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July 16, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Rich Cimini

Clay D (NY)

The Jets are slotted at number 4 in the ESPN rankings. Is this too high or too low?

Rich Cimini
  (12:01 PM)

Hey, everybody, welcome back to another Jets chat session. Hope evertyone is enjoying their post-LeBron summer. Training camp is around the corner, so let's get to the questions. Batting leadoff is Clay D. Yes, Clay, No. 4 is too high for the Jets. People tend to forget they were a 9-7 team last season that came oh-so-close to missing the playoffs. I haven't ranked the teams yet, but I'd have to put somewhere in the eight to 12 range.

Steve (NYC)

Why haven't reporters given Revis a hard time about his "put food on the table" comment like they did for Latrell Sprewell who got killed for those comments? It's an insult to people struggling in this economy.

Rich Cimini
  (12:03 PM)

You raise an interesting point, Steve. When I hear an athlete use that phrase, I cringe, regardless of the state of the economy. It's an unfortunate way to express their feelings and I think many athletes understand that. I just think they've heard it used so many times that it's almost become part of the modern athlete's jargon, and that's too bad.

choo choo coleman (new york)

Rich, Do you think that because the Jets did not give Leon washington an incentive ladden contract instead of trading him and showing no loyalty or faith in him has affected revis, Mangold, harris and their positions about renegotiation?

Rich Cimini
  (12:06 PM)

Choo Choo, I think it has had some sort of effect. In fact, I wrote about that very subject just recently. I think it was an eye-opening experience, seeing a teammate, in a contract year, suffer such a devastating injury -- and then get shipped out like a FedEx package. I think it underscored the fickle nature of the game, how things can change in a nanosecond.

Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)

Dear RichCould you see Dick McPhearson returing to the NCAA to coach?

Rich Cimini
  (12:08 PM)

Chioke, as a Syracuse alum and someone close to the football program, I can tell you with 100% certainty that Mac is done coaching. He had a great career and was enshrined last winter in the College Football Hall of Fame, an honor he deserved. Sorry, couldn't resist. Now back to the Jets.

mark (sarasota, fl)

hey rich, i'm a long time fan of your jets coverage. i think losing a couple of veterans like thomas jones and faneca stug for a while in the beginning, but LT and jason taylor are stong enough leaders to keep the locker room tight. i'd like your opinion on revis. he's obviously one of the best cornerbacks but rex ryans system has to get some of the credit. do you think he w/ continue at this level or let last year go to his head. lets face it, a facebook page "revis christ" is a bit TO like...

Rich Cimini
  (12:11 PM)

Thanks for the kind words, Mark. Now to Revis ... No, I don't think last year will go to his head. Revis is known for his work ethic and competitiveness and I don't think he's going to rest on his laurels. I believe he's in Arizona as we speak, working out with other NFL players under the supervision of training gurus. That said, it's entirely possible that he may not be as good as last year. In terms of cornerback play, it was almost the perfect season, hard to duplicate. If he slips a half-notch, it won't be because his head is too big.

Billy (Weston, FL)

Hi, Rich. Do you think that the back-up QB position will be a major area of focus for the team next offseason? Doesn't seem like anyone has much faith in O'Connell or Ainge at this point.

Rich Cimini
  (12:12 PM)

Hi, Billy. Yes, I think it has to be an area of focus. I think O'Connell is on thin ice and Ainge is ... well, we don't know what he is. It might be time in 2011 to invest a mid- to late-round pick on a QB.

Rob Monticello, ny [via mobile]

When are the jets going to announce their training camp schedule

Rich Cimini
  (12:16 PM)

You know, Rob, I'm wondering the same thing. You would think the team would've announced it already, considering a lot of fans probably are going to plan their vacations around a trip to Cortland. What I know is this: First practice is Aug. 2. They'll practice until Aug. 14, then return to NJ for the Monday night opener against the Giants, then return to Cortland until the 19th or 20th. At that point, they will break camp. I don't have the times for practices, but they usually practice at 8:30 and 3:00-ish on double days. Hope that helps a little.

mike raposa jets fan from boston (new bedford mass)

with all the talk goin around about Revis, do u think the jets will get him signed before the season starts, or will this turn into a mess, and how do u think the jets will do this year, overall record, thanks

Rich Cimini
  (12:19 PM)

No, Mike, I don't think Revis will be signed to a new contract before the start of camp. Will he hold out? Contrary to a recent report, I don't think he's made that decision. I think it'll go down to the wire, depending on how the talks are going. Remember, if he skips, his $20 guarantee for '11 and '12 becomes non-guaranteed. That will be a big factor in his decision. As for an overall record, that's a tough call. Lots of moving parts right now. I think the team has 10- to 12-win talent, but talent doesn't always guarantee success.

