Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chatman suspended. Plus all the final cuts.

Jesse Chatman has been suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. According to his agent, he tested positive for a diuretic in his system that can also be used as a masking agent, so he's forced to be suspended. Whatever the case, he's gone four games, and it's an explanation for the conflicting reports on his status.

Here is a list of all the moves, copied and pasted from Eric Boland's blog.

Injured Reserve:

S Cameron Worrell

Released:

LB Matt Chatham

DB Hank Poteat

Waived:

WR David Ball

OL Jacob Bender

WR Larry Brackins

DB Rudy Burgess

RB Jehuu Caulcrick

OL Stanley Daniels

OL Kyle DeVan

OL Nate Garner

DB James Ihedigbo

DL Thomas Johnson

DL Bryan Mattison

OL Matt McChesney

LB Blair Phillips

DL Ropati Pitoitua

TE Jason Pociask

WR Paul Raymond

LB Brandon Renkart

TE A.J. Schable


As far as my predictions went, since Chatman didn't make the final 53-man roster due to his suspension, there was an extra roster spot. I was wrong on Jason Pociask making the team. He was caught in a number's game, as the Jets liked Marcus Henry enough to make the team. I also didn't have Drew Coleman on the final roster.


However, if you think they are done, you're kidding yourself. Scout.com says the Jets put a claim on waived Saints guard Andy Allemann, but the Dolphins had a higher waiver priority. With just three runningbacks on the roster right now for the first four games, the Jets will probably make a move then.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cut-down predictions


Eric Mangini moved back his press conference from 1:00 to 6:00 to announce cuts. I'd imagine that's because they're either working a trade or they just aren't sure what to do.

A look at the Jets roster shows that it's very imbalanced. For the most part, depth is a problem. The Jesse Chatman saga still could end in a cut, trade, or nothing at all. A trade would make a lot of sense if the Jets believe they can get a backup offensive lineman, safety, or maybe a defensive lineman. Chatman isn't going to get many touches behind Jones and Washington, and if his 198 yard performance against Philadelphia can provide some value, it would be worth it.

But let's go position by position, and see what the Jets might do.

Quarterback:
Locks: Brett Favre, Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliff
Bubble: Erik Ainge

Runningback:
Locks: Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Tony Richardson
Bubble: Jesse Chatman, Jehuu Caulcrick

Wide Receiver:
Locks: Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith
Bubble: David Clowney, Marcus Henry, Wallace Wright
Pack your bags: Paul Raymond, David Ball, Larry Brackins

Tight end:
Locks: Chris Baker, Dustin Keller
Bubble: Bubba Franks, Jason Pociask
Pack your bags: AJ Schable

Offensive line:
Locks: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, Damien Woody
Bubble: Jacob Bender, Will Montgomery, Kyle DeVan, Matt McChesney, Wayne Hunter, Robert Turner, Nate Garner, Stanley Daniels

Defensive line:
Locks: Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis, Kenyon Coleman, Sione Pouha
Bubble: Mike DeVito, CJ Mosley, Thomas Johnson, Ropati Pitoitua, Bryan Mattison, Kareem Brown

Linebacker:
Locks: Vernon Gholston, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, David Harris, Eric Barton, David Bowens
Bubble: Marques Murrell, Cody Spencer, Kenwin Cummings
Pack your bags: Matt Chatham, Brandon Renkart

Secondary:
Locks: Darrelle Revis, Dwight Lowery, Eric Smith, Kerry Rhodes
Bubble: David Barrett, Ahmad Carroll, Justin Miller, Drew Coleman, Abram Elam, Cameron Worrell, Hank Poteat, James Ihebdigo
Pack your bags: Rudy Burgess

Kicker: Mike Nugent
Punter: Ben Graham
Long snapper: James Dearth

That's 34 players that should make the team, leaving 19 spots left for the bubble boys.

At least one more runningback will make the team. I'll tentatively say Chatman will play that role because he's really the only option. Caulcrick could make it, but Hutchinson's report scares me a little.

