Sunday, June 15, 2014

The 5 Most Likely Jets To Improve In 2014

     The New York Jets actually have a pretty young Roster. During John Idziks brief career as the Jets GM, he has made an emphasis on building the team throught the Draft and bargin hunting in Free Agency. In this article I will discuss the 5 players I expect to make significant upgrades in stats and play on the field. Before I discuss those players, let me first share some honorable mentions.
     Players like C Nick Mangold and LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson are already considered among the best at their positions. DE Muhammad Wilkerson should be in that same class, but has been snubbed in recent years for any post season awards and accolades. Mo is entering his 4th Season so is not quite the seasoned Vet like Nick and Brick and still has room to improve. With 10.5 sacks last year any improvement he does have may not be as big a jump as the players I will talk about in a moment.
     WR Jeremy Kerley is in a similar boat as Wilkerson. He isn't as dominant at his position, but he is above average and all with no other threat on Offense to allow him to take advantage in soft coverage or mismatches. This should change this year, but Kerleys ceiling isn't as high as Wilkersons. His numbers should go up with other weapons on Offense that will demand more attention from opposing Defenders, but his jump won't be as significant.
     G Brian Winters was thrown into the deep end of the pool last season due to penalties by starter Vladimir Ducasse and asked to tread water. Unfortunately, he couldn't, but he didn't exactly go completely under either. He will improve over last year, but again it won't be as much as the players to come, so without further ado and in no particular order I give you my top 5 Jets to improve in the 2014-2015 NFL Season.

     Like Winters, QB Geno Smith was thrown in the deep end thanks to a season ending injury to Mark Sanchez. Smith had his ups and downs and just when it seemed as if he was going to drown, he not only treaded water, but for the last month of the regular season he seamed to swim in the Jets Offense. He finished his Rookie Season with 3,046 passing yards, 12 TDs with 21 INTs, 366 rushing yards and 6 TDs, but also had 3 fumbles. Last year he was a Rookie QB learning the position, a new Offensive System and had limited weapons to bail him out. He enters the 2014 Off Season with a year of familiarity, a mentor in Michael Vick who's playing style Geno imitated to great success, newer weapons in his arsenal including Free Agent WRs Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford, RB Chris Johnson and Rookie TE Jace Amaro who will be a match up NIGHTMARE to go along with a few Rookie WRs. Expect Geno to grow, bring his turnovers down and be a threat in the passing game that the Jets haven't had in the Rex Ryan era.

     Hill was Drafted and it was widely known that he was a project from the beginning, but in his first two Seasons he has been placed on Season Ending Injured Reserve. It's hard to work on improving if your constantly healing from injury and not with your Coaches and Teammates. In his first 2 years with the Jets Hill has only combined for 594 yards and 4 TDs and already have some calling him a bust. However, Hill suffered, like Kerley,  from having no other weapons around him and after being praised by Coaches last Off-Season having to deal with Rookie Geno Smith. This year both Players are going to need each other. Hill has worked out to improve physically to stave off injury which resulted in growing 1.5 inches taller which just illustrates that he is a young player still growing. I think that Hill will be among the most improved players in all of the N F L. He is now 6'5 and sporting 4.30 speed and in a pivotal year I think he will rise to the challenge and amass 850+ yards and 7 TDs.

     While Geno Smith had an up and down year, Dee Milliner had a down year and was benched THREE times until Veteran Ed Reed joined the Jets and personally showed Milliner how to be a Pro, and study film. This mentorship lead to Milliner winning Defensive Rookie Of The Month for the last leg of the Season and earning 3 INTs while shutting down Clevelands Josh Gordon and Miamis Mike Wallace. Many don't know if Milliner will continue to struggle, or if the final month of the season is an indication of the player that he will be. Rex Ryan though believes that Milliner will be among the top CBs and since he knows more about Defense than anyone your going to read or hear give their opinion on the matter I would side with the New York Jets Head Coach. If Milliner can stay healthy, look for him to be a shut down Corner.

     After one year as a Pro and winning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Sheldon Richardson was named #94 in the NFLs top 100 players. If you were to ask him though, that WASN'T high enough. After coming into the league Richardson has had Jets fans full attention. He talks a big game, but once the pads come on he backs up every word. He earned 42 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his Rookie Season and was rated amongst the best against the run. The ceiling truly is high for this player who has stated publicly that he wants to be greater than Warren Sapp. Richardson is an integral part of the Jets Defensive Line and if he is able to make the same improvements in his game as fellow Defensive Lineman, Muhammad Wilkerson made early in his young career, then look for the Jets to have the Fiercest D-Line in the League, and for Sheldon to brag all about it.

