New York Jets
(→Pro Football Hall of Famers)
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*[[Riggins, John|John Riggins]] (RB, 1971-75)
*[[Riggins, John|John Riggins]] (RB, 1971-75)
*[[Lott, Ronnie|Ronnie Lott]] (DB, 1993-94)
*[[Lott, Ronnie|Ronnie Lott]] (DB, 1993-94)
*Ewbank, Maynard, Namath are recognized based upon their achievements with the Jets, although Ewbank coached the [[Indianapolis Colts|Baltimore Colts]] to NFL championships in 1958 and 1959. Riggins is recognized primairly for his seasons with the [[Washington Redskins]] (1976-79, 81-85), while Lott achieved his greatest success with the [[San Francisco 49ers]] (1981-90).
Revision as of 02:02, 31 December 2012
The team began in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League under the name New York Titans. It was renamed after a group headed by MCA head Sonny Werblin and Leon Hess, who bought the team from Harry Wismer on March 13, 1964. The Jets later joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger.
Originally known as the New York Titans, the team played home games at the Polo Grounds. But they had trouble attracting crowds despite fielding respectable teams that finished .500 (7-7) during their first two seasons. After a 5-9 season in 1962, the team's future was in doubt. It was saved from bankruptcy by the buyout by Werblin and Hess. Hess eventually bought out his partners, and retained sole ownership until his death. His estate then sold the team to Johnson & Johnson heir Robert Wood Johnson IV in 2000.
After Werblin and Hess took over, the team was renamed the New York Jets as they planned to relocate from the Polo Grounds to Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mess, one year later. The colors of the team were also changed from blue and gold to kelly green and white, which also were the colors of Hess' gasoline stations.
Exactly one month after the sale of the team, the Jets hired Weeb Ewbank as head coach. Ewbank had won back-to-back NFL championships in 1958 and 1959 with the Baltimore Colts, and was one of the most respected coaches in the game.
Glory years: 1965-1969
In 1965, the Jets signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath, who chose to sign with the Jets over the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that held his NFL rights. Namath's contract was for a then-record $427,000 contract. The confluence of signing Namath, as well as the Jets' moving into brand-new Shea Stadium, the Giants' poor performance since 1964, and the AFL's brand-new deal with NBC, helped to make the Jets the hottest football team in New York and one of the most popular teams nationwide. The Jets drew spectators both at home and on the road (in fact, they outdrew their entire 1962 season attendance in their first game at Shea Stadium alone) and, perhaps as much as any other factor, Namath's undisputed success with the Jets led to the landmark merger of the AFL with the NFL, to finally be consummated in 1970.
The Jets improved steadily on the field after Namath's arrival. In 1967, Namath led the Jets to an 8-5-1 record, their best record yet. Namath reached a milestone by passing for 4,007 yards in 1967, a 14-game season, making him the first-ever professional quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards in a season. This was especially remarkable considering that at the time, 3,000 yards passing was considered an excellent year.1968, the Jets would reach the pinnacle of their existence and provide the moment that would indicate the AFL's coming of age. Under Namath's guidance, the Jets rose to the top of the AFL, defeating the Oakland Raiders in a thrilling AFL championship game, 27-23. The win qualified them to represent their league in a game that was being referred to for the first time as the Super Bowl (and referred to retroactively as Super Bowl III). They were pitted against the champions of the NFL, the Baltimore Colts. At the time, the AFL was considered to be inferior to the NFL, and most people considered the Jets to be considerable underdogs and treated the Jets as such. That would change three nights before the game while Namath was being honored by the Miami Touchdown Club as its Player Of The Year. Namath took exception to a heckling Colts fan and used that moment to lament the lack of respect his team had gotten to that point. He then said "The Jets will win Sunday. I guarantee it." His audacious remark proved correct, as the Jets created one of the greatest upsets in football history by defeating the Colts 16-7. This victory showed that the AFL was capable of competing with the NFL.
