TOJ Staff Writer Dalbin Osorio ranks the New York Jets beat writers heading into the 2015 season. Please direct all questions and concerns to Mr. Osorio…
TOJ Staff Writer Dalbin Osorio ranks the New York Jets beat writers entering the 2015 season
TOJ Staff Writer Dalbin Osorio ranks the New York Jets beat writers entering the 2015 season
TOJ Staff Writer Dalbin Osorio ranks the New York Jets beat writers heading into the 2015 season. Please direct all questions and concerns to Mr. Osorio…
A ranking of the New York Jets beat writers
And we’re back! After taking a brief hiatus from an idea we cooked up a few years back, we’re ready to again rank your New York Jets beat writers. Our staff voted and this is what we came up with (if you don’t see somebody you recognize ranked, they either didn’t make the top 8 or they are too new to the scene to be fairly judged).
Turn On The Jets beat writer rankings discuss the best and worst NFL writers heading into the 2012 season
This week’s edition of the Turn On The Jets beat writer rankings is going to take a break from our New York counterparts. Today we are going to discuss our favorite and least favorite NFL writers heading into the 2012 season. Enjoy and feel free to add your comments here or on our Facebook Page –
Favorite – Greg Cosell/Mike Mayock/Trent Dilfer – I couldn’t settle on one individual. However, what these three have in common is their dedication to breaking down film and providing fascinating, in-depth Xs and Os analysis. Even in the case of Cosell, whose opinion I frequently disagree with, I respect the way he formulates his arguments and can understand why he has his perspective.
Worst – Mike Lupica – Legitimately can’t stomach even getting through a paragraph of one of his articles at this point. He writes about the Jets as an individual who only receives his information on the team via one of Sal Pal’s updates on ESPN or a Skip Bayless rant on First Take. Lazy garbage. Honorable mention goes to the newest scribe at Pro Football Talk Darin Gantt, who seems as if he was hired specifically to post two articles a day that end with a sentence about what wild soap opera circus the Jets are.
Favorite – Bucky Brooks – Going outside the box here perhaps a little with this pick, but Bucky Brooks does a great job and really takes the time to research and understand what he’s writing about before he puts it out there. I was put on to Brooks when he put out an excellent breakdown of the Jets new 46 Defense a few weeks ago, and I’ve been a fan ever sense, and also enjoyed his take on the Jets QB situation through a series of tweets. Unlike most in the national media he didn’t just rehash the same old nonsense and write “Sanchez stinks! Tebow is a winner! Last place!”, and I appreciated the time he clearly put into understanding things before throwing it out there and seeing if it stuck. I’d recommend him on Twitter, and be sure to check out his work.
Worst – (Tie) Evan Silva and Mike Florio – This makes sense considering Silva used to work with Florio on ProFootballTalk.com and they have continued to share the same brain ever since. Florio clearly uses loaded headlines and antagonistic comments to lure in readers, so there’s at least a method to his madness I suppose. That doesn’t excuse the fact he’s basically just a West Virginia lawyer who has a limited understanding of football, but still.
Silva is a homer Patriots fan who hates all things New York, he fancies himself an “expert” and talks about scouting and reviewing film, yet never provides anything worth a damn. He has the Jets ranked as the 27th best team in the NFL (I can’t wait to call him out on that one), and tore apart Shonn Greene’s “game tape” during games where Colin Baxter was the starting Center and the offense couldn’t function. Fair and balanced all the way! And that doesn’t even begin to get into his fantasy football content. I’d rather throw darts at a board than take his advice on which players to start. More on this in the coming weeks, I promise…
Favorite – Adam Schefter – Schefter, to me, is the cream of the crop when it comes to, not only NFL journalists, but to sports journalists in general. He certainly has some great colleagues at ESPN like Chris Mortenson and John Clayton, however, Schefter continuously separates himself from the pack with unbelievable insight. Whether it be analysis or breaking headline stories, there is not a writer in the country that gets after it harder than Schefter. I mean seriously, have you seen ESPN during the NFL Free Agency and Draft periods? I don’t think the man sleeps. Schefter is beyond dedicated to what he does, and you can just feel his passion through his work. He never writes with any bias whatsoever, something so many journalists struggle to do these days. Schefter simply gives honest, coherent, and accurate analysis day in and day out. If you had to compare NFL writers to NFL players, Schefter would be in that elite group similar to Tom Brady, Drew Brees, the Mannings, and Aaron Rodgers. Nobody does it better.