At wide receiver, I'll say that David Clowney and Wallace Wright make the team. Wright is valuable on special teams, while Clowney was too impressive before his collarbone injury to not make the team. Marcus Henry has a chance as well, but the 6th round pick could be caught in a numbers game. Chansi Stuckey's recent play at cornerback in the last game makes it more feasible that they keep six receivers, but seven?

Tight end is another interesting position. Baker and Keller are locks. I don't count James Dearth here because he rarely plays the position. Jason Pociask and Bubba Franks both have good reasons to make it: Pociask is a good blocker who has made a few nice plays receiving, while Franks is a veteran who already has a rapport with Brett Favre. If Favre were still in Green Bay, Franks might not make it. As the roster stands now, the Jets might just keep all four and use Pociask as a backup fullback and an H-Back.

The offensive line's starters are set, but the backups are a mess. Wayne Hunter, Robert Turner, and Will Montgomery are my picks to make the team, with Nate Garner making the practice squad. Those three have proven the most to the Jets throughout the preseason, but a veteran should be added.

The defensive line has a few decent options at backup defensive end. Obviously the three starters and Pouha, whom the Jets gave an extension to this offseason should make the team. CJ Mosley, Kareem Brown, and Mike DeVito are the three likely candidates to be backups as they've made the most noise in practice and in the games.

Linebacker is a tough position to project. The four starters and Gholston are clearly locks. David Bowens should also make the team based on his play the last few seasons. Marques Murrell, Cody Spencer, and Kenwin Cummings have all been impressive at different points in time this offseason. As good as Spencer has looked at times, Murrell's edge-rushing ability and Cummings's versatility (he can also play some D-Line) should be the differences for them.

The secondary is also difficult. Smith, Rhodes, Revis, and Lowery will likely start week one and are locks, and David Barrett's pay-cut and recent play at safety should earn him a roster spot. Abram Elam, Cameron Worrell, and James Ihebdigo will battle for the other backup safety role. Elam has the inside track due to his play last year, so he probably gets the job. Drew Coleman, Justin Miller, and Ahmad Carroll might be fighting for two spots. In a perfect world, the Jets would trade Carroll or Miller to a team needing a cornerback and a kick returner, but assuming no trades, I bet Coleman is the odd one out.

So after all that work, we're at 52 players. The final roster spot comes down to the following list of players.

QB Erik Ainge
WR Marcus Henry
OL Nate Garner
DL Bryan Mattison
LB Cody Spencer
CB Drew Coleman

I'll give the final spot to Ainge. Keeping four quarterbacks isn't very useful, but it gives them time to either work out a trade or at least stash Ainge until they need the roster spot for someone.

Practice squad:
S James Ihebdigo
WR Marcus Henry
FB Jehuu Caulcrickhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif
OL Nate Garner
OL Matt McChensney
DL Bryan Mattison
WR Paul Raymond
Someone cut from another team.

One final note, TheJetsBlog reports that a trade is in the works with Minnesota. Jesse Chatman could be involved, but his agent swears he won't be. Justin Miller and Chris Baker are legitimate possibilities, though trading your starting tight end a week before the season starts probably won't happen.

So who could it be? Kellen Clemens? Believe it or not, it could happen, as one rumor does say Clemens could go to Minnesota. Take it with a grain of salt until further confirmation, but remember the Jets have traded another quarterback, Brooks Bollinger, to Minnesota in the past.

The Jesse Chatman Saga

Is he or is he not cut?

I don't know. Dave Hutchinson says yes. Rich Cimini says not so fast. So what's the truth? The news definitely doesn't look good for you Jesse Chatman fans if you want him to be a Jet, but if Cimini is correct, the Jets are going to attempt to trade the veteran runningback.

I lean toward believing Cimini, but who knows for sure. We'll find out tomorrow or soon after.

The other reported cut players are TE AJ Schable, FB Jehuu Caulcrick, CB Hank Poteat, NT Thomas Johnson, and LB Matt Chatham. Caulcrick, Chatham, Poteat, and Chatman would all be surprises at this point. The fact that some of them are cut isn't unexpected at all, but at the first stage is a bit surprising.

