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 2 p.m. ET!
Rich Cimini (2:04 PM)
Hello, everybody. Thanks for dropping in. I'm refreshed and energized after the bye week, so to paraphrase Rex, let's have at it.
John (Hillsdale NJ)
Hey, Rich. Jets are 3-5 at the halfway mark. In your opinion is there a single player on this team that's playing Pro Bowl football right now?
Rich Cimini (2:05 PM)
I think Cromartie is playing at a Pro Bowl level. Landry might be a cut below. Folk. Other than that ...
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich, The AFC is so weak that the Jets are still in it for a few weeks. By some chance if they can get to 6-6 you just never no. Porblem i have is how in the world are they going to do that when you look at both sides of the ball and teams don't have to stay up at night game planning for any players. That is a huge problem. How do you think they finish aout this year? Hope everybody in the NY/NJ area aer holding up and getting through this difficult time.
Rich Cimini (2:06 PM)
Hey, Ira. I don't see them getting to 6-6. Maybe 5-7, but not 6-6. The defense has a chance to flourish because they're facing some pretty bad offenses, but the Jets' offense remains a major concern.
Briz (Bowlcut, MA)
Hey Rich, great job with the chats! If the season continues as is, do you think Woody might clean house this offseason with Rex and Tanny? I think this organization needs to focus on a passing offensive minded regime.
Rich Cimini (2:08 PM)
Thanks, Briz. Rex isn't going anywhere. There's no way Woody will start over. As for Tanny, it's hard to say at this point. If they finish worse than 7-9, something could happen.
Rich, what do you make of Broadway Joe criticism of Woody J. Some in the media say he makes these comments because he doesn't have a paying role in the organization. Others say it is Joe just telling it like it is. I'm leaning with Joe just telling it like it is. It is clear Woody just cares about the PSLs and headlines.
Rich Cimini (2:10 PM)
I don't think Joe has an agenda other than speaking his mind. Most of what he says is right on, but I will say this about Woody: He wants to win. It's not fair to say he's just consumed with PSLs and headlines, although I think that's part of his M.O. He has to realize that winning sells better than anything, and I think he loses sight of that at times.
Rich, I can deal with poor play from the QB, RB, and basically the whole offense as a whole. What I find unacceptable is the play of the defense, especially the poor tackling and pass rush. The Jets have invested way too many first round picks to that side of the ball to be this bad. Also what happened to David Harris, is he declining? He was never good in coverage but he could get off blocks and tackle. To me this year he seems to have a ton of missed tackles. Is my criticism of him fair?
Rich Cimini (2:12 PM)
John, I think it's fair criticism. The last 3 first round picks were defensive players, so they should be better. But for years they've ignored the pass rush, always placing their faith in Rex's ability to scheme up a pass rush. Well, it ain't working. The pass rush is a joke.
Rich, say the Jets finish 8-8 or more likely worse, what will their QB situation look like next year. Sanchez unfortunately looks like he will be here for one more year and Tebow will definitely be gone. But do you think the Jets will take a QB in the second or third round as a developmental project.
Rich Cimini (2:13 PM)
Fair question, Joe. I think they have to get a read on McElroy. He could be that guy.
Maybin was our best pass rusher last season and he only produced when getting 20-40 snaps in a game, when getting less he didn't do much. So how on earth could Rex have only played him ONE game in that snap range this season with pass rush our biggest weakness on D?!? That one game he had 2 QB pressures that led directly to 2 turnovers that led to 14 points, it was our best pass rush all season (Colts game). Why do our coaches do the exact opposite of logical all the time? BT and Pace are horrible in both the run and pass game anyway so it's not like there's a good reason for this. Rex is lost as a HC.
Rich Cimini (2:15 PM)
Maybin is a situational pass rusher and his "situations" have been reduced because there haven't been as many 3rd and long situations. Why? Because the run defense has struggled. They don't play Maybin on 3rd and short and some 3rd and mediums because they don't trust his ability to defend the run. That's why you will see Ricky Sapp in there Sunday.
Rich, what do you make of that poll about Ryan being the most overrated coach? I think he just doesn't have the talent on this team or last year. I think Tannenbaum has done a really poor job with the draft and with trading picks mortgaging the future.
Rich Cimini (2:16 PM)
The poll was a joke. Believe me, I've conducted those polls on behalf of national publications and it's hardly scientific. How can a coach who has lost 8 of last 11 games be considered over-rated? Over-hyped, yes. Over-rated, no.
