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Schwartz: The 2011 New York Jets: Green Monsters Of The Midway

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By Peter Schwartz
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On what was a rare quiet day at Florham Park, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez made some eyes rolls when he spoke glowingly about Gang Green’s defense.

Sanchez has been so impressed with what he has seen from the other side of the ball, that he had a flashback to one of the greatest defensive units in NFL history.

“We come out here and the offense is in a bit of a transition,” said Sanchez. “And we’re playing against what seems like the ’85 Bears.”

It’s interesting even though the Bears won Super Bowl XX a year 11 months before Sanchez was born.  But I guess Sanchez was just sucking up to head coach Rex Ryan since his father Buddy was the defensive coordinator with that Bears team.

GETTING OFFENSIVE

Monday was a big install day for the offense. That meant a busy day for new wide receiver Derrick Mason who practiced for the first time as he tried to pick up the Gang Green offense.

Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer told reporters that Santonio Holmes is preparing to play all three receiver positions. That would give the Jets a lot of flexibility and keep the opposing defenses on their toes.

Also, Schotty is looking forward to having Plaxico Burress this season. The Jets had their red zone issues last year so Burress should help in that area. Schottenheimer also said that he is happy to be working with offensive consultant Tom Moore, the former longtime offensive coordinator of the Colts.

Schotty thinks it will be a great relationship.

YOUTH IS SERVED ON DEFENSE

Over the first week of training camp, there have been some eye-popping performances. On defense, the Jets couldn’t be happier with 1st round pick DL Muhammad Wilkerson and third round pick DT Kenrick Ellis.

Both young men have been impressive. In fact, linebacker Bart Scott says Wilkerson has been a fast learner and perhaps his biggest asset will be the use of his long arms. Ellis went to a small college (Hampton) and needs to learn fundamentals.

The Jets are clearly in a youth movement on the defensive line. Players like Shaun Ellis and Trevor Pryce are out and it’s time for the youngsters to show some fire.

Another guy to look out for is third year DE Ropati Pitoitua. He missed all of last year with an Achilles tendon injury suffered in pre-season.  His play has caught the attention of many people in the organization.

WHO GETS HONORED?

I was taking a look at the Jets official website the other day when I noticed that the Jets will have their second annual Ring of Honor night on Monday November 17th against the Miami Dolphins.

Last year, the Jets celebrated the opening of the New Meadowlands Stadium but inducting six men as part of the first class. They were Weeb Ewbank, Joe Namath, Don Maynard, Winston Hill, Joe Klecko, and Curtis Martin.

So, I began to think about who should make up the 2011 Ring of Honor class.  Last year, Owner Woody Johnson said that there wasn’t a minimum or maximum number of people who can be inducted, but for consistency, I’ve come up with six names.

I also tried to come up with one name for different eras or categories.  I’ll go more into detail on this as we get closer to that special night but I think the following men should take their rightful place in the Jets Ring of Honor…..

- Owner Leon Hess

- Running Back Matt Snell

- Kicker Pat Leahy

- Running Back Freeman McNeil

- Defensive Lineman Dennis Byrd

and

- Wide Receiver Wayne Chrebet

I’m sure this will spark some debate so let me know what you think. I’ll keep you posted as to when the Jets will start the process of determining the official list.

The Jets practice again on Tuesday before taking a day off on Wednesday.  That’s all for now.  Check back later in the week for more!

Jets fans: how does Gang Green’s defense stack up to the ’85 Bears? Share your opinions below…

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