Tag Archives: Mark Sanchez

Prognostication Is My Business: Week 3 in the 2012 NFL

Does anyone like Thursday night games? I know the players don’t as several will miss the games with injuries that typically take a full week to almost heal and I’m pretty sure the fans don’t even like it. They can only be seen on the NFL Network and your team will only be on there once a year, which is hardly a reason to switch to dish and they completely ruin Sundays if your team is playing. To be perfectly honest I don’t even like Monday Night Football. I like my Sundays. I digress. The Patriots nearly came from behind, but still lost, in a game they were favored by nearly two touchdowns while the Giants completed the comeback and won by a touchdown. Buffalo had no need for a comeback as they blew out the Chiefs and the Jets had no chance as they were stifled by the Steelers. Let’s see how they will fare this week.

@ Carolina Panthers -2.5 New York Giants

This is an awful spot for the G-Men. Hakeem Nicks, David Diehl, Ahmad Bradshaw and Domenik Hixon are all out. They are on the road against a dynamic player in Cam Newton who can eat up defenses. The reasons why the Panthers are favored is obvious and as a prognosticator I think it’s the safe bet, but induldge me for a moment and I’ll tell you why as a fan I believe they will win. We still have Eli Manning and Victor Cruz. I don’t think Bradshaw is a feature back, so that isn’t a huge loss. They haven’t had the same offensive line seemingly since 2008. Newton is prone to make mistakes in the form of interceptions so the name of the game is contain and force him to pick apart the secondary. Big Blue is a more seasoned team and can take advantage of the up and coming Panthers. Plus the Giants always do the opposite of what you think they will.

New York Jets -2.5 @ Miami Dolphins

Anything can happen in road games and more importantly in divisional games. The Jets look like a mediocre team this year, which is more than you can say for the fish. Sure both teams are 1-1, but the Dolphins had the luxury of playing a west coast team on their home turf, where they all have trouble adjusting to the new time zone. The Jets will have no such problem and will move the ball on that weak d like an offensive lineman on a buffet. Ryan Tannehill will have more growing pains. Off the field he was winning the battle with his smoking hot wife Lauren, but the Jets are pulling closer as Mark Sanchez is dating Eva Longoria. Or are they winning?

Buffalo Bills -3 @ Cleveland Browns

I’m back in on the Bills. Well in certain situations like playing quite possibly the worst team in the league. CJ Spiller is my proudest prediction thus far. Have I mentioned that yet? I think I may have. I believe that Fitzy will have a big game passing for 300 plus yards while there is another dominating performance for everybody’s favorite losers.

@ Baltimore Ravens -3 New England Patriots

My how the mighty have fallen. The Pats looked like they would roll through this season straight into their second straight Superbowl. We knew they would lose a couple, because everyone does, but the Arizona Cardinals? Now the world has lost faith in this squad as they are road dogs. The Ravens lost last week too remember? I think that Belichick has had this game circled on his calendar for months and will be prepared to baffle Flaco, shut down Ray Rice and allow Tom Brady to do what he does best. Pats win on the road.

-Erik

Did I get it right? Let me know what you think via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave us a comment.

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Crash Landings and Tebow Chants

Back to earth for Jets (steelers.com)

TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBOW!And since the Jets love to spell;  T – E – B – O – W  TEBOW TEBOW TEBOW!

That didn’t take long did it? Perhaps the fervor hasn’t reached a point where billboards are going up in NYC urging Rex Ryan to start Mr. Tebow but after a ghastly performance from Mark Sanchez, and really the entire Jets team you can already feel the Tebow fans arising from their slumber ready to bring a hale of boos and Tebow chants down on MetLife Stadium.

Why you ask? Didn’t Mark Sanchez play phenomenally in week one? Wasn’t that proof that this was the year he would finally make that next step? Well sure if he hadn’t dropped out a 10-for-27, 138-yard effort against the Steelers in a 27-10 loss last weekend. Before anyone comes running to Sanchez’s defense with the excuse of it was in Pittsburgh or the Steelers are a great team. Yes it was in Pittsburgh but James Harrison wasn’t playing and even against a good team shouldn’t you be able to complete at least, I don’t know, 40 PERCENT OF YOUR PASSES?!

Well not the Sanchize. It’s back to the bottom of the barrel yet again. Obviously he’s not in the Rodgers/Brady conversation but he should at least be getting into Flacco/Ryan territory by now and neither Flacs or Matty Ice put up those kind of numbers against anyone.

