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 (2:02 PM)
Greetings, Jets fans. Thanks for visiting our little chat session. Away we go.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich, Lost in all this QB talk the D right now has only 9 INT's. Sure Revis is out but if they finish the rate they are going that would be the least amount since they started the 16 game schedule. 2003 they had 11 and 1996 -11. And forget about the sack total that is a joke. Why is the D not getting as much heat as the O?
Rich Cimini (2:03 PM)
Ira, when you have a QB controversy, you have a major story. That gets the headlines, especially in NY. Plus, the D played well last week, although you bring up some interesting stats.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Rich, It took Rex 3 days to name his starting QB, if Mark starts playing like he did against Arizona will he be replaced sooner and with whom first?
Rich Cimini (2:04 PM)
Rex dragged it out for 3 days, but he knew exactly what he wanted to do. The rest of it was a charade. It would be McElroy.
Rich, I was in favor of Rex returning next season but now I no longer feel that way. The reason I changed my mind is because throughout Sanchez's tenure with the Jets I have see written or analysts on ESPN say how he has been babied and coddled by the Jets organization. The scene that really sickened me was Ryan consoling Sanchez in the locker room after the game last week. That is just pathetic. I can promise you that no other head coach in the NFL would have done that.
Rich Cimini (2:07 PM)
I, too, was bothered by that scene. First of all, it shouldn't have been videotaped. There are specific rules about that. But I digress. I thought Ryan should've done that privately. It was like he did it for show and it made Sanchez look like a child. Bad form.
Rich, this whole season I thought the offensive line was getting criticized way too much. Then on ESPN an article from pro football focus was posted and ranked the Jets number 4 in the whole NFL and declared them underrated. Do you agree with my thinking that the line has been criticized too much. I feel Sanchez does a poor job sensing pressure and holds on to the ball way too long. Plus I feel Ferguson is having an underrated season.
Rich Cimini (2:11 PM)
Yes, I think the OL has been criticized too much. I don't think it's No. 4 in the league, but the pass pro has been good. Still not run blocking at a high level. RBs and TEs have contributed to sack total, as well as Sanchez, who has terrible pocket presence.
Rich, it was interesting to hear Curtis Martin give his take on the Jets locker room. Curtis has always been a class act and has always been a big believer in locker room chemistry. I agree with him and believe that the Jets have a serious lack of leadership and some poor personalities on the team (Scott and Cromartie). I feel that Scott should be a goner and so should Cromartie even though Cromartie can still play. Do you think the Jets will cut bait with these players?
Rich Cimini (2:12 PM)
Scott will be a goner, that's a lock. Cromartie has tried to become more of a leader, but there are still signs of immaturity. He'll be back.
Rich, what do you think is Rex's biggest flaw as a head coach? His total regard for the offensive side of the ball, his loyalty to Sanchez, being a players coach, or is it his mouth?
Rich Cimini (2:13 PM)
Wow, that covers a lot of ground there, George. I'd say his lack of savvy when it comes to the offense.
Rich, Sanchez is obviously returning next season due to his contract hopefully with some legit competition. What do you see the Jets doing to improve the offensive side of the ball? Do they bring Keller back? What about Shonn Greene? I think they obviously need a new QB coach, offensive coordinator, a legit #1 receiver and a running back.
Rich Cimini (2:18 PM)
That's a lot of needs. Yes, they will have competition for Sanchez. I don't think Keller and Greene will be back. Yes, there will be some changes on the offensive staff. Not sure about WR. They have Holmes, Hill and Kerley. They won't spent big $ there.
I can't believe that the Jets got just two sacks against the Cardinals. I mean they have the worst o-line in football. What is going on with Coples? It seems they are not playing him that much snaps. Overall this pass rush has been horrendous. Do you think after this season they finally address the lack of a pass rush in the draft?
Rich Cimini (2:19 PM)
They'd better because, you're right, this pass rush isn't getting it done. Plus, they're blitzing less because they're afraid of exposing holes in the Revis-less secondary.
Geoff (Livingston, NJ)
It is popular belief that GM Mike Tannenbaum will either get re-assigned or fired. Can you give us list of likely candidates to replace Trader Mike?
Rich Cimini (2:20 PM)
I wouldn't count him out just yet.
Rich, I seriously don't understand why the Jets guaranteed Sanchez 8.5 million for next season. I know it has been reported it was because of salary cap relief and their pursuit of Peyton Manning. They should not have just gave Sanchez the money to make up for their pursuit of Manning. It is Peyton Manning, Sanchez will never be half as good as him. After that failed pursuit they should have had Sanchez play the season and then made a decision after.
Rich Cimini (2:21 PM)
You're right, Ben. It was a poor decision. I ripped it when it happened and nothing has changed my opinion.
