BGA Extra: Jets at Seahawks

Bent , TheJetsBlog.com

This analysis is based on watching and re-watching TV footage. As such, it is not always possible to accurately determine everything that was going on. However, every effort has been made to ensure that the information below is as complete and correct as possible. For the purposes of BGA Extra (but not BGA, since that is too early in the week), I have also reviewed the coaches film, which was available for every play (whereas last year, it was only available for big plays). Statistics from PFF which are not available to subscribers were used in the completion of this article and we thank them for providing us with exclusive access to these.

Welcome to BGA Extra, where I draw a line under the previous weekend’s game by responding to your questions from BGA during the week. After the jump, I respond to your questions about Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. If you would like your questions answered in future, remember to read my BGA game breakdowns every Monday and leave your question in the comments section.

lipsonit
Do you think they will resign Keller? If we don’t the Patriots probably will and he will be a probowler.

I think one of the main reasons to keep Keller is the fact that he has pretty good chemistry with Sanchez. This means that if they decide Sanchez isn’t the future going forward then that might affect their thinking on Keller too.

This raises an interesting question about value. If Keller could go to New England and be a Pro Bowler, but would probably fall well short of that if the Jets gave him a Pro Bowl salary to stay here, then you have a situation where the player’s value is different for either team. Should the Jets overpay him to prevent the Patriots (or some other team) getting a bargain? Shouldn’t Keller think about going to a team where he could potentially put up bigger numbers and increase his value? Again, this brings up a situation where the Jets have to consider the limitations of their offense. It’s like when they made the decision to pay Holmes. Right now $9m per year for Holmes looks really bad. However, if Holmes had gone to a team with a high-powered offense, he’d probably be (a) happy and (b) more statistically productive. Is it better to throw money at a problem or could the Jets have been better off saving that money and spending it on other parts of the team where you get more bang for your buck: (pass rusher, offensive lineman). One thing the Holmes injury has afforded us is an insight into the downside of that second option.

Of course, Keller going to New England doesn’t necessarily make him a Pro Bowler. Look what happened to Chris Baker.

Don’t forget they can tag (and potentially trade) him. That’s perhaps more likely now that Maybin and Landry – probably the only other two contenders to be tagged – have shown that this would not be worthwhile.

‘NYCPE’inGermany
As much of the comments are Tanny related, I’m curious what you think of my thought process: I think Tanny is a cap genius who has done some amazing things with contracts. Anyone who thinks he’s put us in cap hell or doesn’t know every step of the way what he’s doing with each contract is very short-sighted. Otherwise, he’s made some great moves as GM and some lousy ones. I don’t think I need to elaborate on what they are, we all know. I’m wondering how much of these moves land directly on him. I get that the buck stops with him, but he’s not going out evaluating all these guys. One guy who is is Terry Bradway – the guy who was GM when we traded our first round pick for Doug Jolley (who lasted one season with the team) and followed that up by using our 2nd round pick on a kicker. I’m wondering how much our evaluation team is to blame for some of what’s gone on. When we trade a 5th round pick for Tone, a 3rd rounder for Braylon or a 2nd rounder for Cro, I put that on Tanny’s shoulders – he gets input on the players and makes the actual deal. When we draft Wilson and Vlad (jury still out), Sanchez and Greene (jury nearly finished deliberating) or VG, Clemens and Schlegel (convicted) how much of the associated skewering should be directed right at Tanny? Perhaps a change in our evaluation team is in order?

The first point I’ll make is that while his reputation as a cap genius was well-founded based on some innovative moves he (and his team) made over the years, the current CBA is much less flexible in terms of enabling a GM or front office to find and exploit a loophole. Therefore, while our knowledge about and the level of coverage surrounding cap issues has increased, Tannenbaum gets credit for things these days which, in my view, don’t constitute “genius”. Yes, he gets the team under the cap each year, but doesn’t that come months after I (a complete amateur) have already told everyone that he’ll get the team under the cap and how he’ll do that? Tannenbaum and his team do show some creativity within their contract structure, but nothing too outlandish, ground-breaking or landscape-altering – just moves to give them payroll flexibility and options in terms of deferring money later on.

His most important job is personnel evaluation – both at the player and coach level and you raise a good point that he has to defer to his staff on many of these issues. However, this reminds me of the Schotty debate last year. Think of Tannenbaum as the Scouting Department/Coaching Staff Coodinator. Now, many of his issues are personnel related, so removing him might not fix those issues. However, their poor execution doesn’t exonerate him from blame because a key part of his role is to identify the correct personnel and put them in a position to succeed. Sound familiar?

