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 (2:03 PM)
Hello, everybody. Thanks for taking the time to drop by. Big game this week. To the questions.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich,Last week on that 1st down play after the fumble recovery if they had any you know what they would'v let Tebow throw a pass. The Pats would've never been ready for it.Still sanchez should've been in the game not Tebow. This week with rain a possibilty that plays into Miami's handes but i see a 17-16 Jets win. Your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:05 PM)
On that particular play, the Pats had only a 7-man box, so I think they were prepared for a possible pass. But I agree Sanchez should've been in, not Tebow. Don't see rain as a factor, only wind. I picked the Jets, too.
Jack (Denton, TX)
Hi Rich,With a new stadium planned in LA and expansion not likely, what do you think the chances are Woody moves the Jets to LA so that they don't have to share the spotlight and stadium with the Giants? Is Woody's lease agreement such that he could move the team in 2014?
Rich Cimini (2:06 PM)
There's no lease. The Jets aren't renters anymore. They own half the stadium. Woody isn't going anywhere.
Geoff (Livingston, NJ)
Hi Rich. Love the blog. Why do the Jets keep subbing OG Vlad Ducasse in for Matt Slauson every game? It's making me scared that Vlad is being groomed to be the starter next year (both OG's will be free agents in the offseason). YIKES! Are my biggest fears going to become a reality??
Rich Cimini (2:07 PM)
Yeah, I think that's a definite possibility. As you mentioned, both Gs are free agents. Both won't be back.
Watching the Jets vs. New England, I couldn't get over how much a waste of space Calvin Pace is. He no longer is a threat at rushing the passer and he is horrible when he plays in space and drops back in coverage. That coverage on the Gronkowski TD with him and Scott was terrible. I still have high hopes for this season, but looking to next season do you think Scott, Pace, and Thomas will be back next year?
Rich Cimini (2:09 PM)
Obviously, Thomas and Scott won't be back. Not sure about Pace. I think you're selling him short. He's a solid, all-round LB. Not an elite rusher, clearly, but he does a lot of different things.
Sal (San Diego)
Hi Rich...first off, thank you for the back round story on Mersereau. It was nice to hear the flip side of those two lives....On a side note, I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but there is a part of me that wonders if the Jets are scared even for Tebow to score a touchdown. Last week marked the second time there was a situation tailor made for him to run in for a TD and they took the ball out of his hands. Is it possible they are so petrified of a Tebow controversy that they would go so far as to avoid clear cut TD situations for him?....thanks! Sal
Rich Cimini (2:11 PM)
First of all, thanks. As for your question, I'm more cynical than most and even I don't think there's a TD conspiracy. I honestly think Rex wants him to score. It's just that they have no idea what they're doing when it comes to using him.
Rich, what was your opinion after the Patriots of Sanchez taking so long to talk to the media? I thought he was trying to duck you guys. Also what did you think of his demeanor after the game. I believe it was Ray Lucas who ripped into him after the game and said I've never seen a QB laugh if up with the media after losing a game.
Rich Cimini (2:13 PM)
I wouldn't read too much into the delay. He might have been getting treatment for his thumb. Sometimes Sanchez will wait to allow the beat writers to get all interviews done in the locker room before having to attend his presser. As for his mood, yes, I noticed that, too. It was unusually upbeat for a guy who just lost a heartbreaker. Weird.
Rich, I can't believe that Sanchez is getting praised for his performance against NE. I mean that interception intended for Hill was horrendous. The countless times he just didn't see open receivers namely Reuland wide open in the middle of the field and Greene in the flat. The horrible exchange with Greene that resulted in a safety. The sack he took in the fourth quarter that could have knocked the Jets out of field goal range and the final sack that resulted in a force fumble and ended the game. Seriously the guy is in his fourth year, he is not a rookie anymore. These are all dumb rookie mistakes.
Rich Cimini (2:15 PM)
He made 2 critical mistakes in the game -- the INT, the fumble in OT. Btw, Sparano absolved him of any blame on that fumble. I disagree. I think he was too careless with the ball. But overall I thought he elevated his game and carried the offense. It was a winning performance. If Hill doesn't drop that ball, are we having this conversation?
