Chat with Rich Cimini
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Rich Cimini (1:02 PM)
Greetings, everybody. Thanks for dropping in. No time to waste; let's get going.
Rich (vacationing in Montana)
Discussing Jets 2011 schedule with Jets fan in upper midwest, besides the Patriots, who'll give the Jets the most trouble this year?
Rich Cimini (1:04 PM)
Hard to project right now because the roster are far from set, but I think Dallas, Balt (on road), SD and Philly (on road) are the toughest matchups.
rich. just for a second here, lets pretend FA has started and a new CBA is in place. there are no restrictions other than the CAP. the FO is deep into negotiations with both WR's. it looks like we have to choose between one or the other. would i be in the minority if i'd rather see edwards and steve smith rather than holmes and moss/ocho/TO/plax. to me, i feel like smith is more of the buy low type of player the Mr T targets than the other four. besides for that, it also seems like edwards plays more like a JET than holmes and edwards acts like he really wants to be here. would there be that much of a difference in talent between smith and holmes? thanks
Rich Cimini (1:07 PM)
It's an interestng scenario, Buckner ... one that could turn out to be real. Right now, Holmes is better than Smith. Edwards is better than Moss/Plax, so it's a tough call. I think the best of the bunch is Holmes, so you start there and build around him.
Brian (Costa Rica)
What is the outlook for Pitoatua this year? In camp last year it seemed like he was really coming on and going to make an impact in the DL rotation
Rich Cimini (1:10 PM)
I see you have trouble spelling his name as well. Join the club. I just call him Ropati. Rex Ryan said just a couple of weeks ago that Ropati is coming along fine from his Achilles' injury and should be fine. (Presumably, that's second-hand info because players and coaches aren't supposed to be talking.) Anyway, he was showing some promise last summer before he got hurt. He has massive size and he's fairly explosive for a man his size. I'd say he's definitely in the rotation, if healthy.
Justin Capriola (Lindenhurst NY)
Rich, With the lock out do you think that there are going to be injury concerns this year not just on the Jets but the NFL in general? After Revis last year we all know there is a difference between football shape and in shape.
Rich Cimini (1:12 PM)
There will be a LOT of injury concerns. You're going to see very long injury reports on a weekly basis. Basically, the off-season program is shot and, no matter how much the players say they're working out, it's not the same as working at the team facility. Get ready for a lot of tweaked hammies, groins, etc.
Amaan (New Jersey)
Who in your opinion, is the biggest name that the Jets have to resign? Is it Cromartie, Edwards or Holmes? Why?
Rich Cimini (1:14 PM)
Out of those three, I'd rank them this way: 1. Holmes, 2. Cromartie, 3. Edwards. Holmes can take it to the house at any moment; those players have a lot of value. Cro and Edwards are wonderful players, too, but if I had to pick one, it would be Holmes. Also, they need to surround Sanchez with as much talent as possible. The Sanchez-Holmes connection will be even better now that they've had a full season.
any possibility the jets go after KC's FA LB Tumba Hali? dude can rush the passer
Rich Cimini (1:16 PM)
You're right, Kyle, dude can rush the passer. But dude also has franchise tag. In other words, if the tags are still in play under the next CBA, you can forget about him.
Rich, The Patriots have attacked the Jets secondary by largely conceding the wide outside and instead matching the slot receiver and tight ends against nickels/safeties and backs against inside linebackers on crossing routes. Any potential for the Jets to match up better against this in '11, assuming a normal season?
Rich Cimini (1:19 PM)
Excellent observations, Steve, although you have to admit the Jets did a great job in the playoff game. As for your question, I don't see how the Jets are going to match up better in those positions. It's the same LB corps, and they're not getting any faster. Wilson should be somewhat better in the slot, I suppose. Unless they bring in a stud safety, which I doubt, I think the personnel will be largely the same.
IRA (Staten Island)
I hear that the Bears are interested in Edwards. Could fit for him or not? And if he goes you know they will sign a big tall veteran and i still think if he shows he can play Plax has the edge over Moss,To and Ocho.
Rich Cimini (1:21 PM)
Interesting. I'd be surprised if the Bears went after Edwards. If he signs elsewhere, yes, the Jets will try to replace him. And, yes, Plax is on the radar screen.
KC Joyner called Slauson's 2010 performance, "Terrible." I thought he improved during the year. He says the Jets have to upgrade at LG. Do you agree?
Rich Cimini (1:22 PM)
I don't think Slauson was terrible. No doubt, he struggled over the first month or so, especially in pass pro and with penalties, but he settled down. I think the Jets were reasonably happy with the way he performed.
Kupajo Janda (Brooklyn)
Hey Rich, when are you and the other Jets beat writers having your own offseason workouts i.e. Jets East?
Rich Cimini (1:23 PM)
I can't speak for the others, but I've been working out on my own at the local gym. If we did have a "Jets East," we'd need paramedics on site just in case. It would be ugly.
