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 (2:01 PM)
Greetings, everyone. Thanks for joining. Let's get started.
Rich, first off Happy Holidays. I want to say I was never a fan of Mark Sanchez, especially when before he ever threw an NFL pass he was modeling for magazines. But the thing that was telling to me was back on Hard Knocks when Joe Namath was teaching him how to secure the ball from the snap. He just sat there looking like he was going to cry. The most mentally soft athlete I have ever seen.
Rich Cimini (2:03 PM)
Happy Holidays, Gavin. There are plenty of reasons why Sanchez should be criticized, but I wouldn't go back to the scene with Namath.
Rich, what do you think is the future of Dustin Keller? Do you think the Jets will franchise him or let him go?
Rich Cimini (2:06 PM)
Great question, Adam. I think Keller is a good player who didn't get a chance to show his talent this year, but economics will play a big role. I don't think he'll be back.
Rich, after this Monday night debacle you have to think Joe Namath was laughing his behind off watching him fumble that snap. Going back to Hard Knocks Namath was teaching that horrible excuse for a quarterback ball security and he fumbles the snap.
Rich Cimini (2:07 PM)
Yeah, except this snap was in shotgun. This went unreported: Sanchez hurt his left knee earlier in the game and I think that affected him on that snap, not being able to bend quickly to grab it.
Rich, How would you grade Kyle Wilson's performance this year? Did he do an adequate job in place of Revis this season? Do you think he will improve when they move him back into the slot next season?
Rich Cimini (2:08 PM)
I think Wilson has had a solid year. Got beat a couple of times, but he held up reasonably well and he tackles very well.
Rich, I just don't understand it the Jets wanted to be ground and pound but did nothing in the draft or free agency to upgrade the running back position. Shonn Greene is a back up running back. Doug Martin and David Wilson were both sitting at the end of round one and the Jets didn't trade up to get one of them. Considering how the rest of Jets draft was horrendous they should of at least drafted a running back.
Rich Cimini (2:09 PM)
They really liked Powell going into the season. And still do.
How ticked off do you think Revis is seeing Sanchez being well paid ever since the Jets drafted him and giving him an undeserved contract extension? I see Revis coming back next season playing strong and then leave for free agency. Hopefully I'm wrong.
Rich Cimini (2:11 PM)
Hey, that's a possibility, but Revis hasn't been paid like a pauper. Averaging $11.5 M per year.
Do you see the Jets making a run at a WR in free agency, either Mike Wallace, Jennings, or Bowe. I would like to see Wallace in green and white. If Sanchez can't succeed with Wallace, Holmes, Kerley and Hill then he really sticks and shouldn't be an NFL QB.
Rich Cimini (2:11 PM)
No, I don't see them making a run at a No. 1-type WR. They drafted Hill in the second round and they have $7M gtd invested in Holmes.
Have you noted the 'bizarro world' story of Mark Sanchez? Most rookie QBs struggle badly their first year as the team wins just a few games, get better their second as the team is about .500, then excel after that, as the team makes the playoffs. Sanchez is the exact opposite!
Rich Cimini (2:12 PM)
Why do you think that is? His supporting cast has eroded.
IRA (Staten Island)
Rich,Wow what a crazy season. Thought this team had 8 win talent from the start and lets hope they get there. Really i would be surprised if they didn't play hard these next two games but you never know. If they tank at 6-10 and Woody moves on from Rex do you think Herm would have any desire to get back into coaching or Gruden?
Rich Cimini (2:14 PM)
Hey, Ira. I picked them to go 8-8, and I think they'll finish 7-9. Can't see Herm getting back into it. I think he loves his gig now. With Gruden, who knows?
Greg (New Jersey)
I think Tanny gets too much credit for his capologist ways. David Harris is good -- but no way he deserves to be making top 3 inside LB money. Same with D-Brick. And Holmes. And HOW in the world are we paying Sanchez the same amount that the Pats are paying Brady this year?
Rich Cimini (2:16 PM)
Fair points, Greg. They overpaid for Harris and Holmes. I can't agree with you on Brick. LT is a premium position. My main beef with the Sanchez contract is that they extended it -- an unnecessary move.
Marco (Bloomfield, NY)
If Woody fires Tanny or demotes him but keeps Rex, don't you think Joey Clinkscales would make sense as a GM or Director of Football Operations? He had some sniffs around the league and the front office is familar with him. They didn't want him to leave from what I read.....
