13th Selection Overview (Part 2)

April 25th, 2013

It’s funny writing about the NFL Draft. There’s two sides to the equation and you can’t really take both and talk about all the possibilities without pumping out an essay that people lose interest in half way through. It’s you write about what the Jets should do, or what the Jets will probably do.

What piece will Mornhinweg receive for the 2013 season?

Part 1 of this article (discussing the Jets ninth overall selection) was what the Jets will probably do. I personally rather take an offensive lineman at ninth overall, but when I post NFL writers picks who are in and around the discussion and nine out of 12 have the Jets selecting Barkevious Mingo I’m not going to be one to comb over a bunch of scenarios that none of them have. Neither am I going to go over scenarios where the Jets are trading picks. Just felt I needed to explain that from the other day.

But we’re only a few hours away from the draft so forget those guys. We’re under the operation the Jets are taking either Mingo or Chance Warmack ninth overall. Lets play out both scenarios.

The Jets Select Mingo Ninth Overall

So Rex Ryan apparently does have some input towards his roster and the Jets select the highest percentage guy of my random survey of writers. The no-brainer decision from there is someone on the offensive side of the ball, but who? If Warmarck falls, no need to go into why the Jets will take him or Jonathan Cooper out of North Carolina. It’s one of those picks where the timer will probably get close towards running out but everyone and their family members knows what’s going to happen.

But lets say both lineman have been selected and the decision is between Tavon Austin and Tyler Eifert. JetsInsider running mate Chris Nimbley goes over this scenario in his most recent write up and strong arguments can be made for each. I understand Austin can make you all giggly inside thinking about what he can do in open space, but with Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley being the two primary receivers do the Jets really go small again?

Or the Jets can grab the most NFL-ready tight end of the group out of Notre Dame. This 6′5″, 250-pound passive aggressive tight end is supposedly the complete package (hands, run block, pass block) and can make an instant impact. It was easy to see Mark Sanchez missed Dustin Keller missing the majority of last season and even created a nice, developing chemistry with Jeff Cumberland.

The Jets Select Warmack Ninth Overall

So Idzik really is running the show and gets his cornerstone lineman. Do the Jets go back to back offensive selections? Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if the Jets were deciding between Austin, Mingo and Eifert would it? (That’s my best argument for taking Warmack at nine if possible so the Jets can have this ‘problem’).

Something about Austin just doesn’t sit right with me. If the Jets had Darren Sproles last season, would he have been as effective? Probably not right? That’s the feeling I have with Austin. If the Jets offensive line struggles and Sanchez doesn’t bounce back, will they have wasted the 13th pick and have traded Darrelle Revis for a glorified kick returner? Sounds eh, I’m passing on the roadrunner.

Eifert or Mingo. Mingo or Eifert. Well Jets, happy draft night. Hopefully it’s one to remember.

In my opinion

What the Jets SHOULD do: Warmack (ninth), Mingo (13th).

What the Jets WILL do: Mingo (ninth), Eifert (13th).

What I want personally (if that even matters to anyone): Warmack (ninth), Eifert (13th).

Jets Look for Home Run in NFL Draft (Part 1)

April 23rd, 2013

Before we dive into who the Jets should or could draft and who some NFL writers have the Jets selecting with their two top-15 draft selections, I’m dishing out my quick opinion on Revis deal.

The Jets needed to infuse talent to the football team and this was the best approach towards that goal. Revis was (no one for sure knows if he still is, which HAS to come into play when discussing this) a player a team needed to win a championship…when the rest of the team was ready for a championship. Even if Revis came back 100% (more unlikely than likely if we’re being honest), the Jets would be taking quite the large leap of faith in their offense going from the worst in the NFL towards somewhere in the middle of the pack to even compete for a playoff spot, let alone any further. That’s with a first year offensive coordinator and a bunch of new pieces playing together for the first time. No thanks.

GM John Idzik leads the Jets through their first NFL Draft under his tenure.

Or, the Jets can receive a top-15 draft pick for a player coming off major injury (and most likely a third-rounder in 2014) who most likely wasn’t coming back the following season. The Jets had little to no leverage and got the chance to infuse talent to their roster right away. Keeping Revis would’ve been like been stuck in time when the Jets were in the running for deep playoff runs. The Jets were No. 2 in the NFL in pass defense last year without him, and if Rex is going to do anything well, it will be on the defensive side with what he has.

Yes it’s a frustrating player to lose at a core position, but Jets are in rebuilding mode and were never truthfully in a position to keep him with the way the roster is constructed currently (Jets were never, ever, ever giving him near $16 million a year).

