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More Tannenbaum Talking Points from Indy

Posted by Randy Lange on February 23, 2009 – 3:02 pm

Here are a few more points that GM Mike Tannenbaum made during his Friday news conference at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. One question had to do with the free agency/draft timeline and how that affects a team’s decisions. Mike T referred to a former Jets GM and the 2007 draft to explain the process.

"We talk about it all the time in the office. Terry Bradway and I have had a lot of philosophical discussions about that," Tannenbaum said. "Really, what I think you are driving at is the structure of the contract. Sometimes, you’d love to sign guys in free agency and then something better comes along and you’d love to move on but you’ve made a two-year commitment.

"Those are real calculated risks that are tough calls. From where I sit, those are as tough decisions as you have because it’s the bird in the hand versus the two in the bush versus we think there is a reasonable risk here that we could improve this position in the draft. Personally, I like to go into the draft with as much flexibility as possible because you just never know what is going to happen."

To illustrate that point, the GM recalled how the Jets traded up with Green Bay in Round 2 of ’07 for the 47th overall selection, which they used to select Michigan LB David Harris.

"Every projection we had, he was going in the bottom of the first. When he was there in the second round, we went up to get him," he said. "We never thought in our wildest dreams that we would walk out with [Darrelle] Revis and David Harris in the first two rounds, but we had put ourselves in position that we could take advantage of that opportunity. As best we can I would like to put us in that situation. But it’s never perfect."

Tannenbaum also was asked about the quarterback situation. Like a true GM, he didn’t rule out bringing in a veteran but he had nice things to say about all three of the QBs on the current roster and the competition that’s ahead.

"Philosophically, something that Rex and I believe in is the best players will play and if and when we have opportunities to improve the team we will do that regardless of position," he said, adding, "Those three quarterbacks we have on the roster right now we feel good about.

"Kellen [Clemens] started eight games and actually played very well against Rex’s defense.

"Going back a year ago, Brett Ratliff I believe was No. 1 in passer rating in the AFC in the preseason last year. [Ratliff had a 122.6 rating to Drew Brees' 124.0 rating for New Orleans]. You have to take that within the context of it was just preseason, but one thing I have to say about Brett Ratliff is as well as he played in the preseason, nobody in our building was surprised given how hard he had worked and how much he improved.

"I’ve been on record that Erik Ainge was drafted because his uncle is the GM of the Celtics and we have a lot of great Celtics gear. Erik has done a lot of great things as well. His meticulous preparation in helping some of the other younger players play this year was remarkable, in particular Dustin Keller. I think Erik Ainge had a meaningful impact on our team this year, despite the fact he did get hurt and had some other little bumps in the road, but I am really glad that Erik Ainge is with us."

Tannenbaum stressed that Ainge will have every opportunity to compete for playing time with Clemens and Ratliff and that the competition is "really fun" to watch from his GM’s office.

"There will be a great story this year. We just don’t know how that story is going to be written. Like a year ago, no one knew who Brett Ratliff was. Now again, he has to go out and earn it, but there are reasons to be encouraged."

Bye-Bye, Bake

Chris Baker knew something was in the wind the day after the end of the season when Eric Mangini had been let go and I asked him what was ahead.

"I don’t know where I’ll be," he said. "We’ll have to see in a few weeks."

It’s been more than a few weeks, and Baker finally has found out that for his immediate future, he’ll be looking for work after the Jets released him late Friday.

C-Bake was and is a likable guy and a good tight end with good blocking skills and frequently magical hands. But in a sport with 16 games rather than 82 or 162, bad timing can be killer.

In Baker’s best season, 2005, he averaged 15.0 yards on each of his 18 catches, the best by a Jets TE since Johnny Mitchell’s 16.2 a dozen years earlier. Trouble was, Baker broke his foot in Game 8 during a 4-12 season. His best full season was ’07 when he had 41 receptions for 409 yards — during another 4-12 season.

This past season? His numbers were down as rookie Dustin Keller emerged with 48 catches, most by a Jets TE since J-Mitch’s 58 in 1994.

Baker, like LBs David Bowens and Brad Kassell, released a day earlier, could return. But for now he’s Green & White history and we wish him the best.