Rich, the few moves that Tannenbaum made this offseason the one I have been most impressed with is Landry. He has had a few mistakes so far this season, (mainly the Texans game not covering Daniels) but he has brought a physical aspect to the safety position the Jets haven't had in a long time. If he stays healthy all season do you see the Jets bringing him back next season?
Rich Cimini (2:17 PM)
Great question, Bill. He's the best safety they've had in a long time. They can't franchise him, as you probably know. The Jets have cap issues so they can't keep everybody but I think he'd be a priority.
Are you surprised by the development in Kerley? I find it hard to believe that the Jets coaching staff could see this production coming from him.
Rich Cimini (2:19 PM)
I'm not surprised at all. I was impressed with JK from the moment I saw him, which was at Sanchez's Jets West camp in 2011. The staff knew he was good because they cut Mason and gave him the slot job after 4 games last season. Now he's growing up before our eyes.
Rich following you since newsday. You are the man to follow if you want the best jer coverage. What ever happened to paul needell?Also it is clear woody runs the jets with an eye towards off the field interests evidenced by tebow. Also think drafting sanchez was done with an eye towards marketing and appealing to a demographic. Thoiugts?
Rich Cimini (2:21 PM)
First, thanks. Paul doesn't work anymore, lives on LI. No question Woody has an eye on off-the-field interests. But, hey, he's the owner. He's a businessman. He invested a lot in this team and he wants to grow the product. IMO, the best way is to win. And, yes, I think Mark's personality, USC background was a factor. They wanted a face of the franchise.
Tim Tebow....worst decision in Jets history?
Rich Cimini (2:21 PM)
Two words: Rich Kotite.
Derek Hamilton (The Great White North)
Rich, awesome story on Bryd and Mersereau. With all your beat writing and 140 character or less tweets it?s nice to see you flex your writing muscles and deliver an emotional/inspirational story. Now it?s time to inspire these Jets to squish the fish. Will Bryd be speaking to the Jets again? The last time he did it providing me with the greatest Jets moment in my 25 years of fandom.
Rich Cimini (2:22 PM)
Thanks, Derek, appreciate the kind words. Not sure about Byrd speaking. Maybe.
Will Keller have another strong game this week?
Rich Cimini (2:23 PM)
He usually plays well against the Dolphins. this is a fantasy question, yes?
Rich, I'm probably of the minority here in thinking that Sparano has done a good job of play calling so far. I feel the Jets throw down field more than last year(which is refreshing). My only complaint would be on 3rd and short. Too many times Tony has ignored Tebow! Why trade for him if you are not going to use him? I think Tebow will get you that 1-2 yards all the time just from his sheer will to win. Case in point was last week when the Jets had 3rd and 1 on the PatriCHEATS 5 yard line and Sanchez was in shotgun and failed to convert a slant to Chaz......WHY NOT JUST RUN TEBOW THERE!!!
Rich Cimini (2:24 PM)
I've been critical of Sparano's use of Tebow, but you make a couple of good points. He's trying to get the ball downfield. As for the 3rd-and-1, the Jets are very good in short yardage. If I'm not mistaken, I think Greene is 6-for-6 on 3rd and 1s, or something like that.
What is your preferred flavor of hot sauce Rich?
Rich Cimini (2:25 PM)
I prefer anything from Dinosaur BBQ, thanks.
Does the Jax QB situation now open the door for a trade to them for Tebow? Please get the circus he has caused out of town. Nothing against him personally, but he really doesn't add much value to the on-field product.
Rich Cimini (2:26 PM)
I agree, Mike. I wrote on Monday that the Jets should trade Tebow. It will never happen. They're going to ride it out and part ways in the offseason.
Greg (Phoenix, AZ)
This game is a must win for the Jets. They could console themselves with moral victories against Houston and the Pats, but there are no moral victories in this one. The AFC is wide open. From the overhead view, 2 ,3 possibly 4 teams will make the playoffs at 9-7 or even 8-8. Even the top teams are flawed. The outlook has changed considerably in three weeks.
Rich Cimini (2:27 PM)
I agree with everything you say.
Marty Levine (Vancouver )
Joe Klecko recently said he thought Sanchez was becoming "a good loser." Fair or unfair? What are you seeing in Sanchez' intangibles? The intestinal fortitude it takes to win in difficult circumstances?
