Something Positive For The 2012 New York Jets Season

Something very positive for the outlook for the 2012 New York Jets season

For everybody in hysterics about the New York Jets being a 3-5 win team in 2012…looking at you Merril Hoge, Peter Schrager and Evan Silva, a simple reminder that their defense will be facing the following quarterbacks –

  • Ryan Tannehill twice (0 career NFL snaps)
  • Russell Wilson (0 career NFL snaps)
  • Andrew Luck (0 career NFL snaps)
  • Jake Locker (0 career NFL starts)
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick twice (Mediocre, 0-4 career record against Rex Ryan as a starting QB)
  • Blaine Gabbert (Struggled heavily last year, 4-10 record as a starter)
  • Sam Bradford (Struggled heavily last year, Brian Schottenheimer is his offensive coordinator)
  • John Skelton (Struggled heavily last year, very poor offensive line)

That accounts for ten of their games. Their other six come against Tom Brady (twice), Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, Alex Smith and Ben Roethlisberger. Rex Ryan has beaten Brady 3 times over the past 3 years, including a playoff win. He is 2-0 against Rivers including a playoff win. He is 2-0 against Schaub. And Alex Smith is still Alex Smith.

The Jets defense is good enough to win them games, particularly with the above slate of quarterbacks on the 2012 schedule.

New York Jets Defense Must Start Season On Fire

The New York Jets defense needs to take advantage of their early season opponents

The New York Jets are going to struggle offensively this season. Even if they aren’t as bad as many project them to be after a pathetic start to the pre-season, this offense isn’t built to consistently score over 20 over points even with improved play. Beyond that, they probably won’t hit their “stride” (whatever that will be this year) until the middle of the season, after all the injured receivers get in sync with Mark Sanchez, everybody becomes more comfortable with Tony Sparano’s system and the proper use of Tim Tebow is figured out.

Unfortunately the Jets schedule opens up with their most difficult five game stretch of the season, where they will face three playoff teams from last year and two divisional opponents. If they want to avoid digging themselves into a substantial early season hole, it will be up to the defense to flat out put the team on their back and win a few early season games. A closer look at the schedule, reveals that if this defense is as good as hyped they should start out very strongly.

In week one they face the Buffalo Bulls led by a mediocre quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick at home. Over the past two years, Chan Gailey’s offense is averaging 14 points per game on Rex Ryan’s defense. Buffalo made no major additions to their offense this season, while the Jets added a new pair of starting safeties and a first round defensive lineman. 14 points could very well be all the Jets can afford to give up at the rate their new offense is developing.

At first glance, week two in Pittsburgh appears to be a nightmare early season match-up. However, the Jets defense should actually match-up favorably with their offense. Pittsburgh has questions all over the offensive line, so you would think Ryan and Mike Pettine’s complicated scheme would cause some problems. Pittsburgh’s strength is going vertical with their wide receivers but the Jets are built to cover Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. In their two meetings in 2010, both in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger’s offense scored 17 points both times (remember one touchdown in the AFC Championship Game was on a fumble return by Pittsburgh’s defense).

The only way Pittsburgh actually hurt the Jets defense that year was with Rashard Mendenhall who had 220 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns over the course of both games. Mendenhall won’t be on the field in week 2 this year as he recovers from an leg injury.

In week three, the Jets face a rookie quarterback in Ryan Tannehil and a Miami offense that is the only one in the NFL with less depth at wide receiver than their own. In week four they play San Francisco at home. The thought of their defense coming after Mark Sanchez with Wayne Hunter blocking is a nightmare but offensively Alex Smith is Alex Smith and there is no reason to think he will duplicate his consistency from last year. San Francisco improved at receiver this off-season but the Jets are still more than equipped to cover Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham with their trio of cornerbacks.

Finally in week five the Jets face the Houston Texans at home. The Texans are built the way the Jets want to be. They can run the football. They can play defense and they have a vertical passing game. There is every indication that the Jets run defense will be very good this year and it better be on point in week five or Arian Foster and Ben Tate will shred them. Andre Johnson will be checked by Darrelle Revis, like he always is.

