Chat with Rich Cimini
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPNNewYork.com writer Rich Cimini stops by to chat about the Jets.
Cimini, longtime Jets beat writer for the New York Daily News and a Syracuse University graduate, covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.
Send your questions now and join Cimini Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Rich Cimini (1:01 PM)
Hi, everybody. Not much to talk about today, is there? I'm kidding, of course. Let's get started.
Rich - Is Mike Tannebaum a good gm? I think that he signs big name players and trades his draft picks to get big names - but that is why the Jets have no depth. The Packers and Steelers and Colts and Patriots sure don't operate like that....He did draft Sanchez, Revis, Harris, Greene - but he traded up to get all of them at the expense of more picks....
Rich Cimini (1:05 PM)
He's a good GM. It's a bottom-line business and the Jets have made the title game two years in a row. You're right, the Jets' philosophy is different than that of the Patriots, who have stockpiled draft picks. The Jets take a win-now, year-to-year approach. History says that approach doesn't win consistently in the NFL, but the Jets are bucking the trend. Why would you say the Jets have no depth? I don't think their depth is bad, except for DL. Eventually, this approach might catch up to the Jets, and it's definitely more costly to buy and trade. But you can't argue with the results.
Ryan (Blacksburg, VA)
Hey Rich, who do you think re-signs between Cromartie/Holmes/Edwards?
Rich Cimini (1:05 PM)
I'd say that priority list goes like this: 1. Holmes. 2. Cromartie. 3. Edwards
Any way Jets can keep Holmes and Edwards? Also, any chance of upgrading RB. LT looks done.
Rich Cimini (1:09 PM)
They say they want to keep Holmes and Edwards, but I have a hard time seeing that. Both will want to be paid like top-10 receivers, so you're looking at north of $6 mil to $7 mil per year -- a lot of coin for 2 WRs, neither of whom can be considered a "franchise" WR. I think LT will be a tough decision. His salary ($2.4 mil) isn't outrageous, and he brings a lot of positives, but if they bring him back, it'll stunt McKnight's growth for another year. Personally, I'm not a huge McKnight fan, but the organization likes him. I'd have to say it 50-50 that LT is back.
Rich, I know it's tough to predict what the Jets will do this off season with the whole CBA mess, but is there any way they could sign Haloti Ngata and Nnamdi Asomugha? I know I'm dreaming...all seriousness, I'm hoping Rex will look at the defense as priority #1, then address the offense.
Rich Cimini (1:11 PM)
You're playing fantasy football, Jimmy. First of all, the Ravens will never let him go. They will use a tag on Ngata. If he ever became free, the Jets would go all out to get him. Ryan loves the guy. I wouldn't totally rule out Asomugha, but he's going to want Revis money, $11.5 mil per year. In a salary-cap world, if that's what there is, it would be tough to pay two CBs $23 mil per yr.
Evan (Fairleigh Dickinson University)
Hey Rich,If you had a choice which player would you rather have on the Jets. Nnamdi Asomugha, Santonio Holmes, or Braylon Edwards?
Rich Cimini (1:12 PM)
That's easy -- Asomugha. Put him with Revis and good luck trying to complete a pass to the No. 1 and No. 2 receivers. Plus, Asomugha is a well-behaved, team player.
Jeff (NY, NY)
Rich, The jets clearly have a bunch of changes coming this off season, and I wanted to get your take on their LB situation. They have a lot of really high paid players who haven't really produced. Could this be the end of Calvin Pace's time with the Jets?
Rich Cimini (1:16 PM)
That is an interesting question, Jeff. Pace is three years into his contract, so it probably wouldn't be a huge hit to get out. He's a steady player, a good downhill linebacker, but he's not a game changer. Plus, I get the sense that Pace isn't happy. I don't know that for a fact, but he had avoided the media for several weeks, and that isn't like him. The question is, who would you replace him with? They don't have any young, up-and-comers at the position. I think he'll be back.
gary (huntington wv)
What do you think went worng in the steelers and jets game for the jets?
