Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Michael Vick awarded $100 million from Eagles


From convicted felon to multi-millionare.

Yes, post jail dog life has been good for Michael Vick as he was given a new six year $100 million deal from the Philadelphia Eagles to remain their starter.

It's not like this wasn't coming. The Eagles dealt Kevin Kolb a month ago, after Vick had an incredible 2010 season, where he re-established himself as one of the game's most talented football players.

Vick will earn $40 million guaranteed on the contract, making him one of the highest paid players in the league.

This will be a slap in the face to those dog rights activists, who are sick and tired of Vick getting all kinds of second chances and accolades. I agree with these people -- Vick has gotten more kudos than he deserves and awarding him with this much money sends the wrong message that anyone can get away with anything.

Still, the NFL is a performance first league. Nobody cares in the NFL what your personal history is. If you play well, you will get paid. From that standpoint, one can't blame the Eagles for breaking the bank for Vick; he's been the best thing that's happened to the Eagles in a very long time.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Jets and Giants both struggle in NY vs. NY clash

JETS 17
GIANTS 3

This was ugly.

Sure it is preseason, but by the looks of it, neither the Jets nor the Giants are ready for the regular season. Typically the third preseason game is the dress rehearsal for Week 1, and after tonight neither team can look at this game and feel confident about where they are.

Let's begin with the Giants.

Their offense was sloppy all night long. Five time in the first half, the Giants were faced with third down inside Jets territory, and each time, they failed to convert. Then, when they went for it on fourth down, they were either short or called back for a penalty.

This has been a pattern all summer. The Giant inability to cash in on third down has cost them points at the most inopportune times. Last night's exhibition against the Jets was an embarrassment for the Giants mainly because Gang Green was not doing anything to stop them through the air; Eli Manning threw for 200 yards in the contest.

Defensively, the Giants did a solid job against the Jets passing attack. The D neutralized Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes downfield, holding Burress to zero catches in fact, and forced Mark Sanchez to check down all night long.

So while there are concerns about the Giants secondary after the number of injuries they have endured, they did a very nice job against the Jets to give their fans some confidence heading into the season.

And then there is this: Brandon Jacobs. Does Brandon Jacobs have to treat an NFL football game like it's MMA? Really!? How many times was Jacobs seen taking shots at Jets players; it was embarrassing. It even got to the point that he was ejected from the game for taking a punch at Jets rookie Muhammad Wilkerson; moreover,it has reached the point with Jacobs that the Giants have to decide to keep him or to cut him loose. He took a pay cut to be in the team, and he's not even the number one back anymore. More stupidity from Jacobs and he is going to hurt this team in a big way.

Now for the Jets. Where was the offense? Sure the Giants did a great job in coverage, but the Jets looked like a team that hadn't practiced in weeks. Their big, physical receivers couldn't get off the ball and couldn't get separation. The running game was non-existent; they racked up only 43 yards on the ground in the first half, and 73 yards of total offense in the first half. It was humiliating, like watching Paul Hackett's offense again. Dink here, dunk there, then punt.

Still the Jets showed fans a reason why they can be explosive. After the Giants grabbed a 3-0 lead, Antonio Cromartie's 68 yard kick return reminded you that the Jets do have an dynamite kick returner not named Brad Smith. Then Mark Sanchez's 17 yard rope to Santonio Holmes for the go-ahead touchdown was the lone highlight of the night. It displayed the kind of power the Jets offense possesses and how quickly they can score at any point in a game.

Defensively the Jets bent but didn't break. The Giants chewed them up for yards, including a bone headed play by Bart Scott, who had a clear shot at Ahmad Bradshaw in the backfield but missed him. Bradshaw chugged down field for 29 yards. Yet, when the Jets needed to make plays defensively, they did. They knocked passes away inside the red zone, and, in the third quarter, the Jets second string defense did a great job in a goal line stand against the Giants first string offense, forcing Big Blue to turn the ball over on fourth and goal.

So overall, an uneven display by both New York teams. Are they ready for the regular season? NO!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New York teams cancel games with Irene on the move

All of New York's professional sports franchises have canceled or postponed their games for the weekend.

The Yankees were scheduled to play a double header in Baltimore this afternoon, but those games were postponed. They are also scheduled to play Sunday -- that is probably postponed as well.

Meanwhile the New York Mets canceled their entire series with the Atlanta Braves. After playing a 6-0 victory over Atlanta last night, the Mets and Braves agreed to not play the remaining two games of the series.

