Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

September 23, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Rich Cimini

Rich Cimini
  (12:02 PM)

Afternoon, everybody. Thanks for joining me. Interesting week for the Jets. Let's get started.

Jeff (cleveland)

Is bringing back damien woody a possibility to help the o-line?

Rich Cimini
  (12:03 PM)

No, for many reasons. 1, I think Damien is very happy in his gig with ESPN. 2, it would take him a while to get back into football shape. 3, the jets still think Hunter can get it done. We'll see.

Sal (San Diego)

Hi Rich...do you see the Jets doing a lot of 1 - 3 step drops this week in order to protect Sanchez? Also, by the sound of things, Baxter seems to have a lot of upside. Am I write in saying that though he may not be the best player right now, the coaches see him as developing into a very good line man?

Rich Cimini
  (12:05 PM)

You're right, Sal, the coaches see him as a player with upside. he's never going to be a Mangold, but they like his potential. That said (and I wrote this the other day), I think this isn't a good spot for a neophyte C. They should've signed a vet after Turner got hurt.

Peter (NYC)

Rich - with the Jets o-line banged up and running game off to a slow start, should we expect to see a lot of quick passes (LT out of the backfield, quick slants to Holmes, etc)?

Rich Cimini
  (12:07 PM)

It'll be interesting to see how the Jets attack Oak. Buffalo ran all over them by spreading the field. That's not the Jets' forte. But I could see perimeter runs with LT and maybe even McKnight. It'll be hard to run up the middle b/o no Mangold, so why not run outside? I think LT will be a factor in this game.

Peter (NYC)

Is Rex starting Baxter (instead of Slauson at center and Ducasse at guard) a statement about the lack of faith they have in Ducasse or is more about switching 1 position instead of 2?

Rich Cimini
  (12:09 PM)

Slauson has played only 3 plays at center in his life (09 at Tampa). Yes, it would be weakening 2 positions, but they'll move Slauson there if Baxter's overwhelmed.

Gavin (New York)

If the Jets don't get any production from Burress or Mason this week against Oakland, do you see them placing a call to Randy Moss or to any other receiver out there.

Rich Cimini
  (12:09 PM)

No way. That's the last thing they need, another mouth to feed.

Paul (Erie)

Hey Rich, On a chat right before the season you scoffed at my idea of the Jets using Cromarti as their main return man. Now what do you think?

Rich Cimini
  (12:10 PM)

sorry for scoffing, Paul. I still don't love the idea. Cro is too valuable on defense, but he's a good KOR and I think Westhoff is pushing to have him back there. And I think Cro likes doing it.

Mark (San Jose)

Greene had a great day against that "soft Jags D" Chris Johnson didn't touch the ball enough and isn't in shape yet. How about Greene this time @ Oakland? Can he have back to back solid games?

Rich Cimini
  (12:12 PM)

I don't think Greene had a great day at all. Truth be told, I thought the running game was mediocre vs. Jax's 7-man fronts. They played almost the whole game w/ 2 deep safeties and the Jets still couldn't get anything going.

Billy (NY, NY)

hey, Rich. So who will making the calls on the o-line this week in Mangold's absence? Baxter?

Rich Cimini
  (12:12 PM)

It'll be a group effort, with Moore and Slauson picking up a lot of it. Baxter will make some, too.

Derek Hamilton (Waterloo, Canada)

You mentioned the other day that Buffalo had success in running the ball in spread formations against the raiders. I have long questioned running the ball in non spread formations. What are the advantages of running the ball when not spreading the defense out and why do the Jets do it so often?

Rich Cimini
  (12:17 PM)

Great question, Derek. The advantage of a spread is you get the defense with their "little" people (extra Dbs) on the field. The disadvantage is that is that you have only 5 or 6 blockers and, if you decide to pass (you can't run all the time), it would expose the QB. The JEts may have an advantage with their 3 TE package. They get Oak in their base personnel with big people, then split out Keller and Cumberland -- two quasi-WRs. That's a tough cover for the defense.

Kevin (Long Island)

Rich, is Mangold going to make the trip to Oakland just in case, or are the Jets ruling him out completely?

Rich Cimini
  (12:19 PM)

I'm not at camp today and haven't heard the latest from Rex, but they're expected to rule him out. No way do they want to put him on a cross country flight. The Jets knew on Sunday he wasn't going to play, they just let the charade go for a few days out of respect for Mangold and his streak. Just checked: Mangold officially out for the game. Will not travel.

