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March 25, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Rich Cimini

Rich Cimini
  (1:01 PM)

Greetings, football fans, thanks for stopping by. This is the lockout version of the Jets chat. Still plenty to talk about, though. So let's get going.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who is the Best & the Worst Quarterback for the New York Jets That you have ever seen?

Rich Cimini
  (1:04 PM)

Very interesting question, Chris. Let me preface my answer by saying, contrary to popular belief, I never saw Namath play. I started covering the Jets on a part-time basis around '87. Best season by a Jets QB: Testaverde, 98. Second-best season: Pennington, 02. Worst QB I've ever seen? That's easy: Browning Nagle, 92. He had an unbelievable arm, but he wasn't too bright and he didn't work hard.

matt (pittsburgh)

rich- will #99 be back next year for the green and white??

Rich Cimini
  (1:05 PM)

You're referring to Jason Taylor, of course. I know Rex Ryan opened the door a crack the other day, but I don't see it happening. They're probably going to draft a pass rusher, so there wouldn't be a need for JT.

Rich (New Jersey)

The Jets & Giants hook up in the regular season this year. I would like to see the game played every other year instead of every four years, what do you think?

Rich Cimini
  (1:08 PM)

Nah, once every 4 years is enough. But here's an interesting question: the first Sunday of the reg season is Sept. 11 --10-year anniversary of 9-11. (assuming the season starts on time.) Wouldn't it be cool to have Jets-Giants in the opener?

Dean (Ronkonkoma,N.Y.)

Hey Rich! Do the Jets target a specific position in the first round or do they take best player available.

Rich Cimini
  (1:10 PM)

Teams almost always draft for need, even though they say they don't. If free agency falls after the draft, this will be more of a "need" draft than ever before.

Mugsy (Strong Island)

Am i the only Jets fan that thinks Cromartie is completely overrated. It's absurd to me that the Jets would pay top dollar for a "Crocharmin" I would much rather keep Holmes and Braylon instead of losing one and keeping a soft corner with zero tackling ability.

Rich Cimini
  (1:13 PM)

I think you're being a little harsh on Cro. He has ridiculous talent and has lockdown ability when facing receivers that have the same skill set as he does -- long players with straight-line speed and a finesse style. Guys like Randy Moss. But Cro drove the coaches crazy because he gets lazy with his technique and doesn't use his long arms and strength to jam receivers; he plays soft at times. That said, there's still value for him. But I don't think the Jets are going to break the bank. I do think they'd rather re-sign Holmes and Edwards.

Matt G (River Plaza, NJ)

Hey Rich,I know they need to address there whole defensive line this offseason, but last year they got killed in the intermediate routes mainly against their safeties. Also, the defensive line all year had a hard time getting pressure on the QB without a pass rush, granted their defense is based on blitz schemes, the D-line gave no help. I was wondering if you think the Jets have a better shot at addressing there need for a pure pass rusher DE/OLB or a ballhawking safety in this year's draft?

Rich Cimini
  (1:15 PM)

I agree with pretty much everything you say, Matt, but keep in mind that the DEs and DTs in a 3-4 system usually aren't highly productive in terms of sacks. The numbers usually come from the OLBs or hybrid DE/OLBs -- like J Taylor's role. If they had a choice, good pass rusher or good safety, they'd go pass rusher every time.

Mike (NYC)

Forget about the lockout. Please talk about three things: 1) how the Jets could possibly vote for the new kickoff rule? Kick returns is a HUGE part of the Jets success. What are they thinking? 2) Who will be the starting WR's for the Jets next year: Edwards and Cotchery; Edwards and Holmes; or Holmes and Cotchery? 3) Pass rush? It really doesn't exist. we never sack anyone. How are we going to fix that?

Rich Cimini
  (1:18 PM)

1. I was surprised they voted for the KO rule. I think it shows management has a tremendous amount of faith in Mike Westhoff.2. Starting WRs -- tough call, depends on the CBA. I'll say Holmes and Edwards (if '10 CBA rules still apply)3. I believe the Jets were 10th in sacks, so it does exist. It just didn't exist consistently on third down.

tommy (mount pleasant, sc)

will the jets pick phil taylor, dt from Baylor ? could merge into another kris jenkins

Rich Cimini
  (1:19 PM)

I think that's a definite possibility, Tommy. Taylor has some detractors because he got off to a slow start in college (thrown out of Penn State), but he came on strong second half of '10 season and dominated at the Sr. Bowl. I don't know if he has Jenkins' athletic ability, but Taylor looks like a legit NT.

