Despite Late Run, Jets Must Keep Eye on the Ball in Offseason
By Alan Schechter
Sep 25, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson (center), coach Rex Ryan (left) and general manager Mike Tannenbaum on the sidelines before the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets, to their credit, are sticking together, and playing well. Somehow, with wins and some luck, they have clawed their way back into the playoff race. Despite everything going on around them, the Jets have stuck to the plan, and are playing better. Rex Ryan has to get a great deal of credit for keeping this group playing well, and not letting them quit. The Jets are going to have to be careful, however. Playing well down the stretch could end up playing against them in the long term.
That is, unless the Jets keep their eye on the ball.
All season long, we have heard Mike Tannenbaum talk about that this team has “enough” weapons. Despite all of our protests to the contrary, he has said that this team is equipped and ready to go. You have seen the names that have been added to this roster, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Mardy Gilyard, Jason Hill getting signed and released like he is Billy Martin, Clyde Gates, and the list goes on. It’s not exactly a group of football players that are going to light anyone on fire are they? Are defensive coordinators staying up nights planning for these guys? Doubt it.
If the Jets finish 8-8 or 9-7, whether they make the playoffs or not, Mike Tannenbaum will have a lot of excuses laid out for him. The first, and one not to be forgotten about is his job. We all want Tannenbaum out, and the wins in the last few weeks have done nothing to change that, at least for any fans I have interacted with. Jets fans are not happy with his evaluation of talent, and want him out. According to many sources, Tannenbaum has owner Woody Johnson under his thumb, so much so that it will take a lot for Tanny to be dismissed from the organization. Now, with the Jets enjoying such late season success, Mike might have just enough of Woody’s ear to save his job. Can you see it? “See, I told you this roster is close!”. It’s a scenario that we are all too familiar with when it comes to the Jets. Stay the status-quo with the “good enough”, rather than make changes to excel.
Are going to see a return of Braylon Edwards?
And what about this roster? The Jets wide receiver weapons, behind Jeremy Kerley, might not make some practice squads. Yet, the Jets are getting through, and have walked back into the playoff race. Despite our cries for better weapons, we have seen little action from Mike Tannenbaum. “The offense has enough weapons”, he cried. The Jets have won 3 of their last 4. Even though they don’t hold tiebreakers, they are one game behind for the sixth and final playoff spot. The defense has been great, and the offense has done just enough. What if they go 8-8 or 9-7? I know I can hear Mike, after he learns his job is save, telling the world “See? I told you the roster was good? Imagine if Santonio and Darrelle were healthy!”. Can’t you? Mike will use the Jets short term success to back away from changes in the long term.
What about this guy to the right? As of this post, it is looking more and more like Braylon Edwards will be returning to the Jets for a second go-round. Yes, he is familiar with Mark Sanchez and that helps. Remember, he hasn’t caught a pass from Mark since January 2011, which is quite a long time. He also has a grand total of 23 catches since he left the New York Jets. Let’s not expect miracles here people. Even if he plays well, it doesn’t mean that this roster is suddenly healed.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not rooting for losses. Far from it. I am just saying that I don’t want the Jets brass to mistake some short term success for a long term talented roster.
They must keep their eye on the ball.