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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Quarterback Search Continues

   I’m officially aboard the Sam Darold (QB of USC) bandwagon. I said in my last article that Offensive Coordinator John Morton had Christian Hackenberg take baby steps and he would have to eventually open it up, but give me a break! In 13 possessions in his first two games Hackenberg has generated no points. The primary job of a quarterback is to get his team into the end zone. He cannot recognize where a blitz is coming from and his best play against the Lions was his run for a first down. The one play where he had a chance to shine was an overthrow on a long pass to Robby Anderson who had a step and a half on his coverage. Where Hackenberg really hurts himself and the team is he has one three and out after another and it  leaves the defense on the field for eternity. Some of the defensive players looked gassed by the second quarter. In a quarterback driven league, successful quarterbacks are suppose to make the players around him better not make his own defense look worse than it is because you cannot eek out a first down. Christian Hackenberg was disgraceful against the Lions. Is he in a fair situation? Probably not but in life you have to play with the hand you are dealt with. 
  In the first half there was very little to celebrate on the offensive side of the football. On defense, every player who played in the first half should get a $20.00 Dunkin Donuts gift card just for being on the field as long as they were. Dexter McDougle (#23) the third year cornerback had a really active game. McDougle who played at Maryland has had a hard time staying on the field, but he really was a bright spot against the Lions. Josh Martin (#95) had his second solid game in a row. Not as active as last week but he is playing very well. Of the Jets first two draft picks, safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, Maye distinguished himself much more than Adams. Adams missed a couple of tackles but he will be a good one. How about linebacker Corey Lemonier (#44)? He had an interception and a sack. His chances of making the team are better this week than last week. Let’s keep an eye on him. Demario Davis had another good game but he let up a first down on pass coverage on a third down play. The thing I noticed about Davis is that in two games he looks a lot quicker than he did in his first tenure with the Jets. I made it a point to watch Sheldon Richardson and this guy is a football player. I would rather have him than Mo Wilkerson. The thing about Richardson is that he seems to have a great motor and he doesn’t really take plays off.  Defensive back Morris Claiborne (#21) had a bad game. He gave too much of a cushion most of the night and did not look quick at all.
  In the second half Bryce Petty looked real good. In my mind Petty has to be ahead of Hackenberg on the depth chart. Petty looked very comfortable in the pocket. He seems to see the field pretty well and got rid of the football quickly. Tight end Jordan Leggett (#49) had a couple of receptions as did wide receiver Chad Hansen (#6) from California. Punter Lac Edwards had a 37.7 punting average but I thought he punted better than last week. And Ross (I’m not Artemus Gordon) Martin missed one long field goal but accounted for the Jets six points on two field goals.
  Hey Jet fans don’t put too much credence in these pre-season games. What you want to look at is individual talent. Some players will seize the opportunity and other will not. Look at the way Dexter McDougle and Josh Martin are playing. The worrisome thing for Jet fans will be the lack of scoring during the season. It is one thing to go 2-14 or 3-13 but sitting in front of the TV with the Jet offense going three and out consistently will be the rub. If I were the Jets, I’d weigh the 53-man roster heavy on defense just because of the amount of time they will be on the field this year. This is shaping up to be one rough season to follow Gang Green.

Green Tidbits:
…..Linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin better get well soon. This always hurt player is facing new competition…..You’ll hear excuse after excuse defending Hackenberg but believe me the Jets aren’t going anywhere with him…..And Greg Buttle who I like comes across too much of a shill always describing the glass as half full not holding players accountable….Jets offensive line seemed to settle down when Wesley Johnson was in at center…..Running back Marcus Murphy (#34) showed a little burst on his 3 carries….Jets are desperate for playmakers on both sides of the ball….Trevor Siemian was drafted in the 7th round. Tyrod Taylor 6th round. Dan Prescott  4th round. Russel Wilson 3rd round. The guy up in New England, 6th round. Old time GM Ron Wolf was probably right. He said every team should always draft one QB every year.……..Next Saturday: Giants 7pm, NBC TV….

Ross Martin is not only the Jets kicker but was the co-star of the 60's show "The Wild Wild West." In honor of Ross Martin (both of them).