Rich Cimini (1:19 PM)
We could chat all day about what went wrong, but I think No. 1 on the list is the performance by the defense in the first half. There was a lot of arm tackling. I'm breaking down the tape right now, and by my calculations, the Steelers got 105 out of their 270 total yds in the first half after initial contact. That is ridiculous. Pitt used a lot of 3 TE packages and the Jets couldn't handle it. Then Pitt hit them a few plays out of their nickel offense. They really did a good job of using formations to gash the Jets.
Gordon Turner (Manhatan, New york)
For the Jets to make it back next year. Would you agree a younger running back and a new offensive philosohy because the playcalling was horrible against the steelers.
Rich Cimini (1:20 PM)
Here's an offensive philosophy they should try: scoring in the first quarter. They went 14 straight games without a first Q TD by the offense. That is pathetic.
Walter (NY, NY)
Rich, what is up with all of the fans and your friends over there at the Daily News asking for Schotty's head? The guy has done a good job overall. I like Schotty. He has done a terrific job with helping develop Mark Sanchez. While I did not like the pace of the one drive that the Jets got no points, he is working with a second year QB. They are not going to put the whole game on his shoulders yet, plus Pittsburgh has the number one defense. Nobody was complaining about Schotty after the Patriots game either. The Jets need continuity. It does not help Sanchez to change coordinators. And while I did not agree with all of the play calling, if Dustin Keller makes a catch in the endzone, the Jets are seven points down. Plus, it is their poor tackling of Mendenhall in the first half that put them in the hole, along with a missed blocking assignment of Brick.
Rich Cimini (1:23 PM)
This outcry for Schotty's head reminds me of the Paul Hackett days. Did he have a good game in Pitt? No. The goal-line sequence wasn't good, but I thought his worst call was at the end of the first half. On 3rd and 17, he should've called something safe instead of putting Sanchez in shotgun. Result: Strip sack, fumble return for TD. Overall, though, the Jets made fairly significant strides on offense. Sanchez also improved in year 2. Continuity is important for a young QB. Plus, Schotty is under contract and I don't think the Jets want to eat $1 mil +.
I'm sure its been beaten to death back in NY, but can somebody, anybody, please, please give me a triple Oy Vey over the Jets' goal line playcalling?? I think Bernie, from a Weekend at Bernies (yes, a dead corpse) could have scripted a better series of plays at the goal line! Hit my lunchbag with your thoughts.
Rich Cimini (1:25 PM)
You're right, Buckley, it wasn't good. My biggest problem was the 3rd down slant, which ended up being thrown into the chest of a LB. They should've pounded the rock with Greene, and Ryan said so yesterday -- essentially throwing his OC under the bus.
Why does it seem that you hate your job as Jets beat writer? You seldom write positive stories on the team and it often comes across like there are a million better things you could be doing than having to listen to Rex and cover the boys. Can you please realize that your readership base actually LIKES the Jets and would like to hear some positive now and then or move on to cover a different team. I don't need Greeny type enthusiasm, but stop being such a hater already.
Rich Cimini (1:26 PM)
What can I say, Steve? If you don't like it, don't read it.
Alex (Edgewood, NY)
Rich, What areas do you see the Jets focusing on with thier draft picks? Any specific players they're targeting?
Rich Cimini (1:28 PM)
I think it's too early to say they're targeting specific players, but I think they need to address the front 7 -- DE, NT and OLB. All three areas need to be addressed, especially the DL. I don't think they'll take a DE in the first round because Ryan, in his scheme, thinks he can plug average guys into the system and get the job done. But in his scheme, he needs a game changer at NT. Kris Jenkins is aging and coming off the knee, and Sione Pouha is going to be 32, I believe. I think Pouha had a very good year, but he didn't play well at all in Pitt.
Is it possible we can have both brad and eric smith back?
Rich Cimini (1:30 PM)
The organization really wants Brad back because he does so many things, but how much will they be willing to pay? If he wants Josh Cribbs money ($6 mil per year), forget about it. Eric is a useful player, and I don't think he'll command big money on the open market, so I can see him back.
To go along with Jeff's question. Don't you think Bart Scott is slightly over rated and paid?
