Patriots Sign Shaun Ellis

Can’t say I’m happy about this.  I really wanted Shaun back, but I do understand that it would have been a part-time role.  It probably wasn’t worth giving Ellis anything more than a minimum contract, but It’s a little disappointing to see him go to the Pats.

I don’t expect Ellis to record more than four sacks this season, but he’ll still be a pretty good player for New England.  He’s definitely on the decline, but it’s going to be a little tough seeing him on a different team, especially on a rival team.

It’s now time for Muhammad Wilkerson to step up.  I have no doubts that this guy can put up at least five sacks this season.  If he can get to the quarterback and help stop the run, Wilkerson could be the next Shaun Ellis for the Jets.

With Wilkerson, Kenrick Ellis, Ropati Pitoitua, Mike Devito, and of course Sione Pouha, the Jets will be fine on the defensive line.  I’ve also heard a lot of good things about Marcus Dixon, who has a shot to earn playing time in camp and in the preseason.

Losing Ellis is disappointing, but it was time to move on.

Jets Training Camp News (August 5, 2011)

– Jerricho Cotchery has officially been released by the Jets.  Reports now say that it’s Cotchery that wanted to leave, not the other way around.  Jerricho apparently requested a trade or to be released back in February.

– Derrick Mason hasn’t been signed yet, which comes as a huge surprise.  If he doesn’t come here, the Jets need to find a third receiver.  Jeremy Kerley has potential, but he is just an unproven rookie as of now.

– The Patriots signed Mark Anderson today.  Hopefully this means Shaun Ellis will stay away from New England.  I will be very disappointed if the Jets let Ellis go.

– James Ihedigbo still hasn’t been signed.  With Brodney Pool returning, you have to wonder if the Jets will re-sign Ihedigbo.  He definitely still has a role on this team on special teams and as an occasional sub-in at safety.

– Former Giants tight end Kevin Boss signed with the Raiders today.  His four-year, $16 million deal was way too much for the Jets to offer.

Daily Briefing: July 4, 2011

– First off, I’d like to wish a happy Fourth of July to everyone.  I truly believe this is the greatest country the face of the Earth has seen and ever will see.  America was created as a great experiment of Democracy.  235 years later, that experiment has continued to thrive and branch out all across the world.  We continue to be a force for global good and an advocator for peace.  For that reason, we all should be proud of our great nation.

– This weekend’s Subway Series was decent in my opinion.  It’s not as thrilling as it once was, but the games continue to be entertaining.  The Yankees won the series two games to one, but the biggest news was Jose Reyes’ hamstring injury.

– Speaking of New York shortstops, Derek Jeter will re-join the Yankees Monday.

– For the most part, the reaction to the Brad Richards signing has been positive.  There are a lot of reasons to like this deal for the Rangers, and only a handful of reasons to be worried about the deal.  With the last three years of the deal being worth $1 million each, the Rangers could simply buy him out after six years if they are unhappy with him.  Or if Brad has had enough with hockey, he could retire late into the contract while still earning virtually all of his money.  With a $6.67 cap hit, this deal is a huge win for the Rangers.  They even got him to take a substantial pay cut to come here.

– Of course, some uninformed analysts such as Chris Carlin think the move was a mistake.  I have a feeling that if Richards signed with another team, Carlin would have still criticized Sather.  He has been anti-Rangers for as long as I remember, even saying two years ago that they should be embarrassed that the Devils were better than them.  So he doesn’t want big signings, but according to those statements, he’s against a rebuilding mode.  You can’t have it both ways.  This is why people who don’t know anything about hockey should stop pretending that they’re experts on it.  This is also why people from New Jersey shouldn’t be asked their opinion on the Rangers.

– Tom Brady was voted the #1 NFL player of 2011 by the players.  I disagree, but it really has nothing to do with me being a Jets fan.  I believe he has had a much better supporting cast and head coach than Peyton Manning has had.  If you look at how Matt Cassell performed in 2008 with the same weapons Brady had in 2007, you’ll see what I mean.  Cassell, an average quarterback, managed to win 11 games that season.  Peyton Manning never has a receiver as good as good as Randy Moss, and he hasn’t had a player with the skill set of someone like Wes Welker.  In addition, Brady has played under a Hall of Fame head coach, and has had a stellar defense almost every year he’s been in the league.  I think Peyton Manning would have been the right choice.