Poteat played a major role in the secondary last season as one of the few defensive backs who was actually trustworthy.

Schable appeared to be seriously injured against Washington, but he recovered to play the next three games. He wasn't expected to make the team.

Chatham was a member of the Jets active roster the last two years, earning the ire of many Jets fans. He wasn't a bad player, but he's certainly replaceable.

Johnson played seasons with Houston and Dallas, but he was a longshot to make the team.

Caulcrick is a bruising rookie from Michigan State. I thought either he, Musa Smith, or Chatman would make the team. Apparently not.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm sorry, I'm sorry!

I know I haven't been able to get a Jets-Giants review up. You can always check thejetsblog or Boland or Cimini for some good stuff, but classes started yesterday for me, so I'm just getting into the swing of things.

Today, however, I will be blogging on SportsBlogNet.com so please visit me there today!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What to watch for: Jets vs Giants


Tonight is game 3 of the preseason for both New York teams. The Giants come in after having harassed the Cleveland Browns in their last game, leading 30-3 in the 2nd quarter and injuring Browns quarterback Derek Anderson. The Jets come in hoping that their newly acquired star quarterback can come out healthy.

If Favre comes out in one piece, the Jets will be happy, but they also hope the entire team can stay healthy and show improvement. The defense improved from week one to week two, but this week will be their biggest test as they will play presumably close to three quarters. The third game is always the biggest competition because both teams will play their starters longer, so it will be interesting to see who gets time and who plays well.

Players to watch
*Vernon Gholston: At some point, you'd like to see the 6th overall pick make an impact play.

*Dwight Lowery: He has as good a chance as anyone to get the other starting job at corner. This game will probably be his biggest test so far.

*Marques Murrell: Has a chance to make the team as an edge rusher. Looked great last game and has been solid in camp, so one more good performance could seal the deal.

*Chansi Stuckey/Brad Smith: With David Clowney injured, the race for the slot receiver role is between these two, just the way it began. It's still too close to call, a big performance by one player or the other could make the difference.

*Laveranues Coles: He probably won't play, but if he does, watch him to see how healthy he is.

*Brett Favre: He's been good in camp and shown flashes of greatness. However, that's been marred by some inconsistency, and you'd like to see him put up another good performance.

*Thomas Jones: Will he get more carries?

As for the Giants, they return a similar team to last season. Michael Strahan is gone, but Osi Umenyiora, Matthias Kiwanuka, Justin Tuck, Barry Cofield, and the rest of that front seven is strong enough to make up for his loss. Kenny Phillips, a safety from Miami, was their first round pick, and he's looked very good so far. They hope to fly underneath the radar and play the "no respect" card with the Jets taking the New York headlines and the Cowboys dominating the NFC headlines.

It's preseason, so don't get too excited, but the regular season beckons. 15 days until week one!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The loss (and possible return?) of Mike Westhoff


Brett Favre is here, and he'll revamp the offense. Vernon Gholston, Calvin Pace, and Kris Jenkins will certainly aid the defense. But what about special teams?

While the Jets have been inconsistent on the field for the past several years, there has always been one constant: the special teams would be there. Not necessarily the kicking and punting, as the Jets have had their troubles there, too, but with Mike Westhoff at the helm, they've always been able to cover and return kicks and punts.

No matter who has been back there returning kicks, the Jets have always ranked near the top in kickoff return yardage. The players have changed often, but there always manages to be talent back there, whether it's Chad Morton or Leon Washington.

Let's take a look at how the Jets have fared under Westhoff.

2001: In an injury-riddled special teams year, Craig Yeast, Chad Morton, Laveranues Coles, and others combined for 21.5 yards per kick return while Morton, Yeast, Santana Moss, and Aaron Glenn combined for 9.5 yards per punt return.

2002: Chad Morton earns a huge offseason deal with Washington after scoring scoring two touchdowns opening day en route to a Pro Bowl season returning kicks and punts. He averaged 26 yards per kick return and Santana Moss returned two punts for touchdowns, averaging 16.5 yards per return.