Meanwhile Sanchez’s arch-nemesis (the one that isn’t called consistent quarterback play) Tim Tebow played in something like three

Most important 22 yards rushing all day. (newyorkjets.com)

snaps and finished with one rush for 22 yards. I don’t think Tebow is the answer. I don’t think the Jets are any betetr if Tebow starts but if Sanchez continues to have absolute duds like he did last week the calls for the Jesus of football are going to start to get louder and louder.

Sanchez deteriorating robbed Jets fans of getting to see the ascension of Stephen Hill, who could be the team’s next Keyshawn Johnson. The Georgia Tech alum (that’s right the same Georiga Tech as one Calvin Johnson) was targeted only twice and had zero catches while Santonio Holmes had 11 target (three catches, 28 yards, TD) and the immortal Jeremy Kerly had four targets and a pair of catches.  It’s like the Jets are allergic to offensive stars. When was the last time they really had one. It’s got to be Curtis Martin or Keyshawn right? Since C-Mart retired this squad has just been a conundrum inside of an enigma marinated in question marks offensively speaking. Hill could be the stand out guy they need but if Sanchez (or Tebow) is throwing to him he might not get the chance to show that.

The Shonn Greene as a feature back era is slowly losing ground as well. Greene has the perfect name to be  star for the Jets but put up only 23 yards on 11 carries in the loss to Pittsburgh. Greene had a 1,000-yard season last year but just barely (1,054 yards) and really how impressive is just getting to the 1,000-yard mark anymore? Greene will again have solid  numbers this season if only because he gets all the carries.

Missing Darrelle Revis certainly hurt the Jets on offense against Pittsburgh. Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace, one of which would have been covered by Revis Island, both got open far too often in the game, especially deep. Brown finished with seven catches for 79 yards and Wallace had five receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Garrett McIntyre had a (surprisingly) nice game against Pittsburgh with two sacks, the first of his career, of Big Ben. McIntyre was just one of a number of guys in the front seven that played well as the Jets swarmed especially against the run limiting the Steelers to just 66 yards on 28 carries. That’s just 2.4-yards-per-carry. It’s like they were going against Shonn Greene.

Revis is still in doubt for Sunday’s game against Miami but come on the Dolphins are awful and if the rest of the secondary can’t stop Ryan Tannehill it might not matter when or if Revis Island comes back.

Sanchez will get the start this week and Rex Ryan has been understandably mute on how much usage Tim Tebow will get and has downright denied that he will start. Sanchez will get some breathing room this week though thanks to a bad Dolphins squad but after that the schedule toughens up over the next four weeks (vs. SF, vs. HOU, vs. IND, @NE) and those Tebow chants could get louder with it.

-Phil

Should the JEts consider using Tebow more often? Is Sanchez as good as week one or as bad as week two? Somewhere in between? Let us know on Twitter (@seeuinoctober) or in the comments.

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Prognostication Is My Bussiness: Week 2 in the 2012 NFL

Thank goodness for the New England Patriots. If it weren’t for the hall of fame tandem of Mr. Brady and Coach Belichick both Phil and I would have totally struck out on the opening weekend. Buffal Oh No! I was nervous about that pick going into the game and they showed us why. Rex Ryan may actually know what he’s doing? And leave it to the New York Football Giants to be the first team in history to lose a slam dunk home opener post Superbowl championship. It’s always interesting here in the northeast where we shrug off losses like these and keep our sights set on the playoffs.

@ New York Giants -7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Have to believe the G-Men will rebound this weekend. They can’t start the season 0-2 at home and with an extra three days of rest and preparation, they will come out hungry. I think this Tampa team is much closer to the 10-6 team of two years ago rather than their putrid four wins last season, but this is a really bad spot for them. Victor Cruz dropped a few sure catches last week so you have to be worried about a sophomore slump. HOWEVA, he dropped a couple in the opener at Washington last season and was written off as fans clamored for Steve Smith. How’d that work out? Big Blue will be fine.

@ New England Patriots -13.5 Arizona Cardinals

Oh it is so tempting to say that no NFL team can win by two touchdowns. HOWEVA, these New England Patriots don’t play by those rules. The Cardinals are still trying to figure out who they are and who their quarterback is for that matter, but the Pats know exactly who they are. They are the Superbowl runner-ups (zing). That makes them angry and I almost feel bad for the teams on their schedule. With a revamped defense and an improved running game they will dominate the line of scrimmage, time of possession and, most importantly, the scoreboard.

