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Additions, Subtractions Around the Division

Posted by Eric Allen on February 12, 2010 – 1:50 pm

Less than three weeks before the National Football League enters into an uncapped season, the 32 teams can now designate franchise or transition players — they’ll have two weeks to do so before the Feb. 25 deadline.

And while the Jets have some important decisions to make that we’ve discussed and will continue to analyze, there have already been some noteworthy happenings in the division this offseason.

NEW ENGLAND

The most interesting aspect of the Patriots coaching roster is there are no coordinators listed. Dean Pees served as the Pats’ defensive coordinator from 2006-09 until his contract expired and he is now the Ravens’ new linebackers coach.

So Bill Belichick will become more involved with a transitioning unit that actually finished fifth in points allowed (17.8 points/game). New England, which owns three second-round selections in April’s draft, recently hired former Jets DBs coach Corwin Brown as a defensive assistant to help coach the secondary.

"Corwin Brown is one of the high-class people in football," Belichick said on the Patriots’ Website. "He was a tough, smart leader who was great to coach and those are the traits he brings to our staff.”

Brown — the Green & White’s DBs coach from 2004-06 — worked under Charlie Weis the past three seasons at Notre Dame.

On the offensive side of the ball, Belichick didn’t appoint an offensive coordinator in 2009 and it seems as it he’ll stick with that setup even though QBs coach Bill O’Brien had playcalling duties last season.

In terms of major personnel decisions, what are the Patriots going to do with NT Vince Wilfork? They have until Feb. 25 to place the franchise tag on the two-time Pro Bowler, but the big man wants a long-term deal. You can’t imagine the Patriots allowing the 6’2”, 325-pound anchor of their defense to hit the open market, especially considering two of their rivals — the Dolphins and the Bills — look to be in need of a rock in the middle of their defenses.

Another interesting tidbit coming out of Foxboro was that Randy Moss reportedly suffered a shoulder separation against the Denver Broncos back in Week 5. Moss, who finished with five receptions for 34 yards and a TD in his second meeting against Darrelle Revis, finished the regular season with 1,264 yards receiving and 13 TDs while averaging 15.2 yards a grab.

The Jets will set their sights on capturing the AFC East next season and rightfully so. Right tackle Damien Woody recently posted on Twitter, “Gotta get home playoff game next year.” The Pats have won seven division titles dating to 2001 and they’ll enter 2010 as the defending AFC East champs.

MIAMI

It appears Joey Porter’s days are numbered in South Florida. Porter, who will turn 33 in March, racked up 26.5 sacks the past two seasons but is itching to move on and the ‘Fins might grant him that wish. Former Jets NT Jason Ferguson, who’s 35 himself and had his season end early last year due to a quadriceps injury, may opt to hang the cleans up.

But the Dolphins did well by scooping up Mike Nolan to coordinate their defense. Despite helping the Broncos improve their “D” ranking from 29th to seventh in his first season in Denver, Nolan became a free agent when he and Broncos head man Josh McDaniels parted ways. Remember Nolan was the Jets’ defensive coordinator back in 2000 under then-GM Bill Parcells, so this reunion shouldn’t come as a surprise.

One of the hotter topics regarding the Jets lately has been the possibility of a Chad Pennington return to the Green & White. While it’s a nice story to kick around the water cooler, let’s review a couple of key points. The Jets have four quarterbacks under contract and they’re going to place a tender on RFA Kellen Clemens, meaning an interested party would have to either work out a trade with Mike Tannenbaum or be willing to part ways with a second-round pick if the Jets elected not to match an offer sheet. Pennington has also made it clear that he’d like to stay in Miami even if that means backing up Chad Henne.

With the aforementioned Henne, the Dolphins have the makings of a pretty good offense, but they’ll have to figure out a way to keep Ronnie Brown healthy. Brown, a Wildcat gem for nine games last season, had a foot injury cut short a career year, and he played only seven games back in 2007 because of a knee injury. The Dolphins still finished fourth in the NFL in rushing as Ricky Williams turned in a 1,121-yard, 11-TD rushing campaign.

