(Photo via Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com)
Photo via Adam Hunger/Associated Press
Description: In this episode we discuss Eli Manning getting benched for Daniel Jones, what this means for the Giants moving forward in 2019, and what it means for Eli’s legacy. We also give our reactions to the Jets/Browns and what is going on with Jamal Adams. All that and more New York sports.
(Photo via: Noah K. Murray- USA Today Sports)
Description: In this episode we discuss Daniel Jones performance against the Jets and if there should be a QB competition for the Giants. We also discuss what we want to see week 2 of preseason for the Jets and Giants. Other topics include, The Mets winning their series against the Nationals and the importance of the Yankees having the best record in the American league. All that and more New York sports.
Description: In this episode we discuss which New York team has the best young core. We also discuss the Nets favored to land KD, The Giants most important player on defense in 2019, forecast Le’Veon Bell season for the Jets, and the Mets fight against a reporter. We are also joined by The Talk Sports Media Knicks contributor Adolfo Lopez, to discuss the NBA draft and free agency. All that and more New York sports.
Even though the Jets have been in the limelight recently the new hire in Joe Douglas seems to remedy all of the havoc that has occurred in recent months. I may sound like the ultimate optimist but believe me when I tell you that no one has been as critical of the Green and White as yours truly. You need to understand that with this new hire there is a lot to be excited for in the future of the Jets.
Firstly, the firing of Maccagnan was a shock due to the timing of the incident, but even though the timing was surprising, I was not entirely upset of losing Maccagnan. He was not a good GM. I can count on one hand the good choices Maccagnan has done to help the Jets during his tenure with the team. He made the right gamble and moved up in the draft to select Sam Darnold in last years draft. He had signed free agents this offseason to help add depth and skill for this upcoming season and overall his first-round picks have been decent starters for the team.
Other than the last points that I have mentioned Maccagnan has failed on all other fronts. Other than his first-round draft selections he has been mediocre at best. In rounds 2 and 3, since 2015, he has only selected 3 players that have started more than 2 games. The only player in that category that I find to be a smart pick was Marcus Maye. he is great on the field but that’s the problem, he is never on the field due to the injuries that he has sustained. Rounds 4 through 7 are even worse, 17% of all the picks, that’s 3 of 17 have not started more than half a season. The rest are either not on the Jets or even playing in the NFL. NFL.com has ranked Maccagnan as the 22nd worst GM in the NFL and the only criteria that did not make him the worst was because of his gamble of drafting Sam Darnold. What if Sam Darnold was selected by the Giants and was taken out of the equation? Let’s just say that if Maccagnan took the same gamble and drafted Josh Rosen, who was on top of our board, would we still be singing his praises?
Lastly, he had used the massive amount of cap space that was left for him to acquire players but when he had a chance to fill major holes at the Oline and CB positions he failed miserably. It was a sense of arrogance to me that there were several reports from Jets beat writers that Maccagnan had made offers for both Mitch Morse and Matt Paradis. The issue is that instead of sweetening the deal after the first round of negotiations he had outright pulled the deal from underneath them because he did not want to bid for a player. In hindsight that would lead to his downfall, missing out on big time Oline free agents then claiming the Oline was already fixed is not only embarrassing but delusional. It was too little too late.
I never agreed with the timing of the firing, but it had to be done. Hiring Joe Douglas not only was the right decision, but it paves the way towards a bright future for Gotham. They had interviewed four candidates for the position, Douglas, Chicago Bears’ Champ Kelly, New Orleans Saints’ Terry Fontenot and Seattle Seahawks’ Scott Fitterer. At first Douglas had declined the Jets offer but when Johnson had sweetened the deal to a 6 year deal with more than $3 million per season. Douglas was happy enough to sign the dotted line.
Douglas is the right man for the Jets. Firstly, he is respected throughout the league by coaches and front offices. “The Jets may have made a mess of things, but they actually came out of this in a better place,” an NFL executive told Jets reporter Ralph Vacchiano. “Lots of teams were going to want Joe”. His resume speaks for itself working for two of the NFL’s most well-run organizations. Douglas rose from player personnel assistant on the Baltimore Ravens to the team’s national scout through 2014. After one season as director of college scouting for the Chicago Bears, he became the Philadelphia Eagles’ vice president of player personnel.