@ Buffalo Bills -3 Kansas City Chiefs

I may not claim to know very much about the NFL, but I do know that good teams bounce back at home and you should never put too much stock in any individual game. HOWEVA, I didn’t like what I saw at all from the Bills last week. I don’t think they’re a good team, so the first rule doesn’t apply and they looked small compared to the Jets, which doesn’t get better. This KC team remembers what happened last year and after seeing what happened last week they are licking their chops. It’s going to be a rough couple weeks for the Bills, but give it a few weeks for CJ Spiller to really establish himself and for the coaching staff to put together a better game plan. Just not this week.

@ Pittsburgh Steelers -5 New York Jets

Do you think the 2012 Steelers are a good team? I’m really not sold. They are aging defensively and have some serious issues on the offensive line. In many ways they remind me of the New York Giants, but I don’t have a vested interest in their success, so I have my doubts. HOWEVA, I really did like what I saw from the Jets week one and it wasn’t the ground and pound. It was the uptempo short throws with a balanced running attack to set up play action. The defensive front line was unimpressive, but nobody can bring down Big Ben. If Revis plays, I think the Jets can win it. Either way it’s a field goal difference.

-Erik

Think I got them right? Let me know via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave a comment.

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Can’t Beat the Coverage

Tonight the second week of this young NFL season kicks off as the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears. As we’ve seen throughout the years the NFL has become increasingly popular and taken up more and more of the airtime on sports talk shows and in the newspapers. This off season was one of the most storied of all-time with plenty to talk about, but it seemed that a few stories garnished most of the attention.

After one full week of the season I began to wonder, which story was actually not that important? We have a few choices for you so pick the storyline that you believe got way more coverage than it deserved and feel free to expand upon your answer in the comments or hit us up on twitter @seeuinoctober.

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The Jets Aren’t Who We Thought They Were

Jeremy Kerley and Mark Sanchez had big days in the Jets opener. (newyorkjets.com)

New York Jets 48 Buffalo Bills 28

In a battle of two teams with completely opposite expectations it’s safe to say this may have been one of the more surprising outcomes in the opening weekend of the 2012 season. Obviously this isn’t RGIII beating the Saints, but when a team that only mustered one touchdown in the preseason wins in week one 48-28, people are going to stand up and take notice. How did that happen?

The most obvious answer is Ryan Fitzpatrick is the mediocre quarterback we thought he was before his magical first six games last season. He was late on a throw that was picked off by Darelle Revis and didn’t look crisp as he labored to heave the ball to his intended targets. It was a combination of poor decision making and lack of accuracy which led to three interceptions. It was truly a Fitztragic day for the Harvard man as he struggled to complete 56% of his passes. There seemed to be a huge discrepancy in talent as the Jets secondary blanketed the receivers.

Gang Green came out and looked sharp from the second series. Sanchez made one stupid play in the first series as he attempted to flip the ball to a receiver

This was probably an interception. (buffalobills.com)

who wasn’t even looking on a broken play. I said in my prediction that this play would decide the game and against a good team it will, which is why I can’t feel confident about this squad as a true contender. There were also a few can’t miss throws to receivers that Sanchez missed. Other than that it was an impressive first day for Tony Sparano who called an uptempo game with sprinkles of the wildcat and Tim Tebow. There were lots of three step drops and play action calls that made the offensive line look like a brick wall. It was a sharp contrast from the turnstile they resembled in the preseason.

While the football season is one-tenth the length of baseball’s 162 game marathon, it is still a long journey. I’m not going to say too much about what this performance means after week one because I’ve been wrong enough already. What we do know is that the Jets aren’t the dumpster fire we thought they were and the Bills aren’t going to vie for the AFC East this season. The truth for both teams is somewhere in between and over the coming weeks we will discover who they truly are and I can’t wait.

-Erik

Are the Jets really that good? Did Buffalo’s playoff hopes die with one loss? Let us know what you think via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave us a comment.

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Meet the Jets-ons

You can’t me interaction between these two isn’t entirely awkward. (Photo courtesy newyorkjets.com)

His boy McElroy!

After a long off season in which you couldn’t escape coverage of the worst team that plays football in New Jersey but still claims New York the Jets will finally step onto a field this weekend. In case ESPN hasn’t completely turned you off of Gang Green (and for just about everyone that isn’t named ‘Fireman Ed’ that point has already been reached) you can now watch them every Sunday. Then you can watch ESPN agonize over them as if a team that didn’t make the playoffs last season is the biggest news-maker in the league.

There is some good news though. Fact: The Jets have never won a Super Bowl in a season when Rex Ryan guaranteed an NFL Championship.  Fact: Rex Ryan did not guarantee a Super Bowl victory this season.  But  like all teams the Jets still  have some pressing issues facing them this season.