Celia (East End, Long Island)
Rich, If this is a dark, dark second half, can you see Woody reassigning Mr. T? Or never gonna happen?
Rich Cimini (2:17 PM)
Yes, I could see it. He won't boot Mike out of the organization, not with 2 yrs left on his contract. He'd re-assign him.
Carl (Amagansett, NY)
Rich, saw that Woody's wife went after you with the "get a real job Rich" comment on Twitter. What are your thoughts about that?
Rich Cimini (2:18 PM)
Yeah, how 'bout that? I hope she's wrong. I hope I never have to get a real job.
Michael Triolo (Brooklyn,NY)
Why won't the Jets use Tebow at this point in an attempt to save the season and make the playoffs?
Rich Cimini (2:19 PM)
Because, in their view, he's not the answer and never will be the answer. How's that?
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
These were healthy Jets players in Mark Sanchez's first two years--L. Tomlinson, B. Edwards, S. Holmes, J. Cotchery, Brad Smith, Jim Leonard and D. Revis, among others. How in the world can anyone expect the QB (and team) to be championship quality when not a single one of these players has been replace by ones equal or better?
Rich Cimini (2:20 PM)
Not to be picky, but I think they've upgraded at safety, but I get your point. You're right, they've slipped in all those areas. Not a good job of bringing in and developing talent.
The Jets most likely will miss the playoffs again this year. Do you see the Jets diving into the free agent market for a WR? I know there is a lot of money tied into Holmes but Stephen Hill has hands of stone and Kerley is a small receiver best suited for the slot. Potentially you can have M. Wallace, G. Jenning, and D. Bowe hitting free agency.
Rich Cimini (2:21 PM)
They have a lot of money invested in Holmes and a high pick invested in Hill, and Kerley is on the come. So, no, I don't see it.
Marc (Bloomfield, NY)
Rich - will the Jets ever, and I mean ever, address the lack of a pass rush? They need 1, maybe 2 full time OLB's next year. Will Pace come back next year? I know Maybin's gone...
Rich Cimini (2:22 PM)
Maybin's been gone for a while. Pace has a huge cap number, so he's iffy. As I said earlier, they rely too much on Rex's ability to scheme up a pass rush. You need the horses.
Hey Rich, great work, you are the man!Question: Which players do you see having an increased role and which players will have a decreased role in the second half of the season?
Rich Cimini (2:24 PM)
Thanks, kman. I think Gates, Powell, Coples, Ellis (when healthy), Davis, Sapp and perhaps Dowtin will have bigger roles. You could see smaller roles for Maybin, Po'uha, E. Smith, Schilens.
rich,To what extent to do you think managerial politics (the need for Woody, Mr T, and Rex to save face) is responsible for keeping Mark Sanchez as the starter?
Rich Cimini (2:26 PM)
Fair question, but I don't think it's the over-riding reason -- to this point. He has shown enough glimpses, however few and far between, to keep the job. Now, going forward, if the team continues to struggle and he remains the QB, yes, I'd say it's contract-related and politics.
Parry (North Arlington)
Rich, Are you exploring the possibility of getting a "real job" as recently suggested, or will you be continuing as a sports writer?
Rich Cimini (2:27 PM)
Now, I will definitely stay in the sports writing biz. I'm not ready for a real job.
Has DeMario Davis shown a lot in practice, or is he in the mix just because the linebackers are so old and slow?
Rich Cimini (2:28 PM)
Well, we don't watch practice, but I can tell you Davis isn't slow. He's a sideline to sideline LB, just a little raw at this point.
jj (orangeburg, ny)
how about kicking tannenbaum upstairs as team president and bringing in a good personnel guy to run the drafts?
Rich Cimini (2:29 PM)
They already have a team president.
Derek Hamilton (The Great White North)
Hey Rich, this Seahawk secondary scares me. What are the chances that our WR?s can get off press against these physical CB. Do you agree with the only way to beat them is for Dustin to have a career day?
Rich Cimini (2:30 PM)
It's an unusually big, physical secondary. Time for the Jets' WRs to man up. That means you, Stephen Hill.
Are the Jets going to seriously consider a QB change this offseason?
Rich Cimini (2:30 PM)
Probably not, and here's the reason -- $8.25 M in guarantees for SAnchez.
ben (Fairfield, CT)
Rich, why would any quality GM or coach want to work for Woody Johnson? He is the Dan Synder of the AFC. Shouldn't he have known Tebow would not work out, the sameway it didn't work for Favre and Mangini in 08?
