Gase Calls out Players for not Knowing Assignments

Jets fans are frustrated, Jets players are frustrated and Jets head coach Adam Gase is frustrated.  As the team sits at 0-3 with no wins in sight, Gase was asked after today’s embarrassing loss about why the team has struggled to get things going on offense.  His reply?  “It’s frustrating to see a guy that’s in his first NFL start (QB Luke Falk) knows what’s going on and other guys aren’t executing the way it should be done”.  Surely an indictment of some of his players.

Former Jets lineman Damien Woody joined other on twitter in holding Gase accountable for his decisions as a head coach, suggesting he throw out plays that players aren’t grasping, saying “it’s a problem” if a team isn’t grasping what the coaches are teaching.

Gase has never been shy about calling out his players and there’s no reason why he should be.  But to suggest they’re on the playing field but don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing isn’t a great look for him and his staff either.

End of the Road for Jets’ Ferguson

By Glenn Naughton

There may not have ever been a more fitting name for such a stellar performer for the New York Jets, or any other team for that matter, than left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

Many fans and teammates referred to the ten-year veteran simply as “Brick”, and for a full decade, he was just that.  A key piece of the offensive foundation, and invaluable member of some of the best teams the franchise has ever fielded.  Ten seasons, yes, a full decade, without missing a single offensive snap due to injury.  A testament to his desire, dedication and durability.

Ferguson was chosen by former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum with the 4th overall selection in the 2006 draft out of the University of Virginia.  As is the case with many first round draft choices, Ferguson was viewed as a player who would bring stability to his position for the next decade.  Unlike many of those picks however, Ferguson lived up to the billing.

A soft-spoken giant of a man at 6′ 5” and 300 (give or take a few) pounds, Ferguson was a starter for Gang Green from the moment he stepped in the league, and he never looked back.

In 1996, the New York City native would get an early taste of success in the NFL, playing a pivotal role in protecting quarterback Chad Pennington’s blind side en route to a 10-6 season before a  37-16 blowout loss to the New England Patriots in the first round of the playoffs.

It was the one and only time Ferguson would see the post-season under Head Coach Eric Mangini as the team never saw double-digit wins again during his time at the helm, and a pair of lost seasons resulted in a 13-19 record, and Mangini’s eventual ouster.

Then came the 2009 and 2010 seasons, two seasons in which Ferguson would enjoy some of the highest highs the Jets and their fans have experienced since the days of Joe Namath.

Two deep playoff runs in consecutive seasons in which the team’s offensive line was probably never more important than it was at that time.  With struggling rookie Mark Sanchez under center, the Jets were forced to go in to almost every contest with their opponent fully aware of the fact that Gang Green was going to run the ball every time they had the opportunity.  They had to.  There was no other choice.

With Sanchez at quarterback, the Jets offense accumulated fewer than 175 yards passing in 12 different contests, and came in at fewer than 100 yards through the air five of those times (including playoffs).  Even in treating Sanchez with kid gloves, and doing all they could to protect him from himself, the rookie still managed to throw 20 interceptions to go along with a paltry 12 touchdowns.

Ferguson and his linemates had to pave the way for running back Thomas Jones on a regular basis, and they came through more often than not.

Teamed with left guard Alan Faneca, center and fellow-roookie Nick Mangold, right guard Brandon Moore and right tackle Damien Woody, Ferguson and company helped the Jets pound their way to 2,756 yards on the ground to go along with 21 touchdowns.  It was Ferguson and the rest of the offensive line that prevented poor quarterback play from sabotaging what was one of the top defenses in the NFL.

Sadly. for Ferguson and the Jets, the AFC Championship game was as far as they would be able to carry Sanchez, as he and the offense stood and watched helplessly while Peyton Manning and the Colts picked apart a Jets secondary ravaged by injuries, and the absence of a quarterback to stand any chance of winning a shootout with Peyton Manning and the Colts.  Final score, Colts 30 Jets 17.

The following season brought more of the same for Ferguson and company as a second consecutive season of finding ways to overcome shortcomings at the quarterback position led to yet another AFC championship game appearance.  This time, it was a slow start from both the offense and defense that doomed the Jets’ fate against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

A defense that had been so dominant leading up to that contest came out slow and this time they were the ones who needed to be bailed out early on.  Unfortunately, the proverbial nail in the coffin came on yet another Mark Sanchez turnover, this time when Ferguson was beaten badly off the snap, leading to a strip-sack and scoop for a defensive touchdown in the closing minutes of the first half.  The Jets would battle back but the score put up by the defense on Ferguson’s whiff and Sanchez’s fumble made all the difference as the Steelers would hold on for a 24-19 victory.

Twice, Ferguson enjoyed trips to the AFC Championship game, but that was as far was he would go.
Twice, Ferguson enjoyed trips to the AFC Championship game, but that was as far was he would go.

