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Top Five Reasons Why the New York Jets Won’t Win the Wild Card Round

Published: January 7, 2010

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This is a tough one for me to admit but the truth is the truth.

The New York Jets could actually lose their re-match in the coming Wild Card round against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fair is fair. I recently wrote about the top five reasons why the Jets will win the Wild Card round and now feel compelled to be “objective” enough to list the reasons why they won’t.

Like it or not, Jets fans need to recognize that winning this game is not written in stone.

Real Jets fans know wholeheartedly that their beloved Jets losing an important game like this is far from unlikely.

For Jets fans, being surprised to see this team totally blow an important game is a little like being surprised to find out Perez Hilton or Elton John is gay.

It’s like, “Where have you been hiding?!?”

So, while it greatly pains me, here are the top five reasons why the Jet faithful should be slightly worried.


The Sanchez Question

Our highly touted rookie QB has been almost as much misery as he has been joy for this team.

When this young man is clicking on all cylinders, watch out!

We’ve all seen the flashes of brilliance which draw us to him like moths to a flame.

However there is that other side of Sanchez, the dark side that is a veritable turnover machine.

Sanchez had an AFC leading 20 interceptions in his debut season to go along with nine lost fumbles.

The Bengals have a solid pass defense that was ranked sixth in the league. Bengal’s corners Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph have six INTs each and are sure to be salivating at a chance to snag a Sanchez lame duck pass.

Cincinnati Bengal’s head coach Marvin Lewis, once the defensive coordinator for both the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins, has amassed a 36-6-1 record when they win the turnover battle and are 7-35 when they don’t.

Winning the turnover battle is mandatory for the Jets or they will lose.

The Jets also need to avoid falling behind to this team, which would force them to put the game on the arm of Sanchez.

That is a situation that could, and likely would, spell disaster for the Jets.

Which Sanchez shows up for Saturday’s game may just be the most pivotal factor in this entire game.


The Bengals Run Defense

This one is bound to be hard to hear and swallow for the Jets faithful, especially in light of the fact that our beloved Jets come into the post season touting the leagues best defense over all.

Hold on to your butts but Cincinnati has a better run defense than we do.

Yeah, I couldn’t quite believe it either, but it’s true…sort of.

The Jets ended the season with the leagues 8th best run defense while the Bengals ended with the 7th best run defense.

Thankfully, the difference between 7th and 8th is an extremely tiny one. The Jets averaged 98.6 rushing yards allowed per game on defense compared to the Bengals 98.3 average.

One would think that these two stats prove this area will be a wash for both teams but I beg to differ.

Should the 7th ranked run defense play to its’ potential, the single biggest asset the Jets have could be rendered useless.

Let’s not shrug off the fact that Domata Peko, arguably their best run stuffer, will be back on the field come game day.

Should the Bengals manage to disturb or even shut down our run game, it’s good night Irene for the Jets.

It is absolutely essential for the Jets to establish the run game early on.

Without that amazing running game in sync and clicking, we are faced with the prospect of depending on our rookie QB Mark Sanchez to win the game for us and that is just not bloody likely.

The best news the Jets face here is that strong side linebacker Rey Maualuga, the closest they have to an impact player, is on IR.


Head Coach “Brago-saurus” Rex Ryan

Love him or hate him, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is a colorful character and a defensive genius.

While this is far from Ryan’s first trip to the post season, Rex was on the 2000 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens coaching staff, it is his first as the captain of the ship.

Going into his first post season as a head coach, Ryan’s own inexperience could ultimately be a factor that plays against the Jets.

It’s a game of inches which means even the tiniest sideline decision from Ryan could make or break this team on game day.

Don’t forget Ryan is also trying to buck history as no rookie head coach has ever made it to the big game…never mind winning it.


The Final Two Minutes

Here is another point no Jets fan wants to hear.

The Jets defense tends to forget that an NFL game consists of 60 minutes, not 58.

Our vaulted defense cost us three in the win column with late-game failures against the Dolphins, Jaguars, and Falcons.

Despite a litany of rookie mistakes by the young Mark Sanchez, the bottom line in each of those games was that we were winning and it was our defenses inability to make one more stop in the final minutes that cost us dearly.

The loss to Atlanta really stands out. Everyone admitted that they knew exactly which play Atlanta was going to run, they knew it was going to Gonzalez and yet…

The return of Bengals RB Cedric Benson will come into play here.

