2009 Jets: A Brand New Start

By John McGarrigle

The 2009 season ushers in yet another “brand new start” for the New York Jets faithful. Almost immediately after the disappointing end to the 2008 season, Eric Mangini was fired as head coach of the New York Jets. Rex Ryan of the Baltimore Ravens was hired to lead the Jets into the future, one that Ryan is confident will be bright. Ryan’s first prediction – shaking hands with the President of the United States. Yeah, he went there.

Along with Ryan come former Ravens players linebacker Bart Scott, safety Jim Leonard, and defensive end Marques Douglas. The Ravens also provided the Jets with their new Defensive Coordination in the form of Mike Pettine. The other notable addition to the Jets defense for 2009 is cornerback Lito Sheppard (trade with the Eagles). Sheppard shores up a solid secondary lead by corner Darrelle Revis and safety Kerry Rhodes. Ryan also firmly believes that Vernon Gholston, the 6th overall pick in the 2008 draft, will be a major contributor in the new Jets defense. Significant contributions in the new defensive scheme are expected from defensive linemen Kris Jenkins and Shaun Ellis as well as linebacker David Harris. The new Jets defense promises to be aggressive, active, and unpredictable from week to week.

On the offensive side of the ball, Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was given the green light to run the offense as he sees fit in 2009. Ryan did provide one “suggestion”, however – he wants the Jets to be an “all weather”, strong running offense. The Jets very talented offensive line should be able to deliver on this request. Lead by center Nick Mangold, the Jets starting offensive line is among the elite in the National Football League. The 2009 Jets will need to lean heavily on the offensive line and the running game. The departure of quarterback Brett Farve leaves the Jets with two inexperienced options at the quarterback position: Kellen Clemens and the 5th pick in the 2009 draft Mark Sanchez. The running back corps of Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Tony Richardson, and 3rd round pick Shonn Greene will need to deliver week to week to help either quarterback manage games, especially early in the season. The wide receiver corps lead by Jerricho Cotchery is young and mostly inexperienced, but not without potential. Chansey Stuckey, Brad Smith, David Clowney, and Wallace Wright will all have a chance to contribute at wide receiver in 2009.

Special Teams coordinator Mike Westhoff remains on the staff in 2009, so the Jets should remain one of the top special teams units in the league. Kicker Jay Feeley remains on as the Jets kicker in 2009 as former 2nd round draft pick Mike Nugent moved on to Tampa Bay as a free agent. Reggie Hodges is back as well to provide a solid effort as the team’s punter. Standout special teamers Wallace Wright and Brad Smith return, as does All Pro kick returner Leon Washington. Rex Ryan is a smart coach, so it is reasonable to assume that Westhoff will be given the latitude to experiment with new ideas in the coming season.

Several significant players from the 2008 New York Jets roster will be playing in different cities in 2009. Wide receiver and former offensive captain Laveranues Coles will be lining up opposite Chad Ocho Cinco in Cincinnati this season.  Brett Favre is retired at the moment, Tight end Chris Baker was signed by the New England Patriots. Eric Barton, Kenyon Coleman, Abram Elam, David Bowens, CJ Mosley and Brett Ratliff all join former coach Mangini in Cleveland.

The Jets faithful are well acquainted with starting over. Rex Ryan and the 2009 New York Jets provide yet another opportunity for Jets fans to start over, hopeful and optimistic that things will really be different this time around.

NY Jets OffSeason Report Card

By Brian Clark

With training camp just around the corner, it’s time to examine the roster changes that occurred during the 2009 offseason for the New York Jets. I’ll breakdown the changes by position, then take a look at what we gained, lost and an outlook to the future.

Quarterback  A-

  • Gained: Mark Sanchez
  • Lost: Brett Favre and Brett Ratliff
  • Outlook: Although I was a Brett Ratliff fan, you cannot argue with getting a potential franchise quarterback for relatively little to move up and get him in the draft.  His arm strength will be of no concern, and he should have little problem adjusting to the New York Media.  If he can win the starting job in training camp, with the team and gameplan, he could just be a “game manager” and the team will be fine with him at the helm.  Although you cannot expect amazing results from the start, you have to give credit to Sanchez to understanding his role, as he is the only 1st rounder besides Stafford to be coming to camp on time and with a contract.

Running Back/Full Back  C+

  • Gained: Shonne Greene
  • Lost: Noah Herron
  • Outlook: Adding Shonne Greene to the roster adds depth to the position (look for Greene to be the power and goal line type guy for now) and provides a great player for the future as well. With Tony Richardson serving as a blocking full back, the Jet’s running game of Jones, Washington and Greene will be one of the best in the league.   The biggest question mark is the inability to take care of the potential running back contract situation with both Jones and Washington.  Many fan believe that Jones should not receive anything additional and suck it up, especially considering his contract was paid out up front.  In regards to Leon, no fan wants him to sit out, and have issues.  Although I know that the Jets hold all the cards in regards to his contract, with him making little money this year and having an uncapped year next year, the Jets front office has rewarded players in the past for their positive performance before their contract ran out (Cotchery and Rhodes for example).   This might be one of those situations where a bump in money with a lot of it guaranteed would secure him, and keep fans happy.

