Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Darren Sharper steps up

After numerous refusals from the New Orleans Saints players, veteran safety Darren Sharper has graciously agreed to do the weekly conference call.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The New York media is just not THAT scary

Preparation has begun for the New Orleans Saints who the Jets will visit on Sunday. Of course, it's not just the team who has to prepare, the media does too. As part of that preparation, every Wednesday the media from each team has a conference call with the opposing head coach and one of the players - usually the quarterback or another player of similar stature.

Thus far Drew Brees, wide receiver Marques Colston and former Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma have all refused to get on the call with us. I find it funny, but also perplexing. I mean, they're 3-0 just like the Jets. What's the problem? I cannot remember this ever happening before.

I'll let you know if anybody eventually agrees to talk to us.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

There went the Titans

You've got to hand it to them, this team finds a way to win. For a few minutes it looked as though the momentum may have changed enough to let the Titans win, but Rex Ryan and his guys were not going to let that happen. Jets fans, your team is now 3-0.

Once again, Mark Sanchez looked experienced beyond his years, but was also helped out tremendously by some turnovers as well as key plays by Jericho Cotchery and Eric Smith, just to name a few.

What stands out most to me this year, is how much fun the Jets are having. Obviously, it's easy to have fun when you're winning, but the mood in the locker room is much different than in the past few years.

It's been a long day so if you want to check out my post-game story on, you can find it here:

Up next are the New Orleans Saints who will host the Jets next weekend at 4pm.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Here come the Titans

It was pointed out to me yesterday by an unnamed source that I have not blogged since before the Patriots game. Oops, my bad.

Things seem to be rolling along nicely for the Jets at the moment. A great win for them over New England last week in a game that could have gone either way - and in the first half seemed to be going the wrong way. Everyone talked about the adjustments that were made at halftime being the key. I would say that's actually something important to take note of. Every team tries to make adjustments at halftime - half the teams end up losing anyway. I think it speaks well of both the coaching staff and how plugged into the system the players are that those adjustments worked and immediately led to a change in the game and a win.

For those of you panicking about the Mark Sanchez injury - don't. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer actually chuckled when asked about Sanchez being on the injury report. Clearly this is the team being overly cautious after the Brett Favre debacle.

The real issue this weekend might be the loss of cornerbacks Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland. Sheppard's got a calf strain, Strickland's got a pretty bad ankle sprain. Sheppard told me he feels better "every hour" so that might end up being a game-time decision. Rex Ryan said yesterday that at this point he doesn't expect Strickland to play.

The Jets have a lot of DBs, and this week's focus is on the running game, but you don't want to lose two of those guys at once.

Speaking of the Titans running game, it will be interesting to see what happens against wide receiver Chris Johnson. Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine both pointed out yesterday how much he has improved this year and he was already pretty good last year. Kerry Rhodes called him the fastest guy in the NFL. The team will have their work cut out for them.

I would keep an eye on Kris Jenkins. He got the wind knocked out of him last week, but is also listed on the injury report as having a back problem, which cropped up in week one. If the Jets lose him for a significant amount of time, that will hurt them.

Looking forward to seeing Titans center Kevin Mawae, who was of course with the Jets until Eric Mangini arrived, and who is still doing his thing after all these years.

The Jets will be wearing their throwback NY Titans uniforms this weekend so it will be the Titans vs. the Titans. Let's hope that doesn't make for any unfortunate turnovers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Now the Accolades

It turned out to be quite a successful outing in Houston. The team was in fine spirits yesterday and already looking ahead to the Patriots, who looked a little weird last night. I'm just saying.

Mark Sanchez looked like he might be the real deal, but we'll have to give it a little more time to make a full decision. However, the NFL just announced that Sanchez is a finalist for Rookie of the Week - 18 of 31 for 272 yards a TD and an INT. Pretty good.

Running back Thomas Jones is also a finalist for Player of the Week with 107 total yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns.

You can't overlook the defense, which came out of the gate with guns blazing. And that was without Shaun Ellis or Calvin Pace.

With an overall performance like that you have to tip your hat to the coaching, their game plan came together nicely.

It will be interesting to see how this new-look Jets matches up with New England on Sunday. Houston was touted as a good team going into last weekend, but as one player I spoke with yesterday said, "they certainly didn't look like it."

Rex Ryan was careful about his critique of Vernon Gholston's play calling it "up and down." Clearly, while Gholston has made some progress, he's nowhere near where they want him to be. At this point though, they have enough weapons on defense so that Gholston won't hurt them, but can only help if he can get better.

