Well what a freaking ride these last ten days were – my god. The Jets kicked off their interview process with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy early last week. They continued along the way by interviewing the likes of Kris Richard, Mike McCarthy, Todd Monken, Adam Gase, Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Rhule – they really left no stone un-turned. As the days went by it became clear who this job was coming down to and that was Matt Rhule (Baylor HC), Adam Gase, Todd Monken and Mike McCarthy – at the end of the day Adam Gase was the one to get the final nod.
All day yesterday everyone was riding the Matt Rhule bus, frankly so was I – in my opinion I thought he was going to be the hire. The Mike McCarthy buzz started to fade, it was odd they weren’t naming him the coach – they had no reason to wait for anything. Late Tuesday night, Adam Schefter puts out a tweet that McCarthy will coach for the Jets or sit out in 2019. To me that was Mike McCarthy’s last ditch effort to put a little pressure on the Jets to offer him the gig, kudos to them for not biting if they weren’t completely sold on him being their next coach. Then there was the build up for Matt Rhule, was he in NY? was he not? plenty of media outlets were left in the dark but claiming he was indeed going to be the hire – needless to say, he wasn’t. The Jets and Matt Rhule were discussing the staff he was going to assemble if he was given the job with the Jets, suggesting some names for him for his staff. Rhule was not interested in taking suggestions from the Jets about guys he should consider for certain roles, he wanted to bring in his own people and hire them himself – which is fine, there is nothing wrong with that. The only thing with that is he is a college coach who doesn’t have considerable connections in the NFL game, so if the Jets were concerned with him bringing in his own people then that right there is a red flag and another good “no hire”.
Finally, this brings us to the guy who did indeed get the job and that is former Miami Dolphins head coach, Adam Gase. I’ll be honest with you I was not a huge fan of this hire when the news broke last night, I was a fan of Mike McCarthy and was excited about what he could do considering his past and I was warming up to the idea of Matt Rhule. No part of me was ready for an Adam Gase hire, so my initial reactions were not that “glowing” to say the least. But as the night went on and I relaxed myself, did a little more reading and researching I have come to terms with the hire much better then originally. Gase has an edge to him which I really think this team/organization needs, who cares if he isn’t warm and fuzzy to the media or players – the Jets need a guy who is going to be all about football and trying to win games. I trust what he can do with Sam Darnold helping him grow into the quarterback we are all so desperately waiting for, I think he and the offense he will create – can do wonders for this football team. He also has NFL head coaching experience within the same division so he knows the Jets division rivals inside and out, that’ll be important as he won’t need to learn his divisional foes on the job. And lastly, he is a no nonsense kind of guy – to me he sounds like a guy who is going to expect his football players to play smart and invest everything they have into the game. I mean if your a professional that’s what you should be doing, if he can hold his players and coaches accountable it’ll be a refreshing sight as a fan and a wake up call to the players – and boy do they need it!
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According to the multiple media outlets the New York Jets have signed wide receiver Quincy Enunwa to a contract extension worth 4 years $36M with $20M in guarantees. This is exactly how this offseason needed to start for the Jets – bringing Enunwa back is essential for this offense, especially Sam Darnold who Enunwa already has chemistry with. The Jets will be very active this offseason on the free agency market, trying to fill certain holes throughout the roster – starting with extending Quincy Enunwa is the exact move they needed to make.
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The final “Thursday Injury Report” is upon us as the Jets look to close out the 2018 season against the Patriots this Sunday in Foxborough. Some injury news at practice today, according to Ethan Greenberg of the New York Jets, states that Trumaine Johnson, Mike Pennel and Jason Myers were all full participants after being held out yesterday. As for CB Morris Claiborne who is dealing with a shoulder and wrist issue and WR Jermaine Kearse an achilles situation – I don’t anticipate either of these guys playing this week. This could potentially open the door to cornerbacks Derrick Jones and Parry Nickerson to get some game action before we head into the offseason.
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According to the New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis both did not practice today making this their second straight missed practice this week. DB Daryl Roberts and OLB Jordan Jenkins both were limited in today’s practice for the second straight day as well. In Todd Bowles press conference after practice he indicated that Quincy Enunwa will be ruled OUT against the Packers this weekend at MetLife Stadium. At this point I find it hard to believe Quincy plays another down this season, at this point it is best they shut him down – not risking him for further injury. You’d have to think his injury history these past two seasons will be a point of conversation when Enunwa and the Jets try to agree on a new contract. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Jets fill Enunwa’s new deal with plenty of incentives based on how many games he plays and the success he has on the field. I fully anticipate both Jordan Jenkins and Daryl Roberts to play in this game on Sunday, the only injury we are dealing with for this upcoming game is that of Quincy Enunwa.
