New Flight Plan: Why The New York Jets Must Play Geno Smith

The Jets need to see if Geno Smith has anything to offer in the long-term

The Jets need to see if Geno Smith has anything to offer in the long-term

It’s a saying that has been used to describe the New York Jets 2014 season almost as much as “interception by Geno Smith”. That phrase is “the Jets have hit rock bottom”.

Here they are again! After being embarrassed for the second time this season by the Buffalo Bills in a 38-3 drubbing at Ford Field in Detroit on Monday Night Football, the 2-9 Jets have officially hit rock bottom. They’ve lost their best player to injury in Muhammad Wilkerson and had to turn from struggling veteran starter Michael Vick back to the incumbent Geno Smith. With five games left in this regrettable and lost season, the Jets should just let Geno Smith start the final games.

It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Rex Ryan will be gone after the season and the organization is due for a major overhaul. With these last five games basically being a tryout for next years squad it just makes sense to start Smith. After sitting on the bench for a few weeks and realizing that his time with the Jets is now in the eleventh hour, Smith needs to play well over the final five games to prove that he should be in the mix for the starting job in 2015.

With the Jets seemingly on their way to a top five pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, if Smith wants to have any shot in New York next season he needs to finish the season with an exclamation point rather then a question mark. As the Jets starter smith has guided New York to a 9-15 record while throwing 19 touchdowns to 31 interceptions. Not exactly the numbers a team wants from their so-called franchise quarterback.

If Smith wants any shot with the Jets, or in the NFL in the long-run, he needs to go from game manager to playmaker. If he can throw and run for touchdowns while eliminating the costly mistakes that he has become well-known for, he might have a shot in the NFL.

Don’t get me wrong, Smith has great physical tools including a plus arm and great feet, but it’s the mental side of the game that worries me. This has been well documented this season whether he’s late for a meeting, or pouting on the sidelines, Geno Smith needs to prove over the final five games that he is a leader and takes being the general of the offense seriously.

It’s a long shot to think that the Jets won’t address the quarterback position this offseason, but in the present they need to evaluate Smith. While many of the offensive woes can be placed on Smith, people must realize that the entire roster is a mess.

Outside of the lack of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, the Jets offensive line outside of Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold has been a disaster. Then of course is the defense which has cornerbacks that probably shouldn’t be on an NFL roster let alone starting for the team and New York’s first round pick Calvin Pryor who has played so bad that the team has benched him.

The Jets are a disaster. There’s no way around that. However, with the plethora of problems on both sides of the ball and in the front office, ifGeno Smith can show some signs at life, it could give the organization a year to build up the rest of the roster around Smith and then make a decision on what to do at quarterback next year.

Is Geno Smith's replacement in the 2015 NFL Draft? Could Mariota or Winston be the next QB for the Jets?

Is Geno Smith’s replacement in the 2015 NFL Draft? Could Mariota or Winston be the next QB for the Jets?

However, if Smith plays like he has throughout his first 24 starts, then the Jets scouts will once again be looking for a quarterback at the combine for the third time in six years. Do I hear the Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston Jets rumors off in the distance?


Time to Go! John Idzik Needs to go as the New York Jets General Manager

If John Idzik does not address the cornerback position this week for the New York Jets he needs to be removed from the organization immediately. What is happening in New York is ridiculous. After failing to resign Antonio Cromartie or bring in an outside free agent cornerback, John Idzik has instead left both Rex Ryan and the New York Jets franchise out to dry.

With Milliner's injury, if Idzik still refuses to sign help at cornerback then he deserves to be fired

With Milliner’s injury, if Idzik still refuses to sign help at cornerback then he deserves to be fired

After Dee Milliner’s ruptured achilles this past weekend, the already thin cornerback position is now barren after New York’s top three cornerbacks on the depth chart are now gone. Dexter McDougle, a high Idzik draft pick, is out with an ACL tear and Dimitri Patterson went awol. Even if Idzik hasn’t purposefully tried to out Rex Ryan with an insufficient lineup, the fact that the rumor can exist is because of his actions as general manager. The Jets currently are $24 million dollars under the salary cap right now, the most in the NFL. Idzik, you can honestly look a Jets fan in the face right now and say you are doing everything you can with that much cap space available?