Benson gives the Bengals offense a little more balance, helping to prolong drives. Benson has run for a team record six 100-yard games this year and, if he proves to be a factor, could wear our defensive stars down.

Should the game come down to a final defensive stand, will the Bengals be facing the number 1 defense in the league or the defense that gave away three games in the final moments?


The Mental Game

By nearly all accounts, the Bengals state of mind is being called into question.

Can they over come the beat down suffered at the hands of these same Jets?

Has the tragic loss of WR Chris Henry deflated them?

Honestly, I don’t believe that the Bengals will over come the mental aspect of all those factors, especially having lost the last three out of four games to end the season.

There is, however, a flip side to this you must consider.

With all the negative attention, this team has quite a lot to prove to itself, its’ fans, the media, and the football world at large.

This team could very well show up with a very large chip on their shoulders, channeling all their energy, focus, and emotions into a supreme effort against the Jets. It’s one of the intangibles of the game that may come out to bite us.

On the flip-side, you have to worry about over-confidence.

An over-confident Jets team could spell disaster for our playoff run as well.

Over-confident players tend to over look their opponents and despite all the negatives faced by the Bengals, they are a professional, playoff football team.

Overlook them at your own peril.

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New York Jets Vs. Miami Dolphins – Who Will Win?

Published: October 12, 2009

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Tonight’s NFL match up between the AFC East rival New York Jets and Miami Dolphins should be a great night of football.

Leading up to this game, the Jets have made a pretty big splash with the surprise acquisition of Cleveland Brown WR Braylon Edwards, while the Dolphins have remained surprisingly stoic following the big trade news. Publicly, Miami claims the new addition to the Jets line up makes very little difference to them or how they will prepare for this game.

Yeah, right.

Miami had better be planning their collective butts off if they hope to win this match up. The Dolphins aren’t exactly playing badly on defense, but they’ve had some issues in the secondary. There has been some pretty bad tackling in the secondary this year and their linebackers have been getting killed by opposing tight ends all season.

The addition of Edwards changes the landscape in New York significantly. At 6′3″ and 215 pounds, Edwards is the Jets tallest receiver and a legitimate deep threat that cannot be ignored. His presence will force the Miami defense to show less 8 and 9 man fronts which should open things up tremendously for the Jets running game. Of course, there is always the possibility that Miami chooses to stack the box anyway and force the rookie to prove he can get it to Edwards. To get the running game going against this Miami defense will definitely require Mark Sanchez to step up his offensive production with fewer mistakes.

The ball is your friend Mark. Protect your friend.

Edwards comes into this game with a lot to prove after a miserable sub-par performance last season, that included a ton of worrisome drops. Already wowing them at Jets practices this past week, Edwards gives the appearance of a man who has had a weight lifted from his shoulders. This, coupled with a relatively easy transition into the New York offense thanks to playing a similar system in Cleveland, tells me Edwards will be loose and ready to deal in Miami. Plus you can’t ignore Edwards history of putting on a show during prime time games. His three 100-yard receiving games last season all came during prime time games.

Look for Edwards to really step up his game if Jerricho Cotchery cannot play tonight. Cotchery is heading into this game with a hamstring injury and is currently listed as ‘questionable’ on the team injury report. He will be a game time decision.

The upgraded pass offense should help tremendously with the running game but the Jets still face quite the up hill battle against the Miami rush defense. The Dolphins are allowing a measly 61 yards per game rushing this season. The Jets have the league’s No. 9 ranked rushing offense and are currently averaging 130.5 yards per game on the ground, most of which have come in the later minutes of the game.

Thomas Jones has not looked quite like the guy who was carving up the AFC last season but I think we will see an increase in his productivity now that rookie RB Shonn Greene has turned a few heads and maybe even lit a small fire under Jones. During the New Orleans game Greene only had four touches for 23 yards but averaged a fantastic 5.75 yards per carry that day. Greene was impressive as he ripped off consecutive carries of 9 and 7 yard gains, turning heads in the process. Only a tweaked ankle kept the rookie from peeling off more yards.

On the other side of the ball, the Jets defense is facing the number one run offense in the league. The Miami run game is averaging 183.5 rushing yards per game and an unbelievable 5.0 per carry on the ground. Dolphin running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams have 72 carries for 369 yards and 248 yards on 50 carries respectively. The Jets will definitely have their hands full on Monday night against the run.

