Guest commentary on Justin McCareins


In a continuing series on the new Titans, with thoughts and opinions by the MVN writers who cover the former teams of those players, we now look at Justin McCareins through the eyes of the writers on The Cockpit.
Alex Benesowitz writes,

      McCareins sucks, he drops big catches, drops easy catches, he was a trade bust, plain and simple. A definite waste of the second round pick we traded for him. The Titans can keep him.

Well, that was short, sweet and to the point. I think we know how Alex feels about him.
T.J. Mims adds this,

      Justin McCareins, aka Alligator Arms, was supposed to be a big deep threat. That is not the case. He drops crucial passes, but if given the opportunity, will likely catch mostly everything his way early in the game, but not a go to guy with the game on the line. Not good for much after the catch. I honestly can’t remember the last time he scored a TD.

Another guy who is not a McCareins fan. That’s two who don’t like him.
Joe Caporoso offers a more detailed opinion:

      McCareins is one of the most disliked players in recent Jets history, mostly because of some crucial drops in both 2005 and 2007. There was a minor celebration across Jets blogs everywhere when he was released this offseason. If you want an idea about how they feel about him, go to you-tube and type “Justin McCareins has a bad day” and you will find a video documenting his game against Baltimore last year. Here is a quick run down of his time with the Jets:
      2004 – The Jets traded a 2nd round pick for McCareins, which was a questioned move at that time because up to that point he had never registered a 100 yard game in his career. Yet, he had showed some potential to be a big play receiver in Tennessee and the Jets needed a complimentary player to Santana Moss so they pulled the trigger. In his first year, McCareins was a quality starter, with 56 catches for 770 yards and 4 touchdowns. He scored the game winning touchdown in a game against Cleveland and also played very well in both of the Jets playoff games.
      2005 – McCareins began to slip this year as he only had 43 catches for 713 yards and 2 touchdowns. More importantly, he began to drop passes in big spots. The Jets went to him twice late in an early season close game against San Diego and both times he failed to come down with the ball. He began to struggle to catch the ball consistently in traffic as well.
      2006 – McCareins started off training camp in Eric Mangini’s doghouse by failing a running test. He ended up being benched in favor of Jerricho Cotchery, who had a breakout year in 2006. McCareins became the Jets #3 receiver and actually was decent in that role. He had only 23 catches for 347 yards and 1 touchdown, but he did manage to have a reception of over 40 yards on three separate occasions. He also scored some brownie points with Mangini by volunteering to play special teams.
      2007 – McCareins was brought back to continue in his role as the Jets #3 receiver but things got ugly early. He dropped a wide open game tying touchdown pass against Baltimore in week 2. He then capped his day off by having another chance later in the same game, only to let the ball bounce off his hands and into the hands of Ray Lewis, which ended the Jets chances of sending the game into OT. He began to be used much less after that game. Late in the season, he dropped an open touchdown pass in New England that would have made the score 20-17 with 4 minutes left. Earlier in the game, he had also dropped a key 3rd down conversion. He finished the year with 19 catches for 232 yards and 0 touchdowns.
      Overall – McCareins is a pretty fast guy with decent height, which is about the only positive thing I can say about him right now. He can’t make catches in traffic or in big spots and does a poor job of using his size to his advantage. Don’t get your hopes up on McCareins because he should be no more than a #4 receiver at this point of his career.

Thanks to the writers on The Cockpit for sharing their thoughts with us.


11 Responses to “Guest commentary on Justin McCareins”

  1. Dan Says:

    If he gives us ANYTHING I would be pleased and yet surprised. Thats why we need a WR

  2. Dan Says:

    If he gives us ANYTHING I would be pleased and yet surprised. Thats why we need a WR in the first round. I have been on the record of saying I want Lima’s Sweed, but frankly I would take anyone of these guys: Sweed, Hardy, Jackson, or Kelly, in no particular order.

  3. adam Says:

    Doesn’t sound all that promising, but then again Drew Bennett who was money on the 8-10 yard out route had a penchant for dropping the deep ball, especially in the clutch. Yet broadcasters and analysts somehow reasoned that he had great hands. At the time they traded McCareins, I thought they would have been better off dealing Bennett (if that was possible) At least this deal is 1yr/$1m and not 6yr/$30m like the Rams shelled out.

  4. Garland Says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize things went so far south for Justin up in NY. That’s pretty brutal. At least it makes it sound like TN got a great deal in the trade. Hopefully revisiting the South will make a difference in Justin’s game.

  5. Tom Gower Says:

    What the Jets writers said about McCareins follows what I’ve heard from other Jets fans. And those catch percentages I posted are just as encouraging.

  6. jrtitans Says:

    First, Im with Dan on the picks.
    Second, sounds like the Titans really made a deal, Jets wanted a 4th round pick last year.
    Third , we didnt spend a lot of money and we are not on the hook.
    Fourth, He is a deep threat and made those type of catches.
    Fifth, I celebrated too when some guys left this year..I think you know who and also agree with the DRRREEEEEW comment.
    Sixth, he is not the answer and we know that–his numbers are down–just like Gage’s were before he came here.
    Seventh, The jets just need players thay can spend big money on.

