Here's the final part of this year's mailbag. Remember, everyone had to ask one Jets/NFL question and one non-NFL question. Questions are in italics and my responses in normal text.
Brendan • Robby Anderson gets a lot of flack for being a "one trick pony" when it seems it is at-best a lazy label that doesn't account for his improvement in certain areas. Can you describe the strides Robby has made and maybe talk a bit about how those are particularly exciting when related to Sam.
I shared Robby's numbers on intermediate routes in a late-season 3-on-O which showed his numbers on such plays are comparable with elite receivers around the league. That was here. I think his route running and abilities after the catch are underrated and hopefully he'll develop further next year if they can unleash those abilities.
I gather that Robby was legitimately frustrated early in the year and looking ahead to a future elsewhere, but from what I've heard recently, he is committed to the Jets for the long-term, is looking at creating a special relationship with Sam Darnold and wants NFL fans to get a better sense of the real Robby Anderson, so is hoping to show that side of himself over the course of the offseason.
You are working your way through the MCU. Which movie has been your favorite? Least favorite? Same for main characters. And any other tidbits or commentary you'd like to throw in.
I'm nearly up to the end of phase two. So far, I liked Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers Assemble the best. I like the Thor and Iron Man movies but Captain America and Incredible Hulk weren't as good. All-in-all, it's harmless fun.
I found that I liked most of the female characters but the evil protagonists were mostly pretty forgettable, other than Loki. The fact that they re-cast the Hulk was confusing as hell. And it was funny seeing Bill Maher in an Iron Man 3 cameo literally one day after I'd watched his monologue criticizing anyone who likes Superhero movies.
(Oh, and testicles go in the C-gap).
Hazard2012 • In which game next season will the Jets lock-up the AFCE and put and end to the tyranny of the NE Death Star in the division?
Madden, if I edit all my players so their ratings go up to 99.
Are you a fan of the BBC series, Luther...and why is BBC America taking so long in airing Season 5 on this side of the Pond?
Yes, Luther (starring Idris Elba) is an excellent show and the latest season aired in the UK in the first week of January. Not sure what the hold-up is over there. I don't want to give up any plot points, but there is supposedly going to be a sixth season in a year or two.
I would probably recommend a re-watch of the earlier seasons before you see it, something which I did not do.
NYJ Turf Toe • Most of us are all assuming a DE Edge Rusher or top O-Lineman for the draft pick at #3. In the event we do not trade back, who could the Jets pick that is not any of the above (i.e. WR, TE, RB, etc.) that would make the most sense and not drive us completely crazy for sure!
Quinnen Williams, who is more of a defensive tackle, might be the best player available at that point in the draft so he'd be difficult to pass on. I actually think he's a better prospect than Leonard Williams was when we drafted him. Not sure how well the two of them complement one another on the same line though.
If a wide receiver like DK Metcalf has a monster combine, I guess that could elevate him into top three contention. Otherwise, I'd be surprised if they went in any other direction.
Will there ever be a Highlander movie reboot and who's your pick to be the Kurgan! There can only be one!
I haven't even seen Highlander. Isn't that a Ben Stiller movie?
According to the internet, there is a reboot in the works which, back in May, was rumored to be released in 2019. There hasn't been much since then though, so maybe it has stalled. For what it's worth, Dave Bautista - who you may know best as WWE's Batista or Drax the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy - was rumored to be the Kurgan but nobody knows if that's still the case.
Lou Piccone • What positions do we expect the jets to go after in the draft and what positions will they attempt to fill via free agency?
With so much cap space, the best approach may be a double-pronged effort where they fill all their holes in free agency as best they can, leaving them free to take the best players available for potential upgrades or projects throughout the draft. If they come up empty anywhere - and offensive line is a good bet because there are fewer options - then it becomes a priority that they must address in the draft.
Will they go after any FA's that are in the age group 29-31 and will that be a good move at this time?
I think it would. As this season showed, bringing in veterans with a bit of experience that are still at their peak is a wise move. There's plenty of players in their late twenties with connections to new Jets coaches, which I outlined here.
Wait, you cheated. That wasn't a non-NFL question. Forget I said anything.
Sacks are Snacks • How will Greg Williams likely deal with Tom Brady and his quick hitting/passing offense?
Well, we know Williams likes a creative, multiple strategy and an aggressive approach towards pressure. Interior pressure has always been the key towards slowing Brady down (although is he even that good any more?)
The question is...how well has Gregg done against Brady in the past? Pretty hit and miss:
- Brady has won 8 of 10 starts against Williams, although he's just 3-1 in the last 15 years.
- Williams' defense shut Brady out once and held him to less than 20 points three times.
- The Patriots scored more than 30 in five of these games, including 45 in one and 52 in another.
- Brady had the worst QB rating of his career against Williams' Bills defense in the 2003 season opener.
- Of the 10 starts, Brady had a QB rating of over 100 in five and under 80 in four. Only the most recent game in 2016 saw him post a QB rating in between 80 and 100.
- They've never met in the postseason.
Have you read the Brandon Sanderson Cosmere (Mistborn Series, The Stormlight Archive, etc.)? Better than GoT.
Never heard of it!
I'm not much of a reader (I don't have time because IAWATC), so I haven't even read George R R Martin's books. Is there a chance this will be made into a film or TV series? If so, I'd definitely check that out.
By-Tor • Can you give some examples from Gase's playbook that'll make life easier the Sam? How do you think he'll use our current players to scheme them open? What kind of players do we need to sign to make his system go?
Here was a good breakdown on GGN to save me reinventing the wheel.