Rich You know when Fireman Ed retires, the jets have to be really bad.
Rich Cimini (2:21 PM)
Keith (New Jersey)
When Rex makes a statement in a press conference like, "I have 3 winning quarterbacks, I like my QB situation, it's better than a lot of teams." How hard are you biting on your tongue to keep from laughing?
Rich Cimini (2:21 PM)
What, you didn't hearing me laughing?
Is there any chance that Woody cleans house and fires both Rex and Tannanbaum
Rich Cimini (2:22 PM)
I don't see that happening.
Jack (Denton, TX)
Hi Rich, In a recent article you noted how the Jets can easily get under the cap for next year, but I wondered what the current replacements for those high-paid players look like. Do you see a drop off in quality?
Rich Cimini (2:24 PM)
Well, they have Demario Davis ready to replace Scott. No replacements for Pace or Bryan Thomas on the roster. No replacements at safety. No replacements at guard. Other than that ...
FieldChatter Forum (NY)
Rich, we are hearing buzz that Tannenbaum may be demoted. If so, are Scott Pioli or Pat Kirwan realistic possibilities?
Rich Cimini (2:25 PM)
No chance on Pioli; he left the organization in 2000 to go with Belichick. He hasn't done a good job in KC. I think Kirwan is a bright guy (known him for a long time), but he hasn't been in the league for a while.
why don't the jets run bootlegs for sanchez? forcing sanchez to throw short pass routes while keeping him in the pocket seems to be the worst strategy for (his) success.
Rich Cimini (2:26 PM)
Great question, Jeremy. They ran a few for McElroy. I think Sanchez is better on the move, plus it cuts the field in half. I think you may see more this week, maybe even some new wrinkles.
Mr. White (ABQ)
If Ducasse is being groomed to start next year, wouldn't it behoove the jets to start him right now, to see if he could actually do the job before giving it to him outright like they did with Hunter?
Rich Cimini (2:27 PM)
If Ducasse is starting next year, they've got problems.
Hey Rich, 2 part question. 1) Any chance the Jets bring back Braylon? I want to see him dougie after a TD! 2) What does our kap space look like for 2013? Can we sign a big name?
Rich Cimini (2:28 PM)
No chance on Braylon. Right now, the Jets are $21.3 mil over the '13 cap, but they can get under with some obvious cuts.
Mr. White (ABQ)
What was the harm in allowing McEleroy one start to see what he could offer? We already know what Mark offers and if Greg couldn't do better then you could have gone back to Mark.
Rich Cimini (2:29 PM)
The Jets know what McElroy is. They know he's not the long-term answer. They watch him every day. They know his strengths and weaknesses. They see him as a No. 2.
Rich, why does the team keep Mark in the shot gun? It nullifies one of his strengths which is play faking. He hides the ball well. Since he can't look off the safeties and LBs anyway, why not just use him behind center and have him drop back?
Rich Cimini (2:30 PM)
Excellent question. I'm going to research the stats and post that somewhere on the blog.
Rick Dove (NY)
Is it normal for doctors to clear a player and for the coach to decide to keep the player inactive?
Rich Cimini (2:31 PM)
There's nothing unusual about that. But I bet if Tebow were a better QB, he'd be active. Wink, wink.
since the mcelroy chants were louder than the tebow chants ever were, do you think jets fans just want to see sanchez benched, rather than tebow's popularity being the main factor? the media keeps trying to push the tebow story (because fans truly do love him), but i think most jets fans are smarter than that. we recognize terrible qb play and demand change. it's nothing personal against sanchez or for tebow.
Rich Cimini (2:32 PM)
The fans just want anybody not named Sanchez. I think Rex made the only decision he could make. He's hoping this will serve as a wake-up call for SAnchez.
Eric (San Diego)
Rich,Will Sparano be out after this season? The Jets offense seems so outdated and unimaginative ... it's like other teams are paying their bills online, and the Jets are still writing checks.
Rich Cimini (2:33 PM)
I love that analogy. You should be in my business. We'll see how it shakes out, but if I were Sparano, I wouldn't get too comfortable.
JP (OLD BRIDGE)
The Jets have had many underachieving QBs over the years. Who in your opinion overachieved the most? Ray Lucas?
Rich Cimini (2:35 PM)
Wow, great question. I'd have to agree. Ray's performance in 99 was amazing. To come in, after not having played QB since Rutgers (when Rutgers stunk), and put up a 90 passer rating was remarkable. Truly a great coaching job, too, by Parcells. And they had talent around him.