As it turns out, we know now that that playoff game would be Ferguson’s last trip to the playoffs.  Five consecutive seasons with no post-season football would follow.  Four under former Head Coach Rex Ryan, and then a fifth, last season under Todd Bowles.  Despite a ten-win campaign, Ferguson and the Jets were eliminated in a week 17 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

By that point, Ferguson’s skills were declining and everybody knew it.  He was set to carry a price tag of over $14 million this season, but nobody believed he would ever see that payday, and a re-worked deal was on everybody’s mind.

A re-negotiation was seemingly put off by the organization until just this week when it was reported that the Jets had approached the aging Ferguson about a significant pay cut.

Then, today, Rich Cimini broke the story of Ferguson’s retirement.  He’ll leave the game at the young age of 32 with his health mostly in tact.  Clearly a priority for Ferguson who had voiced some concerns about his future health last season after watching the movie “concussion”.  A movie aimed at exposing the NFL’s desire to keep players and fans in the dark regarding the reality of the long-term impact of playing such a violent sport, taking repeated high-impact blows to the head.

At the time, you got the sense that Ferguson was sincere in his concerns and that he truly was weighing the value of carrying on to play in the NFL, or to walk away while he still could.

Today, we found out just how sincere he was, and what he was willing to give up to lead what will likely be a healthier, longer life from today onward.

Thanks, Brick.


Jets Camp Report: 8/23

The Jets held training camp practice at their facility in Florham Park today here’s a recap of what went on:

The news of the day was given by Coach Rex Ryan in his pre-practice press conference that Austin Howard would be taking the starting right tackle position from the embattled Wayne Hunter.  Coach Ryan said Hunter would be used as more of a “sixth” man on the line, extra jumbo blocking tight end, like he had done in the past:

Hunter was not surprised by the change and expresses his desire to do what is best for the team:

Quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow were limited in their throws today:

According to Coach Rex Ryan the Jets will not be running any “wildcat” plays with quarterback Tim Tebow this preseason:

Injured wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley are slowly working their way back to full participation:

Linebacker Nick Bellore has been used at the fullback position of late and was wearing a non-contact jersey due to a shoulder injury but the prognosis is good:

WR Patrick Turner and RB Joe McKnight are both recovering from injury and should be able to do more during tomorrow’s practice:

Injury report: other players who are out or working with the trainers:

Quite the day for the Jets previous right tackle Damien Woody to be at practice with Hunter being demoted, no he’s not planning on suiting up:

The kicker battle continues to be very close between Folk and Brown:

Report: Jets Extend Hunter; Damien Woody To Retire?

According to several published reports the New York Jets have re-signed offensive lineman Wayne Hunter to a 4-year, $13 million dollar deal.  Hunter filled in admirably last year for the injured Damien Woody, starting 6 games including two in the playoffs.

I think this is a smart signing by the Jets, as it is cost effective and Hunter can fill several roles on the offensive line.  This also gives the Jets some wiggle room with second year player Vlad Ducasse who some feel is not ready to take on the starting tackle position.

Note: This signing cannot be officially announced by the Jets until Friday at 6 p.m EST.

Woody to retire? There are several reports coming out that Damien Woody has decided to retire.  Earlier this week Woody stated that it was “the Jets or bust” in terms of continuing his playing career.  With the announcement of the Hunter signing it appears that “Big Wood” has decided to hang up his cleats.  I would not be surprised to hear that the Jets told Damien to stay in shape and that he would be the team’s first option if any of their offensive linemen went down.

So what do you think about the Hunter signing Jets fans? Talk about it in the JetNation Forums.

Damien Woody Wants To Return To Gang Green

In a recent interview with 1050 ESPN New York, former New York Jets offensive lineman Damien Woody expressed his desire to return to Gang Green.

“It’s either Gang Green or nobody. That’s the amount of respect I have for the jets, from (owner) Woody Johnson on down to Rex (Ryan), everybody in the locker room. It’s just a great situation for any player to be in, and I feel privileged to be part of the organization for three years. That’s where I stand right now.”

As of now the New York Jets are hoping that second year player Vlad Ducasse can fill Woody’s shoes, but in all honesty re-signing Damien to a cap friendly deal makes the most sense.  Ducasse struggled in his rookie year and the inability to work with the Jets coaches, mainly Bill Callahan, during the lockout had to hinder his development this offseason.  Woody would provide the Jets with continuity on their offensive line, while providing a mentor and leader for the younger players.

What do you think Jets fans, should Gang Green re-sign Woody? Talk about it in the JetNation forums.

Jets Sign WR Turner to Active Roster, G Landolt to Practice Squad

Jets Place OL Damien Woody on Injured Reserve;
Sign WR Turner to Active Roster, G Landolt to Practice Squad

January 12, 2010 – The New York Jets have placed OL Damien Woody on Injured Reserve, signed WR Patrick Turner to the active roster and G Dennis Landolt to the practice squad.  The announcements were made by General Manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Woody (OL/6-3/327/Boston College/Beaverdam, VA) started 13 games at right tackle this season before missing the final three regular season games of the season due to injury.  He returned and started at right tackle in the playoff game against Indianapolis.  Over three seasons, Woody has started 45 regular season games and four postseason contests at right tackle.  A first-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 1999, he has played 173 regular season contests and eight postseason games over 12 seasons with the Jets, Detroit Lions and Patriots.  Woody has started 76 games at center, 40 games at right guard and 50 games at right tackle during his career.