Paul (Erie)

the Jets are on the clock and Phil Taylor, Justin Houston, Akim Ayers & Rahim Moore are available. Who do the Jets take?

Rich Cimini
  (1:21 PM)

Putting me on the spot, eh? It would be Taylor or Ayers. Tough call. I'll say Ayers. Tomorrow I might say Taylor.

Marley Nelson (Roswell, GA)

What are the biggest changes the Jets need to make in order to get over the hump and into the Super Bowl?

Rich Cimini
  (1:22 PM)

Play two good halves in the championship game. I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, that's the truth. It would help to win the division, so they can get a home game.

Anthony (Bronx)

Hey Mr. Cimini, I have a quick question for you. Do you see the Jets possibly retaining all of their free agents? Or will they be in the market heavy like last year? Assuming they can agree to actually play football in 2011.

Rich Cimini
  (1:24 PM)

Hard to say, depends on the rules. If we're operating under the 2010 rules, I think they'll be able to retain a lot of them -- the RFAs. But they could be subject to the Final 8 rule again, which means can't sign a UFA until you lose a UFA.

thomas (Mount Pleasant, SC)

do you think Jerricho Cotchery will have to restructure his contract after back surgery so the jets can sign both Holmes and Edwards?

Rich Cimini
  (1:25 PM)

I don't think so. Again, it depends. Is there going to be a cap? If so, how much? I believe J-Co has a $1.8M base, which isn't outrageous. Don't see him re-working his deal.

Ben (fairfield, CT)

I am sure your basketball bracket is blown up so who do you like to win the NCAA Men's hockey tournament?

Rich Cimini
  (1:26 PM)

There's an NCAA men's hockey tournament?

Kaden (CA)

Rich, thanks for another chat. Two questions this week. Greedy, I know. 1. You get asked every day, but with info always subject to change. Holmes, Cromartie, Edwards, Smith-- what chance in percentages would you place on each returning with long term deals? Thanks. 2. Why are some, like Adam Schefter of ESPN and others starting to speculate free agency may not likely happen until June or after the draft? Won't the lockout end after the April 6th ruling? That allows free agency to begin, no?

Rich Cimini
  (1:29 PM)

Don't worry about being greedy, Kaden. There's a lot of that going around these days...As for your questions, it depends. If the '10 rules are in play, Holmes, Smith and Cro will definitely be back on 1-yr deals. And, yes, I think they'd get Braylon done to a long-term deal. If all 4 are UFAs (pre-2010 rules), I'd rank them this way: Holmes, Smith, Edwards and Cro...based on likelihood of returning...As for the April 6 injunction hearing, that's not necessarily open and shut. There could be appeals and more legal stuff.

Edward (nyc)

Between the need at safety and pass rusher, and how the Jets seem to keep being linked to Phil Taylor, Okeem Ayers, and Rahim Moore, is it likely the Jets will move up and get two guys in the first round?

Rich Cimini
  (1:30 PM)

I don't think they'll get 2 guys, but I could definitely see them moving up. Last year was more the exception than the rule. In fact, I'd be surprised if they didn't move up, but remember: They don't have a 2nd round pick as a bargaining chip.

James (New jersey )

Do you see the jets letting Cromartie go and giving Kyle Wilson and chance at cb this year?

Rich Cimini
  (1:32 PM)

This is a tough decision for the Jets: They want to get Wilson on the field, but they realize he struggled as the slot corner -- a foreign position to him. He has to play outside, but do you make him the starter and jettison Cro? tough call.

Tom P (Holmdel, NJ)

Hey Rich,I know #6 doesn't really ever post great stats, but who cares about stats when it's about #winning games. The fact that he had all of those late game comebacks this past season to me shows how much he has improved as a player and leader, ultimate poise. This was a HUGE step from last year, even though he won 2 road playoff games both seasons. How much of a step forward do you think Mark will take in his 3rd season as a pro?

