Hey, everybody. Here we go, real football. I'm looking forward to Sunday night, and I'm sure you are, too. So let's go.
What will be the Jets biggest headache on Sunday night, the Cowboys offense or defense?
The offense. Dallas has outstanding talent at the skill positions, better than the Jets, I think. They will attack all areas of the field. Their problem is, the OL is in a state of flux.
Rich, After watching Cobb last night you could see why the Jets were high on him. Do you think Kerley can be that type of player for the Jets?
Cobb was moving like it was a video game; incredible in the open field. I don't know if Kerley has that much pure speed, but kerley is elusive.
how come the jets did not pursue Brandon Meriweather? They need all the help they can get in covering tightends and the slot
Ryan likes Smith and Leonhard. The Jets don't want to pay for safeties and they require their safeties to be smart. There's no way Meriweather could've learned the nuances of the system fast enough to play within the structure of the scheme.
How well do you think the Jets match up against the Patriots?
Do they play the Patriots this week?
Hey Rich - Do you see the Jets opening up the offense a bit more on Sunday night and attacking the depleted Dallas secondary? Sanchez has improved his decision making and we have all these weapons, I think it's time we use them.
I agree, Danny. They should go after the Dallas secondary. I don't think Newman will play, but Jenkins looks like he will ... but he's rusty and banged up. Look for a lot of 3 WR. They need to set an early tone and make Dallas adjust to them, not vice versa.
Hi Rich- Seems to me the Jets (1) lack explosiveness on offense, (2) Have no pass rush from the front 7 which diverts the secondary to have to help generate it through scheming & then exposes them in the middle of the field, and (3) Has an inferior O line compared to last year that will cost them big time (refer to #1 above). I see them stepping back to 10-6 and not even making the AFC Championship game. Didn't Bill Parcells once say "if you are not getting better, you are getting worse"? Doesn't that summarize the Jets - they are not better so they will end up not equaling the last 2 seasons production
A lot of good points, Robert, and I agree with most of them. However, I think they'll get enough pass rush and I wouldn't write off the OLine just yet. But they're counting on improvements from Sanchez, the passing game, the secondary and Greene. btw, I also picked 10-6.
Could you ever see the Jets winning an offensive shootout with teams like the Pack or the Saints similar to what was on display last night? That was very scary to watch. Not many teams could. Maybe the Pats or the Chargers and they both have just enough defense to make some key stops. Not even certain Indy with a healthy Peyton could keep up. Either the Saints or Packers could score at will against the Colts.
No, I don't think the Jets could win a game like that. You're talking about 2 of the top 4 QBs in the league. Plus, that's not the Jets' style.
Hey Rich big fan of yours...you only have the Jets going 10-6 this season while none of the other ESPN analysts have them better than 11-5. What do the Jets have to do to go at least 12-4 and win the AFC East?
Thanks, Alex. It's simple: If Sanchez improves, the Jets will be significantly better. The defense will be good to very good, but not dominating. if Sanchez steps up, it'll take pressure off the O-line and allow Schotty to use more of his playbook. They also need to stay healthy. Very thin on OL, DL and LB,
Yo Rich. Look forward to your chats! Think they're cool. Ok, Plax is back in the news for a recent interview where he talks of Giants Coach Coughlin. What I want to know is, are football players these days (maybe even ALL pro athletes) more responsive to the "I'm with you in the foxhole" style of Rex Ryan than the old school Mad-As Hell approach of Coughlin? Do you see differences in how players act around the different styles? Quite honestly, I myself, as simply a fan, feel like I'd actually do whatever Ryan wanted of me because of his personality but could always take or leave someone cold like Mangini...
It's an interesting point, Sal. Belichick is old school and, obviously, his way works. Coaches like Belichick, Coughlin motivate through fear, discipline. guys like Rex create a sense of team and belonging. Players tell me they don't want to disappoint him, so that's why they want to win for him. Different ways to skin a cat.
Just wondering if you and everyone else out there got a chance to hear Mike Francesa blast Rex yesterday over the "Cowboy fan"coming into Met Life Stadium. Do you agree that Francesa totally has overblown the situation?
I'll be honest, I didn't hear Francesa's comments, but I heard about them. Sounds like he made too much of the situation. Rex's comments were unfortunate. Whether it meant them or not (most certainly he didn't mean it the way it came out), it was an unfortunate choice of words. But Francesa is a two-faced boob, because he's looking for anything to shred Rex.
Rich.. who do you think revis and cromartie will cover? who's going to be on Whitten because he scares me most?
Witten scares the Jets, too. He's Romo's go-to guy, especially on third down. Personally I'd put Revis on Austin; he's more of a well-rounded receiver than Dez. Dez is a vertical threat and Cromartie usually does well against those types. It wouldn't surprise me the CBs just play left and right. Witten will be a team effort -- safeties and linebackers. Who knows? Maybe they use an extra corner on him.
Lady Antebellum? Seriously? Its New Jersey! Where is Springsteen?
I couldn't agree more. Springsteen or Bon Jovi.
