For many Jets fans the short-term might look dicey, but the hope is that in the long-term the team will be better off based on some of the adjustments the team made this past offseason. With that in mind, how do all the NFL teams project in a year, two years, how about three?
With that in mind, ESPN Insider had an interesting idea for a annual article (starting last year) in which they project 2016 Power Rankings based on a number of key areas like quarterback, draft, front office, coaching, young talent, etc. Using their in-house talent, they let experts grade given fields: Bill Polian to discuss front office, Herm Edwards to talk about coaching, Kiper on the draft, and so on. So how do the Jets project according to ESPN for the 2016 season?
Not well at all, the team ranked 32nd according to their graders.
While most of the reading is rough, Mel Kiper Jr. is the only analyst who was bullish on what the Jets are doing. So rather than be masochists, lets focus on the positives:
I gave the Jets a very high grade for their 2013 draft, but that marks a change from a stretch where they simply didn’t extract enough value. It wasn’t a case of bad picks at the top, but there just wasn’t enough depth created with later picks. If the 2013 draft is an omen of things to come, this team is headed in the right direction. And anybody who says this class will be defined by Smith misses the point. It doesn’t have to be because the Jets used a second-rounder on him, and are in no way financially tied to him if he doesn’t pan out. It was a good call, and hopefully we’ll see more of the same.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
That’s a lot of what we said coming out of the draft. It might not have been sexy, but the team played it down the middle and came away with a number of players who have the potential to be starters for this team for a long time and the fact that the Jets used a second rounder on Smith means nothing should they decide to go another way.
The other writers hit home on some salient points of the team’s troubles, like the Jets lack of offensive weapons and the uncertainty around coaching after 2013, but they also whiff badly by chiding the Jets for stocking a defense that was playing well without Darrelle Revis anyway in 2012 — missing the point that not only is Revis gone, but so too are many other starters from 2012 (Pouha, DeVito, Thomas, Scott, Landry, Bell).
I know sometimes these articles get under people’s skin, but I read most of these and just roll my eyes as it’s utterly impossible to predict what will happen this season, let alone three years from now. Is this something that can help us pass the time during the quiet summer months? Absolutely, but this has little bearing on how things will in fact play out and more than anything shows pundits to be front runners based on what happened last year.
Sad news today from the Wall Street Journal, that former Jets punter Dave Jennings has died after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
While Jennings is associated more with the Giants because he was there for most of his career and went on to be a radio analyst for them after he retired, he did play three seasons for the Jets at the end of his career and broke the NFL’s all-time record for total punts while with them, a mark that stood for over a decade.
Here’s a good article from the New York Times in 1987 as he neared the end of his Jets career.
We send our condolences to his family and friends.
From Sunday’s Jets Nation, Jeane, Lucas, and Schein talk about Geno Smith and whether he fits in the West Coast offense.
Shades of Gnarles Barkley?
Since January 18th there have been concerns over whether or not Rex Ryan and John Idzik could coexist with one another in what was manufactured as a forced marriage. Several months later the jury is still out on whether or not this team will be able to make it past four wins this year however, Kristian Dyer of Metro New York writes that the “odd couple” seems to be working well so far.
A source within the organization tells Metro, “Rex has bought into Idzik. Whatever direction John came in with, Rex was more than eager to complement.”
The all-in approach from Ryan might be as much about job security as it is about a change of direction. The Jets underwhelmed the past two seasons with aging stars. But Idzik has come in and sliced his way through the roster, adding a mix of underappreciated talent and proven veterans to the locker room.
Ryan remains one of the biggest selling points on this team and Idzik likely knows it. With a reputation as a player’s coach, free agents have traditionally flocked to Florham Park, N.J. to play for the affable head coach.
“I was the one who told [LaRon] about Rex when he was thinking about coming here. He just makes it fun and he’s a great coach,” Dawan Landry said. “But he also knows his defense and he knows how to play the game of football. So when you have a coach like that, who can really coach but does it a way that you want to play for him, it was a no-brainer for me to come here.”
The NFL makes strange bedfellows and the Idzik-Ryan combo certainly qualifies.
Idzik is pragmatic and thorough, providing a counterweight to his emotional head coach. Idzik’s fresh approach is working with free agents. Among those convinced was Willie Colon, a Bronx native who signed with the Jets this offseason.
“This team has always had a reputation of kind of being a circus. I didn’t buy into that,” Colon told Metro. “You can always change your stars, I believe that. I felt that if I came here, I could help with that.”
Eric Weeks, TheJetsBlog.com
There’s still a long ways to go but I can appreciate the developing chemistry between Rex and Idzik even if their personalities are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Mike Tannenbaum was usually, more often than not, willing to go with the flow and subsequently the tactic bought the Jets nothing but trouble. Idzik is seemingly the perfect “counterweight” to Rex, as Dyer writes, because not only do you have business and personnel sense in the front office but you also have someone who can attract talent and coach up a team (of course that’s not without its hiccups). It’s sure to have its ups and downs but hopefully
this pairing will ultimately prove to be one of Woody Johnson’s better decisions.
Jeane Coakley’s 1-on-1 interview with Dawan Landry.
While Antonio Cromartie thinks he could be the best if he wants to, he’s much more concerned about building the best defense and team in the league, and that comes across in Brian Costello’s article for the NY Post about Cromartie and his burgeoning role as a leader of the team.
“I couldn’t care less if someone said I’m the best corner in the NFL,” Cromartie said. “I really don’t care about that. I’m more focused on, ‘Am I doing the right things and are the young guys doing the right things they need to be doing?’ If we’re all playing as one, our whole secondary is the best. That’s the way I’m looking at it.”
Cromartie’s presence on the roster made it easier for the Jets to trade Revis. While Revis is generally recognized as the best in the game, there was not any noticeable dropoff when Cromartie stepped in last year.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Cromartie is extremely talented, has the size and the skill to be among the best in the league and is in the type of defense that will play to his strengths. Working with Revis for three years we’re sure Cromartie has learned a lot, and it sounds as if he has matured during his time in the league
. While he took over on the field after Darrelle Revis’s injury last year, the absence of Revis has clearly allowed him to step out of the shadows and take a more active role as a leader of the team. Between now and training camp, Cro will be hosting a number of players
to workout in California.
In case you’ve not seen any of his workouts, here’s some clips from YouTube …
ESPN Sweat Spot from his Chargers days.
Here’s the NFL Films crew filming his offseason workout for Hard Knocks.
Jake Steinberg, TheJetsBlog.com
Over the past few months, we put together two chat sessions with Jets players, where you guys asked questions and they answered.
With camp opening in late July (the 25th to be exact), players have a lot of time off. Thus, we are going to be putting together a bunch of chats for you guys.
In the comment section below, please write some guys you’d like to see us get, and we’ll do our best to bring them to you!