The darling of last season, Miami’s Wildcat formation has become the bread and butter of this Dolphins team. Taking advantage of defenders over pursuing the ball and getting themselves out of position, Miami may find the Wildcat rather tame as Rex Ryan’s defense is very disciplined and unlikely to over pursue or get out of position too often.

New York’s ability to shut down Miami’s prolific running game will be the key to their victory. Miami lost veteran and former Jets starting QB Chad Pennington to injury for the season and possibly more, leaving the ball in the inexperienced hands of Chad Henne. Henne led his team to a victory in his NFL debut as a starter but that was against the lowly Buffalo Bills. This week Henne is going up against CB Darrelle Revis and one of the best defenses in the league. They are allowing just 14.2 points and 278 yards of total offense per game.

Fresh off a 4 game suspension for violating the leagues PED policy, linebacker Calvin Pace is back on the field and will help bring enormous pressure on Henne from all ends. I find it hard to imagine Henne having much success with the adversity he faces this week. Expect to see Rex Ryan blitz Henne hard and often in an effort to force mistakes from the QB.

There is no doubt in my mind that Bart Scott and crew have been salivating at thought of getting all over Henne. Using mostly four-man pressures, Henne was sacked six times last week by the Bills. Look for the Jets to send five, six or even seven rushers after Henne in an effort to keep him in as many third-and-long situations as possible. The Jets defense should be able to deliver several hits on the QB with this game plan.

So what do all these numbers and situations add up to? I predict it will add up to another notch in the win column for these Jets. In the end, I believe the Jets defense will be too much for Miami. The New York defense has only allowed three touchdowns in 46 possessions and that’s just unbelievably good defense.

This will be a good, close game but the Jets will find a way to edge Miami out because they are just better.

Related posts:

  1. Jets Running Game May Reap Biggest Rewards From Edwards Trade
  2. Cotchery Could Miss Monday Night’s Game At Miami
  3. ESPN’s Herm Edwards and Mark Schlereth Pick Miami To Win

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ESPN’s Herm Edwards and Mark Schlereth Pick Miami Dolphins To Win

Published: October 10, 2009

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ESPN’s Mark Schlereth and former New York Jets head coach Herm Edwards both think that the Jets defense can’t hang with the Miami Dolphins offense. Both analysts agree that the Dolphins ability to control time of possession with a power run game, coupled with a defense they feel can play good enough to keep the Jets off the score board will win the game.

As one might guess, I completely disagree with this premise. Yes, the Dolphins come in with a pretty awesome running game, which may or may not gives us some trouble but there is no way their defense is good enough to shut us down offensively.

The Dolphins TE coverage has been absolutely horrible this year and that alone is going to make this Jets offense more than a handful for them. Keller is a match up nightmare for the Dolphins and I would look to see him involved heavily in Monday night’s game plan.

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Cotchery Could Miss Monday Night’s Game At Miami

Published: October 10, 2009

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New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan says WR Jerricho Cotchery may not play on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins.

Cotchery missed Friday’s practice with a hamstring injury.

Cotchery has been terrific so far this season, with 23 catches for 356 yards and a touchdown. Having Cotchery watching from the bench Monday night, could be a major blow to the offense. Especially now, when this team is trying to rebound from a pretty bad loss to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

Rookie QB Mark Sanchez had a woeful day at the hands of the New Orleans defense, tossing 3 interceptions including one that was returned 99 yards for a touchdown. Sanchez would also lose a fumble in the endzone surrendering an additional 7 points to the Saint defense.

With Cotchery out the Jets would have to depend on WR’s David Clowney, Brad Smith and Wallace Wright. No official word has been given yet who it would be. My money would be on either Wright or Clowney.  I’m not so sure Smith has shown the hands yet to get the nod, but I could be totally wrong. I admit that it won’t surprise me a bit to see all three used to fill in the role.

“That’s a possibility, I’m expecting him to play, but that’s a definite possibility… The hamstring’s still bothering him some, so we’ll see, I’m definitely not ruling him out, but he’s not 100 percent right now.”
– New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan

The timing of this couldn’t be worse. The Jets having just pulled the trigger on a major trade with Cleveland for WR Braylon Edwards; giving up wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, linebacker Jason Trusnik and two draft picks in the process.

A move that is sure to spread things out on the field, help open up the running game and give our young QB, a little more breathing room in the pocket to make better decisions from.

