by Tom Shane
As Jets fans, we are notorious for flying off the handle when things get a little shaky with our favorite team. Who amongst us hasn’t had to fix some sheet rock, buy a new television, or replace an unfortunately situated dog or cat the day after a tough loss? Which of you out there in Jet-land hasn’t emptied a 40-oz. in a dimly-lit parking lot somewhere while thinking about Blair Thomas? Who amongst you hasn’t wept in public after a Dan Marino fake spike? I know I have. But you know what?
I have freaking earned the right to fly off that handle, my friends. And so have you. Last night, we earned our stripes again.
“Thank you Terry. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’re the best, and if you ever need a place to crash in Massachusetts, I got your back bro. Keep it up, man.” ~RichardSeymour, Patriots fan
“Absolutely no one can say anything to defend the regime of Herm Edwards and Terry Bradway anymore. Things like this trade are why this team hasn’t won a championship since 1968 and never will until Edwards and Bradway get what’s been coming to them for years: a pink slip. Bradway tricked us all with his off-season last year. This proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt, it was a fluke. It’s times like this when I’m ashamed to follow this second-class organization.”~The Troll, Jet fan
At many points in our history as Jets fans, we have seen something or heard something or felt something coming from this team and we have said, “That’s a joke, right?” Last night, that “something” was the trade of the Jets first-round pick for Raiders’s third-string TE Doug Jolley and the Raiders second rounder (the lesser of their two), #47 overall, as well as two sixth round selections. In essence, this is a trade of the Jets’ first rounder for a middle of the pack second-rounder and a couple sixths. And Doug Jolley.
Who is Doug Jolley?
Jolley was the Raiders’ second round pick back in 2002. A 6’4″, 250 lb. TE with above average foot speed and decent hands. As a rookie, he flashed potential, catching 32 passes for 409 yards and two TD’s, playing in an explosive Rich Gannon-led offense that led the entire NFL in yards from scrimmage during the regular season. Gannon ended up leading the league in passing yards that year, with 4689– 409 of which went to Jolley (not a huge slice of the pie, to be sure). The season after that, 2003, with Gannon struggling with injuries and the Raiders turning on Head Coach Bill Callahan, Jolley’s production dropped to 31 catches with a paltry 8.1 yards-per-catch average. Last season, he fell out of favor in Oakland with the considerably more athletic Teyo Johnson and the mammoth Courtney Anderson overtaking his spot on the roster. Jolley became the odd man out. And we, excuse me, Terry Bradway traded the Jets’ first rounder for him.
On the plus side, Jolley, not known as a blocker, is a skilled receiving TE, with a good feel for the passing game and a knack for getting open. He is not Todd Heap or Jeremy Shockey to be sure, but he has a chance to be the best receiver at the TE slot that the Jets have had since Mickey Shuler (Johnny Mitchell doesn’t count). Given that, his addition to the team could be greeted with open arms, but why hasn’t it?
“This is pure stupidity giving away a 1st round pick for a guy that was not the primary starter AND CANNOT BLOCK. Why not give Baker a chance and keep the pick? I can care less if [CB Andre] Dyson is signed and the sixth round picks mean squat. How many Cavkas can you have on the team!? F YOU TERRY!! ~4HCrew, Jets fan
“Deals like this make it hard to be a Jets fan. I defended the deal, but the more I think about it, we gave up far too much for a man that wasn’t a starter and went basically unused for two years. Teams that are successful are able to make moves that not only improve thier teams, they do so without giving up too much. Jolley might be a nice player, but the Jets dropped 21 spots AND took Oakland’s lower 2nd round pick. They should have at least acquired their higher #38.” ~ MiamiJet, Jets fan
The reason why is because the Jets got fleeced in this deal. Terry Bradway, boob that he is, absolutely got taken to the woodshed by Al Davis–of all people–on this one. True embarrassment reigns supreme yet again in Jet-land and for their poor, battered fan-base.