Rex Ryan believes the Jets have a top five defense in the NFL. They must be, particularly for the Jets in this early season stretch of games or the start to the season could be very ugly.

New York Jets: How Good Could This Defense Be?

How good could the New York Jets defense be in 2012?

The buzz around the New York Jets defense heading into this season is that the potential is there to return to an elite unit in the NFL. In 2009, the Jets were 1st in total defense. In 2010, the Jets were 3rd in total defense. Last season they were down to 5th in total defense. It isn’t exactly like they were awful but much of the luster was gone, particularly when Tim Tebow drove down the field on them for a game winning touchdown, New England shredded them in their own building and Philadelphia embarrassed them late in the season.

Simply put the Jets defense lost their swag, aptly demonstrated by the loudest mouth on the team, Bart Scott struggling through a subpar year. This was a unit that was too slow, didn’t make enough big plays and didn’t put fear into opposing offenses the way it did for stretches of the 2009 and 2010 season. They became predictable and stopped attacking.

Why is there such a high amount of chatter about improvement this season?

Coaching – Rex Ryan will be taking a much more hands on role with the defensive playcalling this season after giving many of the duties over to Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine last year. This isn’t a knock on Pettine but it will be good to have Rex more involved in the day to day planning of the defense. In 2009, Ryan taught his system with great success and the Jets are now “going back to square one” with their installation which will help with fundamentals and preventing the amount of mental mistakes that occurred last year.

Beyond that, the Jets wisely hired Karl Dunbar away from the Minnesota Vikings to be their defensive line coach. We have sung Dunbar’s praises at length here at TOJ and for good reason. The Jets had a defensive back coaching their defensive line last season in Mark Carrier, they now have a well-respected line coach who coached one of the league’s best defensive lines over the past few years. More importantly, Dunbar has the knowledge to help the transition to using more 4-3 looks.

Versatility – The Jets aren’t going to be as locked into the 3-4 as they were in the past. With the strength of this year’s defense (outside of cornerback) being the defensive line, they will be using more 4-3 and 46 alignments. This is a wise move and credit the coaching staff for not trying to fit square pegs into round holes (something Eric Mangini loved to do). The Jets have better depth and talent on their defensive line than at linebacker, so why not make more of an effort to get those players on the field?

Personnel Additions – There weren’t a ton of these but they notably they improved the safety position by adding Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry and added needed speed in the front seven by drafting Quinton Coples and Demario Davis. Bell, Landry and Coples all project as opening day starters and Davis should see action on passing downs. They also drafted Josh Bush in the sixth round, who will see action at free safety.

Internal Improvement – Bart Scott has dropped weight and by all indications looks poised to be more of the player he was in 2009 and 2010 than he was in 2011. Aaron Maybin has now had a full off-season to work with the coaching staff and improve his craft in Rex Ryan’s system. Muhammad Wilkerson had a terrific off-season and looks ready to build on a quietly strong rookie year. Bryan Thomas is returning from missing most of last season with injury.

Still Elite – Darrelle Revis and David Harris. The best corner in football and one of the top five inside linebackers in football still suit up in Green and White.

What you should have is a unit that is deeper at linebacker, defensive line and safety than it was last season. It should also be a unit better equipped to bounce between a 3-4, 4-3 and 46.

