“It comes down to reality, and that’s fine with me cause I let it slide.” Billy Joel said it well. I think the NY Jets have walked face first into a reality check with their public dismemberment on Sunday against the 49ers.
As the resident Jet fan, I have moved rapidly through the five stages of grief. I’ve moved from:
DENIAL: The team that stomped us was the best team in the league. We were without Revis, Keller, and Hill… blah blah blah.
I’ve moved from ANGER: Really Rex? This is the best team you’ve ever coached? Really Cromartie? You’re the second best receiver on the team and the second best corner in the league? Really Bart? The media is just out to get you? Really Mark? You got picked on a screen pass and your explanation was “I was unlucky?”
I blew right past Bargaining: and the statement Jets haters have been chanting all along. Is it Tebow time? (spoiler alert… no)
I spent some time in Depression: whispering “I miss you” to my old Thomas Jones Jersey and thinking about what 2009/2010 felt like.
And now, I’ve come to the final stage. I’ve found the wonderful land of Acceptance. And I welcome all other Jets fans to join me.
In the land of Acceptance we come to terms with the following things:
1. Our window is shut. Every team has that window in which they are able to mount a Super Bowl run. The Jets had theirs and they did well. We made the AFC Championship two years in a row and we did it by reminding the pass-heavy NFL that a good run game and a strong defense can still be a formula for success. However, that team’s core is far gone, too old, or self-serving. Our successful running backs like Thomas Jones and LT are long gone. And now we have the slow and unreliable Shonn Greene and the young and mentorless Bilal Powell. We lost Damien Woody and were left with a front 5 that is slowly crumbling. How long do you think that Mangold and Brick are going to be able to pick up the slack for inconsistent Guards and the circus at Right Tackle? The answer… not much longer. Our best players are either hurt or on the wrong side of their careers. The clock isn’t ticking, the clock has ticked its last tock for this generation of NY Jet. It’s time to start over.
2. Ground and Pound is not an offense: or at least it isn’t one by itself. Every team in the league that is having success is doing so by being balanced. When you define your offense as run only, pass only, or option only, all you do is give away your control of how the opposing team views you. I would love to see us replace “Ground and Pound” with “Control the Clock.” Short passes, thought through routes, play action after SUCCESSFUL running plays and taking shots downfield when possible – that keeps the ball in our hands and allows a team that has a productive special teams and defense to share some of the bench.
3. There is no player on our offense to build a team around: Mark Sanchez is not the answer at Quarterback. Tebow isn’t either. Shonn Greene isn’t, Powell isn’t, McKnight isn’t. Our receiving core has an overpaid diva, a 6’5” rookie who can run a 4.3 but can’t catch, a guy who wasn’t good enough to play FOR THE RAIDERS??? And one fairly talented slot receiver (I like Kerley a lot actually). You can’t build the offense around Nick Mangold. You have a Tight End who can catch but can’t block. What do you have left? You have nothing. I honestly think that there may be something to be said for seeing if Greg McElroy (QB) can play with the big kids and then using the next draft to start over. The best case scenario is being a developed/competitive football team in 2016. I’ll be excited for that to get here.
4. Our staff is just not effective: Others may bash me for this but I’m not ready to give up Rex yet. He is a good coach and a great defensive mind. I do think that he is taken out of context too often (Try watching a FULL press conferences, not the sound bites that ESPN chooses to stir up a story). Rex aside, Mike Tannenbaum is not “magic mike” anymore. Lately he is “make money for Woody Mike” or “Media is gonna love this Mike” or “My god did we really just trade for Tebow Mike.” Call him what you want but there is nothing magical about the personnel decisions we have made in the last 3 seasons.
In addition… can someone explain to me how Matt Cavanaugh still has a job??? Is there anyone under the impression that he is doing a good job with our quarterbacks? Please name one Jets QB that has been strong since Vinny Testaverde?
5. We have to accept that no one is going to listen to us. I’ll say it now, Sanchez (injuries aside) is going to finish out the season. The Jets will likely draft someone like a Right Tackle or another mediocre pass rusher in 2013 instead of a new QB/RB. They may listen to me and get rid of Mike Tannenbaum (not likely), but anything less than a 9-7 season and Rex will probably be under fire (possibly let go). We may lose Revis because he will demand pre-injury money post-injury and we won’t give it to him. This organization is going to fall apart before it is put back together. Instead of trading in our car to take something off the price tag of a new model, we are going to drive it off a cliff and try to claim the insurance money. Get ready Jet fans. It’s going to be a wild ride.
Agree or Disagree? I’d love your comments.
I will close with an inspiring quote from the Immortal Joe Namath! A Jet for life and a man of many words:
“I don’t know whether I prefer Astroturf to grass. I never smoked Astroturf.”