First a few updates:
1. Not much on the update front today, especially for the Wednesday before free agency. There has been some talk about the Jets interest in Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie, who is on the trading block. I think this is more of a result of everybody knowing the Jets need a corner and automatically linking them with anybody who could potentially be available. I haven’t read anything (and I spend way too much time reading every single thing on the Internet Jets related) that makes me believe the Jets will pursue Cromartie and even have an interest in a guy like Dunta Robinson. Beyond that, Cromartie’s play has declined in recent years, he is a soft player known for his lack of effort, and has off the field baggage in the form of five paternity suits.
2. Obviously we will have to wait and see who gets cut and what potential trades could be consummated but as of now, you haven’t really heard the Jets linked with alot of players this off-season. I think most people are expecting Adalius Thomas to be seriously considered when he gets cut. We know the Jets met with Travis LaBoy, who wasn’t even in the league last year. Yet, is there any other low end free agents the Jets could target/afford with the new rules in place? When I looked through the list of 2010 UFAs from the NFL Labor site, here a few that caught my attention:
- Corey Ivy, Corner – A Rex Ryan guy who was almost signed last year and could fit into the nickel role.
- Josh Reed, Receiver – A talented guy who has had to deal with crappy quarterbacks. He could be a productive slot receiver.
- Michael Gaines, Tight End – Almost signed last year, could be an option if Hartsock walks.
- Bobby Wade, Wide Receiver – Another potential cheap option for the slot.
- Justin Griffith, Fullback – If Tony Richardson doesn’t come back.
- Jeremi Johnson, Fullback – If Tony Richardson doesn’t come back.
- Roderick Hood, Corner – Could be a depth guy at corner and compete for reps in the nickel role.
- Chris Brown, Running Back – Add more depth to the running back position to replace TJ.
- Will Heller, Tight End – Another option if Hartsock walks.
- Hank Poteat, Corner – Just kidding.
3. Thoughts On LOST Season 6, Episode 6 “Sundown”– Good episode, with a great ending. The first third of the season is now over and I am glad it culminated with the Temple being destroyed and Locke scoring a big victory by rallying a growing group of followers, now including Sayid. I didn’t need to see anymore of Hurley and Miles playing tic-tac-toe while Dogen didn’t answer anybody’s questions at the Temple. It will be interesting to see how Jacob puts the other side together and the direction people like Miles, Illana, Jin, Kate, Jack etc. will go. The sideways story was pretty interesting with a nice cameo from Keamy and it was a surprise to see Jin locked away in that freezer, setting the stage for his eventual feature episode. By the way, what ever happened to Ben? The guy barely gets any screen time anymore, so let’s hope next week’s episode is a good one (since it looks to feature him) and gets him back in the mix as an important character.
What Can The Jets Expect From Leon Washington In 2010?
After I spent the entire summer arguing with my friend Dan about who was better, Leon Washington or Reggie Bush, with a primary point in my argument being that Leon was more durable, I had to watch him suffer a compound fracture to his fibula in a week 7 win against the Raiders. It was a gruesome, scary injury that left many wondering if Leon could ever be the same. Fortunately, the reports on his rehab have all been positive, with some indicating he is two months ahead of his recovery schedule. Mike Tannenbaum recently said he is expected to be ready to go by opening day.
The question now becomes with the recent release of Thomas Jones, how much of a workload can Leon handle in support of new starting running back, Shonn Greene? There was already a concern about the amount of the touches he could handle because of his size and now these concerns are only amplified. The problem is, the Jets need Leon to be heavily involved on offense because of how often they run the ball and their current lack of depth at the position.
I wouldn’t expect to see anymore kick or punt returns from Washington, at least not this season. In the six full games he played last year, Washington averaged a little over 11 carries per game and 2.5 receptions per game. At that point, he was only splitting touches with one back (Thomas Jones) because Shonn Greene wasn’t receiving any substantial playing time until after Washington got hurt. Considering that, will the Jets be able to get 13-15 offensive touches a game out of him next season?
Hopefully, the answer will be yes especially if he isn’t getting another 3-6 touches a game on returns. I am not sure how often the Jets will be giving Washington interior handoffs, which is why they need another running back who could spell Shonn Greene and run the inside plays. I would expect Washington to receive an increase in touches on screen passes, either lined up as a running back or a wide receiver and start off primarily with outside handoffs/stretch plays.
A potential problem could arise if Shonn Green gets hurt and misses a few games. I doubt Leon will be ready to handle 15-20 carries in a single game this season, which is just another reason the Jets should be looking hard at some of the veteran free agent running backs available (Chris Brown, Vernon Haynes, Chicago’s Adrian Peterson). Overall, I see Washington starting out as primarily a third-down back and pass catching option, before gradually being integrated into getting more carries and spelling Shonn Greene for full series.
Leon Lays Out Channing Crowder