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This team is so hard to root for

NFL: SEP 22 Jets at Patriots Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. On November 25, 1915, Einstein published the gravitational field equations of general relativity, the so-called Einstein equations. His theory of relativity was proven by astrophysicist Arthur Eddington in 1919.

Einstein won the Nobel prize for Physics in 1921 “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect,” and not the theory of relativity.

Even though Eddington had proven the theory, the Nobel committee believed Eddington’s work was too unreliable to serve as proof. So Einstein developed the theory of special relativity that introduced a new framework for all of physics and proposed new concepts of space and time. It revolutionized how the world thinks about space, time, mass, energy and gravity. Yet he didn’t win the Nobel prize in physics for that.


In fact it is incredibly ironic that it was Einstein who wrote the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Chris Johnson is no Einstein, and he is not truly insane. However, his leadership of the New York Jets is borderline dangerously irrational. The Jets are a comatose franchise in need of a serious infusion of energy along with some solid direction. Leadership always begins at the top, so when the ownership of the Jets allow the franchise to crumble it filters down throughout the entire organization.

This franchise has been doing the same thing over and over with similar results for years now. In the 20 years Woody has owned the team the Jets made the conference championship twice (first two years of the Rex Ryan era) and never to the Super Bowl. Things are getting worse. The Jets have had 1 winning season since 2010, their last foray to the AFC title game. The Jets combined record in that time is 52- 85 if you include this year which is a winning percentage of 38%.

Since Mike (the wild spender) Tannenbaum left there has been almost no cohesive working relationship between GM and head coach. The Maccagnan era actually had each (the GM and head coach) reporting directly to the owner. It was a situation that was doomed from the start. It almost pit GM and coach in an adversarial relationship that was more about laying blame than winning football games.

You have to have a GM and a head coach who are working together. After Tannenbaum left the Jets hired John Idzik, Rex Ryan was already here. They were never on the same page mostly because Idzik was a football dolt. He had no idea what he was doing. When the Jets fired those two they hired Maccagnan and Bowles almost at the same time. Even though Maccagnan was supposedly on board with the hire, he and Bowles never worked together as a team. There was never a convergence of football philosophies because they were hired by the owner. You know Woody didn’t sit down and discuss team building techniques with them.

What makes a great GM/head coach tandem?

Ideally the GM and head coach should be two people with entirely different skillsets that work together toward a common goal. It’s kind of like a partnership where one guy is the idea man generating products while the other uses his confluence of connections along with salesmanship to sell the products. It should be two people working from opposite ends with common goals and ideals.

The GM should have a long and varied history involved in football, preferably with playing experience, scouting expertise, strong management skills, and a history with numerous successful franchises (including working with the GM). He also needs proficiency working with the salary cap, valuation of players, setting up Draft boards (highly competent ones at that), and expert team building skills including the allocation of assets. He must be a leader with a well-defined vision of the team he intends to build and the ability to hire highly qualified, hard working associates with his shared vision. He must be strong-willed but pliant to new ideas and systems. He has to love football and be the hardest working person on the team with the ability to make tough decisions. He should be able to work with the people on his team and the executives from other franchises, building relationships and mutual trust from his peers. He has to have an eye for talent, finding players and coaches who best fit the scheme with a directive that everybody involved understands and abides by. Those are just the basic requirements.

The head coach should be a great “coach” which means the ability to teach players what to do in a coherent way so they can show their true talents. He must be an effective communicator who leaves little room for ambiguity. He has to be a genuine expert at his positional vocation and hire people who can truly teach the principles in their specific positional fields. He has to be strong willed with the ability to listen and adapt. He has to be a bold leader yet have the absence on arrogance to better command his troops. Most importantly he must have the ability to make players understand, absorb, and execute his concepts while motivating his players to achieve their highest level of play. He has to be able to inspire players without acting like he is trying to do so. He has to make players want to achieve greatness without telling them. He has to be stern but fair and earn the respect of the players he leads. He has to have a keen eye for talent with the ability to use that talent to it’s highest effectiveness.

Additionally you want your head coach to have a specific system (offensive or defensive) that can be exceptional yet unique; not just a cookie cutter system. He will need to bring in assistants who can teach that system to players, not just know the system but make the players understand it on a remarkable level.

You need to have a system that sets you apart from others. It should be hard to plan against. It should look complicated but actually be easy for players to learn and understand. Coaches who do this aren’t just coaches. They are great teachers as well.

When you bring in a new system along with the coaches it can invigorate a franchise. Coaches and players working together to build something great. It can be a team building and attitude changing type of activity. Players are all learning together. No one is above another as they work it out together.

