Jets keep title core together in search for Super Bowl prize

LaDainian Tomlinson
AL PEREIRA/GETTY IMAGES

With all the talk out of the Jets’ first day of training camp Monday centering around the theme of “family,” the team isn’t quite ready to break this thing up.

Over the past week, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan have quietly pieced together a team that looks an awful lot like last year’s Jets. The resignations of Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie are certainly the headline grabbers, but a number of role players have come back to a team that has  made the AFC Championship Game in two straight seasons. The Jets aren’t ready to shake up this team, and while Ryan talks about this being “the best roster we’ve had since I’ve got here,” make no mistakes about it — the  roster is as much out of necessity as it is loyalty to the players.

While the rest of the league was making roster moves and signings, the Jets have remained shockingly low key as other teams make upgrades and splashes.

But the Jets — usually noisy in the free agent market — have been content to take care of their own.

“The net effect of it is that I really like our team,” Tannenbaum said yesterday. “I feel like the foundation is there.”

It’s a different approach than nearly every other team has taken in this wild, post-lockout free agency period. Instead of looking outside the organization, the Jets are calculating that the personnel that has taken them to within a game of the Super Bowl twice is good enough to do it again.

Perhaps there is a hidden benefit to the timing of this offseason.

Without offseason workouts and a mini-camp, teams are at a significant disadvantage this year in terms of blending together new talent with their existing core. The Jets, with just a handful of personnel changes, are now a team that closely mirrors the previous two seasons. The talent level is nearly the same, the names are almost identical and the system is in place almost from the get-go.

There won’t be as much of a learning curve or as many players in need of learning as in most other NFL cities. The adjustments should not be as drastic as in places such as New England or Philadelphia, where big pieces are being moved around and forced to learn a new scheme.

“Absolutely, we feel that this offseason in particular, having guys in place who can step in immediately and learn is a positive. There won’t as much confusion,” right tackle Wayne Hunter told Metro. “The guys coming back, bringing back so many of the same players, means that we can step right into our work and not worry about anything else. We can just focus on the work on the field and that’s it.”

The fallout from the Jets’ inability to sign Nnamdi Asomugha is perhaps a short-term advantage for a team in search of its first Super Bowl appearance in more than four decades. The money freed up from not landing the star cornerback allowed the Jets to re-sign Cromartie, who was solid for the team last year and rated by Ryan as a top-five cover cornerback in the league. Bringing in Eric Smith as well was a possibility with the freed up room under the salary cap.

The end result for this Jets team is a sense of continuity, as they continue to march to the beat of years past and hope to build on the success of Ryan’s first two years with the team.

“We feel like we’re right there. We have the type of guys on this team that can make plays all across the board,” running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. “Two back-to-back years of the AFC Championship games. What’s next for us? It has to be winning the championship.”


Follow Kristian Dyer on Twitter
@KristianRDyer for updates and live-tweeting from Jets training camp.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.