Wide Receiver/Tight End      D

  • Gained: n/a
  • Lost: Laveranues Coles and Chris Baker
  • Outlook: Going into the draft the Jets knew they needed to beef up their WR corps.  Well, they didn’t.  Although you can say that they have plenty of potential with Stuckey (who I am huge on), Clowney (who can be a decent threat, but not as dangerous as many fans perceive), Brad Smith (JAG), and Wallace Wright (would like to see him in that 4 spot over Smith), they really have little threat at the position.  Cotchery is at best a strong number two, so the inability to address this need really hurts.  good news is that Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller are both starters. The bad news is that the Jets are a little empty when it comes to a starting receiving corp. As of right now, one of the reserves, either Chansi Stuckey, David Clowney and Brad Smith, will need to step it up as a starting wide receiver. The Jets need to sign a better wide receiver soon, or they could regret it in the season.

Offensive Line          B

  • Gained: Matt Slauson and Mike Kracalik
  • Lost: n/a
  • Outlook: Getting Slauson will create competition for a backup role, as Bill Callahan had a strong influence in this pick.  With the Jets having one of the best o-lines in football there was little needed to be added.

Defensive Line            B

  • Gained: Marques Douglas and Howard Green
  • Lost: Kenyon Coleman and CJ Mosley
  • Outlook: Coleman will not be missed.  Mosley was a great “quiet” player for the Jets, but was needed to get Sanchez, so its worth it.  Adding Douglas will add another guy familiar with the system, and create some unity between the current players and the new regime.

Linebackers         B+

  • Gained: Bart Scott and Larry Izzo
  • Lost: Eric Barton, David Bowens, Brad Kassel and Cody Spencer
  • Outlook: Scott will be a great voice in the middle of this defense and makes him one of the best additions of the offseason.  Izzo will add special teams help and LB depth and experience.  Getting rid of Barton who was getting up in age will not affect the Jets in the long run.

Secondary     A+

  • Gained: Lito Sheppard, Jim Leonhard and Donald Strickland
  • Lost: David Barrett, Abram Elam and Hank Poteat
  • Outlook: Gaining a former pro-bowler with something in Sheppard, and another former Raven in Leonhard were both great pickups.  Strickland will quietly compete with Lowery for the nickel cornerback spot and could win it out by the end of the year.  By Getting rid of Barrett that made me happy on a personal level.  We will miss the big play ability of Elam, but once again, you needed to give up a JAG safety to get a potential franchise QM

Coaching     A

I love  the attitude and the “swagger” of the Rex Ryan era.  He is fun, challenges the Patriots and Dolphins, and will bring an attack first defense to this team.  I think that Mangini got a raw deal with getting fired, especially considering the play of Favre over the past 5 games, but I can’t complain with the new coaching staff.

Front Office/Organization      F

PSL’s will ruin the Jets.  They are already through the waiting list and cannot even sell all the PSL’s.  Right now they are alienating their true fan base, and they refuse to budge.  A “fan appreciation” game at the end of the year will not be enough to make it better for the fans.  Winning will help, but some major changes need to be made to address the PSL’s and the ticket prices for 2010 and the future.  Imagine what it will be like when this team goes 4-12 in a year…there will be 20,000 people in the stadium.  Just a scary thought for the future.

2009 NY Jets 53-man Roster Projection

By Matt Bitonti


Open Jobs in Bold

25 on Offense

3 QB

QB #6 Sanchez

QB #11 Clemens

QB 3

5 RB

RB #20 Jones

RB #29 Washington

RB #49 Richardson

RB #23 Greene

RB 5

6 WR

WR #89 Cotchery

WR #83 Stuckey

WR #87 Clowney

WR #15 Wright

WR #16 Smith

WR 6

8 OL

OL #66 Faneca

OL #74 Mangold

OL #60 Ferguson

OL #67 Woody

OL #65 Moore

OL #78 Hunter

OL #75 Turner

OL 8

3 TE

TE #81 Keller

TE #45 Owens

TE 3

25 on Defense

3 NT

NT #77 Jenkins

NT #91 Pouha

NT #95 Green

4 DE

DE #92 Ellis

DE #93 Douglas

DE #70 Devito

DE 4

10 LB

LB #97 Pace (Suspended 1st 4 weeks)

LB #57 Scott

LB #99 Thomas

LB #50 Gholston

LB #52 Harris

LB #53 Izzo

LB 7

LB 8

LB 9

LB 10* (Cut week 5)

9 CB

DB #24 Revis

DB #25 Rhodes

DB #36 Leonard

DB #26 Sheppard

DB #21 Lowery

DB #27 Strickland

DB #33 Smith

DB #31 Carroll

DB 9

3 on Special Teams

P 1

K #3 Feely

LS #85 Dearth

10 of 53  Job Openings (18.9%)