If John Idzik doesn’t sign a legitimate starter, and no Josh Thomas doesn’t count, then he deserves to be fired after the New England Patriots game. Who cares that the Jets are 1-5, if Idzik doesn’t sign a veteran player, which he should have done weeks ago, then he is basically giving Rex Ryan and Jets nation the middle finger by saying that he doesn’t care about this season.

There are plenty of options out there. Asante Samuels, Terrell Thomas, Jabari Greer, and Quentin Jammer are veterans who may be out of their prime, but at least are upgrades over the current roster. Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen have both given valiant efforts but they are out of their element. At best, Walls is a slot corner or a third or four option on the depth chart. Allen, on the other hand, is a versatile role player but is better suited to play safety. Listen, the Jets have many problems and while Geno Smith and Rex Ryan haven’t helped in 2014, the person to blame for the Jets disaster is Idzik.

What has John Idzik done for the Jets outside of drafting Sheldon Richardson? Let’s look at the 2013 Draft. Dee Milliner can’t stay on the field and he passed on Chance Warmack who could have helped shore up the woeful offensive line. He selected Geno Smith in round two, who the Jets organization maybe looking to move on from at the quarterback position at the end of the season.

Idzik's build so the Draft strategy was good in principle, bad in execution

Idzik’s build so the Draft strategy was good in principle, bad in execution

Idzik then proceeded to draft three offensive linemen in a row. Brian Winters has been a turnstile at left guard, Oday Aboushi will finally get a start this week, and William Campbell is gone. Not to mention in round three the Jets passed on wide receivers Terrance Williams and Keenan Allen, two receivers the Jets could have really used.

In 2014, Idzik once again said the Jets would build through the draft adding only Eric Decker, Michael Vick, and Chris Johnson in free agency. In Round one he took a very promising safety in Calvin Pryor, who has been a solid player. However, the Jets could have selected either Kelvin Benjamin or Brandin Cooks who have both become very good play-making receivers and who could have helped Geno Smith develop.

After a good pick in Jace Amaro in round two, the Jets draft feel to shambles. Once again Idzik drafted a cornerback with a history of injuries in Dexter McDougle who couldn’t even make it through training camp. Oh the next pick? Gabe Jackson who is establishing himself as a great young guard with the Raiders.

Then instead of trading up in the draft with the plethora of picks in the draft, Idzik stood pat and it looks that costed the Jets. Out of the last nine picks, five are no longer in the organization with only Trevor Reiley and suiting up for all six games. When you wanna build through the draft it doesn’t help that out of 19 picks in his tenure only six are starters while another six are no longer in the organization.

While Rex Ryan will probably be fired at the end of the season, there is no question that Idzik especially after the recent slew of injuries does nothing to help the team at the cornerback position, deserves to get the boot. It’s going to be a long season for New York, but if it wants to head in the right direction for 2015 it needs a new general manager who cares about the team calling the shots.

Down With the Ship! Will Rex Ryan’s Faith in Geno Smith Cost Him His Job?

When Rex Ryan stood at the podium after another Jets loss this past Sunday, Jets fans were hoping for the words “Vick will start”. Instead they got a coach who dug in his heels for his quarterback and in the process only turned up the heat on his own coaching hot seat. Despite the pleas of “we want Vick” raining down from the Jets fans on Sunday afternoon the Jets head coach once again decided to stick with Geno when in reality Ryan has basically decided to go down with the ship.
“I’m confident in Geno. If Geno is healthy, Geno will start” said Rex in the press conference. Ryan refused to even say if Vick would be considered to play if Smith struggled again. Rex Ryan is without question one of the most player loyal coaches in the NFL. However, this loyalty could be his undoing.

Since John Idzik was announced as the New York Jets general manager Rex Ryan has been on thin ice. Don’t forget, it wasn’t until after the final game last season when it was announced that he would be back as head coach. With Woody Johnson already saying this is a playoff or bust season it is puzzling why Rex Ryan continues to have faith in Geno Smith after his quarterback continues to make big mistakes that have cost the Jets wins. Not to mention Geno appears to be cracking under pressure as he reportedly swore at a fan walking off the field on Sunday.

