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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Another Jet Headache

Robby Anderson Dilemma
Leave it to the Jets ranked 28th in the NFL in total offense to have their best offensive threat to go nuts in South Florida and get arrested. And this is the second time in eight months. I have written about Robby Anderson since last year that he has the talent to be a star. I counted 11 times during this season that Jet quarterbacks either over threw or under threw him when he had a step or two on his receiver. Or they just missed him when he was wide open. As an un-drafted player from Temple University (Todd Bowles alma mater) he showed almost instantly that he was a talent. He had a reputation of not being the most mature player at Temple which is what probably led to him not being drafted. His stats this year (63 rec., 941 yds., 7 TDs) were impressive considering who was throwing him the football. And once Josh McCown went down with his broken hand, Anderson’s production completely stalled denying him the chance to get 1,000 yards and make the Pro-Bowl which he canvased for on the sidelines during one game. If you read the police report and you have a wife and/or spouse, the hair on your neck will jump up! Your first reaction will be for the Jets to release him just as I felt. But consider the whole picture and I’m not condoning going 105 MPH in a 45 MPH zone putting people’s lives in harm’s way but let’s not be so quick to get rid of a player with his talent. The NFL hasn’t even ruled on his first arrest. There is no doubt he will be suspended in 2018 for some games and maybe even the season. Let the law take it’s course and the Jets don’t have to make a knee jerk decision.  Remember the NFL is not made up of choir boys. 

For those interested in reading the police report click here:
Robby Anderson Police Report

Jets Inch Closer to Jeremy Bates As OC
Jeremy Bates is closer to being named the new Offensive Coordinator for the Jets replacing John Morton. Except for about three games, I didn’t think John Morton did a horrible job as offensive coordinator. I loved his aggressiveness but could not stomach the Denver game throwing up the white flag with 11+ minutes to go in the game. Jeremy Bates is a real interesting guy who many in the know claim he is the brightest coach on the Jets staff.

On The Plus Side
1. Jeremy Bates was mentored by two respected offensive minds, Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden
2. He called the plays for Denver in 2008 and the Broncos finished second in the NFL in total offense.
3. 2008 was also Jay Cutler’s only Pro-Bowl season when Bates not only called Denver’s plays but was the quarterback coach.
4. If the Jets truly are interested in Kirk Cousins, there is a connection with Shanahan and the West Coast offense.

On The Minus Side
1. After coaching with Pete Carroll at USC, he was fired after one year as offensive coordinator for Seattle.
2. He spent months hiking the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail and left football for a few years. I don’t want the Jets to invest in this guy if he decides all of a sudden he wants to walk the great wall of China. We need commitment.

My Take
I love this move and hope it pans out. The Jets may be delaying it waiting to see what Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo does. As of the writing of this article DeFilippo was in the running for the Arizona Cardinal head coaching job. With regard to Jeremy Bates, he is my number one choice as long as he is committed to the job. He is bright and thinks outside the box. Bates has gotten a lot of credit for the very good season that Josh McCown had. If the Jets do in fact hire him, (and I’ve said it before) Bates must be involved in the quarterback selection in the draft. This guy knows quarterbacks!

The Quarterback Stampede Keeps Growing
With or without signing Kirk Cousins, the Jets need to draft two quarterbacks in 2018. A couple of players who may fit the pro style QB that Mike Maccagnan may like is Kurt Benkert from Virginia and Clayton Thorson from Northwestern. Thorson played with a weak offensive line and inferior receivers. One NFL scout maintains if Thorson played for a major college, they would be talking about him in the same breath as Rosen, Darnold and Allen. 

2018 Quarterback NFL underclassman draft entrants
Josh Allen, Wyoming
Kyle Allen, Houston
Sam Darnold, USC
Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Tanner Lee, Nebraska
Chase Litton, Marshall
Josh Rosen, UCLA

Senior QBs
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
Riley Ferguson, Memphis
Luke Falk, Washington State
Ryan Finley, NC State
Clayton Thorson, Northwestern
Kurt Benkert, Virginia

Small School QB Prospects
Devante Kincade, Grambling State 
Chris Streveler, South Dakota *
Jeremiah Briscoe, Sam Houston State 
Luis Perez, Texas A&M-Commerce 
Peter Pujals, Holycross

* Please note on this Small School list, we could not find the status of this player for the 2018 draft.

Baker Mayfield Will Probably Be Available At Six
There is no guarantee but with the 6th pick, the consensus I’m seeing right now (which I know will change) is that Baker Mayfield will be available. No one knows for sure if any draft pick pans out. For every Tom Brady picked in the 6th round, there is a Ryan Leaf picked with the second pick. With that said here are some reviews from some reputable draft web sites on the Heisman Tropy winner.

"Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Baker Mayfield sits atop virtually every advanced statistical category of PFF. This includes his 82.6 adjusted completion percentage (which accounts for drops, throw-aways, spikes, passes batted at the line of scrimmage hits absorbed during the release of the ball), passer rating on deep throws (134.8), under pressure (105.3) and off play-action (156.0), as well as his 85.4 adjusted completion percentage from a clean pocket. Yes, his size, mechanics and some of his antics are concerns for the next level, but there’s no denying how incredibly productive he’s been on the field this season."

