Tag:Mark Tannenbaum
Posted on: January 18, 2012 6:30 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 8:42 pm
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L.T.: Jets' drama 'as bad as I've been around'



By Josh Katzowitz

Just how bad was the Jets locker room toward the end of the season? Real, real bad, says Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson. In fact, he told Showtime’s Inside the NFL in an episode that airs tonight at 9 p.m. that it’s the worst locker in which he’s ever been.

“And I’ve been around some locker rooms and quarterback-receiver situations and what-not,” Tomlinson said. “But it was as bad as I’ve been around. You know it was at the point where I think the players could no longer do anything about it. There was nothing that the players could do. So when it gets to that point there are certain changes that need to happen. Can it be fixed, Cris?  I think absolutely it can be. But they’re going to have to make some tough decisions.”

That’s funny, because during Rex Ryan’s postseason press conference, he and general manager Mike Tannenbaum said basically that nothing would be fixed. Those plans, of course, changed when lightning rod offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said he wouldn’t return in 2012. But that still leaves receiver Santonio Holmes, who played the role of ‘team captain’ very poorly this season, and Mark Sanchez -- who is New York City’s favorite punching bag -- remaining, along with a head coach who might begin feeling some heat next season.

Nightmare in New York
“It got out-of-hand toward the end of the season,” said Tomlinson, who has publicly given his support to Sanchez.  “That is why it got out in the media. This is something that happened (in the) third or fourth week of the season, that was going on, and nobody knew about it because the players kept it under wraps. Until we went on that losing streak and guys started to speak up and speak out about certain things.”

But Tomlinson also wasn’t necessarily surprised that the locker room went to hell. That, he said, is the risk for a team that takes on the personality of its coach.

“Guys, think about this,” he told James Brown, Phil Simms, Cris Collinsworth and Warren Sapp.  “They (Jets organization) created this. This is the type of football team that they wanted. Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan are both brash, in-your-face type of style, say whatever you want, just get it done on the field. And then it leads to other things, as guys are calling each other out and saying I’m not getting the ball or whatever it may be.”

A few other interesting nuggets that Tomlinson lets loose tonight.

On whether Sanchez can overcome the drama: “I think he can overcome it. I think, the guy that said, that came at him, I don’t know who it was, that said Sanchez was lazy, but I disagree with that. The guy is not lazy, guys. He is not a lazy guy. He puts in the time after practice in the film room. He can get it done. He just has to have pieces around him to help him get it done.

On whether Sanchez is pampered: “Yes he is, I would say a bit pampered because he has no competition. He has no real threat to say this guy may take my job.”

On Ryan’s public bold predictions and statements for Jets and their opponents: “I would prefer him not to say it as much as he did. I don’t mind every now and again saying we are going to win a championship. Maybe at the beginning of the year just saying, ‘Hey, our goal is to win a championship.’ But at the same time every week if you are calling out a team on certain things, I think it puts a little extra on your team. Guys really want to go out there and say, ‘Let’s shut this guy up.  Let’s shut these Jets up, just end their season.’ I think that adds to that when Rex speaks up like that because, you know, everybody doesn’t like that type of style, and they’re not supposed to.  But at the same time there are certain things that you can do to not have it come off like that.”

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Posted on: September 17, 2010 6:14 pm
 

NFL reaches conclusion on Ines Sainz

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

While the NFL won’t punish the Jets for their alleged harassment of female TV reporter Ines Sainz (we’ve been talking about it ad nauseum) , commissioner Roger Goodell announced this evening the league will implement a training program for all teams on proper conduct in the workplace.

It’ll also implement “an expanded set of best practices for media relations,” and all of these programs and practices are meant to work with the league’s current media policy.

Oh, and Jets owner Woody Johnson is the one who will be underwriting the program. So, I guess, in a way, New York is kind of being punished.

The program will be given to rookies beginning next season (assuming, of course, there actually is a season), and it will be given to the teams as a whole this year. The policy will have input from the Association for Women in Sports Media.

More from the release:

In reviewing the incident of Saturday, September 11 involving TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz during the Jets’ practice and open locker-room time for the media, the NFL interviewed 17 individuals that were present, including Ms. Sainz. Commissioner Goodell determined that while there was unprofessional conduct, Woody Johnson and his staff acted promptly to correct the situation, including a personal apology to Ms. Sainz and arranging a professional education session for the Jets on workplace conduct.

“I believe this is the most constructive approach,” Commissioner Goodell said. “There is no debate about the longstanding equal access rule of our media policy. The issue for us, like all organizations, is proper conduct in the workplace, whether it is dealing with the media, co-workers, fans, or others. It is our responsibility to provide a professional setting for members of the news media and other business associates that work with our teams and the league. We appreciate Woody Johnson stepping up promptly to properly manage the situation at his team and agreeing to underwrite this new initiative for all clubs.”

