32 Teams in 32 Days – New York Jets

Football season is just around the corner, which means we will be commencing our 32 Teams in 32 Days special, where we examine every team in the NFL in just 32 days. we will be starting with the AFC East, specifically the New York Jets. Every year the New York Jets faithful get hyped up for a chance at the Super Bowl and every year their dreams get crushed, especially last season when they failed to even reach the postseason, luckily their head coach, Rex Ryan knows a lot about FOOTball.

2011 Record: 8-8
Result:
Did Not Qualify for Postseason
QB:
Mark Sanchez, 308/543 (56.7%), 3,474 Yds, 26 TD, 18 Int, 78.2 Rating
Best Offensive Target:
Shonn Greene, 1,054 Yds/253 Att (4.2 Yds/Att), 6 TD  
Best Defensive Player:
Darrelle Revis, 52 Tackles, 21 Pass Deflections, 4 Int, 1 TD
Important Offseason Acquisitions:
Tim Tebow QB, Chaz Schilens WR,
Laron Landry S, Quinton Coples DE, Jeff Otah T, Yeremiah Bell S, Hayden Smith TE
Important Offseason Losses:
Ladanian Tomlinson RB, Plaxico Burress WR,
Derrick Mason WR, Jim Leonhard S, Donald Strickland CB, Brodney Pool S,
Jamaal Westerman DE
Head Coach: Rex Ryan

After 3 tough losses, to the Eagles, Giants and Dolphins to end the season, the New York Jets finished with a record of 8-8 and failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2008. They were led by Mexican-American quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Sanchez had a decent year, but struggled at times, especially when it mattered most.

They had a very busy offseason, mostly because of the media attention surrounding Tim Tebow more than any of their other moves they made in the off-season. But before we get to that lets talk about some of their other acquisitions. They added safety Laron Landry who should be able to give the Jets everything Jim Leonhard gave them, without the injury trouble. They were also able to trade for T Jeff Otah, who should be able to help their O-line, which allowed Mark Sanchez to be sacked 39 times last season. One of the more interesting move the Jets made was to sign Hayden Smith who has never played a snap of American Football in his life, however the Aussie Rules Football star could give the Jets the blocking TE they so desperately need, and if not, they can always ship him back to Australia. They also added S Yeremiah Bell, WR Chaz Schilens and drafted DE Quinton Coples in the first round of the draft. And of course, they added Tim Tebow, the “savior” of the Jets. Realistically, he’ll play on the Punt Blocking team, and get put in for a few snaps under center in running situations. After all the only reason they picked him up is because Rex Ryan likes QB’s who are good with their feet. However, imagine how insane things would become if Sanchez gets hurt or struggles badly, Tebow takes over and takes them deep into the playoffs.

They also lost some pretty good talent in the offseason as well, including Ladanian Tomlinson, a top 10 back of all-time, retired in the offseason, he wasn’t a huge factor for the Jets last year, but he certainly helped. They lost WR Plaxico Burress who get arrested after he stabbed himself in the arm, no wait… apparently he’s a free agent, my apologies. They lost Jim Leonhard who played pretty well, but had trouble staying healthy. They were also unable to bring back minor, but important factors for the team: WR Derrick Mason, CB Donald Strickland, S Rodney Pool and DE Jamaal Westerman.

In the coaching front, Rex Ryan will enter his 4th season as Head Coach for the New York Jets, The defensive guru who loves to play mind games has brought his team to 2 AFC Championship games in his first 3 years with the team. The biggest new face in the coaching staff will be Tony Sparano, who spent almost 4 years as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, he will take over as Offensive Coordinator for the Jets. They’re also brining in new Offensive Line and Defensive Line coaches, as well as 2 new Assistant Strength and Conditioning coaches.

I predict a decent year for the Jets, I think they will just miss out on a playoff spot (maybe by a tiebreaker). Assuming the New York Jets fans don’t get too restless for Tebow, I predict about the same production we saw from Sanchez last year, maybe a bit better. I predict Shonn Greene will have almost identical stats to what he had last year, but with a few more touches. I also believe with the loss of Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes could go back to the Santonio Holmes of Pittsburgh and have a great season, but this will cause Dustin Keller’s stats to drop off. It doesn’t appear Revis will holdout, for now anyway, he will be thrown at even less, and his stats will reflect that.