2003: Both Michael Bates and Jonathan Carter average over 27 yards per kick return, with Carter scoring a touchdown. Moss averaged 11.1 yards per return on punts.

2004: Carter, LaMont Jordan, and Jerricho Cotchery handle kick return duties, with Cotchery scoring a touchdown. They combine for a 22.6 yard average, while Moss and Justin McCareins combine for just 7.6 yards per return.

2005: The Jets recognized the 2004 special teams personnel problems, addressing them in the offseason with Justin Miller, Mike Nugent, and Derrick Blaylock. Miller averaged 26.3 yards per return with a touchdown. Cotchery, Miller, and McCareins struggled to a 6.4 yard average on punts.

2006: Miller improved upon his 2005 campaign, averaging 28.3 yards per return with two touchdowns en route to the Pro Bowl. Tim Dwight and Leon Washington split the punt return duties, averagin 8.4 yards per return.

2007: A knee injury sidelined Miller early in 2007, leaving Leon Washington to handle both kick and punt return duties. He responded by averaging 27.5 yards per kick and 9.2 yards per punt with three touchdowns.

His kickoff coverage units have also been stellar. Since he joined the Jets, they've scored twelve touchdowns and only given up five.

However, after the 2007 season, the venerable special teams coach called it quits at the age of 60. Kevin O'Dea was hired as his replacement after two seasons as an assistant special teams coach in Chicago, a team known for its special teams prowess.

He had also been the special teams coach in Arizona from 2004-05. His units weren't particularly effective, but he did help lead kicker Neil Rackers to his best season as a professional in 2005.

This was a coaching change that went largely under the radar, but many diehard Jets fans were concerned how this would affect the team. Apparently, the front office still has concerns with O'Dea and with losing Westhoff.

According to former NFL executive Michael Lombardi's blog, the Jets are in serious discussions with their former coach, hoping to re-hire Westhoff. Lombardi writes that the Jets are "very unhappy" with what O'Dea has done so far.

If true, it's a bad omen for O'Dea, but bringing back Westhoff could only help. Most of the special teams players that will make the final roster are already familiar with Westhoff's work, and those who aren't will receive a crash course in what he wants.

This story was first broken yesterday, and there's no follow-up on it yet from any other outlet besides Lombardi. Obviously, the coaching staff will say nothing. If this story fades away in the days and weeks ahead, it'll be understandable, and maybe Lombardi's source isn't particularly strong. But bringing Westhoff back would be a boon as he is still one of the best in the business.

It's up to Westhoff. The Jets probably didn't want him to leave last year, so they'd be happy with him returning. Otherwise, the special teams could be an issue at times. The players are very similar to last year's, so the pressure is on O'Dea to keep the bar high.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Final open Hofstra practice today

Today was the final practice in Hofstra's history, and the Jets managed to screw it up How? They waited until 11:49 PM last night to notify the fans. Dave Hutchinson thinks it could be Eric Mangini's fault, but for something like this, it's the entire organization that's at fault. It's bad PR by the Jets, something they can hardly afford with PSL announcements forthcoming. But unless you were planning on going to the final practice at Hofstra, this isn't really news.

Besides, would this even be a story if Brett Favre weren't here?

Onto the actual practices themselves. Dwight Lowery might be playing himself into the starting role opposite the stellar Darrelle Revis. The 4th round pick out of San Jose State is trying to make himself the next in a line of 4th round finds (Kerry Rhodes, Leon Washington, Brad Smith) in recent seasons. Justin Miller and David Barrett both have their faults, and Lowery has been surprisingly solid.

Favre's been pretty sharp lately. He's zipped passes around impressively. The main issue with him is whether there is enough time for him to pick up enough of the playbook and for him to develop a rapport with the receivers, backs, and tight ends. He's had some inconsistencies with that at practice with some miscommunications and the like, but the early returns on him are positive.