If you’re a moderate, and want to wait until the final results are in on this trade, consider these few nuggets:
Over the last three years, Doug Jolley has just nine more catches than Anthony Becht (90 to 81). However, Becht had TWICE the number of touchdown catches over the same span (10 to Jolley’s 5). And this despite the fact that Becht was, by any standard, a horrible receiver and was used primarily to block on the perimeter for Curtis Martin. This is Anthony Becht who, playing in Paul Hackett’s decrepit passing offense, had twice as many TD catches as Jolley, who played in the most prolific offense in the league three years ago. When a player can’t beat the receiving stats of Anthony Becht–ANTHONY BECHT–what can be expected of that player? I’ll tell you what can be expected–it can be expected that no team will trade their first round pick for him. But no! Terry Bradway did!
But wait, you say, he didn’t really trade the first pick (#26). He merely moved down to the #47 slot in the second round! No problem, right? Wrong! Consider Terry’s “success” in the second round to date: 2001- Lamont Jordan; 2002- Jon McGraw; 2003- Victor Hobson. None of those players are expected to play a major role on the team (if at all–Jordan is a Raider) in 2005. Terry Bradway has had a history of collosal failures in the draft over his tenure with the Jets, excepting a promising 2004 draft, in which he secured Jonathan Vilma, Derrick Strait, Jerricho Cotchery and Erik Coleman. Jet fans wondered if he had turned a corner and exorcised the demons of past draft failures (Bryan Thomas, BJ Askew, Santana Moss). Apparently not.
So what we have, and where we are at, is this: Terry Bradway has screwed up again, and that may not be the worst part. The worst part is that Terry still has bullets in his gun. There is the potential trade of the cancerous John Abraham looming which Terry can still screw up. There is the potential signing of cornerback Andre Dyson that Terry can still screw up. And then there is the draft, which Terry is almost assured, statistically speaking, of screwing up.
Terry Bradway came to the Jets with the label of “bungler” attached to him and he has done frighteningly little to change that perception. For every positive turn (drafting Vilma) there is its negative counterpart (bungling the Antoine Winfield negotiations). For every Erik Coleman find, there is a BJ Askew or a Bryan Thomas or an Ed Reed or a John Lynch or a Lamont Jordan or a Randy Thomas or a Lavernues Coles or a…you get the picture.
And even more importantly, if the Jets have any aspirations of winning a title or the AFC East, they will have to beat the Patriots. By acquiring Jolley are they any closer? The answer, of course, is no. Tight ends do not beat the Patriots. Randy McMichael doesn’t beat them. Marcus Pollard doesn’t beat them. And Doug Jolley will not beat them. The way to beat the Pats is by holding Tom Brady and his offense to under 20 points. Justin Miller, the rugged and quick Clemson corner predicted by many to be available at the #26 slot, could have helped the Jets do that. Now, they have to hope that a safety or a cornerback or a defensive tackle slides to #47 that can step in and play right away. Terry got lucky last season with Erik Coleman. There are no guarantees this year. All we know is that Bill Belichick is not concerned about Doug Jolley. All we know is that the Jets have lowered their chances of beating the Pats. The Raiders, however, may have elevated themselves into a leading contender role of unseating the Patriots. All because of Terry.
So we head into Saturday having traded our first round pick for a serviceable tight end while the Raiders go into Saturday with potentially the most electrifying offense in the league, having lost nothing to the Jets except for a third string tight end. The Raiders will, no doubt, select a cornerback like Justin Miller at that slot. Perhaps Virginia TE Heath Miller is sitting there at #26, as well. Or one of the elite tackle prospects falls–all Jet (desperate) needs. But never fear, Jets fans, Terry Bradway is on the case, and at #47 the Jets will be on the clock after the top 46 players in the country go off the board. But we have Doug Jolley, my friends.
Who, you ask?
Doug Freaking Jolley, third string TE for the 2004 Raiders/first round pick of the 2005 NY Jets.
Does anyone want to meet me at Home Depot tomorrow to buy some plaster patch? I’ll be the guy with the new cat.