On to the draft!

Lets list some predictions from around the websites we’ve visited way too many times in our lives. This is only for the Jets first, first-round selection which is ninth overall.

Mel Kiper, ESPN: OLB Barkevious Mingo (LSU)

Todd McShay, ESPN: OLB Barkevious Mingo (LSU)
Don Banks, SI: CB Dee Milliner (Alabama)

Ron Rang, CBS: OLB Barkevious Mingo (LSU)

Dane Brugler, CBS: OLB Barkevious Mingo (LSU)

Pat Kirwan, CBS: OLB Barkevious Mingo (LSU)

Pete Prisco, CBS: WR Tavon Austin (West Virginia)

Josh Norris, NFL.com: OLB Barkevious Mingo (LSU)

Charley Casserly, NFL.com: OLB Barkevious Mingo (LSU)

Matt Smith, NFL.com: OLB Jarvis Jones (Georgia)

Charles Davis, NFL.com: OLB Barkevious Mingo (LSU)

Okay so this list looked way different before the trade was finalized. As you can see, the consensus selection for the Jets is OLB Barkevious Mingo out of LSU. Jets have swung and missed on a few pass rushers in recent history (no need to dive further into that) but it seems the words athleticism and versatility are involved in everyone’s description for the 6′4″, 240-pound pass rusher.

There are two things that bother me with this selection, but has been knocked down to one with the addition of the 13th overall pick. If the Jets only had one selection I would want them to draft on the offensive side of the football. I would’ve went the boring route and picked up Alabama Guard Chance Warmack. The second issue I have with Mingo, which is admittedly a nitpick, is that he didn’t start playing football until his junior year in high school. I know there have been plenty of successful players who have went that route, but in a perfect world I want someone who has been on the football field for more than five years.

The three selections that weren’t Mingo, were Alabama CB Dee Milliner, WR Tavon Austin out of West Virginia and Jarvis Jones, LB out of Georgia.

I do not endorse the Milliner selection. Assuming one of the Jets first two draft selections is a defensive side, I wouldn’t be happy with anyone other than Mingo or Jones. I also don’t believe Milliner will even get to the Jets at nine to be in the mix. There are more important issues than replacing Revis right away. The secondary of the Jets will be helped most with quarterback pressure, in comparison to another corner.

Repeatedly, I do not endorse the Austin selection for one simple reason. There is more of a possibility in picking Mingo, Austin with the ninth and 13th pick respectively, than taking Austin with the ninth and Mingo with the 13th pick. The teams in between the Jets two selections Titans, Chargers, Dolphins. From the websites where I gathered these selections, no one has Austin going to one of those three teams, so…why even consider grabbing Austin before Mingo?

Lastly is Jones, who unfortunately has one looming red flag. Jones was diagnosed with a spinal stenosis condition while he was at USC and according to Cbssports.com it’s, “a condition which has led some notable NFL players to end their careers rather abruptly.” I’ll take the guy with the higher upside and no medical history (and NFL.com’s comparison is DeMarcus Ware. That’s not bad, right?).

The New York Jets should take Mingo with the ninth overall selection in this Thursday’s NFL Draft.

Jets trade Darrelle Revis to Buccaneers

April 21st, 2013

The Jets have agreed to send Darrelle Revis to Buccaneers for draft picks, the most valuable being the 13th overall selection in the 2013 NFL draft on Thursday, April 25th. The Jets also will receive the Buccaneers fourth-round draft pick in 2014, but will most likely be turned into a third-round pick if Revis is on the Buccaneers roster early March that year.

Darrelle Revis signed a six-year, $96 million contract to play in Tampa Bay.

The brand new Revis contract spans over six years for $96 million with a $13 million base per year. One of the interesting factors in the Revis contract debate was his worth coming off a major injury and surgery. Besides good faith and workouts, it’s still up in the air that he will return to the high level everyone is used to seeing. Apparently Revis is a gambling man, as zero of the $96 million is guaranteed.

John Idzik spoke to the media after the official announcement of the trade, opening with “We wanted to take this opportunity to formally announce the trade of Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” said Idzik.

“Obviously when it involves a very talented player who’s had a significant impact to our team and our community, there’s much, much thought put into a move like this.  And there are many factors involved, multiple factors involved in a move of this magnitude.  So it’s not taken lightly. Darrelle had a desire to remain a Jet for his career, and I can share with you that we genuinely wanted to follow through with that desire, as well.  We shared that desire.  However, it’s not as simple as player wanting club and club wanting player.  When it comes down to something of this magnitude, there are many factors involved, and I’d just like to outline a few of them so that you can gain a feel for what we were considering and then ultimately how we came to the conclusion that we did today.”