     Last year after the Jets Drafted Sheldon Richardson 13th overall, many pundits questioned the move, because Quinton Coples was just Drafted at the same position 16th overall the year before. What was later revealed was that during Coples Draft workouts with the Jets, Rex Ryan put him through Outside Linebacker drills. With the addition of Richardson, Coples was moved to the OLB position for the first time in his career. He suffered an ankle injury during the Pre-Season and missed plenty of reps during Training Camp and a few reporters began to call him a bust. As the Season went on and his health returned a few opposing QBs called him a beast.  Anyone who has watched the tape of the New Orleans game can bare witness to what Rex saw in Coples when he Drafted him. In his first year in the position Coples had 24 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble which gives him 46 tackles, and 10 sacks in his two years as a pro. With a full Off Season learning and growing into the position and a 15 lbs weight loss look for Coples to MATCH his career numbers in 2014. Maybe not in total tackles, but in Sacks. A position switch takes time, but Coples has the athletic ability to stand up and the improved play from Wilkerson, and Richardson will suck in the attention to the inside which will give Coples plenty of chances to wreak havoc rushing from the Outside.
     So there you have my picks for top 5 improved Jets Players this year. Agree or disagree, but leave a comment on who you think will jump this year and why, and always GO JETS!!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

My 2014 New York Jets Mock Draft.

     The New York Jets report for voluntary Off Season work at their facilities today, so what better way to celebrate the occasion than to create a Mock Draft of players I'd like to see join the organization. The Jets enter this years Draft with 12 Picks. This was due to a plan GM John Idzik set into motion last year during his first year running the Jets Free Agency. The Darrelle Revis trade gained the team an extra 4th Round selection and the savy decision to move on from some of their own players while adding players cut from other teams garnered the Jets 4 Compensatory Picks. A 4th and 3 6th Rounders. Expect the Jets to be big players in this upcoming Draft.
     For my Mock Draft I want to evaluate what the team already has and what they need. After a slow start to Free Agency had many Jets fans worried (my hand is raised) John Idzik made sure that the needs, although significant, aren't many. Entering Free Agency the Jets had a Dominant Defensive Line, starters and backups, and a solid RB Core. Every other group had varying holes. The Jets added Free Agent WRs Eric Decker, the highest rated Free Agent at his position, from the Broncos and speedy, but often injured Jacoby Ford from the Raiders.
     QB Michael Vick was added after he was released by the Eagles to COMPETE with QB Geno Smith. Vick will either be a solid backup that can step in if Geno struggles, or the starter to what the Jets hope is a more explosive Offense. That Offense became even more dynamic when the Titans released a player of their own and the Jets added him to the 6th Ranked Rushing Offense. RB Chris Johnson brings speed and a threat to take the ball 90 yards to the End Zone. With these moves QB, and RB join the Defensive Line as positions that are secure.
     With OG Willie Colon coming off a biceps tear and the expected struggles of Rookie LG Brian Winters the Jets will need to bolster the interior of their line sometime during the Draft. Antonio Cromartie was released and now the Jets need a Man to Man Cover Corner to play opposite Dee Milliner, who proved in the last month at least, that he was the best Corner in last years Draft. Calvin Pace may have had 10 Sacks last year, but at 33 he clearly isn't the long term answer and OLB has been a need for the Jets for the past decade or so. A weak Secondary could always be helped by a strong Pass Rush. The Jets added to the WR position, but they have a chance in this Draft to make a now "serviceable" position into one of strength. Many think that the Jets should and will select a WR early in this Draft. The Receiving Core also consists of TEs, which sorely needs improvement over just Jeff Cumberland and Zack Sudfelds, two undrafted players.  Lastly, the Jets Secondary also needs improvement in the Safety position. The Jets need a game changer roaming the middle of the field. Even if they bring back Ed Reed after the Draft they need a young stud that can develop into a Ball Hawk for the foreseeable future. So there you have it, WR, CB, OLB, TE, OG, and S are all positions that can be helped with a strong Draft this year.