BUFFALO

Change is everywhere in Western New York.

Bills head coach Chan Gailey will be the playcaller on offense. The well-respected Bruce DeHaven, back for a second tour of duty in B-Lo, will lead the special teams. And the Bills brought in George Edwards to coordinate the defense — Edwards left the same post at the University of Florida just weeks after being brought on board by Urban Meyer.

The Bills go to a 3-4 look on defense and now all four AFC East teams operate out of a base 3-4. This promises to be a major transition because the Bills don’t have a prototypical nose on their roster. Aaron Maybin, a speed rusher who was the 11th overall selection last April and didn’t record a sack as a rookie, moves to outside linebacker. Longtime end Aaron Schobel may make the same conversion but is said to be contemplating retirement. Perhaps both sides would consider a trade?

"We’re going to start from the 3-4 from a schematic standpoint because we think it will be the most advantageous thing to start out with," said Edwards, who coached the Dolphins linebackers from 2004–09. "It gives us the flexibility to adjust to a lot of things. Offenses will have to guess who’s rushing, who’s dropping, what we’re doing coverage-wise. It should help with the disguise aspect of that."

There’s no disguising that the Bills haven’t found their answer at quarterback. With Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm signed, most people believe somebody else will be the Bills’ starter in 2010. On Thursday, Gailey called the NFL "a quarterback-driven league.”

"It hasn’t always been that way, but it seems to have become more so in the last decade or so. You have to have a quality player there,” he said. “It does not have to be a big-name player. You just have to have quality production. That’s the decision you’re trying to make."


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Posted in Eric Allen | 45 Comments »


45 Responses to “Additions, Subtractions Around the Division”

  1. By scjoe on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    I think that the Nolan signing by the fish will be a significant one. I don’t see Wilfork going anywhere, he will either get a long term deal or will be franchised. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Jets take a shot at Porter when he is released, at lest for one year. I see that the Bengals have signed Matt Jones, I thought that The Jets should have signed him last year, sure, he is no choir boy, but you don’t win championships with choir boys either, I think he could have been signed on the cheap.

  2. By Ira on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    The Chad watch is going to be very interesting. Even though KC will get a tender offer i would be totally shocked if he is on the roster come opening day. I think he wants to start over with a new team. From what i heard the other day Belichick will call the defenisve plays this year. The Bills are going to go through the same makeover switching to a 3-4 until they find themselves a NT. Wilfork if not slapped with the franchise tag could end up with the Bills.

  3. By scjoe on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    I hear what Woody is saying about getting a HOME playoff game next year, and I can only hope that they will have much more of a home field advantage in the new stadium next season then they have had in Giants stadium in the past. But the good news is they win on the road as well as anyone. One point about tendering Clemons with a second round tender, I for one will be very surprised to see any takers. I could see either Ariz, or Seattle offering a #3 though.

  4. By Stephen on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    Randy, are the Jets likely to place a franchise tag on anyone this year, and if so, which player has the best chances of getting it?

  5. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    Sounds like the Bills are giving Maybin the VG treatment. Still don’t get why we can’t beef VG up a bit and try him at the position he played in college. And speaking of college, is that all Gailey’s been watching for the last forty years? The NFL’s been “a quarterback-driven league” since, oh, Unitas or so. By Namath’s 4,007-yard year (’67) it’s obvious to all. I’ll take Chad to coach MS, not to back him up. Lose KC for a pick, make EA the back-up, see about O’Connell and Pizzotti for 3rd QB.

  6. By Eric Allen on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    Stephen, as soon as we know the answer to your questions from the Jets football office, we’ll let you know.

