|Tim Tebow will be disaster for Jets||03.26.12 at 11:32 am ET|
There’s a line in “All the President’s Men” that captures the Jets perfectly. Bob Woodward is running dry on sources. It looks like he and Carl Bernstein aren’t going to crack the Watergate story after all. He’s worn out, pissed off and finally ready to give up, surrender to Mitchell and Nixon and Hunt and Haldeman and Erlichman.
Woodward meets up with Deep Throat — the source, not the film Tim Tebow would never watch — and tells him exactly that. It’s basically over.
Deep Throat — we now know is Mark Felt, who comes to think of it looked a hell of a lot like Hal Holbrook — gives the closest version of a pep talk you’ll ever get from a CIA operative in the basement of a garage. And it ends with this:
“Look, forget the myths the media’s created about the White House- the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand. ”
Change “White House” to “NFL” and you’ve got the Jets and the addition of Tim Tebow.
I thought Tebow to the Patriots made sense. I didn’t think it was going to happen but I thought it made sound football sense. Terrific athlete, a head coach willing to look at a player and see something else, all that stuff. Almost as important, the Patriots were one of three or four franchises in the NFL where Tebow would be zero distraction to the day-to-day operations of a football team.
Put it another way: For the Tim Tebow experiment to really succeed, he needed to go to a place where the quarterback was an untouchable, the coach had unimpeachable job security and the motivation to bring Tebow in was as football player only, not some ploy to steal headlines or sell tickets.
And that’s why the Jets and Tim Tebow will be an absolute disaster, a train wreck that will end with Tebow either a) being released or b) traded to Jacksonville for even less value in a year or two.
This is how a clueless organization does things. They botch any real shot at Peyton Manning and scramble to save face. Instead of taking a step back, just pause for minute and look at things from a big picture perspective, the Jets dive in and make a deal for a quarterback that isn’t as good as the guy they have. And that guy — Mark Sanchez — isn’t good enough in their eyes, or else there is no way they deal for Tebow. Desperation meets stupidity meets a desire to monopolize the front page of the New York Post for a couple of weeks in March.
(Helps when you have a Hall of Fame QB, but you would never see the Patriots do this the way the Jets are. The courtship, the huge press conference, putting his jersey on the front of the team web page. It’s just reeks of minor leagues. The Patriots would have had a conference call the day after the trade and that’s it.)
This is a pissed off little brother, plain and simple. The Jets have watched the Giants win two Super Bowls the last five years — against the team that was supposed to be their rival — and this was the best answer they could come up with. And when you start making organizational decisions based on desire to be relevant off the field you are basically screwed. There’s a reason why they don’t hand out rings or raise banners in March.
Mark Sanchez isn’t a franchise quarterback, not by the longest shot. Is there a chance he could develop into a top 10-15 guy over the next couple of years? It’s possible, sure, this is a QB with four road playoff wins, including one that saw him outplay Tom Brady. Point is, you could do worse.
|Halftime analysis: Patriots 10, Jets 7||10.09.11 at 5:37 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots and the Jets are done with two quarters here at Gillette Stadium, and New England holds a 10-7 lead. Here are a few quick notes:
• The Jets opened in a 3-1-7 formation against the Patriots — the same way they approached the playoff game last year — and had a variety of coverages on Wes Welker. He lined up opposite Darrelle Revis in man coverage often, but they also zoned it up a bit, as well. (The surest way to spot it? The Patriots sent Welker in motion a whole lot over the first half, and whenever Revis trailed after him, it was a pretty good sign New York was in man coverage.) Welker ended the first half with three catches for 47 yards.
• With New York utilizing so many defensive backs, New England took advantage, running the ball for serious yardage over the first two quarters. On the first scoring drive of the game for the Patriots, BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the ball four straight times for 27 yards, with the final carry going for three yards and a touchdown to make it 7-0 with 7:36 left in the first quarter.
