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)
Greetings, all. Thanks for stopping by today -- a little pre-Yankees Jets chat. Let's get started.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich, While everybody is pointing fingers at Greene even i think he is just an average RB the OL has too take a big hit for not opening up holes for their RB's plus its time Sparano starts to take some heat even with the lack of fire power on offense they should be better then they are . They looked at times like they can't get out of their own way. Thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:05 PM)
I agree with all that, Ira. Read by column on Sparano, which was posted about an hour ago. I don't think he runs a QB-friendly offense -- at least not when they're not running the ball.
Sal (San Diego)
Hi Rich...I know you are a fan of Parcells so I was hoping to hear your thoughts on this point...one thing about his genius as a coach seemed to be that it wasn't just about physical talent and X's and O's with him. Rather, he knew how to push buttons and motivate players...I keep hearing analysts complain that Tebow lacks the QB skill to make a significant different in that offense, yet is it so wrong to think that he is exactly the kind of spark this team needs right now? I sincerely believe someone like Parcells would have used him a lot more by now.
Rich Cimini (2:08 PM)
Excellent question, Sal. I should call Bill to get his take. Parcells had a way of finding what each player did best and using that. In Tebow's case, it goes beyond football. There are many layers to the situation. As I wrote Wednesday, I think they're afraid of seeing him succeed too much because it would ruin Sanchez. It's a delicate balance. They need both to succeed to make this work, and it's not happening.
Andy (Huntington, NY)
Why does it seem like every offensive play is on the verge of a delay of game penalty? Even coming out of a timeout or a quarter change, there always seems to be a scramble to get the play off. If I recall, this happened under Schotty too.
Rich Cimini (2:10 PM)
And the funny thing about that is, Sparano spent the entire summer preaching pace and tempo.
What's going on with the safety play? Are Bell and Landry washed up, or do they just not know the defense yet?
Rich Cimini (2:11 PM)
Landry busted the coverage on Daniels' TD catch. Otherwise, I think he and Bell have been solid. Landry has made some big plays.
Rich, of those who will be free agents at year end, who will the Jets keep? Maybin? Greene?
Rich Cimini (2:11 PM)
Nearly half the team is headed to free agency. Why would you want to keep those two? The way it looks now, neither will be back.
No doubt the biggest disappointment is the play of the front seven, however, the play of the interior OL, Slauson, Mangold and Moore has been just as bad. Every defense has dominated the interior OL. Your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:13 PM)
I can't dispute what you're saying. I think the entire OL has disappointed. But, remember, they have faced some of the better defensive fronts in the league -- 4 of the top 11 run defenses, to be exact.
Mario M. NORWALK, CA [via mobile]
Do you think 80% of the problem is rex ryans big mouth? i just look at all the times he opened his big mouth with all his bad talkins and super bowls and got NOTHING to show for it . is he finally gone after this year or do i got to here his mouth all over here on the west coast.
Rich Cimini (2:13 PM)
Mouth has nothing to do with it. It's talent.
tonycil (Rye Brook)
Rich, I have been very down on the Jets because of Sanchez on offense and their old, slow LB's on Defense. Their LB's are an eyesore in pass coverage. Don't understand why Harris is covering RB's on third down. I keep hearing on Mike and Mike they believe the starting QB for 2013 is not currently on the Roster. Hopefully, they will have at least 3 new Starting LB's next year. What are your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:14 PM)
If Sanchez doesn't turn it around, you're probably right, he could be gone. At LB, Scott and Thomas will be gone. So, too, could Pace. Harris isn't going anywhere.
Geoff (Livingston, NJ)
How many more years are Rex and Tannenbaum signed til? I know woody likes to fire people with no more than 1 year left under contract.
Rich Cimini (2:15 PM)
They're both signed through 2014.
Gary and Ace (Massapequa)
Do you think it's time to add Mo Wilkerson to that long list of suspiciously unproductive #1 picks?
Rich Cimini (2:17 PM)
Interesting question. I don't think he's making the type of impact they expected, but I'm not prepared to write him off.
Rosie Jewel (Morgan Place)
Do you ever get the sense that Woody Johnson doesn't know that much about football?
Rich Cimini (2:18 PM)
What, you didn't like his explanation on how they should've put an "eye spy" on J.J. Watt?
Rich,Watching Bruce Irvin and Chandler Jones play is totally demoralizing. We needed an edge rusher and we got a bust in the making in Coples, (one year after the journeyman in the making Wilkerson). Do you see anything in those two that I am missing?