2012 Prediction: 9-7
Result: Will Not Qualify for Postseason
QB: Mark Sanchez, 292/503 (58.0%), 3,598 Yds, 25 TD, 15 Int, 84.4 Rating
Best Offensive Target: Santonio Holmes, 1,094 Yds/78 Rec (14.0 Yds/Rec), 7 TD
Best Defensive Player: Darrelle Revis, 43 Tackles, 18 Pass Deflections, 2 INT, 0 TD
-Vernon Smells

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Coach Swap 2012

The LA Clippers and Orlando Magic are in quite the predicament, they are both playoff caliber teams, with coaching conundrums.

The Situations

The LA Clippers;

The LA Clippers were just swept by the Spurs, now in their defense, they were in a position they’re not quite use to… The second round of the playoffs. Now most people would be content with this finish, but the Clippers have the talent to make a title run, the thing that is holding them back is their coach, Vinny Del Negro. VDN is a great players coach, but lacks the ability to teach core fundamental basketball, this will greatly affect the Clippers. “Lob City” doesn’t win championships, fundamental basketball does, the Spurs are living breathing proof of this. So if the Clippers wanna win an NBA championship, they gotta get rid of VDN and bring in a coach prepared to coach the fundamentals of basketball.

Orlando Mgic

As of today the Magic fired their coach Stan Van Gundy, SVG was fired after a long marital spout with all star/diva centre Dwight Howard. This past season Howard had been taking in the sites of all the potential teams he’d like to play for and ridiculed his coach the entire time. This led to a lot of tension and a few awkward interviews. Howard and SVG never seemed to get along, probably because Howard is a laid back guy who wants a laid back coach. SVG on the other hand is an old school basketball coach who likes to play fundamental basketball (you can see where there might be a clash). All this tension and so forth led to the ultimate firing of SVD, even though Howard will probably leave during the Offseason anyway.

The Proposal;

Although you can’t actually trade coaches per say, plus SVD just got canned. I propose a coach switch, where SVD would coach the Clippers and VDN would coach the Magic. SVD could teach that fundamental basketball I was preaching and turn the Clippers from just a highlight reel to a real contender. WHile SVD would be contending for championships, VDN could be cheering up a bummed out Dwight Howard. VDN is a players coach and exactly the type of coach Howard would want if he were to ever stay in Orlando.

-McFultz

30 Teams In 30 Days- Minnesota Twins

Oh, the Minnesota Twins, the little wholesome team with the hometown hero and the Canadian boy. They had so much promise, but all that could go wrong, did go wrong. So let’s check out their horrendous season last year.
Minnesota Twins
Record: 63-99
Finished: 5th in AL Central
Playoffs: N/A
Top Pitcher: Scott Baker 9-8, 3.14 ERA, 123 SO
Top Hitter: Michael Cuddyer .284 AVG, 20 HR, 70 RBI
Manager: Ron Gardenhire
Important Acquisitions: Daniel Rams, Ryde Rodriguez, Chris Collabelo, Brad Thompson, Jason Marquis, Joel Zumaya, Josh Willingham
Important Losses: Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Jose Mijares, Joe Nathan and Matt Tolbert

Last season was a rough one for Twins fans, both of their star players, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer were plagued with injuries and ailments which led them to combine for just 7 Homeruns all year. Yes you read that right 7! Mauer was under a lot of scrutiny for this, as if he wasn’t really trying. This angered me because the man was injured, and he’s a Minnesota native who decided to stay in Minnesota instead of going to a team like the Dark Lord New York Yankees. I believe that both Morneau and Mauer will have comeback seasons. The Twins did lose their best offensive player from a year agom Michael Cuddyer this could be a problem if the aforementioned Mauer and Morneau are unable to produce. During the off-season the Twins signed a lot of pitchers, this was probably a good idea, seeing as only one of their pitchers had a winning record last season. The Twins had an abysmal season last year, but don’t worry Twins fans, I see a huge improvement. I don’t think they will have a winning record or make the playoffs, but at least this team will be a fairly competitive team and give you all a false sense of hope.
Prediction
Record: 78-84
Finish: 3rd in AL Central
Playoffs: N/A
Top Pitcher: Scott Baker 10-8, 3.19 ERA, 138 SO
Top Hitter: Joe Mauer .312 AVG, 19 HR, 89 RBI
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-McFultz

 