The Revis trade enhances the sentiment which screams the Jets are sacrificing the present for the future to which Idzik responded, “No, I wouldn’t characterize it as sacrifice.  I think any time you contemplate a trade, we’re always going to have both the short and long-term interests of the club in mind because we feel like with the compensation we received, we’re going to gain some short-term benefits, that we’re going to get some very valued players on our roster.  They’re going to help us in years to come,” said Idzik.

“I don’t think it’s quite that simple, that we’re sacrificing a short term versus long term.  We do look at both of those. When we made this decision, we felt like this was the best for both the short and long-term success of the New York Jets.”

Rex Ryan also chimed in, commenting on how he was a part of the process. “We’ve been discussing the possibilities of a trade with Darrelle, and I was involved in the entire process,” said Ryan. “And again, you look at the big picture as we’ve talked about short‑term and long‑term.  I think this, as in all good trades, will benefit both teams.”

Lastly, Woody Johnson talked about the chances of winning in the upcoming 2013 season. “You know, I’ve been at this a while now, and there has never been a year where I haven’t tried to win using everything that I have and tried to build a team that is capable of doing that.  This year is no different.  I mean, we’ve had great years and we’ve had some years that are disappointing, i.e., last year,” Johnson said.

“But my objective and my willingness to do anything that I can do to make the team better is there. This decision was part of it.  We’re constantly making hard decisions to try to make the team better and more competitive for our fans.  That’s who we work for. I don’t want to give anything but 100 percent effort to this, and I know John and Rex are committed to it and so is everybody in the building.  We’re committed to putting a team on the field that’s a winning team and doing it in a deliberative and sound way.”

The Jets have a little over $8 million of cap room after the trade.

Jets Sign RB Mike Goodson

March 15th, 2013

After losing Shonn Greene to the Tennessee Titans, the Jets have signed former Raiders running back Mike Goodson to a three-year deal, $6.9 million deal. Last season, Goodson rushed for 221 yards on 35 carries and caught 16 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown.

The Jets running back group consists of Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight and Mike Goodson.

The fourth-round pick from Texas A&M will be in the mix for the starting job, competing with Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight, but no one in that group is the kind of back who is a full game workhorse. Look for the carries to be split somewhat evenly unless something else develops with the running back position through the draft.

The Jets also announced the re-signing of full back Lex Hilliard.

Jets Sign David Garrard

March 11th, 2013

Today, the Jets announced the signing of nine-year veteran quarterback David Garrard. The 35-year-old quarterback missed the 2011 season with a back injury and couldn’t make it out of training camp  for the Miami Dolphins last season after a knee injury. This is the Jets second attempt to elevate the play of Mark Sanchez through competition, after that same strategy resulted in a fail of epic proportions last season.

Here are a few things to consider about the signing of Garrard:

GM John Idzik decided QB David Garrard will be apart of the 2013 QB battle for the New York Jets

-Don’t expect Sanchez to be dethroned out of camp: New offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has been quoted as saying Sanchez has the early “leg up” in the quarterback competition heading into training camp. As poorly as Sanchez played last season, Garrard is coming off a two-year absence from NFL game action and has the slimmest of odds (in my opinion, zero percent) of showing enough to be named the opening game starter.

-Expect one more quarterback to be on the roster for training camp: Assuming indications that Tim Tebow will be released, the Jets have Sanchez, Garrard, Greg McElroy and Matt Sims. But one more quarterback, whether a late round draft choice or from the free agent pool, will be on the roster for camp.

-This being news is unfortunate: I understand that I am criticizing what this post is all about, but I’m going to go Captain Obvious on the audience and announce that it is unfortunate that this is news for the New York Jets. There aren’t many articles written about backup quarterbacks being signed, but no one can deny that it’s tough for anyone to realistically be excited about this signing. Garrard is not the answer.



Darrelle Revis: Trade Him or Keep Him?

January 29th, 2013

One of many offseason riddles the Jets have to answer is how to handle star cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis, who is coming off ACL surgery and has one year left on his contract, has said he has wanted to be a Jet for life, but recent rumors suggest the possibility of Revis being traded before the 2013 season begins. Chris Nimbley and I debate if dealing Revis is the right move for the franchise.

1. What do you think the handling of the Darrelle Revis situation says about the direction of the franchise?

Chris: If the Jets hold onto Revis, but let him walk after next season (only receiving a compensatory pick in return), it would show the Jets thought they could make one more run at the playoffs with Revis, but ultimately decided they couldn’t allow one player, as great as he is, to continue eating up such a high percentage of the team’s cap space. If the Jets decide to keep him and re-sign him, it shows how much they value Revis, not only as a player but also as a part of this franchise. It would also signal more of a win now approach.