Rich Cimini (2:22 PM)
Coples is an inside player. I'm not sure if Jones would've fit the defense. He's a 4-3 DE in NE, and the Jets don't play a lot of 4-3. Not sure if he could've played 3-4 OLB. The Jets wanted Irvin; he just got picked before them.
Steve (Bay Shore)
I follow all the Jets writers on Twitter during games. Seems like one snarky dart after another tossed at the Jets. Almost as if you all enjoy watching them lose and needing the fans. Explain, if you will.
Rich Cimini (2:23 PM)
No explanation necessary.
Greg (Phoenix, AZ)
Hey Rich, based on your film study of the defense, what's the primary problem? I thought it was the lack of quickness and speed at linebacker initially, but after Monday night, I'm not sure anymore. Opposing backs are getting huge lanes to run through.
Rich Cimini (2:25 PM)
Reasons for lousy run defense: Po'uha not the same player with back injury. Ellis not a good replacement. DLM doing poor job of shedding blocks and keeping shoulders square. Watch closely, you'll be amazed at how many times you see a DLM with his shoulders turned, out of position. Lack of speed on the perimeter also an issue.
Parry (kew gardens)
You've covered the Jets for a long time, so you've seen some very bad clubs. But have you ever seen a Jets team with such bad hands? Holmes dropped a lot of balls before he was hurt. Stephen Hill can't catch a cold. Cumberland dropped the Sanchez interception and almost dropped the TD pass, too. Schillens dropped the onside kick. Jason Hill drops the Tebow ball. Shonn Greene can't catch. Do the Jets bother scouting hands, or is it just enough to run fast?
Rich Cimini (2:26 PM)
I actually looked this up the other day. I think the Jets are in the middle of the league in terms of dropped passes.
James (Syracuse, N.Y.)
Obviously, much has been made about the quarterback situation. Blame can be put on the organization for not surrounding Mark Sanchez with talent or putting him in a consistent system. Or even surrounding him consistent receivers, making additions and subtractions yearly (No more Cotchery, Edwards, Plax). But, assuming Tebow isn't the answer, what's your honest evaluation of Mark? He hasn't improved as much as we'd like. Given things stay the same (inconsistent) how much longer does the Sanchise last?
Rich Cimini (2:28 PM)
I think Sanchez is an average to good QB -- good when supported by a strong run game. I had a smart football man tell me that Sanchez struggles against two-safety looks. He needs that single-high safety, and the only way to get that is to run the ball, forcing an 8-man box.
Geoff (Livingston, NJ)
Tannenbaum did a great job at drafting before Rex got here having drafted several All-Pros and Probowlers (Dbrick, Mangold, Leon Washington, Revis, Harris), but he has nothing to show for his draft classes under Rex's regime. Can the blame be pointed at Rex? To me it seems like Rex has no idea how to develop young talent. I find it hard to believe the scouts and Tannenbaum are suddenly unable to find young talented players. Maybe Rex's player-friendly coaching style is hurting the young guys. Not getting pushed hard enough. Agree?
Rich Cimini (2:29 PM)
No, I don't agree. I don't think it has anything to do with coaching style, but I don't think Rex is the best talent evaluator. I think Mike leans on him too much instead of relying on the scouts.
Is it true that Sanchez's address is 666 Dante's Inferno? Really, can we just play our savior? Serious question: why was Sanchez looking @ his wristband with 4 seconds left in the Houston game, down by a TD? Was he looking for the draw up the middle call?
Rich Cimini (2:30 PM)
Good question, not sure. Maybe he had Eva's phone number written there.
Rich, Adam Schein(of SNY)said that the Jets tried to replace QB coach Matt Cavanaugh with 3 different candidates this off season....only to get denied by all 3. Have you heard of this, and if so, what does this say: A: Sanchez is a lost cause or B: They didn't want to coach under Rex(a defense only mentality).
Rich Cimini (2:38 PM)
That is true. In fact, I wrote about it at the time. They interviewed Todd Haley and David Lee and I can't remember the third, but I know Sparano wanted Brian Daboll from Miami. They kept Cav because: 1. they didn't want to eat the contract, 2. continuity with Sanchez
Jay (Currently flying to DC)
Rich, what's your take on why Shonn Greene isn't more productive as a running back? Is he already in decline, or was he never that good to begin with?
