David Harris isn’t one to be outspoken, so when he says that the Jets are going to be bringing the blitz in 2013, believe it.
This from Rich Cimini’s Sunday notes on ESPN NY:
“We’re going to do a lot of blitzing and getting after people,” LB David Harris told me the other day. “There should be a different brand of football than you were used to seeing the last couple of years.” Asked about last season’s philosophy, Harris said, “We played more coverage. It wasn’t like ’09, that’s obvious. That’s all I’ll say about that.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Most likely, David Harris wouldn’t say more because he didn’t want to say anything bad about his former DC Mike Pettine. In my opinion, there’s a few reasons why the Jets will blitz more in 2013. First, Rex loves to blitz more than Pettine. When Rex was in charge of the defense in 2009 the group blitzed much more often. Over time, they blitzed less as Pettine took more control. Second, they don’t have Darrelle Revis. This is no slight to Cromartie, who has stepped in ably as the team’s top corner when Revis couldn’t play, but the more they rush the passer, the less time there is for coverage to break down in the secondary … which I think has more to do with the uncertainty at the safety spot coupled with the lack of Revis than anything else. Third, they have a re-charged defensive line. In 2009 their defensive front consisted of Shaun Ellis, Sione Pouha and Marques Douglas with Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas as the OLBs. In 2013, they will have Muhammad Wilkerson, Kenrick Ellis and Sheldon Richardson with Quinton Coples and Barnes/Sapp as the OLBs. The 2013 group is much younger and is a group who can pressure the passer.
The New York Jets have released long-snapper Travis Tripucka, according to their Twitter account.
The Jets had signed him in January to a future/reserve contract.
Last year, on June 14th, the Jets announced that they had signed Jordan White, the last remaining unsigned pick from their 2012 draft class. Third round pick Demario Davis had signed on June 2nd and the rest of the picks, including first rounder Quinton Coples had been signed back in May. Here we are on June 17th in 2013 and the Jets’ three top picks remain outstanding. Is there any reason we should be concerned about this?
A look back at last year reveals that John Idzik’s Seahawks signed all of their draft picks in one go, in the first week of May. However, the Jets may have slightly different organizational philosophies and have always been a team that deals with their rookies on a piecemeal basis. A look at the NFL’s signing status page reveals that only eight first round picks have been signed, leaving 24 still unsigned. In terms of 2nd to 7th round picks, there remain 21 unsigned, of which Geno Smith is one.
As a general rule, we’re in an era where the basic parameters for rookie deals are more or less set in stone and there really isn’t much room for negotiation as a result. The rookie allocation – an amount set aside for rookie signings which counts against the cap but cannot be exceeded and does not allow for unused surplus to be used on veterans – is now so tight that that teams have no choice but to agree on a contract that slots in between the picks above and below it in terms of value, otherwise they won’t be able to fit all their deals under that rookie allocation. Note: If you release a draft pick without signing them, your rookie allocation is reduced accordingly, so it’s not possible to create more breathing room by doing that and spreading an allocation for six players across five contracts or whatever.
The new CBA places restrictions on the length of these deals. Also, all incentives are treated as likely to be earned and salary advances, option bonuses, buybacks, voidable years and renegotiating in the first three years are all prohibited under the new CBA, so you can’t use loopholes to get around the rookie allocation. There are also special rules that restrict the guarantee of future salaries and how much you can increase or reduce salaries by year-on-year, which means that there isn’t much wiggle room in terms of how these deals are structured, either.
There are still some key negotiation points, as set out in this article from OverTheCap.com. So, while we may already have a good idea about what these contracts will look like in terms of size, structure and guarantees and might therefore be wondering what the hold-up is, there is still work to be done.
After the jump, I’ll be looking at each of the remaining unsigned rookies and summarizing the details for those that did sign so far. To read more of this story, click here
Rex Ryan believes himself to be a good coach and has learned his limitations and believes that getting more involved in the running of the defense is the way to get himself out of the situation that he’s in, in what might be his fifth and final season as the Jets head coach.