1st Round: Odell Beckham Jr WR LSU
     Beckham has deceptive speed and under the radar hands. He will immediately help on Special Teams and be allowed to learn the game and develope into a #1 WR. With him in the fold the Jets now have a complete WR unit. A much improved unit over last year.
2nd Round: Austin Sefarin-Jenkins TE WASH
     In my Mock Draft I have the Jets trading their two 4th Rounders, 5th, 6th and 7th Round picks to add an extra early 2nd Round Pick. If it doesn't take this many selections to make this trade happen, then that's better, but a trade up to get more quality players is needed. Adding this big and talented TE to the mix is just what the Offense needs to be complete no matter who ends up winning the QB position. Put on tape and you will see why many people say that TEs are the QBs best friend. This guy has the ability to catch contested passes and run across the middle. He also has the size to develope into a solid blocker.
2nd Round: Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU
     Calvin Pace may have had a career year lady season, but the Jets need an infusion of young blood into their Linebacker Core. Kyle Van Noy, on a smaller scale, is suffering from the same criticism as Jadavean Clowney. Both players cooled it down in their last season of their collegiate careers. The nay sayers will question their motor and love for the game, but as long as they give their all once they are playing for the Jets, I could care less that they tried not to get hurt before they signed a multi million dollar contact. Kyle Van Noy should be a 1st Round selection. His speed and coverage skills will fit the Jets perfectly. Playing behind this Defensive Line allowed Calvin Pace to notch 10 sacks, so imagine what a pure speed rusher can do.
3rd Round: Ed Reynolds S Stanford
     If Ed Reynolds falls to the Jets it would be a steal that would allow the Jets to make significant changes to their Safety position. Reynolds could be the Ball Hawk the Jets haven't had since Kerry Rhodes, but Reynolds is also a solid tackler. This will allow Rex to move Antonio Allen to Stong Safety, which is his more natural position and allow Reynolds to split time with a Veteran while he learns the scheme.
4th Round: EJ Gaines CB MIZZ
     The Jets needed help to their Secondary, but that didn't necessarily mean they needed another first round selection. Adding a Pass Rushing OLB and a Ball Hawking FS will help the cornerbacks. Adding Gaines gives the Jets another CB to develop into a potential starter. He is a smart player that can hold up against bigger receivers. With Kyle Wilson nearing the end of his contact is smart for the Jets to add more players to the position even if they aren't going to be the long term starter. 6th Round: Colt Lyerla TE Oregon
     Another steal for the Jets due to Colt having character issues, but with Sefarin-Jenkins already added to the mix this is a gamble that the Jets would be wise to take. Lyerla is another player with 1st Round talent. He isn't the Blocker that Sefarin-Jenkins is, but he is a threat in the passing game. This will also add to the Jets Mantra of competition. The Jets now have a complete and deadly passing attack.
6th Round: Ryan Groy OG WISC
     This is basically for depth. A team can never have enough fattys in the trenches. The Jets selected two late round Offensive Linemen last year, and with all of the needs already filled its just about bringing in bodies to compete.
6th Round: Preston Brown ILB Louisville
     The last pick is a player they hope can help out on Special Teams. Giving the opposing Offense a long journey to the End Zone will help out the Defense and the team as a whole. This late in the Draft your not looking for starters, just role players. Brown will still be given a chance to help the team even if it doesn't mean playing in the base Defense.
So there you have my Mock Draft/State of the Jets. Leave your comments below on what you think and also what you would like done in this upcoming Draft if you were the GM. Is there a player you feel the Jets NEED to get, or a trade scenario you would like the team to make? Leave your comment or Draft Picks just for bragging rights if the players turn out to be good NFL Players or Jets.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2014 Year of the Jets?