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Well that was refreshing, even though we lost this game Sam Darnold played his absolute best game as a pro on Saturday verse the Houston Texans. He looked great, making plays with his feet, showing great presence in the pocket, delivering great throws while working through his reads – it was so impressive watching him. For the first time this year it looked as if the game has slowed down for him a little bit, he was breaking the huddle early, he looked poised pre snap and made athletic plays all night. At times during this game my mouth would drop when he delivered balls through tight windows rolling to his left, his right or climbing the pocket. I did feel as if he was on the field all by himself as it was pretty obvious this Jets team needs much more talent around him to help really take this thing to the next level. Just imagine what this kid could do with an improved offensive line, more play-makers on the outside and a running game that can legitimately keep a defense honest. It seems as if the few weeks Sam Darnold was out with his sprained foot did him a world of good, allowing him to see what it takes to be a starting quarterback in this league from another perspective. If he can close out these final two games with solid performances like this past Saturday the Jets will have to feel confident heading into this offseason with one thing on their minds – surrounding Sam Darnold with a competent coaching staff and upgraded talent around him.
Week 15 Observations:
- The offense played arguably their best game this weekend thanks in large part to Sam Darnold and his legs and right arm. As I mentioned earlier the kid was electric, reading the field and making plays with his legs and arm – sometimes both on one play. Robby Anderson had one of his better games as it seems Darnold and him are creating that chemistry they seemed to have lacked when this season first started, Anderson will be back next year to continue this chemistry along with some new additions the Jets will be expected to add. Chris Herndon will be the Jets starting tight end for the foreseeable future as long as he continues to make the plays he’s been making, the guy continues to take steps forward as this season progresses. What really blows my mind is how Sam Darnold was spreading the ball around to all of his receivers, he wasn’t falling in love with one guy as we saw at times during this year with Quincy Enunwa. This team has a bright future with Sam Darnold at the helm, as long as they hire a competent coach once they let Todd Bowles go and bring in some surrounding talent we’re in for a fun ride.
- The defense played a good game, they made some big stops, got after the quarterback a little bit but didn’t come up with the big stop when the game was on the line. That seems to be a common theme when it comes to this defensive unit this year, much different then the Texans defense who once the game was in their hands they shut the Jets down to end the night. That is what this Jets defense is needing they must obtain multiple players who can collapse the pocket and put their foot on the throat of an opposing team when its time to close a game out deep in the fourth quarter. Once the Texans had the lead and the Jets came on the field with about 2 minutes remaining that defense took over, they rushed only four and dropped the rest into coverage and got to Darnold multiple times. THAT is what this Jets defense needs to do moving forward if they want to start making some noise.
We have two more weeks of this season Jets fans, there are big changes coming for this team. We will see a new coaching staff for the 2019 season with a much different looking roster, this was a rough year as we all expected a little bit more. But brighter days are upon us, I can feel it- 2019 is going to be a fun one something we’ve all deserved for a long time.
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According to the New York Jets, running back Isaiah Crowell will be heading to the IR with a toe injury that he’s been dealing with the last couple of weeks. Crowell was “DNP” or “Limited” for much of last weeks practices leading up to the game against the Buffalo Bills, he tried to give it a go but wound up banging up his toe even more – probably leading to this IR stint. At this point in a lost season I always lean on the side of putting guys on IR and not subjecting them to becoming more banged up in meaningless games towards the end of the season. With Crowell now out for good we will get a chance to see much more of running backs Eli McGuire and Trenton Cannon who will receive a good amount of work to close out this season. I am excited to see how they both perform as the Jets will need to evaluate their talent going into this offseason with the expectation of making a strong offer to former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. The Jets in the mean time promoted running back De’Angelo Henderson from the practice squad for depth behind McGuire and Cannon just in case either of those guys become banged up.