Jimmy (Huntington)

Rich, I know I keep bringing this up....I can't believe the Jets haven't added any FA O-linemen....With that said..... I've got to believe Mr.T is up to something. The Jets are under the cap; could a trade be coming soon? What if they were to upgrade the rb position......Maurice Jones-Drew is currently in year 3 of a 5 year deal....His cap hit would roughly be $7-$8 mil a year.....He's 26 and would give the Jets a top flight RB for years to come......Also...Greene could come in and be that knockout punch(It would be wise to have a 2-headed backfield in the NFL these days anyway). Your thoughts?

Rich Cimini
  (12:21 PM)

You're right, Mr. T is always looking to get better, but trade for a RB? No way. They like Greene, LT, McKnight and Powell. If they trade for anything, it would be an OLM or an OLB.

Michael B (Rancho Cucamonga)

Looks like Mason is off to a really slow start, is this just him getting used to a new offense or is this his age finally catching up to him?

Rich Cimini
  (12:22 PM)

Too soon to say. New offense is a factor. Plus, Sanchez has a comfort level w/ Keller and Holmes. He's still learning Mason and Plax. Let's give it more time before we write off Mason, but it's definitely something to watch.

Brian (New York, NY)

What are your thoughts on Cuse to the ACC? I think it provides stability for the long term, but just doesn't feel right.

Rich Cimini
  (12:23 PM)

I agree totally. Doesn't feel right at all. I'm a traditionalist, but I also recognize they needed to do something for the future. Let's blame Notre Dame. If they had joined the conf for football a few years ago, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

wstcoastjetsfan (los angeles)

Rich are you as miffed as I am by Tannebaum's lack of movement to find a veteran back up O-Linemen? It seems like he's playing with fire, especially since they do have cap room

Rich Cimini
  (12:24 PM)

I agree and I wrote a column on Tuesday expressing that very sentiment.

John (Tribeca)

Hey Rich, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.Right now, Plaxico seems to be saying all the rights things regarding not getting a lot of catches (and getting none vs Jax). I think he means what he says, but how do you see that changing if he's only getting a couple of targets a game come, say, Week 6?

Rich Cimini
  (12:26 PM)

First of all, I think the biggest non-story of the year was Sunday, when people were praising the "New" Plax for not complaining. Huh? Plax knows it's not in his best interest to be a diva. He's trying to get a long-term contract and he knows he needs to be on his best behavior. It'll be interesting this weekend. He's gonna see a lot of man coverage. Scouts tell me he can't separate anymore. We'll see.

Rodney T (Astoria NY)

Rich, people have been trying to cause a stir about Plax not receiving any catches. I think this works for us. Defenses will continue to double team him allowing our TEs and other WRs some flexibility .. Don't you agree????

Rich Cimini
  (12:28 PM)

The Jags didn't double him; they shaded a safety over the top. Typical Cover 2. I was surprised they did that, but they ended up getting torched by Keller. The Jets will take that every week, although Plax might not like it.

Oz (CT)

Hi Rich, From what I can tell, Jericho Cotchery isn't injured and hasn't even been active for the Steelers. I think he made a mistake because I think if he decided to stay stay, he'd certianly be on the field with the Jets, agree or disagree ? The reason I even bring it up is because I don't think Sanchez is clicking with Mason yet and he's taking the longer shots downfield, whereas Cotchery would have made those plays. Thanks for the weekly chats!

Rich Cimini
  (12:28 PM)

You're right, Oz, J-Co made a mistake. He got some bad advice. He should've stuck it out for another year with the Jets. This was a case of the grass not being greener on the other side.

Brian (New York, NY)

Wilkerson is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury? Do you think he'll play? Any chance Ellis is active this week?

Rich Cimini
  (12:31 PM)

My gut tells me Wilkerson will play. Not sure about Ellis. Gut says no.

AK (NYC)

Rich, do you think Rex Ryan is a top 5 coach?

Rich Cimini
  (12:31 PM)

No. Can't be a top 5 coach without a Super Bowl ring. I do have him in the top 10, though.

Tom Bone (NY)

What are the chances of Mangold playing, 1%? Is he even going to fly with the team to Oakland?

Rich Cimini
  (12:32 PM)

He's officially out. Won't make the trip. There was NEVER a chance he was going to play this week. Right now, I'd say he's very iffy for next week. This is a high ankle sprain, not a small injury,

Greg (Indiana U)

Hi Rich, love your coverage. The Jets play so far has me thinking all the way to next year's draft and what they need to win the super bowl. Do you see the Jets picking anyone other than that pass rushing 3-4 outside linebacker (what Vernon Gholston was supposed to be).