And the Jets and Giants have agreed to move Saturday's football contest to Monday night at 7 p.m.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene affects start time of Jets-Giants clash

Hurricane Irene, which is being categorized as possibly the worst hurricane to hit the East Coast of the United States, ever, has caused the Jets vs. Giants match-up to be moved.

Originally scheduled for 7 pm, the battle of New York will now take place at 2 pm on Saturday afternoon, which gives fans who attend the game a chance to get home to be with their families.

Irene is scheduled to hit North Carolina sometime late today, and will slowly climb up the east coast.

It is not expected to hit New Jersey until 8 am, Sunday morning, but the storms presence will surely be felt in the next 48 hours, before it lands in the metropolitan area, with rain on Saturday.

Everyone is encouraged to stay home if they can.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Triple Coverage at Connecticut School of Broadcasting

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to help out some good friends at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ.

Needing someone to man the boards and co-host the show, I stepped in to lend a helping hand.

Take a listen to the podcast, here!!!

For your own information, I will be starting my own podcast on FlippinOut Radio on Friday September 2 at 2 pm. log onto www.stereodigital.com/for for more details.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Big Blues: Giants lose three players to injury for the season

If things couldn't get worse for the New York Giants when they received word that Osi Umenyiora would miss a month due to a knee injury, Big Blue received word Tuesday that they will be without three more players, only this time it will be for the season.

During the second quarter of their 41-13 victory against the Bears Monday night, cornerback Terrell Thomas tore his ACL when he got tangled up with a teammate and rolled over on his leg as he fell. The loss of Thomas is huge considering he was one of the leaders in tackles on the team with 101, including four forced fumbles and five interceptions. He was the Giants' best corner, and, as a team that has had secondary issues in the past, this is a loss that will hurt all season.

To add insult to injury, the Giants lost Marvin Austin, torn pectoral muscle, and reserve corner back, Brian Witherspoon to a torn ACL. Both players are to miss the season as well. Granted nobody knows what kind of impact Austin and Witherspoon would have made on this team, but, without them, the Giants will be depleted on the depth chart.

Also, add to this list that first round pick Prince Amukamara, who was expected to be a big contributor in the Giants secondary, broke his foot three weeks ago and is out for 10 weeks.

Coach Tom Coughlin tried to put a happy face on this situation, saying: "I think our guys will come rallying back. Certainly it will be a bigger plus if we find there are contributors. Some of the people we have here, some of the people we may be able to discover, if they can help us and contribute it will be a big plus. I think our guys will continue to believe in themselves. We're going to have to push our way through this."

No matter how the coach tries to sugar coat this, the Giants are in trouble. With so many injuries to their defense, it will be very hard for the Giants to remain competitive all season.

This is a clear result of the NFL Lockout. There was always a fear that many players would get injured in camp and during the course of the season because there wasn't a normal off-season and work out regime for players to follow. This is not to make an excuse for the players that are injured on the Giants; they had to take care of themselves, and I am sure they did the best they could, but, let's face it, this is a direct aftershock of the lockout.

What will the Giants do from here on will go a long way in determining where this team goes this season. After a inactive off-season where the Giants did absolutely nothing in free agency, these injuries only make things worse for Big Blue. An 8-8 season might be the best they can do this year. We shall see.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sanchez, Burress sharp as Jets roll past Bengals

JETS 27
BENGALS 7

For the first time in almost three years Plaxico Burress stepped onto an NFL field to play a game. It has been a long road for the former New York Giant receiver, and he made the most of this opportunity. Buress, who was thrown in jail in 2008 for possessing an illegal firearm in a New York City nightclub, now knows the mortality of his life and football career.

Once considered a guy who was notorious for being lazy in clubhouse meetings and on the football field, he has been, as far as we know, a good soldier with the New York Jets. Everyone who knows him claims that Burress is playing with a chip on his shoulder that he has something to prove.

Sunday night, Burress looked like he had never left the NFL in November 2008. Out of the gate, Burress hauled in a 20 yard pass from Mark Sanchez for a Jets first down to open the contest.

Later in the first half, Burress dove for a Mark Sanchez pass near the end zone, caught it with one hand, tucked it in and scored a touchdown to give Gang Green a 17-7 lead. Redemption!

Overall, the Jets first stringers delivered a solid effort against the bumbling Bengals. Sanchez was very sharp, completing 13 0f 20 for 173 yards and two touchdowns, including a 16 yard strike to Santonio Holmes for the Jets first score.

Still there were problems. For a period of time the Jets offense couldn't get off the ground. On their first drive, after the Burress 20 yard catch, the Jet offense stalled, forcing New York to attempt a 44 yard field goal, which Nick Folk missed in Nick Folk style.