Rich Cimini (2:16 PM)
No, Joey is long gone. He's with the Raiders .. and he ain't coming back to this.
If Gmac plays good enough in the last two games will he be in the running for Starter next season? I bought his jersey way back in Aug telling everyone he would be the starter. People were saying I was a clown... be nice to say I was right
Rich Cimini (2:20 PM)
No, he won't a starting candidate. But he can be a solid No. 2 if he plays well.
Rich, Are these rumors that are flying around true about the Jets wanting to trade Sanchez? Who would trade for Mark at this point and take on that salary for next year? Seems to me that he will be back next year, because the Jets management foolishly "gave" him more guaranteed money, when they didn't have too.
Rich Cimini (2:22 PM)
Yes, they will look to trade him. It'll be tough because of the contract, but there are always deals to be made. Look, a lot of this stuff is premature because the people making the decisions might not be on campus yet.
Rich, let's talk realistic here. It seems that the most likely scenario is as follows: Rex stays, Mike T. goes, Cavanah goes, Sparano goes, Sanchez stays with competition from McElroy, a jason cambell type player they pick up and a mid round rookie. They're going to hire Norv Turner as the OC and they'll hire a new QB coach. But, what I can't put together is who is the GM is going to be. Bill Polian? Andrew Brant? Holmgren? Who's it going to be?
Rich Cimini (2:23 PM)
Jeez, Mike, you have it all figured out, don't you? Here's what I've learned in 20+ yrs covering the Jets: Expect the unexpected.
Rich, great work as always.With regards to Sanchez options, - could you envision a scenario where Sanchez re-negotiates a pay cut just so that he can get away in a trade? (He has to realize another year on the Jets as a back up will bury his career). In a roundabout way, Carson Palmer effectively did this with the Bengals, - losing money by sitting out so as to escape.
Rich Cimini (2:23 PM)
I don't think Sanchez will take money out of his own pocket. Why should he? The Jets will have to write a big check to get him out of town.
Rex (Owensboro, KY)
I've watched the JETS as long as I can remember, even though I live in KY. Sanchez is too inconsistent and very inaccurate to play QB currently. I do believe he would do ok with a better fit at the HC position who is offensive savvy. What speculations or scenarios do you foresee for the QB situation for the Jets in the upcoming season?
Rich Cimini (2:25 PM)
I think they will start over at QB, except for McElroy sticking around as a backup. Tebow, he's a goner. I reported that Wednesday. Despite the contract, I think Sanchez is gone, too. They have to draft a guy and bring in a starting-caliber vet.
Hi Rich, as bad a season as this was, I still think it would be a mistake to blow it up completely. Rex is still close to 500 for the 4th straight season, with probably one of the worst NFL rosters. He may talk to much, but I think he can still coach games. He's been open to change and I think he needs to change his mindset on offense and bring in the right coaches. But Mike T needs to be done. Thoughts and happy holidays?
Rich Cimini (2:27 PM)
Happy holidays to you, too, Oz. I think Rex can be a good HC if he changes his offensive philosophy and agrees to open it up. He has to do a better job with his overall vision of offensive football. Otherwise, he's good in other areas.
Paul-Michael (Staten Island )
Rich, I think the big question is who plays qb next year. Who do you see the Jets picking up after the season is over? I've heard talk of Vick and Flynn but I think Alex Smith would be their best bet. Your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:28 PM)
This Michael Vick talk is ridiculous. Pure speculation. Flynn and Smith are possibilities, but neither is a sure thing.
Greg (Phoenix, AZ)
Two questions , Rich. 1. Is a Mark Sanchez trade even feasible? It seems that the Jets would have to practically give him away, and they would still take a big cap hit regardless. 2. Do you think Mike T survives as GM after the season? Happy holidays to you and your family.
Rich Cimini (2:30 PM)
Yes, I think they can trade Sanchez if they pay most of the guarantee. He was the No. 5 pick in 09 for a reason, and there will be a team with a QB friendly system that's willing to bring him in as a backup. Mike T? Can't say definitely, but he's on thin ice.
The more you listen to Rex's press conferences, the more you begin to think he's over his head. How come no one has aggressively questioned his awful lineup decisions and his continuos praise of their punting average with Tebow when no other coach would dare pound their chest about that?
Rich Cimini (2:31 PM)
You're right, he's been a bit off center lately, but I disagree: He has been aggressively questioned. The problem is, the PR staff cuts off questioning as soon as he reaches the alloted time. Very frustrating.
