Chat with Rich Cimini
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPNNewYork.com writer Rich Cimini stops by to chat about the Jets.
Cimini, longtime Jets beat writer for the New York Daily News and a Syracuse University graduate, covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.
Send your questions now and join Cimini Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Rich Cimini (1:01 PM)
Here we go, Week 13. The season is flying by. Thanks for dropping by. Let's not waste any time. Questions...
Rich, why did you only write about Sanchez' time management after the Denver game and not mention Ryan's much bigger error, not taking a time out before Denver punted, we would have saved a ton of time and had time for an easy FG or even maybe a TD. It was by far a bigger error than any made by Sanchez during the game.
Rich Cimini (1:02 PM)
This is kind of ancient history, but I'm pretty sure I did mention that.
Rich (New Jersey)
On paper the Jets should beat the Washington Redskins, put penalties, turnovers or mediocre play could put the Jets playoff season in jeopardy. Do you feel this could be their make or break game?
Rich Cimini (1:03 PM)
I don't think a loss would kill their chances ... unless Cincy wins. Psychologically, it would be make or break. Losing to Rex Grossman would be tough to swallow.
The last 3 drafts nine picks have been used on offense. Do you think this year they go all defense? We need major upgrades at OLB, DE and safety.
Rich Cimini (1:05 PM)
I don't think they'll draft a DE; they're ok there. But they need OLB and S, for sure. It's time for Rex to put his ego aside and get some fresh blood on defense.
L. Sweed (Manhattan)
Why is it that this season Jets receivers are NEVER wide open? Not every WR is going to be wide open or very open every play, but most teams have guys at least decently open on 10+ pass plays per game. Other than 2 TD passes last week, I don't think we've had a single WR even remotely open during games. We know Holmes can get separation, this must be Schotty with poor play design and predictable play calling, would you agree? Its no wonder Sanchez has to throw to double coverage when guys are never open.
Rich Cimini (1:07 PM)
This is a fair question, Sweed. unfortunately, unless you have coaches tape, it's hard to tell who's open and who's not. Plax has done a nice job, all things considered, but he's not going to get separation. He's just not fast. Holmes? I had a scout tell me he's disappointed that Holmes isn't making more plays. I don't think Holmes can get deep. They need play-action to get separation, but play-action works only if you can run the ball.
Hey Rich, last week Kiper compared all three QBs from the 09 draft. Basically he said all three struggle because of the lack of talent around them. On Sanchez he said, "Sanchez doesn't have a great supporting cast either. Does he really have a great receiver? They don't have a great RB either. Where is the talent around him? The line has also been shaky, especially right tackle." I have to disagree, the only part I agree on is right tackle. Do you think his struggles have more to do with the play calling, Sanchez regressing or lack of talent?
Rich Cimini (1:08 PM)
As Rex might say, it's the combo platter. Let's face facts: mediocre running game, shaky pass pro and sloppy route running by receivers. Play calling has been suspect at times. And, yes, Sanchez has made some poor decisions.
Do you see the Jets addressing the RB position after this season. I don't think Tomlinson will be back because of age and injury concern. With Greene the jury is still out, McKnight a great kick returner and Powell just a waste of a pick. I think Marsh Lynch will be a free agent or a guy like LaMichael James will be available in the draft. James could be a Sproles-like player for the Jets.
Rich Cimini (1:10 PM)
Tomlinson won't be back, that's for sure. His contract is up. They can't go into the season with Greene as the undisputed No. 1 RB. They need a challenger, and I don't know if McKnight is that guy.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich, Good to see that LT will be fresh and take some of the load off of Greene while he is hurt. After watching Lynch last night would you say Greene as been a disapointment and llok for another RB next year or give him one more year considering the OL struggled so much this season up until now?
Rich Cimini (1:11 PM)
They're not going to get rid of Greene because he has 1 yr left on his deal and he's cheap. But they need a challenger. Greene doesn't scare any defenses. The Jets' longest run this yr is 25 yds -- by Sanchez. What does that tell you?
