Sunday, September 09, 2012

New York Jets: System Check Reveals Faults Before Take-Off

From the desk of:  A BLUE BLOODED GIANTS FAN

J  -  E  -  T  -  S
Just - Endure - Tannenbaum's - Signings

NEW YORK JETS:  If You Really Want To Know What Woody Johnson's Priorities Are, Fire Mike Tannenbaum.

This is all just one man's opinion of course.  As such, I believe Bill Parcells departed the Jets, and left behind someone who at the time was put in place because of his salary cap savvy.  He was someone however with a limited football background.  That person, Mike Tanenbaum, was eventually promoted to the office of General Manager.  He and Eric Mangini actually started to build something credible.  Their drafting was hit or miss.  But together they generally brought in quality people and good players.  Eric Mangini's personality and coaching style left much to be desired though, so his team stopped responding to him.  No wonder there.  Needless to say, the Jets made a switch and hired Rex Ryan.  And it was a good hire.

I believe Rex Ryan took what was left over from the Mangini era, and with some tweaking by him and Mike Tannenbaum, elevated the Jets into AFC Championship contenders.  In the newest era of Jets Football, the 2009 season was best.  The 2010 season less so.  And then we all know what happened last season.

The differences in personnel from the 2008-2009 Jets to this season are stark.  And many fans are still undecided as to whether the changes have been for the better.  This is what I feel.  There is a certain measure of quality control a GM must maintain.  There is also a certain degree of direction they must exert over their Coaches as well.  The team vision must come from the General Manager; not from the Head Coach, up.  More on the owner's role later.  But for now, Mike Tannenbaum fails on all counts.  Instead, the Jets GM is Rex Ryan's biggest enabler.  For three years he kept feeding Coach Ryan's hearty appetite for controversy.  The newly adopted tact he teamed up with Rex was diametrically opposed to the way he and Eric Mangini conducted business together.

At the heart of the matter, Mike Tannenbaum's transactions have brought discord into the clubhouse for the last two seasons running.  In 2009, less behaved athletes were still kept in check by guys like Kris Jenkins, etc.  For the most part, those safeguards fail to exist today; not in decent numbers anyway.  His locker room refurbishment has also earned him a full range of criticism.  And the Jets as a whole dominate the tabloids sometimes for all the wrong reasons.

There is no coincidence regarding the down tick, or the fall off if you will, from 2009 to last season.   As more Mangini era players fell by the way side, Mike Tanenbaum kept importing increasingly questionable talent and difficult characters.  He in effect transformed the locker room; not Rex Ryan.  Tannenbaum was the one who relaxed quality control.  A head coach, be it Mangini or Rex Ryan, can ask for the moon.  That doesn't mean they'll get it..., if you catch my drift.  It's up to a GM to keep a Coach's whims in check as well.

Lastly, for a man once considered a CAPologist, I believe Mike Tannenbaum's spending savvy has devolved right along with his quality control.  He wastes his Jets dollars most unwisely these days. So overall, I'd have to conclude by saying instead of progressing, the Jets are now in the midst of regressing under Mike Tannenbaum.

I do like Rex Ryan as a coach.  There is only so much of what ails the Jets that I'm willing to put on him.  Aside from all the other extraneous stuff Rex brings to the table, I believe he squeezed every bit of success he possibly could from the last three rosters he was given.  This season however, he really, really has his work cut out for him.

Will the hiring of new Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano help the Jets?  With regards to former Coach Schottenheimer, yes.  Will he help with regards to the Offensive Line?  If you limit the discussion to technique, accountability, and preparation, he might.  But if we're talking about ability, don't make me laugh.  It is very simple.  The Offensive Line has to prove they can protect Marc Sanchez better; if at all.  Because if they don't, and make Marc Sanchez look bad in the process, the organization is going to quite literally hand the ball off to Tim Tebow.  And in my view, if Tebow takes over the helm, the Jets will crash and burn.

With all the positions that needed attention this past off-season, and depending how much you like Sanchez, Mike Tanenbaum acquired the one player the Jets needed least.  Ponderous.  At the same time Mike Tannenbaum is devolving by his own doing, the Offensive Line caused Marc Sanchez to devolve as a quarterback as well.  Upgrading the Offensive Line, and finding Sanchez a suitable receiver should have been the GM's concentration; not acquiring Tim Tebow.

In effect, Marc Sanchez took a step backwards last season, partly of his own doing.  But others definitely contributed.  Tannenbaum certainly helped.  He took away Sanchez' favorite receivers, and gave him headaches.  Coach Schottenheimer helped.  He gave Marc Sanchez misdirection.  Then if you want to point at not having an able running game to supplement Sanchez last season, I will point right back at the Offensive Line.  Not only couldn't they protect the quarterback last season, they equally failed to provide any daylight to run through.  It is all relative.  It all starts up front.

If the Offense is inefficient this season, the Defense in turn won't be able to hold up.  They can only do so much.  Outside of the obvious lack of a pass rush, there are no real concerns for the Jets on Defense. They will be good.  But if they are consistently having to retake the field after repeated three-and-outs, or something to that effect, the Defense will surely wear down.  No conditioning program on the planet will prepare Bart Scott for Jets ineptness on Offense and the toll it will take on his own body when the Defense is asked to do too much.

If acquiring Tim Tebow is a sick way of circumventing an ineffective Offensive Line and their plan for shaking free of their bigger problems, they are running directly into a fire.  If things go awry this season, Mike Tannenbaum must go.  It will be then, and only then, Woody Johnson reveals his true priorities.  He's the one in the Control Tower.

So what to make of the man who champions "one can never have enough Tebow....."?  I'll say this about Woody - he is making it increasingly difficult to decipher whether he wants a top flight football team, or a second rate headline maker.  For truth be told, Mike Tannenbaum is also Woody Johnson's biggest enabler.  And therefore, Mike Tannenbaum is in a conundrum.  The GM himself also made it difficult to determine whether the he is commitment to bettering the team, or finding unique and imaginative new ways to sell Woody's undersold tickets.  He is good at skirting the issue because he speaks well without saying much.

If things go badly this season, I'd like to see the GM talk his way out of this one.  But I say if you really want to know what Woody Johnson's priorities are, Mike Tannenbaum needs to be fired.  But who fires Tannenbaum?  He serves Woody so well.  And there-in lies the biggest problem facing the Jets - not personnel.

Good luck this season Jets fans.  Try really really try hard to..........

Just  -  Enjoy  -  The -  Season


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