL.

30. Our defensive blitzes more than any team in the NFL.

31. Our players love playing for our head coach and players now actually want to join the New York Jets.

32. Despite winning a Super Bowl in 2007, the Giants are frustrated by all the attention the Jets receive from the local media.

33. We have five games in primetime this season.

34. We host the first Monday Night Football game of the season.

35. We get to boo our lungs off at Brett Favre at a home Monday Night game.

36. We are playing on Thanksgiving this year for the second time in 4 years.

37. Our quarterback threw 8 more interceptions than touchdowns last year and we still made the AFC Championship Game.

38. Our number four receiver can do things like this:

39. Our top outside linebacker only played in 12 games last season but still had 8 sacks.

40. The Patriots are either going to be starting a rookie, Darius Butler, Jonathan Wilhite, or Terrence Wheatley at corner. We could go four wide with Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller.

41. Those White Titans throwback jerseys are pretty slick looking.

42. We had a complete bust with the #6 overall pick in the 2008 draft and still had the league’s #1 overall defense last season.

43. Everybody thinks Chad Henne is a franchise quarterback and the biggest game he ever won in the NFL was beating the Jets in a week 5 game.

44. Our starting right guard is one of the most underrated players in the NFL and is hysterical on twitter. (@ShitMeatSays)

44. Bill Belichick is clearly starting to lose his mind:

45. The Jets piss off everybody in the NFL.

46. Our owner called out the NFL Commissioner for holding a fake coin toss to give the Giants the first home game in the new stadium.

47. A Rex Ryan press conference is more entertaining than 3/4 of the shows on TV right now.

48. Randy Moss doesn’t even bother to try against us anymore.

49. You could say “I expect the Jets to win the Super Bowl this season” and people won’t look at you like you have three heads.

50. The Empire State Building is going to spend plenty of time looking like this over the next few years.

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The Jets Journey To Relevancy

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The Jets Journey To Relevancy

Today I was talking to a friend from Philadelphia about how big of a following the Flyers have in the city with their recent Cinderella run in the playoffs. He assured me the Flyers were a big deal within the city and had a rabid following that didn’t trail the Eagles or Phillies by as much as you’d expect. I thought about the New York sports market, where the Rangers, Devils, and Islanders are irrelevant topics on the back pages of newspapers, sports talk radio, and mainstream websites. The only buzz around the Knicks and Nets is associated with the prayer’s chance of recruiting LeBron James. Football and baseball dominate the town. The Yankees are the number one story and you would normally put the Giants and Mets right behind them with the Jets a distant fourth.

PhotobucketI remember December 30th, 2007 sitting in the pouring rain at a half empty stadium watching the 3-12 Jets play the 4-11 Chiefs. It was an ugly and depressing game as I watched Kellen Clemens struggle through a 13/25, 115 yard performance. The Giants were headed to the playoffs. The Patriots had just completed an undefeated regular season. Little did I know that both were headed for an epic Super Bowl, which had one of the best fourth quarters and plays in league history. There you had it, the team the Jets shared the city with and their biggest rival battling on the world’s biggest stage while the Jets couldn’t be any more irrelevant. It was just another low point in the difficult life of being a New York Jets fan.

Yet today, when I was talking with my friend I had to put the Jets as the number two story in the New York sports market behind the defending champion Yankees. The Mets are slowly fading into their usual oblivion and somehow the Jets have become a better, more entertaining team and a bigger story than the New York Giants, a team who won arguably the greatest Super Bowl game ever played a little over 2 years ago.

How did this happen?

It started with an uncharacteristically aggressive off-season headed into the 2008 regular season. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum learned from his mistake heading into the 2007 season, when he incorrectly believed his 10-6 team was only a few minor tweaks away from being a Super Bowl contender. The Jets were a fun story in 2006 but they caught the league off-guard with a wild-card appearance thanks to a soft schedule, a surprisingly productive season from Chad Pennington, and career years from journeyman players like Victor Hobson, Cedric Houston, Anthony Clement, Chris Baker, Bryan Thomas, Hank Poteat, Erik Coleman, Justin Miller, and Andre Dyson.