Bay Area Jets Fan (Bay Area)
Rich, How much will we see of Turner the rest of the season?
Rich Cimini (1:12 PM)
Coaches absolutely loved his blocking last week. I think you'll see Turner and Kerley rotating in the No. 3 spot, depending on the situation.
1) Why don't the jets use more screen passes (with LT/McKnight)? 2) How angry has Westhoff been around the clubhouse and what's he doing to address recent special teams issues?
Rich Cimini (1:13 PM)
The Jets aren't a big screen team, but they would be effective this week against the Skins' outside pass rushers. They used a few screens vs. the Broncos, and they worked well. I definitely could see that this week.
Billy (Eastchester, NY)
Do you see Plax back with the Jets next year? Also, do you think his lack of speed is one of the reasons for the Jets' offensive struggles outside of the red zone?
Rich Cimini (1:15 PM)
I don't see him back next year. He's a FA and the Jets need to find a young Plax -- a big target with speed. I like what Plax has done, considering his circumstances. But they need more speed.
Hi Rich. Why dont they throw to keller more often?
Rich Cimini (1:16 PM)
Good question. I bet Keller would like to know the answer to that question, too.
PETER JAMES ABERDEEN NJ (ABERDEEN, NJ)
Rich - thanks for these chats, very informative. With his HOF candidacy, what is the JET lagacy of Bill Parcells in your opinion?
Rich Cimini (1:18 PM)
Excellent question. Some might say he never finished the job, but I disagree. He rescued the Jets from the dark ages. He changed the culture. He changed everything. Since BP arrived in 97, the Jets have had only 3 losing seasons -- 03, 05, 07 -- and 03 and 05 were sabotaged by QB injuries. I look at BP in a positive light.
Rich, With Tom Moore in this week and traveling to Washington, do you think we will see some different offensive looks? Maybe not be so predictable?!
Rich Cimini (1:19 PM)
This whole Tom Moore thing is being overplayed. He's not going to call plays. He's a sounding board, that's it.
Greg (Indiana U (via NJ))
Can you give us any insight on Cook? Any truth to Tracy Wilson just being better?
Rich Cimini (1:20 PM)
The Jets are selling the Wilson angle, but I'm not buying. Cook had a disagreement with the strength coach over whether he was late or not, and then team brass felt he was slacking off in conditioning drills. Adios.
Schotty - 6 seasons with crap offense. Despite - 3 different quarterbacks (a Pro-bowler (Pennington) a Hall of Famer (Favre) and a top five pick. Both Pennington and Farve had career years the year after leaving Schotty. Any excuse that they reached championship games is lame because they only got to those heights with defense. He has no sense of rhythm in directing an offense. His teams cannot score in the first quarter (this was true with Chad and Farve so pinning it on Sanchez is also lame). He has no fan support. My question, - how does he survive? Where is the accountability?
Rich Cimini (1:23 PM)
You make some good points, Kevin, but let me add this: The offense performed well with Favre until the final 5 games. That was an extremely difficult situation for Schotty, basically having to change his entire offense a few wks before the season started. The offense overachieved in 06, stunk in 07. A good 11 games in '08. Stuck with rookie QB in '09. Finished strong in '10. This season, you're right, it hasn't been good. His fate could be determined by the final 5 games.
Geoff (Livingston, NJ)
Does Schottenheimer's contract extension mean he will be back next year?
Rich Cimini (1:25 PM)
There are no guarantees in football, but he has 2 yrs at more than $2M remaining on his contract. That would be a lot to eat, but remember: He'd get another job and Jets would be responsible for the difference in salaries.
Alex (NY NY )
How fresh did Kerly & LT look in practise do you believe they'll throw them right back in their spots or maybe more reps for Turner
Rich Cimini (1:25 PM)
LT will be back to his role, unless his knee flares up. Turner will continue to get reps.