The worst part of all this? Looking back at these first four games people can make the strong case that the Jets should be 4-0. Instead Smith’s costly turnovers coupled with defensive collapses, a defense which is supposed to be Ryan’s baby, has left the Jets at 1-3.

Momentum is everything in the NFL, and right now Rex is going in the wrong direction. After those back to back AFC Championship appearances in his first two season Ryan has not been back to the playoffs and has a 23- 29 record over his past four seasons. Unless Idzik and Johnson have told Ryan that he is safe past this year, or that the plan is to develop Geno not matter what, then Rex needs to make the playoffs.

Unless Ryan turns the Jets around fast New York could be looking for anew head coach

Unless Ryan turns the Jets around fast New York could be looking for anew head coach

Let’s not forget outside of defense the Jets offense has been a disaster under Rex’s tenure. Who has Rex Ryan successfully developed as an offensive player? Sanchez? nope. Smith? not yet. What about Hill, Greene, or McKnight? Unfortunately despite Ryan’s great defensive mind he is still a defensive coordinator as a head coach. He refuses to take responsibility for the offense even though a head coach needs to be accountable for all assets of a football team. Can you blame Ryan for the holes in his roster especially at cornerback? No, but the roster has only been part of the problem. Most of the problems are costly penalties and turnovers.

Sure benching Vick could be a blow to Smith’s confidence, but at this point Ryan needs to send a message that if you don’t perform, you don’t play. It’s that simple as a coach if players aren’t performing and there is a talented player on the bench who can help the team’s performance, you have to let that player play. I know, I know, that Vick is no long-term solution, but if the Jets keep falling and are out of playoff contention early, it maybe time for New York to let Ryan walk.

Believe me, I personally love Rex Ryan and think he is a talented coach and a great defensive mind. Still, if he cannot turn this season around and stays with players who are hurting the team’s performance it maybe time for a new coach of the New York Jets.

Give The Man His MOney: New York Jets working on extension for Muhammad Wilkerson

Time to lock up the best player on the Jets

Time to lock up the best player on the Jets

With training camp fast approaching, the New York Jets should cap off their busy offseason in both the draft and free agency by locking up their best player. As he enters the last year of his rookie deal, it is clear the Muhammad Wilkerson is the best player on the the New York Jets. The good news is that it has been reported that the Jets are looking to have an extension in place for their star defensive end by the beginning of the season.

The good news for the Jets is that they will have an easier time dealing with their best player on a contract during training camp. Wilkerson will get a fat check, but I do not see this turning into a Darrelle Revis saga, thank god. There is no question that Wilkerson is one of the best defensive players in football. A prototypical 3-4 defensive end who not only is one of the best at stuffing the run, but also getting after the quarterback. Wilkerson has also gain the admiration of his peers, he was voted #42 on the NFL’s Top 100 list by players around the league.

Wilkerson is a perfect fit in Ryan’s defense. He is an elite run stopper but continues to improve every year as a pass rusher. It’s a scary thought, but Wilkerson is still getting better.

In 2013 Wilkerson had 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 63 tackles. With Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson already on the defensive line, it’s time to lock Wilkerson up as the centerpiece for on the the best defensive lines in football.

He is the best player on the Jets and a new deal would prove to the Jets and their fans that they will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. It’s time for John Idzik to put a cherry on the Jets offseason, and the cherry on top would be locking up Wilkerson for the future.

Diamonds in the rough: 5 players the Jets should sign

With training camp closing in the Jets still have many holes on this roster. Luckily here are five free agents still available who can help them for 2013.

5)  Sione Pouha DT/NT

The Jets defensive could use this veteran

The Jets defensive could use this veteran

While the Jets did release Pouha earlier this year, the fact that he is still available should make the Jets bring him back. If the Jets could bring him back at minimum value, this could be a great signing. While Pouha does bring with him health concerns from last season, when healthy he is one of the NFL’s best run stuffers. With the Jets failing to address the nose tackle position and with a lack of depth after Sheldon Richardson, if the price is right the Jets should take this risk.