Later in the second quarter, after the Jets got a turnover, with possession at the Bengals 10, they couldn't plug it in for the score, recording a net loss of two yards on the entire drive. The Jets again, settled for the field goal to take a 10-0 lead.

Defensively the Jets were crisp. They held the Bengals to 12 first downs, and kept rookie quarterback Andy Dalton in check with 86 yards passing on 8-of-19 passing with two picks. Also former Buffalo Bills bust Aaron Maybin, whom the Jets picked up as a free agent, looked good. He recorded a forced fumble on a clean hit to the quarterback and was in on a few plays as well. The Jets hope Maybin doesn't turn into another Vernon Gholston.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Osi Umenyiora to miss 3-4 weeks with injury



The Osi Umenyiora saga continues to get even more bizarre.

First Umenyiora wanted a new contract or else a trade to a team that would pay him. The Giants granted him permission to seek a trade, then pulled it away from him.

When Umenyiora returned to practice, he didn't play much because of a supposed knee injury.

That injury will now sideline Umenyiora for a month; he underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove debris from the knee, and it will take Umenyiora 4-6 weeks to completely recover and return to the field.

This means he is guaranteed to miss the first three weeks of the regular season.

The Giants say that it was Umenyiora's decision to get the knee scoped, which makes one wonder if this was a way of protest by the lineman who feels he's underpaid. Fact is Umenyiora is making $7.1 million this season.

Injuries are nothing knew for Osi. He missed the entire 2008 season after injuring his leg in a pre-season game against the Jets.

Now with Umenyiora out, the Giants will lean heavily on second year man Jason Pierre-Paul, who recorded two sacks last week in Carolina. Pierre-Paul is a highly touted lineman, with a great motor, and power. This is his chance to step up.

The surgery is also a negotiating tool for the Giants; if Umenyiora complains about his contract again, the Giants can point to the injuries and won't have to overpay him in the near future.

Plaxico Burress to start for Jets on Sunday

After missing the past week with a ankle injury, Plaxico Burress is ready to rock and roll in his first game back in the NFL since being released from jail for illegal gun possession.

Burress hasn't played in a game in 1,001 days, his last game coming in 2008 when the Giants took on the Baltimore Ravens at the old Giants Stadium. For Burress it has been a long time coming - a moment he has waited for for over two years.

He always says that he's a changed man, and believes he can be the player he once was with the Giants from 2005 - 2008.

Burress finally practiced this week with Gang Green, even making a few acrobatic catches along the way -- now it is time to take the wrapping of the Jets big free agent prize.

The Jets play host to the Bengals at 7 pm on Sunday.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jets fall to Texans in preseason opener

TEXANS 20
JETS 16

If the New York Jets have any plans of going to the Super Bowl this year, there is still miles to go and a lot more work to be done. That being said, this was the first preseason game, and a game played mostly by rookies and undrafted players who may be destined for your local supermarket, but the game raised plenty of issues with regard to the way the Jets played in Houston.

Once again the Jets offense fizzled inside the 20 yard line. The Jets got great field position at the Texans 41-yard line but managed to drive the ball only to the 15 yard line before Mark Sanchez was sacked for a loss on third down, forcing Gang Green to settle for a field goal.

The facts is settling for field goals was a big problem for the Jets the past two seasons. This team never finished a drive, as Sanchez was either sacked or threw a dreary incompletion. Monday did little to soothe Rex Ryan's concerns about this offense which looked quite mediocre.

The only bright spot from this offense was Shonn Greene, who exhibited a great burst of energy in his brief time on the field. Greene accrued 32 yards on five carries, and it is clear that he is ready to take the lead as the team's number one H-back.

Once the Jets starters left the field with a 3-0 lead, the second string moved into putrid territory. Missed tackles and miscommunication on defense, led to Houston taking a 13-3 halftime lead. It got so bad that Rex Ryan exploded onto the field and slammed his headset onto the turf when he noticed that too many Jets were on the field.

Offensively, back-up Greg McElroy delivered a incomplete effort. While the kid toughed it out, he made a bunch of bonehead decisions, such as deciding to run with the football with 0:05 left in the game with the Jets down 4, and needing a touchdown. Realizing that he needed to throw it, he tossed the ball into the end zone, but he was ten yards past the line of scrimmage, which is a penalty.

Other than that, McElroy displayed little accuracy and made it clear that his arm is weak enough to make Chad Pennington look like Dan Marino. Now you know why the back-up quarterback position is a big concern for Gang Green this year.

