Thursday, July 30, 2009
2009 NFL PREVIEW- New York Jets
NEW YORK JETS
2008 RECORD: 9-7
(3rd in AFC East)
HEAD COACH: Rex Ryan
Key Additions: LB Bart Scott (FA/Ravens) CB Lito Sheppard (trade/Eagles) LB Larry Izzo (FA/Patriots)
Key Losses: QB Brett Favre (retired) TE Chris Baker (FA/Patriots) CB Hank Poteat (FA/Browns) WR Laveraneus Coles (FA/Bengals) PK Mike Nugent (FA/Buccaneers) CB Ty Law (FA)
Offense: Thomas Jones, the AFC's leading rusher from a year ago, returns after rumbling for 1,312 yards and a 4.5 average with 13 touchdowns to lead the way for the Jets in 2009.
Jones, along with Leon Washington (448 yards, 5.9 ypc average and six TDs) spearhead the New York attack on the ground. Fullback Tony Richardson still is an excellent blocker and gets his occasional carries as well.
The quarterback will likely be top draft pick Mark Sanchez from USC. The rookie had better be ready for the glare that comes with playing in New York City. Kellen Clemens will be the backup and is always ready to step in and take the snaps when needed.
The wide receivers are led by Jerricho Cotchery (71 catches in '08 with five TDs) and second year man Chansi Stuckey (32 catches and three TDs). Washington (47 grabs and two TDs) is a apt receiver out of the backfield and the Tight End will be Dustin Keller, who caught 48 passes as a rookie to go with his 11.1 yards per catch average and three touchdowns.
The Offensive Line is anchored by center Nick Mangold and the tackles are Damien Woody and D'Brickashaw Ferguson while the guards will be Alan Faneca and Brandon Moore. The Jets also have Wayne Hunter, Robert Turner, Stan Daniels and rookie Matt Slauson as backups.
Defense: The Jets ranked in middle of the pack (16th in total defense) last season. They were seventh against the run and 29th against the pass. Obviously, they are working on the paltry secondary as training camp begins in 2009.
The secondary was terrible last season, allowing an average of 235 yards per game while intercepting just 14 passes all season. The defense did register 41 sacks a year ago, so that just compounds the problems for the secondary.
Lito Sheppard (right cornerback) has been brought over from the Philadelphia Eagles and is known for his ball hawking abilities. The left corner will be Darrelle Revis with Kerry Rhodes and Jim Leonhard playing the safety positions.
The Jets play primarily the 3-4 defense, and Head Coach Rex Ryan would like to see the pressure on the quarterback continue in 2009. The defensive front will have Kris Jenkins at Nose tackle with Shaun Ellis and Kenyon Coleman at the ends.
The linebackers will be Calvin Pace (strong side LB), Bryan Thomas (weak side LB) and inside linebackers Bart Scott (with Baltimore in 2008) and David Harris. Larry Izzo comes over from the Patriots and is a solid backup.
OUTLOOK: J-E-T-S ... Jets! Jets! Jets!
The New York (or if you will) the New Look Jets will be revamped in many ways as the 2009 season kicks off.
Eric Mangini is out as Head Coach and is now in Cleveland while Rex Ryan, coming over from Baltimore as their Defensive Coordinator, is the new Head Coach.
Rookie Mark Sanchez, drafted with the first pick out of USC, is being touted as the starting quarterback after an up and down season from future Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre, who retired following the 2008 season. Favre also announced recently he is STAYING RETIRED this time around.
The secondary definitely needs to improve in 2009 if the Jets are going to compete for a playoff spot. Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine has his work cut out there.
The AFC East was up for grabs last year and the Jets dropped it after bolting to a 8-3 start before collapsing down the stretch and finishing 9-7 and out of the playoffs.
The offense is solid at running back and wide receiver as well as up front on the O-line. The quarterback position will be the big question mark in 2009. If Sanchez can work through the rookie mistakes that are bound to happen, the Jets may be okay this season. If not...
The defense was solid against the run last year and will be relied on again to stuff opposing running backs. How much the secondary can improve will say much about the Jets' chances for the upcoming season.
The likelihood for 2009, with so many changes from last year, is a 7-9 finish and a good attitude toward the future as the new regime gets started.
Week 1-at Houston (Sept. 13)
Week 2- vs. New England (Sept. 20)
Week 3- vs. Tennessee (Sept.27)
Week 4- at New Orleans (Oct. 4)
Week 5- at Miami (Oct. 12)
Week 6- vs. Buffalo (Oct. 18)
Week 7- at Oakland (Oct. 25)
Week 8- vs. Miami (Nov. 1)
Week 9- BYE WEEK
Week 10- vs. Jacksonville (Nov. 15)
Week 11- at New England (Nov. 22)
Week 12- vs. Carolina (Nov. 29)
Week 13- at Buffalo (Dec. 3)
Week 14- at Tampa Bay (Dec. 13)
Week 15- vs. Atlanta (Dec. 20)
Week 16- at Indianapolis (Dec. 27)
Week 17- vs. Cincinnati (Jan. 3)