Fellow NY Jet fans; I would like to take a look at a few areas and mix some facts, figures, current states, and personal opinions together and get a good variety of discussion going. My goal would be to have an all encompassing discussion of what is going on in [my head] as a Jet fan these last few nights with all of my dear Jet fan companions here at GGN. I’m going to cover a range of areas such as what we’ve accomplished so far in Free Agency, How my fellow alumni Boise State Broncos fare in the eyes of the Jets for the 2012 Draft to get your thoughts, our Cap situation and of course how could I possibly leave out a tidbit on Tebow and Sanchez. I’ve put a lot of thought into all this the last few nights so please read more below the jump:
Let’s start off with the state of the Jets today with what we’ve accomplished in Free Agency:
We then went out and signed up former Oakland Raiders WR Chaz Schilens. Another low risk potentially high reward move with our new WR coach Sanjay Lal who has three years of experience as a WR coach for the same Oakland Raiders. Lal must see something in Schilens to have us go after the kid even if he’s been injury plagued the last few years and isn’t that impressive on the field even though it seems that he could be on paper. Where Schilens falls on the depth chart is yet to be seen but it’s not a bad move for the cost and we’ll just have to see where this goes. There’s definitely potential upside here. Also for those that wanted us to bring in Avery – he signed with the Colts today.
Drew Stanton was signed as QB2 but subsequently today we discover that he was traded the Colts along with a 7th round draft pick for a 6th round pick. Ultimately the Jets didn’t do too horribly here. They did the respectable thing for Drew but who really cares about that right? We got our 6th round pick back that we lost for Tebow and lost the 7th which no one is going to cry about. All it really means is that all the money that we also spent for Tebow also cost us an extra $500k of dead money. Drew must be happy. Walks into and out of NY $500k richer just for signing a piece of paper and then still gets a job. Ultimately I’m thrilled we didn’t hold onto Stanton… more on this later however… and not just for Cap reasons.
Leron Landry: As everyone knows if Leron Landry can stay healthy he can be an invaluable asset. I keep referring people to his highlight reels. He can be beastly no doubt. I want to refer everyone back to when we signed Brodney Poole. A lot of people were against the signing because of how concussion prone he was. Now granted Poole didn’t turn out to be all that and a bag of chips but for two seasons the biggest fear we had (concussions) was not a concern. Maybe that’s because he didn’t go out hitting people… but regardless… he did stay healthy. Landry and the Jets were smart to go with a 1year contract. This gives Landry the extra incentive to prove to him and the organization that he is what we need and are looking for and we can either give him the payday he’s looking for next year or go a different direction. He’s better than what we had so long as he stays healthy. If he doesn’t… hopefully we’ll address that in the draft (I address later).
Tebow: We’ll just discuss him later.
The Jets now have just over $9Mil in cap space after the Drew Stanton move. Approximately $5Mil should be reserved for the Draft. (Maybe under that…. Depends on Comp picks and such.) There is probably still some room to be had in cuts and trades. Remember Scott and Hunter are still out there. *ha*.
There are only 3 free agents still out there currently I would consider looking at since our cap space is so thin. And I’d start looking at them now. Atogwe, Edwards and Leonhard. Spark the debates if you’d like I don’t mind… but if you’re going to debate please don’t just say "Leonhard sucks" back it up with a better option right now so the debate can be substantial. (:
O.J. Atogwe – He’s not the greatest by far but I still think he’s a much bigger upgrade over Smith. Additionally he’s played with Landry. The two of them combined would be a huge upgrade to our secondary which would definitely make a quarterback think twice about picking on us in the middle. He’s got the skills to roam and attack the ball. I think we can get in there at a relatively cheap 1 year deal at this point and I think we should be really looking into this since it’s late in the game.
Braylon Edwards - A lot of you want to pick the phone up on him after the draft. I say why wait? We all want him. He wants to come back. After watching the highlight reels of the 09,10 seasons he’s just a huge target spreading the field and the pass options that Sanchez needs. Additionally in this run offense that we are supposed to be going to who better to pick up than a blocking WR than Edwards? Unless there really is something physically wrong with him a 1year million dollar deal with a hug and an apology to get him back on the roster bring him in already.
Jim Leonhard – I can’t think of anyone better to teach the secondary to any new safeties we bring on board AND act as a backup if we have any risk of injury such as Landry than Leonhard. He will come in cheap and we should do it. If I had to choose between Smith and Leonhard I’m going Leonhard any day of the week.