Meanwhile the midget who replaced the incomparable Brad Smith, Jeremy Kerley, was only so-so in his debut with the Jets. He didn't display much in the way of burst away speed and executed nothing special on yards after the catch. He did have one nice 34 yard kick return. Conclusion: no matter how much the Jets try to spin this, they will not replace Brad Smith.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Keys to Success: Why the sky won't fall on the New York Giants

As promised last week, here is my preview of the New York Giants football team.

Written on Bleacher Report, I analyze the key players who have to produce to make this Giants team a success this year.

The Giants didn't make a mega deal during the short off-season, and at times have looked unprepared in their approach when it came to signing players.

Yet there is talent in East Rutherford. Can they translate it to a solid 2011 season?

Ask any Giants fan this week and they will convince you that the
New York Giants are destined to be a 4-12 football team this season.

Why has a team that won the Super Bowl four short years ago has fallen this far?

The reasons are many. Giant fans have watched Big Blue stink it up down the stretch only to miss the playoffs in each of the last three years.

The Giants have become slapping boys for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants have lost six straight to their arch rivals in the NFC East, including a gut-wrenching 38-31 loss to Philly in December, highlighted by DeSean Jackson's incredible punt return for a touchdown with 0:00 left on the clock.

The Giants have also become the second class citizens in New York. Losing the name Giants Stadium on the side of the building was bad enough, but now nobody wants to talk about the Giants, instead opting to go gaga about Rex Ryan and the Jets.

But most importantly, in a year where teams are signing free agents from left to right, the Giants have done virtually nothing in this post-lockout era.

The Giants watched the Philadelphia Eagles become a monster team, with additions of Cullen Jenkins, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Ronnie Brown, and now former Giants receiver Steve Smith.

The Eagles are building a solid team. The Cowboys are healthy, and in the NFC with strong competition in the NFC North and South, the final playoff spot will be hard to grab this season.

Yet, the Giants don't seem too concerned about adding to their payroll. Jerry Reese insists that Big Blue is in salary cap hell, part of the reason they didn't bring back Kevin Boss, and Smith, and cut veteran lineman Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert. They even watched their Super Bowl hero, Plaxico Burress leave for the Jets.

Then there is the disturbing Osi Umenyiora situation. Umenyiora wants more money, and a new deal. The Giants won't give it to him, and even gave the lineman the opportunity to seek a trade.The Giants pulled Umenyiora's opportunity to get a trade done last week, and now he is simply a disgruntled veteran player at camp.

The Giants look like a mess on paper right now. But is all lost? Are the Giants smart for not bringing back some of their own aging free agents? Let's take a look at this Giants team and figure out if this is a team that will sneak up on people and make it to the postseason.

Mark Sanchez wanted to punch Rex Ryan

In the middle of last season, when the Jets lost two straight games to the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, Jets coach Rex Ryan considered benching quarterback Mark Sanchez.

That's what Sanchez claims in an article featured in GQ Magazine.

Ryan grew warry of Sanchez's poor play against divisional rivals, that he had back-up quarterback Mark Brunell take most of the snaps with the first team during practice that week.

Sanchez said "I wanted to fight him. I was really mad." According to excerpts in the New York Post, Sanchez wanted to aggressively approach Ryan about it during practice, but was cooled down by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Can't blame Ryan for wanting to bench Sanchez. There have been long stretches during his two years in New York, where he wouldn't play well. Remember in 2009 when he put up three straight stinkers at home against the Bills, Dolphins and Jaguars?

Perhaps it was Ryan's way of sending a message to Sanchez. I guess it worked, because Sanchez had a solid post-season, leading the Jets past the Colts and Patriots, en route to the AFC title game.

The Jets begin their quest for a third straight AFC title game appearance, tonight when they play the Houston Texans in the preseason opener.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Uneven results from Giants in pre-season opener vs. Carolina

PANTHERS 20
GIANTS 10

After three weeks of turmoil during which time the Giants did virtually nothing to improve their ball club in the blitzkrieg off-season, Big Blue took to the field for the first time this year and looked pretty pedestrian against a very young Carolina Panthers team.

The Giants allowed the likes of Jimmy Clausen and Cam Newton to rip them to shreds through the air; Big Blue didn't get much pressure at all on the young quarterbacks, thus stressing the need to have Osi Umenyiora back on this football team.

Newton, who was the number one overall pick in April's draft, looked the part, as he zipped passes all over the field, making the Giants secondary look foolish. Newton threw for 134 yards on 8-of-19 passing. Clausen was also sharp for Carolina, 4-of-7 for 69 yards including an 18 yard touchdown to former Bear Greg Olsen.

Overall it was not a good night for the Giants. After Michael Boley's interception return for a touchdown, the G-Men allowed Clausen to drive the Panthers right down the field for the tying score.