     Halfway through the 2013 NFL schedule the New York Jets have exceeded all outside expectations. Many pundits had the Jets ranked 32 out of 32 NFL teams with ESPNs Mel Kiper Jr. going as far as comparing the Jets to a "glorified expansion team". The Jets were expected to be fortunate to finish the season with a record of 4-12. The only ones that had the Jets being a competative Franchise this season was the Jets organization and the few fans who truly understood this team and its staff. With a new GM cleaning house in the beginnings of a rebuild, it was believed that the Jets would take a step back before they got better. With 7 more games left to be played in the 2013 regular season the Jets are sitting at 5-4, and forcing the doubters to eat crow, but lets examine the current state of the Jets and why 2014 will be the year that the pundits and fans believe in the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!
     2013 started with Former General Manager Mike Tannenbaum being let go along with several Coaches leaving the team via, retirement,  better opportunities, and a possible riot from fans if they remained in the organization.  Their replacements cane from outside of the Organization and some pramotions from within. These decisions were made by Head Coach Rex Ryan. The biggest difference came in Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg who has a reputation for being pass happy in his play calling which is a huge departure from the ground and pound philosophy of Rex Ryans tenure since coming to the Jets in 2009. Marty has proven that he is one of the best Offensive minds in the League, making magic with a Rookie QB and an almost insurmountable amount of injuries. It remains to be seen if Mornhinweg will be able to steer the Offense towards being a Playoff Caliber threat in his first year with the team, but it is clear that Rex had found a play caller that will be as aggressive and unpredictable as his Defense.
     General Manager John Idzick was hired and told that he must keep Head Coach Rex Ryan for at least one year and after the way the team has played many believe that Ryan should be the Head Coach for the foreseeable future. Idzick removed some members of the front office after the Draft and to his credit the "unnamed sources" that leaked information to the media has not steered its head this season and it would appear that the Jets as an organization will be more professional under Idzick, but the big test will be when the new front office handles a very important Draft in which the team may have up to 13 Draft picks.The Jets will also have plenty of Cap space after Idzick cleared some bloated contracts and trading away it's best player in Darrelle Revis, but the team has a very good head start thanks to a promising Draft Class this year.
     Thanks to the trade of Revis the Jets had 2 first round picks in the top 13 of the 2013 Draft. With the first of those picks the Jets selected Dee Milliner out of Alabama who was widely considered the best CB in the Draft. Milliner has missed time at various times since being with the Jets and has struggled mightily. He was already benched in 2 games this Season, but after Rex Ryan promised that Milliner would be the best Rookie CB by the end of the Season he had a strong showing against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in week 9 just before the bye week which prompted Rex to warn the"experts" about betting against him on Defensive Players. If Milliner has truly turned a corner in his development it will be a big boost to a struggling Secondary.
     Sheldon Richardson was the Jets second pick and many if not all Draft experts blasted the pick of the DT out of Mizzou going to the Jets. One person who was over the moon about the pick was the same Head Coach that challenges anyone to bet against him when it comes to Defensive Players. Rex Ryan was positively giddy when Richardson was selected and the rest of the fan base has followed suit as Richardson has positioned himself as the man to beat for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Richardson is an absolute monster along the Defensive front and besides racking up stats for himself, his constant double teams have allowed his fellow teammates to make plays. One thing is very clear, the Jets have a Defensive front that will be dominant for years to come and Sheldon Richardson is one of the main reasons why.
     What isn't clear is if the Jets Drafted their Franchise QB in the 2nd Round when they selected Geno Smith out of West Virginia. Like Dee Milliner the Jets selected the consensous pick of the best player at his position, but just like Milliner, Geno has struggled mightily at times. Young Quarterbacks tend to struggle until they learn all of the nuances that come with playing that position at the Pro level. Geno has shown enough that he should at least compete for the starting position next year regardless of how the Organization handles the Off Season.

     In his first year on the job, new GM John Idzik had a mess to deal with in the team's finances. This was addressed by releasing over payed veterans and attacking Free Agency with bargins that were expected to man their positions for the short term with one year contacts.  2014 will be a completely different story.  The Jets will be roughly $30m under the Cap when the new calender year begins. That number jumps to above $40m if the team releases both QB Mark Sanchez and WR Santonio Holmes.  This does not include moves and deals that could be made with some the other veteran players like CB Antonio Cromartie and ILB David Harris who could take team friendly extensions. No matter how you look at it the New York Jets are in position to be big players in Free Agency if that's how they choose to build their team, but the biggest reason why the Jets will be a deadly team in 2014 has to do with that other way to bring in new players.

     It is usually hard to figure out a first time GMs "style" but what was very clear before the Season even started is that the Jets GM wants to build through the Draft.  This was set up by allowing most of the Jets Free Agents to leave and sign with other teams while Idzik mostly signed players that were cut by other teams.  What that strategy does is allow the Jets to be rewarded Compensatory Draft Picks and the Jets may have up to 13 selections when the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around in May. The team played the year with 7 new starters and for the most part those positions don't need upgrades. CB Dee Milliner, despite his struggles should be the number 2 CB next year. Rookie FB Tommy Bohanan has proven to be a steal that doesn't receive much attention due to the position.  DT Sheldon Richardson May end up winning the Defensive Rookie of the year award and push Wilkerson next year for the best Defensive Lineman wearing Green and White. Thanks to these Rookies coming in and stepping up it just leaves less holes to be filled in year two of the rebuilding process. The team still needs help at OLB, WR, TE, O-LINE and S. With 13 picks,  4 in the top 90 the team should be able to come away with some difference makers.
     The Jets have shown that they have made progress from last year,  even with a struggling Rookie QB, but with the development of young players, plenty of Cap Space and a boat load of Draft Picks the Jets are in a great position to make a run at the Super Bowl next year ESPECIALLY if the Organization keeps Head Coach Rex Ryan to continue to build a dominant Defense that could be prime to set record numbers next year with the addition of a Pass Rushing OLB and ball hawking FS and allow the Offensive Players who were learning a new System under new OC Marty Mornhinweg to put the pedal to the floor.
     What do you think is the biggest hurdle for the Jets next year and the best way to finish the rebuilding process?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