Rich Cimini (1:32 PM)
Slightly? It's more than slightly. He's not an $8 mil/yr linebacker, no way. He brings certain intangibles to the defense, and those have a price. He's solid, not great. He missed at least 4 tackles in Pitt, including one on a TD. Here's the problem the Jets will face: David Harris wants more than $8 mil a yr, and who can blame him? He's a better player than Scott.
Rich, what do you think the odds are the Brodney Pool stays? He really improved as the season went on.
Rich Cimini (1:34 PM)
You're right, Bill, Pool may have been the most improved player over the second half of the season. He got off to a slow start because he struggled with the system. Over the last few weeks, he made some plays as an in-the-box safety. I think there's a good chance he's back.
Kiper's mock draft has the Jets going d-line in the first round, but I don't get the sense they draft linemen that high. Do you think they'll prioritize and edge rusher?
Rich Cimini (1:35 PM)
Kiper is just throwing mud against the wall. You're on point, Drew, they will look for an edge rusher. They need more speed in the front 7. Just breaking down the tape of Sunday's game, the lack of athleticism jumped out.
Was Rashard Mendenhall's destruction of the Jets (127 yards?!) more about his great running, or the Jets missed tackles?
Rich Cimini (1:38 PM)
A little of both.I brke down the first half and I had them for 11 missed tackles -- not all on Mendenhall. btw, I made a mistake earlier with a stat: the Steelers had 231 total yards in the first half -- and 105 came after initial contact, by my count.
Kyle Wilson's first year has to be classified as a disappointment. After that dropped INT that hit him in the face, the Jets aren't expecting him to line up across from Revis next year are they?
Rich Cimini (1:39 PM)
To say it was a "disappointment" would be an understatement. They can't make him a starter next year. It would be a mistake.
Mitchell (state college)
besides cromartie holmes and edwards who are the 2 most important free agents for the jets to resign.
Rich Cimini (1:40 PM)
I think Harris might be the most important. After that, I'd say Brad Smith had to be in the top 5.
Do you think they'll release Damian Woody and give Wayne Hunter the full time gig at tackle?
Rich Cimini (1:42 PM)
If they do release Woody, I don't think they'd give the job to Hunter. He has been a career backup for a reason. According to the crack stats people at ESPN, the Jets ran only once behind Hunter on Sunday. I think Woody is still a good player, assuming he's healthy.
C. Ochocinco (Da Crib)
any chance the jets will sign me?
Rich Cimini (1:42 PM)
Rich, are there going to be any restrictions this offseason for the Jets in free agency since they are a final four team like last year?
Rich Cimini (1:43 PM)
This is a good question, Peter. Nobody knows because of the uncertain labor situation. To the best of my knowledge, there are no Final 4 rules, but I will check into that. Everyone is under the assumption there will be a lockout.
Rich S (Long Island)
The Jets desperately need to get younger on the defensive line. Does that mean Shaun Ellis' career as a Jet is over?
Rich Cimini (1:44 PM)
Could be, Rich. He's a free agent. I think he's still a useful player, a guy that could be part of a rotation. Obviously, he'd have to accept a lot less money. He also has a chronic knee situation that could require surgery.
Michael Dunn (Montclair, NJ)
Rich, Holmes is one strike away from a one year suspension. Surely that's got to worry the Jets.
Rich Cimini (1:46 PM)
Oh, it does, believe me. If they do a long-term contract, they want to include clauses that protect the team financially in the event of a suspension.
Because of the uncertain CBA, do you think the Jets will keep most of their picks this year?
Rich Cimini (1:47 PM)
Who knows with Tannenbaum? He loves to trade his picks. Don't forget, the Jets don't have a second-round pick; it goes to SD for the Cromartie trade.
Hey Rich, I know this is not a possibility, but are T.O. and Chad ACTUALLY thinking about coming to New York? If so, what are your thoughts because I do not think we need their crap in NY. Also, do you think the jets will try their hardest to keep Braylon AND Holmes? Thanks
Rich Cimini (1:48 PM)
Sam, there is no chance that either player comes to the Jets. That was a publicity stunt by them -- and not a bad one at that. It got people talking.
Do you think LT will retire after this season? Might this turn into a Brett Favre-like scenario (hopefully not)?