Rich Cimini (2:39 PM)
Lacks elusiveness, doesn't have great vision or instincts. A power runner who's at his best when OL provides daylight. Obviously, that's not happening. Enjoy the flight.
Rich, joe McKnight continues to show he is the most explosive player and back and yet shown Greene and Powell get m,ore snaps. Shown Greene shows no burst and can't make anyone miss. Powell is basically the same, but he can block!! I think MArk Sanchez needs more playemakers than blockers. The oline is doing good pass blocking!! Why are the jets so adamant not to get Joe more involved, clearly he need 10-15 touches a game.
Rich Cimini (2:42 PM)
I agree. I think McKnight should get more touches -- and he will. I think Powell has some wiggle, so you'll see his role gradually expand.
Rich - Colt's run defense is pretty bad, what are the chance Greene has a big day on Sunday? Do you think McKnight and Powell will get increased reps or are the Jets going to try and get Greene going?
Rich Cimini (2:43 PM)
They'll try with Greene. The Colts are allowing 5.1 ypc out of their base, worst in the league for a 3-4 defense.
Last week against Houston Tebow ran the ball to the 3 for a first down. Then after a run for no gain hewas then taken out of the game and the Jets failed to score a touchdown. Isn't that why they got him- to throw defenses a change up by bringing him in when there inside the 5? It seems Sparano and Co haven't figured out how to use him? Your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:44 PM)
Totally agree. I wrote a column on that very subject. They're either 1. don't know how to use him, 2. afraid he'll do well and freak out Sanchez, 3. just don't think he's that good.
Angelo (Philadelphia, PA)
Great job as always, Rich. Is there any concern within the Jets org that playing Cromartie at WR increases his risk of injury? This team has already been decimated, but could you imagine if he went down? I understand the team needs playmakers, but at the risk of losing your only solid corner left? I agree with TO, seems desperate.
Rich Cimini (2:45 PM)
A couple of plays a game is fine. Last week is 5. I think you're pushing your luck with 5. Now that Hill and Keller are back, I don't think you'll see Cro.
Hey Rich. Great job as always. With all the Tebow replacing Sanchez talk why do we never hear about McElroy getting a shot? I liked what little I saw of him (reminded me of Pennignton) and they guy won on the big stage in the SEC. What are the Jets thoughts on him?
Rich Cimini (2:46 PM)
They like him a lot. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a shot at some point, but Tebow gets next dibs.
Derek Hamilton (The Great White North)
4 drops per game and Sanchez goes from his current 48% to 61% completion rate. I know he has been off at times but I have seen a lot of drops from this recieving crew. What do you think?
Rich Cimini (2:47 PM)
I don't think it's been that many drops. Every QB is victimized by drops.
Zito (New Haven CT)
Rich, Do you feel Sunday could be a trap game? Short week of rest and @NE next week. Plus a banged up Mangold and no Pouha/Ellis?
Rich Cimini (2:47 PM)
Trap game? Are you kidding? Not when you've lost two in a row and you're desperate.
Jonathan (New York )
Do you believe that all the talk about how poor the Jets have been playing is overhyped? Did many people, even with Holmes and Revis, really expect the Jets to be better than 2-3 after 5 weeks?
Rich Cimini (2:49 PM)
Fair point. I expected them to be 2-3 with Holmes and Revis. It has been a tough schedule. I figured they'd be 4-4 at the bye, and they still have a chance.
Rich- Thanks as always for the good work. Do you agree that there was noticeable improvement vs the Texans? Do you think that is reasonable to expect the NYJ to be in the mix for the 2nd wild card? Outside of the Pats, the worst of the schedule appears to be over. Thanks
Rich Cimini (2:50 PM)
You are an optimistic Jets fan, that's for sure. They're not even thinking about the playoffs. They just need a win.
Rich, you wrote on Tebow-mania "It's a distraction to the team, a daily sideshow that's starting to wear on all those involved" Is that purely subjective or have sources on the team actually admitted this?
Rich Cimini (2:51 PM)
Peter, when I write something like that in a column, it's based on knowledge I have of the situation and my own observations. Trust me, the players are tired of it -- or at least some of them are.
Is Cromartie likely to track Reggie Wayne acress the formation Revis-style on Sunday?
