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 2 p.m. ET!
Rich Cimini (2:03 PM)
Hello, everybody. Thanks for checking in. we have a lot of questions here, so let's get to it.
Great coverage, Rich. I was just wondering what you think the Jets record would be right if they had signed Nnamdi in the offseason. Assuming Cromartie goes, do we still lose that game in Oakland that is really hurting us now?
Rich Cimini (2:05 PM)
Cro had a couple of poor games, like Oakland, but overall he had a solid year. I don't think Nnamdi would've made that much of a difference. Problem wasn't the CBs, it was the safeties.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich,Think they might run the ball 67 times this week? Last week was just too much. Hope they beat the Fish this week. I think things will break right for them but they have to win this game. Your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:07 PM)
You're the eternal optimist, Ira. Bush not playing is a big break for the Jets, but I still think this will be a difficult game. Miami's run defense is stout, will be tough to run against them. I picked Miami, but that was before the Bush development.
Gavin (New York)
Rich, at the end of the season looking back I think the Giants game will be the main reason Schotty will not be back next year. Calling 59 pass plays for Mark Sanchez is inexcusable. Calling three straight pass plays right after halftime down just 10-7 is downright ridiculous. Also don't you think Ryan is culpable too. His comments after the game were ridiculous. Don't question the offense play calling after the game, make adjustments during it. He's the head coach, if you don't like the number of pass plays make Schotty adjust his game plan.
Rich Cimini (2:09 PM)
I couldn't agree more, Gavin. Rex could've easily told Brian in the headset, "Run the damn ball." Rex needs to be more of a head coach, and not just a defensive-minded head coach.
Bill (New York)
If Schotty does indeed get fired after the season, who are the likely candidates for the job. I think Norv Turner would be a good candidate if he gets fired. He is a bad head coach but a great offensive coordinator. Puts an emphasis on running the football. Rex would love that. It might be difficult to get Norv to come here with the comments Rex made before the SD game though.
Rich Cimini (2:09 PM)
I think OL coach Bill Callahan would be the replacement if Schottenheimer leaves.
Andy (Huntington, NY)
Happy Holidays, Rich. Of all the scenarios that need to go the Jets way this weekend, which ones do you think are the most likely to happen and which ones are the least likely?
Rich Cimini (2:11 PM)
Happy holidays to you, too, Andy. The toughest might be the Jets beating the Dolphins. If you think I'm being a wise guy, Rex said the same thing the other day. Obviously, the Tenn-Hou game is troubling for the Jets because Hou is locked into the 3 seed and might rest starters. On the other hand, does Hou want to go into the playoffs with 3 straight losses? Hmm. If the Jets can remain alive until th 4 pm games, I think they have a pretty good chance.
Bob (New York)
While I do believe the criticism of Sanchez and Schottenheimer are warranted I believe some of the blame should also go to Tannenbaum. From his pipe dream pursuit of Asomugha, no depth on the offensive line, not improving pass rush and safety, and his poor drafts Tannenbaum has played a major role in the Jets mediocre season. I think he is great maneuvering the cap, but he does a poor job in evaluating players. Anyway Johnson might demote him from GM or reevaluate the scouting department.
Rich Cimini (2:14 PM)
No chance of Tanny being demoted. You're right, it wasn't a great year for him. No OL depth, too passive with defensive personnel, gave up some good locker-room guys, etc. One thing you should know: Mike doesn't evaluate. He relies heavily on input from coaches and scouts and makes decisions based on that.
Leo (New York)
Do the Jets g after a new punter and kicker this year. Nick Folk especially has been horrendous. Plus the Jets need to stop putting Cromartie on kick returns. Against the Giants he took the ball out deep from his own endzone where he should have taken a knee. He did the same thing in the Oakland game.
Rich Cimini (2:16 PM)
They have bigger issues than kicker, punter and KOR, but I appreciate your concerns.
John (Hillsdale NJ)
Braylon back to the Jets this offseason?
Rich Cimini (2:17 PM)
Depends on his health, of course. And price tag, naturally. I wouldn't rule it out. He had a good rapport with Sanchez, but off-the-field stuff is troubling to the organization.
