Dexter McCluster

New Jet defensive end Trevor Pryce (above).

In Jets’ coach Rex Ryan’s news conference after the Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football America, 31-23, Ryan said he was happy with the win, but that the play of the defense ‘hurt his pride.’  The Jets gave up over 400 yards of total offense and over 350 yards passing to Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne.  That’s not to say the Jets have been awful on defense.  They have allowed only 47 points in 3 games for an average of 15.67 pts a game–a number they should be able to win with.

Still, the Jets have allowed 3 100 yard receivers against them in three games, and they aren’t getting to the quarterback all that much.  Enter Trevor Pryce, who led the Ravens in sacks last year with 6.5, and who is third in sacks amongst active players.  And let’s not forget that Pryce put up 13 sacks for Ryan in 2006 when Ryan still served as the Ravens’ Defensive Coordinator.  The Ravens released Pryce earlier in the week, despite Pryce being a starter for Baltimore at end.  Though the Ravens said they intended to re-sign Pryce, they never got the opportunity.  As soon as the Jets heard of his release, they pounced on Pryce, to the delight of Ryan and former Ravens Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard.

When asked if Pryce, a 14 year NFL veteran had any juice left, the loquacious linebacker replied that Pryce had “more juice than Tropicana.”  Scott also insinuated that several other Ravens must be jealous that Pryce found his way to the Jets. 

Pryce’s career stats:

Season Team   Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
G GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF
2010 Baltimore Ravens 3 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0
2009 Baltimore Ravens 16 7 31 19 12 6.5 0 0.0 1
2008 Baltimore Ravens 16 16 27 17 10 4.5 2 0.0 0
2007 Baltimore Ravens 5 2 15 9 6 2.0 0 0.0 0
2006 Baltimore Ravens 16 16 47 37 10 13.0 2 0.0 2
2005 Denver Broncos 16 16 33 31 2 4.0 3 0.0 1
2004 Denver Broncos 2 1 2 1 1 0.0 0 0.0 0
2003 Denver Broncos 16 16 36 28 8 8.5 1 0.0 2
2002 Denver Broncos 16 16 46 40 6 9.0 1 0.0 1
2001 Denver Broncos 16 16 39 33 6 7.0 4 0.0 1
2000 Denver Broncos 16 16 12.0 0 0 0.0 0
1999 Denver Broncos 15 15 13.0 1 0 1 0 0.0 0 0 0
1998 Denver Broncos 16 15 8.5 0 1 1 1.0 1 0 0
1997 Denver Broncos 8 3 2.0 0 0.0 0
TOTAL 276 215 61 1 13 1 1 0 8

Now let’s be real.  The Jets picked up a 35 year old pass rusher.  Again (recall Jason Taylor).  But Taylor, a former arch rival, has earned his wings with big hits on Tom Brady and Chad Henne in successive weeks.  Like Taylor, Pryce represents an upgrade at end opposite Sean Ellis.  Vernon Gholston, still looking like a bust from here, has yet to register an NFL sack, despite a few near misses.  The Jets are missing three prominent players on defense–their best player, Darrelle Revis, behemoth Kris Jenkins (out for the year, and possibly his career), and top pass rusher Calvin Pace.  Pryce brings a much needed boost to a squad that could have Revis and Pace back next week for the Vikings on Monday night football, or, the Jets could choose to sit both again, with the bye coming up after Minnesota, which would give the Jets a very healthy squad, hopefully, from then forward.

As for tomorrow in Buffalo, Pryce is definitely what the doctor ordered.  Pryce was given a playbook by the Jets upon arrival, but he doesn’t really need it because the Jets and Ravens run the same defense.  So much for Pryce taking his kids to Six Flags this weekend.  That was what he had planned, but when Ryan heard about the trip, he informed Pryce he would be in several pass rushing packages versus Buffalo. 

Great news.  an upgrade is an upgrade.  Too bad we’ll have to look at Drew Coleman in the starting lineup, who is perhaps the worst corner in the AFC East–but Pryce’s addition almost makes the Coleman thing acceptible.  I look for the Jets to notch a big win in Orchard Park tomorrow, and would like nothing more than to see Pryce contribute to the victory, which means pain for Bills’ new starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

As for Kyle Wilson, who has struggled mightily, we are still very upset that the Jets did not use the 28th pick on Chiefs’ rising star Dexter McCluster.


Crack (,

Jets new left guard Vladimir Ducasse (above).

The Jets signed 2010 2nd round pick, # 61 overall, LG Vladimir Ducasse of UMass to a 4 yr, $ 3.25 M contract, which includes a $1,000,000 signing bonus.

Ducasse, at 6’5, 330 lbs., should be an asset to the Jets line if he can make the jump from Division IAA to the NFL.  Right now, it would appear that Matt Slauson, who played for Offensive Line Coach Bill Callahan at Nebraska and last year on the Jets, is the front runner to start at Left Guard.  But Ducasse, a tackle in college, could also be viewed by the Jets as a long term replacement for RT Damien Woody.