Revis is still in his prime years but it’d be hard to justify paying a veteran corner top money if you’re in a rebuilding mode and it could end up as wasted money and wasted years of a great career. If they keep Revis they must look to reload, not rebuild. The decision to trade or keep Revis will tell us a lot about the direction new GM John Idzik plans to take in revamping the Jets. Does he blow it up and start from scratch? Or does he look to do some simple remodeling?

Joe: If Revis is dealt, the Jets are admitting they aren’t only a few pieces away from sustainable success. It would be wrong to call it a rebuilding process considering the Jets defense proved last season that life without Revis is possible, ranking second in the NFL in passing yards allowed (189.8 ypg) along with being ranked in the top half of the league in total yards allowed per game and points allowed per game (and who knows, with just average quarterback play a possible playoff berth).

But everyone’s eyes can tell the Jets offense is the more pressing issue for this franchise. Whether it is through the draft or via trade, the Jets need an infusion of talent on the offensive side of the football. John Idzik’s decision with Revis will shed light on what direction the franchise is heading, but I don’t think dealing Revis necessarily means the Jets are in rebuilding mode.

2. What do you expect to receive in return for trading Revis?

Chris: If I’m Idzik, for me to even consider trading Revis we start with; a first round pick plus two more picks (maybe a third this year and a conditional second or third in 2014 based on his performance next season). Any team offering less than that gets to meet my dial tone.

The Falcons traded away five draft picks for Julio Jones, you can’t tell me that if Julio Jones was worth five picks (and he was/is), Revis isn’t worth at least three. I understand Revis is coming off a season ending ACL injury and is seeking a record setting contract, but he is a proven veteran and one of, if not, the best corners in the history of the game. As good as Jones turned out to be, he was just a soon to be rookie receiver (with some injury concerns as well) when the Falcons traded for him. The Falcons risked that many picks for Jones because he was a perfect fit to immediately help their offense, Revis would offer the same instant upgrade to any defense he goes to and teams like the Broncos, Rams, Lions, Packers, Buccaneers, Vikings and many more should have no issues coughing up at minimum three draft picks for Revis.

The problem with such a scenario is the Jets have to cash those draft picks into quality players. In the Julio Jones trade, the Brown’s didn’t make their picks count. The players they drafted with the Falcons’ picks turned into: DT Phil Taylor, WR Greg Little, FB Owen Marecic and QB Brandon Weeden (they traded the fifth pick away in a separate deal). The Falcons would do that trade over and over again, however the Browns could have drafted Muhammad Wilkerson, Randall Cobb, Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson with those picks, which would put that trade in an entirely different light. If the Jets are going to trade Revis, they need picks and they need to make them count.

Joe: Of course, any deal is worth it if the price is right. But what is the minimum offer to accept in trading Revis? The keys are: 1. Will the Jets will be receiving offers that bring back an offensive player in return and 2. Will the Jets be receiving offers that bring back more than two draft picks?

Without an offensive player being received, the Jets cannot receive less than two draft picks and must include a first rounder. It will be real disappointing to see any package that resembles a 2013 first round pick and along with a second pick in 2013 or 2014 between rounds two through five. Of course receiving three picks would be better, but with Revis coming off injury added to the contract he is demanding, is it certain that teams will be throwing three-pick packages at the Jets?

The example people have been pointing out is Champ Bailey in 2004, where the Broncos sent away Clinton Portis (coming off a 1,591 yard, 14 TD season) and a second round pick. The only problem with that is Bailey wasn’t coming off ACL surgery. If the Jets receive offers that bring back that type of quality offensive weapon with a draft pick, how can they say no? There is no successful equation for the NFL draft and receiving multiple picks doesn’t ensure an injection of talent and without seeing Revis play since injury, it feels like a no-brainer.

But let’s say the Jets cannot receive an offensive player plus a pick in return for Revis and aren’t offered more than two draft choices. As tough as it would be to part with a player of his caliber for something that isn’t a sure thing, I would the two picks and move forward. In the end, making those picks count is the most important part of any equation.

What should the Jets do with Darrelle Revis?

3) For what Revis is reportedly asking for in terms of his next contract, is an elite corner worth that much money?