Is there still question marks? Yes. The Jets still lack a proven coverage safety. They would be wise to add another corner for depth purposes (Drew Coleman anyone?) and Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, and Calvin Pace have plenty to prove at linebacker. However, from top to bottom the Jets are equipped to have the best defense in their division and one of the best in the NFL.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Reasons For Optimism

The Turn On The Jets 12 pack looks at reasons to be optimistic for the upcoming season

Inspired by our good friend Jeff Capellini’s article this week, we have decided to go optimistic on the 12 pack this weekend. Yes, I know some of you have been frustrated by my questioning of the Tebow trade and the Coples selection, but hey I don’t hand out effervescent praise for transactions that I think deserve questioning. That being said, let’s look at 12 reasons to be optimistic for the upcoming New York Jets season

1. Sparano > Schotty – There isn’t an easier person to replace to New York Jets fans than Brian Schottenheimer, Sparano was beloved the second he came in the door simply because he wasn’t Schottenheimer. Shockingly, we are exhausted of consistent mediocrity, confused game plans and 67 ‘effin dropbacks against the Giants pass rush. Yet, let’s give Sparano more credit than just not being Schotty. He has brought a needed energy and discipline to the offense. He won’t stray from the Ground and Pound approach Rex Ryan wants in place but also won’t be shy to take his shots down the field. Expect an improved Jets offense in 2012.

2. Needed Speed – If there is one thing the Jets added through the draft, it was speed. Quinton Coples gives them a defensive lineman, who unlike every other one on the roster, can get after the quarterback. Stephen Hill gives them a wide receiver, who unlike every other one on the roster, can take the top off a defense. Demario Davis gives them a linebacker, who unlike every other one on the roster, can run with a tight end.

3. Measured Improvement – Despite lacking a proven free safety, which is an issue. The safety collection of LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Eric Smith, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen will be better than Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard, and Brodney Pool were last year.

4. He Can Do Some Things – Tim Tebow isn’t anywhere near the quarterback Mark Sanchez is but he will bring a new dimension to the Jets offense, particularly in short yardage situations. His presence will improve the Jets rushing game and add a dynamic element to their offense which it sorely lacked last year.

5. Versatile Dunbar – The New York Jets are going to be more versatile on defense this season, with a better ability to bounce between a 3-4, 4-3 and 46 and the addition of defensive line coach Karl Dunbar will only help that process. Keep an eye on Muhammad Wilkerson in year two, who is coming off a quietly strong rookie year. If Wilkerson keeps improving and Coples turns into boom instead of bust, the Jets will have a serious presence up front surrounding proven nose tackle Sione Pouha.

6. Bounce Back – Credit the coaching staff and Bart Scott for both recognizing his need to drop weight in order to remain effective on defense. Scott can’t be any worse than he was last season and should still be able to be the effective 2 down linebacker he was in 2009 and 2010. Also look for an improved year from D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who is simply too talented to have back to back down years. Finally, watch out for Santonio Holmes this year. No matter how much the New York media disparages him, the guy can play football.

7. Other Year 2 Leaps – Outside of Muhammad Wilkerson, Jeremy Kerley will be a year better and has the talent to be every bit the slot receiver Davone Bess was in Miami under Tony Sparano. I also count this year as Joe McKnight’s second season since he basically redshirted his rookie year in an out of shape daze. Hopefully Sparano uses McKnight in a similar way to how he used Reggie Bush last year.

8. Mayhem – Aaron Maybin has now had a full off-season to work with the coaching staff and master the Jets defense. He racked up 6 sacks in 13 games last season, let’s see what he can do with a full 16.

9. Great is Great – Contrary to some, I believe Darrelle Revis will be on the field week 1 against Buffalo. Revis, Nick Mangold, and David Harris are still elite football players in the prime of their career.

10. Learn From Your Mistakes – In the long run, last season could have been the best thing that happened to Rex Ryan’s coaching career. He learned valuable lessons about keeping the pulse of his team, keeping his mouth shut in certain circumstances, and becoming more hands on in certain situations.

11. Still #6 – You may not find a more Pro-Sanchez Jets site than TOJ and we remain confident that despite the mainstream media’s desire to start up a quarterback controversy and the amateur psychoanalysis that constantly goes on of Sanchez, that he will play very well this season and solidify himself as the team’s long term answer at quarterback.

