NY Jets Training Camp Preview

July 29th, 2010


That’s it my friends, there is no gray area, this team is loaded for bear and the mandate is crystal clear. Rex Ryan is telling anyone who will listen, this team expects to win the Super Bowl this year.

They don’t want to win it. They don’t hope to win it. He expects to win it, and to a man his players are drinking the kool aid.

Veteran RB LaDaninan Tomlinson is stoked for his first NY Jets training camp. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

On paper this is the most talented Jets team I have seen in my lifetime not counting the SBIII squad. There have been other talented Jets teams to be sure, one that highlighted the sack exchange and another that offered brillaint skill position players like Wes Walker, Al Toon and Freeman McNeil, but from top to bottom this is the best since SBIII in my view.

Now the hard part begins, it all starts this week at SUNY Cortland, the arduous task of molding this awesome collection of talent into a cohesive unit that looks as good on the field as it does on paper, and as an added plus we get a birds eye view on HBO’s hit series, Hard Knocks, this year featuring our very own New York Jets and no doubt starring Rex Ryan.

So lets take a look at three training camp battles worth our attention, followed by the three areas of concern, then three reasons this team will accomplish its stated goal, and concluding with some final thoughts.


1. LEFT GUARD – Vladimir Ducasse Vs Matt Slauson

Ducasse is a mass of humanity second only to Kris Jenkins on this team in the “mountain man” department. He was drafted in RD 2 but its been reported by our resident draft guru, Tony Pauline (TFY), that the Jets thought so highly of Ducasse they may have drafted him in RD 1 had Kyle Wilson not slid to them late in the first round. But Ducasse is from a small program, UMASS, and still raw, so its remains to be seen if he can get up to speed by opening day. The size and strength are awesome and his ceiling is high, but he has to learn the playbook and sharpen his technique.

Slauson is a second year player from Nebraska where he was recruited by and played for Jets offensive line coach Bill Callahan who was then the Cornhuskers head coach. It is believed that Callahan had much to do with the Jets drafting Slauson as well. So don’t sleep on this young man. He doesn’t have Vlad’s awesome physical dimensions and high ceiling, but he’s a very solid sleeper who has a long history with Bill Callahan and a one year head start over Ducasse in the Jets system.

The favorite is Vlad the Impaler, but it’s not a slam dunk.

2. FULLBACK – Tony Richardson Vs John Conner

The ageless wonder verses a much younger version of himself.

That’s pretty much what this boils down too.

Richardson, though 38 years old which is ancient in football years, remains a highly effective lead blocker in Rex Ryan’s gound and pound scheme, but no longer represents any kind of threat with the ball in his hands.

Conner, whom the Jets traded up for in the April draft, was hailed as college football’s most devistating lead blocker, in fact his team-mates at Kentucky called him “the terminator”, alluding to both his name and his bone-crunching blocks, but as was the case with a young Tony Richardson, Conner is also a threat as both a runner and a receiver out of the backfield.

My guess is Richardson keeps his job for one more year while the Jets groom Conner to replace him in 2011, but this kid has talent and at 38 no-one is a sure thing to make an NFL team, so this will bear some watching and the deciding factor could be the sleeper Jason Davis. The Jets like him too and may not want to lose him, so if Conner looks ready to start it is possible the Jets will keep the two youngsters and cut bait with the aging veteran, but I expect Richardson to be here in 2010 and start.

3. PUNTER – Steve Weatherford Vs TJ Conley

Steve Weatherford is the incumbant which is usually an advantage, but unless Weatherford is a lot better than what I saw last year I’ll be rooting for Conley (or someone else) to unseat him. I’m a big believer in punters who have a cannon and a huge detractor of the so-called “directional punter”, which too me means he has no leg.

Again, unless Weatherford was hiding his leg strength last year, in my view he is the latter (DP) and that means I will be rooting for the other guy unless he too has no leg, in which case I hope we are scanning the waiver wire as the final cuts are submitted.



I’m not a big fan of Shaun Ellis. In my opinion he is a pretty good player, but no better than that.

I like Mike DeVito and am hoping he steps it up a few notches as a starter, but that remains to be seen.

I love Kris Jenkins, but we have to hope his former dominance can carry over following ACL surgery and hope he can remain healthy for a full season.

The depth, with players like Pouha, Pito, Kroul and El Busto (AKA Gholston) leading the charge can be okay I suppose, but its not exactly awe inspiring.