Worst – James Walker – This should come as no surprise to anyone who is a regular follower of Turn On The Jets. While I can certainly respect the position Walker is currently in, as I am sure he gives valiant effort to his work, the man simply struggles to publish anything worth reading. From his AFC East Quarterback “ranking” system last year, in which he gave no explanation to how he was really ranking them, to his endless posts preaching the obvious (his most recent about New England RB Stevan Ridley and how he must restrain from fumbling this season to earn playing time), Walker truly struggles to write anything noteworthy. He constantly retweets himself on twitter, something many are still trying to figure out the exact reasoning for, and apparently doesn’t like criticism, as he blocked my twitter account after our initial Beat Writer Power Rankings, where I deemed him “the bottom of the barrel” of NFL journalists. Nothing personal, but JW is easily my least favorite NFL writer.
The Turn On The Jets beat writer power rankings are back, who have been the top mainstream writers covering the New York Jets?
Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the New York Jets is back. Myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly have ranked our top five after a week of training camp. Let us hear your opinion on Twitter, in the comment section or on the TOJ Facebook Page…and for the beat writers, we know you are reading and we do award five additional points to anybody seen in this shirt –
1. Jenny Vrentas – Surprise, surprise! Jenny Vrentas remains in the top spot here at the TOJ Beat Writer Power Rankings as we get started with Training Camp and things really heat up. Even during the down period of the past few weeks, she remained active putting out her Summer Q&A feature where she asked players on the team a few questions. It wasn’t much, but it was nice to still have some fresh Jets material to peek through. During the past week, she stepped up her game, and in addition to her great work day-by-day at camp relaying all the info to her Twitter followers (all the beat writers do a great job with this), she put out a few great reads – one about Revis and his holdout, one about Curtis Martin discussing concussions, and of course some things on Tebow. In addition, she was the second beat writer (Manish was first) to appear on the Flight 5 Live Internet Show, and fan interaction always earns bonus points in our eyes. All in all, Jenny showed why she deserves to stay in the top spot and that it’s going to be tough to knock her off. – Mike Donnelly
2. Brian Costello – Our man Brian Costello of the New York Post has put in an excellent amount of work since our initial rankings, and finds himself second to only Vrentas this week. Coz really killed it with material leading into camp, including a phenomenal piece on Rex Ryan, which was a bit overlooked due to how great the Vrentas piece was. However, Costello provided a very unique look into a similar issue, the overall physical transformation of Ryan. Coz also wrote a fantastic, in-depth camp preview, among several other quality articles that were published during the weeks heading into camp. Among his writing, Coz had an excellent guest spot on ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd about two weeks ago, discussing the status of the Jets, the QB situation, and a brief pre-season outlook. It will certainly be tough to dethrone Vrentas this season, however at the rate he is going, I would not be surprised to see Costello be the one to do so. – Chris Gross
3. Rich Cimini – Regardless of the general opinion that Cimini is too negative towards the team, he has simply been writing his ass off the past few weeks. Beyond keeping his ESPN blog updated constantly and interacting with fans on Twitter, he has written a few very good feature pieces. Most notably, this one which was well researched and a much needed positive outlook on Mark Sanchez’s future in the middle of the endless line of undeserved criticism for him. This article discussing Darrelle Revis following the lead of Curtis Martin was a unique angle and another enjoyable read. Yes, the critical one liners can be annoying at times but it is impossible to ignore the quality of work he has been producing. – Joe Caporoso
4. Manish Mehta – Manish’s drop in the rankings has more to do with the excellent work of Mr. Coz and Rich Cimini the past few weeks than it does with The Daily News’ beat man. Manish mostly disappeared after mini-camp, and we felt he got off to a slow start once Training Camp really got going before really kicking some ass and getting into the swing of things the past few days. Hopefully he didn’t spend his vacation time getting big-timed by Gary Myers and being forced to read his long, boring dissertations on why the Jets are the worst at everything in a creepy Daily News back room somewhere. If Manish shows up in the next few days wearing stonewashed jeans and blocks me on twitter (as Gary did) then we’ll know he was brainwashed by Mr. Myers and then we’ll have to worry. Also worth mentioning, Manish has greatly curtailed his Sulia usage, and that earns major bonus points. I expect him to shoot up the rankings as soon as next week. – Mike Donnelly
5. Jane McManus – Although she remains at the 5th spot, McManus has actually done some very good work over the past few weeks, just not quite enough to get the edge over one of the other four yet. She has been consistent with content on the ESPNNewYork Jets Blog, and has been tweeting Jets updates and news much more frequently than she had been in the weeks prior to training camp. She, like many other beat writers, put out a piece earlier in the week about Mark Sanchez using Eli Manning’s first three seasons as a pro to give himself a curve for how he should expect his fourth NFL season to go. Clearly, we agree with this notion here, as we reviewed a similar issue back in March. McManus has been doing solid work, but just needs a little more consitency to jump ahead in the rankings. – Chris Gross
Turn On The Jets looks back at some of the all-time greats on the New York Jets beat
Today’s edition of the Turn On The Jets beat writer rankings focuses on former writers on the New York Jets beat –
Paul Zimmerman, New York Post – An all-time great in sports journalism, more popularly known as “Dr. Z” from his time at Sports Illustrated. Zimmerman was on the Jets beat in the late 60s for the New York Post and covered their only Super Bowl victory. He was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee until recently suffering a stroke in 2008, which he is still recovering from. When correctly picking the Giants to beat Patriots in the 2007 Super Bowl, he referred back to the Jets upset over the Colts in Super Bowl III as his inspiration –
“I can only go back to Super Bowl III, when I was the New York Post‘s beat man covering the Jets, and I had a hunch that they were primed for a major upset over the Colts even though it didn’t seem logical. So I chickened out and picked the Colts by less than the huge spread.”