12. Your Weekly TOJ Schedule – Ok, not related to the team but about the site in the coming weeks leading up to training camp, keep an eye out for

  • Tuesday – Stock Watch by Mike Donnelly
  • Wednesday – Beat Writer Power Rankings
  • Thursday – Fact or False by Chris Gross
  • Friday – 12 Pack by yours truly

Enjoy the weekend…

New York Jets Defense Needs Immediate Improvement

TOJ on the immediate improvement needed from the New York Jets defense if they are going to contend this season

The New York Jets defense, Rex Ryan’s pride and joy, has been maddeningly inconsistent this season. They dominated in the second half against San Diego, the entire Buffalo game, and then for the first 29 minutes of the New England game. Since then they were embarrassed on a two minute drive, the entire second half against the Patriots, and after handling the Tim Tebow circus for 56 minutes, laid an egg on the final drive.

There are parts of this defense seriously lacking in athleticism and speed. Bart Scott has been a major liability all season and is consistently either missing a tackle, getting knocked down or moved out of place. Calvin Pace is supposed to be the team’s top pass rusher but has 4 sacks in 10 games, 2 of which came against Miami when Matt Moore was receiving his first start and they still hadn’t won a game yet. He doesn’t disrupt the passer enough. Between the two of them and the subpar platoon at Bryan Thomas’ old spot, it has been painful at times to watch the Jets linebackers lumbering around the field.

At safety, we all know what the problem is. Rex Ryan can try to cover for him all he wants in his press conferences but Eric Smith has been terrible this season. Blowing contain on Tim Tebow’s game winning touchdown provided a nice illustration of what he has brought to the defense this year. He can’t cover. He misses too many tackles for a guy supposed to be known for his run defense and has a knack for untimely penalties. Jim Leonhard is an average player at safety, who can’t afford to be complimented by a below average player.

These are all issues the Jets will have to coach around for the rest of the season. They managed to do it last year, but can they pull it off again? A healthy Brodney Pool wouldn’t hurt. Antonio Cromartie playing with some heart and more physicality (not dancing to avoid tackles) would help as well. There are positives on the defense, namely the development of the line, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and the growth of Kyle Wilson. Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine are good defensive minds but they need to push this unit to the next level immediately to support an increasingly incompetent offense.

The Jets have 12 upcoming quarters to feast on the fading Ryan Fitzpatrick, Rex Grossman, and Tyler Palko. Can they take advantage or will they disappoint us like they did in the final minutes of Thursday night?

New York Jets: The Blueprint For Stopping New England

What is it going to take for the New York Jets defense to keep rolling against the suddenly fading Patriots offense?

We have learned the past two weeks that the New England Patriots offense is far from unstoppable. Pittsburgh and the Giants have both effectively flummoxed Tom Brady in a similar way the New York Jets did in the playoffs last year. In their earlier meeting this season, the Jets defense did some good things but overall had a weak showing, particularly against the run. Since the loss, the unit has steadily improved and appeared to hit their stride last Sunday in Buffalo.

What is it going to take for the defense to continue rolling this week against the suddenly fading Patriots?

The Jets don’t have the personnel to rush the passer the same way Pittsburgh and the Giants do. However, they do have a better secondary which will allow them to send extra blitzers to compensate for their lack of elite pass rushers. The formula to slowing down New England’s offense is to beat up their wide receivers at the line of scrimmage and keep their tight ends double teamed as frequently as possible. New England can run the ball so the Jets can’t overreact to the degree they did earlier in the season to stopping the pass. They spent a good portion of that game with 6 to 8 defensive backs on the field, which allowed BenJarvus-Green Ellis to have a career day.

As a defense, the Jets spend a higher than usual amount of time in the nickel. It makes sense to have 5 or 6 defensive backs on the field for big chunks of the game, especially with how well Kyle Wilson has been playing and with their inconsistencies in replacing Bryan Thomas at outside linebacker. However, Rex Ryan needs to have confidence in his unit’s ability to stop the pass while still keeping enough defensive lineman and linebackers on the field to keep the run in check.

