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)
Hello, hello. Thanks for spending some of your Friday here. No time to waste, so let's get going.
What's the best reason to be optimistic about this team?
Rich Cimini (1:02 PM)
We'll start on an upbeat note with Alex. A couple of reasons: They're hungry and humbled. The defense has a chance to be very good. The offense has a fresh start.
Geoff (Livingston, nj)
Were you able to see a difference in Wilkerson compared to last year or is he just being hyped up by Rex?
Rich Cimini (1:04 PM)
I thought his comments about Mo were a bit over the top. I mean, it's June, they're not wearing pads. I think Mo has a chance to have a very good year, but you always take coaches' comments with a grain of salt when they're made in June.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich, I have concerned about the deep coverage speed from the FS spot. Yes Bell was a good signing and maybe Bush gets it early. I do believe that they think they will get more of a pass rush with a 4 man front now and that will cover up the lack of speed back there. I am not sold on that right now.Your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (1:06 PM)
I agree, Ira. They haven't really improved their coverage in the middle of the field. Part of the problem, which is unavoidable, is that many passes are funneled to the middle because teams wants to stay away from the CBs. Still, Bell isn't good in coverage and Landry has a bad wheel.
PETER JAMES (ABERDEEN, NJ)
Hi Rich--Do you think Plaxico Burress and Braylon Edwards will be on NFL rosters in 2012? Thanks and enjoy your vacation
Rich Cimini (1:08 PM)
Good question. I think Braylon will be -- assuming he can pass a physical with his knee. Plax might be a camp signing, signing with a team that loses a WR to injury. No one is breaking down his door. I thought he'd be signed by now. Obviously, he has lost speed, but he did have 8 TDs last season.
John (Hillsdale NJ)
Hey, Rich. If Revis holds out how is it going to end? Trading him seems more and more feasible every week with his threatening comments. How can the Jets give him the deal he wants before this season without sacrificing other needs? We all know Rex loves to gush about Revis, but we also know Rex has a limit - like when he stormed out of that conference call during Hard Knocks in 2010 telling Revis' agents to "watch what the @#$% happens". If Revis really digs his heels in here I could really see the Jets putting him on the block. How would a guy like Dustin Keller take it if the Jets just give Revis what he wants after another holdout?
Rich Cimini (1:10 PM)
Revis isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The Jets would be insane to trade their best player, but you're right, it could get ugly. But you don't run away from a little ugly.
Eric (San Diego)
Rich,What are the odds that Josh Brown beats out Nick Folk in training camp?
Rich Cimini (1:11 PM)
It's a 50-50 battle. Brown looked terrific in minicamp. Unlike QB, this is a legit competition.
Hey Rich,do you think the Jets reluctance to give Keller a new contract this offseason is related to the Revis situation? I suspect they don't want to add any further fuel to that particular fire.
Rich Cimini (1:12 PM)
It's apples and oranges. They want to wait on Keller because there's a new OC, a new system and they want to see how he fits that system.
Rich, it seems like Plaxico is a bit of a pariah. Does this have to do with his locker room presence? What's the inside word, -was he a behind the scenes contrbuter to last year's toxic brew, or a good soldier?
Rich Cimini (1:14 PM)
I asked a few players about Plax after the season, and I didn't get any negative feedback. I don't think he caused problems. At the same time, I don't think he was a great player. He showed up, punched his time card and left.
Eric (San Diego)
Rich,Random question - do you know why the Jets haven't played in the Hall of Fame game in Canton in the last 19 years? It is the longest absence for any AFC team, and I was almost certain they would be picked this year with Curtis Martin getting inducted. I'll be in Canton and was hoping to see the Jets play that weekend ... any insight as to why have been excluded for so long?
Rich Cimini (1:15 PM)
Actually, the Jets were invited to play in this year's game, but they declined because they didn't want a 5th pre-season game. I covered the last one in '92, when Browning Nagle looked great ... against the Eagles' backups.
Eric (San Diego)
Rich,If you had a choice between adding a veteran backup running back or a veteran backup wide receiver to the current roster (and could only choose one), which would you choose and why?
