I love Joe Namath. In fact, he is the single reason I became a Jets fan. Usually I appreciate his candor, the kind that only comes from a Beaver Falls, PA/Alabama boy who has earned the right to speak his mind. But Joe Willie is wrong about the Tim Tebow trade. While the New York Jets are certainly capable of coming across as a circus act from time to time, but nobody is that irresponsible. Nobody makes this move purely for the attention. The price was just too steep, a 4th and 6th and $2.5 million just to grab the back pages in New York.
That being said, the initial reaction from the football pundits and Jets loyalists has not been positive, and with good reason. I personally don’t care about Sanchez’s feelings or the Met Life crowd chanting “Tebow, Tebow”. If Sanchez can’t handle it, he doesn’t have the moxie to be a quarterback in New York City, or perhaps anywhere else. My concern is for a general manager who doesn’t seem to see a value in draft picks. For a team that will seemingly go into the 2012 season one injury away at safety or offensive line from a dismal season, I don’t see the point of a lateral move at back-up quarterback. Did we really give up those picks for 6 or 7 wildcat plays? Yes the Jets got “Tebowed” last year, but it was our anemic offense and a final drive made up of mostly rushing yards that lost that game for The Jets. I wonder if they ever went back and really watched the first 3 quarters of the Denver game. If they did and are still willing to give away draft picks, I would love to know why. The fact that your only competition, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the home town team of Tebow, desperate to put people in seats, offered less than the Jets had to offer garners some red flags. But even as the trade hit speed bumps, Mike Tannenbaum forged ahead. I would suggest that Tannenbaums’s future with the Jets not only hinges on how this plays out, but his NFL reputation could be on the line as well.
I really wanted Jerricho Cotchery back in the green and white for the 2012 season. Probably for nostalgia more than anything else, but it just felt right when I first read the rumor. As a Jets fan, it’s difficult to believe taking a flyer on Chaz Schilens will pay dividends. Not that it was a poor choice, the oft injured receiver has the tools to be a stud. But does anyone really see him catching 70 balls?
I am a little concerned that the Jets statement that they were comfortable with Wayne Hunter starting at right tackle next year wasn’t just coach speak. I heard that and laughed, but it seems I may be crying as there hasn’t even been a visit to Jets camp by a tackle. How about revving up the Flux Capacitor for a trip back to the future? Unfortunately, it appears the DeLorean will stay in Mr. Johnson’s garage, Jets have told Kareem McKenzie they were not interested. I guess he was good enough for the Super Bowl champs, but not for the Jets. I believe in letting a guy learn and grow, but Hunter’s footwork isn’t good. Not sure you can teach that. Something has to be done.
Is there a Jet fan out there more at ease with the safety situation today than they were at the end of the season? Antonio Cromartie recently tweeted he was moving to free safety, which, if anything, clearly indicates the gravity of the situation. Just go back to the 2009 playoff win against San Diego. Cromartie looked more like a Matador than a football player during Shonn Greene’s late game clinching touchdown run. He is not a safety.
By all accounts the Jets seem to be laser focused on obtaining a pass rusher with their 16th pick in the NFL draft. I feel like it’s been forever since the Jets had a guy capable of 15 sacks in a season. I truly believe had we had one in 2009 or 2010 we may have reached the Super Bowl. What concerns me is if a game changer of any magnitude can still be obtained in the 16th spot. I would be shocked if Alabama defensive end Courtney Upshaw is available. The other name you hear is Melvin Ingram OLB out of South Carolina. A motor running kind of player with the ability to get up field and always seems to be around the ball. But again, I just don’t see a pass rusher with his potential being there at 16. Everyone else is a risk, and the Jets can’t afford another Vernon Gholston fiasco. I hope I am wrong, but it appears the Jets will more than likely settle for solving their safety dilemma through the draft. Perhaps with newly signed safety LeRon Landry, a near the line of scrimmage run stopper and effective blitzer, the Jets can increase their sack statistics from 2011.
As usual, the New York Jets dominate the football scene in March, but unlike in previous years, they have not done a heck of a lot to become a better football team. There is some time before camp opens, so don’t panic. But they have so much more to do if they want to be super.