New York Jets 2009 Quick Hits

June 29, 2009 by

Quick-hitting one-liner analysis on every significant Jets contributor and offseason acquisition.

New York Jets

Predicted: 4th

2008: 9-7 (3rd AFC East)

Head Coach: Rex Ryan (1st year)

Roster Quick Glance

Offense (Coordinator: Brian Schottenheimer)

QB: Mark Sanchez** Highest paid player in team history enters the league with only 16 collegiate starts. Has played in a pro style system, but hasn’t faced pro style obstacles.

RB: Thomas Jones Domineering O-line helped him lead the AFC with 1,312 yards rushing. Now the soon-to-be 31-year-old thinks he deserves a new contract.

RB: Leon Washington Also looking for a new deal, only may have a legitimate case for one. Is this team’s only source of big-time speed and quickness.

FB: Tony Richardson Sagacious 15th-year veteran who could see an expanded role as the offense becomes more power-oriented.

WR: Jerricho Cotchery Team’s leading receiver last year, but someone had to be. More of a really good No. 2 than No. 1.

WR: Chansi Stuckey Better runner than his timed-speed indicates. May need to bulk up if he wants a fulltime role.

WR: Brad Smith Choppy running style affords him good change-of-direction. But it’s time to be more than just a gadget player.

TE: Dustin Keller Athletic receiving tight end who should see more diversity in his routes this season. Provides next to nothing as a blocker.

TE: Bubba Franks Look, Bubba, we love ya––how could we not love a guy named Bubba?––but it’s time to hang ‘em up. Your 40-time will soon surpass your weight.

LT: D’Brickashaw Ferguson In his fourth year is good but not great. Excellent agility, has improved consistency in pass pro, but needs to be fiercer on the ground.

LG: Alan Faneca Run-blocking mobility remains top-notch. Pass-blocking was an issue at times last year.

C: Nick Mangold Coming off first Pro Bowl. Forms excellent partnership with Faneca because both men clear paths at the second level.

RG: Brandon Moore Arguably New York’s best lineman last season. Has great downhill power.

RT: Damien Woody Has looked more like the former Patriot version of Damien Woody than the former Lion version. Can he stay figuratively, but not literally, hungry?

6 OL: Wayne Hunter Proof that the best O-line in the AFC is also the shallowest.

Defense (Coordinator: Mike Pettine)

LDE: Shaun Ellis Wore down a little last year, which is odd considering his tendency to––how can we put this?––“conserve his energy” at times.

NT: Kris Jenkins Has transitioned from three-technique to zero-technically masterfully. Brute force allows him to collapse blocking schemes.

RDE: Marques Douglas* Far from spectacular, though one of the best run-defending linemen in the game. He’s a virtuoso vet in Rex Ryan’s system.

2 DT: Howard Green* Good value free agent pickup. His sharing backup duties with Sione Pouha should help keep Kris Jenkins fresh come December.

3 DE: Mike Devito Can contribute as a run-stopper for a few snaps a game, thanks to phenomenal leverage.

LOLB: Bryan Thomas Sound agility, but may not have enough ferocity to flourish in this scheme.

LILB: Bart Scott* Will be a good emotional foil to the more subdued David Harris. Intelligence and intensity, plus experience as a Raven, make him the quarterback of the front seven.

RILB: David Harris Instincts compensate for just decent speed. Stout, productive tackler who can operate in multiple locations on the field.

ROLB: Calvin Pace Passes every eyeball test with flying colors. But in reality, he’s a somewhat ho-hum player. A lot of his sacks are coverage sacks. Still, could become a poor man’s Terrell Suggs.

5 LB: Vernon Gholston Has a chance to make Rex Ryan look very good (and Eric Mangini look very bad).

CB: Darrelle Revis T.O. will know the young Pro Bowler’s name before too long.

CB: Lito Sheppard* Looking for a fresh start after ugly ending to Philly career. He’d better play well––the Jets have a $10 million option on him next year.

NB: Dwight Lowery Good fluidity, and has a feel for stopping passes inside. Can start, but he’s more natural in the slot.

SS: Jim Leonhard* A Rex Ryan favorite from Baltimore.

FS: Kerry Rhodes Already a top-five safety who should erupt as a playmaking rover in 2009.

6 DB: Drew Coleman Gives up 30 pounds to safety Eric Smith, which is why he’ll probably be limited to cornerbacking assignments.

Special Teams

K: Jay Feely High character veteran with good accuracy from long-distance.

P: Reggie Hodges Simply put, must punt better than he did in ’08.

RS: Leon Washington One of the most dangerous return weapons in football. Can shake defenders while maintaining top speed.

Offseason Quick Glance



1 5 (5) Mark Sanchez QB USC

3 1 (65) Shonn Greene RB Iowa

6 20 (193) Matt Slauson OG Nebraska


DE Marques Douglas: FA Ravens; terms unknown.

DT Howard Green: UFA Seahawks; $625,000/1 yr, guarantees unknown.

LB Larry Izzo: UFA Patriots; terms unknown.

SS Jim Leonhard: UFA Ravens; $5.9M/3 yrs, guarantees unknown.

LB Bart Scott: UFA Ravens; $48M/6 yrs, $22M guaranteed.

CB Lito Sheppard (trade Eagles).

CB Donald Strickland: UFA 49ers; 3 yrs, terms unknown.


TE Chris Baker (released).

CB David Barrett (released).

LB Eric Barton: UFA Browns; $11.15M/4 yrs, guarantees unknown.

LB David Bowens (released/failed physical).

DE Kenyon Coleman (traded Browns).

WR Laveranues Coles: UFA Bengals; $28M/4 yrs, $3MSB/$4.75M RB.

S Abram Elam (traded Browns).

QB Brett Favre (retired).

LB Brad Kassel (released/failed physical).

DT C.J. Mosley: UFA Browns; $5M/2 yrs, guarantees unknown.

K Mike Nugent: UFA Buccaneers; 1 yr, terms unknown.

CB Hank Poteat: UFA Browns; $745,000/1 yr.

QB Brett Ratliff (traded Browns).


GM Mike Tannenbaum has allowed Rex Ryan to put his stamp on the Jets organization. Ryan wasted no time finding the right type of players––many of whom are familiar faces––for his complex scheme.

Former Raven ILB Bart Scott is one of those familiar faces. Scott’s speed and awareness, along with his overall grasp on fundamentals, will make him the immediate leader of New York’s potent front seven. The addition of DT Howard Green will enable last year’s prized DT pickup, Kris Jenkins, to rest more. That will help prevent Jenkins from hitting a wall in winter. Marques Douglas is another Ryan favorite. There aren’t a lot of DE’s who play the run better than the 11th-year veteran.

SS Jim Leonhard rounds out Ryan’s bunch. Factor in Leonhard with former Pro Bowl corner Lito Sheppard (traded here for a fifth-round pick) and incumbents Kerry Rhodes (FS) and Darrelle Revis (CB) and you might have one of the best secondaries in football. Sheppard must regain his early-career form, though.

Offensively, there are no changes to New York’s scheme, but there’s one big personnel alteration. You may have heard that a certain rookie quarterback will be replacing a certain retired (or unretired….or retired again…no wait, unretired) future Hall of Famer. Mark Sanchez will benefit from a terrific offensive line, but he’ll struggle throwing to a weak receiving corpse that lost veteran Laveranues Coles.

Over the course of one weekend, the Jets traded basically their entire draft in order to get Sanchez and third-round power running back Shonn Greene. These are good building blocks.


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