Namath's career mirrored the Jets after the AFL-NFL merger became final in 1970. He missed much of the 1970, 1971, and 1973 seasons due to injuries, most notably to his ravaged knees, which robbed him of his mobility and much of his effectiveness. He would not throw more touchdowns than interceptions in a season after the merger, and in fact only had two post-merger seasons (1972 and 1974) where his performance could have been classified as reasonably successful. (The Jets also had relative success in those years as well, finishing 7-7 both years.) After a terrible 1976 season in which Namath only threw 4 touchdown passes against 16 interceptions in 11 games, Namath was waived by the Jets when a trade couldn't be worked out to facilitate his move to the Los Angeles Rams. He would play only four games for the Rams before announcing his retirement at the end of the season, at the relatively young age of 34. Although Namath would make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was widely acknowledged that he made it on his performance through the 1969 season, for his role in leading the Jets to a victory in Super Bowl III, and for his being a transcendent icon, the likes of which pro football had not seen.
After Namath's departure, Walt Michaels was hired for the 1977 season and stayed with the team for six years. In Michaels's first year, the Jets finished 3-11 for the third straight year. However, the Jets were rejuvenated for the 1978 season, with unheralded quarterback Matt Robinson replacing Richard Todd and throwing for 2,000 yards and the team finishing 8-8. The Jets were actually 8-6 after the first 14 games and had a chance at a playoff berth, but they lost their final two games. Richard Todd again took over under center for the 1979 season and did even better, but the Jets again finished 8-8.
Todd imploded with a 30-interception season in 1980, and the team went down with him, finishing 4-12, last place in the AFC East. The lowest point was a 21-20 loss to the then 0-14 New Orleans Saints, who would eventually finish 1-15.
The 1981 season was the Jets' first winning season since the AFL-NFL merger. The Jets would finish 10–5–1 and make the playoffs for the first time since 1969 on Todd's 3,231 yards passing and 25 touchdowns, most of them to Wesley Walker and Jerome Barkum. A late comeback in their first playoff game, against the Buffalo Bills, was stopped when Todd threw an interception deep in Bills territory in the final minute, and the Jets were eliminated.Mark Gastineau and Joe Klecko anchored the "New York Sack Exchange" and combined for more than 40 quarterback sacks. The line also featured Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam.
Joe Walton became the new coach for the 1983 season, and he led the team to a 7–9 season. After the 1983 season, the Jets lease with the city for the use of Shea Stadium had expired, and the Jets would need to cut a new deal. The Jets had faced onerous lease terms at Shea until 1978 when they weren't able to play home games until the Mets completed their season. Often the Mets would use their status as the stadium's primary tenant to force the Jets on long road trips early in the season.
After failing to reach an agreement with the City of New York about improvements to Shea Stadium, and reaching an agreement with the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority to play their home games at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey beginning in 1984, the Jets played their last season at Shea in 1983, a 34-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Oddly enough, the Jets first game at Giants Stadium was a loss to the Steelers as well. However, the stadium was painted in the Giants' red and blue color scheme, with decidedly temporary-looking modifications for Jets games, including stadium employees waving enormous Jets flags at the back of each end zone and a flimsy, windblown Jets mural covering the blue inner stadium wall. Moreover, the Giants had a tremendous head start in attracting fans close to its New Jersey home, whereas the Jets' fan base remained on Long Island. Without rail service between Long Island and the wetlands area where the Meadowlands is located, Jets fans faced a difficult trek through several layers of dense New York Metro-area traffic on game days. Despite the move to Giants Stadium, the Jets organization made the decision to remain the "New York" Jets, mirroring the decision made by the Giants in 1976 when they moved, thus staking a claim to fans throughout the Metropolitan New York Tri-State area.
In their first season at their new home, veteran quarterback Pat Ryan would start, 1983 first round draft pick Ken O'Brien would eventually take over at quarterback; but the team stumbled to a 7-9 record. In 1985 O'Brien threw 25 touchdowns (including 7 to Mickey Shuler and 5 to Wesley Walker) with only 8 interceptions, and four different rushers combined for 18 touchdowns on the ground. The Jets made the playoffs with an 11-5 record, and hosted their first playoff game in 16 years; however they were defeated in the first round by the eventual AFC champion New England Patriots 26-14.
