Jets’ Buster Skrine: ‘You can’t rebuild in New York’

Plenty of folks don’t have very high expectations for the New York Jets.

With a quarterback room filled with Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, it’s hard to blame them. But don’t count Buster Skrine as one of their cheap mets jerseys.

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“You can’t rebuild in New York,” Skrine told ESPN. “Because y’all will eat us up. Ain’t no rebuilding here. It’s getting right to the point. This is a competing team. We still have the players to compete.”

Brought in as a free-agent addition before the 2015 season, Skrine was an acquisition for a team that was ready to contend. That Jets squad finished just outside the playoffs with a 10-6 record, and things seemed to be trending toward a postseason appearance in 2016. Then the wheels fell off.

Skrine has a point: The Jets do still have a handful of players that make them somewhat competitive. But New York has also bid adieu to Nick Mangold, Brandon Marshall and Darrelle Revis, among others. It’s been a signal that the team is deconstructing to start over with new pieces. The Jets are going young, and with youth and roster anonymity usually comes more losses than wins. But Skrine is under contract for three more seasons, so he has to trumpet his franchise’s chances.

Having played for the Browns from 2011-2014, he’s also been part of cheap replica jerseys and a few internal detonations.

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“I’m going into my seventh year and I played for Cleveland, so I’ve seen it happen,” he said. “Sometimes you have to figure out the right formula for the team, and I trust Coach (Todd) Bowles. Every morning, he’s up at 4:30. I trust (Jets GM Mike) Maccagnan. I trust everybody. I know they’ve got something up their sleeve. They’re going to make it work.

Cleveland holds the No. 1 pick, and the club is considering not only the consensus favorite for the choice, Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett, but a quarterback as well, according to an ESPN report. The Jets select at No. 6. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky figure to be the most tantalizing options at the position.

“I don’t think they should take a QB at No. 6. I think that would be a big mistake,” Jeremiah said of the Jets. “You’d basically be admitting you made a big mistake in taking a quarterback (Christian Hackenberg) in the second round last year. You identify a wasted second-round pick last year, you’d cost yourself the opportunity to get a great player at another position at No. 6 this year, and you probably take yourself out of the quarterback market next year. Without getting ahead of ourselves, when you look at what could be available, I think it’s going to be a much better group next year than we have this year.”

Brooks suggested a quarterback could potentially be the right move for the Jets at No. 6, but agreed with Jeremiah that it’s not the right play for la kings jersey cheap Cleveland at No. 1.

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Nike Jets #5 Christian Hackenberg White Men's Stitched NFL Vapor Untouchable Limited Jersey“I don’t believe there is a quarterback worthy of being the No. 1 pick,” Brooks said. “… With Myles Garrett jersey, you’re getting a guy that is solid. He plays a premier position and should be able to play that position for the next 8-10 years at a very high level, in a division where you need to be able to get after the passer.”

The pick gives New York one of the draft’s most talented defenders, a hard-hitting, downhill tackler who exits college renowned by his former teammates and coaches as one of the best leaders in LSU lore.

“I think this is the second-best football player in the draft,” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said after Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the selection.

The 6-foot, 214-pound Adams joins a wanting Jets secondary that includes Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor at the safety spots. The rookie will be given a chance to step in and shake up the pecking order right away for third-year coach Todd Bowles.

“He can play all over the field and he could have an immediate impact on defense just like Landon Collins jersey did coming out (for the Giants),” one scout told cheapjersey. “I love him. I think he’s a winner.”

The Jets have now used nine straight first-round picks on defensive players since taking quarterback Mark Sanchez in 2009. And why not, considering Gang Green has ranked in the bottom half of the league in scoring defense in five of the past six seasons.

The Jets have a long way to go to challenge for the AFC East, but Thursday’s decision gives this team one of the draft’s most treasured assets. It’s a start.

Jets owner: Todd Bowles isn’t under playoff mandate

Missing the playoffs in 2017 would not automatically trigger the firing of Jets head coach Todd Bowles, according to owner Woody Johnson.

“No, I really don’t like mandates because they normally don’t work — lines in the sand, whatever,” Johnson said.

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“You don’t want to judge it that way. The way we’ll judge it is getting better each and every year and seeing it in our players — our young players. Are they getting better or are they going the other way?”

This week was not an easy one in Florham Park, New Jersey, where Jets jersey ownership and general manager Mike Maccagnan had to face the music following a 5-11 season (Maccagnan, as I write this, is also taking his lumps on several New York-area radio stations). As I’ve noted in the past, these are not typically fun times for owners and GMs. By design, they don’t speak frequently during the season and end up getting hit with a multitude of questions that the press is tired of asking the head coach. Or, they are hit with questions that are above the head coach’s pay grade.

