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 Wednesday at noon ET!
Rich Cimini (12:02 PM)
Greetings, everybody. Thanks, as always, for checking in. Let's get to it.
Greg (New York)
We saw Logan Payne out in 4 WR sets with the 1st team more so than Kerley - has he overtaken him as the number 4?
Rich Cimini (12:02 PM)
No, Payne came in when Holmes was out for a couple of plays with an apparent equipment issue. Kerley is more of a slot guy, so they put Payne in.
Jake (New Jersey)
It seems like part of Sanchez's third down problems is that he just drops back and fires at his first read regardless of whether the WR is open. Too often it looks like he doesnt go through his progressions on third down. Agree?
Rich Cimini (12:04 PM)
No, I don't agree, at least not based on this game. I don't think he had time in this game to get through his progressions. Excellent coverage by the Giants' CBs. A couple of times, though, I thought Sanchez had happy feet and bailed out too soon.
travis (Beach Haven, NJ)
Hi Rich. I am baffled as to why the Jets could never have a good kicker. The only exception was Feely, who they let walk. Is this year finally the year that we have a decent and not streaky kicker?
Rich Cimini (12:06 PM)
Folk wasn't bad last season. He hit a rough patch around midseason, but he came through it. He made 77% of his FGs -- not great, but not awful.
Scot (Washington, DC )
Rich, the offense last night was bad enough, but then the defense seemed to wear down too, even when the starters were still in. Was that your take as well?
Rich Cimini (12:07 PM)
The starting D played only 2 quarters and, no, I don't think they wore down. They held the Giants to a FG. is that wearing down?
Andy (London UK)
I know this has no real relevance to the game against the giants, but do you think Schottenheimer is holding Mark Sanchez? Because when I watch the games some plays seem so scripted, and for example when they choose a WR screen play, mark will still throw it despite the fact it will be stopped for a 3 yard loss, I think sanchez should be given the opportunity to make the bigs throws
Rich Cimini (12:08 PM)
Keep in mind that coaches show very little in the preseason. They're just running plays, they're not running plays to attack an opponent.
Austin (Richmond, VA)
Hey Rich, how are the Jets going to use Kerley this year? the new Brad Smith?
Rich Cimini (12:10 PM)
I don't know if he'll be the "new" Brad Smith, Austin, but he'll be a Smith-like player. I think he showed he's capable of running the Wildcat and I think, in time, he'll be a very good slot receiver. And, of course, he'll be the PR and probably handle some Kickoffs as well.
Tone Time (NJ)
With Payne out, who has the edge on the fifth WR spot? Turner? Any chance McKnight or Campbell make the 53 man?
Rich Cimini (12:11 PM)
Too bad about Payne because he was going to make the team. I suppose Turner is next up, but he's not as good on teams as Payne. McKnight and Campbell could be practice squad guys.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rci, Rex always keeps 8 LB's so besides the starters i have Bellore,Westerman,McIntyre, and Mauga. Don't think Mabin beats out any of the above mentioned?
Rich Cimini (12:13 PM)
I agree, Ira. Maybin hasn't shown much. He had 15 snaps and made 1 tackle, chasing down a play from behind. He's a 1-trick pony, just a speed rusher to the outside who often takes himself out of the play. Westerman and Mauga are locks. The coaches like McIntyre and Westhoff likes him on teams. Bellore gonna be a close call.
wstcoastjetsfan (los angeles)
Rich, since I haven't seen the jets sign any interior veteran lineman is it safe to say the Jets are going to go with Ducasse, Felix, and Kroul as the backups until Turner comes back?
Rich Cimini (12:14 PM)
That's the way it looks right now, but Tannenbaum will be looking for veteran depth over the next few days.
Jay (Surprise AZ)
who has shown the MOST improvement this year from last.
Rich Cimini (12:17 PM)
Great question, Jay. Let me throw out a few names: Slauson, McKnight, Pitoitua, Dixon, Payne (until he got hurt) and Mauga. I'm sure others belong here, but these are the first that came to mind.
Brian (NY, NY)
While Maybin is not the answer, is Westerman going to make a difference in the pass rush? Rex said he is "rushing the passer as well as anyone we have,"....but I don't know if that's a good thing or not
Rich Cimini (12:19 PM)
You raise a valid point, Brian. I went back and studied Westerman closely on tape from the Giants game. He had 26 snaps, mostly against the Giants' backups, and had 2 QB pressures. It was a solid game, but I haven't been overly impressed in the preseason. If he's the best they've got...
wstcoastjetsfan (los angeles)
Rich, any word on Revis's hip injury? serious or no big deal?