The Jets then won 9 straight games to start the 1986 season at 10-1. Wesley Walker caught 12 touchdowns, with second-year player Al Toon catching 8. The team slid through December, losing five straight to finish 10-6. Pat Ryan was named the starting quarterback for the playoffs, and they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs handily in the first round. However, a late collapse in Cleveland against the Browns in their divisional playoff matchup led to a double-overtime winning field goal by Mark Moseley that denied the Jets a berth in the AFC Championship game. Late in the Cleveland game, one of the most infamous plays in Jets history occurred when Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar threw an incomplete pass on 2nd down and 24, but the Browns were awarded a first down when Mark Gastineau was penalized for roughing the passer, giving them a first down at the Browns 33, from where they would get first a touchdown and then in the closing seconds of regulation a game-tying field goal.
In 1990, the Jets hired Dick Steinberg from the New England Patriots to be the franchise's General Manager. One of Steinberg's first moves was to hire Bruce Coslet, offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals as head coach. Coslet's offensive schemes had helped lead the Bengals to the 1988 Super Bowl where they very nearly defeated the San Francisco 49ers. Steinberg and Coslet let most of the key players from the 1980s go and built from scratch. In 1991, with Brad Baxter tallying a career-high 11 rushing touchdowns, the Jets improved to 8-8, winning their season finale against the Miami Dolphins to earn a trip to the playoffs and deny one to the rival Dolphins . Despite their modest regular season record, the Jets played a close game against the Houston Oilers in their opening-round playoff game, losing 17-10.
After their successful 1991 season, Jets fans expectations were high. As a result of a contract row, Coslet chose second-year quarterback Browning Nagle as their starter over O'Brien, which came as somewhat of a surprise at first, but Nagle had shown some promise and seemed to be ready to take the job. Unfortunately for the Jets, Nagle was not up for the job, and the Jets disappointed fans with a 4-12 finish. The year was marked by a near-tragedy in November when defensive lineman Dennis Byrd was temporarily paralyzed when he collided with teammate Scott Mersereau in a home game against Kansas City. Thanks to what -- at the time -- was a relatively untested steroid treatment, Byrd was able to walk again in a matter of months.
After the 1992 season, having again identified the quarterback position as a position of need, the Jets traded a third-round pick for longtime Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason. Coslet and Esiason had worked together successfully in Cincinnati, and the hope was that they could continue that success with the Jets. Although a mid-season winning streak gave Jets fans hope, they missed the playoffs at 8-8 with a loss to Houston in their final game. Coslet was fired as head coach and replaced by Pete Carroll.
Known for energy and youthful enthusiasm, Carroll painted a basketball court in the parking lot of the team's practice facility where he and his assistant coaches regularly played three-on-three games there during their spare time. The Jets started 1994 going 6-5 but after the infamous Fake Spike loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Jets slid out of contention, losing the remainder oif their games to finish 6-10, leading to Carroll's sacking. One of the first things done afterwards was the removal of the the basketball court.
After Carroll's sacking, Rich Kotite, who had lost his last 7 games as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles was hired. At the press conference to announce the hiring, team owner Leon Hess explained the choice by saying, "I'm 80 years old. I want results now!" Hess was to be disappointed as Kotite mustered only 4 wins over two seasons, 3-13 and 1-15. In both of his seasons as head coach, the Jets' had the dubious honor of owning the worst record in the NFL. Despite these losses, Kotite remained upbeat during his postgame press conferences, often praising his defense as "swarming." Two days prior to his last game as Jets coach in 1996, Kotite announced he was stepping down as head coach and has since never returned to the NFL sidelines in any coaching capacity.
After the 1996 season, the Jets would go on to enjoy a sort of resurgence in relatively short order. New England Patriots coach Bill Parcells, fresh off of leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl, left Foxboro to take the Jets' coaching job for the 1997 season. Parcells was attracted not only by a return to the New York area, where he had enjoyed his greatest success with the Giants, but also by the opportunity to both coach and have full control over personnel decisions. Parcells had craved this dual role in New England, and was quoted as saying that "if (he) cooks the meal, (he) should be able to buy the groceries."