Rich Cimini (1:49 PM)
He said after the game that he will honor the final year of his contract. I'll take him at his word.
rich,what do you think the Jets need to do to rather be a dominant team, ALA the Saints last season, rather than a team that escapes games such as the situations we had with subpar teams like Cleveland, Detroit, and Houston?
Rich Cimini (1:52 PM)
I don't think there are any dominant teams in the NFL, Shawn. NE looked like it in the regular season, but look where that got them. The Jets need more playmakers on defense, pure and simple. They didn't force enough takeaways, and that is so much a part of football. You have to assume the offense will continue to improve as Sanchez gets better, but they'll need to keep Holmes and/or Edwards, or else they'll have to find another playmaker.
Steve (Great Neck)
Speaking of the draft, can Mr. T handle having 6 picks -it's got to be a high number for the years I can remember.
Rich Cimini (1:52 PM)
That doesn't mean he'll have 6 by draft day, Steve.
Rami Levi (Columbia University)
To keep with the theme- Who MUST the Jets keep to remain this competitive? Also will losing either edwards or holmes drastically hurt sanchez, or has he shown enough that he can win without one of them? Finally, what s J-co's status with this team?
Rich Cimini (1:54 PM)
J Co is under contract, due to make $1.8 mil in base pay, if my memory is accurate. He'll be back. I don't think losing Holmes or Edwards would hurt Sanchez, but losing them both would. Preserving some continuity is important.
Joe DaSilva (Port Saint Lucie, FL)
Rich,It seems to be from previous comments lised above that you don't think that the Jets will be able to keep Holmes and Edwards. Do you think that they could possibly work it out and each take slightly less money than they would get elsewhere so they can stay together and keep the offense rolling?Also, what are the chances the Jets dump Cromartie and make a play for Asomugha? Maybe Mike can find a way for Revis and Nnamdi to play together.
Rich Cimini (1:58 PM)
Holmes and Edwards aren't going to take less money to stay. I mean, it's rare when players do that. Would they stay if the money is equal between the Jets and another team? Yes, but less? That would be tough. I don't think the Jets are married to Cromartie. He had a good yr, but not great. His lack of aggressiveness in man-to-man coverage tested the coaches' patience. Asomugma would be a great pick up, but it depends on so many variables.
Walter (NY, NY)
What other players to you think are unhappy on the Jets besides Pace? You always get the impression that everyone loves it, but I guess not....
Rich Cimini (1:59 PM)
You'd have to be naive to think all 53 players are happy. There are always guys unhapoy with their contract or playing time.
How big of a shake up should we be expecting as far as the roster is concerned?
Rich Cimini (2:00 PM)
On average, there's about a 30% turnover every year in the NFL. I'd expect about that.
Rich S (Long Island)
The Jets owe Jason Taylor $8 million for next year. Won't they decide to release him in order to give that allotted money to someone else?
Rich Cimini (2:01 PM)
I'm not sure if $8 million is accurate, but there's a big roster bonus...and he won't see it. Good luck in show biz, Jason.
Alex (Edgewood, NY)
Rich, to follow up on your response, Rex has been touting Ropati Pitoitua in several interviews, I could see him getting significant minutes at NT next year. In regards to the DEs I don't think it's average players Rex wants but rather strong, 3-4 ends like Ellis & DeVito. Many highly-drafted DEs are more the lightweight/speed rush type, and those guys get knocked off their butts trying to stop the run in the 3-4. Given all that I could see the Jets going for a pass-rushing OLB to replace Jason Taylor and ultimately Bryan Thomas. However, my out-of-the-box suggestion would be Kyle Rudolph, TE from Notre Dame. While I like Keller a lot, the Pats showed this year that 2 TEs can have good numbers if used correctly, and the Jets could replace Braylon's blocking in the run game that way as well. Thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:02 PM)
All good points, Alex. And you're right about Ropati, the Jets liked him a lot before his unfortunate injury. The only DLM guaranteed to be back in '11 are DeVito and Pouha.
Rich Cimini (2:03 PM)
Well, my time is up. Thanks for stopping by. We'll stay connected throughout the offseason. I enjoyed our chats this season. The Jets certainly gave us a lot to discuss. Have a great day. Rich