New York Jets Need To Raise The Talent Bar


It has been a tough year for fans of the New York Jets.

It has been a tough season all around for Jets fans. The Jets defense, which was supposed to be an elite group going into the season has been a bit disappointing. The secondary proved they were less than perfect and the expected and highly touted pass rush hasn’t been consistent. The offense has been even tougher to watch. The Jets offense ranks 29th in points, 27th in the league for total yards, 32nd in passing, and amazingly they remain 3rd in rushing yards! It hasn’t been a good year to say the least.

Blame can be laid anywhere you want. The debate on whose failures caused the most damage rages on in the media and among the fan base almost daily these days. Take your pick, among the candidates most mentioned are; John Idzik, Terry Bradway, Rex Ryan, and Marty Mornhinweg. I think there is a bit more to it than just the management names. Changing the faces that run this team will help undoubtedly, but more needs to be done to change the environment surrounding the Jets.

The Jets need to raise the bar across the board! In my opinion, it’s not going to be an easy task! Names of players and the talent they possess can easily be replaced, it’s done annually on every roster in the league. The mentality of a player or even the team is the difficult obstacle to over come. It seems to me thatit has even affected the Jets fans themselves. The environment surrounding this franchise is a mediocre mindset, and it will need to change if we are going to be successful going ahead.

It seems to me for several years now, the Jets have been far too eager to accept mediocrity when it comes to talent. The team has touted the abilities of players like Geno Smith, Willie Colon, and Kyle Wilson, to name just a few. Smith has been horrendous as a professional. I know it takes time to develop a QB, but the Jets organization has accepted way too much from Smith. After finishing the year at 8-8 last season, and only seeing a few flashes from Smith, the Jets basically handed him the starting job this year. Yes, they brought in Michael Vick,  but it was never a REAL competition! The Jets decided that Smith’s mediocre talent was enough to succeed with. I believe it was a huge mistake!

You can’t reward mediocre play with a guaranteed starting job! The result was less than desirable play at the QB position. This mindset even seemed to affect Michael Vick  when Smith was benched! Vick  seemingly didn’t care when he was out there, his play was mediocre at best, and that seemed to be acceptable to all involved. Vick  isn’t to blamed here, it was the mentality he was surrounded with since his arrival. Let’s face it, Vick  is a better QB than Smith, he knows that, by giving Smith the nod over Vick to start the season, the Jets sent the message that Smith’s mediocrity was acceptable! That is the entirely wrong message to send to your team! The Jets need to raise the bar!

Willie Colon is another example of accepting the mediocre. It was apparent last season that Colon had seen his better days pass him by. He struggled with penalties, against the pass he struggled as well, it was clear that Colon was no longer the dominant player he once was. In the final game against Miami he suffered an injury requiring surgery, and most believed he would retire or  be cut by the Jets. Instead, the Jets kept him around, accepting his mediocre play as sufficient enough to keep on the roster. It has become even clearer this year that Colon is nothing more than mediocre at this point in his career! Yet, the Jets brought in no serious competition for him to be replaced with, they simply decided that Colon’s play was sufficient to start another year. He too was given a reward for his mediocre play. It must stop! The talent bar must be raised for starting players for the Jets!

Kyle Wilson has been another prime example of accepting mediocre talent. Taken as a first round choice in the 2010 draft, Wilson has proven he was over drafted, and has provided mediocre play ever since. Yet year after year, the Jets have rolled him out there as a starter. The message once again has been sent! With Wilson it has been sent many times in fact! The Jets have moved him around from outside to inside, but the results have been the same…mediocre! Kyle Wilson becomes free agent eligible at the end of the season, will the Jets once again choose to keep him and send the rest of the team the message again? Here is an opportunity for the Jets to change the mindset! While Wilson was likely the best corner on the active roster this season, compared to the rest of the NFL corners he’s a back up at best. The Jets need to set the bar at the league standards, not Jets standards! It needs to start now to fix the future!

Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan before the game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The coaching staff of the New York Jets is mediocre in my opinion as well, it may be the root of the problem in fact. My readers already know I am not a Rex Ryan fan, I never have been and likely never will be. There are many reasons, but I won’t go into it again, the bottom line is I’ve found him to be a mediocre head coach. His coaching hires also seem to be made of the same fiber. Sanjay Lal, the Jets wide receiver coach was hired by Ryan in 2012 and has failed to develop anything close to a NFL receiver. Actually he’s never truly developed anything to speak of anywhere as his resume boasts of developing Stephen Hill, Chaz Schilens, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford! To be kind, Sanjay Lal is a mediocre coach. Rex Ryan has hired three offfensive coordinators in his tenure, and I think its safe to say that most fans would label them as barely adequate as well.

David Lee can be seen as another coach that doesn’t make the cut. Lee was fired along with entire coaching staff in 2012 by the Buffalo Bills. He came to the Jets and set out to “fix” Mark Sanchez. He was highly touted as the guy who would turn Sanchez’s game around and make him into a “franchise QB”, and we all know how that turned out! He’s remained the Jets QB coach to develop Geno Smith and the results have not been very good either. He worked with Chad Pennington in Miami , but failed to developed his replacement in the form of Chad Henne. Looking back, he’s another coach on this staff that has failed to develop anything resembling a NFL player. Mediocre is the word I use to describe the Jets coaching staff! It must change! The Jets need to find a good head coach who will attract the talented coaches to the franchise! Enough of the mediocre talent on the coaching staff as well!

The odds are good that the Jet management will go through some major changes this year. With proper choices made by ownership, the management of the Jets will improve. Part of the problem will be resolved. The final piece has to be the fan base. No longer can we accept and defend the mediocre talent on our roster. As fans we need to realize that if a player is not playing up to NFL standards, they need to be replaced or benched! Just because a player is top-notch on our roster, doesn’t mean he’s NFL caliber.

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We need to start judging players and coaches on a league basis; the Jets franchise is not the end all. When I read comments like “Geno Smith had a good game this Sunday, he didn’t turn the ball over”, it drive me nuts! Crediting a receiver for having less drops than the week before is another example of the mindset! Yet another example comes when a corner back intercepts a pass and the fan base acts like he just won the Super Bowl! Corne backs are supposed to find ways to intercept the pass! That’s their job! It doesn’t mean he’s the next Darrelle Revis! Our fan base has become so used to mediocrity, that seemingly we’ve grown to accept it! It needs to stop in my opinion. Let’s raise the bar we judge our players and team by!

That’s what I think about the state of the Jets currently. Changes are coming, it is hard to imagine that they won’t be sweeping changes, but along with the names and faces changing, the mentality surrounding our franchise must change as well! No longer should mediocrity be accepted and endorsed. The season’s over after Sunday’s game with the Dolphins, let’s start changing that mindset, and start fresh with the next season! Now you’ve heard what I think. Now the important part of the discussion, what do you folks think? Let’s Talk Jets football!