"The majority of what Mayfield needs to show to scouts -- and maybe most importantly the Broncos coaching staff roaming the sidelines in Mobile [at the Senior Bowl] -- is how he handles his teammates, the week of practices, and the game on Saturday from maturity and leadership aspects. We heard nothing but positive reviews from Oklahoma teammates and coaches about Mayfield's sometimes controversial overtly passionate behavior during the season. This is different though. New players. New coaches. New environment. If his charisma wins over his teammates and the Denver coaches, it'll help to quell concerns about him not possessing the proper attitude to become a franchise quarterback."

"With his strong play in 2017, Mayfield has put himself on the radar for NFL scouts. There is a lot to like about his play for the next level. He is a gritty gunslinger quarterback who has an "it" factor to his game. Mayfield doesn't have a strong arm, but it is good enough to make the throws required in the NFL. One of Mayfield's most impressive strengths as a passer is being able to locate the ball well and throw receivers open. He is very good with his timing and trajectory on passes to hit receivers on the run and set them up for lots of yards after the catch. Mayfield is very skilled to loft in touch passes downfield and throws a very catchable ball. He can be an accurate passer with superb ball placement."

"Mayfield is a very difficult player to defend. His best trait is his ability to escape and extend plays. If his first and second reads are unavailable, he runs around behind the line of scrimmage, avoiding defenders and allowing his pass-catchers plenty of time to uncover. He has some nifty carries on occasion, but he usually scrambles to throw, not run. He has excellent touch on underneath throws such as swings, bubble screens, shallow crossers, and his deep-ball touch is above average. Mayfield is undersized for the NFL with just average arm strength, however. He can have issues reading defenses as well. Sometimes forces throws into tight coverage and trusts his accuracy a lot which leads to interceptions a lot in the NFL. Has a high tendency of holding on to the ball to long trying to keep the play alive which leads him to taking frequent hits and losing the ball."

"No player has moved up my draft board this year like Baker Mayfield. The small, energetic quarterback has improved his arm strength, accuracy and has learned to play more from the pocket while continuing to show the same athleticism and big-play ability that made him a star in 2016. Mayfield will have to answer doubts about his size, the level of competition in the Big 12 and the offensive scheme he plays in, but I see a player like Russell Wilson with the poise and clutch gene you don't bet against."

What the Jet Scribes are Saying

Rich Cimini, ESPN
According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the Jets have prioritized which of their free agents they want to bring back. The top three? Cornerback Morris Claiborne, linebacker Demario Davis and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, in that order. With or without Claiborne, the Jets are weak at cornerback. It’s an area they will almost definitely target in free agency, regardless of what happens with Claiborne. The defensive back had a relatively solid season, although he was bothered by injuries late in the year. A three-year deal would be a smart investment for the Jets before they go and pursue some like Trumaine Johnson. In his first year back with the Jets after spending one season in Cleveland, Davis was arguably the best and most consistent player on the team in 2017. It was a career year for the linebacker, who also turned into a leader on and off the field for a young Jets team. Davis is in line for a much-deserved payday, so he will not come cheap for the Jets. Austin Seferian-Jenkins also put up the best numbers of his career while turning his life around in 2017. After losing serious weight and committing himself to sobriety, Seferian-Jenkins found success in New York. The Jets already offer him a two-year, $8 million deal that was declined, according to Newsday, so it remains to be seen just how much they think he’s worth. If the Jets feel strongly about Jordan Leggett, the team’s fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, they could pass on ASJ. In the end, though, it would be a surprise if the two sides did not come to an agreement.

Brian Costello, NY Post
The Jets mowed through another offensive coordinator Wednesday, firing John Morton after just one year on the job. The decision came after Morton clashed with players, coach Todd Bowles and other assistant coaches, according to a source. His inability to establish the running game, a lack of in-game adjustments and a perception from players that everyone other than wide receiver Robby Anderson was an afterthought in the game plan doomed Morton…….
The Jets finished 28th in total offense and 24th in scoring offense under Morton in 2017. On the surface, Morton did a good job. There were incredibly low expectations for the Jets this year and Morton helped the offense have some success, led by veteran quarterback Josh McCown. Beneath the surface, though, issues were brewing. There were some in the organization who felt that Bates, the quarterbacks coach, was the brains behind the offense during the week……
The offensive line and Bowles both had issues with Morton going away from the run. Things got particularly tense after a 25-20 loss Oct. 29 to the Falcons. The game was played in a torrential rainstorm and the game plan was to run the ball, but Morton veered away from that and passed 33 times while running just 22. After the game, running back Matt Forte criticized Morton publicly. He was not the only one upset.A week prior, the Jets blew a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead against the Dolphins. There was a feeling Morton failed to make in-game adjustments and that contributed greatly to the team’s fourth-quarter collapses. The offense managed minus-4 yards in the fourth quarter of the brutal 31-28 loss in Miami. Morton also resisted suggestions from Bowles and others on the staff about how to get the running game going, sources said.