  7. jdarkness Says:

    Interesting comments across the board. I do agree this last year Justin far from delivered.
    I am less pessimistic, however, because what seemed to be missing throughout the comments is the circumstances in NY. Consider this… He played with six quarterbacks (Penny, Testeverde, Fiedler, Bollinger, Clemens, and Qunicy Morgan!! – two came out of retirement and two were not legit starters), two head coaches, three o-coordinators, and no running game after 2004. Even if he caught every ball, not much ever happened in the passing game to really put up numbers until 2006 when Pennington was back permanently from injury.
    His first season with the Jets he did deliver. Considering he worked under a hurt Pennington for the better part of the season, the passing game was hampered. Throw in some good games during the season plus leading the team in catches to be San Diego in the playoffs. Respectable numbers overall.
    2005 Justin actually performed better than reflected in the comments. Keep in mind again Quincy Carter, Vinny Testervede, and Brooks Bollinger were at the helm and Curtis Martin was hurt most of the season. Easy pickings for defenses to blitz and crowd receivers. He had some drops like ever receiver does but his stats in context were solid.
    2006 is where things get dicey. I follow the team closely and know a Jets reporter. The real deal is Justin had been getting treatment for a sore hamstring, tried to be a tough guy and run anyway, didn’t pass the test, hence PUP. New, tough guy coach and he made an example of Justin. Shame is Justin passed the same test the next day. Was he really out of shape if he passed the next day? 2006 numbers were way down because he only played the second half of the season. New coach played Tim Dwight as no. 3 who he brought from NE. Dwight got hurt and Justin stepped in. His full season stats were basically generated in half a season and weren’t bad.
    2007 is where he stunk it up. No way around it. Drops in Baltimore were sad. Check YouTube. NE drop not as bad as it was in the rain and he came down with it but juggled it going out of the back of the endzone after getting two feet in. Hardly a “hit him in the facemask type drop.
    Career stats are good. Lot of yards per catch and roughly 70% of catches for first downs. He is seasoned and after watching the Jets last season he regularly got double teamed on deep routes. Someone still thinks he can go long. Can Vince get it to him and can he catch it, we’ll see…
    Was I a fan of Justin during his first stint in Ten. Yes. Did I keep up with him. Yes. Is he the savior for the season. No. Can he play and make plays for us. I think yes. Counting down the days until camp…

  8. Alex Benesowitz Says:

    don’t blame the qbs bro the ball would consistently hit McCarein in the hands or in the chest and they would fall to the turf. Does it really matter who is throwing the ball to you if it hits you in the hands?!?! Which is why Jets fans call him “Stone Hands”

  9. Alex Benesowitz Says:

    he “stunk it up” from the first year he was there

  10. jdarkness Says:

    Alex…let’s put things in perspective here, is Randy Moss a good receiver or bad receiver going to NE from OAK? Huge bust in OAK, over the hill, a quitter, no heart…and then a 180 in NE as a result of a) a consistant qb situation b) stonger team leadership c) a rejuvinated drive to be a competitor. So how do we judge Randy on the whole?
    McCareins was a mid-4th round pick, he’s performed exceptionally well at times, with Titans…playoffs against Pitt, 2 catches in OT to lead a winning FG. AFC wild card, winning 50yd TD catch over Baxter to win the game for the Titans, 8 TDs for the year on 49 catches while SHARING time with dreeewwwww and D Mason. Jets, did lead the team in catches, no easy feat ever in the NFL…BUT, he did let them down in 4 or 5 games over 40 games with 5 or so crucial drops, no justification for that one bit, bad bad plays. Sounds like he’s lived up to a 4th round pick indeed.
    Let’s keep an open mind here going forward, he won’t be Randy Moss in the numbers, but believe he will have the same situation Randy walked into…qb, leadership, and a drive to prove himself. I see Tenn getting a steal w/ current contract.
    as Alex, not to pick on you, but how many games did you watch, I beg to differ with consistantly hit in the chest and drops??? i remember a juggling catch in the end zone against JAC when in Tenn that was NFL play of the week…so drops and that break even.

  11. Garo Says:

    I think Jdarkness is spot on. Would add:
    -A few years ago, many Steeler fans told me that Chris Hope “wasnt that good” and “no big loss.” KVB was a bust. Jason David was a better corner than Nick Harper, etc etc. Naturally, I dont put much faith into what a player’s former followers say due to the emotional attachment or deattachment.
    -JMac replaces Eric Moulds as the veteran with experience in Dinger’s offense. In this case, he’s younger, taller and faster and can play special teams.
    -As mentioned, JMac is a good #3 and is cheap. MR and Fisher are being smart and improving the Titans the right way…unlike some teams who overspend for mediocre players. *Cough, Jets, cough*
    -JMac has strived under Dinger.
    -If Dinger can develop our “potential” in our WR’s…then JMac may not even make the roster. If that happens, that means we’ve gotten better at the bottom of the depth chart.
    -Name me one person the NY media/fans actually like?
    -Other than myself, everyone blames VY for the Titans lack of passing game…but we cant blame the Jets subpar QB’ing for JMac’s lack of performance? It’s settle then, no more blaming VY! 🙂
    -From top to bottom, our WR core is better now than last year. Add a rookie, see what Dinger can do with our potential WR’s and you have a better WR core than last year. (10 wins, playoff berth.)
    *Falls back into the lurking shadowns*

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