NY Jets GM discusses roster decisions

On Saturday the New York Jets had to trim their roster down to 53 players, which resulted in the team waiving 21 players.  Here are some quotes from Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum as he discussed some of the roster decisions.  For the list of cuts click here.

On how the unknown with Darrelle Revis impacted the roster…
“We talked about that quite a bit. Darrelle’s not here and we’ve planned accordingly. We feel good about our depth at corner. We have six guys that we think can hold up and that’s who were going to be moving forward with.”

On the decision to keep Joe McKnight on the roster…

“With Joe, he was a little more inconsistent than we had hoped in the preseason, but he’s going to get an opportunity to be on the roster. We’re going to go from there. As we’ve done in the past, our 45-man roster is going to look different week-in and week-out and there are going to be a number of spots that are going to be up for grabs in practice. Joe is going to have to go out there and earn it. We feel good about the research we’ve done on him. He’s going to have to earn a spot on our 45-man roster. It’s going to be up to him to step up to that challenge.”

On what he liked from Chauncey Washington…
“(It was) really two things. The way he ran, (he’s) a very physical guy. He (is) a real powerful guy that can run through tackles. He’s remained productive in the kicking game. For a guy his size, he’s been very good in the kicking game. We’re really excited by how he played, especially towards the end of the preseason. Going back to last year and the decision to get Chauncey, we talked to (Mark) Sanchez and Mark felt really good about him going back to USC (University of Southern California) as a pass protector. To be a back-up running back in the league, you have to be good in the kicking game.”

On if they left themselves thin at positions by loading up on tight ends and fullbacks…
“Nothing is official. We’ll see what happens with the practice squad. With the tight end position, we just felt really good about the guys we have. We just feel dramatically better than where we were a year ago. We felt like we had Dustin (Keller) and then we wound up getting (Matthew) Mulligan and (Ben) Hartsock during the year. We feel really good about Jeff’s (Cumberland) future. We know how hard they are to find and how much time and effort we put in as an organization to find tight ends . We just felt like hitting on Jeff we have a key fourth.”

On if they are prepared to play without Revis…
“We’ve said that all along. Organizationally, we have to move forward. We’re playing Baltimore in a little over a week and that’s what we’re prepared to do. We feel good about the roster we have and we feel good about our coaching staff. Over the course of a 16-game season, there are going to be a number of players that aren’t going to be available. Traditionally, it’s for injuries, this one happens to be a contract issue. If you look at the opponent we’re playing in Baltimore, Ozzie Newsome does as good a job as any at replenishing the roster over the course of a season and giving his team a chance to win. They’ve dealt with free agency departures and injuries. For us to have sustainable success, which we’ve all talked about, we need to be able to do the same.”

On if he considers the team whole without Revis…

“I don’t know if anyone is ever whole. You look at Ed Reed and Calvin Pace. Those are two really good players that both were given game misconducts (and) both are out for the first week (as another way to look at it). They are down a great player and we’re down obviously two really good players as well, so I don’t know who’s whole in the NFL over a 16-game season. I look at organizations that I admire and I think they just do a good job of replenishing on the fly.”

On if he has hope that a deal with Revis could get done before playing Baltimore…
“We have a confidentiality agreement and I’m going to honor that and not comment on the negotiations.”

On how fortunate he is to have two first-round cornerbacks in Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson…

“We feel really fortunate. I think some of it was by plan (and) I think, quite frankly, some of it was by luck. When we ran all our scenarios in the draft, we never had Kyle Wilson anywhere near where we took him. We feel really fortunate, but fundamentally it goes back to the fact that as you guys know Rex (Ryan) wants to play man-to-man on the backend. We need depth at that position. I’m proud of guys like Marquice Cole and Drew Coleman. They’ve gotten better. Over the course of the season, if Darrelle had a high ankle sprain or something else, guys are going to get nicked up and we need depth there. (Antonio) Cromartie, Kyle and even adding Brodney Pool, depth at that position was a necessity. Obviously, without Darrelle here, that necessity gets exacerbated.”

On keeping Erik Ainge on roster…
“Right now we have Erik’s rights. He does not count on the 53-man roster. Neither does Santonio Holmes nor Darrelle (Revis) so Erik Ainge is not on our 53-man roster.”

On keeping Ainge with the team…
“We have his rights right now, so if and when there’s a decision to be made, we’ll address it at the appropriate time. Right now, there is really not much to discuss there.”

On David Clowney and his status on the roster…

“He played well the other night. Obviously, I think we want to see some more consistency in the kicking game because, and you have to go back a long time and look at Jerricho Cotchery, but Jerricho was not an accomplished receiver, but he was dynamic from day one in the kicking game when he came out as a fourth-round pick. I think David, if he can become more consistent in the kicking game, even replacing a guy like Wallace Wright, I think his security would be enhanced. With that said, he provides an explosive element for us and we’re moving forward with him. What happens after that, we will see.”

On if the roster is finalized…
“(Joking) We’re about 2,000 to 3,000 calories from finalizing this roster. I’m very optimistic that’s on the low end of what the number is. It’s amazing the number of pretzel M&M’s that have been shipped in here by Mars Candy.”

On if the team has put in any waiver claims…
“I would expect that we would. Those are due tomorrow at noon, so we’ll be here for quite a while tonight. I’m sure of that, then it’ll be a quick turnaround to tomorrow morning.”

On if he feels good with Steve Weatherford as his punter…
“What’s interesting about that (is we are happy with him), not only from his punting, but for his holding. The feedback from Nick (Folk) has consistently been that he feels very confident with Steve as a holder. We were looking at (Mark) Brunell for a while to be our holder, but Nick feels really good about Steve from a holding standpoint, which is not where we were a year ago. He’s been very consistent. I think (on) his plus-50, he’s been excellent. Hopefully, in those three guys, Nick, Tanner (Purdum) and Steve, that’s a nucleus we can keep together for a while. Typically, those (positions) get a little transient, but we have three guys here that we feel good about and can grow and develop together.”


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