Rich Cimini (2:32 PM)
He's not as impulsive as Dan Snyder and he's a far better person to work for, I'm told. People would work for him for the reason they'd work for any team -- money.
Rich, odd question. What kind of affect do Twitter "reporters" and bloggers have on the industry? Does it make it more difficult for you guys to do your jobs, or is it business as usual? I ask because the Jets seem to have quite a few of these characters.
Rich Cimini (2:34 PM)
Great question, Chris. I talk about this a lot when I speak to classes. Twitter is a blessing and a curse -- immediate reporting, but sometimes people are willing to sacrifice accuracy. The bloggers have no impact. I guess fans like to read them, but I think they still rely on the mainstream media to get their info.
Nick Nightingale (Seattle, WA)
Has there been bad blood between you and the Johnsons before that tweet from Mrs. Woody this week?
Rich Cimini (2:34 PM)
Not at all. Never met her.
Billy (Eastchester, NY)
Rich,Have I missed something, or have the Jets still not found a replacement for Joey Clinkscales? Going into next year's draft with the same scouting department would be bad enough, but not having an adequate replacement replacement for the department's VP position at this point in the season is terrible!
Rich Cimini (2:36 PM)
They promoted Jeff Bauer, a midwestern college scout, to replace Clinkscales. Buddies with Terry Bradway.
Vic Ziegler (Park Avenue)
Rich, did anyone from the Jets org apologize to you on behalf of Suzanne Johnson's comments?
Rich Cimini (2:36 PM)
No. But I didn't expect an apology.
Robert (Cherry Hill NJ)
Rick, If jets had improved team along lines that Damian Woody suggested, although Sanchez would never be become a Manning he could have possibly evolved into an Alex Smith. True or False?
Rich Cimini (2:38 PM)
True. Definitely true -- although, frankly, is Alex Smith the guy you want your QB to be?
Do you think D'Brick's play has fallen off enough that the Jets might consider finding a new LT in the long term and pushing Ferguson over the right side of the line?
Rich Cimini (2:39 PM)
According to Pro Football Focus, he hasn't allowed a sack. Doesn't matter, anyway. They're locked into his contract.
What is with the constant bottom-roster tweaking by Mr. T? What's he trying to accomplish by cutting and re-signing the same guys every few days?
Rich Cimini (2:40 PM)
A lot of teams do the same thing. The Jets aren't unique in that regard.
Kyle (Long Island, NY)
Rich, The Jets are obviously not going where they hoped. Following this season into the draft, what do you personally think is the biggest need for this team to improve. What do you seeing the Jets using their first pick on? Also, we all understand the Tebow and Sanchez are owed money and are under contract, but realistically, besides Tebow, do you see Sanchez on the roster next year, if he gets benched this year?
Rich Cimini (2:41 PM)
The Jets don't owe Tebow money, so they can get rid of him -- and they will. Sanchez isn't going anywhere. As far as draft needs, pass rusher, RB and RT.
Dan (Southern CT)
Mr. Cimini,Do you think the Jets have a legitimate shot to make the playoffs considering the fact they have among the easiest schedules left to play? Also consider the first half they had the 3rd toughest schedule the first 8 games, I honestly think they can do it, flashback of 09'.
Rich Cimini (2:42 PM)
As I wrote last week, Dan, it's not impossible, especially with the schedule. They're playing six crappy offenses, so the games should be close. But they'll need to win at least 6 out of 8, and I don't see that happening.
The tebow move has been a total failure. Woody says tebow is staying, can you honestly see the team bringing him back next year?
Rich Cimini (2:43 PM)
Better chance of seeing Obama hire Romney for a staff position.
What kind of kap space do the Jets have this offseason? Enough to sign a big time free agent on offense?
Rich Cimini (2:44 PM)
Space? There ain't no space. I think they're projected to be $19M over the cap. They'll have some trimming to do.
Rich, Kerley is looking like Holmes if not better. Any chance they trade Holmes for a second/third round pick? Also, do you think Ellis is the answer at NT or should they draft a guy like Geathers in the second round. Thanks.
Rich Cimini (2:45 PM)
Kerley has a ways to go before he's Holmes, but he's definitely a player on the rise. Can't trade Holmes because of his contract. Sorry, I don;t know anything about any NTs in the draft. Too early for me.
Tom P (Holmdel, NJ)
Rich, looks like Bilal Powell is playing this week from what I've read.. Since he's refreshed and no Joe McKnight, how about the potential for a breakout game? What do you think?