     Training Camp has been underway and there are a few more questions answered for the New York Jets, but there are still some remaining. This is around the time where most players can't wait to hit someone wearing a different Jersey and for a Jets team who have been the "butt" of jokes all off season expect some pretty hard hits handed out from frustrated Jets. Pre-Season games are vanilla with an emphasis on one on one match ups. If you're expecting to see exotic formations then you're still a month away.  Here is what you should be looking for in the Jets first Pre-Season game.
     The first thing, of course, has to be the Quarterback position. Mark Sanchez has been named the starter while Geno Smith will also see some time with the 1s. Many retweeters think that it is a mistake to not start Geno Smith. What they fail to realise is that the Coaching staff watches the practices and don't follow the stats. Geno Smith has slightly better numbers thus far in camp, but he holds the ball far too long. In real game situations he will be wearing a Green and White Jersey and not a Red one so he will be sacked. He is going to have to show that he can complete passes while defenders are baring down on him.  Sanchez meanwhile needs to show his grasp for the New Offensive System while completing passes to his players and not the other team.
     The Jets were excited to unleash their new Runningbacks, but with injuries to Chris Ivory, Joe McKnight and the absence of Mike Goodson the Jets are lacking in the backfield. Bilal Powell has stepped up as he has received the bulk of the carries and it will be interesting to see what other players step up. The Jets recently added two young RBs to the stable and with Goodson facing legal troubles a strong showing from one of them may keep them around for the Season and not just be a Camp body.
     Four WRs have impressed so far this Off-Season. Clyde Gates and 2nd year WR Stephen Hill have shown great improvement while showcasing superior speed.  Two undrafted Rookies, Ryan Spadola and Vidal Hazelton have impressed as well and shown great promise to not only make the team, but be impact players fit the Offense. Hazelton recently suffered a Season ending injury. Its reported that Spadola will see time with the starting Offense and at 6'2 with a 4.4 40 time he stands a great shot of securing more practice time with a strong showing this Friday against the Detroit Lions. For those that have followed the Jets for years, many must be happy, IF Hill can improve, Braylon shows that he hasn't slowed much and Spadola steps up as each player is 6'5, 6'3, and 6'2 respectively. Tall outside presences will only help Jeremy Kerley in the slot, but the only question about Kereley this Off-Season is just how good will he continue to get.
     Moving to the Defensive side of the ball it's all about life without Revis. How will the Pass Defense look without the best CB in the game? Cromartie will be on Calvin Johnson as he continues to cover the the opposing teams number 1 WR. Rex Ryan calls it Megatron vs Megacorner. The Safety position has the most questions on the team. No-one has stepped up to man the FS Position and some wonder if this will be the downfall of the Defense. The Secondary can be helped with a strong Pass Rush, which is something the Jets haven't had without an exotic blitz. Coples has been moved to OLB and the team added Antwan Barnes,but Ricky Sapp has been making a lot of noise in Camp. The Jets desperately need to see at least one of these Outside Rushers get tto the QB.
     The Player I'm most excited to see in pads is DT Sheldon Richardson. The Jets were ridiculed when they selected Richardson 13th overall out of Mizzouri. I was one of them that scratched their heads when the name was called. A few months later Richardson is the name that gets talked about most outside of the two battling QBs. He has constantly been in the Offensive backfield and is being called a Linebacker in a DTs body. He moves far too quick for his size and many think he will revolution the position. Ryan has lined him up all along the front 7. With the hybrid Coples grasping his new role there will be a lot of confusion trying to figure out where these two players will line up and where the Offenses need to apply protection. This is the chance for us not fortunate enough to watch practice daily to see these players for ourselves and I really want to see if Richardson truly shines the way that people says he does.
     So what player are you most excited to see?  Is it a QB, veteran player or one of the Rookies? Share in the comments section below and enjoy the game.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The 5 Things To Look For In Training Camp

     Each team has their own strengths and weaknesses. Each team spends countless hours in Free-Agency and the Draft to add players that can help limit their weaknesses and even improve their strengths. Training Camp is the time to get all the Players up to speed and ready to compete in the upcoming Season. Players will rise and fall and the Coaches will get a realistic view of the talent on their team and adjust their game plans from there. With that said, we will now take a look at 5 weaknesses that Jets fans should pay attention to and what Players can help the team.