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Motor City Outlook

  Okay Jet fans (old time) it’s trivia time. The Jets are playing the Detroit Lions Saturday night. One of the darkest days of my life happened in another Jets exhibition game vs. the Lions. Joe Namath got hurt. Who did he try to tackle after this player picked up a fumble and ran for a touchdown?

  Look for Josh McCown to get a lot more reps than he did last Saturday. With Jets down receivers, I’d look for the tight end to get some activity. I’d like to see some production from TE rookie Jordan Leggett (#49). Tight End Austin Seferian-Jenkins is out for the first two games and we've been hearing that the Jets plan to use the tight end more this year. So this is an opportunity for Leggett.
  Back-up center Jonotthan Harrison (#78) has opened eyes in training camp. This un-drafted player has started 23 NFL games since 2014 for the Indianapolis Colts. Right now Wesley Johnson is the starter but this competition has been very close according to my sources. Not sure how flexible Harrison is with other OL positions but he could be a good find!
    Linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin is out with an injury. I’d like to see how LB Josh Martin (#95) plays after he was all over the field against the Titans. Also keep an eye on LB Dylan Donahue (#53). This division two player has looked good in practice. He is known to have a great motor and a nose for the sack.

Back To Hack: 
Give first year offensive coordinator John Morton credit. He takes the job as the Jets offensive coordinator knowing they don’t have a franchise quarterback and are said to have the worst talent on offense in the league. He is given the task of trying to develop Christian Hackenberg. In the first game, Morton did a great job calling the plays and keeping the passes short with mostly 3 step drops. Hackenberg did well with the plays that were called. Morton will have to have Hack open it up a bit sometime during the pre-season. But for now the "baby steps" approach is working.

Learn From This:
 Michael Nugent was drafted by the New York Jets in the 2005. Roberto Aguayo a kicker who played with Tampa Bay was cut this week. What do both kickers have in common? Both were drafted in the second round. In fact in the 2016 draft, Tampa Bay traded up to get Aguayo. Memo to GMs: DON’T PICK KICKERS IN THE FIRST FOUR ROUNDS OF THE DRAFT!

What the Jet scribes are saying:

Rich Cimini, ESPN
For the first time in a week, McCown tallied more reps than Hackenberg in a practice -- 37 to 28. This was another solid day for McCown (18-for-28), who engineered a 13-play drive -- a rarity in these parts. McCown culminated the long drive by hitting Robby Anderson on a short post route in the back of the end zone. This was a fantastic day for Anderson, who scored two touchdowns and made a highlight-film catch. He has raised his level of play since the season-ending injury to Quincy Enunwa. They need two or three others wide receivers to do the same.

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
My understanding all along has been that the powers that be in the organization want to tread lightly with Hackenberg, who was put on ice as a rookie after a rollercoaster college career. The Jets don’t want to risk undoing all the gains that Morton and new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates have made this offseason by rushing the signal caller’s development.
The result, of course, is growth at glacier-like speed, a plan designed to methodically infuse Hackenberg with doses of confidence. The thinking: Stack small victories to repair a player, who showed so much promise as a true college freshman. They evidently don’t feel a sense of urgency.

Brian Costello, NY Post
Another part of Bowles’ messaging occurred just before training camp began. He gathered everyone who works for the Jets, from vice presidents on down, to watch a video that outlines his vision and says, “The team is the star.” He then spoke to them and handed out T-shirts that have J-E-T-S on the back with read-outs, “Joint Effort Through Sacrifice.”
The messages seem to be sinking in.
“It helps me along with the trophy and the guys on the wall, the guys before us,” McLendon said. “We understood who paved the way for us. All we have to do is stick together, play together, fight together and just continue to be brothers with that one team and one goal, and we’ll be fine.”

Trivia Answer:

It happened on August 7, 1971. Detroit defeated New York 28-24, but the game is best remembered for an injury to New York’s Joe Namath. Following a fumble by New York’s Lee White, Namath attempted to tackle the Detroit linebacker – Mike Lucci -- who made the recovery. While Lucci would go on to score a 29-yard touchdown, Namath tore ligaments in his left knee on the second quarter play, and the injury would keep him sidelined for all but four games in the 1971 season.

We now return control of your television set to you, until next week, at the same time when the Control Voice will take you to... The Outer Limits.

Let's have a little fun Jet Fans!

