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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Falling Into Place

Right now this team seems a little different than other Jet teams. The only game they have been really out of was the Oakland game. Todd Bowles is doing something right. One thing for sure he hired some very good assistants in the off-season. Last year when the Raider’s Derek Carr went down with a broken leg toward the end of the season, I called my friend Tony and told him the darn Pats are going to the Super Bowl. Things just fell into place for them. It's still a little early but things are slowly falling into place for the Jets. The Jets go down to Tampa Bay and will be facing their old friend Ryan Fitzpatrick filling in for the injured Jameis Winston. This is a big break! Fitz is two years removed from that great season he had with the Jets. We all know Fitz can light it up at times but a bigger break for the Jets is that the Bucs all everything receiver Mike Evans has been suspended for the game. This is huge! The Bucs are ranked 28th in rushing as a team this year. Even though the Bucs rank 3rd in passing offense, with Winston and Evans out and the Jets defensive line and linebackers playing much better, I would bring a lot of the defense up in the box forcing Fitz to pass. Remember Fitz is not a speedy runner but is a smart runner and a good scrambler. He is also fearless! I know for a fact there will be a lot of Jet fans at this game. If the Jets pull it out, the season can get interesting.


Two Rookies Are Given A Shot
With Jeremy Kerley suspended for the next four games, we will see more of rookie ArDarius Stewart (Jets 3rd round pick) and Chad Hansen (Jets 4th round pick). Stewart already has four receptions as well as three rushes for 18-yards. Chad Hansen does not have any receptions but he may be the more interesting player. NFL.com projected him to be picked in the second or third round.

Here is a brief scouting report on the 6’2” receiver from Cal who caught passes from Jared Goff in 2015 and Davis Webb (Giants) in 2016:
Hansen ended up totaling 92 receptions, 1,249 yards (13.6 YPC), and 11 touchdowns. He knows how to make tough catches over defensive backs and he knows how to go deep. There are some concerns about his route-running given he wasn't asked to run a wide variety of routes in Cal's spread system, but that doesn't mean he can't learn the nuances of an NFL offense. At the very least, he should function as someone who can make contested catches in the red zone, which holds value.


Draft Two QB’s
I mentioned this before but this college season is so deep in quarterbacks, the Jets would be wise to draft two. One in the first round and maybe the other in the fourth or fifth. Going away back when the Jets drafted Joe Namath, they also drafted Notre Dame quarterback John Huarte who won the Heisman trophy.  Even though the Jets are playing themselves out of a top five pick, this draft is thick enough in talent that they can get that franchise quarterback. Since 2002 I found three other drafts when teams picked two quarterbacks in the same draft.

Redskins 2012 draft 
1st round:  Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor 
4th round:  Kirk Cousins QB, Mich. State

Colts Draft 2012
1st round: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
7th round: Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois

Green Bay 2008
2nd Round: Brian Brohm QB, Louisville
7th round: Matt Flynn QB, LSU

Austin Seferian-Jenkins May Be Heading Up I-95
Coach BB has a great knack for trading or getting rid of star players one or two years too soon rather than too late. Rob Gronkowski may fall into this category. Sound crazy? When you look at his contract (see below) Gronk’s salary jumps after the 2017 season. BB doesn’t like to pay older player who’s last name doesn’t begin with “Brady.” In the Pats tight end friendly offense Austin Seferian-Jenkins who is three year younger than Gronk may be the perfect choice for BB, Brady and company. The Jets either have to lock this talented player up or they should franchise him if and when his rookie contract runs out.

Rob Gronkowski’s Contract    Age      Amount
2012 Contract details by year 23 $540,000
$8,570,000
($8,570,000)
2013 Contract details by year 24 $630,000
($9,230,000)
2014 Contract details by year 25    $3,750,000
$3,750,000
($12,980,000)
2015 Contract details by year 26 $4,750,000
$15,014,803
($27,994,803)
2016 Contract details by year 27 $2,250,000
$2,977,829
($30,972,632)
2017 Contract details by year 28   $4,250,000
$4,750,000
($35,722,632)
2018 Contract details by year 29 $8,000,000
$9,000,000
($44,722,632)
2019 Contract details by year 30 $9,000,000


What the Jet Scribes Are Saying

Rich Cimini, ESPN
Surprise! The Jets don't stink. Projected by many to be the worst team in the NFL, they've already won more games (four) than anyone could've expected. They convinced their harshest critics they're not tanking, which seemed to be the game plan after an offseason in which they blew up the roster. They still have personnel deficiencies, but this is a highly competitive team -- a credit to Todd Bowles and his coaching staff. They lost three games by seven points or fewer, with only one blowout defeat. If they hadn't lost their poise in a couple of fourth quarters, they could be 6-3 instead of 4-5. They're getting strong play from their young building blocks, namely Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye and Robby Anderson. The downside: They've hurt their 2018 draft position, perhaps costing themselves a shot at a top quarterback. 

Brian Costello, NY Post
Of all the surprises the 2017 Jets have given us, none are greater than the play of the 38-year-old McCown, the NFL’s version of Forrest Gump. McCown came to the Jets – his 10th NFL team – without much fanfare. The Jets signed him to a one-year, $6 million deal in March. He was viewed as a placeholder until Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty was ready to take over. Instead, he has kept them firmly planted on the bench.

“He has been able to help stabilize an organization and team that quite frankly went through a lot of change and went through a lot of negativity and not a lot of positive energy around the organization as a whole,” (Chad) Pennington said. “He has been the perfect guy to help establish that, help provide some stability.”

McCown is Mr. Positive. He had just the right touch for a team that heard all offseason how bad they were going to be from everyone outside their locker room. McCown had endured bad last season with the Browns, going 1-15. He assured everyone who would listen these Jets were not that bad. If his play continues to stay at this level through the season, the question will become: Do the Jets bring him back in 2018? There will be some trepidation because the organization was fooled in 2015 by a great season from Ryan Fitzpatrick into giving him another one, and the roof caved in.
Pennington wants McCown to stick around next year and beyond.

“I would love to see Josh be part of the equation for about three more years,” Pennington said. “I don’t know how long he wants to play. I could certainly see him continue to be able to stabilize the position and also be professional enough to understand when it is time to hand over the reins. He would be such a great asset in the room. I think that’s something that would benefit the Jets, to have his presence there.

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s weird, wild and wacky 13-year NFL story will add another fun chapter when he faces a familiar foe on Sunday.

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston’s shoulder injury that will shelve him for a few weeks sets up an intriguing matchup: Fitzmagic vs. the Jets.

“It’s very ironic,” Fitzpatrick told the Daily News Monday after getting the nod to make his first start with his new team against his old team. “It encapsulates my career, basically. My first start as a Buccaneer, of course, comes versus the Jets with everything that happened there the last few years. My career has been a never-ending rollercoaster and one that I’ve loved every minute of along the way. So, I’ll definitely enjoy the challenge on Sunday.”

Fitzpatrick was the engine of the Jets’ feel-good 2015 campaign, a veteran journeyman who galvanized a wayward team stung by the loss of its presumed starting quarterback (Geno Smith) after a locker room fight with a teammate. Fitzpatrick’s career-high 3,905 passing yards and 31 touchdowns put the Jets within a whisker of a playoff berth in Todd Bowles’ first season.


                            

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