NEW YORK JETS: Striking Out In Their Bid To Secure Nnamdi Asomugha Sent Gang Green Into Tailspin.
How Do You Like Brian Schottenheimer Now?
Tim Tebow is a good place to start this discussion. Why was he brought here and who wanted him? The only four suspects involved are Coach Sparano, Rex, Mike Tannenbaum, and Woody Johnson.
Somehow Tony Sparano actually made Coach Brian Schottenheimer look good. Schotty's departure shed light on Mark Sanchez' game. Evidently there was a reason Schotty never unleashed Mark Sanchez. Coach kept the QB, who Pete Carroll claimed was not ready for the NFL, within his limits. Without Schottenheimer, Mark Sanchez was a complete disaster in his fourth NFL season.
Being methodical and play-calling within an offensive unit's means is easily confused with being boring, unoriginal and/or displaying lack of creativity, and things of that nature. So in a town like NYC, Schotty wore on the fan base; naturally. In obvious hindsight, I offer Schotty gave Sanchez structure, in-game management, and direction. Save the issue of talent surrounding Sanchez for Mike Tannenbaum. But perhaps it was Schotty who squeezed and manipulated Sanchez into being a capable enough QB that could HELP his team qualify for back-to-back AFC title games. Clearly by 2011, the talent level around Sanchez started to erode. And today it is very clear the coaching Mark Sanchez received under Tony Sparano was substandard. Matt Cavanaugh has been his Mark's QB coach under both offensive coordinators. If Matt has been the constant for Sanchez, the difference in his performance under Schotty and Sparano are made even more stark. Tony Sparano was fired in Miami and helped make the Jets worse. Schottenheimer was fired by the Jets then helped make the Rams better. Go figure, right? Schottenheimer had previous experience as a QB coach with the Chargers. Sparano did not.
The Jets claimed all along Tim Tebow was the back-up to Mark Sanchez. And to their credit, they handed Mark the season. They even avoided giving Tebow the ball late in the season. Even though Sparano utilized a wildcat system in Miami, whatever the plan for Tim Tebow was, it became very clear to me Tony Sparano had no idea how to implement a two QB system. There is a big difference. And based on the way Tebow was utilized this season, there was indeed no plan for Tim Tebow; at least no evident plan exhibited by Tony Sparano.
So did Tony Sparano want him around? Doubtful. Ditto goes for Rex Ryan. I do not subscribe to the Wes Welker Effect. When with the Miami Dolphins, Welker repeatedly burnt the Patriots. So Bill Belichick traded for him. Because Tim Tebow was instrumental in defeating the Jets the year prior doesn't make me believe Rex lobbied his GM to trade for Tebow. Everyone has already chimed in about Rex's ignorance with regards to offense. But even as the head coach, he strained and often found himself at a loss for words when trying to rationalize Tebow's existence, much less his role. Rex Ryan straining for words?
The truth about Tim Tebow lies somewhere between Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum. Whether the GM was just acquiescing Woody Johnson and his bottom line, or whether GM Mike Tannenbaum instigated the trade himself are no longer important. The GM is gone. The offensive coordinator should be shown the door shortly. Tebow will soon be gone too. And you can't fire the owner. Rex however, might survive to coach another year depending on the next General Manager.
But what wreckage the former General Manager left behind. The talent he and Eric Mangini assembled served Rex Ryan well during his first two seasons as coach. The talent assembled by Rex and Tannenbaum over the last two seasons have not. Or, they did a poor job replacing outgoing players. Pick your poison. But in my opinion, the Jets really did themselves a disservice when they cleared players and cap room in an all-out effort to secure cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. By the time Nnamdi signed with Philly, quality players left on the open market, much needed by the Jets to fill other holes, were all gone.
And that's how I think the Jets have arrived upon today.
The defense has been solid enough. But they were asked to do way too much for four seasons. Their window is now just about closed. Offensively, the Jets have problems at QB, offensive line, receiver, and with the running game. If you include Dustin Keller's contract status, the Jets have problems at tight end too. Great.
The next General Manager of the Jets better eat his Wheaties and brew a lot of coffee. He has lots of work to do.