Rich Cimini
  (1:34 PM)

I agree with everything you said, Tom. He's got onions, as Bill Raftery likes to say. However, he needs to improve his comp pct. I think it was 53 pct. That's not good enough on a team that plays ball control. He should be at least 60 pct. He will continue to improve and I think he'll get more control of the offense, but I don't think he's ever going to be a high-accuracy guy.

Mike K (New Jersey)

Hey Rich, I've been analyzing a lot of information over the past few weeks regarding the Jets draft strategy and potential prospects they could be targeting. Do you think it's logical for the Jets to trade up in this draft to select an Aldon Smith per se, in the middle of the first round? Now I know they don't have an array of early picks, but under Tannenbaum the Jets have traded up in 3 of 5 first rounds and 6 in the last 10 drafts... it's seemed to work well for them. They've also traded away quite a few future picks over the years. Is it possible the Jets package something along the lines of a future first to move up and grab one of these elite prospects, as they were rumored to try and do for Percy Harvin back in 2009?

Rich Cimini
  (1:36 PM)

I could definitely see a trade-up, but Smith would be risky for a 3-4 team. He's probably too small to play DE, but he has no experience at OLB. The 4-3 teams love him, though -- lot of raw potential.

PIN (Mt Olive NJ)

Do you think Sanchez will have some sort of mini camp with Keller and which ever recievers are currently on the roster?

Rich Cimini
  (1:37 PM)

Yeah, but it might be a small group. Cotchery has the back, Edwards, Smith and Holmes are free agents. It would be Sanchez, Keller, Turner and Cumberland? Now there's an interesting crew.

matt (orlando)

don't you think rex ryan should preach to the knicks regarding defense?

Rich Cimini
  (1:38 PM)

I love that idea. Knowing Rex, he'd full-court press the entire game.

Spencer (Brooklyn)

What's your take on the Shonn Greene? Is a legit feature back? During a late stretch in the 0910 season, he looked like he was emerging as a star. Seems like he took a step back last year, and now Rex is talking up McKnight.

Rich Cimini
  (1:39 PM)

Maybe Rex is talking up McKnight, in part, to light a little fire under Greene. This is a huge year for Greene. Right now, he's too inconsistent. Needs to come back in great shape and get focused. Methinks this lockout could hurt a guy like him.

Joe (PA)

Hey Rich, with all the speculation about free agency and the CBA being in '10 format, how hard do the Jets pursue Nnamdi, what kind of impact would this have on cromartie if we can't get nnamdi.

Rich Cimini
  (1:41 PM)

all depends on the cap -- if there is a cap. I don't think the Jets have ruled out Nnamdi. Is it a long shot? Totally, but never say never with Tannenbaum.

Greg (New Jersey)

why does rex ryan continue to guarantee a superbowl every offseason?

Rich Cimini
  (1:41 PM)

Because he's Rex.

thomas (Mount Pleasant, SC)

Rich, will marcus dixon be a starting DE this season? jets seem very high on him

Rich Cimini
  (1:42 PM)

Starting DE? That might be a bit of a reach, but you're right, the Jets are high on him. They like him and Ropati Pitoitua. Do they like them enough to not draft a DE in the first round? possibly.

Greg (New Jersey)

Do u think curtis martin will ever be in the pro football hall of fame?

Rich Cimini
  (1:44 PM)

He will make it next year. Bet on it. If he doesn't, I'll buy dinner for all you guys at my favorite restaurant in Cortland, NY, during training camp 2012.

Tim (Hoboken)

How do you see them filling the RT spot? Resigning Woody at a cheaper price? Also, do you see them bringing back Kris Jenkins? Both of these guys are high performers if healthy.

Rich Cimini
  (1:46 PM)

If Woody is healthy, which probably wouldn't be until June, I think it would be smart to re-sign him. The dude still can play. Will they? I think the plan is to have Ducasse and Hunter battle for the job. If they don't like what they see, maybe Woody comes to the rescue. I think Jenkins is more likely to come back. I know he's still rehabbing hard.

Jonny (L.A.)

You know, I would rather see the Jets move DOWN in the draft this year...perhaps trade back for a team with an early second round pick hoping to snag that last "elite" QB at 30. Any chance Mike T would consider trading back? He sure does love to move up...

Rich Cimini
  (1:47 PM)

I'd be stunned if he moved back. That's not in his DNA.