42 years is enough (Great Neck)
How can the Jets be so certain they know (or don't know) what they have in McElroy? What I hear is that he is highly intelligent (ala Chad) and what I saw on Sunday was throws on target (also ala Chad), not somewhat off target if maybe catcheable (ala the Sanchize)
Rich Cimini (2:37 PM)
I understand where you're coming from, but the Jets have a real good idea about McElroy. They watch him every day. I talked to scouts from 3 other organizations and they all see him the same way.
New England Jet Fan (Rhode Island)
Why are there so many people defending Rex's performance in the sports media? I've heard them say that base don his record, he deserves to be given some more time. Let's look a little beyond the win-loss record. The locker room is malignant, leaks like a faucet with comments of disgruntled players and staff. We had his earlier clownish antics with the baseless promises of Super Bowls, foot-gate, the ultimate fighting situation and the verbal war with teh Dolphins LB. We have questionable personel decisions. Questionable in game decisions. He all but admits total ignorance to the offensive side of the game. I know Tannenbaum isn't great. He should go back to being a book keeper. Our owner is more into sensationalism than actual football substance (but we can't fire him). I really do think Rex and Tanny both need to go.
Rich Cimini (2:38 PM)
Some of your criticisms of Rex are legit, but the locker room thing has been blown out of proportion. It's a lot better than last year. They have 1 or 2 clowns, that's it. The criticism about the offense and yapping too much is legit.
Rich, who do you think is most likely to be brought in to really compete w/ Sanchez - Flynn, A.Smith, Campbell, or even Vick, which would be a real Woody-type move.
Rich Cimini (2:39 PM)
I think Alex Amith would be the best choice in this group, but I'm not sure about his contract situation. I know he has 2 years left. You know the 49ers wouldn't give him away cheaply.
one thing I think would help sanchez would be when his initial reads are not there and the pocket starts breaking down is to run(and ultimately slide). This would: 1)slow the rush 2) pressure the defense ----- he has the legs - your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:40 PM)
As long as he stays clear of Moore's butt, I'm with you.
Hi Rich,If Woody decides to move on from Mike T, whether that means a demotion or a firing, do you know who he associates with to get Football advice ? I'm curious as to who his connections would be to bring candidates to the table ?
Rich Cimini (2:42 PM)
That's the scary part. I don't know where he'd get his advice. The yellow pages?
Do you think any of the young wide receivers are showing promise?
Rich Cimini (2:42 PM)
I thought Hill played a hard-nosed game last week -- except for running the wrong route on the audible.
Hi Rich, The Seahawks had no problem going with Wilson, even though they signed Flynn to a pretty good contract. 10 Million gauranteed. With Sanchez, that 8 million is spent whether he plays or not, isn't it smarter to find a QB that you think will be a winner ? Do you think Woody/Rex/Mike T would be willing to move on from Sanchez and eat the 8 million, whether that means making him the backup, trading or cutting him ?
Rich Cimini (2:44 PM)
They won't cut him, but a trade isn't impossible. I can't see him being an $8 mil backup. That caponomic lunacy.
Good Afternoon,Early in the year I thought the OL, in particular the interior OL was awful. In recent weeks they have played much better. I feel that Greene leaves alot of yards on the field because he lacks insticntiveness. Your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:45 PM)
I agree about the OL. Greene lacks suddenness and instincts. Doesn't see the field that well, takes forever to get to the hole.
Rich, Have the Jets soured on Coples? Looking at your playing time analysis ? which is a great feature by the way ? his snaps have really dropped off the last two weeks.
Rich Cimini (2:46 PM)
Thanks, and you make an astute observation. He has been a disappointment. I'm sure Rex will chalk it up to the proverbial "rookie wall." In Coples' case, he hit the wall in September.
I find it incomprehensible that a team so devoid of offensive talent won't/can't find at least 10-15 touches to get one of their more dangerous playmakers Joe McKnight. Why are the coaches to stubborn to player slower grind it out backs rather than give a possible gamebreaker some chances? He should be getting 2-4 screen passes minimum a game. What gives?
Rich Cimini (2:47 PM)
He's been nicked up a lot. He'll be ready this week, I'm told.
Hi Rich, so I just heard Rex praise Cumberland in response to Dustin Keller not playing. So when Keller gets cut for the backup TE, and then catches for a ton of yards from Brady, is that enough to get Mike T fired ?
Rich Cimini (2:48 PM)
Funny, Oz. Actually, not so funny. You could be right.
Rich (Bristol CT)
I enjoy your work Rich! Read an outside article that McElroy is similar to Brady's strengths from a scouts perspective but I feel Greg is scouted similar to Chad Pennington. Thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:50 PM)
Thanks, Rich. McElroy is highly intelligent and works hard -- a real gym rat. Just like Pennington. McElroy has a little cockiness to him, which I never sensed from Chad. Obviously, G Mac isn't close to Brady in terms of arm strength and size.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Has Austin Howard been a pleasant surprise this season and do you see continued improvement going into next season?