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
The great football philosopher Buddy Ryan once doled out this pearl of wisdom: If you listen to the fans, you'll be sitting up there with them. Although there’s an inherent danger to taking advice from fickle, frustrated folks who’ve probably never seen an All-22 tape, we’ve broken the rules and channeled our inner Richard Dawson (Google him, millennials) by surveying 120 Jets fans on social media with one question: Who is the free agent that you most want to sign? The veteran signal (Kirk Cousins) caller received 68 votes. The next closest player was Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who picked up 11 votes (9%). Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah (seven votes), Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (seven votes) and Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (six votes) were the only others to receive more than three votes. Cousins’ landslide “victory” is a reflection of just how badly Jets fans want a competent quarterback. Cousins, who has had three consecutive 4,000-yard passing seasons, is 24-24-1 as a full-time starter. He’s had a better than 2-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in each of those three seasons. He played well this season despite a rash of injuries to core offensive players (offensive line, running backs, tight end). Cousins would solve the Jets’ biggest need, while allowing Mike Maccagnan & Co. to address other deficient areas in free agency (don’t worry, they have ample cap space) and the draft. The team needs include (but are not limited to) edge pass rusher, cornerbacks (plural), offensive play maker(s), offensive line, defensive line. It’s unclear how high the bidding for Cousins will climb, but the Jets absolutely need to be serious players for his services … or they should just pack it in and fold up shop. If they’re not going to make a real run at this guy, who absolutely is good enough to turn the Jets into a sustainable winner, then it might be time for the organization to go north of the border and be annexed by the CFL.The early indication is that the Jets will indeed be in on the Cousins sweepstakes, but talk is cheap in mid-January. Let’s see if they actually spring into action in a couple months.

Mel Kiper’s ESPN Mock Draft
1.  Cleveland Browns, Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming 
2.  New York Giants, Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA 
3.  Indianapolis Colts, Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State 
4.  Cleveland Browns, Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State 
5.  Denver Broncos, Sam Darnold, QB, USC 
6.  New York Jets, Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama 
7.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame 
8.  Chicago Bears, Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama 
9.  San Francisco 49ers, Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State 
10. Oakland Raiders, Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
11. Miami Dolphins, Mike McGlinchey,Notre Dame OT
12. Cincinnati Bengals,Tremaine Edmunds, LB Virginia Tech
13. Washington Redskins, Baker Mayfield,  QB Oklahoma
14. Green Bay Packers, Marcus Davenport DE USTA
15. Arizona Cardinals, Josh Jackson CB Iowa
16. Baltimore Ravens, Brian O’Neill OT Pittsburgh
17. Los Angeles Chargers, Da’Ron Payne, DT Alabama
18. Seattle Seahawks, Derwin James, S Florida State
19. Dallas Cowboys, Vita Vea, DT Washington
20. Detroit Lions, Sam Hubbard, DE Ohio State
21. Buffalo Bills, Mike Hughes, CB UCF
22. Buffalo Bills, Maurice Hurst, DT Michigan
23. Los Angeles Rams, Carlton Davis, CB Auburn
24. Carolina Panthers, Billy Price, C/G Ohio State
25. Tennessee Titans, Harold Landry, OLB Boston College
26. Atlanta Falcons, Christian Kirk WR Texas A&M
27. New Orleans Saints,Courtland Sutton, WR  SMU
28. Pittsburgh Steelers, Rashaan Evans, ILB Alabama
29. Jacksonville Jaguars, Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma 
30. Philadelphia Eagles, Kolton Miller, OT UCLA
31. Minnesota Vikings, Connor Williams, OT Texas
32. New England Patriots, Rasheem Green, DE USC

My Take
I cannot see the Browns taking Josh Allen over Darnold or Rosen. If the Jets take Minkah Fitzpatrick with the 6th pick, I'll become a Detroit Lions fan. Gotta go offense. I disagree with Mel on Iowa’s CB Josh Jackson who I see as a top 10 pick. Mel does have guard Quenton Nelson, center/guard Billy Price and tackle Connor Williams ranked correctly. And not having Lamar Jackson going in the first round is another plus for Mel. I still say the Patriots will scoop up Oklahoma State’s QB Mason Rudolph with the last pick in the first round. We are thinking of having a Green Rewind mock draft in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Green Tidbits
…..Let’s set up a pay per view race between Robby Anderson and Sheldon Richardson. Shut down the Jersey Turnpike one morning for 10 miles and let them go at it. We’ll call it the “Green Cup” …..With both DB Rashard Robinson and WR Robby Anderson getting arrested within 2 weeks of each other shows all fans once again the Jets always win the off-season publicity Super Bowl…..If the Browns take Darnold and I’m Mike Maccagnan,  I call the Browns asap and offer a 4th rounder for DeShone Kizer. His games against Detroit, Green Bay and Pittsburgh showed me he can be an NFL QB in the right situation….If Saquon Barkley falls to 6 do the Jets take him? If not I like USC’s running back Ronald Jones II in the second round…..It is not a lock that if Josh McCown comes back in 2018 it is with the Jets. He may want to mentor another young QB with a chance to make the playoffs……Tyrod Taylor may be a good stop gap fit for the Jets for 1-2 years…..The Denver Broncos coaching staff gets to coach Baker Mayfield in the Senior Bowl. This could be bad for the Jets if in fact they want him at 6. The Broncos pick 5…..Doug Marrone did his best Todd Bowles impersonation taking two knees with 55 seconds and two timeouts in his pocket at the end of the second quarter. That’s it guys, when going against the Patriots play “not to lose” and see how far you get.……Horrid situation at Washington State this week when back-up quarterback Tyler Hilinski took his own life. Here is a young man with his whole life ahead of him. If you ever hear of anyone troubled, don’t stay in the background. Come forward and help. You may save a life!...... 

An old video ('08 or '09) of Jeremy Bates answering questions as USC quarterbacks coach.

  Marty Schupak's new book on youth baseball is now available!

