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Another season of huge challenges to overcome

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JANUARY 21: New York Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan addresses the media as Head Coach Todd Bowles listens during a press conference on January 21, 2015 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JANUARY 21: New York Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan addresses the media as Head Coach Todd Bowles listens during a press conference on January 21, 2015 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
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The New York Jets are heading into the upcoming season with a lot of challenges to overcome.

It’s another season of “ifs” and “buts” for the New York Jets and their fan base. Expert analysts have predicted that the team will finish 0-16, while others have proclaimed this roster the worst in the NFL. Whether any of that will prove true will come down to the “ifs” and “buts”.

Mike Maccagnan took over the organization in January of 2015 and the roster has been a constant change since. Gone for the most part are the former draft picks of John Idzik, found lacking by the front office, they have been erased from the roster. Gone too are the veterans that were making big paychecks, the front office making cuts to go young and save money. The result, a roster that is younger, faster, cheaper, but mostly unknown.

This summer’s training camp will be decisive in how this team develops into a unit. At this time, there are far more questions than there are answers concerning this roster. That is precisely what training camp is for, however, a chance to evaluate, develop, and find answers that will improve your football team. The Jets coaching staff will have its hands full, there is a lot of work to do to work out the “ifs” and buts”.

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This offense can be successful IF one of the three Jets quarterbacks can step up and run John Morton’s offense. BUT, will the offensive line coerce into an adequate group to protect the quarterback?

The offense could be dangerous IF the young wide receiver group continues to develop, BUT injuries and suspensions could slow them down significantly.

The running back position promises to be good IF Matt Forte and Bilal Powell can remain healthy and get back to producing. BUT the run game could suffer if the team is forced to turn to its backups.

The same can be said for the defensive side of the ball. The Jets defensive front could be excellent IF Muhammad Wilkerson returns to form, BUT the team will need to find a role for Sheldon Richardson. The linebacker group could improve as a whole IF Kevin Greene can get the outside players to produce, BUT could suffer if the inside guys don’t hold their own.

Same goes for the Jets secondary. IF the recently drafted safeties come as advertised this group could be much improved over last year. BUT if the corners can’t stay healthy and develop, the group could fare poorly.

Make no mistake, the Jets coaching staff will be hard at work trying to work out the questions. They’ll be out there trying to make sure the “ifs” are realized and the “buts” aren’t. How it turns out is anyone’s guess.

The question for the fan, however, is it enough? Maccagnan and Todd Bowles are heading into their third season together, and many in the fan base are debating their effectiveness. The team is no closer to being a serious contender in the AFC then it was when they came in. In some fans minds, they may have even taken a step backward towards that goal.

This “ifs” and “buts” scenario has been ongoing for the team for quite some time. It seems annually, the team is faced with the same questions, especially at the quarterback position. Fans have tired of them and are looking for definitive answers, and rightfully so.

The front office has gambled by it’s approach to rebuilding this football team. The lack of veteran leadership and household names for the fans to get excited about, may, in the end, cost them their jobs.

Season ticket holders dump thousands of dollars into MetLife Stadium annually, and this loyal group of fans wants more than “ifs” and “buts”. They deserve a competitive football team to watch for their hard earned dollars. The organization needs to provide them with answers this summer, going into this season with more “ifs” and “buts” just isn’t acceptable. Jets fans deserve better.

Now I’m not out to write Bowles or Maccagnan off. I’m not implying this is a “tanked” season before it begins. What I am saying, however, is I’m tired of explaining this roster with “ifs” and “buts”. I’m forced to do it annually it seems, and for once would just like to have something concrete to go on.

Must Read: Todd Bowles speaks about progression of quarterbacks

I’m staying as positive as I can for the 2017 season. I believe the roster possesses talent, but I’ll need to see that talent perform on a football field before I can put away my doubts. Summer training camp promises to have competition all over the field, here’s hoping they can answer the “ifs and “buts” once and for all.

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