LaRon Landry’s phone rang Wednesday afternoon and the person trying to reach him was Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
“At first I didn’t answer,” Landry told newyorkjets.com. “I was like, the GM called me, so I’m trying to figure out what the hell is wrong or what kind of insight he was trying to tell me.”
Landry would return Tannenbaum’s call once he made it home from practice and was relieved to know that he wasn’t in trouble.
“I’m contemplating the whole time, like, ‘What’s going on?’ ” Landry said. “But when I got home, I heard the news and it definitely was an honor.”
The news Tannenbaum passed along to No. 30 for the Green & White was that the sixth-year pro and first-year Jet had been selected to his first Pro Bowl. Landry joins CB Antonio Cromartie as Jets reserves on the AFC roster. The game will be played Jan. 27 in Honolulu.
“It’s definitely a bittersweet kind of situation,” Landry said. “Just to have the season we’ve been having, I just wish we could have made it to the playoffs, probably made it to the championship, and I’m sorry I couldn’t contribute to get into the playoffs. It’s sweet because it’s a goal that I’ve always been looking forward to getting, being six years into it.”
Landry was the sixth overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft and spent his first five years in the league with Washington. However, his final two seasons with the Redskins he played only a combined 15 games due to his heel injury. The Jets were aware of the injury when they signed him in March and have made sure he sits out of practice one day each week. The strategy has worked to perfection as the 6”0’, 220-pounder has played at a high level while not missing a game in 2012.
“It holds a lot of weight,” Landry said of being voted into his first Pro Bowl, “and it’s very valuable to my emotions because I was coming off a two-year injury.”
Fellow safety Eric Smith said he knew when Landry first arrived in Florham Park that he had the potential to make this year’s Pro Bowl roster, adding that he’s enjoyed his time as Landry’s teammate this season.
“He’s laid-back and has a good time,” Smith said, “but when it comes gameday, he’s focused.”
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine felt Landry was well-deserving of the recognition.
“I think LaRon really came on late in the year,” Pettine said, “when things started to click as far as the mental part of it and he was getting on the same page as everybody else.”
There wasn’t a particular moment this season when Landry said he realized he had a shot at making the Pro Bowl. He said he was only trying to be victorious with his teammates.
“It’s all about winning ballgames,” he said.
Heading into the Jets’ final game Sunday at Buffalo, the former LSU Tiger has produced four forced fumbles, two interceptions and one touchdown return. His Pro Bowl selection makes him the first Green & White safety to make the game since Erik McMillan did it 23 years ago.
“I’m just happy the way I got it with the Jets, coming off IR two years in a row,” Landry said. “It’s definitely a great accomplishment and it means a lot to me to be voted on by my peers of the NFL, coaches, and my fans.”
Landry has never previously visited Hawaii but has been told it’s a beautiful place. He’s glad he’ll be making the trip alongside Cromartie, his teammate in the secondary, and anticipates the experience to be one he’ll hold onto for a long time.
“It was definitely a goal,” he said, “and I didn’t do it alone. This organization as a whole, training staff, everybody within this organization helped me make it.”
Thursday Injury Report\
Greg McElroy’s concussion situation is detailed in our news story on head coach Rex Ryan’s decision to sit McElroy and start Mark Sanchez on Sunday at Buffalo. The good concussion news is that two Jets with head injuries, DE Muhammad Wilkerson and CB Ellis Lankster, have been passing their tests and both were limited in today’s practice. Also limited was WR Braylon Edwards, who didn’t practice Wednesday due to a hamstring/knee flareup.
Besides McElroy, KR-RB Joe McKnight (ankle/illness) didn’t participate in practice, nor did S LaRon Landry (heel), LB Bryan Thomas (chest), WR Chaz Schilens (knee), TE Dustin Keller (ankle) and CB Aaron Berry (hamstring). Berry late today was placed on injured reserve. All 15 other Jets on the injury report were full-go.
The Bills’ injury list, and in particular their “limited” section, grew today. Three DNPs from Wednesday all were limited — S Jairus Byrd (ankle), G Andy Levitre (knee) and DT Kyle Williams (ankle). Two other players were added to the list as limited in CB Justin Rogers (foot) and LB Chris White (hamstring).
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Buffalo Bills, Greg McElroy, joe McKnight, LaRon Landry, Mike Tannenbaum, Pro Bowl
Posted in John Holt | 56 Comments »
Congratulations to Antonio Cromartie, the latest member of the NFL’s Two-Way Football Club.
Many Jets fans are aware that Cro got a rare double start on Sunday at Jacksonville. He was lined up at split end on the game’s first offensive play and he was at his old, familiar right corner spot for the defense.
Have any other Jets done the double before Cro? I can’t find any back to 1977. Of course we remember WR Keyshawn Johnson doing it all in the 1998 AFC Divisional Round Game vs. Jacksonville, including coming up with an interception off of an end-of-game Hail Mary fired up by none other than Jaguars QB Mark Brunell. But Key didn’t get the start on defense. And Bobby Humphery started four games at WR in 1984 before flipping over to LCB, where he started 35 games, including every game in 1988-89, but again, Humphery never started on O and D in the same game.