Rich Cimini (12:20 PM)
From all indications, it's not serious. Because of Irene and the change in schedule, media have no access this week to practice, so I can't see with my own eyes. But, again, I don't think it's serious.
Why does Sanchez keep starting slow? Eventually thats going to hurt the team especially if the defense cant keep the game close.
Rich Cimini (12:21 PM)
Excellent point, G. Remember, the Jets went 15 straight games last season without scoring a first-quarter TD on offense. There are a lot of reasons for that, and one of them is Sanchez. He needs time to adjust when he sees new defensive wrinkles. They have to improve in that area, you can't afford to give away a quarter every week.
Hi Rich, The run game has me a bit worried. Sanchez needs that to be strong to help him continue to deveop, imo. But LT looks a tad slow, Greene's already missed time and Powell's looked ok. McKnight actually has looked somewhat impressive. And now Connor's got a tweak and the O-Line's already thin. What do you think ?
Rich Cimini (12:23 PM)
All legitimate opinions, but don't reach for the panic button just yet. We're talking about one of the most prolific rushing offenses over the last few years. I think they've earned the benefit of the doubt.
Matt (Stony Brook)
Hey Rich, hope you weathered the storm ok. I know the Jets wont win games with Sanchez airing it out 30 times a game. But you have to admit, between the WR's, Keller and LT out of the backfield, Schotty HAS TO open it up a little more, right?
Rich Cimini (12:24 PM)
The plan is to throw more than last season, yes. They were a 50-50 offense last season, and I could definitely see that shifting to 55 % pass...but it won't mean anything if they don't start converting on 3rd down.
Jason (Jersey City)
Is TJ Conley really going to be our punter for the year?
Rich Cimini (12:25 PM)
If I were Mr. Conley, I wouldn't put a down payment on a new place in NJ just yet. I'd say he's in a very good position, but he's 1 disaster game away from being on the hot seat.
Patrick (Floral park, NY)
Rich great coverage the past few weeks! Does Maybin have a shot making the 53 man roster?
Rich Cimini (12:26 PM)
Thanks, Patrick, I appreciate that. I'd say Maybin is 50% at best right now.
How is it that the second snap Kerley ever takes out of the Wildcat formation he throws a pass yet with Brad Smith, who threw for 8,000 yards at Missouri, it seemed like he never threw it more than a handful of times over the span of a few years?
Rich Cimini (12:26 PM)
Great question; you nailed it. Sorry, but I don't have an answer.
Maybin or McIntyre?
Rich Cimini (12:27 PM)
McIntyre. Does more on teams.
Okay, so is Cro the return man, if not WHY NOT?
Rich Cimini (12:28 PM)
Why not? They're paying him $8 million a year to cover WRs. You don't want to expose him to potential injury by letting him return every kickoff. They'll spot him in certain situations.
Rich,Are you concerned about the Connor injury??
Rich Cimini (12:29 PM)
Yes, I do think there's reason for some concern. I think he'll play in the opener, but it's going to be one of those day-to-day kind of deals.
Sal (Totowa, NJ...yes, Plax's neighbor)
Rich, love these chats! Hey, do you think T Rich will be back considering Terminator has a dent in the armor already?
Rich Cimini (12:30 PM)
Thanks, Sal. T-Rich is on the top of the team's short list at fullback. If something happens to Conner in terms of a long-term injury, I think you'll see T-Rich back. But not on this ankle injury, according to Ryan.
Bo (Faifield, ME)
Hey Rich, why didn't the Jets address their biggest need in the offseaon, a true pass rusher? They had the cap space!
Rich Cimini (12:31 PM)
It's a fair question, Bo, but who did you want them to get?
Eugene (Union, NJ)
With the OL depth being a concern, would Andre Gurode be a possibility?
Rich Cimini (12:32 PM)
Gurode was cut by Dallas because they couldn't agree to a re-worked contract, so there's no way he will come to the Jets to play for the minimum and be a back up. My gut says he will sign with Seattle, which is hurting on the OL.
Rich-I realize that the front office wants to see what they have before singing a veteran, but with 10 million in cap space, do you see the Jets adding a veteran OL (O'hara, Stinchcomb, or Seubert)? Are any of these vets wiling to sign for one year? The OL depth really concerns me.
Rich Cimini (12:33 PM)
It should concern you, because the OL depth is not good. I know for a fact they're looking at OLM, but know this: the center market is extremely thin. That's what an opposing scout told me. Slightly better at guard, but not much.
Whats the status of the rookie Ellis with his criminal trial? Also, what Rex saying about his play?
