That is an understatement, concerning the state of this franchise. I have thought and even tried to write an article concerning the problems, the solutions and just could not get my thoughts processed. I still am having trouble so bear with me as I do my best in figuring out what the best way in my opinion to go about improving this team. The problems are many and it's hard to imagine as this team was so close to putting it all together. It has only taken a little over a full season to go from one game away from a Super Bowl to this point. The record since then is only .500, but after watching last week's 34-0 whitewash this team needs to act and make good decisions from this point on. The bad decisions that were made should not be repeated, as that is why the team is in this state in the first place.
The problem starts in the front office and I feel lies squarely in the lap of M. Tannenbaum, his lack of football knowledge is a huge problem. The injuries to D. Revis and S. Holmes have amplified them making the Jets problems visible to all. The O-Line is not opening running lanes nor are they pass protecting. The only player on the O-Line playing at a high level is N. Mangold. The R.B.'s are missing the few holes when they do open and the Jets WR/TE corps is currently the worst in the NFL. It does not matter who is at QB with these problems, it just doesn't matter. Joe Namath, D. Marino or either of the Manning's would be struggling as long as these problems exist. I would trade T. Tebow to Jacksonville,Fl.. for WR L. Robinson first. The media circus the franchise is trying to eliminate was amplified the day he was signed and continues to be a distraction. Tebow garnered more attention than all of the F. A. signings combined, a b/u QB? The players were divided on the decision, which adds to another problem the team needs to eliminate(an un-unified team). Distractions are something you can ill afford ordinarily, but can be devestating when coaching young players. The team needs to give M. Sanchez another target who can step in and play now to make up for the loss of Holmes, not another project to develop, he has plenty of those. This move helps the WR/TE's, eliminates the biggest distraction at the present time and helps with team unity. I would wait to make this move until after the Houston adventure. The plan for Houston would be to remove M. Sanchez if he starts taking hits from the relentless pass rush of J.J. Watt and co.. If the line can't protect the QB, T. Tebow and his running ability gives the team the best chance to win this game, and this franchise can ill afford another injury to a key player like the starting QB. Who knows the Jets could bounce back from last weeks loss and play at a high level and hand the Texans their first loss of the season, not likely but stranger things have happened. I would start M. Sanchez and give the team a chance to bounce back, the leash should be kept short however and if this game gets out of hand I insert "Timmy".
The game last week, exposed this team for what it is. A team lacking in depth with aging LB's, a team reeling from the loss of all pro CB D. Revis. This once dominate defense has become a former shell of itself, the experienced LB's lack speed and the young LB's lack experience. The D-Line is a mixture of both young and old as well with similar problems described above concerning the LB's. The DB's are adapting to playing with the loss of the best CB in the NFL, Cromartie seemed to play well, but K. Wilson was way over-matched. Had a QB(not game manager)been playing the score would have been even more lopsided. On two or three occasions A.Smith under threw wide open targets with 2-3 steps ahead of the slot CB who is going to either get better or cover slot receivers only as he did not look good in his first outing as the #2 CB. The Safeties will take some time to adapt but veterans like L. Landry("Dirty 30") and Y. Bell should be better this week, and will continue to improve quickly. I would be using the 4-3 set formation more starting this week, as in my opinion the depth is better and the young players lack game time experience and coaching in order to pressure the QB, C. Dunbar has a good track record with coaching pass rushers as well as run stuffers. I would also use the quicker LB's on obvious passing downs and allow them to gain the experience they need. I would do all this on MNF, as it would offer more players time to get on the field, those who make plays should be given more playing time. This offers them an incentive to play hard, I am not seeing this team firing off the ball or even playing to the whistle. It's one thing to be out-matched and out-coached in every facet of the game as was the case last week against the '9ers, combine that with lack of effort and it gets ugly(it upset me physically, emotionally and mentally as well)I can't stand watching the Jets lose the way they did last Sunday. I feel however in the long run it was good that it happened, otherwise the problems may not have shown up until much later. Now revealed they must learn to fix it, as you can bet opposing teams will try it until the Jets correct it. With bad O-Line play to this point from all but Mangold, and the thin WR corps losing S. Holmes(I.R.) who had chemistry with M. Sanchez and was his favorite target. The Jets WR corps is the worst in the NFL. D. Keller has missed most of the season, and Ground and Pound is getting grounded and pounded as our RB's cant seem to break free from a wet paper bag. The Jets also lost TE D. Epps to injury in the game last week, he was hit in the knee as he was making the catch which was wrongly ruled a fumble. The Jet family thanked him for his contributions by waiving him(why no IR?), it's not like he was being paid a bundle, I bet most NFL TE's would have done the same thing if hit like that. I think it may have been the "Tebow" completion? Bad call all around and a tough break for the kid who formerly played for "The U".