The Jets will receive a nice boost by getting Mike DeVito back in the line-up, who is a big part of their run defense. In DeVito’s absence, the rest of the Jets defensive line rotation has received experience and steadily began to improve. Muhammad Wilkerson is quietly putting together a very good rookie year and Marcus Dixon, Ropati Pitoitua, and Martin Tevaseu are all solid rotation players. The defensive line, David Harris, Bart Scott, and Calvin Pace need to set the edge and not let the thoroughly average running back combination of Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead eat up clock.

In the secondary, the Jets are built to play an aggressive man to man style against New England’s wide receivers. Darrelle Revis is Darrelle Revis. Antonio Cromartie has been much better as of late and Kyle Wilson is playing the best football of his career. Wes Welker hurt the Jets on one play in their previous meeting thanks to Eric Smith getting over the top late. Look for more Brodney Pool in passing situations, and for him along with the rest of the Jets safeties to take turns doubling Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Tom Brady isn’t standing behind an elite offensive line anymore and we know that if you get him uncomfortable in the pocket, his accuracy begins to drop substantially. The Jets sacked him 4 times earlier this season, Pittsburgh sacked him 3 times, and the Giants brought him down twice but were constantly putting pressure in his face, forcing him into three turnovers.

It seems that the Jets are meeting New England at the perfect time. The Patriots are known for their offense, which is trending downward. The Jets are known for their defense, which is trending upward. New England has to come into the Jets stadium in prime-time in what should be an electric atmosphere. There are no excuses, as Rex Ryan has a chance to show the whole country his prized defense is back, in a big way.

Waiting For Godot: The New York Jets Defense

TOJ looks at the sobering realities of the New York Jets defense

Since Rex Ryan has taken over, the New York Jets have had anywhere from a very good to great defense. This season they have been maddeningly inconsistent. The pass rush isn’t there. The coverage breakdowns keep happening. An offense can now run the football on the front seven.

What happened? A lack of talent is what happened. The gaps were there last year but the Jets were able to coach around it for the most part. They couldn’t compensate for it in the beatdown at New England in the regular season or in the first half of the AFC Championship Game. Let’s also not forget this glorified defense couldn’t even give their offense a shot to carry the Jets to the Super Bowl last year, as they let Pittsburgh run out the clock.

So yes, Bart Scott they take a lot of slack.

The reality of the Jets defense is this. They are slow at linebacker and lack an elite pass rusher. Their starting safeties are average at best and below average in coverage. Their defensive line is pretty good but still lacks a difference maker. Their #2 and #3 corner have tons of talent but are still inconsistent.

You have the best corner in football in Darrelle Revis and a borderline pro-bowl linebacker in David Harris. Outside of that, you have a few slightly above average starters (Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, and Antonio Cromartie) and then a collection of average to below average players.

What is the remedy? Long term it is finding a pass rusher and a better safety to pair with Jim Leonhard, who is okay but can’t be relied on to be the top guy at the position. Short term, it is scheme and development. The coaching staff needs to flash the creativity and brilliance that stymied Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the playoffs last year more consistently. For development, young players like Jamaal Westerman, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Kyle Wilson have to grow into big time contributors.

We can’t count on a top ten defense this year but we can hope for a unit that strings together a few great performances and can be good enough to keep the Jets competitive on a weekly basis.

New York Jets Defense Needs To Be More Consistent

It is the pride and joy of Rex Ryan and everything the new look Jets are supposed to be about: a smashmouth, aggressive defense that opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators have nightmares about preparing for.

At times the defense has lived up to this reputation, notably in the beginning and end of the 2009 season…up until the second half of the AFC Championship Game of course.

In the 2010, the expectations were extremely high for the defense, with talk around the locker room about it potentially becoming one of the best in league history, considering their 2009 production and the addition players like Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor, and Brodney Pool. Unfortunately, in many regards the defense took a step back last year.