In a letter to Mr. Johnson, Commissioner Goodell said, “The conduct of the Jets clearly should have been better last Saturday, but your prompt action in calling Ines Sainz and Mike Tannenbaum’s subsequent discussions with Joanne Gerstner of AWSM have made clear the club’s commitment – and your personal commitment – to ensure a respectful and professional environment for all members of the media.”


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Posted on: September 6, 2010 1:55 am
Edited on: September 6, 2010 2:02 am
 

Now, the Jets truly are Super Bowl contenders

D. Revis, shown here intercepting a pass vs. Oakland, ended a 36-day holdout and should be ready for the season-opener against Baltimore on Sept. 13 (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The signing of Darrelle Revis changes the entire dynamic of the Jets season.

Now that I’ve read that sentence again, I realize that’s a pretty bold statement, because it’s hard to imagine one defensive player affecting his team in that way. But in the case of Revis, it’s true.

With Brett Favre, it’s true. With Peyton Manning, of course it’s true. Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Andre Johnson, etc., it’s true.

Revis is the only defensive player in the league who can compare.

Without Revis – the No. 1 defender in the NFL – the Jets were good. Potentially very good. Sure, Mark Sanchez would have to improve on his rookie season. RB Shonn Greene would have to prove right the front office – which allowed Thomas Jones (331 carries, 1,402 yards and 14 TDs last season) to walk – and 31-year-old LaDainian Tomlinson would have to keep rediscovering his 27-year-old speed and arsenal of moves.

WR Braylon Edwards would have to keep making those impressive catches, and two of the best offensive linemen in the NFL – LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson and C Nick Mangold – would have to keep opening holes while keeping Sanchez off his backside.

In fact, after watching the Jets first-team offense blast the Giants first-team defense in the preseason opener, I wrote I thought Rex Ryan’s squad could compete for the Super Bowl.

A quick passage from that blog post:

Ugh, I hate myself for writing something like that based on one measly preseason game in which the team I’m touting lost by 15 points. But the first-team offense, for the most part, looked very good – except when the Jets got to the red zone – and the defense, like last year, looked pretty nasty. They looked like a team that still could be playing in February.

If ….

If, that is, they get back Darrelle Revis. Because without Revis, New York might not be the Super Bowl team coach Rex Ryan thinks they can be. A virtual unknown WR named Victor Cruz made that pretty clear tonight during the Giants 31-16 win against the Jets.


Now, the Jets have their “If” back. And with their “If” in the mix, this team becomes one of the best in the league.

The Jets front seven remains unchanged. Which, when you’re talking about NT Kris Jenkins and Vernon Gholston (who has had a strong preseason) and LB Bart Scott and LB David Harris (sadly, the only one of the Core Four who won’t receive a new contract) is a good thing.

Without Revis, though, the secondary looked awfully thin. Antonio Cromartie is solid No. 2, but Cromartie is no Revis when he's being counted on to be the shutdown CB. Kyle Wilson, a first-round pick out of Boise State who now has lost his starting job, was inexperienced, and the rest of the secondary was the kind of secondary who would allow Victor Cruz, an undrafted rookie free agent playing in his first NFL action, to have a breakout game and catch three touchdown passes.

Now, the question becomes: what kind of shape will Revis be in when he flies to New York on Monday to sign his new contract and begin practice in preparation for the Sept. 13 season-opener against the Ravens?

According to Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News, Revis spent part of his 36-day holdout in South Florida working out with former CB Ty Law. He should be in pretty good shape.

That said, the Jets knew they couldn’t go into the season without their best player. You could see the tension in the face of GM Mark Tannenbaum as this weekly saga played out on HBO’s Hard Knocks. Ryan, even though he was kidding when he went door to door in the season’s first episode looking for Revis and begging him to return to the team, knew he needed Revis in his defense. Ryan was being funny in that scene, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t telling the truth.

That’s why Ryan, in a move straight out of Vikings coach Brad Childress’ playbook, flew to South Florida this weekend to saw howdy to Revis and to add a spark to the contract talks.

Even until the end, Tannenbaum – who said he explored trading for other CBs – wasn’t sure the deal would get done.

"I really wasn't optimistic,” he told reporters in an early Monday morning conference call. “Until it was done, I really didn't think he'd be here."

Yet, here he is. The “If” has returned. The best defensive player in the league – the only one who could have this kind of impact on his squad, one way or the other – is back. And the Super Bowl trophy awaits.

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Posted on: September 5, 2010 10:21 am
 

Hot Routes 9.5.10: The day after cut day ...

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

... Which means that the Sunday before the regular season begins should give us a nice respite before the craziness truly begins.

