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Posted 29 Oct 2014NY Jets midseason report card: What’s working and what isn't for Gang Green
From quarterbacks to the front office, see the grades.
BY Seth Walder
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 7:51 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 9:00 PM
Geno Smith has been terrible this season, but that’s only one of the Jets’ problems. Seth Wenig/AP Geno Smith has been terrible this season, but that’s only one of the Jets’ problems.
The Jets had everyone fooled.
No, they weren’t expected to be a Super Bowl contender, but they were supposed to at least be OK. I’ll cop to it: I picked the Jets to go 8-8.
Like many people, I figured Rex Ryan would manage the lack of talent in the secondary and Geno Smith would take a step forward in year two. Not so.
“You are what your record says you are,” John Idzik said on Monday, stealing a line often heard from Ryan that originated from Bill Parcells.
There’s no one debating then, at 1-7, that the Jets are downright awful.
Where exactly have they been the worst? That’s what we’re digging into today in our midseason report card on the Jets. There’s no Harvard-type grade inflation going on here, so avert your eyes if you are a particularly sensitive member of Gang Green Nation.
What other grade could be here? This has been a complete and utter failure at one of the most important position in sports. Geno Smith ranks dead last in quarterback rating among qualified passers, behind the likes of EJ Manuel and Blake Bortles. He’s been that bad.
He even forced Ryan -- who is slow to hit the trigger on replacing a quarterback -- to bench him twice in-game and now as the starter with Mike Vick taking over.
Not that Vick has been much of an improvement when he played: he put the ball on the ground four times in Sunday’s loss to the Bills, which ought to be completely unacceptable.
Idzik was asked by SNY in a segment that aired Tuesday if he has a franchise quarterback on his team.
“Don’t know that,” Idzik said.
Here’s a hint: There’s no franchise QB on this roster.
Chris Ivory. Al Bello/Getty Images Chris Ivory.
RUNNING BACKS: B
There are very few things that have gone right for the Jets this season, but Chris Ivory is one of them. Averaging 4.7 yards per carry for a total of 475 yards, Ivory has been a nightmare for opposing defenders to bring down and is a good part of the reason the Jets rank fourth in rushing offense. He’s tied for fourth in the league in yards after contact per attempt, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
On the other hand, free agent acquisition Chris Johnson has been a dud and has lost playing time as a result. Johnson had just three carries and two receptions against the Bills Sunday.
WIDE RECEIVERS: C-
Eric Decker has been a solid contributor, but that’s only been when he’s able to get on the field. An on-again, off-again hamstring injury limited him through much of the first half, though he did make 31 catches for 363 yards and three touchdowns in seven games.
No one else has been reliable. The normally consistent Jeremy Kerley has fallen off and David Nelson brought virtually nothing to the table before he was released. There’s obvious room for upside since the acquisition of Percy Harvin, but a lot of that depends on how well Marty Mornhinweg is able to use him.
Jace Amaro. Kathy Willens/AP Jace Amaro.
TIGHT ENDS: B-
Jace Amaro has paid the largest dividends from the rookie draft class so far, as he leads the team with 32 receptions despite the fact that Jeff Cumberland is still the starter. That ought to change soon, though Amaro has had some difficulty with drops.
Cumberland has been mediocre, nabbing 15 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C
Anchored by Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, this was supposed to be one of the strengths of the offense. It hasn’t been. There was no saving Smith from his own terrible performance but he wasn’t helped by the offensive line in many games. Willie Colon is tied for the league lead amongst guards in penalties, according to ProFootballFocus.com, and Brian Winters did not show improvement before tearing his ACL.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A
The only really good part of the Jets is still very solid: Muhammad Wilkerson (4.5 sacks) and Sheldon Richardson (3.5 sacks) are still excellent defenders against both the pass and the run, wreaking havoc for opposing offenses. Assuming the Jets work out a deal with Wilkerson, those two should be around a long time as staples of the green and white. Nose tackle Damon Harrison has followed up his breakout 2013 season with another solid campaign.
In some ways it’s hard to judge the linebackers because they are aided by the talent of the men in front of them, but the second level of Rex Ryan’s defense certainly plays a large role in the fact that the Jets are ranked fifth against the run.
However, there are still some concerns: Quinton Coples has struggled most of the season and has therefore lost playing time to Jason Babin. In addition, ILB’s Demario Davis and David Harris still have difficulty in coverage.