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-Bobby Woods, former pro player and coach

"The only book I've ever seen that explains strategies in simple detail."
-Tony Milewski, coach for 30 years              


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Jets As A Landing Spot For Kirk Cousins

Fans that think the Jets have a legitimate shot at landing Washington Redskin quarterback Kirk Cousins need to take a deep breath and be realistic. First off let’s look at the Redskins who supposedly want Cousins back.The Redskins placed the franchise tag on Cousins this year for the second straight year. A second year on the tag is unprecedented for a quarterback. In 2016, Cousins made nearly $20 million playing on the tag. In 2017,the figure went up to $24. The franchise tag for a third year in a row goes up to an exorbitant $34 million. I would expect the Redskins would try to work out a long term deal. If they don’t, what are the best landing spots for him? The Jets? They’ll have $100 million dollars in cap money to spend. Does Cousins really want to commit to a team coming off back to back 5-11 seasons? I would say the places that would seem logical would be Jacksonville (despite their great win over the Steelers), Buffalo and maybe Denver. The Jags and Bills are “shovel ready” only missing a quality QB to go to the next level. If the Jags lose to the Patriots this week and they try but can’t land Eli Manning, look for them to clear cap space and give Cousins an offer. The Bills went to the playoffs for the first time in 17 years and QB Tyrod Taylor looks like he is a goner. The Bills just got rid of offense coordinator Rick Dennison so a “Cousins Friendly” coordinator may be in the works. The Denver Broncos may be a sleeper team for Cousins. General Manager John Elway does not have the patience to draft another young quarterback to groom. He likes Cousins and if he makes him an offer there will be a big sell about committing to the Broncos offense to get back to the playoffs. The Jets selling point is their cap money but that may not be enough for a player who has had two years of big money with the franchise tag. If I were Cousins, I would not negotiate with the Redskins and force them to franchise him for the third straight year if they want him back. Jet fans can be hopeful but it may not be realistic for Cousins to wear the Green and White. My gut feeling is that if Eli Manning is Tom Coughlin’s first choice and doesn’t end up with the Jags, Kirk Cousins will. His wife Julie is from Atlanta which is only a hop from Jacksonville.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins 
A few weeks ago I wrote that the Jets should try and lock up ASJ during the season before he hits the open market. Jenkins had career highs in receptions (50) and yards (357) and had three touchdown catches. Despite his numbers tailing off in the second half of the season, the Jets got this talented player for virtually nothing. It was reported over the weekend by Calvin Watkins of Newsday that the Jets and Jenkins have been negotiating and the Jets offered him a two-year, $8-million deal that Jenkins rejected. ASJ should be a priority right now for the Jets. I’m told already there is interest out there from Seattle and New Orleans and don’t be surprised if the Patriots get into it also. The Jets can’t nickel and dime him. He is talented and the rest of the NFL knows this. 

Not Taking The Bait
The Jets think their quarterback coach Jeremy Bates is a diamond in the rough. The Jets put out feelers for Bates to take over the offense if John Morton decides to leave but apparently Bates wants to stay in the background and work with the quarterbacks. He is respected throughout the organization and when he speaks during the coaches meetings, he garners a ton of respect. He was the quarterbacks coach for the Chicago Bears in 2012 and previously served as the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks and quarterbacks coach for the USC football team among other coaching jobs in the NFL. Bates is the son of former long-time collegiate and NFL coach Jim Bates. An interesting fact is that in 2008 he was the QB coach for Denver and worked closely with Jay Cutler who had his All-Pro season that year. He also called the plays for the Broncos and they had the #1 offense in the AFC. The Jets should do everything to keep Jeremy Bates on their coaching staff and get his take on the quarterbacks coming out of college.

Jets 49 Years Ago and the Curse of Bachelors III 
We’e been through this every year but next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Jets winning the Super Bowl. This past Friday marked the date of the famous game. It was the Jets win and the KC Chiefs win the following year against the Minnesota Vikings that were the impetus for the AFL merging with the NFL. Coincidently both teams have never been back to the Super Bowl. For the Jets I have called this the “Curse of Bachelor’s III.” This was a bar/restaurant that Joe Willie Namath had equity in. The following is an excerpt from an on line article a few years back by Dave Steidel:  

Running with reports that Namath’s new business establishment was a local watering hole for known mobsters and mafia personalities, Rozelle summoned the Jets quarterback to a meeting and issued a demand for Joe to sell off his interest in his Bachelors III Manhattan bar.  Located at 798 Lexington Avenue in NYC, the hot spot nightclub owned by singer Bobby Van, teammate Ray Abbruzzese and Namath had drawn the media’s attention when Bachelors III opened to rave reviews, while having to turn away overflow crowds.  With its overwhelming early success, plans were already in the making to open more places in Boston, Miami and New Orleans. It was not so much Namath’s ownership of the bar as it was for the unsavory Mafia types who frequented the place that was the real brunt of the issue.  Pro football’s security forces had observed known gamblers and mobsters in the bar for months.  Concerned about the public image of League players, Rozelle did not like the sort of people who frequented Bachelors III, specifically because the known undesirables had such easy access to Namath with the fear and possibility of being controlled by them or at the very least, the perception of it.  He informed Namath of what his investigators had found in Bachelors III and told Joe that he would be suspended unless he got out of the place.  Rozelle pointed out a section of his contract which stated that players must never “enter drinking or gambling establishments” or “associate with notorious persons.”  Namath staunchly refuted the claims and heartily declared that he was blameless.  By this time Namath had become irritated with the accusations and angrily wondered where Rozelle got the audacity to dictate what he did with his personal life.  Privately, the 26 year old night club owner told friends he was not going to give in to Rozelle’s ultimatum.  In spite of Namath’s claims, Rozelle had little reason to believe Joe would not comply.As time wore on Namath became more and more disillusioned and angry about the ultimatum and was digging in.  He was not going to back down, and on June 6 called a press conference in Bachelors III, where he tearfully announced that, instead of selling his interest in the night club, he would retire from football.  He emphatically maintained that he had done nothing wrong, and as a matter of principle was walking away from the game telling the press, “I’m not selling, I quit!”