Bill Walsh brought in a new system to the 49ers, Walsh was no kid. He got his first head coaching job in the NFL at age 47. In 10 seasons, he won 10 or more games 7 times and 3 Super Bowls. He started his career at 0-7 and finished that first year at 2-12. Of course Walsh’s system was his own invention. He had to teach it to his coaches first before they could teach it to others.

When the Dallas Cowboys hired Jimmy Johnson it took time because the Cowboys had a serious lack of talent while at the same time installing a new system. The Cowboys won 3 Super Bowls with that system but that first year they went 1-15. I remember a quote from defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt. “The experience of building something great is always special, and teams know when they are headed in the right direction. Those were the best times,” Wannstedt said. “We weren’t winning, but even then, we knew we were headed somewhere.”

Bill Belichick is so successful because he is the best football “coach” in the world with the ability to teach. It helps that he has had the same QB for the last 20 years and run the same offense. Now as a legendary coach he can command his team brutally if he wishes as no one will challenge the undisputed “Dean of Coaches.”

Still it does no good if you know the most but cannot effectively tutor your players. Belichick actually wrote a “how to book of coaching” back in the 90’s and follows his own teachings as coach. He is also essentially his own GM so he obviously agrees with the management of his team.

Having a GM and coach on the same page is essential to a winning formula. Sadly this has not been the case for years with the Jets. Adam Gase was hired before Joe Douglas so even though they are colleagues the Gase/Douglas pairing may never have happened if Douglas was hired first.

The last time the Jets were successful is when the GM Tannenbaum hired Rex Ryan as coach. They immediately went to consecutive AFC Championship Games. Since that GM/Coach dynamic disappeared, the Jets have been grasping at straws just hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.

Given the resume need I laid out for each GM/head coach, I can honestly say that neither of the people we have in those positions actual measure up to those guidelines. Yet Joe Douglas is new and has yet to fulfill many of those requirements. He may do so in the future. I think the Jets are counting on that. Even though he was hired second, Joe Douglas was given a mandate by the Jets by virtue of his exorbitant salary and his 6 year contract with probable full roster control.

Adam Gase has few if any of the attributes I detailed for the job of head coach. He obviously is a poor teacher and a poor communicator. He doesn’t inspire and is just not a leader. Although Todd Bowles was not head coach material I think he was far superior to Gase in most every way. I think as coordinators Bowles is head and shoulders above Gase also.

Gase only became a coordinator in Denver when Mike McCoy left the position to become head coach of the then San Diego Chargers. McCoy predictably failed as a Head Coach and later as a coordinator. Like Gase if they didn’t have Peyton Manning to run their offense for them they failed miserably. I think they both benefited from a Hall of Fame (top 5 All-Time QB) who landed them head coaching jobs. Why the Jets ever hired Gase after his foray in Miami is head-scratching. Many other wondered the same thing the day he was hired. He was 13-19 his last two years in Miami and he was hired primarily to develop Ryan Tannehill into a franchise QB. All he did was develop Tannehill into the Tennessee Titans backup QB.

Worst of all, Sam Darnold is not developing. He is regressing (I will show video evidence later). Even against the Giants 27th ranked defense Darnold was pedestrian although the offensive line did him little favors. He should be taking control of games, leading his team, but he appears pensive. He has poor technique and often throws the ball with only his arm strength. This could lead to arm problems down the road. He needs a coach who can bring out his best and take him to two or three levels above where he is now.

We hired Joe Douglas to do a job. Let’s allow him to find the coach he can work with and shares his vision of the future. Let him choose somebody with teaching skills and an offensive system that is tailored to Sam Darnold, not the old Miami offense.

It was reported on ESPN that despite the public unrest among some Jets fans and the repeated calls for coach Adam Gase’s job, team owner Christopher Johnson is expected to remain patient, per sources familiar with his thinking. Circumstances always could change, but ownership is not inclined to make any head-coaching moves.

Schefter continued, “Circumstances always could change, but ownership is not inclined to make any head coaching moves.” Through eight weeks, the Jets were 1-7 with the second-worst point differential in the NFL. The offense has been horrific, and team chemistry appeared to be fractured after rumors swirled around the trade deadline. It’s rare for a first-year coach to not make it out of year one, but many Jets fans would love to see Gase gone. Expect ownership to think about this harder at the end of the 2019 season.