Ben (Fairfield, CT)
Rich, thanks for all the great coverage. I was wondering if you knew when the Jets would have to make a decision on whether to hold training camp up in Cortland this summer or at Florham Park? Having gone to school in the area it would be a big blow for that community to lose it, especially the economic impact the team creates. Its the perfect place to hold training camp and the town has fully embraced the Jets.
Rich Cimini (1:27 PM)
Great question, Ben. I'm with you: I think Cortland is a great spot for camp. No schedule has been released, but my guess is the plan is to break camp in Cortland on Aug. 25. If camp doesn't start until Aug. 1, I don't know if they'd go up there for just a week or two. It would be tough, logistically. It might be an all-or-nothing deal. They can't stay much beyond the 25th because students will be returning for classes. Hopefully, it doesn't come to that. If so, they'd have camp in Florham Park.
Gavin (New York)
Hey Rich, I know that the Jets want to focus on their own free agents, but do you have any idea if they are monitoring any player on the free agent market or through a trade whenever the lockout ends. In particular a Ray Edwards or a Charles Johnson. They really need a pass rusher in the worst way.
Rich Cimini (1:29 PM)
I think the Jets are done with the DL, except for trying to re-sign Shaun Ellis. If there's an OLB they like, I could see them making that move. S, CB and WR are other areas, depending on if they lose their own.
Rhett (Seaside Heights)
As far as the linebacking core goes - assuming Jason Taylor doesn't come back what are they going to do about their lack of depth / pass rushing?
Rich Cimini (1:30 PM)
Great question, Rhett. I think you're going to see an expanded role for Jamaal Westerman as the 3rd OLB. It's definitely an issue. Hey, Vernon Gholston is available? What do you think, give him another shot?
weekly nnamdi question??
Rich Cimini (1:31 PM)
Weekly Nnamdi answer: Yes, they'd be interested, but it's a financial long shot.
What do you think if the Fins and Jests working out together?
Rich Cimini (1:32 PM)
Hatfields and McCoys.
Marc (Cedar Knolls, NJ)
Rich, I am a die hard Jets fan from north jersey. My question to you is how to you see the team shaping up on the D-Line? Do you feel that the draft choices and current players on the roster are enough to make an impact? Are there any other players the team could be looking at on the defensive side of the ball?
Rich Cimini (1:35 PM)
On paper, the DLine looks good, but the lockout is really hurting Wilkerson and Ellis. I spoke to a veteran player yesterday, and he told me he can't imagine those two (or any rookie, for that matter) making an impact. It's hard enough for rookies with an entire offseason to learn and train. But the Jets have young vets like Dixon and Pitoitua that appear ready to step into bigger roles; they will join Pouha and DeVito and, perhaps, Shaun Ellis. If you get something significant out of the rookies, it has to be considered a bonus.
Billy (Boston College)
Rich, sort of off topic. The Bucs & Broncos recently turned down opportunities to be on Hard Knocks. What are the chances HBO comes to the Jets again after all of the success the show had? For a fan it was great to see that inside access.
Rich Cimini (1:37 PM)
I guess nobody wants to follow up the Jets. I'd be really surprised if the Jets did it again. I think, overall, the organization liked the experience, but by the end of the five weeks, Rex had grown weary of it. Obviously, it's great for the fans, but I think it would be overkill.
Hi, Rich. With the lockout, all kinds of articles are being written, but it's hard to tell what's true. Any truth to the report on NBC that the Patriots might be thinking about making a run at Holmes? Any truth to the report that the Ravens might want Holmes? Jason La Canfora said he was hearing from many people the Jets don't plan to get outbid for Holmes regardless of who may or may not be interested. And Albert Breer just said he was now hearing the Jets are very confident Holmes will be back. None of them are acknowledging that report. They're great, but they are not local guys, so I wanted your take? Patriots/Ravens interest in Holmes?
Rich Cimini (1:42 PM)
If Holmes is a RFA, he's not going anywhere. If he's a UFA, the Jets might regret not having franchised him because it'll be hard to keep him. Yeah, I could see Balt and NE being interested. Balt has some big names, but they don't have a speed guy. NE needs somebody to complement Foots Welker. They'd prefer a bigger target, but Holmes plays big.
Tom (Dirty Jerz)
Thoughts on Bart Scott's comments to Palantonio?
Rich Cimini (1:43 PM)
I thought the best and most telling comment was saying the Jets would be a "joke" if they fail to back up Rex's Super Bowl guarantee. His comment about Kraft also is interesting. Saying the league is on the verge of "insanity" is melodramatic, but it shows the frustration level with this lockout.
Hey rich, thanks for the year round info. Do you think that the Jets have found something with Cody Brown or will the regret passing on Jeremy Beal?
Rich Cimini (1:46 PM)
If I'm not mistaken, didn't Beal go in the 6th round? I don't think you can regret passing on a guy who goes that late. I'll be interested to see how Sam Acho develops. I know the Jets liked him as a pass rusher, but they took K Ellis at the bottom of Round 3. Acho went 9 picks later. I don't think the Jets are counting on Cody Brown as the answer to their pass-rushing prayers.