     The Days of Sanchez supporters bringing up two  back to back AFC title games in Defense of a bad season by Sanchez are over. Instead, two back to back 26 turnover Seasons and a butt fumble is what is said about Sanchez. Due to the regression of Sanchez, for various reasons, the Jets drafted QB Geno Smith, of West Virginia. Smith was considered the top QB in this year's Draft and the Jets got a steal snatching him in the 2nd Round. Smith and Sanchez will compete for the starting position in new Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinwegs West Coast system. Sanchez has the early lead heading into Camp due to a mostly solid Off-Season and quick grasp of the new system and the inconsistant game from the Rookie. When the pads come on and bodies start flying fans and Coaches will look to see which player makes the quick and accurate throws and has the touch with the deep pass, which is a staple in Mornhinwegs system. I think Sanchez will win the job and expect him to revive his career, but if he doesn't the Jets have a young athletic QB in the waiting. Also look for the battle between Matt Simms and Greg McElroy for the #3 QB. Simms has shown improvement with his accuracy and decision making and McElroy proved last year that he is not able to step in and lead the team if the starter gets injured.

     Shonn Greene may have had a 1,000+ yard Season last year, but there is a reason why the Jets had zero interest in bringing him back. With the Adrian Petersons, Arian Fosters and even Marshawn Lynchs of the World the Jets are looking for a homerun hitter at the Runningback position. Shonn Greene wasn't a big threat to bust out a 40+ TD run.  Bilal Powell took some snaps from Greene and showed promise, but he is still a young and unproven player. The only threat the Jets had from the RB position last year was Kick-Returner specialist Joe Mcknight, but he has battled injury and fumble issues. The Jets traded a 4th Round pick to New Orleans for little used RB Chris Ivory who has battled injuries of his own. Ivory's biggest hurdle with his former team, was the Undrafted label. He was overlooked because of #1 Draft picks and big time Free Agent signings, but when Ivory was healthy and called upon he was dangerous, averaging 5 yards a carry for his career. The Jets also signed Free Agent Mike Goodson who is perfect for the West Coast system and will be a threat to receive out of the back field. Once his legal problems are settled look for Goodson to continue to show off the blazing speed that he has since joining the Jets. Fans should watch this position closely because once the pads are on the competition will change dramatically and some will shine bright. Did the Jets aquire a Fantasy Football threat or did they already have one on their Roster who is ready to step up and take the League by storm?

     This position probably has the biggest impact on the positions to watch already mentioned above. One of the reasons why Sanchez regressed in the past couple of years was largely due to a lack of talent from the WR position and lack of trust from Sanchez to the players running wrong routes, dropping passes and failing to create seperation from defenders. Santonio Holmes is trying to come back from a Season ending Lisfranc injury. Holmes was never truly a #1 WR which is why the Jets tried to Draft one last year in WR Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech. Hill was and still is a very raw prospect with all the natural ability and athleticism in the World. With a 6'5 frame and 4.3 speed he is a QBs dream, but Hill lacks hands and route running and is also coming off of a Season ending injury himself. He had struggled with drops this Off-Season and this is going to have to be corrected if he wants to be a reliable option in the passing game. One bright spot from the WR position is third year player Jeremy Kereley. Kereley lead the team in receptions last year and showed great chemistry with Sanchez, especially in third downs. It will be interesting to see how much Kereley improves and if he will be able to thrive on the outside while Holmes makes his way back to the field. Kereley may end up being one of the best Slot-Receivers in the game if Holmes can make it back to the field and Hill improves. The Jets also have Clyde Gates, but although he has great speed, he wouldn't make 90% of the Rosters in the NFL. The Jets didn't spend a single Draft pick on the WR or TE position this year and the Receiving Corp will most likely be the Weakest position on the team,  so fans need to pay close attention to some of the undrafted Rookies the Jets brought in this year and newly signed TE Kellon Winslow's knees.

