2011 Season Recap: The Jets Hit a New Low

I’ve waited a few days to write this recap, and I’m glad I did.  The last few days have been ridiculous – finger-pointing, backstabbing, complaining.  It’s sad, really.  Each day, the Jets seem to find new ways to be humiliated.  First, it was the whole Santonio Holmes incident – enough has been written about that already. Then, it was Bart Scott flipping the bird to a reporter (he was fined $10k by the Jets today).

Yesterday, the Jets and Sanchez were absolutely ripped apart by former Jets QB, and Strong Island native, Boomer Esiason.  If you haven’t heard about it, read this: http://tinyurl.com/87z85es.  This, coming from a man who in his 3rd season as a starter, was 3-9, throwing 19 INTs and posting a 73.1 QB rating.  The same man who had 2 career playoff wins (yes, he went to a Super Bowl, but lost) – 2 less than Mark Sanchez. Sit down and shut up Boomer and show a little support for your former team.

Yes. Yes, He Can

But it gets worse.  Today, 2011 7th round (that’s the last round of the draft, people) draft pick, and 4th string QB (most teams have 3 strings) Greg McElroy, goes on an Alabama radio station and airs some dirty laundry, stating that the Jets locker room had been “corrupt” all year, and it’s going to take “a lot” for the team to come together next year.  Really, Greg McElroy?  Really?  Throw a pass in a regular season NFL game and then talk.  Until then, please sit down and shut up.  http://tinyurl.com/8x4xpvk

What’s next – Mayor Bloomberg rips the Jets?  Leon Hess rises from the grave and gives his 2 cents?  Or maybe Rich Kotite will resurface and mention that his team that went 1-15 never had these issues.  This stuff only happens to the Jets…

But alas, we are going to look past that, and more importantly, look to the future.  Below is my summary of what went wrong, and what I think needs to change.  I’d love your thoughts & feedback too – challenge these recommendations and share some of your own.  God knows that Rex and Tannenbaum need all the help they can get….

  1. Keep Sanchez, but bring in a real back-up:  This was supposed to be the year that Sanchez took a giant leap forward.  He did not.  He showed glimpses of brilliance, toughness and the ability to come back, but this was not the year we had hoped.  A lot has been written about how other Super Bowl winning QBs had terrible 3rd years – Brees, Eli Manning, etc. – so it’s too early to give up (last time I checked, he still has more playoff victories than Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco & Josh Freeman).  He has the skills and ability, and the thick skin you need to survive in New York- he’s a natural leader too.  Let’s not forget that only had 16 starts in College – he is still young.  But next year is critical, and if Sanchez doesn’t advance, they need to make a change quickly.  There are some very solid back-up QBs who will be Free Agents (Matt Flynn, Kyle Orton, Jason Campbell).  The Jets should and will bring one of these guys in.  Mark Brunell, at age 41, was never a threat to Sanchez.  That needs to change.
  2. Fire Schotty, but keep the system– The Patriots have proved that it’s not the coordinator that really matters, but the system.  Every time you bring in a new

    Bye

    offensive system, it’s like turning your QB into a rookie all over again.  System continuity is so key in the NFL – look at the perennial contenders – Pats, Steelers, Saints, Colts – they have all had the same offensive system for years (yes, great QBs as well.  Or is it just a great system?…).  If the Jets fire Schotty (and they should, although I don’t think they will), they need to keep the same system.  You can add new wrinkles and open up the offense more, but don’t scrap what you’ve built.

  3. Ground and Pound – Get back to what you know and what you are good at.  When the Jets were at their best in 2011, it was when they were running the ball well, and using the run to set up the pass.  Unfortunately, this didn’t happen enough.  64 passes in the Giants game – ridiculous.  Next year, whoever is running the offense needs to remember what this team was built upon.  Establish an identity and run the damn ball, a lot.
  4. Re-vamp the Linebackers and Secondary – The defense looked very old and slow in the 2nd half.  Bart Scott was reduced to a run-stopping role.  Bryan Thomas was hurt.  Calvin Pace just wasn’t very good.  In the secondary, Eric Smith was atrocious – how many times did we see him chasing after a Tight End who blew by him?   Brodney Pool is just sub-par and Jim Leonard couldn’t finish the season, again.  All 3 should and probably will be gone, although Leonard could come back for no other reason that his leadership abilities.   Revis, Cromartie & Wilson will all be back.
  5. Keep Santonio Holmes, dump Burress– Controversial, I know.  There is no great solution here.  But let’s not forget that Santonio won about 4 games for the Jets in

    Our Captain!

    2010 – he was their MVP.  When he’s on, he’s one of the best.  Is he a stand-up guy?  No.  But can he co-exist in the locker room and be a productive player.  Definitely.  They will need to mend some serious fences, but that’s Rex’s job.  With his contract, they are stuck with him.  Make it work.  Burress on the other hand -well, it was a nice story, but he’s too slow for what they need, and he had a very low “catch” percentage of balls thrown his way.  Replace him with a young and eager burner who can stretch the defense.

  6. Draft Speed, especially on defense – Look at the impact that Jason Pierre-Paul has had for the Giants – he’s a beast.  The Jets need another DE or LB who can get to the QB and disrupt things.  Wilkerson showed promise, but he’s sitll fairly raw.  Let’s go get another playmaker followed by a strong Offensive Lineman in the 2nd round.  The games are won in the trenches as they say…we need to rebuild ours.
  7. Tame Rex – This is owner Woody Johnson’s job.  I don’t want an emasculated Rex, but just a Rex that is a bit more humble and in control.  The confidence is great, the lack of understanding reality and lack of discipline is not.  Man up Rex.  Control your team.  Coach.  Lead.  Win.  Then talk.

