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!!!
   
THE NEWBIES:
     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.

CAP SPACE:
     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.

DOUBLE DIGIT DRAFT PICKS:
     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

WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN FIRST PRE-SEASON GAME.

     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.

QUARTERBACK COMPETITION:
     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.

RUNNINGBACK DEPTH:
     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?

THE RECEIVING CORP:
     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 PASS RUSH:
     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.

COACHING:
     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.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Plan After Revis?

     Well, the long awaited Divorce with the Jets best player has finally happened.  Revis is no longer a Jet and will face his former team as a Buccaneer during the Season opener.   Tampa Bay seemingly fixed last years worst statistical Pass Defense IF Revis returns to form and the Buccaneers can create a good Defensive Scheme.   What about the Jets though?  They just lost their best player and already had plenty of holes before the Off-Season began.  What is their plan moving forward?
     With Revis gone, the Jets no longer have the best CB Tandem in Football. Antonio Cromartie proved last year that He can still be considered a #1 Corner on a good Defense and Kyle Wilson was above average moving from the Nickle-Back to the #2 spot.  Besides losing Revis, the Jets Secondary also lost Safeties LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell. They were able to add Laron's Brother, Dawan Landry, but that is a decline to the position.  There isn't a player in the Draft that will be able to fill Revis' shoes, so how do the Jets offset the loss to their Defense?
     It's been said that the best thing that can happen for a Secondary is a strong Pass Rush. The Jets did not resign OLB Bryan Thomas, but brought back OLB Calvin Pace at a discount rate and also signed Free Agent Pass Rush specialist Antwan Barnes.  Barnes is familiar with the Jets Defense having played for Head Coach Rex Ryan in Baltimore.  Barnes is not considered an every down player and Pace is not capable of getting double digit sacks.  The Jets have been linked to multiple Pass Rushers for the upcoming Draft, including Barkevious Mingo DE/OLB LSU, Dion Jordan DE/OLB Oregan and Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia among others.  The Jets haven't had a Player that notched over 6.5 Sacks in one Season since Rex Ryan joined the Jets in 2009. The Jets have a chance to change this with one of the players previously mentioned, but the Jets had one of the worst Offenses in the NFL last year,  and have just as many holes on that side of the ball.
     Many Jets fans want QB Mark Sanchez gone yesterday,  but this years Draft Class of QBs is widely considered to be weak with a lack of Franchise players.   Granted OC Tony Sporano was such a failure at his job that He was let go after just one year in that role with the Jets eating his contract,  but Mark Sanchez had been on the decline before Sporano came to the Jets. Marty Mornhinweg was brought in to change the philosophy on Offense and is considered a Top 3 Offensive Coordinator with a West Coast philosophy that is very QB friendly.  Even if Sanchez could be saved and reach the potential that made him the 5th overall selection in the 2009 Draft, the Jets lack a number of talented players around him.  Sanchez's favorite target TE Dustin Keller is now in Miami and both starting Guards are either playing elsewhere or not currently on the team.  Lets not forget that their best skill player WR Santonio Holmes is returning from a foot injury that cost him all but three games last year and lead Back Shonn Greene is now a Tennessee Titan.  The Jets signed Guard Willie Colon and RB Mike Goodson, but the Jets aren't sure if Colon can stay healthy and if they have a lead RB which is why the have made an offer to the Saints for RB Chris Ivory.
     So here the Jets stand heading into the Draft with needs at QB, G, RB, TE, WR, DT, OLB, CB, FS, and SS.  The Jets now have 2 first round picks,  and a selection in the remaining rounds.  With multiple holes here is my thinking on what the Jets can do to rebuild their Roster.  With the #9 Overall pick I think the Jets should select Chance Warmack G Alabama.  Warmack is considered better than any other interior lineman since C Nick Mangold.  The Offensive Line is needed for the Passing game and Running game and adding either Warmack or moving down and selecting G Jonothan Cooper UNC would instantly return the Jets Offensive Line to one of the best in the League and giving them a Line up of D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Willie Colon, Nick Mangold, Chance Warmack/Jonathon Cooper, Austin Howard.