Crunching Pressures

Alexander has asked me twice about the Jets’ blitzes over the first and second halves of last season. I delayed updating my info on that stat for a while but, spurred to action, I have completed my inputting and I can tell you that (as perhaps you suspected), the Jets’ pass pressure wore down as the season wore on.

I’ll do you one better, Alexander, and break it down by quarters of the season. Keep in mind the tabulation of the blitzes (defined as sending five or more defenders on a pass play) are not official (they come from my own video review and not from any team sources):

 Span Pass Plays   Blitzes       Blitz %    Blitz Sacks Blitz Sack %
 Games 1-4 161 63 39.1 7 11.1
 Games 5-8 150 52 34.7 8 15.4
 Games 9-12 162 49 30.2 3 6.1
 Games 13-16 140 41 29.3 3 7.3

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Posted in Randy Lange | 25 Comments »

25 Responses to “More Tannenbaum Talking Points from Indy”

  1. By Alexander on Feb 23, 2009 | Reply

    Randy!!! Great stuff! I really enjoyed the chart! Thanks so much for pulling through. Have a good one and keep up the phenomenal work!

  2. By Ira on Feb 23, 2009 | Reply

    Randy, Mitchell was so talented. Too bad his head wasn’t in it. Maybe Baker will be re-signed once the smoke clears. Love the chart and that last quarter makes sense since i read that Eric changed up the secondary’s plans after the Denver game. I think with Rex those blitz #’s will go up to about 50-60% if not more.

  3. By Ira on Feb 23, 2009 | Reply

    Randy, Mr. T’s Comments about you never know what will happen during the draft is so true. But one thing is for sure he will go after who he wants. I guess that were he gets the name Trader Mike i have read from the media. He had pulled off some good deals and i expect the same this year. Not happy about Moore but you can only have so much in the bank for everybody.

  4. By Alexander on Feb 23, 2009 | Reply

    Ira, releasing Moore is not terrible for the team. It interrupts chemistry, no doubt, but he seemed to have only performed well this past year. The year before I was calling for his head. But we don’t lose because this draft is packed with linemen, we can move Woody to RG (he can’t pass block to save his life) and draft a young talented tackle.

  5. By mike on Feb 23, 2009 | Reply

    Remember that draft where we nabbed Revis and Harris? I feel a similar action will be taken. # 17 overall, draft James Laurinitus, trade back into the late 1st and nab Michael Oher OT or Duke Robinson OG. If that happened I would be more then Happy with that WR with the weird Mizz Mozz name in round 3

  6. By Frank on Feb 23, 2009 | Reply

    Ira stop lamenting about Moore. If we sign Stinchcomb or Andrews and move Woody inside our O-Line will be significantly improved without Moore. Moore was a mjor beneficiary of playing next to Woody and Richardson blocking in front of TJ. We also need to improve the pass blocking. Coles needs to go I can’t wait to see what Tannenbaum has up his sleeve this weekend. Love this time of year.

  7. By mike on Feb 23, 2009 | Reply

    You can go either way, draft players let them play out there contracts them let them go. Look at Pitt, they never sign FA’s and let PBer’s like Faneca, Randel El, and Porter walk away and there the most successful team. Than the Patriots sign old dudes and win SB’s too. Whats up with that. Parcells cleans house and aways wins too. Lets Clone Parcells and make him stay with the organization.

  8. By Ira on Feb 23, 2009 | Reply

    I understand that but the o-line really came together last year and its a shame to break them up especially after the mess they had in 07. And BTW Moore was a real solid OG for the Jets since he took over in 04. I say Woody slides back to his OG spot and they land a RT via Fa or the draft. I wouldn’t count Turner out just yet.

  9. By Ira on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    Randy, I know this will be a tough one but how do these % compare to the top 5 defense teams in the league?

  10. By Randy Lange on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    Ira, I have no league numbers to commpare the Jets’ numbers to.

  11. By Vincent on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    Hi Randy. Enlighten me a bit, if you can. I know Indy is the ‘microscope’ used to evaluate players, but how much weight is given to stats compared to performance history of a given player? I know 40yd times, benchpress, etc measure speed, strength, etc, but if the player has been mediocre on the field, then are these stats even relevant? I suppose I’m asking if Indy adds much to what they know.