Wallace Wright also had a strong practice yesterday. The receiver race is extremely interesting, and David Clowney's injury muddles it some more. Clowney could be placed on IR, but he should be back at some point. With Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles locks to make the roster, Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith, Clowney, Wallace Wright, and Marcus Henry all are battling to make the roster. Henry was a 6th round pick this offseason, but he could be the odd man out. Wright and Smith are special teams stars, and Stuckey has been a little more impressive than Henry.

Erik Ainge and Henry are two potential draft picks this season that both have chances to be cut. Ainge has been hurt and pretty unimpressive, while Henry may be caught up in a numbers game. Both would be good practice squad options, but there's a good chance both would be snatched up quickly.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jets vs Redskins Review

On Saturday night, the Jets suffered their first loss of 2008. A 13-10 loss at the hands of the Washington Redskins dropped the team to 1-1 in the preseason. Brett Favre went 5-6 and in his first game in green and white, he showed some glimpses of what it will be like watching a legend in the regular season. He still has a long way to go learning the offense, but he passed his first test in Jet green.

He led the Jets down the field in his second possession to a touchdown, on a pass to Dustin Keller. The Redskins eventually cut it to 7-6 as Kellen Clemens struggled to get the offense going 5-12. In his defense he suffered through four drops, but once again he was upstaged by Brett Ratliff.

When James Ihebdigo misplayed a pass from Colt Brennan, the Redskins took the lead. But then Ratliff led the Jets 71 yards down the field, giving them a chance to win. Then the Jets self-destructed. Rookie free agent Paul Raymond dropped a pass in the end zone that would have won it. Then Ratliff had to call the Jets' last time out after they ran out of time on the play clock. Finally Nugent came out to try a field goal from 23 yards to send a preseason game to overtime, which he clanged off the upright.

Jets fans left with a mix of shock and awe. Some were happy a preseason game wasn't going to overtime, while others were just shocked at the absurdity of the ending. Needless to say, if this game had been in November, heads would roll.

But the Jets' first team did play pretty well. The defense showed improvement over last week, with LBs Calvin Pace, Eric Barton, Ryan Spencer, Marques Murrell and DEs Kareem Brown and Kenwin Cummings all impressing. Pace and Barton are locks not just to make the team, but to start, too, while the other four may be competing with each other for slots. Murrell and Spencer both showed potential rushing the quarterback while Brown and Cummings have been impressive in both games so far. Murrell hurt Redskins backup Todd Collins on one rush, leading to Ihebdigo's interception of third-stringer Derek Devine.

A few offensive players who stood out include Jason Pociask, Jesse Chatman, and Ratliff. David Clowney continued his impressive camp by turning a short Kellen Clemens pass into a 29 yard pickup, but he left with a collarbone injury and will be out several weeks. Bad news there as Clowney was asserting himself as a legitimate deep threat.

As for the new Clemens vs Ratliff battle, which so far has been more in the minds of Jets fans fed up with the former Oregon Duck's lack of development. Clemens was victimized by his own teammates, but the fact is that Ratliff has outplayed Clemens in both preseason games and has shown flashes in training camp. Kellen remains the number two, but perhaps that can change down the line.

Next come the Giants on Saturday. This is the same team who gave Derek Anderson a possible concussion last night, so this is a big test. The Jets need to keep people happy and show that their brand new offense and defense are ready to face a Super Bowl champion. It's a tall order, but if the Jets are impressive, it could be a good omen for the regular season.

Expect Favre to play a lot more against the crosstown rivals. God forbid, if he somehow gets hurt, there will be riots between Jets and Giants fans.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Isn't this strange seeing the Jets on the front page everywhere?

Granted, it's all Favre, but still, this is crazy. Favre says his arm feels "fatigued" and it makes the front page of every sports website. Jericho Cotchery (as ESPN spelled his name, sorry, Jerricho) was interviewed on SportsCenter. It's everywhere.

The news isn't all that great though. Favre didn't have a particularly good practice Wednesday, throwing one bad interception to Abram Elam and made some interesting comments after practice.