     With the #13 Overall selection the Jets are hoping that OLB Jarvis Jones Georgia falls back now that a couple of red flags have popped up, spinal condition and slow 40 time.   If he or DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo are both gone by this pick then the Jets should absolutely trade back and stock pile more picks,  but either player would give the Jets a young dynamic Pass Rusher that would reak havoc in the back field.  Jarvis Jones is a playmaker and regardless of a disappointing 40 time you have to rely on game tape.  When you are compared to Von Miller you can pretty much pencil him in for 10+ sacks a year.    If the Jets have an OLB constantly putting pressure on the opposing QB the Secondary will have a good chance to pick off quite a few passes.
     In the 2nd Round the Jets will run to the podium to hand in the card for TE Zack Ertz Stanford.  Dustin Keller was a very good Recieving threat,  but was a horrible blocker and the Jets currently have Jeff Cumberland, Konrad Reuland and Rugby Player project Hayden Smith manning the TE position.  Ertz is the best TE not named Tyler Eifert and has great hands and Route Running and can also be expected to block better than any of the TEs currently on the Roster.  Ertz is a threat and with a Guard in the 1st Round keeping the QB upright Zach Ertz will have plenty of time to embarrass whatever Line-Backer or Safety is in charge of matching up with him.
     Since we can't predict any trades the Jets may make during the Draft I won't add in any extra picks,  but before I give you my selection for the 3rd Round let me just say that if the Jets are able to pick up another 2nd Round pick by trading down in the 1st Round they should absolutely select DE Margus Hunt BMU to fill the hole left by Mike Devito and give the Jets a Pass Rush that Devito could only dream of.   Sticking with the current available picks though  this slot should belong to CB Logan Ryan Rutgers.  We aren't making this selection to make up for the loss of Revis, cause there is no replacement.  This should've been the pick even if Revis was still on the team.  Ryan is a big Corner and will be able to help with the Jets problem covering TEs.  Kyle Wilson will remain at the #2 Corner Spot making Ryan the new Nickel and Dime spot and giving the Rookie Corner some time to develop.
     With the 4th Round pick the Jets should continue filling up the holes to their Secondary and make their new Defensive Backs Coach a verry happy and proud Father by selecting His Son S T.J. McDonald USC.  McDonald would not be considered just a favor to one of their own.  McDonald is a big Back that will help with opposing TEs and considered a hard hitter that  will help against the Run.  He will have a chance to start opposite Dawan Landry or at  least be part of a very young rotation with last years selections Josh Bush and Antonio Allen.
     In the 5th Round I believe the Jets need to begin planning for a future not including Santonio Holmes being a long term member of the Jets and  instead being a Cap Casualty next year by selecting WR Aaron Dobson Marshall.  Dobson is a tall WR that can stretch the field and if both players are able to develop give the Jets their starting #1 and #2 along side last years 2nd Round pick Stephen Hill. Dobson has a similar build to Hill and will be able to be an immediate Red Zone threat and add depth to the WR position.
     Since the Jets are currently offering their 6th Round pick t i the Saints for Ivory I'm going to include the 7th Round pick to complete that trade.  Even if this trade falls through I would suggest the Jets trade both picks for selections next year. They are in a rebuilding mode and can't afford to hope for a late Round gem adding more picks next year will give them the opportunity to trade up and select players that they want to fill up the few holes they should have after their young players develop and they make a splash in Free Agency with the over $35 million in Cap Space they are expected to have.
     So this is my plan to fix the Jets.  What do you think of this plan and what would you do to fill the holes on the team?  Leave your comments and enjoy the moves that the Jets are on the verge to make.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Are The Jets Secretly Rebuilding???