Paul Needell, New York Daily News – Covered the Jets from 1983-1995 for the Daily News, before moving on to the Star-Ledger as a NFL reporter. Give this a read for a comical overview of Needell’s time with the team, who never provided a dull moment throughout the 80s, just like they never provide a dull moment these days.
Gerald Eskenazi, New York Times – He has worked at the New York Times for over five decades, covering a wide range of sports and other topics. Eskenazi documented his days with the Jets in this book and was another one of the beat writers who covered the team’s Super Bowl III victory.
Dave Anderson, New York Times – Another long running, well-respected journalist who spent time on the New York Jets beat. When writing on the long standing Jets/Raiders rivalry, Anderson commented about Weeb Ewbank’s mistrust of Al Davis
“Whenever a helicopter flew anywhere near a Jets practice the week before a game against the Raiders, Ewbank would look up and shake his fist. He just knew Davis had somebody spying on the Jets.”
Erik Boland, Newsday – Unfortunately only spent about one year on the Jets beat for Newsdsay before moving on to cover the Yankees but was very popular with fans. Boland distinguished himself for being highly interactive with fans and having in-depth articles while maintaining a sense of humor.
Rod Boone, Newsday – Recently moved to the Brooklyn Nets beat, Boone was another fan favorite because of his in-depth writing and unique perspectives on the different issues surrounding the team. He is already establishing himself with excellent Nets coverage and is a must follow on Twitter (@RodBoone)
Dave Hutchinson, The Star Ledger – Covered the Jets for well over a decade before being moved over to the Mets beat in recent years. Hutchinson was a detailed writer who always seemed to come up with good scoops and was well respected by the other writers and fans alike. The Ledger’s coverage has remained top notch in Hutchinson’s absence with Jenny Vrentas taking over, who is our currently top ranked beat writer.
Randy Lange, The Record – A personal favorite of TOJ, as Lange was the beat writer for my hometown paper when I was growing up. He covered the Jets for 13 years for The Record before getting hired by the New York Jets website as their Editor-In-Chief where he currently does an excellent job.
Tim Graham, ESPN – Graham ran the ESPN AFC East blog before moving on to cover the Bills for Buffalo News. He did a terrific job with AFC East coverage and made the blog a must read for a fan of any team in the division. Since he has moved on, Erik Frenz of The Bleacher Report has become our go to guy for AFC East coverage.
Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets Beat Writers…this week we go by the fan’s vote
Welcome back to our weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers. For this week’s edition, we went to the fans for the rankings. What did we find? Myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly seem to have a good pulse of the general opinion, as their rankings didn’t differ much from ours on a weekly basis. Thank you to everybody who voted and thank you to Manish Mehta of The Daily News who gave us the idea for next week’s column, when we will be discussing our all-time favorite Jets beat writers.
1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – Jenny refuses to get knocked out of the top spot, regardless of who is being polled. Her summer interview series is a popular read and she remains highly interactive on Twitter and without Sulia use…which we love. We are all looking forward to another season of her coverage.
2. Manish Mehta, The Daily News – Easily the most polarizing writer among fans. You either love him or you hate him. To his credit, Manish has been a great sport about these rankings and offered us the previously mentioned great idea for next week. It speaks to his writing skills and work ethic that he is so high on these rankings because we (and the fans) can’t stand Sulia or anonymous sources.
3. Rich Cimini, ESPN New York – The “Take 5” is an interesting weekly read and we liked his breakdown of how the Jets spent their money this off-season. Many fans criticize him for having a condescending or negative tone but everybody respects the amount of content he produces and I don’t know many Jets fans who don’t read nearly everything he writes.