  7. By Dan on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    What moves do you think the Jets will make to improve their team? Offensively and Defensively wise, I think that they should trade away Thomas Jones for a Wide Receiver. They could also get a lineman to make that defense tip-top. What do you think?

  8. By Brian on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    Randy,
    Do you think the Jets will take a NT in the Later rounds of the Draft?? Because Jenkins is getting old and Pouha is under sized etc.

  9. By JetsManiac4Life on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    Randy, do you think we should try to bring Chad Pennington back? He would be an excellent mentor to the young and developing Sanchez.

  10. By Eric Allen on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    JetsManiac, I leave the “shoulds” to the HC and the GM, but I have always liked Chad Pennington’s intelligence and team approach.

  11. By Z on Feb 12, 2010 | Reply

    keep TJ, trade le-wa for a solid number 2 (invested too much in Edwards to make him number 2)

  12. By poobah on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    ok i give up. who’s le-wa

  13. By Gary C on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    If you are looking at a surprise number 1 pick from jets,they might select Jahvid Best from Cal.Jets need speed on offense and someone to compliment Greene, and right now they have nothing but question marks.maybe jets can institute some draws and screens then.

  14. By Gary C on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    Jets dump Pennington for Favre, Favre dumps Jets for Vikings,jet fans want Pennington back to back up Sanchez, I don’t think so.Pennington has to much class to come back to team that did not want him.

  15. By jets1fan on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    why would you trade leon? WOW thats nonsense

  16. By 37 year fan on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    Tory Holt , is on the market . Some veterin experience there would not hurt .

  17. By Mike Jet Vet on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    Will every1 stop with the C-Pennington crap unbelievable so many other productive players we’ll need to fill that 1 valuable roster spot .. Hello we have a very good QB coach already in Matt Cavenaugh .. We don’t need another dead body on the sidelines .. WE need a Mario Williams D-Freeney type to take pressure off our Linebackers another big fast DB trade V-G Rhodes & lito for some more productive players ..Another reciever or good rookie FB /RB

  18. By Mike Jet Vet on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    CONT. About Big jenks -leon Washington Return We all need to take this into account .Jenks has been hurt on the bench more in the last 2 seasons then not, don’t see that situation improving he;s on the down side of he very good career.. #2 With Leon coming off a very serious knee injury we’ll have to see how prepared mentally & physically he’ll be this season both are Question marks ..

  19. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    Good one about Best, Gary C.! Maybe we can get him in a later round, under the radar, like we got Greene?

  20. By scjoe on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    Eric, re: the signing of Mark Carrier as D-Line coach, I know he was a pro bowl safety and coached the D Backs for the Ravens the past few years, but what experience, if any, does he have coaching the D- Line? Unless we are missing something, wouldn’t a D Line coach have been a much better choice?

  21. By Larry on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    Chad? Youve got to be kidding! In a coaching capacity fine, Very smart great work ethic,etc. Nobody ever disputed that. As far as actually playing I cant believe they would consider it. He should have been gone 2 yrs before he was. He did for the fins what he did for us. Gag when he was needed or injured. Thats all he ever was and all he’ll ever be. I’d rather have Clemens. Why dont they just get rid of Rex and hire Mangini back while theyre at it.

  22. By jetfan74 on Feb 13, 2010 | Reply

    I’m on board w/ bringing in Porter. Put VG on the Jenkins diet so we can get some use out of him at 3-4 end. Then you get some trade value out of BT, say a third rounder? I would like to see Mr. T trade down so we can more picks or trade/ not match tenders on some of RFA’s. Please replace the parts that broke or fell apart in our backfield. Sorry, but I just don’t think Leon will be the same, goes for TJ too. Maybe we can swing a deal w/ Denver for Marshall. Sorry, just dreaming out loud!!!

  23. By Ira on Feb 14, 2010 | Reply

    Randy, Dito about Chad. The ultimate pro and teamate. Now that the Fish have named their #2 QB to be Thigpen as long as Chad can pass a physical and perform i feel he will be a Jet again. This is a key move for the Jets. Chad has always been so well respected by the team that this is not a big deal. In Pro Football you have to be thick skinned.