Rich Cimini (1:17 PM)
Fair question. I'd take the WR. Don't get me wrong, I like Hill, but rookie WRs rarely make an impact. I don't love Greene & Co. at RB, but at least you have some experience (McKnight) behind him. Don't forget about Tebow; he'll get 5 to 10 carries per game.
Hey Rich. At first I thought Revis didn't rule out holding out since he just wanted to keep all possibilities open, kinda like how Mike T never ruled out going after Peyton Manning. Now i'm beginning to worry that this is actually going to happen. If he does hold out, how are the Jets gonna create enough cap space immediately to pay him his money? I know they can cut a lot of guys like Calvin Pace and Bart Scott next year to pay him then, but what if it happens right now?
Rich Cimini (1:18 PM)
I'll believe the holdout when I see it. Right now, it's a lot of posturing. How would they pay him? They wouldn't. I don't think he's getting a new deal until 2013.
jd (suffern, ny)
Hi Rich, I'm a Rex Ryan advocate and hope that he's here for a long time, but I don't quite understand his being "more involved" with the players and meetings this season as opposed to last. I'm sure the guy is an insanely hard worker, but what was he doing last year if he wasn't too involved with the players and meetings? Isn't that one of the main things that coaches do? Thanks.
Rich Cimini (1:21 PM)
Excellent point. I think the "more involved" story probably has been overblown a bit because, well, it's a good story -- although players swear he's spending more time in meetings. I don't know, maybe he was seeking out his next movie role.
Rich, a lot of people are talking about Mark Sanchez?s laser beam focus as of late. Are you seeing it and do you think that will translate into 2012 success? I know you media guys probably don?t like the snub from Mark at this year?s Jets West, but as a fan I think it?s great that he is reducing the distractions whenever possible. (insert your Tebow joke here)
Rich Cimini (1:23 PM)
Honestly, I wasn't offended by the snub; makes life easier for me, actually. I try not to read too much into a player's focus in the offseason. It doesn't mean anything. Talk to me in October, when the player is up to his ass in alligators. I think that's a Parcells-ism, but I'm not sure.
Greg (Phoenix, AZ)
Hey Rich, I doubt it would happen, but Mike T should consider a trade for Percy Harvin. Proposed deal: Jeremy Kerley and a third round pick next year. Kerley is a nice player but Harvin is more explosive. He'd also help the running game as a threat on end arounds and reverses. Another player who could be a consideration is Oakland LB Rolando McClain. The Raiders are supposedly unhappy with him, his versatility would fit well with Rex's multiple front defenses. I'll put down my wannabe GM hat down now.
Rich Cimini (1:26 PM)
The Vikings wouldn't make that trade. That would be trading one of your best players for a 3 and a 5 (kerley's draft round). Even though they almost traded for him during the '09 draft, it makes zero sense to trade for Harvin. They drafted Hill. They don't need another big contract at WR ... on a running team, no less.
So all the dust has settled. The offseason drama is over and everyone can concentrate on football for a minute. If Sanchez improves even a little bit with his turn overs, there's a significant chance this team can be better. But, where we need more help than anywhere else is at Playmaker. We have zero playmakers on this offense. That's where this team falls short. Holmes can be a 2nd playmaker type, but he's not a primary. How do we fix this lack of explosiveness?
Rich Cimini (1:27 PM)
I agree, the offense is short on explosiveness -- now. I think Hill could develop into that guy. Keller has some big-play ability. Ditto, Holmes. Where they lack it the most is in the backfield.
MikeC (Astoria, NY)
Hey Rich, now that we have hit the dead period before training camp, I've got a two part question - 1) What position will/should the Jets address with a free agent signing before camp and 2) Anyway we see a surprising cut before or during camp? (i.e. Bart Scott). Thanks for all the hard work as always.
Rich Cimini (1:28 PM)
They need a blocking TE and I think they'll sign one eventually. Don't see any surprising cuts. Scott is sticking for 1 more year.
How is that new tight end from Australia doing? I never hear anything about him.
Rich Cimini (1:29 PM)
There's a reason why you never hear anything about Hayden Smith. He's struggling, but that was to be expected. It's a new sport for him.
Hey Rich, a lot of people are saying the jets don't have good enough running backs to do ground and pound, but i think that's where Tebow will help. Do you agree?