1. Is this team too much of a circus to really compete?

The Jets front office watched the team implode last season after back-to-back AFC title game appearances due to anomosity in the locker room and the budding of a number of huge egos. Fingers were pointed all over the place and I’m not sure what was more newsworthy during the season; Mark Sanchez’s ability as a quarterback or what cast member of Gossip Girl he was going home with.

So what did the brainiacs upstairs decide? Let’s bring in one of the most polarizing, attention-grabbing figures in the league and add it to our already tumultuous team. Oh and did we mention he is a quarterback that can’t throw?

Well with the addition of Tim Tebow the Jets again grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons. To be honest it has to be insulting as a Jets fan. Instead of improving the team the Jets went out and brought in a needless distraction. Sure, Sanchez isn’t great but he certainly resembles an NFL quarterback better than Tebow. So all off-season the supposed QB of the future (Sanchez) has had to deal with a firing squad of questions about his relationship with Tebow and whether or not he’s afraid of Tebow taking his spot. That’s how you instill confidence in your starter! And just last week Rex Ryan sent his players to leadership training. This is a week before the season. Isn’t it a little late for some motivational speaker at the local Marriot to instill a good team mentality?

The short answer to this question is therefore yes.

2. What week does Tim Tebow make his first start?

To clarify I mean at quarterback. Not punt coverage, wildcat-runner, long-snapper or official pre-game prayer sayer. Mark Sanchez

Thanks to ESPN I would prefer to watch more coverage of LeBron than Tebow. (Photo courtesy newyorkjets.com

desperately needs to take the next step and become a top-10 quarterback and he needs to do it now. His 2011 season (56.7 completion percentage, 3,474 yards, 26 TDs, 18 INTs) was the best of his three-year career but in comparison to the elite QBs it was nowhere near where he should be in his third year as a full-time starter. Jets fans have already begun to turn on the Sanchize and with Tebow in the wings it’s only a matter of time before the fans started chanting Tebow instead of booing.

With that said is Tebow the answer? No. The man led some inspiring drives last season after his defense held opponents to 13 points seemingly every game. He can’t consistently complete passes and just doesn’t play the position at the level needed in the NFL. Put him back on Florida and sure he’d be winning Heismans but on an NFL team he barely looks competent. Oh and if you think he’s turned the corner or some other BS just look how he played in the preseason.

Still if (and most people think when) Sanchez can’t get it done Tebow will undoubtedly be called upon to save the season. In the first five weeks of the season Sanchez plays three elite defenses in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Houston. I say the Jets are 1-4 at around that point and the pressure mounts. Then in seven when the Jets get slammed on the road against the hated Patriots, Sanchez will get benched. So if all you want to do is watch Tebow run in the rain and such tune in week eight against Miami.

3. Who will step on offense?

When the Jets were actually doing well a few years back the offense was built on running the ball and letting Sanchez just serve as a good game-manager, much like what San Francisco did last season. So then last season the Jets decided to change that entirely and begin passing more often. Just look at the numbers. In 2010 the Jets ran the ball 534 times for 2,374 yards and in 2011 rushed 443 times for 1,692 yards. And it’s not as if those attempts just disappeared because of fewer plays or something. They just went to the passing game which is anchored by a QB with a career completion percentage hovering in the mid fifties.

Um, what? You have all that success so you’re decision is to completely change things up?

In the preseason the offense looked even worse as it tried to find an identity. It couldn’t score a touchdown with Sanchez or Tebow, instead having to wait until Greg McElroy led them down the field to find the endzone. Also alarming is that Plaxico Burress, a favorite redzone target last season, is no longer on the team and LaDanian Tomlinson also left.

The obvious answer here is Sanchez but the Jets need a lot out of Shonn Greene and Santonio Holmes as well. Holmes is now the team’s best receiver and Greene needs to be the feature back he has been advertised as for the past few seasons. Also watch for rookie Stephen Hill. He’s a tall, athletic receiver from Georgia Tech. You know like that Calvin Johnson fellow out in Detroit.

4. How hot is Rex Ryan’s seat?

Sexy Rexy is looking even better this season thanks to a big weight loss regimen. But is it possible that Ryan is losing weight at such an

Looking good Rex. Your team…eh not so much. (Photo courtesy newyorkjets.com)

alarming rate because he is being sweated out by the increasing temperature of his coaching chair? Probably not but you get the idea.

