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Five Things I HAVE TO See At Training Camp


T0mShane

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Even though it will be early, these are the five most important things I gotta see at Cortland.

1. An Aggressive and Grateful Vernon Gholston: Vernon, with Calvin Pace's four-game suspension, has been handed a golden opportunity to seize a job in this defense for the next decade. This year he won't have the excuse of missing mini-camp or that his feelings were hurt by mean ol' Eric Mangini. From the opening snap of camp, he needs to show that he's hungry to compete and to dominate. Yes, he'll be in shorts, but that is no excuse to not go out there and flex some muscle. Wouldn't the report of a Vernon Gholston v. D'Brickashaw Ferguson camp fistfight be just the best news you heard in Jetland since Joe Namath signed? A side note: Pace is still allowed to practice (I believe), and if he's in there stealing reps from Vernon, that will be a very VERY bad sign. One has to wonder how long a leash Rex will give Vernon if he's dogging it and not practicing hard. Turning the Gholston pick around could be Rex's most crucial coaching move this season--the one that makes or breaks this team, and his and Tannenbaum's career.

2. Rex Ryan Can't Fall In Love With Kellen Clemens Pulling a Chad: Kellen showed in mini-camp that he learned well from Chad Pennington how to earn a starting nod on opening day: complete a million short passes to the flats, while your younger, stronger-armed competition throws downfield picks. Coaches, as a rule, will start the quarterback that won't make mistakes over the quarterback that will take chances down the field. This is the ultimate arrogance of so many coaches, believing that if the players just don't screw up, the coaching will win the game for them. Parcells did this, Herm did this, they all do it. Rex has to pick his starting QB from performance on the field and not just by staring at the post-practice stat sheet. Kellen is going to put up alot of 9-for-12, 85 yard performances in pre-season and Sanchez will throw up some disgusting picks. But, the bottom line is scoring points, and if Sanchez provides more energy than the funereal Clemens, and the team shows that it will rally aaround the rookie, then he should start. If Rex falls for the ol' "game-manager at QB" crap with Clemens, then it could be a long, lost season for Sanchez AND the entire franchise.

3. You Can Run, But Can You Play Football?: The Jets lack speed all over the field and need some players with wheels to show up and surprise people by earning a starting nod. At WR, we know that Brad Smith and David Clowney can run the 40, but can they read a defense and run the right routes to get open? Smith has shown little ability at WR so far in his career, revealing no instincts for the passing game and poor lateral agility to make clean breaks in and out of cuts. He may be the most coverable WR in football. And Clowney has shown flashes, but hasn't been able to hold down a significant role either here or in Green Bay. And when a guy with his obvious foot-speed can't contribute after being given so many chances, one has to wonder if he'll ever get it at all. Similarly, the Jets are slow in the middle of the field on defense. The ILB tandem of David Harris and Bart Scott are ripe for the picking by opposing backs and TE's, and behind them are Jim Leonhard and Kerry Rhodes, neither of whom match up well with speedy TE's or backs. While Rhodes may be one of the Jets' best overall athletes, being an enforcer in the deep seams is not his strength, and Jim Leonhard is a gutty, small player who gets by on "savvy," which is code for "he's white, and we need to replace him." At WR, and up the middle on defense, the Jets need some speed players to step up and surprise.

4. Is Mickey Shuler Still Available?: That the Jets, who seem to want to go into this season as a smash-mouth, ball-control team, are coming into the season with no blocking TE on the roster is a disgrace. Unless you believe that a scrap-heap guy like Richard Owens, or a converted DE in Kareem Brown can now play what is a pivotal position on a team that wants to pound the ball, then the Jets are in trouble. Maybe they are going to sit and wait for a blocking TE comes free on the waiver wire, or maybe they believe that Owens is a gem who slipped through the cracks. Either way, Mike Tannenbaum has to uncover a player to pin DE's quick, or Dustin Keller will find himself on the bottom of alot of pile-ups trying, in vain, to block guys that outweigh him by 100 pounds instead of running down the field catching passes.