As for the Giants offense, you didn't get to see a lot from the first team to make a sound judgement from their performance; however, all of the hand-wringing over the loss of Steve Smith may be for naught if Dominick Hixon continues to progress from his return from a knee injury. Hixon had three catches for 58 yards and might be the Giants answer for number three receiver.

The Giants could have had a better shot to win this game, but shaky kicker Lawrence Tynes missed two field goals that kept Big Blue from taking at least a 16-13 halftime lead.

So where are these Giants after one game? It's hard to tell; it's pre-season, but this is a team that is not as bad as people have feared, but it is far from being a really good football team. The Giants have a lots of work to do in the next week before they play the Bears on August 22.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mike Francesa takes on Rex Ryan in heavy weight battle


Well, those of you who were expecting to witness some fireworks during the interview between Rex Ryan and WFAN host Mike Francesa may have been a tad disappointed, but Francesa did his best to goad Ryan about his boastful proclamations and outlandish statements during his two years as the HC of the NYJ.

Ryan was a good sport; he didn't cave to Francesa's consistent commentary and questioning about his Super Bowl statements, echoing that making bold statements is who he is and he will never apologize for it; however, Ryan did admit early on that some of his statement were for show to ruffle some feathers for fun.

At the end of the interview, Francesa tried to get Ryan to make a prediction about his football team's upcoming season, but Ryan didn't go for the bait, saying, instead, that he expects to win every game, and thus heads into every game believing so.

Well, you know what ... here take a listen to the 32 minute interview. Fantastic stuff. LISTEN!

Francesa also interviewed Darrell Revis, Mark Sanchez, Mike Westoff, and Mike Tannenbaum. Here is the link to the page on WFAN for those interviews.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mike Francesa vs. Rex Ryan, Thursday on WFAN

The match-up that football fans have all been waiting for is set to take place Thursday afternoon at One Jet Drive in Florham Park, NJ.

For two years, WFAN host Mike Francesa has been one of the severest critics of Jets coach Rex Ryan and his football team. Always raising a scornful eyebrow over Ryan's bombastic behavior and proclamations of Super Bowl glory, Francesa has made it a habit to rip the Jets, belittling their accomplishments, and reminding Jets Nation that they have not won the Super Bowl.

On his show on Tuesday, Francesa said that the Jets used to be a tight-lipped organization until Rex Ryan came along, drawing the analogy that Ryan gave everyone "leather jackets" and they believe that they are now "cool." Even echoing, as he's done many times in the past, that the entire Jets persona has changed from the top down, including his once "good friend" Mike Tannenbaum because of Ryan's cockiness.

In April when Ryan's book came out, Francesa felt it nessecary to rip the book as a bust.

Francesa and the Jets have had a rough relationship the last two years. Woody Johnson hasn't allowed players onto Mike'd Up, because of their contract with another radio channel, at least according to Francesa. As a result, it seemed at times that the Jets didn't exist in the New York market.

Listen to these excerpts from Francesa's show on Rex Ryan and the Jets.
LISTEN to CUT 1!
LISTEN to CUT 2!
LISTEN to CUT 3!
LISTEN to CUT 4!

So on Thursday afternoon Francesa and the Jets will put their differences behind them and do a show together. Francesa didn't venture out to Jets camp at all last season, so this is his first trip to the camp in over two years.

He will have Rex Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum, Darrell Revis, Mark Sanchez, and Mike Westoff on the program beginning at 3:35 pm on WFAN.

It should be interesting to see how Ryan reacts to all of the criticism Francesa has heaped on him over the past two seasons. One hopes that the two sides can find common ground and end this bizarre run of strained silence.

So, be sure to grab a "*** damn snack!" for this will be great radio.

Giants lose Steve Smith to rival Eagles

As if this crammed off-season couldn't get any worse for the New York Giants, wide receiver Steve Smith has decided not to return to Big Blue; instead he is opting to head down the NJ Turnpike to Philadelphia to join the "Dream Team," aka the Eagles.

Smith, who suffered a knee injury late last season, waited for three weeks for the Giants to sign him to a contract, but that day never arrived.

The Giants felt that Smith was still had a "ways to go" in his recovery from knee surgery. Smith and the Eagles disagreed of course.

With Smith in Philadelphia, it leaves a black hole in the Giants receiving corps. While talented, it means that Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks will have to pick it up big time this year.

Likewise, Smith gives the Eagles another option to go along with superstar receiver DeShawn Jackson.

What a disaster this off-season has been for the Giants; could it mean the team is in for a terrible season? It looks like it.