Chris: If there were no salary cap this would be so much easier. Woody Johnson would build Revis his own Scrooge McDuck money pit and simply refill it every offseason. But the problem isn’t can Johnson afford to pay Revis what he wants, it’s a question of whether it makes sense to tie up such a high percentage of your cap on just one cornerback. No matter how amazing he is, it’s easy to say no, a corner shouldn’t tie up that much of your cap. It’s easy to think only a quarterback is worth taking up so much cap space, but I feel like Revis’ injury and the Jets impressive secondary play without him has made people forget just how good this guy is. When healthy, Revis shuts down every team’s number one receiver. Offenses have to build their entire game plan around him, having him allows Rex Ryan to run all the man coverages and aggressive style defenses he loves. Revis may be only one man, but when he’s out on the field he makes the other 10 defenders out there with him better, simply by walking on the field.

The NFL has clearly become more offensive oriented and passing based, which to some is a reason to trade Revis, to me it’s the exact reason not to. With the NFL becoming such a high-octane passing league, don’t you want the one guy who can and has shut damn near every receiver down? There’s no denying it’d be easier to rebuild with the extra cap space if they traded Revis, but the easiest way usually isn’t the best way.

The Jets problems the past few years had nothing to do with having so much money tied up in their corners, it was having too much money tied up into players who didn’t produce anywhere near the value of their contracts (Sanchez, Scott, Pace, Harris, etc.). Teams can survive paying exorbitant amounts of money for players that play up to their contract; it’s the ones that don’t live up to their contracts that kill them. If the Sanchez, Scott, Pace, Harris and others money was put to better use, no one would even question if Revis was worth the money because he’s that good.

Joe: I just can’t justify a cornerback being worth the money that Revis is reportedly asking for. Every team’s situation is different and the philosophies that drive how teams are built differ in a variety of ways.

Locking up that one top-tier talent can work but many other things go right. Nailing multiple drafts (developing top level draft picks, finding late round gems, etc), filling out the rest of the roster efficiently, distributing team-friendly contracts and having the ability to substitute talent in and out when other players become successful (not being able to hold multiple large contracts).

The issue is when something goes awry, the ability to dig out of the hole becomes more difficult. The concerns are that player not living up to their ability after the contract, injuries, and team chemistry with that player.  There’s even the possibility of that natural decline in desire of a player after earning the big deal (not that I put Revis in this category). I rather have some flexibility in where to direct the franchise instead of having a few high-level deals that don’t pan out and then the franchise is stuck in neutral for a multiple seasons. In my opinion, the Jets just aren’t in the right stage as a team to be that tied up at cornerback right now.

4. Because of Revis’s popularity with the Jets fan base, should the Jets even entertain trading a player that means so much to the franchise besides his play on the field?

Chris: This question is being asked solely because it’s a question we keep hearing, I think it’s safe to say we both think it’s a silly question.

The fans and their feelings should play no part in the football decisions a franchise makes, none. Listening to fans is the best way to cripple a franchise. Whatever the Jets decide to do with Revis, and or any other player in the future, has to be about making the best decision to improve the football team. If Idzik and the Jets think making a certain move will help improve their football team then that’s the move they have to make, popular or not, if the moves works out the fans will quickly forgive.

Joe: Revis means more to the Jets organization than just his play on the field, but what the fans think cannot be a deciding factor in this decision. As much as fans want Revis to remain on the team, no one will say it is worth it going to a non-playoff implication game in December in 30-degree weather to see Revis. Unpopular decisions are the most difficult, but any fan rather be competing for Division titles than cheering for a favorite player when the games don’t matter.

5. Should the Jets keep Revis?

Chris: Trading a superstar is difficult in every sport because you’ll never receive equal value. This is no different because there is no one equal to Revis. You can debate the value of Revis in comparison to other positions (quarterbacks, pass rushers), but as far as corners go he is second to none. I’m not worried about how he’ll bounce back from the injury (Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles seemed to do all right). Revis is as hard working and determined as anyone else and he’s such an elite corner because of his upper body strength, incredible hip flexibility and outstanding technique. He’s an extremely gifted, physical athlete but it’s his technical ability that makes him possibly the best corner to ever play. An ACL injury isn’t going to change any of that.

If I’m Idzik I’m not trading Revis, I’m going to keep him and re-sign him (I think the $16 million a year number being floated is inflated, probably closer to $12 million) and I’m going to focus on rebuilding the roster by trimming the fat elsewhere.

If they trade Revis they’d actually take a $3 million cap hit next year and the only money they would save in the long run is from not signing him and using the money they would’ve used for him on other players. So if the Jets trade Revis, they set themselves back even further next year with less wiggle room in the cap to improve and lose their best player without having the ability to upgrade their roster until the 2014 offseason. I’d keep Revis and spend this offseason and the next figuring out how to manipulate the cap to create room for Revis and still have money available to revamp the roster.