Ryan sat down with Newsday’s Kim Martin last week and is going back to what he knows this year.
Ryan repeatedly has said he’s going back to basics in Year 5 — taking a hands-on approach again with the defense. But this time, Ryan said he has the benefit of experience.
“I know what works for me,” he said.
Last season, he made a conscious effort to be more involved with the offense, even sitting in on meetings with former coordinator Tony Sparano. But although his presence was being felt behind closed doors, Ryan said his message may have been getting lost in translation.
“Maybe I let someone else drive the message instead of me,” he said. “And I think the first year, it was clear who was driving the message. It was me.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
I know it’s not worth dwelling on, but the irony of this whole thing is that Rex said of hiring of Sparano last year that the former Dolphins coach would allow the offense to be more autonomous and thereby allow Ryan to get back to basics. Obviously that is not how the situation played out. Some contest that hiring Sparano was Tannenbaum’s move, not Ryan’s, due to the connection with Parcells. Still there’s this recurring dissonant notion in how Ryan espouses he wants his offense to be run on his behalf; he wants his vision executed in a space where he doesn’t need to worry about the details, but he also wants his voice and message to be the dominant one. Billionaire Richard Branson has built an empire by hiring the best people whom he implicitly trusts to run his businesses and then he gets out of the way and acts as a cheerleader. Can Ryan allow himself to do that with his offense? It’s never happened so far in four years.
This year, with Marty Morhinweg running the offense Ryan’s presence will be less of an issue because Morhinweg is by far the best offensive coordinator that the Jets have had in more than ten years based on his resume. Morhinweg inherently knows how to execute an NFL offense and has done so very successfully in Philadelphia for years. What will make life hard for Morhinweg (and thus Ryan) will be if the players on the roster don’t have the abilities to get the job done. It’s going to be Morhinweg’s job to make do with what he has. The team is going to have to do more with less offensively unless Idzik makes some changes specifically at the receiver position between now and start of the season.
Ryan has to know that he needs to drive the message this season and control the locker room because if he doesn’t, it’s going to be his job on the line at the end of the season. Still, he needs to allow Morhinweg enough space to make judgement calls. Ryan boasts about his defensive accomplishments in the Newsday article, and that’s all well and good, but he’s no longer a defensive coordinator, he’s a head coach and needs to own the process for the whole team and not just part – even if his skills are best served in the defensive meeting rooms.
My personal hope is that with Morhinweg and Ryan the Jets offense and defense could become dominant, but it’s going to take some time to allow the offense to acquire more talent and to mature to get there. Right now they are slowed by having to circumvent the black hole on the roster that Mark Sancehz has created for this team. Can Ryan do enough in 2013 to prove continued investment in him as the head coach is worthwhile? If so, it could pay great dividends in terms of a totally dominant team in a few years.
As we’ve done in years past, we’re going to start up our Roster Countdown series of posts as we get ready for the regular season.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height / Weight: 6’5” 288 lbs
Age: 27 / Experience: 1
Background: Born in Hamilton, New Zealand, Finau lived in Maui until he was eight and then in Tonga until he was 12, and then moved back to Hawaii for high school. He moved to a few different high schools, but graduated from Kahuku High & Intermediate School and helped Kahuku win the state championship in football that year while also playing basketball throughout much of high school. Finau played two seasons for the JuCo Phoenix College and then transferred to Utah. Finau appeared in 21 games with the Utes, finishing with 42 tackles. Finau went undrafted in 2012 and spent time during training camp with the Cardinals and Eagles before landing shortly with the Cowboys practice squad in November of last year for just about a week. Finau was then signed to the Jets practice squad on December 5, 2012 and signed a future/reserve contract at the conclusion of the 2012 season.
2013 Projection: Finau is listed as a tackle and at his height it’s a possibility, but his weight might push him into more end work with the Jets scheme on running downs unless he’s added a lot of mass during the offseason workout program. Finau is quite athletic and will challenge the depth of the roster, but might be a good candidate for the practice squad once the season begins.