Max (Oradell, NJ)
Do you think the Jets will give Plax (34 years old) a long-term extension if he continues to play the way he has for the rest of the season? Or do you think they will go after a younger reciever in free agency? If so, who?
Rich Cimini (1:26 PM)
You can't give a long-term extension to a 34 year old WR. Well, I suppose you could, but it would be a bad move. They will definitely look to add a younger, big target. How bout Nick Tooooon in the draft?
Wayne Hunter needs to go in 2012. Are their any viable RT free agents that we could shoot for?
Rich Cimini (1:27 PM)
What, you're giving up on the season already?
Hi Rich, I know there was the earlier stuff with Holmes and Moore this year, but do you get a sense that Sanchez and Holmes have a strained relationship ? Besides all the stuff that was reported, there was a quick shot of Holmes stating ( I can't say it was necessarily complaining ) to Plax "He just threw it to short". And later there was Sanchez screaming at someone. Maybe its just a stretch, but there was a lot of talk of route running in defense of Sanchez this week.
Rich Cimini (1:29 PM)
Very astute observation, there was a lot of route-running references. The Jets are such spin doctors that it's hard to tell if they really mean it or they're just protecting Sanchez. I can tell you that Holmes ran the wrong route on that ugly 3rd and 2 miscommunication.
I think the fans booing is warranted. Being a Jet fan isn't easy. From the "same old jets" to the PSL's to year after year guaranteeing superbowls. It gets old fast. The players don't like it, but they get paid to be there on Sunday. We pay to watch, we have the right to boo.
Rich Cimini (1:30 PM)
I totally agree, Chris, but at least wait until the first three-and-out. Booing in pre-game? I know it wasn't the entire stadium, but still. That's lame.
Rich, why do you seem to go back and forth on the Jets every week? Are you a Jets fan, or are you just interested in collecting a paycheck?
Rich Cimini (1:32 PM)
I'm not sure what you mean by "back and forth," but lemme say this: I'm not a Jets fan and I'm not in it for the pay check. I just do my job, but I will admit (and I've said this to peers on many occasions), it's harder to cover a .500 team than a really good team or a really bad team. The emotional swings in the NFL are so dramatic, from wk to wk, that sometimes we as journalists get caught up in it. In other words, 1 wk they're great, the next wk they suck. That's what the Jets are giving us this year. I try to remain objective as possible.
Greg (Madison ave.)
hi Rich, Back when he was drafted, people talked about Sanchez's lack of college experience. With his career's fast start, were our expectations were overly ambitious, and maybe he needs a year or two longer in the pros to really develop consistency? keep up the great coverage!
Rich Cimini (1:36 PM)
Thanks, Greg. He started only 16 games at USC. In some ways, he's a victim of the team's success the first two years. It also didn't help that his coach predicted a monster year for Mark. Remember, he missed a lot of classroom and field time because of the lockout. He's the type of QB that needs that stuff. I raised that question in a column in May, from "Jets West" camp, and I got hammered by readers. I think the lack of an offseason has hurt him. Is it the main reason? Absolutely not, but it's in the mix.
Brian (New York, NY)
Any truth to the rumor that Cook was cut because he shoved Westhoff to the ground?
Rich Cimini (1:37 PM)
No, that's not true.
Robert Mathis (Newburgh, NY)
So, is it more likely that LT ends up being used mostly for blocking to try to keep the pass rush off Sanchez or that he catches balls out of the backfield? Or can he be the feature back for this game and run off tackle against the Skins?
Rich Cimini (1:38 PM)
I think he could have a key role, for sure -- screen passes, blitz pick-up, mainly. I wouldn't expect a lot of carries, coming off a knee injury.
Rich, What's your take om Tom Moore's visit? I think theres more to it than just a planned visit, though I don't think there's any chance he replaces Schotty next year.
Rich Cimini (1:38 PM)
No, he's retired. This visit was planned several weeks ago. I wouldn't read too much into it.