4. Jane McManus, ESPN New York – Good interview with Connie Carberg from today. Nearly everybody respects Jane’s writing ability and she remains highly interactive on Twitter. She obviously doesn’t put out the same amount of content as others on this list but still racked in a good amount of votes.
5. Brian Costello, New York Post – The voters disappointed us here because “Coz” has been on his game the past few weeks. We are loving his countdown of the Top 25 Jets and how much he is interacting with fans on Twitter. Clearly the fans need a few more weeks to get him higher in their standings, even though TOJ has him higher in ours.
Remember to check back next Wednesday, when we will be going over our favorite Jets beat writers of all-time. Is there any you want to see mentioned? Leave a comment or here or send us a Tweet
Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers
Welcome back to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the the team. The votes are tallied amongst myself, Mike Donnelly and Chris Gross with explanations written by the three of us below. For next week’s edition, we are going to be asking for your votes on Twitter, Facebook and here on the site, so make sure to follow us. On to the rankings…
1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – Vrentas continued to dominate the rankings once again this past week. She ran several nice articles including Q&A segments with Quinton Coples and Dustin Keller, as well as solid piece on the retirement of LaDanian Tomlinson. However, where Vrentas truly shined this week was in her Sunday article on the passing aspect of the Jets new offensive scheme under the recently hired Tony Sparano. Not only was this piece extremely original, as it was certainly the first to give an in-depth examination of exactly what this part of the offense will look like this season, but it was extraordinarily insightful as well.
Vrentas explained how this offense is designed in every facet from route adjustments to the vocabulary. She explained how this system, unlike the previous one orchestrated by Brian Schottenheimer, gives the players much more freedom and flexibility to take advantage of looks given to them by opposing defenses. Vrentas revealed that this freedom comes with a bit more responsibility, as receivers and quarterbacks are required to know the blocking protection, as it affects the passing routes in terms of both timing and design. Jenny also emphasized on the preparation required by players and coaches alike to adjust to this new system, most notably Mark Sanchez going as far as making flash cards to learn the ins and outs of the offense.
This was somewhat of a ground breaking article by Vrentas. With so much emphasis on the Jets return to Ground and Pound this season, there was not been much focus on how the passing game will look, until now. Vrentas continues to put out relevant, original material. She remains the best at what she does, and until someone passes her in terms of content, creativity, and relevancy, she will remain on her first place pedestal here. – Chris Gross
2. Manish Mehta, The Daily News – I know what it looks like: I accepted Manish’s bribe last week at Jets Mini-Camp to move him up a spot, but trust me, that is not the case (although I happily would if any of the other beat righters are interested. Just saying..). We moved Manish up this week for a few other reasons. But before I get to that let me just say that before old fart Gary Myers sauntered on over with his bad 1987 clothing ensemble and even worse jokes last Thursday to disrupt my Jets chat with Mr. Mehta in a failed attempt to big-time him (Chronicled here on Deadspin.com, and also by me last week), he did address two of the main things that people have been complaining about when it comes to his Twitter page: Sulia and Tebow love.
In regard to Tebow, he simply said, “He’s popular, what can I do? Gotta write about him.” Fair point, even if many of us think it goes a little too far. When I brought up Sulia, it looked like he wanted to just tell me to F-off, but he restrained himself and simply said “Come on man, what do you want from me?” I want you to stop tweeting links to crappy Sulia. That’s what we wall want. In fact, from now on when I want to curse on the internet, I may just simply say Sulia instead. Sulia you, people who tweet links to that site! But alas, I think Sulia is here to stay sadly, and that’s probably the main thing keeping Manish from the top spot.