After a pair of AFC championship games and tons of off-the-cuff remarks Ryan was everyone’s darling. Then suddenly the team he ran went 8-8 and looked dismal last season. Now one bad year doesn’t mean he should be fired but Ryan has been blowing a lot of smoke during his time with the Jets and although making it close to a Super Bowl is nice if the team keeps headed downward it won’t matter. Ryan doesn’t seem to think his job is in jeopardy anytime soon but another bad season will certainly not help.

So I would say on a scale of Nick Saban to Bobby Valentine I’d say Rex is leaning more towards the BoSox skipper.

5. How will the Jets ultimately fare this season?

It is probably been a bit overblown how bad the Jets will be this season. They did go 8-8 a year ago and that included some tight games and an 0-3 last three weeks. But the Jets schedule is pretty tough and two teams  in the division (New England and Buffalo) both got better in the off-season meaning a whole lot would have to go right for this team to make it to the playoffs. Gut instinct says not enough will. E-I-G-H-T Eight Eight Eight wins.

-Phil

How do you think the Jets will do this season? Have I been too harsh? Not harsh enough? Let us know on Twitter (@seeuinoctober) or in the comments.

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NFL Draft Grades: New York Jets

Stephen Hill got drafted by the Jets. What is he so excited about? (Frank Franklin II/AP)

The Jets really couldn’t have drafted anybody that would have caused more uproar in the Big Apple than the trade for Tim Tebow outside of trading the entire franchise for the second overall pick and taking RG3.  Still the Jets brought in new blood in a variety of positions to help take a team that seems a few steps back from title contention closer to that point.

Editor’s Note: I am an unapologetic New England Patriots fan and have no love for the Jets but I will try to be as unbiased as I can be about these picks. Can’t promise there won’t be any jabs but I’ll try to keep them more Cotto than Mayweather.

First Round- Pick No. 16- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

Well it wouldn’t be the Jets if they weren’t adding someone to their team that had some issues on and off the field and with their first pick they certainly did that. Honestly when I saw that the Jets had drafted Coples I laughed. This draft had a ton of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball and the Jets took the one with more red flags than a meeting of the Communist Party.

During his time at North Carolina Coples was a bit of a off-field distraction last season and even on the field had times where he looked like he was taking plays off causing his senior year to be nowhere near where it was projected. So a team that imploded last year because of locker room dissension is adding another guy that has quit on his team before? Not a great sign.

What is a good sign is Coples skill. He clearly has what it takes to be a dominant NFL defensive end with a great wingspan, good size and a great burst. If he buys in to the Jets scheme and be kept motivated he’ll end up being a great pick.

Grade: B. This grade would be much higher if not for the whole Haynesworth-ian feel he gives me.

Round Two- Pick No. 11- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

It wasn’t just the Patriots who traded up in this draft, although doing so in the second round isn’t something that will grab headlines as much. The Jets addressed their desperate need to get weapons for the passing game with this pick. With Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress the Jets had solid receivers but like most of the team guys became guys that battled in the locker room and caused so many of the problems that infected the Jets locker room, especially Holmes.

Hill was not the first receiver I thought the Jets would take but he is a pretty solid pick. He played in a system in college in which there was not a whole lot of passing but still managed some impressive receiving numbers. He is blazing fast (4.36 40-yard dash) and a heapload of size (6’4) and athleticism to be a deep threat.  Jets fans have to be hoping for him to fall in like another Yellow Jacket receiver that now goes by the name of a character from Transformers.

Grade: A. One of the better receivers not named Blackmon in the draft for a team that desperately needs passing weapons.

Round Three- Pick No. 14- Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State

Red Flags. Red Flags Everywhere. Will Coples warrant a first-round selection? (Mel Evans/AP)

Who says everyone that’s drafted has to be from a BCS powerhouse? Obviously this pick is based on the skills Davis has not on the competition he played against. No offense Sun Belt Conference enthusiasts but the SB is certainly not the SEC. Still Davis is a solid linebacker who fits in better at the 4-3but can definitely fit in the Jets 3-4 scheme rushing off the edge as he has a lot of speed and athleticism.  His speed will also make him valuable in pass defense as he may be able to keep up with good receiving tight ends. Hmm I wonder what team that might be directed towards?

Grade: C+/B-. I like this guy on paper but as the saying goes winning on paper is different than winning on the field.

Round Six- Pick No. 17- Josh Bush, FS, Wake Forest

The Tebow trade made the Jets give up picks in the middle rounds meaning the Jets were forced to look for value later in the draft than usual. They did compile picks (five) in the last two rounds and will hope some of those picks can  turn into something more.