Mike (New York)
During the season I thought our biggest problem would be OLB/Pass Rush and Safety. However I think it is clearly O-line. I know the season isn't over yet but do you think they will address this with their first round pick. Hunter is horrendous. Also even though D'Brick made the pro bowl, I think he is not having that good of year. Maybe they move him to RT and draft a premier franchise type LT.
Rich Cimini (2:19 PM)
Noooo, they're not moving Brick to RT. Relax, take a deep breath. You're right, Brick didn't have a lights-out season, but he's still a very good LT. There are 20+ teams that would kill to have him. They need a RT because Hunter won't be the starter next year. He might not even be back. The draft is a possibility, but I could see them going the FA route for a RT.
Ropati Pitoitua (Jersey)
Who do you think are potential cap casualties this off-season (Smith, Hunter?)? How about potential contract renewals (Keller, Maybin?)?
Rich Cimini (2:20 PM)
Keller is signed through 2012, so there's no sense of urgency -- although they could look to extend him during the summer. Maybin will be a RFA, so he's not going anywhere if they tender him, which they will.
Kris (Revis Island)
Hey Rich, I love your column. Nice work. How big of a turnover do you see happening to this year's roster?
Rich Cimini (2:22 PM)
Generally, the avg turnover for an NFL team is about 30%. I could see the Jets in that neighborgood.
How has John Conner progressed this year. Is he becoming the Fullback the team thought he would be?
Rich Cimini (2:24 PM)
Good question, Russ. No, I think he's been somewhat of a disappointment. Ryan admitted publicly just recently that Conner got off to a shaky start. Look, he doesn't play a lot because they use a lot of 1-back, but I don't think he's been an impact blocker at all.
Schottenheimer must have had some explanation as to why the Jets threw so many passes despite the fact that for most of the game the Jets weren't that far behind. What is it?
Rich Cimini (2:25 PM)
I wrote about this yesterday. In the second half, he felt they were doing good things out of the hurry-up and wanted to stay with it with 5 mins left at the 50. He said the Giants looked tired, which is laughable. If they were tired, it's because they were expending so much energy sacking the QB.
Max Pearlman (Bedford)
Hey Rich, do you feel that the biggest problem with the Jets offense is Brian Schottenheimer, Mark Sanchez, or a combination of the two?
Rich Cimini (2:27 PM)
I'm not into this whole blame thing or assigning percentages. I will say this: No one on offense, players or coaches, had a great year. Sanchez didn't progress, Schottenheimer was mediocre, and so on down the line.
Witten (Long Island)
Good stuff rich - As bad as the Jets have looked lately they still have a realistic chance to make the playoffs (i can see cinci, tenn, and either den or oak losing) do you think they can make a run a la 09'? Or is this team just not talented or mentally tough enough.
Rich Cimini (2:29 PM)
Both, not as talented and not as mentally tough. The team has lost its identity. They have a 1-6 record vs. winning teams, and 5 of 7 losses by double digits. Nuff said.
Rich, despite the successes the team has had over the last 3 years, I'm alarmed by the frequency in which we completely fail to show up for some games. What are your thoughts? Is that on Rex or the players?
Rich Cimini (2:46 PM)
Sorry about the delay folks ... had a phone interview I needed to do ... as for the question ... Not show up? I don't know. I can think of 2 no shows games -- Balt and Phila. I guess 2 is too many, but those were cases in which they fell behind, couldn't handle adversity and let it get out of control.
Greg (North Jersey)
Happy Holdiays, Rich! I used to think Outside Linebacker was the Jets most pressing need but I have come around to believe Offensive Tackle is now where the Jets need an upgrade most. Do you feel the same way?
Rich Cimini (2:47 PM)
Here are the needs, in my opinion: RT, RB, OLB, S, WR.
Rich, there is a lot of discussion right now about the offense, but quietly the defense has slipped from 1st to 3rd to 7th in yards, and 1st to 6th to 22nd in points from 2009 to 2011. So A) in your opinion, what has been the primary cause for the dropoff, and B) what can / should be done to improve going into 2012?
Rich Cimini (2:48 PM)
Good question, Nick. They need more speed on the perimeter (OLB). They need a S with pass-coverage ability. They need more depth at LB. They need more athleticism and depth at DT.
Barry (Washington, D.C.)
Should the Jets draft a RG and RT in the first two rounds of the 2012 draft?