The draft picks the Jets received set the stage for a quick turnaround in the late 1990s, most notably Keyshawn Johnson, a wide receiver from USC who was picked #1 overall. The pick of Johnson not only gave the Jets a skill position player they desperately needed, but an on-field identity and swagger the team had lacked since the days of Joe Namath. The results were immediate. Neil O'Donnell, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, threw for 17 touchdowns in his only full year as the Jets' starting quarterback, and Adrian Murrell ran for 1,000 yards. The Jets finished 9-7, but missed the playoffs, in part because of a somewhat curious call by Parcells against the Detroit Lions. Parcells had Leon Johnson throw a halfback option, which was intercepted. After that play, Barry Sanders took over the game and went over the 2,000-yard rushing mark on the year. Overall, the Jets enjoyed an eight-game turnaround and quickly won back the respect of the league and their fans.Curtis Martin and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Vinny Testaverde as free agents in time for the 1998 season, which turned out to be the most successful for the team since the 1960s. At Parcells's urging, the Jets also reverted to their classic logo and uniform style, although with a darker shade of green. Parcells said that when he was a young coach, he would see the successful late-60's Jets practice in those uniforms, and Parcells associated that uniform and logo with those of a successful team.
Parcells's high-profile personnel moves paid immediate dividends. After starting Glenn Foley in the first couple of games, Parcells went to Testaverde, who ended up throwing 29 touchdowns, Martin ran for 1,287 yards and 8 touchdowns, while both Keyshawn Johnson and Wayne Chrebet had 1,000 yards receiving. The Jets won 10 of their last 11 games and finished the season 12-4, setting a team record for wins in a season. After a first-round bye, the Jets beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in their divisional home playoff game, winning 34-24 with a game-ending interception by Keyshawn Johnson, who had previously scored on a pass and a run. The playoff game was the first home playoff game the Jets had since 1986, when they defeated Kansas City 35-15 in a wild-card game. Although New York enjoyed a 10-0 lead in the third quarter of the AFC championship against the Denver Broncos, Testaverde threw two late interceptions and Denver running back Terrell Davis burned the Jets for 167 yards and a touchdown as the Broncos won 23-10.
The Jets' hopes for the 1999 season were dashed in their first game against the New England Patriots, when, on the first play of the second quarter, Testaverde ruptured his Achilles tendon. Backup QB Rick Mirer took over, quarterbacking the Jets to a 4-6 record, after which Ray Lucas became the starter. Lucas lost his first two starts but after won his next 4 to give the Jets an 8-8 record.
Before the 1999 season, Leon Hess, longtime owner of the Jets, died at age 85. Hess had hired Parcells, and Parcells's role under the new ownership was unclear. As had happened when Parcells was in New England, the ownership that hired him soon was succeeded by new ownership. Despite new owner Woody Johnson's desire to keep Parcells as head coach, Parcells stepped down as head coach at the season's end. However, he remained the team's Chief of Football Operations. Bill Belichick, the team's defensive co-ordinator was promoted for head coach, but bolted to new England after one day.
Under new coach Herman Edwards, who had been the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach under Tony Dungy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Jets were streaky through the 2001 in a highly competitive AFC East. The team managed to salvage a wild card playoff berth with a 53-yard game-winning field goal against the Oakland Raiders in the final minute, forcing a rematch with the Raiders in the opening postseason game. The results were different, however, as Oakland running back Charlie Garner sealed the game with an 80-yard touchdown on third down to extend the Raiders' lead to 38-24 with 87 seconds left. During that play, many Jets fans felt that safety Victor Green was held to allow Garner to break through the line, but no penalty was called. In the end, the point became moot, as the Jets were unable to move the ball subsequently.