However, we can say that Cromartie became the first NFL player since 2008 to start for his team on offense and defense in the same game. The last player with that daily double was Spencer Larsen, who was the Broncos’ precocious rookie middle linebacker in ’08 and at Atlanta on Nov. 16 also started at fullback.
(As a completely unrelated trivia aside, five other players besides Larsen started that day in that game who either previously had been or subsequently would become Jets. How many of those five can you name? Answer below.)
We remember Cromartie getting his feet wet at wideout this summer. He got his first work with receivers in the second half of individual drills at the Aug. 13 practice at SUNY Cortland, after which he said he’s looking forward to playing offense in a game.
“I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to try to play both ways in the NFL for a while,” Cro said then. “It’s fun. It’s just an opportunity to get the ball in your hands and another challenge. I’m looking at going out and playing receiver as a challenge for me. I’ve been asking for it since I was a rookie in San Diego.”
AC didn’t take his WR game into the preseason nor into the first four regular-season games. But he was on the offensive side of the ball for three plays against the Texans and had two passes thrown his way by Mark Sanchez, both incomplete. Including his three offensive plays at Jacksonville, he has 15 plays on offense this season.
And counting his one catch for a 2-yard loss against the Jags, Cromartie now has one pro catch for minus-2 yards. His debut as a pass catcher instead of a catch preventer came late in the first quarter, when he motioned out of the slot, took a short pass from Mark Sanchez, and couldn’t escape the clutches of Jason Babin to get upfield.
Will Cro’s wideout career ever get flying? He could obviously still be used in a pinch in the final three games this year. However, if Braylon Edwards is healthy and ready to participate immediately (we’ll find that out Thursday), if Stephen Hill’s knee sprain comes around quickly, and/or if Clyde Gates gets clearance from his concussion, plus Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens and Mardy Gilyard, there may not be any spare reps to be had at the position.
But we expect Cromartie to keep turning up here and there regardless as he just keeps trying to help his team win.
Pro Bowl Stretch Run
It’s been a rough year for the Jets and that is reflected in the Pro Bowl snapshot as the fan online balloting on NFL.com heads down the stretch. No Jet is in the top 10 as released by the league today, and no Jet is a leader at his position among AFC vote-getters.
But needless to say, some Jets may still get their names called for the annual all-star game, and if you want to help your favorite player in green and white make it to Hawaii, you can still vote here on NYJets.com.
Balloting concludes Monday, Dec. 17, following the conclusion of the Jets-Titans Monday night game.
Would you like to see C Nick Mangold make his fifth Pro Bowl and fourth as a starter? Want to send LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson to Oahu for his fourth straight appearance? Support RG Brandon Moore, who went to his first PB last year? Drape Cromartie, DE Muhammad Wilkerson, S LaRon Landry or LB David Harris in leis and in the red-and-white AFC jerseys the week before this year’s Super Bowl?
The AFC and NFC squads are based on the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 43-man rosters that represent the conferences. NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on Dec. 20-21. The game is Jan. 27, 7 p.m. EST, televised live by NBC from Aloha Stadium.
Edwards is expected to wear uniform No. 17, as he did when he was with the Jets for 34 games in 2009-10 and in fact as he has worn for his entire pro career. … Falcons starters on 11.16.08 against Denver were DE John Abraham, FS Erik Coleman and TE Ben Hartsock. Broncos starters that game were former Jets first-rounder Dewayne Robertson and C Casey Wiegmann, who played three games for the 1996-97 Jets.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Bobby Humphery, Brandon Moore, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, David Harris, Keyshawn Johnson, LaRon Landry, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Mangold, Pro Bowl, Spencer Larsen, Tennessee Titans
Posted in Randy Lange | 52 Comments »
By all accounts, the Northeast has experienced an unusually mild winter. The snowstorm from last weekend already feels forgotten. Still, the nights are cold, the trees bare, the sky gray, and the sunlight short.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be in, say … Hawaii?
Four Jets have that distinct honor. Offensive linemen Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Brandon Moore and cornerback Darrelle Revis are all currently in Oahu for Sunday’s Pro Bowl.
It’s the fourth Pro Bowl trip for Revis and Mangold, the third for Ferguson and the first for Moore. You can see them play one more time on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. on NBC before the NFL season officially ends a week from Sunday with Super Bowl XLVI.
Since arriving in the 50th State, the four Jets have gone through light, informal practices at Kapolei High School west of Honolulu and have had time to enjoy the spoils of Hawaii in the winter.
Besides football, there was an annual community event. On Thursday AFC Pro Bowlers took part in Play 60 Community Blitz, a joint effort between the NFL’s Play 60 campaign, Procter & Gamble, and KaBoom, a nonprofit group with the goal of building playspaces for children throughout the United States. This year, the players helped construct a playground at Ke Kula ‘o Samuel M. Kamakau Public Charter School in Kaneohe.