Of course Namath did not quit and came back to play for the Jets. Nevertheless the Curse of Bachelors III lives on despite efforts by Green Rewind to have Priests, Rabbis and Exorcists all go to 798 Lexington Avenue to try and remove the demons that have infiltrated the New York Jets organization since Rozelle forced Namath to sell. For those of you Jet fans that may be interested, here is the box score of the game:

Free Agent QBs
Adam Schefter reported last week that the KC Chiefs would expect to get two #2 draft picks for Alex Smith. If this is true, and I were the Jets I would not go after Smith because of the asking price. The Jets have too many holes to fill on their roster. I’m even beginning to shy away from drafting a quarterback in the first round. Listening to the radio, it sounds like Jet fans want Baker Mayfield at #6. I’ve gone back and forth on him all year and I even wrote that all he does is win games and make plays. His height is of major concern and “in the know” circles tell me that Mike Maccagnan prefers the pocket prostyle QB 6’2" and above in height.

Nebraska QB Tanner Lee declares for 2018 NFL Draft
With Nebraska hiring Scott Frost as coach, QB Tanner Hill decided to turn pro. Interestingly Frost prefers quarterbacks that can both run and throw. Tanner Lee is more of a pro style pocket quarterback. He was a transfer from Tulane.

Here is the skinny on Lee from Walter Football:

Lee decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft, and he projects as a potential third-day pick. In 2017, Lee completed 58 percent of his passes for 3,143 yards with 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Lee is a pro-style pocket passer who doesn't offer much mobility. Hence, he wasn't a good fit in newly hired coach  Scott Frost's offense and decided to move on. Lee started out his collegiate career at Tulane before transferring to Nebraska.
Height: 6-4. Weight: 220. 
Projected 40 Time: 4.74. 
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 

CBS Mock Draft
Mock drafts are fun! We’ll all see thousands before the big three days in April. CBS Sports has been pretty good in the past with their mock drafts.
I have a few disagreements that I will address later on but here we go…….

1. Cleveland Browns,Sam Darnold, QB, USC
2. New York Giants, Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
3. Indianapolis Colts.Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
4. Cleveland Browns (from Texans),Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS, Alabama
5. Denver Broncos, Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
6. New York Jets, Arden Key, DE/LB, LSU
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
8. Chicago Bears,Christian Wilkins, DE, Clemson
9. San Francisco 49ers, Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
10. Oakland Raiders, Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
11. Miami Dolphins,Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson.
12. Cincinnati Bengals, Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
13. Washington Redskins,Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
14. Green Bay Packers, Derwin James, SS, Florida State
15. Arizona Cardinals, Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
16. Baltimore Ravens, Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
17. Los Angeles Chargers, Vita Vea, DT, Washington
18. Seattle Seahawks, Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
19. Dallas Cowboys, Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
20. Detroit Lions, Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia
21. Buffalo Bills, Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
22. Buffalo Bills from Chiefs, Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
23. Los Angeles Rams, Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
24. Carolina Panthers, Courtland Sutton, WR, SM.
25. Tennessee Titans,Taven Bryan, DE, Florida
26. Jacksonville Jaguars,Connor Williams, OT, Texas
27. Atlanta Falcons, Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
28. New Orleans Saints, Malik Jefferson, OLB, Texas
29. Pittsburgh Steelers, Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
30. Philadelphia Eagles,Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
31. New England Patriots, Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College
32. Minnesota Vikings, Billy Price, G, Ohio State

My Take
I don’t see the Jets taking Arden Key with the 6th pick. For an edge pass rusher, look for the Jets to look at the free agent market.
DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Cowboys, 26 years old is the cream of the crop but the Cowboys will not let him walk. They will franchise him. The Jets may have a chance at the Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah who is 29 years old. The knock of him is his durability. He has only played 16 games in a season twice in his 5-year career. In 2015 he had 14.5 sacks and in 2017 he had 12 sacks (in 14 games). This player is worth a shot and the Jets should pursue him.

The CBS mock draft has Josh Allen going at 13 and Baker Mayfield going at 21. Both these players will be off the board in the first 10 picks. I don’t see Lamar Jackson going at 15 or even the first round. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley will not be picked ahead of Courtland Sutton the very talented receiver from SMU. Billy Price the G/C from OSU is seen as the last pick in the first round. I’m hoping he drops and the Jets can pick him up in the 2nd round.

What The Jet Scribes Are Saying:

Rich Cimini, ESPN
Alex Smith's season -- and probably his career in Kansas City -- ended on Saturday night with a devastating playoff loss. Even though he was one of the NFL's top passers this season, he likely will be traded because of too many empty Januarys and because his young understudy, Patrick Mahomes, is viewed as a budding star. The New York Jets, mulling several quarterback options as they attempt to fix a 40-year-old problem, could be one of his suitors. There are some things to like about Smith, who would be ideal in John Morton's short-passing scheme, but he'd be a bad fit for reasons beyond X's and O's. It would be a mistake if the Jets target him as their quarterback savior. Smith is a tweener, meaning he's better than your average Band-Aid but too old (34 next season) to be a long-term solution for a rebuilding franchise such as the Jets. Based on pure talent, yes, he'd be an upgrade, probably their best quarterback since Brett Favre in 2008 -- well, the pre-December Favre.

