The title of this post was inspired by John Travolta remaking The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, the classic 1970′s hostage thriller about a hijacked New York City Subway (and quite frankly who of us that has ridden the subway hasn’t dreamed of hijacking it). It also has to do with the nearly sudden ascent of Clemens to the man to lose the job of New York Jets starting quarterback. Yes it’s early but not only has Kellen Clemens looked good so far but it speaks volumes for him that he has been able to come out swinging despite having to address a volume of criticsm…literally. The now infamous Brian Daboll chronicles of both Clemens and Jets vet Chad Pennington sound like a lot to digest and overcome but if Clemens can do both that should go at least some way to answering questions about his mental toughness and smarts for the pposition…both practically trademarked by Pennington who seemingly cornered the market on brains at the QB position.
This is not to knock Pennington at all. Hopefully, a spirited and skillfull position battle ensues and the best man wins rather than winning by default. That is just what the Jets need: Competition. It would obviously behoove the Jets if Kellen Clemens became The Man because he offers more downfield arm strength and the ability to rip off chunks of yards at a time. Despite all his faults (lack of arm strength, endless injuries) Chad has still endeared himself to Jets fans for his toughness and never say die attitude. He has also always been a consumate team first guy and ultimate professional. The outcome should please Jets fans either way because hopefylly this year, whoever wins the starting job will have earned it through one intensely fought battle.
In the “Tell Us Something We Don’t Know” department, Bryan Thomas apparently didn’t have a good season last year. By his standards or anyone elses. In fact, I’d say he had a lousy year by Pop Warner standards. He has always been a bust until two seasons ago when he saved his career by having 8.5 sacks in the 3-4 defense right before the clock was going to strike twelve on his Jets tenure. He isn’t as good as that season or as bad as his 2.5 sack year in 2007 but more like something in between. That is not worth the money he’s being paid and unless he steps it up big time due to the new additions of Calvin Pace and Vernon Gholston (there’s that Competition again) he’ll be gone quicker than you can say Pete Kendall.
And for all those fans out there who have soured on Eric Mangini give his OTA press conference recap a read. Remember this guy is just now entering his third year as a head coach. Don’t forget he was never a College Head Caoch. He was just an assistant in the NFL and not that long at that. He is still feeling his way and molding this team. Stay the course with Mangini and give him a chance. I think he’ll put the genius back in Mangenius this year.