When it comes to the draft I am only going to talk about my Alum boys, Boise State University. You guys can talk about other fella's you're much better equipped to talk about than me. I think it’s a fair discussion however since the Jets have been tied to four of them this year. So I’d like to discuss. The obvious two are RB Doug Martin and S George Iloka. The other two are DE Tyrone Crawford and wait for it… ready to pounce on me? QB Kellen Moore. (wait for what I have to say of course)
Doug Martin: RB: Projected Late 1st Early 2nd. 5’9 219lbs Ray Rice clone in my opinion with incredible ability to pass protect. I do not see us ever taking Doug in the 1st because we have bigger needs here. Especially if we lose Bart Scott. There have been some articles floating around after Pro-Day and the combine that Doug Martin has been impressing so much that he is going to be considered a hidden gem and that he might even break out better than T-RIchJr in the NFL. The only real thing holding him back is the status of Alabama’s conferences vs BSU’s conferences. I’ll dig it up but I can find quotes from scouts stating they feel Martin may be better. I think getting Martin in the second round if available will be the best thing out of the draft for us. McKnight behind Greene is not the option. The Bears and the Bengals were potential suitors for Martin but with their recent signings I think Martin could be a real possibility for us in the second round.
George Iloka: I don’t know where Iloka is scheduled to go. I’m seeing his projections all over the place. I’ve even seen it in the 1st but I really think that was a mistake and they meant Barron. I can’t see him going earlier than the third. Do we look at him in the third? If we have Landry and sign say… Atogwe and/or Leonhard back do we use a draft pick on a safety still to groom for the future? I say yes. Iloka is 6’4 222lbs and had a great pro-day. Plus he’s being scouted by the Pats.
Tyrone Crawford: DE 6’4" 282lbs We did just give away our 7th pick so I don’t know about this move now but we were looking at Crawford for some depth on the defensive end as it’s still pretty raw. After watching Crawford at BSU he’s definitely not an every down starter by any means but he’d definitely fit the bill in my opinion as an option to give some breathing room to the starts. By definition… depth.
Now… Kellen Moore: I’ve brought him up many times on the boards before. And I’ll bring him up again even with the signing of Tebow. We do need a backup QB. On our roster we now have Sanchez, Tebow and McElroy now that Stanton is off to Indy.
I personally want McElroy gone but even if we don’t cut him he’s cheap enough to stay on board. Hell we lost more on Stanton than what he costs. But after being injured the whole season and mouthing off the way he did after the season ended I don’t want him around. And I was a fan during preseason. I’d rather save the 400k than have him holding a clipboard personally.
Ok Greg rant off… Back to Kellen: Kellen is an underrated QB by draft standards. Because he plays for BSU and had a rough combine. His pro day was pretty good. In fact I believe it was quoted that he had the best pro day of any west QB besides Luck. He’s projected to be a very late round pick and I think the Jets should go in on him. They have absolutely nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain here. Let’s look at Kellen Moore the guy who I’ve heard some of you say the guy "who has a wet noodle for an arm".
He does lack size at 6" 197lbs but in his senior year he threw for 3800 yards 43tds and 9 ints with a 74.3 completion %. He is the winning-est QB in NCAA Div 1 college football at 50-3 as a starter. Moore might not be the most athletic when it comes to speed, and size but he’s got the intangibles that QBs like Tom Brady has. He’s got the instinct. The ability to predict and anticipate routes, he’s got precision, and something Tebow and Sanchez definitely don’t have… he’s got accuracy.
Personally I know we have needs and holes to fill but if I sit back and look at future potential and taking a gamble I headhunt one person in this draft with my later pick and that’s Kellen Moore. He’s the kind of guy that have all the naysayers thinking he’ll never cut it in the NFL because of that "noodle arm and size" and before you know it he’s in your division on the New England Patriots picking apart your defense twice year as your most hated rival. That’s what I see out of Kellen Moore. And the greatest part about that gamble. If it’s a 6th rounder and I’m wrong… what’d you lose? Drew Stanton?
Mark Sanchez – Tim Tebow & The Wildcat MeOW!
Ok let’s discuss this little Gem. I for one have stated like firestorm I did not want nor want Tim Tebow here. But alas, he is here. So… it’s time to look at the positives. For one I directly point you over to Crackback's Post on how we should start supporting our QB1 Mark Sanchez a little more. It is in our best interest AND the team’s best interest for Mark Sanchez to be extremely successful. This is his year to shine. If you’ve EVER supported Sanchez… now is the time to do so. He will need to hear your voice calling his name over all the Tebowites that don’t know anything about football.
But let’s figure out how Tebow CAN help the Jets instead of hurting it and I’m not just talking about Merchandising. (good ole spaceballs)
Back to the Wildcat.