The Jets did add Thomas Jones but thought they could get by another year with Clement on the line and Adrien Clarke stepping in for Pete Kendall at guard and made no major free agent additions to their defense. However, Tannenbaum did strike gold in the draft by trading up for future All-Pro defenders Darrelle Revis and David Harris. Regardless, Pennington succumbed to another injury and Kellen Clemens struggled heavily behind a terrible offensive line and the Jets disappointed with a 4-12 season.

With owner Woody Johnson’s blessing the Jets began a trend of recruiting and landing big time free agents. They broke the bank for perennial pro-bowler Alan Faneca and brought in veteran Damien Woody to complement him at tackle. They outbid Miami for Calvin Pace and swung a trade for Kris Jenkins. They also solidified their running game by adding fullback Tony Richardson and blocking tight end Bubba Franks. Despite Eric Mangini’s stringent ways and the organization operating under the New England state of mind, they were still able to recruit big name players to rebuild the roster.

PhotobucketTannenbaum didn’t finish his off-season until he shocked the football world by swinging a trade for Brett Favre. I know in the end, the Favre experiment didn’t work out considering the Jets failed to make the playoffs and his struggles down the stretch. However, the fact that Favre joined the Jets demonstrated to the rest of the league that the team was moving in the right direction. The pieces were being put into place to build a contender on both sides of the ball and they had a GM and owner who would aggressively pursue putting together a winner regardless of the cost.

The Jets could have faded back into irrelevancy into 2009 when they decided to cut ties with Favre and head coach Eric Mangini. Breaking with his personal characteristics and the Bill Parcells mindset he was groomed with, Mike Tannenbaum went for the boisterous, confident Rex Ryan. Mangini was a good football mind but had suffocated the life out of the organization. Ryan provided the shot of energy necessary to overcome the hangover from the disastrous end to the 2009 season and Favre’s departure. The bold moves from the previous off-season carried over into the months heading into 2009, starting with Ryan and his recruitment of former Baltimore Ravens, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, and Marques Douglas.

Yet, the most important decision came during the 2009 NFL Draft. The Jets weren’t making the playoffs with Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff at quarterback and everybody knew it. They needed a franchise quarterback to wash the bad taste out of everybody’s mouth that Favre had left. Working with their former head coach Mangini, they moved up to acquire USC’s Mark Sanchez.

The team had successfully moved out of the Mangini/Favre era with an exciting new head coach and quarterback. However, they retained the quality players acquired during Mangini’s two winning seasons in three years. The pieces were in place for a team with cautiously high expectations heading into the 2009 season.

In a rare occurrence, the football gods smiled on the ugly stepchild of New York City. A 7-7 team that appeared to be out of the playoffs was handed the backups of the best team in the league and took advantage. The victory positioned them to close out the stadium they had embarrassingly been tenants in, with a playoff berth in front of the whole country on Sunday Night Football. The Big Brother New York Giants had packed up their bags a few weeks too early and left with an ugly loss to the Carolina Panthers, leaving the Jets to fill the void as the team the New York sports market could get behind. Regardless of who the Bengals played or didn’t play, the Jets thrived for their fans and the city with a 37-0 victory.

PhotobucketAny questions about the Jets validity as a playoff team were answered with subsequent road victories over the Bengals and heavily favored San Diego Chargers. The momentum carried right into the second quarter of the AFC Championship Game, when the Jets were up 17-6. Unfortunately, an immortal quarterback rose to the top of his game and ended their run.

Despite the loss, the Jets had arrived. Their head coach whose ability to entertain and grab headlines was matched by his ability to design an elite defense and motivate his players, had claimed the Jets would be the number one show in town when the new Meadowlands began hosting NFL games and it was hard not to believe him. Tannenbaum didn’t back off. He must have remembered the off-season heading into 2007 again because he added Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, and Santonio Holmes to a team that was 28 minutes away from a Super Bowl.

Here we are today, with HBO knocking down the Jets door to feature them on Hard Knocks. Relevancy doesn’t equal success but any Jets fan will tell you it is refreshing to be the most hyped up team in the area. Giants fans will say they enjoy flying under the radar and I don’t blame them. They shouldn’t concern themselves with the attention being paid to a team who hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1969, when they have won 3 since then. However, the Jets don’t have to ignore the spotlight being shined on them. Yes, they bring the attention to themselves with the boasting of their head coach, big name acquisitions, and posturing of their owner but there is substance behind the hype around the team.