Adam (Long Island)

Hey Rich, Thanks for taking my question. Do you think there will be a big dropoff in production from the offensive line with the absence of Faneca? Was his play really slipping? How do you think Ducasse looks so far?Best,Adam

Rich Cimini
  (12:23 PM)

Hey, Adam. The OL will be hard pressed to duplicate last season's numbers; it was that good. But this is still a very good group, capable of dominating against certain opponents. Yes, Faneca was slipping, especially in pass protection. Even so, I thought they should've kept him, especially on a team built to win now. Ducasse is an impressive physical specimen and, from what the players tell me, he has the right attitude and demeanor. For me, it'll come down to how he performs when the lights are on in the preseason.

Andrew (Oceanside)

Is there any higher position than OLine Coach the Jets can promote Callahan to if Schott is still OC? I'm more afraid of losing Callahan than Schott.

Rich Cimini
  (12:23 PM)

Actually, Callahan is the assistant head coach and, from what I hear, Rex Ryan leans on him because of his past head-coaching experience.

Bill (Long Beach)

How much of a contribution does Joe McKnight make this year?Does he suit up for the first three games?

Rich Cimini
  (12:27 PM)

If I had to bet, I'd say he doesn't suit up for the first couple of games -- unless he wins a job as a kickoff returner. And I don't see that happening. McKnight has a lot to learn, especially in the areas of blocking, pass protection and blitz recognition. He has talent when the ball is in his hands, but he must learn to play without the ball. So, no, I don't see him as a factor early -- unless Tomlinson or Greene gets hurt.

Rich (Orlando, FL)

do you think the Jets are set at RB? For a team that ran the ball 600+ times a year ago Greene, LT & McKnight seems a little sketchy to me. Thoughts?

Rich Cimini
  (12:30 PM)

They'll be set if Shonn Greene can stay healthy, carry the ball 15 to 18 times a game and prove last season wasn't a fluke. He has scary talent, but there's a big difference between doing it over 5 games and doing it over 16 games. If they have to rely on Tomlinson, they're in trouble. I see him as a situational player at this stage in his career.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Which statement is more accurate?: "The Jets won because of Mark Sanchez." or "The Jets won in spite of Mark Sanchez."

Rich Cimini
  (12:32 PM)

Good question, J.B. Last season, it was definitely the latter, and I think even Sanchez would admit that. This year, the team is hoping there are a few more "because ofs" and a few less "in spite ofs." Of course, if they're winning, they'll be happy no matter how it gets done.

Ryan (Fairfax, VA)

Who will have a bigger year in terms of production: Braylon Edwards or Dustin Keller?

Rich Cimini
  (12:35 PM)

Hmm, this sounds like a Fantasy question. I'd say Edwards. I think this is going to be a wide receiver-driven passing game and, based on the offseason workouts, Edwards seems poised for a bounce-back year. He has the talent, it's just a matter of cutting down on his drops. Keller is kind of an enigma, and it's not all his doing. He has game-changing talent -- we've all seen that -- but he disappears for stretches. Part of that is Sanchez, who acted most of last season like the TE didn't exist. They connected in the postseason, obviously, so maybe that's a harbinger. If you're asking for better numbers, I'd say Edwards.

Ryan (Albany)

How are you feelings on the attempted switch of Vernon Gholston to DE? I realize he's unfamiliar with it's role in a 3-4 scheme, and is undersized to be taking up 1 or 2 OL for blitzing teammates, but I'd like to think that he has some drive left in him and won't be hanging out with Jamarcus Russell in a year.

Rich Cimini
  (12:38 PM)

You're right about him being undersized and unfamiliar with the role, but it can't hurt, right? The Jets have depth issues on the line, and it was clear that Vernon wasn't working out at OLB. So why not? Is he going to have a breakout year with double-digit sacks? No way, but if he can give them 10-15 solid snaps off the bench, spelling Shaun Ellis, the coaches would be happy.

Mark (Parts Unknown)

Hi Rich, my feelings on the Jets are mixed. I see all the talent in the world on this team but with all the excitement and hype from the Hard Knocks exposure can this team come together in such a short time to form a cohesive unit. last year they put it together almost being a rag tag bunch of underdogs this year they aren't gonna sneak up on anyone.

Rich Cimini
  (12:39 PM)

Well put, Mark. You summarized the 2010 storyline in one paragraph.