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi Robert Sabo/New York Daily News Dee Milliner is out for the season.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: D+
Aside from quarterback, there is no position group in greater disarray than this one. The starting cornerbacks heading into training camp are both out of the picture after Dimitri Patterson went AWOL and was released and Dee Milliner was knocked out for the season. Dexter McDougle was also lost for the year, and so the Jets had to move Antonio Allen back and forth between safety and cornerback while Darrin Walls and Phillip Adams played across from them. Rookie safety Calvin Pryor has made as much of an impact as expected, which even Ryan admitted. This unit has problems, and they don’t have the players to fix them.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C
Special teams has been a largely mediocre unit for the Jets, though there have been some costly errors in this area as well: Jalen Saunders and Walt Powell each lost possession on a muffed punt, and a potential winning field goal against the Patriots was blocked.
The saving grace has been Nick Folk’s consistency and the punt coverage, which has the seventh-best net yardage in the league.
Obviously, Percy Harvin could and should have a positive impact going forward.
Ryan claims that the Jets have enough talent to win. Even though that probably isn’t true, it doesn’t come close to absolving him of blame for the team’s horrific 1-7 start. The Jets have been blown out twice now and that reflects poorly on Ryan, who has enough tools at his disposal to at least avoid complete embarrassment.
Smith’s inability to develop also falls somewhat on the coaching staff.
Jets general manager John Idzik didn’t have a great offseason. Seth Wenig/AP Jets general manager John Idzik didn’t have a great offseason.
FRONT OFFICE: D
The list of Idzik’s mistakes was already long before the GM decided to open Monday’s press conference with an ill-advised 19-minute monologue. In the offseason he left holes at cornerback and receiver despite having greater than $20 million in cap room and has not been particularly successful in his first two drafts.
* * *
3 Reasons to Hope
1. The defensive line is stalwart and should continue to be so for years (assuming Wilkerson and Harrison are re-signed) because they are so young.
2. Smith’s struggles mean the team can commit to moving on and drafting a new QB.
3. Harvin brings baggage with him, but he does have a high upside.
3 Reasons to Worry
1. No matter what, the Jets will go into next season with a question mark at quarterback.
2. As bad as the Jets have been, the players like Ryan. Some will be unhappy if/when he goes.
3. The Jets enter another offseason looking for solutions at cornerback.
* * *
Offensive MVP: C Nick Mangold
Defensive MVP: DE Muhammad Wilkerson
Special Teams MVP: K Nick Folk
Biggest Surprise: RB Chris Ivory
Biggest Disappointment: QB Geno Smith
Best Rookie: TE Jace Amaro
Best Acquisition: WR Eric Decker
Worst Acquisition: RB Chris Johnson
Best-Kept Secret: NT Damon Harrison
Best Coaching Move: Playing coverage against Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. It almost worked.
Worst Coaching Move: Not benching Geno Smith after Week 4.
Best Moment: Beating the Raiders? Not much else has gone right in eight weeks.
Worst Moment: The blowout against Buffalo. More specifically, the botched attempt at a terrible fake kickoff with T.J. Graham lying down in the end zone.
Posted 28 Oct 2014Jets GM Idzik shoulders blame, supports Rex Ryan
10/27/2014 7:59:36 PM
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General manager John Idzik took the blame Monday for the New York Jets' 1-7 start, calling his performance "unsatisfactory," Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reports.
The second-year GM, in an unusual news conference that included a 19-minute opening statement in which he rambled on about everything from the salary cap to his interaction with young fans, said he still supports embattled coach Rex Ryan.
Idzik praised Ryan, but he stopped short of committing to the sixth-year coach for the remainder of the season. He cited the organizational policy of not discussing job status during the season.
Ryan had no reaction to Idzik's non-commitment for the remainder of the season, insisting he's more concerned about his day-to-day responsibilities than his job security. The coach also declined to use Idzik's word -- "unsatisfactory" -- to describe his boss's performance.
"The only thing I'd say is unsatisfactory is, obviously, our record," Ryan said. "That's what is unsatisfactory. ... I'm the guy that's responsible for the results on the field and that's where it should lie."
Referring occasionally to two pages of notes and no doubt reciting a prepared speech, Idzik was emotional at times, expressing disappointment for the team's performance. At times, it sounded like a halftime speech.
"Gut-wrenching ... brutal ... you feel like you've been punched in the face," Idzik said, describing the season. "It's painful. It's particularly painful for our fans. This is very personal to me. The Jets are my team. The Jets are our team."
Posted 24 Oct 2014jets 16
Posted 22 Oct 2014Report: Revis sent home after being late Tuesday
10/22/2014 3:48:56 PM
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Darrelle Revis, playing his first season in New England following seven years with the Jets and Buccaneers, was absent from Tuesday’s practice, but not for health reasons., Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports. According to three league sources, Revis arrived late to the Patriots facility that morning, and Belichick sent him home for the day instead of allowing him to participate in practice and meetings.
The Patriots were off from Saturday to Monday following last Thursday’s win over the Jets, and Revis didn’t show up on time when the players reconvened at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
One source close to Revis said Revis has accepted responsibility for his actions and understands that the team’s rules apply to all players.