- Cleveland delivered some good news by activating DL Shaun Rogers off the Physically Unable to Play list. Rogers missed the final five games of last season with a leg injury, and he missed the entire Cleveland preseason.

- I feel compelled to bring you this news story, though, in reality, there’s isn’t too much news contained inside. Jets GM Mark Tannenbaum says the team is ready to play without CB Darrelle Revis. Of course, he’d feel a lot better if Revis was actually with his teammates.

- Giants rookie WR Victor Cruz, to whom you were introduced when he caught three TD passes against the Jets in the preseason, said he would cry if he made the team. He did, and he did.

- Wes Welker can play, but he knows he’s not going to be 100 percent when the Patriots open their season. He admits he doesn’t feel the same as last year.

- Jonathan Casillas was placed on the IR list for the Saints with a foot injury, meaning he’ll miss the entire season. You might remember him for recovering the onside kick to open the second half of last season’s Super Bowl.

- In a non-surprising move, the Chiefs shipped S Jarrad Page away from Kansas City in a trade with New England for a draft pick. Page and coach Todd Haley didn’t get along, and ultimately, Page got what he wanted – a ticket out of Missouri. The Kansas City Star’s Kent Babb has some thoughts on his Twitter page.

- Just for the record, Jarrad Page has no hard feelings for Kansas City, writing on his Twitter page, “Jus (sic) wanted to say to the kc fans that stood by me, this was never personal I love kc for giving me a great first 4yrs of my NFL career”

- An interesting story here about the Oakland Raiders Saturday saga with safeties Stevie Brown and Mike Mitchell. Sounds like somebody frigged something up.

- One more Raiders note. Rookie C Jared Veldheer, a 6-foot-8 behemoth, beat out returner starter Samson Satele for the right to snap the football to Jason Campbell.

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 2:10 am
 

Hard Knocks review: Episode 4

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After a one-week absence, I’m back with my review of the fourth episode of what has been a very good season of Hard Knocks.

 -The episode begins on a down note. Apparently, nobody has any leadership with this team. It’s a concern for the coaches. This, not surprisingly, will be a theme.

- What a nightmare for Tim Cowlishaw. The Jets front office is talking about his reporting that Darrelle Revis and the Jets would sign a deal. GM Mark Tannenbaum has no idea what anybody is talking about. As a reporter, this is an interesting perspective. Unfortunately for Cowlishaw, we know how this ends.

- It’s hilarious that Mark Sanchez walks into the quarterbacks meeting without a binder to talk about the gameplan for the Redskins games. That’s a rookie mistake for a guy who’s not a rookie any more. Hell, even the guy who’s going to get cut at the end of the show has his binder ready to go. Unless he was set up, and of course, it’s a veteran move by Sanchez to get back at his offensive coordinator by changing his screensaver into something not exactly manly.

- Kellen Clemens’ meeting with Tannenbaum is interesting. Tannenbaum says he wants to cut Clemens’ salary to the minimum but he would guarantee that throughout the year. Also, by the way, Mark Brunell is the No. 2 QB, Tannenbaum says. Responds Clemens, “Here’s a question for you. What if I say I’d rather not?” Tannenbaum without missing a beat: “We’d probably cut you. … Probably sooner than later.”

Ouch.

- Ah, I could tell some stories about Laveranues Coles. Unfortunately, none of them would be all that interesting because he HATED dealing with the media in Cincinnati. As in, he never did it. Interesting to hear how the coaches seem to like to him, especially because Santonio Holmes is suspended for the first four games of the season. But then again, the team just cut Coles. So, that’s kind of weird.

- Wow, FB John Conner just lifted a Panthers special teamer off the ground with a block on kickoff return. As Rex Ryan said, “He knocked the piss out of the guy.” I think if he had the opportunity, Ryan might like to make out with the Terminator.
 
- Jason Taylor seems to have a problem getting to the stadium on time. Not just in the New Meadowlands, but at Hofstra too. The first time, it was a big joke. It wasn’t so funny the second time.

- And what’s up with eating cheeseburgers on the field before practice? The coaching staff is running a real disciplined workout, eh?

- Man, the players just LOVE it when a jackass runs onto the field during practice and the security details rocks the crap out of him. It’s funny, though. Whenever you see somebody disrupt a sporting event, there are always a few level of emotions you feel. No. 1, Hey that’s kind of funny. That guy is just running around out there, isn’t he? No. 2, All right, this guy is kind of getting annoying. When will the game restart? No. 3., He’s not taking off his clothes, is he? No. 4, I wish somebody would hit this guy and get him out of here.”

With the Jets, they fast-forwarded to No. 4 real quickly.

- Uh-oh, so it turns out Rex didn’t like the whole cheeseburger thing at practice. I love after his impassioned speech about being a professional and being a leader, he ends it with, “Now, let’s go eat a g------ snack!”