I don’t think Bush is one of those guys. He has versatility (switched from cornerback to safety last year) and plays the ball well but he just doesn’t do anything especially well. I see his ceiling as a solid backup safety that can make some plays on special teams as well.

Grade: C+. Definite value pick, will contribute but never be more than a decent player.

Round Six- Pick No. 32- Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor

Really liked this pick, as much as I hate giving the Jets credit.  New York needs better running with LT gone and Shonn Green never turning into the every down back they thought he would. Ganaway played in the high-powered offense that propelled RG# to the Heisman and scored 21 touchdowns while rushing for over 1,500 yards last season. Also anyone that watched the Alamo Bowl against Washington knows how explosive he can be as he ran for 200 yards and scored 5 touchdowns overshadowing his Heisman Trophy winning teammate.

Grade: A. Getting a guy with Ganaway’s explosive upside here is a great deal.

Round Six- Pick No. 33- Robert T. Griffin, OG, Baylor

Wasn’t much of a wait for that next pick huh?Who better to bring in to improve a weakened offensive line that a guy that blocked for a Heisman Trophy winner and for the running back you just took? Griffin was a Second-Team All-Big 12 selection during 2011 and is a pretty nice blocker. Good value this late in the draft.

Grade: B.

Round Seven- Pick No. 242- Antonio Allen, SS, South Carolina

At this late in the draft if Allen can come in and contribute on special teams it’s a good pick. He played a safety/linebacker mashup in college so that is something the Jets will love as they continue to try to figure out ways to stop the Patriots explosive tight ends. Good blitzer which also fits with the Jets defensive strategy.

Grade: B+

Round Seven- Pick No. 244- Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan

I’m sure White is a nice kid but I don’t see much of a future for him. Getting taken this late in the draft, out of a small school even on a team that needs receiving depth I still just don’t see him making an impact on the offense in the next few years or really ever. (Be sure to remember this and rub my face in my error if I’m wrong).

Grade: C.

-Phil

How did the Jets draft? Concerns about Coples? Excited for Hill? Let us know on Twitter (@seeuinoctober) or in the comments.

 

 

 

 

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The Backup Plan

Tebow doesn't take a snap and he has billboards supporting him. Sanchez gets to two AFC Championships and is fighting for his job.

If there is a God, he isn’t a Jets fan. He might not even be a Tebow fan. From listening to sports talk radio and reading various publications it sounds like most people agree that trading for the former Heisman winner was at the very least questionable. So far the quarterback has held more press conferences than he had completions all last season.

This off-season the biggest issues for Gang Green were shoring up the offensive line, getting a possession receiver and figuring out how to get the running game going again. The official story out of Jets camp is that Tim Tebow will be Mark Sanchez’s backup and will run part of new offensive coordinator Tony Sporano’s wildcat system. I don’t want to beat a dead Bronco but this is a first round draft pick, starting quarterback and playoff game winner who does not even want to ride the pine behind a middle-of-the-road quarterback like Kyle Orton. Sanchez isn’t as bad as his reputation and in business as in life you have to pick one thing and ride it out. Once drafting that QB who you think will be the future of the franchise, it’s time to get a strong offensive line, decent back and solid receiving core. Too many QBs not enough receivers.

Some felt that bringing someone in would light a fire under Sanchez to work harder, but that is why Drew Stanton was signed. I’ve heard many talk about how a professional athlete shouldn’t worry about hurt feelings and should work for the pay check and pride. Really? The reason why players like Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are elite is because they are rare. Not every athlete has that drive, but many have the talent. Eli Manning has had to deal with the doubters throughout his career, but the coaching staff and front office stuck by him and now he has developed into an elite quarterback and probably a hall of famer. It is time for the Jets to make their bed and sleep in it.

I will allow the Jets sometime to work it out. Yesterday in Tebow’s press conference he made it clear that he is so gracious and excited to be a Jet. Abundantly clear. If you were playing a drinking game with the word “excited” and all variations you would have gone through a 30 rack. He talked about trying to expand his role and work hard to improve, but his role will already be above and beyond that of a backup. He will do more than hold the clipboard according to Ryan and GM  Mike Tannenbaum who say Tebow may get up to 20 snaps a game. It is possible that they will win a few games with the surprise factor next season and that is all that really matters. However if this blows up in their face I won’t hesitate to say I told you so. I’m still carrying a grudge since I picked them for the Super Bowl.

-Erik

Can the Tebow thing work? Let us know what you think via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave us a comment.

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Live By the Loud Mouth, Die By the Loud Mouth

The only thing bigger than Sexy Rexy's mouth is his gut, ego, love of feet...