Of course, this plan depends on Cotchery as much as it does Edwards. Cotchery has proven that he can not be ignored by opposing defenses. Edwards represents the deep threat that will help relieve Cotchery and TE Dustin Keller of some of the double teams they have been seeing. The combination of Edwards, Cotchery and Keller on the field should prove to be explosive.

Certainly looks great on paper!

There is no doubt that both the Jets and Jets fans are eager to see Cotchery lined up opposite Edwards. Everyone is waiting and hoping for those fireworks to start.

Hopefully all this speculation is just folly and Cotchery will play. Let’s see what Monday night brings.

Related posts:

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  2. Rex Ryan Regrets Channing Crowder Exchange
  3. Cleveland Browns WR Braylon Edwards Going To The New York Jets

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Mark Sanchez Hit with $5K Fine for Vilma Hit

Published: October 8, 2009

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New York Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez was fined $5,000 by the NFL for his low block on New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma last weekend. The league offices don’t confirm fines until Friday, but Sanchez volunteered the information yesterday.

Sanchez dived at the legs of Vilma when Darren Sharper ran an interception back 99-yards for a touchdown in the second quarter Sunday. The low block resulted in a 15-yard personal foul penalty.

Vilma was less than impressed with the block, expressing some surprise with how it played out. Vilma agreed that the league should fine Sanchez for the low hit.

Sanchez, in a stand up move, said he called Vilma on Tuesday and apologized. The apology was reportedly well received by Vilma.

The first of four turnovers by Sanchez against the Saints, including three picks, Sharper’s interception was the beginning of the end for Sanchez that day. Sanchez would also have a fumble recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

I fully expect the young QB to bounce back strong against this week’s opponent, the Miami Dolphins. He will need to because it appears the Dolphins are still steaming over the trash talk exchanged between Dolphins LB Channing Crowder and Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

Expect the Dolphins defensive squad to be looking to cream the rookie at every chance.

Related posts:

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  3. Jets-Texans: The Mark Sanchez Era Starts with a Bang

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Philadelphia Eagles Land Michael Vick

Published: August 14, 2009

commentNo Comments reported  last night that quarterback Michael Vick has signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. His agent, Joel Segal, has confirmed the report.

The Eagles will hold a news conference this morning to announce the signing.

The deal is for $1.6 million in the first year with an option for the second year at $5.2 million. Vick can also earn an additional $3 million in incentives over the two years of the contract, according to’s Len Pasquarelli.

Vick was the Atlanta Falcons No. 1 draft pick in 2001 and was once the highest-paid player in football.

Not a bad rebound for the beleaguered Vick. Vick has been mired with bankruptcy ever since he was convicted in August 2007 of conspiracy and running a dogfighting operation, listing assets of about $16 million and debts of more than $20 million.

Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison and suspended indefinitely by the NFL for his transgressions. Vick has not played since 2006, ironically, his last game being against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vick is a three-time Pro Bowler, rushing for 1,039 yards in 2006, the most by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history. His 8.45 yards a carry average for the 2006 season is also an NFL record. Vick appeared in 74 regular season games (67 starts) from 2001-06, completing 930 of 1,730 passes for 11,505 yards and 71 touchdowns. He rushed for 3,859 yards and 21 touchdowns. He is 2-2 as a starter in the playoffs, both losses coming once again at the hands of his new team the Eagles.

While there will be a lot of noise about the implications of this signing, for the immediate future it will be a lot to do about nothing as Vick can immediately take part in preseason practices, workouts and meetings but can only play in the final two preseason games. Commissioner, Roger Goodell, will not decide the rest of Michael’s future in the NFL until the second half of October.

Donovan McNabb seems completely at ease with the signing, claiming he actually campaigned for it. McNabb stated emphatically last night that he was in fact the QB of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles went to the playoffs last season under quarterback Donovan McNabb, but still seek their elusive first Super Bowl win.

McNabb has led the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance in the last eight years. A career history that prompted the Eagles to rewarded McNabb with a $5.3 million raise this offseason. With two years remaining on his contract, the Eagles gave him a new deal worth $24.5 million over the next two seasons.

Sounds to me like McNabb has good reason to feel secure about this move.

McNabb said he would not have a problem with losing some snaps to Vick in a Wildcat formation. He pointed to Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington who concedes snaps to running back Ronnie Brown in the Wildcat formation.