An added wrinkle in this year’s Pro Bowl is the addition of a designated tweeting area on each sideline. A departure from normal protocol, players will be able to tweet during the game. It should add even more entertainment value to a game that never lacks offensive firepower. Of the four Jets in Honolulu, Mangold is probably the most active Tweeter. Look for some gems from Nick throughout the game.
You can see photos of your Jets in Hawaii, including a freshly trimmed Mangold, here on newyorkjets.com. Moore will also be sending back some pictures from his first experience in the Pro Bowl, so check back often to see some behind-the-scenes shots.
We may be stuck in the doldrums of winter, but at least we can live vicariously through our Jets in Oahu.
Tags: Brandon Moore, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, Honolulu, Kaneohe, Nick Mangold, Play 60, Pro Bowl
Posted in Andrew LeRay | 108 Comments »
Updated, 10:07 p.m. ET
Brandon Moore and the Jets got a small bit of good news tonight on this NFL Championship Weekend. They learned that Moore is finally an all-star.
The NFL has announced that Moore, the Jets’ long-time right guard, a second alternate at the AFC’s guard position, has been named to the conference’s Pro Bowl roster, replacing Brian Waters of the New England Patriots, who are playing in Super Bowl XLVI in two weeks.
Moore will be joining fellow Jets O-linemen Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson and cornerback Darrelle Revis in Honolulu, Hawaii, this week for Sunday’s Pro Bowl Game, to be played at Aloha Stadium.
Moore, who just finished his ninth season as a Jet and his eighth as their starting guard, has been one of the unsung heroes of the Green & White line.
But in part with the support of head coach Rex Ryan, who has called him the best right guard in the game, and in part because of his high consistency of performance, Moore joins “Nick and Brick” plus Alan Faneca as Jets O-linemen have now claimed 10 Pro Bowl berths in the past four seasons.
Moore becomes the fourth Jets guard to reach all-star status, joining Bob Mischak of the New York Titans (1960-62) and Dave Herman (1968-69) as AFL all-stars and Faneca, an AFC starting guard for the Jets in 2008 and ’09.
Moore’s ironman qualities are well-known among line aficionados. He has started 121 consecutive regular-season games since 2004, the most among all active NFL guards, and his 121 straight games played is second among all active guards behind only the 124 of Tennessee’s Jake Scott.
Then an independent NFL analysis service determined that Moore gave up no sacks or hits on quarterback Mark Sanchez this season.
Tags: Aloha Stadium, Brandon Moore, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, Honolulu, Nick Mangold, Pro Bowl
Posted in Randy Lange | 78 Comments »
Updated, 6:37 p.m. ET
Rex Ryan wasn’t his usual ebullient self, no doubt because his Jets have their backs to the wall this week heading toward Miami on New Year’s Day. But he said he and his Jets are as confident as they can be in the position they’re in.
“I think our attitude’s good,” the head coach assessed. “We wish we controlled our own destiny. We don’t. But shoot, we’ve still got a shot at the playoffs. I think the attitude is great and we’re all excited to play.”
The Jets could surely have a range of emotions for this one: bummed out because they had control of that destiny for the past two weeks only to lose games at Philadelphia and home against the Giants, yet energized because they know that this week their only paths to the postseason require a win over Miami (plus some help from three of their friends).
“Everything you do in the offseason, all the practices, training camps, minicamps — well, no minicamps this year — all the games, the whole season, is to get to where you have a chance at the playoffs,” Ryan said. “Obviously you’d like to be in a different circumstance, but it’s a lot easier when there’s a chance to make the playoffs to motivate your guys. It’s right there in front of us. That’s not an issue.”
If LB Aaron Maybin’s approach is an indication of his teammates’ mood this week, Rex is right.
“It’s do or die, and it has nothing to do with the Miami Dolphins,” Maybin said. “It has nothing to do with anything else other than this is what we put ourselves in. We need to get a win. However that needs to happen, whatever we need to do, when we come back into the locker room down there, we have to have a victory.”
If only it were that easy, it would already have been done. But the Jets’ mistakes and inconsistencies have led them to this juncture.
“This is the first time I have ever been in a situation like this,” WR Plaxico Burress said late today. “We left everything get out of our own hands. All we can do is go out there and win this game and see what happens. If we do get in, great. If things don’t work out, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
Ryan is still voting for the Jets getting in.
“I’m confident we can right the ship this week,” he said. “That’s all that matters right now. It doesn’t matter what happened behind us. We’ve got to focus on right now, stay in the present and hope there’s a future.”
Ryan on the Pro Bowl Jets
Ryan is, as he said, like every other NFL head coach when it comes to Pro Bowl time. In his first comments after Tuesday night’s announcements of the AFC and NFC all-star squads, he had a few comments on the three Jets who have been named to the roster and the three who are alternates waiting for the call if and when injuries and the Super Bowl pulls players away from their positions.
Rex on AFC starting CB Darrelle Revis: “I’m proud of the fact that Darrelle made the first team. If he didn’t, there shouldn’t be a game.”
On reserve O-linemen Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson: “Obviously both guys are deserving. That [Mike] Pouncey, we’re playing [Maurkice] Pouncey’s twin brother [in Miami]. He must be real good if he can start over Nick Mangold. I know he’s a great player, but I think Nick’s the best center in the league.”