With our Corners (best group in the league in my view) we should be okay even if Pool goes down, and incedible in the D-Backfield if he doesn’t, but we’re gunning for a Super Bowl so incredible is what we’re shooting for.


This year Mark Sanchez will be asked to do a lot more and he will have to raise his game to another level if winning the Super Bowl is the objective. I mean you can win a Super Bowl without a franchise quarterback, with just a game manager complimenting a great defense and running game, but its rare and not a reliable formula for success in the modern game.

Rex knows this, that’s why we brought in Braylon Edwards last year and Santonio Holmes this year, and why we traded up to draft a QB in the TOP 5 two years ago.

Last year it was strictly Ground & Pound by necessity, because we were trying to win with a rookie QB, but year two will show more balance and if Sanchez is ready to take that next step as appeared to be the case down the stretch and in the post season last year when he really started to take his game to another level, then this team has a much better chance to win it all.


See comments for #3 in Training Camp Battles for Punting concerns.

As for Place-kicker, the final 4 free agency rules dictated the Jets had to lose a free agent before they could sign one, so the Jets had to let Jay Feely walk before they could sign Jason Taylor. They then turned around and signed Nick Folk to replace Feely. It was a calcuated gamble they had to make, but I’m sure the Jets would have preferred to keep Feely and sign Taylor if not for that rule.



Despite the few concerns listed above, there is no such thing as the perfect team in the salary cap/free agency era. Even the best teams have some areas for concern, but make no mistake about it, the Jets are without question amongst the best in terms of overall talent if not the very best, not to mention they have a pair of starting Corners (Revis and Cromartie) who have a chance to be the leagues best duo since Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes, and their nickel (1st RD Pick, Kyle Wilson) can make it a threesome for the ages.


Don’t be fooled by the jovial personality and crazy uncle routine, this man is  a football lifer and a defensive genius who can motivate a house plant. He waited a long time for this opportunity, getting passed over for lesser men, now he has his shot and now he has his team, primed to make a run, and these players would kill for him.


The kid is committed, has worked his tail off, invited the WR’s out to his home in California and paid their expenses just to get some extra work in, and I don’t believe what we saw down the stretch and in the post season was a mirage. I believe we saw the game slowing down in his minds eye and caught a glimpse of how good he can be, and I anticipate seeing even more growth in year two as Sanchez rises to the level of franchise quarterback.


I have never been as optimistic about the Jets as I am on the eve of this training camp. Not even in 99 when the Jets were a trendy pick following their loss to Denver in the 98 AFC Championship Game. Not in the 80’s when the Sack Exchange was all the rave.

In my opinion this is the best team the Jets have fielded since 68/69 and I expect the same results. Rex expects this team to win the Super Bowl this year, his players expect the same, and so do I.

But I think its essential for the Jets to secure the #1 Seed because I also expect to see Indy in the AFC Title Game again, and it would behoove the Jets to make sure that rematch is in OUR BUILDING, out-doors in the swirling winds at the Meadowlands and as far away from Peyton’s beloved dome as we can get.

Hammers final mock draft

April 18th, 2010

Barring any last minute trades or revelations pertaining to the draft this will be my final mock draft installment. At the conclusion I am also submitting a 2nd round projection for the NY Jets.

EDIT: Last minute revelations about the Jets possibly cutting ties with Faneca & Ellis, as well as the Chargers rumored interest in Linval Joseph, has caused me to re-think the Jets selections.


1) ST. LOUIS RAMS – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

2) DETROIT LIONS – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

3) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

4) WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

5) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma

6) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

7) CLEVELAND BROWNS – Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan

8} OAKLAND RAIDERS – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

9) BUFFALO BILLS – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

10) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Joe Haden, CB, Florida

11) DENVER BRONCOS – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

12) MIAMI DOLPHINS – CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson

13) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa 

14) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech

15) NEW YORK GIANTS – Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama

16) TENNESSEE TITANS – Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida

17) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Earl Thomas, S, Texas

18) PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

19) ATLANTA FALCONS – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

20) HOUSTON TEXANS – Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State

21) CINCINNATI BENGALS – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma


23) GREEN BAY PACKERS – Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas

24) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

25) BALTIMORE RAVENS – Everson Griffen, DE/OLB, USC


27) DALLAS COWBOYS – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

28) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Linval Joseph, DL, East Carolina

29) NEW YORK JETS – Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho

30) MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Jahvid Best, RB, California

31) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State

32) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida


ROUND 2 (JETS) – Alex Carrington, DE, Arkansas State

Hams TOP 100 Draft Prospects

April 16th, 2010

NOTE: This ranking does NOT take red flags such as injuries and/or character issues into account. Unlike NFL clubs I am not privy to all of the information, therefore I am not qualified to make those calls.