Resume aside, Douglas is the GM the Jets need. Both Gase and Douglas are cut from the same cloth, they are cutthroat leaders that will surround the team with players that fit their scheme and mindset for the future. Both have an eye for talent and will set this ship in the right direction. The best part about this deal was that when Johnson had first made the offer to Douglas many reports had indicated that he would only accept the job if he was given full control over the roster instead of following this faulty hierarchy that has plagued the Jets for years. The Jets have suffered following this system where both the Head Coach and General Manager were on the same level of power and the Johnson brothers were pivotal parts of player acquisition and contracts. With the official hiring of Douglas as the head of the ship, Jets fans can have hope knowing that maybe this hierarchy will crumble, and a real football mind will be in control allowing the Johnson brothers to take a step back.
Other than the change of power I beleive the most important aspect of this hiring is the cohesive alliance between both the Head Coach Adam Gase and newly appointed GM Joe Douglas. Douglas may not be best friends with Gase but they have worked together in Chicago. They can use both of their football minds in developing a roster that can win games instead of falling behind in the AFC East whi h is pivotal to any franchise. The Jets have lacked this relationship for the past 10 years which gives an explanation as to why the Jets have failed for so long.
We may not see the changes right away, but remember Maccagnan did not leave the roster in a perfect state. It feels like the Jets had to hit rock bottom before they could be cleansed from this poorly run organization. If I were to give advice to the Jets fans it is this: If you have been a fan this whole time through the rough patches, stick around, because a change is coming.
So it’s finally May and every football fan is starting to have that spring fever. No, not because of the sun but we can smell football right around the corner and we are itching for our team to make the big jump. If you are a Jets fan you are more than anxious about this season coming. I would say there is an atmosphere of anxiety and excitement around Jets nation.
This year is an interesting scenario, it has both the feeling of a new chapter and a win now mentality. We get to see the growth of our second year QB Sam Darnold under a new head coach Adam Gase, a revamped defense with major acquisitions like CJ Mosely, and a new look with our Gotham Green Jerseys. This article will dive deep into the Jets roster and with Mike Maccagnan’s office just cleaned out I will predict how much the Jets will improve in 2019.
The biggest acquisition for the Jets this offseason was easily Le’Veon Bell formally from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before his year in the rap studio, Bell was a top 5 running back in the NFL. In 2017, he was second in the league in rush yards, top 5 in rushing TD’s, and was top 10 in the league in receptions. Folks, he’s a running back and was top 10 in the league in receptions. That is unheard of. He has the skills of a lethal receiver as well as a rusher. He is one of those all-around running back talents that can fit in any system and can make something out of nothing. The best part about this acquisition is the combo with him and Sam Darnold. It is well known in the NFL that a good running gain helps a young QB tremendously. Sam is coming off a good rookie season and having Bell as his support can only help him grow.
Break Through Player
My breakthrough player for this season is second-year franchise QB, Sam Darnold. Sam Darnold is a young talent with an emphasis on young. Being the youngest QB to ever start a snap in NFL history, Sam took on the challenge and I think lived up to expectation. His first few weeks were tough growing pains but as the season progressed Darnold’s play had only gotten better. There were some games where he had impressed every analyst with his performance. Against a playoff powerhouse in the Colts, Sam took the game into his hands and dominated. Going 24-30 80% completion percentage 2 TD 1 Int 280 yards. After his injury, Sam Darnold averaged 64% completion percentage throwing 6 TDs and only 1 Int in 4 games. His performance by the end of the season showed me that he was learning to be a professional and getting better every day. His biggest flaws as a rookie were his footwork and timing of his throws. When he had the correct footwork his throws were beautiful. Under the QB guru Adam Gase, I can only assume these small issues will be fixed and Sam Darnold will have a breakout season being a hidden gem that will spark the Jets success.
Potential Team Strengths
When looking at the strengths of this team you could check off on certain position groups that have gotten big boosts in talent that should increase their productivity. I believe the Jets Defense all around will see a boost. Specifically, the front 7 is the best aspect of the Jets defense this coming season. The interior D-line with Anderson, Leonard Williams, Quinnen Williams, and Steve Mclendon provide a stable rush defense and all around strength on the inside. Jets scouts are hoping that Quinnen Williams can have a break out season being paired along side these other monsters in the trenches and if you are a fan of the big fella so are you. The Jets two inside LB’s impress me. Avery Williamson had a good season with the Jets being ranked by PFF as the 18th best inside LB in the NFL and adding pro bowl LB CJ Mosley only deepens a good core of players. The X factor in the front 7 has to be newly drafted edge rusher Jachai Polite. The Jets had lacked an elite edge rusher for many years and Polite can be the catalyst that changes the success of the Dline. The Jets were 15th in sacks with 39, hopefully adding Polite can boost these numbers.