Vinny (Stony Brook, NY)

Hey Rich, I have been a fan of yours back to when I met you when I was student at Sachem High School - South and you spoke at their career night. I know you have written about it and answered other Jets fans questions, but will Mr. T & Co be able to sign Revis, Mangold and Harris and does it happen before or during training camp or during the season?

Rich Cimini
  (12:44 PM)

Thanks, Vinny, I hope I didn't poison any young minds back at my old alma mater. Frankly, I don't see Mangold and Harris getting new contracts this year. The organization is using the uncertain CBA as the reason, but I also think it's a cash flow issue as well. Revis? As I said earlier, I don't see it getting done by the start of camp. Beyond that, you would think both sides would be able to come to their senses and find a middle ground on a deal that is fair for the player and the team. Then again, Team Revis and the Jets have battled before (see his '07 holdout), so anything is possible. I think it turns ugly before it gets better.

matt (long island)

Hey Rich, do you think the jets have a legitimate chance at making a deep playoff run this year??

Rich Cimini
  (12:46 PM)

Sure, why not? They did it last year. Get hot at the right time (and being lucky never hurts) and anything is possible. To me, the difference between being a cotender and an also-ran comes down to one thing: Mark Sanchez. Can he take the next step? That's it in a nutshell.

Alex (Babylon)

Rich, first thatnks for keeping us Jets fans informed, you do a great job. Second I'd like your thoughts on a theory of mine: I believe the Fullback is the single most underrated position in football. Adrian Peterson, Warrick Dunn, Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson, and LT are all examples of backs who had career years behind some of the league's top fullbacks, then fell off to one degree or another when their lead blockers left or began to age. With LT having less linebackers to worry about this year now that he's got a lead blocker again, do you think he'll enjoy a renaisannce year?

Rich Cimini
  (12:50 PM)

Interesting topic, Alex. I have spoken to people close to the Chargers who believe Tomlinson's falloff can be traced, in large part, to the team's decision to dump FB Lorenzo Neal. That said, I don't think you're going to see a ton of two-back sets from the Jets. I don't know the exact figure, but I believe Richardson played about 50% of the snaps last year. I don't see that going up. Plus, now with 3 proven wideouts (when Holmes returns from his 4-game suspension), I can see them using a lot of "11" personnel -- 1 RB, 1 TE and 3 WRs.

Richard (Todd, AL)

Huge Revis fan but how much of his rep is helped by the Rex's pressure up front? Seems like it made everyone in the secondary better last year

Rich Cimini
  (12:56 PM)

Love your ID, Richard. This is the chicken-and-egg question. Was it the pressure or the coverage? The Jets didn't have a lot of sacks (bottom third of the league, I believe), but I believe Rex when he says the pass rush wasn't as bad as the numbers indicated. They confused and pressured a lot of QBs with exotic blitz packages, forcing the ball to come out sooner. But don't minimize what Revis did. He covered the No. 1 receiver and was tested -- a lot. It's not like teams avoided him, which is what happens to most top corners. I think he was among the most-tested corners in the league, yet he gave very little ground. So, to answer, I'd say it's combination, with an edge toward Revis' coverage.

Trevor Gill (Ossining NY)

What is the biggest weakness of this team, and what is the greatest strength?

Rich Cimini
  (12:59 PM)

The greatest strength is the defense and the ability of the defensive coaching staff to put players in the right places. Biggest weakness? Not counting the kicking situation, it has to be the passing offense. Sanchez isn't out of the growing-pain stage, just yet.

Alex (Strong Island)

Rich, I liked all the moves the Jets made this offseason, but what worries me most is the one they didn't: getting another quality run-stuffing DE to replace Marques Douglas. Who do you think will start at DE opposite Ellis on 1st & 2nd down this year, and will the Jets' unproven backups along the D-Line be a problem this season?

Rich Cimini
  (1:01 PM)

You're right, Alex, I think they're thin on the DL. The starting ends are Ellis and Mike DeVito, an under-rated player. But I have a hunch we might see Marques Douglas again. He's still a free agent and, obviously, no one else wants him. I can see him re-signing before or during camp.

shane (cambridge ohio)

are fans going to show up in New York for the superbowl if its 5 degrees and snowing sideways when it comes that time and will it effect any of the media coverage?

Rich Cimini
  (1:04 PM)

They'll show up if they drop a grand on a ticket. And, no, it won't affect the media coverage. We'll be warm and toasty as we rip the NFL for having a cold-weather Super Bowl ... Well, that's a wrap, folks. Pretty good turnout today, considering we're still two weeks away from football. Thanks for the questions and have a great weekend! Rich