Maybe trade Antonio Cromartie. Sure he won’t get more than a third round pick, but that could free up money and free it up immediately, along with the cuts we all know are coming with Scott, Pace, the Smiths and others. Ride out Sanchez’s contract next year until some of that and others can come off the books and rebuild from there, but rebuild with the best cornerback to ever play the game.

We’ve become so spoiled by how good Revis is. We poke and prod until we can find an excuse to knock him down a peg, his game is so flawless that people resort to saying he’s not involved on every play (yes he is, because every offensive play call is made with Revis in mind) and act like him wanting to make the most money possible means he has less value.

In a time where passing rules football, I’m not trading the best pass defender in the game.

Joe: The Jets should trade Revis. There wasn’t one team in these NFL playoffs that didn’t have some sort of dynamic offensive threat and the Jets have zero. The league is about offense and the Jets need help in that department as soon as possible by any means necessary. The movement of Revis has to result in the improvement in the offense.

It’s tough to say what anyone’s thoughts would’ve been if Revis never were injured, but the defense stepped up without him. The reward of keeping Revis isn’t high enough unless you’re in the camp that believes Sanchez will turn it around, or some other quarterback in free agency is going to give this offense a complete 180-degree spin.  Having a top five defense will not mean anything if the offense can’t score over 20 points a game.

If dealing Revis is the most effective path to right the offensive ship, the Jets have to take their chances of trying to bring back an impactful offensive player along with building through the draft. The more draft choices you accumulate, the more chances you have of finding a player who sticks around in the NFL.

It is just not the right time for the franchise to keep Revis.

More of the Same from Jets

January 22nd, 2013

The Jets reportedly met with 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu on Monday at the Senior Bowl according to multiple outlets. Mathieu was was dismissed from LSU this past summer repeatedly violating team rules, more specifically, violating the team’s substance abuse policy for athletes.

One time, can the Jets just say no?

After returning to LSU as only a student, Mathieu was arrested in October for marijuana possession which all but ended any possible return to the team.

Mathieu’s talent is not to be ignored, as he was the MVP of the 2011 SEC Championship game, to go along with the aforementioned multiple individual awards and other individual defense awards.

“I’m not really looking forward to people trusting me today or tomorrow,” said Mathieu. “Trust takes time, especially when you’ve done a lot of things for people not to be able to trust you…But the truth is, I’m doing the right things and just looking forward to being a football player,” according to a report from the Associated Press.

But should the Jets really be even looking into a player with Mathieu’s trouble past? Aren’t the Jets in a state of change from top to bottom? Philosophies, strategy on the field, off the field and how players are evaluated? It’s understand that a team must due their due diligence on all players eligible for the NFL draft, but does anyone disagree that maybe the Jets organization should just pass on this one?

If the Jets recent organizational history didn’t exist, it would certainly be an avenue that should be explored. Imagine this story in the eyes of a New England fan, a Pittsburgh fan or a Baltimore fan. Strong upper management groups with tough, disciplined coaches that are proven winners in this league. They could call Mathieu a ‘project’ and try to rectify his career and maximize his talent with little to no risk.

But the Jets organization doesn’t have that luxury with their recent track record. Whether it has been personnel decisions, the quality of players inside the locker room or deciding who is in charge of football decisions, the Jets have not been on their game in their most recent past.

The Jets organization promised change moving forward, showing interests in Mathieu just feels like more of same.

GAME PREVIEW: JETS (6-9) vs. BILLS (5-10)

December 29th, 2012

The Jets look to finish the 2012 on a positive note with a road victory against the Buffalo Bills. The offensive line is looking to rebound after coming one shy of tying the NFL record for sacks given up in a single game, in which quarterback Greg McElroy paid for the price. He will not play due to a concussion and an abdomen injury. Mark Sanchez will return to the top of the quarterback depth chart after being benched only two weeks ago.

“I’m going to start Mark Sanchez and the reason I’m starting Mark is we have two practices and one walk-through to get ready for Buffalo,” said Rex Ryan. “Mark has had success earlier in the season against Buffalo. He’s very familiar with them and that’s the reason I’m going with Mark.”

The Jets offensive line looks to rebound after an poor performance last Sunday.

Even though the team is out of the race, it finds itself making headlines seemingly everyday. The rumor mill hasn’t been kind to Gang Green, whether dealing with coaches or players, but questions will be answered next week when the regular season is wrapped up.

