New York Jets Revamp Secondary

It’s not secret the New York Jets were not a good football team in 2014. This was due in large part to an incredibly weak secondary which featured many guys people have not heard of like Phillip Adams and Darrin Walls. It wasn’t long ago when the secondary was a strength for the Jets. In recent years they traded away CB Darrelle Revis and let CB Antonio Cromartie. Well it looks like the gang is getting back together….and then some.

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Revis returns to the Jets

New Jets GM Mike Maccagnan is doing something John Idzik wouldn’t do, spend a dollar. Maccagnan has been busy retooling the Jets secondary bringing back both Darrelle Revis (5 years, $70 million) and Antonio Cromartie (4 years, $32 million). This duo played together with the Jets from 2010-2012 when the Jets had one of the most feared defenses under Rex Ryan. Revis is coming off of a Super Bowl season that saw him play some of his best football of his career. Cromartie played last year for the Arizona Cardinals on a 1 year $3.5 million deal under defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Bowles is now the Jets head coach and wanted to bring back Cromartie whom at 30 years old still has football left in the tank.

The Jets have also added CB Buster Skrine (4 years, $25 million) formerly of the Cleveland Browns and CB/S Marcus Gilchrist (4 years, $22 million) of the San Diego Chargers. Skrine figures to be the nickel corner which pushes former 1st round pick Dee Milliner to the #4 corner and last years 3rd round pick Dexter McDougle as the #5 corner. Gilchrist was drafted initially as a corner but has played both strong and free safety. Although free safety is not his best position, with the corners currently on the roster and last years 1st round pick Calvin Pryor slated to play strong safety, it looks as though Gilchrist will be the starting free safety.

An interesting possibility is moving Antonio Cromartie to free safety which I think will be discussed. Cromartie has long been known for his ball hawking abilities with 31 career interceptions and as he gets older, he may be better suited to cover space and not a player. Charles Woodson was initially a cornerback before he realized as he got older, he was better suited for the safety role. I think the same could be said here for the Jets, especially with the depth they now have at corner.

Awaiting the Return of Matt Harvey

imgres-8New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey took Major League Baseball by storm during his first year and a half. Some would say he was the hottest young pitcher the majors had seen since Stephen Strasburg came on the scene with the Nationals. In 2012, the then 23 year old Harvey bursted onto the scene in just 10 starts. Harvey posted a 3-5 record for the under performing Mets but held a 2.73 ERA while striking out 70 batters in just 59 1/3 innings. Despite a small sample size of just 10 starts, Met fans were eager for the 2013 season. Harvey delivered on all the hype in 2013. In 26 starts, Harvey posted a record of 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA with 191 strikeouts in 178 and 1/3 innings for the Mets. He was good enough to earn the start for the National League team at the All Star break which took place in front of his home fans at Citi Field.

Many young pitchers have been put on innings restrictions in order to avoid injury and Harvey was no different. At the break, he was on pace to reach about 250 innings, too many for a young arm. Moving forward, Harvey was on a innings restriction. Unfortunately in late August, Harvey was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL and hit the DL. While he tried to rehab it, the Mets discovered he needed surgery in October. A huge blow to the Mets as some pitchers have never returned the same from such an injury.

After missing all of the 2014 season, Harvey is ready to get back on the mound and help show everyone he’s still got it. Now 25, Harvey wants to show everyone the best is yet to come and he has all of his prime to show that. Harvey plans to be ready for Opening Day on April 6th but the Mets will have to take a look at what he’s got during Spring Training. The Mets look to have a formidable young trio in Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Zack Wheeler. A lot of the Mets success will depend on the health of Matt Harvey in 2015.

New York Knicks, Shaking Things Up a Bit More?

The New York Knicks are suffering through another dismal season. At 10-41, they not only sit in the basement of the Eastern Conference, they’re also in the basement of the entire NBA. While it’s not all Derek Fisher’s fault, the first year head coach does need to shoulder some of the blame. The Knicks lost many players throughout the regular season to injury and there was never a rotation that clicked. While Carmelo Anthony has NBA: New York Knicks at Charlotte Bobcatsmissed some time, so has Amare Stoudemire, Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, Pablo Prigioni, and recent cast offs Iman Shumpert and JR Smith. The new look Knicks have recently been putting a lineup on the floor that features some sort of combination of Anthony, Calderon, Lou Amundson, Lance Thomas, Jason Smith, Langston Galloway, and Tim Hardaway Jr. To say it has not clicked is an understatement. Now the Knicks face another obstacle.

Amare Stoudemire signed a 5 year $100 million deal following the 2009-2010 season with the Knicks and many thought there were good days ahead for the Knicks. Amare certainly delivered in that first season posting 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game while suiting up for 78 games, a great feat for the oft-injured Stoudemire. Things turned for the worse following that season however. Amare has played in just 175 games over the last 4 seasons and is currently battling an ankle injury.

With the All-Star weekend in New York this coming weekend, Stoudemire is going to take the time off to think about his future. Stoudemire wants to play for a contender and may ask for a buyout. A buyout may be best for the two sides at this stage of the contract. With under a half year left on the deal, both sides should be able to reach a deal amicably and Stoudemire can play for a contender while the Knicks can fill his roster spot with a young player to audition to play for the Knicks in 2015-2016. One prime candidate to fill Stoudemire’s roster spot is 2014 2nd round draft pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo who is currently playing with the Knicks D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. The Knicks and Amare certainly have a decision to make in the coming week. Look for a decision early next week following the All-Star weekend festivities.

What Will Mack Brown’s Fate Be?

As University of Texas head coach Mack Brown awaits his fate, the growing list of potential candidates to take his job continues to lengthen and reach levels of heightened lunacy. We’ve heard the names of Nick Saban, David Shaw, Knute Rockne, Vince Lombardi. Jim Harbaugh’s name is somehow in the mix because he has yet to sign an extension from the 49ers that was offered to him at the start of the season.

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Who will coach at the University of Texas?

Harbaugh publicly stated that the only job he’ll talk about is the one he currently has. That statement further provided fresh grist for the rumor mill. Harbaugh is coaching a team that has the talent to compete for Super Bowls. While Texas is a coveted gig, with a potential to earn gobs of green in a fertile recruiting ground, Harbaugh would ┬áseem, as least to me, moving backwards even if he considered this job. Harbaugh is hungry to win the pinnacle of the sport, the Super Bowl and has the resources to do it with a strong supporter in Jed York.

Yes, Harbaugh must cede personnel matters to Trent Balke, but that’s not enough motivation to drive him to Texas. We aren’t talking about Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban or Bobby Petrino. Guys ill-suited for the NFL and hungry to get back into the college game. The 49ers are moving into a brand new stadium in Santa Clara next season, ushering in another chapter of this Harbaugh regime. He doesn’t even have to move away from where he grew up. He’s stayed in the same spot with his family even when he coached at Stanford. Harbaugh rejected USC already. He’s staying in San Francisco. Now Knute Rockne on the other hand..