Rich Cimini (1:31 PM)
Absolutely. That's what they're thinking. That's why they're not gonna a sign a guy like Ced Benson. Tebow will be a factor. That's why they asked him to gain 10 lbs
Marc (Bloomfield, NY)
Rich -Good afternoon, it's a joy to follow your work. Are the Jets ever going to address the OLB / Pass Rusher role in their defense? They haven't taken one in the draft since Rex has been coach and they can't keep scheming pressure on opponents. Is this more Mike T. fault? It's been ignored too long, and this is the year it could hurt... Thoughts????
Rich Cimini (1:32 PM)
Here's how they're going to address it: More 4-3 fronts. On third down, they'll rush with Maybin/Pace outside, Wilk/Coples inside. They simply didn't have enough love for Ingram to take him at 16.
Ami (London UK)
The Jets have a strong defense and have had so for a while. Does this make it much harder for the Jets offense to get into any sort of rhythm during practices over the training camp and season? If they can't get anything going during practice with their own defense (given its relative strength), does it make it harder during game time vs. opposition?
Rich Cimini (1:34 PM)
Great question, Ami. I see what you're saying, but I think it helps in terms of preparation. If they can handle Rex's defense, with all its exotic blitzes and changing fronts, it can handle anything. It helps the offense with hot reads, protection adjustments, sight adjustments for receivers, etc.
Paul-Michael (Staten Island)
We know Bart Scott has upped his talk, but did he actually show a noticeable difference in OTAs?
Rich Cimini (1:36 PM)
Well, he didn't flip off any photogs, if that's what you mean. Yeah, he's moving better now that he lost the spare tire, but I'm not ready to call him Ponce De Leon just yet. (I hope I spelled that right.)
Thanks Rich, hope you have a nice vacation coming up. Do you think the anonymous voice of desertion in last years locker room just came out on "First Take" aka Plax? Did Sanchize have a good relationship with either Holmes or Plax last year?
Rich Cimini (1:37 PM)
Sanchez has no relationship with Holmes by the end of the year. On the field, Sanchez and Plax never were on the same page. Plax told friends he had little respect for Sanchez as a QB.
Hey, Rich. There were obvious leadership issues last season. Coming out of mimi-camp did you see any evidence of perhaps some surprise leaders for 2012?
Rich Cimini (1:39 PM)
Watch for Yeremiah Bell. I think Keller will step up. Mangold, too.
Don Draper (NY, NY)
Is Revis really willing to risk severe backlash by holding out for the third time? This isn't like last time. He's not on his rookie contract and the team was disappointing last year.
Rich Cimini (1:40 PM)
yes, I think he's willing to risk backlash. He knows he won't win much sympathy with this holdout, but I don't think that will be a huge factor in his decision.
Rich..love the unbiased analysis...question..do you truely believe the increased media exposure is bad for this team or do they thrive off it...didnt seem to help us in the mid '90's when noone cared
Rich Cimini (1:41 PM)
Thanks, Ray. Two years ago, the team thrived under the spotlight. I do think it has that gene in its DNA. But there's a difference between exposure and devisive behavior. Obviously, last year was a case of the latter.
Hi Rich, you listed the biggest trouble spots this week in the blog. I was surprised you didn't say RT, but that may have been number 6. I'm still concerned that they don't have good depth at RB, which for a running team, would seem pretty important. Do you see a weakness there ?
Rich Cimini (1:43 PM)
I'm glad someone asked about this. I probably wasn't clear in the explanation, but I was trying to pick out holes as opposed to weaknesses. We all know RT is a weakness, but Hunter isn't going anywhere. I was trying to pick out areas that still could be addressed.
Rich, Your gut feeling....Will the Jets not sign Keller next year, and use some of that $ for Revis' future boatload of a contract?
Rich Cimini (1:43 PM)
I honestly don't know, Jimmy. But I do know they could franchise Keller for about $5.5M to $6M.
Hi Rich. Happy Summer! I have serious concerns about depth at RB. An injury to Greene or McKight could mean big trouble for the running game. Ganaway is an unkown and Powell looks like a potenital bust. Do you see the Jets bringing in another RB?