The AFC East proved to be even more competitive in 2002, with all four teams in the race well into December. Testaverde was benched early in the season with the team at 1-4, and replaced with Chad Pennington, who proved to be the spark the Jets needed. Pennington threw 22 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, and a final-week win over the Green Bay Packers, coupled with a Patriots win over the Dolphins, gave them the AFC East title at 9-7. The Jets cruised through the opening playoff game with a 41-0 blowout of the Indianapolis Colts, but collapsed in the second half against the eventual AFC champion Raiders in the divisional playoff.
Pennington and the Jets started the 2004 season 5-0 before losing 2 of their next 3. Despite struggling down the stretch and having Pennington miss three games (later revealed to be an injured rotator cuff), the Jets finished with a 10-6 record and earned a wild-card berth. Herman Edwards's team then faced the AFC West champion San Diego Chargers in the opening round.. The Jets took advantage of San Diego's miscues and Martyball. But with the Jets leading, 17-10, with under 20 seconds left in regulation, Jets linebacker Eric Barton was penalized for roughing the passer, nullifying Brees' fourth down incompletion and giving San Diego a first down from the one-yard line. Brees threw a touchdown to tight end Gates on the following play, setting up overtime. Chargers rookie kicker Nate Kaeding missed a 40-yard field goal late in the extra period, allowing the Jets to come back down the field. Kicker Doug Brien won the game for the Jets with a 28-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in overtime.
The game sent the Jets to the divisional round against the 15-1 Pittsburgh Steelers. In the divisional round, the Jets played the heavily favored Steelers extremely tough. While the offense struggled producing only a field goal, a punt return by Santana Moss and interception return by Reggie Tongue kept the Jets in the game. With the score tied at 17-17 late in the fourth quarter, Doug Brien lined up for a 47-yard field goal attempt that would have put the Jets up. However it hit the crossbar of the goal post just short of being successful.
Despite this the Jets came through yet again, with an interception by cornerback David Barrett on the next play. Rather than try to drive for a touchdown or otherwise get closer for a game-winning field goal, the Jets seemed content to settle for a 43-yard field goal attempt that would have given the Jets the win, ironically, the same unsuccessful strategy the Chargers had employed the previous week. Brien's kick missed, wide left, forcing the game into overtime. The Jets would lose on a 33-yard field goal by Pittsburgh kicker Jeff Reed, as the Jets fell just short yet again. In the days following the loss, many people and pundits opined that the Jets lost this game by not being aggressive and being too willing to settle for a risky field goal attempt, ignoring the fact that Brien had been 10-11 in field goal attempts between 40-49 yards on the season. Others, however, contend that none of those field goals had been in the notoriously unpredictable winds of Heinz Field, voted by the league's special teamers as the worst field to kick in every year since 2000.
The 2005 season started out with the Jets reacquiring WR Laveranues Coles from the Washington Redskins and acquiring CB Ty Law from the New England Patriots. The Jets also acquired free agent quarterback Jay Fiedler of the Miami Dolphins as a veteran backup for the starter, Chad Pennington. During the 2005 NFL Draft, the Jets traded their first-round selection for Raider's tight end Doug Jolley. Many fans felt that the Jets should have drafted University of Virginia tight end Heath Miller instead of trading for the inconsistent Jolley. The Jets used their first selection (2nd round, 15th pick) to select Ohio State kicker Mike Nugent to replace the departed Doug Brien. The Jets allowed several key role players to leave through free agency or traded them for underachieving players. These players included LaMont Jordan, Kareem McKenzie, Sam Cowart, Jason Ferguson, and to a lesser extent Anthony Becht.
The Jets entered the season with high hopes of contending for the Super Bowl, but their hopes were dismantled in week three against the Jacksonville Jaguars when Chad Pennington reinjured his shoulder. Even worse, their backup quarterback Jay Fiedler was injured six plays after Pennington. They were both placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. The injuries caused previous third-string quarterback Brooks Bollinger to take the role as the team's starter and Vinny Testaverde was brought back out of retirement as Bollinger's backup. After a poor showing by the Jets' offense in a loss, Testaverde would start the Week 5 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His steady hand led the offense, and Curtis Martin scored two touchdowns, giving the Jets just enough to earn a 14-12 victory over the previously undefeated Buccaneers.