- Boy, Vladimir Ducasse didn’t look so good in the Redskins game, huh?

- Ugh, it’s brutal to watch these guys’ faces when they realize they’re going to be cut. But that’s cold how Ryan talked to Coles when he was cutting the 32-year-old WR. “We have to have money in place in case (Revis) shows up without a new contract. There’s a great possibility you’ll still be on this football team. But if we have you in the first week, we have to pay the whole season. The way our money is right now, we can’t do that.” Coles takes it well, and I know he’ll be OK. We’ve had chats about finances before, and I know he’s smart with the way he handles his business.

-And that’s the way the show ends. Not my favorite episode of the series, but solid nonetheless. We’ll see what happens in the final cuts next week.

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 12:00 am
 

Hard Knocks, episode 1 review

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I talked about this in my preview , but I didn’t love last year’s version of Hard Knocks, featuring the Bengals. So, I was interested tonight to see if I could resume my love affair with the show if I wasn’t intimately involved with covering the team. And the end result: Yeah, it was pretty good. Had to set up some storylines, but there were some laughs and some good in-practice footage. I’ll keep watching.

-The first voice we hear is coach Rex Ryan, and he’s already very salty. While talking to his team before he releases the players for the summer, he says, “We’re right where we want to be, no question about it. Enjoy this time. Get away from it. No matter what you’re doing, it’s better than my (bleeping) vacation. I’m cruising the Baltic’s with my in-laws and (bleep).” Great, great stuff already from Rex.

-I probably shoulld have counted his F-bombs, but I never did. If I had to guess? Maybe 30.

-It’s not often you get to see players training in the offseason. Dragging a tire behind you as you run hills doesn’t look fun.

-Like usual: a great intro. I love watching the mundane stuff you see every day but would never stop to focus on. Stuff like the FieldTurf spraying when a guy runs his sneaker along it in slow motion. I remember one day before practice last year when a Hard Knocks camera crew spent 30 minutes filming a worker painting one of the lines on the field before Bengals practice in Georgetown, Ky. Of course, the next week on TV, it looked like the most interesting thing in the world. Sure enough, just after I wrote that, the crew filmed somebody spray-painting a line in Cortland.

-Somehow I expected Rex Ryan to look thinner. But yeah, he looks better than before. Just not as much as I thought after his surgery.

-I was wondering how much they would focus on Darrelle Revis. I was wondering if they’d have filmed him. The answers: a pretty fair amount and no.

-Rex knows how to draw laughs from his squad. “Revis isn’t in this building right now. Does it matter that Revis isn’t here? Goddamn, he’s pretty (bleeping) good.” Big laugh.

-Ah, a Laveranues Coles sighting. This is his second Hard Knocks in a row. He must be loving it. That’s a joke, of course. Coles does not like dealing media. And when I say does not like, I mean he hates it. I interviewed him just once last year – which was more than just about anybody else - and he got pissed at me and abruptly ended it after a couple questions.

-How about Buddy Ryan in a tie on the sidelines in that archived film? I think Rex should bring back that look.

-Yep, we’ve got our long-shots to make the squad. Brashton Satele, a rookie LB, and Aaron Kia, a rookie OL from Hawaii. OL coach Bill Callahan is talking about out how Kia played in a spread offense in college and how he doesn’t know much the techniques around the NFL. Not surprisingly, he’s getting coached up quite a bit. Rex Ryan then calls him awful. Ugh. Satele, meanwhile, is impressing some people. Then, he sprains his ankle – which drastically decreases his chances of making the team.

-Lots of people being fined. Apparently, it costs you $5 if you’re caught running shirtless. Even Rex isn’t immune. He’s fined $1 per snacking offense.

-How about the hair-pulling by GM Mark Tannenbaum when dealing with the Revis stuff> I thought he was going to pull it out of his head.

-It’s a half-hour into the show before we’re introduced to Mark Sanchez. And he’s telling LB Bart Scott to shut up.

-Good lord, Joe Namath looks like my grandfather getting out of the front seat of that SUV. High belt line and a bit stooped. He does make a good point about how people shouldn’t fumble.

-I love the skills competition between Rex and Tannenbaum.

-Could there be a better name for a bone-crushing fullback than John Conner, who’s obviously nicknamed the Terminator? He should make the team just on his name alone.

-Well, they didn’t paint the Revis picture in very positive terms after the diner meeting, did they?

-We have our first casualties. Rookie LB Kevin Basped and his bad knees are let go, and Kia is laid off as well. Poor dudes. They don’t even make the second episode. Kia is told, though, that he could play in the UFL. So, he’s got that going for him. But man, he looks pretty pissed. Kia hands in his playbook, slams the door in the cameraman’s face and the episode ends.

-Once again, solid work from HBO. Looking forward to next week

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