NEW YORK JETS – STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
By Luciano11, a Featured writer for Sideline Report covering the New York Jets
The Past: Just a year ago, this franchise was the laughing stock of professional football. The highlight of the 2012 season was the now famous ButtFumble”, and Tim Tebow; not to mention the fact that the team had no direction with a bunch of loud mouth fools and a HC that was still trying to deliver rings. The CAP situation was so bad that in order to even open the doors last March they cut and cut and cut.
New GM Idzik came into a situation that was worst than Greece’s National budget. This team needed an overhaul, a shower, some scrubbing, but most importantly a lube job.
The Actions: Idzik at first seemed to be afraid of his new role, so much so that, we never even heard his name, interviews or opinions. Did this man have a pulse? we wondered. As we learn later, he just does things in a way we are not accustomed to in New York, quietly and patiently.
He began his tenure as a glorified “TURK”. Gone were Bart Scott, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, Shone Greene, most of all, Tim Tebow also!….and even Revis wasn’t safe. The new GM showed big Coglioni (balls in Italian) to trade the franchise’s first legit star since, ever. Also gone were some of the coaches, one to retirement, Paul Westoff; others simply needed to move on, Mike Pettine, etc.
They drafted best available for the first time in years. Eyes were wide open when they selected CB Milliner, even more shocked when a few picks later, Richardson, a DL? Strange? Yes, but had this been the previous regime, we would have drafted Geno Smith instead of Richardson. Instead they waited, and their QB fell on their laps in the second round. The rest of the draft gave us starters at FB in the form of Bohannon; OL in Winters. All in all, a good draft, with five picks resulting into much needed starters. This GM also realized that with no FA money available, you were not going to fix all your problems in one off-season, again that word foreign in New York, patience.
The Results: Jets held a QB battle, just because they really wanted to move away from Sanchez. In my opinion, they didn’t want to have Geno start yet, but turn the team over to David Garrard for about half the season. Garrard’s knees didn’t hold, and Sanchez was forced back into the picture. He clearly outplayed Geno in camp. A “dumb” move by Rex put Sanchez out of commission, and Geno won by default. Kids that were supposed to be bodies’ became players; especially Bohannon and Richardson. Geno began the year with a bang, numerous INTs, but with a knack to bring the team back with his long passes. Yet, one thing remained obvious, no weapons, a crybaby at WR, he the only remaining dud from 2012. Nelson, Salas, Zudfeld became household names. These were the weapons Geno had to work with. Their lack of route running abilities, combined with Geno’ inexperience led to some ugly offensive games.
The defense was rejuvenated, the average age dropped like the stock market did a few years ago. This defense is now built on speed and power, gone are the blitzing packages that Pettine made us all accustomed to. The defense’ rejuvenation led this team to an improbable 8-8.
- Year two under Idzik already started with the un-expected, Rex was signed to an extension.
- Jets still have many needs, as you would assume, but there is a big difference compared to just 12 months ago. We now have PATIENCE on our side.
- We are no longer the laughing stock of the NFL, not even the division.
- The CAP situation is extremely good, and we are loaded with draft picks, 4 in the first 3 rounds (thank you Revis, the gift that keeps on giving).
- About to be cut: Sanchez, Holmes, Cromartie,
- Free Agents: Folk, Colon, Howard, Cumberland, Pace and Reed
CAP available: 40-60M
Opinion: Idzik will go into FA without spending big on one player. Jets will sign tier 2 FAs, and fill some of the needs. I believe that Idzik is a guy that believes in a team built through the draft, and as such, the Jets will be careful picking players. I imagine a WR and or TE with the first pick, and one each within the first 4.
Defense: OLB (Pace should be resigned); Safety is an interesting spot, Rex would rather have a seasoned player, as such I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets sign one.
The Jets are very set at DL. The emergence of Wilkerson as a pass rushing demon, and Richardson in year two might fix any pass rushing problems. Richardson is a big body that rushes the passer from the inside, he did that extremely well in college. Coples will be a better pass rusher healthy and in year two at OLB.
Offense: A veteran to help kids grow will be signed; Howard will be retained. At TE, I would be surprised if Cumberland is gone, but one must be added, and another drafted. WR, WR, and did I say WR. A veteran competitor for Geno will also be a must. The Jets are very set at RB.
End: TNSA Special Report 0500 GMT 1/23/2014