  24. By BobW on Feb 14, 2010 | Reply

    I was kind of wondering about Woodhead. With TJ, Leon, and Greene in the fold, there isn’t much room for him there. He lined up a few times this season as a receiver in the slot, and I thought he showed flashes of Wes Welker capabilities. Any thoughts in transitioning him to wr as a slot receiver?

  25. By 37 year fan on Feb 14, 2010 | Reply

    Pennington is a starter QB . We are loaded at QB . Although, I would love to have him back . There are too many teams that could use him. Oakland , Denver , Seattle, Washington, Philadelphia. All those teams need a QB. Plus we need to dish one of our QBs.We need to bolster some other positions.

  26. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 14, 2010 | Reply

    Please don’t let anyone in the Jets organization watch that video about Mayock’s Top 5 WRs. The last thing we need is more short WRs, short DBs, short anything! (Except for QB, now that Brees has proven to Ranger 46 that MS isn’t necessarily doomed because he’s only 2-and-some inches taller than this year’s Super Bowl MVP).

  27. By Anthony on Feb 14, 2010 | Reply

    Chad would be a good addition if we could get rid of Kellen Somehow with a trade or something because I don’t see any time really wanted Kellen Clemens. I though maybe the jets should trade Rhodes and Clemens to the raiders for Asomuga but then I woke up lol. Is there any word who the Jets are looking at Randy in the draft or is that confidential issue?

  28. By Eric Allen on Feb 14, 2010 | Reply

    Yes, Anthony, the players the Jets like in the draft are confidential, but the beatwriters always have good ideas on whom the Jets like from talking with agents and contacts around the NFL, which we don’t do. And we’ll have a whole lot of information on all the players in the draft, plus we hope to bring you information on whom the Jets are visiting with before the draft, which we did last year.

  29. By Ira on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    While we all would like them to draft a WR especially to fill the slot position.Something that is being overlooked here is the passing game out of the backfield was non-existent. 08 TJ and Leon combined for 83 catches. This year TJ,Leon,Woodhead and T-Rich had a total of 36. So much of their passing/running game was lost when Leon went down. He had 15 catches leading up to the Oak game. He would have had 50 or more. Leon gets back @ 100% and they add a slot WR this O will be more effective.

  30. By Gary C on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    to jet fan from 64 thanks for the compliment but best won’t last to jets pick in second round and many teams know about him already. He just reminds me of another chris johnson and you saw what he did with titans.

  31. By Zack on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    I think the Jets should make a trade for Julius Peppers.. What’s your opinion on that Randy?

  32. By Eric Allen on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    Zack, I think that would be very hard to do unless the Jets get more draft picks. But I would rule nothing out.

  33. By smoore7 on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    Too bad the Jets didn’t get Matt Jones

  34. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    You’re welcome, Gary C., but I hear there’s some question as to whether Best will be well enough to play next year after his concussion. My buddy who runs the biggest college football website showed me the clip and told me that the injury happened midway through the season and put Best out for the year, and that he only decided to forego his senior year after he got hurt. If there’s one thing we don’t need, it’s more injuries at RB! But we do need somebody to go with SG and hopefully Leon.

  35. By ranger46 on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    We are good at QB if we do not screw it up! MS proved if he’s healthy and smart he can win big games in the NFL. He hasn’t proven he can hang in the pocket in the final 4, see the entire field and throw a stike though. EA is our best option for a backup QB.
    He’s now played 2 seasons in the NFL, challenged the #1 defense in the NFL each day in practice and has thrown great passes in the pre-season games and live practice sessions that he get’s his chance. Ainge is an smart, big, winning QB!