But even Sulia wasn’t enough to keep the determined Manish down this week, as he did lots of great stuff. Notably, he spent a solid 20 minutes or so on the inaugural radio show of the Flight Five Live on Friday and it was an excellent spot where he addressed many Jets topics, showing how knowledgable and great at his job he can be. (Speaking of being great at the job, check out that picture of him putting in work on the field!) He even promoted the show on his Twitter account, which was also darn decent of him. Beyond that, he wasn’t kidding when he told me he was working on a big article on the defense. Less than 24 hours later, a very nice piece on the Jets defense was put out in which we learned about Mike Pettine’s plans for the defense and using the “Best 11”. We also picked up this nugget on Manish’s Twitter page: Pettine telling him that they may not play any 3-4 base defense at all vs. division opponents. So yes, it was a big week from Manish Mehta this week, and if he ups his bribe offer before the next rankings, the #1 spot is his–err, I mean, if he keeps up the great work! You got this, Manish! – Mike Donnelly
3. Brian Costello, New York Post – While we don’t want to beat our own chest here at TOJ, there has been a noticeable and enjoyable improvement in Costello’s work since we are started these rankings. His Jets Blog is becoming more of a must read and he did a good job transcribing Ron Jaworski’s quotes on Mark Sanchez this past week. Costello also broke the news that the Jets would not be bringing Braylon Edwards back this season. Finally, his Twitter game has been on point. He does a good job of asking fans what they are looking for at practice and pulling observations about how certain players are being used around the formation on offense and defense. Of course, he receives a major bonus for a lack of Sulia links as well. Keep up the great work Coz! – Joe Caporoso
4. Rich Cimini, ESPN New York – It has been quite the rough week for Cimini after opening up with two consecutive weeks at the number two spot. Although his “Take 5” on the areas of concern for the Jets was on point, his Sunday notes along with his piece on the retirement of LaDanian Tomlinson have caused the ESPN New York columnist to drop two spots this week. Cimini’s first point of his Sunday notes addressed the issue of Dustin Keller’s contract situation. Rich offered the idea that the Jets would be smart to wait on giving Keller an extension until they see how he plays in the new offensive scheme under Tony Sparano, which places a greater emphasis on the blocking ability of the Tight End. This is an excellent point considering the fact that Keller has never been a strong blocker, leaving a fair amount of question marks about how he will fare in this new system. The problem with this assessment by Cimini is that he was nearly a week late to the party on this issue. Rich’s article was published on Sunday, June 17th. Five days earlier, I addressed the issue right here on TOJ with the exact line of thinking used by Cimini in his notes. Is the former Daily News beat writer a frequent visitor of Turn On The Jets? Who knows? Either way, Cimini analyzed this issue after it had already been deemed old news.
Other than sleeping on the Keller situation for five days, Cimini also made an interesting argument in his piece on Tomlinson’s retirement. First, Rich criticized LT for his post-season comments on the Jets locker room turmoil. He claimed Tomlinson made his negative statements about the organization on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL” as a publicity stunt to pave his way into the world of broadcasting. However, when, at any point during his career, did Tomlinson display any sign of self-promoting, especially with a controversial issue like this? LT was simply asked a question, and answered it honestly. It was the mainstream media that blew the entire situation out of proportion, not Tomlinson, who has been a class act since entering the league in 2001.
Furthermore, in the same piece on LT, Cimini made a claim that Tomlinson’s 2010 season was so impressive that it made Jets fans forget about Thomas Jones. However, when reviewing Jones’ final two seasons with the Jets in comparison to LT’s only two seasons, it is clear that Jones not only had a greater impact on New York’s rushing attack, but posted career numbers in nearly every statistical category as well.
Prior to leaving the Jets after the 2009 season, Jones rushed for a career high 1,402 yards along with, another career high, 14 touchdowns. In 2008, he rushed for 1,312 yards with, a then career high, 13 touchdowns. Tomlinson, on the other hand, rushed for only 1,194 yards and 7 touchdowns is his two seasons with Gang Green, combined. While LT will certainly be remembered as one of the greatest backs of all time, his success in New York was not nearly as high as that of Thomas Jones. So, while Jets Nation is certainly appreciative of what LT brought to the team during his brief stint, Thomas Jones remains, by and large, the best running back to carry the load for New York since the retirement of Curtis Martin. No one has forgotten about TJ. – Chris Gross
5. Jane McManus, ESPN New York – Another very solid week from Jane McManus, and she’s really knocking on the door to move up in these rankings. She kicked off the week with a genuinely hilarious tweet (seen below) after Brian Costello was claiming the top spot was going to be his. I’m pretty sure she was joking, but maybe Jenny Vrentas should hire a bodyguard just in case. Jane may know something the rest of us don’t. Ms. McManus also provided lots of solid info on her Twitter page, with quotes, player info, and she shows a great ability to only give us the important things Rex Ryan says instead of just tweeting every word that comes out of his mouth like some others do. Sometimes, less is more, and Jane does a great job with that. Additionally, she put out a great article on Laron Landry and how he’s recovering from his injuries and what we can expect from him this year. In non-Jets related topics, she did a great job with her take on Twitter of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky mess, and she handled it well. (Jane: 1, Penn State students: 0). As I said, it was a very good week from Jane McManus, and she very well could be on the way up. – Mike Donnelly