There is a system of playing defense and running the football, which is a familiar formula for playoff teams. The Jets have the ability to run the ball because they have assembled one of the best offensive lines in football and found a running back by trading up to get a guy that inexplicably slipped through the cracks to the third round. They have the ability to play defense because they drafted the best corner in the NFL, an All-Pro inside linebacker, and surrounded them with quality free agent additions. Yet, if you follow the NFL these days you know it takes more than running the ball and defense to win a championship, which is why the Jets have surrounded their franchise quarterback with one of the best three wide sets in the NFL, a pass-catching tight end, and one of better receiving running backs in NFL history.

Somehow, someway the Jets have navigated themselves into relevancy. The owner, GM, coach, and roster is finally in place to turn that relevancy into success. By success, I mean the one thing that could actually put the Jets on the same level of the Giants as a NFL organization and make sure the new stadium doesn’t turn into “Giants Stadium Part 2,” and that is win a Super Bowl.

Now Some Other Updates:

1. We have been locked at 315 fans on Facebook for 2 days now and that is getting me a little anxious. I need as many fans as possible to throw at the Jets media relations guy when I working on getting a press pass…so follow it on Facebook, tell you friends to follow it on Facebook and do the same for the Twitter account (TurnOnTheJets).

2. Remember we have other tabs on this site beyond the home page…we also have just added a tab for the Podcast, which links you to the site with the TOJ Podcasts.

3. (http://www.youhaveiwant.com/home.html) – Worth checking out, especially if you are looking to get your hands on New York area sports tickets.

4. Jets minor roster moves…they added offensive tackle Aaron Kia and released receiver S.J. Green and offensive tackle Matt Stommes. The depth chart has been updated accordingly.

5. Tough break for the New Jersey Nets last night. I can’t say that I wasn’t happy since I am a Knicks fan first and a Wizards fan second…yes I have a second favorite basketall team. How can I justify that? First off, the Knicks have been god awful the past decade, second I lived in DC for 6 months, attended some games at the Phone Booth when the Wizards were pretty good and became a big Agent Zero fan…before he decided to start bringing guns into the locker room. So, yea I broke out the John Wall dance in my Arenas shirt last night after they got the number one pick.

6. Thoughts On Lost Final Season, Episode 16 “What They Died For” –We ended our one episode break in 23 A.D. with glowing caves and terrible kid actors by getting back to our main characters with a very, very good episode. Everybody kind of saw it coming with Jack replacing Jacob, but it almost seemed like it happened too easy. I have a feeling when it is all said and done, Jack won’t be taking the job as island protector. I liked the sideways action…Desmond is well on his way to putting together the greatest reunion concert ever. Instead of breaking down all the details of last night’s episode, here are my predictions for the finale and you can trust I have avoided all spoilers this season:

  • Richard and Lapidus aren’t dead yet.
  • Sawyer will die on the island.
  • Juliet is Jack’s ex-wife in the sideways timeline.
  • Jack will cure Locke in the sideways but find a way to kill him on the island.
  • Ben is pulling a long con on Locke and will end up being a good guy at the end…and the new island protector.
  • Desmond is going into the yellow cave…and I don’t know what happens from there.
  • I still have no idea how they merge both timelines.
  • Rose and Bernard helped Desmond out of the well.
  • Final scene? It was all the dog’s dream.

What About Mark Sanchez?

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First a few (or actually many) updates:

1. Jets backup tackle Wayne Hunter signed his restricted free agent tender offer with the Jets. Hunter is a valuable member of the Jets offense. He frequently sees the field as an extra tight end or tackle in short yardage or goal-line situations. The only current Jets restricted free agents who haven’t signed their tenders are Kellen Clemens, Drew Coleman, and Leon Washington. However, Clemens and Coleman have showed up to voluntary workouts with the rest of the team yesterday and today. The entire roster was in attendance (yes Braylon signed his tender and he is in the building) except recently signed Lance Laury and Washington.

2. Speaking of Leon, the word is that he is going to receive clearance to run within the next 10-14 days. His agent believes he will receive some interest in mid-April from other teams, although I think that is doubtful. Ryan didn’t hide his disappointment about Leon not being in attendance in recent quotes. “It is a voluntary situation, but the rest of his teammates volunteered to be there, so it was disappointing that he wasn’t there.”