It’s tough to gauge how the team will perform on Sunday. Motivation is the most obvious hurdle, but seeing how the players perform for Ryan will be something to look out for. If the Jets trot out and give a repeat performance of last Sunday’s game against San Diego, Ryan wouldn’t be making it easy for the Jets brass to bring him back.

This Sunday’s game against Buffalo may be the last game for many pieces in the Jets organization. The anticipation for what changes the Jets will make on and off the field is very high, but there is still one more game to impact decisions that will greatly affect this franchise.

WHEN: Sunday, December 30th, 2012, 1 pm EST (TV-CBS, Radio-ESPN)

WHERE: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY

INJURY REPORT:

JETS—Out: CB Aaron Berry. Doubtful: TE Dustin Keller, QB Greg McElroy, WR Chaz Schilens, LB Bryan Thomas. Questionable: WR Braylon Edwards, CB Ellis Lankster. Probable: TE Jeff Cumberland, DT Kenrick Ellis, K Nick Folk, S LaRon Landry, P Robert Malone, C Nick Mangold, LB Garrett McIntyre, RB Joe McKnight, G Brandon Moore, LB Calvin Pace, DT Sione Pouha, RB Bilal Powell, QB Mark Sanchez, LB Ricky Sapp, LB Bart Scott, G Matt Slauson, QB Tim Tebow, DE Muhammad Wilkerson.

BILLS—Out: DE Mark Anderson, TE Scott Chandler, S Da’Norris Searcy. Probable: LB Nick Barnett, S Jairus Byrd, RB Dorin Dickerson, WR Marcus Easley, G Andy Levitre, CB Justin Rogers, RB C.J. Spiller, LB Chris White, DT Kyle Williams, DE Mario Williams, C Eric Wood.

GAME KEYS:

Offensive Line: After being embarrassed last week against San Diego, the offensive line has to regroup to give the team any chance to end the season on a high note. The Bills have some serious talent in their front seven, but expect the veteran offensive line group of the Jets to have a prideful performance that will keep Sanchez relatively clean for the entire game.

Youth Movement: To steal a game key from Chris Nimbly from last week, the Jets must test out some of the younger pieces they have on the roster. Ryan had already voiced that some of the talent that usually is on the bench will be in full display against Buffalo. I think everyone is curious to see what talent we have in players like DeMario Davis, Antonio Allen and perhaps maybe even a Jordan White at wide receiver. The Jets could catch lightening in a bottle if one player can prove he belongs on the field.

Expectations for Sanchez: What do we want to see from Sanchez on Sunday? His performance on Sunday won’t change anyone’s opinion and no one thought we would be seeing him standing under center again in 2012, but I bet there is a group of people who want to see him orchestrate another clunker so they can be sure it is time to move forward. If he plays well, does it mean anything? Will ending the season with a zero-turnover, two-touchdown game make anyone’s feelings change? It’ll be interesting to see how Sanchez plays after the benching from his worst season as a professional and it will also be interesting to see if his play affects anyone’s opinion, whether it be fans or evaluators in the Jets organization.

X-Factor:

Desire to finish strong—What else can you say? Everyone has had the discussion with friends that it’s ridiculous for any professional athlete to take a game off mentally but we all know it happens. The Heat lost to the Wizards this season in the NBA, it just happens. What else is there to ask for besides a performance from the players to show they haven’t given up with one game remaining? Of course they do not have to prove anything to anyone, or owe anyone anything, but it’ll just be positive. And everyone knows there hasn’t been a lot of positive flying around recently.

Jets 27—Bills 17

Tim Tebow Defends Character

December 26th, 2012

Florham Park, N.J.: According to reports last week, Tim Tebow had asked out of any Wildcat plays that would’ve been called in Sunday’s game against San Diego. These reports came across as very un-Tebow-like, as he stood behind his team-first attitude week after week this season.

“He knew I was frustrated, but I didn’t ask out,” said Tebow. “I didn’t say that I wouldn’t do anything.”

Tim Tebow just wanted a chance to play "regular quarterback."

And of course when some media outlets saw their opening to attack Tebow’s character, which had been almost impossible to this point, many took the stage to rip him for being selfish and for not playing the good soldier role.

Today, Tebow defended his character saying, “You work your whole life to build a reputation. Then people try to bring you down when they don’t understand even what happened. It’s disappointing. You just want to express your side of the story.”

Tebow did confirm he spoke to Rex Ryan on Tuesday after the loss to Tennessee on Monday night, expressing that he wanted the chance to start at quarterback.

“I never said, ‘Hey I don’t want to do anything or I won’t do anything.’ That wasn’t the talk at all. He knows that and everybody on this team knows that I would never not do something if I was asked. That’s what’s disappointing,” said Tebow. “People saying ‘Oh you quit’ that was not it at all. It was just me asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback. It wasn’t me asking out of anything.

