If this is May, it may be time for the Charley Casserly spring tour. And in fact the NFL analyst for CBS, who also has been a contributor to NFL Network’s draft coverage, was at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Wednesday, doing what he does at this time of year, which is to visit the league’s current GMs, HCs and the teams they run.
I caught up with Charlie after he spent some quality time with Mike Tannenbaum, just to renew acquaintances with the courteous, professorial commentator (who, on a side note, was born in River Edge, N.J., not far from Bill Parcells’ high school stomping grounds, and used to deliver the Bergen County, N.J., daily newspaper that I once worked for long before I got there).
My main idea was to find out what he liked in the T/Rex operation. It turns out he likes the Jets a lot.
“When I look at this team, I think you see two very aggressive personalities in Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan, and I think that’s why they’ve been successful,” Casserly said. “Mike’s been aggressive going after players, whether it’s in the draft or free agency. Rex has the infectious enthusiasm and leadership, and he has a brilliant defensive mind, no question about it.
“Good teams have an identity, and this team’s identity is they want to run the ball and they want to be aggressive on defense. And they’re built that way.”
Charley sees a lot of other things to admire about the Green & White:
Mark Sanchez — “He’s done a good job for them here. If you’re the Jets, you’re happy with having Mark because every time he goes out there, you think you’ve got a chance to win. He only had one year in college as a starter so he had room to improve, he has improved and he’ll continue to improve.”
Top draft picks Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis — “They got the best player available in Round 1, which is the smart move. And they took two defensive linemen. You can’t have enough good, young defensive linemen because if you can stop the run, they’ll find a way to rush the passer here.”
Fourth-round RB Bilal Powell — “I thought he was the best fourth-round pick in the draft. I really like this guy — a lot.”
More Ryan — “I think he’s learned a few things along the way about being more judicious about certain things he says. But Rex is a smart guy. When he says something, there’s a plan there. This isn’t a shoot-off-the-mouth thing, which is sometimes portrayed in the media. This is a smart guy with a purpose to what he says.”
The Jets’ chances ahead — “I have confidence they’ll come out of this offseason in good shape for a couple of reasons. One, I don’t think anyone questions whether the Jets will spend. And I can’t imagine, as a player, why you wouldn’t want to play here. You’ve got a coach that you love playing for, and you’ve got a team that’s going to contend for the championship.”
The Jets stop was part of the spring tour for Casserly, the former Redskins and Texans GM, who since 2007 has visited all NFL teams, with 10 to 12 of his stops coming in the spring months. This year’s offseason schedule has been different for sure, but as Charley said before moving on to a visit with Schottenheimer in another part of the building, “I was a scout, so this is nothing. The difference between what I’m doing now and scouting is the thunderstorms.”
Tags: Bilal Powell, Bill Parcells, Charley Casserly, Kenrick Ellis, Mark Sanchez, Mike Tannenbaum, Muhammad Wilkerson, Rex Ryan
Posted in Randy Lange | 70 Comments »