Why does the Jets coaching staff defend Revis so much?
Rich Cimini (1:39 PM)
Because he's the Golden Boy.
Rich. I was wondering. You look at the best qb's and they always extend the play with their legs by running outside the pocket giving their wr's the oppty to get open. Last year, we were used to seeing it from mark with those types of clutch completions to Braylon. Why is it that this year we just see straight drop backs (making him a sitting duck for pass rushers) and we had to wait until last week to see a major roll out play (TD to Santonio)? (also the same week we saw a Edwards esque catch from Plaxico)
Rich Cimini (1:41 PM)
You're right, Mark is better on the move. Come to think of it, I'm going to dig up some stats and will create a blog post later, examining his stats in the pocket vs. outside the pocket. Check the blog later.
John K. (Brooklyn, NY)
Hi Rich, Saw a story come out this week that Schotty and the WR coach are working with wide receivers on route coverage. Has that (quietly) been a real issue this year?
Rich Cimini (1:42 PM)
Route running has been an issue. Plax is not a good route runner, he relies on his size to outmuscle CBs. Holmes, too, gets sloppy. That's not me saying that. I've had multiple scouts from other teams tell me that.
Marcus (Planet Earth )
Seeing McElroy is still hurt, is there a possibility jets sign mcnabb?
Rich Cimini (1:42 PM)
No faith in Kevin O'Connell as your 3?
Any chance Woody Johnson sells the team to Kevin in Monahan?
Rich Cimini (1:43 PM)
Does Kevin have close to $1B? If so, there's a chance.
Brett (Coral Gables, Fla)
Hey Rich- wondering if you think Sanchez has lost his confidence and better yet, his "Swag". After listening to a few interviews, he seems very down. Have you noticed the same thing?
Rich Cimini (1:44 PM)
Yes, very subdued this week. He's also fighting a cold or sore throat because he didn't sound good. Who knows? None of it means anything. The only thing that matters is how he performs on Sundays.
This will almost certainly be Brunell's last year, which means the Jets will have to bring in a new backup QB next year. My question is, will the organization be willing to bring in a QB that could potentially be seen as "competition" for Sanchez, or will they bring in another Brunell...a guy who wouldn't ever get to play, barring injury?
Rich Cimini (1:47 PM)
Excellent point, Jonny. They need a viable backup -- and they will get one. As promising as Mac looked in the preseason, you can't make him that guy. You need a veteran that could step in for a few weeks if Mark gets hurt or benched. If the Jets don't make the playoffs this year, this will be a lot of tight rear ends around the Jets, knowing next yr would mean a lot in terms of job security.
Hey Rich, thanks for all of the insight. Kenrick Ellis looked great against the Dolphins then got hurt & hasn't been heard from since. How does the coaching staff feel about his development? Also, will the Jets receive any conditional picks for the losses of Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards or Shaun Ellis?
Rich Cimini (1:49 PM)
You mean compensatory picks ... excellent point. The league uses a complicated formula. Ellis isn't playing as much and Edwards missed time with an injury, but, yes, I'd have to think they'll get a late-round pick. As for Ellis, I don't know. The coaches talk him up, but actions speak louder than words.
The special teams problems are unacceptable. Have you heard any scuttlebutt about it? Now I know Cormartie's fumble last week was based on his filling in to receive the punt, in an emergency situation, but overall they have graded out poorly for weeks now.
Rich Cimini (1:50 PM)
Turnovers (5) are unacceptable. But on a positive note, the coaches were very happy with Conley's punting ... for a change.
are the jets not going deep because they dont trust sanchez? dont trust the o-line? dont have a deep burner (braylon)...? we really need to spread out the offense. it is so stale...
Rich Cimini (1:51 PM)
All of the above.
If McElroy doesn't get hurt in the preseason, would we have a full blown QB controversary now considering McElroy played pretty decently in preseason?