Rich Cimini
  (12:33 PM)

Thanks, Greg. When I see Indiana U, I think of Keith Smart. Sorry, can't help it. Yeah, OLB is a need area. Also will need a WR and an OLM.

Matt (White Plains)

Hey rich, do you think we will see alot of no huddle this Sunday to slow down the raiders pass rush and to tire out that defense?

Rich Cimini
  (12:34 PM)

Definite possibility, Matt. Go to no huddle and keep those 4 big DLM on the field. The Jets think they can wear em down that way.

Joe (NJ)

Hi Rich, I loved the headline from your "Man-bites-dog story." You also had an interesting post on Dennis Thurman and the Jets not letting him interview for the Raiders DC job. How does Thurman feel about the Jets not giving him a chance to interivew?

Rich Cimini
  (12:36 PM)

He says he's OK with it. He says he's happy with his current job. Thanks; I've used enough hot-dog puns this week to last a lifetime.

Jim (NY)

Since Mangold isn't ruled out completely for the Raiders game, whether he plays or not, he must be looking good for the Ravens and Patriots games? Wasn't he suppose to be out 2-3 weeks?

Rich Cimini
  (12:36 PM)

He's out, officially.

Walter (New York)

Nobody seems to have reported what in the world did the Jets get for the trade in Dwight Lowery? Does nobody know what they received in return yet?

Rich Cimini
  (12:41 PM)

Jets received a 7th round pick for Lowery. They gave a 7th round pick to GB for Schlauderaff. So basically they traded Lowery for Schlauderaff.

Joe (NJ)

If the Jets were so high on Baxter, why didn't they draft him?

Rich Cimini
  (12:41 PM)

I think they had a 6th round grade on him, but C wasn't a need in the draft. They had a healthy Turner at that point.

Brendan (Queens)

By watching the Raiders first 2 games their defensive line is the real issue, they're good with Seymour. With that said The Bills and The Broncos moved the ball up and down the field against them. Will the Jets lean on the pass game more this week? Even with the Mangold injury?

Rich Cimini
  (12:43 PM)

Jets have to get the running game going. I see perimeter runs, some misdirection. Don't see them trying to ram it down the Raiders' throat, not without Mangold. That said, the Raiders' DL is big, but not the fastest. That's why you'll see the Jets trying to take the game to the edges.

R (in CT)

We've seen MoWilk have an impact, but no sign of Kenrick Ellis on game day, other than standing on the bench in street clothes ... thoughts?

Rich Cimini
  (12:44 PM)

He's a project, R. WE all knew that when they drafted him.

Jon (Halifax)

Does Mo Wilkerson have any shot at being defensive rookie of the year, or does his role in the jets defense sort of negate that as a possibility?

Rich Cimini
  (12:45 PM)

Whoa! It was one sack. Let's see how he does over a full season, but I catch your drift. He's basically a run stuffer, so, yeah, there's virtually no shot he wins that award.

Arnold (NJ)

What are scouts saying about Kyle Wilson this year? He hasn't been getting burned, but he plays way too soft. Is it a confidence issue? I'm guessing the Jets aren't too confindent with him, having locked up Cro and Reves.

Rich Cimini
  (12:46 PM)

Funny you should mention KW, Arnold. I asked Pettine yesterday to name somebody that has surprised on defense, and he mentioned KW. They like what he's doing. On the other hand, he still hasn't faced a good slot WR.

Justin (NYC)

Rich,What is the Jets' deal regarding Wildcat schemes? It was such a big part of their success in the past and they seem to have a capable guy in Kurley (maybe even Cro if they keep putting him in for offensive plays), but I only recall 1 wildcat play in the first two weeks.

Rich Cimini
  (12:46 PM)

Wouldn't be shocked if you see Wildcat this week.

Jeff (NY, NY)

The Jets have had there most success when Keller has been their 1st/2nd option - esp in the playoffs. Do you think that they will continue to utilize him or will they start forcing the balls to their WR's like they have in the middle portions of the last 2 years?

Rich Cimini
  (12:48 PM)

Great question, Jeff. I don't have the answer. You'd think Sanchez is mature enough to throw to the open guy. Last week, it was Keller. Last year, he got off to a great start and they forgot about him when Holmes returned.

Tom (NY)

It seems that most of the Jets moves this off-season were more lateral than clear upgrades. Were the Jets simply banking on Sanchez taking that next step and a full year of Revis to improve their team?

Rich Cimini
  (12:49 PM)

They were definitely banking on improvement from some of their young guys, like Sanchez and Greene, also thinking that young legs on the DL would add more depth. I agree with all that, but you're right, no upgrades in other areas.

