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Monday, July 22, 2019

Here We Go!

Training camp starts this week. The Jets are coming off a 4-12 season, with a new head coach, a new GM and a second year quarterback who is getting way too much hype at this point. There are number of things I want to look at during the next 10 days. Here are 5 of them.

1. Trumaine Johnson
2. Le'Veon Bell
3. Sam Darnold
4. Jets Offensive Line
5. 1st & 3rd Draft Pick

1. Trumaine Johnson
Can this over paid defensive back ever live up to half of what the former Jets brass thought they were getting?  This 6’2” player with 22 lifetime interceptions (4 returned for TDs) looked awful last year except for maybe 4 or 5 games. The bad news is he turns 30 in January and my personal opinion is that is the age where DB’s start to slide. The good news is he has dropped some weight, looks like he is in top shape, and played some of his best football when Gregg Williams was his defensive coordinator with the Rams. Another point is the Jets will have a better pass rush this year. All the positives mentioned are just what Johnson needs to have a bounce back year. But it is all up to him.

2. Le'Veon Bell
Which player and what type of citizen are the Jets getting signing one of the most dangerous running backs in the NFL since he came into the league? Of course we all know he sat out the 2018 season with the Steelers. In 2016 Bell averaged 105.7 yards per game rushing. In 2017 he caught 85 passes from his running back position and he is not afraid to block. But Adam Gase was not thrilled he missed most of the Spring workouts. And the fact that the Jets signed Ty Montgomery and resigned Bilal Powell may show that the new Jet regime is not thrilled that Bell is on the team. In addition, the Jets have running backs Trenton Cannon, De'Angelo Henderson and Elijah McGuire on the roster. I expect Bell to come bursting out of the gate for the first 2 or 3 games. After that, your guess is as good as mine. If Adam Gase gets down on spending the money for Bell, he should review the game films of the 2017 Wild Card game when the Steelers manhandled the Fish with Bell getting 167 yards rushing and 2 TDs.

3. Sam Darnold
Everyone’s wild card. Sam Darnold has been hyped like crazy in the off season with the Jets staff loving his improvement. I’m sure you heard that most experts say that the biggest jump for franchise quarterbacks is going from year 1 to year 2. Peyton Manning made a huge jump from year 1 to year 2. In his rookie year Manning had 26 TDs and 28 INTs on 575 passing attempts. In his second year he had the same 26 TDs but cut down on his INTs from 28 to 15. In his rookie season Sam Darnold had 17 TDs and 15 INTs with 414 passing attempts. As everyone would agree, Sam looked much better after missing a few games with an injury. His last 4 games were quality ones and this Jet coaching staff will give him a ton of better coaching than last year. By the way Peyton Manning’s team went from 3-13 to 13-3 his first 2 years.


4. Jets Offensive Line
This is the area of my greatest concern. What does it matter if Darnold is the second coming and does not have protection? Center Jonotthan Harrison seems to be everyone’s biggest concern. I’m concerned from left tackle to right tackle and in between. Continuity is a major issue with offensive lines. Until I see the Jets with a balanced attack and drive down the field in the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter down by 5 points and pull out a victory will I be happy. Scanning the waiver wire at the end of August will be a priority for Gase, Loggains and Pollack.

5. 1st & 3rd Draft Pick
Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama and Jachai Polite, DE, Florida will be important keys to the Jets defense. As of this writing Williams is still unsigned but he should be in camp shortly. A one year beast at Alabama, Williams says everything he should say and his attitude about playing every position on the DL is refreshing. Jachai Polite is the player everyone knocked because of the interview process and his attitude at the Combine. Polite was ranked as a late 1st round pick who dropped dramatically. I’m going out on a limb but with the film I reviewed he looks better to me than Kentucky’s Josh Allen. Let’s see what he does on the field.