Turner (WR/6-5/220/Southern California/Nashville, TN) was signed to the practice squad on December 17, 2010, after being waived from the active roster on December 15, 2010.  He has played five games with the Jets this season, where he has seen time on offense and special teams.  Turner recorded his first two NFL catches this season.  He originally joined the Jets on September 5, after being claimed off waivers from the Miami Dolphins. Turner entered the NFL as a third-round draft selection by Miami in the 2009 NFL Draft, where he saw action in two games as a rookie. He finished his collegiate career with 138 receptions for 1,752 yards and 17 touchdowns in four seasons at USC.

Landolt (G/6-4/306/Penn State/Burlington, NJ) was signed to the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on December 21, 2010, after being released from the New York Giants practice squad on October 19, 2010.  He was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent on April 25, 2010.  A three-year starter at Penn State, Landolt played right tackle before moving to left tackle his senior season, where he was named first team All-Big Ten and third team Associated Press All-American as part of an offensive line that allowed just 17 sacks in 13 games.

Damien Woody To Injured Reserve

Rex Ryan just told the press that Right Tackle Damien Woody is being placed on the Injured Reserve list.  Woody recently battled back from knee surgery and played a solid game against the Colts.  Ryan said Woody got hurt on the last play of the game against the Colts (achilles) and will have surgery today.

For more discussion and fan reaction please visit our New York Jets football forum.

Damien Woody Interview Transcript 11/3/10

On what the week has been like for them…
It’s been good.  We got a head start on Detroit.  (They are) a very good team.  They have a lot of impressive stats that jump out at you.  They have a lot of talented players.  Today was the first day we got going, and it went really well, so we’re just looking to build upon that the rest of the week.

On whether he thinks Mark Sanchez will bounce back… No question, it’s just not in his DNA to really pout about what happened.  He’s a fighter.  He’ll put that game behind him, just like everybody else will and we’ll go out there and put together a good performance against Detroit.

On how impressed he is with Ndamukong Suh…
(I’m) very impressed.  (He has) 6.5 sacks and a touchdown.  He’s all over the field.  He’s definitely a guy that we have to keep our eye on.  The strength of their defense is their front four.  All those guys are humming right now.  They’re sixth in the league in sacks, and maybe in the top ten in turnovers.  They’re doing a good job of creating turnovers, so they’ll definitely be a challenge for us this week.

Notes On The O-Line

By Doug Cantor

On the Left Guard battle:

Tonight was a great gage for both contenders due to the fact that Mangold wasn’t playing. Therefore it was easy to check both players out objectively to see who could do more on their own. Ducasse looks incredibly strong and driven. But it’s pretty obvious that the ‘raw’ stamp is right on the money. He really needs to get quicker off the snap on the inside, where it’s a entirely different world in that regard. It looks like he’s also having trouble from a footwork standpoint. I don’t think he’s ready to start this season at all, not on the interior at least.

Slauson looks exactly like I expected he would. He looked like a 2nd-year project pick who was desperately missing the guidance of his All-Pro center. He’s a strong dude and he looked decent at times, but the Giants’ line is stacked with vets and they took advantage of him, which will probably happen at times throughout the season. However it’s important to note that opposing teams also did the same to Faneca last season in regards to his age. He did stand Canty up a few times but he had a hard time shedding him after. I don’t think there’s any question right now that Slauson’s the guy, but I think that has more to do with Ducasse making the positional switch and Slauson already having time in the system. That being said, Slauson is in no way as bad as Adrien Clarke. So I think we can all breath a sigh of relief in that regard.

Turner actually wasn’t half-bad at center. Slauson got beat a couple of times and Turner picked it up nicely. I think the depth concerns are blown way out of proportion on the line. Hunter is good, Turner can rotate in at almost every position, and Ducasse’s talent is pretty obvious. They have 3 quality backups and that’s a lot more than most other teams can say.

Woody looks older. He’s still able to make his impact on brute strength and veteran savvy, but Moore bailed him out a few times and I think if Slauson continues to outperform Ducasse at LG, either Callahan may have to start considering Ducasse to succeed Woody for next year, or RT will be a primary draft/free agency need going into ’11.

On Brick:

I think he’s hit the point where his skill has completely caught up with his natural ability 100%. He’s incredibly nimble on his feet, so fast for a guy at his position, and rarely gives up his real estate. He’s awesome in selling the rollout that’s clearly becoming one of Sanchez’s favorite things to do. He completely dominated Umenyiora on pretty much every snap, and though he’s generally played Osi well in past matchups, this was just so one-sided. There was also one play where Kiwi lined up over him and almost had him with a swim-move, and Brick just kind of swatted him away and down to the ground. He looks stronger and faster than ever and he’s developing an awesome mean streak. Yes, this was just a preseason game, and Osi’s a bit washed up, but he really did look that good.

Here is the discussion thread in the Jets Nation forum.