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Life With Mikey: Putting Our Faith in Mike Tannenbaum

By Alan Schechter
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Sep 25, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum during the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

I go back to this old movie title, because I wanted to talk about Mr. T, the guy we know as Mike Tannenbaum. It has been a life with Mikey, hasn’t it? It certainly feels like it. He has been the general manager since 2006, but it feels like it has been so much longer.

He gets some heat, and it is warranted. He did draft Vernon Gholston, and Vladimir Ducasse as well. He left the Jets with no depth at the offensive line last season, which left them in a bad position when Nick Mangold went down. I personally don’t think he gets enough heat for 2011, he has been given a bit of a pass, while guys like Schottenheimer and Sanchez get the blame.

In the end though, we have put our trust in Mike Tannenbaum for a lot of years. Most of them have been good.

Let’s look at the players that have been chosen during his reign, that are still on the team today. 2006 yielded Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson. The next year gave us David Harris, and some guy named Revis. After Dustin Keller was chosen in 2008, the Jets ended up after trades, with only 3 picks in 2009’s draft. They were used for three starters, Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, and Matt Slauson.

The last two years of drafts have yielded Kyle Wilson, John Conner, Joe McKnight, Mo Wilkerson, Kenrick Ellis, and Jeremy Kerley.

Like I said earlier, he did draft Vernon Gholston and Vladimir Ducasse. Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes. The man is human, and he doesn’t do it deliberately. Everything he does, is for the good of the Jets. At the time of the choice, Tannenbaum was convinced that Gholston was going to be a sack master, and that Ducasse would have been able to step into the offensive line.

With many more successes than failures, Tanny is clearly a good talent evaluator.

He is also very aggressive in bringing in the veteran talent, whether by free agency or the trade market. And trades are not always easy to pull off in football. Whether the moves have been successful or ended badly, he has tried to fill holes, and aggressively. Look at the history: Brett Favre, Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes, Bart Scott, the list goes on. Even Tim Tebow, dare I say it. I mean, you all know by now, in chapter and verse, how I feel about Tim Tebow being here. But like it or not, Tannenbaum strongly believes he will better the football team. I wasn’t with the Jet Press in 2008, but I also hated bringing in Brett Favre, but again, Tanny thought it was the right move at the time.

I mean, who can argue with his record? Not many people in any capacity with the New York Jets can claim a winning record, but Tannenbaum can. The Jets are 51-45 during his tenure as the general manager, with 3 playoff appearances.

What is my point here? After watching the Rangers make their 2011-2012 exit a couple of nights ago, it got me thinking about the Jets. Specifically, where we have been the last few years. We have had our disappointments, but as Jets fans, were are far too used to them.

But we have also been a lot more successful than we are used to. This “Life with Mikey” has been pretty good. We haven’t taken into account the 2012 draft, since obviously they haven’t played yet. I disagree with the take that a lot of experts have, that the Jets draft was not any good.

We have to put our faith in Mike Tannenbaum. He hasn’t steered us wrong much, and has our best intentions. Remember, he has bascially drafted our whole starting offense.

Many of us, myself included, talk about how we could do his job. Have faith in him, he will get us to the promised land. It will happen.

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