Are there any last minute moves Mike T can make to aid (solving seems impossible) the pass rush issue? How did an entire offseason (no matter how short) go by without any progress on our glaring tumor? We have no reason to believe- based on the preseason that this will be better this year.
The pass rush is what it is ... ain't getting any impact players at this point. But I think this whole pass rush thing is overblown; the Jets finished 8th in sacks last season. That's not bad. They'll generate a rush w/ blitzing and confusing looks, just like they always have. I think Jets fans need to get over this PR thing and move on.
Rich, I am getting annoyed by people knocking you because you don't always write positive things about the Jets. I am a Jet fan and feel like you are pretty subject and they seem to have thin skin. Your thoughts?
Thanks, John, I appreciate your thoughts, but I can take it. It comes with the territory.
You recently said the Jets will finish 10-6? That's worse than last year. They'll have an improving Mark Sanchez, a healthy Revis, Pace and Holmes for the whole season. How did you come up with that?
Fair question: Tell me where they're better in terms of personnel? Sanchez will be better, yes, but I don't think the people around him are better. They have depth issues. They have age at WR and LB, and speed issues at those positions. Plus, NE is still really good. Buffalo is better. Miami, not so much.
Do you see the JETS making more trades? What do you thing of Briggs?
I wouldn't rule out anything. Remember, they got Braylon after four games in '09. They have plenty of cap room, so Tanny can wheel and deal, if necessary. Briggs doesn't fit the scheme. He's a 4-3 OLB. could play inside in 3-4, but the Jets have Harris and Scott.
Hey Rich, great work as always. I'm a pessimistic Jets fan coming into this season. I feel that the team went backwards. They did not improve the offensive line, the front seven in terms of upgrading their speed and the running game is not as good as Rex thinks it is. My prediction is 8-8 or 9-7. Your thoughts. Thanks.
They're better than that. This is a smart, tough, veteran team and I can't see them dropping to .500 unless there's a rash of injuries.
Rich- How much of an improvement can we expect in the Jets pass rush this season???? After watching Rodgers and Brees last night it just seems you cant blitz on every down.
No, you can't. I wouldn't be surprised if the Jets blitz less this season. They took that approach in the playoffs and it worked.
how does Plaxico look on his ankle? is he able to make quick cuts, and have there been any adverse effects in practices
The media only see the first 30 minutes of practice. Plaxico looks fine.
Rich, Give us your prediction for Joe McKnight. Will he produce?
If he could just stay focused, he'd be a solid contributor. He has the ability to make plays in space, and the Jets need a guy like that. But my hunch is, he gets lost in the shuffle.
Hey Rich, do you think that the Jets don't allow Sanchez to throw med/deep enough? And if so will there be a lot more this year? Thanks.
Forget deep, he needs to do a better job of throwing short. As I wrote the other day, his "short" numbers (under 11 yards) are among the worst in the league.
Hi Rich, The final roster moves really confused me. They let go of a number of O Lineman that went through camp and traded for a rookie who would have been cut anyway. Then they trade away an experienced Lowry because they were deep at safety and then pick up a cut safety from Dallas. They draft Scotty McKnight which seems completely wasted and pick up another unkown with Gilyard. What's the philosophy around thinking another teams rookie cuts will be more successful than thier own ?
You make some great points, Oz. This team has a ton of cap room and they didn't spend any on an experienced OLM. I mean, Baxter? Schlauder-what's his name? Those are project guys. They'd better hope the starters don't get hurt because this will come back to bite them because Ducasse isn't ready. I can see the McKnight/Gilyard move because McKNight was a special teams player; Gilyard is. I think they'll miss Lowery. All he did was make plays, but they felt he didn't fit the system.
If Sanchez has the same type of year he had last year, do you think the jets go after another quarterback? (I wish they had waited a year for Bradford)
Absolutely not. He'll be here for some time.
Do the Jets get any unexpected pass rush out of Wilkerson, Ellis or Westerman?
I wouldn't expect much out of Wilkerson or Ellis; I don't think they'll be put in those positions. They'd better get some from Westerman. he's the so-called DPR, according to Ryan. Frankly, I don't see it.
Does this years' defense has a chance to be better than 09? Rex Ryan's 1st year??
That'll be tough, that was an outstanding defense. The pass defense was off the charts, and, remember, they started the year with Lito Sheppard as the other CB. And they also had Kerry Rhodes, who apparently wasn't the liability everyone made him out to be. This current defense is good, but it'll be tough to top those numbers from '09.
Hey Rich, would you take the over or under for Derrick Mason at 700 yards?
I'd say under. To get 700, he'd have to catch about 65 balls. That'll be tough.
Do you think the Jets can go 3-0 this month
Have you been to the Smashburger yet?
Not yet. I've heard good things from other writers. I'll try next week. Thanks for reminding me, though.
Hey Rich - What have you seen out of Mo Wilkerson? Do you think he can get to the QB and hold up against the run?
I wouldn't count on a lot of sacks, but I do think he'll play well vs. the run. Initially, he'll have some trouble recognizing blocking schemes, but that happens to all rookies. He's a tough kid with great size. I think he'll be fine. But you're going to see a 5-man rotation on the DL. Coaches really like Ropati and Dixon off the bench.