6. Kimberly Martin, Newsday – We aren’t burying Kimberly in the #6 spot for the third straight week as a sign of disrespect to her but more as a sign of respect towards the others who have been on the beat longer. For our rankings we are still waiting for that one article or Tweet that is really going to jump off the page to move her up in the standings. We have heard from followers of this article and other beat writers that there other individuals who deserve inclusion in this list. Because of that, we are encouraging you to submit any other writer (must write for a mainstream publication/be credentialed) that you think belongs here. Please note that “must be credentialed” isn’t meant to elevate them above the rest of us who aren’t, it is just that we place them in a separate category and much of what we use in these rankings is how they handle interaction with the players on a day to day basis and what they pull from attending practices. – Joe Caporoso
Next week we will be giving your rankings. Submit your votes here, on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page or respond to Mike, Chris or my Twitter Account. We will publish the results next Wednesday. Also let us know if there are any other writers you’d like to see included in these rankings
Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers
Welcome back to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers as compiled by myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly. See how the writers fared last week here and make sure to leave comments on the site, our Twitter accounts or on the TOJ Facebook Page –
1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – In my best Howard Finkel voice: Aaaaaanndd STILL, Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings Champion, Jeeeeennnnnyyy Vrentas! (Speaking of the Fink, any wrestling fan from the 80’s and 90’s has got to watch this video of the Fink doing wedding introductions.) Another excellent week from Jenny, as she seemingly widened the gap between herself and the competition. At this point even a bad week won’t be enough to knock her off her throne, similar to how a 12-0 NFL team wouldn’t be dropped after one fluke loss. That being said, the way she’s going I wouldn’t count on even that happening.
2. Rich Cimini, ESPN – Another week of consistent content from Cimini, who provides a weekly chat and an entertaining “Take 5” piece which I particularly liked from this past week with a look at Bryan Thomas’ favorite memories with the team. His column on Rex looking to change the attitude around the team was a good read and provided an interesting parallel to the 2004 team under Herman Edwards. However, he had eye rolling article about the “quarterback controversy” that stated nothing but the obvious. Fortunately, he remains off Sulia on Twitter. – Joe Caporoso
3. Manish Mehta, The Daily News – Manish had a solid week following our inaugural beat writer power rankings. Although he did not run too great a surplus of stories, the ones he did run were quite impactful. His notes following the first day of mini camp yesterday were very significant, and he did a good job of reporting on several key issues that have been prevalent over the past week. Granted, the Holmes incident from OTAs has gotten a bit repetitive, but in the defense of Manish, every Jets writer has been beating this to death. The bottom line for Holmes is that he needs to realize, after the events of last season, he is going to be under the microscope of the media every second they are allowed access to team activities. He needs to start helping himself if he truly wants to repair his image. Although most readers are annoyed by these reports, one cannot fault Manish and the rest of the writers on the Jets beat for publicizing it so heavily.
Manish also reported, via his twitter, that people within the organization are becoming more impressed by DeMario Davis each day. Although this is exactly what we expected, it is still significant, and encouraging news for New York’s defense. Davis will likely be used in several sub packages with the first team this season, while developing into the long term answer following the eventual departure of Bart Scott, so any news regarding his status and performance gets a plus. Overall, solid work from Manish this week as he is displaying qualities that, if continued, could bump him to the #1 spot in the coming weeks. – Chris Gross
4. Brian Costello, New York Post – The Coz had a hell of a week in our opinion. His Twitter game stepped up tremendously as he provided insightful updates and made a few keen observations about the lineups the Jets were using on both sides of the football. He also had an intriguing blog update that focused on Jeff Cumberland improving his blocking to lock down the number two tight end spot. Also in that post, he was the first to report that Rex Ryan would now do press conferences in the morning before practice along with an explanation as to why. – Joe Caporoso
5. Jane McManus, ESPN – While McManus does not quite put out as much content as her counterpart at ESPN New York, her piece on Bart Scott this past week was excellent. We will look at Scott’s revival more closely as the week progresses, but McManus did an excellent job in noting that Scott’s notorious vocal activity is back and better than ever this off season. This is certainly a far cry from what we last saw of Scott following the conclusion of last season when he departed the team facility with a familiar gesture to the media present that day. While Scott will likely neve return to being a 100+ tackler at this point in his career, McManus notes that he has lost about 9 pounds this off season, and looks rejuvinated from the player we saw post an abysmal 66 tackles last season, his lowest total since 2004.
