The Radar’s been dark for a while, as you all know. Not a lot to talk about on the player front, other than the several who continue to show up at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on their own to work and sweat in advance of the late-July start of training camp. And we were preoccupied for the past several weeks with whipping the 2013 Yearbook home to the printers.
But we will have a full month of previews, reviews, features and news stories on newyorkjets.com, including new outstanding videos from my partner, Eric Allen, and the broadcasting and multimedia crew, some more EA blogs, and some preview pieces from the Yearbook.
Did I mention the Yearbook yet? As always, it’s a labor of love and a glorious print paean to the 2013 Jets, with some top-notch stories from EA, reporter John Holt and myself, along with the fantastic still photography of Al Pereira and the sharp design work of Rob Krolick and his NCG Visuals team.
The book’s theme is the New York Jets’ Golden Anniversary, as in it’s been 50 years since the Jets arose from the ashes of the Titans of New York to begin life with the 1963 AFL season. The cover is graced with a timeline of great Jets images from Joe Namath to Jumbo Elliott to David Harris, and more of those classic images appear with my feature inside.
Many of those photos are gracing this year’s ticket package that is going out to season ticket holders. One of my favorite shots in the book, one that is not on the tickets but is featured prominently in the feature, is Wesley Walker being raised to the Jets pantheon by Marty Lyons after a particularly significant achievement in September 1986. The lensman was Jerry Liebman, a frequent Jets contributor back in those days.
The 2013 Yearbook itself will be out the first week of camp (first full practice: Friday, July 26), available for non-season ticket holders at SUNY Cortland, online at jetshop.com and at the Jets Shops in Manhattan and at MetLife Stadium.
One of the things I look forward to executing every year are the factoids at the bottom of each of the full-page veteran and draft choice pages, a trading-card-like note on each player’s recent past and anticipated immediate future. I won’t spoil too much of the fun, but here for some flavor of this year’s Yearbook and to keep us all going a little while longer is a list of my Top Ten Player Nuggets:
■ Antwan Barnes, who played his first pro game as a Ravens rookie against the Jets on Sept. 16, 2007, had five sacks in his first 40 NFL games, then erupted for 18.5 sacks in 38 games as a Charger since ’10.
■ Willie Colon, as a New York City high school all-star in the early 2000s, played in the Empire Challenge and thus practiced for the game at the Jets’ fields when they were stationed at Hofstra University.
■ Demario Davis should increase his playing time this season after an active rookie campaign in which he led the Jets with 371 special teams plays and was second behind Nick Bellore with 15 ST tackles.
■ D’Brickashaw Ferguson played in every one of the Jets’ 1,074 offensive plays, and he extended his career-long ironman streaks to 112 games and starts — both the longest streaks among active NFL tackles.
■ David Harris led the Jets with 1,196 plays, including special teams, and again topped the defense in tackles — the fifth season that “the Hitman” reached 100 tackles and led the Jets in the process.
■ Chris Ivory, described as “a very physical, violent runner” by GM John Idzik, can move the chains — his 5.11 yards per carry is eighth-best in the NFL for all RBs with at least 250 career carries since 1970.
■ Jeremy Kerley, who led the Jets in receptions and receiving yards last season, has had a hand in the Green & White’s last seven 40-yard pass plays — five on the receiving end and two as the passer.
■ Joe McKnight’s 29.4-yard kickoff-return average in 2011-12 combined is the best in the NFL in back-to-back seasons since Hall of Famer-to-be Gale Sayers posted a 31.3 for the Bears in 1965-66.
■ Darrin Walls, whose only career interception came for Atlanta on New Year’s Day 2012 vs. Tampa Bay, has been reunited with Jets LBs coach Brian VanGorder, his defensive coordinator with the Falcons.
■ Kellen Winslow, signed June 14 after his tryout at the Jets’ full-squad minicamp, ranks third among all NFL tight ends since 2006 with 698 targets, fourth with 433 catches, and fourth with 4,798 yards.
Tags: 2013 Yearbook, Al Pereira, Antwan Barnes, Chris Ivory, David Harris, Demario Davis, Eric Allen, Jeremy Kerley, joe McKnight, Willie Colon
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