But the season got very sour after the victory over Tampa Bay. They would lose their next 7 games before finally beating the Oakland Raiders in Week 14. The injuries of several key players, including running back Derrick Blaylock and cornerback David Barrett, and season-ending injuries of wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, tight end Chris Baker, right tackle Jason Fabini, and center Kevin Mawae, among others, severely hampered their ability to play competitively.
Even in the victory against the Raiders, the Jets suffered another morale-sagging injury. Running back Curtis Martin did not play in the game due to a season-ending knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. The Jets' only noteworthy accomplishment of the remainder of the season would be their participation in the final Monday Night Football game aired on ABC, a 31-21 home loss to the Patriots. They ended the year with a 4-12 record and "earned" the fourth pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, which they used to select D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
On January 8, 2006, Herm Edwards ended his time as head coach of the Jets and he signed a 4-year, $12,000,000 contract to become the new head of the Kansas City Chiefs and succeed his original mentor Dick Vermeil, who was Edwards' head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jets received a 4th round draft pick from the Chiefs as compensation for Edwards, who was still under contract with the Jets at the time. The Jets were criticized for what was considered inadequate compensation for the loss of their head coach. Others felt the Jets were fortunate that another team was willing to take Edwards, who was 5-15 over his last 20 regular season games, off their hands and give up a draft choice to do so.
On January 17, the Jets-Patriots coaching pipeline reared itself yet again, as New England defensive coordinator Eric Mangini was hired by the Jets. Mangini's first order of business was to reorganize the coaching staff. Offensive Coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and Defensive Coordinator Donnie Henderson were both released from the Jets staff. Special Teams Coordinator Mike Westhoff was retained. Linebackers coach Bob Sutton was named defensive coordinator and the team signed Jim Herrmann to replace Sutton as the linebackers coach. Herrmann was the defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan for twenty years before arriving in New York. Eric Mangini then installed a 3-4 defense.
General Manager Terry Bradway announced that he was stepping down as Jets GM on February 7, 2006. Assistant GM Mike Tannenbaum was named the new GM on the same day. Bradway would then continue to be employed by the Jets organization as a scouting consultant.
The Jets finished the regular season with a record of 10-6, having defeated the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, and the Oakland Raiders in their last three games. The Jets earned an AFC Wild Card spot in the playoffs, the number 5 seed and surprised most pundits who predicted a rebuilding year. Players celebrated afterwards by saying the word "playoffs", a word Mangini banished during the regular season to focus players on the regular season.
On January 7, 2007, the Jets played rival AFC East champion New England Patriots. The Jets had both beaten and lost to the Patriots in the regular season. While the Jets took an early 10-7 lead after a field goal and a 77-yard touchdown catch and run by Jerricho Cotchery,which was the second longest pass play in wild card history, the Jets were not able to score another touchdown, and the Patriots closed out the game after two turnovers by the Jets offense. The Jets postseason ended with a 37-16 loss. One notable aspect of the game was the rivalry between Patriot head coach Belichick and Eric Mangini. The two were not on good terms, and their relationship was widely publicized before the game. Regardless, at games end, the two embraced.
2007: Videogate and the beginning of the end for Pennington
On September 10, 2007, Belichick was accused by the Jets of authorizing his staff to film the Jets' defensive signals from an on-field location, a violation of league rules. The Jets confiscated the video camera used by video assistant Matt Estrella to film the signals during the game and filed a complaint to the league office, detailing the accusations. However Videogate ended up with just a minor slap on the wrist for Belichick and the Patriots.
The 2007 season opened with high expectations from fans, as the lackluster 2006 running game was boosted by the addition of former Chicago Bears running back Thomas Jones. But with a tougher schedule than the one faced in 2006, commentators were skeptical. Unfortunately for the Jets, the commentators were right. Chad Pennington, who a year earlier had been named NFL Comeback Player of the Year, having overcome what many thought was a career ending rotator cuff injury, began to be hampered by his weakened arm as opposing defenses were not forced to stretch their coverage due to Pennington's inability to throw the ball fast or far. After the team struggled to a 1–7 start, second year quarterback Kellen Clemens replaced Pennington as the starting quarterback, but wasn't much of an improvement. The team would struggle to a 4-12 record.