Rich Cimini (1:52 PM)
Funny you should mention this, because I was talking about this the other day with a friend/fellow journalists. Do doubt, there would be a huge outcry for McElroy from fans and probably some media types who don't know jack. He wouldn't be a threat to Sanchez ... but people would be clamoring for him because of the circumstances.
Hey Rick, thanks for hangin today. Here's my prob with Schotty. Even if you dont think he's done a HORRIBLE job, what has he done to merit an extension?? He hasn't done a good job here. My other issue, is that even when you make the playoffs, you should identfy weaknesses - the OC is a weakness. If our D was mediocre the last few years, we'd have been 6-10 and more focus on how bad the OC is. He shouldn't get a pass b/c the D has brought us to the playoffs. He needs to go.
Rich Cimini (1:54 PM)
Both coordinators got extensions after last season. The Jets consider it good biz; you don't want lame-duck coordinators. I must admit, I'm surprised Schotty has 2 yrs left, but can we at least let the season play out before we "fire" anybody?
Do you think Mr. Tannenbaum regrets trading up for Mark Sanchez?
Rich Cimini (1:56 PM)
Not for 1 second. First of all, it was a steal. They basically gave up only a second-round pick. If they had mortgaged the future by giving up multiple No. 1 picks? Well, maybe. Secondly, Sanchez isn't a bust. He's not going anywhere, so get used to it.
Jets have played pretty much how I expected based on Mr T's offseason. They let there O line degrade with cutting Woody and thinking Hunter was good enough to replace him. They named Eric Smith, an very average situational run stopper, as a starter opposite Jim Leonard who is very average and very overrated in my opinion. They got even older and slower at LB without making any moves (thank god for Maybin but he is a one trick pony). I could go on and on. Mr. T was not aggressive like he usually was at filling holes and we had the cap room. So is anyone really surprised that this is not anything more than a 9 win team?
Rich Cimini (2:02 PM)
The front office decided to stand put with their roster, and that wasn't an outlandish thought. With the uncertainty of the lockout, teams with continuity figured to thrive. The Packers are, obviously. The Jets aren't. Obviously, they miscalculated on Hunter. And Vlad, too. If he were any good, he'd be in there. They added some fresh blood in the front 3, thinking the back 8 would be just fine...another miscalculation. They had a plan, they executed it and, so far, it hasn't worked as well as they had hoped.
BrooklynJets (Brooklyn, NY)
H Rich, Just out of curiousity, if you are not a Jet fan what team are you a fan of....when not working?
Rich Cimini (2:03 PM)
Fair question: I root for my alma mater, Syracuse.
what happened to ainge? i liked him as the number 3
Rich Cimini (2:03 PM)
Out of football.
Any chance MetLife stadium would ever host a Winter Classic? I know they've played hockey at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Rich Cimini (2:04 PM)
I'm not a hockey guy, but I must admit, that would be kinda cool.
Walter (New York)
Rich, let's face it, the Jets had a better team last year. They were 9-2. Why doesn't Mr. T believe in drafting a wr early. All of the successful QBs in this league have been with the wrs for years, from Rodgers, to Brady, to Brees, even Eli. Sanchez only has Holmes for 12 regular season games last year. The only player that has been here the whole time Mark has is Keller. The Jets need to invest an earlier pick on a wr and get someone that is elite. or At least an elite RB, Greene is terrible. He is not a featured back. He cannot stay healthy and is not that good.
Rich Cimini (2:04 PM)
all fair points.
Granted the Jets special teams have been a solid unit for many years and its obvious Westoff's scheme is better than the players, but can this guy get a punter. We play musical punters and there not good. What do you think?
Rich Cimini (2:05 PM)
It is amazing that they can't find a punter. Ben Graham was good for a year or two, but he fell out of favor.
Rich Cimini (2:06 PM)
My time is up, folks. I have to say, this hour flew by. Great stuff, as always, from the readers. We'll do this again next week. Have a great weekend. Rich