“My arms’ kind of dragging a little bit today. It’s not really sore, just fatigued. To be honest with you I’m surprised...I don’t want to say I feel good but that I’ve been able to make it through every practice so far. I think maybe this afternoon I’m going to talk to Eric (Mangini) about limiting my throws a little bit (for the afternoon practice). I didn’t throw the ball very well this morning. No pain, but I’m 38 years old, gotta be fatigued a little bit. My arm for the most part has felt great, legs a little big fatigued. You gotta figure I’m a little behind these guys, like Damien Woody said to me this morning, ‘I’ve been here since the 19th (of July) doing all this stuff.”

That's taken from Boland's blog. He's an old man and he's tired. I'm not too concerned that he's tired because it was to be expected, but Favre knows the plan, and he insists that he likes it here. One thing I might expect to become a controversy at some point is the final preseason game. If Favre plays, he's doing more work before the first game. If he doesn't, and he looks rusty in week one, it'll be a big deal.

But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it..

One interesting note from practice though, and this is what has to excite Jets fans about Favre. During the two minute drill, Favre was concluding a slightly disappointing practice, facing 4th and 10 from his own 47 in a two minute drill. Then Brad Smith raced down the sideline, Favre hit him perfectly in stride for the touchdown and the "win." Say what you want about Pennington, but he would never do that.

Other notes...

*Ahmad Carroll has been impressive returning punts. He could be a darkhorse to win that job. Leon Washington, Chansi Stuckey, and Dwight Lowery are the other, more touted prospects.

*Kellen Clemens is still the backup quarterback. Don't believe the rumors to the contrary, though Ratliff has looked pretty good.

*Bryan Thomas made a nice play, forcing the ball out of Dustin Keller's hands. Don't be surprised if Thomas steps up and plays the way he did in 2006.

*Shaun Ellis likely will be out of Saturday's game against Washington with a hand injury.

*David Clowney was hurt in the morning practice. No word on how serious the injury is, and he was supposedly walking fine after practice.

Finally, one last Favre note. Laveranues Coles still isn't talking to the media, so people are concerned he's upset with Favre being here even though he was good friends with Chad Pennington. The new quarterback spoke with Coles, hoping that they could develop a rapport and that he just wants to win, not replace his friend. They're fine.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Favre's first practice

Before we get to the good news, let's catch up on a few things that have happened between Thursday night and today.

*Backup tight end A.J. Schable was released from the hospital. Great news as that injury looked like it could have been a bad one.

*Linebacker Brad Kassell has been placed on IR. It's blow to the depth at linebacker and the first major injury for the Jets roster. Offensive lineman Thaddeus Coleman was signed to replace Kassell, who was the special teams captain. Coleman is 6'8" from Mississippi Valley State.

*Chad Pennington signed with Miami. 2 years, $11.6 million dollars. Chad got what he wanted, a starting job (most likely), but Miami is going nowhere this year, and he's not a good enough quarterback anymore to make a difference. I wish him luck, and hopefully he can resurrect his career (but not too well). See ya, week one!

Now, practice. It was a festive atmosphere at camp today for Brett Favre's first practice, as expected. Favre showed off his cannon arm several times, but there was some rust, both on Favre's end and on the receivers' end. Favre is still getting used to playing football again, and the new playbook isn't making things easier.

Something interesting to watch will be how the receivers, backs, and tight ends adjust to Favre's passes. Going from Chad Pennington, who throws the softest, easiest to catch balls in the league perhaps to Favre is a major change.

He did throw an interception to Matt Chatham that was tipped at the line, but for the most part, he showed more good than bad.

*Brett Ratliff and David Clowney will make the team. I don't know what this means for Eric Ainge, but Ratliff had another great practice. After his great performance on Thursday, he's going to be the no. 3 quarterback. If Kellen Clemens doesn't watch out, Ratliff might even be the primary backup, but he's still got a hill to climb for that role.

Clowney scored on a long end-around for 50 yards. He might just be that element of raw speed the Jets have lacked at receiver since Jonathan Carter. Hopefully Clowney's play in camp and in the first preseason game can translate into big plays in actual games.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Quick hits so far

*Clemens looked alright. 4-6, 31 yards, nothing much to see there.