Joey Jo Jo Shabadoo Jr. (Brooklyn)
Hey Rich, keep up the good work. Do you know if the coaching staff/ front office is especially high on the likes of Garret McIntyre, Cody Brown & Jamaal Westerman or did they just not like any of the olb's in the draft who were available when the Jets were on the clock?
Rich Cimini (1:48 PM)
This wasn't a great year for OLBs. After Von Miller, there was a big dropoff. I mean, Ayers is a solid player, but he's not a pure pass rusher. Brooks Reed has a great motor, but he's a projection. I think the Jets were smart to avoid reaching for one of those guys. As I said earlier, I think Westerman gets a bigger role.
Rich, what is your personal opinion on when you think the lockout will end? Obviously it is all speculation, but I have never seen you write when you think it will be over. Additionally, if the season is shortened (say 10 game regular season) do you think that cheapens the super bowl title for whoever wins it?
Rich Cimini (1:51 PM)
It'll end when panic and desperation set in, which is usually the case in most high-stakes negotiations. I see that being around Aug. 1, give or take a couple of weeks. Does it cheapen the championship? Don't know. In the strike-shortened 82 season, the Jets came within 1 game of the Super Bowl. Would the accomplishment have been cheapened?
Brian b (Long island)
Hey rich if the jets cant bring back both braylon and holmes who can you see them going after or maybe use the money on nmandi
Rich Cimini (1:53 PM)
They want to re-sign Cromartie. If they lose him and one of the rec's, yes, I could see them pursuing Asomugha. As I wrote last Sunday, the Jets need Cro or another veteran CB. The way the defense is structured (they didn't draft a pure pass rusher), there will be a premium on cover corners. I could also seem then going after Plax or Moss if they lose a WR.
Mitchell (Lake Ronkonkoma)
What are the chances the Jets resign Wayne Hunter to replace Woody? He played well while Woody was hurt last season.
Rich Cimini (1:54 PM)
Hey, Lake Ronkonkoma, my hometown. I was just over there yesterday. You're right, Mitch, Hunter did a solid job, but the plan is to give Ducasse a shot at the job. If he fails, I could definitely see them re-signing D Wood.
Is there a chance of there being both no salary cap and no final eight rules this offseason?
Rich Cimini (1:56 PM)
In Mike Tannenbaum's dreams. Just an educated guess here, but, no, I don't see that happening.
michael (San Francsico)
What position do you think will be highest on the list come free agency? Any players that come to mind???
Rich Cimini (1:57 PM)
The No. 1 priority is re-signing their own guys, starting with Holmes/Edwards, Cromartie and Brad Smith. If they lose one, they'll look to the FA/trade market for replacements.
What are some free agent names the Jets could target on defense? Can you see them going after any FA's on D?
Rich Cimini (1:58 PM)
I could see OLB Matt Roth (cleve) and CB Chris Carr (Balt) are two possibilities.
Michael-Patrick Hogue (The Best Coast)
Is anybody checking in on Kenrick Ellis these days? We have seen reports of MW, and the Best Coast/Sanchez workouts, but Ellis may be the key to our draft so what is he up to?
Rich Cimini (2:00 PM)
Beats me, MPH. It's hard to keep track of everyone. It's quite likely that he's done in Hampton, finishing up some school stuff or working out down there. For your sake, you'd better hope he's staying in shape.
Thanks for taking my question, but you're mistaken, Beal went 247th, the jets passed on him twice in the 7th.
Rich Cimini (2:01 PM)
You're correct, but you can't second-guess a team on a player that went that late. If they passed on, say, Ryan Kerrigan in the first to take Wilkerson, then, yeah, you could make an argument. But not a guy like Beal. But I understand where you're coming from.
Ellis is always on twitter and 9 times out of 10 he's tweeting about working out.
Rich Cimini (2:02 PM)
How's he tweeting so much if he's working out?
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich, Do you think Connor is ready to step in and takeover for T- Rich?
Rich Cimini (2:04 PM)
No doubt, Ira, Connor is ready. They probably could've used him last season, but they want to let T Rich pass the torch. Make no mistake, the Terminator is No. 1 on the depth chart. And he'll be a better player for having served a 1-yr apprenticeship under T Rich.
Time to revisit Mathias Kiwanuka in green and white?
Rich Cimini (2:04 PM)
Coming off serious neck injury, but worth a look-see.
wvJETSfan (West Virginia)
Hey rich thanks for taking my question, Have you read Rex's book? If so what did you think?
Rich Cimini (2:06 PM)
Yes, I did the read the book, read it on my flight to Jets West. I like it. Thing is, Rex is so open with the media that he revealed a lot of the good stuff before people read it in the book. There were only a couple of nuggets that hadn't already been reported.
Rich Cimini (2:08 PM)
Well, guys, that's it for me. Great questions, as always. I'm so impressed that we have so many questions during this so-called "dead" period. Let's hope the players and owners come to their senses soon. Anyway, have a great weekend and enjoy the Subway Series. Thanks. Rich