Rich Cimini (2:49 PM)
Why do they have to draft a RG? Brandon Moore is very good and still has a yr left on his deal.
Rich, happy holidays to you and your family. No matter what happens this weekend, we are lucky to have you on the beat. Keep up the great work in 2012 my man!
Rich Cimini (2:49 PM)
You're the best, Steiny! Check is in the mail. Lol.
I have my lucky Testaverde jersey on.
Rich Cimini (2:50 PM)
what, no Neil O'Donnell jersey?
Rich, What will the jets do about adding a WR to complement Holmes next year? Will they target a WR in the draft or will they look to add one via free agency i.e. Vincent Jackson, steve johnson, desean jackson, braylon edwards
Rich Cimini (2:51 PM)
They will need a complement to Holmes, that's for sure. I see Kerley as the ideal slot guy. But it would make no sense to pay $8M+ for a WR if you're going to be a run-oriented team? They should draft one in the first or second round.
Whats up Rich,Do you think Plax re-signs with the jets, and any chances the Jets will go after a proven RB, maybe someone like Hillis or Forte.
Rich Cimini (2:52 PM)
I can't see Plax coming back. He did some nice things, primarily in the red zone, but it's time to move on. I'm always leery of bringing in other team's RBs. I'd draft one.
Pin (Mt Olive NJ)
What do you think about Wilkerson's play this year?
Rich Cimini (2:54 PM)
Pretty much as I expected. I knew he wouldn't light it up as a pass rusher because that's not his game. There were some rough moments, but it was on-the-job training, sink or swim. He'll be a solid player. Needs to use his hands better to disengage from blockers. Needs to read keys better. But overall a decent year.
Hey Rich, Happy Holidays and Congrat's on the #1 Cuse Bball. Do you think the Jets address WR this offseason via the draft of Free Agency? Haven't drafter a WR with a 1st round pick since Moss.
Rich Cimini (2:54 PM)
I'd go WR in the draft.
Rich, it's been suggested (by Steve Young, among others) that Rex is too invested on the defensive side of the ball and doesn't pay enough attention to offense. Is Rex really just a glorified defensive coordinator who also assumes the title of head coach, or do you see him as a true head coach?
Rich Cimini (2:56 PM)
He needs to take more control of the offense. I'm not saying he's a glorified DC because he's not. In fact, he let Pettine take over a lot of stuff and playcalling. He just needs to be invested more in the offense. Sometimes it seems like there's two different teams.
Will (New York)
If Andrew Luck goes to the Colts and Peyton Manning demands a trade is there any shoot the Jets will get Peyton manning?
Rich Cimini (2:57 PM)
This is a highly complex issue because of Manning's contract, but there is NO CHANCE the Colts will trade him to the Jets. Now, if they release him ... that could be a different story. I think there's a 98% chance that Sanchez is the starter next yr, but if Manning is free, it wouldn't shock me if the Jets make a call.
Rich, you said that Callahan would be in line for the OC job, but then why has he turned out the extentions the Jets have offered him? Is the position less attractive with Sanchez having so much pressure at the end of the season...
Rich Cimini (2:58 PM)
He made a good biz decision. Now, if Jets offer him the OC job, he has more leverage.
Pin (Mt Olive NJ)
If Maybin comes back next year, will he be an every down player?
Rich Cimini (2:59 PM)
Not a chance.
will bart scott and calvin pace be back next year
Rich Cimini (3:00 PM)
Tough calls. They're two guys with big cap numbers. I'd say Pace has a better chance because he's an every-down player.
Can you expand on the Jets needs for a new RB... Would Richardson from Bama be a target in the draft?
Rich Cimini (3:00 PM)
I'd have to think so. They need a HR hitter.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
For me 2 plays epitomize the Jets season - against Denver Leonard comes from across the field on the 1st play of the final drive and just misses making a tackle for a safety. The 2nd play is Cruz faking Wilson & Cro and changing a 10 yd. catch into 99 yards. If the Jets make either play do you think we would be looking at the team a little more optimistically?
Rich Cimini (3:01 PM)
The 2 memorable plays from the season -- Cruz 99 yards and Tebow TD run.
Rich Cimini (3:01 PM)
Sorry, guys, I'm out of time. I'd like to wish everyone a Happy and safe New Year. We'll continue our little chats even if the season ends. Take Care. Rich