Green-Ellis ended the first half with eight carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the New England offense was bogged down a bit in the second quarter, but still managed a 44-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski to make it 10-0 with 11:15 left in the second. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was 13-for-17 for 157 yards, but ended the first half with a pick deep in the New York red zone on a ball meant for Aaron Hernandez that went off his hands and landed in the breadbasket of New York corner Antonio Cromartie. (Brady was also sacked three times by the Jets.)
• The two big injury questions marks on both sides — Hernandez and Jets center Nick Mangold both got some serious run in the first half. Hernandez caught three balls for 26 yards while Mangold went the first two quarters without incident. (Hernandez briefly went to the locker room early in the second quarter, while New England was able to get its first sack since Week Two when Mark Anderson brought down Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the first quarter.)
• Defensively, the Patriots put together an impressive performance against the Jets, at least in the early going. The Jets didn’t get a first down until just over 10 minutes were left in the first half when Sanchez hit Plaxico Burress on a 19-yard pass play. On that same drive, New York went back to the ground and pound attack, chewing up plenty of play clock. For the Jets, it was a 13-play, 78-yard drive that took 7:54 and ended with a Shonn Greene touchdown run from three yards out to make it 10-7 with 3:24 left in the half.
|WEEI NFL Power Rankings: Week 3||09.20.11 at 10:25 am ET|
A thrilling Week 2 provided much insight on which teams will be pretenders and which will be contenders. The week also left us scratching our heads in some cases. The Bills and Redskins are both 2-0 while the Ravens were upset by the Titans.
The Packers and Patriots retain their spots as the top two teams in the NFL. Entering the top five for the first time this season are Rex Ryan‘s Jets (4). In a rapid decline are three playoff teams from 2010. The Chiefs (30), Colts (31) and Seahawks (32) have dropped to the bottom of the league.
Looking ahead, there are a few key games in Week 3 that could have a great impact on the rankings: Packers at Bears, Giants at Eagles, Texans at Saints, and Redskins at Cowboys. We should be in for another exciting week in the NFL.
1. (1) Packers (2-0) — Aaron Rodgers and the Packers maintained their composure after falling behind to an inferior Panthers team and came back with a win. Rodgers has to love the production he got from James Starks. Starks averaged over nine yards per carry. Add a strong run game to an explosive pass game and the Packers will have their way with opposing defenses all season. On a down note, Packers Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins is out for the year. This is a team certainly capable of overcoming injuries but definitely a cause for concern as the pass defense has allowed back to back 400-plus-yard games.
2. (2) Patriots (2-0) — Tony Dungy said Sunday night that Tom Brady and the Patriots look like the 2007 team that went 18-1. It’s tough to disagree. The Patriots offense has been unstoppable over the first two games while the “bend but don’t break defense” has forced key turnovers.
3. (5) Saints (1-1) — The Saints defense responded well in Week 2 after getting torched by the Packers on opening night. It’s important to note that they were facing the Bears offensive line, but the Saints attacked the quarterback and sacked Jay Cutler six times while also forcing a fumble. In just two weeks, Darren Sproles has made Saints fans ask, “Reggie who?” Sproles has quickly become one of Drew Brees‘ favorite weapons. He was targeted 10 times in Sunday’s win.
4. (6) Jets (2-0) — The Jets came out ready to play on Sunday after a shaky Week 1 performance. Luke McCown and the Jaguars offense proved to be no match for the Jets dominant D. Rex Ryan‘s defensive unit had four interceptions and held the Jaguars to under 100 yards passing. Mark Sanchez, on the other hand, was inconsistent once again. He threw two interceptions, upping his turnover total to four this season. Furthermore, Nick Mangold will miss some time and that could also hinder Sanchez’ play. Mangold has started in every game since entering the league in 2006.
5. (4) Ravens (1-1) — If the Ravens want to reach the Super Bowl, they can’t afford to have many more games like they did last Sunday. The defense was totally unprepared for the Titans passing game as they looked helpless against Matt Hasselbeck. The pass rush was nonexistent and the thin secondary had no answer for Kenny Britt. With all that being said, I’d be shocked if we saw a similar type of performance from the Ravens in Week 3.