McNabb even speculated on what a backfield with Vick, Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy might look like.

It seems, so far, that McNabb’s Eagles teammates are like minded in their support for Vick’s signing.

The Eagles — who heard rumblings from the crowd at last night’s 27-25 preseason loss to the New England Patriots — weren’t officially informed of the signing until after the game.

They were visibly happy in the locker room afterward.

“He’s definitely going to be embraced, the NFL is a fraternity of brothers. When you bring in a guy who’s been through the things that he’s been through, you want to surround him and protect him as much as possible because everybody’s out there throwing stones at him.

We want to be the protector, to let him know that once he comes in here it’s safe havens. No one’s going to judge you in here because any one of us can stumble. When somebody does fall like that, you bring him back in and you embrace him. You’re still a person. You’re still our brother.” – Eagles cornerback Ellis Hobbs

“In my opinion, they (fans) should be happy, even though he did whatever he did, I don’t feel like nobody should hold a grudge on him. It’s the past. He has to move on. Hopefully, they’ll accept him and be fans of him.” – receiver DeSean Jackson

I have to say that I am more than OK with this move by the Eagles. I agree that this team is strong enough to deal with the flack that comes with it. We are talking about Philly fans here…these guys boo anything and everything so you know the team has some seriously thick skin.

I think McNabb has been money for the team more than long enough to be secure in his position and will not be looking over his shoulder. Even if the Eagles decide to part ways with him, after this initial year, Vick will have gotten his foot in the door with the NFL and, I believe, that he will once again have an impact in the league.

He is simply too dynamic not to.

The only real question left is how will the Eagles utilize him when he is finally free to play without limits? Will he be part of a monster backfield that keeps defensive coordinators awake at night? Will he line up as a receiver, jiving and juking his way into the minds of CB’s the league over or will he play a part as a qb?

The man’s versatility is incredible and provided his conditioning is up to par and his natural talents haven’t diminished, the possibilities for the Eagles are boundless. As a casual, outside observer, I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

I don’t think you can be a fan of football and not want to see what will become of this young man. Love him or hate him, you’ll probably be curious too.

Thomas Jones Not Being Shopped Around by Jets

Published: August 12, 2009

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Jets Are Not Shopping RB Thomas Jones AroundDispelling a rumor on, the Star-Ledger is reporting that the New York Jets are NOT shopping veteran running back Thomas Jones around. This is according to an unnamed, inside source. posted the rumor last night claiming the Jets had placed a call to an NFC West team in order to gauge trade interest.

The Star-Ledger report, however, was not all roses.

The stellar play of rookie Shonn Greene in training camp thus far could make Jones expendable, but the Jets are standing pat right now with the trio of Jones, Greene and Leon Washington.

With the Jets apparently ready to reward Washington with a new contract, there are concerns Jones could become a problem. He reported to camp on time but has refused to address his contract.

I really hope Jones does not turn into a problem for this team now. It would really ruin my perception of him as a professional. I like the direction this team is headed with their backfield (minus contract disputes mind you) and would hate to see Thomas cause this to fail on any level.

Having said that, I think he will do the right thing, having so far conducted himself in a very professional manner during training camp and simply refusing to talk about the dispute. He has opted to concentrate on football, which is very good, even if only to try and be attractive to another team next season.

I have a feeling he won’t be around for us, come next season.

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Why Can’t New York Jets Running Back Leon Washington Get a New Deal?

Published: August 11, 2009

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New York Jets running back Leon Washington was arguably one of the best players to take the field for the team last season. Not that you can tell from the treatment he is getting from the Jets as his contract negotiations drag on seemingly forever.

Just days before the start of camp it was reported that a deal would likely be completed by the start of training camp. Training camp started 12 days ago and Washington is still waiting.

Washington has averaged 190 touches per season in his first three years, had 195 touches, including a career-high 151 carries, as a rookie in 2006. He hasn’t missed a game in his career (49 games). Washington has done all that has been asked and then some, so why is it that he can’t get a deal done?

Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be such a complicated deal, but the financial landscape has changed because of a rule change in the collective bargaining agreement. Washington will be a restricted free agent in 2010, not unrestricted, and the Jets can retain him for a qualifying offer that would be significantly less than a long-term deal.

Under the previous rules—it changed because 2010 looms as an uncapped year—he would have been unrestricted next year.