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2019 New York Jets Training Camp Schedule

The Jets training camp opens on July 27th. 
Here is the Jets’ updated training camp schedule, in terms of all publicly open practices and preseason games:

• Saturday July 27, 8:25 a.m. — open to public, with ticket

• Sunday July 28, 8:25 a.m. — open to public, with ticket

• Thursday Aug. 1, 8:25 a.m. — open to summer camps only

• Saturday Aug. 3, 11 a.m. — open to public, with ticket

• Thursday Aug. 8, 7 p.m. — Week 1 preseason game, at Giants

• Sunday Aug. 11, 8:25 a.m. — open to public, with ticket

• Tuesday Aug. 13, 8:25 a.m. — open to summer camps only

• Thursday Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m. — Week 2 preseason game, at Falcons

• Sunday Aug. 18, 7 p.m. — Green and White scrimmage/practice (at MetLife Stadium)

• Saturday Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m. — Week 3 preseason game, vs. Saints

• Thursday Aug. 29, 7 p.m. — Week 4 preseason game, vs. Eagles

Admission and parking at all 2019 Jets Training Camp events will be free, but tickets are required. Free tickets can be downloaded by visiting Practices may be cancelled or closed to the public in the case of inclement weather. Fans are encouraged to call the team’s fan line at (973) 549-4844.

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Green Tidbits
…..If some can over hype Sam Darnold then I can overhype Jamison Crowder. Look for 90 Receptions 1000+ yards and 10 TDs…..If OL Kelechi Osemele reverts to his old Pro Bowl way, Mike Maccagnan has got to get kudos…..Nervous about the OL but new OL coach Frank Pollack is the wild card here. Watch them improve as the season moves forward……Losing Chris Herndon for 4 games is rough but Jets should be okay. Look for TE Daniel Brown to make the most of the extra reps.....GM Joe Douglas steps into a situation where he did not pick the talent. Similar to a college basketball coach taking over a brand new job with the previous coach’s recruits.  2-3 years developing his own talent is fair.....Greg Dortch WR/return man from Wake Forest is this year’s best un-drafted free agent. Wait till you see this 5’7” firecracker with the ball.....Take the over for the Jets. I expect nothing less than 9-7....

What The Jets Scribes Are Saying
Brian Costello, NY Post
(Brian) Poole played in all 16 games for the Falcons, starting nine last season as their slot cornerback. He had three interceptions, six passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and three sacks. Pro Football Focus graded Poole as the 81st cornerback out of 112 graded. Despite being a productive player, the Falcons opted not to tender Poole as a restricted free agent. Reports at the time said Atlanta hoped to re-sign him to a cheaper contract than the restricted tender. Outlook for 2019: The Jets jumped on Poole early in free agency, securing him to replace Buster Skrine as their slot corner. Poole has played in the slot role during spring practices and has moved outside sometimes when the Jets are in base defense. He figures to have a very big role in Gregg Williams’ defense. Teams are in sub packages now around 70 percent of the time and Poole will be on the field in those situations. The Jets may have gotten themselves a steal if Poole can perform like he did last year for Atlanta. They signed him to a very reasonable contract. Skrine held down the slot corner role for four seasons with the Jets, but was always plagued by too many penalties. The slot corner has become crucial in the NFL with offenses using shifty slot receivers more and more for quick passes.
The Jets will be counting on Poole in that role and he could slide to the outside if there is an injury to the Jets’ top two cornerbacks.

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Rich Cimini, ESPN
(Josh)McCown's parting thought: With his mentor, confidant and de facto coach embarking on a new career, Sam Darnold is bound to experience occasional pangs of Josh McCown withdrawal during the upcoming season. Darnold is probably already feeling it. After all, the two quarterbacks were virtually inseparable last season and became BFFs.

"He'll probably get lost on the way to the dry cleaners and he'll be lonely at Chipotle," McCown said last week in a phone interview, adding a touch of humor.