It is odd that Tebow would lash out with two games remaining in the season. Considering all indications are that he is on his way out, why stir the pot now? But it isn’t absurd to believe Tebow finally retaliated after the Jets basically wasted a year of his career. But Tebow continued to defend himself, saying “For people not to know the situation and go off something and then start to bash your character and say you’re a phony or you’re a fake or you’re a hypocrite. I think that’s what’s disappointing and that’s what’s frustrating…but your character and your integrity, that’s who you are as a man and I think that’s a lot more important.”

Tebow’s one and only season in New York will be forgettable for more than just his play on the field.

GAME RECAP: CHARGERS 27—JETS 17

December 23rd, 2012

Jets “ridiculous” offensive line play gives team their ninth loss.

Florham Park, N.J.: Quarterback Greg McElroy couldn’t overcome poor offensive line play in his first career start in the NFL. The Jets offensive line gave up 11 (one shy of the NFL record) sacks in the 27-17 loss against the San Diego Chargers.

“It was great on their part, but ridiculous on our part,” said Rex Ryan.

“They were running some pretty good twist schemes in there that were pretty difficult, but we still have
to be able to pick them up,” said Nick Mangold.

McElroy completed 14 of 24 passes for 185 yards, lost a fumble and threw an interception. Shonn Greene had 38 yards on 14 carries and score both of the team’s touchdowns.

“This team’s goal was to finish 8-8 and win the last two games and we’re disappointed we’re going to finish short of that goal,” said McElroy. “We got to do a better job of getting on the same page and doing a better job of anticipating things and just doing a better job of getting the ball out. Gotta do a better job and try to improve, learn from this, watch the film and then come back on Wednesday ready to work.”

The offensive line had no answers for the Chargers pass rush on Sunday.

The Jets special teams unit put the team in an early hole by letting Michael Spurlock return the first punt of the game for a 63-yard touchdown.

McElroy and the offense responded quickly, marching down field with back to back big gains. After Greene gained 30 yards on a screen play, Jeremy Kerley had a 42-yard completion to Clyde Gates out of the wildcat. Greene ran in from a yard out to tie the game at seven.

The Jets continued to spread the ball around, getting Kerley, Joe McKnight and Braylon Edwards involved in their next possession. On third and seven just outside the Chargers’ 20-yard-line, Edwards drew a defensive pass interference call to put the Jets at the one-yard-line, where Greene barreled in for his second score.

After San Diego kicker Nick Novak connected on a 51-yard-field goal, McElroy started to take some hits from the opposing defense. In the last 8:32 of the second quarter, McElroy was sacked four times but never was separated from the football.

“I really didn’t get a chance to watch. I was out there running routes and by the time I turned back, Greg
was already on the ground,” said Edwards.

The Jets had a 14-10 halftime lead, but Phillip Rivers started the second half with an eight-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a 37-yard touchdown catch by Danario Alexander. The Jets offensive line continued to struggle as McElroy continued to take hits from a strong defensive defense. Rivers soon found Antonio Gates for a 34-yard touchdown pass after Gates shook loose from Eric Smith.

After being secure with the football for almost three full quarters, McElroy forced a pass towards the sideline to Gates that was intercepted with 10 seconds to go in the third quarter. The Chargers could only put up three points after the interception and led 27-14 with 14:11 to go in the fourth quarter.

McElroy connected with Edwards and Chaz Schilens before the drive stalled and the deficit was cut to down with a Nick Folk field goal. After getting the ball back, McElroy moved the ball to the San Diego 42 but was separated from the football after a Shaun Phillips sack. The Jets defense put up another three and out, but the offense line didn’t give McElroy a chance to spark a comeback.

On the Jets final drive with 3:30 to go, McElroy earned two first downs, but was then sacked on three consecutive plays to put the Chargers in double digits for the game.

“Offensively you ain’t beating anybody playing like that. It’s simple as that,” said Ryan.

“Again this was not our day. We didn’t play and execute in the matter that we’re capable of, but it’s our job
to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

“I want to learn from the mistakes made today and I want to learn and capitalize on the opportunities that were there today. I want to capitalize on those next week,” said McElroy.

“He’s a tough guy. He took some hits, which was disappointing, but he kept getting back up, so that’s a
good thing. I think he’ll be a good player,” said Mangold.

Quinton Coples continued his improved play, hitting the quarterback three times and earning one and a half sacks.

The Jets final game is against the Buffalo Bills and McElroy will get his second career start.