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EA Q&A: Pass Rush Coming On & More QB Talk

Q:  Why in the world did they get rid of Aaron Maybin?   We need more pass rushers.  If anything, we need to fire the D-line coach.  And then on offense, we need a line and a wide receiver! There are so many things we need.

EA: The Jets waived Maybin (an outside linebacker by the way) because of his lack production coupled with the improvement of Ricky Sapp and depth issues at running back. 

Maybin averaged about 15 defensive snaps per game, totaling four tackles and nine QB hurries.  Last season, Maybin paced the team with six sacks and four forced fumbles.  He just wasn't getting to the QB and the Jets wanted to give Ricky Sapp an opportunity.  Sapp, a Clemson product who was a fifth-round pick of the Eagles in 2010 and spent time on the Jets practice squad, had 17.5 QB sacks on the collegiate level.  Sapp continually impressed in practice and now he will get his chances in sub situations.  

Both Bilal Powell (concussion) & Joe McKnight (ankle) are banged up and the Jets needed to sign another running back, so they added former Bears RB Kahlil Bell to the mix.

The D-Line is one of the strengths of this team right now.  Mike DeVito had a hell of a game Sunday in Seattle, Muhammad Wilkerson has been a beast of late and Quinton Coples has had a solid start to his NFL career.  Sione Pouha is battling through debilitating injuries and hopefully Kenrick Ellis is coming back from a knee injury soon.  Oh by the way, the Jets have 11 sacks over their past four games.

There are plenty of needs for these Jets, but there aren't going to be major changes down the stretch here.

Larry K.

Q: Why are the Jets not using Aaron Berry at CB? Kyle Wilson is getting beat badly and Berry was supposed to be pretty good.

Also, Lex Hilliard has made several mistakes lately in not picking up the pass rush and has resulted in sacks and turnovers.  Why are we using him?   If he can't block, this is a liability?

EA: Solid inquiry on Berry.  With Isaiah Trufant placed on IR Tuesday, I think this is the week Berry will be used on defense.  I will try to either talk to Berry in the locker room or Mike Pettine later this week.

Bilal Powell suffered a concussion in the second quarter against the Seahawks.  He was limited in practice Thursday and he will have to pass NFL required tests in order to be active in St. Louis.  I would argue that Powell is the Jets most complete back and his quality blocking is a huge component to his game.

While Hilliard has the ability to be a sound blocker, it did appear he missed a couple of assignments in Week 10.  The Jets officially announced the signing of Kahlil Bell on Wednesday and he is considered a good receiver, a willing blocker and he probably also will be able to play some teams for Mike Westhoff.

Mike R.Jamaica, NY

C: EA, you are full of crap.   You are not speaking your mind (or what you know to be true) because you work for the Jets.  You praise Sanchez for improving from a 54.8% completion rate to a 56.7%? Mere fractions EA....

Now he is at 52%, he also threw 18 INTs last year (2nd highest since he was a rookie) He didn't take the Jets to the AFC championship in 2009 — the defense did.  And in 2010, the AFC Championship game plan wasn't based around him either. Hopefully we the fans have someone telling us something worth reading or listening too at some point this year.

EA:  Mike, thanks for the nice note.   We must be closing in on the Holiday Season because folks are feeling festive.

Where did I praise Mark Sanchez?  Earlier this week, a fan wrote in and said Sanchez's production has decreased the past two seasons.  That is true if you take some statistics out of the equation.  I am trying to provide the complete picture. 

The rash decision is to cut bait with Sanchez right now.   I don't think that's a good idea.  He is not playing well, but he isn't the only reason they have lost five of six.  If you have the capabilities, go back and watch these four postseason games —  the 2009 AFC Championship  and the entire three-game run in the 2010 Playoffs.  That dude is a signalcaller that you can win with.

Listen the Jets have invested a lot of time and treasure with Sanchez.  If they traded this guy at 26 years old, how would you all feel if he went to a smaller market and thrived?  I want to see the rest of the season play out before I jump to conclusions. 

There are about five or six quarterbacks who don't face legitimate questions in this league and their names are Brady, Brees, Manning (both), Rodgers and Roethlisberger.   Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub have zero combined playoff wins to this point.  I have already gotten a head start on my draft study and I don't see an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III in the 2013 Class.

I have no problem in making changes, but they must be made in order to get better.

Now you probably figure that was all a bunch of B.S, but I don't care.  That's real talk.

Johnnie H.Los Angeles, CA

Q: Why does a player say anything about Tebow without saying their name?  Oh we know why — they are not man enough to stand behind what they say.

EA: Rex Ryan and most of the Jets agree with you.  I am not a fan of anonymous attributions.  Tebow just comes in to work every day and does his job.

Jerry S.Baltimore, MD

Q: Even what (Matt) Slauson said is terrible.  How can you block for someone who you do not believe in? No wonder the Jets are losing and will continue to lose until they clean up this mess. Tim Tebow is the least of their problems.

EA: Slauson did say Wednesday that Tebow has improved as a thrower and that he is a great dude.  Tebow actually said they're "close friends" and that he has a great relationship with Slauson.  I think they'll be able to get over it and move on.

Eli R.Bronx, NY

Q: Do you have an opinion of your own or you simply quote what people say?   You know if this was your team — you never would have given M.S. that extension (based on what).  Second you would have sat him a long time ago. Let be real — he's a bust…. Cowher HC — G-Mac the Starter.....Period!  — Have a nice day!

EA: I have plenty of opinions.   All the critics conveniently forget that the Jets looked into the possibility of adding Peyton Manning to the team in the offseason and monitored the situation while working on the Sanchez extension.  If Manning, a first ballot Hall of Famer, wanted to come here, then…

I would not have sat Sanchez a long time ago.  He had a 10 quarter stretch there or so (2nd Half of Houston game in Week 5 through the NE Game in Week 7) where he was playing winning football.  The Miami game was bad, but I'm not holding the QB responsible for all the special teams gaffes.  I didn't like his game in Seattle either, but no he shouldn't have gotten the hook yet.

A bust?  That is a little extreme.  No offense to any of these men, but I would use the word bust to describe guys like Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, Akili Smith, Heath Shuler, Cade McNown, Tim Couch and Joey Harrington.

 Have a great day!

Bryan W.Vancouver, CA

Q: Hi Rick.   I'm a big Jets fan, but I'm kind of disappointed after (Sunday's) game.  I can't figure Rex out.  He keeps on saying Sanchez (gives us) our best chance of winning.   Was he watching the same last 2 games that I was?   I like Sanchez, but at what point does he continue to stick with him?   Wouldn't you have let Tebow try (Sunday)?

EA: Ryan, what's up?  Yes I can assure you Coach Ryan watched the same games you did and even went back and reviewed the film of each play this season.  I'd be surprised if Sanchez isn't the guy starting every game the rest of the way here in 2012. 

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