2009

  • 252.3 total yards allowed per game – 1st in NFL
  • 153.7 passing yards allowed per game – 1st in NFL
  • 98.6 rushing yards allowed per game – 8th in NFL
  • 236 total points allowed (a ridiculously low number when you consider how many points opposing defenses and special teams scored on the Jets in 2009)
  • 17 interceptions

2010

  • 291.5 total yards allowed per game – 3rd in NFL
  • 200.6 passing yards allowed per game – 6th in NFL
  • 90.9 rushing yards allowed per game – 3rd in NFL
  • 304 total points allowed
  • 12 interceptions

Outside of improving their rushing defense in 2010, the defense also had 8 more sacks and forced 2 more fumbles. However, generally the numbers were down especially in points allowed, total yards allowed per game, and passing yards allowed per game.

The decline in 2010 could be partially be attributed to the unit’s top two players taking a step back from 2009. Darrelle Revis missed time early in the year and wasn’t himself until after the Jets bye in week 6. He had zero interceptions last year compared to the 6 he had in 2010. David Harris was also more productive in 2009, than in 2010 as he recorded 28 less tackles, 2.5 less sacks, and 2 less interceptions last season.

There were obviously other factors at work, including opponents adjusting to the Jets scheme after seeing a full year of game tape and Jim Leonhard missing the second half of the year. Whatever it was, the unit seemed to take a step back in the regular season.

What is frustrating is that we saw just how good the defense truly could be in the playoffs last year as they led the charge behind knocking both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady out of the playoffs by beating them in their own building. Don’t be fooled by Manning or Brady’s numbers in those games because the Jets defense effectively contained Manning and forced him to keep settling for field goals and beat the hell out of Brady, who inflated his stats in garbage time.

The inconsistency showed itself again in the first half of the AFC Championship Game, where Pittsburgh ran up 17 points on the defense who then finally flipped the switch and shut them out in the second half, even though they couldn’t up with a key stop late in the 4th quarter to give their offense a chance to win the game.

In 2011, the Jets will benefit from getting a healthy Jim Leonhard back and drafting defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round. However, they could also suffer the setback of losing Antonio Cromartie, Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, and Shaun Ellis to free agency.

Whoever is filling out the Jets depth chart, let’s hope Rex Ryan continues to mix up his strategy the way he did in the playoffs, which caught two of the league’s best offenses off guard and that defensive unit as a whole will take a step forward next season.

Plenty Of Work To Be Done On Rex’s Pride And Joy

The number of question marks surrounding the New York Jets defense heading into the Draft is at a somewhat worrisome number. Rex Ryan is a great defensive mind, who has the ability to get more out of less, yet the Jets have holes to fill at all three levels of their defense if they want to remain among the league’s elite units.

Defensive Line – Even if the Jets decide to re-sign Shaun Ellis (which they should) and Trevor Pryce doesn’t retire. They still need both a defensive end and a defensive tackle to improve their depth and youth at the position. Phil Taylor out of Baylor has been a very popular pick for the Jets in mock drafts and his selection would likely allow Sione Pouha to get some work at end. However, spending a first round pick on Taylor or somebody like him shouldn’t stop the Jets from potentially adding another lineman later in the Draft or via free agency (if it ever starts).

Linebacker – The long term replacement for Bryan Thomas needs to be found as the Jets look to improve their pass rush. If the right defensive lineman isn’t available at number 30, Akeem Ayers and Justin Houston have been linked to the Jets. Both players have question marks surrounding them, yet they would have a year or two to function as only pass rush specialists behind Thomas as they learn to become full-time players. The Jets could also use depth at inside linebacker behind David Harris and Bart Scott. Josh Mauga and Jamaal Westerman don’t seem to be any more than special teams players at this point.