6. (7) Steelers (1-1) — The Steelers did exactly what many expected after suffering an embarrassing Week 1 loss. They routed an awful Seahawks team. Looking ahead, they’ll face another second-rate team next week when they travel to Indy.
7. (10) Falcons (1-1) — The Falcons played to their strengths Sunday night and they came away with a huge win. This team is at its best when it has a strong balance in the run and pass game. Matt Ryan performed great in the no-huddle offense while Michael Turner and the Falcons running game also excelled.
8. (3) Eagles (1-1) — The so-called “Dream Team” of the NFL has a lot of challenges ahead. It took just seven quarters of football for Michael Vick to suffer a serious enough injury that he had to leave the game. The Eagles have some major problems. Vick continues to be on the ugly side of some vicious hits, he’s been careless with the football, and the defense has struggled mightily, especially against the run.
|Tom Brady talks Chad Ochocinco, not playing, Albert Haynesworth and his most painful loss||08.15.11 at 8:57 am ET|
Tom Brady made his first of what will be weekly appearances on the Dennis & Callahan show this season Monday morning, touching on a variety of subjects, including the surprise of not playing in the preseason opener, the challenges facing Chad Ochocinco, the difficulty in dealing with last season’s playoff loss to the Jets, and how much he is looking forward to not having Shaun Ellis and Albert Haynesworth on the other side of the ball.
THE DIFFERENCES IN TRAINING CAMP THIS SEASON: I think it’s certainly been different for everybody without the two-a-days. Everything happened pretty quick. Nobody was really sure what the schedule was going to be like, and the next thing you know everybody is reporting in two days. It’s been condensed. I think a lot of the guys have been working hard when we don’t have those practices, when we have downtime, to make sure we’re studying out playbacks, to make sure we’re getting the proper treatments to make sure we’re out there for the practices. The practices are so valuable because there’s not as many of them. … There’s been a lot of energy out there at the practices, so that’s been a lot of fun.
I think we’re all starting at the same point. We have a lot of new players, we’ve got new coaches, we’re doing different things offensively, defensively. Everyone, to me, is at the same point. The teams who will have the advantage come the regular season are the ones that have the best practices, that have the best preparation. It’s not the teams that have that have this guy who has played four more years than this guy. That doesn’t mean anything. The teams that win on opening weekend are the ones that play the best football.
ON NOT PLAYING IN THE PRESEASON OPENER: Coach [Bill] Belichick, he’s the coach and he tells us what he wants to do. I used to fight things probably a lot more but now you just kind of understand why he does things and I do my best to prepare no matter what the situation is. He told us earlier in the week, ‘Guys, everybody should be ready to play.’ We were ready to play. He told us the night before the game we weren’t playing, which I think shocked probably all of us, but it’s not like we can go put ourselves in the game. We made sure we had a good week of practice so we were ready.
ON THE PROGRESSION OF OCHOCINCO: With Deion [Branch] and Wes [Welker], I’ve played with them now for so long, they know exactly what I’m thinking and why I’m thinking it. WIth Chad he’s been in a certain place for a long time and he has his … the way he has played the game has been quite a bit different from the way we play the game. I think a lot of that is just trying to get him to understand what I’m thinking so we can always be on the same page because there’s a lot of things that happen in the game that don’t happen in practice. You can do your best to simulate it, but at the end of the day you have to play together, and you have to practice together, and throw the ball and make mistakes so you can make corrections. It’s really been a crash course in that because we never have played together and a lot of it is trying to get the point where he’s really comfortable out there and I’m comfortable so we can play with a lot of confidence with one another.