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Beyond The Numbers

 Viewing hint: 
If on a mobile phone, scroll down to bottom where it says: 
Web Version, click there and you will be able to navigate better on your smart phone. Thanks to the Green Rewind fans who pointed this out. 

  If you look at Christian Hackenberg’s stats from the first half 11-15, with receiver’s dropping 3 passes, it looks good. He had a total of 70 yards which is a 6.3 average per pass completion which is not acceptable. For the game he was 18-25 for 127 yards, only 7 yards per completion.
 At the end of the third quarter, Hackenberg looked like he was getting into a rhythm completing three nice passes only to fumble a snap and lose possession. Out of all his pass plays, one play that did impress me the most was a meaningless short pass at the end of the half. The Jets were deep in their own territory and Hackenberg hung in the pocket till the last second and hit his running back for a short gain. The bottom line is the Jets did not score with Christian Hackenberg at quarterback. I know the new offense (West coast) is made up a lot of short quarterback 3-step drops getting rid of the football quickly but he has got to do better. I’m not optimistic. Here’s why! Hackenberg has what I call “static eyes.” I just don’t believe he has the down field vision necessary to be a franchise quarterback. He will lock onto his primary receiver and when he looks off him (coaches call this following his progressions), too much time has elapsed and he gets into trouble. The criticism he has received in training camp is he holds the ball too long. I believe this is from his lack of down field vision. I hope I’m wrong and he eventually lights it up but I just don’t see it at this point. Still too early to get a complete opinion of Hackenberg but at least the Jets coaching staff is giving him an opportunity with a lot of playing time.
  Josh McCown (Ryan Fitzpatrick 2.0) played a series and looked good. The highlight was his 53-yard pass completion to Robby Anderson. A beautiful throw and catch. A 4-yard touchdown pass to Charone Peake sealed the deal. You have to like McCown. He doesn’t stop cheerleading when he is not in the game. Again, this is a guy you wish had more talent. He loves football.
  Bryce Petty played garbage time with 3rd and 4th stringers so we still have no idea if Petty has any upside from last year. All I know is he was getting hit and hit hard.
  Interestingly rookie running back Elijah McGuire had awful numbers but he looked good on a couple of running plays that were called back for penalties early in the game. He might get more playing time than expected for a rookie. I predict the Dallas Cowboys may make a call to the Jets about the availability of running back Matt Forte to fill the hole made by the Ezekiel Elliott suspension.
  The Jets offensive line played okay. Their run blocking was not good but they gave both McCown and Hackenberg good pass protection.
  The Jets defense played well. Josh Martin the linebacker from Columbia was all over the field. Leonard Williams was himself and had an impressive sack. Darron Lee looked quick going sideline to sideline. One thing about Lee that Greg Buttle commented on. Buttle said when Lee is in pass coverage his eyes are still in the backfield. Great point! As we saw last year Lee got toasted on pass coverage. Demario Davis who I am not a big fan of played very well and showed quickness. The Jets have an undrafted linebacker, Connor Harris (#59). He is small but made a few impressive plays. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye the Jets first and second picks were very quiet during the game. If the defense can play disciplined, keep the penalties down, the Jets will be in more games than expected. I love the depth of our defensive line!

Back to Hack: 
Moving forward what I’d like to see from Christian Hackenberg is:
        1. More pass completions over 15-yards
        2. Look off his primary receivers and complete passes over 10-yards
        3. Quicker getting plays off. He burnt two time outs as the time clock ran out
        4. Complete a nice long bomb. If Hack had made that same completion to Robby Anderson that McCown did, that’s all we’d be talking about

Green Tidbits: Lachlan Edwards had 14-yard punt in the 3rd quarter. He’s in mid-season form….This is the second year I’m pulling for tight end Jason Vander Laan a converted quarterback….I hope your pulling for DL Devon Still to make the squad. His daughter was fighting cancer. Devon got a sack so he started off on the right foot….Saw Joe Kelcko interview. If you saw what I saw one of his index fingers is shaped like the Delaware river going in a million different directions….I’m a huge Chad Pennington fan. If the Jets need a new GM, hopefully he will be under consideration……Don’t know what dropping faster this week. The NASDQ stocks in my 401K or Aaron Judge’s batting average….Good luck to Marty Lyons who is recovering from a stroke….Next up for the Jets, At Lions Saturday 8/19, 7:30pm on CBS TV.

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