3. Another interesting nugget of information on the Jets running back situation. Here is what Ryan had to say about Leon, LT, and Shonn Greene:

Photobucket Leon – “What we should do with him in my opinion is put him back to his role, which he had initially, which is third-down back, a change-of-pace type back and a Pro Bowl returner,” Ryan said. “And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

On LT  – “I’m sure some games he’ll have more rushing attempts than Shonn and I think Shonn will have more than LT in other ones,” Ryan said. “Our team is not based on a certain amount of touches. Hypothetically we’ see him carry the ball 15 times a game.”

While we are quoting Ryan, here is some general things he had to say about the Jets in 2010 – “We go into every game thinking we’re going to win. Every single game. I don’t care if we’re playing the Pro Bowl team, we expect to win. That’s just our mentality. That’s our belief in each other, our belief in our systems and our coaching staff and everything we do…When we were saying things, everybody thought we were crazy. I don’t know if they think we’re crazy now. We did go in there, saying we were going to have a dominant defense; we led the NFL in total defense. We said we were going to have a ground-and-pound offense; we led the league in rushing. So when I think we have an excellent football team, maybe you should take it to the bank because we’ve got an excellent football team.”

And a few parting shots he had for Kerry Rhodes – “To be honest with you, I don’t know if Kerry fully bought in. I think he did later. As the year went on, I could see him trying to do what we asked…If we thought he was giving us everything he had. It never would’ve been an issue.”

First off I pulled those quotes off Rich Cimini’s The Jets Stream (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/) and Tim Graham’s AFC East Blog (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast)

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I don’t know if I buy into LaDainain Tomlinso getting 15 carries a game and Leon being completely relegated to a third down role. I don’t know if that quote comes from trying to appease a recently signed Tomlinson and taking a dig at Washington for skipping workouts but that carry breakdown doesn’t sound right to me. Maybe in the beginning of the year, Leon will have a more limited role on the offense but I think when he gets his feet under him after the surgery he will move closer to his 2009 pre-injury role. In terms of Tomlinson, I think he would be better served with 8-10 carries and a few receptions a game. 15 carries a game could be pushing it. Shonn Greene should be getting 20-22 carries a game and no less than that because he wears on a defense and has the potential to pop a big run at any  moment.

Third, you know I love Ryan coming out with that confidence this early in the year. I never wanted Ryan’s swagger to be a first year stunt. The Jets have a very good team and there is no reason he shouldn’t exude the confidence that is a natural part of his personality. When the season ended last year the Jets were the best team in the AFC East and as far as I am concerned, they are the team to beat in the division right now so there is nothing wrong with carrying some swagger.

Fourth, Rhodes took his shot at the Jets so I have no problem with Ryan saying something back to him.

4. Number updates…just in case you are rushing out to get your Brodney Pool jersey:

  • LaDainain Tomlinson – #21
  • Dwight Lowery – #26
  • Brodney Pool – #22
  • Antonio Cromartie – #31
  • Nick Folk – #2

5. I am not crazy about the change in the OT rules. I don’t really like having different rules between the regular season and the playoffs and it takes some of the drama out of the overtime period. Although I am sure I won’t argue with the rule if it comes back to benefit the Jets in a playoff game this year. I will say it does bring some interesting strategy into the coaching of overtime now.

6. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we only need 68 more fans for 300.

What About Mark Sanchez?

Photobucket I have confidence in Mike Tannenbaum, I think the Jets have a few minor moves left in free agency along with a solid draft on the horizon. Overall, I am feeling very good about the team in 2010. The defense will improve in year two of Rex Ryan’s system. If Antonio Cromartie’s head is on straight and he is properly motivated, he will be a substantial upgrade over Lito Sheppard. I think Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, and James Ihedigbo can fill the void (if you could call it that) left by Kerry Rhodes and by the way, Kris Jenkins is coming back and from early reports looks very good in the Jets off-season workouts. You didn’t forget about big 77 did you? Hopefully, Adalius Thomas will eventually be on board as an additional pass rusher but that remains to be seen.