Rich Cimini (2:28 PM)
I didn't hear Joe say that, but it's an interesting observation. I suppose he's basing that off his post-game mood in NE. Last year, he got ripped for getting too down. Now he's getting ripped for being too upbeat. He just needs to win.
Hi Rich, I have to admit, I'm pretty impressed with the way the Jets are playing with a younger core of players. Granted, they've only won 1 of their last three, they've played better in those 2 losses than they did even in the win against the Fins. What do you think are the biggest reasons for the improved play ?
Rich Cimini (2:30 PM)
A few reasons, Oz. Keller, Hill are healthy. Sanchez has improved accuracy. Run defense better. Running the ball better. Getting contributions from role guys like Trufant, Allen, Davis, Hilliard (good pick up). Keep an eye on Gates this week. I think they have plans for him.
Frank (Long Island)
Thoughts on Vlad's play of late? I'll hang up and listen to your answer. Thanks.
Rich Cimini (2:31 PM)
He's ... uh ... uh ... well, he hasn't gotten anyone killed, has he?
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Rich - why does the offense rely on the quick slant as much as they do when the receivers can't get the spearation necessary to make it effective?
Rich Cimini (2:32 PM)
Thank you. I'm glad someone asked this question. You could throw a slant to Holmes because he could get open, but Schilens? Come on. It's way too predictable.
David (New York)
Rich, great job on the Byrd/Mersereau article. Quick question, why should Jets fans care what Stephen A has to say about football? What qualifies him to have a valued opinion? Please stop linking, tweeting, and quoting him. Thanks.
Rich Cimini (2:33 PM)
Thanks, David. I'm pretty sure I've never quoted or linked SAS. They have an auto-tweet at ESPN, so sometimes stuff from my blog gets tweeted under my account even though I have nothing to do with it.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Do you think the Tebow interview in one of today's dailys adds another unneccesary distraction for Sanchez?
Rich Cimini (2:34 PM)
Tebow speaks to the media three days a week. I don't see how one more interview could be a distraction.
Tom P (Holmdel, NJ)
Rich, what does the coaching staff think of Rex Hilliard? It looked like on sunday, esp for a FB, he was running the ball pretty well against a solid run D. Shouldn't they use him more? Thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:35 PM)
Excellent point, Tom. The coaches really like Hilliard. It's one of the reasons why they cut Conner. He also made a huge play on teams, forcing a fumble.
Joe L (NJ)
Do you think the Jets would ACTUALLY keep Tebow around for the full length of his contract?
Rich Cimini (2:36 PM)
Not a chance in the world.
Rich, Over a 53 day period after returning from the road MIA game, the Jets will have had 1 overnight (last Sat night in NE) before they fly to SEA. Shouldn't they have taken advantage of the time at home and what does that spell for the rest of the year?
Rich Cimini (2:38 PM)
I'm not sure where you're going with that question. Should they have done better than 1-2 at home? Yeah, but they played 2 of the best teams, SF and Hous.
tony toast (syracuse)
Rich, thoughts on the clock stoppage at 2:01 exactly last week? It was a huge timeout saved for new england, and suspicious.
Rich Cimini (2:39 PM)
Yes, it was. The Jets didn't make an issue out of it, only suspicious reporters like myself.
Is revis overrated? I mean aren't the jets holding up pretty well without him? They even pretty much shut down the Pats!!
Rich Cimini (2:41 PM)
I don't think Revis is over-rated. He's the best CB in the league. But you make a fair point. As I wrote last Sunday, if Cromartie and Wilson continue to play well, it will hurt Revis' leverage in contract negotiations.
Brian (Secaucus, NJ)
Given the Dolphins 3rd ranked rush defense, is it safe to say Sanchez must perform well for the Jets to win or do you think Shonn Greene will have success?
Rich Cimini (2:41 PM)
I'd be surprised if they run well on Miami. They have to use the pass to set up the run.
Hey Rich. Great work as always. How do you rate Rex as a coach? It seems to me that he is a doing a great job considering the injuries, potential owner involvement, etc. I thought Sanchez was more at fault at the end of the Pats game than the coaches (3rd down sack before field goal, not protecting the ball on the OT sack).Thanks
Rich Cimini (2:43 PM)
Rex is doing an ok job considering the injuries, but let's be honest. The play calling was no good at the end of the game, on both sides of the ball.