Even with the Jets out of the playoffs after a disappointing season the soap opera that is Gang Green is still churning out weekly episodes. On the latest edition of “As the Jets Burn” anonymous players come out to rip quarterback Mark Sanchez and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer leaves the team or is forced out. This one may have been more juicy than last week when the fourth string quarterback got the ball rolling.

While several players were quoted in the New York Daily News article, the complaints can be summed up by the following statement: “We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice,” said one player. “He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched.” Players believe Sanchez lacks the work ethic necessary to become an elite NFL quarterback and feel that is hurting the team. The media would lead you to believe that Sanchez had a horrible season, but the numbers don’t really back that up. He had a mediocre year and showed some improvement especially considering the offensive line, which has been best in the league, wasn’t as good and the running game was a shell of the previous season. In order for a team to go 8-8 there has to be deficiencies at multiple positions.

These quotes coming from the players were created out of frustration. The frustration of missing the playoffs for the first time under the young Sanchez and the frustration of yet again failing to realize the expectations placed upon themselves. Many former players and those in the media have come out saying that it is cowardly to make statements such as these anonymously. On Mike and Mike this morning they even parodied Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” with “If you said it then you shoulda put your name on it.” I believe they shouldn’t have said anything in the first place to reporters. We all have frustrations and need to let off some steam from time to time, but we know who we can tell and who not to tell. That’s like finding out your best friend is cheating on his girlfriend and you have to tell somebody so you tell your girlfriend, who is friends with his girlfriend. That is going to come back to you. I don’t have as big of a problem with the anonymity as most people. They needed Sanchez to hear it and unless he is vacationing on the Moon, he did. When training camp comes along all wounds will be healed and the team will once again set out to win a guaranteed Super Bowl.

The offense will have to carry on next season without Brian Schottenheimer, who was formally announced as being no longer with the team today. It is unclear

Yeah Sparano! Smart hire?

as to whether he was fired or left on his own volition, but this is a move everyone saw coming. The fact that Rex Ryan came out and gave his conditional support for Schottenheimer was puzzling and now seems to be as reliable as anything else the trash talking coach says. Ryan said his offensive coordinator would return unless he landed a head coaching gig knowing he had interviewed with Jacksonville and was considered a top candidate. When Mike Mularkey was announced as the Jaguar’s head coach the Jets and Rex had to go back on their word. Now it looks like Schottenhiemer will seek refuge in the college ranks on the staff of Nick Saban as his offensive coordinator.

So who do the Jets bring in to replace Schottenheimer? Well it wouldn’t be the Gang Green way to bring in a no name kind of guy with a good history as a quarterback guru to groom Sanchez. Instead they have hired Tony Sparano, the recently fired Dolphins head coach. The running attack, which helped buoy Sanchez, was stymied last season and that is one of Sparano’s specialties. Not only does Sparano fit schematically as the Jets look to move away from the pass happy Schottenheimer, he also brings a different personality to the team. Coming from the Bill Parcells coaching tree, Sparano is much more business like and no-nonsense than the circus atmosphere brought with Rex Ryan.

There are also rumors that former Chiefs coach Todd Haley will join Ryan’s staff. This would be another home run for the Jets. Haley is known for working with quarterbacks and would prove as a great mentor for Sanchez. He also brings more of a stoic presence coming from the Bill Belichick coaching tree. Some suggest that this approach may prove to be “too many cooks in the kitchen,” but Haley’s staff in Kansas City included two former head coaches in Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis and Sparano wasn’t even a coordinator before Parcells hired him in Miami. This approach would likely only last for a season as both men will at least get interviews for vacant head coaching positions, but it could help the Jets rebound from the dumpster fire that was this season.

-Erik

Should players bash teammates in the media anonymously or should they own up to it? Smart move bringing in Sparano and possibly Haley? Let us know what you think via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave us a comment.

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Next Season is Never Guaranteed

It was a disappointing end for Gang Green. (Seth Wenig/AP)

For the third straight season Rex Ryan has failed to deliver on his infamous “Super Bowl Guarantee.” At least in his first two seasons the outspoken coach came close to the top of the mountain with Gang Green reaching consecutive AFC Championship games. Finishing 8-8 this season was a bitter disappointment for a franchise that believed themselves to be on the verge of greatness.

