For the 3rd consecutive week the Jets got blown out in embarrassing fashion, this time at home to the Miami Dolphins to drop their record to 5-7. Quarterback Geno Smith had to be pulled at halftime for poor play and the backup Matt Simms played just as poorly. The defense couldn’t stop the Dolphins at all and any chance of the playoffs went down the tubes. The coaching staff got conservative and it cost the team. Now the fans and media are fighting each other to see who can distance themselves from the team faster.
So far in the last few days Rex Ryan is all but fired, Geno Smith will never be a competent quarterback, the entire draft class are busts and apparently, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets would be better off with Tim Tebow. Things change quickly in the NFL. Three weeks ago the Jets were 5-4 coming off beating the Saints at home and people readily admitted that Rex Ryan was doing a great job, getting the most of the talent he was given. Somehow during that bye week this roster went from one that was an overachieving one with a lot of holes in it became a championship roster in people’s minds. This awful stretch of football has angered people who raised their expectations and that anger is fueling these rash conclusions being drawn.
The Jets aren’t a win-now team, in fact they are one of the youngest teams in the league, and as I have repeatedly said the whole point of the season is to evaluate and develop that young talent. How are you going to evaluate and develop that talent? They have to play and gain experience and you have to live with the results. If you can draw permanent conclusions about what these players will be next year, the year after and beyond then please send your resume to all the teams because you should be a scout or a general manager. If you want to bury a quarterback that has played terribly but played terribly behind an awful offensive line and a group of wide receivers that are not making plays, you are being short-sighted. Don’t get me wrong Smith has been inaccurate, made poor decisions, stared down receivers and generally played bad football for a while now but to say that he could never develop into a good quarterback without given the opportunity to play with the holes on offense patched with this year’s draft picks and free agents is nonsensical. All of these players should be given a full offseason to get in the strength and conditioning program and build on what they learned this year.
Will they be adjusting to a new coaching staff and system? Maybe, but I hope not. I am in the minority but I believe that continuity is very important for a young team, especially a young quarterback. Giving Geno Smith an offseason with David Lee and Marty Mornhinweg can only lead to improvement while changing systems and going back to square one will put Smith back in the same place he is this year. I say bring in a veteran to compete with Smith and if you see a mid round quarterback, take him and let them compete. Build around the quarterback with early picks on wide receiver and tight end. The cost of good corners (not great) in free agency was about $5 mil/year last year the team can bring a couple in and finally draft a true free safety. Spend some money on improving the offensive line including preparing to replace Ferguson and Mangold soon. The only time the Jets have had a complete football team including good skill position talent for an entire year was 2010 and that was Rex’s and the Jets best year. I think he deserves another year with talent like that before we give up on him.
Oh yeah and before we get into all this change there is still a month to go in the season. Plenty of time to change that narrative back.