Secondary – It is time to accept the fact that the Jets will always need corners and safeties as long as Rex Ryan is their head coach. Everybody is worried about the Jets front seven, while forgetting three of their top four safeties are free agents, along with two of their top three corners. They need to decide what they are doing about bringing Antonio Cromartie, Eric Smith, Brodney Pool, James Ihedigbo, and Drew Coleman back, along with supplementing the position through the Draft and likely a free agency move or two. Personally, I think Pool will be brought back to start opposite Jim Leonhard and they will add a safety later in the draft to groom behind him. At corner, the Jets better pray Kyle Wilson is ready to take his game up about five notches if they let Antonio Cromartie leave.

I Dreamed A Dream – The 2011 Draft and How To Survive The Doldrums

After checking about 4,200 mock drafts, ranging from the cracked out enthusiasm of the schizophrenic Mel Kiper, the “fatdudewithablog.com” mock draft, and even the lowly ESPN stat boy who has created entire formulas of efficiency regarding the maximum upside of every draft pick. I have learned absolutely nothing about potential draft choices. Actually less than nothing, I believe this is what I am trying to illustrate:

Nothing  >  What I learned

Who would have thought that all our collective energy could go to something so utterly useless? I hereby declare silence unto the stat dorks, the combine creeps and the game tape goons, all you proclaim is dressed up fantasy, and my logic will no doubt be forced to lead us through these murky waters.

OK, the Jets draft at 30, which means that if any of those teams before them decide to trade picks up or down, the entire draft becomes, in scientific terms, an exponential clusterf*ck. Let me just ask now, who predicted the Leon Washington trade and grabbing McKnight in the 4th round my dear soothsayers?

Let us imagine the doomsday scenarios, those are more exciting anyway. What if Belichick went completely insane and traded his two second round picks for a 1st and 3rd, which would leave them with “potentially” (I do not know the exact point formulas) three 1st round picks. Do you think THAT would affect how the Jets draft?

What if the grand face of slate nabbed both Julio Jones and Mark Ingram? Tannenbaum would undoubtedly be forced to recognize the unholy alliance of size, speed, and brains that would make quick work of 90% of the NFL. Unless the Jets somehow managed to get  my “dream defense”, which would require the intervention of various holy men and deals so underhanded they scoop mud, it would nearly be impossible to compete.

Let’s think about this for a second. Does anyone honestly think that Mark Ingram wouldn’t be the best Patriots running back in the last 10 years? Or that Julio Jones isn’t the receiver Tom Brady dreams of when he lays his head upon the soft linens? Its awful to think of. Which is why we need my dream defense. Debate it as you will.

THE DREAM DEFENSE – TO BE IMPLEMENTED AT START OF 2011 SEASON……IF THERE IS ONE

Defensive End – I’m gonna go out on a limb and think that Rex would like to keep Trevor Pryce for one more year, just as a sort of mentor and rotation player. 6’5 290lbs doesn’t lie. He may be old, but you know he would lift up a train if Rex Ryan asked him nicely. I think Mike Devito would be a great second rotation player. To be specific I like Pryce at Left End. I think there are few things are essential as Shaun Ellis on this team, because as we know Rex, we know he loves the big men. Also, who doesn’t love that Wikipedia picture of him? Priceless. So Ellis at Right End.

Defensive Tackle – Here is where we crank the “FREAK O METER” up to 11. Ok, so you think, old man and old man at Defensive End. Big shit. Ok, how about this. A HEALTHY Kris Jenkins at Nose Tackle. Yes, you have all seen him make those bear swipes on centers and guards, you have seen the Sport Science episode, it’s completely terrifying. Kris Jenkins wants to hurt your quarterback, like they say….”he makes noises”. Oh, and because I love Nose Tackles…..how about we put my favorite Nose Tackle in the 2011 draft Marcell Dareus next to him. So we have a polar bear and a lion. Kris Jenkins lands on you. Marcell Dareus hits you. They both have claws, and they would undoubtedly have contests to see who could inflict more damage. And to top it all off we got Sione Pouha rotating in when the opposing team is down to their 4th quarterback.

