TJB Interview: SNY’s Adam Schein

Bassett Paying Obeisance to Schein

NFL Insider Adam Schein (Sirius NFL Radio; is a familiar face to Jets fans, appearing weekly with former Jets QB Ray Lucas and host Brian Custer on SNY’s Jets Post Game Live. TJB caught up with Adam recently and asked him to throw a few “nuggets” our way concerning Gang Green. TJB’s Qs and Adam’s As appear after the jump.

Bassett, R_in_CT and I ran into Adam this summer at Jets camp (see above photo; Bassett in green shirt speaking with Adam), and he had nice words to say regarding TJB. Thanks, Adam, for the kind words, your visits to and for answering our questions. Hope to see you at Jets camp again next year!

TJB: In 2004, a rookie by the name of Jonathan Vilma stepped in for an injured Sam Cowart…and that was the last we saw of Cowart in a Jets uniform. Eerily, we may be watching a situational replay in 2007 although this time, Vilma is Sam Cowart with David Harris playing the role of Jonathan Vilma. With Vilma’s injury, his apparent non-fit/dislike for the Jets 3-4 base defense and the emergence of Harris, could this be the end of Jonathan Vilma’s career with the Jets? If Vilma does stays with the Jets, where does he play? Inside next to Harris? Outside? Strong safety?

Adam Schein: This is an excellent question. First and foremost, we need to see how Vilma responds with his health. When healthy, he is an excellent, all-pro ball player. I would do one of two things. I would either play Harris and Vilma together, or most especially, I would trade Vilma for a Day 1 draft pick. In talking to executives around the league, a healthy Vilma equals a first round pick. He would be a perfect fit for teams like Denver and Cincinnati. Vilma is a brilliant linebacker in a 4-3. He also would be a perfect fit in Denver and Cincy’s locker room as a high character guy.

TJB: Like so many other Jets watchers, Adam, you feel Dewayne Robertson should be making more of an impact. Conversely, SNY colleague Greg Buttle has been effusive in his praise for Robertson, saying that he is performing his assigned job of tying up offensive linemen. Where do you and Buttle differ in your observances of Robertson?

Adam Schein: I just don’t think Robertson is a legit nose tackle in the 3-4 defense. Scouts I speak with feel the same thing. He was drafted to play in the 4-3. That’s the scheme Robertson, like Vilma, should be in.

TJB: Which is a more accurate read of where the Jets stand in today’s NFL: the 10-6 season of 2006 or the current 3-9 year? Did last year’s success actually do more harm to the Tannenbaum/Mangini plan than good? As in, the 2007 campaign is a more accurate reflection how well the current roster will play in the offensive/defensive schemes and the Jets brain trust has now lost a year of talent evaluation/acquisition?

Adam Schein: Winning 10 games and making the playoffs was an amazing accomplishment and Mangini should be commended for it. If it confused observers into thinking this team was a juggernaut, well, that’s short sighted. I picked the Jets preseason as a third place team in the division. That’s what they are.

TJB: Eric Mangini talks about his desire to have players with a certain character type and on SNY’s 1st and Goal show, Mike Tannenbaum often cites his desire for “value” players. This organizational philosophy has secured the likes of Thomas Jones, but it has also brought in Kimo von Ohloffen, Eric Hicks and Adrien Clarke. Are the Jets being too nearsighted in their talent acquisition philosophy, looking past talented and more costly players for the sake of character and value? There seem to be more KVOs around than Joneses.

Adam Schein: The “value” players have worked in New England, Indy, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia during their success this decade. High character, versatile, good players equal winning. I think you have to separate the mix of players here. Von Ohloffen was a good flyer. He fit the new defense. It didn’t work. I didn’t have a problem with that move when it was made. He was a Super Bowl champion who could aid the transition to the 3-4. Hicks is a niche player who was solid when healthy. That was a low budget flyer. Banking on Clarke was a mistake. This was a first guess on my part. Clarke will never start in the NFL. He just isn’t good enough. I said as much on SNY and Sirius NFL Radio. The Jets sorely miss Pete Kendall and didn’t handle that situation well at all. The Jones trade was brilliant and a no brainer. It was an excellent move by Tannenbaum. It would’ve been nice if Brian Schottenheimer used him in the first half of the season…

TJB: With all the talk of long hours at the facility, grueling practices, hallway pop quizzes, questionable treatment of veteran players (i.e. Mawae; Kendall) and a litany of media engagement rules, as an NFL Insider, Adam, what’s the word you’re hearing on the NFL street about the Jets? There’s no question the team needs to sign play-making free agents next year; can you see top-tier free agents signing with the Jets? Is Hempstead/Florham Park attractive to free agents? TJB readers would like to see OG, DL and LB upgrades as well as a WR that can stretch field.

Adam Schein: I think the word on the street is very positive. Agents love negotiating with Mike, who has a great reputation. New York is a great place to play.

I agree with your readers and have said as much on SNY. The Jets need guards, a right tackle, a speedy receiver, and impact defenders.

TJB: Please peer in your crystal ball and let us know which 2008 free agents will be attractive to the Jets? For that matter, how about the 2007 crop of college players?

Adam Schein: If Darren McFadden is on the board, you must consider him. He is the next Adrian Peterson. Glenn Dorsey or Chris Long would be an outstanding fit. I think Kellen Clemens is the QB of the future and present.

I can see the Jets being players for guys like Alan Faneca (though I think he’s headed to Arizona), Stacy Andrews, and either Donte Stallworth or Kelley Washington if they aren’t back in New England. Even with Revis, I would still chase Asante Samuel. If the Jets ever switched to the 4-3, end Justin Smith embodies everything Mangini and Tannenbaum look for in a player.

TJB: The Cleveland Browns have been playing well thanks to the emergence of Derek Anderson, but what is Romeo Crennel’s status in Cleveland? We’ve heard rumblings here on TJB that his relationship with Browns GM Phil Savage is frosty. Considering the solid relationship Mangini has with “RAC”, as an NFL Insider can you see Crennel coming to the Jets as defensive coordinator/assistant head coach if Cleveland released him at year’s end?

Adam Schein: Romeo Crennel isn’t going anywhere.

TJB: Is it true that you can’t stop SNY’s Ray Lucas, but can only hope to contain him?

Adam Schein: Here’s a better question – why would you want to ever stop him? Lucas is filled with personality and knowledge. I love working with him and host Brian Custer and SNY’s NFL executive producer Will O’Toole. We really have a great thing working on the post-game show.

(TJB Programing Note: Jets Post Game Live airs on SNY immediately after the final whistle of every regular season Jets game. It, along with the game tape breakdown that occurs on SNY’s Jets Extra Point, are must-views for Jets fans.)