Rich, as a long time Jet fan, I can honestly say I am embarrassed to be one.Everyday, the media is covering this laughing stock of an organization. Rex's press conferences have turned out to be one lie after another, and he never can give a straight answer. His ignoring of the offense is beyond belief. Someone needs to tell him that the rules have changed in the NFL......It's a QB friendly league.....To me, Rex is like that old timer that works in corporate America that refuses to learn how to use a computer to make his job easier.....He insists that hand writing everything down is the only way too do things.....WAKE UP REX!!!!!
Rich Cimini (2:32 PM)
I feel for you, Jimmy. I can see where it would be frustrating.
Rich, some media have reported that Ryan and the Jets "hosed" Tebow. This is certainly true. However, didn't the media and especially ESPN with their over the top coverage "hose" him too? I think the media chewed him up and spit him out like a pop star, leaving him with so much baggage that no coach will take him on and try to develop him. Thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:33 PM)
Please, Kevin. Blame the media? Gimme a break. You have to come up with something better than that.
Sal (San Diego)
Hi Rich...During last weeks game I heard Tirico mention that Tom Moore has come along well in his health problems and wants to get back into coaching again...given his relationship with the Jets last year, any chance they go after him as the OC next year?....Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Rich Cimini (2:34 PM)
I'm glad Tom is doing better because he's a good man, but, no, there's no chance.
Rich - with McElroy moving from 3rd string to starter, who has been quarterbacking the scout team all week?
Rich Cimini (2:35 PM)
Sanchez has been doing a lot of it. Weird, right? I think all 3 will be active on Sunday. If it's only 2, it'll be McElroy and Tebow.
Mike Maynard (Gaithersburg, MD)
Hearing any echoes of Rich Kotite or Browning Nagle in the 2012 Jets, Rich?
Rich Cimini (2:37 PM)
The crazy thing is, Mike, history always seems to repeat itself when the Jets are concerned. Just watch, it's going to get crazy over the next two weeks. You ain't seen nothing yet.
Hey Rich,Any chance Sanchez would rework his contract to get out of town next season?
Rich Cimini (2:38 PM)
Yes, he could re-work it, but not to the point where he's actually taking gtd money out of his pocket.
Is there any chance Rex is fired, or is his job safe?
Rich Cimini (2:38 PM)
No one is safe.
Happy Holidays Rich, can you give us a few free agents RBs that the Jets may have a shot at? I'm thinking Ben Tate or Reggie Bush?
Rich Cimini (2:39 PM)
Sorry, but it's way too early for that.
Jeff H (Brooklyn, NY)
How would you ultimately characterize Coples rookie year and do you think he has the potential to make the kind of leap that Wilkerson has made from year 1 to year 2?
Rich Cimini (2:40 PM)
You're right, Jeff, Coples has played better recently. The coaches got on him early in the year because of poor practice habits and he has responded well. He has a chance to be a good player if he stays focused.
Jesse M (Raleigh, NC)
Rich,This may be a hard question to answer with the coaching and front office personnel very much up in the air right now, but what are the chances the Jets look at Geno Smith in the upcoming draft? I know you have stated that the Jets view McEllroy as a quality number 2, but with the owner seemingly knowing nothing about football - would a new GM or possibly head coach view McEllroy as a potential starter next year? I realize this question requires speculation and could probably be better answered after seeing McEllroy over the next two games, but I'd like to hear your opinion regardless.Thanks for the quality coverage as always
Rich Cimini (2:43 PM)
The Jets will be picking in the top 15, and I don't think Smith is worth a pick that high. I could be wrong; I haven't spent a lot of time on college players yet. I'm looking forward to seeing Smith vs. my alma mater in the Pinstripe Bowl.
oscarfactor (kansas city)
Does the level of dysfunction within the Jets organization currently rival that of the Kotite years? The end of the Joe Walton era? Lou Holtz? Charley Winner?
Rich Cimini (2:44 PM)
LOL, that's an interesting question. I know this may shock some people, but I wasn't around for Holtz and Winner. But things were pretty crazy during the Kotite years.
westcoastjetsfan (los angeles)
I have now doubt that Woody Johnson is upset with the way this season has unfolded, but do you sense he sees just how EMBARRASSING this franchise has become the past two years?
Rich Cimini (2:45 PM)
With Woody, you never know. He's in his own world. But, you're right, he's pissed.