Do you see Ellis being active and in the DL rotation? What about O'Connell now the 3rd QB rule is changed, do they activate him or a skill player?
My hunch is, yes, Ellis will be the 6th DLM this week, probably used in goal line and short yardage. I honestly don't know about O'Connell. I'd dress him, you never know.
Finding a way to control Witten, I think, will be enormous for the Jets on Sunday...they can't possibly cover him straight up with an LB, in my opinion...how will they deal with this on Sunday?
Witten is the key because I think Revis and Cro will be able to handle Dez and Austin. I think E Smith will get witten most of the time, but they'll change it up. gotta stop Witten, especially on third down.
You couldnt carry Francesa's jock
You're right, I probably couldn't.
With 10 million under the cap, why is that the Jets seem content to stay so thin at OL and LB
I feel the same way. What are they saving the money for? A rainy day?
Rich, Do you see Wilson being the nickel all year or does Strickland move in front of him at some point ?Lets not foget about this weekend and all those who aren't with us anymore.God Bless the USA
I don't think Wilson is a lock to stay in the nickel all year. Could easily see Strickland there. And you're right, Ira, let's remember the significance of this weekend. Let's all take a moment to remember.
How many sack's will Calvin Pace have this year??
I'd put him down for 8 to 10.
Hi Rich, Everyone made a big deal about Rex's comments about Cowboy fans coming to the game. It was being construed as a threat from Rex. You guys are around him pretty regularly and have gotten to know him right? Do you personally believe he was really condoning any abuse of those fans or threatening them, implied or otherwise ? I realize some idiot fan could take it that way and he probably shouldn't have said it, but I really don't believe he said it with malicious intent the way he was portrayed in a couple of articles and on the radio.
He did not say it with malicious intent. It was Rex being Rex, trying to be glib, trying to be the tough guy. That said, he should recognize his power in this town. His words carry a lot of influence. He needs to filter himself a little better, but, no, he wasn't encouraging fan violence.
How will Rex slow down Garretts potent offense? They have too many weapons, plus Felix is due for a good game
Jets slow it down by confusing the untested Oline. They've spent a lot of time preparing for screens and quick throws by Romo. Garrett is going to do everything he can to relieve pressure from his Oline. Jets better watch Felix on screens, he'll kill 'em if they don't tackle.
In last year's playoffs, the Jets were able to get pressure on Brady by only rushing 4 guys sometimes and playing more zone in the secondary. Do you see them using this strategy more this year?
Yes, I do.
How has Jim Leonard looked this preseason? When he went down last year, I thought we were doomed. Getting him back seems like it should be a big deal, but not much ink on him so far. No (or not much) news = good news? Is he 100 percent?
He looks fine.
why did the Jets cut MTV? I remember you mentioning he would most likely be the back up DT over Ellis
Good call. MTV worked ahead of Ellis all summer. Go figure.
do you agree with joe namath, that plax wont last the whole season?
Yes, there will be nagging injuries.
Rich, what are your thoughts on pitoitua? He looks like a beast and now that he's healthy, do you see him contributing to the lacking pass rush?
He's definitely going to contribute. You'll see him in certain sub packages.
So Rich, give me a prediction for Sunday Night. How do you see the game breaking out, and who wins?
I picked the Jets ... 20-17, I think. They will exploit Dallas OL instability and newness of Rob Ryan defense. Banged up CBs, too. Jets won't win a blowout because ... well, that's not how they roll.
Hey Rich how could you think the defense will not be dominant in 2011? Last year we brought in a couple of new faces but were returning 10 of 11 starters and a lot of talented playmakers. Just looking for your thoughts. Thanks for the time
Honestly, I don't think there are any dominant defenses in the NFL. To be dominant, you need to get the QB...and that's not the Jets' style.
It seems like every time they play a team with a "depleted secondary" we talk about how the Jets will be able to attack it, until the game starts and they check down. Then we wonder "why aren't they challenging them?" Is there any reason to think this opener won't be different than last years, in terms of approach at least? (I do think the raven's were a tougher opponent than the cowboys)
Great question, Benjy. Check out my article today on Sanchez...the coaches are putting a lot of trust in him.
Which of the beat writers won this year's roster pool?
Unfortunately, we didn't have one...first time in 20-something years. I don't think it's allowed in the new CBA.
If the Jets strength is the DL guys why not play more 4-3 base D's to get the big boys on the field?
I think they will.
Rich do you think Schotty has learned his lesson from last years Baltimore and Packers games when he used all his extra time to over prepare, and will just call a smart game Sunday night.
Lesson learned...I think.
True or false - if Sanchez and Greene step up into the Top 10 at their positions, and the Jets stay relatively healthy, they'll be in the Super Bowl this year?
yes, I would agree with that.
Do you see Cromartie having a better or worse season than last year? and do you see the Jets defense creating more turnovers, specifically INTS?
He'll be better. He knows the system and, yes, there will be more INTs.
That's all for me, guys. Thanks again for the great questions. Enjoy the game Sunday night (no matter what color jersey you choose to wear) and stop by next Friday. Have a great weekend! Rich