30 Teams in 30 Days – Oakland Athletics

The Oakland A’s, the Oakland A’s.. you know I’m really not sure where to start. Probably the most historically storied franchises (who has knotted 9 World Series titles and 15 AL pennants, which gets overlooked), the Oakland Athletics had a 2011 in which they surely will not forget too soon. Posting a deplorable record of 74-88, the A’s weren’t ever in the hunt for a playoff spot during the entire 2011 season, the highlight of which was the release of a popular feature film about their general manager (who is apparently doing quite a $h177ty job lately). Let’s see how ‘dem A’s stacked up during their 2011 campaign.
Oakland Athletics
Record: 74-88 (7 games worse than 2010)
Finished: 3rd in AL West
Playoffs: N/A
Top Pitcher: Gio Gonzalez 16-12, 3.12 ERA, 197 SO
Top Hitter: Josh Willingham .246 AVG, 29 HR, 98 RBI
Manager: Bob Melvin
Important Offseason Acquisitions: Bartolo Colon SP, Jonny Gomes OF, Manny Ramirez LF, Ryan Sweeney OF
Important Offseason Losses: Gio Gonzalez WAS, Hideki Matsui (probable retirement), Josh Willingham MIN, Mark Ellis LAD

Ahh remember the good ol’ days of the Oakland A’s, with the Big Three (Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder). Well for those of you who don’t remember, from 2000-04 the Oakland A’s arguably had the best pitching tandem in the league, before well, all three of those guys descended in diaspora. A lot has changed since those days, and the Athletic faithful should seriously be worrying. The 2011 Oakland Athletics were horrendous, in their pitching game (aside from their ace Gio Gonzalez.. oh wait he’s not even on the team anymore, he was traded to the Nationals this offseason for some prospects you haven’t heard of), and in their offensesive game. I mean seriously, the highest batting average on the team came from Cliff Pennington who hit .264 in barely 550 plate appearances. Josh Willingham, who was leaps and bounds above the majority of the A’s offense, posted a solid 2011… oh wait, he’s not on the A’s anymore either, awkward (Twins). I mean the A’s still have some good sounding names in their lineup including Hideki Matsui (who is still undecided about coming back), Mark Ellis (oh wait he went to the Dodgers!), and Kurt Suzuki. And the one who is actually coming back out of that group, Kurt Suzuki, batted a career low .237 to go along with 14 homeruns, and he really hasn’t improved as a player, as many people thought he would. But have no fear A’s fans! The A’s signed Jonny Gomes and Manny Ramirez (to a minor league contract! Oh wait he’s also suspended). These two guys will surely take them places, and definitely revitalize this dying A’s offense….. yeah right. I will not go as in-depth in their pitching but they acquired Bartolo Colon in the offseason, but as stated earlier, they lost their #1 pitcher Gio Gonzalez. Besides Colon their starting pitching has very little depth. It includes Brandon McCarthy, who had a decent season, but really hasn’t thrown enough innings to be considered a solid starter, Dallas Braden (perfect game guy), who had an injury riddled 2011, and a couple of other for lack of a better word “scrubs”. Well A’s fans you better look forward to seeing your Athletics in 2012! That is, if you would be excited to see your A’s scratch together 65 wins, because I don’t foresee the Green and the Gold winning more than 70 games in 2012.
Prediction:
Record: 69-93
Finish: 3rd in AL West
Playoffs: None
Best Pitcher: None
Best Hitter: Coco Crisp, 0.274, 14 HR, 75 RBI
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-Simple Jack

 

Tigers… really?

With Victor Martinez not likely to play in any games next season (due to a torn ACL), the Detroit Tigers looked to be in quite the predicament. Who would protect Miguel Cabrera? and would this offense be enough to compete against the AL’s best?

Well, the Tigers found their replacement…and then some!

Today the Tigers signed all-star first-baseman Prince Fielder to a 9-year, $214 million contract. Not only did they significantly upgrade an already elite offense, they signed one of the biggest, and final remaining free-agents of the off-season. With the likes of Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, C.J. Wilson, Mark Buerhle, and a plethora of great closers all signed to expensive contracts with new teams, Fielder was the last of the top-tier free agents.

Formerly part of a Milwaukee Brewers offense which was good enough to make the second round of the playoffs, Fielder now joins an even better Tigers offense that was fourth best in the MLB. While the combination of Braun/Fielder was truly scary, he now joins Miguel Cabrera to form the scariest 3-4 punch in all of baseball.

Based on multiple reports, the Tigers weren’t even interested in Fielder this off-season, even after Martinez’s injury. However the Tigers manged to put up a stellar offer, and bring the rotund hitting machine to the Motor city. The move will see Cabrera and Fielder split time between first base and designated hitter, a possible challenge for manager Jim Leyland.

As the off-season surprisingly comes to an end, and with spring training just around the corner, we can all be sure of one thing… balls will be flying out of Comerica park!

 

-Zookeeper