Jim (NY)

How scared should we be if Sanchez gets hurt and misses any time this season? I had a lot more confidence in McElroy than I do in Brunell or O'Connell. It seemed like they resigned Brunell to be Sanchez's "lifecoach", moreso than backup QB?

Rich Cimini
  (12:50 PM)

The Jets hope they never have to find out if Brunell can still play.

Jon (Halifax)

Do you think Cro can survive a full season pulling down defense, special teams and the odd offensive duty? That's a lot of snaps to stay healthy for such an important player

Rich Cimini
  (12:52 PM)

You're right, Jon. I'd like to see them use McKnight on KORs, just to save the wear and tear on Cro.

Conor (Binghamton, NY)

Are the Jets going to have an identity or are they still undecided if they want to be a running team or a passing team? Also, will Plax become more involved later in the season or remain mostly a decoy?

Rich Cimini
  (12:54 PM)

Well, so far, we know they're not a Ground & Pound team. Is this an aberration or the start of a new trend? We'll see.

Jimmy (Huntington)

Rich, Any word from the Jets if Mangold can be ready for Baltimore?

Rich Cimini
  (12:54 PM)

Iffy.

Matt (White Plains)

How worried should the Jets be about Mangold not playing and Baxter filling in at center? Considering the run game has been nonexistent and the pass protection has been sloppy I think this is very bad.

Rich Cimini
  (12:54 PM)

Astute observation.

Joe (NJ)

I know it's only been two games, but i think Bart Scott has looked great so far. He has many sacks this year as he did in his first two years combined with the Jets and his average solo tackles are also up this year. Do you think he's looked better this year? Are the Jets trying to make him more of a pass rusher?

Rich Cimini
  (12:57 PM)

You're right, Scott has played well. There's been some talk about how he has a different role, how they're using him differently, but Ryan and Pettine don't seem to be promoting that as the reason. I don't know, maybe he's just playing better. He has an uncanny knack for reading running plays and knowing when and where to run blitz.

Sal (Totowa, NJ)

Rich. Love your chats. Hey, what is really up with Wayne Hunter? He looked shakey (to be generous) last week. I'm scared Sanchez is gonna get killed because of him...

Rich Cimini
  (12:59 PM)

Hunter has been shaky, and the Jets know it, but they keep reminding us about last year, when he stepped in for Woody. But let's look at that stretch. 1. at Pitt -- Yes, he played well. 2. at Chic -- field was a mess, pass rushing was non-existent. 3. Buff -- a JV game. 4. at NE (playoffs) -- Played well. 5. at Pitt -- poor game.

Andrew (Jersey)

Rich, I was a bit perplexed at comments from Rex earlier in the week pumping Vlad Ducasse up. Gave me a Gholston flashback. He's not developing the way he should be and could get Mark seriously hurt one day with his terrible O Line play. At what point do you give him an ultimatum to either perform or get cut?

Rich Cimini
  (12:59 PM)

No, that was Tanny. He said he expects Vlad to have "a great career."

Anthony (Madison, NJ)

Rich, do you think the Jets will be able to retain Keller after this year or will his asking price be too high?

Rich Cimini
  (1:00 PM)

He's signed through 2012. They will do an extension in the offseason.

John (Brooklyn)

Can you see Cumberland being a big conributor in the receiving game this year?

Rich Cimini
  (1:00 PM)

Not big, but a contributor.

Billy (NY, NY)

do you think this hot dog story is overblown? I never thought it was a big deal at all - he was so inconspicuous about it. Don't you think it wouldn't have even been a story if Jason Cambell were the one caught indulging?

Rich Cimini
  (1:01 PM)

Believe me, if the Raiders did it to the Jets, Rex would be making a huge deal out of it.

Sal (San Diego)

Hi Rich....with a lot of undrafted and late round young Wide Receivers making a significant splash in the NFL this year, do you think the Jets had the wrong attitude at WR and should have gotten younger there this year?

Rich Cimini
  (1:01 PM)

Well, they drafted Kerley. The guy they really wanted was Denarious Moore, but Oak beat em to the punch.

Jon (Charlotte, NC)

Who is the better linebacker in your opinion: Bart Scott or James Farrior?

Rich Cimini
  (1:02 PM)

Farrior.

Rich Cimini
  (1:03 PM)

That's all the time I have. Thanks for dropping by. Great questions, as always. I'm headed to Oak town. Sorry, folks, but I'm predicting an Oak victory. Tough spot for the Jets, especially without Mangold. Take care