5. What Will Excuse-Meister Brian Schottenheimer Do Now That Mean Ol' Eric Isn't Keeping Him Down?: Excuses are like a-holes, and the Jets seem to have one at Offensive Coordinator, with Brian Schottenheimer (aka: "Anonymous Sources Within The Team") getting the keys to the car this season with no one left to throw under the bus except for himself. He can't blame Rex Ryan, because Rex has already said he won't interfere with the offense. (We'll see how long that lasts after Schottenweasel calls his 12th Brad Smith Reverse For Minus 11 Yards in the first three games.). Schott can't point to his QB's, as he is the man responsible for BOTH Clemens (Schott personally stamped Clemens after two pre-draft visits) and Sanchez, who Schott reportedly is in deep, deep love with. It will be early in camp when Brian can start digging his way out of the hole by running a legit QB competition. Will Clemens show a willingness to throw it down the field? Will Sanchez show improvement in his decision making, creating a true competition? If Sanchez comes out and sucks, and if Clemens comes out and looks like the Clemens of '07, then what will Brian have proven? Can his wizardry overcome not having legit speed at WR? How does he integrate Leon Washington and Thomas Jones into the offense? What changes will we see from the O that Mangini supposedly suppressed? If the O comes out and all that B. Schott had up his sleeve was a bull**** Brad Smith Wildcat package and some garbage gimmick plays, then Rex will have made the first huge mistake of his HC career in keeping around another regime's garbage. But, if the offense comes out and looks like a cohesive unit, with Dustin Keller and Leon Washington playing bigger, more significant roles in the O, then maybe (just maybe) Schottenheimer's closeted whining will have had merit.

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Tom i like everything i read with the exception of Sanchez having the stronger arm. A more accurate,polished touch and timing passer Sanchez may be but Kellen easily has the best arm. Though Mark isnt a slouch.

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Clemens' arm is stronger than Sanchez.

Why would there be any bias towards Clemens by the coaches? If there is it's because of legit things like he knows the offense, he knows the players, he knows the O-line, and he's outperforming the rookie like he should be.

I have no idea why it'll be treated as some shocking development if Clemens legitimately beats out Sanchez. The rookies got 16 starts in college under his belt...maybe it won't kill him to sit and be a n00b on the bench?

Also, the Schotty accusation is just weird, random, and more for flash than actual truth.

Otherwise, I agree.

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Clemens' arm is stronger than Sanchez.

Why would there be any bias towards Clemens by the coaches? If there is it's because of legit things like he knows the offense, he knows the players, he knows the O-line, and he's outperforming the rookie like he should be.

I have no idea why it'll be treated as some shocking development if Clemens legitimately beats out Sanchez. The rookies got 16 starts in college under his belt...maybe it won't kill him to sit and be a n00b on the bench?

Also, the Schotty accusation is just weird, random, and more for flash than actual truth.

Otherwise, I agree.

+1

Well said

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Clemens' arm is stronger than Sanchez.

Why would there be any bias towards Clemens by the coaches? If there is it's because of legit things like he knows the offense, he knows the players, he knows the O-line, and he's outperforming the rookie like he should be.

I have no idea why it'll be treated as some shocking development if Clemens legitimately beats out Sanchez. The rookies got 16 starts in college under his belt...maybe it won't kill him to sit and be a n00b on the bench?

Also, the Schotty accusation is just weird, random, and more for flash than actual truth.

Otherwise, I agree.

I would see it as a shocking development if Clemens beats out Sanchez.

This staff watched plenty of tape/OTA action, I'm sure, on Clemens when deciding what to do draft day. They also worked out Sanchez. You don't make the move you made draft day if you felt it may take a couple years for Sanchez to beat out the hack you just saw in your OTA.

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I would see it as a shocking development if Clemens beats out Sanchez.

This staff watched plenty of tape/OTA action, I'm sure, on Clemens when deciding what to do draft day. They also worked out Sanchez. You don't make the move you made draft day if you felt it may take a couple years for Sanchez to beat out the hack you just saw in your OTA.

Sanchez could still be the QB this year but not win the starting job.

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Sanchez could still be the QB this year but not win the starting job.

In my opinion, you then overpaid to move up to get Sanchez. If you move up like that, and pay the guy 50M, he better be good enough to start now.

Why? You could have had Cutler.

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I've been thinking about (after watching the Monday Night Miracle last night) about the way that team fell apart and how much Al Groh was like Mangini in being a hard ass. Now I'm a guy who checks KFFL a lot during the season and every single day there are reports coming out of New England about how this or thatr starter was held out of practice. Nobody rests his players more than Belichick does. I hope Rex Ryan DOES turn out to be a 'players' coach' and keeps our guys' legs fresh-UNlike Mangini last year and Groh in 2000-both teams fell apart in December. Mangini would make a better college coach (like Groh). Oh yea I read somewhere this morning that the control freak out in Cleveland will not be allowing players to use Twitter during camp. What a tool he is man-so glad he's gone.

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In my opinion, you then overpaid to move up to get Sanchez. If you move up like that, and pay the guy 50M, he better be good enough to start now.