Scott’s production level, and leadership ability this season are going to be vital not only to the defense, but to the team as well. We have all come to love Scott for his presence as a leader both in terms of play and vocals so any news that he is working toward reviving himself this season is quality content. If McManus can get her quanity of content to match quality like her Scott piece, she could find herself moving up the rankings rather soon. – Chris Gross
6. Kimberly Martin, Newsday – Last week we didn’t have all that much to go on when it came to the great Rod Boone’s replacement at Newsday, but this week Kimberly Martin really started to establish herself in our minds. She really stepped up her Twitter game and provided all the information Jets fans need at OTA’s and Mini-Camp. She also mixed in some humor with her tweets, so following her also came with some bonus entertainment. And the best part of it all of course, was the lack of any Sulia links in her timeline. Major bonus points there. The drawbacks, however, would be a bit of a lack of real good original articles that don’t just give us the same exact thing we can read 10 other places. Again, she’s pretty new when it comes to the Jets beat, and I expert her to move up these rankings in the coming weeks. – Mike Donnelly
Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the New York Jets
Welcome to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers, which will be compiled every Wednesday by myself, Chris Gross, and Mike Donnelly. These rankings are based on our composite votes and each of us will take two different writers to explain their position. As always feel free to agree or disagree here on the site, our Facebook Page or on Twitter.
1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – Vrentas was the consensus number one pick for all three of us. She puts out consistently high quality content, doesn’t look to sensationalize negative stories about specific players, and digs deeper for interesting angles the other writers ignore. A perfect example was from OTAs last week, Vrentas noted that Demario Davis was working with the first team sub defense, which was a great nugget of information gleamed over by the other beat writers. Her piece featuring Dustin Keller talking about the Jets offensive identity was another interesting angle from her recent work. Vrentas is a strong writer, although we’d like to see more interaction from her on Twitter with fans. The fact that she doesn’t use Sulia is also a big plus. – Joe Caporoso
2. Rich Cimini, ESPN – Cimini generally does a very good job of covering the New York Jets, and is personally one of my favorite beat writers. He consistently keeps his coverage on point, up to date, and relevant. He usually keeps his columns creative, particularly his “Sunday Notes,” and more recently his “Take Five.” Cimini does a good job of using the resources he has at ESPN to provide quality, well-researched analysis, and typically stays engaged with his Twitter followers and readers as displayed by the replies shown on his timeline, and particularly the Jets chat that he holds on ESPNNEWYORK.com.
What keeps Cimini from the top ranking for the inaugural week is his habit of sensationalizing any negative stories revolving around the Jets. If there is a rocky situation, Rich tends to blow it even more out of proportion. For instance, he repeatedly made note of Santonio Holmes’s absence from OTAs, while seemingly poking fun at the fact that he was visiting injured US Troops in Germany via twitter.
He also loves the Tebow drama, but he cannot be faulted for this in these rankings because so does just about every other Jets beat writer. Drama is what sells, and in Cimini’s defense, he usually doesn’t let that get in the way of his analysis, with some exceptions. – Chris Gross
3. Manish Mehta, The Daily News– Manish took over the Daily News beat from Rich Cimini a little over two years ago, and has become one of the most prolific writers on the Jets beat, as evidenced by his over 30,000 Twitter followers. When Manish took over, he was like a breath of fresh air for Jets fans, and it seemed like he really connected with his audience. He churned out great articles and feature columns like they were going out of style (Which technically they kind of were, since he works for a newspaper and all.. maybe not the best choice of words there). He quickly earned himself many fans with his excellent writing and great information, and I was one of the biggest–until about 6 months ago.
Perhaps fueled by seeing fellow AFC East beat writers like Ian Rappaport and Jeff Darlington receive “promotions” to the national scene for NFL Network, it seemed as though our boy Manish wanted in on the action and decided the easiest way to do so would be to create controversy. And so shortly after the 2011 season ended, that’s what we got: We got harsh articles on players like Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez with sensationalistic headlines. We got anonymous quotes–A LOT of anonymous quotes–that always seemed a little too perfect and wrapped his controversial stories up in nice little bows. It got to the point I jokingly started referring to him as Scott Templeton, which you Wire fans out there will know is no compliment. More recently, he was one of the main conductors of the Tebow Hype Train, and seemingly couldn’t wait to force Mark Sanchez out of town. He even resorted to charting every single pass thrown by the two at OTA’s in MAY, four full months before the season. It was a far cry from the thoughtful and well-written articles I came to love reading two years ago.
