by Ryan Meehan
To be perfectly honest with you, I had no intention of watching any of the Monday Night Football this week. I can’t stand the media circus that has been the New York Jets this year, and the Titans have disappointed me as I had expected them to be better.
Now just so we’re clear, I certainly didn’t expect either team to be great this season. I can remember looking at the schedule and thinking this wasn’t exactly a good game to go on in Primetime. When you throw in the fact that technically it’s the next to last Monday Night game of the year (No MNF week 17) it’s easy to see how this was clearly a scheduling error. Even though the Jets were expected to be much improved this year, it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking that this game was going to be make or break for them.
But that’s not what this piece is about: I’d like to address the whole New York Jets organization and explain my distaste for everything Gang Green related.
Mark Sanchez as a starting quarterback in the National Football League has never made a tremendous amount of sense to me. He is for the most part built and designed for college, preferably in a system that is considered to be much better than they actually are. (Which is hilarious because given that description it’s only fitting he attended USC) The two championship games that Sanchez led the Jets to were heavily masked by the fact that their defense carried that team. If you for some odd reason don’t believe me, 1) Eat a dick, and/or 2) look at the stats. Nothing during those playoff runs should lead anybody to believe that Mark Sanchez was going to be the next Joe Namath, in terms of leading the Jets to the promised land or as a future indicator that the QB would develop a huge drinking problem.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Jets had announced that they would be starting Greg McElroy in the upcoming game against the Chargers. And in the same statement they also said that Tim Tebow would be a much more significant part of the offense.
Boy, where do I even start here? We could begin with the fact that either McElroy or Tebow should have been started weeks ago when the Jets were getting blown out by the 49ers, or any of the other times this season that they have underachieved at the hands of…Well, the Jets. There are too many examples to even list here, and it’s easy to see why they are 6-8 and will be spending another January watching TV.
The whole Tebow debacle was obviously done for publicity. The only way that you could say that maybe it wasn’t would be if they got him into training camp and just really didn’t like what they saw. Instead of cutting him (which would have been just as much of a PR disaster as a acquiring him was a PR bonus) they decided to ride it out, name Sanchez the starting quarterback, and all the while tell the media that they plan to work Tebow into the offense at some point.
The Jets were able to control the media in the sense that it’s able to be manipulated. A lot of the members of the media are stupid, and although a lot of NFL players are as well, they couldn’t lie to the line of scrimmage. The Jets’ system wasn’t going to work unless they had seven downs to get 5 yards instead of four downs to get 10. Period. And trust me, I have had no luck so far trying to explain to all of the Iowa fans around here that Shonn Greene will never be Adrian Peterson. They simply can’t rely on him to be that much of the offense in the manner that they used Curtis Martin back in the day.
McElroy was never really the third string and Tebow was never really the second. Although they may have listed it that way on the depth chart on their website, you knew damn well that when it came down to it they didn’t really have a plan. And on Monday Night, that lack of planning became very obvious.
After a decent drive by Sanchez (or at least by his standards) the Jets finally did what the whole country was waiting for them to do: They put Tim Tebow in as quarterback for the entire series. Almost as if to say “We told you we were going to! Well, here he is!”
Devoid of any reason whatsoever, Tebow was inserted to the game at the worst possible point that he could have been placed and he did not do well. Naturally, when Sanchez was placed back in the game he also didn’t play well. If they were so disappointed with how their offense was being run, why did they choose to return to the way it was being operated to begin with? If you were trying to throw the Titans a curve ball, wouldn’t you just put McElroy in there to shake things up even more? If crazy is your MO, why not just continue with the crazy and switch it up every series? And before you throw me up against the wall for suggesting that, if they had done so could it be any worse than the end result was; with Sanchez throwing a total of four picks and the Jets blowing the final chance they had at a playoff spot? It’s doubtful.
And how did this all end? The Titans give the Jets yet another chance to screw shit up for themselves, and they did just that. After a dreadful punt that gave the Jets a perfect opportunity to save their playoff lives, Sanchez fumbled the snap the first chance he got and the game was over.
Although I realize that many of the ESPN anchors and analysts pointed this out immediately, this was kind of a very fitting way to wrap up the Jets whole season. And not just by definition as the failure that it was, but by all of the other intangibles that define who the Jets are. Take Shonn Greene whom I mentioned earlier – from everything that I have heard Shonn is a very nice guy. And from everything that I have heard from Tim Tebow in interviews, he seems like a good guy who just wants to do the right thing. And Sanchez (even though I think he is a massive tool and more GQ than hardcore) hasn’t really gone out of his way to say things in the media that makes everyone hate him. So on offense, it’s clear that there are a lot of guys on the Jets’ offense who are decent dudes and do great interviews.
That might be the problem. It’s bad enough that a professional football team would need to have two quarterback who are that high profile fighting for the same spot in training camp and practice. (and give me any of that crap about how they were going with Sanchez from day one, I’m not buying that at all) But to have them be a set of well-groomed nice guys may not ever present itself with the opportunity to work effectively enough to be a championship team as long as they are under the direction of Rex Ryan.
Which brings us to Ryan himself: I still believe that for the most part Rex Ryan is a decent coach. From everything that I’m hearing, he will be back next year and I guess I don’t really have a problem with that as long as they are willing to cut Mark Sanchez. But he’s also kind of a dick, which isn’t always a bad thing. I’m not sure if the difference in personalities was ever working from the beginning of this year. Something seemed off from the get-go, and there is no way that it’s not in some way responsible for the way those relationships have translated onto the field.
Tebow will be gone. You don’t keep a guy that you’re paying that much money to hang around and smile on the sidelines and say “Coach, I’m here if you need me”. That’s just not how the NFL works and in this case it’s not going to mean addition by subtraction. The play of Tebow has made no difference for the Jets regardless of whether he’s there or not next year. Now, the way that they injected him into this mess of a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year to begin with very well has. But it’s not like the Jets are going to 12-4 next year based on the sole reason that they don’t have Tebow to kick around as an idea.
I would like to hear more from LaDanian Tomlinson about what he thinks about this mess, because he saw it first hand and wasn’t afraid to share his opinion with anybody. Somebody has to know something, and although all we can do as writers and fans is to speculate, it would be hard to believe that there isn’t something going on there we don’t know about. These are just a few observations that I had about what I see, and if you’re a Jets fan by all means please go ahead and post something in the comments section, and my heart goes out to you and all that you’ve had to suffer through.