– I personally don’t care because I believe the list was complete garbage to begin with.  I don’t get why people took the list so seriously to begin with.  It’s impossible to compare multiple positions to each other.  The list also varies depending on how much you value certain traits in a player.  What’s more valuable, Devin Hester’s return game or Nnamdi Asomugha’s cover skills?  Asomugha’s set of skills is the obvious choice to many, but Hester is the best returner in the history of the league.  Are we ranking players in terms of skills or their value to a team?

As always, feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest breaking news on all things New York sports.

Since Tom Brady's last playoff win, the Jets have had four.

First Round NFL Draft Talking Points

– There were big winners, moderate winner, moderate losers, and big losers in last night’s draft.

– One big winner was the New York Giants, selecting Prince Amukamara 19th overall.  Another big winner were the Lions, snatching up Nick Fairley.  A Avril/Fairley/Suh/Vanden-Bosch defensive line may just be the best in football.  My third big winner comes from the city of New Orleans.  In Cam Jordan and Mark Ingram, the Saints got two quality players in late round picks.

– There were also some moderate winners.  Among these were the New York Jets, the Bills, the Ravens, the Colts, and the Bears.  They all got quality players who could have been taken much earlier in the draft.  If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know how I feel about Wilkerson.  But I want to specifically talk about the Bills.  They need a quarterback badly.  If Andy Dalton is there when they pick next, take him.

– The moderate losers were the Patriots, Eagles, Dolphins, and Cowboys.  The Patriots lost two years of Richard Seymour to draft an offensive tackle?  C’mon.  And the Eagles could have gotten a star defender, yet they went with an offensive guard who isn’t much more talented than the ones in later rounds.  As far as the Dolphins go, I like Pouncey, I really do.  But you need a quarterback.  Chad Henne isn’t the answer.  As for the Cowboys, Tyron Smith projects to be a great tackle, but is he going to make an impact as much as someone as Watt or Fairley?

– Then there were the big losers.  The Broncos passed up on Marcell Dareus to go strictly for need in Von Miller.  Miller fits the need, but Dareus was the much better player.  The Falcons gave up way to much to move up and select Julio Jones.  He better be the next Larry Fitzgerald.  Then there was the 49ers who needed a quarterback, but passed up on one to reach for Aldon Smith.  A pick later, the Titans passed on Blaine Gabbert for Jake Locker.  Are you kidding me?  At 12 overall, the Vikings took Christian Ponder, who projected to be taken much later.  They could have easily traded down if they really wanted him.  Then came the Chargers who passed on a plethora of great defensive prospects to fill a need at defensive tackle.  Last but not least came the Seahawks, who took a guard projected to be taken much later in the draft.  They could have taken a really good defensive player, yet they passed up on all of them.

– One team you really could put anywhere is the Panthers.  The Cam Newton debate is a crazy one.  I think he, along with Tim Tebow, will be one hell of a player to watch and follow throughout the next few years.

– Overall, it was a crazy first round.  There are still many great players left such as Akeem Ayers, Da’quan Bowers, and Andy Dalton.  Anything can happen in rounds two and three, therefore it will be a great watch tonight.

A Look Back at My NFL Predictions

Original article

AFC North

1. Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
2. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)*
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)
4. Cleveland Browns (3-13)

I was wrong here.  I thought the Steelers wouldn’t be able to rebound from losing Big Ben at the beginning of the season.  I got the Ravens’ record correct though.

AFC East

1. New York Jets (12-4)
2. New England Patriots (10-6)*
3. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
4. Buffalo Bills (2-14)

I got the bottom of the division right, but the Patriots ended up beating the Jets out for the division.  The Jets got their revenge in the postseason.  I got the Dolphins’ record right as well.