     The New York Jets haven't had a double digit pass rusher since John Abraham in 2005. Due to this, many fans, including myself, wanted the Jets to Draft an OLB. Instead, after Drafting CB Dee Milliner  of Alabama to help stop the bleeding from the loss of Derrelle Revis, the Jets selected DT Sheldon Richardson of Missouri. Many didn't understand this pick until it was announced that last years first round pick DE Quinton Coples would be moved to the OLB position. In truth, Coples will play a hybrid DE/OLB position and will be asked to attack the QB from the outside, but he and Richardson will be lined up all along the Defensive front 7. Coples lead the team with 5.5 sacks last year only participating in 47% of the Defensive snaps. Drafting Richardson doesn't mean that the Jets didn't Draft a pass rusher this year though. In the last two Drafts the Jets selected DE Muhammad Wilkerson, who was the 2nd rated 3-4 DE behind only JJ Watt and who had 5 sacks last year and will help in the Pass Rushing stat himself,  NT Kenrick Ellis and DE Quinton Coples who were all described as "Dancing Bears", athletic big men who moved faster than their size should allow. None of those players though compare to the size to athleticism ratio of Sheldon Richardson. Last year Richardson lined up almost everywhere on Defense for Missouri even lining up at MLB and in High School he returned kicks.  Yes, a Defensive Lineman was quick and athletic enough to return kicks on Special Teams. Rex so far has moved Richardson all along the Front 7 and he has flashed as a Pass Rusher from the NT position causing some of the New York Media, who seem to never have anything positive to say about the team they deemed a "Circus" to state that, "Sheldon Richardson will do for the NT position what Lawrence Taylor did for the OLB position.". Richardson may end up being a very scary player for opposing Offenses and so might Free-Agent addition Antwan Barnes who was Drafted by the Ravens so is familiar with Rex Ryan and his Defense,  but spent the last few years with San Diego. Barnes is a Pass Rush Specialist who had 11.5 sacks in 2011, but saw his playing time cut after the Charges Drafted two OLBs last year.  Barnes may be over looked cause he isn't a big name, but his speed has been one of the talks of the Off-Season and he has a chance to create a name for himself with the New York Jets. The fans may have wanted a Pass Rushing OLB in the Draft,  but with Rex taking charge of the Defense again look for pressure to come from all over the Defense.

     A very big reason for the reggression of Sanchez's play and the Defense falling from #1 in Rex's first year in '09 to #8 last year was the Coaching. The Jets removed OC Tony Sporano and QB Coach Matt Cavanagh and replaced them with Marty Mornhinweg and David Lee respectively. This is an upgrade to both positions with Mornhinweg being one of the best Coordinators in the League who stresses accountability and Lee being a Coach that Rex persued last year that stresses fundamentals.  Mornhinweg's West Coast Offense differs slightly as he loves the deep pass. He has also stressed that he will call plays and game plan according to the talent of his players. He will maximize the talent, so it will be interesting to see just how aggressive the Jets Offense will be as Mornhinweg was brought in to provide an Offense to attack opposing Defenses as much as the Jets Defense will attack opposing Offenses. The Jets Defense also has a new Coordinator in Dennis Thurman, the former DB Coach who was promoted after former DC Mike Pettine and the Jets parted ways. Pettine was given more power as the years went on and the Defense suffered becoming more conservative with an emphasis on Coverage and less and less Blitz packages. With this being considered a make our break year for Head Coach Rex Ryan, he will resume play calling duties for his Defense and will focus on that area of the team leaving the Offense for Mornhinweg. Ryan is largely considered the best Defensive mind in Football today and you can expect an aggressive and dangerous Defense, but Rex will be held accountable for the Jets as a whole,  so it will be interesting to see the Coaches put all the players in the best position to succeed.  This is a huge year for the Jets Coaching staff and with new GM John Idzick now in charge failure by the Coaching Staff this year may see brand new leadership for the Jets in 2014.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Jets 2013 Defense Could Be Best In Rex Ryan Era.