Rich Cimini (2:52 PM)
That is the plan, but the colts use Wayne in a different role this year. He no longer stays in the same spot. He can be in the slot or in a bunch formation. Makes it tough to man-up, but you'll see Cro on him more often than not.
Mike (Ann Arbor)
Rich, enjoy your work. Keep it up! What, in your opinion, is the reason for the defensive struggles on 3rd down? Is it the lack of a pash rush? I can't believe how many 3rd and longs get converted on this team. Rex must be pulling his hair out.
Rich Cimini (2:53 PM)
Lack of pass rush and lack of Revis.
Hi Rich, Great article on Tebow. I know Sanchez has had his ups and downs, but his track record is still better than Tebow's. I could understand a move if there was a better longterm option. But let face it, Denver couldn't get rid of him fast enough and the Jags just wanted him for the marketing factor. Why do people think he presents a better option than Sanchez ?
Rich Cimini (2:54 PM)
Sanchez is a better QB, but the Jets are heading to the point where they will have no choice but to play him. Believe me, the coaches want Sanchez to succeed, so they'll give him every opportunity. But a change appears inevitable.
Will we see an increased role for a guy like Bellore with Mauga out, or will it just be a question of Davis taking Mauga's snaps?
Rich Cimini (2:55 PM)
Smashburger manager (Florham Park)
You coming around today? Special on the All-American.
Rich Cimini (2:55 PM)
Sorry, not in town on Fridays. Give me a rain check for Wednesdays.
Red Hawkins (Greenpoint)
Rich, what is up with this idea that they can't even pull Mark for a a few series? You can pull a guy and then put him back in, can't you? Why is this guy's ego held inviolate? Is it front-office politics?
Rich Cimini (2:56 PM)
You pull him for a few series, you might as well pull him permanently.
There was some criticism of Rex's call to onside kick last week, and some people took it as a lack of confidence in the defense. However, something that I didn't see anyone point out was that it was following a long drive by the Texans and then a kickoff return TD that didn't do much in the way of getting the defense off the field. Whether the onside kick was successful or not, it guaranteed a short drive.
Rich Cimini (2:57 PM)
I didn't have a huge problem with it. He was trying to steal a possession and his defense was tired, just coming off a 14-play series.
This team has been goiing downhill steadily because of poor drafts the last couple of years. Rex has input on the picks, but when will Mike T be held accountable? Who are the impact players they've drafted since he's been GM?
Rich Cimini (2:59 PM)
Billy (Eastchester, NY)
If the season ended today, what would you say is the team's biggest position need to address? Seems like it boils down to QB or pass rusher, but I can't figure what is greater.
Rich Cimini (2:59 PM)
It would be easier to ask, what don't they need?
John (Jacksonville, FL)
Rich, While Mr T rightfully takes the heat for poor personel decisions, why does this coaching staff not take similar heat for its inability to develop ANY young players (Sanchez, Wilson, Slauson and Greene are mediocre at best). It seems far fetched to think better personel decisions would help this team if the coaching staff is unable to elevate their play once they come to the Jets.
Rich Cimini (3:01 PM)
It goes hand in hand. I think they've done a good job developing Kerley, Keller, Revis, Harris, DeVito, to name a few.
Rich - what are the Jets options in the offseason for the QB position? Do you think they are internally discussing this and have resigned to the fact that Sanchez isn't a franchise Qb?
Rich Cimini (3:02 PM)
Offseason? They still have 11 games to go.
Tom P (Holmdel, NJ)
Can't they just have Tebow in the backfield as their full time FB/RB ?? I can see that working, do you?
Rich Cimini (3:02 PM)
Not a chance.
Rich I just won a Mark Sanchez autographed football from the NY Post during the tower to tunnels run... retail value they say is at $300 think that'll drop anytime soon?
Rich Cimini (3:02 PM)
Sal (San Diego)
Hi Rich...you raised a thought in my head when mentioning how many free agents we will have after this season...If by chance this season continues to go south and the Jets finish with a sub-500 record, do you believe there would be any inclination in the owner to start fresh with a new coach and GM and re-tool the team the way he wishes?
Rich Cimini (3:04 PM)
I'd be surprised if Rex gets fired. Let me leave it at that.
Rich Cimini (3:05 PM)
sorry, folks, time is up. Thanks for great questions, as usual. This should be a great sports weekend -- Yankees today, SU-Rutgers tomorrow and Jets-Colts on Sunday. (Had to sneak an SU reference in there.) Anyway, have a good one. Rich