     Many "experts" on the TV, Radio and World Wide Web have painted the Jets as a misfit band of idiots and a team that is worse than their record indicates. Bill Parcells famously stated that, "You are what your record says you are".  The Jets are 3-3, 2-0 in Division games and #1 in the AFC East.  If the Jets are worse than their record indicates, then why is it that the New England Patriots who are also 3-0, 1-0 in the Division, and the Jets next matchup, are considered favorites for the Superbowl still?
     The New York Jets have also been plauged with injuries early on in the Season losing Darrelle Revis, Santonio Holmes and Josh Mauga for the Season.  Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill have missed numerous games leaving QB Mark Sanchez with WR Jeremey Kerley as his number one Offensive weapon.  Many suggested that the Jets bring in Plaxico Burress, or Terrell Owens, but the Jets instead brought in Jason Hill who had a TD against the Colts after only 10 days with the team.
     This signing reminded me of a theory I had before the Season started.  Many "experts" are asking to fire either Rex Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum, or both.  I haven't heard ANYONE mimic my thinking and stating that the New York Jets are rebuilding while staying competitive.  It starts with the Salary Cap.  The Jets are approxamitly $8 million under the Cap and with the new barganing agreement, this money will be able to be used against the Cap next year.  It is widely believed that Darrelle Revis will recieve a new Contract before the Season starts next year.  Dustin Keller, Shonn Greene, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Yeremiah Bell, LaRon Landry, Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore are all Free Agents after this Season.
     Keller and Landry look like locks to come back next year.  Many may notice that Matt Slauson has been spelled by Vlad Duccasse even though the competition was won by Slauson in Training Camp.  Could it be that the Jets Coaching Staff wants to see Big Vlad in real game tape in order to decide that Ducasse and Matt Slauson will be the starting Guards for the Jets in the Future making Pro Bowler Brandon Moore expendable?  Pace and Thomas are obviously done with Pace having a fairly sizable Contract coming off of the Cap.  Shonn Greene is a player that has to prove himself this year along with Ducasse and Joe Mcknight.
     In the past 2 Seasons what players did the Jets bring in to long term Contracts?  The Jets are clearly building this team through the Draft and when you have young players they often take time to develop.  I can understand some Fans being frustrated with the way the Season has gone and wanting a change in some of the decision making, but GM Mike Tannenbaum is building a team that will last for the forseeable future.  Some of the Draft picks have come into question and it is easy for some to forget Mike T. trading up for Revis, Harris, Keller, Sanchez and Greene.  Its easy for some to forget that the Jets went to back to back AFC Championship games in the first 2 years of the careers of Mark Sanchez and first time Head Coach Rex Ryan.  Its easy to forget that the Jets are 3-3 and in first place of the AFC East after 6 weeks of Football with a game against the hated Patriots up next.
     Mike Tannenbaum has a plan for this team and all the "experts" can focus on Tim Tebow and paint the Jets as a Circus, but if your a Jets Fan you should feel comfortable with the direction the team is headed in.  Much was made about the Jets not replacing Wayne Hunter with an expensive Veteran RT, but when have you heard/seen Austin Howard have a bad game this Season?  The "experts" claimed that the Jets Defense was done with Cromartie and Kyle Wilson as your starting two CBs, but now these same people are talking about how Cromartie is currently the best CB in the NFL with Interceptions in his last 2 games, and Kyle Wilson has disappeared from opposing teams highlight reels.  The "experts" are calling for Tebow Time, but Mark Sanchez is starting to get his players back and Dustin Keller does wonders for this Jets Offense just by being on the field.  The Jets have a core group of players with few holes, but next year with a new Draft and plenty of Cap space, those holes will be filled pretty quickly and the Jets will have young players ready to contribute for the next 10 years.
     What do you think about the current plan for the team?  Are you on board with the moves that have been made, or do you have some "must have" moves or players for the remainder of the year and beyond?  Leave a comment and opinion.  I for one have full confidence in the Owner, GM and Coaching Staff.  Our Defensive Line is set, CB position set with Revis returning next year, Offensive Line looks set for the future with or without Moore, I believe in Mark Sanchez.  We need Outside Linebackers, a home run hitting RB and some Wide Recievers to help Sanchez.  Kerley and Hill are developing nicely and Santonio Holmes is a wild card so it will be interesting to see where this team goes.  I would rather wait and see what happens.