Sunday, August 06, 2006

2006 Season Preview: #30 New York Jets

Just when it looked like the biggest joke in the NFL was on the verge of becoming legit, the Jets turned in a classically pitiful effort in 2005. Football fans can rest easy knowing that the lovable losers known as the J-E-T-S will continue to embarrass themselves and their fans for at least a few more years.

What happened last season: The 2005 New York Jets campaign can be summed up in two words: unmitigated disaster. After losing to the Steelers in overtime of the 2004 divisional round of the playoffs, the Jets entered last season with visions of an AFC Championship in their head. In retrospect, however, there were many troubling moves prior to the 2005 season that depleted the talent on the team and helped lead to the hopeless situation the Jets now find themselves in. The first dubious move occurred when the Jets decided to place the franchise tag on John Abraham and allow LaMont Jordan to leave via free agency for the Raiders. The other highly questionable decision was trading their first round pick in 2005 for TE Doug Jolley and a second round pick. The Jets used their second-round pick on kicker Mike Nugent and missed the opportunity to grab the next great tight end in the league in Heath Miller. Proving that the Jets could do nothing right, they traded Santana Moss to Washington for Laveranues Coles. Coles caught 73 balls for 845 yards and five touchdowns for the Jets; Moss had 84 receptions for 1483 yards with nine TDs and represented the 'Skins in the Pro Bowl. The detrimental effect these moves had on the team was apparent in 2005 when the Jets' offense ranked 31st in the NFL. Granted, the Jets were extremely unlucky that they were forced to rely on Brooks Bollinger to man the helm after Chad Pennington and Jay Fiedler suffered major injuries within minutes of each other, but the entire offensive regime was a house of cards to begin with. Considering the lack of any reliable receivers and with no quality back-up behind the decrepit Curtis Martin, it was no wonder that the Jets could get nothing going on offense. Ultimately, the Jets' 4-12 season triggered a massive overhaul of the Jets' roster, coaching staff, and front office. It is safe to say the Jets are starting from scratch this season and it will be several more years before it will be a team to take seriously again.

What has changed: From the moment the Jets walked off the field in Week 17, everyone knew a shitload of changes were in store for this team. The first, and probably most controversial, was the departure of affable head coach Herm Edwards for Kansas City - a move that left a bitter taste in the mouth for many Jets fans. Chosen to replace Edwards was Bill Belichick's young understudy, Eric Mangina [sic]. The Jets also replaced incompetent GM Terry Bradway with Mike Tannenbaum. The youth movement, affectionately known as Tanngini, didn't take long to make its impression on the roster, first by signing Patrick Ramsey to compete with Pennington for the starting QB spot, and later by trading the disgruntled John Abraham to Atlanta. The Jets also added reliable vets such as Tim Dwight, WR from San Diego via the Patriots, Andre Dyson, CB from Seattle, and Kimo von Oelhoffen, DE/destroyer of ACLs from the one and only Pittsburgh Steelers. There was a lot of pressure on the new-look Jets to make a splash in the draft by taking either Vince Young or Matt Leinart. The Jets, however, remembered that patience is indeed a virtue and used the draft to rebuild their offensive line around D'Brickashaw Ferguson from Virginia and Nick Mangold from Ohio State. Contrary to popular belief, Mangold is not related to Dorothy Mantooth, a woman who, by all accounts, is a saint. The Jets also drafted QB Kellen Clemens in the second round of the draft, and he is already competing with Pennington and Ramsey for the starting job.

What will happen this season: It would be foolish to expect this team to make any huge strides this year. If ever a team were in rebuilding mode, it is the Jets. The Jets will basically use the 2006 season to provide experience for their young players, find out if any of their QBs are worth investing in, and lose a lot of games to try to get as high a draft pick as possible so they can grab a stud running back to replace Curtis Martin. The Jets defense is good enough that, if they can get their offense figured out, the Jets will be back in contention within two or three years. In the mean time, however, expect a three-win season with the Jets picking in the top three of the 2007 draft. Jets fans are used to seasons that amount to nothing, so this season should be nothing new.


Blogger Greg said...

Yo, how do you upload a youtube clip? I dig the series.

9:29 PM  

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