First alternate kick returner Joe McKnight: “From where he was last year, the improvements he made, I think that’s impressive as well and we told him that he should be really proud of himself.”
Ryan saved his most robust statements for his two second alternates, LB David Harris and G Brandon Moore:
“Let the facts speak for themselves — David Harris has five sacks, four interceptions, probably twice as many as any other linebacker. … I told him we are going to get him to the Pro Bowl next year. All he has to do is play exactly how he played this year but take a dance class this summer, do something. If there’s ever a guy that’s deserving of it, it’s David Harris.
“And Brandon, statistically he’s the only guard in the league that has not given up a sack or a hit on the quarterback. Now, he came off hip surgery so he wasn’t blocking people on their backs the way he did the year before because he’s getting healthy, but maybe you ought to look at that. The guy’s a pretty good player. I told him, ‘It’s because you’re not very nice.’ If he was nicer, maybe he’d get more votes.”
Jets injury picture is OK. LB/ST Garrett McIntyre (knee) is the only player who didn’t participate in today’s practice. Six were limited — CB Marquice Cole (knee), DT Mike DeVito (knee), G Brandon Moore (hip), S Eric Smith (knee), RB LaDainian Tomlinson (quad) and DE Muhammad Wilkerson (knee). Ferguson (foot) was the only new name on the full-go list.
“We’re concerned with Garrett a little bit. We’ll see how he does during the week,” said Ryan. “I’m really not sure about his availability. I feel good about everybody else.”
For the Dolphins, they will be without LT Jake Long, who was placed on injured reserve today after suffering a torn right biceps on Christmas Eve vs. the Patriots.
Regarding Miami’s injury report, four players were DNPs today: RB Reggie Bush (knee), T Marc Colombo (ankle), CB Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) and LB Karlos Dansby (non-injury-related). WRs Brandon Marshall (knee) and Edmond Gates (groin) were limited during team drills. TE Anthony Fasano (head) and CB Vontae Davis (elbow) practiced full.
Rex said LB Ricky Sapp will be signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. He will take the spot vacated with the waiving of WR Eron Riley announced Tuesday night.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Brandon Moore, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Jake Long, joe McKnight, Miami Dolphins, Nick Mangold, Pro Bowl, Rex Ryan
Posted in Randy Lange | 29 Comments »
Who will be the Jets’ newest Pro Bowl participant in January? Linebacker David Harris? Tight end Dustin Keller? Kickoff returner Joe McKnight?
It would be neat to turn some of the Green & White’s top stars into NFL All-Stars this season, to have them add their names to the list of Pro Bowl players that includes current Jets Darrelle Revis, D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. And Jets fans can help bring this about by casting their ballots for their favorite Jets on newyorkjets.com/probowl
It’s that time of year for the NFL and all its teams to get out the vote for the 2011 season’s Pro Bowl, which will be held at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, Jan. 29. Fans, players and coaches each supply a third of the vote that establishes the players who make the initial AFC and NFC rosters.
And the Jets have become one of the league’s top teams at landing players on the AFC roster and sending them to the annual Pro Bowl. From 2008-10 they’ve filled 15 berths on the conference Pro Bowl team.
Three current Jets have sampled the poi and sipped the mango-ritas in Honolulu (and in South Florida in early 2010), and all are off to great starts in ’11.
After seven games, Revis (three-time Pro Bowler) has a team-high four interceptions, one returned for a 100-yard touchdown — the longest home INT-return TD in franchise history — against Miami, and blankets opponents’ No. 1 wideouts on “Revis Island.” Center Nick Mangold (also a three-time Pro Bowler) continues to prevail in the pivot, calling the Jets’ O-line signals and handling the big dogs in the middle of opposing defensive fronts to keep the offense moving. D’Brickashaw Ferguson (two Pro Bowls) has become one of the top left tackles in the game, protecting his quarterback’s blind side from the best pass-rushers in the game.
Will they qualify to return to Hawaii at the end of this season? And who among the Jets will join them?
“Hitman” Harris rules the roost in the middle of the Green & White defense, posting great tackle numbers and supplying timely blitz pressure on enemy QBs.
Keller, who last year became the first TE to lead the Jets in receptions since Mickey Shuler in 1985, is at it again, topping this year’s offense with 25 catches and 372 receiving yards as one of Mark Sanchez’s favorite targets.
McKnight erupted on the scene with the longest play in franchise history, his 108-yard kickoff-return touchdown at Baltimore, and leads all NFL kickoff returners with a mind-numbing 40.0-yard average on each runback.
And in the coming weeks, other Jets are sure to catch the eye of fans and voters in the New York area and across the nation. CB Antonio Cromartie supplies the athletic coverage against other teams’ wideouts on the side of the field opposite Revis. Head coach Rex Ryan has said LB Calvin Pace is having his best season since Ryan arrived as the Jets’ football boss in 2009.