2008: Favre, collapseBrett Favre from the Green Bay Packers for a conditional draft pick. On August 7, 2008, the day that Brett Favre had been traded to the Jets, they decided to part ways with former starting quarterback Pennington. He was released from the team later on in the day, and eventually went on to sign with the Miami Dolphins. An 8-3 start led to high expectations, but was followed by a 1-4 meltdown, leaving the team 9-7 and out of the playoffs, despite a league high and franchise record 7 Pro-bowlers. Head coach Eric Mangini was fired the day after the season ended.
Logos and uniforms
After the club was renamed the Jets in 1963, the uniform design was changed to white helmets, white pants, and either green or white jerseys. The green jerseys had white stripes on the shoulders and white sleeves. The white jerseys had green stripes on the shoulders and green sleeves.
The team's logo in 1963 consisted of a green airplane with the word "JETS" written on its side. The logo was changed a year later to a football shaped oval with the letters "NY" superimposed, and superimposed over that, both the word "JETS" and a football in green. In 1967, the logo's colors were inverted so that the oval became green, and the word "JETS" and the football became white.
In 1978, the Jets changed both their logo and uniform design. The new logo consisted of the word "JETS" with a futuristic jet above it. The new uniform design consisted of green helmets, white pants, and either green or white jerseys. The uniform was modified in 1990, when the team added a black outline and green pants.
In 1998, the team reverted to the 1967 logo, or rather, a modified version, since the oval was now more rounded at the ends and no longer resembled a football. A slightly more modern version of the 1963 uniform design was introduced along with the logo. For both the logo and uniforms, the kelly green of old had been abandoned in favor of a darker shade, essentially forest green.
In 2002, the team introduced green pants which are sometimes worn on the road with the white jerseys and at home to form an all green combination.
Pro Football Hall of Famers
- Weeb Ewbank (coach, 1963-73)
- Don Maynard (WR, 1960-72)
- Joe Namath (QB, 1965-76)
- John Riggins (RB, 1971-75)
- Ronnie Lott (DB, 1993-94)
- Curtis Martin (RB, 1998-2005)
- Ewbank, Maynard, Namath and Martin are recognized based upon their achievements with the Jets, although Ewbank coached the Baltimore Colts to NFL championships in 1958 and 1959. Riggins is recognized primairly for his seasons with the Washington Redskins (1976-79, 81-85), while Lott achieved his greatest success with the San Francisco 49ers (1981-90).
- Although the #90 worn by Dennis Byrd has not been officially retired, it has not been issued since he suffered his career-ending injury in 1992.
- Sammy Baugh (1960-1961) Win-Loss record: 14-14
- Clyde "Bulldog" Turner (1962) Win-Loss record: 5-9
- Weeb Ewbank (1963-1973) Win-Loss record: 71-77-6
- Charley Winner (1974-1975) Win-Loss record: 9-14
- Ken Shipp (1975) Win-Loss record: 1-4
- Lou Holtz (1976) Win-Loss record: 3-10
- Mike Holovak (interim) (1976) Win-Loss record: 0-1
- Walt Michaels (1977-1982) Win-Loss record: 39-47-1
- Joe Walton (1983-1989) Win-Loss record: 53-57-1
- Bruce Coslet (1990-1993) Win-Loss record: 26-38
- Pete Carroll (1994) Win-Loss record: 6-10
- Rich Kotite (1995-1996) Win-Loss record: 4-28
- Bill Parcells (1997-1999) Win-Loss record: 29-19
- Bill Belichick (2000) One day to steal money
- Al Groh (2000) Win-Loss record: 9-7
- Herman Edwards (2001-2005) Win-Loss record: 39-41
- Eric Mangini (2006-2008) Win-Loss record: 23-25
- Rex Ryan (2009-) Win-Loss record: 34-30