Do you think the Jets will be looking to keep Landry and Bell?
Rich Cimini (2:46 PM)
I'm sure they'd like to keep both, but Landry will be too expensive. Bell is a possibility.
David Y. (Manhattan)
The jets are looking at 3 new coordinators if Westoff retires, Pettine leaves and Sparano gets fired. Why would solid coordinator(s) candidates come to the Jets with the threat of a bad season and being fired after the year? They are really in a no win position.
Rich Cimini (2:47 PM)
Hey Rich, great work as always. We all know it starts at the top with this organization. Can we ever expect Woody to step back and give the keys to the organization to someone who is compitent enough to build through the draft like every successful team (Packers, Steelers, Giants, Pats), instead of trading picks and signing over priced free agents?
Rich Cimini (2:48 PM)
Well, he gives up the keys but he keeps asking for a ride in the car.
Rich, first Woody pulls the rug out from Mangini by bringing in Favre, who never wanted to be here and poisoned the team chemistry. Next, Rex comes in and basically takes over Mangini's team (most of the same coaches, players, etc.). However, Mangini was smart enough to dump Sanchez and Edwards on the Jets once he landed in Cleveland. My point, Mangini built the team that went to the Championship games and I feel that I'm of the minority opinion that he not only should have remained the Jets coach, but that it's amazing another team hasn't hired him (the Cleveland situation was terrible; a no-win situation for anyone). Thanks for all of your great work!
Rich Cimini (2:49 PM)
Eric is one of the smartest football people I've been around, and I think he could succeed if he changes his PR skills and gets into the right spot.
Rich, do you think there is a good chance that Greg McElroy could become the Jets starter in 2013?
Rich Cimini (2:49 PM)
Hi Rich, I am a Redskins fan, but I was wondering if you think that Kirk Cousins is on the Jets radar as a possible QB solution?
Rich Cimini (2:50 PM)
Maybe but why would the Redskins give up a good, inexpensive backup?
What are the chances that Coach Ryan abandons his "Ground & Pound" approach and adopts a more pass-oriented offense? Nobody but Rex still believes in that type of offense anymore, not even the Steelers.
Rich Cimini (2:52 PM)
I agree. You need to score points in this league. The rules have changed to promote passing and scoring, and it's hard to win 17-14 games on a consistent basis.
Any chance the Jets put a francise tag on Landry?
Rich Cimini (2:53 PM)
They can't. There's a clause in his contract that prohibits the franchise tag.
It's probably too early to talk about personnel for next year since so much will depend on who the GM/coach/Off. coord. will be...but in your opinion, what should the Jets look for with their first round pick? Pass rushing LB, RB...QB? Thanks.
Rich Cimini (2:53 PM)
You're right, way too early, but they have a lot of obvious needs -- QB, RB, OLB, S, WR, etc.
Rich, I turn 30 in March. I've been a Jets fan for 25 years. Please tell me there's hope for the future? I can't take much more of this dysfunctional franchise. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
Rich Cimini (2:54 PM)
I'd like to give you something positive, Anthony, but it would be a stretch. Brace yourself, it's gonna be a long winter.
Bart Scott was another complete failure for the GM & Coach (see Chris Johnson's 94-yd TD). Is Demario Davis ready to step-in to the ILB position next year (full-time)?
Rich Cimini (2:56 PM)
You'd better hope so.
I have been arguing with my friends about this, we will let your expert opinion rule here. Who was the worse draft pick? Gholson or Sanchez? Gholston was awful, but Sanchez has wasted two great teams and set them back years now. Your thoughts?
Rich Cimini (2:56 PM)
Not even close -- Gholston. He's one of the worst, ever, for any team.
Rich, what do you think the chances of sparano getting fired if rex ryan is still the coach next year? Also how do you think the o line will look like opening day 2013?
Rich Cimini (2:57 PM)
Sparano is gone.
Who's the most likely Jets' 2013 free agent to end-up on the Patriots' roster next year?
Rich Cimini (2:57 PM)
Rich, why don't Jets play Jordan White to see what they have in him!?
Rich Cimini (2:57 PM)
Believe me, they know.
Rich Cimini (2:59 PM)
Sorry, everyone, but I'm out of time. We had a ton of questions. I apologize for not getting to more, but thanks for writing in. Hey, no one asked a Chargers question? Kidding. Have a great weekend, a happy holiday and we'll do it again next week. Take care, Rich