Now it appears that the boastful ways of Sexy Rexy and the Gang are coming undone at the seams. There are questions about the viability of the offense with Mark Sanchez as quarterback. Looking at his numbers it doesn’t seem like Sanchez should receive all of the blame. Sure he wasn’t “elite,” but the very definition of the word excludes the vast majority from that distinction. The Jets transitioned their offense to more of a passing offense, and they played from behind in games, forcing Sanchez to throw more than ever before. His completion percentage as well as touchdown to interception ratio improved, but this was the year he was supposed to take a leap forward. Sanchez didn’t have nearly as much help in previous years with poor offensive line play and a diminished running game and an aging wide receiving core.

On the Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio, Colin does a segment reviewing his predictions from the previous week and addresses both what he got right and what he got wrong. Where Erik was wrong: 1. I picked the Jets to win the Super Bowl, but they failed to make the playoffs. 2. I thought Plaxico Burress would be a huge pick up for the Jets and he was eh. Burress caught eight touchdowns this season, one better than his predecessor Braylon Edwards, but only had 45 catches to Edwards’ 53 and fell 300 yards short of Edwards. This season more pressure was put on Plax because of the previously mentioned deficiencies as well as the poor production from Santonio Holmes. The wide receiver managed less receptions and yards despite playing his first full season with the Jets after losing four games last year to suspension. Now the man who made the flying Jet touchdown celebration famous looks as if he may have kamikazed the locker room.

In the final game of the season Holmes could be seen arguing with teammates in the huddle then left the game to sit on the sideline by himself appearing

Hey! Santonio! The ball is the other way!!!

extremely disinterested in the game. After the game tempers flared and Ryan got emotional when addressing the team. This rag-tag bunch is used to playing the bully and the underdog, but this year the bully got punched in the mouth. Now the talking heads are forced to discuss whether or not the Jets should get rid of Holmes despite the potential salary cap ramifications. Several teammates have come out in Holmes’ defense including Jericho Cotchery, but the loudest voice came from back-up quarterback Greg McElroy who called the Jets “selfish.” He questioned the dedication and heart of the team and has placed Gang Green in the forefront of football discussions despite the fact that they are all at home watching TV and no longer playing.

The best part about the entire controversy is that it takes at least a little airtime away from the Tim Tebow love fest that has taken over ESPN. I think the Jets should keep Holmes despite this incident. Last season he was the only playmaker on the team and still looks as though he has a good relationship with Sanchez. Holmes is potentially a big time threat on the outsides that no other Jet can match and giving that up will hurt the offense. Besides he wasn’t the only Jet behaving badly post game. Earlier in the season coach Ryan was seen flipping the bird to a Patriot fan and after Sunday’s loss he had some tough questions to answer.

1. The guarantees. With the Jets falling short yet again, only in far more embarrassing fashion, Sexy Rexy had to put his foot in his mouth (although he probably doesn’t mind doing that). He responded to critics saying he always aims to achieve success at the highest level and those who don’t are “losers.” I will defend Ryan on the guarantees in a similar manner in which I defended Eli Manning preseason. When asked if he was an “elite” quarterback in the class of Tom Brady and brother Peyton, Eli said that he believes he is and the controversy began. What do you want the leader of your football team to say? I like the confidence of both men. When pressed they both stood their ground and firmly stated their belief in themselves and their abilities, which is something people can rally behind.

2. The Sanchize. Rex was asked about the rumors that the Jets may be interested in Peyton Manning if perhaps, you know hypothetically he becomes available

Should Schottenheimer be fired? Maybe somebody else will just hire him so Rex doesn't have to break up with him. (Kathy Willens/AP)

. Rex’s answer here was not so good. He said that if he could draft a quarterback he would take Manning over Sanchez. No shit. Pardon my French I really don’t swear much off the blog and never on the blog, but come on Rex! The question wasn’t whether Manning was better than Sanchez or if he was a hall of famer or not, it was if you would want the team to take him. Correct response: Absolutely not. We are happy with Sanchez and believe he will only get better. If Manning becomes available he is an incredible talent and a hall of fame player, but he isn’t a Jet. If they did end up getting him oh well nobody really believes what Ryan says anyway. Maybe he could have guaranteed the Jets won’t go after the QB in the off season.

The Jets are less of a football team and more of a soap opera and Rex wouldn’t have it any other way. Ryan gave a vote of confidence to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who many believe is to blame for the problems with the offense, saying unless he is offered a head coaching job (Schottenheimer has interviewed for the opening in Jacksonville) Ryan will retain his O-coordinator. This is sure to be an exciting off season, but I find it refreshing to have an honest head coach breaking up the mundane interviews of Bill Belichick who can’t give a straight answer about what he ate for breakfast.

-Erik

What is the most important off season move for the Jets? Let us know via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave us a comment.

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