Anthony (NJ)

Rich, love your work. What do you think about "Big" Vlad stepping in at right tackle this year? Will he be able to hold up against premier pass rushers? How about in the running game? Will the Jets look to run more behind D'Brick, Slauson and Mangold?

Rich Cimini
  (1:50 PM)

I'll be honest, I have no idea if Ducasse can play RT. He played LT at UMass. He certainly has the size and physical skills to do it, but you never know. I will say this: I saw him in person the other day, working out in NJ, and he looks better than he did last year...not as plumpy.

PIN (Mt Olive NJ)

With the new KO rule, Wont that devalue Brad Smith? and make it a little cheaper for the Jets to resign him?

Rich Cimini
  (1:52 PM)

This will be interesting. Tannenbaum went on ESPN radio the other day, saying he still believes Smith will be a playmaker for the Jets. I wonder if he's signing the same tune at the bargaining table. Frankly, I think it does de-value Smith (and guys like him) in terms of the open market. So, yes, it probably enhances the Jets' chances of re-signing him.

Rob (Long Island)

Who are the Jets focusing on in the draft?

Rich Cimini
  (1:53 PM)

Outside defender (DE or OLB), NT, S and WR.

Michael (Amityville,NY)

Rich what's your opinion on Rex still throwing jabs at the Pats? I love him as our coach but I think he takes attention away from coaching when he continues to open his mouth

Rich Cimini
  (1:55 PM)

It's who he is, and it's not going to change. There's no doubt it takes away attention from his coaching, but I don't think he minds. It also takes pressure off his players, and I think that factors into his M.O.

Anthony (NJ)

Rich, love your work. How do you think the "Terminator" will do filling in at fullback? Do you think the running game will take a step back with the loss of T Rich?

Rich Cimini
  (1:56 PM)

He'll make the running game better. Conner is a very good blocker. They'll miss T-Rich's leadership, but leadership can't pancake a 260-pound linebacker in the B gap.

Joe (Manhasset, NY)

What are the chances the Jets move up in the draft and select someone like Von Miller? Also, what happened to their second round pick?

Rich Cimini
  (1:57 PM)

Not a chance in hell. The Jets would have to move up about 25 spots. To do that, they'd have to give up next year's No. 1 pick. Remember, can't trade players, only picks, without a CBA. Their second-round pick went to SD for AlCrotraz.

rich (florida )

whats new do you have on jim leonhard ?

Rich Cimini
  (1:58 PM)

Doing well, working out in Madison, Wis., from what I've heard.

Michael (NJ)

Rich, I see you think the Jets will go after an outside defender. Who do you/the Jets like? Personally, I like Justin Houston. My problem with Akeem Ayers is that he's not the fluent pass rusher the Jets need. Opinions?

Rich Cimini
  (2:00 PM)

I've talked to scouts from other teams who don't like Houston as an OLB in a 3-4. He's 270 and runs very well, and put up great numbers in the SEC, but he's very instinctive enough to play LB. Ayers is a good rusher, but he hurt his stock with a bad 40 times. He can play, though.

Anthony (NJ)

Rich, are you a fan of the Jets (like, do you actively root for them to win games), or is it all business?

Rich Cimini
  (2:00 PM)

It's all business, never personal. Isn't that a line from the 'Godfather"?

PIN (Mt Olive NJ)

Since the defense is still pretty much intact, do you think any of the players are going to have some sort of OTAs?

Rich Cimini
  (2:01 PM)

Haven't heard of anything just yet. Bart Scott told me there could be some stuff if this drags into OTA season -- May, June.

Joe (Manhasset, NY)

Rich, maybe losing out on a first round pick isn't so bad if you can get value. If they have a year like last year it won't be a high pick anyway. I don't think they can risk drafting a player like I can't get a pick that hits me right in the face Wilson again. Miller is can't miss. Could you tell Mr. T about it?

Rich Cimini
  (2:03 PM)

I will send Mike an e-mail, telling him Joe from Manhasset wants Miller. A few years ago, Larry David (yes, the comedian/writer), told Mike to trade up for Vince Young. Good thing he didn't listen ... On that note, I'm going to check out. Thanks for the insightful questions. Never ceases to amaze me how much interest there is in the Jets even in a lockout. Have a great day! Rich