On offense, Sanchez continues with his growth curve, posting the best regular-season completion percentage and passer rating of his three-year career. WRs Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress have the skills to erupt at any time for weeks at a time. Shonn Greene ran with his most authority yet in the comeback win over the Chargers. And Ryan has always felt that the indestructible Brandon Moore “is the best right guard in the game.”
Not to forget the specialists, Nick Folk has yet to miss a field goal or placekick, and he and his coverage team have combined to lead the league with 14 inside-the-20 kickoffs. And Eric Smith not only is a regular starting safety for the first time in his career and the Jets’ leading tackler on defense, but he is still a monster in all phases of the Jets’ special teams.
Fans can vote for any of the above Jets, all of them, or any Jets not mentioned on the NFL’s official Pro Bowl fan ballot on their PCs or via their iPads or mobile devices. Once on the ballot, fans can elect to fill out the entire ballot or just vote for one or a few of the players of their choice.
Voting will conclude on Monday, Dec. 19, following the conclusion of the Monday Night Football game between the Steelers and 49ers. The Pro Bowl teams will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 7 p.m. ET on the special “NFL Total Access 2012 Pro Bowl Selection Show” on NFL Network.
Tags: Aloha Stadium, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dustin Keller, joe McKnight, Nick Mangold, Pro Bowl
Posted in Jets Staff | 26 Comments »
Super Bowl Week officially began today in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. It’s a busy time in the NFL as the Pro Bowl was played Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Senior Bowl wrapped up with its game Saturday in Mobile, Ala., the 2011 Hall of Fame Class will be unveiled this Saturday at the Super Bowl Media Center in Dallas, and then the title game will take place on Sunday.
“We’ve kind of turned the page and tried to move forward for the 2011 season,” said GM Mike Tannenbaum.
That’s not lip service when you consider the Jets’ college scouting staff will arrive in Florham Park, N.J., on Sunday for 11 days of meetings to review thousands of pages of information on prospects. VP of College Scouting Joey Clinkscales will lead his team on an exhaustive pre-combine evaluation as the Jets will review every draftable prospect from Feb. 7-21.
For each draftable player, scouts who visited a player’s school will read their individual reports and then it’s decided if there is some grade discrepancy and more reports are needed. While grades can change some after the NFL Combine and subsequent pro days, the truest test of all remains the tape.
Even though the NFL’s current labor deal is set to expire on March 3, we can assure you that the combine, beginning Feb. 23, and the ’11 draft, commencing April 28, will run as scheduled. The top senior prospects clashed Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile as the South topped the North, 24-10. Christian Ponder, a Florida State product hoping to impress, threw for two TDs and 132 yards to earn game MVP honors.
In addition to Ponder, here are the names of a few players who impressed onlookers with their play in the last week:
Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M — Looks to be a sure-fire Top 10 pick (the Jets are scheduled to select No. 30 overall). Is there something that he can’t do? This explosive talent is a tremendous pass rusher who amassed 27.5 sacks the past two seasons. He covers a lot of ground and moves well in coverage.
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor — An enormous dude at 6’4”, 337, he is considered more of a late bloomer who is stout at the point of attack. Not going to shock you with pass rush moves, but this space eater can push ahead with the bull rush.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami — After leading the ‘Canes with 45 receptions and six receiving TDs, the 6’2”, 205-pounder displayed good hands throughout the week and ended on a high with five receptions for 101 yards and one TD in the game.
Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue — Pass rushers don’t grow on trees, so don’t expect Kerrigan to be waiting long before his name is called on draft night. Nicknamed “Superman” for his strength/effort combination, Kerrigan turns the corner in no time.
Gabe Carimi, OL, Wisconsin — In his latest mock draft, NFLDraftScout.com’s Rob Rang has the Green & White selecting Carimi. The big 6’7”, 315-pounder, who played tackle for the Badgers, worked some inside at guard during the week.
Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State — Productive as he led the Aztecs in receptions (69), yards (1,352) and touchdowns. Solid route runner who helped his stock with an impressive showing.
Cameron Jordan, DE, California — A very strong end, Jordan is considered a complete package because he can rush the passer and is stout at the point of attack.
Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State — Sure, Hunter’s only 5’7”, but he’s got big game. He rushed for 1,548 yards last season with 16 rush TDs for the Cowboys’ prolific attack. Deadly in space and a good pass protector to boot, he could draw some comparisons to Leon Washington.
Lots of debate continues to rage on about Washington QB Jake Locker. An elite athlete who returned to UW for his senior season, Locker struggled with his consistency and wasn’t as sharp as some would like from inside the pocket.
Scouts Inc., on its latest Big Board, ranks UCLA underclassman S Rahim Moore as the 30th top prospect. The Jets could have as many as three unrestricted free agents at safety and Moore had 14 career interceptions for the Bruins.
CNNSI.com’s Don Banks thinks the Jets could opt to get a little younger on the defensive line and has them grabbing Illinois DT Corey Liuget in his latest mock. Mel Kiper, the most famous draftnik of them all, also has the Jets targeting the D-line — Temple DE Muhammad Wilkerson, a Linden, N.J., native, led the Owls with 9.5 sacks and 13 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
NFLDraftScout.com’s Chad Reuter has the Jets taking another underclassman in his latest mock — Pittsburgh WR Joe Baldwin. New York’s AFC representative didn’t do that bad the last time it selected an Aliquippa High School alum. That would be Darrelle Revis.