The bottom line is that apportioning blame is never easy and when you have to make decisions based upon that, you’re often risking keeping the wrong guys. Maybe Tannenbaum deserves a chance to overhaul the scouting department OR the coaching staff. Or maybe he should be ousted because those two departments are underachieving and it will be up to the new guy to get those units to perform better or make changes. I’m glad it’s not my decision.

indigo394
Linebackers: Isn’t Harris the Big Bucks Stud? Where was he?

The size of Harris’ contract is often overstated. His 4 year, $36m deal makes more sense if you consider the fact that they always intended to re-sign him before his rookie deal expired but couldn’t due to the restrictions of the final eight plan and the deal compensates him for the fact he only earned $550K in that year. Factoring that in, he essentially ended up with a five-year backloaded deal for an average of $7.4m. However, his performance is falling well short of that. With that said, Harris is a player that needs to play in space to be at his best. With Bart Scott and Sione Po’uha both missing time and playing hurt, this has had an impact. Certainly on Sunday Harris was anonymous in the first half, but did play better in the second half, although he did have two costly missed tackles.

indigo394
DL: Hasn’t Mo gained about 30 lbs this year? Some pass rusher he is. Another superb 1st round pick.

I don’t know if he’s gained weight, but you are undervaluing his contribution this year. Wilkerson – despite seeing more double teams – is playing phenomenally well against the run (which I would argue is his primary role) and has been more productive as a pass rusher too. PFF ranks him #2 in the NFL for 3-4 DEs and the only person he is behind is MVP candidate JJ Watt. He’s even ranked 7th for pass rushing productivity. Last year he had 15 total pressures and this year he has 17 already so he is progressing in the right direction.

As for Quinton Coples, who primary role IS to rush the passer, he’s ranked 3rd for pass rushing productivity, ahead of Justin Smith, Brett Keisel, Darnell Dockett, Haloti Ngata, Calais Campbell…

jason
I didn’t read if anyone mentioned this and not that it’s that important but did anyone else think they should have reviewed the Kerley fumble to see if the Seahawks player got possession before going out of bounds? I couldn’t see because they didn’t do a clear replay but it looked like he didn’t get full possession until his helmet was out of bounds. I’m not sure but does anyone have any thoughts?

The other Jason (from NYJetsCap) actually tweeted about this at the time. On review of the coach’s film, his head never touched the sideline out of bounds but it does look like his shoulder was very close to the line as he gathered the ball. However, it’s impossible to tell and I doubt very much a replay would have shown it conclusively enough to overturn. Having not used a challenge in that half, perhaps it would have been worth a shot though.

DMike
Exactly how open was Stephen Hill on Sanchez’s INT?

This open (HT: Marcus) -

However, the intermediate coverage guys were moving in unison, so Sanchez would have had to either time his pass perfectly (a bit like a shooting gallery in reverse) or loft it over the top with touch and maybe he lacks the confidence to do either right now. The assumption is that he didn’t see him, but I’m not sure that’s the case. However, whether he didn’t make that throw because (a) he didn’t have the confidence in himself to make it, (b) he didn’t have confidence in Hill to catch it, (c) he didn’t read the defense correctly or (d) he had always made up his mind Keller was getting it and then hesitated, it’s an issue. A lot of people are overreacting to how badly he’s playing right now. He can play well if he’s decisive…on this play he was anything but though.

juunit
You said you don’t see a way for the line to improve much overall, but I’m gonna ask anyway… Ducasse vs. Slauson, who’s looked better?

On Sunday it was Slauson, although all Vlad’s drives seemed to stall early through no fault of his own. Over the course of the season, it has been Ducasse. Ducasse is showing some good flashes and when it finally happens it will be interesting to see whether giving him a full-time role helps him to retain his focus for a longer period or merely gives the defense more time to figure out and exploit his weaknesses. I think the Jets might continue to limit Vlad’s snaps for a while because it benefits them financially to do so. Also, it may have been a condition of Slauson’s paycut that he gets the majority of the reps when healthy.

spindoctor
Was Hill wide open in the back of the end zone(with his hand raised) on the play when Sanchez threw the goal-line pick?

See above. Now pat yourself on the back for being able to look at something else and then go back to what you were originally looking at. Apparently, it’s not as easy as it looks!

tannenbaumustgo9
You must be kidding with that, right? Wilkerson and elite do not belong together. What’s so great about him? Was it that he was able to actually catch a fumble that bounced right to him and score yesterday? He’s ok, certainly not great or elite.