*Thomas Jones: 4 carries, 11 yards. He had no running room, and he couldn't make anything happen. Just like last year, but I'm not complaining yet.

*The defense is struggling. As I type this, the Browns are about to score again. They're running slants, and the defense has no answer.

*Yep, now it's 14-7 Browns.

*Ratliff to Clowney for 71 yards on the other Brett's first throw. Those two made some noise at camp, and now they've scored in an actual preseason game. Clowney then made a nice tackle on special teams. On Ratliff's second throw, he nearly threw a pick going over the wrong shoulder.

*A weather delay? Seriously? I was watching at a bar, and all I saw was the players all running off the field. I put two and two together and figured there was lightning, but with no sound, it was kind of strange.

*Big Brother 10 is just a bunch of guys lying down without their shirts off. This is not what your audience wishes to see, CBS.

*More CBS issues. The one-sided interview with Joe Namath. If you didn't catch this, Ian Eagle and Greg Buttle were interviewing the great Jet quarterback. They asked him a question, no response from Namath that we could hear, but the announcers laughed like they could hear him. Then they asked another question, and CBS cut all the audio feed because it was pretty hilarious.

Then after a timeout and a commercial break, they were back with the interview. Once again, no Namath feed. This time, they went on with the interview for almost the entire Browns possession. Laughable job.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

BRETT FAVRE IS A JET

I am not kidding you.

As much as I've wanted this Favre saga to end, now it's about to start anew in New York.

Brett Favre is a New York Jet. ESPN is saying it, FoxSports is saying it. No word on compensation.

I'm speechless. More reaction later.

12:28 PM: Well, tomorrow will be a circus. Chad Pennington or Kellen Clemens? Completely irrelevant. Tomorrow may be the last time we see Pennington in a Jets uniform if he is even on the team by gametime. You have to feel for the man who gave everything he had to the Jets, but nobody wanted to see the same old Chad start again.

How will Favre react to New York? It will be interesting to see how Favre responds to being in a huge market, but I trust Eric Mangini. It will be a circus, but if Favre plays anything like he did last season, he's one of the better quarterbacks in the league and a huge upgrade.

Unbelievable... Still more reaction to come as I wrap my head around this.

1:23 PM: Finaly, a word on compensation. This is what was rumored, but here it is from the NFL Network.

4th round pick: Currently what is owed to Green Bay (the bare minimum)
3rd round pick: Owed if Favre plays 50% of snaps
2nd round pick: Owed if Favre plays 70% of snaps AND Jets make playoffs
1st round pick: Owed if Favre plays 80% of snaps AND Jets make Super Bowl

1:33 PM:Pennington will be cut or traded on Thursday (today). This is according to the man himself, Mike Tannenbaum.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Favre to the Jets?

First, let's get some other business out of the way. Chris Baker has been activated off the PUP list, and he appears to be in a better mood than he was a few weeks ago when he was concerned about his contract being redone. He's mostly blocking and isn't talking about his contract dispute and is "happy to be here."

There's nothing in the last few practices to indicate whether Pennington or Clemens will start next season. Both have played alright, neither particularly great.

...which brings us back to Favre.

ESPN says the Jets offered a 4th rounder that could potentially be a 2nd rounder based on incentives. Peter King of Sports Illustrated reports the Jets offered a 3rd that could move up to a 1st based on incentives.

With the Jets playing the Browns tomorrow night, and Green Bay wanting to get something done as soon as possible, this could happen within the next two days. The Bucs are the other suitor, and something tells me that Jon Gruden will make sure he can bring in Favre at all costs.

Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. This is not over.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Position Analysis: Wide Receiver

With all the attention in New York Jets camp on the quarterback competition, the wide receiver position has been largely ignored in training camp. This is largely because the two starters, Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery, are firmly entrenched as the starting flankers on opening day, but the battle for the slot receiver is as entertaining as any other training camp battle.

