First of all, as resident “newbie” (and this being my first real post), we need to set a few things straight. First, I’m very happy to be here to set the record straight against all this Pats fan propaganda that the Ghost Rat has been stinking up the AFC East section with… your team is good, we are all very happy for you (especially the New York Giants haha) but the competition in the AFC East is stronger than you may think. Second, yes – I probably am just as outrageous and delusional as every other Jets fan you have ever met. Get used to it.
I’m here to tell you that Gang Green is coming back this year with a vengeance and because I like you so much… I’ll tell you the reasons why:
Reasons the Jets will be AWESOME this season:
1. We have better players.
Across the board, the Jets have much better players than they had last year. This is most evident in two areas:
Safety – Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry (assuming he can get/stay healthy) are a more powerful, more experienced, more dynamic duo then Leonard/Smith ever were. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Jim Leonard – but Eric Smith tackles even worse than he covers the deep ball and though neither Bell nor Landry are long term solutions – they will be much better than the alternative.
Wide Receiver – outside of our veteran diva who seems only interested in continuing to see if he can get “tone time” to catch on, the Jets WR core is bigger, faster, stronger, and YOUNGER. We saw last year that rookie Jeremy Kerley could be a deadly (sure-handed) weapon in the slot; now add his speed to that of our newest rookie Stephen Hill who is tall like Plax, blocks like Braylon, but has the speed that this positions has lacked. Hill ran the 40 in 4.3 seconds at the combine this year – this guy is FAST! Number 4 and 5 guys like the veteran Chaz Schilens and the 6’5”- 220lb – Patrick Turner also provide some depth that the Jets haven’t enjoyed in a long time.
2. The Wildcat
… I know, you were waiting for me to talk about Tebow. Well here you go. The Wildcat will be the best it has been in Jets history. Not only is our Wildcat guy a better QB than Brad Smith and Jeremy Kerley ever were, but he is probably faster and more experienced in it as well. Along with Tebow (who poses both ground and air problems for defenses), the Jets front line is healthy and hungry. My boy Matt Slauson (out of Nebraska) who had shoulder injuries throughout the whole last year is at full health and ready to get back to leveling DTs all over the league. Finally, the outside of our box got a lot stronger this year. We said goodbye to the worthless Matt Mulligan (TE) and have accepted that Dustin Keller will never learn how to block to make room for some young guys like Josh Baker (TE), Terrance Ganaway (Rookie RB), and the infamous Terminator to get involved.
3. The Coaching Staff
Take the incredible defensive mind of Rex Ryan, pair that with the guru of great special teams play Mike Westhoff and add the disciplined, run-heavy, father of the wildcat – Tony Sparano and you are likely to find success. Jets fans will no longer be able to play the Brian Schottenheimer drinking game (taking a shot every time a fullback lines up as a wide out, a run call is played on third and (very) long, or the slowest receiver is targeted on a screen pass) this season because Gang Green has new leadership. Rex is thinner, quieter, and watching his words and the consistent message from players, coaches, scouts, and the front office has been that the locker room dynamic is at the top of the priority list this season. When a guy like Bart Scott comes out and says that the Jets will be better because they don’t have their old sense of entitlement anymore… that says something.
4. GROUND AND POUND
I don’t care how many ESPN analysts say that the NFL is a passing league first – the Jets are at our best when we are beating the pulp out of defenses over and over again. Shonn Greene has his back against the wall and if he doesn’t need his typical 7 game warm up period, Jets fans are going to like his production. Greene, Tebow, McKnight, (the occasional Conner and Ganaway) and a healthy/hungry O-Line will rival any D-Line and will do a lot to set up Mark Sanchez in the one place he actually does excel – the play action.
5. We’re still the JETS!
I don’t care if you like us or not, but you have to admit… The Jets are just awesome. We are loud, in your face, old-school football at its best. We have a great defense, we have a great balance of young guys and veterans you love to watch, and we never stop finding ways to beat you. You have to be on your game when facing our run game, our special teams, our secondary, our pass rush (oh you better believe it’s coming back)… We may not always take ourselves seriously, but you better while you prepare to face us.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Mr. Reyno, how are you going to tell us that the Jets will be awesome when you predicted they would go just 9-7? Well my loyal (first time) readers, that is because awesome does not equate good. The Jets have missed out on a few things that will likely keep them from success this season. For every step we took forward, we took a few steps back.
Reasons Awesome ≠ Playoffs
This is our biggest issue. The talent gap between our top players and their backups is larger than Gronkowski’s ego. Think about it. What hope do we have if Shonn Greene gets hurt and we have to rely on Joe McKnight exclusively as our starter? What if Brick gets hurt and we have to use Vladmir Ducasse? If John Conner gets hurt do we even have another FB??? These are the things that keep me up at night.
2. Wayne Hunter
I don’t need to explain this do I? Basically, if you haven’t followed football much over that last year, Wayne Hunter is the Jets Right Tackle. He is bad at football. The End.
3. Mike Tannenbaum
How can a GM ruin a season? Just you wait… this man has a gift for making absurd decisions. I’m hoping that our first round draft pick in 2013 is a new GM but it looks less and less like my wish will ever come true.
4. Other teams will be better than us
It is going to be very difficult to be the team to beat in the AFC East when 2/3 of the Dolphins possible starting QBs are probably better than both of ours and the Bills and Patriots seem to understand complex equations that have plagued our front office for years like: How to sign free agents that will be helpful to your team or How to draft based on your teams current needs
5. We’re still the JETS
Don’t think we will stay muzzled forever. You have Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes, Bart Scott, and Tim Tebow on one team. So what do you get when you take the equation: Boisterous + Diva + Cocky + Polarizing … you get problems.
So is it better to be awesome or good? I don’t really know. Someday I’d like to be both. Either way you spin it though, one thing is for sure. It’s still better than being a Browns fan.
Thank you for visiting Reyno Island!