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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Jets Reopen Bates Motel

  If the Jet offense doesn’t get the job done, some players may end up in the fruit cellar in the old mansion that sat above the Bates Motel. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is quietly putting his finger prints on the 2018 New York Jets. I’ve written about Bates before and how much he is respected by the Jets coaching staff. Make no mistake, he is not Paul Brown yet but he has a definite plan and Jet fans should feel good that he is a big part of the coaching staff. Bates followed Pete Carroll from USC to the Seattle Seahawks where he served as the offensive coordinator in 2010 and was fired. That was the year Seattle made the playoffs after going 7-9. They upset the Saints in the playoffs 41-36 as QB Matt Hasselbeck threw 4 TD passes and ended up with a QB rating of 113.
 Jeremy Bates is the coach who will help turn the Jets around. He is part of the decision making process on which QB to draft. In 2008 as Jay Cutler’s QB coach and calling the plays in Denver, Cutler threw for over 4,500 yards and threw 25 TD passes making All-Pro. As QB coach for Josh Mccown last year Mccown had one of his best seasons ever. Bates has a little bit of hippie in him.  In 2014, he hiked the 2,900-mile Continental Divide Trail (CDT), completing a five-month trek from Mexico to Canada alone, 20–30 miles per day with a 40 to 60 pound backpack. 
  When Mike Westoff was the Jets Special Teams coach he had a big influence on the personnel decisions which helped produce Leon Washington and Brad Smith. It’s beginning to look like the same way with Jeremy Bates. His influence is telling as the Jets now have a total of 17 wide receivers on the roster. Green Rewind fans should be 100% confident that Jeremy Bates will get the Jet offense as prepared as possible going into each game. 

Draft Rewind 2006
  Many experts will admit drafting NFL players is more roulette than chess. Scouts can spend endless hours only to be wrong. For every Tom Brady picked in the 6th round there is always a Matt Leinart picked in the 1st round. I remember all the hype in 1995 about Mike Mamula from Boston College. He was the 7th player picked in the first round and though he was not a total bust, he played only 5 years in the NFL. I always liked the idea of trading down in the draft and accumulating picks. Have confidence in your ability to pick good prospects. On the other side, trading up can bite you and bite you hard. The Jets gave up two first picks to move up to draft wide receiver/gold medal sprinter Lam Jones. This move bombed out quickly. In 2003 the Jets again used two first round draft picks to trade up to pick Dewayne Robertson a defensive tackle from Kentucky who played 6 years in the NFL. Making this pick really hard to swallow are some of the players picked after Robertson:
Terrell Suggs, Marcus Trufant, Troy Polamalu, Terence Newman, Larry Johnson, Nnamdi Asomugha 
  Going against this philosophy the Jets moved up in the draft giving up three #2 picks. Ideally I would have liked to stay at 6 and roll the dice in the later rounds with some lesser known quarterbacks. The good part of this is that they pulled off this trade early on. Otherwise it would have cost them more picks. As everyone has said on talk radio and in the sports section, the Jets better get this pick right. 
  In this issue’s draft rewind, a look at the 2006 draft shows it as a solid year. The draft is highlighted by both first round draft picks D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold having solid careers. Second round pick Kellen Clemens is still active finishing his fourth season as a back-up for the Chargers. He is currently a free agent but give this guy credit for carving out a nice career as a back-up spanning over 12 years. Every Jet fan’s favorite round should be the 4th round. Both Brad Smith and Leon Washington (one of my personal favorites) were both explosive players. Eric Smith and Drew Coleman had modest NFL careers but on the whole this was an excellent draft year for the Jets. 

Jets 2006 Draft
1 4 D'Brickashaw Ferguson  T Virginia
1 29 Nick Mangold                 C Ohio State
2 49 Kellen Clemens       QB Oregon
3 76 Anthony Schlegel       LB Ohio State
3 97 Eric Smith               DB Michigan State
4 103 Brad Smith              WR Missouri
4 117 Leon Washington         RB Florida State
5 150 Jason Pociask              TE Wisconsin
6 189 Drew Coleman      CB Texas Christian
7 220 Titus Adams              DT Nebraska

