My first piece on this topic was basically about a change in mentality, generally; a change in the mentality of Rex Ryan, specifically. And after thinking about this a bit, these two injuries (Revis and Tone) are the absolutely best things that could have happened to this team. Not unlike Peyton Manning
, Revis' absence will perhaps be more telling as to just how impactful a player he really is. His presence covers a LOT of warts. Tone's injury, coupled with Revis, is the best thing that ever happened for Sanchez. The defense is going to stink this year, and as a result, Rex will be forced to turn the reigns of the team over to Sanchez for the very first time. And without Tone, Sanchez will have full freedom to throw his weight around the room. He will grow more this year than he ever has.
Now don't get me wrong, Sanchez will still have his lapses. He will still make mistakes that make you cringe. And he will still have a completion percentage that leaves much to be desired. But the whole mental approach to this thing has shifted entirely. No longer is Sanchez the QB of a team that will make the playoffs so long as he doesn't screw it up. Now, for the very first time in his career, he gets to truly be the franchise QB. The team goes as he goes. And if you want to win, you HAVE to be invested in Sanchez succeeding. For the first time, this is HIS team. No longer will Sanchez have to take the field with his mission being not to screw up. Now his mission, and the whole team's mission, will be to MAKE PLAYS. This shift in mentality is going to be huge for this team. These injuries will force many necessary changes.
The first change, and it probably won't happen fully until after we get smoked by Houston, is a changing of the guard on the defensive side of the ball. Our LB corps will continue to be exposed in embarassing fashion until we take the "old reliables" out behind the shed and put a shotgun shell in through their skulls. They cannot handle any kind of speed. And Houston's running game is an absolute match-up nightmare for our defense right now. If the "old reliables" are embarassingly unreliable, its time to make way for the young bucks that will make some mistakes but will also make some plays along the way. Right now, Sione Po'hua stinks. He's probably hurt, but that doesn't mean he should play a ton of snaps. If you stink, you sit. Let Kenrick develop with some reps; give Wilkerson more reps inside. As far as the LBs go, Demario Davis
needs more reps. Davis looks good both on the inside and on the outside in pass rushing situations; he's got some speed and sizzle. Will he make some bad reads and over-run some stuff? Hell yeah. But he'll also blow some shit up. The other guys just aren't making things happen. Same for Maybin. Yes, he will get his ass kicked on the edge from time to time. But he will hustle himself into some plays. He'll chase some stuff down. He will move QBs off their sweet spot. What are Pace and Thomas doing right now that warrant Maybin getting no snaps? And for the love of all things holy, just leave Coples on the field until he taps out. The guy makes plays. He should not be sharing plays with Devito. Devito is now his back-up; he comes in when Coples is tired.
The second, and more necessary and immediate change (prolly should be first but whatever), cut Shonn Greene
. He's done. Finite. Roll with Powell and McKnight and Grimes. They all very well may suck. But Greene definitively sucks. Plus, by cutting him you get to send the message to the team that incompetence will not be tolerated from anybody. It will have shock value. There is absolutely no harm that can come from this move because Greene gives you literally nothing. I prefer every single back that I've seen get a NFL carry this season over Shonn Greene. Cutting his ass is addition by substraction. Conner too while we're at it. Everything that Greene is as a RB, Conner is as a FB. No vision, no balance, runs in straight lines and tries to blow up what ever hapens to be on his track. I can't tell you how many times I've seen Conner flat whiff by going for the kill shot rather than simply executing a block. I can't count how many times I've seen him lock onto a guy on his "track" and run right past a defender that winds up make a tackle behind scrimmage. Plus he gives you absolutely nothing as a receiver. Zippo.
Last, but not least, let your playmakers make some plays. Please!!! Get Kerly and McKnight some touches. Put them on the field together. Hit them on some quick screens. Get them in space. Put hem out there with Keller and Hill and Schilens and Tebow. You can do some stuff with that grouping. You can run some quick screens, you can run some Tebow wildcat, you can run some Kerley wildcat, you can run some McKnight wildcat, you can attack the edges, you can attack deep, you can spread them out and smash Tebow up the gut. I go nuts when I hear people say we have no weapons. We have weapons out of our ass, we just don't use them. Use them for God sakes!!!