Rich Cimini (1:44 PM)
You forgot to mention Mr. Tebow. He's part of the backfield picture, like it or not.
Kyle (Long Island)
What is your take on how these rookies will pan out for the future. Will Coples and Hill "boom" or "bust"? Also there is some talk about Demario Davis being a steal, what can you tell us about how you see him performing in this league?
Rich Cimini (1:46 PM)
Everybody's rookies look great this time of year. Coples and Hill looked great in "pajamas," as Tony Sparano calls OTA practices. I've heard positive things about Davis from opposing scouts. Very good speed, but lacks strong LB instincts. Will help in the sub package and on specialteams.
Brody (Clark NJ)
Would you take the over or under on 28TDs and 13INTs for Sanchez?
Rich Cimini (1:48 PM)
Definitely under on the 28 TDs. 13 INTs is close. that could be around the number. I'll say below, barely.
For the fan experience, what do you think is better- the mini camp or the up coming Cortland preseason?
Rich Cimini (1:49 PM)
No question, Cortland. Better sight lines, longer practice (for viewing purposes), Doug's Fish Fry nearby.
John (Hillsdale NJ)
Revis should tell the Jets he intends to play out his current deal and hit the open market. That would get him his long term deal by next year in somewhat of an amicable way - not holding the team hostage for the 3rd time of your career.
Rich Cimini (1:50 PM)
True, but there would be risk for him. Would he really play out '13 for "only" $6M if the Jets have a long-term offer on the table next spring?
Why not bring back Jim Leonhard? In my opinion, he's smarter and more valuable than Eric Smith.
Rich Cimini (1:51 PM)
It's the injury factor, Ryan. I love Leonhard, but they have three veteran safeties.
Ian (Boca Raton, Fl)
Rich, sounds like at the minicamps Tebow took all his reps at QB and special teams. Haven't heard of him lining up at TE or H-back. Do you think they will get more creative with him and line him up all over the field, or are we just looking at wildcat packages and punt protection?
Rich Cimini (1:52 PM)
I think, eventually, they'll try some gadget stuff. But I haven't seen it yet. Just wildcat and PP for now.
Do the Jets believe in their reclamation OLBs (Maybin and Sapp) as much as they say they do? Because otherwise, they really haven't done much to address that position.
Rich Cimini (1:52 PM)
The Jets always oversell their players, but I do think there's honest optimism with Maybin.
Kevin McGrath (Myrtle Beach, SC)
Howdy Rich,How do you see this Tebow v Sanchez stuff playing out especially early in camp?
Rich Cimini (1:53 PM)
It'll be a circus from a media standpoint, but there's no competition. Unless he gets hurt, Sanchez is the week 1 starter. Case closed.
Nick (Middletown, NJ) [via mobile]
Can Wayne Hunter block Mario Williams?
Rich Cimini (1:54 PM)
Sure he can block him. For 60 plays in a game? That part I'm not sure about.
Rich, does McKnight appear to be in shape? I like the idea of adding 15 pounds of "muscle", but McDonalds probably isnt the best route to take. Did he seem to be lagging behind conditioning wise again?
Rich Cimini (1:55 PM)
No, he appeared to be in shape. No barfing on the field this time. He's definitely thicker, you can see it. Gotta wonder about his quickness.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich, I think they are going to give Josh baker a chance to be that blocking TE. If he doesn't get it then they will sign a TE in August.Agree?
Rich Cimini (1:56 PM)
A 244-pound blocking TE?
Rich, How do you see the defensive game plan change if Revis holds out into the regular season?
Rich Cimini (1:57 PM)
Less safety help for Cromartie. They'd have to play the coverages straight up instead of rolling away from Revis. Wouldn't be fun for Pettine and Rex.
Rich Cimini (2:00 PM)
Well, that's it for me. I can happily report that I'm on vacation. Gonna enjoy some R&R and come back with the battery re-charged. Stay tuned for our Jets coverage on the blog because we'll definitely keep it fresh with some unique angles. Thanks for making these chat sessions a big hit. Obviously, you guys make it happen. Thanks, be safe and maybe I'll catch you on the beach. Rich
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