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Jim Leonhard

If my last post was full of tempered optimism, the unbridled pessimism of this one should balance it out. Thursday night's game was awful to watch and even harder to write about. On the positive side, the defense played rather well, despite giving up that game-winning touchdown drive. Remember, before that drive, the defense had only allowed the Broncos to score 3 points over 54:06 of play.

Even with that drive, the Jets defense only gave up 229 total yards and 11 first down, limiting the Broncos to 3/13 on 3rd down conversions. Which is why the play that I'm about to talk about, the one that to me was the hardest to watch, is so darned galling.

First of all, I'm not talking about Eric Smith's poor decision on Tim Tebow's touchdown run. Had he tackled Tebow (which one could argue was beyond his ability), the Broncos still would've scored a field goal, most likely setting up overtime.

Tags: Broncos, jets, Jim Leonhard, Main Page, Opinion, Adam Rotter
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Recently, Peyton Manning spoke about how the lockout has affected his recuperation following his offseason neck injury. He's been particularly concerned about the upcoming season due to his lack of access to the trainers most familiar with his body.

If that's the case, then some Jets players who have been rehabbing during the offseason may have cause for concern as well. For instance, Jerrico Cotchery has been recovering from back surgery after playing with a herniated disc last season. That, coupled with his groin injury last year, are reasons to want to get him back in the hands of the Jets staff.

Jim Leonhard is also someone to keep an eye on. Despite the fact that he's been cleared to play by his doctors and has been training since late June, as he has said: "Obviously you get back and meet with the trainers, but I would feel comfortable doing anything at this point. A lot of it has gone on feel because it?s a bone, and it's hard to determine what the timeline would be. If there's a lot of soreness, you back off; if it feels good, you push hard. Now I feel like I can push it as hard as I want."

Tags: injuries, jerrico cotchery, Jim Leonhard, lockout, Main Page, Adam Rotter
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Jim Leonhard had only good things to say about Kerry Rhodes in his first conference call. The respect for the things Rhodes can do is definitely there, but there is a subtle acknowledgment of the strides he can still make towards improving.

Ed Reed, from play to play he picked and chose what he felt he needed to do in this defense to allow us to be the most successful. Being the other safety, you have to be very flexible to allow him that freedom, that creativity that makes him one of the best ever...Kerry Rhodes, he is a great safety, a great talent. In this defense, hopefully with me here, it will allow him to pick and choose those situations and allow him to have that type of success as well.
The one thing I take away from Leonhard's comments is that Rhodes is in control of his own destiny. It's going to be up to Rhodes to make his own adjustments, recognize what's best, and diagnose plays based on his own knowledge. Can Rhodes look at the field and see the same things Ed Reed would see? Ryan's system or not, it's all up to Kerry now.

Maybe that's for the best. Rhodes' role was completely changed in 2008 when Mangini had him playing deep. Rhodes was constantly out of position to make plays, and always looked a second late when he was going for interceptions.

Tags: Jim Leonhard, Kerry Rhodes, Main Page
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Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post reports that safety Jim Leonhard, formerly of the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens, has signed a three-year contract with the New York Jets. The terms of the contract have yet to be disclosed.

The signing is a great one for all the reasons everyone already knows. He's familiar with Rex Ryan's system and enjoyed his best season as a pro playing in it. He did a great job stepping in for Dawan Landry and proving himself in 2008, but is he a substantial upgrade for the Jets? It might be too soon to crown him as the next John Lynch, but there's no doubt that he can be an absolute player.

Tags: Jim Leonhard, Main Page
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