  12. By vin on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    brett ratliff for qb 09

  13. By Sam on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    Can some one tell me WHY **(TERRY BRADWAY)** still working for the JETS? Wasn’t TERRY BRADWAY part of the HERM EDWARDS group! I don’t think TERRY BRADWAY can judge talent very well. I don’t feel comfortable knowing that TERRY BRADWAY is giving advise to Mike Tannenbaum on which players to pick.

  14. By Ray on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    Great to see VG is putting in the time in the off season. He has to get off to a good start this year if he has any chance of turning into the player the Jets drafted him to be.

  15. By Alan on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    Looks like Pat White did the best in the Passing Drills at the Combine, Pat White my favorite QB in the draft since Day 1, but honestly whenever Tannebaum trades to draft someone he hasn’t been wrong yet, (Mangold, Revis, Keller) Also Gholston will be huge this season with Rex watch, Tannebaum is a great drafter i think hes going to get us a good corner this season, or a Safety and a Lineman

  16. By Rick Roucoulet on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    Whatever it takes, we want MARVIN HARRISON, we want MARVIN HARRISON, we want MARVIN HARRISON, we want MARVIN HARRISON. OK???

  17. By Randy Lange on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    Vincent, the short answer is that Indy adds much to what every team knows about every player at the combine, but each team weighs its information differently. Every team tries to strike an ideal balance between workout stats and performance on the field.

  18. By ED on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    Please do not cut brandon moore. the guy starts every game for us and is only 28, but then again, this is the jets and we do have a habit of cutting players at the beginning of their prime, but dont worry guys, im sure he’ll be a jet again when he turns 36.

  19. By Alan on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    On NFL.Com one of the new mocks has us taking Alphonso Smith!!! I wouldnt mind us grabbing him, hes perfect to start opposite Darelle Revis, Florida Born players usually work well with jets, (Santanna Moss, Leon Washington, Coles, Clowney,) more but i cant remember, although he played for WF hes from Pahokee. I wouldnt mind Alphonso to the jets at 17 though

  20. By Row on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply

    I am tired of everyone saying we NEED Percy Harvin. Seriously? The guy barely had 600 yards receiving. Just ridiculous for a pick at 17. I want William Moore, or Malcolm Jenkins, maybe Crabtree will fall to 17.. Either way, there is no way we should sign a LB over secondary help, we NEED help on that part of the defense.

  21. By Gerard on Feb 26, 2009 | Reply

    how come nobody has mentioned chris canti DE. the jets only problem is the d-line think about it if the quaterback doesn’t have time to throw the ball the it doesn’t matter who is playing CB if they draft the best DE or sign the best one or trade for peppers then the defensive problems would be solved revis and lowery are good enough what the jets need to do is sign the best DE and OL out there

  22. By WVJETSfan on Feb 26, 2009 | Reply

    We need a playmaking WR with 17 and then i think we could get WVU QB Pat White with our Rd 2 pick and let him compete for the QB job, Ive watched him for 4 years now and he’s a winner and a team first player and i know if we got him he could win our starting QB job. That would really improve our offense if that happened. Not to mention he threw “Extremly Well” at the combine

  23. By Ray on Feb 26, 2009 | Reply

    Row there is no way Crabtree drops all the way to 17, but if that miracle were to happen the Jets better jump on it. Jenkins stock may have dropped a bit so he is starting to look like a possiblility. Those of you clamoring for TJ, he is NOT a #1 receiver and never will be. And Harrison? Didn’t we try an experiment like that with Art Monk? Lets get a WR that will actually help us!!

  24. By brian on Mar 3, 2009 | Reply

    i say we draft Chris Wells. he is a great athlete and will compliment TJ and leon washington very well. This man is awesome. If we get Wells he would reduce the pressure on our young QBs.

  25. By Johnny Cool on Mar 4, 2009 | Reply

    1st round we should get Josh Freeman. He’s a big guy, very strong arm, had a good combine, huge up side. Very similar to Flacco. 2nd round we should draft the WR from Ohio State, Robiskie. He’s 6’3″ish ran a 4.5, has great hands. His father is the WR’s coach for the Falcons, he was bread into it and you know he’ll be a hard worker and will stay out of trouble. Those would be two very solid moves.

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