A lot of people have tried to answer the last part of that question by looking at what he had in Miami, which is pretty comparable to what the Jets have now. However, we should perhaps aspire to have an offense that looks something like the 2013 Broncos, who - with Gase as their OC - went to the Super Bowl and led the league in scoring behind Peyton Manning's NFL record 55 touchdown passes.
It's a lot of pressure to expect Sam Darnold to be as good as Peyton Manning, but surrounding him with similar weapons would be a good start. Looking at that team, they had a thousand-yard rusher who also caught 60 passes in Knowshon Moreno and a productive reserve in Montee Ball. That production seems replaceable but it's at wide receiver where they really excelled.
Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas all put up big numbers with at least 10 touchdown receptions each. While Chris Herndon might be able to emulate Thomas' contributions in a feature role and the likes of Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson have shown they can be productive, the Jets lack a natural slot type like Welker and Thomas is a little bigger than anything the Jets currently have.
What are your biggest musical influences and what does your rig look like?
It had been a long time since I'd written any music, having been somewhat prolific about 15 years ago, when my main influences would have been from Britpop, grunge and American rock bands with a bit of Nick Cave built in because the singer I worked with used to like to "croon".
However, I've recently - out of nowhere - suddenly started churning out solo material, putting together at least an album's worth of songs in the last six months or so. Obviously my influences have developed over the years and the songs are definitely more complex now. I also seem to have figured out how to write about more abstract concepts rather than from my own personal experiences.
I guess what sparked a lot of this new direction is that I've been getting more into so-called prog bands, but I'm still also influenced by a lot of the same bands I used to be into as well.
As for my "rig", I generally play the majority of the time just with an acoustic guitar and that's it, although I've written some songs on an electric and a couple on my banjo. It's been a while since I played live and, given that I live in an apartment block, I haven't even got a working amp at the moment, although I have a broken one that I use to rest my foot on when I'm playing the acoustic.
BadBirds • How did you become a Jet fan/what is your first Jet memory?
First game I saw was the epic 51-45 win against Miami in 1986 during which my Dad was telling me all about Joe Namath who had won the Super Bowl while he was living in Canada so I decided to root for the Jets and stuck with them ever since.
What the hell keeps happening to my socks? Follow up, how do you like your eggs? Will you be having the biscuits, waffles, pancakes or toast?
Lost socks are merely offerings to the washer/dryer gods. Call it a sockrifice.
I can't eat any of that stuff. Gimme an omelette and serve up the pancakes for bob with da butter instead.
juunit • Who do you think the Jets are going to give their biggest contract of the offseason to?
Maybe Leonard Williams, but I'm hoping Grady Jarrett. Could be Le'Veon though. I've seen some people suggesting Tyrell Williams could be a target at $15 million. That sounds terrible.
What is your favorite musical instrument to listen to?
Any musical instrument apart from a recorder or an ocarina can sound amazing if played well, so this was a difficult question but I think I'm going to go with the harmonica.
Lam Jones • Will you be covering the AAF in any way, and do you expect it to develop useful NFLers in the short term? Are there any "expendables" playing to your knowledge?
I only intend to cover it in passing, but maybe I'll do a recap at the end of the season. There's plenty of ex-Jets in the league. Our old friend Steiny sent us this list:
QB John Wolford
K Nick Folk
DB Dexter McDougle
QB Matt Simms
DT TJ Barnes
LB Jeff Luc
LB Dylan Donahue
DT Jeremy Faulk
K Nick Novak
QB Christian Hackenberg
WR Jalin Marshall
P Ben Turk
Salt Lake Stallions:
K Taylor Bertolet
LB Trevor Reilly
San Antonio Commanders:
K Nick Rose
San Diego Fleet:
DB Kendall James
LB Deion Barnes
Why do you think Kit Harrington said his wife wouldn't talk to him for two days after he told her the ending of GOT?
Perhaps she was upset that he knew something.
Ultimately the decision to introduce me as a checkmarkwrenchsaber-wielding jedi that ends up on the throne with Gilly is going to divide the critics.
Finally...last but not least:
Smooth • Do you believe the front office truly values youth in their premium draft picks or is it just a sample-size coincidence?
We were told about the team's organizational philosophy all the way back to D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Darrelle Revis. A big part of the team's cap structure at that time was to try and stagger the point at which each premium player would require an extension, so they didn't become due all at once. Unfortunately, Revis broke that mold.
Once the rules changed so contract lengths were set in stone, I'd imagine that age became a powerful factor because the team would rather the player came up for his fifth year option at age 26/27 rather than 28/29. In the latter scenario, your second contract is going to extend into the player's early thirties.
I'm sure that's just one of a number of factors they take into account though, so while it might "break the tie" between two comparable prospects, I doubt they'd pass on an elite player who happened to be a year older than they'd ideally like, if the other option was a younger guy who was nowhere near as good.
If you had to trade one Jet player for one Tottenham player, who would it be and why? Which Spur would be the best football player and which Jet would be the best soccer player?
Kane for Winters and then leave both on the bench all season.
Okay, okay...I'll answer the second part seriously. Give me Darron Lee and I'll turn him into a ball-winning midfield general (hehe General Lee) who'll cover a lot of ground and overpower opponents to gain possession. Also, he won't need to take on any blocks, so that's his major weakness (other than a total lack of soccer experience or footballing ability) eradicated.
Most soccer players are less than 200 pounds, so you're basically restricted to receivers and cornerbacks if I'm trading a Spurs player to the Jets. I guess they could also be kick returners but I'd be worried that muscle memory would just cause them to boot the ball back to the other team. I guess Toby Alderweireld is big enough and has the range and field vision to be a decent deep safety, so let's go with that.
I was going to give you Kieran Trippier but Adam Gase doesn't like fullbacks.
Thanks again everyone for your amazing questions!