One major question mark was second-round pick Christian Hackenberg, who sat the entire 2016 season despite three different quarterbacks going down or getting benched ahead of him.

“This will be a big offseason for him,” Maccagnan said. “We’ll have a better feel for it when we get to training camp with cheap jerseys from China next year.”

When asked if he regretted drafting Hackenberg, Maccagnan had this to say:

“You make the best decision at the time,” Maccagnan said. “I’m not necessarily in the business of looking back. We’re focused on making sure Christian can develop into the player and fulfill the potential we think he has.”

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Geno Smith remains on the roster, which gives little comfort to a fan base that has now lived decades without a franchise quarterback and — for now — doesn’t even have a stopgap measure to rally around. That is what Fitzpatrick is, after all: an able placeholder for 2016, but probably not much more beyond that. Smith could wind up as everything from the starter to out of the building. Bryce Petty is still a work in progress. And receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall sent video clips to Fitzpatrick of plays they were watching from last season as the team began its offseason workouts earlier this week. It was the football equivalent of a “wish you were here” postcard. On Tuesday night, Fitzpatrick was spotted at the New York Rangers’ playoff game in the company of Decker and Nick Mangold — while Hoyer was out to dinner with the Jets’ decision makers — leaving fans to wonder if such a public display of affection among teammates could mean a deal is imminent.

New York Jets #12 Joe Namath Green Player Winning Method Pullover NFL HoodieDon’t bet on it quite yet. Fitzpatrick may seem to be out of other viable options for the next stop on his peripatetic career path. But he remains, indisputably, the best option for the Jets — he is coming off a career year and developed terrific chemistry with Marshall and Decker — and this contract staredown has gone on far longer than anybody could have expected, with Fitzpatrick wanting closer to top-of-the-market money and the Jets stuck on something that much more resembles an offer for a top-of-the-line backup.

The Jets have endured significant movement this offseason — gone are Chris Ivory, Damon Harrison, Demario Davis and, most recently, the retired left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson — and they have added Matt Forte and Ryan Clady, among others. Mo Wilkerson remains on the franchise tag, but he is not participating in the workouts and is most often talked about right now as a potential trade chip if the Jets choose to swoop far up in the draft order to select a quarterback. There isn’t much question that the Jets have taken a step back this offseason in personnel. But with a brutal schedule staring them in the face, the idea of starting the season without Fitzpatrick is still the greatest obstacle to these Jets taking the final step into the playoffs.

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Ironically, the upcoming draft should make Fitzpatrick look more attractive, not less. He is the ideal elder statesman to have in the starting role, which would allow a younger player to develop behind him. The Jets have picked a quarterback in each of the last three drafts (Petty, Tajh Boyd and Smith) and a stunning 10 since the 2000 draft, when they took Chad Pennington. Pennington was, in retrospect, the closest the Jets have gotten to settling the position since Joe Namath. But all those drafted quarterbacks point to the Jets’ — to the sport’s — desperation to find the most critical piece of the puzzle. Look no further than the Rams and the Eagles — who already have a presumed starter and top backup on the roster — moving up to draft one for evidence of how critical it is to settle the position.

The Jets have been trying to find a keeper at the position for years and no one has panned out over the long haul. But Fitzpatrick brought them a needed measure of stability and competence — they don’t always go in concert — last season, taking over the starting job when Smith was punched by a teammate and then delivering the best statistical season of his career and of the Jets’ pained history. Now the Jets have the rare opportunity — rare for this franchise — to engineer a smooth transition into the future. But to do it with cheap jerseys, they have to keep Fitzpatrick. And then look to the draft for the intriguing option it could present.

The Jets started their season with a 23-22 home loss to the Bengals in which they missed an extra point and had a chip-shot field goal blocked. Two weeks later, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw seven interceptions in a loss at Kansas City that included an argument between Brandon Marshall and Sheldon Richardson that Darrelle Revis later said left a “dark cloud” over the team.

The season spiraled from there. The Jets never won more than two in a row and lost five games by at least 21 points.

So Marshall’s right, the diaper got dirty quick. And to extend this scatological analogy a bit further, Todd Bowles proved incapable of changing the Huggies. Or, to take it in yet another direction, the Jets — with no Super Bowl appearances since the 1968 season — have been unable to get out of diapers for the past 49 years. They’re an old guy in diapers. That’s no good.

Is Revis Island nearing its end in New York?