Brian Costello, NY Post
Todd Bowles is returning for a fourth year as Jets head coach despite missing the playoffs in his first three seasons with the team. One of the arguments for keeping Bowles is to provide stability in the organization. Jets CEO and chairman Christopher Johnson made it clear that his primary reason for extending Bowles’ contract was that he believes he is the right guy for the job, but he also mentioned the desire for stability.

“There’s an added part about wanting to have some stability on this team,” Johnson said last week. “You want to have the same coach working with the same players over the years. You don’t want to keep switching up systems on people, but that was a small aspect of it.”

But does the desire for stability translate into wins? The Post examined the instances in which an NFL team has kept its coach after beginning his tenure by missing the playoffs for three straight years to see how it worked out and if there is anything to glean from it. Since 1970, teams have kept coaches 37 times who missed the playoffs in their first three full seasons. Of those 37, nearly half (18) were fired during or after their fourth season. Only seven made the playoffs in that fourth season. Six others made the playoffs in subsequent seasons. Five of the coaches eventually took their team as far as the conference championship game and two made it all the way to the Super Bowl, losing both times.

Menish Mehta, NY Daily News
Less than two weeks after the Jets missed the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season, offensive coordinator John Morton's future with the team remains in doubt. The first-time play-caller is under contract for 2018, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll have a second chance to run Gang Green's offense, according to sources. The Daily News reported after the season that the Jets would let Morton join Jon Gruden's coaching staff in Oakland if the opportunity presented itself. The team hasn't changed its mind. The Jets wouldn't stand in the way of a Morton-Gruden reunion if the new Raiders leader offers any position to his former pupil. Gruden announced Greg Olsen as his offensive coordinator Tuesday. Morton's situation with the Jets, whose offense languished in the bottom third of the league in nearly every meaningful statistical category, remains unresolved.
Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was the Jets' top choice to replace Chan Gailey last year, according to sources, before Philly blocked the interview request. DeFilippo, whose stock has soared in the wake of Carson Wentz's break-out season, interviewed for the Bears and Cardinals head coaching vacancies last week. He would be the Jets' top external choice again, according to team sources. Gang Green wouldn’t necessarily place any potential OC search on hold until the Eagles finished their playoff run though.



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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Jets QB Fallout From Wild Card Weekend

After a weekend of NFL Wildcard games, how was the Jets quarterback situation was affected?

Tennessee 22, KC 21
The Chief’s Alex Smith was 24-33, 264 yards, 2 TDs and played very well but was not able to close the deal when tight end Travis Kelce got a concussion in the first half. Smith played brilliant in the first half but had passes dropped. Mainly by Tyreek Hill. In the second half,  Kelce’s replacement Demetrius Harris also dropped a couple of passes. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, drafted in the first round in 2017 is sure to be the starter in 2018. This can affect the Jets in a couple of ways. Alex Smith’s name has been thrown around along with free agent Kirk Cousins as possible targets for the Jets. Smith is under contract through 2018 scheduled to make $17 Million. The Chiefs have to decide whether they want to keep him as a back-up or cut him before his roster bonus is due. If they do cut him, they might consider another cheaper veteran such as back-up Josh McCown who may want to sniff the playoffs before he retires. Maybe trading Alex Smith to the Jets for a #6 or #7 rounder might make sense for both teams if the Jets draft a QB in the first or second round. I would say if Smith does not come back on the cheap, that the Chiefs will probably cut him. A $17 million back-up does not make sense.

Atlanta 26, LA 13
Nothing with these two teams will affect the Jets QB situation. The back-ups for both teams LA’s Sean Mannion and the Falcons Matt Schaub are both under contract though 2018. Schaub is interesting. A one time hot quarterback commodity who made the Pro-Bowl in 2009 throwing for 4770 yards and 29 TDs, he has slowly moved down the QB food chain and seems happy to be playing out his career as a back-up.

Jacksonville 10, Buffalo 3
This game, these teams and the quarterbacks in it will have a huge affect on what the Jets do in 2018. First of all, even with Blake Bortles winning the game for the Jags, his stats 12-23, 87 yards, 1 TD are not good. Unless the Jags somehow beat the Steelers, I don’t expect Jacksonville will bring Bortles back. The Jags have a $20 million option on him in 2018 and unless they go to the AFC Championship game, I don’t see anyway the Jags bring him back. Despite what the NY Giants say, look for them to listen to offers from Tom Coughlin for Eli Manning unless the Giants cut him outright which they will not do.

The Buffalo Bills will probably have the most affect on the quarterback situation and how it will affect the Jets. Tyrod Taylor was 17-37, 134 yards. His 7.8 yards per completion won’t sit well with the Bills who already made the ridiculous move during the season replacing Taylor with Nathan Peterman in week 11. He responded by throwing 5 first half interceptions. It shows you what the Bills coaching staff really feels about Tyrod Taylor. Taylor signed a 2 year contract but will never see the second year. More interesting is that through trades, the Bills have two first round and two second round draft picks in 2018. Look for them to get into the quarterback fray this year and their ammunition may land them in the top four.

Saints 31  Panthers 26
Every year one or two sports writers bring up Drew Brees name as a player that might end up on the Jets. This will never happen. Chase Daniel is the Saints back-up. He is 6’0” and has only two starts in 9 years. He will be a free agent in 2018 and this is a player the Jets should pursue as a back-up. He is an upgrade over what the Jets have right now. The Panthers back-up is Derek Anderson who is a retread.

