The New York Jets are a very curious case. They imploded last season to finish 8-8, which isn’t a bad record, but for a team with such lofty expectations and talent, it was a disaster. The question is, was that implosion a one time thing, or a continuing trend. If the Jets play up to their talent level, they would be an automatic wildcard team. They have a top 10 defense, with the leagues best tandem of cover corners, and a strong running game.
They also have a QB who has proven he has the magic hand late in games, and excels on play action and boot legs. Sounds like that fits perfectly into their system right? If the Jets had gone by their system, the season could have turned out better. The problem was they did not. In 2009, the first year of the Jets back to back AFC Championship games, the Jets run to pass ration was 58.1/41.9. In 2011 when they imploded and finished 8-8, the Jets ratio was 41.8/58.2.
There are other factors, and to say this is the only reason is absurd; however, playcalling must be called into question. Former OC Brian Schottenheimer and current HC Rex Ryan didn’t see eye to eye. Rex now went out and found a personality to match his in Tony Sparano. The Jets are looking to flip the script and go back to a very run dominate team. That bodes well for them.
The question is, have they brought in talent in the places they need it to get them over the hump if the new playcalling alone doesn’t. (and it won’t)
The Jets brought in hard hitting strong safety LaRon Landry who has injury concerns, and backup QB Tim Tebow. These are the only 2 names which most casual fans will even know. Landry doesn’t fit the hole at safety, the Jets need a good covering free safety to match up on tight ends. Tim Tebow will head the wildcat package, and could push Sanchez to be a better QB, but will these 2 alone give the Jets the push to make the playoffs? The answer is no.
The Jets are such a circus at the moment that no one can tell if they are trending up or down. Will the implosion bring them closer? Will Tony Sparano turn the offense into a smash mouth running unit? Will Rex Ryan find the pulse of the locker room and bring his troops back together like only his charisma can? No one knows. The Jets look like an oscilloscope on the trend meter. They are a steady swing of up and down. There is no way to really gain a clear picture until the draft. Then we will see if the Jets have brought in personnel to push them over the edge.
Much has been made of the Jets recent acquisition of backup QB Tim Tebow. The media has been in a frenzy ever since the Jets made it official, and even before. Every former player and coach who has a microphone is weighing in with their opinions. Most think that bringing in Tebow was a terrible decision. Let me pose some questions to them.
A few weeks before the Jets gave Sanchez his contract extension, every analyst was saying the Jets needed to bring in a backup who could push Mark Sanchez. These same analysts said, if Sanchez were to go down to injury the Jets need a backup who could play, and not Mark Brunell. They were also saying it was time for the Jets to stop coddling Sanchez. Here is my question: Did the Jets not do everything you asked?
I for one am not a fan of the Tebow move, but I think its a media created problem. Tebow will push Sanchez and no one will deny that. During his career, Sanchez has excelled when the pressure was on, save the end of last season. I credit that to his team falling around him just as much as him falling. He can’t shoulder all of that blame. If Sanchez were to fall to injury, Tebow isn’t the best QB, but he is a leader. He would lead better than Drew Stanton, I feel like that’s a given. The Jets also showed Sanchez that his time for coddling is over. It is time for Sanchez to put up or shut up. I think this was the Jets way of showing him that. If Sanchez can’t handle Tebow on the team, he’s not and will never be the leader they need. No one is expecting the Jets to reach the Super Bowl this season, but a playoff run isn’t out of the question. If Sanchez is pushed and fight back, then this is a brilliant move by the Jets. If Sanchez is pushed and gives up, no one will blame them for dumping him.
Tebow might be a distraction, but the Jets will always have distractions. Its been the nature of the team since their inception. They are not, and will never be the Giants. No real Jets fan wants them to be. The Jets are the little guys, the underdogs who are tired of being stepped on. Sanchez doesn’t fit that. He is a pretty boy from the west coast, and the Jets are going to see if he can stand with the same tenacity as the working class of New York City.