Back on the Pro Front
Speaking of Revis, he joined T D’Brickashaw Ferguson out in Hawaii last week for the Pro Bowl festivities. Revis had good coverage on Larry Fitzgerald on one of Michael Vick’s first-quarter long balls, while Ferguson saw a lot of time on the right side, locking up with Justin Tuck of the crosstown Giants. The AFC actually outscored the NFC, 41-13, over the game’s final 32 minutes but lost, 55-41, because it fell behind, 42-0, in the first 28 minutes. No injuries to report, so that’s a good thing.
Later this week, newyorkjets.com editor-in-chief Randy Lange will be in Dallas to cover the unveiling of the Hall of Fame Class of 2011. Curtis Martin, who is the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history with 14,101 yards and who became the oldest runner (31) to claim a rushing title (1,694 yards, 2004 season), is a finalist for the first time.
Tags: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, Gabe Carimi, Joey Clinkscales, Leonard Hankerson, Mike Tannenbaum, Phil Taylor, Pro Bowl, Ryan Kerrigan, Senior Bowl, Super Bowl, Von Miller
Posted in Eric Allen | 6 Comments »
We’re not there to document it for you this year, but from all accounts Darrelle Revis and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, the Jets’ two Pro Bowl players this year, are enjoying themselves in Hawaii.
Revis and Brick (Nick Mangold stayed home with a hamstring pull) wrapped up their week of practices and fun in the sun Saturday and both will be starting for the AFC squad in tonight’s annual Pro Bowl, back at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu after a one-year hiatus.
That year was spent in South Florida last year, when Revis made his second trip to the all-star game and Brick stepped in for injured Dolphin Jake Long for his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Now there is just a touch of irony in that Ferguson will start at tackle next to guard Logan Mankins of New England while Revis split practice time with Patriots rookie Devin McCourty in the secondary. Jason Kaneshiro of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported this past week for ESPNBoston.com on the relaxed AFC East rivalry.
And Revis chatted with Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald about the “copycat NFL” that may be all over the way the Jets defended against Tom Brady and the Patriots offense in the AFC Divisional Round Game just two short weeks ago.
“We felt confident in what we wanted to do,” Revis told Guregian. “We just wanted to make those guys uncomfortable. If you look at the Indianapolis game before that, Peyton [Manning] wasn’t himself. He was a little jittery back there. That’s what our coverage did. Tom was confident, but we just got to him, and got sacks and made him turn over the ball.”
We have a couple of photos courtesy of The Associated Press that will accompany this blog, one showing Revis during a break in the action from Saturday’s practice at Kapolei High School on the southwestern side of Oahu. In the other, Ferguson is about to be presented with a lei on Friday at the sumptuous Ko Olina Resort, with Mankins and Colts DE Robert Mathis (98) in line behind Brick.
Tonight’s game will kick off around 7 p.m. EST on Fox, one week before the Steelers and Packers meet in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboy Stadium.
For the second consecutive year, the Pro Bowl will be played the week before the Super Bowl. The 2010 Pro Bowl on ESPN was watched by an average of 12.3 million viewers, the most for a Pro Bowl since 2000 (13.2 million) and a 40 percent increase from the 2009 game (8.8 million). The 12.3 million viewers also marked the largest viewership for an All-Star game in any sport on cable television.
For those who keep track of such things, tonight’s game is the 41st between the AFC and the NFC. The AFC evened the series at 20-20 with last year’s 41-34 triumph.
We’ll have a report for you on how Revis and Ferguson fared and other points of interest after the game.
Thank you to all our old and new Tweetahs (Dustin Keller term) who are now following us at twitter.com/nyjets. We just cleared 100,000 followers on Friday and are No. 1 in Twitter followers in the NFL. Quite a climb from the 74 followers we had when we started posting Jets news on the social networking site beginning with the 2009 veteran minicamp.
Tags: Aloha Stadium, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty, Logan Mankins, New England Patriots, Pro Bowl
Posted in Randy Lange | 19 Comments »
The biggest football story today at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center was the Green & White’s injury report. Six players did not practice, including late entry WR Santonio Holmes with a turf toe suffered Sunday at Pittsburgh.
And QB Mark Sanchez, even though he worked with his sore right shoulder on a limited basis during team drills at today’s outdoor practice, tops the list of concerns.
But head coach Rex Ryan was optimistic about both Sanchez’s and Holmes’ availability for Sunday’s possible playoff-clinching game at Chicago.
“Mark was moving around good but was limited with the amount of throws he took,” Ryan said after practice this afternoon. “I think if we had to play a game today, he’d play right now. Again, he’s sore so we’re being cautious there, letting him heal, getting him ready to go on Sunday.”