He’s doing as good as you could hope. It’s like an entirely new language. What he was doing in Cincinnati is very different than the way we do it here. It’s really a crash course. We’ve been at it for just over 2 1/2 weeks. You have to basically get rid of all the information he had to learn going on his 10th year and learn something new in two weeks. It’s certainly not easy but he’s a hard worker, he wants to do it, he’s very competitive and it’s fun to be out there with him because he wants the ball, he wants to practice and he wants to be out there and do it right because he really wants us to be able to rely on him.
|Rex Ryan talks Bill Belichick and the Patriots with David Letterman||05.03.11 at 7:33 pm ET|
Jets coach Rex Ryan made an appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman” Monday night to help promote his new book. While chatting with Letterman, he talked a little bit about Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Check out the video below:
|Rex Ryan on Bill Belichick: ‘I really do respect him. I admire the guy’||04.26.11 at 9:12 pm ET|
In his upcoming book, “Play Like You Mean It,” Jets coach Rex Ryan has some nice things to say about Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Ryan recounts what Belichick said to him after New York beat New England in the divisional playoffs to advance to the AFC championship game this past season.
“After the game, Belichick was great. He came up to me and said, ‘That was an unbelievable coaching job; you deserve it and I hope you win the whole thing.’ He really said that, and I could tell he was sincere. People get the wrong message sometimes when I talk about Belichick. I really do respect him. I admire the guy. He has his way of doing things and he stays true to it every single week. I do the same thing, although we’re different types of people in a lot of ways. I may be loud and over-the-top, but we do have similarities. You’re not going to find two more competitive people.”
The book is scheduled to hit stores May 3.
|Ten final thoughts before championship Sunday kicks off||01.23.11 at 7:55 am ET|
Ten mostly Patriots-related thoughts to keep you busy between now and the kickoff of championship Sunday:
1. Is a week enough time to start going back and revisiting what happened in that divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium? If you think you’re over it, the guys at the always awesome show “NFL Playbook” (Mike Lombardi and Brian Baldinger, two of our personal favorites) have a look back at how the Jets were able to beat the Patriots. If you can stomach it, it’s a fantastic breakdown of what happened last Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
2. Speaking of the divisional playoff, there’s an interesting story here from New York Daily News’ sports media columnist Bob Raissman, who believes the CBS broadcast crew of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms let Bill Belichick off too easy in the wake of last week’s divisional playoff contest, and even suggested they show bias toward the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick. Nantz and Simms responded to the criticism in a Fanhouse story here. A good look at what some broadcasters have to go through on a weekly basis when it comes to chargers of bias, as well as how they respond to them.
3. Another good read here at Pro Football Talk, which picked up the story of former Patriots fullback Heath Evans lacerating the Dolphins for hiring former New England assistant Brian Daboll as their new offensive coordinator. Evans, speaking on ESPN 760, said, “The Dolphins probably just got worse. When he was in New England, he was never a guy that I would have considered the brains of the operation.” Evans was with the Patriots for two of the seven seasons Daboll was an assistant with the Patriots, but it seems like the two never really got along. “As soon as I saw it I second-guessed the decision,” Evans said. “A franchise that is really just struggling for success, why do you take an unproven commodity? I second guess it. I don’t know.”
4. The Patriots had a phony Twitter account pop up this week, one that purportedly belonged to wide receiver Julian Edelman. That one was sniffed out by teammate Darius Butler, who asked the fake Edelman to text him. That was enough for Butler, who said it was no good. (The Patriots official Twitter feed also debunked the idea that Danny Woodhead was on Twitter.) The following are verified accounts: Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Ron Brace, Rob Gronkowski, Deion Branch, Matt Light, Gary Guyton, Leigh Bodden, Sergio Brown, Darius Butler, Tony Carter, Devin McCourty, Jarrad Page, James Sanders and Bret Lockett. A good rule of thumb? If there is any question, check with @realpatriots for verification on the account.
5. There are two local connections in Sunday’s championship games that might have gone unnoticed. First, Green Bay’s offensive coordinator Joe Philbin has deep New England roots, having been born in Springfield, MA., and having held three different stints as a college coach in the New England region: offensive line coach at Worcester Tech (1986-87), offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Northeastern (1995-96) and offensive coordinator,/offensive line coach at Harvard (1997-98). Second, you could count the number of Cape Cod natives who played in the NFL on one hand, but Wellfleet’s Mike DeVito is a defensive end with the Jets who is looking to do the lower Cape proud. (He played at Maine from 2003-2006.)
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