Remember Broadway Joe? He might have been the biggest pretty boy to ever play, but his knees were worse than any player I know coming into the league. He kept fighting, and when someone pushed, he pushed back. He was tougher than he was pretty, and its time the Jets made sure Sanchez is that way too.
Tim Tebow picked the New York Jets over the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Adam Schefter, Tim Tebow got to decide where he went. Back to the state of Florida where he is a hero, or to New York. He picked the Jets. No word yet on why. The Jaguars aren’t a top team, and don’t look to be for awhile. He has a much greater chance of starting in Jacksonville, but a better chance of a playoff run with the Jets. It’s just an interesting nugget that’s worth thinking about. Maybe Tebow thinks he can help fix the Jets locker room and bring the team together. A mission trip if you will, to the big apple.
The Mark, Rex, and Tim Show In a stunning move, the Jets agreed to trade for former Broncos QB Tim Tebow. The move is currently in question over the language in Tebow’s contract. The contract states that if traded, a team must back pay the Broncos over $5 million. The Jets apparently didn’t read the fine print, and now have problems with it. If they backed out they could have mud on their face, but would that be better than Tebow on their roster? I’ll give you the good perspective and bad perspective on the matter below.
Tim Tebow Locker Room Savior - The Jets locker room last season was anything but unified. It seems like many players on the Broncos roster were apart over Tebow until they met and worked with him. Shortly thereafter they all fell in line behind him. Tebow is a unifying force, and I think that was a large factor in bringing him to the team. If he is able to quell the squall that is the Jets locker room, and have the team play as one then he is worth it. The Jets have talent all over, but the characters don’t always match. If all the talent the Jets had played as one because of a healthy, unified, locker room the little brother in NYC would be dangerous. Tebow would fit perfectly into the wildcat style offense that Tony Sparano put in place in Miami in 2009. The Jets have continue to run their version of the wildcat, and will presumably run it again this season under Sparano. Mark Sanchez openly didn’t like being split out or taken off the field during the wildcat, but that could be remedied. I felt like Schotty ran it at some curious times last season, getting Mark out of rhythm. Sanchez isn’t unathletic. While Joe McKnight and Jeremy Kerley are more athletic, maybe Sanchez will get worked into the wildcat somehow. Think of this scenario:
Wildcat formation direct snap to Sanchez. Option right, flip to Tebow. Tebow runs right, flips back to Sanchez. Sanchez hits a streaking Chaz Schilens on a post route.
Not too outlandish to be ran, not too outlandish to actually work. I’m no offensive guru at all, and even I can come up with very interesting plays utilizing Tim Tebow. The Jets would be in their best interest to list Tebow as a RB this season. That wouldn’t stop the downside I’m about to mention, but it could help.
WE WANT TEBOW! WE WANT TEBOW! - The immediate reaction of many Jets fans, and football fans all over was, controversy. Last season in Denver, the fans rioted to get Kyle Orton, a better QB that Tebow, benched in favor of Tebow. Sanchez, throughout his career, has slumped and had bad games, and at times, multiple bad games in a row. If that happens this season, the Tebow chants will start. That would be bad for the already downward trending Sanchez. This could be a disaster
Under GM Mike Tannenbaum, the Jets have been one of the splashiest teams in free agency. Who can forget the moves for Brett Favre, Jason Taylor, LT, Santonio Holmes. The entire league sat and waited to see what the self-destructed Jets would do when free agency opened. What huge name would they add to take talk away from last seasons turmoil. To the surprise of most if not all, there was silence. New York sat back and waited.
The big names came off the board, and New York never broke a sweat. The Jets reached deals with Drew Stanton and Chaz Schilens. Both are unfamiliar names to most in the AFC East fanbase.
The buzz was that the Jets were looking for a backup QB that could push Sanchez. Stanton is not that someone. Stanton has a 2-2 record in his 4 career starts. Many feel that this is one position where the Jets should have spent a little more for a viable insurance policy. Stanton could be a one year stopgap. If current backup QB Greg McElroy can stay healthy this season, he could turn into a viable insurance policy for Sanchez. McElroy knows how to win, coming from a very successful Alabama program. He was placed on the IR last season after sustaining an injury in pre-season. He isn’t overly athletic, but he is very intelligent. When he was drafted I immediately thought of former Jets QB Chad Pennington.