On offense, obviously the offensive line remains a strength. Braylon Edwards should be improved after a full off-season with the Jets. Hopefully, Dustin Keller will carry over his level of play from the playoffs last year. Jerricho Cotchery is Mr. Reliable. Shonn Greene has the potential to be a 1,500 yard back. Leon Washington is coming back and LaDainain Tomlinson should be motivated to have at least one productive year behind the Jets offensive line. I like the coaching staff and the aggressiveness of the owner and GM. We have a new stadium for 2010 and a slate of prime-time games on the way. Yet, there is one thing that could hold the Jets back in 2010…the quarterback.

What about Mark Sanchez? After the encouraging run by Sanchez and the Jets in the playoffs, it is easy to forget the 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions and 53.8 completion percentage he posted during the regular season. The Jets aren’t going to be any better than a 9-7 team if Sanchez puts up those type of numbers again. Is it a safe bet to believe Sanchez will make some substantial progress in his second year?

I feel confident that he will and here is why: first off, we saw Sanchez take a major step during the playoffs last year when the games got bigger. He put together a terrific wild-card game on the road. After some early struggles in the divisional round, he made a clutch third down touchdown pass that helped push the Jets to victory. Finally, he played a great game in the AFC Championship on the road in Indianapolis. When he stayed in the pocket, took a monster hit to the face and delivered a perfect pass to Dustin Keller for a third down touchdown, you had to feel good about the future of the Jets offense.

Second, by all accounts Sanchez has been living at the Jets facility this off-season. You want to hear about your quarterback spending all day and night in his offensive coordinator’s office breaking down tape. He got his knee taken care of this off-season and is currently ahead in his rehab. Sanchez will be 100 percent for training camp and hopefully will participate in the team’s OTAs in June.

I think Sanchez showed he has the physical tools to excel at this level last year. He will be returning for year two in the same offense, with the same offensive coordinator, the same top three receiving targets, a quality offensive line, and a very good group of running backs. There is no reason his touchdown to interception ratio shouldn’t improve to hopefully something like 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions and his completion percentage moves into the 57-59% range. I don’t think Sanchez is going to light the world on fire in year two or be a fantasy football beast but I think he will protect the football better and be much more comfortable in the Jets offense. If he can do those things, the Jets maybe looking at a 11-5 or 12-4 record.

Was Signing Tomlinson The Right Move? & Coin Flip Madness

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First a few updates:

1. I have to recommend everybody finds a way to get down to Austin, Texas at some point in their life. The place is completely out of control. I thought I would have a more laid back spring break after going to Cancun the previous two years but I was absolutely, 100 percent wrong. Good times. Anyway, I have been a little late writing this article about the Jets officially signing LaDainian Tomlinson and Coin-Flip Gate but I have a valid excuse. Here has been my last few days:

  • Saturday Night – Out on 6th street, go to bed at 8 AM.
  • Sunday Morning – Up at 9 AM.
  • Go to airport in Austin…find out I lost my credit card.
  • During flight, guy next to me throws up in a bag three times.
  • Fly to airport in Minnesota…find out flight is delayed 3 hours.
  • Look around for Tomlinson Vikings jersey…don’t see any.
  • Land in Newark at 9 PM, received 10 texts about Tomlinson signing being official.
  • Arrive back in Ringwood at 10:30 PM
  • Write 8 page paper on the European Union, finish at 8 AM
  • Drive back to Pennsylvania
  • Go to class from 11-12:30
  • Sleep from 1 PM until 9 PM.

So there you go. Anyway, despite currently running on nothing but coffee I have get my opinions out there, before going to bed for another 12 hours.

2. There are still some rumors swirling around about the Jets being interested in Brandon Marshall. I don’t see it happening but honestly you never know with Mike Tannenbaum. At this point, I like the way the Jets offense is constructed and would rather not deal with the sideshow Marshall would bring to town. I don’t care how talented he is. He was the target of a gang hit, hit his girlfriend, and made a huge scene in Denver last year.

3. I am glad to hear Rex Ryan is doing well after his surgery and that his first question after waking up was “Did we sign LT yet?” How can you not love this guy as your football coach?