So what is the plan, and where does this team go from here? At present they lead the AFC East at 2-2 with 2 wins within the division. I am of the mindset that you do whatever the F**K it takes to win as many football games as possible. I feel R. Ryan's overconfidence was a problem, I hope he is aware of it and realizes this is not "the best team he has ever coached". That is something that will be revealed at the end of the season, not the beginning. He did place the blame on his shoulders for last weeks debacle, he was a different man than I have seen saying "we will get that taken care" when questioned about the Jets problem area's. R.Ryan is a defensive coach, who if given the time will build a monster but with a GM trading away all his draft picks it may be delayed(and he was oh so close), he was largely responsible for the Raven's once dominant defensive unit that won a Super Bowl despite the fact that team lacked an offense. The game has changed since then, but he knows how to put together a unit that can stop a good offense. He has proven himself in both Baltimore and then his first couple seasons as the Jets HC. Rex is not a GM however, and with M. Tannenbaum's lack of knowledge when it comes to the game, he most likely leans on Rex who is not capable of wearing both hats. I feel most of these problems can be fixed by hiring the right GM, not a salary cap guru who has the Jets handcuffed in that area too(that's tantamount to keeping a kicker who misses field goals repeatedly from all area's of the field). A couple of candidates to replace T-Bomb, who I feel can help this franchise come to my mind. I think B. Billiick is itching to get out of the studio and I do feel as R. Ryan's former boss the fit makes perfect sense. He understands the game, as well as most of the teams in the NFL and would be a good fit for R. Ryan who does not deserve to lose his job, remember he has brought us more wins in both the regular season and the playoffs in his first 3 seasons than any coach that comes to my mind. The players like Rex, provided they do not quit on him he should be retained for another year at the very least. Continuity is very important for long term success in this league. Take the Steeler's for example, they have had three coaches since I have become a fan of the game and also the most SB trophies(emulate success). This brings me to option number two, hire B. Cowher and let him bring the Steeler's formula for success to the Jet's, remember it took him 12 years in Pittsburgh but he is one of the few people in the world who can wear both hats, he wants full control over personnel decisions. That is something I can live with and in that case maybe T-Bomb remains but focuses on resolving the cap issues(Rex would get the axe). J. Gruden understands the game as well but I am not so sure it's a good fit for either? Gruden seems to like what he is doing and it allows him more freedom to spend his time with his biological family.I would say J. Gruden would be able to get M. Sanchez playing at his best in the shortest amount of time, allowing the team to either keep him, coach him and fix the other issues or part ways at the best time for the Jets with as much compensation as possible(some football insider's feel the Jets have hurt M. Sanchez more than the M. Sanchez hurts the Jets) . There are some things in common with all three of the short list I have compiled. They have all won a Super Bowl as a HC in the NFL, they understand the game as it is now as well as how it used to be, they can see what the Jets are doing right, what they are doing wrong, and have the ability and intelligence to make the needed changes. I would say that B. Billick is the best fit and makes the most sense as the next GM and he may want to make changes to the coaching staff? R. Ryan has always preached putting each player in the best chance for them to succeed. The hiring of B.Billick may require Rex to move to Defensive Coordinator? It may not as Billick may want to retain Ryan as H.C. or Replace him altogether which is unlikely this season. Imagine in Rex's case, it would be interesting to see if he is willing to follow his own advice in the event that scenario developed and he was asked to stay on as the DC, it is not something I ever remember happening so is unlikely.