“I’ll be ready to play,” Sanchez said a few minutes later in front of his locker. “I’m in there. I’m playing, that’s all there is to it, and I have to be on the field. That’s what I’m here for and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Ryan said his quarterback did participate a bit today. He took all the prepractice walkthrough snaps — “albeit left-handed,” the coach said — and did a lot of the running-play snaps with the first offense before yielding to backups Mark Brunell and Kellen Clemens on the passing plays. Yet coordinator Brian Schottenheimer still had Sanchez call some of those pass plays to keep him preparing mentally for the Bears and their menacing front seven.
Asked if Sanchez has the experience to play Sunday without getting at least one day of full team drills, Ryan replied, “That’s not an ideal situation.” But he gave his prognosis for Sanchez and it sounded fairly positive.
“It’s just a sore shoulder, nothing that’s going to keep him from playing,” he said. “If he can’t go and he doesn’t feel like he can go, we’ll play Brunell and Kellen as our quarterbacks. But I think he’s going to be able to go. I feel 99 percent sure he’s going to be able to play Sunday.”
As for Holmes, Ryan said the toe got “turfed” during the Steelers win. Except for the amount of team drills, the coach’s description for his wideout sounded somewhat similar to that for his quarterback.
“I didn’t think we’d have to hold him out today, but it was bad enough to keep him out,” he said. “He was not comfortable today. I don’t think he’s out by any stretch of the imagination.”
The Other Aching Jets
The other Jets sitting out today’s practice included S James Ihedigbo (knee/ankle), S Eric Smith (concussion — “He jogged today and seemed to be doing better”), T Damien Woody (knee), and RB LaDainian Tomlinson and FB Tony Richardson (both non-injury-related).
Limited besides Sanchez: CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) and DT Trevor Pryce (hip). Full-gos: CBs Antonio Cromartie (groin) and Drew Coleman (groin), C Nick Mangold (shoulder) and WR/KR Brad Smith (hand).
Update, 4:40 p.m.: At the top of the Bears injury report is WR Earl Bennett (45 receptions, 547 yards, 3 TDs), who did not participate in team drills today with an ankle injury. Three players were limited: LB Lance Briggs (shoulder), CB Charles Tillman (knee) and LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee). Four practiced full: CBs Zackary Bowman (foot) and Corey Graham (calf) and safeties Craig Steltz (ankle) and Major Wright (ankle).
Wednesday Ryan Story
At his news conference, Ryan declined to answer questions regarding a personal story about him reported by a number of media outlets this morning.
General manager Mike Tannenbaum issued a statement this afternoon saying that he and Jets owner Woody Johnson met with their head coach on the story. “It’s a private matter,” Tannenbaum said, “and Rex has our support.”
Jets in the Pro Bowl Fan Balloting
LaDainian Tomlinson finished with the most online fan votes and Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis had the highest rankings at their positions in the Pro Bowl balloting that ended Monday night at midnight.
Tomlinson gathered almost 460,000 votes, but he’ll need the Jets not to be playing in the Super Bowl and two backs ahead of him to bow out of the game if he is to play in Honolulu on Jan. 30 in his sixth all-star game in his 10th NFL season.
Meanwhile, Mangold, second among AFC centers behind the Colts’ Jeff Saturday, and Revis and Antonio Cromartie, 2-3 among corners behind the Raiders’ Nnamdi Asomugha, are in position to return to the annual AFC-NFC battle, which for the second year will be played the week before the Super Bowl.
D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Tony Richardson and Shaun Ellis are the other Jets who finished in the top fives at their positions. Fan balloting comprises one-third of the total Pro Bowl balloting, with the other thirds going to the players’ and coaches’ votes. Coaches and players will cast their votes by Thursday and the Pro Bowl rosters will be announced in an NFL Network special next Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.
Here are the Jets’ top-five finishers, with ranking at their position and number of votes in parentheses:
Running Back — LaDainian Tomlinson (5th, 458,966)
Fullback — Tony Richardson (5th, 140,285)
Tackle — D’Brickashaw Ferguson (4th, 225,193)
Center — Nick Mangold (2nd, 272,548)
Defensive Tackle — Shaun Ellis (5th, 149,360)
Cornerback — Darrelle Revis (2nd, 320,847), Antonio Cromartie (3rd, 236,990)
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Chicago Bears, Darrelle Revis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Mark Sanchez, Nick Mangold, Pro Bowl, Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes
Posted in Randy Lange | 18 Comments »
Time is growing short, not only to secure a playoff berth but to nail down Pro Bowl berths. And Jets fans can still help their favorite players move into contention for berths on this year’s AFC squad.
The fan voting ends next Monday night, Dec. 20, at midnight. And the teams will be revealed in an NFL Network special on Tuesday night, Dec. 28.
The fan vote as you know by now is one-third of the total Pro Bowl vote, sharing weight with the votes by players and coaches around the league. But it’s an important third which could give a favorite player just the ballot-box recognition he needs to earn his first berth or his 10th as an NFL all-star. Click here to find your official 2010 Pro Bowl ballot.