Yankees fall to Angels, reason for concern?

Angels 6
Yankees 4

Somehow, in some way the New York Yankees have found ways to win ball games with one of the league's most mediocre pitching staffs. Using smoke and mirrors all year with the likes of A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova, many wondered when the Yankees would trade for a legit number two starter behind CC Sabathia.

They never traded for that starter, who was, in truth, never available to them. The thin market, perhaps, is to blame.

Yet here are the Yankees at 69-45 still within reach of the Red Sox for the best record in the AL.

There is reason for concern though. Three straight losses, two of which were to the Red Sox last weekend, and last night's loss to the Angels, should have fans wondering if this Yankee team is destined for a first round exit from the playoffs?

Burnett was typical Burnett. Five good shutout innings were wasted by a implosion in the sixth, where he gave up four runs to the Angels, including a homer to former Yankee Bobby Abreu.

Then in the ninth, after the Yankees offense tied the game, the great one, Mariano Rivera served up the game winning two run blast to Abreu.

The Yankees look beatable -- they have looked beatable all season. Sure the Yankees may rebound tonight, but the disturbing pattern of behavior by this pitching staff is now firmly apparent.

If the Yankees end up as the wild card, they could be in big trouble. They will face either Texas or Anaheim in the first round. Both of those teams are known for having deep pitching staffs. While the Rangers don't have the big names, their pitchers have been solid all season, not to mention the Rangers have one of the best offenses in the game.

Anaheim is two and sometimes three pitchers deep with Jared Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana. While the Angles don't hit, they make up for it with pitching and defense.

Post season success is dictated by pitching, and right now it continues to be obvious that the Yankees just don't have enough of that this season.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

10 Reasons Why the New York Jets Could Miss the Playoffs


It's that time of the year again, and thank God! With NFL games just a few days away, it is also time to start making bold predictions for the 2011 NFL season.

The New York Jets enter this year with some great expectations, after making it to the AFC title game for two straight years in 2009 and 2010. The big question for the Jets this year is: can they return to the postseason for an unprecedented third straight year with a relatively new cast of characters?

This week we will break it down for both the Jets and Giants right here on Cohen's Corner.

Here is my prediction on the Jets season via Bleacher Report. Enjoy...

Here is an excerpt:
Rex Ryan is trying to accomplish something that would be unprecedented in the star-crossed history of the New York Jets: lead them back to the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Sure getting to a third AFC Title game and first Super Bowl appearance in 43 years is Ryan's ultimate goal. He strongly believes that he has the best roster of talent in his, now, three years as the HC of the NYJ, and even proclaimed that the Jets would win it all after their 24-19 dress down against the Steelers last January.



Still just getting this team back to the postseason for a third consecutive year would be a feat that no other coach to don the green, has ever accomplished. Bill Parcells didn't do it, Herman Edwards couldn't do it, Weeb Ewbank only took the Jets to two straight playoff appearances; even the infamous Walt Michaels couldn't get Gang Green to serious January football for three straight seasons.



Yes, Rex Ryan has accomplished a lot with this team. He has already won more playoff games (four) than any coach in Jets history, and has found a way to do this with a quarterback with only two years experience, an above average running game,and a defense that didn't have a dominant pass rusher.



This is not to take away anything from the Jets.



They have one of the most talented secondaries in football with Darrell Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Jim Leonhard. They were ranked one of the game's toughest defenses the past two seasons, and their passing offense became dynamic last season with the addition of the incomparable Santonio Holmes. Their running game will only get better with increased improvement from Shaun Greene, who I expect to have a big season.



There is potential here for the Jets to do great things in 2011, yet, as we all tend to learn in the NFL, teams have a propensity to take a step back after a year or two of consistent success. Call it bad timing, or the law of averages, or the simple fact that the difference between 10-6 and 4-12 in the NFL is just a couple of plays. It's the nature of the sport, and the reason why we watch every Sunday.



So here are the reasons why the Jets will miss out on the postseason party this year.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Former Yankee bat boy, Luis Castillo, trashes Yankee dynasty

Here is a Luis Castillo that Yankee fans will not like.

Unlike the former Met with a similar name who dropped a pop up allowing the Yankees to beat the Mets in a game two seasons ago, a former bat boy for the Yankees named Luis Castillo is dropping a bombshell book that trashes the Yankee dynasty.

In an exclusive story from the New York Post, Castillo releases some interesting squibs about Derek Jeter and former manager Joe Torre. READ THE STORY!

He labels Torre an avid gambler who asked him once to run down to the clubhouse and bring him the results from a horse race.