Changes to the CBA rules haven’t prevented others from getting deals. Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings and Jaguars running Maurice Jones-Drew got big-money contracts, even though they faced the same situation confronting Leon Washington and the Jets.

Washington considered a hold out, and even delayed his appearance at training camp one day, but chose to do the stand up thing and showed up in time for the first day of practice.

This might be a decision Washington may soon regret as wide receiver Roddy White of the Falcons signed to a six-year, $50 million extension ($18 million guaranteed) on Saturday after a week-long holdout.

What I find ironic in all this is the fact that general manager Mike Tannenbaum reportedly wants to reward Washington’s play as an example to the other players. In Tannenbaums’ defense, it has been an awful long time since this organization has had such dynamic talent to reward…so maybe he’s a bit out of practice.

Here’s a little help for you Mike, what you do here is grab a check, a pen and you sign on the bottom line.

Just let Leon fill in the rest.

Everything will work out just fine.


Jamaal Westerman Continues To Impress The New York Jets

Published: August 10, 2009

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Considering the nightmare the news media, yours truly included, has built up regarding the New York Jets depth chart issues, it is refreshing to hear something positive in this area.

It appears that Rutgers product, defensive end-turned-linebacker Jamaal Westerman, is the real deal. So much so that Dave Hutchinson of the Star Ledger is reporting that Westerman making the team is a near certainty now.

”I’ll tell you, Westerman, the kid from Rutgers, I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t make a name for himself this year,” Ryan said last Sunday, the first weekend of camp. ”We’re really excited to have this guy.”

Westerman, 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, has been the rookie free-agent find of training camp thus far. He’s a virtual lock to make the team.

This is truly fantastic news since we’ve all been belly-aching about the lack of depth. Westerman may turn out to be a stellar pickup for this team because of his sheer versatility. Once a defensive end, Westerman has been asked to switch to outside linebacker, then to inside linebacker, and is now calling defensive plays on the field with the second team.

Westerman is a player who can play outside, inside, and knows the entire defense. Rex Ryan appreciates versatility, calling Westerman his “swing guy”.

Westerman has even been more impressive than second-year linebacker Vernon Gholston. Gholston was drafted sixth over all by the Jets in 2008 and was supposed to be the “terror” of passers the league over. So far the only thing Gholston has managed to terrorize is the bench on the sidelines.

These are the kinds of stories we need to see more of out of camp. Who starts at QB or who receiver No. 2 will be is, of course, a big concern, but it’s guys like Westerman who ultimately could make the biggest difference down the stretch when things get tough due to injuries or fatigue or any of the other unknowns yet to come.



High Praise For Dustin Keller

Published: August 8, 2009

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Is New York Jets TE Dustin Keller As Good As TE Kellen Winslow?Rich Cimini put out a good article this morning about New York Jets TE Dustin Keller.

Bart Scott gives some surprising praise to Keller that, I thought, was just awesome to see.

“I’ve played against some pretty good tight ends, and I practiced against (former Ravens teammate) Todd Heap – a tremendous athlete – and I would compare Dustin Keller to Kellen Winslow,” Scott said. “That’s very high praise because, other than Antonio Gates, we always viewed Kellen Winslow as the best route-running tight end in the league. I think Dustin is well on his way to that.”

I can not say enough how much I hope this turns out to be true. Having a TE who is comparable to the likes of Kellen Winslow would not be a bad thing at all.

While there is so much good that can be said (and has been said) about Dustin’s talents, Cimini does a good Linebacker Bart Scott Thinks New York Jets TE Dustin Keller Is As Good As TE Kellen Winslowjob pointing out some of the things Keller still needs to focus on if he is to be successful this season.

“During his tear, Keller emerged as Brett Favre’s go-to receiver on third down. (Who can forget the dramatic third-and-15 grab in the overtime win at New England?) But down the stretch, he was a nonfactor, as opponents adjusted their coverage and the Jets did a poor job of countering. He dropped a key pass in Week 14 against the 49ers, and never seemed to recover.

“I’ve shown flashes of what I can do, but I need to do it over an entire season,” said Keller, who is working with tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson with the hope of improving his blocking.”

Having Keller develop the metal acuity to keep his focus after a key miss, is actually a great point. Even the best of them have key drops in their catalog. What made them great was being able to recover and keep up the level of play they are known for.

I hope that besides a quick first step and decent hands, Keller proves to also have the mental talents that make the difference between good and great.

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