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Reality Check

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By Tyson Rauch

The debut of the 2007 New York Jets was one that many fans want to forget while the remainder want to over analyze. The blow out loss to the New England Patriots should not be a surprise to the gang green faithful for a variety of reasons.

The truth is the Jets are not strong enough or physical enough to control the point of attack on the offensive or defensive lines of scrimmage, especially against championship caliber teams. The failure to be able to control the line of scrimmage has a domino effect into changing game plans, coaching strategies and personnel groupings.

So the biggest question is what can the Jets do to change this? Obviously the Jets cannot do wholesale personnel changes during the season so is there anything that can be done to improve this situation? There is a notion being passed around that many players on the Jets defense are playing out of position in Mangini’s 3-4 philosophies. The rebuttal to that notion has always been that the 3-4 defensive is only one of the many schemes that are used. So does that mean that the likes of Shaun Ellis, Dewayne Robertson, Jonathan Vilma could not be a foundation for a strong defense? Have they not had successful seasons in the past?

On the offensive side of the ball, if you cannot run the ball you will not win games, period. The Jets once again lack an identity on offense and appear to be content with formation changes and a ton of movement prior to the snap. Well why not try less gimmicks and maybe try to spread the defense out by going to 4 and 5 WR sets? This could possibly open some running lanes or at least create mismatches that can be taken advantage of.

Other than these ideas, the question remains where do the Jets go from here? Is there anything that can be done that can salvage this season or does this have the makings of another one of those “classic� Jet seasons where they will be scrappy and end up 5-11?

Rebuttal to the Media: Why is it that the media always feels the need to classify Jet fans as second-class citizens that are Giants fans who cannot get tickets to their games? Why is it that the media always discounts the Jets following as a bunch of college kids that go to the game to drink not watch the game? As a long time season ticket holder and member of the Jets road crew I am sick and tired of this notion.

The fact is the Jets have a very large loyal fan base that could not care less about the Giants. The Jets have a large group of fans that are willing to spend their time and money to go on the road to support their team. Many times while on the road opposing fans are shocked about the amount of fans that are in their stadium supporting Gang Green, those places include Green Bay, Dallas and Cleveland.  Not exactly locations you can drive to from the metropolitan area.

The recent incident with Chad Pennington’s injury was sad but is being completely blown out of proportion, which is common with the media these days. Sure there was some applause but it was not like 70,000 fans jumped up and gave a standing ovation. In addition this is not like this is the first time a small incident has not happened like this in the NFL. And then to hear that fans of Gang Green are embarrassed to wear their gear because of an act of a few morons combined with the Pats fans that were in attendance. Give me a break people. That is just ridiculous.

As a loyal fan of the New York Jets I look forward to the game this Sunday and expect to see a resilient effort from this team. I have stood by this team in the past and will do it once again. It is what true fans do and know I will not be alone.

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