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts (14-2)
2. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
3. Houston Texans (9-7)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

The Jags were a lot better than I thought, as they nearly won the division.  It was a really strange year for the AFC South, but once again Indy won.

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers (10-6)
2. Oakland Raiders (7-9)
3. Denver Broncos (6-10)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12)

Maybe the shocker of the year, the Chiefs came out of nowhere to win the division.

NFC North

1. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
2. Green Bay Packers (11-5)*
3. Chicago Bears (8-8)
4. Detroit Lions (4-12)

Completely wrong.  The Vikings collapsed, and the Bears ended up winning the division.

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
2. New York Giants (10-6)*
3. Washington Redskins (7-9)
4. Philadelphia Eagles (6-10)

The Cowboys collapsed, the Giants collapsed, and Michael Vick’s Eagles won the division.  Who would have thought that would happen?

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints (13-3)
2. Atlanta Falcons (9-7)
3. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)

Wrong here again.  The Falcons won the division.

NFC West

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
2. Arizona Cardinals (7-9)
3. Seattle Seahawks (6-10)
4. St. Louis Rams (3-13)

The Seahawks won the division.  Yeah, it was a crazy year for the NFL.

AFC

Ravens > Bengals
Pats > Chargers

Colts > Pats
Jets > Ravens

Jets > Colts

The Steelers (who I had out) beat the Jets in the AFC title game.

NFC

Cowboys > Giants
Packers > 49ers

Packers > Saints
Cowboys > Vikings

Packers > Cowboys

I was right about the Packers winning the NFC Championship Game.

Super Bowl 45

Jets > Packers

Packers > Steelers, but I came close.  Overall, I did pretty poorly.  But in reality, no one’s predictions were close.  It was an insane year for football.  Let’s hope next season, if there will be one, will be just as exciting.

Sunday Night Football Preview

It’s that time of year again.  Rival vs rival.  1-1 vs 2-0.  Jets vs Dolphins.  Is it Sunday night yet?

This is a huge game for both the Jets and the Dolphins.  With the competitive AFC East, both teams need as many divisional wins as possible.  The Jets must win this game if they want to win the division, and the Dolphins will have a tough time keeping pace with the Jets and Patriots if they lose this one.

Of course the big news of this week was concerning Braylon Edwards.  Edwards will not start, but he will play tomorrow night.  We don’t know how long he’ll play for, but he will dress for the game.

So what are the keys to this game?  I honestly believe this game will come down to who controls the line of scrimmage.  The passing game for both teams is probably a wash, so this game will come down to ground and pound.  If the Dolphins can use their wildcat effectively, they will win this game.  If the Jets can stop it and form their own running attack, they will win this game.

I personally think the Jets have enough on defense to stop the wildcat.  It’s just about excecuting their gameplan and making smart decisions on the field.  If you know what is coming, the wildcat is no threat.  If you are unaware of what is being thrown at you, the wildcat will eat you alive.  Hopefully Rex Ryan has figured out how to stop the wildcat, and will beat the Dolphins in his third attempt as a head coach.

With Darrelle Revis out, the Jets will use Antonio Cromartie to cover Brandon Marshall.  Cromartie will likely have help from a safety in coverage.  Kyle Wilson will cover the other side of the field.  In other injury news, Calvin Pace is out, Jason Taylor is probable, and Nick Mangold is probable.

Final Score Prediction:  24-14 Jets

Week 2 NFL Predictions

Week 2

1. Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
2. Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings
3. Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
4. Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
5. Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns
6. Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
7. Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
8. Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
10. Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos
11. St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders
12. Houston Texans at Washington Redskins
13. New England Patriots at NY Jets
14. Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers
15. NY Giants at Indianapolis Colts
16. New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

Nick

Titans
Vikings
Falcons
Ravens
Chiefs
Cowboys
Eagles
Packers
Panthers
Seahawks
Raiders
Texans
Patriots
Chargers
Colts
Saints

Zach

Titans
Vikings
Falcons
Ravens
Chiefs
Cowboys
Eagles
Packers
Panthers
Seahawks
Raiders
Texans
Patriots
Chargers
Colts
Saints