As noted above, a lot of people are falling into the trap of just looking at the stats to evaluate how well he’s playing. Watch him on every snap, as I do, and you’ll see he wins his matchup far more often than he loses it. Then when you look at other players who play the same position, you’ll realize that the extent to which he wins his matchup more often than he loses it exceeds what most of the other players who play the same position are able to do. Wilkerson has played the majority of his snaps as a 3-4 defensive end this year and a good proportion of the rest as a defensive tackle. Therefore, he’s not expected to put up huge sack numbers. Future hall of famer Richard Seymour averages less than five per season, for example.

I feel extremely comfortable with describing Wilkerson as great and on the road to being elite.

Rudibager
What the hell has happened to Sanchez?

The simple, boring, answer is that I think they underestimated how much he would struggle to pick up the new scheme. His confidence looks to be completely shot right now, although he has played decently at least once within the last month.

a57se
Bent wrote: “While I’m not going to list those things here, because I don’t feel comfortable with putting up a blueprint of how to beat the Jets”. Bent, you do us a disservice by mentioning this and then NOT posting it. I really don’t think the teams left on the Jets schedule are reading this post to find out how to beat the Jets, do you?

They should be! Anyway…as I mentioned, I will think about posting this during the offseason.

levi
Can you look into how many receivers are actually open as some people suggest here when you do BGA extra?

If you watch the coaches film, it’s not often you see a guy wide open and waving his hands for the ball as in the Hill example, or the two examples (Greene and Reuland) in the Pats game. However, when you watch teams like the Saints, Patriots or Packers, you realize that a lot of the big completions these teams get are where the receiver just has a half-step but the ball is delivered perfectly in stride. Those are the ones Sanchez should be capable of hitting and hasn’t been able to do so at an NFL-level this year and if you watch the film for any game, those opportunities are there. However, it’s also clear that the defensive backs are sitting on a lot of routes and Sanchez isn’t helping himself by staring down his targets. Another example of where someone is getting the blame (receivers for not getting open) but Sanchez himself could be a contributing factor.

bradysucks
You know what would be cool. A BGA or analysis of Mike Tannenbaum’s moves as GM post 2010 as a lesson on how to take a winning franchise and destroy it. We probably disagree on the accountabiity of Mr. T but as an example….why draft Kyle Wilson when you already have Revis and Cromartie and you just lost Woody and Faneca? I guess Wayne Hunter and Vlad and Slauson was the answer in the eyes of this organization. I don’t understand replacing Leon Washington with John Conner….replacing Brad Smith with Tim Tebow….replacing Thomas Jones and LT with Shonn Greene….replacing Jericho Cotchery with Chaz Schillens and Clyde Gates…..replacing Ben Hartstock/Mulligan with Jason Smith as a TE. The list is endless…

This is perhaps something I will attack during the offseason, but for now here’s a link to Kristine’s article in the offseason which is a decent summary of the Tannenbaum regime.

In terms of the examples you stated, obviously we can second guess a lot of the moves he made, but in most cases the outgoing players were finished so would need to be replaced either way and because the timing coincided with the “core four” (and Holmes) needing contract extensions, their choices were to not bring everyone back or to fill those holes with lower-priced talent. Also, John Conner didn’t replace Leon Washington, Joe McKnight did.

NewSC
Sparano came here with a terrible reputation, though he was allegedly a decent line coach and run coordinator. Miami’s stats point to the opposite being true … terrible pass blocking and Long got worse each year … and that was his strength! Yet, we see receivers open frequently this year, for the first time since Weis. My question – is Lal the guy? He seems like a very smart guy, I’m wondering if he won’t be a very good OC soon enough. Probably for some other team, the Jets will hire Sparano and his sidekick DeGuglielmo will be the new OC!

Miami’s pass blocking ranks in 2008 to 2010 under Sparano per PFF: 5th, 1st, 3rd. They were low down the list in 2011, but then again Long was injured and with the personnel they had it’s surprising they weren’t even lower. Sparano’s numbers as a playcaller in Dallas are also pretty good. With that said, his first season with the Jets has been terribly underwhelming. Didn’t he say he would hold everyone accountable which, when coupled with the supposedly simpler scheme should ensure smooth execution?

As for Lal, I think the jury is very much out on him. I think he’s done a pretty good job in terms of teaching Stephen Hill how to get separation and Jeremy Kerley is obviously thriving. However, the other guys haven’t been consistent enough, although maybe that’s somewhere else that Sanchez isn’t helping matters. I would say that while there have been guys getting open for big plays from time to time, when the defense is playing with eight in the box and sitting on short routes, it’s perhaps not as difficult for receivers to get open downfield. Lal is still young even for a position coach, but maybe he could be one to watch in future.

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I’ll be back with a BGA scouting Kahlil Bell on Saturday and I’ll also be here to BGA the Rams game on Monday.