The New York Jets are not in an enviable position. Who would want to be a team coming off of a 6-10 record the season before and the division favorites are consistently better? The team brought in a new general manager, John Idzik, to try to build the club into something more respectable. That means head coach Rex Ryan is on the hot seat. He has two years left on his contact, but guys get cut loose early all the time in the NFL. He is coaching for his job this season.
The team not only brought in a new general manager, they added a new offensive coordinator as well. Marty Morhinweg comes over after spending the last 7 seasons with the Eagles. He'll be installing his own version of the West Coast offense and that will be a big change from what the personnel is used to. He demands quick, decisive reads from his quarterbacks and a high amount of accuracy in the short and intermediate throws. The passing game is supposed to set up the run which depends on a lot of traps and counter plays. If the Eagles scheme showed anything, Mornhinweg is going to get his playmakers in space.
Mark Sanchez is currently the starter on this team, but he is far from rock solid. He was the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft and he has to prove himself or he's going to be looking for work after the season. Coming out of USC he entered the league with a lot of hype. Some thought it was more than just hype when he led the team on a deep playoff run in only his first year. However, Sanchez has come back down to earth since then. His last two seasons are the type of performances that guys don't come back from, let's hope he still has his confidence.
The starter at running back will be a battle during camp between Ivory and Powell. Neither one can bank on experience because of the new offensive coordinator, both have something to prove. Everyone knows Greene left in the offseason and Ivory came in to try and fill the gap left by his departure. He's a strong downhill runner who should be able to get some tough yards.
The defense has always been Ryan's baby, but that's what happens when you make your name as Baltimores defensive coordinator. They like to run a 3-4 defense but they'll mix in some 4-3 looks as well. One of his calling cards is the way he brings blitzes from all over the field.
A strong nose tackle is imperative for the success of this defense, unfortunately the Jets have some questions marks there. The starting job is up for grabs between Garay and Ellis. Neither one has proven himself to be able to really handle what the position demands, but at least Ellis is already a favorite of Ryans.
Revis is gone, he hit a plane to Tampa Bay in the offseason. Revis island is no more but maybe that just opens up the opportunity for Cromartie island to come into view. Even though it's a shame to see Revis go, the team already wasn't playing with him for the majority of last year. That gave Cromartie the chance to earn a Pro Bowl berth when he spent the season proving his talent. The starting job, opposite him, is up for grabs. The team drafted Milliner out of Alabama in the first round because the they think he has the ability to be stud for years to come. He'll be battling with Wilson, an incumbent for the position. He might keep the spot for now, because Milliner is a rookie, but he has some serious flaws. He shows real trouble in man coverage and he was picked on last year by opposing quarterbacks.
No one in the organization is talking openly about how this is a rebuilding year, but it sure feels a lot like it. The former general manager made some poor decisions which led to some ill-advised contracts. That prevented the team from being able to make some splashes in the free agent pool, but hopefully this GM can do a little better. I like both of their first round picks, provided Milliner returns to full strength from his offseason surgery. However, I think it's a safe bet Ryan is a defensive coordinator in a city far, far away next year because I can't see them improving much from the woeful 6-10 record of last season.