Archive for April, 2012

Meet the Late Round Picks

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Okay, so by now we’ve all hear about Quinton Coples and his background in a disgruntled program. We’ve seen what Stephen Hill can do in a run-oriented offense. We know Demario Davis is ready for the transition from outside linebacker to the inside.

But what about those pesky sixth and seventh round picks? For every Matt Slauson (2009 193rd overall pick, 6th round) and Drew Colemen (2006 189 overall pick, 6th round) there’s five Nate Garners and Jacob Benders. Don’t know enough about the new late round picks for the Jets as you might like? Here’s a little background information on the team’s five late round additions.

1. Josh Bush, S, Wake Forest (6th round/187 overall) – “This is just football to me. I’m 23, I’ve been playing football for a long time so I’m ready to get there and just get comfortable around the guys and just play football. It’s something that I love to do and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to continue to play it.”

  • Bush, who was brought in to the team’s Florham Park, NJ facilities on April 17th, moved to the safety position after coming to Wake Forest as a cornerback. NFL scouts call him a “safety with corner attributes”. Boasting a sub 4.5 40-time, Bush can cover the slot and be an impact on special teams.
  • The Demon Deacons defense played a lot of man coverage, with many of their zone coverages turning in to man-to-man, according to Bush. He says he feels very comfortable playing safety and in man-to-man.
  • With 56 tackles, six interceptions and five passes defended, Bush was named to the first team All-ACC in 2011 and, yet, was not invited to any all-star games or combines.

Get to know the late round additions of the Jets: Josh Bush, Terrance Ganaway, Robert T. Griffin, Antonio Allen and Jordan White.

2. Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor (6th round/202 overall) – “When you look at what (Terrance) Ganaway did in college – option. What did Tim Tebow run in college? Option. You got a package right there. There’s your package. That’s part of what they drafted here.” – Bill Polian, ESPN Analyst

  • It’s true, Ganaway did work very well in the Robert Griffin III’s option-style offense, but running back was still a hole – albeit a minor one – to be filled. Lost among the RGIII hysteria was Ganaway, who set single season school records in rushing yards (1,547), rushing touchdowns (21), rushing yards per game (119) and 200-yard rushing games (3).
  • He took home MVP honors in the Alamo Bowl after rushing for 200 yards and five touchdowns versus Washington.
  • At 6′0″/239, Ganaway is a bruiser between the tackles, but if he expects playing time early he has to beef up his blocking game.

3.  Robert T. Griffin, G, Baylor (6th round/203 overall) - “I’m going to keep that name and my motto. I’m going to keep the names Big Griff and RGII. It is nothing different.I’m going to keep that name and my motto. I’m going to keep the names Big Griff and RGII. It is nothing different” – on Robert Griffin III and him sharing a name.

  • Like Ganaway, Griffin comes from an option/run-oriented offense. RGII became the third offensive player  drafted by the Jets who has an option-based background (Stephen Hill & Ganaway).
  • Listed as an offensive lineman, Griffin says he feels more comfortable at the guard position. “I feel like I can play a lot more aggressively at guard and make my living there,” he told reporters via conference call.
  • Coming off shoulder surgery last off-season, Griffin earned second-team All Big 12 in 2011 after transferring from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.

4. Antonio Allen, SS, South Carolina (7th round/242 overall) – “It was a surprise at the end because I didn’t really think I was going to get drafted anywhere.  I was looking towards free agency because I hadn’t heard my name.  I didn’t hear my name in the first couple of rounds.  But it was a surprise.  I am excited.  My family is excited and we have new things coming.” – on bring drafted.

  • Allen attributes his 7th round selection on the style of safety he played for the Game Cocks. ” I think mainly because of my position, the “spur.”  Its not a traditional safety spot. I am not 12 yards deep covering the post every play.  I am up on the line of scrimmage tackling people for a loss. I don’t know where the “spur” position fits in [Jets defense], but I am a playmaker. I make plays all over the field and I do what I have to do to get the offensive guys the ball back,” he said.
  • He may not play on defense right away, but Ryan told Allen he’ll be playing plenty of special teams (an area where Allen excelled in college). Ryan also told Allen he was surprised that he was still on the board for the Jets, calling him a “great value pick”.
  • Allen on covering South Carolina standout receiver Alshon Jeffrey: ” [He] is one of the elite wide receivers there is at the college level, but now he’s in the pro’s. Going up against him has got me mentally better and physically prepared for what’s coming up next.”

5. Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan (7th round/244 overall) - “I took over with the help of my teammates and the help of my coaches and really studied the game, studied what I needed to do to become successful. Over the past few years I’ve managed to stay healthy and really show people that those two injuries were freak accidents and that I can stay healthy and produce at a high level.”

  • “They were both on the field, practice injuries. They both happened in fall practice in 2006 and 2008. I tore my ACL, the right one then the left one in 2008, both blocking. None of it was cutting and none of it was getting tackled. It was more getting twisted up; a freak accident I guess you could say,” – White on his two knee injuries.
  • He played out a west coast style offense at Western Michigan, where White says they ran the ball early the season and ended on a passing frenzy. He led NCAA football in receiving yardage (1,911), total receptions (140), receiving yards per game (147) and receptions per game (10.77).
  • “My quarterback had trust in me that whenever he was in trouble or needed a guy to count on he would throw it my way. I had the trust in him to give me the ball. It’s not on me to get other guys open or get other guys the ball, and he did a good job of that” – on his connection with his college QB.

MetLife Stadium Hosts Draft Day Viewing Party [VIDEO:]

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — With the red carpet being rolled out at Radio City Music Hall for the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Jets opened their home for fans to get a hands-on experience to go with viewing all the action from one of the stadium’s four jumbo-trons.

The field was open for interaction filled with NFL Combine drills, moon bounces, tours of the home team’s locker room and meet-and-greets with the Flight Crew cheerleaders as well as Jets players Marcus Dixon and Chaz Schilens. Speculation was swirling around the stadium as to who the Jets were going to select with the sixteenth overall pick and many fans weighed their two cents on just who the Jets should draft.

When the Jets were on the clock the fans patience grew thin with anticipation as the began chanting “We Want Melvin!” — a reference to the South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram. But it was North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, and not Ingram, that the Jets selected at sixteen.

For the immediate fan’s reaction to the Coples pick check out the video above!

JETS Draft: Facts, Rumors & Smokescreens

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Will the Jets finally take a pass rusher with their first round pick? For Jets Nation, that’s the million dollar question.

After a big swing and miss with their 2008 first round selection on the Combine darling, Vernon Gholston, it’s been a position that is necessitated yet neglected. Not since John Abraham’s 10.5 2005 season have the Jets had a pass rusher post a double-digit sack total. Gholston was supposed to be the solution, but turned out to be a bigger problem. Since Mike Tannenbaum used his sixth overall selection on the Buckeye bust, the team hasn’t come close to sniffing a double-digit sacker (2008 – S. Ellis 8, 2009 – C. Pace 8, 2010 – C. Pace 6, 2011 – A. Maybin 6).

With the 2012 NFL draft class stocked with talented pass rushers to fit a pivotal position in Rex Ryan’s 3-4 scheme, the Jets using their 16th overall selection on one seems conventional. The Jets front office people, led by Tannenbaum and senior VP of college scouting Joey Clinkscales, have been on record that the 2008 draft debacle won’t contribute in this year’s decision. This team, however, has been known to throw conventional wisdom out the window (see Tebow, Tim; Smith, Hayden; Burress, Plaxico).

South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram, Syracuse’s Chandler Jones and Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw have all been linked to the Jets. The lust for Ingram has been well noted and Jones has benefitted from a late-rising stock thanks to draft experts. Upshaw, while limited by scheme restrictions, may be the best fit for the Gang Green —  with him excelling as a true OLB in Nick Saban’s pro-style 3-4 defense.

Diehard Jet fans, like Fireman Ed (above), are through waiting to see if the Jets are select a pass-rushing OLB in the first round. Find out who they select on Thursday. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

Speculation has been swirling that they are interested in exploring a trade with the Cleveland Browns and draft RB Trent Richardson. The thought of adding a workhorse of Richardson’s caliber to Tony Sparano’s run-oriented offense with Shonn Greene has many chomping at the bit to make this dream a reality. The problem is, what will they have to give up to fill a position that isn’t a top priority? The Jets still have glaring holes at safety and the right side of the offensive line. It sounds like a gluttonous move that would leave other positions starving.

“Could we slide up or back? We’re certainly going to be open to all scenarios,” Tannenbaum said. “We’re happy at 16. Those are the cards we’ve been dealt, and we’ll maximize those opportunities.” If we are to take him at his word, we won’t be seeing Richardson wearing Hunter Green any time soon.

And finally we have the mysterious misdirection of the smokescreen — leaking “insider” information from a “team source” or picking up on a general manager’s subtleties and non-verbal cues. I give you Exhibit A: “There’s a Jeremy Lin story in the NFL, and why can’t it be in that locker room? Why can’t it be Caleb Schlauderaff?” – Tannenbaum.  Was that single statement (and several other Schlauderaff references) the subtle tell that the Jets will go offensive lineman in the first round? Probably not.

Aside from filling the most glaring hole for the team, drafting a pass rusher sets the team up nicely for their second round selection. Here are some names the Jets could focus their attention on after nabbing a DE/OLB.

  • Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers  (6-2, 211) – PROS: SIZE, GOOD HANDS, EXCELLENT BODY CONTROL, CAN PLAY THE X, Y, OR SLOT POSITIONS & WILDCAT, SOLID RUN BLOCKING, QUALITY LOCKER ROOM GUY. CONS: INJURY HISTORY, NOT A NATURAL DEEP THREAT. PRO COMPARISON: MARQUES COLSTON, NO SAINTS. Sanu Rutgers Highlights
  • Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State (6-1, 198) – PROS: BALL HAWK, 3-YEAR STARTER, PLAYS THE BOX WELL, BIG HITTER. CONS: GAMBLES TOO MUCH, NEEDS WORK ON MAN COVERAGE. PRO COMPARISON: DANIEAL MANNING, HOU TEXANS. Martin Cowboys Highlights
  • Kelechi Osemele, RT, Iowa State (6-5, 333) – PROS: PHYSICAL BRUTE, 84-INCH WINGSPAN, GREAT STRENGTH, GOOD CHARACTER, GRITTY. CONS: NEEDS TO PLAY LOWER, LACKS QUICKNESS TO PLAY LT IN NFL, LATERAL SPEED. PRO COMPARISON: JEFF OTAH, CAR PANTHERS. Osemele Cyclones Interview

Got any other questions regarding the Jets and the looming NFL Draft? The JetsInsider.com is clearing the rumor mill of all the smoke. Stay tuned!

Turner, Conner talk Sparano, Tebow & flag football

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

BROOKLYN, NY – With the Jets meeting with coaches and receiving their new playbook from their new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, players seem excited for a fresh start.

“Tony is a no-nonsense type of guy. I think he’s going to be great for this offense and great for this team. Guys really seem to be responding well to him, so I think he’s going to be a big edition to the team,” John Conner said at the Boys & Girls High School where he was supporting the PSAL’s inaugural girls’ varsity flag football tournament.

Patrick Turner, who joined Conner on Saturday, was drafted by Sparano’s Miami Dolphins in 2009 and feels he can help with the adjustment of learning a new offense.

“I can help Mark and the guys with the little things about the offense —  like the ducks on the routes and what not. But the quarterbacks are always the first ones to see the playbook. He’s getting a good grasp of it.”

Patrick Turner (above) is ready for Sparano, the Wildcat, Tim Tebow & women's flag football. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

For Conner, a smash-mouth, thick-neck fullback, getting back to a more ground & pound mentality —  something that Rex Ryan prefers to be the face of his team. Despite the possibility of losing playing time in lieu of Tim Tebow and his versatility, Conner remains team-oriented and excited for an offensive shift.

“I think we’re a team that’s built for that. I think Sparano is going to help us regain our swag … [Tebow]’s a great addition. It’s just going to cause more trouble for the defense to deal with,” Conner said.

While much ado has been whether an offensive shift in philosophy to a re-emphasis on the ground game can work. With many teams running more shot gun and spread offense, can a steady ground game work week-t0-week? Fourth year receiver Turner believes it will.

“Coach Sparano did a great job of running the wildcat offense in Miami. Having a player like Tim Tebow — who’s a dual threat – really fits this team and that package perfectly. To have that wrinkle each and every week is going to be an advantage for our offense. That’s why the decision was made. He’s a good football player and we want good football players on our team.”