4) Dallas Clark TE

The Jets need help at TE

The Jets need help at TE

While hey may be old, Dallas Clark can catch a football. With the Jets receivers struggling to catch balls, and a depletion at tight end, Clark could be a versatile piece in the west coast offense. While he may not be an every down tight end at this stage in his career, he could be used in passing situations. Cumberland and Winslow aren’t exactly sure bets at tight end, so why not bring in a veteran who can also help the development of the young Jets quarterbacks.

3) Vonta Leach FB

Leach could bring some pound back to ground and pound

Leach could bring some pound back to ground and pound

Ok what do the Jets do when they have the ball? Ground and pound! Ever since Tony Richardson retired the Jets have had a gaping hole in their rushing attack without a capable fullback. With the Super Bowl Champions releasing arguably the best fullback in the NFL, I’m shocked the Jets haven’t made an offer to Leach. A three-time pro bowler and all pro, Leach has helped Ray Rice become one of the most dangerous backs in the NFL. Listen the Jets QB situation is a problem, but the running game has serious potential. Why not give the running back bigger holes with Leach plowing ahead in front of them. The Jets need to ground and pound and adding Leach could help the Jets get back to number 1 in rushing in the NFL.

2) Braylon Edwards WR

With the Jets desperate for receivers Edwards could provide some depth

With the Jets desperate for receivers Edwards could provide some depth

To say that the Jets are thin a wide receiver is a gross understatement. With Santonio Holmes will probably miss the start of the season with his injury, and the rest of the receiving core can’t even catch the ball in mini camp. Outside of Jeremy Kerley the Jets have nothing in the wide receiver department that warrants a threat. Unless Stephen Hill finally lives up to his potential, which I’m skeptical about this season, the Jets have a major problem. He may have some baggage but Braylon Edwards has had his best success in green and white. A physically gifted receiver who does have his warts, Edwards would be a cheap option with a lot of upside. Edwards has chemistry with Mark Sanchez and is at a point in his career where he needs to play well or face the threat of being out of the league. Look the Jets need a receiver, so why not bring one that’s had success in green and white and that would be a cheap option.

1) Kerry Rhodes S

It's time to rebuild a burned bridge

It’s time to rebuild a burned bridge

Ok, ok I know this is a long-shot but hear me out.  I understand that the Rex Ryan and Kerry Rhodes relationship was a tumultuous one at best, but it’s time to make amends. Chocolate, flowers, whatever it takes because like it or not these two need each other. Kerry Rhodes needs a place where he can be an aggressive safety and a place to get his career back on track. Rex Ryan’s job is on the line, so why not improve his defense. At the age of 30 he’s still got plenty left in the tank and adding him to the secondary would make the Jets a top secondary in the NFL. If the Jets are going to compete in 2013 they’re going to need a top 5 defense, and unless Rhodes is added it will be much more difficult to achieve this. Do you agree? Who else should the Jets look at? Comment below. 

Making the Grade: NY Jets Draft grades

The 2013 NFL Draft was a monumental one for the New York Jets as they looked to rebuild their depleted roster. Many questions surrounded the Jets before the draft. How much power did Rex Ryan still have? Would they trade down? Find an heir apparent to Mark Sanchez or quarterbacks that don’t butt fumble? Well the draft has come and gone but let’s see how and John Idzik and the Jets did in the 2013 draft.

First Round Dee Milliner CB Alabama 9th overall

Milliner says he can be as good as Revis let's find out

Milliner says he can be as good as Revis let’s find out

This was a mixed bag for me. Did the Jets pick the best player on the board yes. Did they improve a secondary that lost Darrelle Revis yes. But still there are many problems I have with this pick. First I would have tried to trade down to pick up more picks, I think the Jets may have tried but their were no takers. Second I feel bad for Milliner because despite the potential to be a top 5 corner in this league he’s got awfully big shoes to fill. While the surgeries don’t concern me, I was slightly concerned with this pick because one of the few strengths of this team was its corners. Also with so many talented corners in later rounds I thought the Jets would’ve picked up their corner later. However, with the top three pass rushers and Tavon Austin off the board there weren’t too many other options for the Jets. Overall I think the Milliner and Cromartie combo next year could be one of the best in the game and will help to keep the Jets defense as one of the top units in the NFL Grade B

