I know it's really kinda early to go into offseason prognostication mode, especially considering the fact that the Jets still (somehow) have a very legitimate shot at making the playoffs. However, lets face it, even if the Jets are to make the playoffs, these issues likely will not have been resolved. The Jets play a very weak slate the rest of the way, with the only 2 real even slightly difficult teams being the Eagles (notoriously inconsistent) and the Giants (prone to late season meltdowns / collapses / swoons). So, be it as it may, the Jets can still have a ton of problems and sail into the playoffs at 10-6. Heck, they can even win some playoff games this year while still having all these issues, as frankly the slate of probable playoff teams this year are far from fearsome (the best of the bunch being Bmore, Pitt and NE and none of them seem to be as good as the recent vintages).
Coaches: Now, the main problem facing this team that MUST be taken care of as I'm sure everyone here knows and is in agreement on, is of course the firing of Schotty. His new (or as it turns out not so new) contract extension aside, the dude has gotta go. I'm not gonna go into the particulars of why he sucks so much as it's been hashed out here ad nauseum but I really feel that keeping him around will cost us big time. And that's putting it lightly. This isn't coming to defend Sanchez, but I at the very least would like to see how the guy would do with at least some competent coaching.
Ah, now that we're talking about competent coaching and Sanchez I gotta mention this story. Earlier this year I was talking to my friend who's a huge Ravens fan and I was of course destroying our main man Schotty (I think this was after the first Pats game). He tells me "At least Schotty isnt as bad as the OC the Ravens had when they won the SB named Matt Cavanaugh" Me: "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! HE'S OUR QB COACH!!!!!!!!". My point being that this fool has gotta go also. I said this already last offseason, but if Mark Brunell is really such a mentor for Sanchez I don't understand why they don't just make him QB coach as he has no real purpose on this team (more on this later).
Quarterback: Honestly, I'm really past the point of defending Sanchez. I'm not yet at the point of trashing him completely and saying he shouldn't be our QB of the future but as I mentioned earlier, I'd still like to see how he fares with a competent OC (and QB coach for that matter). That being said, I don't really have all that much faith in him at the moment. He was supposed to take a big step up this season and he really hasn't. While I feel he has improved in some areas he still makes tons of dumb mistakes. Honestly, he's like me many times on tests in college. Doing pretty well (but not great) but then make dumb unforced mistakes that spin the test out of control and you end up with a bad mark.
However, I don't feel there's much that can be done about this situation, other than surrounding him with better talent in the hope that this will raise his play and the firing of Schotty and Cavaaugh. As it stands now, the Jets are very much a win now team. They really can't afford to draft a QB and have him develop behind Sanchez and they can't play a rookie either. Drafting a QB in a later round won;t help much either. Furthermore, I don't think there are gonna be all that many options in the FA market to challenge Sanchez
So, what I'd suggest is at least hiring a competent backup (you know, someone not named Brunell) to come in and at least give Sanchez a bit of a push. You honestly think that Sanchez is getting a push from having Brunell get 6 reps with the 1st team offense? Really?????
Running Back: This is definitely an area that needs work. For 2 years we had a really fantastic running attack but suddenly this year it's gone kaput. I do think Shonn Greene is decent but lets face it the guy can't carry the running game alone. He is not "the bell cow" that Rex wanted him to become. Furthermore, this team is in dire need of offensive playmakers (while I was off regarding a lot of the guys I wanted the Jets to get this offseason, ahem sucky Nnamdi Asomugha......I did want Darren Sproles badly and I think he'd have been great for the Jets). Next year LT will be gone and I'm assuming that McKnight will take over his role, but he's only gonna be a 3rd down RB. We need to get an explosive RB if possible if available early in the draft.
I'd also suggest for Greene that he get a new helmet over the offseason as I swear his helmet falls off even more times than Wayne Hunter or Matt Mulligan commit holding.
Wide Receiver: Much as it is by the running back position, the WR position on the Jets majorly suffers from a lack of playmakers. I don't know what the heck happened to our good buddy Santonio Holmes but the dude has been an absolute black hole this year. Whats his deal? Is he back to wakin n bakin? Someone please let me know......Either way, he'd be our only possible playmaker at WR as Plaxico's forte is falling down immediately after a catch, not running with it. Plax can't stretch the field either. I like Kerley a lot, but all he is is a possesion receiver.
What bothers me even more is that for the last few years the Jets have absolutely no depth whatsoever at WR. Look at the Giants or the Steelers who trot out tons of WR's. When was the last time the Jets ever went 4 wide on a normal play? 5 wide? Ever? Seriously, it's ridiculous.
I feel the Jets should go the Steelers route and draft a WR in the first round (unless there's some unbelievable RB or Safety that they absolutely can't pass on) and additional burners later. There appear to be a really nice crop of WR's available early this year so we might that chance. I'm usually very against WR's in the draft but at this point I don't think we have much of a choice.
Tight End: Dustin Keller is fairly decent, I'll give him that. but boy does he leave you feeling he could be so much more. He'll have some monster games and then he'll disappear for 2 months before showing himself for 2 out of 3 games. Again, a lot of this could just be the fact that Schotty is a brain dead imbecile but we really have no idea if that's totally the case. Much as with Sanchez, I'd like to see if he can develop more under a competent OC.
He's not the problem though as our backups leave much to be desired. I think Cumberland has a ton of potential but I'd like to see him at least healthy a drop before I proclaim anything for him. Matt Mulligan though is an absolute unmitigated disater. PLEASE get rid of this guy. PLEASE. I would really like to see them draft a TE in the 3rd round
O-Line: I have not the faintest idea what happened to this group (other than of course Hunter for Woody) but they have been FAR worse than in years past. I feel that Slauson has actually played pretty well and Mangold when healthy has been his usual dominant self. Brick though has frankly had an awful year, especially by his standards as has Brandon Moore.
Hunter though has been even worse than Mulligan. I saw people trying to claim he was getting better. Um, no, he's consistently sucked (except against Miami). This is one thing I was very very very much in the wrong as I felt the Jets could withstand the loss of Woody by replacing him with Ducasse (another disaster) or Hunter. Oh well, that didnt work out.....
I think though that they shouldn't draft someone but rather get a veteran here. Much as at QB the Jets really can't afford to have someone learn on the fly here.