They devoured a lot of burritos last season -- and Darnold learned a lot of football -- but good things rarely last long in the NFL, a league defined by constant change. McCown, 39, who announced his retirement, has moved on to a career as an ESPN NFL analyst. Darnold, 22, still the youngest quarterback on the Jets' roster, will have to lean on his coaches, head coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, more than ever.

"I tried to empty the clip with him and give him everything I could," McCown said. "He'll be just fine. Adam and Dowell will do a great job with him, and Trevor [Siemian] has played a lot of football. It's a good room. Those guys will support him. I root for those guys, and I want to see Sam have a lot of success. Now he has to make it happen. If he needs me, I'm only a phone call away."

I asked McCown where Darnold can make the most improvement in Year 2, and he said, "Playing fast and smart on the early downs." It's a great point, because the numbers show Darnold struggled on first and second downs (78.3 passer rating, 10 touchdowns, 10 interceptions) and played surprisingly well for a rookie on third down (83.5, seven TDs, three INTs). It's usually the other way around because the coverages are more basic on early downs as compared to third down.

"He needs to know when to cut bait on a play and when to rip it," McCown said. "That will be more fine-tuned this year because I know Adam will help with that. That will be the biggest jump for him. If he can eliminate five or six incompletions per game, it'll be a major improvement."

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
(CJ) Mosley is a tackling machine that has missed fewer than 10 tackles in each of the past two seasons. More than that, he’ll provide invaluable stability and leadership for a team trying to be relevant again.

"We just felt like he was culture-changer," Gase said. "He was the type of guy that could help really kind of lead that charge in the locker room, where the team building starts the right way. He's been part of an organization that all of us would say has done things the right way for a long period of time. That culture stayed the same (after Ray Lewis retired), and C.J. was a big reason for that."

Mosley and Avery Williamson will provide a solid duo for Gregg Williams. Although Mosley isn’t going to be a stalwart in coverage, the Jets are banking that his other attributes will make him a smart investment.“He’s a really good leader,” Williams said. “He leads by example first. All the great leaders that I’ve been a part of have to show a great example before you open your mouth. So, he’s always doing that.…. He’s not a highly vocal guy, but he sets the example by how he goes about doing his job. He understands the routine of being a real pro. He’s excited about the flexibility of… being even more of a quarterback of the defense and having the checks and audible systems that we teach. It’ll be fun.”


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NFL News and Rumors
…..Adam Schefter reports that Patriots WR Julian Edelman is expected to be sidelined for about three weeks due to a left thumb injury he’s dealing with.….. Both J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins will start Texans training camp a bit late. Each Houston All-Pro will begin camp on the active/PUP list, according to’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Watt underwent a minor knee surgery this offseason, but that procedure came in January....The Dallas Cowboys are set to begin training camp on Friday, and Ezekiel Elliott is unsure if he will attend. Elliott wants a new contract prior to Week 1, which has led to talk that he could hold out from training camp…..The Denver Broncos got training camp kicked off Thursday, and during the team’s first practice linebacker Todd Davis suffered a lower-body injury. According to multiple reports, Davis was limping and ultimately had to be carted into the team’s locker room. Thankfully, he was diagnosed with a calf injury that reportedly “doesn’t look like it will be serious.”…..“Madden 20” unveiled complete player ratings earlier this week, and perhaps nothing was more surprising than the stunningly low marks Aaron Rodgers received…..The NFL is considering expanding its season to 18 games once a new collective bargaining agreement is signed. While it wouldn’t start until the 2021 campaign, players are already speaking out on it…..Prosecutors have finally hit Darren McFadden with charges in his wild Whataburger case charging the ex-NFL star with 2 misdemeanors that carry jail time if he's convicted. McFadden was arrested back on January 21 after cops say the 31-year-old was asleep at the wheel of his 2019 GMC Yukon in the drive-thru at a Whataburger in Texas…..Darren Sproles is coming back for at least one more year signing a one-year deal with the Eagles…..

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