Other random critiques of Manish that we’ve heard from many anonymous sources (see, I can do it, too) are that he doesn’t interact with his Jets fans enough on Twitter, unless of course he’s sending them condescending DM’s as seen below so nobody can see how salty he’s being. (Sorry, Manish, but you don’t need Jets credentials to write about the team.) Also, it’s worth mentioning that he’s gone way overboard with this annoying Sulia stuff on Twitter, which is something that should be outlawed. It may seem like I’m being hard on Manish or that I dislike him. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I actually like him and his work very much, and if I’m hard on him, it’s because I’ve seen what he can do on the Jets beat, and I wish we saw more of that guy. Come back, Manish. We’ve missed you. Your spot at #1 can be reclaimed. – Mike Donnelly
4. Jane McManus, ESPN – McManus covers both the Jets and Giants for ESPN and has been a strong writer in the New York market since she started out in 1998. It is hard to put her higher on the list because she simply doesn’t put out the same volume of content as others ahead of her, however she has a unique, engaging writing style and is an entertaining follow on Twitter. She doesn’t use Sulia, which we love and knows how to handle an angry Bart Scott. It would be nice to see less Tebow talk from her and more content on other aspects of the team. – Joe Caporoso
5. Brian Costello, New York Post– Brian Coz, as he’s known on Twitter, is a guy I’ve read in the Post for a while now, but only recently started following on Twitter. I’ve always enjoyed his writing and think his columns are enjoyable and good reading for Jets fans. He doesn’t try to create controversy or sensationalize headlines to get attention. He just reports on and writes what he sees.
That being said, Costello has a tendency to be a little bit bland with his columns. He seems to write on the same topics all the other reporters do on a given day and never really goes “outside the box”. By that, I mean I never really get the feeling something is MUST-SEE, to the point I feel like I have to go and post it on a Jets message board immediately to get the reaction of fellow Jets fans. It’s more like bathroom reading that’s used to kill a few minutes–not that there’s anything wrong with that. Also, his Twitter account leaves something to be desired. There are not that many tweets, there’s not much breaking news or info, and he doesn’t interact with fans much. Again, I like Brian Costello, and I’m going to be paying closer attention in the coming weeks, hoping we can move him up this list. – Mike Donnelly
6. Kimberly Martin, Newsday – Martin has certainly shown some promise in the early stages of her career as a Jets beat writer. According to her Newsday bio, the National Association of Black Journalists named Martin the 2011 Emerging Journalist of the Year. While she certainly has credentials, and has displayed some promising work, there is not quite enough of a sample of that work to rank her ahead of the first five. As the season unfolds, though, she could easily move up the rankings.
Since we don’t have enough material from Martin to give her a fair analysis yet, this week’s honorable mention for the absolute bottom of the barrel of Jets writers goes to ESPN AFC East Blogger James Walker. Although he certainly likes to bury the Jets every chance he gets, as he displayed by ranking Matt Moore above Mark Sanchez in his AFC East QB rankings last week, Walker earns a bit of a pass here for his most recent article defending Sanchez. If not for this article, which is the first coherent, intelligent analysis I’ve truly seen him give, I would have used this as a forum to bash Walker for his repeated use of minute points and incoherent analysis.
Take his AFC East QB rankings for example. Walker defers to the “Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch” as the measuring system used to determine who is the number two quarterback behind Tom Brady in the division. However, when digging deeper into this, Walker’s system goes back to week one of last season when it was initially the “Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch.” Walker explains that the column will be a scorecard held throughout the season to determine who deserves to be recognized as the East’s second best quarterback. What credentials does he use in his evaluation you ask? To answer, we have a quote from the first ever edition of the column:
“ Each week, the AFC East blog will keep an updated scorecard on the three quarterbacks, grade each performance on a variety of factors, and determine who’s better at the end of the season.” – James Walker, AFC East Blog, 9/14/11
That’s it. No explanation of what the “variety of factors” is, just simply a “variety of factors.” This leaves his analysis far too open ended, as these factors could vary week to week based on how Walker is feeling. By not clearly stating what he is using in his evaluation process, Walker is ultimately giving himself the ability to rank the quarterbacks on his opinion, since there is no accountability without a clearly defined “variety of factors.” So, Walker claims to have put Moore ahead of Sanchez “fair and square,” but it seems as if his idea of that is based on whom he prefers. I’d love to be proved wrong on this, but unfortunately, the print doesn’t lie.
So, now you have Matt Moore ranked ahead of Mark Sanchez by Walker, who then goes on to praise Sanchez in a defense article noting his ability to play big in big spots, and his habitual winning, less than a week later. A bit contradictory if you ask me. Perhaps Walker smartened up and actually did some research on this one. For that, JW gets a slight pass, but it will be a long season, and he is sure to cause some rumblings in these rankings again.
Still, Walker is not completely off the hook just yet. As pointed out by our good friend Kristine Reese, James is the biggest proponent of retweeting himself on twitter, which would be the equivalent to him “liking” his own status on Facebook. It is simply just not in good taste. Retweeting yourself is a no-no. Get it together James. – Chris Gross