NEW YORK JETS: Write This In Stone; The 2012 Jets' Season Will Be One of the Most Tumultuous Campaigns in Team History.
Jet Fans, let's get right to the heart of the matter. The triumvirate of Rex Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum, and Woody Johnson, are turning your team into a circus.
Let's lead off with the Head Coach, shall we? In just speaking of this last season alone, Rex Ryan remained disconnected from the offensive side of the ball. He antagonized his "little Brother" and paid a Big Blue price for it late in the season. Then on the heals of back-to-back AFC Championship appearances, Rex's team failed to make the playoffs for the first time since taking over. Once the season ended, certain players started airing out their dirty laundry to the Media. And when questioned about his team's alleged grievances, Rex Ryan denied knowing problems existed amongst his players and pleaded ignorance to any simmering locker room animosities. It just never occurred to him that his locker room was in dire need of an attitude adjustment. And to me, that's a failure to capture the pulse of the team. But how could he, when he himself was involved in a falling out with his offensive coordinator and was constantly jostling with the Media and creating his own controversies?
He remains unaccountable for a team that continues to lose it's identity - an identity (see Ground and Pound) that he never truly established, or, committed to, in the first place. Over all, what the Jets have achieved so far under Rex has been arrived at more so through his words, than through deeds.
That's the outsiders view. But I'm a local. I get Rex Ryan and I like Rex Ryan, even though you folks know I'm a Giants Fan. None of this should come off as hatin' either. I understand Rex's in-game, and his methods. He's cool with me. But the record speaks for itself, and sometimes you need to be called on the carpet just to keep you honest. I will say this though - his style has a short life span. And a General Manager can only exasperate the situation by continually bringing in the wrong kind of players.
Mike Tannenbaum deserves his third-share of blame; if not more. I believe Mike Tannenbaum bears the most responsibility for last season's disappointment. And it is precisely because there has been no philosophical consistency from him. I get no sense he has a coherent plan. What I see is more of a Fantasy Football approach these last two seasons. He also strikes me as a swinger. When Eric Mangini was still coach, Tannenbaum operated with a more conservative and business like tact. With Rex, Tannenbaum has again taken on his Head Coach's persona; if not in similar fashion to Rex's overt brashness, but through his splashy, risky, yet fearless transactions.
He put together a fine team in 2009, but has literally spent the last two seasons sabotaging it. More and more he's proving himself to be exactly who Bill Parcells thought he was bringing to the Jets; a CAPologist - and nothing more. He is nifty with numbers, and is extremely well spoken. But with each passing season as GM, he's proving himself to be an inadequate team builder. I say that because I feel he caused this team to take a series of backwards steps.
Somewhere in between Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum lies the curious case of Braylon Edwards. By the time of initial his signing, Tannenbaum was already committed to taking chances on players with a checkered past. As things worked out, Braylon would have run through walls for Rex in addition to working well with Mark Sanchez. The Jets then decided Santonio Holmes was who they really wanted. But with Santonio in, and Braylon, and Jerricho Cotchery out, Peace; Love; and Harmony; left the building. That, if anything, seems representative of Mike Tannenbaum's plan. And well, in two short seasons, his transactions have polluted the locker room. And now the Jets are considering a return of Braylon Edwards again. That's what you call a circle folks.
Look what the decent from 2009 has done to your quarterback. Mark Sanchez took major strides backwards last season. But if you dig a little deeper than just the prevailing opinions about him, you would know so many things around him failed or broke down; to include his offensive coordinator. But only QB's get blamed. While everyone is busy dumping on Mark Sanchez, a sub-par offensive line goes largely unspoken about. And now through their actions, the head Coach and the GM have given every indication they are about to turn on their quarterback. In football terms, the contract extension the Jets gave Sanchez was more like a kiss of death. The organization can spin this any way they want. Mark Sanchez is now walking a tight rope without a net.
Sometimes locker rooms get polluted because you populate them with the wrong kind of people for the wrong reasons. There's always the business side of Football to contend with. And that's where the owner comes in. Many believe Woody Johnson is the instigator of some questionable moves made by the Jets. After all, he has a brand to sell. And many think he encourages his organization to conduct it's business in a manner that strikes me as more flamboyant, than fundamental. Overt attention grabbers and trying to win the back pages of the tabloids are not what winning football teams are made of. But this is exactly what the Jets are being accused of. Starved for attention in the shadow of the N.Y. Giants, many accuse Woody Johnson himself for taking the team down this path.
THIS IS THE WORLD.... Tim Tebow is now a part of. And the fact Rex Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum, nor Woody Johnson were on hand at Tebow's press conference was plainly and simply - negligent; if not laughable.
What starts now is something of a completely different matter. What dynamics Tim Tebow will, or will not bring to the Jets' offense, remains to be seen. It is only March, and what we already know is that the Jets' 2012 season will be one of the most tumultuous campaigns in the organization's history.