Jet Quarterback Thoughts Today
My own thoughts will change 1000 times before the April draft. There will be an incredible quarterback feeding frenzy this year. Below is the tentative draft order. I put an asterisk* in front of teams that will be looking for a quarterback. I included Washington unless they resign Cousins and the Dolphins. No one knows what is going on there with Tannehill and Cutler. Rumors are Tampa Bay may be looking (that was quick). If Andrew Luck is not right, look for the Colts to pick a QB. The Pats need to replace Jimmy Garappolo. Even the Steelers have to endure Big Ben’s yearly retirement threats and they may be in play for a QB.

*Cleveland Browns
*New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts
Cleveland Browns (from Houston Texans)
*Denver Broncos
*New York Jets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chicago Bears
San Francisco 49ers
Oakland Raiders
*Miami Dolphins
*Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay Packers
*Arizona Cardinals
Baltimore Ravens
Los Angeles Chargers
Seattle Seahawks
Dallas Cowboys
Detroit Lions
Tennessee Titans
*Buffalo Bills
Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs)
Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers
Minnesota Vikings
Philadelphia Eagles
*New England Patriots

The Jets will have to decide if they are going all in for the quarterback they want. Picking 6th may get a Baker Mayfield or a Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State though the word is he will be a late round pick. But for the Jets to move up, it will cost them. For instance if Cleveland demands the Jets #1 and both their #2’s plus Jamal Adams for the first pick in the draft, do the Jets do it? Keep an eye on how Mike Maccagnan allocates the Jets free agent money. If he starts signing players in their 30’s, he is only trying to save his job. If he overpays for younger free agents, he is planning for the long term.

Green Tidbits
…..Green Rewind contributor Ray Clifford and I think that the Browns QB DeShone Kizer may end up being a real good player…..Darrelle Revis should not have come back with the appetite for contact he has shown. It is embarrassing…..Kudos to former Jet Eric Decker on his winning TD reception for the Titans…..Jets signed the following to “Future Reserve” contracts: OG Ben Braden Mich., OT Korren Kirven Ala., WR Jalin Marshall OSU, WR Tre McBride William & Mary, DE Claude Pelon USC, DB Terrell Sinkfield No. Iowa, QB Joel Stave Wisc., WR Damore’ea Stringfellow Miss., WR Daniel Williams Jackson St.…..Jamal Adams made Mel Kiper’s all rookie team? Over Marcus Maye? Mel has got to watch the games from start to finish…..I still say WR Chad Hansen is a sleeper…..Quincy Enunwa should be back 100% in 2018…..Rumors of John Morton going to the Raiders are not true. He should be returning to the Jets…..The Patriot fiasco with Belichick, Brady and Kraft prove what I’ve always said. You can be the best QB in NFL history, have a beautiful wife, be a multi-millionaire and still feel insecure and threatened by a co-worker. Some of the stuff in that ESPN article is incredible. My advice to Tom, don’t look to closely into the Titans helmets next weekend. They'll all have Jimmy Garrapolo masks on…..

What The Jet Scribes Are Saying

Rich Cimini, ESPN
It doesn't take a genius to figure out general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles have a difference of opinion on Christian Hackenberg. Maccagnan is standing by his man, probably because he drafted him and doesn't want to admit it was a mistake. In his season-ending session with reporters, Maccagnan said Hackenberg will "get the opportunity to go perform on the field. I think we kind of have a feel for him internally, but he’ll get his opportunities going forward."
Bowles, who has the final say on the lineup, seemingly has no intention of playing Hackenberg. He refused to play him in the season finale, when the opportunity was ripe. He didn't see enough in practice to put him in the game, and Bowles isn't the kind of coach who throws a bone to someone unless it's earned.
Hackenberg isn't a big enough piece to the puzzle to turn this into a Jimmy Garoppolo situation with the Patriots -- the focus of a power struggle -- but it could put him in the middle of a mini-disagreement.

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
There’s nothing worse than unwittingly getting screwed by the nicest of nice people, the coolest geezer and your leader. It’s the cruelest twist of fate for a star-crossed franchise still searching for their signal-calling Holy Grail. The Jets won’t partake in the Sam Darnold-Josh Rosen hysteria in the coming months thanks to one man who didn’t get the tanking mission statement. Gang Green might miss out on their franchise quarterback for the next decade because of a quarterback who defied all the odds in the twilight of his career.Josh McCown galvanized a wayward bunch with the power of positivity (and some damn good passes) during this critically important phase of the organization’s rebuild, but one lingering question remains: Was it worth it? Did McCown’s career season cost the Jets a chance to finally cash in on their quarterback lottery ticket? Will the team’s five-win season that pushed them to the No. 6 draft position, irritatingly just out of reach for Darnold and Rosen, haunt them forever? It’s fair to wonder if the Jets would have been better off if McCown didn’t play in 2017……
…….The prevailing sentiment on One Jets Drive was that McCown infused the organization with so many terrific elements that it was indeed worth it. He made a real difference at a time when the Jets needed difference makers on the field and in the locker room……
…..McCown, whose season was cut short due to a broken hand, might return next year to play, mentor and/or bring some juice to a franchise entering the next phase of its rebuilding process. Make no mistake: He will be an asset in whatever role he’s asked to perform. But it’s foolish to ignore that the Jets likely missed out on the next great star quarterback because of McCown’s presence. It’s painful to digest, but everyone knows it’s the truth. Was it worth it?