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According to Dennis Waszak Jr. the Jets will be without wide receiver Quincy Enunwa and running back Isaiah Crowell this Saturday when the Jets take on the Houston Texans. I had a feeling Isaiah Crowell was going to be out this weekend after he did not practice and was limited in practice throughout last week then he banged up his toe even worse during the Bills game, I wouldn’t have played him last week based off his workload he received during the week – but what do I know. As for Quincy Enunwa that is a bigger blow for the Jets and Sam Darnold as we are limited when it comes to offensive play-makers from the beginning now with Q out we are limited even more. I’m sure we will see a heavy dose of Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse and Chris Herndon with Enunwa being sidelined this week. I fully anticipate Eli McGuire to get the start in Isaiah Crowells place while also seeing a decent amount of Trenton Cannon as well. Jordan Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson are listed as questionable but I fully anticipate them playing on Saturday afternoon.
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Woo! Let me tell you I needed that game so badly especially the way we won that game, come on if you’re a Jets fan and not excited about that – I’m not sure what to tell you. Sam Darnold gets the ball back with under 2 minutes to play and he orchestrates a game winning drive, making throw after throw to get us down the field – not to tie it with a field goal but to win it with a touchdown. Let me tell you something give me more Sam Darnold growth and success over these last three games instead of the “we need to lose” talk in order to get us in prime position in this years upcoming draft. I’ll worry about the draft in April, wouldn’t you rather see your young franchise quarterback show you promise leaving you confident going into the offseason and 2019 season? The Jets are going to finish the season with a good pick regardless of what happens down the stretch, but this team needs exactly what happened up in Buffalo to hang their hat on as we head into the offseason. The defense played well creating some turnovers, but boy once they get their pass rusher and tweak the secondary a little bit they’ll have the potential to be even better. The offense again was a joke to open up this game, the fact that they even won this game is remarkable but I digress, I mean you only throw the ball six times in the first half? SIX TIMES!? Give me a break, look at what Sam Darnold is capable of doing in the positions he is being put in under Todd Bowles and Jeremy Bates – just imagine what he is capable of doing with an offensive coach who has a clue and the addition of some new offensive talent that will be put around him. This was a good win mainly because of the way it was won, if this game was won with Josh McCown at the helm I would have been disappointed – but having Sam Darnold be an essential part of this win making the throws and plays he made, sign me up for this the rest of the way to finish out this 2018 season.
Week 14 Observations:
- Well… Jeremy Bates did all he could to sabotage yet another game as he thought it would be wise to only throw the ball six times in the first half, ughh I just don’t get this guy – but I’m not going to beat the dead horse here. I mean its 3rd & 12 and Bates decides it’s wise to run a dive play, what was he thinking? He was going to catch the defense off guard and break a 12 yard run – give me a break. In the second half though he opened it up a little bit giving Sam the opportunity to make some plays with his arm and athletic ability. I thought Eli McGuire and Trenton Cannon both ran well, these guys deserve more touches as they seem to do a better job at creating plays for themselves in comparison to Isaiah Crowell who did leave the game yesterday with I’m going to assume was the toe issue he’s been dealing with and missed most of practice last week with. If this team can finish this season strong while seeing continued promise from young talent like Sam Darnold, Eli McGuire, Trenton Cannon, Chris Herndon, Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson there is going to be a lot to be excited about heading into the offseason and and the 2019 season – just get these guys around an offensive mind who has a clue. Lets see if these guys can continue to make plays and be involved against the Houston Texans this upcoming Saturday.
- Does Andre Roberts deserve to be in the Pro Bowl? Yes. Does Jason Myers deserve to be in the Pro Bowl? Yes. Has special teams coach Brant Boyer done a hell of a job with this special teams unit this year? Yes. Every unit on special teams has been playing sound football for much of this season, we have Andre Roberts returning balls to mid field with ease on a weekly basis and kicker Jason Myers drilling any field goal we take from anywhere on the field. The punt coverage unit has been solid, our punt return unit has been solid – I mean Brant Boyer absolutely deserves an interview with the new staff to stay on board with this group. One last note: Andre Roberts and Jason Myers deserve to be Jets in 2019.
- How you been Trumaine Johnson!? Has Tru been hearing the rumbling from fans and the media about his play in comparison to what he’s being paid? Maybe. Either way he has three interceptions in the last two games putting together some bounce back performances that are slowly quieting the doubters. The defense played a sound game yesterday once they decided to figure out how to limit Josh Allen from running all over the damn field on them. Making Josh Allen sit back there in the pocket and have to make plays with his arm was exactly how the Jets were going to beat this Bills team and sure enough they got the interception they needed to close out this game. I like this defense and they are fun to watch, they just need to tweak some things personnel wise this offseason (edge rusher) that will help them close the gap from being a good defense to a great defense.
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