Nick Mangold has been to two Pro Bowls already in his young career and he’s angling for No. 3, considering he’s second among AFC centers behind the Colts’ Jeff Saturday. LaDainian Tomlinson had secured the most votes among Jets players, almost 320,000. And the two super cover corners, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, were running 2 and 3 at CB behind only the Raiders’ Nnamdi Asomugha.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t vote for Jets players because they wear green and white on gamedays (although that’s perfectly legal) but rather because you think they’re the best players for the position. Here is a list of the Jets who are in the top five in the AFC at their positions, with their ranking and vote totals in parentheses, updated today on nfl.com.
Running Back — LaDainian Tomlinson (5th, 362,893)
Fullback — Tony Richardson (4th, 109,397)
Tight Ends — Dustin Keller (5th, 145,949)
Tackles — D’Brickashaw Ferguson (4th, 173,773)
Centers — Nick Mangold (2nd, 213,538)
Defensive Ends — Jason Taylor (5th, 85,809)
Defensive Tackles — Shaun Ellis (5th, 115,366)
Cornerbacks — Darrelle Revis (2nd, 239,542), Antonio Cromartie (3rd, 182,396)
QB Mark Sanchez and G Brandon Moore have fallen out of the top five at their positions in the past week. Also not in the top fives at their positions are such worthy candidates as ILB David Harris, KR/ST Brad Smith, WRs Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, P Steve Weatherford and kick-cover guy James Ihedigbo. Take your pick, check the boxes and help send a few of the Green & White to Hawaii for this year’s game.
Numbers Game I
One of the most stunning statistical wrinkles of these last two losses to AFC East foes is the split personality the Jets’ pass defense showed after the catch.
By my unofficial charting, the Jets gave up exactly 200 yards after the catch to the Patriots. Sound like a big number? It sure is. I’ve been tracking YAC for the Jets since the mid-Nineties and that is the most YAC allowed by the Jets in a game in that time.
Then flash ahead to the Dolphins. Yes, wet weather. But also yes, Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess, Anthony Fasano and Chad Henne, passing-game parts that have hurt the Jets in the past. And no YAC. Or more accurately, 9 yards after the catch on Miami’s five completions. Those 9 yards are the least a Jets opponent has gained since Game 6 of the 1995 season at Buffalo.
Many Green & White fans will remember that game well. It was the day Bruce Smith ripped past Everett McIver and rocked Boomer Esiason for a concussion. It was also a game dominated by Thurman Thomas and the Bills’ 220-yard ground game. As a result, Jim Kelly only completed nine passes for 101 yards, and only 7 of those yards came after the catch. But the Bills didn’t need the YAC in that 29-10 win. Ah, memories.
Numbers Game II
You never want to get in third-and-long, but it happens. And it also happens that sometimes offenses convert those bad boys. In fact, the Jets had any chance at all in their 10-6 loss to the Dolphins because they converted three third-and-13’s or longer. The last time the Jets could say that was in 2003, when the Vinny Testaverde-led offense did the same in the Game 2 win over the ‘Fins.
Mark Sanchez scrambled for one of those Sunday conversions and hit Jerricho Cotchery for the other two. J-Co’s conversions give him 14 chain-movers on third-and-11 or longer, the most by a Jets receiver since Wayne Chrebet had 21 such conversions through the end of his career in 2005.
Numbers Game III
OK, the stats are not all great at this crucial stretch in the season. The red zone continues to be a red wall for the Jets offense. For the season the offense has scored just 14 touchdowns on 38 drives inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, a 36.8 percent success rate that is 30th in the NFL.
But it’s been even less productive recently. From Game 5, the Nick Folk five-FG game vs. the Vikings, the Jets have cashed in just six TDs in 24 RZ trips, a 25 percent rate. This is the second-slowest nine-game stretch of red zone offense in the last 25 seasons, trailing only the 22.6 percent (7-for-31) rate from Games 6-14 of the 2007 season.
And that is just not good enough, especially when heading into Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers’ fourth-ranked red zone defense before the Heinz Field fanatics on Sunday.
For those of you who are interested — and we know you’re out there — here is a partial playlist from Sunday’s Jets-Dolphins game at New Meadowlands Stadium:
Forget You — Cee Lo Green
Here I Go Again — Whitesnake
Rock N Roll All Night — Kiss
MC Hammer — Rick Ross
Starlight — Muse
Lose Yourself — Eminem
Start Me Up — Rolling Stones
Just Like That — Bun B
Body Count — Fabolous
Bang Your Head — Quiet Riot
Amber — 311
Everything Zen — Bush
Are You Gonna Go My Way — Lenny Kravitz
No Love — Eminem
Can’t Be Touched — Roy Jones Jr.
Till I Collapse — Eminem
Now for Rock — Breaking Benjamin
In The End — Linkin Park
Numb/Encore — Jay Z, Linkin Park
Remember The Name — Fort Minor
Boom Boom Pow — Black Eyed Peas
Get It Started — Black Eyed Peas
Fight For Your Right — Beastie Boys
Bawitdaba – Kid Rock
The Pretender — Foo Fighters
Tags: Boomer Esiason, Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills, Jerricho Cotchery, LaDainian Tomlinson, Mark Sanchez, Pro Bowl, Vinny Testaverde, Wayne Chrebet
Posted in Randy Lange | 7 Comments »