The starters

The veteran Coles is still the primary target, especially if his friend Chad Pennington is the starting quarterback, but he's poised to bounce back after an injury-plagued year. He went from 91 receptions, 1098 yards, and 6 touchdowns to 55, 646, and 6. This year the mercurial Coles is healthy and happy that coach Eric Mangini's training camps have shortened this year, and with a new offensive line, he should have more room to wreak havoc on opposing defenses.

He went from being a track star, running a 4.17 40 yard dash at Florida State to becoming a tough and shifty receiver in the NFL. Entering his ninth season, he's gained a reputation as a gamer. He's a guy teams love to have on their side as he plays hard, runs crisp routes, and possesses good hands.

Opposite Coles is the younger Cotchery. The former North Carolina State star had his first 1000 yard season last year with 82 catches and 1130 yards. However, his touchdown output dropped from six to two touchdowns, but with shoddy offensive line and quarterback play, the offense as a whole struggled to score.

He's very similar to Coles in that he is a possession receiver who is becoming known for his toughness. In a more explosive offense, he should be able to put up similar numbers even with a healthier Coles on the other side.

Together the two are a dangerous combination of possession receivers. Neither is a true no. 1, but any team would love to have either player. While both have the ability to break tackles and run after the catch, they would benefit from another gamebreaker to provide a deep threat to keep defenses more honest or a big receiver who can help in the red zone.

Rookie tight end Dustin Keller could be that guy. Leon Washington and Thomas Jones might provide an effective enough running attack to help, but eventually, someone else will need to step up at wide receiver to take pressure off the two starters. Coles will also be 31 at the end of the season, and his physical style of play may start to wear him down.

So who are the candidates to be the Jets' third receiver? Let's take a look, in order of most likely to win the job to least likely.

Other receivers

Chansi Stuckey has yet to play a down in the NFL, and he was just a 7th round pick out of Clemson in 2007, but the Jets like him so much that he's the early favorite. He is a bit on the small side (6-0, 185, but that may be a stretch), but he's shifty and has turned heads in each of his two training camps. He missed last season with a foot injury, but he has been lining up at slot receiver in camp. He just has to stay healthy.

Brad Smith was a record-setting running quarterback at Missouri, but he's yet to provide much of an impact in the NFL. The Jets have made him a jack-of-all-trades, but in his first extended look at receiver last year, he struggled at times with his hands. The 6-2, 210 Smith has the most NFL experience and caught 32 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns last year, but he's only entering his third year learning the position. Don't be surprised if he wins the job.

David Clowney was signed off Green Bay's roster last season, but he's really been impressive in camp. Eric Mangini has been effusive with praise for the former Virginia Tech Hokie, and even though Stuckey and Smith are the two favorites, the 6-0, 188 speedster might just turn enough heads to win the job.

Marcus Henry was a sixth round pick out of Kansas this season. He was a late bloomer in college, making 54 receptions for 1014 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Big XII champions. At 6-4, 210, he is a big target, but late round rookie receivers rarely make much of an impact.

Wallace Wright is primarily a special teamer, and a very god one at that, but he did make six catches for 87 yards last season. He has a good chance to make the team based solely on his special teams ability, but he's near the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to receivers. He is 6-1, 200 with pretty good speed, but don't expect him to make much of an impact offensively.

David Ball was activated for one game last season. His 58 touchdowns at New Hampshire broke Jerry Rice's record, but he made no impact his rookie season as an undrafted free agent. The 6-1, 197 Ball needs to make some plays in preseason if he wants to stick.

Paul Raymond is a 5-10, 185 rookie from Brown. He's turned heads in camp with his blazing speed, but with several other young receivers in camp, he has an uphill battle if he wants to make the team. He could be practice squad material.

None of these other candidates has much of a track record, but each of them has enough talent where they can make an impact. Stuckey is the favorite to win the job, but Smith, Clowney, Henry, and Wright all could make the team as well.

With Chris Baker, Dustin Keller, and Bubba Franks at tight end and Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Jesse Chatman, Tony Richardson, and either Musa Smith or Jehuu Caulcrick at runningback, the Jets likely won't rely on three receiver sets, but if one of the kids impresses, the Jets won't hesitate to give that player every opportunity to make plays.