Chaz Schilens is a former Raider and a real Al Davis kind of guy. He’s big (6’4” 225) and fast (sub 4.4 at the combine). The Jets are hoping his size and speed can be used to blow the top off of opposing defenses. This would take some of the double teams off of Santonio Holmes and open up intermediate routes for Jeremy Kerley and Dustin Keller.
These two quiet moves have the possibility for tremendous upsides with nearly no risk. So far this has been a very unusual free agency for the Jets, but championships aren’t won in March.
Buffalo circled the wagons and didn’t let superstar DE Mario Williams leave without a contract. You can almost hear the collective whimpering of AFC East quarterbacks. Buffalo will now have one of the best defensive lines in football. It doesn’t mean the defense will be elite, but it will be much harder to put up points on these Bills.
Imagine home games in the Ralph, winds blowing, and quarterbacks falling as often as the snowflakes. That is a real possibility. With Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, and Mario Williams, the Bills will be formidable to say the least.
The Bills the normally penny pinching Bills broke the bank, giving Mario Williams $100 mil over 6 years with $50 mil guaranteed. This was a good move for the Bills. We can only hope that Williams continues to play at a high level for the length of his contract. The Bills fanbase, as loyal as they are, needed a pick me up. With Stevie Johnson putting on a show every game on the offensive side of the ball, Bills fans can now watch their defense strike fear into the eyes of the opposing QB’s. Something that hasn’t been happening lately.
Will this push the Jets into action to replace Wayne Hunter? Food for thought, but I will assume the entire Sanchez family is hoping so.
Prior to the start of free agency, the Jets extended QB Mark Sanchez’s contract. Virtually locking him into the starting role for the next 2 years. Many analysts have speculated that this would make it much harder to find a viable backup QB who could push Sanchez in a way Mark Brunell couldn’t. The Jets appear to be out of the Chad Henne competition. Henne is set to meet with Jacksonville who is rumored to be willing to offer the former Dolphin $4mil, far higher than the Jets would be willing to. Jason Campbell, another name rumored to be of interest to the Jets, just signed on as the backup for Jay Cutler in Chicago. The Jets are running out of choices quickly if they are going to pick up a competitor for Sanchez in free agency
The Jets completely removed themselves from all Manning talks when they signed current QB Mark Sanchez to a 3 year extension. This seems like a curious move to many, but I’ll try to break it down and find logic.
Sanchez is still a very young QB, he played only a single year in college which means he is years behind most QB’s when they enter the league. Time on the field is the best teacher, and Sanchez is short on it. There is a good chance that he will turn it around and be an above average QB. I do not feel he will ever be elite, but with the Jets current roster they don’t need one. As long as Rex Ryan leads the defense, it will be elite. An elite defense and an above average QB can take you places. If you recall, Sanchez lead the Jets to back to back AFC Championship games when he was playing average to below average in most all statistical categories.
Look at Alex Smith in San Francisco. He took multiple years to develop, but now SF has a powerful offense with him at the helm. Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum are going all in on Sanchez. If he doesn’t develop by the end of his current contract, both could be looking for new jobs.
While no exact dates were stated, Tannenbaum said that the negotiations with Sanchez had been going on for weeks. This means that the Jets interest in Manning could have been a ploy to make Sanchez sign to terms which benefited the team. The Jets freed up over 6 million dollars in cap space by resigning and restructuring their QB. This is a smart move by Rex and co. They now have approximately $14 million to spend. This will go a long way to help them fill the holes in their roster.
Could the Jets have known they would never score a date with Manning, and simply used the situation to better their cap position? I for one think so. Many can write this off as a public relations payout to Sanchez for openly pursuing Manning, but that seems a little too glaring. If this were the case, don’t you think someone would realize it before they inked the deal? There had to be something in there for the organization, this is a business. Remember?
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