The team starts Mini-Camp and OTAs in May. Be sure to stay with the JetsInsider.com as the NFL Draft and training camp are right around the corner!

NOTES: At the Paul Tudor Jones Athletic Facility of Boys & Girls High School in Brooklyn 22 full-fledged flag football teams competed in the PSAL’s inaugural girls’ varsity tournament. With 29 teams spanning the five boroughs, teams competed in a double-elimination tournament to crown their first-ever champion.

What was merely an idea 11 months ago grew into 450 young women competing on Saturday. The idea was made possible in part to the Jets organization, who donated $150,000 to the PSAL, $50,000 of which was given to the flag football program.

Five Games to Focus on for 2012

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Only the NFL can make a grand red carpet roll out for releasing their 2012-13 schedule. Moments after the 7 p.m. EST announcement NFL fanatics were simultaneously using up their PTO days, checking hotel prices in Tennessee and flights to Seattle. (Note to self: buy stock in Priceline.com and Expedia.com prior to next year’s schedule release.)

The football fanatical  hysteria is more than justified as the NFL yet again trumps their sport peers, tailoring a schedule around the desire of the fan and not the teams. Sorry, Tom Coughlin!

The fans want to see Peyton Manning? They can catch him five times on national TV in his new Broncos uniform. Playoff rematches? Nine games from last year’s thrilling playoff bolster an already beefed up schedule. Want a great way to avoid that dreaded turkey hangover nap on Thanksgiving? Stay tuned in to the NFL all day long starting with the Texans visiting the Lions, followed by the Redskins breaking bread with the Cowboys and the Patriots embarking on a pilgrimage to New York.

Plenty of things to be  excited for as an NFL fan. On the Jets side of things here are five games that sure to be crowd please-ers once the season kicks off.

  1. Week 2 September 16th @ Pittsburgh Steelers: The Jets have a chance to wash out the lingering taste of their last trip to Heinz Field —  a 24-19 AFC Championship game loss that saw the Jets nearly pull-off a second-half scramble to steal a victory. One could argue the team hasn’t been the same since that game. An early road win against a tough rival may bring them back to form.
  2. Not as excited as Rex looks (above) for the Jets regular season schedule release? These five games will surely rile you up. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

    Week 4 September 30th vs. San Francisco 49ers: A gritty, defensive-minded team with run-oriented offense and a brash rookie head coach coming fresh off a trip to the Championship game. Sound familiar? Jim Harbaugh brings his 49ers, a near spitting image of the Jets, to MetLife Stadium in what should be a real slobber-knocker. You have to think Rex Ryan has this game circle, undoubtedly pitting the too boisterous coaches against each other. And of course how can we forget the potential re-kindling between Darrelle Revis and Randy Moss.

  3. Week 5 October 8th vs. Houston Texans: Tim Tebow’s first national appearance as a Jet happens on Monday Night Football at home against the Texans. The sans-Mario Williams Houston team should prove to be a playoff contender in 2012 with a healthy Matt Schaub. Weeks 2 through 5 will be a great test for a team that’s trying to climb the ladder back to the upper rungs. Should they struggle out of the gates, will this Monday night game prove to be Tebow’s quarterback coronation?
  4. Week 11 November 11th @ St. Louis Rams: After three years of Ryan’s defense practicing against Brian Schottenheimer’s offense, the two sides finally get to tee off for real. The much-maligned Schottenheimer was scooted out the door after getting the brunt of Mark Sanchez’s erratic play and an earful from the receiving corps. Schotty showed some promise as coordinator, but his offensive principles clashed with team personnel. Surely he’ll want to bring his A-game to show his former team what they could have had. They will be coming off a road visit to Seattle before hosting the Patriots on Thanksgiving just four days later. Which brings me to my last and final game…
  5. Week 12 November 22nd vs. New England Patriots: A Thanksgiving dessert that may decide the AFC East champion. No better setting for Ryan’s refusal to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings, Tom Brady’s ‘hatred’ for the Jets and Antonio Cromartie’s choice words for the Patriots’ QB than Thanksgiving. At first glance this game will carry similar expectations as their 2010’s Week 12 match-up, a nationally televised game the Jets lost 45-3. However Tom Brady has won only twice in New York since 2007.