It is unclear how late Revis arrived to the facility. The Patriots declined comment.
Posted 14 Oct 2014
QuoteThe Jets season has quickly become a barren wasteland compliments of inept roster-building by lost general manager John Idzik. Ryan, one of the best defensive minds in the game, will be gone in 11 weeks barring a gift from the football gods, but he continued to sell the idea that this GM has actually helped him this season.
“I don’t think it’s personnel,” Ryan said Monday when asked if his team just didn’t have the horses to slow down Peyton Manning 24 hours earlier.
Of course, it’s the personnel. It’s always been about the personnel. It always will be about the personnel as long as a guy without extensive personnel experience continues to shop for the groceries.
“He’s the 32nd-ranked NFL GM. And it’s not even close,” a league source told The News about Idzik. “The past two years = incompetence.”
Idzik’s two-year record is somewhere between terrible and brutal, but Ryan, still hoping to salvage his job, was in full-blown derriere-smooching mode on Monday. The Jets, heaped on the junk pile six weeks into the season, are going nowhere fast, but the head coach simply couldn’t resist doubling-down on his outrageous claim last year that Idzik’s first draft class deserved an “A-plus.”
“That’s about as good as it gets,” said a straight-faced Ryan, clearly suffering from sleep deprivation.
Ryan reviewed just about every player in that nightmarish draft class, including Dee Milliner (Achilles) and Brian Winters (ACL), who both suffered season-ending injuries on Sunday.
“Dee Milliner was going to be … is going to be an outstanding player,” Ryan said. “It’s just a matter of him staying healthy.”
Milliner reportedly had five surgeries in college: a sports hernia repair, arthroscopic procedure on the right knee, a right tibia stress fracture repair and surgeries on each shoulder. Idzik made him his first draft choice with the No. 9 pick anyway. The cornerback missed much of the offseason as a rookie rehabbing his shoulder. He missed three games with a hamstring injury last season. He missed part of this past spring with another hamstring issue then suffered a high-ankle sprain in camp that forced him to miss the rest of the preseason and the season opener.
Milliner, who told The News in August that he was the best cornerback in the NFL, came back for one game, promptly got torched for an 80-yard touchdown and missed the next two games due to a quad strain. On Sunday, the team feared that he suffered a torn Achilles tendon during a non-contact injury rushing a field goal attempt.
So, a player with a history of injuries in college was saddled with injuries in the NFL before suffering a season-ending injury on Sunday.
Great scouting job by the GM.
Ryan called Sheldon Richardson a “Pro Bowl player,” and although he’s not technically correct, it’s fair to say that Idzik got that pick right. However, he traded away perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis to acquire that pick. Unless you’ve been stranded on an island with a deflated volleyball for the past couple years, you know the Jets sort of have a cornerback quandary.
Ryan’s Monday morning comedy routine kicked into high gear when he got to Geno Smith, the second-round quarterback who ranks near or at the bottom of nearly every meaningful statistical category. “You’ve got Geno Smith, a starting quarterback in this league that I think has upside,” Ryan said amazingly without breaking a smile. “So I think that’s a great pick.”
With great picks like that, who needs busts?
The coach said something about Winters, who has allowed a league-high 12 quarterback hurries, according to Pro Football Focus, fifth-rounder Oday Aboushi and seventh-rounder Tommy Bohanon, but it was impossible to take him seriously by that point.
Rex Ryan acts like a team player and defends the awful job John Idzik has done as Jets GM.
Ryan’s admission that “this year’s class hasn’t had the pop that last year’s had” was bizarre due to the fact that Richardson is the only member of the first class to actually make a real difference. It’s too early to fairly judge S Calvin Pryor and TE Jace Amaro, the headliners of the 2014 class, but there haven’t been any game-changers among the 12 draft picks yet. Only five of the 12 are on the 53-man roster.
Idzik, who had extremely minimal input picking players with the Seahawks, has made it clear that the draft will be a “lifeline” for the organization. Woody Johnson backed his GM recently by claiming that the Jets will only sign an “occasional” free agent to supplement the draft-based philosophy. So, Idzik left more than $21 million in the reserve to spend for his next coach in 2015.
Ryan’s reward for squeezing eight wins out of a talent-deprived roster last year: A de facto one-year extension to make chicken salad out of less-than-desirable ingredients in 2014.
“There’s no way that I would have thought that we would have the record we have right now at the beginning of the year,” Ryan said.
He knew. He always knew. He was hoping to find the magic again, but it’s gone.
Now, a proud man is clinging to the fading hope that placating the guy who was never fully invested in helping him will save his job.
glad i'm not the only one who notices how shitty izdik is
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