Ducasse played tackle in college.

For more on the Jets youth movement, follow the links below:

Ducasse becomes the first player selected in the 2nd round in 2010 to agree to terms with an NFL club.  The Jets also extended the contract of bookend Left Tackle, D’Brickashaw Ferguson yesterday.

–Crack (

Above is mammoth offensive tackle, Vladimir Ducasse, selected #61 in the 2010 NFL draft by the New York Jets.  Ducasse is expected to move to left guard, and replace Alan Faneca, who the Jets may cut as soon as Monday.  Ducasse is 6’4, 332 lbs., and should pass protect for 1st year quarterback Mark Sanchez.  Faneca, despite going to the prowbowl, allowed 6.5 sacks–an astounding number of sacks allowed by a guard.

The Jets draft got even better when they traded their 6th round choice to Seatlle to move up 11 spots in the 4th round for USC running back Joe McKnight, who can do some of the things we projected for McCluster.  The Jets did not ignore their needs at running back, where they could be down to one player on the roster, Shonn Greene, after this season.  Thomlinson is not a lock to be here in 2011 and neither is Leon Washington, who is coming off a broken leg and is unhappy with his contract.

McKnight’s stats:

Stats Overview Rushing Receiving Fumbles
2007 94 540 5.7 65 3 23 203 8.8 32 1 0 0
2008 89 659 7.4 55 2 21 193 9.2 32 1 0 0
2009 164 1014 6.2 54 8 22 146 6.6 24 0 0 0

We feel these picks make up for the Jets first round selection, Kyle Wilson, who was a safe but unspectacular pick, and who the Jets might have forsaken players with better value for, like QB Jimmy Clausen and WR/RB Dexter McCluster–the apple of our eye.

Crackbillionair, Dr. Jet (

Let’s do this or the Patriots will.

–Crack (

While Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum rarely speaks this time of year except to spread propoganda, he did say something interesting about coach Rex Ryan’s draft philosophy:

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum often tells the story about the Ravens’ Ozzie Newsome telling him after the Jets hired Ryan, “I’m shipping him up I-95. He has a little sign around his neck that says, ‘I need corners.’ ”

“That’s just who Rex is; he cannot have enough corners,” Tannenbaum said.

So regardless of the fact that the Jets acquired Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers this offseason to start opposite Darrelle Revis, don’t rule out Ryan pushing for McCourty in the first round Thursday.

Read more:

If Tannenbaum is to be believed, then we can all look for the Jets to grab a corner at #29.  The popular choice would be a local one, Rutgers CB Devin McCourty, who in addition to being a starting corner, is also a huge special teams contributor, and is especially a demon on punt and kick blocks.  His knack for blocking kicks impressed Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff.

But when Mike Mayock was asked by Mike Francesa yesterday who was coming off the board at # 29, Mayock said he thought McCourtey would be gone, and if the Jets stayed put, they would take CB Patrick Robinson of FSU, who Mayock said “has the best feet of any defensive back in the draft.”

The Jets, who traded up last year twice, and in recent first rounds for Dustin Keller and Darelle Revis, and in the second round for David Harris, has gone to great lengths to acquire the players the Jets covet on draft day, regardless of where the team is picking.  We feel the Jets will get a corner if there is a specific corner they are targeting, but will not take the best corner available at 29, after having acquired starter Antonio Cromartie this offseason.

More so, the Jets need to bulk up their anemic pass rush which schemed and blitzed  its way to 32 sacks last year, a low number for the #1 defense in the league.  Jerry Hughes, an athletic outside linebacker from TCU who gets after the quarterback, is who we hope the Jets will select, who with the addition of Jason Taylor this week, would represent a marked improvement in the pressure the Jets can bring.  While Hughes is projected to go late in the first round, the Jets would be very lucky if he is on the board when they pick.  More likely, the Jets would trade up to draft Hughes or McCourty, and would probably need to move up to the low 20’s to get one of these impact players.

With rumors this week of the impending release of Alan Faneca, the Jets may be looking to re-stock their offensive line, though Mike Iupati (G) and Maurkice Pouncey (G-C) are also expected to be gone before #29.  While either lineman would improve the position, guard is not the sexy pick right here for the Jets.  If Faneca is released, a strong possibility, or they plan to release him, it would re-order the Jets draft needs, and somewhat reduce their abilty to go BPA–best player available.

With no 3rd or 5th round choices, it will be interesting to see how exactly Tannenbaum gets creative enough to fill more or less immediate needs at 3 positions: speed rusher, corner, and guard.  If you are wondering why they would draft a corner after bringing in Cromartie, remember that Rex needs corners in his defensive system.  Ryan’s attitude is that corners are better at covering than safeties, and therefore corners are much more valuable than safeties to him.