As fans of this team we are used to failure and bi-polar teams. Winning however is a habit, unfortunately so is losing. I feel this team can win as many as 10 games this season with some luck, but 9 is more realistic as long as the right decisions are made the rest of the way. regardless of this seasons outcome, a change must be made at GM. That sums up both the problem as well as the solution. I could write a laundry list of mistakes that were made by the Jets GM since his hire, but they(poor decisions) seem to be being made more frequently and they have more negative impact on the field of play and in the locker room too . Instead I ask you all to think on this and provide as much input as possible. Who should be the Jet's next GM? I feel many people on this website could do a better job than M. Tannenbaum, but realistically feel we should look elsewhere. This team does not have to turn into the Miami Dolphins, who are hanging onto GM J. Ireland and changing everything else. The end result of retaining a bad GM is losing football games, changing your HC more often than you vote, and high round draft picks on a yearly basis, not to mention spending time as you wish in January allowing you to attend every Super Bowl. I ask you as fans of this team to support our Jets football team in anyway you can think of. Trust me, supportive fans can only help our Jets. It can have a profound impact on how the team plays as it produces positive energy. Lack of support and criticism can have the exact opposite effect as it produces negative energy. I do not have 42 more years to wait left in me. If we can manage to bring about any amount of change to improve the Jets I am all for it, while it disturbs me to hear so many critical discussions concerning some of the players/coaches who have helped the Jets go from non-factors to back to back AFC Championship game in the past few seasons and they are still leading the division even with all that has gone wrong. Imagine if things started going right within the nest few weeks? Football teams and Franchises do not change that fast for the most part, a rookie QB that helped the Jets get to back to back AFC championships, and has proved to be good when it counts. Leading game winning drives, 4th quarter&OT comebacks 9 and 10 respectively. Only to follow it up with a 10-10 record since then, with all things considered we have seen much worse, the cap hit alone makes it a bad move to move him anyway. M. Sanchez is growing up, he is only 25yrs old and is 4-2 in post season play(all road games)leaving him just one shy of the NFL record. He looks more confident this season, and his stats would look a lot better had his teammates not played so poorly. Yes, he still makes mistakes but the ones I have seen are due to either outstanding play by opposing defenses or breakdowns in protection,bad routes and dropped balls.(You don't hear him complaining about it or blaming others), he just wants to get better and I feel he will once his supporting cast is in place. I also would not fire R. Ryan or even speak of it until we see how the team is playing at the end of this season. The hometown fans could help by getting loud at the proper times making it more difficult to execute and audible. I can not change that, nor can I make the changes I described above, with your help however we can be more helpful. I feel this website has had impact on everything from draft picks to coaching changes, maybe it is just coincidental, but we may have helped run Shotty out of town as well as impacting a draft selection or two. That was a long overdue change, and why we did not replace M. Cavenaugh too is beyond me. I would have also sought out coaches like M. Nolan(Atl.) and J. Del Rio(St. Louis) and at least interviewed them. Like the former Jets littered throughout the NFL, that are making plays and helping other teams kick our butts. The players we let get away and the cap problem are reason enough for a new GM. Trading the draft picks make it all the more obvious to me, and I doubt that I am alone on this. I wish you all the best as we root on our "Gang Green", the team will do better with our support. The entire Nation of football fans will be watching this game Monday night, expecting us to lose. I choose to expect the un-expected and will be tuned in watching for some changes to have been made and with a fortuitous bounce or two the Jets can shock the NFL.
Vero Beach, Fl.
PS: I am also a fan of the MLB St. Louis Cardinal; NBA Miami Heat which both won titles in the past year.
I would be amazed to win the NFL/MLB/NBA "Triple Crown", instead of saying "I'll Have Another" I am choosing to acknowledge M. Cabrera's tremendous accomplishment. Winning the first MLB triple crown in 45 years. The feat was last performed by C. Yazstremski in 1967, the year my wife was born.