Rich Cimini (2:51 PM)
The organization is raving about Howard, which is what you'd expect. The front office knows its collective butt is on the hot seat. But, you're right, AH has been a surprise. I think he has done well for a guy who never played before -- a definite upgrade over Hunter.
Slim Shady (Locked-Up in Boston)
Rich, long time fan here.....Seems to me that everytime a Jet's HC loses weight something goes wrong with the team.....first with Mangini and now with Ryan. Do you think there's any correlation between waist size and brains?
Rich Cimini (2:52 PM)
Ding, ding, ding. I think you just hit on something. Woody Johnson should cater candy and donuts 24 hours a day at HC's office. That'll get some wins.
Not a question but a comment. Can people stop the McElroy/Pennington comparisons? Just because they're smart and have subpar arms doesn't mean they're the same player. Thanks.
Rich Cimini (2:53 PM)
Actually, McElroy reminds me of Glenn Foley -- facially anyway.
Alan (Jersey City)
Do you think a different QB coach would help Sanchez? Sparano gets lots of heat but Cavanaugh seems to fly under the radar.
Rich Cimini (2:53 PM)
A big yes.
Cas187 (under the Meadowlands)
Hey Rich, long time Jets fan, always appreciate your candid analysis. You said no QB was off limits for the chat and I know you didn't report the quote, but which Jet slammed Pennington as fragile as an egg after the '05 season? Did his name rhyme with Schmawae? The statute of limitations has expired...
Rich Cimini (2:55 PM)
Thanks for the kind words. Wow, I had forgotten about that quote. Did I use that quote? I honestly don't remember who said it.
Should the Jets part ways with Santonio Holmes, who has had leadership issues the past year or so and a season-ending foot injury to boot? (No pun intended).
Rich Cimini (2:55 PM)
Can't -- $7Mil guaranteed.
Chris (Rutgers Grease Trucks, NJ)
Hi Rich: Why wouldn't Woddy go after Bill Polian? The man has a great resume and knows how to build a winner. Why is this possibility dismissed? Thank You.
Rich Cimini (2:55 PM)
Word in the grape vine is that Polian is headed to KC.
Are the jets going to offer a long term contract to revis after the season?
Rich Cimini (2:56 PM)
Probably will wait until August at the earliest.
I'm expecting Sanchez to play much better than he did last week and I'm guessing the Jets will win this week.uch of the issues with Sanchez has been his regression and the fact that he's never been challenged for his job. Do you see the Jets finally bringing in a QB (Vick, Henne, Flynn, etc ) to challenge him?
Rich Cimini (2:57 PM)
R (in CT)
Do you think we'll see a big jump in Coples game next year like we saw with Wilkerson this year? I know they need it, and you see flashes from Coples
Rich Cimini (2:58 PM)
Wilkerson started to come on for the final 3 games last year. Paging Mr. Coples ...
Scot (Washington, DC )
Rich, it seems to me the Jets' overall problem is their lack of talent/depth. Doesn't that fall on the GM first and foremost? This season has been a disaster for the most part (even worse than a 5-7 record would indicate) and, if a head needs to roll, I think it should be Mike T's. By all accounts, he's never been a personnel guy anyway. What say you?
Rich Cimini (2:59 PM)
Mike is very much on the hot seat. Mike is a very smart guy and makes decisions by building a consensus from coaches, scouts, personnel, etc. He relies heavily on his football people and makes the final call if there's a tie.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich, Bottom line is Sparano back or not?
Rich Cimini (3:00 PM)
I don't see how they can bring him back.
Is this going to be the first year under Rex where we draft a offensive player with our first round pick?
Rich Cimini (3:00 PM)
You forgot about Sanchez in 09?
R (in CT)
I'm not buying this "Doesn't have the weapons" argument with Sanchez -- who did Brady have all those years in NE until Hernandez & Gronk arrived? Deion Branch? Stallworth? A good QB will elevate other players, and Sanchez has never done this. Your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (3:01 PM)
A special QB raises the play of those around him. There are very few of those. An average QB plays to the level of those around him. See Jets.
Rich, Reports were that Woody wanted McElroy as the starter. I don't know if I buy that based on the investment they have in Sanchez, what do you think?
Rich Cimini (3:02 PM)
I do think there's some truth to that, which shows Woody knows nothing about football.
Rich Cimini (3:04 PM)
Sorry, time is up. Thanks for the great questions. A word of advice for the future: If you submit your question multiple times, just to be a pain in the ass, I won't answer it. One good question will get my attention, that's for sure -- and we had a lot of them this week. A QB controversy always fires up th fan base. Take care, have a great weekend and we'll talk next week. Rich