First Round Sheldon Richardson DE/DT Missouri 13th overall

This wasn't what Jet fans were expecting

This wasn’t what Jet fans were expecting

So this is what we got for Revis? GGGRRREEAATTT…. One again I thought the Jets would’ve traded back to get more backs but once again that didn’t happen. When the pick was made I thought ok Tyler Eiffert the TE or Star Lotulelei or Shariff Floyd. I think all Jet fans can agree that when this make was made the reaction was either WHO? or NNOOOO. Looks like Rex Ryan does have some pull left with the Jets. Ok this is why this doesn’t make sense. Richardson projects to be a 3-4 end or 4-3 DT. However, the Jets already have two Defensive ends and needed a run stopping defensive tackle. While Richardson is a very good pass rusher, the Jets in their 3-4 defense need pressure from the outside and a run stopper in the middle. The Jets were 25th in the NFL in run defense last year and it was an area that needed vast improvement. The only reason this may make sense is if the Jets switch to a 4-3 defense next year. However, Ryan has made no indication of this and until I hear of anything different I just have to assume that the 3-4 will remain and that Richardson will be a rotational pass rusher. Despite the Jets improving their pass rush they still left many other needs unfulfilled.  With the best Tight end and the two best defensive tackles still on the board  this pick didn’t make sense, and was a reach. Grade C

Second Round Geno Smith QB West Virginia 39th overall

This could be the steal of the draft

This could be the steal of the draft

Quick call the cops! The Jets just stole the best QB in the draft in the second round. Didn’t this work out nicely. Instead of picking Geno with the 13th pick the Jets waited patently till the second round where they may have just found their franchise quarterback. Looks like Tebow and Sanchez may be packing their bags. Despite all the knocks on Smith he was considered to be the best QB in this class and a top 10 pick. With his value, coupled with where the Jets got him, this could be the steal of the draft. I believe Geno will have added motivation for multiple reasons. He has a chip on his shoulder for not going in the first round, E.J. Manuel plays him twice a year, he was embarrassed by being left in the green room on national TV, and he has the chance to win the starting job. Geno has to work for the starting job and knows that he won’t be handed the job, isn’t that right Mr. Sanchez? Smith will have to work to get the keys to the Jets car, unlike Sanchez who just was just handed the keys like some spoiled 16-year-old. Even if he doesn’t work out, there’s no question that taking a gamble here was worth it Grade A+

Third Round Brian Winters OG Kent State

While I like the pick, I think the Jets could have done better

While I like the pick, I think the Jets could have done better

Looks like the Jets are bringing back the ground and pound. Brian Winters and his 320 pound frame can defiantly move defenders. Winters gives the Jets many options and while it looks like he will be pencilled in as a starting guard, he can also play tackle should the Jets need him to move outside. A likely starter, Winters features great athleticism which helps him get to the second level and open up holes for the running back. One problem with this pick was that the Jets passed on Kenan Allen, who was once considered a first round pick at receiver. However, it looks like a Rex Ryan Draft , and as we all know he wants to run the ball, and  Winters could help gang green do just that  Grade B

Fourth Round trade Chris Ivory

The Jets get their feature back from the big easy

The Jets get their feature back from the big easy

OK this technically was a trade but Idzik made a great move here. With most of the running back talent off the board Idzik decided it was better to go out and trade for this 222 pound bruiser and sign him to a long-term contract. Despite some past injuries the 25-year-old has a 5.1 yard per carry average with the Saints and could excel now being in a starter role. Almost reminds me of Michael Turner, who when finally given a starting job finally proved how good he really was. With Ivory the Jets have four running backs on the roster including free agent signing Mike Woodson, Bilal Powell, and Joe Mcknight. With this stable full of running backs it seems Ryan will get back to what made the Jets successful, running the football. Reminds me of earth, wind, and fire with the Giants just a few years ago. While a minor deal, this could be a major steal in the making. Grade A