  1. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
  2. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
  3. Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
  4. Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
  5. Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
  6. Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
  7. Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
  8. Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
  9. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
  10. CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson
  11. Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
  12. Earl Thomas, S, Texas
  13. Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
  14. Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
  15. Joe Haden, CB, Florida
  16. Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
  17. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
  18. Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
  19. Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
  20. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
  21. Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
  22. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
  23. Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
  24. Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas
  25. Everson Griffen, DE/OLB, USC
  26. Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
  27. Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU
  28. Linval Joseph, NT/DE, East Carolina
  29. Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
  30. Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
  31. Tyson Alualu, DE, California
  32. Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
  33. Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
  34. Brian Price, DT, UCLA
  35. Jahvid Best, RB, California
  36. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
  37. Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
  38. Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
  39. Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana
  40. Daryl Washington, LB, TCU
  41. Charles Brown, OT, USC
  42. Alex Carrington, DE, Arkansas State
  43. Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
  44. Lamaar Houston, DE, Texas
  45. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
  46. Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
  47. Vladimir Ducasse, T/G, UMASS
  48. Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU 
  49. Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
  50. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
  51. Jason Worilds, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
  52. Koa Misi, DE/OLB, Utah
  53. Jimmy Graham, TE, Miami
  54. Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon
  55. Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest
  56. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, DB, Indiana PA
  57. Nate Allen, S, South Florida
  58. Taylor Mays, S, USC
  59. Chris Cook, DB, Virginia
  60. Corey Wootton, DE, Northwestern
  61. Eric Norwood, LB, South Carolina
  62. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
  63. Sean Lee, LB, Penn State
  64. Ricky Sapp, DE/OLB, Clemson
  65. Novorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
  66. Thaddeus Gibson, DE/OLB, Ohio State
  67. Damian Williams, WR, USC
  68. Taylor Price, WR, Ohio
  69. Torell Troup, DT, Central Florida
  70. Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
  71. Cam Thomas, DT, North Carolina
  72. Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida
  73. Carlton Mitchell, WR, South Florida
  74. Dexter McCluster, WR, Mississippi
  75. Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson
  76. Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati
  77. Andre Roberts, WR, Citadel
  78. Jon Asamoah, OG, Illinois
  79. Dominique Franks, CB, Oklahoma
  80. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
  81. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
  82. Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas
  83. Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota
  84. Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
  85. Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State
  86. Ben Tate, RB, Auburn
  87. Mario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee
  88. Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
  89. Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale
  90. Austen Lane, DE/OLB, Murray State
  91. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, SMU
  92. Roddrick Muckelroy, LB, Texas
  93. Kevin Thomas, CB, USC
  94. D’Anthony Smith, DT, Louisiana Tech
  95. Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati
  96. Matt Tennant, C, Boston College
  97. Anthony McCoy, TE, USC
  98. Al Woods, DT, LSU
  99. Selvish Capers, OT, West Virginia
  100. John Jerry, OG, Mississippi

Hammers annual mock draft

April 15th, 2010

1) ST. LOUIS RAMS – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

2) DETROIT LIONS – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

3) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

4) WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

5) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma

6) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

7) CLEVELAND BROWNS – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

8} OAKLAND RAIDERS – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

9) BUFFALO BILLS – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

10) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

11) DENVER BRONCOS – Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama

12) MIAMI DOLPHINS – Earl Thomas, S, Texas

13) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Joe Haden, CB, Florida

14) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson

15) NEW YORK GIANTS – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

16) TENNESSEE TITANS – Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech

17) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan

18) PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida

19) ATLANTA FALCONS – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

20) HOUSTON TEXANS – Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State

21) CINCINNATI BENGALS – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida

22) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas

23) GREEN BAY PACKERS – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

24) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

25) BALTIMORE RAVENS – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State


27) DALLAS COWBOYS – Mike Iupati, OL, Idaho

28) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Jahvid Best, RB, California

29) NEW YORK JETS – Linval Joseph, NT/DE, East Carolina

30) MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Everson Griffen, DE, USC

31) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State

32) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida