Well, we appear to be in a state of Limbo as far as NFL happenings are concerned. The draft is over, draft analysis is slowly fading away from espn and such, and there's really nothing significant going on until training camp begins in the summer, but that's a long way away. Further away than the release of Ted. All we can really do is debate, speculate, and hope right now. And this is a little taste of my thoughts of what's around the corner.
Personally, I think we had a wonderful draft. It's definitely too early to tell how good the draft actually is, we won't know that for a couple years. That being said, I thought we did a good job when it came to getting the best out of both need and value. Coples looks like with the right guy coaching him (Rex seems like a good candidate), he can be a real stud in this league. Kind of like Justin Smith is for the 9ers. Hill seems to have fallen into the perfect situation for himself. All he needs to do right now is be a deep threat, since that was really the main ingredient missing from our offense last season. He can grow into being a more complete receiver in the next year or two, but I think he fits right in, and will make Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, and Kerley better. I'm sure Mark is excited over his new toy. Demario Davis looks like he could be a stud in a couple of years, and we got some very nice value with all our late round picks.
Now, what does our roster look like. Well, it looks pretty good to me, although we have a couple of glaring holes. Notably Right Tackle, and Free safety. I know Sparano's track record isn't very promising, but I think that if we can at least run the football again, the entire offensive line benefits. That's the DNA of this team, and the downfall of last season began in training camp by trying to air it out too much. If you look back, Hunter was alright when subbing in for Woody at the end of 2010. Far from great, but he was serviceable enough. When you have Mangold, Brick (I'm expecting him to bounce back), and Moore on your line, being serviceable should cut it for the other members. That being said, i'm not too optimistic, and I'm gonna cringe every time we have to throw the ball, unless Hunter proves otherwise. Free safety...well, ya got me there. I don't think we're gonna have a legitimate solution. Not a direct one anyway. Coples should improve our pass rush, and improving the speed of the linebackers should help out a little when it comes to managing tight ends. Petting acknowledged that they need to do a better job vs. tight ends in the future, so it's at least nice to know that the staff acknowledges an issue. I will say this though, don't be surprised to see Eric Smith starting at free safety. Are we going to give up a lot of passing yards with him back there? Yes. But we still finish near the top of the league in pass defense every year, and there's this little thing called the salary cap, so you can only solidify your roster so much. Because of this Salary cap, no team will be 100% Ironclad perfect. Except maybe the 2006 Chargers.
Speaking of Sparano...well, i'll start by saying after six year of bland, boring offense, that only finished above 20th twice in that time, i'm willing to give almost anything a shot. Now, Sparano's track record is far from promising. We're gonna have to be realistic in acknowledging that we're not going to have a super high-flying, ultra-charged offensive powerhouse. Quite frankly, we don't need to. We're a defense-oriented team. We just have to be able to run the football, and not turn the ball over as much as we did last season. If you look back at 2008 and 2009, when Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams still had some legs, the Dolphins were actually quite good at running the ball. I also know for a fact that we'll take our fair share of shots down the field, I saw those Dolphins teams do that quite a bit actually.
Now, there's this Sanchez-Tebow Dynamic that's somehow going to have to work out. Well, as far as I can tell, they get along just fine, so we don't have to worry about that at the very least. It's a fact that if Tim Tebow at any point in the season becomes the starter, it's a dead season. The only reason he would become a starter is if we started off really poorly and Rex basically had no choice but to try something desperate to restore life to the team. This team will only be Successful with Mark Sanchez as our quarterback. I've already explained how I don't support the Tebow Move, but i'm done complaining about it, complaining won't change anything. Him being here could actually help out the run game a bit. The Broncos led the league in rushing offense thanks to him (they couldn't run the ball with Kyle Orton at the helm). Bringing in a little bit of that for 5-10 plays game may not be the worst thing in the world for a team that wants to be ground-and-pound. He also is going to be used at various other spots throughout the field supposedly, including various running back positions, and as a punt protector. He's a team guy, he'll do anything to get this team wins. We can only hope that it works out that way, with Mark Sanchez having a solid, clean, season, and Tebow being a secondary weapon that we pull out occaisonally.
So, how do I think this season is going to go as of now? Well, I think if things work out, and It's not unrealistic to think that they will, we can definitely be right in the middle of the playoff picture next year. If the Patriots regress a little next year (Brady won't stay young forever, even Peyton started to falter a little in his last season with the Colts), maybe we can even stay in the picture for the division. We have a very talented team that sort of just fell apart last year on multiple fronts. And Rex is an inexperienced head coach, he's still learning on the Job. Having an off-year could one day be seen as the best thing that ever happened to the team. You build success off of failures. I suppose that's a rather naive way to look at the situation, but I know this about Rex: he wants to win, and he's a competitor that's gonna lay it all out there. There is obviously quite a bit of bust potential too, i'd be a fool not to realize that. All that being said, as a Jets fan (and a football fan), i'm looking forward to seeing how it all turns out next season, because it's certainly going to be pretty interesting. Kickoff at home versus the Bills can't come soon enough. Here's to hoping for a great 2012 season for the J-E-T-S.