Geno Smith might have a lot of work left to do, but the rookie quarterback is adjusting to the NFL life quickly thanks to some good advice from some of the league’s best at his position.
Connor Orr of the Star-Ledger writes up a detailed account of what Geno’s days have looked like this spring, going hour-by-hour through a normal day for the rookie.
Through a series of text messages and conversations with Peyton Manning and teammates of Tom Brady, Smith has learned that the most important part of his first year in the NFL is to develop a routine. That’s what eliminates the unexpected.
Wake up at the same time every day, and go to sleep when your body tells you to. Study at the same time, eat breakfast at the same time and fill the voids with more football.
“They’re sticklers for what they do,” Smith said. “Peyton and Archie (Manning), all those guys told me to stick to that daily routine.”
Smith aspires to be just like them, so by the time his first mandatory minicamp ended last week, he already had crafted the day in the life of a rookie quarterback into an art form.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
This is a must read article.
It’s a fascinating view into what life has looked like so far for Geno Smith this spring since getting drafted by the Jets. Football players are creatures of habit and the best ones have minds that are always searching how to know more about their team and their opponents and how best to use that to their team’s advantage. Smith is starting off well working so closely with Morhinweg and soaking up as much as he can from one of the league’s most notable offensive coordinators of the last ten years. The hope is that his studiousness and detail will pay off in time with the Jets.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comJust a few Sunday thoughts based on reports around the Jets …
Receiver Incompletion — As was reported, Rex sure seemed unhappy with his receivers all week long, saying “it has to get better” and that the drops need to end. The return of Santonio Holmes will address the problem to a degree, but Stephen Hill’s inability to catch the ball during minicamp as well as the play of the rest of the group has made it a position of real concern. Could the Jets try and sign an unsigned player? There’s not a lot of stellar options left: Brandon Lloyd, Austin Collie and Laurent Robinson highlight the group with Moss, Breaston, Doucet and former Jet Braylon Edwards also available.
Sounds Serious – According to Rich Cimini, Santonio told the Jets website (though I don’t see the quote now) that had suffered a grade-four Lisfranc injury — the most serious designation. Santonio seems optimistic that he’ll be ready for training camp, but it’s hard to imagine that it will be an easy process getting back on the field and that Rex Ryan will take many chances even if he can.
The Replacements — The Jets were banking on picking up a veteran free agent or a player through the draft, and neither seemed to happen for the Jets. One has to think that the team’s addition of TE Kellen Winslow has a lot to do with the team’s troubles at the receiving position. Right now, Winslow could realistically jump to the top of the depth chart even though he was basically out of football last year but it comes down to his ability to stand up to the grind of training camp and a sixteen game season. With the problems at the WR spot adding a pass-catching TE is a sensible solution, but it will only work if Winslow can stay on the field and out of the traininer’s room. The Jets are going to have to decide during cutdowns whether his production will trump the cost of using a roster spot to hold onto him. If Hayden Smith is smart, he’ll dedicate as much of the time between now and training camp to working on his blocking. It would be the best way to distinguish himself Cumberland and Winslow, the likely two top guys.
Will the Wildcat be Wild Once Again? — The Jets took Wildcat snaps during practice this spring and that shouldn’t come as a surprise as it was David Lee, not Tony Sparano, who was the mastermind behind the Miami Dolphins Wildcat in 2008. The three elements of the Wildcat are (1) a direct or shotgun snap to the running back, (2) an unbalanced line and (3) motion from a skill player, most likely a running back. While those are the elements, the keys are having an offensive line who is aggressive in run blocking, deep enough to add some effective sixth or seventh linemen as required and quick to fire off the ball. That coupled with backfield players who can read the developing play and then use their power or speed accordingly to find a crease in the defense are what makes the Wildcat purr. Last year, the Jets ran Wildcat plays and were ineffective in the hands of Tony Sparano. With David Lee now in the mix, the team should be able to get back to some effective use of the package and can also make use of Jeremy Kerley in the group as he was quite effective in the role at the end of last season, even heaving a long completion.