Chris (New Jersey)
Despite all the Tebow bashing I find converting fake punts into 1st downs a valuable thing. That being said, Sanchez is playing better then anyone is giving him credit for. You can't discount the drops on balls put right where they need to be and the fact that this is a new offense. Tell me you can be objective and that you see that?
Rich Cimini (2:44 PM)
I agree with the Tebow comment, but are they paying $2.1 million for a few fake punts? Sanchez has been ok the last 3 games. Getting better, still not where he needs to be.
Have to question if the NFL players under stood the question of who the most overated players in the NFL are. Tebow can't seem to get on the field for anything more than special teams and Sanchez is consistently rated in the bottom 3rd of QB's. How are they over rated? Should both be playing in the CFL? Sounds like we have some jealous players who were polled, your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:46 PM)
Those surveys are a joke. Believe me, I've had to poll players in the past for various publications. It's definitely not scientific. The "players" voted Tebow the 95th best player in the NFL Network survery and now he's the most over-rated?
Hi Rich, What's the take on how Demario Davis played on Sunday? Think his speed can help the Jets "hot sauce" Reggie Bush?
Rich Cimini (2:47 PM)
Davis did ok, made some mistakes. He got picked on in zone coverage. He can play in space, but if he starts Sunday (and I think he will), he'll have to show some muscle in the trenches, and I'm not sure he's ready to handle that.
vince (long isle ny)
hey rich, good work on the blog, you brought up tebow being a decoy for this team on a recent post. do you believe the wildcat is not as sucessful is becaause the jets refusal to pass out of the formation? they need chunk plays, who better?
Rich Cimini (2:48 PM)
The coaches have no confidence in Tebow's ability to throw the ball. None. Zero. Nada. If they did, he'd be throwing.
Peter (New York)
Rich, if the Jets finish 8-8 or worse, do you see Johnson firing Tannenbaum or shifting his role in the organization like they did with Bradway? I just think he is not a good GM. Trading up into the top 5 to select a QB, you better be sure he is a franchise QB. Giving Sanchez and Holmes those stupid contracts. Drafting Vernon Gholston in 2008 and then drafting Coples over C. Jones this year. The overall lack of talent and depth on this years roster.
Rich Cimini (2:50 PM)
I can't fault the Sanchez move. They didn't give up a lot. Holmes contract is ridiculous. Gholston? What more can we say? Coples/Jones not looking good, but let's give it more time.
Alex Carroll (Birmingham, AL)
Why not give Greg McElroy a try?
Rich Cimini (2:51 PM)
This question wouldn't have anything to do with you being from Alabama, would it? I like Greg. He's super smart and has excellent intangibles. You never know, he could get a shot.
Mark (New York)
Do you subscribe to the belief that Sanchez is better without Santonio on the field?
Rich Cimini (2:52 PM)
Funny you should mention that. I have a story on this very topic that should be posted shortly, if it hasn't been already.
Did Belicheck throw a challenge flag ?
Rich Cimini (2:52 PM)
Not according to the league. Of course the league still thinks Golden Tate scored that TD.
If Tebow was the starting QB at the start of the season, would the Jets have a better record right now?
Rich Cimini (2:53 PM)
Hi Rich, I think after all the analyzing, criticizing, praising and finger crossing, the Jets are not a championship caliber team, are a borderline playoff team that might be able too win a game, but more likely are an 8-8 or 7-9 non playoff team. There I said it, I can breath now.
Rich Cimini (2:54 PM)
I picked 8-8 at the start of the season. If they win more than 8, it would be a terrific job by Rex & Co.
Rich, Any trade rumblings that you are hearing for the Jets? Trader Mike have something up his sleeve?
Rich Cimini (2:55 PM)
Haven't heard anything specific with Mike, but never say never.
Rich, how do you think Wilkerson and Coples have performed so far this season? The past few weeks they have been coming along. Also, do you think that the Jets will start phasing out Scott in favor of Davis this week or is the toe a legitimate injury?
Rich Cimini (2:56 PM)
The toe is legit. Wilkerson played well vs Indy, needs to raise his game. Coples has been hot and cold. He led the DLM in snaps last week, which was odd.
Rich Cimini (2:57 PM)
Well, folks, that's it for me. Thanks for all the great questions. Looking forward to the game Sunday. Should be interesting, to say the least. Be safe, don't mess with Sandy and I'll see you next week. Rich