"I jogged up to the dugout and gave them to Torre, who grabbed the paper and studied it like his life depended on it. When he had discovered the information he wanted, he turned to Don Zimmer and showed it to him. The older man's eyes lit up, and before I left, they were talking excitedly not about the next batter but the OTB results!"

In short, he makes Torre look like a guy who was more interested in gambling than in managing the team. In light of the current Alex Rodriguez scandal over gambling, and, of course, the Pete Rose gambling controversy of years ago, this is not a funny excerpt.

Granted Torre is retired, and it is probably true that players/managers gamble all the time; this is not something that Bud Selieg wants to hear, I am sure.

Castillo then tweaks Derek Jeter as a practical joker and seems to take issue with the fact that Jeter yclept him "Squeegee" for a nickname.

"Hi," I said. "My name is Luis Castillo."

Jeter frowned, narrowed his eyes, and said, "Nah."


I was thinking, no what? Why did he say no to me? But I didn't say anything, I just stood waiting. Jeter looked me up and down some more.


"That's it!" Jeter said. "Your nickname is Squeegee . . . You look like a squeegee." He smiled.


"What!""

Castillo is clearly offended by Jeter and his practical jokes, and throughout the excerpts, Squeegee boy waists no time in ripping the 3,000 hit shortstop.

Castillo even goes on to rip Alex Rodriguez as a cheap and insecure human being:

"A-Rod irritated the other players because he was so high-maintenance. He required his personal assistant to position his toothbrush on a certain part of the sink, specifically the edge near the right-hand cold water tap, leaning with bristles up over the basin. The first time he ordered me to do this, I couldn't believe my ears when he said, "And put some toothpaste on it."


Probably the strangest thing we had to do for A-Rod was lay his clothes out on the table so he could get dressed. You had to lay out these items in a predetermined order: socks at the head of the table, followed by undershorts, undershirt, shirt, pants, and then shoes. I had to carry his clothes from his locker to the trainer's room, where he liked to get dressed away from the prying eyes of the media."


Clearly, Castillo is an opportunist. He knows he can make some money by tossing some incredibly outrageous claims about the Yankees. Once again A-Rod, Jeter and many other current and former Yankees will be forced to answer questions about the book and the petulant Castillo.

Castillo has no shame. The fact that he took offense to being called Squeegee is utterly silly. Hey kid, you are the bat boy, not a member of the team. But don't tell that to Castillo, who feels entitled to be respected by Derek Jeter. Not to mention, Castillo throws around claims in the book that he received thousands upon thousands of dollars in tips from ball players -- which I find hard to believe.

There were no excerpts by the Post on steroid use from the likes of Roger Clemens, and Andy Pettitte, but if Castillo is the greedy little man I think he is, then don't be surprised to see steroids mentioned in the book.

What should players do in the future? Ignoring bat boys all together is probably a good idea. I would love to know if some of these outrageous claims are true, or really just made up by Castillo to make some money in a bad economy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jets sign Derek Mason, might release Jerricho Cotchery

Jerricho Cotchery's career with the New York Jets could be coming to an end.

Cotchery told the media that he expects to be released by Gang Green, after the team completes the signing of former Ravens receiver Derek Mason.

Cotchery sounded frustrated, in an sound bite from WFAN, Cotchery noted that players don't play their whole careers with the Jets, which is a shame.

Dumping Cotchery is kind of surprising. He's 29 years old, and a solid football player and citizen. He had his worst season last year, as the Jets number three receiver, hauling in 41 catches for 433 yards and two TD's. His worst game as a Jet came against the Green Bay Packers on Halloween last year, when he dropped several passes in a 9-0 loss.

Still drops were not common in Cotchery's game, who earned the reputation as one of the Jets most sure-handed wide outs.

Cotchery did tear his groin last year, and is still not 100 % better.

Mason, 37, is a crusty old vet. He was the Ravens number one receiver for years, until the team brought in Anquan Boldin last year. Still Mason posted solid numbers in 2010 with over 800 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.

Can he have a similar year this year? That is the question. At his age, it might be asking a lot. The Jets moves at wide receiver are surprising to say the least, considering they subtracted two solid players in their mid to late 20's, for two guys way past their prime. Will it work? We shall see.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Braylon Edwards might be involved in bar fight in Detroit

Want to know why nobody is knocking down Braylon Edwards' door this off-season?

Well, how about this latest story that is coming out from the Detroit Free Press, reporting that Edwards was involved in a bar brawl, with his two cousins, that resulted in two bouncers getting stabbed.