The Wildcat offense as some have stated is an offense that some may consider taking a step back. I believe ESPN even tweeted an "anonymous Jet" (go figure) stating we’re taking a step back when the rest of the league is taking leaps forward because no one uses the wildcat anymore. On this I disagree. I think the Wildcat, if and when used properly can be lethal. The problem with us Jet fans is we’ve seen it so often with Schotty be misused and we just hated seeing it because it was so… shall we say… predictable. Every time Brad Smith lined up in the backfield I could have told you he was going to run right. How he ever gained any major yardage was beyond me. Defenses should have eaten that one right up. In my opinion for a Wildcat offense to be successful it needs to be changed up repeatedly. It needs to be deceiving. It needs to force the opponent to not have a clue what the hell you are going to do. Run, Throw, Play Action, Play Action Fake, Hand off to running back, Take it yourself, Half Back, Quarter back.. who the hell knows? You need to account for EVERYONE. You shouldn’t be able to stack the box. But you can’t play double coverage either. Blitzing is scary because you have to rush quick and on the right side. It’s designed to cause chaos on the other side of the field.
But the wildcat isn’t the only reason Tebow is here. There are other packages. Look at how the Pats used Hernandez in the backfield. It was successful. Defenses needed time to adjust to that. A Tight End in the back with the Running back? Where was the ball going? An extra blocker? Extra Pass protection? Isn’t that a thought an extra blocker next to Hunter if he’s still around?
There are a lot of goal line opportunities here. More 3rd and shorts. 4th and 1 opportunities that you know were eating Rex up last year that we might be able to go for because Tebow can make those. Think about how many times we wanted our defense to rest but the offense just couldn’t stay on the field. Maybe we can give them another set of downs to rest just by extending one more play.
And leadership? I keep hearing how QB2 can’t lead unless he’s QB1. I don’t buy that. Anyone in the locker room can lead. The damn water boy can be an inspiration. If Dennis Byrd can come in once and inspire a team so can Tim Tebow. Already I heard Matt Slauson say he’s excited because Tebow inspires him to be a better person. If that’s ONE person on the team who will play harder each week than I count that as a win. Expensive win… but a win none the less. Do I EVER want Tebow starting? Hell no. Not EVER!
I think I made it clear here I want Sanchez for at least the next 2 years and then Kellen Moore to replace him lol. But Tebow is here and if used correctly I think Sporano needs to merge his head together with Westhoff and get damn creative on how we’re going to use him and Sanchez better put on that thick skin he better have grown in NY for 3 years. Cause its game time bro. And I got your back because it’s your name on the back of mine. Not Tebows.
I think it’s been a crazy off-season so far and it’s going to get crazier next month with the draft. We didn’t want a splash… but we got one anyway. Hey… we’re the Jets. How else do we stay in the papers. One day though my fellow Jets… will be because the Lombardi Trophy is coming home… to US. And I honestly… in my heart of hearts feel it’s coming soon. I’m excited for this season already… I do wish I was a bug in Tanny’s ear as I wish most of you do, but if I walked into the office today and started whispering these thoughts into his ear would you all want me fired tomorrow or would you think it might be somewhat successful? Given where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going:
I leave you with this little quoted Gem I found from a 2009 ESPN article I found about the Wildcat being used in Miami and how other coaches feared it. And don’t let the fact that it says that Pat White is a "good thrower" turn you off because I realize I’m using this as a segway to Tebow being used in the Wildcat. Don’t let it undermine the point I’m trying to prove. Lol.
The addition of [Pat] White -- a good thrower -- to the Dolphins' Wildcat arsenal is the biggest fear for opposing teams. During the course of the 2008 season, defenses managed to contain the running portions of the Wildcat to some degree. It's the passing aspects that cause the greatest fears.
"You have to make sure you eliminate the big play," [Titans coach Jeff] Fisher said. "You work deep to short. You don't want the guy taking the ball and you have everybody chasing him, and then he throws it."
If you track the Dolphins' ability to operate the Wildcat, you see that teams kept finding answers. The Ravens stuffed the Wildcat during one regular-season game and again in the playoffs. After being burned by the Wildcat and losing their first meeting with the Dolphins, the Patriots shut it down and won the rematch. The element of the pass, though, is the next wave, and defensive coordinators have spent considerable time this offseason trying to come up with counterstrategies. At first, you'd see the starting quarterback move out of the way and locate himself on the side of the field. Now, teams are inserting a Wildcat package in which the starting quarterback is off the field, replaced by someone who might be a threat while running or passing.
"It gives you an extra blocker because now the quarterback is a runner," Fox said. "It creates that extra guy because historically, defenses never had to account for the quarterback as a threat to run or block. In the Wildcat, the quarterback position can now be a runner. If the back is not the runner, he's a blocker, so you get that overload in the running game."