Why? You could have had Cutler.

how many times do we have go over this? No we COULD NOT have had Cutler-Denver wanted him out of the conference aec.

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I've been thinking about (after watching the Monday Night Miracle last night) about the way that team fell apart and how much Al Groh was like Mangini in being a hard ass. Now I'm a guy who checks KFFL a lot during the season and every single day there are reports coming out of New England about how this or thatr starter was held out of practice. Nobody rests his players more than Belichick does. I hope Rex Ryan DOES turn out to be a 'players' coach' and keeps our guys' legs fresh-UNlike Mangini last year and Groh in 2000-both teams fell apart in December. Mangini would make a better college coach (like Groh). Oh yea I read somewhere this morning that the control freak out in Cleveland will not be allowing players to use Twitter during camp. What a tool he is man-so glad he's gone.

My feelings for the Puke are well documented, but I'll give credit where it is due. Forbidding Twitter during camp is a REALLY GOOD IDEA.

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In my opinion, you then overpaid to move up to get Sanchez. If you move up like that, and pay the guy 50M, he better be good enough to start now.

Why? You could have had Cutler.

I dont think so. I think you give Clemens his "shot" that he never really had because of Penny. See how that plays out. Meanwhile theres no pressure on Sanchez at all, but hes chomping at the bit to play and busting his tail in practice to get on the field.

Youre also getting the best of Clemens because he knows that Sanchez wants his job.

Say Clemens just dazzles? Then you can throw Sanchez out there for valuable experience because the game is in the bag. Say Clemens folds tent? Sanchez is named the starter and you stick with him for the rest of the season.

Sanchez is the ace in hole.

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I dont think so. I think you give Clemens his "shot" that he never really had because of Penny. See how that plays out. Meanwhile theres no pressure on Sanchez at all, but hes chomping at the bit to play and busting his tail in practice to get on the field.

Youre also getting the best of Clemens because he knows that Sanchez wants his job.

Say Clemens just dazzles? Then you can throw Sanchez out there for valuable experience because the game is in the bag. Say Clemens folds tent? Sanchez is named the starter and you stick with him for the rest of the season.

Sanchez is the ace in hole.

I kind of agree with this assessment. I think Clemens starts the season and if he loses to NE at home we will see Sanchez by week 5-unless we're 3-1 or 4-0

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Nice write up overall, but there are few things I diagree with.

I would not be surprised at all if Rex goes with a "game manager" type at QB. He has stated repeatedly that he wants to use the power running attack on offense, and a QB who minimizes mistakes is a great fit in that scheme.

I've read in several articles that Bart Scott is considered one of the best cover linebackers in the NFL. Also, Rhodes is far from a slow player. I think you are off in your assessment of middle of our defense being slow.

The lack of a blocking TE is completely overblown, and it amazes me how many fans are harping on this issue. Last year we had one of the best rushing attacks in the league, and losing Chris Baker is not going to change much. How many times last season did Wayne f'ing Hunter come in as a 6th lineman and we were just fine? The bottom line is that it's one of the least significant positions in the game and one of the easiest to fill. In addition to Owens, we also have Jack Simmons who was very impressive in mini camps and the coaching staff is very high on him to play this role.

I've never seen or heard Schottenheimer point fingers at Mangini and make excuses. Don't put the words of a few fans in his mouth. He has always taken full responsibility in the successes and failures of the offense, and I don't think that's going to change.

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how many times do we have go over this? No we COULD NOT have had Cutler-Denver wanted him out of the conference aec.

But aec's contacts in the triple-A midget softball league tell him differently ;)

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In my opinion, you then overpaid to move up to get Sanchez. If you move up like that, and pay the guy 50M, he better be good enough to start now.

Why? You could have had Cutler.

And it's stuff like this that has Jets fans labeling everything and everyone that isn't an instant sensation a bust.

We didn't overpay for Sanchez if he doesn't start as a rookie. That doesn't even make sense.

If anything, Sanchez starts midseason or so if Clemens bombs. Roethlisberger did it. Cutler did it. Rivers waited. Carson Palmer waited. Rodgers waited. It's alot easier than going from Sanchez to Clemens.

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It is tough but you have to be realistic what guy is going come in and becone an all pro from day one. As long as Sanchez shows improvement and that can he handle the pressure that is a good start.

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Jets fans don't need to make sense though. They have a strong opinion backed up by the NY Post. You either suck or are an all pro. I'm surprised you didn't know that was the measuring stick here.

I love the Jets but fans like that (and we have a lot of them) just make me cringe.

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Big mistake.