Outside Linebacker –  Calvin Pace is the worst pass rusher in football according to certain statistics, like when he had 3 sacks against the Raiders in 2009, which is why I am starting him as my first outside linebacker. He can stand up and spin in circles for all I care, just don’t let those halfback tosses get past ya friend. Yell things, knock tight ends off their routes….be that last note on a blitz chord….remember….”wont start no stuff wont be no stuff”. So that leaves my second draft pick, Sam Acho to creep around and pick up scattered body parts of fullbacks and skinny running backs with dreadlocks. Acho is a DE/OLB hybrid but I think Rex Ryan likes to….um….move people around. I’m still waiting for Kris Jenkins to play fullback…..just one play.

Inside Linebacker – The mouth and the motor. Bart Scott is now a certified flight attendant, and so he is going to use those wings to fly on towards a QB scrambling for his life. Imagine this if you will, Calvin Pace coming off the edge, Dareus and Jenkins right up the middle, and this screaming banshee coming from somewhere in the shuffle. Oh, dear me, I believe since we run a 3-4 half the time we get another linebacker. Meet David Harris. He is the bruiser of the gang. He once broke a truckers entire hand thumb wrestling. He is a fan of sacks, forced fumbles, and key interceptions in things like the playoffs.

Cornerback – There is no doubt in my mind that at some point in his life, Darrelle Revis had Kill Bill style Ninja training. Have you seen some of those interceptions? They will never be recreated, duplicated, or contested. Despite my tendency to get a little crazy, I think Cromartie will get better in terms of technique with another year under his belt. He is still relatively young, and learning the Jets defense takes at least a year, just look at how confused Kyle Wilson was when he wasn’t a nickel corner. I think Cromartie is great for deep threat receivers, but he still acts like a punter when it comes to contact, despite the fact that he can smash faces in via Twitter. Lets just say Coleman, Cole and Wilson will all compete for third and fourth string corner spots, but I think Wilson will take the top of the heap, come on Boise State!

Free Safety – I am not alone in thinking Dwight Lowery would end up better at free safety than cornerback. He thinks he would be better at safety too. He keeps his eye on the ball more than the man he is covering, and thus is better at assisting than having to guard in man to man coverage. I also think Brodney Pool would make a great rotation player, and seeing what he can do with a full year under the defensive coaches would make their free safety tandem quite good.

Strong Safety – Jim Leonhard is a little ball of defensive genius. Shame he didn’t have another 50 lbs and 6 inches to his height, because I could see him being a pro bowl caliber player at that size. Which is why I have added another little touch of beauty to our safety rotation. Quinton Carter. This guy is a freak. He scares receivers. The Jets need a bruiser to add to Jim Leonhard, so Quinton fills the relative lack of size. And you know you are going to love him because quarterbacks are going to be forced to chuck a few up there and say a prayer, which is where Carter lines up your receiver from 20 yards out and…

If we were to then translate this into a “46” defense, we would have our front line consisting of Ellis, Dareus, Jenkins and Pryce followed by Pace, Scott and Harris at linebacker, occasionally subbing any of those three out with Sam Acho. Quinton Carter creeping down at Strong Safety and Jim Leonhard over the top, and now that I think about it, I would probably want to rotate Lowery and Carter every few plays, or even have both of them  start up front and drop back to cover the middle. Last but not least, our two corners, Revis and Cromartie in man to man coverage, which could get dicey with guys like Tom Brady and Peon ytManning, but as Joe Theismann once said, “it is very hard to get to your receiver in man to man when you are laying on your back.”

To recap:

Draft Picks

1) Marcell Dareus, Alabama (2010 BCS Championship Defensive MVP)

2) Quinton Carter, Oklahoma (2010 All Big 12 Team)

3) Sam Acho, Texas (2010 Wuerffel Trophy & Campbell Trophy Winner)

To be clear, the Jets would have to make a few trades and give up their 5th, 6th & 7th round picks, maybe parting with Damien Woody, Eric and Brad Smith as well. Obviously I couldn’t legitimately work out the exact solutions but it’s more fun to make an insane defense than balance a team….that’s for the coaches.