Team Question Marks
The Jets have a strong team heading into 2019 but there are still some groups on the team that give me concern. For starters, the offensive line scares me. I can agree that both Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell are both average tackles in the NFL being ranked by PFF in the 62-65 range. But the unstable section of the O-line comes from the interior specifically in the center and right guard positions. Jonotthan Harrison and Brian Winters are the Jets biggest weakness in the trenches. PFF had rated Harrison as the 3rd worst center in the NFL. Winters had a more favorable rated by PFF but had still only been posted in the average category. Even adding Kelechi Osemele creates some concerns due to his poor season last year with the Raiders. With a team that had the second most in cap space unable to add more to the O-line was a big mistake for previous GM Mike Maccagnan which could be seen as a catalyst for his firing. The Jets will rely on their O-line quite a lot this season and my fear is they will not hold up.
My second biggest question mark for this Jets team is their secondary. The Jets have a pro bowl Strong Saftey in Jamal Adams but the rest of New Jack City leaves me in distress. I really like Marcus Maye as our free safety but my concern is that he is not on the field long enough to make an impact with his injury problems. The Jets need him to stay healthy and have a breakout season. Trumaine Johnson had a tough season in 2018 and did not live up to his contract. He needs to have a bounce-back year or I believe he will be traded. Johnson being paired with Brian Poole and rookie Blessuan Austin does not give me enough confidence to claim that the Jets secondary was back to full strength, in fact, I believe this position group weakens the young defensive unit.
My bold take for the Jets this year is that the young Sam Darnold will make the pro bowl this season. If you look back in NFL history you can always see a big difference between a QB’s rookie season and their second year in the league. I believe Sam Darnold will have a great second season and establish himself as a force to be reckoned with. As I mentioned before, he has shown signs of that elite talent in games against the Colts and the Bills. After his injury, he was very efficient throwing the ball. Throwing 6 TD’s with only 1 INT in 4 games. In the final 4 games of the season, Sam Darnold had the same completion percentage as Baker Mayfield, beating out the other rookies in his class. Mayfield was on both a better team and system. Sam Darnold was surrounded by average weapons so by looking at this year’s team you can only expect that Darnold’s productivity will increase. Le’Veon Bell will be a reliable option in support situations, but receivers like Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Jamieson Crowder, and breakout Tight End Chris Herndon will only help Sam grow into the star New York needs him to be. I expect Sam will live up to the hype and more, they found a gem when they drafted him and I can see him being added to the pro bowl roster.
I predict that the Jets will go 8-8 based on their roster strengths, holes, and schedule. The beginning and end of the Jets season are the toughest. The first 5 games of the season they have a really tough stretch, they open with the Bills at home, home against the Browns in prime time, at the Patriots, at the Eagles and home against the Cowboys. I believe that for them to make a run at the wild card they need to come away from this stretch either 3-2 or 4-1. The middle of the season is very manageable. The best part about their schedule is that even when they have away games they are never leaving the east coast. The Jets need to win the sure in games against the Raiders, the Dolphins and the Jags in order for them to have any chance for a playoff berth. Lastly, the final 3 games are tough to close out. Going to Baltimore on Thursday night football can be a challenge due to their defensive prowess. Having back to back AFC North opponents in the Ravens and Steelers will be difficult but if they can come away either winning both or at least one. The final game is against the Bills in Buffalo which I believe the Jets could win if they play them right. The Jets are that type of team that could show up the day of the game or still is in the locker room by the time the 4th quarter starts. I think in order for them to move into the right direction they must be consistent with their play. Hopefully, under the leadership of Adam Gase, the Jets could have a winning season and better yet make the playoffs.
Image via SNY
The long wait for the return to football for Le’Veon Bell is finally over. Bell had himself a night, dropping his album, “Life’s a Gamble,” and signing a four year, $52.5 million deal with $35 million guaranteed, and incentives that could earn him up to $61 million in total, with the New York Jets. (Adam Schefter/ESPN)
— NFL (@NFL) March 13, 2019
Whether or not Bell made the right decision sitting out the 2018 season and passing up on previous contract offers is a question for a later time, but as of now, he finds his new home in New York.
I’m back in the green baby, let’s get it
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) March 13, 2019
The Jet’s have given their hopeful franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold, a big new weapon. As they hope to complete the rest of their roster, they now have a bonafide superstar in Bell and can focus their attention to other needs in the upcoming draft.