  36. By crazycoonsy on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    randy tell if its possible? jets trade first and third this year and first next year for asomuga and then take jordan shipley in the second round or trade up to get him earlier in the top of the second he would fit perfect in the slot. Make money room by getting rid gholston and if you renagotiate a contract with ellis hes due over 10 mil this year i think, they should do something with litos contract maybe throw him in the asomuga trade, maybe. Seymour is ours if raiders drop,he wants revenge!

  37. By scjoe on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    Tom 64, the last thing we need is ANY WR right now, not only a short one. I can’t understand why everyone keeps pointing to that position as a major need. With BE, Cotchery, Clowney, and Henry and Britt on the PS, not to mention Woodhead and Keller why would they need another “project” form the college ranks right now? Could a high pick for a WR possibly be an upgrade for this coming season? I think not. They have to go DE/OLB, or CB at 1 and 2

  38. By scjoe on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    The problem we have this year is pretty much the same as the past couple of years, and that is the lack of draft picks. But what makes this year worse is the restrictions for signing UFAs for the final 4. Depth is needed on the O line as well as the D line and that is where those lack of draft picks are going to hurt. I believe this year more then ever those undrafted college FAs signings will be extremely important. Eric/Randy, what about that question about Carrier’s experience as a line coach

  39. By Mike Jet Vet on Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

    This is getting so old already .. Mike -T give Clemens the food & beverage or a front office job, I believe he’s a good team player & better ornament but cmon now time to move on he’s what we like to call in the poker world dead money .. With only 4 picks in 2010 we need to trade him for a player with potential ..Chad lovers Sanchez I noticed has a style C-P can’t teach if he builds on what he accomplished the last 5 games in 09.. M-S will be a better QB then C-P in years to come

  40. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 16, 2010 | Reply

    ranger 46 finally returns! Welcome back! I was surprised at how MS stepped up at the end, midway through the season I was calling for EA to get a full shot at beating him out for the job next year. And that’s why I agree with you, ranger, about EA as the only back-up we really need — because he has the potential to take over the job if MS should ever think he can start coasting. That’s the way it looks to me now, anyway, so I’m not into the nonsense about Chad or any other QBs.

  41. By Eric Allen on Feb 16, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe, Mark Carrier doesn’t have experience on the D-line. However, he does have three years experience with Rex Ryan. We’ll ask him about that when we talk to him this week for a story on newyorkjets.com.

  42. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 16, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe, I agree with the other needs you list but I think people are talking about a WR because it’s hard to tell where we’re at there. Is BE coming back? Is Clowney going to get a chance, and does he deserve it, do the coaches know something about him we don’t? Ira says Henry’s too slow, we have to see if AA is recovered enough from his injury to make it, and Wood’s far from a proven commodity, so we have a lot of questions at WR. Yet what we do know is that we have to pass more and better.

  43. By Ray on Feb 17, 2010 | Reply

    Ranger46, did you watch the Colts game? Because you apparently missed the TD pass Sanchez threw when he hung in the pocket and threw a strike to Keller as he got nailed by the Colts DL. That was hopefully a sign of things to come with him. BTW Drew Brees 6’0″ SB Champ!!

  44. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 17, 2010 | Reply

    Right on about MS in the Colts game, Ray, and the TD to DK against the Chargers was equally impressive with MS staying cool on the roll-out, looking off lots of receivers, waiting for SG’s key block, and then throwing a pinpoint strike to DK. Maybe MS is too short for Ranger 46 to see.

  45. By Ranger46 on Mar 28, 2010 | Reply

    MS proved he can lead a running team, with a ton of play action passes to wins! In the games final drives, he didn,’t deliver catchable footballs to his guys? He panicked, his brain moving to fast,? He struggled creating excellent “lines of fire” when it was Season Time! We didn’t give MS the Ball to win the game from the QB position thelast drive.You win SB’s from the QB spot, with MS I do not see that happening, not the big one. EA’s athleticism, size, smarts, leadership, I then see SB Win!

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