According to the report, one bouncer was stabbed in the back with a pocket knife and the other was stabbed in the neck with a fork. This incident happened Monday night, and investigators are still looking into whether Edwards was involved in the mele.

Edwards is on thin ice legally. Last week he pleaded guilty to his DWI charge from September, but avoided jail time. Edwards is on probation from a fight in Cleveland that resulted in the injury to LeBron James' entourage. If Edwards was ever arrested and charged for a significant time, the key would be thrown away.

Such litigation may have turned the Jets off when they were deciding between keeping Edwards, or pursuing either Randy Moss or Plaxico Burress. The Jets signed Burress on Saturday.

If Edwards is charged, he will be finished. What a shame.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Giants give Osi Umenyiora the "ok" to seek trade

Frustrated over his contract, Osi Umenyiora and the New York Giants might be on the precipice of somewhat surprising and ill-timed break up.

Umenyiora held out the first day of camp on Friday because of his contract, which he wants restructured. Even though the defensive end has returned to camp, he has not changed his stance one iota.

"What really annoys me is the hypocrisy of people clamoring for my head for asking for a new deal or to be traded,” Umenyiora wrote. “Saying I have 2 years left on my deal. These contracts only mean something to us? Where is O’Hara? Where is Seubert? True—inspirational football players.

“They were cut after being injured. They have years left on their deal. Why is Jacobs asked to take a pay cut? He has years left on his deal. The fact is in the business we are in, if you get injured, or they feel like you underperformed, they cut you without hesitation. But if you clearly outplay your contract, and ask for something to be done, you’re a bad guy and not a team player. It’s ridiculous,” Umenyiora told reporters on Monday.


As a result, the Giants have given Umenyiora and his agent permission to seek a trade with another team. Losing Umenyiora would be hard to take, considering he's a sack machine, racking up 11.5 sacks last year; in addition, for a defensive end, he is so physically fit that it increases his incredible speed off the edge; consequently, he looks more like a tight end than a lineman.


Where will he go?


New York Jets: The Jets desperately need a pass rusher, but the Giants asking price might be a bit too much. I would venture to guess that Umenyiora would require a first and a second round pick, and maybe a ready made player in return. I don't know if the Jets would be willing to do that. Plus trading a talented player like Umenyiora across town to the Jets would be the ultimate kiss of death for the Giants; a P.R. move if it turns gold for Gang Green, is something the G-Men won't recover from.


Baltimore Ravens: Rumors were floated by the Daily News that Baltimore is in hot pursuit of Umenyiora. Like the Jets, the Ravens would have to give up a first round pick to get him. However this deal makes a lot of sense. The Giants would send Umenyiora out of town and out of the NFC. Plus the Ravens would get a young, viable piece to add to their aging defense. With Ray Lewis and Ed Reed getting older, the Ravens need an injection of youth on their defense. Adding Umenyiora would defiantly help their pass rush.


St. Louis Rams: Steve Spagnolo, the former Giants defensive coordinator, who was the mastermind behind the Giants Super Bowl push in 2007, is entering his third year at the helm of the Rams, as he tries to find a way to get that football team over the hump in the dreadful NFC West. Adding Umenyiora would give the Rams instant credibility, and a pass rusher they have not had since the early 2000's with Kevin Carter.


Seattle Seahawks: Seattle is looking for a dominant pass rusher. After acquiring former Vikings Travaris Jackson and Sidney Rice to lead them offensively, Seattle is rumored to be looking for a edge pass rusher. Umenyiora would be a good fit for Pete Carroll. Plus Carroll's easy going personality would be a big relief for Umenyiora.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jets re-sign Antonio Cromartie to multi-year deal

The Jets finally do something they should have done all along -- re-sign one of their own free agents.

Antonio Cromartie returns to the Jets, after signing a four year $32 million deal with Gang Green. Cromartie, who formed a very good tandem with Darrell Revis last season, will reprise his role, after the Jets spent way too much time courting Nnamdi Asomugha, a player they didn't have the money to spend on in the first place.

The Raiders and 49ers were apparently pursuing Cromartie, and willing to pay top dollar for him, according to ESPN, but the corner decided to return to New York since he had a better chance to win a Super Bowl ring.

Now the Jets have re-signed two of the four key free agents, with only Brad Smith, signing with the Bills, and Braylon Edwards, unsigned, out of the mix.

The Jets have no intention, as of now, of bringing back Edwards after the inked Plaxico Burress to a one year deal.

Look for the Jets to now address nose tackle and defensive end. Shaun Ellis, another one of their own free agents is still out there in free agency. The Jets then have to address back-up quarterback. There are some solid back-ups out there in Marc Bulger and Billy Volek.