Round 5 Oday Aboushi OT Virginia

The Jets continue to load up on the buffet busters

The Jets continue to load up on the buffet busters

I’m sensing a pattern here. Another 300 pounder, Aboushi was a left tackle at Virgina and figures to compete for the starting job at either one of the guard positions or right tackle. Another value pick for the Jets, Aboushi was considered a top 75 prospect coming into the draft and a top left tackle prospect. Even with D’Brickashaw Ferguson on the roster, Aboushi figures to compete for a starting position once training camp opens in Cortland and could be a dark horse to start. Even if he doesn’t start ,he’ll provide much-needed depth to an offensive line whose depth has been exposed too many time over the past two seasons.  However, with Winters already on board the Jets still have many other holes to fill and passed on a couple of quality safeties in order to get one of the higher ranked guys on the board.  Grade B

Round 6 William Campbell G  (DT) Michigan

A Defensive tackle at Ann Arbor the Jets will try to convert Campbell into a guard

A Defensive tackle at Ann Arbor the Jets will try to convert Campbell into a guard

Another pick, another 3o0 pounder. Looks like the chefs at Cortland will be busy during training camp. Despite being listed as a defensive tackle the Jets have already said that they will have Campbell play guard. While some scouts felt this would be his best avenue to success, other scouts felt that he could be a solid defensive tackle with the right coaches. I guess this is a good pick for two reasons. One if they can get him to play guard he could be an athletic run blocker. Two if that doesn’t work out they can always move him back to defensive tackle  where he can add  much needed depth. With this abundance of offensive linemen, the Jets will defiantly have depth. However, once again the Jets are ignoring other areas of need such as safety, DT, and TE. Despite the versatility of this pick, the other areas of need should have been addressed. Grade C

Round 7 Tommy Bohanon FB Wake Forest

The Jets snagged the highest rated fullback in the seventh round

The Jets snagged the highest rated fullback in the seventh round

So much for Rex not calling the shots. Remember when he drafted John Conner in the fourth round, well at least this time around they get the highest ranked fullback in round seven. Well if this pick shows us anything it’s that the Jets are planning on running the ball a lot next season. With over 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career Bohanon is a versatile fullback that can make plays when the ball is in his hands. While he may not be the best catcher out of the backfield or the biggest he loves to hit linebackers. Rex should love this kid, a fullback that can do a little bit of everything, but most importantly can knock the snot out of opposing defensive players. For a team that runs the ball like the Jets, and that hasn’t had a great FB since Tony Richardson retired Bohanon could be the Jets next great fullback. Once again though the Jets ignored other major areas of need for a player they probably could have gotten un drafted. However, this could be a sleeper pick and a starter out of round seven is another added bonus. Grade B+


Dee Millner, Sheldon Richardson

This draft has made a few things very clear about the offense and defense for the 2013 Jets. On offense they are going to run the ball a lot. Don’t believe me? Why else trade for a power back, draft three offensive linemen and a fullback in the same draft? This also points to the fact that they maybe looking for Geno Smith to start early and will provide him with a similar game plan Sanchez had his rookie season. Run the ball, use play action to your advantage, and manage the game. Look for the Jets to also run the ball like the 49ers with an offset offensive line. With all of their new linemen I won’t be surprised if the Jets come out with 6 offensive linemen in running situations. On Defense Rex got two major playmakers in round one.. With the decision to draft Richardson and not add any linebackers, points to the fact that this team maybe switching to a 4-3 defense. Have Coples play end, while moving Richardson and Wilkerson along the defensive line. This also makes sense since Harris would be the middle, move Davis to outside linebacker and the rotate Pace, Mcyintre, and Barnes, at the other linebacker position. Despite the great draft two major areas of concern are left, I say two because I assume the 4-3 change would explain not adding linebackers. They still don’t have a tight end as Cumberland will be the starter as of now, and despite improving their corners the Jets safeties could be one of the worst groupings in the NFL. Unfortunately the Jets did not fill all of the needs that the team had when it began the draft. Overall I think Idzik did a very good job in his first draft, especially in later rounds when he went with the more talented players instead of drafting based on need.

Final Grade B+