If you're like me, then you've read and listened intently to the opinions of others when it comes to how effective the NY Jets off-season was in improving the team as a whole. That turned out to be a humbling experience for most considering the vastly negative reviews. On the surface it would seem as if thats pretty accurate because the managements desicions have destructive potential, BUT, this years Jets team has more positive potential than ever before. Considering most of the members of GGN have more Jets-related knowledge than these so-called experts, i'd like us to grade the Jets oursleves.
Positions of need heading into off-season.
FS- Josh Bush, Antoinio Allen
SS- Laron Landry, Yeramiah Bell
The saftey position last season was our defensive weak link, Jim Leohnard and Eric Smith got burned time and time again over the middle. Also Brodney Pool fell apart So we shipped him and leahnard out of here.
There were no really impressive FS's available. A name that got thrown around alot on this site was O.J. Otagwe who IMO was never who we needed. Yeah he would have been an upgrade from our former fs but he would be no answer for Gronk, Gates, etc. So we drafted a couple of Ball Hawks in Bush and Allen who i think will come along faster than expected. I personally like Bush(lol), he's a super athlete who knows how to find the ball, and we should see him getting alot of action after the bye week.
So FS was addressed but not really considering we have no viable starter at the moment but Rex and co got the next best thing, 2 hard hitting nasty SOB's who will murder you if you dare come across the middle. Laron Landry and Yeramiah Bell are known as enforcers for good reason. They Hit extremely hard and are both amazing tacklers. Theres a reason that whenever we play the Ravens, our best reciever (Keller) wont go over the middle, Its because a couple of years ago Ray Lewis flattened him and that memory will remain with Keller forever. The intimidaton factor does loom large for players worried of getting hurt / injured and thats what i think is the idea Rex had in mind when he made the move to sign these two. Also this sends Eric Smith to the bench for the most part and thats just sweet. VERDICT- SUCCESS
RT- Jeff Otah?
This is where most critics will make or break the Jets off-season. After declining to draft an OT in this years draft the Jets were pretty much out of options other than keeping Wayne Hunter starting. Im 1000% sure that if there was a better option available in FA or a starting calibur OT in the draft, the would have jumped on it but the fact is that it didnt exist. Eric Winston got 22 million and that was 22 million that we didnt have considering next years cap. If we would have drafted Cordy Glenn or Johnathon Martin we would still have to deal with Hunter all season so i dont really fault the FO here. Im sure Tanny will address this via trade or next years FA/draft. As for Jeff Otah, theres not much to say about him other than he cant stay healthy, and considering hes already failed 1 physical i dont know how much honest hope i can have for somebody as such. On the other hand, if by some miracle he heals then we have a true stud opposite D'brickshaw and our Line can possibly go back to its dominant 2009 form.(Dammit Damien!) VERDICT-FAIL
WR2- Stephen Hill, Chaz Schillens
This is where we have done an excellent job IMO. We avoided an historic offseason of overpaying average recievers (L Robinson, M Manningham). Instead we got the best combine athlete at the draft (HILL) and a low risk high reward veteran(SCHILLENS) . A few things were made very clear last year; 1- the lack of a deep threat will shorten the field and crush any chance of Sanchez succeeding. 2- Sanchez likes his tall recievers. The chemistry with Plaxico Burress was incredible, just jump up and get the ball. It worked its way to our #2 redzone offense and helped Sanchez set career highs in TD's. Unfortunatley Plax was a sloth and a non comitted one at that. he wouldnt even attempt yards after the catch and he couldnt get separation without an offensive PA flag being thrown. So Tanny goes out and gets 2 tall and fast guys, and they're really tall and really fast! Its perfect in every way. In the limited video ive seen of Schillens, he was making J Russel look good, i just hope he can stay healthy enough to see the field every Sunday. Stephen Hill is our 2nd round Rookie and hes already making catches over Revis, theres really nothing more i can say about that. Hes from Goergia Tech, a run based offense that relies on blocking and every once and a while they throw it deep to him for big plays. Sounds Perfect. He's raw blah blah blah, just block your ass off and get ready to run deep and you'll be just fine here in NY. VERDICT- SUCCESS
RB- Terrance Gannaway
I dont know to much about this guy except that hes the second coming of Brandon Jacobs, a bigger Shonn Greene, a bull dozer who played in an option based offense at baylor. I could see this guy easily taking snaps from Joe McKnight and working his way to the #2 rb of the Jets. He can catch, he can block, and hes big. I'd guess that he will see most of his time (early season) in Tebow packages and progress from there. It looks as if there is going to be a Comittee at RB this year and its always good to have a wrecking ball to wear down a defense. Drafted in round 6 there were few options outside of T Richardson that would warrant a high selection. So all of you who think the Jets didnt do enough at RB should ask yourself the question, what would you have given up for T Rich or what would you have payed Hillis, Bush, Stewart, or Benson? Benson is still available but i dont think we could afford him at this point. Im happy with this guy. Verdict- SUCCESS.