Brian Costello, New York Post
The Jets are ready to open their checkbook.
Woody and Christopher Johnson must crack open the vault and give general manager Mike Maccagnan some money to play with this winter. After back-to-back 5-11 seasons, the Jets are facing a critical offseason in which they must upgrade their roster. Luckily for them, they are expected to have around $100 million in salary-cap space. Maccagnan has preached building through the draft since he arrived in 2015, knowing that throwing around money in free agency can be foolish. Don’t expect the Jets to spend every penny of their cap space, but they have enough room to overhaul parts of their roster.Whoever the Jets wind up with at quarterback, that player needs some playmakers around him…..
……The Jets need an overhaul at running back where Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire are nice, complementary players, but not stars. Le’Veon Bell is the biggest name scheduled to hit free agency, but it is hard to imagine the Steelers letting him walk. Other running backs that could be out there are the 49ers’ Carlos Hyde, the Patriots’ Dion Lewis and Isaiah Crowell of the Browns. Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse and Quincy Enunwa give the Jets a nice core at wide receiver, but they still could use a gamebreaker. Jarvis Landry of the Dolphins, Allen Robinson of the Jaguars and Sammy Watkins of the Rams are big names that could be free. At tight end, the Jets could bring back Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but may look for an upgrade. The Seahawks’ Jimmy Graham and the Bengals’ Tyler Eifert are names to watch at that position. The Jets definitely need to address the offensive line, but that looks like it will mostly have to be in the draft. The free-agent class is weak. Weston Richburg could move across town from the Giants to the Jets if the Jets decide to let Wes Johnson leave. On defense, Maccagnan needs to find an edge rusher. The Jets have not had an elite one since John Abraham left town over a decade ago. Demarcus Lawrence is 25 and had 14 ½ sacks for the Cowboys this year. If he somehow gets out of Dallas, Maccagnan should make him a top priority. Todd Bowles’ defense instantly improves with an elite edge rusher. Other names to watch here are the Raiders’ Aldon Smith, the Lions’ Ezekiel Ansah and the Colts’ Barkevious Mingo. Another area of Bowles’ defense that needs improvement is cornerback. The Jets found a couple of building blocks at safety with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Now, they need some help on the outside. Trumaine Johnson of the Rams is going to be the best cornerback on the board. The Jets could add him and bring back Morris Claiborne to form a nice duo. The Patriots’ Malcolm Butler, the Packers’ Davon House and the Eagles’ Patrick Robinson are other cornerbacks that will draw plenty of interest.

Another Jet QB
I mentioned last week (and above) that Wisconsin graduate quarterback Joel Stave was signed by the Jets to a contract. Stave measures 6’4” 230 pounds and in his short NFL career has worn uniforms for five different teams and has yet to take a snap in an NFL game. My thoughts are to keep ‘em coming. The more the merrier and maybe the Jets can find another Kurt Warner.

Here is the 2016 NFL Draft Profile on Jet Quarterback Joel Stave

Stave was an all-state pick from the Badger State who stayed close to home and reaped the benefits, eventually becoming the winningest quarterback in Wisconsin history with a 31-10 record as a starter. He started six games as a redshirt freshman at UW, completing 58.8 percent of his passes for 1,104 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions. He would have started more games but a broken collarbone suffered in October cost him the rest of the regular season. Stave hit a peak to his career as a sophomore, accepting honorable mention All-Big Ten notice as a 13-game starter (61.9 percent, 2,494 yards, 22 touchdownss, 13 interceptions). His shoulder was injured in the team's Capital Bowl loss to South Carolina, however, which affected him into the next season. Eventually he regained the starting job as a junior, but couldn't connect often enough with his receivers (53.4 percent, 1,350 yards, nine touchdowns, 10 interceptions). Stave bounced back a bit as a senior, completing over 60 percent of his throws for a career-high 2,687 yards and 11 touchdowns, though that total matched the 11 interceptions he threw during the year. He gave NFL scouts something to think about with his effort in the Holiday Bowl win over USC, completing 18 of 27 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown on a big stage.


Looks the part with good size and a pretty, over-­the-­top delivery. Plays in pro-­style offense and is experienced under center. Steps and drives the intermediate throws and ball comes out of his hand with a tight spiral and heat on it. Possesses above average arm strength and was asked to make NFL throws in his offense. Rhythm passer able to throw with timing. Comfortable and efficient on roll outs and bootlegs.

Accuracy and ball placement are hit or miss. Throws at or slightly behind moving targets rather than throwing them open.. Below average pocket mobility. Shows signs of pocket panic dropping eyes at early signs of pressure. Can't win with his legs. Plays with blinders and will make throws with no awareness of safeties lurking. Poor decision making and accuracy on third downs attempting to fit throws into impossible spots.

Stave has size, a strong arm, loads of experience and plays in a run­-first offense, yet he's produced 19 touchdowns and 22 interceptions over the last two seasons. For all the physical boxes he checks off, issues with accuracy and decision-­making have been too present in his game and fans at Wisconsin let him know about it. Stave throws as pretty a pass as any quarterback in this draft, but very few quarterbacks have been able to overcome his weaknesses and become reliable NFL quarterbacks.

 "He's got the physical tools that are going to get him drafted and give him a shot with a team. Coaches who are just seeing him are going to be more excited about him than the scouts who know him." -- NFC executive



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