     The New York Jets just traded their best Defensive Player who happens to be the best at his position in the entire League. The Jets are replacing 7 starters on Defense as well. There are going to be a lot of new and young players expected to step up for Gang Green on that side of the ball. As far as the Defense goes, that might not be such a bad thing and I believe the Jets will top their '09 play on Defense.
     Revis is gone and some think that the hopes of the Jets having an elite Defense went with him. He only played 2 full games last year before he was lost for the year and the Jets Secondary still managed to finish 2nd in Pass Defense. Well some say that is a trick cause most teams played with a lead and were able to run on the Jets. Unfortunately for those making that arguement, the Jets Defense as a whole ranked 8th overall. This was done with Revis home and the team scrambling with the players they had. Those players are still here,  but the Jets added CB Dee Milliner with the 9th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to help ease the loss of Revis on a more permanent level.
     Milliner is just some of the new, young blood brought in by the Jets this year. He was also highly regarded by most to be the best CB coming out of College this year. Some even said that he could be the next Revis. One thing that is for sure is that he adds good talent to the CB position than the Jets had last year after the Revis injury. Four picks after Milliner was selected the Jets Drafted DT Sheldon Richardson. At the time most people liked the player, but not the landing spot. The Jets, though,  have an athletic 290lbs Defensive Lineman who can play multiple positions in multiple fronts, and are very excited that they were able to land him. His selection brought up questions about what to do with DE Quinton Coples, who as a Rookie last year lead the Jets in Sacks with 5. Rex Ryan has an answer.
     Quinton Coples leads the group of young Defensive Players that are expected to step up and do more this year. Coples will be asked at times to be an OLB, and DE, but in this new Hybrid Position he will have one main job and that is to pressure the QB. The Jets are hoping that a bigger role for Coples will add up to more production. If He is able to make a similar jump as Muhammad Wilkerson made in his 2nd year then expect Quinton Coples to have double digit sacks. Coples was considered better than Wilkerson when he was Drafted so the sky is the limit.
     The Jets did bring back Calvin Pace at a reduced Salary, but what people don't talk about is the addition of OLB Antwan Barnes and DT Antonio Garay. Both Players add speed to the Front Seven that the Jets haven't had in a very long time and Barnes is one year removed from an 11 Sack Season. The Jets may have lost players,  but most of those Players were cut or not persued for a reason. The Jets got younger and faster and now the Jets have weapons that they can unleash all over the field.
     Not every young Player is believed to be on the verge of a breakout year like Coples is. Some are stepping into big shoes and the Jets are taking a chance and hoping they can fill them. ILB Demario Davis is expected to start in place of Bart Scott alongside David Harris. Davis was Drafted for this exact reason last year and there is a lot of pressure on this young man, but even more so for two Safeties Drafted that same year. The Jets said goodbye to their top three Safeties this Off-Season
DaWan Landry was brought in during Free Agency to man one of the Safety spots, but either Josh Bush or Antonio Allen is going to have to step up and battle for the other Safety slot. With the Front Seven and Corner Back position looking very strong for the Jets this year the Safety Position will have the spotlight on them as the possible ruin to an amazing Defense. Interesting to this dilemma is undrafted Rookie Rontez Miles who is very physical quick and dropped down in the Draft due to character concerns and not talent. All the Jets need is for one of these three Players to step up and you can expect another run at the#1 Defense in the League.
     The most important reason why anyone would say that the Jets will have a great Defense this year is that Head Coach Rex Ryan is taking complete control of the Defense like He did his first year with the team. Gone is Mike Pettine and here is a make or season for the outspoken Coach. Rex knows Defense and he will get the best out of his Players. He is also surrounded by a strong staff including Karl Dunbar and Dennis Thurman, among others. Rex has already taken a hands on approach during Minicamp and OTA's. Expect this to continue during Training Camp and expect for the Jets to be dominant on Defense.
     Where do you think the Jets will finish in the Defensive Ranking this year? Which will be the strongest and weakest unit on Defense? Which players are you lost excited to see on the field this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below on what your expecting from the Jets 2013 Defense.

Friday, April 26, 2013

More Questions After Round 1?

     Entering the 2013 NFL Draft the New York Jets had a number of needs.  With the #9 and #13 overall picks they were in a prime position to Draft two day one starters.  With the trade of Darrelle Revis to TB they added a need at CB to go along with holes in the G, TE, OLB, and S positions.  With the #9 pick they selected CB Dee Milliner and filled one need with the best player at that position. Milliner will now compete with Kyle Wilson to start opposite Antonio Cromartie who will now continue to cover the #1 WRs and continue to cement his name amongst the best CBs in Football.
     When the #13 position came up many people, including myself were expecting the Jets to fill another need.  The most obvious choice was OLB Jarvis Jones. The Jets haven't had a player with over 6.5 sacks since '09 and the lead Man was OLB Calvin Pace with an unimpressive 8 sacks on the year. Instead the Jets Drafted DT Sheldon Richardson out of Missouri.  Huh? Didn't the Jets Draft Quinton Coples and Muhommad Wilkerson the year before that?  Arent both of those players considered BOOM prospects having proven themselves in Jets uniforms?  Why then do the Jets Draft another player who is expected to transition into a 3-4 DE?  What does this mean for the Jets future?
     With Milliner it is clear that the Jets are dedicating themselves to continue having one of the top Secondarys in the League.   The Front 7 is another story.  For three straight years the Jets have selected a Defensive Lineman.   The Jets lost NT Sione Pouha and DE Mike Devito, so this was a need,  but maybe not as important as others,  but GM John Idzick has proven true to his word that they would Draft the best player available and not Draft for needs.  What front will the Jets use in the future with three young number 1 DEs?  Might we see more 4-3 fronts and if so does that mean that the Jets will now ignore the OLB positionfor the rest of the Draft?  Most agree that Richardson was a good player,  but not a his fit with the Jets.   Will this opinion change if the Jets switch to a primarily 4-3 front or if they ask Richardson to add weight and play NT in their 3-4?
     What is left for the Jets?  They have one pick in each round?   They are not looking to fill holes.  They are looking to add playmakers.   This will be an exciting and suprising Draft fans and will make for a very interesting Training Camp.  The Jets aren't giving players spots on the Roster.   They are adding players and competition WILL be at an all time high and you will have to earn everything the Jets give you.