OLB- Demario Davis
Ummmm, i thought he was an ILB. Anyhoo, many of you believe him to be nothing more than the replacement of Bart Scott. HOLD ON THERE GUYS, Bart is gonna kill this year, but Davis will get him off the field on passing downs and thats a good thing. Keeping our LB's fresh is key so Arian Foster cant beat us around the edges like McFadden did last year. Davis to me is a solid and multi-talented 4-3 LB. He has a great jump and can rush the passer from just about anywhere, hes also an above average cover LB which is something that we lack. Theres not many negative things to say about this kid and the fact that we got him in round 3 makes me all the happier. VERDICT- SUCCESS
Those were our dire needs heading into the off-season, and in my honest opininon we did quite well in adressing our weaknesses especially considering our cap situation. Its just not possible to sign Eric Weddle, Terrell Suggs, Logan Mankins, and Ray Lewis while drafting Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson.
Other Player additions
Im not going to go into detail on Tebow because everyones had enough of that but i will say that i believe he was traded for with intentions other than replacing Sanchez. It was a ballsy move and an expensive one but he definately does have his place on our team and if used correctly, can help the NYJ's reach the next level.
On the other hand he has the power to rip apart this team. Who knows what goes on in the locker room and who knows how people will react to him succeding or failing. If its not looking good going into week 3 or 4 we should trade him immediately. until then i wish him all the luck i can.
OC- Tony Sporano
It took some time but i think i know why Rex and Tanny wanted Sporano. Its definately not his track record for lighting up scoreboards, or his success with qb's, but his NO-Nonsense approach and hard ass atitiude that is appealing. After last years melt down and Holmes' diva act there was no secure feeling about how our players would act (at least on offense). Brian Schottenheimer had no controll over anybody, and no player respected him and rightfully so. He would coach himself out of a game and the players would show there frustration on there faces. Shonn Greene coming off the field on the first drive against PHI comes to mind. I remember last season screaming at my poor tv about how we take no shots down the field and how even if we failed at it i would be more satisfied that throwing these 4 yard slants. Tony has come out and stressed that this offense will be that explosive offense that we should have been. A ground and pound orriented gameplan that sucks you in and then hits you deep. I always said the 2010 Jets were at there best when theyre pounding the rock and hitting Braylon deep, now we can substitute Hill/Schillens for Bray and wah-la. Hopefully his expertise at the offensive line position can help us improve back to our standards and it should all come together nice and smooth. Make no mistake, there is no offensive kool-aid to be drank when speculating about Sporano as an OC but the logic is there and it is sound.
OL Coach- Dave Deguglielmo
Honestly i dont know much about this guy except hes helped Jake Long turn into an absolute savage. He came over to the Jets from Miami with Sporano so theres at least some familiarity there. Replacing Bill Callahan can be good and bad, Bill had alot of succes with us but also had an insane amount of talent to work with(mangold, Faneca, Ferguson, Woody, Moore). So i dont really know how this one will work out but im sure he'll help alot with the wildcat and option packages and who knows, maybe he'll help Hunter play better. Anybody with knowledge of this guy- please fill us in under the comments!
WR Coach- Sanjay Lal
1st off, as far as i know Sanjay did not get into it with Santonio on the 1st day of ota's. So no reason to stress over that. Second, im completely unsure if this signing will help us. Sanjay came over from
american idol Oakland where he was gifted the worst group of recievers ever to make an NFL roster, plus no good QB's to work with. Somehow drafting DHB in the first was supposed to be a good thing and Sanjay ruined the second coming of Joe Carter. C'mon man, for what its worth he turned Jacoby Ford into a weapon and he was hopless. Im keeping my judgments to myself until i see what he does with Stephen Hill. He's familiar with Schillens as well.
D Line Coach- Karl Dunbar
Probably the most popular coaching change amongst fans this year is our new Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar. The writers on GGN have already discussed in great detail his tricks with the 4-6 so im not going to repeat that. I will however go back a few years to 2006- 2009 where he was more known for his "Williams Wall" defense. Yeah, Kevin and Pat Williams under Dunbar completely shut down the run leading to a 70 ypg average, tops in the league for those seasons. Rex loves to stop the run and force you to throw it into our secondary so this could be very nice come september. He'll have the opportunity to turn 1st round pick Q Coples into the beast we all know he is, and maybe help rejuvinate Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace. And im just syked to see how Mo Wilk performs under him. Its gonna be good.
QB Coach- Matt Cavanaugh
This guy sucks and the fact that we did not replace him pisses me off. He has absolutely no success ever with our QB's and should not be allowed in Florham Park. GGRRRRR...
Now Throw our Shiny Brand New Defensive Weapon in the mix and good things will happen.
Taking it all into account id say that Tanny and Rex have done a pretty spectacular job this off season. There are of course some questionable moves made and unmade that are questionable but at least we didnt overspend on anybody. We moved back to Cortland, and also avoided a possible Revis holdout. Rex also lost over 100 lbs, so all in all im giving the Jets a solid B with the potential to an A if Otah can get healthy.