New York Jets News

by Jim
(New York)


Are the NY Jets in it to win it?


As a sports fan it’s all about winning. For just about any fan of any team in any sport, winning – championships, that is – is the bottom line.

As a Jets fan though it’s about um, other stuff. After all the last (and only) time the Jets won it all, gas was 35₵ a gallon and the Rolling Stones were in their 20s. So while rooting for a champion may be the common denominator among sports fans, our secondary and more personal reasons for supporting our team are just as important – especially when Super Bowl trophies are almost as rare as a Halley’s Comet sighting.

In lieu of a title, I need to feel that the team is headed in the right direction, and that progress, however slowly, is being made. I need to believe that the team is committed to being the absolute best. It’s a feeling I don’t have right now…

Some points I want to establish before I continue my rant:

But I just can’t shake the feeling that the Johnson-Tannenbaum-Ryan triumvirate is leading the team astray. I believe they truly want to win, but are they committed to doing what it takes?

At best, the moves that have been made with a short-term fix mentality suggest that perhaps Woody Johnson just wants to win a title then sell the team. But there is just as much evidence indicating that Johnson & Co. would just as soon settle for generating media publicity and profits as they would a Lombardi trophy, despite claims to the contrary.

I don’t know… perhaps there’s a method to the madness… perhaps everything will work out…
But if it feels like a wookie and smells like a wookie…

Let’s examine the evidence, starting with:

The owner. Woody Johnson really seems that he has his priorities out of whack. New York City has always been a Giants town and perhaps always will be. Get over it, win a couple of Super Bowls, and build for the future. Emphatically carve out an identity as the little brother that made good.

Instead, Mr. Johnson seems to be more concerned with media attention (or lack of it) more than anything else. His first “PR coup” was getting Brett Favre. I can’t really blame him for that one because it did make them a better team at the time, and when you have an opportunity to get one of the best quarterbacks ever, you go for it. But it was clearly a move that had little to do with the future and everything to do with garnering publicity, not to mention sales.

It also set the tone for acquiring “name” players:

  • LaDanian Tomlinson

  • Jason Taylor

  • Santonio Holmes

  • Braylon Edwards

  • Plaxico Burress

  • Derrick Mason

  • Antonio Cromartie


Quite an impressive list if you’re building a fantasy team of past players. But is acquiring talent for talent’s sake -- with little regard for anything else - any way to build a “solidify” a young group of core players and build for the future?

As if that weren’t enough, he also needs his team to double as the cast of a reality TV show. So what if the last thing this team needs is to have their every move filmed. So what if ever there was a team that needs to focus on just football, this is that team. Just smile for the “Hard Knocks” camera crew. Even attention-whore Rex Ryan thinks that participating in the HBO show again is a bad idea, but Johnson is insistent.

The GM. As far as Mike Tannenbaum is concerned, I have only two words: Tim Tebow. I believe that acquiring Tebow was mainly a Johnson move, but I think that Mr. T could have talked him out of it if he had the sense.

Now I’ve nothing against Tebow, and I’d barely give it a second thought if it was strictly a move made to bolster the backup QB position, but we all know it’s more than that. Since the subject has been beaten to death and beyond, here’s all I’ve got to say: The Jets claim that Mark Sanchez is the starter. The Jets believe that they are a serious contender. And while they did improve the team by getting LaRon Landry and drafting some potential high-impact players, the “prize” of the off-season was clearly Tebow.

I'm sorry, but when was the last time any team put themselves over the top by adding a second-string quarterback???

The head coach. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the owner looking to establish an identity for his team hired a coach in with a similar identity crisis.

As a defensive coordinator, I think Rex Ryan is brilliant. As a head coach, I’m not so sure.

Just like his boss, Ryan’s campaign to carve out an image for himself always seems to be in the forefront. Yes, he’s not just Buddy’s son. And yes, we all know he’s not going to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings. But please, embark on the “I gotta be me” campaign after you’ve won a title or three because yes, it’s detrimental to the team.

I think that he sees himself as some sort of Al Davis-like rebel, and wants to lead his own cast of hand-picked outlaws to a championship just like Davis did with the Raiders in the 70s & 80s.

The numerous acquisitions over the past few seasons of “me first” type castoffs can be directly attributed to Ryan. When he insisted that his coaching style & personality would keep those “free spirits” in check, it was his ego talking, not his brain. And with that miserable failure, it’s time to put the Rex Ryan show to rest. It’s time for his keen football brain to take center stage and his personality to hit the shadows.

I hope I’m wrong about all of this, but I haven’t been less optimistic about this team in years…

What about you? Do you think the NY Jets hierarchy is committed to a winning future?

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