For years and years, Revis Island has been a destination few receivers found luxurious. That locale contained only a shackled shed of frustration stalked by one deadly shark named Darrelle.

The New York Jets open the season Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals jerseys. One would think this would be the ideal situation for Darrelle Revis to lock A.J. Green jersey on that famous island. With Cincinnati breaking in new receivers opposite the No. 1 target, the Jets’ defense could seize the upper hand if Revis shuts down Green one-on-one.

But the 31-year-old Revis won’t spend the whole day matched up with the Bengals Pro Bowl receiver.

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“It won’t be just Revis; it will be a lot of people,” defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said on Thursday, via ESPN. “A.J. is a tremendous player. We’ve got to have 11 sets of eyes, knowing where he is. … It’s not necessarily a one-on-one matchup.”

Added coach Todd Bowles: “That’s just one of many matchups and cheap jerseys. It’s a team effort, and we’ve got to pick our spots, and I’m sure they have to pick their spots. It’s not even about Revis and Green; it’s about us against them.”

Revis is coming off wrist surgery and missed portions of the offseason program. The veteran understands the reason for authentic football jerseys and the game plan entering Sunday’s tilt.

“To start the season off, we have to be cautious a little bit because we have some tough games coming ahead,” Revis said. “I think the game plan this week is very comfortable for everybody.

“We’re going to try to switch things up a little bit this week for us to maybe wear (down) some of their guys on offense, just wear ’em down a little bit,” Revis added. “That’s just mixing guys in and out or lining up guys in the scheme we’re trying to do.”

While this isn’t likely the end of Revis Island, we are inching closer and closer to an island clearance sale. In 2015, Revis showed signs of age, getting burned by younger, speedier receivers like DeAndre Hopkins jersey and Sammy Watkins.

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Well-publicized interest in both Kaepernick and Hoyer makes sense: It puts the squeeze on Fitzpatrick’s camp. Among the teams inquiring about Kaepernick — the Browns and Broncos lead the way, per NFL Media columnist Michael Silver and Rapoport — the Jets are seen as the least serious party.

Still, the Jets under general manager Mike Maccagnan have operated as a no-nonsense franchise, boldly swinging a trade last offseason for wideout Brandon Marshall and adding running back Matt Forte jersey on Wednesday.

Fitzpatrick was surprisingly productive for the Jets last season, but Maccagnan and the team don’t appear willing to overpay for a career journeyman. Hoyer would come cheap after the Texans put all their chips and wholesale NFL jerseys on the table to land former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler.

“It wasn’t just the turnovers, we didn’t play well at all in either phase of the ballgame and we took an ass kicking,” Bowles said during his post-game press conference. “It wasn’t just Ryan. I can name a bunch of people and I can start with the coaches too. It was a (expletive) game plan, (expletive) execution, and it was (expletive) all around.”

Bowles wasn’t done ripping his squad. This line from veteran beat writer Rich Cimini sums it up well: Unofficially, Bowles had almost as many expletives in his postgame news conference (five) as Fitzpatrick interceptions (six).

“When nothing works, you have to change everything,” he said. “It was a (expletive) game plan, obviously by the score, and the execution of it was (expletive). You can’t point to one thing. You have to get back to the drawing board and coach better.”

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Nike Jets #22 Matt Forte Green Player Pullover NFL HoodieThe Jets had eight turnovers while earning 305 yards of offense. The defense allowed Alex Smith his first 100-plus passer rating day since Week 15 of last year. Smith carved up the Jets secondary for 237 passing yards and a TD; 89 of those yards and the score going to tight end Travis Kelce.

Fitzpatrick was miserable, completing 20 of 44 passes for 188 yards, zero touchdowns, and six INTs for an 18.2 passer rating.

Ryan has a lot of respect for the game and probably has an inherent respect for Fitzpatrick given his career longevity and history as an underdog. But Ryan also knows his own stats better than just about any coach in the NFL, and he has to walk into games against Fitzpatrick feeling pretty good.

There is a perception of Fitzpatrick that could be underlining his tenure with the Jets, and might be the reason the team has been so hesitant to fork over a balky salary package. As Darryl Slater of NJ.com points out, if you remove the Texans and Bills (2) from New York’s schedule in 2015, more than half of their wholesale jerseys and remaining opponents finished 20th or worse in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), a wonderful metric created by Football Outsiders to gauge the true value of a defensive performance.

In 2016, Fitzpatrick faces the Cardinals, Seahawks, Rams, Chiefs, Bengals and Steelers. Oh, and Rex Ryan jersey two more times, of course.