Rich Cimini (12:35 PM)
Ellis' trial was pushed back to November. Rex hasn't said much about his play, which usually isn't a good thing. I watched him closely on tape. You can see the raw power, but he makes a lot of mistakes. He needs to play with better balance. On one play, the Giants' C threw him to the ground with 1 arm.
Benjy G (NYC)
Heard Trent Dilfer on the radio this morning talking about how Rex's desire to ground and pound on first down puts Sanchez in a bad position to have to throw against passing defenses on 2nd and 3rd down. He thinks they would be better off throwing more on first down when the D isn't always playing pass. The logic makes sense to me, what are your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (12:37 PM)
Schotty tries to be balanced on first down. I spoke to Dilfer a few weeks ago and he had an interesting take on the Jets' O: If they want to throw more this year, like they say, they have to practice the throws in practice. Dilfer said the best passing teams he played on always repped each passing play several times during the week. He doubted the Jets are doing that, which makes it tougher for the QB.
Scot (Washington, DC )
Bill Parcells says take the under on any predictions for the number of catches Plax has; Broadway Joe says no way does he finish the season. Why am I getting a sinking feeling in my stomach over Plax this year? Please tell me to get over it.
Rich Cimini (12:39 PM)
I wish I could, Scot, but the facts are facts: Plax is 34 and hasn't played in 2 yrs. He plays a running position and there's bound to be health issues throughout the season.
John (Boston College)
Is this finally the year the D becomes dominant? Because I don't care what people say, the last two years it hasn't. But with 10 returning starters, what looks to be a better DLine, Revis and Pace at 100% at the start of the season, I have high expectations.
Rich Cimini (12:41 PM)
Obviously, Rex shares your optimism. I don't think the Jets will have a dominant D. They can be very good, but to be dominant, you need an elite pass rusher and the Jets don't have one. To be dominant, you need to score on turnovers ... and the Jets don't do that.
CIMINI FAN (NY)
Greene's touches per game over 15?
Rich Cimini (12:42 PM)
You sound like more of a fantasy fan than a Cimini fan. Yes, I'd say he goes over 15. I'd say 16 to 18 range.
Tom P (Holmdel, NJ)
I know Joe Namath is a football legend, but considering that he is basically a Jet forever, don't you think he should be a little more supportive/optimistic of his team (like saying buress won't gell and probably won't last the season)?
Rich Cimini (12:43 PM)
Let's be clear: Namath bleeds green. He is a huge fan, but he's also a man with an opinion -- and he's trying to promote that opinion because of business interests.
Matt (White Plains)
Rich, how do you think Wilkerson and Ellis have looked so far this preseason and do you think they will have a big impact on the team this season?
Rich Cimini (12:44 PM)
I don't see Ellis having an impact; he's just too raw right now. Wilkerson will play a lot, probably on all 3 downs.
Eugene (Union, NJ)
Will Mark Brunell be available against Dallas?
Rich Cimini (12:45 PM)
The Jets are saying yes. I'll take them at their word on this one. How effective he'd be, I don't know. That was a fairly significant calf pull.
RICH FAN (NY)
Do you see a difference in Shonn Greene's receiving skills?
Rich Cimini (12:46 PM)
Based on Monday night, no. He dropped the first pass of the game.
Tom (Summit, NJ)
What exactly was the point of bringing in Novak for a "competition" if Folk was going to be the guy all along? If they just wanted to push Folk, that's OK, I guess, but the Jets operated as though it was an open competition. What more could Novak have done if it really was an open competition as stated by the Jets?
Rich Cimini (12:47 PM)
I understand where you're coming from. Novak did all he could do, but when you're the challenger, you have to win by knockout. If Folk faltered, Novak would've been the guy, but Folk responded well to the competition.
Rich, Your thoughts on Wilkerson?
Rich Cimini (12:49 PM)
I like him. Stout at the point of attack. Not much in the pass-rush department, but that will take time. Gets wired to blockers at times, giving away the edge. Like his attitude. Didn't take any crap from Jacobs.
Rich, Why can't the Jets execute a tradtional screen pass?
Rich Cimini (12:51 PM)
That's a great point. For years, they've struggled with screens. That goes to coaching. Funny, but around the turn of the century (weird writing that), they were a great screen team under Parcells/Henning/Groh. Not anymore.
Tom P (Holmdel, NJ)
By FAR the most frustrating thing of last year were the amount of times our defense gave up a first down on 3rd and long. What can/will they do this year to drastically improve that?
Rich Cimini (12:53 PM)
In fact, the Jets gave up more big plays (20+ yards) on third down than any team in the league. How's that for 411? Players tell me that a lot of those big plays resulted from communication issues on the field. There shouldn't be any of that this year. The old alibis -- guys are learning the system -- doesn't cut it anymore. They all know the system.
rich , LT has looked incredibly slow and without burst. Not looking like he has anything left in the tank. Yes I know its only preseason because you can deny his lack of burst. Why don't the Jets give Joe Mcknight his chance, you can deny his explosiveness and even Rex said that every time he touches the ball something good happend, thoughts?