If Sanchez starts and plays bad, he gets pulled and Clemens comes in. Clemens plays not much better, then Sanchez comes back in. Musical QB's.

no phucking way

this is a lost year

Sanchez needs to learn from mistakes...

Eff this season

2010 we kick your arse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Big mistake.

If Sanchez starts and plays bad, he gets pulled and Clemens comes in. Clemens plays not much better, then Sanchez comes back in. Musical QB's.

Barring injury there is absolutely no way that would happen. Not a chance, not matter how bad he played.

If he starts from day 1, then he's the guy.

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Clemens' arm is stronger than Sanchez.

Why do you think that?

Sanchez's arm is just as strong as Clemens if not stronger, plus Sanchez throws a better spiral (Clemens' balls tend to tumble).

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This is a lost year?

Mmmm...sometimes I love being a Jets fan....the team should use that line in their marketing schemes this year.

LOL. Exactly.

The players are getting older and some key personnel are near 30, but you can afford to have a "lost year" before the season even starts???

Rex & his staff want to win the SB this year. I'm not saying that's a reasonable desire, but it's there. Does anyone think they're approaching this as a "lost year"?

This mentality of "we'll compete next year" or "we'll be contenders in 2 years" is such BS. The problem is that the "next year" or "2 years" never really comes with the turnover in staff & players.

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Big mistake.

If Sanchez starts and plays bad, he gets pulled and Clemens comes in. Clemens plays not much better, then Sanchez comes back in. Musical QB's.

This is my #1 concern. They didn't spend all this $ on free agents to potentially tank the season just so Sanchez can get a year of experience under his belt.

Put the better guy in. I hope it is Sanchez and that he further never gives a reason (a bad game here or there notwithstanding, as everyone has those) to get taken out. But if Sanchez is having difficulty recognizing the defenses in front of his face, both before and after the ball is snapped, and it is due to his sheer inexperience, then put Clemens in for now. At least until Sanchez is on a somewhat equal level.

No one thought Kitna was the Bengals' future when Palmer was benched as a rookie. And Palmer came in with plenty more experience than Sanchez, on a Bengals team that was 2-14 the prior year. One never knows how much (if at all) Palmer's career would have been negatively impacted if he started as a rookie. But it's convenient to say he would have panned out as good when he never did it.

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LOL. Exactly.

The players are getting older and some key personnel are near 30, but you can afford to have a "lost year" before the season even starts???

Rex & his staff want to win the SB this year. I'm not saying that's a reasonable desire, but it's there. Does anyone think they're approaching this as a "lost year"?

This mentality of "we'll compete next year" or "we'll be contenders in 2 years" is such BS. The problem is that the "next year" or "2 years" never really comes with the turnover in staff & players.

I was jesting with lost year comment

i do think we will be more watchable though

this season has 7-9 8-8 written all over it...Sanchez will learn from it, the good ones always do

Eff Clemens

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This is my #1 concern. They didn't spend all this $ on free agents to potentially tank the season just so Sanchez can get a year of experience under his belt.

Put the better guy in. I hope it is Sanchez and that he further never gives a reason (a bad game here or there notwithstanding, as everyone has those) to get taken out. But if Sanchez is having difficulty recognizing the defenses in front of his face, both before and after the ball is snapped, and it is due to his sheer inexperience, then put Clemens in for now. At least until Sanchez is on a somewhat equal level.

No one thought Kitna was the Bengals' future when Palmer was benched as a rookie. And Palmer came in with plenty more experience than Sanchez, on a Bengals team that was 2-14 the prior year. One never knows how much (if at all) Palmer's career would have been negatively impacted if he started as a rookie. But it's convenient to say he would have panned out as good when he never did it.

Good post. The truth is that this needs to be a football decision, not a marketing decision in which the supposed "future" of the roster is thrown to the wolves. Having him wait and continually learn is not necessarily a bad thing. But if he clearly outplays Clemens then he deserves it.

That's the point, the kid needs to earn it, not have it handed to him.

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Why do you think that?

Sanchez's arm is just as strong as Clemens if not stronger, plus Sanchez throws a better spiral (Clemens' balls tend to tumble).

+1. Clemens has an average NFL arm or slightly below average, IMO. The strong arm talk was from people looking to stir up controversy over he and Chad as if you had John Elway's arm sitting on the sideline. Maybe compared to Chad that was the case throwing to the sidelines, but Chad had the arm of a high school QB on a team running a wishbone offense. I'll be disappointed if Sanchez looks weaker than KC, and Ill have serious doubts about his ability to play in December if that is the case.

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