Was Signing Tomlinson The Right Move? & Coin Flip Madness

Ironically enough, I spent a good amount of article space before and after the Jets/Chargers divisional round playoff game ripping not just Antonio Cromartie but also LaDainain Tomlinson. Sure enough, both players are now members of the Jets. I have already said my piece on Cromartie’s arrival over the past couple of weeks but now what about Tomlinson? First off, I would have still rather have Thomas Jones for next season. There is a bunch of different information being thrown around about the contracts of Tomlinson and Jones but it appears that Tomlinson’s is overall worth more money but Jones will be making more this upcoming season, and the Jets will be able to cut ties with Tomlinson with minimal cap damage after this year if he flames out. Regardless, I still would have rather paid TJ more money next season. He was substantially more productive last year. He was a veteran leader in the locker room and clearly everybody around the organization thought highly of him, as shown by this ad taken out in a Kansas City paper by the team:

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However, when it became apparent that Jones wasn’t coming back next year, the Jets were faced with a hole in their backfield. Chauncey Washington couldn’t be counted on to take consistent carries. The free agent market was extremely thin and the Jets didn’t want to be forced to spend another mid-round pick on a running back, after doing so last year and in 2006. I would have never thought they would look towards Tomlinson but when you consider a few things, it begins to make more sense.

First off, he is familiar with the Jets offense and is comfortable with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Second, he provides a veteran presence at a position that desperately needs it. Third, he is a great receiving running back and is steady in pass protection. Shonn Greene sure as hell can run but he has worse hands than Troy Williamson. Obviously, Leon Washington can catch but he is coming off major surgery so it remains to be seen how effective he will be next year. Fourth, Tomlinson is still a very good short yardage back. Washington isn’t built for that type of role and Greene was never used in short yardage or goal-line situations last year. Finally, we all know Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum like to make a splash with big names.

PhotobucketTomlinson is done as a feature back in my mind. Yes, I think he would be more productive in that role with the Jets than he was with San Diego because of the Jets dominant offensive line but he won’t be asked to be option 1A. What do the Jets need from him next year? I would think Shonn Greene will be looking at 17-21 carries a game. Leon will get his touches on third downs, gimmick plays, and as a pass catching target. Tomlinson needs to be an effective short yardage and goal-line back, be able to spell Shonn Greene for a series or two per half, and be a pass catching threat out of the backfield on screens and other short routes. You have to admit, it will be tough to defend the Jets screen game when they line up both Washington and Tomlinson in the backfield.

Tomlinson is in the green and white now so I am trying to look at the positives. I couldn’t stand him watching from the side-lines in playoff games in previous years with his jacket on and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him be made to look like an old lady last year by the Jets defense. Yet, with the help of the best offensive line in football, Shonn Greene, and Leon Washington maybe Tomlinson can carve himself a nice role on the Jets offense. At worst, he provides depth and veteran leadership. At best, he will pile up short-yardage touchdowns and become a game-changer as a change of pace back/receiver out of the backfield. The most likely scenario is that he ends up somewhere in the middle of those two. I will be happy if he can give us 7-9 carries a game, a few receptions, and a high success rate on short-yardage downs. Welcome to New York, LaDainain…I am sure you won’t have trouble getting #21 from Dwight Lowery.

Coin Flip – On to this whole coin-flip issue, which has now been settled by the NFL with a secret flip that resulted in a Giants victory (shocking). The news is that the Giants will open the stadium on Sunday afternoon of week 1 and then the following day, the Jets will host the Monday Night Football opener. Honestly, that is fine with me. Jets owner Woody Johnson is furious because there was no transparency in the coin toss (representatives of neither team were invited) and it is probably likely Roger Goodell just picked the Giants, because despite being 50/50 partners on the new stadium, there is still a view among some people that this new building will also be Giants Stadium. I could see Jets fans getting real worked up about this but in the end it isn’t a big deal. All I know is I am pumped that the Jets are hosting the week 1 Monday Night game. My early predicted opponent? I will either say Minnesota, New England, or Miami. Let the Giants play on Sunday, they probably can’t wait the extra day to start the season considering they lost their final two games by a combined score of 85-16. I can wait until Monday Night with the rest of the nation to watch the league’s #1 defense, #1 offensive line, most entertaining coach, up and coming franchise quarterback and running back, LaDainain Tomlinson, the return of Leon Washington, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and the rest of the #1 show in town next season.

Welcome to New York

They Could Have Settled The Home Opener, With A Bat Fight