The Jets also need to replace Leon Washington in their long term scheme, and hopefully they eye Dexter McCluster–Mike Mayock’s top value pick in this year’s draft.  While the Jets do have a stable of defensive backs and can’t be too unhappy with Dwight Lowery, the 3rd year man who played a great deal the last two years, they can not be happy withh their pass rush, set back by the pick of non contributor Vernon Gholston, who was expected to be a stand up pass rushing beast.  Selecting Hughes could set right that great mistake, one of the few mistakes the Jets have made on draft day since deposing Terry Bradway.  Behind Leon Washington and his broken leg, the Jets do not have a speed back on the roster, and McCluster would insulate the Jets if Santonio Holmes is suspended again, or if they lose Braylon Edwards in Free Agency next year.  Mayock projects McCluster as an interior pass catcher.  McCluster would also allow the Jets to part ways with Leon Washington.

Look for the Jets to be aggressive in improving their team today, which has been there M.O. under GM Mike Tannenbaum.

–Crack (

P.S.  Don’t rule out the Jets trading picks next year so that they can be more active in today’s very deep draft, and don’t be surprised if the Jets trade some of the veterans we have heard are on the block: Faneca, Ellis, Thomas, and Clemens.

NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock agrees with our very own Dr. Jet on running back prospect Dexter McCluster (above), who he just told Mike Francesa on Mike’d Up (WFAN 660, YES Network), is the “surprise of the draft” and the “best value pick in the draft” due to his break away speed, burst, and vision out of the backfield, as a slot receiver, and as a “home run threat” as a kickoff and possibly, a punt returner.

Francesa: who are you pushing this year as a surprise guy, a guy that not everyone knows about?

Mayock: Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss.  Definitely.

Mayock went on to compare McCluster favorably to CJ Spiller of Clemson, universally considered the best back in the draft.  Mayock made some other interesting remarks about tomorrow’s draft, saying that Spiller “won’t last past Jacksonville at 10”, that Tim Tebow will be selected in the first round, and that he prefers slightly McCoy over Suh, due to McCoy’s ability to rush the passer.

More on the draft soon…

–Crack (

Dexter McCluster is the next Chris Johnson and this why they are  comparable in every way you can think of.  Here is a breakdown:
Johnson:    height 5 ’11 weight 197 Lbs 40 yard dash time NFL combine 4.24,
10 yard sprint 1.41, 420 pound squat, benched 225 pounds 28 reps
McCluster:   height 5’9   weight 175 Lbs Mccluster 40 yard dash pro day 4.39,
10 yard sprint 1.52, 415-pound squat, benched 225 pounds 20 reps
So, now, you may be thinking that Johnson is a lot faster but, the numbers lie. I will tell you why. The ten yard dash is a truer measure of speed because it shows the burst all NFL coaches want but cant teach . Mccluster  comes close to matching Johnson’s times . McCluster compares to Johnson .  OK, now that I gave gave you some measurable reasons I believe the NY Jets would be fools not draft this dynamic  play maker, here’s some more mind numbing stats:  He  registered six plays that gained at least 50 yards, including three carries for 70 yards or longer.  That is what you call a home run threat, something this team has consistently lacked.  The Jets have the 29th pick in 2010 NFL draft.  If they don’t jump on this guy he will be gone after that or the team all Jets fan hate, the Patriots are picking 17th and they could potentially take him to replace Lawrence Maroney, the  2006 first round running back who has been injury prone . The Jets need McCluster to complement Shonn Greene’s hard nose plowing style. The offense sorely missed a true breakout threat after Leon Washington went down with a broken leg. I cant see the Jets missing the chance to add this dynamic weapon who can play WR, RB, and special teams.
When the idea of not drafting a running back in the first round filtered down through the league years ago, namely from Bill Parcells, who struck gold with Curtis martin in the 3rd round, the notion caught fire in NFL circles, though we would have to counter that true break away speed at running back can’t easily be found in the draft’s lower rounds.  Superbowl teams consistently have a take it to the house threat and an elite quarterback.  The  Jets have one part of this formula in Sanchez but are missing  the playmaker who keeps defensive coordinators up at night . Imagine Sanchez in the shotgun formation with the 5 wide receiver set spread out with Edwards,  Tomlinson, McCluster, Washington,and Smith or Keller.  This could be a nightmare for any defense to match up with.  If the Jets don’t swing for the fences and get McCluster this would be a failure in the biggest sense of the word. Take the 2002 NFL draft into this equation: we drop the ball and picked Bryan Thomas over Ed Reed and we watched Reed in Sept. 2009 as Reed was selected to the Sporting News Magazine’s Team of the Decade.  He is also the first person in NFL history to return an interception, punt, blocked punt, and fumble for a touchdown.  When you draft  in the first round, you need an idea the player you are selecting is pro bowl caliber, not some guy just looking for a paycheck . Gone are the days when a Jets fan prayed for a good coach and QB.  Now lets get the home run threat we need in perennial pro bowl player, speed merchant and dynamic touchdown maker, Dexter  McCluster.
Your resident Jets maniac,
Dr. Jet
Dr. Jet will be making frequent entries on football and other issues and we are lucky to hear from the NFl and draft guru, and look forward to his musings on all topics.