Rich Cimini (12:54 PM)
I hate to knock a future Hall of Famer, especially a guy as classy as Tomlinson, but I can't disagree with you. He hasn't looked great in the preseason. But ... before we send him off to the glue factory, let's see how he does in the reg season. He deserves that chance.
Do you see Shonn Greene as the guy this year?
Rich Cimini (12:55 PM)
Y-E-S, H-E I-S.
Rich up to this point how impressed are you by this years rookie crop? And whom do you see has the most potential?
Rich Cimini (12:57 PM)
Wilkerson -- good start, will play a lot. Ellis -- very raw. Don't see much P.T. Powell -- starting to grow on me. Doesn't have 'wow' factor, but he's solid. Kerley -- significant impact. McElroy -- smart, good leader, promising future as backup. McKnight -- wasted draft pick.
Rich , I think our Offense can been explosive but from what I'm seeing I don't the think the issue is Sanchez but the O-line!! It seems like Greene and LT can barely get any spacing from the line and Sanchez has to run for his life ... I'm I wrong????
Rich Cimini (12:58 PM)
I wouldn't read too much into these preseason games, Rodney. They'll show up Sept. 11.
It has always seemed that outside of the postseason, Sanchez has problems with consistency. Do you think that his performance Monday night shows that this is still the case, or should we not read into the preseason too much?
Rich Cimini (12:59 PM)
Don't believe what you see in the preseason. It's all a con.
Is that Snoopy trophy as cool in person as it is in photos?
Rich Cimini (1:00 PM)
Frankly, I was in awe. Felt the same way as when I touched the Lombardi trophy for the first time. Or when I saw the Hope diamond.
Dustin (Milwaukee, WI)
I know Bellore's on the bubble, but you think he can seal it, or will he be another vistim of the numbers game? (wanting an extra receiver/rb/etc)
Rich Cimini (1:00 PM)
Let's just say he has a lot riding on Thursday night.
Does cap room, ground and pound, big splash = Chris Johnson?
Rich Cimini (1:01 PM)
Are you trying to be funny?
Walter (New York)
Rich where is the pass rush? Pace has not looked the same under Rex as he did under Mangini.... for all of the great things Rex has done, I feel like the Jets pass rush is lacking. Why not try to develop Maybin? Westerman and McIntrye do not seem to be able to rush the passer either.
Rich Cimini (1:02 PM)
Let me tell you something, Walter: Maybin isn't the answer.
Matt Steiner (Walla Walla, WA)
Rich, is Slauson really the long term answer at left guard - it just seems like he is very up and down. Any chance the Jets try to upgrade next season, or even this season?
Rich Cimini (1:02 PM)
Slauson is the man.
Aaron (Huntsville AL)
Do you think D-mase and Plax are the answers at wide receivers they seemed sluggish and couldn't get any separation from a depleted NYG secondary?
Rich Cimini (1:03 PM)
I had one player tell me they need to play more zone because they were too predictable in man-to-man and vulnberable to pick routes.
Alex Ortiz (Spain)
Rick your thoughts on Kyle Wilson and has he improved?
Rich Cimini (1:04 PM)
Chris (Congers, NY)
If giants cut dodge/weatherford do you see jets going after either one?
Rich Cimini (1:04 PM)
Sam (New Jersey )
With the Jets making a fair amount of interceptions so far in the preseason do you think we will see the same in the regular season?
Rich Cimini (1:06 PM)
It's encouraging, but don't buy into the preseason stuff. To get INTs, you need a big-time pass rush and DBs with ball skills.
i hear the jets have almost 10 mil under the cap. is woody not letting Mike T spend it . because is sounds like they could of kept bralon, b smith , and upped the anti on Namdi
Rich Cimini (1:08 PM)
It would've taken a long-term deal to keep Braylon, and the Jets weren't going to do that. Were teams beating down his door? No, that should tell you something. Brad Smith was gone as soon as they drafted Kerley. If they paid Nnamdi more than Revis, they would've opened a huge can of worms. As it stands now, they're gonna have to deal with Revis again next year because you know he'll want a new conract.
Rich Cimini (1:09 PM)
On that note, I'm gonna say goodbye. Thanks again for great questions and sorry I couldn't get to them all. Just think, for our next chat, we'll be deep into Jets v. Cowboys. Finally. And, no, I'm not going to quote Bart Scott here. Take care. Rich.