I realize that seeds take time to germinate. To get you entire team on the same page is not done in a single training camp. I get that. Chris Johnson is trying to show patience for his new coach by not jumping the gun, and maybe Joe Douglas is advising him to hold off on firing him. The motivation might be to not look like a pitiful franchise by firing a coach 9 games into the season.

Why wait?

The most urgent reason to fire coach Adam Gase, really the only reason to fire Gase now is the deconstruction of Sam Darnold. Darnold was never a technically sound QB, but he is very young without the benefit of solid coaching in his life. When he first came to the Jets he was a mess but began to progress as the year wore on.

Here is his first TD pass as a New York Jet

He is a nervous mess without any pressure against him. He never truly set his feet. The play is wide open yet he waits too long and uses poor mechanics (that is being kind). He throws with only his arm, and the ball is predictably short, allowing the defender back into the play. It was a touchdown but he needed work.

Later in the year, after his injury and time off to heal he started to throw the ball with better technique, not great technique but still better.

He didn’t drop back, look off the safety, stick his back foot in the ground, and rotate his hips as he threw the pass. Still this he was better. He was progressing. He was still using too much arm and not a lot of his weight transfer to throw the ball, but it was better than before. The ball was accurate and on time.

I used to get criticized unmercifully in years past because I asserted that Cam Newton had poor mechanics and would never be a true franchise QB because of it. People would laugh and say he was the league MVP and I was crazy. I countered that Newton was an inaccurate passer and would suffer arm problems because of it. It was always going to be be so unless he changed his mechanics. Newton was the league MVP because he was 6’ 5 250 lbs and an insanely great athlete, one of the greatest athletes to ever play in the NFL.

Now Newton has gone through two shoulder surgeries and is out with a foot injury. If you ever watched him play he would miss wide open receivers because of his poor mechanics. I don’t want the same fate to befall Sam Darnold. It would be a horrible waste of talent that can easily be fixed with proper coaching and hard work.

This is what Sam has deteriorated into.

This is atrocious technique and severely bad coaching. Darnold is in the shotgun and can see the all out blitz coming. The Patriots were doing this repeatedly all night. A good coach (not even a great coach) would have sat down with Sam and given him some hot reads and blitz beating plays for him to audible into. Once you toast the defense for a TD on an all out blitz they will not blitz like that again. It’s like the defense giving you a free TD.

This next play is later in the game.

This is only a five man rush, and Sam is really not pressured that much yet he uses poor technique (devolving into bad habits), tries to throw to a covered receiver, and overthrows said receiver for a awful interception. Had he not been so frazzled by the constant pressure, he would have been calmer and seen the TE wide open in the flat. Heck the TE crosses right in front of him. How could he not see that? Bad habits.

Sam needs a coach who will get his to steady his feet. He should be calm, going through his progressions. When he wants to throw the ball, he needs to keep his back foot planted, and rotate his hip which will generate weight transfer to his arm (like a baseball pitcher pushing off the rubber). He then will step towards his target, releasing the ball as his hand continues through with the arm motion. This helps keep the ball from sailing and going over the receiver’s head. By doing this Sam will increase his accuracy, put more zip on the ball, throw an easy to catch spiral, and save a lot of wear and tear on his arm (This is a very abbreviated version of the proper technique.) Sam never comes close to doing this. He will never be a consistent QB if he doesn’t use much better technique.

This is the reason to fire Adam Gase. Bad habits are easy to make and hard to break so you need to douse that fire immediately. This play is a symptom of a QB “seeing ghosts” as Sam put it. He starts to “chuck and duck” which is a very difficult habit to break. He needs a “reboot” of how to play QB from his head to his feet. He will never get this type of coaching from Adam Gase. It’s....


...if you can’t properly coach your very young franchise QB.

Think about it

The Jets were a poorly managed team under the tutelage of Todd Bowles. Bowles was not a bad coach, but he had few insights for the offensive side of the ball and lacked the ability to adjust his game plan at any time. He was a poor head coach. He should never been hired as a head coach. He just lacks the ability to do the job. Looking back it was obvious. He lacked the essential ingredient. He was a good defensive coordinator who became a head coach but not ever head coaching material.

Changing coaches is not always the answer, but when a coach doesn’t teach simple concepts he leaves you no choice but to let him go and bring in a person with better teaching skills and play design.

This is a 2nd and 19 play (from a previous sack) and the first play of the second quarter. This means the Jets had a chance to stand on the sidelines and devise a plan, especially against the blitz which had been killing them. Here is what you get.