Rich Cimini (2:46 PM)
Powell is definitely playing, but I think predicting a breakout would be a bit much.
Do you have any idea if the Jets are considering Landry in their long-term plans? Bell is pretty old for a S, I can't see Eric Smith coming back and no one else has proven themselves as even adequate.
Rich Cimini (2:47 PM)
Yes, I can see Landry in the plans. Smith has 1 more yr left on his deal. Bell will be a UFA and, as much as they like him, he won't be back because of his age.
Ok, to follow-up then if Sanchez isn't working, Tebow's not the answer do you give McElroy a shot?
Rich Cimini (2:48 PM)
If they fall out of contention, I would.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Rich - would the Jets record be that much better if Sanchez was closer to the league average QB this year?
Rich Cimini (2:48 PM)
No question about it.
Scot (Washngton, DC )
Can I ask what prompted Mrs. Johnson to direct that comment at you?
Rich Cimini (2:49 PM)
I made a snarky remark, poking fun at Woody's comment about how he'd rather have Romney in the White House than a winning season for the Jets.
Rich, how much stock do you put in the Jets first half schedule being 3rd toughest in the league and second half schedule being the 27th toughest in the league. Did the Jets just run a gauntlet and have greener pastures ahead? Or, do they just stink?
Rich Cimini (2:50 PM)
Quality of competition is always a factor. We knew going into the season that Sanchez would have to face a bunch of really good defenses -- SF, Hou, Mia and Pitt. They went 1-4 against the group.
Bob (IN )
Why do you hate the Jets and Sanchez and Rex and Jets' fans and yourself?
Rich Cimini (2:51 PM)
You know what I hate? I hate people like you asking dumb questions.
Michael C (San Diego)
Does Rex not have faith in his Defense/Offense? Jets never "go for it" on 4th when they are right in the redzone or even on the goal line. Jets elect to kick a FG every time. Explain please. Thank you
Rich Cimini (2:52 PM)
One word: Sparano.
Behind closed doors how much confidence does the organization have in Sanchez? How long of a leash does he have if his play doesn't improve and the team isn't winning? If they pulled him would we see McElroy or just Tebow?
Rich Cimini (2:54 PM)
They still have confidence in him, but the leash is getting shorter. He has to cut down on killer mistakes, especially in the red zone. If they pulled him, which i don't think they will, they might as well go right to McElroy to see what they've got. They know what Tebow is.
Rich, in your opinion do you think there would be a team that would trade for Mark Sanchez in the offseason? I honestly think he would not start for any other team in the league. There would have to be a desperate like Arizona or something and it would have to be for a low draft pick.
Rich Cimini (2:55 PM)
No one would take the contract.
Marc (Bloomfield, NY)
Rich - Keep up the good work. What are the chances the Jets extend Keller? I know he's been hurt this year, but he's really the only proven weapon we have on offense and he's got somewhat of a rapport with Sanchez? Thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:56 PM)
Thanks, Marc. I like Keller. I think he'd cash in on the free agent market. Don't see a long-term deal with the Jets, but I could see a franchise tag, depending on the number for TEs.
Charlie Z (Jersey City, NJ)
Tebow got to throw one long pass this year in the Houston game and it was a perfect toss that Hill dropped. Why then is the only played called for him a run up the middle for 2 yards?
Rich Cimini (2:57 PM)
Well, I think the goal is to get more than 2 yards, but I see your point.
Keith H (Seattle)
Regardless of my address, I don't see much chance for the Jets this weekend. Their weaknesses dovetail into Seahawk strengths plus the volume is something that can't be replicated in practice. Am I missing something?
Rich Cimini (2:57 PM)
Two fairly even teams, but you're right, the Seahawks get the edge because of the home field. Wilson is a different player at home.
Could Maybin find himself inactive this week, replaced by Sapp?
Rich Cimini (2:58 PM)
Wouldn't be shocked.
Rich, why so sure that Tebow wont be back?
Rich Cimini (2:58 PM)
Why would they bring him back?
Mario (Providence, RI)
Santonio cannot be back next year right Rich? TAKE THE CAP HIT!!
Rich Cimini (2:59 PM)
It's more than a cap hit. They have to pay him $7M plus in cold hard cash.
Rich Cimini (3:01 PM)
That's a wrap, folks. Thanks for checking in. I'd like to send my regards to those in our region recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Hang in there! Anyway, we'll talk next week, prior to the Schotty Bowl. Or is it the Wayne Hunter Bowl? Take care, be safe and have a great weekend. Rich