As for the wide receiver by committee thing, Chansi Stuckey got the start and so far that looks like it worked out pretty well.

Rex is imploring fans to come out and be as loud as they can at the Meadowlands on Sunday. Given the fact that the game is being played on the second day of Rosh Hashana, I'm curious if the stands will be full. We'll see.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Game Day!

Well, Game One is finally here. The Jets are, of course, in Houston - with a lot on their plate. Rookie head coach, rookie quarterback and two defensive starters out on suspensions.

In talking to the players this week, they all seemed genuinely confident going into this contest. Sanchez's biggest challenge might just be keeping calm in the first quarter. I saw a Tweet from Darrelle Revis yesterday that they were sitting on the plane together and Revis said Sanchez was "talking my ear off." Very funny.

It's probably a good thing that the team is opening in Houston. The temperature was down to 65 degrees in New York the other day and Sanchez, the southern Californian, was wearing a ski cap. They might need to think about getting him some battery-powered, hunting socks for the Bills game.

Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace are serving their suspensions so this is going to be the first real test for Vernon Gholston. When I talked to him a couple of days ago he told me "I know when I'm on point I can be one of the best players out there." Rex Ryan has been openly supportive of Gholston from day one, which has to have added to Gholston's confidence. We know he can rush the passer, but this defense will expect a lot of different things from him - especially without Pace in the game.

We'll also get a look at what the real plan is for the wide receivers. There still seems to be a hue and cry over the fact that the Jets don't have a deep receiving corps. With Dustin Keller serving basically as their number two receiver, it will be interesting to see how things with Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith and David Clowney start to fall into place.

I get asked a lot if the Jets are still looking for another receiver. You would have to think that if somebody appropriate became available, they would go for him.

Lastly, the running game is going to make a much stronger appearance this year. You can count on seeing a ton of Thomas Jones and even more, Leon Washington. Finally.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jets Practice Squad Announced

The Jets have just announced their practice squad. All of these guys were with the team during training camp.

The eight players are: RB Jehuu Caulcrick, DB Emanuel Cook, LB Kenwin Cummings, Keith Fitzhugh, WR Marcus Henry, DT Matt Kroul, OT Ryan McKee and TE Jack Simmons.

However, again, from what I'm hearing, I am expecting there to be some changes here by Tuesday.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Feel-Good Story is Over

Well, this year's potential feel-good story is over. One day after being signed to the active roster by the New York Jets, running back Danny Woodhead was released. He could still be signed to the practice squad, but with the way things are going, there's no way to guess.

From what I hear, a few guys who were told by the team that they would be signed to the practice squad were told today that that was not going to happen. At least for now.

In addition to Woodhead, the team released OL Mike Kracalik, LB Brendan Renkart and punter Reggie Hodges.

Punter AJ Trapasso was signed along with FB Jason Davis, TE Matthew Mulligan. The Jets also traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Lions for quarterback Kevin O'Connell.

Plus, don't forget, Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace each start their suspensions and do not count on the active roster. One guy will be cut when each returns.

I would expect some additional news over the next two days.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jets Make Final Roster Cuts

The Jets have announced their final roster cuts. As I Tweeted earlier, running back Danny Woodhead made the team. Also, as expected from early in camp, rookie free agent Jamaal Westerman out of Rutgers earned a spot as well.

Here is the list of those who were released:

TE Kevin Brock
TE Kareem Brown
TE Jack Simmons
RB Jehuu Caulcrick
FB Brock Christopher
OL Stanley Daniels
WR Britt Davis
WR Marcus Henry
RB Anthony Kimble
T Nevin McCaskill
OT Ryan McKee
C Michael Parenton

Injured Reserve:

WR Aundrae Allison


CB Rashad Barksdale
LB Kenwin Cummings
DL Matt Kroul
DE Zach Potter
DL Ty Steinkuhler

and K Parker Douglass


DL Shaun Ellis
LB Calvin Pace

With Jehuu Caulcrick it most certainly came down to a decision between keeping him to backup veteran Tony Richardson or keeping Woodhead who really shined during camp and the preseason. In addition, rookie running back Shonn Greene is already on his second injury so they may have wanted some insurance there. If he clears waivers,look for Caulcrick to be signed back to the Jets' practice squad.

As for the tight ends, the writing was on the wall when the team signed veteran Ben Hartsock, although it is mildly surprising that they let all three of the others go.