It is just pitiful for a coach to allow this to happen. There are nine defenders at the line ready to pounce, and the Jets run a play action pass? This would be laughable if it wasn’t so moronic. When a team is showing a all-out zero blitz you never turn your back to the line of scrimmage as a QB. You need to be able to see which defender is coming or if the defense is backing off.

There is no need to run a play action pass. That is used to hold the linebackers so you can throw into the area behind them. THEY ARE ALL BLITZING HERE! These are basic fundamentals of QB play so the QB has to audible out of the play before disaster happens. This all happens after a long break between quarters. Did they not talk about protections or hot read? This is all on the head coach/offensive coordinator, who is one in the same.

This is why you need to fire Adam Gase now, to protect Sam Darnold and begin the process of developing him instead of destroying what abilities he has left. Sam Darnold is this team’s only hope right now, and everything should be done to make sure he is headed in the right direction. How can any rational football mind believe that Sam is progressing under the Gase tutelage? Let’s stop the bleeding and begin the healing. It’s...

INSANITY let our future wither on the vine from inept coaching when other options are available.

Remember, the Jets hired a coach who was not a top choice. In fact many coaches who were interviewed didn’t realize that Mike Maccagnan insisted on hiring their assistants. All of the quality candidates refused this obvious attempt to reign over their stewardship of the Jets by Maccagnan and dropped out of consideration.

If you are going to lead a team as a head coach you would want people who you trust, who know the system you will be installing. You want people you can count on to give the coaching you need to be done. For Maccagnan to insist on hiring the assistants was total folly. He was mad with power to keep his position, a position he was ill-equipped to handle.

Unless Chris Johnson was blind or incompetent he had to know what was going on. He was the acting CEO of a $3.2 billion franchise and had to at least talk to some of the candidates. You would think they would have voiced their concerns over the assistant coach problem. Gase wasn’t even a consideration as a failed coach for the Dolphins. Yet when all other felI out of possible consideration, I am guessing that Chris Johnson acquiesced to Maccagnan and allowed the Gase hire.

That entire situation was...


Johnson then allowed Maccagnan to spend a historic $122 million in free agency. That is not fake or Monopoly money. That is guaranteed money which is tough to find in the NFL. This is unfathomable if Johnson had even the slightest of problems with Maccagnan. He allow this person to run the Draft, spend freely in free agency, and hire a new head coach with stipulations that all of the top choices were repulsed at. All of this only to fire that same GM less than three weeks after the Draft, which was essential to restocking the franchise. It’s


The New York Jets have been a historic failure in 2019. Yet ESPN has reported that Johnson wants to be patient with Gase.

As per the ESPN article:

Despite the public unrest amongst some fans and the repeated calls for coach Adam Gase’s job, team owner Christopher Johnson is expected to remain patient, per sources familiar with his thinking. Circumstances always could change, but ownership is not inclined to make any head-coaching moves.

The Jets are eight games in, with eight games left, and the team will not rush to any decisions, even if their fans seem to have made one on Gase. Furthermore, Gase and GM Joe Douglas -- who was brought in to upgrade the roster and provide stability -- have had only five months together without a full offseason. The Jets believe the situation will sort itself out.

A segment of the Jets’ fan base on social media wants Gase fired, the sooner the better, but the team is not inclined to acquiesce to those wishes at this time, as the New York Daily News also reported. It still wants to judge Gase over a larger body of work than half the season, one that has been plagued with injuries.

This is just gibberish and a way to appear like the Jets are looking at the problem while at the same time doing nothing and saving the money they would have to spend on a new coach. It is just baffling, and while you keep Gase this is what you get.

The QB is young and being harassed unmercifully by the defense. Do we make a plan, instruct our prized pupil on how to handle this? re we talking strategy and blitz beating concepts? No the answer is to “put the ball in the endzone” just brilliant.

Comically unbelievable. It’s...


I knew the Jets would cite injuries as the source of their problems. Yet the truth of the matter is the Jets have had fewer injuries than many other NFL teams. The Jets just use that as an excuse to rationalize their poor performance in 2019. The Jets lack quality players so when one or more are out of action the players who replace them are far inferior to the starters who many are replacement level anyway. The Jets are like an ostrich who buries his head in the sand to avoid problems rather than solve them.

This just increases the evidence that Chris Johnson is totally over his head as a CEO of an NFL franchise. The Jets’ number one objective in 2019 was to develop Sam Darnold as a viable NFL franchise QB. Yet Darnold has regressed badly under Gase which is a reason alone to fire him.

Again it’s...