Vincent Price On The Wall In Cleveland & New York
  We all use the phrase “I’d like to be a fly on the wall” for getting information that is only privy for people who are in a particular room. Whether it is in the Oval Office, your high school teacher’s room or maybe even your first wife’s family room, human nature’s curiosity gene is in every one of us. This year more than any other year with regards to the draft, being a fly on the wall in the situation room for the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and New York Jets is as intense and interesting as I’ve seen for a long time. I can relate how anxious and exciting this is by going back to when I was very young. Many old time New York basketball fans may remember the 1966 NBA draft. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each division with the order determined by a coin flip. So that year, the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons would rely on the fate of the flip of a coin to determine who would win the grand prize, Cazzie Russell. The team that lost the coin flip would be stuck with Dave Bing as the runner up prize. As it turned out the Knicks won the flip of the coin and Cazzie Russell was theirs. Dave Bing went to the Detroit Pistons and ironically became the better ball player. This has happened over and over in all sports. Back to being that fly on the wall. The Cleveland Browns have let the out word that they love Josh Allen. This is a smoke screen. The Browns are playing this draft very well. With the first and fourth picks, they have a great chance to get two blue chip players. The fly on the wall is saying the Browns will pick Sam Darnold first and if he is still available pick Saquon Barkley with their second pick. Up until the draft, the Browns will leak every scenario possible with their first pick to see if they get any phone calls about the pick. For instance if by some chance the Browns like Baker Mayfield they may contact the Jets and try to squeeze out another first round pick to switch spots. The bottom line with the Cleveland Browns is they will pick Sam Darold and I would be shocked if they didn’t. 
  The New York Giants are in a fascinating position. Rumors are running rampant that the Buffalo Bills will try to trade up with the Giants giving the them their two first round and two second round picks. Others say the Giants would be crazy to pass up on Saquon Barkley with the second pick. The figuring is with Barkley and Beckham on their offense together, defensive coordinators will be going crazy trying to come up with a game plan to stop the Jints offense. The fly on the wall has told me the Giants will not pick Saquon Barkley but will take Josh Rosen. 
  Now to the New York Jets. The Jets traded up to the third position in the draft because they have to love at least three of the quarterbacks. Josh Allen may seem like the obvious choice (if Darnold and Rosen are off the board) as he comes with the most athletic ability of all the quarterbacks. The Jets, however will roll the dice with the fly on the wall telling me the Jets will pick Baker Mayfield. They have rated the QB’s: Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen. If by some miracle Darnold falls, the Jets will pounce on him. Otherwise Baker Mayfield will be wearing the green and white. If the Jets are wrong about Mayfield, you will hear Mike Maccagnan sound like “The Fly” at the end of that classic movie yelling “Help Me, Help Me, Help Me.”

Green Rewind Mock Draft 3.0

1. Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Height: 6-3. Weight: 218
In this mock draft the Jets go with Josh Rosen. The Buffalo Bills trade up and move into the Giants spot and grab Baker Mayfield who the Jets loved just behind Darnold.
Rosen is the most “NFL ready” quarterback of the four musketeers. In 30 games played at UCLA, Rosen had a completion percentage of 60.9%. He threw for 9,341 yards
with 59 TD passes and 26 INT’s. In the 2017 season opener, Rosen completed 35-of-59 passes for 491 yards and four touchdowns to rally UCLA to a 45–44 win over Texas A&M. The Bruins overcame a 34-point deficit, the largest comeback in school history. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said: "We knew he was smart.... But the thing I was really impressed with was his toughness. We hit him and hit him a lot, and he got better. It's not supposed to work that way … especially in the fourth quarter." Rosen would thrive in New York and work well with Jeremy Bates.

2. No pick

3. Taven Bryan, Florida – Defensive Line
Height: 6-5. Weight: 291
This projected 2nd round pick slips as quarterbacks dominate the first two rounds. Bryan is a freak of nature athletically who is only starting to put it all together. There’s no telling if he’ll ever do just that and put it all together, but he’s improved greatly in every season of his college career. Bryan broke out in 2017 with 40 tackles with six tackles for a loss and four sacks. He had a dominant game against Texas A&M.

4. Jordan Aikens, TE, Central Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 249
For the second year in a row the Jets pick a tight end with a Jordan for the first name. Last year Jordan Leggett got hurt. Aikens could find a role as an H-back and receiving tight end in the NFL. Akins gets to top speed quickly and it shows in his ability to separate and create after the catch. In 2017, he totaled 32 receptions for 515 yards and four scores. In 2016, he caught 23 passes for 347 yards and two scores. Akins has showed improvement in the run game where he has the ability to locate second-level targets, but it’s his ability to stretch the seam that gives him a chance to make an impact at the next level.

5. Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, 3-4 OLB, Toledo
Height: 6-1. Weight: 248
Jet announcers may hope this player doesn’t make it because of the pronunciation of his name. I wrote about him earlier this year. Even though many scouts think he made a mistake coming out early, this guy is oozing with talent. In his final season for the MAC champion Rockets, Adeniyi totaled 66 tackles with 20 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

6.Jeremy Reaves, S, South Alabama
Height: 5-10. Weight: 204.
In the late rounds players are usually picked with special teams in mind. Reaves held his own against the better competition during Senior Bowl week and showed that he could compete with a higher-caliber opponent. Reaves, a tackling machine over the past three seasons, totaling 104 tackles as a senior, 85 as a junior and 96 as a sophomore. He also totaled eight career interceptions, with three as a senior. Reaves notched eight passes broken up in 2017 as well.

7. JT Luper WR Central Oaklahoma
Height: 5’9”  Weight: 175
Jets don’t want to wait to sign this Division 2 wide receiver/punt returner as an un-drafted free agent. This electrifying player led all NCAA receivers in 2017 with receptions, yards and yards per game (132). With any division 2 player it a real gamble especially with his size but this player is worth it.

What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini,ESPN
During the pregame warm-ups at the UCLA-USC game last November, general manager Mike Maccagnan spent most of his time on the UCLA side of the field, watching Rosen. He studied body language and interaction with teammates, looking for personality and leadership traits that can't be seen on tape. The quarterback he selects will be the face of the franchise and must be a strong leader.From a football standpoint, Rosen would fit nicely in the Jets' West Coast offense. He's a cerebral player who prides himself on being able to read defenses and work through his progressions. His smarts, coupled with flawless mechanics, make him the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft. Negatives? His lack of mobility could be a concern. He completed only 42 percent of his passes when forced to move and he took too many sacks last season (26). In case you didn't notice, the Jets' offensive line struggled in pass protection. Rosen's know-it-all personality can rub some people the wrong way, but offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates has had experience with his type. (See: Jay Cutler.) Rosen would join a quarterback room that includes a couple of pro's pros, Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater, which would help his maturation.My sense is the Jets' pick will come down to Rosen or Mayfield, the pure passer versus the brash playmaker (assuming Darnold is gone).

Brian Costello, NY Post
Mike Maccagnan is two weeks away from making the most important choice of his tenure as Jets general manager.On April 26, he will make the selection at No. 3 in this year’s draft that can change the course of the franchise. No pressure, Mike. But should Jets fans feel good about Maccagnan being the man in the big chair making that decision?
Should his selection of quarterbacks Bryce Petty in 2015 or Christian Hackenberg in 2016 give fans pause that Maccagnan will stumble when it comes to selecting the right quarterback to end the Jets’ four-decade search for one?

“I’m very confident from that standpoint,” Maccagnan said two weeks ago at the NFL league meetings. “That doesn’t faze me. It’s the college draft. Guys you’ll hit on. Guys that don’t pan out, that’s part of the process. But we feel pretty good about this year’s group and where we’re situated.”

…..Maccagnan is a lifelong scout and you have to trust he and trusted lieutenant Brian Heimerdinger know what they are looking at when evaluating these quarterbacks. They have traveled thousands of miles to work out the top quarterbacks in this draft — Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield. They have gone to their pro days and have several of them coming to New Jersey this week for pre-draft visits. Mayfield arrived in Florham Park on Monday night. Rosen is also expected there this week. The Petty/Hackenberg argument also loses steam because of where they were picked. Todd Bowles recently called the draft “an educated crapshoot.” It is a perfect description, but the odds in that crapshoot get worse the later you get in the draft. Hackenberg was the 51st pick overall. Petty was the 103rd. The Jets viewed both Petty and Hackenberg as projects. You are not taking a project at No. 3 overall. This player won’t necessarily have to play right away, but will have to show the ability to play this season if needed. Maccagnan is 0-for-2 drafting quarterbacks. But no one remembers the first two at-bats if he hits a home run in two weeks.

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Forget the whispers that have trailed Josh Rosen during this particularly annoying time on the NFL calendar when nobody seems to know anything even though everybody pretends to know everything. Rosen might be the best pure quarterback in this draft, the smartest processor in the pocket and the most inquisitive and cerebral player in his position group, but rumblings of his lack of passion for the game and leadership have occupied too much space in our heads. Rosen’s intellect and background — Gasp! His family is rich! — have somehow become character flaws.The NFL sometimes mirrors junior high with whisper-down-the-lane rumors that take on a life of their own. The notion that Rosen doesn’t love football is so mind-numbingly stupid that I won’t dignify that beyond this sentence.


                                    What Mike Maccagnan may sound like if the Jets QB is a bust!


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