This offseason is going to be huge for the Jets.  The team is built to win now.  You have an All-Pro Center (Mangold) and an All-World Cornerback.  You have a former Super Bowl MVP at WR, a solid running game, and a young QB with a ton of promise.  You have one of the best Inside Linebackers in the game (Harris). You have a new stadium, with some of the most expensive seats in the NFL (oh yeah, PSLs too. Thanks, Woody).  There is no dominant team in the AFC at the moment. The time is now.

It's All on You, Gents

It will be tough watching the playoffs this year.  I’m pulling for the Lions or the 49ers.  Although I think it’s the Packers year once again.  That offense is scary.

No matter what, there will be plenty of time to reflect on what could have been and what hopefully will be.  In some ways, this was the most disappointing season since I’ve been a Jets fan, including the 1-15 season.  Expectations were high and the talent level was even higher.   The last week has only added insult to injury.

I’ll post here and there when there is Jets-relevant news to discuss.  Until then…only 47 days until Mets Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Wow.  I need to find some new teams…

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6 thoughts on “2011 Season Recap: The Jets Hit a New Low

  1. Whew! Need a vacation…..or something. Here’s a bold prediction- Payton Manning to the Jets. Why don’t you come to Spring Training in Sarasota and chill out with us older folks. $7.00 tickets, $3.00 big beers & $2.00 doggies. You can’t beat it. Oh, another bold prediction…..Santonio is good bye o. Till the next time.

  2. Even though the Jets have a marked propensity towards signing ‘name’ players ( think Favre, LaDanian, Plaxico…), I would be shocked if Peyton would ever consider going to any team that wasn’t domed or in a warm weather climate. As for Holmes, if the Jets let him go they’ll be out $15 million this year. Remember he just signed a $45million contract in Aug. and I guess now fans can understand why the Steelers didn’t mind him leaving. Once a malcontent always a malcontent.

    Props to Sect. 133. Another great read!

    • Thanks FF. Agreed on Peyton and I don’t think the Colts would trade him withing the conference, especially when they play the Jets next year. There is no easy solution on Holmes.

  3. Here’s my thoughts on all your points.
    Your opening statement:
    Agree, Boomer should shut up. If someone like Steve Young made those comments, then ok. He’s done something…
    1) Sanchez:
    Agree on your points there as well. But season 4 is the real test. The honeymoon is over now and he needs to perform. Agree that he needs a “threat” of a quarterback behind him. Brunell was there just to collect a check since he blew all of his money. I guess it’s nice to know that the Jets still donate to charity…
    2) Schotty:
    He has to go. I think this not because I don’t think is good at his job, but he has lost the respect from his offense. And he would be under even more of a microscope next season. NY pressure is crazy to begin with, now it would be worse. Ideally (which I think the Jets are hoping for) is that he gets hired as a Head Coach. With a bunch of openings out there, I think he will get it. Other organizations see his talent and he deserves a new setting next year.
    3) Ground and Pound:
    Agree this needs to be brought back. With LT most likely retiring, they will need to bring in someone else. McKnight has potential to be good, but I think they still need to bring in someone who is established.
    A guy like Ryan Grant would fit in great. With James Starks there and Alex Green who is potentially going to be big, he’s probably out.
    There are a few others to consider as well…
    4) Defense:
    As I commented in your previous posting, the defense is old. This is definitely an area they need to get younger and quicker in. I go back and forth with Leonard. When he is healthy and on the field, the guy is the defense MVP. Ok, besides Revis of course. But he is the leader of the D and makes the calls. If they can replace him with someone who can do the same, then fine. But otherwise I think they should bring him back.
    5) Plax and Holmes:
    Couldn’t of said it better or differently about this. Just hope Rex can keep Holmes in line. Bad attitude = bad chemistry = bad team. Oh that was the Jets of this season!
    And again, the free agent market looks good with WR’s. And there is always the draft too.
    6) Speed:
    Agree with needing to draft some speed on defense. Goes along with point number 4. I’d also like to give Aaron Maybin another shot. Full training camp learning the whole defensive plan might help him.
    7) Tame Rex:
    I don’t think you can ever really tame Rex, but I think after this season he will realize he needs to hold back a little more. Hopefully he realizes he also needs to take a little more control of the locker room. As a Jets fan and while we are winning, Rex’s comments and antics are hysterical. But once they start to lose, he start to look ridiculous. So either start winning again or tone it down.
    8) I’ll add one more category. Offensive line:
    They need to upgrade on this area. Get rid of Hunter for sure. There are a few veteran experienced OL out there on the free agent market. Go out and get one.

    Cap, sorry the next thing you have to look forward to is the Mets. Gonna be a tough season. I’m a Yankees fan, some promise this year but not completely sold on their pitching…

    With the 16th pick in 2012 NFl draft, the NY Jets select…
    Hopefully some cheers after the pick and a chant of J-E-T-S, JETS JETS JETS!

  4. Watching the wild card playoffs, not really rooting for a team, it just amazes me how exciting the game of football is. My advice for the Jet team during the offseason is….
    Mark Sanchez needs a strict diet of nails, nuts and bolts. He looked scared on every close up! He may need to get his eyes checked as well.
    Offensive line needs to protect him!
    New and exciting wide receiver that can catch a ball maybe 20 or 30 yards down the field and then run with it, cause no balls are getting thrown farther than that!
    Get a decent kicker
    invest in large quantities of duct tape for the locker room, Rex Ryan and disgruntled players.
    get rid of wildcat… it’s old
    Eat some humble pie
    Great posting, I feel your pain. See ya on opening day 2012

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