The media makes it out like the fans are idiots and know nothing about the game of football. This is not brain surgery. This is football. It’s not that complicated. I will show you two random plays that you can run against man coverage or zone coverage and be successful. These are not convoluted plays but rather easy concepts to use. The idea is to make them look intricate, but in reality these are just simple formations.

I am using the Rams offense because their QB (Jared Goff) is no Einstein. He was on “Hard Knocks” and didn’t know that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. In fact, he was amazed of that fact and asked others if they knew it also. So yeah, he is no genius.

This first play against the Seahawks is in “11” personnel against the a cover 3 look. You just run your three receivers and the TE down the field on go routes and have your RB drift into the flat. This is a 2nd and 16 play so you want to pick up some yardage for an easier 3rd down play. You are targeting your RB the entire way.

The OLB on the play, K.J. Wright, has man coverage responsibilities on the RB and will either blitz or drop into zone coverage (take away the deep middle) if the RB stays in to block. This action clears the way for the RB who can have a big gain if he can get by the OLB, which he does. If the RB gets pushed out of bounds he still has an 8 yard gain and cuts the deficit in half, but he does even better and gains the 1st down.

This is a simple dump down play that any team can run. The Jets could use Robby Anderson as the bottom receiver to run off the coverage and Le’Veon Bell as the RB. Do you think this simple little play could work for the Jets?

Here is another play run against the same defense, it looks complicated but it is just smoke and mirrors.

Again this is “11” personnel against the same cover 3 zone look. You send the slot receiver (Z) from the right to the left, he is covered by the ILB which draws that ILB towards the line leaving the intermediate area in the middle of the field wide open. Then fake the run to the right with the RB continuing out into the flat to the right. This holds those defenders to guard against the flat pass. You send the left (“X”) WR on a “9” route which then takes the defense with him. The TE (“Y”) comes across the formation to pick up the blitzing LB off the edge.

Cooper Kupp is the (X”) receiver to the right and crosses the field and is wide open for a 28 yards gain. All this movement was designed to worry the defense yet the ultimate goal of the play was to get an open look for Kupp. This is an easy play to get a man open, and there is no reading the defense. Kupp is the player getting the ball. It is easy for the offense and easy for the QB to make a big play.

Remember Jared Goff was historically bad when he had the most seasoned coach in the NFL in Jeff Fisher. Troy Aikman came to watch practice and was amazed how poor Goff was and that he couldn’t even throw a spiral. Les Snead (Rams GM) didn’t hesitate to get rid of Jeff Fisher and bring in a coach with a QB friendly system and coaches to teach Goff how to play QB. The transformation was miraculous, and two years later the Rams were in the Super Bowl.

I think Sam Darnold has superior talent to Jared Goff. We just need a coach to retool Sam so he can be at his best. Throw in an offense that is not written on a cocktail napkin along with some offensive linemen, and you will be amazed at the results.

Offense isn’t that hard to design plays for. You need to understand defenses and how they will react in certain situations. Also giving defenses motion like the plays above can cause mistakes which can result in splash plays. What the Jets need is some easy offense for Sam to get him confident. Once he starts doing better, his talent will begin to show. That is hard to do when you are running for your life and have no counter measures to a blitz.

Make no mistake, the Jets are 2-7 and are not going to make the Playoffs. Wins and loses are meaningless (unless the Jets somehow knock the Patriots out of the playoffs) because it will not result in a championship. The rest of the year is about evaluating what we have in terms of players, but the main emphasis for the rest of the year is to develop Sam Darnold. That is priority 1, through 1,000, Sam can take the Jets where they want to go, but he needs to develop and a coach who can accentuate his skill set.

You have to stop the bleeding before you can start the healing. The Jets are bleeding a lot with no end in sight. Beating the Giants and maybe the team from our nation’s capital are not signs of progress but an affirmation that there are numerous poor teams in the NFL. The Jets do have some talent. Make no mistake. We just need to add to it and get our most valuable asset some help in the form of a new coach.

Now word has come that Christopher Johnson confirmed that Adam Gase will be back to coach the Jets in 2020. I guess a single win against the lowly Giants is enough proof that the Jets are headed in the right direction. So Johnson can save the money he need to spend on a new coach and the Jets will be a doormat in the NFL that other teams can just beat up on. The Jets are at or near the bottom of every offensive statistical metric, Darnold is regressing badly. Le’Veon Bell (the former Pro Bowl back) is also near the bottom of every RB rating. The team is a few bad loses from fracturing into turmoil and chaos.

This is what Chris Johnson considers progress. It’s...


I am livid, disgusted and in a state of bewilderment all at the same time.

I don’t know what to say...

What do you think?